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5th rate KGB Fulham + bent ref struggle to defeat Arsenal reserves

Despite using a very bent ref, and having the advantage of playing against Arsenal’s reserve defence, and playing on something that quickly became more akin to a ploughed field than a smooth playing surface, KGB Fulham could still only manage a 2-1 win against Arsenal.

It is quite obvious that any club that is a serious contender to be a club of quality would have been able to beat an Arsenal back five made up of second and third choice players – but they struggled continuously to make any sort of break through at all.

Despite being given an endless series of benefits from incidents where their team tripped, kicked, tapped, pushed, and pulled they simply couldn’t work out how to get through a solid Arsenal Reserve back five.  Indeed some of the Reserves were injured making the whole set up extremely make-shift.

The result is a massive positive step for Arsenal showing how close their reserves are to being able to cope with the supposedly third best team in the country.  It also means that there is considerable hope for the forthcoming league and Euro games in which some of the defence will soon be available once more.

There were other positives too.

First, a handball own goal by A Cole was very enjoyable.  Second Arsenal will be spared playing on the dreadful Wembley pitch again this season.   With the pitch cutting up as players tried to make normal moves around it, it is quite clear that in the other semi final and the final it is more than likely that someone will break an ankle.

Third, supportes of other teams can be sickened by the sycophantic ranting of dribbling twits on Setanta.  (If you can find someone with a recording of any of the Setanta coverage, get a sick bag and then watch a few moments – which was all I could take.)

What should happen of course is that

a) the ref should be suspended pending a full enquiry into his behaviour

b) all football at the ground should be suspended pending the proven relaying of the turf, and the further proof that the ground will not cut up as players run about on it.

c) there should be a full enquiry into how so many seats remained empty when there was such a demand from Arsenal supporters for more seats.

d) Setanta should look at just how terrible their coverage was, scrap all plans for the final, and think again.

Will we get such enquiries?   It is as likely as an apology from KGB Fulham for their behaviour.

Arsenal can however hold their heads high.  We’re secure in 4th place with a phenominally young and exciting team, when the first team defence return we’ll be in much better shape and return to our habit of beating everyone, we are unlikely to have to play as bent a ref as this again this season, and several of our players have been rested ready for the battles to come and should be fighting fit shortly.

And we don’t have to play in that dreadful awful place again this season.

(c) Tony “Wembley is a bloody awful ground” Attwood 2009

PS We should now be back on Gooner News – sorry if you missed us following the changes made to the site.  We have continued publishing daily, and copies of past emails are available on this site.

15 comments to 5th rate KGB Fulham + bent ref struggle to defeat Arsenal reserves

  • Terence McGovern

    Yes the pitch was a disgrace. The ref had a good first half but did succumb to some poor decision making later on.
    However I wont make any excuses.
    We havent played that badly since the game away at Eastlands in November. The only player worth his salt today (substitutions notwithstanding) was the youngest and least experienced, Kieran Gibbs. Theo had a good 20 minutes but really after that it was a case of ball watching, getting caught in possession, giving away possession, crossing to players who didnt actually exist and a severe allergy to shooting.
    I am in no way criticising the lads. We simply had an off day on all fronts. It is a tad frustrating as even though we were poor we still had every opportunity to put them away because they were very nuch there for the taking. There is also the shock element as we hadn’t tasted real defeat for 5 months.
    Still I would rather that they had a disaster of a game today rather than away at old Trafford in 10 days time.
    Hopefully this will galvanise the team and cause a renewal of their efforts and entreprise.
    What will be truly annoying is that whilst we have to run the gauntlet of all the anti-Arsenal punditry and journalists for the next week or so, we will also be subjected to treasonous fifth column from within as so called “Arsenal Fan Blogs” try to help the opposition by heaping abuse on our Manager, our players and our policies which unknown to them are the substance of our club.
    I am all for freedom of speech but I require that it wears its true colours. These bloggers should stopbehaving like spoilt children and join the moan free zone that true fans wear like personal forcefield.
    They should also realise that you cannot always ride the train.
    Sometimes you have to help pull it.
    There will be better days.

  • Nhan Le

    Terrence,

    Theo actually played well most of the game whenever he received the ball. In the second half Terry pretty much stationed on that wing to help out the miserable Cashley. Most crosses we got in the second half came from right wing. Unfortunately, we usually had only 2/3 men in the box fighting against Chelski’s 5.

    I conceded that on both goals Eboue was exposed partially because of lack of coverage up front and help dealing with the strikers. Unlike Villareal, Chelski gave up with the idea of fooling with Gibbs by half time and switch to Eboue. But that’s the risk we take whenever we play Theo on the wing: we know opponents will need 2 men to cover him, but we also know he is not made to hold on to a static ball or defend, let alone against the like of Dog and Lambs.

    I think Arsene called the wrong formation for this game by playing 4-5-1. We were cautious and respected Chelski a little bit too much. Please, I’m only making critical comments on the basis of what best to do given available “resource.” I’m not on the same page with the “spoilt children” you were talking about. I believe in every single of our current players as much as does Arsene.

  • Terence McGovern

    I agree Nhan. The root cause of our malaise was tactical. The idea was we attack them so they are under pressure which gives respite to our own defence. However that isn’t going to work unless we are playing 4 4 2 which didn’t materialise.
    I do think that AW got his equation wrong today but in all fairness he cant be expected to get it right every time so I wont hold it against him . We just have to walk it off I guess eh. By the by I wasn’t citing your type of post earlier or any other type of constructive or indeed clinical appraisal. For the type I have issues with, please wait about 36 hours until the hangovers wear off and click on Arsenal News for an entire array of malcontents whose most prize posessions are their own blogs and bitter one-dimentional intellects.
    You will see what I mean.

  • Gf60

    Oh poop, bums and wee-wee. I know we’ve got a very important game at the scallies on Tuesday, but was it really necessary to field a weakened side today?

    Especially on a pitch that looked as though it had entertained the Royal Horse Show the week before. Shades of bloody Swindon back in the late 60s.

    Especially for this game which seemed a bit more important than the Anfield trip what with Villa dropping yet another two points. Well done the Irons.

    Getting a 1-0 lead with Chel$ki these recent years seems to be close to a kiss of death. With one exception, when we had the win last season, every time we’ve gone one up, those horrible bastards come back and the ‘orriblest bastard of the lot finishes us.

    But, did we deserve better? Quite honestly no. We were nervy, getting in each others way with Diaby and Denilson being the prime offenders and generally out of sorts. I’ll leave young Gibbs out of that as he had a stormer…as did Kolo. Theo also looked dangerous and I must confess to a wet pants moment when his shot came off Mr Tweedy’s hand to beat Cech. But as usual, so much of his good work was undone by careless crosses. He could have won us the game, but didn’t. Others seemed to do more to lose it than win it for us.

    Fabianski’s birthday was not a day for him to remember. A Wiganesque moment came to mind early on and once again young Gibbs got him out of the dwang. Gone I fear was the calm and self assured keeper of Wednesday. But that was so true of most of Arsenal yesterday…starting with the boss. Maybe he had a good reason but at this point in time, it’s very hard to fathom.

  • a bad pitch is bad for both sides not only Wenger’s side. Wenger made a stupid team selection by leaving out his very fit best player & on form player. I can conclude he didn’t really go all out for this match which is pathetic if u ask me no wonder most fans feel cheated by last night. G

  • feeny

    it still hurts so much

    i dont blame the fabianski – he’s too inexperienced

    I couldn’t believe he didn’t start song and arshavin. The only way I seen us winning yesterday was by bring more attacking than Chelsea, when I seen the team sheet I knew we wudnt win

    There is no point critising the makeshift defence. The midfield however was sh1t with cesc missing for 90 minutes, denilson constantly looking for the closest Chelsea player 2 pass it 2 and diaby going on pointless runs with the ball straight in2 chelsea players.

    When has rvp ever played a good game on the left wing – pointless being there

    I actually thought ade was alright, tried 2 do he’s best with the distribution 2 him

    Im not a moaning fan – this is one of the 1st times I have felt compelled 2 criticise the team because everything was wrong with yesterdays performance

    Fab – sh1t
    Eboue – sh1t
    Silvestre –sh1t
    Diaby – sh1t
    Denilson – (tony, ur pet favourite, where was his 87% pass sucession rate yesterday, he was a joke) sh1t

    Wud denilson or diaby get anywhere near the starting lineups of Chelsea or man u

    And if cesc and rvp leave asrenal citing the reason being that they want 2 win things well they can go ahead because yesterday was their chance and they cudnt stand up and be counted

    SO PISSED OFF! Y did shava not start! Rested 4 champions league, obviously not. Rested for the league – no, we only need 9 points 2 guarantee 4th with middlesbourgh Portsmouth and stoke still 2 play.

    nightmare

  • Colonel Mustard

    Whatttttttttt? Wegner completely cocked it up…..the twin jokes of Diaby and Denislson….ha ha ha….Nasri and Ardshavin on bench……Song who has been playing well benched……idiotic stuff from wegner…….gutless…indefensiible…

  • Colonel Mustard

    P.S. Wegner DESERVES criticism today…..one of his worst ever tactical performance….PPS…we have’nt a hope of winning the CL with those two in the middle…not a snowball chance in hell.

  • Terence McGovern

    I rest my case…. sigh.

  • Gunnar

    Im not a moaning fan

    Fab – sh1t
    Eboue – sh1t
    Silvestre –sh1t
    Diaby – sh1t
    Denilson – (tony, ur pet favourite, where was his 87% pass sucession rate yesterday, he was a joke) sh1t

    Well done for overcoming your inclinations, feeny. Very brave stuff indeed.

    It was an off-day, with 5 defensive players missing on a joke of a pitch! What did AW do to deserve fans with so little character or pride? It’s frankly embarrassing.

    Good blog, Tony. Educate them.

  • Nhan Le

    Terence,
    Before I rest my case.

    You moaners should look at how much better we played against Chelski compared to Liver. People were saying about shutting down Gerrard and you stop Liver. For a long spell yesterday we looked as if any of our lads can initiate something and the passes were flowing in the middle of the park.

    Cesc played characteristically against probably the best sweeping CM in Essien. Diaby totally possessed the ball. At their best he and Denilson crowded out midfield, which gave Cesc more room. No I don’t think they played bad at all.

    When I talked about the wrong formation, I meant Arsene decided to protect Cesc with 2 defensive midfielders in stead of 1. This reduced the risk that he would be overrun by Essien but as said earlier, thinned off options up front. The tactic was a success as far as Ballack and Lamps had no shot from outside the box for all their threat. Arsene emphasized this point post postmatch when he talked about lack of height. I don’t completely buy the argument because Essien is short and Cesc showed everyone he’s willing to do Ballack as early as he was 17.

    I was only talking counterfactuals with downsides that might have ended up worse than what did happen. Let’s admit Arsene is in this business for 35 years. What’s the chance that any of us know it better than he does? Credit where it’s due, man-to-man we were every inch as good as Chelsea yesterday (Yes, Cech was all over the place, too, had we only been able to test him more).

  • Justin Farmer

    Wenger messed up more than me though. Big time. His selection was a little different to what I expected but maybe he still believes we have a chance for the Premiership title and he was resting players for the Liverpool game in the week. Wouldn’t surprise me. Fair enough, the gaffer fucked up. But for me it was more simple than simple minds. Chelsea wanted it more and you have to respect them for that. They were more up for it. Perhaps Abramovich offered Lampard a years supply of McDonalds. We all know Lampard loves a MaccyD. We have to move on. I know it’s hard. I feel the pain. I had to drink a pint of Carling out of a Chelsea dog bowl as a forfeit. It wasn’t good. And the dog was pissed off. A Gooner drinking from his bowl. Bad times. We have to see a positive reaction. Many see the FA Cup as the only chance we have of silverware. Fuck that. We will win the Champions League instead. I’d rather win in Europe than the FA Cup anyway. I’m sorry but I have to take that goal away from Theo. It was an own goal from the man formerly known as an Arsenal left-back. It reads better. Ashley Cole own goal. Have that you little muppet. We will play Chelsea again this season. Not once but twice. Once in the Premiership and again in Rome. We will knock out Manchester United, they will beat Barcelona. Trust me. I’m a doctor. I’ll look forward to that night in Rome against them. Revenge will be sweet.

  • NYmarcus

    Blaming the pitch, the ref and injuries is too predictable and easy and I won’t resort to it. The fact is that too many gooners dismissed Chelsea with contempt because we beat them at the Bridge and they’ve shipped a lot of goals recently. Too many gooners are arrogant, and don’t respect our opposition enuf (and yes, I think you’re guilty of this, Tony).

    The positives are that we did pretty well with a makeshift defense against a full strength Chelsea, better than the supposedly superior Liverpool. Remember that Essien had Gerrard in his pocket at Anfield. They didn’t thrash us, and we had good spells throughout the game.

    But Chelsea are not some crap team, Tony. They’re in 3rd place because they earned it. They’re in the FA cup final and in the CL semifinal because they earned it. They beat Liverpool to get to that semifinal whereas we couldn’t last season.

    AW’s decision to bench his best player–a genuine, proven, far more experienced world class player who can make things happen–was utterly baffling. His decision to bench our strongest DM who had the best chance of dealing with Chelsea’s muscle is baffling. Never mind Nasri. This was the one competition we had the best chance of winning. The players were talking about winning two trophies, they were brimming with confidence. I hope this won’t affect them.

    AW simply got his team selection and tactics wrong. And no, this is not Monday morning quarterbacking — i.e., knowing what went wrong AFTER the game. I’m not the only gooner who argued BEFORE the game that it was vital to have Arshavin start, and Song definitely start preferably in midfield, but alterantively as a CB–NOT DENILSON!–because Song is physically tougher. Chelsea routinely outmuscle us and we need as few lightweights as possible in defensive positions.

    So he chooses Denilson, and a dithering Diaby. And once again we get outmuscled by Chelsea’s men. Yes, they behaved like the scum they are, hardly a surprise. It’s about time we learn how to grow the hell up and learn how to deal with that.

  • Consolsbob

    Song was our only remaining defensive cover, hence he was on the bench. Makes sense to me, NYM.

    Pointless trying to second guess Arsene. I am sure he picked the team he thought would do the job. It didn’t and we were beaten. It has been known to happen in football matches.

  • Alex Ice Cream

    NYmarcus,

    I couldn’t agree more on Arshavin. Why any manager would have his best player on the bench is beyond me. I have made this point on another blog and been vilified for it. There is nothing like being able to debate football.
    RvP isn’t even a left winger but was preferred to Arshavin. I will never understand this apart from it being a mistake that cost us the game.