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History repeats itself…but look at what followed

By Walter Broeckx

This was a difficult day to be an Arsenal supporter. Let me start by congratulating the away supporters. For a large part of the second half I heard them support the team.  Even my match commentator said they out sung the home supporters at that time. Despite the difficult game they showed that they are true supporters.

In the darkest hours as a football supporter one can do two things. You could have a go at the whole team, the players, the manager, the board. Or you could say: ‘okay, such things happen in live. Being a football supporter is not always rosy and shiny. This is part of it.”

We could look at some maybe valid excuses. The penalty miss from Van Persie when it was 1-0. The missed chances after that. The unbelievable perfection of almost every shot and free kick from United that for some reason always ended in the top corner of our goal. We could look at the missed chances that could have brought us back to 3-2. We could point at the fatigue that entered the team after one hour when it showed we had been playing a difficult away game at Udinese on Wednesday evening.

But we know such a defeat is sometimes part of the game. Even more because…. well we have seen it before. And I don’t want to add to the pain but this wasn’t the first time Arsenal suffered a hard an heavy defeat at Old Trafford. We can only hope that just like the last time it happened we can avoid such thing for a few years now.

Because it was 10 years ago we suffered a similar thing. It was 25/02/2001. And we lost 6-1. Now we all could say that the players who were out on the pitch are worthless after such a defeat. We could say that we must get rid of them. But if we would have done this in2001 we would have lost a few legendary players. Because the starting line up in that game were:

Goalkeeper: David Seaman

Defenders:  Oleg Luzhny, Ashley Cole, Gilles Grimandi, Igors Stepanovs

Midfielders: Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Ray Parlour, Silvinho

Strikers:   Sylvain Wiltord, Thierry Henry

Seaman stayed another few years around and brought us another 2 FA cup victories.

Ashley Cole became a part of the invincible before turning in to the money grabbing person he still is.

Just look at our midfield…. Robert Pires was there. Ray Parlour was there.  And most of all… Patrick Vieira was on the receiving end of this bad loss.

And we had Wiltord in our attack, who one year later took revenge  by scoring the winner when we won  the league at Old Trafford. And we had Thierry Henry in attack. The best goal scorer in our history.

The team that was out there in the field was actually the core of the invincibles. Also Ljunberg came in later in the game. Another future invincible.

The core of that team won us the double just one season later.  Yes there were some changes in that team. Just as I think there will be some changes when all our players are back fit and not suspended.  And I think that even when we play next time we will have some changes. As there always will be changes in a team. When some players are back we already have on our books we will be stronger. And if we can add a few names in the next days we will be stronger.

And if you look at the names I mentioned in the team that lost at Old Trafford in 2001 you see that this team contained half of the invincibles in fact.  I spell their names out once again: Cole, Pires, Parlour,  Wiltord, Vieira, Henry, Wiltord. That is 7 players who formed an integral part of the invincible.  I really don’t know what the supporters said after the defeat at Old Trafford 10 years ago.

I can imagine them blaming Wenger, the players for not having what it takes. Well one season later they proved them all wrong. And a few years later when they were on their peak they brought us the invincible season.

Sometimes history repeats itself. As it did today with our defeat which brought us the painful memory back of that defeat 10 years ago. Well after that defeat we only became better. And had one of the best spells in our history even with going a whole season unbeaten.

So if you want to throw all and everyone away…just as could have happened 10 years ago.. we maybe would never have had a title each year  and an invincible season.

So just like the away supporters who backed the team I will support the team. Yes it is painful. But nobody promised me that there would be no pain when supporting Arsenal. Nobody said that this will not happen to us. Defeat is part of life. And what is important is that we try to learn from our defeat.

Who knows maybe the defeat at Old Trafford 10 years ago was a blessing in disguise. Maybe the pain on that day inspired the core of the invincible to their greatness later on.  So what looks terrible today might just be the start of a new bright tomorrow for our club and for many of the players that were on the field today.  Sometimes shit happens. Sometimes you step in to the shit. It’s painful and embarrassing. But the only thing you can do is clean up your shoe and get on with life.

Come on you Gunners.

PS: Oh and I will be there for the next home game against Swansea. I will be travelling a few hundred miles just to show you that whatever happens I will be there to support you. Come good times, come bad times.  Once a Gooner, always a Gooner.  No defeat can kill my love for the Arsenal. It didn’t kill my love 10 years ago. And even now I am so glad I didn’t turn my back on you when things went against us.

123 comments to History repeats itself…but look at what followed

  • Pete

    Well said! 🙂

  • Steve B

    Still half a team & a shit defence.

  • Aditya

    I’m ur big fan !! As always a very good article.
    But wats ur take on the following

    http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s378/st170548.htm

  • wellinggooner

    first time posting, long time reader. couldn’t have said it better. it’s always nice to read a blog that is positive, technical, informative, and not just an over emotional outburst or snap judgement. i cant think of another team in europe that would compete with manure with 8 first team players out. there is a plethera of games to be played. we need to be strong in our support now more than ever. lets hope the young lads learned from the day’s events and become stronger as a unit. once again, complements to Walter and Tony!! keep it up, i look froward to your posts. GUNNER TILL I DIE…

  • Mandy dodd

    Agree with your sentiments but boy do we have to sort out a few defensive issues! Also this time around, we are up against the super wealthy. I am far from sure that all is well at this club at the moment but will back the team through anything! Nothing has gone right in the last few months, but things can change in an instant

  • ORIGINAL AKB HATER

    ANY FAN MUST SHAKE THEIR HEAD IN DISBELIEF WHEN THEY READ THIS! STILL PUSHING POSITIVES WHEN THERE IS NONE! ITS WENGER YOU LOVE NOT ARSENAL! TYPICAL CORPORATE BLOG FROM TYPICAL CORPORATE FANS!

  • the font

    good blog the majority of arsenal fans at the ground knew that there was a small minority who wanted to sing negitive chants when things started to go wrong but one of my worst days as a arsenal fan become one of my proudest when we sung continously
    for 25 minutes giving the team much needed support in there darkest hour and stopping any useless negitive chant of spend some money if you feel the need to sing this please do not do it on match days orginise a protest against the board of directors if you feel the need and spare the true arsenal fans who support the club win or lose the indignity of airing our dirty washing in public

  • Well said indeed you are a credit to our kind. Up the gunners

  • Johnny

    This is one of the few blogs I bother with. However, you cannot defend what went on today. Quite simply, it was gutless capitulation and that is inexcusable. Yes, you could say everything that could of gone wrong, did do, but there were players out there who just dropped their fucken heads. I could see the signs of it when we missed the pen at 1-0, I turned round to my mate and told him we could be on the end of a tonking if we weren`t careful. Thats the difference between what happened today and what happened 10 years ago, with todays team nothing surprises you. When the 01 side got beat up there was genuine shock and you knew heads would roll, I only hope Arsene acts in the same manner this time around because that today is just not good enough for The Arsenal.

  • Michael

    I appreciate the +ve talk. Ur judgement hs been clouded by too much losing! In modern football, when two rival teams play, 8-2 has neva been a score to dream of! The only time i cried coz of soccer 2-1 loss to barca this is much worse. It has fuckt with my ego.

  • Goonerboy

    The most delusional site I have ever come across. You did catch the score today?

  • Matt Gunn

    The squad did not deserve what happened. They are a talented group of players who have been hugely let down by short-sighted, ill conceived policies that simply do not suit a top professional team – or any team for that matter. While it is all well and good supporting Wenger and the board at all times, it is also disrespectful to all team players and fans to avoid telling it as it is. Our team has been reduced to its lowest level since its creation. Wenger and board must be told it is unacceptable for paying fans to tolerate what is inexcusable. They have virtually destroyed what little chance we had to attract experienced players to the club.

  • Stubby

    Oleg Luzhny, Ashley Cole, Gilles Grimandi, Igors Stepanovs

    Silvinho in midfield.

    Sounds a bit like haing three experienced defenders missing and pushing a full back into midfield (silvinho)

    Noleg, Grimandi and Stepanovs were superior though to what we had in the back four today. OK well maybe not stepanovs, he’s on a par with Squillaci.

    We need new players. Wneger said tongiht that there are 20 people involved in transfers, is it any wonder that we can’t get people in when there is so much red tape involved? I bet Chelsea dont have that problem hence Mata being there maybe rather than already at arsenal perhaps?

  • J

    Well said indeed …

    However there are markable differences. For one, we just do not have the team at the moment to turn this around. Ten years ago we had the mix, the talent – the result was a ‘freak’ one off

    But today was not completely out of the blue …. most if not all but the very optimistic or crazy saw us losing this game… our form is poor, players left, players suspended, players injured and in general a team who feel sorry for themselves and look to be doubting their ability.

    We have no viera, no henry, no pires to turn to …. van persie looks for the first time to be seriously doubting his future (just my opinion) at the club. Our only straight into the first team player gervinho has come out saying how disappointed he is and that he came because nasri said they would play together

    Im not down beat – but if we are going to get better we have to realise the flaws and discuss them … today, no one was surprised at the score line – we were that bad.

  • BoB

    Well said Walter,

    SO right and well done to those at the match today – you did the team proud and not getting on their backs.

    A fan for line not just when they are winning – take the good and bad together – that is the real game – unless you want to go down the Man City way but that too can lead to dark days.

  • mr creosote

    Nice to see some perspective. Yes, we got spanked, it’s happened before and it’ll happen again. But lets not give up just yet. A lot of supporters are showing their true colours tonight. I’m glad there are still some sensible people out there. I say sign a couple of new faces and then bring on Swansea.

  • Eleven Gooners on the pitch, fifty thousand in the stands!

  • Sammy

    I was waiting for the Wenger apologists to come and make some excuses, and here is the first one.

    You say this may be a fluke, but here is the fact.

    Have you seen the stats for Arsenal’s performance in the EPL lately?

    In past 14 EPL matches (since the CC final defeat), Arsenal have won only 2 matches, lost 5 and drew 7. They picked up only 13 points out of a possible 42 points (ie 30.95% of the available points or 0.9 points per game). Last season, two teams who were relegated took a higher proportion of points (atleast 1 point per game on average).

    14 games is one-third of a season. Arsenal has been facing relegation form since March. And our great manager has come up with the following statement after today’s humiliation: “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”.

    I ask, did Wenger came to know yesterday about our defensive problems. Hasn’t there been a hole in our defence for atleast past 4 years? Why wait until a week before the end of transfer window to make a bid for a decent defender and then give us the bull about not finding the right players! He didn’t even find an adequate replacement for Cesc and Nasri when every man and his dog knew they’re leaving. I AM TIRED OF WENGER’S LIES AND PATHETIC EXCUSES! THE IDIOT MUST SPEND OR GO!

  • james

    Am sorry Pete, the playing field has shifted so much from those days. The competition was way much different from what it is now. Before all the big money spenders came in. Now many clubs are way much stronger (comparing the bottom clubs with the so called big four).

    This was the arsenal team then:
    Stuat Taylor and David Seaman for goalkeeper

    silvinho, Ashley Cole, Martin Keown, Gilles Grimandi, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Nelson Vivas, Mathew Upson for defence.

    James Harper, Patrick Viera, Ray parlour, Edu, Kanu, ljungberg, Robert Pires, David Noble for midfield.

    Thierry Henry , Silvian Wiltod for forward.

    All am trying to say is that the team that was beaten back then was miles ahead of the one that played today.

    I don’t think it is right to compare the current team with the old ones. Also let us not try to find excuses to poor performance, instead let us point out the wrong things that need correction because that is what will move the team forward.

  • BoB

    Stick with the team – add a few good players – and let us see what happens – remember we have only sold two good players, the rest could have left and we would have coped – so please let us not make this the end of the club – we will bounce back

    Show you true colours you so called fans – the rest are.

  • the font

    gibbs vermaelen gervino sagna song frimpong wilshere diaby wenger will add 1 or 2 and we will come back stronger chelsea
    man city man utd are financial superclubs who we can not compeat with its a miracle we have done as well as what we have we all need to get behind wenger and the team

  • jeremyredman

    Goonerboy. I have seen you on many sites commenting and you have never had anything good to say. Go pick another club cause we don’t need you. We know it was a bad day asshole. That’s why there is a need for writers like this. Keep it up untold!

  • Zack

    Nice article.. Something at least to console us; nevertheless, enough is enough!!!! we need heavy weight players to compete against the big teams. Our appalling squad (excluding RVP and Theo) and poor display was exposed to the world today (8-2 is a disgrace to the club)!!! The majority of the players are not even worth a league 2 team (No disrespect)..
    Splash the millions and get big signings Sneider, schweintzeiger, Hazard, Cahill and Samba otherwise the free fall will continue… The cut off figure on wages has to be discarded as the nasri scenario will be repeated..

  • wow

    @thefront… mate listen, their are true fans who chant negative chants during the game, im not a true fan? u fuckin lost your mind mate, but today the chants while we were getting abused were nice to see…(just saying)

  • Mandy dodd

    Sammy, yes there is something wrong, and I doubt anyone outside the inner circle of the club knows exactly what it is. But, How can an idiot win what he has won, revolutionise a club, oversee the stadium project, which terrifies spurs and Liverpool to this day. Can an idiot keep us in the cl all those years? Does Henry think this man who turned him into one of the best players on the planet is an idiot?
    I am not happy with some aspects of our situation at the moment, but can anyone really sit there objectively and call wenger an idiot?

  • AFC Shareholder

    Just like last time our defence is shocking, then it was Luzhny, Stepanovs and Grimandi, now its Jenkinson, Traore and Djourou. Lets not forget Squillaci wasnt even playing. I happen to like CJ but to throw him in like this is totally unfair. He is not doing that to Chamberlain, so why CJ.

    I would love to know exactly what Wenger said to the subs when sending them on. Another huge mistake, why make 14 players part of this humilation, when 11 was easily enough.

    There are so many people to blame it is untrue, but even the supporters, need to take a hard look at themselves. We continue to throw are hard earned cash at our cash rich players and board and our undying support and in return we get nothing. Yet i guarantee, if any of us went in restaurant ordered and was charged for steak, but was then served a bowl of tripe. We would refuse to pay and walk out. I guarantee if you went into the Gunners next week and ordered a Stella, but in return got an alcohol frree beer that wass and flat, you would have no problem in remonstrating with the barmaid and over what £3.50!!

    Yet when it comes to Arsenal we are all guilty of accepting pitifull decisions, terrible performances, mad excuses and basically a pack of lies. Yet we hand over a grand plus at the beginning and spend shit loads on away games and poor quality merchandise, that if you saw it in primark in a different colour and no Arsenal badge you wouldnt give £3 for.

    Well for me enough is enough. I need to see some committment from the board, the manager and more importantly the people on the pitch some of who are taking 35m a year in basically salary!!

    They board and Manager have 3 days to show me that, or if not my season ticket goes to the nearest tourist and the away scheme is cancelled. 45 years Man and Boy and the last 28 of those as a Shareholder, but my patience is wearing thinner than my bank balance and my pride in being a gooner is hurting.

  • walter

    Sammy,
    Sagna, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song/Frimpong. That is 4 out of 5 of our defensive players out in this game. Against the likes of United this is too much.
    Djourou had a shockingly bad game (imo). In fact I think the only defensive player who can look back at a good game was Koscielny. He stood there almost on his own. But with a Sagna, a Vermaelen and maybe with someone else around we will be much better.

  • Lanz

    @Sammy. The stats you were citing, were they not with Fabregas and Nasri on? Talk about replacement for them, who does Gervinho replace? Oh, you thought it was Bendtner? Why then are we looking for one more striker? As to the so-called defensive hole, we bidded the same for Chris Smalling, he chose ManU. We bidded the same for Phil Jones, he chose ManU. How come you still think that Wenger is not doing anything about the defence? The G. Cahill people go on about, go check the stat sites, he does not post better stas than Koscielny. So what is the noise all about? Fans are so fickle! I think we should hire a man like Benitez for a change because people do not appreciate what they have till they have lost it. Some of our fans need to experience a manager who cares more about his name than the club. That really is the problem with Wenger: he is TOO FAITHFUL to Arsenal!

  • moses setim

    whatever we want to console ourselves with,there are facts and no excuses.to be direct ..today i realised that even after crushing to mnu we are still a head of totten hahahaha up up gooners, i will call for wenger to be sucked when or if ever we crush to the tottens like that, but manu are class that hopefully wenger will get us to.till then am gooner for life

  • Angry Gooner

    Mate take off you’re rose tinted specs, we’re in big fooking trouble. Over the past 5 – 6 seasons we’ve witnessed players being sold off and not replaced with commensurate quality, now we’re about to feel the full effects of what has been a gradual decline in the quality of playing staff at our club.

    If you’re not concerned about the state of affairs around our club, then I suggest that you and your ilk are a huge part of the problem.
    We need to revise the policy of only buying bargain basement, and at least replace some of our outgoing with ready made players. For the love of God, and the Arsenal, of course!

  • WalterBroeckx

    A note to people who maybe did not see their first comment appear: If you want to insult people you can go to other sites where they are more specialised in those things.
    Untold is a different place where people try to take a broader look at things. don’t like it? Fair enough, you can always try to bring in arguments and facts.
    And no, insulting people are no arguments and are no facts.

  • NickW

    The problem with your logic is that the 6 -1 defeat was a one off event in between some very good years for the team. This current side have been on the slide for about 4 seasons now and all efforts to sort out the defense have only succeeded in making it worse. Can you honestly tell me that this years defense looks better than last years or the year before that. After every shambolic defensive effort we hear that “we will learn from our mistakes” and yet we inevitably go on to repeat them. I’m sorry but this article is just wishful thinking. I look forward to hearing how getting relegated is actually going to be a good thing and a strategic stroke of genius by the great Wenger.

  • taishou

    ty..ty..i feel alot better now

  • Alex

    I actually feel strangely optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, the game I witnessed today was surreal, however I don’t think we had the personnel to put in a solid defensive display against this Man Utd team. And if this type of result doesn’t kick our players into shape, and spring the board and our manager into action, then I don’t know what will. I welcome the international break – I expect an Arsenal team fully focused on return, hopefully with a couple of new faces, and ready to kick-start their season.

  • from hundreds of blog i read, yours are the only one which can comfort me for every lost.your article such a comforting mom for a sulking son.thanks.you made me proud to be a gooner again.

  • AFC Shareholder

    35m should read £5m typing in the dark still on the way home!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Nick W, has the season ended yet? O my god I must have been sleeping some 8 months…

    Can you honestly tell me that before the season Wenger intended to play todays team at Old Trafford? And in particular can you tell me that he would play this defence at Old Trafford if he hadn’t been forced to play them?
    We would have seen Sagna,Koscielny,Vermaelen and Gibbs if all was well with them. Sadly 3 of them were sick or injured.
    We could have added Wilshere in midfield and Diaby and Song.
    we could have added Gervinho in attack.

    I think that some 6 of those players more available could and would have made a big difference.

    And lets us not forget that Koscielny also had fitness troubles this week and was out injured. Who knows in which condition he had to play as he maybe was the person who could play with the less chance of making it worse?

  • huhh?

    Angry Gooner: Completely agree with you. This is the worst kind of complacency. The score was 8-2. It could have been 12-2. Wozza had a good game and conceded 8.

    And this wasn’t a one off. We have been poor in 3 games so far.

    This sense of “it’ll all be ok in a bit!” misses the point totally. The current squad is relegation material. It really is. Not the team, the squad. A couple of injuries and we’re screwed.

    You AKBs should be ashamed of yourselves – this is the biggest beating since the 19th century. It’s the 21st century. Wake up and smell the coffee – this is a dire time for our club.

  • ash

    Can you honestly pick out 7 players from today’s team that you could foresee going through a whole season unbeaten? 10 years ago, the players who played in the game we lost 6-1 and who later went on to win the double and form the invincibles were made up of world cup winners such as Wiltord, Henry, Pires & Vieira. They had already achieved success and knew what it took to win titles- Vieira & Seaman had already won the league with Arsenal. Today’s players are made up of kids- Ramsey, Djourou, Traore, Coquelin, Walcott, Jenkinson, they’re not even in the same category as those that lost in 2001. Of all the players on the pitch today, only Van Persie, Arshavin and Rosicky can be deemed experienced, world class players. That’s why today’s result hurts so much because the future doesn’t look bright. 10 years ago i remember the reaction after the game- we had a make-shift defence with Stepanovs and Luzhney and got spanked. Today we had a make shift squad, let alone team and have been over-taken by Liverpool, Man City and even Spurs this year. Wenger needs to show some ambition and address the problem that he should have fixed six weeks ago before his other world class players walked out for teams with world class squads.

  • Dennis10

    A really nice article, history truly does repeat itself, if so lets hope we get back round to being invincibles again :D. hehe

  • fajrin

    Again positivity, but I have to say the fact there is something problem on board. That’s it. Who’s to blame? David dein quit? No. I’m not come here to blame somebody. But I have to know , what kind a problem on board actually? Why they won’t reinvest £70m to bring accepteblle player, thx to answer this.
    Ps: no defeat can kill my love to the arsenal is quite good words

  • Dec

    Optimism in the extreme Walter, I’d love the situations to be similar but can’t for the life of me generate a spark of confidence in some of players we entrust to wear the Arsenal colours at present. Before a ball was kicked today, I and many more were fearing the worst (none of us quite thought we’d concede 8 mind you), but the teamsheet didn’t inspire any hope whatsoever. The 2 center backs we had out today are well beyond being inexperienced kids, Traore just isn’t good enough, Ramsey’s living off the store of kindly sentiment he received after his injury and is like the Emporer with no clothes, it’s time somebody said it out loud, he’s over rated. The sad fact is that we’ve got no more than 4 top class players at the club (Szcesney, TV5, Jack,and RVP – Gervinho and Theo might make the grade but not yet), everybody else is a journeyman who’s more suited to the mid table type teams around. And yet we stupidly expect to compete with the big boys every year? In Arsene I genuinely want to continue trusting but it’s getting harder.

  • Just read this article and found it very enjoyable but let’s start thinking with our heads not our hearts. today was a shite day fact now what’s to be done? Sack Wenger? If so just one question who will take over. We can’t say we only had kids because Manu had kids today also but the difference is the senior players. We need senior players like that Walcott and RVP did there part but arshavin again just didn’t fit. Ramsey is far from the finished player and again proved this today. Buy buy and buy again that’s the answer spend the money and get the senior players we need. I really think the backroom staff who go and get players are not doing there job so I would say sack them not wenger. My answer to the question is bring back Dean get bergkamp from Ajax as a coach a man who done it for us and knows what it is to win and play for arsenal and spend pure and simple. If by Wednesday there is no signings then I really fear for us but only time will tell. Gooner for life.

  • bjtgooner

    Good article Walter. We need to stay calm and support the team as they regroup for the next match.

  • jyhmin

    if i was in london i would love to join a demonstration against those worthless fags on the board.
    btw, run a demonstration instead of quitting as a fan. put some pressure on those bastards up there..

  • Loh

    Well said!!! I posted a similar comment elsewhere drawing reference to the same defeat 10 years ago and the fact we went on to achieve greatness after that defeat.

    I also draw reference to how we trashed Boro in a game where they were forced to field junior players after the seniors were all out injured and then it was Boro who knocked us out of the League Cup (if I recall correctly) that same season once they have their senior players back.

    Have faith fellow Gooners… we are struggling at the moment but we will bounce back!

  • Stevies

    Are you having a laugh?is this article for real? Its people like you who settle for wengers excuses time and time again while this great club slides into danger and you will be happy to go along with it kissing arsene wengers backside. He and the board have ripped apart this once brilliant team, they take our money and do nothing with it wont even buy desent players anymore!! And its the likes of you that continue to let them do it, and apparently that makes you a loyal fan, let me tell you what a real fan does, they fight tooth and nail to get what is right for the team if ey see injustice they make thier voice known when they see a manager destroying our team they make thier voice known when they see a bunch of idiots running the club for profit they damn sure make thier voice known!!! Not hide behind their blog trying to convince everyone that everything is rosey and that wenger or lord wenger is perfect! No man player or board member is bigger than arsenal so gunners stand up against this before it is to late…..

  • Flavour

    For 6 years this is the first time we start the league in failure. Other times we are flying and start nose diving after January. We lost even our own cup this preseason. The truth is this is something different, finding ourselves in a different situation. This is new and I am optimistic that this new thing will produce a new result. I can’t give up now because this is a match that has expose us and will help us to rebuild and become more stronger. We can still win the league

  • 49Unbeaten

    Look, I understand that someone has to fight our corner, and I understand that some people need to look for positives but seriously you cannot compare this team that we put out today with what became the invincibles. If we had Nasri and Fabregas in the side today and we took that kind of a beating then yes you have grounds for an arguement. Fabregas/Pires, Nasri/Ljunberg that’s fine but be honest, the depth we have in the squad is just not good enough! At the end of last season WE ALL knew that we were 2-3 signings away from greatness. We needed to ADD TO Fabregas and Nasri this summer to have a chance this season to not only stay competative, but realistically, challenge for the league title. However, everybody and his dog knew, that Fab’s was leaving and there was always a doubt that Nasri would stay (unless we stregnthened) and this gave us the gift of “foresight”. If we’d’ve gone out and bought those players to galvanize and protect what we had then today wouldn’t’ve happened. What’s the worsed thing that could’ve happened? We had a war chest of £35 mil’ at the very beginning of the summer transfer window, we buy 2 players (say, £25 mil’ on Mata/Hazard/Gotze’ and £10 mil’ on Mertesacker) and hey Presto we’ve strengthend. Fabregas ends up leaving (foresight – Mata/Hazard/Gotze’) and so does Nasri (bought Gervinho) but TV5 gets injured (doesn’t matter as we’ve bought Mertesacker ((foresight)), who let’s be honest, would’ve brought stability instead of “traffic cone” Djourou) and not only are we prepared for the impossible but we’re not understrengthed AND we’ve made our money back AND some profit with the sales of Fab’s, Nasri, Eboue and Clichy and STILL have £35 mil’ to spend. Today could’ve been avoided or could’ve been less of a humiliation. Please don’t sit back at the end of this match, put on your red & white tinted glasses, and give us what should’ve, could’ve, possibly been and what might be bullsh*t cos at the end of the day we AREN’T, WEREN’T & WON’T BE good enough to compete for 4th. Yours and Tonys’ sycophantic views are going to be the death of this site (which I actually read quite often) so get some realistic writers (like myself) to come on here to actually give a balanced, truthful opinion and and we might just put the world to rights!

  • Pete

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KExVFcaGt_8&sns=fb

    That’s what real fans do…..the worst thing would be to sack the manager.

  • Exo

    You’ll still be writing cock sucking articles when Arsene’s got us playing in the Championship. If you love this club as much as you say you do then at least have the dignity to look at it from a different perspective now and then instead of kissing Wengers arse at every opportunity you get. He left the sales of Fabregas and Nasri til the last minute so he could say we didn’t have enough time to replace them. We are an absolute joke for keeping Wenger on

  • menace

    Spend or Go? Wenger is more Arsenal than any of you brainy bunch. He is hurting more than we are. I am an Arsenal supporter and will always stand beside Mr Wenger and our club. I am disappointed by the defeat but not surprised. I bet on a penalty and I bet on a red card. I was not disappointed.

    Webb was smart as his United colleagues. He didn’t send Arshavin off but ensured our defender was sent off. It’s a smart move. We have a big problem in defence made worse by the cards. Webb saw all the unsporting behaviour at free kicks but let it be. It is what we should learn from and do the same. We should learn to dive from the experts.

    One positive is that this team played together for the fisrt time and we played against a good team. This team is made up of good players that need to gel. We will get better and we will come back stronger. We only lost 3 points and will get a lot of stick, but we are still the Arsenal.

    I am proud of my team and we 8 2 say well done United (CU&TS),

  • jawbreaker

    Love your posts mate. I really hope after today all the plastic Arsenal “fans” go and support man city im sick of them the scum bags booing the players and making disrespectful chants. You should be proud to be a gooner, even if we had been beat 20-0 id still be cheering because they’re my local team and im a true gooner till i die! It will take patience but when we do win something it will be so much sweeter knowing the amount of hard work that went into it & knowing we did it the right way rather then just buying success. Up the Gunners EIE!!

  • menace

    @ash This team has never played together until today. Everyone of these players is quality. They need time to gel. The only prt of thiss team that have played together is the front line. The midfield lacked cohesion and missed some guile.

    I am not upset with 8 just disappointed we only scored 2.

  • XX

    SICK OF THIS AKB JUNK. 8-2 LOSS TO YOUR MAJOR RIVALS AND YOU HAVE ENERGY TO SOMEHOW DRAW POSITIVES FROM THIS DRABBING. SHAME ON YOU.

  • RedGooner

    Sorry you cant look at who we had missing today and make the comments that it is excusable

    United also had Vidic, Ferdinand, Rafael, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Berbatov, Fabio missing played no part

    There 2 main central defenders and defensive midfielders arguably better players than we had missing if not just as good.

    Its a squad game these days and our squad isnt strong enough the team that lost 6-1 this side wouldnt lace their boots.

  • redjim

    Coach of The Decade??? Isn’t that always that beetroot faced scotch geezer up the dusty end of the M6 who knows how to, to, to well actively coach and do tactical stuff and instill a hunger and a never diminishing belief and a sense of pupose and belonging. Season after season after season.
    Tony, Walter, with all due respect you need to apply a little honesty to that strapline on your banner. It’s almost as humiliating to many balanced Arsenal fans as seeing their “team” being battered 8-2 by a bunch of kids.

  • Anne

    I just want to second what everyone has said about the fan support at Old Trafford. Just hearing that many Arsenal fans in the background that were still supporting the team, actually made me smile at points during the second half, which I wouldn’t have thought would be possible.

  • Sean

    No offence but that kind of ‘I’ve supported them through thick and thin’ works with Leyton Orient, it works with Barnet, it works with Dagenham & Redbridge but…..erm…..Arsenal!
    I don’t think so.
    They’ve been in the top flight for 90 years.
    They’ve been in the top half of the top flight for most of them.
    They’ve been on the ‘Champions’ League gravy train for a decade and a half.
    There is no ‘thick and thin’ and therein lies the problem.

  • Aussie Jack

    Noble comments Walter but it didn`t need to happen, you know that, I know that. It was an accident waiting to happen every supporter was waiting for it, bit like waiting for `Irene` but at least they did something about it.
    As you rightly say it could be the start of something big and we only have Sir Alex to thank for it.

  • idi

    Just last season a full compliment madrid side was hammered 5-0 @ barca but they r not worthless r they we need to to b real here. We had eight first team players out. Wilshere gervinho song frimpong gibbs sagna verminator diaby. Stop complaining and support the team or bugger of and support shitty.

  • Ideket

    Context: One point in three games. No excuses. We must replace those we lost. No gaps. Continuity. Henry, Vieira, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell etc all not replaced. There is a time for speculative buys and a time for proven articles. Now is the time for proven players who are good to go NOW.

  • Stevie

    Your loyalty is admirable Walter but whatever follows will not erase this 8-2 humiliation. It’s time to face reality.

  • We fans can be upset, but I hope the players do not shake with this humiliating defeat, as only they can change that. Forward Arsenal!

  • Sean

    Just noticed a comment above saying that ‘we can’t, won’t be’ etc. etc. good enough for fourth.
    And that was a well written and positive posting.
    But even he/she has fallen into the trap of ‘aiming’ for fourth.
    Fourth?
    Fourth?
    Fourth!!!!!
    Are you all living in Sky’s/UEFA’s multi-coloured wonderland?
    Since when was fourth the aim?

    Hold on…….what’s that rumble?
    Matt Busby, Bill Nicholson, Bill Shankly and Bertie Mee turning in their graves.

    Fourth, my arse!

  • Mr. Verloc

    Maybe you should email this post to Paul Merson and question his loyalty and commitment to Arsenal FC.

  • arsenalsk

    the best article about our worst nightmare.
    we need to support the players and rebound together.
    still have faith in our manager and all the experts, leave arsenal to sort out its problems.
    always gooner

  • Charlie

    So is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end ? Unfortunately i fear the latter. I have kept loyal to Wenger but i’ve just about had enough. The excuses of failing to find the right player in the market for the right price don’t wash any more. We have 3 more days and if nobody is signed this summer has to count as a monumental failure by a man who used to know what he was doing but now he must step aside before things get much worse. I would say that there is almost no chance of us qualifying for the Champions League next season and all because they club has been unable to function in the transfer market.

  • Sean

    I’ll leave now, but the above poster has just done it again!!!!
    Fourth!
    Is that The Arsenal’s ambition?

    T.R.Y.
    T.O.
    W.I.N.
    S.O.M.E.T.H.I.N.G.

    Until you don’t:
    (a) you won’t, and,
    (b) supporters of other clubs will have a field day!

  • bob

    All,
    I think we need a five day truce to then take stock and address the whole picture which – better or not better than today’s – will offer different facts and potentials on the ground. Right now, much of our commentary is being driven by our feeling humiliated (as Arsene states as well) and we can’t think or act constructively whilst being in a rage for having been humiliated. It’s what infants do. So let’s agree to come back after the window closes to take stock then. And, in the interim, by chilling out for a few days, we might not drive off some potentially new and good signing.

  • Dark Prince

    Though i feel that such an embarrassment cud have been averted if necessary actions were taken a long time ago in the transfer period….but cant complain much now…

    I hope this defeat was a big big lesson for the board and the manager as well…you cant always expect reserve youngsters to shine. Putting too much faith on youngsters is a bad idea…necessary transfers should have been made, and i hope we can rectify it in these few days…

    On the other hand, i think its time to get together and be stronger…have never seen our supporters, manager and players in so much despair ever b4,…so we need to show our support now to them….

    Also i feel that this was expected…too many injuries, too many suspensions, too many departures, too much inactivity in transfers, too much of a tired squad after trip to italy few days back, and the toughest match of the season….It had to give in…all this negativity and mistakes and bad luck had to leave a big mark somewhere….it did ystrday….

  • otniel

    it’s been a while since my last visit to this blog,

    here I am, in Indonesia, with my fellow gooners, watching MU vs Arsenal live from TV in a neutral pub, just when the MU scored the 6,7,8th goal, we got tons of humiliation and mockery from United fans.

    The sad part is, we can’t even talk back, we can’t defend the pride! We 100% bad just like they mock us! And personally, this is the saddest and the most frustating part from 15 years being a Gooner.

    I know this happens also in 2001, but seriously, even I hate to admit it but judging from couple matches before, we can’t bounce back just like in 2001, I just can’t see it with our current team.

    Walter, I always love your positive writing, I always be a gooner and support the team, but it’s time to face the reality personally I think this season will be the worst for us. God help us.

    Cheers,
    Indonesian Gooners.

  • sahil

    @Aditya:
    Your link is an interesting read could explain what is happening.
    I am gonna post it again for everyone.
    http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s378/st170548.htm

  • Lol history does repeat itself and i’m glad it did cause as we all know it was an accident waiting to happen just the boss to stuborn to please some of the supporters request,mayb he will change his stance as he had a 1st hand experience that our second string team are not good enough and at some point in the reason we may sit with a similar situation where 5 or more 1st choice players will be out of the game, ONLY CONCERN NOW IS 4 ARSENAL IS THE PLAYERS THAT ARE AVAILABLE ARE FEW AND FAR IN BETWEEN AND THOSE THAT ARE WILL BE INFLATED, AS THE WINDOW IS ABOUT TO CLOSE AND OUR WEAKNESS’S HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO THE WORLD TO SEE!

  • Pranaam

    What people are forgetting is that we could have scored a couple of goals or even more..Rvp’ penalty..his chance in the second half and arshain had a good shot but missed..that would have made it 8-5…not a bad score…even though we had a very young team that hasn’t played together for long..i think we can get better as the season progresses..we’ll finish in the top-4 for sure and probably do well in one of the cups..

  • redjim

    That’s the problem bob. The club has just had a whole summer to take stock but that entire summer has oh so predictably been squandered in the futile attempt to keep two players who were always going to leave regardless. Meanwhile a squad that was known to be short in May has been stripped to the bare bones and with three days of a transfer window remaining we seem to be staring down the barrel of a season long exercise in very public humiliation.
    In the spongey netherworld that has become AKB such will – as always – be dismissed as doom and gloom. To everyone else in football it’s a concrete reality.

  • Chris N

    I will put my support in the new manager if there is one. Right now Wenger has got to regain my trust. I have been supportive during this transition. Emirates is a great stadium even though I wish it was closer to the pitch, but the league form from the end of last season to the start of this one has been….well awful. I am proud of this club. I will always support within reason. Arsenal existed before Wenger and will exist after. Every manager and player must leave the club sometime. If this is Wenger’s end I will remember the Invincibles and not the 8-2 loss at OT.

  • Pat

    Why doesn’t Wenger simply say he is committed to bringing through talented youths, and stop putting Arsenal fans through all this anguish every transfer window?

  • Ed

    it was not surprising, but i still expected better from even a makeshift team fighting title rivals…
    whilst there seems to be contrasting optimism and pessimism here are the positives and negatives as i saw from the game yesterday.

    negatives:
    1) lack of fight and dropping of heads. we had good support yesterday, but the team look visibly low after the first few goals, and almost accepted a drubbing.
    2) lack of strength in the squad. yes we have had injuries and suspensions, but we really should have more quality in reserve especially after our appalling injury records and expected departures. lets hope we are able to bring in more quality before the transfer window shuts.
    3) the form of our experienced players. i was disappointed at how poor our experienced players were yesterday – van persie, arshavin, rosicky, Djorou and koscielny (who were our first choice cb pairing last season). walcott was the only one who i thought did anything decent.
    4) the tactical inability of the coach to make any changes to stem the flow. it was obvious we had defensive problems as a team in the first half… it was only worse in the second half.

    positives:
    1) this was an understrength team. once we have our first team back, we know we are a lot better. wilshere, gervinho, song, vermaelen, gibbs, sagna. if we manage to make some decent signings, then all the better!
    2) our youngsters are good. i have been impressed by coquelin, frimpong, miquel in games played this season. but you cannot throw them all in the deep end together. blood them in properly playing alongside vermaelen, wilshire, song, van persie and we can have a very very good team soon.
    3) It is only 3 games into the season and they have been difficult games – Newcastle away, Liverpool and Man Utd who are top teams who have invested 100m each this summer. yet from the same games as last season, we just got 1 point less (the draw with liverpool at the emirates). Maybe it is best to tank these games where losses are expected/more acceptable, and have the team regroup and ready for the business end of the season.
    4) any 8-2 loss will damage moral, but i am hoping with the uncommitted players gone, the ones that remain really love the club and have the mental strength to understand the humiliation and vow to fight as hard as possible never to have that happen again.
    5) we’re still above spurs 😀

    in the end, we still have to put a perspecitve on this. we’re not as bad as some teams which have been thrashed by 7, 8 or 9 goals in the league before. we were very tactically and defensively naive against a very good team who had everything going for it (rooney and Young’s shots almost all went in perfectly to the top corner). We tried to attack and stand toe to toe at Old Trafford using our reserve team. i remember seeing a stat when we were 6-2 down and man utd had 22 shots to our 18… thats the kind of game it was.

    lets move on, see what happens before the transfer window closes and win our next few games. remember, it was just a few months ago that this team beat man utd 1-0…

  • Bigong

    There is no way we can finish top four at the end of the season. Maybe top 8 also is hard to reach with this CURRENT SQUAD. Yes, we did lose 6-1 to United in 2001. But look at the squad we have at that time. We can see such positive side in them. The strong physically and mentality and also they are an experienced footballer with the maturity attitude. That’s why we can bounce back in the next years. But look at our team now. What do we got here buddy? Nothing. There is no way these current team can bring us the glorious moment. Just wake up Walter, face the reality.

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    For the first time in my life and in the fifteen odd years since I have started watching soccer and supporting Arsenal I felt dreadful to go into an online forum.

    I don’t remember history as you do Mr. Walter Broeckx, but I can vouch for one thing you pepped an ardent Arsenal supporter on a Monday morning.

    I for sure know well we would bounce back from this and hopefully very soon. I wish we drub United somewhere this season and let the scot and his team learn some lessons hopefully pretty pretty soon.

  • Dom

    I still cannot believe what happened in Manchester. Our worst defeat after 114 yrs. I love Arsene as Arsenal manager and still believe in him. But last fixture really frustating us for supporter. Sometimes he is brilliant and sometimes is very idiot. “Idiot” looks harsh right, but let’s see, is there any EPL manager come to oldtrafford with reserve team and still playing attacking football rather than defend and playing counter attack football. Sir Alex often play this againts us and seems quite success. Remember last year FA cup with 6 defender on the field and they still beat us. In my opinion it is not our back 4 is the problem, our strategy is! Arsene pride is making him stubborn, he was never play defensif stategy – or maybe he can’t. Poor Jenkitson, Djourou, Koschielny, Traore, they looks not better than championship player. I think the result will not be better if there is vermalen in the squad. Arsene must change our tactics, strategy, and buy commanding centre backs. Come on Arsene we still have 3 days we already miss 8 point!

  • RedGooner

    Ed I think you missed a ton of stuff and probably more negatives than positives two things that annoyed me yesterday were.

    Did anyone see when Walcott gave out to Carl Jenkinson for constantly been out of position ? Jenkinson told walcott to fuck himself three times in a row and then dismissed him with a hand gesture.
    Probably because the player who was telling him to stay back he doesnt respect … you could say its because walcotts 3 years older you could say its because wtf has walcott won in his career
    You could look at our team and say who the fuck would he respect RVP maybe and per

  • RedGooner

    continued and perhaps Vermalen ?

    Also how many of them players walked around smiling shaking hands afterwards ? winners/good players dont do it they are furious Rooney wouldnt have been smiling shaking hands after 8-2 he would have been afraid to go into the dressing room with fergussons waiting in there.
    How many of our boys were afraid going in 0…..

  • Arsenal4Life

    I flew out to India and was lucky/unluck to find the match on ESPN… I remember the 6-1 aand that felt like this felt. Yess We do need to move on as fans, but other things need to also move on. When Arsenal lost 6-1 there were no other teams other than Arsenal and Man U, but there is now. With the spending power around and a move into a higher wage structure, we are looking down the barrell of a similar position to the Scottish League where only a small few teams at the top attract the good players and the rest have to watch. I have always admired Arsenal for the very fact that we are the only club that has build our sucsess in the PL and not relied on marketing or Billionares to fund us. The fact of the matter is unless there are tighter laws on spending we will fall behind with everybody else. We will also have to get used to the fact that players will want to leave to play in teams full of big names as its a big draw for them. Money has completely taken over the game and that is a much bigger loss than 8-2. I told my mates around 5 years ago Chelsea are spoiling the game by having an unlimited fund for players. City have now taken that to new hieghts. It is wrong that a team from nowhere can buy a title. A team like Arsenal has showed the right way, but unless the law changes we will fall behind. All that said, our inability to buy players is shocking. It doesn’t wash that there are not players better than ones we have. We won stuff with a mix of old and young. Bring in some expeirience NOW.

  • nachi

    as an arsenal supporter on a grim monday morning i wanna ask the more knowledgeable of our supporters is wenger’s claim that he wants to spend but does not see the quality really true… could we not have bought players like mata, aguero, dzeko( last winter), or even the highly rated phil jones…. are they really overpriced or over rated… is our new signing (to be) chu – young really that good ???????

  • Sammy

    EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES!

    If 3 Vermaelen and Sagna were missing from Arsenal’s back four, so were Ferdinand and Vidic missing from Man Utd.

    Our back four is injury prone anyways and has been increasingly weakening for past four years. So why has Wenger hasn’t done anything 2 days before the transfer deadline? And don’t give me the bull about he tried. All the other clubs who try get their players, atleast some of them.

    Some say this is because Cesc left. But he was always going to leave, we all knew that months ago. When C Ronaldo left, Man Utd did not collapse like us, they won the freaking title! Cos SAF planned well, and not fiddled around like our manager!

    Tell me honestly. In the past 6 years, when was the last time that an outgoing player was signed with someone with better quality, and not a unproven player “with potential” who may or may not come good? The team has been weakening gradually for many years, and it is all Wenger’s FAULT! Yes, he did some great things for the club in the past, but he has only excelled in making lame pathetic excuses for past 6 years. It’s time to smell the coffee!!

  • Mahesh

    Well, if nothing else, the result yesterday, makes life difficult for everyone in transfers department at Arsenal. The players would suddenly see Arsenal in a more negative light now, at least for a few more days. Only some of the prospective incoming players would be able to see the result for past ten years, and accept that Arsenal are much better. Especially since we only have a couple of days left in transfer window, the result will loom large over any final negotiations.
    It might even change their minds. I hope any prospective AFC players see through the result yesterday, and choose football over other matters by realizing that it is one off.

  • Sammy

    I’m afraid the WORST IS YET TO COME!

    The lame idiot is going to fiddle around and not sign anyone noteworthy, maybe a few more unproven players “with potential” in the next couple of days.

    WE ARE GOING TO DROP OUT OF THE TOP 4 THIS SEASON!

    And then he can’t even brag that he’s been giving us CL football and profits every year which are more important then winning trophies or getting humiliated 8-2 by united.

  • dy

    a loss is a loss, so what’s the big fuss !? No, the real problem of this Arsenal team is team formation and integration, you can’t expect result in 5 combative games with so many players in and out for one reason or another. Plus the fact Arsenal is in dire need of reinforcement, especially at mid field, and the full back line. Yes, the real problem is there’re only 3 days left for signing anyone.

  • WalterBroeckx

    People who post under different names to agree with themselves will not see their comment appear on the site.

  • dy

    well there’s one good news after watching the dismay game against MU, Arshavin is really looking lean and mean, and I like it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks Walter ,I was wondering how I was going to pick myself off the floor and get to work ,but your article was a consolation.
    Hope this break gives time for all to heal ,and hope they come back stronger .Is is painful but we will move forward .
    Just like you and the others have mentioned ,I ‘ve never seen a game where all the shots taken ended up in the corner of the net- Ashley Young’s two goals and Roony’s two freekicks.

  • Mahesh

    Eh.. if the rumours are to be believed, then this is just a move in the game of chess played between AW and board! Sometimes, you have to loose a piece to get into a better position. I cannot believe that someone like AW would not be able to see that a team is not balanced; and not try to compensate by improving on tactics. So, this must be what AW wanted – To make it so glaring that board has to act, like they did when Arshavin was brought in to save our 4th position status. If nothing else, this game would give AW more leverage in his quest to bring better players to the club. We might even end up revising our wage structure! (Too far fetched?) Fans may never know, but one might be inclined to take one in the gut, just for the team, especially, when one loves AFC as much as AW does (or at least I belive that to be).

  • wen_detta

    on the wage structure at the Club…
    It is difficult to find excuses after a game like that. Wages-wise, of course we are behind the other teams. AW

    Re: Wenger and the Board at Loggerheads Exclusive
    Posted by: RadioFreeArsenal (IP Logged)
    Date: 24/08/2011 20:46

    No one is saying we should but we do have more resources and ought to use them just as we did the same from 1998-2005 when we were outspent by most clubs but still were willing to spend more (relatively speaking) and more ambitiously and be more competitive.

    The Board misled us and let us down really for the past several years and if anyhting is continuing to do so I fear. No we didn’t have to spend like Chelsea or now Man City. We just had to spend more like Arsenal used to and clearly there was nodesire on our Club’s opart to do that much even, and clearly given the lack of question or complaint or even action certainly our Board felt no desire to see us to do so.

    If you increase our wage strcuture out to 150-170K a week you can sign that many more players like we used to sign from 1998-2005 and equally importantly you can keep your better players until the team does finally compete for and win trophies. Right now we offer neither good wages or good prospects of winning trophies you cannot blame top players for going to City ahead of Arsenal, period. They will make more money and have better prospects to win silverware too. I mean sickening as it is to say there are 4-5 clubs in England right now that if I were a genuinely ambitious player I would look to before Arsenal, because I will either get more money and more trophies or maybe both.

    I don’t see us changing the trophies thing with the players we now have so we have to change the wage structure get some of these players to sign with us for the wages and then when we win a trophy or two we’ll be set as players will come to Arsenal for less because they have more chances to win trophies.

    If we don’t change the wage structure now who knows how long it’ll be before we are ready to attract players with success on the pitch again?

  • dy

    Keep up the spirit, MU ‘s days of greatness (this season at least ) are numbered, it’ll go down hill from now on and Arsenal will definitely rebound. I truly believe things won’t last long when it hits a 10. Like the Ying and Yan.

  • sahil

    @Mahesh: If this defeat can help bring quality in the squad then so be it. But it does sound a little far fetched, that AW would do so intentionally, deliberate or not this defeat should wake up the board. Changes need to be made in the wage structure, world class players do not play on the salaries we are offering right know.

  • John L

    Godbless the fans last night! Fantastic! Its a f*#$ing hard result to take, but it made me proud!

    Theres a long road to travel…but I love my Arsenal. And im happy to be a fan of this great club

  • Shrek

    I hope that the board an Arsene will look at yesterday’s defeat and use it to change course. Whilst I love our football style when we are playing well the truth is it is 6 years since it was good enough to win anything. We knew we were in decline when losing the Carling cup to a team that then got relegated and drew 4-4 after leading 4 – 0 at half time. The club have taken our money and given us a world class stadium but have failed to invest in the team. Fabregas two games at Barcelona and two trophies just highlights the problem. Nasri looked outstanding against Spurs. If we want to keep our best players and be competitive we need to pay premier league wages and big transfer fees to bring in the best players available as well as win things. The fans can no longer be relied on to defend the club as we have nothing we can defend it with. As for sacking Wenger this is not an option as we have three days until the transfer window closes. If he was replaced any half decent manager would want to do a clearout and buy in some committed players but could not do so until January. If we don’t spend our decline will become terminal, our revenue will decline and we will be just another also ran.

  • JohnW

    Walter,
    Thanks for the article, in fact its times like this when you see a true Gooner. I looked at the the match and realised that we really had a great opportunity to nick it. Yes! If only Arsene was more technical! When you are missing 6 first teamers, definite starters and leaders of your team (Wilshere, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Sagna, Song and Gervinho)then you can pack the bus and every one would understand. Therefore, even at 3-1, we had the chance to come back if only we had been more cautious. We didn’t have to adopt the gang-ho style, we should have closed up shop and worked on our counterattack. ManU would have come at us because they were at home and really had no choice but to attack.
    In otherwords, Djourou and Cochelin should have played holding midfield, Miguel should have stayed in defence and would have done really well. Instead of Rosicky, Lansbury should have played to add commitment and great engine, and instead of Arshavin, any of the other players should have given us the commitment we need.
    When you score two goals at your major rival, miss a penalty and a host of other chances, that shows you could have won.
    Finally, I take the defeat into perspective. When you look at corresponding fixtures last season, we have actually only lost two points, not 7. Last season we lost at ManU (3points), drew at New Castle (gained 1 point) and drew at home with Liverpool. So I’m still optimistic for the season. Besides, these things some times happen.

  • Travis

    Cahill and Hazard are on the way to Emirates. Finally.

    My fellow Gooners, believe me when I tell you our season starts on Sep 1st.

  • Gooner S

    Good on you Walter. That’s the spirit. It mirrors my own views we support Arsenal, they need our support now. The away supporters were fantastic. As for the game; defensively dreadful and shocking, despite the numbers out a better collective performance was required. Still it is done, we all have to live with it and move on.

  • Pat

    Thanks Walter. Great article! Just what we need on a morning like this.

  • Gooneraside

    You’re having a laugh, I read in the comments.
    Well, yes, at times I did.
    I never actually expected a win, a draw would have been fantastic but still unexpected, in fact, nil points was always on the cards.
    So why did I laugh? It wasn’t funny to see goals simply flying into the net – I wasn’t amused that our defensive line made no movement in between the ball being rolled from a free kick allowing Rooney (or was it Elton John?) time to place his shots – seeing RvP and Rambo so off form that they afforded no danger to the Mancs – it wasn’t in the slightest bit amusing to see that our two subbed scorers appeared too embarrassed to look AW in the face when they left the field.
    So why did I laugh? It was better than crying. After 5 goals against, it didn’t matter. It was only 1 game. I’ve seen worse things happen to The Arsenal. And, mostly, I was already imagining all those doom and gloom comments – often made more credible by being written in CAPITALS.
    Ignore them, you true fans, it could be worse. We could be bottom of the league.

  • Pat

    And thanks Pete for the video of the Arsenal fans singing for twenty minutes after full time!

  • andy bishop

    Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Yesterday has to be a wake up call for the whole club. The last thing Arsenal want now is to sack the manager like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The squad is no longer in a position to go for all four trophies. There has to be a realisation and and adjustment in priorities. Wengers strengths do not include tactical nous..he needs help. The defence is shocking and lacks co ordination that a top quality defender and leader would instill. Wengers teams play the same way, if he has top players playing the system they are unbeatable. We no longer have that luxury..where is plan B?. What he is good at is unearthing good talent, developing and selling at a profit…great for Arsenal PLC as long as the fans stay faithful but gradually erodes the players identity with the club and the Arsenal spirit he so often alludes to. I saw very little of the Arsenal spirit yesterday.

  • Sammy The Snake

    It’s rather hard to sugarcoat this result, and you have done a good job of it Waletr. I still believe in Wenger, but we must all accept that something is horribly wrong with the way the club is managed. Is it the board, Silent Stan, the back room staff, Wenger? We need a major shift, and we have only 3 working days for it. Urgent action is required now.

    The only silver lining: This could be a major wake up call to all at Arsenal and 3 days to attempt to fix things. This could have happened next week and we would have had no way to remedy.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I thought it an interesting parallel between last seasons 5-0 drubbing of Madrid, where Mourinho used a crushing defeat to the bitterest rival to ENHANCE his standing within the club. We could have gone to OT, played very negatively and still lost, albeit 1/2-0.

  • Davi

    “The unbelievable perfection of almost every shot and free kick from United that for some reason always ended in the top corner of our goal.”
    It’s strange no-one has mentioned this. I swear 5 of their goals were just amazing, and we could have scored at least 4. I’m not saying we would have won, but I think the timing of the goals, and the penalty miss were very important, and on another day, had we scored the pen or had djourou done better against wellbeck (as he really should have), we might have grown into the game and put in a decent performance.
    We gave them too much space to shoot, but you can’t expect such brutal punishment over and over like that. I know ashley young is well capable of shooting like that but when will he next score one goal as perfect as either of his goals today, let alone 2! Rooney’s freekicks were ridiculous, and he isn’t usually deadly from set pieces – can’t remember him scoring one since his first CL game against fenerbahce (maybe he has scored one or two in 7 years, but he’s hardly prolific from fk situations).
    I think merson is right that wenger does deserve some blame for not setting the side up better so that we could have put up more of a fight, and his “sending lambs to the slaughter” is a fair analogy to make here, but we have also suffered some ridiculous bad luck, not just today but over the course of the season. This time it was bad luck with our finishing, and very bad luck with theirs. Again, I’m not saying we could have won, just that we could very easily have done a bit better and avoided losing in such a horrendous manner. With the injuries and suspensions and recent sales, it always seemed unlikely we would get anything from this game.

  • ak47

    thanx real supporters, i couldnt sleep last night but the real mad defeat compared to the situation provides perspective.

    whats bugging me tho is its seems all self inflicted even the injuries to a point. i think ill reserve judgement till i see who we bring in and when we have the majority of the first team playing.

  • wounded Gooner

    History did repeat and will not repeat. Ten years ago we were beaten 6-1, this time we were beaten 8-2. Different scoreline and different history to tell.

    The difference between the team of 2001 and that we have got now is the 2001 team had high spirit and determination, and the lost was not expected and it was almost like an accident. The 2001 had leaders who eat and breath football. While the current team has got no determination, the morality is low and we expected to loose before the ball was kicked. Anyone who saw the lineup before the game knew that we have got no chance of coming home with even a draw.

    We will support arsenal no matter what, but the truth must be said. Wenger needs to buy experience players.

  • 037

    Great post!
    I needed to be reminded that some good can happen after a disaster.
    I’m certain that our season starts after the transfer window closes. It was a certainty that Wenger would not buy players right after Cesc & nasri were out, but would wait until the last seconds of the window to pull down prices. it’s just how we operate, and I accept it.

    But we should put this loss into proper context:
    -We were missing our main defensive unit (Verm, Sagna, Gibbs, Song, Frimpong)
    – Ball possession of both sides were nearly equal
    – We managed to get roughly 80% of MU’s shots (both total and on-target) without a proper “creative-outlet” type of player. And those were quality chances.
    – Rooney and Young were RIDICULOUSLY on-form. Young would probably only score 5 of those wicked curlers in his entire career (and unfortunately for us, 2 happened in one game). Rooney wouldn’t score from free kicks more than 4 times in a season (and unfortunately for us again, 2 happened in the one game against us)

    – Remember than United usually had terrible starts to their season, but they showed “mental strength” (whatever the pundits call it) toward the end of the season. Why can’t we do it? Especially with our increase of “British mentality” in the first team.

    Keep the faith Gooners! Our EPL season starts against Swansea.

    Cheers, all the way from Indonesia

  • @Walter,
    You really should let some fans vent their frustration because that is all some need to do to help them accept the reality express train that hit AFC yesterday. Some would accept no explanations as they cannot even think for themselves (its too much hard-work) and will go around parroting others.

    We should now be talking of the process of finishing the AFC building, not re-building, process (this process has been on since 2004). AFC fans need to come to grips with that as a fact. Sacking AW now will abort that process and do irreparable damage to it. The AFC board appears to be very culpable in the debacle and I think Gadzidis has a lot of explaining to do on why new transfers are taking forever and the out-going ones are also taking forever.

    When AW was asked during an interview what he planned to do to replace Nasri seeing he had been sold to one of the club’s main rivals (an official notification had not been posted as at that time) he responded “no one has told me that…” (Nasri has been sold)! AW was either being clever or had truly not been told that rank had been pulled on him to sell Nasri rather than allow him to go for free one year later as he (AW) wanted.

    To me, if there are differences between what the Manager says publicly and what actually happens thereafter it could mean any of the following: the manager is lying and is being untruthful with the fans; or the board does not agree with the manager and therefore sold the player against his protestations. I would like to believe the 2nd option because Fabregas was also sold against the Manager’s expressed wish that he be sold at no less than a 40m pounds valuation.

    Fabregas got sold off to Barca against AW’s wish at an unacceptable price. Even the said fee is to be made up from the player’s own future wages over a period of years. All that points to some mean ogre like approach by someone in the hierarchy who does not care about AFC fans, the players nor AW. I could imagine that/those person or persons rubbing their hands with glee and smacking their lips with relish at the prospect of the profits tumbling into the club’s coffers.

    The image of AW that I see, in recent times, at the dug-out does not strike me as one who would take deliberate steps to destroy the work he has spent the better part of his career putting together. If you have been a project manager/founder you would appreciate the turmoil through which AW is going through right now. Some members of the board who are managing AFC today were not part of the team that co-founded project youth.

    Their buy-in is therefore suspect and is probably based only on the income generation and the self-sustaining appeal it has. That there is an investing period when no reasonable revenues will be expected is anathema to them. This is why there is a schism between those who favour higher wages and those opposed but favour high figure transfers. What could AW do? He could either walk or live with it. It appears he has chosen to live with it (just like the mother who would rather have her child claimed by an impostor than have him dismembered by King Solomon – the King gave the child back to the mother).

    AW is part and parcel of project youth; you cannot separate the two without doing serious harm to both of them. The other components were the stadium, delivered. The Highbury flats to pay for part of the expansion, delivered. Topping up of transfers to replace normal attrition and departures is the sticky point because Chelsea and now Manchester City, who were not part of the equation are now part of the picture. Manchester United responded well and has adjusted their wages structure accordingly. AFC’s? We are still waiting.

    The resolution to our current debacle is for the board to back the Manager as he deserves and not to continue upsetting his calculations with its dithering in the transfer window and targets that he had for it. If AFC finishes below 4th position in the EPL 2011/12 we should hold the board and the ‘silent one’ accountable NOT AW.

    AW is too decent a fellow to snitch on his employers and would rather take the blame for everything than have project youth derailed beyond recognition. There are cynics on that board who have seen this and seem all too prepared to create disaffection and ill-will towards AW by the fans. “Only the fans can sack Arsene Wenger…”. Since when did the fans become board members and shareholders? But there would be a perfect alibi if the hue and outcry were loud and enough to justify his dismissal. We would then be told “…that was what the fans wanted” mission accomplished.

    Where does that leave project youth? Where does that leave beautiful Arsenal play? Where does it leave the self-sustainable model of financing? Where would AFC end up?

  • wounded Gooner

    before the game we all knew it that with the players available we had no chance at OT, wenger knew it and all true fans knew it, what i don’t understand is why we didn’t park the bus? i bet if we did the score would have been lower than 8!!! Wenger didn’t have plan B and that was a real problem. and why bendner was not even on the bench? his experience could have helped a bit yesterday and thats come from someone who rates bendner very very low!!!!!

  • 037

    Another thing we should notice is how we did not take the “damage limitations option” and change Arsh-Walcott for Miquel-Lansbury. Had we done this, we could’ve kept the score at 3-1, easy. But that’s not the Arsenal way. We DECIDED TO KEEP ON ATTACKING, by throwing in Chamberlain for Coquelin. And I love this decision to keep on fighting and attacking. We continued to get quality chances until the end.

  • Johnny Deigh

    We didn’t park the bus because at 60 minutes it was only 3-1 and Wenger decided to chase the match by taking off Coquelin and putting on Chamberlain in his place.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @037 – you’re right at least Wenger took an all or nothing approach as opposed to a defeatist attitude. He probably should have taken off someone else instead of Coquelin.

  • bob

    bobome,
    I think your hypothesis/analysis of the Board/AW schism is excellent. It may well go along with what jas777 has been saying (that is, implying) about Silent Stan as someone who invests in teams (which my research indicates, start out pretty high in the standings) and then SEEMS to do very little to ensure their success at the very top. It does seem that Arsene was either ambushed or overruled at board meeting on the Members week; and that his public statements about not selling Cesc or Nasri for anything but fair value were turned into embarrassing contradictions by the subsequent crap deals with the self-interested help of Dein the Lesser in Cesc’s case, and the self-interested help of the former convict/French agent (with scores to settle against Arsene/Primorac) in Nasri’s case. It’s seems like a take the money now. Arsene’s role is unclear. But as long as he can’t go public without walking away from the job, then he’s in a bind, taking all the heat and being savaged by the media vultures like Guardian’s Richard Williams, Paul Wilson, and David Hytner – and they are after his head – while Silent Stan and others draw down the profits which information they are not obliged (yet) to share with the fanbase. This chaos, in my view, has a possible purpose, which is to massively destabilize the team and make it ripe for either a sale to a zillionaire other than Silent Stan, or a complete takeover by Silent Stan, or to continue as a side in chaos that offers cosmetic changes – perhaps even sacking AW due to “popular demand” or his perceived “instability” – that will keep fans spending on a future that never gets measurably better, whilst they play us like washboards. I surely – and openly – do not know. But this last part is only a feeble but earnest attempt to draw some further hypothetical conclusions from your most interesting analysis. I’d welcome your further thoughts, to try to shed more light than the current heat. Again, thanks to Sahil for this link which has overlaps with your analysis: http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s378/st170548.htm

  • dy

    there’s definitely something fishy going on behind the scene during the whole summer, for the worst to happen, the management (that’s including the Board, Arsene ) has to be held accountable. Supporters are an integral part of the success of AFC or any club. Now is the time for someone to come forward to explain or enlighten us on the present and future plan for Arsenal. An open statement from the Board is needed ASAP !! And no empty words please.

  • Simon Bailey

    If we make the assumption that Arsene and the board are reading from different hymnsheets, and that the football network article is a fair analysis of the situation at the emirates, then it appears that Arsene himself is on the side of the critics whilst also being on the side of those that declare theei undying trust of the man.

    This slightly paradoxical situation actually puts all of us on the same side of the argument. Even if we support Wenger or do not, most of us agree that money and wages need to be made available, and if Arsene is of the same mind as most of us, then we’re all in it together.

    This is a situation that is far more preferable to the polarised situation that up till now we feel we are all caught up in.

    I detest the idea of arguing with any other gooner. If we can all line up on the same side, like yesterdays away fans, the troublesome journey we face can be faced together. Lets find a common enemy and concentrate on them. It’s fairly clear that this season is going to be more tricky than those we have faced in the last five or six years.

    I respect the board for their great financial judgement throughout the last 10 years or so, their refusal to take dividends and their financing of the new training ground and stadium are great big plus marks.

    Now though, I feel that the whole financial landscape has changed and the premier league is a different kettle of fish compared to ten years ago. Chelsea had only just started with their financial doping and it took a considerable amount of time before the team gelled and they started winning regularly. Manu, although being the richest team in the league had the americans piling debt on them, and whilst we built our infrastructure and our team suffered, we still punched our weight and won some stuff. Now that chelsea have settled down and man city have learnt from chelseas mistakes and manu, despite their debt problems seem to have built another young capable team, The board and our new majority shareholder must realise that to stay in touch with these other teams, they have to adopt a different game plan.

    The youth project is an admirable thing, and with players like Jack and Frimpong coming through it’s hard to say that it doesn’t work.

    That said however, in my opinion, the board need to realise that hiding behind Wenger and keeping the purse strings tight is only ever going to succeed in mediocrity. I truly wish that it wasn’t so, and that the FA would insist on financial fair play, but we all know that the more money floating around in the premier league, the more they earn and they are not likely to kill the golden goose.

    We have spent the last few years trying to buck this system. In some ways we have succeeded because we have played the best football, we have always played in europe, but if the measure is silverware then we havent had much success in the last few years.

    The cesc and nasri sales are arguably the result of lack of investment in the team, as is the difficulties we have in signing big names. I am not proposing we do a Portsmouth, but a one season test run of spending a big pile might go a long way towards succeeding in all of the above categories and may well appease some of the harder nosed fans whose only mantra is ‘buy buy buy’.

    Ultimately if we can’t beat them we may have to join them.

  • Bob,
    It is entirely plausible that working towards bringing in an even richer buyer of a weakened and under valued AFC may be in the offing. Never say never and you will not be caught unawares. Where does the money trail lead in AFC today? Follow the money and you will have a fair idea where the source of AW’s troubles are.

  • Sammy

    The arguments of the “Arsene Knows Brigade” are hilarious. If the reports are to be believed, Wenger has finally smelled the coffee and making furious bids for all and sundry including some Chelsea rejects. If this is true, then he is doing EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what the AKBs have been saying all along – that we should trust Wenger cos he knows exactly what he is doing.

    I will wait until the midnight of 31st August to make any further statements, but if Wenger does end up making those fire-purchases, then I’ll be back on this board to ask the AKBs that if Wenger’s philosophy was correct, then how come he is being forced to sign players now? Would it mean that he got it wrong, and it took the debacle at Old Trafford for him to finally accept his mistake? That indeed his penny-pinching way was wrong, and he should’ve acted a lot earlier before he lost the fan’s faith and the team’s confidence and also some quality players? So be ready with the answers AKBs!

  • Justin

    I liked the history repeats part of the article but cannot agree with the excuses like 3 of first choice back 4 were out. Look at their team- a new keeper who is roasted by the press for mistakes, 2 CBs out, main RB injured. Its not that they were defensively brilliant n all; but they looked like wanting to play.

    It is a very lame excuse to say manutd had much brilliant team than us and very hurtfull also. We were playing our best attack, 2 mids who can start even if all are fit (either if not both). Same as theirs. And other were the same youngsters who I am sure will become the very future of our club in coming years. They have the talent, quality needed. Today just the intent was missing. can be because of unexpected entry on such a big stage. OT can be hard for newcomers. But we have to accept that Wenger missed a mark somewhere with the timing of the transfers (both in and out) and some tactics.

    Hopefully Mertesacker will create a good solid partnership with TV5. You need to have 4 playable CBs in squad. That lack of depth has showed in last 2 weeks. But let’s start afresh. We will get our main players back after a good rest and have comparatively easy game. Lets slot a half of dozen of our own.