The Mole. Can Benitez finish the Job?

Doesn’t seem that long ago since Terry hit the dirt and watched as Brave Sir Robin danced away from him. Happy Days.

And what chance of a repeat today? Well, we did it against the Cave Dwellers so why not against Chelsea? I know, I know – lightning doesn’t strike twice but in a world of infinite probabilities, it does!

Both teams are going through an inconsistent patch. Chelsea’s home loss to QPR was inexplicable but so was ours at Bradford. We have both lost at home to Swansea. The main difference being that Chelsea have a squad which cost at least double Arsenal’s and a bottomless pit of money to overcome any problems; they also sack managers with alarming regularity.

Benitez. Why? What kind of incompetent signed this man? How can Chelsea employ a manager who a few years previously publicly stated his dislike of the manner in which they do business? Bizarre. But one must be impressed by they way Rafa is doing his best to destroy the club, a loss or draw to us and Swansea will see the Chavs out of the CC and with no chance of winning the PL. Perhaps he is on a huge earner from the Northern Oilers. Fairplay to the man!

Unknown-1

Do you think it is to Arsenal’s advantage to have Arteta injured for a while? Could the midfield of Diaby, JW and Santi function more cohesively? Admittedly, we only have a reduced Swansea to compare and today will be a far sterner test, but I believe this will become our first choice midfield (though how long Diaby can stay fit is impossible to predict). None of them are Β defensive players but both JW and Diaby are strong in the tackle. Concentration will be the key and a full awareness of who ventures forward . For this reason I would play and Β extra MF – either Coquelin or Ramsey, both of whom played wellΒ on Wednesday.

For this reason having Koscielny out is also positive, BFG’s lack of pace requires hime to sit deeper! I must say, I am worried about Ba, he is in fine form and loves scoring against us. Furthermore, the excellent wingers at Chelsea will cause major problems to both Sagna and Gibbs.

Runners & Riders:

chavs v arse

Of course, playing a 4-4-2 is not Wengerball, but I doubt AW will start the game with Giroud upfront and he is unlikely to trust Ox in a game where we will be under the cosh.

Stamford Bridge is a strange place, an uglier ground it would be hard to find, but then it has to house some of the ugliest fans in world football. If one were to make a League of teams with the ugliest fans Chelsea would get a Champions League slot every season, Stoke would win the Prem most years πŸ™‚

Today’s English Explorer is from the Days of Yore, and one of England’s Finest. Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618). An aristocrat and favourite of QE1, he is best known for his colonisation of North America and the introduction of tobacco to England and the world (how costly has that been?). His first colony was in Virginia where tobacco was harvested Β – it got the Royal Seal from Her Maj and thus became the famous Royal Virginia tobacco.

He discovered Guyana and explored East Venezuala. His ship was the first Ark Royal which was a gift from QE1.

Unknown

Top Bloke. Full Set. Knighthood. Beheaded.

Raleigh wasn’t just an explorer he was also one of England’s great warriors.We all know the story of his defeat of the Spanish Armada, but what is less known is that after Elisabeth died and King James came to the throne, Raleigh was imprisoned in The Tower for 13 years for “plotting against the Crown”. Following an unsuccessful expedition to South America in search of El Dorado, he was re-arrested and beheaded. His head was embalmed and sent to his wife who kept it in a velvet bag until her death when it was re-united with his body.

Two defensive errors cost us the game at the Emirates; we weren’t outplayed and had the better of the game. Raddy would be satisfied with a point.

COYRRG

Big Raddy

209 Responses to The Mole. Can Benitez finish the Job?

  1. The snow is settling but it’s very fine and only about an inch deep

  2. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Top shelf as always Big Raddy.

    I believe Kozzer is in contention after serving his one match against Swans, i think i read it somewhere, if im wrong blame the drink.

    I too would be happy with a point.

    COYRRG

  3. collins says:

    U gooners ar full of stories long meaningless stories at that, remember we ar not in the same category, we ar champions of europe.

  4. collins
    At the end of the season you’ll be champions of nothing.

  5. kelsey says:

    I read Kozzer had a one match ban,it must be wrong it was a straight red so 3 match ban.

    collins at least we have a heritage,you have a shite stadium at fulham bus stop and had a little help from some russian who looks like Harry Enfield. Piss Off.

  6. kelsey says:

    Don’t know for sure GM BBC preview says it’s a one match ban.

  7. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Excellent as ever, BR.

    I’d go for the double pivot in Diaby and Coquelin as we had on Wednesday. They used the same tactic for the home game with Ramires and Mikel in the stifling roles. It will help combat Mata and Hazard.

    A ‘last man’ sending off is always a 1 match ban.
    The ‘straight red’ phrase is misused by commentators and pundits. It refers to a tackle bad enough to warrant a sending off without there having to have been a previous yellow. This usually means dangerous or reckless play which entails a 3 match ban.

  8. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    …and bestiality

  9. Shard says:

    Another BR pre match special. I might miss the match tonight. I’m being dragged to some metal music night at some bar here by my girlfriend. On the one hand, I’ll be missing Arsenal. But on the other, I have a girlfriend who likes metal πŸ™‚ I’m still trying to get out of it because I think it’s going to be a very good match. Is anybody else feeling optimistic about today? It’s both strange and perhaps a little worrying to be feeling this way before a big match. I just hope we perform well, whatever the result.

    Koscielny should be available. It was a one match ban because the straight red was for denial of goal scoring opportunity, not for violent play. I still think we should, and will, start with Mertesacker.

  10. Shard says:

    I’m not sure about using Diaby though. Surely he can’t start 3 matches in a week?

  11. Taryur says:

    I hope we win d match n let d londΓΈn bridge fall again

  12. Rasp says:

    Terrific PM as ever Raddy. If Podolski is out, we may see how the Giroud/Theo partnership is developing – we all remember how well it worked with BSR last season.

    The stats on the right show that we are almost certain to score more goals in all 4 competitions this season – and the ‘one man team’ of last season is no longer with us?

    I’d like to see the team that played the 2nd half against the swans again. The effect of the weather should be the same on both sides – but maybe our ‘English spine’ will dig deeper, we can only hope.

    What I do want to see is us starting games with more urgency and getting the ball out of defence more quickly and to feet. The chav midfield is as technically talented as ours, it may just come down to who wants it the most.

  13. Rasp says:

    Ah Sir Walter Raleigh, one of my haunts as a young boy was aroound Maiden’s bridge in Enfield where SWR allegedly laid his cape across a puddle for Queen Elizabeth

    Bob Newhart on Sir Walter Raleigh

  14. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Morning all
    I bet Demba Ba scores against us today,he’s got 3 goals in 4 games for the Chavs.

    I mentioned on here when he was up for sale we should buy him.
    But most of u said no Sheep we don’t need him bla bla bla.
    He’s injury prone bla bla bla .
    He won’t fit our style bla bla bla .
    His wages are to much bla bla bla .

    Let’s see if he makes u eat your words .

    Class player who I wanted but you lot didn’t agree.
    Case closed.
    Much love
    Sheep Hagger β„’πŸ‘£

  15. kelsey says:

    Chamakh missed two sitters yesterday

  16. Kelsey
    He got them on target and one was a good save. He should have had a pen.

  17. I watched the game and he did OK. I think he’ll be successful there

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to the game and hoping we don’t repeat our problems of late i.e. being rubbish in the first half and only starting to play after the break.

  19. b says:

    Nice post. I agree that AW doesnt like 4-4-2 anymore so I cant see that line-up happening. I would like to see AR in his natural position for a change with Front 3 of Theo, Giroud and Ox. But no doubt Diaby will be used instead of Ramsey again.

  20. I hour and counting …………..

    Any volunteers for a match report, player ratings or comments about the game for a post tomorrow????

    What’s happened to Micky?? His internet must be down again … 😦

  21. Arsenal.com ‏@Arsenal
    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud #CFCvAFC

  22. The Ox and Pod are ill ……. 😦

  23. arseblog ‏@arseblog
    Arsenal subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Santos, Frimpong, Ramsey, Arshavin

  24. gm – we’re double reporting πŸ˜†

  25. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Peaches and Rasp,
    I’ll do a match report.

  26. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Is Ox out today?

  27. Nice of Rafa to give us a confidence boost …….. Torres starts πŸ˜‰

  28. Thank you Mr Left Gonad for your kind offer, I accept πŸ™‚

    Ox is unwell …………….

  29. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Does that mean he’s out?

  30. I won’t do the bench peaches πŸ™‚ Strong bench 😦

  31. Oh for Dennis’ sake ……..

  32. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Hehehehehe

  33. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    What? In Tesco’s burgers?

  34. For those of you just joining us. The Ox is out

    I’ll stop now

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Good to see Ba on the bench but we should recall Torres has scored against us tis season. No Crazy Luiz.

    Pleased to see Coq retain his place

  36. evonne says:

    Monster Gonad – if you planning on doing the post match ratings, give 10 out of 10 to BR, won’t you?

  37. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Goes without saying

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Terrible bench. Have we no forwards left?

  39. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Hi
    Is the OX playing .
    Thank my lucky sheep as BA is on the bench.
    Enjoy the game and COME ON ARSENAL .
    Much Love
    Sheep Haggerβ„’πŸ‘

  40. Gunner8 says:

    We definitely need a striker. An injury and suspension to Theo or Giroud and we are buggered

  41. evonne says:

    I burnt my lunch watching our Jack interview, he is well worth a dozen lunches, lovely lad! Sounds very mature, composed, not thugish at all. And like me, he adores Cesc

  42. barumgooner says:

    It’s a good team I think. I’d prefer Ramsey to be given a go in the middle instead of Diaby though but AW does seem to love the guy, hopefully he wont give the ball away quite so much today and dare I say it.. play with a bit of intelligence.

  43. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    How can you burn something in the microwave?

  44. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Lol mullard
    Only women can do it mate
    Much love xx

  45. Ant says:

    Hi Sheep, Do you only like Ba because it is your favourite noise?

  46. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Signing off.

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good solid PM as ever Raddy, would love to see Benitez destroy the club.

    Same side as Swansea and Frimpong on the bench…. clearly still fearful if injuries to Diaby.

  48. evonne says:

    Dear Sheep – you’d be amazed what some women can do it the kitchen πŸ™‚

    COYG!!!!!

  49. Adrian says:

    Nice one Giroud.

  50. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Oh no 1 down ffs.
    Ant.
    Ba is not my favourite noise,my favourite noise is the closing of the front door when Face Ache leaves the house.
    Ps what does COYG mean .

    Much love
    Sheep Haggerβ„’

  51. evonne says:

    I wonder what Didit makes of Torres with no hair?

  52. Rasp says:

    We are a shambles defensively, and again stupid mistakes leading to goals.

  53. Rasp says:

    Do our players ever shout ‘man on’ to one another?

  54. Adrian says:

    If Giroud could’ve finished we most prolly would’ve been 1 up.

  55. Rasp says:

    We can’t take a corner FFS, if it carries on like this, we’ll lose 4 or 5 nil.

    We need someone to provide a moment of inspiration. 2:1 at half time and we could yet win this game.

  56. Rasp says:

    What is it about ex Arsenal players who commentate – Niall Quinn sounds like he really wants us to get a pasting.

  57. Rasp says:

    The management are to blame – we should have bought a top striker with the BSR money.

  58. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    We did rasp
    Giroud

  59. Rasp says:

    The midfield is failing again, we just lost possession in their penalty area and 5 payers just strolled back ball watching and we nearly conceded – not good enough

  60. Rasp says:

    Sheep, Giroud is a hard working, honest player, but he’s not good enough to be first choice striker for a team that aspires to get to the top.

  61. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    I agree rasp.
    But that’s what me end up with after RVP leaving us.
    Best arsenal player 1st half is Cock a LAN

  62. Rasp says:

    Just 1 goal is all we need – a lucky deflection, soft penalty, act of god ….. anything. The next goal in this game is crucial.

  63. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Who the guy sat next to Benitez
    He’s got on his coat SH.
    He stolen my SH he can’t do it it’s mine
    Much love
    SHβ„’

  64. Merseforever says:

    Agree Giroud is hard working. Nowhere near good enough to lead the line and be first choice. Walcott is on big boy money-should justify it with a performance.

    Anyone else seeing how agitated Wilshere is getting. He’s pressing and some of the others are not. How is that a logical system?!! Am continually losing faith in the management. Lack of money (which isn’t actually true) is not an excuse for such a shambolic performance.

    hopefully things improve in the second half…This match means almost as much to me as beating Tottenscum.

  65. barumgooner says:

    I dont think anyone can blame Giroud. There just isn’t a midfield. Diaby may aswell not be on the pitch, when they get possession he doesn’t go to the ball or the player just walks around in lots of space hoping it’ll come to him. A forward would be nice but a quality battling midfielder is essential.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Neither goal should have stood.

    On the other hand, we deserve to be at least 2-0 down.

    But, as Rasp says, if we get the next goal, who knows?

  67. Sav from Australia says:

    The team is working really hard and I really do not think Chelsea are as good as the scoreline suggests. But the ref! And the kicking and dark arts are a constant from Chelsea as usual.

  68. kelsey says:

    I at least expected a contest though the first goal shouldn’t have been allowed due to the blatant foul on le Coq. We aren’t a team,hoofing the ball out of defence,chelsea just playing with us.
    We really have a poor squad with a few individuals who can perform.

    nothing on the bench of note and I fear our goal average will suffer even more in the second half.
    Can’t see us getting into this game at all,Chelsea far too good for us.

  69. oz gunner says:

    both goals were a joke. Penalty was a joke again!
    What on earth is going on with this team, no one is working for each other. It’s as though it’s too cold for them and they want to go home!

  70. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    We could be down to 10 men ,then we would be finished.
    The next goal is vital if we get it Game On!
    If we don’t we will see.
    Ps I refuse to watch the next game two teams I hate .
    Man poo and the spuds.
    Much love
    SH

  71. Both goals dodgy. Atkinson is historically a chelsea ref. We can’t be any worse 2nd half.

  72. kelsey says:

    Spurs game seriously in doubt,further inspection due

  73. barumgooner says:

    And it needs to be someone already used to the epl, not another who will take a year to settle. Pay whatever it takes to get Fellaini imo.

  74. oz gunner says:

    You’re right kelsey. The quality is showing at the moment. Hazard and Mata are having a field day. Chelsea are kicking balls across the field with ease and we aren’t closing them down!

  75. oz gunner says:

    don’t need an AM barum, just need the team to start pulling their finger out. Games are two halves, not just 1! need to find a work ethic

  76. RockyLives says:

    I can’t bear seeing the ball with Sagna any more in the wide right position during our attacks.

    Once Bac receives it wide it always signals the end of the move.

    Le Coq is impressing.

  77. oz gunner says:

    It does Rocky. The amount of crosses he’s sent in over you years you’d think he’d be good at it by now.

    No worries ref, forget ivanovic ploughing into giroud for the header!

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!game on!!!!!!!

  78. Adrian says:

    Walcott!!! Much better finisher than Giroud for sure. Cmon Arsenal!

  79. Adrian says:

    Id like to see Pod come on soon.

  80. oz gunner says:

    pod is out Adrian, virus still.

    That’d be right, every time coquelin gets a chance he gets injured. He was playing so well!!! dammit!

  81. oz gunner says:

    hazard= foul
    walcott = play on

    go figure

  82. Adrian says:

    Now THIS is the Arsenal we know. Playing with more purpose. If only the players know theres 2 halfs in a game and not just 1.

  83. Adrian says:

    Is he? Damn, wasn’t aware of that. Thanks.

  84. Rasp says:

    Why do we start games so slowly, this is much much better – shame we still can’t take a corner.

  85. Gooner In Exile says:

    Jack is dead on his feet

  86. Adrian says:

    Kinda sad when one of the only options we have to bring off the bench to chase the game today is Arshavin.

  87. oz gunner says:

    can’t help but think not signing Ba was a mistake. He is such a handful and chelsea now having a good striker is not good news

  88. oz gunner says:

    cole is such a despicable bloke. I know he screwed us so we’ll always be bitter but he’s just a piece of shit

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    So at the end of the day we are losing to a goal that should have been disallowed 😦

  90. Adrian says:

    Don’t think we’ll be playing champions league fooball next season.

  91. oz gunner says:

    god that rule annoys me, giroud is competing for the ball but it gets called a foul. Vermaelen gets Cahill’s arm across his shoulder dragging him down in the box but it’s okay. Which one bloody is it!!!

    Well done refs, hate the lot of them!!!

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    Adrian the last two games are not key to our CL qualification, it is finding the consistency now against the smaller clubs.

  93. Rasp says:

    Its our own fault, once again we started the game far too slowly and made silly mistakes. We need to take to the pitch and play as if we’re already 2 nil down. It is a recurrent problem.

  94. Adrian says:

    What a joke. We were unlucky with that disallowed goal in the first half but we were so sh1t during the first half that we deserved to be 2-0 down. Team needs to freaking realize football is a 90 minutes game, not 45 minutes and start giving their all only when we’re losing.Wenger where are the new signings you spoke of earlier? No better time than now to bring them in.

  95. Adrian says:

    Stop*

  96. oz gunner says:

    doesn’t bloody touch him!!!

  97. Adrian says:

    I wish I could be as confident as you, but unfortunately “consistency” isn’t a recognized word in the team this season..

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Only saw the 2nd half and thought we deserved at least a draw. Santi was superb, but from what you say we were pants first half.

    Cahill was all over Giroud every time the ball went into the box.

    Shame we didn’t play that way for 90 mins

  99. slime says:

    Another game where we don’t play for 45 minutes. Can’t do it against these teams.

  100. Big Raddy says:

    A clear dive. Will the FA act? Of course not.

    We saw today why Arshavin isn’t getting pitch time. Not good enough

  101. RockyLives says:

    Very difficult not to get angry about this Arsenal team.

    The second half showed we are good enough to compete with (and beat) the Chavs. So why did we look like frightened rabbits in the first half?

    Yes, the decisions went against us (again) but we were dreadful in the first period.

    Overall – I was disappointed with Diaby, Sagna and (until late on) Cazorla.

    Special mentions to Coq, JW and Gibbs.

  102. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Why can’t we play like we did 2nd half in the First half.
    We were much better second half ,better pressing up and passing.

    Got to go now catch u all later
    A disappointed Sheep

  103. Raddy
    As good as we were in the 2nd half we were 3 times as bad in the 1st.

    This team has the ingredients to be a top 4 team. If we don’t start getting performances like the 2nd half all the time we won’t be near 4th

    Not buying will be a massive mistake

  104. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Finding consistency against the lower clubs would be nice. Hasn’t happened so far this season, but here’s hoping…

  105. Merseforever says:

    Good second half, doesn’t justify the terrible first half. Giroud was sub par. Don’t care how hard he works, he’s not good enough. He is supposed to be a physical presence but I didn’t see him win one proper battle the entire match. What is the point of having a cart-horse if he doesn’t do that. Don’t know why we didn’t go in for Ba, he showed himself in ten minutes to be a better player.

    We need to buy now. Our squad is paper thin. Very unfair to throw Arshavin on and expect him to do something when he hasn’t been played at all since October.

    Some of you may think I’m overreacting and acting spoiled as if the Arsenal have a divine right to win. Well I’m not asking for Messi. I’m asking why we didn’t buy a proven premier league goal scorer for 7.5m.

  106. RockyLives says:

    BR
    Belated thanks for another great pre-match.

    I’m afraid GM is right. We were woeful in the first half.

  107. kelsey says:

    Really our whole season has been like this totally inconsistent.
    for twenty minutes we rattled them but Giroud is not the answer, jack is what i thought woud happen in other words knackered,needs a rest.Arshavin, wanted him to do well but did absolutely zilch.Crossing and corners are generally woeful.
    We are in trouble unless we buy now.mertesacker will always get done for pace on a one to one.Don’t look for excuses as Chelsea could easily have scored two more.
    Ramsey looked OK but without making a huge impact.

    Vermaelen our best player,closely followed by Walcott who had next to no help.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    Merse. We need a finisher, though plying TW central when Pod is fit may be the way forward.

    You guys say Coq is playing very well but call for a strong DM.

    Is half a season long enough to write OG off? Let’s see how he is doing this time next year, but right now, he is Bendtner-esque

  109. Red Arse says:

    I am with Rocky.

    Every time Sagna gets the ball on the wing he checks back and either loses it or passes back — either way the attack stalls.

    He will go in the Summer. He looks totally disinterested.

    We were outplayed in the first half. Very poor.

    In the second half we were by far the better team and it made me happy that every one was trying.

    The Goals:-

    — The penalty was ‘cheating’ by Ramires, and he should have got a yellow card for simulation.

    — The ref should have blown for a foul by Ramires on Coq au Vin.

    So two cheating goals — thank you ref!

    — Theo took his goal beautifully, and altho’ he suffers from a Tin Man’s heart, and could have scored the equalizer late in the second half, he played well overall.

    Giroud or Demba Ba? Well ………………. I love Giroud and he tries so hard, but I fear he will always be the ‘nearly’ man’, whereas Ba is a goal scorer.

    Sorry, Arsene — but Demba Ba anyday!

  110. Red Arse says:

    Sorry – I meant,” — The ref should have blown for a foul by Ramires on Coq au Vin before Mata scored his goal!” That makes more sense! πŸ™‚

  111. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh if Bacary Sagna starts against West Ham I think he is a very lucky boy.

    And again Ramsey did well when he came on, and Coquelin had a good match.

    No matter how poor we were first half the long and short is we conceded two goals that were both down to us, but equally down to referee.

    Niall Quinn gave Ramires man of the match for his first half contribution, well a foul that should have prevented them at source for the first goal, and a questionable penalty where if he didn’t dive he slipped and his momentum carried him into Szczesny rather than any movement from Szczesny to bring him down would justify that contribution.

  112. Giroud should be behind a better goalscorer. he’d play well alongside one

  113. Merseforever says:

    goonermichael,

    I understand he runs and works hard. He’s not bad with his little flicks and tricks that occasionally come off. But he’s here as a centre forward: to score goals and lead the line. Didn’t see anything noteworthy from him this match. He missed that glorious opportunity at the beginning, and got out-muscled in the box many times. I’m specifically thinking of the one where Wilshere dinked a little chip in and Ivanovic backed into him resulting in the tamest header from a supposed big old fashioned centre forward I’ve ever seen.

    Big raddy I agree with you. We need a dynamic finisher who Theo can play off. Or maybe Wenger could try Podolski in the middle, its far less stupid doing that than it is playing Ramsay on the wing… Apologies if I’m coming off as extreme. I’m livid right now and I don’t think I am. Absolutely fed up with the same bullsh*t from Wenger as well.

  114. Adrian says:

    Demba Ba would have been a very well 7.5M spent.. To make things worse Wenger admitted recently that he had narrowed down both Giroud and Demba Ba in the previous transfer window and had to choose one. Needless to say we all know who he chose and while it may be unfair to Giroud, unfortunately it seems like it was the wrong decision. Giroud may be a decent target man and give us a physical presence in the final 3rd of the pitch, but his finishing is relatively poor compared to Ba or even Walcott (this isn’t a knee jerk reaction to the goal he should’ve easily scored in the first half, he’s missed quite a number of shots that should’ve been put away over the course of 6 months) and he’s slow and is unlikely to ever dribble past a defender.

    Never could fathom why we didn’t seem to at least try to bring Ba in this transfer window.. he seems just like the player we’re crying out for.

  115. Adrian says:

    And yes, I know he has had a dodgy injury history but it hasn’t acted up for the past 3 years (Correct me if I’m mistaken).

  116. Gooner in Exile says:

    Merseforever or we could call it a foul on him by Ivanovic master of the dark arts rather than being outmuscled, surely you are only outmuscled if you are both jumping for the ball rather than just running into the player in the air. And thats not getting beyond the fact that he really isn’t a good old fashioned centre forward, just look at his goal highlight packages on YouTube, would guess only a hanful of goals scored with his head before he arrived here.

  117. Gooner in Exile says:

    Maybe Ba’s deal had already been done with Chelsea and there really was no point, strange how the press got to find out that he had a Β£7.5m buy out clause, wonder who released that bit of confidential information.

  118. If you’ve already left the ground and someone backs into you what can you do?

  119. barumgooner says:

    The only trouble with Giroud imo is that hes being f@#ked about by AW, If he is our no1 striker he should be starting there every game. He was ‘eased’ into the premiership for no real reason, been used as a sub so Arsene can keep Theo happy and even replaced by the idiot from Africa. He needs a run of games or he will become another player who’s confidence has been ruined by our manager. Personally he would be better in a conventional 4-4-2 alongside Theo but we dont seem to want to play the way we did when we won stuff.

  120. Gooner in Exile says:

    Right I’ve just been looking at my Swing calculations and we are now 15 points down on the same games last season, the question is will that trend continue (if so mid table obscurity beckons) or can the team take heart from putting Chelsea on the back foot for 45 minutes and hanging on for the last half hour and use that knowledge to tear apart a few teams in coming weeks.

    These are the remaining games and the points we achieved from them last season.

    AstonVilla……….HOME……3
    Everton…………..HOME……3
    Fulham…………..AWAY……0
    Liverpool…………HOME……0
    Man Utd………….HOME……0
    Newcastle……….AWAY……1
    Norwich…………..HOME……1
    QPR……………….AWAY……0
    Reading………….HOME……1
    Stoke City………..HOME……3
    Sunderland………AWAY……3
    Swansea………….AWAY……0
    Spurs………………AWAY……0
    West Brom……….AWAY……3
    West Ham……….HOME……3
    Wigan……………..HOME……0

    So last season that was 21 points, we need minimum 70points to have a chance of finishing in top 4.

    Can we do it? We need to find 36 point from those 16 games.

    If we assume all the wins are still achievable, we then need to add another 18 points.

    Beat Fulham, QPR, Wigan, Reading, Norwich, Newcastle draw against Swansea, Spurs and Liverpool.

    That’ll be 39 points and a total of 73 points.

    Could be enough, and more than achievable…..if they play like that second half each week

  121. barumgooner says:

    Hate to say it but maybe not such a bad thing. The people at the top have been selling the club short for a long time now. If it brings change then perhaps it’ll be worth it.

  122. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Peaches and Rasp,
    A match report of sorts in nuts.
    I didn’t give the email a title so it’ll say “No subject”

    Does anyone really think we could have got Ba once his agent revealed the release clause and the chavs expressed an interest?

  123. Big Raddy says:

    Barum. Problem is that there is no guarantee that we will get back into the top 4, especially considering the loss of income and the increase for the team who takes our place.

    Just look at Liverpool

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Mullard. No. Chelsea will be paying him more than we could

  125. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Top work. Doesn’t look at all good

  126. Adrian says:

    And the scum RVP scores again.. Oh well at least the Spuds are losing atm.

  127. Red Arse says:

    I have just received this message from Rocky!

    SNOW

    Since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling, here in Canada.

    The temperature is dropping way below zero and the north wind is increasing to near gale force.

    My wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare.

    If it gets much worse, I may have to let her in.
    .
    .
    Oh, Rocky ………………… shame on you!! πŸ˜€

  128. barumgooner says:

    I understand what you are saying Raddy but at the moment we seem to be dying a slow death. Surely without change of policy/management losing our guaranteed CL slot is inevitable. The way the spuds are investing and improving while we sit and wallow in what we once had, it must be only a matter of time before we are playing catch-up to them.

  129. @goonermichael @callieballoo the accounts are published..Β£50m+ cash reserves and millions more from TV money & player sales. We’ve got money

    Is that true? I’m getting slaughtered on twatter

  130. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  131. ces1ne says:

    Barum “replaced by the idiot from Africa” gave me a chuckle. Completely agreed on consistantly starting Giroud after the 1st month of the season, so he can settle into the team & Prem by actually playing. He’s a grown f’ing man, no reason to take baby steps, especially with who he was replacing in the squad. Giroud, from what I’ve seen this season & last year with Montpellier is more of a “team” type player, meaning he needs that consistant run in the squad to be effective with runs/flicks/etc, unlike a dynamic Arshavin-type player that can make something happen in a short cameo (obviously i’m referring to the old Arshavin, not current)

  132. slime says:

    Sick of our team only playing half a match.

    Wenger has often said that for his team to play well they need to be calm and relaxed, but they are taking it too far! Some of them were nearly horizontal first half! I think it’s time the team were fired up before games instead of the opposite. They manage it after the half time team talk so why not at the start of a match?

  133. goonerjake says:

    I thought Gibbs played excellent. As for Sagna – o dear me, may be time to give jenks another run in the team.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Any idea why we start so badly? Or could it be that the opposition starts very well?

  135. Kgooner says:

    IMO we nd a classic finisher. Smne with a high goal to chance ratio. Also an addition to the defence. DM perhaps.
    I’ll settle for a Europa league spot. Mayb we need the chance to build from the foundation. Like Juve. Demoted and came back robust, more importantly as a cohesive team. We need to first accustom to playing together.

  136. goonerjake says:

    We need Cavani

  137. Big Raddy says:

    Shame Spurs got a point

  138. slime says:

    I agree KGooner.

    We need to get the likes of Jenkinson, Ox and Ramsey into the team and see if this British nucleus can develop into something great. If we can buy some quality to dot around them then we could have the potential for a bright future (where we heard that before?).

    A year in the EL is probably not such a bad thing, but I wonder if Wenger will have the drive to push on again, bearing in mind that we look like we are pretty much back to square one. I feel we are almost back to a point we were at when the ‘project youth’ first started, a good bunch of youngsters mixed with decent pro’s, only difference is we have money this time around. Will it be enough? Will these home grown youngsters develop better than the foreign bunch did? Will they end up leaving in 3-4 years time when contracts are due again and they’ve developed into top players?

    If theses lot won trophies, then none of that will matter, because they will want to stay at the club.

  139. evonne says:

    same here GM; I thought they deserved a point much more than we did. Plus I hate that dutch person more than i hate Spurs. They looked bloody good.

  140. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    When I last looked man urge were 1 up

  141. barumgooner says:

    GM and Evonne. I agree. I So want the traitor to be trophyless at the end of the season.

  142. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Truly awful first half from us.

    Who do we complain to about how Ramires gets thru that entire game without a card of any colour .

    Which ref ion the world could watch a video of his ‘tackles’ throughout the game and not deem any one of them worthy of a yellow individually, or on a cumulative or totting up basis ..??

    Song would have got to him. We miss his streak of aggression in games like that, and his willingness to make lots of little fouls, to disrupt the oppositions rhthym.

    We’re simply too nice to play against..no matter who the opposition are.

  143. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Look at Ramires knee into the back of Giroud…wholly deliberate imho.

    Ie NOT nice to play against !

  144. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Doesn’t the second half show that it’s not a change in personnel we need but a team that plays from the first minute rather than from the 46th?

  145. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Arthur
    I will ask my wife that as she knows everything.
    Brb dropped my nuts
    Much love
    Sheep haggerβ„’

  146. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Thats the real truth of it Arthur. I’ve often called for a Phil Neville type signing…ie someone who is determined and a leader/organiser.

    Doesn;t have to be the most vocal, just someone who gets his message across to team mates. Someone who would have told Arteta (and others) to stay focussed when Swansea had an 85th minute corner in the first Cup game.

  147. Big Raddy says:

    SSG so who gets dropped for the MF? Santi, JW or Arteta/Diaby?

  148. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Br
    I will ask my wife she knows everything
    Much love
    Sheep

  149. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Watching Real Madrid they are 5 up .
    If mr Mourino leaves come to us we need huge changes
    Sheep

  150. barumgooner says:

    I dont want to keep going on about it like some sort of Arsene hater but the fact that we are entering games un-focused or ill-prepared has to come down to weak management. I still maintain that the squad we have isn’t too bad, in fact it’s probably the best we have had since the move but they are being let down by a manager who is all out of ideas and living off of his earlier success. He has been a good servant to the club but the inability to change tactics depending on the opposition must make his opposite numbers job so easy. You play the Arsenal and you know exactly what you are going to get.

  151. barumgooner says:

    Raddy, all of those players could be rotated and do the same job. We imo need a different type of player, a more dominant powerful presence… but without guidance and leadership it wont make any difference because he wont be allowed to play his game and will turn into another Wenger clone.

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    Theo’s goal today proved why he can be good for us on the right, lost his men bent his run in behind centre backs and acres of space to run and set himself.

    Thought there were a few occasions where people tried to be heroes taking shots when passes were on trying to get the equaliser.

    And can someone explain why we weren’t attacking the far post when TV takes that free kick, if Theo wasn’t going to take it and being the quickest in the team you’d think he would be running in at the far post….Ramsey might as well have been standing over the ball if TV was going to hit it.

  153. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I might as well get this off my chest now and it’s time others face reality. make as many excuses as you like,but there is absolutely no excuse to start off games the way we did yesterday and this pattern is becoming more and more frequent.
    You have to point the finger at the coaching team and the manager.our squad is stretched to the limit and it is blatantly obvious we have no leadership on the pitch and not enough players to step in when others are over played or injured.
    to be game changers.
    For Wenger to say this the best squad he has ever had a few months ago is beyond belief.
    We are in for a rough ride and the last thing we need is EC football.
    We are not buying the quality required.Diaby unfortunately is just eating into the wage bill as in Arshavin.if we don’t reinforce this month we are in for a very poor season and it’s been on the cards for a while now.
    look at the table and look how many ponts we have taken from the other teams in the current top ten places,it doesn’t make pleasant reading.
    When a team plays so badly in the first half,is two nil down one has to ask the question why do they consistenly put in an effort when in all probability the game is lost
    we are desperate for a clinical striker, IMo can’t see one in the squad.
    Wenger is running out of excuses but his job is safe and those who say wait for FPP to kick in are living in cuckoo land.
    We are a big club in financial terms but now i am afraid we are just one of the also rans.sorry,that’s how i see it.

  154. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Morning
    Kelsey yes u r right I’m in agreement with the above.
    Still no players arriving and it’s the 21st today only ten days to go before transfer window shuts.
    We won’t make the top 4 this season .

  155. Red Arse says:

    Morning Kelsey, πŸ™‚

    It’s good for you to get your bra off your chest.
    And what you say mirrors the frustration of many fans from a quick look at the blogs this morning.

  156. Big Raddy says:

    Such depression.

    Be honest, really honest. Did you really think we would get a point at the Bridge? I didn’t. Chelsea have a better squad, better first 11 and were at home.

    We tried to buy Mata, Hazard, Cahill,they took Cole. Torres cost €50m+ … I could go on but what I am trying to say is the we are not playing on an even playing field; the money has made a difference as it always will.

    How many of our players would get into the Chelsea team? Jack and maybe Santi.

    And why? Because if Chelsea want a player, they get them which is something we cannot do.

    So we have to compete in a different way and sometimes we can and sometimes we can’t.

    Yesterday was a perfect example – first half was inept, second was better and a draw would have been a fair result.

    So – are we also rans? Yes, we are. Will we compete for the PL? – not for a few years. Will we get 4th? – depends upon how injuries etc affect our opposition (Everton, Liverpool, Spurs).

    Last season we punched above our weight, this season below it (so far). Such is life and such is football unless you can buy your way to success.

    I only watched the second half and really enjoyed the game – cup half full? Perhaps.

  157. It was a good second half Raddy and I expected to lose.. I agree with Kelsey though. We’re in a very bad way. I watched the spud game yesterday and they outplayed the mancs. I don’t think there will be a ST totteringhams day this season.

    Good morning BTW

  158. Raddy
    I don’t think we ever tried to buy Hazard or Cahill.

  159. Big Raddy says:

    GM. You may well be right, perhaps we will finish 7th. We have no divine right to be top4. Just look at the difficulties Liverpool have had over the past few years – and they have spent a fortune in trying to get into the CL.

    I thought we did try to buy them, as we did Chris Smalling etc but perhaps it was just paper talk.

  160. Big Raddy says:

    And Good Morning to you πŸ˜€

  161. kelsey says:

    Morning Raddy

    I think you miss my point.Of course we can’t compete financially with Chelsea but one expects an Arsenal team not to fall out of the blocks time and time again,it wasn’t just yesterday was it.
    Arshavin only came on for a trot as The Ox was ill,so where is the squad depth , it isn’t there ?

  162. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    As you know I have been trying to get the ‘doomers’ to understand that ‘money is the ‘root of all evil, or happiness’ in football terms, depending on whether your team are the beneficiaries or the victims of it.

    No team has suffered at the hands of the money moguls as much as Arsenal, with so many of our top players being filched.

    Fans need to resign themselves to that, I am afraid, unless FFP bites, and I have some reservations there now.

  163. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks for injecting some positivity Raddy.

    I take on board your point that we won’t win a bidding war if any of the top 3 are in for a player – but that is not the point. We are failing when compared to totnum, Everton and arguably W Brom who are performing much better than us in relation to their income and resources.

    If anyone praises Wenger for hyping the players up for the 2nd half performance, they should heap equivalent criticism on him for sending them out half asleep and lacking in motivation at the start of the game.

    For me the worrying point is that the manager (like the Board) doesn’t ever seem to shoulder any of the blame for the team’s performances. Yesterday after the game, he warned the players they can’t slip up any more if we want to get 4th …. well who’s warning him?

  164. Rasp says:

    Blaming the wealth of the top 3 is as defeatist and delusional as blaming refs when we lose games. If you think like that we may as well not bother trying (or is that what we’re really doing any way?) We have money, we aren’t spending it … out of choice.

  165. kelsey says:

    morning Rasp

    so whose fault is it that we aren’t spending it.? out of choice πŸ˜‰

  166. Manthan says:

    Rasp I totally agree with you mate… Totnum are far better then us dis season… They have belif in themselves… This season within 10 mins we leak the goal no matter who ever the opposition is… AW has done lot for arsenal but that is history now and we live in present and finishing in top 4 is very very tough dis season… Board will never sack AW as they earn millions because of himm…..

  167. kelsey says:

    I didn’t realise until yesterday what a beast of a man demba ba is. Will be a good acquisition for Chelsea.

  168. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey, I believe the biggest culprit is the manager. It wasn’t Gazidis or Kroenke who made the points about 4th spot at the AGM it was Wenger. He thinks he’s the one who has responsibility for the finances – well he should concentrate on getting the best out of the team and leave that job to others.

  169. Manthan says:

    And if people say yesterday defeat is because of squad depth in our squad and chesky… Then wat about swasena,bradford,everton,shtmptn draws and defeats our squad was far better then about maintained team squad despite of that we lost of drew… Arsenal dont have that belif dis season and so we are loosing and 60% fault is of wenger….

  170. kelsey says:

    I also question the word doomer I and a growing band of supporters are realists. that’s me done for now.

  171. kelsey says:

    Totally agree Rasp, but has he lost the eye for buying quality at a comfortable price and why does he continually insist on playing many players out of position.the answer is again squad depth.

  172. Manthan says:

    AW has quoted last week saying we have good and complete squad but i fear we dont have one… we dont have option AW never try something new OG is sturggling give poldi a chance to play in middle or change formation but he will stick to his old metholodgy so we are sturggling.. I fear if we wont finish in top4 dis season der will problem in keeping current player and attracting new players next season……

  173. SPECTRUM says:

    Hello A.A.er’s. Missed me ?

    Inside the mind of Arsene Wenger : β€œWe will be active EARLY in the window”.

    Twenty one days into it, he says it’s more likely that he’ll buy in the LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, because β€œthe prices tend to drop then” !

    Currently ; β€œWe’ll see what we can do,” β€œI told you many times, we are not close to signing anybody tonight or tomorrow morning.”

    After the Chelsea loss yesterday ; “It will be a tough challenge for us to make the top four.”

    For a man who has a degree in economics, he seems to be struggling with basic arithmetic on what needs to be done. Don’t ask us Arsene. We’ve “never worked a day in football in our lives.”

    Unlike you.

  174. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Yes Raddy, we put a decent fight (the second half) with a squad that cost a fraction of what Chavs paid for theirs. If it snows today, I will try to work out how much they paid for the starting XI as opposed to our team.

    No, we cannot match that. They will buy titles for as long as Abra is around

  175. evonne says:

    Spectrum – basic arithmetic is not about what needs to be done, got it??? Basic arithmetic tells you what needs doing.

  176. Rasp says:

    I just think other teams have caught up with us and many overtaken us in terms of their scouting networks and sourcing players. Wenger is never going to get ‘top quality’ on the cheap again, he has to pay more money.

  177. Manthan says:

    AW should move to higher level and should give up manager job and he should be replaced by some good manager like moyes or god(DB)…..

  178. Manthan says:

    Rasp
    Wenger so stubborn he will never a single extra penny for a player even if he worth it… Wenger mantra is making best from waste……. he makes stars he wont buy stars and that is costing us now,……

  179. Rasp says:

    Hi Manthan, can’t agree with you as regards Moyes (can he manage a big team?) or DB sadly as you can’t have a manager who won’t fly. DB as part of the coaching staff – yes please.

  180. Manthan says:

    DB is a hero and i agree with you he can be part of coaching staff… Moyses i dont feel he will fail to impress he is a good technicians and without much money he has kept everton in top flight…. If we want experince person then options are Jose,Kloop but they are highly unlikely to come to emirates…..

  181. Rasp says:

    Thanks to chas for grasping the nettle and producing today’s ……

    …. New post ……

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok some fresh eyes this morning, were Chelsea as poor in the second half as we were in the first half? Or were we much better than their best? I must have misse all the game hangers try brought off the bench if we are complaining about squad depth, Ba, Marin an Bertrand, hardly a who’s who!

    Did they get two goals because of the ref? Yes, and yes we could still have prevented them.

    It is very hard to try and work out our first half performance compared to the second. I am of the belief that conceding that early goal ripped the confidence out of the team and it was up to the coaching staff at half time to re instil some belief.

    They scored after 6 minutes the game hasn’t even taken shape by then it is too easy to suggest that te team went out without the required motivation. If we had conceded the game at 0-0 for 30 minutes and they eventually took the lead then i would have more sympathy with the view. We had already created the games best chance (Giroud missed) and then the hammer blow of the goal, a foul, and Sagna not tracking his man. And we saw head drops immediately. That’s the biggest problem. And then a second goal through a mistake by Diaby compounded by a very soft penalty.

    And lets not forget we had chances to equalise and if we had of done we could have gone on to win it, the best chance was cynically ended by Cole when he tripped Sagna on the edge of the area, then Ivanovic foul on Giroud when heading. All of which if we had scored we would be thankful of the point considering the helping hand the referee gave Chelsea.

  183. Big Raddy says:

    No-one mentioned Doomers, and I accept that this is your reality.

    Yes, Spurs are better than us at the moment but FFS you guys have short memories.

    Was it my imagination or did we knock 5 passed them only 3 months ago? And is it just fantasy or have we finished ahead of them for how many seasons????

    Lost the eye for buying quality? Podolski and Cazorla aren’t quality? And in my opinion Giroud will come good.

    Rasp. I agree with you – in order to compete we have to pay more money but that does’t guarantee success does it? Torres, Carroll etc etc

  184. SPECTRUM says:

    evonne – Then he’s failing on both counts if that’s the case, wouldn’t you say ?

  185. SPECTRUM says:

    The Michelin Man is whinging again. This time it’s because he reckons the two goals by Chelsea shouldn’t have been allowed. Perhaps. But then, what about the two goals that WE shouldn’t have had against West Brom a few weeks back ? He conveniently didn’t have anything to say about THEM, did he ? It all evens out in the end. Decisions go for you, and decisions go against you. Unless we have video replays to aid the refs, that β€˜s how it is and that’s how it will always be.

    Notice Wenger came out with his usual stock standard automated response – ” The team had fantastic quality and spirit.” He says the same tired old crap after EVERY game, even after we play like a Sunday league team. If you analyse our performances, there is a definite pattern to them. We always look disinterested in the first half, and as a result often go behind. Then in the second half, we come out with an entirely different attitude, as if everyone had been given an injection of amphetamines.

    And it happens in virtually EVERY match, no matter who the opposition is. This indicates it’s a psychological as well as tactical, problem. Wenger can only get the team motivated for 45 minutes per game. No wonder we can’t play consistently and win matches. I’d swap Wenger for Paris Saint Germain’s Carlo Ancellotti anyday ( see the news reports about it ). And the sooner it happens the better.

  186. SPECTRUM says:

    evonne –

    Pep’s challenge: Guardiola wants Liverpool striker Luis Suarez at Bayern Munich.

    Spanish boss is back in business and has a Β£40m bid for the Uruguay striker as one of his landmark signings in Germany

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/pep-guardiola-wants-liverpool-striker-1545134

    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

    Guardiola = Hasn’t even joined Bayern yet, but already planning for the future.

    Wenger = Hasn’t won a trophy for 8 seasons but not doing anything about it.

    See the difference ? Which one is showing ambition ? And which one would you prefer to have at Arsenal ?

    Oh, and who do you think is better at arithmetic ?

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