Arsenal 2-3 Spurs: Wenger and Arsenal punished for failing to up the tempo

To call yesterday’s North London Derby defeat to Spurs hard to take would be an understatement of epic proportions.

Two goals up after great goals by Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh, we looked the only side likely to win the game as the teams went into the rooms at half-time. But Spurs turned the game around completely, scoring three second-half goals including a late winner by Younes Kaboul to win their second league derby in a row.

It was our third home defeat in five games, our first home North London Derby defeat in seventeen years and a incredibly difficult pill to swallow.

Defeat was hard to take for everyone

What made the turnaround so difficult to comprehend was that in the opening 45 minutes we were almost perfect. We created numerous opportunities, taking two of them and completely controlled the pace and tempo of the game. Lukasz Fabianski was called up just once early on, saving comfortably from a Gareth Bale flick as we totally outclassed Spurs.

Arsene Wenger appeared to have his tactics right — the selection of Denilson over Jack Wilshere to win the second ball from headers was inspired — and Cesc Fabregas lead the team with a fine captain’s performance. Andrey Arshavin was as energetic as he has been this season, Bacary Sagna completely nullified the threat of Bale down the left while our control of possession meant Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart’s impact was non-existent.

When I saw our boys playing keep-ball in the final ten minutes of the half, seemingly conserving energy and ensuring we went into the second-half with our two-goal advantage in tact, I was utterly convinced that we would win the game.

But somehow it all went wrong.

There is no doubting that the first two Spurs goals had an element of good fortune about them. Our defending for the first was absolutely terrible — Laurent Koscielny should never have jumped in on Jermain Defoe with such minimal cover behind him — while the second came via a daft handball by the previously perfect Fabregas. Bale and van der Vaart capitalised and by the 67th minute the game was level.

While it is easy to be disappointed with the poor concession of the goals what had me jumping out of my skin with frustration was the abject performance by the team between Bale and van der Vaart’s strikes. Instead of returning for the second half invigorated our team were just the opposite: slow, indecisive and seemingly out-of-sorts. I don’t for a second believe the team were arrogant or lacked team spirit in the second half — and I argued this point with a couple of friends after the game — but for whatever reason we were simply unable to lift the tempo of the game to re-stabilise after Spurs pulled their first goal back.

Gomes saves from Fabregas

It seemed logical to me that with our team struggling for tempo Arsene Wenger would have been smart to bring on one of the two players who has the ability to raise the speed of our game from the middle of the park. I speak of course of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, two players who bring bundles of energy every time they play and who would surely have provided us with the injection to inspire the rest of the team.

As it was the manager waited until Spurs were level again and made a bizarre change, removing the excellent Chamakh with Robin van Persie, a player with undoubted quality but who nevertheless lacks the ability to quicken the tempo of the game.

To be fair to Wenger and our boys there was a lift in our intensity and effort and it should have brought with it at least one goal. Sebastien Squillaci had his strike ruled offside, Fabregas had one effort brilliantly saved by Gomes and whacked another over the bar while Koscielny wasted the best chance of them all, heading over from six yards out with the goal at his mercy. It was his second basic headed miss in a big game this season — the first coming early on against Chelsea — and as much as I believe he is a strong player he should have done better.

It might be easy to say this in hindsight but I think the manager made an error in not maintaining Johan Djourou in the starting team against Spurs. The Swiss man has been playing well of late, culminating in a Man of the Match performance against Everton last weekend, and when you look at the concession of the first and third goals it’s easy to suggest that his height could have made a difference.

The silver lining on a terrible result was the news that Chelsea lost their second game in a row, this time away to Birmingham. The result leaves us just two points off the top of the table despite losing three of our last five home games and no matter what anyone says about us wasting the opportunity to go top of the table, it is a position I would have taken at the start of the season.

In terms of drawing conclusions from the loss to Spurs I will say only this: I felt our team spirit and attitude was right, as evidenced by a storming first-half performance, and I don’t believe that attitude dropped off in the second half. My take on the second-half was that the silly concession of the first goal sparked Tottenham into life and Wenger was culpable for failing to make the appropriate changes to swing the game back into our favour.

North London Derbies are consistently crazy games of football, where changes in energy and momentum happen quicker than the players can adjust, and yet again this proved the case. Spurs are arguably the most hot-cold team in the Premiership and when they get a sniff, like they did after the first goal, it was always going to be a difficult second-half.

A bitter blow for sure. But we will fight on.


Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-3 loss to Spurs by leaving a comment.



  1. Should Wilshire play,things would have turned out,but alas Denilson just was not up to it, as the replays showed so blatantly before the goal,not too concerned.

  2. Your analysis on the 1st goal is incomplete…after Koscielny’s error, there were 4 Arsenal players near Bale, Denilson being the closest one. None were able to prevent the strike. WHY?
    This is not the 1st time Denilson failed to provide cover when the opposition launches a counter attack.
    … Agree with you on DJ. He should have played in place of the error-prone Koscielny.
    Any thoughts on Cesc? It seems he has lost some interest ….

  3. Andy- win the title – hahahah mate you sound as deluded as the clown of a manger we got!
    we will never win the league with that fool in charge –

  4. Nothing has improved at Arsenal and we have not moved forward at all. The ONLY reason we are two points ahead is because Chelsea have lost three of the last four games and Man Utd are a shadow of their former selves. Arsenal are not a very good side at all and our defence is the poorest i have seen in my life time. We will never win anything like this and we need to rebuild our defence around english players simply because they understand the english game – i would keep clichy who could do a good job on the left wing a la gareth bale and i would keep vermaelin but the others simply have got to go – you have to wonder why we even considered buying squillaci and koscelny because they are not anywhere near good enough – koscelny is hopeless. I just think Arsenal need to look at Wenger and realise that he has taken the club as far as he can – i would like to see a new face at Arsenal and a few less foreign faces – they just have no concept or loyalty at all.

  5. @ anon / MTY – Many people were at fault for the first goal, it was poor defending all round. Koscielny’s leap caused the initial problem while Sagna’s decision to stay put – a good one, in my opinion – confused the others. As for Denilson, he was front and centre on the initial challenge (his job) and by the second phase it was pretty confusing all-round. He specifically can’t be blamed, even if as a team it was poor.

    Regarding Cesc, he’s fine. I think you’re looking for something that isn’t there: he is playing well, tackling hard and just made a stupid error on the goal.

  6. @ adanan – Football is relative, all that matters is how you perform relative to the teams around you. At the moment, we are third, two points behind the leaders and that is a good place to be.

    Your suggestions to get rid of the entire defence are completely bizarre. I’m not sure how to comment on them.

  7. Good positive analysis from a good positive man Weber.I think Theo was very poor after he came on and Arsene was right in replacing Chamakh because he ran out of energy and wasted two one on one opportunities by turning back instead of shooting.Lucky that Chelsea lost again and for the first time this season I m feeling the loss of The Verminator.When Cesc and RVP reach their usual form with Ramsey back I think we will challenge for the title for sure.Don’t lose the Faith Gooners..

  8. As usual, a very good analysis. Rather than the usual knee-jerk by most fans. Spurs were so unimpressive in the first half, that not only did the fans think the game was a foregone conclusion, but also the players. Terrible loss of focus. Spurs have good attacking options and will give all the ‘big’ teams problems this season. Dropping Djourou was a selection error, considering his recent good form, though this didn’t seem an issue in the first half, as Spurs were so impotent. As well as switching-off, a gifted penalty and our usual vulnerability at set-pieces cost-us. We played like champions in the first half and were mugged in the second.

    All of the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade need to ask themselves who (that is available) could do a better job with the current squad. I would say that a new defensive coach should be employed, but the manager has unequivocal backing from the squad he has nurtured. Arsene Wenger is the only reason Cesc Fabregas is still at the club and has acted like a gentleman. Judge the team and manager at the end of the season. Granted, we’re fortunate to be within a victory of top-spot, but we are still well in with a shout of silverware.

    PS: Andrew – well done for getting rid of the Copy&Paste post earlier.

  9. Iv simply had enough with Arsene. I pay 3k to watch my team with my son and to get humiliated like this is just not on. Arsenal teams since the 70’s have had spirit and desire. This team can play the pretty patterns but just cant cut it when the heat is on. Arsene your time is up. NO FUCKING MENTAL STRENGTH

  10. A lot of questions but two fundamental issues…(1) why is Denilson still wearing an Arsenal shirt? When Rooney scored his 100th at the Emirates he went past Denilson who was out for a stroll…yesterday Denilson was again a specator on Bale’s goal. He’s just not good enough. (2) Arshavin can’t finish a match nor can be finish in front of goal. Yes a few nice assists but he leads the team in shots but little else. Get’s lazier as each game goes on and inevitably stops tracking back. Whatever weaknesses Theo or Rosicky might have Arshavin should not continually be rewarded with starts.

  11. The problem is that up until the invincble side was broken up we always had a mix of players with the old Arsenal spirit and “Wenger players”. In fact even a lot of what you’d call the Wenger players had taken on the old Arsenal spirit from Adams, Keown, Parlour and the rest as they’d had it drilled it into them from their first day the club. Now…did somebody see the look on Fabregas and Walcott’s face when they asked them who was most likely to stand up and give a rousing speach in the dressing room?

    It seems laugble now that players used to have a full English on the day of the game, fish & chips, Mars bars and 20 pints after and of course it was not right. However we have now gone in to another extreme where we focus so much on the diet, number of hours players sleep etc that we see to haveforgot the most important thing, which is to give 110% during those 90 minutes. If a player appear not to give 100% Wenger probably have a whole book of excuses for him. I remember reading an interview with Seb Larsson where they asked him about how it was to train with the first team and come up against Sol Campbell and the lot..he said the main thing is that you always have to give 100%. The bashing you’re gonna get from Keown and Parlour if you pull out of a tackle is going to hurt more than any pain a tackle could give…..can somebody see that being the case today?

    One thing I don’t agree with though is the loyalty thing. I know it’s a nice thought and yes…these players may have been a lot less money orientated but anyone who think they spent their entire career at the club because of their love of it or the fans are fooling themelves. I don’t think Arsenal means more to Ian Wright than Cesc or Clichy. They stayed because they liked it here, always felt they had a chance of winning something, had a place in the team, a decent wage etc. If Barcelona or Real Madrid would have tried to get Ian Wright I’m pretty sure we’d left. If Dixon and Winterburn would not have been regulars or if David Seaman had been offered to double his wages at Chelsea + a much better chance of winning thropies I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have stayed out of loyalty!

  12. Couldn’t agree more about Cesc. Shouldn’t get down on a guy for not saving the teams ass, like he has done countless times before. had gomes not made a top class save he very well could have been the hero. I think the hand ball(bad call on the initial free kick) thing was a mental lapse or some sort of reaction Cesc has. Not the first time he has done such thing(liverpool last year). Perhaps he should be removed from the spot in the wall from now on. Missing the verminator has really hurt us. Would like to see him healthy and get a run of games with JD. I think he would give JD a little bit of confidence and calming feeling, allowing JD to use his excellent physical attributes. Allways read but rarely post. Wanted to give props to Andy for keeping the peices about the football and not the doom and gloomers running around with thier guillotines screaming for a noble frenchmans head. BTW, any want to weigh in on why the hell alex song is always so far up the pitch?

  13. Im sick and tired of watching the team come out for a 2nd half looking lethargic and blatantly “not up for it”!! Instead of geeing them up he must relax them and calm them down, Sperz came out with a rocket up their arses and looking like they badly wanted it, a different formation trying to get back into the game, we came out looking like we had spent 15 mins in a relaxation room!!! Surely he knew they would come out for the 1st 10 all guns blazing? surely he knew we had to keep it tight for the 1st 15 mins? Wenger sits their refusing to change anything hoping something will just happen! This is shite management along with dropping Djourou who was our best player against Wolves and Everton!! SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE! Thought i would feel better this morning but im even more frustrared!!!!!! FUCK

  14. BULLDOG FIGHTING SPIRIT! Thats what the teams of the early Wenger years had because it was left over from the George Graham era, Wenger buys technically brilliant players which combine excellently and play pretty football but when the going gets tough the mixture is missing. Of all the players we have I can say with honesty that Jack Wilshire is the only one who comes close to the old school tough nut attitude!

  15. Andrew,

    One of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog is your positive attitude. However, I do not agree with your evaluation of yesterday’s derby. I feel more concern about the attitude, desire and mental strength than your article ever mentions. For me the captain is a perfect example. It is becoming more and more obvious to me that his heart is not really with Arsenal anymore. He surely is saying the right things, plus he was/still is out of form due to injury, but there was a clear casualness about accepting the defeat yesterday that really bothered me. This starts with the captain and stretches through the whole squad. I did not have the feeling that anybody really wanted to turn the game back around – no one got loud, lead the way or was in any form inspirational to his teammates. What made the afternoon even more frustrating is that Spurs did not even really play all that well. Yet, I felt that no one in Arsenal’s side had the will to change the outcome. I see this as a major point of concern.

    I also do not like to look at our competitors and determine our state by their results. The lesson from yesterday’s defeat also implies that it is probably more realistic to look at the gap to the teams beneath us in the table, and not to those above.

    The match definitely ruined my Saturday and I hope such an aggravating experience will not come again anytime soon.

    Cheers to a better week ahead.

  16. who ever takes off the best players off the field , when they are a goal up and leaking…
    Nasiri & arshavin was taken out.. who had opportunity ti score.. while all the ladies to who came in afterwards were not even able to get to the box..
    Our salary are the second highest in the Premier league,.. which I was the CEO to get few of them from the payroll Rosicky, Van Persi and Walcott..
    If anyone dont know to defend a freekick get them out of the field.. We lost the game due to the handball and worst decisions from a scientist manager.

    Arsenal is better than a lot of expensive bench warmers.



  17. Andy,
    The Denilson comment you made about him being where he should be is a little weak mate, he could still have tracked back, yes he has a role to play in midfield but that doesnt restrict him to certain parts of the field, any good team player will cover for a teamate if there is a threat, he didnt do it against Utd, he didnt do it against Stoke in fa cup last year and he didnt do it again yesterday, fair enough Bale may have a head start and maybe like a cheetah but at least try for christsake, how many times have you seen the more advanced Fabregas sprinting, head cocked back in the air determined to try and get back after a player, he did it against the pacey Seamus Coleman only a week ago at Everton, sprinted a good 4 yards back just to exert some pressure on the shot/cross…….Denilson may not have been able to beat Bale to the ball but his mere presence could have been a distraction, but he didnt think it his responsibility or maybe he hoped Bale would kick it wide and no-one would notice his lazyness.
    Im a big Chamakh fan but I thought he was very poor yesterday and Im starting to detect a readiness to concede defeat in personal duels, yesterday he was dispossed twice and just stood still while the spurs defender stormed up the pitch, it looked terrible even though we were two up, I was very dissapointed to see that, also the incident with the west ham defender who shouldered him fair and square a coupler of weeks ago prompted a Chrsitano-Ronaldo-like pout and petulant foul, this is our new look physical frontman and although I know hes got great potential he had better get to grips with the rough and tumble stuff soon, he could start having a shot or two aswel when played clean through.
    You may be right that yesterdays result wasnt down to arrogance but all to often the foot gets taken of the gas with this group and we get punished….once that happens the impitus is with the opposition and it gets very hard for us to raise our game again, any Arsenal fan worth his salt will tell you honestly at 2-1 yesterday you just knew we were in trouble, there was no passion, no fire.
    Yes we are only 2 pts off top spot but we dont deserve to be, if Chelsea werent without Terry, Alex, Essien and Lampard they would be well out of sight, these players will be back for them soon and that will change, but our deficiencys will not… Iv been blue in the face saying for ages ‘its vital to capitalise on your rivals slip-ups’….psychologically its killer for them to lose two in a row and us go ahead of them yesterday had we done our job, but now it will have the opposite effect and probably galvanise them on their next outing knowing that they are still noit under pressure, at least not from us.
    Am just gutted with that performance yesterday, watching their players throwing their shirts into the crowd like it was a cup-final… these players know how that makes our fans feel in our own ground?Can we make the Emirates a fortress??Has it ever been?

  18. I meant Cesc sprinted a good 40 yards last week, not 4, although some would say the 4 is still more than Deni does.

  19. Yes, well done on a balanced post Andy – only one thing more disappointing than the result has been the reaction of a fair number of fans, some demanding an apology from Cesc, others suggesting the sacking of Wenger. Just all too easy. We lost a game we should have killed off thanks to a route one strike and two set pieces.

    For me the fundamental problem Wenger HAS to address is our style of play which is both our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. It’s a style of play that puts bums on seats with seemingly perpetual sell-out crowds, finances and builds a state of the art stadium and training facilities and provides the fuel for the money-making machine that is the modern Arsenal FC.

    But it is also a style of play that leads to our downfall against a wide range of opposition, not just the biggest teams and this, combined with the feeling of being financially fleeced with little end product by way of trophies is behind much of the frustration we see on the blogs and elsewhere.

    There’s no doubt in my mind Wenger has assembled an immensely talented and able squad but it is a squad genetically incapable of sitting on a lead and defending to the death. “Arsene Knows” – but knows what exactly? That attack is the best form of defence, I’d say and it is hardly the players’ fault that the squad DNA dictates that they must always go looking for the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th goal.

    It’s depressing to see so-called fans turning on our own players and very often with more than a hint of xenophobia lacing random and inconsistent attacks on individuals who are currently heroes one week and villains of the lowest order the next week.

    Until Wenger gives his teams license to defend without launching wave after wave of unnecessary and risky attacks then the permanent threat of being hit on the counter by teams of any ability will always be with us. We dropped points at Sunderland when in the dying minutes we launched a wholly superflous attack which, had we simply retained possession would have denied Sunderland the chance of the equaliser.

    I don’t believe the problem is with Wenger per se or the players but the one-dimensional strategy that his teams plays to. And only he can change this. I’m certain the players are capable of adapting their game accordingly.

    And if I could say one thing to him apart from that point, I’d also urge him to look at the blueprint for key players throughout the spine of the side and ask himself – can we truly say we have these blueprints. If we accept Peter Schmeichel is the goalkeeping blueprint, Tony Adams the Centre Half/Captain blueprint, Roy Keane/Patrick Viera the Midfield blueprint and Theirry Henry/Ian Wright the centre forward blueprint we can see at once that for all the undoubted strengths of the squad, until we can find the next generation of ‘blueprints’ then we are unlikely to dominate the league, we will merely compete in it. And at the moment, our ability to compete is being compromised by our inability to defend a lead.

    Andy, check this video, what you were talking about with winning headers and second balls only two weeks ago.look at the first goal for spurs and watch when clichy fails to win his aerial battle with defoe….look at Sagnas positioning, its shocking,there is no threat where he is standing, it doesnt occur to him that Clichy wont win the header, its a disgraceful goal to concede at this level and Denilson never even sees the possible danger after that either….terrible all round and both CBs were nowhere to be seen, we were 2-0 up did we need to send both up for the set piece in the first place?
    Also freeze it at :52 and look at our wall, in someways its indicative of everything thats missing in our team…..Nasri has his back turned, Denilson has his back turned AND his arm raised, whilst BOTH Cesc and Chamakh have their arms raised eyes closed as they grimace at the potential of getting a smack of the ball……WTF?? even If VdV shapes to shoot and just rolls the ball down the channel those guys in the wall have their backs to the game and look like mugs, its sunday league stuff. This is basic defending when your in a wall you stand strong but only Song is staring down the shot out of FIVE players, last I heard no player ever died from getting hit with a free kick,so why are these guys cowering?are we really the windy half afraid team other fans say we are, would Chelsea have a petrified wall like this one?..are we all style and no substance?Who puts their body on the line like scumbag Terry does?
    At 1:36 there is only Kaboul and Crouch in our box, we have 10 including Fabianski, spurs havent even brought up Gallas, their happy with the draw, why isnt Koscielny or Squillachi marking the threat, why is Robin Van Persie and Fabregas contesting with Kaboul whilst they take no responsibility? Shocking tactics and no-one knows their jobs because we dont do our homework on teams and have a choice of gameplan, we have one gameplan which is to impose our style of play, when that doesnt work we have no ideas, it seems everyman and his dog knows how to ruffles us yet the manager does nothing, what is the training ground for?? What would Bould/Adams/Keown/Dixon and Winterburn make of this consistant mediocre defending?
    Wenger needs to have a long look at himself, address the problems and spare us all the pictures of him flinging bottles of water on the ground like a stroppy schoolgirl when he clearly doesnt know what to do next.

  21. Spurs can have their 1st goal but we should have made IMMEDIATE changes. I believe that Wilshere would have been a stronger choice than Denilson.
    The game was won the minute Harry made Gallas captain for the day. He led by example & his team-mates followed suit.
    To watch our 2nd half performance, you wouldn’t think we were trying to gain the top spot in the league.
    Wenger made mistakes with his team selection again & we weren’t good enough.
    Time to spend some money Arsene, PLEASE.

  22. a team with four hopless frenchmen in deep defence, mediocre goalkeepers and second raters Song and Dance (denilson) in midefield is never going to win anything. we must be prepared for another barren year unless the board spends money on players and not midgets who are always second best when vying for 50-50 ball as the current squad is comprised of. the team needs steel in deep defence as well height and muscle and midfield to have any hope of ending the title draught thanks to a senile manager who seems to have lost his marbles and lov to es to buy cheap “material” from france. losing to wba, newcastle was unbearable the surrender to spurs had left me gutted.

  23. Sh*t happens and it certainly happened yesterday.
    It feels worse because of who it was agaianst and the order the goals were scored in.
    The same scoreline against WBA didn’t feel anything like as bad because of those two factors. Plus the fact that WBA deserved the win and Spurs looked, for the majority of the game, not that good.
    Some of our players looked pretty tired in the second half and you only need to look at their midweek commitments to understand why. Of that had been a Sunday or Monday game who knows what we might have achieved?
    At half time you would not have criticised anyone in a red shirt or doubted anyone’s ability to cope with even a revitalised opposition. Even in the air, defensively, we looked good although I have to admit to being concerned that Djourou wasn’t there given his excellence at Everton last week performing that very duty.
    All teams miss players in ways that sometimes they don’t expect to. A midfield with Diaby in it would have been less likely to have conceded either the second or third goals, but Spurs had players missing as well so what conclusions can you come to on that one? As Harry himself admitted Spurs got their tactics very wrong in the first half and ‘rode their luck’ to not be much further behind.
    On balance we had a bad 45 mins at the office but we’re still trying to assimilate three players who had not even played in this country until the beginning of this season – one of them having already missed three games due to quite ridiculous suspensions.
    Maybe the Premiership is ‘evening out’ – it’s certainly less predictable than it has been. The much reviled Stoke City have won three games in a row in the top flight for the first time in their history!
    But ask yourself – looking at the whole piece and taking into account the age of squads and the finances that are likely to be applicable in the future – who would you bet on to win the EPL most often in the next five years if you had to bet now?

  24. jesus lads… there is some negative negative people.. at the end of the day it was a football match and although we had it in the bag, we threw it away.. it dont mean we are a poor team or wenger should be sacked.. it was a cracking game of football and it puts the manchester teams to shame.. im still very proud to be an arsenal supporter and just want to say congrats to tottenham for a great comeback.. if there is one thing i was worried about it was the subs wenger made.. i think its time to go back to 2 up front especially at home… any thoughts???

  25. sat 20 nov 2.45pm.remember it.ipredict gunners will remain unbeaten for the rest of the season and win prem league.wengers a legend.

  26. Its pathetic seeing the manager pulling hair, throwing water bottles, and holding head in despair at his home ground when its obvious the cause of the frustration is within. Poor defending was cause of the defeat. He identified it last season, when he said you cannot win the league conceeding 30+ goals a season. And what did he do about this problem? Losses to Westbrom, Newcastle and now Spurs, all at home, is testimony to the improvement made to the defence. Last season’s home performance defence-wise would make this season’s a huge step backwards. The Spurs defeat is similar to our loss last season to Wigan, 2-0 up, then 2-3 down, all in the 2nd half. Lessons were not learned. For the Loss to Westbrom, complacency was blamed. Newcastle, we did not take our chances well enough. Now Spurs? No mental strength. Its laughable that we could manage to coin just about the right psychological term to describe our defeats, which was down to simple poor defending. Our central defenders are often targeted as weak links in our defence. Would lessons be learned from these defeats? End of season would tell. The manager is responsible for this sorry state of defence-affairs. The season is just about going into 5th gear, were 2 points off, there’s just about little time to fix this. Its either he changes tactics or changes the tacticians, either way can we expect something this season. By the way, his disapointment antics hardly inspire confidence or motivation in his players; the reverse is certainly the case, as it makes the players even more concerned and shaky. Its like telling the players: You are goin to lose cos I’m losing my cool.

  27. “Andy- win the title – hahahah mate you sound as deluded as the clown of a manger we got!
    we will never win the league with that fool in charge ” What is wrong with these “arsenal fans” ? Have they forgot that we DID win the league with arsene wenger as our coach. more than once. Take the highs and lows that come with supporting a team. Putting the blame on a single player is just like pointing fingers. There are 11 people on the pitch for a reason.
    I do believe that Koscielney should have buried that header. It was still a riveting match that was miles more entertaining than a Chelski vs Manure industrial snooze fest.

  28. I am also sensing lots of negativity here. Go take your anger to an anti arsenal blog and talk about how shit denilson is and wenger is tactically enept. Does anyway else get pure enjoyment out of watching arsenal pass the ball and move and keep possession? It is like clockwork sometimes and every pass is perfect (except when it goes to the other team)

  29. bill – why dont you shut up and get over the fact that the deludedmanager and his useless ways are past it…We wont a thing with this twat/
    I’ve been a fan of this club for 40 years, I have seen the good and the bad. Wenger has been our best ever manager without doubt, but something has gone seriously wrong with him and most people have their own opinions on why. He was never tactically good, but the way the team performed with World Class talent like Henry, Vieira, Bergkamp and Pires, it didn’t matter most of the time. But now we don’t have that talent except for maybe Cesc and we also lack motivational players like Keown, Adams, Winterburn and Toure. I so want this team to be successful but feel 5 years of making the same mistakes is too much. And yesterday was probably one of the most stomach churning results I’ve had to endure in 40 years, even worse than losing to Nayim’s halfway line goal and losing at Wrexham in 92. At least in both those games we felt they were flukes and one-offs. Yesterday wasn’t. This could all have been avoided if Arsene had done his job properly and listened to people over the years, but he hasn’t. I would so love to be proved wrong, but I really can’t see any mileage in Wenger’s reign anymore. Its a sad and horrible way for him to go, but I feel its for the best for both parties. Arsenal continue to drop points at home. There is know way Arsenal can win the league untill Wenger swallows his his pride and goes to the transfer market. Its all very well developing young talent but this has been his approach for the past 4 years and where has this got him. No-where. Wenger needs to bring in some ‘hard nose’ players who know how to perform on a consistant basis. They don’t need to be the most fashionable players but they know how to win and never take a backward step. Its about getting a balance between flair and ‘hard nose’ mentality. Because at the moment Arsenal is totally lop-sided towards flair, yet a weak mentality. One point that was again demonstrated for me yeaterday was how Nasri on his own made and got that first goal. Not one of our players thought for a moment it was worth running into the box to get on the end of anything that may have come off from Nasri’s efforts. They all decided to watch almost as spectators to see what would happen. I have seen this far too often in this team. For me its an indication of the arrogance and laziness in the team. The players are only interested in passy-passy and ball watching. Fix it Wenger – LIKE THATS GONNA HAPPEN – You can expect the usual drivel IF we win against Braga. ‘mental strength bla bla bullshit

  30. Absolutely ridiculous. There were more than a few traits which have absolutely decimated Arsenal this year. One, we dropped points at home, which is absolutely ridiculous and MUST stop. Also, as Wenger has said, we need to have focus for a full 90 minutes. I mean, come on boys, this is top-flight football, keep up the tempo! Lastly, Chelsea had a shocking loss and we didn’t capitalize, AGAIN!! This is perhaps the most ridiculous thing of all, and even with all of Chelsea’s problems, they are still a force and it will and has already torpedoed our title challenge somewhat because of our consistent failure to recognize an opportunity and take it. And what is this about Ashley Young! Jesus, Wenger, if you’re going to break the transfer record, spend it on Maicon or a veteran midfielder or Julio Cesar or something. Sorry, Inter is stuck in my head. How about Dani Alves maybe? I know all of these are completely unrealistic, and I love Wenger, but we need Cesc to stay and we need to open the wallet and some back line quality. Arsenal is a team with many issues and priority problems right now, and they must be dealt with promptly, because we are unbelievably lucky to be two points back in the table with the open Prem this season. It’s do or die time, and you must agree with some of this Andrew, right?

  31. I have mostly avoided the blogs today, figuring that the whining and pointless attempts to find ‘deep causes’ as the fans exhibit most of those character flaws they purportedly detect in the players. But I find this analysis spot on. Good to read.

  32. Not a good result. It completely ruined my weekend.
    Arsene has a bit of tweaking to do. A few things stood out for me:
    It doesn’t take Einstein to work out this team is pretty average when it comes to dead ball situations, both in attack and defence.
    I totally agree with your comment about Djourou Andy, he should have started the game.
    The new influx of French players don’t seem to understand that they’re going to be in a dogfight when they play Spurs. All the Spurs team gathered around in a group huddle before the start of the game and our guys stood looking at them.
    I think when it’s a line ball between playing a British player and an import in a derby, the spot has to go to the local. Particularly Denilson and Wilshere is a case in point.
    Anyway, lets look forward to the Champs League and forget about this.

  33. Errrr…so does Fabianski really have to wear pink…..

    Positive analysis Andrew, disagree on some stuff but I’ll only add one thing. I thought Arshavin was having an excellent game, he was making Hutton look like a fool on the right. I guess Wenger took him out to save him for Braga.

    The ball to Chamkh was perfecto, we need more of our players to attack that kind of superb pass. Straight direct attacks are what Arsenal needs sometimes.

    Good Day boys!

  34. Good post as usual Andrew.

    My own observations on the game:
    1st half was one-sided, that’s right. Nasri’s finish was superb, Chamakh’s goal was good too.
    I have to admit I even got complacent as a fan in the second half. Bale scoring that goal didn’t worry me too much at all actually, I thought if we could hold on to 1 goal lead at wolves’ home for 90minutes, we can hold on against SP*RS for 40mins at home just fine. I never thought complacency and lack of focus would happen against them. After all it’s the North London Derby!

    Fabregas’ handball? I was like WTF! This must’ve been a terrible terrible accident and I wouldn’t go scalp him for that, after all, his actual performance was pretty much anything you’d want to ask of him, what with his superb assists and distribution and shots on goal.

    The low points are: Wenger bringing in RVP for Chamakh. I mean RVP is great and all, but he’s not in form at all. I don’t believe he is the kind of player to just come on and turn things around 180 degrees. He should be in the starting line up or come in at least after halftime.

    Chamakh, for all that he’s done this season which is admirable, feels rather limited to me. His specialties are: headers, winning penalties and giving smart passes in the box. He must’ve blown at least 2 glorious chances on Saturday when he only had to run at goal and beat the keeper. Instead, he held the ball looking for somebody to pass to. That’s not how a lone central striker should act in that situation.

    Koscielny, for his error proneness and his aggressive play sometimes. He’s doesn’t have enough class it seems, and I heard over on Arsecast that this is the reason why he relies so much on tackles. But worst of all was how he blew that header! Even I could’ve headed that one in, it really was harder to miss than to score actually. Yes, he’s a defender, but ANY kind of professional football player can’t miss that kind of chance with a good excuse.

    Walcott – did he even play?

    Regarding that fighting spirit and stuff. Yes we need Wilshere to inspire that. Even Cesc isn’t really able to bring on that never-say-die attitude to the pitch the way Jack does. He should’ve come on for Denilson after the first goal was conceded to quickly amp the tempo and inspire the attack. As Wenger stated before, a Cesc-Jack midfield axis is mouthwatering. So why not do it in the important games?!

  35. Can someone please explain what (if anything) Fabregas was thinking about when he gifted that penalty to Spurs. I am ruling out a neurological disorder which causes sudden uncontrolled stretching of the limbs, and I am ruling out any connection with the huge sacks of cash placed in the back of Cesc’s car, right after Spurs equalized, by a member of a Chinese gambling syndicate. So, what explanation does anyone have?

  36. Steve-O: You write, “It doesn’t take Einstein to work out this team is pretty average when it comes to dead ball situations, both in attack and defence.” And it shouldn’t take an Einstein to work out what needs doing. Arsenal’s weakness both in creating and in defending so-called set pieces really is appalling, given how effectively they have been used by other teams. The only way to be effective vis-a-vis set pieces is to spend huge amounts of time on them in training. Wenger seems to disapprove of this, just as he eschews the use of the long ball down the middle (which was effect in the Spurs game). It really is unforgivable at this, the highest level, to be so very deficient with respect to what has become a fixture in the modern game.

    For all his success at the club, Arsène Wenger does have a few blind spots. The value of set pieces is one of these. His failure to appreciate the immense value of having a truly world-class goalkeeper is another. Maybe he considers set pieces inauthentic, and goalkeepers too negative (“Well, their only function is to stop the other team from scoring. You know my views about teams which focus too much on defence. Well, I feel the same way about goalkeepers, so I have one in the team because the rules require it, and I use whoever I have around, or can buy for the price of one of Nicky B’s cars.”)

  37. Guys, it’s not a knee-jerk reaction just because someone has the temerity to criticise our manager or players. Arsene has had more than enough time to strengthen the team where it has been needed most. He has consistently been found wanting in both player selection and tactics in the more important games. I’m not saying get rid of him, however that is partly because there are no managers out there of his class to replace him. You simply cannot expect to challenge for a title when your players only give you one half of good football. Arsenal’s habit of switching off mentally after conceding a goal seems ingrained. This weekend’s game was embarrassing. It’s all well and good to bleat on about how good we were in the first half, but the score doesn’t lie. We bottled it. Our two centre-halves looked like gormless schoolboys out there. Just one error after the other. I love the fact most of you are positive about our prospects but try and base your analysis in reality a bit more. We’ve lost three home games already this season and it’s likely we might lose a couple more. Not being able to defend a two goal lead is just criminal. Arsene needs to stop baby-sitting these kids and start getting them to behave like men. What sort of moron throws their arms up in the air when defending free kicks….and in the penalty box. Inexcusable. If I were the manager I would have given Cesc the biggest hair-dryer he’d ever seen. And he would probably be angling for a transfer soon after. In short these players need to grow a pair and start scrapping tto defend their home turf.

  38. All I keep thinking is that we could be @ number one right now…………….and how in the world does a seasoned player like Cesc put his hand out to the ball? As I said last week , our boys just don’t have that never die mentality. And please the coach is not to blame, at the sideline he can only kick water bottles.

  39. Good Article Andy.
    But You missed one important thing, that we are not scoring (enough) goals when under pressure.
    If you’ve a look at our season, this team could not come out of the pressure built by the oppponents be it NewCastle, Chelsea, and even WestBrom. The only instance was the WestHam where you did not have such a pressure since the scores were level.

    What have you gotto say about this, Andy???

    If this run continues, with the next 5or 6 fixtures we’ve got in PL, i think our title hopes will be over by Christmas.

  40. Hmmm great balanced article, but still ppl dont see that we are still just 2 pts behind the league leaders, what makes this defeat more frustrating is because we have lost to the spuds of all teams, we were 2-0 up and looked to be a smashing scoreline come end of the game, but no we lost, why is everyone picking out AW, did you see the way he threw the bottle of water, i wonder what kind of Hair dryer treatment would have been dished out at the end of the game, and i am sure it would have been worse than any of SAF, treatment. AW left speechless this was a chance where we could have been no 1 now we are no 3 which is y the defeat seems even more difficult to digest.

  41. Lets face it. Wenger has failed and he has to leave , we were beaten tactically in the second half and @ his level its shocking that he failed to read & change the game. He should be ashamed of himself for always going for less known players who can not adapt easily to the game as defenders. Our defence always lets as down, a championship winning side needs a complete team which can score and defend and thats what we lack at ARSENAL……….A new face to replace Wenger will be welcome….derek i totally agree with you!

  42. Well!well!well, what a missed opportunity! i cant imagine! why on earth did Chamakh just turn around and not shoot as is expected of a striker, i thought players are supposed to play by the whistle. Remember Nanis goal, the one said to have been controversial.
    i dont think this is a team that is going to win trophies playing like this and losing so many home games! why is it a silver lining when we are two points below Chelsea and ManU, just because they lost.
    why cant we capitalise on the mistakes that chelsea make. i am still sceptical on our potential to win silverware this eason by the way we play!

  43. Koscielny’s last 5 league games have been agaisnt West Brom, Chelsea, West Ham, Newcastle and Tottenham. And we have lost 4 of those 5 games (only winning against West Ham). I think its obvious where the problem is…

  44. @shambo, still keeping it real my man. All i have to say as i keep on saying is that your boys are picked and designed for attacking, entertaining, offensive football, when it becomes necessary to defend as a team they dont have the capacity to do the basics consistantly, other than one or two. Song needs more help in that departm’t. Not enough weight and strength in the team. Cant big men play football silky enough for Arsene?
    Its such a shame that he wont change things a little, thats all it will take to win the Prem and Champs league.

  45. For all the idiots jumping on Denilson simply because you prefer to see Wilshere play as he appeals to you bigotic views, please shut your traps. Arsenal lost one of the most painful matches we could ever lost and fans all over the world including in Brazil felt the loss. Arsenal like the Premiership doesnt belong to the English alone. Its is an international outfit. The premiership earns billions every year from international TV rights so Please Please spare us your stupid racist views.
    Back to Denilson, he wasnt half at fault for the goal as Sagna was as he was the defensive cover coming towards the ball, and like someone commented it was his hesitation to jump that confused the rest of the chasers.
    Denilson has been excellent in the matches that he played this season and he has improved a lot, Jack Wilshere is an excellent player but he wont play every match and in the past few matches he has been really poor yet nobody has said a word wrong about him. Is the same protectionist attitude of most British people, i have seen it with Rooney and i am now seeing it with Jack.
    Our team lost concentration in the Second half and gifted goals to the Spuds lets get over it and support the team without all the shananigans

  46. @kelechi, i agree with you on your point about young Jack Wilshere. He is has lots of potential to be a very good player “attacking, creative” but not defensive. There he makes many mistakes as i watched him develope through the academy. There are to many wholes in the midfield when he plays with Fab’s another gr8 player. Den is better defensively but still way off the pase due to his lack of size and strength. The problem is Wlengers making. Wrong balance in midfield when defending.

  47. Been a Gooner since 1966. At 2-0 up with Adams, Keown, Bould, Dixon, Winterburn it would have been game over no matter who we were playing. The real problem with Arsenal is that the defence is crap. When they were 2-0 up on Saturday I knew the game was not over and I agree with some of the comments above about the opposition coming out all fired up so we should keep it tight and harrass for the first 15 minutes then the opposition fans would get on their team’s back but no, a few minutes gone and Spuds get a goal back, from then on it’s inevitable. Agree that Squallaci and Kos are crap, is TV ever coming back and get rid of Denilson, he might be Brazilian but that means nothing he cannot play football. What a pity that Eduardo a player with a big heart is gone. More Wenger madness. I wonder if Wenger reads these comments, if he does get the cheque book out in January and for Gods sake buy a defence, at least 2 central defenders (top class) and a top class defensive midfielder. I agree Cesc is a worldclass player but let’s not put it all on him there are 10 other players there. Come back Ramsey and play him in midfield with Wilshere. And I believe Wenger has had his day, move him upstairs and get the likes of the Barcelona manager – he’s an Arsenal fan after all.

  48. The Youtube replays that Shambo gave us a link to are quite telling. Denilson, who I seem to be one of the few fans of, was shocking for the first goal. Van der Vart RAN past him. Older, shorter and fatter and he left him for dead. Then watch the defensive wall on the Fabregas handball. Not just Fabregas, Chamack also puts his arm up and Denilson (again!) is not only putting his arm up he’s cringing and turning away. This is the defensive wall we have for a free kick! It’s shocking. What must it be like for the goalkeeper when he’s got this bunch of nancy’s supposedly blocking a shot??

    My favourite analogy out of the many I’ve read in the press this week was that Arsenal are like a James Bond villain. They have Bond at their mercy but instead of killing him tell him all their plans and give him a chance to escape. We could have crushed Spuds in that match whatever their 2nd half ‘tactical masterswitch’ was. But yet again we blew it.

  49. Atleast some one realises our problems. Chamak is the first culprit. He scored only 8 goals for Bordaue as his highest before he came to aresnal. He is in a team which creates chances one after the other and he only has 6 premiership goals.He scores by headers and at arsenal we play ground football. This means his conversion rate is only limited to headers . This is the kind of prolific striker Wengers opts for because he came for free.I must say i was disgusted bychamak passing the ball instead of shooting. Failing to advance at the keeper because he was under no pressure to pass the ball. He surely doesnt have the attributes of striker we need at the emirates. He cant just shoot. Had we scored more goals we couldnt have lost that game. I would rather go with a half fit Bendtner who tries to shoot than Chamak who waits for headers.He must be benched and we return to our usual two pronged approach of Persie and Bendtner. He was brought to suppliment the attack and not to be a starter. His conversion rate is so low or else he needs to be supplimented withanother striker. We have a striker in Walcott. We could have brought him in the second half and caught the Spuds on counter attacks but alas the manager knows better. Hopeless. No trophy again.

  50. I think wenger should start believing in johan jorouh because there some situations where you have to bring in jorouh like in last weeks game . though he makes some mistakes to me he we would not have conceded such goals like Bale’s goal.

  51. Have been 5000 miles away for two weeks so have seen no games, just the goals and am still seething after the Spurs result. Arseblog is a balanced blog, more pro than anti- Wenger and its Sunday’s edition was spot on. It blamed Wenger for the Spurs fiasco, not the players. Whatever he said at half- time (or didn’t more likely), the players thought the match was won. It’s pointless blaming individual players, even though the defence was,as usual, panicking whenever anyone ran at them and there was negligible protection from Denilson with Song thinking he’s the new goalscoring hero. Not respecting the opposition, complacency, carelessness, lacking focus and commitment, if these cannot be sorted out, what hope is there? I still remember two years ago when subs Song and Diaby came strolling onto the pitch all smiles and high- fives and we threw away two goals in injury time to Spurs in the 4-4 disgrace. That hurt really badly, as did the reuslt when I heard it.To have witnessed the match should have been sickening yet a few are saying “it’s only another defeat and Chelsea lost/ we’ll win tonight and it’ll be forgotten/ Spurs are no longer pushovers etc “. Wrong! We might well string some results together, but it seems there’s another disaster waiting to happen any time and as Wenger cannot fathom how to stop this ( “I don’t know why we lost”) after years of similar occurrences, who at the club will sort this continuing mess out?

  52. Very good analysis. Hard to not react to such a devastating defeat but some people need to grow up and support and believe in their team through bad and good performances, and im honestly shocked by the poor loyalty shown here. If you have that many problems don’t support them and don’t only claim it when they win.

  53. Are Tony Adams and Martin Keown still available. I’m only half-joking, they would at least have put some steel into the defending not like these panickers we have now. And Chamakh thinks he can only head a ball, what happened to shooting from 18 yards, you never know it might go in. I believe that Wenger and the Board have one priority, making sure the new stadium is paid for and that they do not get into debt. I’ve said it before, get two top class defenders and a top class defensive midfielder and then we will go places because don’t forget, this team does score goals, the problem is that Arsenal need to be 3-0 up to be sure of getting a point these days. I have always been a supporter of AW but I feel like some other contributers do that he has gone as far as he can with this team. He has built two premiership winning teams but this one will win nothing. Where is the heart the never say die attitude, the sort that I used to watch in McLintock, Storey, Graham, McNab etc etc (yes I know it’s a long time ago) but that is the sort of attitude we need now (not the likes of Denilson and company parading around with their gloves on). Would’nt it be great to also get rid of the Board when we are at it. I know I am whinging on but there is some hope, we might even qualify in Europe (in second place of course). Any chance of getting Eduardo back, I’d pay anything for him!!

  54. wow, what a mixture of comments……..

    I was gutted too with Chamakh’s behaviour in these two mentioned situations in front of goal, I couldn’t believe how he nearly stopped going forward, I was speechless and just thought you can’t afford to throw away such chances, it’s disgraceful to the superbe passes before, as if he would be afraid to miss the shoot and make a fool of himself, but that’s a no go, you have to take the chance or you will be punished, and they were ……. 😎

  55. @nonny/icehammer
    All three goals wreaked of disorganisaton and tactical ineptness, stuff Im sure is neglected on the training ground like def positioning and second balls, the construction of the wall and who goes where but I have to say the one that really infuriated me, and I mean pissed me right off, was the third goal where we had 10 players in our box, walcott was the only one not defending, and Spurs only had Kaboul on the pen spot and Crouch at the back post. Sagna was marking Crouch, thats the first mistake, and RvP was marking Kaboul……..the 15M pound pairing of Koscielny and Squillachi (sigh) marked…..NOBODY, this only two games since they both marked nobody for the Andy Carroll goal where Chamakh was left with the responsibility, I mean thats just pure stupidity and carelessness, how does a team with 2 vs 10 manage to convert?????? Only against Arsenal.
    The Braga game is on 40 mins now and its pure disjointed, directionless stuff. Half the players responsible for that crap on saturday arent playing, Nasri and Chamakh ,two of those, are having the craic laughin and joKing on the bench pre KO. Bendtner has been bigging himself up for ages now about being a ‘World Class’ centre forward, well he’l never know unless he tries it, the clown has spent more time in our half and at the corner flags than he has in the box, when gibbs and walcott get space and cross you cant even spot him, BRAINLESS stuff.
    Theres no gameplan on display here, were depending on a Fabregas moment of class while Gibbs, Wilshere and Rosicky work hard for the team, the rest are making up the numbers, simple as. Wheres the character for the fans that travelled after that muck on saturday, wheres the response? Past its sell by date be 6 years, thats where it is.
    Too many bluffers.

  56. Fuck DENILSON………
    Like FUCK DENILSON………….
    Why does Wenger play this guy when he cant even chase anyone?
    Were about loosing top spot in the Champs league for goodness sake

  57. Squillachi and Djourou centre halves? Denilson a DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER? its time to kop on now at this stage.
    Their keeper has hypothermea….whats the point in having all the ball and possession if you have no penetration or conviction, whilst one long ball over the top gets you beat by a bunch of hackers.
    Wenger has lost the plot theres no disputing that anymore, he really has no idea how to change things……and please all wenger lovers dont come on here screaming about the Vela pen, you have to be able to do the basics right before you can merit a win and Braga deserve their win, we had all the ball and their keeper had not one save to make, they carved out one chance, scored and it was enough, how often does that happen, eh?
    Its PATHETIC, bunch of overpaid bluffers and the manager has become the biggest bluffer of all.

  58. @shambogunner

    this is not to excuse our goddamn lack of defensive ability, but I’m sorry, Braga deserved nothing. They spent the entire match kicking and cheating and getting the benefit of what I can only think was a corrupt referee. And no, I’m not talking just about the penalty.
    But if Arsenal were supposed to send out a message today in the aftermath of the loss to spurs this was definitely not it. We can’t defend the simplest of long balls and this has been the norm for the best part of 2 years now. It really must stop. Get Martin Keown or Lee Dixon or someone in. Overrule Wenger in this regard if he’s against it. Our defense is a joke. Not the players. Personnel wise I think we’re ok. But there really seems to be no organization. Dammit. I hate the bastards, and yet I know I’ll be back for more.

  59. Just finished watching Braga. I’m stunned. Without question, the team is in crisis. Bendtner had the nerve to basically demand to be played. He gets his chance and he stinks up the joint. Fabregas needs to be put on ice for a few weeks. Just slot in Nasri in that position. I won’t make any claims about his feelings towards the club, but he is not fit yet, and it’s hurting the squad. Also, until Theo becomes a better dribbler, I think that he should come off of the bench. It seems that teams have figured out how to neutralize his speed, and his inadequate dribbling skills don’t make him much of a threat on the wings. I saw more deft dribbling today from Gibbs than I have ever seen from Walcott. The team seemed to play much better with the introduction of Nasri and Vela. The Denilson/Bendtner experiment has to end, NOW.

  60. Now thats a striker who knows how to stick the ball into the net.
    Two crazy shots and we’re gone….This is utterly sick.
    Wenger is clearly lacking tactics with his team and even with the subs and all that……WTF….We were still good enough for a win.
    Denilson’s lack of speed let us down again. Where are our DMs? Why do we often get countered and scored away? Why do we usually show a lack of respect for home teams? Why did Wenger start FABs? What is wrong with this team?

  61. its getting worse. is there anything that is practiced by this team @ the training ground other than keeping the ball? different personnel at the back but the same shit. i know some ppl will point to the absence of Vermaelen, but lets face it even when he was around last year we shipped in a lot of goals. now i’m convinced that wenger is the problem.

  62. Shard,
    Wengers on now blaming the officials, mate you cant take the high ground and blame their tactics….first of all they worked, secondly their against a club with superior CL experience, superior individual players and coaches, aswel as superior facilities in every sense. We beat these 6 at our place and couldnt work their keeper tonight, I said Squillachis a liability, hes cat, Denilsons been a joker since day one….he was lazy and couldnt sense the danger again tonight for their first and even after their guy broke away he was strollin back with Squillachi and Djourou at least trying, then he plays the man instead of the ball for their second, hes an absolute clown.
    What really leaves a sour taste is Wengers repeated disregard for the fans intelligence and their loyalty, how many fans travelled thre tonight after that shit saturday, he cant even come on and be straight, even if he just said ‘we have major work to do’ but know he spouts this tripe of getting kicked and poor officiating, do you want a red carpet laid out to an empty net Wenger.
    Fucking sick of it…..2nd highest wage payers in the Premier League….justify that Wenger.

  63. Denilson is utter crap. No speed at all. FACT. But he’ll continue to play. FACT.
    Defensive works are not part of our training scheme. FACT.
    Wenger may be good at spotting & nurturing talent but he can’t read games. Not a tactician at all. FACT.

  64. But we WERE kicked all over. If you want straight talk that is it too. We were kicked and we were booked even when we got tackles right. throw ins were not given in our favour, they got free kicks from dives. None of that is an excuse. It’s a fact. We still should have been good enough to win and we didn’t. I’m not denying that we need to work and neither is Wenger. It’s never really been his style to criticise the team in the press and largely i believe that is right. I hate the way we defend and yes, the lack of desire that someone like Denilson shows when chasing back. It’s a habit I believe should have been kicked out of him before. But to argue that Wenger should be sacked is just illogical and stupid in my opinion. However, the team and Wenger himself owes the fans some proper performances throughout the rest of the season.

  65. Sacking AW right away isn’t the answer but for heavens sake get him someone better to assist him tactically …….it is quite obvious that his coaching staff (himself included) are tactically inept. THIS IS FACT.

  66. @MTY

    I don’t think its a FACT per se, but yes he could certainly do with someone on the team who’s more defensive minded in his tactical thinking. And most definitely with someone as a defensive coach like we had Keown a few years ago.

  67. @Shard

    I don’t see much of a problem in the attacking side of Wenger’s game plan; so, as u put it, he badly needs someone who can work on our defense which is regressing into a shambolic state with every passing game. I mean the spoiling at the back has to stop soon, NOW.
    Unless some miracle happens, it’s quite evident that even with an injury free squad, we still don’t have what it takes to win the PL or CL. Certainly there are critical moments in every game when the team collectively switches off, often leading to an opposition goal. That’s very worrying.
    And the thing is, whenever we play a decent side, you know it is bound to happen. So standing on today, I don’t see us winning any silverware this term bar the Milk cup.

  68. MTY

    I wouldn’t put much hope in us winning even that. Not because I don’t think we’re good enough. I actually think we are good enough to win the league this year. Our squad is stronger than Chelsea’s or Man U’s in my opinion. It’s just this intensely frustrating habit of throwing things away. All the hard work and progress made is turned to nought because we can’t seem to pull ourselves to the finish line.
    Actually I don’t think we should even be talking about winning anything. It has to be a match to match basis. We’ve had quite a few false dawns recently.

  69. Some of you guys can talk all you want but the fact is the problems at arsenal fall squarly on the shoulder of wenger. So don’t blame any player wenger bought them all The biggest joke is chamaka 8 goals in a pub league in france, am now seeing why wenger wanted to wait He is not what we need
    Wenger is like a 10 dollar store buying cheap, the goods will only be good 25% of the time the rest of the time your screwed.

    Well I’v learned one thing since wenger has been in charge
    never give one man so much power because he tends to forget why you hired him in the first place
    I remember at the world cup cesc said wenger doesn’t study the opponent and on this same blog i was cursed for saying so by wenger’s faithfulls.
    BUT the evidence is plain to see from westbrom, new castle (who mind you has not won a single match since they beat us) and spurs
    wenger was and will never be a tactision full stop how can a manger not study his opponent in modern football when they study you it is absolutely crazy.
    Please wenger take up a position upstairs and leave the football to someone more tactically incline who wants to win, your methods HAVE NOT WORKED FOR FIVE YEARS NOW
    be a youth scout .

    BUT as wenger says judge me at the end of the season we will see
    By the way let me ask a question they say arsenal is run as a business model SO since that is so if you have an executive in a company and after five years he/she has not performed would you replace them.
    You all know the answer SO arsenal are encouraging double standards how sweet
    Wenger your the luckiest man alive
    In GOD i trust.

  70. 40 years a Gooner and worst two consecutive defeats ever. Loyalty severely challenged by the constant side to side possession with no threats. 64% control and no real chances. A little better with Chamakh in the 9 slot after Bendtner wasted trying to be a wing. Maybe if we lose to Partizan, we can win Europa Cup!? Oops, forgot about Manshitty!

  71. I’m not going to have a moan – I’ll let everyone else do that. Thankfully I missed the match. What I truly don’t understand though is how we can beat a team 6-0 and then lose to them 2-0 just a couple of months later? Honestly. How do you explain that?
    After the spuds catastrophe a lot of people said ‘why did he drop Djorou and play Koscielny? Koscielny’s rubbish’ etc. So we play Djorou and still lose. Whats the diff? People said we should have played Wilshire. We did. Still lost. However, when your’re down and in a pickle – panicking is not the answer. We must remain calm. Stick to our guns.

  72. S*&t what happened? Didn’t catch the game but oh well. Maybe what we need is to win the Europa cup then next season try the champions league.

    Baby steps as they say, one step at a time. No point whining about Wenger, he’s here for another three years. Balance of the team is still not right but that is Wenger’s problem, I’m only here to support.

  73. @Laninja – Balance of the team is very right….and u really missed a lot not seeing the game. Question is must we play a rigid 4-3-3 always?
    Can’t we ever swap wingers or do some 4-4-2, 2-5-3 etc?
    Why cant we defend and catch teams on the break instead(like Chelsea did to us)?
    Must we always play so high up? Why cant we respect the home teams atleast?
    Why does Wenger instruct the DMs to go so high up? Mikel never plays high up for Chelsea, but guess what? His positioning will never let him leave someone to run away on the counter…free on goal, its just absolutely ridiculous…

    We’re just like baby kindagartens that never remember anything taught the previous day.
    Imagine the number of fit players we have in the team. Our coach just wants to please certain players, I dont think he really cares about results. He waited till Almunia disappointed completely…..Now, is Diaby really having a long rest(like the one he gave to Rosicky before)? Why did Wilshere not play against Spurs? Why is Denilson a regular starter now? What are the merits of that over Wilshere starting? Now Wilshere is the one bombing forward at will…..Why must our defensive midfielders be bombing forward when the full backs are also bombing forward? Are DMs not meant for covering? Today, its clear Denilson was told to cover, but he is not fast enough, no acceleration for goodness sakes……
    Why is Walcott not played in the middle when we could utilize his speed there better?…..Cos Chamakh MUST be pleased.
    I really hate to criticize players, but there are some abilities that need serious training to acquire… like the fucking SPEED(Bale used SPEED and so did the strikers today)….Now what about the finishing today? Is that striker not far better than Chamakh? Even Bentner’s no better, but atleast he shoots(SEGA). How do u score a goal when you do not shoot? I mean loosing games like this over and over is really sick….

  74. Wenger is the problem .Ever since Henry left, we have never replaced him. Chamak is an absolute shocker and a gambler. There are cheap fast and pacy strikers all over the world. But Wengers mastery is limited to gamblers like Chamak and Bendtner.The Braga striker seems to be paid peanuts compared to these two fools pretending to be arsenal strikers who are cashed in weekly for mediocrity. Blame Wenger for his buys. Besides tactically, the high line we play will expose even the best defences in the world to counter attacks. Isn’t this utter stupidity that Wenger always assumes his team is the best in attcking plays that he never ever thinks about relying on counter attacks to beat your opponent. The team is so predictable that all opponents know what to do apart from Wenger himself.Arsenal reached the Champions league final in 2006 with a very weak side but with superior counter attacking urgency like any under dog plays. Wenger simply doesnt know what to do as we fans are seeing what is glaringly obvious to any observer.Before we blame the defense, first question the tactics of high line the team plays on. Its the only reason we concede goals cause the defenders are exposed by one through ball.We have beaten superior teams in the past by playing like under dogs. Why change the winning style for a stupid entertaining game.Apart from an unreliable Persie, Wenger doesnt have a striker at Emirates. We are likely to fight for a top four finish unless something is done in Jan. So disgusted with mediocrity.

  75. In recent weeks Arsenal have left me more gutted than a Tuna fish fresh from the Atlantic Ocean.

    In fact, the way things are going we might even be watching Arsenal on a Thursday night in the Europa League!

    Arsene Wenger really needs to kick this lot up the arse. And quick. No more excuses, just be brutal.

    The Premiership is there for the taking and yet we seem to be bottling it. This could be the easiest title that Wenger has ever won for Arsenal.

    We should have qualified from the Champions League group stage already. Instead we are left sweating it out in the last game.

    Just what is going on?

    I used to laugh at teams having a serious go at winning the Carling Cup. I called it a joke.

    Now I realise by disregarding it, and in some ways the FA Cup, Wenger has just bred complacency throughout the club.

    That winning mentality has left the club.

    “The Invincibles” would have smashed this seasons Premiership title by a record number of points.

    In fact, “The Invincibles” would have gone TWO seasons unbeaten.

    I’m telling you now, the state the Premiership is in now that side would crushed any fucker in the way.

    It’s not that the other teams in the division have improved rapidly, its that the so-called top-four have deteriorated and gone down in standards.

    If any team put a run together then the title is theirs. That’s what frustrates me.

    We lack winners and that’s why I worry so much. Cesc Fabregas looks like a beaten man. He is a World Cup and European Champion. He wants to win.

    He looks round at this side and how many are winners?

    His team-mates are bottling it. But they are not completely to blame.

    Arsene Wenger needs to shoulder some blame too. He built this side but it has been built on complacency. As long as they play pretty football its ok. Winning isn’t everything.

    That’s what most of this squad believes, with a couple of exceptions.

    We need to change something. Maybe its the back-room staff that needs a shake-up? It’s obvious Wenger needs to buy players who have won things.

    What ever it is, something needs to be done or we will be kicking ourselves come May that we haven’t won the easiest title we ever could.

  76. @GLONDON how i so much agree with u that is the year where arsenal shld already be wining the title, 3 home defeats out of which only 1 is acceptable the game against WBA, where we were outplayed, the other 2 no reasons 6 pts missed, 2 pts at sunderland missed, after the miss penalty WTF i mean, it wont be long before chelsea have lampard, essien terry back, it wont be long before rooney starts firing for utd, then what??

    AW either doesnt want to conc on the CL, and only on the prem i dont know, he bought this upon himself we shld have qualified when we played against Shakthar itself and then given the first team players rest,but now we are left with our last game in which we have to win, and if we do win it all looks like we will end up 2nd in the group not 1st, and considering our home form this season who knows, even partizian which has not won even 1 game can pull of an upset, and shaktar may just do Braga a favour. AW has taken a big gamble in the last two CL games and it hasnt payed off, i dont understand y dint samir nasri play that game being arsenals best player thus far this season, chamakh well bendtner had his chance and he flopped, when will RVP ever get match fit if he doesnt play him?? He could bring him on against spurs for 30 mins, then this was the perfect game where he could have started if he wanted to rest Chamakh, we need Sagna Eboue just not good enough, and i really dont know abt dennilson some games he is good but now starting to drop off, Walcott when he scored the hatrick itself i knew thats the no of goals he is gonna score for the rest of the season, and aint i so right..

  77. we want trophy…for how long we must wait.?? plzz buy an international player..spend money plzz…buy kaka or bring back henry.. we dont want a bullshit free trnsfer and all tht.. we want trophy.. fans is priority and its how club gain profit.. bring some international player.. every season u bring young player in the long we must waiiitt….????

  78. can’t blame the players this time, I wondered why others can counter attack and Arsenal don’t, if Arsenal lose the ball the counter is dangerous, if the opponent lose the ball, there is no counter possible, it must have something to do that Arsenal’s denfence plays too high as some people mentioned here and the opponents are playing more deeper, more defensively more cautiously, that in general
    and then the referees, yesterday that was an eclatant biased referee, I really think it is by purpose, disgusting, so I can’t blame the players, because it’s injustice and disgusting,
    it has something to do with mobbing, with jealousy, with unsatisfied people, with NAZI, just look at the advertising all around, what are you supporting Dortmund????? on all web-pages,
    does mobbing make such fun?? injustice is so funny for you???
    I despise you, and you will know who I mean
    Dortmund’s team is leading with 13 points or so, so surprisingly, and your team is treated badly, this shall be by accident? it is corrupting and mobbing

    but that’s life, you know, people are just like that, and you have to live with it , you can’t change it, at least you could commit suicide, than you have justice…………. maybe that’s the reason why the most religions are praising the death in such a way, human beings are disgusting, that’s all, live with it or die

  79. Let’s get the hard luck story out of the way first. Yes we should have had a penalty when Carlos Vela was taken out late on. Yes that would probably have seen us win 1-0 in Braga and qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. But neither of those things happened. We got mugged 2-0 and it was no real shock to any of us.

    Arsenal spent most of the match doing very little. Not much creativity, not many chances. We have heard a lot this week about how wonderful Nicklas Bendtner is: well he looked pretty damn ordinary to me tonight. Did our players realise when the match had started? I am not sure we were even as much as going through the motions. We did our usual thing of wasting 80 minutes hanging around and then 10 minutes of doing our nut to rescue a result.

    Are we collectively so poor that we had to risk Cesc Fabregas from the start, even though it has been clear that his hamstrings are like elastic bands right now? What was the point of risking him? Yet again, we are asking Fabregas to run himself into the ground, because he is practically the only player who might be able to drag us towards a victory. He ran after a wide pass against Spurs and I shouted “don’t run! Your hamstrings can’t take it!” He got away with it then, not tonight. So now he’ll miss the vital home match with Partizan Belgrade and most likely the trip to Old Trafford on December 13. That’s what you call great management.

    I take no great pleasure from this but I did see problems coming in our Champions League group after Eduardo scored to beat us in Donetsk. I pointed out how the group was far closer than people may have realised and that we could yet have a serious problem. Sadly that is where are now at. It is inexcusable and practically unfathomable that we can go from beating Braga 6-0 at home in September to losing 2-0 away to them two months later.

    Some observers have said, claimed, pleaded, practically foamed at the mouth that Arsene Wenger has had his time at the club now. I would feel terrible to say that and I don’t really agree with it but you cannot escape that there could be an outcome if we fail to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage. I am rock solid sure that the club will continue to back Arsene. If Wenger says the day after Wednesday is Tuesday the board would back him. You just wonder though what the board makes of the now quite open supporter derision. That could surely begin to affect their judgement. If Ivan Gazidis is as on the ball as he thinks he is he’ll be noting the growing disharmony among supporters.

    The fine lines of football struck us tonight, as we could have won 1-0 with the penalty, but we cannot escape that the team seems to have very little organisation. Like England in their entire performance, Arsenal just seem to be drifting lost and bereft, hoping for cameos from the likes of Fabregas and Samir Nasri to save them. It’s pretty desperate stuff.

    Still, if we win at Villa on Saturday we go top of the Premier League.

  80. @billi – what magic beans you been taking? A dialogue between a father and his young son ensues…the child wants to eat foods laced with sugar, stay awake until late evening and watch violent films. At a tender age, he does not realise the dangers and lasting negative effects on his future development. The father, who is wise to the world and the requirements for successful growth of his child, has the knowledge to guide and make decision. Matters related to spirituality are seldom as lucid, and when detachment from the objects that are the source of profound happiness, albeit temporary, is the benchmark for one’s progression, only one who is the true authority on this matter is able to advise and inspire others to relinquish such desires…
    The most elegant of homes in the world cannot provide one with the satisfaction of its opulent of luxury if one is suffering from acute physical pain. No matter how vast the property, or the aesthetic wonder, irrespective of the lavish gardens or the grand interiors, one who experiences intolerable suffering is unable to enjoy even a small fraction of its grandeur. Material possessions similarly fail to provide the lasting, permanent and real happiness that is found at the feet of the Satpurush…

  81. Well the only thing i can hope is wenger gets the hair dryer out again, should have def happened after the spurs match and now it should be out once again, these people need to have some spirit in them which is lacking, some desire , someone needs to keep taking shouting all the time on the field, we need a captain, whose more vocal and tough, get TV5 back

  82. What no snot nose kids coming on here to tell the real fans to calm down? It seems the apologists who normally have a lot to say, but never about football don’t want to come on here and defend the bumbling buffoon they worship. What no geriatric Benjamin Button type Canadian moose boring us to death with nonsensical statistics which don’t actually tell us anything. I don’t need to know how many times Rosicky lost the ball, I don’t need to know how slowly Denilson tracks back, I don’t need to know how many times an Arsenal player passed the ball sideways. I watch the games and I don’t need anyone else telling me what happened, I can see what the problems are myself. And the problems are Wenger, Wenger, and Wenger. The man is tactically inept, he can’t motivate anyone, he refuses to improve the side by entering the transfer market, he refuses to stop buying second rate French rubbish, he refuses to accept any responsibility for anything, it’s always someone else’s fault never his. It’s high time the paying fans refused to accept his stubbornness. Get on the phone, e-mail, write letters, give him pelters whenever he stands up. We have to make this egomaniac realise we are fed up with his Vanity Project. The PL is there for the taking, someone will take it but it wont be Arsenal with Wenger in charge.

  83. Couldn’t agree more with James. Wenger buys French rubbish, Squillaci and Koscielny, gets a Moroccan on a free, has blind loyalty to players such as Bendtner. When did he seriously go into the transfer market, remember Reyes, oh yes I remember Reyes. Its time for Wenger to go and let some other manager start rebuilding the team, because remember we are not just talking about this season, the lack of investment has been going on for years. Of course we must remember that the Board and Wenger are only interested in getting bums on seats and paying off the new stadium. But think of this, he’s happy when getting 60,000 for every home game but what happens when he’s getting maybe 30,000. It’s happened to other teams. What would have happened to those players last night if Ferguson or Mourinho had been in charge. I wouldn’t like to have been in their shoes. But of course with Wenger, its don’t worry about it there’s always the next match.

    By the way if Denilson had pockets in his shorts he could then stand about and not get his hands cold!!!!!

  84. Funny how the Neanderthals are voicing an opinion. Reading what you say is correct the reason those Spud idiots are riding so high is because the big boys are not playing so well.

    Still mate like you I know that when the fat lady starts chirping they will all dissapear into their caves again.

    If they do have any decent players they will be sold off to the Mancs by next season you wait and see.

    What I really don’t get is how they spend time on a Gooner website, no way in the fucking world would I look into what they write. I mean one of them writes in fucking Klingon.

    They will always be jealous of us and thats a FACT.

    It took them 17 years to get a win at our place and all of a sudden they think they are a big Club.

    What a fucking screaqm them jokers are.

    With or without our so called hopeless Manager we will be in there at the seasons end.

  85. Relax all.

    Here’s a thought… This is the BEST result we could’ve hoped for!!! Now Braga HAVE to beat Shakhtar. And will go all out to do so. And if they do and we beat Patizan – which we will! – we are group winners!!! Ever thought about that?

    We’ve had zero luck with refs this season. 4 ridiculous sending offs, the penalty tonight, the free-kick v the Spuds for the pen, the 6mins at Sunderland…

    We just gotta hang in there. Top by January – then catch us if you can.

    The Wenger haters can fuck off.
    As can Clichy – Gibbs proved again tonight he’s 10times the player.

  86. Please please please fellow Gooners do not embarrass ourselves in front of fans of other clubs….third in the Premier League, two points behind the leaders, Champions League progress still in our hands and in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup…this is not a crisis. Yes there are problems with this team but plenty of clubs would swap places with us (especially with the financial future of the club so secure – a fact other Arsenal fans seem so keen to belittle for some reason beyond me). We have no divine right to win football games and we, the supporters, need to recognise this as much as the players.

    There may not be a load of e-mails this morning calling for Wenger to be sacked…I hope there aren’t but I would ask anyone writing in suggesting this course of action to please put forward their candidates to replace him. Who do they think could actually do a better job at Arsenal right now? I have found watching this team extremely frustrating at times this season but I don’t think kicking Wenger out is going to solve this – he needs to be given the chance to sort this out. To anyone who says that he’s had 5 years to sort this out without winning anything I would again suggest that there is no right to win anything in football….trophies don’t come easy. Consistently finishing in the top 4 of the premier league, consistently making it into the quarter finals of the champions league…they may not be the ‘achievements’ which we long for as fans but they are stats that, again, fans of almost all other clubs would be happy with.

    So please have some patience (dismissing players as useless when they have only been playing in England for three months is also embarrassing) and have some perspective and get behind the team even when they are playing a bit rubbish.

  87. Arsene Wenger should be commended. To take the club to a new world-class stadium by making a relatively small net loss on transfers and remaining in the top four for each subsequent season, as well as qualifying for the knockout rounds of the CL during this time is a significant achievement and should not be belittled. But the harsh reality is that Wenger is failing to implement his vision for the club which must, ultimately, end in the winning of trophies. One begins to question his initial success at Arsenal: how much of it was down to the players left at his disposal before his arrival? I’m talking Seaman, Keown, Adams, Dixon, Bergkamp, was he riding the crest of this wave until 2004? The policies and infrastructure he has introduced in the last 6 years have been an unquestionable success, but (most alarmingly for a man once celebrated as ‘Le Professeur’) he has been exposed as a poor tactician with a limited understanding of formation, the targetting of opposition players and the art of the tactical substitution.

    For Arsenal’s failures this season I do not blame the goalkeepers (Fabianski has won matches for Arsenal), the centre backs (who have been left cruelly exposed by Mr Wenger’s idea of having a roaming defensive midfielder. Most teams have two players with some sort of positional discipline) or the injuries (all the big teams have suffered the same, if not worse such problems). No. The blame must lie solely at the door of Arsene Wenger.

    When will he realise that Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas cannot play together in the midfield three? When will he realise that Theo Walcott has arguably the most outstanding future of all players at the club and that playing him on the right of the front three has become ridiculously easy to counter by managers who simply instruct their left backs to show him inside and leave no space in behind? When will he realise that Carlos Vela and Tomas Rosicky are not impact substitutes? Bringing such players on in search of a winner is a) extremely unlikely to reap reward due to lack of pace and penetration and b) liable to leave the back four more exposed than it already is. Perhaps most tellingly is his insistence on focusing on our game and not worrying about the tendencies of other teams – to me this screams arrogance. It is no wonder that opposition star players love playing against us, Wenger doesn’t give them two thoughts. Drogba, Bale, Messi, Torres (CL 2007) – we’ve seen it happen again and again, but Mr Wenger pays no heed.

    His stubborness is costing this club and his good work will surely go unrewarded if we cannot keep hold of our best players next summer. Wenger needs to study what he sees every time his players lose ‘inexplicably’ and realise what is wrong with the way that this talented team is playing its football. If he can’t do this then he needs a no. 2 that can. Either that or continue to sit and watch in awe of just how such individuals are losing games which they should be winning.

  88. How can Arsenal have ended up with 5 yellow cards when they spent the whole game being hacked down? The guy who dived in from behind on Eboue and snapped his knee ligaments with no attempt at getting the ball didn’t even get a yellow. Then the penalty. The karate kid would have been proud of that challenge, but Vela gets a yellow card. Madness

    Yes, we were poor and should have done better, but that doesn’t excuse refereeing like that.

    And while we are talking about officials, what is the point of the 4th and 5th official? They just stand there and agree with the ref, even if they know he is wrong. There was a bit in the first half when Djourou kicked the ball off one of their players right in front of one of them. It was about as obvious as you could want. The ref gave a goal kick which on this occasion I can see why because (unlike the penalty) he was unsighted. Why didn’t the guy tell him that he had got it wrong?

  89. @kel – Arsenal IS run like a business. I’m sure the shareholders are quite content with the financial stability of the club:
    Top four in PL (more games on telly the following season and the advertising and sponsorships that follow), usually last 16 or further in CL (more television), a few games on TV for domestic cup games, poor saps like me sitting at his PC at 10am trying to secure a £33 pitchside seat for catagory B games (and then if not, £39 to sit in the Clock end rafters) and then when there, notice how many corporate seats are empty but paid for anyway, merchandise sales, new players on the cheap, sold players making huge profit for the club and also, we’re not in debt like the other clubs etc…..

    Yes, Arsene Wenger is a great manager, great for the greedy shareholders, not for us pricks who use up our needed money to support the team, whether it be subscribing to cable/satelite, going to the pub and being ‘obliged’ to buy a cold beer or six or actually filling seats at the stadium itself.

    So, until all these things continue, nothing drastic will change. It won’t be ticket sales or merchandise, because we love our team and will not desert them!

    The shareholders need a drop in the share price before things will change.

    I’m talking out of my arse here.

  90. @ walterborekx
    Boy best article in a long time
    and by the way some of the excuses on this blog
    MAKE ME SICK!!!!!!!

  91. I can’t believe this spurs qualifying for the champions league before arsenal AND from a very hard group.
    And some of you guys come here making excuses for wenger
    Wenger has lost this dressing room am almost sure of that.

  92. Let Wenger wake up to reality this is one defeat too many for us and our patience is depreciating. I remember that ever since Chelsea broke the jinx at Highbury in 2004 ucl quarter finals started having successive defeats to Chelsea after thirteen years old record of no loss we stopped winning trophies. Now behold spurs is Arsenal growing or depreciating? Only time will tell

  93. The game against Braga revealed that Arsenal are still in need of an additional defender at the back a defensive midfielder other than Song (because Denilson has not learned what it means to work hard) and a winger, NOT a striker. Wenger needs to go ahead and convert Theo to a striker and play him through the middle. When teams sit back, that tends to congest the middle and neutralize Theo’s speed. The team needs a winger who can dribble and user trickery to create plays from the wing when the play is congested in the middle. Good wing play can open up the top of the box for the midfielders. This became apparent when I saw Gibbs’ nifty little move on the left wing (I think I now understand why Wenger relies so much on Arsahavin. Arshavin gives us that trickery on the left wing which can be used to open up the middle. Unfortunately, we have it only on the left, and not on the right, and when we have Arshavin he doesn’t play defense, though to his credit, he is improving in that area.). We need much better wing play. Check out this play from Gibbs:

    This is EXACTLY how you break teams down that want to just sit back and congest the middle. This is what Arsenal need against teams that want to just sit at the top of the box and crowd the middle. I am convinced that if Arsenal gets a true winger who can do what Gibbs did, and who also has speed (Gibbs is not as fast as Walcott, but he was able to force the issue and get past his defender), the squad can obliterate teams. Arsenal has two problems: 1) on the wing, and 2) at the back in LATE stages of the game. If we can solve these two, the squad would be unstoppable.

  94. @Shambo – Always spot on.

    I can see from some of the comments here that some people do not actually see our matches…..No one should be commenting if he only sees highlights.

    I also feel that people should concentrate efforts or bash on how to improve tactics rather say sack Wenger(Impossible right now even if we end up with Europa league football). Secondly, we start winning again and its all forgotten/forgiven, rather i guess greater tactical detail should be presented and analysed so in case we start winning we do so remembering not to commit these same errors again.

    For me the speed tactics is affecting us a lot cos we use it wrongly. We play very high up and leave a very slow DM(Denilson) to mark a very speedy striker. They put someone speedy to tackle Walcott, they even double team him when possible…….but, what do we do? Play them as if they do not want to win and will just sit back and expect a spanking from us. This is my main problem with this team…..we go into every match hoping that our strategy works, while the other team studies us and plays on our weaknesses(its so bad that when the other teams make their tactical subs, we just take out who we feel is weak).
    Why do we even play so high up? Spurs got Inter on the break cos of this same lack of respect….(Yes, they qualified for the Champs league and deserve a bit of respect). Now, some games later..we allow the fools to do the same thing to us? Now, how stupid is that? We go into the Champs league and refuse to acknowledge that these guys will be playing for pride in front of their home fans. We keep pushing up again without any adequate tactics to counter any form of counter attacks by the home team and we get punished yet again. WHEN do we LEARN?
    Who cares about the referee? We should have at least gotten a draw from this match. Shame on Bentner(He is far worse than Chamakh even though he shoots(SEGA)), he demands to leave with all his wrong misplaced passes and all.
    We have to admit that we have no STRIKERS in this team right now. When ADEbawhore was removed for 25mil, i guess we should have gone for someone better than him…but we are clearly going backwards right now in this department. I keep hammering on this. We do not score enough goals as compared to the possesion stats. Atleast with the accuracy levels of Arshavin, I bet he should/could do better playing behind the strikers instead of the wings. Same with Nasri and Rosicky(with age, he cant be doing better on the wings)..So why dont we only allow the fullbacks to do the overlapping when necessary and play two support strikers directly behind the main striker, leaving Cesc with space to roam behind them as a CM or one of two CMs, while we may play one or two DMs depending on the opposition…
    1. a steady DM with some speed and no reason to go forward at all(Makalele/Mikel)…
    2. a second DM ala Viera(with good reading of the game..knowing when to go forward)who could be going forward…. It should be noted that Viera used to do some amazing counter attacks with devastating results. He used to do some wonderful 1-2s that saw him 1on1 with the keeper as well.

    I guess this would fit our passing game more and trick opposition fullbacks into thinking they could join their CBs in the middle only to find out our fullbacks are bombing forward and in deadly positions to cross or atleast pass back to the centre…..Atleast if we try to sit deep with this and then counter with three in the middle…if it goes bad, we have people ever ready to prevent any form of counter atacks or anything like that…Something I just thought of though…We have a very good bunch of individuals in this team and a little tweaking would definitely suffice…Have ur thoughts, I’m the GunnerBoss(just for the humour)

  95. By commenting in paragraph 2 above, I meant like bashing of players or hating on others who have been seeing the same performances over the full 90mins over and over again and voicing out their frustrations.
    Dont wanna call names, but u know urselves and u kinda fought me for venting some spleen on a player who has now been heavily criticized all of a sudden.

  96. Anyone considered that Spurs might have been the better side on the night, rather than trying to solve the ‘mystery’ of the result??

  97. Yeah but, Roger, they weren’t the better side That’s what’s so galling. We should have wrapped that game up and put it to bed BEFORE half time. Instead it us went to sleep.

    There’s a great little piece by the legend, Martin Keown, on the Daily-crap-Mail website about the prerformance v Braga:

    now this bloke does know what he’s talking about and he’s put his finger on a few vital points including
    -the defenders needed to respond with more urgency
    – There was laziness all over the pitch for Arsenal.
    -Arsenal’s players have to take collective responsibility
    -This Arsenal team need more leaders
    and there’s more. It’s all spot on. I just hope AW is listening.

  98. Some fans are getting it spot on. Sucking of the manager wouldn’t be the solution. But the tactics are the solution to our success.I find it hard to believe that Wenger has kept on playing a pressing game high up the pitch yet any average team knows how to sit back and defend.It is only Barcelona which can play high the pitch and pick results because of their quality but not arsenal for heavens sake.Wenger is simply deluded in mind or he is just senile that he hopes on Lady luck to strike his way inorder to win games.He was cautious on the Man city game and lucky enough they even got a red card it paid off. He shows lack of game plan and complacency himself. Its not the players to blame though some like Chamak are crap. Am very sure that if we changed our predictable game plan and started sitting back and rely on counter attacks we shall wreck havoc to so many teams.We have always left our defenders and keepers exposed because of stupid tactics and this explains the goals we have shipped in. Even if TV was playing now we would still have shipped in the same currency of goals. We have good players who can play defense splitting passes fro Theo rush on, Arshvin can also create something from a break and also Nasri. Why cant we congest the midfield or even pack the bus.What matters is a point than loosing a solid 3 points embarassingly. We have watched nit football for years and infact the masters are in Spain.We are fuck’n tired of this stupid illusion that we must pass the ball in the box inorder to score . If strong teams like United can sit and wait to counter what does Wenger think Arsenal is to attack throughout. These are signs of a senseless deluded manager. How do you rely on a sloppy, un immaginative, slow forward like Chamak as your marks man.We need aggressive attackers like Persie and not Ligue one gamblers because they are cheap. Besides Persie the second proven striker is Walcott. Why not play him to his strength. Teams now know how to out play him. Old fashioned as wenger claims to be grooming him like he did to Henry. Stupid crap.Since chamak came for free and is in no hurry to leave the club bench him so that he learns how to shoot. We have seen tall strikers like Crouch, Kanoute,Pavchenko, Ade shoot the ball, what not chamak. Even B52 is better than him. I would bench him immediately. Am afraid we shall loose kids like Vela who are talented but lack game time .

  99. The defeats aside, it’s quite funny how suddenly Chamakh is crap.. Ya he should have done better at least twice against the spurs, but I mean come on people. Chamakh has been really very good this season. One bad game, in which he scored by the way, doesn’t make him crap.

  100. Whether Wenger goes or stays the result will be the same, Arsenal will win nothing this season. Many will say that is just pessimism. Maybe it is but you can be sure at the same time that Man Utd and Chelsea WILL win something. I believe it is time to get someone in who will at least go into the transfer market seriously. Wenger has proved that all he wants to do is buy rubbish from France (Squillaci and Kosniely) and more rubbish Chamakh. Someone in the blog said play RVP and Walcott – that’s the way to go. Two top class defenders and a DM are crucial and stop blaming the goalkeeper all the time. Any goalkeeper (Fabianski included) won’t have much confidence when they/he sees what is ahead of him. Remember Seamen had a strong defence in front of him and why does Petr Cech look so good, look what has been in front of him.

    One other thing to consider when writing blogs – WENGER AND THE BOARD COMPLETELY IGNORE what Arsenal supporters say or think. They’re only interested in bums on seats every home game so that the new stadium gets paid off quickly so they can say, look we’re not like other clubs in debt we have paid ours off. Yes, both other clubs have won something.

  101. Man, how many times do I have to say to people, you cannot copy someone’s text from another blog. That means you ‘realist’.

    I’m going to have to stop blocking people first offence, otherwise it will never stop.

  102. Andy,
    Am waitin to hear some wise words from you my man, otherwise Im gonna run wild with the ‘negativity’/ reality.
    Mate, can you tell me how we, having lost Eboue at RB, were left with the brainless Squillachi in LB position, Idiot Denilson at CB and Djourou ridiculously high up the field for their first goal, I mean this wasnt even sunday league stuff, what were they doing, especially Squillachi? Im sick saying this but it is utterly conclusive at this stage that these guys are not defenders. Im not saying you have to be a Vidic, look at Cannavaro, world class for years and probably the smallest man in the National side next to del Piero, but he could defend, anticipate and smell danger…, saying this what the HELL was Squillachi doing at LB when his CD partner was up the field??? WHERE IS THE DANGER GOING TO COME FROM????? And as for that absolute jackass Denilson………camera angles are the only thing saving him from a slaughtering from all fans, because no doubt the ones defending him are not experienced football people and dont realise that when that ball was actually kicked he was the favourite but he BOTTLED it!!!! Totally passed the responsibility and TROTTED out the field as the ball sailed over his head, what was he thinking, he knew he was the last man and just didnt fancy it, disgraceful… sick of seein that stupid half smiling half surprised look on his face as his trot slows to a hands-on-hips stance on the edge of our box as the blamesless Fabianski picks the ball out.
    Yes you can say we are still only two points off top spot, yes you can say that a win in the final group game will see us through but we WILL get found out as the season goes on. THIS TEAM IS NO BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE ONE LAST SEASON, WE HAVE SIMPLY INVESTED IN MORE OF THE SAME…..look who Barcelona signed after winning in recent seasons, they had great players that had won titles only a month before and still went out in the summer and buy Mascheranos, Villas and the likes, we NEED to catch up with these guys and we buy Koscielny, Chamakh and FUCKING USELESS Squillachi who wasnt a regualr at Seville who finish 20 odd points off Barce every year, its the stuff of madness.
    I once heard a quote that the devils greatest trick was convincing the world he doesnt exist……..well hes been outdone by Wenger convincing us that this lot are good enough and to have ‘faith’ the last 6 years, that may well go down as his greatest acheivement ‘ the longest serving manager at a top club to win…………………nada, zilch, diddly squat, zero, big fat duck egg’ and still have 50% of the fans backing him, now that really is amazing, jedi mindtrick, anyone?

  103. Shambo you cracked me up!

    LOL! Jedi mind tricks, thanks for that. Boring day at work mate and you lighten up my day.

  104. Shard! doesnt seem to agree that Chamak is crap. Let me ask, challenge Chamak to score the goal Nasri scored against Totenham if he wont be stretchered off the pitch injured.Mind you he scores obvious goals which any one closer could tap in though i respect his aerial ability.Thats not what we want. We want pace, strength, agility and desire to score not silly irresponsible passing of the ball because you are afraid of shooting. I didnt see any improvement in our attack from last season. Bendtner is a good header of the ball and can shoot. I see no place for Chamak except for blind faith of Wenger.Chamak is not a Drogba or an Ibrahamovic and by the way Adebayor could have done better . That aside we may need exceptional luck to get a result at Villa park tomorrow. Because for a side which has rested the whole week and with a good set of players at home compared to ours who have shipped in 5 goals from two games i can be optimistic at all.We just have to get our tactics right, sit back and play to our strengths like pace for Theo , Arshavin and the illustrious Persie. Otherwise an all out attack will guarantee a second away league defeat. United were lucky to get a point due to their never say die attitude totally absent from arsenal who cant chase agame for heavens sake.I just hope Wenger is sensible enough to know this.

  105. @shambo & others. What your negativity and tactical superiority over Arsene Wenger (the most successful manager in Arsenal’s + 100 years history) doesn’t explain is how these same inept team, manager and coaching staff can beat Braga 6-0, Shaktar 5-1, Tots 4-1, man shitty 3-0 etc. etc.?? Luck maybe? I don’t know – I’m asking yopu cos you’ve got all the fucking answers – and the mouth.

    I think Chamackh is great. I welcome him to the team. He’s barely been here a third of a season and got thrown right in it because of RVP & Bendy injury. He’s direct. He’s the only player we’ve got who is really good in the air. Really you’re crucifying him because of 1 bad game. Get a fucking grip. What board or chairman would put you lot in charge of a football club for fucks sake? You’d have no players left after a month. ‘They’re all crap! Go out and buy me a now lot!’

  106. I would say that Arsenal were clearly the better side in the first half, and Spurs in the second half, equally clearly. Look at the corner count, that says more than possession. You could argue that Arsenal ‘gave’ goals to Spurs, but Spurs equally ‘gave’ the two goals to Arsenal.

  107. Delano! (with a retaliatory exclamation mark)
    Do you really want a team of 11 nasris?? Each player brings something different to the team. Saying Chamakh isn’t Nasri to criticise him is most foolish. Oh and Nasri is also in the team because of the ‘blind faith of Wenger’ I assume, or should all team sheets be sent to you for referral?

    I agree about Adebayor could have done better. Better than he did himself. He stopped playing for the team. For Arsenal. He plays only for himself. And Drogba wasn’t DROGBA when he was 26 was he? And Ibrahimovic? Really?? 4 months into his 1st season with us, scored what 8 or 9 goals and showing terrific work ethic?? No but we don’t want that do we.. we’d prefer Adebayor back. Anyone except who we have it would seem.

  108. A team full of Nasris? Who wants to see 11 grown ‘men’ rolling about on the ground because someeone breathed on them?

  109. GLONDON’s gonna get banned..

    Just reading back through the comments, I actually liked and agree with LAGunner’s post about us lacking a winger. I think thats spot on. I doubt we’ll buy one though. (Cue Wenger Out Brigade)

  110. OK now why still hasnt a new blog or article come up its been a week now almost since i am seeing the same article on the homepage, only the comments seem to be increasing…

  111. @Andrew

    Get well soon mate. But what about all the other writers on the site? Or are they all in mourning because of recent results?

  112. @ Shard – Nah, I just decided to take my comment out. Re: the other writers, as I said, I have a bit too much on my plate at the moment to manage all the editing required. Keep it simple is the best idea. Plus, the conversation seems invigorated 🙂

  113. Heh.It sure is that. Here’s hoping for a preview of the Villa game though, what with Pires facing us, and a chance to go top of the league again.

  114. What happened to that Norwegian that Wenger bought about 3 years ago (cant remember his name). He was supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread. Can he be worse than Koscielny or Squillaci. Not possible!!!!

  115. @heynonny/hey nanny mouse,
    Would you ever dry up you old nanny, I actually cant be arsed talkin football with you anymore cos you cant be objective and anyone who doesnt agree with you is clinically insane in your eyes…… do nothin but come on here slagging off opposition teams and managers and you actually have nothing intelligent or different to say about this team except for same old generic ‘go team’ bull, get your own material mate and change your glasses, whats wrong with wanting more, can you not sit back and critique your team when standards are not being met, would you do that in your job?
    Arsene Wenger will not be sacked because of something I write on a blog, nor will Denilson, Almunia, Diaby, Bendtner or Squillachi be sold on my say so either, but what might happen is we could spark a debate and I might be proven wrong by someone in what I say, but it certainly wont be by you who thinks your speaking for the majority when your spitting your dummy out, what specifically did I get wrong?? Are you telling me the boss and this team are tactically astute?
    Come on son,enlighten me with your pearls of wisdom……….I just know your primed to come out with something actually interesting, god knows your due one comment that merits a second glance

  116. You still didn’t answer my question though, shambo. Squillachi, who you describe as fucking useless, played in four of the games where we actually managed to concede NO goals. West Ham, Man City, Wolves & Braga. Squillachi played them all. Amazing for us! Four games where we let in no goals.
    Chamachk – who’s suddenly catching it from you whingers, was the only player on either side on the score sheet for our win V Wolves. Twice. A few comments back you’re scoffing at AW for getting him, but go back a few more comments and you claim to be ‘a big Chamakh fan’. Some fan! So how do you explain it? How do these useless players, useless manager etc. manage to win sometimes? Mmm?
    The easiest job in the world is standing on the sidelines shouting -“You’re crap!” at a team that’s losing. And as Benjamin Disraeli said: ‘It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.’

  117. Easy now boys, “I always say its easier to down a pint of stout than cider….what?!! ok nvm….

    Anyway I have a solution, why don’t you guys take it out in winning eleven 11 new master league mode.

    Just trying to smoothen the situation, don’t get angry now….:P

  118. Whenever we lose a game some of our supporters go into “worst ever” mode. The manager has to be sacked, the players are useless. Well we all know how they go around the internet with their slogans.

    And let us just take a look at the situation in the EPL ahead of the Villa game.

    1 Chelsea 14 9 1 4 28 9 19 28
    2 Manchester United 14 7 7 0 28 15 13 28
    3 Arsenal 14 8 2 4 28 15 13 26
    4 Manchester City 14 7 4 3 19 11 8 25
    5 Bolton Wanderers 14 5 7 2 26 20 6 22
    6 Tottenham Hotspur 14 6 4 4 21 19 2 22

    So apart from finding this the worst thing that ever happened to Arsenal under the worst manager we ever had at Arsenal I really cannot say that I feel bad about the current league position we find ourselves in. On Saturday morning we are 2 points behind the leaders. How on earth can this be the worst team ever? How on earth can this be the worst players ever. How on earth can this be done with a manager who “has lost it”?

    Maybe some supporters should take a look at how we were finding ourselves in the same weekend last year. And yes I have the league table from that period and just take a look at it and just to let you know you will also find the total points in the last column :

    1 Chelsea 14 12 0 2 36 8 +28 36
    2 Manchester United 14 10 1 3 30 13 +17 31
    3 Tottenham Hotspur 14 8 2 4 33 19 +14 26
    4 Arsenal 13 8 1 4 36 18 +18 25
    5 Liverpool 14 7 2 5 31 20 +11 23
    6 Aston Villa 14 6 5 3 22 14 +8 23

    Now you just take a look and another look and another look. Last year on this day we were 11 (eleven) points behind the leader who also was Chelsea. We were 6 points behind Manchester United. And disaster upon disaster, last year we were one point behind Tottenham.

    Now I don’t know if my mathematics are still spot on as it has been a while since I left school so it could well be that nowadays being 2 points behind is far worse than being 11 points behind. But I can assure you that in my days at school being 2 points behind the leader is much, much better than being 11 points behind.

    Now the most clever members of the congregation will have noticed that last year we played not as many games as the others. It was the Bolton game which only was played in January and when we went to the top of the table after winning it in fact. So if I want to change it with the hindsight (what a popular word for the moment) I have now but we didn’t have then one could say that we have 28 points and would be in front of Tottenham on that day one year ago. Feels better already.

    But then again it means that we were still 8 (eight) whole points behind league leaders Chelsea. And again in my book being only 2 points behind is way better than being 8 points behind.

    Losing a game is never a nice feeling. Losing two games is always a bad feeling. After all we love Arsenal to win every game. But no supporter can really believe we will win every game. Defeats are as normal in football as snow in the winter at the North Pole (or traffic jams in England on a friday night with 1mm of snow on the ground- ed). Hard to take, but an essential part of football. Winning every game is impossible unless Wenger proves me wrong at some stage in the next few seasons of course.

    And yes I can understand being disappointed after a defeat and some defeats hurt more than others but why do we have to throw everything away after losing a game? Why do we pain ourselves that way? Wouldn’t it be more supportive to say: “F*ck, the ref cost us the game (as he did on Tuesday) come on lads better next time. “ Instead of the hysteria we see now from different supporters who cannot see anything good anymore in the whole team. The hysteria that once again is calling the heads of every player, even the ones that didn’t play. The calling for new players and if we would buy them all we never would comply with the 25 players rule by the way.

    The calling for Suarez from Ajax and the pointing at his great goal scoring record for Ajax. And yes he has scored 35 goals last season in the Dutch league. But to think that if he would come to Arsenal all our problems would disappear is a bit short sighted I would say. We would be facing a lot of problems with the fact that Suarez is a very blatant diver. This will work against us in the EPL. After a few dives we will have to deal with defenders kicking his legs to pieces without the refs giving penalties. We have seen it before after what happened when Eduardo (who was not a diver at all) was prosecuted by the media last season and we didn’t get any penalties at all for a big part of the season. And after his biting incident last weekend he will be facing a difficult time I think.

    And when it comes to players from Holland we must keep in mind that the game in Holland is a very open game and based on skill and technical ability. Players have room to express themselves and are very well protected by the refs.

    And maybe we should remember another player who came from Holland a few years ago with a goal scoring reputation even better than Suarez. I am talking about Alfonso Alvez. Remember him? He scored 45 goals in 39 games in Holland before coming to the EPL and to Middlesbrough. They paid £20M for him. And he scored 10 goals in 42 games before being sold to the biggest team in the world: Al-Sadd. Never heard of them? Neither did I untill today. But this just to show you that it doesn’t mean a thing how many goals you score in Holland. I could have mentioned Huntelaar also who never really made it in Madrid, an in Milan and now Schalke after tormenting the Dutch league with his goals. People who think that they will just do it in the same way in the EPL are just deluding themselves.

    As they are deluding themselves when saying this is the worst thing ever. Just look again at the two league tables in this article and then tell me we are worse of than last year. Look at it again and tell me we were in a better position last year. Because we were not.

    And a final note: the league has changed. Maybe you were watching but didn’t realise it but the league has changed.

  119. Nanny,
    Squillachi is one of the worst signings ever, not least because at the time we needed quality and had been assured we would try get it, we did not however and went for another French player whos club bit our hands off when we bid, when have you ever heard of any big club scouting around Squillachi, its a joke, he wasnt even a regular in a declining Seville side. He cant read a game to save his life, he has no pace, he shirks responsibility as iv highlighted with the Carroll/ Kaboul goals and i can recall at least a dozens occasions already where his panicked clearances have fell to opposition and nearly lead to conceding. he doesnt scare opposition CFs, in fact id even go as far as to say he inspires them.
    The Braga and Shaqtar results at home are nothing we havent seen before in the CL, when teams come to ours with their stature our reputation precedes us and they retract to def formations if they actually had a go they could hurt us, as shown by their home performances where we get shown ZERO respect even in the event of taking the lead. Your question turns both ways, yes a team that wins 6-0 and 5-1 cant turn suddenly into an average one but, by the same token, how do they then lose 2-1 and 2-0 to the same teams in such an uninspiring manner?
    You talk about beating City, was that the game where they were down to 10 men for 84mins of the game, oh yeah I remember that, hardly a defensive masterclass was needed that day….oh yeah and then you talk of scrambling a 1-0 against the mighty West Ham, how many points have they again? (sorry ice)…..yes we did beat Wolves although, if you watched the game, any Arsenal fan will tell you we scarcely deserved it. If you want to learn about this Arsenal team look at the losses, big games and periods when a game is in the balance, and if your honest and objective you will see things havent changed since last seaon or the one before, except fot the emergence of Wilshere and Gibbs, other than that its more of the same.
    Arsene Wenger will not lose his job on account of somethign Iv wrote on a blog, nor will he sell Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner, Squillachi or Diaby on my say so, but we can have debates and diverse opinions without you spittin out the dummy like iv insulted your integrity or something, I dont think it unreasonable to question the manager and his methods, I mean alot of fans are now asking how much of the winning teams we had did he inherit….bergkamp, adams, seaman, keown, dixon, wright, merson, parlour, winterburn…….and hes bought some right old duds- jeffers, stepanovs, luzhny, cygan, almunia, richard wright…..and hes let guys go too early aswel, upson was a huge mistake as was flamini and fran merida, you cannot bypass these errors in favour of nostalgia.
    when I see the manager now beside pat rice throwing water bottles and testiculatin with the fourth official over some miniscule event that went against us and has no bearing on the actual result it makes me go nuts, its his job to motivate these players and guard against complacency but we see it year after year, we all said when hull were beating us at home two seasons ago that it was a blip but needed to be sorted, tell me nanny- what weaknesses or shortcomings have been addressed?
    And for the record I do like Chamakh, but hed do well to show a bit more conviction and agression in front of goal, like iv said a million times any striker will score goals in this Arsenal team and he just seems to be another one of the ones we have who wont shoot and wants to walk it in, he should have a target of goals set and aim high, we havnt had ruthless strikers since TH and Wright, they never had enough thats why they stayed sharp, this lot think their work is done at 2-0 and hit the showers.

  120. @chanlo: Great post. “Winning every game is impossible unless Wenger proves me wrong at some stage in the next few seasons of course.” LOL 🙂 Good one.

  121. Very important win today at Villa park though it looked at times that we were once again to collapse from a comfortable lead.
    Arshavin came to life after weeks of mediocrity. Chamakh was excellent once again with an important goal & an assist to Jack.
    However, the major concern is that our defensive vulnerabilities are still there. It’s unexplainable why Clichy opted to switch to the player on the flank instead of blocking the apparent danger in front of him for their 1st goal.
    The center-half partnership looks very shaky. It’s always important for a new center-half to play along side with an established partner. Unfortunately the loss of TV5 is proving to be costly. Squillaci wasn’t meant to play this much of PL games when he 1st arrived. AW need to buy a quality defender come January. Absolute must on recent evidence.

  122. @shambogunner, you’re wrong! the worst signing ever was Silvestre… and I think Squillaci is a good defender. he just made mistakes as every human being. Besides premier league is another level compared to the (two teams) Spanish league.

  123. Great win by the squad today. The best moments of the match for me weren’t the goals scored, but the defensive substitutions made. It was fantastic to see the boss sub on Gibbs, Djourou, and Denilson (though not so much), rather than Walcott, RVP or Bendtner. I thought the back played very well today. Villa scored just one real goal in mind and the person at fault for that goal was Fabianski. After watching today’s, I am convinced that Wenger will go out for a keeper in the January window. Fabianski appears to think that he can maintain his position by occasionally making a few neat saves. However, he has learned that a keeper must all DOMINATE the box. Fabianski just stayed back on his line during the second goal when he had time to come forward and clear it.

    Other than that, the squad was very convincing today. Arsenal needed excellent play from the wings/wingers and they got it today from Arshavin and Nasri. It was also FANTASTIC to see Arshavin go all out up and down the pitch for more than sixty minutes. His issue was clearly fitness, and he seems to be gaining his fitness back each week.

    It was also great to see Nasri on the right wing rather than in the center of the pitch. The squad needed both speed and creativity on the right wing, and I think Wenger got his tactics EXACTLY RIGHT by deploying Nasri on the wing when it may have been more obvious to put Nasri in the center of the pitch to replace Fabregas. Excellent decision.

  124. @chanlo: Nice post. The only concern is that based on your analysis, the squad has improved only slightly with what amounts to four new signings (squillaci, chamakh, koscielny, the addition of Wilshere into the starting XI, and switching Fabianski for Almunia), while Chelsea is far worse than they were at this point last year, and United is slightly worse. With basically five new signings, you’d like to see more than 2-3 points improvement. The counter argument is that we may have been in a worse position if the squad remained unchanged, but it’s hard to make that argument.

    At the end of the day, this doesn’t matter much. We are in striking distance of Chelsea and United and the squad needs to stay close and strike.

  125. @Shambo – I would prefer u leave Nonny alone. I dont know if he is a fair weather fan. Does he even watch our matches?

    Imagine Arshavin almost playing with his blood today and running tirelessly, at about 64mins he fell down, but our manager feels he should stay on.
    How many counter attacks did we need to see off that game finally and keep scores comfortable at 4-2? We need to be more ruthless.
    Right now, I dare say we are the best team in this league, but I feel the team is a bit under utilized. Have a look at Real Madrid, 4 new players in the first team all of a sudden with no time to gel and all that, but they are doing well.

    I guess they learnt to balance the attack with defence today. I would say we learnt a bit, and even though we have an excellent bench, our boys were left to tire and tire before being substituted. It almost made the second half counters to be ineffective because Arshavin especially was tired. When we criticize the players sometimes, do we look at their overall contributions. Arshavin is a real gem, very accurate..he worked his socks off, but after taking his foot off the pedal a bit, he got his well earned rest and started running again. Nasri and Rosicky were really immense. This was the same Rosicky that we were dying to see come on at times, but, I guess his rest has realy paid off. I hope he doesnt get burned out and stuff while other able men are wasting on the bench. I also like the fact that Wilshere was made to do the running forward, I hope he and Chamakh practices on shooting on sight more. I would not say we were lucky today, but I think the manager almost left it too late with his endgame tactics.
    Well done to the boys.

  126. @Gunnerboss,
    Spot on about rosicky pal, i thought Wilshere was outstanding tho, Wilshere wins more primary possession than any other player, he will play any role for the team and to see him kissing the crest after scoring (great pass by Chamakh) was one of my highlights of the season, what a gem he is.
    Am happy to eat some humble pie about Nasri, hes finally fulfilling the early promise shown, maybe he suffered last season with the injuries but hes one of the first names on the team sheet now no doubt….arsha was excellent happy for him after recent sub par performances.
    Just a mention for Fabianski, hes seemed to have really settled into his role now and has been blameless for any goals weve conceded lately, its encouraging.
    Squillachis still an accident waiting to happen but I was happy with Koscielny, great tackle on dunne in our box at 3-2 and did enough to put clark off at 3-1 when forcing him to drag his shot.
    I just have one issue from todays game and its the way we slow down to walking pace when we are in control, there was a danger of momentum turning their way again today until Chamakhs brave finish.
    There are always days when this team just blow you away but its the consistancy we need, this win was as impressive as the one at Everton, lets just hope we can follow it up with another win.

  127. I’m proud to say that what I said last time was followed to the letter…I was confident there would be no deja vu comeback for Villa.
    1. We did not play a rigid 4-3-3 today.
    2. My speed analysis in the centre forward position went unheeded today. We went ahead with Chamakh and he scored, BUT what if he could be faster…that would be devastating and it would make him much more of a threat. Defenders would be scared-stiff of him(of anyone with SPEED actually). This is the dimension that we do not have right now in our game unfortunately(we need it badly). Did u guys see the thru pass Arshavin laid for Nasri that would have made it two?
    3. Song was made to stay back and he was often in the centre whenever they tried to counter.
    4. Even though they did not actually play like support strikers, Nasri and Rosicky combined very well and EXCHANGED PLACES regularly which was very beautiful to see. Arshavin came to the centre occasionally to support Chamakh, but this is where he is most deadly. I would prefer if he were there more often. But, what would be most beautiful to watch especially when FABs is not playing would be the trio of Arshavin, Rosicky and Nasri exchanging places. But, due to Arshavins defensive frailties, I guess he would only be able to swap in any of the front two Support striking (SS) places…, leaving Nasri and Rosicky free to rotate anyhow between SS and attacking midfield (AM) or advanced central midfield(ACM).
    5. It has to be noted also that even though Song occassionaly went forward today, I guess the DM that is more suited to that role is Wilshere(but he needs to learn to shoot) and he got a goal eventually. I guess both Song and Wilshere can do that job, but only one person at a time should be going forward. With Wilshere’s superior speed, I would prefer him besides I think he is the better dribbler.
    Kudos to Wenger and the team for noting my contributions…….

    Clichy was clearly the culprit for the first goal, he hesitated and thus allowed space for the shot even though Carew was clearly offside. Besides this, I guess everyone did a marvelous job today. Concentration levels were amazingly i guess we are LEARNING.

  128. @Gunnerboss : Real Madrid are doing well…..

    It’s interesting to see how fans of clubs used to success turn on the team and/or the manager after one bad result. You guys have forgotten the euphoria of being in the position of, say, Spurs, who after decades as a mid-table side are now heading for the top. You were in that position 10 or 15 years ago, and I bet you were not sniping at the club after every defeat in those days.

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