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March 2018
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Bizarre… the game, life, my feelings….

By Walter Broeckx

As I had other obligations this evening to which I had committed myself I had to stop watching the match at half time.  We  had booked tickets for a stand up comedian who not just was telling jokes but who also talked about some not so happy things in her life. And it gave me some perspective.

If anyone who had to do the same as I, and miss the game, would have been 95% sure that we would win this match. I cannot remember us dominating against United as we did in that first half. The only question that needed answering was: how on earth weren’t we 2 or 3-0 up at half time.

Arsenal had some good chances but they were wasted in a terrible way. Welbeck had a good chance but he couldn’t connect properly both with his feet and with the head.

But the biggest miss and maybe most important one came from Wilshere.  How on earth could he miss that? What a terrible shot from only 9 meters out straight at the keeper. And to make matters worse he could have laid it on for a simple tap in for Alexis.  Missing such a chances is asking for troubles later on in a match.

We kept on dominating the match and United just hung on. Only at the end of the first half they came in the neighbourhood of Szczesny but a good block from Chambers was the only time when we really looked vulnerable in the first half.

Dean would have given a penalty in favour of Wilshere if he would have been a United player probably but we don’t expect a penalty for Arsenal in the next decade so will not even mention it.

So when I came home, I watched the rest of the match. And it was the same at the start of the second half. It was all Arsenal going forward and United defending. But for some strange reason each Arsenal shot went almost straight to De Gea. It was as if he had a magnet in his gloves that drew the ball towards his hands.

A turning point for me was the late tackle on Wilshere. Wilshere was having a good match till then and of course Dean not seeing the foul and giving a yellow card for a late tackle. The worst thing however was that we lost Wilshere. And within minutes we were 0-1 down.

A goal that shouldn’t have counted. Fellaini was offside and he pushed Gibbs who collided with Szczesny. Dean letting a foul on an Arsenal defender go. For the umpteenth time.  The fact that the ball was going wide and deflected in from the knee of Gibbs showed that this wasn’t going to be our day. The football gods decided to choose the part of United.  Szczesny going off injured forced Wenger in to a second substitution…. Just what we needed.

What followed was more attacks from Arsenal. More pressure. But again the ball just wouldn’t go out of reach of De Gea. An Alexis header, a Cazorla shot, a.. just name it the ball would end up in his hands.

You knew the longer the game would go on the more risks we had to take. And so after all the pressure from Arsenal it was no surprise that United would go on a counter and Rooney scored the second goal for United, the first legal goal.

Giroud who had come on as the first real substitution managed to get one back in the extra time. And what a goal that was. That will have done him some good.

But by then you knew that this wasn’t going to be our day. Dean played his part by allowing the first goal to stand and by wasting some more time in extra time. People who say that he should have given Wilshere a red card forget that he also should have given Di Maria one for an elbow.

A non English match commentator said that Arsenal should have won the match. It’s as simple as that. When you dominate like you did and get so many chances you have to win the match. We completely outplayed Manchester United but we forgot to score.  And when you don’t score enough you cant win.

Do we have to blame the defenders? No the first goal was offside and a foul and a lucky bounce. Shit happens at times. The second was only because we had to commit ourselves completely and then you can get caught on a counter.

I think this time if we want to put blame somewhere we must put it at the door of our attackers. So many chances but apart from Giroud none were taken. This defeat is because we didn’t finish the chances we had. I think some shooting practice should be on the cards from Monday on.  Alexis worked hard but didn’t seem as sharp as he has been in the last matches. Probably a bit of jet lag hanging over him?

Of course the usual suspects will want to blame Wenger. But in all honesty what could he have done better? Arsenal dominated United.  Is it Wenger’s  fault that his forwards didn’t convert the chances? Wenger’s hands were tied behind his back also to make any substitutions.  I don’t think Wilshere would have been taken off at that moment in the match and Szczesny certainly wouldn’t have been taken off.  But as a result Wenger could only make one change. And the player he brought in delivered with a good goal.  I think by minutes played Giroud will be our best finisher after this match.

Sometimes life can be unfair. Sometimes football can be unfair. Today football was unfair to us. We have to remember the good way in which we played for most of the match. We have to practice our finishing so we can take our chances better.

Yes this isn’t a good start of the season. But the good thing (relatively) is that we never were outplayed in a match (apart in Dortmund). We could have won all our matches this season. The quality is there in the team but we need to be more clinical in front of goal. Just as today we need too many chances to win a match.  Once we can get the rest of the team scoring more goals we can win every match.

And so I come back to the last song that stand up comedian performed at my night out. It was a reflection on her divorce. And it had the question: will all be fine again for me?  And the answer that she got was: yes it will.

So just after after this painful defeat I asked myself and looking at the players we have: will all be fine again for Arsenal? And the only answer I can come up with and in which I believe is: Yes we will.  I think this team is one good result away from a good run. The sooner that result will come, the sooner our run will start. And with some players coming back in a few weeks time I think that we then could be unstoppable.

Sticking out my neck on a day like this? Yes, but it is just what I feel about this team.

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128 comments to Bizarre… the game, life, my feelings….

  • Kirman

    Walter sorry I disagree with you completely.I find it hard to believe that Wenger has not yet lost the dressing room, although he may well have done and news has yet to emerge. However, if the results in the next four games go against us, which is more likely than not, even this over-paid, pampered bunch of players will realise they are not going to win a trophy under the current set-up. I want Arsenal to win, but I don’t want Arsene Wenger to be mis-managing our club anymore; it’s just a matter of what how bad it needs to get before he goes.Although the surgery required to rebuild this squad can’t realistically begin before January, a few things could be done before then. Take a look at the battle-hardened, experienced defenders who are available on free transfers for one (there must be someone out who could do a better job even on a short-term basis). And/or play Chambers at centre back for two, because one thing is sure, he is no more a right back than Monreal is a centre back. The longer the farcical idea of playing Monreal at centre half continues the more we will concede headed goals; moving Chambers there may not solve all the problems, but it would be a start. Square pegs in square holes and all that; and this would mean giving Bellerin a chance. He can’t be worse at right back than Monreal is at centre back surely? But above all, please Mr Wenger, let someone who knows about defending coach the defence every day. You have Steve Bould there, give him some responsibility, or bring in Martin Keown.Something has to change because the longer nothing changes the more we will witness collapses like those against Anderlecht and Swansea. A similar approach to what has gone on in the last two for the next four matches will be suicidal, but it wouldn’t surprise me

  • Ernie

    ‘But for some strange reason each Arsenal shot went almost straight to De Gea’ – there’s only one reason and it’s not strange. He didn’t have magnets in his gloves, the ball isn’t magnetic! Wait for it, the Arsenal players shot the ball at him!

    ‘The football gods decided to choose the part of United’ – they don’t exist these football gods. A lame excuse. Arsenal weren’t good enough.

    ‘We could have won all our matches this season’ – you really believe this statement?

    ‘Once we can get the rest of the team scoring more goals we can win every match’ – you really believe this statement?

  • Steve Vallins

    I only watched three quarters of the game and had the same thoughts as you wasted chances will bite you .
    As a team we are not very far away injuries have had a big impact in the style we play .
    With the introduction of two new attacking players I think it has had a big effect on our midfield its negated Ramseys from last season displays and the whole team is trying to adapt the loss of Giroud who has been our centre forward for 3 years

  • Rich t

    Great article – I think with theo and giroud fit we have the options to change the way we attack.

  • Highamsparkgunner

    Good morning Walter ,a nice measured article as usual.
    The bile within the stadium was awful yesterday with lots of fans calling for Wengers head but as you said he didn’t do much wrong. Watching back the push on Gibbs by the offside Fellaini it is hard to understand how that was missed but as the referee was Mike Dean it was hardly a surprise.
    Reading through old articles last night I saw your articles about the AST which was very apt considering the deleted tweet made by our friend Tim Stillman after yesterday’s match.
    At least we only have until Wednesday for another match which if we play like yesterday we should win

  • Pat

    A balanced report as ever, Walter. Glad you enjoyed the stand up comedienne and it prepared you well to be philosophical about our undeserved defeat!

    One good thing – Giroud is back, and as long as he stays fit it looks like with his scoring and his battling qualities he should steady the ship.

    Again Arsene Wenger was deprived of his ability to make three proper substitutions by injuries. You don’t say it, but do you think the Man U player should have been sent off for his sliding tackle which ended Jack Wilshere’s match?

  • Tyona Yarkwan

    This Arsenal team is like a pack of lions led by a sheep, Arsene. Wenger is what Mourinho described him, a specialist in failure. Can you remember the Man U team after Ronaldo and Tevez left? That they posed a genuine title challenge showed they were a pack of sheep led by a lion, SAF. Wenger will continue to ridicule himself the more unless he goes.

  • Josif

    The thing is, we have been wasteful in the attack (especially Welbeck) and shaky in the defence. Our new system with high pressing doesn’t suit Mertesacker as we commit too many players forward and BFG plays the best when he is sitting deeper. So, our defence is poor and our attack lies on the back of Alexis – what has Wenger done right then?

    What’s happening with Rosicky? I mean, Cazorla has had a terrible season so far with one assist in eleven games. Perhaps the Czech would be a better stand-in for Ozil.

  • JohnShaft

    So this week it was “The football gods” who decided to choose the part of United. Not our failure to convert our chances or defend with any competence, just the football gods. Thats ok then.

    Congratulations to United for their first away win of the season with a defence of Valencia, Smalling, Blackett and Mc Nair, and to Arsene for our worst start to a season since Terry Neill, and for our one win and 11 losses in 15 PL matches

  • Nicky

    On another day we would have played worse and won.
    Against the run of play Arsenal conceded the 360th bizarre goal since I started to support them in 1933.
    It’s in our history and there’s nothing we can do about it. We simply do not do things by halves. I bet every one of you not so old supporters can easily recall ridiculous goals we have given away.
    On the nit-picking front, the coaches must do something about Gibbs’ refusal to use his right boot. On a number of occasions yesterday, he cut inside beautifully to prompt an attack, then had to move back out left because the ball, rather unkindly, was on his right side. It happens every game.
    I think we have to write off yesterday as a blip. United know full well that they were lucky to come away with 3 points.
    Giroud is back and others on our sick list are on their way. I only hope that Wilshere’s injury is not serious.
    On the CL front, we cannot win our Group and it will be interesting to see the team selected by Arsene on Wednesday.

  • Sleekwhale

    I don’t know – I honestly don’t know who’s right or wrong. I think welbeck isn’t just it at the moment and wengerknowsall isn’t giving him enough competition – thank the gods Giroud is back and hungry. I still don’t know!

  • Pat


    Obviously we are missing Koscielny, Mertesacker’s partner in their brilliant defensive record last season. With Debuchy injured as well, our defense is stretched. But I would not call it poor. Until recently, our defensive record this season was not that bad at all.

    Nor would I say our attack lies on the back of Alexis. We have a raft of very good players in midfield and attack. And now Giroud is back from injury (note: injury again) we should be strengthened in these areas and some of the heat should be off our defense.

    You mention Ozil. He’s injured too.

    Injuries have played a major role in our season so far and Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal coaching team are not to blame for those. The main responsibility lies with the PGMOL and its referees who allow our players to be attacked without punishment. Even Giroud, who seemed to be made of iron, succumbed eventually to his twenty battles per match (to quote Arsene Wenger).

  • john

    We lost because of a combination of:
    Poor finishing
    Naive defending for their second goal (plus the similar chance for a third)
    Bad luck
    Poor refereeing.

    Dean would have given a penalty against us for the equivalent of that first half incident involving Jack.
    He would also have not allowed the first goal, if that sequence of events had been at the other end.
    He booked Santi following a spectacular dive by Young.
    He booked OG for protesting, whilst completely ignoring Di Maria sitting down a yard inside the pitch and refusing to get up,
    Worst of all, he ignored a deliberate and serious foul on Jack, which may have caused a serious long term injury.

    Despite our faults, we were clearly the better team by far and the result was either a fluke or an injustice, or a combination of both.

    Sadly and predictably, some of our fans fall for the media line and call for Wenger to go. I find that very disappointing.

    Let’s hope for a change of fortune against Dortmund and get behind the team.

  • Sohara

    I was (like the rest of you I think) feeling sick after watching the game…..did not even want to think about football till the hurt went away

    Then I came in and read your blog Walter…and thank you for it, I agree with everything you said , you are right, the football Gods were not with us last evening

    I do think this is the best team we have had in recent years, and I do hope they can pull through

    With one or 2 additions we CAN win the league

  • Kirman

    This season is heading for a car crash before it is half-way through, in fact almost even before it is a third of the way through. And that is why I am more convinced than ever that a change is coming. Arsene Wenger you have done wonders for this club, and we are in your debt. But your continued presence at the helm is not helping, nor will it help get us out of the current spiral of decline.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If you read the comments from some people you would think the league is over today. you would think ok this was match 38 the final league table is out.

    Last season almost the same group of players was first in the league table. And we stayed there for almost the whole season. Some injuries like to Ozil took the wind out of our sails.

    This season because of injuries to key players and because of the bad preparation because of the world cup we find it difficult to really get going.

    But this is basically the same group of players that came 7 points short for a double.

    I’m not saying we will win the title but I will judge the team at the end of may. Not now.

  • AB

    Arsene ‘s summary of the game so different to most on here, at least he gives a fair assessment , not excuses

  • AL

    We’re dominating against Anderlecht and well on our way to handing out a comprehensive thrashing, officials ‘miss’ an offside by a player who is miles off. Turning point in a match. We’re dominating utd at home who haven’t even mustered a single shot on target. Officials, again, miss a shove on our defender resulting in a collision between keeper and defender, and resulting cross going in off the prone defender. Turning point, again. Somehow it’s all Wenger’s fault! Talk of hating.

    Some are saying rooney was just off for their second (can’t confirm as I’ve not seen the replays). I think to blame the manager after yesterday’s performance is simply moronic. Trying to blame the defence yesterday is equally baffling. I’d decided to take a sabbatical from football as I’ve not seen or heard anything to suggest we will see any fairness on a football pitch anytime soon, and yesterday proved me right.

  • AL

    Call it a cowards way out but it’s like taking part in a rigged contest. Every single match we play in seems to always have the mandatory important incorrect decision against us, that we may as well be starting all our matches with a 1 goal deficit (scoring a single goal is no longer a guarantee of a win, as we need 2 at least). What’s the point in taking part? Joke really.

  • AB

    There was No push please watch highlights on repeat no push at all

  • brick top

    @Walter how has the world cup affected our preparations? The last time I checked it was not only Arsenal players that went to the world cup.

  • Josif

    @Pat – Manure have had an even worse injury record than ours this term but they still managed to show some sort of defensive solidity so that’s not an excuse.

    Koscielny’s form has been rather poor this term and our defending was disappointing even when he was healthy. Per-Kos axis has depended on Ramsey-Arteta double pivot and our team sitting deeper. We have abandoned the latter, Arteta and Ramsey haven’t been at their best since Arsene’s experiments with 4-1-4-1 and Ozil on the left flank.

  • para

    The team-ship seems to be missing from the squad even though we played good yesterday. Lots of passes not taken that we would have scored from.

    After the first 10 mins i settled down expecting the deconstruction of manu.

    But we all saw what happened, yet still none of us really know what happened.

  • Ernie

    Didn’t Wenger give up on the league after the Swansea defeat?

  • AB

    Para spot on

  • blacksheep63

    On the way home Tony described that performance as ‘incompetent’ (Arsenal’s not just the ref’s!) which it was. I, like Walter, will judge the team in May not in November because there is so much to play for. But, and its a big ‘but’, the team and the coach have to take responsibility for the fact that what is an excellent squad of players is not playing as a team at the moment – a group of talented ‘cavaliers’ I think Tony said as we drove up the M1 – big team meeting Monday I hope there’s some honesty from all sides.

    I’ll be there again on Wednesday night believing in better times ahead. Come on you Gunners!

  • gouresh

    Yes, our performance / results is based on what decisions the ref makes. One bad call and the management, players and the rest think “screw this, everything’s against us, lets just throw in the towel and go home and hope that we have a better ref next time.” And the same thing happens the next time and the next and so on. No one is willing to actually analysis what WE did wrong. The blame is ALWAYS and every single time ALWAYS the ref, luck and hell knows what else. Its NEVER EVER our fault. Strange isn’t it?

  • gouresh

    Putting the blame squarely on something or someone else is highly infuriating.

  • gw

    You mention the very very borderline offside for the first goal (inches at most) and an arguable wishers penalty but seem wilfully blind to his head but and red card he wasn’t given.

    Stop making excuses for Arsène, he could have signed another centre back when he sold our back up option. He could have changed a team which hasn’t worked for the last two games.

    He didn’t, we lost again, he doesn’t care because he thinks he’s right

  • WalterBroeckx

    I don’t know what you have read but I wrote: “I think this time if we want to put blame somewhere we must put it at the door of our attackers”

    Of course I mentioned the ref and his mistakes (that cost us also) but as far as I know he takes part in the match and has an influence. And because I am a ref I always look at his mistakes.

    But it seems that some of you only see where I mention the ref and not read the rest.

  • PV4

    I have always supported AW, and admire the insight and comments on ‘Untold’ but I feel that it might be time for change. If you look at the effort of the majority of players it is very good. In fact, when watching I felt sorry for Ox who ran his arse off. So there is effort (not including Ramsey and Szez). So what is it? Surely it can only be tactics? Why continue with Nacho at CH? Why continue with a keeper that continually cocks up? Why have we not bought a decent defensive midfielder since the days of Gilberto? Why does he never use Pod and Rosicky? My one fear is that we run too long with AW – who at his peak was sublime – and end up in a Brian Clough situation. I love Arsenal and every defeat twists my guts, but I am finding it so hard to watch us because essentially we play entertaining and bright football but there is something seriously wrong. We surrender too easily, we don’t kill off teams when we have the chance and we dally in the transfer market. AW is a legend and always will be, but he needs to go whilst he can still hold his head high. It is no shame – we just need a younger, hungrier manager who can handle the modern squad rotation game, is not afraid to be defensive when necesary and who can let go of deadwood at the club without feeling guilt.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those saying Fellaini didn’t push Gibbs I suggest they watch the highlights and look at the angle from the opposite of the main camera. You clearly see Fellaini using both his arms in the back of Gibbs. It is at 8.39 to 8.41

  • P

    Wenger needs to buy the dominating big, strong central midfielder.
    We also need a new keeper as our current first choice should be second choice. Yesterday their keeper saved them time and time again. The first thing ours had to do he bodged, foul or not, he should’ve got a clean punch on that ball, but was scared of getting clattered.
    A big, strong, fast, experienced center back is also required and a clinical striker would complete the side.
    Wenger also needs to punish players who make the same mistakes over and over again. How many times will we leave the back door open to be exploited? If the players are too stupid, selfish or indisciplined to heed instructions they should be benched or sold, not played in the next game. That’s why these things keep happening, they have no fear of the manager. That would’ve never happened under Ferguson or happen under Mourinho. Pellegrini is suffering from the same thing at the moment but he is showing signs if getting on too of it. You have to otherwise the players take the piss.
    With the invincibles Wenger had leaders within his squad who would do the dirty work for him, people like Adams, Keown, Henry, Viera, Lauren, etc would not shy away from telling other players what they thought both on and off the pitch. They were die hard winners. This current lot are too busy being nice to each other and taking selfies, whilst the manager is making them a nice cup of cocoa and filling their panda shaped hot water bottles.

  • blacksheep63

    Walter I would agree we squandered chances and think your report was very fair but look at the build up to their second (or legal) gaol. We have committed 9 players to attack and when that breaks down our defence and rookie keeper are exposed to United’s attack. United don’t have much going for them at the moment (a great keeper aside) but they attack well. We allowed that to happen when we were only 1-0 down and had plenty of time to turn the game around. This lack of discipline, lack of thinking, is very un-Arsene like. Someone needs to sort this out or it will happen again and again (like Anderlecht, like Swansea, like Liverpool away last year, like Chelsea away, the list goes on and on)

    We have the squad, we have a superb coach so why do we make such basic mistakes?

  • 4evered

    November 23, 2014 at 9:56 am
    If you read the comments from some people you would think the league is over today

    Walter as far as we are concerned the league was over last week at our previous capitulation to swansea again the ref and the media’s fault according to some – and even our own manager admitted it – it used to be the money all the time on here but I notice that line has gone and been replaced by the ref’s – bad day – blip – media take your pick and yes you say judge them in may but in may no doubt you will say lets wait for the summer window and then Jan and then may again .
    I know you cant think about the club without our once great manager but I honestly think it would do him as much good as us to make a change and in saying that I know people will say who would you bring in – thats up to the owner and I don’t need too know whats next in order to understand what’s not working .

  • AB

    No way Walter , listen to commentry as well no mention of any push, neither does AW mention anything untoward

  • ARSENAL 13

    I think the only issue we are trying to sort out is ‘how to play with Alexis’.

    Alexis in isolation is brilliant. He can score goals. He works his arse off for the team. He gives the ball away a bit too much. Oh wait….is that what lead to the second goal!!… Wasn’t he trying a pass where there wasn’t any?

    Its all there…..just a little fine tuning. If we look back, yesterday shows we are getting there. Go Gunners

  • soglorious

    Walter, you are a motivator. Thank you for this piece. I hope to invite you over here someday to give some speech for my workers about their job and their life in general. It will be better for sure cos we expect and believe in a great tomorrow, all will be well.
    Now let me go and read the comments.

  • TommieGun

    @ everybody who is defending the team, the manager, the whatever – I envy you. I really do. Thanks, I guess.

    @ Blacksheep – finding it agreeing with you on so many subject… and now this: not playing inteligently. Which would be the nice way of saying most of our players play lie FUCKIN RETARDS GODDAMNITTTTTT !!!

    Sorry, but aside from Arteta, it seems like most of our players just CHOOSE the stupidest option available at any given moment.

    It really seems like our game has gone “upside-down”.

    When players should pass quickly to get a counter attack going – which is a FUCKING NO BRAINER, they over complicate, dribble, get into a dead end and lose the momentum. I counted 4 occassions like that (2 by the Ox, 2 by Sanchez).

    And vice versa – when under pressure in defence, instead of hoofing the ball to outer space, players insist on dribbling sideways in order to maybe get a smart pass in order to get counter attack going.

    When in need to shoot at the most desirable angle – we delay the shot. And then the angle is closed down, so we shoot to the middle (BTW whoever said De Gea is not to be creidted – you are right. Everything was straight at him, ground level. All he needed to do was collect it). When free headers are available – head straight down at the keeper. When the correct shooting angle is lost, instead of trying to cut it back to an open team mate – again, shooting straight at the keeper (3 times Welbeck! 3 fuckin times god damn it!).

    Just to make a point: we had 9 near to 100% scoring opportunities. 9. Not a single one of them was unlucky in my standards (didn’t hit the post or anything). Not a single one of them produced some brilliant save by the keeper. All of those opportunities were spurned due to awful decision making, lack of concentration, lack of focus, lack of something). Manure had 1 shot on target. 1.

    And just to make another point: this is, by far, the worst Man United side that I have ever had the displeasure of watching. 6 of our opportunities were born out of appaling defensive mistakes, made by a side that had surrendered the midfield (we were ripping through them), had no full backs (which surprisingly we didn’t utilize) and had inexperienced toddlers as center backs. Add to that Di Maria’s worst game in a United shirt and (the relative joy) of watching RVP turning into an old, uselss pile of rubbish.

    And yet, we lost. I don’t give a flying fuck in a rollign donut that their first goal should have not stood. This is clearly (one) of the mathematical reasons of us losing, but football isn’t math, it isn’t science, it’s not a logics quesion in the SATs. Yes, had the linesman or Dean the shithead spotted Felaini’s push or offside, they would not have taken the lead. But it all came AFTER we dominated, missed 6 or 7 100% chances, lost our belief as a result, and started making stupid mistakes.

    Fuck ! Fuck !

    If there’s one team I hate it’s ManU. They are one of the shitties teams around. We could have given them a fuckin revenge for the 8-2 thing, we could have crucified them. In the end it ended like it ended and I AM FURIOUS.

    A fuckin joke.

  • WalterBroeckx

    what would it matter if Wenger mentioned it or not AB? So people can say he is a moaner? When I see the images I clearly see Fellaini using both his hands in the back of Gibbs. I don’t need Wenger to tell me what to see.

  • P

    The point made about Alexis is a good one. He is one of our best players, but many of the goals conceded this season have been due to him giving the ball away when most have committed themselves forward.
    You would think if you had experienced players aware they had a supremely talented player but with a tendency to giving the ball away in dangerous situations they would sit back to cover any potential mistake.
    There is also a little bit too much holding on to the ball and trying to do too much going on with Alexis and that is spreading to Wiltshire, Ramsey and the Ox. They all want the limelight instead of playing for synergy. Difference from last season. Again, something you would normally look to the manger to sort out, one you can live with, four is unacceptable.

  • gouresh

    The blame lies with the players and the management. More so with the management because they are the ones who bring in the players, they are the ones who set the team, the formation etc. You might say, how can u blame the management for poor finishing? Or poor defending or 7-8 players in opponents half leaving our shakey defence exposed? Aren’t they the ones who take the practice or do they lets the players do their own thing? I can understand it happens sometimes but everytime? And then we have our patent explanation. Ref, media, and yes our most favourite Luck.

  • Menace

    It is so easy to pontificate about Wengers other players. These are not your players but Wengers players!! The shots at goal were fortunate for De Gea but he did make some good saves. Their defence was good because that is all they did!!! There is nothing constructive that some of the posters say particularly when they point fingers at our team or our manager.

    I have no doubt that with an honest referee we would have won the game easily. Fellaini should have been carded at least 3 times in the first half hour. He would not have been on the pitch with an honest referee. If any of you feel that his push on Gibbs prior to the goal was ok then its time you supported some other team.

  • Kirman

    I am hanging on, in purgatory, until the day Wenger finally admits he is not going to prove people wrong. That a manager who can do motivation, organization and in-game tactical changes will do a better job. Until then, it’s Chinese Water Torture. In the end, you just stop feeling it. Does anyone else feel that games against Manchester United really don’t matter anymore? Because let’s face it, there’s rarely anything at stake these days, certainly for Gooners. Things sure ain’t what they used to be, which should mean it’s time to move on.Is Arsène Wenger the man to turn this malaise around (which ultimately he has created)? Those still suffering from (as ArsenalFanTV’s wonderful Claude put it) ‘Wengeritis’, please step forward and give me some hope here.

  • soglorious

    I believe being objective in our judgement of issues will help us as an individual and help modify some people’s understanding of life. Yesterday’s misfortune was no fault of Wenger. So I see no reason why some here are calling for his head.
    I believe Welbeck wanted to score by all means to prove a point – which I believe worked against us. Also, our attackers in general were less clinical than expected of them.
    Good thing is the return of O.Giroud.
    Just as I earlier said, the future is bright . We will rise again.
    Walter, u remember that great article that will forever be a reference “the great turnaround” where we all wrote those words in our native tongue? Please give me a link to it. Thanks

  • bjtgooner

    AB – you have been making silly remarks on this site for the last few weeks/months. Once again you are talking through your ass. I have re-watched footage of the Manures first goal – and yes Fellaini did push Gibbs into Szczesny.

    Walter – a very fair and accurate write up of a disappointing result. But all fair fans should acknowledge the effort the team put in.

    Re that nice thug Fellaini – I also noticed him holding Mertesacker twice during Arsenal corners – on one occasion the grip looked like a two handed wrist lock – look forward to the ref review!

  • 4evered

    I just watched the highlights on and we totally dominated this game but to somehow claim that as progress in games against the top sides and therefore bad luck on the day is just wrong – Lets be honest this is one of the worst United defences we have every played against and not giving them a good hiding is not bad luck .
    As for the first goal to blame offside or a push is just a pathetic excuse by people who refuse to face reality and would rather trot out bizarre conspiracy theories than face the truth about the way our squad is coached and managed – i like our goalkeeper and would keep faith with him but if he is gonna come out like that it will always be a lottery as to the outcome – 2nd goal classic Arsenal lack of professionalism as seen many times over the past few years .
    Mr Wenger is an intellectual , a dreamer, an idealist , he has a philosophy about the game as a whole but not an individual plan for the next match.
    Mourinho is a horrible classless human being with no philosophy about the game just himself and he only has a plan for winning the next game and finishing top .
    You can see for yourself how these 2 approaches are currently performing – Now I dont want that cunt Mourinho but I would like someone with a plan to win the next game .

  • Florian

    To those who claim ManU had a good defense, I suggest counting the number of through-balls that made it to our strikers, and the number of giveaways (by them, not by us) in the proximity of their box. Both are above 10 – that’s when I stopped counting. We worked and did a lot of things right in the middle, there was just no end product, and a ball lost at the wrong time that cost us the game. Oh, and nobody mentions the push in the back of Mertesacker at our first corner – minute 5 or thereabouts. That should have been a penalty too. But I guess that’s irrelevant with Dean.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And now we are talking about Dean (which wasn’t my intention when I wrote the article but down to people talking about it).

    If you would have read the dozen articles I wrote about Dean then you will find that I have warned half a dozen times that he allow fouls on our defenders to go unpunished and in that way I think other teams have scored numerous goals. It is one of his flaws.
    Maybe it is down to ‘keeping the game flowing’ from the PGMO but in my country and in fact in all the countries that I know (apart from the PGMO country) fouls on defenders are always punished immediately.
    Dean misses them too much to be good. And certainly when you are an Arsenal player. But to be fair to him he did miss at least one on U MU player that I can remember.
    It just is one of his weaknesses.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter, thanks for your balanced view as usual. I knew Dean had managed to screw us again, from my seat I couldn’t see how, now I do.

    It was a hard loss, we should have had the game wrapped up in the first 30 minutes when, frankly, United were embarrassingly bad at the back. If we fail to score when that dominant then all too frequently “stuff happens”. As it did yesterday.

    I’m equally sure Arsene doesn’t tell our players to behave like headless chickens as they were at times yesterday. Frankly the lack of positional discipline at times is embarrassing. Arteta and Mertesacker must shoulder some of the blame for that. They are the club captain and vice-captain and jointly are responsible for the on-pitch organisation both need to do better.

    I hope for better on Wednesday. As usual I’ll be at Boreham Wood in the afternoon for the U19 game then on to the Emirates in the evening.


  • WalterBroeckx

    euh 4erevered… so my match commentator in my country was wrong for saying it shouldn’t have counted?
    That has nothing to do with conspiracy. It has all to do with wrong decisions at the moment. A wrong decision that could have been overturned if we would have a video referee system.
    It’s no excuse. It is what it is. Fellaini was offside and pushed.

  • gouresh

    our plan for the next game? attack! 3 or 4 nil up, 10 mins to go? attack. 1 or 2 goals down, 15 mins to go attack. Attack, attack leave your defence exposed, but make sure u attack attack. I remember what Cesc said once, AW does not study opponents we just focus on our game. attack.

  • AB

    Best we gloss over the Wiltshere Head Butt then !

  • 4evered

    November 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    That’s the spirit walter you stay on the big rock candy mountain .

  • samrat

    i have been watching premier league since 1998, the year i completed my 10th level with a first division and my dad bought me a cable tv subscription. since then i have noticed one thing. the refs for some reason best known to them give the lion share of 50-50 decisions in favour of the team that has relatively the better chances of doing well in the domestic league and in european games. man utd got the benefit of the decisions qhen they were a force to reckon with. similar is the case with man city and chelsea. now that man utd are not the force they were results are there for everyone to see. and it is not always the SAF factor. chelsea dont have him. man city dont and neither do liverpool. arsenal got their share of decisions when they were a top two side. they got that penalty that saved the game during the invincible season. now they for some reason dont see arsenal as capable of winning the league nor doing well in the champions league , hence such abysmal performances from them. similar stuff goes on in the la liga where the supporters of the lower placed teams chant “this is how real madrid wins”
    and as far as yesterdays performance -PROFLIGACY thy name is arsenal

    i would like to know which premier league side converts the most amount of clear cut chances they create and where do arsenal stand in this regard

  • AB

    Just enjoying a Psychic moment Ref on Weds is going to have us over. Remember you herd it here first

  • AB

    Sorry heard

  • Mandy Dodd

    Blacksheep @ 10.22, not for the first time, I agree with everything you say. Incompetent is a word that springs to mind. And more worryingly, that is three games in a row whereby we have spectacularly self destructed. This should not be tolerated in a professional outfit. There are mitigating factors, the ref and our injuries, but it seems we have gone back to old ways….and some. Even with injuries, we should be more robust than that, I think a park team can be more robust than that.
    Maybe I am sounding a bit WOB, but I am starting to believe the coaching staff have to take a long and honest look at things, and I am not holding my breath either. Where I differ from the WOB, I am certainly not calling for wengers head, but I am questioning …if say our keeper has the very best coaching available, I would say the same of our defence and on yesterday’s evidence, our attack. Wenger is the manager, he cannot coach all these units. It just looks to me that wenger is in the last few years here, he has amassed an impressive collection of attacking players, and that he has gone a bit Uber wenger. The old flaws have come back with a vengeance. If there is anything in this, the coaches and senior players must take this on. At the moment, It just looks to me that the players are sent out to do their thing in a free form jazz manner…..without specific prep, or game management. When it works, it is spectacular, but it seems we are deprived of the players to make it work, the refs to allow it and the ability to change things if it goes wrong. It also seems other teams have our number, including teams with lesser players.
    Mitigating factors, post World Cup, but out worst start for 32years despite some great players. Self destruct three games running.
    Not good enough, and that included the coaching staff. Honesty needed.
    But the good news, Giroud is back.

  • gouresh

    Hi Walter: You said that if AW talks about Fellaini’s push, he will be considered as a moaner…..yes, dam right he will be. Because the 1st thing that will be pointed out to him are the numerous chances we missed to kill the game off. we cannot hang on to 1 or 2 bad decisions from the ref to justify our loss. we know that’s going to happen.

  • Gooner S

    Firstly @Tony it’s good that you’re letting through those AFC fans with opposing views to Untold.

    Second;y @Walter…should Wilshere have been sent off? I thought he was lucky to stay on the pitch. Happened in front of me. Seen players sent off for a lot less.

    Thirdly @Ernie and @Kirman etc

    Did you actually watch the game? Arsenal played well and dominated the game. No we didn’t take our chances and yes we pushed on too much trying to get an equalizer. Wilshere going off (though he could’ve been sent off earlier) was a real blow and then of course our goal keeper goes off limiting the options that Wenger has. Seriously, if some Arsenal fans think that Bould and Wenger don’t coach the team to not panic and to not push on too much when they go a goal down they’re crazy. The players have to take responsibility for this.

    I’ve come to the conclusions that some Arsenal fans don’t watch a football game any longer. They watch for the result, the result they want and when they don’t get the result they desire, they moan as evidenced my many leaving early yesterday and a few of those hurling abuse at Wenger on the way out. Clearly they had forgotten about injury time. 8 minutes of it! Is that support? Shame they were not around to see Giroud’s fantastic goal. A player much maligned by the vocal minority that often hurl abuse in circumstances that are not to their liking.

  • Menace

    Walter I love your diplomacy when you have a referee hat on. Dean is a cheat. He does not make mistakes. He is deliberate with his cheating. His bosses demand this kind of cheating and here we are trying to point fingers at FIFA!!!

    I love football and I hate cheats! I am not a referee but I keep as uptodate with the Laws of the Game. I umpired hockey but found that there was corruption there so I stopped. I always watch football with a ‘wide angle’ seeing positional play as key to a good team. In that process I also notice the officials and their positions. The linesman/assistant who didn’t give the offside against Fellaini was interpreting the Laws differently to the one in the clock end. His ‘active play’ only happened if the ball fell to the player. The fact that the player fouled Gibbs was irrelevant as he didn’t have the ball – incompetence? no. Cheating? yes.

  • dan


    Giroud is back, however Wiltshire will be out – you heard it hear 1st!

  • samrat

    i was a goalkeeper and once i played with a bunch of players that wanted to walk the ball into the net. they would even try to dribble past the goalkeeper if they could. and when i was about to scream my head off asking them to shoot or when they were fully satisfied with their dribble-the-goalkeeper type of possession football they would shoot blindly even when a pass would do. i have learnt through experience that finishing is a great art that has very little to do with possession football.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe Dan , in that case we are well stocked with replacements. Ramsey will need to step up a bit. Ox can play there, would be good to see a bit more of TR as well.

  • dan


    Ur forgetting, it’s tit for tat with us, it’s contagious!

  • samrat

    arsenal play a lot like barcelona. would barcelona be the same team if they were to play in the premier league? the league on spain is a lot slower. so real mad or barcelona could use pace or guile to get the the premier league one needs to take their chances coz opponents do have enough quality to come back to hurt

  • I Hate Shit Heads let all those AAA,Sewer Rats and the deluded ones put money where their mandibles are the bet is still on we are finishing in the TOP FOUR who wants to bet?????Simple any assh… out there???

  • Alex

    Arsene…..the number of people who feel sorry for you are ehmm ….

    Arsene ….. your tactical know how is exposed and the kamikaze strategy ….well is doing wonderful and you so called usual suspects or haters ….. Hey give the man some time I can assure Arsene will adapt is just we where up 3 nil and we drew .It is only Swansea we surrender the 1 nil lead and lost to 2-1 and it is only Man u yesterday.

    Arsene. ….for your kamikaze plan hire at least some Japanese as I see it you have plenty of English .

    Before when people booed Wenger I was kind of annoyed as the man has been working with less money. Having said that it is not have my conservation on his tactical operation.

    Now the booing is getting louder and louder …..oh boy ….I like it.

    Arsene if you have some human cell left on you do the right thing…go…out…vai via .

  • dan

    A villa fan (my brother) asked why season after season do Arsenal have the same issues and mistakes, lack of defensive cover and your manager never bothers to sign a defensive midfielder?

    The same issues are raising their ugly heads again, our inability to beat our rivals, how is it Wenger has never beaten a Mourinho team and manu (dogshit of recent) can still take points from us. We know the score with the ugly git that is M.Dean, so we the fans see it every season why can’t the coaching staff?

    Clearly the style of play does not suite this league.

  • dan


    Why top 4? we need to fight at the very top. Why sign the like of Ozil/Sanchez if all we can do is to aim for the top 4?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Samrat, really hope we are not still trying to emulate Barca, that team were a freak of nature, our players do not have the structure or ability to play like that. Have never seen Barca defend as badly as us either.
    There is a lot of talk we need a DM, or a DM of sorts, have a feeling we will get who we want, and on a free, but not until next summer.
    Gooner S, I am starting,to wonder what they are being coached. I don’t want to rake over the Steve bould stuff again, but they do not look like a team who have much input from a George Graham defender. The point you raise….if you are correct on the coaching, it either means they are not given sufficient planning preparation, they are not following orders or they do not have the right personnel.
    I remain a so called AKB, and 100 percent back the players, but aspects of coaching , team balance , game management…or lack of it, and preparation are really starting to worry me. Someone has to act on this before things get worse. Yes, players will return, but the events of this season suggest there is something fundamentally missing.
    It is up to the manager,to put right, on the training pitches, using knowledge and staff available to him, and as looks increasingly vital, inJanuary.
    At the moment, we are not an attacking team, we are a grossly inefficient team lacking professionalism.
    Failure to address this urgently would be unthinkable and a damning indictment of a man I hold in huge esteem.

  • Jammy J

    I really dislike all the negativity and hatred that gets spouted out any time Arsenal loose. Personally i think Arsenal played the best i have seen them play in a long time. The defence clearly needs some work; in this case the stats dont lie, but on the whole i would say the future looks very bright for Arsenal. Players dont usually hit their peak until 27-28 it is said and most of our players are below 25. I would MUCH rather be an Arsenal fan than any other team right now (if the option was there to change alliances without a shred of loyalty). I think this team is 2 or 3 seasons away from being one that can compete with the very top teams in Europe and that is an extraordinary achievement considering how much more money gets put into these other clubs. For this can all thank Wenger for playing a massive hand in.

  • samrat

    Mandy, i dont blame coachimg stuff. that guy gave us the invincibles. i put the blame on our attacking players instead. had they scored once out of the thousand chances they created themselves it could have a different ending. there is only one thing thats killing us and that is lack of finishing. we seem to need five oe even more clear cut chances to score whereas costa, rvp or aguero need but two

  • TommieGun

    @ mandy 1:15, closing paragraph, I want to add my signature to that as well. Perfect phrasing. Perfect sentiment. Thanks.

  • Tom


    ‘If you read the comments from some people you would think the league is over today. you would think ok this was match 38 the final league table is out.’

    The league was over for Arsenal ( meaning winning it) at the close of the TW when Chelsea and Mourinho addressed their most pressing issues and we didn’t.

    Anyone who knows football and watches Chelsea play , can see that they are the most balanced and complete team in the league. So it’s a bit worry some that Arsen Wenger thought even as late as a few weeks ago, it was Man City who had the most balanced squad in the league.

    Now I know it’s a matter of opinion but also maybe a bad judgment ?

    On to the game.
    There wasn’t much wrong Arsen Wenger did do in his team set up or substitutions. After all, he can’t be responsible for players not taking their chances or choosing the right option, or can he?

    Perhaps the style of coaching in which you show a player the video of his mistake and ask him ‘what he should’ve done in that situation’ isn’t working anymore, which BTW is a football academy approach to instill in players a positive attitude in their decision making.

    Perhaps putting a boot up some players back side is needed occasionally to get the message across.

    Wilshere most defenetly should’ve slotted Alexis for the empty netter tap in for Arsenal’s first goal, and he should’ve done the same on the very play he got himself injured.

    A left footed player , with the ball on his strong foot and an open player to his left. There’s absolutely no excuses to be made for not making those passes.

    Some football pundits have been saying this for a while now. Jack Wilshere needs to get rid of the ball quicker and not invite unnecessary challenges.
    It has nothing to do with ‘ blaming the victim’ for his injuries caused by tackles, but rather taking a batter option and staying fit.

    Ramsey was another player picking wrong options at a wrong time.
    There’s nothing more infuriating than to see a fullback make an overlapping run , some sixty yards up the pitch from his defensive position, find himself in ackers of space and not get the ball when he’s through on goal.

    Raising his hand in apologies to Gibbs after ignoring his runs on couple of occasions , isn’t gonna make it better.
    Didn’t Wenger have the talk with Ramsey about going back to basics already. Maybe time for talking is over, maybe he needs a boot up his back side to get the message.

    So we go down a goal in the unluckiest of circumstances with some forty minutes to go and we lose our shape completely, and the manager does absolutely nothing to correct this from the sidelines.

    I don’t think there was a person in the stadium who didn’t see the second goal comming.
    As it turned out the Giroud’s goal could’ve meant a point and some semblance of good self esteem going forward but it wasn’t to be.

    We lost at home to the most unbalanced , injury ridden , out of form Man United in the history of the PL. Under a new manager no less.

    Their two central defenders had 10 PL games between them and they have no midfield to speak of.

    Last time a big club this unbalanced and riddled with injuries , played against another big club , the score was 8:2 to the home team , and I don’t think I have to remind anyone what those two big clubs were.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tommiegun, I really wish I was not writing stuff like that, it hurts to do so.
    Samrat, very valid point, I certainly do not blame defenders as individuals…in fact if I was a defender, I would be mightily pissed off at the lack of protection. But the problem is, even the defenders are guilty of abandoning their posts, witness that comical shape when ADM really should have scored in a one on one with a rookie keeper.
    The whole team, and I fear, perhaps the manager seems to have abandoned the art of defending when they put themselves in position whereby they are chasing games, or when they are three nil up to Anderlect.
    Wengers philosophy, his transfer dealings this summer, in fact everything about him suggests he does not worry about defending as much as some. Maybe this has filtered down to the team.the likes of Kos are good enough to deal with this, the current defence is not.

  • Kirman

    Mandy, nicely put. To be honest,My only frustration is that the club do have some very decent players, genuine winners that, harnessed by a better manager, could deliver greater success. But the longer Wenger hangs on, the less the chance they will. We have already seen enough players get fed up of waiting and move on. Will Alexis Sanchez still be at the club in August 2015 if Arsène Wenger still is? Mesut Ozil has already given up, a man that has played under coaches who have some semblance of how to deliver success. The body language of the players isn’t great these days. They know something’s missing and there is not enough experience to sort it out between themselves.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Walter, you can’t blame everyone but AW. He must share the blame when you give him all the credit when we win.
    You say shit happens sometime, well, it’s been happening too many times!
    Conceding 2 goals a game has become a habit for Gunners. We have conceded 2 or more goals in 9 games (out of 19 games played!). I know most goals are bizarre, but they all count.
    As much as I love and respect AW and Untold, you’re starting to show extreme bias in Wenger’s favor.

  • dan

    Wenger is very intelligent, but, the lack of communication from the sidelines is worrying. Being paid a handsome sum and not just the manager, the staff should be providing guidance or at least make suggestions. In my heart the feeling is this could be Wenger’s last season.

  • jerry

    Walter, thank you for a reasonable report for the game!

    It’s amazing how many negative people come onto this comment board when Arsenal loses/draws. We played better than United throughout most of the game, but our attackers couldn’t finish. I think for some reason in the final third our players get selfish and completely forget the teamwork that got them to literally right in front of the goal (i.e. Wilshere shooting instead of passing to Sanchez for an easy tap in, Welbeck trying a spectacular back kick instead of laying it off, etc.).

    The team played well, but couldn’t finish, but when it clicks, this squad will be amazing to watch.

    All the people complaining, saying Wilshere should have got a red, keep forgetting the context, where Jack actually was walking away, when Fellaini decided to follow and tower over him like a creepy guy stalking a girl at a night club! Maybe the ref took that into account. How come you guys were the same ones defending Barton on Gervinho, Cahill on Sanchez, Oscar’s persistant fouling, and the Spurs player I can’t remember on Ozil’s ankle?

    If you look back in your comment history, and the only thing you’ve done is criticize the players without acknowledging any of the times they have played well or defending them when they were hard done, congratulations you’re like a nagging wife/partner!

    Learn to support the club, the players, and management, putting them down is not going to make the situation any better!

  • dan


    Reading through the comments only very few people have been negative towards the players, the usual Wenger hatred is at a minimum. People are asking questions and I think some of it very reasonable.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    “At the moment, we are not an attacking team, we are a grossly inefficient team lacking professionalism.”
    Mandy, Im not sure agree with that (all due respect)I think we are an attacking team, but we arent scoring enough from the vast amount of chances that are being made,aside from Alexis theres really a hunger for goals thats missing.
    Against Anderlecht, Swansea and Manure you can see that many goals are coming from our defence pushing too far forward,its the same problem that happend against Chelsea in the pasting we got there last season.For me its as serious problem.
    As far as professionalism Im not sure what you mean apart from not becoming more defensive at certain points in the game.In which case I agree.

    Per obviously misses Kos, those to are brilliant together, Per does seem distracted this season so far ( the WM is a big part of this, not hangover or afterglow, but WTF next? ambition wise),personally I miss Sagna and what he brought to the table, and I miss Prinz Poldi(when hes fired up at least and the spirit he brough to the team, how much is his sulk affecting everyone?), I think we might have seen him yesterday and obviously the injuries went against AW to bring him on, it was his kind of game.
    I realise people want a DM, fair enough, but psychologically the midfield seems very light this year whereas in the last few the lads have been pretty good, plenty of fight,or at least more soild than this season.
    I think I would at least like to see an attitude change,that the players are mentally more charged up like Alexis is, or Poldis left foot on a good day(!).Its like they are a team without a leader (even if they are)but all the midfield players could do with a tad more agression.And the defence too.
    Great tackle on Shrek yesterday by Chambers though.
    Welbeck is perhaps trying too hard, but thats fair enough, all it needs is a goal or two to get him going and I would rather have him trying than not.
    Girouds goal was great to see,he gets a lot of crit,. for his play but he can put the goal in the net.
    Perhaps if were looking for blame its everyone at the moment.I think what makes things worse is that we should have won and didnt.I just hope we dont see it too much more this season.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    “he can put the goal in the net” my ass, he isnt a surrealist. He can put the ball in the net.

  • Ezek

    Walter, you don’t see anything that Wenger did wrong? when did he bring in Giroud? 85 minutes, how long did it takes before he scored? A manager that cannot make changes when its required to kill game, Had he bring him in earlier we would at least go home with a point. But just as you have not seen Wenger doing anything wrong, we will keep analyzing our failures for God knows how long.

  • samrat

    @ Kenneth Widmerpool valid point. i have always believed that arsenal should score more than three goals every game if the number of clear cut chances created are concerned. but apart from sanchez none are of that special quality where they would be scoring goal every two or three chances. yes giroud scored 20 odd goals last season but if you take into account the number of chances he got some very good chances you would think he should have scored 30 odd. as we see this is the problem that needs addressing. if you score three not often do you have to worry about defence that the anderlecht game we should have scored six

  • Josif


    1.Giroud scored a goal against one of the big clubs (and it was an impressive finish after a really nice Arteta’s pass),
    2.we were dominating against United for the biggest part of the match,
    3.we created chances.


    1.we couldn’t score a goal until the game was wrapped up for United as without Alexis in the right shape it seems like nobody can score a goal from a clear-cut chance,
    2.we weren’t prepared well for their counter-attacks – they had two more of them that could have easily resulted with goals,
    3.we didn’t break the negative streak,
    4.we returned Manchester United to life when it comes to Champions’ League place,
    5.Wilshere got injured,
    6.Szczesny got injured.

  • AB

    Liverpool are worse Massive Positive

  • AB

    Szcz isn’t injured , even AW was pissed off by his attitude , bet you anything he’s back for weds

  • Mandy Dodd

    Kenneth, agree on the fact we are an attacking team, who is not scoring enough…..but we are inefficient in attack and defence at the moment, as wenger is saying on the official site.In fact I agree with most of what you have said. I would certainly like to see more of Poldi, perhaps Rosicky as well. We do certainly miss Kos, but again, why was a replacement not signed knowing his ailment? By professionalism, I mean the naive defending, players abandoning duties, think we are the worst offenders going at the moment. Our players care, and there is no lack of effort, just a lack of direction at times.
    I still cannot help but think this is a manager who does not have defending at the priority he should if he wants to move forward, and that maybe this has instilled itself into the team, especially a kos less team. If so, that will be hard to remedy.
    I also wonder if wenger is trying to change to a type of play that he and perhaps his coaching staff are not fully conversant with. Wenger is the classic pass and move manager with pass and move players, if we are moving to a more pressing game high up the pitch, there may be a learning process on both sides. Still does not excuse the defending we have seen this season though.

  • AB

    Question what does Steve Bould actually do ?

  • SD Gooner

    I have supported Arsenal for 40 years and this seems is still in the making.I watched yesterday’s game as much as I was frustrated by the result some of the football played by us was like Wenger ball.
    We are 2 points of 4th place and 8 of 2nd .
    I feel Wenger still hasn’t found the best 11 to play 414 system and it’s a question of time.
    I believe in him to deliver the 4th or 3rd thus year .Have faith in him.He will deliver.
    Thank you all to untold for sanity.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Walter , thanks for this . We were the better team ,but for very poor finishing and many a delayed or misplaced pass in their third proved to be costly .
    In truth I was happy with our attacking and pace in the first half .But our finishing was woeful and wasteful.
    Our defending from the front was poor , but the defence played well on the whole. We were always in danger of the counter as we pushed up reckless seeking for the equaliser.
    Glad to see OG back and in the scoring mood .
    Up the Gunners !

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Mandy, I think it seems much of the fan base are asking the question over why wasnt there a cover for Kos signed!
    If AW and SB arent looking into the defending problems, then they can only expect the worse, but in my playing days we always kept cover at the back if we were pressing, it was said once or twice by the manager and someone at the back would be ordering the defence ( or all of us were ususally covering each others asses as tp holding your position) and the capt as a midfielder would cover the MF and A.Which is why to me its everyones fault, somebody needs to get hold of this and give it a shake up so that the team can keep its shape.Its a good team we’ve got, and when it clicks it will be superb.
    Thanks for writing back and clearing up a few points, I always love to read your thoughts on things.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Oh , before I forget – an AKB for life .Arsenal forever .
    And fuck you , all you AAAA types on here .
    Just to let you know , lest you forget !
    And the fact that all your stupid ranting , silly abuse and ‘learned’ opinions here doesn’t mean an iota in the greater scheme of things for Arsenal FC !
    But then again , you already know that !
    Don’t you ?

  • SC_Gunner

    Thank God there is Untold Arsenal.
    During these times it is nice to read article which Supports Arsenal when it needs the most.

    Keep the good work and hope alive.

  • gouresh

    @tommiegun: that 8-2 result still hurts, but I don’t think it matters much to the players and especially to the manager as there has never been and never will be a reaction to that. we have a placid manager. end off.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The end result ? An AAAA of course !

    Goodnight , guys ! Its been fun ! Really !

  • Th14thesecond

    Great article Walter and I agree with you completely. I watched the whole game and it just wasn’t our day. Some people will want to completely ignore the penalty we should have got, the foul and offside by Fellaini for their goal, and the Schzezny injury and forced sub. Wenger got everything right today but Wilshire let us down by not scoring or assisting that chance. The players need to finish chances better but overall we slaughtered Man United today- it’s just a shame people’s own agenda against Arsene Wenger stop them from enjoying the good stuff we do. Oh yea… WE JUST WON A MAJOR TROPHY A FEW MONTHS AGO. Gunners all the way!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I agree with you Walter. Ref didn’t call Fellaini’s push. As for the 2nd we were pushing forward and were caught on the counter. We didn’t bury our chances early on.

  • jambug

    While I was watching inside the pub Mrs J was outside satisfying her nicotine craving.

    It was 0-1 at the time.

    When she came in she said this is what she overheard between 2 Mancs.

    Manc 1: “we’ve got to get another one here mate. One wont be enough”

    Manc 2: “I know mate, this Arsenal side are fucking good”

    Manc 1: “Fuck knows how we’re winning this”

    My thoughts exactly !!!

    But if you don’t take your chances this is what happens. The fact is, so eloquently put by our Brighton Manc is ….THIS ARSENAL SIDE ARE FUCKING GOOD

    and through all the shit that is what I chose to take from the game.

    We are fucking good and it will come right.

  • DMF

    Commentators on the feed I watched kept going on about how Arsenal was the better team. I feel if I was a manc fan that victory would have been like a drowning man being pulled out as he loses consciousness.

    I’m concerned about Cazorla and Ramsey. I personally feel Ramsey is intimidated by Sanchez and Rosicky would be a better option than our tiny beloved Spaniard.

    Not concerned about our offense at all, once Walcott is playing we’ll tear it up.

    Don’t care about the reffing, if the team can’t brush off bad calls then don’t play in the EPL. We need a psychological backbone on that pitch. Maybe Giroud returning will help?

  • jerry


    I disagree, because some of the questions are ridiculous today and yesterday after the game.

    For instance, some people questioned Wenger’s tactical knowledge after this game. Tactics before a match, set up your team to be in the best position to win the match. Anyone that saw the 1st half, would agree Arsenal was in the best position to win and creating all the chances. Arsenal players were in positions to blow this game wide open, but poor decision making in the final third cost us.

    Arsenal vs United
    23 shots (9 on goal) vs 12 shots (2 on goal) for United
    61% possession vs 39%
    11 corners vs 5

    What about in game tactics? Those watching the game and at the stadium, would have seen that Giroud was already warming up before Jack’s injury! Jack got injured (by a wreckless tackle that was not carded), and forced sub number 1 bringing on Cazorla. Szczesny injured (due to another foul not called- Fellaini pushing Gibbs into him), forced sub number 2. When Wenger was able to make a tactical sub (Giroud), he delivered.

  • jerry

    The real question should be, Why does it seem that almost every important ref decision incorrectly goes against Arsenal in these big games?

  • TommieGun

    @ Jambug – I KNOW MAN !

    This is why I’m so furious. This has to be, by far, one of the best Arsenal squads since the mid 2000s.

    We had a great squad last year, and then we added Sanchez who is amazing. So what’s up with that?

    Yes, injuries are a huge problem at the back but the abundance of talent we have, and more than that – the fact that those exact players played very good football last season, in comparison to THIS – is beyond me.

    Our questionable results this year are not down to the, what the shitheads in the media like to call “Arsenal defensive frailties”. I’m sorry but I’m not buying that. Most of the goals we concede are not specific mistakes made by the defense, but rather, like others pointed out, some collective decision to play in a certain way: not to close down, to commit a lot of men forward (even when we lead comfortably), to put ourselves into tight situations, etc.

    Ugh I just wish something would turn this around – the problem is that no one knows what it is, and how to solve this.

  • dan


    Yes there have been some very poor decisions against us, but, the some of problems have never been addressed by the staff.

  • JohnShaft

    TommieGun, Have you all forgotten the past 8 years, or even how many times we were humiliated last season alone? The problem is that we are seeing the same mental weaknesses since the 2007/8 collapse, the Carling Cup debacle, the annual collapse and scramble for 4th, the annual exit from the CL in the first knockout- same repetitive mistakes. One loss turns into a full blown breakdown. The team is nervous and lost. No confidence, no direction, no leadership on the pitch or from the sideline.

  • omgarsenal

    Aside from the usual suspects who show up ONLY and UNIQUELY when the Arsenal have a bad game, the majority of the questions have been reasonable and seem to correspond to reality.
    To those who show their gloomy faces once a month (when we drop points) and question Arsene’s right to live, then please stay away until we win our next game and then come back and criticise….you,ll be laughed off of this site, as you deserve to be!
    I watched the entire game on cable TV and turned the sound off, so as not be to be influenced by the morons commentating. The end result was a very definite conviction about the following:

    1)AFC attack lacks a killer instinct and most definitely the ability to finish clear chances (a la Henry and Bergkamp)…..this is due, imho to a weak chemistry between our current attackers which can be explained by their few chances to actually play together over a long period.

    2)Our defenders suffer from the constant rotation and lack of stable defensive partners. this leads to naive errors as Wenger often says.

    3)The team as a whole does NOT lack courage or effort BUT is definitely discouraged and a bit shoprt on confidence at the moment. Who can blame them?

    4)Key officiating decisions (or indecision) is always there and will remain so until the endof the season.

    5)Injuries have taken a very heavy toll on the chemistry, confidence and fluidity of our team. As well some essential players like Cazorla,Ramsey, the BFG and Welbeck are not seeing success despite their excellent efforts and desire.

    6)Walter is 100% right when he says that a key win will restart the motor of our Ferrari team. we are running on 5 cylinders and need that 6th to kick in to really achieve this season.

    7) To the ignoramuses and idiots who pretend that the season is over for the Arsenal and that Wenger has ¨given up¨ on winning anything, more’s the pity as come May, you’ll once again be forced to crawl back into your gloomy,pessimistic quagmire of anti-Arsene/Arsenal vitriol!

    For anyone intelligent enough to follow Adrian Clarke on, his superb and insightful analysis of every game will once again highlight the truth and the hard facts about what Arsenal and its players are actually doing…..I suggest EVERY whiner listen to his breakdown of the tactics, key moments etc. so they can actually understand what occurred. He criticizes those who deserve it and praises those who did well….heis is an unbiased and agenda-free evaluation of the football issues based on his brilliant and perceptive knowledge of the game and of the referees as well.

  • TommieGun

    @ JohnShaft – no I completly disagree.

    Let’s start with “Over the past 8 years” – the past 8 years cannot be referred to as a single time block. Out of those 8 years, we had 6 years of very difficult financial problems which in practice made it very difficult for us to compete at the very top level. We lost very good players, every year, usually our best players – sometimes to our direct rivals. Was it smart? Was I happy at the time? Did I think that ultra zillioners like Mr. Kroenke should put their hands in their pockets? Hell yeah. I don’t mind spending, I don’t bask in the moral high ground of “oh I’m not spending” but that’s that, we fought with what we had. We had a stadium debt to pay back, we had very meagre sponsorship deals and we lived within our very modest means.

    And actually even in those 6 years, we were never playing “upside down” football. The worst you could have said about Arsenal was that the team was playing a brand of football which was too intricate and too aesthetic, which maybe sacrificed some effectivness. It was the no. 1 neutral team to watch, backed up by superb football most of the times. True, there were glitches in form but they were usually attributable to fatigue and, sadly recalling, not paying lower teams due respect.

    Mind you – in those past 6 years (which would mean 2006-2012) we had very good results against top sides. We usually had those WBA or Stoke matches that we somehow lost, coupled with a few other not so good results, and away defeats at the other big clubs (which is totally understandable).

    Ok, having put the “8 years” bullshit away, let’s talk about the last 2 years.

    Last year we were the best team in the country until very bad injuries to key players, namely Ramsey and Ozil, occured. Also the fact the Walcott got injured after 5 matches didn’t help one bit. But by far it was a very good Arsenal side, playing superb collective football, keeping lots of clean sheets, and scoring mind blowing goals.

    The alleged “humiliations” (and they were not humiliations at all) are only 2 matches – Chelsea and Liverpool away. Man City away (6-3) was a complete muggery by the ref, should have ended 5-5. And Liverpool and Chelsea – well, we tried to be super offensive and got hit by very good teams, on form, which had their lucky boots on.

    All in all, those matches did not define our season, since a result is a result – 0, 1 or 3 points.

    And now I’m coming back to this season. This is the only and first time I agree that the team lacks direction. It’s the first time, that even when we play relatively well (and for me we did not have a single GREAT game this season- we had a few good ones, but I always thought we can do much better) – the football is not beautiful. When I talk to friends who are not Arsenal supporters, that’s the first thing they say – we don’t care about you guys winning, we were watching you because you were the best show in town. Not anymore. This is, for me, a big indication that the direction is lost, because we are not even staying faithful to Wenger’s “make it an art” philosophy.

  • JohnShaft

    I think Daniel Storey from F365 put it very well when he said about Arsenal

    “Against a Manchester United side reduced to its relative bare bones, Arsene Wenger’s side were offered a gift, a chance to overcome an old foe and reignite their top four bid. They spectacularly failed to do so. This is a manager and club showing an almost unprecedented amount of ineptitude, falling spectacularly short of potential.

    Show promise. Offer hope. Fail to take advantage. Allow opponents back in. Concede an avoidable goal. Overcommit and get picked off. Offer a final glimmer of hope but ultimately fall short. Arsenal in excelsis.

    So how long do Arsenal keep rolling a dice loaded with failure? How long do you have confidence that Wenger is the right manager to do it again simply because he has done it before? This is now Arsenal’s worst start to a league campaign in 32 years. I’ll level with you: I’ve lost any faith.

  • Kirman

    The first United goal was the consequence of a lack of basic communication between the keeper and his defender, which is the stuff of Sunday League. The second was sadly familiar, caught on the break and outnumbered as they pressed forward in gung ho Gunners style, even though there was plenty of time left due to the extended injury breaks that saw Wilshere and Szczesny removed. It was like watching a house of cards.Giroud’s consolation goal quelled some of the resistance, but the feeling is that it is growing now. The majority of the fans – even at the stadium – want change. Witness the mass evacuation after the second United goal. People were voting with their feet rather than having any hope in a recovery for a Wenger team. Most do not want to make a negative noise inside the stadium when they want to back the team during the match. However, how many more such defeats will people take?

  • Pete


    I am happy to take many more defeats as long as I am confident we are heading in the right direction. And I am. In football, the best team doesn’t always win. All teams have good and bad periods.

    Just focus on the long term development.

  • jerry


    Most articles written by the media usually have an agenda against Arsenal for whatever reason. And looking at the transfers that Wenger gets every year, points to that article being BS.

    Alexis from Barcelona(Chile International)
    Debuchy – French International (upgrade over former rb)
    Ospina – Costa Rican internation (to be a backup!)
    Welbeck & Chambers – England Internationals

    2013 – Ozil (German International)

    2012 – Podolski (German), Giroud (French), Cazorla (Spain)

    And I can keep on going. He continues to get top players every year. Hell even Fabregas wanted to come back here first.

    If the players legs weren’t allowed to get the heck kicked out of them every game, we would have had a few more trophies in those barren years. Eduardo when we’re leading, Ozil and Ramsey last year, along with Walcott, Podolski, and the Ox out for extended times. Our players do not get the same protection from these horrible tackles as other clubs do.

  • jerry


    You’re right lack of communication between Gibbs and Szczesny, that’s why Fellaini decided to help bring them together

    Look at the 11 min mark.

    But no Fellaini, wouldn’t dare foul one of our defenders, he’s not that type of player (sarcasm).

    That’s two fouls within 5 minutes injuring our players.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ezek said: “Walter, you don’t see anything that Wenger did wrong? when did he bring in Giroud? 85 minutes, how long did it takes before he scored? A manager that cannot make changes when its required to kill game, Had he bring him in earlier we would at least go home with a point. But just as you have not seen Wenger doing anything wrong, we will keep analyzing our failures for God knows how long.”

    Sure Ezek but we do in facts. And the facts tell us that Wenger brought Giroud in minute 76. So your comment is wrong (or you are lying).

    In fact with the extra time Giroud played for some 24 minutes. A player that wasn’t supposed to be fit for another 5 weeks. So you think that Wenger should have taken a risk with him? Why not start him from the start? And if he got injured again you could say how stupid Wenger was for starting a player that has been out so long.

  • WalterBroeckx

    no no that is Wenger his fault. Gibbs ran in to the arms of Fellaini who was just trying to protect himself from being assaulted by the back of Gibbs. Wenger should have told him to not do this.
    Nah, see I can blame Wenger.

  • soglorious

    To those calling for Wenger’s head because of this match, I ask you this: did your parents called for the head of your teachers/tutors when you failed that examination, tests or interview? Unless you want to tell me you haven’t fail in life before.

  • Jerry

    Lol you’re right, I never thought of it like that. Maybe Fellaini and the ref mistook him for Oxlade-Chamberlain again, and thought he was a teenage mutant ninja turtle after watching the rainbow laces campaign. Wenger has to teach the twins to hide their shells.

    Sounds about as reasonable as some of the posts on here

  • Jerry

    Posts on the comment section that is

  • bob

    While it may or may not be, I cannot see an actual hands on push by Fellaini using the link you provide.
    It seems like he’s caused Gibbs to fall as he moves a bit away from Gibbs; but there’s no actual visible push in that view.
    Maybe you or someone can provide a clear-cut push, so all have a better basis for factoring that in.

    Walter, perhaps you or someone can give us a link to view the push from the other side as you suggest.

  • TommieGun

    I don’t get it how people even dispute that:

    (a) Fellaini was offside [yes it was marginal but still offside]
    (b) Fellaini pushed Gibbs with 2 hands.

    Who cares? At that point we should have been 4-0 up. That’s one. Second, if you want to talk about the biggest ref mistake in the match then I am sorry but in my opinion calling OFFISDE on Rooney’s run, who was about 3 meters ONSIDE, was a much bigger mistake. He would have been free on goal, in a 1 on 1 situation and yes we know that he can finish those things off, don’t we.

  • François

    Sometimes I think I’m not watching the same game as yours guys.
    I thought our defense was premium (the second goal was due to our will to attack, I don’t see any mistake in that).
    Our attack was good except for the finish that was poor, true enough (De Gea man of the match 😉
    The referee did a good job in my opinion. I would raise the concern of the linesmen. Both of them missed or wrongly called too many offsides to my taste. They were poor but not biased.
    It was an entertaining match for me, disappointed of course, but not sure I would prefer to be in the shoes of United right now, they have a lot more work to do than us.

    I feel the whole game came down to a damn lucky off target strike. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Come on you gunners for Dortmund!

  • proudkev

    That really hurt. Completely unjust and the best team somehow lost.

    But don’t expect to read that or hear one of the haters agree.

    So was the defeat Wengers fault or were others responsible?

    1. We had 65% of the game and created 22 chances to their 11.
    2.We had 5 times as many shots on target, they had just 2.
    3.Rooney had less touches of the ball then De Gea
    4.De Gea was Man of the Match.

    Does this prove Wenger got the tactics wrong?

    Let us also add the following:

    Fellaini pushed Gibbs in the back forcing him to collide with Szcesney. This the pundits agreed was a foul and changed the game.
    Wilshere missed teh easiest chance he will ever get, one on one with the goal gaping.

    Neither of the above are Wengers fault.

    If we had won 5-0 Man Utd could not have complained. Had Wilshere scored we would have run riot.

    I am gutted we lost but my guttedness (I know) has lead to real anger at the way the media and the small army of Wan++ers we have claiming to be supporters, are reacting.

    I will blame Wenger for lots of things but I am blaming the players and lady luck for Saturdays defeat – Wenger is blameless. The fact we had 22 attempts (our most all season) with 9 on target, while they had just 2 proves my point. Wilshere is more to blame then Wenger, a professional International should not be missing those sitters.

    Gutted and hurt.

  • apo Armani

    Tony thanks for this – yet another logical/balanced article.

    I will not try to analyze anymore than what already been analyzed here about our performance.

    I will however say that, like many of us, I was deeply disappointed not only because we didn’t romp home with the 3 points but because we came away with zero even though we were clearly the better side!!

    On the issue of whether Wilshere should have seen red for his action on Fellaini; It seemed to me that actually Fellaini first attempted to head but Wilshere but due to his hight difference – Fellaini went over the top of Wilshere’s head!!!

    For my the crazy thing going on amongst Arsenal fans (so split at the moment, is unprecedented in the history of this great club) – and its a serious and worrying situation!! To see so many leaving early was a disgrace!!!!

  • apo Armani

    As for the so called media and its ‘journalists’…THEY MAKE ME SICK!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Us not scoring is no excuse for the ref to screw us.
    Nah, I said it. He screwed us.

    Evidence will follow.

  • Yassin

    Thanks walter u said it. Finally, that is what I wanted to say, a game is played on 90min, we could have scored the winner when we were pressing had their goal been called a foul.

    I can accept its an honest mistake from assistant not to flag offside. But the push was so obvious I call it cheating.