No Case For The Defence

It’s never easy when you lose to your local rivals and I guess we’ve had our 10 years and it had to end soon, but how many of you knew the game was over once Thomas Vermaelen went off. I thought it was that’s for sure, especially with Fish Head coming on in his place. This may be a little harsh on Silvestre but he does nothing for my confidence at all.

Anyhow, onto the game and Arsenal started brightly without causing any problems to Gomes. A harmless corner from Spurs and a half decent punch out by Almunia and wallop Rose with his only touch in the first half scores a worldy (is it just me or was Almunia a little lapse in getting up quick enough). Onto the game and Arsenal had what seemed like 70% possesion of the ball, all pretty passing ……….until the final 3rd.

Bendtner had a great chance but the ball got stuck under his feet, I’m sure I’ve seen that before somewhere. Again more and more Arsenal pressure, Eboue passing to a spud defender when it was easier to shoot and test Gomes. Rosicky goes through on goal after a smart touch round the defender and Kaboul blatently brings him down…only a yellow.

So, onto the second half and game over as Sagna fails to do the basics and keep his defensive line and Bale is through and passes home easily. More and more pressure by Arsenal and Theo puts Nik through only to pass wide again. Enter Van Persie and oh my god how we’ve missed him. He was the best player on the pitch by some distance when he arrived, a free kick from Robin and Gomes pulls off a great save to keep it out and another keeping out Sol via a deflection. The goal just wasn’t coming despite the huff and puff. Then Robin puts Theo through on the line and squares to Nik to pull one back, game on but too little too late. Spurs celebrate their cup final with a first league win this Millenium.

Analysing a game after a defeat it’s easy to get on the bandwagon and question basically everything. The only thing I’d question and now it’s clear, is Almunia, as good as he is, is he a great keeper? The same and controversially I would say about Sagna. How many times when we attack are you worried we’ll be left short at the back despite having 4 back ? I am a lot and against a better side we may have been punished more. We gift sides goals like the second and too many to mention over the course of the season. We didn’t miss Song too much but Denilson passes to opponents whilst trying osmosis far too often.

I’m saying nothing new about the defence but with Silvestre and Sagna in there I’m never confident.  Special word for Sol as I think he was awesome as was Clichy but with no TV we seem to have no defence. It’s time for a right footed TV to come and give Sol a one year extension, he deserves it.

This season we’ve been clinging on and clinging on and finally now it’s over. We can be proud of what we have achieved over the season considering the injuries to key players and especially RVP. The problem is the replacements especially in the defence.

Player Ratings

Almunia – 6  Punched the ball out well for their first goal but was slow to get up in my opinion.

Sagna – 5  Steady in the first half and bombed forward a lot. Gifted the Spuds the second goal and that was schoolboy stuff, where was he looking at along the defensive line ?

Campbell – 8  No fault of his for both goals and looked a threat in an attacking sense, was pumped up and it showed. Didn’t deserve to be on the losing side

Clichy – 7  The man had so much puff and sometimes was not giving the support when in an attacking position

Denilson – 5  Seemed to try and pass the ball through players all game. Started off neat and tidy and faded

Diaby – 5-5  Started slow and looked lazy on the ball, grew into a bit but faded and final ball not up to it

Nasri – 5.5  Tried to instigate moves in the first half looked deflated after the 2nd Spuds goal

Rosicky – 6.5  At the heart of everything first half but didn’t have the players on his level most of the game

Eboue – 6  Energetic but no real threat in attack, maybe better as full back instead of Sagna

Bendtner – 6.5  Hard to criticse too much as he does score time and time again and lacked any real support until the subs came on


Theo 6 – looked a threat on occasion but thsoe were too and far between
RvP8 – Best player on the pitch when he came on and wished he’d started until he was puffed rather than coming on too late
Silvestre– 6 Could have been in a better position for the second goal. His time is up for me

Time for the old 4-4-2 to come back if you ask me….

By our guest writer Livers

114 Responses to No Case For The Defence

  1. Rasputin says:

    Well done Livers! you’ve actually managed to make me feel better about the game … very good analysis.

    Totnum defended much better than us, they showed more desire – Campbell showed as much determination as the rest of our team put together. They have a decent STRONG FEARLESS keeper…. we haven’t.

  2. Franchise says:

    hey Peaches, it was fun while it lasted hey

    we officially Cocacola bottling company

    forget the injuries. I thought Eboue, Diaby, Nasri, Rosicky and Bendtner are almost as first team as it gets

    5 years of the same thing. When do we learn our lessons? When do the players play with some passion?

    You would have thought the team was the one that played 120mins of football on Sunday

    Not good enough

    Players, Tactics, Mindset, Commitment, Desire etc etc Not good enough

    I ask are Vela and Eduardo injured?

    We have too many non-contributors in our core squad

    Well well Arsene knows

  3. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    Still slow for me Ras. It seems to have occurred since the colour change, but if no one else has the problem then it might just be me. Well, actually it may have got faster 😉 No its ok now 🙂 Ras

    Anyway, how refreshing was RVP. He just oooooooozzzzzed class. We would have taken points from Chavs & mancs, but anyway its all water under the bridge now.

  4. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    3 really top quality signings may title things Arsenals way for next season, but constant injuries are a pain in the arse(nal). Almunia looked like he was trying to swat a bee or something when the ball was going past him for the goal. He really isn’t PL Title material, let alone a Captain type.

  5. Livers says:

    Morning Rasp, this was written straight after the game.. literally and threw a lot of anger to the side 😉

    Keeper keeper keeper….. when do we get a new one…

    I have this horrible feeling that like last summer Arsene will say we have 4 CB’s (inc Djourou minus Fish Head) and say we’ll be fine..

    It’s not that Arsenal get dominated on and ride their luck it’s we gift teams goals. This is a priority to stop..

  6. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Anyone want to buy a 2005 F A Cup programme in mint condition. It features The Arsenal actually winning a trophy, al biet by default 🙂

  7. Morning Franchise and all

    Thankyou Livers for your post – I don’t feel any better at all this morning. I think I was just numb last night and now I’m angry.

    Too many players who just aren’t good enough to play for Arsenal. Too many players who have moments of brilliance that we think are going to end up being consistent and who fail consistently.

    Some of the problem is in the desire of the players sometimes but ultimately the fault has to lie with the choice of player and that is down to AW. Within his constraints he has done marvelous things with this group of players – we may still finish 2nd. Of course we have been ravaged by injuries and that will be sighted as an excuse BUT WE DON’T HAVE A WORLD CLASS GOALKEEPER AND WE HAVE KNOWN THIS FOR MORE THAN A YEAR ……….

  8. On the tech stuff – I’ve asked Alfa to go back to the old background and see if that makes a difference

  9. Rasputin says:

    It’s up to Arsène now, only he can deliver success next season.

    IMO the harsh reality is this…..

    We have to have a new keeper worthy of the team…obviously
    We need a new ‘ready to go’ top class CB
    Nik, (like Denilson) should be an ‘off the bench’ squad player when Chamakh comes.

    We’ve got Cesc for at least one more season. If RvP can stay fit and Chamakh can give us penetration in the final third with just two signings we’ll have a team that can win the PL

  10. London says:

    Good read Livers.

  11. lawrence says:

    I blame it on Wenger!why give out Sendreos on loan and keep fucking ass Silvester ! This fucker costed us and aslo he gave a pass to Messi during Barca’s game .Why didn’t we buy or get players on loan during the transfer window ? Do you think Fabi ,would stay in a team made up of fucking ass Silvester & Bedntner ? As I much I respect Wenger ,I differ with him on this one.

  12. But how good is van Persie – ooooh that man is a real footballer, he kicks the ball hard – I know, ridiculous observation but when he’s got the ball he means business.

    You know how sometimes we’ll get beaten by a team that has a player having the game of his life, someone that then disappears into football history – I think we have a collection of those types of players. If Diaby was playing for Everton for example and had a great game against us we’d be crying out to sign him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Too many one game wonders, too many players that are brilliant on the training ground but rubbish in a game.

  13. Franchise says:

    lawrence all u need to know re Senderos is he cant get games at 8th place Everton

    I gree he is better than Silvestre though

    Wenger has been guilty of some real bad management decisions in the past

    Can someone explain to me why we didnt sign a striker if the manager knows that Eduardo and Vela would hardly contribute?


  14. Big Raddy says:

    Let’s get some reality here.

    This squad has improved upon last year with the input of just one player (and a fine signing TV is). We have done brilliantly to be challenging at this stage of the season having had a nightmare run of injuries.

    And Who hasn’t been injured?? Every player from GK to CF has had extensive time out.

    An away defeat against inferior opposition always hurts & now we have both won and lost the League at WHL.

    p.s. I agree about the Goalkeeper, but does AW??

  15. Livers says:

    Fair enough Lawrence but I think we’ve seen enough of Senderos to say he’s of the same ilk as Fish Head…

    Djourou being injured hasn’t helped..

    I don’t remember this many injuries in Gary Lewins time..

  16. Franchise says:

    …. Wenger has been guilty of some real bad management decisions in the last few years i meant to say

  17. lawrence says:

    Wenger “Team immaturity costed us the title ”

    Who buys the players ? It is you .

    Whose policy is it to play the young squad ? It is yours.

    I am really doubting, Wenger now !!!

    What will you do next season ? Keep Silvester ? Oh my

    Frustarted alot !! Season ticket holder fan !!

  18. Livers says:

    Don’t doubt Lawrence… never doubt

  19. Franchise says:

    Raddy how do u define improvement

    we had two semis last year none this year

    we were knocked out of the 4th round of the FA cup last year we made the semis

    CL 1/4s this year, last year we made the semis

    carling cup same thing we did worse than last year

    we are yet to beat a decent team all year

    we’ll probably finish 3rd in a season where the normal pace setters Manure and Chavs have not been firing like they normally do

    we conceded 37 goals last year in the league we have conceeded 36 this year with 4 games to go

    We have flattered to decieve we havent improved per se

  20. Morning Raddy

    If this is the best that Arsenals money can buy then we have to put up with it and know that hopefully our time will come again when we have more money to spend.

  21. kelsey says:



    Firstly, congratulations to Spurs though through an Arsenal’s fan perspective,it again highlighted several of our short comings, which to me have been apparent for months.One can’t legislate for so many injuries to key players unless you have sufficient squad depth to replace those that are injured.We don’t have that quality of player and surely it is about time Wenger realised that pretty intricate passing, and literally walking the ball into the net, just isn’t working anymore.This was a derby, yet so few of our players seemed to be motivated,a word repeatedly used by our manager.When Campbell is arguably our best player on the night,one has to feel that many of our players need to take a good hard look at themselves.Spurs midfield of two had comparatively an easy task containing our midfield of three.Players,particularly Rosicky are not playing their natural game, and we appear to have only one way of playing and several players are just clones of each other.Surely, Wenger must see that, and if not then perhaps he finally stepped down, as he is beginning to be a bit past his sell by date.If only Almunia had improved 50% to where Gomes is now,things might be a tad better.Some will argue that we have improved this season,but the makings of a truly good team has been there for a number of seasons,but no or little progress has been made.

    oops sorry about the capitals, my keyboard is fecked a bit like our team at the moment.

  22. Alfa says:

    Hi all. Gutted of course – too much like Man U earlier when we seemed to have the possession (80% at times) but didn’t score the goals. When Almunia punched that ball I was already yelling at the TV before the ball even reached Rose. Didn’t expect the shot though.

    Have removed the colour change, be grateful for any feedback. We are going to overhaul the site to make sure it is as fast as it can be. The colours will come back when we know it will work for everyone.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Fair point Fran. I am trying to lift myself out of a trough of depression and you guys are not helping!!

    In the words of the great Eric Idle “Always look on the bright side of Life”

  24. kelsey says:

    I might think differently when i have calmed down.

  25. dandan says:

    Morning all. don’t be down,Just name any of our rivals who would have done better with the Injuries we have had, RVP emphasised what we had missed. We talk about squad not being strong enough, But If Half of Gallas,Song,RVP,TV,Cesc,AA had been fit, are we saying that there were not enough good players on the pitch last night to do the business of course there were. Yes we have problems and we all see things differently, For me EE wastes the ball to much,for all his hard work and running he doesn’t seem able to hit the target so passes when he should shoot. And we are all agreed Our GK doesn’t cut it.
    But hey today is the first day of next season. New players will come in and we cannot surely be so hit with injuries to key players again and in all truth with a full squad plus a new keeper which team really frightens you?????

  26. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning again, blog back to normal now – the juddering/slowness has gone.
    The only positive we can take from last night is that Wenger may see the shortcomings in the squad and actually address them; hopefully then we won’t have a hat trick of disappointing summer transfer windows.
    The summer of 2008 was awful – Flamini, Hleb, Gilberto went, to be followed by Diarra; Mad Jens was dropped earlier that season for a few clangers and then shipped out, probably for being outspoken.
    Last summer was not much better but only the Verminator came in we shipped out Toure and Ademywhore so again a net loss.
    All old news I know, but will the lessons of summers past be learnt?

  27. Rasputin says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the training regimes we school the players in either condition the them not to be more direct and shoot, or instil a fear of shooting in them. Last night, Nasri reminded me of Hleb, lots of clever intricate passing but little end product and I can’t remember a single shot. When RvP came on, we finally had a player who could shoot with power, who was actually looking to have a shot and who could take a decent free kick.

  28. blaze gooner says:

    I love RVP. Let’s us all pray for him to stay injury-free next season. one season will do. along with Cesc. I think that’s enough for a trophy.

    Campbell is the man — with passion and determination. we need players with characters. shame that they didnt show up at the spuds game.

  29. lawrence says:

    Our team defense is soo weak ! look when one our of key players get injured , Gallas and Vamaellen ,what happens ? there is a highway created !!! and no traffic police to stop the mayhem !!!we can’t win trophies when you don’t have players fighting for their numbers and a good team deepth ,I mean good , variety players like top teams do . Did you see Ibra , Henry ,Pique ,Puyol & Ineista play our second leg game ? No . and you know very well what happened even without them , and that’s why Arsenal will not win anything in a near feuter .Modern Footbal has changed and Wenger is being left behind ,Sorry to say soo

  30. lymon says:

    diaby deserves 2, aluminium 2, denilson 4, silvestre-no comment and wenger 2! its high time we arsenal fans stop sttling for second best and stop making excuses for wenger!…he is killing us softly. barca plays with a young team but they are doing wonders, it all goes down to the coach. we should recruit good players and start winning something…what is it with recruiting left overs of french players?? we now following liverpool in the drought except they are better coz they won the uefa once in a while..there is also something wrong with our players, they are all unfit!!!!!!

  31. Thanks Alfa for changing the backdrop, i’ve texted chary to see if its helped him.

    Morning kelsey – I’m not going to disagree with you. Our exciting journey crash landed last night, the fact that it happened there makes it all the worse for us cos we’re licking 2 wounds.

  32. drew10 says:

    I think you are being a little hard on Silvestre,no he isn’t good enough but I thought he actually had a decent game.

    I don’t know why you have rated Rosicky so lowly he was one of our only players to show any fight and determination all game.

    Diaby, what can you say about him? He has everything and the ability to tear teams apart but last night he didn’t look bothered at all, every time he lost the ball made no real attempt to win it back.

    Nasri was a passenger for most of the game, Rosicky should have been moved into the centre.

    Campbell was awesome, if only 4 more of the outfield players showed the passion and commitment he did we would have walked that game. Truly an all time great IMO.

    You say Almunia could have got up quicker, I don’t think he should have punched at all, under no pressure I don’t know why he didn’t catch it. I like Almunia but I think we could and should have a bigger stronger keeper.

    I think your assessment of Denilson is way off the mark, he worked bloody hard and got no help from Diaby at all in the defensive areas. I thought he broke stuff up and looked to get things going I reckon a 7 for me.

    RVP is God.

  33. Franchise says:

    when you think of our midfield options too many of a kind springs to mind

    how i wish we had a direct player in the mould of fat frank or steven gerrard

    watching diaby rosicky nasri makes me sick attimes

    i agree with livers this 433 thing is not working wonders esp agains the top teams. we need two CF in the box and midfield runners supporting. to go back to 442 would require some serious personnel change

    if wenger is willing to do a Pep with Arshavin (attitude) we might have ourself a LMer who would track back and support the LB but u ask what do we do with Rosicky and Nasri.

    Some ruthlessness with the squad is needed.

    Wenger has said that he doesnt believe in bringing 3-4 players in in one window as it destabilizes the dressing room (i dont know where he gets his theories from) so dont expect too many wholesale changes

  34. lawrence says:

    Time for Arsenal to spend is now !!,yesterday was just a tip of ice berg of things to came in few seasons .Our neighbors have spent more than us in the past seasons !! and I am sure they are improving better than us .I mean their rate of improvement is better than ours .

  35. Franchise says:

    for a team that depends on the full backs giving it width how poor are our fullbacks that is offensively?

    What do we do?

    We have quite a few problems when you closely analyse the situation

  36. drew10 says:

    It is time for things to change although wholesale changes are required.

    It is obvious that we need some new CB cover. Oh for Sol to be 28 but alas! I think Silvestre is coming in some some harsh flak. He didn’t really do much wrong last night, it was Sagna’s positioning on the goal that cost us.

    442 would suit Eduardo more, but we do not a CM duo that can really do the job. Too much responsibility is being put on young shoulders. Yes they are experienced enough now to handle it but we need a couple more real leaders like Sol was last night. Players who roll their sleeves up and never say die.

  37. drew10 says:

    Sorry I meant wholesale changes are NOT required.

  38. charybdis1966 says:

    As I said earlier Peachy/Alfa – it;s all back to normal on the juddery/slow scrolling.
    At least one thing looks good today, and that the sun isi shinig, although like all goons I’m feeling pretty sick about the result.
    Now that the Verminator is out for 2-3 weeks who will be in defence on sunday assuming Sol can’t play till the Shitty game?
    It’s going to Fish head and probably Sagna, with Eboue going to right back I’d guess.
    At least it’s only Wigan, those 2 against the likes of Tevez & co. the following weekend is enough to bring out the cold sweats !

  39. lawrence says:

    We have some very good talent ,Fabi R.v.p ,Clichy ,Song ,Vamaellen , but very poor Silvester & Bedtner , Bedtner is good ,but not good enough for great club like Arsenal.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Ramsey will be our Stevie G, great engine, loves a shot.

    There is a reason we play to a set pattern and it is called Wenger.

    From the U-11’s the squad learn a particular style of football, so when they progress through the ranks they can fit comfortably into the upper age team. I am not saying it is the right way to go, but it works within our financial restraints.

    Kelsey. All you write is true (apart rom the last sentence which I disagree with) and I refer you to my comment of 09.56

  41. drew10 says:

    Last nigt was a frustrating team performance, time and time again we break quickly, arrive in the final third against a defence, stop and go sideways.

    Players like Diaby, Nasri & Rosicky all have the ability to take players on so why don’t they? I believe they are told to retain possession at all costs and wait for a true opening. Can you imagine if Messi came to Arsenal would we coach the runs out of his game too?

    Dare I say it? We could do with a Hleb like player in the team again.

  42. Rasputin says:


    I don’t think we should ever have bought Silvestre however cheap he was. It was a dreadful signal to send out. He hasn’t been a ‘bit-part’ player, we’ve needed him in some really important games and he’s not good enough IMO.

    Almunia is rubbish at anything with power above shoulder height. Rose’s shot was straight at him at head height, he was falling backwards as he always does. Most decent keepers would just have palmed the ball up over the bar – once again he looked like a schoolboy.

  43. Hi chary – thanks for the scrolling update 😉

    Is our 4-3-3 built around Cesc? Doesn’t Cesc fit into a 4-4-2?

    4-3-3 is just stubborn if you ask me. Why buy Arshavin who likes to play as a number 10 and have Theo who would like to be a number 10 and Nasri who can also play as a number 10 and put them on the wing?

  44. drew10 says:

    I think we should try to sign Samba, that boy is a beast, and a good beast not the Brazilian style beasts that actually turn out to be pussy’s!

  45. lawrence says:

    Here is our genesis of our problems!!!

    We sold , Henry ,No good replacement was made !!!!

    We sold, Ade [I know most of you hate him ] no replacement was made !!!!

    We sold Viera,no good replacement was made up to now !!!

    We sold Toure ,Where did the money go ?

    We allowed flamini to go , because we could not add a few pounds that he wanted and believe me he was worth that much he was asking .

    Results” Our once great time getting weaker and weaker”

  46. Big Raddy says:

    If we are to look at players who are not good enough, I would start with Almunia and Eboue (great effort and attitude not withstanding).

    But this is a discussion for the end of the season

  47. Raddy – we’re at the end of our season 😦

  48. drew10 says:

    Peaches, good point! Where would DB10 have fitted into this formation, can’t see him on the wing. Playing a formation to get the best out of Cesc whilst limiting the rest of the midfield seems a little silly. Still up until half way through the season it seemed to all be working a treat.

    What happened? AA23 I think has looked like his mind is elsewhere IMO, I reckon he may be off at the end of the season!

  49. Livers says:

    Peaches, my only problem with the 4-3-3 is when we play midfielders as part of the 3 with Bendtner it’s more like a 4-5-1 and it’s crying out for a partner for him..

    the days with Overmars on the lef tor Pires made it like a 4-3-3 for Arsenal anyway but we had a worker down the right in Parlour which balanced the side.. Why not play Walcott on the left of a 4-3-3 as he’s scored a few for England U21’s coming in from the right and curling home..

  50. drew10 says:

    Raddy, I think Eboue has shown his worth to the squad this last few weeks. And he has shown no small measure of heart and love for the club in refusing to hide after his booing and coming back strongly, so strongly in fact the fans have welcomed him back!

    The lad has talent and a great attitude.

    Almunia I think is a good keeper just not strong enough in the air!

  51. lawrence says:

    I’m out ,but very frustrated ,especially by “Once great Wenger” not great to me any more with his out dated philosophies and fucking ass Silvester.

  52. dandan says:

    Cesc and Ramsey would do what you ask with no problem drew. We are not that far away just ravaged by injury. New signings will come this year certainly a CB and a CF but the GK is the key, confidence springs from that position and ours is low.
    Am surprised at kelsey and London being so down, we have all watched the Arsenal rise from far worst than this Guys, I mean what is the extent of our terrible failure, third in the league at worst, cmon there are millions of fans including the spuds who would sell their souls for that. They have had one small victory first time since god was a boy and wont make the champions league, we are already there again
    I can understand the younger fans impatience but we have seen real hard times and still stood out in the rain. These are halcyon days by comparison. Wenger will get it right.
    Oh we could sell out to an owner say goodbye to Wenger and watch some special one send us IN to massive debt for a couple of “SUCCESFULL” seasons then bugger off.
    So cheer up gooners tomorrow is another day

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Nasri, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Arshavin, Eduardo. All bought. Maybe not as replacements but bought nonetheless.

    Henry & Vieira were and are irreplacable. Players like these come along once in a generation. We were incredibly fortunate to see a team with DB, PV, TH and RP lining up together.

    There isn’t a DM in world football today who could compare to PV4, and if there is tell AW.

    Plus if Benzema costs upwards of €50m, and he is nowhere near as good as TH was, how much would a comparable striker cost?

  54. lawrence – we have been blessed with absolute genius’ playing for us in the Wenger years, those players luckily wanted to play for AW and we all loved having them. They aren’t 2 a penny and it must be heartbreaking for Wenger that he couldn’t clone them.

    The saddest part for me is that we will the players to do their best for us – we urge them with our support, we sing ‘we are by far the greatest team’ but when push comes to shove they don’t have as much passion as we do.

    They talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. I blame for making them think they’re superstars by being in interviews all the time. They need a reality check.

  55. charybdis1966 says:

    Dandan – the reason for the depression, IMHO, is not that goons expect an unending procession of victories, but that a lot of the team did NOT show the desire to win, only Sol and Clichy seemed to and of course Robin when he came on.
    I, as a life-long goon, can forgive the team almost any defeat if they – to a man – have tried their hardest. We can a love a mediocre player if we see him apply himself as much as he can always. Who do we blame for their lack of fight? Most of the blame would lie with the players themselves but a degree of it has to rest on the managers head.

  56. tommystout says:

    nice to see some new posters on here, pity its under a big black cloud.
    Peaches / Chary, typing and scrolling is back to normal now.
    Thought Denilson was ok last night. Diaby was a passenger,Rosicky careless passing.
    A freak injury prone season hasn’t helped our chances but i feel there is only one person accountable and thats almunia, he is not good enough, how wenger doesnt see this and unbelievably makes the guy captain is beyond me.
    World class keeper and we’d be top of the league right now.
    In a paralell universe i’d like to see where we would have finished if we hadn’t dropped manonne!

  57. drew10 says:


    Eduardo – looks like a world beating striker – breaks a leg doesnt seem quite the same.

    Rosicky – Looks like an idea replacement for Pires, gets a mystery injury that keeps him out for the prime year of his career. Doesn’t seem to have got back the lethal and accurate shot he was fabled for.

    Diaby – Was playing brilliant football breaks his ankle has taken him ages to get a decent run of games after constant niggling injuries.

    RVP – One of the worlds best attacking players, consistently plagued by injury. Most of which caused by other players. We are yet to see what he is truly capable of in a full season.

    Ramsey – Just looking like a true first team player breaks a leg and misses the rest of the season.

    There are others Clichy, Gibbs, Djourou, Nasri, Cesc.

    We have to be the unluckiest team in terms of injury but we still are better this season than last.

    Just think if Eddie and Rosicky hadn’t have had their injuries how much more they both would have attributed to the team.

    Cheer up Gooners, if we are all honest at the start of the season, if anyone had said we would have still been in with a chance of the title with five games to go we would have bitten their hands off.

    We have made significant progress this season and with a few tweaks we will see the return to the glory days! Blimey it could be worse I too stood in the rain in the clock end watching some truly dire performances.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Drew, may we respectfully disagree about Eboue.

    I like him as a man and admire the way he has come back from last season to become a cult hero, BUT he is no more than average player and we need better. Sure he can run with the ball, works hard and as a back up FB, he is fine, though if EE was a good enough FB why did Wenger sign Sagns?

    My problem with EE is that Wenger uses him as a utility sub. and IMO he brings no end product to the team.

    DD 10.35. Thank you.

  59. charybdis1966 says:

    TommyS – I also think that Mannone looked quite good and should have kept his place on the basis of his form, although he did drop a clanger in one game, but nowhere near as many, on a per games ratio, as Almunia does.

  60. tommystout says:

    totally agree chary, i thought the barcalona experience would have given them the wake up call they needed, and that we would start to see the hunger and fight that is required for this championship.

  61. drew10 says:

    Rads, Totally agree he is not a started but a useful player to have in the squad.

    I think his form was very bad when AW bought Sagna but it has improved since then.

    Remember Eboue got in the team of the season at RB in his first full season at Arsenal.

  62. dandan says:

    Chary, I don’t doubt your loyalty or love for the Arse for one minute mate. But I truly believe our lack of commitment yesterday was a classic here we go again syndrome, when they saw Almuria bugger it up again. as peacheys said anything above head height and he is in trouble.We lacked our leaders yesterday and it showed, which is why Clichy and Sol stood out.
    Saturday is another day and I suspect we may be without Diaby as well for the Wigan game I thought he looked to be carrying an injury last night.

    Mind you is not as bad as being lobbed from the half way line in added time in the final

  63. tommystout says:

    i know it would mean change in personnel but who would like to see a traditional 442 back at the club?

  64. dandan says:

    Shakes Drew 10s hand couldnt put it better myself, I wonder how near you I stood under the clock for all those years.

  65. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s ok Dandan, I didn’t mean to imply you were doubting my Arse credentials. As you say, onto Wigan and with them getting booed off their own pitch last night after a goal less stalemate you’d think they’d be an opposition that would be ripe for us to get a resounding win.
    Would that be too much to ask?

  66. Big Raddy says:

    “We’re The Clock End, We’re The Clock End, The Clock End Highbury”.

  67. kelsey says:

    I have mentioned this before, but every time we have a week off we never win the following game.maybe the momentum is not there,but regardless of injuries where was the unity amongst the team to be really up for was more than a derby,there was an outside chance still to win the league.All in all very disappointing.
    I do blame Almunia for the first goal.he was completely unchallenged and chose to fist the ball away.if rose would have scored that goal with another twenty attempts is debatable.

    RVP and Walcott should have come on ten minutes earlier IMO

  68. kelsey says:


    I thought the opposite about Sagna.his first season he was outstanding,and has not kept to that level.

  69. Livers says:

    Kelsey, me too. Sagna has been exposed this season..

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Livers. I have just realised I haven’t congratulated you on a fine post in very difficult circumstances. Well played.

    So….. new RB? Or do we look to have a RM who can help Sagna aka Flamini? Or has Sagna looked much better when Song is playing?

  71. charybdis1966 says:

    Hear, hear Radders. No way could I have composed myself to write any sort of post after last night’s result so “Good job” Livers.

  72. satanisagooner says:

    I was at the match and can not believe you gave Rosicky 6.5. The bloke was pants as he was against Barca. The amount of missed passes out number the amount of successful ones. You give the ball away it gives the other team a chance (hence Barca). This was a derby and some of the players just went through the motions. Diaby crap, Sagna was just Sagna, Campbell super fucking hero! Had RVP been fit all season we would have won the league prob not the CL but def this league, its been there for the taking. Hopefully for summer we get a goalie that can catch the ball not punch. Czech or Riena would have caught that ball not punched it. We need a Centerback desperately and a stricker (fingers crossed Chamakh)and then we could be there. Sell a few, Ramsey back, Wiltshire who’s looking very good at Bolton and we could win something. If we don’t we will struggle with the likes of citae, Manure and Chelskistrengthening like they will. But well done lads its been a roller coaster of a season. To the next season!

  73. dandan says:

    Has had major shock was sure Satan would be a spud LOL

  74. Livers says:

    Cheers Big Raddy.. not the post I wanted to write.. circumstances and all that!

    New keeper and new Right back imo

    Satin, if Rosicky wasn’t going forward then who was certainly not Nasri. Passing was awful in the final 3rd from all players

  75. dandan says:

    How typical is that. Rose gets one kick in the match, on the volley from thirty yards out could go anywhere and it goes through our keepers hands and into the net. Shaaaaaaaaaaaay where are you.

  76. Rasputin says:

    SfH – really sorry, for some unknown reason your comments went into moderation, I’ve put them up now, shouldn’t happen again 😦

  77. Rasputin says:

    Actually I can’t see your comments SH, I may have pushed the wrong button 😳

  78. Livers says:

    So anyway…..onwards and upwards. I’m sure when the players relax a bit more with nothing to lose we’ll start spanking teams like we did earlier in the season..

    too little too late however..

  79. Big Raddy says:

    I can’t see SfH’s comments either!

    Livers. There can only be one winner and once again it isn’t us. But second is not beyond the team and would be a testament to the hard work of the team through the season.

    I can see the point that we haven’t moved forward but I disagree, RvP showed in 15 minutes what this team could have achieved without injuries, and one only has to look at MU’s performances sans Rooney to see how important the main striker is.

  80. RockyLives says:

    Let’s keep things in perspective. It was a horrible, horrible game to lose (knowing how much they’ll love saying they stopped us winning the title, even though we probably wouldn’t have caught the Chavs anyway).
    BUT, their first goal was a ludicrous strike – if you gave that kid 100 more attempts to do that, he would not score once.
    We outplayed them all night and they only really started making chances when we were chasing the game and committed to all-out attack.
    We had to lose to them at some point.
    They defended well.
    We had SIX of our first teamers out once Verm went off.
    We didn’t have our best day at the races, but if you watch the game again (as I have – glutton for punishment or what?) you’ll see a team in red and white who were far, far superior to their opponents but still lost. Sometimes it happens.
    We fell down too often on our final ball and that was through too many wrong options and because of the missing personnel.

    And yes, we have progressed this year. We may not have cup semis under our belt, but if we had suffered this level of long-term injuries last year we would not have finished in the top 4.

    The team is still growing and Arsene will add serious quality this summer.

  81. RockyLives says:

    By the way, Livers – what a man! I don’t think I could have written a rational review after that game.
    However, I would question your 6.5 for Rosicky. I thought he worked hard all night and was pulling the strings for us, but his final option was wrong so many times that I would give him a 5.5, same as Nasri.
    Silvestre didn’t do too much wrong, but whenever we lose a game in which he plays (or even when we win one) there are lots of people ready to single him out. Put the prejudice aside for a moment folks and actually watch the performance. As a fourth/fifth choice back-up CB he’s OK.

  82. Livers says:

    RockyLives… I actually made Fish Head better than 4 other players 😉 and he was sub !

    I thought Rosicky worked hard but wasn’t helped with his endeavour. Namely passing to Eboue who couldn’t pass back.. he tried things that others didn’t but was better than Nasri in my opinion.

  83. RockyLives says:

    Sorry Livers – I wasn’t meaning you when I referred to the people who can’t find a good word for Silvestre (but I can see it reads that way).
    You’re right about Eboue – I thought he slowed down our play a great deal last night and he also seems to have stopped doing the dribbling runs he was making earlier in the season.

  84. I’m not sure a rant is appropriate for tomorrow, anyone have any thoughts they’d like to write up for a post

  85. charybdis1966 says:

    I think another post mortem on the Spuds (and Barca away) games and it’s wider implications for our summer transfer policy might be a possibility – I’m not around tomorrow so I’m wimping out of that though !

  86. Livers says:

    I did have a good rant pre yesterday.. but forgot it after the game 😦

  87. Hold those thoughts RockyLives has a post for tomorrow but as we’re not playing until Sunday we’ll need something for what will probably be a very slow Saturday, let me know

  88. Thanks chary and Livers 😉

  89. kelsey says:

    Next Arsenal Manager !
    Jose Mourinho 6/1
    Guus Hiddink 9/1
    Frank Rijkaard 9/1
    Jurgen Klinsmann 11/1
    Liam Brady 11/1
    Roy Hodgson 16/1
    Louis Van Gaal 16/1
    Martin O’Neill 20/1
    Sven Goran Eriksson 20/1
    Marcelo Lippi 20/1
    Fabio Capello 20/1
    David Moyes 20/1
    Steve McLaren 25/1
    David Platt 40/1
    Tony Adams 50/1
    Further information……graham sharpe……0208 918 3731
    William Hill

  90. Smart money going where, kelsey?

  91. Sorry SH I was away from my pc and just let you out again.

  92. SharkeySure says:

    Drew 10 – “Cheer up Gooners, if we are all honest at the start of the season, if anyone had said we would have still been in with a chance of the title with five games to go we would have bitten their hands off.”

    Nutshell !!!!

  93. Rasputin says:


    If you’re about, I’ve lowered the res of all the pics and taken all the images out of old posts so hopefully the coloured background can be reinstated without loss of performance.

    Hi sharkey … how’s it hanging? 😉

  94. RockyLives says:

    Hi Kelsey
    Pep Guardiola is not on the betting list – but apparently he’s said he wants to manage in England at some point. And I bet he can’t wait to get away from the current bunch of no-hopers he’s saddled with so he can join a proper team like The Mighty Arse.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    No Frenchmen on the list!

    Lauren Blanc at Bourdeaux and Puel the Lyons manager (especially as Remi Garde is his coach) must be in with a shout

    Plus Martin Jol who is doing a fine job at Ajax.

    But for now, I am very happy with Mr Wenger.

  96. Alfa says:

    Thanks Rasp. I’ve put the background back but nothing else for now. We’ll put in one change at a time so that we can spot if anything is causing anyone a speed problem.

    Dandan, Chary, Tommy, please shout if you start getting problems again.


  97. GhostFace says:


    I think you are very generous with your ratings.

  98. GhostFace says:

    I cant imagine anyone would be “very very happy” with Wenger right now.

    But there you have it.

    Having our season die at the hands of Spurs makes people happy.

    Wonder what they would do if we lost horribly to the Mancs and Chavs! Oh wait…

    Well ManCity is still a possibilty.

    You can add another “Very” to the statement there.

    No progress. No movement. No accountabilty in 5 fucking years.

    Damn i wish someone would be very very very happy with me if i failed at my job consistently

  99. RockyLives says:

    Steady on Ghost. Maintaining a place in the Champs League for five years running while having no money due to the building of a brilliant new stadium which ensures our financial future is not failure in my book. Failure is thinking that one win in 10 years over your supposedly arch rivals is a reason for celebration.
    By the way, Livers wrote the post, not Peaches.

  100. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening everyone

    Aaahhh gee thats better. Peaches its much better for me now 😀

  101. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Pep Guardiola is not on the betting list – but apparently he’s said he wants to manage in the Pl, as rocky said.Add to that there is the possibility of a takeover, and the fact that many players are out of contract, and of course the momentum will gather as to Cesc’s future.
    I think the style of play that Wenger believes in, is of course modeled by the way Barca play, yet we have all seen that that there is still an enormous gap.So for that reason Pep would be the natural choice.

    Mourinho would demand a huge investment in players, something I doubt we would or could afford, and our style of play would change dramatically .

    I don’t fully accept that we are competing against United and Chelsea on a shoe string budget, as our total wage bill is not far behind.

    It is 6 years since we won the league, a true benchmark rather than the FA Cup which to a certain extent has a luck element to it, and those 6 years are the the longest period since 1987 since we were without a trophy.
    Food for thought.

    Another point often put forward is that we so often score late goals, as we are fitter and benefit from the opposition being tired, yet if we are fitter why does hardly a game go by without yet another injury.

  102. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Now I don’t want to sound all extreme, but I’m of the opinion that Almunia is & never will be a Title winning keeper. I base my opinion on the amount of fluffs he makes. When the ball comes @ him along the ground he is 1st class, but its the balls that come @ him from say waste up that he seems to have trouble with.

  103. gnarleygeorge9 says:


  104. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    That is a fair call, but its up to The Club/AW to move in that direction for Pep so that a smooth transition takes place.

    The Arsenal have set their bottom line as being CL qualification judging by how it portrays qualification each year as success, so it would be disasterous if Pep said he was interested in Arsenal, but then we failed to make CL footy.

  105. kelsey says:

    evening gg9.

    The trouble is that I don’t see Wenger replacing Almunia, he is even vice captain quite often.Look at Gomes, he was a complete joke last season compared to now.Can one teach Almunia anything anymore at his age.He is a shot stopper but he has no communication with the defence, his distribution is often woeful and as i have said before de doesn’t command his area.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Ghostface. We are all entitled to our opinion. If my son came consistently second or third in class and showed touches of brilliance, I would be happy with that.

    But of course I would prefer him to be first …


    6 years is too long, no question about that. But today I am in a positive frame of mind and therefore will make a defence. The ability of Chelsea and MU (and now MC) to buy players over €20m has seriously affected our competetiveness. Just look at the Chavs bench which costs more than our entire team. One may say that AW COULD buy these players but chooses not to – but do you really believe that? And I understand that unlike other clubs our wage bill includes all staff.

    If AW could have bought David Villa, do you imagine he wouldn’t because he is stubborn and is only thinking of his Project Youth? If that was the case, why buy Arshavin?

    Who is out of contract apart from WG and Merida?

    Barca model their play upon ours, not the other way round – Wenger has been playing this way from when Pep was a player. Plus and it is a huge plus, we played Barca with a vastly depleted team. It is not fair to judge us based upon the team that got thrashed at the Nou Camp.

    Can you honestly imagine Me-rinho at THOF? No, ….. neither can I 🙂

    See ….. I told you I was positive today !!

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Evening GG.

    No argument about Almunia. But is has been the same for two summers now. Either AW cannot get an improvement (which I find hard to believe) or he has faith in the Clown.

  108. kelsey says:


    out of contract are Gallas,Merida,Senderos and Eboue and Campbell is pay as you play.

    I understand your opinion, but I bet you that United and chelsea have players who contribute more than Walcott on 60K a week.

    I am aware that our wage bill includes the staff, but even allowing for that, we still pay a huge amount in wages.

    Since DD left one could question the charater of some of the players we have bought recently, regardless of their ability.Diarra,Adebayor and Arshavin and even Gallas to a certain extent spring to mind.

  109. Alfa says:

    Morning all. Kelsey, you are right – Arsenal don’t separate out non-playing staff wages in their statement, probably because they are too high but that is just my guess.

    I don’t feel as down as many on here do. I agree with most of the frustrations of course but we’ve had some terrific performances this season and made it last almost to the end. We’ve got too many injured players to win. Arsene has always had a few blindspots but so has every manager (including Guardiola). If Guardiola had lost Ibrahimovich early on, followed by Iniesta, Alves and then Messi a few weeks ago, no doubt people would be callng for his head as Real would have won the derby and we would have knocked them out of the CL.

    The board will have to decide if they want to keep increasing the value of their shareholdings or spend some of the money. Like I’ve said before, under our current financial policies we can’t/won’t afford big new signings.

    London made a good point the other day which I’d missed. Man U may look like a basket case financially but if/when someone comes and offers the Glazers a couple of hundred million plus all the debts paid off, they will have achieved exactly what they wanted. Our board have as well.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    For all his sins Adebayor did a great job for us. Loads of goals in one season, a season of controversy (what else can we write about?) and then sold for an obscene amount of money.

    Non regrets …

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Alfa. I like the border around the comments. Very classy. Shame about the red, but I understand the need to revert to old style AA for those who have cheap, steam driven PC’s

  112. London says:

    I was wondering if you had seen that one.

    Morning Alfa

    Good comment

  113. Rasputin says:

    New post …….

  114. Alfa says:

    BR, London, hi. I will try to re-introduce some of the colours one step at a time so we don’t break anything.

    Thanks London. I always read your comments :).

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