Yet another Dismal Lacklustre Performance, but Why?

When your team gets humiliated by Chelsea and the manager refuses to speak in public and also tells his players not to comment, it is reasonable to expect that he had told them in no uncertain terms to give a performance against Swansea, a team that has won only one of it’s last ten matches in all competitions.

But what did we get? A totally lacklustre display for the majority of the game, with no pace, misdirected passes, continuous sideways and backward passes that absolutely infuriated me and others. We started at a snail’s pace and then with Swansea’s only real attack, Bony headed the Swans into the lead. (Were you watching Giroud, that’s how to head a ball.) The only player who attempted to drive forward and shoot was Oxlade – Chamberlain.

We were a shambles and as I said in commentary it looked like an end of season match with nothing at stake.

Subs were made and Podolski quickly made an impact. Gibbs managed to get in behind, wiggled his way into the box where he found Poldi waiting to slot home. Within seconds Giroud, who had an absolute mare of a game with Williams easily having him in his pocket, was found by Poldoski and scored our second.

A sigh of relief, but yet again the lead didn’t inspire the team to put the game to bed and if anything Swansea gained momentum without causing us too much to be concerned about until the final minute when Szczsney spilled the ball and Flamini had the misfortune to give Swansea the equalizer.

Many will point to the amount of injuries we currently have and now Koscielny is “out for a while”. I won’t go and list every players’ performance but however vital at the time Podolski’s goal was, he can’t defend and many a referee would have given a penalty on his totally unnecessary shove in the box to a player who was nowhere near the ball. Szczesny grinning when the equaliser went in, was totally out of order.

Wenger said after the match “The team gave everything, their spirit was great,” added Wenger. “You wonder how we could draw a game like that, they had nothing in the end”.

“We gave them the two goals but overall the spirit was great and we have to recover from that last goal.”

Well he must have seen a different game to me and in probability we will lose to a rampant City and even if we don’t we are back to familiar ground fighting for forth.

I make Wenger and the whole team accountable for yet another dismal performance. The signs are not good and being favourites for the FA Cup will only add more pressure to a team who at this moment of time are unrecognisable of the team of two months ago.We haven’t got the motivation anymore and then on top of that the weakest bench to really change a game when required.

I never expected us to win the league, but not at the back end of the season to play without conviction and “belief”, especially the games we surely should expect to win.

Written  by kelsey

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162 Responses to Yet another Dismal Lacklustre Performance, but Why?

  1. wam says:

    with all the injuries we have, Gnabry has played less in the second half of the season. Why?

    Rosicky cant play EVERY game.

    Vermaelen and Mert can’t play together.

    Giroud is playing like a man with his head already back in france.

    Sagna needs benching with Bellerin starting.

  2. Danny says:

    Any team in the world that loses 4 players from it’s starting 11 is going to suffer badly. Without Ramsey, Theo, Jack and Ozil, it’s simply been too much for the team.
    I’ve read people saying that since we left Highbury our injury list is the worst and it must be down to Wenger’s management. I really don’t know what to say about this. Plus of course the fact he didn’t buy in January etc.
    We’re now in for a battle for 4th whether we reckon Everton or not.

  3. kelsey says:

    Niall Quinn has called for the return of David Dein to Arsenal, claiming the former vice-chairman would help Arsene Wenger turn the club into a dominant force again.

    The Gunners have not won a trophy since Dein departed in 2007 and Quinn reckons the big influence he had at the club is still sorely missed.

    Wenger is facing calls to go after Tuesday night’s draw with Swansea all but ended Arsenal’s title bid, but Quinn feels the Frenchman could lead the club to major success again if he had Dein working with him.

    He told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I am a great admirer of Arsene Wenger and always will be. The job he has done economically and commercially for that football club is incredible, to oversee that move and to have the whole thing work the way it did, but in that time no trophies makes it difficult to understand the mentality and logic of the club’s board and ambition.

    “I think he has been stifled. The day David Dein left that club was the day Arsenal became a commercial entity as opposed to a club that were really at the top of their game, in terms of getting players in and what have you.

    “If he was to stay [Wenger], bite the bullet and get David Dein back and give the supporters hope that Arsene can be given a fairer crack of the whip.”

    Exactly my thoughts.

  4. Dominic says:

    It’s not the injury list that worries me, all teams have them. What concerns me is that when other teams say that their players will be back by a certain date they usually are. Ours constantly haoove set backs and only return months after the original date. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see Ramsay, Koscielny, Wilshire and Ozil back this season.

  5. eldergooner says:

    Very well said Kelsey. For sure it´s difficult to pen anything about Arsenal just lately so top marks to you.
    Obviously I agree with all you say and have been questioning the way things have been going for 3 or 4 years now. Not in a “take that ” fashion but asking myself just what is going on and what am I not seeing that others appear to be. It has been difficult to voice doubts as the risk of being abused as a troll or a doomer is never far away.
    At my time of life – well past retirement – and a lifelong gooner I remember the barren years all too well and am therefor all too aware of what AW has done for us as a club so this is not a bash him rant. He has been – not sure if he still is – a tremendous coach but I feel strongly now that it´s all gone stale and we need a new approach. Open the windows and let some fresh air in.
    I really feel that AW has lost whatever “touch” he had and it´s time for a new face for next season. I would hate to see him humiliated in any shape or form but I fear that´s in danger of happening. In many ways he´s been the architect of his own downfall. The first 9 years is a hard act to follow !
    But it is also 9 barren years and that´s a long time for a top club. We all remember the digs about Bin Laden hiding in our trophy cabinet! Funny yes – but painful too.
    Sadly Cloughie went into freefall and all his achievements were tarnished as a result. I would hate that to happen to AW as he has been something of a hero to me.
    The team are not “doing it” nor have they been for too long now and that has to fall squarely in Arsenes lap.
    Great man , great coach , but now out of his time.

  6. James says:

    Whilst I do agree with your general assesment, you have to take into account we had just lost 6-0 and any chance of winning the title with it. That would effect anyone’s confidence so I was never expecting a big performance. However having got in the lead it’s a shame we conceded an unlucky own goal. I didn’t think Swansea were that goood either so a draw is probably a fair result. I can’t see us getting anything against City but at this stage i’d take a draw. Everton and Tottenham are closing down are neck and goal difference could be crucial, altough Everton have some quite hard fixtures but Spurs after their game against Liverpool, have quite winnable fixtures. Let’s get behind our beloved team to the end of the season and then disect the bones out of it. We have still got the F.A Cup to play for, all is not lost. In an ideal world we win the F.A Cup and Arsene retires on a high with what’s left of his reputation. The club need to move foward and he’s to stubborn to see our diffenecies we need a new approach and a proactive transfer window, Kloop seems ideal, as he fits our model perfectly, however I feel Arsene will still think he can put things right which I think is a mistake but it’s hard to let go sometimes. I’m 43 I’ve seen good times and bad, I will always love my club and we might have to take one step backwards to take two forwards but change is a part of life. I will always have a huge admiration for Arsene and all he’s done for us, including keeping us competitive when we had to take financial pain, in order to get long term financial gain but it’s time to move on now.

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks Kelsey, good on you for putting together a report in the current circumstances.

    We lacked pace, power and penetration. We only got behind their defence twice and scored both times. The slow laboured build up in the first half was painful to watch, we didn’t look like scoring whereas they were dangerous on the counter because they had …. pace and power.

    I was calling for us to make subs after 65 mins. Eventually Pod came on and made a difference but we always looked nervy in defence and the sucker punch goal was not unexpected as we defended poorly for both goals.

    Our long spell at the top was more to do with our defending than the attack. Sadly the whole team’s defensive play has looked poor for a while and the midfield has looked lightweight.

    Once again we lost most of the 50/50 battles. The good news is that Kallstrom looked like a proper ‘man’ on the pitch. He’s a unit, strong and surprisingly quick, he showed energy and aggression – I’d definitely start him against City.

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well that’s it for another season!

    Any chance we still had of winning The Premiership went out of the window last night.

    Can anyone honestly say they believe we won’t get a thrashing on Saturday? If we do it means we are in the usual end of season scramble for fourth place with Everton and, God forgive, the Spuds licking their lips at the prospect of Champions League football next season.

    I can’t comment on last night’s game as I’ve only seen the goals but I will comment on Arsene Wenger. In his post match interview he said that “maybe after scoring our second goal they (please note the word “they”) decided to hang on to what we had. (or words to that effect). Well Mr. Wenger why the f**k were you sitting on your a**e instead of jumping up and down on the touchline screaming at the players, telling them what YOU wanted them to do.

    I’ve been a fan of Wenger right from the start, I readily acknowledge all he has done for the club but I know think, sadly, it’s time for him to go.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Thank you for writing a difficult post.

    My concerns are about fitness. After we scored and Swansea started to attack we looked so leggy – as though the players were running through treacle.

    Should AW take Didit’s suggestion and play the Ladies team vs MC so we can be fit for the Everton match?

    Will Ramsey ever return?

    Will AW retire if we don’t get a Top 4 place?

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Happy Birthday.

    This is long but good …

  11. LB says:

    An extremely well crafted write up Kelsey. I have read your after match views for over five years now and I reckon that is your best.

    The only thing I would add, is that Chamberlain was, as you say the only person driving forward but he gave the ball away through badly placed passes more than anyone. Rosicky was poor in that department as well.

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, your point about fitness is well made. I don’t think we’ll see any of the returnees for at least a month and in that time, the few remaining fit players are going to get run ragged – and we know what happens in that scenario … more injuries 😦

    Last year we did finish strongly but in the 3 seasons before we just crawled over the line to achieve 4th precisely because the injuries had left the squad short and players were just exhausted.

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Kelsey, I’m sorry, I didn’t acknowledge your fine post, written under the worst of circumstances. Thank you.

    eldergooner, you are not alone in having supported Arsenal for a lifetime. There are several regulars on here with in excess of sixty years following this great club.

  14. Vinay says:

    Every season, every game i defend my dear Arsenal in front of the world, i always say we are the best, we will win all and i never give up on the team even when certain things dont go the way i hope. yet every year there seems to be a sense of pain and void that i am left with, wonder why??? I mean reality is we are a good team not great, we have a good set of players not great par one or max 2, we have a manager who is great yet stubborn in his belief when the world works in a completely different way, he wants to be the exact opposite.As much as i am proud when i see that we are ethical, classy, self sustained and all that, the fact also remains that we no longer are a great football team, a great club yes, a team no and that hurts because for a fan like me, i want my team to win, compete and other teams fear, whereas right now my team is liked, respected yet brushed aside by the so called big boys, why?
    Where is the real progress for the club/team, the club has progressed i agree, we have moved on to a new stadium, we are self sufficient, we are making money, we seem to be in the right direction and we are admired by all and sundry. The football team?? well have we progressed? We have sustained is what i believe we have done, is that enough, no, fuck no.
    I am fed up when i see us flounder at the same moments, either we start bad or end bad, why? injuries? every team has it, why do we always have it at the wrong time? Why does none of our players come back on or earlier than the time scheduled for their returns? who is to be blamed for it?
    Why do we never have a plan B/ i love the way we play but where is the pace? theo not there cant be the reason, i am talking about moving the ball quicker, we have such good ball players, why are we so lackadaisical in our play?
    No opponents needs to be told what they need to do when they play against Arsenal,because everyone knows we can play only one way, why? We dont have a backup nor are the players trying something else when nothing is working. When was the last time we saw a player dribble past a defender? cant remember right.
    All this is blamed on pressure and injuries, i dont buy that, if you want to be a big club, pressure needs to spur you on than diminish you, whatever be the money game that the big clubs operate under, Arsenal cannot hide behind it and say we cant compete, i mean financially agreed but on the pitch its 11 on 11 right and the right attitude and belief cannot be purchased.
    it hurts, it so hurts that the club which was resplendent with its achievements is now an also ran, yes we can and should win the FA cup but thats a small consolation, why cant we progress? where is the real progress, a progress which makes us feel proud, no it doesnt just mean winning trophies, for me progress means when i see my team arriving on the pitch and i know that they can win any game against anyone, i dont think so we have that in us now, i doubt if any of the players or the manager truly believes we can beat any team in the world, they will say, yes we can but, i hate that word but, we should beat anyone anywhere.
    Arsenal FC is my life, for close to 20 years now it is more important than anything, it has given me so much joy and pride that i will be a fan till i die, but please Arsenal be the team that can stand up and be counted every single time, you may not win always but bloody hell we can always say we gave it all.

  15. arnie says:

    Great job, Kelsey, under very sad circumstances. What can one say. I agree with most of what you have said. The only thing I have to add is that: now is not the time to find scapegoats or indeed to discuss retirement plans.

    Yes, we were shite, but we are stuck with this till at least the end of the season. There is a job to be done. Let us support the manager and the team in delivering the FA Cup and 4th place, and then we can take it on from there. In any case, the team will be in lockdown mode now, so an criticism will fall on deaf ears.

    Big effort needed, let us hope the guys who put on the shirt have at least as much pride in the team as we fans. Personally, I have never been a great supporter of the “we hire the players to do a job, they are not fans, only we are the holiest of holy long-term fans” principle. Let us hope now that the players take some pride and put in a big effort. 😦

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Happy birthday Peaches, like fine wine……improving with age. 😀

  17. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thank you kelsey

    Next season we will emerge as one of favourites for the league and Arsene Wenger will still be the manager

    Our younger players are becoming battle hardened and a couple of top signings will do the trick.

    Perspective is always lost when we have a dip.

    The truth is always the overall results. Several points of the leaders, semi final of the cup, and a decent showing in the champions league.

    As I said, next year we will go one step further and really go for the title. We need a couple of additions, our younger players to fulfil there expected promise, and a good pre season to tinker our style of play.

    If people want to call me a dreamer so be it. We shall see.

  18. arnie says:

    Peaches: difficult times, nevertheless you deserve a great one. I wished you in the morning, but here at the request of Mrs Arnie, here is another one.

    Peace!!!!!! 🙂

  19. Rasp says:

    “Arsenal cannot hide behind it and say we cant compete, i mean financially agreed but on the pitch its 11 on 11 right and the right attitude and belief cannot be purchased.” …….. can’t argue with that Vinay.

    Your comment and that of eldergooner earlier are very sad to read.

  20. arnie says:

    Rasp: I have sent you an email.

  21. Alex says:

    In what universe did “the team give everything” ?!? The team gave absolutely nothing! From a totally dominated by Bony, in every aspect of the game, Vermaelen, to constantly out of position Gibbs, to Sagna, who played as a winger, yet never came close to anything positive. Saw more of the ball that any other player, but he lacks acceleration, creativity or technique to produce anything. His crossing is terrible, sp he ended up with crossing a useless ball in, or playing it back to Mertesacker.

    Arteta was involved in evertying, the ball went through him, but his final pass was uncharacteristically poor, as he gave away posession many times. Flamini was totally useless all game, as there were no Swansea attacks to break up. Giroud was missing all game. He thought he was Messi, trying to dribble and lay back with one-touche football, but it never came off. Cazorla offered nothing in attack, and left Gibbs exposed. Rosicky tried, but no luck, and Ox showed that he is just another Walcott – just as one dimentional. Pace and power, but to no end product.

    So no, Mr. Wenger, the team didn’t give everything, and the spirit wasn’t there! The team couldn’t give a more of a F*** about the game, they were more concerned throwing themselves on the ground and yelling for free kicks, and blaming each other for not being in the right places.

    Any team in the world can beat Arsenal with ease, and it is so evident. All they have to do, is to overload the middle, stay organized and stay back, and they only need 3 or 4 counterattacks to score 2 goals, as Arsenal are totally unable to cope with counterattacking teams. For how many years no, has Wenger watched his team concede a goal from one and single attack from a counterattack? Is it possible to EVER learn from a mistake that happens once every 2 games for over 10 years?!

  22. Rasp says:

    Thanks arnie, I have replied 😛

  23. eldergooner says:

    Norfolk @1039.
    My apologies if I implied some sort of exclusivity as a gooner in my post. That was never intended. I was simply trying to explain where I was coming from. Indeed , I know two even “elder” gooners that me – one of them is 86 – so I lay no claims to any sort of record.

  24. kelsey says:

    Thank you all so far with the general approval of my post.

    eldergooner I and several others on AA are of a similar age to you and three or four in their seventies.

    I find it hard to write these reviews as I have the total opposite view of others such as my friend TMHT .I am not anti Wenger, never have been, but the world and it’s mother can see that something or a combination of things isn’t functioning correctly,but just take any scenario you like by winning or not winning the FA Cup or qualify or not for next year’s CL, would Wenger step down and if he did would the BoD sanction a new manager additional funds. I am not so sure as Kroenke hasn’t indicated he would dip into his pocket.The reliance on the FFP is in my opinion a huge gamble.
    What upset me mostly yesterday was the way the players approached the game from the start and one could see when they entered the field the concern on their faces before a ball was kicked.
    On paper it wasn’t a bad starting eleven but they either can’t motivate themselves at present or Wenger can’t, or as mentioned above the fitness regime needs altering.That has to be a major concern.

    Predictability is another issue and more and more managers are finding it easier than ever before to nullify our game.

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Elder & Vinay. Well said.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. Please thank Mrs Arnie for the wonderful music which soothed my savage breast

  27. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Not at all Kelsey. Its an honest and well thought out appraisal and I commend you for it.

    The only thing that narks me is that I can see the reasoning and logic in your views which often shakes my faith in our current project.

    Others may laugh at your crystal balls, I take them very seriously.

  28. RC78 says:

    Fellows – well well well…I expected a tough game ending with a 2-1 victory for us and in the end, we drew and somehow the result was fair. Swansea looked like a determined side while we looked nervous.

    To be honest, there is no real word to express my disappointment. I am just hoping that somehow we will finish in the Top 4, which is really unsure given the fact that Everton is playing amazingly well and we are in a negative spiral in the last 2 months…

    What shall we do now? Let us hope that we do not make fools of ourselves and actually go out to win the FA Cup.

    We really need to bolster our squad in quality and quantity – it is the only way forward but we are not attracting top talents anymore so it is going to be tough.
    Let us at least attract
    – rising talent (Meertens, Draxler, El Sharawwy…)
    – and steely regular players (Nagatomo, Williams, Schnederlin, Tiote, Lallana, Lambert)

  29. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    eldergooner, I see in your comments you mention Brian Clough.

    I am sure then that you recall his last game when forest were relegated.

    The Forest fans invaded the pitch and despite Cloughie swinging a few left hooks, carried him off the pitch.

    Thats the kind of respect Arsene deserves with us

  30. RC78 says:

    Szecesny – De Sciglio, BFG, Kos, Nagatomo – Ramsey, Schnederlin – Walcott, Ozil, Draxler – El Sharawwy

    ? – Jenkinson, Williams, Vermaelen, Gibbs – Wilshere, Flamini – Gnabry, Ox, Cazorla – Rémy

    + ? , Bellerin, Zelalem, Rosicky, Sanogo, Giroud

  31. arnie says:

    Rasp: replied to your email. 😛

  32. arnie says:

    Thanks a lot, Raddy, will convey your thanks. 🙂 We were listening to it while driving to work this morning, and seemed perfectly soothing. 🙂

  33. eldergooner says:

    Terry@1144

    Absolutely. I could’nt agree more. I love the man Terry but sadly no longer have the same faith I once did in his methods.

  34. GoonerB says:

    Well done kelsey. I didn’t see the game, only the highlights and I prefer to have seen the whole game when commenting on a performance. From the highlights (i.e the key moments) we looked the better outfit but that doesn’t represent other factors I look for in a game like were we penetrative and were our passes incisive, did we look dangerous consistently through the game, did we press well and generally look solid without the ball e.t.c, e.t.c.

    The general feeling is that we looked laboured to say the least, and that doesn’t surprise me after the Chelsea annihilation on Saturday. It wasn’t just 3 points dropped it was also a confidence sapper. A game that maybe makes players question their own abilities to a fraction of a degree, just enough to make a difference in the confidence of play. It was also the third of its nature this season so the question marks in the players minds are likely magnified.

    It is much harder to pick players up and rebuild shattered confidence when they are down, than it is to keep their confidence high when it is already there. In medical terms that would be classed as prevention being better than cure. Could we have prevented much of what has befallen us? For me the answer is definitely. I feel we have shot ourselves in the foot unnecessarily too often this season, and that makes it harder for Arsene to get them back up there so we get what I would consider hangover games like this one.

    The other relevant point is that any unnecessary dropped points bring those behind closer too you and you lose your cushion. That will surely make the players more nervous and that nervousness could translate into their performances using Arsene’s favourite “played with the handbrake on”. Well if you drive a sports car and it is consistently handling well then you have the confidence to let loose. If basic and fundamental mechanical components have been ignored or overlooked and it skids around not performing very well then you with drive more cautiously.

    For me last nights performance will be a result of a cumulative effect from other games, so it is what has come before that largely dictated how we played yesterday. I get the injuries and other things as well but I still feel we have a very good squad to put out. I think there are imbalances within the squad, even when we have everyone available, and I feel we often play with an imbalanced set-up when better options were available to us. I have my own feelings about this and the different players we have but that is probably a full post for the birthday girl.

    Finally happy 30th birthday to our eternally youthful head honcho. Knock back 2-3 glasses of Blue Nun later peaches (I know you are a classy broad, so only the best) and not only will you enjoy your birthday but you will drown out any Arsenal sorrows you currently have.

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well stepped up Kelsey.

    Tough for me as I watched the game on a really broken stream. I did comment that I couldn’t work out quite what roles TR and OC were playing.

    What concerns me the most, is I’m beginning to think there are a few players unsure of their jobs, but what do I know.

    Yes I do know where I stand on the Club in general, including the Manager, Board, Players and so on. Trouble is, I feel that during the season is the wrong time for me to open up. Just seems wrong to kick people when they’re clearly down, and whatever we think, they are one of us.

  36. GoonerB says:

    I think you are right Micky and it was part of a theme I had as a post so just pipe down and stop stealing my thunder.

    Paul Scholes said it last night as well and although I didn’t agree with all his points many of them struck with me. I too have reservations about completely baring my soul at the moment but I can still see positives and can see a positive outcome (i.e being the near future of the next 2-3 seasons) so if I do put pen to paper on it I will try and look at both positives and negatives in as equal a measure as I can.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    GB. Get writing:-)

    Would we be so down hearted if they hadn’t lucked a last minute equaliser?

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    Don’t know what all the fuss is about, I went to the game expecting to lose. A draw was a bonus. 🙂

  39. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GIE hahahaha

  40. JanMan says:

    First and foremost Happy Birthday Peaches 😉

    Kelsey, Great write up. Thank you for that under very difficult circumstances.
    Of course it is human nature for many to react the way we have after the past couple of performances but in my opinion no one has gone over the top and from what I have read, many have addressed valid concerns. Many on here, myself included are over 60 so we have experienced the bad and the good. That is why I have always said (unfortunately) the past is the past and should not be used as any form of an excuse. Likewise I have previously commented that I do not accept injuries as an excuse, yes, they may be fact but cannot be used as excuses for the thumpings given to us by the likes of Liverpool, City, and Chelsea as we have won many other games without those same players.
    I have issues with some of the comments made in order to make excuses for these poor performances as in my humble opinion that is all they are, excuses.
    I am and always have been loyal to Wenger but I have more doubts about his abilities now than ever before. I honestly believe that he is past his prime and can take us no further and believe it or not, it hurts me to say that. If it was a one of season I could easily accept the excuses being made by some posters but it is not a one off, it has now been this way for several seasons and it is always the same issues. Surely the great man does not simply ignore the issues that stare him in the face season after season.
    I am not a fan of firing managers but no other top team anywhere in Europe would allow these problems year after year. Perhaps the problem is Wenger, has he simply become too secure and knows that no matter what he is untouchable?
    We have talked many times that today’s modern game is a business. Well I am a very successful business man with companies in the USA, Germany and Prague, I have a large staff and various directors under me. When we see a problem or something is not right, we meet, discuss, solve the problem and move on. That does not happen at Arsenal Football club, why?
    Yet, again the best we can hope for is fourth and maybe the FA Cup, is that really the level of our expectactions?
    Of course I am still behind the team but to wait and see how it pans out because of a dip and re group for next season is simply not an option in my book as we have been doing exactly that for at least the past five seasons.

  41. RA says:

    Well done, Kelsey, a very good Post.

  42. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Should we not judge Arsenes managerial skills on the different “phases” that the Club has recently trodden?

    It saddens me to see experience Arsenal supporters lose faith, but I have read plenty today about time frames as if there are no distinctions.

    98-2005 a glorious era
    2006 -2012 an era of financial austerity
    2013- onwards?

    its only been one summer since the Club has been more capable of keeping its players and procuring big talent

    In the summer of last year we did not lose a player we wanted to keep and broke our transfer record by signing Ozil

    In the very same period we extended the contracts for our young British core with the promise “They will form the basis of the side for many years to come”

    My opinion is unchanged. I feel Arsene and the Club are been judged prematurely.

    I see the Summer of 2013 as a period were we finally turned a corner, but by no means the arrival of a destination

    I can understand the feeling that perhaps Arsene is not the man to lead us on this new road, but feel the evidence of this claim is weak.

    Arsene should be given a new contract. Yes hes getting older but I still see the spark.

    Next season we will be stronger, and despite the many obstacles, I feel we can not only challenge for the title, we can win it.

  43. RA says:

    It is very difficult to make any meaningful comment without personal disappointment clouding the issue, none the less, I admire all the bloggers who have commented and explained themselves so well.

    I suspect the most upbeat comment today came from that man Exile, and that in turn might reflect the number of alcoholic beverages he admitted consuming before the game which deadened the pain, as he did not remember anything. 🙂

  44. RA says:

    Terry,

    There has been a call for a scapegoat, so it looks like we need one of your 30 thirsty goats, or if you won’t sacrifice one …. it will have to be you.

    What’s it to be? 🙂

  45. arnie says:

    let’s sacrifice one of Terry’s goats in the high altar, and leave the remaining 29 for laters. 🙂

  46. JanMan says:

    Terry. I respect your opinion as I would expect you to respect my mine. I will never lose faith in Arsenal Football club but I ask you, how many times have you said, “next season we will be stronger” It is like when my daughter got married, some time in life you have to let go of something very dear to your heart and accept the fact you have to move on.

  47. We did get rid of a player in the summer who I wanted to keep……….Gervinho !, I`m sure the lack of pace we have suffered recently would have been covered by a player whose head is so big it has it`s own gravitational pull, an ability to suck in at least 3 defenders on his own……Oh and boy did he work his socks off !.
    The only spark I can see from Arsene is the one which had the same affect on Joan of Arc !.
    Fitting really, as an Alien God claims to have been married to Arsene in the 15th century when she was Joan of Arc !.
    A bad Summer TW and I shall build the bonfire myself !. hahaha

  48. Janman
    Terry only said it once, but he has a chronic stutter which has lasted 3 years !.

  49. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I am quite willing to be sacrificed Redders. I fit the bill. Nerdy, virgin, and hairy enough not to require petrol. hahaha

    Arnie, keep your paws of my goats. hahaha

  50. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    JanMan, i do respect your opinion.

    As I said, I judge the situation in phases and feel the evidence for parting ways with Arsene is weak.

    Would a well informed neutral consider we’ve had a bad season? I think not.

  51. RedMJ says:

    I’m with TMHT at 1:52 above.

    On top of that I defy any team or individual, however much they are paid or whatever their coach/psychologist has said to them to come out for the next game with confidence flowing through their veins after the total and utter thrashing they took on Saturday. Through my rose (Arsenal red) tinted glsses I would rather take the fact that after that thrashing and then going 1 – 0 down they were still able to remain composed and together enough to score 2 goals and get themselves back into a winning position. There is no legislating for the OG and again for me it reflected the determination of BFG, PiG and Flamster not to concede. I know there are weaknesses and I trust AW and the Club to work on them in the summer. In the meantime, they get my full support to battle it out and finish on a high.

  52. I actually think the problem is ….” the ghosts of the thirties ” !. They need to be exorcised and I don’t mean with a personal trainer with big tits whose fcuking fit !.
    Transplant would be the choice but I know his wife is already trying to exorcise his telescope without much luck, it`s been consumed by poltergeists and cant stop entering other peoples bodies, especially fit looking Eastern European girls around King`s Cross !. hahaha

  53. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    RedMJ, very good comment. It seems to be overlooked that we came from a goal down and on the back of a hiding.

    How many times does this squad have to respond to prove its character?

    This time last year we were crap and destined to come sixth but turned it around.

    We are not the finished article, and are still behind some teams, notably the ones with bigger wallets. But we will get there.

  54. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall hahahaha

  55. JanMan says:

    Hello Terry. Thank you. I am not arguing with you and yes a neutral would be more than happy with our season but we are not neutrals are we. I would love to chat more but my secretary is nagging me that I am late for an appointment

  56. arnie says:

    Personally, I am not in favour of scapegoating of any kind. There is a job to be done this year, let us do this to teh best of the team (and the manager’s) ability. Then we can discuss again in the summer. Not saying anything new. Micky, GoonerB and many others have already said this. 🙂

  57. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers JanMan. A nagging secretary hey?? This has got my mind racing but its a family friendly site so will leave it there. hahaha

  58. Be honest…..how many of you would be optimistic of Arsenal beating Wigan on current form if it was on this Saturday ?……..I`d rather put my house on John Terry becoming the honoury president of …..”kick it out”….Lets Kick Racism Out of Football !.

  59. kelsey says:

    When we lost 6-3 to City we drew the next game 0-0 with Chelsea and when we lost 5-1 to Liverpool we drew the next game with United 0-0.So I can’t really accept that the result at Chelsea accounted for our poor performance yesterday.
    Fatigue yes through not enough players to rotate through injury to eliviate this..

  60. Norfolk Gooner says:

    eldergooner,

    I’m sorry if in my earlier comment I appeared to critisice you, I certainly didn’t mean to.

    As Kelsey pointed out there are a number of old codgers on here who have supported Arsenal through thick and thin. Maybe as we get older we realise that time is not on our side. I for one would really like to see a bit of real success. Unfortunately, we seem to be stagnating rather than progressing under Wenger, maybe it’s timefor a change.

  61. Gööner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, made a very early one liner due to time pressures.

    Kelsey you make some salient points in your report.

    Courtesy of Chas I had a very good view of our offensive shape in the first half and to me it’ was that shape that was our undoing, too often was the line of Swansea defenders joined by a red shirt standing alongside and that included Gibbs and Sagna so we effectively had 6/7 players in a line on the 18yd box, 1 man on the ball and TV5 and BFG standing at the back. This resulted in the man on the ball having very little to look to in terms of a positive forward pass. We needed runners from deeper the only man capable was the man on the ball but then he would have left us overexposed at the back.

    This pattern does not get the best from any of our players, especially Giroud, when he is playing well is generally when he has space to move defenders around, leaving gaps for midfielders to run into. If those midfielders are already alongside him we are killing our opportunities to open up the opposition.

    Felt like it went from one extreme to the other as later on Oli was receiving the ball with 3/4 defenders and not one out pass, so it was no surprise he started trying to find a way to beat a man on his own.

    One other moment stood out as highlighting the problem in the squad.

    Oli jumps to win a 50:50 header, gets a flick on that no one gambled on. In fact almost looked disinterested to do so, if I was him I’d have given up trying to win those balls a long time ago.

    If, and I think it’s a big if right now, we manage to win the FA Cup how long will it be before a pundit or fan declares it as papering over cracks?

  62. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    The thought of Arsene leaving terrifys me. I admit, I would probably burst out crying and be inconsolable for ages.

    This happened to me once before, when Liam Brady left. I went on the rampage, smashing my brothers Raving Bonkers set and turning into a kleptomaniac. I had more cadburys cream eggs and Goal football mags than the local newsagent. Mind you, it was him that I was nicking from. There was no good ending to that story.I went back years later, aged 30, to apologise but, “I thought it was you, little shitttt” and he chased me down the road armed with a net and broom handle.

    Come to think of it, its funny how the reverse can be true. When my first wife left me I was so deliriously happy I spent weeks walking around singing and dancing to soul tunes and talking to strangers. It was only after approaching some Builder with “Oh Baby, I aint your daddy” that a punch to the nose shook me to my senses.

    I really hope Arsene stays.

  63. Norfolk Gooner says:

    OK Terry, for the sake only of your sanity, what’s left of it, I’ll withdraw all my criticism of St. Arsene and hope that he stays until the whole of The Emirates Stadium is entirely engulfed in the rising tide of water from the melting of both Polar icecaps due to global warming. 😀

  64. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Norfolk, I knew you would understand. hahaha

  65. RA says:

    Terry baby,

    For what it’s worth, I think you are the most well balanced and amiable guy on here, and the ability to gently poke fun at yourself is a fantastic attribute to have,

    Just carry on being yourself, and don’t let the goats put you up for sacrifice – when you are gone, Big Cockie Monster will shag them and then eat them, only keeping one back to share his love shack with him. 🙂

  66. RA says:

    Speaking of which, where is Sheep Hagger?

    Has he defected to the Swans, or is he still sulking because the Welsh Boyos were stuffed by England in the 6 Nations? 🙂

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE,

    When I read comments like yours I know why I continue to blog on AA. Unlike what some folks would think its not about age its about having the ability to acknowledge that all is not well in the Arsenal camp and to avoiding being self righteously critical about everything – including the way the boot boy does his job.

    I thank you for your very reasoned approach to the highs, lows and in betweens of being an Arsenal SUPPORTER.

    However I will continue to lie low until everybody has excreted their venom – you see I find swimming against the tide to be very strenuous and in the end you just get too tired to continue..

  68. RockyLives says:

    I feel like I watched a different game to everyone else.

    On Saturday against the Chavs we were utter pants. Last night the players were nervous and lacking in confidence but they really worked hard and were unlucky not to come away with three points (the own goal was a ridiculous fluke).

    Did we play well last night? Of course not. As others have said, the battering in West London plus all the opprobrium heaped on the manager, players and club since have taken a toll. It was evident in some of the poor passing and the unwillingness to take risks.

    But I did see our players running tirelessly for 94 minutes when not in possession, closing down Swansea. And when we were chasing the game they kept going.

    Ollie G has been poor for a while, but when you realize that he has lost all his “runners” (Theo and Aaron in particular) it’s no great surprise that his form is suffering.

    Thanks for a difficult write up Kelsey. I think a lot people on here have lost perspective after two difficult games but I respect your views.

  69. RA says:

    GN5,

    Your reference to ‘age’ has me worried that I may have inadvertently offended you.

    BR referred (on Monday??) to there being a schism developing on the blog, and to make conversation, which as it turned out was a pointless exercise, as usual, I said I disagreed.

    I expressed the view that a healthy division of opinions was important to any blog, (otherwise we would all die of boredom) and that there were many different influences affecting peoples views, not least the age range of the bloggers.

    It is my own belief, shared by many bloggers, that you and DanDan are a shining example of fans in a similar age group, who are always steadfast in your support of the manager and the team, having been there through thick and thin.

    My reason for blogging is simple. I do so to enjoy myself in the company of other Arsenal fans and to learn of their disparate views.

    There are many people on AA whom I consider to be blogging friends, and I consider you to be one of those, and hoped you knew that, and also that I would not wish to upset a friend, so if I did not make my point about ‘age’ clear, please accept my apologies.

    I was actually paying you both a compliment.

  70. Redders !……..I hope I`m classed as one of your furry fiends !. Apologies if I`m being presumptuous in thinking I am a fiend !.

  71. eldergooner says:

    Norfolk Gooner ,

    Please , no apology necessary . If there is then it’s probably me who should make it for appearing to take offense .

    Sadly I do agree about the need for change . I feel soiled saying it , if that makes sense. Arsene has been so good for us and appears to be an honorable – if that word has any relevance nowadays – man , that I feel traitorus for even thinking he should go .

    Ideally for me he will always have a role at the club . I just feel it should be upstairs from next season with someone like Simeone
    from Athletico Madrid coming in.

  72. GunnerN5 says:

    RA – to make it very CLEAR you have never offended me!
    I always consider your comments to be wise, reasoned and not a total knee jerk reaction.

  73. RA says:

    You are lovely, Cockie, and any earlier reference to you shagging and then eating Terry’s goats was all done by Rocky, impersonating me – he is only jealous because he has a goat fetish!! 😀

    A fiend in need, is a fiend indeed!

  74. RA says:

    I am relieved to hear it, GN5.

    My visits to AA have become fewer, and if I were to offend people I like – they would cease. And thank you for the compliment, undeserved tho’ it is. 🙂

  75. arnie says:

    Redders: Perhaps not my place to open my mouth, except to devour some smoked goaties. But, IMO, “undeserved” it is not. 🙂

  76. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    You should have known better, I most certainly think of you as a friend. As I read it again the problem was that my comment was poorly worded, which is typical.

    I would love to have your control and precision over the written word but I left school at 13 years old and its way too late for grammar lessons now.

  77. arnie says:

    c’mon chumes. 9 games left, one big effort. get behind the team, please. our team and manager deserve this at the very least. 🙂

  78. arnie says:

    GN5: this is a blog, most people do not know each other personally. everyone takes the occasional liberty of a tongue-in-cheek comment or two. or perhaps a release of tension accumulated elsewhere in real life.

    It is all in good spirits, even if it sometimes can hurt. we are all grown ups, and can deal with it. at least I hope so. 🙂

  79. arnie says:

    GN5: I meant to say, please do not stay away. so much for “control and precision over the written word”. 😛

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    arnie,

    Again to be clear. Its not individual comments that disturb me its the fact that there have been minimal daily comments for a long while now. But as soon as we hit a poor patch the blog goes comment crazy and I have no interest in reading the bile let alone making comments.

    Thank goodness for the few bloggers that are able to retain their objectiveness – I will not mention names but its very obvious who remains objective..

  81. arnie says:

    GN5: Your opinions and experience are very valuable for this site. I recognise it is perhaps a waste of some of your time to trawl through comments that are negative. But if you are away, your opinions will not be expressed, at least not in quite the same way as it should be put forward.

    This I think will be a pity. It will be sad for me personally, even if my own views are not exactly like yours. But more importantly, it is a loss for the site, whicj is kept going by diversity of opinions. Some valuable, some not so valuable. But their main value lies in the diversity.

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    arnie,

    I recognize that you mean well but on this subject the only opinion that I consider is my own.

  83. Gööner In Exile says:

    JanMan, I read this comment earlier and wanted to reply but didn’t have time:

    “We have talked many times that today’s modern game is a business. Well I am a very successful business man with companies in the USA, Germany and Prague, I have a large staff and various directors under me. When we see a problem or something is not right, we meet, discuss, solve the problem and move on. That does not happen at Arsenal Football club, why?”

    Now the issue I have is that I think you are confusing two things, the business and the football. Now whilst we as fans wold love it for the business model to include silverware it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the same thing. Season Ticket holders matter less and less to the club, the tourists who visit the club shop pre and post match, buy a programme, get to the ground early and spend on food and drink are much more profitable than the ST holder who turns up just before kick off who has been drinking in a local boozer and might make one or two purchases from the club shop each year.

    Revenues from TV and sponsorship dwarf gate receipts.and whilst in part these revenues are based on performance the rewards for winning the league compared to finishing 4th is not massive. £5m in fact.

    So what does that buy? One £100k a week footballer….we need maybe three to become a Championship winning team that can see it through. And then it is still a gamble
    with no guarantees

    So on the pitch success does not necessarily make a difference to off field success.

    Maybe we should either accept the fact, or sell out to a mega rich billionaire prepared to buy it. Or we can keep trying to build our own with the resources available.

    I mentioned the other day that Liverpool have adopted Moneyball principles valuing goals per £ spent over defence, this might just might work for them. But take them to Europe and this approach will be quickly found out.

  84. kelsey says:

    AA like to publish a new post every day and that is not as easy as it seems.
    As you know I have started my reviews again and never discuss the whole match in detail as most will either have attended,watched it on TV or will have read hundreds of reports via the media or on the Internet.

    It’s much harder to write after a loss or consecutive losses and I try and get a balance of what I see is right and wrong.
    At the end of the day we are just devout fans, of different personallity andmake up, and express ourselves in different ways.
    I don’t think age has much to do with it if we are writing a daily blog about current events going on at Arsenal.

    Many people don’t know all our history but the articles by GN5 have been published by the club itself and has no baring onn the amount of comments.

    If one looks at the hits versus the actual comments on this or any other blog,the comments are a very low percentage as many people just visit and read what interests them.
    Personally as our season has turned round quite dramatically for a number of reasons these past few months, I think there is a lot that can be discussed,but absolutely no one is obliged to comment.This may seem logical therefore the question of how many comments a particular post gets has no real baring,but if it can offer diverse opinions so much the better.

  85. RA says:

    Hi Guys,

    I am like a flea on a hot griddle, hopping about a lot at the moment.

    arnie, again, thank you too. You and Terry are very different in your backgrounds but you are both such rays of sunshine with that syrup man’s hilarious convoluted stories, and you with your glowing smileys. 🙂

    GN5, as I have said to you previously, the amount of time and effort you have put into your Posts deserves a far wider audience, and that was recognised by AFC a while ago.

    They are the sort of Posts that are not time sensitive and should be repeated after a certain time, et seq, and are an education to us all.

    I have said this before and it bears repeating, you are far too modest about your writing skills, and you have an innate talent for it and schooling has nothing to with that!!

    Write a book about your life with Arsenal as the fulcrum, an update on Hornby, with the personal touch of actually knowing the players and living on the doorstep of Highbury.

    I do not want to be macabre, but future generations will simply not know or remember Highbury if guys like you do not commit your experience to print.

    Or you could say ‘sod it, I will just have another glass of excellent wine and watch all my football, and North American sports’!! 🙂

  86. Jamie says:

    Hi Terry,

    I respect your opinion and agree with you on most points. However, I think making tactical errors in judgment every season has very little to do with financial power. Even if you manage Barcelona, you can’t go into a game the way we did against Pool and Chelsea and expect to win.

    If you look at the premier league this season, the only team with a better squad than ours is Man City. Chelsea’s squad is quite similar to ours. They are where they are because Mourinho has them playing at a higher level than they should be playing at.

    I believe we’ll have a squad that can stand up yo Bayern in a few years. I also think Wenger did well in the summer (not so much in January though). I think he’ll be get us the players we need to move forward, but even when he does they still need to be instructed and motivated, especially against big teams and this is where i think Wenger is sadly lacking.

  87. arnie says:

    Redders: “hopping about a lot”? your strange hours have been noted by the attendance masters on AA. If it turns out ex post that you were visiting the UK, and somehow decided not to take up on the offer of generous booze and banter here in Scotland, it will hold this against you for a very long time. 🙂 🙂

  88. arnie says:

    Redders: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! 🙂

  89. Evenetning all, Kelsey you pull no punches and I like the cut of your jib where concise, brutally true viewpoints are concerned.

    I was at the game and aside from missing everyone at the Tavern (I had to drink with Chary Minor, while I waited and ate some tofu hot dogs) and not being able to give Peachy some early birthday wishes, the result was also disappointing.

    if anyone is so inclined here’s my take on last nights game.

    .http://www.7amkickoff.com/2014/man-at-the-match-chary-the-ecstasy-and-the-agony-last-gasp-flamini-tragedy/

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    For what its worth i said to Rasp, Peaches, Chas and anyone else listening that i expect Arsene to leave at the end of the season no matter what we win or don’t win.

    I think the fact that Ivan made some announcements early could have been to do with contract negotiations, both players and commercial deals. I wonder whether Bacary is in the know and maybe that is why he hasn’t signed.

    By the way….on Bacary…..anyone think he could have got to Flamini’s own goal if he hadn’t stopped when BFG lunges in?

  91. arnie says:

    GiE: I will be very disappointed if Arsene leaves at the end of this season. It is true that mixed signals have come from Arsene and the club. And I can also believe that maybe a plan is being worked out. But, being a responsible club as I believe Arsenal to be, I think the new manager will be given the opportunity to tune in and work his (or a politically correct, her 😛 ) way into the club. The Arsenal traditions, their way of doing things, and so on. It will be extremely disappointing if this were not the case.

  92. Gööner In Exile says:

    [video src="http://fat.gfycat.com/RepentantInfatuatedBoubou.mp4" /]

  93. arnie says:

    No comments on Sagna. No scapegoating until the end of the season, except for tongue-in-cheek comments during and after our games. 🙂

  94. JanMan says:

    GN5. You are a devoted and respected poster here on AA and I truly respect your point of views. However, I do think that it is a little unfair of you to refer to the (in your opinion) negative comments as “Bile” I really do not think that over the past few days anyone has posted comments that can be referred to as “Bile” My personal opinion is that many posters old and young have simply revealed some of there concerns and have simply opened up some very honest feelings and opinions. Loyal support of Arsenal is a wonderful thing but not everything is perfect and in life people should have the ability to see things from both sides and not just one dimensional.
    With that said you have no reason to stay away, if you do not agree with a certain comment then just skip over it and go to the next one.

  95. arnie says:

    oh dear, GiE, poor choice of words. I gave my own feelings about Sagna’s performance yesterday away. Anyway, I thought the team as a whole was poor. No scapegoats, then! 🙂

  96. GunnerN5 says:

    janman.

    If I wanted to listen to a preacher I would go to church – which I don’t.

  97. JanMan says:

    GN5. Sorry you feel that way as I was not preaching to you, merely sharing my thoughts. I thought that was part and parcel of blogging but I guess not.

  98. GIE
    I think on the field success makes a huge difference to off the field success !. If measured in fanbase only, we can see that the 70`s to late 80`s Liverpool success gave them a massive global following !. Man U, as we know had success in the 60`s and from the 90`s onwards and are possibly the biggest global brand !.
    Our own success of the 30`s made us possibly the biggest club in the world at the time and followed by small successes in most decades since then !. To prove a point, just look at Chelsea, where were they before Abramobitch took over and where they are now !. They would probably be nowhere in global support had he not took over !.
    Yes, he has bought success, but whether bought or not, in todays 24/7 sports coverage and run away EPL juggernaut on a massive global stage, their success has brought ( bought) them millions of fans which will lead on the merchandise and marketing success !.
    Be prepared for another team coming from nowhere to buy success as well in the form of Man C, it`s only a matter of time !.
    I thought FFP would save us, but since the fiasco of Mansour City`s loop holing of ” Intellectual Property ! ” and no punishment on the horizon, I have very strong doubts .
    I`m told that FFP is not just black and white, there are substantially more than just 50 shades of grey areas !. If the likes of the rich clubs try to conform with FFP`s black and white area, but in doing so, win no trophies, they will soon slither into the grey area loop holes to try and maintain their success !.
    Kroenke has no emotional attachment to Arsenal FC, he only see`s it as a business !. As long as AFC make a profit and are self-sustainable, he will never sack Arsene Wenger, whether or not we fans want him to stay or go !. Wengers success as financial manager is more important to Kroenke than his success on the pitch !.
    So because of this opinion, I`m in no doubt an EPL title will not be won for two reasons….1) FFP never working….. and 2) Kroenke as majority shareholder !.
    Wenger will drown of asphyxiation from pissing in the wind before FFP works !.
    Just an opinion.

  99. arnie says:

    Cockie: “Just an opinion”, but a damn good one! IMO. 🙂

  100. Cheers arnie 😀
    I do have another opinion which I forgot to add…….Kroenkes other sporting franchises, clubs etc`…….they are all average !. I mean for fcuk sake he owns a Lacrosse team !……this is a sport for weird people who live in woods , where victory is celebrated by the sacrifice offer of an inbred virgin !……well in Cornwall it is !. hahaha

  101. LB says:

    5.54pm

    Top comment Rocky. On the money as far as I am concerned.

  102. LB says:

    7.25pm

    GIE, I know you come from a non antagonistic place but I disagree, I still believe the board will beg Wenger to stay — and in my occasionally humble opinion — he will.

  103. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie…wasn’t scapegoating just asking a question, saw it on TV this morning and asked myself should he have stopped running round? Can’t see why he shouldn’t and it’s those small moments where decisions made by players cost games. Could easily ask why did Per dive into the tackle, ball was overrun and Szcesny was coming. In fact those three (including Flamster) were doing their best to keep the ball out and ended up combining for a ridiculous own goal. When the replay was shown in ground I just shook my head. We probably didn’t deserve to win but we didn’t deserve the unluckiest of equalisers either.

    Cockie we have the fanbase we have the revenue, what I’m saying is the business side of the club has to make a decision, spend £100m to win silverware (arguably what it will take), then as you say another Billionaire buys Everton, invests heavily wages go up again everywhere, then one buys Stoke, then one buys Spuds. Then we need a Trillionaire…..or the club can do its own thing and try to develop and strengthen via organic growth.

    FFP is doing its job….I know that sounds ridiculous, but the Etihad sponsorship deal however over inflated is protecting the club for the fans. Chelsea do not spend as much but what they so spend Abramovich will write off via debt to equity transactions as he has already done. Which again protects the club for the fans.

  104. dandan says:

    Its a such a shame that good people are so easily offended and all in the name of a shared interest/passion 😦

  105. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB I won’t be surprised if the board beg Arsene to stay, i am just not sure it will be enough this time. I think Ivan was appeasing businesses about to sign rather large financial commitments to Arsenal plc, after all if you were Puma and had glanced at the situation at United, would you be happy signing that contract if you suspected something similar could happen?

  106. arnie says:

    apols GiE, that was just a very carelessly written comment. it was not my intention at all to suggest that you were scapegoating, far from it, your views are plain for all to see. I was writing about myself, I was tempted to blame Sagna for all the ills of the world. once again, many many apols, I hang my head in shame. 😦

  107. arnie says:

    It was unlucky, but then there is also the law of averages, and fortune favours the brave. We did not play well enough to deserve a win, but we could have scraped it. We were just caught out. 😦

  108. Sav from Australia says:

    I do not agree why with any premise that states AW has lost it. Its a lie bespoken so often that many believe its truth. I could spend a lot of effort dissecting the vicious attacks on and off the field that have led the team to their current state. But I daresay others have already written articles on media propaganda, referee bias and the injuries and fatigue that result from other teams allowed to kick us. And the mental fatigue of the players knowing
    And playing through the cheating.

    My mind is objective enough to know the worth of this team and this manager. Lose faith if you wish but beware. If the Board and Owner, the only ones that count in whether AW stays – because he won’t give up the fight – back Mr Wenger beyond this season – then Beware. Arsenal are on the up and soon no ref cheating nor media bias noe quality opposition will be able to stop the juggernaut.

  109. neamman says:

    here is a question…IF Everton overtake us… would it be better that we lose enough games NOT to be in the Europa league? I know an FA Cup win would automatically put us there but lets look at how Liverpool did this year. No Europe..gives them less injuries perhaps and certainly well rested players. Perhaps next year with a reinforced squad and no European distractions we could be the next liverpol?

  110. neamman says:

    Liverpool.. excuse the typo

  111. Gööner In Exile says:

    Neamann I think ManUre are making strides in that direction already 😀

    Arnie, no apologies necessary, i’ve made my position clear on Sagna so could understand why anyone looking at my comment could see it as scapegoating or reinforced bias thinking. (or some other psycho babble).

    Sav…..nice commitment 😀

  112. LB says:

    Oh I see GIE, although we agree that it is likely that the board will beg AW to stay you think he will leave regardless. Hmmmm, interesting.

    Na, I still think he will stay, the reason was summed up in a comment I read recently, unfortunately I cannot remember the author’s name, anyway, that point was that he thought that any neutral minded person looking at our season would still see it as a success.

    I think AW and the board will see it as a big step forward, subject to CL football of course.

  113. JM says:

    Arsene Wenger (with his backroom & coaching staff: Primorac, Bould, Banfield, Peyton, Colbert, C.Lewin, O’Driscoll etc) – are expected to sign contract extension for at least 2 more years to summer 2016.

    Usually, AW has been given 3-year extension renewal (his last renewals are in Sep 2007, which starts from Jun 2008 to Jun 2011 and then in Aug 2010, which starts from Jun 2011 to Jun 2014. All 3 years gap);
    In normal circumstances, an announcement of his new contract renewal phase should have been published around Aug to Sep 2013.
    The board in this instant might be proposing a new 2-year deal instead.

    The signs:

    (1) AW on his 18th year with Arsenal FC. Another 2 more years will make it 20 years. He will be 66 then. Most of his contemporaries (on the 60+) are either coaching national teams, with minor teams in minor leagues or retired (e.g. Vicente del Bosque, Marcello Lippi, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Jupp Heynckes, Guus Hiddink, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Louis van Gaal, Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson, Morten Olsen, Óscar Tabárez etc)

    (2) Key players (senior and youth) extending and signing their new contracts recently: Mertesacker, Rosicky, Cazorla, Ramsey, Zelalem and more to come.

    (3) This data shows of the new contracts and existing contracts for most our 1st team:

    Szczesny – (till 2018)
    Mertesacker – (till 2017)
    Koscielny – (till 2017)
    Monreal – (till 2017)
    Gibbs – (till 2018)
    Jenkinson – (till 2018)
    Wilshere – (till 2018)
    Ramsey – (till 2018)
    Rosicky (till 2016) **
    Özil – (till 2018)
    Cazorla – (till 2016) **
    Oxlade-Chamberlain – (till 2018)
    Gnabry – (till 2018)
    Podolski – (till 2016) **
    Walcott – (till 2016) **
    Giroud – (till 2017)
    Sanogo – (till 2017)
    Zelalem – (till 2017)

    Should AW sign up a 2 or 3 year new deal, he would see and work through the development and project with most of his current group of players.
    (** important – time scale reflecting on Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski & Walcott)

    (4) The protracted contract negotiation for Sagna has a little part to do with that of AW’s own. (either 2 or 3 years new deal?)

    (5) This just about give enough transition time and laying the continuous ground work for the next incumbent (e.g. Roberto Martínez, Jürgen Klopp, Steve Bould etc) to step in seamlessly.

    (6) There are strong links in respect to our could-be future summer signings (with involvement from AW, IG & his team): in relationship with the ongoing/new partnerships we have established with Fly Emirates, PUMA, and various player agencies/agents. I will not comment much on this as our season is still ongoing and we need all our current players, club staff, fans/supporters to be fully concentrating on our remaining battles in the PL and the FA Cup.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well I thought that was a very interesting days’ blogging, and I really didn’t detect any bile.

    GN5,
    I think you’re off your rocker if you think Exile is a good Supporter. To my mind it’s fairly obvious to me he’s decided to put family first which makes him a rubbish Arsenal Supporter 🙂

    Arnie
    “Some valuable, some not so valuable. But their main value lies in the diversity”.
    Agree. I have twin children, who I suppose are technically cut from the same cloth, but oh boy, do they both deal with success and adversity in completely different ways. We treat them the same way, so it’s simply dna. As you say, as long as people are polite and respectful, which they are on here, then vive the difference.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Loved that Ray Davies vid someone stuck up the other day.

  116. chas says:

    A good match review, kelsey, which stimulated some interesting comments, ta.
    For some reason, I found some equilibrium yesterday.
    How can you account for an equaliser like that?
    You can’t.
    Completely out of anyone’s control from the moment the referee incorrectly gave a free-kick to Swansea, to Flamini running towards his own goal. Sums up being a supporter to me, totally powerless.

    I think if we win the FA Cup it’ll just be papering over the cracks. 🙂

    Just imagine if we drop to 6th in the League and then have to hope we lose in the FA Cup so as to miss out on spursday Europa nights? 😆

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    11 times World Champion this guy. See the tricks at the end

  118. chas says:

    hehe

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    True Chas

    Finishing 5th used to be ok, now it’s a fucking nightmare. 7th is preferable which is obviously nuts.

  120. Morning chaps

    Just noticed we don’t have a post for today 😳

    Any chance of a quickie Mr Didit ……

  121. I’m embarrassed to be asking obviously 😉

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love one Peaches, but I’m off in about 3 minutes 🙂

  123. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it ……

  124. chas says:

    I’ve just discovered the genetic condition that Sturridge suffers from.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Good stuff yesterday.

    JM. Fine research

  126. chas says:

    Smell ya later

  127. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    It was an interesting debate yesterday conducted on the whole in a civilised manner.
    I remember GIE saying that he thought Wenger would leave at the end of the season though I personally don”t think that is the issue if he leaves or signs a two year extension deal,it is what is commonly known as no plan B that disturbs me together with the fact that whichever way you look at it,the team are not playing well as a unit.I am not used to seeing us hoof the ball like Stoke hoping to find a solitary Giroud with his back to goal and no support,even if he controls the ball.
    No question the two players we miss are Walcott and Ramsey,(who has now has had a third setback to his return) for what they bring to the team.
    If Wenger stays and our injury list is even halved and we buy even two quality players I still think the best we can finish next season is third.
    If United hadn’t collapsed this season we could now be fighting for fifth or sixth which wouldn’t be the end of the world as we can sustain without CL football but the disadvantage of that it brings endless more games of Thursady night football,and our squad depth isn’t big enough for that and that also increases the risk of more injuries just by the fact we are playing even more games and we have a supreme record of long term injuries.

    Kos being out for at least the next two huge games is a tremendous blow,but from the little I saw of him, Kallstrom looks strong and quite composed and might well fill the void even this weekend.
    Would Wenger accpt diminished control over everything at the club as it is clear to me that Gazidis and him are not the best negotiators at the club I think this may have something to do with the club not announcing a new deal, or he has already signed and recently tied down a few players to long term contracts..
    I don’t want to keep hearing every season we nearly or could have signed,so and so.

    One can’t harp back to the beginning of the season when we were again written off as we were at around Xmas top of the league by several points.
    Pity it seems o all gone to pot and if we get one point from the next two games that would be little comfort.

    We need a better balance in what I thought was a better defensive display with the attacking midfielders not dropping so far back,but most of all a proper striker.

  128. Gööner In Exile says:

    A proper striker……now there is a subject for debate.

    Do we want a pure goalscorer…..akin to Ian Wright
    Do we want a hold up man….we have him
    Do we want a twisty turny something from nothing man….Suarez like (preferably minus cannibal traits)
    Do we want a channel runner….the Henry type

  129. RA says:

    Yes to all of those, Exile. 🙂

  130. kelsey says:

    Bollox, I could have made a post about this.

  131. Vinay says:

    Enough is Enough, not me but the so called fans taking this banner to wembley for the semi finals against Wenger, wow calling themselves as fans itself is a disgrace, please dont call yourselves Arsenal fans, you are miring a lot of the true ones, sick to hear such things,
    You want him out is fine, you dont do it in a game of such epic proportions, a game on which hinges the whole season.
    Wenger will go i fear and in the end he will be remembered as a flawed genius, someone who did a lot of great things and then ended up being a failure, sad to know he will be judged only on success in terms of trophies than what he made the club.

  132. kelsey says:

    What banner,Vinay. I can imagine…..idiots

  133. Shard says:

    I watched the game when I was half asleep, so have refrained from commenting until I saw it again. I haven’t read through all the comments and so don’t know who thinks what about the performance, but I disagree with kelsey (I know, he’ll claim no surprise, but I agreed with him about the Chelsea game) on it being a lacklustre display.

    We weren’t playing at our flowing best, but we were playing quite well, with almost no panic at going behind. We did the right thing just controlling possession for 5-7 mins after conceding, and then started to pressure them again. We weren’t absolutely steaming in but weren’t crawling either in terms of our urgency. Yes, we lack something in the squad right now, and even when Walcott and Ramsey return, we probably need more. However, though the result was disappointing I can live with it because I thought the team did everything they could to try and win, and were unlucky in the manner the equaliser went in for Swansea.

    And as the table stands (I know Everton have played one game less, and City have played 2 less), we are 6 points off the top of the table, and 6 points away from 5th. We might well finish 4th (or lower) but it is not the same as the last 2 seasons where a fight for 4th place meant grinding our way back and overtaking Spurs on the last day by a point. We’ve been in a title fight and if not for the lack of optimism that has been around the club for the past 4 years or so, we would probably think we still have a small chance at the title.

  134. Vinay says:

    EIE is what the banner says and below that is Enough is Enough Wenger, amazing and to think the man who gave so much to the club will be seeing this.

  135. Shard says:

    I’m a day late it appears, but Happy Birthday Peaches.

  136. kelsey – your comment at 7.12 could have been the post 😦

  137. Vinay says:

    I am sorry as well belated birthday wishes Peaches, hope it went well.

  138. kelsey says:

    Shard

    each to their own 🙂

  139. Shard says:
  140. kelsey says:

    Use it if you like peaches, I could add a lot more,but as I told you before I can’t get behind the scenes to delete it and make it a post.

  141. Shard says:

    kelsey

    I know I can come across as rude at times, but I respect your devotion to Arsenal, and agree to disagree with you on the topic whenever I get the chance 🙂

  142. kelsey says:

    I wouldn’t say rude Shard just a tad arrogant 🙂

  143. Shard says:

    Ouch!! Now that’s rude 🙂

  144. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    That banner is in shockingly poor taste. It is not shooting yourself in teh foot, which would be perhaps more acceptable under the circumstances. But this is shooting yourself in the head! I wonder sometimes what drugs some people are on!

    Come on, support the team. A big effort needed. 9 more games.

    Kelsey: The nice discussions yesterday owe a lot to your fantastic if somewhat provocative post! 🙂

  145. arnie says:

    Thanks Micky, that support was necessary if not for any other reason than reaffirmation that things are OK (healthy?) on AA. I have to confess I have been having some doubts about alleged “schism”, and following discussions. 🙂

    As you say, it has been passionate, there has been diversity, but respect as well. This is healthy, as far as I am concerned. 🙂

  146. Big Raddy says:

    Imagine being so angry and stupid that you would waste money making a poster which when you unfurl it will guarantee someone will give you a shoeing 😀

  147. kelsey says:

    Shard

    no offence meant but our club is shrouded in mystery as to what really goes on from Kroenke downwards and we all have our own opinions about different aspects of the club but sometimes I feel that your opinions are put across as facts and that you are right and must have the last word. I most probably have got it all wrong so no offence meant as I said before,it’s just how it comes over to me when I read some of your comments.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Have we got a post for tomorrow?

  149. Shard says:

    kelsey

    I don’t have all the facts. Just conviction.

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Help …..

    We are looking for a vintage bicycle poster as a gift. I know they are very expensive but it is for a special occasion.

    I have tried here in DK and online poster shops but so far there is nothing. Can anyone help?

  151. kelsey says:

    Surely it’s not for Wenger, Raddy….on yer bike 🙂

  152. arnie says:

    am I on another planet? I thought GoonerB was doing a post today, and GN5 had teh Friday slot? maybe, I am on dope? 🙂

  153. Hi Raddy

    Yes we have a post from GN5 for tomorrow.

    Are you going to the gig tonight?

  154. LB says:

    Hi BR

    Give me a couple of hours, I might find someone who knows but no promises.

    Lee

  155. GoonerB hasn’t started writing his yet …….. but well spotted arnie 😉

  156. Vinay says:

    Such a poor banner, please dont do this, let it not be put up, we will be ridiculed, this is going to damage us even more, wenger in or out need not be decided on that day, that day we need to back the team thats all, please dont allow this to happen

  157. Shard says:

    Raddy.. I had posted links to some sites which sell the posters you are looking for, but I guess two links leads a comment to go into moderation. I’ll post just the one now, and the other in a second comment. Hope it helps.

    http://www.allposters.com/-st/Bicycles-Vintage-Art-Posters_c19292_.htm

  158. We have a New Post ………………….

  159. Vinay – I agree with you about the banner …….. very poor taste.

  160. Shard says:

    umm.. My comment with that link again went into moderation, or wordpress just ate it up.

    Raddy,
    the site is called zazzle.com (in case you hadn’t either of these sits)

    Also, it appears you can buy vintage bicycle parts on ebay, if you are interested.

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