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Arsenal at Old Trafford – the Untold Preview

By Phil Gregory

You know the negativity surrounding Arsenal is getting a little silly when your Everton-supporting boss bets you £10 that they will finish above Arsenal this season. Now, I know we’ve lost a few players this summer, but for a club who’s only summer signing is a contract extension for Phil Neville, well… At least I’m going to be £10 richer come May.

Much more importantly, Arsenal put in a cracking performance versus Udinese. Yes, we struggled in the first half but whatever they gave us in the first 45 minutes we dished back with interest in the second half. That result took us into the group stage draw, which turned out to be fairly tricky, with pots two and three yielding decent sides and us getting the strongest pot four side, according to Wenger. That said, trips to Germany, Greece and France are hardly deepest darkest Ukraine or Russia, so every cloud has a silver lining. Manchester United may have had their usual easy draw of Blyth Spartans and the semi-pro side of a Romanian monastery but such is life.

And then of course there is the small matter of a trip to Old Trafford, with a depleted squad. Frimpong and Song are both suspended, as is Gervinho. After coming back from injury in the Udinese tie, Djourou and Rosicky are fit to play part at Old Trafford. Vermaelen faces a fitness test but is expected to be fine, while the signs are looking positive after the Frenchman ha a positive fitness test. Bendtner is out with a minor ankle injury, whilst Gibbs has been ruled out and Squillaci is not expected to be involved.

Jack Wilshere has been sent to an ankle specialist, and there seems to be an element of confusion around his injury. Let’s hope the parallels to Vermaelen’s injury last season stop there!

Szcznesy

Jenkinson Koscielny Vermaelen Sagna

Ramsey Lansbury

Rosicky

Walcott Van Persie Arshavin

It’s a very depleted Arsenal side that travel up to Old Trafford. Fortunately we have caught a break with the likely inclusion of Koscielny, who I think is a fantastic player and a small doubt around Vermaelen doesn’t look like keeping him out. With Gibb’s continued absence, Sagna stays out on the left and Jenkinson continues on the right.

The midfield is the tricky one. Jokingly, I posted on a friend’s Facebook after Song’s ban that they would be travelling up there with Frimpong-Ramsey-Rosicky , but now that line-up looks almost luxurious, given the presence of a holding midfielder! With our two defensively minded midfielders banned, the balance of the midfield isn’t great and we’re forced to ask some players to do a job they wouldn’t normally do. I’ve gone for Ramsey and Lansbury to play a deeper role in midfield, but neither are holding midfielders. It’s a hell of an ask for the two youngsters, but for me it looks the best of a very limited range of options. Apart from that, you’re looking at something from leftfield like a defender holding the midfield, but I don’t see it happening personally.

Up front Van Persie leads the line, with Walcott on the right and Arshavin on the left. Walcott caused Udinese a few problems and has started the season well but Arshavin has struggled and didn’t offer much against Liverpool. Hopefully he’ll pick the very best of moments to raise his game: you’d never bet against Arshavin to pull something out of nothing.

This tie is always going to be a tough one. United looked good against Spurs, but it was a depleted Spurs side with a very lightweight midfield that was brushed aside, let’s not forget. It’s easy to see Manchester United spend big in the summer, rack up a three nil win and hail them as being outstanding, but many seem to be forgetting the game versus West Brom that they won via a very fortunate late goal.

Indeed United have a few injuries themselves, with question marks around some of their main men in defence. I won’t dig into who’s expected to be fit as Ferguson tends to give out a lot of disinformation, but suffice to say they are likely to be playing a couple of the young defenders, certainly at rightback.

The ankle-biter Fletcher is in the squad after a virus – the poor mite – but probably won’t start in what is likely to be a fast-paced, intense game of football. Reports on Howard Webb’s availability for the Red Devils has just been confirmed via the excellent RefWatch.

My main cause for optimism is that in terms of creativity, I think our midfield isn’t actually too shabby, and will do a good job of keeping possession against this United side, especially given that they are shorn of Fletcher. Defensively we are hugely lacking in the middle, but our back four is fairly solid and I’ll always have confidence when we can put both Vermaelen and Koscielny together in defence. That said, it is a depleted side, and our midfield will need to play out of their skins defensively if our back four isn’t to be exposed fairly regularly.

Sadly I’ll be stuck at work during this shift, though the boss has agreed to let me wear my colours whilst serving in the pub. Hopefully we do alright otherwise I’ll be in for a ribbing. As for the scoreline… right now I’d take a 1-1 draw.

Refwatch: we think it is Howard Webb, and the PGMOL web site is gone

The Untold Weekly Ref Review

163 comments to Arsenal at Old Trafford – the Untold Preview

  • Kentetsu

    “Webb’s availability for the Red Devils have just been confirmed.” Great line.

    If the players get out there as a team, work hard for each other, and make sure Webb gets no chance to show his allegiance, we can win this.

  • nikkogunners

    We can win this contest…Anyone thinking so?

    ———————–Snezzy
    Jeckinson, Konsienly, Vermarleen, Sagna,
    ——————–Djourou
    Alex Ch’lain, —-Rosicky,—-Arshavin
    ———————RVP——————
    ——————-Walcott—————-

    Walcott gets a cetral forward role. RVP and Rosicky are the senior most of the squad and understand each other well enough. Let loose Walcott on an inexperienced Man United defense and Rosicky has been on the ascendancy and a thrilling Rosicky is a true cameo performer. Chamberlain gets his first call up…to use his pace at the biggest stage to unraffle Opposition and get Walcott, fellow pace mate free. RVP in a free role to 1) Carry out his captain duties and 2) stealing whatever spoils to expertly put De Goa on hot soup. 4.1.3.1. Subs Ramsey, Landbury, Afobe (Where is he BTW – Loan Spell or what)

    If Wenger fields this side we will get out of Old Trafford Smiling. I promise… As long as Chambs is not Red Carded! If he is Walcott moves to the wing and RvP takes the Central Attack role back…We must plan for such eventualities these days after all we have three key players serving the Red Ban!

  • Jack

    I have a sneaking feeling that Djourou may play as the defensive midfielder – this game may currently be a little beyond Lansbury.

    Arshavin vs Smalling is where I think we will have most success. For all his lack of defensive work and sloppiness, Arshavin is a very direct, big-game creator, and I really hope he can show it this afternoon.

  • adi

    Young guns’ Jamie believes coquelin is in line for a start today. Considering he’s a natural DM, i’d not be overly surprised. What’s really surprising though is the inclusion of ozyakup in the travelling squad, he’s way too raw.

  • anatra

    @Jack, I agree with you about the DM slot. I hope either Djourou or Vermaelen will be used in this position in this game. Preferably Djourou.

  • JohnW

    Heee! the last time Phil predicted 1-1, we went on to win 2-1! Now I will walk naked back to my home if we manage a 1-0 win.

  • ak47

    id love to see nikko’s line up today.

  • goonergerry

    The team did well to win against Udinese- a much stronger team against far weaker opposition than United. Given the strength and confidence of United, the fact that they didn’t play in midweek- have a massive recent record against us and looking at our available players a win is not possible. A draw would be a miracle- but the most likely result- we all know. I don’t think that United will even have to rely on their 12th man this time- the ref.
    I hope he does give Coquelin some playing time in the middle and play Djourou in front of the back 4.
    The most important thing is we don’t get too bent out of shape by one result if the miracle does not happen.

  • Dark Prince

    even a draw will be a massive boost….but u can sense that its gonna be too tough

  • Since fab and nasri have left ive noticed a new found grit and determanation in the arsenal side.Am i mad or has anyone else noticed this?We stuck together in italy where we had many outstanding performers..sagna,vermaelen,jenkinson,schzeny(spelt wrong)ramsey and walcott.Im willing to bet that if we lose today, it wont be because we were outplayed, but because Howard”Manchester united”webb gives them a load of help or park scores on his 3rd career game(he only ever plays against us).Still i think a 1-1 draw is how its going to end.,jenkinson will probably get a red(just my instinct which is usually right)

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I think United are in for a shock, simply because our lineup will come as a complete surprise. For years we’ve tried to play the game in their third but our current lineup needs space to run into so we play more in the middle third, something they aren’t brilliant at dealing with.

  • bob

    A wee G-note to today’s Match preview:

    Mr. “G.” Neville has now exposed how the “g” in Fergus is the same “g” as in Agro-football:

    “So let me first make it clear that in almost 20 years at United the manager never asked me to kick anyone. I’ve no idea if other managers have issued instructions to ‘take out’ a player but I can promise you that wasn’t our boss’s style. But did he tell us to get tight, put a foot in and let Arsenal know they were in for a battle? Of course, he did.

    “That didn’t mean going over the top. It didn’t mean reckless two-footed challenges. Who wants to get sent off ? That would be self-destructive. But we knew a lot of them hated aerial challenges, so what did we do? Clattered them in the air at every opportunity.

    Credits: Kudos to Laundryender for the link:
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2030841/Gary-Neville-How-did-Manchester-United-beat-Arsene-Wengers-Arsenal-We-bullied-them.html#ixzz1WKdfvDbW

  • Notoverthehill

    Tony, perhaps too many e-mails have been aimed at Old Mother Reilly and his cohorts? Certainly Gill had a word with Reilly regarding the Valencia (?) tackle when ManIOU lost to Liverpool at Anfield last season.

    I suspect a spam jammer is being installed so that irate fans cannot back their assertions with hard evidence from the Ref Reviews.

  • jayj

    Djouru how crap is he? nobody wants to score!!!

  • sahil

    We need new signings.
    The first half… total crap.

  • para

    This is Arshavin’s last chance to step back to his better performances, else he has to be sold. He has had too much time now.
    Manu and even city are playing like we used to play, and we are playing, well normal football.
    I dont know if we are going to get any other players before window closes, but if not, we are “probably” not even going to get into the CL end this season
    But Manu will go for the 5th goal just to match city and maybe even the 6th to outdo them.
    Well AW must be really realising that he has done something wrong, that is, if he really is solely responsible as everyone thinks.
    Anyway still love you AFC and am glad to see the team playing a little different than before, and although nothing will come this season, again, i can see why many fans are completely disillusioned.
    As i write the 6th goal has gone in and AFC is hanging their heads.
    Well lads, if this does not put some spine into you, you may as well stop playing football.

  • wen_detta

    another set piece? why they don’t jump?

    djourou showed why he is a back-up

    v.persie penalty is the pinpoint

  • jayj

    Wenger should walk – Great potential!!!
    This is a total failure, in no way should we have such crap squad, Wenger is to blame. Keep counting the cash, count it, how could arsenal justify charging so much money for such a mediocre team. Good they cant hide the cracks. Nasri walked and now we know why. Wenger out brigade have more ammunition and more justification.

  • para

    This is embarrasing, manu letting them have the second consolation goal, by stopping playing.
    I am looking forward to AFC-Manu this season, that i am.

    Sh## and now another 3 game ban?
    Going from bad to worse, talk about the de-construction of AFC.
    Lots of fans are going to be screaming for AW’s head now.

  • jayj

    Wenger signed some Korean – why why WHY.
    7-2 Wenger you lost the plot.
    This what Arsenal R the new Bolton. Doujouru the worst defender ever.

  • jayj

    Van persie will leave U watch.
    Club has become a joke, Wenger is a joke.

  • jayj

    AOC you will see this is a top top signing, hahahahahha sign some other joker Wenger!!!

  • jayj

    This means even Spurs have a stronger squad, Something is wrong @ Arsenal all top players want to leave.

  • jayj

    OMG 8 keep counting your money!!!

    Park should of made it 9.

  • jayj

    We didn’t play that bad did we – Tony.

  • jayj

    Paul Merson is right. As much as anyone hates to hear the truth, AW must answer the questions, doesn’t matter how many players we are missing lesser teams could and will do better.

  • Ohio Gunner

    What can we do really? My heart is broken or crushed. I’d be rather be told that I’m fired, that my application for a loan has been denied, that my fiancee quit me, or that Hurricane Irene is going to erase the whole of the USA. I’m out of words. Please fellow gunners, do you really see us going somewhere with this team? I would like to be proved wrong.

  • Sammy

    I predicted before the game that Man Utd will tera us a new whole. I WAS WRONG! They tore us eight new holes!

    I hope Wenger is still happy counting the millions he has saved over the past few years by not signing a world-class defender that we needed, by not planning well in advance to replace Fabregas and Nasri and for looking for cheap bargains in boot

    And Tony, thanks for calling us who critise Wenger for not spending as the AAA. But we’re having the last laugh saying, we told you so!

  • Oneniltothearsenal

    Sammy,
    Why are you so happy?

  • Ronnie Brown

    AOC is a top quality signing, from just the few glimpses today can see he is a good player, when he gets the chance he will show it, how is this his fault at all? Why insult him for?

    The problem today was huge injuries and suspenions, when you have Vermaleon, Wilshere, Sagna, Gibbs, Diaby, Song, Gervinho and others all out it is gonna cause a problem, our defending was naive at times and this was costly, not to mention Manchester United scored mostly complete wonder goals today, clincal amazing spectacular goals, some of those it is impossible to do anything about, our fault is naivety in defence and also giving away uneccessary free kicks when we knew the form Rooney was in from free kicks. The positives that can be taken is Ramsey, I thought he had a good game, AOC few touches showed promise, nice run, skillful, good passing too, I was calling for AOC to start instead of Arshavin to be honest. I feel sorry for Jenkinson, injuried meant he played today, against a team of Man U’s quality we need a full strength side but we had huge costly injuried, the whole defence was quite poor as a whole, needs to be worked on in training, and I hope we sign a solid reinforcement too so we can deal with these injuries, it’s cost us not having the reinforcements in earlier, Coquelin looks tidy, really it was the defensive’s fault today, we met Man U on a day we had terrible injuries, suspensions, have sold key players which haven’t been able to be replaced and when Man U were at their peak with their flair and clincal finishing. Now we have to move on, reinforcement in the trasnfer market, particularly in midfield and defence, and start winning games, very upseting for any Arsenal fan or anyone involed in the club, but has to be forward progression now, the scorline is unacceptbale and we got to quickly and swiftly make positive moves to rectify the problems and get back to winning ways asap.

  • Ronnie Brown

    You are the AAA if your a suppossed ARSENAL fan and your having the last LAUGH after we’ve just been beat 8-2 by Man United.

  • Ronnie Brown

    “jayj
    August 28th, 2011 at 5:42 pm
    Wenger signed some Korean – why why WHY.”

    Why does the fact that he’s Korean matter? Have you seen him play? Obviously not from your post so why judge him? Let’s see what he can do.

  • BobbyP

    Arsenal’s worst defeat for 115 years – I really hope no Arsenal fan is laughing. I also hope this rams home the absolute necessity to invest in experienced quality players before the deadline.

  • Ohio Gunner

    Tony and Walter, we want to hear what you will say. 8 goals are what we deserve really? We are fans we have been asking questions since the start of this summer. Little has been answered. Whoever is responsible for our fall must answer our question. Something needs to be done and quick. This is a very sad weekend. My whole week will be a mess. I’m afraid I’m gonna get fired.

  • sahil

    fucking embarrassing

  • Chris N

    I respect and honor what Wenger has done financially, and on the pitch but I think the club just needs a new manager to lift the club. If Wenger wants to be involved in someway that is fine. I do not know what is wrong at the club but something is going on. George Graham had to leave one day and now I think Wenger day is coming or has come already. Lets put our faith in the new Manager who will bring fresh ideas, and not just transfers but tactics along with training methods, because it is becoming obvious Wenger is getting outdated.

  • Sammy

    I am NOT HAVING THE LAST LAUGH at Arsenal. I’m having the last laugh at the WENGER FANS who called us ANTI ARSENAL because we criticized his lack of investment. To be more precise, Im having a laugh at Tony and his blog.

    About the result, I am seething with anger cos this situation was avoidable. But its Wenger’s fault that we’re in this situation.

  • jayj

    Ronnie
    isn’t exactly world class is he!

  • sahil

    We need to reinforce big time but with three days left there is not much hope of seeing marque signings. We should have done business early.
    Hats off to all the travelling arsenal fans who kept singing in such difficult times, really admirable.

  • Sammy

    @ RONNIE BROWN:
    ” our fault is naivety in defence and also giving away uneccessary free kicks when we knew the form Rooney was in”

    So remind us Ronnie Brown. Since how long did we have this “naive defence”? Was it yesterday? Haven’t we been crying out aloud since past 4-5 years that we need a world class tall and tough defender? But Wenger’s penny pinching ways meant that we never addressed our defensive problems.

  • Ohio Gunner

    Ronnie Brown, I understand that you are being a bit posititve which is what all need to do now. But you have to wonder also. If we say what is not right, you do not have to call us AAA. I’m not an AAA btw. But this is really really sad. Imagine where I turned the volume off, because I wanted to avoid hearing what those commentators were saying.

    I wanted the game to end at the 60th minute but then again games do not end at that time. I tried to be calm but I cant. It’s only the 3rd day of the season and we are still findind ourselves. When was the last time you experienced that as a fan?

    You talk about injuries. Why and why we are the ones that are hit by injuries more than any other club, and those injuries happen at a crucial time like this? Plus, the guys who step in to deputise the injured, seem not to do a good job at all? Tell me fellow gunner, honestly how do you feel about it?

  • jayj

    Ronnie

    Yes I haven’t seen him have you? what does he bring to the table?
    Wenger has lost it, just watched his interview.

  • RedGooner

    Ronnie you said
    The problem today was huge injuries and suspenions

    No the problem is we have no squad and thats down to one man.
    you cant have so many players with no epl experience and all so young.
    Its criminal whats going on and if AW doesnt change his thoughts on whats needed he is in serious trouble.
    Who would want to join that team with what time is left in the transfer window ?
    Nasri must be laughing his arse off.
    No competition for places when its some teenager with no epl experience thats your competition.

    For all the times wenger has got it right and took our plaudits its time he frikken stands up and admits when he has got it wrong not just him but the board also ….The fans that travelled today should be given a refund.

  • victor

    I expected a backlash after this result. It was an unfortunate result but its not a terminal result. I am seriously optimistic about this season. Full confidence in Wenger finding the solution. All you so called called Arsenal fans who are happy with the result so you can gloat can go…….. yourselves. We will prevail.

  • jayj

    Ronnie

    You must pleased with the result. Still no criticism of our board/Wenger, oh youz loving this.

    Or may be your on the board and counting some cash!

  • Dark Prince

    I know this is going to sound odd from my side…..but pls dont lose support…..this is the worst time to be an Arsenal fan for the relatively new generation, but thru thick or thin, we need to support this team…

    I’m disappointed and angry…but helpless as well….have to keep on supporting not only the players, but the manager as well….

    Jus a msg for all my fellow gooners, there are many times when we disagree with each other, but very very very few times when we need to come together and be stronger in our support….this is probably that moment…

  • Oneniltothearsenal

    There isn’t much we can say about today. Manu played well, and we had everyone missing. We need some depth, but if we had atleast song, vermaelen and sagna, it would’ve been a very different game..let alone song/frimpong, wilshere, sagna, vermaelen, gervihno

  • Oneniltothearsenal

    Dark prince,
    Respect mate, good on you

  • Ronnie Brown

    Vermaleon is a top quality defender and he was out today, him in a defensive partnership adds to it’s effectivness with his ability and leadership of the defence, also we have tried to buy several defenders Cahill, Phil Jones, Jagelika, Samba and others, I’m not privy to the exact reasons this hasn’t been possible but I know we have tried, also Sagna was out, another on the pitch leader and a GREAT defender, one of the worlds best right backs, this severly hurt us, Gibbs was also out, these are just facts. If it was my decsion I would try to buy a central defender, and a left back, I’m hoping we can at least get in a central defender that is of a very good standard to put in when our defence isn’t showing the level required or when we have injuries. Today’s problem was not just about one defender though, it was naivty, everyone who thinks Cahill is some Godly soloution is wrong, his team concede goals too, lots of them, we need defensive training, reinforcements and maybe more discipline and organisation, I would like Samba to come in personally, and our full backs were naive defensivly and this was costly, made it more diffiuclt to the central defenders too.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Yeah I fully agree Dark Prince, we have to support Arsenal and Arsene now, all is FAR from lost, we can still do well in the league and in all the cups, reinforcements are on the way, there will be between 2-3 players incoming and we will get our players out back which is vital.

  • Simon Bailey

    laugh??? there’s noone laughing here. We all knew this was going to be at best a tricky match. We played a half-team against an on-fire united. I agree with some of the comments on here that the van persie penalty miss was a pivotal moment in the game. sammy and jayj seem to revel in the rest of our collective discomfort. seeing as none of us have any control over what happens at the emirates it would do the whole fan base a great service if we all could, especially at this difficult time, pull together. the board wont sack arsene, he will only buy the players he wants to, and we may well have a tricky season ahead of us. It doesnt matter if our seat prices are higher than the rest, if you dont like it vote with your feet and fuck off. it appears that the waiting list for £1000+ season tickets is still as long as upper street.

    Imagine the worst that could happen; we get relagated at the end of the season, we win no silverware and all our players leave. I am still going to be an arsenal supporter, i will still go and see them play and sing the songs.
    supporters have every right to voice their dissatisfaction on how the team are playing and how little progress we seem to be making, but it would be better for everybody if they didnt seem to enjoy it so much.

    we have 2 weeks to get players fit, maybe add to our team, and settle ourselves before swansea visit us at the emirates. Things may not be much better, but at least the window will have closed and we’ll know what team weve got.

    A bad day at the office to be sure but only a blip.

    C’mon the Arsenal!!!!

  • Sammy

    @ VICTOR
    “I expected a backlash after this result. It was an unfortunate result but its not a terminal result. I am seriously optimistic about this season. Full confidence in Wenger finding the solution.”

    ================================

    By the Victor, Arsenal’s stats in past 14 EPL games (since March 2011 when we lost the CC final) are as follows – 2 Wins, 5 Losses and 7 Draws. We’ve taken 13 points and dropped 29 points out of total 42 points available. That is 0.93 points per game or 31% of points available. FYI, two teams out of 3 who were relegated last season took 34.21% of the points available.

    So we’re still waiting for Mr. Wenger to work his magic, as we’ve been waiting for past 6 years.

  • tibor

    I´m expecting some stupid positive blog from Tony. Something as “referee was bad” “we scored two goals at manchester”. Its boring about your “refwatch”, its not refereesˇ fault, that we play boring boring arsenal last two months.

  • Ronnie Brown

    No I haven’t seen the new striker other than youtube either, my point was there’s no point judging him before he plays, many players than have become Arsenal legends we haven’t seen before they played for us, let’s give him a chance to see what he’s like before writing him off and insulting him.

  • jayj

    Problem with this team there is no depth, Ramsey/Wiltshire get inured or what ever then we are fucked the likes of Doujoru, Traore couldn’t get into league1 team and yet we have them. Wenger has been lazy 1st it was Aluminia,then he wont signed a defender, nasri/cesc left, no re-inforcements, poor quality in the reserves. This is bad, we are now a selling club we cant hold onto our players.

  • bob

    This hit-bottom day was the end of the pre-season. Four days to bring in the rest of what should already have been here. And so, we start again, with an 8 point handicap. To be honest, for me, this worst day started when we did not bring in quality depth in defense last January. AFC’s failure/refusal to hear MANY calls for this when TV was still down (and yes, rumored to be coming back, but no one knew for sure or when) and we were facing a murderous Jan-Feb schedule of soooo many meaningful games in so little time. The refusal to spend and reinforce then has led to this. No one was in position to win the League last year, and it was ours to lose. The way we lost then, to repeat, was not to have tried to bring in the needed defensive depth. Samba, Cahill, all named then as people to bring in and cover us. And with so many contests we could/would have had to rotate them a lot – so lots of playing time and none of that “oh they won’t want to sit on the bench, now, would they.” No, because they would have played. But the gamble was on by AFC (I don not know how to allocate the internal blame) to get by on the cheap. If we spent then we could have won a few cups, maybe even the EPL. Would that have had an impact on Cesc/Nasri staying or leaving? Hard to say. Or on some players who’ve said no in this transfer window to want to say yes to us, as only a year ago more would have? Hard to say. But to me that “cost-effective” decision – a gamble really – was a disastrous decision and we are paying the price for it today. What’s left? Swallow our wounded egos and broken hearts and watch the next four days for the promise of quality to materialize. If it does not, and it’s down to four days and we have money (despite what some accountants here have protested), in fact must-spend money in order to deliver up a respectable season. To me, it’s not Arsene who’s on trial, but the scouting system and Mr. Law who I do not find a credible closer; not the one to close RvP’s ears to the growing crescendos of his agent, Dein the Lesser, who is salivating as you read to “turn the boy’s head” and make another killing on a forced transfer by his client, our captain. We have four days in my view to start a proper season to be proud of. Today, injuries and suspensions nothwithstanding, there was neither quality nor depth to show on that manure-spread pitch. Let’s be truthful and stay together so we can rise from the ashes.

  • Simon Bailey

    absolutely dark prince, we have to stand shoulder to shoulder in these dark times.

    every cloud has a silver lining, we may not be able to see it right now, but it will come.

  • Sammy

    @SIMON BAILEY
    “Sammy and jayj seem to revel in the rest of our collective discomfort”

    Once again, I neither laugh at Arsenal nor at the Arsenal FANS . At laugh at the WENGER FANS who think everyone who criticizes Wenger is ANTI ARSENAL.

    If you think this is blip, read about the stats I’ve wrote in my previous comment. Any other manager would’ve lost his sleep, but our stupid stubborn manager not only managed to lose two of our best players, but only managed to sign one half-decent winger and few teenagers.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Are you serious JayJ? That’s a ridculous and childish thing to say, I’m very upset with the result and have been an Arsenal fan all my life, before the glory days, just cause I’m not throwing a strop behind a keyboard like you doesn’t mean I’m pleased with the result.

  • sahil

    @Dark Prince: I dont know about others but i will support this club till i die…but it is just so embarrassing right know so frustrating feels like i just got raped. What this will do the confidence of our players god knows.
    3 days left i dont think anything substantial is gonna happen, how could we come to this.

  • sahil

    But as you say we gotta support the players and the manager right
    now

  • Shard

    Well that was embarrassing. It is simply not acceptable. But now that it has happened. What now?? i agree with Dark Prince. Now is the time more than ever to get behind the team, and not add to the crescendo that will inevitably follow a result like that. But.. I think we need to ask some tough questions to the board and the manager at some point. I cannot believe the manager doesn’t see our shortcomings and doesn’t move to address them. I believe he has a lot less cash at hand than is generally believed. However, 3 days left to buy the 3-4 players, that we need. We just added 2-3 million to the price tag of our targets with that performance. Time to spend. Time to spend big as well, and make a statement. Posturing is important as well, and our status just took a huge beating. Time for everyone- The players, the coaching staff, the BOARD, and the fans- to step up, and be counted to make us not just recover, but to progress to the top.

  • Sammy

    @ SAMMY.

    I’ve been supporting this club before Wenger came, and will continue to do so after he does. Instead of asking us to f*** off, YOU F*** OFF to wherever Wenger goes after he’s done with Arsenal! TW@T!

  • jayj

    Ronnie

    No-one has insulted him but at this time we cant count on a hit/miss player, we need to sign recognised players, we need to know our club is going forward.

  • Simon Bailey

    sammy your stats are based on a very narrow set of figures. try doing the same analysis on the last 5 or ten years. add in the bias and ref bolixxing that has gone on and i am sure the figures will look a damn sight better.
    you say youve been waiting for the last 6 years, how long have the spuds fans had to wait, or bolton or villa or. or. etc. I have been supporting arsenal for 30 years and when i take the long view, Arsene has been the best manager i can remember us having.

  • Simon Bailey

    sammy, those who shout the loudest normally have the least to say.

  • Sammy

    APOLOGIES. SORRY I GOT CARRIED AWAY.

    I must see the brighter side. Being in the Champions League for the 14th year is more important then winning any trophies right? And look how many young players we have assembled in past six years, so what if they will f*** off at the whiff of a bigger team coming for them! And who cares about this 8-2 humiliation! The profit we’ll make at the end of the year will make up for it! Right? VIVA LE WENGER!

  • Ohio Gunner

    Dark Prince said we should stick together, and he’s right. But again, I would not like to be in a position where everybody would say “Once a while ago Arsenal were a big team. They are not anymore”. That is why some serious questions need to be answered. Kudos to the travelling fans. They were there more than us. Arsenal till I die.

  • RedGooner

    Ronnie sorry but gotta disagree with you on the defensive issues.
    Anyone watching Arsenal the past few seasons knows well Gibbs suffers with injuries, Now when Clychy was sold I wasnt worried because I thought we would buy a centre back and use vermallen there but no that didnt happen.
    And for all Eboues faults he was far better cover than a lad whos 17 and was playing non league football 12 mths ago.
    We had a defence that needed improving slightly last year and instead weakened it.
    You cant blindly say we were unlucky with injuries when everyone whos anyone knew it needed adressing.
    Another dissapointing note was why didnt we with all the players that were
    missing go out and set our stall out not to concede and have a plan B give the defence extra cover.
    Another thing that amazed me was removing coquellin for an attacking minded player when coquellin was doing great today ….pure madness even if he was tired.

  • Simon Bailey

    at the beginning of last season we were completely written off by all and sundry who thought they knew better. this season will come around for us. all we need to do is string a couple of wins together after the international break and we will be back on track. at the end of this season, today will be a mere memory. I would rather win righteously than buy our silverware, and arsene has shown that he is just about the only manger capable of doing this in the PL.

  • Ohio Gunner

    Sammy, tell them!

  • Well that was a 90minute nightmare.Its clear to everyone that that was a culmination of…1 We cant hide behind it but we were missing the following,vermaelen,sagna,frimpong,song,gervinho,gibbs and wilshere.2 There is no hiding it our squad is worringly thin and streched(we have gone from last year having the best squad to the weakest in the top 5…no disrespect but who were those people on our bench?)3 We had some players today that are not fit to wear the shirt.,dhourou,armand traore(im going to be blunt if the two of them were being marked out of 20 i would give them 0).I have being saying for years that traore is crap and not even premier league standard(DID YOU GUYS SEE HIM SMILING AT FULL TIME!!!BLOODY NERVE)4 Man utd were good today and at full strength.5 There was no belief after we missed the penalty.6 We failed to adjust our tactics. All in all a humiliating game today but we must trust that wenger will fix it.Arsenal for life!

  • bob

    p.s. And, as an affordable extra: bring back Sol Campbell as a player-coach to take Squillachi’s spot, so that his fire in the belly, his defensive nous, his refusal to accept defeat, will rub off on the young defense. That is worth a lot of money. In with Sol, out with Squid, and it is a step for the better. Because it better is better. Because there’s no apparent defensive coaching lessons or system or communication that seems to stick. No shape to too high a line. I say, bring back Sol to show a recommitment to the defense, to raise spirits, and, yes, not to deplete the bank vault in unaffordable ways. How’s that: Sol (who is in shape) as player coach for Squid (yes, eat his useless salary, we can afford it) as a small but meaningful step both off and on our pitch.

  • jayj

    Look people we can all go on about our barebone squad but we shouldn’t, even Bolton would been more of a match. We are weak big time, Doujouru, Traore two players who’s involvement today has cost not just points but also harmed the rest of the squad and not only handing manure the biggest win to date and written our demise in history.

    If we really love our club then we should let this been known.

  • Ronnie Brown

    @Red Gooner, your not really disagreeing with me cause I agree with much of what you said, if it was up to me I wouldn’t have sold Cliche or Eboue. I didn’t say it was JUST injuries but injuries undoubetly played a part, this wouldn’t have happened if we had Verm, Sagna and Gibbs there. Arsene said he took a gamble bringing on a more offensive player, this time it didn’t pay off, we were kind of unlucky in that regard as they scored before AOC could make an impact which ended the game competivly.

  • jayj

    You have to pay money for class!
    We are to cheap.

  • Muru

    8-2 loss… I can only take a deep breathe now…

    Man, what character changing experience will this bring about to our players… I do strongly believe that in such great diversity, a few of our players will showcase a hardened type of mentality towards future challenges. Ramsey showed that he’s strong mentally, having gone through his injury nightmare. He just kept trying and trying.

    Next up, I thought Jenkinson played very well given such a circumstance. Never mind his red card, that is part of growing pains! I noticed his determination in his eyes. Good physique and speed, he’ll grow on to be a legend in Arsenal.

    Let’s face it, a loss is a loss! No matter the scoreline… Life still carries on, I think. I’ll be there next week to support Arsenal FC. Being negative doesn’t make me a better person, thus, I would, very much adopt a forward looking attitude. There is still a war to be fought, let’s bare our will!

    Cheer on fellow Gunners…

  • Ronnie Brown

    He’s an interntional captain not a complete unknown kid.

  • Ronnie Brown

    RVP is class, didn’t cost much.

  • jayj

    Ronnie

    All due respect even playing for San Marino makes one an international, right now we should be looking at someone who could raise spirits.

    Ronnie today is hard to take.

  • jayj

    Ronnie

    Again RVP has yet to have full season without any hiccups. Yes he didn’t cost much neither did squid!

  • goonergerry

    This is a bad one-thank god we weren’t playing City. No United are not worldbeaters-we have no defensive organisation whatsoever and no pattern to our midfield. We played like a demoralised team. Weakened -well beaten yes- expected that but this is the worst defeat in my living memory. Embarrassing? More than that. A non-league side would have put up a better show of defending.
    This result will reverberate around the world.

  • jayj

    goonergerry

    I’m glad you seeing what I’m trying to spell out others!

  • adam t

    Just got my comment deleted from Arsenal Action cos I said they were predictable with the Wenger Out situation lol.

    It wasn’t the best situation I agree with TV and Sagna out for starters but looks like two defenders will be needed as Djourou was shocking today!

  • Arsefactor

    Why is no-one talking about the 4-3-3 formation we lined up with?
    Why does Wenger persist with it when we don’t have anything like the players we need to play it.
    Even last year with Cesc and Nasri we struggled with it.
    This is a formation only Barca can pull off with any success.
    I don’t care who we sign in the next few day, we won’t have any success playing this formation.
    How we still persisted with it even when the match became damage limitation is beyond me.
    Wenger is tactically naive and always has been but it shows up much more when he has a poor squad.
    I don’t think there is 1 fan/pundit/housewife in 10 that would have played 4-3-3 away from home against united with that squad of players.
    People seem to think new signings will fix things, trust me it won’t.

  • Arvind

    Stay together guys. We got ripped. Yes. Nothing we can do but show as much support as we can and trust AW and the team to get it together. There will be enough trash (some of it justified) written today and tomorrow by the media. The guys will read that (not that they need to) and know they have done poorly. That’s punishment enough..I am sure they are hurting too.

    Lets back them and stay united on Untold at least. Yes criticize by all means, there is a lot of it that is justified after today – but lets stay respectful – a request from my side.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Oh Lord, HOW DO WE SUGARCOAT THIS ONE?

    Let’s look at the positives: We finally scored! We’re breaking records (unfortunately all the wrong ones, red cards, goals conceded, etc…), we don’t play for 2 weeks…

    Better days will come, hold strong fellow Gooners.

    Keep The Faith.

  • bob

    Alex,
    Just about right, but to be one drop more factual: United were not at full strength: Vidic and Ferdinand did not play. If they did they might have had a clean sheet today. That gives serious pause.

    Many here like Shard have been saying all summer that needed 3 new players, and now, that we still need 3-4 capable players. Arsene too has lately said we need 3. And Martin ___, the ex-Arsenal player who was color man today on Arsenal Player and who LOVES the team with a palpable passion is calling for 5-6 signings.

    And some of us like RedGooner have been saying that the defense still needs shoring up, going by the evidence of our eyes as opposed to the reassurance of stats that we’re actually Ok in that dept. We might be in the statistical aggregate (whatever it means in practice), but not at specific key moments. And mostly we are not Ok because we have had no depth or even defensive nous it seems beyond 3 of the starting 4, several of whom are arguably injury-prone. (Clichy has not been successfully replaced.) Even the biased TV presenter was accurate in predicting – on the air before it then came true – that we were playing way too high a defensive back line and it was way too easy to exploit; and (for both Rooney’s set piece goals) that Szez needed someone with him on the line back there, if only to dissuade Rooney from bending it in at least one direction. This bent-presenter said this twice, before both goals. He cannot be a genius. And I sure am nothing near that. But is seems that something is terribly wrong in our defensive training, preparation and/or backup players. And that set piece problem that doesn’t get dealt with?

  • jayj

    My criticism is for Wenger/board and the two clowns Traore and Doujouru.

    The rest of the team tried, Jenkinson is one player who would of walked today with his head held higher. The boy gave it his all and never looked out of place, I’m glad his on my team I’m sure he’ll become a legend.

  • Even the most pro-Wengerite has got to accept that to go to the Old Toilet with the intention of attacking them, we were going to get flushed…
    Could we have turned up, parked the bus and kept the scoreline respectable? Possibly no, not with the players available.
    But to claim we have no squad depth is ludicrous. Any team turning up without their first choice CB, their first choice RB, their first choice DM, their first choice CM, their first choice LWF…
    YOU’RE ONLY ALLOWED 25 PLAYERS OVER 21 YOU MORONS.
    Only ManCity have a squad where every backup is roughly as good as the nominal first choice. Our opponents today don’t have two teams worth of players, Chelsea certainly don’t. Chelsea imploded last season without three first choice players FFS!
    On the positive side, we’ve started scoring in the league, we scored two at OT for the first time in a very long time. That and that we have so many players either suspended or injured are about the only positives to take from this debacle.

  • jayj

    Woolwich Peripatetic

    our 2nd choice CB is totally rubbish and you can add 2nd choice LB as well.

  • Mandy dodd

    Firstly, the arsenal supporters on here who want only bad for this club at the moment, well done, you have had your finest day, enjoy.
    As for the performance, what can you say. Injuries, suspensions, lack of signings, yes we have seen it all before and yes, seems like issues have not been dealt with.
    I do not know if wenger is to blame or our management structure, but something is not working and somebody should be held accountable. Are negotiators failing to close deals or is wenger supervising underbidding? I do not know and would like info from anyone who does!
    This situations is not acceptable. Confidence and careers could have been ruined out there.
    2011 has been the worst year of wengers reign, does it coincide with new owners, other clubs with more to spend, an agent I could think of who is not finished with us, wenger losing the plot, at the moment I do not know.
    Issues need adressing

  • jayj

    Mandy dodd

    “Firstly, the arsenal supporters on here who want only bad for this club at the moment, well done, you have had your finest day, enjoy.”, I dont think anyone is happy here!

  • bob

    Woolwich,
    I’d be a bit more careful about using Morono’s name in vain (let alone in caps). Pray, let’s all take stock on the depth question. It’s not only ManShitty have depth. Today’s beloved opponent also has depth:
    Injured and missing were both Vidic and Ferdinand.
    Today’s injured goal-scorer Danny Welbeck was replaced from the bench by Nani.
    Now I have no love for Don Fergus, as you well know. But there is something that ManUre has got going in the scouting department and in the ability to close deals department, and in the defensive nous department that we who, like you, also love AFC (and who might be Morons in your estimation, even those of us who are paid members to meet your criterion of having the right to an opinion), might be humble enough, today, to learn from or to steal from.

  • Ugandan Goon

    @jayj,
    i think what Mandy meant was that you have your wish and everybody is unhappy today!

  • jayj

    I’m starting to think may be Wenger or the board are pushing these penny pinching tactics too hard. Many of our bids fail to materialise and then we are left with 2nd rate players meeting the minimum requirements.

    Its gone on too long why are we losing big players come the transfer window? We have lost so many our club is hiding something which once known to the player then they want OUT.

    Could Wenger/Board be penny pinching on contract extensions, if that’s the case then we’re fucked.

  • BobbyP

    @Woolwich

    United were missing both first choice CBs, and their first choice RB (plus Valencia). Problem is, our defensive back-ups just aren’t good enough at the moment. This needs to change before deadline day.
    I agree that the team set-up was very naive, especially the high line at the back (along with the confused offside trap)

  • jayj

    Ugandan Goon

    Glad your not.

  • bob

    p.s. as for our two (first in a long time at OT) goals, they were great and I cheered with vengeance in my heart; but, WP, for a degree of perspective, they were also scored on a brand new boy keeper, one (Theo’s) through his legs, and not on The Vander Saar. Then again, they all count, on both sides. I’m not relishing pointing this out, btw. But there are problems, in my moronic opinion, that are not only about having injuries and suspensions, and not being willing to look with eyes open does not help AFC to win matches. Now that may not matter to some, but that is a question to ponder as we look in our mirrors.

  • Ugandan Goon

    @jayj,
    i think what Mandy meant was that you should be satisfied, you predicted this for along time, and finally it has come to pass, perhaps we will pay more attention to your comments in future, i for one am going to organise a petition to sign samba and cahill and to bring back adebeyor!

  • RedGooner

    Bob you hit the nail on the head we are the only EPL team trying to play with a back line that high its hard to watch at the best of times.

    The only positive thing is there is only one way to go and thats up.
    The scary part is what must RVP and Walcott be thinking considering next summer they have 1 year each left on their contracts respectively.
    I think the club are not been honest with the fans and the PR is bad its getting to the stage where they treating us like we are stupid.

    Our form now since the carling cup final is DDDWDDWDDLWLLDDLL
    something needs to be adressed because 5 losses and 3 draws from our last 9 EPL matches a total of 6 points from 27 isnt good enough.

    We wont have as bad a season as some people might think but there are lots of issues to be addressed.

  • jayj

    Ugandan Goon

    You’ll be wanting the lottery numbers next. You’ll learn much just wait and see.

  • jayj

    Does anyone think after todays showing it will be more difficult to sign players?

  • RedGooner

    Ugandan all joking aside and I dont like adebayour.
    But he would have been a better signing than a 19 year old from costarica who couldnt get a work permit as he wasnt deemed a special enough talent.
    Hey its ok though he will be in 5 years but our problems are now.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    I greatly appreciate your honest soul searching. There’s an interesting, relatively balanced and in-depth description of AFC problems that are not reducible to Arsene Out, in yesterday’s Guardian by Amy Lawrence (not one of their unholy trinity of Arsenal-haters) that’s well worth a read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/aug/27/arsenal-arsene-wenger-transfers?intcmp=239
    And one reason to do everything we can to right the ship is to end the gloating by The Rooney:
    “A lot of my milestone goals have come against Arsenal,” he added. “My first goal when I was at Everton was against them and my first United goal in the Premier League came against them too.”

  • Ugandan Goon

    redgooner,
    I am sorry, buddy!- i am still in mourning!

  • Ugandan Goon

    Jayj,
    sarcasm is just wasted on you!

  • bob

    Arvind,
    I’m looking forward to learning a lot from your review of the Defense for this match. If you can draw any constructive lessons from it, now is surely the time. Better that we achieve defensive nous than show defensive nous about what played out on the pitch today. Anyway, I’m eager to read your work.

  • bob

    Ugandan Goon,
    That petition of yours to sign Samba and Cahill is one transfer window too late. Then again, there’s four days, so why not hold your nose and post that petition. Yes, I know you were being sarcastic, but, in truth, we could do so much worse than either of those two signings, right now, even 7 months late. (Unless of course, not spending for the sake of not spending is your thing?)

  • RedGooner

    I think we all are dissapointed Ugandan.
    But it wouldnt surprise me either if we win the next 3 games in a row and take the pressure of little.
    So its not all doom and gloom but we do need an experienced defender and creative central midfielder to replace Cesc more so than Nasri.
    6 days left to get them and the season can be saved its not a huge ask.

  • It was a most undesirable result but a wake up call all the same. AW has been over optimistic in his reliance on some members of that team. No names will be given he knows them. Every opportunity they foul up; this time with a sickening big thud that vibrated around the globe!

    AW should wake up and take those hard decisions he has been putting off for such a long time or someone else would do it for him and before he realizes it he might be out of work. I hate to see him go at this point or in the near future or until project youth delivers. When? Only AW has a reasonable estimate for another date. In my opinion, it should have been in 2010/11 if he had bought at least one defender in January 2011 but he delayed unnecessarily and hung his hope on Vermaelen’s availability.

    That failed to materialize and now this royal thrashing from a team I would not like to call its name. We should rise up to his defense and allow him time to right this “wrong”. There is probably more than we all know that is going on in AFC that gave rise to this sort of outcome and the unending saga of transfers, in or out.

    Sometimes I would comment that nothing is so easy that AFC would not find a way to make it complicated. The 2 matches against Leyton Orient and other lesser teams that we laboured so heavily to deliver any acceptable results. Newcastle’s 4 – 4 was another one. In this adversity he will find the answers he seeks to his team problems. I hope he would have the courage to look them in the eye and take decisive action.

    The problem is probably not as simple as we would like to believe; it is certainly not down to buying players alone. There must be a myriad others: coaching staff? finance? training methods? the caliber of playing staff?, lack of mentors within the team? AW’s blind allegiance to the young guns? lack of competition for almost all positions?, inadequate playing personnel? And as many as one can associate with putting together a formidable team to beat all comers.

    The apparent runaway success of the other teams makes it look all too glaring to us but lets take a deep breath and re-assess out options before taking any knee-jerk actions. AW has my full confidence but he needs to do the right thing(s) NOW.

  • Mandy dodd

    Thanks for the link bob, interesting. Would love to hear some words from Ivan or stan, I know he hides behind takeover rules but that has not stopped the liverpool owners? Just seems there is a lack of direction at the moment ref the article. I do not know if all is wengers fault. But he will take the flak.
    As for my earlier comments, I just do not especially like some of the gloating. I think the situation is more complex than is reported. some want wenger out, but as David deaid and Saf said who can replace him?
    Blame wenger if you want but before i judge him, I want to hear a lot more from the board than we are hearing at the moment. Wengers record in footballs proven, I wonder about some of those around him though.

  • bob

    Bobome,
    I appreciate that you are among a few with remembering the importance of this event:
    “In my opinion, it should have been in 2010/11 if he had bought at least one defender in January 2011 but he delayed unnecessarily and hung his hope on Vermaelen’s availability.”
    Imo, we must not repeat the same mistake by failing to purchase at least one more quality defender. We need both quality and depth in the defense and we need it now. Today’s defensive so-called performance shows that there is more wrong in that department – and with the link-up with the midfield, alas! – than just the injuries. Doesn’t coaching and better tactics extend to reserves? I move that we bring back Sol Campbell as a defensive player-coach and swap him for Squillachi’s (and swallow his contract) as one necessary step forward.

  • jayj

    This may well be the best result, not even Wenger/board can try to cover the cracks. Now the fans are questioning the daily operation and player development. Wengers youth project should of ended last season he clearly stated that but here we are again flexing our muscles to sign youngsters, Wenger unquestionable point is to prove everyone else is wrong and he right in this mad world, but he’ll lose.

  • Arvind

    @Bob: I’ll try my best. I have my numbers filled up and hope to have something up tomorrow. I tell you though… I was tempted to just chuck the whole thing in today.. goal after goal after goal…just painful.

  • Pete

    Well, I’m probably pretty much a lone voice here, in that I think we played pretty well, especially considering how inexperienced much of the team was.

    7 of the 8 goals by Man U were unstoppable wonder goals (the other was a penalty from what looked to me like a dive, but there you go). We could easily have scored a couple more goals ourselves, apart from our poor penalty and some good saves by the other keeper. 2 goals at Man U is a pretty good result for most sides.

    The match was a one off, probably won’t see anything like it again in my lifetime. At least, I hope not. 🙂

    Looking forward to the next match – our luck can only improve from here!!

  • Sammy

    Just found this gem from Wenger on the Arsenal website regarding whether there are gonna be any reinforcements after the humiliation at the hands of Man Utd – “I am very open if we can find the right players. We have the money to sign players. If we find players who can strengthen our team then we will do it. But I am not the only one to work on the case, we have 20 people who are working on that. If we do not do it, it is because we don’t find them.”

    Now remind me, but since how many years have we known the gaping holes in our defence? But he still couldn’t find a decent CB!

    We all know Mata went to Chelsea for less than what Arsenal got for Nasri. Manchester United found the players they wanted to buy. So did Man City and Liverpool. Even Tottenham.

    But it seems Wenger has used his old “I did not see the incident” trick on his own fans now.

    And here is another gem “We have played three games in the Premier League, give me more time before saying that I have got it completely wrong.” – Well he said the same thing last season, that “judge me at the end of the season”. We all know what happened last year.

    This is beyond ridiculous! Oh well, atleast he is generating profits, so that should keep this blog happy. After all, profits are more important then trophies, right?

  • bob

    Arvind,
    no don’t chuck it all – we can learn at least something constructive from this and you can help us to make that further analysis possible. Cheers, it’s a tough ask of anyone 🙂

  • Arvind

    @Pete: I think so too to an extent..I’ll explain later in an article I hope to put out tomorrow.

    However I’d say both of Rooney’s free kicks and both of Young’s goals were kind of unstoppable. The penalty is a lottery. The other 3 were mistakes.

  • Sammy

    Fans who are making excuses about Arsenal losing players due to injury should also remember that Man Utd were also missing equal number of 1st choice players through injury. But they didn’t ship 8 goals!

  • Pete

    @Arvind Thanks, so not just me then. 🙂

    Incredible how negative so many people are – on this site, of all sites.

    Sometimes one side just can’t miss – nothing that can be done when that happens. When that happens, you just have to take it on the chin, keep perspective and not take it personally. Brush down and move on.

    I think we played positively, defended with a lot of guts, and played pretty well all over the pitch. Man U played very well too, but simply couldn’t miss – everything they touched turned to gold today. Hats off to them, it happens.

    About the only good luck we had was that Arshavin was lucky to stay on the pitch; of course, he was also unlucky not to score…

    Our two goals were very good IMO. The latter particularly impressive, in the way the young right back kept on going despite his inexperience, and made the goal for RVP’s lovely finish.

    So, a curate’s egg for me. Not a bad performance, but of course a horrible result. Move along folks, next match to come.

  • Clerkenwell Gooner

    The fact that the Ox and the Coq debuted today says it all, really – more the type of team we’ve seen in the past few years for Carling Cup games. And I feel for the lads, no fun to be on the end of a beating like that.

    But there is pretty much a whole season ahead, and once it was clear we couldn’t win it, AW put on Henri Lansbury, possibly for his last-ever Arsenal game.

    As for departures, Denilson and Eboué have gone, and likely Bendtner will follow. The departures of Cesc and Nasri I don’t think AW could do anything about. (Whether Nasri was part of a long-game Marseilles-related complot, who knows?) Nasri has been replaced by Gervinho. As for Cesc – who the f**k in the world can replace him?

    On signings, I suspect that qualification for CL football has been an issue, that is, big names would not commit to us without it being secured – and that was only done last Wednesday.

    So now we’ll see who comes in in these last few days. (I fully support AW’s prudential management policy – both regarding what the club will pay for players, and how much it will pay them in wages. La Liga has just returned from a strike (“to the death,” according to Iker Casillas) because several Spanish clubs are in bankruptcy protection, and not able to pay their employees/players. I don’t want AFC to be buried in debt, and put at risk that way. The bubble in football, resisted by Arsenal and Wenger, will burst one day – and sooner rather than later, given the state of the world economy – and Arsenal will still be there – while Man Utd as we speak is attempting to float itself on the Singapore stock market, ffs.

    What is bizarre is the flurry of red cards/suspensions we have been afflicted with so early on. I expect the disruption caused by the Cesc/Nasri double whammy, and with other big players like RvP entering the final phase of their contracts, everyone – apart from Manny Frimpong, who seems like a rock – is feeling a little unsettled, and when there is psychological tension, mistakes get made.

    I hope during the interlull, players will gradually return from injury, and if we can put a few past Swansea in our next match, that things will then buck up.

    Today was pretty much always going to be a write-off. COYG.

  • jayj

    Over the years our expectation have lowered, and yet Wenger cant do wrong.

  • Sean

    Came on here a few years ago and suggested that Arsenal’s ‘youth team’ exploits in the League Cup were not as great as the media and the Arsenal support thought they were.

    I said then that I thought it was about time that AFC tried to ‘win’ something.

    Of course, the tragedy (and this is even more pertinent after the Udinese result) is that success is now fourth place.
    Probably won’t get many people agreeing with me but I think the best thing that could happen to AFC is that they ‘don’t’ qualify for the ‘Champions’ League next year.
    This perpetual gravy train has covered up the cracks and is considered success in itself.

    Finishing fourth in the league isn’t success, and a youth team worth millions beating Shrewsbury, worth thousands, at home next month also isn’t success.

  • bob

    Sammy,
    In fairness, ManUre did not just lose their two best players on top of the 4 or so starters that we also were missing. I think you have a point, that they too were injured and still have more quality depth; but don’t be unfair about the disproportionate relative disadvantage that our losing Cesc and Nasri puts us at compared to their offense. The defensive injuries TV and Sagna and Gibbs can be weighed against their missing Ferdinand and Vidic, which shows they have more defensive depth. But our loss of Cesc and Nasri does us proportionately more damage than their loss of Valencia (is it) and Welbeck (with Nani in the wings to replace him). If you want to compare like to like, then how would they be on offense losing both Rooney and one of Welbeck or Nani. That’s how much our not replacing Cesc and Nasri impacts us. And that’s what I think is unfair about your analysis and which makes it feel like piling on.

  • Mandy dodd

    Agree with some of your analysis clerks well but we should not be left in this position at this or any other stage of the season. Everyone knew cesc was going, why not pull out all stops for mata? Why rely on the injury prone Gibbs and the unreliable Traore at lb? Everyone knows we need a defender why so late? Yes some clubs face financial uncertainty, Liverpool did recently but now look in a much better position than we do for all our prudence.
    My point, I am starting to think the board or owner are starting to expect too much from wengers alchemy and the team are suffering. As wenger said today, it is not just him but twenty others involved in signing players, is this dig?
    As I said earlier, I would love to hear stans plans and from the horses mouth. Wenger is no fool he knows what is wrong but is he backed from above?

  • Sammy

    @ BOB.

    You are right. Nasri and Cesc’s departure cost us a lot. And I am not blaming the team – they played according to their ability and maturity and it showed.

    But wasn’t it Wenger’s responsibility to get adequate replacement well in time since every man and his dog knew that Cesc and Nasri are going to leave?

    And how about defence? We’ve had problems since years and he only recently submitted a bid for Cahill which is way below Bolton’s valuations.

    In a few days, Wenger will come out and say that we tried but we didn’t find players who could improve on the teams quality. That will be the end of it. The Board will be happy with the profits he has generated. Only the Arsenal fans will be fleeced!

  • Mandy dodd

    On top of this wenger said he would do everything he could to keep nasri, who did rather well today. Again, was he backed in doing everything he could to keep him? Something has spooked the team in 2011, and maybe wenger as well.
    People upset, understandably , with the current situation need to assess carefully where they lay the blame. Something seems wrong but what is the source of the problems?

  • M.V

    Sometimes the problem seems to be that ALL the small things – are going against Arsenal, like the penalty miss, (when we finally got a soft penalty) or the two chances prior to the 4-1 goal (which I’m not sure was a freekick to begin with), small things that make all the difference in fotball….It seems like a mental thing.
    The negativity of the pundits made me wanna slappa their face…it was only 1 game of fotball. 3 points next game is more important.

  • jayj

    Mandy dodd

    Lack of signings due to lack of finances, therefore lack of ambition.

    Stan like every yank wants money for nothing, looking at his sports venture is team are mediocre at best.

  • Mandy dodd

    Jayj there may well be a lack of ambition at the club but am not convinced it is all down to wenger. Would be very interested to see where the money is going and how much is available to wenger, maybe mr usmanov could oblige as he has threatened. Something is holding the club back but we do not know if it is wenger, is he the one who came up with the bid price for Cahill or mata, or someone else? Levy does that sort of thing for spurs after all, the difference is we know his role for spurs, we do not really know much about goes on with transfers at arsenal. As I say, something seems to have spooked wenger and the players since the new owner came in, the owner keeps quiet, Ivan speaks in platitudes, dein says wenger could quit, somebody messes up with nasris contract, nasri praises wenger but questions the clubs ambition in line with previous departing players, our chief negotiator spends a week on Joel Campbell but wenger says departing players took up too much time to bring in all the new signings he wanted, Make of all that what you will, and I am not sure what to make of things. But I am not convinced wenger is the author of all our recent misfortune.

  • bjtgooner

    @ Mandy dodd

    I think you are correct – something has spooked the team just after or just before the Carling Cup final.

    From that time they have not been the same. It could be a loss of confidence, a feeling that they cannot win when they really should – shafted by refs; the continual backstabbing by the AAA and media. Recently this has been compounded by the Cesc/Nasrigate and injuries/suspensions. It has been awful for fans and must be even worse for the team, but like you I feel something else is wrong – not sure what.

    Regarding agents, do we how many of our players Dien the Lesser represents? (Bob, I like your expression for this parasite).

    For now the guys will be really down. Lets back them 100%!

  • Clock Ender

    *sound of head banging against desk*

    Here we go guys, back to the bad old days of the eighties.

    Still, look on the bright side. I won £240 from that result.

    My cousin has been a gooner all his life and a season ticket holder for over 20 years. He confirmed that fights have begun breaking out on the North Bank in recent home games between people who want Wenger out and people who want him to stay.

    This is only going to get worse after this result. If we don’t get an experienced defender and midfielder signed then we can buckle up for a very rough ride. I just hope it isn’t a fatal one after this poor start.

  • Mandy dodd

    Bjt, wish I knew what really is wrong. Nasri was going to sign, something changed his mind around about then, money, the cc performance or something else. Things are very hard for the fans as this is a very secretive club.
    As for dein the lesser, think he now has Theo and rvp, but cannot confirm that. He seems to have some sort of vendetta against the club!
    Maybe we are just seeing financial prudence and a bit of player power but I think even wenger has hinted at problems from above. The link bob provided is interesting.
    A lack of stability and clear vision in the stan vs usmanov battle? Outside undermining by powerful forces with an agenda? Or just a side weakened by suspensions, injuries and a state of flux with layers coming and going. I would feel a lot better if I knew the answer!
    Wenger, is he a stubborn man hindering the club, a man whose love of the club transcends poor leadership from above who risks his rep to guide us through choppy waters, or just , for the moment an unlucky victim of circumstance?

  • jayj

    I think too is given to this wenger/board theory, we forget its us the supporters with the real power, at the end our voice speaks more than any bank balance and this should be the time to use it, not against anyone but all we want to know is whats happening in our club.

  • Gunz

    OMG! So much negativity. Tony+Walter, think you should start collecting stats/numbers on the amount of Arsenal/Wenger bashing comments left on here. Let’s call it ‘Supporter Review/Watch’, we can then see who the worst offenders are. Come on lads, it’s been a bad day. The season is not over yet.

  • RedGooner

    Clerk,Totaly disagree im affraid.

    We should have sortened out the defence by now.
    Cesc Im sure can be replaced but we didnt spend the money gained from those transfers of nasri and cesc as the eboue and clychy cash covered the gervinhio signing.
    We could have bought Mata or Hazard and atleast tried replacing him. Thats not spending money we dont have or ruining our financial model its spending less than 50% of what we recieved in transfer fees.
    You also mentioned…..

    What is bizarre is the flurry of red cards/suspensions we have been afflicted with so early on.

    Is it any surprise they were red cards to 3 players with no EPL experience in Frimpong Gervinhio and Jenkinson ? Is it any surprise that 2 of the three are kids ?

    I could pick holes in the rest of it …but it would achieve nothing.

    Personaly Im not sure we have any money and think the clubs not been honest and leaving fans frustrated with wenger. I highly doubt the flatts in highbury were all selling at the prices they initaly thought with the downturn in the economy etc.
    Someones not been honest because wenger wasnt affraid spending when it was overmars and many others in the past.

  • Jas777

    Silent Stan must be pissed at the moment, his investment is going south pretty quick. Since he has got control Arsenal has been like a bottom premiership team.

    But then again you wouldn’t expect them to improve if you see the teams he has in the US. And the fact that his wife’s family are the owners of Wal-Mart and the junk they sell.

    And because he has control now don’t be suprised if Van Persie is sold in January Transfer window and that the manager gets the sack as that is how it is done in the US.

  • Laundryender

    I can confirm the fights in the Northbank, the Wenger issue is certainly divisive

    I am still reeling from how easy we were to get at, and am in hiding froam all media outlets. now where is that cushion?

  • bob

    Sammy,
    I don’t basically disagree, alas. But, for the next 4 days, I remain open-minded and open-hearted toward Arsene Wenger’s intelligence to come through with at least one quality signing (Based on results, I find no reason to be happy with Mr. Law as AFC’s deal closer based on results to date; nor, in a massive race for talent, on the results harvested lately by the legendary worldwide scouting network) So let’s make a deal to confer again after the window closes, Ok?

  • bob

    jayj,
    Whatever you’re up to, you’re entitled to your opinion (and I might even share a few), but you’re not entitled to your own facts. The facts on record are that – whatever his motives or degree of concern, which who can say, and neither of us know) – Silent Stan’s owned teams have had a reasonable track record: Colorado Avalanche were pro hockey league champs (once), Denver Nuggets won three division (but not conference or league championships), and his 40% owned St. Louis Rams won a pro football league championship (once). None of this proves anything about Stan’s motives toward Arsenal, but we should at least present facts when we opine, not opinions as facts, or you’re not being a straight shooter, even as you shoot.

  • Sammy

    @bob,

    Based on previous year’s experience, it would be naive to expect a miracle signing from Wenger. But let me not steal your thunder.

    See you here after 3 days to see who Wenger has signed. It bet it would be some unknown hit or miss player bought on the cheap with no EPL experience who may or may not come good.

    Don’t expect Wenger to sign an Eden Hazard or like who can hit the ground running and make for Cesc/Nasri’s absence.

    See you in 3 days!

  • bob

    jas777,
    My note to jayj about Stan Kroenke applies to your simplistic implication that Silent Stan Kroenke is associated only with crap teams. It may be true or not that he is but you’d have to come up with more data and better analysis that just sliming him and adding to the sense of hopelessness. If the facts point that way, fine. But you need to do more homework first.

  • bob

    ok, Sammy, it’s a date. We’ll see what happens and try to analyze why, Okay? Ok.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    My searches turn up that Dein the Lesser is RvP’s agent and also has been Thierry Henry’s (after Barca to the NY Red Bulls) as well. He also had a hand in brokering Adebayor from ManShitty to Madrid. So far, I didn’t turn him up as Walcott’s agent. He definitely goes after representing Arsenal players and after highest-end transfer market deals for his cut of the action. The boy is a power. No doubt parlaying the Dad’s legacy of links to Arsenal into becoming an agent. As for Nasri, a few accounts say that his agent has had a long-standing vendetta against Boris Primorac, Arsene’s man, as well as Arsene for scandals and a jailing that go back to corruption in the French leagues that Arsene/Primorac blew the whistle on. It’s also possible that Silent Stan’s arrival in London a few weeks ago made it clear to Arsene that he (Stan) would not abide the risk of possible loss of a 20M asset like Nasri next summer. Shortly after that board meeting in London is when the turnaround that you sense occurred. Also, last thing, Arsene’s last press conference (prior to today’s match) has him saying an interesting thing in passing: that what’s “destabilizing” (his word) is “when a player’s head is turned.” This can only be about tapping and its impact. And, in my view, the tapping was clearly ongoing this year re. Cesc and, as Nasri himself revealed Friday or Saturday, his head was turned by Patrick Veira’s (now Shitty’s head of player development) campaign to bring him in. I think there are serious reasons to be concerned that Dein has been sowing the seeds of RvP’s departure if AFC continues on the current path without trophies, and RvP has hinted as much lately, if you’ve been paying attention to the rustling of the tea leaves in the press. Sorry to bring this type of news, but EPL football is clearly ruthless. And perhaps, just perhaps, our possibly snatching Park Chu-Young on the eve of his scheduled second medical exam at Lille is an example of Arsene’s playing as ruthless a game with Lille as has been played against us in this transfer window. I honestly fear that unless Arsene plays these 4 days as ruthlessly as he needs to, that he will not survive as coach in this current massive fox hunt.

  • bob

    RedGooner,
    You raise troubling and important questions about what money is on hand. Woolwich Peripatetic assured all the “morons” that the money amounted to 30M. Whether it’s the 0 that you fear, or the 90M that the Sun claims, who indeed can know. As I’ve lamented all summer, it’s important that AFC not tip its hand to the ruthless competition, but it also puts fans who love the side and want to help think things through in a position of spinning wheels and pointing fingers at each other because we just don’t know. I think that what emerges in the next 4 days, or not, will help people determine more about the relative financial strength of our club and what indeed is possible or not based on the money, and any implications that are to be drawn from it.

  • Mandy dodd

    Interesting is a word I often use with your posts bob, in fact to say the least with this one. Rvp worries me, I suspect excess cash we now have will be used for improved deals, will be interesting to see if he signs. I guess if we got dein back some of this would stop.
    Must admit have never heard that anti primorac agenda with nasris agent, surely wenger would have been aware though? Seems like wenger and his colleagues have upset a lot of people.
    With this in mind I wonder if recent signings , a gooner named jenkinson, from what I read, ox, a down to earth guy who just wants to play and ryo, who it is said offered to take away the cones after training marks a move to players more likely to be erm less mercenary?
    As for relations with wenger and the board, I was under the impression the nasri directive went against wengers wishes, along with the costly, in terms of injuries pre season games

  • bjtgooner

    @ Bob.

    Re: Dien the Dad – he made a press statement about a week ago “supporting” Wenger, but did raise the issue of Wenger quitting under pressure. Wenger later had to state that he would not quit.
    I noticed a later article (not sure if it was in the Guardian or Mail) supporting Dien and the “excellent” negotiations he used to oversee. The inference was the our present negotiator was not up to the mark.

    Is there a connection between these coincidental press releases, the summer departures and the activities of Dien the Lesser? I wonder.

  • Burnwinter

    Yeah, I’d take a 1-1 draw.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Optimism’s all well and good but you’ve let yourself down here.

  • Jas777

    Ok Bob

    Comparing to St Loius Rams which is the best sport for sport comparison in the last 7 years the St Loius Rams best record has been 8 – 8 and working backwards have gone 7 – 9 , 1 – 15, 2 – 14, 3 – 13, 8 – 8, 6 – 10 and 8 – 8.

    Denver Nuggets have been knocked out in the 1st round of playoffs in 6 of the last 7 years, 3 times not winning one single game in best of 5 or 7 series. I will give you thay did make it a long way in 2008/09 season. Last year they sold a lot of their good players.

    Working backwards Colorado Avalanche
    2nd last regular season ,
    playoffs lost first round,
    3rd last regular season,
    playoffs lost second round ,
    Missed playoffs finished top bottom half,
    playoffs lost second round

    All in all some middling results for all teams

  • Jerom J.

    At first glanced, all I could say was that was the most embarrassing match i’ve watched as an arsenal fan, even more so seeing as my grandad was supporting united right next to me… But having slept on it, and reading the comments on here as well, I have to say that our situation isn’t really ideal is it… Losing so many 1st choice players through suspensions and injuries, and losing 2 of our main creative players as well as Clichy and Eboue in defence… Taking into account that only 1 out of four of our defenders I would regard as 1st choice, and also missing Song as cover for our defence… You can’t blame them if they aren’t exactly working as a unit… With Wilshere missing and Ramsey still not playing as well as he did before the injuries, you have to admit that we havent had too many creativity since the departures of Nasri and Cesc… And even the fact that Gervinho is missing also undoubtly has affected our attacking prowess.. Most people seem to forget that Arshavin is undoubtedly passed his prime at 30 years old..

    There wasn’t much to manoeuvre as well with what we have in the bench.. Our main problem at the moment is our lack in depth.. Hopefully Arsene manages to grab hold of a few signings and with some of our players coming back from injuries and suspensions, im sure we’ll be a much better side… Im sure it cant get any worse from the team we’ve featured today…

    Have faith, go gunners!

  • bob

    jas777,
    Cheers for doing the further research. You’re right about the middling performances in the last several years, as you note; but you also leave out Stan’s early championships with the Rams and the Avalanche, and also 3 division (lesser) titles of the Nuggets. The 2 championships seem to be in the 1st season of Silent Stan’s buy-in’s/takeovers; the 3 Nuggets Division titles (not Conference and not League) are more recent in 2006, 2007, 2008 or so, but they fall short of the top rung. The Nuggets sale of the Big Player was Carmelo Anthony, who basically forced his trade to NY in a similar protracted way that Cesc forced the trade at Arsenal. It could be that Stan is a jobber who gets in at the height of success and doesn’t do much to spend to put/keep his teams at the top. But that’s simplistic because there are so many variables and ruthless competition in all these US pro sports, though not as ruthless as EPL to my mind. There’s also something about Stan having to unload some franchises (to his son, I think) to get around some ownership rules, this circa 2010. I haven’t looked into this, but maybe you would and share the info?

  • Clerkenwell Gooner

    The majority stake, 70%, in the club is in the hands of a US businessman, but who is David Dein working for these days?

    The fractures at ownership, not board level (since Usmanov isn’t even on the board) replicate the long-standinag Fiszman/Dein emnity. (They might even be said to embody it, since we all know to whom Dein sold his slice.)

    As Mandy notes above, who knows what politics is being playing out in the boardroom? Can a house divided this way succeed?

    Unfortunately, for a while now, it has reminded me of nothing so much as Hicks and Gillette, although obviously AFC is in a better position financially, because of sound cash management by Wenger.

    So we have an opportunity this season to see how Liverpool’s transfer policy – £100m spent, backed by the Henry franchise – performs, compared with ours. (Man City is something else entirely. Although I wish to god we had bought Silva.)

  • Jas777

    Bob,

    The NFL will not let you buy a NFL team and own the major stake in any other sports team that are in the same city as a NFL team.
    Stan took over the team at their height and since then they have got steadily worse.

    You can’t compare nuggets division titles with football leagues as the division only have 4 teams in them. It would be like creating a division within the EPL with Wolves, WBA, Birmingham and Aston Villa and saying that Aston Villa is doing great as they win it every year.
    But every year they play a Manchester United or a Chelsea and lose the playoff games.

    As for Ice hockey who really cares most Americans don’t.

  • jayj

    Wenger has promised to put right all the wrongs, but again has stressed he does nit need to sign any new players.

    8-2 is not that bad then, OMG.

  • jayj

    Well we have the money, Benzima, Juan Mata may have been on the radar but no we’re going in for Park Chu-Young.

    That says it all.

  • bob

    jas777,
    My interest is in what Silent Stan’s behavior might tell us about his possible attitude toward Arsenal. You imply that he takes over and they all go downhill, presumably for lack of investment. Do I have that right – is that your point? That he is a franchise jobber for some reason who buys in and then allows or promotes or won’t spend as they deteriorate? I don’t agree or disagree, but you may well be right and, if so, it is alarming for Arsenal. The question is, then, is Silent Stan milking revenues of a middle of the pack team that he will not allow substantial investment in so that he can continue to maximize profit, as long as there is profit to maximize. Is this what you’re saying? I don’t disagree, but why don’t you actually explicitly say what you are saying instead of making people like me have to draw it out from you, tooth by tooth? If you can make this case, then make it as fully as you can and make it explicitly, because then we can all think about it and you will have made an important contribution, the more specific you can be, that will benefit people’s understanding. Cheers for your ongoing effort, I hope, in this direction.
    And, btw, hockey has millions of followers – even as a regional sport – in the US, and has zillion dollar owners like the NY and Boston franchises, so that your typical nobody cares about hockey in America is to write off those fans and those markets and, perhaps, miss out on how people like Silent Stan may well be doing in larger markets – that is, seeing them like regional cash cows. So you may be missing a lesson there.
    I don’t care if you don’t like my tone, but you are on to something that matters here and if you can get past disproving me, then we together could shed some important light on what impact Silent Stand may be having on AFC, and whether there’s an internal battle as this article seems to suggest http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s378/st170548.htm
    In any case, please keep up the good work, and let people hereabouts know. Just be explicit and as detailed as possible 🙂

  • bob

    jayj,
    What makes you pretend to know that Park Chu-Young is shite. You don’t know f#$k all about him but keep your death-by-a-thousand cuts onslaught going on. He’s the S. Korea captain and is pacey and has a clinical touch around the goal mouth, to judge from the various online videos that one can see. It’s the man, not the price tag and press celebrity that counts. And not every celebrity-name is right for every system on the pitch. You have a lot of good points to make when you actually make them, and people can read them as a whole. But what you are up to is a shitstorm of this, and that, and that, and this – a thousand sadistic cuts, like a moving target, or, rather, a drive-by shooting. A spirit sniper. I’ve liked a number of your contributions, but you are out there wilding through the countryside doing hits across this website. If you’d stick to writing full analysis, then you’d be doing something principled and enter a real give and take. But you don’t have a whole lot to say, so you are currently spreading it out – a piece of crap here, and another there, and so on, to help stir the shitstorm to hurricane proportions. We shall see what happens by the end of the transfer window, and take stock and move from there. But what you do with this shameful way of posting (or composting) is meant to foment panic and rage and everything but the calm, constructive analysis that times like this need. Try a cold shower and a morality check, or a full-time job at LeGrove. Or, offer your tabloid services to the Sun (there’s a lot of competition there though) or, to go high-brow, to Richard Williams at the Guardian. You’d love each other – two scorpions in a bottle.

  • Ronnie Brown

    I don’t really a see a problem in the way we acted regarding the signing of Park, we signed a player who was about to sign for another club? So what? He wasn’t signed yet, this happens to us all the time and while it is a shame I don’t feel the club who have done it are wrong for it, just opportunistic, isn’t breaking any rules, now if Park had given some kind of handshake agreement then that would change things from a moral sense but we don’t know about that, maybe he was going to sign for them then the Arsenal offer came in and was to good to refuse, also if we had been talking to him it means we must have agreed a fee with his club so some of the stories coming out don’t make sense.

  • jayj

    bob
    agreed some of my comments are emotional triggers, but I think you can appreciate some of my concerns. I feel Wenger has had the money take a look at the youth transfers. Wenger pushed these through so that tells me the board have backed him.

    I’m thinking Wenger has to take some of the blame and we the fans should voice our concerns. Arsenal are the 3rd richest club so finances should not be an issue, I’m not saying compete with the chavs/shitty but its high time our manager looks at the team for now and not just invest in some young players who cant get a work permit.

  • Jas777

    Bob,

    I don’t think he runs them down on purpose, I just don’t think he invests in them as much as he could. Part of the problem may be that he is going to use the US model for running a sports team which I don’t think will work in football.

    For a start all US sports have drafts so getting players is different. Both Basketball and Football have salary caps. The number of games in American Football is only 8 home games a year plus any playoffs so selling all tickets is not a issue.

    The other issue with American sports is the market you are in. Most American sports get most of there revenue from local area or dished out evenly from the national body. Replica shirts sold overseas all go to the local body who dish out the money evenly. As opposed to football where Man U get the money for shirts etc. Arsenal becuase of the way football works have to compete head to head to get commercial revenue especially overseas revenue.

    I may be totally wrong here but I think Silent Stan see Arsenal as just another sports team to own that he can sell for a profit. I remember once reading about how he saw the internet side of the club as being a part of why he brought them.

    And a final point which I am really hoping doesn’t every come to fruition is that the model of how Stan Kroenke’s sports team in US and the sports teams owned by the previous owners of Liverpool are very similar. Both owned multiple teams in the US, both had easy markets to compete in.
    Now look at at the current owners of Liverpool who own the Red Sox who have to compete with the best team in their sport and as a result have to put out a team that competes with them otherwise they will go backwards quickly.

    The one in Arsenal favour though, but not sure most people on this site will like it is that they are based in London, they do have a worldwide following and they can still be sold to a rich Russian or person from the middle east if it doesn’t work for Stan

  • bob

    jas777,
    Thanks for your thoughtful takes on Silent Stan. I’ve come to see his silence as worrisome after Gazidis introduced him to the scene as so warm and so interested in what goes on on the pitch and a force for improvement, and after his not standing by Arsene on Nasri (and possibly on Cesc)?

  • Jas777

    Bob,

    It is a interesting one, you just don’t know what he will do. Part of the problem I think is that we/Arsenal saw the FFP as being a bit of a saviour when realistically it was never going to be implemented to the extent it was first mooted.

    In saying that I worry about Stan, he may implement one thing they do in the US that might actually help Arsenal in the long run and that is the different wage structures they use there. The stars get paid more, you do your time then get a decent wage and incentive clauses in contracts.