Why did the best team lose? …… answers on a postcard please

Once again this Arsenal team have torn up the form book and dumbfounded everyone with their ability to be as mediocre and ineffectual in one game as they can be brilliant and inspirational in another. This was demonstrated in the space of one game in the two contrasting halves against sp**s – but why are we the Jekyll and Hyde of the Premiership?

Two disappointing cup games in the space of  five days against teams that, cup games or not, surely we should beat handsomely. Last night’s away tie against a struggling Ipswich served up an even worse 90 minutes of football than Saturdays’ against Leeds and having started the game with more or less our strongest side it’s impossible to understand why.

After a really dire first 45 minutes in which we created two attempts on goal compared to their seven you would have thought AW would have sent them out second half with rockets up ’em. Unfortunately the rockets didn’t appear until Ipswich had got hold of the umpteenth ball over the top and scored a very nice little goal for themselves in the 78th minute. Eboue was missing again leaving Priskin only Kos and Djourou to beat.

There had been numerous warnings of the ball over the top and clearly Eboue didn’t feel it was his responsibilty as he was caught too far up field each time. He had a stinker and its a real worry that he’s our only right-back cover. He’ll be required to play against West Ham on Saturday and also with Sagna’s suspension, will play the first leg against Barcelona in the Champions League.

With Cesc and Jack starting in mid-field the game plan had to be to score a few and then rest some players, obviously Arsene decided to try it my way for this game and start with a strong side.  I’ve been championing that idea for a couple of months now – every time we’ve played a weakened team in fact – now I’m sorry I interferred, these players have now taken part in a demoralising 90 minutes and who’s to say what the knock on effect will be.

A front three of Arshavin, Nikki and Theo should be able to tear apart any defense but with Arshavin not really in the game, Nikki just not good enough and Theo seeming to be trying too hard there was little creativity and Ipswich concentrated and defended very well. I thought they would tire and we’d lauch an all out attack in the last 15 minutes so how bizarre for them to score in the last quarter.

The Theo van Nasregas formation that was stunningly creative against the Man City dustbins obviously needs all four of the parts to be on the pitch to have any effect. This team just wasn’t balanced – Arshavin doesn’t work hard enough to give Cesc the outlets he needs to spray the passes around. Saying that, Cesc was also not at his game and hardly stamped any authority on the mid-field.

It has to be said that while Chesney did appear to be a little flakey – appearing to handle the ball outside of his area and coming off his line in a rather dodgy fashion – Koscielny and Djourou are growing in confidence as a centre-back partnership. Gibbs was strong and worked tirelessly up and down his wing.

At least the flurry of activity in the last 10 minutes made the stats more respectable – 59% possession with 9 shots on target to their 7. There can be no excuses, although Ipswich defended very well they didn’t park the  bus as evidence of their shots on target shows, so what’s up with our young team? Let’s hope Arsene has an answer and knows how to correct it as we have a rush of games now that we need to win to keep us in contention for the cup competitions and the title.

Will the consolation of beating them in the second tie and winning the Carling Cup be enough to bury these feelings of embarrassment – probably, do they want it badly enough – who knows?

If anyone wants to add some player ratings I’ll attach them to the end of the post.

Written by peachesgooner

70 Responses to Why did the best team lose? …… answers on a postcard please

  1. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning Peachy – not easy to write a report after that “performance”; if I’d a tired to write on it would have been a long rant.
    Overall, in answer to your question, we lost because the players didn’t want it enough. I also didn’t like the fact that the manager, when he could see things were going awry, retreated to his dug out and didn’t at least shout out instruction and show his displeasure at the appalling effort levels being shown by our team.
    It says something when it the camera showed the away fans leaving before the final whistle. If you lose the away fans it shows you are seriously f**king up our supporters. Those guys deserve a refund from the players for the load of tripe our team served up.
    That was a truly shocking, embarrassing and shameful performance and I fear for us not only against Barca but even West Ham and Leeds too.

  2. Morning all

    Touchy feely post from me I’m afraid as none of you testosterone fuelled chaps wanted to bare your souls.

    If you get a chance to read arseblog today http://www.arseblog.com/ he’s managed to bare his soul in a very articulate way.

    A gooner girl friend just called me to chat about the game and told me that Arsene and the team must have felt sorry for Ipswich following their defeat at the weekend – so there you go, they threw it away on purpose 🙄

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post peaches, I know it wasn’t easy to muster the enthusiasm after a less than inspirational performance by our boys.

    We lost the game over 90 minutes yesterday because the players were not up for it – jumping out of tackles, not showing for the ball, no penetration in the last third. We actually lost the game before the kick off because our attitude stank.

    Once again we only showed the required urgency when we went a goal down …. too little, too late

  4. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers/Peachy – I’m “That” far away from a rant; will I offend the regulars if I let rip? Maybe I should bite my tongue.

  5. GunnerPete says:

    Chesney, Gibbs, Djourou, all 7

    The rest 6 apart from Arsharvin & Eboue 5.

    This equals an overpaid group of spoilt brats who think anyone out side the fisrt 4 are crap…when are they and the manager going to learn?

  6. Morning chary – you have to worry about the psychological effect of not being able to score against a team that have only won 8 games out of 24 and conceded 32 goals.

    Would any team in the bottom half of the premiership have gone to Ipswich for a semi-final and felt they had the game won before they stepped on the pitch?

  7. Rasp says:

    chary,

    You know the tenet of the site … all opinions welcome as long as coherent and polite …. so rant away and just remember to use ‘*’s where appropriate 🙂

  8. chas says:

    Very fair, Peaches.

    The excuse given is always complacency, but if it’s a habit it has to be called something else.

    Yes, it’ll all be forgotten if we win by 2 goals at home, but I wouldn’t like to bet on that happening. Sad, but true.

  9. Rasp says:

    We must remember to regularly state that Ipswich played very well and deserved their victory. They were physical without being dirty and the sum total of their dives was less than Eboue managed on his own. Based on that performance, a direct comparison between Wickham and Bendtner is not flattering to our player.

  10. chary – you’re welcome to have a good rant

  11. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    peaches

    Some days are diamonds & some days are stone, or in this case night. Shit happens!!!!

    There were players out there who continually fail to inspire. Hence the results that go with them playing.

    We all know how poor the team performs when continual tinkering with the starting line up is caused from constant injuries to players. So why would making 25 changes in 3 games just for the sake of it bring any different a result?

    Denilson has plenty of the ball, yes, but most of his passes are side ways.

    Why do The Arsenal continually try to walk the ball into the old onion bag. Cesc was a prime example here, when he should have instinctively shot like he would have in past seasons.

    Anyway, just a few notes I’ve made from my observations 🙂

  12. chas says:

    Ipswich most definitely deserved their victory.

    A comment that made me laugh was that we deliberately lost because tickets weren’t selling too well for the 2nd leg. Trouble is, that performance would be less likely to make me want to go, not more.

  13. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ipswich had a plan & executed it well. & in the process executed Arsenal 😀

  14. oluwole says:

    i am indeed angry writting this piece,after that poor performance by arsenal last nite. I will put most of the blame on the bench as i watched ipswich catching our defence line out and the bence could pass instruction to the field. also what was the half time pep talk?, i could even see theo helping up an opponent who was falling down to waste time. common wenger should tell this players what they need to hear even if it hurts . the approach yesterday is unacceptable.

  15. MikE says:

    no heads in the sand: the best on the night team won.

    they fought, they ran, they wanted it more than us.

  16. Brigham says:

    chary said… ” also didn’t like the fact that the manager, when he could see things were going awry, retreated to his dug out and didn’t at least shout out instruction and show his displeasure at the appalling effort levels being shown by our team.”

    That for me is one of the major failings of Wenger, he has no idea how to encourage the team when things are not going to plan. I would also like to know exactly what ‘Pratt’ Rice does as well?

    If the last two performance of Bendtner and Arshavin have not proved to Wenger that thesde two are not pulling worth the shirt, then I really am beginning to think he has finally lost the plot. Arshavin is just plain lazy, too many flicks and as for Bendy, waste of oxygen!

    An inept peformance last night, which mirrored the Leeds game in many ways. Of course, like most of us, I am fully expecting us to hammer them at the Emirates in two weeks, but who knows with this current lot of ‘cannot be bothereds?’

    Coaching tip for Wenger. Try getting our forwards to shoot at those strange white post looking things. Its not a five-a-side pitch where you have to walk the ball into the net.

    I bet West Ham are crapping themselves right now?!?

  17. Femi Jacobs says:

    I am heated since yesterday. Please how many matches Bendtner started have we won? Why does it always take Wenger long to make changes? Why does he fold his arm even when there are obvious lapses with the players? His fatherly attitude is not helping the players. Why does he always like putting supporters on tension? It seems no body was in control behind to have noticed the guy? Why did Ebue raised up his hand for offside instead of pursuing the guy? This is not the attitude of those who want silverwares. Why didn’t he start Vela or bring him in sooner?
    This nonchalant attitude caused us Barcelona and it will cost us the cup if we don’t take time. If struggling Chelsea can win 7-0 why can’t arsenal win 2-0? Did you see how Barcelona played and Messi scoring treble?

  18. Gooner in Exile says:

    Do we really think the side went out thinking they had it won?

    I’m sure they were told by the coaching staff play your football and eventually you’ll break them down, unfortunately they didn’t.

    Whilst it was close to our strongest team the key part of the team (when playing against a defensive unit) wasn’t. Bendtner and Arshavin did not give us much.

    Comparisons of Wickham against Bendtner are a tad unfair, I’d hope Bendtner would look good one on one against Eboue 🙂

    The whole balance of the side was ineffective, not because of the players Wenger picked but because of the where those players and how those players approached trying to break them down. We needed to be running at them from deep and we decided to get up to the box and looked stationary.

    By the way Peaches, report was good I doubt any of us would have been able to hold back a rant.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Right Mike. Just not good enough on the night.

    Once again, the final ball was terrible and therefore nothing clear cut was created. To have two such good headers of the ball in the centre (NB & later MC) surely would make the team look t put in crosses. The only accurate cross of the evening from Gibbs led to panic in Ipswich defence and the chance for Fabregas (I agree with GIE, it was a very difficult chance).

    Is it really only RvP and Nasri who can put in a decent free-kick?

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Well done on the post. Very balanced 🙂

  21. charybdis1966 says:

    Peachy – repeated failure in the face of palpably inferior opposition could well undermine their confidence/ability to perform. Much as I Ioathe Fergiescum I’d welcome the use of his hair dryer at London Colney today.

    Raspers – I only ask as some readers may be offended by my slagging off of the players/manager, but here goes:
    You thought being 2-nil up against Wigan last season was a one off? Of course they’d learn their lesson in the next away game.

    Yes they did, only squandered a one goal lead against Blackburn so great improvement there.

    Fast forward to leading the Spuds 2 nil at home and here we go, ending a long unbeaten League run against those b***ard spuds so the long suffering gooners have to suffer the taunts of Spuds.

    We have a champions league away game where we have one goal lead yet we self destruct to lose that game also meaning we fail to secure top spot and end up playing Barca in the next round.

    Losses to the Toon and West Brom show we can lose to ANY team, good bad or indifferent ones.

    Currently we have failed to score from open play for 4 games now and this with little by way of injury excuses available.

    Who do I blame –the players for a persistently lackadaisical attitude to so many games or the manager for allowing the attitude to fester?

    I’m not sure buit I do know that nights like last night take all the joy out of supporting the club, if I never see another headline on Arse.com from a player saying “We must bounce back” (as there is at the moment) it’ll be too soon.

    How many more wake up calls do we need for f**k’s sake?

    I just bought my tickets for the toffees and Wolves and I’m wondering whether I should bother at this point.

    No fight, no effort, no self criticism, no taking responsibility – I’m falling out of love with our team. I’ve followed them for over 30 years and I’ve never been so close to wanting to say “S*d off” to the whole depressing scenario.

    F**king hell.

  22. Rasp says:

    In terms of work rate, Wickham won hands down in comparison to Bendtner, he also had a better first touch and more shots on goal.

  23. Smith14 says:

    Similarly to the Leeds game, we didn’t do enough to win it. We played at a slow pace almost as if racking up 60% possesion is enough to win the game. Against so called lesser opposition we seem to think that controlling the ball is enough, failing to realise that the whole point of possesion Football is to probe for an opening. Last night we kept the ball but carried no threat. Had we come away having peppered their keeper or hit the post a couple of times we would probably be a bit more understanding of defeat, as it stands, we didn’t look like scoring and shouldn’t think that we can just push any team to one side simply because we’re Arsenal.

    The up side is that we have the second leg although, it’s going to be very testing if we haven’t looked like scoring in the first 15/20 minutes.

    Finally, it’s easy to blame the CB’s for yesterday but when the attack is so ineffectual, like against Braga, you are basically asking to be exposed by a quick counter. Apart from a being cuaght out by a long ball Koscielny and Djourou didn’t do a lot wrong.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Chary.Whilst understanding entirely your feelings about our lack of “thrust”, you should know that it is unforunately impossible to say “S*d Off” to your addiction.

    Believe me I have tried many times and so have most of us.

    Take Franchise for example, tries to escape from blogging and yet his defences crumble after a few scant months.

    After the Sp*rs debacle I promised my wife that I would find a way to curb my mood swings following both success and failure on the pitch, ultimately it is my poor suffering spouse who has had to accept there is no hope for me. I am lost to the Arsenal.

    But I agree with all your arguments and disappointments with this current side. They have all the attributes to be the best since the Invincibles and yet week after week seem further away from that goal.

  25. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah, there’s the thing Radders, you can’t just thow off a 30+ year old like that.
    There’s no cold turkey here.

    After the game I just went back to my Blakes 7 DVD, showing the travails of a group of fredoom fighters vainly battling a totalitarian goverment, the present preidcament of an Arsenal suypporter made that scenario look positively uplifting.

  26. Rasp says:

    I also thought that Djourou and Kozzer played reasonably well (they certainly weren’t the worst Arsenal players on the pitch). Ipswich had several dress rehearsals of the ball over the top of the CB’s before they finally scored. Why wasn’t the warning heeded and why weren’t our trainers on the edge of the technical area bellowing instructions to stop the inevitable happening?

    It’s all very well to play with a high defensive line, but referees and their assistants make mistakes. Eboue stops playing and waves his arms round asking for the whistle instead of playing on in case the decision doesn’t go our way. EE was at least as culpable as JD and Kozzer for the goal and spent the majority of the game completely out of position.

  27. Smith14 says:

    I think the other reason for playing a high line is to build pressure on the opponents. playing that way means that their defensive headers or rushed clearances drop to our back 2 and we attack again, building wave after wave of attack. This worked, to an extent, against City, but not last night. I think when it became apparent that we were effectively being given lots of possesion and that we were lethargic up front, we should have remained a bit more cautious at the back. a 0-0 and a few moans about how lazy we are up front is better than a 1-0 defeat and a real nervy encounter in a couple of weeks.

  28. Wonderman says:

    @ Peaches – A very balanced post Peaches. I did’nt see the game on tv live last night as I out. But was listening to the 2nd half of the game on the radio on the way home. The commentators were continually banging on about how poor our defenders were, which was in complete contrast to what I saw when I watched the game when I got home. Their goal had a bit of fortune in that there was a deflection before the ball broke for their striker ( who still had alot to do). The single technical mistake we made for the goal was Djourou not being tight enough in the first place. Eboue does worry me though. His general attitude last night seemed condescending as if he felt he was too good for them, therefore did’nt need to play at 100%. It was the same thing on Saturday against leeds. I thought their winger got past him far too easily.

    For me with Cham on board Bendtner becomes more of a passenger. When he plays at the Ems for a centre forward of his stature I find his positioning baffling and his first touch is awful.

    However, I do believe that at home on a much bigger pitch Ipswich will struggle to deny us goals and we will go through

  29. dandan says:

    Sorry Chary…. All the premier teams are having stupid results,as a mature fan of thirty years standing you should know that slagging the team off is about as useful as a third boob on a nun.
    My suggestion would be enrol on an anger management course before you blow a fuse and do yourself some harm
    You are an Arsenal fan they have bad days, no doubt you will be cock a hoop if they win something this year and would turn up to applaud the open top bus.

    It is of course the bad times that make the good times good and we have had far more than our share of good times.
    Ask Liverpool this morning how they feel.
    I wonder if your children threw paddies whenever something didn’t suit how you would react. not very tolerantly it would seem from todays performance or are you like the Arse just having one of those days.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Surely the high line causes exactly the problems that led to their goal and furthermore compresses the play. It invites the park the bus mentality and denies our speedsters space to run.

    One of the great tactics of Invincibles was the way they retreated inviting the opposition to attack thereby creating the opportunity for the breakaway. This tactic became our trademark. Why can’t this team do the same?

  31. Big Raddy says:

    DD. ” a third boob on a nun” 😀

  32. Woolwichstilhere says:

    Todays article: ASHARVIN IS A KARMIC DISASTER. the star of euro2008 is now a WAISTED SH!T. Say whatever u want, but i doubt if Ryo miyachi or any player on trial will make it playin like that. The standard of Arsenal team has droped.

  33. Brigham says:

    I was sat in my hotel up here in Scotland last night and West Ham supporting mate got the team on his iPhone for me. As soon as I saw Arshavin and Bendtner up front, I said to him: “We will not score with them two up front”

    It happened on Saturday and it happened last night. If Wenger plays those two prize plonkers on Saturday I will be turning my television straight off.

    So glad that I only had to suffer the ineffective play on the radio whilst sat in my room (No Sky in the hotel!)

  34. charybdis1966 says:

    Dandan – I’m getting it out of my system, better out than in I’m often told !
    BTW do nuns use their first 2 tits much ?

  35. Smith14 says:

    Raddy,

    On the high line issue, I agree it compresses thnigs a bit but against Ipswich, had we kept a deeper line and spread the play it’s unlikely they would have decided to attack and l;eave us with any space, they wanted 0-0 so thre onus, as always, is on us to break teams down and the high line, building pressure tactic, is the one we favour.

    It’s a bit risky, it’s one dimensioanal and it clearly doesn’t always work but, other than accepting that other teams fear of us will result in lots of 0-0’s I’m not sure what else to suggest.

  36. RockyLives says:

    Excellent report Peaches. I would only take issue with one point – you say we started last night with ‘more or less our strongest side.’ I would beg to differ. For me, we had five of our First Team starting, and six reserves.
    The first teamers were Kos, JD, Cesc, JW and Theo. The reserves: Chesney, EE, Gibbs, Den, AA, Bendy. Replace 5 of the latter 6 with Sagna, Clichy, Nasri, RvP and Song and we probably win. What’s sad is that our reserves are so unable or unwilling to take their chances.

    Great comments from all on here today. One of the joys of joining the conversation late is that you can go on the entire roller-coaster in the space of 15 minutes.

    The detailed analysis of what went wrong (from BR, Rasp, GiE, Brigham, Smithy and others) was getting me really stoked up. Then Chary’s brilliant rant @10.47 expressed all my rage and frustration.

    Then, deep breath, Dandan came on with some wise words to relieve the pressure and dampen the flames of anger: “It is of course the bad times that make the good times good.”
    That will now be my mantra for the day. I am going to love and cherish this inept performance and embarrassing defeat because I can put it straight in the ‘bad times’ bank, which immediately increases the level of interest in the ‘good times’ account. When the ‘good times’ one starts paying out, the joy will be that much greater.

    I just hope it starts paying out soon…

  37. charybdis1966 says:

    Rocky – I love the “ I’m going to cherish this inept performance and embarrassing defeat”.
    Quote of the day for me.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Chary
    It’s that or kick the dog (and, since I don’t have a dog, that makes the rest of the family nervous).

    Honestly, I’m still shocked at that level of performance in a CUP SEMI-FINAL for God’s sake. It’s tempting to go down the dark pathways of speculation over whether this team will ever have what it takes to win something, but I know a couple of good performances will get me feeling optimistic again.

  39. Red Arse says:

    Well written, objective and correct report Peaches.

    The only thing wrong was the title.

    The best team did not lose, they won! 😦

  40. charybdis1966 says:

    I know what you mean Rocky, it seems complacency has been taken to a whole new level.

  41. Brigham says:

    Rocky, you are quite correct in that a couple of decent performances will get you and the rest of us feeling optimistic again. However, for me, that would only paper over the cracks. We remain short at the back and I mean in numbers, not just in height!

    I have said many times before on here, I would love to know exactly how team training is conducted. As for me, they do not seem to practice corners, free kicks or any shooting from distance.

    As for our ability to not deal with dead ball situations when defending, that must have been mentioned by just about every Gooner, football pundit, other fan and Outer Mongolian fisherman for the last few months. So why is it that our manager or coaching staff fail to see it?

    Onwards and upwards and we are in need of a good performance and win against the Whammers on Saturday, without any doubt.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Ipswich at their best. Arsenal at their worst. Its half time. Second half at home, and we may even try. Not too concerned about this tie. A striker, now that’s a different gether alter matter!

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    I do find the Matthew Upson rumours very upsetting. Anyone got a Torres rumour spare?

  44. ciprian nom says:

    arsenal RULZ and Wenged best coach !!

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    That’ll be “move” as in dance to the tune of Abba’s “Fernando” then, I guess. Nice try. No swap!

  46. SharkeySure says:

    I wtached it on a 30min delay due to family duties, and my biggest dilemna was whether I should forward thru large chunks at speed to get to a part where we were playing well.

    Eboue was unbelievably poor yesterday. Even allowing for his ‘antics’ as Wonderman calls them, he used to be a half decent footballer. I’m not even going to waste time detailing his failings.

    Bendtner seems like a new player. A player I’m really nottoo keen on. I used to like the old Bendtner and thought he offered the team something.

    Not even going to waste my energy writing about Arshavin.

    Like others have said, that was our team in a semi-final. Shocking.

    Oh, and good post Peaches. I couldn’t even read any comments last night, let alone post any or write a headline post. Well played. Candlelight..?

  47. peachesgooner says:

    Micky – did I see you say you were of a mind to write a post about strikers – fancy doing it for tomorrow 😉

  48. Neamman says:

    Is it me but does AW change his selection as we progress ghrough the CC. Where was Lansbury, JET, and other “true “reseves? I know lansbury is at Norwich but surely this was a time to let loose JET?
    I think our true reseves would have worked harder than what our first team squad apparently did. I didnt see the game and live vicariously through the postings here!!!! :>)

  49. Big Raddy says:

    Neamman. Why not play Eastmond, JET, Miquel, and continue with the youth project in the CC. They wouldn’t have done any worse.

    With those lads + JW, Chesney and Gibbs, we would have the bulk of our kids who are not on-loan.

    Would Sanchez Watt been less effective than NB? Or Afobe less than AA?

  50. Neamman says:

    Does it seem to one and all that early in the season and late in spring we play the wonderful football Arsenal is famous for? But from roughly November through mid March, we struggle? Should Arsene Wenger be picking a warm weather team and a cold weather team?
    On first glance I was thinking well its obvious, players raised in Africa or southern Europe won’t be at their best in winter. Just as player from northern Europe would probably be less effective in the heat of August and May.

    Ther will always be exceptions of course but perhaps Arsene Wenger, whom I think is God by the way, could draw on his scientific expertise and look at whether some players should feature more at certain times of the year?
    The sad thing is my wonderful thesis has been shot to bits these past two games. In my mind I was thinking ..winter.. lets see a team with a spine of Gibbs, Djourou, Nic B, Archavin, Rosicky, Theo and Jack Wiltshire would be preferable to Sagna, Eboue, Maroun C, Denilson, Diaby, Clichy etc etc. The former have all presumably spent much of their youth playing in cold weather while the latter squad would be happier playing in the hot weather months.
    But, my God, for Leeds and Ipswich..we had many of the northern born players in the team an they were as bad as their southern cousins. I still believe that there may be a germ of truth here and AW should look at picking a team for the weather, or at least factor it in!

  51. Neamman says:

    Big R
    I agree with you completely. Maybe the strain of 6 years without a trophy as made Aw a tad conservative.

  52. California Gooner says:

    good morning, from California… had a very scary dream last night. I was very excited about reading some science and went into a classroom to get some books, and everyone was sitting for a test that I hadn’t read for and knew nothing about. Jose Morinho was the teacher, and I just knew he was thinking of some nasty, snide way to put me down…

    Big Raddy’s point is a good regarding the CC. It is rather embarrassing to play such a strong squad and still get beat. And worrisome, frankly. There are games when just don’t look to score. What has happened to Chamakh ? Is he hurt or just massively out of form? And Eboue? He just seems to have regressed so much. In the past, he was at least very good going forward. But yesterday he didn’t seem to have a taste for it.

  53. Our Post cupboard is bare for tomorrow, does anyone have a post up their sleeve?

  54. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches you still here?

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    Will do a striking post!
    Just got in. Just going out. So will do early in the morning.

  56. Irishgunner says:

    Doesn’t matter LOL catch ye soon

  57. Hi Irish – I’m just going out, catch you tomorrow

    Micky – fantastic, catch you in the morning

  58. London says:

    BR

    Interesting point about the team selection: when I first saw it last night I said to myself, as I am sure most people did, Wenger really wants this. It seemed obvious and I stopped thinking about it for a while until I asked why? Different answers went backwards and forwards in my mind until I realised that Wenger cannot afford to lose this one. The burden of five years without a trophy can only be carried for so long before it starts to weigh on even the most successful shoulders. For the first time I truly believe that Wenger realises if he messes this one up his credibility will seriously come into question. The upshot being there is, in my opinion, more chance of Van Persie and Nasri playing in the return leg than there is of JET and Eastmond……..and why not? Let’s get this monkey of five years without a trophy off our shoulders and we can get back to concentrating on the serious stuff.

  59. Gooner in Exile says:

    Been MIA all day have just read through comments.

    Most of which I have agreed with. Although I do take exception to the attempting to be funny play on Pat Rices name, you can question what he does but don’t ever call him anything other than Arsenal Legend/Hero. He epitomises The Arsenal as a player and a man.

    Does anyone think Thierry is unsettling the team in training? Ghosts of Trophies recent past may not be what the current squad needs.

    Second point if Wenger had played the youth team and lost we would be more annoyed.

    Thirdly people have commented that City’s clearances fell at our CB feet whilst Ipswich cleated our heads. They seemed wind assisted in second half no excuse just an explanation.

    Fourth should we start Eastmond at right back on Saturday?

    And anyway are we all bothered anyway it’s the Mickey Mouse cup isn’t it 😉

  60. London says:

    We should start with Almunia at right back.

    GIE

    We are too close not to care, we can not longer use the excuse that we do in the early rounds about it not mattering; we are in the semi final and it does matter, we have to win this, last night’s team selection suggests to me that Wenger believes that too; he has now got to put the fear of God into the players and make clear to them that there are a few who are in serious danger of spending the whole of their time at Arsenal without winning a thing….a sad indictment indeed.

  61. Statics says:

    LMAO london!!

    Almunia is the third tallest player in the squad. He certainly can be a decent back up CB!

  62. Harry says:

    @Raddy, finally someone who sees why our play doesn’t work at times, we need to have the confidence to draw the opposition out and get round them….

    We need more energy and movement, it was lack lustre, upto 45mins I tend to blame the players, but after that I feel the boss must take the blame, cannot he not make changes earlier with a tactical slant? Can he not see what we were seeing..

    Personally I was worried when I saw the line up, I always cringe when I see Denilson and Cesc togther, it doesn’t work, period.

    Some of the things I have heard today are laughable, we beat Chelsea 3-1 and finally we have a great squad, strong bench etc and now suddenly we need 10 new players in..

    Although I didnt like the line up, it should have been good enough to beat Ipswich. But fair play to them, the best team on the night won……..

  63. I agree with London, having poured scorn on the CC for years I want us to win it now – I don’t care that its a meaningless trophy, I want to see Cesc lift it.

    I promise I’ll never again tell any spuds, manks or bindippers that its not worth winning 😆

  64. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Sometimes The Arsenal can be analysed too much. What has come before the loss to Ipswich is still the same as after. The Arsenal has been beaten in the Carling Cup semi final, but will go on & win the whole thing. Its quite simple really.

    In short, I’d rather get beaten 1-0 in the away leg of the semi than 1-0 in the Final. It was a wake up call of humungous proportions, & I’m grateful for it it 😛

  65. Gooner in Exile says:

    The 😉 was to indicate I was being ironic.

    I would quite kilt to win it too. Not as much as when the Youth team reached the final at Cardiff and lost to Chelsea, but it is ours to lose.

    The moment anyone in the media suggests we might win something the players seem intent to prove them wrong. The players are on the verge of letting AW and the fans down. It’s time for the players to repay the managers faith in them. These next few weeks will make or break our season and this squad.

  66. London says:

    “wake up call of humungous proportions”

    Nail on the head there gnarley

  67. Femi Jacobs says:

    Gooner in Exile: I dont agree with you saying the players want to let AW down. Asene want to let himself down. What other match could be so sure of giving us silverware than that carling cup? Why did it take him so long to remove Bendtner when it was obvious he couldnt bend the Ipwitch? Why did it take him so long to bring in Charmak? Why was he seated instead of cautioning Ebue right from the beginning? Where was Nasri and Vanpersie? Why is it taking him long to identify a defender?

  68. Rasp says:

    New post …….

  69. Camberwell gooner says:

    Well I didn’t have the ‘privelege’ of seeing the game but I’ve read enough column inches of posts and comments to get me to Edinburgh and back. Seems like the team just picked up where they left off in the Leeds game, where they were complacent and lazy, thinking they only had to be in the vicinity of Portman Road half asleep in a hotel room with a sign on the door saying “Wake me up when we’ve won” to win the damn thing.

    It’s not a question of quality and all this talk of shipping out half the team off the back of two shoddy performances is, of course, ludicrous. As other people have already pointed out (I think Arseblogger said it), compare and contrast the high pressing game we played so effectively against the Chavs from round the back of Fulham Broadway station where all the winos and vagrants hang out, to the ambling, half-arsed stuff we dished out to Leeds. Fair enough, we’re not comparing apples to apples here because they weren’t exactly the same teams, but this apple and that pear were harvested from the same orchard…so maybe the picker is to blame? What I’m saying in a very roundabout way is two things: one, most of our beloved Arsenal players suffer from a dangerous species of snobbery, meaning you only really see them apply themselves in games against more dangerous opposition (which is paradoxical because as everyone has pointed out here, anyone can be dangerous if you don’t put in the graft) and two, maybe AW doesn’t get them geed up enough for games like this. And on that second point I hope I’m more wrong than a physics degree student with the best grades in the college throughout his course turning up to the media studies final exam.

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