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My Apologies

Greetings from San Diego. I want to apologize for any inconvienence the site being down may have caused.

Nothing like being on a business trip and not able to handle this problem more directly.

The fact that the site was down did not allow me to write. Review for today’s match. Please use the space below for the game discussion.

There will be an article post match and one for next weeks season ender.

Again my profound apologies for this.

221 Comments

221 Comments

  1. CaribKid

    May 9, 2010 at 00:09

    One of my major concerns in relation to Arsene is that over the past three years he has continually made excuses for the team’s lack of success. In particular this season, referees, opposing managers and injuries have been highlighted.

    I find this rather disturbing from a psychological point of view, in that instead of looking at the root causes he is looking at external circumstances over which he has no control.

    The referees are not going to change, managers will increasingly use known tactics to beat our predictable and soft team. Injuries, well, hire a group of qualified Sports Physicians to look at the problem instead of relying on the son of your ex-physio. One would think that he would awaken from his torpor and attempt to find tactics which would nullify all of the above.

    That would be called common sense. If nothing changes, how can you expect the result to change?

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 9, 2010 at 12:48

      “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.-Albert Einstein

      But what did he know?

      ;-)

  2. sachin

    May 8, 2010 at 19:39

    Arsenal have certainly played their part in where Spurs are currently, so first blame must be laid towards Arsenal’s players and manager.

    Last season Spurs were in real trouble and then Dirty Harry was brought in before the North London Derby. Arsenal were leading 4-2 and then gifted Spurs an unlikely point. Cue wild celebrations from Spurs as if the team had just won the World Cup, Champions League and league title all rolled into one. A team rock bottom of the league was delirious happy because their biggest rivals were stupid. Spurs probably wouldn’t have been relegated that season but there is no doubt their morale was boosted because of Arsenal’s mental silliness. One would have thought that Arsenal would have never given up a 2 goal lead after that game. One would have thought that Wenger would never allowed his team to give up like that. Ha! Hello, Wigan.

    Arsenal’s latest winless streak started against their lovely neighbours and those 3 points that Spurs got against Arsenal have certainly proved valuable in their entry into the CL. Maybe deep down Wenger and the Arsenal players are having nightmares about 1919 and doing their best to ensure Arsenal help their neighbours.

    Also, Arsenal have done their best to make their rivals look so good. They gave up a F.A Cup game away to Man Utd and lost 4-0. Can one imagine Man Utd giving up against their big rivals like that? Arsenal then benched Arshavin against Chelsea in the F.A Cup tie. Arshavin then goes onto score 4 goals against Livepool, once again helping Man Utd out. And this season, Diaby gifted Man Utd an unlikely winner and then 3 mistakes led to a humiliating home defeat to Man Utd. And then there was the home game against Chelsea.

    Who needs enemies when the Arsenal squad and manager are the football club’s biggest enemies? I guess the Buddhist quote “To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others” is proving true for Arsenal. Yet, the hate towards other managers, refs and players is found in plenty from the Ministry of Truth. What is the point of accusing another team of playing long ball tactics when in the past (GG era) Arsenal used to play dreadful boring football? What is the point of saying other teams don’t play proper football when Arsenal can’t even put a competent professional performance in a game?

  3. stag133

    May 8, 2010 at 13:09

    In the Football League…

    Leeds United are Promoted to the Championship.
    Down to 10 men, and down a goal… they battle back
    for a 2-1 win!
    Glad for their fans who have suffered for a while now!

  4. Mazza

    May 8, 2010 at 09:20

    Where were Spurs when he took over? And where were Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, United, Chelsea?

    I agree Hodgson can count himself a bit unfortunate but Redknapp has done an excellent job.

    • Fred

      May 8, 2010 at 11:37

      I agree, it seems like some people have bought into the “the only achievement possible is the one done without spending much” type.

      LOL

    • ChicagoGooner

      May 8, 2010 at 12:15

      Spurs weren’t that bad off. They had a bad season, but lots of the same players as when they finished fifth and would’ve finished fourth if not for the lasagna.

  5. Andez

    May 8, 2010 at 09:05

    Redknapp winning the manager of the year is one of the most ridiculous things I saw in football in recent years.

    Sure, breaking into top 4 is an achievement. But if it’s an achievement for Redknapp, why it sure hell is an achievement for Wenger as well. Cos afterall he spent less than Redknapp. And in recent years, Arsenal as a club spent far less than Spurs to achieve the same achievement – top 4.

    So what made Redknapp’s top 4 “achievement” so special? At Arsenal, a merely top 4 finish most people would have considered it as a “failure”. And we are a club which spent less than Spurs…. If league table is all that matter, then What about Ferguson and Ancelotti?

    It’s unbelievable Roy Hodgson lost the award to Redknapp. What Hodgson had done with Fulham, guiding them to UEFA Cup final, for a club as small as Fulham, and without all those cash to flash around, can be considered as a major achievement not just by today’s standard. They have literally created history.

    • Fred

      May 8, 2010 at 11:35

      When Redknapp took over Spurs were bottom of the table.

      I dont see why you are upset about Spurs money. They are financially stable, they do NOT have a sugar daddy and they live within their means.

      The FANS are the ones bankrolling the Spurs team … so why are you upset because they spend THEIR OWN money???

      I think he just about deserves it because his performance required consistency over a whole season while getting a run at a cup might be a bit more of luck based.

      Remember Middlesbrough got to the UEFA cup final just a few years ago.

      That said not taking anything from Hodgson and am sure Hodgon was a very close second. But Redknapp winning is not nearly as crazy as you would think.

      • stag133

        May 8, 2010 at 12:18

        good point on where Spurs were when he took over.
        they were in real trouble LAST SEASON… and he did well last year.
        This year, they did well all the way through… you have to give Redknapp and Spurs some credit…
        We are still ahead of them, marginally!
        But we’re ahead, and I’ll take it.

    • sachin

      May 8, 2010 at 19:42

      interestingly in the past wenger has said performance over a league season is more difficult to achieve than a cup run. While I agree that Roy has done an amazing job with Fulham, in giving the award people might have considered what Harry has done after 37 games and not a few cup games.

  6. nipuna

    May 8, 2010 at 03:28

    The Ministry of Truth (aka Arsene.com) has spoken –

    http://www.arsenal.com/match-menu/3151895/first-team/arsenal-v-fulham?tab=preview

    “You could see when you look at our rivals, you know that everybody celebrates. We don’t do that anymore because we have [qualified] for so many years that everybody finds it normal. It is not normal – it is the consequences of the quality performances during the season and it is not because we are Arsenal that we are guaranteed that.”

    “Arsenal’s campaign was highly creditable before they went to Barcelona and, if they take third, it will still look decent enough once the dust has settled.

    Tottenham’s recent rise has caused a certain unease. But everything is relative. Compare Arsenal to their North London neighbours competing in European competition’s top flight or the potential they exuded a month ago and your glass is half-empty.

    Compare them with Liverpool or those gloomy pre-season predictions and it is more than half-full.

    This may not be a campaign to remember but a point on Sunday will ensure it is not one to forget.”

    • sachin

      May 8, 2010 at 05:43

      Love this.

      “We lost at Wigan, we lost at Blackburn on what I believe are controversial things which are difficult to accept,”

      Goalkeeper drops ball = controversial. Goalkeeper can’t claim ball = controversial.

      Words churned through the ministry’s very own dictionary.

      But did you notice the Ministry of Truth also has a disbeliever in the ranks? In three places, a point or a draw is mentioned.

      Arsenal need to make a point on Sunday.

      A draw in the final game of the season with Fulham will finally give them security of third place.

      …but a point on Sunday will ensure it is not one to forget.

      The word winning apparently does not exist in the Ministry’s dictionary.
      shhh..let’s not talk about winning on sunday. Don’t want to put the kids under pressure. Fragile souls and all. That’s it lads, go out to play a 0-0 tie. Yup, play for a draw. And oh yeah, don’t concede a corner otherwise…

      • Mazza

        May 8, 2010 at 09:22

        And supposedly we have been on a ‘downer’ since Barcelona. Again, another thing out of our control supposedly. Why were we on a downer? Cause we got spanked by Barcelona? Why did we get spanked?

        C’mon Arsene, wakey wakey.

  7. CaribKid

    May 7, 2010 at 22:53

    The total irony of the present situation is that everyone is hoping Fulham fields a weakened team in order for us to secure a draw at home and nip the Spuds for 3rd place.

    WOW! In which abyss has our expectations fallen.

    If we can’t beat Fulham at home, regardless of which team they field, we don’t deserve to get 3rd.

    • stag133

      May 7, 2010 at 23:02

      Not hoping or really caring if Fulham field a B-team, but it would make ZERO sense for them to play all their regular players in a meaningless game, with a Cup Final 3 days later.
      They wouldn’t have tried to move the game to Saturday, if they weren’t trying to get extra rest.
      At this point, we’ll take whatever advantage we can get.
      This should be one of those verbal contract games where the coaches and players wink wink, and they kick the ball back and forth for 90 minutes…
      0-0.
      Everybody goes home happy.

  8. Andez

    May 7, 2010 at 21:49

    Harry Redknapp beat Roy Hodgson to Manager of the Year? what a joke.

    • stag133

      May 7, 2010 at 23:00

      Andez, you might not like him, or Spurs, but he did a good job there.

  9. sachin

    May 7, 2010 at 13:03

    ChicagoGooner, regarding Soccernomics & Wenger. My view is different now than when I read it back in October. In some ways, data can certainly make a difference between winning a title or finishing second but I think some of that data makes sense if one has a competent team to begin with, such as the Arsenal 98 or 2001-05 squad. If a team has a goal keeper that cannot catch a ball, then all the stats in the world to improve a team’s fitness won’t amount to anything. In the early pages of the book, right after praising Wenger, the book mentions how the AC Milan Lab is using stats to predict a player’s injury such as by “studying a player’s jump, it could predict with 70 per cent accuracy whether he would get injured.”

    So does Arsenal not collect stats on player’s injuries? I find it strange that one team can continue to be inflicted by injuries for almost 4 straight years and yet nothing is done.

    Later on in the book (page 56), the book talks about selling older players at the right time and discusses what Clough and Taylor did in this regard. It talks about how older players are overrated and mentions how Bob Paisley “believes the average First Division footballer is beginning to burn out at thirty.” So Liverpool used to sell a lot of players around 30 during Paisley’s time. The book then discusses Wenger as the master of this trade of selling older players. “As a trained economist, he is inclined to trust data rather than the game’s received wisdom. Wenger sees that in the transfer market, clubs tend to overvalue a player’s past performance. That prompts them to pay fortunes for players who have just passed their peak. Probably because Wenger was one of the first managers to use statistics to assess players, he spotted that older players declined sooner than was conventionally realized. When Dennis Bergkamp was in his early thirties, Wenger began to substitue him late in games. If Bergkamp complained about it afterward, Wenger would simply produce the match statistics: “Look, Dennis, after seventy minutes you started to run less. And your speed decreased.”

    the book then mentions the success Wenger had in deals when he got rid of PV, Henry, etc.

    Wenger’s track record of the profit generated by selling older players is impressive but it is now clear that selling almost all those older players has left a huge gap in terms of the on-field learning experience for some of the kids. If per the book, Wenger is addicted to stats, then he appears to be eliminating obvious things in front of his eyes because he is letting stats guide him. I am sure it is as per stats that Wenger makes a substitution around the 65-70 min mark but there are games when earlier action is required. Yet Wenger sits inactive.

    As Wenger’s team got younger, he should have maybe looked at stats differently. Applying the same stats to a team of competent players such as the invincibles does not make sense when applied to the current team of some incompetent and lazy individuals who will not improve by staying on the field another 20 minutes.

    • stag133

      May 7, 2010 at 13:58

      unfortunately, statistics can’t measure a players desire, determination, heart, grit, and other intangibles.

      STATISTICS are great… for FANTASY SPORTS.
      That’s why they are created. They are played on the computer.
      Not on a real football pitch, with real players.

      • sachin

        May 7, 2010 at 17:17

        Yeah. Wenger has ignored some obvious alarming signs in front of his eyes regarding the players.

        But then again, the game Arsenal & Wenger are playing is a fantasy sport for the board anyway. It is all about making the most money without spending a dime :)

        Maybe the next version of an EA FIFA game would feature a separate category for Arsenal where a profit league would be created.

        • stag133

          May 7, 2010 at 17:58

          the reality is, that PLAN or MODEL, goes out the window, and all hell busts loose… if they don’t make the Top 4.
          But as long as Wenger and Arsenal maintain that level, I think they’ll ride the wave.
          40,000 fans on the waiting list can’t be wrong!

  10. Fred

    May 7, 2010 at 04:34

    I see Arseblog is attacking those who want Spurs to finish ahead of us … LOL. Funny how in the very next paragraph he goes on to express frustration because Wenger has said he would ONLY buy “top, top class” players or none. LOOOOOOL!!!

    The guy will soon join the club! The scales will fall off his eyes VERY SOON!

    Falling behind Spurs is the ONLY thing that will ever bring pressure on Wenger, the players and the board to CHANGE THEIR WAYS. Absolutely nothing else will change Wenger. Nothing else will hit the players hard. Nothing else will make those loyal Wenger Worshippers heart ache.

    And thats why we need for it to happen.

    Besides, what exactly does third position mean?? 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc are all nothing positions. Qualifying for CL is not an end … it is supposed to be a consolation. And whats the point of qualifying for CL anyway, its not like we are going to win it.

    • stag133

      May 7, 2010 at 11:17

      so should we play league matches and CL matches?
      we aren’t going to win either, but we still play them.

      its called MONEY.
      CL = influx of cash = home matches = profit

      so the CL is very important for Tottenham, to attract players who want CL football…
      and its imperative for Arsenal Football Club… so that the extra money comes in, so the debt is lowered, we make more profits, and we can (over)pay all the young players in the squad!

      still don’t want any part of 4th place… nor do I want us to lose.

      we will get the point we need against Fulham, who will field a B-team.
      they don’t need a key injury before their Cup Final.

  11. Fred

    May 7, 2010 at 04:15

    @ staggy boy:

    1) LOL, what does Eto’o have to do with my list of overrateds? And why mention goals scored in one season rather than for ten seasons? If we want to do that that Bendtner has a better goals/game this season than Ibra … so lets not go down that route … lol. Eto’o is the third highest Barcelona goalscorer of ALL-TIMES behind Cesar and Kubala. Goals per game started he is second only to Ronaldo (in 96/97) and far ahead of any one else in Barca history. And to round up, he scores 80% of his goals against top 10 teams. This season he is playing as a winger/withdrawn striker in a 4-5-1 with lots of defensive duties.

    Ibra, the overhyped is the exact opposite. He has broken 20 goals only once in his career, he is the main central striker yet never scores against big teams (other than Arsenal), specializes against teams like Almeria and Xerez, he never scores in important games and is a massive big game choker (again, except against Arsenal).

    Dont take my word for it? Find out what minute he was subbed out in both semifinal matches when his team desperately needed two goals. Also find out the name of the center back that replaced him and was far more effective. Adebayor scored 30 goals in one season ONCE … you and I know what type of teams he scored those goals against. Ibra is no better. Yet he gets hype like he has the record of Torres, Eto or Rooney.

    Conclusion: He is the definition of OVERHYPED.

    2) Tevez: Cant bring it in a big game and on a big night. Ferguson knew that and kicked him out. And City know that now after the Spurs debacle. OVERRATED.

    3) Bellamy: RvP and Bendtner have a higher goals per game than he does. Enough said.

    4) At least you didnt argue about Ribery. I dont see why Bayern are bothering to appeal his suspension. Big-game bottlers are of no real use in a final anyway.

    • stag133

      May 7, 2010 at 11:24

      You have your opinions on players… doesn’t make them factual.

      You hold Etoo up, but he hasn’t been much this year at all. He’s been mediocre, especially by his past standards.
      Ibra players in a team where there are MANY other players that score.
      That always takes away from your totals.
      Is he among the top 3 strikers? No, but he is pretty damned good.

      I would take Tevez any day of the week. If United had him this year, they’d have already won the league. He gets bad advice from his agents, obviously. I’ve watched him since he came to the EPL, and he has been nothing short of excellent, EVERYWHERE he has played.

      Bellamy is just a solid, roll up the sleeves, pit-bull, who would be just what Arsenal need. No non-sense, no pass pass pass finesse all the time…
      He’s a thug, with issues when he was younger, but I’d take him over a lot of strikers we have as well.

      Ribery, very good player. Not exactly worth the many millions he got – will get… but he helps the teams he’s on, and will be good for France this Summer.

      Virtually EVERY player on your 4 player over-rated list… would improve Arsenal.
      So, I don’t really see any reason to belittle their skills!

      • vibe4arsenal

        May 7, 2010 at 12:01

        I like how hard both Tevez and Bellamay work, and their toughness. Tevez might just need to be in the right situation to bring out a little more consistency, but it’s hard to argue he wouldn’t make us better. Bellamy, I used to think was a bit of a punk. Now I see him as more of a hard-ass,and we could certainly use that.

        • stag133

          May 7, 2010 at 13:59

          agreed.

      • Fred

        May 7, 2010 at 20:18

        staggy boy, you still have a fundamental misunderstanding of the word “overrated”.

        Your unnecessary essay doesnt challenge any of my points.

        • stag133

          May 7, 2010 at 23:04

          over-rated IN YOUR OPINION.
          Which means F*CK ALL!

        • Fred

          May 8, 2010 at 11:26

          LOL, getting hot and bothered under the collar there staggy boy? ;-)

          Every single sentence in this forum and in every other blog is OPINION, son! And according to you opinion means fuck all … so why do you write on here?

          Go check up the meaning of the word “overrated”. Then maybe the red in your face would clear some, staggy boy … LOL.

        • stag133

          May 8, 2010 at 12:21

          bothered by you?
          not gonna happen!

          you have an over-rated opinion of yourself and your posts!

        • Fred

          May 8, 2010 at 16:14

          no, not really, am just posting on a blog …

          you on the other hand, staggy boy is still struggling with the English language apparently.

          overrated … it aint too late to look it up, staggy boy.

  12. joshuad

    May 7, 2010 at 03:32

    Based on the last game, it seemed to me that Arsene was playing players who weren’t certain of getting into their world cup squads. The likes of Walcott, Vela, van Persie, Fabianski, Nasri, and Diaby all got the nod. It was easy to drop the likes of Arshavin, Rosicky, and Eduardo because they’re not going to the World Cup. One has to wonder if the likes of Bendtner, Almunia, Arshavin, and Rosicky are really injured.

  13. joshuad

    May 7, 2010 at 03:27

    Sorry, meant to say that Song’s still got a knee injury, not ankle.

  14. joshuad

    May 7, 2010 at 03:25

    Arsenal are going to field a weakend team as well. The word is that Rosicky’s rolled his ankle, Bendtner’s re-done his groin, and Song’s still got an ankle injury. However, Clichy and Arshavin should be back. We’ll see if we’ve got enough to get us over the line.

    • Fred

      May 7, 2010 at 03:41

      I believe Rosicky is injured … but I dont believe Bendtner or Song are … they just dont want to be fooling around and risk injury before the world cup.

    • stag133

      May 7, 2010 at 12:41

      We’ll get over the line.
      This will be a match in which NEITHER TEAM wants to get injured.
      I expect both teams to kick the ball around a bit, nobody picks up a knock, a ding, or a strain…

      0-0 borefest.
      Arsenal get their point for 3rd place.
      Fulham get a work out with no injuries before their Cup Final.

      deal?
      I think so.

  15. HighburyterraceSteve

    May 6, 2010 at 22:08

    Been out of the loop here these last few matches, as have many of the traditionally more “positive” posters….After all, what can you say? The team has been woeful, starting at GK and then moving forward. These matches were sad, lackluster efforts and the goals we scored were fortunate ones, celebrated mostly with laughter and bemusement.

    Clearly we are a team attempting to be resolute in our belief that we are technically superior and that this is what will tell over time. And, who knows, maybe it will. (So far, not so great…)

    And you could say this culture permeates the club at all levels. On the pitch, we take a cavalier attitude: watch us pass and dribble and move and turn, that’s all we need (shooting, scoring, those things will come). Obviously, we don’t need to learn how to deal with teams that foul us incessantly, as that is the job of the referees. Set pieces? Maybe we practice deliveries and jumping for headers, but certainly not the pushing and shoving to establish position. In many ways, these last few matches seemed to feature players auditioning for national coaches, (and a GK desperately trying to show that he belonged) more than actually trying to nail down the points that were at stake.

    And at the much discussed board and managerial levels, where the money talks, we are obviously far more committed to a financial discipline than to the lures of low hanging fruit (i.e., this season’s league title.) We have obvious holes in the squad but, as the resident noobie, I have faith that we will fill them and that (if we avoid the absurd quantity of injuries) we will find ourselves with more and more opportunities and the experience to take advantage of them. Why shouldn’t we start beating these older teams that have been using their wiles (experience) to beat us? We’ve been around the block and learned a thing or two. Our time is coming.

    We need, however, to end this current madness, this weekend, with a solid thumping of Fulham, finishing ahead of Spurs on points, not goal difference. If we don’t, I fear the hangover will be a bad, lingering one, the kind where you can hear the sound of the lights, as well as feel the sweat from the heat they generate. We got as far (close to the title) as we did this season, because we were the least feared of the traditional big teams and we were able to eke out results against the lesser teams by continuing to methodically push forward even in difficult situations. These recent matches have shown that we are also exceedingly vulnerable and can concede goals at any time. It’s somewhat understandable given the absences and deficiencies at the back, but it’s something teams like Wigan, Blackburn, Spurs (and the rest) will remember. It must stop here in the final match.

    So that’s job one. After that we can celebrate Chamakh’s arrival and then see what gets done before the WC and then if any of our boys can make a showing there and either inspire our hopes or generate additional profits. (And I’m not beyond seeing the wisdom of celebrating would-be WC minor stars–Bendtner, Walcott, Vela–by selling them for good money.)

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 7, 2010 at 00:32

      Good to see you back, Steve.

      Yeah, if we’re lucky, as Fulham still has something more significant to play for, they’ll be looking past us this weekend, rest some players, and maybe we’ll eek one out.

      That’s right. Hopefully…Fulham…will be looking past…Arsenal…and we’ll finish just ahead of…Spurs.

      That would be quite an exciting achievement, eh?

      • stag133

        May 7, 2010 at 01:01

        I would suspect that they will field a weakened team.
        They tried to get the match pushed forward to Saturday, so they would have an extra day to rest for their BIG MATCH!
        So, I look for them to rest their better players.
        We’ll get the point we need at the very least.
        That’s all that really matters.
        I take nothing from the last few matches, other than Flapianski is not a good keeper, and as bad as Almunia is, he’s better than Flap-man.

        • nipuna

          May 7, 2010 at 02:30

          I remember Arsenal asking their last game of the 99-00 season to be advanced because of the UEFA Cup final against Galatasary. That request was also rejected.

    • Fred

      May 7, 2010 at 04:25

      We were never “close to the title”. That was just an illusion ;-)

  16. stag133

    May 6, 2010 at 18:06

    if we don’t play “good football”… and still finish in the
    top 4 every year… then Wenger HAS adapted his style, and we
    are still succeeding.
    if we do play “good football”… and I think we DO at times
    play a very good passing game with the “ball on the floor”…
    then people say… we don’t adapt our game …

    can’t be both.
    and either way… we’re still in the top 4 every year.
    so its not all bad.

    if you expect us to win trophies, you’ll be dissapointed.
    adapt your expectations.

    • ChicagoGooner

      May 6, 2010 at 18:35

      “adapt your expectations.”

      I am NOT a Spurs fan.

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 6, 2010 at 18:41

      If you expect most on here to hold a similar “It’s okay that Arsenal’s no longer interested in winning anything” mentality, adapt your expectations.

      • stag133

        May 7, 2010 at 01:05

        I don’t expect you to do anything…
        I live in the REAL world, where I have watched what Arsenal Football Club have done, and what they’ve been about in the past 6 seasons.

        HIGHLY doubt it will change, and if it does, great, but if it doesn’t, it won’t bother me, I’m not expecting it to.
        We’ll still be Top 4 or close to it, and we’ll still make money and fill the stadium.
        You might not see that as much, but it is what the AFC is aiming for.
        Maybe one day, with the debt reduced to the point they want it to reach, they’ll go for a trophy.
        I’ll still support the team regardless.
        We’re better than 98% of the other UK teams.

  17. Mazza

    May 6, 2010 at 15:27

    On the football thing, I’ve argued for nearly two years that we play very mediocre football. So it’s no surprise that any decent side that plays any sort of cohesive football with an iota of direction/menace, is deemed a better football team than we are.

    This is where Wenger’s spin and its effect on people is most clearly shown. Despite playing complete dross for nigh on two years, we’re still well regarded as a great footballing side. Just look at the big build up people gave us before the Barcelona match. Supposedly two pure footballing sides squaring off in a battle of the ages. I was absolutely cringing reading some of the stuff, in the knowlegde of the beatdown that was coming our way, without any artistic repostes to soften the blow and maintain our reputation.

    The tie with Barca exposed Wenger for the fraud he is really, or the fraud he has developed into in these last couple of years.

    • sachin

      May 6, 2010 at 17:27

      Your last statement makes me think of the quote “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist”., which was in relation to Keyser Soze.

      So spinning that statement around a bit, the greatest trick Wenger pulled was convincing the world of his team’s greatness, when the greatness is like Keyser Soze — a lie! Yes it wasn’t always a lie but in the last few years, Arsenal have needed their own Keyser Soze myth to keep followers entraced.
      Back in 1998 or 2002-05, Wenger didn’t need to talk about his team’s greatness because the fans could see it for themselves. Only when the greatness was in short supply was a story required to keep everyone’s interests.

      oops..just realized if someone has not seen the movie The Usual Suspects, I have might ruined a surprize. Although the movie has been out for 15 years, so it is forgivable. Hmm..come to think of it, the movie was released almost the same time (ok 1 year earlier) as when Wenger took over at Arsenal…cinematic inspiration for Arsenal’s youth/long term project, or to give an alternate title
      Football Learnings of Young Guns for Make Benefit Glorious Football Club of Arsenal

      • sachin

        May 6, 2010 at 17:31

        long dramatic pause…

        NOT

      • Mazza

        May 6, 2010 at 17:50

        Would be interesting to see the wall behind all the journalists who gather at Colney every week for the press conferences.

        Wouldn’t surprise me if Wenger was doing a ‘Spacey’ when answering their questions.

      • CaribKid

        May 7, 2010 at 01:03

        One of my all time favorite movies.

      • arsesession

        May 7, 2010 at 21:49

        Sachin – great movie but I don’t believe your analogy has roots.

        The cast of characters were all losers in life – out for the quick buck at anyone’s expense. Murder, robbery, drug deals, all acceptable way of taking the short cut in life……a sense of entitlement. NEVER ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE.

        If our manager wasn’t doing his job – he’d be long gone. How many consecutive years have we qualified for CL?

        I don’t believe Arsene has ever called this team ‘great’ or inferring the team’s greatness.

        If our 1st team choice players had delivered performances as we’ve witnessed since Barca, then I’m sure the Board would be looking for a replacement manager.

  18. DaAdminGooner

    May 6, 2010 at 15:24

    For you Philly area folks –

    The Philadelphia Union will play against – Valencia and Manchester United this summer at their newly built arena.

    • stag133

      May 6, 2010 at 18:07

      gee, the travel to the USA will really screw up United and Chelsea’s pre-season training!
      So, it must be an advantage to Arsenal who train in… Austria!
      Lots of shirt sales in Austria!!!!

  19. Mazza

    May 6, 2010 at 14:25

    Wenger out!

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 6, 2010 at 17:14

      (like)

      • Mazza

        May 6, 2010 at 17:46

        Wenger has worn me out. Been reduced to ‘banner’ speak.

  20. ChicagoGooner

    May 6, 2010 at 13:20

    At the start of the 07/08 season, 4 teams were given a realistic shot of winning the league. Now it is only 2. Yes, there are a Big 2 now, just like there was from 1998 to 2002 (I’d say Chelsea became realistic winners around 03). Except Arsenal are not in this Big 2. Does anyone really expect them to have a chance at winning the League next year. Spurs round out the Top 4, and they can’t realistically win it either. Liverpool? Forget it. There’s a Big 2 and we ARE NOT members of it. Those two have won 6 straight league titles, and (if Chelsea win) 3 of the last 4 FA Cups, They’ve also accounted for 3 of the 6 most recent spots in the CL final. In short, they like to win and they do win. I’m not sure how much Arsene likes to win (relative to other goals), and thus Arsenal doesn’t win.

  21. joshuad

    May 6, 2010 at 06:11

    It’s not certain Mancini will get sacked. Surely, he’s got some clause in his contract that ensures he gets paid ridiculous money if he is sacked. Likewise, he was playing with Mark Hughes’ team, not his own. I believe he’ll get one more year but when people have got that much money, they do things a bit differently than normal people.

    The one thing that will get Mancini sacked is the fact that he’s a coward. It was plain to see that when they came to the Emirates. Arsenal were very poor but Mancini’s tactics didn’t allow his team to win that game; only to not lose. Mark Hughes would have won that game. Like Fred said, you’ve gotta have some balls (or as Mr. T would say, “Get Some Nuts!”)

    I’m going to steal a line from stag and say that Spurs will surely strengthen this offseason. Champions League football will allow them to attract descent players. If they finish fourth, I would expect them to get through qualification round. I just hope we finish third and it’s them that have that burden, not us.

    • arsesession

      May 6, 2010 at 08:50

      City was going no where under Hughes – go back and look at their league play.

      Frankly, playing with Hughes players I thought Mancini got the most from them (5th). Look at their roster, absolutely no foundation of players that take City to CL play. Even Givens is a question mark off his line.

      Hughes had (has) a combative personality, but City would never attract big name players with Hughes in control. Who is Mark Hughes? a Blackburn success story???????

      Won’t Harry be going to jail this summer or fall?

  22. Fred

    May 6, 2010 at 04:12

    The most overhyped players in ALL of Europe:

    1) Ibrahimovic
    2) Tevez
    3) Ribery
    4) Bellamy

    Number 1 is self evident.

    As for Tevez, I have said several times, they guy is NOT a big game player, if he was Ferguson would NOT have let him go. Ferguson can smell winners easily, and he didnt go for him. He is the kind of guy who would do a Berbatov when you really need him. For a man bought for 45 million pounds, you would think he would “bring it” in this most important of games …. but nooooo ….

    3) I see the same in Ribery that I see in Ibra … HYPE galore. The sucker of a team that buys that guy would regret the over payment they would make on him. He bullies the small boys, but on the big night when it really counts he is never there for you. Yet he continues to receive the hype.

    Platini said it best when he said that France doesnt have a SINGLE great player.

    4) Bellamy. All the Brits love him. He works hard, bla, bla, bla … but lets face facts he cant play for any TOP team except has a backup. Yet the way the Brit media hypes him you would think he was an up and coming Rooney. Like the three above he disappears on the big nights.

    ————————————–

    Special mention to Dade Blue. Quiet and useless as usual. Now thats the Barndoor we know and “love”. Hopefully City would buy another four strikers and push him out to Bordeaux or Monaco.

    As for Toure, well… lets face facts, he is mediocre CB who is rapidly declining.

    Mancini? He is like Ranieria. Whack!

    • nipuna

      May 6, 2010 at 04:16

      I was about to comment on Mancini. Not sure how his record compares to Hughes, but I am sure it is not vastly better (if at all it is better). He will surely be sacked in the summer.

      • arsesession

        May 6, 2010 at 11:44

        Vincent Kompany: Manchester City dropped too many points early in the season

    • stag133

      May 6, 2010 at 11:23

      why don’t you get a scouting job Fred?!

      Ibra … who you think is lousy, has 20 goals in 32 games… with 9 assists.
      Your hero Etoo has 14 in 37 games.
      I am sure you’ll have some excuse for it, but Ibra is a pretty damned good player.

      Tevez AND Bellamy are the reason City are as high in the table as they are.
      Tevez has 23 goals and 7 assists in 34 games!
      Thats 4th in the league in scoring and 6th in assists.
      Bellamy has 10 goals and 8 assists.

      If they are over-rated, then I want over-rated…
      as opposed to our potential filled, injury riddled, over-salaried, finesse posse’!

      • Fred

        May 7, 2010 at 04:17

        See my response below son … my job pays me more than scouts make. thank you ;-)

        • stag133

          May 7, 2010 at 11:28

          Oh, that’s good for you…
          but just think, you could get paid to slag off all the star players you feel are worthless, useless, oafs, brainless, brain-dead, etc…
          I mean, it would be a long list… so it would be lots of work for you.

        • Fred

          May 7, 2010 at 14:34

          what part of the word overhyped dont u understand sonny?

        • stag133

          May 7, 2010 at 18:01

          the part where you use it.
          I don’t understand almost anything you say…
          too much negativity in it!

        • Fred

          May 7, 2010 at 20:16

          then learn english son.

  23. Fred

    May 6, 2010 at 03:46

    You know the WORST part of all this … Spurs, this season actually played more ATTRACTIVE football than we did. Lots of pace, lots of incisive ground-based passes and dinks, lots of intelligent overlaps and dangerous crossing.

    Their style of play is actually CLOSER to that of Barcelona’s than our’s.

    So we are stuck with whack-ass football but no trophies.

    Their squad is a bit scary thinking of it.

    Their wingers, Bale and Lennon are a class above ours. Their strikers are better than ours. Their CMs/DMs are much better than ours with crucial exception of Fabregas. Their CBs are better than ours and ofcourse so is their keeper. The only positions we are truly better are the defensive wingbacks.

    The only reason we are a force at all is that we have Fabregas while they have Modric. Thats it!

    ————————————–

    Redknapp is a far more brave and tactically smarter manager than Wenger.

    Spurs are a poor away team and City are a good home team. Yet he went for a straight, highly attacking 4-4-2. He did the same against us, Chelsea and Man U. That takes BALLS! Spurs never had balls before, now they do. And that is really scary news for us.

    If Wenger needed to get a result away at Man City what would he do???

    Ofcourse he would play a cowardly, 4-3-3 with Eboue in the front three and Denilson/Diaby in the middle three. And instead of attacking them, pinning them back and going after their weak CBs we would pass around a few yards from the box, from side to side in extremely predictable fashion until we lose the ball, and they break at high speed and cause us pain. Playing right into their hands.

    Wenger is such a tactical oaf its not funny.

    • Fred

      May 6, 2010 at 03:59

      PS: Funny how they play Modric (smaller and slower than Fabregas) and Huddlestone (the white Alex Song) in a 2 man midfield and play very well.

      While we waste our time with a 4-3-3 that includes Denilshit … in other words playing 4-2-3. Wasting a man in midfield, wasting a man that could have been upfront.

      Then our only “winger” is Walcott, a brainless f%cker who can not see Bale or Lennon in his wet dreams.

    • nipuna

      May 6, 2010 at 04:13

      Yes, I liked the way Spurs played yesterday. It was a bit like Inter vs Barca. City had all the stars but Spurs had a good formation and were brave enough to put two up front and cause City trouble.

      Starting Crouch ahead of Pav (who has been a regular starter in recent times) showed that Harry knew how weak Toure & co are aerially. A wonderful case of adapting to the opposition, a concept totally alien to Arsenal.

    • stag133

      May 6, 2010 at 11:30

      You’re on a rant and roll Freddy.
      Keep it up!

      Yes, Redknapp is more brave and tactically smarter than Wenger.

      Spurs are better than Arsenal all over the pitch except the defensive wings and Fabregas.

      Wenger is a tactical oaf, and Walcott is a brainless fecker.

      So, please do tell…
      if Cesc leaves for Barcelona this Summer, will you support another team?
      Seems like you have a crush on Spurtz.

      They are soooo much better than we are, but yet, we still are above them in the table.
      How’d we do that?

      4th place Spurs. Their biggest accomplishment in … decades!

      • vibe4arsenal

        May 6, 2010 at 12:12

        “They are soooo much better than we are, but yet, we still are above them in the table.
        How’d we do that?”

        Actually, he said…

        “Spurs, this season actually played more ATTRACTIVE football than we did.”

        I’ve said the same thing myself. Spurs were more fun to watch this year. Only a, umm, hater would say otherwise.

        “Their biggest accomplishment in decades…”

        That’s a criticism?

        How awful for Spurs fans to see their team reaching new heights. How terrible it must be for them to be excited and engaged at the end of the season. They must be so fucking bored right now, just thinking about new stuff to look forward to next season.

        Yep, everyone else stupid. Arsenal, brilliant. There’s nothing like the intellectual thrill of sports.

        • stag133

          May 6, 2010 at 14:01

          If we are so bad… and are ahead of a team that is so good…
          what they hell does that mean?

          he said they are BETTER at every position except the back wings, and Fabregas.

          They’ve had a GREAT season FOR THEM,
          We have had a mediocre season FOR US, and we are STILL AHEAD of THEM.

          I am the last person to say Arsenal are brilliant at anything except making money in recent years…
          But I would hardly hold up Spurs as something we should be trying to attain.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 6, 2010 at 15:19

          No, we did not have a mediocre season for this model of profits-first Arsenal. We’ve done what we’ve been doing. Traveling that straight old line. Anyway, you’ve spent too much time arguing what an exciting achievement this season has been to start back-pedaling now.

          You’ve also spent much time insisting that Arsenal be evaluated on their relative, non-interested in winning, more interested in profits sliding scale. So evaluating Spurs by their goals seems as fair. If 3rd in the League, winning nothing, beating no contending teams is somehow ‘exciting’ (TM stagg) for Arsenal, then 4th for Spurs is mind-blowingly so, no?

          The Spurs moved up in the world. They played attractive and (yes) exciting football this year, two things you have repeatedly suggested were AFC traits we should appreciate more (though our season was less so, on both counts). Their fans have a lot to be pumped about.

          So, yeah, as improving, exciting, achieving, non-whining about what everyone else has/does football are all to be admired. This season, I do think AFC could take a lesson.

          No reason to disagree, other than hateration.

        • stag133

          May 6, 2010 at 18:13

          We have acheived MORE than Tottenham, unless they get 3rd place. Right?
          So, why would we try to emulate them in any way?

          Arsenal Football Club ARE where they want to be, no doubt.
          We DID play some exciting football, and DID have a chance at winning the league with 5 games left. That’s just fact.

          I think Spurs accomplishment is fantastic for them. Their fans are THRILLED.
          Ours are pissed off, and we are better than Spurs.

          So our expectations are too high.
          When I compare Arsenal to where I want them to be, back in the 2004 days, yes, I’d say we were less than stellar, but in the big picture – Arsene Wenger view – Arsenal Board view – it was a successful season.

          We might be able to take a lesson from Chelsea or United, but I still don’t think we need to learn anything from teams that aren’t as good or successful as we are.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 6, 2010 at 20:34

          “We have acheived MORE than Tottenham, unless they get 3rd place. Right?”

          Not according to you. According to you, teams should be judged by relative expectations. Arsenal, for instance, should not be judged by trophies, the way United and Chelsea are. Because the circumstances are different. We are not trying to win trophies. They are. Different.

          So, according to you, Arsenal supporters should not be disappointed, because, according to you, we’ve had an exciting season where we finished 3rd just like the last 5, more or less.

          So, relative to the expectations everyone should have, according to you, Spurs have achieved MORE. Because they have accomplished something they do not normally accomplish. They have EXCEEDED their brief, payroll, etc. Whereas AFC, has merely met theirs. Spurs fans = excited their team is playing exciting football when it counts. Arsenal fans, once again, let down their team has folded when it most mattered. Claim your hollow victory all day long. When it comes to sports, most of us go by how we feel.

          We had NO CHANCE of winning the league with 5 games left. That is a FACT because we all saw what happened next. We were never the best team in the League, and most watching knew we weren’t contending for anything. So unless you have a hot tub time machine, your mathematical hypothetical is now well and truly moot.

          We are, once again, what our record says we are…third best team in the Premier League. FACT. In no way, a significant achievement for the Gunners.

        • stag133

          May 7, 2010 at 01:09

          3rd place.
          Significant to the Arsenal Football Club.
          If the stadium is FULL, you don’t matter.
          Sorry.

          You can say we had “no chance” of winning with 5 games left, but you now have the hindsight of knowing what happened.
          With that schedule, the EASIEST of the 3 teams fighting, we could have won the league.
          If Cesc didn’t go down, anything was possible.

          AFC ACHEIVED what they set out to acheive.
          No mistake about it.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 7, 2010 at 11:40

          I evidently had foresight too, as I NEVER believed we were in contention for the title, after watching how poorly we did against the teams ahead of us. So when we didn’t win anything, only one of us was surprised, stagg. I saw it coming a long way out.

          “AFC ACHEIVED what they set out to acheive.
          No mistake about it.”

          Right. And thus Spurs, who are thrilled to be in contention with their most hated rivals for THIRD with one match to go, improved in the League, have access to the CL, and probably even enhanced their own profit picture have ACHIEVED MORE.

          Glad I was able to explain that much, at least.

  24. nipuna

    May 6, 2010 at 03:25

    Simple question for folks here. What do you think will change?

    I am 100% sure Arsene won’t be sacked.

    I am 99% sure Arsene won’t change his ways.

    Are we all banking on that 1% hope?

    The other hope is that our terrible injury record will somehow improve.

    • Fred

      May 6, 2010 at 03:30

      That hope percentage is much lower than one percent unfortunately.

  25. CaribKid

    May 6, 2010 at 03:22

    I love that song ‘saddest day of my life”, just never thought I would be saying that about Arsenal.

  26. nipuna

    May 6, 2010 at 02:41

    Guess who is bottom of the top 4 mini league (the actual top four in the league this year, Spurs instead of Pool) ??

    Even Spurs are better than us in that respect. :(

    St Totteringham’s day may still come on Sunday, but this really has been a sad year for Arsenal supporters.

  27. joshuad

    May 6, 2010 at 02:32

    Guess who Crouch beat to clinch the winner for Spurs? Reminded me of the hattrick he got when Liverpool beat Arsenal a few years back. Guess who was his bitch on that day as well?

    • nipuna

      May 6, 2010 at 02:38

      Sorry Josh, I know you are referring to Toure but it was Kompany that was closest to Crouch when he scored. :)

      • CaribKid

        May 6, 2010 at 03:21

        Not many CB’s will beat Crouch to headers on a consistent basis. He’s 6’7″ and does have decent athletic ability.

        • arsesession

          May 6, 2010 at 08:26

          PLUS – he has good positional instincts.

    • stag133

      May 6, 2010 at 11:35

      really Josh?
      even if Toure was responsible for the Crouch goal, and I don’t think he was… from what I saw…
      does it matter?

      Toure was very good for Arsenal for a LONG TIME. Loved the club, played hard, played with desire and heart…
      Not sure what more you want from a player.
      Unlike Ade, I don’t think he’s said a bad word about Arsenal Football Club.

      And Peter Crouch is a big goofy average striker.
      8 goals this season in 37 games.
      He misses far more than he makes.
      I wouldn’t take him on a free.

  28. sachin

    May 5, 2010 at 22:35

    I just hope the transfer activity for Arsenal is not quiet between Chamakh arriving until end of august when another Silvestre like panic buy is brought in. Otherwise, it will be a painful world cup when multiple reports about Cesc leaving will surface. Wenger will be at the world cup but not with a cheque book this time. Although he didn’t have a cheque book at Euro 2008 either otherwise Arshavin would have come in then.

    In other news, Marseille clinched Ligue 1. Bordeaux and Lyon were quite off the pace. Although only 6 points separate 2nd place from 6th in France, which is held by Bordeaux. I guess Chamakh views 3rd/4th as a step up from 6th :)

    Inter got 1 of their 3 trophies en route to their treble and Madrid still are on Barca’s heels. Wow.

  29. stag133

    May 5, 2010 at 21:33

    Spurs definitely earned their CL opportunity.
    They won AT CITY, with all that matters on the line.
    No bottling, no choking… they got it done.
    Got to give them credit for that.

    As noted above, maybe that’s a good thing… if any team
    clipping at our heels is going to cause the Arsenal Football Club
    to ACT… our fans to DEMAND ACTION… it is Tottenham Hotspur.

    Unlike other posters… I don’t want Arsenal to lose games.
    I don’t want Spurs to get 3rd, and I don’t want Wenger fired.
    Sorry, I don’t think any of those things would be positive or productive on any level.
    But we’re all entitled to our opinions… but whatever we hope for, its
    not going to change the outcome of the last match of the season.

    United and Chelsea ARE in their own mini-league right now… like
    Celtic and Rangers, Barcelona and Madrid…
    They are FAR ahead of the rest of the pack… though not as much ahead
    as the top 2 in Scotland and Spain, obviously.
    So I think the “pack”… which has grown to include City, Villa, Everton, and with Liverpool now considered “in the pack chasing!”…
    they all will feel that not only is 4th up for grabs, but probably
    3rd place as well…

    The pressure WILL be on next season… and what Arsenal do, if anything
    significant, will determine what is likely to happen in 2010-2011.
    If we pull our usual… watch, wait, watch, wait and… the right special players were not available… bullshit, then I’d say it is
    very likely we will get passed this upcoming season.
    I also think… we need to add at least one experienced player, and a keeper… without losing KEY players in our team.
    If we don’t, why would Cesc stay for another year of this?
    really? why would he wait… the ALARM has gone off with the club’s
    3 MILLION GBP payment to him… and his big salary jump.
    Its PANIC at the DISCO … errr.. Emirates!

  30. OziKenyan

    May 5, 2010 at 20:52

    Hmmm… Depressing end to the season. Not much else to add from reading everyone’s posts. I don’t want to finish out of the top 3! I’m happy getting a kick up the ass by finishing 3rd on goal difference. Plus I really really want to get some sort of laugh and I think Tottenham getting nocked out on qualifiers would do nicely (coming to think of that and kicks up the ass, how bout one where we get knocked ino 4th and then out of champs league footie… urghhh).

    I did see the Blackburn game. Didn’t really feel like commenting on it. They roughed up Van Persie pretty good, but other than that, they handled our players quite well. I didn’t see too much wrong by the laws of the game in anything else they did, including crowding out young Fab, who by the way, I maintain, is a good ball distributor. But you do need to be right in the head mentally to play your game and that he clearly has a problem with.

    Hmm, troubling times. I don’t think Fulham will be playing a weakened team against us either. But I don’t think we’re going to lose to them. They have been woeful away from Craven Cottage.

    Top of my wishlist this summer is a tie between Gallas signing a 2-year contract and getting a goalie. A defensive coach would be a close second.

    • seattle gooner

      May 6, 2010 at 14:53

      But on the plus side, even if they play a fulls strength team they just played on Wednesday so maybe they’ll be tired and ripe for a loss. Just like when Arsenal played Spurs. Shit.

  31. Fred

    May 5, 2010 at 19:22

    PS: I hope Walcott, Diaby, Nasri and Clichy DONT make their World Cup squads. I want their failure this season to really hit them hard and personal.

    No point saying that about Denilson :-) Dunga considers him a Third Division player.

    PSS: Funny how Poland call up Wocjec but not Fabianski!! Turns out a lot of national team coaches know SHIT when they see it. Not Wenger tho.

  32. sachin

    May 5, 2010 at 19:11

    and since the invincible season, this isn’t the first time that Arsenal have been close with their neighbours in the league table. In 2006, only lasagna kept Arsenal above them by 2 points. Or so the story goes. In the last few years, Spurs’ have never looked like title challengers and their main aspirations have been for a top 4 finish. Hmmm. Almost sounds familiar. Since 2005, Arsenal were title challengers in 2008 but otherwise they have had their eyes for 4th only. So Arsenal have finally done it. They have become taken on the appearance of their worst enemy. It had to happen eventually. A long time ago (1995 or 96) Spurs almost got Wenger as their manager but a meeting with Dein ensured that didn’t happen. Spurs unsuccessfully searched for their own version of Wenger and even hired Damien Comolli to dig up talent. Nothing came of all that. So they opted for a former Arsenal fan to lead them to the promise of 4th. And Wenger’s team, aided by the hands off approach of the Board, have done their best to blur history to ensure two rival neighbours are next to each other in the league table. Wonderful stuff.

    So next season, these are just some of the battles Arsenal will have to face:

    1) Man Utd: If Fergie is still there, then he will ensure Man Utd don’t lose to Arsenal. Otherwise there will be blood in the Man Utd dressing room.
    2) Chelsea: Derby + battle over values & moral standards.
    3) North London Derby: Never a dull affair and won’t be again.
    4) Battle against Anti-football: Monday’s win has shown that Big Sam’s evil force still exists. And his disciples grow every season.
    5) Other London Derbies
    6) 4th place run: Man City will try again for 4th.
    7) Tough away trips against hard working teams such as Aston villa and Everton.

    I have not included Liverpool or Newcastle as I have no idea what state they will be in. Also, maybe Villa and Everton will be in the mix for 4th. Not sure. But there will be many games which will require Arsenal to be at their best. Add to that the additional CL fixtures along with the annual injury list that Arsenal will get. No point including the CC and F.A Cup fixtures as they will be thrown away as usual.

    Does the current squad have a stomach for all these tough games? And having 1-2 mentally tough players won’t cut it. There will have to be 11 technically competent and mentally tough players on the field all the time.

    • Fred

      May 5, 2010 at 19:18

      If Wenger does not change… we will NOT make top four next season.

      The psycological barrier, the top-four glass ceiling, the great myth has been destroyed by Spurs today.

      Now, Everton, Villa and Man City will KNOW they can reach top four. The barrier has been broken.

      Liverpool will want their spot back, so they will also fight tooth-and-nail.

      Even a dark horse like Fulham, with Hodgon as coach, might eye Top Four as a possibility.

      • sachin

        May 5, 2010 at 19:28

        And the truth is that out of Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal, all the other teams will eye Arsenal as the easy target to knock off in terms of top 4. Plus, out of these 3 teams, Arsenal is also the easiest target for teams who want to play Big Sam football. Man Utd and Chelsea are in their own mini-league (for the most part) while Arsenal are fair game for every team.

        Somehow the words “Don’t Panic” seem to have no effect anymore.

        • ChicagoGooner

          May 5, 2010 at 20:41

          I think Top-4 aspirants will view Spurs as the easy target to knock off, even if we are weaker than the Big 2. All the attention will be on them.

          It’s easy for us to doom and gloom as Arsenal fans, but put yourself in the medium-size clubs’ perspective:

          who’s easier to knock off, a team which has been top-4 once, or one that has done it for 14 straight seasons?

        • sachin

          May 5, 2010 at 22:24

          True. I guess I was only looking at the weaker of those 3, which is Arsenal.

          If multiple teams are going for 4th spot, then Arsenal are the easier target out of those 3 to get points off, meaning Arsenal could find themselves lagging more behind the top 2 and then who knows what the point difference would between 3rd to 6th.

          But I am tired of thinking about 4th already. I used to enjoy thinking of 1st or 2nd in days of battles with Man Utd but those days were in another life time.

  33. Fred

    May 5, 2010 at 19:10

    I am VERY happy Spurs nicked fourth place. As much as we are their main rivals and as much as they would mouth off like retards all summer I think it is a good thing for US!

    This is the kind of event that would strike into the hearts of those really hardcore fans, the ones who travel for away games. Those who are hardcore Wenger fans.

    Plus, I HOPE we lose embarrassingly at home against Fulham and Spurs take the third place.

    I want the spotlight FIRMLY on Wenger’s egotistical face – with some splattered egg to match.

    I want the Arsenal loyal base to become really, really restless.

    I want the Arsenal board to become a bit frightful.

    I want Wenger to sweat with the fire under his arse turned up to “high”.

    This result is PERFECT. Now, we just need to get thrashed on Saturday! Then we would have a proper summer transfer window!

    PS: Spurs also did NOT buy their fourth place. Their team is funded SOLELY by their fans! They are not like Man City who would be a NOTHING club without their owner … their fans DESERVE the results.

    Now, in the same vein, I hope Man U manage to pip Chelsea at the weekend too.

  34. ChicagoGooner

    May 5, 2010 at 19:03

    Has anyone here read the book “Soccernomics” by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski? I’ve wanted to read it for awhile, and my sister just gave it to me for my birthday… I’m about 10 pages in, and they are full of praise for Arsene Wenger. I’m just curious to know what other people here think of their view on AW? (If anyone’s read the book that is.)

    • sachin

      May 5, 2010 at 19:18

      I have read most of it, minus 50 odd pages. I had preordered the book last October and read it as soon as I got it. I remember mentioning the section about Wenger and stats in one of the posts here around that time. But I will have to revisit the book to see exactly what those Wenger section were.

  35. sachin

    May 5, 2010 at 18:00

    With one game left in the season, Arsenal are just 2 points above Spurs.

    Arsenal Football Club, take a bow. Well Done. The board, the manager and all the players should be very proud. Amazing achievment from invincibles to touching distance from Spurs. Brilliant stuff.

    On the other hand, I am sure MOT will say this is a good thing. Arsenal and Spurs should be close in the league table because one should stay close to one’s neighbours.
    Tell that to the Spurs fans next time the two teams meet.

    • CaribKid

      May 5, 2010 at 18:45

      If things don’t change, and I am not merely speaking of acquisitions, Arsenal will be fighting Liverpool, Everton and Villa for 5th thru 8 next season.

      • Fred

        May 5, 2010 at 19:13

        Next season will be very rough on Arsenal if things dont change drastically. We could very EASILY do a Liverpool.

        At that point even Andez would come out and angrily ask for Wenger’s head.

      • sachin

        May 5, 2010 at 19:21

        yeah I was just thinking of that. There will be some very tough battles next season. And yes bringing the right players in might not be enough. The team has to be finally taught the basics of defending.

  36. nipuna

    May 5, 2010 at 17:56

    If Arsenal have over-achieved this season, then what have Spurs done?

    • sachin

      May 5, 2010 at 18:05

      they have just won the treble! Cue more words from Spurs fans and Harry that Spurs have caught up with Arsenal. But the ultimate insult may still arrive if the Arsenal players strut their laziness against Fulham. It may just get worse.

      • sachin

        May 5, 2010 at 18:06

        meant to say, it may get worse for Arsenal but better for Spurs still.

    • CaribKid

      May 5, 2010 at 18:43

      Spurs have played up to their potential with the squad of players they have.

      Man for man they are a better balanced team than Arsenal and so is City. Both those teams are in transition, made some stupid trades but all in all have assembled decent squads.

      • Fred

        May 5, 2010 at 19:11

        I agree fully, Spurs have a more balanced team than we do.

        Infact I have said it several times, the ONLY thing separating us from Spurs is FABREGAS!

  37. nipuna

    May 5, 2010 at 17:44

    Crouch heads Spurs in to the CL !!!

  38. nipuna

    May 5, 2010 at 16:37

    Anyone watching the Cl playoff game?

    Gomes has pulled off three good saves to keep Spurs in the game so far.

    Ade has been offside a few times and Toure has missed two easy headers so far.

  39. ChicagoGooner

    May 5, 2010 at 15:44

    Anyone believe these rumors about Wenger making a bid for Joe Hart?

    http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8689_6133976,00.html

    I don’t see it happening. Given is still pretty hurt, so I don’t see City selling. Unless, of course, they buy some super expensive GK, but even they don’t really need to do that.

    I’m also interested in these reports of Abramovich offering up 70 million GBP for Torres. He’ll probably want CL football, and Lord knows Liverpool need the money. Now that Liverpool are out of the CL, I bet the speculation around Torres will become massive over the summer- especially if he does well in South Africa.

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 21:11

      Not sure about Hart, but why wouldn’t he be sold, if he isn’t going to be their Number One?
      If he IS, then let’s get GIVEN!

      With them not making the CL, can they overpay and get Buffon?, which frees up Given and Hart?
      There will be a merry-go-round at City… so some players will have to go, especially if they are bringing more in.

      Torres and Gerrard will be sought after by the big teams with the big bucks.
      Liverpool missed out on the CL WITH THEM, so if they can get crazy money for each, I think they might take it and try to rebuild without Benitez, Torres and Gerrard… I like Benayoun too.

      They also might have a merry-go-round of players and a manager!

      Can you imagine Chelsea having TORRES, DROGBA and ANELKA?

      • seattle gooner

        May 6, 2010 at 14:48

        Buffon said he would come to England but not Man City as they are not a big club (yet).

  40. sachin

    May 5, 2010 at 14:02

    Today’s Arseblog sums things up perfectly:

    “Basically I think there’s an awful lot of squabbling and fighting amongst Arsenal fans when essentially we’re pretty much all of the same opinion about how our team should be strengthened for next season. I suppose, like any kind of belief system, and supporting a football team is a bit like that, you get people on the far left and the far right, but finding a bit of middle ground and respecting each others opinions is not so tough.

    Normally, fans could have agreed on success as well despite their differing opinions. But the definition for success has been changed for Arsenal. It is not about trophies but a top 4 finish with financial success. Hence more divisions among fans. Throw in words like “potential”, “long term vision”, “bright future” and the discussions have grown more apart among fans. Yet, I don’t think any Arsenal fan would be happy at getting embarrased at home by Man Utd or giving up 3 late goals at Wigan. Solution to these poor results can not be found by empty promises or blind faith. These solutions require action. And before you correct me stag, I will say it. Some (including the board) might even argue that there is no problem at all in the first place. Losing at home to Man Utd or Wigan away is acceptable as long the overall goal of 4th is achieved. The people in charge of the club may not see a problem. Fine. The club can ignore the fans and the media. Fine. But the quality players can’t be fooled into thinking there are no problems. If they sense a problem, they will leave. It has happened before and it will happen again. Cue words from the Ministry of truth.

    It is incredible that I am stuck in a repetitive loop. I suppose that can’t be avoided as long as the team in question is stuck in a similar loop.

    • sachin

      May 5, 2010 at 14:28

      hmm..I believe my point about players leaving is similar to what arsesession said above about commitment and what’s at stake for the club.

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 21:07

      Who would leave a team that pays them MORE than they would get anywhere else, based on never winning shit and accomplishing nothing much?

      Who do you fear will leave, other than Cesc?
      Maybe Arshavin sees the writing and knows he can find a team with title aspirations and get paid.
      Sagna/Clichy/Vermaelen/RVP?
      Can they make what they do at Arsenal, and be guaranteed starting spots wherever they go, whatever they do?

      • sachin

        May 5, 2010 at 22:14

        Besides Cesc, I think Arshavin and RVP in the near term. Also if no improvement is done, then I don’t think Gallas will be back next season. TV will be around for a few years still though.

        Come to think of it, there aren’t that many quality players as previously. so I can scrap that last statement.

  41. DaAdminGooner

    May 5, 2010 at 13:48

    Marouane Chamakh confirms his switch to Arsenal:

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=781958&sec=transfers&cc=5901

    Seems he got offers from Spurs and Liverpool as well.

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 13:57

      LOL.
      just said that above!

    • sachin

      May 5, 2010 at 14:30

      worst kept secret. Although officially he will be arriving for free but in reality, his arriving a year (or 6 months) later has cost the club some potential loss of points.

  42. Fred

    May 5, 2010 at 12:25

    So to summarize all the points:

    We need a manager who:

    – is hungry to win.
    – needs to continually prove himself.
    – is not in charge of both the team and the finances.
    – who realizes the importance of defending.
    – who realizes the importance of defending and attacking set-pieces.
    – who motivates his players not by giving them long contracts.
    – who is unforgiving when it comes to mediocre and non-performing players.
    – who cares about the “lower cups” like the FA and CC cups.
    – who is very flexible, innovative and intelligent with regards to tactics, formations and substitutions.
    – who never DROPS his players rather than claim they have nonsensical “injuries”.
    – who rotates his team intelligently so the team doesnt ALWAYS collapse at end of every season.

    EVERYBODY, including the hippie optimists can agree with that list.

    And lets face facts, does that look like something Wenger can do??

    Short answer: No.

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 12:28

      LOL.
      Not exactly a list of Wenger’s strengths!

      But rumor is he will soon sign an extension until 2013!

      That means more of the same at the Arsenal Football Club.

    • sachin

      May 5, 2010 at 12:46

      Agreed, although I believe for the 2nd last point you meant to say “who DROPS his players..”

      Now, can this list be put in the hand of fans attending the AGM?

      Also, it would help having players who follow your first two points. The day an Arsenal player thinks he does not need to prove himself anymore will be the start of his decline. And there are already players in this team who believe they have nothing to prove although they have not proven themselves in the first place.

      • CaribKid

        May 5, 2010 at 13:50

        @Stag,

        I was never one who complains about his perceived frugality. In fact, I have often repeated that he really is not that frugal if you look on our wage bill and his spending of money on players we do not really need.

        For instance, instead of buying Walcott we could have had Friedel and Scwartzer on a free, bought a Kompany or Corluka for 5 and 7 mill respectively and still have money left over.

        My biggest gripe regarding acquisitions is that he seems to go for the best athlete available rather than trying to fill our needs.

        • stag133

          May 5, 2010 at 14:01

          You don’t know whether Walcott is going to be a big time player… at 16.
          Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
          We don’t get players AFTER they are proven often, so we have to get them early and develop them.

          I have no problem with BUYING Walcott.
          Paying players crazy salaries, is another story altogether.

          Wenger goes for ATHLETES. Finesse players, with perceived skills.
          That’s what he does, and he isn’t changing, and the board isn’t asking him to!

          Arsenal aren’t doing things the usual way. The question is… is Arsenal’s and Arsene’s way WORKING?

  43. stag133

    May 5, 2010 at 12:12

    Chamakh has confirmed he is coming
    to Arsenal… and that he chose us
    over Spurs and Liverpool.
    Not much choice there, eh?!
    LOL

    Who else is on a FREE that we can get?!
    any keepers?
    ;)

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 12:26

      AND!!!!
      (love the gossip when we have nothing to play for!)
      from the BBC football gossip page…
      Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reportedly agreed a deal to stay on as Gunners boss until 2013. The earlier-than-anticipated verbal agreement is a huge boost to the club… etc etc
      ——-
      There you go haters… MORE WENGER MORE WENGER! the board LOVE Arsene Wenger, he’s not going anywhere soon.

  44. Fred

    May 5, 2010 at 11:57

    Where are all the Fabregas bashers now?

    All the folks implying that any tom, dick and harry or Denilson for that matter (!!!!!!) would “look good” if playing the Fabregas role?

    Fabregas’ presence and willpower was pretty much dragging this carcass of a team through most of the season.

    Fabregas deserves so much better … like playing for a team like Man U, Chelsea or Inter. Teams that have strong structural setups. One in which he would be allowed to be a proper creative force, to paint his masterpiece peacefully.

    Instead he is condemned to playing beside craven nonetities like Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Eboue et al. For any proper footballer that is pretty much like being in prison – spending your entire day filled with frustration and anger.

    ————————————————-

    I considered penning a poem about Fabregas but I thought better of it. Am not yet at the Mazza/Hleb, Arthur/Dade Blue level yet. ;-)

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 12:13

      so will it bother you that he’ll end up at Barcelona?!

      Wenger will spin it that we have Nasri, so don’t worry.

      • Fred

        May 5, 2010 at 12:36

        Actually I would be happy for him. He is never going to win anything at Arsenal so he might as well leave now lest he gets desperate later.

        I would advise him to go to a team like Inter first though, so he can get some experience in a tough defensive structural setup while piling up the trophies and medals. Then at age 28 he can then take charge at Barcelona.

        • stag133

          May 5, 2010 at 12:54

          Not a bad plan, but I think he will believe that Barcelona is THE ONLY place to go from Arsenal.
          As long as we make mega-millions from the deal… AFC don’t care where he ends up!

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 12:33

      Come on FRED!

      I’ll start it with a Fabregas Haiku in the 5 7 5 format:

      FABREGAS… DA MAN

      WE CAN’T WIN MUCH WITHOUT HIM

      BARCELONA BOUND!

  45. CaribKid

    May 5, 2010 at 11:10

    I’ve noticed a lot of folks on this site and all the other Arsenal sites have been castigating our players for a lack of spirit, no fight, no desire, etc.

    But, who is really the culprit?

    For me, it has to be Arsene Wenger. This is his hand picked team, his musical composition, his orchestra, his and his only. He has no DOFO to interfere with his trades, coming or going, like many other clubs including Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. He has no defensive coach or special play coach for deference. He does it all himself. He leads the practices, selects the game day team, decides on tactics, makes substitutions and probably cooks for the lads too.

    We all like to defer to Arsene and credit him with great trades and acquisitions, yet fail to see the enormous errors in judgment for the past 3 1/2 years.

    1. Trading Diarra, not tying up Flamini’s contract and then allowing Gilberto to leave in the space of 6 months without having any viable DM alternatives reeks of arrogance. At that time he was convinced Denilson could do the job. Remember also that Song was not perceived as a DM because “he lacks stamina, and was only forced into the position when Denilson got injured and we had no one else available.

    2. FRUGALITY? Whats that? He paid 10 mill for 16 year old Theo with 5 mill more in add ons for someone who has produced “squat”, while 4 years after the fact we are still talking about potential.

    3. TEAM COMPOSITION
    a) We sign an injured Bischoff who had only 2 first team appearances for his club, to a professional contract at a decent salary, pay for his vast medical expenses so he can play in the reserves for 1/3 season and let him go on a free.

    b) We sign Bacary Sagna (whom I love to death) when we had Eboue who performed excellently for us at RB the previous season. Why, because he wanted to convert Eboue to a Winger. Why not just buy a winger?

    c) We sign Nasri and Ramsey for a combined total of almost 20 mill although we have Wilshere and Merida coming through the ranks and Cesc, Denilson and Rosicky already in the squad. Add Arshavin into the mix and we end up with 7 players who basically prefer playing in the same position, AM, with very little defensive nous, general lack of speed and who are all aerially challenged (midgets who can’t jump).

    d) We trade Ade to City and replace him with a “like a new signing” in Eduardo who was coming off a severe injury. How in God’s name can you trade your only hold up striker (who happens to be one of the few tall players and is a good header of the ball)and not replace him.

    e) Fans cry out for experience and he brings in “Geriatric” Silvestre on a 2 year contract. 2 year contract for an over 30 player? He never did that for Pires. The saying “beware of Greeks bearing gifts” should now read, ” beware of Scottish managers bearing gifts of players”. Again, Silvestre was coming off 3 seasons of injuries which limited his playing time and was never the best even when he was fit. Fergie didn’t want him anymore. When since did Arsenal start signing Manu rejects?

    f) Signing Almunia, Fabianski and Mannone to long term contracts when none of them really first string GK’s while Friedel, Hart, Scwartzer, Robinson, Gordon, Given and a host of other qualified keepers with price tags of 0 to 8 mill went a begging over the past 3 years reeks of terrible judgment.

    COACHING
    a) Some 5 seasons ago, Martin Keown served his Coaching Apprenticeship at Arsenal and guided a back four which included Eboue, Campbell, Senderos and Cole for the most part to 10 straight games without conceding a goal and 2 goals conceded in 12, in the CL. For some reason he was not retained the following season. Since then, we have been leaking goals at an alarming rate. Does logic not suggest we need a defensive coach?

    b) We do have a GK coach I understand, but certainly he should be terminated for not teaching his lads how to distribute the football or the rudiments of defending set pieces.

    c) An obnoxious and foul odor pervades when we defend set pieces as we, the Arsenal fans, tremble at the thought of conceding yet another goal. We know we have to play stoke twice per season and still have yet to come up with a plan to stop Rory Delap. On the flip side, we have no expectations when we have have a set piece and the opposition will gladly foul us to death on the pitch because we don’t make them suffer.

    d) Combine the above deficiencies with somewhat predictable substitution patterns, a refusal to change our formation depending on the opponent and the players available, and ultimately some strange team lineups, including when we left out an in form Arshavin last season begs for a change in coaching philosophy.

    MY RANT FOR THE DAY. ( Next rant coming tomorrow) (LOL)

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 11:30

      and yet, despite all these things you say have gone horribly wrong, somehow… amazingly, we are a Top 4 team every season, and with 5 games to go THIS YEAR, we had a very good chance to win the league, with the easiest schedule of the top 3 teams.

      ZERO PROBLEM signing Theo Walcott. He was wanted by all the major teams. You can’t complain that we are too frugal, and then complain when we spend money.
      Not all signings work out, in any sport, for any team.

      Sagna is one of the BEST players on our team, and when he came in … Eboue was a CLOWN. He got sent off for idiotic fouls, flopped and dived, and it did NOT look like he would make it at Arsenal. Sagna has been VERY GOOD. No complaint about having him on our team at all.

      Arsene does NOT give a shit what fans cry out for… so he brought in Silvestre because he thought he’d be able to help the squad, just like he brought in Sol Campbell. Neither cost very much in transfer or salary.
      So, no real loss with either. Again, I am not going to complain when he actually DOES bring someone in, trying to improve the team.

      KEEPERS?
      Arsene doesn’t know much in that area. That’s pretty obvious… he has 2 keepers that are below average, and one in Mannone that we don’t know about.
      If he does NOT address this situation NOW, he never will.
      I’d take Buffon at 32 years old, Frey, or any of the other 4 or 5 EXPERIENCED keepers who have shown they can play at this level.

      With all that has gone astray… we still get to the place in the standings that the club are aiming for… and we still fill the stadium to capacity, every single match.

      So things aren’t bad at all.

      • vibe4arsenal

        May 5, 2010 at 12:28

        “amazingly, we are a Top 4 team every season,”

        It’s not amazing at all. We still have one of the highest paid squads in the world, in a League that’s still not that deep. I’ll say it again and again…Wenger knows how to construct a 3rd place Premier League team like no one else. With the payroll we have, finishing any lower would make us a bigger joke than Liverpool.

        Not remotely amazing. As you keep saying, it’s all going according to plan.

        • stag133

          May 5, 2010 at 12:57

          The league is more competitive NOW, than it has been in a LONG LONG TIME.
          So I disagree with that point about a deep league.
          It’s a season that 3 teams fought for the title, because of the league depth.

          And… despite a big payroll, we don’t spend on transfers at all.
          We sell our better players for profit EVERY YEAR, making over 4 Million a year regularly.
          To maintain a top 4 spot doing that, is something no other team has done.
          So, you can belittle it, but it is not an easy feat.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 5, 2010 at 13:23

          That we have the payroll we do without spending on transfers doesn’t compliment the Club. It merely underscores how much Arsenal pays to kids who have done/won nothing. That’s the philosophy. But we’re still one of the most expensive clubs in the League, so it shouldn’t be treated as a surprise or accomplishment that our place in the League continues to reflect that.

          The League was largely more competitive because the teams at the top were not as strong this year, thus all lost to teams they wouldn’t normally.

          Even then, that the same three clubs will ultimately finish at the top as have for four out of the last five seasons belies any substantial argument about greater depth.

    • Fred

      May 5, 2010 at 11:39

      The benching Arshavin in the semi-final of the FA cup last season still ANGERS me immensely till this day.

      That was the day I really knew Wenger was and is a big-time egotistical fucker.

      2) The substitution routine is so predictable it is laughable.

      If next season, Eboue plays in our front three AGAIN, then ALL of you would have to agree with me that Wenger brain has gone from old age and is now pretty much just a wanky old man.

      Eboue in front of Sagna has never made us defensively sound. It has never gotten us goals. But Wenger perversely continues with it.

      3) Wenger doesnt really coach anybody … he just tells them to play freely and “learn” on the job. LOOOL!

      Even with a perfect team, Wenger does NOT have it in him to win anything.

      The sooner we sack the guy the better for all our health.

    • sachin

      May 5, 2010 at 13:01

      Loving your rants CK. Although your rants have so much thought, composure and reason in them. My rants are normally confined to a few choice words. I need to learn from you.

      >>probably cooks for the lads too

      :)

      Ofcourse, nutrition is a #1 priority especially since the players are required to sprint up and down for 90+ minutes and pass sideways. Although something tells me he is not cooking with wine.

      >>Bischoff
      Forgot about him. Argh! I can add the money lost on him to the current crop of bad player investments which are eating into Arsenal’s on field results and off-field financial ability to sign competent players.

  46. joshuad

    May 5, 2010 at 04:00

    Arsene Wenger doesn’t cope well when starters depart suddenly. The likes of Seaman, Merson, Henry, Adams, Winterburn, Bergkamp, Adebayor, Toure, etc. were predictable and Wenger had adequate time to prepare for their departures. There were a few, like Overmars and Anelka, who left quickly and Wenger got lucky with replacing them. However, the likes of Petit, Vieira, Hleb, and Flamini caught him a bit un-prepared and he failed to cope well.

    With that, Wenger needs to retain Gallas’ services. I doubt Wenger has a replacement earmarked and if we lose Gallas, TV5 is guaranteed a “sophmore jinx”. While Vermaelen had a dynamite debut season and is a brilliant technical defender, I’m not fooled. He makes a lot of mistakes and is lacking quite a bit, tactically. He needs an experienced old head next to him to keep him focused. When we played Barcelona, and Gallas was out, Xavi set a few traps and played Vermealen like a drum. Billy is already at the club, is a top defender, is a winner, and already has an established relationship with Vermaelen. I say give Billy two years with wages in the second year based on the performance of the preceeding year. How to quantify Gallas’ performances? That’s what the lawyers are for. But if we lose Gallas, we’ll be lucky to finish in the top four.

    • Fred

      May 5, 2010 at 11:25

      I agree completely.

      Vermaelen is good … but he is still young and relatively inexperienced for a CB.

      He NEEDs an experienced OLD hand beside him – to give him a sense of direction and to help him grow.

      That is the same problem with a LOT of our players, who is Walcott, Denilson, Song, Vela, Nasri, Bendtner learning from???

      Even Fabregas, who is he learning from?

      That is why this team is pretty much f&cked.

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 11:41

      I like Gallas as well, but he does get injured every season. Unless Djourou is 100% fit, I don’t know that we can rely on Sol and Gallas regularly.

      How did Vieira leaving catch Wenger by surprise?
      His departure was bandied about for 2 years, and WENGER CHOSE TO SELL HIM. He did not have to, he chose to. Vieira was under contract.

      and… I liked Hleb and Flamini too, but if those guys leaving screws up your team badly, you aren’t that good of a team. They were good PARTS on a team, they weren’t something you build a team around.

  47. nipuna

    May 5, 2010 at 00:54

    My team for next season

    GK – new GK, Almunia, Mannone.

    Defence – Vermaelen, new CB, Campbell, Djourou, Sagna, Eboue, Clichy, Gibbs

    Midfield – Fabregas, Nasri, Song, new CM, Diaby, Ramsey, Denilson

    Attack – RvP, Chamakh, Bendtner, Arshavin, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott

    Loan – Fabianski, Sczescny, Nordveidt, Eastmond, Coquelin, Vela

    Out – Traore, Gallas, Silvestre, Senderos, Merida, Eduardo

    4 new signings. Since Chamakh is on a free, we need to spend on only three. All three must be 25+, ready to jump straight into the first team and have the balls for a fight. Like Sagna, Arshavin and Verma.

    Players sent on loan must be to a club in the EPL or the upper Championship.

    • nipuna

      May 5, 2010 at 02:31

      If Arsene is planning to sign Joe Cole on a free transfer, then we could sell Theo to fund the three signings. :)

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 11:45

      what did Traore do to get sent packing?!

      Seeing that Rosicky, Walcott and RVP get injured EVERY season, we’d still possibly end up short of players up front who are capable of excelling at this level.

      I doubt we’ll be getting Joe Cole, as ManCity will likely throw crazy money at him to sign, and United might as well.
      I know we overpay in terms of contracts, but we don’t change the wage scale for players, so we wouldn’t for Joe Cole!

  48. nipuna

    May 5, 2010 at 00:15

    http://www.afc4life.co.uk/2010/05/04/has-arsene-wenger-finally-been-exposed/

    Lovely article.

    “Just take a look at Manchester United. They lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in the summer and are effectively a one man team now, heavily relying on Wayne Rooney. But look at them, despite the weakest squad they’ve had for years, they are only a single point off the top of the Premier League.

    And why is that?

    Their squad might not be full of world class players but they are winners. They have the f*cking balls for a fight.”

    Contrast with Arsenal who lost Hleb and Flamini two seasons ago (players who are nowhere near Ronaldo and Tevez) and collapsed completely.

    • stag133

      May 5, 2010 at 00:36

      Very true.
      The TYPE of players they have, do NOT wilt when there is adversity, they aren’t afraid to battle.
      Ronaldo AND Tevez.
      And still in it until the last game.

      It is more the TYPE of player that Arsene has brought in, regularly… that makes the team what it is, and not likely to step up when it counts, and to back off when things get tough or physical on the pitch.
      It is why lesser teams can beat us, and they believe they can have a go at us and get no repsonse, and better teams ROLL us.

      But it is Arsene’s team, and it has been created in the mold and style he wanted…
      SOL is the only link to the past, and the guts and will to fight and be counted on the pitch… and he was FREE, and only came in because we were desperate.

  49. arsesession

    May 4, 2010 at 10:16

    For the big picture of the club, all the comments about what place we finish misses the target or WHAT’S AT STAKE for Arsenal and Arsene..

    Arsenal will not be able to keep our young stars, we will lose them SOONER than later, if they don’t see the club making a commitment to shoring up our obvious weaknesses. This is unlike the reasons for losing Flamini and Hleb.

    I believe our manager understands he is a turning point for keeping Cesc, RvP, and others. Before the WC our key players will need to see a dramatic commitment by the club.

    Speculating – I see Gallas, Merida, Senderos, not resigning. Silvestre, Vela, and Almunia sold and Eboue in a trade.

    Sol given a new 1 year deal. Adding an experienced GK, CB, Striker, and versatile back up for Song – who can also play defense.

    • stag133

      May 4, 2010 at 10:37

      you have 4 playes coming in?!
      when has that EVER happened with Arsene at the helm?
      So, you can’t really expect that to occur. It doesn’t make sense.
      I’d welcome it, but I really doubt its possible.
      He has already said he HOPES to bring in 2, possibly 3.

      • arsesession

        May 4, 2010 at 13:06

        No one thought that Arsene would “ever” resign any former player.

        Yet, Arsene broke president and resigned Sol.

        re: his comments
        He is a poker player, a wise negotiator; never going to reveal his real intentions to media or fans.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 13:38

          with that type of thinking, that Arsene broke his previous precedent by getting Sol back…(it was on a FREE though)…

          then I should have hopes that Arsenal could sign Torres? or David Villa? or Steven Gerrard? Carlos Tevez?
          I mean, they’ll cost like 30Million plus… and we don’t spend like that, but hey… anything is possible.

          I’ll go with what I know about Arsene. It is VERY UNLIKELY he’ll be bringing in 4 or more players. He likes his team and players, and says every year he wants everyone back, AND to bring in 1 or 2 “special players”.

        • arsesession

          May 4, 2010 at 14:00

          come on Stag, your example of signing Torres, Villa, etc is definitely out of context with my example……. supported by your following remark: “I’ll go with what I know about Arsene”

          I’m only reminding others that in the January window, Arsene took a gamble by resigning Sol. UNLIKE ARSENE.

          yes, he is somewhat predictable when it comes to protecting the clubs’ funds. So any new signings, whatever the number, will be in a price range like of Vermaelen – Nasri, but certainly not for $25- $30 mil range.

          Or a player trade with cash difference.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 15:32

          AS.
          SOL WAS FREE.
          So, where was the gamble? If he didn’t work out, we lose nothing.
          We had little choice with our injuries.

          He won’t be taking a “gamble” if it comes to spending Millions of GBP.
          So, I REALLY don’t expect much in terms of bringing in players.
          Chamakh, is FREE, there is the perfect example.

          Yes, Vermaelen… but we sold ADE and TOURE for 3 times what we paid for him.
          If we bring in 2 or 3 players, let alone 4… it will have to be FUNDED by player(s) going out.

          PLAYER TRADE?
          Who. Who exactly would some other team want to trade for?
          EBOUE? Great, I’ll drop him off at the airport if he needs a ride.
          CLICHY? SAGNA?
          might be the ONLY two we’d get good value for, and I think they are important to the squad.
          CESC?
          Now we’re talking.
          He’d command crazy money and a very good player coming back.
          But if he goes, the team will suffer greatly.
          So, I just don’t see this “trade with cash” working.

          call me skeptical, but I usually go with what I know to be fact.
          FACT. Arsene hasn’t brought in 3 or more players in how long? … and he doesn’t SPEND much, often.

        • arsesession

          May 5, 2010 at 08:49

          I’m not sure what your point is in your reply. You have totally changed the subject (again).

          Sol being free is not the core reason Arsene signed him. Sol had trained with the team for 2 months and proved he was physically able to compete.

          “If he didn’t work out, we lose nothing.
          We had little choice with our injuries” This is incorrect and contradictory.

          At the time Sol was picked up Gallas and Vermaelen were not injured – but the team critically needed a back up at CB. Vermaelen and Gallas had played every match to date. Djourou still out with injury, likely till May. Leaving only Silvestre as back up option.

          You react like player trades are never done and the point of my comments above is that our manager is unpredictable and secretive in his dealings – and – if the better players don’t see an upgrading on the roster with some experience, their loyalty to Arsenal will be short lived.

          For the past 4 years the teams finances have been stretched due to the new stadium. Yes our manager looks for a good deal, but the most recent signings (excluding Sol) Vermaelen, Arshavin, and Nasri – none were cheap. $10 – $15 mil each.

          Prior to our move to the Emirates our manager spent money wisely for good talent.

        • stag133

          May 5, 2010 at 11:54

          for the past 4 YEARS we have made OVER 4 MILLION PER YEAR on TRANSFERS ALONE…
          We aren’t starting to spend freely now, they like making that money.

          SOL WAS FREE.
          It is 1000% relevant.
          Wenger would not have spent on a CB if he could get one for free, that he thought could contribute.
          If he did not work out… what the feck did we lose? We’d be in the exact same spot as we were… with Silvestre as a back-up, Song possibly able to play there, and we didn’t spend anything.
          So your theories are… THEORIES!

          what player trades in English football do you remember?
          they don’t happen often, and its usually when the players are
          not interested in staying at the club(s)… (Gallas and Cole)
          it is NOT a regular happening…

          so you are wishing on things that don’t occur much, like Wenger bringing in 4 players in a Summer, and trades?
          Yeah… I’ll stick to what’s normal.

    • CaribKid

      May 4, 2010 at 11:12

      Silvestre is out of contract so he can’t be sold. No first rate team would want Almunia as a starting GK. Backup price? 1/2 Mill.

      Agreed that Senderos and Merida are goners but also don’t see Eboue leaving as we have no backup at RB and he is versatile.

      If Gallas stays we will have 2 signings and if he goes we may have 3.

      Remember, Djourou and Ramsey coming back from injuries and Wilshere from loan will be like 3 new signings.

      It will also be interesting to see what happens to Eastmond, Bartley, Nordveidt, Simpson, Barazite and Bothello. Will we bring them into the squad so they can play 2-3 CC games then sit them on the bench to rot or will we commit to integrating them in the squad and give them meaningful pitch time so they can improve.

      Say what you will about Vela, but he has never been given a real chance to prove one way or the other whether he belongs. Young players sitting on the bench does not cut it for more than 1/2 a season as they need consistent playing time to hone their game skills.

      • arsesession

        May 4, 2010 at 13:18

        Sold, traded – the terminology is insignificant. The only result is who is on your roster Sept. 1st.

        From my perspective, I see more changes (this summer) than what our manager is accustomed to…….Just like his resigning Sol which few could have expected, but it turned out to be a great decision on Arsene’s part.

        After the injury experiences with Diaby, Eduardo, Djourou, and Rosicky, Ramsey will be brought along cautiously and no one will expect his level of play to return by September.

        What do we know about Djourou’s recovery?

        I agree with your remarks about no real chance for Vela and youngsters needing the playing time. ‘As you know from your experience’ playing time is earned from your efforts in training and showing something on the pitch. ex. Ramsey. I had big expectations for Vela, but I believe this kid is tooooooo laid back and not hungry enough to make it at Arsenal. Ditto for Merida!

        Three new signings or 4 ? I expect our manager to surprise all of us, as he did with Vermaelen.

  50. joshuad

    May 4, 2010 at 02:44

    After we lost to Wigan, my biggest gripe was the lack of pride and desire displayed by some players to be winners. Wrighty seems to be on board.

    http://wrighty7.blogspot.com/2010/05/where-is-pride-when-wearing-arsenal.html

    • nipuna

      May 4, 2010 at 03:33

      This is precisely what I said in the previous article – “Some of us just feel pissed with the lack of effort coming from highly paid Arsenal players in the last three games.”

      It is almost as if the team never believed they could win the EPL so stopped playing after they are knocked out of Europe.

      Arsesession, do you still feel this is an event situation and not their usual character?

      • arsesession

        May 4, 2010 at 09:59

        On our team, for me (the last 2 seasons) we lack the a balance for muscle and grit with our technical side players and Yes, this is character. Young players like Wilshere and Ramsey have that English combativeness and you need this element in your squad. Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Sagna have it………

        Players like Diaby and Song have a different DNA. The two together creates a positive balance. With Song out and Denilson inserted, there is no balance and Diaby’s weaknesses are amplified.

        My point about the ‘event’. Everyone fails, daily- weekly- yearly in sports, business, school, social activities, etc. Why must you take the failure personally, you failed at that effort, but in no way should you label yourself failure. Look how Clichy came back from his injury……the first 4 matches he struggled so badly and most were ready to castrate. For me, failure is an isolated situation.

        I wish everyone would reevaluate this bandwagon that we have a bunch of ‘high paid’ (spoiled) youngsters. The world of football has changed from the 70’s & 80’s. Smart clubs have no choice but to lock up their best prospects contractually, it is an investment like buying a commodity early! You gamble that it will produce for your club OR if not, it can be sold at a profit.

        Reality is that some of your selections will work out others won’t. You can see that in this season alone, Ramsey is showing much more promise than Vela or Merida – why is that? Wilshere playing regularly for Bolton has been a great decision by Arsene. Both look to be exciting acquisitions for Arsenal and its fans.

        I am not blind to think our manager has not made mistakes, but I’m not privy to what goes on at training, in the locker room, on the board, transfer attempts – so my comments are just speculation. As a fan, I show my support and hope for the obvious changes to happen sooner v. later.

        I don’t mind taking a stand when its not conventional by mainstream opinion. In watching Fabianski, I think this kid has got what it takes to be a great keeper. Would I prefer for Arsenal to acquire a more experienced older keeper? YES. However, I see great promise in Fabianski, but he needs match experience for his development.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 10:36

          Fabianski, is worse than Almunia.

          He should NOT be allowed to improve, if he can… at the cost of Arsenal losing matches.

    • stag133

      May 4, 2010 at 10:34

      thre are a few folks that would either say…
      who’s Wrighty?
      or
      feck him, what’s he ever done…
      or
      he should shut his mouth, and not talk smack about the club.
      :)

  51. sachin

    May 4, 2010 at 01:33

    A few weeks ago, I had moaned about Howard Webb against Bham not because I thought that his decisions cost Arsenal the points (clarifying myself vibe.., something I should have done back then) but because I feared another Arsenal player would break their leg before the season would be over. But my fears were completely needless. Because even though Cesc got injured in that game (ignoring the declaration by MOT that his season ending injury came against Barca), no injuries inflicted by any opponent could have matched the wounds that Arsenal have inflicted upon themselves. These self inflicted wounds run straight from the board room level to Wenger to his coaching squad (or lack of one) to the players. These are open wounds, visible to everyone. No wonder Big Sam and his boys relished rubbing more salt into them.

    And unless something changes this summer, I think another Arsenal player will have their leg broken next season. It will be a late challenge from another “nice chap”. Yet all this can be prevented if something changes in the summer — a spine restoration of the team? I don’t know. Wenger complains about the ref because his team is incapable of taking care of themselves. He wants extra protection from the refs but the refs can never protect this Arsenal team even if the sport becomes a non contact game. On the other hand, a team consisting of GG’s core, PV, Bergkamp would not have been pushed around. Nor would that team have demanded a perfect pitch, clear weather or well behaved opponents. They would have put in their effort and gotten results. Lehmann was erratic and pushed any player that tried to bother him. Heck, Lehmann pushed players for no reason. Yet, he could handle himself. And he did well to defend the Arsenal players as well. When Jason Roberts punched Cesc at the back of the head (because Cesc was preventing the ball from returned quickly), only Lehmann stood up for Cesc.

    But hey, 9 losses in a season isn’t anything to be ashamed of. 3rd place is still possible and the money has been flowing in. The debt has been reduced, the board members have earned a tidy profit. 97% of season tickets for next season have been renewed, and thousands more on the waiting list. Why not spin some bonds for fans to show their love for the team?

    Arsenal might never change, but one day Platini (or UEFA) will change. The 4th place Champions League spot might go away forever (yah, bring it on) and even 3rd place might not be enough. Then the super club dream will disappear. That’s ok. I never thought Arsenal were going to win anything after the GG years and had very low expectations about the team then. Although there were reasons to believe that. Sure the team did well in Europe but this was the league standing back in 1994/95:

    Blackburn 89
    Man Utd 88
    Nottm Forest 77
    Liverpool 74
    Leeds 73
    Newcastle 72
    Tottenham 62
    QPR 60
    Wimbledon 56
    Southampton 54
    Chelsea 54
    Arsenal 51

    Arsenal were below Southampton and Wimbledon in 12th place!!! It looked like the money splashed by Blackburn (via Jack Walker) would change the league forever(sounds familiar). On one hand Walker was spending money while GG was sacked because of 400,000 pounds. But Walker’s money only bought one title and then….Wenger arrived in 1996 and the rest was history.

    Now…maybe a few more years/decades of misery might go by and then another new dynamic manager would emerge to restore Arsenal’s glory years. This summer Wenger can decide if he wants to be that dynamic manager. But that might be a tough thing as Wenger will be covering the world cup, won’t he? No wonder he wants to conclude the deals fast.

    Tick tock.

    • jroybower

      May 4, 2010 at 09:34

      History always has a way of bringing perspective. Yes, I’m very frustrated because we “could” be doing better, but I’ve always maintained that consistently performing at a high level is an achivement in its own right. Anyone here want to swap being fans with the teams on this list?!?

      Blackburn 89 (swaped places with Chelsea also a relegated)
      Man Utd 88 (well pretty much the same)
      Nottm Forest 77 (relegated two tiers)
      Liverpool 74 (pretty much the same)
      Leeds 73 (relegated 2 tiers)
      Newcastle 72 (relegated, but now coming back up)
      Tottenham 62 (pretty much the same)
      QPR 60 (relegated 2 tiers)
      Wimbledon 56 (relegated and dissolved)
      Southampton 54 (relegated 2 tiers)
      Chelsea 54 (swaped with Blackburn)
      Arsenal 51 (consistent top 4 finisher)

      • stag133

        May 4, 2010 at 13:19

        QPR is in the Championship, not 2 tiers down.

        Wimbledon is MK Dons(name change), so they are not dissolved, and there is an AFC Wimbldeon in the lower leagues.

        I think some would swap the SUCCESS of a team like United or Chelsea have been having, no doubt.
        We are not really competitive on the pitch in the last 6 seasons with the Top 2… but we are miles ahead of 98% of the teams in the country, so there isn’t much to complain about really.

        • jroybower

          May 4, 2010 at 14:26

          Sorry, clarification. Since 1994 the QPR has dropped as low as 2 divisions, but are currently only lower by one.

          MKDons is “technically” a new club because Wimbeldon FC no longer exists, but if you consider them the old Wimbeldon I wouldn’t argue ’cause that’s how I think of them. Regardless they are in the lower divisions too, but slowly moving back up the divisions.

          Yes, some SUCCESS would be nice!

      • sachin

        May 4, 2010 at 19:13

        yeah history does bring some perspective. Back in 1995, if someone had told me that Arsenal would win the double in 1998 by playing incredible football (more than just 1-0), I would not have believed it. On the other hand, if in 2005, someone told me that Arsenal were not going to win anything for the next 5 years, I would not have believed that either. Heck, if someone told me that the invincible Arsenal team of 2004 would disappear in a few years and be replaced by a fragile team, I would have been in disbelief. To think that Arsenal went unbeaten away from home for all of the 2002 season, including the unbeaten season seems remarkable now. So 2 out of 3 seasons, unbeaten away from home. Wow.

        All that success changed perception. Heck, even Wenger had proclaimed of Arsenal’s dominance back in 2002/03. But things changed. Priorities changed. The board and Wenger had debt and 4th place on their mind, not titles. My problem was that I didn’t
        re-calibrate my expectations back in 2006. If I had learned to accept 4th back then, then I would have been better off. Better late than never, I suppose :)

    • stag133

      May 4, 2010 at 10:33

      Gee, you seem to want players with some experience and a bit of toughness.
      (instead of 11 finesse midgets)
      Where’d I hear that before?
      Don’t wait too long for it… because its not gonna happen… its not what Arsene wants in a player.

      • sachin

        May 4, 2010 at 19:34

        I know it won’t happen but I can’t help myself from saying it. Damn wishful thinking.

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 4, 2010 at 11:40

      Great post, great points (particularly about the spine…totally get where you were coming from now) and history lesson.

      @stagg, It’s never been a question of not getting your point, both in text and subtext. If Wenger performs to your (and Fred’s) low (and rightfully so) expectations this Summer, I will officially resign myself. But it will be a huge disappointment, and I will fear Sachin is right. It could be awhile before Arsenal is involved in truly exciting, Fulham-style, football.

      But I still refuse to entirely blame this whole debt business/business. United lost Ronaldo, didn’t replace him, and they still had more pieces, more suss, more everything than we did this season. So Wenger is probably performing well in-line with the board’s expectations, but he’s also flat out lacking. He has fallen short, even as he’s reaching the lowered AFC expectations. I truly people a lot of people could manage Arsenal to the 3rd place, year after year. They myth of Wenger was that he could adapt to the new circumstances and spin gold from straw. I’m more tired of him, than I am of finishing 3rd/Top 8 in Europe.

      As Sachin said, time is running.

      • stag133

        May 4, 2010 at 13:32

        I don’t think Wenger is performing to “low standards”… he wouldn’t agree with you, nor the Arsenal Board.

        He is doing what he has done for the past 6 seasons, which is blend in youth, the players he gets are the style of players he wants, and we WERE in a very exciting run for the title this year.

        United have players that can and do play different styles. We generally have finesse players across the pitch.
        So, United losing Ronaldo… hurt them, but they have players with experience, desire, and toughness.
        SOL CAMPBELL was a very good pick-up because he brings those elements to our team, and is one of the few who have all those qualities.

        I HIGHLY DOUBT that “a lot of people could manage Arsenal to the 3rd place, year after year”.
        NO WAY. Not with the financial restraints he has shown, not with Arsene and the board making PROFITS every year from transfers.
        Can someone get us into 3rd with less financial restraint? SURE. But not with this team and this group of players.

        He has spun GOLD from STRAW in terms of keeping this team in the Top 4, WHILE MAKING PROFITS EVERY YEAR. I don’t think there are many… if ANY out there who could regularly make OVER 4 MILLION PER SEASON in PROFITS FROM TRANSFERS, and remain in the Top 4.

        Do I agree with his stubborness to adapt? The type of players he brings in over and over? His unwillingness to bring in more experienced players? etc etc?
        NO. I don’t. I’ve said so for a long time.
        But I appreciate what he has done, how he does it, and that the Board and Club must ABSOLUTELY ADORE him. Made the club MANY MILLIONS… and keep us in the fight every season in the CL and League.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 4, 2010 at 16:32

          Financial restraint is a talent? Plenty of Managers don’t spend money over the Summer. Most of them work with a far lower payroll than Arsenal. So it’s not strictly a question of HOW MUCH is spent, as much as HOW it’s spent. You don’t think you can find at least a handful of talented managers who would LOVE to have Arsene’s budget, but just might have different ideas as to how to spend it?

          “Can someone get us into 3rd with less financial restraint? SURE. But not with this team and this group of players.”

          Agreed. Because not many managers would have fielded a team this thin and this inexperienced, even WITH financial restraint. And on top of that, applied the ‘tactics’ AW used most of the season. (And by ‘tactics’, I mean ‘complaining’ when the rest of the League and officials didn’t play into the hands of his one trick.)

          stagg, you can keep touting Profits, of course. I may have even said Profit League before you did, but in an entirely different context. In any case, I’m sure the fewer than 50 odd people who give a good shite what profits the club makes really appreciate your compliance with the program. Football fans, the rest of us, care about winning. Again, Fulham fans: happy and excited. And Fulham financially restrained.

          You are dreaming if you think we were in a title hunt this year. We had no more chance of winning ANYTHING this year, than we did in the last three. We were played off the pitch all six times we played real title contenders. We lost more matches this year than in the last 3 or 4.

          But that’s your entire argument, isn’t it? He doesn’t build to win. He builds a team to make MONEY and create the illusion of coming close. That’s the case you’re sticking with, so stop pretending we were in an exciting title run. We were in an exciting run for third. Looks like we won that and made a lot of money doing it. You and the Board found it thrilling.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 4, 2010 at 16:43

          Television networks make more profits showing reruns, too. Most of us would rather see something new.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 23:51

          Vibe.
          The reality was, we were in it, with a chance to win the league, with a favorable schedule, with 5 or 6 games to play.

          You don’t have to tell me that the BETTER teams beat us to shit. I’ve said it, read it, lived it live as well.

          But why would you keep banging your head against a wall, and expecting something different?
          What makes you think “change gonna come”? (to quote Otis Redding!)

          You can focus all you want on the negative aspects of the frugality of the club… and why that should change, but I don’t see it happening, nor can you tell me why the board and Arsene will think it should, or the time is right for us to SPEND now.

          So, I will focus on the positive aspects, see the glass half FULL, and be happy with where we are as a team on the field, and as a football club off the field.

          The team does play a good brand of football. The fans show up in droves, with a 40,000 fan waiting list… so they must be doing something right.

          Fulham. Great for them. Nice run. They deserve it. But they have no chance of winning the league or competing with Arsenal, let alone United and Chelsea.
          20 years ago, that would have been a GOOD RUN for Arsenal… in the Europa Cup Final.

          I feel for you, wanting change and wanting trophies, and wanting a winner.
          But I’m not going to waste my energies on wishing for something that’s not that important to the AFC. I choose now, to focus on the positive things Arsene & Arsenal Football Club do.

          I understand where you are coming from, obviously, I’ve moaned for YEARS about our demise in terms of WINNING and WANTING to Win.
          No mas.
          No more.
          Not gonna do it.
          Wouldn’t be prudent.
          Accentuate the positive, is my new mantra. It’s easier on the heart.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 5, 2010 at 12:17

          I’m absolutely dialing my stress levels down, because you’re right about that last bit. It makes sense to lower ones expectations for Arsenal. Heartbreaking, if you let it.

          But the Pollyanna attitude is nonsense, and I really believe you know that. (Though I am enjoying the character you’ve created.) Because I’m also feeling just a little less passionate about a club that I don’t believe is trying to succeed beyond a certain level. The excitement from sport is the unpredictability. Everything about Arsenal has become completely predictable the last 4/5 years. It’s a show I’ve seen over and over again.

          If you really believe we had a chance to win the title (I can’t tell anymore) it was a blind spot in your otherwise sharp vision. I never, for one minute, felt like we were serious contenders. No matter what the math was, there was never any reason for me to believe we would end up ahead of United or Chelsea. There were moments when they stumbled, that I could hope (briefly) they might somehow fall and crash, but that was our only chance. Their absolute implosion. But it didn’t happen. Because they are better teams, in every conceivable way. And that’s with United’s penny-pinching last Summer.

          We were never, for one moment, better than the third best team in the League this year. Never. We had NO CHANCE to win the league. That was decided last Summer, by way of the Profits-first based decisions you champion.

          Finally, in terms of expecting something different, you’re right again. I don’t EXPECT anything. I’m HOPING that the same ego that has helped create this situation, now that the finances have improved, will drive Wenger to make some different decisions this Summer. I don’t have a lot of hope, but that’s what will keep my attention for the nest few months.

          If it doesn’t happen, I won’t be surprised. I will still be an Arsenal supporter. I will still watch every big match. But, for the first time in years, I may choose sleep over some of the smaller ones. Because if the club only wants to try but so hard, nothing’s better for the heart than some stress-free rest.

      • sachin

        May 4, 2010 at 19:31

        Thanks.

        Back in 2002/03 Wenger thought Arsenal could overhaul Man Utd and become a dynasty. You only become a dynasty by winning trophies. He believed what he said back then, so did I. He even thought his team could go unbeaten in the 2002/03 season but they didn’t. The players were put under too much pressure. So Wenger didn’t say anything in the summer of 2003 and the team did indeed go unbeaten the following season. Wenger was on a high and proven right. His post game comments were amazing in these winning years and he put Fergie in his place. So far so good. However, the arrival of money at Chelsea, plus the new stadium, clearly made Wenger change his plans. Now, overhauling United was not the #1 target anymore. It was all about values, higher ideals, building a team on the cheap and long term planning. Everything was planned out for the future yet in planning for the future, the mistakes of the present squad were overlooked. Because it didn’t matter how things turned out in a particular season, because he (and maybe the board) believed in 5 years time, everything would be all right. The young kids would be champions and the team would be debt free, while United and Chelsea would be bankrupt. That was the plan. We all have exhibit A, B, C, D….Z in front of us as evidence regarding that plan’s outcome.

        Yes, as per MOT the plan is a success. But by Wenger’s words in 2003, it isn’t. United have put Arsenal in their place, time and time again.

        • stag133

          May 5, 2010 at 00:00

          Much of what you say is true. We were at the pinnacle of English Football, and close to being the best in Europe… (In the Invincibles year, we would have won it, if we beat Chelsea in my opinion)
          But yes, that all changed… The financial situation of building a new stadium meant that we would no longer TRY to compete at that level. We had to be financially conservative, and that meant the goals were no longer to WIN first and foremost.

          I think the club and board like what has happened so much and we are so successful financially in the transfer market and filling the stadium, that… they aren’t really that motivated to WIN TROPHIES. Who is HUNGRY for trophies at Arsenal Football Club? If it means we have to lose money in the transfer market (spend more than we sell off)… then we aren’t likely to do that… not often.

          There are those that would say United are in big trouble with their debt, and that Chelsea’s titles don’t count really, because they were “bought” instead of doing it the “right way”.

          You can go with that, or not… the choice is yours.
          I doubt the United fans would want to trade winning the league and Europe, for being debt free and NOT winning shit.
          And I have no problem with Chelsea at all, their owner wants to win, and its his money to spend as he sees fit.
          If Arsenal or anyone don’t like it, BEAT THEM. Do something about it… or not. But don’t bitch about it.

        • sachin

          May 5, 2010 at 12:50

          Yes, I rather Arsenal beat Man Utd and Chelsea on the pitch. But they can’t manage that, even at home.

  52. CaribKid

    May 4, 2010 at 01:12

    I have not posted much this year because whatever I had to say was said last year and the year before. Instead of us improving as a team we are backsliding.

    For all the great passing in the 1st and 2nd third of the pitch we are a fundamentally unsound mishmash of players with very little organization and real time game skills.

    1. Protecting your GK on corners. Create a V with 3 players around your GK and push up when the ball is kicked. Do not allow your GK to be boxed in and forced back on the goal line.

    2. Only Arshavin and RVP will shoot on sight of goal. Why, because we have all these mid fielders pretending to be forwards.

    3. Our offensive set pieces are generally pathetic. Do we even practice this. If we do, either our coaches or players are shite.

    4. Throw in’s: when last have we seen an Arsenal player take a quick throw in from behind the line or spot of ball going out in order to maintain possession before the opponents get set.

    5. GK ball distribution: Why are we constantly kicking the ball down field to a group of midget, losing the ball 90% of the time and then having to fight to regain possession. Incidentally, we are a possession based team.

    6. Where are the Xavi like diagonal dinks and chips to slice open the opposition? non existent. Instead, we try to thread the ball on the ground in very tight spaces which end up being intercepted for most part.

    7. Total lack of defensive rotation if your name is not Song.

    I could go on ranting about our organizational inadequacies, but I think you all get the point.

    Even if we get new players we still won’t win until we resolve our basic inadequacies. All these deficiencies are very coachable but somehow, Arsene, Bould and Rice can’t seem to get their heads out of their arses to address these simple issues.

    Just a few years ago, I hardly watched other teams outside of arsenal. Now, I find Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern very entertaining and also watch a host of other teams in the Bundesliga, La liga, Serie A and French League. I also find myself enjoying Tottenham, Man City, Manu, Chelsea and Aston Villa to some extent.

    JUST MY FRUSTRATING RANT.

    • sachin

      May 4, 2010 at 01:48

      Points 1 & 3 really get to me. How can Arsenal not practice basics? Why have set pieces (both defending and attacking) been so neglected for years? If arsene does not have players who have the sense to defend, then Arsenal are doomed. Then Arsene waits 2-3 years before signing a valuable defender. Sagna was watched for almost 2 years before he was signed, yet in those 2 years, basics of defending could easily have been taught.

      Lee Dixon’s recent comments were so true and echoed by many previously, including your CK.

      This summer it is not only players that Arsenal need but a new defensive and even goal keeping coach. And throw in a new physio as well. New players might not be able to solve all of Arsenal’s players but those new players won’t be available for an entire season.

    • arsesession

      May 4, 2010 at 12:36

      Agree with all your points. Nice summary!

      Pt. 2 – add Rosicky; these types of players have self confidence and aren’t afraid to take the risks.

  53. nipuna

    May 4, 2010 at 00:41

    When Arsene or the Ministry of Truth (as Sachin put it, I like that) said that Arsenal are on the up and Chelsea + ManU are on the down, he wasn’t lying.

    If Arsenal draw/win against Fulham, they will be 1/3 point(s) better than last season. Even if they lose, they are level on points with last season but with a better goal difference. And of course, Arsenal are one place better in the league table. See, Arsenal have improved. Yey!!

    On the other hand, even if ManU win their last game, they are worse than last season’s points total. And they have slipped one place in the league table.

    Of course, Chelsea will have improved on last season, but we can ignore that small bit, can’t we?

    • stag133

      May 4, 2010 at 10:29

      yes. Chelsea are older, and though they look like they’ll win the Domestic Double… they buy their titles, so some think they don’t really count or deserve them.
      They don’t make money with what they are spending on players.

      United. Meh. yes, on the down. No place to go really after winning 3 years in a row. But so much debt.

      We have improved. So yes, we’re on the UP.

      AND we are supposed to get Chamakh for FREE! We got Sol back for FREE!
      Who else is doing that?

  54. nipuna

    May 3, 2010 at 22:54

    DAG, you know what? Even though the website was down GDC was up !!!

    I had decided to skip the game because I thought it was a 7:45 pm kick off, but decided to watch when I realized that it was 5 pm. I logged into GDC and there was no one around until Sirep joined just before the game. The only comment I typed was – “fucking Vela” when he missed that open goal ArseSession mentioned above. After that I completely lost interest.

    Thankfully I switched off the television right after Blackburn equalized – yet another glaring example of Arsenal’s clueless defending. This morning, I am glad I did that. It would have been painful to watch the second half and succumb to yet another defeat.

    There is no telecast of the Fulham game and I am happy about that. Tomorrow night, I will be cheering ManCity to win over Spurs hoping they can seal 4th place. We need more competition to snare Arsene/Arsenal out of this 3rd/4th place complacency.

    • stag133

      May 3, 2010 at 23:59

      what would make the Arsenal Football Club act any differently than it has in previous seasons?
      Us getting third, and Man City getting 4th (or Tottenham)… is the same old, same old… we get into the Top 4.
      That’s a victory. That’s a success.

      I wouldn’t expect too much change, because it really isn’t warranted in terms of what we are striving for.

      Chamakh… in for free? Great.
      Gallas, we’ll see what happens.
      Maybe another young CB coming in if Gallas leaves, but we won’t have to spend too much.
      Not sure there will be anything else.

      Arsene wants to keep THIS team together. He likes the direction we’re going, and the progress we’ve made this year.

      2 in, MAYBE 3… but he also said its possible a few would be going… as it usually does.

      Bring on the World Cup… it should provide a great deal of entertaining top level football and excitement.

      I am not investing my energy in hoping Arsenal try to improve by obtaining new players to close the gap on the TOP 2 teams, the ONLY ones who’ve won anything in 6 years?

      Why would we… if we can remain doing what we have been doing. Top 4, make money, young players get experience, reduce debt, fill stadium.

      There’s nothing wrong with it at all… 98% of the teams would kill for it.

      • nipuna

        May 4, 2010 at 00:35

        If ManCity make it to the CL, they will attract a lot of good players (with their money) and could end up displacing Arsenal from the 3rd place comfort zone.

        If Spurs make it, they are sure to crash out in the CL qualifying stage.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 10:17

          We don’t compete for players with the ManCitys ManU’s and Chelsea’s anyway, so it won’t effect what WE do.
          All we can do is control our team.

          You can bash Spurs, but they ARE in fact getting better and closer. They pretty much ENDED our season this year… They have enough talent, which they’ll add to this season… to compete in the qualifying stages of the CL… and likely get thru.
          Just my opine.

          If we get 3rd or 4th next year… not much wrong with that. We’ll play the same style of football, which many find attractive. We will win a lot of games. We will be financially stable. We will likely blend in some more good young players, who will improve.

          This is the goal. Until that goal changes, I think that is acceptable in regards to what to expect.

      • vibe4arsenal

        May 4, 2010 at 01:13

        And as I read further down, I see it appears I jumped your train. As I told sachin, not surprising a lot of us are saying the same things now.

        But I’m not nearly as sanguine about as you, stagg. It’s complete BS to say ‘There’s nothing wrong with it at all.”

        Arsenal is not in competition with 98% of the clubs, or shouldn’t be. By the standard we are measured, AFC is consistently finishing 3 in a 4 horse race. And that is completely out of the (figurative) money.

        Fulham fans are a lot more excited about their team than we are ours right now. Because by the standard they are measured, Fulham is succeeding wildly. And that’s what football fans care about. That’s sporting excitement. I’d trade more than a few pretty passes to be feeling a little right now. Reconcile that with your 98% math.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 10:24

          Vibe.
          While YOU (and others) believe we are allegedly competing with the other 2% at the TOP of our league and Europe, it is not factual.

          The Arsenal Football Club HOPES we do well on the pitch, but it is not currently willing to “go for it” at the cost of losing money, breaking even, or anything close to it.

          What is most important, obviously, is WINNING ENOUGH to compete, stay in the Top 4, fill the stadium, make money on transfers, and having that continue every season.
          WHEN the end result changes, I would expect … perhaps, that the PLAN will change.

          You can be sucked into abyss of WANTING ARSENAL to GO FOR TITLES… but I’m not that crazy any more. I’m out!
          I accept what the goals of the club are, and I support their efforts… ALL of them. On and Off the pitch.

          As I’ve been told on this site and AA previously… if you don’t like that, perhaps you aren’t supporting the right team. If you are a “glory hunter”… maybe its ManU or Chelsea for you?
          I don’t feel that way, but that’s what I have been told when I “WANT” Arsenal to spend some of its massive profits to attract talent and experience.
          I’m over it. We don’t do that. But we do play nice football, and we are a top 4 team every year.
          Not a bad place to be really.

        • arsesession

          May 4, 2010 at 12:31

          Agree with your observation Stag – financial discipline first, at a sacrifice to ‘keeping up with the Jones” at any expense mentality.

          We have lost the battles over the past few years, but not the war.

          When your club is $1 billion in debt or even $500 million in debt, for me – THAT IS LOSING THE WAR.

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 13:13

          Well Arsesession, not sure about losing the war.
          ManU and Chelsea and others, do it “their way”.
          They are trying to WIN TITLES and TROPHIES.
          That is what they are about, that is their goal.
          I don’t think they are bothered about the debt they create. I doubt their fans care about their debt either.

          Arsenal definitely are about finance first, its a business, and they are not in it to lose money and create debt.
          If we can win AND remain healthy financially… that’s a bonus.

          You just have to understand your teams limits and how they operate.
          I have accepted what Arsenal Football Club are doing, and support ALL the clubs causes and effects.

          We are a good team, and we are profitable.

  55. arsesession

    May 3, 2010 at 22:29

    I did catch the match on line and find it hard to stay on the positive side. Today our attacking flow never got off the bus.

    This match was not lost by our GK’s play, but if blame is important to assign, then its falls on the manager for his player selection. IMO, Vela, Theo, and Eboue clogged up our movement OR disrupted any effort for chemistry.

    I thought maybe our manager was being gracious to some squad players: Theo, Vela, and Eboue for starting them and allowing them to improve their chance of national team selection/preparation.

    Anyway about the match:
    At the 4 minute mark, Theo caught up with a long through ball at the end line, with their GK in no man’s land – Theo chipped the keeper, beautifully to Vela at the 6 yd line (centered in front of goal) & Vela missed the broad side of the barn. This was not a game to remember Vela in an Arsenal jersey, for this moment encapsulated Vela’s entire season AND probably his last for Arsenal.

    By the way, the run and chip by Theo (at the 4 minute mark) was Theo’s highlight of the match. It seemed that every attack channeled through Theo and not once did he vary dribble to the inside. 847* attempted 1 v 1’s and all taking the path to cross the ball with his right foot. Sadly, he rarely beat the marking player.
    (* slight exaggeration, but you get the drift of our out -of – balance attack)

    We made little effort to develop any combination play down the left channel.

    RvP took a smart pass in the PA, shielded it nicely, then spinning, beat his defender, only to be hacked from behind b4 he could get his shot off – but of course no call was made. Replays confirmed the take down, but I’m certainly not trying to justify a draw.

    Our entire attack suffered because there was no flow in our linking play. Nasri looked isolated, no one moving into space – so most of our passes were lateral or back passes.

    There was no way Fabianski could have prevented the last goal – nor a Hart, Lloris, Akinfeev, Given, etc. They showed the replay a few times, and our defenders did a poor job of commanding real estate, allowing Dunn to just barrel backwards into Arsenal players. No attempt to play the ball – only pushing to create havoc. No need to dwell on this aspect, as its just another example of how deficient at CB we find ourselves. I was surprised that Song did not play.

    I agree with Josh on his remarks above. There is a reason you don’t broadcast your team weaknesses.

    The end of this season now mirrors that of 07/08. In 07/08 our attack was far more exciting and consistent. For me, this year we never played on all cylinders! We scrapped at the end for many points which became an improvement over last season, but most of us expected a stronger finish – why I don’t know, but we did.

    Diaby played okay at DM, but too many times lost possession in our defensive third trying a 1 v 1 move when he should have played a one touch pass.

    I’m looking forward to the season’s end. I need the break more than the players.

    • stag133

      May 3, 2010 at 23:51

      I watched the game too… and FLAPianski was not very good… AGAIN.

      Someone mentioned he was good at outlet passes? Not sure who, but he was POOR at those today.

      He doesn’t look comfortable or confident, and he is NOT a Number One keeper at any top 10 team in our league…

      Neither is Almunia.

      But if Wenger wants to go with them, then I understand. He’s the boss, and he sees them in practice. Maybe he’ll bring someone in, but if not, we got 3rd or 4th this season WITH them, and I like our chances to do the same next year…

      We are playing like we don’t really care about the matches, because… we don’t… really… care.

      We aren’t playing for a damned thing at this point. If we HAVE to get a draw v Fulham to get 3rd place, I am sure we will.

      You do have to love Wenger-isms. It was the ref of course, not our play or our keeper… and Blackburn play shit football, so we should be awarded the points on that basis.

      Good thing he makes the club many millions… if he didn’t, he might be 2nd guessed by a few folks that matter.

      • arsesession

        May 4, 2010 at 09:00

        His distribution was NOT an issue in the match. Only once did he over throw a long pass to Theo. Some of his punts were just that – 50/50 balls to our smurf front line. When has RvP ever WON possession from a ball punted to him. Theo, RvP, Vela for a front line – where is the muscle or bulk for controlling punts.

        As a supporter, how can you have expectations for this aspect of control?

        By the way, Fabianski made every effort for the short distribution to maintain possession when available, something Almunia rarely pursues.

        Fabianski did make several good catches and blocks. DID YOU FORGET THE Pederson break away on goal that Fabianski blocked ? (even though replays showed Pederson was off-sides AND not called).

        The problem in the match was our line up was filled with just bench players and it was obvious why they are bench players. This group of players (as you state) played with no heart – no desire – no grit.

        Its easy to slam the manager for the season’s dismal ending. With his line up options available, we are only fielding a Carling Cup team, where Blackburn have had success against ManU and Chelsea at home……with stronger line ups.

        Now some will relive yesterday and blame his lack of signings for our current woes. However, none know for sure just what our financial situation was last summer and last January, you just continue to SPECULATE for the team hoarding profits.

        The season is history. Its time to reassess players and plan for a few new signings to compliment the strength in house – and maybe now the club has funds to support this process.

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 4, 2010 at 01:03

      “most of us expected a stronger finish”

      I truly don’t mean this in an antagonistic fashion, but I don’t believe that statement reflects the sentiment of the site.

      I think a lot of us expected that we’d wind up very much in this position, because it’s where we’ve been winding up, and what had changed?

      Yes, we had bright spots this year. We had bright spots last year. Arsenal has bright spots every year. Too much talent not to.

      But third place teams is what AW has been building for years. A few points here or there…pull out a game we might have lost. But, ultimately, we’ve already LOST more matches this season than the last 3 or 4. So, what?

      I’ll be more optimistic about a given season when I see something different happen in the off-season. Until then, as stagg suggests, I won’t expect anything more than the well established status quo. Third place Arsenal.

      • arsesession

        May 4, 2010 at 09:13

        No problem with your perspective, but pre-season MOST in media had us failing to stay in top 4.

        Fans expected more. (only my take )

        • stag133

          May 4, 2010 at 10:12

          Oh, I agree…
          I thought we’d struggle for 4th.

          I think we’ve over-acheived. We were in the race for the league until there were like 5 games left.
          That is AMAZING, considering all our injuries.
          Wenger did a fantastic job keeping us in it… despite it all.

          When you factor in that we made decent runs in the CL and FA Cup and CC…
          those added a lot of revenue with the additional home matches, it was a very good season on & off the pitch.

          I would say we can expect more excitement next season. No doubt about it.

        • ChicagoGooner

          May 4, 2010 at 13:39

          Win 1, Lose 1 in the FA Cup is not a ‘decent’ run.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 4, 2010 at 11:25

          From that perspective, I understand. I was referring to the idea of a ‘stronger finish’. You’re correct, especially about the punditry going into the season.

        • arsesession

          May 4, 2010 at 12:26

          Yes, from your take, with the rash of injuries to Cesc, Gallas, Arshavin, Song, and Vermaelen during CL matches with Barca and lingering on, only the fool hardy would have expected a strong finish.

  56. sachin

    May 3, 2010 at 22:18

    Regarding the site being down, I thought that was due to Arsenal’s Ministry of Truth :) There were a few times last year when the AA website went down and once that was around the same time as a loss. I know the AA website issues were regarding the automated payment system but I can’t rule out the Ministry of Truth’s (MOT) pull.

    And today the MOT would like us to believe the game was lost today because Samba showed too much love towards Arsenal’s keeper. You know Arsenal’s goalkeeper needs his personal space and all, but Samba refused to recognize Fab’s bubble & got up close and personal. Tsk tsk. The MOT would like us to believe that they expected a team managed by Big Sam to show Arsenal respect. Ha ha. Respect from the manager who showed how to take down Arsenal in the first place? Ha ha.

    I am willing to bet Big Sam could take a team of 18 year no name players and beat Arsenal’s strongest team (with everyone fit) at home any day of the week.

    So now it comes down to the final game of the season to….secure 3rd place. Is it a good thing that Fulham have better things on their mind such as a European Cup final? Oh yeah forgot. No one cares for the Europa League? Not from what I can tell looking at the scenes at Craven Cottage. But the MOT tells us something else.

  57. ChicagoGooner

    May 3, 2010 at 21:29

    To answer the question (forgot who asked it):

    Arsenal’s last victory was Wolves, on April 3. That was over a month ago and it was BARELY a win… 90′ goal by Bendtner.

    On a more enraging note (Yes, I am seriously pissed off to be reading this):

    Wenger said no blame could be attached to his goalkeeper.

    “There is no purpose to play the ball from the Blackburn players – they don’t even watch the ball,” he said.

    “He (Fabianski) had two players in front of him all the time and every time it was to stop him getting the ball.

    “In football when you don’t go for the ball and you stop the keeper going for the ball it is a foul.

    “I think the referee cannot allow that. I am very disappointed the referee lets that happen in a football game, it is unfair to a goalkeeper.

    “They (Blackburn) do it well but when you feel that as a referee you have to give more protection.

    “It doesn’t take away the fact we weren’t good but that is completely unfair.”

    FUCK YOU ARSENE. I will still give him one more year, but quotes like these piss me off as much as his refusal to buy/change his approach. So it’s ‘unfair’ when a team plays a style that we happen to be bad against? What rules did they break? Answer me this Arsene: what if they had played that exact same style, and we’d won? Would you still be calling it unfair? Don’t think so. What if the ref had made every single call exactly the same and we’d won? Would he still have done a bad job?

    I’m no fan of Allardyce-ball, but to flat out refuse to change your approach, while just expecting (nay, DEMANDING) that the other team play a style which suits all their opponents’ strong points and none of their weak points is just plain FUCKING STUPID. He acts like such a little kid.

    Arsene Wenger is a terrible, terrible loser. I hate bad losers. Is his ego so big he can’t admit when he’s been beat? Old Purple Nose is the one who’s supposed to piss me off by being a SORE loser, and now AW has become just as atrocious.

    • vibe4arsenal

      May 4, 2010 at 00:47

      “Arsene Wenger is a terrible, terrible loser. I hate bad losers. Is his ego so big he can’t admit when he’s been beat? Old Purple Nose is the one who’s supposed to piss me off by being a SORE loser, and now AW has become just as atrocious.”

      Thank you. I feel vented vicariously. There are so many productive things Wenger could have done preemptively that might have made this season different. His constant after the fact blame deflecting rings more and more pathetic. Even the argument he’s giving individual players cover by doesn’t float anymore. So transparent.

      Third place, again. That’s because of referees? Because other teams don’t play nice? Not buying it. Arsene should be able to relate to that.

      No one is fooled anymore. No. One.

  58. ChicagoGooner

    May 3, 2010 at 21:19

    Arsenal stinks.

  59. joshuad

    May 3, 2010 at 19:39

    No worries, DAG.

    For some reason, they didn’t play the game on TV here. It had to be typical Allardyce footie though. They flood the box on set plays and keep that play going for as long as possible. If you half-assed clear it, someone simply lobs it back into the box. It’s not rocket surgery. You know what’s coming and if you’re going to beat Allardyce, your team has to be prepared to deal with that. It seems that Wenger made that idiot look like a genius.

    As for Wenger’s “we don’t need a keeper” comments, I think that’s gamesmanship. He’s simply attempting to downplay how desperate we really are. When you’re desperate, and teams know you’ve got money, they will take advantage. Man Utd overpaying for Rio Ferdinand is a perfect example of how much desperation can cost you. Likewise, if Wenger fails to sign a descent keeper, he saves face with the fans by proclaiming that he’s always said he never felt the need to buy a keeper. I really hate politics in football. We’ll see how it all goes.

    Complacency kills. When was the last time Arsenal won a game? Like I said last month, I just hope we finish third. It seemed unthinkable to people then but now you can see what I was thinking. We really cannot afford to be playing Champions League qualification games after a World Cup. That’s dangerous ground. The team needs to be professional and handle their business against a good Fulham team. Then, Wenger really needs to trim some fat.

    • seattle gooner

      May 3, 2010 at 20:50

      Hopefully Fulham will be resting players with an eye toward the Europa league final since they really have nothing to gain playing all their starters in the BPL for the last game. Sad that it’s come to hoping the other team doesn’t care.

      • vibe4arsenal

        May 3, 2010 at 21:06

        Super sad that we’re hoping FULHAM will be resting players because THEY still have something to play for.

        Seriously, good for Fulham.

      • sachin

        May 3, 2010 at 22:23

        oops didn’t see you mentioned this already. I sort of repeated it below.

        • vibe4arsenal

          May 4, 2010 at 00:41

          No worries. I’m enjoying reading your posts. While I wish things were different, I’ve actually taken a lot of comfort from YAMA the last month or so. We have an unusually high percentage of intelligent, articulate people here. That we’re coming to the same conclusions gives me a sense of calm.

          I’m getting kind of sick of ‘It is what it is.” But, really, it is.

        • sachin

          May 4, 2010 at 01:40

          actually read below then. I have finally addressed my ref rant in the Bham game. And a much delayed agreement with what you had said :)

  60. DaAdminGooner

    May 3, 2010 at 19:23

    Maybe I should title this post – My Apologies for Writing A Blog about a team that can give FECK ALL about finishing out the season strongly.

    2-1 loss to Blackburn are you effing kidding me? Thank God I couldn’t watch it – I would’ve thrown something at the TV.

  61. vibe4arsenal

    May 3, 2010 at 19:21

    Oh, okay. I see now. Match over. We lost. Not because the keeper sucks. But because Blackburn doesn’t play a style of football that conforms to Wenger’s view of the world.

    So absolutely no reason to believe we shouldn’t be a strong contender for 3rd again next year.

    Up the Arsenal! (Just not too high.)

  62. vibe4arsenal

    May 3, 2010 at 19:14

    Sad statement. First Arsenal Premier League game that wasn’t broadcast here (as far as I could see) all season. Hell, has the match even started yet? Is it over? Did we win? Building momentum for the next year??!!

    Anyone?

  63. Mazza

    May 3, 2010 at 17:02

    Oh, and I forgot. Wenger out! Again!

  64. Mazza

    May 3, 2010 at 16:26

    No probs DAG.

    Probably a good thing!

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