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The rollercoaster continues. Enjoying the ride?

By Walter Broeckx

The day after the North London derby can be a great day. As it is today. But we all have to look back just over more than one year to know how miserable it can be. I must say that I was a bit baffled by the fact that it was our first win over there since 2007. Well in the PL anyway. Because I seem to remember us winning there in the League cup. We had a few draws there lately and a few losses. So to get the 3 points there this season was absolutely massive.

When looking back at the season the feeling about beating them 3 times in a season will be one of the highlights. And what makes it even more interesting is that in those 3 matches we played against them they couldn’t score a single goal. All that money spend on new shining strikers by Levy and a return of zero goals against Arsenal. I can imagine him not feeling to happy with that. Do we care? Of course not. It just adds to the fun.

This game looked to be a copy of so many games we played at the end of last season. Scoring a goal and then making sure that the other team doesn’t score. In fact my first thought when Rosicky scored that screamer was: QPR. It was then Walcott that scored an early goal and we then made sure that they wouldn’t score and add 3 points to our season total.

And so it turned out to be. A QPR performance. The whole team working their socks off in order to win the match. Now it could have been lot easier if we would have taken the 2 or 3 great chances we had after that. But Oxlade-Chamberlain had left his shooting boots at home this time. Lucky Rosicky had his on yesterday.

Winning against them is always an extra nice feeling. And having them having some sort of belief that they could maybe score a goal added to the fun. That must make it all the harder to take for them. And even Dean wouldn’t lend them a helping hand this time. Times are a changing?

What also makes this win even sweeter is the fact that we have won this game with probably our best players not even on the field. Or even close to the field. We can imagine the havoc that Walcott could have done against their high line yesterday. Not really sure if Sherwood would have gone for that high line if Theo would have been there of course. But that would have been something.

Or no Ramsey around. And to be honest I cannot wait for his return. Having his energy back could prove vital for the rest of our season. And we also did it without the battling qualities of Jack Wilshere. He would have loved it out there that is something we can be sure of. So that is 3 players that we would have loved to have around for such a match.

And of course we have the fact that we missed Özil. But I could make it easy on ourselves and say that we don’t need Özil to beat them. As our win at the start of the season was in fact the last match before we signed him. It was the match that afterwards Wenger stood there with a big smile on his face doing his post match interview. A smile we later found out was not just about us beating them at the time.

So we have beaten them twice in the league. We have beaten the team that spent £100.000.000 on new players. And we have beaten them with our team that has cost us £0 or zero pounds. Just think about that little fact. For those saying we also spend a lot of money (and we did of course) it doesn’t come in to account when we talk about beating them. As he didn’t play in either of the league matches against them.  £100.000.000 well spent isn’t it?

Even today some Gooner labelled Giroud a waste of time and space. But our ‘waste’ has scored 12 goals so far and Soldado has scored 6 but only 1 (one) goal in open play. So the next scapegoat has been identified already. No need to look further. Blimey…how is it possible. Do they even look at the hard work he puts in also when defending set pieces? Probably not.

Going out of the CL now looks a real blessing. I said it even before we went to Munich that I wouldn’t feel to bad about it. And now we can look forward to a more Liverpool-style fixture list. Be it with the extra pleasure of having to play in the FA cup semi final of course. But we now only have to play two midweek matches between now and the end of the season. And they are both at home. Which might also be very important. So we will not have to worry too much about extra travelling in midweek.

I also would like to point at the fact that now we seem to have a top 4 that has ran away from the rest a bit. So it looks as if the CL places for next season will be earned by the current top 4 teams. If so, its not a bad thing when you care or dare to remember what the pundits predicted before the season. Or after one match in to the season.

The only thing we simply cannot afford now is to lose any more players in midfield from now on. And we should hope to have Ramsey back as soon as possible. And keep our fingers crossed that Özil will be out for the time that has been said. And that there is no setback with him.

But that is for the next weeks. Let’s now just enjoy it this week. And let us support our players with nine matches to go. If we win our game in hand we might be just one point behind Chelsea. In fact if we can manage to win there this Saturday we might even be back in first place next Tuesday. But let us first start by trying to do our best with the players we have at our disposal. They sure have shown they are willing to do the hard work when needed.

Name all the Arsenal managers who have won the FA Cup more than once.

71 comments to The rollercoaster continues. Enjoying the ride?

  • Malaysian gunner

    It was massive 3 points spoiled somewhat by the gk’s two moments of indecision when under pressure.All top quality gks don’t make these types of errors.
    I just hope there will no more such hiccups if the gunners want to win the crown.Btw,I hope it doesn’t come down to gd otherwise the gunners will lose out.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I was buzzing all day after that. So, can we be considered relevant, yet? With 9 matches and 1, maybe 2 FA cup matches left, we are, if not favourites to win the title, at least we are in the mix. Sports Club Stats has us at 8.4% chance at taking the title; 95.9% at a top 4 finish. (http://www.sportsclubstats.com/England/Premier.html). We would have taken that in August, methinks.

  • WalterBroeckx

    With the team costing £0 I mean of course the players on the field playing against Tottenham in this transfer window.
    Flamini on a free anyone? 😉

  • bob

    Walter,
    Are you not concerned about the yellow cards mounting up against Giroud? How many cards does someone need to have before they are suspended (and for how long?)? What is the rule? He’s being carded for so very little lately that I fear there is an understanding amongst the Rileyites that he’ll be carded out at some key point in the business end? Please shed some light on this.

  • Malaysian gunner,

    Come on dude. We all saw the game. The TEAM won. Let’s just celebrate the hard worn victory. Trust me, Szczesney is beating himself up more than you and I could ever do. BTW, top goalkeepers make those types of errors. And Szcz is a top goalkeeper.

  • GooneressNo1

    Enjoyable article Walter; it sure feels great to beat the tiny Totts again. Fabulous battling performance by the team, Per, Kos and Sagna were awesome.

    Was full expecting the usual Dean performance i.e. dubious pen for the Totts, we somehow go a man down but he surprised me… well not totally but still a great win.

    A big thank you to the team and the manager for yesterday and today’s very good feeling, bring on the little horse.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I have really enjoyed the ride so far .Very few butterflies during games and not worrying too much about set pieces and corners as I used to.
    While a cup …or two would be nice (especially to shut up the repetitive broken record dickheads), I really cannot complain .
    Once again we learn that AW DOES know best ! As supporters ,WE SUPPORT ! Simple ! Let the thinkers do the thinking and just enjoy the show .
    Oh , and don’t sell those black scarves on e-bay so soon , they may yet turn out be valuable collectors items in the near future !
    Like betamax and 8 tracks tapes ! Or 8mm film . Or Kodak Instamatic cameras !
    Suddenly , I feel old ! Sigh !

  • Mandy Dodd

    As we have beaten the Spuds three times in a season, does that mean we can now officially claim to own them…..as would be done with a boxing belt, or the World Cup trophy?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    An inspirational message .Enjoy .

    http://www.wimp.com/fatherinspiration/

    Goodnight , guys .

  • bjtgooner

    Beating the Spuds three times in a season is an excellent achievement, especially as we were without four influential players, as noted above. The Spuds, having bought heavily over the summer now appear to have spent their money unwisely – with perhaps not much left in the kitty?

    The AW system of carefully building a team seems, by comparison, the right one, even although the present very good team is not quite the finished article.

  • Gord

    As near as I can tell, our disciplinary standings are:

    Flamini 7 yellow 1 red
    Wilshere 6 yellow
    Sagna 5 yellow
    Giroud 3 yellow
    Arteta 2 yellow 1 red
    Cazorla 2 yellow
    Gibbs 2 yellow
    Koscielny 2 yellow
    Mertesacker 2 yellow
    Ramsey 2 yellow
    Szczesny 2 yellow
    Jenkinson 1 yellow
    Monreal 1 yellow
    Walcott 1 yellow

  • Gord

    Oh, April 13 is the next cutoff date (for 10 yellows)

  • Mick

    @Malaysian gunner
    ‘All top quality gks don’t make these types of errors.’
    Don’t be ridiculous.
    Any goalkeeper can and does make a mistake on occasions. I recall Seaman making the odd blunder now and again. I remember Peter Cech making a few, and Edwin van der Sar going up for a cross, totally missing the ball which hit his shoulder and went in the net for an own goal.

  • Hissy Fitt

    “Papering over the cracks” Mr Sherwood is very young (dare I say it immature) into his managerial career but the awful way he is conducting himself must be a total embarrassment to Spurs fans?

    I think if anything he papering over is own cracks of inadequacies that he portrays.

    But good luck to him coz he will need it as his talent is not paying dividends yet.

    So now we have a nice break before the 1000th game….for Lord Wenger. Can we finally shatter Sourinho’s wonderful home record?

  • Tom

    bjtgooner
    I guess the only question is how slowly should Wenger build his team, again.
    You have indicated that Arsenal aren’t the finished product yet. I agree, hardly any team ever is but what are the missing ingredients and how long before they should be put in place?

    How confident are you players like Koscielny or Ozil will stick around for a long run?
    How many seasons does Arteta have in his legs at this level?. He was the slowest man on the pitch yesterday .
    Sagna is probably as good as gone. Jenkinson is not ready yet to take over ,if ever.
    I’m not trying to be negative but haven’t we learnt from the past that long term projects never work at this level anymore ,when other clubs can pay more in wages to top players that we can.

  • Tom,

    Having highlighted all the “problems” with the current team, what solutions do you suggest?

  • Gooner S

    @Malaysian Gunner

    Both Pat Jennings and David Seaman made errors like that. Legends both. It happens.

  • bjtgooner

    @Tom

    I don’t want my comment, made earlier, to be twisted into an attack on the team.

    I have watched how AW has built this team up over the last few years, despite the antics of Dein the lesser and one or two deserters. From the way he has built the team it is not hard to deduce that he is not finished.

    The purchase of Ozil is a landmark in that it indicates the club is no longer a selling club, further quality purchases can be expected. That does not mean that AW will now buy only expensive players – he will always look for value for money.

  • GooneressNo1

    Poor old Tom…

  • AL

    Bjtgooner 3:44pm
    Yes, for some reason I thought we’d only beaten them twice. Three times it is, that’d be a whitewash in some sports 🙂
    Wonder if any of our friends in the media would care to write an article about that, seeing how keen they were queuing up to write about how wisely, shrewdly and boldly stating their ambitions, the spuds were in the summer.

  • Paul "The Gooner"

    Wonderful result.Even better that we scored very,very early and had a great game plan.Aw does do tactics,theres a surprise!. Plays 2 holding players in the last 20mins and another defensive player in Monreal.One other thing is good old Sherwood (Arrys mate,cheeky chappie) decided to delay the Spuds pressure on us, by throwing the ball at Sagna.This was in the 87th minute.Well done Timmy.

  • bjtgooner

    @Al

    It was a rather strange summer for the Spuds. You are correct re the media – they did “crow” 🙂 about the Spuds showing ambition – but did not look to see if the players were of value – neither did the Spuds. Basically the Spuds were taken for a ride in an inflated market – the shallow media acclaimed the surface ambition, but did not look at the substance.

    Now, the Spuds having spent the Bale money may not have the ability to but their way out of trouble. Of course we need to remember the Spuds accounts are….. well less than informative.

  • Hissy Fitt

    @Paul “the gunner”
    yeah that was so funny and hilarious….

    timmy sherwood is lost in his forest of anger. paper over the cracks…he can chop as much wood as he likes in the forest.
    twit.

    some solutions? tom?

    stick with sagna.
    sign koz up to a massive deal
    slowly let arteta become a squad and fringe player
    buy one striker
    expose some more youth (as ever)
    injured players come back…
    try be long term injury free
    ABOVE ALL keep LORD WENGER

    and put your money on champions league each way 2014/15

  • dan

    Where is our friend and serial moaner Rupert Cook?

  • Tom

    Bootoomee

    Reward Sagna’s loyalty and give him a new contract . He’s an integral part of the club and worth keeping around. He can play a CB and younger players look up to him and his wife is hot .

    Win the FA cup at any and all cost possible,even the league if necessary.Failing to do so now would be more devastating than anything I can imagine.

    Inject some more speed into the squad . Without Walcott , Ox is the only player capable of getting behind defenders and at twenty years old, he was our most dangerous player against Bayern and Tottenham as well. That’s saying something.

    Get to the bottom of our perpetual injury crisis. Blaming it on fouls and physical nature of PL alone is too simplistic . Verheijen knows what he’s talking about when it comes to fitness and his contacts with Arsenal players , present and past, make it difficult to ignore him.

  • Tom

    bjtgooner
    Let me assure you I wasn’t trying to twist anything . At my age twisted things take a long time to heal 🙂 , besides I don’t think anyone will ever accuse you of saying anything remotely negative about Arsenal . That’s what I’m here for:)

  • robl

    Speak his name 3 times and he will appear…

  • sperez

    It’s difficult to enjoy the ride when you know where Arsenal will finish this season. Forth place trophy again. No progress made. Just an improved contract for a complacent loser.
    But the worst thing is knowing the stagnation will continue the next season and as long as Wenger manages Arsenal.
    ‘As long as you are second in the league, I am ready to sign for the next 20 years.’
    Put forth in place of second then sums it up Wenger – the serial loser, the ‘specialist in failure’.

    Enjoying the ride? Give me a break. You are being sarcastic (unless you are Wenger).

  • Tom

    GooneressNr1
    Thanks for your sympathy . Really appreciate it . Keep it coming 🙂

  • AL

    robl
    It works! 🙂

  • dan

    No Rupert, sperez is here to fill the void!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Got to have a Sperez to highlight the positivity of everyone else on this site. Thanks Sperez for that spot of darkness – a contrast on a sunny day. 😉

  • Gord

    It seems the Ox did pick up a niggle, in his calf. He doesn’t expect this to keep him out of the next game. No idea which leg.

    Seen via rotowire.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2582883/Arsene-Wenger-boosted-Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain-shakes-suspected-calf-problem-fit-Chelsea.html?ico=sport^headlines

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sperez, completely enjoying live 🙂

  • rantetta

    Ta for the “giving makes you rich” link, Brickfields.

    Interesting link, Marcus. Imagine the influence that certain person has over the meedja and some of the fans!

  • Florian

    DO we know what’s the situation with Sagna’s contract? I can’t wait to scream “C’mon Bacary, sign da thing!” 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    I sometimes wonder if Sperez knows that we all will die one day… My God just try to enjoy whatever you can in live Sperez. Live is too short to feel miserable. Enough time to do that once you are dead. An eternity in fact…

  • jambug

    Sperez, have you ever considered, you know…ending it all?

    I’m sure you’d be much happier. I know I would be !!!

    Perhaps you and Rupert could organize some sort of pact.

    Blimey, I’ve cheered myself right up 😆

  • Tasos

    Andre Marriner at The Bridge.

    The Rollercoaster continues.

  • AL

    Marriner, hmm, better than Atkinson but…..

    On another note, seeing way too many articles (not reading though) about Liverpool in the media….,not sure what to make of it.

  • AL

    I so want Sagna to stay, but if what hear in the media is to be believed then I think the contract he’s after he can only get it somewhere else. So far I have.heard two figures of £18m and £20m over three years. That would equate to something like 130k to 140k per week for an over 30s player. Not sure we have anyone at Arsenal on that money, let alone someone over 30. If true then I don’t think it’ll happen.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Tom, they really should sort out the perpetual injury crisis with whatever it takes.
    One point on this , the team used to preseason in a training camp in Austria…..with a friendly or two and the Ems cup. Now they are playing city in Finland I think, as well as games in Asia and soon USA. Not to suggest these loyal fans don’t deserve to see the team in the flesh, and undoubtedly great for marketing etc……but wonder if the pre seasons of the last year or two also having an effect on all these injuries?
    Have read in the past that wenger had serious reservations about the extent of the preseason games. Wonder if they should limit it a little, still travel and be visible to worldwide loyal fans, but maybe a. It less travelling and games in one go?

  • jambug

    AL

    It’s called a ‘love-in’

    They’ve been doing it for United for years.

    Obviously the Media Vermin and have seen the storm clouds forming, and are deserting the floundering ‘HMS OLD TRAFFORD’ like panic stricken Rats, and scurrying on board the ‘GOOD SHIP ANFIELD’ in there droves !!!

  • Tom,

    “Reward Sagna’s loyalty and give him a new contract . He’s an integral part of the club and worth keeping around. He can play a CB and younger players look up to him and his wife is hot.”

    – Other than the “hot wife” bit, I can’t think of anything else that the club is doing than trying to extend Sagna’s contract. Remember that no one told AW to sign Sagna when he brought him to the club in 2007. I happen to trust Wenger to do the right thing on occasions like this. Let’s hope that an agreement can be reached but if Sagna is unwilling to stay for what Arsene thinks he deserves, then I wish him well wherever he goes. I love Sagna but I love Arsenal more and I definitely trust Wenger’s valuation of his players’ worth.

    “Win the FA cup at any and all cost possible,even the league if necessary.Failing to do so now would be more devastating than anything I can imagine.”

    – I can’t believe that you actually posted that. Geez, who else wants us to win the FA cup and possibly the league? About doing it “at all cost”, would that include bribing the referees or taking performance enhancing drugs?

    “Inject some more speed into the squad . Without Walcott , Ox is the only player capable of getting behind defenders and at twenty years old, he was our most dangerous player against Bayern and Tottenham as well. That’s saying something.”

    – I’m sure that those are the only games that we’ve played this season. I wonder how the team managed for those months without the Ox. I think that this team, and indeed any team, can always improve but the knee-jerk criticisms are really getting old and repetitive.

    “Get to the bottom of our perpetual injury crisis. Blaming it on fouls and physical nature of PL alone is too simplistic . Verheijen knows what he’s talking about when it comes to fitness and his contacts with Arsenal players , present and past, make it difficult to ignore him.”

    – I don’t see anything simplistic about blaming our injuries on lack of protection from the referees. Arsenal are by far the most fouled team in the league and by some sort of coincidence, we also have more injuries. But hey, why not blame the victim? We’ve had a few training grounds injuries, just like any other team, but most of our injuries came from competitive matches. I don’t have sleepless nights thinking about the cause of our injuries because there is enough evidence for me to know why. I believe that Arsene was throwing a bone to the media by saying that he would look into it. Do you seriously think that a manager of AW’s intellect hasn’t investigated our injury crises and is only going to do something about it because of the media’s sudden interest in the matter? Come on man.

  • bjtgooner

    @Mandy

    Good point about the preseason or lack of. Also, this year will be further complicated by the WC finals which stretch from June through to nearly mid July. I can see many players returning late & missing some or all of the preseason activities.

  • AL

    Jambug
    Yes, think they can sense something about to happen at Anfield that hasn’t happened there in 25years, a quarter of a century. And they’re quick to switch allegiances, at the drop of a hat. Would be interesting to see how quickly they change the tune should Liverpool implode…

  • jambug

    Mandy Dodd.

    I have also read that Wenger had/has serious reservations regarding too much travel for pre season. I believe from what I read it is for purely commercial reasons that things changed. He obviously considers all the travel is not the best preparation but must of conceded that with our desperate need to increase our revenue streams it is a necessary evil.

    Whether it is a contributing factor to our injuries is highly speculative, as others, Utd and Chelsea especially, do at least as much traveling. Not saying it isn’t part of it but it doesn’t seem to affect them.

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    Agree with your view re Sagna. He’s a very valuable team member, but I’ll also trust whatever decision Wenger makes regarding his contract.

    I can’t help but feel united’s woes just might have been made worse by that ridiculous contract they gave rooney. That team looks like it has no soul right now. I never thought I’d say this but yesterday I ended up feeling sorry for them somewhat, seeing them being penalised to the full extent of the letter of the law. Maybe it was partly fueled by a desire to see them hold Liverpool, but I also think it was something in me that just doesn’t like to see any team getting screwed, and it certainly felt a little like that yesterday. I mean 3 penalties and a red card all going one way sounds a bit harsh. But for it to happen at OT, against the home team, is just unbelievable.

  • Gord

    I would not be worried about travel in preseason in so far as you are talking about time zone changes. Most people can handle time zone changes, and the “elevation” changes of air travel are only really a problem if you have clogged sinuses (nothing a little wasabe can’t cure :wink:). I think the problem with travel is picking up hepatitis, malaria, sleeping sickness, some kind of parasite or similar.

  • AL

    Perhaps Moyes is paying for having questioned Riley’s impartiality and being a united fan, and he’s just being shown that he was not a united fan, but a fergie fan….

    Enough about that despicable team now, hope there’s more twists to the title run in. And like Tomas said, let’s hope it goes down to the wire 🙂 Goodnight fellow gooners.

  • nicky

    Forget about Sagna’s contract extension for the moment.
    He picked up his 5th yellow on Sunday and presumably will miss the visit to Chelski.

  • AL

    Sh*t, just remembered that 5th yellow, we will need to sort that side or hazard will have a party down that wing.

  • jambug wrote:

    “Whether it is a contributing factor to our injuries is highly speculative, as others, Utd and Chelsea especially, do at least as much traveling. Not saying it isn’t part of it but it doesn’t seem to affect them.”

    Agree with you mate. Arsenal is no different from other teams and I reject, vehemently, the navel gazing from our fans that question the competence of our medical team. I can’t recall who but I have heard the physio of another EPL team say that ours was the best in their university course.

    People speculate when they can’t face the answers right in front of them. It’s like parents who have lost a child in an accident asking “why”? Well, accidents happen and the results can be fatal. We have a long injury list because we get kicked a lot. End of story! Had Giroud got injured from the kicking and stamping that he got at the Britannia, we would be adding him to that list of the “mysteriously” injured too. For how long have we been worried that Wilshere will get injured from the kicking that he was getting? Is Theo’s injury from the numerous kickings against the Tinies mysterious too?

    There is no mystery people, we have so many injury cases because we get fouled more than any other team in the league which is the most physical in Europe.

  • I don’t think 5th yellow results in suspension after December, although anyone who got suspended for a 5th yellow before the end of December misses 2 matches if the clock up the 10th before the season ends.

    Please somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Gord

    It is now the 10th yellow, and after April 13 it is the 15th yellow.

    Or maybe it is 10 discipline points (1 per yellow, 2 for second yellow in a game, 3 for straight red).

  • Gord

    Still no word as to whether Kompany is going to get an extra 2 for his hand gesture to the fans.

  • jambug

    Bootoomee

    The abuse Wilshere alone gets is a disgrace. He is afforded absolutely no protection whatsoever from PL Referees.

    Saddly, for him and Arsenal, that lack of protection even extended to an International.

  • jambug,

    True but to whom do we now credit his long anticipated injury? To the Arsenal medical team of course!

  • Gord,

    Thanks.

    So we need not worry about Sagna. He’d be playing on Saturday.

  • AL

    Thanks guys, now I can sleep easy knowing hazard will be in for a bruising afternoon on Saturday 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Don’t doubt for one minute that the kicking our players take it a big part of the injury scenario Bootoomee, but our youngsters that have not been exposed to the pgmol at least as first teamers seem to get their fair share of injuries as well. I cannot provide the sort of stats that we can for the first teamers, but these kids do seem to suffer.
    I for one am not saying the medics are crap or the coaching is lacking, but cannot help but think there is something else apart from the regular kicking coming into play here. No idea what it is, if I did, I would be onto the club, I would guess it is a combination of things, including the kicking and refs. The recovery times worry me as well,they at least appear to have a lot of setbacks while coming back, again working on perceptions rather than any stats I can produce to hand. I am not trying to slag off anyone in the club, but this has to be worth looking into as wenger said he would. If it is the refs, I hope the club are doing all they possibly can about it….behind the scenes of course

  • Mandy Dodd,

    Sometimes things are exactly what they appear to be, no matter how unbelievable they might be to our eyes. We have more injury cases because we get kicked more. Many of these set backs happen in other clubs too, we just don’t notice because we don’t pay as much attention to them as we do ours. Plus, because we get kicked much more and have more injury cases, then by iteration, we have more cases of recovery set backs.

    I still think that AW only threw the media a bone. Do you really believe that he is now just investigating the cause(s) of our decade long injury problems?

  • colario

    I am wearing my Arsenal tie with triple pride because our treble over spuds. However I have a but.
    When new players come to us the media in glorious unity of voice denounces them as ‘useless’.
    Sometimes the player/s prove them wrong and when it happens a player does get off to a slow start then we defend him by pointing out that our league takes some getting used to. The same media who denounce our new players defend new players to other teams in this way.

    In fairness to the spuds lets give their new players a season to ‘find their feet’ as we do our new players before writing off their ‘new wonders as ‘useless’.

    For me Sunday’s result had three great points. 1 of course Tomo’s great goal. 2 The way the team supported each other and covered for each other when a mistake was made. 3 The rep from the north lost, despite ignoring an obvious penalty for us.

    Tonight’s BBC Radio 5 had nice tribute to Arsenal. There was the usual digs about not buying players and being stubborn. However there was acknowledgement of the great contribution Arsene has made to Arsenal and footy in England. Along side this we had some detail of the caring side of Arsene from Bob Wilson.

    Our manager once played football in France.
    He came to us and taught our players to dance!
    Fergie and the media said ‘Who is he?
    What does he know this man called Arsene?
    They dialed 999 and cried ‘Help me! Help me!
    But it is Arsene has met their 999 and will beat it at Chelski.

    I rejoiced the day it was announced that Arsene was to be our manager.

    Whatever the result at the Bridge, I will count it a privilege that we have Arsene as our manager for a 1000 games.

    Here’s to the next 1000. Thank you Arsene. Merci.

  • colario

    *Sorry first line fourth paragraph ‘a nice tribute to Arsene’

  • Tom

    Bootoomee

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough about trying to win the FA cup at all cost , my bad .What I meant was to play the strongest eleven possible for the FA cup semis and hopefully the final, even if it meant resting some key players for league games ( which I consider improbable , the title that is) but I like your idea for bribing referees and using illegal drugs better. Haven’t thought of that . Kudos !

    Lack of speed in our team in absence of Walcott and Ox is not a knee jerk reaction criticism but a fact, but it’s your comment about Wenger’s intellect and therefore his inability to make mistakes or miss things which has convinced me how pointless this debate with you really is.
    Player rotation is not a joke or urban myth but a real and the most important aspect of management and training methods go along with it.
    You may not know anything about it and that’s fine but I can give you examples where Wenger was reckless with players’s fitness, probably out of desperation more than ignorance but he was none the less.

    The prime example was playing Cazorla against Villa on two days rest , after Spain v Ecuador friendly . Cazorla played out of his skin for 93 minutes on a heavy South American pitch in what looked like hot and humid conditions. He scored a goal and assisted in another , spent a day traveling and a day later ,jet legged ,was introduced in the second half in the match against Villa.
    He promptly lost the ball twice which lead to two Villa goals and looked slower than everybody on the park.
    Now , you don’t have to be a fitness guru to know this should never happen but when your squad is short on players and you need to get a result even a person of Wenger’s intelligence might take a chance.
    He most likely asked Cazorla at half time how he felt . Cazorla said he felt fine and that was the extent of his fitness evaluation. I’ve seen it happen a dozen times.
    In case you are wondering , players when on international duties , don’t get their usual training room treatment after the game . No massages , rub downs . They shower, go to the hotel ,pack up , get on the bus and go to the airport. All of this is very disruptive and totally messes up your routine .

    There were other examples as well but I won’t let them ruin your convictions especially when they fit so neatly with UA’s agenda of fouls being the only reason for our injuries.

    Interestingly though , did you just suggest a person of Wenger’s high integrity and moral fiber would intentionally lie to mislead the media and Arsenal fans ? Shame on you! 🙂

  • Micheal Ram

    I just had thought that if only totties spend the bale money for an upfront for a new stadium. I mean totties were much better last season. They sold Defoe and bought Saldado! None of the new players improved their squad at all. Eriksen do has an occasional defining game but im sure the existing players would done the same. It was hilarious to see Kaboul and Dawson as the captain after spending 100millions. Those two are most over-rated defenders I have ever seen in years, so slow and mistake-prone. I still cant believe the Dawson was selected ahead of Vermaelen in the EPL best eleven a few seasons ago. The look in Levy’s face in the stand was priceless. Sold a golden goose and bought ten crippled donkeys. Maybe the complaining Arsenal fans can learn a lot of from this. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Gord

    I don’t like the idea of player rotation as a generic policy.

    Not every team in the EPL plays the same way. If each team could only play one style, there could be 20 kinds of style in the EPL. If I say the top-6 are generally capable of playing 4 different styles, and the bottom 6 only playing 2 different styles, we are left with 8 in the middle and I’ll guess they can play 3 styles. We have 24+24+16=66 different playing styles possible in the EPL.

    The manager looks at the players he has available for the game, and the players he thinks the opposing manager has available for the game, and compiles a list of what styles could be played, and the likelihood of each of those styles being played.

    Chelsea has parked the bus against us. Yes, we ended the game against Tottenham with an abundance of defensively skillful players, I have read of nobody (here at Untold, or elsewhere in media-land) that described what Arsenal did as parking the bus.

    I see no real reason why a manager should designate a best 11 or feel they have to play the same 11 game after game. Some aspects of player psychology seem to suggest playing players that have been doing well (especially strikers on a scoring streak). But I think the place the manager always starts from, is making a guess as to what styles the opponent can play with incomplete information, and then making a decision on what he can counter with based on better information (of his own team).

    In the case of Arsene Wenger, I doubt he ever plays for a tie. I think he always tries to set things up such that we have the best chance of winning possible.

    Do you want to call that rotation?

    The way the PGMOL works, I suspect that there are games where Wenger does not start a particular player, because of concerns that the referee will unfairly punish this person for being an Arsenal player (not for doing something contrary to the rules sufficiently bad to warrant a red card). But who would have thought you need to plan for someone twisted running the referee assignments (eh, Mike :twisted:)?

  • Michael Ram,

    I try not to do too much “I told you” but please read this again if you have the time.

    blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/30206

    It is on the topic of how Spurs should spend the Bale windfall and it was written before the guy was sold.

  • Micheal Ram

    Bootoomee,

    Yeah, I remember that article. Nicely done. No lost cause in reminding forgetful people. As forgetful as they are ungrateful.

  • Gord

    FA: Don’t you remember seeing Vincent Kompany doing something unusual with his hand as he was leaving.

    Ref: Oh, yes it is coming to me now, he did do something. I seen nothing in it.

    FA: No extra discipline for Man City. (Send Man City a bill for $100k again, just like for Yaya.)