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Do miracles still happen these days?

By Walter Broeckx

Apart from a miracle I think we can say that the CL is over for Arsenal.  We can be optimistic and we can believe in miracles but scoring 3 goals in Munich and not letting in a goal is as good as impossible. Only a total off day of Bayern Munich could make it happen I think.

I think we have seen what probably is the best and strongest team in the world in the current season.  People can say that Barcelona is better but I think as a team this Bayern  Munich is better. Barcelona has a few individual exceptional talents. Bayern has less individual talent but every single player is a very technical gifted player and they all can run, run, run, run and run.

Apart from the Chelsea fans I think the whole world said that Bayern Munich should have won the CL last season. And for me they are the top favourites for this year also. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come back to London in a few months to win the CL.  Last season they were the best team up to the final and well what I have seen in the last months when watching the Bundesliga and what I saw today shows that they are the complete team.

I think the main difference between the two teams was in the game on the flanks.  With Vermaelen playing at left back we have someone who is not used to play in that position. He has played there and he can play there but he has the usual centre back faults when playing there.  He has the natural habit of creeping inside and thus leaving space to the flank player to pull in a cross.  An example was the first goal.  Which was a fine goal I have to admit and what a well taken shot from Kroos. Another Bayern youth product.

Bayern exploited this very well as we found out. But another  important thing when Vermaelen plays at left back is that we have no extra flank player who does the overlapping runs behind the back of Podolski.  In fact I only remember him doing it once. In minute 90 or so and then Lahm had to stop him with a foul on the edge of the penalty area.  This is what you get when you play with a centre back at left back. Or don’t get would be better.

I think we started not bad but when Bayern scored their first goal you could see a team shell shocked. Bayern smelled blood and went in search of a second goal and got it when Szczesny could only half stop a header from Van Buyten (I had warned for this) and Muller was on hand to push it over the line. (Damned I had warned for Muller scoring). Arsène, you really should read Untold.

The 0-2 was as big as a shock can be for the team. Bayern bossed the remainder of the first half but we slowly came back a bit at them in the last 10 minutes of the first half. But when we tried to shoot the Bayern players smothered all the attempts we made. I thought Per was very close but two defenders blocked what looked a goal bound shot.

In the second half we played better. We moved the ball better but then you could see what an impressive machine Bayern is.  Their players ran and closed each Arsenal player down at a high speed and made it very difficult for us. But you could also see that we started to play our game a bit. Chances were rare because of again the Bayern defenders blocking all shots going at goal. We then got a corner that should have been a goal kick and then we saw that Neuer maybe is a good line keeper but he found himself in no-mansland when the corner came in and Podolski nodded the ball in.

We then had a rather good spell with us dictating the game but you could see the constant danger when they threatened to counter. Hard work prevented them most of the time.

On came Giroud and Rosicky and Walcott moved a bit to the right flank.  I think the turning point was when Walcott crossed the ball and Giroud hit it first time with his right foot. Half a meter to each side from the keeper would have been enough. Now the ball ended up against the arm of Neuer who didn’t know really what happened but was glad that the ball spun away from goal. If only that would have gone in, we could have had a Barcelona finish.

A bit later we were not that lucky. A counter on our left flank resulted in a cross that went to Mandzukic and Sagna. Sagna tried to clear the ball but the ball bounced against the leg of Mandzukic who was already in front of the ball and it  looped in to the goal.  A bit fortunate how the ball went in but they all count.

That was the end of the game even though we did have a few chances but this time Neuer was more on hand to smother any danger.

Conceding early in the game was yet again the start of our downfall. Not having a left back to stretch their flank was another problem. We all played to central and the gap that we could have found was not exploited. Bayern did this much better.

I think our players showed enough commitment as they started kicking around a bit after going 0-2 down in an attempt to turn the game around. But the speed of each Bayern player and the skill and most of all the change in speed in their game were much better than what we could produce today.

It’s disappointing but well the game has been played and the only thing we can do is to hope that the moral in the team is restored again next Saturday.  That is a job that the coaching staff has to do now. Rebuilding confidence and start the chase for the higher placed teams.  Or we could all start to pray for a miracle of course…

53 comments to Do miracles still happen these days?

  • afc

    bayern munich are over hyped..a top class team would score 5 or 6 against such a poor arsenal display. and they dive way to much to con the ref.

  • Adam

    What I find disapointing Walter is the lack of movement from our midfield that in turn leaves our back four playing sideways football? many a time I saw one Bayern player able to dictate Arsenals direction of play and that was back to the keeper.
    It comes down to movement or lack of it. Im fed up of watching Arsenal playing keep ball within our back four.

    Rosicky looked good when he came on and was looking forward all the time.

    Now im not usually one to critisize Wenger but when he states “we lost our structure” after going 1-3 down questions have to be asked about the structure that allowed Bayern to take a two goal lead.

  • Mandy Dodd

    It will take more than a miracle. But that’s the way things seem this season, if something can go wrong, it will and in the worst possible way. Our players tried, but they were up against a machine that has been built over time and at considerable costs, a luxury we have not had. Left back is an issue, we seem to have had a catalogue of injuries there in recent years, but Monreal and Gibbs should see us through in the league. Vermaelen will always take one for the team, but he clearly does not like playing there. Going forward, we need to stop losing,players, we have made inroads there. We do need strengthening and we need to rid ourselves of the stunning tactical naivety we often demonstrate, maybe wenger needs to be a bit more flexible, or patient here. But make no mistake, this time, we lost to a top side, as we tend to at this stage. We are a work in progress, a relatively new team, some lacking confidence, uncertain of itself, and maybe the way the manager asks it to play. Some managers adapt formations to the players, wenger adapts players to his chosen formation, this takes time and unfortunately, not all make it. team stability and patience are required but now in short supply. Not for wenger having us play as some would. We just met the finished article.

  • Danish Gooner

    Bayern are organised but far to sterile to lift The big Cup both Manure and Barca will smash them if they get the chance.

  • Danish Gooner

    On our chances in Munich……Forget it !!!
    We havnt beaten a top top quality side in ages in Europe.

  • uk

    Is it unlucky wen u are beaten by a better team after you repeatedly refused to strengthen your own team, claiming they are the best? I think its just recompence.
    @mandy, apart from martinez, is there any munich player we couldnt get at the price bayern got them? Our team probably cost more to assemble, our wage bill higher. So wher has this “…@considerable cost, a luxury we have not had” statement come from?

  • Andrei

    @UK and @Mandy Dodd

    BM transfer balance in the last 5 years is around £120 or £24 a year. It is not cheap but not exorbitant for a clube of BM statue. With Bayern you simply cannot hide behind ‘they buy the titles’ mantra.

  • Mandy Dodd

    http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/fc-bayern-munich-/transfers/verein_27_2012_default_default_alle_a.html

    Uk, quite an impressive net spend in the last couple of years, nothing compared to some,English teams I grant you, but plenty compared with our positive transfer thing we have going….for whatever reason. This like all excellent teams was not built overnight. They are over the years top dog in their country. That helps. But not denying they are a very well run club, just that they have had more resources recently than us.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Andrei, not saying they have bought anything, just they have been in a far better situation than us. They are a club I admire, I hope we aspire to be like them, but that depends on what stan has up his sleeve. It may cost more than we have been willing to spend to emulate them.

  • Andrei

    @Mandy Quite interestingly Bayern had quite players leave on a free transfer in the last 5-6 years. It looks like they are more concerned about maximizing the value they get from a player playing for them instead of focusing selling at a profit or offseting the spend.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Well whatever they are doing, they are doing it right and I hope there are a lot of people at our club learning from them……and Dortmund for that matter.

  • Andrei

    BM example is a pretty fair indicator what a ‘reasonable’ level of investment should be today in order to stay at the top level. Which means that Arsenal should expect to take at least 120-150M net losses in the transfer market in the next 4-5 years to close the gap with the top European clubs.

  • Gooner Murphy

    Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal
    Arsenal what’s that you say
    Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal
    ARSENAL

  • Arun

    Summer of this season is going to be very very important for Arsenal as it will make the intentions of Kroenke very clear. There is no star player to sell as most of our players have recently signed new contracts. So, that basically means that we can’t have a net zero transfer policy. If we reach the CL and then there is no spending, this will make it pretty clear that Kroenke is here for money not for football. If there’s no spending in the summer, I don’t think Wenger will renew his contract and the same can be said about some of our players.

  • Anca Gunner

    Shiiit ..

    Do you guys know how much commercial money Bayern make?
    They are the biggest earners in the world man, of course they can afford huge losses on their player investments.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Please you must not forget that Bayern Munich spends less money because the internal German transfer market is not as insane as the English transfer market. They have no Chelsea or City to compete with and as I said in my article yesterday each German player (apart from the young Dortmund kids) wants to player for Bayern. When Bayern come calling any Bundesliga team has lost their player already.
    Bayern don’t have to pay over the odds to get their players and thus they spend less than English teams. In fact only when they buy players from over inflated price countries like England or Spain they pay over the odds. But they mostly buy their players in the Bundesliga as probably the best players are out there playing already. If you look at the group results in the CL it is clear that all 3 German clubs were top of their group so they are not doing bad at all.

    And I just want to point at the fact that even with them being the biggest team in Germany for decades and spending most of the money, they still end up without trophies at times. In fact if will be 3 years since their last trophy at the end of this season. Last trophy was in 2010. But they did reached a few finals in between.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Keeping the faith .

    Sir Francis Drake c.1540 – 1596

    “There is plenty of time to win this game, and to thrash the Spaniards too.”

    “There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.”

  • Shard

    People pointing to Bayern Munich as an example to follow..Well what else do you think Arsenal are trying to do? Bayern Munich’s commercial income is huge. Plus they exist in a league where spending is curbed to an extent, and that gives them an advantage over the rest of the clubs (what FFP opponents would call unfair)

    Arsenal’s plan of building the stadium, growing commercial revenue is actually aiming to do exactly what Bayern and also earlier, ManU have done. The question you should be asking yourself is why Dein the saviour never did this, rather than questioning what we’re doing. The team from 98 to 2006 had great potential in terms of marketing. But this was never fully exploited. With the result, that at the moment, we need to be more careful with money. But with the new deals, and with the marketing team in place, that is going to grow. And that marketing and commercial growth is actually what Kroenke gives us. The effects of which take time, but it contributes no less to the team’s progress. In fact, it is essential. Still, it is fashionable to bemoan the ‘corporate’ structure of Arsenal.

  • M. Thomas

    Arun

    Very interesting comments.

    I would go even further and say irrespective of if you reach the CL or not failure to spend will say much about your normally non attending Billionaire owners intentions .
    The ony difference I would suggest is that if you dont reach the CL the players will be able to negoitate even higher wages

  • Shard

    Apparently, on radio 5 yesterday, there was a journalist from the Daily Telegraph who has interviewed Stan Kroenke. When Kornke was accused of being ‘silent Stan’, this journo said that Kroenke has given more interviews than Mansour, Abramovich, and Glazers. He also said that Kroenke goes to more games than you realise, he just doesn’t like being photographed or be seen all the time.

    I didn’t hear it personally. Rather I read it on a comment in a blog, by a person I trust. I’m sure someone living in the UK can confirm that this was actually said.

    Whether it is true or not is a different story. But I think at least the bit about Kroenke giving more interviews than the other owners is true, when you think about it.

  • sadgooner

    Rosicky played well against Blackburn. He should have started against Bayern IMO instead of Ramsey.
    Also considering Alaba’s pace, Ramsey’s effect on right wing would be nullified. So, Chamberlain would have been a better option.
    But i guess Arsene wanted to be more defencive on the right against Ribery , Muller and Alaba and i am not sure about fatigue levels of our players i mentioned.
    Not that it would have changed the scoreline, but their impact would be more.
    I would say we were not lucky with the goals scored against us but the way Bayern played they didn’t deserve anything less than the comfort they earned for the home tie.

  • M. Thomas

    Just as RA is photographed every time he is at Chelsea games the press will know if Kronke is at the game.
    The Telegraph interviews I think in the main were over a year ago I would suggest that your current Lady Bracewells commnets on the matter are quite interesing and relevent.
    RA has never given an interview the press hate that but I would suggest that the old saying that actions speak louder than words in these matters is a far better indication of what the truth rather than the spin these media trained individuals put on such matters but having said that read what Kronke says in relation to the Glazers taking money out of Man Utd.

  • bob

    ” I think the turning point was when Walcott crossed the ball and Giroud hit it first time with his right foot. Half a meter to each side from the keeper would have been enough. Now the ball ended up against the arm of Neuer who didn’t know really what happened but was glad that the ball spun away from goal. If only that would have gone in, we could have had a Barcelona finish.”
    Walter,
    This begs three questions:
    Would you finally be willing to call this a (chronic) Clinicality issue?
    Still alright with No transfer activity in Jan.?
    Why has Rosicky not been utilized until the last two matches?

  • nicky

    As a general rule, only one team can win a game and it was no disgrace to lose to Bayern Munich last night. Arsenal could not be criticised for lack of effort, but it was not enough.
    Let’s not get too involved in speculation about the outcome of this round of the CL, as far as Arsenal is concerned. To score 3 goals in Munich without reply is quite beyond the capability of the present squad.
    What we need now, commencing with our home game at the weekend against Aston Villa, is 100% effort by players, coaches and fans so as to achieve qualification for next season’s CL. Nothing short of this is acceptable.
    Historically, Arsenal achieve better results in the final third of the term. We are only 10 points behind the second placed team and with only one target in mind, our confidence won’t be lacking.
    Those of little faith will no doubt say that a final 4th place position is yet again an insignificant target.
    I would agree, but at the present time that is our only challenge and we must therefore take advantage of it.
    However, at the season’s end, there must be a searching and in-depth look into every aspect of our Club’s scouting, coaching, tactics and game plans so as to discver why the final step into a winning mentality appears to elude us.

  • WalterBroeckx

    bob,
    one can give other examples of “clinicality issues”: RVP against Milan when he was standing 5 meter from goal with the keeper lying on the ground and still managed to put the ball in his hands. It would have made it 4-0 and maybe qualification. The Giroud shot was an instant shot with his weaker right foot. But we do need too many shots for scoring a goal for the moment. I agree with that.

    What should we have done? Go to the players we want and their clubs armed with guns and put it against their heads saying: sell or die?

    I don’t know that bob, but judging with the Blackburn defeat when he did play…would it have changed anything? As much as I like him.

  • Shard

    M.Thomas

    I actually agree about actions speaking louder than words. I don’t really care whether Kroenke speaks to the press or not, or whether he comes to the games or not. As to what Kroenke said about the Glazers, again, actions speak louder than words. He hasn’t done what the Glazers have done. He hasn’t bought Arsenal through an LBO. Hasn’t taken dividends from the club. He was asked a direct question about the Glazers and he;s hardly going to say that what they are doing is wrong. Besides, I remember getting the sense from reading that interview that he’s actually criticising the Glazers without actually doing so. But that is interpretation.

    I actually have no problem with owners taking money out of the club, if they are actually investing their own money in it. That’s the only way it is a legitimate investment. Reward for risk and all that.

    What Kroenke has done, is attempted to increase our commercial income, and use the broadband/electronic route to connect with fans(or customers if you prefer) As for the rest, he’s allowed the club to continue in its philosophy. He’s not harmed us in any way. So far at least. I wouldn’t ask for more from him in that regard. Not spending his own money on player purchases etc. is something I actually like. The press don’t obviously.

  • bob

    “a machine that has been built over time and at considerable costs, a luxury we have not had.”
    Mandy Dodd,
    Do you honestly feel that the stadium debt the reason for our insufficient quality in depth and lack of clinicality in offense? I share your dismay and pain, but it will not lift if every personnel problem is explained away by the stadium debt. There’s been a lot more in play than that, as a mere glance through the number of poor quality/high wage non-players on our current roster would attest.

  • Shard

    bob

    Every club has that issue. It’s more pressing a concern for us because of that stadium debt.

    But despite that debt, what it the real issue is lack of squad stability. Bayern Munich have played together, and lost together before. We never had the chance to really do that. Bayern’s players don’t get picked up by the oilers because a) they have no oilers in their country, and b) their resources are huge. Something we are well on our way towards addressing,

    Anyone could have not scored that Giroud chance. I know we need a striker, but what guarantee that another striker would have made the same run, let alone score? Giroud was there, had a good chance, hit a wonderful shot, and the keeper was well positioned, and the ball hit him and stayed out. It happens.

  • bob

    Walter,
    Taking one example to compare Giroud and RVP on clinicality is well, just desperate. And, by now in match after match (with an exception), f you recall, Giroud loses his compass at the last and crucial moment. As you do note, our shots:goal ratio is sub-par. (To me woeful.) Is it about Giroud’s being good, but not being good enough? Yes. (Of course that’s because we’re paying off the stadium. And of course, to pay off that debt, net zero transfer windows are (assumed!) to follow suit, right?)

    As for the transfer windows: your scenario here is that clubs with quality or the quality players won’t sign, so what can we do? Very one-sided, Walter. That hardly can account for the lack of any actual transfer activity in two January windows (except for buying Monreal out of dire necessity once Gibbs was injured, so please don’t turn that into a massive virtue – nor do we know if Monreal can do the business). Two January’s ago, while competing on four fronts and to great ballyhoo, we needed defense – stretched too thin, injured, a killer schedule in the offing. But AW/AFC gambled it ALL away, betting the farm on Vermaelen’s return from the lingering mystery injury and immediately hitting top form. Reckless conservatism, that excuse. This Summer and January, to ensure CL (if not better) we needed a clinical striker and defensive midfielder. Needing to approximate RVP’s clinicality, and replace Song’s imperfect but mainly strong to intimidating performances there. Again nothing. And it’s always their fault, not our unwillingness to spend a centime over budget, n’est-ce pas? It’s not just about January. No one can know, but I wonder whether anything was being planned or in the works in the run-up to January. My guess is no, let’s wait and see where we are then (January); because the situation was not seen as (or miscalculated as not) dire, or dangerous enough to our customary CL/4th place finish. And, ah well, there’s always the next summer: when (in a worsening economy that will take its toll on gate attendance) we will really, really, really have the budget money to spend. (Fiesta, forever, all night long.) But what if there’s no CL finish? What if AW cannot rally the troops this weekend after two cup exits in a row? (I wouldn’t hold that against him, under the circumstances. But it should not have come down to these circumstances.) And if there’s no CL, then it will be that much harder to attract the quality reinforcement that our bursting coffers can finally acquire. (Or will having to finally eat the contracts of Arshavin, Squillacci, etc. etc. become the new reason not to spend/splash on quality?)

    On Rosicky: we both like him, and he is still quality, with guile and drive and a passion to win. He doesn’t have to be enough to win – just to be himself, as we need his talents to provide the missing link-ups. And then pray for the missing clinical finishing. To me, greater clinicality in the final third is the miracle to pray for. Better yet, to actually purchase.

  • bob

    Shard,
    But it keeps happening that way with Giroud. That’s my concern.
    Agree that anyone can miss badly in any one case, yes. And it’s far clearer to me with Gervinho, who chronically goes awry at the key moment, time after time, and usually after a good move. And perhaps there’s not enough of a body of work yet with Giroud to be as critical as I feel. But I think his missing at the big moments is too frequent and decidedly not what’s needed in the single striker formation against top EPL/CL defenses. (Perhaps back to ye old dual-front man as a plan B might be tried out as a change of pace, or something, and there’d be less weight on Giroud’s shoulders.)

    I don’t think anyone, any more is expecting him to be RVP; and I think he well knows this now. And perhaps the service is too erratic, too often not what it should be from the midfield. But, from what I’ve seen to date, Giroud doesn’t have the requisite clinicality to lead the line and the failure to have purchased that quality striker we two have been talking about since August looms very large. That is, while I earnestly wish it for us, I don’t see enough clinicality – edge and firepower – in the final third to make 4th place. Perhaps Eduardo has more left in the tank? Or Ryo will come good? Or Giroud will find another gear? Cliche after cliche. But I do fear that all the seeming prudence of AFC’s fiscal conservatism will have proven to be the most reckless gamble of all.

  • bob

    Walter,
    Miracles can happen; but they can never “hapen” (please check the headline spelling). 🙂

  • Shard

    bob

    Giroud is a very good player. But I agree that we need another striker, who is a more efficient finisher. I just don’t think that has anything to do with analysis of the game against Bayern.

    The season isn’t over yet. I think I had already said at the start of this season that the way things are, I’d happily take 4th and the added revenue it brings, and look for further refinement of the squad next season. And by refinement, I don’t mean losing our best players. If they do have to go (like Sagna), they should be replaced with players of equal or better quality. A cup would have been a bonus for me. I think we can get 4th. But I worry about the negativity surrounding the team. Home games, suddenly feel like away games to me. If we can somehow overcome that to finish 4th, I’m reasonably sure tht next season will be different.

  • Mick

    Is it possible that the constant negative pressure and criticism constantly being heaped on the club, management and players from the media ‘experts’, press, ex players, part of the fan base and just about everyone else is/has actually adversely affected the teams mental state to the extent that they now think they are a group of losers? If so they are probably going on to the pitch with an inferiority complex and consequent low confidence, thus putting themselves in a losing frame of mind before a ball is kicked. That would explain their slow, tentative starts to games. As Wenger said they are appearing nervous.

  • WalterBroeckx

    When I talked about a machine you should have a look at this little clip in this tweet.

    Look at how fast Bayern recovered from an attack : http://vimeo.com/60073794 no chance whatsoever for us to counter.

    There was a possible counter on at 0-1 and we were in a 3 against 3 in our own half. Theo ran with the ball and before you know it there were 7 (seven) Bayern players back to smother the danger.

  • WalterBroeckx

    ok bob now they will happen!

  • Stuart

    Mick,
    Is it possible that the constant negative pressure and criticism constantly being heaped on the club, management and players from the media ‘experts’, press, ex players, part of the fan base and just about everyone else is/has actually adversely affected the teams mental state to the extent that they now think they are a group of losers?

    Yes! It has git to the point where people believe it. Now days, 4th place is worse than finishing 10th!

  • Stuart

    Mick,
    I got this response from an email I sent to Arsenal today :

    Dear Stuart

    Many thanks for your email. As you may be aware we get thousand of letter re: Mr. Wenger, the Club , board and players and generally we do not pass theses on. However on this occasion I have passed your well wished to Mr. Wenger’s Office.

    Kind regard and thank you for your continued support, which is much appreciated.

    It’s good to be spreading some positivity in amongst all the negativity that is around us.

  • Stuart

    * The last sentence was my writing.

  • WalterBroeckx

    That must have been a good mail, Stuart!

    And it shows how important it is even for people like Wenger to feel support. Just imagine how it must be for the players and the constant moaning about them not being good enough.
    At the end they will believe it and their performances can go down. It takes very strong legs to stand above all the moaning

  • Stuart

    Exactly Walter,
    It’s all to easy to follow the herd and take their point of view. People are fearful of being different / the outcast and so take the easy life. Sad and pathetic really but such is life.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think we know all about it Stuart 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    All the negativity will not be helping. Now I am going to contradict what I have just said… We have been very poor at times this season, the same failings…poor starts and soft goals occur time and time again. There can be question marks over our finishing. Apart from Jack, there seem to be questionmarks over everything. Nothing wrong with respectful debate in such a scenario, but guess we have to be wary of doing the bidding of those who do not have this clubs interests at heart. In the next couple of weeks , we will witness first hand the tide of desperation for the Spuds to do us, on and off the pitch. Yes, we have been poor at times inexplicably poor, but the players can at times be pretty good as well. Reading the papers this morning it is all over. We are a spent force, gone until the next cyple…Really?? OK , difference in expectations due to our previous success, but compare and contrast the media reaction today to when Arry and his Spuds got royally stuffed by Real. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of the players, tactics, coaching,manager and board, we have them at least until the summer. they deserve and need our backing, because a top four position is very very achievable, despite what the media will tell us. When we qualify, I believe certain things will be put right, but failure to do so, I can guarantee, with our set up, caution will set in this summer on a par with the summer of cesc..or worse. The sponsorship money could be set aside to offset a lack of CL revenue. Quite a few would love all this to happen, lets not help them out, whatever the anger and frustration

  • Mick

    Stuart
    Great to email support to the club, I have followed your example.

  • bjtgooner

    @Stuart

    I have just arrived home having travelled a lot today, but I am going to follow your example and email Arsenal in the next few minutes. Good idea Stuart.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Me too bjt. Things are not the best and maybe changes needed but I back wenger and the team and realise the nature of what they are facing

  • goooner

    Hi Walter,
    I always thought Vermaelen plays LB for Belgium, should not be too unfamiliar with that position. At least more familiar than Flamini was in the season we reached the final. Our defending has been shambolic in the last couple of seasons, and not having a true DM to protect our back 4 is showing imo.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mandy, Stuart & Mick

    I got a nice reply back from Arsenal FC this morning. Once again, good idea Stusrt.

  • Stuart

    bjtgooner,
    It’s something I do on a fairly regular basis. As per the response, they get hundreds of emails, all hurling abuse. I often choose to praise sometimes offering constructive opinion / criticism.

  • Gooner S

    @Walter @Stuart

    I wrote a letter to Arsene Wenger during last season. I received a written reply. He does read them.

    I have mixed emotions on Arsenal at present. Clearly things aren’t where we would like them to be. You would be foolish to think otherwise. Clearly things could be a lot worse.

    What appalls me is the (un)civil war that has broken out amongst Arsenal fans. I have been consistent in calling out the that squad needs improving but that said I’m against throwing silly money at players (QPR and Samba as an example). I have also been consistent in supporting players like Ramsey – we have some very good players but then again something isn’t quite right when we continually have poor first halves and they need a good rollicking to get going. Having one centre forward is not good. We need more competition at Goalkeeper. Some of this is down to the players but the management team are also responsible.

  • WalterBroeckx

    goooner,
    TV playing left back for Belgium is a bit of a political thing. We have a lot of good central defenders: Kompany, TV, Vertonghen, Alderweireldt, Van Buyten.
    Even if it would be in the good old Belgium tradition of parking the bus to win games that still is considered a bit over the top. So we put left footed central defenders on the left back position. When TV is not fit, Vertonghen plays there. The same goes for Alderweireldt who is a central defender bust mostly plays as right back for Belgium.

    The reason is a bit political. Belgium has what we could say has 3 part: Flanders, Wallonië and Brussels. Kompany is the Brussels part of our defence. Van Buyten is despite his Flemish sounding name from Wallonië. And then we have 3 flemish players in TV, Alderweireldt and Vertonghen.

    I think anyone will understand that Kompany is first choice as central defender. So to restore the balance they pick Van Buyten a lot (despite him making a lot of stupid errors) and then put the Flemish central defeners on as wing backs.

    Vertonghen also plays a lot as defensive midfield. And so we do end up with 5 central defenders in some games.

    Ah the good old Belgium defensive school (and why I hate to support the team from my own country) 😉

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I, too, e-mailed the club and got a positive e-mail back from them. I hope they pass on a few of our e-mails to AW, the players or even the clerks in the store. Some of us still support the club.

  • uk

    @mandy
    Exactly my point. Like i said, apart from martinez @£35m(which u might claim is beyond our range) the other signings top @11m, yet they hit the ground running and greatly improved an already good squad. I can metion many great/wanted players who have moved for such a price(ozil,khedira,melo,michu etc). So wen people say we need big money to compete, its not true. Meanwhile we can’t even claim not to have spent big, but we seem to have chosen targets that haven’t met our needs eg we had options of samba, cahill, mertesacker, wenger chose mert, who i’m sure wud hav been 3rd choice for most of us. And he wasnt cheaper.

  • uk

    Another thing i keep hearing is “bayern players have been together, bla bla”. I know 4 bayern 1st teamer having their 1st season(mandzukic,martinez,dante,shaqiri;maybe more, since i dont follow the bundesliga too well), 3 of them started. I kno of 4 arsenal first teamers in their 1st season(one bot as a panic buy to cover gibbs) 2started. I should think d’arsenal team should know themselves well enough by now. Also, if we hav chopped and screwd our team continously, whose fault? D AAA castigate the club for continously dismantling and rebuilding, AKBs say AAA are being troublesome, then you lose a match and AKBs come on and say, we are excused, we just dismantled and are rebuilding. I fear since we are constantling doing this, AKBs hav an excuse for lifetime failure