Norwich 1-0 Arsenal: Terrible effort, awful result

“These are the sort of games that simply must be won to harbor any sort of hope of challenging for the title.”

That was a quote from yesterday’s match preview. Gah.

What an atrocity of a football match. We were woeful. Short of ideas, short of intensity and short of desire. It was horrendous. Embarrassing. Infuriating.

Full credit to Norwich for getting their first win of the season but from an Arsenal perspective, this was unacceptable. Vito Mannone was culpable for the goal but fingers should be pointed at each and every member of the starting eleven — barring Mikel Arteta and perhaps Olivier Giroud — for a team performance that lacked anything near the sort of effort that was required.

There were parallels to the West Ham game in the way we started here: passing the ball nicely but not putting enough pressure on the opposition defence. When Grant Holt scored after Mannone failed to push a long-range strike away from goal, it felt like a minor bump in what would be a two or three goal victory. Forgive me for my arrogance, but that is how I felt.

But the response never came and in fact it was Norwich who looked more likely to score, particularly as the game wore on.

A play-by-play analysis seems pointless for such a poor team performance. On a general level I was infuriated by our lack of intensity and ability to turn things up a notch, an obvious consequence of the international break but still unacceptable.

What was worse was a complete inability to alter the manner in which we played. It was pass-pass-pass which is fine, but when you have a striker like Olivier Giroud in the mix, an attempt at a more direct pass every five minutes or so couldn’t be a bad thing.

It seems like a complete waste to use a player of his stature and strength and not utilise his best attributes. I’m not suggesting we compromise our philosophy or approach to the game but a longer pass from Thomas Vermaelen or Per Mertesacker here or there would surely have given Norwich something more to think about.

The only player showing initiative was Arteta, who marauded forward on a couple of occasions to provoke some attacking play. What a player he is turning out to be for us and what a shame he was given almost no support from the players around him.

The big question is: where we go from here? A full 10 points separates us from Chelsea, who confidently dispatched Tottenham to secure their title credentials. Two weeks ago I was full of confidence about this team. Now…

Schalke at home in the Champions League will be a good opportunity to raise the intensity and quickly leave behind the disappointment of this terrible effort. I’ll be in Dublin for that game and will be hoping for a celebratory, rather than consolatory, Guinness.



  1. Wenger wanted to lose last night. Wenger coaches his sides to lose. I cannot explain that display. To say that they didn’t apply themselves doesn’t make sense when they are superstars on millions of pounds. Being an Arsenal player must be the best job in the world. Forget about Squillaci who just goes to traiing to pick up 50K a week. The last few years we have seen this over and over again. No effort, no character, no courage. So it has to be that Wenger wants his team to lose. You know that would explain alot. In that way we don’t have to win every week and coming fourth is fine because he has disarmed us all of ever thinking we can win the League. The same goes for the CL. Just get throught the rounds to the money end of the competition. Then lose heroically in the round of 16 or quarters. if the millionaire stars do not try to win because it is AW’s master plan then why should I care about Gervinho, Walcott, AA23, Ramsay, Mannone, Giroud and the others. Where was Bould running up and down the touchline putting rockets up players. No he was told to sit and suffer the loss. This pattern of purposely losing is becoming very sinister. You might say this is an exercise in reverse psychology to anaesthatise myself from disappoinment but go back over the last few years and prove to me that AW does not purposely lose silly games. How do you expalint eh invincibles. Well he was lucky enought to have a team full of brilliance, hunger, power and balance and it just happened especially as it was just before the big money arrived that played him off the casino table. You see as long as he does not have to challenge for the title but for fourth and the latter stages of the CL he is never called to be courageous or to win because he always hides behind the fact that he cannot challenge because he is building a stadium, reconciling balance sheets or that he doesn’t have the money to buy players. You know I thought that was the job of a CEO or CFO not a manager. Beleive me AW wanted to lose last night.

  2. @Good Loser – I’ve actually tried to win this argument u are making on this blog, but one Shard(who writes quite excellently) and some others kept disagreeing with parallel and counter arguments. Its not as if this argument is correct, but there is something truthful, saddening and quite painful about it…Anyone remember the FA cup final loss against a full squad Chelsea? We sent out our reserves and made Denilson and Fabregas suffer in the central midfield positions……

    Now, in response to the result, I say we had to play Giroud cos he scored against Spain. Arteta came forward, BUT he has not been playing forwards for us cos all of a sudden he is the BEST DM in Arsenal FC(and is this why we sold Song?). We have not let him develop from last season cos we have made him to replace Song and play in another position when we could’ve used someone else(Coquelin/Ramsey/Diaby) instead. How painful is this? He is an experienced player(he can probably play anywhere), but why not deploy him where he is more efficient and reap from his progression?

    Now, Giroud is not RVP(we know how he lifted us last season), yet we sold him…..
    Cazorla, unfortunately for us came on quite early in their game against France cos of a 1st half injury to Iniesta. He is tired……Same can be said of almost all of them. Now, the question is why not try something else when we are watching the game? Why cant we try something early too? Why was Arshavin not deployed in place of Cazorla knowing he was tired. Why cant we have a good and fresh mix whenever coming back from international duty?
    We scored 6 against similar opposition running into the box(strikers inclusive), but have failed to continue doing what makes us score. In that game, the midfield trio of Cazorla, Arteta and Coquelin started…..Why we abandoned this arrangement still puzzles me considering how influential Arteta is going forward.

    Another thing worrying me is how a good shooter and striker like Podolski is being made to play on the wings. I screamed about this, but its like everyone in here is only happy about workrate. Well, what can we say now? I would say…..Start any of Giroud or Podolski in CF at any given time(so there will be healthy competition), we have enough wingers already. Manure is playing with three strikers(BUT THEY ARE NOT RIGID and they are all scoring goals). We are still manifesting the same old predictability of 6 years ago. When will we learn?

    I dont know why we are expecting miracles from these guys we just got. Any doubt about Wengers will to win anything ended with the sale of RVP and Song(two of our 3 pillars last season, szczesny was the other).

    I rest

  3. @GunnerBoss I agree with you to an extent. Although the stubbornness of Wenger has helped us out sometimes, it has in recent years caused us more harm than good. Before the season started, I proposed that we play the basic 4-4-2 as Poldi’s more of a poacher and he can run and has the strength to shake of nagging defenders, seems Arsene used ear plugs.

    I also believe we did not have enough ‘oomph’ in our game, players were tired, some had imaginary pegs drilled into their feet, while some just stood there striking poses for the sports photographers…

    I’ll leave my irritation for now.

  4. I can’t put my finger on what went wrong yesterday, probably too many things to list. I believe we are lacking a ball winner (song) but that’s just part of the problem.

    To say Wenger wants to lose is just ridiculous. He makes mistakes sure.

    What worried me yesterday, is we have had years of frustration, we regularly lose games like this (Blackburn, qpr, Bolton, Swansea etc). But normally we pepper ther goal, the keepers play blinders and we have had some rough luck. But yesterday, nothing… No passion, no drive. I can’t recall such a lacklustre display.

    The only exciting moment was when the Ox took them Omran and got injured for his trouble..

    I could point a finger at the majority of our players, but personally I don’t think Gervinho works. Hope I am wrong, but give me Theo any day

  5. Andy

    Agree with your comments on Arteta and Giroud a nd the use of the long ball. I thought Jenkinson had a half decent game yesterday..

    I have supported Ramsey through the rough times, but he is not delivering at the moment and it’s sink or swim time for him. In his defence he did try a few defence splitting balls yesterday, they didn’t work ut at least he tried. There was very little creativity from anywhere else

  6. Agree Andy but I thought Santos really tried and was the only one to leave with credit.
    Giroud is really worrying me. I dont see any predatory instinct, sprint speed or willingness to put in the hard yards.
    I seen Dzekos second goal yesterday to win the game for city and his lung busting run from his own pen spot to the opponents to give Aguero option of laying on the pass and two things sprung to mind;
    1. Gervinho in Agueros position doesnt even see Dzeko and takes on the defender down the line losing possession.
    2. Theres no way in hell Giroud makes that run, and its not just him. So many of our players lack the desire and ruthlessness it takes to be a champion. You have to be able to smell the faintest whiff of weakness andpull the trigger..thats what we had 10 years ago.
    Nobody in this team penetrates the opposition or runs at their marker. Every single move is made in front of the opposition, left to right, right to left until Ramsey faiks to control abd we end up going back.
    Gervinho wants it to feet. Giroud wants it to feet. Whos gonna make the run that pulls their players out of their defensive formation and open up gaps..any half assed footballer can take the ball to feet unopposed…thats where the opposition want you to be, Wenger thinks this is possession, its not…we are very rarely facing our opponents goal, in fact if you were watching an Arsenal game as your first football game you could be forgiven for asking what the purpose of the posts and netting were.
    Henry, Pires, Freddie, Wiltord….all made runs in behing and made defs chase them. We have one player now who likes to try break the line. His name is Podolski and he gets taken off the hour mark of every match though we have to watch the pandemonium that is Gervinho.
    There is one constant in these awful failures vs lower opposition.
    He cant or wont motivate his players or doesnt respect the opposition enough to even be tactically aware of how we could maybe win or lose this game.
    Why was Wilshere even on the bench if he wasnt fit enough to be called upon in the event that we needed him?
    Bullshit Wenger your looking more novicey as your reign goes on..if you were at any other club youd be getting eatin alive by your bosses for these errors and negligence your showing your post.
    Seriously, the mans an Arsenal legend but where does he rank in the prem league managers table…I mean there are managers doing way better jobs with less resources.
    I know he wont be sacked but Kel is dead right, we wont win anything while hes a manager. He doesnt know how to get over the line anymore because he got too used to seeing 4th as success.
    How can so many different class of player, different personality play the same way under Wenger as all these guys that have played under him the last few seasons whilst Ferguson gets every inch out of park carrick fletcher, etc etc. Theres no fear factor with Wenger. No reprisals for lacklustre displays or lack of drive. Only Excuses, year after year, game after game.
    ‘We lacked quality today but we had 80% poss ‘ Yes Arsene but why was this, What do we need to do to remedy this?????
    Ah yes, we go out and do our thing the way we want again next week because the opponent shouldnt be organised or good enough to maybe counteract our lightening slow ponderous attacks.
    Exhausted watching Arsenal now.

  7. @shambo
    Your sentence “nobody in this team” sums up the game entirely. You could write a book and not be as accurate.

    Ramsey was poor but he did a least try a few probing passes
    , although they re as accurate as Gervinhos shooting

  8. “To say Wenger wants to lose is just ridiculous. He makes mistakes sure.

    What worried me yesterday, is we have had years of frustration, we regularly lose games like this (Blackburn, qpr, Bolton, Swansea etc).”

    In a very logical way, this question is answered already…..he sets us up to lose cos he never seems to want to learn from years of losing the same way.

  9. @Shambo – Ur comparison analysis is spot on, the Dzeko goal was a typical video game goal. I do not know why Podolski is not our CF. He is the best striker in the team, but we seem okay for him to be played out of position, just like the rest. See, this Wenger favouritism thing or whatever can only work if we keep winning. When we lose, it exposes a lot of rot and it certainly stinks.

    It is very shameful.

  10. @gunnerboss
    If he sets us up to lose that is tantamount to fraud. Agreed?

    He may well have got it wrong which is a Mistake

    He may well have not learned lessons.. Mistake

    With the talent we had on the pitch we should have taken a very ordinary Norwich side to pieces. As I said before I have never seen such a lacklustre performance and I have been supporting Arsenal all my life.

    The manager may have got it wrong, but the players with very few exceptions didn’t perform and as such let him down

    I can understand comments saying he is satisfied with 4th place, lacks hunger etc and they may or may not be correct. But to suggest he wants to lose games is ridiculous

  11. I 100% agree the loss was Wenger’s fault.
    1. He has started experiencing diminishing return
    2. Why does he have to wait for 65 minutes to change always? Does it mean he is not hungry for win
    3. I have asked him for analysis of when Ramsey starts. Arsenal always struggles to win match. Ramsey doesn’t fit. He should never start but could come in after and hop up and down the field.
    4. Arteta will never rceive Spain call because he doesn’t compare. He is too slow in decision. He is too backward minded and doesnt release ball on time.
    5. The three midfielders lack push and cutting edge. Non of them is going front but pass and pass.
    6. This is where we need Rosicky, Diaby, Song, Ox, Ryo, Wishere, Conquelin. We need players that frequently dare to surprise opponent by penetrating and not three midfielders that want to retain possession and. Not move to opponent 18
    7. I hate Morinho but likehim for passion to win match. Webber is a father that pampers players. Mark me, if we has used our second eleven thy would have won the match

    Imagin Gnabry a small boy debuting was the only player pushing to go forward for the few minutes he enters

  12. Any time I see Ramsey start I know Arsenal will struggle throughout. I have vow not to watch Arsenal if Ramsey is in the starting 11, but my love for Arsenal kept bringing me to receive heart attack.

    Wenger must stop being a father and coach. Few minutes into the match I started seeing what was wrong with out team but it took Wenger 65 minutes to notice it

  13. All I know is, if Wenger has started openly criticising the team after a poor performance, which is MOST unlike him, then there is a change in back room philosophy. It’s almost unheard of. It’s a worry for the team and for the fans. I think the best forward line we can put out at the moment is …

    Podolski – up front
    Ox (left), Wilshere, Diaby (sitting), Carzola, Walcott (right)

    The others should be fringe players.

  14. Frustrations are really understandable and most are not far off the mark. I don’t think there was anything Wenger could have done to motivate his team further though, aside from getting Giroud more frequently involved. If players are in a lull and don’t put in the effort there’s not much he can do.

  15. Andy – Wenger should have been up in his technical area and urging and screaming at his players to make runs behind Norwich defenders or made changes at the beginning of second half .

    Last year we had the same issues at times , but we had RVP to rescue us with brilliance .
    We were trophies when we had a team full of world class players. The best we can hope for is finishing 4th.

    What I found puzzling over the years is how teams like Porto able to acquire talents like Hulk , Falcao and with all our resources , we fail to bring real world class quality to our club?!

  16. @Retsub – Agreed completely.

    Like I said earlier, ” Its not as if this argument is correct, but there is something truthful, saddening and quite painful about it”…..
    Secondly, this is from Shambo quoted above “There is one constant in these awful failures vs lower opposition.
    He cant or wont motivate his players or doesnt respect the opposition enough to even be tactically aware of how we could maybe win or lose this game.
    Why was Wilshere even on the bench if he wasnt fit enough to be called upon in the event that we needed him”.
    Finally, see why I said- “In a very logical way, this question is answered already…..he sets us up to lose cos he never seems to want to learn from years of losing the same way”.

    I’m not saying Wenger should be fired, but if we keep making the same mistakes in the workplace over something we know is not yielding(not working) for a period of at most two months, we will definitely get that sack letter. Cos its either you are sabotaging ur employees or ur sabotaging the company…..but something is definitely sabotaged. In this case it is years and years of not learning.

    Barca make Messi their highest paid player, so too do magreed with Ronaldo and manure with Rooney. Why do we have a Walcott earning more than Cazorla? And we want Cazorla to be happy? This is why Song and RVP left. You cannot have pillars and treat them as if they are dispensable. Good, no one should be messing with the club, but if they are holding out for a little more quid knowing how valuable they are to the club, then why not respect that? We threw away the bath water, now how do we bath the baby?

    Now, it seems right to dispense of a player when he is 29 or 30 cos according to Wenger, he cannot perform anymore. It is a disease that has crept into us, it has been so for a long time and we dont even know it. How long more did Gilberto play for Brazil? RVP is still a baby cos he has rested more than any other active player his age cos of injuries. Why did we not take the gamble with him? We all know the average age of the Milan sides when they won their last UCL’s. Experience might make you a bit slow, but you can never quantify getting out a player (who probably knows more than the coach) on the pitch who understands exactly what is required of him.

    I dont like the fact that the sales are coming to haunt us so soon, but it is the truth. We should have gone for a Falcao after selling RVP, this is the only way we keep our momentum. RVP was indispensable to us, we need to replace him with like quality, nothing else will work. Why? Cos RVP and Song and Szczesny shouldered us throughout the whole season while Wenger took all credit for a 3rd place finish. Where is the superstar Song replacement we bought? NO ONE. We have refused to allow Coquelin progress now that Song is no more cos of “favouritism”. Sorry, but this is what i call it. Anything else makes a mockery out of us all. This is why i said last season, we will NEVER win anything with Ramsey in the side. In the same breath, we have refused to allow Arteta progress cos he is made to replace Song and play in another role for the team….our efficiency is completely reduced here.

    The midfield is the engine room for any team, Barca and magreed do not win games cos they have the best defense, they do so cos they have the best midfield and probably attack(negligible cos Chelsea beat them with a defensive formation stifling their midfield). Once Ramsey(this is not about him) comes on, our midfield efficiency is completely reduced…I dont know about those who do not watch our matches, but if you do, you would have seen it since last year when Wenger was playing him ahead of Rosicky.

    We will start winning when we play like Chelsea(said it before they even beat us). Simulate a counter attack, everyone runs into the box striker inclusive and lay that pass then….this way you have already unsettled their defenders.

    I’m not against Ramsey’s progression, but all the long and short passes he makes unsuccessfully have been counting against him(what does he do during practice?)….we should be experimenting when we are 3-0 up and not from the beginning. Certainly not when we have had little rest, this is why he MUST be fluid in picking his team (he is is not paid millions for nothing).

    I dont care about a starting 11, I care more about a functional 11.

    When we leave sentiments aside in picking players, THEN, we will start winning.

    When we leave the STUPID youth policy, THEN we would have recognized that this is NOT A YOUTH CLUB and we will start winning again.

    When we start renegotiating salaries of undeserving players with a view to pegging it down (or leave the club) and rewarding outstanding players with better salaries, THEN, we will attract hungry players and we will start having trophies.

  17. It is hard to point out what went wrong but I do know that Norwich played their socks off. I thought they were going to tire and they just didn’t!

    The team did have possession but was lacking that killer punch again but I will not blame the manager entirely because:

    1. He used our best 11 available. I know Wolciech, Theo, Sagna, Gibbs, Diaby and to some extent, Koscielny is injured. I know OX had a problem midweek because he couldn’t sleep properly or something like that. Wilshere is not ready. Dunno either why he was at the bench. I guess Wenger was hoping we would be up by 3 by half time and an appearance would’ve benefited Jack.

    2. He used the same formula that has been working for us. Which means playing Giroud upfront on away matches. And we won every away game before Norwich. So again, why fix something that ain’t broke?

    I do feel however that we lacked width that Gibbs usually gives us on the left flank. A. Santos did well but did not help because he tends to drift towards the middle when we had possession. Norwich played 10 men behind the ball so the team was very narrow, therefore it was harder to go through the middle.

    Cazorla could be tired but I’d choose him over Arshavin any day. What worries me is the injuries to our RW Ox and walcott and I feel Gervinho is at his best when he is on the left flank. Bring in Gnabry!

    Oh well, moving on.. Hope players get a wake up call and smash Schalke.

  18. wenger has shot his bolt and it is time for him to quit instead blaming the players which he bought. If throw peanuts you will get monkeys that applies for wenger. Another howler by another third rate keeper mannone that has been biggest blunder of wenger’s failure not to buy a quality last man of defence whose one mistake could mean curtains. Sorry the entire squad expect for few are not even worth a place in championship sides. Being a passionate gunner I feel gutted to see the great club sliding down to the lower depths of epl.

  19. @gunnerboss
    Agree with a lot that you said, but think the most pertinent comment is ‘hungry’ near the end. Without doubt the poorest performance i can remember. I didnt see any hunger at all, no one seemed to care

    Those of you a little older will remember Ray (Butch wilkins the master of the sideways pass. He seems to have been reincarnated in Arsenals midfield

  20. Andy i thought you were a little unfair in your judgement of your keeper for if you take a look at the ball just before it made contact with Mannone’s hand you would see that the ball was seaming all over the place, to the point where a seam bowler would be proud of movement like that. Just before the shot your boys were playing the off side( not very well mind) and therefore could not recover in time when it did not work. Nevertheless i still expected to see another level from Arsene’s boys and if Theo was available he would have added some injection down the middle or comming in from the flank.
    @shambo, what do think of my boys Ammers so far this season, any chance of making top four you think.
    Never mind mate its still early days although its at least a point droped. Up de ammers

  21. I think your boys were tired due to the international fixtures. The squad has not the quality in depth to cope. One or two different kind of players were needed in the mid-field to help get in the faces of the Norwich CM and CH position to combine with the passing and moving. No plan B today.
    The Chelsea are now 10 points ahead and are looking not only very strong and physical but quick, slick and skillful in the final third. I was puzzled not to see little Jack not enter the arena. I would have thought it was an ideal game for im to get some green on his boots against a team that is struggling to get points on the board. Was he fit, if not then why in the squad.
    Still its early days and im sure you will put a run of 3 or 4 wins together but then what after that, have things really changed, is success measured by the balance sheet of profit and loss and are the ammers the new kids on the block. ha ha

  22. In all fairness there is no scintilla of a premiership competition at the top for arsenal. We have always been rubbish and this season seems to be more catastrophic. All the hype has been bullshit. Giroud is becomming a big joke with no composure or confidence at all. He aimlessly rushes strikes with no sense of target or intelligence. Ii would better partner Podolski and Walcott in the attack than giroud. or Gervinho and Podolski. Our trophy again will be a top four position. Chelsea has already thumped us at home and in all fairness they are on a different planet from us. We have alot of rubbish players in the midfield

  23. 7 years or so ago, when the Invincibles were virtually finished and we were losing Ashley Cole, I kind of knew it was the end. We never should have lost Cole, who would have still been our new Captain and upheld the “grit” that we have lost. We also lost David Dein, possibly as a result of the Ashley Cole mistake? Ever since, the team has lost the old grit that we were famous for and the same reason that we have never recaptured the winning ways of that era. Whatever type of football we play, and it can be very attractive at times, there just aint a heart to the team anymore. (Even Bould doesn’t show emotion when we are losing).

    We have become a “diamond feeder club”(sell first then buy what’s available9 and maybe that is what the Board and Wenger wants, but just look at the scenario, if we miss out on the Champions League this year(remembering last season we got there by the skin of our teeth, by a goalie who hadnt been to specasavers).

    Should we fail to qualify, we will lose £25/30m, plus our(non-existant) transfer budget, plus probably 20,000 seats, plus potential sponsorships etc, potential result, a mid table side witha Champions ground(who cares about the ground?).

    I saw this coming 5 years ago and gave up both my Club seats(£6,000 in total) and would welcome the day that I can re-new them. But sadly I cannot see that day as the whole structure of Arsenal PLC is to run a sound financial business, and whether or not we win anything, runs second to that.

    Lose out on the Champions League this year and it’s all over bar the shouting(it breaks my heart as a lover of the Gunners for 55 years)….

  24. I think people are being a little harsh on Giroud. In my opinion he has been very unlucky on a number of occasions and its only a matter of time before his luck changes. however in addition to that if he is going to play he needs service. just every now and then lets pump a high ball into the box. When Walcott returns they may well gel together

    @edward I agree with you about Dein and Cole is the best left back i have seen at the club, but he is also an odius little creep. lets not forget he was the one arranging secret meetings with chelsea

  25. Retsup, I cannot disagree that a number of footballers are not the types we would like to spend an intelectual or social dinner with, but in Cole’s defence, he was promised an extra £5,000 per week by David Dein, and, from what I can understand, this was over-ruled by the Board. For right or wrong, the trust went and he held meetings with Chelsea. He is probably the best left back in YK nad the type of Captain that we don’t have, who could drive us.

    On another note, looking at the team today, we seem to have developed a number of players not reaching up to our standards, read Ramsey(this season), Arshavin(last season), Giroud, Podolsky(last few games), Gervinho, Goalkeepers(all of them), Ox-Chamberlain(better for England) etc. I know I am being hyper critical, but if you look back at previous teams, we had equally inefficient players like Wiltord, Parlour and others in the past, who were a useful part of the squad, regardless. Which means when the team has the rhythm, hunger and “grit”, it all fits together.

  26. We can debate until the cows come home if Ramsey is good enough to play for Arsenal . In my opinion , he is a good player , but not for Arsenal. We do not have many British born players so we tend over hype them .

    The main question is who is the real Wenger ? The great manager/leader for the first 7 years who won all these trophies ? Or this idealist, weak , philosopher /manager for last 8 years ?
    Many Arsenal fans including myself had blind faith in the former.
    The truth is … the real Wenger is the latter!
    Do you know how many French titles , he won before coming to England ? The grand total of 1!
    At Monaco, he was always finishing 3,4 or 5th . His teams always played a very attractive brand of football, he always nurture young talented players. He even had Henry at Monaco as youngster.
    What I am trying to explain is that Wenger is not Fergie or Mourhenio , he is not a gritty win at all cost type of manager.
    The first 7 years with Wenger were exceptional, we are not climbing to these heights again under Arsene.
    Many fans do not want to face this reality. As long as Wenger is our manager , we will be lucky to win another league title.

  27. We have a real problem here. Wenger, with his limitations, is possibly the best manager we can attract with the frugal, yes awful, bunch, that we call a board. How could we attract any top flight manager with our non-existent, “sell then buy” transfer policy?

    After moving grounds, it was then the responsability of the Board to back that up with a comparable squad and the money to buy it, but, no that isnt and does not look like being the case. Wenger(for reasons we really do not know, loyalty, financial, naievety) has towed the party line implicitely, to the extent we are now approaching the proverbial!

    David Dein saw this coming, that was why he (for right or wrong) wanted us to share Wembley with Spurs. He knew we would forever be in the debt of the new stadium and the team would suffer. The day Dein went it was all over. Just reflect back, would we ever again attract the likes of Bergkamp, Viera, Henry, Overmars even Van Persie, in today’s world!

    If Wenger goes, we will get an Allardyce or equivalent, and languish mid way and win a Carling maybe, or even get to a Cup Final, we are almost talking an era of the pre George Graham days, oh how we suffered then.

    We were privileged to have had great football, but the Board we have now will never bring that back. I made my statement, I stopped buying tickets.

  28. Edward- the lost of David Dein was a big blow. Let’s give credit to Wenger too Anelka, Henry ,Viera, Pires , Kolo all came to Arsenal because of the manager.
    The names above were all the best young talents in France, it would be like to day buying Benzema from Lyon or Riberi from Marseille. sandi Carzola is the only world class players , he has bought in years .

  29. @Gunfest, Carzola world class a little premature don’t you think. Did you see his performance Last week for Spain against France when he came on the sub in the first half. Amongst real world class Spanish players he did not even look ordinary.
    I still think sooner or later Arsenal will put together a winning run of 3-4 games and then disappoint once more….thats all i have learned to expect from Wenger and his boys. Up de ammers

  30. @theicehammer, I agree he did not have a great game against France but neither did Fabregas nor Iniesta.
    Even among the Spanish players , he is among the best with ball to his feet. I am might be biased but In my opinion , I think that he is better than David Silva.

  31. Another tense start to our CL clash with Schalke.
    Lot’s of possession few attempts, no goals and an alarming lack of defensive concentration in the midfield.
    Can we overcome our own ineptitudes and get this thing turned around???
    Come ON you Gunnerss!!!

  32. Similar to the Norwich game, passing the ball around with little creativity and Schalke are a much better side than Norwich. I know I am repetitive but I would rather get Giraud on a try pumping a few long balls into the box. I simply cannot see Gervinho breaking them down..

    Someone needs to have a word with Santos, he’s running around like a headless chicken. I would bring Kos on.

  33. Sure it’s much easier to blame the players. Clearly Ramsey could have stayed in the dressing room for all his contribution; Gervinio needs a gps stuck to his big forehead, maybe he knows which way to go. Santos should have been replaced after 20 minutes, but instead no directions are given from the bench and we leave a gaping hole on our left for the Germans to exploit. But no, not really, it’s not the players. It is the total lack of tactical planning which Wenger has proved to us over the years. I am beyond caring for this team, actually ANY team led by Wenger. Off with his head for good!

  34. @Gunfest, there is no point having an opinion if your going to be biased. Fabs was again played mostly out of position and did well. Kazola needs to do it for a season especially against teams like Norwich. Westham dont count cause they are rubbish.
    On todays CL game, what is Wenger doing? I ope the boys dont loose confidence. Why do they look so flat?
    @Shambo whats going wrong mate

  35. Ice.
    Whats goin on is…..nothing, nothing new at least. The Wenger carousel keeps turning the only way it knows how.
    How many times have I come on here after lacklustre displays vs lesser opposition saying the very next game was the same??? As fans your looking for a response to show you it was a blip, as a player you shoudnt want to feel that feeling of defeat again, as a managee you should be doing the homework you need to be doing to get the result.
    What did we get???
    A re-run. A re-run of Saturday and a re-run of countless other halfhearted, headless and prideless displays.
    Im now convinced no player at Arsenal actually believes they can win trophies, you cant show the attitudes they show and build up the mentality required to succeed.
    They think their playing in the park.
    Do I blame the players.
    No way. We have had 70+ different players the last few seasons. Winners like Gallas, Artists like Fabregas, Youthful exuberance of Wilshere, Class of Van Persie….so many players with different personalities, backgrounds etc etc.
    It can be a hard thing to blend these personalities into one mindset, consistantancy can be the biggest challenge.
    So I find it amazing that Wenger has managed this feat of consistancy. consistantly faltering and turning in gutless displays which in my mind should be even harder to do than galvanise a squad.
    Seriously how has he managed the last 6 years to have nearly his entire 11, and his subs, all uninspired on so many occasions?
    On these matchdays nearly the whole 11 are off form, then the ,poorly timed and often wrong, subs come on and rarely contribute anything different.
    My question. How do you get so many different professionals, different degrees of determination and hunger,or lack of, to be off their game more often than on it and ALL at the same time.
    Its shocking management at this stage and lack of motivation aside these players didnt even want to go out there tonight and get the result for the manager.
    No focus as a result of lack of ambition

  36. Appalling display, appalling team, appalling management direction, appalling result. I’ve given up screaming at Gervinho who’s first touch is …. appalling.

    Why can’t we play Podolski up front? Why was the Ox not playing? Ramsey is rubbish though I think it’s not his fault, he’s just not a first team player. Where is Wilshere from the start? GIVE IT A GO WENGER!

    How incredibly frustrating for us. It’s just horrible to watch!

  37. @ Shambo. Couldn’t agree more. The weakest link is the team management. There never seems to be a game plan as every manager worth his massive salary should know, much less a plan B when the first plan doesn’t work. Wasn’t it obvious to all – except AW of course, that Santos was having a bad day, compounded by his wandering on the forward line, and forgetting – or not bothering, to go back to his place? And which players are replaced? Pods and Jenks, two of the few players who were trying to earn their salary, leaving in useless Ramsey and headless Gervinio. Mismanagement at its grossest. Can’t wait to hear Wenger’s excuses – if it’s not the ref, it’s the bad state of the ground, maybe the players lacked motivation, maybe unlucky, but you will never hear “I fucked up badly again and again and I’m leaving”. We faithfull supporters deserve better. Look forward to another drubbing at Old Trafford.

  38. Oh well,
    I suppose we couldn’t just have a sucessful season and leave it at that.
    A Geez Louise, what a screwed up week.
    Interlull anyone? 🙁

  39. Just like we had to be patient with FABs and Ramsey when they were progressing, we have(maybe must) to be patient with this new bunch. Point is Gnabry and Coquelin can be excused. Like I said earlier, the midfield is the engine room and our engine is grossly inefficient at the moment. Ramsey has refused to progress, FABs is now world class. If a leg break is the problem;
    1. Eduardo would not have scored that wonderful goal against us.
    2. RVp would never be top scorer, talkless player of the year.
    3. Wilshere would not be doing so well after being out for more than a year.

    Arteta is going forwards more(He is not a defensive midfielder) and more. Some of us were arguing he is doing such an incredible job in there after the first three games. What can we say now the manager can no longer motivate him to keep his concentration? He sees where Ramsey should be and tries to do Ramseys job, result? Everyone is everywhere and no one is where he should be. This is the same thing that happened to Song and we were complaining about him, see? I knew the problem is Ramsey. Watch the game again and see the sort of attacking position Ramsey gets into that none of the Schalke midfielders would ever dream of getting into.

    Santos is also trying to do a midfielders job. He sees what is missing and tries to do both jobs. There is someone not doing his job that makes others look silly. Remember AC Milan away? Until Rosicky or Arshavin or Wilshere starts playing there and Ramsey made to go on loan, we will not see salvation.

    If we had scored the goal Ramsey denied Podolski, we would have been a bit comfortable. Why is Ramsey now a winger? Why is he taking up valuable space in the squad in the first place? Why did Gnabry not start instead? We set up to fail yet again. Gervinho cannot pick out an accurate pass when counter attacking and Podolski is made to track back defensively very often. When will he be in position to take a shot? Why cant we play to our strengths and do things we can actually do more? Cazorla scores from outside the box, but we fail to let him into those positions more often. Podolski will score one in every four shots on target. Why dont we get him to shoot more often?

    We had nobody dragging defenders away for Cazorla or Podolski to take a shot for goodness sakes. The Schalke guys have studied us and were prepared, but what did we do yet again? Play into their hands cos we never troubled them meaning we just did our thing expecting them to crumble cos we were playing at home? Well, we just lost our undefeated record since 2003 to an ordinary schalke team.

    Pure woeful

  40. When you watch Santos play as a defender , you have ask yourself what was Wenger thinking?
    From Porto, Malaga, Shakhtar and so on these lowly teams are full of talented , creative,quick players . What is the management team doing ?
    Why wait until the 71 minutes to make the necessary changes when your game plan is not working?
    Why take off Jenkens and Podolski and leave Ramsey and Santos on the field?
    These people are paid millions to manage this team.


  42. @Shambo, what did you think about what was said at the clubs AGM(reaching the knock out phase of the CL is like winning silverware-AV) When the fair play system comes into rule in 2/3 years the club will then be able to compete with the big 4 and challenge for the prem or champ league.
    As far as im concerned AFC is run like a business which means it tries to make as much profit as possible while spending as little as possible. I doubt if the fair play system or final payment on the Emirates will encourage Wenger to up the clubs spending or salary budget in order to give its supporters a day out at Wembley. It will always be about finding ways of increasing profit by either reducing the wage bill by signing younger and younger players and saying that your reinventing the squad, increasing the ticket prices or selling good experienced players after inventing complexed reasons why they did not want to sign new contract. Wenger will always know.

  43. Well Based on everything that came out of the AGM yesterday one thing is sure as day, and that is that The BOA, IG, STAN, and the worst of the lot, wenger, does not give a whoot about the fans, because if they did they would not have regurgitated stuff from past AGM’s.

    BUT you can’t blame them if i take advantage of someone and they keep coming back then keep on keeping on.
    14 quid for fish and chips, absolute robbery how the hell could a club do this to the most important people especially poor folks, sad, sad

    I’ll say this Arsene wenger and the BOD are robbing the fans BUT as a GOD above we will never win under this current regime because wen you take advantage of honest people you never see your way, and am afraid that’s what they have done.

    One bloke said we should have elections every 4 years like Barc and i agree, maybe that’s an option, BUT the BOARD and wenger are not going to get a dimme of my hard earned money


    Arsenal have become a lying, thieving, bunch only interested in money
    and that’s not the worst, BUT it’s expected, there’s a new contract on the table for wenger.

    Arsene if you reading this please take heed, if i were in charge you would have been fired a long time ago because your no longer a football coach, you will do better at coaching under 15’s or even girls BUT as far as senior teams is concerned you have totally lost it, especially the appetite to win which contrary to arsenal beliefs is the most important thing.
    Apparently BUT not surprisingly you will see out you contract, if by that time we have failed to win a single trophy, that would be a decade, YES, a decade without the league title, and if your a true gentleman HOW on earth could you renew you contract on these ground you have already tarnish you record, so please if by 2014 your still here ( only because the fans want it that way because they have the power to remove you) please do the honorable thing and leave please, am begging now, your done, dusted, give someone else a chance please……

  44. Crikey, it took me 30 minutes to read the posts and all the comments. Great stuff from all the usual suspects.

    If someone could really figure out what is wrong with this side and fix it, we’d win every trophy there is hands down. Whatever is the trouble, remind yourselves that 3 three losses in all competitions at the end of October is not a bad place to be.

    That we are closer to the bottom of the table than top is of course a concern, but that is due to everyone else around us being very much in form right now.

    A decent run of a few games at the same time as others falter and we’ll be right back in the thick of things.

    It’s ugly but temporary…hang in there. A proper response against QPR combined with a couple of losses by the others will see us heading into November looking better. Fingers crossed…

  45. Well said One nil I needed a shot of optimism after the past two weeks.

    I am a great supporter of Wenger the man has given me a great deal of pleasure.

    One question that intrigues me…….. Who would do a better job?

  46. @retsub,
    I’ve thought of that myself, but I think that this club with it’s approach, philosophy and style is so uniquely Wenger’s, that nobody could do it better. Different is the only option, but to do it differently and manage successfully will take a transition lasting years.
    Guardiola maybe?

  47. That’s what is wrong with Arsenal , the manager has so brainwashed the fans that we believe no one else could manage Arsenal. Pap Guardiola, Gus Hiddink , Laurent Blanc could all manage Arsenal.
    Please remember before Wenger came to Arsenal most fans did not know who he was . as I wrote above in one of my posts , Wenger was known as a good manager, but not as a winner of trophies!

  48. I like Guardiola he’s one of the few. hiddinnck has managed more teams than I have had hot dinners, sure he’s had success but he has also failed many times. And is regularly sacked. No thanks

    Blanc has managed a couple of teams and walked awsy from them… No thanks

    Wengers managerial career needs to be looked at in perspective. He managed two french sides Nancy and Monaco neither of whom are top sides. He was successful at Monaco ” in what was a very successful period for the club”

    That said, if we have another disaster today, the pressure will mount. I really hope he gives Giraud a game today. I do believe he will come good. I know he’s scored a few but Gervinho just doesn’t look right to me. As someone pointed out he needs gps

    If they do play Giraud please chuck a few balls into the box, just to do something a little different

  49. @retsub -Blanc won the French title with Bordeaux before taking over the French national team . He has the same number of trophies as Wenger had. Monaco was always a top 5 team in France in the 80’s and 90’s .
    What I am saying Wenger is doing exactly what he did with Monaco . a lot of young players, a brand of football pleasing to eyes and very happy finishing every year in the top 5. That’s the real Wenger!
    The Wenger for the first 7 years at Arsenal is not real and is not coming back. He must have been shocked himself at how much success he was having in the first few years , beyond his wildest dream.

    He told us 2 days ago that ” finishing in the top 4 is like winning a trophy every year”
    I contend that if our aim is only to finish in the top 4 sooner or later , we will finish outside of the top 4 .
    We have the most expensive seats in the EPL, we are not now and have not been good enough to win a title in years.

    Giroud is a good player , but he was playing in the French second decision 3 years ago! He is still learning and getting used to the top level. We need to be patient , but our front line compare to other top teams is thin in quality.

  50. @What a nervy game. Did any of you notice that we could have easily lost after a lackluster performance again. This time SANTOS SEEMS TO HAVE GOT ENOUGH STICK and indeed he put no foot wrong. BUT AGAIN RAMSEY SHOULDN’T BE A STARTER IF OX IS FINE.

  51. If you think that we can still win the league, please raise your hand!
    Great to see Wilsher back in an Arsenal kit.

  52. My God guys,
    I cannot tell you how relieved I am that we eeked out the win.
    As you all well no I am not an “In Arsene We Truster”
    but a loss at home against QPR would have turned loose the devil.
    Unconvincing and tense but still 3 points and off the schneid.
    Hoped we saved a little for Reading 😉


  53. I have a sneaking suspicion based purely on, well nothing at all really other than a gut feeling, that when guardiola returns to the game it will be to manage the Arse. Youth academy, footballing philosophy and playing style that he can relate to and yet still a challenge for someone who really has nothing to prove after his success at Messilona.
    Of course it could just that I am a bit pissed and have early onset dementia.
    I missed this mornings game due to its antisocial kick off time down here, plus I was too petrified by the thought that we might actually lose to a Mark Hughes coached team that I just couldn’t face it!
    But we won, Wilshire is back and all’s well with the world again. bring on Reading and our charge for the quadruple!

  54. We are in sixt place at the moment. Shall we have an open top bus ride round Islington this afternoon?

    Anything less than Utd scoring 4 will be looked on by Wenger as a
    victory.Thats where we are now.A scrappy win against the bottom club
    after the previous two defeats tills you we are nothing more than
    average.Best thing to happen yesterday was Forehead getting injured we
    can only hope Santos and Ramsey get injured before OT

    Sadly, I believe we are living through “Groundhog Season”. Exactly
    the same thing happens before, during and after each season and nothing
    positive is ever done about it. The difference is that Groundhog Day was
    a comedy, but I didn’t see too many people laughing at the Emirates on
    Wednesday night.

    Of course, if the Groundhog Season comes to pass
    we will still finish fourth in the League (which of course now
    represents a trophy – yeah, right!), lose in the last 16 of the
    Champions League, slip out at quarter-final stage in the Capital One
    Cup, and depart the FA Cup when the pressure of maintaining all this
    success just gets too much. At the last home game of the season we will
    urge Arsène to spend some f***ing money and try to work out which of the
    forlorn heroes on the lap of honour will not be returning. It’s quite
    easy. It’s usually the most valuable players, you know – the ones Ivan
    Gazidis and Wenger assure us will not be sold under any circumstances.

    this, our season tickets will come up for renewal just as we sign an
    interesting (but reasonably priced) international forward to make us all
    think the purse strings are being loosened.

    No chance! We will be
    linked with hundreds of players but fail to provide the back-up we need
    in goal, at left-back and upfront. We will sign a couple of
    international attacking midfield players because we will sadly have
    about five seriously injured players being treated in the medical room
    (often the same ones who are treated every season) and then, just when
    we look well set for the season with an impressive squad, we will cave
    in to the pressure to sell Cazorla and Koscielny and then bemoan the
    fact that there is not enough time to sign replacements because the
    transfer window has gone crazy. Arsène will assure us he will be working
    until midnight on 31st August to reinforce the squad but will depart
    for a cup of cocoa and a read of L’Equipe at 5.30 pm as Sky Sports
    search in vain for him.

    In January, despite pressing injury
    problems and the need to improve the squad, we will wait until the end
    of the month (because the transfer window has gone crazy) and on January
    31st re-sign Robert Pires in the great tradition of re-signing an
    Invincible every winter transfer window. Nevertheless, when Diaby and
    Rosicky return, they will be like “new signings” and recruiting an
    experienced back-up keeper will “kill” Fabianski, so we won’t do it.
    Fabianski will then be pronounced out injured for the rest of the
    season. During the rest of the season, we will hear from Gazidis about
    the imminent demise of the mega-rich clubs and then Chelsea will pay
    themselves £350 million to name Stamford Bridge “the Blue Kremlin”.

    before Christmas, Iniesta, Xavi and a rota of Barça players will
    proclaim Cazorla as having Barca DNA. In retaliation, we will sign a 15
    year-old left back from their academy at La Masia. Up yours Barça! And
    so on and so on. You know the rest. You have lived it for the last seven
    seasons and it shows no signs of being any different. Except that this
    season, despite the kneejerk reactions that Bouldy would sort the
    defence, Diaby would finally assume the mantle of Patrick Vieira, and
    Giroud and Podolski would be brilliant replacements for Van Payslip,
    recent performances have plumbed a depth that we have never seen before.
    One year, the one element of Groundhog Day that will unwind is that the
    team won’t be good enough to get fourth place, and Wenger will have to
    assure us that the Europa League is like winning a trophy.

    This is
    a bitter refrain but, sadly, I think it’s a fair one. That forensic
    analysis from Swiss Ramble shows that the reason we have a cash mountain
    is (despite the fact that our much-vaunted financial model doesn’t
    work, and because we pay fairly ineffective commercial staff
    mega-salaries and mediocre players salaries they couldn’t get anywhere
    else in world football… and because our kit and stadium naming deals
    look pathetic in comparison with our competitors’)… we have a
    solution. We sell our best players to turn a profit and keep Silent Stan

    Ah, Silent Stan! I wonder if one of the big questions all
    Gooners want to ask is why he finds the need to wear that ridiculous
    “syrup” in public? As a very bald man myself, I think it tells us a huge
    amount about his insecurities. Come on Stan, do yourself a favour and
    come out as a slaphead—and while you are about it maybe you could reveal
    what your plans are for the Club in which you have invested not a penny
    since becoming the major shareholder. How good of you, by the way, to
    come over to London to see the team play twice in a week! Possibly this
    has more to do with the presence of the St Louis Rams in London than any
    newfound interest in Soccer (as he is bound to call it).

    Hill-Wood gets very little right but I think his first reaction to
    Kroenke was perfect. Stan, we don’t want “your sort” over here. By your
    sort we mean a uninterested absentee landlord whose sole interest in
    Arsenal is financial and who has no interest in sacrificing income for
    playing success.

    While you’re at it, Stan, maybe you could take
    Gazidis with you. People ask what he has done to earn £2.15 million?
    Protect his Master’s back is what he has done, and ensure that all is
    serene at Ashburton Grove. In fact it’s so serene that it repeats itself
    every year.

    So what can alter this state of affairs that so
    infuriates us? Perhaps the realisation that fans want more than
    participation in the Champions League. They want to believe they can win
    it rather than being comprehensively outplayed by a decent but far from
    outstanding German side at home in the qualifying rounds. Perhaps also
    they’d like Wenger to go into a season with a proper, balanced squad
    with no holes and one that doesn’t immediately go down injured so it has
    almost a whole team in the treatment room six league games into the

    We want different, but different-better not
    different-worse. We want to believe that Arsenal care enough to pay more
    than £16 million for a player and set their horizons at the stars. For
    fans, football is about fantasy, not profit. And, exciting though some
    fans think Arsenal’s football is, we don’t want another Groundhog
    season. A great club and great supporters deserve much better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.