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Tonight’s game, tonight’s moan, Mr Wenger replies, the teams…

By Tony Attwood

There is so much vitriol pouring out against the club that I almost wonder if it is worth writing anything more today.   The attackers are out, attacking the club, with only a few people bothering to do any analysis to back up their assertions.

But maybe we should just establish one or two minor points.

First this site is, and has always been, pro-Wenger.  Unlike most anti-Wenger sites we have declared our position and maintained it.  Maybe that’s why we get such a big audience.  Many writers call us biased.  Yes we are.  That’s it.  We are biased.  It is obvious.  It says so on the masthead.

Second, the site is not in any way linked to the club.  Nice idea, but utterly untrue.  I have gone into this in more detail in a reply to one writer who made the allegations recently.

So, the AAA follows its friends in the media who feed the AAA because they know they get good readership there.  Those of us who follow a different model – that of supporting the club, the team and the manager, take a different view.  Different views, different opinions.  If you find all the articles on this site boring and dull or just utterly stupid, simply stop reading.

It looks like we might see some changes tonight.

Maybe a team that looks like this

 

Mannone

Vermaelen Koscielny Mertersacker Sagna

Wilshere Arteta

Carzola

Walcott   Giroud  Podolski

Ramsey is out, Oxlade-C is out, Gervinho, Rosicky, Diaby… all out.  And so is Gibbs.

Walcott is said to have a stomach complaint – so that’s a difficult one to choose if he is not there.  I am taking it that the Wilshere double yellow means he misses the next league match on Saturday not this one.  So if Walcott doesn’t play we will have Arshavin playing on one side and Podolski on the other.

That would leave a bench of

Martínez, Jenkinson, Yennaris, Djourou,  Coquelin, Gnarby, Chamakh

Mr Wenger’s commentary was reported in the Telegraph as

“I think what is most important right now is that we find our game back. Our game is about creating chances, about going forward, about having an offensive drive.

“That, at the moment, is missing a bit. I believe I have a team of great players and perhaps they have forgotten a little bit how good they are.

“What is most important is that we play again with our enthusiasm, desire to create chances and enjoy our game, more than thinking about if we concede a goal or not.

“In the past we have been criticised for giving chances away but we are not used to being criticised for not creating because we have a team based on that. That’s why I think it’s important we come back to what our game is all about.  We have analysed Saturday, we have watched it, spoken about it. We know that we didn’t play as well as expected. There is only one way to respond to that and it is to come out with a good performance.

“Result is always linked to performance. You cannot go into the game and think ‘no matter about the performance, we just want a result’. We want to think about playing well, that’s what we focus on.

“Schalke are a very good side.  You can see that in their league position.

“They are a very tight team but we have learned from that. We did not have a lot of chances against them at Emirates Stadium and so we have got to switch better from defence to attack.

“They did not have many chances either but they had clear-cut ones and that’s what we of course want to stop.   But, as I said, I believe for us it’s important that we create more than we do at the moment. Our game was always about that and we have to worry about being better at our style of play.”

But isn’t it strange?   At this point last season everyone was screaming that we didn’t have a good enough defence.  Now we have the meanest defence in the league, so people pick on one player, and the attack.

So it goes.

——————————–

The books…

The sites…

The articles…

45 comments to Tonight’s game, tonight’s moan, Mr Wenger replies, the teams…

  • avatar Xavier

    Vermalen on the right and Sagna on the left?

  • avatar richard morgan

    I agree with you but I do admit I did have my first doubts about Wenger in the reading match especially in first half. if walcott is not fit then rather than play arshavin play yennaris he is pacey going forward and will back up sagna. i would play vermalean at left back too. what the antiu wenger’s forget is that we have had continuous champions league football in his period in charge. In that time we have had a champions league final and two league cup finals and are once again in the quarter final stages of that competition and whilst qualifying for champions league football we are competing for the title on a budget that is less than city chelsea and utd. The new ground was supposed to makes us compete with the utds of the game but unfortunately chelsea and city have got rich owners and its a different game now so we need a new approach to make us combative again. I would say I am frustrated at the teams lack of creativity for the last season and bit this season we have a good defensive base but have to find that creative spark again. last season we scored our least amount of goals in the league even with van persie so its not a new problem but one that has been there for a while. we need to be ruthless and cull six or seven players. My list is as follows Fabianski Djourou Santos Arshavin Bedntner Park and ramsey sell those player get a defender a goalkeeper to challenge scezsney and a right winger attacker and another striker and we will be set. Walcott, chamakh, giroud, poldoski gervinho and one other attacker would be be good not put in pecking order. an affellay or alvarez would be handy on that right wing and a defender that can cover two or three positions would be handy and one with good injury free record. Keeper now there are two who come to mind the celtic keeper is showing good form and another who impressed as a shot stopper was colognes second string keeper who kept giroud poldolski and co out for so long in the pre-season. lastly I don’t see changing manager for changing sake. We might be struggling but confidence and luck can change those things around. I will say until that second international break we looked like we were going in the right direction but since then we have looke lethargic and like we have not played together.

  • avatar GUN

    God is quite popular but there’s no proof it even exists, so popularity is by no means evidence of even being right let alone constituting an intelligent point of view.

    You don’t provide analysis of anything, but simply twist the facts to move the goalposts in your favour – like your laughable assessments on referees, used as an excuse for Wenger’s failures.

    If Arsenal were bottom of the league you’d come up with some dumb excuse to back your support of Wenger.

    That’s the problem with making a crass banner for your website stating “Lord Wenger – coach of the decade”, all based on a bunch of discredited French statisticians. The “Lord” bit is just plain embarrassing.

  • avatar Lobster

    COYG!! Bring on the arsenal back to The Arsenal!!! Let’s drown those Germans with wave after REDwave of Arsenal attacks!

  • avatar A. Stewart

    “Result is always linked to performance”

    Can’t agree with that there Mr. Wenger.

    Anyway the overall tone of his comments imo, have an underbelly of the usual “we just need to play our game”….and sorry I just can’t agree with that approach..what’s wrong with specific tactical adjustments and overall style and gameplay adjustments based on opposition designed specifically to get the result…?

    I find that approach no less “pure” in the overall scheme of football, which is a diverse sport, with diverse players, diverse styles, diverse tactics, and diverse approaches.

    And worringly.. he said..

    “What is most important is that we play again with our enthusiasm, desire to create chances and enjoy our game, more than thinking about if we concede a goal or not.”

    Hopefully that is not a return to what imo amounted to defensive negligence at times…hopefully it’s not a “go on out there and enjoy yourself Tommy V and attack without tactically worrying about defensive positioning and conceding a goal”…Yeah that’s going to help..

    Especially now as a result of constantly getting rid of our better players (overwhelmingly attacking/creative players at that)..it’s not a Eureka moment that as a result we will struggle to create as we used to, but those comments, by me at least, can be interpreted as go on out there and just play our attacking game, and even though we don’t have as good players in this regard anymore, just go and do it, and furthermore, don’t even worry about our recent traditional achilles heel of defence.

    Very worrying comments imo, and a signal of ” more of the same, stay the course, do the same thing over and over and expect different results” approach that has resulted in our stagnation.

    In my opinion.

  • avatar Notoverthehill

    Tony, you are correct!

    I cannot recall any A Stewart ever being a football manager in any of the English Leagues?

  • avatar ryan

    i think the reason people are moaning is because despite the improvement in defence, we’re not doing much better this season than last season overall. which is worrying specifically because last season we had a terrible start to the season. being concerned about that is most definitely understandable

  • avatar KK

    Whilst I understand your stance and agree that Arsene is still the best person to take this club forward, I don’t think it is impossible to ignore the tactical inflexibilty that we have seen in recent seasons or the lackadaisical attitude shown by some of our players. I don’t agree with the majority that the team is miles behind Man Utd of course apart from RVP who makes them tick at the moment. I believe that OG12 has bags of potential and could eventually become a great player for the club, all you havre to do is look at his desire, movement and attempted shots, RVP only came good about 18 months ago so give OG12 some breathing space. Other positives this season have been Cazorla, BFG, Carl J, Arteta.

    But then there are the tactical deficiencies, that make most of these players look mediocre and that is why the majority of the fans are vexed. Arsene really needs a rethink about tactics, strategy and coaching to get the best out of his players, if he really can’t to this,then I am afraid he may prove his critics correct.

  • avatar jahgooner

    I doubt wenger just says go out and enjoy it.to me he is saying to get the balance right,relax and don’t be nervous.he is not stupid,he’s an experienced manager.I’m not worried by wengers comments,I’m more worried about players focusing on being legends.henry had a team attitude on the pitch apart from maybe his last year or so..he performed well because he was selfless footbalistically.when teams came in for him he stayed,showed loyalty to the guy who believed in him.theo has been shit- good-shit..in that order.players like this are more common,just like the younger generation seem at times..nice but dim.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Hopefully the fight back starts. Would like to see what arshavin can do, these games have bought put the best of him in the past.

  • avatar ClockEndRider

    Didn’t A. Stewart used to host the Hogmanay shindig on tv every new year?

  • avatar Adam

    Vito Mannone
    Bacary Sagna
    Per Mertesacker
    Laurent Koscielny
    Thomas Vermaelen (c)
    Mikel Arteta
    Jack Wilshere
    Santi Cazorla
    Theo Walcott
    Lukas Podolski
    Olivier Giroud

  • avatar Adam

    Spot on Mr Attwood.

  • avatar Lobster

    Super guess on the squad, maybe a little too super.. Anybody have Chang’s number?.. I think I might have another case 4 him. Come On Arsenal!

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Tony, good article, glad you wrote it.
    Tonight I shall be supporting the team whether they win, draw or lose – because i am an Arsenal fan and they are my team.

    The disgraceful vitriol aimed at the team/club and manager recently is being orchestrated, not just by the AAA scum but by additionally others who have a vested monetary interest in making a change – nothing new really – just a bit more loud mouthed than normal. I don’t think the persons concerned know too much about football.

  • avatar dan

    Played well, a point each is fair!!

    The team looked well until Huntelaar struck, but they dug in. Hoping this is the lift they need.

  • avatar Jhgooner

    Cannot believe I only came across the website this week after reading a great review in an Irish newspaper about as quoted ‘your honest refreshing approach to supporting your team through thinner times than thick’. Brilliant keep up the good work. Come on you gooners!!

  • avatar Pat

    Very good article Tony.
    A point away at Schalke is a good result.
    Disappointed in Theo’s post match interview. It was all about him not the team and he fell right into the trap when the interviewer asked him about why he was not starting more often. He said, “You’ll have to ask the manager.”
    The team player says, “The manager chooses the team.”

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Not the worst result. We still look,suspect defensively. Wenger has stated on the official site we need another month to see the best of this team. If we win against Montpelier should be ok seems we are going through something a relatively new injury hit team just needs to get through.

  • avatar weedonald

    GUN…..you are right at least about popular opinion meaning nothing. After that statement you go downhill rapidly.

    1)Laughable assessment of referees….? You are laughable, since you’ve obviously never contributed anything to the referee debate….unless you consider your moronic comment about Untold excellent efforts as risable.

    2) Untold encourages open and fair criticism of Wenger and AFC but unlike your vitriolic rant….they take a balanced view and encourage respect towards everything Arsenal.

    3)It wasn’t discredited French statisticians but EUFA’s coaching membership that voted him this honour and i know how that hurts you since you are so anti-Wenger in all things!

    4) You are just plain embarrassing and a pitiful example of a blinkered, biased, spiteful, anally retentive AAA cretin…and those are your BEST qualities! LeGrove needs you desperately so off you go to feed the swill they serve up at the Anti-Arsenal trough they call a website.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Gun,

    you probably haven’t noticed that we have done 38 Arsenal games last season and some 120 NON-ARSENAL GAMES.

    Now if we would do what you say we do: then why would we do all those 120 or so other games?????

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    After all the news that Santos was being reprimanded for his poor form and taking RIP’s jersey ,and not being included in the squad to travel,I thought is was nice to see him come on as sub.
    His form may not be good right now but this will hopefully give him some confidence .
    Overall a positive performance on a poor pitch .Nice to see Giroud get on the scoresheet – more of the same ,please !

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    @ brickfields…. +1.

    I thought our players were on the pitch wearing slippers. AND who stole Cazorlas shooting slippers oppssss…Boots again???

  • avatar Gouresh

    managed to watch the last 20 mins and we were bloody awful…..we seemed to be happy for them to attack us when we were 2-1 up and their 2nd goal? what was BK thinking on the right? i have played a central defender & wing back for 20 ys and i would never, never, ever ever EVER leave my postion like BK did leaving a big hole at the back. even after that pass was made, Mert should have immediately closed him down allowing BK to move inside, but Mert, was nowwhere and BK had to run back to close down the cross and we knew what happened then………and these are EPL players??????? i had better postional sense when i played. its shocking!!!

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    @Gun
    I find you bring people’s view on ‘God’ into a football discussion extremely offensive. Being superstitious, I expect you shall receive divine punishment mate.

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    @ARSENAL 13

    I noticed that the Arsenal players were slipping alot as well. How about Mertesacker slipping on the edge of the penalty area, nearly cost a goal, as an example.

    I think Walter mentioned in a previous article that the grass in the Schalke stadium is kept outside and rolled in for matches. Does anyone know if that makes an impact to players who are unfamiliar with it, in terms of the footwork necessary to avoid slipping?

  • avatar rupert cook

    Disappointing. Another terrible defensive display in the last quarter of the game. And where was the marking for that second goal?

    Giroud showed what he can do with his head. That’s probably his strength so we need to do a bit more crossing into the box which is why we need some more effective wing play. It was a good cross and Giroud took the goal well and it was pleasing to see that Schalke are just as capable as us at bad defending.

    Having a 2 goal cushion should have been enough. We’ll probably scrape through as runners-up anyway but if we really want to win the CL we need some big investment.

    Have to agree with Gun, that Lord Wenger tagline is embarrassing.

  • avatar Shard

    Tony,
    Did you start some kind of ‘editor-for-a-day’ competition that I don’t know about? If so I’d like to enroll so I too can impose my own editorial bias on your site.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Pithy.

  • avatar Shard

    glad it meets with your approval editor-in-(mis)chief

  • avatar rupert cook

    Pithier.

  • avatar Shard

    and wittier..Don’t you think? I do :)

  • avatar rupert cook

    Bear in mind I have a lisp.

  • avatar rupert cook

    And yes, it was wittier.

  • avatar Shard

    don’t you mean lithp?

  • avatar Adam

    I agree Rupert we need some investment. Studs for cazorla.
    Apart from that we are still in all competitions and already have the players to do well (opinion). 3 home games next, can we turn our home form around will be the next step?
    People seem to forget that Schalke are a very good side sitting second in their league 3 places above Dortmund who held Real Madrid away last night and also won their league last year, you could say Schalke are one of the in form sides in Europe at the moment. they don’t lose many games at home and usually score 2 a game.
    I say well done Arsenal but sort Cazorla’s studs out.

  • avatar rupert cook

    Got me there. :)

  • avatar rupert cook

    @Adam, if only our only problem was Cazorla’s studs. Can we afford to buy him new boots or will that ruin self-sustainability?

    I don’t think throwing away a two goal league is well done. I think it was a medium performance, at least though a vast improvement on our previous three games.

    This team needs a win soon.

  • avatar Adam

    Rupert, You and I have been down this road before so im just going to jump straight to the end.
    We are doomed i say doomed.

  • avatar Paul"the Gooner"

    Its a RESULTS BUSINESS!, that is what we are told.The exception is when we draw and get a point our performance is looked at,when we play teams off the park it is the RESULT that is looked at and not the perfrmance.We cannot win.Take a point.Schalke are a very good team.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Lots of fans want a change of owner.
    This is what can happen if you get the wrong owner

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20241385

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Mandy,
    my local club has had the same terrible adventure. A rich businessman took the club over. 3 titles/promotions in a row! Great you think?
    Except that the last title was won when he was in jail, the club went bankrupt, we went down 2 divisions again. It took us around 9 years to recover from this disaster.

    I never trust such people again. It can look nice and good and when you win you don’t ask questions. But I have seen the other side of the coin. And believe me it was horror. The club was saved but the new board said: never again.

    And as a supporter I say: never again.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    A cautionary tale, a real shame what these people can end up doing to clubs long term. Looks like we will be seeing more and more of this. Football is becoming too easy a way to launder money, almost as easy as passing an FA fitness to own a club test. Not that I am saying all of these people are money launderers or criminals…but some undoubtedly are and clubs are vulnerable.

  • avatar Pat

    Very true Mandy.
    Reminds me of those articles Ann wrote a little while ago.
    They were very enlightening on this question of money laundering.

  • avatar rupert cook

    And who’s to say Kroenke is a great owner? Time will tell.