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Looking back and looking forward at next season

By Walter Broeckx

In a way it is strange that in the season that has seen us being top of the league more than any other team that so many fans suddenly have turned desperate.

I have no problem in admitting that things haven’t gone well the last weeks. But this is how things go. You got periods when a team can have a good run and you have periods when things don’t work out. Alas we have such a period now, just before the end of the season. I know a lot of people only remember the last result and throw away anything that went on before. Needless to say I’m not one of those.

Now I must say that this team never has been on full force this season. When you look back at it we never ever had the luxury to have a complete team ready.

Of course always having a lot of injuries is not only bad because you lose the players but it also puts extra pressure on the other players that are still fit. Rotating gets more difficult unless you would start players out of position.

I really think that if we had had just half the injuries we suffered we would be close if not at the top of the league by now. It’s not science of course but a fit Walcott would have had scored another 10-15 goals by now and probably assisted another 10 goals. A Ramsey would have scored a handful if he would have been fit.

But as it wasn’t to be we can only hope for better luck next time.

But the squad we already have, has great potential for me. They showed their potential for the biggest part of the season. But injuries have taken their toll and then a downward spiral can happen. A run of bad form, a heavy defeat and loss of confidence. That is part of the game.

When things go bad the most fickle turn their eye to the manager. So he has to go according to them. Neglecting the fact that it was the same manager that took our team to the top for so long. I wonder who they think was responsible for our good run for the biggest part of the season? For me it is clear: the same manager. The big difference is that in those days he had his best players available. And now he doesn’t.

And were are not Chelsea or City. No, we cannot have an equally good sub in each position. You have the first choice players who should do most of the season. And then you have the second choice players who should fill in. Our biggest problem for a few weeks is that 50% of those first choice players are not available or completely fit. And the second choice players have not to fill one gap. Or two gaps which can be done without real loss of too much quality. But they have to fill 5 gaps.

And then you risk getting the results we have had lately. And you can also see the difference with the start of the season. In those days you can cope with the injuries better than at this stage of the season.

But I do think that losing 50% of your usual starting line up would have been hurting at any stage of the season. But now maybe a bit more than at the start.

I finally would want to point at the biggest loss we had over the last weeks. Özil has been out since the Bayern Munich match. And since then things have got worse. Because he is a player that you can give the ball to any time in the game and he will do something useful with it. Even if it is just running with it up to the oppositions corner flag when you need that extra time to reorganise the team when you are defending a lead.

It is his ability to see the pass before he even gets the ball that has opened up many chances for Arsenal this season. The mostly going unnoticed pre-assist as they call it.

Sometimes you don’t realise what you have with a player till he is no longer playing.

I still get furious about the ‘flop’ allegations that were aimed at him by the gutter media. As if he has to score or give an assist every match or else he is a flop.  But what they don’t notice is how he kept the ball moving, drawing players to him and opening space for others.

Gliding past defenders as if in slow motion but oh so skilful.  In a way he was a player that had a lot of influence on us grinding out results against the park the bus teams,

He helped the team more than just giving assists. Keeping the ball is also very important in our football. And he was mostly very good at that.

It is a big shame that the combination Walcott – Ramsey – Özil has had so few time playing together. Because when they did we usually did rather well. And we always looked dangerous to score goals. But to see that combination again we will have to wait till the next season. And I think that has been a big blow for us this season.

But it is something I am looking forward to see develop next season. Hopefully with fewer injuries….

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58 comments to Looking back and looking forward at next season

  • avatar Mike

    Why do you think that injuries are all based on luck?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I don’t think I said that Mike. I just hope we get more luckier next season with them.

  • avatar Mike

    Better management of injuries will be more reliable than luck

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I think we could do with both

  • avatar Florian

    It’s been mentioned already in comments on previous articles, but it is believed/reported that Arsene ordered an internal inquiry intended to shed some light over the causes of the injuries’ disaster. So, if we were to go with that, the injury management is going to get improved next season. At least this the part that the Club can control. Controlling luck is much more difficult ;)

  • avatar lance peters

    i could not disagree any more with this article.

    1) we were on top of the log until we played the bigger teams then got a hiding. even manu took 4 points of us
    2) injuries are due to mis-managemnt of players. we have a terrible injury record every season (that is not bad luck). example per/kos played together for too many games they needed a rest and see what happened to kos
    3) olivier giroud – no team is going to win the league with him as a striker
    4) ozil – this guy was started of well but then became lazy and started to just turn to matches (liverpool 5-1)
    5) walcott got injured on the 04th jan , giroud had already proven to be the leagues weakest striker so where was the ambition to solve the problem. we got khallstroum who has not started as yet.

    our problems are not due to bad luck with injuries , its due to an arrogant coach who has too much of control over the club still using tactics from 1998

  • avatar Florian

    Sorry for the repeated words. Hope that won’t give you misophonia :D It’s late here in Seattle. Going to bed now.

  • avatar Tyona

    I don’t get the sense in defending someone’s incapabilities. Wenger has shown how far removed he is from modern football tactics in many ways. He stubbornly refused to sign a striker when it was clear that Giroud wouldn’t deliver the goods. Our best players got injured when the transferred window had just opened. He refuses to make changes in a match in time until there is nothing left to savage from it. It would be too embarrassing for him to be sacked but it it will be catastrophic if he stays on after this season.

  • avatar John

    According to some people, if we do well, we are flattering to deceive or papering over the cracks. So no credit due to the manager. However, if we do badly, it’s all his fault.

    I hope that AW extends his time at the club for as long as possible.

  • avatar Pat

    Well I might have known it wouldn’t last. Here we go again – Lance Peters and Tyona – who are they? Never seen them before.

    I see this Arsenal fan twice a week for about two hours each time. Most of the time I spend refuting his knee jerk reactions to what he is hearing from the media and other fans. On Monday I had to remind him again and again that we were top of the league for 17 weeks (I think) and that it is the injuries that have spoiled our season.

    I recommend Lance Peters and Tyona look at the referee chart on this site entirely made up of red – every ref had an anti-Arsenal bias last season.

    I recommend they read the articles about injuries – especially the one about broken legs which shows how our broken leg count rose dramatically in the past few years. One of those being Ramsey, now one of our most brilliant players, but injured again. Many writers on this site who know their stuff have testified how repeated kicking, which Arsenal players suffer all the time, unprotected by the referees, can finally result in an injury that keeps a player out for weeks.

    Maybe they could look at the comments from people in other countries who say that the standard of refereeing in the Premier League is generally poor and find out themselves what a small pool of referees we have in the PL and how strangely none of them come from London. And how the man in charge of them is the same Riley who disgracefully ended our 49 games unbeaten run.

    Thanks for reminding us how good Ozil is Walter. Wenger’s star buy last summer. I’m looking forward to what he can do with a bit more money this summer. But he’s also got a good base of a squad to start from, one that got more points than any other team in the calendar year 2013.

    Up the Gunners!

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Indeed John. All the wrong in the world comes from Wenger.
    I wonder how Montpellier won the league with Giroud by the way? Oh in case you haven’t noticed yet he is the new scapegoat from now on.

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    All those injuries not only robbed us of a fixed and regular starting team ,but it also made us threadbare and we were not able to blood in the younger members of the squad .
    With a settled team we could play better and if we were up by a goal or two ,we could have gradually introduced Gnarby , Sanogo ,Bendtner ,Jenkison ,Monreal , Flamini and others in the later stages of the game for some badly needed playing time to gain experience.
    We could also have given some respite to OG from the constant manhandling by the defenders ,while his replacement learns how to cope with it .No thanks of course to the ever ‘vigilant’ referees.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    Let’s just focus on beating Wigan. This season isn’t over yet.

    @Pat, well done, you’ve now created another virtual trophy, the team who accrues more points in a calender year. I’ve got my team of silversmiths working on the trophy this very minute.

  • avatar Mauritius Gooner

    We as fans have big regrets because this was THE YEAR to win the EPL but Wenger blew it away.Everyone apart Wenger knew we needed a world class striker to kill games and he chose to stick with Giroud.Don’t put our expectation too high for next season as all other teams will reinforce with new players.8 yrs but still Gunners For Life.

  • avatar Pat

    ‘World class striker’ – the latest stick to beat Arsene Wenger with. Strange that my doubting friend I mentioned earlier keeps asking me, ‘But is Giroud a world class striker?’ He’s an international player like so many of our squad. His goal record this season is not too bad. We tried to buy Suarez and Liverpool lied about his contract so we couldn’t get him. There aren’t that many people like Cavani about, let alone if they are actually available to buy. Apart from Suarez, which one of the top strikers in the world does not play for a club with a sugar daddy owner?

    Who invents phrases like ‘world class striker’?

  • avatar Pat

    Arsene Wenger’s biggest mistake was to come in, transform Arsenal Football Club, bring in little known players soon to be ‘world class’ such as Vieira, win trophies galore and raise expectations for people like you, Rupert. He sacrificed his own possibilities of glory to see over the period where the club would have considerable financial constraints in order for Arsenal to try and compete with the sugar daddy owned clubs.

  • avatar Giddy

    Why would a sane follow think about next year while we had this year and stubbornly refused to act?
    a) What are the chances that things will change and its obvious we constantly have injuries to key players. Come on forks why should we just always leave destiny to fate?
    b) Was transfer window never meant to strengthen the teams and why did we sign Kallstrom who was already injured?
    c) Walcot was ruled for a whole season, the manager new it and did nothing while he was the best outlet for direct play.
    d) Even be4 injuries took its toll we had lost to citeh, liverpool and who is responsible for players who can’t withstand challenges or rather why don’t we have those type of dirty players in the team?
    e) Why should wenger insist on same playing style without trying different formations regarding different opponents? Why is Wenger himself lost on the bench while our team is being butchered without a fight?
    Thank you wenger for serving us faithfully and presiding over Invisible season but kindly just leave our Arsenal alone and we rather start from position 12 than having another humiliating defeats of 6-0, 6-3, 5-1, 3-0 to our rivals.
    Honestly i don’t think we deserve even to be in position where we are, rem we are the only top side who have not got straight 3points from a poor united side in decades!

  • avatar para

    Throughout this season, even with the bad luck we are having, i see glimpses of that Arsenal team we are ALL waiting for. I surely hope that the “full birth” comes now in the ending of this season.
    Sadly, we have to wait for the return of injured players, but some are back, Ramsey and Ox.

    I know is will sound maybe a little silly, but this team was going to breakout this season, all the signs were there, we all saw it, and then wham, injury after injury, and to our key players, players that will cause a problem for the team. I do not need to go into the reasons, as that has been done. (Maybe Untold should do a review of the injuries and who caused them to see if any patterns appear, like the refs review.)?

    I really wish that we could start a season without any injuries, but also find some way of dealing with the “accidental” kicks, feet stepped on, elbows in face, ribs. We all see them, player knows not where the balls is, and is not interested, but sole purpose is to cause another player harm, (maybe not seriously meant) but enough to cause problems for one or more games.

    See, if we are convinced there is an agenda against Arsenal, than we have to be aware that those behind it will do anything, use any means to do their job.

    I am hoping that Arsenal(club) now starts to fight back.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    @Pat, I know Pat, it’s as you say, before Wenger we were a struggling non league side with a hut for the staff and only one terrace with a roof. We were always being thrashed 6-0, 8-2 and 5-1. Now we are the world force we knew we could be thanks to Wenger’s vision.

    Btw how do you know what he sacrificed? I think Wenger thought he could win things with his players. He said the squad he had a few years ago was the best he ever had. And I think it was back in 2009 that he would regard himself a failure if the team didn’t win a trophy in two years. If you support Wenger fine but don’t assume he sacrificed anything. He gets well paid and he gets to manage one of the world’s biggest clubs, hardly a sacrifice.

  • avatar nicky

    @Lance Peters,
    I knew someone of your name in my youth, a 100 years ago. Did you have a brother called Cedric?

  • avatar bjtgooner

    An article with a very sensible perspective. This is a very good team, but as I have written previously, not quite the finished article and I expect a small number of additions in the summer will move us closer to being that finished article. At this stage of the season it would be inappropriate to discuss positions – anyway Mr Wenger is more than capable or sorting that out without my assistance!

  • avatar Mauritius Gooner

    Pat with all due respect,just sad to see Arsenal
    supporters settling for a mediocre player like Giroud,this tells you how low our club has fallen.‘world class striker’ Henry,Ronaldo,Raul,Messi,Suarez,Aguero,Tevez,RVP,……

  • avatar AG

    Couldn’t agree more with your comments about Ozil. I too have been infuriated by the unfairness of the criticism of Ozil. At times the relentlessness of the negativity surrounding him has just been so unpleasant and so unjustified, that I have begun to think that there is something, other than the normal cut and thrust of football criticism, that is driving this. Such has been the momentum of this negativity that it has spread to Germany, where, in their recent friendly, he was incredulously booed off the pitch by the German fans even though he had been their best player on the night; there was more than just a whiff of the baying crowd about this reaction, which I found intensely disturbing. It is impossible to understand the real motivations for such unwarranted criticism; the reality is probably a combination of many unpleasant factors. Ultimately for Ozil, I’m sure that what really matters is the support of his Manager, team-mates and especially the Arsenal fans. He has spoken quite eloquently of how moved he was by the way the Arsenal fans welcomed him to the club and I suspect their support matters far more to him than the lazy opinions of much of the media. Ozil has been a real success for Arsenal; when he returns I hope the Arsenal fans give him a great reception and sing his name to the rafters; it would go along way in silencing the churlish chorus of criticism.

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    Did we miss WILSHERE. Walter how could you??

    I believe Ramsey or Wilshere will be given the armband. They are the natural leaders of the team. When fully fit and playing games together, they will be the best midfield duo in the world…..

  • avatar Mick

    @AG
    ‘At times the relentlessness of the negativity surrounding him has just been so unpleasant and so unjustified, that I have begun to think that there is something, other than the normal cut and thrust of football criticism, that is driving this.’

    The simple answer to that is yes there is something….he plays for Arsenal. The media, led by Talk Sport will pick on anything to destabilise the club.

    ‘Ultimately for Ozil, I’m sure that what really matters is the support of his Manager, team-mates and especially the Arsenal fans.’

    Whilst obviously true it is also apparent that a sizeable proportion of the Arsenal fans are unfortunately influenced by the media, again led by Talk Sport, and are only to willing to endorse their campaign to discredit anything Arsenal, including rubbishing Ozil.
    Additionally by rubbishing Ozil they are of course rubbishing Wenger (for buying him) at the same time. A double whammy.

  • avatar andrew moyo

    @lance peters one word for you MONTPELLIER

  • avatar Menace

    We have a tough game this weekend. We have to win in spite of crooked officials. Many of our players have been destroyed by poor protection by officials. Arsenal do not force the authorities to correct the ills that are destroying the Game. These ills will be reflected in England’s performance in the World Cup. Players get used to incorrect methods & systems and officiating will catch them out.

    I will be at Wembley on Saturday and I hope to see Arsenal win.

    COYGs

  • @Mick…is it not possible for the club to sue these media outfits if they can prove that they have a destabilizing effect on the club from their talks by spreading FALSE information about the club? Maybe this will make other media outfits sit up and proffer constructive criticisms about institutions….Just my thoughts…..
    Also, I think Arsenal fans are amongst the most gullible in the world. They believe so much in the media than in their team. They easily take to booing their players rather than encourage them and when things are not going as expected, they turn to the manager, whom I believe gave us the Arsenal we have today.

  • avatar bob

    “And were are not Chelsea or City. No, we cannot have an equally good sub in each position. You have the first choice players who should do most of the season.”
    Walter,
    How about 1/3 or 1/2 being equally good? The need for quality depth (for injuries and rotation) has been advocated here, against your silence and others ridicule, since early in the last summer’s window. To answer this proactive concern – not AAA, but common sense position – with a mantra like this – we can’t have an equally good sub in each position – is to create a straw man to then knock down. Of course not. But could we not have had the foresight to remember rotational fouling, chronic refshite and orcshite, the fierce competition of the business end, none of which started this year, etc.? Was there not a budget last summer (with the sell-offs and the CL qualification and the television money and the new PUMA and other strategic partnerships coming on line) to proactively fortify with high quality reinforcements? To brush this aside with well you can’t have equal quality in reserve at every position is to revert to a tired cliche. It is a sleight of hand that makes “the perfect” into an enemy of the good. Better is better. Foresight is needed. And it is not only or all about bad luck. I fervently back our prospects this seen and want AW at the helm. But these are rectifiable problems; and your not weighing in on a proactive set of quality purchases this summer, yes, to ensure against a repeat of this year’s predictable business-end injury crisis is troubling. There are other forms of love for a team which is eyes-open. We know what will come our way again next season. It was that way last season. Is it to be head-in-the-sand by blaming bad luck; or going with what your own brilliant predictions of refshite show week or week and to advocate shoring up with high (if not equal) quality at as many positions as possible? COYG, this weekend, this season, and this summer.

  • avatar Edda

    Sometimes People should check the stats before posting silly arguments. Like the lance peters comment on Giroud as the worst striker in the League. What does the stats say ? Check him compared to players like Negredo, Dzeko and even RVP. And if you are not happy With Giroud, can u please tell me who was available in january that would be guaranteed to do better ? AW tried to get Suarez in the summer as he is one of few players that would certainly make us a better team. Everyone else would be a gamble… But in hindsight we should have gambled, we all know that. But I am 100% certain that With Walcott, Ramsey, Øzil, Wilshere or even 2 of those injuryfree Giroud would have scored at least 20 goals.

  • avatar Shard

    Rupert

    “And I think it was back in 2009 that he would regard himself a failure if the team didn’t win a trophy in two years.”

    You think wrong.. He said he would be responsible.. He never used the word failure.

  • avatar Shard

    Mauritius Gooner

    See this is what I don’t get.. I don’t think anyone would disagree that we need another striker, with capabilities different to Giroud’s. A faster, more clinical finisher. Maybe a better dribbler.

    But to make that point why do you have to attack Giroud? He’s a good striker, with some important qualities, and actually very very important to our style of play when we had all our players fit. Without Walcott and Ramsey running beyond him, and Ozil and Wilshere to use him as a pivot to play one-twos, he’s seemed much less effective. That doesn’t make him a bad player. Not even close. Also, he is a player that never ever hides. He’s always giving his all despite being isolated many times since the afore-mentioned players got injured. One both ends of the field, he’s always looking to contribute. Why tear down a player with all those qualities just to make a point that we are lacking something?

  • avatar Mick

    @joshua
    You are right, some of the things I have heard on Talkshite have been bordering on slanderous to both club and manager but I can only say the Arsenal powers that be are apparently unconcerned. I have emailed the club several times on this media issue but received no replies as to their position on this worrying (for the loyal supporter) issue.

  • avatar Shard

    We’ve seen very small flashes this season of what this team could be. The goal against Norwich that Wilshere scored, and a repeat of it by Rosicky. The game vs Napoli at home. I would say even the 0-0 draw against Chelsea where Chelsea and Mourinho were terrified of us, and only escaped with a draw because Mike Dean is a cunt. We’ve been unlucky with injuries, we’ve had a killer schedule that no other club has had, with recovery time (both physical and psychological) between big matches being reduced, and as usual, we’ve dropped a few points (while it’s the opposite for our opponents) because the referees will not call a fair game.

    Villa (h), Chelsea (h), WBA (a), ManU (h) were at least 4 games where we’ve had penalty decisions go against us. That would potentially be another 9 points for us, not to say the confidence it would have given us, which is the real problem now. In addition, even when it’s not affected the result, sometimes we’ve not had the benefit of a penalty during the match, which would give us a bigger margin of victory or smaller margin of loss, with again the effect being both tangible (Goal Difference) and psychological, besides not allowing us to rest our players if we have a smaller lead. All of these are issues really beyond Arsenal’s control and the fact that this aspect is overlooked by so many is sad and often annoying.

    Arsenal can only control what is in their hands, and here they need to do better. Matches like Liverpool and Chelsea, and Everton , and Stoke, should not happen. We need to buy better players, we need to see if we can do anything to reduce injuries (I don’t presume to know the cause unlike many on here blaming ‘mismanagement’ without knowing a single thing about what goes on. See result, not satisfactory, blame someone. Easy enough to do isn’t it?) and we need to see more ‘heart’ from the players. We also need to see more ‘heart’ from fans who make the team’s job harder by ensuring there is a constant stream of negativity around the club.

    If we can ensure an FA Cup win and continued presence in the CL next season, it would have been a successful season, something to build on for next year, with added belief and an improved squad.

  • avatar TommieGun

    I think that the most devastating thing this period has been injuries to extermely important players – Ramsey and Walcott. The (would be) no. 1 european midfielder of the year (had that injury not occured) and a striker/winger with ridculous pace, that is simply un-defensible. He had matured, and I think that an expected return of 15 goals and 8 assists would have been conservative.

    But we lost both of them. And then we lost Jack, Ozil, Rosy for a few weeks. And now Kos.

    I get angry when I read criticsm regarding those issues. This is not about rotation or injury management. Mind you, if we’re talking about hindsight in tactics, this IS the real deal: shouldn’t have played Walcott against the Spuds, etc; shouldv’e rotated Kos/BFG more; that kind of talk is bullshit.

    It’s as useless as all the other tactical (play 4-5-1 with a false dick) and/or procurment advise (buy Joe Schmoe, he has a great rating in FIFA MANAGER). In other words, stuff it.

    Re the complaints about Giroud – I already did it before, I’m challenging you to find a better striker who was available. Already provided stats that prove that Giroud is better than Higuain this year. And no, Suarez was obviously NOT for sale and again thinking that he would have had THIS kind of season is pure hindsight (he could have bitten off a ball-boy arm and get a 12 match ban, all the same…).

    Ozil suffered from the 1st premiership season syndrom (look at Suarez’s first season). He will come better next season.

    But actually I want to return to luck. Jim White in Eurosport.com says Mourinho is the best (he’s not) but that he, like all good generals, enjoys a big chunk of luck. And that, of course, it true. Luck leads to belief. Bad luck leads to doubt. And this, in my hubmle opinion, is the core of what went wrong for us – we got unlucky, and then we lost faith. The losing faith part is almost tangible. It’s visible. It’s heartbreaking.

  • avatar Shard

    Mick

    A couple of years ago I was taking the stadium tour at the Ems. While I was doing only the audio tour, some group showed up with an Arsenal employee showing them around. I was in the room where the press conferences are held, next to the media centre where the journalists make use of the world class facilities provided by Arsenal.

    The Tour guide was talking to group telling them about the facilities and the catering that Arsenal provide to journalists, and added in a lighter vein, ‘so that they write nice things about us’. One of the group asked him ‘so why don’t they then?’ and the tour guide didn’t know what to say. His face darkened and he mumbled something about maybe we need to do more or something’.

    I don’t know if that story has any point to it, but I remembered it when you said about informing the club. I think they are aware of it certainly. Walter even said someone at the club was angry about this. YOu have fans asking people during stadium tours why this happens. The club must know. But also they possibly can’t say anything publicly, cos maybe they know it’ll get a lot worse for them if they do. The media in any country have one thing which is true. Attack them and it’s worse than staging a coup. It’s an attack on the institution of democracy itself as they are the pillars on which democracy is built. It’s not easy for the club to say anything about it.

  • avatar Quincy

    Para has a nice suggestion. Is it possible to do an analysis on the correlation between injuries and the referee and his bias against Arsenal?

    And Ozil still leads the club for chances created, even though he has been out for a while, and he’s only in his first season here.

    All this talk about strikers, do Chelsea have a ‘world class’ striker? Why is Mourinho always moaning about his lack of strikers? That’s what he does, moan, moan, moan. They have spent £115m on transfers this season alone, so who’s fault is it they don’t have a decent striker? And if Chelsea can spend that much and still not get a striker, what makes you think we can?

    The idea that our squad is thin is RUBBISH! The problem has been injuries, we have had far more than other teams, and big injuries to important players, which other teams have not had. Imagine Man City without Toure (Ramsey), Fernandinho (Diaby), Kompany (Koscielny), Zabaletta (Gibbs/Monreal), Silva (Ozil), Nasri (Walcott), Navas (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Javi Garcia (Wilshere).

    Just think about that. Where would Man City be? Chelsea? Liverpool?

  • avatar peter

    Well I would just like to thank AW for a fantastic season no matter what happened in the last few week.all people talk about is a striker but about the 2wingers with we don’t have the the ability to strets the play 2 make room for even a better striker then Giroud so the season is almost over we have done great without that tipe of players next season we mite get what we all want

  • Giroud is one major reason of the many reasons why we r facing this miseries.How many shots ontarget did he make against Everton, yet we had much of d ball.He is very poor and never poses any threat to the opposing defences.

  • avatar Andrew Crawshaw

    Tommie,

    Your comment about luck is spot on. At the moment we are on a dreadful run of bad luck.

    V City, their goal came from a stop by Szcz which fell to the only place on the pitch where it could hit the City attackers shin and bobble over the line. Anywhere else and our defenders can clear the ball. Who knows but bad luck there cost us two points.

    V Swansea, the own goal right at the end, again the save made by Szcz/BFG bounces to the only spot where it hits Flamini and rebounds into the goal. Another two points lost to luck.

    V Everton, similar instances for their first and third goals in this case compounded by refereeing incompetence/bias to deny us a clear penalty for handball and to rule out a perfectly good first goal from Sanogo.

    Everyone pray to whichever God you believe in for a change in our luck for Saturday and the rest of the season.

    COYG

  • avatar TommieGun

    @ Andrew – at my house we don’t pray to god. Hung over the wall (where the baby crib used to be in the kids’ room) is a framed, signed, TH14 shirt from his last season.

    This is what we worship at home.

  • avatar Shard

    TommieGun

    While I appreciate the sentiment, I do not appreciate blasphemy. I feel you should apologise for calling Theirry Henry, God.

    Everyone knows that Bergkamp is God :)

  • avatar Mick

    @Shard
    Interesting re your Stadium Tour experience. Re my ‘media concerns’ emails to the club, I didn’t expect an in depth analysis of what the club thought of the situation and what if anything they were going to do about it, but some sort of a reply would have been nice.
    @TommieGun
    Lucky bugger having the TH14 shirt, how on earth did you come by it? Anyone else got any interesting Arsenal ‘stuff’?

  • avatar Andrew Crawshaw

    TommieGun and Shard, I think we should ask both of them to push luck in our favour. Every little helps!

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I don’t want to brag too much about my writings but arsenal.com did find it interesting enough to mention it on the media watch page http://www.arsenal.com/media-watch

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Maybe they are also happy with our change in attitude against the moaning? ;)

  • avatar andy bishop

    Chelsea have a great 50 minute striker….Etoo

  • avatar gouresh

    Why cant they publish the ref’s stat Walter?

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Walter

    I am very impressed that arsenal.com have officially taken note of Untold – excellent news – and all the more reason for the posters to demonstrate confidence in the manager and team when commenting!

    Let the team see that we know that they are a good team and we also realize that in time this team will get even better.

  • avatar Sukebe

    So wenger refuses to buy striker? Really?
    Playing the same tactic from 1998? Really?

  • avatar Freddie Jeeves

    Unfortunately I wont be at the game or able to watch on saturday as it’s my partners birthday but lets hope the fans get behind Arsene & the boys shut up all the moaners.

    We have no given right to win as Wigan are a good side & we are in a bad way with injuries but I think we will win.

    Giroud will begin to prove he is the man to lead us next season.

  • avatar Micheal Ram

    I noticed many of us keep repeating that Wenger dont do tactics, dont do match preparations and clever subs. I believe what Arsene trying to create is a team of man supporting each other and take responsibility for their roles in the team. Just have to hear what Pires, Nasri, Fabregas, Henry and Flamini have to say about Arsene. I think he dont really gives specific instructions all the time but instead look at his players like full grown men and relies on them to take up the challenge and fight for the team. If all the players are not in the same mould of mind and lack confidence, such methods could spell disaster. However, given time and players’ determination, this method is the most devastating. The Invincibles? Very similar to the 1970 and 1982 Brazilian team which in his own words, Arsene’s favourite team when he was young. Now, the battle is taking longer because of stadium debts, FFP, bias referees, discriminating FA and controversially, the post dark period players. Let us keep the faith and relentlessly steer this team at its full potential.

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    @ Micheal Ram – WE don’t keep repeating it – its THEM !
    Them AAAA who are so stupid they have become smart in their stupidity! They are all over the place and some are even very subtle. Be always mindful ,they are always lurking ,waiting to trip us up.

    Accidental Bonding.

    A woman and man get into a car accident. Both of their cars are totally demolished, but amazingly neither one of them is hurt.

    After they crawl out of the wreckage, the woman says, “Wow, look at our cars — there’s nothing left! This must be a sign from Him that we should be friends and not try to pin the blame on each other.”

    The man replies, “Oh yes, I agree with you completely.”

    The woman points to a bottle on the ground and says, “Somehow this bottle of Scotch from my back seat didn’t break. Surely God wants us to drink this Scotch and celebrate our good fortune.”

    She hands the bottle to the man. The man nods his head in agreement, opens it, and chugs about a third of the bottle to calm his nerves. The woman takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap back on, and hands it back to the man.

    The man asks, “Aren’t you having any?”

    The woman replies, “No. I think I’ll just wait for the police.”

  • avatar Nelson Wong

    I think while we celebrate the good run starting from the Bayern game of last season, it is faire to blast the poor run the team is in at the moment.

    Yes, the team is good and the team has potential.

    Yes, Wenger is a good manager.

    Then why aren’t they delivering?

    We always talk about City and Oilers but what about Liverpool? They fell later than Arsenal and they climbed back quicker!

    I am still a supporter of Wenger but may be he needs a change. I want him to go somewhere and win something that will prove his ability (or prove me wrong… at least)That is part of life.

    Now the team has a descent amount of $$$ and some world class players. Spend money to recruit more. The purpose of the stadium and selling of good players when the club had hands tided was to prepare the club financially to be able spend big later on. If they don’t there is no point in doing all these relocation and academy thing in the first place.

    This year is quite bad. It is a collapse at the crucial time. It is worse then before because this group of player was better than then past.

    I am willing to give one more year given the club recruit reinforcements. If they don’t get into top 3 with trophy next year, I am ready to admit I put my trust into wrong strategy/ people.

  • avatar Timothy

    Why do you guys think Montpellier won Ligue 1 with Giroud, and went downhill after we bought him? He carried the team against the moneybags PSG. Also, someone tell me what top class striker was available in January? I find it so odd that people say Wenger had the chance to buy players in January. There are never really good players available in the January window and bringing Berbatov or Kalou on loan would be an insult to Giroud (who had scored 13 goals in only half the season at that point) and would hinder the development of Sanogo and make him wonder why we even bought him. Although we had more money than before last summer we still can’t compete with PSG, Chelsea and Man City so if they want a player then we have no chance. The last month was a bit of a train crash but it didn’t help having a fixure list with all toughest matches one after the other and Ozil and Wilshere getting injured at the start. Hopefully we will sign a DM and a sriker and we will have a great chance next season. We still don’t have a complete squad so FA cup is a good place to start.

  • avatar Nelson Wong

    Timothy,

    You are right about the January transfer part. I don’t think there is anyone to bring in that will significantly improve the situation.

    With hindsight however, the failure to get the striker from Liverpool back then was the actually failure. It was later admit by them that they broke the contract clause. They lied and Arsenal believed. Worse Arsenal got mocked. I always believe one can fight while also be a gentleman. Arsenal failed to do so in that particular case.

    If Arsenal forced it, it could happen. At least it can put a big wedge into the player and team and hopefully they won’t perform as well.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    @Nelson , makes you wonder what would have happened if we’d kept RVP instead of selling him to Manu therefore significantly aiding them to a league title. We might have won the league last season instead.

    @Timothy, I don’t think bringing in Berbatov would be an insult to Giroud just a back up. I feel Giroud’s had an awful lot of responsibility and very few players go through a season without a dip in form. Giroud’s been unlucky that he hasn’t always had the best service seeing as some of our more proactive midfielders have been missing from games. As for hindering the development of the Sanogo I hardly think that’s important when you’re trying to win the league.