Lacklustre display. Are the alarm bells ringing ?

A trip to The Britania historically has always been a hard game but what we saw today was at the least very disappointing. When the keeper and a cameo from Oxlade-Chamberlain are your only players who had a good game several questions have to be asked.

Firstly what does it take to motivate a team that has every possible chance of winning the league, a team that a week ago thoroughly outplayed and dispensed with another relegation threatened team?

Stoke play a hard, mainly unattractive game but we knew that beforehand. Players are human beings, but for practically all of them to be out of sorts is mystifying.
Did Wenger pick the wrong formation?  It appeared at half time that it would be difficult to argue against that theory.

Substitutes were needed to add more urgency and pace to the team but we waited and waited. We were certainly not getting the benefit of being fouled against, and Stoke were growing in confidence.

Then, what appeared to be a dubious penalty was awarded and we were left chasing the game.

Ozil was finally introduced and then The Ox and finally Sanogo, who missed an absolute sitter in the final minutes.

If it hadn’t have been for several glaring misses by Crouch in particular together with some excellent saves from Szczesny the scoreline could have been worse.

Inconsistency when it really matters seems to be the problem, something we have seen time and time again yet our Away form this season has been second only to Spurs and I had thought that we had mastered the way to win ugly.

All is not lost but it makes everything that much harder with the forthcoming fixtures this month..

I think it is unfair to give player ratings but I don’t understand in this particular game why a young direct player like The Ox wasn’t brought on earlier or even started.

Another concern is Jack Wilshere. I am absolutely convinced that he is not 100% match fit and noticed on a number of occasions that he stood back instead of making a tackle .Am I right ?

I just hope they can regroup for the next match, for whichever way you look at it, this could possibly be a defining moment for our season .

Written by kelsey

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73 Responses to Lacklustre display. Are the alarm bells ringing ?

  1. JanMan says:

    Kelsey. Absolutely spot on. I made some similar comments last night. It is vital that we pick ourselves up from this game and move on. Everton and the FA cup could map out our destiny.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very glad you wrote that Kelsey. You’re a gentle and forgiving man.
    So, thank you.

    One thing is crystal clear in my mind: I could have done a better job than Arsene yesterday.

    As soon as I saw the subs bench, I thought “Have you lost your mind?”.

    If you’re on the bench, you should be match fit. Our two best attacking players on the bench next to our most combative defensive midfielder.

    Now paper run.

  3. Shubham says:

    I really fail to understand how senior international players cannot be arsed to play a high tempo game of such importance. Slow, ponderous and meaningless side ways movement of the ball was what the team put us through yesterday. I don’t know whether it is Wenger who fails to motivate these guys or is it the world cup deterring these so called superstars from committing themselves. God help the club.

  4. Deebo says:

    Maybe if Arsenal fans and players concentrated on identifying the big games and getting them right instead of victory parades over getting ‘FA Cup revenge’ at home against Liverpool they might do better in these games. The club as a whole really should have learnt by now. How glorious is that win over Liverpool now? You would have been better off losing it and getting to rest key players for the title run in.

  5. Pat7 says:

    I couldn’t make out why we were pinging the ball in the air instead of keeping it on the ground – against the Orcs that was stupidity! Agree with all your comments! Them scoring was waiting to happen but the penalty was the softest i have seen……

  6. reece says:

    The tempo of our team is awful, we need forward runners that go in behind the defence. Please buy a talented winger/forward in the summer wenger.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Very good read and for the most part I agree with you.

    Tactically we were a shambles and there was little pace in the team.

    But this was virtually the team which crushed Sunderland, so it is understandable why AW went with it. S’land have big chaps as well as Stoke.

    As to Jack. Within the first 15 minutes he had been nastily clattered twice, the second time was almost GBH but the weak ref gave just the foul. Had the ref been attentive he would have spotted the typical Hughes tactic of sending his team out to attack and hurt the creative players. Given JW’s injury record I don’t blame him for being more tentative.

    And that for me was the story of the game – we should have fought fire with fire. We have done so in the past this season and won.

    Yesterday we lost confidence in our fast passing game as the Stoke players were permitted to assault our players. Two Stoke players should have seen red for fouls on Giroud which were blatant attempts to hurt him.

    Then the ref gave a penalty for a handball which was impossible to avoid. No surprise given his handling of the game.

    That said, the tempo of passing was lacking throughout the game and every time we did get it going the final ball was off target. Apart from Sanogo at the end I cannot recall a single clear chance.

    A draw would have been a fair result.

    Shubham. You saw a different game to the one I saw.

  8. davi says:

    I don’t think fitness was Wilshere’s problem, he’s just not there yet. He ran the game against Sunderland because they backed off, but when the opposition really pressurise in midfield, he always looks like he doesn’t know what to do. He takes too many touches and doesn’t look capable (although part of that was down to poor movement further forward yesterday admittedly). I think the last 2 games have given a measure of where he is at the moment – still just great potential, a work in progress.

  9. Danny says:

    As long as the target each year is to only finish in the top 4 then this is what we get. It’s been like this since we left Highbury. Nothing will change.
    More fool us for taking the team seriously.

  10. kelsey says:

    Our game is based on quick pass and move, yet game after game we send high balls into the danger area or beyond and if we are lucky only the solitary Giroud is somewhere in the vicinity.
    how often do we score from that type of pass and the last team one would wish to employ those tactics would be against a team like Stoke.
    As far as an earlier comment re the World Cup I see absolutely no connection . If anything ,though not really relevant to this game,one would think players would be wanting to impress their respective national coaches .
    As Micky implied, Wenger got it wrong yesterday but nevertheless one would expect a far better team performance.

  11. Rasp says:

    Congratulations Kelsey on what is generally accepted as a very fair (even charitable) assessment of the game.

    I didn’t see the game so can’t comment on the specifics. I have seen several slo-mos of Stoke players deliberately stamping on our players right in front of the ref.

    From what I hear, we didn’t deserve to win – and since we were the team hoping to win the league, we cannot make any excuses for our poor performance.

    We’ve been playing like this for some time now. With the exception of the first 20 mins against Bayern, pool in the FA cup and a poor Sunderland side focusing on the C1 final, we have been lacking in energy and forward thrust since before Christmas.

    We know we can lift ourselves for some games but not others … why?

    The team selection, motivation and use of subs can all be questioned of the manager, but the performance of the players on the pitch is 90% down to those individuals.

    It is clear now that we must view 4th in the prem as our priority, I hope we achieve that without having to win the last game of the season.

    Time for reflection over the summer and an injection of pace and power into the side in the form of transfers.

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    For all those asking for pace Theo says hi 🙂

    I’d love some more to go with it but he is a start that unfortunately can’t start.

    I was also thinking the other day how although Ramsey may not be the quickest he has the best engine on the squad, which means he plays at one pace for the entire 90 minutes and doesn’t have to pace himself around a game. Which also means if we need done one to run with the ball into space in the 80th minute he would be the best bet of those who started the game to be able to do it.

    Unfortunately I think the current available team is not the best for stamina, mainly only Ox, Koz, Gibbs and Bacary have anything like the engine that Aaron has

  13. Guest says:

    “We have been lacking in energy and forward thrust since before Christmas” Exactly the period when Aaron began to tire and eventually got injured, and since Theo was ruled out for the season with Ox only just back and being used sparingly, our attacking game has suffered big time!
    I think Wenger should seriously consider using Ox Sanogo Gnabry more often to inject some pace power drive and youthful dynamism, elements our attack is so desperately crying out for.

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi ‘Guest’ I agree with all that. The OX has looked our most potent attacking force lately and by the sound of it should either have started yesterday or come on a lot earlier.

  15. Rasp says:

    To all those taking the mick 🙂 , Hi and I hadn’t forgotten Theo – let’s hope the injury doesn’t rob him of any of his pace! Maybe stamina/energy are better descriptors than ‘pace and power’ …. all 4 would be good.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Kelsey. I have only seen highlights on MOTD and I don’t trust them to provide highlights that fully reflect a 90 minute game. Too many times I have actually seen a full game and then watched MOTD highlights and felt it wasn’t a proper reflection of the game. You don’t get that overall impression of how we were playing, what our movement and penetration was like e.t.c.

    Having said that my views based on the highlights and the general feedback on here yesterday, and from the Soccer Saturday coverage, would lead me to feel that your post has summed up my thoughts very accurately. Micky’s 10.09 comment added to your post Kelsey basically cover my view entirely.

    I was critical of the team and manager yesterday and unfortunately my views haven’t changed. The depth of my criticism is enhanced because I think we have been here before with the shortcomings that were highlighted yesterday. If it had been a case in isolation my feelings may not have been so raw but I feel we are going over the same old problem areas, and to boot I think a lot of it is avoidable.

    I haven’t stopped supporting Arsene or Arsenal and I desperately want him to cement his legacy with further silverware. I get more annoyed because what happened yesterday just invites those that have it in for him to come out with the knives sharpened again. I don’t realistically feel we are showing ourselves to be equipped to win the EPL this year (from a performance point of view, not mathematically), for whatever reason or combination of reasons, and feel the F.A cup is the only realistic chance of success. I feel it is becoming a vital trophy to get people of Arsene’s back and worry what will happen if we finish the season 4th and with no other trophy.

  17. GoonerB says:

    Guest you make a very good point IMO.

  18. Rebo Ehwan says:

    Good comments, but I still want to add that Girioud does not have what it takes to be a lone striker. I think he can do better as a holding midfielder. He is too sluggish for the fast game.

  19. Vintage Gooner says:

    Thinking on the difference between this week and last week it must be fear.

    Last week Sunderland players were very fearful of cards particularly as a red would immediately rule them out of today’s cup final. This meant Arsenal players were not getting kicked and so they became quicker,more direct and very effective.

    Yesterday Arsenal players were being kicked from the very first minute allowed by some very indulgent refereeing. In particular Giroud, Wilshere and Arteta who even showed the back of his thigh to the referee were all singled out for dirty play.The stamp by Charlie Adams was quite deliberate, he knew where both ball and player were, and should have been immediately red carded.

    All this was happening at a the ground where Aaron Ramsey picked up a career threatening injury. There should be no surprise that Arsenal were seeking safe space both running and passing and trying not to go where they knew they would get hurt.

    So the real difference a week makes is in a team prepared to get stuck in and a referee to weak to stop the thuggery.

    How we can overcome this situation which is far from unique is a longer story which could make a ‘quiet time post’.

  20. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp I wasn’t taking the mick I think he is our forgotten man.

    I have no problem asking for new arrivals with pace/power but there are some in the squad, unfortunately not available right now.

    So the question is do we buy for shirt term or wait for longer term results?

    It’s so often the quandary football managers are in I guess, if you have limitless funds we can have two of what we need in every position, but we haven’t so we can’t quite do that instead having players that can fill a variety of roles.

  21. Gööner In Exile says:

    Short term not shirt term which is Park obviously 😀

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, I haven’t forgotten. I think the loss of Theo has been the decisive factor in our slow slide down the table. The lack of an outlet for Ozil and width in general has been a big loss.

    I include Theo in my 2015 first eleven, but I still think there is room in the squad for more wide players as well as micky’s midfield enforcer and GoonerB’s top striker 😛

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Looking at the squad, I believe we can use an Arteta and a Podolski replacement/improvement

    So, a better DM, which is almost impossible to buy as so many teams want one but …. a German would be good. Other than Scheiderlin which PL player has the quality and who COULD be signed is available?

    And a left sided attacker with the type of pace to worry defences. AW has already identified his man and unfortunately Schalke will make it a bidding war – something Arsenal rarely win. Draxler has the physique and game to become another TH14 – he needs Wenger to help him achieve this.

  24. chas says:

    Cheers, kelsey, very good.

    Particularly agree about the Ox – he made such a difference when he came on.
    Our midfield were all looking forwards for the player making the run but time and again there was no-one so a sideways pass becomes the only option. We are definitely missing Theo’s and Ramsey’s directness.

  25. Rasp says:

    Vintage Gooner @ 12:31 – why not write an article for us on ” how to overcome a team prepared to get stuck in and a referee too weak to stop the thuggery”

  26. If true, how would you like to deal with our highly paid transfer negotiators and legal team ?. I`ve already got the Cortina warming up whilst I look for the Chloroform !.
    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/liverpools-john-henry-admits-luis-suarez-had-a-40m-buyout-clause-gambled-on-arsenal-not-taking-lfc-to-court/

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Had a thought while I swimming up and down.

    I’m glad I’m not in Everton’s boots. I reckon we’ll give them a darn good thrashing next weekend. Can’t wait.

  28. neamman says:

    Against a team like Stoke we need a Flamini. To be honest I would always choose him over Arteta as DM

  29. RA says:

    Well done, Kelsey

    But as you had written it last Friday, I already knew what you were going to say, from your pre-match.

    Just kidding – a god report.

    Have you seen this?

    Puts a weird slant on the aborted Suarez transfer.

    LIVERPOOL owner John W. Henry has admitted that Luis Suarez DID have a £40m buy-out clause in his contract but wasn’t sold to Arsenal because the Reds refused to honour it.

    The Gunners famously made an offer of just one pound over £40m in the summer in the hope of activating the Uruguayan’s clause, but Henry says Liverpool weren’t prepared to give up their star asset that easily.

    At the time Suarez’s agent Pere Guardiola accepted there had been confusion over what the clause meant as Liverpool insisted they merely had to inform the 27-year-old of bids in excess of £40m,

    But Henry, speaking at the Sloan Sports Analytics conference in America, suggested there was slightly more to it than that.

    He said: “Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League, which is arguably the top soccer league in the world.

    “He had a buyout clause of £40m. Arsenal, one of our prime rivals – this year we’re tied for second … we’re actually second because of goal difference.

    “They offered £40m plus £1. What we’ve found … is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually, in world football.

    “It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.

    “We sold a player, Fernando Torres, for £50m, that we did not want to sell, we were forced to.

    “Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling. [Suarez]

    “It’s been great for Luis, it’s been great for us.

    “We have three gentlemen up front in Suarez,Sterling, Sturridge. They are young, I think Luis or actually those three could be together for a long time.”

    The comments seem to imply that Suarez should have been allowed to join Arsenal over the summer, but Liverpool gambled that the Gunners would not go to court over the clause to force through a move.

    It now remains to be seen how the rest of the Premier League reacts to Liverpool’s seemingly underhanded tactics in the transfer market, particularly given the benefits it has yielded for them on the field this year.

    Classless bastardildos! – {copyright Cockie} 🙂

  30. RA says:

    Micky,

    You are supposed to swim from one end of the pool to the other, not ‘up and down’. The other verb for up ‘and down’ is ‘diving’! 🙂

  31. kelsey says:

    “Just kidding – a god report.” well thank you my son 🙂

  32. RA says:

    Well you know everything, Kelsey, so I just assumed ……. 🙂

  33. kelsey says:

    Would someone chuck that swingometer into the sea, please.

  34. evonne says:

    good report, thank you Kelsey. It is hard reading about it, so it must be even harder to write it under such dire circumstances.

    I was comparing today poor Shitty’s performance to our yesterday’s game-to-forget. Sunderland were the better team for long periods of the game, yet they lost. Shitty were poor by their standards, yet they lifted the trophy. Why? The individuals, the strong personalities and personal vengeance of Yaya and Fatso won them that game. We haven’t got such characters, except perhaps for Ramsey. If the team collapses, there is nobody to pick us up.

    I am fed up.

  35. Rebo Ehwan says:

    You are absolutely right Evonne! Wenger, this Wenger!

  36. evonne says:

    Don’t get me wrong Rebo – Wenger’s picture is on my bedside table, the man can do no wrong. But we do lack that elusive something that sets apart champions from the rest

  37. E va va vonne

    Transplant has a picture of Wenger on his bedside table, is your`s a naked one as well ?.
    Transplant also has gone to great lengths to put a naked photo of himself on Wenger`s bedside table……Wenger still thinks it`s a photo sent by George Lucas of an Ewok holding a furry loofah !. hahaha

  38. kelsey says:

    I wonder why it is so quiet on here today.

    Looking around some other Arsenal sites one would think that we had just got relegated and the abuse being thrown at AW is unbelievable.
    I was restrained in my post but one bad game doesn’t define our season.
    It doesn’t matter one iota to me what AW earns but perhaps his judgement and faith in some players can be questioned,but that’s for the end of the season and I also strongly believe that then and only then he will decide what is best for the club and will either extend his contract or resign.

  39. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey I didn’t see the game so find it difficult to comment, but the negativity is kind of off putting, and I’m sure any negativity here is quadrupled in other forums.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well Lads,

    I’ve had a go at Arsene. He had a crap day at the office, but the reality is we’re 4 points off with 30 to play for, and still in the two serious tournaments.

    May not win anything, but we do have the players and the Manager to have some epic wins before the end of the season.

    So let’s enjoy as many of those as possible.

  41. Gööner In Exile says:

    I should say by negativity it’s more the “we should have signed x” “our squad isn’t good enough” stuff I have a problem with. I know nothing we say on the blog has any relevance to the team and I doubt the players read it.

    We are where we are we have who we have and it patently is good enough. But it lacks confidence and belief at times.

    If they do read comments on twitter blogs etc, then I’d understand why they lack that belief. Even if they switch on the radio they’ll hear Arsenal fans doing them down.

  42. neamman says:

    In Arsene I still trust!!

  43. GoonerB says:

    Kelsey @ 7.10. Despite my criticisms and frustrations regarding yesterday I would be devastated if Arsene left us at the end of the season. I feel that he can get the 2-3 players in the summer that makes our squad complete. I want that to happen which is why I get very uptight if I feel we are somewhat throwing it away when we didn’t need to. I am more worried about the mass fan reaction and how that may affect his decision on the future, which is why I get frustrated if I see what is IMO an obvious balls up in team selection (doesn’t mean I’m right obviously).

    I am going to take a lead from Micky’s 7.33 comment however and get right behind the team. I feel in 2-3 games that we have shown a slight default that would allow us to triumph in the EPL but hey I could also see us beat Totnumb, Chavski and Citeh on the consecutive bounce as well so, COYRRG’s, pull your effing finger out and do us proud.

  44. arnie says:

    Fantastic stuff, Kelsey. Really really great given the circumstances, the pitiable performance that the team put in yesterday. 😀 😀 😀

    Apols I had to be away, but even if not, what could I say? I just repeat Micky’s: “[Arsene] had a crap day at the office, but the reality is we’re 4 points off with 30 to play for, and still in the two serious tournaments. … May not win anything, but we do have the players and the Manager to have some epic wins before the end of the season. … So let’s enjoy as many of those as possible.” 😀

    Yesterday, we have led ourselves into a situation where our fate (in winning the league) is no longer solely in our hands. But others will drop points as well, or so says the law of averages. We still stand a strong enough chance to win the league, or at least as strong a chance as any other. And not least, we are still alive in the FA Cup and CL. Yes, that is true. All the play for. Onwards and upwards!! 😀 😀 😀

  45. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thank you Kelsey. I really like your writing style my friend.

    We lost beacuse we were a bit crappier than them and becuase they foul.

    It was a terrible result for our league chances but we need to keep things in perspective

    I am having the loft done at the moment and am simultaneously living it, so with an estranged wife occupying downstairs, am cold, hungry, and denied all the normal comforts, Cavier, Champaigne etc.

    The result did not help my mood so perspective was lost. For a good five minutes I prowled my roofless abode, the sound of the Mrs enjoying herself downstairs with guests, in front of a roaring fire, dining on finest poulty, and drinking my sherry tipped me over.

    Wenger was a tosser. Were was the other striker we needed?, midfield enforcer, winger, back up for Per? Why does he persist in playing midgits? we need a replacement for Diaby. Whats Kronke doing?, the tight git. Whos responsible for not beefing up the squad, Wenger or Kronke? Who ever it is, they must pay

    Then I heard it. The shrill laughter of the Mrs voice. Such a cackle is beyond the norms of socialy acceptable behaviour. I hear that in Uganda, one is arrested for such offence.

    This shook me back to sanity. I realised that such negative thoughts would only lead me to to cackle inanly and feast on Roast Duck.

    Following Arsenal is bloody great, and we should all be grateful and thank our lucky stars for this gift

    A warning to all. Arsenal negativity will lead to a Ugandan prison

  46. chas says:

    I just wanted to say that “Fatso” played for us in the Carling Cup Final of February 2011.

  47. chas says:

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas I wanted to say the same thing. 🙂

    Thought it maybe a little more chippy if I then mentioned that their “winners” couldn’t win at the Britannia either, and even at the Stadium of Light for the last three years.

  49. chas says:

    Micky do you use surfy words like stoked, gnarly, tubes, barrels and BOOM or are there West country versions?

    Clark Little googleplus page.
    https://plus.google.com/107112192270189573201/posts

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning

    Every surfer uses “stoked” and so on. I don’t.

    This was for you yesterday but you’d gone gym. It’s long, but skip to 10:40

  51. chas says:

    GIE
    I’ve not heard ‘chippy’ used like that for ages.
    It made me immediately think of Liam who had that little edge to him.

    After Brady’s goal at 15.10, his celebration towards the Shelf sums him up for me.

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    Figured it was better than churlish or sarcastic 😀

    RA have read the Henry comments re Suarez’s transfer. I hope for their sake they compensated Suarez’s agent in the latest contract talks, as surely it is him who has missed out on the biggest slice of income and therefore most likely to challenge their treatment of his player.

    Seems Henry is confused over a contracts worth and the details/clauses within a contract. He asserts that contracts mean nothing..why because he was “forced” to sell Torres? Well surely that does make the contract meaningful otherwise Chavs could have walked him away for nothing.

  53. evonne says:

    interesting point Chas – so why didn’t Fatso do for us what he does for City? Is it because he is full of confidence and has acquired the ‘winning mentality’?

    GiE – I have always admired your positive outlook and well reasoned arguments. However, I find it more and more difficult to accept that we are still not good enough to win trophies, to be there on top. Look at Liverpool, they were pants for a few years, eventually regrouped and came back a much better team. They are probably not richer than us, so why are we still not quite there again?

    I am grumpy today, but not looking for a fight, just some answers

  54. chas says:

    Cheers, loving that seal.

    I bet the FFBW’s arse makes him very buoyant in the water.

  55. chas says:

    evonne
    It’s because he is a big fat wanker who thought it easier to join an oily club for double his wages so that he could ‘win’ himself a trophy rather than stay and fight with the club which gave him his chance.

    As regards the dippers, as Micky said yesterday, it’s all about perspective. We are on the same points as them. It just depends on how you choose to look at things.

    Btw, I think you should take Wenger off you bedside table. Might bring us some good fortune. 🙂

  56. chas says:

    * your

  57. RA says:

    Morning Fellas,

    Had a great shock reading the comments this morning and thought Terry Syrup had gone over to the dark side ……..

    — “Wenger was a tosser. Were was the other striker we needed?, midfield enforcer, winger, back up for Per? Why does he persist in playing midgits? we need a replacement for Diaby. Whats Kronke doing?, the tight git. Whos responsible for not beefing up the squad, Wenger or Kronke? Who ever it is, they must pay

    Then I heard it. The shrill laughter of the Mrs voice. Such a cackle is beyond the norms of socialy acceptable behaviour.”

    Phew – I thought we were doomed!! 🙂

  58. Vinay says:

    Jack is doing what Aaron did a few seasons back, trying to be awesome, exceptional with everything, every pass, trying to be someone else than themselves. If he keeps it simple, jack is still the man that matters.
    Tactically poor by the boss, stoke cant handle pace and pool showed it the other day, if Ox was fit then why not have him start? atleast Ganbry, why are we protecting everyone all the time.
    The team seems to be timid when confronted and thats Wenger’s fault, when facing an adversity, face it face to face than hide and hope.
    10 games to go, if we win this saturday we are going to wembley as well, all is not lost but winners need to have courage, the boys and the boss needs this message installed in their brains and heart.

  59. evonne says:

    nope, the photo of Arsene stays by my side

    RA – I missed that one 🙂 “Such a cackle is beyond the norms of socially acceptable behaviour”

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    On saturday after the game, I was listening to the radio in the car, and a Pool fan was saying that not playing in the Europa/CL was a massive advantage to them, and their squad was not so stretched or so vulnerable to injuries.
    They have retained services of Gerrard and Suarez, while we’ve lost Aaron and Theo.

  61. evonne says:

    Micky – I said this the other day – not playing in the CL could benefit the team, BUT it would cost the club more than £150mil in revenues (according to Ramon Calderon), so we know what are Wenger’s objectives. Never mind the FA cup, we must finish 4th.

    And, I still think we should have bought Suarez, no matter what. How come that when ManU want a player they almost always get him? and when they want to keep someone, they almost always do? I don’t want to sound like a miserable old git, but it is not just that one last game. We had several bad games, but managed to keep face. Do any of you REALLY think that we have any chance whatsoever of winning anything this season?

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne…as much chance as Liverpool.

    More than Spuds and ManUre, less than City and Chavs.

    Liverpool have a blistering attack but a vacant defence.

    We have presently a good defence and a ponderous attack.

    This weekend the defence couldn’t keep bailing out the midfield and attack as they have done for a lot of the season, so the attack didn’t have time to make its mark. We can be a more complete side than Liverpool.

  63. chas says:

    What part of this don’t you understand?

    Liverpool owner John W Henry is adamant that Luis Suarez will not be sold this summer, no matter what offers the club receive.
    Suarez is currently being forced to train away from the first-team having gone public with his desire to secure a switch to Premier League rivals Arsenal.
    In a hard-hitting interview of his own, Henry laughed off reports suggesting Liverpool would be prepared to do business with Arsene Wenger’s side, insisting it would be “ludicrous” to sell to a rival – particularly one that are likely to be competing with Liverpool for a top four finish this season.
    “We are not going to sell Luis,” Henry told various newspapers. “It’s very important [not to sell to a rival], but especially for Liverpool because we’re not in Europe this year.”

  64. chas says:

    Or this (even without the courting of Fabregas)?

    Thiago Alcantara was a prime target, but doubts over whether the young Spaniard could cope with the physical demands of the Premier League ­enabled Bayern Munich to snatch him from Barca.

    There was further ­embarrassment with a bid to sign £36m-rated Ander ­Herrera from ­Athletic Bilbao when United were hamstrung by Spain’s tax laws.

    And with Everton ­refusing to budge on a £20m valuation of Leighton Baines, a deal to bring in Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao on loan collapsed. United also failed with late bids for Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Wesley ­Sneijder of Galatasaray.

  65. evonne says:

    I cannot be bothered to find quotes from Wenger proclaiming that Nasri and R$P are not for sale.

    GiE – yep, as much chance as Pool. I wish it was more

  66. kelsey says:

    Morning evonne and all.

    You are not alone in your thinking so why not write a post about it.No one on here will abuse you.

    However remember Kim is nearly fit and should be ready for our last two league games.:)

    I hear our total wage bill will hit 190 million this season.

  67. evonne says:

    I know I am not alone Kelsey. There is this really old full kit wanker in Trent, who was almost crying after the game on Saturday.

  68. Shard says:

    I haven’t really looked around the web since the defeat to Stoke, and I feel slightly better about the result (though not the performance) Would we have said we are out of the title race if we’d won this and lost to either Chelsea or City? We’re clearly a better team than Stoke, but lost. We also have it in us to beat both those teams. The title isn’t gone yet. Tough though it is.

    Also, does anybody still get annoyed by the 3 dropped points to Anthony Villa? Or the numerous points Chelsea have gotten off of referees obliging them? The difference between teams is smaller than you might think, regardless of issues of lack of pace, or another striker.

    Evonne
    “How come that when ManU want a player they almost always get him?”

    Lucas Moura, Wesley Sneijder, Mario Gotze, Cesc Fabregas, Leighton Baines, Fabio Coentrao and need I say it, Aaron Ramsey.

    ManU’s buying power has been declining for a few years now. ManU have also spent a lot of money even this season and they haven’t bought well. In fact that is the difference between Arsenal and the oilers and ManU. They can afford to get it wrong and hence take more risks in the transfer market. Arsenal, as of now, can’t. Though this will change.

  69. Morning all

    We have a New Post …………………….

  70. Shard says:

    I think the one decision that was wrong by Wenger, was to not play Flamini. Maybe playing him would have backfired as he would have got a red card, especially if the referee stayed as pro-Stoke as he appeared. But Flamini would certainly have reacted to Adam’s thuggish behaviour and put the fear of god in some of the other Stoke cowards. The referee was clearly not doing his job in that regard, but sadly, none of the players really stepped up. Maybe they tried, and decided that the ref would punish them? I think Rosicky got booked for very little. Although I can’t remember.

    As for playing the Ox, I think it was clear that a) the plan was to let Ozil and Ox exploit the increasing space later in the game, and b) maybe the Everton game was also in Wenger’s mind. You know, to get a trophy.

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Let us enjoy MU’s decline because it is temporary. They have no problem with FFP and will be the biggest spenders this summer.

    The only doubt is whether Moyes will be there.

    Having 5 quality teams makes it more exciting.

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