Wigan Preview

Can we come back from an awful defeat midweek? Can we continue to win with such a depleted team? Can we play Wenger-ball without our star players?  All will be revealed in today’s away tie at Wigan.

If we have to go away in these dire circumstances, Wigan would be one of the teams best suited to us, in our last 9 meetings Arsenal have won 8 and drawn one!

Who will play for us today? The team almost picks itself thanks to the length of our injury list. We persist with the same GK, hopefully playing one his last games for Arsenal prior to the purchase of a reliable and confident new GK (please!). With the loss of both our frontline CB pairing, we are reduced to two geriatrics in the middle. Sol has been immense but the efforts of his heroic performance at the Lane will surely have an effect upon him, and Silvestre (not my favourite) will have to be alert to the pace of Wigan’s forwards. Positioning will be paramount for our CB’s. A possibility would be to move Sagna inside and play Eboue on the right, Sagna has shown his aerial ability and appears to have the football intelligence to move to the centre.  Clichy has rediscovered his form of late and is showing why he is considered on of the best LB’s in World football.

Midfield is a conundrum. One would have thought that Diaby, Nasri and Rosicky would be a creative dream team (in the absence of Fab4), but they have flattered to deceive, in particular Diaby and Nasri. Samir, apart from an evening of brilliance at home to Porto, has been anonymous, which must be of great concern to Wenger. The “new Zidane” is the same age as Fabregas and really should be taking games by the scruff of the neck. The same could be said of Diaby. We know Diaby has the talent to be a super player, he as it all, power, outrageous dribbling skills, goal scoring, accurate shooting, and a perfect physique for an attacking MF, but he has been disappointingly inconsistent. We need more from the Big Man. Rosicky puts in a decent shift but struggles by being moved all over the midfield. For a player with so much “in the locker”, I expect more. Denilson will most probably continue as Song’s replacement, he may not have the natural shimmering Brazilian skills but statistically he is very good! However, there are concerns over Denilson’s fitness and Eastmond may get a start, if so Eastmond has shown he has huge potential and I look forward to seeing his progress.

Up front there are options. The return of Van Persie is a huge boost. His cameo at WHL was superb and I expect a big game from him. Will Bendtner continue in the centre or will he be on the bench allowing RVP to retake his new central role? 9 goals in 11 games should ensure Nik starts. Wenger usually chooses to play an extra MF away from home, so Eboue could get a call, in which case either Eduardo or Vela will start on the left. If not, Walcott must start on the right.

The teamsheet will be interesting today.

Wigan have a fine player in Rodallega who has impressed so much that Wenger has had to refute  rumours of his imminent arrival at THOF!  Wigan are a decent team but as previously stated they are one of the teams I would have chosen to play after the Spuds. They are captained by the ex-Chelsea player Lord Mario Melchiot – one of my favourite players, a player who has graced the PL for many years, and a real gentleman (albeit with a dodgy haircut)

Given the results from yesterday nothing is beyond imagination in the run-in. Despite their defeat at WHL, the Chavs are clear favourites but if we had beaten the Spuds ……  I hate “what if’s”

By BigRaddy

190 Responses to Wigan Preview

  1. Morning all

    Well done Raddy for injecting a bit of excitement into todays proceedings. Its not so much how will we play after the midweek defeat but who will be given the opportunity to bring home the three points.

    I’m with you with the ‘what ifs’ 😦

  2. dandan says:

    What if I say that is a fine Preview Raddy. because it is, forget the spuds loss, a miracle goal and two keepers at the opposite end of the scale did for us.

    Your analysis only underlines the depth of our injury problems, so probably the side that finished at spuds will start today.

    Given the heated debate at times yesterday I was pleased to read this this morning, hope its true.

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Arsenal-to-offer-Arsene-Wenger-a-new-contract-that-will-keep-him-at-the-club-until-2014-Exclusive-article395845.html

  3. tommystout says:

    good post BR, theres lots of “what ifs” from this season, how about what if we had joe hart in goal all season? sunday mirror (i know!) suggests it may be a strong possibility next season!

  4. tommystout says:

    yep DD totally agree, that would be our most important signing

  5. tommystout says:

    al,
    eboue, sag, sol, gael
    den
    ros, diaby
    nik VP nasri

    that’ll do!

  6. ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ 😉

  7. dandan says:

    Quote of the week from Sunday supplement “Any Arsenal supporter who thinks Wenger should be sacked is watching the wrong sport” wished I had thought of that

  8. I remember in 2001(?) when Arsène signed a new contract until 2007, feeling excited and relieved that we were keeping hold of him – now he feels like part of the furniture, I can’t believe he’ll ever leave us in any way.

  9. Good team tommy – Theo to come on and terrify them for 25 minutes – seems like I’ve been saying that all season 😉

  10. Arsenal-boy says:

    Almunia

    Eboue Sol Silvester gael

    Danilson

    Walcoot Rosicky Nasri

    RVP Edwardo

  11. tommystout says:

    trouble is when theo comes on to terrify we are usually chasing the game and thats when the opposition sits deep and theo then struggles.
    i hear he’s been studying freddy and his well timed runs… hope its working mr walcott!

  12. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Great write up Raddy.

    Isn’t it funny how things can change round in a week. We were hoping totnum would do us a favour by beating the chavs and manure to help us win the league and instead of that, they are hoping we beat citeh to help them finish fourth 😦

  13. Big Raddy says:

    I was steaming when Scholes scored yesterday until I recalled our recent scoring record. It would be churlish to call them lucky.

    Of course the Spuds will roll over at OT, they always do

  14. tommystout says:

    i laughed when scholes scored! it was just typical manure. They play to the death, always!
    One thing i noticed, well infact i always notice is how when manu attack they always have about 3 bodies somewhere around the 6 yard box. thats something we dont do!

  15. Big Raddy says:

    TS. Interesting team.

    Arsenal Boy. No Sagna? Is there something you know that we don’t? I suppose you are playing EE at RB because we will need more attacking power without Walcott.

    IMO Sagna is head and shoulders a better player than Eboue. He is a more reliable defender and is able to hold his position on the pitch, something that EE has forgotten from the days when he was first choice RB.

    I have stated before that despite his unquestioned application this season, Eboue is not good enough for Arsenal.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Why do you think that is TS?

  17. I expect a really pumped up arsenal side today.

    Wenger has been very scaything in the press since the spuds game.

    Undercover scaything, obviously, but the undercurrent in what he is saying is clear.

    Wigan like to play a pretty expansive game, they are not geared up to park the bus, so if they try that, they could get opened up like a tin of beans.

    And if they play the normal open game…

    they will get opened up like a tin of beans 😆

    i expect nothing less than 4-0 or 5-0, a team have been due a right spanking from us for a while.

  18. btw – AA’ers

    we have all heard the AKB rubbish

    soon, there will be a GGB campaign 🙂

  19. Rasputin says:

    Morning SH,

    I feel like Allan Davies on QI … go on, explain what GGB stands for 🙄

  20. Big Raddy says:

    GGB ?

    Rumours in the papers today:

    Simon Kjær. One may recall that I have been promoting this lad as a potential Gooner for a couple of years. He is quality, a future big star, and would be superb alongside TV.. However, I expect him to remain in Italy (maybe AC)

    Joe Hart. Can’t see it. Why would MC sell him to a direct rival? And I would prefer a more experienced GK.

    LLoris. Could AW’s rebuttal be a smokescreen? Fine keeper, and no doubt a target.

    N’Zogbia. If true, AW would have bought him earlier, and not as good as Nasi/TR.

  21. kelsey says:

    Nice post as usual Raddy.

    I think the team selection will be difficult to call.nasri and rosicky are not particularly in form.Will RVP risked from the start ?

    If Eduardo doesn’t start, after reading various reports he is going, i would imagine the reports are true.

    Was vela on the bench against Spurs, or is he still looking for his passport.Will be intersting to see if he starts.

    my guess is that Eastmond will start today, and TS made a valid point about Theo starting, when most of us know he is better in a cameo role.

    At least the pitch has been re turfed.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Another on the radar could be Eriksen at Ajax. This boy is 18 and is being talked about as the next Mikael Laudrup. Martin Jol says he is the best young player he has seen in the last 10 years.

    He is due to go to SA with Denmark, hopefully we will get to see him.

  23. I expect Fabianski to start today.

    AW talked of MA and Fab battling it out for the no 1 jersey… was that code for telling us MA has had his audition and the ladt 4 games will see the pole get his chance to impress.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    G’day Kelsey.

    I expect RvP to start and play for an hour with Vela/Eduardo replacing him.

    Can anyone believe that a bid of €8m has been placed for Dudu? AI think renewing his contract could be a mistake, but I hope Eduardo rediscovers his form at THOF.

    And €7.5 for Clichy? To accept such a low bid would be madness. He is worth at least double.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    I would be delighted to see Fab get another chance. He must have been shattered after the Porto game. As we all know, confidence is so important in a GK’s decision making.

    BTW, having seen the 1st Spuds goal, there is no doubt in my mind that a decent GK would have saved it.

  26. Rasputin says:

    That’s a good call SH, I hope Fab2 does get his chance….. but AW, drop his captain 😦 very unlikely

  27. tommystout says:

    sorry Rasp just been playing footy with the kids, time for a break… in answer to your question “why do you think that is?”…
    well we don’t get players in the 6 yd box because we are under instruction to pass, generally 6 yd play is down to luck, if we get players in there then people outside the box will have limited options to pass to, thus losing the ball.

  28. barcelona are setting out this morning on a coach trip to milan for the champs league game

    this volcano crap is really working out for mourinho.

    —-

    dropping MA, and handing the captains armband to Big Sol would be genius imo.

  29. tommystout says:

    hey stringfellow, i’d always prefer to see fab2, but i dont think wenger is likely to go against almunia while there is still a mathematical possibility of winning the league.

  30. kelsey says:

    I would be even more worried with Fab in goal after his nightmare in Porto.Mentally he will be a bag on nerves,but who knows.

    Anyone answer the Vela question.

    I hate to say it, but that bale is going to be some player, and he hasn’t even started shaving yet 😉

  31. tommystout says:

    i think clichy put himself in the shop window against barca, i expect a lot of interest this summer…. and i’d expect closer to 20m and if we got offered that then i think wenger will let him go!

  32. ts – there is a mathematical possibility, but even if chavs lose to pool away

    they need to drop points at homt to wigan or stoke.

    not happening.

  33. kelsey says:

    tommy, again I agree.Gibbs will be better than clichy eventually.

  34. tommystout says:

    true SF but its an odd season for sure

  35. if you asked me 2 months ago about accepting 20m for clichy, yes yes yes would have been my response… as i think gibbs is the real deal

    but, the last few weeks, clichy is back to his 07/08 best.. and if he keeps that up, he is surely the best LB in the world?

  36. kelsey says:

    I read an interesting article last week that more than half of delap’s throw ins are illegal, something to do with the trailing leg not being entirely on the ground, when the ball is thrown. i can’t mention the channel i read it on.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    SfH. It is not such an awful drive from Barca to Milan. Only 450 miles in a luxury coach.

    But the AC/Barca gam will be a cracker, as will be the return.

  38. tommystout says:

    yeah kelsy, he will be tops…… when is he back anyway???

  39. Rasputin says:

    Hi kelsey,

    You can mention any ‘channel’ you like – that isn’t against the rules, it’s just slagging off other sites that we don’t want to see.

  40. Rasputin says:

    tommy, that wasn’t my question – it was Raddy’s

  41. is that it? 450 miles, lol, they made it out to be something like a 16 hours drive on SSN.

  42. btw – kelsey, vela was not on the bench against the spuds.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    I wouldn’t sell. Clichy is a proper Gooner, and I see the sale of Traore as more likely. Gibbs is still very young, he has huge potential but ATM it is only that.

    The Delap throw adds something to the game. There would be no frisson whatsoever to playing Stoke without it. Illegal or not, I approve and wish we had a similar tactic.

    Do you recall the near post flick ons from corners. in the TA, Bouldie era?

  44. tommystout says:

    if delaps throw technique is not illegal, then surely using a towel is?, do goalkeepers get to dry a ball? nope. talk about delaying a game!
    when its raining next and time needs to be wasted, the GK should opt to thrown the ball out and ask for a towel to dry it first. Then maybe the rule makers will outlaw the towel!

  45. BR – bouldie had his young charges copying that tactic last season

    JET on the near post flicking it back to the on rushing ayling.

  46. we are very, very, very uninventive when it comes to set-pieces.

  47. tommystout says:

    sorry rasp, i get confused these days!

  48. Rasputin says:

    Those little short corners we used to do with Cesc rolling the ball to RvP were quite good when they came off. How good was it to see someone who could take a decent free kick when RvP was only denied by a fantastic save from Gomes. If they’d had Al in goal I reckon RvP would have had a hatrick.

  49. Fab starts 🙂

    and he will have a bliner.

  50. Fabianski
    Sagna Campbell Silvestre Clichy
    Nasri Eastmond Diaby
    Walcott Bendtner Rosicky

  51. tommystout says:

    well thats surprised me, itll be interesting for sure….. no eduardo tells a story

  52. ts – wenger is by no means the “big salesman” many label him to be

    he is usually very direct with his answers in press conferences.

    he gave a big hint on friday about dropping almunia.

  53. i am going to really enjoy this game, that team just spells danger for wigan

    and has a freshness about it that will give us real impetus.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    That is an interesting team. Merida on the subs bench? If he is really going to A Madrid, it is a strange decision.

    COYRRG

  55. another bendtner hat-trick has just been wagered on.

  56. tommystout says:

    i think that confirms that wenger thinks almunia should have saved young Rose’s goal.

  57. not saved it… prevented it

    !!

  58. poor start from fab so far

    as a goalie, he has changed his game from last season

    he was better than, when he was almost a sweeper behind the defence.

    since that drogba semi goal, he has reined it in.. .not for the better in my book.

    it was his natural instinct to come out and clear, he is playing instinctively anymore.

  59. Rasputin says:

    If Fab’s not up to it (and his previous performances would suggest that is the case) we need to see that now as we wouldn’t want a couple of half decent games to persuade Arsene that he is good enough for No.1 – we still need a new keeper Arsene, don’t kid yourself we don’t.

  60. i doubt he is, rasp

    he is doing the correct thing and giving fab the chance to prove himself.

    he cannot buy a new goalie in april.

  61. Rasputin says:

    I know SH, but I wouldn’t want a couple of good performances from Fab2 to dent his resolve to get a new GK.

  62. i am convinced we have an issue with goalkeeper coaching at the club

    our goalies have gone backwards over the last 2 years.

    wenger does not deal with them.

  63. no chance, rasp

    almunia is gone, and a new one is sure to be signed in the summer.

  64. young eastmond is playing very well

  65. Rasputin says:

    haha SH, you sound like me 😆

  66. ooooo that would have been a peach

  67. theo needs paul mckenna to sort his confidence out.

    then he would be untouchable.

    he needs to be told he is faster than a speeding bullet.

  68. tommystout says:

    i think theo has learned from his earlier mistake with not taking the shot on

  69. tommystout says:

    on the goal, do you think that was a freddy run? i cant say ive seen theo make a run like that before… and he’s sposed to have been studying freddy llungbergs runs

  70. tommystout says:

    in a paralell universe i wonder where we would be with a shoot on sight policy???

  71. tommystout says:

    think some of the passing today has been abismal… ok the pitch is naff but some of the stray passes are only from a few yards!

  72. kelsey says:

    play theo more central and you should get a result. otherwise quite uninspiring.

    i could have murdered diaby when yet again he had a clear shooting chance and chose the wrong option.

    nic needs better support = rvp

  73. Big Raddy says:

    I thought we had a fine half. The forwards didn’t really get going until the last 15 minutes, but NB’s hold up play has been very good. Great pass and super finish for the goal.

    Midfield. Will we ever be given more space? Diaby & Nasri look world beaters today. Surely Wigan will close us down in the 2nd half.

    Eastmond has been tidy, I like the cut of his jib. And Sols has been immense, plus he showed a surprising amount of pace

    Fabianski hasn’t had anything to save, let’s judge him after 90 mins.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    LOL. Who would think we are all watching the same game 🙂

  75. kelsey says:

    tommy is right. why we seem to shoot less and less is beyond me.haven’t we learned our lesson yet. with better more technical players like cesc,arshavin and rvp wengerball works, but not with this team

  76. kelsey says:

    diaby a world beater 😉

  77. tommystout says:

    we seem to agree a lot today kelsey 🙂

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Credit where credit is due. Diaby had a good half IMO

  79. tommystout says:

    diaby has done my head in – a few stray passes and no guts to shott and passed side ways…. his control has been a little wayward to, but i could blame the bobbly pitch for that!

  80. No Raddy – he didn’t 😉

  81. tommystout says:

    rosicky has had a good game, as has nasri…. theo is coming in to it… wake up diaby.

  82. Thanks tommy – I thought it was just me 😳

  83. tommystout says:

    right back to it, cyall later

  84. diaby is knackered imo

    remember he started his pre season a month before everybody else last summer.

    he will develop again over the summer, not going to the world cup so fully rested.

    he is going to be a proper monster for us for years to come

    and oh.. that was a pen to wigan.

  85. kelsey says:

    oh i forgot to mention what a great game silvestre is having 😉 😉

  86. your wish has been granted, rasp.

  87. Rasputin says:

    Oh dear ……

  88. Rasputin says:

    I’m off to hide under a rock ………..

  89. tommystout says:

    laughable isnt it? 🙂

  90. tommystout says:

    sit back at 2 nil up and invite pressure when you know you are weak defensively with a n0.2 / 3 GK…. whats that all about?
    and why did wenger move walcott inside second half???

  91. Well I was going to ask if someone wanted to write a match report but I don’t think its worth talking about really – how embarrassing is that 😦

  92. tommystout says:

    unbelieavby unprofessionable!

  93. tommystout says:

    LOL i dont think anyone would want to re-live that game and write a report peaches LOL

  94. What kind of top team is that, that allows a 2 goal advantage to turn into a 2-3 defeat – unbelievable.

    Thank goodness Wenger can see that Fabianski isn’t the answer ……..

  95. Agreed tommy – I don’t want to read about it either…..

  96. Rasputin says:

    Well we’ll need to put something up tomorrow 😦

  97. put a closed sign up.

  98. kelsey says:

    We now have a fight to finish forth, and that is no joke..No one of signifigence to come back in defence except song.As mers said we need two new keepers. this is an all time low performance this season.gutted absolutely gutted.

    No positives whatsoever for me.

  99. putting rvp on in the 90th minute is one the most bizzare subs wenger has ever made.

  100. the only positive is big money is almost guaranteed to be spent this summer.

  101. kelsey says:

    and eastmond did ok. diaby world class.

  102. GhostFace says:

    Well then might we bring on Dandan

    And tell him to review his crappy post yesterday.

    We had better go and sign all the world class players from the world cup

    This team is shite.

  103. Rasputin says:

    GF, that’s not fair or reasonable. Dandan’s post yesterday reflected his love of the Arsenal and his choice to be optimistic. You coming on here with the gift of hindsight and calling his efforts ‘crappy’ is unacceptable.

    I thought you’d realised that you had found a site that was prepared to discuss the difficult issues that concern you in an adult manner. By all means keep the comments coming but please treat our bloggers with respect … we’re all angry and disappointed after today’s result.

  104. GhostFace says:

    Rasputin

    I called the post crappy yesterday. I am inclined to call it shite today. But i chose to call it crappy

    WTF calling a post crappy has anything to do with being an adult is beyond me.

    The opinions and optimism was misplaced misguided and delusional at best.

    Those are not insults those are facts.

    I was inclined to think we only need 1 or 2 additions but after that lazy shambolic performance this team and this club need a major overhaul.

  105. arsene’s tie off in the sky interview 😆

    who has he stangled to death?

    4/5 Fabianski
    2/1 Diaby
    3/1 Silvestre
    5/1 Bar

  106. kelsey says:

    The most disappointing thing for me was that the players didn’t really look up for it and even at 2-0 up we weren’t playing well.Whose fault is that ,the manager,the players or both.If wenger can’t motivate them anymore then questions have to be asked.Wigan were pretty poor for 80 minutes yet we never finished them off. very poor showing all round.

    luckily Spurs have to play City, that might just save our bacon.

  107. GhostFace says:

    And all these levels of sensitivity…I am not the kind to mince my words and be politically correct.

    Call a spade a spade..

  108. kelsey says:

    Well in that case Ghostface, go elsewhere. Thanks

  109. can’t wait for this season to end and the world cup to come along.

    i need a break from arsenal.

  110. Rasputin says:

    GF, let me tell you that if you think you are bashing your head against a brick wall on here you are mistaken. A lot of us agree with a lot of what you say. We’ve been blogging around the scene for long enough to know that poor results bring over-the-top knee jerk reactions. You are not angry with dandan, you are angry with Arsène/Arsenal and I understand. Being rude about dandan’s post which took him time and effort and offered you the opportunity to air your views will not change anything.

    It takes bravery to put your feelings up in a post for others to criticise. If you would like to submit a post that coherently explains your view without insults and profanity, we’ll publish it and you can see what type of reaction that brings.

  111. GhostFace says:

    Hahaha.

    And i will Enjoy blogging with your 3 and half bloggers on here!

    Love Wenger…Hate Arsenal.

    God Bless.

  112. I’ve still got 2 home games to go to, can’t really put my Arsenal heart in the box just yet 😦 😦 😦

  113. GhostFace says:

    Rasputin

    I doubt you would want to read my posts.

    It might pop a blood vessel or two.

  114. the city game should be a big enough occassion with the return of the dopey one to get up for.

  115. I hope so SH – losing is bad, but throwing away 3 points is unforgivable ……..

  116. RockyLives says:

    When they got back to 2-1 I was thinking “OK, just for once Arsene, don’t make defensive substitutions to invite them on to us.” Barely had the thought popped into my head when Theo was off and Eboue on.
    Theo off? He’d been a threat all game, and now that Wigan would have to commit to all-out attack in the final 10 he could have been lethal in the open spaces he would have found behind their defence. But no. We fall back, invite them on to us and the rest is history repeating itself. This is one of Wenger’s groundhog day moments.
    And what was he doing putting Merida on? Merida is leaving, going, out the door, vamoose… he has literally NOTHING to play for. At 2-1 we had one attack down the left and Merida got the ball. I was shouting at him to just play it backwards, keep possession, be sensible… but no, an overambitious attempt to play through three defenders on his own, lose the ball, lose possession… suddenly we’re under intense pressure.
    I still think Wenger can build a great team with a relatively small number of additions, but he’s got to stop making the same tactical mistakes again and again.

  117. ……. unforgivable at the moment that is ……….

  118. Rasputin says:

    GF, I read most other sites every day and I enjoy them all – but I don’t agree with them and I don’t want to be on a blog that copies them. Many express views similar to your own … it makes for interesting debate and doesn’t scare anyone on here.

    Coming out with a mouthful in the heat of an argument is one thing, but typing it out and reading through before puushing ‘send’ gives everyone the opportunity to think twice.

  119. RockyLives says:

    Does this remind anyone of the semi-finals last year?
    When it comes to the crunch moments that decide whether there’s going to be any silverware, we bottle it every time.

  120. dandan says:

    Afternoon all, Did I hear my name being taken in vain, didn’t see the game and only heard the last ten minutes on the radio.

    Gk problem again it would seem and a defense knackered from Wednesday perhaps, R Savage Was very good on the radio, Reckoned Wigan deserved there win.

  121. RockyLives says:

    Dandan, Wigan only deserved their win in the way you deserve a present that someone gift wraps for you and places into your hand.
    Can any statisticians out there tell he how many times this season our GKs have either thrown the ball into their own net or fumbled it in the six yard box to allow an opposition goal?

  122. We’re not clinical enough thats one of the problems, once fish face scored in the opening minute of the 2nd half we stopped trying.

    Actually we should have whooped them and not assumed they didn’t have enough to come on to us because thats a very dangerous game and teams should never rest on their laurels.

    After spuds our odds were 25/1 for the title and those were halved after the chav result yesterday so we were expected to go on and push the other 2 all the way.

  123. I’m gonna sound like Rasputin here – can anyone tell me what Mannone did wrong to be dropped?

  124. dandan says:

    Lol Rocky I love your use of words mate, next time say what you mean don’t pull your punches.

    It may all be for the good if we get a new keeper out of it, am told Sunder lands keeper is being scouted, But think some one older like S Fray would be more beneficial to the side.

  125. Rasputin says:

    They do say that sometimes to be able to pick yourself up, you have to reach rock bottom. That was worse than losing to the spuds in many ways. The players aren’t fools, they know who amongst them is good enough and who isn’t. Maybe AA was unwise to put those things on his website, but we can’t refute that they have a ring of truth.

  126. RockyLives says:

    Peaches: “I’m gonna sound like Rasputin here – can anyone tell me what Mannone did wrong to be dropped?”

    He left a horse’s head in Wenger’s bed.

  127. kelsey says:

    dandan, can’t agree with Savage. We played poorly for 50 minute yet went 2-0 up against a deflated Wigan team who could barely muster a decent attack.Even then until the 80th minute they offered no real threat and neither did we.They carved out a typical Arsenal type goal and then fabianski made a huge mistake and as RL said we made the wrong subs, and back pedddled and they took full advantage of it. Not only did we lose,but nasri cleared a certain goal off the line.

    it really was a poor effort by all concerned.Now we have a fight for third or even forth.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    I am so deflated. This was an easy game.

    When Wigan scored the first I thought, OK time to slow the game down, use some intelligence and see out the last 10 minutes. It is not as if we are playing a top team.

    But NO. We bring on the two players least likely to help in a such a situation .

    Dreadful subs from Wenger.

    Poor tactics as well. Theo was doing OK, but in the second half no-one gave him the ball. Sagna didn’t get forward and neither did Clichy. True they were needed to assist our veterans, but really, really poor work today.

    Everyone in the ground and watching on TV knows we buckle under pressure. Lessons have not been learned.

  129. dandan says:

    Thanks for coming to my defense earlier good people, but worry not, I am quite relaxed about Ghost having a pop, if it makes him feel better, so be it

  130. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t agree Kelsey. For 80 minutes we were cruising. Up to their goal, did Fabianski have a save to make? (one low down to his left that would have gone wide).

    Fabianski lost us the game.

    And Wenger.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Apart from Fabianski. Who isn’t good enough?

  132. GhostFace says:

    Apologies to Dandan and anyone i offended.

    If i were to leave blogging i would prefer to leave on good terms than on a sour note.

    Ive calmed down considerably. And its all just set in.

    Cheers Dandan for being a gentleman and the bigger person.

    I have a lot to say on the subject but the performance today from everyone including Pat Rice was just criminal.

  133. BR – the players lost the game, i think wenger is as pissed off and frustrated as us.

    as i posted the day after the spuds game, some of these players are mugging off the man that gave them a lucky break in top flight football.

  134. Rasputin says:

    Raddy,

    All the failings we discussed yesterday were in evidence today – let’s hope the ‘parsimonious one’ was the only that was inaccurate.

  135. RockyLives says:

    Actually BR Fabianski made a few saves from long range on-target shots (admittedly all saves you’d expect a Prem keeper to make). He also came out for one low cross and held it well. But, just like Almunia, it’s his work at high crosses that always brings disaster.
    I agree he lost us the game, but just making the point that he had done OK until then. Unfortunately the GK position, more than any other, is the one where doing it 90% right is not good enough, because the other 10% kills you.

  136. dandan says:

    Raddy, This is a season when all the top sides are having their bad days at the office, dont let it get to you.
    We will be back

  137. Big Raddy says:

    DD. I am meant to be the positive one 🙂

    But the manner of these two defeats have really annoyed me.

    & of course I know we are bedevilled by injuries, but today was down to lack of professionalism. Nothing more. And that is the responsibility of the players and the Manager.

    EE and Merida were coming on before their goal. Wigan scored so AW should have waited prior to bringing them on because the circumstances had changed. To replace TR with Merida was nuts when a clear head was needed.

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. If only that were true. The two goals at Porto had nothing to do with aerial ability!

    Keeping is a confidence game. I am sure that a clean sheet today would have been the pedestal for Fabianski’s Arsenal career. Now, I fear today could be his final appearance.

    I feel really sad for the lad.

  139. Big Raddy says:

    LOL Rasp. 4.53

  140. GhostFace says:

    Rosicky is incapable of playing for 90minutes.

    RVP is incapable of playing for more than 20.

    Mannone is by far the better goal keeper than Almunia and Fabianski.

    Diaby is the most frustrating over rated lazy cunt.

    The 3rd goal was erringly similar to the Jermain Jenas goal at spurs.

    AW substitutions were eeringly similar to the ones at spurs.

    Wenger is at fault because these are his players and some of them who put in shambolic performances day in and day out are undroppable.

    Which is why Ade couldnt be arsed really.

  141. dandan says:

    Raddy One of our major problems is none of us are aware of the politics at present prevailing within AFC.

    For instance maybe, (and I have no inside knowledge here,) Wenger in his negotiations to keep Fran has promised him a run out in each game until season end. Who can tell, but if that worked would we want him to do it, I think we would.

  142. RockyLives says:

    DD, admire your optimism, but Fran’s gone man, gone…

  143. RockyLives says:

    For me the question marks are over the following:
    GKs, natch,
    Silvestre
    Diaby
    Denilson
    Eboue
    Eduardo
    (plus fringe players like Vela, Traore)

  144. dandan says:

    Having watched Ade being pulled of yesterday it would seem he still cant be arsed. One wonders if we would have trouble being arsed for a shot at Ade’s salary, I think not

  145. dandan says:

    Probably Rocky, but my point is we don’t know. That is what drives the frustrations and we wont know until Arsene Writes his memoirs.

  146. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Same guys for me

    How many will leave? At most two would be my guess. Which means that AW will continue to select players who are not good enough.

  147. kelsey says:

    This was an accident waiting to happen, though of course we have been missing key players. birmingham,Barca(that was a lesson as to how to play the quick passing game) Wolves a late,late winner, losing to the Spurs and now this. not a happy sequence.

    Raddy that shot was going in by the way.

  148. London says:

    So disappointed.

  149. dandan says:

    Raddy personally, I rate Diaby and would hate him to leave, Denilson to has flashes of class I hope is worked on.
    Traore should also stay

    The rest for a number of reasons need to move on

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. I will grant you it may have hit the post…. But of course, up here in the Frozen North, we get a different (and better) angle on our Bang & Olufsen screens!

    None of that cheap Spanish TV 🙂

  151. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Consistency is vital, and Diaby of all our players lacks it. How can AW rely upon him?

    Take today. Contrary to most bloggers, I thought he had a fine first half – the second was dreadful.

  152. RockyLives says:

    BR – I thought Diaby was just Diaby – some great runs, some good strength, some daydreaming, some losing the ball in midfield in dangerous areas, some over-elaboration on the ball.
    In other words, as you say, NO CONSISTENCY.
    Successful teams are built round players who can focus for 90+ mins.

  153. we need to get some witch doctor in

    the things that go wrong for this club are soemtimes to hard to explain and from another universe.

  154. what the last few games have told me… is how HUGE a player Alex Song is for this team.

  155. GhostFace says:

    BR

    Diaby is a super sub…nothing more.

    The 4-3-3 is a formation based on hard work.

    These players cant work hard for 90min.

  156. RockyLives says:

    GF – have to agree, hard work for the whole game is our problem. Just look at Barca.

  157. David says:

    “Everybody has an opinion. I keep my opinion for myself and let everybody have different opinions. I believe you cannot say today we lost the game because of the goalkeeper.”

    Game. Set…and Match.

    There you have it. Another year of Fabianski and Almunia.

    In the end its very depressing because AFC are more interested in making money than success on the pitch and Wenger is their man.

    Thats why despite the fact that we may or may not be skint for cash. He’s the highest paid manager in the league.

  158. RockyLives says:

    David, that’s one interpretation of Wenger’s words.
    Another would be that we lost it not just because of the keeper but because of the all-round team performance. I’ll be staggered if we don’t buy a top keeper this summer.

  159. Big Raddy says:

    Are you a spin doctor David?

    It is a long journey from AW’s comment to your conclusion! As RL say, he was talking about today, and trying to save some of Fab’s dignity.

    As to your point about the finances. Do you have some inside info? If not, on what do you base your statement?

    Still, I suppose I should be happy that you didn’t give Bendtner a lambasting 🙂

  160. Big Raddy says:

    GF. Why can’t they. For €30+k a week I would work for 120 mins – maybe more if pushed.

  161. Alfa says:

    Hi all. This was worse than the Spuds – at least they played well and scored a wonder/fluke goal.

    Why did we all us fans think it was still worth fighting on, even for 2nd place, and most of the team didn’t.

    No-one has mentioned Sol today I think. He had another very good game, often coming into midfield to clear up for Diaby.

    I don’t want to think about what Cesc must have made of today. Probably that we are now closer to the Spuds on points than Man U and Chelsea.

    Never mind, we have to beat City now and shut out Lazyboyor.

  162. Alfa says:

    BR, re David’s financial points, I can’t find any definitive info about AW’s salary so we can’t tell if he is the highest paid. I hope he is among the best paid, he deserves it.

    On the other hand, it is easier to make the case that the club are more interested in making money than success on the pitch. Or at least, they have been more successful in making money (5th in the world in revenue, 1st in profit) than on the pitch and they seem to have made it a priority. Now is the time that we will find out whether they have been doing it as a cunning plan to put us in a very strong financial position so we can sign up players while the other clubs fold, while at the same time making themselves quite rich, or whether they just wanted to make themselves very rich.

  163. Big Raddy says:

    I see the point. Alfa, but …..

    The directors were very rich men before they became Board Members, but that is not to say the they are not interested in profit!

    My beef is with the suggestion that any employee of Arsenal is not fully committed to success on the pitch.

    Furthermore, the Directors will make more money through our success than our failure. If the point is that we are failing because of lack of signings, then that is Wenger’s responsibility.

    Lastly, may I re-iterate London’s revulsion of the idea that AW makes money from his lack of signings (thereby increasing the club’s profits). Such a claim is stuff and nonsense

    However, I am too p’eed off with today’s collapse to think about finances, A stiff drink is needed.

  164. alfa, i think we know the answer to that one.

    only the very cynical would believe the motives are to make themselves rich whilst the team suffers on the pitch.

    for me, its clear that the early repayable part of the debt has now been cleared, and we have big bucks to spend this summer.

    and to be fair, timing is bang on the money, excuse the pun.

  165. kelsey says:

    Yes we miss song, but really did we look like a team that was really up for it, even allowing for the absence of some key players.look at our last 3 league games.A stupid last minute equaliser given to brum, a lucky last minute winner against wolves and a defeat against a so called tired spurs team.

    At 2 -0 i couldn’t even get excited as i thought we were poor as were wigan, but one goal back and the game completely changes. wrong subs i.m.o. and now we have two very very average keepers.

    i have said it a thousand times, first and foremost one needs a solid defence,and a commanding keeper. we have shipped in nearly 40 goals and although the points difference is better than last year with chelsea and united the squad depth is pretty poor.

    We make the same mistakes time after time, so who does one blame ? the manager, the coaching staff the players or a combination of all three.

    next week is a massive game for us to secure third or possibly fight for forth.

  166. if the manager cannot get a perfomance out of the troops in the next game… home to city, with the crowd baying for badeys blood.. then he never will.

    very big game.

  167. dandan says:

    The direction of the blog tonight seems to suggest that Wenger is unreasonable in that he sticks to his guns in the face of what we see as the obvious way to progress. Can I ask you to consider this then,

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
    George Bernard Shaw.

  168. nice touch, dandan 😉

  169. AW would like that dandan but it still hurts 😉

    Just a small reasonable act – playing van Persie for 30 minutes, not taking Theo off when the oppo have just scored a goal and are suddenly up for it, disregarding the fact that Mannone put a horses head in his bed 😉

  170. dandan says:

    Peachey. We wouldn’t be a fan if it didn’t hurt,but I bet it hurts AW more

  171. Are the players to blame or AW?

    Easy one to answer.

    Who makes players put a shift in? the manager can only do so much, so ultimately the players have to take responsibility.

    one can then say, it was the manager who gave the players the chance to play, so fault reverts back to him.

    not so imo, a manager can give a player huge belief and confidence, but ultimately its the player who makes the difference on the pitch.

    guardiola is not a great manager because barca win all those trophies, its because he manages players like messi, xav et al who all take personal responsibilty.

    listen to sol’s comments this week after spuds, he is knocking the players for not learniing to cope in tough situations.

    personally, i don’t think players can learn that apsect of the game.

    you either have it or you don’t.

    AW has given these men the chance to prove they do or don’t.

    some don’t and maybe they can be saved by having 7 or 8 others around them in the team to compensate.

    at the moment the majority don’t, and this is why we get results like this week.

    talent and ability is most definitely not the be all and end when it comes to winning trophies.

  172. dandan says:

    SH Back in my working days I had a plaque in my office which read, “I would love to be successful if it wasn’t such damn hard work”

    I suspect that many professional footballers reach a financial comfort level at a very young age, which unfortunately removes the work ethic, drive and ambition that marked them out as kids, as different and prevents them from fulfilling that potential.

  173. i am hoping martin keown is in MOTD 2 tonight

  174. dandan says:

    Now there was a worker,fighter man marker of the highest order ask Van Nistelrooy

  175. great gunner, great man.

    have met him quite a few times over the years, is very intense and a deep thinker.

    he has done his UEFA coaching badges now, very surprised he chose the media as opposed to the training ground.

    looking forward to him going mental tonight if he is on, he loves the club deeply and won’t be able to hold in the emotion of watching players not giving 110%.

  176. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    To quote an English phrase

    “What a load of old bollocks”

  177. RockyLives says:

    Gnarley, where you based? You always come on late in the day.

  178. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I’m in Australia Rocky. Its 12.27 in the afternoon. I’m in Tasmania, but the weather feels like Queensland @ present 😎

  179. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Where r u?

  180. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky is stuck in Los Angeles, GG. Thanks to the volcano !

  181. Morning Raddy

    Rocky has sent a fantastic post for today, if you’re not going to be around this morning have a look in drafts to cheer yourself up 😉

  182. charybdis1966 says:

    Quiet here today – everyone must be shell-shocked.

  183. Just about to launch the new post

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