A Good Man in Charge

Mr Wenger’s 1000th game in charge – may there be many more.

How do Chelsea and their manager celebrate this astonishing feat? By a typically snide remark which tells the whole story of our two clubs and why Chelsea, however many trophies they buy, will always be the 2nd club in London.

Rarely do two managers so precisely mirror the ethics of their clubs. Mr Wenger is a Gentleman – honest, intelligent, well-mannered,  believes in tradition and winning the right way. Me-rinho is a Snake Oil salesman – a man without honour – concrete evidence being the “eye-gouge”. His attitude is to win at all costs as long as He is the centre of attraction. If his team bore, foul or cheat so what – winning is all and it is the High Priest of the Me Generation who will take the plaudits..

And that is why if Arsenal win, lose or draw today Arsene Wenger walks away from Stamford Bridge a winner.

Given the choice of taking 3 points from an away tie against Chelsea or Spurs which would you choose? Yes, I know the answer is both but as pleasant as mashing the Spuds is, it has become an every season event whereas beating Chelsea is proving to be a stumbling block. So, BR’s choice is to win at Stamford Bridge.

Trouble is we haven’t won there since The Ox was in primary school. Can we break the hoodoo? Can Mr Wenger finally get a victory over Me-rinho? Will Arsenal break The Smug One’s incredible home record? Let’s be honest – it would be a shock.


I don’t like Chelsea, I don’t like the way they have changed football hugely for the worse. I don’t like that they win thanks to financial doping (© AW). I don’t like John Terry. Nor do I like the diving antics of Oscar, Hazard, Torres, et al.

I may not like them but I do have respect for them. Me-rinho is unquestionably a superb manager and he has created an efficient winning side. He knows how to get the best out of his players even the decrepit Terry.

The loss at Aston Villa has opened up the title race with 4 teams having a realistic chance of being crowned Champions. Win today and Arsenal are sitting pretty, especially if we can get something from the Man City home game. Trouble is our record at the Bridge in recent years is poor, make that very poor.

I won’t bore you with tactics that I know nothing about nor stats that will depress you. So …. onto our team selection:

Back 5 pick themselves. And so do the rest of the team – especially if Rosicky is out.

chavs v arse

The bench looks light and we really would be in trouble were we to lose another midfielder or, heaven forbid, OG. Nonetheless we can count on Vermaelen, Monreal, Fabianski, Gnabry etc

Chelsea: The name originates (apparently) form the ancient English for “place on the river to land limestone or chalk”. Seems a bit dubious to me.  A church synod (meeting of church leaders) was held at Chelsea in 787 AD. The Manor of Chelsea appears in the Domesday book.

King Henry VIII bought Chelsea Manor and both Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleeves lived there – Anne was divorced after just 6 months of marriage and Catherine outlived him. Kings Road (Kelsey’s old haunt) was built in the 1690’s for King Charles II  and was his private road from St. James to his palace at Fulham. Charles also ordered the building of the Chelsea Royal Hospital at the suggestion of his mistresss, Nell Gwynn.

Enough of that and back to the game ….

We have been stuttering of late, good at home and not so good away. We defended magnificently at Spurs but Lady Luck was with us, so too at Bayern. If we play with so little possession and so close to our own goal we will lose this afternoon.

A last word about Mr Wenger: Whatever his skills as a football manager his greatest talent is that he is a thoroughly decent man.


Big Raddy

295 Responses to A Good Man in Charge

  1. Morning all

    Well said Raddy. I have to admit to being nervous about today’s game and we need a secret weapon if we’re going to surprise the chavs. I’m pinning my hopes on a couple of chances for either Poldi, The Ox or Santi, all three can score from outside the box, bring it on 😆

  2. arnie says:

    Lovely stuff, Raddy. 🙂 Nor arguments really. Just a matter for the good guys to turn up with their correct boots. “break the hoodoo” and on we go! Come on the good guys, and give Wenger a brilliant 1000th game reward. You and we all know he deserves it.

    Crucial game, tactics is bollix in this situation. Big effort is more important.


  3. g clarke says:

    Wenger and arsenal are constantly under attack by the media when are bloggers going to fight back

  4. arnie says:

    g clarke: the fight is well and truly on. come on, off your perch, and join the fight. right here and now. 🙂

  5. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Thanks for a fine one.

    Are you forgetting the 5-3 from 2011?
    Admittedly not with Maureen in charge.

  6. Sav from Australia says:

    Thanks for the pre-match, Big Raddy.

    Arsenal are a better team than Chelsea. Even with the injuries. But, but, but, the referee Mariner (and his able assistants) will do what they almost all always do, and let Chelsea kick and hack and dive their way to victory. The little fouls, the niggly kicks, the dives for free kicks and penalties, the elbows, the knees in the small of the back, the trips when Arsenal are breaking at speed, the yellow cards given/not given depending on the colour of the shirt….this nonsense will decide the match just like it always does with Chelsea.

    I hate it. I hate the cheating and I hate Chelsea in particular. But there is hope. This Arsenal team cannot be bullied or intimidated. We will prevail.

  7. Danny says:

    King Charles II died in 1685.
    You see Raddy we do indeed read every word you write!

  8. arnie says:

    great stuff Chas.

    We have a good combination in the midfield today, both seasoned and strong. we will do well. 🙂

  9. arnie says:

    Mobbollix odds for the game are: 31% for a win, 52% a draw, and only an ignorable 17% a loss. COYG we can do it. WE WILL DO IT!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. chas says:

    A typical Chelsea supporter preparing for the game.


  11. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    A fine pre match report as ever Raddy and congratulations to AW for reaching 1000 games.

    IMO this is our most difficult game left this season and historically Mourinho has always put out a side that we never seem to beat,but though not confident,never say never.

    Hazard is the guy to watch and I expect Flamini to be allover him and most probably get yellow carded.

    We have to play the ball on the ground as much as possible,especially the cut back from the bye line which is so effective, and as Raddy says we need a better performance than last week,as Chelsea are a far better side than Spurs.

    I have a hunch Gnabry and/or Sanogo might feature purely for the reason that they are pretty unknown to the Chelsea team.

    Giroud needs to really put on a master class and that means scoring and hopefully Podolski has his left foot primed.

    Unfortunately I won’t be around to watch the game but to those going hopefully you will applaud our manager and hopefully the few Chelsea fans who are honourable will do the same.

  12. Rasp says:

    That’s a great PM Raddy, I especially like paragraph 3 …. “And that is why if Arsenal win, lose or draw today Arsene Wenger walks away from Stamford Bridge a winner.” so true.

    Our first aim must be not to concede an early goal. Show them that we can defend but also keep the ball and hopefully our passing game will be back to its best (it hasn’t been great recently). It will only be a goalfest if the chavs score first, if we can keep it tight then a draw or a narrow victory is definitely on the cards.

  13. arnie says:

    Moaninho does strategy bollix, and does it well. So, what will be his strategy today. I suspect it will be “boring boring Chelsea” and try to catch us on the break. Yes, we have to be vigilant. 🙂

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning all, thanks BR for a fine pre-match post.

    Danny, it is well known that The Kings Road was originally envisaged at the time of King Charles 1. Unfortunately, like most construction projects in the Capital it fell foul of the local planners and various local interest groups as well as a small number of environmentalist who found a colony of rare Blue-Coated Toads living on the route of the road. The project was then further delayed by a bloke called Oliver Cromwell who poked his wart laden nose in and stopped not just the road but also the continued life of the King.

    Eventually the Monarchy was restored under Charles 11 and the Kings Road Project was re-activated but suffered from budget overspends and further delays due to the Great Plague and the Great fire of London and so was not finished before the death of a second king. Still the project staggered on another king, James11, came and went to be followed by Queen Mary 11. Finally the road was finished. At the opening ceremony the intention had been to name the new thoroughfare Queens Road, but the local council workman had used the name-plates previously supplied under the original contract and so The King’s Road came into being.

    Over budget and overdue

  15. Gööner In Exile says:

    Now sitting waiting for new tyres to be fitted, should be back for kick off and George occupying, going to record match so can savour the victory later when all are in bed. 🙂

    Will hopefully read pre match when home.


  16. Gunnern5 says:

    Chelsea Subs

    Schwarzer, Kalas, Mikel, Lampard, Salah, Ba, Torres
    Chelsea Team

    Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Luiz, Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o
    Arsenal Subs

    Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Kallstrom, Gnabry, Flamini, Sanogo
    Arsenal Team

    Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud
    Team News

    Arsene Wenger has picked the same starting XI that beat Tottenham last weekend

  17. Good luck for everything Arsenal today.
    Come on you Gunners!!!

  18. Sav from Australia says:

    The battle of Stamford Bridge soon to commence…

  19. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Raddy, (and a thanks to GN5 for yesterdays post), and I am in wholehearted agreement with you about Wengers class whatever the result, and Maureens lack of it.

    Those of you that know more about my inner thoughts will know that I consider tactics and tactical considerations to be important. I don’t feel they are as important in certain games against lesser sides but against better sides with better players I feel that getting tactics right can be the fine margin between winning and losing a game against the top sides (sorry to disagree with you arnie).

    I feel we have got things wrong a few times recently, as in against Stoke, Bayern and Spuds. I actually thought that Bayern away and the Spuds game played out in a similar fashion. The Spuds one we got away with because they lacked that bit of quality that Bayern have to exploit the situation. The situation being (IMO) that both teams were allowed to play a high defensive line and camp on the halfway line. This for me led to the seige type situation where we found it difficult to get out from being camped in our own penalty area.

    The key to this is the pace up top, or in our case the lack of it when we play Ollie there. This is not a criticism of Ollie who I like but his lack of pace for me can work tactically against us. Against the Spuds the answer to this was shown early on when the Ox played higher up and got behind there high defensive line 2-3 times much to Sherwoods annoyance. Had he continued to play high then I think we would have got the 2nd and 3rd goals on the counter-attack but as the game went on he seemed to drop deeper and left Ollie as the player playing off their last defender. This invited them and gave them confidence to play the high defensive line realising the threat of getting in behind them had gone.

    I ask myself who would Cahill and Terry prefer to be handling, Ollie or the Ox? I feel if they were asked they would say they would prefer to be marking Ollie rather than the pace and movement of AOC. I feel if we don’t get some pace high up on their defensive line the same situation could unfold. We really only have the Ox and Gnabry as realistic options to give us that pace so I will be interested to see how it all shapes up.

    The other option is that you are absolutely right arnie and tactics is all bollix and I am talking utter manure. I actually hope so and would love to be wrong and see Ollie bully their CD’s and bang in a hat-trick.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Good stuff BR

    I have a sneaky feeling we’re in with a chance of edging a tight game today…

    Hope the officials don’t give the Chavs their usual freebies (dodgy penalties etc).

  21. arnie says:


  22. arnie says:

    lovely from OG

  23. arnie says:

    oh dear!!!!! all to do

  24. arnie says:

    looking very bad, chums.

  25. 26may1989 says:

    Just switched on for number one, just seen number two. Bloody hell…..

  26. Gööner In Exile says:

    What the hell are our full backs up to? Why why why push so far forward when we have the ball?

  27. Rasp says:

    What a bunch of wankers, why did we have to play in such a cavalier manner? All we needed to do was keep it tight for the first 20 mins. It’s pathetic and unprofessional

  28. Rasp says:

    Oh bugger 😦

  29. 26may1989 says:

    I haven’t seen much but our players seem to have been pretty naive in possession – Matic could see what Cazorla was going to do when received the ball inside and was instantly on him, forcing the error and creating the break.

  30. JWP says:

    looks like we have learned from liverpool away. well done

  31. 26may1989 says:

    Seriously, they need to anticipate the pressure from Chelsea’s midfielders much better.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh bloody hell. Only 12 minutes late 😦

  33. JWP says:

    at least we have top quality strikers to get the goals we need

  34. Rasp says:

    Well we need to score the next goal and then keep tight to have any hope in this game

  35. 26may1989 says:

    Has to be red

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Disastrous, just disastrous…..

  37. arnie says:

    unfortunately, yes

  38. 26may1989 says:

    Gibbs sent off, wrong man.

  39. Rasp says:

    My god, this is an embarrassment 😦

  40. 26may1989 says:

    If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Ox stays on…..

    But 3-0 down.

  41. White Bear says:

    see you next week

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can we sneak out yet?

  43. GoonerB says:

    Very similar to pool away. Who is assigned to snuff them out in front of our back 4. Is anyone assigned for that duty? They have acres of space there so our defence is continually running back towards goal. Per likes to drop deeper than the others likely for pace reasons but it means there runners are getting behind the other defenders and being played onside.

    Other teams seem to play 2 dm’s in front of the back 4 in tricky away games but not us. This is an absolute shambles of our own making.

  44. Why was Gibbs sent off?

  45. JWP says:

    Embarressing again !!! Who is to blame guys ? same mistakes ?

  46. 26may1989 says:

    I would take off Giroud and bring on Flamini – we might not be able to attack much but it would give us a chance in midfield.

  47. Rasp says:

    We should have started with Flamini GoonerB -same mistake by wenger again , he never learns

  48. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell even when players tell the ref who hand balled it and they ignore them!

    Not sure on rules but surely hasn’t stopped a goal scoring opportunity if ball is going wide?

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks for the match report. Love the place names theme.
    Hope you’re still antiquing.

  50. JanMan says:

    Sorry but this team today is a total embarrassment to Mr. Wenger and the fans of Arsenal football club. They are just not interested and have not bothered to turn up.

  51. This is a shambles Arsenal. They can’t be sober!!

  52. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, greatest of respect and all that, you know how much I like you, but to speak of Wenger never learning is like him telling you that you know nothing about your job – even in shitty situations like this, he deserves more respect.

    Cue stupid comment from JWP.

  53. JanMan says:

    Rasp. Sorry but you are wrong. Flamini would not have made any difference to this team today, none of them have bothered to show up!!

  54. RockyLives says:

    After Anfield and Citeh away, this is a shocking, embarrassing, pathetic way to approach a big away game.

    What is it about our DNA that makes our entire midfield and even our fullbacks feel they can all play as attackers against really top teams?

    I’m afraid Arsene Wenger has to carry the can.

    And lovely little Oxlade-Chamberlain – a super little player – seems to have been infected with the Arsenal virus that makes our players commit kamikaze at crucial moments. Remember Cesc’s handball in the wall?

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    But in terms of performance well we didn’t start. Players to blame as much as Wenger look at their positions when we lost possession.

    Missing too many key men.

  56. Rasp says:

    We can only play for pride now. Moaninho can laugh in wingers face after this

  57. 26may1989 says:

    Have to agree with JanMan, these players should have more pride about the way they play. Wenger and the coaches can’t make them concentrate once they’re across the line – that’s up to them.

  58. JanMan says:

    GIE:We are not missing to many key men that is just an excuse and you know it.

  59. RockyLives says:

    How many times will we hear “specialist in failure” for the rest of the weekend?

    As much as anything I really pissed off because – like Liverpool – after looking forward to a game for days it’s all gone in 10 minutes.

  60. 26may1989 says:

    I’m not very happy about the way our lot are playing even now – they are still strolling about, as if they were holding it at 0-0.

  61. Rasp says:

    I disagree 26 (respectfully) the players should have had it drummed into them that they must keep it tight against the chavs – we know from interviews with players that he doesn’t do this

  62. JanMan says:

    Rasp. No pride to play for today, sorry! I am so bloody mad as this is just playing into the hands of that cnut Morinho

  63. JWP says:

    26may1989 – my comment was stupid

    looks like someone is throwing their toys out the pram
    its a shame you can not accept other peoples views?

    Wenger sets the team up the same for every game and it dosnt work as we can see again today. Who else is to blame. We all make mistakes and people who earn 7.5m per year should learn from them!

  64. RockyLives says:

    It’s not about the key men. Our starting 11 was perfectly capable of giving the Chavs a good game.

    To me they all looked nervous from the kick-off, but the absolute shocking tactics (or lack of them) has cost us dear.

  65. JanMan says:

    Rasp. Come on now, these are professional players, if they don’t know that then they should not pull on an Arsenal shirt!

  66. Rasp says:

    If that is the case, then we don’t need a manager. The managers job was to prepare the players for this specific game against this specific team.

  67. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, we don’t know, we just pick up tiny little fragments, much of which isn’t representative of much, and much of which is likely not to be true. You know it’s one of my hobby horses, the extent to which fans feel able to criticise coaching without possibly knowing what goes on at the training ground. All we have by way of actual information is what happens on the pitch. Which today is deeply annoying. But we just do not know anything else.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Chavs are really, really up for this, snapping into every tackle, winning every 50/50. We are not.


  69. JanMan says:

    Guys, missing key players, tactics, having things drummed into them! All Bollox…. sorry, today these guys are not interested, not performing and appear not to give a shite. I am so mad, I am done, that’s it for me today!

  70. 26may1989 says:

    That, Rocky, is the mystery.

  71. Rasp says:

    3 nil up and Ivanovic is still cheating – we’re being completely mugged. Their approach to the game is vastly different to ours, in that context there is only going to be one winner

  72. RockyLives says:

    I’m afraid to say the opening few minutes – with Ollie wasting a great chance and Eto burying their first chance – also tells its own story.

    We need a top striker.

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There’s definitely more spirit on this site than on the f’ing pitch.

  74. JanMan says:

    Rasp. You are clutching at straws, all the preperation in the world means nothing if the players don’t do the business on the field. Surely you do not think that Wenger did not prepare them for this game?

  75. RockyLives says:

    And we need a proper beast in the holding midfield role.

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Anyway, i’m determined to stay zen about all this – I’ve just got back from two weeks of very stressful work abroad, and have seen my wonderful family for the first time in ages. Plus the sun is shining, and I’ve got a few days off.

    That’s my equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and going “La la la la can’t hear you….”.

  77. And we need to stop sending high balls into Giroud!!!!!!!! Pointless

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    Regarding tactics etc etc.

    Look at the times we gave the goals away, look at the man in possession and look at his options, one of two things happening:

    A) man in possession taking longer to move ball on than shape dictated.
    B) players are not sticking to the shape and instead running away from the man in possession.

    But for me the key is the full backs. When we play badly they just switch off and stroll up the touch line.

  79. RockyLives says:

    It’s all about the Cup now. And hoping we can do enough against the lesser clubs to keep in the top four.

    Man City at the Ems is not a very appealing prospect.

  80. LB says:

    Haven’t read all the comments but I agree with Rasp completely: the need for Flamini was glaringly obvious.

    The calculation that we wouldn’t need more steel in the defensive part of the midfield is nothing short of amateurish.

    I walked out of the pub, too many chavs.

  81. 26may1989 says:

    I really, really want another midfield player on – without that, this could end up very ugly indeed.

  82. Rasp says:

    Yes Janman, I do think Wenger sent them out to this game in the same way he sends them out to every game, he builds their confidence and tells them to express themselves, he doesn’t legislate for the strengths of the opposition – I’ve read it many times. Playing like that we will win a lot of games but not beat the better teams regularly enough

  83. 26may1989 says:

    I hope Wenger tears into these players at half time, the lack of energy and concentration is pathetic.

  84. RockyLives says:

    It all depends now on how many the Chavs want to score.

    I suspect it will end up 6 or 7, but it could be worse.

  85. 26may1989 says:

    For fuck’s sake, I am getting pissed off with this lot – we have two players attacking (Giroud and Rosicky) when we are being decimated and are a man down. That leads to no strength in midifeld and all the space Chelsea could want. What the fuck are these players doing?

  86. Rasp says:

    26, I guess you didn’t hear the interview with David Seaman. The players aren’t allowed to talk for the first 12 mins at half time, they must sit and reflect and then AW gives them their instructions calmly before they go out again. Wenger told pat rice to shut up and sit down when he ranted at the team at half time on one occasion

  87. JanMan says:

    Rasp. I truly find that very hard to believe! Any way it is now 4-0 so I don’t want to comment any further. There are simply no excuses to be made for this lack luster performance. I am going to take my grandkids for a walk in the park and find some pigeons to kick

  88. 26may1989 says:

    But Rasp, we’ve also heard any number of times in recent times of Wenger ranting at half time.

  89. RockyLives says:

    I am in a very bad mood but, all the same, I find it depressing that whenever the ball gets to Giroud in a shooting position I feel absolutely no excitement, let alone any expectation that he’s going to score.

  90. GoonerB says:

    I know this will split fans again but i have to say i am with rasp on this one. Arsene is the worlds best coach for me but i feel he always goes into a big matchday as if he has a team with no weakness in it. This was horribly wrong from the outset and has ruined his 1000 th birthday and now we will have to listen to how jose got one over on him again. I dont think they have a better side than us either. 2 dm’s to shore up that area and pace up top so you can break quicly and dangerously.

    I have to say i am very disappointed and and much as i am an arsene fan i cant go along with the complete immunity to criticism line and that anything that may lay blame at the managers feet is deemed to be disrespectful. I also find the line sbout players not being bothered and not turning up a bit tired. Every time we are out maneuvered and thumped by a rival this seems to be the reason for some and it has nothing to do with anything else.

  91. 26may1989 says:

    How is that a corner?

  92. Rasp says:

    Well maybe he should rant at them before they take to the pitch 26m, because he is failing to prepare them for the game ahead when we play the big teams in the domestic league

  93. When we get beat we don’t half get beat 😦

  94. 26may1989 says:

    I’m sure we could pick better starting XIs, but the real problem is the way the players on the pitch are going about their job. Every single one of them (perhaps Szczesny aside) has failed to do what they can do, at the most basic level.

  95. RockyLives says:

    “I have to say i am very disappointed and much as i am an arsene fan i cant go along with the complete immunity to criticism line and that anything that may lay blame at the managers feet is deemed to be disrespectful.”


    Arsene carries the can for this.

  96. 26may1989 says:

    OK Rasp, we’re going to have to agree to disagree – but I stick to what I say, we can’t legitimately talk of things like what is done by way of preparing the team. But peace, my friend! 🙂

  97. We shouldn’t be down to ten men though so that’s a really poor decision that has gone against us.

  98. sweeps says:

    No tactics from a manager who is paid £8 million a year it is absolutely criminal.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:


    “And we need a proper beast in the holding midfield role”
    Of course I agree. Sad fact is the most beastly we do have is sitting on the bench.

    Also, it has to be down to the Manager if the players are not fired up. If he can fire them up at half time, why the hell not before KO.
    It’s certainly not the first time.

  100. arnie says:

    very very poor, worse in my book than even Pool away, and we thought it could not be worse!!!! how can you wear an Arsenal shirt if you have no pride.

    Only way fans are superb. very very sad. :sad

  101. Rasp says:

    Of course, peace 26m 🙂 but I disagree with ‘we can’t legitimately’ talk of these matters. How much evidence do we need before we can begin to draw conclusions?

  102. arnie says:

    should I watch the second half, or move to England-NZ 20-20?

  103. RockyLives says:

    I have absolutely no knowledge of what goes on at the training ground or in the dressing room at half time.

    But nearly 50 years of watching footy allows me to believe the evidence of my own eyes – that in this game (as with Liverpool away and Citeh away) – we have employed tactics that border on the inept.

    Whether that’s because the players have not been properly instructed, or were properly instructed but collectively decided to ignore their instructions, or whether the players were instructed to play cavalier “don’t worry about defending” football… who knows?

  104. neamman says:

    Disappointing, so disappointing. I agree with all those that said Flamini must be in the side against another top 4 team away. Wasn’t he also not included at Liverpool and City?

  105. RockyLives says:

    stick with the cricket arnie

  106. arnie says:

    I will give it 5 mins to see how the team reacts

  107. 26may1989 says:

    Looking at GB and Rocky’s posts, I have to defend my position here: I didn’t say that there’s anything wrong with criticising the manager, who obviously carries plenty of responsibility (though not all of it). What I said was disrespectful was the specific suggestion that man with his CV and his years of experience doesn’t learn lessons, it was that form of words that I objected to, because however badly we play, not one of us (not even Exile) can begin to understand the game with the depth that Wenger (or any other experienced coach) can. If I started telling one of you lot how to do your job, or if you told me how to be a good lawyer, the same principle would apply.

    So please do go ahead, please do criticise Wenger, seriously, but I think it is only meaningful to criticise based on what we actually know.

  108. Danny says:

    Since when does a hand ball in the box mean red? The shot was going wide anyway.
    Oh well Swansea on Tuesday. Let’s wrap up 4th place and win the FA Cup.

  109. RockyLives says:

    Hey 26
    I wasn’t arguing with you!

    Just joining the discussion 🙂

  110. Gööner In Exile says:

    Right let’s look realistically at the team that went on the park and Chavs team.

    No surprise Chavs went Luiz and Matic in front of a defensive back four leaving 3 attackers and striker.

    We went on to the park with four attacking midfielders and one holding.

    I’d like to know who started on the right side of our midfield, guess Santi or Ox but they were hardly there.

    But look at it, you’re not going to beat Chavs 4 + 2 with 3+1 and our 4+1 should be able to cope with their 3+1. And here is where I feel the players let the whole system down. For our 4+1 to work the full backs must must must stay in defensive line with the centre backs and Arteta must must must only be there to mop up in front and pressure the ball at Oscars feet.

    The other two in midfield need to be close to Arteta when he has possession and close together when they are in possession and the wide men need to stay wide.

    So do I think we chose a side to beat Chavs, yes, do I think the players have done what Wenger asked? Not by a long chalk.

    Who do I blame? The players.

    And I hate criticising youngsters but Ox needs to take a look at himself for that moment of stupidity, never in a million years is 3-0 down and 11 men better than 2-0 down and ten men which is basically what he can only realistically be hoping to achieve when he does that.

  111. RockyLives says:

    In any case, most people are not claiming to “know” – they’re just saying what they feel to be the case.

    After Anfield, I think it’s fair to say that “we” (the manager, the team) have not learnt the lesson they should have heard.

    For goodness sake, even the American presenter on TV over here knows enough to say: “when you go away to top teams for crucial games the most important thing is to keep it tight at the start.”

  112. Rasp says:

    26, AW has been at Arsenal 18 years. These are all his players, playing football in the way he coaches, and taking to the pitch under his instructions. The fact that we were not present at the team talk before the game doesn’t mean that the evidence of the way we played for that first 45 is not admissible …. Your honour 😆

  113. RockyLives says:

    Five four, we’re gonna win five four…

  114. 26may1989 says:

    Not a problem Rockster, I was just dealing with the disrespect theme.

    Interesting question, the one about whether the deliberate handball (and that is certainly what it was) should have been a red given that the path of the ball looked to be going wide. Morally, I have to say the red for Ox would have been deserved, since his intention was obvious. But strictly speaking, it probably shouldn’t have been a red. The notes to Law 12 say the following on the subject:

    “A player is sent off, however, if he prevents a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball. This punishment arises not from the act of the player deliberately handling the ball but from the unacceptable and unfair intervention that prevented a goal being scored.”

    So, it would seem (and I’ve never seen this issue arise before) that there does need to be an “an obvious goalscoring opportunity” – if the ball wasn’t obviously going in, there would appear not to be such an opportunity, so no red. But I do feel sorry for the ref in that situation (but not the mistaken identity), since it was pretty reasonable to think the ball was going in. However, there is probably a good argument to say Ox shouldn’t get a ban.

    As for the mistaken identity, that’s pretty pathetic, and frankly the fact that both Ox and Gibbs are mixed race must have played a part. Simply no excuse for that, especially since it looks like Ox actually said it was him.

  115. RockyLives says:

    I don’t believe the players would have played the way they did if AW had drummed into them before the game: “Above all, keep it tight for the first 20 minutes.”

    Do I know he didn’t say that? Of course not.

    Do I strongly doubt he said it? Of course.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Oh dear. Just got in and seen the half time score.

    What should AW batten down the hatches and hope we don’t concede 7 or attack and go down in flames?

  117. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, me old mucker, you miss my point, but if it hasn’t already, it will bore the tits off everyone if I carry on, so will take my seat, and enjoy our five-goal scoring half……

  118. RockyLives says:

    I’m sure you’re right about the red card 26. It should have been a yellow but the officials didn’t have a clue what they were doing and were basically doing what the Chav players told them.

    Sadly the sending off will give AW the chance to say that “although it would be difficult we were still in the game until the sending off and penalty.” Which would be patently untrue.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Just look at our eleven out there now. Hardly a flicker of flare. Very sad that we have to resort to this.

  120. Rasp says:

    😀 I get your point 26m but maybe getting upset about some perceived disrespect to the manager when his team are being completely outplayed by a side that is not technically superior does raise some obvious questions of him.

    All we need to do now is play like Newcastle and it will be a 4:4 draw 😕

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Rocky,
    But that had to be straight Red. Ref not to know it was curling in, and as 26 rightly said, his intention was crystal clear, but as you say, I really really hope Arsene doesn’t try and use that as an excuse.

  122. Rasp says:

    Well something positive must have been said at half time because we’re playing a lot better now although still leaving ourselves vulnerable to being hit on the break – not much choice there when down to ten men I suppose

  123. 26may1989 says:

    My bet is that Wenger doesn’t use the red as an excuse – I could end with egg on my face for saying that, but the evidence of profound lethargy on the part of every player in a red shirt is too strong.

    And now Szczesny makes his first mistake. Bollocks.

  124. 26may1989 says:

    At least I’m not going to be in the office till Thursday, hopefully that will save me from the Gooner baiting.

  125. GoonerB says:

    Hi 26. I always enjoy our discussions so definitely dont want to be upsetting anyone least of all you. My opinion is only that and actually hasnt changed over a few years now regarding arsene and matchday tactics. I normally pipe down and dont say anything for fear of upsetting people i like and respect.

    I actually have very heated debates with close personal friends but it is always with me defending arsene. The one area i happen to agree with them on is arsenes tactics or what i feel is a lack of them against the better sides. I dont think he is naive or doesnt recognise and learn from situations. I feel it is more thst he doesnt want to do things a different way.

    I more see arsene as being a romantic and refusing to be more pragmatic when maybe he should. I dont think that he cant just that he doesnt want to. When he had players like petit and vieira he had both substance and style so the need to think it through more wasnt needed. If he has to make a choice between substance or style, as i believe is the case with the current squad, then he will never sacrifice style for substance.

    I have commented before that i feel that he can win the epl again but only if we get those players that cover all bases do that the need to adapt the team to the opposition and game is removed like he had with his great earlier sides. That means finding new vieiras and henry’s. Without that i dont see him winning the epl again because there will always.be those 4-5 gsmes each season like this one and liverpool where we get it wrong.

    The media will say that mourinho has out maneuvered wenger again. I dont see him as the genius they make out and feel that it is arsene that out manuevers himself.

  126. RockyLives says:

    This could get very, very bad.

    Hope we keep it to single figures.

  127. 26may1989 says:

    Six, I think I may break the habit of a lifetime and switch off.

  128. Rasp says:

    Ok, no point in criticising the team or the manager any more at this point. The score tells its own story, a day to forget. Let’s make it motivate us for Tuesday and win the FA cup to give some reward for the season.

  129. Big Raddy says:

    I keep saying to myself — this is only 3 points and 3 points I didn’t expect us to get, but this is embarrassing.

  130. RockyLives says:

    Most fans felt that what we needed – particularly given our massive injury list – was to play like we did in the final 10 games of last season: tight at the back; defensive first and foremost in midfield and try to grab a goal or two and hold on. Arseblog talked about this is his podcast this week.

    Instead we play a high line, no attempt by the midfielders to defend, and the fullbacks pushing on like wingers.

    Basically we have reverted to all the bad things we were doing up to and including the Spuds away game last season, after which there was a team meeting and a new approach was decided upon.

  131. arnie says:

    It is not the time to criticise Wenger, at least not today. It was his special day, whatever his frailties, it was up to the guys on the ground to make it up to him. After all, he has always stood by his players, and he will do the same again today.

  132. Adrian says:

    Shocking. What a way for Wenger to mark his 1000th game. Absolutely humiliating.

    If Wenger somehow manages to let the FA cup slip out of our grip this season, I have no doubt this will be his last season with us.

  133. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t see their fifth. Was it a Szcz mistake?

  134. arnie says:

    well, Rocky, there was attempt by the midfielders to defend. But they are not specialists, and sometimes try to use their hand. I know it is not funny, and I am not trying to be humorous.

    About tightness at the back, your main point, spot on.

  135. arnie says:

    Yes, Rocky, it was, it bobbled up a bit, but long distance.

  136. JWP says:

    arnie it might be a special day for wenger but i can assure you its not for me and many many others !!

  137. RockyLives says:

    Funny you should say that. I was just wondering whether this – following on from Anfield and Citeh – might tip AW towards calling it a day.

    I hope not. Although there are clerkly issues about how we approach the big games this season I would still back him to get it right next season with some decent investment.

  138. RockyLives says:

    OK – this is going to stick in my throat – but the Chav players have shown today how you should approach a big top-of-the-table derby game.

    They have been first to every ball, won every 50/50 and closed us down from the very first second.

    They are a hateful collection of scumbags, but they have played like a team that is serious about winning.

  139. Rasp says:

    Sagna has covered some turf today. Flamini has done very well too I think

  140. JWP says:

    RL – its not only this season that we have a problem with the way we approach big games its been the last 5 . Wenger has been fantastic for Arsenal but that was a long time ago. I admire your faith but for the first time in 25 years im thinking shall i renew next year if he stays on. Just being honest folks !!

  141. arnie says:

    Maureen leaves early so that he does not have to shake hands with Arsene

  142. JWP says:

    but hey that does mean RL could buy my ticket next year!!

  143. dandan says:

    Three points dropped, there will be more twists and turns by season end, shame Arsene’s day was spoilt. But is still only three points. No matter what the Scousers have to say.
    Roll on Swansea.

  144. arnie says:

    JWP: I think you make a fair point. I also think that the day will come soon when Arsene leaves. I just hope for two things: (a) we win something more before that happens, at least as a reward for all this waiting and building/ rebuilding, and (b) we have a proper succession, unlike the shambles at ManUre, that is, we choose the person early and ease him/ her in.

  145. neamman says:

    AW should stay. We are just 1-2 players away. I hear we have a real beast called Diaby who could dominate the midfield.

  146. arnie says:

    Dandan: Yes, let us get things moving. There is much more to do this season.

  147. Rasp says:

    Who’s this female candidate you have in mind arnie? 😆

  148. JWP says:

    couldnt agree with you more Arnie. I hope the board are on the same page as us. ???

  149. RockyLives says:

    well said

  150. GoonerB says:

    Hahaha arnie. I loved your politically correct ending ….. Ease him / her in. It could be the new bend it like beckham but called mould them like arsene. Instead of kiera knightly it could be the lady who works in the greasy spoon down the blackstock road.

  151. RockyLives says:

    It’s obviously evonne 🙂

    She’d shake ’em up a bit…

  152. Rasp says:

    Oh no Rocky, not another Pole, she’d be giving the opposing managers the Glasgow kiss every game 🙂

  153. Rasp says:

    I fear we will not recruit powerful players under AW, he doesn’t value strength, but we do lack power in the side. No doubt someone will mention the injuries soon but coming in the top 2 in the injury league for the last 6 seasons as Rocky pointed out recently, has to be examined.

  154. GoonerB says:

    Does evonne work in the greasy spoon down the blackstock road rocky? I am not too sure that chas and ant will be able to handle the thought of evonne around a load of fit youmg men every day.

  155. Rasp says:

    Just watching the replay of the first 2 goals – both fullbacks marooned too high up the pitch, no protection of the flanks with only the cb’s defending

  156. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I truly feel sorry for any AAer trying to write a post-match review of that!

    How anyone can find anything positive to say about the shoddiest, most hapless, clueless performance in the last thousand games I just don’t know.

    Neamman is right, but not in the way he meant, we are one or two players away, away from being a mid-table side!

    What happened to that great defensive partnership between Mertesacker and Koscielny? Where were our much vaunted full-backs?

    Our mid-field were totally over-run and Giroud was…..well Giroud!

    Have we progressed? How many of today’s players would have got near the Invincibles?

  157. arnie says:

    GoonerB: 😀 No reason why we cannot have a woman manager! Will be a first! 🙂

  158. Big Raddy says:

    Cricket started well but now it looks like this could be another Black Saturday.

    As to the AW out movement. We have been over this time and time again.

    I want him to stay but beatings like MC, Lpool and today make me think he will walk away – I hope not.

    JWP. Would you keep your s/t if we win the FAC?

  159. Gööner In Exile says:

    For me I would start Flamster over Arteta every time in a game like this.

    Arteta is valued for his ball playing by Wenger but for me he along with some other experienced players become the problem in games like this. They play with a bit of fear. And I loved Arteta when he first came he did a job for us and filled a void, that time is coming to an end.

    Watch Flamini when he is on, very rarely takes two touches just keeps the ball moving, on top of that he presses and encourages others to do the same.

    But my guess is Flamini will always do as asked.

    Worryingly do we expect injury to Koz and Ox head rattled by the non sending off.

    As much as going down to ten men would effect us and being 3-0 down would have been a tall ask, would have been easier without having to take Pod off to get TV on for Gibbs.

    But these are the names we missed today, the whys and wherefores of injury is someone else’s department, but would we have looked stronger with Ozil, Rambo and Theo on the pitch? Would our bench have looked better with Jack on it?

  160. arnie says:

    My vote goes to White Stick!!!!! Prefer the stick to the carrot, under the circumstances!

  161. GoonerB says:

    I have similar fears rasp. I think the 3 right players down the spine of the side will solve pretty much all the issues but will we get them? If we dont then i can see thid scenario playing out again next season and then i would have to think what for me has been the unthinkable. I would start to question whether someone like klopp, with the same available squad, would prevent this kind of situation unfolding against our biggest rivals.

  162. arnie says:

    Raddy: “I want him to stay but beatings like MC, Lpool and today make me think he will walk away – I hope not.” I agree. Just to clarify I do not want him to leave just yet, but I think the day is drawing close.

  163. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp that’s what I said at the time, why would they be that high? Surely they have to take some responsibility themselves.

    For me the worst of it is that they are on their heels even though they can see their mate is in trouble, they’re not thinking “shit must start dropping in” they are stationery and the wingers have for the run on them because they already are gambling on the turnover.

    That’s one reason why I can’t really fault Kos or BFG, their teammates in front of them just let them down.

  164. arnie says:

    From earlier today:

    Micky @ 1:19. “There’s definitely more spirit on this site than on the f’ing pitch.” Yes, unfortunately. 😦

    Rocky @ 1:23: “Man City at the Ems is not a very appealing prospect.” Shitty will be at home. I am still hopeful about that one. But Everton away is my fear now. 😦

  165. Big Raddy says:

    GIE “I can’t really fault Kos or BFG, their teammates in front of them just let them down.”

    Not for the first time.

  166. Rasp says:

    Yes I agree with that GiE, sorry I didn’t see your earlier comment. The full backs should have been told to stay back at first until the pattern of the game developed and then adapt our game to suit the circumstances.

  167. Rasp says:

    The CB’s would have had more protection if Flamini had started the game

  168. This is the biggest downer ever in all my years of following Arsenal. I want to tell the world I AM PISSED OFF BIG TIME.

  169. Adrian says:

    That was easily the worst game I’ve seen us play, far worse than the 8-2 defeat.

    As rightly pointed out above, the chelsea players were always first to 50/50 and winning tackles and closing our players down quickly. Why weren’t our players doing the same? Where’s the motivation? It seems wrong to push the blame to Wenger on his supposedly big day but you have to admire just how bad our non-existant tactics were. Third humiliating defeat to big teams shows that this isn’t a one off thing, we just simply cannot seem to beat the big teams. This clearly indicates a weakness in tactics and to a certain extent, a lack of confidence among the players. You could see how much more nervous our players became after the first goal, which led to further demise.

  170. Gööner In Exile says:

    Anyway problems were the defensive unit today so it’s all on Bould not Wenger 😉

    “If Wenger somehow manages to let the FA cup slip out of our grip this season, I have no doubt this will be his last season with us.”

    I think you are probably right but I think it’ll be because the players to whom he shows so much loyalty let him down one to many times.

    But then if we want to win the FAC we the fans will have to show some belief in the players in the coming weeks and not let the field day that the press are going to have with this affect them.

  171. Norfolk Gooner says:

    According to an interview in today’s Telegraph with I think Henry Winter, Wenger said he would be staying next season.

    Today’s crap performance may have caused him to have second thoughts.

  172. Norfolk Gooner says:

    My Arsenal Man of the Match………..Szczesny, the only Arsenal player to have any ball possession………… from picking it out of the net six times. 😀

  173. White Bear says:

    my god 6 nil !! I am so glad I stopped watching after 3

  174. arnie says:

    I know we have provided the ROLF of the week, but that does not mean we do not enjoy other ROLF’s en route to 3rd place in the EPL.

    At the moment, Cardiff 2-1 Liverpool

  175. Gööner In Exile says:

    Tony losing to Luton in the League Cup Final will always be worse for me. League games don’t live long in the memory, cup final defeats always hurt.

    Adrian, Wenger has always encouraged his players to make their own decisions when crossing the white line. Once that first goal went in they should’ve been thinking Anfield and how not to let it happen again. But instead as you say they looked nervous about it and not knowing how to fix it.

    And if anyone can explain to me why £100k a week players can’t see that when anyone who has played Sunday league does then please go ahead.

  176. arnie says:

    White Stick: we have just voted you successor to Arsene. 🙂

  177. Sav from Australia says:

    We lost. Badly.

    Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your right! Get up, stand up! DON’T GIVE UP THE FIGHT!!

    Because I’ll never give up the fight!

    Because I’ll never give up the fight.

    because i’ll never give up the fighter…..

    Get up! Stand up!

  178. Shard says:

    Terrible start, the players giving the ball away, too much space left for the Chelsea attackers and once again an inability to weather the storm and hold the damage at something like 2-0, which would offer an opportunity to perhaps get back into the match.

    Don’t forget though that the 2002 double winning team had a 6-1 loss against ManU. It happens. Of course this season it has happened 3 times.

    Which got me thinking, apart from the ‘lack of mental strength in big games’ argument, which seems strange to me because we seem to respond to pressure very well most of the time, and have played and won some big games and have even been unlucky to not win more, what else is common.

    All 3 of City, Liverpool and Chelsea results were away games at 12.45 kickoff. I recently heard Parlour talk about how they’d have all their nutrition planned for a match day, where they’d eat at 11.45 for a 3 pm kickoff, it just occurred to me that possibly an early kickoff has some debilitating effect on players, particularly when it’s a further disruption to play away from home.

    So we’ve played 5 away games at 12.45 this season, have lost the 3 big ones, and won against fulham and Crystal Palace.
    Chelsea have played 3, winning at Hull, losing to Newcastle, and drawing at Spurs.
    Liverpool have played twice, drawing both, at Newcastle and Everton.

    I couldn’t find data for ManCity too easily. And I realise that it needs more analysis to see if there is something to it, and a look at season’s past might help. I don’t feel like doing it now. Might later. Or someone else can. But just a thought.

  179. Shard says:

    PS. I meant the 2002 double winning team had lost 6-1 the previous season.

  180. arnie says:

    Arsene: “This defeat is my fault, I take full responsibility for it. I don’t think there’s too much need to talk about the mistakes we made. We got a good hiding today. It’s how we respond now on Tuesday night and the best way is not to explain too much the mistakes.

    “Yes, of course it’s one of the worst days. It’s over after 20 minutes and it’s a long game after that. You don’t prepare all week to experience that kind of experience.”

    “I believe it was handball but the referee hasn’t seen it. The ball went out and I think it’s Chamberlain who touched the ball. I don’t know who gave indication to the referee that it was handball but he has certainly not seen it. Of course. it’s a huge disappointment today but we want to win the next game now.”

  181. Sav from Australia says:

    I watched the whole match. Painful….Tears…whatever, even if I am in faraway Australia….supporting the team is watching the whole match…in sickness and in health….thats what supporting means…and a famous quote…


    Arsenal is on the up. The loss is just character building….Alex the Ox will learn…Gibbsy will learn….Jenks loved his time on the pitch…hated the loss….WE ARE ON THE UP!!

  182. arnie says:

    well said, Sav. 🙂

  183. arnie says:

    Shard: yes, indeed, what happens in these games is a mystery. Beyond what Raddy said in his pre-match “hoodoo”. Mind you, this does not happen away to the likes of Dortmund or Bayern. It is a worry. 😦

  184. Shard says:


    I watched the whole game too. But this was the only time in my entire time watching Arsenal, that I was tempted to switch off.

  185. arnie says:

    I have to confess I switched over to cricket, but that was only for 5 mins. Had to return and see what the mettle the team was made of in the second half. And it was OK. If only ….. 😦 But the same against Pool as well, and that is the biggest disappointment. 😦

  186. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sav I absolutely agree about Jenks. I have no worries about Bacary leaving…..I know I’m a broken record on that one.

  187. Shard says:


    Yes. It is a concern. Even if it is because of the time of the kickoff (aligned with the quality of opponent) it is still a worry and needs to be addressed.

    There is no reason to fall away like that. I think that we’ve been playing well with a lead and falling away when we concede the first goal. That must be a mental issue, but also comes down to a lack of the attacking flair. Walcott and Ramsey would have helped, but another option in attack is definitely required.

  188. Big Raddy says:

    Expect to see Sniffer

  189. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think also the point I was making about key men being injured was not just today, it’s the fact that players that need rests aren’t getting them. Tuesday night is three days away then four days til City. Being able to rotate some bodies over last few weeks would have helped us maintain energy. Players running on empty and the cupboard is bare.

  190. Big Raddy says:

    Swansea showing at Everton that the midweek game will not be an easy 3 points

  191. White Bear says:

    N5 – what the feck is the matter with you?! Losing 6 nil not bad enough for you, so let’s make the situation even worse?!

  192. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Good point about the rotation. Bendtner should be castrated for his stupidity this season. He had the chance to get game time and give a very tired looking OG some rest, instead we are really struggling in front of goal.

    But ultimately the buck stops with AW. The January window was a disaster. A few extra million may have prised Drexler (or A.N. Other) from Schalke. The purchase of the Swede was a joke and Arsenal are paying for it now.

  193. Big Raddy says:

    White Stick. N5 is Sniffer – right on cue!!

  194. Bayonne Jean says:

    An FA Cup win would be a great going away present for Sagna; would not criticize him in the slightest for leaving for bigger paydays. And he’s going to be hard to replace, maybe not so much at right back per se, but because you always need at least one or two players in the side who can play most anywhere in the back four in emergencies for short periods.

  195. White Bear says:

    I’m a bear not a stick. Today is not a day to annoy me. Bloody chavs, there are no words to describe how I hate them

  196. GoonerB says:

    I always watch till the end good or bad otherwise i feel any opinion i have is invalid. I still go with rasp that what the players do or dont do on the pitch is a reflection of the manager. Do players need instruction and direction or are we saying that top players should be able to decide what to do themselves? I feel that as a club we seem to more than any other blame the players when a disaster unfolds. As it seems to be happening too frequently in these big games what is the answer? If it is the players fault then it would suggest we need massive squad overhaul at high cost and not just the 2-3 players that i feel will make the difference. If it is a lack of planning and understanding of roles that is the problem then how is that resolved?

  197. RockyLives says:

    Haha – Big Raddy mentioned Sniffer and he showed up right on cue!

    Naughty evonne – don’t feed the troll!

  198. White Bear says:

    cannot even hope for other teams to drop points 😦 no, a truly bad weekend.

    I didn’t know he was the troll, did I ?

    GB – I wish I could watch till the end, but I couldn’t, honestly. My heart was already playing tricks. 3 goals in 15mins and down to 10 men after waiting for the game like for a salvation – too much of a blow even for my broad shoulders

  199. We are now seeming to be unrealistic premiership winners. So, can we win two big games to lift the F.A. Cup? If not; are we really failure specialists?
    I am ashamed about our shambolic performance today and wonder whether the ghosts of the thirties are stirring, or, just simply turning in their graves. Can Arsenal be motivated to win when it matters again soon?
    Wenger described this result as a nightmare. Can he turn this regular scenario against the better teams around? He is 1,000 n.o.and with a great record. Should we not build for the future now without allowing him to become punch drunk?
    This is a sensible site.Can we discuss/

  200. arnie says:

    Tony: yes, surely we can discuss responsibly. personally, not in the mood today though. maybe tomorrow. but if others start the discussion, I might join in a bit later. a wee bit too depressing at the moment. 😦

  201. GunnerN5 says:

    The amount and the content of the comments is typical when we lose. I find most of the responses to be over the top and they disturb me more than the loss. If we had tied away against both Spurs and Chelsea we would have gained two points and the comments would be about our new found resilience etc.

    However we gain three points from a gritty performance and drop three in a nightmare performance and all reason disappears – one would think that the whole world has collapsed?

  202. arnie says:

    I am not disappointed with the loss, we feared it already and even predicted it. However, three things. First, the manner of the loss is very disappointing, and there is no way to get away from it. Second, it is the disappointment that the team has not changed much, despite being decimated by Liverpool and Shitty away, playing a poor game against S’ton away, and losing to a shockingly poor ManUre side away. Third, I dont mind so much losing an away game, if we had managed to win the home games, even 1-0 would be fine, but wins.

    Finally, if the team (and I include Arsene, Bould, etc here) turns out with wrong sized shoes on a day when the manager is celebrating his 1,000th game in charge, a really stupendous achievement, it is disappointing.

    But maybe, it is just me. 😦

  203. I expected a loss today, however, I didn’t expect to be humiliated !. 😦

  204. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. You are not alone, I didn’t expect to get a result but am disgusted with such a weak performance.

  205. wally says:

    GIE has got it exactly right. The fullbacks get forward of the ball, the striker steps over into the vacaqted area, we lose the ball, it comes over to the vacated area pulling the centrebacks apart and then we’ve got a fucking chinese fire drill underway.
    I’d wager $100 we’ve give up at least a dozen goals on that formula this year alone (and more last year).
    Someone needs to read the riot act to those boneheads. I won’t miss either one of them if they were to go.
    And listening to the TV how pathetic is it when the commentators are dispensing pity for Wenger. That’s really infuriating.
    Soneone needs to stand up for that performance. Hard questions need to be asked and answered.

  206. RockyLives says:

    “a Chinese fire drill” 🙂

    That about sums it up.


    Evening all

    Terrible result, but am not feeling down. What ever the score we will always be better than Chelsea and I rejoice that ime an Arsenal supporter.

    This attitude really annoys people. In the past ive had mobs attempting to smash through steel shutters to “get the wigged up bastard”. My yells of “you cant touch me, ime Arsenal, and my syrups not scared either” seems for some reason to inflate there anger

    As for Arsene, I completely understand peoples reservation about wether his tenure should continue

    I have my own views on this but will not indulge. Why? because I regard Arsene as a footballing father. I will always respect and honour the man. If Arsene got us relegated he would still have my loyalty, so as I said, I bow out of such debate.

    It wasnt like this with my own father. He had more girlfriends and mistresses than Ken Barlow. As a kid I would wait in some floozies flat whilst they were doing it. Thats why I now associate Wine Gums, Tizer, and Donald Duck cartoons with sex.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  208. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT. You always make me laugh – whatever the circumstances. Thank you

  209. RockyLives says:

    Well played Terry 😀


    Your wellcome Raddy

    Anyway, ive got to go. Got to go pick up my youngest and then going somewere. Just got to get a bottle of Tizer first.

  211. Adrian says:

    Getting 2 draws instead of a scrappy 1-0 win and and utterly humiliating defeat wouldn’t be a big trade off to me right now. Mathematically yes, a win and a draw is better. But the manner of the defeat totally eradicated any sense of rational mathematical logic. A defeat like this will have huge implications on our players confidence and at a such a crucial stage of the season that could be. That was downright disgusting to watch, and you’d think the boss deserved a much much better showing than that shitfest on his 1000th game in charge.

    If it’s hurting us so badly, I could only imagine what a loss like this means to Wenger. I’d say the fault lies between him and the players. Him for the wrong tactics against big teams time and time again, and the players for not learning their lesson from the anfield thrashing and for showing enough heart/determination to win the game for the boss on his big day. Bet that cu*t mourinho is having the day of his life today.

  212. Adrian says:

    Oops, I meant a win and a loss*.

  213. Big Raddy says:

    Adrian. The little child within agrees that two draws is better than I feel right now but the adult BR knows that a win at the Shithole and 3 points from 2 games is preferable.:-)

  214. kelsey says:

    I don’t miss many games but have now seen a recording . WELL

    Headline: Arsenal and Marriner all at Sea

    for example:
    Ref: “Gibbs, you’re off!”
    Ox: “But ref, it was me!”
    Ref: “Shut up Walcott, get on with the game”

    Oxlade chamberlain has secured the third keeper place in the World Cup squad

    All six goals were from our combined mistakes.

    23 goals conceded in 3 Away games against our rivals is disastrous.Absolutely no excuses..

    Who do I blame.The whole team for not coming out of the traps in the most important game left this season and Wenger for not motivating them. This is happening far to frequently and always in the same fashion, and now we find ourselves not looking at the title but nervously over our shoulder to see if we can get forth.

    Wenger quote afterwards

    “It leaves it in a very bad situation. But we want to respond. We had two difficult away games at Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. If we had played two draws we’d have two points.

    “Having won one we have three points. But today is a huge disappointment of course. When you don’t turn up in a game if this stature – nobody takes that easy.
    I don’t take that bollox about two draws

  215. JanMan says:

    GN5. Unfortunately it is human nature for many to react in a negative manner today. I for sure was more than pissed off and cannot stand attempts to make excuses for a piss poor performance. I was done at half time and took my two little granddaughters for a walk in the park and an ice cream. It is amazing how two little girls con make you realize just how meaningless a game of football really is.
    However, I need to make it clear that I have no problem with being beaten when the other team is simply better but this was not the case today as we just did not turn up and where total shite. It is difficult for me to accept comments such as we are missing too many players or Wenger did not drum it into their heads, or this player or that player should have started, I just do not buy into that. We had 11 international players on the field today if they don’t know what to do then they have no business playing football! Today there was no passion, no heart no fire in the belly and no pride. Surely Wenger does not have to motivate the players to win a london derby especially against the chavs and Mourinho and all of the trash he talks. Everyone of those players should have been chomping at the bit ready to stuff Mourinho a big one. The players let us all down today! I am not looking to argue with anyone that is just my very own personal opinion.

  216. kelsey says:

    I agree with you Janman.The only positive was that it we could have lost by more and hopefully we will beat Swansea but what does that really mean.
    The wheels have come off,the signs have been there for a while even allowing for injuries.
    I must just mention Sagna,he yet again played in a different position,may not have been outstanding but worked harder than anyone. He will be off,for sure when he could be invaluable to us in at least three positions.
    Szsney , a bit too cocky for my liking needs competition.

  217. JanMan says:

    Kelsey. Thank you. For me it is not about losing as that is part and parcel of football but it is all about the manner in how you lose and that is why I am so upset today and am not prepared to listen to meaningless excuses as to why we lost today.

  218. kelsey says:

    How many bad days in the office are we allowed with 8 games left ?

    On a side note Mourinho showed his class yet again walking off just before the final whistle and IMO Wenger should have showed his face to the TV cameras however much it hurt.Remember his words “mental character” 🙂

  219. JanMan says:

    Kelsey. All we did today was contribute to the Mourinho band wagon!

  220. LB says:

    I can understand why people say we never came out of the traps and ask why was that but to me it is a little more simple.

    I don’t think much can be gained from analysing the game from the penalty onwards, we were down to 10 men and that situation is a world onto itself.

    It is the first 15 minutes that are important to me. Both goals came from breaks; once past Arteta it was all too easy for the chavs to pass their way around our two CBs.

    It was so, so predictable that chavs would play that way; they do it in every single game in which they think there is a chance that they could lose.

    Arteta was stretched from pillar to post last week, the attack was pathetically ineffectual, yes we got away with it but really? What on earth did Wenger expect was going to happen this week?

  221. JanMan says:

    Our goal now surely has to be the FA Cup and 3rd place in the EPL for automatic qualification into the CL.

  222. JanMan says:

    LB: So you are blaming the loss on Wenger and not the players?

  223. JanMan says:

    LB: I guess my point is that I think it is naive of people to think that Wenger does not inform the players of what to do or expect.

  224. neamman says:

    I hope AW stays. This is one game and AW is not stupid. He has seen how we lost 3 times to the other top sides and I think he will address it this summer. I also agree with whoever said NicB has been a disgrace by being an ass and not seizing this opportunity to impress. We can still finish third if results between Pool and MC go our way and we win next week.
    As an aside, what a fascinating year this has been, I honestly cannot predict who will win the league out of the top 3.

  225. Shard says:

    For me, the players are at fault. And worryingly, for a team that prides itself on its technical prowess, it seems to be a fault that comes back at regular intervals. Wenger’s tactics certainly did not include giving the ball away cheaply. The Chavs pressed us ever so slightly and our passing deserted us. If the players could have kept up their usual passing, we would have gotten past the press and into space for the likes of Ox and Santi to exploit.

    And if the passing isn’t working, the players should take it upon themselves to settle down and protect their goal until they get the flow back. They even had a warning when Eto’o almost got through with Szczesny just getting a hand to the ball (failing which it would be another red card I would guess) The players failed to heed that warning, didn’t adjust, nor did they actually perform to the plan. Terrible.

  226. Shard says:

    Also, my contention isn’t that the players don’t care. I think they care very much. But Wenger probably tries to keep them from getting wound up too tight and play with nervous energy. Which is a good thing. Trouble is, I think in an effort to stay loose, they seem to play almost carelessly. Like they just wait for the game to come to them.

    What I find most annoying isn’t the fact that they came out slow off the blocks, or that we conceded early. That can happen. What annoys me is that they throw the game away even before half time. Once the Eto’o goal went in, the players should have shut up shop for 20 minutes or so, and at the very least done this after the second goal. 2-0 at half time isn’t insurmountable. 3-0 and down to 10 men is game over.

  227. I’m exhausted from thinking about that game 😦

    Our team must have left their brains at London Colney because they sure didn’t take them to the Bridge.

    I know it’s lovely to get an early goal and if Olly had had the strength to put his shot out of Cech’s reach the game might have been different but how come we all talked about containing the chavs and keeping our shape and not conceding an early goal???????????? The team obviously had other ideas.

    Chelsea have not scored more than four in any other game this season. Even teams at the lower end of the table have managed to contain them ………… what’s with us? Kamikaze is right 😦

    And for his appalling handling of the game I hope that ref doesn’t work again this season.

  228. arnie says:

    JanMan, Kelsey, LB and neamman: all very valuable points. I have been following the discussion and I agree with most. First, compared to our a priori expectations, we are over achieving this year. well done to Arsene and the team. Second, and at the same time, this team is work in progress. We are not quite where we want to be. But we are improving. Third, we have been playing a different game this year – with a more defensive focus than any other Arsene team. This strategy has been successful up to a point, but also an indication I think that AW is making a final attempt. He will continue next year, but I have a feeling that maybe that is about it. But this is all subject of a long discussion, on which I will pen my thoughts after the league is over.

  229. arnie says:

    Thinking now about what matters most. How can we maximise our gains from this year? We can and should win the FA Cup. Unfortunately, third place in the league is no longer in our hands, but 4th place should be secure. We should try and get the 3rd place though. That means not losing points to weaker teams, and securing as many points as we can get against Everton and Shitty.

    Then comes the question of transfers and retentions in the summer. Here I think I have a slightly different position. I think of players first as being part of the project. If then some want to leave, Sagna for example, good luck and goodbye. Sagna may have worked hard all year, but there is a team to be managed. If he thinks he has done enough in the team to have a sense of fulfillment and move on, so be it!

    Perhaps not very coherent, but I wanted to offload all of this bollix from my chest!!!! 😛

  230. arnie says:

    Shard: “my contention isn’t that the players don’t care” I would like to believe so, but somehow I am not so sure! Just as we fans, or at least some of us, think of players as just professionals who are hired to do a job and not really part of the project, maybe some players think the same as well! 😦 Otherwise, such a debacle cannot result, I think. 😦

  231. kelsey says:


    yes we are over achieving compared to our pre season thoughts and expectations and injuries always seem to happen to key players at the wrong time but when you say we are playing a different game with a more defensive focus, that is completely a different psychology from the way we played in any time under Wenger. That approach s fine but our goals scored is diminishing and against the teams we are in the mix with,we are conceding more.
    Is that down to Wenger,Bould or not having the right balance.

  232. arnie says:

    peaches: quite coherent thoughts, under the circumstances. exhausting indeed. 🙂 at least we are trying to reason, discuss and even smile a little bit. Certainly looking forwards to a better future. 😀 😀

  233. arnie says:

    kelsey: agreed. that is precisely the point I was trying to make. not very coherently, I am afraid. and I have not had a drop of alcohol today, honest. 😦

    conceding less in most games, losing heavily in others, and making a habit of “1-0 to the Arsenal”. This is a very tough balance to strike. It has to be a conscious decision. And such strategic decisions are made at the top. But I do not want to discuss Wenger today. 😀

  234. I’m not smiling ……….. I’m furious grrrrrrrrr

  235. arnie says:

    I am not so much angry, but disappointed and very sad. Terry’s comment brought a bit of a smile, though.

  236. I do think our injury situation is of course having a real impact on how we’re playing at the moment.

    But, the players we have out at the moment are attacking players, the strength of the team right now is in the defence. Why destroy the confidence of our back five by playing gungho football. It makes no sense at all.

  237. LB says:


    I am on rant mode, logic left me when the third goal went in but yes, I am blaming Wenger, I thought, today he was naïve.

  238. kelsey – are you up for writing one of your special pre-view reviews? Your comments are always measured and concise 😉

  239. This made me smile …… just saw a tweet from a mank saying that RvP’s injury has forced them to play better 😉

  240. kelsey says:

    Not really peaches, I have said everything I want to already, unless you group mine and a few other comments together.

    LB and i agree, it was plain to see at Spurs that a better team would thrash us and I am now in the mind that AW can’t take us any further as season after season he is outwitted by the other top managers and one or two others.
    I don’t want to see the man humiliated.I hope we can win the FA Cup but either way his time is up at the end of the season for mainly his own sake and he is to set in his ways to change..

  241. kelsey says:

    My wordpress is jumping allover the place

  242. Shard says:


    One result, or even a few results which are poor do not mean the manager is outwitted. Yes, Wenger can perhaps change things more. But that is how he is. He believes in his players to do the things required of them. Sometimes that leads to results like today’s, but it is also the reason we’ve seen the likes of Ramsey grow. It is also the reason we’ll have proper Wengerball back soon. We’ve seen flashes of it this season. It’ll be a theme next season, with the added bonus of having the defense set up right (yes, I know. It was useless today)

    Wenger is set in his ways, but Wenger is also adaptive. Every top class manager is set in his ways. In his philosophy. To judge simply the flaws in his philosophy is to ignore all the good that comes of it. I don’t think we’ve over-performed this season to be honest. I expected a title challenge, and I was hoping for a trophy. We have the former, and could have the latter. Next season, I expect us to challenge even more, and be a better team, playing better football. So you can call time on his Arsenal career, and I say Wenger stays and brings us the trophies back within the life-cycle of this team, which is probably 3 or 4 years more.

  243. Shard says:


    Fair enough, although I hadn’t asked you that. I think the players let us and Wenger down today, but I accept that you can have a different view about that.

  244. arnie says:

    Shard: agreed, but I dont know about 3 or 4 years. If we win something this year, which we should, an something more challenging perhaps next year, I have a sneaky feeling that succession may come. It will be lovely to have Arsene develop another team and challenge for newer things with Arsenal, though I suspect that may not happen. 😀

    But there is enough promise in that medium run objective to take things moving forward. 😀 😀

  245. Shard says:


    I would probably expect Wenger to stay 2 or 3 seasons more. Which would ideally be just before a new rebuilding project starts. I said (within) 3 or 4 years because I think once the likes of Cazorla, Giroud, and Kos/Mert start to get on in years, we’ll need major rebuilding. Arteta and Rosicky will probably be gone within two years, but I expect them to already have been replaced next season, through both, the youth ranks and the transfer market.

    This team is close to being the finished article, (if there is such a thing, since a team is always evolving) and I think Wenger should see the job through till the team needs an upheaval. No sense causing an upheaval too early.

  246. Shard says:

    ANd if I’m being incoherent, I should let you know that I too haven’t had a single drop of alcohol 😀

  247. arnie says:

    Shard: 🙂 It is my belief this team will peak next year, but perhaps perform well for another year after that. Beyond that will take us into a new team. 🙂

  248. arnie says:

    but, on the basic premise we are in agreement, bar minor details. 🙂

  249. Big Raddy says:

    Mornin All,

    Gibbs red card will be rescinded but the FA are sure to transfer his ban to Ox, who will miss a game – hope they can sort it out so quickly so he misses Swansea and not MC.

  250. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Maaaarnin Raddy (that be a Devon intro)

    Looks like my reverse psycho yesterday backfired. Saying anything less than 5-0 and we could feel ok 😦
    Blimey, I knew we’d get thrashed, but yikes.

    Soooo, antiques or homosexuals, I’m good with either topic 🙂

  251. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on Raddy

    You know about psycho shit, where did I go wrong. Seriously, should I have said 7-0?

  252. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’d rather Ox played against Swansea. I’ll assume Arsene continues to play him deep, rather than using his speed out wide (our only speedster!), and if so we’d have a better chance of grabbing at least three points from Swansea.

    Everton are looming. We need three points. If they win their game in hand, and beat us, I think they’ll be a point behind.

  253. chas says:

  254. chas says:

  255. chas says:

  256. chas says:

  257. chas says:

    I vote that not having a match report today would be suitable comment on yesterday’s ‘performance’.
    What’s the point?

  258. chas says:

    Here’s my report………..
    You know it’s going to be a bad one when, twice in the first 7 minutes, your defence looks as though your team is chasing the game for a last-minute equaliser.
    I stopped watching after that.
    So pleased I did, too.
    Roll on Swansea.

  259. kelsey says:

    Post in drafts 🙂

    I put that Swagman tweet up last night,chas 🙂

  260. kelsey says:

    Oh I know many will disagree with me but that might just stimulate a debate.:)

  261. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Lads,

    Great, I thought you’d all emigrated 🙂

  262. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There’s one big problem with a debate, and that’s that many people don’t like to say what they think, and I for one, fall into that category.

    The problem being, that I don’t like to criticise Arsenal employees while they’re doing their best.

    For me, even our best XI would struggle to beat Chelsea, for a few reasons that have been obvious to me (no expert on anything) for many seasons.

  263. kelsey says:

    I don’t Micky 🙂 but did they do their best is the question ?

  264. MickyDidIt89 says:

    They were sent onto the pitch chronically ill-prepared, and if they don’t do what they’re told, why not, and if they’re told to do the wrong things, why?

    This was not just a bad day at the office in the “it’s only one game” kind of way. I wish it was, but it’s not.

    So, I’ll just look forward to beating Swansea.

  265. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry Micky – had to make an airport pick up. It got through (wink wink)

    Reverse psychology? In retrospect more like a crystal ball.

  266. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. 7.29. My answer to that will be given in response to your post

  267. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Thing is, the players know and Arsene knows. In his own words: “When the players don’t turn up in a game like that, it’s my responsibility”.

    Now, being the Gent he is, he may be carrying the can for others, but my point is, they all know. So I’ll leave it to them.

    Right, Raddy, an airport pick up? Illegally imported dried fish?

  268. LB says:


    In response to your earlier question. I thought Wenger was as tactically naïve yesterday as Sherwood was when we beat them in the FA cup.

    Do I want to see him (Wenger) sign a new contract? Without a shadow of a doubt my answer is YES.

  269. kelsey says:

    peaches asked for a match review as I know regardless of the result she likes a new post everyday so as no one else volunteered I reluctantly put my thoughts together.

    Some regulars on here said they couldn’t watch anymore others stuck it out,but which ever way you look at it it showed our weakness against the top sides yet again,and isn’t that worth a discussion.

  270. LB says:

    I walked out as the penalty went in, I have no idea what went on after that.

    First game I have missed in maybe fifteen or even twenty years, could be longer I just can’t remember.

  271. LB says:

    Yes, it is worth discussion, well done Kelsey.

  272. LB says:

    I feel like I have been hit in the face with all the power of a cricket bat. My brain is scrambled and I am staggering about.

  273. kelsey says:

    Why,LB. I am not saying you are wrong but things have to change.Yes we have more money than previous yers and I don’t want the club to become another Chelsea ou City,but has the modern game began to pass Wenger by,when it really matters. Just asking 🙂

  274. White Bear says:

    Hoping that we finish 4th could be disappointing if the Mancs win in Europe

  275. White Bear says:

    I think it was John Terry who pointed to Gibbs. No surprise there, one black fellow looks exactly same as another black fellow. To JT of course

  276. Big Raddy says:

    White Bear/Stick. There is no way MU will win the CL. They have as much chance in the competition as we do

  277. White Bear says:

    oh yeah? remember Chavs 2 years ago?

  278. Big Raddy says:

    WB. Of course I do – I am old but not senile!

    Chavs were a much bester side and they have an owner who is well used to buying referees. MU don’t and let us not forget BSR is out.

    Want a bet??

  279. White Bear says:

    true, but Mancs are going to go mad for it, all guns blazing.

    Ok, whoever looses, pays for the next eBook

  280. kelsey says:


    Any chance we could publish the new post earlier, as I have a feeling being Sunday and the result not many will want or have time to comment.

  281. GoonerB says:

    LB and kelsey, you are absolutely right about discussing yesterdays calamity. We should as that is what blogs like this are for. To boot this blog is most certainly not an anti Arsene / Arsenal one so if it can’t be discussed on here then where?

    Well done Kelsey for sticking your head above the parapet. We may not all agree on everything but then where would be the fun in that?

    LB I saw a couple of points you made yesterday evening and was in complete agreement with you on them, so even if you and I disagree on wee Jack for instance we may have more common ground on this subject.

    Micky, I too like you often refrain from stating my true feelings for fear of upsetting some people. I am intrigued by your 7.26 and would love to hear your inner thoughts on that statement about why you feel our best 11 would come up short of Chelsea’s. I hope you outline them because I feel we have the players to at least match Chelsea so would be interested on your take on it.

  282. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GoonerB

    I tend to agree with you more than anyone else here on footbally stuff, so I don’t think there’ll be many surprises.

    A brief answer would run something like this:
    – Chelsea’s First XI is better
    -It has more goals in it
    -It is more powerful
    Their utterly loathesome Manager is a better tactician than ours.

    In short, I think we are the 3rd/4th best team, so I would expect to lose to the 1st/2nd best. Well, 7/10 times.

    I am ok with being the 3rd/4th, but my problem is that there are key elements to our game that I don’t like. Since Gilberto I’ve been screaming for a class DM (we would have done better yesterday with Flamini or Song), and some speed.

    Mostly, I want to see commitment and attractive football. Then I’m happy.

  283. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right Lads, Family off on Sunday manoeuvres. Enjoy your days.

  284. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Family NOT off on Sunday manoeuvres. Homework has to be done first apparently.

    Will I get to read the Kelesy pre-past-present-future-post-review-report?

  285. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry kelsey, wasn’t at the computer ….

    I can’t do anything as WordPress states you are editing your post

  286. kelsey says:

    I am not in the post,Raddy.

  287. Rasp says:

    Morning all

    LB – I’m with you on the scrambled brain, I can’t make any sense of what happened or rather the fact that it happened for the second time in a few weeks

  288. Rasp says:

    That’s not Rasp that’s peaches …………

  289. Big Raddy says:

    RAsp.Can you add some tags and publish the post?

  290. Sorry all, Rasp has invaded my ipad and I can’t seem to get it back in my control

  291. Yes Raddy/kelsey I’m on it now.

  292. I’ll be as quick as I can ……………….

  293. Form an orderly queue ………..

    ……. We have New Post ………………

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