Saint Self Destruct strikes again.

Written by Wonderman

It was encouraging to learn the team news by way of sky sports as I came out of Highbury and Islington station. Both Szczesny and Djourou had been restored to the starting line up as had been hinted earlier in the week and Song was passed fit.

I was concerned with the new found confidence of Carroll and Djourou was just the ticket. The only bad news was  that Sagna was still injured, but after Eboue’s performance last week I was not overly concerned ( how ill judged that would prove).

Before the game a minute silence was impeccably observed in tribute to the late Asrenal Director Danny Fiszman and those Liverpool supporters who died at Hillsborough.

We started with Szczesny in goal, Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny and Clichy in defence. A midfield of Cesc, Diaby and Wilshere, with Walcott,Van Persie and Nasri up top. The first couple of minutes saw us trying to get our passing going with mixed success. We were either passing the ball to the opposition or under passing leaving our players at risk of injury.

Liverpool had set up defensively with the view to counter, a tactic that everyone except Barca bring to the Emirates. They were trying to use Reina’s  massive kicking ability to get in behind our defense, but Djourou was not having a bar of it. He set his stall out early and Caroll was pretty ineffective whilst on the pitch. In the 6th minute Suarez took a free kick but hit it straight at Szczesny. Arsenal continued to attempt to penetrate Liverpool’s defense but they were compact and aggressive, ensuring that the danger areas that we liked to exploit were negated.

In the 15th minute Kosser had a header hit the bar with Reina in no man’s land. The 19th minute saw great interplay between Cesc and Nasri which ended with a fantastic cross from Nasri which Reina did well to pluck out of the air before Walcott was waiting to pounce. A similar move in the 23rd minute on the other side between Walcott and Cesc had the same result. Two minutes later the ball was in the back of the Liverpool net through a trademark Cesc/Van Persie combination, but Robin was correctly adjudged to be offside.

Suarez and Caroll were trying to combine but we kept them dysfunctional and ineffective. It was apparent to me how bereft of pace the Liverpool front line was and we were containing them comfortably. By this time we were dominating possession Robin chased the channel followed by Reina but was unable to keep the ball in play with the goalie way out of his goal. The final 10 minutes of the half saw us enjoy what must have been 70% possession but creating  no clear cut chances.

At half time, I felt it had gone exactly as I thought it would, except I had expected more of a threat from Caroll and Suarez. I was pleased with Diaby’s contribution, he was incisive and effective, no dawdling or pirouettes and early passes meeting their intended destination. Djourou and Kosser were in control. Eboue was causing real concern to Liverpool along with Walcott on the right hand side.

In the second half Liverpool looked to have a willingness to attack with more intent and continued to try to catch us on the break but not without neglecting solid defensive play. The 54th minute saw Eboue’s achilles trodden on in one of their attacks and he went down like he had been shot leaving their left midfielder to advance.

We continued to probe without success and a clash between Carragher and his right back left him semi unconscious for what seemed ages, which didn’t help preserve our momentum. He left on a stretcher and luckily wasn’t seriously injured .  So here we were with two novice teenagers playing full backs and their main leader / communicator off on a stretcher replaced by the pony tailed one , bloodbath time you would presume….wrong in the 71st minute Walcott and Wilshere were replaced by Bendtner and Arshavin.

Arshavin immediately injected that urgency that our attacks had started to lack, he ran at defenders, committing them attempting to disrupt their two banks of 4 with some success, but I thought our movement in reaction to this was poor and in some cases non existent. Robin rarely threatened the near post and Bendtner out wide right is a mystery to me. By the 80th minute Diaby was beginning to revert to type, probably through tiredness and was correctly replaced by Song .

The crowd were beginning to show signs of nervousness and the Liverpool away support were getting louder than our 55,000 plus fans. The removal of Walcott was like a shot in the arm for the Liverpool defense. Gone was the worry of the ball over the top, gone was the worry of road runner coming at them at 900mph. In the 82nd minute a good delivery from Clichy saw Robin glance a header goalwards, but no danger . Two minutes later Clichy to Cesc to Nasri to Robin again all one touch saw the gilt edge chance we had been waiting for, but Reina earned his corn and stood big.

We then broke again but Cesc made the wrong choice of pass, frustration/ nerves were beginning to kick in. Shortly after Suarez got in with a blindside run behind Clichy with no midfielder tracking him and rather than cut it back to two Liverpool players who surely would have tested the goalkeeper or even scored he blasted high, wide and handsome. We continued to press but my concern was the gaps Eboue was leaving behind and his poor recovery runs to get back, all of Liverpool’s attacks were exploiting that space. Because of the injury there were 8 minutes extra time signalled.

In the 96th Cesc was brought down in the box after some cute footwork Penalty ! Van Persie despatched it coolly followed by a feeling of absolute relief/jubilation in the stadium 1-0. BUT it was at this point that we rubbed our little magic lamp and summoned St Self destruct. Straight from the restart Liverpool desperately tried to shoot. Szczesny parried and was closed down by Suarez forcing him to pick up. Suarez then turned his back on the goalie giving him the chance to take the ball to the opposite side of the box and use up some valuable time. Instead he kicked the ball to the half way line back to Liverpool whilst the defence were still pushing up.

Liverpool then went long with 3 players against our 4 defenders and Meireles running past the non reacting Bendtner. Song had two chances to clear, Kosser had a chance to clear both unconvincing, the ensuing scramble saw a free kick correctly awarded for a foul at the edge of the box. Suarez hit the wall with his effort and it ballooned to our right where Lucas was closely followed by Eboue running towards the corner flag with his back to goal. From where I sat 110 metres or so at the other end of the pitch, it looked like Eboue had put his hand on his back and then fell on top of him, stonewall penalty, to make it worse after protestations of innocence  Eboue had that ridiculous grin on his face. Kuyt despatched his penalty 1-1 ….the stadium began to empty almost immediately



Szczesny – 7  Looked assured and was safe in his handling. Kicking still requires some work and he needs to add ‘game craft ‘ to his locker

Eboue -6 Did not have a bad game but made a very bad decision that cost us 2 points to do what he did was just typical of us this season. Still has the tendency to make injury seem worse than it is which annoys the hell out of me.

Djourou – 8:5 My man of the match I shudder to think what would have happened had he not recovered from injury today. Carroll knew he was in a game today

Kosser – 8 did not do much wrong but still has a tendency to try and win an unwinnable ball , but what a first season

Clichy -7 Energetic as usual and got forward well, but still worries me when he has time on the ball in our defensive third

Diaby – 8 pushed Djourou hard for MoM put in a very good shift today linking play quickly and efficiently, was subbed at the right time but should be pleased with today’s work

Wilshere – 7 not his best game as there were many stray passes today. But the sign of a class player is one who always wants the ball no matter how many mistakes he makes. Kept going until he was subbed

Cesc – 7.5  almost identical to Wilshere but was instrumental in winning our penalty

Nasri-7 not his best game and is beginning to look battle weary

Walcott- 7 was no where near as effective as I expected , especially playing against an 18 year old novice. Is not a winger

Van Persie – 8  battled all game usually against 4 defenders, had balls of steele to take our penalty at the 11th hour

Arshavin – 7.5 Looked dangerous when he came on and tried to raise the tempo. Perhaps should have started bearing in mind his record against Liverpool

Bendtner -7 is not a wide player, does not look or play like one, so why do we insist on putting him there ?


Song -7.5 Solid return from injury

In closing, there is continual talk of buying this player or that player but  in my opinion no matter who we buy or who plays, when we continue to commit such fundamental errors of judgement life will always be more difficult than it needs to be. Mathematically the title is not absolutely dead as I still think there will be a twist or two, but whilst we remain unbeaten in the league this year we don’t appear to have the required momentum  to be champions…but I could be wrong

St Self Destruct strikes again !!


169 Responses to Saint Self Destruct strikes again.

  1. Morning glum gooners

    Thank you Wonderman for a great write-up, shame about the result 😦 I wasn’t at the game nor have I seen any of it, the only game I’ve missed all season, but the grumblings from Arsenal supporters on the train were all of a similar theme sadly – that Arsene has taken this group of players as far as he can and that we need a change.

    The combination of poor defending, lack of goals and the capacity to implode from a position of strength is very testing ……..

  2. Gooner in Exile says:

    Very fair Wonderman, have some issues with ratings but that’s always subjective.

  3. Rasp says:

    Great effort Wonderman, I’m impressed with your attention to detail and ability to report unemotionally. Liverpool were disappointing as you say. DJ kept Carroll very quiet and Suarez only had small flashes of quality.

    I believe we need a top centre forward, but when you look at the performances of so-called top strikers like Suarez and Dzeko you realise that they are not easy to find. With City probably looking for a replacement for Tevez in the summer and Chelski looking to recruit a forward or two, the prices are going to be out of our league.

    If only we could find a player like Hernandez. Sorry chary, but I have to say OBF has done it again, he does know how to pick a player.

  4. Morning all, and thanks for the write up Wonderman, it’s very difficult to write up any draw, especially one that feels like a loss.

    So, our flirting and affair with being Champions has ended, not with a bang but a whimper.

    I’ve been on Mugabe media lock down since 6.10pm last night, after another dismal snatching of a draw from the jaws of victory.

    Oh well, at least I have the Villa game to look forward to and meet up with my AA chums for one final piss up before a summer of transfer heartbreak can start.
    Amidst the depression and despondency of yesterday it’s been missed that we can mark the Spuds 50th anniversary – ’61, never a-f***ing-gain.

  5. Rasp says:

    Morning chary,

    Time for a change I think. Whether its a change of strategy, players or manager is out of our hands, but change is needed. The pattern to our annual demise is as obvious as the pattern of our play and can no longer be ignored.

  6. No, I agree Raspers,on this occasion the Alchy has got it right.

    He has picked the right Mexican, ManUre get a dangerous hitman and we get(after 3 years of waiting for his visa) the lightweight dud that is party-boy Vela.

    Just our rotten luck.

  7. Red Arse says:

    Hi Wonderman, 🙂

    A Post written not just as a fan but with a technical eye for what went on. Really liked it, thank you.

    I am of two minds regarding Theo. As you said, teams are concerned with the potential trouble his pace can bring, and ‘Pool certainly relaxed when he went off.

    So, what’s my problem?

    Well there are a number of things really.
    — The first is that he so often plays the ball 3 metres to a marked team mate rather than take his back on. This might be because he does not seem able to dribble, or have a piece of trickery to fool the oppo defence.
    — When he does break away and crosses, he never seems to look up, as a result the ball often goes to an opponent.
    — He never anticipates where the ball from a team mate is going to go, (a common fault with other team mates too), and as a result he is too often on his back foot.

    Why do these problems matter? It is because he can be totally ineffective for large parts of the game, rather than the major asset which he should be. We are just not getting the best out of him.

    All of these things could and should have been addressed by the coaches discussing his game with him, and tweaking his play, as necessary.

    Not a popular view I am sure, but it is my honestly held opinion.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB,

    I am not sure that it is just luck that Manure bought Hernandez.

    In January last year, when we were really concerned about getting a tall defensive CB to play with TV, we were expected to buy Smalling, (a 6′ 4″ Gooner), but we allowed Manure to nip in and buy him under our noses for £12m because we would not increase our £10m offer.

    This was a replay of how we allowed Manure to buy Ronaldo for £12m under our noses after even his mum said he would sign for us, and look at how he turned out.

    Not luck. Not luck, at all.

  9. Colonel Mustard says:

    Song -7.5 Solid return from injury????

    errrr….as culpable if not more then Eboue for the penalty. He is rash and a liability. This tackling is not top league standard

  10. Raspers, I feel we should have had change last summer when we were in with a shout for the Championship last season and we imploded in all too similar fashion then as well.

    Perhaps Enos K can force through the change now, but we’ll have to wait and see as ever.

    RedA- you are 100% correct; I was trying to be kind/diplomatic otherwise I would have started a doomer diatribe that would have been counter productive – missing out on Ronaldo, Smalling and Hernandez points to a recurring failure.

    The only time we got one up on the Govan gallumpher was with Rambo, the exception rather than the rule.

  11. Red Arse says:


    Now with Rambo, luck did play apart, leg knocked off by an ex-Manure player, and had to be sewed back on.

    Hang on (apart from the leg) maybe that wasn’t luck!

  12. Wonderman says:

    Morning all,

    @ GIE I toiled with the ratings to be honest, but I tried to be as objective as possible. It was’nt the worst performance this season, but as you said subjective

    @ RA My view on Theo and in fact Bendtner, Vela and Arshavin is that we are asking players to play in positions which is not in line with their nature. Ronaldo is a winger, Nani is a winger even Adam Johnson is a winger. In my opinion Walcott is a forward. I agree with you that he does not appear to have a trick up his sleeve and Liverpool double banked on him excellently yesterday giving him no where to go. Equally Bendtner is not a winger !!! why we didnt go 4-4-2 yesterday when he came on to give them something to think about was beyond me with nasri and arshavin on the wings.

    As I have said before we are falling down over the most basic things. Playing Liverpool is never easy and credit has to be given to them as they defended excellently and showed fantastic team spirit.

    What I was most disappointed with was we did not expose their two inexperienced full backs the way it is always done to us

  13. Wonderman says:

    Hi Colonel Mustard,

    So what would your ratings be ??

  14. Wonderman says:

    Hi Chary,

    It’s not dead yet, but we are struggling with the required momentum to get us over the line

  15. Wonderman says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I think cutting out basic errors playing players in their natural positions,observing and reciprocating some of tactics used against us would be a start. We may all of a sudden realise that we are better than we have shown/ are showing

  16. Rasp says:

    Hi Wonderman,

    Yes that’s just it – we are underachieving. We have wonderful players but we are failing to get the best out of them and to instill the mental strength to stand strong under pressure. I’m afraid its all down to one man.

    The lack of finance I can accept, the necessity to bring through young players I understand, but the persistance with a footballing ethos that makes us so predictable I can’t fathom.

  17. kelsey says:

    Yet again a difficult day to write a post, so well done Wonderman.

    I said earlier we have this tendency to play a congestited midfield and game after game especially when Theo is playing, a ball gets centred and we are lucky if there is one red shirt in the box.

    My main gripe is no leadership on the field.I would like to see someone give another of his team mates a bollocking sometimes.

    Cesc is half the player he was, his goals have dried up and as I keep repeating I believe his mind is elsewhere and i have read today several comments on other blogs saying the same thing.

    I sometimes think I am watching The Harlem Globetrotters of football, pure entertainment without the cutting edge to finish off teams and just look at some of the results this season to emphasize that point.
    Not a happy gooner today so off to the beach.

  18. Gooner in Exile says:

    As I said yesterday evening, I wouldve taken a draw against Liverpool a few weeks back, taking 6 points from the previous 4 games is far more objectionable and the 6 points lost in those games is the current gap to ManUtd.

    But once again I have to place the blame at the players door. A manager can do everything in his powers to assemble the team, motivate them. If those players cannot lift themselves to put in consistent performances to win the league then it is those players that need to change.

    Average players need motivation to make them believe they are good enough to win against better opposition.

    How much motivation do you think Adams, Bergkamp, Viera, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Tevez, Cole, Terry, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi need or needed?

  19. True Wonderman, it’s not mathematically impossible for us to win the league, but I see the remaining 6 games as more a struggle to retain 2nd spot than anything else.

  20. Raspers we agree completely there – it’s the madness of doing the same thing that is not working time after time and expecting a different result.
    With the transfers, squad youth policy I have no problem, it’s the unwillingness to adapt when we can see where the problems are that is annoying.

  21. SPECTRUM says:

    Same old same old. What excuse is it this week ? Bad luck ? “Teams always come here and defend” ? ( how naughty of them ), Liverpool’s black shirts made it hard for my players to see them ?
    Well A.K.B.’s – here’s the news I’m sure you’re all glad to hear – from the mouth of the Great Leader himself : ” We will continue to live within our means” ( read : our transfer policy won’t be changing, so don’t expect any big name quality signings ), and “we will continue with our policy of developing youth” ( we can see what a success that has been ). And to top it off, the board have said they will be backing Wenger 100%. So there you have it. More of the same.
    Relax. We’re in no danger of winning anything till at least 2014, when Wenger’s ( recently extended ) contract expires. Knew that would please you.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  22. Wonderman says:

    Hi Kelsey, I think Cesc is more worried about picking up another injury hence his appearance to be ‘not quite right’.

    Gie 11:23 Absolutely agree and would go further Newcastle away, Spurs at home, Sunderland away, Wigan away 4 games where we were winning with the 3 points in the bag only to take 3 out of 12. That is where we have fallen short

  23. Rasp says:


    We’re not into name calling of the manager, players or fellow supporters so kindly keep the ‘AKB’s’ stuff for other sites.

    If you read through the comments you will see that we are not afraid to ask difficult questions but we are wary of extreme reactions based on supposition.

  24. Red Arse says:


    Why do you insist on copying and pasting the same tired old rubbish on every website you visit.

    If you want respect, you need to give it too, otherwise sling your hook.

    (Sorry Rasp, but this guy is a sever irritant).

  25. I’d like Spectrum to come back and elaborate on the points he makes(some of which I have sympathy for), but I suspect he is a “hit and run merchant” and won’t be back however I‘d like to be proved wrong.

  26. Red Arse says:

    GIE, Wonderman,

    I know from conversations previously that we are all agreed that playing guys like Theo and Bendy out of position (and inversely others too) does not help them or the team.
    That is down to Arsene and the coaching staff.

    On the other hand, we have the conundrum of very gifted and athletic players appearing to have little between the ears. Why can they not change their tactics on the pitch if the original idea is not working.
    Why can they not play with more passion, more effort in attacking, and more effort in tracking back?
    They all seem to want to leave it to someone else, therefore only in the last 10 minutes do we try to flood the oppo’s penalty area and could not be arsed to get back and help the defence.

    That’s down to the players, as GIE says.

    Management and players need to sit down and talk thru’ what is happening!

  27. Red Arse says:

    Umm, don’t know if I am colour blind sudenly, but has AA gone from red edges to grey and if so, why?

  28. SPECTRUM says:

    Red Arse – “Same old rubbish ?” Wenger is a poor tactician.Is that “rubbish” ? If so, please tell me why we consistently fail to break down teams that “always come here to defend.” Why for example, does he play Bendtner out wide on the right ( yet again ), when he is a centre forward, and should be in the box, utilising his heading ability, especially when we need a goal ? That’s just one of many examples.
    Then there’s no plan B. Even some of you guys on here are admitting that. Whose fault is this ? Is this “rubbish” too ? The definition of insanity ; doing the same things over and over again, and expecting a different result.See my earlier post, and you’ll see that from Wenger’s comments of just a couple of days ago; he intends to keep things just as they have been for the last six seasons.So why be surprised when the season turns out the same again ?
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  29. Gooner in Exile says:

    I don’t necessarily agree Theo is being played out of position I can’t see him playing well surrounded by defenders, for him to be effective he needs to be running at pace and therefore coming onto a ball and gliding past stationary defenders.

    When he I’d most effective is coming on as sub against tired legs or when oppositionare committing men forward.

    I agree with NikB as we have all said if you’re going to play him you must play him up front.

    When he was being readied I’m sure Kygriakos and Skrtel were readying themselves for the last 20 and then they breathe a sigh of relief when he goes standing on the right wing.

    One point on the build up to the late late show when the free kick was being set up Szczesney is telling everyone to calm down, why should one of the youngest players on the park be trying to settle more experienced players around him.

    Not many of us question Arsene’s team when it plays well and the players are our heroes but when it goes wring we look at the manager for answers rather than the players who we have lavished praise on before.

  30. Wonderman says:


    Absolutely agree, my answer would be we dont know what they have been instructed to do by the manager/coaching staff. We have often heard Wenger talk about ‘being patient’ which may explain the pass pass,pass ethos perhaps. The problem is throughout this season every single player has been culpable at one time or another

  31. SharkeySure says:

    Hey Wonderman, cracking post and I agree with pretty much all of it. My only gripe is that the following line from your 11.00am comment was not included in your headline post.

    “It’s not dead yet, but we are struggling with the required momentum to get us over the line”

  32. Red Arse says:

    Hi Spectrum,

    That’s fine, I have no problem with you expressing your views.

    My beef is that, not for the first time, you write out a “Word” comment and then paste it on every website. That is not respecting regular bloggers because you are only on ‘transmit’, and are not there to ‘receive’.

    And drop the ‘rust’ epithet, it is soooo last year.

    Otherwise, come on and chat!

  33. Red Arse says:


    Theo is not technically gifted or tricky enough to play on the wing.

    Many bloggers (on a multitude of sites) seem to think he eventually needs a chance at CF, as does Arsene.

    I have to say I also do not see him being a CF, and altho’ it is difficult to disagree with your premise that, on the wing, he should use his pace to run past stationary opponents, but it rarely happens consistently.

    As I said earlier, I think he has issues to address with the coaches over his general standard of wing play.

    It goes without saying that I have no pleasure in saying the above, and my opinion has little to do with yesterday’s game, because he has talent that is not being properly used for the team, at the moment.

  34. SPECTRUM says:

    Red Arse – Thanks for your reasonable ( i.e. non abusive) reply. When I have a comment to make, what is the point of typing out the same message on other sites I visit, when it is much simpler and quicker to copy and paste? I’m not only on “transmit”.I leave the other blog sites windows open, and check on them between posts, to see if anyone has replied.If they do, I respond ( when time allows ).Sort of like multi tasking.
    As for the “rust” bit….I did, in fact originate the expression, and it is meant to convey how I feel about the way the club has and is, being run over the last few years, i.e. frustration and decay.I have made it my “signature theme”.It’s my way of making a statement of my belief.I think it’s MORE RELEVANT now than it ever was.
    So I don’t see how you can say it’s so “last year”.Last year we had the same situation at Arsenal, did we not ? And the year before that…and…I rest my case.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  35. Red Arse says:

    Hi Spectrum,

    A reasonable comeback.

    Just come on and make your comment and it could well initiate a conversation, for and against, and everyone will be happy with that.

    You do know that ‘rust’ is a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen producing iron oxides. It is simply another state for the metal.

    As such the term cannot really be applied to human beings, unless you are ‘Metal Mickey’? 🙂

  36. SharkeySure says:

    Spectrum. With all repect, on this site no gets abused, its just not that kind of site. But I have to be honest with you, every time you write that piece of shit at the end of every post I feel like being abusive to you.

    Not in the sense of getting personal and name calling, but I really do want to tell you to **** right off and not come back.

    You make some decent comments but spoil them with that puerile epithet.

    I for one will be asking the powers that be to keep you off this site if you carry it on. We’ve had this conversation before.

    Over to you.


  37. SharkeySure says:

    As a team we miss out on so many basics of football. Just the 99yth mn free kick alone showed up so many problems.

    1. Tall men on the ends of defensive walls,
    2. Not letting opposition players disrupt our wall.
    3. Arshavin again stood off the end of our wall as he did at Stamford Bridge
    4. Players raising their arms when jumping

    I could go on.

  38. SharkeySure says:

    1. Tall men NOT on ….

  39. Wonderman says:

    Hi Spectrum

    Is there a feeling of Deja vu ? I agree with you …frustratingly so. Is our club in decay ? I would ask you against which past period are you comparing our current ‘decay’ to use your words. The previous 10 seasons to Wenger saw us finish 1st twice, 4th 4 times, 6th, 5th, 10th and 12th once each. With no stadium move in that time or arrival of an oligarch to prop up your competitors…So let me get this absolutely clear the 3 winning seasons, 5 2nd places 2 3rds and 3 4th that Wenger has managed thus far represent decline in your world does it ? or have i missed something ?

    I have a Charlton fan who lives up the road from me….need I say more ?

  40. Wonderman says:

    Sharkey 12:45 agreed !

  41. Red Arse says:

    Very good comments Sharkey! 🙂

    Between you, Wonderman and GIE I think we could write a coaching manual and forward it to Arsene.

    — ‘Tall men on the end of defensive walls’ —, whatever next? Forwards required to shoot at goal? Wingers instructed to look up and pick out a team mate before crossing?

    My head is spinning! 🙂

  42. SPECTRUM says:

    To Red Arse – I use the term “rust” metaphorically. I thought that was quite obvious.It is meant to reflect the general state of inertia, decay e.t.c.( if you catch my drift ) that has been/is occurring at the club. It’s the antithesis ( opposite) of “In Arsene we trust.”
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  43. SharkeySure says:

    Red – You want to have a chat with Wonderman about triggers when he’s back from a day on one of his courses !!

    The thing is that he often tells me stuff that I didn’t know that I already knew. By that I mean, there will be (good, great, brilliant??) things that I as a footballer do, then Wonderman can tell me why I or other players (need to?) do them.

    Its like a short cut really.

    Do I spend hours working out which way is best to strike a ball for certain outcomes, or do I have someone come along and simply tell me the best way. Thats coaching, improvong me a a player as quickly as possible, by correcting my errors and teaching me good habits. The alternative is the long wait whilst players work it out for themselves.

  44. SharkeySure says:

    Spectrum. Serously, can you just leave it off of one post and take it from there. What is it meant to add to your posts anyway..??

    Once a day would be bad enough, but every single post..??

  45. SharkeySure says:

    *tells me stuff that I didn’t realise that I already knew.*

    Is that clearer..??

  46. SPECTRUM says:

    SharkeySure – Well it’s regretable that you should find my signature theme offensive. But I COULD have made it sound a lot worse e.g. “In Arsene we’re f….d.” Which Is how I feel, but I don’t want to upset anyone who still has time for Wenger.So I refrain from using such a term.
    If you can’t handle a simple descriptive “epithet” like mine, then as I’ve said before, you are TOO SENSITIVE.How do you know that I don’t find “In Arsene we trust” to be offensive ? Surely it cuts both ways if you’re going to use that argument?
    I’m not swearing, and I don’t appreciate you threatening to have me censored.Other than that, I wish you well.
    “In Arsene we rust.” ( oops ! )

  47. Out of interest Spectrum, are you a fan of Gerry Anderson’s TV show “UFO” from the 70’s ?

  48. Watch out chary, the mysterons will get you 😀

  49. SPECTRUM says:

    charybdis1966 – Know what you mean.Used to watch it when I was a kid.But the name I use isn’t related to it.Just one I chose at random.
    But when you think about it,”spectrum” denotes a “wide range”.I’m an objective person, who takes on board a lot of views before deciding which one to back.So I suppose it fits me.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  50. Oh right Spectrum, although I think I’ve goofed, I should have said “Captain Scarlett”, however going to definitions/origins a spectrum is what you get when you separate white light out into it’s constituents.

    I’m not sure what I’m getting at, but I’m sure there’s some kind of apt metaphor there somewhere.

  51. Hi Peachy, I think we picked a good game to miss.
    Looking forward to our end of season drinky poo’s against Villa.
    After yesterday(and saturday re. ManUre), I’d say “Mine’s a treble.”

  52. RockyLives says:

    Good write-up Wonderman.
    I was on a plane so I missed the game, but having read your report (and the comments) it sounds like a depressingly familiar story.

    We don’t have the excuse of lacking key MFs or strikers. The fact is that Cesc, Nasri, Theo and Song were all MUCH better in the first half of the season than they have been in the second.

    Rasp has said it: our style of play is now so absolutely familiar to everyone (and so intractable to change) that even great players can be easily nullified by any committed defence.

    It really is time for some sort of serious change: for me, that would not be a change of manager, but a change of tactics and of some personnel. Even the optimists among us have to concede that this group, playing in this way, will never win a thing.

  53. SPECTRUM says:

    charybdis1966 – We’re both right on the definition of ‘spectrum’.According to my Oxford dictionary, there are three meanings. 1) a band of colours forming a rainbow according to their wavelength. 2) a similar series of bands of sound. 3)( mine )- an entire range of qualities or ideas. Cheers.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  54. RockyLives says:

    I watched the goals on Arsenalist and the ‘Pool penalty was absolutely NOT a penalty – the ref was completely conned.

    However, our naivety in defence (from the lack of clearing the ball effectively, to the ‘keeper not killing time to Eboue giving Lucas the opportunity to cheat) is a recurring problem.

  55. Wonderman says:

    Hi Rocky, as I said earlier, it is dropping points from winning positions in earlier games ( when we were supposedly fresh)that have made our recent spate of draws hurt so much. Every team goes through a blip at a point in the season, I suspect this is ours

  56. Red Arse says:


    Enough! I am trying to be patient but you seem unable to leave it alone.

    Your ‘decay, inertia’ comment is unacceptable.

    I also take offence at your puerile claim to have originated the distorted epithet you add at the end of your comments.

    To try and disabuse you, Americans are proud of their country and the National Anthem.

    — The first reference to “In God We Trust” is contained in the U.S. National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

    It came from the song which was originally written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and later adopted as the national anthem.

    So you can see that apart from the lame substituting of ‘Arsene’ for God, and ‘rust’ for trust you are about 200 years late in claiming originality.

    No more of it please! You are seriously offending me!

  57. goonermichael says:

    You bored the pants off me on another site and you are boring here. your “catchphrase” is childish and a bit sad. I agree that Wenger’s time is probably up but I hope he stays just to wind you up.

  58. Wonderman says:

    We will have to disagree on the penalty decision ,for me Eboue has no need to touch him nevermind fall on top of him, but then falling down is one of Eboue’s party tricks isn’t it

  59. Red Arse says:


    Sorry I had to go out for a short time, so did not read your comment until just now.

    Please don’t set the sharklets on to me! I am totally in agreement with your comment at 2:00 and was being tongue in cheek when being sardonic about our team not knowing these basic disciplines.

    I also agree with you about Wonderman and his coaching knowledge. It is really great to be able to rely on his knowledge, and also 26’s (and Rasp’s) refereeing info. 🙂

  60. SharkeySure says:

    Spectrum. You show me how many times a day you see in Arsene we trust on these pages and I’ll concede that you are indeed acting as a counterbalance and I actually have a cabbage for a head.

    ‘Threatening to have ne censored’ – now who’s being ‘too sensitive’.

    Anyway, you’re times yp with mem agd you may have noticed one or two others who seem to be losing patience with you.

    What is it you say about Arsene. Keeps repeating his errors, doesn’t listen, refuses to change..?? Well hey there Mr Kettle, I’ve got a caller on line 1 for you. Says his name’s Mr Pot, and says he wants a word. Shall I put him through..??

  61. SharkeySure says:

    Thats just how I read it Red. No problem here.

  62. Wonderman says:


    ‘I’ve got a caller on line 1 for you. Says his name’s Mr Pot, and says he wants a word. Shall I put him through..??’

    classic…. lmao oh the irony !!!

  63. Gooner in Exile says:

    It is very easy for people to criticse AW.

    He puts his faith in his players publicly and when they let him down he defends them. None of us know whether he backs them because he has no other option or because he really believes it.

    When we are playing well our system is good enough to beat nearly anyone. When it’s bad it looks incapable of beating a non league side.

    To me we have to compare our team to Barca and ask what separates us, yes they have formidable players, but they are not big (size wise) so the same as us, they are continental in their approach….same as us.

    At the moment what I believe separates us from them is speed of movement and speed of pass. Now we are out of form we are taking 3 or 4 touches before committing to a pass, when we are good we take 1 if that. When the team is playing well there is movement and 3 or 4 options, at the moment we seem static and there is 1 option if we are lucky.

    So as Wonderman says we are in our blip. But this is where we need the best players in our side to start standing up and be counted, Cesc is our heartbeat, unfortunately it has hit an irregular rhythm at the worst time of the season.

    Does Arsene look clueless to people, he is certainly not Steve McLaren under a brolly. But some are considering him a failure, yet there are managers of other teams who are celebrated for achieving nothing more than keeping average sides in the PL.

    To me Arsene looks deeply frustrated that this team he has built with all the talent hasn’t got the balls to win this title. What would he give to bring back PV4 or DB10 now?

  64. SPECTRUM says:

    Red Arse and GoonerMichael – Hey – 1)It was the A.K.B.’s who used the term “In Arsene we trust.” I simply adapted it to suit my usage.So blame them if you don’t like it.
    2)No-one (to my knowledge) used my version on other blogs before me.That’s not meant to be a boast, just me being honest.
    3)By the way, as you’re evidently a student of history, Red Arse ; “In God we trust” was, and still is, also on the U.S. dollar bill. Are you going to blame the U.S, Federal Reserve bank for “stealing” it too ? Perhaps you will sue me on behalf of the U.S. government for breach of copyright ?
    Honestly, FFS this is a storm in a teacup.As I said, you’re being way too SENSITIVE.Grow up the both of you, and anyone else who thinks the same.
    Oh,and before I forget – “In Arsene we rust.”

  65. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey, 🙂 🙂

    If Spectrum won’t listen, then I will expect Rasp and/or Peaches to take action, under the rules of AA.

    — All opinions and viewpoints can be freely expressed, all we ask is that no-one descends into insults. —

    Well I feel insulted, both for the disagreeable and obnoxious comment about my club manager; and the imbecilic distortion of part of the hymn ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.

    If there is any repetition, I would expect appropriate action to be taken.

  66. Wonderman says:

    GIE @3:40 Spot on mate…. whilst everyone has a right to an opinion most bloggers would struggle to manage a top under 16’s team in their vacinity. Football is not an exact science. Yes there are technical do’s and dont’s but the things that make winners are the intagibles like momentum, confidence, flair, belief, motivation. I am no happier about our current predicament then the most anti Wengerist , but lets be objective, let’s have sound reasoning behind our arguements/opinions

  67. SPECTRUM says:

    SharkeySure – You’re conveniently twisting things to suit your own argument.The big difference is I don’t manage Arsenal football club. HE DOES. And he should be answerable to the supporters if he doesn’t perform, just as he would at any other club who cared about winning things, rather than tolerating a tactically inept accountant masquerading as a manager.
    Yes, but I’m consistent in my views.If he somehow changed his ways, I would have more respect for him, as I did in the early days, before he went stale and lost the plot.But he WON’T change his ways,( and you still can’t/won’t see that, will you ? ). That’s why sycophantic sheep like you, will always be happy with mediocrity.You deserve each other.
    “In Arsene we rust.” ( and proud of it. )

  68. Gooner in Exile says:

    Jimmy Carter, Eddie McGoldrick, John Jensen, Stefan Schwarz, Gus Caesar, Andy Linnighan, Colin Pates, Steve Morrow.

    Sorry just had to remind myself some dross I’ve watched before.

    And if one more fan calls up a radio station to say Wenger has never bought a good defender and it was all based on GGs back four I may have to drive round and show them the Invincibles back four personally.

    The problem I have is with those who want Arsene out is they have not changed their opinion but their reasons. We gave the second best defence in the league so it’s now not the defences fault, so instead they target the philosophy of neat passing football.

    The TH14 era was the epitome of push and run football. I think the blame lays at the players door they do the push but they don’t do the run bit as well when they are off form, and unfortunately we are badly off form at the moment.

  69. Red Arse says:



  70. Rasp says:


    You seem to be unable to understand the nature of this blog. It is essentially friendly, but in achieving that, it does not require anyone to follow any mantra – opinions are welcome, whatever their context.

    By persisting with your asinine catchphrase, you prevent your point from being taken seriously. If you continue to portray yourself as a wind-up merchant rather than someone who wants to exchange views with others, you will be the one responsible for removing yourself from the site.

  71. Red Arse says:


    In case Sharkey has not seen Spectrum’s latest insult aimed at him, can I say on his behalf that I consider the following beyond the pale.

    — That’s why sycophantic sheep like you, will always be happy with mediocrity.You deserve each other. —


  72. Gooner in Exile says:

    Spectrum – I’ve ignored most of your comments because from the first one there was no real argument or theory. And then I read:

    “That’s why sycophantic sheep like you, will always be happy with mediocrity.You deserve each other.”

    2nd place in the league is mediocrity? No it isn’t coming mid table and “hoping for a good run” in a cup is mediocrity.

    Also the way you say that its as if you won’t be sticking around with The Arsenal……good

  73. SPECTRUM says:

    Red Arse – ( quote )”If there is any repetition, I would expect appropriate action to be taken.” That is attempting censorship.How else can you interpret it ?
    I can’t believe you guys are serious.I have tried to explain why I use the term. And you still find it “offensive”.? Are you men or mice ? Uh oh. Guess you’ll find that remark “offensive” too, eh ?
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  74. I fall into neither school of thought, I haven’t always wanted Wenger out but I see signs recently that he has changed markedly in recent seasons.
    Would we have seen the Wenger of a few years ago go and argue with Dalglish at the final whistle, what was the point of that? I used to think that Wenger conducted himself with dignity on the pitch, unless provoked by the likes of Orange man Taylor or Mark Hughes or Pardew.
    But the blame for yesterday’s result sits, in my opinion, largely on his shoulders. He is the man who has supervised training session after training session so he knows what his players have been drilled to do.
    If the same mistakes are being made in match situations, then who’s fault is it?

  75. Wonderman says:


    the men in white coats have arrived. I actually respected your argument until your infamous

    ‘he should be answerable to the supporters if he doesn’t perform, just as he would at any other club who cared about winning things,’

    No doubt you were at Michael Hutchen’s side egging him on to ditch Helena Christensen for Paula Yates

  76. London says:

    Good write up Wonderman.

    I agree with your ratings as well, Song gave the team a sense of solidarity when he came on, it was not he that fell for Lucas’s trick that gifted them their penalty, 7.5 is a worthy rating. You guys have more patience for Scrotum than I have.

  77. Red Arse says:


    Sadly, the management of this site do not seem to care that I and others have been insulted and offended by you, so you win .. I am off.

    Before I go, there are bloggers who would say about you that you are an odious little toad, with a cretinous brain, parroting execrable comments and that you are an abhorrent little shit.

    Because I agree with and prefer to abide by the rules, I could not possibly say that.

  78. Wonderman says:

    Chary trust me, just because you drill players, does not mean they do it. I do agree with you that reacting to the match situation is not one of Wenger’s strengths

  79. Rasp says:

    OK SPECTRUM, your resignation is accepted. If you decide you want to debate like a grown up, you will have to email the site before you are let on again.

  80. Rasp says:

    Red Arse,

    Slow down, give me a chance. I am really busy at the moment and couldn’t keep up to date with his antics but be assured he’s gone to SPECSAVERS 😛

  81. Wonderman, it’s nothing personal against our manager when I feel he may not be up to it anymore, he is only a human and we should not expect god like behaviour/performance from him.

    All I’m saying is that I value what’s best for Arsenal FC above what is best for any individual.

  82. Wonderman says:

    Chary ..agreed

  83. SharkeySure says:

    Complete and utter moron..?? No one’s ‘offended’ or too ‘sensitive’. You’re just plain annoying.

    Rasp, leave him on for today if you like, his lack of basic comprehension is quite amusing in parts. Not to mention allowing him the right of reply.

    His ‘vicious attack’ on me has actually left me with quite a smile. Like all loudmouths, he’s resorted to playing ‘the victim’ quite cutely now with all his talk of ‘censorship’ as though anyone’s trying to prohibit his ‘freedom of speech’. Lol

    We’re actually trying to limit his freedom of stupidity if anything. But eveytime we hide his shovel, he goes and buys a new one and just carries on digging a bigger hole for himself.

  84. One point on Spectrum, although I find his sign off phrase a bit cheesy, I don’t find it particularly offensive, is there something wrong with me?
    I’m more annoyed by oppositon fans(Manks/Stokes/Brums/Spuds) coming on here and goading us.

  85. Rasp says:

    I don’t believe this site is going to turn into a ‘Wenger out’ forum. Most of us are uncomfortable with the idea that a man who has done so much for the club should be removed.

    I said flippantly after the game yesterday that its a shame managers don’t get injuries and have understudies who can step into their shoes for a while.

    I think Arsene is too close to the club, he may need a break or just the ability to step back and view things in a more detached way. What if a far less gifted manager were to take charge for a couple of games and demonstrate that just doing the basics well can be effective, would that make him rethink some of his strategies?

    Many have said that DD was a man who could work with AW, who would reduce his workload and offer an opinion that he valued – maybe that is what it would take again?

  86. Rasp says:


    I can’t win 😦

  87. Wonderman says:

    valid point, but that assumes it something that Wenger is doing wrong. I am with GIE the players have let him down badly

  88. Red Arse says:

    OK Rasper,

    Don’t have a problem with him commenting, which is what I said much earlier, but insulting Arsenal, the manager and/or the players is not debate it is simply being offensive for the sake of it.

    His ridiculous epithet is especially offensive to me, for reasons that must be obvious.

    Comments, opinions, arguments are all fine and we all agree with that.

    If he agrees, as well, then I can have no objections.

  89. Evonne says:

    Spectrum – ‘a tactically inept accountant masquerading as a manager’ – I thought I didn’t know much about football, just loved the game, but the above is so ignorant, that even I jumped.

    There is a handy internet utility called Google. You type in the key words and press Enter. I suggest you try ‘Wenger manager wiki’, then scroll down the the paragraph of Arsene’s achievements. Got it?

  90. Evonne says:

    Hello Red Arse, I wasn’t going to blog today coz I am furious with Eboue, but Spectrum made me really mad – the claws are out again and the scratches on the table are getting deeper

  91. Rasp says:

    Hi Wonderman,

    I think it is shared responsibility. The players let themselves down without doubt. Arsene buys, trains and selects the players as well as being responsible for tactics and ‘motivation’ so I don’t see how he can be absolved of all responsibilty for the level of performances.

    I’m not saying he should go, but he has a problem and in my opinion, he has to change something to put it right.

  92. Rasp says:

    …. also, most of the players scored quite highly in the ratings but we didn’t win the game – it suggests to me that the system failed to an extent.

  93. Rasp says:

    SPECTRUM, just observe the rules of the site and you can come back on.

  94. goonermichael says:

    Nothing you say hides the fact that you are boring spectrum
    in arsene we rust

  95. Ah, Evonne, you’ve arrived to add a touch of glamour to the proceedings. 😉
    Sadly, for me(but luckily for you), I have to be off now but nice to see you.

  96. Wonderman says:

    Hi Rasp, the ‘problem’ we have is our team is not the finished article hence Wenger’s patience in the players. I agree with you that it is a shared responsibility, but we have gone very far down the road of developing our own squad and are paying the price of that development. I would like to see little tweaks.Out with certain players and in with square pegs for square holes.

  97. Wonderman says:

    Thanks London, I tried to be as objective as I could

  98. Rasp says:

    I am in total agreement with that Wonderman, but would just add that we should also ‘tweak’ our style of play to make it less fragile and predictable.

  99. SPECTRUM says:

    Rasp – “debate like a grownup”.That is condescending crap. You know as well as I do, that if you look around on other blog sites,and not just Le Grove, there are many writers who use more inflammatory language than I supposedly did. One has the headline “Wenger delusional” in it.Do you find that offensive ? It’s one person’s opinion, and someone else no doubt has a different opinion.That’s what forums are about, aren’t they ?
    I think the real reason you banned me, is because you run a forum for Wenger sympathisers, and you ( and they ) don’t want an alternative view expressed.If you ran an opinion poll of 1,000 neutral fans, I would think most of them would judge the ‘rust’ comment relatively innocuous.
    The points I raised about the club and management of it were relevant, even though I was strident in expressing them.According to you that is now a crime.
    Please email me. You have my address.

  100. Rasp says:

    Thanks SPECTRUM,

    I have allowed your comment because you have finally dropped the ridiculous addendum. As long as you refrain from being argumentative and insulting, you can continue to comment on the site.

    But please remember that just repeating the same point over and over again is not debate.

    We have all understood the points you make, but it is up to every individual to decide whether they agree or not. You have to accept their decision, not try to beat them into submission.

  101. SharkeySure says:

    Rasp, for some people Rasp, every debate must end with a winner and a loser, even though the topic in question is almost wholly subjective.

    I prefer an exchange of views in the hope that both parties might learn something.

  102. SharkeySure says:

    Yes Rasp, that comment WAS for both of you !!

  103. Rasp says:

    Thanks sharkey, thanks sharkey 😛

  104. Evonne says:

    Come on Sharkey, how can you have a debate with someone claiming that AW is masquarading as a manager? Is it worth the while?

  105. SPECTRUM says:

    And thankyou, Rasp.I clearly don’t agree that it is a “ridiculous addendum” however.But I’ll leave it at that.(Though I will continue to use it on other, more liberal sites.)
    Time will tell who is right in this debate about the club’s direction.But there’s clearly no doubt that the management issue is causing deepening divisions within the supporters ranks.
    This is going to persist and get worse the longer the situation drags on like this.I sincerely hope for the good of the club, that a solution can be found.We all support the Arsenal, but many of us have strongly different opinions on how to achieve what we all want ( eventually)- trophies.

  106. Red Arse says:


    Tho’ I cannot and will not retract anything I said today, I do feel sorry for putting you into an unenviable position.

    I did feel insulted for the reasons I gave earlier, but I am somewhat surprised by the lack of support from fellow AA’ers.

    Whether comments perceived to be insulting by one individual should be shrugged off by another as simply ‘cheesy’, or should be allowed on the grounds of ‘exchanging views’ is open to debate.

    Personally, I could not stand by and allow a fellow AA’er to be insulted, as I demonstrated this afternoon.

    Rather than cause you difficulties as ‘to bin or not to bin’, I really did mean I would look elsewhere for a blogging site.

    The fact that there were others prepared to ignore my concerns and permit this on the grounds mentioned above is disappointing.

    We live and learn.

  107. kelsey says:

    Good Evening all.

    Specrtum, you couldn’t be more wrong about this site.We are not Wengerites or whatever you wish to call them, and as rasp has already stated we pride ourselves on being civil to one another.

    We are all hurting at the moment, all showing it in different ways, some still optimistic others not so.

    Red Arse I will support you as you do me 🙂

  108. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    Good to hear from you, and thank you for the support. 🙂

  109. Rasp says:

    Hi Red Arse,

    As I said earlier, I have been really busy today and have not had the time to dissect every comment. I try to support everyone on here, but as you have observed – you can’t please all the people all the time 😦

    SPECTRUM has been unfair on me too as he has accused me of ‘running a site for Wenger sympathisers’ which as you know is incorrect as I have often risked the wrath of regulars by allowing bloggers on with whom they disagree.

  110. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey,

    Thanks, I know you and I agree on many matters concerning Arsenal – although you often get there first 🙂

  111. kelsey says:

    I just noticed something.We have scored more goals away than at home. There is a post in there somewhere.

  112. SPECTRUM says:

    Rasp – So now I’m banned even after dropping my catchphrase for the sake of “decency” ?
    If this is not a Wengerite site, you shouldn’t have a problem with me being on here, no ?

  113. dandan says:

    Very good read Wonderman thanks, Personally I find it difficult to understand the gloom and depression that seems to embroil perfectly reasonable people when the team appears to them to have failed.

    But what is failure then? IMHO it is the inability to fulfill ones potential. But then at what time or age should ones potential be judged as having had enough nurture to burst into full bloom.
    Certainly this is still a young team and surely not yet anywhere near its peak. Again IMHO there exist within the squad the basis of a fine team with one or two areas in need of strengthening. Areas no doubt AW will address in the close season

    Rasp I was most moved in the comments today, by the lofty rhetoric of the mighty spectrum. ( wouldn’t WD40 be a better name for him given, his addiction to rust) But that aside his statement that AW as manager of a multi million pound company should be answerable to the fans rather than the board or very shortly the new owner, left me in fits of giggles so violent that I was rendered helpless, at the pure lack of understanding of the poor man.

    RA stoutly batted by the way.

    To continue: the team itself appears to me to be mystified by the loss of cohesion, timing and understanding that has beset them since the C. Cup cock up. As this mornings twitter from Sagna (below)seems to suggest.

    “Morning everyone. Thank you for your messages, looking forward to work harder than ever and to bring back something to this team.”

    AW has taken us on a great journey from the marble halls to a magical new stadium and epitomized by the detour along the way to the heights of the Invincibles. We are a spoilt community us fans with a memory bank full of great moments and occasions and yet in these accident prone times we decide to feel depressed and sorry for ourselves.

    Wake up Gooners its the spuds on Wednesday, do the boys need to play whilst still carrying on their backs the weight of the collective gloom of our fair weather support, on top of the knowledge that this is the one that matters. Or should we so motivate ourselves and through that our team, so that the one CL appearance in 50 years can continue to be the unlanceable boil on the Lilywhite backsides of lately noisy neighbors

  114. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, not easy for you.

    You are not autocratic and that is a great credit to you.

    Anyway, you are not running a ‘Wengerite’ site, that is errant nonsense.

    In the end there was agreement, for different reasons it seems, I said at 4:36, — ‘Comments, opinions, arguments are all fine and we all agree with that.
    If he (Spectrum) agrees, as well, then I can have no objections.’

    Well fielded sir Rasp! (You see I am even into cricket). 🙂

  115. Gooner in Exile says:


    Tho I feel your pain, I don’t hold anyone here responsible the peace is always upset by a loose cannon every now and again.

    If mods are not around to take action , or others are not around to defend insults it can be difficult and it can feel like one man defending the site and himself (as i felt with my run ins with Suga last week).

    Since then I have decided to give these kind of comments a sidestep, you called him out on copy and pasting which he admitted it, and said he left every window open waiting for a response, which to me just strikes as hoping for a fight. So i just skipped any comments that had his name at the top. until i half read the comment about sycophantic sheep which like many others was a step too far.

    The problem with the extreme opinion holders is they will never see a path to come together in agreement, much easier to harmonise among those with slightly differing opinions which is why I like this site. There are more than enough opinions on here to go round but in the main they are addressed sensibly and with the support of substance and reason. All that then remains is for the two differing opinion holders to apply a bit civility and they may come to a common end.

    That common end is that we all want what is best for the club (at least I hope it is).

    Now is not the time for a change at the top (in my opinion), unfortunately Wenger has taken us so far down this road and there is two ways for it to end, in trophies or for someone to come in and start again from bottom up. Unless that is we can convince perhaps Pep Guardiola to come in and continue the work, most other managers will change our style, in the main the current squad have been acquired to play his way as a group, to ask the same group to do something akin to a Man Utd or Chelsea performance is (again in my opinion) a recipe for disaster.

    But my anguish today lies in the fact that we are so close and the players seem to be accepting second place when they could have had first.

    My criticism of Wenger on the weekend would be aimed in the main at not taking off RvP or Cesc who in my opinion were not offering anything new to the attack, but then RvP converted the penalty and Cesc found the energy to get fouled in the area, so kind of proves what I know about the team 😀

  116. Red Arse says:


    I think I love you and your intelligent, mature take on things. (Don’t tell anyone, especially Evonne, I said that!) 🙂

    Thank you for your encouragement, you and Kelsey are top men! 🙂

  117. Irishgunner says:

    A lot of ye are a bit down today – ya’ll be cheered up by Wednesday night after the Mancs are defeated by Newcastle, we thrash the Spuds and the gap is down to 3.

    Nothing a 3, 4 day weeks in a row in work to make me full of optimism.

  118. Evonne says:

    Red Arse – I still love you 🙂

    Guys – I recon that someone like Dannish, who has now called the Samaritans, or Suga, or Spectrum make it all more exciting. Otherwise we would just compliment each other, agree anonnymously and the blog would be boooooring, no?

  119. Gooner in Exile says:

    It depends Evonne on the tone, simples. A contradictory view is not a problem a loudmouthed insult at a great manager is not going to earn much respect here.

    How bad can the manager be when he is keeping what some call average players with no heart or desire or love for the club in the Champions League. Surely average players with a bad manager would be delegation threatened or at least mid table.

    Anyone with a sense of reason will see we have a good squad, and a good manager and we’re just struggling to find the icing and cherry to top a very enjoyable cake.

  120. Red Arse says:


    Fair point. 🙂

    Actually, I did join in supporting you re Suga3, and he got quite cross with me at one time.

    In the end tho’ he was OK because he is clearly intelligent and I think realised we have a different ethic from some other sites and was OK with that.

    I am fine with anyone coming on to the site in line with AA rules, but it has to be debate, not diktat.

    Thank you Evonne, I know you were there for me! 🙂

  121. Red Arse says:


    I re-read your earlier comment and simply fell about laughing myself at your summation!

    — ‘Rasp I was most moved in the comments today, by the lofty rhetoric of the mighty spectrum. ( wouldn’t WD40 be a better name for him given, his addiction to rust) But that aside his statement that AW as manager of a multi million pound company should be answerable to the fans rather than the board or very shortly the new owner, left me in fits of giggles so violent that I was rendered helpless, at the pure lack of understanding of the poor man’.

    Absolutely priceless! 🙂

  122. Red Arse says:

    Got to go guys, another bloody check up at 8 p.m.
    Yipee …… not!

    Tomorrow. 🙂

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good luck RA

  124. SharkeySure says:

    Beest of luck tomorrow am and thanks for your effots today Red.

    To be fair I don’t really like dragging that sort of thing on and if it is already going on, I’m sometimes a little loathe to join in, lest it starts to dominate the comments. Which is odd for me as I’m never normally slow in coming forward.

    GN5’s comments re the fans of the other week really irked me, and I really wanted to write and support Rasp (and others) on it, but feared that would only fuel his (incorrect?) perception of being an outsider.

    Some things worth having you occasionally have to fight for, lest they get overrun and lost !!!

  125. Rasp says:

    Evening one and all. Thanks for seeing us through another difficult day.

    One thing I have learnt is that when things are not going well there will always be supporters who are looking for an outlet for their anger and once in a while they will come on here spoiling for a fight as a catharsis.

    I apologise if you think I am too lenient, but the fact is that I see banning people as a sign of weakness if the motive is simply to make our lives easier.

    We will all have had thoughts similar to SPECTRUM’s in our darker moments, but on reflection, we generally regain our perspective. I think the point he and others have failed to grasp is that we share a friendship that goes hand in hand with supporting Arsenal and is about respect and admiration for one another.

  126. Harry says:

    Wonderman, wonderful article, glad I didnt have to write that…I have been depressed all day…..I thought that the attention to detail was excellent…

    Didnt have any heart to write anything and it seems that emotions have been running high on here…So probably best I remained away for a while, Arsenal really affect me, emotionally it really hits me, it doesnt seem right, its only football some people have real problems, but it so hurts, to continually get close and always fall by the wayside, why why why?

    Back to your article|:
    Ratings are always hard to get right and like refs we all see things differently, but what makes me laugh about ratings the most is they are so warped by the result its unreal sometimes.

    Some ratings on some sites were laughable, there is always a difference in opinion, but one site had Djourou down as a 6 and diaby as 5!!

    Anyway I thought your ratings were pretty much spot on, Cesc I would have gone for a 7 as he didnt show responsibility for me at times, anything above 7 suggests above average game, for me he just didnt do it, although my expectations of him are high.
    The only other one was I thought Song wasnt on long enough really and didnt affect the game, he was at fault (but so were many) for the goal…..

    For all those anti wenger fans out there, whilst I accept their stance and can understand the frustration that is there, which is so hard to understand within by all of us, we all react differently, but I am getting so fed up by the lack of atmosphere within the ground, it was like a funeral in the emirates yesterday at times, yes I accept its a fine line between us raising the players and vice versa, as Rasp said the other day.

    But in my mind we let the players down yesterday, why couldnt we have raised the temperature in the ground, shown some passion, belief, fighting for the title, it was more like the emirates cup for pitys sake…..

    Then if the players didnt respond then fair enough, but to be so lacklustre it is unforgiveable……

    Every little part of a club makes the club what it is, the manager, the players, backroom, staff, tea lady and all importantly the fans………

    And every little part shares the blame in failure, some more than others, all arsenal fans should look inside and ask themselves if they truly gave their all, I know some of us can, but many cannot……

    Wenger should also look inside himself and ask himself what more can he do, what things can he do differently? why so close, why are the players playing with fear? why do they insist on not taking a risk, apart from the odd one or two….Why cannot they hold a lead, why panic when there is no need…..

    The players should be truly soul searching, what more can they do, did they try hard enough, why dont I shoot when the chance presents itself (no not when everyone shouts shoooooot as soon as a player runs over the half line), why pass to him or him when I know I can score. Why dont I play to Theo’s strengths, why pass 3yds to his feet when a pass in front in the space would be more effective, why?

    And the tea lady, what do I put in that tea?

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    “And the tea lady, what do I put in that tea?” 😀

    Steak and Cashews wasn’t it?

  128. chas says:

    Great write-up Wonderman.
    I really felt like the team didn’t deserve my support at the end of the game. What a sad and shambolic ending after we had been thrown such a valuable lifeline. Amazingly the drive back up the M1 was brightened by the the smiling faces of the stokies that we passed. My next away trip is Stoke away and will seem far less daunting with them in buoyant mood for their 2nd Wembley trip.

    How hideous would it be for the mancs to clinch the title at the grove?

    Cmon Arsenal players give us a performance at WHL worthy of yourselves, your manager and our magnificent away support.

  129. Rasp says:

    Hi Harry,

    Great comment. One or two of us just go into hiding after a game like yesterday’s and I quite understand.

    I heard of the death of one of my closest boyhood friends on Sunday morning before the game. We were in a band and discovered sex, drugs and rock n roll together – I have wonderful memories of him. Sadly we lost touch when we became family men and I was sad to hear the news too late to attend his funeral. I felt pretty ashamed about getting so upset over the game when I thought how young he was and of the wife and young sons he left behind.

  130. Rasp says:

    On the plus side 😕 I thought Diaby had a good game, very few of the mistakes that have often marred his performances and still glimpses of his magic. Unlike Chamakh, he has confidence and awareness to turn defenders.

  131. London says:

    8:40 Great Comment Rasp.

    Don’t doubt that view, it’s what makes this site work.

  132. London says:

    That will learn me for not reading all the comments before making a comment myself.


    I hope you are feeling ok, or as well as could be expected.

  133. Evonne says:

    Dearest Red Arse – all the best for tomorrow xxxxx

  134. Rasp says:

    Hi London, thanks London.

    Hi Evonne, I’m sorry I missed RA tonight and join with you in wishing him the very best for tomorrow. I think I could have cheered him with the news that he posted the 50,000th comment on AA on Sunday a record that can never be taken away from him – he didn’t make all 50,000 comments himself, it just feels like it sometimes 😆

  135. Harry says:


    Sorry to hear about your friend, life is so unforgiving and no one is safe from the grim reaper, we lead life on a very fragile existence, many of us forget that and over react to things that truly dont matter in the big scheme of things……At least you have your memories of him…my sincere condolences to you my friend……

    But then again whilst you do live you have to have a reason to live…..

    My boys and My arsenal give me that reason…….oh and the wife….


    Amen to your comment about wednesday night, the fans will do their bit so no excuses on that front, but again I have made this comment many times, without the pressure exerted by the negativity blanket thrown by the home support the players do play with more freedom…..

  136. Evonne says:

    Rasp – 50k comments, not bad! Congrats!

  137. Gooner in Exile says:

    Condolences Rasp sad news.

  138. Gooner in Exile says:

    As for Harrys comments about lack of support in ground from the TV the tension was mounting which I thought the penalty would finally relieve but there was no stirring renditions just straight back to angst.

    However not being there you never know how noisy or not the ground is.

  139. Harry says:

    @Rocky at 3.11pm…..

    100% agreed, I have refrained from commenting on this as many agreed that it was a stonewall….I didnt but understood why it was given, I dont actually blame the ref, although he is a complete fool, unliked by all of the other refs and assistants…..Lucas was smart and conned him, but amazingly many of the pros didnt see this…..

    For me, a reasonable comment should have been:

    What was your take on the penalty Mr Expert Pundit?

    Well, I thought Lucas played the referee well, he saw an opportunity to get his team back into the game, technically it wasnt a penalty, but Eboue was stupid enough to give the ref a reason to give a penalty, as soon as eboue continued to follow, Lucas held his run took the contact and threw himself to the ground allowing eboue to bundle over him….(Note over him not him over)…..

    But Eboue should have seen that coming, really school boy stuff……but stonewall, no.

  140. goonermichael says:

    I just read a quote from Carragher.

    Very complimentary.

    I haven’t sworn for ages Peaches 🙂

  141. goonermichael says:

    I like EE. I hate him being blamed for the points dropped. We held the ball pretty well for 96 minutes then forgot how to after we scored. Chesney had the ball in his hands after the restart how did it end up back around our box with nobody able to hoof it?

  142. Harry says:


    It was a terrible atmosphere, really damp, I understand the tension throughout etc, but what I would love for once is a truly emphatic atmosphere at the start ala barca for these type of games that gets the players up even more……If the players dont respond then I accept the fans refraining from continued noise……

  143. There you are, where’s it gone?

  144. Rasp says:

    Evening peaches 😛

  145. Evening Rasp 😛

    Did you trash it?

  146. Harry says:

    GoonerMichael: Not sure if you think I am blaming EE for the penalty? I dont fully the team has to take the collective responsibility for putting EE in that situ, my comment was highlighted as what I think a pro expert should have said, rather than syaing it was a stonewall penalty which it wasnt, but EE did give him a reason for giving it…..

    At fault, you could name 5 or 6 players, so for me collectively they hold full accountability, as you said how did it end back in their hands, we have the possession stats in the league…….Crininal really…..

  147. Gooner in Exile says:

    I tend to agree on penalty Harry, Lucas moves right and applies the brakes, to me the obstruction as the ball is nowhere near being played. At best it’s a coming together of bodies that happens all over the pitch. I said so in post match yesterday. There were enough opportunities to clear the danger before the free kick that other much lauded players failed to do.

    The fact is the media will call it stonewall as it suits the agenda of the desperate defensive nightmare we apparently have.

    It’s time for a change at the Emirates pre match as its very hard as often discussed to get things going in a ground where so many are dispersed throughout.

    How do we get a petition going, perhaps I will write a letter that we can all send to the club. Plus any other means of communication.

    Two things that seriously pissed me off yesterday……

    Gunnersaurus involved in minutes silence…..awful

    Music still going when second half kicked off. That bloody PA drowns out any crowd noise pre match and needs to be looked at.

    By all means have it on but fifteen minutes before kick off switch the bloody thing off (and the big screens) let some natural atmosphere build.

  148. Harry says:

    Yeah Good idea GIE, we have the supporters forums who we supposed to go through, something needs to happen thats for sure….

    The whole set up needs to change……..

  149. Evonne says:

    GIE – good idea re petition. Gunnersourous is awful full stop, let alone observing the minute’s silence.
    I have a picture somewhere of a game, when the whistle already went, but that thing was still running on the pitch!!
    Music, cannons, Arseday, few decent chants and the green thing – all needs to be addressed

  150. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,
    Have not been around due to sulking, simply only got home last night, and I cannot blog from either a mobile or a dongle. Despite the result, I really enjoyed the day, and feel slightly guilty!
    On the atmosphere, we were very upper 93 (I am usually lower down 93) and the atmosphere was fantastic. I have no voice.
    Death to Gunnersaurus.
    Very good health to RA.

  151. mickydidit89 says:

    Reading through yesterday’s comments I was struck by one thing surrounding the Spectrum Saga, and that is that I have never considered this a pro Wenger site, just a whole lot less Red Top and more measured.

  152. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheesed off I did not see you. Phoned Peaches a couple of times and popped around to 93 at half time. We went to the Plimsol afterwards (now the Triangle or similar) and is excellent for a swift post match let-the-crowd-go place.

  153. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp, meant your usual 95!

  154. Evonne says:

    Morning Micky – what struck me about Spectrum saga was that having mentioned other sites (some defo anti AW) he insisted on blogging here?? Samaritans!

  155. Harry says:

    Morning Micky, well I wish I had been sat by you, but the stadium as a whole wasnt rocking ala barca or chelsea…….Gunning for the title but for me there was it was a preseason atmosphere…..

    I understand in pockets people might have felt the atmosphere was good and I appreciate you lost your voice, but look at the way some teams get their staduims absolutely rocking and then look at ours….

    Its all messed up with PA systems, fluffy dinosaurs and VT footage……time and place, as GIE said we need to give it time to build an atmosphere, but there again you need people to their seats earlier and not leave after 5 mins for their trains….

    I just want the best for my club….

  156. Carlito11 says:

    Morning all- hard to stay sulking with bright sunshine and a derby against tottingham lukewarm spurious FC tomorrow! Re: atmosphere- there were good bits where I was but also times I needed to make eye contact with singers behind me to make sure I didn’t end up singing alone! All home crowds seem to be in a similar decline- I noticed it at anfield for their game against Man City too

  157. kelsey says:

    morning all.

    having seen 24 hour coverage by Sky about the extra minutes played i am still sick thinking about it and now we have to overcome Spurs heart can’t take this stress.

    one thing about Wenger is that people forget that English is not his mother tongue and though extremely well educated (a rarity in football managers) he can be misunderstood through a lack of vocabulary.Howeever he is literally pulling his hair out at the moment and perhaps his outburst at the final whistle is something he wouldn’t have done a few years back.The pressure he is under is caused mainly by himself.

  158. mickydidit89 says:

    Evonne, Samaritains indeed 🙂
    Harry and Carlito, Strewth, we could have had quite an AA gathering after all.
    Harry, I do understand what you mean about the support in general.
    Is it only in upper 93 the collective chant of “Who” whenever visiting team sustitutions were announced. Brilliant.

  159. mickydidit89 says:

    Just maybe Newcastle win tonight.

  160. Morning all

    kelsey – do you think this team are good enough to win tomorrow?

  161. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning Peaches,
    I think if Newcastle win tonight, we will go to WHL with new hope and give a performance. If Utd win, I think we will go on a downer and get thrashed!

  162. chas says:

    Morning all.
    Micky, even in upper 115 the “WHO?” chant is heard. It’s one of the few times when the crowd have a cue which everyone can respond to simultaneously. Apart from the moronic run down of the Arsenal team, “number one, Manuel…..”. 🙂

  163. kelsey says:

    Morning peaches,

    yes they are but will they is another matter, in other words i am hedging my bets 😉

  164. micky – sounds like you and your guest were in great seats on Sunday.

    I got to the Emirates at about 5.45 and was making my way to the Tollington when the noise of the crowd kept me stood by a wall like a school girl. I heard the roar when the penalty was given and the even louder one when it was scored, a quick rendition of 1 nil to the Arsenal and then Evonne called me to tell me that pool had a penalty too 😦

    The atmosphere and the energy outside the Emirates surprised me – the crowd does make a noise – or maybe it was just because I wanted to be inside.

  165. Not wanting to get too bogged down in ‘psychobabble’ – Wenger sends this team out to play the same way every game, he expects them to win because he thinks they’re the better team – has he convinced them that they are the better team? Do they get down when they haven’t won and carry that to the next game?

    Sometimes it feels like it’s more important to us that we win than to the team – is that how it should be?

  166. What I mean is, it’s their job and they should want to be successful for themselves – do they ever get the chance to speak up if they think something should change?

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