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Pre season friendly at Benfica; the only time you’ll ever seen this team

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx.

A first defeat in pre-season and the media are all over Arsenal I can imagine.  And of course a part of the fans will be doing what they like to do: moan without looking at the facts.

And in the last game, and in all the other games so far, we could see that for most of the time we were very dominant when we played the players who could be seen as what I would call the first or best 14 players.

Let us start with the players who didn’t travel and who are currently still Arsenal players. Koscielny, Wilshere, Diaby, Nasri, Fabregas, Walcott. That is 6 players who when they are completely fit are at least in the team if not in the starting 11. And some of those players are of the very best. But they didn’t travel to Portugal for various reasons.

And then with those six missing we started with Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Gibbs,  Rosicky, Van Persie, Ramsey, Song, Gervinho, Arshavin .  And maybe I have seen a different game then most of the other people but I thought we did rather well with this team. In fact I thought we were quite simply the better team in the first half. We had the clearest chances and I think the only negative point is that I think we didn’t take our chances well enough.

I also wonder how much some of the players changed their attitude a bit after the silly aggressive tackle on Van Persie. Another one of those tackles that I really don’t like. A tackle coming from behind, going through the attacker and catching him on the ankle. You could see that Van Persie really was angry with the thug from Benfica for producing such a silly tackle in a pre season friendly game. So here we are awaiting how bad it will be.

And I wonder if this was the reason why Wenger chose to change almost the complete team for the second half.  At the start of the second half we came out with Fabianski, Squillaci, Jenkinson, Chamakh, , Frimpong, Miyaichi and the ones we kept on from the first half were Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey, Gervinho  and Rosicky.  Now I think only a blind man cannot see the difference between those two teams.  And later on Wenger also brought on Traore, Lansbury, Miquel in the place of Vermaelen, Gibbs and Rosicky.

This was the team on the field for Arsenal at the final whistle : Fabianski, Squillaci, Miquel, Jenkinson, Troare, Chamakh,  Frimpong, Miyaichi, Ramsey, Gervinho, Lansbury,

Now apart from a game in the Carling cup what would be the chance of Arsenal playing with this team in the league? In the event that we have some 15 first team players injured at the same time we could see this team. But even for Arsenal having 15 players out with injury is something that we haven’t seen.

So when our team loses a game against Benfica in Benfica I don’t feel happy about it. Because I don’t like it when we lose a game. But I look at the facts and I see that what could be called our best 14 or 15 players are not playing in the second half.  And  then losing a game can happen.

Even Manchester United proved this week that playing 4 or 5 players of the first team is not enough when you have to play another team. They lost 8-2 to Marseille in those conditions and we lost 2-1 against Benfica doing almost the same thing.

Bringing in new players is something that can be done when you bring them in one at the time. If you play any of those players we had on the field in the second half they will do their job. But then they have to be surrounded by the better players to help them out. But when you have too many youngsters at the same time in the team they can fall short.

So far we never played a game with our best players for 90 minutes. People might say that we needed to do this in order to bond the team. But in a way we don’t need that much of bonding because the majority of our best 14-15 players know each other from the previous season(s). Only Gervinho has to adapt and integrate as a real first team player. Maybe this was the reason why he stayed on the pitch in the second half in Benfica. But then you saw that without the rest of the best even a good player can become anonymous in the game. But even then he was one of the best players when he got on the ball in my opinion.

For those who might say we need to play our best players in pre-season in order to win more games I can only ask them what we should do with the players from the second half? Throw them out? And only play the season with 16 players? No, those days are long gone.  We need a team of 25 players and sometimes even more. So if we don’t play them now in pre-season when will we play them? In the league? In the Champions League? Okay, maybe in the Carling Cup we can play a lot of them but even them we must make sure that they have been playing together for a few times.

So I am not bothered unlike other fans are about the results in pre-season, even though I admit that I like us winning every game, but this is about testing and seeing what will work and won’t work. What could work and what wouldn’t work.

And now comes the difficult part of the season: going through the most silly international games of the season. Why oh why does Fifa have to arrange those friendly internationals now just days after the start of some leagues and days before we start our leagues? Or for some countries even weeks before they begin their league. I can only come up with one word: stupid.

So this week will be more about thinking, hoping, fearing that all our players come back fit to start the league. And then we will see how we play with our best players on the pitch.

From Woolwich Arsenal to Ignasi Miquel. Be a partizan, but smile at the same time

Theirry Henry cost Barca €500,000 a game and brought them to financial ruin.  Is Mr Wenger about to pull off the same trick with Cesc?

The 18 most common errors that appear in most Arsenal histories

Untold Arsenal: you know it makes sense

Arsenal History: what used to make sense

Making the Arsenal: when nothing made sense

34 comments to Pre season friendly at Benfica; the only time you’ll ever seen this team

  • Byron

    I am concerned by a lack of quality. If cesc and Nasri go can we honestly say we are even as good as last season? We finished 4th last season=Fact, now if we loose two of our best players and continue to buy kids then how do people believe we can win the title?

    This article readily accepts that our depth is poor.

  • I do think that Gibbs and Rosicky have really come on – even though we are seeing them in mixed teams, Gibbs is a more than adequate replacement at full back, and Rosicky is back to where he was before his year out.

  • Ege

    I seriously can’t believe you’re still positive. But then again, you said it yourselves: “And maybe I have seen a different game then most of the other people…”. Well often it seems like you have.

    For starters: Squillaci, Miquel, Jenkinson, Troare, Chamakh, Frimpong, Ramsey and Gervinho are all players Wenger sees as first team players, and therefor very possibly will be a part of many games, outside the Carling Cup, this season. And it is quite clear that, without naming names, some of this players are not good enough for the first team.

    Secondly: From which players are the ones mentioned above supposed to be learning?

    Thridly: How are “Super Quality Players” suppose to be intrigued by playing for Arsenal, when they see the backup and squad players.

    We lack quality in depth, and we lack the guts to kick out the non-performers.

    Your stance on Arsenal and Wenger are among the most stubborn I know, as you always seek to find errors by the other team or the refs. I recommend you start looking at Arsenal and how we really are set to cope with the season.
    I for one, hope that you have seen something a lot of us have not seen, because: CL in 2012/2013 is starting to look difficult unless something dramatic is done to the squad this week.

  • nicky

    Don’t let us get our Y-fronts in a twist over the pre-season games. Over the next 3 weeks, Wenger has some surprises for us in the transfer stakes. I await the first of September to hear whether the cheers or the groans are loudest.

  • critic

    @Byron
    sorry dude. But no body wants to come to arsenal. We don’t win anything and we don’t pay over the odd salaries. Why would anyone want to come to arsenal, if they are already at high paying club like manc,manu,che,real,bayern,barca etc. etc. Only option left for us is relatively unknown players with lot of potential aka youngsters. There can’t be any marquee signing as per fans. It’s not possible.

  • bob

    Walter,
    The broadcast presenters said that Benefica’s veterans and best first came on for/during the 2nd half. IF this is so, this means two things to me: First, that our far lesser 2nd half side was performing against Benefica’s better side – so we were playing at a further disadvantage and are not as “bad” as it might have looked. (Even though I found it worrisome to see that for several stretches near the end we couldn’t get any touches.) Second, that our far better 1st half side played against Benefica’s lesser side – so we were not quite as “good” as it might have looked. I think the specific quality of the opponent in each half should factor into this analysis as well.

  • David

    Plain and simply to see, arsenal need to change the way they play, which includes the formation.

    Arsene needs to play he did back in the day which lead us to win various cups. which means 4-4-2 is the required formation. 1 striker cannot do all the work.

    He also needs to allow the players to shoot, on varies situations during last season, and a little so far this pre season, there have been a large amount of shooting opportunities which could have lead to a goal, i,e by rebound or straight shot.

    And one last thing, i told my brother, that when squallachi comes on arsenal are gonna lose, and as i and everyone saw, his defending cost us the game, get rid of him, he is useless.

  • Ed

    @Tony
    I think Gibbs is talented and Rosicky can produce special moments. but the problem is they are both injury prone for the past year or more. That is similarly the problem with van persie.

    We have an amazing first team, but if we lose our important players such as van persie, Fabregas (for alot of last season), and gibbs (which will be more significant as he is expected to be first choice left back this season), then we may not be able to challenge for the title. Touch wood, we are luckier with injuries, but history suggests we should expect the worst.

    The back-ups such as Chamahk, traore and rosicky are good, but not good enough to be replacements over 6 months as was the case with van persie last year. That is why in a separate comment, i mentioned i was confident in getting a top4 finish, but not really for the title.

    The good thing is that this arsenal team seem to play best when everybody underestimates them, such as the first 3/4 of the season when everybody was saying they wouldn’t make the top 4 (same as this summer) and they are challenging for the title. Then around March when people start to realise arsenal are a threat and talk up their chances, they cave in under pressure. I don’t know if it is a mental thing with our players, or fatigue at the end of the season, or just because other teams suddenly see arsenal as a top top team and play better.. but we need to deal with that.

  • Very interesting on the need more shots issue.

    Last year we were second only to Chelsea in the number of shots we had and were in fact 6th overall in Europe’s top leagues. We were second in Europe for the mean number of accurate shots per match. We were sixth in Europe and only second to Man U for the mean number of goals per match.

    Take into account that we hit the bar or post far more times than anyone else and there you see the incredible strength in the team.

    But as I mentioned in my partizan article, some people are happier complaining.

    Source: http://www.soccerbythenumbers.com/2011/08/shots-and-goals-in-big-4-offensive.html?spref=tw

  • AFC49

    There’s only one question: Are you satisfied with a permanent place in top-4, but still without major trohpy after six years??? How can we talk about winning mentality if we’re satisfied with that ??

  • Arsene Wonka

    Assuming that Cesc, Nasri, Bendtner, Eboue and Almunia all depart this week and we sign no one (which is very unlikely) this is how i expect us to line up assuming everyone was fit

    1st X1
    Sczesney
    Sagna Djourou Vermaelen Gibbs
    Wilshire Song
    Gervinho Ramsey Arshavin
    RVP

    2nd X1
    Fabianski
    Jenkinson Squillaci Koscielny Traore
    Diaby Frimpong
    Walcott Rosicky Vela
    Chamakh

    Rest of Squad: Mannone, Lansbury, Afobe, Miyaichi, Miquel, Eastmond

    To be Sold: Fabregas (£30m + Affelay) Nasri (£25m) Bendtner (£10m) Eboue (£4m) Almunia (£1m) = £70m

    If you look at the 2 teams they are well balanced with 2 players for each position, ok the quality may not be where we would like it to be so that IMO is what needs to be addressed. I also think that because of our injury record it is important that the rest of the squad is a 3rd replacement, for me we are not far off. We currently have 2 spaces available in our 25 man squad and if the 5 leave that i mentioned then that will become 7. So there is plenty of room for new faces.

    So where do we need to strengthen assuming all 5 leave. Well in the first X1 there are 4 suspects, Djourou, Gibbs, Ramsey and Arshavin. I would buy 2 centre backs (Samba or Mertesacker and Cahill or Vertonghen) then move Vermaelen to left back. Then replace Ramsey with Sneijder and Arshavin with Affelay, switching Gervinho to the left. Djourou, Gibbs, Ramsey and Arshavin would drop down to the 2nd X1 at the expense of Squillaci, Traore, Rosicky and Vela. The 2nd X1 for me is still a little too inexperienced, i would prefer to see Jenkinson, Frimpong and Chamakh as the 3rd choice in their positions and with Diaby always injured he should drop down the order too. This would mean i would buy 4 more players. Barton, Parker, Benzema, another right back would be required. For me that could be Koscielny allowing us to buy Samba and Mertesacker instead of one of them.

    All this would mean us spending all the money we get for the 5 sales plus another 30m. We would then look like this

    1st X1
    Sczesney
    Sagna Samba Vertonghen Vermaelen
    Wilshire Song
    Sneijder RVP Gervinho
    Benzema

    2nd X1
    Fabianski
    Koscielny Mertesacker Djourou Gibbs
    Barton Parker
    Affelay Ramsey Arshavin
    Walcott

    3rd X1
    Mannone,
    Jenkinson Squillaci Miquel Traore
    Diaby Frimpong
    Rosicky Lansbury, Vela
    Chamakh

  • No AFC 49, there is not only one question. That question which you pose, is one that is bugging you, and is one that gets up the noses of many other people. But, it isn’t the one question for me.

    To put a concept as a definitive statement, and then demand that others see the world as you do is to reveal a mono-vision which most people don’t share.

    You can have that view if you like, but don’t expect others to see the world as you do.

  • Arsenal blogger

    Great and refreshing blog

  • Arvind

    @AFC49: Can you honestly say that any sportsman…let alone top notch footballers..goes out to lose? Or decides..hey 4th is fine? I don’t believe anyone would do that. And why would AW suddenly decide..hey enough trophies..I’ll chill now for 10 years and retire. Weird .. if you ask me.

    Are trophies good? Of course. Do I want them? Of course. Do I feel frustrated? Yes.. but not because we haven’t won trophies… just that the hard work of AW and the team.. is not paying off fully… and we havent been able to shut the mouths of the AAA.

    Personally I couldn’t give a damn if we never won again.. coz all trophies are for a common fan .. are bragging rights. If AW believes we can win this year and the team and management believe in AW.. that is good enough for me.

  • bob

    Let’s take stock, mates. Up to right now, we’ve mostly been spinning our wheels, having nice-to-nasty goes at one another, and reasserting our philosophical credos – all the while being placed under intense (if not unprecedented) media-pressures to disavow our club and/or our manager. In a mercifully short while, starting this week, we all have a welcome opportunity to make fact-based analyses of our situation and prospects. Moving forward we have: This week’s promised actions, or not. (a good signing?) Six days until the real season starts at the crime scene (do we get Dowd again!?) Twenty-three days until the transfer window closes. (will remaining needs be fulfilled?) And we’ll be able to truly assess: (a) what promises were made vs. which were kept and how so; (b) the true costs, if any, of not having resolving the Cesc drama until so late, if at all, and whoever is most to blame; and (c) how big a factor the January transfer window will have to be, or not, to meet our actual needs. We’ll have learned a lot in a short while, and, all in all, that’s an exciting prospect. And if that’s not enough, well. there’s always video-replay to demand (once the bent-calls, all too human mistakes, and egregious non-calls are once again upon us). What’s not to like…

  • Goonerboy

    What i really dont understand is how some of these people who comment on this blog call themselves arsenal supporters. A supporter should be some one who is with a club through thick and thin. I know for sure I am one because how badly my team does on a day i will cheer for them. I am for one happy that we are going through a bad patch because it does seperate the real supporters from the rest because its perfect time for glory hunter to ump into the Man city boat. As for me.. I still gets goosebumps every time my team walks into that field. Feel proud when i see that killer look on Vermaelens face.I am for one proud that we are not paying insane money and buying so called stars and corrupting the entire game of football and tranfer market. This year we have all the ingredients that we need to succeed. A Van Persie on form , vermaelen at the back and a wilshire in the middle. You can be pessimistic and keep worrying or scream on top of your voice no matter who walks out of that tunnel in an Arsenal jersey and support them till the end.. once a wise man said that one who never failed cannot really enjoy his success as much . It will we worth the wait..trust me ..trust wenger!

  • Tony/Walter thanks for that,many fans think that Arsenal do not lose!! Even the best team in the world and the second best team lost to Arsenal,may you guys who don’t want to lose might go mars. Tony i watched the 2so called big teams yesterday and i was lost for words apart from the second 20 last minutes and i saying this they are beatable. Tony and Walter analyze that match to the doubters so as to know that all is not Roses . Imagine wot the doubters will be vo…… toady if we had lots 3 to 2 Manure!! Tony/Walter did Man-city fans boo their team! Does Man city have no defense!Have Man city lost any friendlies!! So wot i,m advising the doubters is to shut d f…up. We either win or they lose. Lets gooooooo GUNNERS

  • bob

    Goonerboy,
    no, we don’t have ALL the ingredients we need, or Arsene wouldn’t be about to announce the/some promised pickups this week. also, worrying and advocating improvements is part of loving one’s club. were you never worried for or pushed to improve out of love? c’mon, love takes several forms and your eyes-closed blind love is not the one true test of a real fan. i think love is inclusive, not exclusive. and, if your man TV’s turn-on fierce look is not enough to keep him on the pitch, then perhaps love for AFC means having had or acquiring the quality in depth to fill in while he heals. Advocating and especially planning and buying for the inevitable rainy day (or is that too much worry for you?) by securing quality depth in reserve is also a way to truly love one’s team.

  • Mahesh

    I believe Benfica’s coach (Jorge Jesus?) did some tactical thingie here. Basically, in the conference before the match, Mr. Wenger had already pointed out that he will be playing stronger team in the first half, and make lots of changes at the half time. So, Jorge decided that it would be beneficial to just stop the stronger Arsenal team from playing in first half, and then give the chance to stronger Benfica team in the second half, against a much weaker opposition! To me it seems, he took this friendly rather seriously! For Mr. Wenger, it was just another preseason friendly, and I believe, that is why he didn’t find it necessary to refrain from divulging the changes that he is going to make. For a normal match, he would never disclose his tactics (including changes) before the match!
    In the end, neither Benfica, nor us benefitted from this game, since neither club was able to test the preparedness of their strongest team against other club’s strongest. Just that, Benfica got their Eusebio cup, and we seemed weaker than we are!

  • bob

    Mahesh,
    You’re spot on! Eusebio himself (a great footballer!) was there, and the Eusebio Cup had to be won by Benefica. Hence, their tactics. And, yes, the match was less than ideal for either side as a friendly. (though perhaps there’s some value for our lessers to gain some experience against a good squad’s betters.) We were not as good (against their second best) as we looked in the first half; nor surely are we as poor as we showed (against their best) in the second half. Cheers for a really sound analysis.

  • Goonerboy

    well bob!,

    Worrying is one thing and calling for wengers head based on football manager playstaion experience is another. Fans trying to take matters into their own hands and thinking they are better at manging arsenal than wenger himself pisses me off. do you think wenger gets some kind of evil pleasure by making the fans wait till the last day of the tranfer window? many fans dont under stand that the tranfers in real world does not happen like in fifa or pro evolution.. there are many many factors affecting it.. the player, the club, the agent, the transfer fee, the add ons, the wages, the mangement and the board etc etc.. then again it is very much possible that a big money signing can be an utter flop.. just to give you an instance.. when chamakh was available one year before we got him on a free there were fans calling for wengers head for not spending money and buying him a year earlier.. and when his form dipped it is the same fans who say that he is a bad signing.. some fans are fickle and easily manipilated by the media and waiting for a chance to spring on wenger and his decisions.. the same fans who wrote of henry when he was below average in his first couple of games.. same fans who claimed it was end of the world when we sold anelka to bring in a couple of unknowns.. same fans who kept quite when we signed unknown vermaelen and squillachi and when Vermaelen turned out to be good came up with ” i said so ” and when squllachi turned out to be average , said that ” wengers transfers policies are flawed” .I am just saying that dont jump on the media bandwagon who are trying to turn us against each other,, end of the day constructive criticism is good but talking like you know every thing.. may be not. just mind your business and let wenger mind his and just enjoy the arsenal games as it comes.. i am sure its not going to be all smiles.. there is always going to be pain and tears ..well thats simply called being a fan! Like i said when the premier league kicks off i know i will be cheering my team on will try to enjoy every bit of the beautiful game we play.

  • Goonerboy

    and bob!

    if you cant enjoy the football arsenal plays without worrying too and then its your problem mate! I do worry.. when some one gets injured .. worry when i will be able to see my beloved player on the field again. then again i dont want to argue with you cos you definitely know better that wenger how to have strength in depth..your are obviously a master at convincing benzema and mata to leave real and valencia and come to arsenal to warm up the bench. What I cant understand is why fans cant open their eyes and for once see the what we are actually capable of.. players like Rosicky and Ramsy have that in them but the only thing i believe is missing is that support and inspiration from fans that push them to go that bit further ..to push that bit harder.. after last weeks booing then i can understand if they dont

  • bob

    I do appreciate your very good examples of manipulated and manipulative fan behavior. I for one surely do not know a lot of things, let alone everything, and like all fans – you and I both – are kept in the dark. What I do know is that the only choices aren’t either to be media-manipulated OR, as you’d have it, to mind your own business and butt out of Arsene’s. The manipulated don’t know that they are manipulated and like it that way, thinking that they’re media-given opinion is really their own. The mind-your-own-business type knows that he/she knows nothing and, while more honest, also likes it that way, as you end up saying. Another way is to try and learn more, know it’s shortcomings, and still try to learn more; whilst pooling what we do know and trying to advocate for a better situation than we currently have, and for the love and good of the club. Anyway, we’ll see how we actually feel by week’s end, after the match on Saturday, after Walter’s Ref review, after Untold Media’s report, after the next three matches, and at the close of the transfer window. Perhaps you’ll simply have sat back and enjoyed the matches. Other fans will show their love and insights based on what we actually come to know – and some of what we know, even you and I, is that the media will be hard at work to manipulate our perceptions. At least we agree on that much. Let’s talk again along the way.

  • M.V

    “I am for one proud that we are not paying insane money and buying so called stars and corrupting the entire game of football and tranfer market.”

    Couldn’t agree more! I simply cannot believe the fans calling for wengers head…if the fans turn on their own manager and players…well it don’t exactly make it any easier for them to perform…

  • bob

    Goonerboy,
    Sorry you feel the need to saddle me with all that rubbish… that’s your problem, to use your petulant little phrase. But I’ll tell you what I do no know about quality depth. That last January, and many (and I too) said so then, that we needed quality depth to deal with the then-existent and growing injury list (including T.V.) because of competing on 4 fronts, facing a murderous immediate schedule of too-many games, because of doubts THEN about Squillaci (correct) and Koscielny (incorrect, he’s fine), and because we are injury-prone (in no small part because, imo, we are hard done by a disproportionate amount of calls and non-calls by some referees). So yeah, that’s where I’m going from when I advocate for quality depth. Where are you coming from when you say to me, “who are you to opine on quality depth, do you know better than Arsene.” I don’t. But I do worry (my problem, as you don’t) that Arsene could have used another set of eyes on the defense and its woes last season – and many here have so opined – and I hope that he’s got that as we go into this season. Perhaps the quality depth on defense matter will become a moot point by the end of the transfer window. If not, well then, enjoy your couch.

  • Domhuaille

    Criticism of Gooners who express pessimistic or negative statements or optimistic and positive ones about AFC is unjust and unnecessary. Nobody has to accept or agree with any other fans viewpoint, that is what allows us to have a community of supporters. We don’t have to be in total agreement, but we should have some common basis for membership:

    1)A sincere and profound love for the Club,win,lose or draw.
    2)A desire to see it gradually improve,
    3)A respect for and tolerance of others viewpoints,
    4)A willingness to accept our errors or misjudgements,
    5)A love of great football, no matter who plays it,
    6)A sportsmanlike fairness and openness to change,
    7)class and elegance (Arsenal in two words).

    I am sure there are other qualities we as Gooners demonstrate but the above are a good beginning.

  • bob

    Don,
    Yep, I’ll subscribe, and also go for:
    4A) a passion for truth
    5A) a passion for fairness on the pitch
    Cheers.

  • tinalex

    I would start by imploring admin to speed up clearing my contribution so that I will be able to follow the debate whilst making follow ups on earlier comments.

    My contribution touches on how some fans’ minds have been brainwashed by the media to the extent of seeing negativity in everything arsenal. I want to use the Man U -Man City game yesterday to highlight my point.

    Man U conceded two first half goals but went on to win the match.Reading today’s articles its all roses for the red devils, with this article (www.thisislondon.co.uk) by Olley suggesting that Man U is going to dominate the EPL for years to come. Note how the performances of Clerverly and Welback are glorified. Some of so called arsenal fans have already given the title to man u based on their performance yesterday (generally see comments on various blogs)

    Substitute Arsenal for Man U in that game i do not think the comments will have been the same from journhos and readers alike. Familiar comments like, “same old arsenal conceding soft goals from free kicks; Arsenal’ goal keeping problems exposed again; i have said it many times that you cannot win the EPL if you concede such goals; arsenal’s second string side flatter to deceive; etc, etc).

    In the second half Man City were just passengers, especially Yaya Toure, giving away so many balls. Imagine if this was Song or Frimpong, w could be having comments, which if the two had a chance to read they would never want to play for Arsenal. Despite Man City’s collapse we are told its a pre season friendly where fitness levels are low hence the collapse. compared that to comments made when arsenal gave away three leads in the second half, during three of its pre season friendlies. “the collapse that was witnessed at the end of last season was evident in this match blah blar”. Why not attribute such collapse to fitness levels being low in the case of arsenal?

    One things that was apparent in the game yesterday is that it is the Man U first team that conceded the two goals, and it is the Man city first team that collapsed in the second half. The same could not be said in all of arsenal’s pre season friendlies. The first team finished its halves almost unblemished and it was the second string that “collapsed”.

    From this game I now have an entrenched view that most if not all complaining arsenal fans are not using their heads when reading articles about arsenal. They have been brainwashed by the negative articles to the extent of seeing negatives in everything arsenal. I will bet by my last dollar that even if arsenal was to win the EPL unbeaten, they will always complain about wenger, arsenal and players. I guess its just about time that these fans move on with their lives and stop supporting arsenal.

  • Goonerboy

    bob,

    i feel for you for gettin saddled so easily. but like i said i am not here to argue. if winning the argument is your ziel then i give in. but donot fail to see the bigger scheme of things.. for some one who have been through the booring booring arsenal, the highbury library , the invincibles and the dip.. will know its always a bell curve.. mistakes are bound to happen..things may not work out as planned.. but its important to know that things are planned and if there is no scheme and all is left to fate then fans have all the right to get angry.. but its just not fair to love when things go according to plan and disown when they dont..there are surely new faces coming in and it promises to be an exciting season.. just give the negativity a break..ohh and enjoy i will..like every season i ve watched..wish you could also do the same without the negativity getting the best of you.. cheers!

  • BobbyP

    Have to say I agree completely with bob and Dom – support for the club/manager/players doesn’t have to be blind and unquestioning providing any questioning/criticism is done in a constructive and respectful manner.
    I also agree with the general tenor of the article – I really don’t understand those who take meaningless friendly results with experimental line-ups so seriously. I’m confident we can get a result on Saturday when it counts, even if Cesc doesn’t feature.

  • Goonerboy

    Bobby P, Dom, bob

    I agree with all you say. and it is excatly my point.. constructive criticism is good. end of the day we all want the club to prosper. at the moment our club could really do without all the negativity in the air. this blog is one of th efew blogs that have a positive look on things and dont come up with stupid articles like arsenal on the verge of breakdown.. we are all adults ( i hope) lets just discuss and not play the blame game on the players or the manager..there is a man at the helm who has proved he is more than capable of leading the club in the right direction..may be not all his recent plans have not worked out but keep the faith.. after all thats what being a fan is right?

  • bob

    Goonerboy,
    so sorry you use ‘negativity’ to label constructive criticism that comes from a place in me that loves the side; whilst you rely on ye old bell curve and things are planned (the ‘truth of things unseen,’ as the Good Book says). honestly, i couldn’t care less about losing an argument – i’d rather actually learn something useful from debating and losing than from winning. and, to your point, i will be overjoyed to see the plan unfold from this week forward. Perhaps you’d be willing then to point it out when you see it. And no worries, mate, I do enjoy every match to the max, because i, like you do care, yet have eyes wide open at the same time. That’s actually exciting. And lo, may we both shall enjoy the season, each in his own way, to the max. yep, cheers as well.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I’ve not seen the match, so count me in with the rest of the AAA. Wenger should definitely be sacked for losing in pre-season to Benfica with a weakened team. Guardiola should also be sacked for losing to Manchester United in pre-season with a weakened team, as they are both rubbish managers…

    /sarcasm off
    Whilst I hate the notion that passion/grit/desire is what Arsenal need, I do think that p/g/d allied to superior technique will prevail. Only a moron would assume that at the highest level p/g/d will suffice by itself.

  • tinalex

    Just finished glancing through comments made at this le grove or something like that site, it seems some arsenal fans’ hatred of wenger and everything arsenal has developed into a cancer about to consume them. They glorify opponents whilst tearing the team they pretend to support like lions tearing apart their prey. Its pathetic.