One day chicken, next day feathers – written by London and peaches

London’s analysis

It seems as though the players’ midweek celebrations went on a bit longer than we might have thought. The only thing that surprises me is that one or two didn’t take to the field carrying half empty Champagne bottles and wearing sun glasses to shield their eyes from the painful effects of the sun after a late night.

The hang over was written all over their faces; men dressed in red and white lumbered around the pitch with tired limbs, totally lacking in any sort of urgency.

The fog from their lazy minds only started to clear well into the second half after which, I can only presume, someone had the bright idea to hand out sobering black coffee and paracetamol which, although was a step in the right direction, did take time to take affect and by the time it did we were three nil down.

That must have been some party because only a shadow of the team that ripped spuds apart in the week turned up yesterday.

We were pants, arrogant pants as one “Baggie” came on the blog yesterday and rightly told us.

Peachesgooner’s conclusions

I agree London but who’s to blame?

Almunia will no doubt bear the brunt of most people’s anger but as London says, there was definitely a hang over from the players ……… oh and how about the arrogance of our fine manager for  not playing the best team available from the start.  This is not the first time that we’ve had our playmakers sat on the bench being saved for a future fixture while the those on the pitch are unable to be effectively creative. Today Jack Wilshire – undoubtedly the star of Tuesday night’s heroics against spuds – and Tomas Rosicky must have watched in agony as the first half drudged on.

Neither Song, Diaby or Eboue were finding their man. They were all passing to the ‘invisible one’. We had no control of the mid-field and there was absolutely no sign of the play that tormented the scummers the other night. How embarrassing is that? To have had even 50% of the control would have meant we were stringing some passes together instead of giving the baggies every chance of getting into the game.

And so the 2nd half came to pass and it was still nil nil. From the way we had played in the first half, unless there were changes, I couldn’t see us gaining an advantage quickly. What I didn’t see coming was the baggies on the attack and an Arsenal mid-field that just stood still and allowed them to pass through with ease. One goal conceded was quickly followed by a second and a disturbing chill descended on the stadium.  Eboue and Diaby were sacrificed for Wilshere and Rosicky – probably half an hour too late and soon we were 3 down.

Three down at the Emirates against ……… newly promoted West Bromwich Albion!!!!!!!!! You couldn’t make it up really. Was it all Almunia’s fault? I don’t think so, the  goalkeeper must be protected by the back four and the back four must be protected by the mid-field and if the mid-field had been working effectively, then we should have been in the lead anyway.

If we can’t defend as a team we’re going to struggle this season, but if we don’t send out the best team available from the start, there are always going to be other excuses. M. Wenger this one is your fault.

46 Responses to One day chicken, next day feathers – written by London and peaches

  1. Thanks to Baggie Man who put a nice comment on the end of yesterdays post. We thought we were on a roll but we’ve been stopped in our tracks by West Brom. It was probably coming after last weeks late goal at Sunderland.

    Thank goodness for Nasri, he worked so hard tracking back aswell as attacking.

    Almunia should never be captain again – its enough.

  2. Tim says:

    Arrogant? Possibly. Complacent? Certainly.

    West Brom came to play. We didn’t. And consequently we got what we deserved (i.e. nothing). Well done, West Brom – you taught us an important lesson yesterday. I bet too many of our players were looking forward to Chelsea next weekend and forgot about the matter at hand. Now we have to focus 100% on Partizan, or the lesson will be wasted and we will underperform again. Time to pull the socks up, lads (the exceptional Nasri excepted).

  3. kelsey says:

    Morning all,

    Having watched and listened to our manager after the game, to put it mildly he wasn’t a happy bunny.

    I will not hold back now.Was it the abysmal performance or was it down to him to pick such an unbalanced team to start with, or possibly a combination of both.

    He said on friday a new word.if my “health” holds out I intend to be here for a long time. What do you make of that.

    I am not over reacting to one game, it happens to all teams, but to be in a position to have absolutely two keepers who regularly cost us games is down to no one but the manager.This hasn’t suddenly happened, it has been on going for two seasons and I am afraid the outlook is not good for this season, though support the team,I will for evermore.

    if we were a mid table team the expectancy wouldn’t be so great,but we really are so close to silverwre but not with these keepers I am afraid.

  4. Rasp says:


    Thanks to London and peaches for giving their thoughts – it’s significant that no-one has disagreed.

    I can only think that by his ‘health’ AW is referring to his stress levels. We don’t like to hear ‘arry criticising our manager, but it is true that he has been progressively more ‘heart on sleeve’ with his behaviour on the touchline.

    I shouldn’t wish harm to anyone, but if Almunia is injured, and Fabianski got the flu on Monday, I’d be much happier about our GK situation for Tuesday and Sunday.

  5. London says:

    Hi all

    For the sake of debate I slightly disagree with this premise.

    “Almunia’s fault? I don’t think so, the goalkeeper must be protected by the back four and the back four must be protected by the mid-field and if the mid-field had been working effectively, then we should have been in the lead anyway.”

    In every match no matter how well a team is playing there will be shots on both goals – always — so when a shot comes in, regardless of how well the defence and the midfield have played, if the goal keeper screws up it is his fault and nobody else’s. The second goal was Almunia’s fault.

    The first goal was an error from Sagna and the blame should lie squarely at his feet.

    The third was Almunia again; he was way off his line.

    The other thing I disagree with is the idea of putting Song in the same category as Eboue and Diaby, the Ivorian’s first five passes failed to find their man (and people criticise Denilson, talk about miss the point) Diaby was not ready to return, notonly was he slow in body his speed of thought was some between a rabbit in the head lights and Emil Heskey.

    Song on the other hand, having returned from a week on the naughty step was finding his man every time; he was one of a very few who gave the impression that he cared. This invisible man nonsense is an invention of Pedro and Geoff over at Le Grove, it is vile and totally unjust, especially yesterday.

  6. Neamman says:

    Song appeared to me to be thinking he is an attacking player, how many times did we see him in the opposition box yesterday?? His job is to protect the back 4!! Now to be fair … the rest of our midfield were so bad he may have felt it was up to him to do something.
    I am a huge admirer of Song and believe he is an essential member of our strongest 11.
    I am the sort of fan who believes we cheer our players even harder when they made an error. The second goal was clearly his fault as I think he was expecting a pass across the front of the box. The third, well the commentator made the point that he was on a yellow and therefore couldnt dive in.. that has merit but I honestly was shocked when he ran out, I never expected him to come that far.
    He had a bad game, every goalie does, and the only good thing is he didnt cost us the match, yesterday was a complete team meltdown.
    Lets give credit to WBA, they try to play football, they have a well marshalled defence. Based on the reports I read they were unlucky not to beat Liverpool a few weeks back at Anfield, they are a good team.

  7. The criticism of the team or any single player takes on a domino effect – if it was just Almunia at fault he’d have to step up but it wasn’t only him.

    The point about Eboue and Diaby losing possession in the way they did – ie passing into a ‘space’ is valid even if another site has coined a phrase for it. A misplaced pass is completely different from not having any players in red anywhere near – thats poor reading of the game.

    Song took on an huge workload yesterday possibly because he could see that Eboue and Diaby weren’t effective. Although Rasp thinks this is a silly idea, most of the poor passing was actually on Arsenes blind-side right under London’s nose – I was sitting on the other side of the stadium. If the bench can’t see then maybe they need some spies in the stands that can report to them during the game.

  8. kelsey says:

    Poor response today, shame as there is much to ponder about.

    The 3 main issues for me as to why we lost are.

    A midfield of Diaby,Eboue and Song, didn’t work and that was evident from the first minute.

    As a team we looked lacklustre yet WBA had a spring in their step

    Defensively we were really poor and although he didn’t cover himself in glory,Almunia was at fault for at least one goal, but he needs defenders to defend.

    The bright spark for me was Nasri, tireless never gave up and was justly rewarded with 2 goals.
    next in line is Arshavin, if only his double shot that hit the post twice had gone in, that might have given us the lift we so badly needed.I thought he had a reasonable game at least compared to the others. NGU

  9. Rasp says:

    Arsene should have made a couple of subs at half time. I don’t care about hurting the player’s feelings, how must they all be feeling today? If we’d have started the second half with Jack and Rosicky, we would have won.

  10. Red Arse says:

    Fellow AA commenters, or the few of you on here today, can I just say that I am every bit as disappointed as the next Gooner.

    But, to put things into perspective, this loss was just one dreadful game and sickening result. It is the nature of human beings to have stunning achievements and sometimes inexplicable losses.

    This may possibly be the crushing reality check some of our players needed and may benefit them during the rest of the season.

    To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, if we meet triumph and disaster and treat both those imposters the same way we will know that we should not take either of them too seriously. There are more important things in life.

    Just wait, Arsenal will win their next games and sadness will turn to joy. 🙂

  11. London says:

    I have read quite a bit of criticism of Song and his overly attacking tendencies yesterday but there is one, significant in my opinion, justification that most people seem to be choosing to ignore………..we were bloody well three goals behind.

  12. London says:

    I am not completely comfortable with this idea of a domino effect and here’s why: if a team defend immaculately for the whole game save for the last kick and that kick takes the ball through the goal keeper’s legs in such a way that he is so obvious to blame, is that the fault of the defence or solely the fault of the goal keeper?

    It is the fault of the goal keeper and nothing to do with a domino effect.

    The second goal was bad school boy goalkeeping by Almunia and it wouldn’t have made any difference if the defence was made up of four Franco Barasi’s.

    However, if the point is that the whole team are guilty for the loss as a result of poor play in a sort of domino effect then…..ok.

  13. London says:

    Now about that Carling Cup not being important!

  14. Red Arse says:


    I seem to be talking/commenting to myself, so you just carry on without me, and I will take Kipling’s advice myself.

    His cakes are v. nice. I might be gone for some time!

  15. Thankyou RedArse, for sure our sadness will be short lived even the mancs dropping points made me feel a bit better.

  16. Rasp says:

    The game against the chavs now grows in significance.

    They lost too but are still clear at the top of the table. I will be looking for a committed performance and minimum of a draw on sunday. Dogba is not in great form, we have nothing to fear from them.

  17. barumgooner says:

    Hello all. I only skipped through the game a little while ago from last nights recording (too angry to watch last night). Admittedly Almunia was at fault for two and Sagna was awful for the first but I agree that yet again the blame must fall at Arsenes door. Diaby at the best of times is dodgy but when just back from injury to put him alongside Eboue is just disrespectful to the opposition. Jack has been fantastic so far and when Fab is back he can have a rest but yesterday he should have played and Denilson too. I know its easy in hindsight but even with the individual errors the game was lost in midfield and players sitting on the bench were better equipped to win it for us.

  18. Red Arse says:

    Thank you peaches.

    I was beginning to think I was existing in a different or parallel Universe. 🙂

    it might be better if I keep to myself when London is on, as nothing I say has any relevance to him, it appears. Not that he is necessarily wrong, of course.

    Manners maketh the man, they say, so as London is on most of the time I had better join GN5 and Gnarleygeorge and bid you, well him really, a fond adieu.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t want to sat I told you so, but I said we should have played Denilson and Wilshere and not EE and Diaby. Had we done so, I firmly believe we would have won.

    IMO Eboue is a liabilty and I know he is a cult figure and the is a lovely man, but he is no midfielder. He is a decent back up RB and nothing, I repeat, nothing more.

    Red Arse. Thank you and I agree wholeheartedly (3.22). Would I exchange the win over Spurs for 3 points yesterday? No….

  20. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I hope you reconsider…..

  21. Rasp says:

    What’s going on? Why has Red Arse apparently fallen on his sword? I’ll read back but I was not aware of any bad feeling.

    It is common in times of disappointment for bloggers to turn upon one another, but as has been said many times, we are united as Arsenal supporters, everything else is just banter.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Hi Big Raddy,

    I always like chatting to you. You might have noticed that I like chatting about Arsenal and related humourous topics! 🙂 And thank you, by the way, for your positive response to my earlier comment.

    I just felt with all the recrimination and finger pointing it would not hurt to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, and try and cheer up our small group.

    However, some people always want to be on “transmit” and forget to occasionally engage the “receive” switch, even for a cursory acknowledgement of others.

    Naturally, everyone is entitled to their own choices as to how they communicate. Manners are important and I’m not sure I could be bothered with that attitude. Call me fuddy duddy or call me Veronica, but I have my own choice to make.

    There are many good people on this lovely site, including you! 🙂 I’m off for a nice bottle of wine, (well a glass or two, anyway).

  23. rockylives says:

    RedArse – I hope you’re still here, your comments are always interesting and articulate. Nice quotation from Kipling (and your reminder for us all to keep things in perspective is timely). But that same poem (it’s called ‘If’ and is well worth reading for anyone not familiar with it) contains these lines:
    “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’…
    …Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

    I’m not sure I saw much forcing of heart and nerve and sinew from our midfield yesterday.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Just caught you. I was referring to the fans and trying to rally their spirits.

    I was relying more on the second verse, “IF you can dream etc”. But there you go.

    IF we can do that, then perhaps that sentiment will transmit to our players too. Got to start somewhere. 🙂

    IF I was not clear in my earlier comment, I apologise for my lack of decent English. 🙂


  25. rockylives says:

    You were clear as a bell RA, I wasn’t taking issue with you, just taking your lead from the Kipling poem and using it as an opportunity to highlight the lack of effort from our MF.

  26. Red Arse says:

    I understand Rocky. 🙂

    I was striving to imbue some much needed enthusiasm in our fans after a miserable couple of days.

    I quite liked the way you took lines from different verses to make your point.

    However, I was worried that my lack of clarity had led you to use the same wonderful poem to comment adversely on the players, which was not what I was trying to do.

    Other lines in the poem starting “IF you can bear to hear the truth you have spoken” etc springs to mind. 🙂

    Still, we both seem to love the same fabulous poem, and that’s good, but perhaps for a different forum! 🙂

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Love a bit of poetry…..

    My goodness, Stoke have gone 2-1 up with one of the best o.g’s for some time.

    I like Kenwyn Jones. He would have been a good signing were it not for Chamakh

  28. kelsey says:

    hello red Arse,

    I have put together a post for tomorrow (I think) which is based purely upon research as opposed to my opinion.

    Don’t worry about London, it took me months to get his gist.Sometimes he replies the following day to a comment, but he is a true gooner.

  29. Red Arse says:

    Big Raddy,

    I might have been thinking of moving on because I did not like being ignored by another “important” blogger, but now I am not sure I have a choice!

    You and Rocky have cheered me up by engaging in social discourse even involving my poetic whimsy! 🙂

    Unfortunately, I have already been made aware that my “educational elitism” was not welcome, on another site, because it was not acceptable on a footie site. 🙂

    And no; I had no idea what they were talking about either. 🙂 Lightning striking twice? 🙂

  30. kelsey says:

    see no response.

    at least i can talk to my dogs and count how many tablets i have left.

  31. Big Raddy says:


    Rest assured that educational elitism is welcomed here, as is any informed or uninformed opinion. I always enjoy your “rambles”

    On a footie front ……. how fortunate were we that only one of our close rivals picked up 3 points this weekend? MU were fortunate to get a point. As I predicted Spurs lost at WHU (OK close rivals isn’t accurate) and the CHavs looked distinctly ordinary when facing a team they couldn’t bully. We have to be strong next week.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I’m like a slightly pixilated pig in clover with the chance to talk to so many of you.

    Your Post will be great, as usual, and I will certainly look forward to reading it. 🙂

    Not really bothered about anyone who specialises in “transmit” comments. He is entitled. I will just keep my distance and yak to you guys instead. 🙂

  33. Big Raddy says:


    I will respond tomorrow ……

  34. Big Raddy says:

    New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. 4 wonderful words

  35. Red Arse says:

    There you are Big Raddy, it’s working. You are cheering me up already by highlighting the good points of the weekend. No pun intended. 🙂

    Rambles indeed! 🙂

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Must go …. Fish to Fry

  37. London says:

    Red Arse

    I’m with Arsène Wenger on days like this……I don’t like losing.

    So the reason I didn’t respond to your never mind “It’s only a game” post at 3:22 is because I didn’t want to upset you.

    This does put me in a difficult position: if I reply Gunnern5 disappears and if I don’t you threaten to.

    I suggest this: do what the other regulars do…….don’t take anything I say too seriously. Have you noticed how Peaches, Rasp, Kelsey, Big Raddy etc don’t get upset with me? It’s because what ever I say is water off a ducks back to them.

  38. Benwell says:

    Diaby should not play again his attitude was disgusting a good example to every budding midfielder how not to play the role, no closing down, marking or effort.
    Almunia was an accident waiting to happen it just happened sooner than expected, apart from Liverpool that is, the whole defence couldn’t even look at him.
    EE is a good right back and that’s it he should be cover for Sagna thats all, with the wealth of midfielders we have, Henri can play wide right as was shown on Tues, although to be fair he was probably still recovering from Tues.
    Still pissed off, but well done to the Baggies.

  39. Irishgunner says:

    I’m a bit late on, but anyway, I was unhappy with the midfield 3 Wenger started with, I said so on Twitter if ya don’t believe me ha ha.

    He should have started Jack, or else put Nasri in the middle and played Rosicky and Arshavin as the wide on the two up front.

    Anyway, the Mancs dropping points have really softened the blow for me. Not as bad a weekend as could have been. Time to dust off and make sure such a bad performance doesn’t happen again.

  40. London says:

    Excellent comment Benwell…..totally agree.

  41. rockylives says:

    Peaches, Rasp – I have put a post in drafts – feel free to use if you think it has any merit.
    Goodnight all.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Looking around the web this morning, it is so amusing to see the despair from all the Arsenal “supporters”. Suddenly “we are rubbish, Almunia is rubbish … we have always said so, AW is a fool, the team is lacking spine, Nasri is the only decent player in the side” etc etc etc

    Get a sense of perspective !!!

    We are the same team who slammed Barga, we had a terrible day at the office, a shambolic listless performance – does that signify the death knell of our season? Thanks to the bizarre results from our rivals, absolutely not.

    Without Fabregas we are diminished – which team wouldn’t be.

    A new week, two big games …… COYRRG

  43. Morning all

    There’s a NEW POST

  44. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy,

    Perhaps you’d like to move your last comment to today’s post.

  45. A interesting post there mate . Cheers for that !

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