Drawing Conclusions – ‘Turn Table-ism: The Arsenal Scratch Record’

By Guest Writer GhostFace

As the season comes to an end, I find myself being at the same stage I was this time last year for a couple consecutive seasons. I cant wait for the season to end and a new season to start. Allow me to play DJ Ghost Face here flexing my finger muscles ready to scratch you this match report with Dexterity.

FT: Arsenal 0 – 0 Manchester City

First of all what a bore that was.

The Italian manager stuck to what he knew best in big games. He played with 3 DM’s and stifled the midfield. I could care less about the sentiments during the game with certain ex-Arsenal players in a City shirt but it was great to see PV4 in the new stadium albeit weird that he wasn’t playing for us.

While I’m on the subject, I just want to quickly point out what an appalling ref Mike Dean is. Seriously, this guy has got to be a mixture of the exceptionally thick Collymore, Cascarino, Paul Parker and the ever disgraceful Graham Poll all in one human body, it’s incredible to believe but true!!! Some of those tackles Vieira had on Song and Nasri were a bit over the top in Vieira like fashion but the fact that he didn’t receive a card for any of them makes me wonder…would he have got as many red cards if he wasn’t wearing red and white? Anyways, despite Dean’s atrocious performance we were mindful of our duties defensively (no surprise given the collapse from the last game) but forgot what to do with the ball in the final third.

I do not necessarily agree that City came to get a draw . It has to be said though that Mancinni parked the bus with 3DM’s Italian football style. This was how he beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on the counter attack with Bellamy and Wright Phillips running the wings but fair play to our boys especially Song. We kept Bellamy and Johnson very quite. They came to get 3 points but Bellamy was having a poor game. Mancinni couldn’t use SWP because he had already made a sub to counter Walcotts pace with Richards for Bridge, He had to bring on Ade because Ade tore us a new one at City, and of coarse was shorthanded in the 68th minute when Given broke his shoulder. Historically SWP has tormented our fullbacks so I’m quite happy he was on the bench.

Scratch Record Mix Volume 1: Teams Park the Bus against Arsenal So… what do we do?

If we are going to improve as a football club we need to figure out what we should do when clubs play us only looking to sucker punch us on the counter by parking the bus or by long ball tactics. How many sucker punches have we suffered over the years? It’s absolutely gutting, the Birmingham one being the more completely unbearable game in recent memory. What do we do? What can we do? What we can do is different from what we actually do. What we actually do is pass for an eternity. Decide that we will let our worst crossers on the team deliver the final ball and then when that fails make substitutions that don’t make sense. This leads me to my second Scratch mix.

Scratch Record Mix Volume deux: Substitutions and Selections

What does Carlos Vela have to do to get a game? Why are we subbing off Rosicky for Eboue when clearly Eboue is our best attacking right back and Sagna surging forward is as potent as San Marino declaring Nuclear war against Russia? What is going on with Bendtner again on out there on the wings? With so many players out it is difficult to be too critical about the team selections, but who was going to stand up today and give us a very much needed lift for the red and white? Once again it just shows you how average we can be without Fab4 and Arshavin. Fabregas has had to have had the best form and season of his life for us to be title contenders and that is putting an unfair strain on the young man. I do not hold any delusions that we are like Barcelona. I am pretty sure I have seen Pique in the final 3rd acting as a striker or on the wings…linking up play very well in that Milan clash. All their players have ideas in the final 3rd and their final ball matches their ideas. So we can moan all we want about players being out injured but the reason why we train is to prepare and have a game plan to take down the opposition which leads me to my 3rd mix.

Scratch Record Mix Volume 2.5: We don’t need the talent of Barca to Win

I look at Utd’s team and I don’t see class. What they lack in talent they more than make up for with hard work. I look at the bottom of the table and I see a hard working pompey and it just beggars belief that our title chasing brigade cannot muster the same tenacity as relegated Portsmouth. Pompey are at the very bottom with a cup final to play for and have only lost once in their last 5 games. Players like Diaby with all the talent in the world are so frustrating because I doubt his ability to sustain the level that is required to challenge for the title for 90minutes not to talk of 38 games. Diaby is the player that epitomizes this Arsenal squad for me in more ways that one. Bundles of talent, injury prone, lazy to frustration and….

Scratch Record Mix Volume 3: Anti-ShootBall

Since when did it take millions to shoot a ball. Since when did the lack of signings affect our shooting. Does it take reducing the debt to fire from outside the 18? Since when does our financial difficulty with the new Stadium and the recession stop us from having a go at our opposition? You cant score if you don’t shoot. In 90 minutes we only managed 4 shots on target.

It’s a shame what happened to Given but what would’ve happened if Diaby didn’t take a shot. Not that it mattered in the end because we refused to shoot again but what is it with our incredible insistance to score tap-ins. I’m at a loss on this one.

We have the same problems that we’ve been having for a number of years and the same problems are very real in existence yet again today. These problems are basic footballing issues that have nothing to do with the finances and I doubt they will be resolved under Wenger. I would love to see my team take more risks, take more shots on goal, show more desire to win, put better crosses in the box and take their chances on set-pieces which I didn’t bother to discuss now because I’m tired of sounding like a scratch record.

182 Responses to Drawing Conclusions – ‘Turn Table-ism: The Arsenal Scratch Record’

  1. Morning all

    If anyone wants to email me some player ratings I’ll tag them onto the end of the post.

    London – consider this, if that game hadn’t been played in glorious warm April sunshine but in the freezing cold of January might you have had a different view of its boredom factor?

  2. London says:

    But Peaches dearest, it was played in glorious sunshine, I did walk through sunny Islington, I did meet up with friends, I did drink cold beer, I did get the great thrill, the very same one that I get every time I see the boys in Red and White take to the field and I did enjoy the return of Van Persie……….It’s the difference between being there and not being there and just whining about it.

  3. GhostFace is in the States so won’t be around for a few hours but I would like to say how much I agree with him about the finances not having anything to do with the footballing ethos of our team currently.

    The men who play for Arsenal are all footballers, supposedly. Coming from a girls perspective when you play football isn’t the idea to score goals and win the game. Taken in its very basic form – and I do understand about tactics and defending – if a player has sight of goal is not worth having a shot?????

  4. chaf says:

    I think what Arsenal are trying to do is not give the ball away until the opposition need to kick off again.

    My son went and said the game was more atmosphere than football. Which probably includes cold beer.

    Good morning..

  5. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Congratulations on a well reasoned post GF – I know these are the points you were trying to get across in your last article which somehow turned into a financial debate.

    I cannot disagree with the thesis which states “some of our shortcomings have more to do with our coaching than with our limited transfer budget”

  6. London says:

    I am completely confused as it seems to me that Ghost Face is saying that the debt or the need to reduce it is the reason why the players are not shooting from outside the box………Van Persie was shooting on sight…..something he fails to mention.

  7. Because London sweetie, I felt just like you, it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, drinking in the sunshine, talking about Arsenal and watching what could have been a more exciting game of football.

    It was a pleasant experience largely because we didn’t get beat and it wasn’t -2 degrees. I know that I would have felt very disappointed with a point yesterday if I’d watched the game in the freezing cold and frustrated if I’d watched it on TV.

    We were the lucky ones because we had a lovely day and in the end the result didn’t matter but if it had mattered I would have felt very differently.

  8. Rasputin says:

    My biggest disappointment yesterday was Theo 😦

  9. London – I think what he’s saying is that the financial restraints shouldn’t have had a bearing on the way our football has developed. They will have had a bearing on the money we have for new players but not on our style of football which currently is pass pass pass pass pass pass …… lose possession 😦

  10. Alfa says:

    I enjoyed the game more than GF – the atmosphere was pretty good and Lazyboyor is a great pantomime villain to boo. Fantastic when PV came off to a standing ovation that switched instantly to the loudest booing I’ve ever heard the second Ade stepped on the pitch. The fact he had his hair in bunches, and was useless, helped a bit as well.

    We were pretty good in the first 25 mins I thought, looked like scoring until we started to lose a bit of edge and City got their defensive tactics up to speed.

    And give our midfield and centre-backs a bit of credit as well. Tevez and Bellamy were pretty well invisible – they tried but we had them totally under control. These are top players that any team in Europe would be pleased to cope with. Barry was totally snuffed out of the game. So while we rightly criticise them for the Wigan capitulation, we should praise them for a strong performance yesterday.

  11. …….although I agree that van Persie was really lively and what a difference he makes but he should, he’s a centre-forward. AW has loved the fact that we have had so many goal scorers this season, watching yesterdays game it was hard to imagine why……..

  12. Fabregas is why …………..

  13. JAMES GUNNER says:

    For years Arsene has been complaining about anti soccer.What happens? The gunners have 90% possession and 99 repeat ninety nine shots at goals. But the other team’s goalie is wonderman and stops everything flung at him.The gunners are unable to score. Then out of the blue the opposition hoists a long ball by passing the midfield and score. The gunners throw everything and are sucked in until a second goal consigns Arsenal to defeeat.
    This is a familiar script for the last ten years.In the 50 th game of the 2004-05 season Mu played this way.
    Arsene can play soccer his way. He cannot expect other teams to play ball with him. Their emphasis is on winning not soccer. To blazes with pretty soccer.
    Until the gunners change tack ie play anti soccer to win, the gunners are going to suffer more pain with their attacking soccer.
    Yeah I know attacking /offensive soccer is beautiful soccer to watch but if you can’t win,it’s better to play anti soccer and get three points.

  14. Alfa says:

    Our other results against the rest of the top 5 are lost 6 and won 1 – why is anyone negative about drawing yesterday on the back of 2 defeats? Against a team that set out to defend and has half a dozen players that either used to play for us or we wanted to buy?

  15. Good points raised there JAMES GUNNER luckily Citeh couldn’t be bothered to even hoist the long ball yesterday.

    I thought Slichy had a great game yesterday and he’s definitely back to being Mr Reliable 😉

  16. Alfa says:

    James, I understand your frustration but I don’t want to watch anti-soccer. Also, name me one club who has been more successful than Arsenal in the Wenger years that plays anti-soccer? Much as I loathe Man U, their list of exciting players, their speed of movement and the goals they have scored stands pretty good comparison with ours.

  17. Sam says:

    I hope people who have been criticising Arshavin no end know now what we miss in his absence. The creative side of the team was non-existent in Arshavin & Fab’s absence.

    Also, I was exasperated on our refusal to shoot and test the new GK! We just kept on passin and passing and losing the ball! Really had bad game!

  18. Hi Alfa – with all the pantomime stuff going on yesterday and having several old boys in the opposition’s team it felt more like an ‘allstars’ benefit game than a competetive one.

    Actually it could have been Vieira’s testimonial 😆

  19. London says:

    This comment from Ghost Face last night explains it.

    He is some how comparing the finacial policy of the club with a lack of shooting.

    GhostFace Says:
    April 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm edit

    So how much money do you think we ought to make before we teach these fuckers how to shoot a damn ball?

    How much dept do we have to pay back before anyone can cross a ball to an Arsenal player?

    Jeez id really like to know how this Emirates Stadium has so adversely affected our style of football not a single red shirt in the box for half the game.

    rant over.

  20. Alfa says:

    Hi peaches. It was a bit like a testimonial.

  21. He’s not London – he’s commenting IMO how ridiculous it is to explain away our lack of shooting because we’ve had financial restraints.

    Surely playing the type of football we have has nothing to do with the money.

  22. chaf says:

    The Invincibles weren’t anti ‘soccer’, and they were quite good. Its just the players we have now aren’t so good.

  23. He’s not comparing our lack of shooting with the financial problems of the club.

    Basically we should shoot because we want to score goals and win games. Hes frustrated that we’re not doing that. Aren’t you?

  24. London says:


    It would have been nice of Ghost Face to recognise, as you did, Van Persie’s in put, but he chose to focus on everything negative and insult people who went to the game and had the strength to find reason to say that we enjoyed it.

  25. It takes two to tango.

    Why are we complaining about Arsenal causing the boredom?

    If a team, managed by an Italian, comes with 2 DM’s… does that tell you they are coming to the emms to do a barca on us?

    Even mourinho showed more adventure with his tactics, actually he is a little misunderstood as a manager, he nullifies the oppoisitions strengths, say pacey wingers, and the counters with his sides own strengths.

    City were terrible, and i now actually hope the spud do get the 4th spot.

    Top level rivalry is good, having spuds in the CL with us couls give us one hell of a 2 legged quarter final next year.

    At least they try and play.

    City were out of order yesterday… why spend 200M and then park the bus like a 2nd division side made up of loanees and bargain basement players?

    Surely they should have gone for us in order to get move above the spuds into 4th?

  26. London says:


    “How much dept do we have to pay back before anyone can cross a ball to an Arsenal player?”

    Criticism of the financial policy and some how equating it to the crossing. It’s quite clear to me.

  27. Morning SH – agree totally that the game was boring more because of Citeh’s tactics but we could have injected a couple of sparks by being a bit more adventurous in the final third.

    Even a couple of penanlties shouts would have worked although Mike Dean would never have given them 😦

  28. London says:

    It wasn’t boring

    People who want to see more shots and more goals should stay in the USA and watch basketball.

  29. chaf says:

    In fact, and continuing my one man conversation, the whole Prem league has gone downhill, none of the top teams are as good as they were 6/7 years ago.

    I agree with SH as well, if Man City get Champions League they will try and buy it. The Spuds will get so excited they will implode.

    And what a strange lot the Spuds are looking like now, Harry’s hair dye is getting redder and Crouch looks like he’s being operated by someone in a helicopter..

  30. No no no no no …………..

    He’s ridiculing the debt as being the answer …….

    Are we going to cross the ball better now that we have no debt?

    If so why have we had to wait until now?

    Get my drift?

  31. Now that we are in a better position financially Sagna is going to whip a cross in and the others are going to remember to make their way into the box ………

  32. Hi London – yes our players were at times looking a little devoid of inspiration, but i having played football to a reasonable level.. i can understand how difficult it is to get scoring chances when the other team just want a draw.

    I agree we need to shake things up over the summer, and as previously stated, i think we will spend good money over the coming months.

    I am not to keen on Nasri and Rosicky playing in the same side, they are just too similar for my liking, and i would prefer to see one of them in the middle and a proper out and out pace merchant on the flanks to stretch defences and open the space for the on rushing midfielders.

    It’s too easy for the opposition to squeeze our interplay without a proper outlet to pace, theo aside, this is why a hazars type of player would really help us open up these boring bastard teams that come to defend at the emms.

    But Citeh are an utter disgrace, shameful, spend all that money and come to play like that?

    I’m sure Swansea City in the cup against us would show more adventure.

    They don’t deserve CL football.

  33. chaf says:

    The debt is why we have medium players trying to play extra large football

  34. morning peaches and co, btw 😉

  35. London says:

    Well I accept it is not crystal clear perhaps he will explain later when he comes on.

    Any way, it is a very good read and I love the San Marino nuclear threat comparison.

  36. Now that we are in a better position financially we are going to be more attacking and players like Rosicky, Nasri and Diaby are going to remember to put their shooting boots on every game……………..

  37. peaches – it may appear easy to just shoot at times, but in real time, maybe a shot is just not on?

    maybe the oppo are closing down so fast that attempting a shot may give up possession easily?

  38. Rasputin says:


    For someone who had a relaxing and enjoyable day in the sun yesterday, you seem to be a bit uptight 😉

    GF want’s to get his point across that tactics and training are not affected by budget and he thinks that we are left wanting in those departments and he is using examples from yesterday’s game to illustrate that view.

    You want to get your point across that we had a good day’s entertainment etc etc. I don’t think GF is trying to be insulting to those of us who went yesterday.

    Two separate issues IMO.

    I agree that it was an entertaining day out, but it would have been a great deal more satisfying if one of our players had released a screamer into the top corner and we’d won.

  39. Hi chaf – but even medium footballers must want to shoot. There were times yesterday when an old fashioned punt at a shot might have caused a problem and had me ooooooooooooooooooohing in my seat 🙂

  40. ‘maybe the oppo are closing down so fast that attempting a shot may give up possession easily?’

    You are joking aren’t you SH – we wait until nearly all our players are in the final third and then we lose possession 😆 😆 😆

  41. Peaches can you tell me… have we scored 78 premiership goals from just shooting on site and baying to sections of the dumbed down crowd who scream “shoooooot” like they think john jensen is back in the house?

    or have we scored them through our patient build up play?

    i agree we need another way to play when crap park the bus mobs turn up at the emms, but i dont buy the useless shoot on site like a pikey team with no skill gig.

  42. London says:

    Morning Rasp

    You are probably right……as you know there are certain things I take umbridge to and one of them is being insulted for simply saying that I enjoyed watching Arsenal.


    Perhaps I have picked up the wrong end of the stick, could you explain why you felt the need to address me in your first comment of the day?

  43. Sorry London – it was because you’d put a comment up on the last post and I assumed you were still around to carry on the discussion.

    I think that GF has posed a lot of questions about training and tactics that I had had discussions with other Gooners about all season. Obviously we don’t all look at it the same way but I think its intersting and worth talking about.

  44. London says:


    I am not a cricket man but I believe you are. What was that time when Atherton had to bat for a day and a half to get a draw, I seem to remember this was a very famous innings, correct me if I am wrong, I am obviously out of my comfort zone. Does this ring a bell?

  45. Rasputin says:

    😛 London,

    What did you think of Theo’s and Sagna’s performances yesterday?

  46. Rasputin says:

    Yes London,

    Geoff Boycott was one of the worst ‘grinders’ – not a team player, only interested in his own stats.

  47. SH – I agree that we have been prolific this season and it has been from our excellent build-up play which is so enjoyable to watch.

    Obviously the lack of Plan B is the frustrating part for me but its been like that for years. I remember moaning about no Plan B before the Emms so its not a financial issue is it?

  48. Alfa says:

    I think Diaby had a chance to shoot in the first half from just outside the area, surprised he didn’t take it on as he has scored from there before. Apart from that I thought we always looked favourites to win.

    I don’t know, people come on here and moan that we give up defensively, then we put up a strong defensive performance against the quality of team that has consistently thrashed us this season, while spendng the whole game attacking and everyone moans that we didn’t shoot enough. TH14 only averaged a goal every other game, perhaps he didn’t shoot enough either. Don’t even get me started on Dennis.

    To pluto with the lot of you, I’m off to weed the garden.

  49. peaches – if we have 30M to spend on players that give us that plan b… surely that does make it a financial issue?

    we have done the best with the resources (players, youth, money, etc) at our disposal over the last 5 years.


  50. SH – If we buy players that give us a Plan B I’ll be buying you a drink 😉

  51. london is a VERY rare breed.

    i passed up the chance to have a seat at the emms yesterday in order i took up a seat at griffin park and watched brentford take on yeovil.

    i had a season ticket at the emms for the first 2 years ( south upper )

    and don’t miss it, gooners depress me, we have changed our attitude.

    it was so different at highbury, we were a lot more humble type of fan.

    i say london is a rare breed, as most gooners who pay for a season ticket have a very different view to my own, simply owing to the price they pay, they expect ( maybe correctly ) miracles on the football pitch.

    we could pay 5 grand a piece for a season ticket, but it does not, and should not guarantee any return, aside from watching your team play for better or worse.

  52. Rasputin says:

    Killer instinct in the final third – that’s what we need a bit more of!

    I’m hoping Chamakh is the player to add that to our game.

  53. if my post did not clarify it, london is a rare breed in a positive sense.

    just support the club, have a little moan here and there, but overall, dont expect miracles.

  54. London says:


    Theo got poor service, with Bridge injured the ball should have been played ahead of Walcott to run onto, but sadly this didn’t happen as much as it should have.


    Belemie is no easy cookie to mark and when you consider City’s game plan was to hit us on the break as they did so successfully at Stamford Bridge and this was nullified by Sagna then I would have to say that he did his job.

  55. London says:


    “just support the club, have a little moan here and there, but overall, dont expect miracles”.

    Yep, you got it about right there.

  56. Rasputin says:

    Blimey SH,

    I hope London hasn’t been neutered – as such a rare breed, we may have to put him out to stud 😆

  57. Oh but I like it when there are miracles – I love it when the fairy dust box is open and everything clicks into place. Do I sound like a here and now Gooner – I’m not I promise but I do get frustrated when we don’t try.

    I’ve spent the last 5 years telling my mancsupportingson that being a Gooner is the most important part to me, that winning things isn’t as important as staying true to your footballing ethos, that we are by far the greatest team. I love Arsenal.

  58. And being a girl I get to stamp my feet sometimes 🙄

  59. I hear you peaches, but sometimes we gooners foucs so much on where we think we go wrong… we forget to give the opposition consideration.

    They had 200M quids worth of talent out there, with one aim, to stop us scoring.

    Was no easy task for us.

    Just the kind of game where we easily could have been spanked on the counter attack, they had the players to do it.

    So, as mentioned earlier, instead of focusing on the great performance of sol and silvestre, and a commendable job by fabianski… we gooners focus on the negative.

    We really are the most negative fans, nobody can argue that point.

    Does it rub off on the team?

  60. London says:

    Yeah, it’s your worst nightmare, lots of little Londons on here 😉

  61. London says:

    I think we have just hit the lull before the storm……..Ghost Face should be waking soon.

  62. Rasputin says:

    I’m still astonished at how negative City’s tactics were yesterday. Tevez was lost in midfield.

    I thought Silvestre did well to win so many defensive headers particularly against Ade. Was Sol MoM?

  63. dandan says:

    Good Morning all, Interesting read ghost, though a bit to much like city’s football for me
    City took me back a few years, vintage one nil to the arsenal stuff, park the bus and hit them on the break.
    Yes we do try to make that killing pass through a forest of legs sometimes instead of having a punt. But given how we were punished a week ago for giving the ball away and defending to deep, it was not surprising.
    Hopefully our new centre forward will make aerial crosses a sensible option and give peaches her plan B

  64. Rasputin says:

    I don’t know how much this story is to be trusted … another Eastern European billionnaire shareholder?


  65. Rasputin says:

    Morning dandan 🙂

  66. the orignal story is from today’s mai, rasp, sounds reasonable enough to me.

  67. Rasputin says:

    Thanks SH,

    Why do you think anyone would want to invest so much money without gaining a controlling interest and without the benefit of dividends?

  68. longer-term aims i would imagine, owning that much of one of the biggest clubs in world football would certainly do a thing or two for raising ones public profile.

    how many of us had heard of kroenke or usmanov since buying into us?

    usmanov has almost quadruple his wealth since buying into us… not suggesting its all down to buying shares in arsenal, but i am sure his profile has been enhanced since, and that must surely help seal business deals.

  69. dandan says:

    All these things are relative Rasp. Why does Joe average put so much money into premium bonds.They don’t pay dividends but you can win a bonus.
    A billionaire investing in Arsenal shares takes the same chance, he ain’t gonna lose, but he might well make, if our share performance in recent years is anything to go by.

  70. Wenger is quoted in the Voetbal International magazine today saying:

    “Due to the construction of the Emirates Stadium, for many years we could not spend a lot of money.”

    The Arsenal boss continued: “Our financial situation has greatly improved. We are finally able to buy the players we think we need.”

  71. dandan says:

    Hi hawke Yes things seem to be falling into place, No sign of any Stevie G publicity this morning though

  72. no, think it may be only a matter of time, must have got his super injunction placed at the first hurdle, as did JT, but if the story of this young girl being pregnant is correct, matter of time before she sells her story.

  73. Hi Chaps

    We’re going to need some posts this week – if anyone has any ideas can they email them to me please.

  74. I reckon you should get stuck in peaches and expand upon one of your earlier posts today, and see what overall reaction you gain.

  75. dandan says:

    will have a think peaches

  76. London says:

    Hi SFH

    That Wenger quote is very encouraging but don’t you reckon that something so important as that might have been announced in the country where such news holds the greatest significance……namely here.
    I think the point I am trying to make is that I don’t trust these stories from abroad as much as those from the fully lol believable UK.

  77. london – he did make a similar quote last week to ATVO, i wrote about it on my blog.

    Voetbal is a very well respected dutch magazine, akin to france footbal.

  78. GhostFace says:

    A very fine morning to you all!

    How goes it with you in the World of The Arsenal? 😀

  79. GhostFace says:

    Well Afternoon now i suppose.

  80. GhostFace says:

    London Says:
    April 25, 2010 at 11:07 am
    It wasn’t boring

    People who want to see more shots and more goals should stay in the USA and watch basketball.


    Wow. There really is no room for debate after a comment like that now is there.

  81. afternoon, GF

    it would pay to go back and read a lot of the earlier comments, there are a number of questions that have been raised.

  82. GhostFace says:

    Besides..technically if you make a shot in basketball i doubt its called a goal.

    Are you that old London?

  83. Rocky Lives says:

    Hello All,
    The Wenger quote is interesting (assuming it’s a new one): there is now a consistent line coming out of the club that the stadium debts restricted our spending in recent years but things have now changed. As I’ve said many times recently, I really do expect us to splash the cash this summer.
    Obviously, during the frugal years, it would have made no sense to reveal that our lack of spending was because we were skint. It would have deterred the few targets we did have (Arshavin, Nasri) from coming in. So instead we kept banging on about our amazing youth project etc etc. The implication of what Wenger is now saying is huge – he’s saying that Project Youth has never been his big plan – it’s just been a cover story and, all along, he would rather have been buying big to build another great team.
    However, I do agree with GF’s post in that our lack of dosh is not an excuse for inadequate training and technique and I think there are questions to be answered in that direction.

  84. RL – all very consistent with exactly what the accounts told us last year… namely, once we had that annoying property debt of 133M paid off in full… we would fly.

    and you are 100% correct, the difference between now and the last few years… EVERYBODY at the club is saying we have dosh.

    that has NOT been the case of years gone by.

  85. GhostFace says:



    Yes I am reading the comments and its been an interesting one. Where do i even start?

  86. Rocky Lives says:

    I don’t think there were as many chances to shoot yesterday as there appeared to be. Sometimes it’s the angle you’re seeing the play at that makes a shooting chance look possible when it isn’t really.
    City defended deep and in numbers and it was difficult to open them up. There were maybe two occasions in the match when we could/should have shot. Unless you take the view that shooting even with a man in the way might make something happen (it usually doesn’t).

  87. take a deep breath… and start one by one, nobody is gunning you down, we all have our views, i do not agree with yours, but that does not mean we should let it descend into chaos like previously.

    if you truly believe what you state, stick to your guns and fully back up your views and fears.

  88. Rocky Lives says:

    SfH – I don’t think we’ve seen these sort of smoke signals coming out of the club for years, have we?
    Gives me hope.

  89. quite right RL, i have never heard such bullish, across the board, positivity with regards to plentiful supplies of loot.

  90. GhostFace says:


    I have never gone backwords in my view. Im posting precisely the same post that i did the first time i posted on here…

    Using the game at Mancity as an example.

  91. sure GF, just answer the questions posed with your true inner feelings

    this place would be darn boring if all we ever did was slap each other on the back

    debate is good.

  92. GhostFace says:

    In my opinion.

    Everyone has to give those smoke signals because the fans are obviously not happy.

  93. rubbish, why did those signals not come out from wenger last year?

    when we finished an appalling 18 points off the top?

  94. and when the accounts showed 133M to be paid this year and only 92M in the bank.

  95. GhostFace says:


    I have stated my views as clearly as I can in both posts.

    I’ll just have to wait for the others but we can both discuss any disagreements you have.

  96. GhostFace says:

    Well SFH

    Whats the difference between what Wenger said last year and this year? Or the year before last year?

  97. GF, are you taking the piss?

    wenger DID not say we have plenty of dosh to spend last year.

    and the year before.

    you need to go back and check.

  98. he always said, he has money to spend, but within a budget.

    that budget was obvoiously paltry, as exmapled by the clubs accounts, and the fact he made a transfer profit all those years.

  99. first article states he has money to spend, nowhere does it state plenty of money…. and remember GF this debate is not about having money or not… but having a plentitude of it… because they are the signals this summer.

    2nd article same.

  100. and you can go back all the way to 1886 if the need be.

  101. GhostFace says:

    Well i think your hanging on to the wordings there too much.

    We have a budget. True. But the reverse is also true…it says that we also have money to spend.

    And the last article saying we dont need to SELL to spend.

    In other words that is a far cry from a “paltry budget”

  102. GF – i will ask again..


    of course i am hanging onto wordings, they are direct quotes from the people who matter 😆

    reckon you are on a wind up today

  103. London says:

    Ghost Face

    It is very clear that SFH hopes that things will get better where as you seem to be looking for any excuse to beleive that they won’t.

  104. crikey another goalie carried off with oxygen…

  105. Rocky Lives says:

    GF – you’re right that AW has talked in previous years about being able to spend – but always with caveats (if the right players are available, if the price is right, if it doesn’t ‘kill’ young players coming through, we’re not going to pay over the odds etc).
    This year it’s the tone and consistency of what they’re saying that feels different (to me at least).
    If I’m wrong, I’ll happily admit the fact come the start of next season. But I don’t think I’m gonna have to.

  106. Rasputin says:

    Well said Rocky – that’s my belief too. But I do think GF has a point about the way the training affects our players, Ade wasn’t offside once against us yesterday and he was on the pitch for 30 minutes!

  107. rasp, is that not more to do with attitude?

    surely you do not need to teach a player to come back on side after a move breaks down

    he was just lazy for us, and never made the effort to get back on side

    he was motivated yesterday.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    GF. Enjoyed the post, though what is Scratching? Is it a way to play a musical instrument.? A violin perhaps?

    If the 45 minutes I have just watched is anything to go by, then Chelsea are fully deserving of the PL. Superb football and in Drogba they have the most complete CF in football.

    We cannot play that so aggressively, but similarly Stoke wouldn’t play that way against us. Teams know we pass and pass and pass and pass, whereas the Chavs can be direct as well.

  109. BR – blinding win for the Viking Warrior last night, totally awe inspiring fight.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Very good point Ras.

    Perhaps we don’t play offside defensively

  111. Big Raddy says:

    The VW sure has bottle.

    Needless to say, the papers are going overboard

  112. and needless to say the boring gutter press over here is calling foul over the danes fixing the refs 😆

    was not close in my book, MK won 8 of the 12 rounds imo.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Sad to see Burnley go down. Their fans are great and they play proper football. Should have been Stoke or B’Burn.

  114. Big Raddy says:

    English journo’s eh!!

  115. GhostFace says:

    Listen fella’s

    Once again the finance debate is completely irrelevant.

    Whether we have money or not to spend it doesnt have anything to do with the attitude and desire of the team, the way we train and the number of shots we take on goal.

    We capitulated much in the same way we did 2 years ago at Birmingham.

    There is a difference between facts and excuses.

    There are problems in the squad that have been in existence for years that im discussing

    Instead some genius tell me off that i should go watch basketball.


    This is what scratching looks like…you could say its a bit metaphoric for going round in circles without addressing the same problems.

  116. Gf – the finance debate is not irrelevant, more money buys you better players.

    better players win you titles.

    win titles, and nobody talks about attitude or training.


  117. got to say, that was a class goal from fat frank

  118. and why dont teams like stoke roll over when they play us?

  119. GhostFace says:

    Would you say Vermaelen is a better player than Torre?

  120. than toure? without a doubt

  121. GhostFace says:

    If your answer is yes. Which it should be.

    Then why have we conceded a record number of goals this season before the Gallas injury. Gallas only got injured in February.

  122. GhostFace says:

    Its not a personnel problem. Its a training/tactics/management and attitude problem.

    Thats the point.

  123. cna you give us a link to your source for this…

    and record number of goals since? time began? since the premierhsip? since 1990? since….?

  124. GhostFace says:

    Forgive me.

    I meant as compared to last season.

    By February last year we conceded 24 goals.

    February this year we conceded 32 goals.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Absolutely GF.

    It must be a coaching problem.

    With 4 fine defenders and Song we should not be conceding the number of goals we do, it has to be coaching.

  126. GF – where are you getting those figures from?

    are you saying since feb we have only conceded 7 goals?

  127. GhostFace says:

    Cheers BR,

    We only just got Vermy this season. So we can compare in the other seasons past but I can bet anything we hadnt conceded 32 goals by february.

    So even though we have got a better defender in Thomas Vermaelen the problem intensified.

    And we were clamoring last summer that we needed to sort out our defense. The powers that be came together and decided that selling Tore was the solution.

    This isnt moaning or giving excuses as some are so blinding suggesting…this is a genuine concern that needs to be addressed and hasnt for years.

  128. back it up GF… lets see those links mate… otherwise i can sit here and think up stats aswell

  129. you see GF

    this http://cdn.epltalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Table.jpg

    tells me that on the last week of feb.. so almost march.. we had conceded 30

    your figures need checking!!

  130. GhostFace says:

    The point is we’ve gone backwards defensively thats a fact.

  131. but we have gone forward offensively and overall… we have a better goal difference.

    that’s progress, as is more points on the board.

    but i cannot disagree that at times we are very naive in certain defensive postions.. none more so true that against wigan.

  132. dandan says:

    As I keep saying, bloody stats are a pain in the arse, There are far to many variables injury, luck, referees, conditions. Look at the table at the end of the year that will tell you how you fared in comparison to the other teams. It will not tell you how you played only your eyes will do that and even that is subjective

  133. dandan says:

    Stoke have just shipped 7, did they do that last year no of course not, but did Chelsea play like that last year in benign conditions that suited them, who knows,

  134. GhostFace says:

    No arguments there we’ve had plenty of one-sided games this season with even the likes of Song and Silvestre finding the back of the net but do I dare suggest that we need to be a better defensive unit to win the Championship?

    The last time we won the league we only allowed 26 goals.

    The defensive side is just one small part of the argument im trying to make.

    We didnt get better defensively because we had money to spend on a better player.

    There is no question Vermy is a better player but we still have mental lapses in games and we still make the same defensive errors that have haunted us in the past when we held a high line and teams sucker punch us with a long ball.

    I think back to the 1-1 draw at the Emirates with liverpool last season

  135. GhostFace says:


    Do your eyes tell you we are a better defensive unit than we are this year than last year?

    Thats an interesting observation.

    Just to quickly point out what you were saying about looking at stuff at the end of the year.

    Last year we conceded a total of 37 goals

    This year we’ve already conceded 39 with 2 games left.

  136. how many more do you honestly see us conceding this season?

    1 at the most for me considering the oppostion and the form of sol 🙂

    so 40 compared to 37.. not that much of a difference.

  137. dandan says:

    And that in your eyes makes us a worse side maybe we had a couple of decisions go our way re offside or penalties
    Are you saying stoke are a worse side today than they were last year because they shipped 7

  138. GhostFace says:


    Not much of a difference Agreed. But its hardly improvement is it?


    Im not sure i know anything about Stoke City football CLub

  139. dandan says:

    Why not, you see that kind of simplistic reliance on stats, has caused me to question the ability of my managers,more than any other single fault.

    Whether you know Stoke or not your argument says if they let in more goals than last year they are a worse side. Concede 25 more in a season and you might have a point, But 4 or 5 is nonsense

  140. kelsey says:

    good reasoning dandan.

    stats to me can be read one of several ways.Denilson is the most quoted player with regards to stats.A completed pass be it 2 yards or more quickly adds up the stats.

    The opta stats for long passes puts Almunia at 29% success rate out of 642 long passes.

  141. dandan says:

    Evening Kelsey, had a good day

  142. kelsey says:

    It’s got quite hot here eventually and played two sessions total of 5 and a half hours. A bit exhausted now.Early to bed and off we go again tomorrow.

  143. Rasputin says:


    My son has just enlightened me as to the relevance of your blog name and the title of this post …. the Wu-Tang Clan?

  144. BR – i hope you did follow the Mark Williams tip for the snooker, he is almost at our exit point of 8/1 for a free 8/1 bet.

    He leads Ronnie o sullivan 7-5 at the moment, and is playing brilliantly.

  145. dandan says:

    Dont do the old hip hop myself Rasp but am told by my family they are the bees knees.

  146. Rasputin says:

    Haha, me too dandan – I always thought rap music had a silent ‘c’, but I actually really like Empire State of Mind … I bet that’s really uncool 🙄

  147. You could be right there rasp 😆

    This is where its at now

  148. charybdis1966 says:

    Evening all, interesting apporach to the post today GF, all good stuff.
    I have to say I agree with the appalling standard of officiating Mike Dean upheld, I pretty much saud that in my match report. http://www.7amkickoff.com/2010/man-at-the-match-chary-arsenal-v-man-citeh/
    Nice to see Peachy and Raspers yesterday – lovely sunny day, plenty of Peroni(well for on of you at least!)and I’ll proudly be sporting my Verminator t-shirt ot the gym next time I go.

  149. rap music dulls the brain, what the hell is the point of writing poems about killing other people, shooting them, stabbing them, calling women hoes etc etc etc

    horrible genre of music.

    give me happy, pumped up power pop from the 80s anyday of the week 🙂

  150. mourinho on for the treble now

    into the final of the coppa italia, against roma

    roma messed up the chance to go top tonight by losing 2-1 at home to sampdoria

    and unless barca pull a jobbie later this coming week, his inter side will also be in the cl final

    i have been reading every book i can get my hands on about him in recent weeks, bloody interesting chap.

    he is a master of human pyschology.

  151. More interesting than our Arsène SH?

  152. again, i must have read every book on wenger, and he too is a supreme master of playing with the human mind in order to get the best results.

    JM is more interesting in that he is a very devious, divisive man, his morals are low, in the gutter, he will go to whatever length to win, for himself over the team.

    His motivation is missing out on being a top pro himself.. look at the way he has celebrates goals in the past.. the most famous being the slide to his knees when drogba scored that late goal to make it 2-2 at the camp nou a few years back.

    wenger is a simple man, he means what he says, he is a decent human being.

    so in answer to your question, JM is more interesting, as he has many layers to his persona.

    as a man to trust and to want to run your club, wenger all day long.

    JM wins trophies, but leaves chaos in his wake.

  153. Good analysis SH. I’ve read a lot of books about AW but none about JM so I’ll take your word on that. I’ve always felt that JM is doing it for himself not necessarily for the team.

  154. the best one on JM is by patrick barclay, well worth a read.

  155. I like Patrick Barclay – seems like a sensible chap. I’ll have a look …. thanks SH

  156. he is certainly one of the best sports writers around.

    very fair in his reflections.

  157. i liked the xavier rivoire scribed book on wenger the best.

  158. GhostFace says:

    dandan Says:
    April 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Whether you know Stoke or not your argument says if they let in more goals than last year they are a worse side. Concede 25 more in a season and you might have a point, But 4 or 5 is nonsense


    Completely missed the point.

    Once again I’ll repeat what i said.

    We went into the end of last season thinking we needed to improve our defense and we signed a better player with the money we made.

    Say what you want about the stats our defense has not improved.

  159. GhostFace says:


    You guys stop embarrasing me!

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. As you know I am not a man for what is now called R&B music (where is the B?) but that Usher track is great, thanks for reviving my interest.

    Whereas the Scribbling thing leaves me cold. Where is the emotional content? Sure he has a sense of rhythm, so why not give the lad a tambourine? 🙂

  161. dandan says:

    I found this very interesting bearing in mind what has been said on here in the past couple of days.


  162. London says:

    Ghost Face

    If you don’t think that Vermaelen has improved the defence you are as blind as you are deaf.

  163. Alfa says:

    DD, good point. We all hate it if NOTW or Sky talk rubbish about our club, let alone so-called fans of other clubs telling lies about AW, we shouldn’t do the same about other people’s private lives especially if there are no facts to back it up.

    Interesting debate reading back through the comments. The stats are kind of interesting, but the most important one surely is that we are the 3rd best club in England this year and in the top 8 in Europe (probably about 5th or 6th).

    By the way I find the monthly Castrol rankings seem better to reflect the overall performance of players than the Opta stuff. Arshavin, Cesc and Diaby are ranked 3,4 and 5 midfielders in the EPL, behind Lampard and Malouda. Denilson 23. Song 24 (OK so it isn’t perfect, but it does favour attacking midfielders).


  164. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    London, I think GF’s point was, that in terms of goals conceded, the defensive record isn’t any better this season than last despite the signing of TV which was undisputedly an improvement to the presonnel.

  165. Alfa says:

    Morning London. I think without TV we would not be 3rd. We let in more goals because of Sagna’s dip in form and Clichy’s injury in my view, as well as some poor midfield performances mid-season.

    You said it more succinctly though 🙂

  166. Alfa says:

    Rasp, but we have more points and are higher in the league.

    More to the point, if you watch the team, we are defending much better most of the time. Wouldn’t you agree?

  167. Alfa says:

    Also we are playing a more attacking game, scoring more goals, which might well leave us more open at the back sometimes.

  168. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  169. Rasputin says:

    Morning Alfa,

    I don’t have the stats but we have been guilty of some really poor schoolboy defending this season. The return to the ‘old clichy’ has been a bonus but Sagna has disappointed. I can’t see any further than the lack of trust and communication created by the GK as the main problem. This is the weakest top 4 in terms of performances and games lost that I can remember since the early days of the Premiership.

  170. Voetbalshirts kopen says:

    I trust it will get better in time for sure.

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