Second best…………

I don’t want to talk about the game, as the result turned the whole event into a disaster. Dropping three points for the second time in 10 days in the run-in is really poor form for a team hoping to consolidate a Champions League place. Losing Mikel Arteta to an injury that might keep him out of the team for the rest of the season is a double disaster.

Once Arteta went off we lost our brain. He does most of the thinking for the team, taking the ball out of defence, moving it on quickly and always available for the next pass. His reading of the game is excellent and without him – and it seems we don’t have a good substitute – we are now going to hope that the chasing pack also drop points.

Everyone was ineffectual in last nights game because yet again we forgot how to play simple football and attack at pace. Our mid-field held on to the ball for too long and allowed Wigan to be nicely set in their area to watch us pass the ball around in front of them without fear.

Wigan, on the other hand, knew exactly what to do with the ball and attacked us with pace and flair, ripping down our wings and getting their men forward at every opportunity. All credit must go to Martinez who set his team out to play their game and we just let them, sadly.

After Vermaelen brought the score back to 1-2 I really felt that we would still go on to win the game and it has to be said that Al Habsi made many fine saves in the first half to keep us out. However, the second half was really poor. There were no surprises from us, just the ‘same old same old’ passing, passing, passing. Wigan were quicker to the ball and we had no control of the game.

It’s all very well for Wenger to be angry with the team but could earlier changes have made a difference?

Is there something basically wrong with our play if we always have to look for the killer pass and not know how to keep it simple?

Why did we allow Wigan to dictate the play? We were the home team sitting in third place in the table and we let a team that has been fighting relegation overun us. We are a good team but somehow we were really rubbish last night.

No doubt, in the comments, there will be naming and shaming players who’s performances contributed to our poor display but basically we had no-one to hold the team together once Arteta went off and that’s the saddest part.

Written by peachesgooner

201 Responses to Second best…………

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post peaches, you make very good points.

    We’ve been outplayed by Wigan, Swansea and QPR so far this season – all bottom half teams. We should beware of West Brom coming up because they can also outplay us in the same way

    They’ve beaten us by playing proper ball on the floor football. They just did the basics better than us in those games. Defending as a team, moving the ball swiftly through midfield and being incisive up front.

    Anyone who’s ever done football training will have played 2 / 3 touch football. The midfielders last night were all guilty of holding onto the ball far too long.

  2. dandan says:

    Nice one to get people talking Peaches, thank you I have moved this next bit from this mornings blog.

    Well said Kelsey, Arteta is a fine player but he is not the only one, Playing the ox and Song further forward and having Ramsey or Le Coque if fit sitting in front of the back four will work for us.
    My problem is the Gerv he tends to run into blind alleys so leave him on the bench. IMHO Gerv and Santos should not be on the pitch together either, they are too alike in the final third.
    A hiccup not the end of the world, when Saturday comes smiles will return.

  3. Rasp says:

    I didn’t see any tackle/incident that led to Arteta’s injury. I get the feeling that he just broke down which is not surprising when you consider the number of games he’s played and his workrate during matches.

    I presume Coquelin is not recovered from injury which is a shame as he can play the same role.

  4. Reddawn says:

    Excellent report Peachesgooner…..we are all doooomed, just like Dad’s Army!

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, I think he got injured when he tried to retrieve the ball after he struck his free-kick into the wall. As soon as I saw him running for it – it was going out – I thought this could lead to an injury: he reached the ball before it went over the line and then he twisted his body too quickly in order to put a cross in. That’s when he did his ankle in.

  6. dandan says:

    Interesting comparison Reddawn, Dads army is still being shown and enjoyed all over the world and making good money still. Just goes to show the old adage that form is temporary, class is permanent still applies.

  7. kelsey says:

    Whenever we start kicking off towards the north bank end we lose or draw. check it out πŸ™‚

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one Peaches. No surprise to see you saying the same things about Arteta as Rasp. The two of you are often aligned when it comes to analysing games.

    Mikel is an important player and he will be missed, if indeed his injury is serious. But Song and Ramsey will be fine against Chelsea, I have no doubt about it.

    The real problem we had was our inability to own the area in front of the Wigan ‘D’ in the second part of the second half, and us not stretching the game by sticking to our wings. On the right, Theo and Sagna were simply outplayed and on the left we lacked cohesion, quality and discipline for effective wingplay. Forget about Arteta – what we needed after 60 minutes was Wilshere or Diaby to replace the tired TR7 – who had worked his socks off until then. The Ox tried at least to re-own the area in front of the D and maybe Wenger should have brought him on earlier.

    We often talk about the huge impact the lack of FB’s has had on the team this season, but the same goes for the lack of attacking midfielders due to injury. That’s what cost us last night, and I don’t think a fit Arteta would have made much difference in that area of the pitch.

  9. goonermichael says:

    No one played well. Thanks for the report Peaches. The hate that some players are getting on twitter and other blogs is disgraceful. Ramsey was on of the better players. Song looked like he got back to his lazy (looking) old self. The ox did nothing at all but Gervinho gets singled out. Robin had the ball a few times but did nothing with it. I don’t think Wigan were that good. If we’d played like we did against shitty we’d slaughter them. If we didn’t because we lost Arteta then I fear for the rest of the season. Although he’s gutted I’m glad Jack won’t be playing in the Euros or Olympics. Maybe he’ll get fit for next season. God help him if he doesn’t hit the ground running he’ll be assassinated on the internet like Ramsey. I really am disgusted by some of our fans

  10. Rasp says:

    Hi Total,

    I disagree πŸ™‚

    We owned the area beyond their D and they were happy to let us have it because we never looked like penetrating their back line.

    It was the old possession with no end product scenaio all over again.

    We failed miserably to get the ball up the pitch quickly enough and seem to delight in giving the opposition time to form ranks.

    The movement by our midfieldres was not great because one or other would go off on a cross field run looking for the elusive killer pass while the others sat back and thought “I wonder where he’s going?”

    We wrote the book several years ago on how to play against Arsenal and Wigan played to that plan perfectly.

    I cannot understand why the Ox is coming in for criticism. We desperately needed a player to run at their defenders and that was what he tried. OK it didn’t come off but at least he showed the ambition. Theo’s been playing very well lately but Wigan kept him out of the game and IMO the Ox should have been brought on for him much earlier.

  11. goonermichael says:

  12. goonermichael says:

    Arteta was injured a fair bit at Everton.

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’ll probably get slaughtered on here for saying this, but anyway here goes.

    Ramsey has a lot of skill, he has good fitness and stamina, he can win the ball, he can get around the pitch, he can defend when necessary BUT he doesn’t have a “football brain”. Really top class players know what they are going to do with the ball before they receive it. Ramsey has to stop and think. He doesn’t seem to be able to hold a picture of what’s around him, where other players are, what movements they are likely to make. As a result he frequently makes the easiest most obvious pass, often a short sideways or reverse pass as a result he slows the game, takes the impetus out of attacking moves thus allowing defenders time to react.

    Ramsey’s a good footballer but not an instinctive footballer.

    Sorry if this upsets the general tone of Arsenal Arsenal but those are my opinions.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, in the last 30 minutes we failed to pin them down, to sustain pressure and not owning the area in front of the D was the main reason for this. It allowed Wigan to release pressure and disrupt our flow. Our midfielders sat back too much during the last third of the game and they should have been inside the D area.

    The Ox did well in trying to penetrate the area with the ball, but Wigan had an answer every time. Song had no other choice than chipping the ball inside the box, from well outside the D area, because there were no link up options within it. I thought Gervinho at least tried to stretch them by going to the byline but then there was no support in the box for RvP, and Wigan dealt with it well every time.

    Maybe you are right that it was text-book defending by Wigan, but I thought they performed it very, very well last night and should get credit for it.

  15. goonermichael says:

    I think most of the team were guilty of that last night though NG

  16. Rasp says:

    TA, if we got the ball forward more quickly none of those problems would occur. Our best chance of scoring was when their attacking play broke down but we just slowed things down and gave them time to reform. Their wingers were infinitely more effective than ours (who was supposed to be wide left?). It was left to Vermaelen to take matters into his own hands and drive play through the midfield. Although the wide ball is generally seen as the right option when playing out of defence, with us it usually leads to a breakdown in play or the ball just being recycled back to the midfield/defence.

  17. goonermichael says:

    Rasp
    Thier right defence always had loads of time and space to recieve the ball. Benny was supposed to be there wasn’t he?

  18. Rasp says:

    Yes gm, I know it was supposed to be Benny, but he’s not a winger is he?

    I refuse to single out any particular player for criticism, they were all poor. The system is what let us down yesterday. Sz will not be happy when he looks back at the goals.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Thank you for stepping up. The last thing you wanted to do after getting in I’m sure.
    Not being one to usually have a go at individuals, but I have to say that I think Sz’s attempts at both were a tad, ummmm, poofy. In neither case should the ball have got loose.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp, you got there first. I think that is a brilliant shout πŸ™‚

  21. LB says:

    Good match report Peaches. A very clever approach under difficult circumstances.

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, yes, Sz showed his inexperience a bit yesterday. He gets too excitable sometimes and dashes out when he shouldn’t. There are times when he gets the ball in his hands and instantly rolls the ball out to a defender who’s not ready to receive it or is immediately under pressure from the opposition’s strikers.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, we only had 52% possession during the entire HOME game – says it all. This will be controversial, but I think we lacked composure and calm and should have tried to pass the ball more in midfield in order to make progress into their D area – and then apply sustained pressure with penetration from the wings and the middle.

    But you are right re hitting them on the break. I still feel that with a fresh AM we would have killed them off in the last 30 minutes.

    Agreed on the wingers, but the Wigan wingers had space to run into and ours were seldom allowed any. Moses was fantastic on the night. I think it was 26 who pointed out how good Moses was the other day. He was right.

  24. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, they outplayed us plain and simple. Almost every Wigan player from the keeper forwards had a better game than our counterpart. Why? is the big question, because on paper we have the classier individuals. I also rate Moses, he is an excellent pacey direct striker – the type defenders hate.

  25. kelsey says:

    TA,

    Wenger in his pre match interview actually said that Moses was the player to watch.

    Wigan now play a system that United,Liverpol, Chelsea and now ourselves found difficult to cope with.

    Having watched the second goal again I am not sure if Szscney was at fault or in fact it could have been a foul on him. Thoughts.

  26. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the post Peaches.

    My take is this. We lost because of Artetas injury. Even though he has become a very important player, i am more alluding to the fact that his injury resulted directly to both goals. The first because he couldnt get back and Yossi was distracted, the second we were down to 10 men and reling from the first goal.

    Yes, we lost our way in the second half, but how many times can you keep coming back from behind? lets write this one off as a bad day at the office and move on. Despite yesterdays result, we have a great team in the making. Also as fans, we have a great site in AA were we can debate, exorcise our Demons, and share sadness and happiness over our great Club when we feel like it. Fantastic times ahead.

  27. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Oh thats just great, ive got to start proof reading my posts before pressing send. How many times ime i gona say the word great in a paragraph for christs sake. Its great to post off the cuff, but not so great when tou keep repeating the word great. Anyway, feels great getting that off my chest.

  28. RockyLives says:

    Well said Terry.

    We got suckered in odd circumstances for two slightly unfortunate goals.

    We then played well enough to have at least got level before running out of steam.

    A few too many players had an off night, but Wigan have now beaten Chelsea, Man Utd and us in quick succession so they must be doing something right.

    (Yes, I know they didn’t get any points against the Chavs, but to all intents and purposes they beat them on the night).

    Well done for the report Peaches. Arteta is a loss but he is not irreplaceable.

  29. RockyLives says:

    It’s a bit sad that we have now lost the two players with most composure in our squad – Arteta and Mertesacker.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Well played.

    Kelsey. I don’t think it was a foul on the keeper.

    Interesting discussion about the MF. I don’t think there is a single pace to play and pass, variety should be the aim.

    There was a lack of the long ball last night, we kept playing short due to the condensed playing area.

    AR is a young lad and a confidence player. It wasn’t his night.

    Of greater concern was the exodus at 80 mins. The team needed a boost and an empty seat is incapable of supplying one.

  31. chas says:

    Thanks for the report, Peaches, and sorry you had to write it.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head as regards Arteta. His loss didn’t really begin to become obvious until the second half when we started running in quicksand. It’s been so long since he’s been unavailable, it was strange to see the team without both its navigator and its timekeeper.

    I still can’t quite fathom out why the second half performance was so poor. I expected us to get stronger as the game went on, especially into the last 20 minutes.

    I also thought the first substitution should have been the Ox for Theo and with instructions to get down their flanks, instead it was Gervinho who proceeded to drift inside just as Theo had done all game on the other wing.

    Chamberlain eventually on for Djourou and asked to play centrally. I can’t understand that at all. There were simply too many Wigan players in that central area for him to try and blast a way through.

    Both goals looked preventable to me, but I suppose that’s the nature of soft goals. I wasn’t worried we hadn’t drawn level by half time as I thought the second half would yield plenty more chances, but it just fell flat.

    My train got back to Nottingham just before 2am. A thoroughly unpleasant evening all round (except for the bit before 8pm, of course πŸ™‚ ) Great to see an excellent AA turnout.

    C’est la vie, can’t have the good without the bad, on to Saturday.

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    As others have pointed out, Szczesny could have been stronger/ more aggressive for the 2nd goal, and I thought his timing could have been better for the 1st one.

    Martinez is a fine manager. I wrote a while ago that the PL is improving bottom-upwards. It is great to see that managers such as Martinez, Pardew, Lambert and Rodgers (Moyes and Jol) are succeeding – not based on spending loads of money but football nous, tactics and buying value for money players. Hopefully it means the end for the likes of Hughes, Sami Allerdyci, and McLeish.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Look lads, many of you are alluding to being outtacticed. Well fear not, I have the answer. Next chance I am allowed to do a post, I will reveal all.
    Couple of things in the meantime. One: we are still third, and two: can we all be nice about City for a while. You see, we need them to be still in the title race when they play Newcastle. Once they have beaten them, you can all be na$ty about them again.

  34. CharlieGooner says:

    I agree with NG Ramsey was the Snail in the midfield he kept the ball too long.The best thing for Ramsey was a loan deal for the whole to a team like Bolton or wigan.At the moment he has zero confidence.I m sorry i not having the whole team played crap.There were some good performances from Vermalean,Van Persie.We lost the game in Midfield Ramsey should not have come on for Yossi who was having a good game.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ominously, no sign of Chary this morning. I do hope the more thoughtful amongst you remembered to lob the poor soul a pasty as you went past his bench.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Micky, share some of your outtactisation with us now. πŸ™‚

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    I rather have a focussed snail than a flog of headless chickens

  38. CharlieGooner says:

    TA i m sure the sum of the headless chickens would more effective than one snail.

  39. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, thanks for the report Peaches. As much as Artetas demise did not help the team (and I am seriously concerned if it is a break) the overriding cause of our defeat was two sloppy sloppy goals. We had chances in the build up to both goals to deal with the situation before it got threatening. They didn’t deal with it.

    Those two goals allowed Wigan to concentrate on holding out for the three points (and I’m sure they would have been happy with 1). At half time Martinez asked them to dig in harder and congest the eighteen yard box more, they gave us little room to operate in.

    They couldn’t have done any of this at 0-0 or even 1-0 up, but to concede that sloppy second was naive in the extreme.

    Finally good to meet up with Peaches and Rasp in Yildiz …. very enjoyable meal…. until Dermot O’Leary turned up and sent Mrs GiE a bit weak at the knees. Also good to see the regulars Chas, Chary (standing πŸ˜‰ ) and 26.

  40. dandan says:

    Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church’s morals, kept sticking her nose into other people’s business.
    Several members did not approve of her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.
    She made a mistake, however, when she accused Stephen, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon.
    She emphatically told Stephen (and several others) that every one seeing it there would know what he was doing!
    Stephen, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing..
    Later that evening, Stephen quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house … walked home …. .and left it there all night.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Martinez deserves a lot of credit for coming up with a little used tactical formation, i.e. 3:4:3, which worked beautifully for Wigan allowing them to press us hard when we were in possession, smothering us when we tried to pass the ball quickly, and with the aid of two sloppy goals, enabled them to deservedly win on the night.

    It’s human nature, I suppose, but I really dislike the assigning of scape goat characteristics to certain players, as if the accuser has some special insight on player qualities, which, of course, is far superior to the views of those who disagree.

    Opinions are fine, but one person’s view has no more validity than the other person’s.

    Ramsey did not play too well last night — but then who did?
    Except for Arteta, of course, who fortuitously (?) did not play for most of the game, and therefore, in his absence, his reputation as a game changer soared, in the opinion of some. πŸ™‚

    Let’s leave the finger pointing alone for a moment, and simply admit that Wigan and their coach, on the night, deserved to win, and we had an off night — and didn’t.

    We will still finish 3rd, it will just be a lot more exciting. πŸ™‚

  42. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, not for the first time there is a significant divergence in the reading of the game between those that watched on TV and those in attendance. I cannot say whose opinion is the more valid, but those of us at the game are the ones who were the least impressed with the performance.

    Apart from maybe TV, I thought every player was below par and statistically that should not be the case – therefore there must be a common factor that affected all the players.

    I’m not buying it that the support was the major factor and it is true that AW made it clear in advance that we needed to be focused on the game and the threat which Wigan posed.

    So what else could it be? – the system is my answer. An ingrained, inflexible method of playing that is trained into the player’s mentality that cannot cope with teams that play as Wigan did, particularly when we are favourites to win the game and it is at home.

  43. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I forgot to say, I agreed with most of what you have said in the earlier comments — now there’s a surprise — but did you mean you were flogging a herd of chickens, or did you mean we played like a flock of bovine quadrupeds? πŸ™‚

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, are you taking the bovine tit-piss with me? πŸ˜€

  45. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I know you can be a little sensitive when questioned by me, so can I say upfront, that this is a genuine request for clarification;
    as one who watched the game avidly on TV, what ‘significant divergence on the reading of the game’ were you referring to between yourself, as an attendee and the unwashed proletariat watching on television? πŸ™‚

  46. Red Arse says:

    TA, moi? extracting the urine? Never!! πŸ™‚

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, I love your consistency in thinking and arguing from a certain angle πŸ™‚

    Referring to your last paragraph: have you forgotten that we beat NU, Spuds and AV (FA cup), who played similar to Wigan, and also managed to score first?

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, I’m not sensitive to being questioned by anyone – but often questions are rhetorical and designed to make a point – in which case, why not just make the point?

    I thought I’d already answered your question in my @ 1:01. Those in attendance are generally more scathing of the performance than the TV viewers. This could simply be because when we lose, we have to endure an arduous late night journey home (chas 2 a.m.) with only the memory of a poor performance whereas the folks at home can retire to their home comforts. Obviously the converse is true when we win.

  49. Rasp says:

    TA,

    We had fire in our bellies and fought for every ball in the games you mentioned. Last night, in the second half, we did not contest headers from goal kicks, on several occasions we let the ball bounce in the box, we didn’t win second ball, we were second best in most 50/50’s and Wigan were the team that played themselves out of trouble when in tight situations not us.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, how did your ‘procedure’ go the other day?

    Good point on Martinez’ 3-4-3 system btw. It takes some guts and imagination to come up with a new system to beat your opponents! πŸ™‚

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh TA and RA,
    How you are going to whoop and holla at my next post.
    Come on Rasp, give me the green light πŸ™‚
    Do you have a post for tomorrow, or are you simply avoiding a DidIt?

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    I cannot agree with you Rasp: do you really think we did not have fire in our bellies in the first 60 minutes? And what about luck? We totally deserved a second goal in the first 60 minutes but did not have the luck and Wigan were lucky to score two goals in 3 minutes last night: how often does that happen? Had we scored a second, it could have been very different.

    However, I do think Wigan deserved their win.

  53. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky – go for it πŸ˜›

    I’m going out to buy the tape for my sides this minute πŸ˜†

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, I have written a post on formations for next season and who will play in the hole, but it is a rather serious take on the issue. πŸ™‚ Anything that promises whoops and hollas would be very well received, I am sure! πŸ˜€

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeeehaa πŸ™‚
    Hate to disappoint you, but this is going to be serious.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I was merely trying to engage you in light-hearted conversation.

    A forlorn hope, I know, but your response at 1:24 denying you are sensitive seems, conversely, to prove just how sensitive you are. Oh dear!!

    Actually, I asked the question, not to make any point, [I am not waiting for your permission to make a point] but simply because your 1:01 was not specific as to what your assumptions about the ‘significant divergences’ between those at the stadium (like you), and those watching on TV (like me) are — which oddly enough is why I asked you for clarification, before I could either agree or disagree — and maybe make a point, if the mood took me.

    Your dislike is becoming ever more self-evident, so please do not feel any over-whelming urge to respond as I can really do without this sort of hassle, at the moment.

  57. Rasp says:

    You’ve got that totally wrong RA, I do not dislike you, it is you who are being sensitive.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to both posts.

    What a season we are having, I cannot recall one where there were so many swings between highs and lows.

    From knocking 5 past two hated London rivals and losing to 2 of the 3 promoted teams. Runs of wins and runs of draws/losses.

    Whatever happens, it has been emotional

  59. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I am falling apart it seems.

    I have had to go to the hospital to have a number of ‘procedures’ (don’t ask — suffice to say they were worse than a root canal at the dentist) πŸ™‚ and I now have to attend for weekly treatments for the foreseeable future.
    The nurses are wonderfully helpful and professional tho’, but I am admittedly a wuzz, as they are always telling me, but it bloody well hurts!! πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait for next week – as you can imagine!! πŸ™„

  60. kelsey says:

    Rasp,
    was it really necessary to bring up the old chestnut of those attending and those not,but disguised in another form ?

    I have read all your posts today and you keep finding something else to blame, and of course you, like all of us are downhearted and gutted by the result,most probably we couldn’t believe what happened in those two fateful minutes.

    If anything Wenger got outwitted by Martinez and unfortunately after a fantastic run to get to third maybe with the limited quality on the bench there aren’t at this moment of time the players who can change a game, and maybe some aren’t as sharp as they were a few weeks back

    What we see and you don’t is the facial expressions of the players in close up. vermaelen,rosicky and benyahoun especially ran their hearts out for an hour, and like all players they are human beings and it just wasn’t our night.
    I will not accept that that Arteta’s injury was the sole purpose of the defeat.I think one must give Wigan a lot of credit as their current form and confidence is sky high.

  61. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I am in awe that so many of you not only write great Posts, but actually like doing so! Go for it, O Great Devonian Didit. πŸ™‚

  62. Rasp says:

    kelsey,

    What on earth are you alluding to? I made a simple and valid point about the difference in perception between TV viewers and attendees – no other agenda.

    Let me assure you, on evenings like last night it is a far more pleasurable experience to watch the match from the comfort of your own sofa.

    The rest of what you say is your opinion and that is fine by me.

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    CharlieG, apologies for not responding earlier. You wrote: ‘TA i m sure the sum of the headless chickens would more effective than one snail.’ Good answer, I like it. Now, if you were looking for a needle in a haystack, I am sure you would prefer the snail…. – … πŸ˜†

    Ramsey is not a snail, but somebody who wants to control the game, not headlessly attack and lose the ball unnecessarily. He has got natural vision and a football brain, but he is just lacking a bit of confidence and therefore form. He’ll come good next season.

    I admit he did not have a fantastic game, but it was not bad either. I like us to dominate the midfield, and especially the area in front of the opponent’s D, and Ramsey has been trained by Wenger to keep possession and pass the ball around, to find and play the triangles (and it takes three to triangle!) – and there is nothing wrong with that. There have been very few occasions when Aaron held up play last night unnecessarily, or failed to spot and deliver a forward/promising pass. Our movement off the ball and availability of players to pass to, reduced drastically in the last 30 minutes and that’s a team issue.

    The real issues were Rosicky only lasting 60 minutes and our ineffective/non-existent (left side) wing play, and Wigan’s very clever and well-executed tactics.

    Ramsey is one of us. Let’s support him so he can fulfil his incredible potential at Arsenal, just like Theo and Song have done. We make them and break them, especially when they are young.

  64. Bayonne Jean says:

    I take it that the visiting side gets to determine which end of the pitch it attacks first at the coin toss. If so, smart move by Martinez, as that might have helped sow the seeds of disorientation/bad defending at the beginning.

    Also didn’t understand the substitutions or pattern of play in the second half. Wenger mentions after the match how all sorts of “strikers” were on at the end, but with Santos and Vermaelen surging forward, and Gervinho and Ox filling the middle, Arsenal were just fighting congestion with congestion. With Wigan not being a club noted for their aerial defence prowess, this was a good spot for Chamakh in the middle with more entry crosses from fullbacks out wide. Yes, Al Habsi made two great stops from headers in the first half, but he flapped a big one in the second half.

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TA, no one can disagree when you make such fanatastic comments. Top class.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, that sounds awful. I am a hospital-wuzz too, and I hope the nurses take it easy on you. Hope you get better soon πŸ™‚

  67. Red Arse says:

    Bayonne,

    After winning the toss, the team captain can choose to ‘kick off’ first or choose which end to attack. So it’s either or – and we lost the toss.

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Terry and so do you with your strong focus on the bigger picture of ongoing progress! πŸ™‚

    Time for an uplifting video, my favourite:

  69. dandan says:

    TA. I agree 100%. IMHO it was Santos, The Gerv and The ox who had bad games all three kept trying to run through the middle with the ball and getting nowhere. We look most like scoring for once from headers and Chamok was probably the one who should have come on. But what do we know.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Boll*cks! Sorry about that!

  71. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Don’t want to be too much of a drama queen, πŸ™‚ (there are many others I see in the Unit who are very sick) — in a years time I hope to be on a two monthly rather than weekly regime, if all goes well. Yaaaay!! πŸ™‚

    DD, liked your joke earlier! I park my car outside the vicar’s pad. πŸ™‚

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed dandan, it’s been a while since we had a natural/classic left-winger. I think Gervinho can do it, but he did not stick to the left line much last night. As somebody said a few days ago, the Mancs keep their wingers close to the byline to spread the oppositions defence as much as possible. Plus they play with two strikers who are strong in the air as well as on the ground, which gives the wingers a few options when they attack their areas.

  73. dandan says:

    The vicars pad RA bugger, you have just reminded me where i left my bike πŸ™‚

  74. dandan says:

    But TA it didnt work for the Mancs against Wigan either did it 😦

  75. Red Arse says:

    I was told a dreadful joke by an Aussie I met recently, which I am saving for Oz and Robin when they show up!

    I found it funny but rude(which says more about me than I care to let on!) πŸ™‚

  76. RockyLives says:

    As to the difference between watching at the ground and watching on TV, I suspect it’s hard to generalise.

    I have been (and still am) a season ticket holder for years who now has to watch pretty much all the games on TV.

    Clearly, being at the ground will give you a better impression of the atmosphere.

    But we’ll never know whether our substantive view of how the game panned out would be different if we were (or were not) in attendance, because we cannot do both at once.

    Inevitably watching a game is a subjective experience. Personally, after a loss like last night’s, I would rather be able to go to the Bank of Friendship with my mates and deconstruct the whole thing, have a moan, then have a laugh. It’s much lonelier sitting at home with the flat feeling of having lost.

    I suspect my view of how we played is not much different from Rasp’s, but I am trying hard not to extrapolate too much negativity from the result.

    A couple of days ago I took a look back through the AA comments after our defeat at Blackburn early in the season on a weekend that saw us slip to 17th in the table. It really was the low point of the season.

    But I was humbled by the sense of perspective and restraint exhibited by many posters here on AA in the aftermath. While lots of fans were phoning the Samaritans and expecting a relegation battle, some of the AA crowd predicted (accurately, as it turned out) that although this would be a difficult season, we should still back AW and the team to come good (or at least to get competitive again).

    So my more upbeat response to last night’s loss is a very conscious attempt to channel the sang-froid and perspective of wonderful posters like dandan and BR.

  77. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders,according to Terrys online diagnosis, you shall be 100% fighting fit very shortly.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    dandan πŸ™‚

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said RL! πŸ™‚

  80. chas says:

    Excellent comment, Rocky.
    During a game one has many thoughts, some become part of one’s view of the game and others are discarded. The ones which are kept start to colour the rest of the game as you see it.

    I’ve just booked train tickets for Saturday. Looking forward to it already. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

  81. Red Arse says:

    Hi Terry, and thank you!! πŸ™‚

  82. It`s a bummer having to be the one to write a post when we have lost, so well done peaches, just an idea, when the gathering takes place at the tavern, maybe you should draw lots as to who has to write the post later whatever the result and maybe a peroni prize , make It a few pints and GiE will rip his straw to bits ! πŸ™‚
    As for having It easy being at home watching from the comfort of my settee, No, after them two goals went in I was hiding behind It !
    I think Ramsey will surprise a few against the Chavs and fit in like a glove to cover Zorro.
    I was at a Roofing joist company this morning (Pasquill in Bodmin ) and saw a little light at the end of a miserable day, on the toilet door at the bottom of the steps, someone had written with a black marker pen ” White Hart Lane “, There`s always humour around the corner even in Bodmin. πŸ™‚

  83. RockyLives says:

    Come GLiC – tell the truth: it was you who wrote it, right? πŸ™‚

  84. Rude joke Redders, you`ll be walking on thin Ice, take It from me, I`ve been on the naughty step so often that AA are making a Bronze statue of me sitting on the steps near the armoury ! πŸ˜†

  85. Rocky,
    When I see you, I will buy you a drink, I wondered who was going to be the first to say that, alas It wasn`t me, but It has made me think about carrying a marker pen about my person on my travels ! πŸ™‚

  86. RockyLives says:

    GLiC – you’re on πŸ™‚
    We’ll get a couple of cans of Special Brew and drink ’em by your statue, while making inappropriate conversation πŸ™‚

  87. oz gunner says:

    afternoon all.just popping in the thank peaches and the great comments.

    i agree with TA on this one,spot on as usual.

    @ rasp

    i can’t relate to your experiences but as a frequent Aussie Rules attendee i feel it’s the same sort of thing. getting up at 230 to watch a loss, followed by work from 6-4. At least you get to sleep it off, im shitty all day haha. A truck comes in and while i’m unloading pallets all i think about is ‘f’n time wasters’ + ‘bloody moses’ + ‘stupid ref’

  88. neamman says:

    Chelsea will be on a high after thrashing Spurs.. I hope we dont start Gervinho.. I really doubt his end product..maybe he will be better next year after this first season acclimatising to the PL>

  89. Afternoon all, I’ve just surfaced after a morning recovering from a rather vicious ruby I decided to down on the way home to cheer myself up after that result.

    Good to see the AA’ers beforehand as ever and to meet a fellow Essex gent who was part of Chas’s crew.

    I got the feeling Bac had been doped, his first half performance was a shocker, which is weird as he’s usually our most consistent performer.

  90. Red Arse says:

    Well said, Corky. πŸ™‚

    I cannot possibly know, of course, but I suspect, that of the 60,000 fans at the stadium you would get very many different opinions about the game and about any individual player’s performance, and for a variety of subjective reasons.

    I certainly sometimes got into heated ‘discussions’ with my dad after games we had both attended as season ticket holders at Highbury. The same has happened with my friends during and after games, when we watch the Arsenal on TV.

    What is undoubtedly true, and what I thought Rasp might have been referring to, is that watching a game at the stadium gives a much better picture of the whole game, both as regards the positions players take up, and how the whole movement of play develops across the whole pitch.

    By comparison TV tends to more close ups of players and special angle perspective views (corners/offsides) because of the limitations and benefits of TV cameras.

    As a result, there can be a disparity between what fans at the ground experience compared with those watching on TV.
    However, the big difference is that the fans at the ground can go home and see the game again on TV, which can modify their view or opinion, whereas those watching on TV can never know what that particular game was like when viewed from the stands and have no benchmark against which to measure their own views.

    I will be amazed if anyone has a clue what I am rambling on about!
    Write lucid Posts? Pah!! That’s for the likes of you lot! πŸ™‚

  91. chas says:

    I enjoyed your latest lucid comment, RA.

  92. Red Arse says:

    Oh Shucks, Chas, that’s just because you are a nice guy! πŸ™‚

  93. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz, πŸ™‚

    Do you want to hear/see my Aussie joke?

  94. kelsey says:

    I have just said most of that RA πŸ™‚

    Rasp, it wasn’t aimed at you.I just get fed up with a debate that comes round time and time again about attending fans and those who don’t. For what it’s worth I would give my right arm to be able to attend games and you and a few others know why. It’s a sensitive subject to me .

  95. Red Arse says:

    Hi Garlic, πŸ™‚

    I might regret asking this, but what were you doing up in the joists looking down tunnels at a toilet door?

    You and MerryT are not having an away day together are you? πŸ™‚

  96. kelsey says:

    Maybe GLIC has a fetish for toilets πŸ™‚

  97. Red Arse says:

    Hello, Kelsey, you rascal! πŸ™‚

    My apologies if I have inadvertently stolen your thunder, but your comments are always much more succinct than mine so there isn’t much chance of that!! πŸ™‚

  98. neamman says:

    For those who like that sort of thing you can vote in the EPL site for best player, goal, save etc

  99. neamman says:

    Didnt make it clear..best player etc over the past 20 years. Quite interesting

  100. kelsey says:

    neaman is that Arsenal or all clubs.
    20 years have seen 46 clubs in the PL

  101. Redders,
    I think Bodmin has enough on it`s plate with Beast of Bodmin let alone having the Beast of Bounds Green aswell !

    How dare you Kelsey, I do some of my best thinking in there ! πŸ™‚

  102. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    For what it is worth, and you know I would not wish to upset you, but I do not think Rasp intended to treat non-attendees disparagingly.

    I think he was intending to highligt the differences of opinion expressed on AA by those ‘at the game’ and those watching on the TV, as you and I have acknowledged in our comments.

    [If I am misinterpreting you Rasp, you better get on here and put me right!] πŸ™‚

  103. Red Arse says:

    No that’s not a mis-spelling or typo — it’s the way we Yanks spell highlight! πŸ™‚ when we are lying!!

  104. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, no, that’s fine.

    The obvious differences are that the extremes are heightened when at games (don’t forget I watch more on telly than I go to).

    The collective energy of 60,000 supporters celebrating or berating is a tidal wave of emotion that sweeps you along.

    The other difference is that the producer in the studio decides on your perspective of the game for TV whereas at a game you can elect to focus on whatever aspect you choose.

  105. dandan says:

    At last light at the end of the tunnel, The Dr has just given Mrs D good news, all the relevant test point to things moving in the right direction. Hopefully we will be free to head for the sunshine again in s1x weeks or so. So a battered but unbowed lady seems to be through the worse and on the last lap, no doubt ups and downs will continue but ups are definitely in the ascendancy if you will forgive the pun.

  106. Red Arse says:

    We agree the Rasp!! πŸ™‚

    I really miss the synergie generated by a huge crowd with a common goal – no pun intended.

    One of my saddest decisions was to give up my season tickets at Highbury because of returning to New York — which for reasons outside my control I was then unable to do.
    I loved lording it in the Upper West, standing up and blocking the view of the two rows behind me!! πŸ™‚ Only kidding.

  107. Rasp says:

    There you go RA πŸ˜›

    Super news dandan, good luck to you both

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp,

    I would always prefer to see a game live rather than on TV, as you can literally see the bigger picture. The big advantage of home viewing though is the ‘rewind and pause’ functions, which allow you to analyse a situation there and then, time and again. That’s a big advantage when analysing a game.

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Upwards and onwards dandan. Great news! πŸ™‚

  110. Rasp says:

    Agreed TA, shame the FA/FIFA don’t see the value of video replays for game changing incidents πŸ˜•

  111. Red Arse says:

    Good news DD, very good news indeed! πŸ™‚

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp,

    Maybe they do want to see the value as it would take some power away from them…

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    do NOT

  114. Rasp says:

    It would not be so easy to ensure games have a ‘desired outcome’ if video replays could be used to negate refereeing faux pas – or am I being cynical?

  115. Rasp says:

    The South Korea v Italy and South Korea v Spain matches from the 2002 world cup are two of the most blatant cases of match fixing by a host nation I have ever seen.

  116. TotalArsenal says:

    Not sure what you mean Rasper, but I would give each manager a maximum of two calls per half of the game – similar to Tennis – to ask the ‘video-judge’ for a review of a referee’s decision. That way, the power is with the managers/clubs and referees who have an interest in favouring a certain team – for whatever reason – would see their powers strongly curbed. But the biggest benefit would be the help genuinely fair referees would get to officiate correctly.

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    I understand now Rasp (I skipped your ‘not’ in the first sentence when I read it first)

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    You have a good memory Rasp! I am still convinced RvP got the second yellow at the Nou Camp far too easily. Something dodgy happened there…. an relatively unknown Swiss (a C-category football league) referee for a top match…

    Unfortunately, video refereeing would not have made a difference in that case.

  119. Rasp says:

    TA,
    I was referring to the exercise of bias by referees. Yes, your system is the one I’ve heard supported the most.

    Also, how about paying premiership referees very handsomely (150K a year?) but creating competition amongst them so that if consistently makes errors he would lose his favoured status and big salary. A sort of league of refs that ensures only the best earn big money and get to officiate in the prem. I believe the refs are assessed at games as it is so a points system that rated their performance could be established and every year 3 could be relegated to the Championship and 3 promoted to the prem.

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    Did I mention that a fellow fan said to me at the final whistle that I shouldn’t be applauding the team off the pitch. Admittedly I was the only man clapping, whilst everyone trudged to the exits.

    I said I prefer to support my team, he said “not after that!” I asked him to cast his mind back to the last 10 games.

    It was not enjoyable last night but I still think we have to stay united with the team, win and lose together.

    Also The Ox, a fan behind me was calling for him from about 30mimutes in. When he finally appeared he said “Ox thats shit!” after he lost possession….no pleasing some fans/people.

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    An excellent idea Rasp. The referees could be given two ‘calls’ as well to ensure a top-performance by himself…

    Off now to do some househusband work πŸ™‚

  122. chas says:

    Interesting view from the terrace, GIE. The blokes alongside me were similar with their attitude to the Ox.

    It would be great if supporters could be trained to only vocalise negativity when it’s directed at the opposition. No moaning when a pass goes astray, but just encouragement to try again.

    The tiny band of Wigan supporters were quite funny booing Szcz when he moved the ball to the other side of the six yard box for a goal-kick as if he was time-wasting. A subtle point well-made.

  123. Yeah GiE, I was quite close to the mini bus worth of away support – I started the “Sit down, shut up” chant when they started booing Chesney.

  124. chas says:

    haha, the opposite of snap, chary. πŸ™‚

  125. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thats great news dandan, the sunshine beckons for you both.

    Well done GiE. Ime the same, win, lose, draw, always show my appreciation.

    Except the odd time when we lose to Totnumb. In those circumstances its lucky ime not in possesion of a rifle. Everyone would get it, there players, our players, the ref, everybody.

  126. Red Arse says:

    TV or Video evidence is an area fraught with unexpected implications, rather like tossing a pebble into a still pond, the ripples spread far further than you might expect.

    I listened with rapt attention to Gary Neville on Monday, before the Arsenal game, and I got a very unexpected insight.

    Here is a guy who is/was so steeped in Manure, both as a player and as a fan that I instinctively had a deep loathing for him and his rat like features. But gadzooks, I suddenly realized that my dislike had blinded me to someone who is very intelligent and extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the modern game.

    He maintained that the whole of football is geared to winning, by any means possible, and this was a fact, even if many fans found that sentiment distasteful.

    He was discussing diving, shirt pulling and other underhand methods of disadvantaging the opponent. He refused to call Young a cheat for his artless diving, and said it was something practised by all players of whatever club with the aim of winning. ( a pity some of the Arsenal players don’t seem to share his views about going over for the slightest touch). I cannot believe I am appearing to condone that sentiment, but that is what is so insidious about calling diving anything but cheating, and watching other clubs being ‘professional’ while Arsenal try to remain among the ‘good guys’ and losing out. [Visions of DD chewing his tongue at that] πŸ™‚

    I would love someone to write a balanced Post on the subject because it does lead back to what TA and the Rasper were discussing earlier.

    Suppose, for the sake of argument, the FA/FIFA decided to use technology to rectify bad refereeing decisions (scrub Chelsea’s 2nd goal off) and to punish blatant divers, (that would be Young then) and how would they administer punishment?

    It could mean a panel re-watching every game and adjudicating on claims for forwards diving, or defenders shirt pulling and then what would the punishment be?
    If a forward had dived and won a penalty which led to (say) Utd winning a game – would they punish the player and also cancel the goal, which would mean docking the points associated with that?

    What if, in the same match, a Chelsea defender had pulled a Manyoo forward’s shirt and stopped a certain goal – would they punish the defender and award the goal, and the points?

    That might be logical, but it would be horrendously difficult to administer across all the teams in any league, and would, in this litigious era, lead to any number of Court cases as the financial rewards for success are so high.

    I think FIFA are aware of this and that is why they are so cautious in giving the green light to technology, even goal line technology, as they fear that might be the thin end of the wedge, leading to the above.

    Oh, go on, somebody. Somebody, that is, with the requisite skills to write what could be a real eye opener as to what might lie ahead of the Premier League in the not too distant future.

    In any event, respects to Neville, not as a Manure fan but as a clever, skillful pundit who deflected criticism from his beloved Manure, by telling us what we already really knew – football is institutionally corrupt at many levels.

  127. When we play Totnumb, I like to slip a navy blue and white package into their end and watch with amusement whilst they play “pass the parcel bomb” !

  128. Red Arse says:

    Ghostly Glic,

    My computer is acting up and I cannot quite read what you said.

    Did you say you wrapped yourself up in blue and white scarves at Totteringham and laughed when they ‘played pass the bum’? πŸ™‚

  129. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    Out of curiosity what is the opposite of snap? Pans? πŸ™‚

  130. Redders,
    Yes , that sounds better and when my bum explodes they will be covered in excrement or is it over come with excitement ?

  131. chas says:

    RA, haha, polar opposite?

    dandan, fine news

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    You must have been really close to hear the Wigan fans Chas and Chary, I didn’t even hear them cheer their goals

  133. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Great news. At season’s end book a luxury cruise for the two of you. After such a tough winter you both deserve i.

    Re Video Tech. I am old school.

    Rubbish refereeing promotes discussion and is part of our wonderful unpredictable game. Did I laugh when Chelsea “scored” at the weekend – you bet I did and I laughed even harder thanks to the refereeing mistake.

    I accept it isn’t so funny when decisions go against us but that gives me good cause to hurl expletives, which is a fine release!

  134. Talking of muck, I`ve recently had a big area excavated for glic jnr`s pad ( it was going to be our “little emirates” hideaway to get away from mrs glic, but as a teenage boy Arsenal are not he`s only focus ! ). He was excited today as we marked it all out ( 9m x 4.5m ) for his love shack, It peed down and ended up like a mini ” Stadium of Light ” pitch !. Next step , i`ve got 10 ton of cornish walling stone coming on Thursday, Bargain Β£ 40 ton delivered !. He`s a lucky boy, It`s going to look pucker amongst the tree`s . I`m no good at sticking picture stuff on here so If your curious to know what It might look like, have a google for ” Penmayne Edge Park ” and your`ll get an Idea of the look I`m after but at a bargain basement self build price.

  135. I`m touching wood for you dandan !

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Glic. Just had a look at the site. Lovely. GLIC Jnr is a lucky boy.

  137. RockyLives says:

    Best news of the day dandan

  138. Gooner In Exile says:

    DD great news indeed….a bit of sunshine will be just reward for what you both have endured.

  139. TotalArsenal says:

    Ode To Enchanted Light – P Neruda

    Under the trees light
    has dropped from the top of the sky,
    light
    like a green
    latticework of branches,
    shining
    on every leaf,
    drifting down like clean
    white sand.

    A cicada sends
    its sawing song
    high into the empty air.

    The world is
    a glass overflowing
    with water.

  140. GiE – I heard a few straggly voices cheer GiE, I was in block 23, I think the away fan block(as in singular) is 21.
    if anyone’s interested my post mortem on last night is here : http://www.7amkickoff.com/2012/man-at-the-match-chary-arsenal-pay-the-price-for-two-calamitous-minutes/

    There’s even a grainy pic of the dozen or so Wigan supporters.

  141. Hi chary – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so few away supporters. Gonna read your match report πŸ˜‰

  142. Rocky – are you doing us a post for tomorrow? I think you should as you spent so much time talking to yourself last night when you could have been writing one then πŸ˜‰ You think I didn’t notice πŸ˜†

  143. i, like you Peachy, struggled to want to think about the game that much or write a report.
    Too pissed off to be level headed about it – ruined my day today, all the sympathetic looks from my co workers. 😦

  144. Big Raddy says:

    Watching the CL SF. Good to see Howard Webb ignoring the diving Spaniards. Clearly, Jose hasn’t bunged him enough

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Post from me.
    This game is a bit dull.

  146. RockyLives says:

    Hi Peaches
    With Micky and TA offering posts I was hoping to slip off the hook today.
    How about I promise to do one tomorrow instead (which you’ll have available for Thursday or beyond)?

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This game only reminds me of what fantastic football we can play. My god, a Real Barca final may as well be held in a Diving Pool 😦

  148. goonermichael says:

    howard webb looks weird without man united kit on

  149. goonermichael says:

    Big Raddy says:
    April 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm
    Watching the CL SF. Good to see Howard Webb ignoring the diving Spaniards. Clearly, Jose hasn’t bunged him enough

    He’d give that to young though. He’s a criminal

  150. Rocky – thats fine, as you say we have a couple in stock for this week.

    Thanks Micky

  151. Big Raddy says:

    Webb or Young?

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

  153. Micky – have you sent your post somewhere?

  154. goonermichael says:

    Both Raddy. Now you mention it

  155. They’ve got Martin Atkinson doing the goal-line techies job tonight behind Casillas – he can’t make a mistake from there surely πŸ™‚

  156. 26may1989 says:

    OK, this is the first chance I’ve had to think about last night’s game, and before reading everything that’s been posted already, just wanted to jot down a couple of thoughts:

    1. Bloody well played Wigan, for me that was the best performance of any visiting team at the Ems this season, perhaps only approached by Marseilles back in November. Turns out it wasn’t just Ferguson’s mind-games. Definitely a better performance than when United and Liverpool won. The intensity and concentration, as well as skill, that Wigan displayed was very, very impressive. I thought Victor Moses was absolutely tremendous up front (I really would love us to try to sign him this summer), and Caldwell marshalled his defence superbly. The way Wigan switched formation seamlessly, and constantly denied our players time on the ball, was really excellent. Without doubt, our guys contributed to their own downfall, but make no mistake, to a great extent, Wigan made them play badly. Pretty much the only really pleasurable moment I had the entire evening was staying to applaud the Wigan players off at the end (my seat is near the tunnel).

    2. There are silver linings: for football generally, it’s got to be good that a side with as much quality as Wigan are three points closer to staying up; we’ve made life harder for ourselves but it is still recoverable, we are still ahead of the other three; we may well have seen the best job interview for Wenger’s successor – the level of Wigan’s performance has so much to do with the coaching, Roberto Martinez is most certainly the real deal.

    3. I can’t remember Alex Song playing a worse game for a long, long time, he was woeful, sluggish and immature last night. Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna almost as bad, and the rest, bar perhaps Vermaelen and Rosicky, were poor. I thought we were bad in the first half, but the performance in the second half was truly bad, Al-Habsi had barely anything to do. But a defeat like that should be an invitation to any serious sportsman to prove themselves, to show that they can do better. Big game on Saturday now.

    OK, back to the top of the page now.

  157. goonermichael says:

  158. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent write-up peaches – why exactly don’t you write headline posts more often???

    Total, I totally (!) love your 12:43pm about the growing quality of managers across the PL, but incredibly I also have to disagree with one of your observations, at 1:43pm. To my mind, the right team walked away with the points last night (which I know you accept), and bad luck for Arsenal had nothing to do with the outcome. Yes, we had one or two chances in the first half, but nothing clear or flukey enough to qualify as bad luck.

    Re watching on telly versus being at the game, it’s obvious isn’t it? They both have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why numerous saddos (many regulars here) do both, despite protests from deeply annoyed spouses. There are things people who only watch on telly will miss, in particular about things that happen to the general shapes of the teams and how they deal with not having the ball. But there’s so much you can only see on the box.

    “We lose when we want” – great stuff!! πŸ™‚

  159. 26may1989 says:

    The commentators seem to think Bayern have won a famous victory tonight – to my mind, a 2-1 home win in the first leg is always a pretty poor result, just too dangerous.

    What the hell was Souness on about, saying that the mildest of touches in the box is a foul? What a load of bollocks. Would it have been a freekick if Ramos had touched Ribery’s shirt while competing for the ball in the centre circle? Of course not. So it’s not a foul when it’s in the penalty box. Christ, when I think back to what Souness used to do on the pitch back in the 70s and 80s, you’d think he had a bit more steel about him now.

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Post sent.

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right. Jools Holland. Goodnight.

  162. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, it’s Jools Holland PLUS arsenal arsenal, sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine to hand. Schoolboy error, young man……

    Not bad from Paul Weller, but he’s never reached the heights of The Jam for me.

  163. neamman says:

    Kelsey, best players to play in epl over first 20 years. my team was
    Seaman
    Neville Adams Vidic Cole
    Ronaldo Keane Scholes Pires
    Bergkamp Henry

    I happened to choose all MU and Arsenal and you could easily pick 3-4 great teams

  164. 26may1989 says:

    Interesting one neamann. Here’s mine:

    Schmeichel
    Neville Adams Terry Cole
    Ronaldo Vieira Giggs
    Bergkamp Henry Drogba

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    Agree on Weller.
    As for that line up. Nice try, although I assume yours is a 4-1-5 line up πŸ™‚
    I tried the same sort of thing and had a striker in goal!

  166. TotalArsenal says:

    Van der Sar
    Heitinga – Stam – van Bronkhorst
    Bergkamp – Davids – Overmars –
    Van Nistelrooy – Van Persie – Gullit – Robben

  167. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually on the on TV/in Ground question.

    Did anyone else think we should have had a penalty last night for a foul on Sagna?

    To jog memories, he made it to the byeline (inside the box) and delivered a cross, a Wigan defender trying to block the cross cleaned Sagna out and missed the ball completely. To my mind (and a fair few around us) that would have been a free kick anywhere else on the pitch, so why wasn’t it a penalty and why didn’t we appeal?

  168. 26may1989 says:

    πŸ™‚

    Alternatively, on a more defensive bent:

    Schmeichel
    Neville Adams Terry Keown Cole
    Gerrard Keane Vieira
    Zola Shearer

  169. TotalArsenal says:

    Only joking πŸ™‚

    Van der Sar
    Lauren – Sol – TA – Cole
    Scoles – Viera
    Cantona – DB
    RvP – TH

  170. 26may1989 says:

    TA: Now, there’s some sort of theme around that line-up – what is it, I’m struggling here? πŸ™‚

    Exile, absolutely right, Sagna was taken out, the challenge wasn’t just a foul, it was pretty dangerous too.

  171. RockyLives says:

    Schmeichel
    Dixon Adams Campbell Winterburn
    Ronaldo Vieira Fabregas Pires
    Henry Bergkamp

    (not biased πŸ™‚ )

  172. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 26, agreed bad luck had nothing to with it, but luck is always an important factor. JD had a shot that just went wide with the keeper stranded, Santos had a decent chance in the box but fluffed it, etc. If one of those had gone it, it would not have been against the run of play. But, like you, I was very impressed the way Wigan held out, and in particular, the way they played during the last 30 minutes, and as said earlier, they deserved their 3 points.

  173. TotalArsenal says:

    I just cannot include Ronaldo Rocky – it is sacrilege!

  174. RockyLives says:

    He’s a tosser TA, but still an amazing footballer…

  175. 26may1989 says:

    But such a tosser, I can’t stand him.

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed he is amazing Rocky. One day we should choose a team of amazing-respected players against amazing-tosser players with the sole aim to beat the tossers.

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    Bon nuit mes amis/amies, je vous adore!

  178. RockyLives says:

    TA @11.46
    What a great idea!
    Off the top of my head, the Tossers would include (for starters) Ronaldo, Sherringham, Dani Alves, Busquets, van Nistelrooy, Rooney…

  179. RockyLives says:

    …Terry, Cole, Gerrard…

  180. 26may1989 says:

    OK, here’s my head to head:

    Tossers XI

    Schumacher
    Dani Alves, Shawcross, Terry, Evra
    Ronaldo, Bowyer, Mihajlovic, Suarez
    Rooney, Kevin Davies

    versus

    Respected XI

    Jennings
    Sagna, Bobby Moore, Maldini, Abidal
    Nevin, Gilberto, Giggs
    Bergkamp, Henry, Messi

  181. chas says:

    I’m off to see From the Jam in September,
    A chap called Russel Hastings instead of Weller,
    Should be fun.

  182. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Thanks for both vids.

    The Jam cover band are frighteningly good. I was living in Cheltenham when that song came out, a very happy time.

    As to the Tossers. Never heard of them before but definitely a band to investigate. Superb lyrics which sadly are so true.

  183. Big Raddy says:

    Hate to say this but I thought the refereeing was excellent last night.

  184. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Tossers was the original name of The BeeGees.
    And, morning all.

  185. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I saw The Jam a few times and really liked them, but one thing I never understood was that like all those bands they had a very Punk following, and yet they dressed up as Mods. Just seemed an odd choice.

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    Blimey, they are good as you say. Is that Foxton on bass?

  187. Big Raddy says:

    Looks like him. The drummer is very good.

    Just finished some award winning quince jelly

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For breakfast? Why not.
    The drummer may be the “other” one from The Jam. I’m sure that is Bruce Foxton, so may well be the original skin basher at the back πŸ™‚

  189. oz gunner says:

    morning all.
    since it’s a music morning i’ll chuck my two cents worth in.
    Give this one a listen

    @ Evonne
    sorry been flat out but will reply to your email tomorrow. thank you in advance

    @ RA
    do tell, do tell!

  190. Big Raddy says:

    Micky you may be right about the BG’s but what is indisputable is the The Tossers was the original name for THFC

  191. oz gunner says:

    based on an interracial relationship during the civil war era

  192. Big Raddy says:

    Oz. Thanks. Reminds me of an Icelandic group called Sigur Ros. Check them out, they are wonderful, especially their more recent stuff.

  193. Rasp says:

    They were actually called ‘Les Tossers’ and famously walked out of an interview with Clive Anderson on live TV when he said “you’ll always be tossers to me”

  194. Rasp says:

    No disrespect intended to Robin Gibb who is desperately ill at the moment.

  195. oz gunner says:

    cheers BR, i definitely will

  196. Rasp says:

    Back to footie, a challenging offering awaits from the DidIt keyboard……..

    …… New post ……

  197. Big Raddy says:

    RAsp. Very PC πŸ™‚

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