The storm before the storm!

Milan was the venue for Arsenal’s travelling support as they went to Italy to cheer the boys on against a genuine European giant in AC Milan. Unfortunately, some of the travelling hoard managed to take things a little too far, and there were nasty scenes before the game between fans and police, after which one Arsenal fan was arrested.

Another headline was also being written before the game as question marks were raised about the state of the San Siro pitch. Wenger had already made his feelings known before kick off, and the lack of green on the pitch seemed to justify his complaints.

Arsène Wenger will have gone into the game hoping that his troops could show as much desire as the travelling Arsenal faithful, but with a lot more discipline added. A score draw or even a one goal defeat would’ve gone down well, as long as the Gunners could get at least one away goal. A repeat of the 2008 visit to the San Siro would’ve been even better!

Arsenal started with Gibbs returning to full back after a recent long lay off, allowing Vermaelen to shift across to his natural position of centre half in place of the injured Mertersacker. The only other shock selection was in midfield, where Rosicky was pushed out to the left wing in place of the Ox, with Ramsey coming in to the midfield. Wenger obviously felt that Gibbs would need a bit more protection given that this was his first game in months.

Oh, and on a side note, Thierry Henry was on the bench for his last ever game for the Arsenal….again!

For Milan, injury problems had eased in recent weeks but they were still without the likes of Nesta and Cassano. Italian football has taken a battering in recent years over match fixing allegations, but this Milan side could still boast the likes of Seedorf, Ibrahimovich, Mexes, Van Bommel, Robinho and Thiago Silva.

As the game got underway, Arsenal’s early concentration wasn’t quite as bright as their yellow shirts. Seedorf ghosted in behind Sagna early on but fortunately he dragged his shot a foot wide of the near post. This was pretty much Seedorf’s last action as an early injury forced him off.

The uneven surface and the bobbling of the ball definately seemed to be causing Arsenal problems early doors and this was emphasised on 15 minutes as a poor clearance by Szcsesny was clipped into the chest of Boateng who took one touch and volleyed the ball into the near top corner. Not a good 30 seconds from the young Arsenal Pole and not the start Arsenal were looking for.

Ibrahimovich was running the game and forcing the Arsenal back line to defend far too deep. This nearly resulted in a Milan second as a mix up between Szcsesny and Vermaelen almost let the Swede in, only for the referee to blow for a non existent foul. Poor, poor, poor.

Things didn’t get much better. Players were struggling to find a teammate, and they were defending on the penalty spot. Van Persie barely touched the ball in the first half.  As Arsenal dropped further back, he became more and more isolated.

On 40 minutes, the home side doubled their lead. Ibrahimovich was put in behind Sagna and the big Swede picked out the run of Robinho who had an easy task of nodding in from 5 yards. Their was definately a hint of offside about the goal, but the Gunners should’ve been 3 down already so there could be no complaints.

Arsenal were looking ponderous at best, and as half time approached, both Antonini and Ibrahimovich could’ve wrapped up the tie.

If Arsene’s half time team talk wasn’t hard enough already, it was made even harder by the withdrawal of Koscielny just before the break. Djourou was his replacement.

In summary, it was one of the worst half’s of football Arsenal have produced this season, and theirs a lot of competition! It was now about staying in the tie, rather than winning the game. One goal would put a whole different spin on the game, but a performance similar to the first 45 would put us out of the competition.

This was by no means a slick, dominant Milan side of old. Arsenal were defending poorly, passing poorly, and playing with fear. The whole team was to blame for such a lacklustre half.

Arsenal needed inspiration, and Henry was brought on for the disappointing Walcott as Arsenal switched to a 4-4-2.

It didn’t work!

Within 4 minutes of the restart, Robinho had fired low into the bottom corner. Again the build up was sloppy, as Ibrahimovich was lucky to get the ball back off Djourou and an untimely slip by Vermaelen let Robinho in. Every error was being magnified as AC Milan punished any mistakes.

At 3-0 Milan seemed to take their foot off the gas, bringing on Ambrosini in place of Boateng signalled their intent for the last 20 minutes. Arsenal seemed bereft of ideas going forward but a moment of magic between Henry and RvP almost got them back in the tie. Henry’s flick was volleyed towards the bottom corner by RvP only for Abbiati to throw himself to his left and tip it round the post. It looked a goal all the way until a fantastic save by the keeper.

Arsenal were going in search of the all important away goal and Ox came on for Gibbs to give the side more emphasis. The Gunners definitely improved and van Persie had a sight of goal as his right foot volley was hit straight at Abbiati.

It proved a short lived revival though for the Gunners as Ibrahimovich went down easily in the box from a weak Djourou challenge and the ref was on hand to gift the home side a penalty. Zlatan picked himself up to dispatch it himself. 4-0. Fucking piss poor.

In the last 10 minutes Arsenal managed a van Persie header, which was saved, and a Rosicky volley that went out for a throw in! It summed up the performance to be honest.

All in all this was a dreadful Gunners performance. We were out played, out worked, and out fought. The defending at times was dreadful, and the loss of Mertersacker for a month could prove to be our seasons breaking point. We played 10 yards too deep and never gave ourselves a chance to press Milan. I don’t for a second believe this is a great AC side, we made them look good.

The speed of play in the Milan half was awful. Can you blame the pitch? No. Milan didn’t have any problems knocking the ball around. So many times we got to the final third and turned back out.

Starting with Rosicky was a poor decision as he played far too narrow. If Ox had started then the Milan back four would’ve been more stretched which allows more space for RvP. The players need to have a look at themselves. The midfield was inept and the wingers were piss poor. Only Ox and RvP can come out of that game with any kind of positivity.

For me, this game is not a dreadful result IF we can beat Sunderland and stay in touch for fourth. We were never going to win the CL this year so concentrating on the league and FA Cup makes more sense. The only worry is how this affects the confidence in the team. A defeat at the weekend against Sunderland could be tragic and could see a similar crumble to last season. It would be easy to sit and blame individuals, but the whole team was crap. I know its hard but we need to look at this game as a one-off until we see the next performance.

Ratings:

Szscesny 0

Sagna 0

Koscielny 0

Vermaelen 0

Gibbs 0

Song 0

Arteta 0

Ramsey 0

Rosicky 0

RvP 5

Walcott 0

Subs

Henry 0

Djourou 0

Ox 6

Manager

Arsène Wenger 0

204 Responses to The storm before the storm!

  1. chas says:

    Haven’t had time to read the report, SGG.
    Love the ratings. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the report Slim(?)- you told it like you saw it and your ratings are similarly uncompromising.

    For me the abiding image of last night is of Sagna, supposedly one of our better players, being outpaced by that “lazy”, lanky Ibahimovic on the left wing before he crossed for that rare thing, a Robinho header.

    It seemed to me as if the team had been fed tranquilisers with their pre match gatorade and were running in treacle, whereas Meeeelan were running on air.

    Feel sorry for the away supporters and also for Tel, whose Hollywood ending to his return spell with us was one of a tragedy rather than a triumph.

  3. onlinemeehaa says:

    Rosicky 0 ? i thought he at least tried.

  4. RedMJ says:

    It seemed to me as if the team, just before they left the dressing room to start the game were given a huge piece of bad news that just sucked their collective desire and spirit away. Always one for a conspiracy theory and certainly looking for any kind of straw to clutch at right now.
    5 – 0 at the Emirates? – I think I just saw a flock of pigs fly past my window. Lets see the light of resemption at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

  5. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas,

    I was having a doomy read thru the comments when I came upon your comment;

    —“I’m really looking forward to going to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
    Which way will it go? Disintegration or pheasant from the flames?” —

    Your humour often makes me chuckle, but that really made me laugh. — Disintegration or merely a Sunday roast bird! 🙂

    But then a thought struck me, and made me laugh more – was this a humorous Chas “double entendre” or did you really mean “a phoenix rising from the flames”? Either way you caught me – and cheered me up!! 🙂

  6. Fizzer says:

    Your rarings are to high, they should all be on a minus !!!!!

  7. Red Arse says:

    Morning Slim, 🙂

    In the circumstances that is a brave and pretty accurate encapsulation of the game. Well done sir — Kudos to you! 🙂

  8. kelsey says:

    Now I know why we have black arm bands on next season’s home shirt 😉

  9. I’m just so angry that Milan changed the script.

    First leg Champions Lge ties against Italians are meant to be cagey affairs. A lot of possession by both teams and not much ‘gungho’ until they get tired around 75 minutes. Both teams sitting tight and not wanting to get caught on the break. Destroy them in the last 10 minutes with 2 away goals ……. ho hum 😉

    But would it have helped if they had stuck to the script though? I don’t think so because we had no control of the mid-field.

    I’m pining for the home-sick spaniard 😦

  10. Red Arse says:

    I have a minor quibble about the ratings you posted.

    In the first half I think Kozzer was our best player, until his injury.

    He defended solidly, despite TV’s lamentable performance alongside him, and tried to cope with a lethargic non-covering midfield, and he also tried to galvanize the shoddy mess in front of him.
    Worth a 5, I think.

  11. Well done slimginge, thank you for keeping your word to write the match report. You’re a star 🙂

  12. I agree RA. No Kozzer is going to be bad 😦 What was up with Vermaelen?????????

    Maybe they were all poisoned …………

  13. Been going since 1963 – season ticket since 1975 but … is this the end .. totally pissed off … same problems again and again and again .. players who did not look like they wanted to be there – unbelievable. Big talk from crap players, .. oh well I guess Wenger will give out some more new contracts again this week .. can I handle the thought of me putting more money in the pockets of incompetents like Theo, Dhjrou, Sagna, dopey and slow Song, multitudes of players on loan who will never be good enough .. Jesus you can’t make all this up! I think you are so wrong to say ‘For me, this game is not a dreadful result’ – the game is about momentum and players with pride and self motivation – at this point this looks like the first of 4 defeats and then a meaningless return leg. I did agree with your ratings by the way!

    I dare you Arsenal to try putting up the season ticket prices and expect us to stump up for the Europa Cup!!!

  14. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the report SGG, you certainly put in a lot more effort than most of the team last night.

    Tactically we got it wrong. We were far too narrow in midfield – how many times did you see our midfielders run into one another. Too many identikit midfielders and not one who could put his foot on the ball and dictate play.

    We didn’t press, we didn’t compete for first ball or second ball. We ball watched instead of moving to cut out their lines of supply – just a dreadful performance.

    Conclusion: we should have done a lot better but the sad fact is that the squad has slowly been ‘dumbed down’ over successive years and we don’t have the world class players we could once boast.

  15. gunnerpete says:

    Good honest report…..My ratings are slightly different .I thought that my rant last month about people overating Sagna was a bit over the top but all his bad habits happened together last night. Seven times in the clear and not one cross beat the first defender..almost every time Milan broke a way with half our team still waiting for the cross. He (a so called top defender..same bloke who gave Spuds their win earlier) did not notice a giant sloth in the spot he was supposed to be in..? The to cap it all…if you watch this farce again …you will see that in the first ten minutes Sagna was over the other side of the pitch for their corners leaving ‘his’ side completely open..again! As for Theo…why take this fairy? He only performs at home and away he prances around watching the passes go by him…no thought of a tackle..no thought of backing up his useless fullback partner? WHY? Our fate was sealed when the best player on the field Kossy got injured…to see our biggest failure CB coming on said it all ! And I and most others were proved right….he was bloody useless.

    Szscesny 3

    Sagna -6 (minus)

    Koscielny 5

    Vermaelen 3

    Gibbs 4

    Song 2

    Arteta 2

    Ramsey 3

    Rosicky 3

    RvP 5

    Walcott -5 (minus)

    Subs

    Henry 2
    Djourou -8

    Ox 6

    Manager

    Arsène Wenger 1

    COACHING STAFF. -10

    AWAY SUPPORT +10

  16. Rasp says:

    oh…. and Sagna was the only player (until the Ox came on) who at least tried to get down the flanks (supposedly their weakness) unfortunately his crossing was woeful and the only target was a heavily outnumbered RvP.

  17. goonerbill says:

    Am I the only one who can see what is happening? Its that time of year again…I try to stay positive but within the next month we will be out of CL, FA cup and imploding in the league, its the Arsenal way!! Even if we get 4th RVP will be on his bike, we had CL for Fabregas (Nasri was just a greedy ****) and he still went.

    Clearout/shakeup/firesale – these are the words I want to hear from Wengers mouth, anymore matuing/next season/unlucky and he has got to go!!

  18. goonermichael says:

    I thought Gibbs was ok. On the whole it was disgraceful. I know someone who went as a Valentine date. My KFC was definitely better.

  19. goonermichael says:

    There is a ticket for £71 in the clock end on the Arsenal website Peaches.

  20. goonermichael says:

    For the home leg against Milan

  21. Andre says:

    What was Ramsey doing in the line up??? This guy has never won whenever he is started. Check the first three matches of 2012, He started and we lost! He is Ill-luck…. THE ARON RAMSEY MYSTERY…..Ramsey scores against Man Utd :> Osama Bin Laden dies a day after. Ramsey scores against Marseille :> Gaddafi dies a day after. Ramsey scores against Spurs steve jobs dies a day after. Ramsey scores against Sunderland Whitney Houston dies a day after………..Who is Ramsey’s next victim?

  22. goonermichael says:

    goonerbill have you never been on twitter? No you’re not the only one with that opinion.

  23. goonermichael says:

    Andre 250 famous and semi famous people died on those days.

  24. goonermichael says:

    Actually Peaches ignore that about the ticket it’s either gone or the website is performing like the team (as usual)

  25. Richard says:

    Rasp, I think you’ve hit it perfectly. Our tactics were dire. Milan’s weaknesses were at fullback and yet we played an extra CM instead of focusing on their flanks.

    I’ve no problem giving Walcott stick, but its pointless when our tactics mean a straight line runner is up against two players due to the fact that the other side of the pitch offers no penetration.

    I guess the aim was to swarm the midfield but it would have been useful to have told each of those midfielders because I can’t remember them putting any pressure on the ball.

    And that leads me to the spare CM we introduced…Ramsey. I still now, almost 12 hours on, have no idea who he was trying to pass to when he smashed the ball out of play (twice!). That pretty much summed up his performance and why the team has looked better without him in the last few games. Whether he can improve I’ve no idea but its pretty galling that Coquelin was overlooked for what is right now an average midfield player trying to play ‘hollywood balls’ at every opportunity.

  26. goonermichael says:

    Looks like I’m on my own here. Did something bad happen?

  27. Skins says:

    I think Rosicky tried, he was one of only two worthy players in that team. STILL WE ARE TOP OF THE MONEY LEAGUE and that is what the board WANT!!!

  28. Donkatron says:

    onlinemeehaa – you’re right Rosicky did try his best. Tried his best to hit the corner flag with every woeful effort. I even think at one point one of his efforts was so bad it even went out for a throw in.

  29. dandan says:

    Well done slim, Hard one to write but you cracked it.

    Good Morning AA’ers all, no doubt many will be suffering the pain and distress of the morning after the night before. Football is an unfaithful mistress; she promises her lovers much,seduces them with pleasures both aesthetic and exciting only to cast all aside when the mood takes her. Let know one doubt the god of football is feminine, her affections on good days can transport all who follow her fortunes to heights of ecstasy unobtainable elsewhere and then on a whim she cast us aside , in unfathomable petulance leaving us shocked, hurt and bewildered.
    Last night was such an occasion, so many today will be stewing in fits of sulkiness, others cursing the club and all its employees, their anger palpable in countless conversation either face to face or across cyberspace, phones, blogs and tweets.
    Expectation was betrayed, emotions trifled with and our team humbled through incompetence shattering our dreams as we lost a football match. But as sure as the sun rises in the east, so will our hopes for our team return, we have a cup game on the weekend Marin O. Would love to stick it up us, kick us while we are down.
    So have your bad day, make it up with that damned demanding mistress by the weekend and get your optimism back, in time to lift the lads, we have a game to win.

    As an aside, glad to see the dirtiest player I ever saw perform , hasn’t lost his love of all things Arsenal. 

    After suffering a record loss in European competition last night, RTE pundit John Giles didn’t mince his words, saying Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat should be a “sackable offence” for Arsene Wenger

  30. I’m still here GM – I can’t look another pizza in the face after last night.

  31. goonerbill says:

    Too old for twitter Michael!

    Like others have said, tactics and motivation were wrong last night. Walcott lost every 50/50 and was generally a waste of space and was rightly taken of at HT…but why then go two up top? We just opened oursleves up with 135mins still left in the tie when another midfielder was needed. Milan looked dangerous on every break, and in fairness Ibrahimovic was fantastic.

    This was probably not a game we could have won as Milan got everything spot on but we could have come away with a result to give us a decent shout at home.

    Would you rest RVP for the home leg? Risk an injury or show no ambition? These are not the questions I wanted to be asking myself at half time in the tie!!

  32. Rasp says:

    Hi Richard, in Coquelin and The Ox, we have two emerging players who just about have it all as modern footballers – genuinely two footed, great passing ability, have a shot on them, can read the game, pacey etc etc.

    Walcott is very one dimensional and Ramsey does seem to be going backwards at the moment and I don’t understand why. I have seen him put in very commanding performances for Wales. It seems to all go wrong when he tries too hard. He doesn’t release the ball quickly enough and ends up running laterally often resulting in a pass backwards. At the moment I think he is good when playing second fiddle next to a commanding midfielder – but we didn’t have anyone of that description yesterday.

  33. Hi gm – I had a look but the ticket doesn’t really exist, I don’t know why the exchange isn’t open either ……. I’m sure there’ll be tickets in the next few days ………

    goonerbill – good question about resting RvP for the home leg, it’s not being played for three weeks so I suppose it depends where we are then.

  34. Rasp – I wonder what Rambo thinks his role is, look how many times he took the ball off Arteta when if he’d moved forward he would have been available for a pass!!!!!

  35. Bradster says:

    Sorry to say this a management problem. He needs to mitivate his players or get ones with stronger will, have some kind of plan, either defend deep, fast wing play on the break, target certain guys, watch this guy because Milan plays a certain way. Surely they were expecting our 4-3-3 tactic that we only know how to play not flood the midfield with slow cm’s. why didn’t we stick to it, I’d prefer losing knowing they had some tactics at all.
    Shew TV was appauling yesterday and Arteta was lost with so many yellow shirts around him and no one in the midfield to takle with their long ball style.
    I agree that Kos and TV do not play well together. We need one to read the game and be that solid CB and the other to cover and chase. They looked confused who to do which job.

  36. Red Arse says:

    I had a dream!!

    Last night I went to bed and dreamt about the game — AC Milan, in the famous San Siro.
    I had waited all day with a growing impatience, blended with a degree of anxiety and flickering hope that only another Gooner could truly understand.

    Sinking deep into my slumbers, I replayed the game in the subconscious part of my brain reserved for the mazy dream world where everything is possible.
    I saw my Arsenal playing Wengerball, as only they can. Admittedly not the Barcelona-esque whirl of dazzling controlled possession football, with which we are sometimes compared, because without their world class quality players that is not possible, but it was a good facsimile non-the-less.

    There, under the gimlet eyed, animated watchfulness of AW, was the destructive tempo we fans know so well, — fast paced, intense and overpowering; our youthful but Champions League experienced team well led by a forceful, intimidating central spine; organised and tactically astute and able to respond to the demands of the opposition; carefully probing, assessing and then striking like cobras when the opportunity presented itself. This was the Arsenal we had begun to think was a distant memory! Joy!

    The scoreline may have flattered but there was no denying the marked superiority of our play compared with the anaemic, dysfunctional mediocrity of so many of the opposition players, playing with a tactical naivety that belied their reputation and all unremarked or castigated by the seeming disinterest of their jaded manager.

    Then, in the way some dreams can turn to nightmares, I began to surface from my fitful slumbers and awaken to the real world and found myself sweatily comprehending the enormity of the trick the monsters of the Id had played on me, and that the conquerors, the deserving winners, the class act were in fact Milan, and the poor, lethargic, incompetents who had been summarily beaten were my beloved Arsenal!

    This was not supposed to be in the script. You know, the one where we would take the Champions League by storm to silence the clamour of the growing numbers of doubters.
    Arsene, what went wrong?

  37. goonerbill says:

    Personally peaches I’d start him and if we grab a couple before HT then go for it but if not then haul him off. The Milan tactics will be very different away from home, standard Italian defence and will try to shut us out.

  38. Rasp says:

    Good point peaches, they simply didn’t seem to have well defined roles. Arteta and Ramsey were getting in each others way, as you say they should have been playing off one another and moving into space.

  39. goonerbill – does this Milan team know how to defend? Maybe they don’t and that’s why they came out as they did, although with Ibrahimovic pulling the strings and Robinho up front they’re very able to use attack as the best form of defence.

  40. We, on the other hand have completely lost the ability to attack. I know we put 7 past Blackburn the other week but they were woeful and didn’t bother to try ……. kind of like us last night 😳

  41. Pity poor Tim (from 7am kickoff)he’s travelling all the way from Pacific coast US for the home leg of the Milan tie.

    Fancy coming all this way for a dead rubber.

    As it happens I’ll be at the Tavern before that game for a drink, but I’m not going to the actual game, good job really, I’ll be climbing into Peachy’s pocket.

  42. Danny says:

    ……and a Rosicky volley that went out for a throw in!

    ——————————————————————

    I cracked up laughing so hard when he took that “shot” – definitely the best laugh I’ve had in a long time.

  43. kelsey says:

    We miss a motivated Fabregas no doubt IMO, and as pointed out we seem to stall when counter attacking..I wasn’t going to critisize anyone in particular as Milan played really very well last night but even at 3-0 down it’s still tippy tappy football most of the time and when in possession we move sideways then sideways again and then back and then back to where the ball originally was, and often the momentum is lost.
    Alan green seemed to enjoy slating us last night, talk about the BBC being impartial in their commentaries.
    Vermaelen has just played several games at LB, not his favoured position and unfortunately the midfield and in particular Arteta had a poor game.amongst others.

  44. Herb'sArmy says:

    But we’re still self-sustaining, and top of the money league…right?

  45. From those figures that came out last week I think we’re 5th in that Herb.

  46. Herb'sArmy says:

    Cheers Chary. It was a rhetorical question really. The one thing we have to celebrate is that as a club, we’re loaded thanks to our astute chancellor/manager.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Slim, well done for an accurate match report.

    What a dreadful night. Arsenal were shite and there are no excuses. The formation was a nightmare last night. We gave so much space away, allover the pitch, and the team played as if they played in this formation, and with these players, for the first time this season. Arsene’s 4-3-3 experiment has to come to an end asap.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Only positive is to see Kelsey back on the site.

    I was worried he had succumbed to the snake bite.

  49. Oh right Herb, I’m a bit dulled/punch drunk by the shocker of a performance last night.

    If it’s any comfort I’m getting used to hugely disappointing performances from my team nowadays.

    Still they are, and always will be, MY team.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Slim. Well done on a fine report in difficult circumstances.

    I wonder what AW said to Theo at half-time?

    I also wonder why we cannot go away in Europe and play defensively like everyone else. Why not play 10 men behind the ball and counter-attack?

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Chary 12.16 . Spot on.

  52. Herb'sArmy says:

    They’ll always be my team too Chary.
    Just wish some of the hierarchy would grow a pair and start showing this much talked of ‘mental strength’.

  53. RockyLives says:

    It was a bad day at the office.

    Even the “great” Arsenal teams of AW’s reign had dreadful days and nights (in Europe in particular).

    No point tying ourselves up in knots about it. The players know they were under par; Wenger knows they were and has told them so.

    Let’s look for the right response on Saturday.

    Dandan had the right of it earlier: football can bring some big downers, but the next “up” is hopefully not too far away.

    And well done for the post Slim.

  54. slimgingergooner says:

    You are so right Dandan.

    Football is like a cruel mistress.

    It’s like the girlfriend who’s lovely 90% of the time, but every so often wants to lube you up and stick a strap-on up yer arse!!!

    Just be thankful we are not a Rangers or a Pompey, those fans have to walk like John Wayne 365 days a year!!!!!

  55. Dandan says:

    Slim you have a way with words and the mental picture of John wayne has made my day. 🙂

  56. chas says:

    I’ve just read the report, SGG and I congratulate you on your even-handed assessment of the team’s performance.

    My favourite three words, “Fucking piss poor”.

    RA,
    I knew it was some bird beginning with an ‘F’ . 🙂

  57. Dannyboy says:

    I m still hurting this afternoon.To make matters worse the missus decided to order Pizza last night which i stopped eating after the second goal went in.I might eat the leftovers tonight if the vulture ie my four year old son doesnt lay his beaks on them.The question is are the players going to pick themselves up for the sunderland game?We need a good win at the farm on Saturday to lift our poor souls off this gutter we find ourselves in.

  58. Herb'sArmy says:

    Well done on the post SGG.
    No, thankfully we aren’t in the same state as Rangers, Portsmouth, and many more. We’re just stagnant. We are timid and weak, and lacking in hunger or desire.
    Players like Djourou and Walcott should only be allowed to wear an Arsenal shirt if they buy one from the Club shop, or a high street sports retailer, but we have been dumbed-down to acknowledge and support mediocrity. We’ve got what we deserve because nobody wants to complain.

  59. Rasp says:

    Hi Danny,

    For sure we didn’t see that coming yesterday but we know exactly what to expect when we visit TSOL, so there can be no excuses. We need to outperform Sunderland in every department starting with work-rate and determination.

  60. chas says:

    SGG,
    What’s that poking out from John Wayne’s saddle? 🙂

  61. I know what you mean Herb @12.25 – I wasn’t having a pop at anyone by saying they were my team, just saying that being an Arsenal fan is more than a marriage, you are with them for better or worse and divorce is not an option.

    Just wish there was a bit more “better” nowadays.

    Moving on, is it ok to laugh at Rangers ? Or Channel 5’s pathetic attempt to drum up support for the Europa cup by saying “THIS is the only trophy Man Utd haven’t won yet”.

    They also haven’t won the Johnstone’s Paint FA Trophy Vase either but should we care about that either ?

    “Up yours !” you ManUre loving media and fuck you Fergie for being a red faced piss artist.

  62. slimgingergooner says:

    Peaches,

    I’m going to pick on your comment earlier, but don’t take this as a personal attack! You said:

    We, on the other hand have completely lost the ability to attack. I know we put 7 past Blackburn the other week but they were woeful and didn’t bother to try ……. kind of like us last night

    When we beat Blackburn the other week we were outstanding in every position and played them off the park, much like Milan did to us last night. But, because of the poor result last night you are now saying that we weren’t that good against Blackburn and they rolled over for us! This, for me, sums up just why a modern footballer managers job is so hugely impossible.

    Take Arsene Wenger, his job is to create a fantastic football team who demolishes everything in its path. To do this he has to plan months, if not years in advance. An example of this is him moving us to the Emirates or signing Fabregas as a kid. It sounds straight forward enough, but his job is made impossible by fans’ insistance to look at Today and no further. Fans only care about the last result, nothing more. They are not bothered if Wenger is building a team for the future, or if he’s won countless trophies in the past, it is all about the here and now.

    Sometimes as a fan it has to be worthwhile looking at football from a managers viewpoint. It would be easy for Arsenal to go out and buy 10 £30m players and get a huge loan from the bank to win trophies for the next 5 years, and we would lap it up. But what happens in 10 years when the winding up order is posted through? Rangers, Pompey and Leeds know just how that feels, and do you think those fans are still loving the likes of Madaric, Ridsdale, Redknapp etc? Are they fuck!

    We can all sit here and moan about yesterday’s performance, that’s fair enough, but let’s not lose sight of what our football club is trying to achieve for us in the future because of a bad result today.

  63. slimgingergooner says:

    Herb,

    I love this comment:

    Players like Djourou and Walcott should only be allowed to wear an Arsenal shirt if they buy one from the Club shop, or a high street sports retailer,

    It’s almost like you realised that you werent supposed to mention the club shop and decided to mention that other shirt outlets were available! Lol

  64. Good report thanks Slim.
    Last night my first thought on goal number two was, here we go its that time of year we go out of the champions league and our whole season hereafter implodes. Lets hope we see a different team at Sunderland, it will be our third game of 3 on some ploughed field or other, doesn’t bode well for the nerves does it?

  65. TommyS – it makes me wonder isn’t their a bobbly pitch to practice on at Colney ?

    I remember seeing that Milan have a mottled pitch at their training ground so their players can practice close control on bad surfaces.

    Surely Wenger would insist on one of those to be available to prepare for matches on such surfaces?

  66. Andi R says:

    Time for Wenger to move on he has taken us as far as we can go.
    Another trophy less season unless we can win the FA cup.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    SGG. 1.36. This is a fine comment and worthy of expansion into a post- How about it?

    Chary. That is a good point re. ploughed up pitches. No need to pay for a pitch just send the team out to Hackney Marshes.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Can I use K-J in a response to Andi? 🙂

  69. Rasp says:

    No Raddy,

    Involuntary patella spasm is acceptable though 😆

  70. Andi R says:

    Please tell me what K-J is im an old man,Cheers

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Andi. See Rasp above. And my guess is that compared to some on here you are in the first flush of youth 😀

  72. Red Arse says:

    Andi, the phrase ‘knee jerk’ is prohibited. If this does not get thru’ point made, otherwise it has been used to describe your reaction!! 🙂

  73. Herb'sArmy says:

    It means knee-jerk, Andi. Wenger is much celebrated on this site, and whether it’s his fault or not, to criticise him on here is pointless.

  74. slimgingergooner says:

    That’s untrue Herb,

    But trying to bash it into people’s heads that it is Wengers fault is pointless on here. Maybe that’s why people don’t bother arguing with you anymore Herb?

  75. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great post Slim, i think you were a bit harsh on some of those marks but it was certainly a big fat zero for the all round performance.

    i am not down at all, far from it. We will go to become the dominant force in english football very soon and ime very excited about it.

    As for our current plight, so be it. Were still a decent team with a great chance for top four and hopefuly we can nab the FA cup. If not, take solace from this. We are very fortunite to support a great club, with a great history, and a great future. And if this still isn’t enough then contact me direct and i will send you some of my pills.

  76. Red Arse says:

    Tut, tut Herb! That’s naughty. 🙂

    It is OK to find fault with Arsene Wenger, no one I know has ever been perfect, not even me! 🙂

    What most AA’ers, tho’ not all, object to is finding fault with him over matters outside his control, or continual references to excellent financial stability, which is outside his remit anyway, as if that was a heinous crime.

    Andi has not done any of that that, but says AW should move on, and from my perspective that is a valid opinion he is free to express, but it would be more enlightening if he explained why he feels that way.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Herb. Once again you use a broad brush to paint your picture. That is patently untrue. There is no blogger on AA who believes AW is above criticism.

  78. Herb'sArmy says:

    I don’t think I do continually try ‘bashing’ it in people’s head SGG, in fact I’ve hardly posted lately, for the very reason of not getting into this debate.
    Whether you like it or not, Arsenal are in a mess, and nobody seems to know how to put it right.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Precisely, but said far better than I can express myself

  80. Red Arse says:

    Hi MerryT, 🙂

    Glic and I are going to arrange a match between you, representing the enthusiastic supporters, and Herb representing those who think we are dumb, and choose to support mediocrity. (Offensive, but knowing Herb better now, I don’t think he means it the way it reads). But I could be wrong! 🙂

  81. slimgingergooner says:

    Apologies Herb,

    Maybe my own comment was a bit K-J!

    If I’m being honest Herb I just find that sometimes your style of blogging is to press home your own opinion with no effort made to take into account that of others. Don’t take that as a personal insult, I speak only about the way you write, and I have no idea of how you are as a person.

  82. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders, hahahaha. It does seem that me and Herb view things slightly diffrently.

    Herb, ime curious, if you had 5 minutes of Arsene Wengers time what would you ask him?

  83. kelsey says:

    What a nice thing to say Raddy, thank you.

    Made my day with all the illness in our family at the moment.

  84. Herb'sArmy says:

    I would never be ignorant enough to describe anyone on AA as dumb, RA, but I have read posts of yours in the past requesting that people refrain from ‘bashing the manager’.
    Arsenal fans are more divided than they have ever been under the current regime. Where does the fault lie for that?

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Herb. I agree – nobody knows. This is a club problem not just an AW problem. How do you appease the fans whilst trying to build for the future?

    I do not agree the club is in a mess,but would say that this season has been difficult. Losing 3 big players in summer and bedding in the new ones, added to injuries to key midfield players and defenders has led to the “I want it now” fans frustrations.

    Where has AW failed? IMO.
    The decision not to take a FB on loan through our point-less January.
    Signing Park and Benayoun (not AFC quality).
    Not signing Saha or Zamora.
    The Ox sub v MU
    Last night’s tactics
    Tactics at Swansea
    Tactics at MU away.
    Playing Santos at Olimpiakos

    The economic issues are not AW’s remit. No-one can know who agreed to pay our excess players so much in wages that we cannot sell them. Nor who we target and do not get.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Herb 3.23. The fault lies with Arsene Wenger. Why? Because he has brought the club to a level of success that was unimaginable prior to his arrival.

    So much so that many of the current fans have only known AFC in the CL and in the top 4.

    Heck, we could have been Spurs. Look how excited they are that their team in in 3rd!!

  87. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    A general question here. Arsenal is a club trying to build a team for the future. The aim as i see it is now to develop the likes of Jack, Ox, Ramsey, Gibbs, Coq etc int a team that will one day go and lift the big prizes. The question then is Arsene Wenger a vital cog in this long term plan or could someone else come in and work under the same philosophy and do a better job?

  88. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Terry,
    depends how many questions I can ask in those five minutes.
    Why can’t he tactically react to turn games back in our favour?
    Why does he persist with tactics that were set up for Fabregas?
    Why do our players lack the stomach for a fight?
    Why does he persist with Djourou and Walcott, among others?
    Why did he bring Henry back instead of spending some real money?
    Why is Redknapp out-performing him on much less resources?
    Why is making money more important than being competitive on the football field?

  89. Rob Lucci says:

    I never cared if we lose or not, just to be able to watch an Arsenal game is a pleasure for a ‘far away land’ fan like me, whether its a 7-1 win or 8-2 lost.

    What I dont like about losing is that it will give the bragging right to some section of ‘fans’, its like they knew all along that they were right that Arsenal FC right now is full of shit people. Suddenly we should never buy Arteta, Ramsey is shit..er than Denilson, Arsene is shit because he didnt buy Torees and Carrol in the summer, etc.

    And thumbs up to slimGG 1:36. Why do you change your name anyway? FGG sounds better to me.

  90. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No one wants to play with me, so i shall answer my own question, ime very good at that.

    Arsene wenger is now so interwoven into the structure of the clubs philosophy and strategy that its hard to imagine it with out him. A change in manager at Arsenal now would be an absolute disaster with long term repurcusions extending for more than a decade.

    What a fabulous answer that was. hahaha

  91. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    You have not been specific regarding comments I have made asking others to refrain from ‘bashing the manager’, but I am perfectly happy to admit that sounds like me.

    ‘Bashing’ anyone or anything is not conducive to intelligent debate, and smacks of physical or mental violence.

    My comment about your view of us as being “dumb” was the result of you posting just that at 1:28 — “we have been dumbed-down to acknowledge and support mediocrity.”

    As I said previously, perhaps you did not mean it, but do you think I am dumb? or prepared to support mediocrity?

    That’s a bit harsh — I admit you may be right with the first part, but wrong with the second. I definitely support Arsenal – warts and all.

  92. kelsey says:

    TMHT

    Pure speculation on my behalf but I believe that Wenger is and will keep laying the foundations for a new emerging team and then leave gracefully for someone else to smoothly take over and though whoever that may be, Wenger will feel inner satisfaction.

  93. Rob Lucci says:

    Redknapp out-performing him?
    On much less resources?

    Spuds didnt even play in Europa League!

  94. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Herb, i have decided to answer them on Arsenes behalf.

    . You mean like the tactical switches that won the game at Sunderland last week.
    . Those tactics were not for desinged for Cesc, they were implemented to combat the 3 in the niddle of our opponents.
    . Our players do not lack fight, there is generaly to much youth in the team, that is all.
    . Theo is only 22, i will give you djourou hahaha
    . Jan transfer windows are not the time to do serious business and Henry has done well.
    . Rednapp is starting from a lower base, what happens when they start getting raided, Totnumb will colapse.
    . money is not more important. No dividends or profits are extracted from the club.

  95. Red Arse says:

    That was a fabulous answer Terry! Now, what was the question? 🙂

  96. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Fantastic answer Kelsey, thats how i see it to.

  97. kelsey says:

    Herb,

    I don’t know how old you are and generally you post your opinion in a civil manner and I would say your opinion is in the minority on here,but that isn’t a bad thing. I wear my heart on my sleeve and say what I feel, but after close on 60 years supporting the club i have seen far more lows than highs and maybe with age I can just sit back and enjoy remembering the good times and hope they will return .
    Financial stability is the way the club wish to move forward and that may sacrifice silverware for a few years yet. I don’t rate a few of our players,but one could say that about any top team.
    If you were to say to me that Wenger has lost the dressing room, can’t motivate the players anymore and he is just winding his contract down, I would be worried,but I try and look at the bigger picture.

    What is annoying or frustrating many Arsenal fans is that Spurs may win nothing this season but could finish above us for the first time since 1995/6. i say to that, BIG DEAL.

  98. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Answers questions, questions, answers, ime confused.

    Redders, please help, i have a question that only a learned scholar like yourself can assist me with. “What is the meaning of life”? hahahaha

  99. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT. Though I agree sacking AW would be a disaster for many reasons, I cannot agree he is the only man to take us forward. IMO there are quite a few.

    If I could choose, I would be on the phone to AVB telling him there was a long term job available when the Russian sacks him. If ever there was the wrong man at the wrong club it is him. To me he is a young AW but stuck with players who have no connection to him and who think they are Jack the Peanut.

  100. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Best wishes to your family, hoping for a speedy recovery.

  101. Herb'sArmy says:

    Terry,
    overall, the tactics have been shown up time after time. They don’t work with the players we have.
    They have no sense of urgency.
    Walcott doesn’t look like a natural footballer.
    If football is more important than money, why don’t we replace the quality we lose with like for like quality?
    Rob Lucci – can you remember when Arsenal last beat Tottenham in a PL game?

  102. Just seen this rather salutory stat:

    “Until a year ago, Wenger’s sides won 58% and lost 18% of their 831 matches. Of 56 games over the past 12 months, they have won 47% and lost 30%.”

    Pretty conclusive evidence of our recent decline I’d say. 😦

  103. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Raddy, I vey much agree about AVB. Its like Kelsey said, wenger will pave the way for his succesor and some one like AVB fits the bill. Mind you, i wouldnt start righting Arsenes orbiturary yet, but the current climate is not in his favour for winning big prizes.

  104. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Herb, they work to an extent, but at the moment the players are just a bit lacking. I know waht your saying about replacing like for like but its not that easy, though i admit that it winds me up to.

  105. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Kelsey,
    glad to hear you and your family are well, long may it continue.
    I’m not one for name-calling or foul abusive language, but I’m concerned about the direction of our club under American stewardship, and whether or not we are their main sporting priority.

  106. Red Arse says:

    Wow, Terry baby that is an unexpected and deeply philosophical question you ask – “What is the meaning of Life?”

    If only I could understand the question. Is it similar to the one I posed – “what is the meaning of bananas?” The answer to that was that it was a load of rhubarb!

    But let me see. Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy claimed that the answer to ‘what is the meaning of life and the universe?’ was 42. And that seems pretty conclusive to me.

    In a footie context, perhaps you mean where did Arsenal originate from and where is the club going? I suspect it all hangs on what it is you want to know.
    Depending on that premise, we can look backwards or forwards, and the answers we get, or fail to obtain, can be very different and satisfy different needs. (see you and Herb) 🙂

    Are you really asking, perhaps, whether supporting Arsenal is worthwhile in its own right, or should we simply pull the plug and say sod it?

    Paraphrasing that well known philosopher, and painter of nude men, Aristotle, — not everything can be a means to an end: there must be occasions when ends are simply valuable in their own right.

    So if supporting Arsenal must at some stage be valuable to you in and of itself, and if it is to be worthwhile, then why not be a supporter in the here and now and do not worry about looking back or looking to the future. The here and now is what is worthwhile – enjoy – that is the meaning of life for a Gooner! 🙂

    That’ll teach you to wander into philosophy!!!!! 👿

  107. slimgingergooner says:

    BR,

    I have accepted your earlier challenge and penned something about Wengers inability to satisfy the present day fan whilst also planning for the future.

    It’s an impossible juggling act IMO.

  108. RockyLives says:

    Hello Herb
    I have doubts about our direction rather than fears. Most days it feels like I can see where we’re going.
    On nights like last night it’s all a lot more blurred.
    So, I can understand where you’re coming from, although I am still leaning towards an overall feeling that things will fall into place in the not too distant future.

  109. Red Arse says:

    Not ALL present day fans are dissatisfied with Arsene, Slim.

    Altho’ many of us would like clarification as to who really controls the transfer budget purse strings; what is Kroenke’s ‘vision’ for the future of the club; does it include an input from Usmanov – if not – why not; does AW have a plan for his eventual retirement and succession; etc.

    Realistically we will never get answers to those and other related questions, for a number of pragmatic reasons, but as a result the myths and the continuing sniping at Wenger, the players and the club will go on.

  110. goonermichael says:

    “Jack the peanut” That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard for ages Raddy. I still can’t work out the Park signing. He’s leaving in the summer. I wonder how many shirts we sold in Korea? I can’t believe he was signed by Arsena. Why would you sign a player and never play him? It doesn’t make sense. Chamakh is rubbish bet he persists with him. Whay can’t he give Park a chance. I reall hope they are only giving Walcott an extension to get more when they sell him. He’s useless.

  111. Herb'sArmy says:

    Good day Rocky,
    sincerely hope you’re right mate, and this is just a temporary blip.
    This pattern has been playing over and over again for the past few years, with former players and new ones. We get an awe-inspiring victory to lift everyone, followed by an ugly, demoralising defeat, and can’t do it when it really counts.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    GM. Jack the Peanut. One of my faves too. Came from a rep for BMG in my last life. Still makes me laugh because though it makes no sense at all you know exactly why it means,

  113. kelsey says:

    The reason they bought Park was to put him on the bench 🙂

    Oi RA,

    have I offended you as well 😉

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to the MU Ajax game tonight and a chance to watch Christian Eriksen again. We should have bought him 2 years ago when I first wrote about him (check back)

  115. goonermichael says:

    Someone I knew always used to say “the sparrows kneecaps” for some reason. Shouldn’t the bench go on him Kelsey? He’s not even on the bench.

  116. gunnern5 says:

    Chary@4:02

    Those stats look a tad skewed.

    I don’t have the stats for cup games but here are the actual stats for the EPL.

    1996/97 to 2009/10 = W59%,T25%,L16%
    2010/11 tp 2011/12 = W51%,T24%,L25%
    Overall W58%,T25%,L17%.

    It should also be noted that AW’s worst is better than any previous Arsenal manager.

  117. kelsey says:

    GM,

    it was a play on words.

  118. goonermichael says:

    Kelsey I know that 🙂 The park goes on the bench though. As I typed it occurred to me that he hardly ever makes the bench. The 2 weren’t supposed to be together. I hope all is well with you BTW.

  119. goonermichael says:

    Are Ajax any good?

  120. Big Raddy says:

    OK. Don’t expect them to give MU too much trouble but Eriksen has the ability to be a top player

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. Quite a disparity between your figures and the ones found by Chary.

    I prefer yours

  122. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    You certainly have not offended me, and neither has anyone else! 🙂

    I have exhausted myself on philosophical matters raised by that cheeky TerryM, who forced me into the worst sort of didacticism in my metaphysical search for the meaning of life, and then left without even calling me Bwana! 🙂

    And now you, my good friend, will say “what the bollocks are you talking about now?” 🙂

  123. goonermichael says:

    Arsenal’s defeat could affect Premier League’s standing in Europe

    I just read this article on the telegraph.
    It leads with Arsenal but the 2 manc clubs went out in the group stage which was obviously worse. It also says that us having 4 clubs in the CL is not under threat as we are so far ahead of Italy in the coefficiants.

    So a totally pointless article but a good chance to have a dig at Arsenal

  124. Red Arse says:

    Figures, eh? I prefer the ones with the big blue eyes and long lashes — or have I strayed from the path again? 🙂

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    All very civilised on here today, as I would expect 🙂
    “Jack the peanut”..weird, but double smiley.

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo sorry Slim.
    Well done indeed. You would have had Recipe of the Day from me, so great to have people like you around.

  127. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    Chas put up a link this morning showing how UEFA calculate the coefficients for each country and how the CL places are awarded.

    Can’t remember what time that was, but it made interesting reading.

  128. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    What a shit day at work I had. Even senior management who don’t even know my name came down to have a pop “Where’s your Arsenal shirt today?”

    Only thing I could do was chin up and say we’d win 5-0 in the second leg.

    My brother was trying to wind me up because he likes to “So, Mary you won’t be wearing that shirt with a 50 on the back anymore?!” Me: “It’s a 49” Him: “I wish I knew more about football” – he failed to wind me up cos he didn’t know anything bar the scoreline.

  129. goonermichael says:

    I had a West Ham fan trying to wind me up Irish. West Ham!

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. Those plums will never have the heart-warming memory of DB at Newcastle or Freddie at Cardiff etc etc. Sad losers all of them.

    yes, we suffer but we also exalt 🙂

  131. Red Arse says:

    Slim,

    You are sooooo lucky to be offered the Devon Recipe of the Day!! 🙂

    I think, as it is Thursday, it is mutton based — take 4 sheeps’ willies and marinate in the hottest chilli sauce and red wine vinegar for 24 hours, before cutting them off the sheep, who may object.

    Add, chopped heifer anus miraculus mixed together with assorted ducks’ teeth and the oink of pig, then gently cook until half cooked. Serve au naturale with raw turnip, grown on a heated manure patch.

    Guaranteed to make Fat Gooners really Slim. Micky must really like you? 🙂

  132. Big Raddy says:

    GM Hope you were cutting his hair ….

  133. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Is that your normal dinner or a special? What do you eat for breakfast? Liver of newt with eye of frog?

  134. goonermichael says:

    Alex Chamberlain @Alex_OxChambo
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Disappointing result last night I was absolutly gutted, unbelievable support from the travelling fans again… Got to move onto saturday now

  135. goonermichael says:

    Opta Joke @Opta_Joke
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details 3 – ManCH5ster United have rested 3 of their best player today: Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra and Howard Webb. Europa.

  136. Irishgunner says:

    GM & BR – Ah, I didn’t mind it, I was prepared for it. All light hearted fun. A Liverpool fan did come over to me first thing this morning “Mary, what was the score last night?” Me: “Who were ye playing again?” He just skulked away 😆

    The Manc fans knew better considering what they are playing in right now 😆

  137. Irishgunner says:

    There’s DB10 – should be sitting on our bench.

    Oh, Neil Warnock was meant to be on Irish tv tonight for this game but he’s off in talks with some club – Wolves?

  138. Irishgunner says:

    Could be BR, or Leeds?

    Sky Sports: “Wigan have banned 17 fans from attending future home matches”. Looks like the only occupied stand will have be closed now.

    😆

  139. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    No, I have never eaten as well as that, but then Micky has not offered me the luxury of a Devon special. 🙂

    Mind you, I am terrified that Glic might volunteer his cooking skills at the annual Cuckoo Club DinDin, and I am not too sure about his haute cuisine telescope pie a la Terrym. 🙄

    But thanks for asking, you smooth singing smoocher!! 🙂

  140. Irishgunner says:

    Arsenal aren’t a club in crisis, THIS IS A CLUB IN CRISIS

    Portsmouth cannot afford to scan Liam Lawrence’s injured calf

    Portsmouth cannot afford to scan the injured calf of captain Liam Lawrence, manager Michael Appleton has revealed.
    Pompey are expected to enter administration for the second time in three years on Friday, and money is so tight they are not able to assess Lawrence’s injury.
    “Liam can’t walk properly,” Appleton told BBC Radio Solent.
    “Because we can’t afford to scan his calf we don’t know the full extent of the injury.”

  141. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    I am off now, but you made a good point earlier that I meant to highlight.

    There is no doubt in my mind that there has been a consistent drip, drip reduction in the quality of the players we have lost to other clubs, (Barca and Citeh) in recent seasons and who have never been replaced on a quality like for like basis.

    Hleb, Adebayor, Cesc, Nasri, Kolo, and Lehman spring to mind, but it goes back further with the loss of Thierry H and even Viera. (there may be others, depending on your own views).

    No club can expect to maintain their status quo, viz a vis other top clubs, with that deterioration, even tho’ youngsters like Ramsey, Chesney, Gibbs, PingPong and Coquelin as well as the Ox have come thru, but most of them are still works in progress.

    I cannot argue against the need to recruit top quality players, and AW has said so himself, altho’ he has not necessarily done so in the eyes of many, perhaps because of the cost?

    So you see, there are areas where we do agree! 🙂

  142. Irishgunner says:

    Spurs have confirmed they have signed 2 exciting unknown young French players. Didi Paytax & Didi Bollax join the Academy 2day!

  143. Big Raddy says:

    I think the Ajax combo of De Boer and Bergkamp could be the future beyond AW,

    Ajax play Wengerball and both men are committed to the development of youth.

    Works for me

  144. Irishgunner says:

    Robbed from Twitter BR – its a good one 😆

  145. SharkeySure says:

    Rather you than me writing that up SGG. Thanks

  146. slimgingergooner says:

    Tell me about it SS!

    I do like the look of Vertonghan and Eriksen, though I think Vertonghan is more of a holding midfielder from what I’ve seen tonight.

    Interesting to see United clutching at straws by going all out for the Europa. I think they will end up trophyless this season though.

    Graham Taylor is a terrible commentator!

    Valencia just gone off injured. Been United’s best player this season.

  147. goonermichael says:

    I hope it’s really serious slim (not fatal though)

  148. goonermichael says:

    Keenos @KeenosAFC
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details So apparantley me being a ST who turns up, never boos, go’s to Milan and backs the team is the reason we are shit…

  149. Big Raddy says:

    Eriksen played well.

    Now to see MC draw

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Fat boy is starting!

  151. goonermichael says:

    Gurjit Soor @GurjitAFC
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Antonio Valencia out for 4 weeks with a hamstring injury. Big blow for #mufc

  152. charybdis1966 says:

    N5/Radders – that stat was for all competitions and from an article on the guardian, it’s purely to show the deterioration in the last 12 months which I think it does.

  153. I`m just a love machine says:

    Terry,
    Being a Love God and a Devil in the sack, may I say, you were asking the wrong man about the Meaning of Life !. Have you not got a fine “Hubble” strength XXXL Telescope ?, well the answer was right before your “mince pies ” and you being an accountant aswell. It`s Multiplication, go forth and Multiply !.
    Take it from the Master, bro`.
    Valentines day, I was at some Posh Hotel, there were red Rose`s, Balloons, 3 course meal, Wine and Champers flowing and lots of Love making , even some nosey bastard peeping through the curtains couldn`t put this Stallion off his game and to top It all, there was a Large aquarium in the corner and In It was a Seal, he was clapping away and squeeling that noise they make, O O O O O O O O O O O O O O, I was In such fine form, he was giving me his “Seal of approval” !

  154. charybdis1966 says:

    LOL arab camel shaggers FC 1 nil down

  155. I`m just a love machine says:

    Ohh, fine post slim !

  156. Irishgunner says:

    Gary Lineker, YOU THE MAN

    “Gary Lineker @GaryLineker_
    A number of you seem to think I got a yellow card in Japan. Sad as it appears I’m afraid I did not.
    Piers Morgan @piersmorgan
    @GaryLineker_ did you ever actually tackle anyone?
    Gary Lineker @GaryLineker_
    @piersmorgan Nope never hacked anyone”

  157. Wombledin says:

    Yes indeed, the big question now is are we gonna crumble again like we did at the end of last season? In our last 11 premiership games last season we literally had relegation form, getting only 12 points. Anything like that again this year and Wenger will be sacked I have no doubt.

  158. SAM says:

    Now we have Arteta saying Arsenal must deal with counter attacks. Wenger knows how teams play this way against the gunners yet he shows no sign of tweaking his philosophy.His all out attack leaves the barn door open many times.How many games have Arsenal lost to Chelsea and MU because of this?This coupled with a dodgy defence which Wenger addresses half way is the chief reason why the gunners lose and will continue to lose again and again.
    Unless Wenger changes his tactical plan,the gunners won’t make headway until a new man comes in.Playing in the same way every game is handing the initiative to the opposition.There is no variation and the gunners habit of passing merrily in front of massed defenders is another reason.Defenders know the gunners won’t shoot from afar and that it makes harder for the gunners.
    Barring a dramatic chanage in form and fortune,the gunners will continue to plod along.
    Btw Sunderland play on the break. They will let the gunners have 99% possession and hit on the break. If the gunners lose through Martin’s game plan,the game’s up for Wenger.

  159. bill says:

    sorry bout this but just fuck right off DAILY STAR! will ya!

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Bill. Explain. Are you the subject of a Daily Star expose´?

  161. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Those Newsnow figures confuse me. Arseblog is head and shoulders the busiest AFC blog, yet is never in the most visited sites on Newsnow – perhaps he doesn’t subscribe.

    And the AFC Official site is (I am told) the busiest of all football websites, yet it doesn’t feature in Top stories.

    I wonder how they collect their stats.

  162. chas says:

    BR,
    I presumed it was based on a count of how many times a site was linked to from Newsnow.
    People would go to Arseblog and AFC.com direct.

  163. Jack Jez says:

    Teho was pathetic. He will never make it in any top teams like (manu, Real madrid, Barca). He is a perfect fit for Spurs.

    Overall in the arsenal squad only Van Persie would make it to the top teams..

  164. Big Raddy says:

    Jack. Maybe not. But they are OUR team

    chas. Good thinking.

  165. Gooner in Exile says:

    Had a day off from the blog, I was busy with work but I was still hoping it was a nightmare. A fine report of a demoralising night SGG. Particularly liked the ratings and as you say every chance given was punished.

    Now do I read the comments or will my sanity be severely tested?

  166. chas says:

    The comments are fairly mild, GIE.
    A bit of misery in the afternoon, but only to be expected.

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    I think the whole first team (and Frimpong) should clear off saturday night for a weeks’ sun and booze. They would have to leave Arsene behind as that would be all early nights and fizzy water.

  168. chas says:

    Team building?

  169. chas says:

    Did you see the dog watching whiff whaff yesterday morning, Micky?

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    No drinking.
    Team Building is a bit too Group Huggy. Just serious straight forward drinking.

  171. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    A little fatalism helps; i.e. all events are subjugated to fate, and que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.

    You and Arsenal will be forever linked and you will remember the good times even more intensely because of the bad times.

    You have another duty — come on here to cheer us up too, it is a two way street!! 🙂

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Just been back and watched it. I have been trying so hard, but by christ they’re stupid!

  173. chas says:

    Micky,
    What get TA6, the Merse, Razor and Bouldy out of retirement?

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    I think we need to keep plenty in the tank for saturday night, as by then, we’re going to need a real pick-me-up!

  175. chas says:

    We haven’t really had a player make a tit of themselves since Bendy was caught with his pants down.
    Oh for the days when injuries were caused by players falling down nightclub steps!

  176. chas says:

    Micky,
    We’ll piss on Sunderland, Johann and Theo said on Arse.com. 🙂

  177. Gooner in Exile says:

    GN5 @ 5:07pm quote of the day

    “It should also be noted that AW’s worst is better than any previous Arsenal manager.”

    Chapeau

  178. Big Raddy says:

    If JD and TW said it then it must be so.

    Forget sending the players away for some R&R in the sun. They should send us merry band of AA brothers and sisters for a week in the Caribbean all expenses paid.

  179. kelsey says:

    Several reports that Wenger called the team in yesterday though they were meant to have time off and read the riot act at them and even swore and in particular he had a go at my favorite player Walcott.

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    You are such a sensible chap 🙂

  181. kelsey says:

    No, it’s not a joke

  182. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    The advantage I have is that I have already prepared myself for the worst. A refreshed Sunderland against a post CL Milan style mauled Arsenal. Yikes!
    I will be ok on sunday 🙂

  183. Big Raddy says:

    If it is true then great.

  184. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Superb. And in Danish too …

  185. kelsey says:

    It will be a draw on Saturday, which is fine then back to our place and we go through.

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Brilliant 🙂

  187. Big Raddy says:

    No, we will win and win well.

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    Although I agree about a player bollocking, do you think anyone at the club would dare bollocking the manager? I don’t think so.

  189. Big Raddy says:

    Bollock , No. Question. Yes.

    If my impressions of AW are correct he will encourage an open dialogue amongst his management team. I do not see him as a dictator, but perhaps I am wrong. The club never share this sort of info and perhaps he is an autocrat

  190. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ok so it wasn’t too bad, altho I couldn’t have coped if I was reading “as live” with some of it.

    DanDans cruel mistress analogy always cheers me up.

    I think GN5s EPL stats are more important than cup stats which are always likely to skew, especially when in any one season you could be knocked out first or second round best it’ll give you 50% win ratio.

    Under our tactics we win more than we lose still, in some games they don’t work in most games they do.

    I and others were particularly critical of our midfield on Wednesday (especially defensively) but thinking back Milan bypassed the area as quickly as possible finding Ibra or Robinho in the hole with midfielders and fullbacks then making runs to join in. We don’t play that first ball in the same way (the last time we did was with DB10). We had too much space between the lines Defense – Gap – Midfield – Gap – RvP.

    There was some criticism of Sagna in the build up to their second but I can’t see it, as in my view Theo left him in no mans land by not shutting the full back.

    TV had a shaky night start to finish failing to clear lines early which is not something Kozzer and BFG have been guilty of too often this season. His slip for their third may have been unfortunate but he only slipped because he was rushing to an area where no threat could come. He should have been running towards Robinho and the direction of the ball.

    Anyway onwards and upwards, they’re still my Arsenal and they still make me happy when skies are grey.

  191. SharkeySure says:

    SGG 1.36pm…sterling work

  192. Gooner In Exile says:

    Interesting if Wenger did pull the players in. Too little too late?

  193. kelsey says:

    I told you some time back what Wenger did to Lauren.he just told him in no uncertain terms he was off. Of course he has a ruthless side.
    How many people do you think are the same in private as opposed to being interviewed live ?

    Anyway I get a bollocking every day from Mrs kelsey even if I am not in.

  194. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    I suspect he takes criticism really badly, so I doubt anyone would confront him.
    I definately think he needs to put Pat Rice in charge of motivaion prior to saturday, then I would give us a real chance.

  195. Rasp says:

    Morning all……

    ….. New post …… by a new author …..

  196. Big Raddy says:

    I am not saying he is not ruthless, he clearly is, I am saying that any intelligent man will listen to others viewpoints and then make a decision.

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