Arsenal 1-3 United: 11 minutes and it was over

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Almunia and Djourou know the game is beyond themI don’t know whether I’m completely ready to go through the game yet but I thought I’d take the plunge anyway.

I should start by saying that last night’s 3-1 loss to United was perhaps the most difficult game of football I have ever watched. There have certainly been other difficult games – the Champions League final loss to Barcelona, the 2-0 loss to United to end the 50-game unbeaten run, the 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the 2001 FA Cup final and even last season’s 4-2 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League – but this was the worst of the lot.

It wasn’t particularly the result that hurts so much, nor the fact that it was United or that we missed out on a place in the final of the Champions League. It was the fact that it was over so damn quickly. One slip and one speculative free-kick and that was it. Game over. Thanks for coming.

For me the game requires little analysis because it was over after 11 minutes. The other 79 minutes didn’t mean a thing because, truth be told, we had absolutely no chance of getting back up from the double-punch that United delivered. No-one would have, not even Liverpool.

There’s little debate that Manchester United were clearly the better team over the two legs, yet the harsh reality in this match is that a freakish slip from Kieran Gibbs and a wonderful free-kick from the most irritating – if not the best – player in world football essentially decided this contest. We were buzzing around with great movement before the first goal but when Park Ji Sung found the back of the net it sucked the energy out of the stadium and when Ronaldo scored just three minutes later the full-time whistle may as well have been blown.

As always with these sorts of games, it’s hard to ignore what could have been. We showed enough in the opening 8 minutes to suggest that had Gibbs managed to clear, we may have gone on to win it. Statistics won’t back that up but I think every Arsenal supporter in world would agree. Alas, we’ll never know.

I think it would be harsh and unfair to put much blame on the manager for this result. There was nothing tactical that could have been done to prevent either of the first two goals and as I said, once they went in it was over. I admit to getting frustrated with Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to try something different as soon as we went behind – moving Theo Walcott to the left, bringing on Nicklas Bendtner, taking off Gibbs – but at the end of the day it really wouldn’t have done much. Whereas the movement and intensity of our side before the opening goal was excellent, our players were virtual statues after going 2-0 down.

There will be arguments made that our side simply did not have the experience to get past a side as well-drilled and a squad as big and varied as Manchester United, and there’s certainly an element in truth. I don’t think anyone would deny that a 19-year-old is more likely than a 30-year-old to make the sort of mistake that Gibbs did. However, Gael Clichy’s slip against Tottenham earlier in the season showed it could happen to anyone. Likewise, there’s little experience can do to prevent a free-kick from dipping and swerving the way that Ronaldo’s did.

The truth is that experience could not have prevented us going two goals down today. It may have prevented us mustering up the courage to come back and make a real fist of a comeback, something that I still very much doubt, but it could not have stopped United going ahead 3-0 on aggregate. That, unfortunately, is down to the unpredictable nature of football. 

I realise I’ve made very few conclusions about the game or our season in general but the truth is I’m finding it hard to make any. While there’s no denying we were knocked out by the better side I just can’t stop thinking about how different it might’ve been had poor Gibbs stayed on his feet.

Have your say on Arsenal’s difficult loss to United by leaving a comment.


101 thoughts on “Arsenal 1-3 United: 11 minutes and it was over

  1. No need for any fancy elaboration here. We were not good enough. Not good enough by miles. Say what you want about Ronaldo’s brilliance or Gibbs slipping, but United proved to us we’ve got a long way to go mentally, technically, and tactically.

    Changes must come. Changes in the fact that Wenger must be read the riot act this summer. We can dance about Wenger leaving all this summer, but I’d be utterly shocked if he does this summer. I really do believe him when he says this is the worst loss of his career at this club.

    In a perverted way, and I’m an optimist at heart, but I think this loss is the best thing that can happen to this club. Wenger’s youth policy has failed him. It hasn’t failed him in a passive manner with a quarterfinal exit, rather it has failed him quite bluntly at the feet of the only other manager in the game that could conceivably walk into any job in the world with no questions asked. And yes, I still believe that Wenger could walk into any job in the world. Wenger’s failure tonight has been put on blatant display in front of the footballing world. It was a comprehensive lesson over two legs, and a summer of complacency after this abject failure, will not be tolerated by Gazidis, Kroenke and the supporters of the club.

    Last season was a maturation for the club. Impressive was the first 30 games of the premier league as well as walking into the San Siro and embarrassing Milan. There was some belief of a real vision, however the failures to improve and retain essential figures at the club really hurt us.

    This season, things were expected of us. Instead we had a season full of infighting, underachievement and complacency. Many have said we can’t lose anymore players. What has this crop given us? Well after tonight; nothing. Unfortunately I don’t see it in the future either. Tonight was the most important night in this club’s history in many years I believe; more so than Paris I believe.

    If I don’t see a true change in the philosophy of the club over the summer then I will vehemently call for Wenger to step down as manager of this club. Wenger must change his philosophy or leave the club. I’ve got no problem in integrating Vela, Wilshere, Denilson, Song, Gibbs, etc into this club, so long as it comes in small doses with veterans and winners at the club. This philosophy of Wenger was wonderfully idealistic, organic and something to be proud of if achieved, however it pains me to say that it’s not going to happen.

    If Wenger has his hand forced by the new board to purchase a lot of players in the Benzema, David Villa, David Silva, Cana, Zapata, Sergio Romero(Argentina’s #1 for WC2010 IMO), etc. then I’ve got no problem with Wenger running this club.

    With that said, by purchasing top players in the summer, an ultimatum shall be issued. Win the league, the FA Cup, or Champions League or you’re out. Also, come up with a shortlist of successors and gauge their interest to take the job if Wenger fails next season.

    I’m about as “Arsene knows” as they come, but tonight has the potential to leave Arsenal in shambles if major damage control is not done this summer.

    The club is always bigger than any one person in the club.

  2. I am only summising but I presume Gibbs was taken off as he was distraught about the slip, but let it be known even the best slip, ask Beckham and Terry and that was when taking penalties, maybe we should blame the ground keeper for watering the pitch too much!! Let us hope that Gibbs can come through this, he is a very young man and will hopefully have a lot more chances in an Arsenal and maybe even England shirt. I personnaly would have brought on Vela for Gibbs though and gone 3-4-3 we needed 4 goals at half time and it wouldn’t have mattered if we had conceeded more goals, we are out anyway.

  3. Repost (last comment in last post)Great fighting spirit and professionalism by our players.They were still trying to get a goal even at 90 minutes just to try and make the score a little bit more respectable.Kudos to them.In my opinion you can only play to your ability and not beyond AND YOU ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU DESERVE.No more no less.Lets not be too harsh on the team.Against all odds and with very minimal squad depth they have come this far.Personally I had this feeling and had even told a friend just before the match that our chances of going through were no more than 30:60 given our opponents strengths.The fact that we didn’t score in the first leg gave ManU such a psychological edge and they knew from the onset that a goal would take them through.By the way the game was over in the 9th minute and not 11th in view.I will not blame Gibbs for slipping or Almunia for letting in an easy second goal because games are won by capitalizing on your opponents mistakes.Not even the ref.Statistics do not lie-how many chances did we create over the two legs?..and shots at goal/on target?..territorial advantage in the final third?.
    If ManU are planning to strengthen there already solid squad by bringing in Ribery for GBP62.5 it just shows that there is something other teams are getting right that we are not….or am I alone in this?And when ManCity unleash their billions on Etoo and a few other players, will we have even a 4th EPL place to fight for again in 2009/10?

  4. Gibbs was very unlucky. I still rate him very highly as one of our best youth players and respect him all the same. It just unfortunate he slipped, at the wrong place at the wrong time and we suffered the worst consequences. however I saw us coming back to score 3, but when Ronaldo scored, the spirit had been sucked out of me and I then swore at the TV until full time. If I had played I would have played the same as we did because the players knew it was over and so why bother. The 2 goals didnt come about by great play or domination just pure luck I feel. However the 3rd goal was a great break, just as we were getting back into the game. Gibbs never recovered mentally from his slip so thats why he was taken off. I hope he can recover though, its a big thing for a young player to go through in a match of so much importance. Fletcher was then sent off, rather harsh I must say but I dont think he is good enough to be at Man Utd or to be playing in a final so in a way im a little glad and its the only good thing to have come out of the game. We got on the score sheet at least. Nasri was our best player by a CLEAR mile. He never gave up! He always ran, willingly took on players, always had that extra spark. Walcott got bullied down his wing, and the ref simply allowed it to happen. It felt like every time a United player went down it was a feee kick, I hate those sort of refs. He was a United fan from the beginning however it wasnt his decisions that cost us for once, well Ronaldos free kick was harsh but 50/50 and he gave us a penalty and them a red. Overall im very dissappointed but strangley i felt more dissappointed about the FA semi loss. 2 semis, lost both, proud of our lads still. The worst injury list over the season than any other club. We guaranteed UCL next year. Could get 3rd at the end of the season with a victory over Chelsea at the weekend. Its times like this you need fans to stay loyal. Although 4th season running without a trophy, our fans need to keep spirits up and sing their hearts out at the weekend. COME ON THE ARSENAL. WE LOVE YOU

  5. Wenger can’t be blamed for the Gibbs and Almunia howlers, but the overall condition of the club is his responsibility.

    And the perspective doesn’t look good at all right now.

    We’ve won fuck all for 4 years. We’re always being told the future will be bright, but when does it actually begin?

    At some point the promises begin to wear thin.

    I’m not calling for him to be sacked but he urgently needs to adress the many weaknesses in his current squad.

    We’re short of quality, confidence and leadership. Arshavin would probably have made a differene. His aquisition was a great move and hopefully one of more to come. We need experienced quality players, not 17 year olds.

  6. @ mimi no matter how much city spend I don’t think they will be much of a threat as chelscum had the base from ranieri with lamps terry ect but the same could be said with arsne as gg had a solid back 5 and great midfeild with merson and parlour but then rioch came in and gave us the best player I’ve seen and that was of course dennis berkamp. Whereas ol red nose did bring through a great team of “busby babes” local boys like scholes and need I go on. It’s the same thing at villa and everton a good manager being given time to build a good squad but like us and unlike the other 3 we do not have a bottomless pit of money but if we offload ade and spred his 120k around the other players that are putting in the effort and buying a couple of older heads like arsharvin we really could be a force.
    No one has even noticed rvp is more to blame for the 2nd goal than almunia (if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t of had any hope) rvp’s hot temper by knocking the most gifted player to roll on the floor outside of italy giving away a free kick and panda pear summed it up perfectly with the karma comment.
    Anyhows I’m going out to get my arsharvin kit in the off season as he’s 1 person that will be a favorite along with the greats like overmars, henry , writy and again db10.

  7. ArsenePapa – “I heard that Alex Song ‘has proven his critics wrong’.”

    Really? What the fuck has he won? Nothing. What was his output? He played decent for a couple of months, against the likes of Wigan, Boro and Portmsouth. Ok. So what happens on the high-pressure night? Song was given an absolute mauling by Ji-Sung Park. I did not say Messi, I did not say Kaka. I said Park. He ran Song ragged all night and Song could not cope with him.”

    Were you actually at the match? Song was immense last night – our best player by far. Had the strength to compete with their midfield and rarely wasted the ball. And as for being given the run around by Park – you must have been on the Playstation while the real fans were at the match or watching on TV.

  8. The heart vs the head. How many fans have have I heard say about this second leg “My heart says yes, my head says no” This was exactly spot on. Arsene came out with his most definitive pre game statement to date but what do people expect him to say? ” We haven’t got a prayer so don’t turn up”?
    This semi final series reminds me of the Steve McQueen classic film, The Cincinnati Kid. A precocious young McQueen is no.2 in the poker world and he gets his big chance vs “The Man” who has been at the top for a long time. The final scence sees the “Man” pull a card from nowhere and destroy the kid after suckering him into an all in bet. The analogies are everywhere. Ferguson may be a graceless, bullying, paranoid t*sser but he is bloody successful. He moulds professional, successful and merciless teams. How long would he put up with the one good game in five merchants like Adebayor and Diaby?
    2Pac was bang on when he said that we need to bring on the Gibbs’, Vela’s, Ramsey’s,Wlshere;s etc but only with seasoned experienced players. In 98 when we first were successful we saw youngsters but signed alongside Overmars, Petit, Grimandi. Where would we be now if Malz, Grondin, Mendez, Caballero, Quincy etc were the cornerstones of our late 90’s early 00’s team?
    The old football chestnut about “spine” is true. We have wide players to match anyone. Clichy/Gibbs & Sagna/Eboue can hold their own against any squad in the prem. Arshavin/Rosicky & Nasri/Walcott are probably the best wide midfield option out there but the spine is seriously lacking. Gallas and ????? = Defence, Cesq and ????? the midfield, Van Persie and ?????? for the forwards. Match that against Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry, Lampard, Scholes, Anderson, Drogba, Rooney etc and the gukf is immense.
    I have always been an Arsene fan and always will be. Compare where we are to the end of the George Graham era. However he MUST spend on experienced new players for next season. Gazidis and Kronke can provide the reality checks and business savvy needed to produce a winning team. We dont need a wholesale clear out. 4 key players would see us challenge strongly for all the marbles and I dont mean 4th, 20 points off the top or getting a hiding over 180 mins in front of the whole of europe.
    It’s time to stop the gravy train where kids get in the squad, get paid bloody well and know an over protective father figure will pander to their whims and turn a blind eye to their often glaring faults.
    As Arsene has said before, June will be the most crucial month.This year will see the most crucial June in a long long time.
    Come on Arsene, Come on Arsenal!

  9. A positive slant on last night: We are one of the top four teams in Europe and thats without Arshavin who we have all seen makes a massive difference to the team. We have also been without many of our best players this season through injury. Saying that we still need a good centre forward and a great centre half if not two. Personally i would get rid of Ade and i might even get rid of van simply because of constant injury. Sell them both and get Villa. Then go and buy Hangeland and another. Get rid of Sylvestre and Senderos. Then possibly buy a good holding midfielder even though we will probably only need them a couple of times a season as most teams dont want to play football against us. Then stop messing with the set up when it comes to big games unless we have too. Roll on next season and lets finish by beating Chelsea and the dirty reds in their back yard. It would be nice to shut them up the_Xtremist aside.

  10. Good article

    Wenger is not to blame at all

    We came out and did exactly what Man U did to us last week. We attacked and looked ready for the challenge. Once gibbs slipped however it was over. Having to score 3 goals shocked the team. Almunia was shocked and probably meant he didnt save the free kick.

    The Manc supporters i was watching it with were very nervous for the first 8 minutes.If Gibbs, doesnt slip it would have been a completely different game. After the slip and free kick, the game is over nad we are completely demoralised.

  11. I also agree with Kameron

    WE are the 4th best side in Europe, according to this years CL. Without Arshavin, Gallas, Clichy, Eduardo and Rosicky. 5 starting players.

    Look at Man U’s team. Who have they got out??? Anyone? No they have a full strength squad.

    This team will go places, and I hope all those people slanting Wenger now will join another club when success eventually comes.

  12. Morning folks!

    Man, I feel almost hung over this morning, and I suspect I’m not the only one.

    Received a message from a Man United fan which kind of eased the blow a bit, that I’d like so share, hope thats ok.

    “I don’t think Arsenal are the 4th best team, I see them as a bigger threat in the league than Liverpool and Chelsea, last season they were on fire ’til injuries caught up to them, this season they’ve had ALOT of players out for months at a time yet managed 2 semi finals and 4th place in the league, players such as Gallas, Silvestre, Rosicky, Fabregas, Adebayor, Van Persie, Clichy etc… have been out for months at a time. In the league they’ve yet to lose to any of the other “big 3″. Arsenal were always going to go out against us simply ‘cuz I didn’t see them scoring, they looked very good but Ronaldos pace, Gibbs slip and Park being at the right place at the right time, our only two players who went forward, it was desperately unlucky as they had all the possession and crossed the ball dangerously a few times before then, but after that goal they lost all will. Next season I sort of expect Arsenal to win the league and I believe they will.”

  13. Like all the rest of you boys, I was absolutely gutted last night. Not only because we didn’t get through to the final, but because of the fact that, over the 2 legs, we were comprehensively beaten by a team that are light years ahead of us. Yes, the Gibbs slip was desperately unlucky, and Ronaldo’s free kick was superb, but let’s face it, we NEVER looked remotely like beating Utd at any time over thwe 180 mins. We were second best by a country mile. There were times 5 or 6 years ago when we were true rivals to Utd, equal in terms of the players that lined up against eachother and equal in terms of the men that managed those players. In the next 5 years Man U have consistently built up their squad, investing millions in a team to beat the world. We’ve let great players go, replacing them with mediocre ones. We’ve then let the mediocre ones go and replaced them with kids. We’ve tried to win the Premiership by playing pretty football alone, when you need to complement that skill with a bit of muscle and strength. We’ve seen how Man U have consistently been champions, and we have learnt NONE of the lessons. I read ArsenePapa < Arsenal’s post and at first thought it was way over the top. Having studied it again, I find I agree with most of the points made. No, I don’t think Wenger needs to go now, but it’s true that we’ve waited long enough to win something. The total reliance on youth hasn’t worked. It was never going to. Our team last night cost £30M to assemble, Man U’s cost £140M. It was a gross mis-match whatever way you look at it. Ask yourselves this simple question: how many of our players would get a game at Utd? It’s really that simple. Fab would stand a chance, and so would Arshavin. Apart from those, none of our team would get a job cleaning their boots. The example of Arshavin proves the point conclusively. If you want to compete with the best, you need to compete for the best players. We’ve done that with Arshavin and we’ve reaped instant rewards. We need at least 3 more like that in the summer- a CB, a DM and a striker. Wenger MUST change his approach, it’s true and plain for all to see. We are comfortably the 4th best team in the Premiership, but we’re well behind the 3rd, and light years away from the best. This CL run should be seen for what ArsenePapa < Arsenal quite rightly describes it as: a stroll through an easy group, followed by 2 poor teams in the next 2 rounds. We were lucky in the draws we got. As soon as we played a team of big boys, we were found wanting, as we were last year and the year before.

    What we all want to see is progress. All teams have periods of transition, but we haven’t progressed an inch for 4 years. It’s no good quoting the fact that we led the Premiership for 6 months last term. We were way off the pace come May when it mattered.

    This summer is crucial. Wenger needs to invest ALL of the £40M+ we will make from this year’s CL run. We must invest properly in our squad so that clowns like Bendtner and Denilson don’t get a game. Can you really see either of them being considered at Utd or Chelsea? – of course they wouldn’t, not in a million years.

    We DESPERATELY need to invest, it’s as simple as that.

  14. @SF- why is Arsenal Papa’s post too long? There were valid points made. I thought we were all able to give our views. It may have been a bit of a rant, but at time like this we all fell like having a go. I’m really disappointed you’ve made the comment and deleted the post.

  15. am as pissed off as eveybody else after last night and i have read all the posts with interest everybody has their own views on where it went wrong but what gets me is nobody has said how different we look with arshavin in the team! ok so we may have to wait till next season but i think with a good centre half spent from the sale of adebyebye i think we have a good chance. Cesc has more freedom when he plays and the whole team oozes more confidence with him in the team but without a good tony adams type centre half we cant rely on him alone but remember people we are still better now than when i could afford to go home and away under don howe ( and i didnt leave early )

  16. Good post Parsi 🙂

    I don’t understand why you guys keep saying that we need to buy in experienced players etc etc. Do you guys read english? Seriously, you guys speak english obviously but do you read the letter that spell that Arsenal has the least transfer budget to spend out of any top 4 club?

    Quite where you think we have the money to buy 3 experienced players, who would play close to Arsenal level would cost somewhere near $15 million each. We got Arshavin for much cheaper than it was initially going to be, and he still cost 15. Wake up people, this isn’t Football Manager.


    Do you seriously think that Wenger wouldnt LOVE to spend what Alex Ferguson spends? Of course he would, he could afford to buy whoever he wanted, ie. Berbatov, $32 million (ripoff) and buy so much back up for the defence for example. Arsenal just can’t compete with Man Utd financially because of the way the club is run, nothing you or I can do about this fact Fatboy, so stop trying to say that we our Fourth choice player (Bendter) isn’t good enough. Tell you what, give me Bendtner over Welbeck, Ngog and Di Santo anyday. I can understand why you say what you say but all that is required is a little bit of context and thought, grass isn’t always greener my friend.

  17. @ andy – I remember the Don Howe days as well mate! It puts it in some perspective I guess. My worry is that we now lose Fabregas over the summer. Barca and Real will come calling without doubt. Who would you rather spend your time playing with- Messi, Henry and Alves or Bendtner, Denilson and Silvestre? It’s a no brainer mate.

  18. @ Swift- here’s the context my friend. Welbeck only plays in Carling Cup games and other games where the big players are rested. On the money front, we make £3M+ EVERY home game, and we’ll clear £40M+ from the CL this year. Yes, we’ve got a big debt to service, but we must have a £50M+ available after this season. Show me a team swift that regularly wins big competitions without investing heavily in their squad EVERY year. We were told that the Emirates would generate the income to compete with the big boys.

  19. it was a terrible nite to be a gunner.
    Its over! but just for this season. Folks no shaking, we will be back and without doubt better. Gunners forever

  20. We need money we need new manager we need good experienced player..The list will go on and on. Come on Gunners I know it hurts but sallow it we lost to an good team not to an single player of MANU. Look at start of MANU line up in midfield it was all crap Fletcher,Carrik,Anderson. Would we like to but them an BIG no. We have an better midfield than them. i still believe in Arsenal and still will be an die hard supporter of arsenal. But yes the last night defeat was one of the worst which comes to my mind. The only thing that I would like to change is that our fan negativity. We should be with our team in bad times as well don’t we. and now about this comment,19528,11670_5287553,00.html .Don’t worry folks I had already broken his leg in my FIFA 09 game.One Little crap from French toilet. We will show when time comes. For Gunners let hope next season will be an bright season

  21. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

    Last year many were calling for Wenger to go and I said let’s at least give him until the end of the season. But it’s been a tale of two semi-finals; so near yet so far.

    Still, I don’t think I want him to go yet though. Although I can’t deny that if Van Basten and Bergkamp came out and said that they felt they had the ideas to freshen arsenal up, then I could be swayed. But as that is unlikely, I feel that Wenger remains our best option. We can criticise his methods, but his loyalty cannot be knocked and we should certainly appreciate that.

    Don’t expect him to buy big this summer though. There’s simply no point in mentioning players like Villa, Ribery and David Silva again folks – it will only go to show that you have learned nothing about our manager.

    I feel deflated. Roll on next season.

  22. ArsenePapa and 2pac**Arsenal are copying comments from other blogs SF. Just thought id let u know.

  23. Am dissapointed…very much so. Honestly the players performance needs to be questioned, this guys did not play at all. They did not have the passion for it unfortunately. A big clear out needs to be done….
    1.abou diaby
    2. song
    3. denilson
    4. eboue

  24. hey…..i like ur comment 2pac, that’s the truth…and even if we don’t have to blame anyone but we should be honest that expirience made us lose the game; i’m not talking about the slipoff rather i wanted to say that Gibbs was completely out of the game after he did that…and in my opinion that’s because of his expirience……he can’t stand the presure ….and for the overall performance of the season the management is responsible though we don’t have to single out any game….


  25. I honestly think that gibbs shouldnt be blamed for the slip he had.It was unavoidable. anyone would have slip in that condition.

    Though I was disappointed, it is not as strongly felt as that during the CL final with barca. Hope everyone gets over it quick.

    On the positives (YES, Positives!), AW finally realise he needs to get some1 established into the team instead of relying on youngsters. Considering that he put in so much belief into the team that he had, promising in public for the 2nd leg that we will see a different team from that we saw in the 1st leg, his belief in his current crop of youngsters has surely shakened. it could be seen when asked about beefing up the team in the summer. go see his reply to the question. Honestly, his disappointment could be felt miles away from england from where I am typing this now. Its the first time since I’ve began supporting arsenal from the tony adam era have i seen AW so disappointed and he couldnt find the answer to it.

    On a personal note, I really hope to see a goal machine like torres, possibly david villa and some1 who could control the midfield to partner fabregas next season. Only then I’m confident that we are capable of beating every single team.

  26. very pleased to be back here agn!!! my salute to SF of having the courage to plunge in the details of the game.Franckly, i wouldnt really want to talk abt it anymore.Its time to face Chelsea and figure out our revenge with Arshavin agst Manu for the PL honor.
    IMO, Not a single blame to the BOSS, I even hail him for his love and confidence toward these young players.I REALLY SEE US TO BE ONE OF THE BEST SIDE AMONG THE BIG4 AND ANY OTHER BIG CLUBS IN EUROPE THIS SEASON.WHY???
    I do personally think that NONE OF Guus H, or Anceloti, or even Sir Alex or Rafa could have led this TYPE OF YOUNG SQUAD to this stage of CL and PL. And trust me guys if I say that All of these big Clubs managers are really hailling Wenger for the way He’s done it.This is a challenge that not many managers in this game would take, but yet taken by Le Boss and I REALLY HAIL HIM FOR THAT.

  27. You fail to answer/understand my point Fatboy, Bendtner is the Fourth choice striker, Welbeck is fourth choice, if Bendtner is getting more games its because our third choice is injured, Eduardo. Injuries have ravaged us this year, its so unfortunate.

    Also, you aren’t convincing anybody or making any point at all by saying “Who would you rather spend your time playing with- Messi, Henry and Alves or Bendtner, Denilson and Silvestre? It’s a no brainer mate.” So you would rather play with the best players at Barcalona than the fringe players at Arsenal… wow, so insightful.

    As for the finances, I’m not sure what was promised to the supporters however many years ago regarding finances, but I know for a fact that we can’t compete with most other top teams right now.

    As for your argument that teams with money don’t win things, self-defeating logic. Because I don’t think anybody has a case to argue that we have more money than other top 4 EPL clubs and the top 2 or 3 spanish and italian clubs. Following your logic that clubs with a lot of money are the only clubs that win trophies, and we are then doing well to even get into the last 4 of Euro! 🙂

    I don’t like derailing your blog like this Spanish Fry, if you would rather this not be here, you can delete it, because I would probably rather talk about the football, but when I see ignorant people spouting the same garbage but in a different dialect it gets so very tiring. I reckon there is 5 standard gripes that keep popping up in cycles on this blog, I wonder what will be next, will it be sack Wenger, or will it be get rid of the board or will it be sell deni/song/bendtner/almunia (funny how 2 of those players have now become shoe-ins over the course of this season in the selected XI of the very people who used to bark so loudly about wanting them out!)

  28. i’ve always questioned the team spirit….do some of them pride themselves whilest wearing our team jersey…wat does it mean to them. last night was the lowest feeling of dis-passion amony those’s not about licking in a goal after’s about how they should have given there all…i mean kill united play with desire & solid commitment. Personally i want wenger to stop mentioning how much debt we got…& focus on buying quality players. We got debts but we learn to work along with them…sacrifising money for better financial results does not justify not low quality imports…

  29. Morning SF,

    As you can imagine, I am still heartbroken from last night’s result against Man United, however I personally feel that the tie was lost in the first leg. If Wenger had deployed Fabregas, Nasri and Diaby in their proper positions in that game, I am convinced that we would’ve grabbed a vital away goal, which would’ve been very handy to have taken into last night’s game.

    Over the course of the two games, Man United fully deserved to go through. They are an exceptional team, a team that always themselves high standards year in, year out, which makes them the team to beat.

    I couldn’t see the logic of taking off Kieran Gibbs last night. I know he slipped at a vital moment, but taking him off from a psychological point of view I feel was a big mistake from Wenger. However I think the boy has enough courage and heart to overcome this setback. This will only make him a better player in the future. He has been excellent for us in Clichy’s absence, so I hope the fans don’t go too hard on him.

    Some of our big players again didn’t turn up for us, in particular Fabregas, Walcott, Van Persie and Adebayor. In the case of Walcott, I think now might be the right time for Wenger to play him down the middle. When he is played out wide, he hogs the touchline far too much for my liking and he appears to drift out of the game for long periods. If Wenger were to deploy him down the middle, I think we would be able to use his pace to our advantage. I also think he’s a very good finisher already at this stage of his career.

    Despite his heroics in the 1st leg, Almunia has to be at fault for the second goal. The fact that he was covering his near post and the ball still went in from such a distance only made it worse. I think Almunia is a good goalkeeper, however I can’t see him reaching the world class heights of a la Seaman and Lehmann, where they both provided a calming influence to the defence (I know Lehmann was a nutter at times, but he had the respect of his defensive peers), they could be out of the game for long periods and then when called upon, pull off vital saves to help the team onto victory at times and perhaps the most damning fact of them all is that when we have had a quality goalkeeper in goal, we have picked up trophies along the way. I sincerely hope that Wenger purchases a top drawer goalkeeper in the summer (along with a Centre-Half and potentially a forward to replace Adebayor).

    There is no way that Wenger should be sacked. To take a team packed with a number of players aged between 19-24 years old to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League is a monumental achievement in my opinion; however he shouldn’t be immune from criticism. He has done some mistakes this season (most notably playing Diaby out of position on the left wing, playing Cesc in the hole behind the main forward, where he is unable to get his passing game going, making substitutions at the wrong times during a game whilst handing the initiative back to the opposition, persisting with Adebayor whereas the likes of Bendtner have provided the team with a better work ethic, not picking Arshavin to start in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, whilst obtaining a week’s rest prior to the game).

    He should definitely carry on purchasing and nurturing young players, however in key areas of the team (most notably in goal and in defence), he must purchase players around the 24-27 age bracket, who could provide the experience that this team desperately needs.

  30. Also. On opinions of asking AW to go, I think its outrageous to sack AW. AW has been the soul of arsenal football. If he left,

    – there’ll be no more talented youngsters lured to the club because of the opportunity it offers.
    – we may not be entertained by free flowing passing football no other football club have ever offered.
    – players may not have the loyalty to stay with arsenal fc anymore because of more attractive offers elsewhere.

    And these are the culture of arsenal football club; the culture of AW. sack AW? i suggest these ppl support another club instead.

  31. ATT KIDROCK; Abou Diaby: You might be right on his performance but u must remember that he just turned 20 this year and to me he is the kind of those very particular talented player who just needs sometime on the pitch to be able to show what is he capable of doin.He lacks speed thou!!!which is a vital quality at this level of game.
    Song: I really hail the guy, such a wonderfull performance and started to be very consistant on his game lately.He is one of my best CDM in Eur.Nothing to criticise on him.
    Denilson: Many people here have been always asking themselves includin myself, why Deni is always on the startin 11 but yet nobody has ever seen any good spark of game from the brasilian, either in attack or defense??
    the truth abt Deni is that:Consistancy is a very important quality in the world of professional game,He is one of those players who is really consistant on his game whatever situation is and whoever the team you play agst.He is not the best but he isnt bad either, he just has the kind of quality that you know that he’s always going to perform the same way as soon as he’s on the pitch.And im quite happy with that but i wouldnt swap Song agst him, and he also lacks speed and creativity.
    Eboue: His run has been always good to me, the way he brings acceleration to the game.The only pbm with him is his lack of goal sense, i dunno why? apart from that he is perfect for me, not only as a back up defense but even startin 11 on the wings or LB,or RB.

  32. @ Swift – I fully understand your point about Bendtner and Welbeck, I simply disagree with it. My point is that in order to compete at the highest level you need a squad that is big and deep enough to cope with the inevitable injuries and suspensions that occur during a season. I don’t believe our squad has that depth. It’s true we have had more than our fair share of injuries this year, but Utd have lost Hargreaves for the whole season. If you read all the Arsenal blogs today, you’ll get a similar view from a majority of people: we need to buy experienced, quality players to complement the young talent we have.

    Fair point about my choice of Barca players mentioned compared to Arsenal ones, but do you not think that Fabregas will seriously consider a move this summer? Do you honestly believe that he’s seen enough progress since 2006 to convince him that Arsenal is a better bet than playing for Barca? Henry and Hleb thuoght the grass looked greener in Catalonia, and Hleb doesn’t even get a game. Flamini swapped a certain starting berth at Arsenal for a bit-part at Milan, who didn’t even play in the CL this year. My point is that top players want to win things.

    I played professional football in England for 8 years between 1985 and 1993 (lower leagues admittedly), so I refute your suggestion that I’m ignorant about the game- I simply have a different view from you.

    On the financial front, you “know for a fact” that we can’t compete with the big boys. How? You don’t sound much like an accountant my friend. For your information, we were told that the whole point of the Emirates project was that the additional income from a bigger stadium would enable us to compete financially with Man U, Barca and Milan. We generate more revenue from our 60,000 matchday attendance than Man U do from their 75,000 (because our prices are so much higher). I know they generate more commercial revenue, but we should now be in the position to spend £40M-£50M a season. Look at the list of teams that have won the Premiership since it started. Every one of them was either the richest or second richest club in England at the time of their triumph- except Arsenal. We are the exception to the rule, and we won it because our manager was able to sign fnatastic players like Vieira, Henry, Pires and Petit before they reached their peak. Who, in your esteemed opinion, is of that standard in our current squad apart from Cesc? If you can’t find gems like that, you have to face the fact that you need to get the chequebook out. If you don’t do that, you can’t expect to compete with the best.

    Shame your comments show so much aggression, we usually manage to swap opposing views quite civilly on this blog.

  33. arsene needs to buy to complete. else next year also we will end up in 4th position. need to buy a lethal striker – Hunter from RM, two solid defenders, and Defensive midfielder – can we have flamini back please.

  34. Guys we gotta be proud of our boys instead of bringing criticism,many people wouldnt have expected this young squad to reach this stage,but look at their talent and courages, Roma and Villareal arent a small clubs to me, and we have beaten them.Im quite happy with our overall result this year, except for our defeat and the draw agst AVilla, Manu?? we still have chance for revenge and this time with Arsha on the pitch.So keep ur head up dude!!! We currently have one of the best and youngest squad in Europe.Evrytime i meet my Manu fans friend, I usually show them this:
    Almunia 32/ Sagna 26/Toure28/Gibbs19/Djourou 22/ nasri 22/Song 21/Cesc 22/Theo 20/Ade 25/RVP 25.
    Look at this folks!!! what say you?? team at this age average: 4th on the PL and Semi final CL.
    IM PROUD of U Arsenal.

  35. You are right fatboy, but he is also right abt what he’s said except that he’s been very agressiv as u said which we dont usually do here.

  36. @radadsRSA – cheers mate. It’s all about respect. I may totally disagree with your view, but I fully respect your right to hold it without calling you ignorant. The blog would be pretty boring if we all thought the same thing.

  37. Turning to tonights game, I just hope Barca can go all the way and beat ManU in the final.Henry deserves a champions league medal given his contribution to the sport.It will be a consolation for me at least to some extent.

    On last night’s game,I agree with EVRA’s comments below to a large extent…the champions league is another level.
    What’s our core business at arsenal?Nurturing young players and selling them at a profit to big teams for the benefit of a few shareholders OR raising a team of players that can play entertaining and scintillating football for the amazement of many and nothing more OR raising a crop of players that guarantee long-term success for the club (trophies, global appeal etc) thereby translating into enhanced value for all stakeholders.I want to believe that it is the last point.Then can the board critically look at the past 4 years and come up with a way forward of how to get back on track.Surely if the problem is finances as many of us on this blog keep on alluding to then we would have been told in black and white.Just the other day the CEO:Gazidis came out clearly on this and said that it is not true that Arsenal cannot compete with the big clubs on players wages and buying good players.

    “We have much more experience and that’s what made the difference. We were always confident. It should have been that score in the first leg anyway. It is a great United team that won.

    “Football today is not only about playing well, it’s about winning trophies. Everybody talks about the way Arsenal play but, at the end of the day, it’s about winning silverware”

    “Lots of people are disappointed because they thought they would beat us like they did in the league. But the Champions League is another level.”

  38. @ Fatboy,

    U hit the nail on the head mate, spot on.
    Players like Henry wouldnt have left if they didnt have desire to win trophies and play alongside best players.
    U cant cry like a sissy that ur main players are injured. Every team in injury prone and I am sick of people making it an excuse EVERY season. The manager should be aware of the challenges and have to strengthen the squad before the season start.
    And regarding the finances, the club can sustain and make profit every season even after paying up the loan.Wenger himself had admitted that he had the money to spend in this summer and yet didnt sign a proper defensive midfielder.
    Wenger had pointed out at the end of last season that the problem was not scoring the goals but defending it. Then why didnt he strengthen the defence ?! …
    Forget this leg, would u people defend wenger if Utd had converted their chances in first leg and scored 3-0 or 4-0 ???
    I am not for Wenger’s sacking.What pains me is that he does 90 % of the things right and screws up everything because of his stubbornness and persistence on young players who are good, but no way world-class.

  39. @ Mimi Wenu – I totally agree with you. Evra’s comments are spot on. They’re not easy to read because they hit home. I’d like to believe Arsenal are capable of being a club that sits at the very top table. I understood that this just wasn’t possible at Highbury, but I’d like to think that the promises made about the possibilities the new stadium would bring are true. The club obviously believe it or they wouldn’t have spent £300M on it surely? The new stadium needs to be filled every game, and I guess the only way to guarantee that is for the team to be successful. None of us can know for sure what the true financial position is. It seems reasonable that money would be tight for the first 2 or 3 seasons following the move, until the revenue from Highbury Square comes in etc, but we must take into account the fact that both last years and this years CL runs would have brought in about £60M between them. This revenue cannot have been factored into the new stadium repayment plans, as CL football cannot be guaranteed. therefore, you’d expect us to have a few bob spare for new players wouldn’t you.

    Times have drastically changed in football over the last 10 years, especially in England. Gone are the days when any one of 7 or 8 teams challenged for the league title. It’s now down to the big 4, and the big are where they are because of their superior finances. It’s a shame, but that’s a fact. Chelsea had gone 50 years without a title before Abvramovich splashed his cash. It’s no coincidence that they suddenly became Prem champions and CL finalists. Man U have always been a rich club, and they sustain frightening levels of debt, but they still invest £50M EVERY year in their squad. That’s the reality of modern football. If you don’t spend, you don’t win. Spending in itself doesn’t guarantee success (just look at the amount the Spuds spent in the summer), but it’s just not possible in the current climate to compete at the highest level with youngsters alone.


  41. I’m sorry, but Arsene Wenger is too blame!!!! As much as I love everything he has done for the club, he’s made some poor decisions (this year)in big games, which explains why we won’t be getting any silverware AGAIN.
    #1 FA Cup semi- Nasri & Arshavin weren’t playing
    #2 Champions league- he doesn’t know who to start and puts players in unnatural positions.

    There’s a lot of changes that’s needed at Arsenal. We need a consistent 11 to at least compete!!! We had that last year, not this year.
    The players age to me is not a problem as long as their put in a situation to excel.
    – Nasri is not a winger. (why not bring Babel)
    – Adebayor is an ok player (he’s overhyped)
    – Coach should have put Eboué instead of Sagna (he has more talent)
    – I strongly believe Wenger will need to decide between Nasri or Fabregas.

    Wake up people, since the era of Pires, Henry, Viera (…) we haven’t had a consistent squad!

  42. For people to think that Wenger should go are CRAZY. He’s made a couple bad decision (this year) in big games. Last year, we had a better chance to win something, but we were unlucky.
    – (07-08:Champions League) Touré gave up a P.K against Liverpool. Stuff like that happens, it can go any way.
    – (07-08) Since the whole incident with Eduardo, the team wasn’t same!

    I loved our team last year, they really complemented each other; unfortunately, most of them left.

    This year our team did not fit as a whole. I could see Arsene’s vision.

    I hope he’s more creative next year.

  43. It is plain and simply, to cure a problem you must first admit that you have a problem. It seems that the manager and even some fans don’t believe that we have one.(a squad that is no way near good enough that is). With that attitude we are destined for another trophyless season next season. Some of you show so much blind faith it’s unbelievable and as for you SF to actaully delete a comment because you did not agree with it just proves what i am talking about.

  44. More than ever I am an ARSENAL supporter. I watched the game too and saw the same things that all of you saw. I also saw Ronaldo show little to zero class. I would hope that ARSENAL gets a chance to rub it in his face down the line be it against Man-U or wherever he ends up.

    This is how it goes with young players, they make mistakes and those mistakes get magnified. This has been a long season and hopes were high. No silverware – life is hard…wear a helmet. Arsene’ and the rest of the coaching staff fell short, the players fell short…it happens in sport from time to time.

    That is why more than ever I am an ARSENAL supporter. I feel that the club will be better for the experience. Of course the loss hurts – it hurt me all the way in a bar in Chicago yesterday afternoon – TRUST ME. I believe that ARSENAL will be that club that wins many, many championships but there is work to do and if Wenger doesn’t know it than it is upon us to remind him.

    I am hopeful that if ANYBODY wins the UEFA this year it’s Barca. It would be really cool if Henry got that silverware and put it directly in Ronaldo’s face so he could see his reflection in it.


  45. Arsenal have had some incredibly bad luck in the last two years. Injuries to key players at the worst of times – Eduardo and Sagna in the latter half of last season – if they didn’t get injured, we would have won the premier league.

    To be honest, the day Wenger leaves Arsenal football club is a day whether I will be still an Arsenal football fan. You could kick him out…but for who? Who is there to replace him? I can’t see anyone who has the calibre to do so.

  46. I think that the attack on Almunia was completely unnecessary. To say David Seaman was much better is ridiculous. I remember Ronaldinho scoring from the half way line in the world cup. As for Gibbs I think that he should not have been taken off because it does not help his confidence. That said he should not have been playing in the CL semis in the beginning but rather should be reserved for lesser opponents on less important nights. The Park goal was interesting to me in that Kolo was no where to be seen as the natural centre back and that infact Gibbs was marking two players at the time. Arsenal also lack strong defensive midfielders for sure which leaves any attacker with only one defender to beat whilst Fletcher and Carrick would throw themselves on the line before you get access to Vidic and Rio. Our midfielders are too small and were outmuscled by both Chelsea and now Man. U. I remember Petit and Viera would impose themselves on the opposition way before you got access to Tony Adams & Steve Bould.

  47. I do think there would some sort of changes to arsenal FC. I expect that they do it on our defensive part with all respect to the current team. But unfortunately this squad of player lack the defensive desire. Most of them are attack minded. I would prefer just two changes in the squad
    1) An Natural leader and an ball winner in the midfield which we are seriously lacking after the departure of Vieira .
    2) An beast at the back who is ugly who can knock the CF. Who is always in the face of the CF. More like an Martin Keown. Remember Arsenal Vs Manu…penalty miss…ruud….

  48. Moments of crisis are the best for Wenger it seems.Its the pressure from A.VILLA and the possibility of missing out on a CL spot in the 2009/10 season that saw him bring in Arshavin and he still needed reassurance from Guus Hiddink before making the final decision to buy him.In short, he’s quite conservative and risk-averse and doesn’t like trying out new things/ideas.Let’s hope that the humiliation by ManU in our own backyard will swing him into some positive action in the transfer market if his comments are anything to go buy.
    It was a great season guys chatting on this blog.I hereby sign-off till after september 2009 or thereabout.Enjoy the rest of the remaining games.
    Those you love most hurt you most.

  49. it’s time to scrap the youth policy
    it hasn’t brought no trophy success
    and for wenger to buy quality players, the fans have been patient long enough and still failure,if we continue we might end up like the everton that people once knew in the early80’s and lost the plot and decade.The match last night proves we are way below manu level

  50. What makes me laugh , is the interviews and quotes from arsenal players since the arrival of Arshavin. “andrey is unbelievable” , quotes such as “he is a natural winner”

    wenger saying “arshavin has suprised even me , he is even better than I realised ”

    Fabregas stated ” arshavin has made a huge impact on the team” !

    Proof. Arshavin arrives at arsenal and its like an alien has arrived at the emirates. The fact that we have gone out and bought our FIRST world class player to play along with cesc proves without doubt that it is world class that we are severely lacking.

    Adebayor is Not a world class striker. Fact. Ferdinand and vidic must have been laughing at the ease in which adebayor can be brushed off the ball. how at 6ft 3inch tall , he lacks any desire to win arial challenges , how he misreades the flight of the ball so often , how many times he is caught offside, not through trying to be canny like henry did , but just laziness. He has not got any tricks to beat players and his finishing at times as dreadful. The odd moment of artistry is not enough from a player on his wage and playing for a club trying to win the EPL and champions League.

    I bet adebayor in training causes all sorts of problems to toure and djourou , and this makes adebayor look good while it is actually our substandard defending and defensive tactics which makes our strikers look world beaters. Trust , put Torres in a training session against our defenders and they will not know what has hit them.
    again , we lack world class right the way through our team . How can djourou improve as adefender when he has to train against adebayor and the occasionaly fit RVP and eduardo. Its no wonder when we then play the likes of ronaldo , drogba and torres that they get taken to the cleaners… !

  51. I don’t mind the lost if it had been 3-2 and fought till the every end,but that 3-1 is nothing but rubbish, gibbs mistake okay I understand, alumnia made a mistake that made me puzzled,but should have time it,what is really dissappointing is that we got nothing to take for the london-rivaly against chelsea and the boys mind in the game might not be there.Let’s end the season on a high note victory against chelsea and manu league.


  53. radadsRSA
    i find this obseesion with how young the team is ridiculous. Here’s news for you. The team beaten by united had an average age of 23.5. the best team arsenal can put out would have an average age of 25 (with arshavin gallas and clichy).
    The united team that too arsenal apart had an evrage age of 26.5. here is where it gets scary though; replace van der sar o’shea and ferdinand with foster rafael and evans and you don’t significantly weaken it. The average age of the team then ? 24.2

    the media and arsene play a great song about how young they are. so what ? no-one else is waiting for them to catch up, certainly not ferguson.

  54. Having been a gooner for nearly 40 years i am amazed at how good the team is today. There have been far too many `lean years’ as we called them. Then George came along & we won a few Leagues & Cups. Arsenal were an impressive club. Watertight at the back (1-0 to The Arsenal) & high scoring when Smudger & Wrighty came along. Now in Arsene Wenger we have a man with a similar vision to that of the great Herbert Chapman that we have all read about in the archives.
    Look at how he has changed the clubs fortunes & what he has achieved with the team. We have the 2nd longest serving manager in the league with the 2nd highest amount of trophies won too. Along with Alex Ferguson we have 1 of the most respected & proven managers in the world! This is the opinion of many of my non-Arsenal friends. At the beginning of recent seasons it is The Arsenal that Man Utd fans fear the most because on our day with the way we play we can tear any team apart. The last 2 seasons have been bad luck (injuries) that’s all. I’ll admit, it would have been nice to have replaced the top players we’ve allowed to leave over the past 5 years but Arsene knows what he’s doing. Keep the faith my fellow Gooners (“,)

  55. We need a striker with some speed. We are way too one dimensional up front. Give me David Villa or give me death!

  56. ‘Play like Henry, Pay like Henry’. Your nothing like Henry, bayor. Get lost. The only reason he’s pledging to give 100% next season is probably because no other club wants to buy him.

  57. @ Fatboy – I deleted the comment because it was ripped straight from another blog. I can’t have comments up like that without credit because it’s plagiarism.

  58. @ gunnerrealist – Again, I did not delete the comment because I didn’t agree with it. I did so because it was lifted from another blog without any reference, plus it was too long. I’ve received emails from other blogs in the past asking for me to remove these sorts of comments so I don’t really have a choice.

    I think it’s a shame that you think I’ve deleted a comment because I don’t agree with it. When have I ever done that in the past?

  59. The greatest danger comes within. I’d love to disagree with you more Fatboy but frankly, finances are such a boring (and aimless) thing to talk about :P.

    I’m really rather optimistic about the future of Arsenal FC. The young players as well as Almunia have visibly developed over the last season and this can only be a good thing for next season and beyond. I am also very pleased by Nasri’s performance gainst Man U, he seemed to be really up for it, so it seems like he might be a big game player. One of those people who can gear himself up and increase his level of play at the big moments.

  60. Our Father in heaven
    hallowed by thy name
    your kingdom come
    your will be done
    on earth as it is in heaven
    give us today our daily bread
    and forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those who sin against us
    save us from the time of trial
    and deliver us from evil
    for the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
    now and forever


  61. I had a very long post but somehow the internet conspired to “lose” it on submission. I am not going to re-type the stuff.

  62. In a nutshell, our problem is we have LOST our SPEED. Our defense is okay. We just don’t attack as fast as we used to do with Henry, Ljungberg,Pires,Overmars, Bergkamp and Reyes in our side. We only have Walcott with pace, the second one is Arshavin. Van Persie is a magician, so is Rosicky. Adebayor is the only striker in the elite clubs category who can not create his own opportunities. AW favouritism(apparent) to african and french player must end. Play Eduardo, Bendtner or Vela before Ade as the main striker. RVP is a MUST in our squad.
    There is ONLY ONE WAY TO GO PAST A PARKED BUS, AND THAT IS GO THROUGH THE BUS. Bendtner, Eduardo, RPV and Vela can do it. Adebayor CAN NOT!

    Flamini is smaller than any of our central midfielders. Is less skilled than any of them and is only faster than Diaby and Song,(the 2 biggest). We controlled the mf against Man U when Denilson Played. As Gilberto was, we sacrificed our most consistent performer(Denilson), to our detriment, for some flavor of the week. I am african(black) and I have every reason to prefer Song or Diaby over a brazilian, but it was a mistake dropping Denilson, as it was with Gilberto, for a few times wonder. I have all the belief in the sguad, but as with my fantasy team, have been let down too many times with AW’s selections. I just hope he will slow down on his tinkering!!!

  63. I can understand why Gooners are down after the match but the tie was lost in the first leg not the second, as detailed by DJ Dragonfly in comments above. Maybe, just maybe if we’d scored early but we didn’t – and they did and that was that. The rest of the match, even the 2nd goal, was irrelevant. If we’d come away from the first leg with a draw, even a goal-less one, it could all have been different, we might have won the tie, and people wouldn’t be throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Yes we need to strengthen our squad – particularly defensively – but they don’t have to cost 30 million.

    We’re about good enough to take on anybody and I won’t be at all surprised to see us beat manure in the league when we go to old twatford. Evra’s comments about it being different because it’s the Champions League is twaddle born of the giddy sense of victory and the arrogance that all modern manure players seem to inherit. It’s a game of football, same ball, same rules.

    So no trophies for The Gunners this season. But some great games. Roll on next season.

  64. @ darragh:
    Bendtner did not take off his pants(if you look at the photo. Buttons on the said pants were fastened). He was just Sagging as the youngters in the good US of A would call it.

  65. @ MoMoney; I had seen people killing themselves for less meaningfull teams in that area(I am East African). DON’T read too much into it. It is SAD when someone takes their own lives.

  66. Old Timer: I agree with you. AW is not good at negative football. We have lost too many times this season when he tries to counter the opposition. Why sit our best and most prolific striker on the bench when playing just one striker is baffling to me. If we play win only one striker, Eduardo should be first, RVP second, and Bendtner third. Granted RVP was injured, Eduardo, the most lethal of europe’s strikers WAS FIT!?!?!?. And Playing a Midfielder as a striker does not say much about believing in your strikers when you leave them on the bench for a midfielder!

  67. Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when Barce scored the equaliser to put them in to the final. I think laugh, the antics of the Chelski players particularly Drogba was disgracful, falling over claiming penalty after penalty when there wasn’t one to get, no wonder they had a cast iron handball ruled out when the score was still 1-0. A mouth watering final between two great teams, it is a shame our beloved Arsenal won’t be there but maybe next season. Bendtner, you have to feel sorry for him, he is only young, why can’t he go out and have a few drinks without having to appologise to the supporters, I never said sorry, well sometimes, to anyone for anything I have done in the past when under the influence.

  68. Gunners fan hangs himself after United victory( Nairobi, Kenya )

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    An Arsenal fan has hanged himself after his team lost 3-1 to Manchester United in the Champions League Semi Final last night.
    Suleiman Alphonso Omondi, a 29-year-old Kenyan from Nairobi was found dead at his home just hours after his heroes slumped out of the coveted competition.
    Police confirmed football-mad Mr Omondi was wearing his Arsenal shirt when he took his own life.
    Mr Omondi’s friend Calvin Otieno said: “We were watching the match at Bamba 70 pub, and when Arsenal were defeated, Suleiman just walked out in protest and he was crying.”
    Football related tragedies are frequent in Kenya, where English clubs enjoy a passionate following among the locals.
    European games, in particular the UEFA Champions League, attract more attention than national and continental fixtures.
    For many Arsenal fans, the tie was a chance to salvage a disappointing season.
    It has been four years since the Gunners won a domestic or European trophy.
    Arsenal’s chances of reaching their second European final in four years effectively came to an end after just ten minutes.
    Cristiano Ronaldo’s 11th minute strike meant the Gunners needed to score four goals.


  69. Id agree with your analysis TayGoon but I do think you cant look too much into yesterday’s game… It was over before it started. Fully agree that Ade has to go. What does he give us that Bendtner doesnt? Thats the questoin and to me its not enough of a difference. We need someone with speed and class up front. Villa is ideal of course…

    I also think we need to figure out the DMF position. We have 3 so-so players. Get rid of some keep some but we need a solid starter who can lead. Not sure if its song but would be nice to bring someone in. Maybe Mamadou Diarra who Real will offload. Possibly even Vieira to end his career here and teach these guys about leadership…

  70. @MoMONEY
    It would be great to have Vieira back in the team but it will never happen Wenger would never go back on a decision. That is unless he realises that his kids experiment which hasn’t been a complete failure and has actually worked in some areas, Cesc for example. If this is the then maybe we could see Patrick in the red and white, or green if you believe the new away kit pictures, of Arsenal. But could he really do a job for us?

  71. The problem is Arsenal is not an experiment and I agree the problem is not just this game, yes we have beaten ManU but not in games where it matters the most.

    We have a great academy but realistically we saw what an impact experience brings in using Arshavin as an example. Mixing things a bit never hurt. Not too sure about bringing in Viera back, I mean the team dosen’t play fast counterattacking anymore. Its Cesc tempo now. Hope things change for the better next season…

    Oh well, I really don’t know what to add, everything been said from the others in this blog, or maybe I’m just starting to feel contented with the idea that Arsenal finishes fourth every season.

  72. please, please,please,please,please,please,please,plplease,ease,please,please,please!!!!! Mr Arsene Wenger we have lost one of our supporters here in kenya out of loss of hope do something, spend on experinced players , return our pride I beg u people are loosing their lives u have to do something and urgently i beg u !!!!!!!!!!!

  73. People are more than entitled to their own opinion but one I don’t agree with is sacking Arsene Wenger.

    If you are one of the people that believe sacking Arsene Wenger is the answer then could you please elaborate with who you would like to replace him? Because I can’t think of anyone at the moment!

    Wenger has his faults. I don’t think he is perfect but I know he is a fine manager who, if available, would have almost every top club in Europe trying to get him on board.

    I don’t deny that Wenger has fucked up in the past but who hasn’t? He is only human like the rest of us.

    Arsene Wenger is a very stubborn man and I believe that this stubborness is his downfall. What he needs to do is look into his mirror and realise that he needs to change his policy slightly.

    Its obvious that this group of players need guidance. You look around the squad and I don’t see many players who can provide it.

    Despite the ‘potential’ of this squad the lack of experience is a real problem. I’m hoping that Wenger sees that now and tweaks the squad as necessary.

    I can’t see how replacing Wenger would do any good. I can understand people wanting a new beginning and fresh ideas but I hope that Arsene Wenger can be the man to do that.

    Yes, he may seem stuck in his ways but even the most stubborn of men can change.

    I really hope he does because many Gooners are frustrated, understandably so, and his legendary status at the club could be tainted unless silverware comes our way.

    It hurts to say but Manchester United are setting the benchmark at the moment and although it seems we are miles away from them I really believe we are not.

    Wenger is the man to lead us back to the top but only if he is willing to change.

    Remember, you never know what you got until it’s gone. I hope Wenger proves me right.

  74. @ andy – spot on mate, I totally agree with you. We must take into account everything that AW has done over the last 11 years. He’s totally transformed our club. We didn’t even own our training ground when he arrived, we rented it from the University of London. He was responsible for gragging the club into the 21st Century. We now have the best training factilities in the country and one of, if not the best ground. He’s changed the way English teams play the game. When you look back at the rubbish played in the top division 15 years ago (for you boys old enough to remember!) it was dire. He led the way in terms of ideas on diet, training and fitness that ALL Premiership teams have now embraced. He’s brought football from a different planet to our club, and the trophies that have accompanied it. Let’s never forget that. It’s true that in the last 4 seasons he’s fallen below the incredibly high standards that he himself has set. We all know that, and so does he. The financial restrictions of the new stadium meant he embarked on this “youth only” policy. As some have said, we’ve reaped some great rewards, and we have a crop of young players, some of whom will become legends. AW’s comments yesterday about doing well but failing against the best teams in the big games is very telling. He’s no mug, he can see that our team isn’t quite good enough to compete at the very top, and he’s seen the huge difference the introduction of Arshavin has made. It’s not rocket science to see that we need 3 or 4 quality, experienced players to guide the youngsters when the going gets tough at the business end of the season. It will also mean we’ll have the quality and experience to win games against crap teams like Sunderland, Hull and Stoke where we drew or lost this year. We are off the pace, but not by much. I hope and pray that AW takes the few small steps needed this summer to bring in the reinforcements we desperately need.


  76. Arsenal and Arsene W haven’t had a bad season, but we haven’t had a good season either. All the problems for 08/09 started in the 2nd half of 07/08.

    Losing Diarra, Flamini and Silva from the midfield weakened us considerably. We need a world class signing in the DM position – urgently. The eduardo injury reduced are options upfront.

    The lack of depth in the defence means one injury outside of rightback and we have problems. A world class centre back is required urgently as well as wing back depth. Gibbs should not have been exposed to the tues 5th ‘slip’ incident this early in his career. That is genuine miss-management by Wenger.

    Adebayor and Bendtner are not good enough as target men. We all ~60,000 season ticket holders know it becuase we have been watching it for 3 years now. This must also be fixed as a matter of urgency.

    The shopping list = 1 x world class Centre back, 1x world class DM, 1x world class target man.

    The rest of the squad is really exciting, but the back bone of the team needs urgent attention. Toure, Nasri, walcott, eboue, sagna, clichy, Arshavin, Van Persie, eduardo, vela, gibbs, Djourou, Denilson, Song, Fabregas – I love these players – but they need proven and experienced talent around them if they are going to succeed and progress.

    What AW has forgotton about with youngsters is they need experience around them to learn from and lean on. Without that experience to look to – the lads are directionless when faced with difficult situations like tuesday night.

    Outs – Adebayor, Diaby, Silvestre, Bendtner, Gallas

    Ins – Proven Talent and experience x 4

    Think about it… if Flamini or Diarra was still there with Henry as an option up front – Arsenal’s 07/08 and 08/09 would have been different. It’s subtle but massive differences. Its 90% right – but the 10% wrong is crucial.

  77. I would rather lose the way we did with an unfortunate slip and a lucky free kick than be 2-0 up in 9 mins and then lose in the 93rd min. Hopefully that will deflate chelscum more and we will get 3rd, everton win the fa cup and henry scoring a hat trick with hleb sitting on the bench in the final plus liverpool winning the league and to top it off ronaldo pisses off to real and that will make my season.

  78. Hi Gunners,

    When we talk about an team or an winning team we say the team should play together and should have focus on game. But believe it or not our team lacks it. Harsh words i suppose but it is true. When we talk about the big four how often do you see an player fall out with is own team. But is is happening quite often in arsenal. Let it be Ade VS Bendtner,Toure VS Gallas Etc. It is happening quite often. Now we talk about the commitment were all the gunners fan stick on TV or stadium. He was partying. What the F. If they would played an committed arsenal fan we would have shown some sort of faith towards the fan. Because he knows what it means to play an Semi that to againts the rival MANU. Shame on u bendtner. One arrogant young fellow.

  79. Well im not asking for much but what will maake my season is at least preserving our pride and not losing to any other big four this whole season :]

  80. I still say offer Adebayor and cash for David Villa. On a good day David Villa will rip any defence apart but the big difference between Ade and Villa is on a bad day Villa is still dangerous but Ade is lazy, doesnt run and just crap. I like Ade because he is great in the air, scores good goals, fast, powerful but when he is crap he is none of these things and can do none of these things. We can play Arsha next year thank god and we need to buy a CM and Def and a ST, as much as I like Song, we need a player who is good enough to start every game. If Carrick can start for United, then we need a CM better than Carrick which cannot be that hard to get.

  81. 100 per cent with you on that one jay-jay yaya would be great in the cm and richards would be good as a cb.

  82. well its great to have ambitions on hu u like to see at arsenal next season but lets not abandon this season yet. We still have “big” games to come especially against those idiots that knocked us out of both semi-fianls. I fully expect Arshavin, Nasri and Denilson to start this time round hope Wenger does not make the same mistakes.
    Whereas for Diaby i think hes a hopeless footballer and he is the one i least like to see wearing red and white.

  83. @Beemer, I cant agree with u mate,you stated your comments bcoz you were just upset agst the club”s defeat.Ill give u an answer based on ur own statistics menture.Youve said if Fergie has put on Rafael, Foster… then it would have been the same; Totaly wrong!!!Manu would have beaten 3-0,Vidic,Ferdinand, and Evra has been their key players, take a look back at Manu results during Ferdinand’s injury lately.I can understand How bad you rate this squad but not to such level on putting Rafael and the rest.I bet u 2 silverwares at least next year!!!What say you???Any game is abt psycological contest, this where u see the difference between experienced players and the non-experienced.And yet I challenge you that whoever full back defenders put by Fergie, If our players had the right psychological fitness and maturity, we would have broken it down.Their talents and ability can really overcome anything but its all abt psychological fitness.I dont know if whether uve been on a real competition in front of 100 spectators only, but I used to part of a soccer team and basketball team myself and I can guarantee you that you wouldnt be able to describe the pressure and ur personnal feelling.This is all abt ur feelling on the playground whether u have ur confidence or not and the most important thing is:THE MORE TIME HAS ELLAPSED ON THE PITCH, THE MORE CONFIDENCE YOU carry TILL THE END OF THE 90mn.AS THE GAME GOES ON, YOUR CONFIDENCE GROWS WITH IT, AND you start to be more and more creative and comfortable moraly and physically, you wont feel the presence of the pressure anymore but become more and more concentrated on the game.Thats what happened to our young team during that game, after JS Park goal,The psychological level went down (Not totaly gone till the 2nd one)coz it was just an away goal which the first thing we avoided.Thats why AW said that the game was over after 11mn, and he was right!!!This is where you really see the psychological impact and the strength of an experienced players like Arshavin or Gerrard or the rest…U name it.You can always show ur talents when ur psychological fitness and confidence are right and You and I cant say that this current Arsenal team dont have the capabilities to do it, besides, they have already shown that they can do it and we all must remember that this is a develloping team.


  85. radadsRSA
    I hav read your reply a number of timesa nd have no idea what you are talking about.

    My comment was only saying that we do not have a monoploy on young players. Utd could replce 3 older ones for very good players (rafael for o’shea btw and not evra) and not be very much weakened,AND be same av age as arsenal. The thory of having a young “coming” group of player is only a benefit if you assume all others will be , at the ame time, in a state of decline. SAF, being more realistic and just as foresighted has built a team which will have ame av age as arsenal in development. The difference is that the utd team are already winners,
    Arsene can of course drive av age lower by trying more and more unknowns but that is all they will be. How many of that arsenal super kids team 5 years ago have turned out to be of value. No, wait…

  86. I don’t say we don’t need to buy ANY players but it’s worth noting that Chelsea – who have spent a huge fortune and, as far as I know, incorporated absolutely no young players into their team from their youth squad – are just one place above us in the league and have exited the Champions League at the same stage. True they’re in the FA Cup final, at our expense, but that could also have been us, probably should have been.
    It’s plain to see we are not currently the team of 2004 but I don’t believe racking up big debt in order to try and buy success is the way I’d like to see The Gunners go. Arsenal are respected throughout the football world for going against the trend in this way and even other Prem teams admire what we achieve without the spending of manure, Liverpool and Chelsea. I like that.

  87. I am just surprised at how Arsenal supporters behave. Look at Liverpool and learn. Even when they are defeated 3-1 in their home, the supporters were still int he field hailing and boosting the players.
    These young boys have tried. In 123 years this is the second time of going to semi final of champion league, if the predicessors has been better, why didnt they qualify.
    Liverpool havent won any trophy for same years yet, Benites was given another new contract.
    They have been making loss and we have been making profit.
    Let us encourage them. they have tried.
    We should only encourage Wenger and the club management to sell Adebayor and Some others and buy good Agile and strong strikers. We should also get good matured defenders.
    I am a gunner for life.

  88. Yeah. Sorry to harp on about the same old same old but for me the players we DO need to change are – Diaby & Sylvestre OUT. Gone burger.
    Denilson needs to drop back into reserve team for a season and try to up his game.
    Gibbs, who has been one of the best things about this season, will be a good sub for next season but needs a mentor in the meantime to learn from.
    Song’s come on powerfully this season, and proved me wrong as I didn’t rate him earlier but I’d also like to see him have to compete for that spot with a top- notch player.
    Will we see more of Ramsey next season? I’d expect so and personally I’d like it as he’s a Brit, like myself. The team needs more Brit grit!

  89. i don’t have anything to say cos 2pac has said it all in his first post wenger,should buy experienced players this coming summer to inprove the squad and forget about his philosophy and face the fact or leave the club cos we are fedup with his ideas we can’t go through the next season without a trothy

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