Class of 2014-15 – could do better?

Bit of a worrying performance, that one.

In midfield and up front it was a pretty decent team on paper, but we seemed very ineffectual with our possession.

Our only tactic seems to be to try and one-two our way through packed defences, but when that doesn’t work we look a bit lost.

Apart from a few periods this season (first half hour v Man City, the 3-goal burst against Villa, beating Galatasaray) we don’t seem to be gelling. I wish I knew why (and I don’t believe it’s all or even mostly down to injuries).

It would be ironic if, after all those years of getting top four against the odds while spending less than zero on net transfers, we missed out now that we have started spending the big bucks again…

Discuss …………..

Written by RockyLives

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104 Responses to Class of 2014-15 – could do better?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Back from a wonderful trip to Iceland. Watched the game last night and was hugely disappointed with the end of the first half and start of the second.

    We started brilliantly. We finished the same way and could easily have won it.

    Kudos to Hull for being magnificent in defence for 70 minutes. They tracked every run, threw themselves to block shots and allowed the GK’s to have a relatively relaxed afternoon.

    Welbeck finish was consummate and he worked so hard to kick start the attack but Ox was seriously off-form, perhaps he worked too hard with England.

    I liked Bellerin who must have cemented his future at AFC. Sorry Jenks but you will not be returning

    MotM was Alexis. Superb, even if he does lose the ball too often.

  2. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Hi all & a very good morning to you.

    Rant Over

  3. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well poor result it was, views on performance seem differing.

    Steve I have to pick you up on the assertion that BFG prefers passing backwards:

    Passes :
    Total 94, successful 86
    Forward 55/62
    Backward 12/12
    Square 19/20

    I would say that he always looks forward and if he has a choice of tight and likely to lose possession he’d rather keep possession and then goes back or sideways.

    The receiving players were more likely forwards than defenders:

    14 to centre back and goalkeeper, 12 to fullbacks and the rest to forwards or midfielders.

    I think he is a much better defender than you give him credit for, I’d compare his performance yesterday to that of Mannones for Sunderland, you could lay the blame at their door but to do so would relieve the rest of the team from criticism, and you know with your experience in football that when you’re left exposed by teammates you lose your own focus, I think that’s what happened to them both yesterday.

  4. Thanks for the starter for the day Mr Rock.
    Good to see the ant and dec show,JC and Peachy yesterday.
    If anyone wants to see my rant about the game it’s over here http://www.7amkickoff.com/2014/man-at-the-match-chary-beware-tigers-poop-on-pitch/.

    Apparently it’s an Untold Arsrnal piece hah ha.

  5. umar says:

    Arsenal’s performance make me remember the 2012/2013 season when everything goes wrong except for walcott who was scoring and winning games for fun during that contract problem of his.maybe we need him back to unlock some defences.but once it starts clicking its going to get good especially when we get that defensive midfield problem solved.another thing i saw was the 4-3-3 formation.if it comes good prepare for premier league slaughter,well if arsene keeps it up.its load of chances.

  6. arnie says:

    Nice conversation starter, Rocky! Thank you Peaches.

    Here is my tuppence. We conceded two more goals than we should have. For me, that is it!

    For the first: (1) why should Flamster try to pass towards goal when there was the opportunity to pass away from goal? We have been blamed for trying to pass the ball into the goal. It is actually worse. We try our nifty passing inside our own box. How daft is that?

    (2) Who takes responsibility for not giving a foul in the build-up? Is the ref banned for a year? If not, why not? where is the accountability?

    For the second, less said the better.

    We have a poor and stretched defense. Period. It is, IMO, not so much about our inability to prise open parked bus defenses, it is in our inability to keep clean sheets.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Big bucks is comparative. Our outlay (not nett outlay) is below Spurs, L’pool, MU and Chavs.

    Will we get top 4? Who knows but at the moment the Injury Gods are against us and this may well affect the outcome

  8. arnie says:

    Of course we will get the top 4. But the question is where will our next trophy come from? Our best chance this year is the CL. COYG!!!

  9. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post Rocky …. even though you didn’t know you’d written one 😆

    In the same way our injury record can no longer be down to luck or coincidence, performances like yesterday’s cannot be dismissed as down to a bad ref, or parking the bus etc. etc.

    Arsene Wenger is a great man and always will be in my eyes. IMO he is no longer a great manager when judged on the performances of the players he puts on the pitch.

    He does not seem to look at himself when we underperform. He has more power at Arsenal than any other manager in the prem at their respective clubs I’d guess – so I’m not buying the ‘hands tied’ argument anymore now we have funds available.

    Apart from the fact that we are frequently outfought and come second in the tactical battles, it is our continued failure to identify weaknesses in the squad and to bring in the right player to plug the gap that frustrates me.

  10. wally says:

    I’m with you Rasp. He’s a great identifier of talent and developing that talent. But talent alone is not what makes a winning team. It’s the ability to find players to fill roles. And too often he’s not willing to get players that fill roles. Ultimately he may make that concession but the question for the fans, the players, is how long until that concession?

  11. Ant says:

    The original BR supporting the Geordie Armstrong book launch.

  12. JM says:

    Article for reading.

    “Arsenal’s ‘secret’ signing: club buys £2m revolutionary data company – StatDNA”

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/17/arsenal-place-trust-arsene-wenger-army-statdna-data-analysts

    {Sports analytics and developments in the US are one of the many areas that we have consulted with KSE over time,” Gazidis said.} – that’s where the £3m went.

  13. GoonerB says:

    I probably missed all the rants yesterday. I haven’t had time to look over comments at this time, aside from the above few for today’s post, so apologies if I say what others are saying.

    My first thoughts, before I had even seen anything of the game and had only heard some tit bits from the pundits on Sky sports and the radio, were that after 8 games and with 30 games to go we are out of the title race. Just say that to yourself a couple of times. We are out of the title race with 30 games to go. I know about all the mathematically this and mathematically that, and that Chelsea may / will have a blip, but lets face it, realistically we are already out of it.

    I am not saying I expected to win it or that we have a god given right but shouldn’t we have expected to be in the mix until at least the last 3-4 games? Even more so when you see that last season we have been getting closer and were IMO only a couple of dotted i’s and crossed t’s away from really sustaining a title challenge.

    We upgraded the attack well IMO. It still needs some fine tuning but my thoughts are that this area will start firing very soon. If I was to excuse us yesterday I would say that their (combined) keepers pulled off a couple of blinders and it just didn’t quite work for us.

    I still feel the majority of our failings are the triangular area forming the CD’s and the holding midfielder in front of them. Those 3 players IMO at the highest level need to be powerful, pacey, and technical. We have combined deficiencies in all these departments.

    Despite the foul Diame just strolled straight through that central area, as did Hazard 2 weeks back, despite being surrounded by red shirts. IMO those 3 players provide the base, the platform, the security for the rest of the team to go out and win the game. Even if your attack is not quite gelled yet those 3 can keep you winning games narrowly by being harder to score against until the attack hits full speed.

    Arsene may still complete this squad and it may start to look a lot better later this season leading into next. I am ok with that, despite my deep feelings of disappointment that I felt we could have done better in the TW in the summer. The problem is I don’t know how patient the bulk of the fans will be.

    What gripes at me the most is that I feel that AW is unnecessarily placing his head on a chopping block. The world and his donkey said powerful DM and improve the CD in quality and depth. It didn’t happen. It may happen in January but that is too late this year for the EPL IMO. Maybe other silverware is still within reach but with everyone screaming for these players (and for some time now) and then them not arriving I really can’t see it ending well.

    I actually more or less echo Rasp’s feelings above that our failings are repetitive. Yes we are depleted with injuries but are we just unlucky? Too long a problem to be pure bad luck and co-incidence now IMO. Our defensive deficiencies are the same for some time now. Yes we also get some bad ref decisions but is that really what has put us out of the title race 8 games in?

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi GB, it appears that AW doesn’t attach a lot of importance to the role of captain in terms of leadership on the pitch, rather that he feels his players are intelligent and should read the game for themselves = having 11 captains on the pitch.

    It is a version of the socialist wage theory that has been extended to cover ‘responsibility’ on the pitch ….. and it’s not working there either!

    There are chiefs and Indians in life, but the Indians far outnumber the chiefs – the same is true on the football pitch.

    We need a strong powerful presence in the middle of the pitch – in terms of physicality and also personality. When our players watched Hazard and Diame carry the ball unchallenged, they abdicated responsibility hoping someone else would step up – but they didn’t because we don’t have that player, a player the others would look up to and who would jump when told.

  15. GoonerB says:

    Agreed Rasp. Personality and character wise I think Flamini is that player, and I love him for that, but even in his peak years he was probably a level below the player the top 2-3 teams in Europe would have used as a 1st choice. Now he is maybe 2 levels below the required standard for where we are aiming. Not his fault and he should be considered perfectly able back up within the squad but not 1st choice. I echo that thought for Arteta as well.

  16. Rasp says:

    Yes GB, that’s the biggest gap that currently need plugging – in addition to a defender/CB

  17. GoonerB says:

    I would further say that I see the BFG as a leader also but again I think in any of the biggest teams he would be at best 3rd choice CD. We are aiming for this, or at least I thought we were, so I don’t want rid of him because across a season I feel he will be invaluable, but I would like to look at our squad and see Per as 3rd in the pecking order.

  18. Rasp says:

    Incidentally I’m told by someone who was at the game that we were very narrow in the second half which led to the customary midfield congestion and lack of shooting opportunities – can anyone verify/explain this?

    Now we have a player like Welby who is quick enough to get into the box, surely we need to get behind their fullbacks when attacking?

  19. GoonerB says:

    Stop typing so quick Rasp I hadn’t finished saying what you just said. 🙂

  20. GoonerB says:

    The balance in our width has been an issue for a while Rasp. How much should come from the FB’s or the more advanced wide players and in what balance are big debates. Have we got the right players for it and the right balance within the squad and who should play in certain positions and who should not? There is tomorrows headline post for you. 🙂

  21. arnie says:

    yes, agreed, if not leadership why was Flamster on the pitch! The questions are: (1) are Flamini’s leadership qualities sufficiently high, and related (2) can one justify slection on leadership qualities? hmmm.

    I dont want to go on a witchhunt, but it is my firm belief the first goal yesterday was entirely his fault!

  22. Rasp says:

    OK GB, thanks for volunteering – get typing 😛

  23. Rasp says:

    Flamini was brought in as an ‘insurance’ player not as a regular starter I’m pretty sure. It was a good deal in financial terms and he has been useful.

    Long term (by the start of next season) we should be looking for successors for Flamini, Arteta and the BFG, otherwise we’ll continue to concede goals like yesterday.

  24. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon all,
    Now we all have our opinions on what should happen, and none of us are experts like the Manager.

    Exile has put us right on stats and i certainly wouldn’t argue with him over passes.

    I found Yesterdays game Boring at times, many of you have said we did alight, many have pointed out that Flamesters half attempt at a pass back should have been pulled up. The referee has made a blunder but of course we have said that many times but 2 points has put us 11 points behind todays leaders. and that is not good.

    Of course what we have to realise is what the experts tell us about swings and roundabouts, and how it all balances itself out over a season will eventually put us in the position we deserve.

    Well i for one do not believe this, Premier league is fixed of that i have no doubts. Money is changing hands and officials are bent. Decisions do not even themselves out, and a so called mistake from Refs even the most blatant ones do not give you points down the line.

    Exile seems to like Per Merts and why shouldn’t he Merts is an Arsenal defender If he is quite happy for Him to stay as first choice defender it really doesn’t matter what i say, so we will just have to agree to disagree. All i can say is if he doesn’t challenge then he shouldn’t get any suspensions this year. While my favourite Chamber’s could see a few

  25. Block 007 says:

    Hi everyone . You can discuss yesterday performance all you like and the seasons performance so far. It’s clear we have been here before many times and in my opinion it will get worse as the majority of players are not playing for the manager and wish they had more direction. People who are at the top of their game in any profession learn by their mistakes and look to adapt in order to gain better outcomes in the future. It looks like the manager see’s things differently!

  26. Gosh I’m really on the fence today ……..

    I was there, the atmosphere was good, we played some great football, there were some poor decisions all over the pitch, we scored a couple of really good goals and conceded two shockers.

    The worst part was watching us getting pulled all over the pitch by HULL. That was embarrassing.

    So although I saw some lovely football and watched my team battle until the very last minute and save a draw from the jaws of defeat, it was not enjoyable and I’m unhappy that something is obviously not right.

    If only it was Song’s fault 😉

  27. RockyLives says:

    My Goodness – I’ve written a Post 😀

    It was actually a comment I posted immediately after the game.

    For some reason I found that game particularly frustrating. Steve says (above) that he found the game boring at times and I confess so did I. Until the inevitable siege in the last 10 minutes we were playing a very predictable, narrow game which Hull countered very easily.

    I don’t do tactical bollix, but I would like someone to explain why we funnel almost all our attacks into the crowded middle of the area outside the opposition’s penalty box.

    Once in a blue moon we’ll pick our way through and score a dazzling goal like Jack’s versus Norwich last year. But in the vast majority of cases we are thwarted by an outstretched leg, a flick that goes awry, a bad piece of control, a defender’s block etc.

    Final point: the last few games have shown how much we miss Arteta. For all that people criticize him, he does a better DM job than Flamini. He reads the game better, uses the ball better and draws many more fouls than the Flamster.

    Reading GoonerB and Rasp’s exchange, I can’t say I don’t have my doubts about AW being able to get things right. But he usually proves me wrong and I’m still backing him to make us tick.

  28. See how mad football is, QPR have scored two own goals to give a very undeserving Liverpool 3 points.

  29. Thanks for the post Rocky 🙂

  30. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    “conceded two shockers.”

    That’s the key.

    Last season we seemed to have shored up our defence (apart from the games against Man City, ‘Pool and the Chavs).

    This season we have gone back to the same-old-same-old from 2012-2013 of giving away stupid goals in every game to any opposition – usually in their first attempt on goal.

    Has Steve Bould’s influence waned? Or is it just lack of the right personnel?

    (Incidentally, I don’t buy the hostility to the BFG. He’s a top CB and, to my eyes, undroppable. It’s the team set-up and organization that needs to be fixed).

  31. The BFG had a great game yesterday, apart from not getting his head on the ball for Hull’s second goal he was putting in tackles all overt the pitch. He went on a couple of little runs and I’m sure I saw him skip a couple of times.

    He left Nacho to control the back which was fine.

    My friend sits downstairs and she said the concentration on Bellerin’s face was incredible. He did really well yesterday, he’s very fast and came out with the ball in a few tight situations.

    We can carry the ball out of defence really well now but don’t seem to be able to organise ourselves when under attack. Some players just don’t seem to know where they should be to help the team.

  32. RockyLives says:

    I think your final sentence hit the nail on the head as to why yesterday left me worried, Peaches.

    It did indeed feel as if some of the players did not know where they should be to help the team.

  33. Rasp says:

    Sorry to butt in but ….. Here Here!

    We are still poor when not in possession. I bet if you compared goals per minute of possession in games over the last 4 or 5 years, Arsenal against the opposition, you’d find that in the majority of games, the opposition have outscored us mins/goal. Too much of our possession is meaningless and far too often the opposition makes us pay in one of their few attacks.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Cracking finish to the L’pool game which shows that luck is so important in winning.

    L’pool should have been beaten by at least 3 but 2 own goals and a string of excellent staves by Mignolet won them the game.

    As GB says, luck does not even itself out nor do poor refereeing decisions.

    As Napoleon said “don’t give me a good General, give me a lucky one”

  35. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, hmmmm, why have we just bought a company that specialises in the minutiae of statistical analysis if it’s all down to luck which by its very nature is unpredictable and defies statistics? 😛

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Of course it is not all down to luck but luck plays a part in close encounters.

    And as you know I have no truck with statistics or logic.

  37. Rasp says:

    🙂 Raddy. Having been a ‘hippy’ myself in the past and still one who believes in the power of the mind, I am tempted to agree with you.

    But when it comes down to the serious business of football, I blame the manager’s penchant for repeating the same mistake over and over on his romanticised vision of beautiful football – he forgets the opposition don’t subscribe to the theory and use base pragmatism to undo us 😆

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Another awful refereeing decision by Michael Oliver. Moses dived right in front of him.

  39. Eddie says:

    My Goodness – Rocky has written a Post 🙂
    Thank you Rocky!

    I was angry when I watched the game and furious we didn’t get the points. Having thought about it today I have to admit that it wasn’t a bad game, we completely dominated the first half of the first half and until the commentator said ‘It’s all one way traffic’ – Hull scored. Stupid goal changed the game. The team went off to sleep, the momentum was gone, they looked demoralized. Last ten minutes of the game they gave their all and we almost won.

    Do I think we are rubbish? Definitely not. Do I think we are any title contenders? Definitely not.

  40. Eddie says:

    post match interview with Wenger, he was furious
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29677078

  41. Bayonne Jean says:

    Some questions and comments re yesterday:

    – On the referee (henceforth known as “Nosferatu” due to his resemblance to that horror film figure): have never seen this guy do a premiership match before; was this his first? Where do the FA dig these guys up? (oh right, Nosferatu…) BUT, despite his screw up on the first goal, keep playing, then berate him. (For further evidence, see QPR’s switch off in buildup to their first OG today.) And no doubt a more physical DM would not have been shrugged off so easily. Bad decisions happen; just play through it, please.

    – M’lud, do Arsenal continue to play too narrowly? A rhetorical question that. Won’t repeat the “positive feedback loop” syndrome that I presented in yesterday’s comments, with the clogging tactics of the visitors leading to blocked shots leading to looking to more passing, etc. But I do think that now that this is getting into the players’ heads and is having a marked impact on the side, especially at home.

    Here’s a weird thought; going into the match, if it were being played at Hull, I would have felt MORE confident that Arsenal would win than if it were at the Emirates. That’s in part due to these mid table sides, when at home, being urged on by their supporters to play some football, thus opening matters up. And when it seems you don’t have the personnel to whip in crosses to forwards too small to attack with headers, there’s no alternative when space is tight. Here’s hoping AW is right and that the HFB will be returning sooner than predicted to resume his target man role.

    – Speaking of whipped in crosses to headers: like others, got bored watching the second half early on, so switched over to the stream carrying FatSam the Hutt’s side against Burnley. Three goals, all scored on headers, two of which were set up by beautiful whipped in crosses, one of which was sent in by soldier-of-fortune Corporal Jenkinson, who looks really good at RB, and could make a big contribution when he returns as a LANS next season.

    Prospectively, we could next year see a side with four capable right backs and boatloads of attacking midfielders. Would it be too much to ask to have at least one extra proper CB as well?

    – Last, agree with the praise for Bellerin. He does look very good out there, but let’s see the lad play more. Let’s not overlook the fact that he, too, is slight of stature and would have to look forward to much stronger challenges than what Hull presented. The same goes for Nacho at CB.

  42. Eddie says:

    BJ – much stronger challenges than what Hull presented? Sorry, but I have to disagree with this statement. There are very few teams in the EPL that are more physical than Hull.

    I was particularly impressed by a couple of Bellerin’s tackles -got the ball from under the opponents feet clean as a whistle, beautiful

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    BJ I wonder whether Jenks will return along side Bellerin and Debuchy and Chambers may adopt the more suited CB position, in turn that’ll answer Rasps question about preparing for BFGs departure, add Hayden that’ll be 4 decent CBs, 3 Decent RBs and 2 decent LBs.

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do I thank Rocky or Peaches?

    Whoever, it has provoked some great comments.

    Splendid to have you back Raddy, and I hope you had a wonderful trip.

    Personnel wise, he’s my brief summary.

    Defence: happy. I think Chambers will this season become first choice CB alongside Kos, and thus in Mert we have a very high calibre 3rd choice. Right Back we’re in great shape with Debuchy and Bellerin as cover.

    Flamini/Arteta: Everything I hear from Arsene makes me believe he’s got someone in mind, so hopefully January will see the new arrival. Serious quality and serious presence.

    Width: here is a real problem as highlighted by a few of you. Ox, Mesut, Santi, Jack and Aaron are, or at least express a preference, to be based central. I don’t count Pod, as much as I like the man, I have no idea where he should play, but a natural wide boy he ain’t. Voila, only Theo of 1st XI standard. All of this explains to me why we always end up so narrow, as instinctively all the above mentioned players naturally drift into their preferred positions.

    So many other PL teams, and I’m not only talking about City, Chavs and Pool have natural wide boys to get around well drilled defences.

    Now Raddy, holiday snaps 🙂

  45. arnie says:

    I thought Arsene handled the BBC thing reasonably well.

    There is a reason why Jacqui Oatley asks the question and not Gary Linekar. The questions were daft in technical terms. When Arsene challenges the validity, she sheepishly says she asked these on behalf of fans.

    Eh? So, not on behalf of so-called pundits on MOTD but fans! Is that their mandate? No technical answers needed then, just sweet pies.

    Mind you, my comment is not sexist. How about having Shelley Kerr as a pundit on MOTD rather than any arbitrary woman who has nothing better to do on a Saturday evening? If being a woman is an appropriate quality, why not have Mrs Arnie or my mom then?

  46. omgarsenal says:

    Are we forgetting that Debuchy,Kos, and Chambers ( 3 starters) weren’t available yesterday and that our ¨defense¨was actually rather a potpourri of fill-ins and substitutes? As well, the officials let a clear cut foul against flamini go unpunished,thuis permitting a goal? What game were you critics watching?

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Same game OMG, just we (well me) love a bit of tactical bollix speak 🙂

    And I guess, simply as fans, what we’d do if we were in charge. I see it has post match pub banter. Pretty harmless stuff.

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Although OMG, I totally agree with you about the defence.

    More than any other area on the field, it’s about understanding, and that comes through stability and game time. So good point.

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I wonder how many times that back four have ever started together before. Any?

  50. arnie says:

    hmmm. the only time we have not conceded a goal in the EPL this year is Villa away. But that makes it only 7 games, so if we do not concede any goals in the next 7 games, I will be over the moon! 🙂

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    Out of interest, is Shelley Kerr a Scorcher or a Boiler? Only then can I agree or disagree with your suggestion.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooops, just googled her

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy

    Did you do the Blue Ice Tour? Says you need warm clothing and hiking boots, but plimsolls are more than adequate.

    Also, Auroracoin. Any experience or local chat about their superb crypto currency?

    Join us bright and early tomorrow

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ll leave you all with one final thought.

    There’s an Icelandic MP called Frosti Sigurjónsson

  55. I couldn’t agree more. We have missed out . To name a few Michael Essen, yaya toure and David silva

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers for the post that was really a comment Rocky.

    Ime not panicking, but were not getting the expected wins, so something sure cant be right?

    A change of tactics is probably needed.

    When we get a corner? Ask our opponents to take it

    When faced with the parked bus? Dont bother trying to break it down, just knock it about on the half way line. Eventully they will get angry and retaliate thus leaving the nesseacry spaces. My ex wife used to lose it all the time,

    Next time a ref gives us a dodgy decision? Stop play and give him the bumps to a rendition “For hes a jolly good fellow” This should make the biased bastard feel a bit of remorse and give us a bit of leeway.

    If that dont work, get Tony adams to join in on the bumps.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    Terry I really wish the opposition would shut us down if we sat knocking it about on the halfway line, 2 problems though:

    1) they wouldn’t

    2) I give the Emirates crowd five minutes of us trying to coax them out before there is a crescendo of “shooooooooot”

  58. Gööner In Exile says:

    Essien?!?!?! And we want fit players?

  59. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Your probably right GIE

    Why dont we just spend the whole game shooting from the half way line? One of ems bound to go in

  60. arnie says:

    why dont we give the ball away, bring the opposition out and then hit on the counter. Oh I see, this wont work. We will concede even more goals. Our defence is a bit dopey! 😛

    Its not that bad, really, but alarm bells are ringing. We need to start picking up points, and soon! COYG. 🙂

  61. Gööner In Exile says:

    Actually Terry, the current trend of criticism re shots on target just shows how the team and manager will never win, fans used to complain about too many passes not enough shots, now it’s not enough shots on target. Some people on here like Stan Collymore, when he talks about the game on the pitch he talks a lot of sense not so much when he starts thinking he knows how to run a football club. Today he criticised Ballotelli non stop for only being interested in grabbing the glory for himself whenever he was in 30 yards of goal. I’d make that fair criticism, but judging by some comments today this is exactly what our fans want to see, and when it doesn’t work they will blame the manager and players and forget that they themselves thought it was a good strategy.

    When in reality they are just upset we didn’t win, and that’s fine so am I, it just seems that there had to be a reason, someone has to be blamed, obviously more often than not whoever is our personal whipping boy. I’ll freely admit mine used to be Sagna, for others its Flamini, for many it was Rambo, for some it’s Arsene himself and that personal bias influences what we see and how we react. It would be a very boring blog world if we didn’t.

    But when an opinion becomes fact merely because it’s been repeated enough by many people it starts to create problems for the team we support, and why would we want to do that? We should stand up against the media,

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    Undoubtedly Arnie we need to pick up points, especially as the swingo is not looking good. 😦

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Swingometer LIVES. Hip hip….

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    It’s not well enough to come out to play though

  65. aizedlittlemozart says:

    Motning to all early risers.

    just realised that with TPIG suspended & Ospina injured we might see Emmy Martinez in goal on Wednesday!!

  66. ytehjnnh says:

    So glad wenger’s limitations as a manager are exposed once again.

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yes, motning to you chaps as well.

    Bit early for football talk, but cannot wait till Anderlecht on Wednesday. Chambers back will be a massive bonus.

    Love to know how our win percentage changes with/out Theo.

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Marble?
    sniff sniff

  69. ytehjnnh says:

    Wake up and smell the coffee you dimwit

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually ytehjnnh, and on a serious note, are you a Wham fan?

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m on my second strong one already! Dimwit indeed.

  72. ytehjnnh says:

    Are Arsenal going to win the league this season.
    The answer is a resounding no.

  73. chas says:

    Yeah, but do you like Wham?

  74. chas says:

  75. chas says:

  76. chas says:

    This is how I got my Achilles heel.

  77. chas says:

    Where’s BR?
    Can’t wait to see dome effin snaps.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love the space scale vid 🙂

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It’s only 7:43 his time. Having a well deserved lie in.

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Sniffer, any bells ringing here?

  81. Eddie says:

    I cannot watch it without crying. Now feck off the lot of yo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bxc9hbwkkw&list=AL94UKMTqg-9BTwRvwszpZy5xB7vXibO10u piss takers

  82. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Didit. As you say – a well deserved lie in 🙂 I will relate tales of derring-do over the coming days.

    Really enjoyed the scale of objects vid. I never knew Pollox could be so big

  83. Eddie says:

    Raddy – we moved on since you left – we are onto embarrassing holiday snaps. Could you publish yours in a hot spring?

    Chas in Egypt is fabulous, you must see it!

  84. Eddie says:

    This is FAN-fecking-TASTIC!! Fair play to you Arry! Well said

  85. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all fine Gooners, shit stirrers take a walk.

    Rocky excuse me mate, Never said anything about your comment or Post i apologise.

    Yesterday was another day of football, while we were discussing what we felt went wrong for us on Saturday, Referee’s across the country were making their usual mistakes.

    Now all supporters moan about officials it is common ground for all supporters, but could it be better. Remembering back to days of grass roots football which i am sure many can, we were lucky to have a referee in the middle, as a young lad starting out for a colts team, many’s the time a ref didn’t show and one of the parents or a so called manager would step in.

    It was a usual happening that linesmen was one from both sides, we understood that none of these so called officials was pucker, so we expected dodgy decisions, but surprisingly the games went ahead, and at the end of the games there was no fighting with the officials and both teams shook hands and accepted the result.

    Today in professional football we have a trained Referee, we also have Professional referee’s as lines men, we have another trained fourth official and we also have touchline technology We have camera’s all round the grounds, and pundits commentators and instant replays that can be put up on big screens in the stadium..

    It is drummed into every person involved in matches, that respect for your fellow professional is all important and all wear a badge on their kit to remind everybody how important it is for a black man to be treated just the same as a white man. What a load of crap all that is.

    How many black managers are there, how many black refs are there, well that just goes to show that respect Badges are just for show. Now i am not one to bang the drum for black athletes in England , unless of course they are English but i must say i just wanted to prove a point.

    The football association and its officials have again let themselves down this weekend, Many many absolutely blatant wrong decisions have been shown on TV and no Official will be charged with bringing the game into disrepute, scandalous in my eyes. Technology in place, more officials than ever professionally trained people, with more mistakes than ever.

    Personally i feel a fix but i feel a fix in everything that makes lots of money. X factor Strictly the jungle thing you name it it is blatantly fixed, and football is no different.

    Managers after game chats, have to be very careful as any moans and groans can bring a fine or ban so keep your wits about you or face the fine.

    We like people to speak their minds about a game an honest opinion, they can’t not allowed to, why not because its fixed that’s why.

  86. arnie says:

    motning all. enjoyable batner as ever!!!!! 🙂

    including the Hammer sniffer! 😛

  87. arnie says:

    superb rant, Steve! 😛

  88. Eddie says:

    steve – oooh, I do love a conspiracy theory, tell me more! Fixed by whom? Do you think miserable Roman pays the officials? But then the sheiks have even more money, but perhaps less contacts. Or maybe more contacts, given they are from the country harbouring some terrorists….. You are right steve, I always blame everything on muslim terrorists.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent rant Steve!

    Arnie. You are right, it was rude of us not to welcome back Sniffer 😦

  90. Morning all

    There’s nothing new in the cupboard although I haven’t checked nuts but I’m off to the dentist now. If someone wants to send something in for today I can sort it when I get back ………………

  91. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Eddie,
    You are one of my favourites, you question everything and i like that. 🙂

    For instance, Who runs the biggest football show in the desert in the middle of summer, with no football history, and leagues we have never heard of. The desert with no infrastructure in place. Who in their right mind would agree to this, and the answer is, the most important football body in the football world FIFA.

    Their reasoning for that decision, is to bring football to all corners of the planet, of course it has nothing to do with that country who have more wealth than nearly every other country.

    Its my view if you want to climb mountains you dont go to a flat country, and if you want to ski you do not go to a hot country,

    Not unless there is something in it for you, and Honest Septic Bladder wouldn’t give it a seconds thought.

  92. Eddie says:

    do not encourage me steve or you will live to regret it.

    Now darling, there is a big difference between the obvious Quatar World cup scum and supposed/alleged EPL fixing. Not many would question your logic iro the former, but the league…..hm. No, as much as I would love to blame it on the terrorists – no, not enough evidence.

    However, having said that I am 100% sure that Fergie pulled some strokes during his reign at the United and bribed/threated/bullied some referes into submission. No doubt in my mind about that one.

  93. GoonerB says:

    Just knocking up a little conversation starter based on a brief discussion between myself and Rasp yesterday. If any of you who have privileged access to the inner sanctums of A.A (Arsenal Nuts) then it will be there in about 15 mins if you want to use it.

  94. RC78 says:

    Another performance that did not result in 3 points…

    Positives:
    – Sanchez is AMAZING and our best player by far;
    – I cannot wait for the trio Walcott – Welbeck – Sanchez to start (see below)
    – Ramsey was back in action
    – Welbeck scored
    – Cazorla was mostly inspired
    – Lots of chances created
    – Gibbs was interesting throughout the game, especially offensively

    Negatives:
    – Poor defending on both goals
    – Lack of a leader on the pitch
    – 2 points dropped against a weaker team at home
    – Lack of goals
    – Lack of ideas in the final third
    – BFG (lack of leadership in the back), Bellerin (what a weak player), Ox, Wilshere and Flamini

    I think that we will see Arsenal at its best once Ramsey and Walcott come back to our starting XI. We miss Ramsey’s runs in the middle and we are really missing Walcott’s ability on the flanks and his runs behind defenders. These two players create and score and we miss them so I am quite confident that we will put games away when they return against the Hulls of the EPL. We also miss Debuchy’s forward runs as Chambers is a bit more cautious and Bellerin is just poor.

    Szecesny – Debs, BFG, Kos, Gibbs – Ramsey, Chambers, Cazorla – Walcott, Welbeck, Sanchez

    I d play Cazorla instead of Wilshere. He can do well in this position if he applies himself defensively as well but Sanchez is great at covering the wings as well so I am sure that Cazorla could manage 🙂

  95. RC78 says:

    BTW, is anybody worried about the fact that we have only half of Chelsea’s points?

  96. Rasp says:

    Thanks GB, I’ll keep an eye out for it 🙂

  97. stevepalmer1 says:

    Enough of fixes, we all have our own opinions and i don’t expect too many people to listen to mine as they never have before.

    So my next moan, 🙂
    Injured players returning to the first team.
    Many say that players returning are lacking match sharpness, many say that their stamina must be lacking many say that their touch is not there so many expect very little from these players for at least half a dozen games. Rubbish in my mind.

    Once a player has recovered from injury, his first week of training should be stamina building. ie Jogging, building up to sprints. In my opinion you are not deemed as fit to return until you can run continuously for a couple of hours, and of course many sprints should be in that as well, when that is achieved training with the players for long stints to build sharpness touch and understanding with your team mates, when you are back to your best you are then ready to join the first team but only as a sub, as another player would have been taking that players place while he was out injured so the coming back player should wait his turn.

    While a player is out injured his wage is still paid in full, i feel that it was not his fault that he got injured so i feel he should still get full wages, but only for a certain length of time, just the same as most other working person.

    I see no reason why excuses for players who come back should be expected as if you are a reserve player and not good enough to be in the first team you wont be picked and that should also apply to players coming back.

    I sit back in anticipation for a slating.

  98. GoonerB says:

    Sent Rasp

  99. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    … thanks to GoonerB, we have a new post 😛

  100. GoonerB says:

    Steve, consider yourself slated 🙂

    You have a point Steve but that question opens a can of worms regarding sports science. These guys are tuned for maximal physical output for 90 minutes and some would say, possibly correctly, that you cannot gain full match fitness at that level of football purely through the training ground. The competitive games themselves are actually required to get that final full fitness but a returning player is always slightly short of being able to play to their full potential initially.

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