Bruised and Battered, but not Down and Out

 

Blackburn – Arsenal: 4-3

 Match Report

Written by Total Arsenal

 

Today we saw once again the two Arsenals we got to know so well in recent years: the one that dominates proceedings and scores great goals through wonderful football, and the one that cannot defend properly. Arsenal scored five away goals and won a penalty in the last two games on the road: against Manchester United and Blackburn. Yet, we did not take home any points from those games and conceded an unbelievable 12 goals in 180 minutes of football. Between the two away games we bought new defenders, midfielders and attackers, and whether we like it or not it will take time before these players are settled in and start making a real difference. I hear you say, why oh why did we not buy them all in June/July so they could have settled in better. The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind.

First half

Arsenal started so brightly. There was pressing, crisp passing, good movement upfront and especially Gervinho looked sharp. The midfield trio of Song-Arteta-Ramsey were combining well and bossed the midfield with ease and style. Arshavin did his bit on the left, but we were most dangerous on the right, where Gervinho and the always impressive Sagna combined very well to create chance after chance. Our first goal came from a simple and incisive attack: Song gets the ball in midfield, he moves with ease past a player, after which he delivers a beautifully weighted pass into the box: it quite resembled the one Theo made for Arsenal’s first goal against Dortmund on Tuesday. Gervinho makes a good run into the box and lets Song’s ball run past his body to then cleverly hit a reverse diagonal shot under the outstretched leg of Samba and past Robinson: 1-0.

Then we get the first warning sign of what was to come: a free-kick is simply aimed at – the throughout the game very impressive – Samba in the box, who is allowed an unhindered header from which he should have done better. A few minutes later, (despite Samba’s earlier chance) against the run of play, we concede the equaliser: a simple, low ball is placed past Mertesacker into the box and there is Yakubu to elegantly sight-foot the ball past Szczesny, with the outside of his foot: 1-1, and we have to start all over again.

Samba misses another chance, but it is Arsenal who score the best goal of the game, next. A beautifully worked combination between our three central midfielders: Song passes to Ramsey just outside the Blackburn box, the latter plays a clever cutback towards the D, where just in time, Arteta arrives with a clean and beautifully hit shot, high into the net: 2-1 to Arsenal! Football at its best, and surely, this time we are not going to give it away again…. The Away Fans sing their hearts out and life feels great. Just before the end of the first half we get another great chance. Arshavin uses his body strength and speed very well and makes a fabulous run on the left hand side – he passes to Gervinho who moves himself to a decent shooting position, but his shot is blocked. He could have passed to RvP who seemed in a better position to score, but Gervinho was totally entitled to take a shot himself. RvP could not have looked more Dutch if he tried, when he showed Gervinho his unfiltered dismay about not being played in by him.

Second half

Blackburn started brightly and pressed straightaway high up the pitch – with a high defensive line – putting us under pressure, to which we were slow to react. It only took five minutes in the second half before the defensive horror show to start. The lively Rosina ‘floats in’ – by a lack of better word – a free kick towards the first post: RvP gets outmuscled and cannot get to the ball, it then drops – very unluckily – on the thigh of Song, after which it disappears into Szczesny left-hand corner: 2-2.

Arsenal were still very much in the game and more than capable of winning it, but only three minutes after the equaliser Sagna had to come off and Johan Djourou came on. This turned out to be the turning point for Arsenal. It does not take long before JD gets his first yellow card and it is clear that his confidence is low.

Szczesny, despite finding the ball four times in his net, had hardly anything to do. However, in the 54th minute, a long kick from Robinson reaches Rochina, who plays the ball cleverly to the lively Formica who takes a shot inside the box, only to be denied by a great safe from you know who. Five minutes later, another defensive howler: a corner-kick reaches Nzonzi – who before he brings the ball down with his foot was able to send a text message to all his friends – he is not closed down quickly enough, and is able to put in a clever cross towards Szczesny’s right post: a simple tap-in by Yakubu: 3-2. The new Blackburn signing is just offside, but it is not spotted by the linesman and here you go, from being 1-0 and 2-1 up, we are now trailing 3-2 against the bottom PL club. Unbelievably, and oh so cruelly, another nightmare is unfolding right before our eyes.

Gervinho has not given up though and another clever run enables him to release the ball well to the ‘hammer’ left foot of RvP. The normally prolific Dutchman hesitates for an instance and his shot gets blocked. The following corner-kick is well met by RvP’s head but the ball disappears on the wrong side of Robinson’s right post.

Then the final blow is delivered. From another corner Blackburn can break. The ball reaches Yakubu around the halfway line who passes to Olsson. Djourou is quickly there to block him, but he is already on a yellow card and seems to hesitate as to what to do: he tries to win the ball cleanly but Olsson gets away from him, and Song is also not able to block him off: he ‘passes’ the ball to Koscielny, who inadvertently puts the ball past the flabbergasted Szczesny: 4-2 – game over, so it seems. Desperately unlucky: two own goals and a slightly offside goal all in one game.

However it is not over yet. Chamakh who came on for Song for the last 15 minutes, rises well inside the box between Givet and Dann to reach a peach of a cross by RvP with some power: 4-3 with five minutes to go. A number of chances follow: a great, super-cross by Santos for the revived, and towards the end of the game real leadership showing, Mertesackter – who misses a good chance; RvP’s shot in the box gets blocked by Robinson; Chamakh misses a good header-opportunity; and Theo should have had a penalty when Robinson took him down without touching the ball. It was not to be, and despite 57% of possession and 16 attempts on target (BBC), AND scoring three goals, Arsenal go home with no points at all, once again.

The team showed fight till the end: we never gave up and that at least is an improvement from last season.

Conclusions & Player Ratings

I have decided not to score individual players this time, as this would inevitably lead to discussions about how woeful some of our players have been yesterday, leading to the identification of the next lot of Arsenal players who need kicking out of the door as soon as possible. I am sick to the teeth about our need to single out individual players to blame, if and when we have a sequence of bad games. Clearly, some players have underperformed in this game but this is a new team, in a new post-Cesc era, and for me it is obvious that we are struggling with the system-side of things such as: communication, positioning, holding a defensive line and ‘zonal marking’, ability to find each other and anticipating what fellow players want to do, how to keep possession, how to dominate the midfield, how to create chances for the front players etc, etc.

Individual performances are often significantly influenced by these factors, especially at the start of the season and within a new team. And, although it is easy and gratifying to make one or more of our players into scapegoats – we are all humans in the end – this is not what we should be doing right now. The problem lays in the simple fact that the new players will have to be integrated with the existing players, in a new football system that best suits the quality of all our players, and makes us forget the departure of Fabregas. This is clearly far from ideal, but we are where we are.

I still have full confidence in the quality of our squad and Wenger’s desire and ability to change this round. However, this will take time and there is nothing we can do but hope that we will get back to winning ways soon. Losing to Blackburn hurts badly, and it is highly likely that we will get hurt and embarrassed again in the next few months, but now is the time to stand by our club, players and manager to see this period of transition through: we will need to win this battle by battle, game by game. Next game is Shrewsbury, COYRRG!

192 Responses to Bruised and Battered, but not Down and Out

  1. daniel2160 says:

    “However, this will take time and there is nothing we can do but hope that we will get back to winning ways soon”

    How much time would you suggest? I mean, we’e already slipped from the invincibles, to title challengers, to top four challengers, to a team that puts 4 past Newcastle and 3 past Blackburn away, and still lost.

    I would suggest that Wenger has had all the time he needed.

    And we are getting worse, not better. Have you checked our form over the past few months? That, my friend, is relegation form, nothing less.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Excellent report. Very well written (hard to believe you English is not your mother-tongue!).

    We will rise like Phoenix from the Ashes.

  3. Mark says:

    I think people seem to forget this has been going on a lot longer than published. Or last 16 games in the premier league has given us 16 points, delegation form. Since february we have beaten Blackpool, Man Utd and Swansea.

    The manager is Tatically inept. He sets his team up to play the team exactly the same week in week out with no regard for the oppositions strengths. I’m sorry but he has to go now and it will all get a lot worse in 2 weeks. The scum with thump us with memories of our carling cup semi final scoreline springing to mind.

    Will this be the end of Wenger’s reign? I hope so because I honestly believe he cannot turn this around. All the Wenger loving brigade will see, top 4 more like we will be pushing for mid table mediocrity this season.

  4. We’ve been always starting the season with good results but finally ending up with very bad one. We have a good team this is what I believe. Lets be patient gunners I hope we will come up soon with good result

  5. Fatgingergooner says:

    Mark and Daniel,

    It’s great that you have commented and given your point of view, which you are more than entitled to, but, if you are not willing to back this up with a solution then it’s worth FUCK ALL!

    We can all sit here and say ‘things are rubbish’ or ‘we keep losing games’ or ‘the team aren’t as good as the invincibles’ or ‘boo bloody hoo’! But it just doesn’t help in any way.

    Why not offer us a solution to the problem rather than just telling us what the problem is?

  6. Ima Gooner says:

    when we finally get rid of this manager. Who are we going to replace him with?

  7. Big Raddy says:

    MArk/Daniel. Talk of relegation is way off the mark. What happens this season, happens.

    The team is in transition and I believe that AW is the man to see us through it. He has built 2 great teams already and this will be another.

  8. Breezy says:

    I’d like to be patient, but I just can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, the mistakes we’re making are the same as the past 3-4 seasons. the problems we have run deeper then just personnel, and to be honest for the first time I don’t think Wenger is able to turn it around, i hope I’m wrong, but the bottom line is we are in trouble.

  9. Mark says:

    This team in transition??? It’s been in transition for 6 years!! All you Wenger Loving bashers will see come May.

    While this man is in charge Arsenal will NOT win another trophy. I am a season ticket holder who travels to all away so paying the most expensive money in Europe to see this pile of crap – I think I’m entitled to my opinion!

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Mark. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, just as I am to disagree with you. It is the nature of discussion

    How do you KNOW we will not win a trophy this season or next?

    As to crap football – anyone who watched the first half and the final 20 minutes yesterday was privileged to see the beautiful game as it should be played. That is not to gloss over the defensive faults in the the second half but to me this is a question of organisation not personnel.

  11. Fatgingergooner says:

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion Mark, but it’s how you use it that counts.

    If AW isn’t the man for the job then please, in your opinion, who is? Who could we realistically get to come into the club in September? Who could turn this club into a trophy winning side, bearing in mind they would have the same players we have now and would still have to compete with the likes of United, City, Chelsea etc?

  12. Fatgingergooner says:

    BR,

    I have to agree with you that organisation is definitely lacking. Santos played Yakubu onside for their first when others had stepped. I think it was Kozzer who played Formica onside when Szscesny made that save. The defensive line was ragged to say the least, but that can only get better with time and getting to know those around you. 2 out of the back 5 have played at Arsenal for 1 month and the other 3 have played regularly together for 1 year. This isn’t going to happen overnight unfortunately, and those saying that AW has had 6 years to get it right are probably the same people who were calling for us to buy new players during the window. Wellnow you have all your newbies, but what you dont realise is that New players don’t just slot in straight away unfortunately, espescially with the amount of business we have done this window.

  13. We keep on talking about the great Arsenal back four, it didn’t appear out of thin air, it was put together over a period of time. Yesterdays back four was yet another pick and mix formation, Santos making his debut, then Sagna going off injured to be replaced, not with a right back, but with a poor apology for a centre back Djourou. On top of that Wenger has apparantly introduced a system of zonal marking. It is hardly surprising that the defence is at such sixes and sevens that weconcede four goals, two of which were “own goals” another off-side, marginally so maybe, but off-side none the less.

    Wenger must decide on his best defensive line up and stick with it to give the players a chance to get used to each other. Constant chopping and changing wll do nothing but cause confusion. I certainly don’t want to see any experimentation during the Carling Cup matches as this competition is almost certainly our best chance of a trophy of any kind this season.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Correct. It took years for the TA defence to click, not just 2 weeks.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    LG. Should have read your comment first 🙂

  16. BR, I’m happy that it was read at all, just wish somebody on the coaching staff could read some of the comments on the more sensible web sites although I’ sure they must recognise the failings as well as anybody else.

  17. Andrew Dicomites says:

    I can understand why so many of our fans are fed up and want the head of the manager. Our defensive performances have been diabolical and are not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination.
    The facts are that we are not going to challenge for the title.

    Our objective must be to put right this defensive shambles and steadily improve. This must happen with the players we have now up till January. I do not believe that a change in manager is the right move at this point in time. But there is an opportunity to bring in a defensive expert to help Arsene Wenger. This is the right way forward. The main problems are certainly not in attack after yesterdays performance.

    Lets back off the manager and the team and provide support to the Arsenal. If we fire the manager now, what are the options? Lets give our manager and the team one last chance to put things right. We owe Arsene Wenger this chance to use the lessons learnt with a newly formed team to address the obvious weaknesses. Good relationships, communication, understanding and structure do NOT happen overnight.

  18. Fatgingergooner says:

    Throw into it the fact that our best defender TV was out and our second best defender got injured after an hour then you can see why we have issues.

    I honestly believe that over the last 6 years, if our injuries were half of what they actually were then we would have picked up 2 or 3 trophies in that time. You can’t plan for that unfortunately.

  19. Iceman says:

    You need a reality check! If you think we are not in crisis then you must be on magic mushrooms!

  20. FGG,

    I don’t doubt that injuries are a considerable problem, but I don’t recall players like Frank McLintock, Terry Neil, David O’Leary, Pat Rice, Bob McNab, not to mention Adams, Keowne, Bould et al picking up so many injuries and being sidelined for such long periods.

    I know the game is faster now, but pitches are so much better and sports injury science must have moved on yet we are constantly forced into changes of personell due to injury. There must be something wrong somewhere.

  21. Fatgingergooner says:

    LG, footballers are different animals these days. They are highly tuned athletes who have to be 100% fit to get the best out of themselves. Also, the amount of money involved these days means that a)players are less likely to be risked, after all, they are assets to the club whose value would decrease massively if they got a bad injury b)the players themselves, unfortunately, are able to collect there huge wages whilst sitting in the doctors room. Back in the day of Pat Rice etc, players had to play in order to make money.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the comments guys (BR, FGG and LG), and keeping the debate going. I am out for the day but will check in again this evening.

    A special welcome to – the both beautifully named – Magira Lazarus and Andrew Dicomites. Thanks for your constructive comments 🙂

  23. Rob Lucci says:

    Great post Total, especially the last paragraph.

    I expected this season will be a bumpy ride, and oh how it hurt my bump yesterday. But still, most of us enjoyed the first half performance, and its the defensive mid who orchestrated both of the goals ffs. What can be more exiting than that?

    I believe this season will be just like the 2005/2006 seasons, when we lost Viera and scraped out to fourth place in the last day of the season. Hopefully our run in Champions League this season will be as good as that seasons. There always a way to be optimistic if you want to, and to quote dandan yesterday,

    ‘To keep going back gets us nowhere, neither does looking for someone to blame. We either go forward with optimism as the team must or we sit and expect the worst, the choice is ours, Personally I can see no future in replaying old scenarios in my head.’

  24. pat says:

    a good report TA, definitely “a game of two halves”.

    My reflections of the game were – Santos seemed promising going forward, but problems defensively. Also tired badly in the second half. I’m not sure but alot of the players seem to be lacking match fitness. It may be attitude but there was some lack of urgency to get to the ball first (or just not fast enough), both in the central midfield area.

    Gave the ball away too much and the lack of urgency / decisiveness bordering on complete indecision killed us. It looks like a team that is still in preseason mode to me. Still some ways to go it is going to be a rough ride for the next few weeks.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers RobL, DanDan is our Socrates on AA – he keeps us all sane and on the right path! 😛

  26. pat says:

    good call Rob we need to stay positive – Chamakh scored! He will now tear the league up and have a 25 goal season 🙂

  27. evonne says:

    Raddy – iro your earlier comment. I meant for Tony Adams to join the coaching staff, not to be the next manager, no sir, even I am not that silly 🙂

  28. evonne says:

    To TA wife’s – you poor, poor girl. He was at it all night again, wasn’t he?

  29. realisticgooner lost in cornwall says:

    Good morning,
    Personally, I`m not shocked by our points tally so far, considering the hectic changes, I only expected 2 more points from the Blackburn/Liverpool games.
    I agree with some of the comments so far, the defence needs time to gel, defence gelling is more important than any other area of gelling, In my opinion, whilst thet get to know each other, play 2 minders in front of the back 4, In the meantime, bring in Keown to drill the back 4, for hours on end,(Winterburn told talksport that ,GG would drill them for hours without the ball,untill it was second nature for them to work as a unit) Was he not brought in, when we had our record breaking run of not conceding in Champ League?.
    Drill them so hard, that we will have a Terminator back 4, with 2 cyborgs protecting in front.
    😡 CyPongSongBorg 😡

    It worked in our greatest hours having 2 minders! bring it back.
    Lower your expectations for the next few seasons and the landing from the fall will be softer. 🙂

  30. harry says:

    Total, cracking post in the midst of some bizarre football, i understand the frustrations of many, but really all those jumping and down and throwing the baby out with the bath water, after the battling mid week against dortmund and at half time yesterday, what were your feelings……….?

    For me there is 3 issues in a specific order:

    1. Coversion of chances
    2. Clichyistis
    3. Wengers tactics

    1. We do not take our opportunities, make things hard for ourselves and apply pressure that is not needed.

    2. Clichyitis – when the team is under pressure, panic can set in too quick and no one settles the team, through organising and communication.

    3. Wenger needs help, he needs someone to help him set up the team and nullify opponents when needed.

    If we converted chances, the pressure wouldnt get applied and the tactics wouldnt matter so much, the first half we should have been away and over the hill/……..

    Please can everyone stop saying marginally offside, it is or it isnt and it was………The linesman was not standing in the correct postion he was out of position by about 1-2m………

    That said and the fact we should have has a blantant penalty does not excuse the clichyitis that set in for 10mins or so……..

    It is not all doom and gloom, but we have to start believing in ourselves, confidence is from within, as is fight and desire….

    I agree for once not doing ratings, as the whole team let themselves down and not one can be exonerated for that 2nd half period, responsibility is an individual and collective requirement.

    Need to go, so much to say, my u13’s won 5-0 this morning, now off to manage my u18’s………….

  31. barumgooner says:

    Nice post Total, It’s good to read a sensible take on what happened. It’s easy to forget that it was absolutely lashing it down throughout the game and two of the goals were simply mistakes where a greasy ball just bounced off our guys and into the net. If Gerv had passed to RVP to make it 3-1 it would’ve been game over and we would all be praising the boys instead of running them down. Yesterday was a fluke result pure and simple. In the bigger picture we are in transition, its fair to say that we as a club AND MANAGER have had to make-do with average players for far too long, we now have some new players aswell as some promising youngsters plus a worldclass keeper at last. It will take time but we are I feel on the way back to where we should be.

  32. realisticgooner lost in cornwall says:

    harry,
    Arsenes banned from next,CL game, have you got a spare spot inbetween the U13`s and U18`s ? 🙂

  33. London says:

    Excellent match report TA, I am not in the mood to fight the trolls right now, hence the low profile.

  34. Rob Lucci says:

    My reflections of the game were – we badly need an organizer, and Van persie still have a long way to go on that front. I’m not saying he’s a bad captain, but somebody need to step up because Van persie can’t do it alone.

  35. Mickeyk says:

    Wenger has lost the plot can’t you people see it .what was he doing all summer we will not win anything with him in charge were getting worse .he wants to go to PSG get some won in to steady the ship like moyes or ancollti.the board are scared and don’t know what to do with out him he tells them how to run the club witch is not right and has got to change quickly .if Manu lost fergie they would get moyes in as a stop gap asap where f..ked with wenger open your eyes everyone for arsenal sake.ps bought an arsenal top the other day it had forward under the crest not backwards .

  36. Big Raddy says:

    London. Hope everything is well with you….

    I have just watched the Barca game. Cesc was just sensational playing much further forward than AW played him, I guess he played deeper for us because we needed his defensive qualities.

    Strange though.

  37. Rob Lucci says:

    I know most of you will disagree with me but we badly missed Abou Diaby yesterday, and he also our best player when we played Blackburn away last season.

  38. Mickeyk says:

    We’ve gone stale the players are not inspired by wenger anymore .they’ve heard it all before

  39. barumgooner says:

    Rob !!!!!!!!!!! Please dont go putting Abou forward as our saviour. I know some like him and you are obviously entitled to your opinion but to me he sums up what has been wrong with us over the last few years, totally inneffective, hardly ever fit , ill-disciplined, lazy and stupid. IMO players like him are a drain on our resources and are one reason why we cant sign other players, because we are paying them to just sit around doing nothing.

  40. wally says:

    Promising signs offensively. i thought AA had is his best game in a long time. Defensively, it’s all been said. I remain hopeful and i have my doubts.
    The real question is whether wenger is capable of playing defensively. It’s quite evident that his preference is play pretty, to score goals rather than play to win. That’s why he turfed Keown after the CL final, it’s not the way he wants to play.
    Hopefully he’ll demonstrate that he truly can adapt to what he has and is willing to what he needs to do to win.

    And as to the question constantly posed, if not Wenger than who, please stop.
    When you’re sitting 15th in the table, does it really matter.

  41. dandan says:

    Super post Total,

    Self flagellation has long been the favourite form of punishment for large numbers of Arsenal Fans, So why should we expect it to change in today’s world where instant gratification is also the expectation of so many.
    Hence the constant barrage of negativity unleashed on the club’

    My view; an exciting year lies ahead, as TV and Jack return and our players come to terms with each other.

    Enjoy your disenchantment with AW and the board guys, it may well be that as the economy continues to go pear shaped you will have much to thank them for.

    Time will tell

  42. barumgooner says:

    Well said DD.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Liked the Dylan quote.

  44. Fatgingergooner says:

    Good stuff DD,

    I would still take our squad over any other except Man U or Man City right now. Just hope that JW and TV get back quickly.

  45. evonne says:

    Adebayor is having a great game. He must have realised, at long last, that he is not god’s gift to football and he has to work hard to get anywhere

  46. Big Raddy says:

    People already dissing Dalglish following a strange first half at the Shithole and last weeks loss at Stoke. I seem to recall they were cock a hoop after beating us.

    Fans are so fickle but perhaps it is a generational thing.

    BTW the ref Mike Jones is awful

  47. Fatgingergooner says:

    BR, nvm Dalglish, you only have to look at the reception Adebayor is getting to see how fickle modern fans are.

    Football is going down the drain, money is ruining things as are the media.

    I watch a lot of rugby league and the behaviour of fans and the willingness of players to carry on with injury is so refreshing.

    I’m only 26, but a couple Xmas I go I spent the night watching the full 66 cup final, and I’ve got to say I was amazed. I can accept more the downfall in modern football due to my age, but I reallydont know how some of you older guys have stuck with it. Much respect.

  48. Brigham says:

    I had to laugh at a remark made on Sky earlier today during their Football First rerun. Cannot remember the ex player, but he was a black brummie. Anyway, regarding Blackburn’s third goal and the offside, he came out with…

    “Technically, he was offside, but fair play to the linesman for giving him (Yakubu) the benefit of the doubt”

    That to me, sums up the stupid comments some of the ex players come out with, totally and mind numbingly stupid.

    As for our team at the moment, I really do not understand how we have not employed a proper defender to coach the back five, or if we do have one, what the hell is he getting paid for?

    We are leaking goals like a team fighting relegation and for those of you who think we are not in that area, take a look at the current table, it does not lie. Its like the early 1980’s all over again.

  49. Fatgingergooner says:

    Brigham,

    I think it was ex Derby striker Dean Sturridge wasn’t it? Whoever it was is an absolute mug.

    The guy was offside and Santos was behind Yakubu from the linesman view which means he couldn’t even see him. That makes the decision even worse. Idiot.

  50. tomstoned says:

    one thing is for certain…this season will be a struggle,and i thought the lads did put up a fight yesterday,and we seemed better than we have all season,the team will need time to gel,and i hope we do sooner rather than later..

    two things that cant be argued

    1.Our Beloved Arsenal have been built down during the last 5-6 seasons
    2.This summers transfer activities have been a disaster.

    some Gooners are asking for a solution.it is quite simple really,Wenger has to leave asap.
    Kroenke the hollywood hooker..oops sorry looker has to leave
    Gazidis should be thrown out butt first.

    new manager: Jurgen Klopp would be a better buy than goetze.

    but lets go all out and get Hiddink.

  51. Ramgun says:

    I see that many of the people on this site are still with Hitler in the bunker in 1945. The Russians are just down the road and Wengerball lies in ruins but, just like their fellow psychotics around Adolf, against all logic some of you continue to believe that your leader will triumph. Meanwhile the club that you profess to support slides down the toilet. Wenger is an employee who should be fired. That is all he is. As for the constant idiotic refrain ‘Who better’ the first response is Who worse?
    Jonestown, Waco, Berlin and now, thankfully not threatening lives, The Great God Wenger.
    Your unquestioning support is beyond daft. It is damaging the club I have loved and supported since my first visit to Highbury in 1955. It is over for Wenger and the sooner he goes the less painfull it will be.

  52. holly says:

    Afternoon Everybody

    I still can’t quite assimilate what happened yesterday; enough chances to have won 5 games, defending befitting of Sunday league. Strange.

    I take everyone’s point about the team needing time to gel, my concern with that is over the last 3 years it doesn’t seem to matter what personnel is in there the comedy defending remains, leading me to believe the problem is with the coaching or lack thereof and until that changes we’ll be left digesting the same performances for a long time to come.

    For example, why is our 6’6″ defender sitting back and letting our 6′ defender attack balls into our box. It’s clearly a tactic but one I find baffling.

    As the title to the post states we are not down and out, far from it, and our first half performance yesterday is very encouraging but I am worried about the direction we are headed in.

    As an aside I did hear that Steve Bould was offered the assistant manager’s job but turned it down. This would explain the uncertainty surrounding Pat’s position in the summer. The interesting thing is the reason I heard he’d turned it down was that he didn’t just want it for the one season. Read into that piece of scurrilous gossip what you will……

  53. WiganGooner says:

    Great article TA, some wonderful comments on here too.

    Very reasoned thoughts gentlemen.

    It seems we are in the mire at the moment, but there were positives in the game yesterday. Firstly Arteta looked great for the entire game, very pleased with how well he has slotted in.

    Santos looks like a great buy, yes he made a mistake in playing the odd player onside, but it was his debut and he’s experienced enough to learn from it. His offensive contribution was pleasing to see albeit sometimes his defensive work let him down. As above however, I expect him to continue to impress.

    I was pleased with Chamakh’s contribution in the 19mins he was on the pitch, he worked hard to create space and opportunity and converted RvP’s cross well. Hopefully he will get his confidence back and I hope he gets 90 mins on tuesday.

    Let’s not forget, but for two pieces of misfortune in the oggy’s scored by Song and Koscielny we would have won 3:2. That’s not even taking away the stone-wall offside goal.

    I know I am perpetually positive, but we have some great players who can really take us places. It’s still not too late to start getting some good results and restoring the confidence. For me, it’s heart-breaking to see so much negativity about the club I love.

    In my opinion Arsenal have the ability to be up there with the best teams in the world, Lady luck wasn’t kind to us yesterday, but we have the personnel to be a great side again.

    Come on you Gooners!!

    WG

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Where are these positive posters the rest of the season?

    GG9, Tomstoned ,Iceman, MickeyK, Ramgun. These people only come on here when we lose and why? Because they know this site tends to have a positive spin and for some reason this offends them.

    Ramgun. Your assertion that being behind the manager is damaging the club is insulting and nonsense. Furthermore, as you never comment on here when things are good, how on earth can you assume our support in unquestioning? Check back and you will see you are wrong.

    We are all AFC fans and I cannot understand their attitude.

  55. Rasp says:

    Hi Holly,

    I agree totally that the main problem defensively lies with the coaching, but what I don’t understand is the fragility of the ‘team confidence’. All it takes is a goal from the opposition and we seem to play as though we know that collapse is inevitable – and often it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    If only Mertesacker had buried that header. His couterpart Samba was equally profligate in front of goal, but I’d say he had a better game defensively. Mertesacker is still settling in, but it does seem that we are not exploiting his height but exposing his lack of pace, a very strange ploy and one which again leads me to question the coaching.

  56. holly says:

    Hi WG
    I like your positivity, I need more of it, ha!
    Agree with Santos, thought he looked superb, holding the line will come with game time, especially if its coached(?).
    The two own goals were ‘unlucky’ to an extent, but the defending leading up to them was awful. Why didn’t we attack what was a poor dinked free kick into our 6 yard box with hardly an attacker in sight, and don’t get me started on Djourous’ awful attempt at a tackle out wide in the build up to the Kos og. It was just all needless, we had that game in the bag at half time, even i was feeling confident we’d bag the three points and was already looking forward to today’s dropped points from our rivals……

  57. Fatgingergooner says:

    Ramgun,
    ‘Your unquestioning support is beyond daft. It is damaging the club I have loved and supported since my first visit to Highbury in 1955. It is over for Wenger and the sooner he goes the less painfull it will be.’

    How can our support for the team be damaging this club? You are entitled to your opinion of the current manager, but because someone else thinks differently doesn’t make them ‘daft’ and it certainly isn’t damaging. I have faith in Wenger due to past performance. That’s all that he can be judged on. He has brought this club further than any other manager we have had.
    Also, to say that asking ‘who better?’ is an unreasonable response just suggests to me that you can’t think of anyone better. It is a very relevant question if you are so keen on getting rid of the current boss.

  58. Fatgingergooner says:

    Liverpool just lost 4-0. They should sack Kenny, get rid of Carragher. Carroll was a waste of money aswell. Why do they bother turning up, they may aswell just all go kill themselves now etc etc etc

  59. holly says:

    Hi Rasp
    Absolutely, its why I was sitting comfy at half time; we’d had our set back with their first equaliser and responded with Arteta’s strike, but then we just capitulated in the second half. Baffling.
    Also with Mertesacker, I’m loath to criticise him as I believe as you say we are not doing him any favours at all. Again, baffling and simply has to come back to a lack of coaching or worse, ineffective coaching.
    Anyway, surely we have enough to beat Bolton………wont we…….?

  60. tomstoned says:

    Big Raddy..

    im sorry that im not on more often mate,maybe i should,the fact that some Gooners are getting more and more frustrated shouldnt be a surprise,the worse it gets the more p*ssed of some Gooners get.
    and im fully aware of the fact that the players need Our support and i will always support The Arsenal,but sticking your head in the sand and hoping for a miracle isnt very clever either..

    and BigRaddy we have chatted many times before and i think we both left the Le Grove for maybe the same reason ..to negative..so i havent been that *horrible*forever mate..

    and i have never had any problems with Gooners that are positive..nor have ive been negative to this blog which i read quite often and find it to be a very good Arsenal blog…

    Sincer and Best Regards Tom…who isnt that far from Copenhagen ;

  61. Big Raddy says:

    As much as I think the referee ruined the Spurs game, all the cards he gave were correct. Such indiscipline costs games as Song and Gerv know.

    And L’pool fans are moaning about Carragher! Ingrates.

    Re: Mertesacker. The tactic of keeping him upfront almost worked, however as a defender I quite liked that he heads a ball over the bar from 4 yards

  62. Big Raddy says:

    OK Tomstoned. As I have said, when you come down here we must go for a drink and a game.

  63. Rasp says:

    Hi again Holly,

    I have heard too many ex players say that we do not examine or legislate for the strengths of the opposition in preparation for games for it not to have a germ of truth.

    Every great general will send out his troups with a clear plan to exploit the weaknesses of his opponents and use the element of surprise to attack them. I was delighted when it seemed we had rediscovered how to attack at pace (surprise the enemy) in the first half yesterday but appalled at how we were so disorganised in defense.

    Bob Wilson wrote that the beauty of football is that it is a very simple game. Even though we go for zonal marking (not my favourite) surely in basic terms Mertesacker should have covered Samba and Kozzer Yakubu. Sometimes we don’t even have men on the posts. We need to pay more respect to the basics of defending.

  64. tomstoned says:

    sure will Big Raddy ..

    darn aguero just hit another one…grr..and we should agree on one thing..this season are going to be a struggle…i think if Gooners just accept that fact it all will be much easier…a new start…and never worry we all will get behind Our Beloved Arsenal..once the truth sinks in..we are NOT a top top club anymore…
    me im still thinking…oh my had we only put a few more quids on the table when we had the chance to buy ribery..;

  65. No, BR, the ref didn’t ruin the Spurs game, the moronic players did that all on their own. None of the players booked or sent off can have any complaint. The referee was reacting to the play and controlling the game the only way he could…within the Laws of Football.

  66. Mickeyk says:

    We won’t beat Bolton

  67. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Holly,
    Pease, Don`t put the mockers on us by saying”surely we have enough to beat Bolton”. After 8-2gate, someone wrote on here that, the top teams had a few tough games coming up and that we had an easy few to catch up, theres no easy games for us anymore, the top teams(our former rivals) only class us as average.
    I see that Shrewsbury are in the “CL spot” in their League. 🙂

  68. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Looking at the Scores, it looks tough in them tough games!
    Who posted that comment ?

  69. Mickeyk, Why are you wasting your time posting on here, you should be rushing off to the betting shop to put your money where your mouth is.

  70. goonermichael says:

    I watched the highlights from yeasterday and there wre a lot of positives going forward but joke defending. i thin Wengrer could probably turn it around but he is losing the fans (not me) and he is on his way out. Usmanov will take over and the club will change. the mancs aren’t playing well but htey are better off against the chavs than they were against us at HT.

  71. Fatgingergooner says:

    AW tactics are that if Arsenal play how they can then no-one can cope with them. That was true a few years ago, but it doesn’t hold up anymore. I’m a big believer in Wenger as everyone knows, but I don’t for one second think he’s perfect. He must get a new gameplan because these tactics are not going to work at the moment.

  72. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    LG,
    I must admit, before the 8-2 game, what with the two sold and the injuries,suspensions, I was going to put £40 on a manu win, I`m not a gambling man but my thought was, If we win or draw fuck the money, I`ll willingly pay for the points but if we lose, I`ve gained £20. I went to the bookies and It was closed, only to find out later that it wasn`t closed, It had moved to differant premises.Serves me right for having such thoughts.

  73. goonermichael says:

    Whoever di phil jones highlight needs shooting. he looks like a pikey

  74. Mickeyk says:

    Arsene out .any team that lets in 8 goals the manager should be sacked .I don’t care what he’s done 6-7 years ago.he’s got to go .do surporters really think there’s going to be some miracle turn around and arsenal are going to win something .no chance of winning anything .no chance of top four .get it over and done with now .just givehe’s his 6millon and let him go to PSG and let’s move on.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Super game at OT and once again it is not who plays the better football but who puts away their chances who wins games.

    MU are lethal at the moment.

  76. Fatgingergooner says:

    Are you the PSG chairman Mickeyk? That’s about 4 times now that you’ve mentioned AW going there! Or have you just learned how to copy and paste seeing how you have made this point so much today!?

  77. goonermichael says:

    dowd should be wearing red

  78. holly says:

    I’m going to sign off with a note of mild optimism;

    We are only 3 points behind Liverpool and 2 behind Spurs. These are our rivals this year and in spite of our horrendous start to the season it could be a whole lot worse…..

    🙂

  79. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Mickeyk,
    Something. I dont know what it is.. but i`ve this feeling you don`t like Arsene! , Am i right ?.
    Come on, I`m only doing weights at the moment, inbetween I`d like to read your views on how to resolve our problems. as in tactics, formations,what personel to bring in, FFP , anything,come on you can do it!

  80. WiganGooner says:

    Lets be clear for a moment, it will be an awful day at Arsenal when Arsene goes.

    I’m not an “AKB”, he isn’t infallible, but he is a damn good manager and every club in the world would take him if he was available.

    I genuinely believe we have the personnel to challenge for silverware this season. We might have hit some crap results, but it happens and it can’t be changed, all we can do is work on how we move on from this.

    We can move on together and be victorious through harmony.

    WG

  81. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    WG.
    That last remark would be good on a badge!

  82. WiganGooner says:

    GLic

    That’s a thought 😀

    WG

  83. goonermichael says:

    Wenger will go, Someone else will come in, we’ll have a slump and people like mickeyk will start bitching again. Some people wioll even start saying we need wenger back. I;ve heard people who slagged ade say theu’d have him back.

  84. evonne says:

    GM – correct. A grumpy old git never gets any better, but progressively worse

    Fecking united. At least Shitty and Chavs didn’t do that well, that’s a positive from this weekend, isn’t it?

  85. kelsey says:

    A fair assessment TA.

    I think the main reason so many fans are so disappoited is that our form was pretty terrible in the last third of last season. 2 wins in 11, with an out of form nasri and fabregas missing for most of that period. So all this is a further loss of confidence and if you gather all Wenger’s quotes in the Summer he has either been lying or covering up for the board, but the main reason IMO is that he simply can’t move with the times or isn’t capable of doing it anymore together with the fact that he just can’t get the best of his players at his disposal.
    people talk about training methods but i am sure they were the same in the invinsible era, we just haven’t got the quality or intelligence in a footballing sense in the squad right now. When confidence is low it is like a depression and needs to be acted upon and I wonder if that can be achieved.

    This is just an observation not an LG type of comment. I think Wenger has been the greatest thing to ever happen to Arsenal but maybe just maybe he hasn’t the strength anymore.

    Having just watched United v chelsea that could have ended 7-3 so technically neither team has such a rock solid defence but United have this winning mentallity sewn into them from a manager nearly ten years older than our own.

  86. goonermichael says:

    http://www.sportingpreview.com/columns2012/11120548.php

    9/4. I don’t think he’ll last. I won’t put my money on it though

  87. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Just watched the highlights of the 6-0 CC vs Sheff Utd, It put a smile on my face 🙂
    Average age : na…na…nineteen, Jack 16, looks 12, I remember after that game thinking(and telling people) our future looks brilliant, Vela`s finishing had me drooling, I wish I could go back to that night, I was so excited, how`s it gone so wrong, I hate Chavs and Citeh for all their money ,making greedy mercenary players, ruining a loyal football game.

  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for all the comments today. The few on here who have come out with ‘it’s time for Wenger to go’ don’t seem to understand what it is to be in transition. Santos, Mertesacker, Arteta, Gervinho are all great players, but it will take time for them to settle in. We clearly can defend: look back at our second half in Dortmund. We clearly can dominate midfield: look back at Udinese second half, and Blackburn first half. We clearly can score goals: look at the goals we scored away to Udinese, MU and Blackburn. So what is the next step: become a strong unit and more consistent during the entire 90 minutes.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    evonne, It is a positive and shows that this season will include many shock results.

    The game at OT was all, that is great about the PL

  90. kelsey says:

    I don’t like labelling posters/people but i feel i am a realist but must take issue with those who like myself have followed Arsenal for 40/50 + years who say this is the worst team they have ever seen. All i can say is that they must have a selected memory.

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Kelsey, I think it is still too early to say we don’t have the required quality and intelligence in our team. However, I can understand your doubts about Wenger’s ability to change things round at the moment. He is very difficult to gage, but I guess what he needs more than anything is a run of good games, which I am sure will come soon.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    We are only 6 points behind Chelsea, who are in third position.

  93. kelsey says:

    TA,

    I can understand all points of view about our manager and one will get a knee jerk reaction in every club if they had started the season the way we have done. I have heard every excuse under the sun from slippery pitch, unfortunate own goals team not geling etc but one can’t chang the results.
    yes we have had the odd good result but that’s the problem we aren’t consistant.
    I have suggested that this maybe Wenger’s last season and there could be a multitude of reasons for that.I don’t want him to go but I feel he has served the club well and it maybe time for a change.
    Who that might be is another thing but as i think i mentioned the other day that financial stability is a must in this turbulent economic climate, that will get far worse before it gets better but we do have a certain amount of transfer funs and all i can hope for is that they are used in january to rescue what could amount to being our worst season in about 20 years.

  94. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post TA, just the medicine I needed! However frustrating the second half was yesterday, and it was bloody frustrating, your conclusion section is on the money. As is the post from Andrew Dicomites.

    This season will be hard, but this new side can’t be judged on the basis of one game. Yes, the defence was appalling in that second half, but it was also excellent against Dortmund a few days earlier. The creative side of our game has lifted with the new signings. Although I’m still worried about our striking options, my real concern is the squad’s psychology. But with a lot of hard work, and just a smidgeon of patience from the fans (ha ha, like that’s going to happen!), this is a side that can compete with a Spurs side that loses 5-1 at home and a Liverpool side that loses 4-0, and maybe even a City side that can’t beat Fulham and a Chelsea side that hasn’t looked too convincing this season.

    And I’m delighted to see Stoke got hammered today, just a shame Bendtner didn’t score.

  95. Brigham says:

    We are in turmoil right now, of that there can be no doubt. Sacking the manager will not help the situation at all and I am NOT sticking up for Wenger, but who do we bring in?

    Confidence is lacking in the current squad, that is for sure, we do not have the slightest inkling how to defend (forger Dortmund, we go lucky). We really need 100 percent work on our back five and we need it right now. We will continue to ship goals if we continue like we have done since a ball was first kicked this season.

    Watching Arsenal now is painful, it hurts, it makes me cry at times, but I am old enough to rembember far worse times and can take solece from that. Onwards and upwards and remember, whatever happens at our club – WE ARE GOONERS.

  96. 26may1989 says:

    Kelsey, completely agree, anyone who calls any Wenger side (including this one) the worst Arsenal have had is simply wrong: I’m younger than you and I’ve seen plenty of Arsenal sides much, much worse (in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s). Truth is, people have become used to high quality and trophy-winning football under Wenger, and they hold that against him now.

    That said, it’s always legitimate to ask if we’d be better served with a change of management regime. I think not, but the painful truth is the answer’s no longer clear. But let’s just get behind the team, give it the support it needs, and see where we get to. Are we able to do that??

  97. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all, read the post earlier but first chance to comment since then. I’ve been away assisting my Dad with an erection (quiet at the back) a Summer House which required plenty of hammering to take my frustrations out.

    A quality report TA and certainly a game of two halves as you describe. Well done for keeping balance although if course some will see that as AKBism, I haven’t read any comments yet so will have a read through later.

    Another mixed bag of results today, I haven’t see any of it but it appears Spurs were helped by the ref, Dalgleish rant from last week obviously went down well with the referee association. Man City failed to hold on to a lead…tut tut no heart. And United turned over Chelsea at OT.

  98. 26may1989 says:

    Just had a quick look at the highlights – I think in my angst yesterday, I missed the clear penalty that should have been given near the end for Walcott being taken out by Robinson. Just how clear do the linesman and referee want a foul to be? We should never have let in all those goals yesterday, but once again, bad luck and bad officiating played a big part in our downfall.

  99. goonermichael says:

    The chavs could have won today

  100. 26may1989 says:

    Did you see that Torres miss GM? Spectacular failure, that one. But his goal was excellent.

  101. goonermichael says:

    26
    the mancs got a soft one but shrek slipped and missed.

  102. goonermichael says:

    I can’t believe he missed it 26. The Ramires one in the 1st half was bad too

  103. evonne says:

    GM – could they? How? Hadn’t the geezer with a tuppe miss a penalty it would have been 4:1

    26may – I actually feel sorry for him, unbelievably bad luck. But he had shown that he still has ‘it’ and will soon unleash on some unexpected team….when are we playing chavs?

    Raddy – I know, I know. There was this polish trainer who famously said the most stupid thing ‘The ball is round and there are two goals, anything can happen’ 🙂

  104. 26may1989 says:

    GM, you’re right, compare Walcott taken down by Robinson with Bosingwa’s challenge on Nani, and it’s clear which one should have resulted in a penalty. And it wasn’t the one at Old Trafford.

    Bad luck balances itself out over a season? My arse it does.

    I hate Chelsea, but I felt sorry for Torres when he missed: he’d done well to create the opening and get past de Gea. To miss an open goal like that is embarrassing for him.

  105. 26may1989 says:

    evonne, I think we play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the end of October.

  106. kelsey says:

    This is from 7 a.mKick Off:

    On this blog I’m not normally one for reading minds or trying to interpret body language but as I was sitting there in shock at the 4-2 loss we were being handed at the hands of Blackburn the camera flashed to Arsene Wenger and Gary Lewin and I thought “huh, he looks small. Tired. Like he wishes he could hide somewhere.” And for the first time since I started supporting Arsenal the thought that Wenger might quit the club crossed my mind. The thought took me by surprise, but Wenger just looked like he didn’t want to be there. Like he’d rather have been any where else in the world. The bigger surprise, though, was that I was OK with the thought of him quitting.

    —————————————————————————–

    I reproduce this paragraph as I posted last night more or less the same thing.

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Imagine the stick if Theo had missed like Torres,

    Chelsea could easily have won today’s game and will be as disappointed with their finishing as we are with our defence.

  108. kelsey says:

    It is well known that I am no fan of Walcott but if he plays well or scores i will cheer as loud as anyone but the last minute penalty that wasn’t given typifies Walcott for me. he hardly uttered a word, didn’t stay down and that is just another aspect of his character which shows he is not street wise in a football sense.I am not advocating cheating as to me it was a good shout for a penalty.

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Kelsey, changing the manager is always an option of course, but surely not now. He bought these new players and the season has well and truly started so he needs to be given time to create another Wengerball. Just look at Liverpool and Chelsea: both have changed managers recently, spend a hell of a lot of money on players in the last 6 months, and as far as I can see, are back at square one.

    If no significant progress is made by the end of the season, then I would agree with you that this is Wenger’s very last season (by his own choice).

  110. kelsey says:

    On another subject seeing Peter Reid being sacked and he and the team haven’t been payed or part payed for months One has to ask how is Peter Risdale still in football? He ruined Leeds, Cardiff and now Plymouth. Why don’t the FA look in to him and investigate thoroughly how he has ruined so many football clubs.

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening 26, BR, GM, Evonne and GiE, Brigham: it still hurts 30 hours later, doesn’t it?

  112. Rasp says:

    Evening TA,

    I know its late but I like to wait till the authors around to thank them. The post is typically you and no part can be argued with in my book. Pure maths alone says we’ve still got everything to play for and as you point out (still in all 4 competitions 😆 ) , we have what we have in terms of players and we definitely haven’t seen the best of them yet by any means.

    I’m not sure why we are still keeping Park under wraps but hopefully he’ll get a start on tuesday.

  113. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Yes it does.

    kelsey. Risdale and Bates and Redknapp ……

  114. 26may1989 says:

    Evening TA, sorry, wasn’t being unfriendly, I was just cooking dinner for the sprogs.

    It does still hurt, but to be honest, I feel a whole lot better having ignored football for 24 hours, watched a couple of others get mullered today and then read your post – which is optimistic, level-headed and correct. To judge this side on the basis of a dreadful 20 minutes, when there is plenty of evidence of quality and it’s a side that has only come together in the last two weeks, is just wrong. I know pessimists like to wallow in ITYS and it’s all going to hell in a handbasket, but that’s not for me.

    And a timely example from another sport to prove the point: 14 September 2007, England faced South Africa in their first game of the Rugby World Cup. England were blown out of the water, 36-0. They were written off by every knowledgeable pundit, ex-player and journalist. Yet, who were the teams in the final a month later? Step forward England and South Africa. The Boks did win, but without either side scoring a try, they just prevailed on penalties, 15-6.

    In sport, never assume anything will or will not happen, things change.

    Anyone intending to go to the Tavern before Tuesday’s game? It’ll be my first game of the season, and would love to meet for a jar or two.

  115. goonermichael says:

    Did everyone hear the chav fans singing “who’s the wanker in the wig”?

  116. harry says:

    @Gooner lost in Cornwall, I am free that night, do you reckon, i have a chance?

    I cant be doing with some of this wenger bashing, I am retiring from Blogging……..the hindsight brigade drain me……….Yes we have issues, it aint perfect, lets get behind the team and the BOSS and give it till Xmas, before we staring writing eulogies…

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Rasp, I also cannot wait to see Park and also Ox and Ryo in action. Bring on the CC.

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    26, good to see you were able to take a distance from the result, and yes things can change very quickly. I guess what made yesterday’s game so cruel, was the high quality of our performance in the first half, only to be turned into a nightmare in the second half. Blackburn were ok, but we did it to ourselves, and that’s what really hurts. Song and Koz were our heroes on Tuesday and then this happens to them… 😦

  119. dandan says:

    Harry well said, But please don’t walk away, AA needs its optimists’s to stand up to the opportunists who grab any chance to rubbish the club.

  120. evonne says:

    Evening TA – yes it hurts. But I was trying to be grown up about it and managed to send a few congratulating messages to mates Spuds – I only pretended that I was genuine, of course, I bloody hate them even more!!

    TA – I know you spent all night writting the post again, that’s why it was so good. And brave, it is difficult to be open minded under the circumstances. But you’ve done well! ta very much

  121. evonne says:

    Dandan – why are they doing this?? My almost ex-husband drinks with many Gunners and he recons that I am the only one that defends the team and the manager. And that Gunners he knows are season ticket holders, Arsenal-through and through and therefore my views are rubbish. He thinks their rants are far more valid than my faith 😦

    Sometimes it’s hard to be a Gunner….la la la

  122. dandan says:

    @MattLawExpress
    Matt Law Think it will be v tight between arsenal, spurs and liverpool with all 3 dropping silly points

  123. 26may1989 says:

    Harry, stay, stay, stay!

    For those who say Wenger has it all wrong: change two things from this season that were beyond his control – the failure to give a penalty for Barton assaulting Gervinho at St James’s and the failure to give a penalty for the foul on Walcott – and suddenly we would likely have 8 points, not 4, and would be in sixth place now. Not great, but, even with all the problems in our squad, it would’ve been a hell of a lot different to the position we’re in.

    Sod it, chuck in the linesman’s error for Yakubu’s second goal, and we’d be in the top four!

    Luck is very fickle. We don’t have to be but plenty of us choose to be.

  124. 26may1989 says:

    And for anyone who says bad decisions are part of the game blah de blah, yes I know, and as a qualified referee myself I know it’s not an easy job. But my point is that once again (this has happened in previous seasons) we are the ones who are suffering lost points due to bad refereeing. If we pick up six points later in the season thanks to bad refereeing, to compensate for the six we’ve been wrongly denied already, fair enough. But I doubt it’ll happen.

  125. daniel2160 says:

    Fatgingergooner

    Thank you agreeing that I’m entitled to my opinion, but seriously, do you really think someone with more than half a brain should stay blind to the problems that have afflicted Arsenal for the past few years and cling on to the misplaced optimism shown by others on this site?

    As much as I would like to be like the AKB brigade, it’s patently obvious we suffer the same problems in defence, in our mental toughness, and in our habit of repeating the same mistakes OVER AND OVER again.Tell me, if nothing has changed over the past 3/4 years, the what makes you think it’s going to change now?

    There just comes a point when something has to change, and that something is the manager. Like any concern, if it’s not working, the man at the top has to take the blame. Your assertion that because I haven’t given you ‘a solution’ to our myriad issues, my basic point isn’t valid, is pretty lame.

    I know, for instance, that cancer is a horrible, horrible, disease, but I don’t know the cure. See my point? Anyway, did Wenger listen to anyone about Almunia? Denilson? Getting shot of Pires too early? Not offering an extra million to get Javi Alonso? No, he didn’t – he doesn’t listen to anyone, and that’s half the problem.

  126. chas says:

    Great match report, TA.
    Being an Arsenal supporter is so strange sometimes.

    I said to my brother at half time, that if we couldn’t go on and win from here, it was going to be a long hard season. I wish I’d kept my mouth shut. It was all my fault. 🙂

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well done TA,
    Cool head in the heat of battle. Just what was called for.
    Evening all,
    Took a long wind and rain swept walk on Dartmoor and came up with an encouraging thought that me mate google has confirmed. Oct 3, 2010: Liverpool third from bottom after seven games with six points, and boy did they push for the fourth spot. Strewth, we’re miles ahead of that 🙂

  128. 26may1989 says:

    Evening Daniel

    I agree that we’ve shown some shocking form since the end of February. But there isn’t a simple explanation as to why. We’ve got a whole batch of new players, one of whom hasn’t even played for the first team yet. We’ve seen the departure of the player around whom the whole squad has been built for the last five years, plus various significant first team and squad players.

    As for our decline over the previous years, again there are various things going on: the impact of money at the Bridge and Eastlands means trophies we could have gone for have been, are being, hoovered up by others. The stadium financing meant no transfer budget until mid 2010.

    But don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Wenger has played his hand perfectly here. The fact is we should have won the league cup and, in my opinion based on where we were at the end of Feb, the league title. Instead, our players’ focus and form collapsed, at the critical point. And that is in part Wenger’s fault (the players, the board and the fans also carry responsibility).

    The question is: would we be better off sacking Wenger? Right now, absolutely not, it would make a bad situation worse. But if this continues over the next two months, perhaps a dramatic decision should be taken in time for the January transfer window. Likewise, it should be kept under review for the end of the season.

    But right now, our best interests are served getting behind this manager and these players.

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Evonne, it was indeed hard to write it. A big part of my brain wanted to forget the game, but writing a match report does not allow you to do it 😦

    I can still be positive because I know that the fundamentals for success are firmly in place: a very good squad, from which we can draw a top-11 side, a Manager who has won the PL before, a financially healthy club, a great stadium and fanbase, and a great history.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    daniel,
    You say the man at the top has to take the blame (and that’s something I agree with) but therein lies a problem. We don’t know. Maybe Arsene said at the start of the window: “Stan, I’ve fucked up big time and I want to rethink the defence. Get me Mertesacker, as well as one of Jagielka, Cahill or Samba and I also want Stevie Stevie Bould Got No Hair We Don’t Care to step in as my number two and sort the defence out”.
    I’d feel a bit of a dick if I hounded Arsene out, then learnt this was the truth.

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening and thanks Chas and Micky.

    Micky, I am jealous re your walk in Dartmoor. I recently returned to Norwich from a couple of years in Scotland, and really miss hills and mountains.

    Chas, why did you have to say that: you jinxed it! How would you gage the support for Wenger amongst the away fans?

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well said 26.
    Sacking him now would be nuts.

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    I absolutely love Dartmoor. Walk one mile from the road and you see no-one. It is very wild but only 360 square miles which is tiny compared to Scotland and no mountains, but it has wonderful Tors, hills, streams and today raging rivers.

  134. Gooner in Exile says:

    Erm Daniel is Almunia anywhere near the 1st team? No okay next question why was he in the first team at the end of last season? Injuries to Fab and Sz. Next where is Denilson? How much did he play last year in the League? 16 games was he to blame?

    Did you rubbish Eboue too? Would he have been useful yesterday?

    Now I know a lot of players have been moved on by Wenger, my criticism of AW actually stems from the mass clearout. Add Arteta, Gervinho and Mertesacker to the squad that finished last season (minus Cesc and Nasti) and we would be pretty well placed. I wonder if the clamour for spending money and squad improvements led to the Board pressuring Wenger into too many new signings, but in order to do so books needed to be balanced which meant the loss of established squad members.

    I seriously hope it wasn’t but when you look at the players leaving (other than Cesc and Nasti) they could have been picked from the blog sites haterolls

  135. kelsey says:

    Harry,

    I don’t see any Wenger bashing on here,just various opinions in general about the state we find our beloved club as it stands today.
    The results don’t lie and we will never really know the truth as to what is going on at the club.
    I and many others have been posting on here from the start and if we all shared the same view it would get pretty boring.

    I can’t take many positives from yesteray’s result as not for the first time we had a very good chance to kill off a totally out of form blackburn and blew it.Maybe we were unlucky conceding two own goals, but hand on heart i can’t see we will beat bolton next week based on current and end of last season form.If we do it will be a start nothing more nothing less.
    Does that make me a non supporter, i think it is the opposite.
    my main gripe be it with Wenger or whoever instructs him is that we shouldn’t be going through a transitional period at this stage of the season.many many questions yet few answers.

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    Daniel, the obvious change in Wenger’s approach to our defence this season, is the purchase of two very experienced defenders who together with the almost faultless Sagna and the Verminator, and finally a goalkeeper with a safe pair of hands (in every aspect) will make a real difference. I wish we had bought these players in June so they would have had time to settle in. Instead they have been thrown into the deep-end, and Wenger has had so little time to work with them (time of the signings, international breaks, injury to TV, etc). If these new signings still do not mean a significant improvement this season, then I will also have my doutbs about Wenger’s defensive abilities. Still a long way to go though 🙂

  137. kelsey says:

    The good news for me at least is that Malaga are up to fifth and only three points behind leaders Barca 😉

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What are peoples early thoughts on Santos?

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    You not going all Chav with us now your local crew are minted are you?

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, that sounds great. We stayed a week near Dartmoor a few years ago and we drove back through it on the way home. Absolutely fantastic. I bet you did some primal screaming today – best to get it all out! 😛

  141. chas says:

    TA,
    Everyone around us wanted to encourage the team at every opportunity. Though during the second half there was a dumbstruck air in the away end.So difficult to believe it was the same team as the first half.
    I heard one person ranting on the way out about wanting Wenger sacked immediately, but again the disbelief seemed to overwhelm the majority.

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    If you ever come this way, let me know.

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Micky, will do!

  144. 26may1989 says:

    Micky

    Re Santos, not easy to tell yet, but the main thing I felt, even before the second half collapse, was that he looked fairly good but in need of time to understand how to fit with the side – in giving and receiving the ball, he often seemed not to be in the right place. His positional play in the back line was obviously wayward (though he didn’t cost us the first goal, since Yakubu was level with Koscielny), but he made some great interventions and I liked him going forward.

    All in all, not good yesterday but plenty to suggest there’s a quality player there.

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Well done for the support.
    The cameras did flick over to the away support and there was much crossing of arms, furrowed brows and looks of “eh?”.
    There was one Gunner near the front holding what can only have been a two year old at the very most. Bet his wife thought they were having some quality bonding time at the park.

  146. chas says:

    Micky,

    Santos looks to have a great left foot. In the flesh he looked a little overweight.
    I just had a look to see if I could find some details of his weight and found this comparison…..

    Andre Santos
    Full Name: Andre Clarindo dos Santos
    Date of Birth: Mar 8, 1983 (Age 28)
    Place of Birth: São Paulo
    Nationality: Brazil
    Height: 5’11” (179 cm)
    Weight: 202 Ibs (91 KG)
    Position: Defender
    Squad Number: 6
    National Team Page: Brazil

    Kieran Gibbs
    Full Name: Kieran James Ricardo Gibbs
    Date of Birth: Sep 26, 1989
    Place of Birth: Lambeth, London
    Nationality: English
    Height: 5’10” 1/2 (178 cm)
    Weight 154 Ibs (70 KG)
    Position: Defender
    Squad Number: 28
    National Team Page: England

    Perhaps he’s naturally beefy. Can he really be 1/2 inch bigger than Gibbs and forty eight pounds heavier?

  147. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, I bet it was a long way to get back home after such a second half performance?!

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    KInd of my thoughts. To me he looked like he will be a real asset going forwards, but as with Mert, it will take time to form a working defensive unit.
    .
    Chas,
    If you thought he looked a little overweight in the flesh, you should have seen him on widescreen! Me thinks a salad dodger.

  149. 26may1989 says:

    HI Chas

    Not sure if he really is overweight but one thing I like about Santos is that he looks hard. I love Gibbs but sometimes someone with a bit of substance is needed. I’d quite like to see Santos deal with someone like Nani for example.

  150. chas says:

    cheers Micky,
    The Blackburn 2nd half goals were down the other end. One we thought had gone out for a corner, another we only knew it had gone in from the home fans reaction.
    Met a couple of Norwegians before the game who’d paid £700 for the weekend (they were also seeing manyoo today). They said that Arsenal were what they had come over for and try to make it twice a season. They predicted 4-0 to us!
    The only Norwegian we could think of that had played for the Arse was Pal Lydersen. Hardly GG’s finest signing.

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    Too true. Did you see his complete non tackle where he simply steamrollered the bloke like he didn’t exist?

  152. chas says:

    TA,
    I live in Nottingham, so not as bad as for those going back to London. I always have a laugh with my brother win, lose or draw which always helps.

  153. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Nottingaham eh. Very sensible place to live for a football fan. Know one or two Plymouth fans down here who travel to all away games. Jeepers.
    Right I’m turning in.
    Nite all.

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, thought you were London based. Nice to hear you and your brother go to games together and always have a good time together. I went to the Sunderland away game two seasons ago. It was a dire match which we lost 1-0 in the last minutes of the game. It was a long journey back to Scotland after that, back then 😦

  155. chas says:

    Shrewsbury, Bolton and Olympiakos all at home in the space of 8 days.
    I wonder how many empty seats there are going to be?

  156. Rasp says:

    Talking of tickets, one of our bloggers has 2 tickets going for each of the next three home games, Bolton, Olympiacos and Sunderland in the Clock End Upper Tier – anyone interested please leave a comment or email us at arsenalnuts (see Contact Us at the top of the page)

  157. 26may1989 says:

    Yup Micky, I loved that challenge from Santos. More of that please.

    Pal Lydersen? Got he was bad. I think I could run faster than him. But there is another, more recent Norwegian: Havard Nordveit.

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, that was meant to be “God he was bad”.

  159. TotalArsenal says:

    26, that was me thinking you were speaking German!

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Rasp, I would be interested in the Sunderland, 16 October tickets…

  161. 26may1989 says:

    Wish I could speak German TA, but nope, beyond a fondness for some good Anglo-Saxon terminology, that one’s beyond me!

  162. Rasp says:

    OK cheers TA, I’ll get in touch with the seller and let you know ASAP

  163. TotalArsenal says:

    26, now we know that Micky is based in Dartmoor, Chas in Nottingham, am I right in assuming that you live in London?

  164. TotalArsenal says:

    That’s great Rasp, thanks for the ‘service’! 🙂

  165. daniel2160 says:

    Gooner in exile.

    No, Almunia isn’t anywhere near the first team now, but he was our number 1 for 3 years, and for at least 2, everyone and his dog knew that he wasn’t good enough. Everyone except our manager.

    As for Denilson, 16 games for him were at least 15 too many, and just like Almunia, the Arsenal faithful knew he wasn’t the answer at least a season before that, a point proved by the fact that we can’t get rid of them for love nor money, I

    And yes, I would have rubbished Eboue – for his lack of intelligence on the pitch, his diving, and his awful defending, but that is besides the point. I feel we’ve reached a stage that no matter who we bring in, the malaise now afflicting out club means even German or Brazilian internationals are playing like novices, and for that you can only blame the system and the coaching.

  166. Fatgingergooner says:

    Daniel,

    I’m not saying that Arsenal don’t have problems, what I’m saying is that we don’t know enough about them to blame it all on Wenger. Its fine saying that Wenger wouldnt offer an extra £1m for Xabi Alonso, but thats not actually a fact is it! You dont know that as much as the rest of us dont know. Its just media talk that fans who have decided they want AW out are happy to believe, but fans who think AW has a role at the club will dismiss as the usual media shite.

    The reason why I think things will change now is because they have. We have signed 9 new players and got rid of a similar number in 1 transfer window, something that has never happened under AW. People like yourself have been calling for these changes for years now, as proven by your comments about Almunia and Denilson, but now they are actually here you expect them to work straight away. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. Getting rid of the manager isn’t gunna change that.

    Also, to compare a quite simple task of being able to name a reasonable successor to AW to the worlds inability to find a cure for cancer, is a little off the mark.

  167. 26may1989 says:

    Yes, TA, I remain in London, none of this sloping off to nice places like Cornwall, Denmark, Spain or Canada for me ( 🙂 ). I’ve been drifting westward over the years, and am now very much in Chelsea and QPR territory, but I’m still just a 35 minute bike ride from the Home of Football.

    And if you do make it to a game any time soon, I expect to see you at the Tavern!

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    26, west of London is great. I had stints in Muswell Hill and, more recently, Greenwich. Looking forward to meet up with you at the Tavern soon!

    Night all!

  169. Gooner in Exile says:

    Daniel thanks for the reply. We’ll agree to disagree on Denilson I think he did well for us in early days but became the scapegoat to often and you could see after his long lay off with back injury that confidence was being shot to pieces as the crowd got on his back.

    As for Almunia I know you won’t appreciate this but maybe just maybe AW can spot a keeper, that keeper was our current number one, and AW knew full well that if he had bought a keeper other than a 38/39/40 year old we would not have the pleasure of seeing Chesser in goal for us at all. He is sply too good to be a reserve keeper and so would have cleared off if not given opportunities to play.

    And as for Eboue all those things you mention are expected from squad players, but he was a better option yesterday at right back as cover, and in fact could play in a number of positions if required.

    AWs transfer dealings have been slaughtered the likes of Jenkinson “he was playing non league last year”, well 2 years ago Smalling was playing non league yet Arsenal fans complain that he was not signed by AW.

    I’ve just watched MotD and there were so many defensive mistakes and dis organisation even amongst teams with seasoned defences who have played together for years.

  170. Daniel
    Do you actually believe that Wenger was responsible for not spending an extra million on Alonso? I agree about Almunia. I’m at a loss as to why he is still number one.

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here we go. 10 days, three home games to stay competing on three fronts. Lets go.

  172. evonne says:

    Morning Micky
    It would have been an excellent comparison to the scenario at Liverpool last season if not for the fact that there was a change in management at Pool that triggered the fight back 😦

  173. evonne says:

    Chas – don’t beat yourself up over the loss. It wasn’t your fault at all! It was that Charlie from my allotment that went to see the game. He is the real jinx, he always fecks up things for us. I wish he supported Scum

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Never have I ever bought a ticket through the box office or online on general sale. Logged on this morning and its pathetic. I can’t access Red Member (that does sound bad. Why not Sore Member and have some schoolboy fun with the word) as the service is unavailable while tickets available on General (next three homers!!!). Anyway with RM you can pick your seat. General Sale allows you only to pick a block. I don’t want to sit back row upper, or indeed front row lower.

  175. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Evonne,
    Before I arrange which games to attend, can you let me have “Charlie from the allotment’s” schedule?

  176. daniel2160 says:

    Fatgingergooner

    I see your point, but Wenger is responsible for the football side of the club (and almost everything else, if reports are to be believed). If we cannot defend corners, it’s down to him. If we insist on playing a 6ft plus CF on the wing, down to him. If we continuously collapse mentally, it’s down to him. Our current position, as much as the board may have a certain level of responsibility, is down to him.

    And you’re right, I don’t know for a fact that we were 1 mil short of getting Alonso; I’m going with the perceived opinion, although I accept that might not be entirely accurate. Still, some people believe what they want to believe; if it was reported in the media that Wenger has had his hands tied by the board and couldn’t buy who he wanted to buy, no doubt some would take that as gospel because it suits their own agenda.

    Nevertheless, I still find it hard to believe why people insist Wenger is still the right man for the job, despite our team getting worse every season. I know that we have had 9 new players in the team, but they all didn’t play yesterday, and besides which, new player or not, our defensive lapses yesterday were all too familiar

    I hate Mourinho but he’s right in one thing – we gooners are being asked to put up with a manager who has won nothing since 2005, comes out with the same useless platitudes about ‘belief’ and ‘mental strength’ when we plainly don’t have any, and whose wage structure means we can’t shift dross like players already mentioned, who sit doing nothing while collecting wages they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Tactically we’re inept and mentally we’re weak yet you infer that we want to get rid of the manager because we are fooled by the media, forgetting that some of us have a brain, and are sick of paying more than anyone else, to watch a team slide from greatness to ridicule in less than 10 years.

    And to your last point, anyone can name a replacement manager – Hiddink, Rikjaard, Coyle, Bould, – but stating a name doesn’t mean it’s possible to get them to the club and besides which, I’m a supporter, not a board member, so it’s not my job to suggest replacements. If pushed, I’d say Guardiola, but realistically that’s not going to happen.

  177. Gooner in Exile says:

    Coyle? You’re right anyone can name a manager.

  178. evonne says:

    Micky – ha ha ha 🙂 He promised not to go again, better late than never I suppose

  179. Gooner in Exile says:

    Micky, wouldn’t worry too much about where you’ll be sitting, pretty sure you’ll be able to choose to move around the ground at Shrewsbury.

  180. evonne says:

    Hi GiE – did you have a nice nap? Coyle indeed

  181. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    A friend of mine in London phoned up the ticket office at the club and asked for 4 tickets. and asked what time the kick off was. They replied whenever you can get here 😉

    26th.May I used to be a near neighbour of yours when we last lived in London we lived in Flood Street off the Kings Road, but that was 25 years ago.

  182. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Daniel. 7.55. You make a good case

    I guess my problem is that having been on the brilliant ride through the late ’90’s I am emotionally attached to AW and believe he has the best interests of Arsenal at heart and should he feel someone could do a better job, he will walk.

    Perhaps this is a naive viewpoint.

    Alonso (like many other transfers) was not a simple case of not offering enough money. Blame Benitez, because he would not give AV the money for BArry and therefore wouldn’t release Alonso.

  183. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning Evonne, to be honest I did not sleep well. I don’t think it was down to AFC, but it might have been.

    Just read an article on Daily Mirrors website which suggested (without any quotes obviously) that the dressing room has rock solid belief in Wenger but that senior players are asking for a defensive coach.

    I don’t believe it has any basis in real on or off record chats with players, but it made me wonder if any of the other clubs have a defensive coach, I couldn’t see one on any of the websites.

    Further I started questioning my own sanity for even looking it up.

    Then to make my own day start worse I started agreeing with something SAF said in his interview on MotD about the desire shown by Phil Jones for Uniteds third goal, “he wasn’t going to lose that ball”. That for me is the difference between great players and good ones, and also the difference between average players and good ones. If Rooney had been defending the corner for the third goal on Saturday he would have taken resoonsibilty to close down that cross/shot, it’s what we have failed to do. They have a great team spirit at United one that we haven’t had for a few years, we have to hope the squad become mates, as soon as that happens they will start playing for each other, that makes it much easier to defend as a team.

    I want to see an article saying the entire Arsenal squad have been involved in an all day/night drinking session, time for team bonding.

  184. evonne says:

    Hi Kelsey – 25 years ago 26may was your delivering your newspapers on his red and white bike

    GiE – me neither, smoked like a chimney all night. I mentioned yesterday that Tony Adams in a coaching role would be fantastic. Mind you he is not likely to take them to a drinking session 😦 Meditation is his drug of choice these days

  185. kelsey says:

    re the article in the Daily Mirror.

    To me that is a bit like after the horse has bolted.It’s been evident for years that our defensive tactics are pretty poor and it should have been the manager who addressed this,not the players asking him for help.Unfortunately apart from playing players out of position he hasn’t got a clue about organising a defence or buying the quality needed bar Sagna and vermaelen. I wonder how the young pole feels,playing well and having that totally disjointed defence in front of him.

    We can’t defend a lead and the results prove it

    let’s hope that the new recruits learn quickly.

  186. Morning all

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