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Time for Arsenal to spring back to life

By Walter Broeckx

Form is temporary, class is permanent. I think we all have seen these words being used about football teams. And it seems that these words are truer than ever.

It is clear to see that for the moment the form isn’t there with far too many players. There is with many players a lack of confidence for the moment. Each ball that goes to them gets lost or they just can’t make a good pass to a teammate. When trying to dribble past a man they lose out.

If this happens to one man in the team it probably isn’t a real problem. But for the moment this is happening to more than one player and then you have a problem.

I noticed during the Manchester United match that the longer the match went on the more players tried to hide themselves from getting the ball. As if they knew that if they would get the ball they would lose it. The result then is that the defenders have no passing option and usually end up with just hoofing the ball up field and hope for the best. And then it usually goes completely wrong.

Usually in such situations you also run out of luck. Bouncing balls in our penalty area fall the wrong way and bouncing balls in the oppositions penalty area fall kindly for defenders. I think both are linked of course. Because if you are in form you will be quicker on the ball and more alert than when you are completely out of form. Compare to the third United goal where a shot that Cech was already collecting in his arms in his head took a bad deflection of Koscielny and ended up in the middle of the goal while Cech was flying to the left side of his goal.

This is how things go when you are out of form. Not that I blame Cech or Kos for this 3rd goal but this is just how things go for the moment. The first goal also was more of our own making with Gabriel completely missing his clearance. On any other day the ball could have ended up for an Arsenal player but not this time.

Even the referee decisions are not going our way. It seems that stopping Arsenal attacks with arms are allowed these days. Kante from Leicester got away with one, Bruce from Hull and now Rashford for United. The images I have seen show that he stopped the ball with his arm/hand and that he made a movement towards the ball. Stopping a ball on the goal line with your arm is a penalty offence and one that should be punished with a red card. Now whether the ref saw it, or couldn’t see it is something we will leave for the review but it is the third consecutive match in English competitions that we didn’t get the penalty we should have had and in the end it gets a bit strange of course.

Would the penalty and sending if it had been given changed the match? I’m rather sure it would have. But once again we didn’t get the luck with the referee decision on this occasion. Not that he did too bad for the rest at first sight but well… getting the key decisions wrong time and time again and always against Arsenal is something we already accept as normal these days. We don’t even feel the need to highlight it any more and those who do get abuse. As if some accept that there seem to be different rules for both teams.

The fact is that when you are out of form you sometimes need that little bit of luck (a good referee decision is not being lucky but getting what you should get) to turn things around. But we don’t get that bit of luck for the moment.

When we were picking up points before the injuries of Alexis, Coquelin and Cazorla without too many problems things looked good. The injuries hampered us a bit but the backup players did a rather good job for a few weeks and we managed to keep in touch with the other teams at the top.

So we all expected that when the injured would return we would start firing on all cylinders. Alas we are not playing football manager. No we are dealing with human beings made of flesh and blood. And it looks that despite Alexis and Coquelin being physically fit they mentally are not back to their former level.

Before the match our TV station showed a little part of an interview in which Alexis said that because of him trying too hard too soon he got a few relapses and after that the fear of another injury got stuck in the back of his head a bit. This might explain the way he is struggling with himself during the last matches. Is he feeling something in his leg or is he thinking he is feeling something and as a result is not the player he was before?

The most frustrating part is that we know this team and these players can do better. You don’t be the best team in 2015 if you are not good enough. This team is exactly the same team that won most points in 2015. And now they seem to struggle a bit. A bad patch of form on a moment we could do without it.

But as frustrating as it might be for the moment, the thing is that this team is good enough and has the capacity to become better again. But form is not something you can buy at the shelves in the supermarket. It is something that comes and go like the seasons. And with March 1st being the start of the spring for meteorologists we just have to hope that our players will regain form with the new season. Because after each winter we know a new spring will come. So also will after each time players lose form, they will get it back.  Let’s hope they find it back real soon.
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You might also enjoy:  Just how does Mr Wenger’2 20 years compare with the 20 years before him?

The Untold Books

The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with a Foreword by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.   Details of this and our previous and forthcoming titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.

From the History Society

Arsenal in the 70s part 22. July to Dec 1978. Surviving without Macdonald.

Anniversaries

  • 29 February 1904: Arsenal 4 Burnley 0.  Tommy Shanks scored a hat trick.  It was the second match of a five game winning run in the league.  The result left Arsenal in second position, five points behind Preston but with a better goal average and two games in hand.
  • 29 February 1924: James Ramsay joined Arsenal from Kilmarnock with whom he had won the Scottish Cup.  His fee was certainly over £1000 – another example of how Knighton’s memoirs misled the public as to the restrictions placed on him by Henry Norris.   Ramsa played 75 times and scored 11 goals.

48 comments to Time for Arsenal to spring back to life

  • finsbury

    Hey all this complaining about the pigMOB is unseemly when people want to self lacerate or be trolled, don’t you know?

    I mean we’ve seen stand up officials send off Arsenal players in identical incidences to the one you outline, the handball off the line. Save when the official couldn’t see what happened with the AFC player dos he do the right thing and ignore the call or did he just pick a random AFC player and send them off whilst awarding a pelanty? I believe the readers will know what the answer is here.

    PgMOB Rules Football: One thing it ain’t is a surprise no matter how original a script they come up with each season.

  • eedris

    I read your column alot buti dont use to comments,but today if I don’t I will not forgive myself.United beat Arsenal so what is dat d end of the world.why are people calling Ian Wright or therry Henry legends if they can not defend the team they claimed they love.The league is not finish yet.even if it finish without Arsenal winning it so be it.good writeup Walter

  • Nicky

    In most things in life, if you are going through a poor performance phase, your percentage of good fortune drops dramatically.
    Hence two deflected goals yesterday which Cech probably had covered.
    Arsenal will recover. The players are each too talented to become no-hopers overnight.
    The only problem is WHEN?
    If it is soon, there is time to recover and re-engage our surge to the title.
    Our defence will tighten up, Sanchez will regain form and Welbeck, Giroud and Walcott will find the back of the net a welcoming sight.
    If we DON’T recover in time, a top 4 place and/or the FA Cup are our minimum targets. And then there will be great pressure on Arsene to spend, spend, spend in the Summer Transfer Window.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter, as you say too many players out of form at the same time. Maybe we need to refresh our coaching staff to bring a fresh impetus to things. Note I said coaching staff not managerial staff!

    For players hiding on the pitch, they really shouldn’t be there. Sessions with a sports psychologist I guess before they start again. That should be more productive than pointed part of shoe to soft part of anatomy.

    For frustrated supporters a long walk in a quiet place. I’m currently on Bournemouth sea front. Cold but sunny and certainly relaxing.

    We never really expected to beat Barca or United anyway. To stand a chance of the league we need 30 points from the available 33. Let’s start with three on Wednesday night and take it one game at a time from then.

    COYG

  • Dejan View

    as much as I admire your optimism and attempt to argue that we have yet to benefit from the visual acuity of officials, as well as favourable bounces of the ball, the fact is that the team has been consistently average since after the Man City game in December, and even then, for only 70 minutes of that game. The players with a few exceptions, just don’t seem to have it in themselves to rouse themselves and take the fight to the opposition, Barcelona and European-style tactics (soak up pressure and counter-attack with pace) notwithstanding. At the moment, it’s hard to think of any of the first eleven demonstrating any pride, courage, and single-mindedness to put teams to the sword and collect the three points. The manager, as much as I love him, continues to spout the weary nonsense consisting of possession stats, mental toughness etc yet is too myopic to acknowledge his own culpability in the tactical deficiencies evident in his teams; e.g. Sanchez is clearly not match-sharp, Walcott continues to offer nothing as a central striker bar a few games earlier in the season, yet it’s clear that his effectiveness is enhanced if he is coming inside off the wing. Yesterday’s game struggles to offer one example of Walcott running on to a through ball which presumably was why he was there to threaten a makeshift central defence. We have regressed over the course of this season and it isn’t clear which of the players is going to step up to drag the team back in to title contention.

  • Tasos

    We are still in the title race, very much so. But we cannot afford performances like the one yesterday.

    Things change quickly in the title race, this is no time to throw in the towel.

    Swansea on Wednesday is all that matters right now.

  • dan

    For those interested, at work several Arsenal supporters are actually contemplating to put an online petition to get Walcott out.

    Clever!!!!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Theo is too nice, he needs to find some aggression.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Certainly is time, but just get the feeling this slump is a bit more deep seated and complex…and partly down to players not currently available, may take a bit of time, which will not go down well as it coincides with some difficult fixtures in what was hopefully a title challenge.
    I am certain things will pick up, but need the crowd onside this week, the quicker they get over this, the better.
    Andrew, if he really can no longer play at this level, would love to see Arteta offered a coaching position…keep him out of Citys reported clutches. The man has a serious football brain, great pedigree and works well with players. He has the makings of a future manager should he so desire

  • joncas

    Really good analysis of the situation. My main concern is the olayers hiding. The players who are taking responsabilities are taking a lot of insuls from the supporters. Giroud and ramsey have played really this year but too many times the others are not following and they simply dont have any options. Many times ramsey had the ball and there were no runs, no one asking. I am glad that he is so strong mentally.

  • Usama Zaka

    When the team gives a bad performance the only thing as a supporter I believe we can do is hope that the team recovers, wakes up, play better and win the next games.

    Living in the age of social media, people who are shouting abuse on the players’ and the club’s twitter, facebook and instagram accounts should know that swearing, cursing, and badmouthing them will only bring their confidence down, and it never does anything good.

    Instead they should utilize such platform to write positive things even if its a slight criticism. They should make the players feel that we fans are with them and want them to win this title.

    Even a slight message like “We can do this! Come on we are with you!”
    “Stay focused, the team can with the league”

    Nearly every player reads what they being are messaged. So please lets hope we play good and win the league.

  • Col

    At the moment they are playing like less than the sum of their parts. I am no expert, but I believe it comes down to a lack of leadership on the pitch. The talent is there, and some of them are mentally strong, but when the going gets tough they don’t have players to drive on their team mates and get an extra 10% from them. I feel like Wenger has to try to psych them up collectively before every game and in every half time, and if it goes wrong on the pitch then they don’t have enough between them to drag themselves back into it.

  • Usama Zaka

    There is a saying in urdu, “Umeed pe duniya kayam hai” The direct translation is “Hope is the foundation of the world”

    I think the English version is “Hope sustains life”

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I believe our lost to Man Utd yesterday at Old Traford was as a result of 1. Wrong starts by the Boss for the match. And 2. The refusal to score goals for us by Olivier Giroud.

    Did I say wrong starts by the Boss? Yes, his starts for the Man U game was not the best Gunners starts he started who would have beaten Man Utd hands down with all inadequacies taken care of.

    I hereby reproduce my own Gunners starts & bench that I posted on Justarsenal.com website on the Friday comments posting on a topical Man U vs Arsenal match preview article posting by the website.
    My starts:
    Cech.
    BellerinRhino’KoscielnyMonreal.
    CoquelinElneny.
    WalcottOzilSanchez.
    Welbeck.
    My bench:
    OspinaChambersGibbsGiroudRamseyFlaminiCampbell.
    Big game big starts big bench.

    I don’t know if there was any issue with any of my starts & bench which made the Boss to start Walcott as the striker and Welbeck at mid-right wing. And also start De Aberu as a CHB which came to me as a surprise because I think he hasn’t overcome his hamstring injury. And even if he had, he should be a Hull City Cup game replay starter and not a big or tough game starter yet.

    And 2. I have noticed that Giroud is intentionally refusing to score for Arsenal as he has appeared to still continue with his show of anger & resentment for his wrongful substitution by the Boss against popular opinion of the watching AFC fans at the Ems in our big game against Chelsea. A confirmation of his treason was evident at Old Traford yesterday as he pretended to be passing the ball to a yonrushing mid-right Gunner, but eventually passed the ball to empty space to his right in front of goal, instead of him to size up de Gea as he was well placed in front of him.
    I will continue tomorrow please. I am tired of typing now.
    Thanks.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I believe our lost to Man Utd yesterday at Old Traford was as a result of 1. Wrong starts by the Boss for the match. And 2. The refusal to score goals for us by Olivier Giroud.

    Did I say wrong starts by the Boss? Yes, his starts for the Man U game was not the best Gunners starts he started who would have beaten Man Utd hands down with all inadequacies taken care of.

    I hereby reproduce my own Gunners starts & bench that I posted on Justarsenal.com website on the Friday comments posting on a topical Man U vs Arsenal match preview article posting by the website.
    My starts:
    Cech.
    BellerinRhino’KoscielnyMonreal.
    CoquelinElneny.
    WalcottOzilSanchez.
    Welbeck.
    My bench:
    OspinaChambersGibbsGiroudRamseyFlaminiCampbell.
    Big game big starts big bench.

    I don’t know if there was any issue with any of my starts & bench which made the Boss to start Walcott as the striker and Welbeck at mid-right wing. And also start De Aberu as a CHB which came to me as a surprise because I think he hasn’t overcome his hamstring injury. And even if he had, he should be a Hull City Cup game replay starter and not a big or tough BPL game starter yet.

    And 2. I have noticed that Giroud is intentionally refusing to score for Arsenal as he has appeared to still continue with his show of anger & resentment for his wrongful substitution by the Boss against popular opinion of the watching AFC fans at the Ems in our big game against Chelsea. A confirmation of his treason was evident at Old Traford yesterday as he pretended to be passing the ball to a onrushing mid-right Gunner, but eventually passed the ball to empty space to his right in front of goal, instead of him to size up de Gea as he was well placed in front of him.
    I will continue tomorrow please. I am tired of typing now.
    Thanks.

  • Zedsaunt

    Twentyfour hours later these thoughts coalesced –

    Seventy minutes of deep concentration, intense effort, against the best team on the planet, Barcelona, had consequence. ManU had beaten MidtJylland. There is a vast world of difference between MidtJylland and Barcelona.

    The lads were exhausted. The ball moved so slowly from the back every pass was telescoped and covered.

    Ozil produced two moments of joy – the free kick, his leap into the ball to slam it into the net. Twice Welbeck has had a free kick of perfection, twice he has delivered.

    It seems to me – what do I know? – each realm of football is distinctly different. The EPL is not the Champions League. The Champions League is not the international arena. Arsenal are caught between the EPL and the Champions League.

    The wit, the sensibility, those moments of slamming the table in exultation at the quality of the skill, this is not flowing. It returns.

  • Mandy Dodd

    If they have lost confidence and are hiding, Wenger could do worse than shore the team up a bit to make things a bit more stable.
    Might go against his every instinct, but would be tempted to play Elneny or Chambers alongside Coq, as at the moment, Coq and Ramsey really do not seem to be working. Elneny can do box to box, but seems a bit more defensive minded than Ramsey and may result in Coq…and the defence being less exposed.
    This would mean Ramsey could be moved into more of an attacking position, this stability would mean he could shift things around a bit with the central defenders, hopefully without catastrophic results.
    Sometimes, pragmatism should rule over principles…it seems to work for others.

  • omgarsenal

    It was just one game,of 11 remaining games. It hurts to lose so brazenly but that’s Football. The hyperbole surrounding this defeat and the sheer joy the media, the aaa and our adversaries are displaying is simply tribal and mocking….BUT the real issues with AFC are;

    1)Improving our defensive performances,especially between the DM’s and the CM’s,

    2)Finding our scoring boots again, especially Walcott,Sanchez and Ramsey,

    3)Increasing our shooting deadliness when in the box,

    4)Rebuilding our overall confidence in each other and in Wenger….afterall he’s been here before and performed miracles,

    5)Getting the vast majority who are true supporters and Gooners, to stand behind the team and cheer them on. The fickle plastic fanboy aaa’s will be drowned out easily by this cheering crowd.

  • Tim Charlesworth

    Well done Walter. Nice to see a bit of common sense. The Goonersphere is full of doom, gloom, recrimination and defeatism today. Even my second favourite Arsenal site, Arseblog, was jumping on the bandwaggon. On days like this we need, we need Untold more than ever. It was a bad day yesterday. It was disappointing, and some of our players seem to be out of form. But the season is not over. Our team needs supporting, and things may still turn out well. COYG

  • Josif

    We need Cech and Per to rally the troops, Alexis to pick himself up, Arsene to restore Campbell in the place of Theo and Aaron to recall what has brought him to the status of the best B2B in the league.

    Usually it was Tommy R. who would turn up at this time of the year, kick Spuds in the groin and bring us to the CL zone. Sadly, we can’t count on Little Mozart now. 🙁

    Oh, one slight digression:

    I watched the movie Elite Killer, apparently based on a true story. There was a secret group of former SAS operatives called Feathermen. They called themselves that way because their touch while doing stuff from the shadow was as light as a feather.

    PGMO = Feathermen.

  • Dejan

    You said, “The manager, as much as I love him, continues to spout the weary nonsense consisting of possession stats, mental toughness etc”

    I am not sure what you see the alternative as being, but if it is to come out and criticise the players as Mourninho did there is no certainty that this would do anything but make matters far worse.

  • thierryhenry22

    Thanks Walt, and thanks to all the above people who’ve commented. It really adds some perspective on the situation and i’m sure our run of wins starts against Swansea this week.

    On the game, I believe that Mertesacker shouldn’t have been dropped, a mistake from the manager but he is human- let’s have Mertesacker back asap. And also that the Barcelona game was exhausting compared to playing Midgetland midweek.

    We’ll have to really pick ourselves up for Swansea and beyond but stranger things have happened! COYG

  • jake

    ahhh an opportunity to use an old wenger quote ” i never saw it”)

    thats because i listened to the match and for once couldn’t be bothered watching the highlights , I spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening losing at cards to my fiancee ok ok it would have been more enjoyable if i had won at cards.

    but sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and as luck goes you stop taking risks/trying tricks you might take if lady luck is shining on you

  • para

    We all know the power of the team and what they can do.
    I do not really subscribe to “having a bad day” but our “bad days” are really bad, just like our good days are really good. We seem to pendel from one extreme to the other.

    I have said many times that we lack a “second option” and stick by that, this is why so many teams have been able to beat us recently.

    The fact though that this season, looks to be a repeat of the last 3 seasons. For some reason we just do not have the spark anymore, the spark that propels us through a bad game, the ruthlessnes we should have, that is being merciless with other teams.

    In the Barca game, we were keeping them at bay by working as a team. As soon as the goal went in, we reverted to running all around the pitch without a system to be seen, much like headless chickens when the fox is seen. Then it was easier for Barca to score again.

    These are the little things that annoy me because they have not been worked on to eliminate them from our game.

    We keep repeating the same mistakes over and over without working to eliminate them.

    Another thing i noticed, is that we are mostly afraid of tackling and after the many injuries is understandable) but we will have to conquer this soon.

  • Milan

    Nice write up. Glad to see a sense of balance. I noticed merse and parlour have joined the wenger out bandwagon.

    This is causing all sorts of problems with the fans and turning their heads. Really hope the boys can turn it around, need to win both games now.

  • Dejan View

    @ Walter, no, I’m not suggesting that Arsene descends to the petty self-serving egotistical reverse psychology that happily backfired for the odious mourinho; my point was more that it’s evident that a good portion of the first eleven just don’t seem to offer up any evidence that they do possess the huevos to chase down Leicester and now, the poxy spuds. Arsene is the manager but it just seems a stretch too far to see how motivates the players to play like they give the damn that so many supporters do.

  • Mick

    Milan
    Merson is a Chelsea fan and rarely has a good word to say about the club, he has been rubbishing Arsenal for years and his dislike of Wenger goes way back.
    Parlour works for the worst anti Arsenal media outlet going in Talksport and whilst he doesn’t openly dis the club he doesn’t stick up for them either against the likes of Durham, Brazil, Jacobs etc etc.
    Both are traitors as far as I am concerned.

  • Milan

    We have simply never recovered from Cazorla’s injury and although confidence took us through the initial period of his absence it feels like the performances have been on a downward spiral since then. I keep reading stats telling me how effective Ramsey continues to be but I prefer the evidence of my own eyes to what statisticians tell me and it looks to me like Ramsey is wholly ineffectual in that central midfield role even though it is his preferred position. I thought it was playing with Flamini that was the problem but it’s not. He simply does not have the craft to play the role we need him to play in that position vacated by Cazorla. Where he should score well over Cazorla is his energy and runs into the box but his energy seems to have disappeared. He looks leggy as hell and he doesn’t begin to look like scoring at the moment. He is a shadow of the player we know he can be.

  • John

    Ah
    I see now its time to blame the players.Why is the manager not to blame ??He was here last year and the year before and the year before etc.etc.
    Im a little curious as to who buys the players??
    Who coaches the players???
    Who picks the players???
    Who sets the tactics for the players???
    Who motivates the players???
    Who substitutes the players???
    SHOULD HE NOT TAKE THE BLAME ??????????????????
    Why can everyone on here not see what the rest of the world can ??Even our greats from the past ,some still staunch Arsenal fans can see it so why cant the blind few on here not see what is staring them in the face?
    Is it because you are frightened of the future without your god?
    Do you not think anyone else can finish top 4 with this squad ??
    Until you can see you will be happy with mediocrity and have no ambition to win just like Wenger!!

  • Milan

    In my humble opinion we can afford to drop no more than three points hereon in (and even that would require Leicester to lose three games when they have lost that many only all season so far and Spurs to lose to us and drop four more points elsewhere). A week ago I would have taken a draw at White Hart Lane next week. That is no longer good enough. Only three points will do. Fail there and the game will be up for another season and Wenger will be a defeat at Hull away from being asked by many to fall on his sword, and even another Cup win might not save him from the anger of those who feel that this should have been our season and that he must pay the price for his team’s failure to seize the moment.

  • Pat

    Good to remind us, Walter, that we were the best team in 2015. Same players. We’ll be back. Thanks to all for a truly heartening discussion.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Milan, dissenting voices can ask all they want, but Wenger sees out contracts, and unless there are things we do not know about, he will see out this one. And the board are not going to sack him on any foreseeable outcomes this season, that would include not winning the league and or cup. Should he finish out of the top four, he may have to answer questions, maybe difficult questions, but he would not be sacked for a one in twenty year event.
    That’s just the way it is, rightly or wrongly depending on your viewpoint. Acting in haste is not Arsenals style, and though, at this moment, things could be a bit better, this model has generally served the club well.
    We have been poor since the City game, nobody can deny that. There do seem to be repeated flaws ….and we continue to lose key players which are sometimes difficult to cover, but Arsenal are not unique in that.
    So the dissenting voices are wasting their time, howling in the wind. If , like some of the pundits wheeled out, they hate or have personal grudges against the club…or manager who ended their careers at AFC, they may as well go elsewhere for their own peace of mind,they are not going to change anything. The WOB love the quote falsely attributed to Einstein, the definition of insanity…..maybe they need to start applying that to themselves, they are going round in circles, getting themselves all fraught, all for absolutely nothing. They are creating their own personal Groundhog Day, no wonder they seem to mention that film all the time.

  • Nicky

    I wonder how many UK teams and their supporters would swap places with Arsenal FC…not playing well but good enough to be lying third in the toughest league in football, still in the 5th round of the FA Cup and grimly holding on to the KO stage of the CL. 😉

  • Kamiel

    It is an amazing thing to be challenging for the title with a squad full of talented players. But it does beg the question as to why so many of them are so woefully off form. You would think that the prospect of Spurs winning the damn thing would be motivation enough for most of these lads. I’ve already made my peace with whatever may come and to be fair, it was only a matter of time. I remain a fervent supporter and I won’t be sucked in to this ridiculous, short-terminist, media-motivated notion that this is Arsenal’s best and only chance at winning the league ever. Seriously? What were Leicester’s odds?

    On the other hand, every single team below Leicester City should be kicking themselves this season. The media will inevitably poke fun at Arsenal’s faltering challenge and gloss over the MASSIVE failures of their darlings Chelsea, City and United, but Leicester dominating proves that motivation > money spent in a season. Arsenal seem to be a consolidated CL challenging side at least. In a season where last season’s top four all flattered to deceive, we’ve at least been consistent in a jarringly different league climate.

    My only regret (and I don’t have many because you know, football will be around for my entire life and that my team won’t win things for some of it is a reality I accept) is that not enough youth players were given a chance in 2015/2016. It’s been a season a for club-grown players and bargains — two things our club and manager are known for. I don’t want to see more splurging in the summer. I want to see our youngsters thrust into the limelight.

  • John

    Pat I love the best team in 2015…You have been totally taken in by all that shite..And Mandy you think this is the first year we have had a bad season (For a so called top european club?)We havent finished in the top 2 for over a decade and you want that to continue …I bet you celebrate when we make the top 4 like weve won the champions league.We only enter it to make the numbers up and Stan Kronke a lot of money because as soon as we get to the knockout stages we are found out both quality wise and tactically.
    And the reality is that wenger will see out this contract and be given another one because all the club and our owner bother about now is making money .That is why we spent so very little in the last 2 transfer windows.I wonder how many of you believed all that baloney about moving to the emirates to compete with the best in europe?? to compete with the best.All the top clubs right now see us as a business with no ambition!!

  • Sammy The Snake

    This loss had nothing to do with luck.
    But, this shall pass too.

  • Milan

    Mandy,Let’s be honest, Leicester are playing like Champions. Tottenham are playing like Champions. We got lucky in the Leicester game and haven’t looked confident or clinical for a long time. I would put that down to the mentality of the players but we know these guys are winners. Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck, Mertesacker, Giroud have all won major honours. Why are they looking lost now?

    There is something psychological going on, “bottling it” is actually a thing and it is what Arsenal are doing right now. We either start games complacently or we panic when the game plan doesn’t work. We’ve been finishing seasons like this for 12 years now and it’s not getting any better.

    However, more concerning than even this, we are not playing like a team. We are not playing well as a defensive unit or as an offensive unit. There is no link up between our defence and midfield or our midfield and attack. There are no successful partnerships on the pitch and there is no one to take the game by the scruff of the neck when needed. Ozil is the closest thing we have to this but even Mozart is going to struggle to make beautiful music with a cow bell.

  • Milan

    That performance was so bad in every respect, coming at such a decisive time in the season, how can it be tolerated by a club with serious aspirations of winning the title? Will the necessary pressure be put on him to re-evaluate his methods?

    His substitutions against Barca were insane and I’m not sure of the value of bringing on Iwobi over Campbell in this game. However it’s the lack of motivation for the team and ability to change things when the chips are down that are his real Achilles heel. His post-match comments were petulant but reveal what is at the heart of the problem with Arsene Wenger.

    “They spent a lot of money” the long standing refrain that has been his emotional and professional security blanket for ten years looks threadbare now he has two players in his team who cost upwards of £70 million combined. This is not a time for excuses, it’s time for him to reflect on his own performance and consider if it has been good enough.

    The bar has been set considerably lower this year and yet, somehow, Arsene Wenger’s team still look set to hang their caps several pegs below it. That in itself should be enough for him to reflect on.

  • Gouresh

    its really very simple. we don’t beat Swansea and if we don’t do it in a convincing manner, then we can but the title goodbye. why convincing? and not scrape through? because that will put the belief back in the players and fear in the opponents. its come to a situation that we have to now rely on other teams dropping points and hoping we don’t.

  • Tasos

    Other teams will drop points. That is a certainty.

    The most important thing right now is beating Swansea, and it really doesn’t matter how we do it so long as we do it.

  • Polo

    You have to laugh at these WOBs, when the team win you don’t see any of their message congratulating the team or any message at all, it’s like they are in depression or something, but whenever the team lose a match they flood the blogs with their negativity and celebrate as if they have been vindicated. Go support another club while AW is still here, when he goes then come back. Maybe by not supporting the club you guys might achieve your objective, no point of spouting crap on blogs, as it won’t achieve much. As they say ‘action speaks louder than words’.

  • Zedsaunt

    There’s over a quarter of the season still left. Who would have guessed it?

  • John

    Polo
    Can you point me to which points of my post or milans are crap??Which parts are untrue??

  • Dejan View

    sorry, meant to write ‘Tony’, not ‘Walter’ when responding to Tony’s comment (5.44pm, 29.02.16) yesterday; apologies to you, Tony.

  • Polo

    @ John, some points below:
    1. ‘We got lucky in the Leicester game”. How is it lucky when we should have had 2 penalties granted for handball? How did Stirling got penalize for a handball which clearly wasn’t but the Kante and Huth was obvious but wasn’t given? Surely if we were lucky we would have had at least one. A penalty given against us when it’s 50/50. Lucky??
    2. ‘There is something psychological going on, “bottling it” is actually a thing and it is what Arsenal are doing right now.’ Is the season over already and mathematically we can’t win? Isn’t there around 11 games to go? The so called experts still believe Man City can still win it even though they are below us but it’s different with Arsenal? When the season finish and Arsenal fail to win title then we ‘bottled it’.
    3. ‘We only enter it to make the numbers up and Stan Kronke a lot of money because as soon as we get to the knockout stages we are found out both quality wise and tactically’. You have any real evidence for these accusations or is it just your unsubstantiated opinion? There are many teams who are in the Champions League that has never won it yet such as PSG. I don’t even think PSG ever made it to a Champions League final.
    4. ‘the club and our owner bother about now is making money .’ Again any evidence? Since Arsenal haven’t sold any players, and looking at the latest financial result, Arsenal made a lost of £3.4 million. Yes, they only bother with making money.
    5. ‘I wonder how many of you believed all that baloney about moving to the emirates to compete with the best in europe?? to compete with the best.’ Well are we not competing with the best in Europe?

  • Zedsaunt

    Dive in for a double expresso, take the sports pages from the rack. The Telegraph tells me Wenger should go at some point soon. Henry Winter in the Times – once in the Telegraph – thunders that should Leicester or Tottenham win the title Wenger should resign this summer.

    In an immediate response I offer a silent prayer to the Almighty that Wenger gets given an opportunity to turn on his critics and tell them to go f#ck themselves, one after another, every last one of them.

    Once anger has abated – a walk of a hundred yards or so – the thought studdenly strikes me that all this Wenger out! Wenger should resign! Wenger’s Arsenal Bottle It Again! is one almighty red herring.

    It’s the biggest, reddest red herring I’ve seen since the days I negotiated pay and conditions as a union man and management came out with one red herring after another, day in, day out, for six months until I got what we wanted.

    Ask one question – who predicted these three at the top of the table with a quarter of the season to go –

    Leicester City
    Tottenham Hotspur
    Arsenal
    ?

    Ask the next question – who predicted Leicester would be relegated?

    Ask the final question – who got it absolutely wrong about Leicester?

  • john

    Polo
    Here is a link to Arsenal finances.We are really struggling financially ,probably wh6y weve not bought anyone of quality..

    http://swissramble.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/arsenal-brass-in-pocket.html

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yeah we should have bought Vardy and Mahrez instead of Özil and Alexis… yeah…