“Arsenal Crisis”: the Answer Is Obvious

It’s becoming a familiar pattern, isn’t it?

Stage One: the team is over-achieving in a way we never imagined at the start of the season; we supporters are beginning to dream; we face a “big test” against a good team; we get thrashed.

At which point we segue into Stage Two: the manager says that “what we do on the pitch now is what matters”; the fans are miserable; some are very angry; scapegoats are identified and pilloried; the media writes us off again.

This week’s scapegoats seem to be primarily Arteta, Ozil and, as always, Arsene Wenger.

Personally I think people are judging Arteta and Ozil too harshly. Mikel has not been playing well for a few games but the rush to write him off as being over the hill is premature.  All players (regardless of age) go through bad phases and to consign last year’s player of the season to the scrapheap for three bad performances – one of which was a disastrous effort from the whole team – is unfair.

As for Mesut, he was poor against Liverpool, but no worse than several other players including Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and the likes of Rosicky and Podolski when they came on.

Which is not to say I don’t understand the anger and the desire to point fingers. But the defeat happened: we were awful and Liverpool played as well as they can play.

It’s one game, three points lost and a result that will only attain a greater significance if we let it. If we win our next three league games, this defeat will be quickly forgotten.

We can start on Wednesday against Manchester United by demonstrating that we are capable of putting it behind us.

But how do we avoid this sort of situation and performance happening again?

To me the answer is obvious: we have a wonderful blueprint for what the squad needs to do to be successful between now and the end of May.

Better still, it’s a blueprint that has already been tried and tested by the manager and by most of the players currently in our first team squad.

I refer to the way we played last season after losing in the league game at the N17 Public Convenience.

After that defeat – when our defence was all too easily pulled apart by Totteringham and we were ridiculed by dumber and dumberer on Match of the Day – we refocused and went on to win eight and draw two of our remaining 10 games – a run that powered us into the Champions League spots against all expectation.

I remember those games well. Very few were easy victories. In most games we ground out results by being hard to beat. We started every game with the mentality of “let’s not concede soft goals, then see what happens.”

It was incredibly effective and the platform of confidence it gave the squad has been there for all to see this season.

Contrast that with how we approached the game at Anfield on Saturday. If we had taken to the field thinking “OK, Liverpool are flying at the moment and are at home: they’re going to come at us hard so let’s make sure we are really tight at the back and take the wind out of their sails for the first 20 minutes,” we would not have had the debacle we all witnessed.

For a start the first goal would not have happened because Sagna would not have been miles up the field channeling his inner Theo when Liverpool broke; in which case The BFG would not have had to fill in at right back and find himself in a speed race with Luis Suarez; and if that hadn’t happened he would not have had to foul Suarez, there would have been no free kick and that ugly bloke would never have got his porcelain bonce on the ball in our six yard box.

Instead we started that game as if we thought we were Manchester City: “we won’t worry about defending – we’ll just showboat a bit and we’ll probably score five or six.”

We got what we deserved.

It’s like we started to believe that because we’re top of the table we’re so absolutely fabulous that we don’t need to concern ourselves with the boring, workaday bits of the job.

The table doesn’t lie, but sometimes it tells jokes. And on the evidence of Saturday, us being the best team in the country is straight out of Les Dawson’s pocket book.

Now it’s time to put aside any ideas of grandeur and start thinking like we did in the last 10 games of last season.

Constant hard work; relentless pressing of the opposition when they have the ball; total concentration; playing for your team and your team mates… we have done all of this and more before so we can do it again. We know how to do it.

If Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould can put the players back into that mindset we’ll be fine.

And I want to see it starting on Wednesday against ManUre. Despite Saturday’s humiliation I do not want to see us charging at United like the Seventh Cavalry.

Let’s start with a safety first approach, gradually take control of midfield then wait for the goalscoring chances that will inevitably follow.

It’s not as if we don’t know how to do it.

Of course, following the defeat at the Tiny Totts last year Arsene made some selection changes,  including dropping Szczesny and Vermaelen.

Perhaps he’ll do the same this time round, although it’s less likely because (a) we are limited by injuries and (b) the players who failed so badly on Saturday have all being doing well for the most part.

Roll on Wednesday. We need to get back in the saddle…

RockyLives

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172 Responses to “Arsenal Crisis”: the Answer Is Obvious

  1. Malaysian gunner says:

    The first goal shd have been ruled os. But even if it were,the gunners will still lose.Pool were very tenacious and aggressive in their harassment of the gunners. They did not give the gunners time and space.You compare this to the CP game.
    Then the big german was given the luxury of time and space to hit his passes. I am afraid teams have cottoned on to how the gunners play.Get in their faces and get two players to harass the gunner in possession.
    Let’s see how Wenger responds. He is paid 8 million a year and must find ways to get the gunners going.Some seasons back the gunners wee hit 5-0 in a league cup sf by Spurs who started like a whirl wind.
    Mu will be tough opponents and another loss will send the vultures into overflight.

  2. Thanks Rocks.

    This is not to wind up anyone with what may be viewed as a “trollesque” comment, but just my opinion.
    I do think people have been too “rose tinted” with ” we are top of the league” rants while it lasted, fair enough enjoy it while it lasts, but I do agree with what “sniffer” once put up, in that we had a relatively easy start to the season !. We are currently minus one point like for like for games from last season ( with the promoted clubs taking the places of the relegated ones ) .
    I don’t know about any of you lot, but with the knowledge of these two ” death clusters ” coming along well in advance, I had no doubt that we would start to drop of the pace. Yes, football is a funny game and we may win some of these up coming games, but history tells me the wheels will come off ( I don’t think we have beat one of Chavski, Mansour City or Manshafter Std since 2012 ! ) due to quality of the opposition and us being top of the injury league !.
    I will accept this as personally I didn`t expect us to be top 4 this season, so in a way I think we are doing OK !.
    It all boils down imo to the way the fixture list came out, these torturous “clusters” are probably the most gruelling set of fixtures I have ever seen any team come up against in such a procession !.
    Imo, if we would have had this same fixture pile up at the beginning of the season, we would have probably been playing catch up now and the Neanderthals down the road would probably been talking something about a gap !.
    As for the game on Saturday, I have always said….first you have to be hard to beat !…so agree that we were not at the races !.
    This season we have grinded out results and have not had any real thrashings given to other teams. The games we have struggled in are when teams pressure us and the games we looked great ( Napoli ) is when we pressured teams. Imo, it`s either that or we park the bus ourselves and counter !.
    Have to go as the wife is looking menacingly at my other eye !.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, all you say is true.

    There are a couple of things that worry me:

    1. Why didn’t we learn our lesson after the city game?

    2. Was it the players initiative (or lack of it) or the pre-match game plan that decided the best way to approach the game was gung-ho, we’ll score more than you ……. I suspect the former

    Either way, the only answer is as you say, to approach every game for the rest of the season in the same way as we did at the end of last season. We’re in 2nd place but our backs are against the wall, we have to protect all the hard work of the first half of the campaign.

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, A fine post Rocky, as to replicating last season’s run in …..”Let’s start with a safety first approach, gradually take control of midfield then wait for the goalscoring chances that will inevitably follow.”

    “It’s not as if we don’t know how to do it.”

    Trouble is at this moment we are a radically different team. To start with we don’t have the energy and class of Ramsey, nor do we have the option of using Walcott’s pace. Instead we have Ozil, a new player finding his first season in the Premiership much more difficult than he or anyone expected, two players, Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain, returning from long term injuries and another, Wilshere, struggling for fitness and form as well as a jaded and tiring striker, Giroud.

    One other change has been less obvious but more insidious, passing has become almost an end in it’s self. When faced with a defender the default option is to pass the ball. Regardless of the position on the field, pass the ball. We need to start taking defenders on, force them to make a tackle, thereby risking giving away a free-kick. Oxlade-Chamberlain showed the way on Saturday, drew a foul and won a penalty.

    If games were won on passes completed, we would have the title sewn up by now, we just need to be a bit smarter, mix things up a little, be a little bit different.

  5. Good realistic and positive post, Rocky.

  6. gunnerpete says:

    Good honest article but After watching the first 30 minutes again I am convinced that Sagna must be dropped and sold asap. As in the other defeats this season and many last season, this bloke has been seen trotting around the halfway line when goals are being created and scored via the right back position. He and Monreal were a disgrace to the art of defending especially when you go down 1-0 to a home town goal in less than a minute. The whole back four plus Arteta should have remained solid for 30 minutes until the Red Road Runners had run out of steam. The home crowd would then have turned and we should have destroyed them in the final 15. But we did the opposite to the norm. This would never happen to Chelski whilst they have Mourihno. He knows the score just as George Graham used to……ie; don’t concede and you don’t lose!

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi Norfolk, as you say, with the players available we lack power and pace and for some reason on Saturday we lacked work rate.

    Because we don’t have wingers/wide midfielders who can get behind defenders, the full backs are our main option for delivering the ball into the box – and that leaves us short in defence.

    We saw from manure last night that aimlessly punting the ball into the box can be fruitless, but our style is to cut it back to the advancing midfielders – but you still need to get behind the opposition’s defence to do that most effectively.

    If we are going to encourage our full backs to go forward, the two DM’s have to be quick and have very good engines to cover against the counter attack – that was not the case on Saturday.

  8. Femi says:

    Good article. The biggest problem of Arsenal is Wenger. Wenger has lost mojo if he has any one before. Wenger doesn’t have passion for football. I will explain. Why was Gibbs on the bench? Why was Rosicky on the bench?

    Chamberlain was not coming behind to help. Ozil does not have stamina to return back to help the back. Wilshere was not playing well. Arteta also was in shamble.

    If Wenger have passion like many fans have, i expected that he should have noticed what the problem was and make a change pronto. He still waited till 65 minutes before making a change. He is more of a father than a coach. Does he have covenant with 65 minutes?

    Morinho would have made change to the team as soon as possible.

    Saying that Rosicky didnt play well is being harsh. There is a way players loose hope when the score is already 4-0 or even 5-0. The pressure was on the defence simply because we are no threat in front of their goal.

    Wenger was supposed to buy player instead he went and bought injured player which will not play unitl April. Is the money Wengers or the club’s? why is he so tightfisted ins pending. He always say there is no player, where are others getting their players that only Wenger is not getting?

    Its not Sagna’s fault, the pressure was too much on the back four. The last match we drew, Wenger should have noticed that we conceded the goals because Monreal was not real in as Gibbs and Gnabry was also not going back to help the defense.

    Wenger should accept all the blame. We do not have player that is forward minded like Rosicky. the best form of defence is attack and Giroud is a minus to Arsenal. Cant you see how Liverpool forwarders were terrorizing Arsenal? Who do we have to threaten their attack? Arteta is always backward minded and Wilshere dribbles and loose the ball.

    I think we need to bring in Vermalin to the middle or attack

  9. Danny says:

    Weird what football can do, I’ve been in a complete depression since those first “20 minutes”. People at work etc keep asking me what’s the matter but I can’t get myself to truly answer them, I just say that I’ve got those Monday morning blues, and this is from someone who’s been supporting the Gunners since 1968!! It was definitely the worse start to any Arsenal game ever and I know Fowler scored a hattrick against Seaman in 5 minutes but nothing compares to this.

  10. kelsey says:

    whatever you say,Femi ;)

  11. evonnee says:

    Great post Rocky, like a balm on the open wounds. I think your take on what has gone wrong is spot on – we lost psychologically. Too cocky, too confident and relaxed. I don’t think anybody expected Pool to be that good, normally they are not. Oh well, like you said – bring on ManUre, need to demolish someone

  12. evonnee says:

    Danny – just tell them to feck off and mind their own business. Sorted

    No Micky, they look nothing like Rory, more like the young Evonne

  13. chas says:

    Super post, Rocky.
    I’d imagine similar things are being said at London Colney at this very second.

    On a separate note, I didn’t like the Death Clusters nomenclature when it was first mooted because I only saw it as meaning one thing, namely the death of our title and cup challenges.
    Maybe even the team are looking 2 or 3 games ahead instead of concentrating on the next 90 minutes?

    I’m hoping Saturday was a freak result. A sucker punch in the first minute of a boxing match taking our legs, followed by an onslaught which meant we couldn’t clear our fuzzy heads.
    If it had been a boxing match, it would have been stopped after the third goal.

  14. great article as always Rocky.

    we will obviously see a totally different performance on Weds. if we score first we could do what Liverpool did to us against United. concede first and its a real test of this team.

    its going to be tense.

  15. MikeSA says:

    The only problem I have with the “safety first…..gradual” approach is that for me it epitomizes the Wenger “patience” approach, which, in my opinion, leads to the slow, sleep walking, comatose approach to the game that has cost us so many times in the past, and what in my opinion led to this debacle.

  16. dhakka09 says:

    Bravo Rocky; you never fail to put hope in my treacherous heart amidst all doom and gloom. Frankly speaking, I can’t help myself from scouring the web for more misery for the last two days in search of Arsenal news and just when I can’t take the salt and pepper of those match reports in my wounded soul, I turn to AA for some timely soothing ointment to relieve the pain.

    In fact, this blog is the one single place that has been a sanctuary from all evil for me. Listening/reading the level-headedness from you folks in comment section here has kept me sane and not pull my hair off in frustration (Believe me, I could have gone bald from all that had it not been for AA)

    As Cockie Monster has pointed out too, I check the side-gadget here too frequently to see where we’ve gained points compared to same fixtures last season and so far, things are more par the course than improved. I just hope the positiveness of this season so far will carry us through the tougher fixtures and it is wildly unimaginable that we would drop the same points in remaining corresponding fixtures from last year. That would require catastrophic meltdown and we are better than that.

    I have dared to dream this season but fear to do so now unless we put United to sword this Wednesday. If we fail to do so, I’m afraid, all the positivity in AA will still be insufficient to keep me upbeat about our title chances.

    Lastly, thank you all for keeping the mood up in face of adversity (Kipling poem was a gem). We all have our beefs with Arsene with regards to his tactics in matches like last week but he has done a magnificent job with the resources available this season and I’d hate to see it all go to waste for nothingness again.

    A toast to a better tomorrow; Adios :)

  17. arnie says:

    Rocky day, ha ha ha. Lovely post, Rocky!!!! Lots of food for thought. Let us see. :D :D

    This season, Arsenal’s performance against the minnows has been (almost) perfect, except for opening day blues ( :razz: ). The major issue has been performance, and results, in away games against the big teams. Liverpool away, the worst of the lot (oh dear!), Shitty away, S’ton away, and I would also say ManUre away.

    What was the problem, really. Perhaps lack of appropriate strategy. Here a large gap between defensive and attacking line comes to mind. Defenders playing too far forward is also perhaps part of the same story. This then leads to a second issue. Lack of pace in defence and lack of alertness to challenge for the ball.

    Second, lack of preparedness. Injuries, yes injuries, and plenty of them, and a lack of affluence in bench strength. Fatigue as well, and this perhaps links to the points above. But also sheer administrative cock-ups, like travel to s’ton.

    Third, the burden of history. Somehow we seem to get glue feet when we face the big bullies.

    So, where might this hurt us. At the moment, we have 4 major away games left. Bayern (11 Mar, CL), Spurs (16 Mar), Chavs (22 Mar) and Everton (5 April). Against Bayern, we have done well last year, and should pick ourselves up and perform this year. I am cautiously optimistic that we will. And then, hopefully, we can carry the confidence into the other three.

    And now, the major home games. ManUre (12 Feb), Liverpool (16 Feb, FA Cup), Bayern (19 Feb, CL), Shitty (29 Mar), and perhaps more to come in the cup games. This is what we should secure. I would expect wins in all the games. And why not! We have not done poorly at home since, well since Dortmund. So, we are capable and we should deliver!

    The fightback starts on Weds. And we are up for it, are we not? No lack of inspiration, the Liverpool loss has hurt us all, and we will wear it on our shirts and perform.

    Simples. On with the show! :D :D :D

  18. Bryan says:

    A well written article although I’m not convinced that we wouldn’t of been told by Wenger not to weather the early storm.
    Man UTD is now a must win, if we don’t I expect us to finish 3rd or 4th.
    I hope you are right about a few players being dropped, hopefully Monreal will be one of them as I think he is absolutely terrible, can’t see what anyone see’s in him, he can’t defend to save his life.
    Ozil has been massively disappointing IMO but it is his first season so maybe he’ll start playing really well next, much like Robert Pires did.
    Need a massive response from the players on Wednesday as I think our season depends on it

  19. RC78 says:

    All and all…This is not a surprise for me…People that watched the Coventry game saw how poorly our defense did but we escaped thanks to Podolski’s efficiency in front of goal. Defensively, Arteta, Ozil and Wilshere all failed and let us not talk about Kos who had the worse game in ages…Can’t wait for Flamini to be back.

    Offensively – We are really missing Ramsey and Walcott. They brought this direct aspect to our game which has disappeared now. I cannot wait for Ramsey to be back. Ozil need to get back to a decent level or he should just be dropped for a few games until he is back t his normal self. Giroud is struggling as well. We need some freshness and some hunger back in the team.

    For me, the following players should be fielded on Wed:

    Scezesny – Sagna, Per, Kos, Gibbs – Rosicky, Arteta (if Flamini is still out), Wilshere – Ox, Podolski, Cazorla

  20. RC78 says:

    Would be great to get a defensive mid during the summer transfer window. Would would you like to see join us?

  21. Bryan says:

    Verm would be worth a shout in DM role I think, certainly better than getting a crocked DM that no one had heard of on loan ;-)

  22. RC78 says:

    Kallstrom is actually a decent player and is very accurate when it comes to passing and set-pieces but he is not better than any of our current players. Vermaelen would indeed be a great idea!

    I d but in straight for Arteta who has been abysmal in the last few games

  23. RC78 says:

    I would love to see a true enforcer join us, a dirty player with an engine…a player like Paulinho or Fernando or even Carrick. I think Carrick is under-rated…

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    I appreciate you bringing a touch of normalcy back to the blog. I think I will still stay low for a few days and let the “experts” have their day on the chopping block – or is it a guillotine.

    As soon as we show any crack in our veneer they pounce with absolute glee and regurgitate all of the well worn bullshit – to say they drive me insane would be a classic understatement.

  25. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent Rocky

    One of the best bits of advice I was once given is “The problem is there’s no problem”

    I have no problem with people thinking there’s a problem when there’s no problem. Quite frankly, that’s there problem.

    We had a bad result and performance but who doesn’t? The question is, how do we respond?

    Perversely enough, the Liverpool game is a blessing in disguise. it provides the perfectly required kick up the arse we needed.

    Personally, I think we will win this League and have every chance to lift a cup. Some big wins at home, starting with Utd, will put us in good stead. Let the fun begin

  26. RC78,

    Bender, Gustavo or Schneiderlin would be good.

  27. It makes me laugh that certain people can throw their dolly`s out of the pram when they don’t like other peoples opinion !.
    It`s a blog to debate, to keep censoring peoples comment`s in case they upset a few of the “regulars” is petty. That makes it a closed shop for a certain “class” and is discriminatory and showing signs of favouritism .
    With so many moderators ( how many 7-8-9- ? ), what`s to stop anyone of them deleting someone`s comment if they don’t like it or them ?.
    You also have the self-censoring ( self-centred ) as above who will censor their selves until certain people have stopped commenting their “expert” opinions !.
    I can understand if someone is being abusive to another blogger, then fair enough .
    Now if I was……lets randomly pick a name out of the air !…….WATA (Herb) and my non-abusive opinion comments pissed people off enough to make them threaten to take a sabbatical, then I would carry on blogging even more !. Make it a permanent sabbatical !.
    It`s not a free and democratic blog if all you do is rally around your inner sanctum “clique” every time someone has an opinion you don’t like !.

  28. chas says:

    Cockie,
    As far as I’m aware, no comments are removed apart from troll comments and they are easily identified because they are just one sentence.
    (Occasionally obscene comments may have been removed in the past, but that’s another matter entirely)
    No comments are ever removed just because someone disagrees with them, so stop suggesting that they do.

    Are you suggesting that commenters are not allowed to take a break from blogging when and if they choose?

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi Cockie – just to reassure you, we have never deleted a comment on the grounds of opinion :) There are several who have access as administrators and all exercise that power with integrity.

    The ‘sanctum/clique’ is an old topic and one which I no longer feel the need to defend …. except to say this; it is normal human behaviour to interact with others. The process involves an initial connection through circumstance or some common interest/experience/habit and evolves as time is spent together …. we’re just friends …. nothing sinister in that :P

  30. arnie says:

    Rasp/Peaches: Is there a post for tomorrow? I can do one if needed. :D

  31. Shard says:

    Hi Rocky,
    I was one of those that was fearing that Arteta might be over the hill. It is a knee-jerk in some ways because despite his poor(ish) performances in the past few games, I was still of the view that it is foolish to write him off because he is quality. But I must say, I was absolutely distraught by the way Arteta was unable to pick out simple passes. I realise that this isn’t only down to him, as there were people who seemed to be hiding, and also that he was not alone in playing like that. But Arteta, for a while longer than just 3 games, has shown a weakness when pressed while in possession.

    Against Liverpool, Arteta failed to be our metronome, as well as our leader. That was very disappointing. He’s still a good player obviously, but he certainly doesn’t seem to work well with Wilshere, or Flamini, in our usual style of play. Ramsey is positionally sound and covers enough ground both going forward and back, that Arteta’s flaws are covered, and his strengths can show.

    About Ozil, I think it is completely unfair the level of criticism he is facing. He can’t pass the ball to himself, and if his midfield colleagues aren’t making the effort to make themselves available, are misplacing simple passes, and are completely unable to work their way out of a press, what else is he supposed to do except try to get us forward by dribbling through? That he was caught on the ball is not his fault when he had no other option, and it wouldn’t have proved as fatal, if the rest of the midfield had more awareness and energy. It’s like people just want to take their lead from Owen, and malign a true world class player and batter him until their portents of doom come to pass. Ozil cannot do it alone, is most certainly a world class player, who had a horrible game along with the rest of the team.

    I think it was the worst I have ever seen Arsenal play. I also think we are a very good team. It’s up to the team to show what they can do, and I am almost certain we’ll see a response against ManU, and hopefully some amount of payback against Liverpool.

  32. JWP says:

    My view is that Arteta is fine for the palace and norwich at home games etc. He can not cut it for the big games especially away from home. He is a good squad player but your not going to win much with him in the first 11.

  33. Fair enough Rasp . I except there is always going to be “cliques” and to state the obvious there`s one on here !.

    chas
    Personally and imo, I class “troll” comments as opinions and as they are disagreed with and erased, I can suggest that disagreed comments are removed !.
    I also couldn`t give a monkeys if commenters take as long a break from blogging as they like !. That’s their business !.

  34. Rasp says:

    Cocky, there is a world of difference between a troll and a commenter who expresses an unpopular opinion. Trolls continually change their name, IP address and email and have the sole aim of disrupting the blog – none of them are ever Arsenal supporters

  35. Monster Canary says:

    JWP, Hold yew steady bor! Norwich has a capital “N” and don’t yew forget it. We’ll be a waitin for yew at Carra Rood come May 11th. Then us’ll see what youm worth!

  36. Rasp says:

    Case in point :?

  37. arnie says:

    Cockie: Perhaps not my place to comment. But I think there is a clear distinction between “troll” comments and valid opinion in this space. The “troll” comments are either a one-liner assertion without any attempt to justify, or are a statement of selected evidence without any attempt to explain the contradictions. They do not take the discussion forward.

    Personally, I am glad there are people out there removing these statements. Otherwise it is a sheer waste of time for all of us, including yourself.

    In my experience, I have never found Herb’s statements removed. This is because he is analytical in his statements, even if his opinions are perhaps repititive. Nevertheless, they are useful for a site like AA.

    Sometimes, statements are removed by mistake, but the person(s) responsible always put their hands up and apologise.

  38. arnie – I don’t believe anyone offered a post when I asked yesterday so can I accept your offer of a post for tomorrow please :)

  39. JWP says:

    Arteta should be ok for Nowich away as its not a big game..and if he plays really well you might hopefully buy him…

  40. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Cockie, dictionary definition; Clique Small exclusive group. Yes we (the regulars) are a small (ish) group but obviously, as all and sundry are usually welcome, not exclusive by any means.

  41. arnie says:

    Thanks, Peaches. It will have The Home of Football in its title. Giveing nothing else away. :razz:

  42. Raspie. I can understand you and others may have an intolerance to them, but personally they don’t bother me and I find their comments amusing, but that’s probably just ( and probably only :) ) me !.

  43. Norfolk Gooner says:

    JWP, Baited, hooked and reeled in! :D

  44. Thanks arnie.

    Any news on the tube strike?

  45. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaces,
    Travel advisory from Arsenal FC.

    The Club would like to remind supporters that we anticipate significant travel disruption around our Premier League match against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, February 12.

    The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) have announced a 48-hour strike involving London Underground staff which, if it goes ahead, will affect supporters travelling to and from the match.

    Supporters are advised to make their way to and from Emirates Stadium by other means of transport as any Tube services to stations near the stadium are likely to be very limited.

    Supporters are encouraged to consider walking to and from Emirates Stadium from King’s Cross, St. Pancras, Liverpool Street and Euston, where they can connect with National Rail and local bus services. Please use the following link here to plan the best suggested walking route.

    Supporters planning to drive to and from the match should note the matchday parking restrictions in operation in Islington and Hackney.

    Reproduced cortesy of http://www.arsenal.com

  46. arnie says:

    Peaches: If the game is not postponed by mid-evening today, we will buy flight tickets. Probably rent a car and drive down from Stansted/ Southend/ Luton wherever. I hope Micky’s membership cards reach in time! :D :D :D

  47. kelsey says:

    I have said in the past that to some including myself (when in a depressed state) that AA comes over as a clique and in fact I am wrong.
    Rasp does welcome newcomers ,sometimes too eagerly to write a post :) but all are welcome and if this was a clique the same 6 of us that started on here would be the only ones contributing.
    Go on any other site and there is always a hard core of posters and many will tell you in no uncertain terms to feck off.

    All in all AA isn’t a bad site at all.

  48. Norfolk.
    I used to be a regular, but no way was I in the ” clique” !. Never thought my mate TMHT was a ” cliquer” !, but looks like he is whether he likes it or not !. Then again, he does a lot more weird things than a weird AA handshake, so he`s probably now the leader !. hahaha

  49. kelsey says:

    A review on the tube strike.Fine…sorted.

  50. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie if you fly into Stanstead take the Stanstead express to either Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale and walk. Parking will be very difficult, but you can select which of those two horribly named stations to use. :D

  51. arnie says:

    Fantastic suggestion, Norfolk. We will start early and will reach well in time. :D :D :D

  52. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Oh! and Arnie if you do walk you will get an insite into real life in the capitol, something the tourists seldom see. :D

    Cockie you are going to have to find a new term, as the group does not exclude anyone and is not therefore exclusive, it is not a clique.

    Perhaps a loose group of like minded individuals? Or a group of loose minded individuals? Or even a group of like minded loose individuals. :D

  53. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie, I’ve just checked, Liverpool Street to Arsenal; 1hr 32 mins walking time. Tottenham Hale to Arsenal 1hr 58 mins.

    It is on the box though!!!

  54. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Norfiolk. And “group of like minded loose individuals”. I like that. :D :D :D

  55. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Leave it out Cockie, ime no cliquer. They wont have me.

    Anyway, ime all for censorship. Ive lost count how many times I have emailed Rasp and Peaches demanding someone be banned. I never get a response though. In fact, I done it to you this morning. hahaha

    Well, apart from one time when reading back, noticed I had posted something which wasnt to my liking. When I emailed asking that I be banned they responded immediately with there acceptance. hahaha

  56. jnyc says:

    Rocky, I agree with Rasp, I wonder why we didn’t learn our lesson from the city match. I guess we have to blame Arsene largely for that. He should have addressed the subject the first time. I mean the panic and loss of discipline after an early concession. Even if he talked about it with them after city, he failed to drive the point home obviously.
    We are starting to embarrass ourselves. But I do believe we can bounce back as we have done before, and maybe even surprise everyone still.
    Positive and hopeful.

  57. TwentyTwelve says:

    Hi everyone. Thanks again to Rocky for providing some level headed perspective.

    I’ve only scanned the discussion briefly, so please excuse me if this has been said previously. Regarding Arteta, it’s funny how perception can be so different from plain numbers. For the Liverpool game, Squawka reports Arteta: pass completion 90% (79/88), clearance 2/2, tackle 3/5, headed duel 2/3, interception 1.

    Compare this against the Liverpool home match, where Arteta also played the full game. Pass completion 95% (96/101), clearance 2/2, tackle 6/9, headed duel 0/2, interception 2. Perhaps quantity is less, but the away numbers aren’t that bad, stats wise.

    Sorry I haven’t been able to contribute more. Here’s hoping for a good response from the team.

  58. Hahaha Stretch

    You know that thing you keep doing inexplicably with the cactus !……..well I have made an effigy of you to go with my other AA clique dolls !. Think of it this way…..you are now one of my Guinea Pigs for my new medically advanced procedure trials of ….Rectum Acupuncture ( patent pending ). hahaha

  59. Rasp says:

    Actually Cockie, the scenario is entirely in your imagination. You see yourself as a permanent outsider and believe that the renegade persona you nurture justifies you being able to deride fellow supporters who are just good friends. I understand the ‘I don’t join clubs’ argument, but we don’t ask anyone to join in, they do so because they want to – no pressure from AA.

    Our desire to be all-encompassing does mean that we have to outlaw profanity as women and children and others who may be offended are also encouraged to be a part of the site.

    The success of this was demonstrated recently when GunnerN5’s article was reproduced (with comments) on arsenal.com. They would not have used it if the comments had not been acceptable to a wider audience.

  60. RA says:

    Cockie,

    I have always enjoyed your humour, as I am sure you know, and your latest sally regarding deletions aka censorship had me chuckling again. :-)

    As I understand it, your position is that other bloggers should have the right to express their opinion if;

    – you, for example, feel the necessity to be judgemental about those
    – who feel judgemental about others
    – who are being judgemental about the club, the team and the coach;
    – and complain persistently.

    Does that about sum it up? :-)

    Personally, I do not favour any form of censorship, and I said so yesterday. After all, who would censor the censors in those circumstances?

    As regards another point you made, I do not know what constitutes a ‘troll’, but the name changer on here is never abusive nor does he use foul language, and although he specialises in one liners that irritate some regulars, I would not want his comments to be deleted either. Just an opinion.

    If I can join you in being judgemental, and let’s face it everyone is judgemental at some time, my beef has nothing to do with the above, it is simply that, although I am sometimes impatient, I do get bored rigid with having to read the same moans/complaints/rationalizations about the club I love, over and over again.

    Sometimes I just want to say in reply, ‘I did not agree with your complaint the first time I heard it, last year, or was it the year before, and many times more since then.
    I am not deef, I heard you the first time!”

    Should that be censored?

    Finally, I want to know what this secret clique is that you mentioned. Where is it, and how do I join?

    On second thoughts, stand as you were. Any clique who would have me needs to have its head examined and I would never dream of joining a nutty clique. :-)

    More from you, please, Cockie, You introduce a different dimension to blogging and it is always enjoyable. :-)

    And now back to give the Rock Meister’s latest offering the once over!! :-)

  61. LB says:

    If we were to learn our lesson from a particular game we lost in the past we should, by the same token, never lose again………………….

    I was riding my bike on Sunday morning up the hills of Hampstead and Highgate and I saw a young man wearing an Arsenal shirt, it made my morning, I read it to be an act of defiance and absolutely loved him for it.

    A very level headed post Rocky.

    I am not a good looser so I have been keeping a low profile.

  62. RA says:

    TMHT, :-) :-)

    I would make an exception in your case and petition the powers that be to agree to your demand to be banned.

    The syrup could stay, of course, we are not syrupists on here!! :-)

  63. Rasp says:

    RA, the problem with our ‘troll’ is that he is only known by regulars and new visitors are often suckered into engaging with him under the misapprehension that he has something meaningful to say. He then winds them up until someone in the know explains the situation to the unfortunate newbie and we can move on. In the meantime, the troll has succeeded in his sole aim – to discredit and disrupt the blog ….. therefore we delete when necessary because his comments are not genuine.

  64. arnie says:

    LB: :D :D Good one. I am not a good loser as well, but forcing myself to participate. So that I can inflict upon myself the full suffering that supporting Arsenal can sometimes bring. Only sometimes thankfully, and not often. And so that I do not forget the anger and the humiliation in a hurry. And its not about winning the league, and certainly not about losing 3 points. :sad:

  65. RA says:

    Norfolk,

    Can you have a group of individuals. :-)

  66. arnie says:

    As mentioned earlier, the “troll” is not usually offensive but targets individuals here rather than ideas or opinions. I like the fact that his/ her/ their comments are removed, but I can live without it.

    But the issue of “outlawing profanity” is more fundamental. In my view, the sole purpose of using profanity in a site like AA is to try and create a clique. So that people who might be offended by such stuff are restricted entry to the site. This is somewhat sinister, even beyond the fact that it is inherently elitist and aimed at excluding others. This is really serious. :D

  67. RA says:

    Rockman,

    You have produced another gem that really defies any disagreement, except ……. no, I am being frivolous my original comment stands. :-)

  68. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers Redders, I knew you would see my reasoning. hahaha

    The Troll has been personal with me. I have been called the Village idiot, and even worse, an apologist for Wenger.

    How can I apologise for Wenger? Hes never done nothing wrong.

  69. Rasp says:

    arnie @ 4:22 …. brilliant!!

    We are very lucky to have 2 top notch peacekeepers in arnie and Redders on AA … Henry Kissinger could learn a thing or two from the pair of them :P

  70. RA says:

    Kelsey.

    Having back tracked to this mornings Post (I think it was there) I read your comment about how a fan’s anger should be perceived. [See, I do read your stuff) :-)

    Just after the game on Saturday, I admitted to initial disappointment and even a touch of anger at what seemed to be a careless attitude displayed by the team. Many of the players subsequently apologised for their display and clearly it had mattered to them.

    In fact, my reaction was, in part caused by my own embarrassment because my beloved team had let me down in front of a number of friends who were supporting ‘Pool.

    How conceited was that? Arsenal played poorly in the game and were given a drubbing that had nothing to do with me or my friends, and they had probably forgotten all about it the following day.

    It was my pride that was injured it is true, but actually it was a deep sorrow I felt at the result and the manner of the defeat, it was as if a member of the family had failed an important job interview or had received really bad news, and that is what I was really feeing, because the empathy we fans have for our club is all encompassing.

    That does not mean we cannot question the tactics that were used, or how certain players performed or even whether the manager had gauged the opposition correctly, and even express anger if that was how you felt.

    Nothing wrong with that – we all do it. :-)

  71. TwentyTwelve says:

    Something to cheer us up: The Sun predicts Arsenal will finish first!! :D

    Prior to the Liverpool game, The Sun predicted the finish to be City 86 pts, Arsenal 85 pts, and Chelsea 84 pts.

    However, they already have accounted for the Arsenal loss, while expecting City and Chelsea wins. Therefore, an update of The Sun’s prediction would give Arsenal 85 pts, Chelsea 84 pts, City 84 pts.

    Oh… the difficulty of predictions in a tight race :)

  72. No ..express of contempt from me, Rasp and ridicule may be changed to humour !. That`s all I have mainly done in the past !. You either have a sense of humour or you don’t !.
    I haven`t got the time to go more into the “clique” thing, but a short version would be to say, I have said a lot of comments in the past which would have had the “clique” cyber fellatioing each other with “Rolfs” etc` if they had been said by their selves and that`s a fact !.
    I probably should have just kept my mouth shut, but after reading GN5`s @ 1:21pm……it just read to me that he is above all others and only will entertain comments to his “arrogant level” !.
    Indeed he did do a fantastic job with some of his historical posts, but he also chucked his dolly out of the pram back then when I think you ( correct me if I`m wrong ) upset him with a comment and he cried something like….”take all my work off ! “.

    Thanks Redders ! . :)
    You get me…..no surprise, as you have a great sense of humour !. hahaha

  73. arnie says:

    TT: I think The Sun might be using the TT poll. :D Works exactly the same way, and predicted points (on average) for the champions is 86. 20% of the fans give Arsenal less than 86 points. Method to teh madness? :D :D :D

  74. RA says:

    Rasper,

    I do not think you realise how well you run the administration of AA and how well you are thought of. ;-)

    Seriously, if I had any connection with the smooth running of the blog there would be zero comments in no time flat. (which, by some standards would be a success, as without pesky bloggers AA would run smoothly).

    As for arnie’s soothing qualities, I will have to take your word on that, as the longer I know him — the less I understand what he is writing!! :-) God help the student economists!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

    Incidentally, I belong to the Society For the Friends of the Rasper. :-)

  75. Moose says:

    one game and suddenly the “fans” turn against the manager and players it makes me sick! lets be honest after the villa home game if someone had said we would be top of the league by February most people would have laughed let alone snap your hand off. Yes we could have strengthened in the last transfer window but we didnt now we get behind the team. One bad day and the doom and gloom is around the place again.

  76. arnie says:

    Redders: :D And I thought I was trying to wield the stick! How little do I know, and how little do I know myself! :razz:

    And yes, kudos Rasp! :D :D

  77. arnie says:

    Moose: good one. :D And you are lucky you are on AA. Outside it is Bedlam. :D :D :D

  78. Vinay says:

    I dont know if i want to comment but then i couldnt resist for where else can i take the pain out?
    Wenger needs to hold up his hand and accept he got the team selection wrong, ox,jack,,cazorla and ozil meant we had no one really having a defensive mindset to help mikel.Why on earth did you not play Rosicky boss? why?
    Mikel Arteta is a role model professional but past his best, he will be out run out muscled by stronger teams and this is not said to make him the scapegoat, thats the fact.the

    Sagna fans including me have to accept the legs are gone, he cannot play full back anymore. Imagine bayern team running at him(even though ribery will miss the first leg).
    Kos had a poor game, as much as everyone is slating Per, Kos was to blame for the first 2 goals.
    It all started with the start, the first goal was poor, sagna and per instead of clearing the ball ended up dilly dallying and it resulted in the freekick and the resultant goal was a blow.
    Its a must win come wed, i dont foresee that because we lose to that sick team in the mind, its been 3 years since Aaron scored in that 1-0 home win, into the 8th year since we have won at OT, so even against a shit team, our odds are poor.
    I believe in god, believe in prayers and i for one am praying that our beloved team who have done so well dont get derailed yet again, lose wed and the worst may happen, yet win wed, springboard to success hopefully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  79. Norfolk Gooner says:

    OK RA, if I can’t have a “group” of individuals, I’ll have one of the following:- You choose. :D

    Association, band, body, class club, company, crowd, faction, gang, organisation, party, society, troop, accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, assembly, assortment, batch, battery, bevy, bunch, bundle, cartel, category, chain, circle, clot, clump, cluster, combination, combine, conglomerate, congregation, coterie, covey, crew, formation, gathering, grade, league, lot, pool, posse, set, sort, suite, syndicate, trust, shooting match

  80. Rasp says:

    :lol: cheers RA

    Cockie, I think you have to accept that folks can have a sense of humour that is different to yours – rather than no sense of humour at all. Your comments are pretty unique – I don’t see a crossover with any other blogger.

    TMHT is part of AA (we really enjoy his comments) and so are you. Your first comment of the day was very good I thought, and no doubt others felt the same.

    Quite why you then chose to have a go at GN5 is beyond me. We respect his choice of when to blog or not and also accept that, like all of us, once in a while he says (writes) things that he may later perhaps regret .. he’s a great bloke, and deserves respect.

  81. RA says:

    Glicster,

    I read a detailed, intelligent and thoroughly comprehensive comment from you posited on A.N. Other first class site, and I wish more peeps could see that side of you.

    I do not belong to a clique, and anyway I am not sure a group of internet friends would qualify for the term, but I just might qualify as a member of your claque and therefore I am a loud and proud claquer, and it did not hurt at all – a real word – look it up. :-)

  82. Rasp says:

    Hi Vinay, thanks for joining the debate. Football is an imperfect science, as complex as it is simple and certainly something that defies logic at times and therein lies the attraction I suppose. I hope your prayers bear fruit :D

  83. RA says:

    Hi Norfolk,

    Hmmm …. against my better judgement, as a to juxtapose ‘group’ and ‘individuals’ would appear to be an oxymoron, :-) I would go with ‘coven’ as you would collectively cause a great stir and there would undoubtedly be plenty of hubble bubble toil and trouble!! :-)

    Something that Norfolk folk know well. :-)

  84. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, Norfolk folk? That doesn’t apply to me, I’m an “incomer” I’ve only lived in Norfolk for 40 years. :D

  85. Rasp, I have met you and I honestly think you are a lovely geezer !. So I`m not here to argue and look bad, but if anyone can read GN5 @1:21pm and not think that is not arrogant is beyond me !. That doesn`t sound like he`s hounding out a “troll”, but more a general view of more than one blogger who doesn`t meet his criteria of comment and opinion !.

    I do accept that people on here have a different sense of humour to mine…..just happens that mine is bigger and encompasses everything !………except maybe chas and TMHT….oh and Redders…..definitely VCC !. hahaha

  86. Rasp says:

    Ok thanks Cockie :) nuff said

  87. kelsey says:

    We are all hurt,shellshocked or whatever.
    However think about this. In your wildest dreams did you think we would be 4-0 down after 20 minutes and it could have been more,but the point is when did that last happen.
    As so many have said the acid test is on Wednesday.

  88. To add to our travel woes on Wednesday night it seems it’s going to be raining too :( :( :(

    arnie – the overground line from Potters Bar – First Capital Connect – runs a very good service into Finsbury Pk. Getting to the Emirates is not going to be that difficult but getting back home definitely will be as many more people than usual will be using the overground trains. Potters Bar is 40 minutes from Stanstead on the M25.

  89. RA says:

    Vinay,

    Good shout. I do not agree with all of it, but you certainly raise points many would agree with.

    The first two goals (well all of them really) were very poorly defended and it has to be addressed by Bouldie and Wenger on the training ground, but, in part, I blame the system of Zonal Defending.

    Perhaps I should qualify that.

    I am not against Zonal Marking per se, but I think you have to have the right type of players to make it work properly.
    An example of that, if you remember, is when the Ox , standing on the goal line, leapt to head the ball over the bar and failed because he was/is too short for that position.

    Anyway, we have a couple of experts on AA, who you will know, and that is GIE and 26, so maybe if they are on later perhaps they will give their opinions on zonal marking at Arsenal, and the other points you have raised! :-)

  90. kelsey says:

    cockie

    not everybody in real life are as they appear on a blog.;) I shall say no more.

  91. Rasp
    It`s also funny how the only time I ever really get any interactivity with anyone other than Redders and TMHT is when I upset someone with a remark or question AA !. May be that’s something to do with your “crossover” remark, not sure what you meant by that to be honest !.

  92. RA says:

    Kelsey, @ 5:25

    1) No.

    2) Don’t know.

    3) Roll on Wednesday.

    Succinct? :-)

  93. Just seen your last comment “nuff said ! “. All`s Ok !. :)
    And will probably only engage with you when I next get a bollocking again !. hahaha

  94. RA says:

    I think I was hoping you would say ‘Norfolk folk’ out loud and scare the Mrs!! :-)

    Bloody incomers! :-)

  95. kelsey says:

    You realise that the tube strike may prolong the derailment of United’s season

  96. I am Kelsey…..I look exactly like my avatar !.

  97. RA says:

    I am Kelsey, and I look like your avatar!

  98. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Rasp,

    Thank you for your comments but I feel that it’s unfair for you to feel you have to defend me against others contemptuous comments. I’m eminently capable of deflecting the flack that my opinions/comments stir up

    I am not and never will be a member of a clique. I blog for one reason only and that is to enjoy a chat with knowledgeable and reasonable supporters. I may not share or agree with their thoughts but I still respect their right to think differently.

    If not wanting to wade through multiple negative comments and “expert“opinions to find a reasonable post class’s me as arrogant then so be it – I`m as guilty as sin!

    Cheers.

  99. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, Norfolk enchants :D

  100. London Underground just sent me this very nice information pack about services on Wednesday

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/strike-advance-travel-advice-11-to-13-feb.pdf

  101. ” regurgitate all of the well worn bullshit ! ”

    ” but, I still respect their right to think differently ! “.

    With respect, who`s talking bullshit now !. hahaha with a mere well worn hint of ridicule !.

  102. RA says:

    Right, I have to go kiss my horse (lucky he isn’t an ass) and then sweet talk a certain little missy to give me a ride into town – as my stomach is growling!! :-)

    Before i go, Herb, I meant it when I said I did not believe in any form of censoring. That is not and never has been an issue, despite someone trying to make it so.

    You know that you can blog on AA whenever you feel like it — that has nothing to do with me.

  103. arnie – the tickets are in my hot little hands :)

  104. RA says:

    You do, Incomer, you do!!! :-)

  105. kelsey says:

    Apparently the game goes ahead regardless according to the club. As I said before the A3 from Surrey will be busy.

  106. dhakka09 says:

    On the auspicious occasion of the precipice of our upcoming matches with United in League and Liverpool in FA; I figure repetition of a light-hearted joke, depicting United player Rooney and sheep-like Liverpool crowd, told here previously deserves a re-run to lighten our mood and spare a thought to them lots of lesser mental acumen ;)
    ———————————————————————————-

    50,000 Scousers meet in Anfield for a ‘Scousers Are Not Stupid’ convention.

    Steven Gerrard addresses the crowd.. “We are all here today to prove to the world that Scousers are not stupid. Can I have a volunteer please?”

    Wayne Rooney gingerly works his way through the crowd and steps up to the stage.

    Gerrard asks him “What is 15 plus 15?”

    After 15 or 20 seconds Rooney says, “Forty!”

    Obviously everyone is a little disappointed. Then the Scousers start chanting “Give him another chance! Give him another chance!”

    Gerrard says, “Well since we have a capacity crowd, world-wide press and global broadcast media here, I think we can give him another chance.”

    So he asks, “What is 5 plus 5?”

    After nearly 30 seconds he eventually says, “Twelve?”

    Gerrard looks down and just lets out a dejected sigh. Everyone is disheartened and Rooney starts crying.

    But then the 50,000 Scousers begin to yell and wave their hands shouting, “Give him another chance! Give him another chance!”

    Gerrard, unsure whether he is now doing more harm than good eventually says, “OK then, what is 2 plus 2?”

    Silence hangs over the stadium.

    Rooney closes his eyes, and after a whole minute eventually says, “Four?”

    Pandemonium breaks out throughout the stadium as the Scouse crowd stand to a man, wave their arms, stomp their feet and scream,

    “Give him another chance! Give him another chance!”
    :D

  107. kelsey says:

    If you had the opportunity to speak face to face with any one member of the squad, who would you chose and why ?

    For me it would be Ozil.

    Could even be a post.

  108. Vinay says:

    dhakka09, thanks thats the first time i have laughed from saturday.

    I know we all know its easy to retrospect but why do we always prove others right and ourselves wrong? We may not be down and out but that was a knockout punch, hope their is stuff of champions story coming up on wed than a whimper from the boys.
    I love you Mesut, please dont let us down again, We know you are brilliant, please show it one more time, heck please

  109. kelsey says:

    Why Ozil.

    Well I speak German, we have both lived in Spain and London and it would be interesting to know how and why RM sold him, why he came to us, what future does he see for himself and the club in the not to distant future .His best position and really get into the insight of the man as he appears to give so little away in expression on the pitch and keeps well away from the media.

  110. kelsey

    I think there`s a few who would like to speak to Girouds member !. It spits French !. hahaha………what do you expect of course I laugh at my own jokes !.

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky

    Sorry late to respond, but great post. Thanks.

    I do, however, disagree with the “not charging at Utd”. A full on “charge from the off” from me, only this time, we must remember to take the ball with us :-)

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie/Peaches

    Blimey I was worried reading down through comments about tickets. Phew, they’ve arrived safely.

    Rasp
    “Football is an imperfect science”. Was true, but no longer since my incredible tactical idea formed this afternoon. Tragically, Arnie has volunteered a post for tomorrow, but brace yourself, I’ll fill the breach another time.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, grubs up.

  114. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    By the way Herb. My comments yesterday were in no way directed at you, only the trolls

  115. RockyLives says:

    Evening all – sorry for the late appearance.

    Thanks for the comments. Let’s face it, we’re all hurting and the only balm for our wounds will come on Wednesday night with a thorough dispatching of ManUre.

    Although I do feel our usual injury blight is taking its toll on us a bit. Anyone know when Ramsey is back?

  116. RockyLives says:

    As to the rest of the day’s blogging… I can never understand why anyone gets so sensitive about it all.

    Cliques, freaks, Geeks, sikhs… this site has ‘em all – and all the better for it.

  117. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    Oh dear, I don’t fit into any one of those categories.
    I’m simply an opinionated old fart?

  118. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve copied this from Teamtalk.

    Mark Holmes is the writer who wrote the piece, it’s a part of his Monday Moan. Mark is a Stoke fan but it does not stop him from being a fine journalist who can see both sides of a story.
    …………………………………………………………………………………

    Arsenal critics need to stay silent

    It is another repeat of something I have written before, but the ‘I told you so’ comments that followed Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool were quite infuriating.

    Yes, they were awful on the day and yes, their refusal/failure to sufficiently add to their squad in January could cost them a shot at the title, but they have still proven every single one of their doubters wrong this season.

    Regardless of what happens in the final 13 games, to have stayed in the top two for as long as they have is a great achievement, a huge improvement on what has happened before, and an extremely positive sign for the future.

    Furthermore, although they have a remarkably tough set of fixtures over the next few weeks, there is nothing whatsoever to suggest the wheels will suddenly fall off for them because of one defeat. After all, the last time their critics said ‘I told you so’, after the 6-3 defeat at Manchester City, the Gunners went on to go 10 games unbeaten.

    Talking of City, why are their slip-ups not met with as such glee? Because they were most people’s tips to win the league, perhaps? While a first defeat in 11 for Arsenal is the sign a crisis, one point from two games for City is simply a blip.

    The likelihood is that Manuel Pellegrini’s side will finish above Arsenal this season but, please, spare us the ‘told you so’s’.

  119. chas says:

    Rocky,
    Physio room says 1st March for Rambo.
    Dennis knows where they’ve got that from, though.

  120. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    I was going to add that we had some “creaks” on here too, but that seemed a bit ageist :)

    And of course I should have included “Greeks” (take a bow, Terry)

  121. RockyLives says:

    Bloomin’ heck. March 1st feels a long way off right now…

    Are we still top of the injury league?

  122. chas says:

    Nah, only 3rd and I think that’s wrong as they have Sanogo with no return date but he played the other day I think.

  123. chas says:

    Counting Kallstrom doesn’t seem right either. :)

  124. chas says:

  125. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheeers Rocky

    Chas, hahaha. Burst blood vessel Riberys arse. All that diving the git does, now someones dived into him.

  126. fatgingergooner says:

    Ramsey back on my birthday!? Could be a timely present.

    I don’t think the strike will effect the game. Apparently the only reason the game was banned last time there was a strike is because there was also a lack of transport due to it being Xmas.

  127. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evening all, well that was an interesting read through a good days blogging. Sorry i’ve missed it all.

    Like you Rocky i was miffed at the inability to tough it out for a while after the first goal went in.

    Also i hope its a start to another run as the defeat at SHL did last year.

    What was interesting reading through the blogs is how varied opinion is sorry i didn’t take note of all names :D ….one says Rosicky is more defensive minded than Ox and Jack, others the opposite.

    RA says Ox if he had been taller could have cleared the header and partly blamed this on Zonal marking, my view is that you don’t put tall players on the post ever, but what the man on the post should do is stay on the post until told to move off it. Ox didn’t he stepped a yard or two off the post so made his job harder, also if he was standing on the post he could have used it as leverage to jump. The problem was that Giroud did not move to clear the ball off the near post.

    Someone also mentioned Arteta’s stats being on a par with his own stats in the home game, where i think the passing stats do not tell the story in isolation, were they forward or back to defender in either game, as for the tackling stats well i think the number of failed tackles is as important as the percentage of won tackles, if a player wins 4/4 and another wins 3/10 who has been a better DM? To me the player with more attempted tackles is also having an effect, holding up the player momentarily maybe allowing another player to come round, but it also shows his fitness/ability to get round the pitch, especially considering there was far too much room for their midfield.

    Finally my biggest bone of contention is with Cockie’s first post of the day about our being 1 point below last season in like for like. Firstly i disagree i make it 2 points (i do curate the swingometer after all). And now the biggest problem with looking at in isolation, obviously i use it in the swingo to predict a final result, it ignores the games to come the ones we could and should have done better in.

    Up until Saturday we were +1 against last season. The remaining 13 games only yielded 18 points, we have four games against top 4 contenders (if we include ManUre) those games gave a grand total of 1 point last season. Which means we only secured 17 points from the other 9 games, do we really think that will be a similar return this season? The games (and 12/13 points) are as follows:

    Sunderland Home 1
    Stoke Away 1
    Norwich Away 0
    Swansea Home 0
    Everton Away 1
    WBA Home 3
    Hull Away 3
    Toon Home 3
    West Ham Home 3

    Those first four are the results we really need to change, make them wins and go the same in the others and we score 27 points from those games, add those to the 1 against ManUre (assume defeats against Chavs, Shitty and Spuds) our total for the season will be 83 points. Will that be enough to win the title? I personally doubt it but it is definitely an improvement on last season.

    Also this theory that we had all the easy games early? After 19 games i’m pretty sure we were top, and that means we had played everyone once, as had everyone else, okay we had a nice run of early fixtures in the next 5, but we ca only win the games in the order we play them. Have we got that much more of a difficult run in than Chavs, Shitty, Dippers or Spuds? Well if we are all contenders for title and top 4 then surely not….

    We now have to go to Spuds and Chavs and host Shitty and ManUre

    Chavs have to host us and Spuds and go to Dippers

    Shitty have to come to us, Dippers and ManUre

    Dippers have to host Chavs, Spuds and Shitty and go away to ManUre

    Spuds have to host us and go away to Dippers and Chavs

  128. neamman says:

    I don’t write off Arteta but I have never seen him as a defensive midfielder. I think Flamini is the only one we have and we miss him when he is out.
    I think we will beat MU but worry about Everton and the spuds away.

  129. arnie says:

    good good, all sounds good. thank you Micky, thank you Peaches. :D :D :D

  130. Gööner In Exile says:

    neamman….i think i agree with you, I asked after Saturday and it was another comment made today about us finding a true (possibly dirty) DM that i didn’t respond to earlier….I’m not sure if any of the top 4/5 have a true DM?

    Sure they have players that sit deeper but there sole role is not one of destruction, they play deeper potentially because they have better long passes and are better tacklers, but they are made to look better (as Gerard and Henderson were on Saturday) by the more advanced three shirking their duties of pressing the opposition.

    I know Arnie also has a problem with the way we defend (i.e. dropping back to the 18 yard) but i have to wonder whether this is a bit of a chicken and egg thing.

    Arteta likes to sit deeper so when we lose possession he has dropped away and the only option is for the attacking midfielders to funnel back to “a shape” (not that we found one on Saturday).

    I think when Flamini plays he goes forward to stop the play, this means that the midfielders have less ground to make up and have more chance and can help winning the ball back quicker and higher.

  131. arnie says:

    top analysis, GiE. :D :D

  132. RockyLives says:

    MALT VINEGAR: GOUT

  133. southerngooner says:

    As it is now, Liverpool-Fulham might be cancelled so they get a full weeks rest before playing us again in the FA cup..

  134. RockyLives says:

    Good – they’ll need it after all that running.

    Our lot had a rest during the game.

  135. arnie says:

    ha ha, Rocky. :D :D

    Peaches/ Rasp: post mailed, tickets bought, on with the show!!!!! :D :D

  136. Rasp says:

    Thanks arnie :)

  137. arnie says:

    Rasp: burning the midnight oil!!!! :D :D

  138. arnie says:

    almost time for Kelsey’s motning message. must go to bed! :D

  139. kelsey says:

    Morning

    Not much in the news,just wondering who will line up tomorrow.

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It’s a goodnight to Arnie, and I’m guessing a good motning to Rasp.

    Spot on time keeping from Kelsey.

    Liked Exile’s analysis of the DM role.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Now getting very bored of this weather. Have to get to Hull next week, and I think nearest working train is parked in Bristol.

    When are the storms due to end?

  142. kelsey says:

    Joining Raddy on his hols then Micky :)

  143. kelsey says:

    Stewart Robson claims Mesut Ozil is not worth his place in the Arsenal team on current form, and has voiced concerns over Arsene Wenger’s handling of the German international.

    Ozil made an impressive start to his Arsenal career following his club record move from Real Madrid in the summer but his form has tailed off in recent weeks and he was largely anonymous during Saturday’s humiliating defeat to Liverpool.

    And, according to former Gunners ace Robson, the 25-year-old is unhappy with Wenger’s training methods and needs clearer instructions from his boss.

    “I’m not sure he knows what his role is,” said the former Gunners ace, speaking on Hawksbee and Jacobs.

    “I’ve spoken to a few German journalists who tell me the German players aren’t particularly impressed with some of the work that is being done in training and what their roles in the team are.

    “Mesut Ozil is not quite sure whether he is playing behind the main striker, whether he is meant to go out into the wide left area, what his defensive duties are. He looks tired and, at the moment, he is not worth his place in the team.”

    Ozil was the not only Arsenal player to struggle at Anfield as Wenger’s side were blown away by Liverpool, who raced into a four-goal lead inside 20 minutes.

    And Robson rates the visitors’ performance as among the worst he has seen from one of the Premier League’s big guns.

    “It looked as though Arsenal were unprepared for the game,” he said.

    “It was obvious to everybody that Liverpool were going to come out and press Arsenal high up the field and make it difficult for them.

    “Right from the start Arsenal were lacklustre, they passed it into areas where Liverpool were pressing, they didn’t concentrate fully at the back, they made bad decisions at the back and for the set-plays they weren’t determined enough.

    “It could have been seven or eight at half time. It was one of the most inept displays seen from a team anywhere near the top of the table.”

    Note the word ACE not once but twice. What a bitter man is that Robson. It’s a tossup between him and Piers Morgan.

  144. Rasp says:

    Motning Micky :)

  145. kelsey says:

    A bit early for you Rasp.

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    Which of his hols? :-)

    Rasp
    Do not envy your blog job one bit. You have no idea how appreciated you are.

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey

    Robson is a complete idiot. Didit only partial.

    I have the complete solution to the Mesut problem and it ties in with our frontal speed problem. I will reveal later.

  148. kelsey says:

    Not an idiot Micky, just bitter.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    If you were to set up a blog again, knowing what you do, would you still use WordPress?
    Reason I ask, is my son Oscar (you’ve met) wants to start a surf blog for young ‘uns to chat, ultimately leading on a wetsuit/kit exchange and so on.

  150. kelsey says:

    Surf the net,Micky :)

  151. chas says:

    my broadband is fecked

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey :-)

    Chas, Go satellite. In any other year, we’d be phones out and broadband knackered.

  153. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky there are a couple of different blog options, Joomla is also popular.

    Having tried both i’d say WordPress is the better of the two….but it’s horses for courses, recommend he tries both…..they’re free after all

  154. Gööner In Exile says:

    How funny that we hear from man in the know Stewart Robson this week. Been a difficult season for him this as there hasn’t been much call for his brand of punditry.

  155. kelsey says:

    Does anyone know of a good chat room host where for example comments can be moderated and also for this particular site,which is not football related, there is a weekly quiz where the moderator or controller types the questions, then the answers are swallowed up so they can’t be seen then after a few minutes the participants answers are released with the actual answer.
    Currently they are using a Java server for the Chat Room but there are endless warnings not to run Java, and as this is a site for people with anxiety and nummerous other mental health problems, it actually makes some more nervous.

  156. RA says:

    Good morning Good Fellows, (can’t sleep and it’s coming up to 2 a.m. here – suffering from Exile-itis, or is it 26m-ism) :-)

    Thanks, Exile for the follow up on the zonal marking question – maybe a post on what the hell all these tactical formations mean, and if we have the right players for them. — Not me, but someone who knows!! :-)

  157. kelsey says:

    If you do,kindly e mail me and I will explain in more detail.

  158. kelsey says:

    I was talking about Vermaelen yesterday and it was suggested he might play the DM role if required but surely out of all our defenders he likes to bomb forward more than most and then gets caught on the counter attack.
    strange how our quick counter attacking style has now actually become in many games our nemesis because our full backs so often get caught by not getting back if our attack fails.This is why we miss Walcott and I am sure United will try and expose us in this way.

  159. VCC says:

    GiE …funny you should say that about Robson. Listening to him after the defeat against Liverpool, I thought the same.

    He has been very quiet up till now. Jumped on the band wagon with the rest of the doom and gloomers. Although I think he has a point about Ozil, I feel Wenger has over worked him since he signed.

    I would put O’Leary in the same bracket too.

  160. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey most chat rooms I ever see are Java based.

    The only alternative would possibly be Skype or some similar messaging app, but that would involve some kind of personal information sharing, judging by the audience my guess is that wouldn’t be a goer.

    Possible that there are Web3.0 solutions out there, but coders are presently too lazy to make.

    Another alternative would be a forum based solution but that’s probably a bit cumbersome for a quiz type thing.

  161. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey just did a quick google and there are some that seem to be non java an attach on to Joomla blogs, one assumes similar available for WP.

    Google “web 3.0 chat room”

  162. rosickyball says:

    Watching the match as well, I’m thinking that Özil actually gets rested on Wednesday. There’s only so much you can do before you get burnt out, I think kick Rosicky into the mix and give him the nod over Özil for a couple of games. Just to allow Mesut to get his mindset in the right place.

    On Arteta, on Wednesday I think we should have the Flam/Wilshere combo, that does seem a really effective and good way of having our Central midfielders.

    Roll on The Poor one

  163. evonne says:

    Kels – start your own! you have experience from starting this blog.

    Rocky was really funny last night, on fire.

    Is the game still on tomorrow?

  164. Gööner In Exile says:

    The bigger problem with Robsons comments is they will now become one of those “truths” that is without source except “German journalists”. Funny I’ve not heard Honingstein say anything like it.

    And the thing is how do you set that view against the fact BFG and Pod have been encouraging other Germans to join, like Ozil like apparently Draxler. Would they be doing it if they were “critical” of Wengers coaching. Simple answer ….. no.

    Would we not have dressing ro unrest as seen at Shitty last season, Spuds this season, Swansea and others where squads and managers start to disagree?

    The quote has so little evidence to support but will become a truth because it’ll be repeated forty times from originally going to air and before tomorrow nights game.

  165. Gööner In Exile says:

    VCC also I dislike the term overworked for someone who earns £100k+ a week :)

  166. kelsey says:

    I am actually annoyed with Flamini. It was stupid and totally unnecessary and couldn’t have come at a worse time.

    Game still on as far as Im aware.

  167. evonne says:

    Robson would know, of course. Just look at his managerial achievements, formidable not. Ejeet

  168. Rasp says:

    Morning again all ……

    …. New post ……..

  169. frank mpee says:

    Arsene is the boss and traditionally, when things go
    out of place. it is the boss that is held responsible. Let
    us not also be oblivious of the fact that, Arsene was
    appointed by somewhat board of directors and that
    Arsene is just a part of an organisation
    In other world class teams like Barca, Realmadrid, AC
    Milan amongst others, you frequently have their board
    chairmen and club presidents taking active role in
    game-changing decisions such as major transfers.
    Major world breaking transfer deals like that of
    Ronaldinho and Neymar Jr to Barca, Cristiano and Bale
    to Madrid, Kaka to AC Milan, Falcao to PSG only to
    mention a few were Orchestrated by the top hierarchy
    of club football but that can’t be said of Arsenal.
    Club stalwarts like Kroenke and Gazidis are always
    behind the veil behaving as if they know nothing about
    football and its only Arsene who has all the brains in
    Arsenal. It at times seems to me that, all what the
    Directors are interested in are the PROFITS and nothing
    else.
    Arsenal supporters are always left frustrated in every
    transfer window always hoping to land deals on tranfer
    deadline days, whiles the likes of Chelsea and ManCity
    always put smiles early enough on the faces of their
    supporters when it comes to transfer activities.

    Typical is the recent transfer saga on Draxler whereby Arsenal fans took to twitter to vent their frustrations on the German journalist, Jan Aage Fjortoft for breaking news on what looked liked an imminent signing of Schalke’s playmaker Draxler.

    If we want to rock shoulders with the elites in world
    football, let’s start being serious with how we conduct
    our TRANFERS

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