Arsenal mentality is frustrating + Stoke preview

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Rather predictably, yesterday was a huge day on the blog. Indeed, comments-wise, it was the busiest day since I started everything back in March 2007 with over 160 responses to yesterday’s post. It clearly shows the way that the manner of Arsenal’s 4-4 draw with Tottenham has gotten to a lot of people and stirred their emotions intensely.

Now, in the aftermath of the disastrous draw at Emirates Stadium, Emmanuel Adebayor has made some comments that should keep the waters bubbling. One in particular read:

“To be champions in this way? You can never be a champion. That is for sure.”

It is a concise and definitive statement from an immensely frustrated player. And while I don’t necessarily agree with Adebayor’s decision to make this comment it’s hard to argue with his point – throwing away a two-goal lead in the final minutes of a huge derby game is not the sort of things that champion teams tend to do.

Still, call me naive, but I have faith in our side’s ability to make a sustained challenge for the title. After all, we’re still only 6 points off the top of the table and the team that currently occupies that spot is not the one that I believe will be there at the end of season. With that in mind, to say that Arsenal our out of the title race is premmature and incorrect. But the team must stop having bonkers moments like this.

Adebayor went on to speak about the mentality of his side, suggesting that they switched off in the final moments, believing the game to be won:

“We feel very sorry for ourselves that things are not going the right way. It was one of the most difficult games in my life because I cannot understand that after 90 minutes we were leading 4-2 – I don’t know how we finished with a draw. With five, six or seven minutes to go, maybe in our head the game was over.”

If this is correct of the mentality in the team then it is infuriating and disappointing in equal measure. A team should never think a game is won until the final whistle goes regardless of whether they are two goals ahead or 10 goals ahead. It only takes a second to score a goal in football and the Arsenal boys have learned that the hard way.

Thankfully the boys have a chance to make up for their monumental cock-up in the game against Stoke City on Saturday. William Gallas and Emmanuel Eboue have both been ruled out of the squad meaning that Kolo Toure is likely to return to the side to partner Mikael Silvestre in defence. It’s a partnership that many Arsenal fans on this blog have been wanting to see since the start of the season and one which I think has the potential to be quite effective.

In many ways we’re lucky to have another game so soon after the Tottenham affair, and even luckier that it is Stoke. They’re hardly the best team in the league and our boys will certainly have a point to prove going into this match. In terms of other team selections, Cesc Fabregas could do with a rest while Gael Clichy and Manuel Almunia should keep their spots despite clear errors against Spurs.

It will be interesting to see how the team responds in this match. Three points is beyond an absolute must and we have to hope that the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool drop some points in their fixtures. But at the end of the day all Wenger and the team can focus on is their own game and they simply must get the win against Stoke.

Have your say on Adebayor’s statements or Arsenal v Stoke by leaving a comment.


103 thoughts on “Arsenal mentality is frustrating + Stoke preview

  1. I think come Saturday, the team will still be a little embarassed from the Spuds game and they will turn it on against Stoke.

    Prediction: Arsenal to win 3-1, with Ade scoring 2.

  2. Personally speaking, I’m gutted about the result, but lets put things into perspective. It will be a lesson learned, and I would doubt that the players will make the same mistakes twice. As for Adebayor having the sheer nerve to gob off about his team mates needing to have the killer instinct to be champions, watching the match, he should’ve capitalised several times, most notably from the cross that evaded the defender and he hopelessly put wide, which is story of his season. His head is clearly still not in the game, as he has played in a woefully disinterested fashion all season so far. We should’ve killed that game off, and there are definite things to be looked at, but its time for everyone to take a step back. Remember the old days where we were mid-table, and stop calling for Wenger to sacked (who would replace him), criticising his tactics, demanding big money signings, and generally being moany fans. Adebayor needs to work on his shooting after his pay increase, and sort his head out. Stop being a negative influence. Arsenal will bounce back. Get behind the team.

    Final point, one thing that Wenger needs to do … stop the players from talking to the press. If what was reported was true, Fabregas, Adebayors, Gallas’ comments, they just helped fire spurs and other teams up. Please keep your mouths shut, let the manager talk to the media, and focus on playing!! We need to settle. The media is not their friend, it is destructive and manipulative, and doesn’t help the unity of our side.

  3. @ Cardinale – Ade’s comments are a little disappointing. He might be right but it probably doesn’t need to be said. I would like to see him step up this weekend and make his actions count.

  4. Ade is dead right and its about time one of them expressed how everyone in the stadium felt. More importantly it shouldn’t exclude the fact that a ridiculous set of substitutions, especially in relation to Van Persie, meant we were on the back foot.

    The team has got to a stage where its inconsistency is predictable. Fenerbache was a warning but the team take it as a message being sent out to the rest of Europe.

    All we need now is the classic quote from Arsene, “the team will respond!” Which is funny in itself because no one has a clue what they’ll respond with – perhaps we’ll give Stoke a 2 goal lead this time.

    As Ade says, titles aren’t won this way.

  5. Adebayor and his negative influence is spreading again.. I don’t see the need for the statement, yes Arsenal f-up the game in 2 minutes, but that doesn’t meant that the other 88 minutes were the work of a bad team and on those experiances we all learn.

    and 6 points at this stage of Premier is nothing. Arsenal rocks anyways and we’re gonna win the title this year, no matter what Ade says.

  6. Ofcourse Clichy will keep his place after yet another muck up that cost us the game. You would think he would have learnt a lesson after falling asleep at Birmingham last season, following which our season came apart. A fit clichy will always keep his place, who else can replace him? He is the only left footed defender we have.

  7. I think it’s time we put this match behind us. It was a freak game and while there’s no denying the mistakes we made, it won’t help if we keep dwelling on it. It is in this context that I find Ade’s comments frustrating. It means that the players are still hung-up about the game.

    The important lesson was that a game can easily change in a matter of a few seconds, and one can never be complacent about it. If you thought we were hard-done in, spare a thought for Bayern Munich who lost to Man-U in the 1999 Champs League final where the cunts scored twice in injury time to win 2-1 after Bayern had led for 85 minutes.

    Fans had started the celebrations, and Bayern Munich ribbons had been stuck to the trophy in anticipation of the victory. Some players famously broke down on the pitch.

    So if you guys think that that Tottenham draw was the worst thing that could have happened, its not true. Things have been far worse for others in the past. The important thing is not to keep the thoughts of this hanging in our heads and learn from the mistakes and move on.

  8. Nirav, mate that was a 1 goal lead against Man Utd. We lost a 2 goal lead against the bottom of the league spuds!! Spurs were out of the game until we let them back in it, man utd. always had a shout as long as it was a 1 goal lead. Completely different situation.
    I am all for moving on, it just seems that everyone at Arsenal always move on too quickly and then repeat the same mistakes again and again.

  9. Look, Ade’s statement is being sensationalised. I saw the interview, and he said “we” (the players) keep saying “we can’t afford to drop any more points” and then they do, and if that continues they can’t be champions. This is clear actually.

  10. To add to that Nirav, you would think that Clichy would have learnt something last season when he let Man City score a goal when he decided to muck about in our box or even worse when he fell asleep in Birmingham and let in the penalty, which ended up ruining our season. Now I agree not to dwell on negatives but we shouldn’t be so quick to let this reckless play be forgotten as Clichy obviously did not learn his lesson from last season. You could see the boy was caught in two minds before slipping, there was no excuse not punting the ball upfield with a couple of minutes to go and a 2 goal cushion.
    Bayern that night were fighting hard to hold on to a lead, our boys (Song) were coming on to the pitch as if they were playing a testimonial match, laughing and giving high fives to all in the red and white. Unacceptable attitude. Cannot compare the two games.

  11. @Spanishfry, no doubt one of the players of this season as well as last. However his major blunders have cost us big last season and maybe this season. We have yet to see how the team will react. Point being, somebody needs to be pushing for his position. We only have utility players who can back up his position when injured. Not good enough.

  12. Jon, Drew – I agree with both of you that it’s important not to put the game behind us without making sure that the lessons are learnt. And I know that the Bayern situation was quite different. Only reason I talked about it was to emphasize on the pain the fans must have felt, losing a European cup to 2 goals in injury time.

    I can only hope that given this result, the players, as well as the manager will not be complacent in the future and take victory for granted till the fat lady starts singing.

    I also hope that the Manager starts thinking about the fact that the team lacks authoritative leadership on the pitch. After it became 4-3, whoever was the captain should have got the boys together and made sure that they do not lose possession till the final whistle. Unfortunately ‘Capi’ Gallas lacks that leadership and seems to me that he does not command that kind of respect from players too.

    I am as frustrated (if not more) as you guys, but as fans, the best option for us is to move on and hope that the lessons are learnt.

  13. let me tell ya one thing gunners, u know what ade said is true and u can simply understand that his comment is a kind of expression abt what others feel….so i’m dead sure that unless wenger do something in the middle the diffenders and the keeper will remain vulnerable and we keep blemming them. and the boss? he is a manager but he acts like a supporter …u know we feel happy the team wins and the reverse when they lose…and wenger always says he is happy with the performance, and the team has grown to win some thing; whne they lose he told us that he is frustrated….what da hell is happenening to him……i respect him but in such kindda situation, u question what he observed from each game on and lost…because he made no change except the comments…
    c ya gooners

  14. How the hell is Eboue injured?!? He did nothing the other night and only played the last part of the game?!?! The bloke is a liability.

  15. Liverpool drew 0-0 with Stoke but if we drop points against Stoke I beleieve this will be the turning point of our season or indeed the Spuds game. Stoke is quite simply a must win game!! I pray Eduardo is back before we slump again!

  16. With Toure as the captain and Gallas out of the team, players will respond positively. With grown-ups you need players to feel that they can’t “let down” their leader more than “if I do my job he will stay off my back” kinda attitude, and that was the difference between Vieira/Gilberto, and Henry/Gallas. Toure is in the “Respect” column with Viera/Gilberto, not the “fear” column whith Henry/Gallas. Before everyone lose their heads, Henry IS a great player but not a great captain. When he was incharge, we won when he won us games and when he struggled, we did struggle. I can’t say that for Vieira, but you need players to try even harder to make their captain look good when he is struggling. You could sence that players are realy not trying to help Gallas ever since Birmingham. I hope Gallas loses the captaincy. the sooner the better, and I think he will move on next summer.

  17. I wish I could concur with the sentiment that the players won’t make the same mistake twice.

    Unfortunately, they have done exactly that on more than one occasion, even this season.

    The “lessons” are NOT getting through.

    We are paying for AW’s weakness after the Hull game, where he should have dropped the players who were so clearly disinterested for the Porto game.

    He didn’t and everyone forgot about it because they decided to come to the party for the Porto match.

    Unfortunately, the precident was set.

    There are no consequences for being disinterested in an “unimportant” game.

    Poor performances and poor attitudes are just fine apparently.

    It bit us hard on Wednesday night.

    Those little foibles came home to roost with a vengeance, and it cost us dear.

    So Gael was apparently inconsolable?

    He’s a great player, but that’s not the first time he’s lost concentration and cost us dear.

    He and the other players need to know that it simply isn’t acceptable.

    I have no problem with a side who gives everything they’ve got and lose or draw, but I cannot accept what we saw on Wednesday.

    Pure arrogance and lack of focus.

    I actually don’t care how contrite any of them are, there have to be some consequences, or we are going to see this repeated over and over again.

    I am usually what certain web-sites would normally refer to as an AKB, but I am not prepared to accept this again after the Hull debacle.

    If these incidents are going to be put down to “lessons”, then they are clearly missing the mark, because the “lessons” appear to be exceedingly short-lived.

    Attitude and consequence.

    It’s time there was a little less pity and a little more harshness being dealt out.

  18. If we dont win against stoke, we may as well kiss the title goodbye- wenger#s stubborness is going to get the better of him. our team will burn out if we dont sign XAVi (see latest transfer gossip on goal)

  19. The possession is all well and good, but one supporter wants to see some desire and attitude in the current squad.

    Eight of those players could be spiteful buggers. Capable of doing needly things that would rile oppo fans. Of the other three, one was capable of conning the ref, another a master of cynicism without getting booked for it and the nice guy is still at Arsenal.

    Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Denilson, Fabregas, Nasri, Adebayor, Van Persie.

    Too many nice guys. Lead by a psychiatric case. One is capable of extreme violence against one of his team-mates, but not opponents. Four of them have the potential steel you need to win a title. You can carry a few that don’t, but not seven. No way.

    Hull v Chelsea – I’ve read nothing about the game and seen nothing of the action. But the result tells me all I need to know. Chelsea players are paid far too much, but they are professional and will battle for a result when required. They are not prima donnas. There is no question of them being allowed to slacken just because of their superstar status. Dare I say it, but maybe they are not given the idea that they are some kind of superior beings that do not have to put in a shift to earn their corn. The lead comes from the man that picks the team.

    I hope that the penny has finally dropped for our myopic manager. Time for a change in the captaincy, and none of this diplomatic fiddlesticks by giving the armband to the goalkeeper. Fabregas is one of the few who gives a damn and a natural leader. The players respect him, and he has more maturity than the incumbent skipper. A statement needs to be made and giving Cesc the armband is a start. After that, places on form and merit rather than reputation. The manager goes on about having faith in the young squad, well let’s see more of the young ‘uns with something about them. Let’s see more of Wilshere, Ramsey and Vela to see if they are made of the right stuff.

    Armand Traore went to the Lane to watch his colleagues with the fans armed with a knuckleduster. That is the kind of mindset the players should have when representing Arsenal. Up for it and totally alert to potential danger. Heightened senses, playing out of their skins. The game lasts for 90 minutes plus injury time. It ain’t over till the final whistle even if you are playing the opposition off the park and comfortably ahead. Do not switch off.

    Forget trophies this season. 2008/09 has gone. It’s time to rebuild the spirit of the team, starting at Stoke tomorrow where this observer wants to see some personal duels well and truly won as well as the technical ability when Arsenal have the ball.

    And you know what? Five years on, of that Invincibles line-up, ten are still making a living as professional footballers. They wouldn’t have let a two goal lead against Spurs go with six minutes to play out if they’d lined up for us on Wednesday evening. And more to the point, they sometimes stank the place out with their performances, but never their attitude.

    Over to you M. Wenger…

  20. For me our problems started when we started subbing players. 2 goals up against Stoke, sub players. 2 goals up in a North London derby against a team fighting for their lives with a new manager? Don’t sub the players.

    Its not rocket science, yet Wenger always hovers his finger over the substitue self destruct button around 70 minutes.

    Walcott coming off for Eboue was an awful decision. Eboue has played well and is much improved but he still loses the ball far too easily. Walcotts not perfect and lost the ball himself a fair few times, but when he got it he forced Sp*rs back and made them forget about attacking for a few minutes. No one is scared of Eboue.

    Still, according to the papers today the squad had a massive argument – and I’m actually glad to see passion. People arguing shows they were bothered and upset and hopefully they’ll be galvanised.

    I’m going to avoid the results and sit through match of the day on saturday – try and inject some excitment back into a still young season.

    Oh and the good news, for all of the miserable naysayers, is that I think Wenger may have realised he needs to make a purchase or two in the new year and whilst I don’t believe its an absolute must it will be beneficial if he does.

  21. There’s nothing wrong in keep referring back to a past match if the points raised are relevant. Plenty of us mentioned Almunia’s poor game yesterday (which was a valid point), but most would agree he’s had a good season so far. Likewise Clichy: yes, his mistake cost us a goal on Wednesday, but there was alarge element of bad luck in what happened. However, Ade’s inability to convert simple chances and our problems at centre back are serious ongoing issues, not one-offs. These are things Wenger needs to address if we are to sustain a credible title challenge. Clichy’s not going to fall over at a critical moment every other game- the same can’t be said for Adebayor and the missed chances or Gallas’ inability to lead the team effectively in difficult times.

  22. Let’s go back to last season. Arsenal came extremely close to winning the Premier League, and who knows if the Birmingham game had turned out differently we may well have been crowned champions. The problems after the Brum game were all too evident for Arsenal fans to see. We could always score a goal, but our major problem was at the back. There cannot be many teams that have taken the lead at both Stamford Bridge (post-Abramovich) and Old Trafford in the same season. Indeed the loss against Man Utd summed up our season. We played well, took the lead, but our defensive frailties meant we left with nothing.

    No problem, as Arsene knows after all. He identified where the problems lay in the side and we all anticipated a flurry of transfers in the summer. Unfortunately for us the main transactions over the summer were departures rather than arrivals. Flamini, Hleb, Senderos (loan) all left. OK, Nasri’s arrival made up for the loss of Hleb, but where was the centre back that we needed or the defensive midfielder we desperately required? Silvestre’s signing hardly set pulses racing and you do have to worry when we sign players no longer needed by Man Utd.

    Due to this complete failure to bring in players we are, in my opinion, struggling to hold on to fourth place. It may be highly patronising to the teams involved, but if you lose to Fulham and Hull then you are simply not going to win the league. Unfortunately we are reaping what Arsene has sowed. I know he is a genius and I’ll always believe in him, but you do have to question his wisdom over the summer. He, along with all of us, knew we had a soft centre and he has done nothing to solve this issue.

    Wednesday night was the final straw for me. It highlighted the distinct lack of guts, character, and basic defensive skills of this current side. I’m not a post-Premiership glory hunter. I remember going to school and getting teased mercifully after we lost to York in 1985. I remember a time when Tottenham fans used to take the p**s out of me when I was very young. I think what is bothering me so much is that last season we came so close and with a bit of tinkering we could well have challenged this year. Instead we have to put up with our calamitous defending from set pieces and our complete lack of urgency in closing opposing players down when they are anywhere near the edge of our box.

    Look at our current squad. I know the Invincibles were a fine team, but how many of our current team would challenge for a place in that team? Certainly not Almunia, Gallas, Toure (the 2008 version), Silvestre, Denilson, Song, Adebayor. You could make a case for Sagna, Clichy, Fabregas, and at a push van Persie, but the rest would get nowhere near in my opinion. As I say, comparing teams from different years is harsh, so turn it around and if you had to pick a team from the top 4 clubs how many of our players would be picked? Maybe the full backs again and obviously Fabregas but that’s it. If you put our centre backs up against Ferdinand, Vidic, Terry, Carvalho, Carragher, Agger and Skrtel it doesn’t paint a very pretty picture. And don’t get me started on the goalkeeper situation!

    Where do we go from here? Well, for one, I’m now going to lower my expectations and just enjoy the football we play. OK I’ll have to put up with leaking silly goals, but I’ll have the joy of watching our sublime passing game. If we can pick up a cup it will be a bonus. People keep saying that we can invest in January but what is the point in splashing the cash then if we are out of the Premiership race by then? Arsene doesn’t make many mistakes and I hope I look back on this one day and realise I’ve been stupid to start doubting him. Unfortunately I’ve seen this coming from the moment the transfer window closed on September 1st. It could be worse though, I could support Tottenham and celebrate a draw like we’d won the Champions League!

  23. I personally think that arsenal must get a stronger center back, I am very disappointed in William Gallas, he does not have what it takes to be captain nor does he have the capability to defend for Arsenal. I dont realy like Senderos, but now i want him back because at least with Senderos I wouldn’t be too surprise nor disappointed if the defense concedes goals.
    I agree that Toure would be the better fit as captain, as he has is a senior in the Arsenal squad and he has the character to carry his duties as a defender and a captain well.

    Seeing the mal-performance against Spurs mid week, but seeing a young Arsenal team that comfortably won the fight against Sheff Utd in the Carling cup clash, I wonder if the younger players the drive and motivation to succeed rather than the senior players. Well I know a lot of you would disagree and condemn me of saying this but why doesn’t Wenger try to use the set of players he used in that Carling cup clash for the upcoming match against stoke.

  24. I am glad people who thought and still think that AW not buying their choices of players is what is costing us at the moment, get to vent a little bit. I still don’t see how Flamini would have stopped the spurs goals. All their goals were very speculative in nature and 2 of them would have been avoided if we had a bit of speed at the back to chase for re-bounds. I would be happy to lose Gallas who to me is a flawed piece in the jigsaw. He goes forward way too much for my liking and does not have the pace to recover sufficiently. You can say the same about Toure, but how many times have you seen Toure as the most advanced arsenal player? He goes forwad “in support” mindfull of his defensive duties, and he is faster than Gallas to boot. Gallas goes forwatd to attack absconding his defensive duties and then we have to have a non-defensive player cover for him, and if we don’t we get exposed. I like the determination of Sylvester, and With Toure as his partner, we will have a good combination of speed and determination at the back.

    Defense/defending does not win you games. It just preventing you from losing games and preserving the status quo. When you can’t seem to stop conceding a goal or two, which with the quality of the Premier league now it becomes a bonus, You go out and pulverise the opposition. That is what we don’t do at the moment. We have the best striking force in the land but we tend to let the foot of the pedal alot.

    Most of the people criticizing wednesday subs were happy about rotation and resting players just the morning of the game, but now they are crying foul. How many times have we lost a 2 goal lead in the last 5 minutes of the game?!?!?! EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, even the spurs players believed the game to be over, their 2 goals were very opportunistic and not a result of attacking us. At that moment, It is very well within reason to sub players in for game time. Contrary to what others say, we were not looking for goal 5, rather trying to kill time, which our team is not good at. That’s all. We are 6 points behind pool, but if we beat them twice, we will still have a goal advantage over them and if everyone else keeps the same pace, we will be champions. All the “we can kiss the championship goodbye” at this time is just plain RIDICULOUS.

  25. @Ardi : The Carling Cup squad has relatively fewer games to play so there is no need to fear burn-out unlike the seniors. That is why it is not wise to kill yourself to win one game and lose 3 that follow. Player management is critical for a team like Arsenal. L’pool are not rotating this season as they used to do. Wait till Dec and see if they will still be on top. Last season Man U got knocked out of Carling Cup early and did not go through CL qualifications.

  26. I think this season the fight will be between Arsenal and Chelsea (if the Gallas effect is dealt with) Liverpool will drop out and Man U will ultimately be disappointed.

  27. @ TayGoon – i really cannot see us challenging for the title. A cup for sure but not the league. AW has TOO much trust in the players we have, he NEEDS to sign but always puts his faith in the players we have. This isn’t always bad but we lack depth which is what Man U and Chelsea both have!

  28. I really doubt Stoke will be as easy as some are predicting. You have to take into consideration that Arsenal are rubbish from set pieces and cannot defend when they ball is in the air. Exctly what Stoke love to do. I still think Arsenal will win. Hopefully they can keep a clean sheet.

    As for the title, it is still possible, Man U lost 5 games last season and won while we lost 3. To have it happen we will need to go on a 8-9-10 game winnning streak without any draws. Seeing that after stoke we have Man U and Villa at home, Man City and Chelsea away, I just dont see it happening.

  29. Another thing, we are just hanging in there and the strongest team we have faced is Hull! Havent faced any of the big 4. Liverpool have faced Man U and Chelsea, and obvs Man U and Chelsea have both faced Liverpool. Chelsea and Liverpool are both ahead of us. If Man U win their game in hand then they go above us too and we still havent faced any of the big four. However I do feel we have a good chance of beating Man U!

  30. @jay-jay : We have every chance of being up there at the end. If we can beat the other Big 4 teams, we are way ahead of everyone. On our day we can’t beat the best of Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea combined. Let’s hope they find us on our day.

  31. correction;

    On our day we CAN beat the best of Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea combined. Let’s hope they find us on our day.

  32. @ TayGoon – Indeed Arsenal can beat ANYONE when we play our way and are at our best, but i havent seen a perfromace like that for a while!

  33. you cant blame clichy as it was a slip not a stupid backpass and the amount of effort the boy puts in he deserves more than ade. Also the said can be said about almunia we might not of any points again if it wasn’t for some good goal keeping in turkey. The main thing was we could of lost if lennon had been on from the start as he always does well against us and when he came on the spuds did lookbetter and imagine if berba was still there we would of been beaten and we do need some players in jan and I know during pre season I said we had the players we needed but flamster was a loss and people think he only had 1 good season with us but don’t forget we got to the cl final with him at lb. Hleb hasn’t been missed but ro sicky must come back soon as nasri and walcott are awesome we need more choice in our subs.
    Anyway we should beat stoke but they will like many other small clubs be up for it after the games like sunderland, hull, totts and fulham they still will think we are not invincible and if we don’t get some extra players in we will never be again.
    Also hull are 15-1 to beat man u so I might stick 2 bucks on that for a laugh.

  34. walcott + nasri are both talented players, and we need Rosicky back to give competition and the choice of rest because we dont want to burn our wingers out. Rosicky normally scores a lot aswel!

  35. I just want to add a couple of points pre-Stoke to get a sense of perspective:

    (1) This is the first goal that Almunia has cost us in a long, long time. He is a good goalkeeper who has been playing well and does not need to be replaced.
    (2) We are only six points off the top of the league. We also went up one spot on the league ladder after the draw with Tottenham.
    (3) Our attack is good enough without question. We are scoring goals for fun, we have options on the bench and there is no point criticising Wenger or the players in this regard.
    (4) Wenger needs to find the best centre-back pairing. We have the players and he needs to play the right combination. For me, Gallas-Djourou is probably the best.
    (5) Our team is not learning from mistakes. Birmingham last season was a learning experience. Liverpool in the Champions League was a learning experience. Hull was a learning experience. The players need to stop making the same mistakes.


  36. @ Fry – I respect you opinion of course. But you said “Almunia is a GOOD goalkeeper”.

    We need a GREATT goalkeeper o really compete in this league and Almunia is that. Until we get a great goalkeeper we will stay in that 3rd-4th spot in the league. Just my opinion.

    @ 5) – That has been my point. the team isn’t learning from these slip ups. And every time they have one all Wenger says is they will learn. Well if they keep doing it on a more then comfortable consistency, then apparently they are not learning. I think that problem needs to be addressed, with an addition of a really good, experienced midfielder.

  37. I’ve always rated almunia highly and I for 1 would love to see him in an england shirt. But we had lehman before and he cost us the cl final after 10 mins and the reason for pires to leave but the lovable german is a wc winner unlike cech and van der sar but you still call them WORLD class. Keepers are being blamed for some of these unstopable shots and not catching balls but in fairness the balls have changed and so have the boots so arsenal rejects like bently can fire in 40 yard kicks and be called skillfull but stick him on the training ground tomorow and give him 10 attempts with almunia in goal and he won’t hit the target half the time let alone get it past our keeper and luck does play a big part also as 90 mins on the field with our team we should be scoring 25 or more per game if it was just pure skill.

    And for once have to disagree with you sf on 5 as luckypool in the cl last season wasn’t a mistake it was getting robbed by a dodgy refs call in both legs as we should of had a pen in the 1st leg and that wasn’t a pen in the 2nd. still stoke wont be easy but i hope we thump them but it wont make up for the spud match. Also I can’t wait for the cc as that will be some great football to watch.

  38. Biggest problems at Arsenal

    1) Wenger’s infamous myopia
    2) Almunia
    3) The lack of natural leadership and inspiration that has been sorely absent since Wenger bombed Vieira out, one season too late and without making a suitable attempt to replace him.
    4) Wenger’s lack of discipline in his regime
    5) The taut refusal to enforce defensive solidity or improve himself as a manager tactically. A man that has been in the game as long as he has surely has to realize that taking off Van Persie and Nasri and bringing on Billabong and Diaby is suicidal.
    6) His exaggerated mollycoddling of sub-standard and mediocre players to the media when he ought to be reading them the riot act.
    7) The inability to learn from his own mistakes e.g. losing Vieira and Edu in the same season. Promising to never again err in the same manner – before going on to lose Lehmann, Gilberto, Flamini, Diarra and Hleb all within the same annum.
    8) Wenger’s incredible belief that Arsenal are somehow immune to the laws of the transfer market and do not need to go out and sign players; whereas the likes of ManYoo and Chelski are idiotic for doing so allegedly.
    9) The cheapness of our negotiation skills: thinking that going out to a club at 11.59 om on deadline day and offering them a lose-lose deal of low-value transfer fee; without giving that club time to find a suitable replacement…all in a bid to save a couple of million.
    10) The increasing arrogance of some of our fans who begin chanting ‘Oles’ after 85 minutes of matches, and of those who think that Wenger’s worst group of players are much better than they actually are. This arrogance filters through to the players and in turn manifests itself on the pitch. When you have certain fans raving about players of the mediocrity of Song, Diaby, Almunia (mediocre is generous here), Silvestre etc…when the reality is that these aforementioned players are barely good enough for Everton…

    Then is it little wonder our manager eternally insists that he feels under no pressure? Despite the fact that if (as seems likely) we fail to win the Premiership this season – then next season, we will be entering into our 5th year without winning a title.

    The abiding memory since then would have been of Patrick Vieira and Jens Lehmann single-handedly gifting us an undeserved FA Cup victory (much as I enjoyed it). Vieira showed testicles that day with the spot-kick that none of the present bunch bar Fabregas possess. Vieira also demonstrated a superb leadership that day that none of our current bunch possess. That FA Cup final was not pretty that day and we rode our luck…

    But for all these cries of ‘we play wonderful football’ who can honestly say they did not enjoy lifting that trophy that day? Man United played the superior football heads and shoulders that day. But ‘to the victors the spoils’.

    And then there was Jens Lehmann single-handedly keeping us in that match for 120 minutes. Compare that to the clowning calamity that currently keeps nets for us.

    I can feel my hernia returning once again so I am going to stop blogging for the rest of the season – as I promised a while ago. It feels as if myself, Mavis, and everyone else has been copy-pasting the same rants that seem so apparent to everyone else…but that our otherwise-intelligent and gifted manager seems so impervious to.

  39. everyone has to just accept that arsenal have been overtaken by Chelsea as London’s dominant force. Liverpool have gone a whole generation without winning the league, why does everyone expect Arsenal can win it again so soon?

    Great team, not enough at the back though – everyone always wants to attack. It’s a shame considering Steve Bould is actually at the club promoting attacking football all the time, I don’t think this is the way forward when they don’t know how to defend. I’m sure we’ll all eat our words if Arsenal keep clean sheet after clean sheet but they won’t.

  40. Starting line-up is: Almunia
    Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Clichy Denilson, Fabregas, Song, Diaby
    Adebayor, Bendtner.

    It seems add, we have Niklas and Ade upfront and so we will be strong in the air however we have no Nasri or Walcott for the crosses?

  41. why do we always go a goal behind, if we win yeah ill be happy, but chelsea and united can win this fixture 2, 3 even 4-0, we have got to do a bloody comeback against Stoke! I am not happy!

  42. Mate this is shit I cant believe how U playing WE GOT NOTHING look ill be the first to say it lets just sell FAB in the january transfer window and get as much for him as possible and start re-building for next year and see what we can do cause he is playin SHIT HOUSE U dont understand how much it hurts me sayin that but it just looks like his over it SORRY GUYS<

  43. I dont think is Fab is shit, but i do think Fab is thinking more about where he is going to play next year more then focusing on Arsenal. If this continues we will be out of the top 4, which right now is a huge possibility since Aston Villa is really playing well. Then we will not only lose Fab but risk losing Ade since he wanted to leave over the summer anyways. This team is just rubbish.

  44. Im so upset to say this, but this could be the year where we fall out of the top 4, imagine no champions league next year. An arsenal fan here, doesn’t understand why, we have talent!

  45. IM not sayin FAB is shit but HE is playin like he doesnt wanna be whit us so sell him while WE can get the most out of him its sucks sayin that cause he is MY favorite player ever but look at how he and ARSENAL are playin top 4 is OUT SORRY GUYS I know ILL GET A HAMMERIN FOR THIS.

  46. Fabregas is my favourite player aswell, he has continuely said he is happy at arsenal so maybe its just a bad day. Something has to change though. There must be transfer activity in January.

  47. Theres needed to be activity for years. We will lose this game, Wenger will say “they will learn from this”. Nothing will get done and we will continue to struggle.

  48. Well.. at least it didnt take them all season to fall apart. This year i guess they figure they’ll fall apart early so they dont give us false title hopes. It was a stupid tackle by RVP but i would hve done the same playin for this team. BRING IN MOURINHO!!


  50. @ KURUPT – I totally agree, but he is a good manager!!!! However he had loads of money at Chelsea and he wont have that at Arsenal and so I doubt he would come here. I must admit AW losing it. Why play Densilon, Song and Diaby, why not Nasri and Walcott ? ? ?

  51. Yeah I know why didnt he start whit the STRONGEST team what is he thinking NASRI is A must from the start he is too way of a class player to be on the bench man this is SO SO SO FUCKED and now THEO IS FUCKED GR8 WHAT A SEASON and its only NOVEMBER AWESOME cant wait to see what the other boyz say 2omorrow its gonna be A sad DAY SORRY WE HAD TO SEE THIS.

  52. @ Kurupt – Its called grammer. You need to do your studies and get off the internet.
    “Get fucked”? Dont use language you dont understand.

    Call him whatever you want. The man knows and understands the game that is played TODAY not in the 1990’s. Something i cannot say for Wenger who seems to be still living in the 90’s with his policy and the style of players he gets. And with his wonderful lesson of “they will learn from this”

  53. Hey mate SETTLE I wasnt having A go at U just sayin GET FUCKED at the sight at seein MOURINHO at the head of our team so yeah just havin MY 2 bobs MATE.

  54. 2-1 loss!! Adebayor and Walcott both injured, Van Persie sent off, meaning all unavailable for Man Utd, Bendter and Vela probably start, season already over, fantastic.

  55. Adebayor, Walcott and Sagna injured. Van Persie sent off. Another 3 points lost.
    Those are the major talking points after this game. However, slightly more disturbing to me is how not one player looked like they wanted to be out there. Clichy tried near the end but his dynamism during the rest of the game was gone. Fabregas lost the ball more times than Denilson has this whole season… Adebayor issued a rallying cry before the game and looked like he was thinking about buying some new hats at the mall tomorrow – cause he certainly didn’t seem to be thinking about the game.
    Where is the passion boys? Where has it gone? We had possession – but how? None of our passes went to Arsenal players. Woeful… We barely threatened Stoke’s goal and looked so shaky whenever they got the ball in our half. Sorry for the rant… But this is the first time for the season that I am truly worried. After the 4-4 against Tottenham I had merely chalked that up to a great game, a north London derby, where the result was harsh. Today we got what we deserved.
    I cannot say that my hope for our season is completely lost as of yet. I still think it is possible to win the league – call me naive, I don’t care. Champions League is always on the agenda and FA and Carling cups are still there.
    People who are calling for Fabregas to be sold are just insane. That’s just plain silly. Fabregas clearly should be Arsenal Club Captain. Gallas is not good enough for captain. Toure is droppable therefore not captain material. Almunia is a great keeper still in my opinion – but once again, not captain material. If Fabregas was made captain then I feel the passion would return. He is such a loveable guy and everyone would fight to show him how well they can play – show them how well they can fight for Arsenal. They are scared of Gallas just like they were Henry…
    Bring on Fabregas as Captain please Arsene – this will bring the passion back!

  56. Once again – sorry for the huge rant there… I’ve been thinking about Fabregas as captain for a long time and he is ready. He is as ready as he’ll ever be. He is undroppable and he is pure Arsenal. Bring it Arsene… Bring it…

  57. This is a shocking performance, result and outcome. It doesn’t come much worse than a 2-1 loss to a very average side, three injuries and a red card to an important player on the eve of one of the first ‘big match’ of the season.

    Funnily enough I wasn’t shocked or frustrated or furious with this loss. I was just out of energy. Like someone had pulled my spirit out. A very difficult and sad day to watch the Arsenal.

  58. @ grant yes IM whit U there to hand fab the captains arm band IM A big fan but just seein him play this season thats whats got me worried I really would love to see him retire whit us but can U see WHERE HAS THE PASSION GONE.

  59. A week ago we were still hoping for a reasonable title challenge. This evening we’re the fuckin laughing stock of the premiership. Let’e see if Wenger has the front to talk about “mental strength” again like he usually does. Another woeful performance. My patience is running out.

  60. Worst result, more disappointment and title hopes over in the begining of November. What a joke? Is Wenger learning from Spurs? Shocking team selection today – dropping most in-form players, RVP and Walcott.
    1 point in 2 games against shit teams, No excuses.
    Now what, Sagna, Adebhayooooooor and Walcott injured and RVP sent-off.
    I couldn’t see any positives from the game. There is no point of ranting players and manager in the blog. Enough is enough. Either Wenger change himself or just get the f***k off.

  61. I know its Stoke, but when they scored, I wasn’t surprised, I said Here we go again, If Fab is captain then the passion would return and he would love playing. Undroppable he most definitely is. If we get a trophy, its a cup!

  62. I place the blame for this loss squarely to Arsene, He gave Sunderland too much respect and we threw awat 2 point, and then he goes to Stoke and adjusting the team to “counter” them. We are supposed to go out as Arsenal and not a side that is afraid to play stoke city. Song shouldn’t have been on the field if we have both Fabregas, Denilson and 2 CHs in. If you put Song in drop either 1 MF or 1 CH. Starting Ade and Bendtner when we have Song, Denilson & Fab in the side is just plain reckless, Especially when RVP and Vela are on the bench. We need creativity upfront as much as we can lay our hand on, since we can’t defend that well. Removing creativity upfront was a loss acknowlegment by AW. Vela needs to start as a LM. We keep playing Nasri and Diaby out there who are right footed and leave natural left footed players like Vela and RVP on the bench. if we don’t start Walcot on the right, that is where Nasri should start. And let’s cut the crap and put Vela on the left. If Adebayor can recover for Man U that will be great, but if not, with the loss of RVP we are as toothless as we can be. I miss Eduardo and Rosicky

  63. We are still just 6 points adrift of the top. Thanks to Liverpool loss, but Liverpool are not my concern this season. We have to keep pace or outpace Chelsea. All the big 3 are manageable but we need to stop the crap against the bottom teams

  64. If Eduardo was to be available against Wigan, I hope he gets a start against Man U. It only takes weeks for bones to heal and usualy they heal stronger than they used to be. The only worry about Eduardo will be his mental streangth. We need speed and creativity up top and so far we seem lacking. I am getting worried about Cesc and for 2 games in a row I believe Denilson has been better than him.

  65. If Cesc is skipper, he would not put in performances like today! Vela needs more game time, the kid is pure class. Rvp, Walcott, Ade and Sagna, all KEY players unavailable. What was AW playing at, he put fantastic aerial strikers but NO width??

  66. Forgive me for gloating, but after all the dross that was posted by Woolwich Wanderers supporters after the dynamic comeback by London’s true North London side, I would like to point out that today you were playing Stoke…oh!…and we were playing the Premiership leaders, Liverpool! The respective results speak for themselves! COYS!!!!

  67. wenger needs to go im nt content with finishing 4th season after season..the only problem is that there is no one to replace and unfortunatly to my dear gooner lovers we will be there 3rd fourth good but not good enough score 4 goals concede 3 cant beat stoke wenger is a believer not a reasoner this is where we are we will never be anything.and sorry to say all the players we love cesc,ade,theo want to win if they acnt win at arsenal they will go else where..we are just a training ground for great players to win else where david bently…and now with this credit crunch..say our prayers.long live arsenal

  68. Disaster… If we dont sign anyone in January I will be shocked… Right now I am a bit worried about finishing top 4… We should focus on the champions league now as we clearly dont have the depth to win the league…

  69. just to recap look at the arsenal teams that on cups in recent past 2002 league seaman,keown,adams,cole,winterburn,viera,pires ljunberg,petit,henry,bergkamp.kanu there were no kids..2004 the invicibles lehman,cole,sol,toure,lauren,pires,ljunberg,viera gilberto henry bergkamp kanu no kids…what im saying is that u dont only need experience in defence but everywhere sorry to say it will be a long time til we win something…people keep praising how young our sqaud is but it doesnt matter coz it doesnt help.nasri is very unimpressive to relaxed cant wait for just frustrated i love this game this team and to see where we have come from to where we are season after season we get lower in the table we used to finish top or second..and now everyone is getting better pompey,villa,man city

  70. Maybe we should start with 9 players against manure because in 90 mins we looked crap and then in injury time we get a goal and fab strung more than 2 passes together and we saw vela play so I hope ade can sit out for a few matches with rvp and watch vela and behdner play as they looked good pre season together and I’ll settle for the cl this year but at this rate we would be lucky to get the cc.

  71. Here is an idea I thought of… Napoli CB Fabiano Santacroce is 22 and a monster or a player… He is a bit short though so I am thinkng he could be our solutin at DMF? He could run around all day back there and break up everything Marcos Senna style… Has some skill to him as well… Not experienced but I just saw some of him and was impressed…

  72. Nothing makes me happier than to watch a lowly team like Stoke beat the Arsenal! I was at the Spurs game and with Arsenal winning 4-2, you Arsenal fans acted without class, acting all smug and cocky that your team had won. And then one thing happened, your teams season completely fell apart and now the wheels have fallen off and the walls are crumbling!!!
    Where is the arrogance now???? How about the Arsenal ladies anyways????? Nice one Cesc!!! That really got your team to rally around you, didn’t it? Remember Cesc, you are in England now!!!
    The Premiership is a team team race, with Liverppol third and City, Villa and Arsenal battling it out for the remaining spots!
    Oh, to end this note, I just wish you all had a lovely weekend! Cheerio..

  73. I heard that Yaya Taure is coming to Arsenal in January! He will probably be the solution to the DM problem, maybe we can also get Alonso from Liverpool! Lets hope Arsene is ready to spend this time ’cause we’re gonna need some expensive players!

  74. Guys…lets get real.. wenger is a dictator..he is obsessed and thinks he is right in every decision..look at fergie hes had always had a strong and influential management team that he lsitens to.. wenger IS NOT A GREAT MANAGER.. becoz he has failed to re build a team. fergie as much as i hate him has built three maybe four.. WENGER NEEDS TO RESIGN BECOZ HE WILL NEVA BE SACKED

  75. Wenger siad. “I will not change”. The sign of a great manager is a manager that can change with the times. As much as i dont like Sir Alex Ferguson, he is the perfect example of a manager that can manage in any time period. If football went back to the times of finding youth, raising them and turning them into stars, Ferguson could reshape his squad and be excellent, if it stays in this, league of the best experienced players in the world, he will still dominate. The problem with Wenger is simple by his quote. Even in 10 years we do not win a trophy, Wenger will not change. Even if Arsenal dropped down so far, we were a consistent middle of the table team each year, Wenger would not change. That in my opinion tells me that the game has passed Wenger. He is still living in the times where we could go out and develop our youth, and week in and week out pit them against some of the most talented and experienced players and expect them to be any better then they have shown this season. The BPL has changed so much over the years. Its like the American NBA, all the best players in the world wanna play. Wenger can not play, so it’s not all his fault. But majority of the blame for 4 years of no honors has to be placed squarely on Wenger’s shoulders since the potential at Arseanl is great. If we were a middelsbrough then it would be different, we would be happy to be in this form. But we are a team that should be pushing for the title every year. We cannot continue to lose players and have this fool replace them with kids and expect to be a league contender especially when the bench is even filled with young guys also. Its not realistic. He himself said today that the lads maybe be tired. Now, if there is any chance at the start of the season you think, “maybe if this and this happens, the lads will get tired” don’t you think you would bring in reinforcements to cover that? That shows me he does not think of all the possibilities of what could happen in a season. I’ve said before and i firmly believe we will not win a major trophy again under Wenger. I hope to God he proves me wrong, but his stubbornness is our downfall. I can understand if he doesn’t wanna play a more defensive style of football we are Arsenal and we shouldn’t, and thats fine. But you cannot come in a league so strong with such a young squad and expect to win. You have to come with experience, players that when times are tough can pull together because they’ve been there before and are mentally more mature then a 21 would be. Barca went two years without a trophy, they replaced their manager. How many season will we go without a trophy before people realize that Wengers stubbornness is the cause of all these season without any honors? All we are missing is a world class GK, a CB and a midfielder, another class striker wouldn’t hurt either but is not needed critically. We could even keep Almunia if we’d get another CB and DMF that are world class. But we get.. Ramsey. In 5 years a great signing. This year it doesn’t do shit for us. Which is why i can understand our own players questioning our teams ambition at the end of each season.

    You Wengerites may support this man, but i wonder how many of you will start to question Wenger when we fall out the top 4. Its bond to happen when Villa is taking great leaps to get better and we’re stuck in the 1990’s.

    @ Fry – He use to rebuild. And we use to be 1 or 2 in the table. Over the last 4 years, we have seen our best players leave, while we replace them with players whom become good and then decide to leave when they get good. I think Cesc is another example of that, i think there is a real chance (more then its ever been) he may leave at the end of this season.

  76. Ladies and gentlemen we do not need to rebuild… We are honestly a couple of mentally strong players away from being championship contenders… Maybe some of our players will develop into that maybe we need to bring in some people… The invincibles played the same style of football but had some grit to them and won… Wenger knows what he is doing and even if we arent gonna win the league this year- a year or two and I expect we will be the team to beat…

  77. Another 100 comments. Wow. If Arsenal wasn’t going so poorly I’d be over the moon about it…

    Can’t wait to post about the Stoke game later today. I’ve got quite a bit to say about things.

  78. Another crazy idea… Bring back Viera. He is still playing great at Inter and he could be our captain for a few more years until we find someone else or someone is ready to step into his shoes… Doubt this ould happen in January but possibly next summer if Inter underachieve in the Champs league and Milan win the league…

  79. It’s interesting to see so many Gooners calling for Wenger’s head. What would be more interesting, would be to see how these very people react if (God forbid) Wenger is sacked today morning. My guess is that most of them (am leaving out the dirty spud fans from this one) would rush in his defence and call the move very premature.

    I am also terribly disappointed at the manager, but given all he has done for the club, by making us an exciting winning side from a dull, boring also-ran, he deserves the benefit of doubt. At least till the end of the season.

    I just hope that he takes corrective measures soon enough, which include, but are not limited to:

    1. Bring back Djourou at the center of defence
    2. Ensure that he doesn’t get carried away with the ‘versatality’ factor and doesn’t play people like Song, Denilson, Diaby in any position that’s empty
    3. Spend money on signings in January – Get a DM, a Central Defender and a cover for Cesc (I’ve given up on Rosicky)
    4. Ensure that people like Cesc, Walcott, etc stay at the club.

    While I am still optimistic, I think the league this year is a far cry. But I hope these corrective measures are taken fast to ensure we stand a chance in Champs League and in the next year

  80. Im totally with you on viera mo money as fab will be able to play his wandering style knowing he had some one like flamster behind him and we all know how much viera was and close to being still better than the flamster even though i always rated him many others didn’t till his final season but i’ve always been so fucked off at how he was treated by wenger and the board the summer before last and that was the reason for going.

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