Must Do Better.

That was the worst performance for a long time. And just to rub salt in the wounds, they scored two goals.

I’ve exhausted most of my anger already, but I thought our lack of intensity/focus was disgraceful. Our finishing got a bit better, but our application was gone. Look at Ramsey stroll around for their third goal. Time and again Coquelin and Ramsey simply let players run off them. Our midfield was so non existent all ManU had to do was pick up the ball and run and suddenly they’d be in our box.

Is Mertesacker so important to us? Gabriel was terrible and for a while now Kos hasn’t been as good as we’re used to seeing. Despite having the potential to be caught out perhaps Per’s organisation and passing is important to us. Without Santi in there, and with Ramsey only focused on getting on the end of things rather than making them happen, we need someone to be able to pick out the right pass, and Gabriel just looks lost with the ball at his feet.

Theo Walcott needs to be benched. Play Jeff and at least it’ll be like playing with 11 men.

Alexis isn’t contributing anything positive, but maybe it’s time to play him at CF with Welbeck and Campbell on the flanks to support him. Keeps him from having to track back, and I think a lot of the problem with him comes from tiredness.

The title is not gone, but maybe it’s better we think it is. We’ve been playing with such a burden on our shoulders, perhaps it’s better we just concede the title and go out and play football the way we want to. Win, lose or draw, at least entertain us Arsenal. Usually, the results will follow the performance.

The refereeing was very good yesterday. Including the decision to not send off Aaron Ramsey who only pushed Herrera’s (?) hands away, and he decided to go down like he was shot. Good call to book them both.

This performance should really draw a sharp reaction from the manager. Drop Ramsey for doing the Denilson jog, drop Walcott for being a liability, and take Gabriel off and bring in Chambers if Per was dropped for the Chelsea red card. Play the kids if you have to. At least they’ll bring some enthusiasm. Though Iwobi looked shockingly unprepared yesterday in the short time he was on. Which is weird because he’s looked good before.

written (as a comment) by Shard

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149 Responses to Must Do Better.

  1. chas says:

    That’s a very good comment, Shard.
    Thank you for allowing it to be the post.

    You’ve covered the main reasons we lost with such an awful performance.
    Thank heaven the next game comes quickly.

  2. Hlanganani Thodlana says:

    Two words “Theo Walcott” That’s why we lost……….

  3. Shard says:

    Thanks for adding the ‘as a comment’ bit. Amusing.

    We apologise for it not being post quality but this is the best we could do 🙂

  4. RA says:

    Good comment/Post Shard.

    However the performance is rationalised, and blame apportioned – there is no escaping the fact that we lost – and we lost badly.

    Worse – it happened at a time when, even cautiously, we had begun to hope that the team were on the verge of winning the Premier.
    For reasons that I do not pretend to understand, every time we have the opportunity to lead the table or open a gap — we lose.

    Why? God knows.

    More worryingly to me, is that the core of Goonerdom immediately fall upon each other in an unedifying way.

    This follows a well known template following a defeat, which goes like this.

    1. Growing horror when it is realised the Gunners are doing their best to lose.

    2. Blame the players, individually and as a team.

    3. Blame the manager.

    4, Blame the Board/Owner.

    5 Blame the ‘other group’ – so called pessimists v so called optimists

    6. Blame individuals from each group.

    7. [In the case of AA – blame the site’s bias].

    It is human nature when we feel offended, but it’s not nice, and t’s rarely constructive.

  5. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard, the last time I stole one of GoonerB’s comments and turned it into a post, I devised the term ‘com-post’ 😆

    But your assessment is far from compost and hits hard as I know what a positive outlook you have in relation to Arsenal.

    I take on board Redders’ points about the blame game, but I do think that the midfield was the greater part of the problem. Add defenders who are having an off day and strikers whose eye for goal has deserted them …. and you get a result such as yesterday’s.

    I agree that it’s a godsend that our next game comes quickly.

    If you want an optimistic scenario, here it is:

    We win on Wednesday and the spuds lose to Wham … we beat the spuds on Saturday and we are 3 points clear in second place 🙂

    TBH, I’d take finishing 2nd behind Leicester as long as we are above the swamp dwellers as a best case scenario now.

  6. RA says:

    Herb, @ 9:40

    It might be illuminating if I respond to a part of a comment that you wrote last night that included a reference to me.

    Enjoyment! That’s the key word, so your comment below, and my response is all about that.

    You said; “maybe if I disappear the positivity will return, alongside GiE, Redders and Terry.”

    As regards me, you are factually incorrect in two aspects.
    First I have not left AA, therefore the question of returning is not relevant.
    Secondly, I have no objection to you blogging on AA and do not, on any account, stop doing so, if you wish to continue.

    For myself, I blog, here, there and everywhere the fancy takes me.

    And, the only reason I do so is to enjoy a relationship with like minded fellow Gooners of all shades of opinion.

    However, if I think a particular repetitive opinion from another blogger has been done to death, and there is nothing more I can add, I will not comment further until a new point is raised.
    Similarly, if my attention is taken elsewhere, then I may be absent from the blog from time to time.

    It is not personal – other than I simply cannot force myself to either read, or respond, to comments where enjoyment has withered on the vine.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Who had a good game??

    Cech had three shots on target to save which resulted in 3 goals. It would be harsh to blame him for any but nonetheless had he stopped just one things would look shinier today.

    Everyone else was culpable, except perhaps Welbeck and Ozil who both scored and Mesut added to his assists.

  8. Eddie says:

    This is a comment from an anonymous blogger, really excellent, well worth a read :

    “I am seething…..firstly whilst I understand BFG and Ollie may have been tired I would still have them in my team every week, we don’t know their fitness level only Arsene and physios do, and given Arsene has been criticised for playing players in Red Zone I don’t think you can blame him for taking physios advice (if that is what he did).

    But team selection aside that was still a strong enough side to beat ManUre in their current form and given their team. So who I am really annoyed with is the players:

    1) too deep, with BFG we condense the play much higher, for some reason Gabriel and Kozzer played far too deep. This left Coquelin and impossible job especially when you add in the next point.

    2) Aaron Ramsey, so much talent superb engine but fails to do the one thing that is required of him, help get the ball from front to back, which is what Santi excelled in and why we have missed him so much. Every time the back four had the ball they looked up to see Coquelin, their full backs and Ramsey running towards their goal and defence expecting some miracle ball from the back four, that when we didn’t have a platform to build on.

    This problem was further demonstrated in the last twenty or so by looking where Alexis and Ozil were going to get ball and where Ramsey was when they did, they were dropping deep into midfield and he was twenty yards in front of them.

    And his tracking on Uniteds third goal was absolutely shocking!

    3) Theo “bloody” Walcott, what annoyed me most was seeing him stroll around at centre forward, I can’t believe Arsene puts that front three out and tells them to stay in position, in fact I know he doesn’t because you look at where Welly and Alexis end up, and move to, but Mr BigHead stays in one position and is not prepared to put a shift in for his team mates or make room for his teammates, “I’m a centre forward and I’m staying here”……you’re never a centre forward in a million years, you have made it abundantly clear you don’t want to put a shift in for the team so much that Campbell and Ox look like better options at right wing so personally i couldn’t give a damn where he goes.

    That front three yesterday should have been mobile quick and most of all given Uniteds back line kittens, but because he stayed in one place we were far too easy to defend against.

    Players need to stop hiding behind their manager, I’ve said it for too long.”

  9. RA says:

    Morning Rasp,

    The template I referred to was not intended to restrict comment – otherwise we would only be able to comment on cats sliding on their asses. 🙂

    Points 1 to 4 are fair game, and you know me too well to not recall that I like to have my pennyworth in that respect.

    Points 5 to 7 are inappropriate and self destructive.

    Indeed, I was horrified by the way the game and the collapse of a professional approach occurred on Sunday, and described it as ‘disgraceful’ so I was just as hurt as anyone else. 🙂

  10. I read the posts above and one overwhelming thought came to my mind.
    Its no wonder that Wenger is so unapologetic and unconcerned about the small fact that his players are on the verge of blowing the best opportunity they have had for twelve years to win the premier league when you have the apathy and indifference that is displayed by you people.
    I get the impression that your level of satisfaction comes not from Arsenal actually achieving something worthwhile and that Wenger has actually earned his ridiculous salary but more from the fact that Arsenal “just turning up” is enough for you.
    I would take greater satisfaction from Arsenal winning something than them merely finishing above Spurs – but that is the level of ambition from you people.
    Its no wonder that Arsenal are going nowhere when its fans expect nothing..

  11. Shard says:

    Compost.. haha..brilliant!

    Rasp, one of my annoyances with blogging is that the discussion very rarely stays on the football. It becomes about the manager and the direction of the club. I’m more than happy to be hard hitting and angry about any football game where we deserve it.

    As for the title. I really don’t care now. I just want us to play well. There’s still a long way to go. I remember in 2009, it was at this point that I began to worry that we wouldn’t be able to overtake Villa for 4th place. I think they were 8 points ahead with 11 games to go. But we reeled them in.

    Leicester and Spurs may look like they are getting away from us, but they are catchable. Like I said though, that is something to worry about after we’ve put up a 5 game winning run or something. Before then there’s no point looking up at them and hoping they drop points. We need to keep our end of the bargain, and ever since the Liverpool draw, we haven’t really been doing that.

    I did make an offhand comment to a friend yesterday, that it would be just like Arsenal to win their next few games and find themselves top of the league after all this drama and anguish.

    I think we need to help Alexis find some form. Whether that means changing personnel, changing formations or playing him upfront. The guy is working as hard as ever, but it just isn’t happening for him. Without him firing, we don’t have enough to win games, let alone the title, especially when our midfield plays like yesterday. When’s Santi back?

  12. RA says:

    Finally,

    Here, in my usual speed typing – no checking – attempt to bring some perspective back to what may well be a rather histrionic comments day, throughout Bloggerdom, are my musings.

    You know the story — read ’em or ditch ’em — but it might stop some of the more inflammatory stuff being typed. 😀

    About 4 years ago, I put up an inspiring poem from Rudyard Kipling called ‘IF’ after we had had a similarly disappointing result, and spirits were very low.

    A small but significant part of that somewhat melancholic, yet inspiring, lesson from an older man, to, possibly, his son advised him on how he should keep his head in times of trouble, and treat winning and losing with equal grace, and also how to deal with unfair criticism from those ever ready to carp, and it went like this;

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
        If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
        And treat those two impostors just the same;   
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
        Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
        And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    This speaks directly to all Arsenal fans this morning, albeit a little dramatically. Our dreams of a Premiership title appear to lie in ruins, and disappointment has reared its ugly head, yet again, making Gooners fall out, one with the other, with harsh words as we each flail about trying to find reasons and rationalise the dire performance at Old trafford.

    Communication can be difficult at the best of times, but when under the stress of a bad performance and horrible result, it becomes nigh impossible to frame your words in a way that does not cause offence to someone equally disappointed, and which coalesces anger towards a fellow sufferer to ease our own hurt.

    But —- Kipling comes up with encouraging words that should help us. He finishes his lesson by saying;

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
        Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
        If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
        With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
        And—which is more— you’ll be a Man, my son!

    He is actually saying ‘suck it up move on’ and stop squealing or trying to blame someone – anyone – else for injuring your feelings ——-and look forward to beating the Spuds next week. 😀

  13. Eddie says:

    glad to be a woman, being a man seems like mission bloody impossible

  14. LB says:

    Good comment Shard, I thought so when I first read it.

  15. Rasp says:

    Excellent comment from Eddie’s anonymous blogger 🙂

    Even if we want to heap all the blame on the manager, where was the professional pride from the players. I have to agree about TW14

    Does anyone know when Santi will be available again?

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Leon. Aren’t you “you people”?

  17. Eddie says:

    why are you laughing Raddy? See, I did cheer you up after all 🙂

  18. LB says:

    I must be the only Arsenal supporter who didn’t think we played as bad as everyone seems to be saying.

    Wenger was doomed if he played BFG and he is clearly doomed because he didn’t.

    We started by far the stronger team, so much so I was mentally writing the match report and the thought of “men against boys” came to mind. It continued that way until Gabriel fluffed his lines and presented Rashford a debut present he will never forget. Unperturbed, we soldiered on, quite well I thought; until, as you know, someone sent in a perfect cross for Rashford’s second gift of the day. Still, we soldiered on and again quite well I thought, scoring just before half time which lifted the spirits no end.
    The third goal of course crushed us, the huge deflection which sent Cech the wrong way sent the message loud and clear that Arsenal, today is not going to be your day; yes, we managed to get another one back but I doubt there was an Arsenal supporter watching who thought we are going to turn it around.

    The final whistle came which was the cue to start the Wenger bashing. By contrast it doesn’t even look like Manu are going to get into the top four and yet Van Gauhl was being lauded as though he had just won the league.

    Funny game football.

  19. Eddie says:

    I am with you LB. I thought we were doing well until the first goal. After that the players capitulated. Except for Theo and Gabriel, I thought they did try their best, but things did not click in for them. I’d say we miss Santi really badly, he has left a gapping hole in the midfield.

    I blame Wenger, not the players. And if Ozil leaves this summer I will strangle the old fool myself

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. The comment from the anonymous blogger sums up how I feel about yesterday and said so during the game.

    I simply could not understand that lack of urgency once we went behind. It smacked of arrogance.

    To be fair to Theo, the man did not have a single pass to chase in his time on the pitch, however, he was pants when he had opportunities.

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Strange how the players who are injured are always better than those who are playing. 🙂

  22. Red Arnie says:

    Very nice post-cum-comment, Shard. 🙂 not compost! 😛

    Well, I agree with all that you have said, and I know how much painful soul-searching it must have taken.

    My tuppence. My main positive from the game was Lingard and Rashford. Credit where one is due, these are two top young English talents who tormented us yesterday. Together with Mata whom our midfield offered too much space.

    Why did this happen? Are our players tutored too much and we did not get to see too many videos of these two youngsters? I just shudder to think.

    On our side, Cech was good. I thought Welbeck was OK as well. Thats about it. Glad our next game comes soon.

    Now, off to read the comments.

  23. Excellent comment from the anonymous blogger, could you get him to write some more Eddie 😉

  24. Eddie says:

    peaches – I will try 🙂

  25. Rasp says:

    Is anyone else having trouble getting through to comments on the site? My computers antivirus is blocking me due to a Trojan 😦

  26. Le Coq Monster says:

    Never been into books, poems etc` Redders !……the only bit of that Kipling poem that made sense to me was when you said what he actually saying !…‘suck it up move on’…..why write all that stuff, when he could have just used them 5 words !……………..maybe he should have gave up the confusing poetry stuff and kept to what he was good at…….making exceedingly good cakes !.

    I have an “IF” as well !……all this crap about we can still win the league !…..yeah, IF, the two forms teams above us lose all their games and IF we can manage to win any games even IF they lose games, it`s a big f##king IF !. hahaha

  27. LB says:

    I have just read the comment from the anonymous blogger, top post, clearly written by someone who knows one end of their tactical stick from the other. I wonder who that could be?

  28. LB says:

    Ahh, just noticed, we have a game on Wednesday.

  29. Le Coq Monster says:

    Just to try and defend myself as a so called “Doomer” !………..last 15 epl games !……I expected to win against W Brom,Norwich, Sunderland, Villa, Bournemouth X2, Newcastle, Soton(H) Leicester and Draw against Mansour City, Soton (A), Liverpool, Stoke, Chavs, and Manshafter Std !…..that`s 33 points expected and we got only 26 points from the actual games !. Had we got them points, we would now be 2 points top and more importantly 4 points above the spuds !. All we needed was for Arsenal to play as good as my so called dooming !…………….mind you, I still think we would have lost the title due to the rest of our horrific away games !. hahaha

  30. Rasp says:

    😆 Raddy, Trojans … took a while for the penny to drop

  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Helen. You fool 🙂

    Shard
    Well done, great comment.
    Liked this bit: “Usually, the results will follow the performance”, but not sure about dropping Ramsey. The problem being that without Santi, there’s no obvious solution as to who partners Coquelin. Our clock just doesn’t tick without him.

  32. Rasp says:

    Cocky, defend yourself …. from who/what?

    You are lavishly availing yourself of our free, no obligation, Arsenal therapy site 🙂

    You are getting it all off your chest, the catharsis is being expedited as we speak, and now you want us to collude with your illusion that you are somehow under attack on here?

    Try to look at things as if you are on the inside rather than the outside and I think you will see a quite different perspective.

  33. Le Coq Monster says:

    PS
    I expect to annihilate Swansea, but the Spuds will run us into the ground with twice the workrate of our pampered ponces, only luck will save us or matching their hard graft …..no carrying of fancy dans, put in a shift and you will either reek rewards or at least get our appreciation for giving it your all .

  34. Shard says:

    micky

    I don’t usually turn on players. I even supported Denilson, and I still maintain that he was very good for a bit, and was let down by the supporters when he wasn’t, which led to him losing belief. It is ultimately his fault, but what finally led me to give up on him was the slow jog back as Rooney ran away from behind him to score.

    Ramsey did it yesterday with Mata, and then with Herrera for the third goal. He’s always full of running, but it seems he only cares about going forward and scoring.

    I agree that it’s a problem, but I think that sort of lack of effort demands some action or else it’s a malaise that can spread. Play Elneny with Coquelin.

  35. Shard says:

    Arnie

    It’s the Arsenal way. To be honest I expected Rashford to score against us yesterday. I haven’t yet forgotten how a top Arsenal side let a 16 year old Rooney announce himself on the world stage. It is what we do with all youngsters, not just our own 🙂

  36. Le Coq Monster says:

    Hahaha Could do with some of that Catharsis stuff, Rasp, have injured my calf and have a chest infection so Arsenal have just about pushed me over the edge 1………………although the thought of being one of the sites bad guy doomers is strangely alluring !………………I read the other day on newsnow that most women are attracted to the brooding bad guy types !. 🙂

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    Thanks everyone.

    Are the terms ‘doomer’ and ‘in Wenger we trust brigade’ in room 101? If not, they should be. I’m sick of hearing it.

    I think LVG outfoxed us yesterday. United spread the pitch as wide as they could, making any press almost impossible. We should’ve stayed narrow and defended properly as a unit, but instead we tried to press which had our players running all over the place like headless chickens and left loads of room in the middle of the park.

    I think I’ve seen enough now to say Ramsey is a number 10 and not a CM. His positional play alongside Coquelin is terrible and he’s too pre-occupied with running into the box to bother defending. It’s just not working. Either Wenger has a word with him or Elneny comes in. In fact, I would play Ramsey RW for a bit as he’s no worse than our current options out there and will actually bolster our midfield with his tendency to run inside. I think that would work well and be the change that could spark us into life.

  38. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Shard. So there we have it, your comments are non comp-post and are hard hitting, while yours truly is just a load of com-post 🙂

    Independently this game was an unusual one. I kind of felt that we played like it was a training exercise for the whole game, almost as if it were a testimonial or charity match, and not a match that a title could hinge on. I haven’t always agreed with the commitment / urgency issue but in this game it seemed very much at the forefront of all things wrong.

    Weirdly I felt the pace at the back and up font was a step in the direction we need to go, and I wouldn’t use one poor game as a reason to feel x,y,z didn’t work. In reality no-one was really at the office yesterday and there were so many bad performances that they likely all just dragged each other down.

    On an independent basis I would defer judgement on that game but in the bigger context it was troubling and has left us in a very dangerous position IMO. It was probably a MWG but that was only the case because of failings in previous games. We have left ourselves with no cushion and so we end up with these MWG’s more often late in the season than we needed to.

    I was saying more about the bigger picture but then realised it was getting to post type length. I know how it irks our chiefs when I comment and should have sent it as a post. Even Micky told me off at the FFB the other day 🙂

    As such I copied, pasted and refined and have sent in a potential post. It can either be used as a post or put up as a comment if you like. I will leave that to the powers that be 🙂

  39. GoonerB says:

    Watch out Cockie, they’re behind you. I’ve got your back sunshine 🙂

  40. Sid says:

    Just before the game yesterday a replay of the 1988 league cup final against Luton was shown on Bt sports. I caught the second half Winterburns missed penalty Martin Hayes missing a sitter and the late winner for Luton.
    It was the same in 1980 when we lost to Brookings only ever headed goal and the penalty shoot out in the cup winners cup.
    Nothing really changes.
    This is Arsenal, it has always been the same good times and bad times like a footballing soap opera.

  41. GoonerB says:

    BTW, GIE had better come back toute de suite or else a very angry GoonerB will be heading up the A11 for a showdown. I don’t even care if he is 7’2″. Have you never heard the biblical story of the hobbit vs the Norfolk Yeti? 🙂

  42. GoonerB says:

    Oh and Terry hasn’t really gone he is still being detained by Arsenes security detail after getting stuck half way through his bathroom window in his Charles Mansen mask while in his pink spandex onesie with “J’adore Arsene” on the front.

    I expect us all to hear from him later, with all the details.

  43. GoonerB says:

    Oh and by the way, I am pleased to see Redders has returned even though he had never gone. Going to read a couple of his comments now.

  44. GoonerB says:

    Yep very poetic Redders. One question.

    Que? 🙂

  45. RA says:

    Le Cockie,

    I knew you would come bouncing back like a new born spring whatnot.

    Well maybe a newborn, duff legged, chesty, spring whatnot — wait a minute – are you playing for the sympathy vote. 🙂

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    The vitriol and hatred the Arsenal players will feel from the Spurs crowd on Sunday might just do the trick and see us win.

    Therefore, with our mathematical chance of beating Swansea at home on Wednesday still intact, winning the League remains possible. Bummer eh?

    When I say bummer, I mean we can’t quite relax and fully doom quite yet 🙂

  47. RA says:

    GB,

    That is one of the best known and most moving poems in English history – however, you philistine, you can take a camel to water but ….. make sure Le Cock-a-doodle isn’t already in there in the buff. 🙂

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    RA
    Even the half buff would be bad enough 🙂

  49. RA says:

    FGG,

    Ban ‘doomer’? That’s a bit proscriptive isn’t it? It made me look the word up in the OED.

    “A doomer is one who believes that problems of ecological overshoot, such as over population, climate change, pollution and especially peak oil, will cause the collapse of industrial civilization, and, a significant human population die-off. Many doomers are also survivalists. or peppers.”

    And all because Arsenal lost – I cannot Adam and Eve it.

    Mind you I quite like a pepper myself! 🙂

  50. RA says:

    Micky @ 12:50

    Your coded comment on the size of Cockie’s buff is reprehensible — any way – if you see see Terry’s prehensile buff you would agree that it more than qualifies for Room 101- not that I have seen it, personally, but VCC says he is always waving it about. 🙂

  51. GoonerB says:

    RA, I don’t know what Palestine has to do with it? Never been anywhere near there. I’m just an ill cultured moron.

  52. GoonerB says:

    Redders, I just like to feign idiocy sometimes. I do it very well, to the point that many people question whether I am feigning the feigning 🙂

  53. Rasp says:

    FGG @ 12:27 …… ‘Doomer’ was the second word into Room 101 after AKB. I have a dislike of labelling in general, pigeonholing is seldom intended to be complimentary 🙂

  54. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post GoonerB, ’twill be an honour to publish 🙂

  55. Rasp says:

    Sid @ 12:35. you are so right.

    This is the Arsenal we have known for many years now. There have been periods in most of the last 10 seasons when we feared we would finish outside the top 4. There have been MWGs that we have lost and somehow still managed to end the season in a good place.

  56. Le Coq Monster says:

    I`ve decided to dispence with that awful cliche word….”Groundhog Day” ( is it in Room 101 ? )….which always arises when we go through the same inept choking displays and inevitable collapse from title competitors to 4th place trophy winners !……………more fitting is….Goonerhog Day !…….although I did consider …Doomerhog Day !.. hahaha

  57. leaflet says:

    You posters must do better not the team.
    Wishful thinking must be replaced with the truth and the truth is their for all to see.

  58. Shard says:

    turns out leaflets and posters are embroiled in an ideological war. Who knew stationary politics were so hard fought. Come come leafy.. e-mail is the real enemy.

  59. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, your 1.15. I have surmised that you have not read it yet or you may not have eulogised me quite so much 🙂 I fully expect that when you do read it your response may be more along the line of oh s..t.

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha Shard

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    GB
    Does it mention strikers, goals or anything that actually matters to a Purist?

  62. Le Coq Monster says:

    Now if only the real Arsenal team had this kind of passion instead of rolling over for Uniteds reserves !. 😀

  63. Le Coq Monster says:

    And that`s just because they lost the toss !.

  64. GoonerB says:

    All fine for a good purist like yourself Micky 🙂 I can confirm it with the global purists form of recognition; a quick firm handshake, little fingers entwined and 2 subtle anti-clockwise shakes, and “ah afternoon purist”. 🙂

  65. Rasp says:

    Excellent wordplay Shard 🙂 much better than taking him seriously 🙂

  66. chas says:

    Eddie’s anonymous blogger really knows his stuff.
    He’s just the sort we need on here on a regular basis.

  67. Sid says:

    In the next few weeks and definitely in the Champions League and the Fa cup, I would like to see Elneny in for Ramsey, Welbeck in for Giroud and Campbell in for Walcott.
    Or Ramsey back out on the right and roaming..This gives us only one passenger when it comes to defending from the front
    I would like this to be next years team based on what we have fit and in our squad at the moment and better cover for the defence.
    We also struggle bringing the ball out of defence without Merts so Elneny being more like Cazorla than Ramsey is this will be the link up to Ozil.

  68. GoonerB says:

    Have to say I struggle to disagree with that assessment currently Sid

  69. Aaron says:

    Some good points on here. From my comfortable position, and looking at our mids, there is NO flow in our passing game-at all. The space between Coq and Ramsey is to great, they are not switching over to either the left or the right to support the mids and wingers. Again, teams play us to foul to break up any passing that will allow us to counter- plain as day-every time! Walcott was not on the field period, he does not go get the ball, does not help out the right side of the team, or just hug the byline and call for the ball when and if we can switch it. We played with 10 players period- I do not want to see the Flamster of Theo play for us again. My personal opinion. They are just not good enough. Play Campbell or Ramsey on the right and Bellerin might have a chance at some build up. Balance the team with passing and support, the D is good enough. Hit teams on the counter until Santi-the magician comes back. Simple as that. Arsenal need to get back to passing the ball one timers, one two’s and stretching teams with a few balls down the side channels and if a defender gets a card go at them until they get carded again for goodness sakes.
    Know most of you can’t believe it but I am looking forward to the next game.
    Go Gunners onward and upward!

  70. Sid says:

    Rashford yeaterday was exactly the same age to the day (according to SSN) as Rooney was when they scored the first premiership goals . both against us.

  71. Eddie says:

    shard – great comment turned post! Spot on! and I am glad you mentioned Iwobi as I noticed the lad being completely out of his depth. I have some sympathy with Ramsey and Sachez, still our top players. I hope yesterday was just one of those awful days …

    Despite saying it for a long time now that the title is gone, I cannot accept it, it is just too unreal. It was ours till recently, all we needed is to claim it. This is frankly the biggest fuck up of the century and I will be shocked if Wenger stays on for another season.

  72. Eddie says:

    sid – is that right? Now we know what went wrong yesterday

  73. Sid says:

    18yrs 120 days old eddie.
    Wish I was.

  74. Shard says:

    Maybe first goal for ManU. But Rooney scored against us for Everton when he was 16 (nearly 17).

  75. Sid says:

    Correct that sorry, that was the age Rooney and Rasford got thir first brace.
    Rooney against Southampton.
    SSN showed the goal Rooney scored against us so I got my facts mixed up.

  76. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 cannot pull wool over Shard’s eyes Sid 🙂
    Sorry, but I am absolutely delighted I am no longer 18 yrs and 120 days old, being young is very hard work

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Aaron
    Know what you mean by looking forward to the next game.
    For me, they cannot come fast enough, particularly after a stinker of a result.
    Weds and we’ve got Swansea home, while Spurs have West Ham away, so much to hope and dream for 🙂

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Re Your 4.08

    From a personal point of view the financial crash of 2008 hurt far more than AFC perhaps not winning the title.

    Very much more. Make that enormously, gigantically, infinitely …

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Erik
    There is still so much emotion left invested in this season for us. FAC, obviously, but several key outcomes in the League.

    From winning, to being above Spurs, to securing the 4th Trophy 🙂

    Then there’s the awful prospect of ending below Spurs and praying like buggery Leicester beat them to it.

  80. GoonerB says:

    Having felt for some time that a quick front 3 is the way forward and also when I feel I saw us play our best football in the last 9 months or so it does make yesterday a bit perplexing as to why the quick mobile front 3 wasn’t clicking. I see 2 glaring reasons.

    Eddies anonymous blogger hit on something when he highlighted Ramsey not bringing the ball out effectively. He seems to want to get up the pitch and have someone else bring it out and supply him in a more advanced position, whereas players like Santi, Jack and Rosicky are very good at bringing the ball out from defence for the team.

    In a 2 man central defensive midfield I like one as more a holding midfielder and the other as more a free roaming defensive midfielder, who can bring the ball forward having received it deep. I don’t think Ramsey is the right second midfielder. I don’t feel he has quite the right skill sets and it seems to be this renowned great engine of his that leads people to believe he is a great box to boxer.

    I have maybe been slightly isolated in my opinion that Ramsey should be in development as our future number 10. That basically makes him Ozil’s understudy, and I still stick by that. Looking at Elneny’s skill set I would say he will be more adept and have the greater discipline to be the DM that brings the ball out more than Ramsey.

    GIE also made an interesting comment the other day that Barca often keep 2 deeper defensive midfielders who are good on the ball, can pass, and with one of them that can bring the ball out. This allowed their lethal front 3 out of many defensive duties so that they were always ready to attack as a fluid 3 together when the time was right. I would like us to go that route. Having the right front 3 is critical which brings me to…..Theo

    When I was championing giving Walcott a go at striker so we could find out what would happen I thought he did reasonably well and further that we played some of our best football with the quicker more mobile striker.

    I had one key criticism at the time in that he didn’t show enough movement as an option to team mates when bringing it out or trying to hit an out ball from defence. He only seemed to move more when we were getting into the last third. At that point his movement is good but is not enough when you compare it to the work rate of Suarez or even a Vardy who always try and provide an option moving across the defence even into the wide areas.

    I think it was the game with Olympiacos that I really saw this. I was at the game and you have to see it live to monitor how he was moving because on T.V the camera is panned in elsewhere. I saw opportunity for Theo to move for his team-mates to provide that out ball option but he didn’t seem too bothered because it wasn’t offering himself up in a goal scoring position. It was one key area I felt he would need to improve on if he was to show he could be a top striker.

    I don’t think he has addressed this as Eddies anon said and it has made me waver in my support of him in attack. If you have that hard working quick and interchanging front 3 and the DM who can bring the ball out properly I think we are a match for anyone but those 2 things didn’t come together enough yesterday and was enough to upset the whole balance of our play IMO.

  81. Eddie says:

    Raddy – don’t I just know it! I had a small fortune in IT stocks and shares. I got greedy and did not sell it when the going was good. It was wiped out and never recovered. I lost all I invested and huge potential gains. I really thought it was the end of me, then and there. And look at me now – happy clappy ejeet if there ever was one 🙂 🙂

    DidIt – at present I wish we never played again and especially not on 5th and 16th. What was I thinking of buying that trip to Barca?

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    GB

    “I have maybe been slightly isolated in my opinion that Ramsey should be in development as our future number 10”

    Slightly? Isolation is where LB sends people who mention Jack in that role 🙂

    The No 10 is a Holy role, reserved for Godlike creatures

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    GB

    I looked hard at The Walcott as it left the field of play, and knackered it did not appear

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie
    I have not yet fully recovered from reading that you did your hair and nails to watch the Arsenal. On telly.
    At that moment, you reached legendary status in my book

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    From now on, I shall sport full Evening Dress for late kick offs, and full tweed for 3 pm’ers

  86. RockyLives says:

    That’s a really good com-post Shard (appropriate when we’ve just been showered in ManUre).

    I agree with most of what you say.

    I would go further and drop Alexis to the bench. He’s been off form for weeks and may be over tired. But imagine him coming on as an impact sub with 20 minutes to go?

    The biggest problem yesterday – as outlined by Mr (Ms?) Anonymous – was our midfield, which just did not click. It seems that there’s a bit of a consensus on here (makes a change) that Ramsey doesn’t work in one of the two central midfield roles. Maybe he really is a No 10 in waiting?

    Anyway, it’s nice to see a friendlier tone on the blog today.

  87. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 🙂 you are so mad

  88. Eddie says:

    micky – and what a bloody waste of time that was, ey?

    micky is mad, not you Rocky 🙂

  89. Shard says:

    Rocky

    I don’t have to imagine. Alexis and Giroud came on as impact subs against Hull and promptly killed any fluidity we had.

    We played well against Hull I thought, but our big guns aren’t firing, except maybe Ozil, who looks increasingly frustrated.

    Ramsey’s magic season, the Welsh Jesus etc, came with Arteta next to him. A midfielder who reads the game well, has the ability to keep the ball ticking, and throw in some wonderful long passes. With a player like that, Ramsey is the perfect foil. Coquelin isn’t that player. Hence the importance of Santi. Either we get in another midfielder who can replicate Arteta’s skillset, or we ditch Ramsey in the midfield role against any but the weakest opposition.

    Elneny could be the Arteta type player. I think he has it in his locker (based on only the most fleeting of highlights) But is he that player? Too soon to say.

    Also, I don’t think Ramsey is a No 10. Maybe if there were a creative force of Santi behind him, and Ozil, or an extra creative Alexis out wide to support him, but frankly, Ramsey’s strength comes from his runs, and the way he makes the most of that is by coming in late from deeper/wide. I don’t think he has the ability of a No 10.

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    Not a waste of time at all, Eddie. If we’re going down, we’re bloody well going down in style. Most important.

    Evening Rocky. Saw OMC the other night. Crew all good.

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    Shard

    Blimey. Maybe Coquelin is part of the problem. Lacking fluid perhaps.

  92. Eddie says:

    shard -have your read what micky (@6:25) said about Ramsey in no10 role? I think he has a point there

  93. Shard says:

    Eddie

    But no one calls Ramsey Jesus anymore, hence he doesn’t qualify 🙂

  94. Sid says:

    Ramsey drops too deep and takes the ball off the centre halfs toes as if he doesn’t trust them to pass 10 yards.
    Santi moves into space just in the opponents half to receive the ball and links with Ozil.

    He also manages 30 touches when 1 will do, that’s also why I agree he isn’t a no 10l

  95. RockyLives says:

    Good to hear Micky. I texted him the other day but the lazy so-and-so hasn’t bothered replying.

    Shard
    Good point about Arteta. Is he crocked again? If not, right now I’d be tempted to play Coq and Arteta, with Ramsey wide right.

    Eddie
    I am mad, just in a different way.

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    Crikey, the outlook is pretty bleak.

    I’ve kept a mental note of players we’re either unhappy with, or feel are knackered, and seeing who’s left.

    My calculations say only two players will take the field against Swansea, and we’re not entirely happy about one of those

  97. chas says:

    Wasn’t Ramsey, the Welsh Messi, rather than the Welsh Jesus?

    Ah, just looked it up. I’m so out of touch.

  98. Eddie says:

    🙂 oh dear 🙂

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Wasn’t Coquelin the first to be subbed? I guess AW realised he was playing poorly.

    Could be a post here … Is Coquelin a one season wonder?

  100. LB says:

    If that is a question solely designed for a post then I would say — good question. But did Coquelin really play any worse than any one else? Is he really to be blamed for the wild deflection off of Koscielny?

    Who knows, maybe some might think so.

    Interesting question though

  101. fatgingergooner says:

    For what it’s worth I also think Ramsey is a 10 and have mentioned it a few times. I just don’t think he’s anywhere near as good as Özil or the same type of player. I would suggest he’s more of a Scholes/Lampard type who wants to arrive in the box and score goals. Özil is more a creator. For this reason I’d be playing Ramsey from the right hand side if I was Wenger because I think Ramsey plays better when he is able to play close to Özil and concentrate mainly on attacking play and getting in the box. When he has to start thinking about defending, the rest of his game seems to go to shit and he’s unable to get as close to the play as he would sometimes like.

    I agree we are missing the Cazorla/Wilshere player who can get the ball from the defence and move it forward into central areas. Getting the ball off the defence and passing it wide is a piece of piss, Flamini does it all day long! But getting the ball and threading it through the lines is a real skill and very important to the way we want to play. From what I’ve seen of Elneny he might be the best option at the moment as he is very quick to move once he passes the ball and is always looking for space, so I would be playing him until the end of the season.

    Cech
    Bellerin Merts Kos Monreal
    Elneny Coquelin
    Ramsey Özil Sanchez
    Giroud

    I’d consider resting Sanchez but he doesn’t look tired to me, he just looks like he needs to get through a bad patch. The best way to do that is to keep playing. If the rest of the side plays well as above then we can afford to carry a misfiring Sanchez as he still works his tail off.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    I know this is heresy but I would be playing Gibbs ahead of Monreal

  103. fatgingergooner says:

    I remember a few of us saying a while ago that in order to win the league we needed Coquelin, Sanchez and Welbeck to come back strong FROM INJURY. Let’s not forget that they were out for a while.

    What we’ve had is the complete opposite (apart from Welbeck) and this has impacted our play. Let’s also not forget we are currently discussing how poor Coquelins midfield partners have been (they were even worse with Flamini in there), so it can’t all be on him.

    I actually think Walcott for Giroud was first change but I might be wrong.

  104. LB says:

    Top comment Slim.

    I wish I could find my comment that I wrote about a month ago in which I say that Ramsey is a number 10 because — I did.

    And, exactly as you say, the problem is that he is not good enough to make that his position because obviously Ozil is better which creates a headache for Wenger because you cannot have Ramsey on the bench — impossible, can’t do it, and so Wenger had to find a solution and as such Aaron was shunted out to the right wing.

    And so where are we, Ramsey is one of the good guys, if fit he has to play, he is not like a Walcott or an Ox who really should be shipped out, the Welshman is important.

    Hope this makes sense, a bottle of Rioja did play a part in writing this comment.

  105. fatgingergooner says:

    it was Theo first.

    Anyone looked at the stats from the game?

    61% possession
    More shots
    More key passes
    More clear chances
    Higher pass success rate

    Key one though, our tackle success was 57% compared to Uniteds 75%.

    That’s the game lost right there I think.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    I commented at the time that we were being over-run in midfield where MU had 4 players to our two thus stopping our distribution out wide.

    It is easy to blame Ramsey and Coq but the person who really has to be responsible is AW.

    Fairplay to LVG whose plan worked very well.

    I also pointed out that this “scratch” MU team had a midfield which cost over €100m and a defence which cost almost the same.

  107. fatgingergooner says:

    Makes perfect sense LB!

    Maybe we should go a bit more drastic/old school and stick Sanchez RW and Ramsey LW. Sometimes Sanchez takes up Özils space and that could get worse with Ramsey coming inside aswell, so why not tell Sanchez to occupy the LB and just concentrate on getting to the touch line and crossing for Giroud and Ramsey coming in late. That would free up Özil aswell as taking one of their defenders out of the game.

    Makes sense on paper.

  108. fatgingergooner says:

    The way it’s been talked about BR you’d think we lost away at Cheltenham! I get that Man U had a lot of injuries, but it’s still Man U with De Gea, Rojo, Blind, Mata, Schneiderlin, Herrera etc.

    Yes, we should’ve been looking to beat them, but there’s a reason we all had it listed as one of our tough away fixtures. Let’s not forget we haven’t won there in the league in 10 years.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    FGG True.

    Why not play Ozil on the left as he did in winning the WC? And Sanchez slightly to the right of the CF as he did when winning Coppa America?

    And Welbeck central where he plays for England (or is he on the wing?)

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Too much from BR today. Sayonara

  111. Red Arnie says:

    lovely day’s blogging. 🙂

  112. JM says:

    Something like this (posted on February 28, 2016 at 11:48 am), just that it did not materialise over the weekend:

    Start:
    Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker(c), Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny; Welbeck, Ramsey, Ozil; Alexis

    {Welbeck – Ramsey – Ozil – Alexis = positions interchangeable}

    Bench (with whoever is available currently):
    Ospina, Gabriel, Chambers, Gibbs, Campbell, Walcott/Iwobi, Giroud

  113. JM says:

    New article on Arsenal from the Swiss Ramble, “Arsenal – Brass In Pocket”.

    http://swissramble.blogspot.sg/2016/02/arsenal-brass-in-pocket.html

    Must Do Better: On the playing pitch & Commercial revenue

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,

    Thanks for that JM. I’ve just been reading the Swissrambe, and very pleasant reading it is too.

    Have to say, that the fella who wrote it has a sharp and slightly acidic tongue

    “Of course, the raw figure in the accounts is a bit misleading, as not all of this cash balance is available to spend on transfers. Once more, for the cheap seats: not all of the cash balance represents a transfer fund.”

    ie, he refers to “thickos” as “cheap seats”

  115. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn
    The right click look see who pic is of, doesn’t work today 😦

  116. chas says:

    Which one?

  117. chas says:

    How’s Mrs Frith?

  118. chas says:

    …and the Hound of Torrington?

  119. mickydidit89 says:

    Neither the pretty lady nor the perverted disgusting sicko tranny 🙂

  120. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, not good news on Frith. No lesson this week as she’s going into hospital, but fingers crossed, should be routine.

    Given two weeks of homework before next lesson, she’s set me an absolute stinker of a piece to learn.

    The Hound, aka Dotty, is on the other hand is on top form.

    Are you watching the Sunday night telly series The Night Manager. Superb it is, and this weeks saw a cottage and beach in Devon. Dotty was there last week.

  121. chas says:

    J D Salinger, then.

    No, not aware of The Night Manager. Have to have a look.

  122. chas says:

    I bet BR knows who the pretty lady is. He’s an expert.

  123. mickydidit89 says:

    Salinger = bloke with typewriter?

  124. chas says:

    Ah, just googled it and it probably isn’t Salinger as it was reported on Twatter. Soz

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    American Sunbathing Magazine ha ha ha

    And I wonder what he did to necessitate a change of name

  126. chas says:

    Caught his tackle in the carriage release lever?

  127. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry, being distracted. Back later

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6,28. Love the rabbits.

    J D Salinger. Read him when I was a teenager. Should re-read and find why I enjoyed his work so much.

  129. Red Arnie says:

    motning all

  130. Eddie says:

    Raddy – I will try to send you a couple Salingers tonight

  131. Red Arnie says:

    “During the 1980s the United States was the main factor in blocking two major international peace processes, one in Central America and one in the Middle East. But just try to find that simple, obvious fact stated anywhere in mainstream media. You can’t. And you can’t because it’s a logical contradiction- you don’t even have to do any grubby work with the data and the documents to prove it, it’s just proven by the meaning of the words themselves. It’s like finding a married bachelor or something- you don’t have to do any research to show there aren’t any. You can’t have the United States opposing the peace process, because the peace process is what the United States is doing, by definition. And if anybody is opposing the United States, then they’re opposing the peace process. That’s the way it works, and it’s very convenient, you get nice conclusions.”

    who said?

  132. Red Arnie says:

    “Euclidean space is defined by its “isotopy” (or homogeneity), a property which guarantees its social and political utility. The reduction to this homogenous Euclidean space, first of nature’s space, then of all social space, has conferred a redoubtable power upon it. All the more so since that initial reduction leads easily to another – namely, the reduction of three-dimensional realities to two dimensions (for example, a “plan,” a blank sheet of paper, something drawn on paper, a map, or any kind of graphic representation or projection).”

    who said?

  133. Eddie says:

    arnie
    1 someone hating US, jihadi John?
    2 a nutter loving to hear himself sounding clever. The cleverest people are easy to understand. They can make the most complex ideas sound simple

    There, call me opinionated if you like 🙂

  134. Red Arnie says:

    Evonne. 🙂

  135. Red Arnie says:

    correct answers. you must have used Google. 🙂

  136. chas says:

    1. George W. Bush
    2. Ronald Reagan

  137. GoonerB says:

    Morning all

    Brilliant, Arnie, Chas and Eddie doing their best to make my tactical bolleux ramblings sound easy and coherent in comparison 🙂

    Euclidean space?? I thought that was an area of the body that, if another ventured near to, would represent a serious invasion of personal space and likely a custodial sentence.

  138. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    ….. New post …..

  139. GoonerB says:

    The Swiss rambler thing was interesting but left me none the wiser as to what we are able to spend.

    Not liking the suggestions of shunting Rambo or Ozil wide again. Wasn’t working 18 months to 2 years ago so revisiting that scenario rather than looking for a different and new solution seems retrogressive to me….sorry.

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