You arsHAVIN a laugh Arsène?

Written by Harry

As the sun broke the Saturday morning clouds across the Capital, West Ham were taking a shock half time lead against Man united, even better was the early team news filtering through, Theo van nasregas was fit and to top that even further Carlito was already on his tenth peroni at the Tavern, as he laid claim to been the first at the meeting point of the largest gathering of AA’ers ever to be assembled.

From around the globe, they dragged their weary bodies, from far and wide, from the sodden plains of Norwich, the far reaches of Denmark and even from the darkest depths of Devon. AAer’s are a motley crew ushered to the cause by the cries of Peaches the dark raven haired warrior princess, who’s renowned for strict discipline and persuasive powers……
The list of attendees was long, Peaches stood firm and assertive as she introduced her trusty bloggers, London, Mickydidit, 26may,Rasp, Carlito, GIE, Evonne, Big Radders, Chary, SharkeySure and yours truly completed the lineup……..

Ok, long intro, but there isnt much to say on the match to be honest, so just trying to make the report newsworthy………

Before the match, a Highbury legend was remembered, with the tenth anniversary of Rocky Rocastle’s untimely passing…….. How we could have done with him out there today……He is one of my favourites of all time, I remember clearly the day it was announced that Graham had sold him to Leeds, I was devastated, never ever understood that decision…..?
The team line up was ok, Cesc was on what looked a strong bench which included a new addition called Jens Lehmann, a sprightly young German with potential so I have heard, On the pitch was attacking flair aplenty, which nicely wetted the appetite, surely we would put Blackburn to the metaphorical sword….?

As the sun faded across the skies of London, West Hams bubble well and truly burst, Arsenal seemed in a positive mood but somehow started their game in 2nd gear and rarely ventured out of it, only occasionally stepping into a higher gear, but usually slipping back, Arsenal just couldn’t get the pace of the game going, nor could the crowd, Premiership beckons.. you’d have thought this was a meaningless mid table stroll about….
For me, Arshavin looked sharp and was up for it, Theo also looked liked he would be pivotal….jack was his usual tenacious terrier like…. Robin showed good touches, as Nasri looked to dictate play…BUt all that said the team just wasnt gelling, it lacked zip and spark, passing was slow and showed little imagination…

A bang on his head saw Nasri concussed momentarily, he looked groggy and took an age to get back into the game; Arsenal also kept banging their heads against the Blackburn wall and looked devoid of ideas……

Chances came and went, they were never really going to test robinson, the closest we got in the 1st half was when a ball back across the area went straight to young Jack, he tried to steer it in, but it woefully went wide, imagine the pelters Bendtner would have got for that one……

Almunia was having a very mixed bag, as ironic cheers greeted any catches, not helpful really? And when he walked towards the clock end at the start of the 2nd half, he looked a beaten and broken man, rarely have I seen such a poor round of applause for an Arsenal keeper, it was shocking and in my opinion it was out of order, when will fans learn that they need to get behind their team?

With the team lacking a creative edge and the game into the final third, Wenger brought on Cesc, but he replaced Arshavin who for me was the best player on the pitch, he was even tracking back, making a truly memorable challenge in the 1st half, why? I was dumbfounded, the little russian wont be here next season thats for sure……

Although there was a few daft decisions, Dowd for once was not the centre of attention, early in the 2nd half he had a chance to showed he really hated us as Blackburn claimed for a penalty,the crowd waited for the inevitable penalty but Dowd waved it away, did he forget who the teams were? I was right in front of the incident and it was not a penalty.  Dowd even managed to send off N’Zonzi for a two footed challenge on Kozzer, but still we didn’t put them under any serious pressure when down to ten men…(I hate us playing against 10)

Even with Fabregas on, we still stuttered and flattered to deceive, there just seemed a lack of thought and urgency, although we did have a few headed chances in the last few minutes with Bendtner and Robin having chances to win it for us, although to be honest we just didn’t really look like scoring from the start…..

My major gripe, apart from the negative crowd, was the bizarre substitutions, why take our best player in Arshavin off? And then 15mins later Chamakh came on for Walcott, who although was not having his best game, did have that extra gear so now we were without now any real attacking pace….And then to cap it off, Wenger took off Nasri, who had woken from his concussion for Bendtner, whom played out wide again…….

Ratings:

Almunia: Little to do, but still made errors of judgment, doesn’t look safe and has no confidence. 5

Sagna: Good defending, but not his best game and his crossing kept hitting the first man.  6

Kozzer: Had a decent game, solid player, he has a future here. 7

Squillaci: Not a bad game, although he kept trying back passes to almunia which were too short. 6

Clichy: Worked hard in both defensive and offensive play, cannot remember any mistakes of note.  7

Song: Erratic display that saw him booked and lucky to stay on. Not his best display. 6

Wilshere: His first half miss was so embarassing but he worked hard And kept throwing the tackles in, showed more character than senior players around him. 7

Nasri: Started well but was visibly shaken after the blow to the head, never really got in the game, moments of genius though.  6.5

Walcott: Lively on his first start in months, but faded as he didn’t get used properly by the team, should have stayed on.  7

Arshavin: Focussed and determined, played with heart and desire, tried some fancy passes which didnt work but the team didn’t respond by upping their game. 8 MoTM….(I think if he stayed on he would have got us a goal…)

Van Persie: Led the line But needed more support, didnt influence the play enough. 6.5

Subs: Fabregas 5, Chamakh 5, and Bendtner 5……None of them did much, Fabregas sprayed some passes about but didnt add what we were lacking..

Wenger: Poor tactics and you have to question, was there any motivation out there? The substitutions were strange to say at least. 5

The fans: Poor support by most, failed to get behind the team, why come with those voices of doom! 4….

Overview:

So it’s out of our hands now, but realistically there is 24 points to play for, so it is likely that Man United will lose some points before the end of the season….

But now we have to up our game physically and mentally, I found it amusing that Wenger said we lacked sharpness, so why then substitute your best and sharpest player?

A great day was ruined by a lacklustre and tepid display, I will never call for Wengers head, but he needs to alter his stubborness more often and so do the fans, learn to support and be positive when your team needs you……. I am so frustrated…..

Next up: Blackpool (A)……..That’s a rocky match……

121 Responses to You arsHAVIN a laugh Arsène?

  1. chas says:

    Well done Harry.

    Everyone said we had 10 cup finals left.
    Yesterday was more like a pre-season friendly.

    Let’s hope we can take some vicarious pleasure from seeing the spuds humiliated at the Bernabeu and the chavs and mancs kicking lumps out of each other on Wednesday.

  2. kelsey says:

    “AAer’s are a motley crew ushered to the cause by the cries of Peaches the dark raven haired warrior princess, who’s renowned for strict discipline and persuasive powers”.
    Never a truer word spoken.
    I have already given my opinion, and in general agree with Harry,though Arshavin never seems to have the stamina for a full 90 minutes.

  3. Morning all

    Thanks to Harry for a great match report, he volunteered, no torture was needed 😉

    I find it difficult to understand why with all our fabulous creative talent we played like schoolboys yesterday. Could it be that they do that deliberately because the crowd are quiet – surely not!!!!!

    What a nonsense to blame the crowd for the team’s lack of scoring. I agree it can’t be helpful for Almunia to feel that the crowd aren’t behind him but really, they are footballers and not children, it’s their job.

  4. K-TR7 says:

    Good read.i wasn’t even hurt yesterday because i gave up mentally after CC final.i believe we have turned stale and we need to freshen up abit.the talent is clearly there:rvp and nasri were dazzling with the ball at their feet,theo looked electric at times AA too…but there is something missing in the jiggsaw.i believe we are at a point similar to barca in 07/08 season under Rijkaard.he had built a pretty good team but something was missing.Guardiola came in with fresh ideas and a couple of signings (alves/hleb/keita/pique) while weeding out their lazy/past it stars in deco and ronaldinho.they went on to win 6 trophies in 1 year.i believe thats what we need:a few signings and freshening up of the coaching staff.for this to happen wenger has to either go or change things ASAP.

  5. kelsey says:

    wigan don’t even get a crowd 😉

  6. Hi kelsey – Arshavin put on a sprint to track back and tackle at one point yesterday that was awesome – unfortunately it exhausted him for the rest of the game. I agree with you that he doesn’t have the stamina for 90 minutes.

  7. What about the games that have to be played behind closed doors?

    Footballers play most of their football without supporters – maybe it doesn’t make any difference to them at all. Just throwing that out there 😉

  8. GunnerPete says:

    24 points available and Man U likely to lose a few….??? I would say that after watching our last 5 games its much more likely that we will lose more than a few and Chelski will finish above us!

    As for the crowd reaction…I thought they were entitled to air their opinion of a team that look like they were just glad to pick up their big pay packets. Shame they cannot be paid by performance?

  9. dandan says:

    Well done Harry thanks for your thoughts.

    Nasri had a lump the size of a large egg on his head it was a miracle he stayed on, the Dr was clearly concerned as to whether he should or not. But IMHO he showed great fortitude to carry on, commitment to the cause if ever I have seen it.
    Fabergas’s is in my opinion fit in body but clearly carrying mental scars from his hamstring, he needs to be handled with care, because should it go again quickly I am not sure how he will cope. We could well have a Michael Owen on our hands.
    It may well be that at season end he will leave the club, though whether Barca still want him must be in doubt.
    Wenger has proved in the past his ability to move players who’s time has come and dodgy hamstrings are notorious for blighting careers.
    We have players coming through and Sammi/Jack/Aaron plus one of the newbies may be our way forward.
    Obviously a fully fit Cesc is a different matter but somehow I feel that ain’t gonna be.
    AS for the dropped points yesterday time will tell how important they were, but fatal or not and a second place guarantee of CL next year with what I am confident will be an enhanced team is not the end of the world.

  10. Breezy says:

    I have to agree with GunnerPete, over the past five years we’ve seen this type of performance over and over again where the players look like they could’nt give a rats a*se, the manager obviously can’t/won’t do anything about it, and that’s leading to the frustration.

    we have probably the most talented team in the league, but one with no drive or determination, and as Man u are showing the latter counts for a lot.

    Depressed!!!

  11. goonerwife says:

    im just bummed. somethings gotta give. it might be over. ManU will let us pass them over their dead bodies. thats is how they roll.

    Very dissapointed

  12. Alan says:

    Basically since Wenger called every game a ‘cup final’ at the beginning of March we have won NO games.

    When will that man wake up? Shocking capitulation – even by Arsenal’s standards. We have to have the biggest bottlers in the Premier League. Leaderless, leaderless, leaderless. It’s not fucking rocket science Arsene. The creche doesn’t work.

  13. brenthedon11 says:

    although i agree the crowd should get behind the team, the players on the pitch need them to show something for us to get behind them wether thats from good play or just hard work. motivation is required and if the silly amounts of money that they earn isnt enough then what is?????

  14. HCAA says:

    Morning fellow-Gooners,

    Our whole set-up stinks! Man Utd 7-1 Blackburn. Big big difference in attitude. Anyone know why we set up with a defensive 4-5-1 at home against Blackburn? The whole sorry lot of them are pathetic and it’s killing our club.

  15. Rasp says:

    Morning, thanks for a balanced and almost restrained match report Harry.

    My honest conclusions as to why we seem unable to unlock obdurate defences will have to wait until the end of the season as we still have 8 more ‘cup finals’ to play.

    All I will say is this…… other teams don’t park the bus when they’re attacking us during a phase of the game. When we win possession during one of their attacks, we look as though we are going to attack at pace but inevitably there comes a point where a player has to pass sideways or backwards.

    In the meantime, the bus gets into 2nd gear and coasts back into a perfect defensive formation with 10 men behind the ball.

    Several times yesterday we had the ball wide, ready to cross and the attacking midfielders were waiting on the outrside of the box for the clever cut back etc. We do not attack the ball in the box. When we did get some aerial prowess on the pitch in the last 15 mins, we had 4 clear headers and none of them were on target.

    Our coaching system has effectively removed the shooting instinct from Diaby, Rosicky, Denilson and now maybe even Jack. Either they’re scared of failure or they are conditioned to pass when having a shot (and maybe someone picking up a rebound) is the easier option.

  16. silentstan says:

    the fact you will ‘never’ call for wenger’s head illustrates the problem we have. comfort and complacency with players and a manager. even those who only call for players to go, miss the point. year after year the side falls away. whereas others gain spirit we lose it. whereas others have pace we lose it. this is wengers responsibility. and dont anyone dare challenge my allegence to arsenal i have been supporting since 1956 and waited 13 years for a trphy. its the manner in which this team and manager wilt that i cannot accept, and wenger MUST go for us to change and move forward. Its only the fans reactions that will make this happen because the board surely will not do anything

  17. Gooner in Exile says:

    Spot on Harry.

    My biggest question was taking off Arsh and Theo leaving us no wide men (except full backs) to deliver crosses for Cham and NikB, altho we still managed to put some crosses in for them.

    You are right about the forgiveness of Jack against the pillorying of NikB. NikB had a far harder chance (back post header with defender making a back) than Jacks, or RvP’s close range header but neither were given the catcalls that NikB was for that header.

    In fact in the fifteen or so minutes NikB was given he probably got on the end of more crosses than RvP had all game.

    But until we deliver from deep to a big centre forward teams will continue to park the bus and fill the middle of defence, 4-3-3, or 4-5-1 is not going to cut it. It needs to be 4-4-2, or 4-4-1-1.

    I personally don’t think RvP is a player suited to lead the line, sometimes I struggle to see what his major attributes for our team are. He is not Denis Bergkamp, and he is not Ian Wright, or Thierry Henry, so what exactly is his best role for us?

    The only ratings I would question are Theo and Manuel. For me they should both be 6. Theo altho started well faded out of the game after 15 minutes and I’m not sure I saw him much in the second half, he was running into dead ends.

    And Manuel for me gets a 6 also, okay he came for one high ball that wasn’t dealt with well but over all he kept a clean sheet, and on the second half dealt with most high balls well. The abuse suffered from the North Bank for the one which squirmed past the post was enough to cripple anyones confidence.

    Whilst I don’t agree that you can blame the fans for the performance, I do feel that the fans can lift the performance.

    Biggest ovation during the game was for Arshavin working back to the North Bank to block a cross.

  18. Harry says:

    Firstly sorry and thank you to Peaches and Rasp for sorting out my article, I had ended up writing it on my phone on the train back last, was just trying to write a few things to remind me, but ended up doing most of it..

    @GunnerPete, agree we are more likely to lose a few points ourselves, i was merely pointing out a glimmer of hope, but we have to take our chances, I actually said the other week, we have to improve or find ourselves outside the top four. The results yesterday apart from United went for us…….

    @Goonerwife, the phrase you started your comment with is slightly off topic, lol?

    @K-TR7 – Perhaps the players and fans alike have given up since the CC final, mentally shot through…?

    @Brenthedon11: – I understand your comment and you seem likeminded to myself, but just every now and then, although the team isnt doing what we want and you think why should i bother, you still raise up and inspire them to up it a level or two…Some of the comments from around me were pathetic and very unhelpful…I certainly do not advocate booing at any stage, but all have their rights at the end to voice an opinion.

    @Dandan, nice one, as you say time will tell…..

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi silentstan,

    I believe these players have the talent, but for some reason, they lack killer instinct. Maybe its a physical thing, maybe motivation, maybe coaching, maybe the club engenders such a ‘family atmosphere’ that we have lost our edge. One thing is for sure, we can’t blame injuries, inexperience or the referees – its down to us.

  20. Harry says:

    @ GIE, spot on, the fans can lift a performance, likewise they can kill a performance…..

  21. Harry says:

    Silentstan, you might be spot on mate, perhaps I should call for his head, who knows, which of us is truly right, but with all the brilliance and genius of the man we have witnessed, i find it very hard to do that….
    If we were no where near, then maybe, but we are so close, its a small piece of the jigsaw that alludes us, I would allow him another season, before even comtemplating such thoughts and even then……..

  22. dandan says:

    Rasp I know you have reacted recently to my railing against the negativity that occasionally takes over the blog and you have every right so to do. However I do not know if the following is against the rules, but it is a post copied from another blog, I have included the authors name, but it so epitomises how I feel I have taken the risk If that is wrong by all means ditch it and I will accept whatever bollocking is comming my way.

    PaulK says:
    April 3, 2011 at 8:29 am
    I don’t get it. The players, formations, morale, manager and club management are all terrible. The manager just has to go. Yet we’re in second?!?! It doesn’t add up.

    Until just recently Arshavin was part of the problem, pathetic and just had to go. Now the manager’s an idiot for realizing he’s the best player on the team.

    Mourinho would require a huge contract plus he only goes to teams if the purse strings are opened up. Do we pay for it with debt or raising ticket prices?

    Enough criticizing and booing the players, managers and club. If you fire Wenger in disgrace who should we hire as a replacement?….. How about one of you? You’re brimming with confidence. The tactics and good/bad players are so obvious to you. Why don’t you apply? They’re bound to see how blindingly obvious your conclusions are and implement them immediately. Being a Premier League manager is actually very easy. Even a complete moron manager with clearly inadequate players can stumble into winning the League. Coming 2nd in the League is not only shameful but you’ve got to be a complete to do it. That’s why we need one of you know-it-alls who proudly boos the team.

    Let us pledge to become fair weather “supporters”, like many at Man U and Chelsea. We’re the only 3 teams that won the League multiple times. We need to embrace the mentality that we’ll only support the club when they win. 2nd in the League is pathetic. We should boo the team heartedly feeling proud of ourselves and righteous when they draw. We can threaten that we’ll no longer follow the team and might switch our support to one of the only other two teams who have more recent success. Choosing another team that is winning and jumping on the bandwagon is appealing as we just want to win and not support. Supporting your team is for losers.

  23. Rasp says:

    I have no problem with any of that dandan and I have never at any point called for the manager to be replaced.

    However, I do not like to bury my head in the sand. As I said above, our players have the talent – they have as much talent as the manu players, so what is it that stops them realising their potential?

    Over to you for an answer 😛

  24. Gooner in Exile says:

    Stan why did the Invincibles (a side Wenger built) not wilt then?

    See what annoys me is most people say Wenger won things because of the spirit he adopted (Adams et al).

    But that Invincibles squad which everyone also remembers so fondly had one of the old school….Martin Keown in the squad, and in the team one home grown Ashley Cole, and one recently bought before Wengers arrival (Bergkamp)

    Lehman (signed 2003)
    Cole (Youth development)
    Campbell (signed 2001)
    Toure (signed 2002)
    Lauren (signed 2000)
    Pires (signed 2000)
    Ljungberg (signed 1998)
    Viera (signed 1996)
    Gilberto (signed 2002)
    Henry (signed 1999)
    Bergkamp

    If anything what is killing our team now is the fact that for some reason he is finding it difficult to make the current players winners. Yes we can get an old school manager in like Fergie who will undoubtedly launch tirades on the players, but the beauty of the Invincibles they didn’t need that, they were allowed to go and play football with smiles on their faces, and they did.

    What would Bergkamp cost in the current market? Whatever it is we probably can’t afford it.

  25. yesterday arsenal plyd as if thy ddn’t deserve 2 win.bt w’ll surport thm 4reva.lets wait 4 de final whistle.gooners 4life

  26. Rasp says:

    Spot on GiE, I am in total agreement…… “for some reason he is finding it difficult to make the current players winners”

  27. Gooner in Exile says:

    DadDan invite PaulK over here we need people like him around some times!

    Seriously though I agree with almost everything he says, and the one thing I will never do is boo my team my players my club.

    I hope some do take him up on his offer to go off supporting elsewhere, maybe just maybe there will be some season tickets available.

  28. king gooner says:

    what mental strength?what fight?what character?what tactics?aginst a team who had not kept a clean sheet away all season?if this side can’t raise they’re game when they’re supposedly going for the title,what hope is there?ferguson would have gone apeshit!iv’e backed the great man to the hilt but drastic changes are need now from top to bottom with regatrds to the club & team.it’s gone stale…..

  29. dandan says:

    Rasp I don’t do playing Ostrich very well.
    I am perfectly aware of some of the shortcomings and my comment was not aimed at your post rather at pinching others comments for our blog.
    As the previous post basically says, it is the sheer audacity and certainty of the posters that they indubitably know what is wrong, to the point that it is a no brainer that Arsene/Rice Etc should be removed forthwith that gets up my nose.

    Booing your own team is for Spuds. Triumph and disaster as Red Arse pointed out are twin imposter’s and patently and pathetically so many of us can only handle one.
    We are The Arsenal that used to have a touch of class about it.
    Champions this year would be great, second would still be an improvement on last year, what else can a manager do but improve his team performance, the league table does not lie. By that token should we win the title this year, next year we have to do the double or win by more points. Where does it end

    IMHO opinion as I said earlier, there will be changes in the Arsenal Squad for next season let us also hope the BOO boys take their weasel support elswhere and there tickets go to fans who support through thick and thin.

  30. bishans says:

    samba is an average cb i remember him being in b burn’s team in thesame fixture last season and they conceeded 6. Even b4 yesterday they were still in hunt for their 1st away clean sheet.
    Aw was good in signing players(b4 2005) and was barely average in substitutions,tactical approach in matches. He has forgotten that things have changed since 2005, good players never come cheap.only arshavin, vermalaen,nasri were good buys, wankers like denilson,sylvestre(700k),diaby,senderous etc wil always disgrace the club and lower its standards.

  31. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan,

    I don’t boo, I didn’t hear a lot of booing, I sang my lungs out, I support the manager, I’ll always support the Arsenal however ‘successful’ we are, I want to keep my powder dry until it is impossible for us to win the league ….. but I’m not that deluded that I don’t realise that we should be doing better with the players at our disposal.

    That’s not being spoilt or disloyal, I believe it is fair comment and not dissimilar to what AW said after the game yesterday.

  32. s j little says:

    We are ARSENAL supporters and have never liked forcing out managers. But Mr Wenger drives us mad because he has put too much faith into players who have not got any real inspiration and are not helped by lack of tactical accuteness, he has blinded himself into dreaming that this lot will change overnight! An honest No 2 is what he really needs, someone like say Martin Keown. Its such a shame his coaching staff don,t make the players practice what they,re bad at until they drop with fatigue. Can,t shoot,cant hit a ball hard, never try to aim other than somewhere in the goal direction,no leader, no crowd inspiring player. How are fans supposed to rise to the occasion when there is,nt one! Everybody sees the shortcomings except one. There is truly none so blind as one who will not see.

  33. The Invicibles side were proper grown ups.

    And they included players that have become legends in football – quite simply they were different class and how lucky are we that they played for Arsenal.

    We have classy players, what we don’t have are players that galvanise the team.

  34. Rasp says:

    I think our players need anger management – we need to make them more angry.

    Rooney scored a hattrick and then blasted the cameraman with obscenities. He was saying, bugger you for writing me off, this is what I can do.

    Oh how I’d like to see our players misbehave as badly. We all admire the fighting spirit that Jack demonstrates(not dissimilar to Rooney’s), and we all loved it when Keown screamed in RvN’s face.

  35. dandan says:

    Sj Little 1:29 So we need someone honest do we, meaning what Pat Rice is dishonest now. wonderful how you guys know these things. I rest my case

  36. Gooner in Exile says:

    I was about to say the same DanDan.

    Clearly Mr Little has a pass to the training ground every day of the week.

  37. Javu says:

    What are we going to archieve this season? I wonder why we human behave like this dishonesty.wow

  38. Mickeyk says:

    So it’s the crowds fault.they should get behind almunia ( mad mad on the lose in n5) .the truth is this man should not be at a club like arsenal and that’s nothing personal.What is alialidare the spelling may be wrong doing back at arsenal what is it a French social club .denilson wasn’t in the squad thank god because (don’t laugh) he stub his toe and that is not a joke.please daddy wenger don’t make me play against Blackburn I’m scared .what is going on .wenger has to go move him upstairs at the end of the season and get mourinho in to get rid of the dead wood.that means most of the first team .cesc will go at the end of the season that if barca still want him.van persie can be a squad player that’s all his good for.All surpporters don’t be fooled by wenger any more he is not bigger than arsenal Theres nothing to be scared of it is best for both parties.

  39. Mickeyk says:

    S j little your comments are bang on .one thing you missed they can’t header a ball .wenger OUT .ps the board don’t care about the surpporters and are happy if we stay in the champions league .no ambiton.hillwoods an embaresment.

  40. Brigham says:

    Yesterday was another of those lacklustre performances that our beloved team do so well towards the end of the season. We lacked any real bite in midfield, giving the ball away too often and lacking in any creativity.

    We do not break with pace anymore, or rarely anyway and allow the opposition to regroup and defend in numbers. In all honesty, if Blackburn had better quality we would have lost yesterday. Play like that agains the Mancs and it will a bloody drubbing.

    As for the booing of the team at the end, sorry, but that is just something I cannot ever bring myself to do, no matter how bad they have played. I sit about 14 rows back from the home dugout and there was a lot of booing around me that is for sure, although Jack was applauded off.

    We look like a team that has given up on it all, no real heart yesterday and that includes our support and I think we are ALL resigned to another trophyless season.

    Where does Wenger go from here? I am not in the Arsene out brigade, but conversely I also want him to change his stubborn ways or we are very unlikely to progress under his ‘leadership’.

    A few others around me mentioned his name yesterday and we all agreed the club has gone off the rails since he left us. Who you may ask? David Dein, that’s who.

    The board don’t seem to give two hoots about the club right now as they continue to line their already bulging pockets, whilst literally looking down on me and others like me. There has to be change at the club or we will have another similar season like this one over and over again.

    Only qualifying for the Champions League is NOT good enough for a club like Arsenal, end of.

  41. Rasp says:

    Hi Brigham,

    I must have been standing literally feet away from you outside the pub yesterday?

    I hear what you say and agree about the booing and the ‘pattern’ that cannot be ignored. I’d like to hear AW’s analysis at the end of the season and more importantly, what he intends to do to stop the pattern repeating next season.

    Dandan thinks he’ll buy some new players, I don’t think it is as simple as that.

  42. SUGA3 says:

    nice post 😉

    sad, just sad…

    not even angry…

  43. Brigham says:

    @Rasp. lol, probably, I was stood outside for ages right by a black pole where the zebra crossing is. I did walk around the pub a couple of times in hope of finding you all. Never mind, next time hopefully.

    Still, at least I managed to re-direct three separate groups of Scandavians to the ground. lol.

  44. RockyLives says:

    I am well and truly gutted. Miserable to my core.
    What’s that?
    No, no, nothing to do with the game.
    I’m gutted I missed such a massive gathering of the AA Glitterati. I’m looking forward to reading Redders’ incognito account of what you all got up to.

    Good write-up Harry.
    I was very down after that match and performance. If a team can’t bust a gut when it has it in its own hands to win the title, I don’t know what to say.
    One persistent line of criticism – that they’re all rich and spoiled and don’t really care – is patent rubbish. If anything, I suspect they care too much and it’s somehow inhibiting them. Sad to say, the ‘mental block’ we’re accused of having seems to be well and truly real.

    Our players have plenty of skill. When we took Chelsea apart earlier in the season I really thought we could push on, but in the games that matter we just go missing.

    Perhaps most heartbreaking of all is that I really expect ManUre to drop quite a few more points in the run-in – but I have no real belief that we’ll win our games to nick it from them.

    What’s missing? As Rasp says, maybe that’s a discussion for later, when we’re mathematically unable to be champions, but I feel we need two or three battle-hardened veterans with a never-say-die attitude, players who have won titles but are not yet over the hill.

  45. Evonne says:

    Brigham – you can thank Sharkey for that! His description of Rasp and Peaches was as accurate as our goal scoring!
    We kept on looking for Johnny Depp, he wasn’t there. But there were 2 guys about 30 one shorter (Depp?) and one a couple of inches taller, both with dark hair – was it you?

  46. dandan says:

    Rasp have sent Peaches a post

  47. Big Raddy says:

    Great to meet you all yesterday.

    London pointed out that I had seen a lack-lustre few games over the past year and yesterday was just another. Perhaps I am a Jonah!

    Evonne. You omitted to write what I said upon first meeting you. I can quote verbatim as I had only just started drinking. I said “I was surprised that you were so beautiful”. You asked what I expected and I replied short dark and heavy. Odd you missed that out !!

  48. Harry says:

    @Brigham, we must have been inches away at one point..a pole apart…I was wearing a polo t shirt with st georges cross on with arsenal old badge on it….Wearing my avatar…

    Agree with what you said, it hasnt been the same since dein departed…..But then the money has not been there either, coincidence or is it the dein affect?

    Mickey K you are missing the point mate, I agree Almunia shouldnt be there, I think I could do better to be honest, but when a player enters the field of play, personal feelings should be shed and just support them, surely that makes sense?

    At the moment Vieira is inspiring City to a resounding thrashing of Sunderland, the team we drew 0-0 with……..oh to be a depressed gooner…..

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Harry,
    Excellent write up. You summed up the day precisely, and I particularly appreciated your words about getting behind Almunia. Spot on report. Thanks.
    Too many good points made in the comments for me to pick out specifics, but in general I go along with the idea that the summer break and january window are the times to discuss personnel. Without going into my thoughts on individuals, I made the point in january about the need for an established winner/leader, and listed some names. I am even more convinced of this. We have such an abundance of talented players that we all know do occasionally click and perform. Yesterday we saw our top attacking players all fit and fresh, and yet the chemistry simply was not on show. Come the summer, I am sure we will have many healthy debates over how to tactically get the best out of them on a more consistent basis.

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Is the title still possible? Yes, it is. Do I think we will get past Utd? No, I don’t. The reason is, I believe, that they are more adaptaple and therefore give their manager more options. They can play 4-5-1, 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, whereas I don’t believe we can actually play any of the systems to perfection. I have given this more thought than you may imagine, and I believe we have the wrong tools (many, many good quality and very sharp ones) but neverthless short of a tool or two in order to play any system to maximum effect.

  51. RockyLives says:

    micky
    You may be right. And it sounds like there’s a post in those ruminations of yours…

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky,
    Great shame you were not with us yesterday. It was a remarkable turn out, and a great and diverse mixture of truly nice, interesting and committed Gooners.

  53. Brigham says:

    @Harry, yep I saw you mate and there were also a group of Scandanavians close by. Oh well, I think for the next planned meet we need at least one or two mobile numbers. 🙂

    Onwards and upwards

    COYRRG

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky,
    “it sounds like there’s a post in those ruminations of yours…”
    What me? Write a serious post with thought and consideration to all that “tactics bollocks”… in the words of Big Ron!

  55. Brigham says:

    @Evonne, remember the Johnny Depp thing was me saying that I look bugger all like him! LOL Plus I am nearly 51 years age and 30 seems so long ago!

  56. Mickeyk says:

    Song also hasn’t got a clue

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Brigham,
    Having been there yesterday, I can assure you there were only two young and firm members of the gang, so the rest of us had no chance with Peaches or Evonne. So if you want to see off the competition, I suggest you get cracking with making sure neither Carlito nor Sharkey feel welcome here any longer!
    Sorry we missed you.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, fuel time.
    Bye.

  59. SharkeySure says:

    I’m not sure how to respond to that Mickey, flattered I guess, as I was 44 on Thursday gone.

    It was a very good crowd of people from varying backgrounds who all seemed to hit it off on the spot. I really wished I could have gotten there a little earlier, but I actually did quite well to get there at all, considering the stinking cold I had.

    I guess I looked a little odd turning up with a litre of fruit juice under my arm. Then Wonderman sees me this morning at my sons footie match, again with a litre of fruit juice in hand.

  60. SharkeySure says:

    Apologies Brigham….I was trying to help ..honestly !! I should have thrown in a description of Chary, that might have helped.

  61. SharkeySure says:

    Many thanks for the write up Harry, and I’m pretty much in agreement. Whilst I noticed how Arshavin seems to pick his moments to put in any effort, he was definitely one of our main goal threats.

    I’m Song’s biggest fan as most of you know, but he wasn’t great yesterday. I really didn’t understand Song staying on when Nasri went off. Blackburn had just gone down to ten men and we were in desperate need of 3 pts. We needed to throw the kitchen sink at Blackburn, not preserve our shape.

  62. Evonne says:

    Love you all xx good night xx

  63. SharkeySure says:

    Can someone please tell me why I don’t remember meeting London yesterday..??

  64. Carlito11 says:

    Evening all- great write up Harry! You are right that the most newsworthy event of the day was our meet up- such a shame the day couldn’t continue in that optimistic and positive vein…
    I really liked Chas’ comment that it now feels like no time at all since we suffered an idenikit result against Sunderland. I am hurt by yesterday’s performance and it is tempting to throw in the towel and admit defeat. I am definitely with Micky in thinking that the leadership injection has to come from signings now. Whether I continue to back the manager and his team next season will depend a lot on the fickle finger of fate this season and Wenger’s movements in the transfer market this summer…

  65. Carlito11 says:

    Sharkey- enjoying that book. Cheers for the lend of it. As for meeting London, I think he was moving off as you arrived more or less.

  66. Carlito11 says:

    Had a brief discussion yesterday on twitter as to whether Wenger has created “Prog-football”. It seemed a relevant question after watching our play yesterday. If it’s true that we now play a fairly pointless, artful, intricate style which risks becoming stale and lacks impact- then do we need a “punk” moment?

  67. SharkeySure says:

    Carlito, good on yer for getting stuck straight into the book. I had a lot of questions after yesterdays performance, but very few answers.

    Up until a few months ago Wonderman and I played Fri nite footie over at Millwall. We talked on the train home about how vocal I always was, and he said something like, well everyone knows if they’re on your team they’d better put a proper shift in. Once the games over, win lose or draw, I just calm back down. Whilst playing, I’d happily trample the sick and infirm to either prevent or score a goal.

    I know the accusation of players not trying has been bandied about, and is usually dismissed, but at times yesterday, that really looked to be the case. First half, so many crosses into B’burns box went unchallenged. That to me can only mean a lack of desire.

    Fair do’s to the much maligned Nik B, he came on and put in a real shift. He gave B’burn no peace at all.

    I’m really at a loss as to why the players don’t seem to want it enough, to really bust a gut in pursuit of their aims.

    Players like Lee Bowyer and Phil Neville epitomise the spirit that it seems like we are missing. I’m not talking about their abilities, just their fighting spirit and desire.

  68. London says:

    Hi Sharkey

    I just missed you, I was with one of my sons and we had to go and pick up his ticket.

    I couldn’t resist reminding Rasp about the line you wrote about his long over due confession. It made me howl when I read it.

  69. Carlito11 says:

    Like you Sharkey- too many questions and too few answers. When that happens to me I tend to clam up and start listening and waiting for answers to form. One of those embryonic answers is coming with regard to character/ leadership/ being vocal etc and it’s not a new idea in the slightest but I feel more swayed by it after the last few performances.
    Sometimes a group of individuals can be more and sometimes less than the sum of their parts and this is true in all areas of life. I feel all the players we have could be winners in other teams but don’t become winners together… As I said yesterday, I don’t think it’s over at this stage but it could get worse as well as better which is a worry.
    Anyway, enough on that for now, 6 days to stew before we get a chance to get it right 😦

  70. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s to Rasp and DanDan though London, it was a wonderful example of ‘comic semantics’ from the pair of them that started it all off.

    Like I said London, shame I couldn’t get there earlier. Next time.

  71. London says:

    More of a general comment now……I have been a bit quieter recently, most people are used to me disagreeing and treat it as water of a ducks back but this time I find myself disagreeing with everyone…..can no one else see it? When we play teams like Blackburn do we need more attack or more defence? Do we need to score goals to secure important points? What is wrong with a midfield that has two defenders in it? Surely it is recognised that Song is our best DM? Then can someone tell me why the hell we start with Wilshere? Don’t tell me he is the future I already know that, I mean why now, what does he bring to the game?

  72. SharkeySure says:

    Carlito, i’ve edited part of your last post:
    “Sometimes a group of individuals can be more as exhibited by Man U and sometimes less (Arsenal?) than the sum of their parts.

    My last thought/question is this: If any one of our last four chances (all headers?) from yesterday goes in for a 1-0 win, how do we all feel today. Relieved of course, but what else..?? Whilst 3pts would warm me up to an extent, I’m just not sure that it c/would offset the chilblains and frostbite (metaphorically?!) that I’d received watchnig the previous 80-85mins.

    Would a late 1-0 have left me convinced about the remaining ‘cup finals’ that we have..??

  73. SharkeySure says:

    I don’t see Wilshere as a DM, I really don’t. He can start from deep, but I never want to see him sit back ass cover when we attack, in the way that Song will do.

    For home games, I think our midfield needs to be two CM/AM’s in front of Song, any two from Diaby, Cesc, Nasri, Wilshere or even Arshavin. W

    Somehow we seem surprised to find no space between the oppo’s two banks of four.

    In defence of Jack yesterday he’s had a very heavy week of it, and I thought he was sluggish on Tues for England. With Cesc not fit to start yesterday, I’m not sure what other option there was bar Jack.

    Funny thing is that if only Diaby had an ounce of consistency, then yesterday could have been tailor made for his (on good days) skill, drive and energy.

  74. Oooooh London controversial – if you’re saying we need to set the team up with different options if we know that all we want to do is score goals and win then I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    Both Arshavin and Theo should have stayed on in my view and Jack should have gone off for Cesc. Song was clearly struggling after an injury in the first half and should have gone off – Cesc or Nasri could have dropped back or even taken it in turns. So who have I forgotten?????

  75. Carlito11 says:

    Sharkey- it would me. Because if we could have gone on and won then we would have shown character. What’s more, the whole team and crowd would have felt a surge of belief and that would start a more virtous cycle. Right now we are mired in a vicious cycle and that’s the main reason I’m still optimistic about twists and turns because at least it’s not another voice giving velocity to the downward spiral!

  76. SharkeySure says:

    Final one from me.

    F0r 65 to 70mins yesterday we seemed lethargic and lacked tempo when we had the ball. But were we actually worse without the ball. At no point did we press enough to cause a turnover, and catch B’burn on the hop.

    We all heartily applauded Arshavin’s lung busting chase down of the FB as though it was exceptional. Shouldn’t that sort of effort be the norm for ALL of our players for the whole 90mins as we play one ‘cup final’ after another..??

    On that note….

    Nite all

  77. Carlito11 says:

    Peaches- I think most would agree with you that Theo and AA coming off were questionable. I would have taken off a shattered looking Jack and a visibly peripherally challenged Nasri. One for Fabregas and one for NB52. I felt we needed to play with two strikers yesterday, and possibly every time we come up against these park the bus teams coming to the Grove.

  78. SharkeySure says:

    Point well made there Carlito. Thanks

  79. I agree Carlito but we need whoever is on the pitch to score the goals to score the goals. It’s so negilgent to have crosses coming into the box and no-one making an effort to get on the end of them.

  80. If one of those headers had gone in and we’d won the game 1-0 I would have rejoiced in the opportunity to sing 1-0 to the Arsenal and add the 3 points to our running total but would not have been convinced ……….. not yet anyway 😉

  81. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches, I was nore than OK with Walcott going off. 2nd half he was coming straight at me, and he continually ran infield condensing the space. He almost looked like he was ‘hiding’ a bit.

    Right really going now !!

  82. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    As Sharkey’s gone, he asked me to pass this on, says he agrees 100% with the following:

    Carlito – “I felt we needed to play with two strikers yesterday, and possibly every time we come up against these park the bus teams coming to the Grove.”

  83. Thanks FIL – 2 strikers, that’d be a plan 😉

  84. Evening all,thanks for the smashing write up Harry, and sorry for not registering when you waved at me in the Tavern, you caught me in a moment of quiet introspection – that or I was pissed as a fart.

    The highlight of the day was definitely the pre match beers as the game itself did not lift ones spirits.

    Shame Radders got involved in a drunken fracas after the game – wait, before you all say “Typical rock ‘n roll animal” it was the others that were drunken and the mounted policeman sorted out the aggressor very quickly.

  85. Mickeyk says:

    Arsenal will not win the league this or next season or ever again with wenger in charge .

  86. Rasp says:

    I am disappointed that the land mines I have laid on here today have not sparked a reaction. I completely understand Carlito’s strategy at times like this to just read and listen to what others have to say. I had hoped by disagreeing with me, some of you might be able to help me see it all in a more favourable light. I reckon that most of us have been formulating a hypothesis latterly (not all the same) but don’t want to voice it until the season is over.

  87. Gooner in Exile says:

    Been a while since my last post, Mothers Day and all that.

    London, your comments about Jack yesterday I accept, he as others have said look tired. But I ask you what would the crowd response have been if Arsene took him off? I know Arsene is not usually swayed by the fans but maybe in this instance he is, and was protecting himself from more criticism.

    One thing Jack “appears” to give more than others is 100% effort, when he lost the ball yesterday he ran full pelt tackled back and got injured for his trouble, do we see that from the rest of the midfield often enough? Also London why not comment because you disagree? You give your opinion and you back it up with argument, there’s nothing wrong with that, and its what makes this blog so interesting.

    I agree with Sharkey re Theo, he was a passenger second half and was rarely in a good position to be an option, just not sure he has the brain sometimes.

    I also agree re Song’s performance yesterday and I thought he was lucky not to get a second yellow, now tell me do we not see Denilson get stuck in that position (legs akimbo) with a man running at him too, but Song gets off lightly because he has scored a few goals and appears to cover more ground. I also don’t think he realises he is a defensive midfielder.

    There have been a lot of comments about leadership. When Jack was being treated for the recovering tackle we were waiting to take a corner, I looked down at Cesc and he was ambling around penalty area waiting for the corner. If that was Adams, Viera, Keane, Terry or others of that ilk they would be going around their players reminding them that it took one goal to win the game and how badly the team needed it if they want to be heroes, but our captain stood and waited.

    I know we have leaders in the team but they need to show it, and when the leader is not doing so by example in his play he needs to lead by grabbing some players and getting them going.

    Now my final comment on the way we played yesterday is about the support of the wingers, how many times did the ball go wide to have no one in the box, and then go wide to find everyone in the box and no one arriving late. Would just like to see some players in the 6 yard and others arriving at the 18 yard line and others sitting back from that waiting to pounce on the loose ball. Getting ahead of the ball late on (which we did on a few occasions) left Blackburn an easy counter opportunity.

    4-5-1/4-3-3 was built to accommodate Cesc, well if he is as good as we all believe he should be able to play centre midfield in a 2, and Song should be able to give him adequate cover, if only Song could be disciplined enough to actually play Defensive Midfield, do we think he can? 4-1-3-2 would give freedom for Cesc, Nasri, Theo or Arsh to play anywhere across the middle of the park, and two up front would give plenty of options for them. However if the team has to play 4-5-1/4-3-3 because Cesc doesn’t want to play in a midfield two, then is Cesc any benefit to us?

    …….now I know thats controversial but its just a question.

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    I have come up with a little hypothesis Rasp, will be in a post form soon

  89. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, I look forward to reading and agreeing 🙂

  90. Harry says:

    Thanks for all the great comments guys, it really is a depressive undercurrent as we all look for positives…But meeting up with guys and gals has been a positive if nothing else this season……

    I agree that we need to set up different at home against the bus brigade, I also feel we should learn to entice them out and hit on the break using width and pace (as long as the right players are left on the pitch)….

    Personally,last ten minutes yesterday, I would have gone for 3 at the back, pressed clichy forward…….but I aint wenger…..

    Although I dont advocate screaming shoooooooooot at every opportunity like some fans, there does seem to be an issue with players who seem to avoid shooting, I personally have no issue passing when a player is blatantly in a better position, but our players seem lately to refuse to shoot.

  91. Harry says:

    Chary, No dramas mate, thought it wasnt you and i was waving to a stranger…..

    Rasp, have a few ideas about a design running around in the vacuum space within me head, will get something down soon….

  92. Gooner in Exile says:

    I hear what your saying re playing three across back but don’t we invariably do that anyway, I mean it’s not like our full backs stay there is it?

    Also I am not sure the players are disciplined enough to sit with three, nor am I confident in our ability to prevent goals against if we do.

    For me at the moment we lack balance and discipline.

    If I was to look at the Invincibles against the current squad there are three key ingredients missing. Unfortunately its the famous “spine”.

    Give me a Gilberto to sit and hold the shape.

    Give me a Bergkamp to be the fulcrum. He could play with his back to goal or facing goal.

    Give me a Henry to score goals for fun.

    Whilst this current side have greater fluidity maybe it takes away a structure to the play certainty of roles in the team that made the Invincibles….er….invincible

  93. RockyLives says:

    MickeyK
    For goodness sake, start putting some reasoning with your gloomy predictions and statements.
    People on here will be happy to engage with you, but you’ve got to do better than your 10.03pm, which just makes you look like a hit-and-run nitwit.

  94. Harry says:

    I hear that GIE, they do go forward, but for me, a draw wasnt enough with united winning, we had to go for it and we didnt…..Sometimes throw caution to wind…..

    Off to bed to dream about us winning the league in 2020….

  95. […] You arsHAVIN a laugh Arsène? Written by Harry […]

  96. Mickeyk says:

    Rockylives .reasons will not win the league with wenger in charge the players are in a comfort zone .familiarity breeds contempt.these players know what ever wenger says there are No consequences and they don’t care.ther losers.their to spoilt and most of em are not good enoughif they don’t get there own way they crumble no real hunger.they will NEVER win the league with wenger again he’s failed .

  97. Big Raddy says:

    How about playing RvP in the DB10 role and Nik and Chamakh in front (or just one of them)? I am constantly surprised at AW’s intransigence to go all out earlier. He did it at WBA and it worked, yet on Saturday he waited until the 60th+ minute.

    On leaving the ground Rasp said that the crowd was resigned and I had to agree, however I recall feeling the same way leaving HIghbury after we drew with Wimbledon in ’89. All is not lost my friends.

  98. GiE – your 10.43 from last night, brilliant, have you been roaming around in my head. You have managed to articulate exactly what I want to say. Thank you.

    A fit Cesc is amazing but often, Cesc as a passenger is detrimental to the way AW wants the team to play and we really struggle.

    Your point about structure/fluidity is also very true IMO.

  99. Morning Raddy 🙂

  100. Evonne says:

    Morning Peaches, Raddy
    Raddy – thank you for the compliment 🙂

  101. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I don’t have the stats but I am sure that we don’t often score within the first 20 minutes, especially at home, and if we did that would alter the game plan of the opposition and also encourage the home support.i know Spurs was an exception and of course 4-0 up at newcastle was a nightmare but generally we are known for late goals not early ones, though i am sure someone will correct me.

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,
    BR, I think I undesatnd here you are coming from with the RvP/DB10 role idea. If I am right, then the theory is that Robin is out of place central in a 4-3-3, and I totally agree with that, however, as a No10, are you duggesting a 4-4-2 or a 4-1-3-2? If it is the latter, then I agree, if the former then no, as I do not believe we have the wingers.
    This all leads on to what I was rambling about last night. I had been in the sun all day!

  103. mickydidit89 says:

    Kelsey,
    I am also no stats man, but was sitting next to BR (a great pleasure it was too) and said the same thing that it was imperative to score early for both of the reasons you give.

  104. London says:

    We can trace the decline from the CC final when RVP was first played without Cesc as the isolated front man, it didn’t work that day and it has not worked since.
    The West Brom game was a clear indication of what happens when the system includes another striker….a vast improvement for the avoidance of doubt…..but why stop at the idea of making the changes early, why not start with the team set up that way?
    The problem is that one man who currently starts will have to remain on the bench and that is not Song, it is not Nasri, it sure should not be Fabregas……so which player should it be to change our current set up and bring us out of this malaise?

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    London,
    Morning. Go on, spit it out!

  106. Rasp says:

    Morning all.

    Great to meet you at last Raddy, we have loads in common and strangely our paths must have crossed many times in the past due to our shared interests.

    Nice to meet you too London, I hope we have more time to chat next time – you see, neither of us are ogres.

    Evonne, Raddy is right , you are gorgeous 🙂

    Kelsey, sorry you couldn’t be part of the assembly – hopefully one day.

    Mickey, you’ve led a very interesting life, your autobiography will be an interesting read.

    Oh, and Arsenal – I wish I was so assured in my views on that topic 🙄

  107. Hmmmmmmmmnnnnnn …… that would be Jack!!!!!!!!

  108. He pushed me ……. I didn’t want to say it 😆

  109. In Arsene’s defence, Jack has played more time this season than Arsene would have expected due to Cesc’s injuries. Someone said earlier that the the crowd would have gone mad if Jack had been subbed on saturday – not true I feel because it was obvious he was tired.

    If Cesc was fit – or had returned and stayed fit – then Jack would have been sacrificed and used sparingly this season.

  110. On my own then ……. thanks London 😀

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    Not necessarily. London may have a home/away game plan, or simply a plan A and Plan B both using two up top. I agree with him, but he may be suggesting AA, no? Song, Cesc, Nasri, Theo.

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    It depends on who he sees as the starting 1st XI now.

  113. Good try micky, but we both know he means Jack

    Do you mean like this?

    ——–Song Cesc ———

    Theo van Persie Nasri

    Chamakh/Nik

  114. Gooner in Exile says:

    Why shouldn’t it be Cesc? He can’t play in a 2. He hasn’t got the pace to track back if he loses possession up the pitch.

    Cesc played well in a 2 with Denilson and Flamini and Gilberto. Denilson and Gilberto disciplined in a 2 not to go forward. Flamini with enough pace and energy to cover ground when he did go forward. Song does not have that discipline or pace to cover the ground in my opinion.

  115. Rasp says:

    OK, I can’t hold onto my theory any more. I think everything you guys say about the formation etc is correct but that doesn’t answer the question of the apparent lack of aggressive attacking intent.

    I believe that a big part of the problem is our dominance in possession – it makes us complacent and methodical rather than strong and incisive. In our best two league performances against city and the chavs and the win over barca, we did not dominate possession. We had to defend and keep our shape, but when we did get the ball, we made swift and good use of it. We always used to attack best when coming out of defence, but now we give the opposition time to organise an impenetrable wall. Our % possession not only flatters to deceive but lulls the players into thinking we are dominant when in fact we are just time wasting. We have lost and drawn many games when we have had 65+% possession. The answer is not to give away possession, but to have a defensive strength that allows the front 3 (plus overlapping FB’s) to attack at speed and get into the box, safe in the knowledge that if we lose possesion in the process, we are not making ourselves vulnerable defensively. Instead we are often hit with the sucker punch when we slowly bring the whole team forward and get hit on the break.

  116. Where does Cesc play then?

    How about this

    ——Song Jack —-

    Theo Cesc Nasri

    van Persie

    Isn’t that what we’re doing anyway?

  117. Rasp – I’m just about to publish the new post!!!!!!!!!

    Chicken 😛

  118. chas says:

    We definitely don’t need two ‘holding’ midfielders at home against a bus-parking team. It just encourages sideways passing.
    Was Cesc fit on Saturday? If so, why was he on the bench? None of it makes any sense to me anymore.
    Change the formation, change the personnel, do something positive to save what’s left of the season.

  119. GOONERKAM says:

    Hahaha. Its not the dogs issue. He was just set out to do what he was tasked with. Its the uncle who should have been, you know, culled. Sorry MICKY.

  120. GOONERKAM says:

    Most dogs only purpose in life is too make their owners happy. Unconditional love and obedience. Why so turn into vicious evil animals can only be placed at the owners front door and the train he/she did or not provide.
    Who was that psychologist that said ” give me fifty baby’s and in thirty years I’ll give you ten doctors, ten engineers, ten thieves, ten masons and ten sociopaths. Its mainly down to upbringing.”.

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