Taking stock of the United debacle: transfers, injuries and the coming season.

By Phil Gregory

As Walter said in his article, games like this are part of being a football fan. It was great to see the away fans sticking behind the team, and a very proper gesture of the club to offer them another away ticket free of charge. No doubt all Gooners have been subject to a bit of winding up from opposition fans, but as Wenger said, this game was one played in “exceptional circumstances”.

Every defeat you must take on the chin, credit must be given to a great United performance. Their finishing was sublime, and some of their shots were top drawer. That said, Arsenal played a tough game on Wednesday night and I think that showed in the five goals being conceded after the 60th minute. Moreover, the list of absent players was simply too much to bear for a game played away at the champions. Here’s our line-up from yesterday:


Jenkinson Djourou Koscielny Traore


Ramsey Rosicky

Walcott Van Persie Arshavin

If every player was available, I’d have expected a line-up of:


Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs

Song Wilshere (Frimpong)


Walcott Van Persie Gervinho

That’s seven first teamers out, with the only first eleven defender playing on his weaker side. Moreover, with all but one of the absentees focused in the defensive half of the side, the potential for disaster was always there. Clearly, the absences in the back four were going to impact on the cohesiveness of the defence, and United ruthlessly exposed that. Moreover, with such a lightweight midfield, our defence was exposed time and time again. If you have no option but to put a lightweight midfield in front of a makeshift defence, the results are going to be messy.

I don’t like to make excuses after defeats, but given the headlines and catcalls, I think it is important that we get some perspective. Arsenal got smashed on Sunday, that is beyond doubt. However the Arsenal team was a weakened one, tired by midweek exertions.

Thankfully, the international break comes at a good time and we can take stock, examine what can be improved and await the return of our injured players.  Reinforcements are surely to be expected over the next few days, as the departures of Nasri and Fabregas have left us short of numbers in those areas of the pitch. We were largely good to go once we had Gervinho in and no departures, but for a good season we need four potent wide players.

Song and Frimpong as the two primary holders should be enough if we can avoid picking up silly bans, but Diaby’s injury record means we are short in central midfield with Cesc gone. Hopefully Wenger will find the required acquisitions and look to rebuild the side for a top four league finish this season with a title challenge next year. It’s not what I wanted out of this season, but shorn of our two most creative players I think an element of realism is required. As ever, Arsenal will be there or thereabouts and have done it without running the risk of the Blue Square Premier should a wealthy backer lose interest.

I’m proud of my club and the philosophy we have, even at moments such as these. All Gooners should be.

128 Replies to “Taking stock of the United debacle: transfers, injuries and the coming season.”

  1. Anyone can be knocked down; it is the speed at which you stand back up that counts!

  2. Feelings such as pride are not of my taste, but it was clear to me that Arsenal needed an update of tactics since 2 years ago when we didn’t touch the ball in the first half against Barcelona in the CL.

  3. The international break is a good point Phil. I am glad its come this time, at the right time for once. Thank You for a good article.

  4. As I said on another thread, I feel Wenger has started a covert war with the English football establishment.

    Various statements he has made imply as much.

    Recent refereeing decisions have been “scandalous”,
    and he said the Arsenal season starts on Sept 10.

    These are very serious statements….

    He basically seems to be saying that because English football is corrupt, and we have players banned at the whim of the FA, then the season starts SEPT 10….

    I.E. Man U v Arsenal was not a serious game…..

    Wenger has declared war on the FA….

    bear in mind also that there seem to be huge problems behind the scenes. It seems English managers are conspiring to thwart Arsenal from signing certain players….and then we hhave Gartside allegedly lying to defame Wenger….

    Personally I think the entire team does not believe the league is fair, hence Nasri’s departure, and that is why the team played with no conviction.

    Also when wenger suggested that youth was the problem, VP flat out contradicted him and said there were problems in the changing room…

    bearing in mind players like Barton and Rooney run amock on the field, whilst Song is yellowed for sneezing, and Sagna just gets the shit kicked out of him….

    Is anyone surprised that the Arsenal team does not believe in the league itself anymore?

    Put another way, it seems Wenger allowed the debacle….

  5. As a man who defends our team all over the Blogsphere, I would like to say how disgusted I was with or senior players and our managers tactics…shame on them all.

    I’ve seen young jenkinson get a real pasting from from some people but I think the boy was fantastic he did the job of two players untill he got sent off, Theo gave no help or protection to the lad and then had the cheek to try and give him a mouthfull of crap, fair do’s to jenkinson he gave as good as he got.
    Arshavin…sorry but for god sake get rid of this lazy git, it’s like playing with a member of the opposition in your team.

    RVP never seen him so scared to take a penalty, maybe the job of being the club and team captain is too much for him.

    Time for a change in tactics, we no longer have fabregas and nasri so we need change our formation, 4 4 2 untill we get a foothold in the middle of the league, forget the 4 3 3 it does not work with our current crop of players.

    Well done to all the youngsters, lambs to the slaughter but you never gave up I for one am proud of you.

  6. Some perspective is definetly needed, we have only played 3 games in the premiership so far, it’s a shame we couldn’t have beat Newcastle as the gap would have been even smaller then, I’ll evavulate my opinion after seeing who we bring in and what they’re like, but I certainly back us for a top 4 finish and to do well in the cups, and pass our CL group phase too, hope we can get our key players back asap like Wilshere, Vermaleon etc, everybody coming back would be welcome really…. now we’re selling Traore apparently I hope this means we’re signing a left back or we will be very very short in that department, I expect us to sign a striker, midfeilder and defender and possibly more if it’s at all possible, I hope they are quality and can help us when we do suffer from injuries and suspensions, squad wise I think we’re about 4-5 players away from winning the league, we have some great players here, I’m optomistic are bad start will turn round, playing Liverpool and United at the beggining was our problems was always gonna be difficult, would have felt a lot better if we had beaten Newcastle, looking forward to the next match so we can exercise some of these demons from yesterday.

  7. Cant agree with any of this article.

    United also had missing Vidic, Ferdinand, Rafael, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Berbatov, Fabio missing played no part

    Do you want to post how their team would have looked with Vidic and ferdinand in the middle etc.
    The truth hurts we have no squad capable of competint right now and they have.

  8. Arsenal have hit rock bottom – We’re making enquiries for Yossi Benayoun, seriously are cheapskates. All these promises and we’re looking at a 3rd rate injury prone reject.

    Wenger truly is taking us to new lows, this shows our intent and lack ambition. Despair,desperation is all that come to my mind. So 20 people working hard and they’ve ID this joker well he’ll fit in.

    FUCKING JOKE!!!!!!

  9. Too right Phil. I think a fortnight of no league games, a couple of signings, everyone taking a step back, and the press concentrating on something else will help us here.

    I’m no doom n gloomer, but i have to admit that at the beginning of this season, I predicted that after the first 3 matches (which is now) we would be bottom of the league and out of the champions league.

    Thankfully we are not bottom and we are still in the champions league. all we need is to get a couple of wins under our belt, and the press(ure) will be off our backs. we can then play the rest of the season the way we are used to.

    Oh and if another commenter lists our WDL stats since the carling cup final, I’ll probably end up being committed. We all know the stats and don’t need them pushing down our throats.

    This is the time for all of us to line up on the same side and fight for a common cause. don’t forget one of the greatest tools of combat is divide and conquer. let’s not let them divide us.

  10. sorry, stop the excusesnow. the slide is insane. United had loadsof injuries as well. asrenal knew nasri and fab were off, we sold clichy, eboue and who have we got…18 year olds. same old same old, and i have stuck up for the situation but this is a clearsign things have gone too far. i just dont know if its the manager or the board or both

  11. Lets face it it is not just the result of yesterday we are all concerned about, it is the manner of the defeat following possibly the worst summer we have ever experienced. The negativity surrounding the club is horrendous, from the very top right down to the fans. So how do we deal with yesterday, the club are so desperate they offer us a freebie away, sell our only fit left back then make an enquiry about yet another player rejected by Chelsea and Liverpool. A player in his 30s!! who has suffered loads of injuries.

    Just heard from mate at the bookies, they are taking no more bets on Baines going to Arsenal.

  12. Yossi Benayoun – Now is this a board or Wenger id?
    Who knows but it fucking cheap and crap rolled into 1, Arsenal requirements have been met.

    This club is going backwards next Carlton Cole or may be Heskey.

  13. jayj, Benayoun is just the last player in a massive list of those linked to an arsenal move. your whole comment was just an out pouring of anti arsenal bile based on press reports most of us wouldnt wipe our arse with. save your bilious drivel until a contract has been signed.

  14. Key points:
    I think the board has ruined our transfer window with an unrealistic wage policy. I”m guessing it will change for january. We cannot compete with other top 3 teams in any league for wages. So we’re not signing anyone ‘big’ until that changes.

    Arsene is still tactically daft, but I’m positive he had nothing to do with our transfer window result.

    We may have ruined the confidence of our junior players after that loss. I find this really worrisome. I like CJenkinson a lot, I hope he bounces back.

    Our 8-2 loss has probably scared off more signings.

    This will be a season where we learn a lot through painful experience. Just be grateful we’re not going bankrupt? Somehow Barca keeps fending off this inevitability. I’ve actually given up on them actually not being able to pay wages. FIFA/UEFA probably subsidizes them secretly 😉

  15. The schedulers weren’t exactly kind to us after the midweek CL away game (remember last year when we played six away on weekends after the group stage games?)…

    But that said, I haven’t been impressed by Ramsey so far this year. I know Jack had a little more experience surrounding him when he was really breaking into the side last year (Cesc and Song) to reduce the scrutiny, but after hearing that Ramsey could take on the front-of-midfield-three role over the summer, I’m just not seeing it so far.

  16. No excuses. The strength of a team lies in its ability to present a good squad in all matches. We sold our left back and did not want to replace. We sold our mid fielders and have not replaced. Even if we had the full compliment of our present team, we would have not done better. If we don’t buy players, we should expect more of this bashing. It is a pity that a top football team like Arsenal is allowed to drift like this for reasons best known to the board and the manager. It is a shame and we all have to share in it.

  17. Doesn’t really matter that man u scored 8, they only got three points in a home game. Once we’ve regrouped and brought a couple more players in, we’ll beat them at the ems and get three points back. I believe this will be the shot in the arm the club needs and we will go from strength to strength from now on. I wouldn’t want to be a jack (Swansea fan for those not from the UK) going to the ems cos they will face a serious backlash.
    Jayj, you’ve been posting endlessly since the game finished basically spouting hate and abuse. If you wanna do that, fine but why don’t you go to le grove where your disgraceful, nasty hatred will be welcome. You are boring so do everyone a favour and just fuck off

  18. Hey Phil,

    I am not anti-Wenger at all and I have defended Wenger through thick and thin, but I cannot defend him for yesterday. As much as it pains to say this, Arsene showed no tactical prowess yesterday, and furthermore I did not see any leadership from the manager as well.

    Hindsight is 20/20, and it is easy for me to point out the flaws. Wenger has a tough job, and I believe he has done an amazing job. But going in with that team had to elicit a different approach than the Arsenal way. Three out of the five back were teenagers, and two were basically making their premier league debuts. That should have meant something.

    I did not see any organization yesterday. As a coach, I expect him to show leadership even when we were 6 down. I did not see any such effort from him or the players yesterday. It really comes down organization. There is no way our second team should concede 8. Remember, they are the direct replacements of our starting 11. We can never expect to have all our players available, that is the truth, and when someone is unavailable, we need to have players who can provide adequate cover. At the same time, when our top players are out, we need to make sure the weaker players are protected. Yesterday, the full backs were not protected, and their inexperience was exposed. In a major way.

    I agree that Man U’s finishing was exceptional, but our defending was shambolic. No doubt about it. Take Ashley Young’s second goal. It was a great shot to the corner of the goal, but how is allowed so much space in the box. That is simply unacceptable. Then you also have the high line. How can we keep playing such a high line when we were caught out so often.

    I have to agree with the AAA on one thing, Arsene right now is very inflexible with his system, and I believe that has cost us a lot of points. When you have quality opposition, you have to recognize that. Arsene himself says we cannot compete with the richer clubs in terms of wage. Well then we also have to recognize that they attract top players. I have nothing against Arsene’s youth policy, but he must recognize risks and limitations of youth, and adapt. He failed to do that Sunday. Yes it was a special circumstance, and I am not calling for Arsene’s head. But he failed yesterday, and that is true. That needs to be recognized, especially by Arsene himself.

  19. AFC shareholder, lets not complain until a deal is done. we cant trust the press to report anything correctly.

    one of the most complained issues surrounding our club is that we have sold experience and kept the kids. Both Baines and Benayoun are experienced players.

    yer damned if you do, yer damned if you dont.

  20. Simon Bailey
    I’m praying your right and i’m not fucking joking, echos of Silvestre come to mind.

  21. The sad truth is that even if Arsenal had their full strength squad as defined in the post they still wouldn’t have had any chance against the United team that showed up on Sunday. The only difference would have been (one hopes) a comfortable win for United instead of complete trashing. Neither do I see Arsenal posing any significant thread to the emerging City juggernaut. So forget about winning the titles at best Arsenal are looking at the prospect of uphill battle for the 4th CL spot against Chelsea and LFC. And I doubt that any signing in the reaming 3 days of transfer window will drastically change the situation.

  22. spot on stevie e. the only lasting memory of this match will be the souvenir dvd that manu are bound to release. Its still only 3 pionts tho!!

  23. Well said Simon. People have gone OTT. I just wish the damn transfer window will slam shut and we’ve bought what we want. And if not at least we can focus on what we have and do our best.

  24. Great away support. Ashame that van persie and arshavin didn’t take their chances as at 3-1 that would of really changed the momentum even more to arsenal’s advantage.

  25. I”ve always enjoyed and suported most of what you”ve had to say
    your honest and proper fans,but i”m sorry what happened yesterday can”t be just brushed aside. 8-2 is not a score it signals something a lot more sinister, the unravelling of a club. Last season we conceeded 4 to NUFC 3 To the Spuds the writing was surely on the wall, knowing that we were to lose Fab Clichy and Nasri and still not have signings in place is just unbelievable.We have now consigned ourselves to the emerging pack and CL is now over or soon will be. We will not finish in the top 4 and marque signings will think twice about joining us this will not be fixed in in the immediate future, the future is bleak very bleak.

  26. Far too much rubbish on Untold this last week. Serious amount of drivel. I just ignore all that kind of stuff and I strongly recommend all those who feel the same way to do so too.

  27. Stevie E

    If you bothered to read my comments then you wouldn’t tell me to fuck off.

    If you can be bothered and not so abusive then go through the list and highlight my anti arsenal bashing.

    Go on prove me wrong.

  28. nice article…we need to forget this and win the next game against swansea..it would help if all the players who are injured/suspended/sick would return and stay fit…a decent run of 5-7 wins and a couple of draws in the next 10 games would see us back in the frame…

  29. Hello!
    I know this blog is pro Arsene, and its writers still think that “Arsene knows” best. I like this blog, since articles on this blog speaks alot of sense. But lately, I am really disappointed and somewhat annoyed because you people blindly support Wenger’s every decision. I am not asking you to call for Arsene’s head, but at least criticize him when he is obviously wrong. He is a human after all, and he do makes mistake. It would be really good if you point out those mistakes too along with all the supporting you give to Arsene so that your blog doesn’t lose its credibility.

  30. Regardless of who didnt play the players coming in like Traore, Djouoru and Jenikson need to play better than that. We are talking about basic defending i.e. not playing a high line at Old Tafford and being cant out of postion time and again.

    To add to this experience players like Arshivan who should be leading the team turn ina so so performance its not acceptable.

    Example Rooney tracking back after he got a hatrick no airs a graces he is a striker that is also a team player and does the dirty work when they dont have the ball.

    Too many fagg**s on this team just collecting good wages and not performing.

    Add to this a managment both the board and Wenger who even if they tried they could not have made a worse mess than they have done this summer we are stuck with garbage nobody will sign Bendtner, Denilson, Squllaci, Alumnia, Vela what a joke!!!!!

  31. Jayj
    August 28th, 2011 at 5:44 pm Van persie will leave U watch. Club has become a joke, Wenger is a joke
    That was the first of a multiple of nonsensical, abusive and pointless posts youve made. Will you fuck off now I’ve proved you wrong.

  32. Stevie E
    August 28th, 2011 at 5:44 pm Van persie will leave U watch. Club has become a joke, Wenger is a joke

    How is that abusive?

  33. Red Gooner I agree with you 100 percent. This article is total rubbish, again. Are you drunk when you write these articles? Man utd s team was weakened on the day and they were head and shoulders above us. Please stop coming up with excuses!!! Wenger should of bought months ago. Everyone knew Na$ri and class fab would leave. Don’t tell me we don’t have money, I don’t believe those lies. Stan could of bought the players and when the sales came in he could have the money back. Then we could of had the players in for preseason and integrated them into the team so we had a chance to hit the ground running. For gods sake have you heard your self? Talking about this defeat as if is just 1 of those days!!! We are not Wigan or Acrington Stanley, we are the mighty Arsenal. And we do not have results against us!! And that’s proved by the fact that it hasn’t happened since the day you was born. Be a man and say what you really think, instead of being scared to upset anyone. You don’t get anywhere in life by being an optimist, only by being a realist!! We need rid of Chamack, Djerho, Almunia, Fabianski, Arshavin, bendtner, Song isn’t fit to clean Patricks’ boots and he’s mention to be doing the same job. Need new back up goalie, left back, perhaps Baines, M’Villa instead of Song, Eden Hazard would of been available 2 months ago, a creative midfielder and at least 1 striker as Van the man will probably get injured. We have the money, nobody believe we haven’t! Oh and who is this 26 year old striker Young that we are buying??? If he hasn’t made it by that age he never will, hence Chamwank!!! 2 days left and again the problem areas won’t be resolved. We don’t want Wenger to go, just correct the team cus it’s the same every year, buy attacking players and spend little on the defence!!!!

  34. Oh for f**ks sake. When will you people get real? we have had our biggest defeat in 115 years. If the keepers hadn’t saved what he did, Loughtborough Town would be Replaced by Man utd as the team we had our beggest ever defeat to. This is just 7 years after we went 49 games unbeaten. The players who played yesterday are people AW bought and have told us are good enough to fight for titles. THEY JUST GOT BEAT 8-2. Arsene Wenger’s magic hat is looking rather worn out.

  35. This result does need some perspective ..worst Arsenal result in 100 years in a game that probably saw the weakest Arsenal starting 11 in 100 years. The main concern though is that we had to fieled such a team in the first place. Despite claims at the end of last season that the weeknesses had been identified (& would be rectified) very little has been done. In reality, in terms of quality players that are ready now to step into the first choice 11 we’ve got Gervinho…a replacement for Nasri. The rest are just promising back-up players & ones with no Championship let alone PL or CL experience. Even if we sign 3 decent players in the next 2 days ,with the inevitable injuries & suspensions (+ losses to the Africa cup of Nations in early 2012) we are likely to see a similar line up for future games. So where is the promised strenghtening of the squad???

  36. We can look for every excuse on earth, but it won’t disguise the plain truth that we have no strength in depth. Ideally, we should have a squad with two good players for every position. Of the back 5, only the goal keeper’s position can boast 2 good players. In central midfield, central striker and on 1 wing, we are acutely short of cover. Special circumstances aside, our defensive frailties have been glaringly obvious for years. We have consistently conceded more goals than any of the teams finishing in the top four in each of the last 5 years. Someone made the point that less talented teams will go to Old Trafford and not be beaten 8-2. We were shockingly poor yesterday, and I have this uneasy feeling that this might not be the last time we will see a spectacular collapse of our team. We have been relying on young inexperienced players to carry the team when they still need to be playing alongside a more experienced player themselves. That is what happened with Cesc, and that is what is about to happen with Jack. At 22, Theo is now regarded a senior player in the team! I suspect Nasri won’t be the last good player not to renew his contract, and although we may get good money for from a transfer, we will be perpetually re-building and not have a stable team to challenge for honours. I know I sound depressingly negative and I wish my fears were completely unfounded. It is because I care about Arsenal that I found the manner of yesterday’s defeat painful and humiliating. All the people calling for a proper perspective are quite right, try and see this from the perspective of our defensive record of the last 5 years! I sincerely hope that at the end of the season, we will not be discussing the same problems that have been evident for half a decade.

  37. Two important points to take into consideration after yesterday’s debacle:

    1. Manu fielded a team with a younger average age than us.

    2. Manu has 5 of their top players out due to injury.

    In spite of this, we were taken to the cleaners, slowly and agonizingly.

    Just some food for thought while we try to rationalize this defeat.

  38. Jayj
    “You are a joke, your parents are a joke.” How does that make you feel? Do you feel abused?
    Don’t expect any any further replies from me

  39. Stevie E

    What??? Wengers your dad?? come on mate get real, what the hell are you on about. Acting like a child, this is my club as much as yours I’ve not abused it in any way, I’ve not said anything that hasn’t been asked before.

    Transparency is all that we want.

  40. Above all it will be helpful if arsene develops some new defensive strategies and tactics to get the best out of current squad and not play 4-3-3 and variants all the time irrespective of the personnels available.

  41. A mate of mine suggested we knock out the middle tier behind what is supposedly the North Bank at the Ems and rebuild it so it is one solid bank of seats that runs from behind the goal up to the back of the top tier stand.
    This would undoubtedly give the team a lot more vocal support. I like this idea.
    The stadium like the team is a little too sterile, too pretty, too predictable and pedestrian.
    Let’s get a bit of English grit back in the ground and a bit less off the French suave.

  42. @ Phil

    Good article. However, what we are all concerned about (apart from yesterday’s ghastly performance) is our strength in depth.

    We will have injuries throughout the season and the players coming into the team need to be up to standard. Most of the young players will become very good players but they are not quite there yet. We could still put up a good performance if playing one or two young guns, but not with too many.

    So we need our 7 or so first team players available again and, additionally, quality reinforcements.

  43. With the 8 players out yesterday,plus any new signings say3 we will have a goodish squad of say 15,16.Sorry not enough.Look how many injuries we have.
    Iam a big fan of AW,but my patience is running out.He said judge hi at the end of the season.We will.If we compete and i mean compete for everything ok,if not i do think it will be the end.I hope not.This is our and his biggest 48hrs.A good sign Taore off,does this mean a new left back.If not we are in big trouble.I wish for 5 new players,take 4,not happy with 3,pissed off with 2,f…ked offwith 1.Hear from you all on thurs!

  44. Its obvious tht Wenger’s strategy did not work and we got slaughtered..

    But cant we see that following things happened..

    1) We lost our best players although we tried hard to keep them
    2) We did not get our new players till now because of late departures
    3) We lost many players due to laughable bans
    4) We had a midweek match which looked like the most important of the year
    5) We also had some injuries (3 of the back 5)

    Yes these all are no reasons to end up having 8 goals but after half time when the score was 3-1 all of us would have asked Arsenal to attack… We cant just sit and keep the difference low.. We are ARSENAL.. we are expected to fight..

    After half time maybe we started to attack more and lost due to poor defence or great attack (all know its both).. Please dont forget the penalty miss..

    It was a day which was really bad but all of us know that we are not that bad for sure,. If we concede 6 goals again ever and I mean ever under Wenger(whatsoever is the reason) I will also ask him to leave..

    But till then please accept that it was really bad day(how many times have Van Persie missed a penalty).. Asking for Wenger’s head would be like asking Van persie to stop taking penalty or leave captaincy..

    Frankly speaking the manner of this defeat seemed worse to me than the one we got against ManU and Barca at emirates.. But we bounced back against both the teams and I am sure we will bounce back now..

  45. bl**dy lousy article, stop this self pity rubbish. looks like u have never played football at a proper level to understand what it feels like getting trashed. was there or is there any pride left in the players? i’ll give u an example. back in my home town Pune [India] , yrs ago, i was a semi-pro and the best team used to be the Sudanese, very skillful. The 1st time i every played against them in a practice match, we were thrashed 9-0. i was a central defender and was nutmeged. after the match, i was in rage. be fixed another match the following week and drew 0-0 and there after never lost to them. thats called PRIDE.
    where’s the pride in our team. it as clear last yr when evra taunted us! what was our reaction? well?? nothing. now i am no Arsene basher and have immense respect for him and what he has done for us, but he cannot fire up the players at all. whatever the back ground issues, he has turned our club into his own personal experiment. which needs to stop now. there is no tactical changes, its the same old style, even if we are 3 goals, drawing or loosing. we knew, we are 8 players short, so what do we do? yes at old traford, play 4-3-3. has Arsene every thought that we can get away with a defensive playing draw? Manu played 5man midfield last yr and that too with a full team. Mancity with their zillion £ worth players played 10man defence and they were both praised for this. i know that Arsene had said in 05, after the FA CUP final that he wuld never play defensive, but al the expense of a 8 goal thrashing?
    Also, why are we short of players? its seems that we cannot keep our players fit. why? is this because of our traning, physo, or just that the kids cannot take the physical stress. also discipline, its staggering to see these players pick up cards not realizing the consequences. is there a hairdryer treatment for these knobs? don’t think so as its getting quite regular. we all know that weather its Arsene or the board, but the complete transfer window is wasted. do we have the time to rectify this, yes…..just heard on the news yosi, is linked to us. i have read some comments that he’s not good, but to be honest, i LOVE him. direct, attacking midfield. Alex is also linked to us, so are the regular names flying around which now seems for ever. do we have the will, the time or the inclination to sign them? or are we going to be the same penny pinching types. i really hope we get these bodies in, as right now we are in complete shambles.

  46. Lets look at what the future holds for both clubs. Man United has over a BILLION DOLLARS in debt. Arsenal has about 300 million in debt. Man United will have to cook the books for years to come. Arsenal will not AND will be in an envious position as they win titles. The sad truth is that the fans do not look at the business side of this equation. There is also another aspect that needs addressing. As i read somewhere, when the club was pulled out of its dying days, the Chairman at the time made sure that all future Arsenal dealings did not put the club in jeapordy of entering administration.

    Yes, my heart felt heavy as the score climbed but as it climbed i also wanted to see what the young guns were made of. What i saw was a lack of leadership. The defense did very well at the beginning but began its collapse as the forwards looked to score. This team is not playing as a team. There has been too many disruptions to it. The missing players has disrupted the tick tack toe passing. This team needs to gel. Man United has gelled as a team and are clicking like clockwork. Man City is beginning to gel and they are winning. It has been a tremendously frustrating summer because Fabregas just did not want to stay at Arsenal. I don’t blame him. His future was in peril with the type of tackles he endured. Ramsey, one of his replacement, has to get his “gung ho attitude” back. His broken leg has affected his play. The same goes for Van Persie who has also suffered numerous injuries as has Theo. Their careers are at stake if they endure more injuries. As for the transfer market fiasco, who knows what is going on at Arsenal. Have none of you ever had to deal with back office politics ? There may very well be a power struggle on for top dog position and Wenger may be in the thick of it. His friend David Dien may have put Wenger at odds with Gadzidis. We the fans only see the front of club and that is the manager and the players. Our assumptions could very well see one of the most in demand managers leave the club. Real Madrid at this point would only be too happy to have him. Question is “who to replace him”? Even Ferguson is beginning to sympathise with him. This should tell us that these people who are so accustomed to the politics of football, have seen a problem at Arsenal and the problem is in the back office. I vote for Wenger to do well this year with Arsenal and will be in the Champion’s League next year. Don’t forget, Man United started off last year in a timid fashion and they ended up winning the league. Injuries just may take them out. When Rooney was injured, they did not do too well.

  47. In all fairness we have to give credit to the Man U team (the lot has gelled in so well), they were that much better – Sorry Phil but injuries and bans are a no argument so I have to disagree, not in conceding 8 goals. But yes freak results happen and the team has to fight back – manager speaks of character – well the next few matches will show the teams steel.

    Football is not about balancing books either!

    I am a big Arsene fan but I do believe the board needs to ask more questions – sacking him i not the solution and will not suddenly put us into contention this season.

    Respect to the traveling fans and to the club for its reaction. Its going to take a strong team to get its act together and start firing again, I honestly have my worries this season but will just have to sit back and support the team!!

  48. Seriously Phil, if this article is meant to hold brief for Wenger and give excuses for an inevietable poor performance, come again. We fielded a very weak team because we lacked quality in-depth- something you loyal supporters of Wenger should have adviced him on. Your supporting him does not mean you should not disagree when he is getting it all wrong. He’s not wiser than anyone else!

  49. The thing about these articles is that they go beyond optimistic into the realms of …. how to put it – alterior motives perhaps – didn’t i read somewhere you had a page in the match day programme?

    I mean, you just make excuses and bend over backwards to find a positive when sometimes you just have to except the truth and instead of being blindly positive try being critical and analysing the performance – tough love.

    Wednesday, suspensions and injuries are tough – granted – but fans have been begging for changes for years…. we get injuries and have to play extra games every season, why has wenger not figured these factors into his overall game plan…. it is insane to continue doing something that proves suicidal every other year

    And there can be no excuses for letting players go without bringing in replacements

  50. Does look like Santos is coming in, looks like we might be getting 4 or 5 players in before the window shuts, at least 4/5 of the reports sound legit.

  51. @ Canadian Gooner: I appriciate the fact that manu are in a billon $ debt. so what? what will happen? nothing? worst case, is that the glazers will sell it off to a saudi multi zillionare and furthermore, manu has a worldwide following and is a very very very sellable brand. so nothing will happen to them.

  52. For all those who forgot.. we defeated Everton 6-1 in a league opener and they came back and had a draw… I mean were we really that good or they that Bad..

    I mean such days do come.. Remember your worst defeat and then say you were never humiliated once.. The response should be more important not the defeat..

  53. @ Gouresh: You never told why you lost 9-0.. You only told ur response.. I am not interested in ur reasons of defeat.. But its nice to know that you can be defeated 9-0 once but still get a draw next time..

    Trust me we will also give a better reply to MANU next time.. how.. Only Mr. Wenger can tell..

  54. Apparently an Arsenal representitive confirmed to someone from the BBC we’re signing Santos for 6.2 million.

  55. Fick the Arsenal Foolosophy. The simple fact is that we knew Cesc and Nasri were going. Why don’t we have midfielders to cover them 2 days before the window ends?

    We know about the hole in our defence for years now. Why hasn;t it been plugged yet? Was Wenger waiting for the 8-2 thrashing before he would do something?

    It’s been the same story over and over and over again.

    Long term Injured players are not covered.

    Experienced players who leave are not replaced with players of sufficient quality.

    And after patiently waiting for years for them to come good, the club is unable to retain the young players. Eg, Flamini, Hleb, Adebayor, Cesc, Nasri etc.

    We had many opportunities to win something over the past few years and give the team a winning mentality. But Wenger has been penny wise, pound foolish. He saved a few million bucks but lost team spirit, fan’s faith and has become a laughing stock for the league!

    He thought he is too smart for everyone else. He though only he knows and everyone else is stupid.

    I really used to adore and worship that guy. But I’ve lost all hopes since last year. I would be glad when the retarded imbecile either changes his freaking failed policy. or atleast leaves the club!

  56. Should be an interesting time before the window shuts, very interested to see who we’re gonna bring in, I think Wenger is excellent when he signs players overall so I think he will bring some players here who will be very successful for us.

  57. What’s the guy Gotze like? Reports suggest we had a bid rejected, heard he is a GREAT player, possibly might be offering Bendtner as part of the deal.

  58. To me the concern is where Arsenal are going as a club and to use the American sports example and I will use them as we have a American owner.

    Is Arsenal going to be a elite club, a low level club or one that sits in the middle and is forever trying to compete but can’t.

    In American sports you have the low level teams that can’t compete on wages so get younger players in and every now and then have a window of opportunity where a group of young talented players all come at the same time and compete with the big boys before they have to sell players as can’t afford their salaries anymore. These sort of teams are just as likely to finish last or close to it as to make a bit of a run.

    Or a elite club that gets good players every year, always have revenue and can pay salaries and success for the most part results in more success.

    Or a middle range club that tries to compete with the big boys but just can’t crack it. They still buy players but buy middle range players who don’t cost as much as the elite but again are not as talented so they don’t finish in the top rung (well not all the time) but also don’t finish in the bottom either. With this sort of club if you want to buy elite players you sometimes have to pay over the odds as the players will go to a winning club for less if they win.

    The biggest problem with the middle range situation is that it is really hard to get out of it without spending a vast fortune of money and even more so if go from a elite club to a middle range club.

  59. As ever, this crushing defeat with the most goals we’ve conceded for over a hundred years has nothing to do with Wenger’s transfer policy or defensive tactics (or lack thereof), because signing good players always has to cost hundreds of millions and automatically means relegation, doesn’t it? I mean just look at United. Their debt is really killing them isn’t it? And Barca are really struggling aren’t they?

    I’m curious, what WOULD it take for people who write on this site to question Arsene Wenger? If we were relegated (I’m not suggesting at all that we will be) would that still be okay because we didn’t ‘sell out’ and buy experienced players? Would it be ok because some teams would dream of playing in a league as high as the Championship in a lovely stadium like ours? I really want to know.

  60. Spending money is not the only answer. There has been a gradual erosion of the quality within the squad for a number of years. This buy young , develop and sell policy has drained us of the Arsenal spirit due to lack of identity with the club. Arsenal for the better players are just a stepping stone. Some of the better players would stay and not leave for the money if we looked like winning things. It is a catch 22 situation. The more worrying thing is Wengers now obvious lack of tactical nous that can no longer be covered up by, fitness, speed and agility. The players against Man Utd had little clue tactically of what to do. We do not defend properly at corners and set pieces relying on individual reactions. We do not attack the ball on our crosses and are useless at attacking our own corners in the air. These are major problems with fundamentals that have been there for ages. Our style of play is easy meat for many in the premiership. That is a fact that Wenger and his team seem unable to address. If we are arguing over two or three million to get one or two well established premier league players it is a disgrace. Wenger cannot keep pulling rabbits out of a hat. The squad discipline is appalling.. to have four players effectively sent off in three games is plain ridiculous. The signing of Santos appears a positive..experienced international. Another one or two like this would give us some stability and re assurance to the youngsters.

  61. I don’t get why any analysis of the match is met with abuse?
    I guess Arsene was right when he said he won’t try to explain it because then it sounds like you’re making excuses.

    But the thing is no one is offering any excuses. Everyone agrees that new signings are needed.
    But at the same time, we know that these were very special circumstances, as Arsene said. I don’t except us to allow 8 goals again when we face United or City or Chelsea.

    Just because some of us aren’t screaming for Wenger’s head doesn’t mean that we think everything is good and rosy. There are problems and let’s hope that we can resolve them.

    This match hasn’t changed anything from how things stood before kick off. The result wasn’t surprising either (the scoreline was).
    We know the squad isn’t strong enough as it is. We knew that before the game.
    Now we have a couple of days to see what can be done about it.

  62. Arsenal are one of the worlds elite clubs, with all the negativity people talking like we are a non league team, this is a team who last year beat Barca, Man U, Chelsea, Man City and many others, we are a top top club, many people would LOVE to be in our position right now, in the premier league, champions league, with many interntional players and many other positives, we are a huge club, 3 games into the season and 2 losses during a difficult peiord doesn’t suddenly change that, Cesc said Arsenal have the potential to be THE worlds best club, and I agree, we have a way to go, we are very well run, on the pitch we do need the trophies as proof and currently we need improvements to the squad which is natural when selling a player of Cesc’s caliber and stature within our team, I complete faith in Arsene being able to do that, when Arsene has had money and made several purchases this was when we were really winning, I vividly remember the period we bought Pires, Lauren, Witord, Edu etc, Henry even, many of these players became the foundation of our legendary sucess, I’m excited about who we will bring in and already feel we have brought in some class signings with Gervinho and AOC, if the new signings are of quality we will be hugely improved, and I think we will make some very astute signings.

  63. It’s also a shame the Joel Campbell work permit was refused as I think he could have made an impact for us this season too, hope too see him available to play for us asap.

  64. Beneath all the bravado and forced optimism, we are really clutching at straws this season at the start of the season – that must tell you something.

  65. I think it`1s time to admit that the Football League competition as we knew it is no more. By the third game of the season we know which teams will occupy the top three spots and a fair idea of who will run forth, so what`s the point of it all? We now have a breakaway league of high rollers, all trading in the red but, “what the hell, it`s only money”.
    Greed won`t allow the rules to change so you either accept it or you get out. Next thing you know Chelsea will be putting in a bid for the Emirates, cheaper than building a new one.


  67. @Mark:

    “I’m curious, what WOULD it take for people who write on this site to question Arsene Wenger? If we were relegated would that still be okay because we didn’t ‘sell out’ and buy experienced players?”

    In case you haven’t noticed, good football in the EPL is on the verge of becoming extinct. The money, the high transfer fees, the accompanying corruption, it’s absolutely killing the game. It’s not about sport anymore, it’s more like the “performing arts.” The teams that are winning the titles, even if they’re winning titles, don’t reflect the soul of the game. And that’s a difference that everybody senses, even if they don’t notice it.

    The reason I support Arsene is because he wants football to be about the football. His decisions reflect that. And I’m more than willing to question him on tactics, player purchases, anything else. But considering that what’s at stake right now is the heart and soul of the English game, as opposed to just a trohpy, none of that other stuff is quite as important right now.

  68. XX…….is your Cap Lock key stuck or something? Do you erroneously think writing in Capitals gives your argument marginally more credibility? I gather your comments were deleted so often that you have taken severe umbrage at Walter and Tony’s wise cropping of your ranting, illogical and self-pitying excrement.
    A CONSULTANT DOING PR WORK FOR ARSENAL???? Seriously, you are barely surviving in a black hole universe where ¨facts¨ are invented to make you a legend in your own mind and where your views are the only ones allowed!
    Get a life, return to see your psychiatrist,take your Valium, change your diapers and come back when you’re all grown up!

  69. @legweak:

    “8-2 is not a score it signals something a lot more sinister”

    Interesting word choice there 🙂

  70. the oil and gas men are distorting this game beyond recognition while most people don’t seem to care. anne is right. you don’t see f1 allowing v8 engines running alongside v10s do you? there’s a reason for that: to increase the competitiveness of the sport.

    if the football mafia allows man city to sell naming rights for a ludicrous sum so they can undermine uefa rules, where is the true competitiveness. until real madrid, man u, city, barcelona, psg and a few others are brought to heel this sport of ours will resemble a circus, not the one that f1 runs.

  71. @ all the pessimists.

    i would be the first to agree that we are not in the best state of health. but to say our views forced optimism or deluded is totally wrong. it reminds me of my mum who keeps telling me, dont go out at night cos you will get mugged, dont eat street stall food cos it will be bad etc. i think it is pessimistic paranoia from a few cases that are in the minority. so i think some of the doom and gloom perspectives are similar in that they are too paranoid.

    i personally am not too worried at the moment. months make a season, and years make a dynasty.

    i have said before that we have had 5 very tough games at the start of the season. yes 8-2 was humiliating, but i dont think too many other teams will get a result at Old Trafford. Similarly, i think there will be many teams which drop points at newcastle or against liverpool this season. Udinese are one of the best teams in Italy, and we beat them twice (home and away). That is also why i dont think Spurs are a bad team because they got beaten comprehensively by Man Utd and Man City…

    We may well get more players in and that could turn around the season. we saw what suarez did for liverpool last january. We have players to come back from suspension (song and gervinho) who will make a big difference. Having jack back will be a big boost.

    we’re not blinded that this is not a bad spell. but we certainly have the resources and potential to get out of it and do well this season.

    however, if we are still fighting relegation in december and losing reguarly to bottom half of the table teams, then i may get worried…


  73. XX,
    Easy tiger, its called being a fan. Some try to justify, some don’t turn off their caps lock. To each his own

  74. @Abhishek: yes….lets not get into why my team lost. that’s for another day. i think you missed the point or mayb i did not present it properly. it was about pride. u don’t need to loose by 8 goals, it should be alive and kicking even if we lost by 1 or if some1 said something we firmly believe in. specially when evera taunted us last yr. where was a r pride? is it still there? i sincerly hope that we give them a good thrashing on their visit.

  75. My optimism certainly isn’t false, infact if we’re so shit as people keep saying I will make a bet with anyone that we will pass our champions league group phase, we’re in a pretty strong group but I back us to overcome it, if we’re so terrible then we can put our money where our mouth is, both parties could willingly deposit the money to a neutral party and collect upon qualifcation or knockout.

  76. Everybody is analyzing what they see…..but you have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes.

    It seems the players love Wenger.

    I suspect that within the changing room the players and Wenger have discussed the ludicrous decisions and establishment bias against the team. The way for instance that Song gets yellowed for every first challenge he makes, fair or otherwise, whilst players like Rooney and Barton simply do what they want with impunity, be it elbowing players in the face or whatever.

    The bias of the league against the team has undermined morale, and Wenger is an honest man. In the dressing room he can’t deny the bias against the team to the players.

    So the players are now demoralized.

    The first game of the season was a total fiasco. Barton doing what he wanted…us being denied a penalty, twice, and getting a player sent off in the process. Nothing has changed from last season.,..and the season before, and the season before…..

    However good we are, (and we should have had this league at least twice in the last 5 years, not counting the effects of momentum and success), the northern referees, under the aegis of the FA, will always award the league to Man U.

    Wenger has snapped though. This is the difference now. He has snapped with the fickle supporters, saying he was shocked by the levels of opprobrium in the stands, and said this will be his last season. And he he is not going without having his say to all the shits.

    He has already declared the refereeing scandalous, and his riposte to the FA banning half the team was to declare this a non-game, “the season starts Sept 10”.

    Wenger has something to say. Watch this space

  77. Look at the through balls Park plays in that video, quality stuff. wonder if he could even play through the middle, he probably won’t but that is impressive, out of nearly all if not all the players we been linked with this summer his assiting seems to be of the best quality, looks very exciting.

  78. Or think of it in terms of Nasri and Fabregas abandoning ship, and what they would have discussed with their team-mates.


    “You can never win anything in England with Arsenal, because of the set-up”.

    Man City or bust really

  79. Keep hearing this bullshit over and over again from so called fans saying we’re not a big club now, lol 3 games in the premier league and we’ve gone from being a big club to not being? That is so ridiculous it’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. Some of these people can’t deal with their own lives so live vicariously through football with no perspective just vile moaning and complaning constantly like children, trying to put a negative spin on absoloutly everything, we sign a player…. they hate on it… we don’t sign anyone… they hate on it… unless the manager does the exact thing THEY (who most time have no experience and very little knowledge) want. Even Uefa have us amoungst the top seeds in Europe, but we’re supposedly a shit small club now, have even heard several times Spurs are bigger than us now, what kind of nonsense is that after 3 games? Especially the the window still open and us more than likely bringing in 4-5 new players.

  80. I think we can win here at Arsenal, I think bias does exist against us, however we aren’t completly blameless, we would have won the Carling Cup if not for that silly mistake, also we have to realise the bias and be even more resloute not to let officials have blatant opportunities to harm us, we have to be more disciplined and determined and stop doing things that harm ourselves.

  81. I wouldln’t be suprised at all with a cup win this season, I think people are gonna see throughout the season that players like Gervinho and AOC are quality, haven’t seen Park play but that assist video of him looks absoloute quality, don’t remember the left back either but I trust Wenger to buy some quality, it’s gonna be exciting up until the window closes, and hopefully today we will announce some signings.

  82. The thrashing of the gunners has come at a good time, all that has been said about the pride, quality, performance and commitment of players wearing the arsenal shirt, Management and Board vindicates what was seen all along by the fans. Lets not get carried away due to the fears we have about the future of the club but see what would be the response Arsene and Board have, we can not hide behind injuries and suspensions nor favouritism and immaturity for lack of silverware as the time is long overdue. Arsenal have become predictable in their play, Decision making by some players has let us down, there seems to be no ambition and desire by the the team to fight and all these issues should be addressed by the manager. Wenger I support you but you need to listen to what fans are saying at least.

  83. @RonnieBrown@7:27 & 7:29am: I think that sums it up best. Perfect 🙂

    And if we don’t buy (which is unlikely) lets just get behind the team and support it and not spout utter rubbish like has been the case over the last week. The number of first time “buy or go Arsene” posters have zoomed up.

    Makes you think why even SAF and Guardiola are backing AW. What idiots they are!!

  84. Thanks Anne, Mike in Atlanta, Marcus. Before that most of the comments made me wonder if I was still reading Untold. None of us can find out the full story of what is going on behind the scenes, and the full picture of the circumstances in which Arsene Wenger is working. ‘Commercial confidentiality’ and a whole lot of other confidentialities will prevent it. But anyone who has followed this web site will have read carefully researched evidence about the bias against Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in press and refereeing. The first matches of the season showed this is still going strong. The circumstances of the Man U match make it an obvious fluke. Arsene Wenger was not responsible for the illness and suspensions of his players and he never wanted Cesc and Nasri to leave. So why all the bile and abuse for the manager? Since he arrived at Arsenal we have consistently played the most attractive football in the Premership; he has developed a stream of fine players; we’ve been in the top four and the Champions League every year. All that has not suddenly disappeared because of one match.

  85. @Marcus:

    I asked you this on another thread as well, but I was wondering where you got this Arsene quote saying that “the season starts Sept 10.″ If you could provide some more information to back this up, I would be interested in it. Thanks.

  86. It was reported on Five 5 live. So unless the Irish git completely fabricated it. They also quoted Wenger as saying

    “The season starts on Sept 10th against Sunderland”

    which was definitive proof that Wenger is stark raving mad, and should really in a just world be quickly committed because apparently we play Swansea Sept 10.

    It only takes two people to refer someone, and Robbie Savage, Mark Lawrenson, and Alan Green would definitely want to fight for bragging rights on that one.

  87. amend: (still no edit button on Untold – yawn)

    It only takes two people to commit someone and Robbie Savage, Mark Lawrenson, and Alan Green would definitely want to fight for bragging rights on that one.

  88. Here is the problem I have with our situation
    Poor management – The following were all problem areas going into the off season and not addressing it adequately is criminal
    1. Center Back
    2. Lack of quality depth
    3. Cesc Fabregas

    While Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri were developments from the off season, good management would have tied them down before the off season or be prepared for alternatives at the beginning itself

    While I cannot claim to have any eye for talent and definitely not a better eye than AW, he should have moved for replacements sooner.

    Our youth project has now been discredited by a ManU team which was younger than ours, now getting new players to buy in is going to be more difficult. This is now the most serious problem we will face. Even if you are willing to pay over the odds (though I doubt if AW will ever do that), you will find yourself held to ransom by selling clubs as well as the players themselves.

    Now AW will have to trade on his name and not the name of Arsenal to get new players to buy in to his project and this is a dangerous situation for the club.

    I live in India and amongst my friends, I am the only Arsenal supporter and its becoming difficult with each passing day to hold firm and live in hope. All in all a bleak situation going forward. I fear for the rest of the season

    However Sport is a wonderful equalizer. it gives you chances to come back again and again and again.

    So we continue to live in Hope

  89. Please do not judge my love for Arsenal when I say this defeat is just a defeat in my mind.

    I’m a boxer, and I used to be on the same level with another guy in my gym. We are tiger vs lion you know what I mean, exchange punches, hit and got hit by the other.

    One day, as usual, we’re on the ring. I felt not so good in my stomach before the game but I tried to stand on my feet. He’s beating the shit out of me, like Tyson vs me. That never happened before.

    So, we only had one third of our real strength again our strongest opponent in their best day. 3-1, 5-1 or 8-2, it’s the same. Just a few more hard punches when we’re already down and tried to keep standing as a warrior.

    I know we can do better than that with 100% strength. I know we’re still on the same level with them.

  90. You don’t suppose that Wenger basically threatened the Board and said something along the lines of “Now that you’ve failed to deliver, failed to spend, failed to answer the fans shouts for new experienced additions and allowed two of our very best players to leave on their terms – I’ll show you exactly what we have left in the squad…”! and then proceeded to throw the match to force the point?

    Just a theory, it could have been a stroke of genius if it has awakened and reminded Silent ‘f*ckin’ Stan to that fact that he made promises and Ivan to the fact that we are football team and not a retail business!

  91. Maube the remark about people coming into the cockpit and telling AW how to run the club was aimed at the board….. U may well be right Sharpehunter

  92. @Sharpehunter:

    Another instance of Wenger fans deluding themselves. For years, they’ve been going on about Wenger’s philosophy of refusing to spend.

    And now when things have gone drastically spend, they’re questioning whether Wenger really has the money to spend?

    Now this is BEYOND RIDICULOUS! Several times over the past years, the Board (Peter Hill Wood and Gazidis) have come and made statement that funds are available if Wenger wants to spend. Wenger himself has admitted that funds are available. The guilt only lies with Wenger himself! But the AKB wants to divert blame from Wenger!

    Hypocrisy or what?

  93. @Sammy
    Money available doesnt mean money to throw at whatever takes your fancy… some people may have 200,000 pounds saved up, but they dont buy a 150,000 pound ferrari, they spend it more wisely on a house, a car, a wedding, a few holidays.

    the fact that the board and arsene have said they have money just means they have money to spend. but not to overpay for overpriced players. whether we blame the board or wenger, someone is there saying that we will not spend 50m on kaka, and 80m on ronaldo (plus 20m in wages).

  94. @Sharpehunter,
    I mentioned something similar in regards to Mourinho and the 5-0 thrashing by Barcelona. Most Madrid managers would have been sacked for that humiliation, instead he’s become the most powerful manager in the history of Real Madrid, disposing of a popular Director of Football and taking transfer policy out of the hands of a megalomaniac.

    The problem with deliberately going to OT to get thrashed is ‘who benefits?’ Wenger might need more power over the board but it’s not like he needs any more pressure on him right now.

  95. Only a suggestion. There is lots of talk about the fact that Wenger has had a massive fall out over the wage structure at Arsenal. He has apparently now grasped the fact that the reason we can’t compete in the transfer window at the level we as fans expect is because our wage structure is too low to secure World Class talent or even to retain it. The rumour mill is pretty keen that Wenger has addressed this with the Board and they have flatly refused to review the position – hence no really major signings.

    Let’s be honest about this for a moment. How could we possibly complete with Citeh, United, Chelsea for example. All of their major contributors are on in excess of £150,000 a week. I’m guessing our best paid player at the moment is probably on c£90,000!

    Think about this logically:

    Wayne Ronney – £200,000+
    Aguero – £180,000+
    Dzeko – £180,000+
    Balotelli – £160,000+
    Nasri – £180,000+

    All of those are guesstimates based upon the usual press and media rumours. But we all know they are pretty much on the mark.

    At Arsenal we would never dream of matching that kind of weekly wage. So ask yourself, if you were a World Class Footballer and were offered this choice:

    1) You can get paid £180,000 per week and play with Aguero, Dzeko, Silva, Kompany, Toure and the rest of the team.
    2) You can earn £100,000 per week and play with Traore, Rosicky, Lansbury, Coquelin, Squillaci and so on…

    Which would you choose?

    Oh and that is just using Citeh as an example. Imagine if you are open to playing anywhere in the World and have options like Barca, Inter, AC, Real on the table as well!

    Hmmmmm let me consider, £150,000 per week and playing week in week out with Messi, Iniesta, Villa…… Oh, stuff that I’ll go and play at Arsenal with a bunch of kids who have yet to grow pubic hair…

  96. @Sharpe: I refuse to accept that.. Its worse than match fixing.. sorry buddy..

    Lets accept that things never went Arsenal’s way… I will say that Wenger will come out and say to the fans about reality rather than do this to his own team..

  97. @Sharpehunter,
    The point you’ve not considered is that the players Wenger wants may not exist or are playing for another CL club that will not sell. Barcelona seem to have a real problem finding CBs (with a budget and wage structure comparable to City) as Mascherano (all 5’9″ of him) gets an awful lot of games at CB.

    The side issue is, should our tactics be compromised when we don’t have a decent squad available to make use of what we have? That’s not a rhetorical question as it’s entirely possible we could have had a 6-0 hiding instead of a 8-2 by being negative and defensive.

  98. @Woolwich Peripatetic

    Not all, I think that is kind of what I am saying. I don’t believe that Modric is the best at what he does in the World for example, but Chelsea appear to have resigned themselves to signing him! If there were alternatives as good and as available surely they would have gone for them.

    I’m just throwing a theory out there for discussion to see if it has any legs. Its and alternative to sitting in my office virtually suicidal and unable to go get a coffee because of all the Manure fans who work here as well!!!

  99. @Anne

    “In case you haven’t noticed, good football in the EPL is on the verge of becoming extinct. The money, the high transfer fees, the accompanying corruption, it’s absolutely killing the game. It’s not about sport anymore, it’s more like the “performing arts.” The teams that are winning the titles, even if they’re winning titles, don’t reflect the soul of the game. And that’s a difference that everybody senses, even if they don’t notice it.

    The reason I support Arsene is because he wants football to be about the football. His decisions reflect that. And I’m more than willing to question him on tactics, player purchases, anything else. But considering that what’s at stake right now is the heart and soul of the English game, as opposed to just a trohpy, none of that other stuff is quite as important right now.”

    Just curious… which professional sport is not about money these days? Is it peculiar to soccer and EPL per se? Doesn’t AW’s salary reflect that? Obama don’t earn that amount, I believe you know that right.

    And what is your definition of ‘soul of football’? And pray tell me why MU is not reflecting the soul of the game… winning titles and still hungry for more, fighting spirit, never say die attitude et el

  100. @Sharpehunter,
    With you on that. The problem is separating an organisational weakness from a personnel weakness.
    Is there anything intrinsically wrong with the way we defend? Maybe.
    Is it different from the rest of the league? Yes.
    What is the skillset of an Arsenal CB? Game reading and ball playing ability.
    What are the physical characteristics? Recovery pace, aerial ability.
    Even the best CBs in the league can be found severely lacking in one of those four areas. Neither Vidic nor Terry can play a high line and they’re the top two defenders.

    So, turning it the other way around, what if we defend with a low line, like United or Chelsea?
    Firstly, a link player has to drop into the hole between defence and midfield. That player can then be ganged up on by a false nine and an attacking midfielder.
    Secondly, if the holding midfielder is isolated, all balls out of defence have to be hit long. So you need either a physically imposing target man (who again has got to be better than the opposition defence at claiming aerial balls) or space for your wingers to run into. Nobody is stupid enough to easily concede space at the back apart from our makeshift backline…

    In essence by compromising the way we play, we would have to gut the team and start again, which appealing as it sounds, isn’t feasible because only MCFC have the budget to do so. Also, it has sort of stopped working for ManU and Chelsea, the former had an appalling away record and the latter had a catastrophic midseason collapse because they were short three key players.

  101. The perfect storm.

    Its the only way I can describe the scenario leading up to Sundays game. The club were forced to put their eggs into one basket last week, qualification for the CL was absolutely paramount for numerous reasons. The fact the game was away from home against a useful Udinesse team and then played in heat sapping conditions made our already difficult task for the upcoming fixture at Old Trafford almost impossible

    The impact of the loss of Fabregas and Nasri added with some stupid suspensions, injuries, fatigue and a squad that was by now stretched beyond capacity have all attributed to our humiliating defeat.

    Acceptable NO. Predictable YES.

    If Old Red Nose had manipulated the fixture list himself he could not have wished to play Arsenal at a better time.

  102. The following headlines are all available on the net if you’re prepared to do a little searching. “Soul searching” you might say.

    “Match-Fixing Scandal Strikes Greek Football”..June 20th 2011

    “Italian football rocked by fresh match-fixing scandal”…June 2nd 2011

    “La Liga strike to go ahead as talks collapse in Spain over players wages”….August 19th 2011

    “Fifa to probe Caribbean officials in bribery scandal”…August 11th 2011

    “Finland football rocked by match-fixing scandal”…June 11th 2011

    “South Korean football players charged in fixing scandal” 9th June 2011

    “Mass arrests in Turkey in football match-fixing probe”….March 24th 2010

    “European football match-fixing trial opens in Germany”…October 6th 2010

    Corruption and manipulation are rife across the footballing world, the sporting nature of the game is seriously being called into question in many countries.

    And yet we are led to believe the multi-million pound industry that is the EPL, with its Sugar daddy owners at one end and debt ridden clubs at the other is wholesomely clean?

  103. @ Ed,

    Your comment is yet another example of unfounded lies and smokescreen created by the AKB.

    You didn’t find value you say? Well Juan Mata went to Chelsea for less than what Man City played for Nasri. He was coming even cheaper, but as usual, Wenger fiddled and his buyout clause expired pushing up his price. There are many such instances , but I gave just one example to expose your baseless arguments.

  104. Marcus, others,
    Several comments on UA have suggested that players like Cesc and Nasri and others leave, in part, because the ref bias against us in the form of non-calls is producing disproportionate injury and is career-threatening. With regard to Cesc, I’ve argued this possibility during his last season’s injuries, but based only on logic and conjecture. Does anyone have any specific evidence, citation, quotes from any of our players or ex-players to suggest this fear of injury through anti-Arsenal ref-bias is at all a factor in player’s minds? Could it be one reason, even an important reason, that some players are not keen on signing with us? Marcus, do you have evidence that Arsene and the players have openly ever discussed the bias in the changing room as you have suggested? It’s an important point, either way, but is it based on logic and conjecture (which may be right) as was my thoughts on Cesc last season, or can you provide specific evidence to demonstrate your point on this? It matters a lot, so evidence is essential. This is not meant to challenge or say bollocks, but to ask for how you’ve arrived at that perception. Cheers.

  105. p.s. It is an important point because if this is the perception by players, then it is a knock-on effect of the ref-shite on the pitch, and would be part of what is undermining Arsenal’s long-term competitive prospects with potential signings. I hope to be wrong but in all honesty raise this for our considerations.

  106. I think the Mata cause was us not being able to match the wages Chelsea offered rather than the transfer fee.

  107. Sammy,
    I don’t think so (because nothing is all black and white), but, just for a moment, let’s say you are absolutely right. So: do you want Arsene to resign this minute? And if so: then exactly what is your plan after that, in this season? or are you writing this season off? And are you willing to trade your satisfaction in being right, to the extent that you may be, for a relegation season? Or is Ancelloti or someone else your backup plan? Just make your alternative specific and plain so that there’s something concrete for people to work with.

  108. Phil,
    You say that Realism is to accept the impact of x-Cesc/Nasri as perhaps too tough to overcome to contend for a top 3. I have to agree, though it is very painful to accept right now. But I also have to say that Realism would also dictate that somewhere at AFC there should have been a viable plan B for the possibility-to- probability that such departures were forthcoming. Realism is to acknowledge that there may well have been one or more Plans B, but that something at AFC has prevented it from being a VIABLE plan. Would you agree? I’d truly welcome your eyes-open realism and thoughts on what that something might be.

  109. Bob,

    Just my take on Cesc but I would say that getting injured in the EPL probably had no to little bearing on his decision. I think his mind was set on going back to Barcelona and once that happens and I can think of it in a working overseas sense it is hard to change it. I mean you get same pay, same job etc and you get to do it at home and fulfill your boyhood dream.

    As for Samir I get the impression he likes to be seen and be on the big stage so it is no wonder he went to Manchester City and also gets a wooping great pay increase.

    As for this season, I think there will be a group of 3 then a group of 4 then the rest. Arsenal will be in the group of 4 who will do ok but every now and then drop games they shouldn’t or draw a lot of games. One of these teams will emerge to get the final CL spot.

    I know we all want them to win the league but to me finishing 4th and a cup would be a great season given the circumstances.

  110. It is true that Arsenal have signed Brazilian left back André Santos? He is a player hotly contested in Brazil national team.

  111. Conceding 8 goals in an EPL game doesn’t “just happen” and such a result is not usually part of football. If it was, it would happen more frequently than once in a hundred plus years. The team we fielded was very weak but should have made a much more competitive game of it than they did against a confident but weakened opponent. It is yet another bad result that demonstrates a lack of basic resilience within the squad-demoralisation even. We look like relegation material

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