Two nil and we……..Forgot how to defend ……. again!

Is a match report going to make you feel better? No, I thought not, me neither. Is there any point in revisiting a game where we were 2-0 up after twenty-three minutes and then contrived to throw that lead away by the 40th minute going in to the break 2-2.

Were we undone by two amazing bits of skill from Fulham for their two goals? Well, it would be a comfort to say yes, but no is the answer to that too. Seriously poor defending and static zonal marking handed Fulham their two goals and it’s not the first time we have delivered these kind of gifts to opposing teams.

It’s seven weeks since, against the run of play, we allowed Lescott to nod home from a corner for Man City and take the lead and in those seven weeks we have conceded too many goals in a similar fashion. I can’t see any evidence of work having been done on the training ground to stem the tide, surely in seven weeks some improvement should be visible. Even if we just worked on defending corners there would be some improvement? Why are we still making the same errors?

I have always firmly believed in the we’re gonna score one more than you’ ethos, the gung ho approach, the ‘we don’t really have to care about defending because we’re a full on attacking team’Β  butΒ holy cow, the time must have come to put some practice in on the simple things. Go back to basics, think about defending and what it means for the team, stop stroking the ball around in front of our goal mouth when a row Z is needed, stop an attack high up the pitch, don’t wait until the opposition are bearing down on us, take a yellow card for the team.

It’s time to take defending seriously even if that means more bore draws, the foundation of a great team cannot be built on such repetition of errors, they have to be stamped out for this team to have any credibility.

Anyway rant over about the defending, there were some good points to share with you.

Theo started the match and although I have slated his inability to be the footballer I hoped he would be, I do think he’s getting close to that now …………. I’m still hoping he’ll stay. He whipped in a fine corner for Giroud’s first goal and his lofted cross for Giroud’s second was sublime, in addition he made sure he was there when Giroud’s attempt hit the post.

Giroud is impressing me now, he works really hard to get his head on whatever he can and today he could have scored a hatful. How must he feel finally getting the ball in the back of the net and then to be part of a team that throws a lead away?

When Fulham scored their third the ground went nuts. It felt like ages between Berb’s penalty and Giroud’s goal to make it 3-3 but I’ve just seen it was only 2 minutes. From then on we had our tails up and the supporters played their part but time was running out. A dubious hand-ball decision gave us a penalty in the 4th minute of extra time – who would take it? Arteta stepped up and Schwarzer saved. It was not to be.

Throwing away two two goal leads in the space of four days is a disgrace for a so-called top team and so even if Arteta had scored the penalty I would feel the same about the defending. Although I have to say it was a bit of a bonus being two up in the first place.

There are so many things not going right for this disjointed, unbalanced team. Playing football can’t be this difficult, what is making it so difficult for them? Other teams with less ability than ours manage to play football, to hold onto leads, to string passes together and to look like they’re enjoying it. Come on Arsene, sort it out please or hand the reigns over to someone else.

Over to you all now, if anyone wants to supply some player ratings I’ll be happy to add them on.

This is what Arsène had to say about the game.

Written by peachesgooner


194 Responses to Two nil and we……..Forgot how to defend ……. again!

  1. Well done Rasp on the banner for today

  2. Jed says:

    Our defending us utterly pathetic – and getting worse. Steve Bould should resign now if he can’t improve things.

  3. MAX says:

    Another latergic display by arsenal.. After 2 – 0 up we should have sat back n would hav defended… But we gave away easy chances from corner we are giving many goals… 2nd goal by fulham surprised me mannone should have saved it as it was headed from far away… Manure and everton came from behind and snatch the victory if we cant win agaisnt small teams i am afaraid we wont be able to finish in top 4… Coming to penalty i think cazrola should have taken it…

  4. Stefan says:

    Would be great to hear Steve Bould’s take, or see him take action and resign. I’m not saying that won’t happen, but he is on an amazing salary now. Would you risk that? He already seems to just sit there without a word to say like Pat Rice did.

    It’s just laughable now. I look forward to being entertained by people still trying to defend Wenger’s current record. Please please watch what he does and don’t bother listening any more to what he says.

    Good report though, by the way. Thanks

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches if you keep writing match reports like that no one else will need to do them, fast becoming the post match Queen.

    Lets get one thing clear Fulham are not a easy team to beat, Jol has continued the excellent work of Hodgson and they have a good team of solid pros.

    Defending is our weak point has been for a few seasons. The question is whether it is the system or the players. Our annoyance suggests its the players, but here’s the thing, if we all believe we haven’t got good enough players why are our expectations still so high, just accept that fact and then ask whether our league position is a true reflection if the teams abilities.

    If we continue to question the performances it suggests the players are not doing what they are capable of, then we have to ask why not?

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches, I hope you don’t have to write too many more match reports like that for the rest of the season 😦

    There is so much I could say about yesterday’s game but the most significant problem I see is that we have no left hand side to our play, we were lop sided and lacked balance.

    In the first half TV would pass the ball to Podolski and then stop (I’m sure that was because he was told to). Podolski is not blessed with blistering pace or a fantastic array of tricks so when confronted with 2 defenders his only option was to pass back to TV, whilst the rest of our team were static and just watched. Surely one of the midfielders could have spotted the problem and moved across so that at least we could move the ball forward from our left flank – but no.

    In the second half when we were chasing the game, TV began to overlap and all of a sudden we became an attacking force whilst risking vulnerability on the counter down that side. The Pod is not a winger and neither is Ramsey (who I thought looked good when he came on centrally). Arshavin can play wide, the Ox can play wide but Pod is wasted particularly when put in front of a stand-in LB who can’t come forward.

  7. When looking at Arsene Wenger and his ability to do the job, i have the following thought to myself:,

    what would Arsenal be like now if he wouldve left in 2005 when the new stadium was built?

    Personally, i think we wouldve had about 3 or 4 different managers by now and would be a mid table side. not many managers could have kept us in the top 4 over the past 8 years with the finances the club have spent on new players, bearing in mind that these finances included money earnt from bein in the CL year after year.

    Now, however, some will argue that the stadium movce is complete and the club have enough money to be competing better than they are, and i cant argue with that.

    For me, however, i think Wenger should be judged from next season, when we will have a settled squad without big players leaving and he has had money to spend and the time for his new signings to show wether they are good enough or not.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Well done, Peaches, a difficult post match, again, and you have summed it up as I saw it too, tho’ from the comfort of a chair. πŸ™‚

    You also made the comment that I would have done some years ago too, that if team A scored 3 goals we would score 4.
    Not now – not without TH14 – not without the wonderful midfield we had.

    Where are they all? Where are their like for like replacements?

    It’s like visiting an elderly relative’s house and finding the years are taking their toll on the structure, and the incumbents unable to keep pace with the maintenance/upkeep anymore.

    Time will have its say with even the best teams and the best managers without constant renewal!

  9. Rasp says:

    Here’s a big question that could be asked of the manager: Is it more effective to play a preferred formation and ask the players to adapt even if they’re not best suited; or is it better to be pragmatic and use a formation that gets the best out of the players available?

    All you Champ Managers on here can decide … it would be a good question for a poll.

  10. RP7 says:

    To all those on here saying Steve Bould should resign, perhaps you are missing the point here. We have been in decline since 2006, we have sold a team of players that had we kept them we would have won the EPL on at least a couple of occasions. We allow players to run down their contracts and are then forced to sale them. We are kidding ourselves that UEFA will enforce the FFP. There is ONE PERSON and ONE PERSON only would should resign or be sacked and that is the person who is now damaging his ‘Legend’ status at Arsenal. Au revoir Monsieur WENGER

  11. Red Arse says:

    Big Al, πŸ™‚

    Have to say I was not rockin’ last night – just trying, on one of my rare visits to a local club, not to punch out some mickey taking Mancs!

    Anyway, move over on that beach — I am coming over to get some shine and ………………….. πŸ™‚

  12. Red Arse says:

    Rasper, @10:20

    Get some high quality players in – then, as manager, he can play whatever tactic he damn well likes.

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That really is bang on the money. Thank you, and it does not make me feel guilty for not volunteering. You see, its imperative to think of ones’ audience, and they do a like a Peaches very much. They have exquisite taste after all.

  14. dandan says:

    Good report peaches on what was an interesting game to watch.
    Did any else enjoy Tony Gales over the top, biased extravaganza of a performance as much as I did, the man’s prejudice is apparent in every word he utters, does any have any idea what has caused it? Not just from being a hammer surely?

  15. Hi dandan – nice to see you, hope you and Mrs dandan are well.

    Someone else mentioned yesterday about Tony Gale’s commentary, it was so bad they turned off the sound. I used to love listening to Tony Gale and Jonathan Pierce’s double act when they did commentary together. Of course I only listened to Arsenal matches and they both loved us ………

  16. Micky – you’ll get your chance to volunteer another time πŸ˜‰

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Oz,
    Referring to your comment earlier about another site.
    I think the significant difference between that mob and on here, is that on AA someone (moi?) can suggest something as radical as a change in management without anyone getting abusive.After all, it is nothing more than one man’s most humble opinion.
    We don’t stop loving The Arsenal, don’t stop attending games, and don’t stop giving full support to players or the manager while they work for our great club.
    As always, that is down to this brilliant site, and huge credit to Peaches and Rasp and the way they manage their flock.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I will always threaten you with a post in your hour of need, but my match reports are…errrr….uncomplicated and a little short on detail πŸ™‚

  19. dandan says:

    Morning Red Arse, are you suggesting we have no high quality players,
    Injuries again have not been kind to us, our new players are beginning to find the net and with our regular keeper playing we would in all probability have won yesterdays game. The headed goal was eminently savable and cost us dear.
    We are conceding an amazing amount of deflections so its no wonder the teams confidence is down, luck will turn and with it confidence and we will be on our way.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Okepoke, its autumnal woodland colour walk season, then down the boozer for roast potatoes and gravy. Have a nice day all.
    Spare a minute’s thoughts at 11:00.

  21. Red Arse says:

    Hi DD,

    Gale’s commenting was extraordinarily poor yesterday.

    It was in such contrast to the ‘old’ Gale who I thought was knowledgeable, interesting and fair minded.

    He had an interest, several years ago, in a young CB he had mentored and he had high hopes of his progress at Arsenal.

    I cannot remember the guy’s name now, unfortunately, but following his demise Gales commentaries have deteriorated viz a vis Arsenal.


    As an addendum: Watching the Remembrance Day eulogies puts the fortunes of Arsenal into perspective, for me!

  22. Lazo says:

    Nowadays,wen i read most blogs,i only lol wit mixd emotions.i tink its typical arsenal Defendin frm d past yrs now,were we ar 3:0 up nd u still get d feelin dat d game is nt yet wonderin were d organizatn we showed at d stat of d season traveld 2.we sure nid 2 plead we (him) 2 com bak cos we r nt goin 2 feelin d soothin relief of our trophy(top 4)wit a dfence shippin nd givin away leads lik dis nd plss wenger plsss splash d cash on quality eyes ar sore frm cryin nd my wrds ar bginin 2 get tired of sayin d same tin all d time.

  23. GiE – good point about whether it’s the system or the players? We were cooing earlier in the season at our defending, was that the system or the players???

    Injuries have caused too much chopping and changing in the back four but I think the players we have are good enough if they keep their heads.

    I decided early on that it was a mistake to make TV captain because I felt that made him undroppable which would cause problems in finding our best centre-back partnership.

  24. Red Arse says:


    It is correct to say that I did not say we have no high quality players.

  25. VCC says:

    2 minutes chaps……….

  26. dandan says:

    Sorry Red Arse on checking back i find that you reposted Rasp’s comment which could be read as us having no high quality players

  27. @ peachesgooner
    Super post, big thanks.

    @ Rasp, 10.20am
    Good question. Am I to presume you might be thinking a 4-4-2 formation might be the way to go rather than the 4-5-1 Wenger obviously prefers (?).

    The main reason Wenger chooses 4-5-1 is because the opposition usually does so. If we play 4-4-2 versus 4-5-1 then we’re a man light in midfield. 4-5-1 is a cautious approach rather than a negative approach.

    The fact is that when Arsenal line up in a 4-5-1, when we attack the formation naturally changes to a 4-4-2; when the attack breaks down we revert to a 4-5-1.
    Therefore it could be argued that we actually play BOTH formations in each and every game.

  28. Fantastic report Peaches. Much as I hate that alchy who runs the mancs he seems to get mediocre players playing well as a team. We can’t get our players doing it as well as them.

  29. Rasp says:

    Thanks Big Al, but 4:5:1 relies on us having wingers = width, we don’t with the current personnel available. 3:5:2 ???

  30. MAX says:

    Those who are blaming bould… I guess bould is not culprit real culprit is arsene and board… They sold song to Barca eventough he has time left in his contract… I still remember wenger quoting we have enough strength in midfiled with daiby coming back…. daiby was replacment for song according to him eventough he knew injury record… We dont have a proper DM to help defenders Mvila would have been great addition but arsene didnt want to spend money…. Arteta does well but we want strong DM like tiote,Mvila or some1 similar to them… I think we need change in the way we handle tranfers…. Arsene sold persie and song and boute giourd,podolski,santi… he boute all the attackers no new DM or any defenders despite arsenal conceding many goals previous season…. We need some change see MANU they dont pay like citeh o chelsea but if player is worth they pay millions… See Brave sir robin he was aviable SAF paid $24M for him look difference he is making in MANU… If we wont buy new players we want be winning anything for coming many years,,, System should change time by time yu cannot run old rules in modern day he player is worth pay more and buy him… Why arsene always got backing from board because everytime he makes profit and finishes in top 4 so they always support him.. I am not asking to sack him he is the best manager in EPL but he has to spend money if we want to win something else players will get frustruated and will leave arsenal.. I hope something gets changed i want old arseanl back 😦 😦

  31. @ Rasp, 11.21
    Thanks for reply.

    You’re correct re wingers.
    I presume therefore you are name-checking Podolski, without naming him πŸ™‚ as a non-winger. If so, I’d agree and I think Arsenal are somewhat lacking due to us not playing a more NATURAL left-winger.

    Give me two out-and-out wingers in a 4-5-1. And preferably wingers that can score goals. What obviously Wenger wants is a wide goalscorer – Podolski, irrespective of whether he isn’t a ‘true’ winger.

    Pires… (sigh).

  32. Rasp says:

    Spot on Big Al, (I named Podolski in my first comment of the day) the problem is that the other winger we have – Theo (even though he wants to play centrally), is on his way so we really need 2 goalscoring wingers if we want to play 4:5:1 effectively.

    I would be very surprised if Theo’s stats don’t make him the most effective wide player in the league.

  33. chas says:

    Cheers, peaches.

    An excellent summary of our frustrations.

    Our season rising like a pheasant from the flames has to start next Saturday against the spuds.

    I’ve no idea why but when I saw this photo it cheered me up this morning.

    This one looks as though Big Ollie has bought a lifesize BFG from the Armoury.
    Olivier Giroud celebrates the 1st Arsenal goal

  34. chas says:

    To answer your question from earlier this morning……I don’t think there were any more empty seats than normal.

  35. Rasp says:

    πŸ˜† chas, I think Mannone may just have put in the performance yesterday that opens the door for AW to bring back Sz against the spuds, and we can only hope that boosts the defence ….. bugger where’s that straw gone, I know it’s here somewhere πŸ™„ …..

  36. glic says:

    Peaches gets all the crap jobs, she deserves a pay rise !. πŸ™‚
    Our worst start under Arsene with a better squad than the Invincibles !. Is Stephen Hawking a gooner ?. Please explain !. hahaha

  37. glic says:

    Apparantly, we have a top medical facility, but buying Harley Street or the London Royal Hospital might have been a better option !.

  38. Rasp says:

    Cesar chose QPR over Arsenal … is that really the level at which we are perceived?

  39. @ MAX
    “Arteta does well but we want strong DM like tiote,Mvila or some1 similar to them”

    Agreed. I’ve said the same on a few different sites, including this one… and I was beginning to think I was alone in the world, ’til I read your post.

    We don’t win possession enough in midfield. A good ‘natural’ defensive-minded midfielder is crucial to the balance of the team, especially against the top sides. Expecting Arteta (et al) to do the job (effectively) is asking too much.

    Viera, Petit, Edu, Gilberto, Flamini… (sigh).

  40. @ Rasp

    “I would be very surprised if Theo’s stats…

    Are you winding me up?:-)

  41. glic says:

    Now you`re being Julius……I mean Jealous !.

  42. Rasp says:

    No Big Al, deadly serious about Theo, I reckon he’s the best wide player in the prem this season statistically in terms of goals and assists.

  43. Rasp says:

    This story of us stumping up Β£30m for Edinson Cavani is complete nonsense., apart from the obvious, he’s just signed a 5 year deal with Napoli……

  44. kelsey says:

    Right finished blow drying my hair and well done peaches on a fine match report. I have said all i want to earlier,. my post next week might upset one or two πŸ™‚

  45. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Some interesting points on various areas. For those that suggest sacking Bould the question has to be is he allowed full freedom to implement what he wants defensively. If he is then yes we can say he is not doing a good enough job, but if he has no control over it then what woul sacking him gain us? The early defensive displays had us all lauding his immediate impact but there are a lot of rumours circulating recently that he is now on extremely restrictive duties. The rumours go further that there is a rift between Wenger and Bould and if this is the case it is likely to be due to a clash of styles and opinion on how the players should be trained or drilled. The worrying aspect of this for me is what does this mean for us over the rest of the season and beyond this. The defending issue is not new (Newcastle, Spurs and I also believe Wigan over the last 3 years) so I cannot buy into the idea that there will be some magical period next season when it will all be ok because we have a more settled squad. If it is indeed Arsenes way or no way, and I am not saying this is actually the case, it would mean that no defensive coach is allowed to do anything different and would mean that the team is in Arsenes image in all areas from defence to attack. Where does that leave us as we consider the next 2-3 years, what conclusions should we as fans draw from this in terms of a solution to what is now a long-standing achilles heal, that if continued will likely prevent us from gaining any silverware. For me our recent history suggests that this is not an issue that will just correct itself and will start to create doubts in other senior players minds. If they start to become disillusioned and start casting envious glances elsewhere then we will stay in the viscous circle and never achieve this moment of a settled squad.

    The big debate about whether our current failings are down to the system and approach or the quality of players we may or may not have is for me the most relevant. I actually believe it is a bit of both. I believe we are 2 possibly 3 players short of having a top squad but also I believe we have players that are better than the results we are achieving currently. I personally agree with those that feel we are too often adopting a square pegs in round holes policy of playing players out of their best positions, and that we are not getting the best performances out of what we have available at present. We have often debated whether we should just back off from any managerial criticism because we just don’t have the resources to compete so no other manager could actually improve us anyway. Many feel we are actually punching above our weight. I think some of you who were at the AGM actually left with the strong inference that there was good money to be spent and that it was all totally within Arsene’s control. If that is the case then it would mean that there is more accountability on our manager than many would like to believe. I have always been pro AW and will think of him as our greatest manager regardless of what unfolds in the near future. When his time does come, as it will anyway regardless of what the team is doing, I hope he remains with us in some capacity. He is Arsenal through and through and we have so much to be grateful to him for. One thing to consider is that there is no way he would deliberately hold Arsenal back. He is always doing what he thinks is the best for the club, so the question is whether his best is now not quite good enough. I have been a fan that for maybe 3 years now has consistently deferred on making a decision on our manager. It has always been next season or after this or that transfer window when he has an opportunity to put things right. We will all have a different time frame in mind as to when final judgement should be considered on whether Arsene can still take us back to winning ways. For me that is not next season. I am looking at this season and what happens in January. I am not saying we need to win the league this year but by the end of the season I want to look at a team that I feel will enter next season as a powerful contender. If all the old failings are still happening as this season comes to a close then I feel hard decisions need to be made.

    Anyway, greetings from sunny Norway, I am just off to watch the Spurs game with my spud-u-like father in law. Please don’t judge me for it. Will try and check back later.

  46. VCC says:

    chas 11:54…….Cheers……it certainly looked that way from the telly.

  47. double98 says:

    Edison Cavani?

    Wenger could buy the Barca squad and not win right now… HE CAN’T COACH a 4-3-3
    it goes against his philosophy

    The defensive lines are a shambles
    Arteta is being marked out of the game
    Ramsay is too slow and ponderous
    Arshavin is doing enough from the bench to justify a start

    Cazorla needs a rest

    Sagna needs the bench – Jenkinson was owning the shirt

    Giroud needs to start upfront with walcott

    Midfield of
    Coquelin (playing base of diamond)
    Arshavin (playing top of diamond)

    Santos should be playing… We’ve lost 2 2 goalleeds without him. Hes crap and poor and all that but at least the rest of the defense knows not to rely on him

    Get eisfeld, gnabry on the bench
    Play Chamakh against tired defenses… hes not effiicent but he’s game

  48. One of the things we haven’t considered is the dreaded stage fright. Some players become bigger and better men when they cross the white line whereas others have been known to be skillful and assured footballers in training and yet just don’t show up for games.

    I heard an interview with Tony Adams recently where he was talking about the current squad and their relationship with AW. He said that he had a conversation with Arsene on the same topic. AW had told him that when he arrived at the club the players he inherited had given him real nightmares Monday to Friday, they disagreed with everything he wanted to change, they were difficult in training and gave him sleepless nights but he knew that on Saturday they took charge on the pitch and he never had to worry about how they played. The current squad are amazing in training and Monday to Friday he has no fears but when they take to the pitch he has no idea what is going to happen!!!!!!!!

  49. Rasp says:

    GoonerB @ 12:53, you talk a lot of sense as usual.

  50. Rasp says:

    Peaches, maybe AW should drop himself from attending all training sessions so that he can only choose his team on the basis of how they perform when it counts on matchday 😳

  51. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just a quick reply to Rasps question earlier, Mancs took Ashley Young off at half time yesterday and put on Hernandez. They kept the 4-4-1-1 formation….who do you think went to play left midfield/wing?

    Yep that’s right Rooney, not a left winger/midfielder but he wanted Hernandezon the pitch and didnt want to change shape. But he alsowantedto keep his best players on the pitch rather than keep a left winger/midfielder on in Young.

    So I think the best players on the pitch rather than best players for the positions can work.

    However I agree we should try and find the best formation for our squad.

    Unfortunately it remains 4-3-3/4-5-1

    Because we haven’t got the staff to play any other way, or if we did play any other way too many of our good players would be kicking their heels on the bench.


    Clearly no Giroud

    But I don’t thinkwe have a left midfielder at the club or really a classic right midfielder.

    Perhaps the better option would be Jenks and Sagna on right and Gibbs and Santos on left. Jack in the middle as he is more accustomed to the fight than Santi and that means no place for Cazorla, unless we stick him up front with Pod. But if you’ve got two wide players keen to cross would you really want Giroud on the bench?

  52. Where is Flamini? Can we get Flamini back, we need a really good utility player and he’s the guy ………

  53. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, that’s a sort of … yes but… no but … yes but, answer πŸ™‚
    Maybe if the quality of the players is high enough you can juggle positions to suit a formation, but if the players aren’t of that quality it is safer to play them in their comfort zone.

  54. On stats, i’d guess Valencia and Dyer both run Walcott close for numbers on PL appearances, but wouldn’t like to say whether its over as many minutes on the pitch.

    But here’s the thing, we have heard for ages that stats are meaning less, Arshavins stats are consistently high but on the pitch he drives a lot of fans to distraction, Theo is no different. Why are Arsenal fans expectations so high?

    Judging by fans reactions at games and reactions to situations on blogs here is a list of expectations:

    Every forward pass should make it through
    The opposition should never attack
    To control the whole game
    To shoot and score from everywhere
    To cross perfectly every time
    To convert every goal scoring chance presented
    To never be out jumped
    To win every tackle

    Ok i may be going a bit over the top, but we do seem to forget their are two teams on a football pitch and expect to still have it all our own way, we have been spoilt, not one of the title winning teams since the Invincibles have come close to playing football with style and ease that they did, and even then we had some dodgy days. We reached nigh on perfection, and in football that is rare and there is only one direction of travel from that lofty height.

  55. True Rasp, I just have no idea how you get the best players on the pitch in any recognisable formation, and maybe this is the problem, with Cesc at the heart of midfield and Arshavin and Nasri we were attempting to find a version of total football, players interchanging with ease and finding space to play.

    Now it seems we have too many players who need to be told where to play.

    On highlights last night Cazorla was chasing down the ball in their half, the ball got played into the space he was not blocking and he looked behind to see not one player had backed him up in the press, he expressed frustration at that point too.

    And for me it all comes down to the intelligence and work ethic of the player, can they react to what others are doing around them or do they continue to play the way they have been asked regardless. I think too many of ours would rather hide behind the excuse of “But i did my job properly”.

  56. chas says:

    The ref couldn’t give the handball because his view was blocked by Tom Huddlestone. πŸ˜†

  57. chas says:

    G.Neville, ‘cheating is wise play’

  58. chas says:

    If the spuds hang on to win it will be Invincibles Day.
    I’m looking for a silva lining and trying to curse the swampies in the same breath.

  59. chas says:

    Everyone must be down the pub having roast potatoes and gravy.

  60. GoonerB says:

    Not me Chas. I am at my father in Laws in Norway watching the game drinking Aquavit. I am on my 3rd one and all of a sudden I don’t feel as bad about yesterday.

  61. @ Rasp
    My point wasn’t about Theo…

    I was referring to the “Chas and Rasp STATS show” that got on my wick the other day! πŸ™‚

  62. Rasp says:

    GiE @ 1:53 …. “Cazorla was chasing down the ball in their half, the ball got played into the space he was not blocking and he looked behind to see not one player had backed him up in the press” ….. absa*****inglutely, we were not pressing as a team. I highlighted this leading up to the game.

    Giroud wastes so much energy pressing only for his teammates to allow the defender an easy pass to get the out of trouble. If every player had worked as hard as Santi yesterday we would have won comfortably.

  63. Adrian says:

    My word, Man City have 4 fullbacks on the pitch at the same time right now.. What a luxury.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    SAF has bought another ref. This chap is awful..

    I hope next weeks ref is watching the cheating of Ade, Lemon and Monkeyboy

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Some player ratings as we haven’t any.

    Mannone. Could have done better with 2nd. 6
    Sagna. Average. 6
    BFG Same. 6
    Kos. Lost form at the moment. 4
    TV. Not a LB. 4
    Coquelin. Anonymous. 5
    Santi. Worked hard and was our main creative force. 7
    Arteta. Perhaps his worst game in the shirt. 4
    Theo. Crossing poor but was dangerous. 7
    Giroud. Never stopped running. Looks like a CF at last. 8
    Pod. Nice goal otherwise absent. 5

    Ramsey. We looked better when he came on. 6
    AA. Not enough time but busy. 6

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Spend the RvP money on Dzeko

  67. jnyc says:

    Rasp, if u consider how few minutes, and count all competitions, theos stats must be great.

  68. Adrian says:

    Heard that City might offload Dzeko or Balotelli in the coming windows.. Getting dzeko might actually show a sign of intent of competing again.

  69. Neamman says:

    We need to look at why our injuries are so bad and persistent. perhaps Diaby can never fully recover from that shocking ankle break. A pity because when on form he is excellent. CVoquelin was so so yesterday but I like him as a squad player. I wish AW would take the attitude that every game I put a youngster on [circumstance pemitting of course] with 10-15 minutes to go. Give them game time.
    For all that yesterday was a huge improvment on recent games, at times we loked like a top 4 team easily, at least going forward. Giroud is going to be a 20 goal man on this form.

  70. Thats a nasty one….and not one that Suarez actually tried to do…..

  71. Bad news about terrry. He’s still breathing

  72. chas says:

    Fat Sam’s team just about to go above us

  73. chas says:

    gm, don’t you feel sorry for him?

  74. We’re below West Ham

  75. Terry got ruined!!!


  76. tomstoned says:

    finally we have reached to ambition of our owner and board :)and let be honest wenger is no longer the man to bring us forward..lets use the money in the bank to get pep..
    this disaster has to stop..NOW !
    we cant blame the players for running around like headlesss chickens…its Wengers fault
    and the main flause—we as a club do match our Owners and his henchman gazidis ambitions….
    full stop..and the rest of you can keep coming up with always..
    turn the other cheek…yeah right..

  77. tomstoned
    We’ll see how pep does. I think he’s untested.

  78. tomstoned says:

    agree to a certain point of pep being untested,but was wenger tested when he arrived from Japan ?..
    would pep bring back the enthusiasm..Yes he will,would pep attract players Yes of course he will..
    what is very clear to see,Wenger isnt the man anymore,you can blame players all you want..our team is Wengers making..
    me ideally..bring in Usmanov and pep..
    but of course now im doing like hilly woody said thank you for taking interest in our business…

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Tom. You know we love you but why dΓ³ you only come here when things are not so good?

    It must be the cold weather up North

  80. tomstoned says:

    Big Raddy
    Thx..and i hope its the cold weather mate,one reason for me not being on all the time is work related ,but thats no excuse,and usually when the season start well im not negative at all,and i never ever blame players,but be honest Big Raddy,this is not working and im kinda sick and tired of Gooners blaming players..blame the man who tell them what to do..and buying Big Raddy..think of it had we only kept the players we have sold we wouldt be all over the place demanding new players eh ?..
    since Kroenke arrived and Dein left we have been going backwards..we both remeber the good old boring Arsenal..we’re not much better now..and we really should be Big Radddy,
    what is clear to me is..the ambition of the Owner and board are having a deadly seeps to all Our club..
    wenger well a man can only do so much..he has been a legend ..but its time for him to go mate..
    we tend to blame everyine else than the people who are to blame..look at hilly woody f.ex can you believe that man ?
    its time we have the money now to make a change..dont waste them on buying new players..get pep in..
    time for a change..and pep would do it for me..
    sorry for being so negative..and remeber its only my opinion..i dont claim to know all..nor do i claim that my solutions are the best Big Raddy.but as a fellow Gooner..dont shoot me down for only in my opinion wanting the best for OUR club.

  81. tomstoned says:

    and as yesterday..Gooners go on to blame the players..i thought Giroud was immense..i thought our structure as a team was awful..i saw Ramsay running aroud like he had no idea..why isnt players played in their i dont think that playing players out of position does them any good at all…as we have seen over and over again..can you please xplain Big Raddy…are wenger the only man not to see this..selling and buying..the best teams seems to keep their players together for a longer period..
    and dont say that we had has been poor management who have led to these sales maybe cesc is excused..but remember he had a very long time left on his you think cesc would have stopped playing if he wasnt sold..nope i think he would just have had to grow a pair and play on..being a man..
    im tired of this no longer very enthusiastic..i dont care much if we lose or win anymore..and just listen to the crwod at emirates Big Raddy..its not buzzing..then again people like you and me pretty uch cant afford to go there i guess..its not that important..

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Drawing at home with a team 13th in the league….there’ll be Chavs slitting their wrists tonight!

  83. Or they’ll blame it on Terry getting injured.

  84. During the commentary they noted that Chavs made a profit for the first time in the Abramovich era in 11-12, if thats not a sign that FFP is going to be implemented I don’t know what else is.

    Apparently Chavs Directors have also voted for its introduction in to the PL rules too, although others are not so sure, wonder who that might be?

  85. kelsey says:

    For all the negativity seen around these past few weeks by many, including myself I honestly don’t see an answer. I think many agree that NOW we have had the best of Wenger but what would any other manager do faced with the same restrictions.

    Football being a business is also a gamble.You bring in players that are untested in the Pl and in Wenger’s own words most need a good 6 month settling in period.Then you have the youngstes of which very few that come to the clb as kids actually progress to top flight regular football but most can at least earn a living in the lower league.

    Then RVP. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and many felt hurt at his departure but he had a fantastic season for us and it appears he is still doing it at United. letting him go at the end of this season may have been an alternative having his quality to ensure CL and not helping our rivals who we sold him to possibly win the PL .If we don’t get top four we lose the equvalent of his fee, though it may not be the best example as i am sure there were other circumstances.

  86. LB says:

    That is a top quality match report.

    I echo Rasp’s comment that if all the team worked as hard at chasing back as Cazorla did yesterday we would have won by some distance.

    He was out best player by a long way. MOTM.

  87. Kelsey I touched on this yesterday with Raddy, but is there any point qualifying for CL if we can’t win it?

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ROLF GiE,
    I think that’s the doomiest comment ever on here. Might as well enter the Championship πŸ™‚

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spuds losing is nice. Hopefully Bale is playing in Bolivia or Burma perhaps on wednesday πŸ™‚

  90. LB says:


    I can’t remember the context but the answer to your question above surely must be yes as the financial benefits from simply qualifying are substantial, are they not?

  91. LB says:

    Hahahaha GIE is a doomer. Lol

  92. Shard says:

    Hello all,

    I still haven’t managed to watch the second half of the match, but at least I was right about us going 2-0 up yesterday πŸ™‚ I don’t know what to make of this Arsenal team and I’m not going to try anymore. Just going to watch the football, and cheer on my team all I can. That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues I’d want addressed. I still think the next 2 transfer windows are very very important for the club. Not least because I think the fanbase needs an injection of belief. I firmly am of the view that having fans who believe and push a team on, has a positive effect on the way the team plays. Oh well, that’s for another day.

    Oh and GIE,
    As regards being in the CL and why it’s important, I recommend reading this piece from the end of last season by Tim at 7amkickoff.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think poor GiE didn’t get a table at the brilliant pub of his. No roast potatoes and gravy make Exile angry man.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I had a long discussion on that very subject on the train home yesterday. Conclusion was that we cannot afford to be without it, and I’m not talking about the Β£20m you get from being in it, rather the potential loss of income from corporate might be crippling to our very fragile breakeven business. Bare in mind we’ve run out of properties to flog.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This is all a bit heavy for a sunday evening. Was expecting something with a light foam on top 😦

  96. tomstoned says:

    point in qualifying for the CL..where have you been the last seven years mate ?
    its the sole ambition of Our club and its as everything we do motivated by money…dont act surprised πŸ˜‰
    ill tell you straight up man….the only happy people at Asrenal these days are kroenke and his regime…after all its really not our business now is it..??
    we’re not important to Arsenal..are you having a laugh..c’mon be honest we’re only there to pay up our hard earned hilly woody made all to clear..

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Firstly, welcome back from the cold end.
    I have good news. I’ve been thinking while lying on the sofa.
    I have unearthed an alternative to us having to oil up and get Usmanov in. We get the players and staff to all sport waxed pointy moustaches, and wear very long shorts. Then……we go amateur.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really think we could clean up in an amateur league. Trophies Galore πŸ™‚

  99. tomstoned says:

    MickyDidIt89 πŸ˜‰
    works for me least the enthusiasm would be back eh ?..better than making a lot of cash for some American footy lover..

  100. Shard says:


    While I agree there are issues with the team, and perhaps some issues at the club, what exactly do you mean by your statements? Do you have a problem with Arsenal being a business? Arsenal was a business even when the Invinvibles were playing, and long before that. How exactly are the club’s owners robbing us? They take no dividends, they (with the exception of Gazidis) do not draw heavy salaries, they haven’t put debt on the club, and haven’t taken the money out in any way. It’s just that their judgment of when they can spend the money, and on what, has differed from yours. That doesn’t equate to robbing us. It’s a completely different argument there.

    As for ambition, aiming to be self sustaining, building up a team from its academy, organically growing the club’s infrastructure, as well as commercial revenue, while staying competitive through the years of relative restrictions, sounds like high ambition to me. Perhaps too much so.

    In any case, you might ask what Dein and co were doing to increase our commercial revenues when we were still at the top? The stinginess of current times also has to do with the necessity brought upon by lack of action at earlier times.

    We were always playing catch up with ManU, and since Chelsea and now ManCity have entered the fray, there is no way to catch up, except with FFP. If that works, we’ll have cash on hand, and (hopefully) larger income through new commercial deals. If it doesn’t work and a sugar daddy is the only way to go, a happy balance sheet and healthy financial status, will help us get a buyer interested easier. Of course the buyer could just go the LBO route a la the Glazers, or lose interest eventually and sell all our assets, but that is the huge risk involving every club in the benefactor model, and why I’d hope that the FFP works and the non-business model is forced to be reined in.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can you imagine the advantages. We could refer to every single team in the football league as Chavs.

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “American footie lover”
    I’m not convinced he knows what a football ball is!

  103. tomstoned says:

    i know we have different opinions and thats all well,but claiming we arent robbed thats abit to out there..IF if Kroenke decides to sell up much do you personally and the shareholders would have earned ?..its big business mate pushing the shares value do one do that..?..well look at Arsenal and there you see the perfect example..its been done over and over againg in the business world mate..

  104. Shard says:


    uh-oh. Amateur football? Cue statements about how our defenders are already in training for it πŸ™‚

  105. Gooner In Exile says:

    Glad I’ve amused some…I’ve actually had a good day, and a lovely home cooked beef bourbignon courtesy of the wonderful cook that is Mrs Exile coupled with a large glass of Single Vineyard Rioja that I adore. The rest of the bottle was used in the marinade but that’s no bad thing.

    But maybe Micky the adjective poor is most suitable as all the fluff above was accompanied with a few financial issues of raising a future Gooner πŸ™‚

    In truth I know the finances and Shard that article is fantastic for setting it out, but in reality what do we the fans get? One good’ish home tie, two rather dull ones and if we are lucky a couple of knockout ones against better teams. Is there anyone in the current squad who wouldn’t have come if there had been no CL football? Perhaps Arteta, not because he thinks he deserves it but because if he had the option of non CL Arsenal and non CL Everton he probably would have stated where he was.

    Now my question is serious in as much as would we all prefer to sit a season out, keeping the current squad (because let’s be honest how many can “demand” CL football) and trying to have a bit of a run without the burden (physical and mental) of midweek games on the squad?

    We can ask for all the other managers you like, but not many would take this job, not the level of pressure on Arsene to achieve CL qualification with the money he is given to spend. He does it because he loves the club and its sad that so many don’t see it.

    When you earn 6 figure sums it doesn’t take too many years to actually set yourself up for life, he probably could have left any time he wanted over the last 7 years is anyone that egotistical that they take the grief and abuse dished out to them, I’m not sure they are.

  106. Do you think anyone would mind if we borrowed Yossi, Song and that dutchman for the spud game on Saturday, I remember them being rather unfluential at our last encounter πŸ™‚

  107. tomstoned says:

    as of our ambition Shard as You as well as me clearly got when hilly woody just answered it staright forward…you heard it i heard it..lets agree..we’re not in this to play football..we’re in it to make money and oh dear..if we should rise our voice and demand success on the pitch eh πŸ˜•

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    While I agree with much of what you say, I think you need to give Tomstoned time to thaw out.
    He’s just been at The North Bloody Pole for a month, surviving on nothing but Aquavit, while sticking thermometers up slightly irritable polar bears’ arses.

  109. Maybe we could start a rumour that AVB is about to be approached for the Portugal national team πŸ™‚

  110. Shard says:


    Yes, but Kroenke hasn’t done that in any of his other sports businesses. The board could also have sold out to Usmanov at a higher price but chose not to. Fiszman, instead of leaving his shares in the trust for his children, decided that Arsenal’s future would be served better with Kroenke than Usmanov.

    Greedy Kroenke? Perhaps (though his record doesn’t suggest that’s his modus operandi) Greedy board? I don’t see how that fits the facts,
    Besides, if Kroenke does decide to sell out to make a profit, you’d most likely get your benefactor in. So I don’t see how you can really complain about the possibility of it happening, while wanting it to happen.

  111. tomstoned says:

    finally Shard Please explain to me why it is…that players doesnt seem to know what to do out on the pitch..who is responsible for playing players constantly out of position and one litte last you think that you can build a succesful team by selling or buying players as an resort of income..great teams build on their best players they doesnt sell em..and why do you think that is ?

  112. kelsey says:

    Anyone read yogi today on ACLF. A very pro Wenger blog has been rapidly changing about all aspects of the club .he makes a good point that not losing is not the issue we need a run of wins otherwise we finish between 55 and 60 points which last year was eigth position.

  113. Gooner In Exile says:

    When anyone talks about Dein I am always reminded he would have had all Gooners traipsing off to Wembley on a Saturday afternoon and midweek…..

  114. kelsey says:

    not quite correct about Fiszman. his kids didn’t want them, he didn’t want to sell to Usmanov so sold to kroenke.

  115. Shard says:


    What did PHW spell out as regards our ambition? In any case, an AGM is about the business side of things. As Chairman of the board, his job is to focus on the business side of things. It’s as if business and profit has become a dirty word. How do you think Arsenal won the trophies we did in the Premier League era, if not by outspending the majority of other teams? That’s why making money is so important.

  116. kelsey says:

    Micky wants something with a light foam on top . Any suggestions ?

  117. Kelsey my League projection still puts us finishing on 62 points, Spuds on 59. Our points amassed in the last two games is precisely the same as the same games last season…1.

    So the question is will WBA or Everton continue their runs? Because they are the only two clubs with a realistic chance of upsetting the top 4.

  118. Shard says:

    I wasn’t aware his kids didn’t want the shares. I would have expected his kids would be happier to sell to the highest bidder (unless they were Arsenal fans too and had a position on it). Anyway, I accept your contention, but the fact remains that Fiszman still decided to sell to Kroenke over Usmanov, as did the rest of the board (with the exception of Dein) They all could have gotten paid more.

  119. Kelsey who would his kids have sold to?

  120. kelsey says:

    Anyway word has it that james arthur will win the X Factor πŸ™‚

  121. kelsey says:

    GIE, it wasn’t just his kids it was his wife primarily.i can’t answer your question,but I still believe he sold to kroenke not that he was the right man but because he didn’t want the russian to have his shares. I suppose we will never really know what happened in the boardroom with lady nina as well.

  122. tomstoned says:

    Shard and partially MickyDidIt..
    c’mon im not here to try to convince you lot of anything,i listen carefully to your opinions and explanations,and on more than one occasion i have agreed and been able to see and agree with your views…im never unreasonable or rude..
    maybe we in Norway have a special outlook on life…which i seriously doubt ;)since we’re doing qquite good..
    im always just being guessing im not alone..
    well ill better go out into the big white nothinglessness again ..have a grea Sunday..all Gooners..

  123. Shard says:


    Missing out on CL would be as close to disaster as possible. It’s not just the finances. It’s the associated lack of exposure and prestige. Moreover, I don’t think it’s so easy to get back into it. Many players would refuse to join. Cazorla’s club got CL for the first time this season (and are through to the knockouts), Giroud’s team was in the CL for the first time. Ditto with Gervinho. None of those players could legitimately have said they were taking a step up if Arsenal were not in the CL. They could have waited for another year and other teams to come in. It’s not something which bears thinking about. Combined with the fact that our new deals are up for renewal, any loss of visibility would affect the money we get. For a club already needing every bit it can get its hands on to compete with oil rich clubs, loss of revenue on that scale could lead to a constant state of midtableness.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One thing Tom,
    We are not going to find anone to put up Β£600m and not expect them to realize a profit at some point. We are not a charity, and frankly, unless the fans are about to have a whip round, there’s no option.

  125. Shard says:


    for someone who only saw snow for the first time in his conscious memory last winter in the UK, the great white ‘nothinglessness’ seems pretty exciting to me πŸ™‚

    You have a good Sunday too. It’s close to bed time for me.

  126. kelsey says:


    you maybe right but our beloved chairman stated at the beginning of last season that it wouldn’t be a disaster for one season.Sorry i can’t find the quote right now.
    I seriously doubt we will make it this season, but don’t misunderstand me, i am not wishing it on the club.

  127. tomstoned says:

    Usmanov and pep would do just fine..why not try to make that deal ?instead of just floating around like a half dead fish..unable to do anything..
    changes are some times needed to keep it vibrant…

  128. Shard says:


    I believe you are right in that he said it. He’s hardly going to say ‘we’re doomed’. I don’t think he lied either. We can survive it. One, maybe even two seasons. We wouldn’t go bankrupt or be relegated even if it extended beyond that. But to rise to the elite table again would be much much more difficult.

  129. tomstoned says:

    the big white nothinglessness is overated mate..heck you could even end up like me ;)..god forbid !
    sleep well..

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am reconsidering my position on you.
    You revealed earlier that you are a man that uses a hair dryer!
    While my daughter says I look like a hedge, there are limits πŸ™‚

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    One question on this sugar daddy thing.
    It was Rocky, I think, who said that in Germany clubs are not allowed to operate at a loss. Does this mean they can take on a sugar daddy with no fear of him dumping debt or using the club as security.
    In other words, are they safe?

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Tom. Why not Mourinho – he wants to return to London, and however foul he is, the man is a winner. Plus he doesn’t need any more money.


    I was at the game yesterday, but i dont want about our desperate need for a couple of world class players or talk about our tactical deficiencies.

    Instead i want to focus on our inevitable rise to the top. Our current malaise is just another outcome of the move 7 years ago.

    We have shifted from project youth to a more balanced and experienced set up. This takes time, and there is nothing you, i, or anbody else can do about it. In the past i have often been hesitent to use the word “Paitence” because i know people are sick of it, but from now on i dont give a damn.

    We are very very close to the kind of squad we want. In a few years we should be up there in terms of both quantity of player depth and just as importantly, quality.

    The Road has taken us to this point, and it is sometimes just before the destination has been reached that people will crack or falter, indeed, it can be the hardest part of the journey.

    In the next few years we will remodel our financial structure, keep our best players, sign players of quality, and start giving our oppenents a good beating.

    Its all about strategy. Place your selve in a position which is painful, requires the paitence of a Saint, and demands courage. Then break out like the Devil and take whats yours.

    “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring”

  134. kelsey says:

    I respect your views Terry, but I can’t agree especially with kroenke at the helm. Anyway I will put it in a post this week as promised.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Were we still Amateur in the thirties?

  136. kelsey says:

    I am off to watch HOMELAND and try and relax πŸ™‚

    As for you micky, have you never heard of the hair dryer treatment πŸ™‚

  137. Shard, both Suarez and Vertoghnen have left CL teams (well Ajax) to come play for non CL teams. It is more than possible.

    Tiote left CL football at Twente to come play for the Toon, like i say anything is possible

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn it. Must disconnect as I’m trying to work.
    Nite all.

  139. Shard says:


    You’re always an uplifter of spirits πŸ™‚

    I still think the club needs to be a little more flexible about their original plan. I mean, let’s face it, the payoff has already been delayed due to the unexpected rise of Chelsea and ManCity when we’d planned the stadium move. I for one am willing to be patient, but I fear a growing number of people are not (and here I note your point about the final stretch being the hardest)

    If that number keeps growing, a sense of malaise would set in, which would be tough to dispel regardless of the Ghosts of the Thirties making a return. Most people will not come to see Shoeless Joe and the rest of the Black Sox play despite Arsene and the board having built the field. And those that do, will only do so with cynicism. I really feel we need some signings in January and next summer to augment this squad, and if some adjustments need to be made in the budgets for that, then so be it. We need a spark, both for the team, and for the fans.

  140. VCC says:

    Terry you said we were going to get there this year……now you are saying in a couple of years…….

    Your positivity is admirable.

  141. Shard says:


    Of course it is possible. And I recognise that players play, primarily, for money. If we offer more money, we’ll more likely than not, get a player (although simply more money isn’t enough, it has to be substantially more to overcome certain other factors that a player might favour elsewhere) When you consider that lots of our targets have apparently been hijacked by wealthier clubs, I’d rather not add another factor to that. I don’t think it’s impossible to climb out of not finishing in the CL spot. I just think it’s much tougher.

    Besides, the only CL match I’ve ever been to was the Milan game at home last season. The atmosphere was just brilliant. I know it isn’t like that all the time, but nights like that make it worth it for the fans too. Or at least it is for me. I think we’ll get CL again next year too.

  142. Shard says:

    And whatever people might think of our squad, we are competing for players with clubs in the top bracket, Maybe not at the top end of that bracket, but still within the top bracket. Spurs and Newcastle purchase players in a market which is slightly at a lower level. There is less intense competition for the players mentioned, than there is for the players we get. And that is because we are in the CL.

    I’d rather remain in that top bracket than be where Spurs are. πŸ™‚

  143. Neamman says:

    Maybe we should follow Rangers example and go to League 2. Thats a guaranteed 3 trophies over the next three years and our travelling fans would give lower league clubs a huge financial boost!!

  144. Rasp says:

    Here’s a sobering stat from yesterdays game…

    Tackle success: Arsenal 62.5%; Fulham 85.7%

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    You don’t believe in stats Rasp 😈

    More worrying are the following:

    Clearances : 6 of 18 vs 20 of 37
    Headed Clearances : 6 of 18 vs 12 of 18
    Interceptions : 12 vs 18

  146. Rasp says:

    Haha GiE,

    I do believe in stats, just not their interpretation πŸ˜•

    We don’t look particularly good in any of the stats except crosses where we made 39 compared to their 16

  147. Rasp says:

    Mind you GiE, your stats widget leaves me baffled; Arsenal still predicted to be in 4th but with only 62 points – how come?

  148. LDP says:

    All the off the pitch issues aside, against fulham we conceded two goals that should 100% have been stopped by the goalkeeper, thats where the game was lost, nothing to do with formation or tactics, ok defending was poor in parts but we had by far the best of the second half and overall, as well as fulham played in the first half, we did enough going forwards to win…but thats irrelevant when you concede two extremely soft goals.

    Luckily szczesny is nearing return and its just as important that we get gibbs back because TV doesn’t look comfortable at left back, but more comfortable than santos.

    On the plus side Giroud was immense, he was great in defence, took his chances in front of goal and worked his socks off pressing the ball, hopefully there is more of that to come.

    Walcott has to be tied to a contract, he is so important to the way arsenal play, he helps stretch the game and he really is becoming a genuine goal threat, if he is allowed to leave serious questions have to be asked about who is allowing that, AW or the board

  149. weedonald says:

    Peaches…..overly negative and pessimistic post, but there is definitely an issue with our ability to show consistency defensively. As well, we have, as yet to find the right combination of scoring prowess like we had last season. However there are still 20 games to go in the League and after watching Chelsea tie Liverpool and Manure almost falter, it is clear that they will drop a few more points as well. We seem to have the talent but with too many injured and too many having inconsistent form, it will take time for us to reach our top gears.

  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Last season Rasp i wrote this post around a similar time to now using the same projection method.

    My swingometer projection predicted we would finish 3rd as did the cumulative method. Ok Liverpool winning the league might have been a tad off the mark πŸ™‚

    But the reason we are showing 4th still despite losing ground on last seasons like for like games is no one else has shown enough of a positive swing to get in the top 4, Spuds have lost points, and despite everyone claiming WBA and Everton to be the bright young things they amassed 18 points in the same games last season and it can be argued that their current league position is down to timing of games rather than any real improvement.

    Anyway have a look at my little table and laugh heartily at the work that Rodgers is doing at Liverpool, 10 points worse off than from the same games last season, and Dalgliesh couldn’t hold his job down.

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Have we really got too many injured? Diaby, Gibbs, Rosicky, Szczesny, Ox and Gerv..only one of those is a guaranteed big game starter. It’s not like the bench is made up of kids even now, it’s what squads are for.

  152. RockyLives says:

    Top notch report.
    I didn’t see the game (but the kindly patrons of AA kept me informed in real time) and I have watched the goals (and the non-goal in the final minute 😦 )

    I thought the BFG did a great job of blocking off Hangeland to let OG score the first.

    And I could not believe Berba’s goal. He was standing in the six yard box marked by the vertically charged Sagna who was NOT GOAL SIDE. Shockingly bad.

    What do we do about it all? I can’t add anything to this comment from Shard:
    “I don’t know what to make of this Arsenal team and I’m not going to try anymore. Just going to watch the football, and cheer on my team all I can.”

    Sorry I’ve not been around much lately – just a bit busy. I’ll be able to spend more time after Wednesday.

  153. RockyLives says:

    *vertically challenged

  154. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Just one quick question which may require several answers.

    What do you think Kroenke’s ultimate aim is to passify all the supporters ?

  155. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. What makes you think Kroenke cares about the fans or should I say customers?

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey,
    At the moment there is not too much of a problem for him, yes the cracks are appearing. Slightly, but not dangerously, too many empties against Schalke, and from what I saw on saturday, a few too many empty boxes which is more worrying. The ST waiting list is much shorter, but it does exist (but no longer in Club).
    However, a home win against Spurs and 4 poins from Villa and Everton and all will be well.
    If however results don’t improve, my suggestion to Stan would be to give Arsene serious money to buy a bums-on-seats type of big name player.

  157. kelsey says:

    Morning Both.

    I didn’t mean that.I meant do you think he is in it long term, will he actually invest or sell out or just sit tight.
    As far as i understand none of his his American ownerships actually win trophies yet they make profits ( I think).my conclusion is that regardless that we are a football club his main interest is to make money and not too bothered about success on the field.

  158. Big Raddy says:

    Think you are right Micky. If Theo goes it will not appease the fans to buy another 12m player. What about someone like Di Maria at RM

    Thinking of which, here is an early morning straight after a hot cup of coffee joke

    Real Madrid 4 Surreal Madrid Fish

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And morning Raddy,
    I do think your Maureen suggestion was foul, vulgar, tasteless and very uncalled for πŸ™‚
    To say nothing of the fact that the egotistical twat is currently on 14m a year, on top of needing a start up budget of Β£80m wherever he goes.

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Why do you think his main interest is to make money. I see no evidence of this.
    Sporting institutions are not the best places to do this when you have 600m.

  161. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Kroenke had never been to a “soccer game” prior to buying AFC. He has no interest whatsoever in the sport. – of course it is about money

    He identified an undervalued company, bought his shares and will sell in the next 18 months at a huge profit.

    But, if AFC’s standing drops and we fail to get CL or a trophy then his asset reduces in value.

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. It was a shallow jibe aimed at Tom though I do think he would make AFC winners

  163. kelsey says:

    That’s exactly what i think,then my conclusion is that regretfully it happens.

  164. Gooner In Exile says:

    It is difficult to compare sporting achievement in US with the UK, it’s a different beast as RA has pointed out before.

    Salary caps, no transfer fees, no requirement to develop their own talent (college system), shared revenues merchandising and TV.

    Finding the right coach who assembles the right group of players is how you achieve success, it can’t be bought.

    He has no history of day to day interference he makes money from it in other ways. For example he owns the buildings in which two of his teams play, meaning he can charge rent. Lets hope he doesn’t want to buy Ashburton Grove and do the same. Would be a way of putting money in the club and him guaranteeing a revenue stream.

    He has ticket selling operations that I’m sure he will use for AFC when Ticketmaster contract is up. All ways of what the US calls “sweating the badge”. Perhaps most importantly he 100% owns the Internet media business of Arsenal, and as we are seeing with terrestrial TV that is the future. Especially when it comes to selling the product around the world.

    Does any of this benefit Arsenal, not really but it doesn’t hamper our existing revenues at the moment and he won’t need to take the money out.

    The worst thing is the stalemate between Usmanov and Kroenke, whilst the impasse remains there is no interest for either party in increasing the value of AFCshares if either want 100% control of the club. If Usmanov was acting in our (the fans) best interests he would negotiate a sale price with Kroenke.

    As Usmanov is such a fan he will obviously offer Arsenal and us the fans some light relief by sponsoring kit and stadium for previously unheard of figures when Emirates deals expire. No he won’t, I know, but a fan would even if they didn’t own the club…..

    Here’s the long and short though, why should either man put money in…without taking money out.

  165. Gooner In Exile says:

    And Kroenke hasn’t sold a sports interest yet (except those forced to due to NFL sports).

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good comment GiE.
    If we like the current “sustainable model”, isn’t SK the ideal owner?

  167. Gooner In Exile says:

    And finally I couldn’t give a rats arse, I never did before and the only reason i do now is because people want to make it an issue . We were always self sustaining, Shareholders have always made their money by increase in value rather than relatively peppercorn salaries. Even the directors who we think had our best interests at heart.

  168. LB says:

    How about this one:

    Is there a perfect owner of a football club?

  169. LB says:

    Morning Micky

    I didn’t notice your last comment, it sort of makes mine redundant.

  170. Shard says:

    Morning All,
    How goes it?

    Exactly. The comparison with Kroenke’s US teams is unrealistic. And I have no doubt that Kroenke is in it for the money. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As you said, I think he’ll look to make money through other means rather than sell shares. He hasn’t said much, but he has said they’re in it for the long haul, and I don’t think he’s lying.

    Also why do people assume Usmanov will just put money in the club? He hasn’t ever actually said so, has he? If he was going to run the club in a money-no-object manner, he’d already have made Kroenke an offer he can’t refuse, and then be splurging on player wages and purchases.

    Kroenke hasn’t sold any interest in any sports team. (He transferred the shares to his son) And among all his clubs, we are the club with the biggest global outreach, in the biggest market (London), with massive potential to grow further in various different ways (online business, global tours, partnerships etc) There is no way Kroenke is selling his stake in Arsenal.

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, it looks like we all agree. Bit dull, but very sensible πŸ™‚

  172. Rasp says:

    I agree with everyone πŸ™‚

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Another point. If we were to expect SK to fork out cash for players, then he becomes a sugar daddy rather than a share owner (albeit a majority one).
    Therefore, I ask the question, is Sullivan at W’ham a sugar daddy, and the answer is yes. So what we would be saying is that we want SK to put SOME money in ,but not so much as to appear too oily.
    Cake and eating spring to mind with regards to that line of thinkng.

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In conclusion, I think and always have, that SK is a good owner. He does not dabble in the managers affairs, keeps a low profile, has a history of being in the sporting business in the long term, and allows his board and staff to get on with things.

  175. kelsey says:

    That is very enlightening GIE. So if we presume all these things happen and bring extra revenue to the club will it be partly invested on the field

    .that is what i magine many fans would ask.

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I agree with Micky πŸ™‚

  177. kelsey says:

    and has a toupee πŸ™‚

    I hate the word deadwood but I wonder how much we are losing on players transfer fees be they minimal but above all wages on a weekly basis.i bet the fiqure is huge even if the reported figures have been blown out of proportion.

  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t understand why you say, re SK and AU, that there is no interest for either party to increase the value of their shares.

  179. Rasp says:

    πŸ˜† Micky, we shouldn’t need a SD, we need something (a special player, a change at the top?) to envigorate the club so we can shake off the ‘same old Arsenal’ tag. I want journalists to start their reports with ‘This new look Arsenal’ not have to paw over stats to try to find a logical explanation for underperforming with what we’ve got.

  180. Shard says:


    The revenue that is brought to the club will be invested on the field or on infrastructure. The revnue that KSE earns will not. For example, if the online ticketing rights are bought by KSE, they will pay Arsenal for that. What they then make off of it, will not go to Arsenal’s coffers. Could KSE bleed us dry through stuff like that? Absolutely. But Arsenal’s well being also affects KSE’s well being. So they will (or should) look to balance their direct interests with their indirect interests (ie Arsenal’s interests)

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talking of stats, I saw your stat-exchange with GiE. We put in 39 crosses.
    Really !!
    How many of those resulted in scoring opportunities? 3?

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB asked

    Is there a perfect owner of a football club?

    The Venkys? Gaydamak, Antonov, Chanrai? Craig Whyte?

  183. chas says:

    Isn’t GIE saying that while there is a stalemate with both wanting 100% ownership, there is no incentive to increase the vale of AFC shares because it would then cost more for them to buy the other out?

  184. chas says:

    Has everyone seen this? Strong stuff.

  185. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t know what he meant πŸ™‚
    However, that may be his point if either do want to own 100% I guess.

  186. Red Arse says:

    Morning Peeps, πŸ™‚

    I have enjoyed reading the back comments and was particularly taken with Shard’s patient responses to Tomstoned.

    But the best and clinching comment came from GIE;

    — ” And finally I couldn’t give a rats arse, I never did before and the only reason i do now is because people want to make it an issue . We were always self sustaining, Shareholders have always made their money by increase in value rather than relatively peppercorn salaries. Even the directors who we think had our best interests at heart.”

    Right to the heart of it! πŸ™‚

  187. chas says:

    Well that was what he said……
    “The worst thing is the stalemate between Usmanov and Kroenke, whilst the impasse remains there is no interest for either party in increasing the value of AFCshares if either want 100% control of the club.”

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky Chas has answered for me πŸ™‚

    At present the shares are worth Β£x we are almost in a game of poler to see who folds first, when the value falls who has most to lose (Kroenke) but will Usmanov cut his losses before then, and only then we have to hope he sells to Kroenke otherwise we will be in the same mess.

  189. Rasp says:

    Morning all, time to vent your positivity πŸ˜†

    …. New post …..

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks GiE and Chas. Understanding now.

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