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July 2021

Post match reaction from the stands, and even a word about the food

By Phil Gregory

So, how do you write an article following up on that then? Clearly those were a three points that we should’ve been taking home, especially after a generally excellent first half performance.

I’m not going to dissect the game as frankly, you can read that on any Arsenal blog and having been at the game, I haven’t had the benefit of numerous TV replays on some of the goals. Bloody Blackburn don’t even show replays of the away side’s goals, the tykes. I will say however that I was mystified at how Yakubu got half a yard for their first goal, as it certainly looks like the Yak has been well fed this summer, to adapt the fairly common chant. Koscielny’s own goal was unfortunate, with the real error the missed tackle out on our left flank in the build up to the goal.

For me, the most concerning thing was how we seemed to play within ourselves in the second half. There was plenty of zip in the passing during the first 45 minutes, with passes incisive and possession maintained for long periods of the game. Yet after the break that all seemed to change. The ball was given away much more and the tempo seemed slower, almost as if the players were apprehensive. Perhaps it was nerves after Blackburn drew level again but whatever the cause it is a real Achilles’ heel for this side.

Anyway, let’s not be damning for the entire of this article. As a game to attend, it was a cracker, you can’t ask for more than seven goals even if more of them were in our net than I would’ve liked. Even the journey to and from the station was fairly easy, I had a lift to the game and offered one to a nice lad called Rodney who I got chatting to at the station. The journey back was a little more testing, as life is when your car battery is flat thanks to the driver leaving the headlights on. Thankfully, the nice fella from the AA was fairly prompt, and I got the train home with but a minute to spare, thus avoiding an hour long wait for the next one. That brings me to home, where the good lady is proving her ability to waste more time in the bathroom than Paul Robinson can on a goal kick before we head out for a pint. And so I blog.

There was however, one major negative point to the Blackburn experience that has not yet been mentioned. While Tony’s catering experiences at the Emirates haven’t been the best recently (though mildly amusing to read about!) I hope he never has to suffer the shambles that is Ewood Park. A mere four tills for the masses seeking half time grub, the queues took forever and I missed the first five minutes of the second half stuck waiting for service. Normally I wouldn’t be that bothered for food, but I was absolutely starved by that point, having not eaten pre-match. Given that, it wasn’t ideal that they’d completely sold out of all types of pie, hotdog and sausage roll by the time we got there, meaning I had to settle for a bar of Dairy Milk. I mean, I appreciate Blackburn is a club with an enormous “commercial operation”, but you’d think that a club run by a cooked chicken supplier would ensure there was adequate food to be sold at half time. Several punters in the queue behind me speculated that by the looks of things, Yakubu had burgled the store room, which would go some way to explaining the shortage.

I will however like to make a mention about my fellow away fans at the game. Whilst the crowd seemed as nervous as the players late in the second half and the songs died down just as the team really needed them, there were no “anti-Arsenal” chants about spending money or booing. Only One Arsen Wenger even got a run out in the first half, and it was great to see unity amongst the fan base, who stayed behind at fulltime behind to applaud the players for their efforts. Great work away Gunners, hopefully I can be so positive about the home support when I trek down to the Emirates for Bolton next weekend.

Anyway, that’ll have to do for now. It’s not the result we’d have wanted, but them’s the breaks. Chin up Gooners, stay behind your team and keep the faith.

88 comments to Post match reaction from the stands, and even a word about the food

  • Mandy Dodd

    Glad the support up there did their job. The first half, we were excellent but different players, familiar failings. I felt the mf at time did not do anywhere enough to support the defence and Santos looks like he needs to improve the defensice side of the game. On the plus side, the forward play was good, we could and should have equalised, also one of Yaks goals looked offside and Theo had a good shout for a pen.
    The game should have yielded a far different result.
    At the risk of going over old ground, it seems like disasters are never far away whoever we play in defence these days. Nobody is going to tell me they are all bad defenders. So all that is left -either a confidence thing, or a flawed system that needs changing.
    Again, old ground, i know there are a lot of new faces but gving goals away like that are not acceptable at this or any other level. Maybe now is the time for Wenger to bring in a proper specialist defence coach, to help out the whole team, not just the back 4. To help the mfs who think it is ok not to return to position or track back when we loste the ball would help. Wenger is rumoured to be against the idea of a defence coach, especially Mr Keown but with 12 goals conceded in 2 away league games, he may have to change, a continuation of this level of performance and the consequences are unthinkable if predictable. Wenger has to turn this around and quickly. Radical solutions may be needed if we are to keep a CL spot, keep key players who will be wanted elsewhere, and maybe save careers of players who could experience devastating confidence dips. We all knew what happened to Senderos.
    For the last few months, the UK media have obsessed on our beloved club and Pippa Middletons behind. After this performance, Ms Middleton may get a few less column inches in tomorrows papers.
    Tighten up that defence on a consistant basis, over to you Mr Wenger, Bould, Dixon, or Keown.

  • rufruf


    You know as well the rest that will never happen, just like Aluminia the situation got bad and this is bad but Wenger is very stobburn, he too worried about the financial business rather than the football. Never before have said this but Wenger lost heart and may not be @ Arsenal come may.

    All the fans I’ve been speaking to have said this, fans are frustrated.

  • First of i would like to thank you for a very good blog, i usually dont write many posts on the internet but today i just have to air my frustration.

    I disagree about Koscielny beeing ufortunate/unlucky in the situation with the own goal, if this guy were a solid defender he would look over his back and se if there was anyone behind him and then make a decision to stop and let olson have a shot at our main man or just wait for the 45 degree pass which was quite obvious would come. Instead he manages to put the back in our own goal.
    If you concentrate on Koscielny throughout a game (take any game we have lost points in or lost) you will se that he is responsible for not holding the line defensively and thereby making players come onside and score. I’ve watched him alot and the guy doesnt know how to defend properly.
    I am afraid this is going to be a long season with alot of pain.

  • RedGooner

    Your day sounds more misserable than mine cadburys chocolate …Its a disgrace 🙂
    Cant see anyone chanting spend some effing money when the windows closed though….
    Mandy I dont think think this squad would be capable of securing 4th spot …team maybe as in first 11 with a defensive coach, squad no way in hell especialy without one.
    Im not sure either if I was keown I would go back to bail them out he should have been there every season since our champs league run.

  • Spen

    JD 20 was appalling again the whole time he was on
    TW 14 chose to flick his late attempt because he was too scared to put his foot through the ball in case it was clattered by the on rushing GK. He is a bottle job.
    PM 4 & LC 6 did not play in a line at any point during the match. They are an atrocious pairing at present.
    AW manager looks beaten. I implore him to leave. He is killing the club slowly (but its getting quicker all the time)
    All Americans associated with our club. I find the wages you earn for what you do a slap to every arsenal fan around the world. 18 months and 3 tie ins is all you can come up with. You are also a disgrace

    In conclusion: This manager using these players playing this system will see us relegated (and yes we are far far far far far too good to go down)and once again AW will be making history

  • bob

    Mandy, Yes, the defensive specialist, as ever.
    second: AW did not score 2 own goals, nor will them, nor decree them, nor prepare for them.
    third: obvious offside non-call on one Rovers goal.
    fourth: obvious foul vs Theo by the keeper at a game-changeable moment.
    Etc. etc.
    Yes, the disappointment is massive; yes, some panic – fanned by media and focused on Arsene himself, is breaking out.
    But this side is only two matches together.
    If we fans can’t find our support at home as the away fans constantly muster, no matter what, then we will all co-create the self-fulfilling prophesy that will doom us to self-consuming toxic stew. That is not pleasure; nor is it merited (yet). So let’s do our bit, demand the defensive specialist(s) (Sol, Keown, Jens, whatever); but not vomit our negativity on the players and kill off their hope and any desire of other players to come in January or to stay with us and commit to a turnaround. There’s real talent on this side and it can be still be marshaled if we help and put the coffin-nails back in our pockets. Yes, go Gunners!

  • antarchile

    Wenger could have bought Samba for less that 5 million last january.With him we would have won the carling cup and fought for the epl title to the bitter end.Any left back of any club in the top 3 divisions of english football would have done a better job than the overweigh Santos.It is good for players to have big egos , but for a manager to let his ego cloud his vision is not good.Koscielny and Djourou are not good enough and will neve be good enough.
    Look at Pelegrini , the coach of Malaga….You can buy great players at a reasonable budget!

  • Zinc

    Really nice to a read an article that acknowledges the positive aspects of the game and doesn’t call for Wengers head, I’ve recieved abuse for simply not hating our gaffers guts. I’m with you and am proud of the away supporters – true gooners. Wenger must sort out our defensive woes, if that means getting in a defnsive coach and buying more defenders in January then so be it – without our discipline letting us down we’d be sitting near the top of the table right now.

  • bob

    It’s more complex than your simple brush strokes. You’re right about Samba in January. I was one of us calling for it then and, yes, it clearly haunts us today. But you’re dead wrong on Koscielny. This own goal does not cancel him out as a developing star in the EPL. He has many gifts and to shit on all of that out of a spasm of self-righteous rage is totally not on. Don’t know yet, about Santos, because he’s out of game shape as yet; but still, imo, better than the alternative, Gibbs, who is also not really a defenseman and should, as you say, been on the bench for Samba. Have to agree with Mandy, though, that we need intense refocusing on the defense (as per a specialist with pit-bull spirit for a beehive of swarming commitment) and collective prayer by all fans, home and away, for a Tommy V return at full gallop. This defense is not total shite; but a flawed work in progress. It should not be strangled in its crib, so back off, mate.

  • RedGooner

    Bob you wont turn this around in a transfer window the club has lost its direction.
    We had a direction bring up our best players keep them build for the future with them. All that direction within the club is gone you cant sell them as soon as they come of age if thats your inital target for success.
    Whats worse is who is lying the board ? Arsen said that was our plan and we were heading in that direction with quality players.
    RVP wont sign an extention next summer …Theo might be gulliable enough to.
    The issue is we will not be able to attract the kind of players for a few years to bring this club back on track unless something is done now in the defensive coaching dept our defenders arent that bad.
    We only want the truth no more frikken lies …You cant sell a plan to everyone then say the idiots believe us lets now keep selling all the players comming through that rate of going we have no frikken intention of keeping wiltshire or anyone else when they are 23/24 and looking like the finished article.

    I think wenger is getting frigged over by the board for sometime now, Im not even sure he wanted those signings I think he wanted to build with what we had and offer better wages.
    Someone said no ….

  • Zinc

    Good post Bob. I’m happy to admit that Wenger has made mistakes and oversights, especially with the defensive side of our game and they’ve existed for too long but a certain faction are unable to accept the positives he has and still does bring to our club and our football. I’m confident we’ll turn this around and start winning games regularly, we need to shake off this psychological hang over left from last year more than anything.

  • critic


    WTF are u talking about moron? Koscielny not good enough? He single handedly bailed arsenal out against dortmund. The problem will always be there if midfield switches off while defending. Song’s own goal was lack of concentration in my opinion. He was not anticipating that ball which was wrong.

  • Sg666

    I stand by Arsenal 100% it’s just our turn, a test
    To see, not how mentally strong the players are but also
    The fan-base. Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham have discarded
    Manager’s only to give the next one too much money and no time.
    Like in the film “300” this is Sparta..THIS IS ARSENAL be brave!!

  • rufruf

    Looking @ the comments here it appears the Wenger charm is fading, a season ago 99.9% had faith now with doubts starting to out weigh positives, everyone has a hang over the negatives. The media is doing its job, whilst our manager/board haven’t been doing there’s. Koscielny did cost us the cup then came good but todays performance was not acceptable. Wenger knew cesc was leaving, nasri’s head had been turned the board waited to off load them and only then did Wenger spend, that tells me Wenger didn’t have the finances.

    Wenger should of put his foot and demanded the players or wages increase, sometimes you have to fight and for too long Wenger hasn’t and the board is only too happy.

  • Mandy Dodd

    As ever on this site, for the most part thinking and reason prevail. Agree Critic, the MF do not always help the case for the defence.
    The team are talented but at times seem to lack discipline.
    I am not sure this is Wengers cup of tea but some of these problems will only be solved by hard work in training. Sorry, no more cliches.
    I have this horrible negative feeling going around my head about Wengers fate, maybe media conditioning but I am worried. Agree with Redgooner on issues with the board. Like you, I am not convinced they were all his buys but who really knows. I keep hearing there were issues over the price of Cesc with some on the board wanting to accept £45m from Real but Wenger refusing to lay that on his captain. Again, who knows.
    The fact is , this team have been hit by injuries, bad luck/ refereeing, lack of confidence, key players leaving, the media campaign, new signings needing time to settle, the transfer trials and tribulations of the summer,defensive indiscipline, players unsettled by tapping up, a desire to return home and off field personal issues yet many fans seem to blame one man for all of this. What worries me is that there may be new members on the board who may look for an easy scape goat if these performances continue.
    I have a hunch Wenger needs backing from his supporters like never before, some of his enemies may be much closer at hand than the media / AAA et al.

  • rufruf

    Cesc/Nasri/Flamini/Hleb/A.Cole/Henry/etc. name another club only too happy counting the cash and not realising the cost?

    Greed a thats it plain and simple.

  • FYI: rufruf and jayj are the same person.

  • RedGooner

    Its like this, They havent long to sorten it out.
    It needs immediate addressing.

    We’ve conceded 14 goals in 4 games. In 1998/99 we conceded 17 goals all season.
    We’ve won 3 games in the last 18 league matches.

  • Please wake up 15th in league worst goal diff ARSENAL this is

  • Sammy The Snake

    Some of the defending looks like Arsenal are trying real hard to lose. Some gamblers must be making a killing betting on Arsenal shooting themselves in the foot.

    Cesc must be so happy he left. Have you seen him play? He looks rejuvinated.

  • M.V

    The feeling around the club almost reminds me of Benitez last season with Liverpool. It’s like a self-fullfilling prophecy of doom. I remember Liverpool dominating games, but not winning. Not winning because of the pressure of HAVING to win. Arsene is really the victim of his own success, just as benitez was having taken them to 2nd in the league the year before (of course Wenger had won EPL before, and you can’t really compare them..) As a fan, I always hope for the best, and I don’t critize because I can see how unlucky Arsenal were today. And they need to chill, but it’s almost impossible when people snap at every single mistake. In life – If you’re afraid of making a mistake, you will make that mistake.

  • M.V

    I kinda stole your line! But you’re spot on…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very valid points MV. The media had it in for Benitez as well.
    But Wenger, please help yourself out of this and get some help on the coaching front. Wenger is great with forwards and attacking MFs, defenders – can do better.
    The likes of Djourou need his confidence building up, a proper coach working with him on defensive duties can do that, and maybe even rescue a few careers.
    Isn’t Sol available?

  • Gouresh

    is it me of is just me! we are missing something right now…which is aggression. 50 -50 tackles / chances we loose. players don’t seem to be speaking to each other, it’s just plain going through the motions. we haven’t learnt for the 5 seasons, how to kill the game off. they say when you have caught the chicken, you cut its head off…don’t allow it to run, u will loose it. that’s what’s happening for the all the 5/6 season. we have lost so many points and game because of this.
    As for the own goals, Song should have been extra alert, its not that the ball was hit hard and deflected. when u are in the 6 yrs box, all your senses should be at the max. As for the 2nd, again, the defender should be antisipating the cross and as said the the others, should have looked around to make sure of where the attackers are. VERY POOR considering these are so called top players. more like the sunday kick-about types.
    i don’t know what the deal with the defensive coach situation is, but yes if we haven’t got 1, we need one NOW! I have played as central defender for 20 yrs and i can tell u all for sure, the GK and the defence is the most imp thing that needs sorting out. yes we are just 2 games with the new defence, but the way we are performing, 4th place looks very very distant and so does any silverware.
    i think that we should stop this penny pinching policy and pay serious money to get players or we will be left way behind.

  • Charlie

    Well, immediately the second half got away i knew there was something wrong with the team, we started the half for the first 2 mins we couldn’t get the ball out of our half, i was wondering what happened to the team. I just knew it will go wrong and it all went down hill from there. I think wenger should play formation that will bring back confidence to the team like playing with 2 strikers…and he should adopt team formation on our opponents even barca does that when playing.

  • KYGooner

    terrible post. Nothing to say about the game because it was horrible so you write about the food? That is the kind of slackass, blase attitude that has led to the detoriation of this club. We have to start expecting more if this club is going to compete for trophies again. That is why the club exists; not to make as much cash as possible, not to provide a good “catering experience.” The club must find a balance, but to do that they have to start taking a few more risks than they have in the past 6 years.

    I used to like this blog. It was very positive in the face of a lot of unnecessary criticism. Now it just seems like you’re in denial; Charlie Sheen denial. The amount of comments on this blog just shows how out of touch this blog is. You cannot continue to give Arsenal’s management a free pass because of what they have done in the past or because they let you play on the pitch once a year. You have a responsibility to the club hold them accountable with this blog. Just like the rest of us have a responsibility to support the team no matter what. This blog can do better, just like the leaders of our club. I hope you figure that out.

  • Thomas Coutts

    Spen… you are a fool….

  • Paul-Canada

    Phil good post as usual. I love your enthusiasm and the fact that even after a game that we should have won you still see the positives. I wish there were more like you. I like thousands of other fans around the world was up at 5am to watch the game. Was I dissapointed? Of course I was. I am every time We loose but even on this website (which now is the only one worth reading). I can’t understand the few comments who are talking about us being in the Championship and Arsene being gone by May? I was always taught if you don’t have anything nice to say then say nothing. I thought we were looking like our old selves in the first have. Zipping the ball around and looking like we could score everytime we went forward. It’s easy to slate the defence but they haven’t played togther much at all so I think they will improve as the season goes on. It’s going to be a long season I know but get a grip. we’ve only played five games? I’ll still be watching every game on TV right until the last one. No matter where we are in the table. That’s because I support ARSENAL.
    Let’s be sreal supporter and keep on cheering the Arsenal on. I know I will, forever.

  • Domhuaille

    I simply cannot fathom the negative critics and defeatists on this website. Arsenal are a work in progress and like any major revision, will take time to become the finished product. those who predict relegation or any other stupid knee-jerk reaction are morons and cretins of the highest order.
    Meanwhile, losses like this one hurt but at least AW has seen what happens when his defensive tactics don’t work. In actual fact, we lost to one offside goal, 2 own goals, maybe a missed penalty call and a significant drop in effort, belief and determination in the second half. We tied a much better team in Dortmund yet crumble at a 20th place team, who did play well but NOT well enough to deserve a win.
    Our run of bad luck and poor effort is still haunting us and will only change when we start playing like a team and not like 11 disparate individuals.

  • RedGooner

    We are not a work in progress we were a work in progress till someone on the board stole that work in progress.

    Decided it was better to make a mug out of wenger by selling our best talent as soon as they mature. The homegrown youth academy talent isnt gonna work if you sell them as they peak.

    Ivan Gazadis sells us pure crap.
    No wonder AW wasnt around when we bought 5 players he probably didnt want on deadline day.

    Who in their right minds sells their best players with less than a week to go in the transfer market …Lile wouldnt sell us Hazard with 5 days to go the other clubs werent going to sell us Marvin Martin or Rennes sell M’ Vila.
    I dont care what we offered at the last minute, Only us would do that with Cesc despite him having a long secure contract, Its not like we were keeping him in siberia …ps other players waited for him to mature but he wasnt going to wait for others?.

    We have been sold lies by the board …feck knows next thing it will be stan kronke paying himself dividends to support his other enterprises hence arsenal have no cash.
    Yes we need to still support our team and hope for the best despite all the crap we were sold about bringing through youth and keeping them.
    Its not all doom and gloom 2 of our new signings scored but theres a million things wrong with Arsenal at the moment.

    They need to start fixing them immediately fans arent stupid dont sell one thing and do another.

  • Desert Gooner

    Ditch the zonal marking!! We were undone by it and it leaves players guessing as to what to do. Let’s mark man for man, manfully! Otherwise it’s not all negative. If we sort out the defending than we’re pretty much a decent side.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think folks speculating on what does or does not go on in the Boardroom is pretty futile.

    What can be seen, as was seen last season, is that the defensive organisation isn’t there. That is solely the manager’s responsibility to sort out.

    He doesn’t have to do it personally. He’s perfectly at liberty to bring in an expert, use Steve Bould etc etc. Assuming you believe words quoted to Tony Adams that Wenger was never a great defensive coach…..

    Arsenal had more than enough going forward yesterday to win that game, despite conceding four goals. So it’s not just the defence to blame. Applaud Paul Robinson too if you want to be fair-minded…….

    There are three scenarios here:

    1. Wenger wants to keep his job but is too plain stubborn/pigheaded to address defensive coaching.
    2. Wenger is actually leaving next summer and is going to leave Arsenal the legacy of no champions league football.
    3. The last two away results are just a short-term blip, which will be forgotten when Wilshere and Vermaelen come back.

    My judgement from the outside is that point one is the truth.

    If that is true, he only has a month or so to turn things around…………because the media has set its heart on Arsenal being outside the Top 4 for seasons to come……

  • Arvind

    I think AW said it best when he said.. ‘At the moment we simply cannot defend for 90 minutes’. That sums it up really.

    Its not that they are crap defenders, any of them or that the team is not talented – that has never been the problem. Something seems to happen from time to time to different individuals, big losses of concentration, which spread across to the rest of the team and result in us going behind.

    Then we snap out of it and try very hard and come very close most times; sometimes its enough, sometimes its not but those 10 minute spells where we lose it are costly.

    If you then add to the fact that there is no Almunia, Denilson, Diaby, Clichy, Squillaci or Bendtner to now blame for anything bad that happens.. AND we have bought in new players as well… the AAA is left with just 1 thing – ‘Wenger Out!!!’

    AW out is no where close to a solution, nor will he get fired. I think we need to re-adjust our expectations this season tbf and be happy if we auto qualify for the CL, have a couple of nice cup runs and get this whole new team playing together next year.

    And of course I’d love to be proven wrong with the team going on a 30 match unbeaten streak but right now…lets not think that far.. lets eke out result after result.. game after game.. and keep giving our best. Nothing more..nothing less. If despite that.. nothing happens, no one can do a thing. As long as we keep thinking, as long as we keep trying I’m ok with ‘no trophies’. There..I said it 🙂

  • Stuart

    IMO, this was just one of those unlucky games, (cue the AAA screaming ‘but we’ve been crap all season’). yes the defense were all over the place but going forward we were brilliant.

    The way I see it, there were two own goals, an offside goal given against us and a penalty not given for us. Had our luck been in today we would have scored the penalty, not had the offside goal against and not had own goals and hey presto, it’s 4-1 to the Arsenal, rock on!!

  • Dark Prince

    Really, i think its time for Wenger to be promoted to director of football position and get ourselves a new manager….one things for sure, our tip tap football is not the way forward in a physical league like epl. Especially after our best technical players departing…. We need to change our philosophy!!

  • Gooneraside

    Dark Prince, for once I nearly agree with you.
    But I really believe that the choice of captain is of primary importance. Last season we had Cesc – a fantastic footballer who maybe led by his own application but didn’t speak enough. This season he’s been replaced by RvP, who only seems to speak when the ball isn’t passed to him. Even Szez speaks more than those two (although I don’t recommend him as captain yet). A good captain is needed.
    If that change doesn’t work, then talk about change of manager.

  • critic

    and u expect that philosophy’s change will take effect in one day?

    However, one things that clearly baffles me is why Arsene keep sitting on his seat instead of coming to the touchline and barking instructions at his players? If he doesn’t have the energy to change the game when going is tough then i don’t think he deserves to be arsenal manager.

    Why does arsenal keep repeating same defensive failures again and again? It’s not related to finance obviously. Arsenal need new ideas on the pitch. Whether that comes from new manager/players/coaching staff doesn’t matter.

  • bjtgooner

    In respect of Blacburn’s second goal, which resulted from a free kick following a tackle from Arshavin, my impression at the time was that Arshavin’s tackle was fair and that he caught the ball first. The tackle was flagged as a foul by the linesman. It was at the edge of the box so the Blackburn player went down easily and appealed. I have rewatched the incident this morning and still consider this as a fair challenge. (I await the final verdict from the Untold Ref Review). So it looks to me as if Blackburn were gifted a goal from this incident in addition to the later offside goal. The same linesman was involved in both incidents.

    However, our defending in the second half was not good and we really conceded silly goals far too easily. In attack, we created more than enough chances to win the game, even with letting in 4; however we did not put enough of our chances away.

    I still feel sick about the result this morning, I’m sure the players do also, but I must give credit to the players who fought to the end and nearly (should have) scored a late equaliser.

  • goonergerry

    Notions of top four are fanciful- on the evidence of our defending we are facing a fight for EPL survival. Watching average Blackburn players going forward with such enthusiasm and expectation reminded me of a shark feeding frenzy- we appear so lacking in defensive organisation there is not a team in the EPL who will fear us. In reality any premiership team playing at home could score four goals against this defence. We need to be alert to the possibility that once it goes beyond a certain stage decline becomes terminal.
    Can we improve sufficiently with some time spent together and recovery from injuries?
    The truth seems difficult for many to grasp- but this is a seriously under performing team- we had enough good players and scored enough goals to put paid to Blackburn- but didn’t because once more poor defensive organisation let us down – and it was as bad as against United. I believe it is primarily a problem stemming from midfield and a coaching issue. We have seen changes in playing personnel over the last few weeks-big guys, small guys and still the problems persist.
    Arsenal may need a coach. A new one? Does this defence look like it has been coached?
    We have about a month to try to fix it. Waiting to buy players in January won’t work.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I am not sure how the defence are coached – we have Steve Bould, not to mention Pat Rice on our books but I am not sure how much say they have.
    Strange – apart from the early spell, we defender well at Dortmund, with Pat Rice cajoling from the side and in the HT dressing room – but did not have all our attacking fluency.
    Wenger returns to the fold, and the exact opposite happens.

    There must be a way of merging the two, and this has to come down to coaching.
    Looking at even the most usually sensible of other blogs today makes grim reading but they cannot all be wrong. Something radial needs doing and quickly, as many have pointed out, since feb, we have shown relegation form. Why is this?
    The issues may be many and varied, defending and coaching, Wenger / board issues, some players losing belief, Wenger sulking at not keeping Nasri,signing players late in the day, finances, wages, refs, media, confidence, Cesc – all these issues are out there but must not be allowed to destablise the club. If Wenger is sulking or still suffering after the summer, he has to snap out. If the team are on a low since OT, same applies. If the board are being unhelpful, Wenger should be forcing the issue. If the board are intefering more than Wenger would wish, he needs to stop them or accept it, nothing inbetween. If Wenger refuses proper coaching on all areas, he needs to be pointed in the right direction, politely but firmly.
    None of this is as easy as it may seem but this run cannot be allowed to go on. Wenger has not become a poor manager over night, his team were fighting on 4 fronts last feb.

  • wen_detta

    defensive does not need pretty passing..knowing blackburn pressing out just clear the ball out to up front and get organize in the meantime..stupid..try to play pretty football at defense..we can play like that when we got 4-0 oppss new castle already did us…ermm 5-0 im afraid..and zonal marking during setpiece? that is ultimately freaking super stupid..which lead to song’s own goal..pity him

  • Adam

    I think Koscielny does some good things but is an accident waiting to happen and Djourou is an accident that has been happening for a long time, in slow motion.

  • bob

    While it should be a factor in the comments on this site, and many will now write this off as an excuse, here’s another blog this morning that says that Arsenal was ROBBED by the ref-shite yesterday. This before our own ref review. There are our two own goals, Koz is NOT an “accident waiting to happen” (Adam with hindsight), and yes the defense (that was very good at Dortmund) still needs work and a specialist. But we should try to keep two thoughts in mind at the same time, that means simultaneously:
    (1) the team needs work
    (2) the refs did us yesterday
    Here’s a link to try out for that second thought:

  • Bexxy

    How I was mocked when I dared to predict this outcome 12 months ago. how I was ridiculed when dared to suggest Parker, Cahill, Green were needed bin the January window.

  • bob

    You and the Lord, mocked by the multitudes…
    Yes, January last was a disaster, and I’ve said so too, ad nauseum. This said, there was ref-shite that impacted 2-3 possible goals, one vs. them, possibly two for us. Second, we just missed on 2-3 headers for 2-3 more goals. And third, we came back twice after their goals on offense, doing well to come back twice from adversity. Two own goals was obviously too much to overcome, especially when Marriner refused to give Walcott what was deserved at the end. So, yes you’re right, but your shoveling shite on the grave you perceive is part of the problem. Are you ready to kill the rest of the season to be right? Based on your timing and toxicity with this posting, I’d say you’d prefer being right over anything.

  • bjtgooner

    @ bob

    Good link. I didn’t comment on the Walcott penalty incident earlier as I could not see the contact clearly enough (interested to see the Untold Review), I suspected it should be a penalty, but the there was no way the ref and his semi blind linesman would give us a penalty at that stage. Once again it looks as if we were deliberately screwed in the second half.

    Having said that, we should be putting away teams like Blackburn even if they have a 12th man on the field!

  • Adam

    Bob. Kos, as you call him IS an accident waiting to happen. It has happened many times since his arrival. It happened yesterday and will go on happening. But go on blaming the refs.

  • bob

    Yes, we should be putting them away. But we were also hard done by in the reality of this specific match at this specific time which is where the game is being played. Not in the abstract. We’re not what we were – obviously. But given what we are, right now, we were screwed as well as screwing ourselves. As you indicate, it’s not either/or but both. And, imo, there’s a lot of room and basis for improvement going forward. And, least bit, other teams will suffer injuries and we’ll have to see how those wild cards actually play out in reality, not in the abstract.

  • bob

    Did you sing that tired song watching him at Dortmund? Are you going to shit all over him at the Ems as well? And I am saying it’s refs as well as our flaws. Can you read and keep two thoughts in your head at the same time. Both a flawed defense and chronic ref-shite need fixing. But you find a way to pin it on your designated scapegoat, who has shown massive potential. And why? Because then you can take down Wenger. Right? Just say it so we know where we all stand.

  • bob

    Based on years of watching the EPL, do you think that the refs would have given ManUre that dramatic penalty at that moment? Be honest.

  • Bexxy – have you seen Rob Green keep goals recently? Come on, if we got him in we lose Szcznesy, who is one of the best young goalkeepers in world football.

    Let’s not be utterly ridiculous and claim that middling Premier League players are better than some of what we have after a few poor results. For every bad game Koscielny has had, I can think of more than one great game he has had. It’s just fans jumping on players who aren’t bought for £20m with a big name, that’s all.

  • bob

    Yeah, I call him Kos because I like and appreciate his mostly strong efforts, his growth since day one, and his passion for the game. I can’t yet get into calling him LeHunchbackd’NotreDame as you might prefer.

  • bjtgooner

    @ bob

    In answer to your question about the walcott penalty.

    1. There is no doubt that Man U would have been given a penalty, esp if at Old Trafford with red nose’s favourite ref officiating.

    2. I have rewatched the incident several times before replying. Unfortunately my recording does not have a close up and there is only one camera angle.

    Walcott tried to chip the goalkeeper and semi suceeded as a Blackburn player had to clear his weak shot which seemed to be headed goalwards. Just after chipping the keeper, Walcott tried to clear him but seemed to have one foot caught by the onrushing Robinson. All this happened in a fraction of a second. It looked like a penalty and the fact that Sky did not do instant replays from multiple angles would suggest that they thouht it was a penalty.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Whomever suggested moving Wenger to a DoF role was probably bang on the money. To go from controlling Dortmund (a fine attacking side) with our defence to conceding twice against Blackburn (not so good a side) shows the hands of Rice and Wenger.
    FWIW Barcelona have had a fair few 1-0 results because they’ve kept a tight defence and nicked a goal. They usually win by big scores when the opposition opens up to attack them. A run of 1-0 victories would do us a lot more good than high scoring defeats right now.

  • Adam

    Bob. No to those questions. I didn’t sing any derogatory songs about him. I know you love to ride over people who don’t agree with you with your reactionary and repulsive bile. Where exactly do you sit at the Emirates and how many away games to you attend each season to have such a sick and distorted view of the team that most of us love? I have no wish to “take down” anybody but I do think it is sad that people like you pretend to support our great club. A club which is going through a difficult time at the moment and needs intelligent and committed really should feel sickened and ashamed at your own crass and moronic stupidity. Some of us love this club.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Slightly OT but Chelsea, with a pretty much full strength team are in going in at half time 3-0 down and seemingly unable to defend as a unit. And yet we’re London’s crisis club?

  • bjtgooner

    @ bob and Adam

    I don’t want to get into an argument over Kos because I really like the guy and I feel he has played his guts out for us. However, I think the problem is more with the system we play. The 433 was designed for Fab, now in the post Fab era a 442 would probably provide a more solid system and more support for VP up front.

    PS Dowd is officiating at Old Trafford – 2 offside goals for United and a booking for Ramires for a good tackle on Rooney – look forward to the Untold review.

  • Adam

    btjgooner. I completely respect your view. Not only because it makes sense but because you make it without having to resort to the sort of sick insults that Bob feels are needed when talking to fellow Arsenal supporters. I think he has done quite well but, as yesterday shows with painful reality, he lacks the ability to concentrate for periods and you just can’t get away with that at this level.
    On the Dowd thing, I thought Rooney was lucky in the first half for that block in the box too.

  • @Adam thats what im talking about we do love our club and we need all the suport from our fans. But as i indicated in yesterday’s Ref Watch Black burn Vs d Arsenal that we will be back with a bang we just need 3 matches to gel.As of the faint hearted ones pick yourselves another Team. And for the GUNNERS lets keep it up.

  • Adam

    Kampala gun. I was born next to Highbury Corner and my Dad took me when I was a little kid, as his Dad had with him. I go to all the matches so supporting another team is not even the remotest possibility but neither is burying my head in the sand. In my time I have seen most things with Arsenal and for many years of that time we were also-rans. I feel a real camaraderie with others who love our club and have met Gooners all around the world but I will not have Internet trolls insulting me for no reason.

  • MV

    I can’t believe it was the linesman who gave that arshavin freekick…it was on his blindside!

  • bjtgooner

    @ kampala gun

    I agree, we all love the club so much that results like yesterday’s are hard to take and we all tend to get upset in such circumstances. Yesterday we had the better team but could not get the result – that’s what is hard to take. As you stated, we need to stick together and back the team – they will be even sicker than us after yesterday!

  • bjtgooner

    @ MV

    I noted the linesman raise his flag.

  • Bexxy

    Bob, Phil
    Believe me, I wish I had been wrong. The transfer targets I mentioned were my wish list at the time, and not necessarily now. Green or Swarzer could have helped our young keepers, not replace them. Playing the youngsters at will and taking them out of spotlight when required.

  • Gooner80

    After watching all the teams that played in the champions league mid week I find it strange how we was the team with a 12:45 kick off after playing away in germany, why was the only team to play on saturday?

    Things are broken at arsenal, it started with a tour to the far east, bad pre season, loss of players, loss of form, we need something to spark off our season and fast

    I am a very concerned gooner, Wenger has got to get it just right, we need to go back to basics and take it from there

  • critic

    Why the fcuk people are slating koscielny? These are definitely some really stupid 16 year old. Just can’t believe the fcuking low level thinking by some real life losers.

  • critic

    Bexxy is green’s agent. He has to be.

  • Im really perturbed when i hear someone calling for Arsene to be sacked.Yes there times when change is needed but this is not the time,Arsene did not tell Song to score in his own goal nor did Song like it neither did Laurent need to score in his own goal. So we need to start afresh and i pity shrews-bury as they are going to face a wounded Arsenal.
    Lets get behind the team and we will conquer. Lets go GUNNERS

  • mahgfur

    I was sad to see how Song performed after his own goal. He seemed to lose the confidence he had before. That affected our midfield performance, and importantly left our defense unprotected.

    Is there anyone here having the same idea with me about the ref and linesmen performance in the second half? They seem to always go against us in the 2nd half (obvious examples being v Liverpool and Blackburn). This excellent site had mentioned this sometime ago. I’m sure the guys at RefWatch has something to say about this.

  • Bexxy

    Green’s not the issue, an experienced keeper is. Green just happened to be a good enough and available at a good price. Parker was another missed opportunity, along with Samba, Cahill etc

  • Sorry, but Green is absolutely not good enough for a top side. Any club in Europe could have taken him if he was up to the level, and no doubt West Ham wouldn’t mind being shot of his wages. There is a reason why he is still a Championship player. Anyway, again, would you rather have an experienced keeper if the cost was Szcznesy leaving? As that is almost certainly what would have happened. Experience isn’t everything – quality is.

    Players like Casillas weren’t experienced when they started, but they had the required quality. Experience is just a part of quality, one attribute to a player’s overall game. An older player losing pace can offset that with their game experience, but not forever, as we well know. “Experience” isn’t a mystical ingredient, it is an attribute that players have and improve like their passing ability etc.

    Watch a little more Scott Parker. His distribution with the ball is dire, he loves the pass back to the centrebacks and rarely offers much going forward. He might get away with it in the Championship but if he was Spanish or any other nationality, he would barely warrant a mention. He’d be a liability against the parked bus too. If you think he’s better than Song then well, there isn’t much to say!

    Samba, Cahill… perhaps. But the fee being quoted for Cahill was ridiculous, we’ll most likely get him on a free this summer, and let Squillaci go. Would you really rather have Cahill for £17m than Mertesacker for £10m, with Cahill for free the following summer?

    Yes, mistakes were made in January re: Samba, but a lot of that was due to the bizarre nature of Vermaelen’s injury – I mean, most people don’t even have the tendon that he irritated so by definition his injury is a massive outlier, a rarity. Anyway, Wenger’s learned from the mistake and signed Per once he knew Vermaelen would be out for a few weeks.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sometimes, you have to back people when they are down. Wenger has done a lot for this club, now seems like all his chips are down he deserves some patience from fans.
    He is clearly someone who believes attack iss the best form of defence. Unfortunately, out attack is sometimes blunted, we are not the same as we are when we had Cesc, Nasri and Wilshere creating havoc. Rambo and Arteta will come good but we have suffered on the creative front.
    At the moment, we cannot be relied to always out score opponents, so he will have to strengthen this defence by whatever means and quickly, if he cannot or refuses to do so, it will be very hard for even the most loyal to defend Wenger.
    But now is not the time to call for his head. He needs and deserves a chance to put this team right. We still do not know the role of others in recent problems despite Wenger and the team taking all the flak. Something seems to have got to Wenger but he is the most successful manager in out history.
    For those who want him out, just heard Peter Reid has been sacked from Plymouth. Ask yourselves, if Wenger goes, will the board appoint a Pep, Jose or an O’Leary or Reid. Those who support Arsenal but want Wenger out should consider that point because I for one do not know what the aims and ambitions of this owner actually are. We already have a top manager, who may need a bit of help – will they appoint another top manager or negotiate, dither and go cheap?

  • bjtgooner

    @ Mandy Dodd

    Well said!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks bjt. There is just too much negativity and knee jerkism out there at the moment. Being disappointed is completely understandable but some reactions are over the top. Maybe some are a bit bored, I guess the last of trophies and start to the season will feed a desire for change in many fans.
    But, Wenger is the devil we know, Silent Stan and some of the board are an unknown quantity. I am convinced they are at least in part to blame for a lot of our problems but just sit there quietly and let the clubs most loyal servant take all the blame for everything. It is possible some even want to force Wenger out to avoid paying him off – with this lot who really knows?
    There are just too many unknowns with this club at the moment to be assured a change of manager will do anthing positive.
    But I repeat, whether Wenger likes it or not, he simply has to deal with defending or his position will become increasingly at risk. And not only that, he has to be seen to be dealing with these obvious problems. Whatever Wengers philosophy on defending, I believe he loves the job and club enough to put things right.

  • Gooner80

    as professionals I just want them to put in some hardwork in the training ground get a defensive unit, with everyone knowing what to do when the attack breaks down. And breaking a neck to get back, I want them to fight for each other on that pitch, Arshavin maybe able to do wonderful things but often he causes us to be a 10 man team because the team has to carry him, he can only play in a free role just off the striker and nowhere else

    my view is that sol campbell and cole were never really replaced, those two were world class defenders not good defenders but world class, Im not saying we should have hung onto those two but we should have replaced them, our defence used to be modified organically not butchered into shape which is what has been happening of late how many different centre back pairings have we had, it is a KEY KEY position and the corner stone of any Great team

  • Mandy Dodd

    They should have been replaced Gooner80, however we now are finding out how little money Wenger has had to play with, with the stadium then the uncertainty of the property deals. He would not have had the money to adequatly replace, or pay such players everytime one left. This is why he persisted with sub standard players that rival clubs would have been rid of, he had no choice.
    And all the time the board were saying he had plenty of money, says a lot for them, and also Wengers loyalty to the club.
    Maybe the board are royally taking advantage of him to this day?
    Cannot wait to read his book……

  • Ugandan Goon

    there was a time, many eons ago, when the forum on untold was an oasis from the great hoard of bullies on the net parrotting whatever drivel they’d have heard on sky some such unqualified source on what the latest crisis at arsenal is. there seems to be little room to discuss the positives or dare i say it, congratulate the players on their efforts.
    I am not willing to accept that after many stirling performances koscielny is suddenly a bad defender, or that we have seen the best of mertesacker or andre santos. some point to the timing of our summer aquisitions as a failing on the boards part while in the same breath berating the club for the low fees collected for the fabregas’ etc.
    so we lost yesterday, today seems to be a day for apprentice, big brother style denounciations and finger pointing, frankly i dont know how people(and it is nearly always the same people) aren’t bored with it now, perhaps this is a product of our increasingly pampered society where it seems we must have everything now or OMG, WTF my life is over! type hysterics are in order.
    What is the envisioned end game? x factor style management of the team?

  • Pete The First

    Sniff that coffee, we’re in all sorts of trouble. Conceding 4 to possibly the poorest attack in the league tells a story in itself.

    Any amount of Ostrich-like sticking heads in the sand can’t ignore the problems. Conspiracy theories do not wash.

    Established players in the team appear unmotivated. Kocielny and Song have been defending (?) like open doors. Where does it end….?

  • Gooner80

    @Ugandan Goon


    but there is a very fine line between a good player and a great player and with most of our players it is consistency now dont get me wrong there is many factors to take into account, but to reiterate my point Sol campbell ashley cole, toure and lauren was a solid SOLID outfit with two of them IMO being World class, you cant rate our defence as world class.

    Wenger has been like the Rolls royce of managers and this is without doubt the toughest time under his stewardship, the main problem is this time the VULTURES are really circling and as often when things arent going your way even more things dont go your way.

    I also believe like I said before there is no stability in our defence, when the professor built the best team in premiership history he had a defence that was organically grown and nurtured and well rehearsed, the defence has been makeshift with loads of stop gaps. I support Wenger but untold followers me included in this cant deny the elephant in the room

  • GoonerTerry

    @ Gooner80: Its true Wenger has in times past been a Rolls Royce among managers – But its not true now. And truth be told he has not been for a few years now. Only a few managers in world football wield as much power and autonomy as Arsene Wenger does at Arsenal. So any analysis of the reasons for our current problems must begin with him. I definitely put myself in the “In Arsene we Trust” category but I must admit that for the past couple of seasons he has cut an increasingly desperate figure on the touchline – he does not inspire confidence when things are going wrong (what kind of vibes is he giving off behind closed doors God only knows). I believe that teams invariably take on the characteristics of their managers and this has certainly been true of the Arsenal over the years. Wenger has said that this team has lost its confidence (he repeated it again yesterday) but I believe that it is he who has lost his confidence. After the season we had last year – especially towards the season’s end – a confident Wenger would have resisted the board’s decision to tour Asia! A confident Wenger would have insisted that all new signings be brought in early in the transfer window so that they could be incorporated properly during the pre-season. We Gooners are just a desperate as we cast around looking for something / someone to blame. But I believe that we first have to start with our beloved manager. What is going on with him? That is a topic that I would like some intelligent discussion on…

  • bob

    Feel better now? I hope so. Then I’ll have been of good use. Does using a barnyard expletive wrongly characterize what the refs did with the goals and penalties at Bolton? Perhaps we can agree to wait for the RefReview. Am I out of line to react that strongly to your evisceration of Kos? To your objection that I call him Kos? Why that? And I don’t have any basis to question your love for Arsenal; and more than you have any basis to question mine. In fact bringing up love for Arsenal when we disagree with that much vehemence means, to me, that you’ve run out of ideas. Mark my words, Kos will stay in the first team and flourish; and any inspection of what Dowd did for Fergie today may well have you mouthing the same barnyard epithets – oh sorry, reactionary bile did you call my delicate sentiments – sooner than you might have expected. I hope for both our sake that the team that we both love gets some serious defensive attention asap and, as Mandy Dowd astutely says, Arsene needs to be seen to being doing so.

  • Domhuaille

    There is most certainly a malaise in the Gunners camp but it isn’t any of the following;

    1)Wenger-he still has it but his players aren’t consistent.
    2)The defensive team – they played shutout Football against Swansea and Dortmund but had a really unlucky and disorganized adventure at Blackburn. 0It was the same players but less cohesive.
    3)Strikers missing sitters – we scored 5 goals, unfortunately 2 of them were OG’s.
    4)The referee – he didn’t have a stellar game but he didn’t score any goals either.
    5)Bad luck – you make your own luck, we just didn’t have the mental alertness to play a full 90 minutes.

    Basically the team seems to be having a roller-coaster ride of swinging confidence and moods that allow us to play like demons one game and then throw away leads in the next. We are still trying to integrate 9 new faces into the team and manage with an entirely different midfield. Once Vermaelen,Wilshere and Diaby return, we will see a new and improved version of the Gunners.

  • Waleed

    Rhys Jaggar,
    I don’t see how Wenger could be too stubborn or pigheaded. If you really were fair minded, you’d have noticed our new defensive strategy on set pieces. You’d have noticed the different pressing strategy we’ve adopted. Things like that.
    You can say that the strategies he his using are wrong (but do give good reasons), or that the players are just not up to it, but don’t say that Wenger is too stubborn. He has debunked that myth a hundred times over now. Let it go.

  • Shub

    As an avid follower of the ARSENAL following are some observations based on the games played so far this season;

    1. The team lacks cohesion (probably because of the new recruits)
    2. Passing and moving the ball has become considerably slower particularly in the center of the pitch than in previous seasons
    3. Too many instances of basic mistakes like heading the ball out of the danger zone, not knowing when to hold or pass, not getting into the 18 yard box after getting past the defender
    4. Lastly, the poor expression of intelligence by this group

    It is critical that each player brings in an element of intelligence to the pitch which is the most important aspect of the Arsenal game. The current bunch seems to naive to even register this.

    I hope with more time and practice some of the above will be sorted out and am still hopeful that we will turn this season around. Need 5-6 consecutive wins to establish confidence and cohesion.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Watch a little more Scott Parker. His distribution with the ball is dire, he loves the pass back to the centrebacks and rarely offers much going forward. He might get away with it in the Championship but if he was Spanish or any other nationality, he would barely warrant a mention. He’d be a liability against the parked bus too. If you think he’s better than Song then well, there isn’t much to say!

    Samba, Cahill… perhaps. But the fee being quoted for Cahill was ridiculous, we’ll most likely get him on a free this summer, and let Squillaci go. Would you really rather have Cahill for £17m than Mertesacker for £10m, with Cahill for free the following summer?’ Phil Gregory

    Mr Gregory, everyone is entitled to their opinion so here is mine.

    1. Cahill will not come to Arsenal ‘on a free’ next summer if Arsenal aren’t in the champions league. End of story. So the question isn’t as simple as you make out…….
    2. Scott Parker yesterday against Liverpool was excellent in doing what Arsenal haven’t done for five years: break the opposition down in midfield and let the attacking boys do their stuff. He doesn’t have an ego like Song and he doesn’t go missing. Song’s got great potential but he’s still unreliable occasionally. You don’t enhance your arguments with statements which don’t hold water……….

    I’d consider Cahill in January if I were you…….May might be too late…….

  • Ronnie Brown

    In regards to Arsene I 100 percent back him and support him fully, infact after all he has done for us I wouldn’t be able to support us anymore if we sacked him, he is the right and best man for the job, he will turn it around if given the time, we weren’t good enough yesterday defensivly, it was a really poor defensive performance, which was made worse by terrible ref and linesman decsions, the decsions were horrible, but we also have to take responsibility for that defensive performance and also the fact at times there wasn’t enough work rate and urgency, was a game we really should of win, sad thing is I feel we had a good offensive performance but at the back it what cost us, the two new signings at the back have yet to adapt to the system and the league, there needs to be improvements and changed but by Arsene Wenger, he loves the club as much or more than any of us so he is hugely determined to see us do well and it must deeply hurt him what happened, so please show Arsene the best support possible because everyone is getting on him bad now, he’s odds on to be gone by the end of the season, this is time we need to go and support him and help get him and Arsenal through this diffiuclt period, we will quickly rise the table if we get a winning streak going, which we are capable of, we are a very good team, we just need to improve in certain areas. Also for me, I would have played Walcott, he’s our top scorer, always dangerous, and is an outlet and a danger constantly for opposition.

  • goonergerry

    Two own goals- anxiety rules, defensive chaos.
    Watching Arsenal away at Blackburn is like watching a tape loop of a team self destructing. I feel like I am watching the Wigan game the season before last again and again. Collapsing has become this team’s standard response to adverse situations. There is a serious mentality problem whenever the team faces a strong physical challenge. Such a problem is in the heads of players- a succession of players. its not just a collective lack of confidence- its the same pattern- we know it and the opposition knows it too. We play as if we are expecting to concede goals.
    This has gone beyond the situational- and the fact that it repeats so often suggests that it is related to the balance in our team- the wrong balance between defence and attack- attackers who don’t defend- midfielders who don’t defend competently when full backs attack. Defenders who are good on the ball but get brushed off it too easily. Yes its true refs have played a part and so have injuries- and we have had shocking bad luck too but the main reason for our failure- and failure is what conceding 12 goals in 2 away games is- is poor defensive organisation.
    Even though we didn’t look defensively solid against Dortmund or Udinese, we looked so much more comfortable playing against technical as against physical, direct teams. We have to defend with a structure, with discipline, with depth, we have to tackle and compress the play more. I don’t believe that this could happen under Arsene. He simply does not have a solution to this problem-because it is contrary to his philosophy of how he wants the game played. Arsene dreams of being as good as Barcelona but we can’t beat Blackburn. Left behind by Barcelona and Madrid- we are left behind by Stoke City and the Spurs.

  • Coldstreamer


    This is Sparta – This is Arsenal!! Brilliant and I totally concur! A lot of our fan base think we have some divine right to success and forget that this is a league, a game and an industry (unfortunately) that is changing constantly as a result of commercial pressures.

    I’ll love Arsenal as much tomorrow as I did when I first went regardless of the results. Personally I’d be absolutely delighted if after this challenging start to the season we finished up with a brilliant champions league run in (semi final), 3rd in teh premier league and maybe the CC in the cabinet to boot! Imagine how delightful it will be to give the rods to all the sh*te media, doomsayers and general tosspots!

    I think everyone is still overlooking the facts that we have no Wilshere or TV at the moment, Ryo Myachi (who is going to be a very fast 1st Teamer) is going to brilliant and The OX has yet to make his mark!

    We have loads to look forward to and at the end of the day if it was easy, what would be the point!