Arsenal 3-0 Wolves: A walk in the park, so let’s talk about Ramsey

Our victory over Wolves was arguably the most straightforward game this season.

It’s rare that a game of football is over after 11 minutes, but that was exactly the case after two goals and red card to Sebastien Bassong ended the contest.

Robin van Persie’s penalty kick was impudent and arrogant — something deep down inside me didn’t actually like it, sorry Robin — while Walcott’s finish was confident. Two excellent goals scored in contrasting manner and the game was over.

From then on it was always going to be tough for the home side and while Wolves battled hard, forcing Wojciech Szczesny into a superb stop midway through the second half, Yossi Benayoun grabbed a well-deserved goal to seal the result. 3-0, three points and our march towards 3rd continued in style.

Rather than talking about this game too much I’d like to talk about Aaron Ramsey, a player that is dividing opinion at the moment.

Since a strong start to the season it is no secret that the Welshman has gone off the boil a little, a habit of missing relatively simple opportunities in front of goal has frustrated the supporters who expect more.

His deployment on the left-hand side of attack in recent games has also caused people to question Arsene Wenger’s intelligence. Ramsey? A genuine central midfielder on the left side of a front three? With Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain on the bench? You’re having a laugh, Wenger. You’re having a laugh.

Well, no, actually. He’s not.

Anybody who has watched Arsenal play over the last fifteen years knows that Wenger likes balance across the lines of defence, midfield and attack. Whether we are playing 4-5-1, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, Wenger seeks balance.

When Ashley Cole broke into the team years ago he was balanced with the less-adventurous Lauren. Freddie Ljungberg or Robert Pires was often balanced with a Ray Parlour. When someone on the right is a more attacking player, usually the player on the left will be asked to play more defensively.

Our current team reflects this. Bacary Sagna has had to alternate between playing a more attacking or defensive role depending on whether it has been Santos, Gibbs or Vermaelen on the other flank. Likewise when Djourou has filled in on the right, Santos et al have been encouraged to run riot down the left.

Across our front line Theo Walcott is constantly asked to play as the most attacking winger, a notion that is completely backed up by the statistic that we attack significantly more down the right than the middle or left.

Anybody who is crying out for Chamberlain to be played on the left while Walcott is on the right seems to miss the point of what Wenger is trying to achieve: balance. If an ultra-attacking player is on the right then he requires a player like Ramsey, or in the case against Wolves, Benayoun, to balance things out.

Chamberlain is an outstanding talent but our run of form and results at the moment — marked by Walcott’s propensity to find the back of the net and assist frequently — shows Wenger is getting it right.

Of course none of this would matter if Ramsey had put away a couple of chances. No matter what people say about the Welshman he cannot be accused of a lack of workrate, nor an unwillingness to put his body on the line and get stuck in defensively.

He could fairly be criticised for taking a split-second longer to release the ball than an Arteta or Rosicky and his finishing has been poor but he shoots from long-range as often as the Spaniard and plays the game with the poise of Michael Ballack.

All Ramsey has to do is score a couple of goals and people will get off his back and remember what a fine talent he is.


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  1. Hey dude… couple of things i’d like to add:

    1. Van Persie’s penalty was genius… can’t wrap my head around anyone not enjoying a chipped shot like that…

    2. Also cant’t wrap my head around the whole “balance” idea regarding Ramsey… if Wenger is seeking somewhat a defensive performance from the player on the opposite flank as Walcott, I suppose he (Ramsey) would have at least good interception/ tackle numbers… I don’t know if he has, but i don’t think so…

    Hey what happened to the blonde girl that used to write regularly here about the players and stuff???

  2. I’m a fan and I think he will be a fixture for us in the years to come. To me he was thrust into a position of responsibility at the start of the season when Cesc and Na$ri left. At time when Wilshire was crocked, Diaby was crocked, Rosicky never the same player( but hasn’t that changed!) and we also lost other midfielders like Denilson. So from a position when he was probably expecting to be a second stringer or substitute he was thrust into being a first choice. And talk about a baptism of fire at the start of this season of all seasons.

    I thought he was pretty good in that period from October to Christmas/new year when we were on a decent run and then he seemed to lose his way and confidence in January and to me looked like he was knackered and in serious need of a rest. Fortunately that is when Rosicky rediscovered his form.

    I think we need to give him a chance bearing in mind where he has come from in terms of injury. I can list a number of our current players – RVP, Song, Rosicky, Koscielny, Sagna for example – who have been bagged, had their ability questioned over the last few years and now they are indispensbable.

    Unfortunatley we are a pessimistic bunch us gooners and we always seem to need an Ian Ure to target!

    But I should declare that I am a little biased as I have Welsh blood in me!

  3. Why do you think man united, Chelsea barcelona have all been successful in recent years?? Because they have cockey arrogant players that are soo good it just becomes natural to show sheer class like that. Look at arsenal back in 2004 look at Henry all the arrogance he showed, he also done a similar pen to robins. Look at pires, Ashley cole, viera, ljungberg, all arrogant all cockey players
    ..why because they are seasoned winners. Everybody hated arsenal back then because we were arrogant cockey and won everything.

  4. Hi,

    1. VP penalty was completely a genuine chip.
    2. I don’t agree with your stand on Ramsey that he is there for defensive reasons. He is simply not good at defending, not good in front of net, lack speed and delays passing. His positioning is the only trait been helping him since turn of the year. He is simply NOT Arsenal stuff.

  5. Hit the nail on the head. In my opinion, Ramsey will become one of our most valuable assets over the next 3 years. He is not the finished product but his vision is the best in the squad. Improves on finishing and adds consistency and he will be a world class attacking mid.

  6. Very well written Andy. If ever you wanted to get an interesting and lively debate going this is the subject. Before i give my thoughts on Ramsey just a quick mention for Szs. Fantastic save the other night. We all rave about RVP and rightly so, but ever since Szs broke into the team the team has grown in confidence at the back. I reckon he’s the best in the prem at the moment and someone mentioned cocky and arrogant … Well he has it buckets..

    I’m pretty much in agreement with Terry on this (except the Welsh bit) and i do believe that he is beginning to show signs of returning to form. Lets be honest how many of you out there would still have Rosicky on our books?

    Ithink we all agree that he has had a bad patch, but as someone who does attend a reasonable number of games at the Emirates i dont believe i have heard the crowd giving him a hard time. I am confident if he doesnt become a scapegoat for the fans he will go on to be a great player

    .@Terry… Ian Ure priceless. Do you remember the year we almost got relegated and signed Terry Mancini to save us? I was going to a match at Highbury once and he was sitting opposite me on the tube complete with kit bag on his lap! Great in the air but not the most talented player I have seen

  7. I think ramsy should be sent out on loan till he proves to be this “world class player” every1 is claiming him to be, until he becomes that “world class” player he should not be in this team, if we are to get back to winning trophies, we shouldn’t have mediocre players in the team, and to all you RAMSY LOVERS , let’s be HONRST, he is but a “MEDIOCREL” player, you have to call a spade a spade… ARSENAL is not a mediocre team, do u think RAMSY will make the cut at: Barca, Real Madrid, Chealsea, Man City, Man United(even though fergi wanted him back then) Spurs, Milan or Juve, I really dnt think so,,, I would like to see a response on this comment from a Ramsy lover!!

  8. you’re point about wenger trying to achieve balance, by playing Ramsey of all players on the wing, is rubbish.
    Playing ramsey on the wing has nothing to do with team balance. This I am sure of!
    What I am not entirely sure of is why he was played there, as he is useless there, attacking or defending.
    I believe Ramsey was played on the wing because he was getting stale in the center, and Wenger thought he needed some kind of change, and needed to play (since Rosicky has overtaken Ramsey as the preferred CM).
    So I think Wenger took a gamble against QPR, thinking that we could take care of QPR even if we sacrificed a natural winger like Chamberlain by playing Ramsey there instead, for Ramseys benefit, not the teams.
    And I dont blame WEnger for that, because player development and morale is ultimately in the clubs interest.

  9. Oh please stick to the day job and stop writing, your not half as clever as you think. Clearly a talksport listener you have picked up on the anti rvp pen rubbish. 8m in, 0-0, a game that must be won, thats notvarrogance its acsublime footballing gift.
    Balance, ? So you write as if you are the font of all knowledge, knowing exactly what wenger thinks.
    Arrogant writing like this is what is turning me away from amateur, know all, bloggers

  10. You can’t Ramsey while Rosicky is available thats being……..i dnt knw wat.

  11. I pray that jack wil nt like ramsy when he is back frm injury. Because ramsy has nothing to offer in that midfield 4 now.

  12. Ramsey is still supposed be an atacking midfielder and that mean he has to assist or score goals regularly but his record is not good enough, hence opposing teams do not need to mark him as much, which puts pressure on other Arsenal players to deliver. No Ramsey is at the moment a borderline squad player at best certainly not a starting member. From a development point of view, he is doing a Denilson – stalling.

  13. I like the Loan Idea. He is premiership quality at the moment just not good enough for Arsenal. Send him to a club where fans dont attack their own and let him develop and hopefully come back a top player.

  14. Every club should have proper fans that question the board, manager and players after 7 years of failed achievements , high ticket prices and failed promises !
    It’s called passion !!

    Ramsy is a failed joke.
    And he must be sold.

    To live in dream land and expect such useless player to developer and we are allowing arsenal to maintain this sad quality.
    Suddenly being 3rd or beating spurs is a trophy!
    It’s such low expectations and such average players like Ramsy that is the real reason we have failed.

    At this very demanding high cost prem league it’s a must we buy class and quality.
    Waiting for Ramsy ain’t good enough.
    Sell sell sell !!!
    He has been given more time than many better players we have loaned or sold.

    Enough favourism. We owe him nothing.
    Many get injured. Get over it.
    He’s crap !!!!!!

  15. i think wenger should take ramsey out on loan for one season and in his place,hand benayoun a permanent’s very sad to see ramsey miss very open goals e.g against everton, man city and wolves.he needs experience.wenger should loan him to bolton next season.

  16. Iloved that pen. He just needed to stretch his arms out and do a Will smith’s version of “who’s the man?”
    Balance? Not so sure about that, I feel Wenger plays 3-5-1 with the wingers pulling inside and having full backs overlap. There Song needs to hang deep and cover the middle while the CB’s cover left or right when the full back presses.
    I think Wenger plays Benayoun, Ramsey and sometimes Rosicky on the left to pull inside and afford the space out wide.
    Ramsey needs either a coach to teach him the ACM role or support from Rosicky and Benayoun to learn it or both. I honestly think Wenger thought Fab and Nasri would stay and help mould Ramsey as he would’ve been a sub for them and played their role in the lower cup games.
    He clearly has the talent and vision to get into good positions, needs to learn composure but also needs to speed up thought and execution which come with games and experience and definitely needs to hone his shooting technique which is just practice.

  17. Against mancity, he should have squarded d ball to Persie who was free instead of missin a sitter.. By now Persie would have scored against all teams excludin fulham.. Ramsey has a deep in form and he takes alot of stick.. To be caprain of Wales ahead of bellamy and Bale aint easy.. Dude is class just bad at d moment

  18. RAMSEY puts presure on the team and he makes SONG do double work 1 taklin covering,tracking loosed balls…. 2 does Ramsey work of passing assistin, because he played averagly in one out of ten games u praise him ahh cut this crab diaby is even better

  19. ramsey tinks too much when he is in position of the ball…he knws too much; he should empty his mind

  20. Ramsey’s a Brit & there are few who handle the ball as well as him. I just pray he can over come all the injury fright, bad press & all that troubles him, & get his groove on once more.

  21. Ramsey might not be too bad and indeed might have loads of potential, but it remains just that and for now he should not be given that preferential slots on the team until he proves himself like Rosicky has done lately. Prior to this new phase Rosicky hardly got starts on the tea, he came in as a sub more often than not, now he is the star of his position, proven and no one is complaining. Simple, let Ramsey do the same and we all move forward as an Arsenal Team full of class.

  22. Hehe.. Did you REALLY think you’d change people’s minds about Ramsey? No. The masses have already decided he’s crap, and that remains indisputable until we find someone else we can lay the blame on. It doesn’t matter that he’s 21(?), missed a year of development, doesn’t matter that he works hard, and it doesn’t even matter that he gets into the right shooting positions actually, all that matters is that he is shit/average/not good enough and must be loaned out/sold. Also, what is this balance you talk about? Football is all about passion. We love the Ox and he should play and blow away the opposition. I know Ramsey played away at Everton too, but that doesn’t fit in my argument of how Ramsey is so shit he loses us the game, so I’ll ignore that. Wenger obviously has no other reason to play him than favouritism. For some reason he’s discriminating against Gervinho and Ox, players that he brought in. Yes. That explains everything.

    Enough of that.

    Andy, I disagree about the chipped penalty. Who cares? I didn’t think it was arrogant. It isn’t as long as the ball ends up in the net. Wenger said he was surprised by it because he’s never seen Robin do that, and that Robin told him that it was a split second decision. Maybe he felt that that’s the best way to score, rather than anything else. Anyway, if such a penalty were scored against Arsenal, I wouldn’t think it was in poor taste.

  23. Some interesting comments about Ramsey. I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll come good, not worried about him in the slightest. To write him off at 21, when he is captain of his national team and caused a bidding war between two of the biggest clubs in England, is bordering on outrageous.

    Regarding my early comment about the penalty: I have to admit that was a feeling I had at the time of viewing, rather than any lingering thoughts. You can’t really change your feelings, and the Panenka is the definition of an arrogant penalty kick, so I’ll stick by what I said.

    To the person who asked me to go back to my day job, well, I earn a little bit from blogging now, so I might just keep on keeping on. I hope that’s OK with everybody else?

    I’m feeling feisty recently. It’s good to be back, I have to say.

  24. Great post Andy – enjoyed it thoroughly, even though you got it half right IMO:

    Agree on Ramsey, disagree on the RvP penalty. But I think we can all agree on Szczesny. @Retsub # 8 spot on – essential save that had it not been made, could have completely turned the complexion of the match. He already is and will be for years I hope, the bedrock of many more 3 points to come.

    My proudest achievement as a Gooner this year is that I no longer have to refer to official sources for the correct spelling of his name. Well at least the last name. Woiychei…Woychek will take a bit longer, but I’m working on it.
    Great kid. So happy to have him in our side.

    The RvP penalty looked a bit cheeky, but I really don’t see him as any kind of a showboater. A genuine chip for me. As for Ramsey – I really don’t understand all the stick and scapegoating. @Shard # 24, well said.

    Looking forward to Wigan, I’d say if they can pull off 6 points back-to-back against Man U and the Arsenal it would be an achievement of monumental proportions. Even I would cheer them on for the their final matches of the season if the season if they were to accomplish that. But then again, stranger things have happened.

  25. @Rahi- “Ramsey is not Arsenal stuff”
    @Brian- Ramsey is a failed joke. He must be sold.

    Is it just me tired of reading these internet managers? Their comments have no depth and no insight.
    Andrew attempts an analysis of the state of Ramsey, and that is your come-back? Jeez!

  26. Ha ha, its good to have you back Andy, though I did find it a little unlike you to dismiss Wolves with the ‘walk in the park’ headline, your not an arrogant person,and a real football man, so it was kinda funny that you then wrote that you didnt like RvPs pen as you thought it belittled Wolves….anywho it was an execution of class that weve seen before from titi on more than one occasion, he misses he gets lambasted, he scores, the end products the same, we go 1 up.
    I for one have never spent my time here giving out about Ramsey, he had a mare against Swansea and has had some poor displays since but I did mention here before that up to Jan he shared top spot on Opta Index for distance travelled on the pitch with Karl Henry of Wolves, the workrate and honesty of effort is there, its the shot, pass and dribble selection, and TINING thats been badly lacking recently…and rather than lauding Wenger for applying fictional balance, we should be looking at why he isnt being subbed like any player should be when his form has dipped. Thats why you have a squad, Wenger seems to forget this at times, that when a starting player tires or is just having an off day, that there is a teamate in the dugout that he bought and trains everyday itching to get on and get gametime, if complacency is allowed in then competition for places evaporates and so then does competitiveness and the standard within the group and on the training pitch, a manager may feel he is being loyal to the player but he is doing him or the squad no favours…….see abou diaby who despite mediocre performances week in week out played 90 mins and got picked whenever he was fit….injuries aside I dont think it did him much good.
    On the issue of balance, which you make an excellent point of Andy, all I can say is I hope

  27. All I can say is I hipevWenger truly doesnt believe that Ramsey is a better tackler or defensive minded player as the Ox as you seem to imploy, because on the little we have seen from AOC already tracking back and winning tackles, theres simply no comparison on those terms.

  28. Hey Andy. Very interesting blog once again and I have to disagree with the person who told you to go back to your day job. Has been great to have you back reading your interesting and unique spin on certain things, the consistent optimism and positivity about arsenal and your openess to differing views. Long may that continue for as much as possible! As for Van Persie’s penalty well like most gooners I’m not ashamed to say, though it clearly was arrogance, that I absolutely loved it haha. I also feel Ramsey will, whatever day that may be, turn into a world class central midfield player at arsena. He’s 21 and bound to have ups and downs just like any young player but clearly seems to have the talent and attitude to be an arsenal player for many years to come.

  29. Ramsey you can say all the goodies about him but for now he is lacking them misplaces his passes, selfish in front of goal and still does not score. gives the ball away easily and he acts like he don’t care. About Robin’s goal i think it was intelligent. He imagined the goalkeeper was determined to catch the ball whether left or right and he thought of something different and it walked. Unlike your friend Ramsey who thinks his right in front of goal and gets its wrong. Balance or no balance left wings and right wings are meant to attack

  30. What game was that last month when Wenger sent the squad out completely front-loaded with strikers? Balance went out the window that day in favor of raw force, and it was amazing to watch…

  31. @all – What about Song? He goes way too forward and the coach is still sitting on the bench? Was the coach banned from talking to the players? Then, if we lose, we end up talking about Song leaving his place as if it was not a part of the plan? He goes up again and again, week in week out and people blame him….its amazing. You are indirectly saying the coach does not know what he is doing and some of these same people say “In Wenger we trust”.

    @Juan Sebastián 2 – @fiekie 9 – @Mark 10 – @Archimedes14 and @Brian16 – Where have u guys been all this while? You make absolute sense.
    Comments 11-21 – all on the money in my opinion.

    That Wenger prefers to bench the Ox, Gervinho and Benayoun for Ramsey makes me overloaded with insane thoughts at a time we need to keep any sort of momentum going.
    That he is our most successful manager does not mean he should play with our emotions because we are on a winning run and will demand more from the team next season, so he says “let me tinker down their expectations with Ramsey”. There is no logic in this whatsoever.

    @Rahi5, Nero Pet20 and Spyder23- You echo my sentiments completely…

    @voley_gun March 26th comment 84 exactly says “Wenger is always and will be a great manager . But the only problem that stoods with him and title is his adamant nature to accept failure about a player he holds faith in, and not replacing him immediately with the right sort of player(not biased on money or fame but interms of talent in which arsene is an expert). He tries that player in different position to make him succeed and risks the title , also in his experimentation makes the player life difficult and also eventually his role as manager. Let’s hope he learns this fast in this season transfer”.

    Coming at a time Wenger should be building towards winning against the likes of Bayern and magreed in UCL next season, I completely agree with this. Mark my words, I hope Ramsey will be different and pick up some amazing form sooner, but he is just too mediocre for now. When Wilshere comes back, Ramsey will not smell the bench. He will be hoping Arteta or Song gets injured or something…
    Especially that Wenger refuses to substitute is no more news, but what happens when he refuses to replace people out of stubbornness(favouritism as Shard now calls it)? He is messing up Ramsey like he did with Arshavin instead of allowing the little boy to learn and grow under Rosicky etc. I am very afraid the boys confidence is gonna get extremely shattered. He will start becoming nervy whenever he plays for us.
    Which teams are bidding for Ramsey? Best bet is to sell him immediately. Anyhow Wenger wants to do it, it is his business…let him just make sure we do not loose any EPL matches again when he tinkers.
    My main problem with the team is that we have to bring up/out different modes/chains of supply to the frontline to enhance our scoring chances.
    I wish we could work more on perfect through-balls, diagonal-balls, sideways-balls, one on one chances, finishing. Right now, we are just four good players away from knocking on the doors of UCL finals next season. Is Magreed that good? I beg to differ…they just have lots of players that can run very fast and shoot accurately…didn’t stop them loosing home and away to Barca in La Liga. I don’t care how fast or how accurate you can shoot, a clean through-pass is a more valuable asset to any football team. How do you score without the ball? When we beat Barca, by divine providence we had Wilshere as DM, FABs as CM, Nasri as ACM, we had three strikers in front of them too. The attacking potential was there, but we still had the quality passes from deep…passes from people who could shoot accurately too if they got into those positions…this is the difference…

    I talk about the uefa champs league UCL because I feel we belong to the top echelons of European football rather than a laughing stock because we have a model not built on money(?). I mean, I am proud we can achieve all this with mediocre players, but I really really feel we should take the next step upwards and get good quality players soon. Rewarding players undeservingly with high salaries and unmerited playing time should be discontinued and players re-appraised based on performances and squad effectiveness (e.g Wilshere cannot function in Barca, but is the first name on the sheet here). In other words, the stupid favouritism(Diaby and Ramsey) and salary cap thing should be thrown out of the window and RVP given a 200k weekly contract. You can have a salary cap in barca and Madrid where no one earns above messi and ronaldo respectively, not here and definitely not at 90k.

    I remain GunnerBoss
    @Shard24 – Andy does not have to change our minds about Ramsey, Wenger did already. We play Sunderland and Milan with Ramsey and LOOSE, we play Sunderland and Milan with Rosicky and WIN. My mind was already made up that first week…All arsenal fans know Ramsey is developing, we are ready to give him his development space, but why force this guy on us and what the hell was Gervinho and Chamberlain doing on the bench vs QPR?
    @Byo 25 – Boooooooo, what do you have the say? You dont ever add anything to the subject, you just question. Now i know you do not watch our matches, or do you?

  32. In all aspects, Rosicky is far better than Ramsey. Rosicky will ensure the ball move forward and speed up counterattacking. Ramsey will slow down counterattacking and allowing opposition defenders to regroup. Rosicky’s passes are neat and fairly accurate. Ramsey’s…no comment. For now, Rosicky shall fill in for Fabregas. Ramsey and Diaby and Benayoun shall be benched. I do not see Benayoun as typical Gooners. His work rate is Ok. His work quality is just so so.

  33. Ramsey’s passing is actually more accurate than Rosicky’s.
    Avg passes Ramsey 57.4 @ 87% success
    Avg passes Rosicky 44.3 @ 84.6% success

    Long balls and through balls per game Ramsey (3 and 0.2) Rosicky (1.3 and 0.3)
    Ramsey also has 1.8 key passes a game, Rosicky has 1.1

    In terms of defense, Tackles & Interceptions:
    Ramsey- 1.7 and 0.8
    Rosicky- 1.6 and 0.9

    Where Ramsey is poor and Andy pointed this out, is his tendency to take too long on the ball. This is shown by the turnover and dispossessed stats.
    Ramsey – 1.7 and 2.8
    Rosicky – 0.7 and 1.2

    I suppose that is where criticism for him stems from. But surely, this isn’t a trait that can’t be worked on. His other numbers are actually quite good, so to say he is useless or not Arsenal quality isn’t quite correct. Anyway, this won’t settle the debate on Ramsey by any means. But I think his real weakness at the moment is that he loses the ball too often. I still don’t think it is correct to blame him for a defeat. He may not be setting the world alight at the minute but he hasn’t done anything wrong either.

  34. It’s hard to accept with you Andy on Ramsey. Wenger trying to slowdown things is something not required when we have Gervinho ,Benayoun,Ox . I think he is more worried about next season where he gets Arteta,Wilshere,Rosicky,Song,Coquelin,Frimpong,Diaby in midfield and he may find it hard to accomodate Ramsey.So he wants Ramsey to adapt to the new role and giving him more chances than Ox,Gervinho and possibly promoting him as a winger .(I doubt replacement for Benayoun next season)

    I totally agree that Ramsey possess talent and he needs time to improve. But he looks more adept to play the role of holding midfielder(mostly supported by your view on him on this blog and the below lines “He could fairly be criticised for taking a split-second longer to release the ball than an Arteta or Rosicky and his finishing has been poor but he shoots from long-range as often as the Spaniard .”) than winger which i think our professor is not ready to settle with.

    Even Denilson looked great when he played alongside Fab as holding midfielder and Song protecting him . But what happened when he is given the role of defensive midfield. I remember some of the stats showed he made the most successful number of passes but his effectiveness or results went down.

    Hope Ramsey’s talent is deserved with right position rather than fitting him into denilson shoes.

  35. Yes Shard, this is where and also why the whole STATISTICS thing is rubbish and does not count in this particular issue. No matter how good one is at writing, no one can turn the argument in Ramsey’s favor cos somehow and i really took my time to stay off this argument and look at this real carefully…
    It seems this whole stuff is misplaced anger at Ramsey cos…..WENGER PLAYS RAMSEY INSTEAD OF THE OX(fan favourite).
    This is the answer.

    Like I said, if Wenger tinkers and we win? Good, but people still have reservations and grumble about the Ox not starting even when we win without him. Culprit? RAMSEY…

    Does Ramsey help his cause when he undeservingly starts in place of the Ox or Gervinho? NO, reasons stated above already by other gunners…

    This case is over…Ramsey is mediocre for now, infact too mediocre for all i care and does not deserve to come on the pitch till we are leading by 3-0. Way better to play the Ox, way way better.

  36. @voley_gun38 – Absolutely on the money…I would’ve taken atleast ten paragraphs to make those same points and its like repeating myself over and over. Brilliant and straight to the point.

    I’ve made those same points before and even listed him as a striker for next season cos it seems Wenger is trying to ensure he is not shut out of the team completely next season. But, is it not foolish taking the ox to central midfield so that Ramsey can be preferably played to Gervinho on the wings? I mean Song, Arteta and Rosicky are a very formidable trio right now, so, …why? Last game he switched them back again cos the Ramsey on the wings thing can never work. I mean, you need speed to operate on our flanks.

    Aside Walcott, RVP and Song who seem assured(in our 4-3-3), the Ram will be vying for places with Gervinho, Ox, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arteta, Coquelin, Diaby…could add Arshavin, Miyaichi, Park, Podolski, Frimpong and Chamakh.
    In other words, if anyone of Miyaichi, Ox, Podolski, Gervinho, Arshavin starts on the left, the rest will have to slug it out for the remaining two spots in midfield(Song already takes one). Santos/Gibbs, BFG/Djourou, goalie will have spots on the bench, leaving four/five spots for all those players earlier mentioned, it’ll be war. Junior Hoilett could come, same with M’vila, Hazard/Odemwingie, then what? He would be very lucky to get a place on my bench for next season

    Who has any info on Gervinho’s mystery injury? Is it a coincidence? Has Wenger said RAMSEY MUST PLAY AT ALL COSTS?

  37. Howd all,
    Thanks for the fresh posting Drew,
    Defensive balance hmmm. Well I guess conceptually it’s a nice idea but is that what Aaron’s play is giving us on the pitch? I rather doubt it although I do have to admit that despite the fact that he’s fluffed some easy goals that under other circumstances might have hurt us the kid keeps trying. Even on this blog I’ve heard complaints about his “useless running around” well if Arshavin would have done a little more of it he’s still be around. Ramsey is young and needs to play to improve so I’m for him playing and improving. However, being played out of position doesn’t seem to be helping him or the team all that much.

  38. @leftcoastgooner

    “Ramsey is young and needs to play to improve so I’m for him playing and improving”

    Is Ramsey always on the bench? Playing but not improving.How long? He need to be loan out to wolves. Period

  39. Ramsey does not play as a winger!! Just because he starts on the left does not mean he plays as a winger. In fact, he didn’t even start on the left in the Wolves game. Benayoun did. Ramsey’s role on the left is different to what Chamberlain’s role would be. He is not supposed to go sprinting down the wing. He comes inside and helps move the ball around, creating even more pressure on the oppositions midfield, which either forces a mismatch in the central area, or leaves the flanks open for Gibbs/Santos to run into as the RB comes infield following him. The tactic worked against Everton, didn’t against QPR, mostly because the whole team didn’t play well, and QPR probably sussed it out as well. No great shakes either way. Not in regards to Ramsey anyway.

    And people can keep complaining about Wenger playing his players ‘out of position’. Bendtner on the right seemed beyond most people’s understanding, but that is Wenger. He challenges his players to do MORE. It works in most cases, and in any case, as I said, Ramsey doesn’t play as a winger, even under Wenger’s system. (which is, according to what I’ve noticed, used only in away matches, in my view, to give us more possession in midfield rather than adopt a gung-ho approach) Not so long ago, people would criticise Wenger for not doing anything different. Now that he is doing something visibly different, people again think they know best. Including about how to bring young players through!! I mean if it’s one thing Wenger indisputably knows, it’s how to bring players through. I don’t get all this chest beating and one-upmanship. Really, I don’t. and after this, I’m staying away from the Ramsey debate. Go have your fun, playing manager.

  40. Gunnerboss

    I have a deep mistrust of statistics and I really do like the instinctive understanding. But both have a role to play. Those stats are rubbish to you because they go against your entrenched argument, for which you seem to have no basis except, that;s what you see. Everything else is rubbish. Why else would you always need to say ‘do you even watch games’ to anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Basis. Grounding. Logic. SHow me HOW Ramsey is poor, or HOW Gervinho or the OX playing would impact the team in a better way beyond just, the Ox is better at dribbling and shooting. I don’t think Ramsey has been playing well, and him playing on the left is not necessarily a tactic I would employ. But that doesn’t make it wrong. It just means I need to try and understand why. And Wenger’s playing with our emotions is not a valid reason. I’m sorry. You can’t both accuse him of not caring about the fans thoughts, and also accuse him of trying to play footsie with them. Wenger picks his team because of what he sees. Not because of what the millions see or don’t see. And That’s how it should be. Running a team by popular vote, while very democratic, is a bad idea.

  41. @Opus
    Okay perhaps a loan would be good. But WOLVES??? Ouch dude that hurts.
    When did Ramsey steal your cat?

  42. @Shard – Are you a lawyer? Cos, i’m gettting really really bored with this thing. I stand with you on 37, else i wouldn’t bother calling ur name. What is obvious is now argued about with fact against what we see and as i said earlier…the best of writers can never argue this one out. By best of writers i meant Andy, cos ur on my page even though u dont understand why i think Ramsey is so mediocre and not Arsenal quality.

    I understand ur argument 24, and I made my point already in @39 above. There is no other answer, you even implied favouritism, how else does this even translate into an argument? How many people have complained about Benayoun? See? Ramsey does not help his cause when he comes on…how many times will i have to say this?

    In the Stoke game, Ramsey ran the most, but was he effective? I do not doubt his work rate, but trying to even compare him with Rosicky is not only futile, but also a lot safer in here. Try doing it in a public viewing spot and you will understand that people dont want to see that guy in the team sheet at all right now. We know what we see, you could get punched in the face…and this is my point exactly. There are a lot of gunners that dont even want to see Ramsey on the bench cos they feel someone else will do a better job. Its like benching Messi, Ronaldo or Casillas and trying to support the argument….get ma point now? People want to see the Ox running, thats all. The more Wenger keeps him away from the team, the more his hype will grow and the more people will look for a scape-goat when things go wrong. That i said stats are rubbish does not mean what you wrote is rubbish…i completely understood what you wrote Shard, thanks for the compliments.

    I dont even know what we are arguing about and please leave Byo to me, he is the one who wanted to take on me personally cos of Chamakh. Maybe he does not watch our matches cos i supported that argument. So, please, stay out of this, the comment was addressed to Byo. You are not his dad…even if you are, i’ve been waiting for him to come back and tell me how good CHAMAKH is…

    If we’re cool, tell me we’re cool so i know how to join your issues from now on cos its like you are making a habit of attacking me unnecessarily(maybe you dont know it) even though we have that mutual respect for each other.

  43. @Shard – I started my @39 with Yes Shard meaning you are right and not, No Shard.

  44. Gunnerboss

    Respect? You, in a however roundabout way, threaten me with physical violence and then say we’re cool? Fuck you. You are not the voice of the people, and just like there are people, who for reasons known to them have decided Ramsey personifies all that is wrong with the team, there are also people who think Ramsey will come good, regardless of his form, which isn’t even terrible. And in any case, that mob mentality is exactly what I was mocking when I brought up ‘favouritism’. You sort of missed the point didn’t you? As you do most of the time because you are so caught up in your own argument, trying to be the know it all and imagining yourself as the voice of the people. I’m done with the Ramsey argument so feel free to mock him, Wenger for playing him, and me, all you want. I DON’T think you could get punched in the face for any of that. So, fire away.

  45. Sorry – completely disagree about Ramsey, He’s NEVER been a tackler or header and that hasn’t changed – weak and slow. What has deteriorated seems to be his passing – directionally and in terms of speed. As an attendee at home and aways for the last two seasons he’s turning into Denilson – turns backwards, slows the game right down so mediocre defences can pack the ‘box. Sideways passes or gives the ball away as he is brushed off it too easily. OK, we can all be sympathetic about the ankle break but that was a long time ago and can no longer be an excuse. He simply isn’t good enough – Wales Captain doesn’t equal top Premier league quality!

  46. @Shard- You come on in here and say stuff and feel completely cool about it…”why not try it outside” does not mean i want to punch you? So, you missed the whole point46 cos you feel i’m winning the argument and making myself high and mighty? It has been 50 comments since, with more people expressing dissatisfaction over Ramsey’s case.
    Come on, give me a break…
    Did you see @voley_gun38? Whats your stand on that?

    Absolutely ridiculous Shard…I’m completely devastated, i never saw the “Fuck you” coming.
    You’re loosing my respect fast, the Shard i knew never lost his cool….This is what i respected so much about that Shard. I’m cool though, but…..still cool. If i’m making you loose it, then its not intentional…

  47. @ kiki, in total agreement with you mate, I think Ramsey should go Bolton, perhaps even Everton, for a season and sign benayoun for next season in his position. I also think ramsey can slow the game down.

  48. We can find hundreds who can play better than ramsey. I watched altheletico madrid played again manchester united. they were damn good. all the players were almost damn good. any of the players in that team can take ramsey’s position. Ramsey has no killer instinct. He always think of blasting the ball into the back of the net. While Henry, Zinadene Zidane, Messi, Ronaldino, Pires and most of the top strikers dont blast a ball all the time. They are smart and reliable. They just flick or trick a keeper with a 20km/hour ball. That is, al long as the ball reach the back of the net. Don’t try to be Christiano Ronaldo, he is gifted to score with a blasting ball.

  49. Well put article but 2 things:
    1: henry scored a more audacious penalty against newcastle in 03/04. Then they cocked up another cheecky attempt with pires against man city at highbury
    2: ramsey’s recent misses stem from his huge urge to score. These are chances he scores every day in training but he so much wants to score that he doesn’t!. But he compesates for that with his impeccable vision and his eye for killer pass.

  50. @Shard

    Did you see the United penalty? The judges gave Young 6.0, 5.9, 5.9, 6.0 and 6.0

  51. With Aaron Ramsey starting this term: win ratio 48%, 1.65 goals scored per game. Without Ramsey: won 88%, 2.78 goals. Interesting.

  52. Shard

    I was working on a scale of 6. Heres hoping that Spurs kick lumps out of Chelsea I couldnt give a toss who wwins!!!

  53. With you there retsub.. I was pulling for Everton in the FA Cup, but not to be. ..A scale of 6 would explain those scores. Sorry 🙂

  54. Our turn tomorrow. Hope all goes well, we don’t cock it up, take all 3 points and…increase our goal difference.
    Does anybody out there think that either Squillaci or Fabianski will ever appear for us again? Better still, has anyone even SEEN Park?

  55. I’m not a fan of technology in football, 1 I think it will slow the game down, can you imagine every time a goal is scored you have to wait for a computer to decide if it was a goal. Secondly I quite like a good discussion about was he? wasnt he? However we must have goal line technology, that was a

  56. wait for it….. shocking decision even if it did involve Spurs


    I wouldn’t be too surprised if we never saw any of them again. although the Flapper got better I never had confidence in him particularly when we played the likes of Stoke.

    I never understood-the Park transfer. Didnt we piss off Lille who were in negotiations which screwed up any hazard deal

  57. retsub

    I think the fears over technology are over-hyped. I would certainly think its worth a try. Why can’t we try and use technology in friendlies? We can see how best to implement it. Keep trying till we reach an acceptable medium. Arsenal asked for it to be allowed during the Emirates Cup last season, but that permission was denied. I think to bring in video is inevitable, but the authorities for whatever reason, keep wanting to delay it. And the good of the game is not usually their motive in most things, I would say.

  58. @ Shard and Retsub
    Being a typically paranoid Yank AI think the betting syndicates have English Football by the short hairs and has a much bigger say in who wins than anyone would like to think. Referees not only make bad calls like the one with Ashley Young today they do it on such a consistant basis that it is thoroughly expected. We all know damn well that Wolves or West Brom would never had gotten that call at Old Trafford. Another issue is the extra time allotments. If Man U. is trailing a game after 90 minutes you can regulalry expect 5 or 6 minutes “Sir Alex Time” regardless of the real stoppages.

  59. Typically paranoid or not, I’m in total agreement with you lefty. There is a lot wrong with the way football is run, and where there’s so much money, and so little transparency, there’s bound to be some foul play.

  60. Shard and Lefty

    I am sure you are right you can bet on anything these days, making it much easier to get involved in these things. Ddo you guys think American football is easier to fix?

    Many years ago a colleague inNew York suggested we bet on the Chicago bears to win the super bowl. myself and some colleagues put quite a lot of money on them at a good price and they ran away with it. That was the year of the Fridge and Walter Payton. I’s never desert ‘Soccer’ but I really enjoyed the NFL that year

  61. Well Sir Retsub,
    I’m not sure about how systemic cheating is in the NFL. With instant replay from 6 or 7 angles and the right to challange calls the refs here have a lot more to answer to than in English Football.
    However, as a native of New England (Maine) I can tell you that a bet on the Bears vs. The Patriots in ’85 was as close to a sure thing as one could get and still be called “gambling”. (unfortunately)

  62. I prefer to think that it is simply human error about referreeing mistakes. Otherwise there really is no point in following the game. But that could be me being naive.
    Atkinson made a big mistake in the the Arse-$ity game over Balotellii and it would be only human to carry that into the next big game. Just a shame it had to happen to Spuds!

    Down under we had the big A League game (an oxymoron I know!) between Central Coast and Perth on Saturday. Perth’s equaliser was shown to be offside on replay and cue the usual “we was robbed” bollix from the Mariners, but honestly I saw the replay several times and it was still pretty close. I am in favour of goal line technology as there seems to be the one piece of technoloigy that can be applied and provide a near instant decision. But is that the thin end of the wedge? When we have that in place do we then bring it in for other decisions – offsides, unpunished fouls, dives blah blah blah? To me that is still part of the attraction of the game – we aren’t being held up for video replays, appeals etc.
    Anyway how did we get on to this topic? Weren’t we all supposed to be banging on how crap Ramsay is?! Comment #3 refers…

    Leftie – careful what you wish for; Squillitchy is on the bench v Wigan with Kos and the BFG unvailable!!!


  63. @Terry
    Sorry my fault. if you look at the various blogs they are totally divided on Ramsey. Various stats produced making him out to be both great and awful. as has been pointed out unless you analyse the stats they dont add up to much. For instance Ramsey played when we got hammered in Milan , but didnt when we beat them at home = Ramsey is crap.

    Heres a couple of review of his performance against Wolves which i have shamelessly lifted from elsewhere which emphasises the great divide

    Ramsey: He out Arteta’d Arteta last night. He was involved in everything – his passing stats must be close to perfect – and he made numerous progressive through balls that could have led to three assists on another night. In one five minute spell he set up Robin twice and Arteta once. He was desperately unlucky not to score when Hennessey made a great block from point blank range, but earlier seemed to fluff a good chance through lack of confidence in front of goal. Nevertheless, he was our best player on the night by quite some distance. 8.5 MotM.

    Aaron Ramsey – 6 – The Welsh captain was wasteful once again today. He did play better than he has recently, probably because he finally played in his preferred central position, but he wasn’t great. Together with the rest of the team, he was a bit slow in attack after going 2-0 up.

    Does deserve some credit for his hard work and defensive determination. I do believe that if he gets a run of games, the goals will come. Fabregas was very wasteful early in his career as well, and look at him now.

    Don’t forget it’s Ramsey’s first full season, and I’m sure he has a great future in this club if he keeps up the work rate.

    Wenger for all his alleged shortcomings has faith in Ramsey and he has a pretty good success rate in bringing youngsters through.

    I firmly believe Ramsey will go on to be a great player, I wouldnt be at all surpised to see him starting tonight

  64. @Terry
    The very same Martin Atkinson that allowed Balotelli the opportunity to break Song’s leg threw Jack Rodwell out of the Mersey side derby with a straight red in the 11th minute for what was an absolutely all ball tackle. The man is either a crook or wholey incompetent. Oh by the way I was not wishing for Squillaci but rather feeling anxious about his possible inclusion.

    Never mind that though, leave us get 3 points.
    Come On you Gunners!!!!!

  65. Andre Santos makes 4.5 tackles per game and 3.6 interceptions per game, no player in the Premier League betters this!

  66. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Santos, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Benayoun, Walcott, Van Persie (c).

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Gibbs, Squillaci, Ramsey, Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh.

  67. Cut the Ramsey crap. He didn’t concede the two goals. The whole team is sucking today. Even if we score a goal in the last 5 minutes a home draw to wigan in the midst of a Champions League qualify place run is lame.
    Okay Opus, what has your boy Wenger got up his sleeve besides his shriveled,withered arm.

  68. Gunnerboss

    You’re like a broken record

    Song poor given the ball away numerous times

    Theo absolutely dreadful

    But lets blame Ramsey shall we

  69. Someone should tell me it was right again to drop the Ox and Gervinho even when Arteta came off.
    When Arteta came off, Benayoun should’ve come in-field to allow the Ox or Gervinho to operate on the right…..But, according to some folks in here, everything is perfectly normal…

    Laugh out loud in my native language

  70. Well I hope this doesn’t hurt our teams feeling but…
    A home loss against Wigan?? Boooo!

    Oh, well got it out of my system now so the fight for the 3rd place cup goes on. Will we better versus Chelsea?

  71. While this sick favoritism fling with Ramsey goes on, i wonder who loses. Where was the supply? Where was the midfield?
    Between Ramsey and the Ox, who would we prefer to exude all manner of confidence? Who are we killing to our detriment? Why couldn’t the Ox come in when Arteta went out?
    Is the Ox or Gervinho that bad all of a sudden? This is my grouse and to majority of our fans, this is the problem, said it a lot of times already.
    Rest my case.

  72. Oh God with the Ramsey nonsense again. The ox didn’t set the world alight when he came on either. Nor did Gervinho. Sagna was, oddly enough, very poor today. Both goals came, in part, from his errors. His header to RVP from the corner was intercepted and led to the break, and he let Moses past him too easily for the second goal. Moses gave him a pretty torrid time all throughout actually. Song was giving the ball away. Rosicky was very good, and Djourou did well too I thought. But that’s about it. Vermaelen got the goal and did ok too. Walcott did nothing, Robin didn’t do anything either. Wigan played well to be fair, although their time wasting was very annoying. The ref added time on, but the rhythm was defiitely broken. Apart from that, well played Wigan. A bit of a strange one from us. We seemed to start of passing the ball like we were in the mood and completely switched on, and then we switched off for those two goals. Can’t even say we started cold. Weird.

    What to do except just take it on the chin and move on. Hopefully we play against Chelsea like we did against ManCity. We’ll need it. Especially because Chelsea are resurgent (although they will be playing us between two Barca matches) and also because it’s going to be Mike Dean in the middle.

  73. Back to the usual complacent team that we’ve loved to hate these past years. Just when we start to believe that 3rd place is practically ours , you can be sure that Wenger sets up a game-plan to ensure that we will be fighting to retain the 4th spot in a few weeks time. AW proved once more that he has no answer to a determined relegation-avoiding team; no attempt to adapt game tactics to what’s happening on the field, no vision. All we saw was a jittery defence, and every time the ball somehow was pushed forward, there was always a Ramsey, Sagna or Walcott to pass it backwards again. To top it all, all we needed was to get such biased refereeing!!

  74. Well done Wigan and Martinez on a job well done, Martinez is a very good manager with a good philosophy and great humility. Iv watched and listen to him everytime his team face a Utd Arsenal or Pool and his pre match interview always involves him being lead to pay hommage to these bigger sides and their manager..which he always does. He deserved to have his hand shaken at the end for a job well done and ackowledgement from a fellow manager, but graceless Arsene Xenger once agqin shamed us and our club by walking the opposite direction at fulltime, that qngered me more than anything else tonight and this lack of goodwill and sportsmanship has manifested itself in our cpt aswel who refused to shake Kruls hand three weeks ago and Caldwell tonight. Im ashamed to be an Arsenal fan when I see such poor losers.
    Wigan and Martinez have payed their dues and tqken their losses all year, why shudnt they be allowef enjoy this victoru when it means their survival???
    They had a plan and they wanted it more, they deserved it. Full stop.
    We were our lacklustre, predictable best with the urgency on the bench matched by what we saw on the field.
    If Walcott and Ramsey played like that in a Wolves side theyd be off at halftime, yet they get 90 amd 80mins in an Arsenal jersey.How? Why is this acceptable…breeding mediocrity.
    Victor Moses made a show of Walcot tonight with his dribbling creativity and overall contribution.
    James Macarthy showed Alex Song what a competent assured CONCENTRATING midfielder should be doing.
    What does Gervinho bring to the table?
    Have we signed a legal document outlawing any formation.other than 4-33, even when wete trailing at home we persist with this tedious repetitive build up, its actually a mirror for Wengers transfer style, rigidly sticking to the same strategy and hoping for a different outcome…its ludicris.
    I cant watch the carry on of Wenger on the line much longer, when we win we get a postmatch interview, he never gives one after a loss…its a disgrace qnd you’ll never learn how to win until you learn to lose.
    Disgusted tonight.

  75. @Retsub – The whole team played poorly? Walcott and Song? Seriously? Why not blame the keeper for not coming out and making a proper clearance or not holding the ball better? Because keeper has been our saviour a lot of times already, we know he is human and can loose concentration a bit. But for someone who has not been doing well, you expect he will double up and hassle and harry players,,,did he? Old Rosicky did that and later ran out of steam, where was the effort from Ramsey? Did we see Gervinho and the Ox in second half? That is what we want to see, but why must it be so late? Moses gave Sagna a torrid time and thwarted a lot of our attacks on the right does not mean Sagna was not up for it or didn’t do well. But, this is a team sport, we have to do same to their players on both flanks and more to counter the effect of their performance. We tried, but they were already set-up to defend even before they scored. So, what sort of players come into mind to attack and disrupt their defense? RAMSEY to the rescue..

    I’ve said it here a lot of times, when someone in the team is not performing to acceptable levels, others have to step up. Unfortunately, stepping up against a Wigan that is completely up for it was not that easy as Wenger found out again. Milan, QPR? Anyone? Its just sad that the team that scores more wins, not the team that runs most or the team with more corners etc.

    If Benayoun was in there with the Ox first half, things would’ve definitely been different. I think Wenger will never win anything if he keeps going like this. We cannot keep on promoting mediocrity. If Ramsey is not the problem, i dont know what is. Okay, maybe the stubborn Wenger is, for bringing on a not so confident Ramsey. Poor Ramsey…

  76. Fuck that Ramsay bloke is useless. Can’t believe he didn’t prevent both those goals and put away those chances. He’s a disgrace! Totally let down the other ten on the field who were all superb, especially Walcott who was MoM tonight.

    Jesus that was crap. But it was COLLECTIVELY crap.

    Ten losses in a season. Terrible stuff.

  77. Shambo

    I thought Martinez made his first move towards his own bench and then spent about 2 mins hugging everyone on it. I don’t know if Wenger refused his hand or not, but as soon as the whistle went, the camera panned to Martinez who turned towards his own bench as I said. I wouldn’t expect Wenger to stand around and wait for that to finish just to shake Martinez’s hand. Also, the RVP thing. He did extend his (wrong) hand as he was walking away, but Caldwell(?) wanted, no demanded, that RVP shake his hand properly. If you think he did it as anything other than a wind-up then I disagree. I have no problem with what RVP did.

  78. Retsub, Just seen it bro, I couldnt believe it I thought, damn iv got egg on my face, until he started talking his usual tripe about us being unlucky, having more possesion…blah blah blah…did u hear what he said when asked what Wigans 4-3-3 formation brought to the game??? ‘ eaaahhhh, Nozzczzing.’ ….proof once and for all that the man is incapable of adjusting to opponents strategy in favour of employing his own every single fucking week!! Then he has no answer when it falters.
    Height of arrogance..he couldnt even give Wigan credit for being the better side. Bull shit excuses again

  79. @Shambo well said. Supply lines completely cut-off to the strikers, yet we still try to use the wings to supply crosses…Wenger Oh Wenger…
    Makes our players look silly on the pitch cos its like “My stuff isn’t working today”…even when we know it could’ve brought a different result were they not so defensively built. I know when i blame a player cos i’ve seen him week-in week-out. I know when any player’s performance is dwindling, RVP’s job is to score, not to look for the ball to score…was he fed today? Did he miss chances? Was there any chance for him?
    But, because they were set-up to counter, we pretend we do not know this and we set for attacking(with Ramsey strolling as the cow in the field) making their fast(but average) strikers look very deadly on the counter.

    Outplayed and outgunned at home because we keep our dangerous players on the bench and expect to win. Told you he would look foolish when this tinkering does not work. Cos, this FAVORITISM is also known as TINKERING. Shove all the blade covering grass statistics up my ass, USELESS, completely useless. It is the effectiveness that matters here, how sensible are you where you play? How consistent are you? How many times have you been on the winning side? What are your contributions to the team, are you effective in the side? Not the stupid stats…

    We know Gervinho can do better, but how many people did he need to come up against whenever he was with the ball? Same situation Walcott faced throughout. Embarassing, but solution lies on switching tactics, patience or play ugly for a moment. Wigan was never going to lie on the slab for us to slaughter, not after their morale boosting win against manure.

    So, why couldn’t we do something? We had enough time to rest and we are out of europe with nothing else absolutely to play for…beats me completely

  80. @Shambo Gunner
    Too bad but you are right. They were the better side today because THEY were ready to play. The point being of course, that we were not. It’s the same old story same old song and dance…my friend.(Thanks to Aerosmith)

  81. I dont care how you see this, but our best eleven is never on the pitch for the 90mins(reserves included). If they are and we loose, fine, just like Milan at home. In that game, we needed something extra (I say an Arshavin), but we did not have any classy players to bring on. Where will we be in the next two seasons? We just wobble if we keep going like this…

    We all talk about shitty coming up, some say they will win the EPL next season. The spuds are coming up and threatening us too. What better way to show our stuff and re-assure our fans and the world that we belong to the top of the EPL by beating QPR and Wigan, getting an unbeaten run going again. We should be beating Wigan 6-0.

    If tinkering and loosing(as long as we qualify for UCL) will get us four quality players next season, long may the tinkering continue. But, if we feel we have a star in Ramsey and we are loosing matches with him, yet, he will be the same reason we cannot get a playmaker… then this is counter productive. Rosicky is not getting any younger you know. I wanna see us get an unbeaten run going again and get used to the pressure cos we will be needing it next season. So far, tinkering has not allowed us get any sort of run…but for the mediocrity of others, we would be no-where near those UCL places. Shame

  82. @Shard,Lefty,Terry – This post is about a certain RAMSEY…so hold ur shit. Wenger is not doing him any favours telling him to be calm and not run today.

    If this has anything to do with the fact that we have to pay Southampton more if the Ox gets certain playing time, then this stinginess thing will forever be our nemesis. Cant even understand the whole point, it is obvious what someone should do, but by divine stubbornness, Pharaoh did not let Gods people go and his people suffered. Lets hope we don’t pay dearly for these recent loses.

  83. @Gunnerboss
    Listen Queeny, it’s clear you know everything about football and have a high def TV. That just makes you one of many countless clones so when you’re finished dishing up innane advise pull yer HD head out and have a look around.
    Opinions are like assholes and EVERYBODY and not just you have got one, So hold your shit there pal.

  84. Well played Wigan … and QPR. That’s ten that we have lost this season and I predict another soon … not the Chelsea game, maybe Norwich.

    I just hope that Spurs can continue their bad run and let us off the hook. With the Toon playing well I think 4th will be spectacular. Anyway, the boys can play better than that and they know it. Keep the faith. Chelsea is now a six pointer and critical but if anyone can beat them it’s us.

    Very disappointed and still nervous

  85. How about we try and restore a bit of reason and sanity. We conceded two sloppy goals (where was Santos for the first one btw? we had a corner so the two centre backs were in the box I think so we usually have the full back and Song as cover). The second goal Djorou probably should have dealt with the cross better and Sagna should have prevented it in the first place.

    We created numerous chances after that which on another day we probably would have convereted more than one. Djorou came mighty close, Benayoun’s header I was sure was going in until the keeper pulled off a terrific save.

    At half time even though we were losing I still thought we would score again. But we lost our way. Wigan frustrated us with the time wasting and we got sucked in, and they crowded us out in and around the box forcing us out wide and we never looked convincing. We seemed to run out of ideas. RVP looks like he needs a break and Song tried too many difficult passes in the final third that were easily defended. Walcott was anonymous and Benayoun and Rosicky both faded as the game went on. Ramsay didn’t create anything and Gervinho when he came on went down more blind alleys than… someone who spends a lot of time going down blind alleys (dammit couldn’t think of a decent metaphor).

    And in truth we left ourselves open at the back and could easily conceded a third in the second half. Also you need to give credit to Wigan who played well and look like they are safe for another season. Didn’t see the post game stuff so don’t know what went on then. Some of us had to go to work!

    Not a disastrous result but we have put ouselves under needless pressure for the last few games. Bugger.

  86. A lapse of concentration and a speedy strategic attack from wigan for the intial 10 minutes has costed us the game. Thereafter arsenal looked on track to get the goals during the first half where they had 7 shots on target(Totally we had only 9 shots on target for the game). But in the second half a strong defensive performance from wigan clubbed with our lack of creativity along with lack of ideas led to our own turmoil.I am not picking on any player as they let down each other as a team. An almost similar performance as that of QPR where we stopped pushing harder for the win or draw after we got one goal.

    Strategically wigan outplayed us on our strengths by cutting passes and taming our front attack and attacking us on counter reminding me of the old liverpool team 5 0r 6 seasons back.Also their second half strategy is similar to QPR.

    I would have welcomed more of the long range effort from our players(not to score but to unsettle the opponent defence or helping our strikers to score on the bounce or errors) when we can’t supply rather than pulling everyone for the attack or trying to run through the defence and letting us open at the back.

    Arsene was the best man available to judge and guide his players when the game was strategically poised and should have changed the game plan in the second half.

    I strongly agree with most of @Terry comments.

  87. @Terry
    I agree with you in as much as you correctly state the way in which we lost the game. Yours is a rational and accurate analysis. But I think the bad feelings amongst some of us is that the loss itself coming where and how it has is almost inexcuseable. A more visceral reaction to be sure but you’ve been around a long while and must see where that’s coming from.

  88. @leftcoast -Pure genius, ur my favourite clown/jester….cant stop laughing in unknown tongues…
    Today, you earn your keep….i promote you to supreme jester in my court.

  89. @leftcoastgunner – Why not join the “Lets tame the GunnerBoss” gang? Watching stuff transmitted in HD is different from having a HD TV(even though i have one)…It means more of having a HD decoder. Hold ur shit, ur intruding, I gave reasons…..the blog is about Ramsey, why the cut the crap message lefty? You say everyone has opinions, i did not stop you from making one, you rather tried to make me stop making mine. How insane, oh well, it truly does take an insane person to be a jester….taha tehehehehe(unknown tongues)…still laughing

  90. @leftcoast,
    Dead right.
    What is the point coming on here stating the reasons why we lost, weve all seen the game so this notion of writing obscure circumstances, i.e ‘we wernt sharp enough’….’we didnt defend well’……’ we couldnt push on in the second half’…’it was a lapse of concentration’…’ Wigans speedy countercounter attack caused us problems’….blah blah blah, is futile.
    If I want to go over these details Il read the next days paper, its sorely obvious stuff, what you should be doing is asking how and why these things happen, but, as happy as I am with our current league position and how unperturbed i am with thr result the other night itself, its the lack of accountability within this management that gets my blood boiling after losses of this nature.
    The managers job is to pick his best 11 in form players based on matcgday performances and training, its then his job to prepare the team for the oppenents come matchday, usually watching a brief dvd compilation, but Id bet my last rolo that Wenger does not do a single thing on the opposition because he thinks he should be allowed adopt and employ the same one dimensional tactical approach week in week out and get the right result, aswel as being stubborn and arrogant its downright lazy and shows a lack of initiative….when we are up against it of down a goal or two what is the plan b?????
    The other main job of management is to then motivate and stimulate the players…I dont know what it would take to get Walcott fired up pre match, but him aside if this team arent the best 11 available, arent reading off the same hymsheet needed to beat the opponent and arent motivated or up for it, then you dont come on stating the obvious you ask why, if you then come to the conclusions that these criteria have been met, then you put your hand up and say the better team won, if your not asking these questions then you are not progressive minded and this club needs to start making progress again, not shying away and passing time till the next game can distract from the previous poor performance…thats whats been happening for too long…deflection and distraction from the manager in the face of accountability.

  91. Shambo

    Accountability? What accountability do you want? (that’s a serious question by the way) If the manager comes out and says we were pathetic, does that imply he’s being more accountable? If he tells the press we were unlucky, does that mean he’s not looking to improve and work on the flaws in training? Is it really about what happens on the field or what you want to hear to assuage that feeling of frustration? Wenger will never hang out his players to dry. Even when he criticises them, he does it gently. For better or worse, that’s his style.

    Also, although a plan B can be important, there is nothing wrong with playing the way you want to play. Barcelona have no plan B. They are so good at what they do because they constantly practice and play to Plan A. I tend to agree that tactics might help, but the team that plays well wins usually.

    In any case, we won’t make top 4 is now spewing over to anger because we lost and gave up a good chance of further extending our lead in third. I can understand the frustration of 7 years. But holding onto that frustration is no way to analyse what is happening now. Also, I would demand the same accountability from the referees. How do they give the decisions they do? Maybe if they had got some decisions right, we, with all our failings and rubbishness, would still have won some trophies so that you could feel happier about our current situation.

    I don’t understand why every defeat has to be met with the sky is falling on our heads reaction. A defeat means the manager is useless, a pre defined scapegoat is useless, we will never amount to anything. Wigan beat ManU, and should have beaten Chelsea. Does that mean nothing? The manager focuses on only us, is your criticism of him, but aren’t you doing just the same. We didn’t lose only because of our failings but also because of Wigan’s strengths. It happens.

    We’re still third. Top 4 was always going to be the limit of our capability this season. We’re still there. Anyway. I’d rather just stay on this ride and have fun than get bogged down in any argument or just feeling negative, downhearted or angry. So.. No worries. I’m not challenging you on anything. I’d just rather we could all just enjoy the football. Isn’t that sort of the point?

  92. @Gunner boss,
    “Tame Gunner Boss”
    Dude, you make me chuckle in MY native tounge. 🙂
    Grab a bud, a brew and…a clue.

  93. @Shard
    I guess the point is that I don’t enjoy the football when we lose to (and I will only name) Liverpool,Fulham,Sunderland,Swansea,QPR, and Wigan.
    I can’t imagine why I or any one else who supports the club would.
    In none of the above mentioned losses have we played anything like competitve football. The truth is God knows what or which Arsenal will show up. This is especially true against weaker opposition. (do you deny this?) Accountability means being ready to play on matchday and not some time after it.

  94. lefty

    So are you saying only another unbeaten season can make you enjoy a season of football? That was rhetorical because I know that’s not really what you’re saying. I don’t deny not knowing which Arsenal will turn up. But that too, is part of following a team. If that’s our team’s character, sure complain if you don’t like it. I just think there’s an extreme over reaction after any defeat (do you deny this?) although I suppose that is the character of the internet as well.

    I think there is a joy to football beyond results. Not saying my weekend isn’t ruined when we lose, in any manner. It always is. But getting up, getting over it and moving on is the only option. Railing against things over which we have no control, and which don’t have easy solutions anyway. I’d rather not do that. It makes no sense to me and honestly, for me, all the negativity takes the joy of the game away. I was angry at us for giving up those two goals. It shouldn’t happen. It did. The team’s effort was there after that, but we couldn’t get it done. Something went wrong. I think the players know it. And people can argue about however number of years, but this team has shown they have character. They fight for each other. They are fulfilling this season’s target so far, if not exceeding it. I’m not going to jump on their back because it doesn’t help anything. I’d rather believe and be disappointed than ridicule and be proved right. But hey, that’s just me.

    What I AM worried about, is that we will be without Arteta now, and Benayoun is ineligible for Chelsea. We’re basically down to Song, Rosicky and Ramsey. Especially if Coquelin and Diaby (I know) don’t recover in time.

  95. @Shard Un-defeated is a bit much but,
    it would be nice if we would beat the teams that are (in talent at least) far inferior to us. I didn’t list all the teams we lost to only the ones where we never showed up. Wigan is on that list not just because they beat us and not just because we’re better that they are but because we were not ready and did not play well. Thus un-enjoyable footie.
    And I agree, though I feel I have the righ to criticize the team but I don’t want them to lose games to prove me right. Instead if we could LEARN something from losses like Sunderland,QPR and Wigan and be more prepared to beat the teams we should that would be most preferrable.

  96. @Leftcoast – Too sad i dont take bud or any other thing for that matter. Tis good what the bud does for you then, and my court too. You certainly do earn your keep…
    How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? Now, therefore be content, look upon me; for [it is] evident unto you if i lie.

    You say i should get a clue? Who has made the most effort at defending what he feels on this blog? I always try to be constructive in my criticism and will not fail to say sorry when necessary. But, you say i dont have a clue? Go, get a brew…Still stuck like glue? You slew…veer again. What is your point, just wanted a piece of me? Jest…….now, go practice some more jest, seems like you need some rest…in time for your incest, you pest…

    Whenever you want to attack me, do so with real reason, not for the fun of it, cos i do spend some time to analyse things with good reason before i come out here. At-least respect the fact that i have a court you proudly jest in, own a HD decoder, HD tv and watch all our matches live with rewind functionality too.

    a walk in the park, so, lets talk about Ramsey…Thank you Jester, jest, jest

  97. Gunnerboss aka Queenie

    Not only is it easy to say all that here, it is also much safer. (Ring a bell?) Say that to lefty’s face, and I’ll crown you king, for all time to come.

  98. GunnerBoss, sometimes I think I need an Enigma machine to decode your posts. They can be more cryptic than the Times crossword
    My frustration is our consistent inconsistency. Fab against $ity, crap v Wigan. We have been like this for too long. Am now worried about the chelski game. Instead of being a game we only needed a draw it has become a must win. I can only hope that chelski players are knackered from their shift tonight winning despite barca hitting the post twice and having 110% possession or whatever the stat was.
    Time for a new post Andy!

  99. Gunnerboss
    You certainly are an enigma. You have mentioned before about laugthing in your native language. I really hope some of your ‘attacks’ are lost in translation.

  100. @Shard – Oh well, there comes Shard again trying to make jest…
    Wanna take lefty’s place in my court? N….ever! N…ever! N…ever! Okay, you got me on that one, was waiting for it, weren’t you? Punch that crown, will you?

    @Terry – An enigma machine is all we need. Sorry, i couldn’t be more direct.

    @Retsub – Being a man involves being able to be cryptic and indirectly direct. The more you use parables, the wiser you seem to be(wish King Solomon was still around). I couldn’t really bring it out the way i would’ve wanted, kinda hurried(made my point though) …my internet connection is off and on due to a major upgrade by my ISP. Soon, i’ll be able to take my time again…

  101. @Shard – Are you a fag? As a fag, one is the girl and the other the King. Girls take it from behind, so, are you trying to woo me unto ur hook? I dont need to take punches from lefty(with his leftcoast-hook) before giving it to you from behind, so take your answer there…
    Yeah, punch that

  102. Andy, this is where you need to step in as moderator.

    It’s play lunch and there’s no teacher on duty again!

    GunnerBoss you are seriously in need of therapy.

  103. When the pen is used to start peace/a war, then laughter could suddenly turn to roaring/groaning. The agony of defeat or the joy of winning cannot be more expressed by writhing in pain or reveling in the unprepossesing conqueror’s loot.
    The king is where the loot is, the jester belongs to the courts. When the loot is used to feed the jester, the merrier the court may be…
    When the loot is used to feed the jester, the jester may be the war pen…

    Never knew i could compose this, eventhough it is meant for someone(when he/she does pop-up)…thanks to the blog for this space.

    I remain the GunnerBoss

  104. You remain demented. Seriously, get a psych eval done. Megalomania and dementia are two very likely possibilities. Either that, or you’re just a cunt.

  105. Shard,
    I thought the point of you and I writing such long winded posts is that we dont have to repeat the point in detail, what I wrote above is there in black and white.
    Nobody ever excepts responsibility when we bomb, I say bomb because a loss is fine but poor preparation, team selections/formations and lack of motivation in any sportsman under coaching influence should be examined for the sake of improvement.
    It is my opinion that when we play the way we have against much lesser opposition, blackburn away, or when we dont show up for our biggest game of the year, Milan away, that someone says what went wrong,and I dont mean ‘ we lacked intensity and couldnt get the goals our play deserved, because thats horse shit…and are all the other deflecting meandering rubbish that we get fed to the point where everyone says ‘ lets just look to this weekends game’ like what happened after QPR, only two games later we are getting beat at home to Wigan
    now were being told it just puts more emphasis on the chelsea game.
    Accountability very sportsman needs it. To be honest with themselves and correct issues to improve….and if your a sportsman under a coach its he who is responsible.
    Nobody at Arsenal is made to think about what went wrong when we falter, this can be proved true because we have been repeating the cycle of getting beat by poor sides for years now. Nobody gets dropped for poor performances…it took months and years before Wenger pulled the plug on almunia, squillachi, arshavin and bendtner, and look at what happened when he did!!
    Shard there are still big questions to be asked in the summer. 10 losses I think, humiliation at old trafford, collapse in champions league and fa cup in same week…and plenty more Im sure. But will these questions BE asked, and even more important will they be answered?
    Short answer is…..NO.

  106. Shambo

    Regarding questions being asked. Arsenal are far more open to dialogue than most clubs. Do you know of any other club in the EPL which has its CEO spend an hour and a half in a room full of its fans facing sometimes tough, and sometimes even ridiculous questions? Now whether those are answered depends. Arsenal will not criticise their model, they will not criticise their players or their manager publicly. That much should not be expected. Those questions are only an issue because people ‘demand’ trophies. I remain convinced that the manager wants to win as much as you. However, I am also proud of a manager who clearly says it is never about winning at all costs. I think a lot of those players you mention were given chances because of the initial investment in them and the belief that it would pay off. Misplaced? Not necessarily, but even if so, the fact remains that when those players were brought in, it was in large part due to the financial constraints placed on the club. It didn’t go perfectly, but it was managed well. The stadium is not an insignificant factor in how we have done. The only clubs who have finished above us have been the ones who are financed by billionaires.

    The signing of Podolski (if its true- I’m usually loath to believe the media, but this one seems legit) is a step in the right direction, because of the type of player, his position, and also that we are looking to sign players early. It suggests that lessons are being learned from last season. I would say, it also suggests the ability (not just the need) to be able to spend a bit more money. Don’t expect us to go all galactico though. That has never been arsenal’s style. Not just under Wenger.

    Anyway. I gotta run now. Besides. I just think we should see out the ride of this crazy season before we all turn hysterical. Losses to clubs lower than us happen, and they dont happen only to us. At least beating bigger clubs doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore (fingers crossed for Chelsea)

  107. Shard,
    I just hope Podolski, if he comes, isnt a replacement for RvP.
    As always I enjoy and respect your insight, but if you read my post regularly youll know the changes I want arent all about investment and dont all revolve around or are motivated by silverware, I, like your goodself enjoy all facets of what a being a football fan mean, but man management, motivation and and tactical nuance and execution at the club annoy me, the only thing that annoys me more is lack of humility, sportsmanship and good grace….so you can understand why Im particularly cranky after this weeks game.
    We’ll talk after the chav game bro.

  108. Fingers crossed for the Chelsea game. I think we need to unleash the Ox for this one. hopefully they are knackered after chasing Barca all over the pitch. If we had taught El Fab to shoot it would have been all over by now. hope the ground staff make the pitch nice and comfortable in case Drogba fancies a lie down

    In the unlikely event that Chelsea win the champions league and finish outside the top four, then only the top 3 qualify. I think the answer is to give them a good hiding and rough them up a bit .

  109. Shambo

    I know that, and I apologise if it came across as me indicating that you only care about trophies. I know that’s not the case. I just meant that most of these issues are in the spotlight for that reason.

    I do not agree with you about lack of sportsmanship though. One of the things I’m the most pleased about our club is the way we behave. Often it’s portrayed that way by the media, but like I said above, I almost never believe the media. Because they lie too often. I think compared to other clubs, and other managers, we are among the best behaved of the lot. Also, sometimes we are too nice, which was also one of your complaints (and I agree with that actually- we can be too nice) It’s a tough balance to strike. Anyway, I am actually really happy with how our club (usually) behaves. So, in this case, I strongly disagree with you.

    But no worries. We’re all allowed our perception, and I genuinely respect you because I can tell you care about the club. We will talk after the Chavs game. Hopefully with a victory under our belt (with Ramsey scoring the winner? heh)

  110. @Shard – Are you a dementor? You are very fond of accusing people of stuff they do not say and you answer to your own question. You just want to be the only correct person(a megalomaniac) and you have started showing signs of memory loss/dementia/insults in your posts. This is not the Shard i knew, this new Shard seems to want a queenie. So, what is the meaning of cunt? You are stuff of fairy tales and a supreme jest/fool too. “Megalomania and dementia are two very likely possibilities. Either that, or you’re just a cunt.”

    Who is ur Queenie? I am a proud man, not a fag and wont stand for that sort of bullshit. Had to put you where you belong, had to let you know that if i am ever going to be a fag in the next world (that’ll never happen either), you would be the one bending over. Thats out of the way now….and thats what happens when you look for a male QUEEN.

    Now, you and Terry pretend you dont know what i was talking about cos you need cryptic codes again(?)……
    @Terry – BEHOLD THE CODES….you go for the therapy (i could pay if its too expensive for you)…sorry, but i’m perfectly normal. I have jests in my court, i laugh too much and have not lost my sense of royal humor.
    @Leftcoast – Shard says i need to rough you up before he lets me stand behind his behind (he dreams a lot these days)…So, hiding behind the fag will do you no good at all, thus, i wonder who is roaring/groaning between both of you. Jests, fools, your duties are to make me laugh, not make me draw out my royal sword. Its not that i intend using it though…just brandishing it will do..

    My writing skills is actually improving, thanks to you lot. Will remain GunnerBoss

  111. What has happened to the blog I loved so well?
    No updates.
    And the bickering is embarrassing.
    @Shard, Re read your last post after what gunner boss wrote previous, accidentally quite funny….hes talking bout fags and buggering from behing and your giving him advice on what to do when hes in a hole!
    Lefty, what do you call an aligator wearin a vest?

  112. @Shambo hang in there mate. You can’t let this guy ruin the blog just ignore it.
    What DO you call an aligator wearing a vest? Wally Gator? (1960’s Hanna Barbara cartoon character)
    @ The rest of you guys: it’s clear Gunner Boss respects no protocol and has no interest in civil or intelligent discussion. I wouldn’t really dignify his comments with a response. I get the feeling this is the only place he gets attention and he’d perfer bad attention to none. It’s clear he fancies himself a football genius and a un-tamed maverick. I fancy him a common jerk and am quite sure that somewhere there’s a village that’s missing it’s idiot.
    @ Gunner Boss Now, dude follow that up any way you like I’m done with your sad ass.

  113. Shambo
    I believe that’s called a double entendre 🙂

    LOL @ Wally Gator.. I can’t remember why, but for some reason I was thinking about that old cartoon a few days ago. That and Lippy the lion & hardy har har.

    Andy, I thought you’d be here for our run in.. I guess its better to have a Chelsea preview now. I’m actually quite excited. Just over 24 hours to go. Although Arteta will be a huge loss.

  114. @Lefty – Come out of hiding to declare the truth? You and Shard are ruining the blog…it is also clear you and Shard intend on leaving my court…finally? Wish you all the best in your new village, your demotion well deserved…
    Oh and you are the supreme jest lefty…a real alligator in vests…a super clown….thus people should beware of you cos you often make no sense.

    @Shard – See lefty127 above, same thing you did, see the last line? Secondly, give yourself some time off and think properly, people are seeing you more for what you truly are now( a hypocrite)… You say i have made up my mind about Ramsey and Wenger(wrong analysis), but you and some others are doing the same with me already. Thirdly, i do not need your sick advises.

    See, when we have people like this who feel only their opinions matter, then this is what you will get. I go on about Ramsey and because Shard feels he should make me quiet (he starts doing a queenie). I mean how did this blackmail start? This is certainly not the Shard i knew…this one’s a Python in worm skin.

    @All, dont i have the right to defend myself anymore? How can these same people be blackmailing others (megalomaniac or dementia) into submission or trying to make the person wrong by teaming up and hiding behind the others posts? What of now that lefty is “done with my sad ass”? Is he taking it from Shard who often finds himself in holes?
    Terry comes on here and pretends he does not see what Shard is doing…ashamed of you Terry, (guess you dont need cryptic codes for Shard’s and lefty’s posts, do you?).
    I talk about Ramsey and give reasons…If anyone wants to respond, i would expect the person to do so with good reason until I respond back and so on. But, people just come and say “Oh, cut the Ramsey crap”….without any reasons at all. I say this is why i said so, and I become a bad person. Shard even brings up stuff i did not say and answers his own question(making him seem very good indeed). Eg 123
    This is how you lot chased off SpanishGunner because Wenger is always right and we do not need trophies at Arsenal. I cannot imagine how someone spends his time to talk about his beloved team and some others want to make him feel he does not know how to be a FAN? I give a lot of insights even though repetitively, but is this not the point(getting your thoughts across?).
    I’m tired.
    If defending myself from someone trying to call me a QUEEN is bad, then I apologize. But, you lot should be speaking more often then…someone has spoken well already.

  115. Gunnerboss

    Look..This is going to be my last post addressed to you. So listen good. The Queen joke (along with Sir Retsub etc.) began because you started saying King Shard. And the last bit of advice was meant in an honest way because I actually felt sorry for you. So I just meant you should let it go. But I guess that isn’t your strength. And returning to the queen thing, the fact that you would get offended by it and take it in a way that it meant people were calling you a ‘fag’ and your subsequent comments show you to be 1) a homophobe, and 2) seemingly insecure about your own sexuality. Since then you have basically admitted to purposely writing in riddles and parables because it makes you APPEAR smart (your advice to retsub I think it was-can’t be bothered to go back and check) and then abstractedly compared yourself to Solomon. Hence my bringing up megalomania and dementia. As for the insults. You, not just intimated I should be punched for my views on Ramsey, you did in a way that was hiding behind talk of ‘respect’ and the ‘oh Shard you write so well’ spiel, which is what annoyed me even more. I didn’t say ‘fuck you’ out of anger or any lasting impression. I said fuck you because that’s exactly the response you deserved. and if you didn’t act like a total cunt, i wouldn’t have called you one. I thought the name Queen was funny for you because you are a total drama queen. As your continuing hissy fit shows. Once again, just let it go man. Seriously.. But of course, you won’t. Oh evil shard the bully continues picking on you so you just have to defend yourself. Go ahead, I’m done with this shit.

  116. I say i would wish Ramsey improves soon, right now, he does not deserve a place in the team(too mediocre for attacking midfielder). Some say he should be sold altogether…
    I say Wenger does not have a plan B, I say he is favouring Ramsey by continually playing him over the Ox(be it at attacking midfield or on the wings) and Gervinho. Some say Wenger should be sacked altogether…

    I guess the difference between what i want and what some others want is quite clear. Ramsey is not the one that puts himself on the pitch(even when he is not very fit), Wenger does…So, if i indirectly talk about Wenger not knowing what to do cos i used Ramsey as the example, I guess readers should be able to decipher easily what my point is.

    When i say “certain frenchman fields Ramsey” to get my point across, the jury comes out and i become a racist all of a sudden…Is Wenger not a frenchman? Did it matter that he is french, he could be from anywhere and i would use that too. Is Ramsey also french? I’m not biased by where anyone comes from. When i was out on Chamakh, people thought i was racist (ever heard of Moroccan racist) too. Where is Chamakh now? Am i now justified on that or was i telling the truth that he was not fit to lead our forward line? I cant remember any other player i ever felt was not up to it.

    Silvestre was a very glaring mishap, but we never had anyone better and you would feel sorry for this guy. He is not good enough, but he has to play because there is no other defender available for selection. The case is different now, at-least, i feel it is different and thus have to voice out especially when we loose. I’ve said tinkering wrongly to win is acceptable, but, bad for us in the long run especially when we come up against tougher opposition that will expose all what we knew was bad already and make us look foolish. Secondly, tinkering wrongly keeps certain on-form individuals out of the squad. Every squad needs its on-form individuals, especially wingers (Bayern anyone?). I see my squad challenging in the UCL semi’s season-in season-out. We belong to that cadre of top teams, but some of us here dont want any of that.

    Chelski beat Barca and will qualify if they keep their experienced heads down. I bet if we had Torres, we would have thrown him in…etc
    Are we not better than this?

  117. ……an in-vesti-gator!!!!!….ha ha ha ha!
    Im glad this argument above is over, it was like watchin mammy and daddy fighting when you were a child, not that I had a bad childhood, ha…..god what has happened to this site?
    Gunnerboss, you know we actually share alot of the same frustrations at the mo but its not right to take it out on Shard, he has alot of valuable things to say and if you take the time to read it there is substance to it and, personally it brought me out of the feeling of frustration quite often when we got into a heated debate, hes not asking you to relinquish your opinion, you know what your talking about, but we are here to listen and share opinion and if we can take a new perspective away then s’all good, eh?

  118. The argument is over guys. N0w let us focus on cheski game.

    Idea of arsenal line up?
    Drogba’s falling all over the place and so on.

  119. I don’t know if Chelsea’s mid-week match is to our or their advantage. They had to put a lot into it and they are definately not a young squad but on the other hand the psychological boost of beating Barca has to count for something.
    Will that be enough to overcome the fatigue or changes in their side?
    And of course there is always the question of which Arsenal will show up.

    @Shambo Investigator? sorry to say I did not see that coming. Good Juan 😉

  120. I think its about which arsenal team show up as Lefty suggested. Personally I think its time to unleash the Ox. I think he needs to hold back a little though, talented that he is, against Wigan he was running into trouble, probably out of frustration at the performance of his colleagues

    We cant expect Rosicky to perform at his current level every week he needs support. Song needs to up his concentration level he was sloppy against Wigan, Theo in my opinion is a far better counter attacking player and not at his best when the team presses.

    Ramsey assuming he starts needs to be more incisive with his passing, which is probably a confidence thing.

    Afew multiples there but if it all comes togetherI think we’ll win

    Kos is back right?

  121. Grauniad has the ox in starting line up in front three with FernandoRVP and Theo. not that they know, but hope its the case,

    Kos and Gibbs back in defense. 9.45pm kickoff where I live – woo hoo Saturday night watching the Arse. Beats the middle of the night we usually have to endure!


  122. I expect Chelsea to play similar in tactics to Barca and would not be too adventurous against us .Also expecting that they would like to master their counter attack and defense to perfection before they return to barca and arsenal would be the right team to attain perfection for them .

    if it is so as expected ,then it would be interesting to see, what arsene will deploy to break the best defensive line up.

  123. @Terry
    Thanks for the lineup tips.
    04:45 am start here. I think my coffee is still asleep. Let’s hope the lads are awake and up for it. Much on the line here.

    Come on you Gunners!!!

  124. Ox starting, correct decision.
    Ramsey starting, not correct decision on form but I hope he plays well today and his confidence returns….but he has to start by doing the simple things flicks or backheels for the sake of it.

  125. Fair result, we didnt deserve 3pts.
    The pass pass pass approach is overused, you have to incorperate a piece of individual brilliance or dribbling at and past an opponent. Shard stated on thursday that Barce dont need a plan b that their plan A is good enough, that is because they have Messi, Pedro, Iniesta, etc who will take on a defender and in the process leave him BEHIND the play, we do not have one player who dribbles past or runs directly at a defender. Our attacks are designed around passing at what has become a 10 man wall of defenders because the build up from Ramsey Song and the full backs is so slow and ponderous that by the time weve made a mere two forward passes the opposition has their def setup alligned at their ease, for me the start of the attack is so ponderous and individuals are so over-indulgent in possesion that we leave ourselves the impossible task of playing a pass up the pitch which is over congested and devoid of an attacker who can draw defenders away from their comfort zone.
    Aswel as Barce having players who will leave defs in their wake they have their teamates on the same wavelength keeping width and space to run into when the dribbler gets his head up, we are to narrow and in my opinion from watching this particular group I feel too many players are happy enough to stand still without the ball, if you dont have the ball and your not calling or wanting it theres something wrong, if you dont have time to call your movement determines and makes the mind up of the passer for him.
    I may have people who dissagree but I can tell you I cant remember one instance today where we got to the byline and cut a ball back across….90 mins of football without an in play threat from play.

  126. Not only have we only 1 point out of the last 6, I really want somebody to pipe-up and say that at least the football has been enjoyable. We were drab, predictable and impotent. True, it was much preferable to get a draw than a loss especially with Newcaslte coming up behind us but there was much room for improvement. For me, the clean sheet was the one real redeeming factor. It’s always good to see the back four shut ’em down.

  127. Well at least Spuds lost!

    What a crap game. You have to hand it to the most expensive bus ever though. They sure know how to park it!

    If Chelsea win the champions league I will spew unless of course it means that is Spurs do finish 4th they dont get the spot next season.

    Not sure what has happened to the team but they look jaded and short of ideas. No crisp passing, no pressing high up the pitch and what has happened to RVP?

  128. I thought we seemed to care more about not conceding on the counter. And probably hoped that a final few minutes frenzy would be enough to get us a victory. The football wasn’t great, but I wasn’t really ‘bored’ or anything. I thought it was an interesting game actually. More of a cat and mouse game though, where no one wanted to take the initiative. We got a point, and maybe we didn’t deserve more, but we did ht the post and the bar, and we kept Chelsea down to virtually no chances (thanks to Koscielny) I don’t know. I was definitely worried about Spurs and Newcastle catching us, after the game, but I still wasn’t really disappointed with a draw. It could well prove to be an important point. As it is, Spurs lost (When do they become a club in crisis and the trendy view becomes that their manager doesn’t have a clue?) and Newcastle are to play ManCity and Chelsea. So..a point seems a decent outcome. Oh and I think ramsey had a much better performance today. Although he lost the ball to Torres a couple of times, but I think he became better as the game went on. He was always chasing back to try and win the ball back as well, and he kept those little flicks to a bare minimum, if at all. Plus, it was good to see Diaby make his latest comeback. I thought he looked quite sharp (and no..I don’t mean his looks) considering how long he’s been out for. Fingers crossed he can stay fit now.

    I also watched the Clasico today. That was a very poor game of football in my opinion. That was probably the most expensive bus actually. Although at least they (Madrid) attacked occasionally. Barca had I think 2 shots on target the entire game, with the first coming in the 70th minute. I wonder how many they would have managed if Messi got a red card in the 56th minute. Interesting no?

    Anyway. On to the insufferable neanderthals next. We’ll need to be sharper, and I think we will be. At least, I think we’ll be more adventurous in looking for a win.. But Stoke will definitely be up for it too. They hate us. Why?Because Ramsey had the temerity to break his leg in front of their captain who would never hurt a fly, he’s not the type of guy. Poor Shawcross. I think he’s just about managed to recover from the trauma Ramsey caused him… Forget being 3rd. Beating those guys should be motivation enough.

    Andy, Where are You?? No preview of Wigan, we lose. No preview of Chelsea, we only draw. Those 5 dropped points are on you Andy. You know it.

  129. Great Perfromance to have a draw in an important game and secure a point. We were the team likely seemed to score till the end (Koscienly really stood as a bus infront of chelsea) and frankly in my eyes Ramsey looked better after the departure of Rosicky, distributing the ball forward sensibly rather to the back four like denilson.If he can produce the same with Rosicky it would really help the team a lot.I feel spurs are the likely team to catch us, if possible ,considering the fixtures they have compared to Newcastle or Chelsea.

    Chelsea – QPR,Newcastle,Liverpool,Blackburn

    Two wins out of three matches will secure us third place considering noone leads us on goal difference.

    I am already set in the mood that we will secure third and interesting to see whom arsene brings in next season.

    As for ElClasico it was really interesting to see how Real Madrid managed to stop Barcelona and also tried to attack ,unlike Chelsea where they never showed any serious intent to attack in the first leg other than the goal scored.

    Real Madrid never allowed barca to hold the ball and also other teams can learn the way they stopped messi by tackling in a way that he will never get the ball back in his foot.

  130. @voley gun
    I have been studying the fixtures as well. Personally I don’t think Spurs will be a problem, they haven’t won an away game this year. Newcastle are playing very well but they have some really tough games. The press seemed to think that was a better result for Chelski than us yesterday, I disagree whilst it would have been nice to win a draw kept them at arms length.

    Hope Chelski get thumped by Barca

  131. this talk of 3rd place being a shoe in makes me nervous. Our recent history shows that we cannot take it for granted until the final whistle of the final match even if it is mathematically impossible not to stuff up before then!

    I watched the clasico and it was far from that. Real were efficient and took their chances and Barca could not create their normal number of chances. Normally I would say Chelski have no chance but I have this sneaking feeling they are going to spoil the party and bore their way into the final. God I hope I am wrong.

  132. @Restub – I expect Newcastle to lose atleast one of the four for sure.Let us pray Wigan is capable of winning them too.

    @Terry – If Ferguson is expected to get the title run from his experience , i expect Arsene can get us to the third with his experience, particularly impressive with the way we started the season and where we stay on the table now. The defeat by Real will surely fall on Chelsea from Barca with a progression to the finals.

    Above all Arsene has no Walcott and has no other choice, other than to start Gervinho or Ox,even if he starts Benayoun. Without Arteta he can’t experiment Ramsey in any other different position and with Rosicky looking tired a bit.

    It’s great that our captain is awarded the much expected PFA Player of the year. Congrats to our captain. He showed what he is capable of when he plays the whole season .

  133. Andy,

    Wherever you are come back and give us a good write up for our captain Van Persie.

  134. I agree. but Ramsey takes more than a splitsecond to pass the ball. he holds the ball to long, and it dosent seem like he is used to the tempo in the prem league. i am worried, because he is not good enough for arsenal yet. and he wont be good enough for next season as well.

  135. So what has changed with us this season is the season really any different than the last 5???? is it??????? fighting for 4 or 3
    Strangely a lot of people don’t seem to notice that after all you can WIN with kids, Look at Borussia Dortmand they have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it is possible with the right philosophy. They have successfully defended their title among the German power houses Bayern Munchen, Schalka, and all the others. German clubs are Notorious for being well run and pretty rich as well. So regardless of how rich other clubs are if the philosophy is good enough and your players are good then you can win.
    Opps!! and i almost forgot Juventus opened its new stadium this season and they are the only club in Italy who owns its own stadium, YET they are top of the league AND UNBEATEN TO BOOT so reguardless of the age of the players and moving to NEW STADIUM if you know what your doing you will have success.

    On home note
    Arsenal seems to be best bet for 3rd (knock on wood) and i have always said that the manager’s job is easy when you play big name teams MAU, Chel, MANcity, because they players don’t need any motivation, the manager really earns his corn when we play lesser teams wigan, QPR etc.

    A lot of people are saying the point against chel was a good point BUT really they just played Barc, there still in the cup and we are well rested AND still we can’t take all 3 points they even rested there main players and played us with a B team. YET people come here making excuses which is the norm for us these past 7 years.

    I remember in the champions league Against Milan we scored 3 goals in the first half, and could not score 1 in the second, the excuse was that the lads used all there energies in the first half, what a laugh, when your so close tiredness goes out the door, poor excuse.

    It hurts when you see young ramsey being abused when its not his fault. I remember on this very blog that people where saying that Bendtner just became a father which contributed to his poor performance, (can you believe that) If that is not the worst excuse i’v ever heard i don’t know what is. Someone even said we will regret loaning him out and that appears to be true only because the replacement is 5o time worst than him.

    3 games to go lets keep the faith and we can also renew wenger’s contract.
    Lets give him a nice FAT one worth about 10 mil and keep him till he’s 80.
    he deserves it for sure…………

  136. oops!!! congrats to Robin he really deserved it i really doubted him in the past BUT he proved to be the real deal, WELL DONE SON!!!! now fire Arsenal to 3rd place….

  137. Kel

    As with anything, there is more to the story of Juventus. Drawing direct parallels is pointless. Maybe we should have won the title through match fixing, been relegated, before coming back to being top of the league? Navel gazing is possible both ways.. But I digress

    Firstly, Juve is owned by the Agnelli family. Those that own(ed?) Fiat. They are a big business house with lots of political influence. Which brings us to the second point of difference. Arsenal’s stadium cost (as I recall) 390million pounds.. Juventus’ stadium cost about 90million pounds. That’s a 300million pound difference.

    Why the difference? Clubs in Europe routinely get subsidies from their local councils. Read Madrid’s training ground was bought by the Madrid council and leased back to them when they were having financial trouble. I think Lille built their new stadium on land which they bought/leased for 1 euro.. In Juventus’ case, I havent looked into it enough, but what I’ve found so far is “11 June 2010 Juventus acquired for one million euros by the City of Turin on 50-year leasehold on the 270,860 m² Continassa area with the aim to redevelop over ten years with a series of projects and an investment of at least 60 million.”

    Essentially. For 61m euros (paid over 10 years)..Juventus got the land not just for the stadium, but around the stadium where they will build their headquarters, their museum, shopping malls etc, all of which is also a revenue stream for them.

    how their demolition of the old Delle Alpi and the construction of the new stadium was completed in 90m pounds I don’t know. I haven’t really looked into it, and i doubt i’m going to even try. Maybe the construction costs in Italy are really low. Maybe the Agnellis own construction companies. Maybe their political influence helped.

    All I know is.. There is no one-to-one parallel with Arsenal here. Even if it were to be.. Someone else’s success isn’t proof of our failure. It CAN be done doesn’t mean it being done is inevitable except through bad management. But of course, Arsenal don’t know what they are doing is so entrenched in popular perception now, despite all the evidence to the contrary. ManCity got a new stadium from taxpayers money. Spurs want the same. As do West Ham. Liverpool can’t decide where to build their stadium. Everton have been trying to get out of their stadium for years but don’t have the funds. The Arsenal stadium move has been one of the best managed projects in the business of football. there are no two ways about that. Were mistakes made? Of course. They are always made. But it was something unique, done at a time of constant flux in the English game, and it deserves more credit than to be taken for granted or run down by comparing it to something dissimilar in so many ways.

    Regarding Dortmund.. I don’t know what your point even is.. Aren’t you saying there’s nothing wrong with relying on youth? Well..there you go. Nothing fundamentally wrong with Arsenal’s philosophy then, is there?

  138. @ shard

    Arsenal haven’t been that clean either we have been accused in many corners of pouching other small teams young talents, Flamini comes to mind and a whole lot of others, is that fair?????
    so there YOU go….

    You won’t see the comparisons because you don’t want to
    2 of the biggest excuses for our on the field failures have been the stadium debt and that we have to compete against other teams who have sugar daddies, Bayern and Schalke are two of the riches clubs in Europe yet Dortmund with a very young team have been able to win two titles Back to Back, which tells us that making excuses about the oppositions financial position and the age of the team is total rubbish and as usual excuses, Valencia did it in spain under raphael benitez by winning two titles even though real and barc were spending their millions so there’s a lot of proof if you want to see it BUT you never want to see.

    On juventus, they move to a new stadium and it seems they have become a better team, they kept there best players and added a few to assist and that football intelligences not the SHIT that we’ve indulged in, and i can say more BUT time don’t permit.

    As i said a while back we will never see arsenal through the same eyes, so if you don’t see the points am trying to bring then that’s you.

    All i get from the board, wenger, and you are EXCUSES, you can find a million ways to justify the SHIT that has been happening to our club these last 7 years.
    The constant lies, hiding behind the stadium debt, buying RUBBISH and giving them a Million chances, then if that’s not bad enough over paying them.
    Buying cheap and then turning back and paying them 60, and 70 pounds per week thereby applying pressure to our wage bill and making it one of the largest in the league, how could this be right??? that’s total double standard,
    all the money problems we proclaim to have when it come to the team never seem to prevent the club from paying the manager 7 mill a year, As someone else said since we don’t have any money why don’t we freeze wengers salary
    extend his contract for 5 more years and used his pay to fix the team, because he is surly not earning all that money, so lets put it to good use. (35)million
    BUT that won’t work, he can do what he wants to the team and still get paid 7 mill, real crap.
    I read somewhere that ferguson gets about 4 mill a year, if that’s true then it really highlights the Hypocrisy that takes place at arsenal, welbeck on 25000 ponds per week and we have very very average players on 50 and 60 thousand per week, crap BUT they are not to blame it’s your BEST man wenger, the man you have defend through thick and thin with a stadium, and a bank account that we will never see and is never invested in the team to back you up.
    I remember last season that you kept saying that wenger has learned and he will fix it in the summer, lucky for the 8 2 trashing no body new would have come in, and i’ll tell you this Podolski will come only because there is a big big big chance that Robin might leave and the back ups are totally hopeless, other than that you guys can hope all you want wenger WILL NOT CHANGE

  139. Wenger will not change his philosophy. I agree. He doesn’t have to CHANGE it. He doesn’t buy ONLY youth. He doesn’t buy CHEAP. He spends the money we have. Look I would talk about things that Arsenal must address if this culture of BLAME goes away. Not every mistake means that the person(s) involved don’t have a clue. Not every failure means they are a failure. We are not SHIT. Analysis of what can be done better requires a level of detachment that most fans (understandably) cannot achieve. It’s all or nothing..which isn’t quite how it works.

    German clubs like Bayern may have more money than Dortmund, but the German league has rules on spending what you earn. It has limits on the wage bill being a certain percentage of turnover, and it only allows sugar daddies to own 49% of the club, at the most. That makes the German league one of teh most competitive and exciting leagues in the world. If only England would learn some lessons from them.

    You are seriously equating acquiring young players (not once has breach of rules been proved, nor even alleged really. Just ‘immorality’) with match fixing? Seriously? Arsenal are not ‘clean’..But Arsenal haven’t broken rules either. This ‘immorality’ is a vague argument.

    The stadium debt IS an issue. Like it or not, it is. You tell me what else is it. Wenger isn’t a good enough manager? Winning is not something he cares about?

    Oh, and Valencia went bust last season, forcing them to sell Villa and Silva, and I don’t know who else. Their stadium was left half constructed for a while because they had no more money. I wonder how much of that was about trying to keep up with the Joneses

    And by the way.. Arsenal’s 3 league titles under Wenger, also came against a much heavier spending opponent. Arsenal have done it too. Don’t forget that. And Arsenal have done it without going bust, rather while getting richer.

  140. Oh and give me a break about the we wouldn’t have bought anyone if not for the 8-2 line. That is crap and anyone with any sense should know it. There is no way we were going into the season with the squad we had then. Those ‘panic buys’ didn’t work out too badly did they?

  141. Well written Shard
    Too many people take a snapshot in time with no thought to history. You covered Juve, Valenicia etc. imagine if Arsenal had been relegated for ,irregularities, and you are spot on with we are not a shit team. There are at least 89 teams in the league who would gladly swap places with us. We should be proud of our team and it’s achievements. I know it’s frustrating that we haven’t won anything for 7 years, but in my opinion it won’t be long now.

  142. @ shard
    I think you totally missed the point as usual……..

    “Oh and give me a break about the we wouldn’t have bought anyone if not for the 8-2 line. That is crap and anyone with any sense should know it. There is no way we were going into the season with the squad we had then. Those ‘panic buys’ didn’t work out too badly did they?”

    Are you for real?? man your way worst than i thought.

    Man i can find a million thing wrong with what we do mainly with the on the field issues, and maybe you can do the same with your opinion.
    The point i wanted to get across is simply this, reguardless of the money other people have, and the debts you have if you make the right choices you will surly be successful, from a business aspect Arsenal have done well even
    exceeded expectation BUT at what cost, the on the field product have suffered. We have been in the champions league 14 straight years, that’s our boasts, BUT is it coincidence that we have not won it yet??? NO its not!!!!
    The teams are not good enough these last 7 years mainly, the players leaving proves that, reguardless of how you water it down and make excuses that’s the fact, and so too the league, so to do the samething, over and over and expect changes makes you as deluded as wenger…… and you also have selective memory…
    By the way when i say SHIT it doesn’t necessarily mean the team is shit because they didn’t buy themselves….. a fish always rots from the head.

  143. So will Van Persie stay or go?
    That’s what I want to know.
    And… is there any significance to the Barca hotel thing or is it a red Herring?

  144. Well done di Matteo…thats why you have to be able to be tactically astute and versatile. Lost Cahill, then tramp terry…persisted with the plan and what theyv obviously done on the training ground.
    Were you watching Mr Wenger?

  145. I was just waiting for the “chelsea’s win highlights Arsenal’s failure” line.. (It’s actually Barca’s failure but whatever)..Congratulations Shambo for being the first with it.

  146. Jeez Shard you are so pro Wenger and defensive its unreal bro.
    Iv said for ages our rigid 4-3-3 formation is one dimensional, and quite often inneffective in certain games, yet we play it every game for the full game, we dont set ourselves up depending on the individual games merits, to go into more detail would only be revisiting old ground so Im just going to use something you said recently, which was that you intimated Arsenal dont need a plan b that Barce dont have one and they dont suffer from its absence, well they sorely lacked a plan b tonight.
    You congradulate me buddy on being the first to spin a negative our way from something far disconnected, yet the irony is that as quick as you feel I was to come on here and post you wernt 5mins behind me to seek out and defend against any naysayer, that itself shows subconciously somewhere in you, owner of the most rational mind in here, either share some sentiment to the same as I, or you just wanted to read someone else saying it, I think its interesting.
    Another thibg is you like to say we have gotten 14 years consecutive CL, but weve only reached the semis once, Chelsea have done it 5/6 times in 8 attempt and tactics have been the difference each occasion, ceryainly under Mourinho.
    I really dont think I need to go into the many many reasons why Di Matteo got it so right tonight and that Arsene should actually have been watching it? Chelsea are a worse team than we were when we went down there after RvPs red last year, there really is no comparison to the resolve and belief in those players tonight and us last season AND vs Milan away this year.
    Do your homework set your stall ou, put yourself in a position to get the result, then when your at home or in a final, employ the 4-3-3 or whatever formation it is that you want to showcase, but as far as tobights game goes, I really dont feel I need to defend the comment I made, Wenger would not have seen that Chelsea team to the final with the same players and circumstances tonight…as Rafa would say ‘ izz no minegames, izz faccch’.
    Anyway its super that Terry is suspended, for one of the most ludicris intances ever…clown.

  147. I was being less than serious..I thought the flippancy came across, but I guess not.. The point behind the flippancy was, can’t we all just enjoy football for what it is, sometimes, without everything being about how good or bad Arsenal are? Dortmund win the title, Arsenal suck. Juventus lead the league, Arsenal are shit. Chelsea reach the CL final, we have no tactical plan.. It’s football. results we want, results we don’t want. They happen. Why should it be talked about as showing Arsenal’s failings? Arsenal weren’t even in the match yet it becomes about Arsenal.

    I’ve said many times I’d be more than happy to discuss Arsenal’s failings if people wouldn’t go overboard with it. We’re in a good position as a club. We can be better. How can we get better.. I would love to have a discussion about that without it sinking to the level of Arsenal are pathetic etc (not talking about you Shambo) , and without it being about finding someone to blame. Because that happens is why I end up defending the club. Because there is a flip side to all the negativity. And I think there is more reason to be positive than negative. Partly, I suppose it’s just how I am. For one thing, trophies aren’t really important to me. Never have been. What I mean by that is, that trophies are a by product of playing well. I don’t need that validation from others and rubbing it in their faces etc. I mean, I’m not above it and I do enjoy it, but it’s not my prime motivation. I already think we play well enough under the circumstances, and I think trophies haven’t come due to a variety of factors (among which is our failings too). As such, I’m happy..while wanting more.

    So I guess , I don’t get the constant anger in people’s posts (again, not talking about you). It’s not healthy. Not even for me. And I dislike it for what it is. Maybe I’m being naive countering all of it and I will stop at some point. It’s taxing. I could go back to ignoring it all. I left this blog alone for a long time for that very reason.

  148. Shard,
    As usual you have somewhat humbled me, I guess its easy for you to write so well and expressively when you are so steadfast in your own ideals.
    By the same token I too cannot help but compare and refer to our team when I watch others teams successes, even mini sucesses, I suppose it could be because we are close to being where we deserve to be, I dont mean winning but REALLY competing, or maybe its a byproduct of being around for the invincibles and doubles afters years of promise. But I cant help dissecting our falterings, especially when their so repetitive, our exits from the CL and fa cup were really poor from a team and commitment standpoint and as a fan if Im not asking for more in this regard then Im not breathing cos I aint here anymore.
    But I digress, you are quite right that football, from marvelous spectacle to scandal and error should be enjoyed for what it is.
    God be with the days I used to never reluinquish the moral highground with you…now I feel you could talk me down on even Chamakh…well maybe not…Im off to the scratcher…good’ luck.

  149. My only concern is that the miserable Chavs have enough left in the tank to nip at least a point off Newcastle. It was nice to see Terry get caught at his usual dirt. I’m curious as to what he was trying to explain to the ref. “I meant to knee him in the crotch but I couldn’t get him to turn around”… 😉

  150. @volleygun, Fabregas has looked out of sorts recently and has nowhere near the same impact or influence in that Barce side…he also dived for the pen which was dissapointing. I think he will return to Arsenal one day.

  151. I think that the Robin Van Persie penalty kick was taken with a cheekily chipshot because his spot-kick was taken exactly the way how his thoughts are towards Wolverhampton. RVP clearly thinks that Wolves are a rubbish outfit and are in no way in the same class as himself. I know this is not rocket-science but the pschology of a football man doesn’t change. Same cycle.

    Here is an interesting article on RVP about doubting himself at the beginning of the season.

  152. i was surprisingly happy to see chelsea make it thru to the final. (terry’s moment aside) the way barca played the whole fab thing last summer turned me off and to see them not winning the 2 team league trophy or the CL is great. and fabregas diving for the pk? disappointing. torres… who’d have thunk it?

  153. This is hoping the Chavs nick the UCL while we maintain third in EPL. Will be sad for Newcastle(surprise team of the season) if they manage fourth, but sweet if the spuds are fourth.

    Yes, it is good to see FABs leave to nothing….I cant remember the last time i saw a keeper rounded so beautifully…so sweet to see supreme cunts like Xavi and co who were a thorn in our flesh over FABs, loosing so beautifully to the Chavs.
    I want to go where “I can win trophies” says FABs….You have to wait for it FABs, you have to wait and hope Magreed and Arsenal dont get stronger next season, so we can stop you again in La Liga and UCL resp….
    If both FABs and Nasri had stayed and with VP fit, i’m sure we would’ve been top of that EPL log by now. Reason is Ramsey would’ve developed faster, there would be no Arteta and Benayoun(we wouldn’t need them), Wilshere would probably not have gotten his injury and ……..
    Yes, “Arsenal is shit, we have to leave”, but so is Barca and Shitttey….
    This is hoping VP takes a cue and stays…
    This is also hoping wenger;
    1)changes the pay structure immediately by rewarding only those deserving
    2) is not deluded by winning third place and buys atleast 3quality players…
    3) is learning from Di Matteo about going into battle with plan B’s and C’s(I said they would win if they keep their heads down131)
    4) plays his line-up based more on team chemistry, rather than squad seniority only…

    @Shard – U r a real hypocrite…”Wenger will not change his philosophy”?. How do you sweet talk this, how do you know this? Funny you ask me how i know what Wenger is thinking etc…

    Finally, CONGRATULATIONS Di Matteo for a job well done, I admire the discipline and respect your team exhibits. You certainly play only to your strengths(the whole team was efficient because the right people played in positions as the situation required them to), while nullifying the opponent. Excellent i say.

  154. @Shambo

    Sorry if you feel I attempt to talk you down. I don’t. But hey, on Chamakh. I’m not even going to try. He’s done at Arsenal it seems. Not cos of the shisha incident, but the lack of incident on the field involving him. He needs a change of scenery as much as Arsenal need someone else in.

    Are reports that Guardiola is leaving Barcelona true? If so, Cesc loses his mentor just after he went to join him. Oh, poor Cesc. Meh.. I couldn’t tell if that was a dive. From one angle it looked like Drogba caught him, on the other it looked like a dive. But everyone seems to think it was a dive. I guess I’ll agree with that. No interest in defending Cesc anyway.

    **Facepalm*** @GBoss
    Reading comprehension isn’t one of your strong points I gather.

    So…what do the big bad uglies of Stoke have in store for us tomorrow? Will they play as poorly as they did against Newcastle? Somehow I doubt it. They don’t like Arsenal it seems. After all, we whine and moan about having a young players leg snapped in half by their club captain, who is a terrific bloke because he cried for 2 mins after he brokeded what got in his way to the ball. His reward was his first England cap too. And their fans show their class by jeering him off the pitch, and booing him on his return to the ground.. Ok..I was going to worry about how finishing third is now vital because Chelsea might just fluke the CL trophy. But the more I type about Stoke’s behaviour then, the more I want to win just to beat them. That should be prize enough. Lets go beat those neanderthals, at their own game if necessary.

  155. Clarification: ” And their fans show their class by jeering him off the pitch, and booing him on his return to the ground..”
    The ‘him in this case, of course refers to Ramsey and not Lenny Shawcross. Stoke fans have no class..

    Heh..Just after I was talking about reading comprehension too.

  156. Big game tomorrow, AND boy do we need those 3 points!!!!!
    I can’t believe that Diaby is injured again, he’s worst than Robin was,
    (Knock on wood)

    By the way i MUST say this, and i know it will never happen BUT i’ll say it anyway

    Please Please Please Please Please Please sign Pep Arsenal and get rid of wenger, he’s past it, done and dusted, and guess what he might not cause 7 mill

  157. Hi Andy,
    Were you on cnn’s Connecting Places. Saw ur exact replica teaching a guy how to cook a swedish dish in sweden. Thought you lived in australia

  158. Yes! Arsenal should gently tell Wenger this your last year of coaching and bringing Pep. A younger hungrier coach is what we need instead of a coach who’s ambition is top 4. That’s why RVP is not keen on signing because squad as structured will struggle to finish in the top 4 next year.
    For those making fun of Fab he already won FIFA club trophy with Barca … I worry about Arsenal when are we going to win major trophies?
    The best scouting last 2 years has been done by the Maggpies signing Cabaye from the French champion for 4 million?! He is as good a passer as any player in the top.
    Pap Cisse, we heard over and over that great deals were not available in the January transfer market…they signed the second best striker in the Bundesliga for 9 million?! Insane!

  159. Yes, I love FABs. I rate him higher than Xavi/Iniesta. I only feel he left too hurriedly. Had absolutely no problem with his leaving, we all expected him to, didn’t we? But, always sweet to hear the pasture outside the Emirates might not be greener…
    Had absolutely no problem with his leaving us, but, the mentor/coach he went to re-unite with is leaving him, leaving the club…….AWKWARD.

    Pep is arguably the best coach around, but, he leaves Barca…
    What is Wenger still doing here? I’m not saying he should leave, but our expectations as a club has to be raised(especially now Wenger is here). I know he can lead us to better things, but he needs experienced players to do this. I say give us 3 or 4 quality players and let the magic happen again. I expect it to happen next season.

  160. Looks like arsene wenger wants a nail biting finish to the season with that draw.
    It’s really bad when we need the points and the team is not ready to shoot when they have space but instead want to pass the ball to the net.

  161. Another 1 pointer versus a sub-par opponent.
    2 points from 3 games including stoke and wigan.
    But hey, the football has just been so outstanding who could want for more?

  162. Must say a hard fought point and well earned against the stripey, leg breaking cunts. Everyone worked hard, especially Rosicky, who was everywhere, tackling, passing, winning the ball, as did Yossi.. Even Ramsey got into tackles which shows he is putting behind what heppened to him there. All in all, a very good point. Should have beat the cunts but a useful point nevertheless.

  163. Diaby is a total joke. Why even bring him on the pitch when we have Ox. Wenger never seems to know when to substitute. Peps resignation should serve notice to a stubborn Wenger who has won nothing but he is still hanging on the pitch like his life and family depended on it. There are other better thing s he can do outside coaching arsenal. He is very likely to loose third spot and next will be blaming the referees.

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