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The worst part of this defeat and a happy birthday wish to Opa Wim

Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.  Have your name in the book as an official sponsor.  Updated information here

By Walter Broeckx

Damned Robin look what you have done now. Opa Wim celebrated his 91th birthday and you ruined his day.  We will be back on the substitution later on but for me we lost this match because Robin missed a golden chance when we were 1-0 down early in the second half.
Rosicky capitalized from a slip from Smalling and ran to the United goal, then he gave the ball to Robin who did everything right at first. Avoiding two defenders to have a clear sight of goal and then ….misfiring from close range in an almost empty net.  That was for me the turning point of the game. This wasn’t Wenger, this wasn’t Arshavin: this was Robin. But as I am a supporter I will not get on his back. Shit happens and this was a shit shot. The look on his face told it all and what a luck he has been around for a while now because such a miss would kill a young player. Or are we going to boo him next time around?

The first half we had the better of the game in the opening stages. But we couldn’t capitalise from the few occasions we could creat. Nerves and pressure I think?  United wasn’t that good in the opening exchanges in the game. But the further the game went on, the better United became in the first half. And when they scored you could have felt it coming. Giggs got too much time and Vermaelen got beaten in the air for once. But with Vermaelen only being ready at the last minute who are we to blame him for this. Or are we going to boo him next time around?

In the second half we saw the PL debut of Nico Yennaris at right back. He had to look Nani in the eyes. I can imagine easier starts for a young lad. But my boy…. what a performance from the young lad. I think he did very well and after the opening nerves he became better and better. Whatever comes from this day on, I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him playing as long as Sagna or Jenkinson are not fit.  For those who like to boo our own players: he is one of the youth project you know. So if you want to boo him: just leave the stadium and never come back will you.

With a whole team missing, with our 11th choice right back on the field we gave United a game in the second half. We had by far the better chances and we just spilled them. Maybe we should boo our own players for that?  Van Persie, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain all could and some should have scored the equaliser earlier then it finally arrived. That is where I felt the game was lost.  In a top game you have to take your chances or you will pay for it.
United could play the counter attack, as they like to do when 1-0 up against a team. And even though Mertesacker might be a bit slow in the first meters when it comes to sprinting he showed what a German player is all about when Wellbeck got away from him and played the ball past Szczesny only to see our big Germand pole using his long legs to kick the ball away before it could cross the line. This was brilliant defending from my part as many would have stopped running after being beaten but he carried on because he knew what could happen. Experience they call this and sometimes this is more important for a defender than being fast in the first meters.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had a great game in his first PL start or have I missed a start before? What a player we have in our hands. Wenger has brought him slowly to make sure that when he would play him he wouldn’t disappoint. Because with our own fans ready to boo our own players imagine what would have happened if he would have a bad game? Yeah, I could imagine a few fans booing the youngster. However Wenger felt he was ready to perform and this in a top game! Not an easy thing and a brave thing to do. Oxlade-Chamberlain delivered and had a great game. Taken in account that this was his first start in the PL, and against United you couldn’t ask for more. Well an assist was more we could ask. Oxlade-Chamberlain provided one.  Looks like we have another great young player ready to shine for the Arsenal. Well done to The Ox!

I think I have arrived at the substitution point by now. Was he suffering from cramps? If so Wenger was right to substitute him. Yes he had a great game but having a player on the field who could not run and fight completely is a risk. And imagine him getting an injury if he had kept him on the field. But what followed was something that made me sick.
At 1-1 with the game ready to be taken some of our supporters found it necessary to boo a player that we bring on the field. Now I can understand that you didn’t like the fact that The Ox was taken off the field. I have no problem with that as I also wasn’t happy with him going off.

BUT WHY ON EARTH DO YOU STUPID TWATS THEN BOO A PLAYER THAT IS ENTERING THE FIELD FOR US????????
Yeah, that sure must have been a great motivation for Arshavin. That surely will have made him feel welcome. That surely will have inspired him to give his all. I think that of all those who booed him in fact that most of them have been yelling at Wenger a few years ago in the January transfer window that Wenger should be sacked if we didn’t sign him. Arshavin was one of our most expensive players and yes he is declining a bit. BUT WHY ON EARTH DO YOU BOO HIME EVEN BEFORE HE HAS KICKED A BALL????????

Nobody could foresee that he would be involved in the second United goal at that time. But maybe your booing didn’t inspire him to do like he did last year when he came on against United when we were leading 1-0. He then made a few tackles and won them to our surprise. Maybe because on that day we cheered for him when he came on. Now we could here boos around the ground by some miserable twats.  Last season he came on against Barcelona to score our second goal and to seal our win against Barcelona. Don’t you think this man still deserves a little respect???? As long as he is an Arsenal player he deserves our respect in fact. And no reason is good enough for me to boo an Arsenal player when he enters the field to play for Arsenal. NO REASON!

For those who booed him when he came on I can only say that I feel that you added to our defeat.  How would you feel when you would be Arshavin?  Haven’t you learned anything from Eboue? Once the booing began in that game he lost it completely. I really cannot believe that you boo a player that comes on the field and that you think this would be helping the team.

Why didn’t you support the 11 players on the field for Gods sake? Because it was what they needed. They didn’t needed to hear boo from their own fans.

Maybe this will be the end for Arshavin at Arsenal. Maybe Wenger will sell him now and try to bring in another player in his place. And maybe that player would hold Oxlade-Chamberlain back in the next weeks/months/years. Now we had a great young player seemingly ready to start games for us and be very great for us in the future and we even have an older player who didn’t moan that much for sitting on the bench. Maybe now he will want to move on (and I cannot blame him for this). My only suggestion would be for those who booed a new Arsenal player entering the field: If Arshavin leaves us this season why don’t you just jog along with him. And then the empty spaces you leave behind in the Emirates could be filled with supporters that are willing to support every single player we put on the field. If  you like him or not.

Because it is only with supporting our players that we will get the best out of them, not by booing them.

PS: and still Opa Wim (Opa in Dutch= grandfather) I want to wish you a happy birthday. And no boos from me, not even for Robin…

128 comments to The worst part of this defeat and a happy birthday wish to Opa Wim

  • byron

    The booing of Arshavin was wrong but it was intended to be booing ow wenger which was still wrong stop booing rather don’t go! Do you think players like rvp want to play for a club who have fans that boo the players?

  • Yardfoul

    Look u cant be serious. Arshavin substitution was booed not just him. It was a poor tactical move by wenger. Simple as that. And fans can boo. They pay money to watch these players, they pay their wages and after over a haf decade they have the right to boo and show displeasure. The club is not being managed well and therefore fans will boo and be upset. I do not see the problem its our club we are not blind followers. Having said that. Come on Arsenal!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Booing on a moment when unity is required IS WRONG. ALWAYS!
    Booing brings a bad atmosphere in the ground whoever it is aimed at!

  • Sphiwe

    I’ve been an arsenal supporter for 10 years now watching the game from here in South Africa and hearing those boos made me lose all faith in the supporters who are privileged to watch the game live at The Emirates… The more I think about the boos the more disgusted I am at those fans who felt the need to boo an arsenal player it really disacouraged the players on the field those supporters should blame themselves for this lose as we had an opportunity at 1-1. Sad very sad indeed.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arshavin might have felt it was aimed at him. The players might have started doubting what is going on.

    During the 90 minutes you have to support or just leave the stadium if you don’t agree with the things that happen and had enough. Fair enough but then don’t pretend to be a supporter.

    When the game is done and over then you can show your displeasure about things like on the internet. I also wasn’t happy with The Ox going off the field. But why get on the back of a player/the manager/the whole team when we are at 1-1 against United with 15 minutes to go?

  • bob

    Walter,
    The booing issue aside, as for your opening and turning point observation: Our missing open shots, imo, is too frequent this season. Today at least 4 good opportunities were blown – RvP as you mention, Walcott, Ramsey and Ox. I feel that Walcott and Ramsey for all their other virtues, do miss these often. It can be pooh-poohed away, but the goals per attempt ratios will bear this out. I feel that we need to find another clinical producer in this window. It can’t all fall on RvP. And, I think a show of this will go a few miles to keeping RvP on side – an urgent matter for a top-4/CL future. If that doesn’t matter, then so be it.

  • Alex

    I do agree with you that we miss a lot of chances and in big games if you dont take your chances defeat is inevitabile.

    On the boo side i do agree only partially with you.
    The russian performance is quite a while since his performance has declined.It is not as its his first time .You try to ignore the preceding facts of this individuall.Patience was already thin as a microscopic fibre on the eyes of many fans.The lazy attitude of a player on the pitch is not tollerated by any fan.All this was formeting and boiling.Exploded wrightly in my view specially when is coming to replace the man of macth.CHAMBERLAINE was the player that was giving torrid time to manu.Not to mention his killer pass to Van persie.Wenger got it wrong and he admited already in his way. Tactical error he said.
    You seems to forgot that we been spanked by the RED DEVILS at the beggining of the season.Revenge was on high on today match.The unger and hate the passion of today game definetly it was above the bar and lazy passengers its the last thing we want as fans.Arshavin has lost it completely and no matter how much you want as to cheer him or lavish him with praise this guy is dead and buried.
    Please do not make it as we the fans we go on purpose to boo our players.

  • Tone

    Arseanl fans pay some of the highest ticket prices in world football and what do they get? A bunch of over paid half arsed prima donnas.

    I will blinking well boo if I want to when I see someone who won’t sweat bood for the shirt!

  • Dennis10

    At the end of the day those supporters paid good money in the most expensive ticket priced stadium in the uk to voice their opinion, and their opinion was to bbo the substittution, and i think they are entitled to voice their opinion because they paid to watch the game. As for arshavin , well his commitment all seaon and the season before is evidence enough for him to be not liked among the arsenal faithful, he has shown his lack of interest on numerous times, and i for one totally agree with the supporters who booed his coming on for oxade who in my opinion should have stayed on the pitch since we had the momentum in our favour, anyway a professional internationally renowkned player like arshavin shouldve gotten on with the game , im sure there are players out there who have had much more abuse at the hands of their own fans, no excuses. I think rosicky deserves a mention too as he was driving the team forward on a number of occaisions, gg rosicky more of the same please. Anyway SELL ARSHAVIN QUICK WENGER.

  • SA Gunner

    I for one was very pleased to see the fans boo Wenger’s absolute brain fart. Van Persie saw it and so did those within the stadium.

    No one is bigger than the club, and this includes Arsene Wenger. If you make a mistake and then want to be arrogant about it, this is what you will get. Remember respect is a two way street, we dont just lap up everything you say or fall in line because you refuse to want to consult on the dynamic game that is football.

    Absolute blunder from the manager, which got the treatment it deserved.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rumour is that Eden Hazard was at the Emirates today. Imagine him seeing how we treat our players? I think he could say: thank you for the offer Arsenal but I will stay where I feel love and support.

  • Dennis10

    Well if he wants to go somewhere else thats up to him, it wont be the last time in a football match that a player is booed.

  • Steve

    I have never commented on any Arsenal blog despite being a fan since childhood. But surely you are joking with this blog.

    I’m not sure whether the boo’s were directed at Arshavin or at Wenger for making such a stupid decision. But regardless, Arshavin has proven over the last several months that he is not worthy to wear the Arsenal crest. And he demonstrated this fact on Welbeck’s goal.

    You’ve focused your writing around Van Persie yet you fail to mention his reaction when Wenger substituted AOC. Van Persie, our captain and best player by far, shouted “NO, NO!” when Wenger made the substitution. When the players themselves are protesting the substitution, how can you fault the fans for making the same observation?

    The fact of the matter is, this team is not good enough. You can choose to hide behind the injuries, but I will choose to blame the Manager for not making any moves to fix the injury problem. Wenger himself said it would be stupid to lose matches because we are missing fullbacks. Yet here we are having dropped 9 points in the last 3 games. The fans know this, and this is why they boo.

    The fans expect better, and they deserve better. You can choose to blindly support a team that is so obviously flawed, but I will voice my displeasure at every opportunity. Because I am a fan.

  • Jim

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with you. The boos were not directed at Arshavin, but against the coach and his decision to sub Oxo instead of Walcott esp when the game seemed winnable and Oxo didn’t show any signs of a cramp nor wasn’t he limping. You definitely saw even Rvp and other players were shocked. But then he may have got a cramp, so fine he got subbed.
    You mentioned that players like Rvp not taking chances cost us, but conveniently forgot that we conceded goals due to the lack of fullbacks, and this is the reason sir, we lost. When we were well aware that all our fullbacks are injured long-term, then why didn’t we sign/loan one straight away. How many goals have we conceded due to their absence. It is this reluctance to address such key concerns which is causing unrest among supporters. Now it is upto the coach to act fast and rescue our season.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sagunner and what if Oxlade-Chamberlain himself signalled at the bench he had some problems?
    Or where you on the field next to Oxlade? Or next to Wenger on the bench?

    And bringing on Arshavin against Barcelona last season was praised as the best move and substitution of the season. It then paied of, today it didn’t. That’s life…

  • Adam

    What baffled me about the substitution of ox is that United were only dangerous down the flanks so why did wenger allow Arshavin to play wide, He had Rosiky on the pitch put him on the left flank let Arshavin play futher up the field where his poor back tracking has less of an impact. Weird decision.

    @ WALTER, On the Booing issue, I will gladly stand on the pitch at the ems every week and get booed for 10% of Arshavin’s wage. They get paid a fortune, Im sure he will get over it.

  • andy bishop

    The booing is a side issue, only those doing the booing know at what or whom they were booing at. If you dont like booing, shouting, screaming, whistling, swearing, moaning..dont go to football matches. Like most I was amazed he took Chamberlain off having just been part of a wonderful move to get the equaliser. The fans emotions are at its peak and the manager takes off one of our top three performing players on the day. This is not the first time Wenger has done this. I would be interested in his reasons. The Ox clearly has a bright future and in many fans view he starts now in front of Arshavin.

  • dan

    @Walter

    Eden at Ems, Really?

  • Dennis10

    LOOL @ adam’s post, you got it spot on about gettin paid 10% of his wage, mad my day 😀

  • nicky

    Walter,
    A good post with which I totally agree. Van Persie’s awful miss was the turning point, IMO. Prior to that point, the service to him was virtually non-existent so he could be excused for the failure to convert.
    I’m not at all surprised at the attitude of the fans at the Emirates. For some years now (and at Highbury) certain sections of the home support has been fickle in the extreme. They appear to need a scapegoat for anyone whose performance, in their opinion, is not to their satisfaction, selecting players like Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner, on whom to vent their displeasure, instead of giving 100% support to whoever wears the shirt.Even the media notice the marked increase of support given to the team by our AWAY fans.

  • bob

    Walter,
    It is possible that judging with a footballer’s brain, Eden Hazard will have been more influenced by RvP’s protestations; and worried that RvP would be leaving. He might also be impressed at how close we were to winning with 10 of our side injured. As for the need (glaring, I would say) for another clinical finisher, that might whet his appetite. All in all, there are probably multiple considerations at play here for someone like him; one of which might well be the booing, but I don’t think, in this case, that the booing alone would be the tipping point you are fearing.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The main question remains: did the booing help the team in anyway?
    Whoever it was aimed at? Did it help the players on the field??????

    And RVP can make as many substitions when he becomes a manager himself.

    And according to a BBC journalist Oxlade-Chamberlain had signalled to the bench he was getting tired.

    So if this is correct what do you want? should the manager leave a player on the field who is struggling and asks for a substitution himself? what if he pulls a muscle because the manager not getting him off? The we would have lost him for the next game/weeks/months…

    But I admit there are probably a thousand out there who would have done better… After all it is much easier done from behind the keyboard and with no inside knowledge at all….

  • Nice try Walter but come on. AFC need major rethink stop running
    club like business and more like football club or fans will disappear, fans now at each others throats this is as bad as i have ever known

  • dan

    Today many feel disappointed, pointing to the negatives of the sub and some point of the fans voicing discontent regarding this sub, either way one thing for sure The OX will start more games and Arshavin will leave.

    Walcott needs to look up as well, all to often his passing/crossing ability is being questioned.

  • Jim

    @SA Gunner: Spot on mate.

  • bob

    DC,
    As you were there: Did you boo? If so, why? If not, why? Do you have a sense from any around you as to their feelings? It could add a lot to this discussion to hear perceptions any which way from someone who was actually there. (Feelings are running high, but you won’t be excommunicated before me!)

  • andy bishop

    Lets get real on Arshavin..he has not put a proper shift in for us for ages. The players know where they stand. Gary Neville on Sky talks a lot of sense and as a former pro alluded to the fact that Arshavin does not…for whatever reason want to play in England. Robbie Savage has alluded to the same thing. The pros have a code of conduct and will not speak badly about a fellow pro. The fans are not mugs and can see what goes on. They can see Rosicky looking good going forward but standing still and not reacting quickly enough when danger appears around the box. Arshavin is the same. Ramsey regularly laps them both in a match.

  • dan

    Doesn’t Eden play in the same position as OX???

    I’d rather have the OX, but 19yr old Iker Muniain looks awesome.

  • bob

    dan,
    Walcott’s crossing has improved a lot compared to previous seasons. That said, I think you’re right to the extent that Walcott too often seems to have tunnel vision and doesn’t see where/when others are open (e.g., RvP today and other recent matches) or more open for a scoring opp. I feel he knows his production is substandard right now and in pressing to make a difference he is too self-absorbed to see potentials around him. Gervinho also has had finishing problems, but, by contrast, I see him as a very willing feeder to others and not as self-absorbed as Theo has been. The team first and foremost.

  • Dennis10

    BUT WHY ON EARTH DO YOU STUPID TWATS THEN BOO A PLAYER THAT IS ENTERING THE FIELD FOR US???????? because he sucks, and has no interest in playing for the team, how much gelling in time does he need?. I hope this answers your question. If supporters dont like a player then either he has to start scoring goals or providing assists either that or leave. And btw we dont appreciate you caaling us stupid twats either. and your such a hypocrite for saying we should be united and so on then call us stupid twats in the same breath ? wth

  • bob

    dan,
    Ox has said he’s Ok with learning and playing from a variety of positions. If he’s being straight about it, then Eden or whomever would add to our needed clincality.

  • SA Gunner

    @Walter

    Where is the proof Oxlade Chamberlain signalling to the bench? The fact that you mention if raises more questions to the thousands which we all are asking.

    I would similarly ask you what Wenger meant when he mentions that a tactical error cost us the game?

    The point for me is, lets not excuse Wenger or try and protect him. If he has made a mistake then he needs to explain himself, he owes us that at the very least.

  • Smith

    Everyone has to take the blame for this… The fans and Wenger. I think this is one of those special cases where a lot of things had to happen to ignite a booing chant. Unfortunately for Arsenal, as it has been in recent times, lady luck screwed us over, and everything did infact happen.

    Fans have been “angry” with Arshavin for a while now, but no one has felt the need to boo him. The same case with Wenger. However, today, we saw a really good player, Oxo, come off at a time when Arsenal were on the ascendancy, and was replaced by a player who didnt have the pace to terrorize the United defence, which was what we needed at that time. Also, most will have rather seen Walcott leave the pitch. Oxo without a shadow of a doubt was more influential than Walcott.

    We all understand that Wenger is trying to protect Oxo, but come on, we were trying to win a game. I doubt the extra 20 minutes of play time would have adversely affected oxo. It was a HUGE tactical error with resulted in the Boos. I am not saying it was right to boo, but I completely understand the frustration.

  • dan

    @Bob

    Isn’t Park supposed to be a good finisher? I thought that was the very reason we went for him.

  • Walter please be aware fans are leaving and have it has been very noticeable in the last two years

  • nicky

    @ Andy Bishop,
    I agree with much of what you say about Arshavin but I simply can’t forget his 4 goal thriller against Liverpool. Every time he plays I look to a repeat performance but it never comes.
    I’m still hopeful!

  • M.V

    I believe he signalled the bench, or at least there must of been some reason…also Arshavin is a good player. Remember his assist last week against swansea? Or when he saved the season…and yeah; maybe he wasn’t being booed; but imagine youself standing on the touch line…what would be going through your head? He was out of position, but he followed valencia all the way into the box, and other players could of challenged him. The main point is that if you DONT KNOW why he was substituted; don’t boo. I believe the booing contributed to us losing momentum, and losing.

  • bob

    dan,
    He is supposedly a clinician, but Park’s barely played as you know, and who knows why, or what happens in practice? He’s the S. Korean captain as well, and the video and reports say that he does score well in their international ties; and he is only ours for two years before going back to being a soldier. I don’t know if his signing was purposeful or pacifying, and he seems too polite to cause a stir over so little playing time. To me, either he’s more deadwood or deserves a chance to demonstrate his touch or lack thereof, though clearly not in a match of today’s magnitude. But there’s not much said by anyone either for or against him, which renders him largely invisible – something for another day’s further comments, I would say.

  • M.V

    It wouldn’t surprise me on bit, if these so called fans, that booed, we’re the same ones critizing wenger for buying “another youth”…

  • Glad to see FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the right to expression is alive and kicking LOL

  • dan

    M.V

    Ur Correct but please understand we lost two big players this summer and the fans cried out for proven recognised talents.

    I don’t think the fans criticised Wenger for his youth policy but wanted a quick fix.

  • Jim

    Oxo’s post-match speech: “Its the boss’ decision at the end of the day. He is the boss and a top quality manager, you’ve seen how many years he’s been here and all the great decisions he’s made, so whatever decision is made, I will respect it.”
    So no mention of his supposed cramp then.. Also, assuming that he had cramps, fatigue and did signal to the bench,i am sure the other players would also have known it and would not have reacted with such disbelief upon his substitution. The fact that they did react that way and oxo’s comments about accepting whatever may be the coach’s decision implies it was no injury forced move but an attempted tactical move by Wenger which gloriously back-fired. Now lets just leave this debate there.

  • Basil

    There is more chance of arsenal signing my cat than eden hazard!He has stated his desire to go to real madrid,who are interested in him(di maria is out of favour),and chelsea are also rumoured to be in negotiations with lille .It is unlikely that any deals will be done b4 the summer,and unless arsenal are in the CL and have 40 million to spare i am afraid mr hazard will not be seen in an arsenal shirt any time soon.

  • NORTH KOREA, RUSSIA, CHINA, IRAN, SYRIA, UNTOLD .

    Editors note: Now my dear legweak see my comment later on if you will. If you would read the rules of this site you will see that if you comment for the first time we have to approve it to avoid spam and insults and other stuff we don’t like ov er here. I bet you look a bit stupid with your premature name calling. Others who comment for the first time: be patient and otherwise go to sites that really ban people for supporting the team and the players. Just a simple: Oh sorry I didn’t know that is enough.

  • Ingo

    tough times to support arsenal! supporters have a lot take and get angry. very understandable but doesnt help.
    first wenger was brave enough to start the ox then to bring on 18 year old yennaris and the last change he got wrong. shit happens. just not our year.

  • RKK

    It goes without saying I’m not pleased with the team’s overall performance, let alone the perplexing substitution. No doubt it was a horrible decision, but to say that taking off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cost us the game is not only naive, it’s severly inaccurate.

    Robin van Persie missed a really good chance after Tomas Rosicky’s hard work; isn’t he as liable as Arsene Wenger or anyone?

    The bottom line is: This game is a team sport. We win together and lose together. When Arshavin stepped on to that pitch, he had no intention of letting Arsenal lose. Granted, he has been poor this season, but it doesn’t help when you have thousands of your own fans already jeering at the sight of you when you haven’t even touched the ball.

    You may argue that after paying hiked prices for tickets you are justified in booing the substitution, the Manager, Arshavin, the rest of the team, whatever… but at the end of the day, all you’re doing is putting more pressure on the team on top of what they have to deal with from the game itself. Any real fan wouldn’t desire that.

    Simply put, it was extremely unnecessary.

  • ojfamous

    Arshavin was not boo but Arsene Wenger was..the only thing good i see coming out from Arsene Wenger is Excuses nothing more.

  • bob

    Btw,
    One thing we can all agree on is that Wayne “Divemaster” Rooney is still up to his old tricks and, somehow, Dean didn’t buy one flop. Then again, he didn’t book Shrek either, even as we got 4-5 cards, alas.

  • dan

    @bob

    Does Wenger sign another striker as we need a finisher?

  • DC

    Bob, Walter, et al,
    No Bob, I didn’t (and never ever do) “boo” but I was quite baffled at the timing of the substitution! If it was for fatigue, then I can understand that in principal but it backfired on our now very unlucky manager!
    There was clearly audible displeasure with even a chant of “spend some f**king money”, and although Arshavin did track back on Valencia, i think he was unlucky too! But I guess these are the type of outcomes when you’re playing poorly!
    Although I don’t condone the “booing” I do understand it! The team was very poor again in the first half, even with Ox on the pitch, and there was no cohesion, movement, creation or ball retention of the level we have become accustomed too! Almost all players, except Kos and Ox, underperformed although I thought Rosicky and Verm had a decent game on his return from injury against an on-form Valencia!
    We definitely need to take more of our chances but there needs to be a return of the swagger on the ball and work-rate off it.
    The discontent can’t be ignored I feel because it has now become disseminated into the usually die-hard and super-loyal away support – Swansea away being an example in question after their 3rd goal not long after our equaliser!

  • DC

    Walter,
    Could Hazard really be true? We never heard anything where we were all sat?!

  • DC

    Bob, I never boo because I think about how it would make me feel if I had to experience it! I always give the benefit of the doubt that the players loves playing for Arsenal and wants to do well for at least himself if not for the club! I expect the board, manager and coaching staff to deal with anything that deviates from that before, during or after the match as appropriate! That of course depends on if you still have faith in those people; which I for one still do but I have to be honest and say, that it’s testing me greatly at this time and this season!

  • dan

    What the f@ck is happening to us, players walking our, injured, lack of form, voids of concentration, lack of spending, its all going to hell. The only positives coming through are all regards to finances and that could blow over with no CL next season.

  • the font

    win or lose i am a arsenal fan for life i go home and away i have done since i was 11 i am now 52 arsenal is my life but the disgraceful behavior of the so called fans at todays game is a step too far i think you will find that most of the fans booing are in personal relationships that do not last long when the wife decides to by the sausages from asda rather than tesco they scream you do not know what your doing eboue champions league final year when he played right back how many people said he was not good enough for arsenal that year bendtner how many prefer him to chamack .now the guy who missed 10 chances every match at least he maid 10 chances every match is replaced by someone who has not had 10 chances since he has been at the club the same 3 people who sit near me in block 17 who abused nb/52 have started on arshavin the same arshvin who scored the best goal ever scored at the emeriates (barca) only last year with hindsight taking aoc off was a mistake but do not forget arsene was the man who brought him here and not all of us can be right all of the time i am allways positive about my club and this stupid rumer that arsen will not spend the monie is riduculas messi ronaldo tevez aguaro do not want to accept 25% of the wages they currently get its not wenger does not want them they just do not want to come and that is the same for mata when he chose chelsea over us for the monie and it will be the same for hazard man city have the monie for extreme proven quality chelsea have the monie for the next tier of upcoming superstars then there is utd who have more monie than us we are then left with either young unknowns or left overs and now with anzi and psg thats more complecated than seems wenger took us from a club the same size as west ham to one of the top ten clubs in the world HE DESERVES MORE RESPECT if you want to vent your anger direct it at the board and not on match days IN ARSEN WE TRUST

  • bob

    dan,
    I don’t know exactly what the squad-size and other rules allow and who would have to be dropped or somehow carried (Squilacci/Almunia/etc). But in general terms, and to keep RvP on board (I’d say that’s required): I’d say yes we need another clinical striker and a creative/providing/offense-capable midfielder. For different reasons, Chamakh and Gervinho don’t add up to enough. Clearly Chamakh has been at sea and/or played out of position since RvP’s return; and Gervinho is not yet(if ever?) EPL-clinical enough. Gervinho is always potentially-dangerous and obviously pacey and jukie, and opens up spaces for RvP to work his magic; but to date, G’s missed Frequent chances for tip-in’s and tap-in’s, etc. And whether it’s down to anxiety or skills, he hasn’t yet shown the calm or technical ability to handle the speed at which a scoring opportunity presents itself and then vanishes in this league. Also, I (like others on this site) have been feeling there’s not enough creativity in the midfield. I’d add that Jack Wilshere won’t be back to speed (nor will Diaby likely be healthy enough to deliver on what’s been hoped-for) soon-enough-to-matter for a top-4 finish, it seems. There’s abundant hope for Jack to be Godot, but not enough info made available to judge his real timetable. Anyway, there’s a lot better and savvier football minds about this hereabouts than mine, for sure; and hopefully others will chime in – if only, as it seems, to provide each other with a more constructive exercise with 9 days remaining in the x-fer window than to continue tearing away at ourselves like a flaggelants’ procession over today’s undermanned and otherwise troubling loss.

  • DC

    @The font,
    Hear, hear mate, very well said! The board are very much over-looked at this critical time and I too feel they are more than culpable!
    I only hope that Arsene’s able to shove those sausages down those ungrateful throats sooner rather than later!
    Top 4 is still very achievable, at the very least, but it will not be if we don’t support these players and Arsene to return back to their confident and self-believing selves! A football club is a partnership with its supporters and we need to appreciate and support each other when one is struggling!

  • WalterBroeckx

    legweak,

    I am a calm man and as a ref I am used to the usual rubbish that is been throwing around at a ref. so I don’t really mind that people call me names. I stand above this.

    However, I live in a different country outside England. I have a wife and a lot of children with their girl friends who come in and out of my house and who get my attention every now and then.

    I’m not sitting on my computer waiting for anyone new on this site to comment and to give my approval from the second you come on this site.

    I’m very liberal in fact. And I know that other sites have banned me because I always support whoever plays for Arsenal until they are gone. For that I have been banned on the top site of the AAA.

    So you could make an apology for the name calling you did and that I published. And take note that I will be going to bed now because I have to get out of my bed at 6.00 am in the morning and in my part of the world it is almost midnight.

    so any new and first commenter will have to wait till I get back on a computer to see it on line.

    This has nothing to do with the countries you mentioned but all with the fact that I do have some kind of a live outside this blog.

  • Adam

    I don’t think people on this site are venting their frustrations at Wenger, I hope and believe it’s more to do with wanting to understand the thoughts behind wengers decision making, usually a player coming back from injury or a young prospect is given one hour of playing time then subbed, most of Wengers substitutions happen around the hour mark, So why this decision today, as I stated earlier I was baffled at the decision, The ox looked dangerous even Theo was coming into the game so “if it aint broke don’t fix it”. Rosicky had a good game. Arshavin got caught drifting inside, but that is where he wants to be. he tried to get back but lets be honest, we know his weaknesses. Arsenal done well today considering all absentees and those playing out of position. By the way Arsenal have approximately 54 players on professional contracts so I think we could move away from that excuse or let these excess players go.

  • Em

    @ bob
    I am not sure how many of Arsenal games you have watched but I would say very few or just match of the day highlights that never show a true reflecting of none British Arsenal player’s performance or contribution during a game. For you to come out and critics Gervinho who by the way is in his first season with Arsenal goes a long way to prove the point that a lot of the boo boys are all very much anti foreigners and refuse to give them equal treatment with their fellow British players.
    If you stopped to think for yourself as a true supporter, you would realise that the so called player’s like Mertesacker, Chamakh, Gervinho, Arshavin and Squillaci all who have won league title with their pervious clubs should therefore demand more respect from supporters when having to play with the like of Ramsay, Walcott, Wilshere, Alex Ox and Gibbs who have won nothing. How is it, mistake by these British players does not have the same criticism as the others.
    Ramsay played about 5 or more games towards the end of last season, had a per season and played from beginning of this season to now? Should he not be better than he is right now?
    To critics Gervinho, Chamakh or Arshavin for the lack of performance on the pitch is bias when they all have to rely on passes for Ramsay which never comes.
    Ramsay is suppose to be the attacking Midfielder that links the front 3 but he does not and that is where the really problem lies with Arsenal plus the injuries to the full back. But with a better performance from Ramsay or a proper attacking midfielder i.e. Arshavin being played in his correct position, who know how Arsenal would have done so far this season!
    For your information the top assist so far are, Gervinho 5 (4 goals), Song 5(1 goal), Van Persie 5 (18 goals), Walcott 4 (3 goal), and Ramsey with only 4 (1 goal), that is not a good return for an attacking midfielder that should be linking the front men.
    I am British and I support every Arsenal player equally and recognise the issues which each one has or pressures they put on others but it’s up to the Manager to sort it out. Booing Manager or player is not the way to get the message across, they all need our support both British and foreign.

  • M.V

    the font,
    right on! that comment made me smile 🙂
    again, the sheer irony of supporters booing wenger for taking of player HE bought and is HELPING to develop…is so disrespectul, it’s like…these supporters are as mature as babies. It’s ok to disagree with the substitute, i did, but its not ok to boo. NEVER like that.

    Wenger must be frustrated he’s created a monster—fans with expectations are the worst fans.

  • cyberian

    I watched game today on a major USA television network for the first time ever (i.e., it was the debut of the EPL and was a historic event, but one not mentioned in the wildly emotive posts thusfar.

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned Henry. Surely he would have been the substitute for AOC had he been available.

    Overall, I was encouraged today (compared to the Swansea) game and see hope for play again the Italians in the CL.

  • Damien Luu

    To the morons who think that YOU can do ANYTHING because you pay “some good money”: just go f*cking out, or better, commit suicide! You only deserve to be “supporters” of Man C, not of this great club named Arsenal. There are millions of TRUE Arsenal fans all over the world who do not have a chance to pay “some good money” and go to the Emirates and enjoy our game, and of course not boo our manager or players. God damn you, morons! What the f*ck do you think the word “supporter” mean? Tell you the truth: those twats who booed our own players, for what the f*cking reasons, are the ones at the top of my “TO KILL” list, even higher than Joey Barton and the likes of Webb, Dean, Dowd, Probert.

    This club is not for you, shitheads. As I said, just go find another club to support/boo or better, commit suicide.

  • Anne

    Who exactly are all of you people? I don’t remember seeing most of you around here before. I think I’ve seen a few of you on rare occasions, but not regularly. What exactly caused all of you to turn up for this particular article?

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    I thought this was a good article. The one thing I would like to point out, which Shard pointed out in an earlier thread, is that all of the boos were drowned out by the cheers and singing of the larger crowd. And in very short order in fact.

  • Anne

    @All:

    I think this is the most acrimonious comments section that I’ve ever encountered on this blog. And it’s a shame that it happened in a match when I really wasn’t disappointed in Arsenal’s performance at all.

    I’ll admit that I was quite angry at Theo early in the match, but that was before he knocked himself unconscious while trying to head the ball into goal. (And why aren’t we talking about that, btw? I was seriously afraid that he might have broken his neck for a minute there).

    But overall, Arsenal didn’t play badly. We just lost. If there was ever a match for a “come to Jesus” moment for Arsenal fans, this was not it. It wasn’t a bad match. We just lost, that’s all… Come on, people.

  • Ken

    Walter, take a hike. Blaming Van Persie for the loss is stupid. The manager is the problem. Arsenal make the same defensive mistakes time after time after time. This is a coaching problem.
    Replacing a tired(no sign that he was tired) Oklade-Chamberlin was the final mistaken by a manager who is out of any ideas or tactics.

  • bob

    Em,
    You read so selectively and with a predisposition that fails to see that my criticism throughout today’s articles mention Walcott and Ramsey and Gervinho and Chamakh. I hope you feel better for getting that all off your chest but far be it from me to favor and privilege British Steel over Johnny Foreigner. Completely ridiculous Em. I don’t know whose work you’re reading, but you haven’t read my contributions. Still, if nailing me to your cross made your day, then I’ve surely been of service. And, btw, I watch every game A to Z and think a lot about a team that I love as much as you do.

  • Arvind

    Supporter/Fan: Take your pick….

    A person who will cheer when things are good and moan when things are bad.

    A person who will log on to the Internet and spout garbage at events/people which are unrelated to what happened on the day.

    A person who obviously can see everything the manager did not see, and is hence more qualified to make a decision than the manager who knows all the facts.

    A person who sees it as his “right” to do whatever he feels like, because he has paid for tickets/subscriptions/TV/merchandise. This includes booing on the pitch during the game whenever he “feels” like it. Never mind the fact that it might be detrimental to Arsenal’s progress during the game..an Arsenal win. If I boo..morale goes down..but no.. I paid…I will boo..

    Seriously if you’re that upset, just stop being a “supporter”. Its much easier.

    Why can people not understand this simple sequence?
    — You like Arsenal. You want them to win.
    — You’ve paid money to go and watch them live.
    — If you cheer their chances improve
    — If you boo their chances of winning decrease
    — This means your wish of seeing them win goes out of the window
    — This means you’re unhappy.
    — Hence, assuming you want to be happy..you should try and control things that you CAN control. i.e Not booing during a game.
    — If NOT though, and you just want to ‘let off steam’ and ‘show your frustration’ try and do it AFTER the game at least. Not DURING the game… it just can’t help.

  • bob

    cyberian,
    Don’t know what you’re talking about: the historic nature of the US telecast was mentioned in several comments in today’s and yesterday’s postings, and at the end of Dogface’s. You’ve made up your mind that it has this huge magnitude and that no one took notice because we’re all immersed in our own stuff. Well, if you actually analyzed the nature of the broadcast you might find something less pure and innocent in play than this wondrous historic media event that you tout. Plllleeeaaasssse.

  • bob

    Em,
    p.s. I mentioned Ox’s miss today as well as other Brits, so go shine your bias-seeking destructo-laser beam where there really is bias. I am not Joey Barton; I am not Joey Barton; I am not Joey Barton….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well Ann, I didn’t see them around here when Wenger brought on Arshavin in the CL last season to beat Barcelona. I didn’t see them around when we did have all those injured players still playing and stringing a nice run together…

  • Arvind

    Hey Walter…that looks like Tommy Verm in your pic. No wonder you write so much nice stuff about him 😉 😉

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    I’ve actually seen “Legweak” on here before, so he isn’t a first time commenter. It makes me wonder why he would have showed up as one. Could he be using a different email address?

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Funny how some of these people tend to show up sometimes…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anne,
    I had to approve legweak his first comment. But it could be that he broke the rules before and was held in moderation. but I was rather open minded after the game to see why people boo.

  • Anne

    @Arvind:

    Thanks for injecting some common sense into the proceedings 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arvind, the man with the sharp eye. 😉

    But still not out of the fact if I would boo him when I see him next time… 🙂 (for those who don’t know me: this really was just a joke! )

  • Shard

    Don’t you just love the atmosphere online after a loss? All the smelly trolls get out and roam around with gay abandon.

    As for the match. Maybe my frustration levels are less because I missed the entire first half (except for ManU’s goal) where apparently we played quite poorly. But the second half was good. We played well, and actually I was disappointed with the result because I thought we could have won that game. That we didn’t is probably worrying, because we do need to finish better. Goals are a little bit short coming for us (though we scored 2 against Swansea who hardly ever concede at home, despite playing much worse than we should). Anyway. So better finishing would/could have won us that game. Better finishing by ManU might also have killed the game. It’s a game of fine margins. Both the ManU goals came from the fullback areas where we are severely hampered by injury. Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Santos can’t get fit quick enough. We need them.

    About the boos. It is the most stupid thing I have seen. Substitutions are a risk either way, and as others have pointed out we do not know the entire circumstances of it. Also, I didn’t notice RVP saying NO or anything to the substitution. I will have a look but either way it’s of little consequence. When Rooney reacts badly to something Ferguson does do we all say its certain he’ll leave Old Trafford now? Wenger is the manager. He made a substitution that people not in know of all the facts, can’t understand. Cue boos, and a nice meaty story for journalists to further pull down our club. I can understand Walter losing his cool because thinking about it is making me angry. But as I said earlier, right after the boos there were louder cheers for Arsenal.

    As for the ones saying I pay good money, I can do what I want. It’s a pity you lack the fortitude to put the team ahead of yourself. The same lack of effort or fortitude that you blame certain players for. Look in the mirror and you see that you are projecting your own character flaws on the players. The team comes first, regardless of how good a manager you think you’ll make, You should be ashamed that in a match against ManU, and you can’t put up a united front. All I can say is, you deserve the frustrations you feel, and more.

  • Anne

    @bob:

    Btw, just looked at your comments on refwatch. Good call on that last minute ManU victory.

  • JohnW

    I think we will finish 3rd, and reach the FA cup final. We will this time round reach the CL semis. So, yes, I’m not happy today, but only because ManU were luck we did not have Arteta, he would have run the midfield in a proper way. RVP made a mistake, Vermalaen made one, Arshavin one too, but we will recover.

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    How is it that you always manage to say what I was thinking in a better way than I could think to say it? Seriously… Not fair 🙂

  • Shard

    @Anne

    That isn’t true. But in this case I guess you could say I held off on the urge to just say FUCKING ASSHOLES!! and leave it there. Oh..me saying it now doesn’t count, does it?

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    Personally, I like Walter’s use of the term “twat” 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    And actually nobody cared about grandfather Wim… the world has gone towards the end I think….

  • Arvind

    Thanks Anne.

    @Shard: Beautifully written. I really enjoyed reading that comment. Its comments like those which make me feel there is not ONLY rubbish on the Internet. Thank You.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    I actually did care about grandfather Wim 🙂 As soon as I read Robin’s shirt, I looked up the translation to see who he was wishing a happy birthday to.

    And what a great goal… Whatever else you can say about Robin’s performance in the match, it was a beautiful goal. And I would feel very honored to have it dedicated to me. I’m sure that Opa Wim, wherever he is, is very proud of his grandson today.

  • Anne

    And thinking of it along those lines, I feel ever so slightly ashamed about my comment previous to the above….

  • jeremy

    I genuinely feel the booing was more as a result of the moment more than anything else, unfortunately the substitution happened at a time when we were on top with Ox the main man… Many fans somehow saw that as the end of our ascend, and let their frustrations out in the worst possible way as booing really killed the moral of the entire squad. Wenger was up against a brick wall, doomed if he did doomed if he did not. You will be surprised at the irony that most of the fans booing Wenger now have never seen the arsenal under a different manager, he is a victim of his own success, these ‘Wenger’ fans have never seen their team this low, nor have they ever gone without meaningful success for this long, Frustrations are boiling over, i believe everyone wants the best for the team, there must be a balance or a mechanism to salvage this, otherwise i fear it could get worse before it gets better and due to these behavior it will be twice as hard to convince good players to come to us.. i don’t know what needs to be done, but seems we are teetering on the brink.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I’m afraid you’re not catching the mood Mr Broeckx.

    Arsenal fans don’t boo Oxlade-Chamberlain because he’s young, he goes for it and he plays in a position where you win some, lose some. They see that he’s up for it and they encourage him. They did the same with Walcott for years when the Press were trashing him. Now, as a 23 year old, they expect Walcott to earn his £60k a week salary.

    I agree with you about Yennaris. I wonder why Wenger didn’t play him from the start, as Djourou was clearly not fit. Hangover from Jenkinson at OT, perhaps?

    The reason the Arsenal fans got riled was because Wenger took his most potent weapon off the pitch just as Arsenal equalised. He’d not played 40 games, he’s not tired, there’s no game for a week and he might not start that one. He was replaced by someone we all know can’t defend, much as his attacking flair has lit up some games the past 4 years. I think if you look at how Arshavin felt on the TV camera when the booing was going on, you can see that it’s not necessarily a good thing to do…….

    You are taking the attitude that if Wenger makes a really, really bad call, because he’s paid £5m a year, he can’t be criticised. Oh yes he can. And he should be. If he can be praised to the skies when he does well, and he has been, he can be criticised when he screws up. And quite right too.

    Why are you attacking the captain, Mr Broeckx?

    Because he questioned his manager’s decision and the TV cameras were miraculously on him????

    I think the whole incident was stage managed myself. Because otherwise, how did the TV know to focus on RVP at precisely that time??

    Ask yourself this: if, as a team, you’ve just got back into it and your potent wing force is taken off after supplying the key pass for the equaliser, what would you think?? That’s the reward for a great debut?? Arshavin doesn’t need his pay-as-you-play bonus. He’s rich enough thanks. AOC deserved the chance to try and win the game. He didn’t get it.

    None of this is condemnatory, it’s an expression of strong opinions. It’s supporting good play and good players and making the manager face up to decisions which went pear-shaped. As well as congratulating him for some good decisions too.

    Is that a problem????

    I do strongly suggest you buy a season ticket and commute every fortnight to the games. When you spend £2-3000 a year, all in, you may have stronger emotions.

    Do you have the balls to commit to that or will you moralise from your Sky TV studio????

  • DC

    A serious degree of empathy and objectivity of each others’ opinions needs to be exercised by ALL on this particular thread today! 
    Emotions are certainly running high, with disrespectful language that is NEVER acceptable! 
    It’s very easy to say to any honest fan to “go away and contribute to another blog” but that achieves nothing progressive! 
    We must all be very careful to not come across as “holier than thou” or condescending as this is further counter-productive!
    If we want to bring an end to the vitriolic animosity in ALL football, nevermind at Arsenal, we need to try to critically understand the mentality behind it, discuss and respect the view (even if we don’t agree with it), and try to inform that fan or group of supporters of why what they do is wrong! 
    If we do not do these things and just blankly resort to name-calling in response (and subsequently fall into our comfortable,  similar-minded, select ranks and groups) nothing will ever change and neither group will better themselves through balanced argument!
    Ignoring, patronising, or undermining each others’ emotional views makes one no different from those who “boo”; and for the nearly 2 years that I have been reading and occasionally commenting on this blog, the contributions of the majority are inclusive, considered and constructive in their nature. However, on occasion, some contributors are prone to belittling others’ less erudite comments, and that is not a good thing!

  • Shard

    @Rhys Jagger

    I take your comment addressed to Walter as being also addressed to me. So here goes..

    It’s about time the fans who live in the UK and get to go to the stadium and travel with the team, realise that Arsenal isn’t just theirs anymore. You spend 2 or 3 grand.. good for you. You spend it cos you choose to, and cos you can. I spend about that, to get to the UK, live there, and watch just one game. You cannot bemoan the club turning into a business and at the same time hold the power of your pound as the reason you have any more say in the running of the club than someone who lives overseas. Without the overseas fans, the league, and all the clubs will regress to what they were pre-Premier League era. Global fanbase brings its own rewards in the form of sponsorships. We contribute as much to the club as you do. You are flippant about the Sky watching overseas fan, and yet it is Sky more than you that pays the players wages. I guess we should let them run the club then huh?
    Using the geographical accident of your birth to demonstrate greater ties with Arsenal? Sorry.. That ship sailed long ago. Arsenal isn’t just an English football club. It represents much more than that.. It’s mine too. And dare someone question my commitment to the Arsenal cause. How’s that for balls and strong emotions?

  • A few thoughts:
    We need specialist full-backs. I don’t know what Jernade Meade has to do to get a game but then again Vermaelen did play LB for Ajax for most of a season IIRC though he wasn’t 100%.
    God knows what’s up with Arshavin. I seem to recall he was very good friends with Nasri.
    I’m all for freedom of expression but boo-ing is pointless and infantile. If you want to show your displeasure with the manager and the team, there are proper ways of expressing your opinion, such as voting with your wallet, joining the supporters association etc. If you want to boo Arsenal, go and sit in the away end where they’ll welcome your kind with open arms. If the person next to me starts slagging off my team, I’ll report them to the stewards as an away fan in the wrong section.

  • ATAF

    We are in the same position as liverpool when they droped out the top four, a thin squad one talented injury prone stiker and one talented injurty prone midfielder. what will happen when rvp and wilshire are injured. Do you trust chamack and diaby say to fill the void ?

  • MARK GOONER

    get fucking real
    in last 7 years ive given probably close to 20 grand going up and down country watching these lot

    this is the list of average players who are all out of their depth

    almunia
    fabianski
    squailchi
    djourou
    ramsey
    diaby
    rosicky
    arteta
    benayoun
    arshavin
    walcott
    park
    chamakh
    song

  • @Mark Gooner,
    Why on earth have you wasted £20k on watching what amounts to a good proportion of our first team?
    £3k a year on good booze and strippers will make you a whole lot happier than watching a team you can’t stand!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe it would be wise that the fans who want to boo take a picture of the person with them they want to boo.
    So if they want to boo Arshavin they can hold up a picture of Arshavin and point at it. Maybe then the speaker can announce: the boos you are hearing are meant against player X or against manager W, or against number X from the visiting team.

    Because now it seems that some people say they boo against Arshavin and some say against Wenger.
    Fact is that Arshavin was takin in the picture after coming on the field and he stood there looking rather miserable. His body language saying something like: What have I done wrong?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Question remains: did any of the booing was helpful for the team on the field?

  • Mahesh

    @Shard – I second your last comment. Arsenal is truly a global club now!
    @Woolwich Peripetatic – Ha ha! Awesome response!

    BTW, I watched the first half just now on Arsenal Player, and it seems the symptom of playing with handbrakes on is back again! And, with the atmosphere where each step is scrutinized ad nauseam, I wouldn’t blame the players!

  • For what it’s worth, my reaction to the Ox being substituted was “I hope he’s not injured!”
    My first thought wasn’t “Ah Wenger thinks we’re doing too well, let’s bring on Arshavin to even things up a bit” which may not be the case for others.

  • yippee kai yay

    Seriously, are people so blinkered that they cannot see the wood from the trees?

    There is a difference between Arsenal FC and Asene Wenger:

    One is a club which has been in existence for 125 years now, has a proud history which includes recent success, it existed a long time before arsene arrived and hopefully will be around a long time after he is gone;

    The other is a manager who managed to create a period of unrivalled success in his early years, only to forget how to evolve when all around him changed. He has turned into the self-same myopic parody which all arsenal fans have defended for years.

    I would question whether this blog is one which is dedicated purely to the manager as opposed to the club. As there is a distinct differentiation. And one of those things belongs to all fans.

    The booing was for the managerial decision, how else can the fans collectively dsiplay discontent? It was a collective frustration and the only way that a large proportion of the fans could relay exactly how they felt.

    The question of whether it was helpful requires a bigger vision than just the time it happened. Did it help tha team? maybe not, but then it was less helpful that the de facto man of the match was substituted when he was the most likely to get something out of the game.

    And Arsene and arsenal’s board have made a rod for their own back, by refusing to acknolwedge that there is a lowering performance which has been inversely preoportional to the increasing ticket prices over the last 7 years.

    Arsene and the board have set themselves up to be beyond reproach and above accountability according to the way they manage and run their own PR.

    If they were any other business who had seen a continued slip in both performance and empirical results, there would be changes at the top. As accountability is key.

    No-one is arguing for Arsene did when he arrived at the club, and no-one should forget what he acheived, but his deicions making has been questionable for some time (both in talent spotting and his inflexibility with regards to tactical and substitution issues).

    The board is equally complicit in setting up a cash generation vehicle, which charges the most expensive tickets in Europe – bar none, and yet refuses to accept that it has a responsiblity to the fans to ensure that the the money is spent wisely. And specifically countermands any attemps to allow explicit targets and accountability.

    As for blaming RVP for an isolated miss! I think your analysis should start further back up the field, the back line and keeper first, as the hallmark of a decent a clean sheet, and the team I see now is a poor reflection of ‘the invincibles’ which is what I see before me now. Tin fact the only player of noteable quality is the very person you have criticised.

    The team is saturated with over pair mediocrity which the club cannot dsipose of (eg, Bendtner on the infamous £52K p/week looking poor even at sunderland).

    But still, at least when RVP leaves in the summer to win some trophies you won’t miss him.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mmmm I think you missed some sarcasm Yippee.

    I have always had a soft spot for Robin Van Persie (even in his Feyenoord days). I do think he had nightmares of this wasted chance last night.
    That for me was a moment when I thought: it isn’t going to be our day today.

    I would miss Robin unlike all those “fans” who until January last year said that we should get rid of him as he was always injured and blahblahblah (you know what they said don’t you?)

    I defended him in those days. Did you? Or was he in the list ‘to get rid’ for you and some others who are always very keen on making such lists.

    Quite interesting thought in fact. One year ago at the start of his healthy run the fans said RVP was never going to stay injury free for more than 3 games in a row. You couldn’t read a blog and there was always a few who said we should get rid of him.

    So I wonder if they still remember saying to get rid of RVP now?

  • WalterBroeckx

    As regular readers know we usually try to keep our conversation in a decent way.
    I have been very open and understandable for some frustration but the rules set out at this site are clear.
    You can have your say in a normal way and if possible with arguments.
    What doesn’t qualify as an argument are: prat, idiot, etc etc…
    So if you don’t see your comment apearing but you do want to have a normal debate it is best for you to leave those words out.

  • The Spartan

    We are all individuals who happen to be Gooners. We can’t all handle losses the same way. Some will boo and some will cheer, it`s ok. At the end of the day we all love the team otherwise we wouldn’t be expressing such strong emotions. Hell, I was even booing the substitution myself even though I was watching on the telly. The funny thing is that I will be watching again when we face Aston Villa anticipating an Arsenal win, but I does not mean I will be happy when I see questionable substitutions and no one has the right to tell me to go support Manure FC/ Manshitty instead.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I quote:
    Incidentally, Mediawatch can’t have been the only one to chuckle at the fans who were screaming “Spend some f**king money” at Wenger.

    Andrey Arshavin – the man whose spirits they were trying to pep up by booing his arrival – cost £15million. And the chap who went off cost another £15million.

  • Jerry

    Excellent points in the article as usual Walter.

    Whatever happened to the good old school fans, the supporters that actually support the team through the good times and the bad! The fans that would throw popcorn or whatever food/paper they could find at the people not supporting our team in the supporters section until they were quiet to maintain a positive vibe for our team! The whole reason for having an away section!

    If they’re booing during the game before the player is even on the pitch, i think they’re sitting in the wrong section and they should give up their tickets to someone who actually will support the team!

    It’s a win-win, the team gets the support they need from real fans who will buy that ticket and that “supporter” saves his money and his health (headache, depression, hypertension).

    Just my 2 cents from across the pond!

  • Tasos

    I was at the game yesterday and witnessed the frustration and anger vented by many fans at the decision to sub Oxlade-Chamberlain. It looked a poor decision at the time and subsequent events made it look even worse. Arsenal had gained good momentum in the match and many of the fans sitting near Me thought if anyone was going to be replaced then Theo Walcott was the most likely candidate and it was hard to disagree them.

    However the sheer level of anger aimed towards the manager shocked me and I fail to accept that that kind of behaviour can have anything other than a detrimental effect on the team and the club as a whole. You could argue, was it the action of replacing the OX or the re-action by some fans that contributed most to our defeat, the atmosphere within the stadium certainly changed and it cannot have been a good environment for Arshavin to enter, whatever your feelings are about his current form or lack of it.

    I do not deny that Arsenal have their problems at present but I was disgraced at the utter contempt directed by some fans towards the manager yesterday. I wonder how many of these people criticized Wenger when he signed Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton in the first place?

  • Pat

    Thank you for this article Walter. Written by a true fan. What a good thing you have such a good memory and reminded readers of how some people who call themselves fans wanted to get rid of Robin van Persie a year or two ago.

    As for Andrei Arshavin, I will always remember him single handedly scoring four goals against Liverpool. Yes he does deserve respect. And from what Arsene Wenger says, nobody is more critical of him than Andrei Arshavin himself. When he said he had set himself an aim of fifteen goals this season I’m sure he meant it. It’s just a pity it hasn’t turned out that way, for whatever reasons.

  • Just a question for all you overseas arsenal fans.What made you support arsenal? If Wenger was replaced by a british manager, would you give him as much leeway as Wenger? I have been a fan 4 36 yrs, and during that time, any other manager who has gone 4 yrs without a trophy,has been sacked.Wenger has benefited from the ridiculous expansion of the CL which means that you can finish almost a quarter of the way down the league, and still qualify.During George Grahams 8 full seasons in charge we would have qualified 6 times,and in the other two we won trophies.As an english fan, it is a matter of pride that our team does well,and any manager not doing his job must be questioned.I am afraid you are going to have to prepare yourselves for wenger’s departure sooner rather than later; the question is are you ready?

  • critic

    Walter, i think i am used to such reaction by arsenal sluts(that’s what u are if u booed arshavin yesterday because i am fuking sure that u are the one who wanted him in the 1st place). The question is whether arsenal players are used to it or not?

  • Shard

    @Basil

    You really think it was Arsene Wenger’s NATIONALITY that drew the overseas fans to the club? Wow.. Besides, you really think winning trophies is the only parameter to judge a manager? If he’s benefited by having 4 CL spots, he is also doing it in an era where there are at least 5-6 clubs who spend like there’s no tomorrow; referees who decide that no matter what, Arsenal cannot get a penalty, and despite being assaulted will be the ones getting sent off for the merest touches; opposition and commentators who state that ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ’em” and then defend the sorry excuses for footballers that broke 3 Arsenal players’ legs in less than 4 years; and a xenophobic press who have had it out for ‘the Frenchman’ since he came to Arsenal, on top of the Arsene Out agenda by the ones who want incessant spending. He’s also overseen a period which has seen us move into a new home of course.

    What got me interested in Arsenal was the name, and the distinctive white sleeves. What kept me hooked and drew me in was the football, but even more the culture and history of the club. The next manager can be British, American, Indian, even from Antarctica for all I care. Am I ready? No.. Neither is Arsenal. Not yet.

  • Shard

    Oh..and the next manager that comes in and does well, will owe a lot to Arsene Wenger.

  • Arvind

    Normally don’t respond to weird comments. But really…Basil… why would being French sound attractive to an Indian? What do I care ..really? Why would any one care? You watch the football…I thought that was what it was all about.

    And of course maybe AW doesn’t win a thing here. The next dude who comes in will win something and the AAA will then gloat about how ‘right’ they always were. And then boo the next manager when things go pear shaped… and so on…

  • Mahdain

    a bit off topic guys but want to know what happened in arry`s trial? check my comments on the tottenham vs sunderland ref review article

  • Mandy Dodd

    I have spoken to a couple of people at the game, they have said that the boos were not aimed at Arshavin and that there were sections countering the boos.
    But those that did boo, they have not helped and are wrong. The substitution went wrong, Arshavin does not APPEAR to be interested at times, but that could be symptomatic of a lot of issues, not just the popular theory of laziness. Which leaves the fans, some have to front up and admit they are a bit crap as fans.
    There is a prevailing view out there that Wenger is not accountable to anyone, so direct action / protests by the fans can make him more accountable. Ivan said Wenger was accountable to the fans. There is a prevailing view that we can lose Wenger and get in someone like Pep, or Jose. Please! I do not know enough about this board to really trust them to get in a new manager to replace Wenger, anyone naive enough to believe the events last summer were completely down to Wenger need to look more closely at the board and maybe negotiators and ask if you are certain they will pick a man to fill Wengers boots?
    I do not believe in booing during the game but I do understand some of the frustrations that boiled over. A long time without real success, promises not YET delivered, boardroom issues, some poorly performing players, constantly losing our best players without like for like replacement, mixed messages, an annual injury list with no overt attempts to do anything to rectify this, perceived extreme caution on transfers, defence coaches and other issues. That substitution did not go well but just served as a focal point for other issues, real or perceived. We have been through a lot of changes, change without measurable improvement and success brings insecurity.Insecurity can lead to paranoia or anger. But, It is not only the AAA who worry about losing RVP, unless I have joined the ranks of the AAA.
    But the fact is , most fans, a run of wins and things start to look a lot better. Get through the Villa game (against a team who will kick us, try to get a replay so they can kick us again) and things could start to look better. Players coming back, God willing RVP stays fit, and things look better. A good run in Europe and the league, with players back we are capable. I am convinced there will be major signings in the summer who will demonstratively improve this team, but these players will not be available until then. Some surplus players will go, freeing up squad places. Hopefully, the likes of Ox, Coq , Frimpong – and Yennaris anyone? will come through
    But as I say, RVP and his reaction worry me. He is an intelligent man who loves the club, his loss were it to happen could be the most cruel blow of all. And damaging to the way the club is run. I know he is not the manager, but if he has something he needs to say, I hope the powers that be will at least hear him out

  • iniez

    I don’t understand people using ticket prices to justify their boos. This whole ‘I paid therefore I boo’ mentality is completely wrong. While most get to walk into the stadium on matchday and really feel the excitement and anticipation, I have to wake up early and rub the sleep out of my eyes, find a decent stream that doesn’t freeze too much, and watch the game on my couch. And I sit on that couch in envy of everyone in that stadium, wishing I could be there just so I can cheer my team on, just so I can get behind them and let them know I’m there. Justice would be replacing those fans that have been so spoiled by going regularly to the ems with those of us who have to wake up at 8am to watch a game. I tell you the sound from gooners with the worst case of home game blue balls would be deafening. Those of you lucky enough to have the chance to spend your money on this club truly don’t know what you have. What I would give to be there on match day and to be able to go regularly, just to smell the grass on the pitch and give a shout out to our captain. Instead I’ll be here on my couch, in the early hours of the morning, waking up my neighbours with my raucous chanting because in my head I think maybe, just maybe, the arsenal can hear me

  • bjtgooner

    @Walter

    Sorry to come into the debate rather late, there have been too many demands on my time recently.

    I totally agree with the theme of your article – as supporters and fans we must support the team – all of the team – on match day. For a small section of our fans to boo a player or the manager’s decisions there can only be one result – the encouragement of the opposition. So those so called fans who chose to boo the substitution were for a time manure supporters.

    The only defense I can think of for these fans is that they have been misled by the AAA and anti Arsenal sections of the press and media. Still, they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    The whole ethos of being a fan is to encourage those 11 guys on the field to do their best while they represent our hopes and ambitions – if any fan wants to boo them or vilify them – perhaps therapy is required.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Iniez, see your point. I think some of these fans had just thrown toys out of the pram in frustration, but the more hard core – well they go onto certain blogs on an almost weekly basis claiming they will now renew season tickets, some have been doing this for several years!
    Some seem so down on posts I have read, I worry they make take the Kurt Kobain opt out if their posts are to be believed.
    Hopefully, the worst of them really will give up seats for true fans

  • So Shsrd talking of bad tackles, what about kos’s hacking down of nani which resulted in a yellow card and nani leaving the stadium in a protective boot?If that had been on an arsenal player,we would not of heard the last of it;cheating man u trying to cripple our players,shoulda been a red etc etc.And before anyone says it was just mistimed, it was not.Nani was away and koz had no choice.BTW iam not criticising him ;he did the right thing imo,i am just saying ur perception is very black and white.In england, any manager of a top club who has gone this long without winning a trophy will be under pressure from the media irrespective of nationality;at the moment kenny dalgliesh is getting it when 6 months ago he was the second coming.The media used to give Wenger leeway because of the football arsenal played;everyones 2nd favorite team was an oft heard phrase.However as the quality of the football has declined and others have taken over the mantle of the great entertainers,the press has become more critical.It has got nothing to do with him being french and everything to do with arsenal’s poor season.

  • Shard

    Like we haven’t heard it for nigh on every season. How often do we hear of Liverpool’s trophy drought? How often do we hear Alex Ferguson whinger headlines? I agree what we see today isn’t to do with him being French. It isn’t the xenophobia we saw a decade ago. It’s something else. Something much more orchestrated than that. If I view things in just black and white it is only because it is clear for all to see. Except those that seek to mislead. Either themselves or others.

    Oh, and talking about bad tackles..I never said we don’t make bad tackles. For every bad tackle by an Arsene Wenger team, I will show you at least 10 by other teams, many of which would have gone unpunished by the referee and commended by the commentators.

  • FinnGooner

    Great article Walter. I agree with you in everything. (Sorry that this is late but this presidental election yesterday and results have taken my time. and now I need to think which of two should get my vote…Good thing these elections are only every 6 years). Anyways…
    I also can’t understand booing for our own player/team during match when (IMHO) fans should support and encourige players. Not bring them down. I have unconditional support and respect for every single Arsenal player (but that last as long as they wear the shirt) no matter how they play in that moment. After match I can say that player x or y was not playing as good as he should or could.
    Oh and important part: Gelukkige late verjaardag Opa Wim! (Ok I confess I did use translator so Walter tell me if that is not correct, Alstublief (that I knew and it’s the way I mean it to be;) )

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well the translator was correct 🙂

  • Adam

    @shard. Arsenal do not rely on TV money to pay their players. And please stop having a pop at us local fans, Imagine how proud you would be if Arsenal was your local team. Your support is wanted and most welcome and I hope your children and their children get a little Arsenal education from yourself, and you can build a family history of supporting Arsenal that runs Through generations. Arsenal really is a Club worthy of that commitment. So I politely ask again, Please stop having a pop at us local supporters. Because for some of us we have been at this for generations already.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Adam, I think the response from Shard was a bit of a reaction against one person who always comes up with the “how much do you pay for and I pay this and I pay that and what do you pay” and giving supporters from outside England the feeling that they are second rated supporters.

    I must admit I also started writing a reaction to it but then I thought “why bother” as after a few weeks he will come back with the same words or something similar. So I just ignored it but I must say after a while it gets a bit on the nerves for some people. I think Shard his comment was just aimed at that one person. Well mine would have been and certainly not on the vast majority local Arsenal supporters who are happy to see a worldwide support for their ‘local’ team.

  • Shard

    @Adam

    Walter is right about who my post was intended for. I do not intend to give offense to anyone. In fact, my point was that I see all Arsenal fans as part of the Arsenal family. I do not differentiate in terms of local or overseas fans. It is just one of those things that is a particular bugbear of mine when people use the money they spend and the trips they make to the stadium as giving them some sort of extra right over the team and the club.

  • Shard

    Oh..and Arsenal do rely on TV money to pay their players. In terms of total percentage of revenue earned, gate receipts are nowhere near the amount they get from TV. At least, from memory.. I can’t be bothered to look up the exact figures.

  • WalterBroeckx

    http://yfrog.com/mg3h2nwj

    Opa Wim!!!!! 🙂 91 years old… great!!

  • FinnGooner

    About AOC substitution, if we can trust word of clubs captain Robin van Persie, Alex had calf injury.
    for those who have missed this Statement by RvP (you need to go down on page for little)
    http://www.facebook.com/RobinvanPersie (his official facebook paige)

  • Goonergetya

    Hey Walter, I have to disagree. I have always come out in support of Wenger and believe that he is still arguably the best in the business. However I did boo, I booed Arshavin because I simply dislike the player. I have no issue with players that aren’t good enough (Cygan, Senederos etc) but Arshavin geniuinely doesn’t try. He makes sloppy passes (i.e. stupid flicks without seeing who is there) which is just about excusable, however he just strolls around and never chases back. This is inexcusable and I feel very comfortable booing him for his attitude and disrespect.I WILL SUPPORT EVERY ARSENAL PLAYER THAT GIVES HIS ALL.

    As for the substitution, well Wenger keeping faith in Arshavin I can’t understand and won’t support. However, please let me be clear when I say that I still fully support Wenger. As bad as Arshavin is, the contrary can be said about the Ox, and as usual we have Wenger to thank.

    Being pro Wenger and anti Arshavin does not make you anti-Arsenal.