The collapse of Arsenal’s defensive wall.

Our 2011/12 goals against of 49 was the worst defensive display we have experienced since we conceded the same amount 1994/5, however 1994/5 was a 42 game season so in terms of goals against per game 2011/12 was our worst ever in the EPL at 1.29 per game versus 1.17 in 1994/4.

To find a worse season one has to go back nearly 50 years to 1965/66 when we conceded 75 or 1.79 per game.

Our defensive vulnerability is not a recent occurrence and we are at our worst when we play away from home where the decline has been steady for the past nine seasons.

Here are the stats on our away goals against since 2003/4.

2003/4 = 12 GA, .63 Goals against per game.

2004/5 = 17 GA, .89 GPG

2005/6 = 18 GA, .95 GPG

2006/7 = 19 GA, 1.0 GPG

2007/8 = 20 GA, 1.05 GPG

2008/9 = 21 GA, 1.11 GPG

2009/10 = 26 GA, 1.37 GPG

2010/11 = 28 GA, 1.47 GPG

2011/12 = 32 GA, 1.68 GPG

It’s plain for all to see (even the statistical brass monkeys) that the erosion in our defensive capability is simply shocking – in my mind it cannot be defended.

In a nine year span we are conceding an average of 1.05 more goals against per game, 20 more goals in a season. It’s so easy to say – well if you take away the 8-2 at Man U and the 4-3 at Blackburn then it looks better – or that we were missing both our 1st and 2nd string fullbacks for X amount of games. But in my mind all of the excuses in the world do not account for the continuous year over year increase in our away goals against.

Our home record does not show the same steady increase in goals against but nevertheless it has gone from:

2003/04 = 14 GA, .74 GPG

2011/12 = 17 GA, .89 GPG

Many folks will hold Arsène Wenger accountable and that may hold more than a modicum of truth, after all it is his final responsibility as to who we buy, who we play, and what tactics we employ.

With Steve Bould being assigned as Arsène’s assistant be can but hope that he can stop the rot and bring back our stubborn defence’s of the 90’s. I certainly don’t advocate a return to the laborious 1-0 to the Arsenal but I certainly do advocate a return to a solid impenetrable back four along with a consistent/reliable goalkeeper.      —–


195 Responses to The collapse of Arsenal’s defensive wall.

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    For completeness, copied from last post/this morning:

    And the winner is….. with only 0.8% between them, we have a joined winner: Arteta and Song. Both as individuals, and as a pair, they have been awesome this season, and it can get even better next season if we can keep them together and get a fantastic AM in front of them (JW in my view).

    Thanks again for taking part – it has been real fun!

  2. Morning all

    Thank you Gn5 for the post.

    Our defensive frailties have a huge impact on everything about how we play IMHO The team become nervous and our shape goes to pieces when we concede.

    These figures are for away games and so for once the Emirates support can’t be blamed as we all accept that the away support is magnificent.

    I feel the problem is one of responsibility and we have no-one that plays either in the mid-field or the defense that will ball out instructions to the rest of the team to help this problem.

    AW needs to find a magician that has a voice and keep him fit 😉

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Finishing 3rd was fantastic, but my god it was close. Ending below Spuds and even Toon would have been an utter disaster, so I think you are dead right to start highlighting where the work is to be done. I really hope Arsene realises he needs an expert in to sort out the defensive side of our game, and I equally hope that he is prepared to delegate sufficient control to Stevie B.

  4. Maybe they all have too much respect for each other ……….

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, you have produced a post that is quite disturbing. One bad year can be considered a blip but a consistent deterioration over a 9 year period suggests a change in emphasis (as well as personnel) that has not been good for the team since we lose composure after we concede.

    Morning peaches, we need a midfield general who the other players listen to and respect. The problem lies with the midfield and the fact that we don’t defend as a team as we should. Any comparison with Barca in terms of our approach to defending is way off the mark.

  6. Watching us allow teams to slice their way through our mid-field is very worrying. Of course we only have to score one more that the opposition to win the game but recently we’ve had to come back from conceding such rubbish goals it’s not even funny anymore.

  7. Once we’ve conceded the burden of expectation falls heavily on those that we expect to score goals. If I were one of those I’d be proper p’eed off that even more was expected of me.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. Disturbing and well researched post (as aways).

    The defensive frailty HAS been influenced by injury – it would be churlish to say otherwise. We played 19 different back 5 combinations this season.

    Yes ….. nn,nn,,nn, 19!

    But, the trend is very disturbing.

    How would you resolve the problem?

  9. Rasp says:

    These stats are interesting and show a definite trend – but we would need to assess them in the light of average number of goals being scored in the premiership over the same period.

    Also we should compare with the number of away goals we have scored. If they have increased in a similar fashion, the end result would not look so shocking and the entertainment provided would be increased in the eyes of many.

    Over to you GN5 for the stats on the above 😛

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I do believe we have the players to create a fantastic back five, but they certainly need a specialist coach. I also agree with Peaches and Rasp about the shocking defensive side of our midfield and this is the area where I do not believe we have players of the right quality to sustain 3rd, let alone making progress.
    In short, the midfield, both defensive and offensive, is where we need to be focused in the window.
    An M’Vila and a Belhanda. Sorted.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Big Day today …… I would offer Robin the kitchen sink, London’s bicycle, DanaDan’s house and Kelsey’s Bowls Trophy

    If his agent (the Dastardly DD Jnr) wants more, I will throw in my Santana guitar pick and an Arthur Askey autograph.

    If he still says No, sell him …….

  12. chas says:

    Interesting post, GN5.
    Get M’Vila in quick.

    Didn’t we have the best away record in the Premier League in 2010/11?

    Talking of stats, did everyone see that Squiddly made a team of the season? 🙂

  13. Rasp says:

    😆 Raddy, maybe we should all send an offering round to Arsène’s house by speedy motorcycle courier to bribe RvP to stay.

    I’ve pretty much sold off all my valuables in the last couple of years – so I’m just sending a begging letter with SWALK on the back

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Raddy,
    I’ve already flogged the LB Bike.

  15. Rasp says:

    Has LB paid off the hire purchase on his sofa?

  16. chas says:

    I was wondering if goals scored had gone up in the Premier League, too, Rasp.

    Amazing that we scored more this season 74 than Chelski’s 72 in their record-breaking points haul season 2004/5.

  17. chas says:

    Mind you the chavs did only concede 15 that season.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Surely, you have something to offer? An old pair of flippers?

    Rasp. You are Simply Irresistable

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, yea, the only thing you can be sure about a stat is that you can invariably find another stat that ‘proves’ the opposite

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    According to the article Peaches linked to yesterday, Arsene and Robin are sitting down with jammy dodgers today, but Robin is likely to wait and see what other offers crop up. Mmmm

  21. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Irrefutable evidence that the Chavs were dull to watch. Still are.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Try and find a defence for our defensive trend.

  23. I agree that we have the players for a fantastic back five but they are the last line of defense and it’s what happens in front of them that’s the problem.

    Surely our 4-3-3 should be deployed as 4-5-1 when needed but too often we find ourselves in a 3-1-2-4 formation with our full-backs right up the field or even worse 2-1-2-5!!!!! Then we lose possession and we’re stuffed.

  24. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, it’s as per my comment @ 10:06

    If we have scored more goals at away games over the same period and therefore our win/loss ratio has not suffered then the end result bis that our performance has not declined in practical terms. Also if the number of goals scored in the prem has gone up by a similar margin then the goals concede is what might be expected.

  25. mjc says:

    Morning all !!

    Worth noting that the numbers of goals scored in the Premiership has tended to increase each season of late? So at least some of the above trend can be explained by a general trend toward more goals and more attacking football.

    Average goals scored/conceded per game.
    2003-04 2.66
    2004-05 2.56
    2005-06 2.48
    2006-07 2.45
    2007-08 2.64
    2008-09 2.48
    2009-10 2.77
    2010-11 2.80
    2011-12 2.81

    Also I would note that you are starting the list from our best team ever, so that’s a very high benchmark.

    Oh, and if you take the Man Utd game out, it drops quite considerably of course (to 1.33)

    Very interesting number though!

  26. 2-1-2-5 – great fun for the opposition though 🙂

    Sometimes I do think we like to let the opposition into the game and in fairness that’s a nice attribute but I’d rather we waited until the 85th minute when we’re already 3 nil up 😀

  27. Big Raddy says:

    IMO. The only clubs who have the money and ambition to sign RvP will already have approached his agent. The list is very short – Inter Milan, Barca, Juventus, MC, MU & Chavs (swap for Torres?)

    If RvP and his agents want to use brinkmanship then the club have no alternative but to sell, and sell quickly so we can buy a replacement.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I may not rate Arsene very highly in any Tactical League, but I do rate his intelligence, so I’m sure he’ll look at the Goals Against column from this season and think “right, more strikers required” 🙂

  29. Rasp says:

    You don’t think we’ve already bought the replacement then Raddy?

  30. Also Gary Neville has spent most of his time as a pundit shaking his head at the general poor defending by teams in the premiership. We did still get to third by having this dreadful record hahahahahaha to the others who were obviously even worse than us 😆

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RM and PSG.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    10:31 Doooooom
    (but fair 😦 )

  33. I agree Micky – more strikers required 🙂

  34. Big Raddy says:

    More long throw-ins and better towels.

  35. goonermichael says:

    malaga and some of the chinese teams

  36. Geoff Strong says:

    Hi all, been on a self imposed sabbatical until the season was over.

    Rasp, with regard to a midfield general, maybe we have him. Goals conceded with Arteta playing 28 in 29 games, without 21 in 9 games.

  37. goonermichael says:

    Back in london what a shithole. Freezing cold too.

  38. Rasp says:

    Accrington Stanley

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi Geoff, I’m Arteta’s number one fan in terms of what he brings to our team. I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if he was the pivot of our midfield next season. What we need is for the other central midfielders to learn from him and learn how to play off him.

  40. Brigham says:

    A fine post and also some good replies, particularly regarding more goals being scored in the Premiership this season. So, does that mean the strikers have become better overnight or has the defending become worse? Who knows really, but one thing I do know, our defending is nowhere near as good as it was when Arsene first took over and it has become steadily worse (IMHO).

    We do not defend as a solid unit at all and we often find ourselves caught out with pace and general counter attacking, although the latter would point to a poor midfield screen than anything else. Our full backs are often caught out of position. In my opinion, they are not being coached correctly. Lets hope Stevie Bould can instill some discipline and methodology into our defending and get them working as a unit once again.

  41. John says:

    Arsenal problem is strength in depth and has been for the 3/4 years. First team can compete and go on amazing winning runs but once injures, suspension and loss of form which does happen during a season. The team struggles because there is not enough competition for places.

  42. William says:

    As long as Wenger is manager,Arsenal will continue to leak goals. He believes in attack and to hell with winning games.His aim is to fininish third/fourth and qualify for the cl.

  43. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the stats gunnerN5.

    I remember last year we were saying it was our attack not scoring enough.What sticks in my short term memory where three things as the season closed.
    1. how Wigan completely outfoxed us at home with their formation
    2.norwich tearing us apart on the counter attack in the first half.

    3.Albion having only 2 real chances to equalise when we were 3-2 up and RVP standing on our goal line to kick away a certain goal.

    We have the players but the system we employ has been sussed by more and more teams.

    If you look at at Wenger’s purchases generally they come good in an attacking sense,though there are exceptions. he is not defence minded in hs approach, and hopefully bould can have some influence with that.

  44. Red Arse says:

    Thank you for the Post, GN5.

    I have no idea what a ‘statistical brass monkey’ is, tho’ I suspect it is not intended to be flattering, and probably includes me. 🙂

    Perhaps I should feel insulted, but it is quite an amusing soubriquet. 🙂

    Your interest in statistics, and the records you keep, is admirable.
    I have, in the past, asked for and received from you a very comprehensive statistical spreadsheet, which I was grateful for and happily used for some time.

    Unfortunately, we have occasionally got at cross purposes over the stats you produce, not because of the statistics in and of themselves or their accuracy, but how they should be interpreted, and the context for their use.

    Accepting the stats in your Post at face value, we can see that there has been a ‘degradation’ in the number of goals we have conceded over an extended period commencing in 2003/04.

    However, if we look at a more recent period, say the last 3 seasons, (extrapolating from your figures) we conceded 25 goals away from home in 2009/10 and 30 goals away from home in 2011/12, spread over 18 games, which shows an increase of 0.28 extra goals conceded per game during last season.
    This could be seen as perhaps more of a statistical blip rather than being ‘shocking’, as you have described it.

    If we say, for the sake of argument, that this is indeed ‘shocking’, against what are we comparing these figures?

    I have heard pundits say in the media, and particularly on TV, that defensive discipline has declined in all the Premiership teams in recent seasons.
    If that is the case, and if you have the statistics for all the Premiership teams over the last 3 seasons (that’s why, I limited my comments to those years) it would be interesting to see whether the cause of the extra goals shipped is a change in the accepted norm among all the teams and how they compare with Arsenal’s ‘decline’.

    I mentioned above the context in which these stats need to be viewed.

    We need to ask whether there is any other causal factors for this apparent decline in goals conceded. For example, does our wonderful, open style of play, which keeps most of us very happy, come at a cost of a tighter defensive display, and is it acceptable.

    To ascertain whether or not the cost of slightly more goals conceded is acceptable, we would need also to have the comparative goals scored statistics to run alongside the goals conceded stats.

    You have dismissed the old “1:Nil” to the Arsenal as a solution, but surely that is a direct comparator.
    Tighter defense = fewer goals conceded + fewer goals scored + less exciting or entertaining games.

    You have also dismissed the severe injury problems in the defensive set up as relevant (and I also think the overall team continuity was badly affected by the departure of Cesc and Nasri).

    I think that is a very cavalier approach to statistical analysis, and would ask instead to see what the ‘injury quotient’ in the earlier years was by comparison with the later seasons.

    I could go on by asking what the ‘goal differences’ were during the seasons under review, etc, etc.

    Please don’t take this personally, but I am just trying to show you the information and cross referencing a ‘statistical brass monkey’ would need to be able to arrive at a conclusion, one way or the other, and not simply to accept a set of statistics without corroborating information.

    Can I suggest that the collection and collation of statistics are undoubtedly important — interpreting the data is even more critically important.

    Anyway, thank you for an interesting subject. 🙂


    Thanks for the post GN5.

    I am not concerned about these stats at all. These figures are just part of the process and the only thing thats count at the end is were you finnish, and as we all know, every year we finnish in the top four. We have a very good side, and i dont care wether we win 5-4 or 1-0 every week as long as we win. The aim is to push on and go from a good side side to a great one and i believe we will do it.

  46. mjc says:

    @ Red Arse:
    I would propose that, rather than allowing an injury quotient, one should look at the number of different back-fours that were used across the games, which will indicate the level of “churn” in the defensive positions. I seem to recall that we had something like 16 different back-fours in our first twenty-odd games this season. Hardly a help for the GC column!

  47. Hi Raddy – nice to have you back 🙂

  48. Red Arse says:

    @ 10:58,

    The two points are contiguous mjc, and cannot be ignored if meaningful conclusions are to be arrived at. 🙂

  49. peter xenofhontos says:

    We non`t going to win any thing with a defence like we have now,We need a stonger center back one right back 2 midfield 2 back needs to be a leader and hold the back together. hope steve can show them how to be discpline. we need to spend big to make other teams to take notice. that We not selling club players want to come to a winner things we are running out of time the other teams are catching as up we are falling ferver back. if you look back for 4 season there15 points difference between as and the top. This a lot to make up in football. it show we can`t match the pace of the top 3 i hope wenger looks how we are going to make up these points



    We are in the top 3.

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For those who don’t understand, “extrapolating their figures” is something done by accountants in the privacy of their dungeons.
    Just trying to help.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Can I be unintentionally provocative?

    I just do not accept that any one person/player is greater than the team. If Robin wants to leave I would let him go, and immediately invest in another 1 or 2 strikers to replace him.

    Age, for example, let alone injury catches up with everyone, even Robin, just like it did with Dennis, Viera, Cesc, Henry, Seaman etc.
    All were brilliant in their time, but life goes on. They are all retired or elsewhere now.

    Arsenal are still here ………… and so am I ————— Arsenal will be here in the future and ermm ………………………. 🙂

  53. oz gunner says:

    Thanks for the post G5, like others have said they are worrying stats indeed.

    Last year did we concede the 2nd least number of goals in open play? So we fixed the set pieces up this season but it seemed as though we were countered with gusto this season!

    My biggest worry is evolution of the game plan! Simply put, teams have found a way to play against us and we are often out footballed by lesser opposition (swansea, norwich, ect). I have always believed it starts from the back and i think with more pressure up the field and a wall in front of the front four (disciplined DM, and a box-2-box player) this will correct itself (along with of course stability at the back injury wise).

    well researched G5

  54. Red Arse says:

    Micky, 🙂

    Have you noticed the sun keeps going out at night? Someone is obviously playing with the on/off switch!

    Extrapolating from that ‘fact’, I think we need to ban all light switches everywhere, immediately!
    Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring, it’s probably just someone playing with the dimmer switch!!

  55. oz gunner says:

    well said RA (11.08)
    But it won’t stop me from swearing excessively, and cursing him until the cows come home. Speaking of, for those of you who have not heard nasri’s latest interview here you go:

    Nasri was heavily criticised for leaving the Gunners in the summer, with fans claiming that his £24 million move was all about money, but the midfielder argues that City’s success has vindicated his move and branded Arsenal players as the ones most interested in picking up money without showing ambition as they regularly “settle for second best” at the Emirates Stadium.

    “People at Arsenal tried to make out that I came here for the money,” he said to French TV channel TF1.

    “I hope they are watching me now, collecting my Premier League winner’s medal. I believe they have not won a trophy for many years now.

    “If all that I was interested in was money, the easiest decision would have been to stay at Arsenal, picking up my money every week and walking into the team.

    “There are many people doing this right now at Arsenal.

    “I made the hard choice to come and fight for my place at a big club, where they never settle for second best, and I have proved it correct.

    “I now hope the Arsenal fans can get on with their lives and forget me, they should celebrate their third-place achievement and I will focus on winning titles.”

    Does that not make your blood boil?! Upon reading that all i could think about is the harm i could inflict upon him if left in a room with him!

    ‘A plague o’ your house!’ Nasri!!!!!!!

  56. Brigham says:

    Terry, sorry, but finishing in the top three, or maybe four is not the be all and end all for me one iota. I want my team to start winning things again, get some trophies in that dust ridden cabinet. I am not glory hunting, I just want what every football fan wants – a team capable of competing and winning things once again, not winning the 3rd or 4th place trophy that Wenger seems to harp on about so much.

  57. Red Arse says:

    Hi Brigham, 🙂

    Me too. I would like us to win every trophy going. 🙂

    I think what Arsene was saying is that with such a financially skewed league, our achievements are not inconsiderable.

    I am sure that AW wants to win everything too, but unless the FFP rules really bite, we and everyone else will have to sit back and watch ManCiteh, ManYoo and Chelsea shovel obscene amounts of money at the ‘problem’, by buying up all the really top talent, altho even then, only one of them can win the Premiership.

  58. Brigham says:

    Hi RA, I know what you are saying and I tend to agree with that, but there is still nothing stopping our team being coached how to defend correctly, they are all very good players and in many cases internationals.

    It is not always about money as Wigan, Swansea and Norwich proved when they played and out foxed us. Yes I know we finished in 3rd place, but I expect more from my team with regards to defending.

  59. Reddawn says:

    GunnerN5 I enjoyed your post, it certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons. Stats always seem to have that effect on people. If your stats are true, could we project your figures to enlighten us to what we could expect next season? No, here we come up against what I call the Rumsfeld effect (there are known knowns and there are known Unknowns), but let’s not get despondent, remember we will have new players in the squad and possibly the added luck of having a relatively injury free season.

  60. Red Arse says:


    I am pretty sure that we will have a much better defensive record next year.

    Just a gut feeling, but I am sure that Bouldy will not put up with some of the naivety we display.

    Actually, my greatest worry is not the defensive work in open play, but it is the curse of the set piece (corners/free kicks around the box) that has plagued us for a number of seasons and has come back to bite us on the arse.

    Kozzer and TV have played really well together, but I still worry that they are so short in stature, and altho’ I like the overall quality of Mert, it appears that he is a 6’6″ giant who cannot jump.

    Baldy Bouldy don’t let me down! 🙂

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Here are the stats for our goals for during away games and our overall goal difference.

    3/4 – GF 33, GPG,1.74, GD 47
    4/5 – GF 33, GPG,1.74, GD 51
    5/6 – GF 20, GPG,1.05, GD 37
    6/7 – GF 20, GPG,1.05, GD 28
    7/8 – GF 37, GPG,1.95, GD 43
    8/9 – GF 37, GPG,1.95, GD 31
    9/10 – GF 35, GPG, 1.84, GD 42
    10/11 – GF 39, GPG, 2.05, GD 29
    11/12 – GF 35, GPG, 1.84, GD 25

    Our goal difference has almost halved in the 9 year period while our goals for has stayed level and our goals against has almost tripled,
    once again I find the stats to be shocking – to say the least.

  62. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, thanks for that, sorry to have made you extra work 😕

    One last question – has the number of away games won/lost changed over the same period in line with the goals conceded, the GPG or the GD?

  63. chas says:


    Our goal difference has fluctuated season upon season. (only halved if you compare 2003/4 with 2011/12)
    Our goals for away from home has been higher for the last five seasons than it was in 2003/4.

    Am I looking at different figures?

  64. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp, here is another way of looking at it……….

    Points per game during away games.

    3/4 – 2.16
    4/5 – 2.05
    5/6 – 1.16
    6/7 – 1.37
    7/8 – 1.89
    8/9 – 1.79
    9/10 – 1.47
    10/11 – 1.63
    11/12 – 1.58

    Points won went from 41 in 2003/4 to 30 in 2011/12.

  65. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas, The more telling number is the goal difference.

  66. chas says:

    Yes but in 2009/10 it was only 5 less than in the Invincibles season.

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    I have an appointment so I will be away for several hours.

  68. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, in that case the stats are quite damning

  69. chas says:

    I have an appointment with a statistical brass monkey, too.

  70. chas says:

    Last one.
    How can 1.63 points per game in 2010/11 be damning if we had the best away record in the Premier League?

  71. Red Arse says:

    AFC have released some interesting stats.

    Season P W D L F A Win% GPG CPG
    1996/97 36 16 11 9 56 33 44.44% 1.56 0.92
    1997/98 54 33 13 8 89 46 61.11% 1.65 0.85
    1998/99 54 31 15 8 84 38 57.41% 1.56 0.70
    1999/00 59 33 11 15 112 66 55.93% 1.90 1.12
    2000/01 59 32 13 14 99 62 54.24% 1.68 1.05
    2001/02 60 39 11 10 119 62 65.00% 1.98 1.03
    2002/03 59 34 15 10 119 58 57.63% 2.02 0.98
    2003/04 59 38 14 7 114 48 64.41% 1.93 0.81
    2004/05 57 37 13 7 117 51 64.91% 2.05 0.89
    2005/06 59 33 11 15 96 43 55.93% 1.63 0.73
    2006/07 59 30 17 12 98 53 50.85% 1.66 0.90
    2007/08 58 36 15 7 113 52 62.07% 1.95 0.90
    2008/09 61 33 16 12 113 54 54.10% 1.85 0.89
    2009/10 55 33 8 14 116 63 60.00% 2.11 1.15
    2010/11 58 31 13 14 119 64 53.45% 2.05 1.10
    2011/12 54 31 9 14 96 67 57.41% 1.78 1.24
    Total 901 520 205 176 1660 860 57.71% 1.84 0.95
    A new all-time Club record for most players used in a league season was set in 2011/12 – 32 different players represented the Gunners in the Premier League. Expanding the stats to all competitions, 38 different players pulled on the red and white at least once for the first team during the season.

    There are more. Hope they all line up! 🙂

  72. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas, 🙂 Didn’t know I had an appointment with you?? 🙂

    Man City, Home wins 95%, Away wins 53% Clean Sheets 17
    Avge Goals Scored Home 2.89, Away 2.0.

    Man Utd, Home wins 79%, Away wins 68% Clean Sheets 20
    Avge Goals Scored Home 2.74, Away 1.95.

    Arsenal, Home wins 63%, Away wins 47% Clean Sheets 13
    Avge Goals Scored Home 2.05, Away 1.84.

    Spuds, Home wins 68%, Away wins 37% Clean Sheets 14
    Avge Goals Scored Home 2.05, Away 1.42.

    If Arsenal’s away stats are ‘shocking’ then what about the poor old Spuds away wins 37% — (ours 47%)? Or their average goals scored 1.42 — (ours 1.84)?
    Or Newcastle away wins 42%, avge away goals 1.42;
    Or Chelsea away wins 32%, average away goals 1.26;
    Or Pool away wins 32%, average away goals 1.21.

    So other than the top two, we did pretty well.

    Suddenly those ‘shocking’ Arsenal away win and avge goals scored stats look excellent when put in context, don’t they.

    Bored now. Wasting my time.

  73. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, interesting numbers GN5, I do think has others have said it has to be coupled with average goals scored or even a comparison against United and Chelsea (as outer two main competitors over that period)

    That’s not to say our defending needs work, I say defending rather than defence as its a team effort. As is attacking, without our full backs supporting the attack our attack wouldn’t function as well (or at least that’s the tactical theory) but the attackers don’t support the defence in the same way and often suffer dereliction of duty.

    I would like to see our attack and midfield make it a lot more difficult for the opponents to counter as quickly by pressuring the ball higher up the pitch…this is what I believe Arteta has done for us. Those stats with/without Arteta are astonishing.

    But if we had 2 more reliable back up front men would we care? For me the difference between City and is has been up top, and the players they have been able to bring on to win games.

    Oz as for Nasri he is still a twat, and is basically admitting that he didn’t work hard at Arsenal, no surprise there. I hate when players justify their move by saying they want to win things as it kind of omits the fact that they were responsible for their previous team not winning things.

    Rasp, I meant no ill by linking that old post, I felt as positive as you about those three arrivals and was defending Squid for the best part of last season. And Chan in his early games brought everything you suggested in that post. Who knows what has happened in his head since.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    Downing going to Euros. No assists. No goals. ??

    Both Theo and O-C going, will be good for O-C to train with England.

    As to Nasri. The man is an idiot.

  75. the ghost of glic says:

    Impressive stuff Statogooner, I admire someone who goes to great length`s of meticulous detail, well done.

    A more concerning stat or is it ? :

    2003 = 47
    2004 = 48
    2005 = 49
    2006 = 50
    2007 = 51
    2008 = 52
    2009 = 53
    2010 = 54
    2011 = 55
    2012 = 56

    Amazingly in them 10 years , I`ve gone from 47 to 56, thats 9 years !. Am I getting younger as I get older ?. With these handsome looks, you will probably say yes ! . 🙂

  76. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, no worries, I have supremely high expectations of the Pod – let’s hope I’ve got that one right 🙄

  77. richie says:

    We can’t go back to our defensive impenetrable wall style of the 90’s because the (Footballing) rules have changed, the active inactive off side rule means that defenders need to be much better athletes now, they need to be far quicker too. However IMHO Kosh & Verm are well up to the task, our problems arrise from the players just ahead of our back 4 (Unless Arteta is playing). When Croyff and Co devised total football, a centre half like Adams could venture forward to score, but only if his team mates had the neccesary positional sense and discipline to cover for him (Arteta apart our current crop don’t) its those organizational changes that will improve our defence. Its been said many times the defensive line should start with the No. 9! Get the team Ballance right and our goals against stats will improve dramatically, don’t and the bad graph trend line will continue climbing as it has.

  78. oz gunner says:

    hahaha GLIC

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Glic. Is it statistically significant that throughout the period you have chosen, I have remained the same number of years ahead of you?

    Richie. Very good point about the offside rule and a fine comment

  80. richie says:

    I don’t expect Stevie Bould to arrive and wave his magic wand and sort of our defensive problems because I don’t think our problems come from the back 4. As part of our famed back 5 Stevie B was great but he will have needed to have changed his philosophy. Our old dinosaurous idea of a static back 4 would not work anymore since the rule change, the players can’t all step up with their arms raised because the forward wouldn’t be deemed off side anymore! And now with this 1st phase 2nd Phase seqence of active inactive off side, slow static defending is gone. We need the Arsene/ Bould coaching combo to drill the midfield in the disciplines of total football, how if one player joins the attack the others drop in to cover his (Arse) open space.
    It ain’t rocket science!

  81. Rasp says:

    richie – your last sentence is spot on. What worries me is that we’ve watched the midfield fail to do as you say for a couple of seasons now so it takes the management to want to change that aspect of our play.

  82. richie says:

    @OzG Don’t let the Marseillan Mercenary get to you he is exactly like the other Marseilles we had, Flamini. They both left the team they supported as boys looking for the biggest score finacially they could get. Its in their blood, its in their DNA its part of who they are. Its also typical that they’d then “Diss” the club that put them in the shop window, its a lack of class thats inbred down their. And I’m a Francophone, who’s live down there so I’m talking from expirence not any bitterness although like you I would’nt mind 5 mins in a locked room with Samir so I could properly express my “Point” of view (~:

  83. evonne says:

    richie – good comment, cheers. No, it ain’t rocket science and it is ideed a simple algorithm. But if you apply variables such as speed of the game, opposing tactics and most of all HUMAN NATURE, it all goes tits up. Not always, admitably, but often enough. It is a bit like the communism – wonderful idea, but completely unworkable because of the bloody people

    GN5 – thank you for taking time to research the topic so well and present it so comprehensibly xx


    Why cant we judge the side on level of performance rather than befuddling ourselves with all these stats. This season we had periods were we were good, mediocre, and poor, but we still finished 3rd

    I am more than satisfied with 3rd this year. This is not because i dont want to win trophies, i do. I am content because we can only operate in the envoiremnet we find ourselves in, and at the moment its a tough one. City are at there peak and Utd are still there. This season is a stepping stone for the club and i fully expect us to chalange the manc clubs for the title next season.

  85. johnnie nyc says:

    N5, very interesting stats. my take is this: i love Tommy V, I like Santos alot, and of course i love Koscielny, but even he, like the others, is getting into trouble getting too far out of position. he has great recovery speed, but even then, see what has happened in the past couple weeks.
    Wenger says all the time that he wants all his players to score, ( i’m not sure if he would include sczezny, but it almost seems that way )…
    But, as much as i enjoy our attacking play, i think we need a little (ok, A LOT) more discipline to get to the next level. I truly believe the talent is there already.

  86. richie says:

    @Rasp Yes the management has to want to change I agree, but Arsene in building his teams going all the way back to his Monaco days (Yes I was living in France and as a foreigner I choise the only foreign team in the French league Monaco to follow no Sky TV back then) has built his teams in the style of the attacking total football played by Bouroussia MG & Ajax. The style is great but you need the personel! Either players raised in that system (Vermaelen was) or someone who has supreme awareness of positional play think Arteta. Players who haven’t played that way often look lost and confussed because it takes time to understand where you should be. Think Ramsey (I’m not a Rambo basher he’s young and he’ll learn). Gotta dash I’m doing the school run,back later.

  87. oz gunner says:

    great comments richie, def agree with your 2.41

    We are all in agreeance that for improvement to happen it needs to be a whole team effort, not just the defense. The press takes a lot of time to implement, sometimes years (obviously quicker if you’ve worked with the system before) before it all clicks into place. Everyone on the pitch has to do there part and put in, but most of all you have to trust one another or it all falls apart. When we had a string of good results we had that consistency with players available. It all falls apart when injuries takes place because players may not have that knowledge or understanding with one another. That’s why i like the idea of the youth coming through because it’s been instilled in them in the reserves team, therefore it is more of a seamless transition as opposed to a figuring out process.

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    Richie I’ve not seen you comment before so I am doffing my hat to you for those comments….well played that man.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    “It has been a frustrating year for me personally,” Wilshere told talkSHITE.

    “My ankle is fine now. I’m in every day trying to get fit for the start of pre-season and that is the aim – on the 9th of July to be training with the team.”

    “I was training towards the end of the season and looking forward to the Euros. but had a couple of niggles and just ran out of time,”

    “Pat Rice has been great for Arsenal and he is leaving, but we’ve got Steve Bould coming in and it is a new start, especially for the young players like Kieran Gibbs, myself and Frimpong,They have all come through the youth system with Steve Bould so we’re all looking forward to a new start.”

    Thats a pleasing interview 😀

  90. oz gunner says:

    good interview GiE.
    Here is the start of it with his response to nasri after hearing what he said about arsenal:

    “I don’t know what goes on in his head,” said the 20-year-old.

    “Fair play to him, he has won a trophy but over the next couple of years that’s our goal and I can see Arsenal winning a trophy.

    “Maybe he spoke too soon and we can rub it in his face next year.”

  91. chas says:


    I thought I’d have a quick check to see if your ‘nearly 50 years’ statement was true. Especially in the light of some of the dire seasons we had to put up with in the 1980’s.

    “…..2011/12 was our worst ever in the EPL at 1.29 per game…….”

    “To find a worse season one has to go back nearly 50 years to 1965/66 when we conceded 75 or 1.79 per game.”

    In 1983/4 we conceded 60 goals in 42 games at 1.43 per game

    I think you might have been comparing the away goals per game ratio for this season with the overall (home and away) for the previous seasons.

  92. chas says:

    Where were you for our appointment? Freezing your b*lls off somewhere?

  93. RockyLives says:

    Great debate starter Gn5

    Redders has quite rightly pointed out that context is all when interpreting statistics, but I think the reason your figures are powerful is that the trend they seem to show is matched by what we see with our own eyes.

    We probably all feel that today’s Arsenal is (and has been for a few years) more porous than AW’s first two (successful) teams.

    Whether that’s because we have traded some defensive security to bolster our attacking threat, or whether we are just less effective defensively or whether it’s injuries or the changing face of the EPL… or a combination of all of them… who knows?

    For me it feels that since the stadium move and the restrained finances since then (plus the arrival of more oil money in the EPL) we have been in an extended period of transition, which bottomed out last summer and autumn.

    I expect us to start a steady upward trend now (in competing for trophies and in being prepared to spend to do so).

    And I expect this to lead to us defending more effectively…

  94. evonne says:

    Terry – I couldn’t agree more.
    1. I love football for what it is and leave the nitty gritty to the experts, ie AW and co (ok, GiE knows too). No matter how much we analyse, speculate, criticise, we have very little influence over the running of the club. So, in my opinion we might as well sit back and enjoy it for what’s on offer.

    2. Sadly, some ‘fans’ would only be happy if we were relagated, then they would be in their element. Good news is that most of them are on LG 🙂

    3. Yes, we will challenge for the title this coming season. We might even win it 🙂

  95. the ghost of glic says:

    Fine comments Richie. As you say it`s not rocket science. Football is a simple game. With the name “Total football” it sounds complex, but isn`t. I still play that way even in 5 -a- side !.
    Same with nookie, or as my Dutch friend would say, ” Total hows your Father” !. ( I could go into graphic positions and formations but I`m on probation, shame really, as IMHO it`s funny stuff ! ) 🙂

  96. RockyLives says:

    As for Na$ri…

    Defeat may be character-forming, but I tend to think you find out more about man’s character in success than in failure.

    Embittered, self-loathing little Samir has just made it very clear what sort of character he has. Nothing more needs to be said. We can ignore his bitter words, but he has to live with himself for the rest of his life.

  97. evonne says:

    Rocky – what did he say?

  98. evonne says:

    ok, I’ve read it now, little fat bitch

  99. chas says:

    Breaking news…. Dogleash is leaving Liverpool. Apparently he didn’t keep any of the receipts for the shite he bought.

  100. William says:

    The defence has been an issue for many years.Arsenal have lost games when two goals up.The worst was the 4 goal lead wiped out by NU.Hopefully Bould can instill in the defenders the belief and cohesion necessary to prevent leakage of goals.
    Any team aspiring to win gamr and trophies must have a strong defence.Keegan would have the epl in 1996 had he bough a quality defender. Instead he bought a classy striker.The rest is history. Hopefully the fm will do what is necessary otherwise the Gunneres could be joining the ranks of Everton/NU and POOl.This would be a great shame for the gunners can be successful if they get the basics right.
    Btw when the sponship deals are up for renewal,it could be a golden opportunity to cash in.To do so Arsenal will have to maintain a high profile by winning games and trophies.Otherwise it will all end in griief.

  101. the ghost of glic says:

    Dalglish said he`s had enough of Liverpool, the booze culture, urinating on the streets, prossies everywhere, thieves, burglars, drugs, terrible diets, low life expectancy, the weather, cant understand the local accent !. He said he cant wait to get back to Glasgow !.

  102. Red Arse says:

    Chas, 🙂

    I am disappointed that Fergie’s little brother is leaving the Pool.
    A good managerial appointment for them will make it even more difficult for us next year.

    BTW, I stood outside Madame Floozies waiting for you for at least a minute, then I had to treat both girls to tea and crumpets because the Vid King blew them off! 🙂 [hope that does not sound rude] 🙂

  103. wolfgang says:

    49 goals conceded is very poor indeed.AT any other club,the FM could have been fired. I believe the cl berth saved him.
    Hopefully he will strengthen the thru acqusitions or make the team harder to build. Another season of under achievement and finishing outside the top 4 will break fans if not the camel’s back.

  104. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rock Candy, 🙂

    Where have you been? Thought the zombies had caught you.

    Talking about stats (and this is the last time) 🙂 I am surprised no one has mentioned that we scored 9 headed goals to Manyoos 16, Manshitties 10, whereas we only scored 10 goals from set pieces to their 28 and 26 respectively. Everyone else, except Aston Villa scored many more than us.

    I think either you or Rasp agreed with me, previously, that RVP has got to stop taking our free kicks, and based on that stat we seem to be right (a) because Robin’s kicks frequently end up in Row Z , and (b) he is our tallest and most skilful forward and should be in the box on the receiving end!

  105. Red Arse says:

    Glicster, 🙂

    You said the following;

    — “Dalglish said he`s had enough of Liverpool, the booze culture, urinating on the streets, prossies everywhere, thieves, burglars, drugs, terrible diets, low life expectancy, the weather, cant understand the local accent !. He said he cant wait to get back to Glasgow !.”

    I think you misunderstood him (I have a similar problem with his accent) what he actually said was;

    Dalglish said he cannot wait to get back to Glasgow to the booze culture, urinating on the streets, prossies everywhere, thieves, burglars, drugs, terrible diets, low life expectancy, the weather, cant understand the local accent !.

    Ask TerryM —– he could not understand him either, but he is very good at lip reading — for some reason or other. 🙂

  106. Big Raddy says:

    So King Kenny gets fired.

    This raises a question …. Is it better to win the CC and thereby get the trophy monkey removed, or to get a CL place?

    The Talksport fools would argue that trophies are all that matters. Tell that to KK as he drudges his way to join the other 95% of Liverpool fans on the dole.

  107. evonne says:

    who has famously said ‘the curse of CC’?

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think it was Maurinho who said that the first thing he does when in a new job is to buy/ensure the club have a specialist free kick man.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Incidently, nothing is going to happen transfer wise until after sunday with the end of the French League, and bear in mind, everyone we are going to buy plays there.

  110. Makumyx says:

    OMG! Wonders never cease. Francois Hollande is a gooner!…or so claims Untold Arsenal. Big Question is, was wenger his lecturer? Why! His economic tenets?

  111. Gooner In Exile says:


    King Kenny


    They had a better defence than us tho


    Did his business early and showed intent


    Villa just lost their chance of landing Lambert.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hopefully Hollande will stick to his election promise and stick top rate tax up to 75%, thus ensuring Belhanda, Remy, M’Vila and Giroud all demand transfers to Arsenal 🙂

  113. Red Arse says:


    You must stop tickling yourself! 🙂

  114. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky,

    Does that mean you and Maureeno agree with me that RVP should give up the free kick taking? 🙂

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Speaking as Maureen’s UK Mouthpiece as well as a Master Tactician myself, the answer is yes. Immediately.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off to take my own Boy Wonder to his football training.

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In fact RA,
    I was banging on about a new am/free kick expert during last summers’ window. I unearthed an absolute gem playing for Porto, but unbelievably Arsene chose, unwisely I feel, to totally ignore me.
    Really off.

  118. RockyLives says:

    It does my head in when Robin takes all the corners and distant free kicks. Maybe Jack will take up that job next year?

    As for where I’ve been, well, you hit the nail right on the head (or should I say Tee) yesterday 🙂

  119. Big Raddy says:

    We have 3 free kick men – TV, Arteta and RvP. I am happy with that.

  120. Makumyx says:


    i hope so. Also pray that Na$ri has soo bad a tooth he wont open his mouth and sway Mvila with Manshitty lies. But that wont happen, will it? So i better consult some juju man from Nollywood, or some voodoo granny from the carribean. Damn you Na$ri. Damn you big!

  121. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas, Re your 3:44 pm

    You are correct I just skipped right over 1983/4

  122. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Good to see you take time to relax from Arsenal and work duties.

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Makumya. If M’vila does go to MC, then we can sign De Jong. Another Dutchman and a man who takes no prisoners!

  124. goonerjake says:

    Hi all

    Just back from work. just read the article. The problem is not with the defenders we have. It is down to the way we play, because its the responsibility of the entire team to defender, however with a 4-3-3 i think it is some times hard to see which midfielder is supposed to be sitting because all of them like forging forward which does leave us vunerable especially with TV5 cavallier sprints forward (which i love by the way)

    4-4-2 worked well for us because we could have petit/gilberto and viera sitting in front of the defence and cover for the full backs while overmars/pires and parlour/freddie supporting the attack.

    Well thats some tacticle anaylysis which i agree with anyway.

    It depends now on what players you have. Some will claim 4-4-2 does not work that well anymore against the 4-3-3 which can quickly change to 4-5-1 allowing teams to dominate midfield, i however respectfully disagree if you have the right players who are very good and also disciplined 4-4-2 can work in the modern game at the highest level.


    (im open to diagreements but then like Mr Wenger ill probably say yes erm well and totally disregaurd it 🙂

  125. dandan says:

    And so it starts, hope you got everything crossed……..According to some reports, Robin van Persie has agreed a new contract with Arsenal, Nothing confirmed yet though. May just be a rumour. #afc LOL

    Collapse Reply


  126. herbsarmy says:

    Hi GunnerN5/All,
    good post, and one that is a genuine concern.
    IMO the fundamental flaw in AW’s brand of football is inexperience.
    It is football that relies solely on us out-footballing our opponents by using the ball and the pitch more intelligently than they do, but the problem is too often we’re relying on youngsters to out-wit an older, more experienced, savvy opponent, and naturally they fall short. That’s what Arteta has given us this season, and why he’s been sorely missed in our run-in.
    The Invincibles were a team full of big personalities, proper leaders who took collective responsibility and refused to lay down and accept defeat. We don’t have a character like that in our dressing-room anymore. Can anyone imagine Theo Walcott losing his temper, or getting passionate enough to show anger?
    With Dalglish getting sacked we can only hope that Arsenal show some real intent this summer.

  127. Red Arse says:

    It seems Mr Usmanov has made a small profit on his shareholding in Facebook.

    Apparently, he bought £900 million of shares in 2009, and three years later they are worth £6 Billion.

    Doesn’t have a clue does he? 🙂


    Hi Herb,

    Were players like Henry, Viera, Lunberg experienced when they joined us ? Whats cost us is the fact that since that era we have lost players before there peak. This is not Arsenal or Wengers fault. The strategy is sound because we can not compete financialy for ready made superstars so we have to produce them. This is beggining to change and we will soon be competing for honours again. Be a bit more paitent my friend.


    Hes obviously a great business man Redders. He looks awful though. Every time i picture him i envisage an ugly slob wearing a stained string vest and Y fronts. Is that normal? hahaha

  130. herbsarmy says:

    Hi TerryM,
    Thierry Henry was already a WC winner when he joined us, Juventus just didn’t utilise his assets properly. And when Vieira and Ljungberg joined us, they were surrounded by experienced players like Tony Adams, Keown, Dennis Bergkamp etc., which is a big shift from what we currently have.
    We play a watered-down version of Barcelona’s football, and the reason Barcelona have been so efficient and successful is because their side is full of experience who all know their roles, and who work and pressurise the ball as a team, which is an ingredient we lack.

  131. the ghost of glic says:

    Hi Herb
    ” With Dalglish getting sacked we can only hope that Arsenal show some real intent this summer ”
    Why would you want Dalglish to replace Wenger ? 😆
    I bet with his great personallity he could wear that sort of attire and pull almost any babe he likes , his billions have nothing to do with it ! 🙂


    Good points Herb. I also accept your point about our playing style, Hopefully we can execute it more efeciently in the future, and at the same time keep our squad together. Time will tell.


    Ive tried it Cornwall, it dosnt work without the money. hahahaha

  134. herbsarmy says:

    Hi GliC,
    the point I am referring to with the Dalglish sacking is that Liverpool won’t keep getting their managerial appointments wrong. They’re a big club, 22 years without a title, so expect a big name.

  135. the ghost of glic says:

    You should move to Cornwall, the only thing that detaches good looking babes from this rediculously handsome bastard babe magnet is, rich farmers or accountants !. 😆

  136. the ghost of glic says:

    What sort of big name(s) do you think will be on their list ?.

  137. herbsarmy says:

    Maybe Capello (if he doesn’t go to Chelsea), Jurgen Klopp, Mourinho? I’ve seen Paul Lambert’s name mentioned too.


    I know farmers have got it made tax wise. Agricultural land is free from inheritence tax so they can keep passing it down in the family. The only thing that worries me is ive heard thats not the only thing they like to keep in the family. hahaha


    would you like one of them at Arsenal Herb?


    managers i mean, not farmers.

  141. herbsarmy says:

    It’s a big call, Terry. I know change terrifies some people, and if you’ve read previous comments I’ve made, I have advocated Paul Lambert.
    I’m sure we all really want to see AW’s brand of football work, but he has been making the same fundamental mistakes over and over again. Arteta represents a shift in policy, and Podolski is potentially a great signing, but as well as the defence needing improvement, we have never adequately replaced Bergkamp.

  142. jjgsol says:

    Statistics, like principles, may be good to have, but not necessarily worth having.

    Looking at the goals conceded as numbers is misleading and does not tell even part of th estroy.

    Undoubtedly, the AFC staff will analyse the goals conceded, to see where the problems lie.

    WE seem to have a predominately number of goals conceded from crosses. perhaps we need taller centre backs.

    How many goalsc onceded were as a result of the scorer, or a colleague being offside or only just onside? I would suggest quite a few. Could that be because we play the offside game, with a highish defensive line?

    The refs and the linos seem to miss a lot of offsides, which, unfortunately, end up too often as goals, eg Liverpool at home.

    How many goals were conceded from breakaways? Too many. Could that be because of the high line and the propensity of our midfielders repeatedly trying to pass the ball through impossibly small spaces?

    What about the high number of own goals this season? How can they be stopped?
    The numbers do not tell th

    Why do we seem to concede so many goals from breakways?

    Could it be that our back 4 tend to be too far forward when we are trying to get around the bus parking in front of the opposing goal?

    Ok, if you want to consider the impact of the number of goals conceded, then we must analyse where they come from and how that can be remedied.

  143. the ghost of glic says:

    Yesterday, I took my dog for a walk and ended up going through a field via a foot path and was chased by some cattle, about 20 of them ,after hastily getting the other side of a gate, I noticed they were not cows and realised I was wearing a Red Arsenal shirt. Lucky escape me thinks !.

  144. the ghost of glic says:

    How can you replace God ? 🙂

  145. herbsarmy says:

    You can’t GliC, but our style of football is so intricate it is crying out for a spark of creative genius.


    hahahaha, Cornwall, when i met the first Mrs Terry she had this great big tabby cat, For some reason “Archie” took an instant dislike to me, hissing and making wierd noises. The second time round her place things got a bit scary. Archie hissed and wierd noised me for about 10 miniutes. I got up to go to the loo when he started following me, i walked brisker and his pace increased, to finaly a full blown chase pursued. I made it to the upstairs bathroom, my leg scratched and cut from Archies assault. Mrs Terry had to rescue me by coaxing Archie outside. I eventuly made peace by bribing him with cat food, but seceretly fantasied about skinning the blighter and converting him into my new wig.

  147. Gooner In Exile says:


    Poor dippers

  148. herbsarmy says:

    Hi GiE,
    you’re laughing at a club five titles and five European Cups up on us? As much as they’ve been mis-managed recently, do you think their fans would trade their record for ours?

  149. chas says:


  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Define History….in the past

    I am laughing at the fact that a manager considered by many pundits and fans to have shown balls by making early summer signings of the “best” young British talent abd who was surely going to reclaim 4th or higher is no longer in work. Oh and he won a trophy and got sacked.

    Jordan Henderson £25m
    Jack Wilshere £0

    Andy Carroll £35m
    Lucas Podolski £10m

    Stuart Downing £16m
    Alex Oxlade Chamberlain £12-15m

    Charlie Adam £7m
    Mikel Arteta £8m

    Luis Enrique £7m
    Kieran Gibbs £0
    Andre Santos £5.5m

    Yep I’m definitely laughing at them. And I couldn’t give a crap about how many titles they have I don’t support them. I care about supporting my team my club my manager my players. You want to play top trumps go buy a set of cards and find some kids in a playground to do it with because it is quite tiresome.

    I see again tonight the same old arguments I’ve heard all season….Henry was a WC winner….and? This ambitionless club/manager signed him….

    Have you seen recent Arsene comments after the Invincibles won team of the last 20 years? No okay here they are from Beeb:

    Arsene Wenger has set his current squad the target of emulating the heroics of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ side.

    “My target is to get back to that, to get back to that level,”

    “I feel personally we are not far from coming back to fight for the championship, let’s hope we can show that next season,”

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rob….. interesting…..Barca are without doubt a one man team. 🙂

    Btw Herb I saw your fascinating comments earlier about Barcas style of play and how the players are experienced so get it right and ours are not and get it wrong…I don’t disagree but tell me where did the midfield of Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets learn that? Where did Puyol and Piqué learn? We’re they signed from elsewhere or grown within? That’s right grown within, so kind of goes against your opinion we should spend doesn’t it?

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    Never adequately replaced Bergkamp… one player in the PL as good as Bergkamp. Then name another 9 to give us a chance of signing one and I’ll agree with you but if that’s the benchmark for measuring Wenger And the club you will be constantly unhappy.

  153. Slimgingergooner says:

    After the 2006/7 season our best keeper (Lehmann), best defender (Campbell) and best DM (Vieira) had either left or been replaced as first team regulars. Since that season all our ‘world class’ or ‘super quality’ players were attack minded players. Shortly after there was also a change in formation that meant we played 4-1-2-3, thus making the side more attack minded. A combination of these 2 things definitely had an impact on our solidity as a team, after all, it’s not just the back 5 who have to defend.

    Add to this the general decline in quality of squad due to the much discussed financial restraints, stadium move etc and you can begin to understand why there has been an increase in the average.

  154. herbsarmy says:

    If you’re going to throw my comments back at me, GiE, at least use them in the context they were given. The Thierry Henry comment was a response to TerryM. Who was the last WC winner our ambitious club signed? Gilberto Silva? Fabregas won the WC whist he was with us, but didn’t he leave because of our perceived lack of ambition?
    All Arsenal fans are probably aware of his quotes regarding The Invincibles, but it doesn’t mean he’s right. If anything they’ve gone in the opposite direction. This is the same manager who thought Almunia was good enough to play for England and described Walcott at 19 as being better than Messi.
    As for your transfer like for likes:
    Jordan Henderson £20m
    Jack Wilshere £0 – (but not available for the whole of the season due to over-exposure last season.
    I don’t recall Lukas Podolski representing Arsenal this season. A better comparison to Andy Carroll would have been Nikica Jelavic £5.5m.
    I’ve never rated Downing, and as far as comparing Gibbs/Santos with Enrique after our defensive record this season really has no mileage.
    If your memory serves, you will recall that I dont rate Dalglish as a manager either, especially after the shambles he over-saw at Celtic.
    He was given the Liverpool job on sentiment and the fact that Liverpool fans have short memories. But they will become a bigger threat now he has gone, and what history does prove is that their hunger and desire for major trophies has been stronger than ours. You don’t need top=trumps to show you that.

  155. Gooner In Exile says:

    No Herb it proves that they had Shankly and Paisley in the late 70’s and 80’s.

    And f**k me I didn’t realise we signed Jelavic. The point was Herb that I am laughing because a club that showed so much ambition finished 8th, and won a Mickey Mouse pot.

    Almunia for England was not a Wenger invention, the press decided first, and asked Wenger his opinion. Who was England goalkeeper at the time Paul Robinson? So yes Almunia probably could have.

    Is there anything you find positive about our club? I know you have a soft spot for social issues so maybe you’ll be impressed at the Work the club does in the Community (awarded again at the Kickz award). Or the Employment Scheme the club run taking kids considered unemployable putting them through courses and gaining employment at the club or with Olympic contract winning companies.

    We finished 3rd we can push on. If you don’t believe it fine but you’re not going to convince me or many other Gooners that things are going to rack and ruin. If you think they are write a post telling the world why Wenger is the worse manager in the clubs history. Let’s debate it properly and invite others to comment. And then explain why after your apology you have made such a massive u turn.

    If we had been relegated I might have some sympathy with your view even if we finished 18th I might. But I’d still support them rather than following the Durham Party Line.

  156. herbsarmy says:

    Re the Barcelona comparison, I agree with you, they are a product of their Youth Academy, but it’s more than that. They have modelled their whole footballing philosophy on Johann Cruyff’s vision, which was developed by the Dutch, not the French.
    As to replacing Bergkamp? AW is paid £6-7m a year to find those solutions.

  157. Gooner In Exile says:

    Simple question Herb, if you hold him accountable for not signing a player like Bergkamp there must be one. So show me him.

    I’ll leave the Barca comment hanging quite frankly it’s embarrassing.

  158. herbsarmy says:

    Just to satisfy your need for an answer, David Silva is one.
    Why is the Barcelona comment embarrassing? The origins of ‘Total Football’ is rooted in Holland, first seen on a national level in Rinus Michel’s Holland teams, of which Cruyff (the world’s best footballer at that time) was the integral ingredient. Cruyff used that knowledge and experience to fundamentally revolutionise Barcelona , which has now become adopted as ‘The Barcelona Way’.
    Nowhere have I ever stated that AW is the worst manager in Arsenal’s history. What is tiresome is rehashing excuses for mistakes that keep occuring over and over again. Take Drogba as an example. He terrorised the Arsenal defence for at least six years.
    Was anything done after the first, second, third time we had to sit through the same predictable outcome?
    In 2000, we were humiliated 6-1 at OT. Surely a line in the sand was drawn, and a manager of AW’s ability and intelligence would never again visit OT and suffer anything remotely close to such a beating!
    Fifteen years in the job, a visit to OT…Whoops!

  159. Gooner In Exile says:

    Herb we finished third cheer up.

    Silva as good as Bergkamp? Ok. And you’ve kind of proved the point…how do you suggest we lure him away from the oil dollars.

    Embarrassing because of the not French , like I said Herb embarrassing.

    We’ll leave it there.

  160. herbsarmy says:

    No GiE, I didn’t suggest Silva was as good as Bergkamp, and City got him from Valencia, so he was clearly available for the right money. I don’t get £6m per year to provide those answers, do you?
    Still don’t get your point. Is it wrong to say that ‘Total Football’ isn’t a French product?

  161. Gooner In Exile says:

    It’s not English, Scottish, German or Spanish either so why mention French?

    So Herb you and I can’t name a player as good as Bergkamp, so no other manager has a player as good as Bergkamp, so let’s just guess he ain’t out there and stop asking Wenger to sign a player that doesn’t exist. United have the same issue with Scholes, hence why Fergie took him back. World Class players aren’t around every corner, there’s two or three playing at their peak at any given time. At the moment the only World Class players playing football anywhere are Messi and Ronaldo.

    We were lucky to have two of the best players in the world at one time playing for us .(Henry and DB10). Not many teams can boast that, but anyone would have difficulty finding a replacement. Cesc and RvP wasn’t bad tho, shame one got homesick.

  162. herbsarmy says:

    Because we have a French manager, I thought that was self-explanatory. If you want to learn how best to implement ‘Total Football’, who better than a Dutchman to teach that art – Cruyff at Barcelona. Would you ask Mancs to serve Cockney’s Pie and Mash?
    My point about not adequately replacing Bergkamp was a throw-away comment. I could have said we didn’t adequately replaced Vieira or Pires, but the wider point is, there are far too many occasions when our football breaks down and just doesn’t work, even with Arteta at the heart of it. Would you for example say that Diaby, Song, Rosicky, Arshavin, Walcott or Fabregas have been successful at Arsenal? Have any of them individually made us a better club?

  163. oz gunner says:


    I’m pretty sure Silva was out of the Arsenal relm of Arsenal purchases. Man city paid £24 million for him, hardly cheap. and he is reportedly on £8 million a year. At that time we still had fabregas and nasri so not a viable option really.

  164. oz gunner says:

    hahaha hilarious chas, john cleese hasn’t aged a bit since that ref gig

  165. Red Arse says:

    Morning/Evening, Oz 🙂

    I’m not going to get dragged into the circular Herb/GIE debate! 🙂
    For a minute I thought Rasp was running a repeat of last year’s comments to fill up the quiet time!! 🙂

    Hi Chas, 🙂

    Great Vid of a great comedian! Are you late going to bed, or a very early riser? 🙂

  166. evonne says:

    Chas – can we have a Dennis the Menace clip please?
    Why were you up at 5am???

  167. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just noticed Steve Clark has also left Liverpool, would be a useful appointment as coach, but I don’t think Wenger likes that many coaches. Mike Phelan will be watching over his shoulder.

  168. chas says:

    I’m usually up at the crack of dawn, RA.
    I like visual metaphors. 🙂

  169. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok ok 😀

    I don’t know why I let myself get dragged in….sorry folks.

  170. chas says:

    I wonder if Wenger really is a megalomaniac, control-freak who hates anybody else to have any input whatsoever? It certainly seems to be the picture that most have swallowed.

    Do you think he’d make a good appointment because it did such a good job at LiverFool?

    Evonne, 5:50am. I was asleep at 11. Surely nearly 7 hours is enough.

  171. chas says:

    …he did

  172. evonne says:

    RA – top of the morning! you are all smiles today 🙂 Chas is so clever, that clip is so appropriate, how does he find them?

    AVB to Pool?

  173. chas says:

    Off out to play golf. Byeeeeeeee.

  174. evonne says:

    Did anybody watch the documentary about Messi last night? I thought it was excellent, really enjoyed it.
    I didn’t know he refused to come on the pitch in Paris when Barca won the CL, and hold the trophy. They said he was upset, because he didn’t take part in the final due to his injury. I think he was embarassed that the lesser team won 🙂

  175. Gooner In Exile says:

    I think he is a good coach, I thought it was the best appointment//signing Dalglish made.

    After his arrival Liverpool looked a different proposition but you can only work with the players you have, and he was given some crap to work with.

    For me he was about getting the team organised.

    I don’t believe Arsene is a megalomaniac but I think he does not want too many lieutenants who could cloud his and more importantly the players minds (dilution of the message).

    You look at some PL benches and there are so many old men in track suits you wonder whether Kelsey’s bowls team has rocked up and paid top money for a good seat.

    Evonne, general consensus in media last night was that AvB had been spoken to buy probably not…..LFC owners say next man gets 4-5 years, they’ve had too much movement over the last ten years, compared to their past, some LFC fans were pointing at longevity being the key and the likes of Moyes being used as an example for giving the manager time and clear goals.

    I don’t think the fans will accept an appointment of managers like Rogers or Lambert (what difference to AvB) so for me Rijkard, Capello, and Hiddink are all possibilities. Apparently the board like Martinez, again I think that’s a hard sell to the fans. But I think it’s exactly those kind of managers they need as they have worked well on limited resources. Oh Redknapp was mentioned too


  176. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, 🙂

    I cannot help but smile when Chas tickles my funny bone, and I am always pleased to see everyone each day and to chat.

  177. goonermichael says:

  178. evonne says:

    GM – what a great find 🙂 Lovely, lovely picture 🙂

  179. Red Arse says:

    Hi GIE, 🙂

    AW made a comment recently about Bouldy when he was appointed.

    He said something which I personally believe in too.
    It went something like this, he said that Bouldy has his own ideas on what should be done and they discuss them. Afterwards Bouldy gives him his complete support.

    That’s how it should be. Discuss a matter, and everyone has their input, but when a decision is made everyone buys into it, even if it was not their original view.

    Megalomania? No. Just good man management! 🙂

  180. evonne says:

    RA – yes, we have a few seriously funny guys on this site 🙂 How good does it feel to start a day with a broad smile?

    GiE – I just hope it is not Martinez going to Pool, he is such a likeable man, would probably waste his time there

  181. Red Arse says:

    Hi GM, 🙂

    A great find sir!! Gooners are everywhere!!

  182. evonne says:

    GiE – Kelsey’s bowls team rocked up and paid for top seats – now, that’s illegal, my sides burst!!

  183. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA I don’t disagree, best managers i have had take the big decisions on their own, after having listened to input and questioned outcomes/reality etc. But they have lived and died on their decisions, and not tried to apportion blame elsewhere.

    Evonne, I agree Martinez moving to Pool would be sad but i think he needs to be tested at higher level and hopefully he won’t be one of these managers like Bruce who just keep making sideways moves. I doubt it given his history so far, I also think in order to manage a club who plays European football its important to have had some experience of Europa League or Champions League.

    I wonder if Deschamps is in the frame?

  184. goonermichael says:

    evonne. He had Van Persie on the back. There are so many mancs in Asia though.

  185. goonermichael says:

    Oh god it’s that time when I have to go back to work. 😦 see you later

  186. oz gunner says:

  187. oz gunner says:

    oops Evoone you like the UK one don’t you!

    Morning all. I want to know about the RVP coffee dammit!

  188. oz gunner says:

    @ Chas

    the first part of that clip has the funniest commentary ever! I know Dennis is God and all but wow he got excited haha

  189. evonne says:

    Oz – thank you!

  190. Rasp says:

    Morning all……

    ……New post …..

  191. richie says:

    @ Gooner in exile I’m with you! I can’t understand the Herbs mans reasoning. First off Arsene is roughly the same age as Croyff and yes JC was instrumental in the developement of “Dutch” total football, but the concept did not arrive from either Micheals or JC (By the way as I mentioned above I saw the great man at highbury). A lot of It actually came from the system of football that both Croyff and Micheals say impressed them. It was played by a German team (Arsene Wenger spent his young impressionable years watching) Borussia Monchengladbach. They caused a stir in the footballing world back them with their all attacking style.

    I come from a family of football mad Gooners all the way back to my great grand father. I remember well my grandad showing me “the madness” on an old black & white TV. BM often had as many as 8 players in the oppositions half it was unheard of back then but boy was it exciting to watch! They charged forward like the Mongol Hordes interchanging their positions at will, other teams didn’t know how to play against them everyone man-marked back then, but if they did MM-ing a center half would end up alongside his mark who was now defending. Teams playing against them were pulled all out of shape. It was also really fast one touch stuff.

    IMHO Arsene has always wanted to play the type of football that was embodied by our goal scored by Arsharvin against Barca last season, it is as near to the fast one touch that was played all those years ago, and Barca for all their pressing had no answer to it – revisit it on you tube to get the idea Bentner to Wiltshire to Cesc to Nasri to Shava Goal! 5 seconds from defence to goal. Arsene wants to play total football but I’m not sure its the total posession game of Barca, Croyff’s Ajax didn’t play it that way.

  192. richie says:

    @ GN5 author author Gunner N5 If you first visited highbury in 47 and lived in Avenell Rd we must know each other or at least you’ll know my family. Because I too lived in Avenell Rd and before me so did all my family. My gran had Arsenal players as lodgers we lived in the little house’s just below Gillespie Rd (very near the off licence that used to be there, there was only ever on offie in the Rd).

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