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Hold your horses Gooners

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 ARSENAL 0

THE CHALLENGE, I think, for all of us is to try and stop the utter despair we feel over going out of three cup competitions in a fortnight from clouding our analysis of what we have seen.

By that I mean that the Gooners I spoke to immediately after the United game possessed a negativity that could only in part be explained by events at Old Trafford.

I think there are significant issues that need addressing after tonight’s game. But equally I do think we have to realise that going out of three cup competitions in a fortnight is not easy. And by that I literally mean that logistically, it takes some doing because the only time the cup games come so close together is when you’ve progressed into the latter stages of them. Look at it this way: nobody is analysing how Houdini managed to tumble out of one competition 4-1 at home in the first round and another one 4-0 away in the second round. That’s because he had the good sense to separate them by four months. Granted, he’s still in Europe, but I think my point is valid: had we lost Spurs back in September and got United in January and lost 2-0, things would look very different.

So I do think you have to acknowledge that much and the fact we went out 4-3 on aggregate to Barcelona and lost at Old Trafford today in a quarter-final, missing as many first team players as they were. In themselves they are not terrible defeats.

But on the flip side this was depressingly familiar. I actually thought we lost the game in what some people will say was our best spell: the opening 25 minutes. Yes, we dominated possession. But if the experience of previous Old Trafford encounters had taught us nothing, the Fabio header over the bar should have served as a warning: they were destined to create chances and so it was crucial that we did too. Unfortunately we showed no interest in forcing the play. It was all technically very nice around the box but there was no forcing and we didn’t have a single proper goalscoring chance.

The goal duly arrived – not surprisingly from a Gibbs error. He, if we’re honest, had as bad a game as he’s had for Arsenal. I could see it happening. We simply had to go for the opener and we didn’t.

One thing that got me immediately after they scored was how Arshavin suddenly burst into the box with real purpose and drove the ball across goal with real meaning. Where was that before?

It is true that after that we were more ragged, but at least we forced the play and created chances. RVP came close and so did Nasri. But when you’ve got a lead life is so much easier.

And yes, we came very close to equalising through Koscielny before more dopey defending gave them a second. We kept going and I think on balance we probably merited getting one back. But when you’ve let in the opening goal without creating even one of your own chances, there can be few complaints.

This kind of thing does seem to happen again and again and when you look at it, we’ve scored something like three goals in 12 games at Old Trafford. So goalscoring, quite clearly, is our problem there and yet we didn’t go for the opening goal with anything like the thrust that we should have.

Performance wise, Almunia (8) made one great save, Djourou (6.5) was (I think) slow to react for the second, Koscielny (7) had that Adamsesque moment and generally did well but might have been slow for the first, Sagna (6.5) was ok but the crossing was no better than that and Gibbs (5) was poor at both ends.

Wilshere (7.5) again showed the drive we need, Denilson (6.5) didn’t do that badly, Diaby (6) struggled to actually make a telling impact, while Nasri (7) offered as much hope as anyone.

RVP (6.5) ultimately didn’t score and that’s what we needed him to do.

Arshavin (3) was appalling in the moments before he got taken off. Let’s not pull our punches here: he is fat and he is lazy. His behaviour was a disgrace, his body language atrocious and frankly, he shouldn’t be near the team with an attitude like that.

It was good to see Ramsey (7) back, Rosicky (6.5) was interested and Chamakh (6) should have scored with the header.

Djourou’s injury is just unbelievable. Seriously, someone is conspiring against us. I know there are those who will say Arsene should have bought in January but I’m not convinced how many players he could have bought in that would have been picked ahead of Squillaci for the rest of the season.

The series of Paul Scholes tackles at the end were just extraordinary when you consider there was a guy on the pitch making his first appearance for Arsenal in over a year after being victim to just one of those Scholes’ tackles. One thing that is worth noticing is that for all the grief that the pundits have given Arsene over the years when he has moaned about tackling, the sands have shifted massively towards what he has been saying. Nobody was sticking up for Scholes today.

That he didn’t get sent-off was no surprise. I’m frankly no fan of conspiracy theories and I don’t believe there is one that exists with United. But watching their game against City a few weeks ago and watching them again today, I have to say that I do think subconsciously referees often favour them.

There were early tackles from Rooney and Evra that could very easily be bookings. There was the corner that was never a corner and there was the time when Evra was judged to have fairly dispossessed Nasri down by our corner flag despite being all over him. And then there was Scholes.

In fairness, there was one Denilson tackle near half-time that should have been given as a free-kick, but on balance I swear they get the decisions. And I’m not convinced the same is true of us at the Emirates: we’ve had five red cards at home this season and a fair few penalties too…

Anyway, getting back to the point, there is no denying that all the ingredients are in place for the end of season collapse that we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. We’ve been hit by cup defeats, we’ve got some bizarre injuries (both our first choice keepers and two centre backs out for the season over two months before it finishes) and we’ve got the likes of Cesc struggling for fitness.

Nobody would be surprised if we capitulated from here on in.

And yet, infinitely stranger things than us going on to win the league have happened. Had you said in August that come this time we’d be out of the cups but so involved in the league, most of us wouldn’t have just taken it, we’d have been pleasantly surprised.

So hold your horses. Let’s wait and see. I saw some people judging the season after we lost to Barcelona. Then was not the time and nor is now.

50 Responses to “Hold your horses Gooners”

  1. Ryo says:

    Five reasons we lost to ManUre

    1. This Arsenal team aren’t natural winners.

    2. Wenger Janurary transfer gamble backfired! (Surprise Surprise)

    3. Arsenal must now imagine every other team as a “Barcelona” if we are to have a shot at the league.

    4. Some of these players aren’t good enough to wear the Arsenal shirt.

    5. Expect a different team next year, Wenger won’t be making these mistakes twice. He isn’t getting any younger.

    Keep the faith gooners! A change is gooner come..

  2. okayplayer says:

    please answer this.

    Would we win against a full strenght united team with our equivalent midfield that they played with?

    This was their C-team, and we capitulated. Pressure is growing on AW.

  3. Ryo says:

    5 reasons why we lost:

    1. This Arsenal team aren’t natural winners.

    2. Wenger Janurary transfer gamble backfired!

    3. Arsenal must now imagine every other team as a “Barcelona” if we are to have a shot at the league.

    4. Some of these players aren’t good enough to wear the Arsenal shirt.

    5. Expect a different team next year, Wenger won’t make these mistakes twice.

  4. arserob says:

    Agree that a little perspective is useful and great to see Aaron back in the side. Problem is, he should have started. I have to believe that when EPL clubs prep for Arsenal, the managers don”t give one moment of thought to Denilson. He offers zero threat going forward, has no speed to pursue, and will never make a useful tackle. He is only still in the side because Arsene lacks the humility to admit he is wrong (his one glaring Achille’s heel). Diaby was not much better, but I still feel he can contribute as a squad player.

  5. Mooney says:

    The fact is, unless we pull the league, we’ve gone 6 seasons with nothing to show for it.

    One thing that clearly separates United from us, is that they are mentally a much stronger unit than we are. I don’t think they will ever change while AW is the manager.

    Also, a couple of personnel changes need to happen in the summer. Denilson and Arshavin have to go. Bring in a quality DM and a quality winger. Vertonghen and Valbuena would do nicely – both for less than £20mil.

  6. argonaut says:

    When I saw our starting eleven I knew immediately we would lose. Why is that? Because it contained Denilson and Diaby. Both play with the attitude of someone that really can’t be bothered. Whenever the counter-attack was on, one of these two would get the ball and kill the move stone dead and allowed United to get back and park the bus. There was no sense of urgency whatsoever. Funny how Gibbs or Clichy have a bad game when Denilson is in the side. He offers almost no protection to the defence as he plods about the pitch with no pace whatsoever.

    Diaby and Denilson have had enough chances. Frankly, I never want to see those two useless clowns play for Arsenal ever again.

  7. argonaut says:

    I hate to say it, but this season, Arsene has looked very tactically naive. What on earth does he think he’s doing by playing Nasri, one of the best central midfielders on the planet on the sodding wing? I can understand him doing that in our full strength team, but when Cesc is out? Nasri is so wasted playing there.

    Then he continues to play Denilson and Diaby in the middle when they offer nothing and kill all forward momentum. I really thought Ramsey would start. He’s been on loan to get sharp again. Now it’s time to use him. By all means take him off after an hour, but to bring him on at 70 minutes when the game is already lost? It shows a complete lack of ambition.

  8. James gunner says:

    Wait untile the end of the season and judge me,according to AW. I’m afraid he has lost the plot.The gunners always seem to freeze in the big games.
    Wenger’s time is surely up,at any other club,but at Arsenal he is tolerated because of the profits he has generated.From now if the gunners don’t fight for the tile that’s it.Surely the booard won’t stand for another season that ended in disappointing fashion.

  9. Family Enclosure Man says:

    I largely agree with the tenor of GP’s arguments.

    Got to say something about Diaby/Denilson. I agree that we’re always likely to be in trouble when we have both of them in the team, but I’m seriously bemused by how many people see Denilson as worse than Diaby, and today’s game sums it up for me. Frankly, it ws hard to see anything that was so dreadful about Denilson’s performance. OK, it wasn’t spectacular, but his job rarely puts him into the territory where he can do much that is spectacular. He just keeps the ball moving in Arsenal’s half of the pitch and I couldn’t see him doing much wrong today in that sense. But Diaby is the most frustrating player in the entire sqaud and has been for years. He slows up every attack, runs in to brick walls and loses possession time and again. I really can’t bear watching him any more. He absolutely is not and never has been an Arsenal standard player: a couple of half-decent goals against the likes of Derby and Newcastle don’t redeem him. I’d much rather have seen Ramsey start the game.

  10. Am says:

    On the plus side, the away fans were excellent as per usual.

    Ramsay came back, and in my opinion should always start in front of Denilson and Diaby.

    Even though were out of all the cups we now have a week rest, for most of the season and united have a fixture pile up.

    In fact if they get to semis of champions league then they will play ,everton, Fa cup semi (Hopefully extra time required),, Champions league semi (lg 1), Arsenal, Champions league (Semi 2), Chelsea in the space of two weeks.

  11. West Upper says:

    Remember we had 5 first team regulars out.
    Good analysis as usual.

    The performance was pretty decent, look at possession, attempts on goal. The main problem was lack of sharpness in the box.

    Agree with the comments about Diaby, also Arshavin has had a poor season, Rosicky doesn’t offer anything and Denilson’s a journeyman.

    The injury was another kick in the crotch. I would play Song at CB (if fit) going forward rather than Squillaci. There is one positive, young Jack yet again our best player. Props to Manuel as well.

  12. The Rookie says:

    Win at West Brom, win the league. Lost at West Brom, CL is at risk. Draw at West Brom, ?

  13. Matt says:

    For god sake just stop with all the crap platitudes and the “we only lost 4-3 to Barca” . They annihilated us and we were lucky to still be in the tie after the first leg! Yesterday we were given the same abject lesson that possession means nothing neither does all of the pretty pasing around the box, if you can’t defend or you can’t finish!!

    This season is basically the same as it has been season after season FOR 6 YEARS …… with no improvement. Wenger has kept promising and saying the same things after each failure i.e we are learning and getting better and we will definately win next year. Odds are he will spout the same crap again.

    But with no trophy this season it will mean that half of Wengers time in charge has been a FAILURE. And it should be noted that for the time at the the beginning when we won trophies with Wenger we already had the basis of the team – a great keeper, defence, Bergkamp & Ian Wright up front, Platt & Parlour in midfield it only had to be tweeked. So the question is… IS Wenger really that good…. I think not, I think this current team is his creation and his alone and that is why it is not up to the job.

    Time to change and bring in someone who will tweek this side…. get rid of the overated average players (Diaby, Denilson, Eboue, Bendtner, Rosicky, Almunia, Clichy, Koscienly, Squillachi, Fabianksi etc., ) and bring in quality players especially English PL centrebacks & defensive midfielders. Then we may be able to Honestly move forward.

  14. jss says:

    Was Bendtner dropped or injured for the utd game??
    Should have played with 2 strikers at the start.

  15. Lettraggad says:

    Im truly surprised at the ratings didnt think Arshavin did that bad.. and Diaby was easily one of our better players. Denilson needs to go … there is really no point of having him when he hasnt developed one bit the latest 4 years. Gibbs had a bad game yes .. but you then expect our DM to step in and give support were needed.
    Almunia is a calamity.. and this will sound harsh but lets look at stats and youll realise Sczesny has only played 2 games for us were he has let in more than a goal and those were to freak occasions Newcastle 4-4 were obviously the ref had placed a bet on the score. And the Birmingham game. Now replace him with Almunia and youd excpect the results to be similar but it really isnt is it even when he doesnt look guilty we leak goals.. I dont know if the defence becomes insecure or if he is badly positined but something isnt right there.

  16. Lettraggad says:

    There is nothing wrong with our defenders .. Id have Djorou as second only too Vidic this year … and we have solidity no matter who is beside him only time we are really bad is when the two newcomers Kos-Squill are playing side-by-side. If we had managed to Play DJ every game we will have the best defensive stat but now we have the third best or second depending on how we threat our game in hand. And with basically 3 new CB’s there is definetly no need for a clearout there. We have improved some people just refus too see it. And sometimes you need a bit of luck. United were lucky to score on their first chance at goal and from then on it was uphill for us I think we created enough good chances to at the very least match them scoring wise.

  17. The BearMan says:

    Watching Mr. Wenger yesterday was watching a man void of answers to be problems on the pitch. The man is in desperate need of an assistant that will step up and show some spunk.

    The Arsene system will only work when his team, is fitter, sharper, quicker and can move the ball better than the opponents, Otherwise it will not work and the result will be Arsenal 70% possession, but the opponent come away with the win. Teams know when they meet Arsenal what to expect. They have plenty of opportunity to prepare well in advance. We present nothing new.

  18. Elvis says:

    Deja vu.
    Arsenal just do not have the same will to win that Man United have under Alex Ferguson. Never have, and with Arsene Wenger as manager, never will.
    With injuries mounting and an inadequate squad that lacks both quality and hunger, I expect we will tail off now and scrape Champions League qualification just like the last four years.
    Watching the United fans gloating last night on TV made me feel sick. Sometimes I feel like I hate Arsenal for making my life so wretched.

  19. omar says:

    its no coincidence that since theo walcott picked up an injury we havnt been doing well. every1 talks about how important vanpersie and fabregas are but without walcott we simply dont have any directness or pace in our game. its all so predictable for the opponent and not that difficult to defend against. its not like hees messi ofcourse but just his runs with and without the balls opens up alot of space for other players. dominated the ball against sunderland,united and birmingham but didnt really look that threatening in either of the matches

  20. Wallace says:

    if we don’t beat west brom next saturday we’ll finish 4th/5th. the experience of the past few seasons would suggest we’ll struggle to do it. we need a huge performance from one of our big talents. Jack’s pretty much carrying the team at the minute, others have to step up. and even if we do win i worry about going into games against Stoke, Bolton, Liverpool…without Djourou’s aerial ability. tough times.

  21. Unbelievable Climax says:

    The negativity is from 3 or 4 seasons of doing the same thing – getting so far and then capitulating in a matter of weeks. And it’s the same fucking players – Denilson and Diaby. They suck the life out of the surrounding players. It is good that we challenge this far on what Wenger has built, but now he needs to hold his hands up and say that we have to buy some players. We need a statement of intent and if that is £30m on Hazard then it is well spent as an investment and to keep players like Cesc and RvP at the club. We used to break at pace, now we pass and pass and wait until they get 11 players behind the ball. Thats why we score late in the game – because the other team is fucked from tracking back – something Denilson and Diaby NEVER do. We need a speedy winger and another defender/DM. Frimpong and Coquelin may be good but then we’ve got the ‘it takes a while to settle into the premiership’ wank. Wenger needs to act and buy someone to give these players a fucking kick up the arse because performances like some of the players have put in recently are simply not good enough. We are a fucking laughing stock to Spurs. SPURS! When the cunt did that happen? Not fucking good enough and AW needs to get it sorted because right now I see Diaby et al doing the same as they did last year – fuck all – and losing again to WBA and Spurs.

  22. Didz says:

    I agree with your analysis, GP, that perspective is needed after that game. We’ve improved this season. We played with ten men mid-week and were a bit jaded at Old Trafford. As you said, the result affect us more because it happened just after the Carling Cup and the Barcelona results. So deep breath, winning our game next weekend, and then there is the International break. After that, we have the small matter of the PL’s last months to play for. Exciting time!

  23. Arup says:

    Goodplaya, I am a big fan of your blog but I am very disappointed with your analysis of Arshavin, I thought he did pretty decent, in fact he was the only one who was making the incision passes – one to Diaby and another to RVP comes to mind. And then in fairness, Diaby and RVP were very poor on the edge of Man Utd’s box. Yes he’s fat and lazy and tracking back doesn’t come natural to him but he alongwith Wilshere were our best players against Sunderland and yesterday also, he did decently well. I didn;t notice about his behaviour though but frankly, if I am Arshavin and I am left out for Rosicky at the biggest stage – the Camp Nou, I would be disappointed. I have seen Arshavin does get left out some big games

  24. PD says:

    Sorry Goodplaya, I normally agree with you but the second Rooney’s goal went in our season was over. There is absolutely zero chance we will pick ourselves up & win the league. And Arsene will never,ever get a better chance than this season to win it again. On that basis I genuinely can’t see how he can be manager come the start of next season. He needs to be big enough to walk away or the Board need to be big enough to push him out. Very sad but these are the dying days of the Wenger eta…..
    Ryo : ‘Expect a different team next year, Wenger won’t be making these mistakes twice’….you can’t be serious ??? You think this is the first time these mistakes have been made ????

    The whole Diaby/Denilson thing is just embarrassing at this stage. It’s not their fault (they’re so out of their depth it’s embarrassing); it’s Arsene’s. I’ve said all season if Song doesn’t play; we’re screwed. He’s missed 4 league games; we’ve won none of them. He’s missed 3 CL games out of 8. We’ve lost all 3 & won the other 5…
    While not their fault they’re out of their depth I have to say one thing……the two of them playing beside Jack who’s younger & clearly more talented than them…..how does his relentless desire not shame them into working harder ???

  25. Vin says:

    The fact is that a second string United team didn’t really have to play well to beat us. Nothing personal, coz I feel sorry for Denilson since he actually looks like he’s trying, but IMO we should sell Cesc for 40-50m as well as Denilson, Diaby and Eboue. We should base our midfield around Nasri, Wilshere and one new defensive midfielder because Song is not a world-class performer yet. We also need to buy a top quality striker because there’s no way you can rely on RvP to give you a full season. In short, this team needs 3 top-class additions.

  26. DH says:

    Playing 1 up top with Diaby and Denilson in the team is just pointless. Jack was having to drop too deep to pick the ball up and then there was no one anywhere near RVP to create anything. And I would rather see song fill in at the back and have Ramsey start than get the Squillaci/Koscielny partnership back together again.

  27. mikeythegunner says:

    Good playa, you have some good points, but I can’t believe you didn’t see what Arshavin did yesterday… He was creative, ran at the united defence and he did track back at times. He is an amazing, world class player and yes he was out of form for a while, but it seems to me that most people are jumping on the “criticise Arshavin” bandwagon. His performances of late have been very good.

    Denilson and Diaby are a disgrace to the Arsenal shirt. They were supposed to be the deepest lying of the midfielders, yet Diaby was the furthest player up the field at times and never bothered to track back. The two of them have no tactical awareness at all. How many times have we been caught on the break by United over the last 3 seasons, yet the two idiots push forward and never track back? Useless idiots that kill every move of ours and either give the ball away or watch opposition players run past them

    We did dominate the game, but possession is useless if you do nothing with it, although without van der sar it could’ve been very different. Thought we were a bit unlucky at times yesterday. The difference was united took their chances and we didn’t.

  28. wayne lincoln says:

    The Rookie summed it up perfectly !

  29. a_gooner says:

    Arshavin was really creative, and RVP and Nasri were really greedy to him. No openings to him, no passes – he was forced after all to make that pass to Koscielny into the box (I don’t know why Koscielny ran there, he didn’t hit anyway).

    It seems you just don’t like Arshavin, that’s all. Looks as if it is his personal duty to save every single game for you, and if he didn’t, then you are going to blame him.

    You should just put a header: “Arshavin is the root of all evil, the bad fate of Arsenal” and don’t bother to evaluate him after every game. Diaby(6) and Arshavin(3) – that’s really great, man.

  30. davec says:

    Playa Ratings for Sagna are plain wrong.

    His crossing was excellent in the second half, and he laid on a tap in header for Chamack (who missed), and a tap in side foot for Rosicky (who missed)

    If they scored, we’dve drawn

  31. Booland says:

    Just need to repeat 01/02 season.. in that season Arsenal did win final 10 games of the season and beat United at OT in that run. This time beat them at home.

  32. skillz says:

    Devil’s advocate skillz here: please my freinds diaby and denilson are not the only problems arsenal have. there is a systemic even deeper issue that needs fast attention..it will not rescue this season but the next one..our manager needs to accept certain truths about his team and correct them over the summer..

    arsenal till six-feet under!!

  33. PD says:

    Skills, what on earth makes you think Arsene will correct them this summer ? I’m sure you said the same thing last summer. And the one before..

    That’s why their so much anger. It’s the same shit over & over again…….Denilson/Diaby are easy targets but after 5 years of proving over & over again that they aren’t good enough then why wouldn’t they be ????? They’re not the only problem but they’re the most obvious examples of the culture of tolerating underachievement that has developed….
    ffs Newcastle spent 4m on Tiote & in his first season in England he’s put in more good performances than those two have combined in 5 years !

    Booland, if you really believe this team is going to win 10 in a row then the men in white coats are on their over to your place :-)

  34. slc gunner says:

    i thought the arsenal fans were magnificent – supported the team until the end….which is exactly what th home fanes need to do for the rest of the season. it does fell like deja vu….was it 2 years ago where we lost to chelsea in the fa cup semi and utd in CL semi at about the same time (maybe a month later). but better positioned in the league than 2 years ago. seems like we can’t score/win without cesc in the side. the optimist in me says if we can beat west brom without cesc, theo, song…then come back in april at full strength, we have a chance. where is thomas vermaelen… we haven’t had an update in weeks from the club. if he comes back, a partnership of tv and kos could do well.

  35. PD says:

    Our last 7 games v MU have been 6 defeats & 1 draw. We’ve scored 3 goals, let in 12.
    (and the draw was at the end of 08/09 at Old Trafford when they only needed a draw to win the title. I have absolutely no doubt they would beaten us that day if they actually needed to)
    Even if by some miracle we are still in it when they come to London at the end of April does anyone really believe we’ll turn them over this time ?

  36. Gogsy says:

    Like @argonaut I noticed how we slowed our counter-attacks down and were slow to get back ourselves when Man U countered.

    However, I think it was a whole team thing. It was as if we had lost the confidence to make things happen, as if we didn’t believe or know what to do. On a better day we would be running off each other, confident it would be spotted and the ball delivered.

    It wasn’t that long ago RVP scored on a counter against Wolves with just 5 touches from 4 players, from our box to the back of the net. Theo was playing, everyone knew the runs, movement and space to play to. Our first IX has the confidence to do that, but not the second IX.

  37. skillz says:

    i understand PD and im a hurt fan as well..theres an ancient chinese proverb that says if a little child while playing falls into a well..dont blame the well.. those 2 players have their obvious failings but its not like they put a gun to AW head to play them..the manager as i said earlier needs to accept some hard truths. we all know he is stubborn and has resisted many -a-summer transfer windows to strengthen this team but we have never blown 3 good trophy winning positions like this b4 in recent memory(i stand corrected on this). i hope we do the unexpected and go on to win the league..ill cheer till the last kick. good player big up

  38. abishkar says:

    hi goodplaya, read your blog regularly. but posting on here for the first time. enjoy your insights and freshness of perspective.

  39. Bert Wright says:

    I thought me old mate Arseblogger was the supreme optimist but your opening paragraphs earn you the crown. There is not a shred of comfort to be drawn from these three defeats, not a single reason/excuse that will mask the reality that the Wenger project is grinding to an ignominious halt. He’s been wrong for six years and should walk before he’s pushed.

  40. richard allen says:

    @ bert wright, so the ‘project’ was shite for 98, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, and 11?

  41. Paulyt33 says:

    Really like your stuff , keep up the good work but like alot of others , I too think that you are being v harsh on Arshavin who to me had quite a good game easily as good as Nasri and better than RVP , also thought Sagna did well and got in at least 4 v dangerous crosses ,
    As for the League I’m afraid that like alot of your commenters I too can see an implosion , Prove me wrong lads , Pleeeeeeeease !!

  42. Colin Garner says:

    Arsene needs to accept hes in the premiership and not la liga. You need players with grit and determination who can get stuck in. I don’t understand why he has turned his back on the power and pace that brought him so much success. Maybe the future is small technical players but let your team evolve as necessary. Don’t try to pre-empt whats going to happen.

  43. PD says:

    A little bit of basic maths Richard : 2011 minus 1998 is a little bit more than 6 :-)
    If you’re going to be a smartarse to someone at least have the manners to actually read first what you’re going to take the piss out of….

    Mad Jens on his way back…..seriously …I didn’t think any football news could put a smile on my face this week. Loved him to bits. Honestly, if Wenger deems him fit enough….then why not play him rather than leave him on the bench ? He always was a miles better keeper than Almunia. If he’s fit enough then he should play…….he might wake a few of our dozy players from their slumber too….

  44. richard allen says:

    Actually, PD, I wasn’t being smart arse, just attempting to suggest that those years don’t really suggest that the project is as legions of Gooners seem to believe an unmitigated failure.

  45. PD says:

    It’s a failure now though mate, that’s what has everyone so pissed off. What Wenger has done in keeping us in the CL places with the new stadium etc was amazing but what was the point ?? We have the money & when you see that we’re still allowing players not up to scratch to underachieve over & over again in key positions while the money gathers interest & the titles slip away is horrible. We’re so close (unbelievably so) but I genuinely think we will never make that final step because of one simple reason : Wenger wants to win on his own terms & those terms only. His being proved right is now more important to him than what’s best for the club. And that to me means it’s time for him to move (or be moved) on…..

  46. Nathan says:

    So glad most of the above commentors are not:
    “deluded-in arsene we trust-so far up his arse-buried in the sand” Fans
    ——
    thank the majority of the above for being REALIST – now please show this to BBC 606 bloggers ..cos they are deluded

  47. Elvis says:

    I don’t think we will win anything this year now.
    We will lose at home to Man United, but it will be too late by then anyway.
    I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t think Arsenal have the mental toughness to put together a surging run for the title.
    Our rubbish injury record suggests we will fade as well.

  48. melcfromfinsburypark says:

    The comment about the West Brom game is spot on. If we can somehow win that then we have a chance with players to come back from injury hopefully in time for the game after West Brom . Anything but a win and its bye, bye league. I wonder if a) all of the players realise this and b) will they find their cojones in time?

  49. melcfromfinsburypark says:

    And Family Enclosure Man you are spot on. Diaby has the talent to be a world beater but talent is nothing if you amble through 75% of games. Can anyone remember when he put in a big performance in a big game? He and Rosicky are the player who need to go in the summer. Replace them with a very decent holding player (to fill in for song or allow him to be rested) and buy a fast skillfull hazard type player who can provide a pacey outlet in the same way Walcott can and next year could be very different. We need a nother strikwe to fill in for Robin when he is crock as well. Nic and Chamakh are 4th and 3rd choice at best

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