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This is how it has to be done sometimes

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Victory Through Harmony

By Walter Broeckx

Yes I think it is Wenger his fault. Every time we lose a game. Oops we didn’t lose the game, we actually won the game.  So every game people come out to tell us how poor we are. People come out to tell us what a stupid manager we have.  Or use even more abusive words. Win or lose, they will come out from the moment we haven’t trashed the opponents.

And apart from the supporters from other teams who come on Arsenal blogs and pretend to be Arsenal supporters and who give abuse to our players and managers, we have a part of the fans who also do this.

First let us get some facts straight. Arsenal is the only club in the EPL who is in for 4 trophies this season. Arsenal is still in the title race in the EPL, we play the final of the Carling Cup, we are still in the FA cup and we are still in the Champions League. I know some of those telling us our players are useless and Wenger knows nothing about football have given up on  the Champions League. Well I’m not one of those. Every game has to be played. And a bad day for Barcelona can happen. And a good day from Arsenal can also happen. It will be the form on the days that will decide this game.

So we still are in 4 competitions. Manchester United are not, Chelsea are not, Manchester City are not, and certainly our still nearby neighbours aren’t .  No just the useless Arsenal manager and his no good players are still in it for 4. Yes, this make  sense. Does it?

And now let us turn our attention on today’s game against Huddersfield.  Yes it was a scrappy affair. Certainly when Nasri got injured and then Squillaci got his red card. From that moment on it was a very scrappy affair. I will not deny this.

But at the end of the day we won. And so our “useless” players did what they had to do: win.  So instead of being happy some bemoan the performance. Well in the first half hour we were well on top. We missed the early chances and made life a bit difficult for ourselves. But as long as we were with 11 players on the field we had the game in control. We created chances, which we mostly missed.

Let us compare this with the “benchmark” team, Manchester United. They were losing to Southampton until the 65th minute. And then they won in the end. Will the United supporters ask for SAF to be sacked? No they will say: we won at the end  and that is what matters.

Yes we have been spoiled. We want our players not only to win but to win it in style. We want to win and trash the opposition. And if our players don’t do it like that we start to moan and complain. And in fact we should be happy. As in the last season when we didn’t play at our best we just lost our games most of the times.  So winning in the United way (I’m not saying United always wins like that but just look at their wins against Blackpool and Southampton) should make us feel happy. We can win games without playing our best football for a large part of the game.

I think this is great. I can remember some fans moaning about the fact that we couldn’t dig out results in the last seasons when playing not at our best. Well we just have done this. So why now suddenly demand that we play the opposition off the pitch each time? It just doesn’t work that way.

Footballers are human beings. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes you have a great day and sometimes you don’t.  And when you have a not so great day then the only thing we can ask for is a win. And a win we got.

A win in the United way is as good a win as a win in the Arsenal champagne football way. It will only get us to 3 points or will in this case only get us in the next round. If we would have won 5-0 we still only would be in the next round against Leyton Orient and we wouldn’t be automatically have a place in the final already.

And I would have liked us to win in style and with a high score. But at the end of the day we are in the FA cup in the next round and that is all that matters.

For a large part the moaning is Wenger’s own fault. He has given us so many games with such great football that we take it for granted that we win all our games in that way.  So maybe Wenger shouldn’t have given us such a great team and such a wonderful football most of the time. He should have played the long ball football and hoof it in the air style. If that would have been the case in his reign we would have just enjoyed the win and forget the rest.

So yes Wenger is to blame. But not for a bad game. Wenger is to blame for spoiling us with great football.

And maybe we can blame Wenger also when he can field 8 fresh players against Everton who haven’t played today or only a small part of the game. Maybe we should remember when we start on Tuesday with players like Szczesny, Sagna, Djourou, Clichy, Cesc, Wilshere, Song, Van Persie, Walcott who have had a rest this weekend. In fact this is 9 players but as Cesc and Song have played a bit I will count them for one.

Also take note that Arsenal is yet again the ONLY team that has to play their games with only one day full rest in between matches. This is the second time we have to do this (also Chelsea had this last time, not now) and I wonder how the FA and EPL can explain this. Once can be a coincidence. Twice? Well this looks a bit much. So Wenger had to take a gamble on one game. He did this today. And it worked out and would have been a comfortable win if Nasri would have stayed fit.

So this Gooner is a happy gooner. Still in 4 competitions. My fellow Gooners, what do you want more?

The return of Diaby – just like a new signing?

Herbert Chapman at Huddersfield Town

Making the Arsenal – just the thing to read when the boiler’s broken.  Or not.  As the case may be.

85 comments to This is how it has to be done sometimes

  • typeface

    well said, Walter.

    Dark Prince is a Sp*d. He has to take out the humiliation of today somewhere. Have mercy.

  • Good article. I guess some of us are on very different wavelengths.

    I’m glad we got through, and I’m glad we were able to rest players in the process, but I don’t like how many times this month we have not taken lower league opposition seriously. We might be in four competitions, but we won’t be if we play like this against Leyton Orient, never mind Barcelona. Still, perhaps there should be a trophy handed out if you’re still in all four competitions by February.

    Yes, I think Wenger has spoiled us, but I think when you do raise the standards as he has, he has to be able to deal with the fact that the pressure will be on for that to continue. Some managers handle it alright.

    Thankfully we don’t play that badly that often, so I am confident of success this season, but it is stressful watching this team at times.

  • Taeryn

    Nice article, Walter.

    People will say that it was only Huddersfield and on our day we should have won 6 or 7 nil, but it wasn’t our day. Let’s just be happy we went through even playing badly. We’re lucky we had that luxury.

    Ref review soon? Can’t wait to see what you thought of some of those decisions.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Mr Broeckx

    There is a huge difference between saying that Arsenal were shit (they weren’t today) and saying the following:

    1. Almunia didn’t inspire confidence in his defenders and he and Koscielny were arguing plenty during the game.
    2. Arsenal were exposed down their left flank repeatedly and were extremely fortunate not to be punished severely.
    3. After the first 20 minutes, Arsenal were dominated for 45 minutes by a League One side, who created 5 clear goal-scoring chances.
    4. Arsenal’s squad players are paid humungously more than Huddersfield Town’s first team players, but didn’t play as if they should be.
    5. Arsenal’s fans will therefore be somewhat bemused that Wenger has stated that he thinks his options at Central Defence adequate for the rest of the season. Because based on today, they are not.

    There are times, Mr Broeckx, when highly paid adult professionals must take constructive, accurate criticism on the chin. It is not the job of fans to infantilise them with uncritical adoration, it is the job of fans to treat them as adults who deserve high praise when it is due and respectful criticism when it is due. And very, very occasionally, a serious dose of down-and-dirty verbals if they step way out of line.

    I think you and some of your friends need to re-evaluate the emotional relationships between players, managers, fans and the media and recalibrate it to take into account that we are watching adult footballers paid huge amounts of money, not 14 year old boys needing nurturing to break free from the protective cocoon of mama and to become ready to face up to the uncertain world of adults in the future.

    Because I and many like me who I talk to on a regular basis at Emirates Stadium don’t think the Arsenal 1st team squad still need to suck their mummy’s tits………..

  • A Casual Observer

    Got any constructive, accurate criticism on the ref today Rhys?

  • GoonerGaz

    We still need a cover if Vermaelen and djourou cannot play together.Leaving Koschielny to fill in whilst he is learning his trade is not ideal.Arshavin is still not of the standard of an arsenal player.This could be his last year if he does not get back to where he was.The good news is even Arsene now knows it and would not put him in the side if all the players are available.

  • GoonerGaz

    Sorry, forgot to mention the ref was corrupt/a joke/dogshit.But ultimately he failed to achieve what he set out to do.

  • Mayur

    I hate it when you say “Bad day for Barcelona can happen”… I say we will out-play them and beat them home and away…

  • Northbanksey

    This was indeed a good result. Starting with only 2 of our current “first 11” players we were in complete control for 30 odd minutes & playing some excellent football. Before half time we not only lost one of those “first 11” to injury but also were reduced to 10 men. Even playing with 10 men(some of whom were not playing particularly well) for 50 minutes we still managed to come back & win. I really don’t see what the problem is…most teams get credit for digging deep & “winning ugly”.
    For me the most disappointing aspect of the fixture was the
    pathetic support given by the majority of the Arsenal (& I use the term reservedly) “supporters” present today. The backing that the team gets at all home games (appart from those against the big teams) is generally subdued, but todays crowd were embarrasing in the extreme. Minimal singing, minimal chanting, minimal applause. Supporters are supposed to get behind the team & lift them..you know..that’s why they’re called the “12th man” at some grounds. Too often the negativity at the Emirates works the other way. With the stick that certain players get it’s hardly surprising they play nervously & make mistakes.
    I’m sure that the negitivity of the croud is responsible for
    a lot of the under par performances.

  • I was driving home after various detours after the match and heard the venerable Alan Greene on 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live.

    A man called in and said that Arsenal would win nothing with this defence, and Green admitted he knew far less than Wenger (which is a start, although hardly enough after 10 years of gibberish) but he couldn’t understand why we hadn’t bought a defender.

    I pondered this on the rest of my journey, and finally looked in the programme for the EPL table. OK we will win nothing with this defence. So what defence should we have?

    Obviously the one that has let in the least goals since that defence will help that club win the league.

    Here’s the defence record in the EPL

    Chelsea 19
    Man City 20
    Man U 21
    Arsenal 22

    So, there we are, obviously in fourth place, and Chelsea will win everything.

    Funny that.

  • walter

    Okay so we can stop the league today. 😉

  • super sam super sam

    on my birthday, nasri injured.. fuck that!

    but i won’t call for wengers head over it.. our fans are 100% retarded! the smart supporters were begging wenger to play samir.

    it’s just unlucky,

    i can only hope and pray he will be fit in a week and ready for barca in 3!

  • Walter, i believe we need to be grateful for having a manager like Arsene Wenger. He intelligently navigated this very difficult period mighty successfully. Some people of lesser intelligence might be whining, but the more intelligent among us should just overlook them.

    One only needs to see the results obtained by Chelski, Shitty and them Tiny Totts to see what remarkable job Wenger has done(might i add the difficult victory by ManUre). All these teams have tied to rotate and seen how difficult it is. Last time ManUre did it they got ‘hammered’ in the beer cup, but AW did it successfully, with minimal damage to the squad. We can only be better for that.

    It is a win and we should enjoy it. Bring on the Toffees!

  • Tasos

    What a squad Arsene Wenger is creating.

    We can be so exposed down our left flank, so dominated in the second half, so lacking in confidence, so in-adequate in certain positions, so extremely fortunate to not be severely punished, we we’re reduced to 10 men for a whole hour of the match, we also carried injured players by the end and yet still we manage to overcome all these obstacles and win.

    That’s what you call team spirit.

    Long live Arsene Wenger I say.

  • java_gooner

    love reading your posts, always positive and assuring.
    wished i could say the same about our ‘other’ fellow gooners.
    as you said, not a great football, but still a win is a win.
    hope Nasri gets back soon.
    btw, people are always talking about who’s going to replace Fergie. Has anyone ever thought about Wenger?? He’ll probably be around for next 10 years, but what after that? Wenger has been here since the time i remember watching football. i even thought Arsenal comes from the name Arsene. He’s such the best manager ever.

  • aaron

    Walter i don’t think we can draw similarities with Man U. Because the mentality was so different. Do get me wrong Southampton bossed it first half. But second half were totally non existent to their heroic 1st half effort. Especially playing away, you felt that Man U came back Emphatically, unlike today (watching the match through my shirt) i felt we just about scrapped through… At Home (Supposed Fortress, more like fan Lounge)

    Now i’m not saying that we shouldn’t win like this, because all in all i would take the win. However what is starting to jar me, is certain players of absolute amazing quality are really not showing up like they have done last season and even so during this season. And what is happening is with our rotations, it becomes very apparent that a select few players have to “Clean Up” the job. So far that man has been Cesc.

    Now i honestly don’t blame Wenger for this, personally from the start of the Season i have totally put faith on the players. I think we have the ingredients with this team to beat anyone, with any rotation of squad (Apart from Squallaci whom i’m very dissapointed in). Now it is up to the players to show what they can do. There is no more hiding behind in-experience (unless your Jack whilshere, koscielny, Johan and Szczęsny). I think our CB situation isn’t that bad. Once Verm comes back i think we have one of the most versatilely and solid CB in years.

    I think Wenger had to play Almunia (who i thought was fantastic for not only the pressure of the fan’s but being out for a long time) and Diaby today. It was totally the right time to get these guys adjusted, against a league one side. Obviously our Midfield battles today were being lost in the second half which was a shame, and i think it was right to take of Diaby.

    It’s just a shame were struggling with League one sides, when all our players should be able to beat them, with no real problem. Anyway I just wish Sami the quickest recovery, because that was a big blow today.

    Were in four comp’s. I think Carling Cup will be a great day for the boys, a new experience. I hope it’s a grand day out for everyone involved. And i am really looking forward to this season. I think our select few first teamers have fantastic resolve….and that even includes Arshavin, whom is having a tough time of it of late, but really is trying right now. And i do feel for the guy. Wenger spends and buys quality in Arshavin and well he hasn’t lived up. Wenger buys “quality” and a ton of experience in a CB (Squallaci) and well he hasn’t quite lived up to it. And before you say anything abotu Chris Samba or Cahill… WTF have they won to their name?

    #RANTOVER

  • Keith

    Whilst we haven’t conceded many more than the other title contenders we cannot ignore the fact that we don’t defender set pieces at all well, I read a statistic somewhere that other 30% of goals we have let in are set pieces-perhaps someone can workout if this is true and how many have been headers ?

    Our defenders, when Djourou isn’t there don’t seem to attack crosses to clear the danger- it’s not just a height issue, Diaby didn’t hardly get off the ground and was guilty of letting the Huddersfield player beat him in the air.

    Just as much as you are right that we have been spoiled with fantastic football the players when defending have to do the basics- we missed Djourou today and the confidence and verbal communication that Czeszny brings.

  • Gooner49

    I’m extremely relieved to be in the FA Cup because there were times today when I had serious doubts. We did well to survive so long with only 10 men and we DID win.

    But there can be no defence for Denilson. The guy is a liability and should not be playing in this Arsenal side.

    That Wilshere aged 18 can waltz right past him and into the first team and play so much better and when Song who was derided a few years ago can improve so much just shows that here is a lazy Brazilian with no desire to better himself and no desire to play for the shirt.

    I don’t want Wenger out – no way – but I do want Denilson out.

  • Charlie

    Clearly there’s a gulf opening up between the first team and the fringe players and that worries me. Never seemed to obvious before but maybe there’s a motivation problem. If we have our first choice XI on the pitch i feel like we’re unbeatable but bring in Bendtner, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Squillaci or Arshavin and you know the team will suffer. Later in the season there will be no easy games and will still be 2 games a week so that is where they will need to improve.

  • RedGooner

    I thought we have done well all season. We rotate when its needed and intelligently enough to keep us in all 4 competitions.

    I do not think Barca need an off day to loose to us if we have nasri back and field a full strength side I fully expect us to beat them home and away our problem might boil down to injuries hopefuly not.

    So what if wasnt a great performance it makes no difference as we won with a team that doesnt get much football.
    Utd werent moaned at and neither should the team we put out ….
    As supporters you support a team in good and bad times, sure its ok to have an opinion on how they played but to fucking slate them is wrong after all they our players.

    This whole thing about we dont defend well from set pieces is that because the other teams cant score any other way so they do nothing but practice them where as we have many ways of scoring ? most goals Utd scored this year id say were from set pieces where does that leave them ? Id like to see stats on goals from ste pieces from the premier league because I think its a myth that we let in more than most from them.

  • only1

    incase anyone needs an example on walter’s article, i have one epic case here written recently: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/587306-arsenal-fc-why-they-will-not-win-the-premier-league-this-season

    some of our own fans are just embarrassing too.. just look at the comments on what they know better

  • aaron

    @Gooner49 Whilshere has waltzed past anyone in the EPL… that’s why he will be first selection for the England team as Capello has stated.

    Denilson is a very good team player. Today i will say he didn’t play well at all. Not his normal self. But i think regardless of weather Denilson has a fantastic game (Last being against Ipswich) You will always say he is not good enough.

    Luckily Wenger doesn’t listen to the likes of you, otherwise i doubt Wenger would be here, or our Club for that matter.

  • holy14ever

    ok ok we get the point Walter. lame.

  • GoonerTerry

    Well today proved a couple of things: 1) Why the FA Cup is the greatest cup competition in the world, and; 2) that the maximum amount of changes we can make without disrupting our flow is five (5)..

    Huddersfield did themselves proud and their fans, I am sure, had a wonderful day out at the Em. They scored a nice goal. Put the frighteners on us for 1/2 hour or so. Left feeling a little aggrieved by our penalty. That’s a good day for them and we live on in the competition. That’s the FA Cup right there. We won and there is nothing more we could have done..

    But I was worried when I saw the shape of the side today: I don’t like Bendtner & Chamakh upfront together without either Walcott or at least Sagna also in the side. If those two are not playing then Bendtner has to stick to the wings. Also it seemed that Diaby wasn’t fit enough for such strong running opponents. On the plus side I thought that Denilson covered a lot of ground and Arshavin is looking more & more himself. He just has to keep pushing against his inertia and a goal will come and with it his confidence. The one downer is Samir’s hamstring injury _ its like here we fecking go again! I’d love to see us field out “A” team against Barca. But now its unlikely…ah well. There is still a couple of weeks to go and many important games…I may have to bite the bullet and start going to church (0;

  • I have to say that the team disapointed me today, I am not talking about the result, at the end, we have won and in a few weeks we won’t hear about this game but by their behaviours on the pitch. Today’s team felt like they could overcome a League One side by playing some poorly football. I am not moaning about a first goal that should have been disallowed for Chamakh’s handball or a very harsh decision on the penalty, after all, I am feeling happy that happened to us for once but just the players who though that the qualification was done before the game even start. However we are in the next round against Leyton and this is it. Proud to be a gunner

  • Dark Prince

    Well said Rhys Jaggar!! Completly agree with you.

  • Dark Prince

    Also, if anyone here tries to show a blind eye towards the problems we are facing in our 2nd string players, then those are what you call the ‘AAA’ or the true spurs fans. The best example is the one who is d first to comment on this article.

  • Dark Prince

    Walter- You proclaim that we have the strongest squad in EPL. And you are right…where else do you find a 2nd string players all who are in their national squad?? And yet, we play no better than those Man U or City 2nd string players. Just look at the comparison you’re trying to make. Is fabio da silva as good as Gibbs?? Is Michael Owen as good as either Chamakh or Bendtner?? Is Obertan or Gibson as good as Diaby or Denilson?? Or Evans as good as Squillaci?? If your answer is yes, then i wont argue. But in my view, we have much more better 2nd string players than any other team. Maybe even better than Madrid or Barca’s 2nd string players. But yet it is proven wrong.

  • swikrath

    @Dark Prince: Is there any semblance of sense in what you are saying? If we stick behing the team when they have an off game its being a part of the AAA? Do you even know what AAA means?You’ ve totally totally got it wrong. I’m not against constructive criticism, but that doesn’t mean we’ll have to be and think DARK, and when you are being critical of a player on some stupid blog(AAA) what do think is happening? Le Prof taking notes and trying to put your ideas in there? Huh??The way you are blabbering its as if because of “Your Constructive Criticism” the team ll get better. get a life

  • Dark Prince

    Swikrath- maybe you should read what i’ve written. If any supporter turns a blind eye towards a problem then yes they are a part of AAA. Backing your team when they r performing poorly and turning a blind eye towards their problems are completly different things. Have some sense Swikrath. I too support Arsenal even though they perform poorly. But the difference between a supporter like you and me is that you will turn a blind eye towards the problem whereas i dont. And this isn’t once in a blue moon performance. May i remind you of the performances of our 2nd string this season. – West brom in epl, Newcastle in epl, Wigan in epl, Leeds, Ipswich and ystrday Huddersfield. If ystrday’s performance was a one off day then its acceptable. But this has been happening whole season.

  • nkunda

    cant find a better manager than Wenger!

    As for squirroki whatever, i honestly dont think he should be playing for Arsenal. Diaby and Denilson are good for the bench as long as there is no increament to their weekly earnings.

    Believe it or not rotation affects every team on this planet yet its inevitable!

    Tell our boys to keep the Spirit and mentality!

  • swikrath

    @D.P “Swikrath- maybe you should read what i’ve written. If any supporter turns a blind eye towards a problem then yes they are a part of AAA”.. Could you please elucaidate this statement and tell me how they (The ones according to you who turn a blind eye) are a part of the AAA?

  • Shard

    I’m a little suprised there has been criticism on the basis of this game actually.. Maybe it’s just that I was very happy to get the win in the end. My view of it was that the whole team went on a downer once Nasri got injured. And with the Squilacci sending off (Clattenburg’s a douche) it just became a case of getting through, which I thought is fair enough. It’s a team we’re expected to beat and we did. Nothing else matters really.

    As regards improvements, those can always be made. I actually thought Almunia was quite good. And Arshavin had a very good game indeed. Sure he wasn’t brilliant, but he did all the basics well and worked like crazy for the team. Can’t ask for much more from a player who’s short of form. Bendtner did well too. He missed chances but he never hid. He had a more than decent game. Diaby was a little inconsistent but on his 1st game back surely thats forgivable.

    Where I would agree with criticism is of Denilson, Squilacci and in this game Gibbs. None of them performed well enough. I know Denilson draws a lot of ire and a lot of support as well but his performances haven’t been up to the mark for some time now. Still, it would be hard to find a better squad player. Ramsey and Lansbury coming in would ensure that he stays just that.

    Squilacchi has been a disappointment. I still think he was a smart purchase. But it hasn’t worked out too well. I really do believe we need a defender, preferably one who can cover for song in midfield too. I can understand why Wenger is reluctant to buy, but maybe now is the time to just go out and get some insurance.

    All in all , I was happy with the game, and even the way it went. The biggest disappointment for me was the injury to Nasri. Hopefully we won’t miss him too much.

  • rhaz

    Watched the game on telly from some 6550 miles away. And all I could hear were chants of “Huddersfield” Where were the home fans? Too busy moaning and whining I suspect.

  • snehalbumbhatt

    @Walter the win is obviously the biggest thing today but there is no getting away from the fact that some ofour squad players are being carried and are quite simply not good enough!it seems fairly obvious that squillaci and koscielny cant play together.koscielny has looked very assured next to johan but as soon as seb comes back in we return to our comical defending.i now struggle to find the words to describe my dislike for denilson.im sorry but the guy is utterly hopeless.no committment, no heart and no place at our club.watch his challenge in the attack that leads to the red card.he dangles a lame leg out,pathetic.watching cescs interview after the game i couldnt help notice that he seemed very annoyed with the performance and i couldnt blame him.with the games we have coming up we need to be able to rest the likes of cesc but he is always called upon to bail us out of games we should we winning without him.also have to say diaby was rubbish again today.how many times does this guy get beat in the air to concede goals.the tallest man on the pitch most days.again comes down to a lack of heart and desire to fight for the team.first 11 we can and will match anyone this season but wengers faith in substandard players is coming very close to costing us.why he didnt try and bring a CB in is beyond belief.now we have to hope kos and djourou stay fit for the forseeable future if we are going to win something…

  • snehalbumbhatt

    Wengers obsession with cheapie free second eaters will again leave us without the PL title for another year. Wenger could have used the money he spent on those two clowns The Chuckle Bros and bought one top player but he just refuses to end his manic Vanity Project. Wenger will always put the project ahead of winning. The mans ego is as big as Saturn, he won’t change and we won’t win the PL.

  • anthony

    Oh for goodness sake, sometimes I think Wenger speaks just to hear his own voice. What gamble? Rosicky was touch and go, Nasri was fit, it was a FA cup game, what was wrong in playing Nasri? It was unfortunate that he got injured but a gamble? get over yourself will you. The gamble is the reluctance to see where we struggle, the reluctance to accept that Almunia,Squilacci and Denilson are waste of space, the reluctance to play Bendtner to his strenghts and instead on the flank, the reluctance to adress these problems by actively searching for other players. Why not even someone on loan? Surely R.Dunne, C.Davies or even S.Campbell would have been fine as back-up until Vermaelen returns? The season is going fine, were doing better than I thought, but its when you are close that you need to act fast, whats the point if youre already too far behind? act now and it might just be the last piece of the puzzle.

  • paul

    Goons, please spare these lads the stick, it’s a team game and with Nasri out they were bound to struggle. I am happy we are in the next round and that Arshavin was able to get back and make that save – that’s team spirit to me!

  • well-endowed gooner

    I thought we were fantastic against Huddersfield. 2-1 to the Arsenal, at home, rested a few players, through to the next round of the FA Cup. What more could those beastly AAAs want, hey?

    Bring on Barcelona! We’re up for it!

  • only1

    Classic Dark prince at his rubbish best, and perhaps DP, you might finally have afew more friends here.. @snehalbumbhatt, Arsenal’s 2nd choice team can become a regular at many EPL team. They are great players, but I won’t say they are world class, but how could you expect 25 world class player?

    The very reason why they arn’t playing well is because they arn’t used to the playing style. The quick passing rhythm that makes team unable to cope. And gosh, do you think that any managers is stupid enough not wanting to win? you are actually the fool here.

    @dark prince, problems? I don’t see any problems here. It is because every team have their problems. And i can see that things are being attempted to be solved. And this is the very reason why only the likes of you talks about it. As the likes of you know nothing about football and management and tries to talk about football and management. Before your next comment, list down your experience with football and management here!

  • anthony

    us without samir nas im not too confident

  • Azz1978

    Well said. We can’t always expect to play our own game of football. What matters is the result ! If we had played a beautiful game and lost, then the “fans” that criticise yesterdays performance, would have said we need more grit and determination to win, which is exactly what we did yesterday. There were players returning from injury / illness (Diaby, Almunia, Squillaci, Rosicky), players who are not (and in one case by their own admission) in form (Bendtner, Arsharvin, Eboue) Gibbs didn’t play too well either, but still we got the result. I have read other fan sites this morning and it just amazes me that we grind out a result yet “Fans” still call for Wenger’s head. These are probably the same “Fans” that get on players backs at the game….surely a true FAN wants your team to win, jeering a player on the pitch is not the way to motivate them and get them playing better. Give them your support. ! We all have off days, no one is perfect all the time and in matches like yesterdays you are playing a team that really has nothing to lose as they go into these games with added confidence because of this. If our best team is fielded against Barca then I think we will win. I pray nothing happens to our 2 remaining CB’s (obviously Squillaci will be back in a week as well) and I pray that TV is back soon too, a new CB would be nice, but let’s face it Wenger probably isn’t going to buy (but who knows?) so let’s make the best of what we have and get behind the team and Manager….!! ….Well done Arsenal I think our trophy drought will end this season at least 1, but let’s make it 4 !!

  • Notoverthehill

    R. Dunne, C Davies or S Campbell!!! What red mist comes over some self-styled supporters???
    ALL clubs are looking for top dollar (US, Can, Aust or whatever) PLUS the selling manger’s %, PLUS the Player’s Agent Annual Pension for at least 4 years, PLUS the Facilitation Agent’s Fee and the incoming player’s enhanced salary expectations!!!
    Walter, there are too many armchair critics who would be the first to use the Human Rights Act if they were abused, ridiculed and verbally trashed by their employers, local council or public authority.
    A little knowledge, learning or grasp of a subject, IS A LIABILITY for a considered opinion.
    The referee review should be interesting!

  • shakabulagooner

    As a club’s fan, I’m amazed how wildly we allow our “love-for-the-club” pendulum swing from match to match. It is either most of us don’t know what the club’s management is doing or we don’t care or we are not with them in their big picture for the club. Obviously, we are happy to be as unforgiving as possible for any shortcoming we notice rather than to continue to see the team as a work-in-progress.
    A process has produced a good 1st string set of players that we are mostly agreed is becoming peerless in EPL. However, the same process plus injuries plus declining confidence has given rise to a clear gap in terms of the quality of playing style as well as in end-results. The gaffer is trying his best to close this gap by giving them more playing time with less risky features and they are still struggling.
    I believe our best reaction as the club’s fans is to recognize that the poorly performing players and their coach recognize and analyze their shortcomings to far greater detail (after all, they are not blind; they have more technical eyes and skills to do so and their livelihoods depend on their getting better) than we can know or do as fans. I believe, we ought to show the players more sympathy and slant our criticisms mostly to encourage them to get better.

  • aaron

    A prime example of fans having the red mist. Anthony, I’m glad Wenger is on charge and not you. We would probably ve relegated or in administration. Players that will do…right then.

  • Arsefactor

    This really is the strangest site.
    Love the financial stuff and the ref reports, hate the rest.

    It’s this kind of crap that makes supporters of other clubs laugh.
    As supporters of the club we should show respect for each other even if we disagree with some opinion.
    Instead on this site you can’t mention any kind of negativity without being labelled as ‘AAA’ and essentially abused for your opinion.
    I’m all for supporting Wenger but this site is just ridiculous in it’s extremity.
    You wonder why some supporters give abuse to the team? Well I don’t see how sites like this that turn us against each other help anything.

  • anthony

    our Dunce of a manager has now said the suspension to Sebastien Squillaci will not force him to enter the transfer market. Whaty a joke. With that dopey defender at the back we can wave goodbye to any trophies

  • snehalbumbhatt

    The clock is ticking Wenger, when will you do your job and bring in the central defender who can make the difference. You have had ample opportunities and you have loads of cash. We all know you think winning isn’t everything but we should, and could have the PL virtually won already had you dumped the Vanity Project and sorted out our denfensive weaknesses. Every high ball causes panic. A decent manager would have sorted this problem years ago, why do you keep sticking your head in the sand. It comes to something when we are relying on Djourou who is now our most reliable central defender, if he gets injured we are in serious trouble. How can you hope to overhaul the Mancs or beat Barca with The Chuckle Brothers as the bedrock of the defence. The clock is ticking Wenger. Why am I bothering, he wopnt do anything will he, and we wont win the PL – AGAIN!

  • A Casual Observer

    @snehalbumbhatt

    The Chuckle Brothers? I’ll agree that the squid has turned out to be poor but Koscielny is a great signing – this is his first season and he’s right on it and improving game by game.

    Wenger has stated that he’s looking for a loan CB to fill in until TV returns… whether it will happen – I don’t know. What I do know though is that you have no answers or insight – your solution is to slag off the team and the manager and ‘splash the cash’ on someone… anyone! the argument that “if this doesn’t happen then this WILL happen because I SAY SO (over and over again)” really doesn’t convince me that I should take your opinion seriously.

    If (let’s suppose) this were to happen [we spend 30+ million on X] and they didn’t fit in would you then blame Wenger for following your advice or abuse the player for being useless.

    I don’t agree with everything the manager does but it’s clear to me that he’s by a long way the best manager in the EPL and the best manager for Arsenal and in that he knows a lot better than you or I as to what is best for the club.

    We, as a club, are poised and positioned perfectly for success – that is all down to Wenger and his stubborness.

  • snehalbumbhatt

    I’m just going to take some deep-breaths and not be pissed off if we haven’t brought anyone in by February 1st. I’m gearing myself up to believe we won’t be signing anyone so I can avoid the inevitable disappointment if we don’t

  • walter

    And what if we buy anyone today for lots of money and he gets injured tomorrow for the rest of the season.

    Why don’t we just relax and enjoy what we have for the moment: a poor manager, poor players and still only in 4 competitions. 😉

    We even have a player who can come on the field and turn a game completely on its head even when playing with only 10.

    Okay I am very optimistic person but I can only enjoy it. And believe me a win feels even better when you just enjoy it.

  • Dark Prince

    @Only1- ‘I dont see any problems in Arsenal’ thats says it all for me. Bcoz with the rubbish you have said, i can see you too like to sugar coat the cracks.

  • Tasos

    snehalbumbhatt

    If Arsenal are unable to do business in this transfer window then so be it. Bringing players in just to appease our ever present band of pessimistic fans will never be on our managers agenda.

    What some fans fail to appreciate when addressing new signings is the importance of team spirit within the squad and how easily that spirit can be dismantled by adding the wrong type of character to that group. At the present moment I sense a terrific spirit within the squad.

    Your simplistic view that signing a new player will “avoid the inevitable disappointment if we don’t” is laughable. Football history is littered with managers/coaches making rash signings and thereby upsetting the apple-cart, so to speak.

    To sum up. If Arsenal are unable to sign the right player/players in January then I will consider it to be the correct decision for the benefit of the squad.

    Take a deep breath, gear yourself up. I’m sure your ego will be able to cope……eventually.

  • Dale

    I’m reposting this from the Diaby story as it’ll more than likely go unread by most….

    Ok, It’s transfer deadline day and we won’t be signing anyone. We don’t need to sell our best and only goal scorer for £50m. We don’t need to spend £50m on a player that will, most likely, be injured for most of the season.

    We don’t need to spend £30m/£42m on Andy Carrol, surely Bendtner is a much better player, he cost us next to nothing. No, instead we’re just waiting for the tired and the injured to return and they are our new signings. I love transfer deadline day, it’s so exciting to watch all the headless chickens running around throwing numbers at any player that moves (or even doesn’t move in the case of Carrol at the moment).

    I love that we’re not part of this insane merry-go-round but this comment on BBC’s transfer deadline day stream did make me laugh.

    “Being an Arsenal fan on deadline day is like being in detention at school and watching other kids play outside!”

    Liverpool and Chelsea’s massive probable spending is as a result of years of poor management and they are now stuck in the situatiopn that they need to spend vast sums in order to get back to where they were. No thought for the future and building a squad with options.

    Chelsea have very little around the 25/26 years of age so we have seen older players over-used and putting too much pressure on young players. They need a £50m Torres just to get back on track and keep their Champions League place.

    Liverpool have very few players total and so are selling their best player in ordr to bring in two or three, all because they let Rafa run riot with the cheque book and buy in a load of young duds.

    At some point however, both clubs will have to hold back on the spending and again, with very little coming through the youth ranks or through intelligent buying, they’ll again be forced to spend big. Arsenal on the other hand just keep them rolling in.

  • Paul C.

    A couple of comments on here are ridiculous.

    One accuses this site of turning Arsenal fans against each other because it gives unequivocal support to the team and manager. Hmmm. That comment is just too strange to be believable. Yes, what unites fans is hating our manager and players. Yep, that makes sense.

    Another comment says a gap is opening up between our 1st and 2nd string players. Hmmm. Is this a real comment or just a joke?

    Here’s a question. Name me FIVE (5) sides in English Football history (not just EPL history, you can go back as far as you want) that had a 2nd string of players that could be played en masse and get decent results? I am interested to hear the answers to this. Chelsea and Man City are not allowed since they have sugar daddies that can pay ridiculous wages. So come on, five sides that had a strong 2nd string of players in all of football history?

    People dont seem to get just how lucky we are to have a squad like this.

    We played for over half the match with 10 men, without Sagna, Djourou, our first two ‘keepers, Clichy, Wilshire, RvP, Walcott, Ramsey, Vermaelen and Nasri. It was Diaby’s first game back after a long, long injury. Song played central defense. Chamakh is in terrible form.

    And we won. Against a decent lower division side that was playing its Cup Final.

    What the heck is the problem?

  • Homer

    Untold Arsenal: the voice of reason in an insane world.

    Cheers.

  • zuer

    Arsenal is the only club in the EPL who is in for 4 trophies this season.. and more than that, we will win all those trophies for sure.. just believe in Wenger and the lads…

    Should Arsenal didn’t bring any new player, we should accept that. Based on Wenger statements and his transfer its highly unlikely be’ll buy anyone bar Chamberlain (should he be willing to accept Wenger offer)..

    The problem is that many of the ‘fans’ thinks that this is fantasy football and that their ‘expert opinion’ shouldn’t be taken lightly and then go on to abuse Wenger and his players just to feed their ego. Silly. Just go and try be a manager yourself if you can..

  • only1

    @dark prince, again, your rubbish at your best! I have asked you to list down your football experience and management experience! don’t escape, you got none judging from your repeated senseless babbling.

  • zuer

    @Paul C: There is only Arsenal. NONE OTHER. These guy can’t give you even one but they will keep on saying shits.

    Seriously, what the heck is the problem? Enjoy the ride people..

  • Arsefactor

    @Paul C.
    The division caused by this site and this article is clear to see by the comments posted. If you only allow unequivocal support with never a negative comment then of course it causes division.

    If you categorize people as AAA simply because they criticize a player or two or because they’d like to see some defensive cover come in then you are bound to alienate them (and I’d assume any other supporters who are of a similar opinion)

    For example, if I was to post a common opinion, that I think the squid should not play for Arsenal and that Wenger should go out and spend money to buy defensive cover, then it appears to immediately provoke several regular posters here who will say a selection of:
    1. We are the best run club in the world, we shouldn’t spend 50 million etc. (totally ignoring the fact that I didn’t ask for 50 million to be spent).
    2. You are AAA, can’t you just support the players we have!
    3. Our defensive record is good/isn’t bad (seemingly ignoring that I asked for cover and wasn’t criticising the first team options when they are fit)

  • Armin

    I am really giving my best to understand about what people complain. If anyone of those people ever played football even on school yard should know it is almost impossible to play with 10 players against full team. Imagine that every player have zone which he cover and now when there is only 10 so one zone is uncovered, and for more than half of game. What extra effort and fighting ability it is asking for, and our yesterday squad showed it.
    And don’t forget those even weren’t first choice players. Try to imagine what would happen Manure against saints if they were down to ten, and with Nani injured? About Citeh I don’t even want to talk who could not beat Notts County with strongest possible side (excluding Tevez).
    Does anyone remember how Manure won last two crowns? Of course no one, does anyone talk they play rubbish football this season with strongest possible squad? No no one even mention it, they all talk about them being invincible.
    And what about Olimpiakos Hotmuff?

  • Wrenny

    Yawwwwn.

    Played badly with 10 men and won through grit and determination: stuff of champions when Man Utd do it, proof we’re not good enough when Arsenal do it.

    @Arsefactor
    You can have whatever opinion you want on this site, as long as it’s derived from logic and common sense. Unfortunately, you might have noticed that there are plenty of spoilt and unrealistic fans who don’t create a logical, civilised argument that can be discussed. They insult the players, insult the manager, insult the commentors on this site, and arrogantly claim they know all the solutions to the problems they see. They believe they have been blessed with an all seeing eye and spout their simplistic and ill-informed opinions as though they were facts. And they are rightly ignored or derided.

    This website does not ignore Arsenal’s shortcomings, but it prefers to celebrate its successes. And when there’s so much to be glad for, why should we fixate and endlessly moan about the little mistakes?

  • Todd

    @Wrenny
    You said it perfect.

  • Dark Prince

    @Arsefactor- you hit the nail on the head!!

    Many have failed to accept the fact that we need a defender. We all knew we need one when we came to know that Vermaelen will be out for the most of the season. We came to know when Squillaci got injured. Just think what will happen if Djourou or Koscielny gets injured? It would be a disaster.

  • Paul C.

    Arsefactor – you seem to be under the impression that critical assessment of players and the team is not allowed on this site. That is patently untrue.

    Here is my critical assessment of Sunday: Denilson played poorly on Sunday, he was weak in possession on a number of occassions. Chamakh was totally invisible. Squillaci and Koscielny were weak when Hunt run at them, leading to Squillaci’s sending off. Gibbs did not have his best game. Diaby looked well off the pace, which was understandable given his return from injury. We were lucky to squeak through, but we did and given it is a knock-out competition that is all that matters.

    Now, people may disagree with me on any of those points but I will not get any abuse for my comments. Why? Because I know that it was one game, and that you cannot expect us to play brilliantly every game. I made my points about THAT game, and didnt go into the “not fit to wear the shirt” type idiocy.

    And no one would argue with you if you think we should buy defensive cover. What people would say is something along the lines of “who?”. Lots of teams need defensive “cover” as you put it. The question is who is available and for what price? And are they in fact any better than the players we have? Someone earlier suggested Richard Dunne or Sol Campbell. Are they any better than the players we have? Would they give us anything at all besides an extra body? What people get annoyed with is the way that some people seem to be of the opinion that it is easy to buy people, whoever you want, and that other teams will just sell to us in January.

    As I have said to others that have come onto this site professing to know the answers and the way to win trophies: if you think for one second that I am going to take your opinion of how to win football matches over that of Arsene Wengers, then you are sadly mistaken. I consider most of us (including myself) to be complete and utter idiots when it comes to the business of running a football club and I am eternally grateful that none of us are in charge of Arsenal Football Club. Given that, do you really think I am going to say “oh, you are right and Arsene Wenger is wrong, and you should be in charge of football decisions at Arsenal”? No, I am not. If the manager says that nobody of the appropriate quality at the appropriate price is available, then even if I am dissapointed by that, I will accept it and support the players we have and hope we can win trophies anyway. If the players we have turn out not to be good enough, then I will hope that next year they will be, with or without additions to the squad. I do not think we have it too bad. Think about the trials and tribulations of Everton fans, Newcastle fans, Spurs fans, Liverpool fans. Every team could be “better” in one way or another. A squad will never be perfect. Yes, we could do with another defender, but that defender is already in our squad, Vermaelen, and if he gets fit we are deep at that position. You can NEVER legislate for every single injury. Sometimes you just get caught by injuries. For all their money Chelsea got caught two years in a row by injuries to Essien. It happens.

  • Tasos

    DP

    You have every right to your critical opinion but are you ever optimistic?

    Ye of little faith, prophet of doom.

  • Dark Prince

    Tasos- Yes i’m optimistic when our team performs well. Maybe you should read my comments when our players perform properly. Mind you, i’m not saying when they win, i’m saying when they ‘PERFORM PROPERLY’. But if they dont then dont expect me to be quiet. Even when we drew against Man City, i was proud of how we played in that match though we lost 2 points that day. You can read in the review article if you want to. Bcoz that day, we played like we should be playing, our players showed positive attitude and the desire to win. Thats what i expect from Arsenal. Compare that with ystrday’s performance, we won ystrday, but didn’t play positively and some players were horrible. That sort of performance will not always give us victory.

  • Wrenny

    “Many have failed to accept the fact that we need a defender.”

    No Dark Prince, the vast majority of us acknowledge the fact that we could do with another defender. However, we accept the fact that signing a defender of the quality required for Arsenal, at the midway point of the season, and for a non-exorbitant fee, is a tremendously difficult task.

    You seem to have failed to accept this fact.

  • IndianGunner

    @DarkPrince
    “If any supporter turns a blind eye towards a problem then yes they are a part of AAA.”
    Ok so what is your plan/suggestion to fix these problems/shortcomings in our 2nd string?
    And i expect that you won’t start that this player is sh!t, that player is not good enough etc comments because these are just rants which make no sense and i have read your comments which are more coherent than those.
    So what should be done ?Replace every player we don’t fancy like in FM
    I would like to hear your thoughts on the topic. Please believe this is not something against you i just want to hear different opinions on fixing the issues we have in the squad.

  • Tasos

    DP

    Fair enough.

    I agree that the performance yesterday was below par, although we dominated the early part of the game. During the course of a season I can accept Arsenal will go through stages like that, as every team does, the fact the team was able to win is undoubtedly a bonus though.

    I can accept that some of our reserve players need to improve on their performances of late but I am convinced they will do just that.

    Its a work in progress, mistakes will be made along the way but progress is being made and hard fought victories like the one against Huddersfield plus the club reaching the League Cup final are definite signs, if not proof of that fact.

  • Paul C.

    Wrenny – yep, and the other thing to consider is the medical advice the manager has probably been getting regarding Vermaelen. If we assume the surgery was succesful and the 4-6 weeks recovery was correct then pessimistically the beginning of March looks right for a return. Vermaelen was saying the Barca match but that is surely too soon. Let’s be pessimistic rather than optimistic. So any new defender bought would realistically be bought as cover for the following games:

    (h) Everton
    (a) Newcastle
    (h) Wolves
    (h) Barca
    (h) Stoke
    Cup Final – Birmingham
    (h) Sunderland

    That takes us up to March 8th. So the manager would be spending money on defensive cover for essentially 7 games, of which 2 have a full week between fixtures and another (this week) has 5 days. You’d expect JD and Kos to go in this weeks two games, Barca, and the Cup Final. And you’d hope that Squillaci would spell one of the defenders in the other games to keep everyone fresh. With Diaby back you also have more midfield options, meaning that Song could go back into defense if need be for Stoke or Wolves, two games we’d expect to win no matter who plays in defense or midfield (provided everyone else is fit).

    So the question as to whether or not to buy another defender is “if there no one one out there who is better than who we have at a proper price (thereby excluding Cahill or Mertesacker), is spending ANYTHING on a new defender just a waste of money?”.

    It is a tough question. If we get an injury or two AW will look wrong, but if we dont get any further injuries prior to Vermaelen coming back we would have wasted money.

  • Dark Prince

    Wrenny – None of us has ever wanted a record breaking transfer signing. Basically it will come down to the fact that Squillaci signing was an error of judgement. He’s already 30 . Cant see him playing further than next seasons. Buying a young 21-22 age defender would be the best option. We missed out on Smalling last time. And there was another mistake done in jan – the sale of Nordviet. He had potential. And this is the time we use him. He would have been our future.

  • Dark Prince

    @Indian Gunner- one simple solution- our youngsters from the academy!! The problem lies in the fact that the squad we are using in fa cup and carling cup is too old and out of form. Only bendtner seems to be having that odd moment of brilliance. We need more young blood. Sending out Ramsey, Lansbury and the rest was probably not the best thing to do. We need these young blood in such situations to help us out.

  • Dark Prince

    Tasos- there are 2 things where i disagree with you. 1st- the squad we saw ystrday was not a work in progress squad. We had full international players and most of our players were above 26yrs of age. It was a very experienced and strong squad. But the performance was well below their level. Also 2nd- they are still not improving, Cesc, Nasri and in one case Walcot, has saved Arsenal in both the Cup competitions. Not to mention Van persie who also contributed. The rest have still been giving the same disappointing performances. Unfortunately even Chamakh has started to fade away.

  • IndianGunner

    @Dark Prince.
    Solution seems simple enough. Let me illustrate a point where it can backfire very badly
    We have all heard about how good Eastmond is and how Wenger rates him so highly. Remember this is a player who has been knocking on the first team for quite some time now and our coaching staff who rate him highly are the ones who see him regularly in training and reserves matches
    Now we all saw how out-of place he was against Shakhtar in the away match. Now i am not saying he is not good or the fixture was the right one to test him out but we could see he was struggling in the match
    I know Shakhtar away is no easy game and 1 game is not enough to judge a player but what it shows is that even the coaching staff who have seem him regularly couldn’t say for sure that he would make the transition
    We haven’t seen him since that match
    So we the people who watch a player regularly can get it wrong, what makes you think that you or me can judge if a player is good or bad
    My point is simply saying that using the youth team players is not a solution. Wenger is introducing the players gradually and the ones which show extreme talent and mental ability (Wilshere/ Szceny ) have walked into the first team
    Trust me the system is in place to bring the right ones through. If someone has not made it they are not ready yet or are not better than the ones we already have. Same goes for Nordviet

    It’s easy to say do this and do that but when we get into the details that’s when things get murky

  • Wrenny

    “Squillaci signing was an error of judgement.”

    Squillaci is a very experienced international, and he came to us on the back of a very good season with Sevilla. He is at a good age, he wanted to come to us, he was sensibly priced. He probably hasn’t performed as well as Wenger had hoped, which could be due to dozens of factors. To say ‘he was a mistake’ or ‘he isn’t good enough’ is to over simplify a very complex situation. Can you tell us WHY he was an error of judgement? Did you scout him yourself before he came to Arsenal?

    Perhaps he was fantastic at Sevilla, a fantastic defender capable of shackling some of La Liga’s best strikers. And perhaps bringing him to Arsenal was actually fantastic judgement, but unfortunately he hasn’t played to his ability. It happens. It’s happened with some great players like Veron and Schevchenko. Did someone make an error of judgement there? Or is it because players are human beings and can be unpredictable, no matter how talented they are?

    “Buying a young 21-22 age defender would be the best option.”

    Again, that’s your opinion but WHY? What is your reasoning behind this? Don’t we already have 3 young-ish (23 to 25 years old) defenders at an age where they need to be playing?

    “there was another mistake done in jan – the sale of Nordviet He had potential. And this is the time we use him. He would have been our future.”

    Again, WHY?? What makes you think he was our future? What leads you to believe that it was an Arsenal mistake to let him go? A contract was on the table and he decided not to sign it. Players are human beings, they make their own decisions. You can’t force them into signing for you, and you can’t force them to stay with you.

  • Paul C.

    I agree with IndianGunner. How anyone can say letting Nortdveit go was a mistake would suggest that person saw him playing multiple matches for Arsenal, which wasnt the case. The coaching staff saw Nortdveit every single day and if they felt he wasnt going to be up to it long-term then they are best placed to make that decision, not us. Considering they could have just farmed him out on loan again, the decision to let him go completely seems to suggest that they had made a final decision on his “potential”. And I would also suggest that the long-term potential of Bartley (who will return next season at 20 with a full season of Championship football under his belt) and Miguel had something to do with that as well (and also something to do with not buying a defender).

    Ramsey was sent out on loan to get games that he wouldnt have gotten at Arsenal, to get his fitness levels back up. He will be back. Lansbury is NOT ready yet for 1st team football, based on the decision to leave him at Norwich (as opposed to finding a PL side to loan him out to).

    Smalling made the decision to go to Utd instead of Arsenal, just as Ramsey made the decision to come here instead of Utd. You cannot call not signing him a mistake.

  • Paul C.

    Wrenny – absolutely right. How many of us feared complete Chelsea domination when they signed Shevchenko? What a bust he turned out to be. Was it a mistake or simply a case of a player not working out the way he was supposed to? Like you say, Squillaci had the resume. He has obviously found the transition to English Football harder than Koscielny. But he came highly recommended. I remember listening to a podcast earlier in the year where they a French Football writer saying that signing Squillaci was a master stroke, that he was highly regarded across Europe and that his experience would be invaluable. At 5.5m he seemed a bargain. Certainly Sevilla didnt want to lose him. If he has turned out to be less than expected, then what is the chance that just about any other “name” across Europe would also turn out to be a dissapointment? A good chance I’d say. That is why every single signing is a risk. That is why it is never as easy as just finding a player and buying them. That is why it is hard to build sides capable of winning trophies, even if you have 500m to spend.

  • Dark Prince

    Wrenny- i think u have given the answer for Squillaci yourself. He clearly hasn’t performed for the experience he has. As for Nordviet, some say he rejected a new contract and some others like Paul C and IndianGooner say Arsenal didn’t need him and let him go. But i guess we just couldn’t make a good deal with him. The same goes for Fran Merida whom we lost few seasons back. He was a good midfielder but we couldn’t keep him. But we dont feel his absence bcoz we have many options in midfield. But thats not the case in defence, a player like Nordviet or maybe even Bartley can perform better than how Squillaci is performing today. Look at Djourou, no one would have thought that he would have been our number one choice this season but he’s our best defender this year. He came from the academy. He knows our style. Squillaci, though more experienced than Djourou, cannot do the same bcoz he has passed his prime. Thats why i say, Squillaci signing was an error.

  • Dark Prince

    @IndianGunner- from what we can see in this season, the Squillaci signing has backfired. As for Eastmond, i’m not sure whether he’s good enough for Defensive midfield or defender. We need a player who is physically imposing in the defensive positions. Frimpong, Coquelin will perform better than Eastmond or Denilson. Look at Djourou who’s performin better than Squillaci. Nordviet too would hav performed better.

  • Dark Prince

    Also remember, we’re playing the next 3 games without a 3rd centre back. One injury is all to make everything fall apart. And pls dont fool yourself saying that Song is a centre back. He might ‘had’ been a centre back once. But as of now he has forgotten the basics of being a centre back. Even in the last season he was caught out on off side trap time and again when he played as a centre back against barca. He’s outstanding as a defensive midfielder but is poor as centre back.

  • snehalbumbhatt

    So Wenger hasn’t bought. He thinks we have enough in the squad. IMO the following needs to happen to allow us to win the League / Champions League.

    – Vermaelen comes back from injury in 2-3 weeks and slots straight back into the team.
    – Kos and Djourou stay fit and play well in each game.
    – Fabregas and VP stay fit for the whole season.
    – Arshavin returns to form.
    – Nasri is only out for 3 weeks and does not have a recurrence.
    – Scezsney stays No 1 for the rest of the season and doesn’t drop any clangers.
    – Song and Wilshere stay fit for the rest of the season
    – Bendtner, Chamakh and co chip in with important goals when needed.
    – Theo stays fit as our ‘impact man’.
    – Chelsea take points off United (probably need to beat them twice).
    – We either beat Barcelona or don’t go into one of our normal slumps if we get knocked out.
    – We win the Carling Cup.

    Can we realistically see all of this happening?

  • Dark Prince

    @snehalbumbhatt- completly agree with you. I’m more concerned about the defence. One injury to Djourou or Koscielny and we’re goin to fall like a pack of cards.

  • Dale

    @Dark Prince

    Squillaci is only out for one game. If we pick up an injury tonight, Song will drop back and we’ll adjust in midfield.

    I’m sure Sagna can play there in a worst case scenario.

  • Paul C.

    snehalbumbhatt – uh yeah, we need people to play well to win the League/Champions League. We need to avoid major injuries to win the League/Champions League. We need vital contributions from our squad players to win the League/Champions League. We need to get consistent results and avoid any major slumps to win the League/Champions League.

    Doesnt that go without saying?

    Please name me one side in history that won the League/Champions League without the above? Just one please.

    The answer is, yes, of course it is realistic that it could happen. Just as it is realistic that it could happen for Man City or Man Utd or Chelsea (although Utd have the advantage right now). Whichever team wins will be the one that avoids major injuries, inconsistency, and gets top form from its whole squad.

    Why are you trying to make a negative out of this?

    We are in a Championship race.

    Only one team will win.

    Enjoy it.