The only way forward is looking ahead

By Walter Broeckx


The main thing we can say about the game against Swansea is that the final result was painful. Our first half was one of the worst I can remember. We played too slow and couldn’t keep the ball. Our passing game was nowhere to be seen. Players running with the ball going nowhere.

The best chances came for Swansea. Even though the longer the first half went on we seemed at last able to create a few half chances. But it was Swansea that played the ball around the best. We tried to attack but the Swansea team left us no room at all. They sat deep but when needed chased us all over the pitch and gave us no time. Something we did to them apart from maybe one player who tried to chase around a bit on his own. That is something we don’t manage to do and that is something we really should be doing. By putting pressure high on the pitch you force the other team to make mistakes and you are close to their goal. But playing such a game is very intense and costs a lot of energy. Energy we didn’t have.

The second half was a better one. Finally we played better forward. We created some chances but Swansea looked dangerous when they could counter. Arsenal tried to win the game and well…then it went horribly wrong. Instead of Arsenal scoring it was Swansea who found the opening. A bit later Jenkinson turned the wrong way, lost the ball and Michu could score his second goal. Game over and adding to the pain.

Just when it looked to be another draw we still managed to lose the game. Should we have settled for the one point in the last 5 minutes? I don’t think that really was an option. We had to try to win this game and by doing that we lost it. In fact we lost it in the first half I think when we didn’t turn up.

This truly is the worst part of an Arsenal season I have seen for a while. The numbers are there we can’t deny it. So what to do. Sack the manager? Will it help? Nobody knows but I think it will be the last option in the boards mind. Sacking the players? Well I don’t think it ever happened before so I also don’t think we will see this happening. Besides we cannot change anything before new year.

Change the system? It might help. Now that Rosicky is back we could deploy him in the centre and put some weight of Cazorla and move him out to the wings? But who am I to know that such a thing could or would work? I never want to be a key board manager but I did see things didn’t work today.

But what is done, is done. We can’t change this game anymore. Just maybe next time we would just settle for the draw? But we have experienced such defeats before. On a day that some shouted they wanted their Arsenal back….. well I got mine back. I got my Arsenal from February 1979 back. We also lost at home in my first ever game at Highbury. So well…that is one who has his Arsenal back today. So should I be happy now?

For next week my suggestion would be: send the U21 team to Olympiacos. Add a few who will stay after January and give them a good game. Rosicky is of course one of those who could need a good competitive game. We don’t have things in our hand in the CL to finish first or not. So better to take no risk and leave some key players in London so they can have a good rest. Cazorla is the first that enters my mind of course. He looks very tired. As does Arteta. Two of those who should be the main players in the team.

Maybe giving those players a week without a game would be very helpful.

And now I will start my own blame game. Because the main people responsible for our current situation are those pricks that wanted to stab our manager in the back after all he has done for them. The traitors who once kissed the badge and then when they should have been delivering choose to go for money or whatever reason. But they sure weren’t capable of delivering it when it was needed.I just go sit down a bit  and hate them a bit more.

And while doing this I will remember that this club will come back. We always have done so. No reason why we will not turn it around again.

Sometimes you have to hit the bottom to go back up. Let us hope that this was our hitting the bottom. From now on things can only get better. They must. Because we are The Arsenal. And we always come back. And that is what I believe in. Call me naive, but there is always a next game. There is always a better future ahead of us.

Come on you Gunners, don’t let us down. Let us start our come back next Saturday. Forget Olympiacos.

And to end with some good news: after our most disastrous start of the last seasons we still are only 5 points behind the 3rd placed team. Today we missed a golden chance to get real close to them. But nothing is lost. We all seem to be very poor. Apart from the Manchester teams….

111 Replies to “The only way forward is looking ahead”

  1. just pay off the dross get rid of em arshavin chamack gervineo djourou scollachi mertzacker fabianski diaby need I go on!!!!!!!

  2. “we still are only 5 points behind 3rd” says it all really this is the problem we don’t even fight for leagues anymore its for the champions league spots, champions league should be the benefactor of competing for the league title it shouldnt be our solitary aim and the minute the fans accept 4th place a trophy the board will have won and all is lost.

  3. Those traitors like Giroud and Poldolski,who walked out on their clubs after kissing the badge?Chamakh who went on a free earning, himself a fat signing on bonus from Arsenal but alas no money for Bordeux?Are these the traitors you are talking about?

  4. You summed up this game perfectly. And yes we need to get behind the team just as they need to get behind us and do what they’re paid for some aren’t.

  5. as for the secind half i dont believe we were as poor as it seemed, we just lacked the chemistry in the final 3rd…
    the referee was no where near good, he favored them 2 much, specially in our countet-attacks, in.which no yellows were given.
    i can say 2day our manager is amasing, he has 2 go with a new players im the hardest league with lowest budget and against all the media.and even his own fan (what a shame!!), and still.not give up, nd so i.will not, about others, we will come back…
    hardest job in the world, that is someone to take as an example to follow and act like im all aspects of life..
    for god sake, take pressurr off players, sing when they are not good and they will.change then….

  6. I am sorry to say we have not hit rock bottom yet – this is a team not only devoid of ideas, but devoid of desire and it seems there is nothing Wenger can do to turn it around. He is trying – talking up the ‘block’ of games that could get us back on track for the title earlier in the week.

    There is not any mystery here – we simply are not good enough. The ability to control a pass and move the ball the ball forward quickly and directly is gone. The work off the ball to close down and also create opportunities when we have it is gone.

    Swansea actually had the confidence to brag about beating us before the game and then went and did it. Arsenal are no longer a team that other clubs are concerned about – even at our home.

    I know this is a pro Wenger site, but I am afraid it is Wenger that is to blame and not the board or other clubs with money. The argument that we can’t compete with the likes of City’s money is one thing – which I dont agree with anyway – but when we get outplayed by the likes of Swansea and Fulham on our own patch then the financial arguments are completely laid bare as the excuses they are.

    You cannot sit there and blame ex players for leaving – they left because the club was unprepared to match their ambition. Its a harsh truth but that is what they actually said and why would we not believe them? We’re seeing it with our own eyes.

    It’s time for the excuses to stop – its not financial constraint, it’s not ex players being *****, it is much more simple than that. It is the quality of our team and the inability of the manager to get them to play without fear and with purpose. I don’t know the reasons why – I can only assess the results, and on the results Wenger is culpable. No one else. That is what a football managers job is all about.

    You can love Wenger all you like – that is your right – but in reality he is doing a poor job and there is no getting round it.

    Where I agree with you is that Arsenal will be back, maybe not for a few years, but we will. When Wenger has gone and all the current players have gone, Arsenal will still remain. I support Arsenal win lose or draw – but Wenger is not Arsenal, nor any of the players. If they move on, I don’t care, I just want Arsenal to be back. That’s right ‘ I want my Arsenal back’. The phrase you hate – what i mean by that is want to see 100% effort to win on the pitch every minute of every game. I want to be able to feel good that the team gave everything, played to win, and were not scared of losing. Win lose or draw under those circumstances and I can feel happy after the game knowing the players, management and fans were in it together for the good of Arsenal Football Club.

    At the moment it does not feel like that.

  7. This is the spirit rather than insulting everybody. This will encourage the players and the manager. A true gunner would feel bad but still hopeful. Last week Real Madrid lost to a small team and today Chelsea lost. This is not the e d of the world.

  8. Unlike you Linz, I only care about players who kissed our badge. I only care about players who pretended to be Gooners but were just well….. fill in what you like.

    If those players you named did trait their supporters then they have every right to hate them.
    But let us take Podolski. I was in Cologne this summer and I can tell you one thing: All of the 1FC Koln supporters I have spoken and seen felt proud about their boy joining Arsenal. And the loud standing ovation from the supporters on that day showed that they don’t look at Podolski as a traitor. Do you think RVP will get a standing ovation in the Emirates in a few months?

  9. LOL @ blaming players for kissing the badge & leaving for more money. Dont you get it yet?!? The board are making themselves gazillionaires off the back of selling these guys, not funding replacements & then charging the highest ticket prices on the planet!

    They must truly laugh thier asses off when some moron Arsenal fans turn on the player for leaving EVERY TIME & they bank the money & take no blame whatsoever.

    Kroenke, Hill-wood, Gazidis, & – I hate to say it- Wenger are the problem. The arrogance of these guys is beyond belief.

    We cant even create real chances, let alone score a goal. Thats 0 vs Stoke, Sunderland, Norwich, villa & swansea. We only scored in the 93rd minute in a dead game vs ManUre & 1st minute vs Everton

  10. Just remembered about Podolski: the most seen T-shirt in Cologne was one with Podolski on and in the local dialect the words: “always one of us and in our heart” Will you be wearing such a t-shirt when those who wanted out come to play us at the Emirates?

  11. So Walter – why is Podolski moving on for more money and a better club different to RVP doing the same?

    The difference is just in the fans reaction.

    Too many Arsenal fans are looking for scapegoats instead of looking closer to home in my opinion.

  12. @ linz
    they weren’t nothong before arsene saved them and.made them what they are,, 7 years on treatment table he owe him a lot, clichy could have been om the bench till.mow cause he couldn’t have played if arsene got someone at left back, and then puff gone…toure adebayour, even fab could have been no where near what they are..
    look at giggd, scholes, noble,….verm, kos, ….
    some people are very good playerd, others wanted to be legends, u choose what u want…i choose the Wenger way!!!

  13. @ WalterBroekx…’re missing the point pretty hard

    Anyone who thinks players ‘forcing moves’ (lol )is whats wrong, is living is cloud cuckoo land. The board are allowing this & getting rich off the back of it

    Much smaller clubs than us dont let contracts run down & sell their stars for mediocre prices

    Felliani is still at Everton ffs. And wont go cheap when he leaves
    Bale’s at tottenham
    When Aguero left Atletico, they splashed all that money on Falcao THE NEXT DAY

  14. when u set in someone’s house when u r in need and they treat you with all.the love and help you, i.dont know about u but i will not leave them 4 trophys and money when they need me causr i am like Wenger, loyal to what i believe in and class is always there..
    he has the right to go and we have the right to believe about him and hate him how we like to…

  15. “Traitors” that’s a new one.

    No the problems now are Arsenal finally reaping what years of under investment, terrible squad building and paralysis at board level have sowed. Arsene Wenger’s remnants of genius managed to patch over everything for a while but no longer. With well supported protests against the board, thousands of empty seats (at least it looked that way on my stream), ridicule of the managers decisions and dull, lifeless performances of players who look lost and scared.

  16. Jayramfootball

    You said it’s not financial constraints..It’s the quality of the team. Don’t you think those two have any relation?

    Is this team playing to the max of its capability? No. But the constant change in players means the team and manager have to find the correct balance, and build understanding. We should be playing better. No doubt about it. But comparing our current position in the table and saying oh look at Swansea or WBA. They spend less than us but are ahead of us, is too… well.. it ignores the effect of having a stable team.

    It ignores the difference in maintaining a team at a high level with less resources, and fighting at an extremely high level ONCE. Newcastle did it last year. Why couldn’t they maintain it this season? It’s tougher to do it year on year. And to do it when your best players get taken away. Even tougher. And yet you say money has nothing to do with it? It has a lot to do with it.

  17. lew

    Well supported?? Apparently it was only about a 100 people. AT least that’s what someone on another site (which is very balanced and not pro Wenger) said he saw. Why do you contend it was well supported?

  18. Shard

    I have seen pictures of the “walk” on Twitter and there are well over a 100 people and others on Twitter have said that approximately 2000 people were on the “walk” (as they insist on calling it) so I’d call that well supported.

  19. Today we saw a team that was calm in possession, passed the ball in neat triangles, pressed all over the pitch forcing errors and finished efficiently. Unfortunately it was Swansea not Arsenal. We were second best in every department and deservedly beaten. No-one wearing Red and White comes out of it with any credit nor does anyone on the staff. If Arsene can’t get our team playing better than this and soon then the chance of us getting near fourth place will be gone and we may not get it back for a long time. Our players weren’t finding space, for much of the time they were static each one with a Swansea player in close attendance. We had no real clear cut chances on goal in the whole 90 minutes and got caught by two sucker goals at the end. In truth we could easily have lost by a far bigger margin as Szczesney made a number of good saves to keep it at nil all for most of the game.
    I agree with you Walter that our key players need rest and shouldn’t go to Greece in mid-week so an U21 based team looks a good bet plus our fringe players who need to attract new clubs. Same story for the cup game next week.
    I don’t want Arsene to go but I fear that we are inn the terminal stages of his stewardship unless our performances improve dramatically and soon.

  20. lew

    Fair enough. Though pictures can lie (as can people I suppose) Are you sure a lot of those walking weren’t just people walking to the stadium?

  21. Shard

    Of course that is entirely possible but I’m a big proponent of Occam’s razor. Where did you get the 100 people figure BTW?

  22. Good attempt at hiding the real issues but it is too late now. Maybe they will bounce back and make us look foolish for criticizing the team and Wenger again but the real problems will still not go away.

    It is not just about the tiredness. There is no core left in this team. It has been stripped open year after year until the core was sold last season. So we are left with a bunch of individuals none of whom really belong here long enough to care or give a sh** when ‘Arsenal’ is suffering (except Wilshere and Rosicky both of whom have been injured so long that they just find themselves out of place now).

    Hence the hapless, slack, non-committal attitude supported by a clueless manager giving excuses about tiredness and difficult games. Didn’t Henry, Bergkamp, Viera, Pires and Ljungberg ever have to play tough away games on the trot? Wenger has gotten way too carried away optimizing the team for business that the football has gone out of it completely. And the sad part is, he is nowhere close to realizing it or being made to, by his all trusting, joke of a Board. Its going to be a long hard wait before the real Arsenal is back…

  23. Shard

    Sorry I meant which site would like to have a read to get a different counterpoint.

    BTW have posted links to some of those photos so you can have a look yourself when it comes out of moderation.

  24. Sonal

    It’s hardly shocking that you find this team lacking if you compare them to the team which had the likes of Henry, Vieira, Bergkamp, Pires, Ljungberg, Campbell etc all at or near the peak of their powers at the same time. That was a once in a lifetime team.

    How was that team built by the way? Apart from Wenger’s expertise in finding great players, it was by paying more money than most other teams. Something we couldn’t have managed if we’d stayed at Highbury, ans something we’ve been trying to achieve with the stadium move and the new sponsorship deals. Money is important.

    I wonder what you think is the ‘real Arsenal’. I suppose you might mean Real as in Royal and there was a time we were known as Royal Arsenal. I wouldn’t want that team back 🙂

  25. lew

    It’s called arsenalarsenal..It wasn’t a blog post. It was a comment by one of the regulars. I suppose the BSM MIGHT be mentioned there in tomorrow’s post, but more likely the focus will be on the team and the poor performance. Everything else is a side show anyway.

  26. if arsenal.always had triple.the times the shots on goal.nd then when they had a new offensive team, they get less than tne other team by 2 shots where they always keep the defence locked, i dont see arsenal.less than swanse nor other teams when we play them, its just u are frustratred, united were like us last year and look were they reached, cazorla got 2.shots, keeper savdd, verm header keeper saved, giroud one on one with keeper, no foul given, cazorla going in penalty box, nothing givem, girv tackled in a one two pass and no foul given, a team defemding so well and when we have the counter to hit them….BANG, tackle from defensive mid of all other teams we play agaisnt, and again BANG…no yellow
    u wnt to protest well.start with protesting against PGMOL.and FA, maybe our players would still be little un injured, like rvp this year as an example, referee must protect the players….then u can.start to protest against the team…and still then not in the game booooing at half time to destroy ur own team and asking after why cant Wenger encourage the players!!!

  27. I feel sorry for a lot of gunners today because they have finally faced up to the truth about the club and it is a harsh reality there will be no more glory days under Arsene they’re just an ever fading memory. TIME FOR CHANGE

  28. Some idiots waiting for afc to hit rock bottom before doing something. Shame on you,you are not worthy to be called a gooner. Do you allow issues of your siblings to hit rock bottom before helping? Useless supporters

  29. Reposting in this thread…

    Been a while since I posted as I’ve hardly been able to watch any games recently due to moving and there being no TV. I’ve been following all of it though and reading a lot of stuff on Untold as usual.

    The points tally is not great of course. However to think that booing is the awesome solution which will miraculously catapult us forward is a ridiculous notion. Did the booing at half time help? This seems to be a trend nowadays; don’t like Don’t agree. Yell. All it does is release stress inside. Nothing else.

    Anyway to also say that AW doesn’t know what he’s doing is a silly idea. He tried pretty much everything and has tried to use the squad as much as he can. There is a limit to what a manager can do; contrary to the AAA thinking. Anyway I back AW 100% to get us out of this slump..which is more mental than physical IMO.

    There’s some truth in the RVP got us out of jail last year statement made by Nick Lee. Saying that AW is gambling on getting away with murder again makes no sense though. The gamble AW took was with Diaby IMO…and hoping that he somehow stays fit. Sadly he didn’t. Was it worth taking? I don’t know. Maybe AW felt that with a good preseason and plenty of work Abou could stay fit. Turns out he couldn’t. Sadly.

    Alex Song is a weird weird transfer. I’ve said it many times before. I don’t put down these defeats to him alone though; the attack is just not clicking. It’s not about the defense alone. Arsenal are not and never will be (till AW is around) a 1-0 team. They have to flow…only then do they have a chance.

    It’s a good team with a ton of internationals and a lot of combined experience now. It doesn’t make sense to say they suck. They don’t. I was extremely positive about the squad at the start…and felt we had plenty of balance everywhere. On paper that’s still true. Mentally something isn’t right. We need a couple of 3-0 results somewhere..somewhow to give the team confidence that they can do both.

    The title’s not on ..certainly…but 3rd – 4th isn’t a pipe dream. It’s certainly doable. The booing and targeting of Ramsey, Gervinho or even Theo makes no sense though. Or the booing of the players on the pitch for that matter.

    I wonder if there’s a clash somewhere between AW and Steve Bould’s philosophies too. And the team struggling to adapt to both. Not that there is a fight internally of course, but players struggling to be solid defensively and be creative enough at the same time. Arsenal standards creative..I mean.

    It’s a tough time but I for one am behind the team. 100%. And the manager. And the board. Everyone. Lets try and get out out of this slump.

  30. Shard
    I don’t believe that financial constraints are the reason our squad is so weak – I think it a collection of bad decisions on players brought in and bad management.

    Financial constraint is not the reason

  31. Looking ahead means looking 18 months out when Wenger will ( I pray) retire.

  32. Wenger has become a problem that is killing Arsenal – all the poor signings Chamakh, Djourou, Giroud, Gervinho, Koscelny, Mertesacker et al were his decisions yet here is is still in a job. Arsenal are a joke – any other big team would have got rid of the clueless idiot years ago. What is the point of provided him with funds as he will just buy more garbage from the French league ala Gervinho and Giroud. I just want Wenger gone..

  33. jayram

    fair enough if that’s your view. But in my view financial constraints are a big part in causing certain ‘mistakes’. It is not the only reason of course.

  34. Arshavin scored in each game we played Swansea last season. I noticed he never even made the bench today?

  35. Arvind, would you prefer if we sit down, watch the match, go home without a word and possibly things gets extremely worse. And at the end of the season,we say why the fuck do we buy expensive season tickets. Zip our purses and watch the match from home, maybe without the board getting our money,things will change. It would probably save time,save energy,reduced mental stress and heartaches and i dont have to shout at the top of my voice week in week out.

  36. Sometimes I believe you just have to except that an opposing team has you worked out. Sounds like the Swans deserved their win. Now we all want to throw money at the problem. I say bring in the youngsters what have we to lose? If the senior players are not performing, you drop them. That is how football has always worked.

  37. Financial issues are certainly an issue, Wenger, compared with most managers seems more reluctant to (net) spend, but something seems to be making him uber cautious – witness constant negative transfer spend. Spooked by world finances? Constrained? just a tight wad? All I do know is that there are some very complex issues with our ownership – on which we know very little. I think the board / owner know Wenger is wary of spending, and play on it, maybe in contrast to Fiszman and St David (Dein). Wenger may have been ordered to reduce wages and is having difficulty moving the unwanted. Walter, I agree on players kissing the badge and then following the money, I worry there are still a few left that could damage us still. RVP’s statement has done a lot of damage, fanning the flames or the discontented…and those who would take advantage. But, I still do not get Song, we just did not have to sell. We are at present weaker because of that decision, we will be weaker still when Theo departs. I just worry – is that really the way to convince Jack Gibbs Sagna et al to stay – because none of them have signed up yet.

  38. Loon, Metresacker and Giroud have on the whole done well this year, bad examples for your point.

  39. Arsene Wenger said in his press conference we need to stick together.
    I agree.
    We have some excellent new players and players from before. But in many ways this is a new team being built. Jack Wilshere said when he came back from injury he had to get used to playing with a new midfield. But he is excited about it.
    We all know it is hard for players from other European countries to get used to the intensity of the English game. One of them also said he is not used to playing so many matches.
    Arsene Wenger said he put today’s performance possibly down to two physically demanding away matches.
    That was on top of our two victories against Montpellier and Spurs which demanded a lot of effort as well.
    In his press conference Arsene Wenger also said there could be a mental element in today’s performance.
    Anyway, I agree with Walter and Shard in their comments.
    A lot of the negative comments from other people are irrational. I don’t see the point.

  40. Only a few months ago, the general feeling was that with the signings of Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud and despite the departure of Van Persie and Song, we were a stronger side for a number of years. What has gone wrong since then?
    It has been said that incoming players from the Continent take a year to cope with the EPL. Are we expecting too much too soon from our three newcomers?
    I would venture to suggest that the team, for whatever reason, is rapidly becoming devoid of confidence. This is being leapt on by successive oppositions with ominous results.
    We have experienced this state of affairs before, in our long history and invariably played our way out of the mess.
    So, what’s the answer…
    We can’t strengthen the squad for another 4 weeks so the solution, at least temporarily, must be in our own hands.
    The team which started the season so brightly, hasn’t suddenly become completely incompetent over the past half-a-dozen games. These are all footballers who are qualified at international level.
    In my view the immediate answer has a three-fold source…
    1. Arsene Wenger and his coaching and medical (physical and mental) staffs must urgently address the needs of the players, particularly those who are displaying tiredness so early on in recent games. Some of this must be due to lack of confidence.
    2. If some of the team are genuinely playing too many matches, the squad is big enough that near first-teamers should be increasingly included in a rotation system. We all can recall the exciting displays of our “second team” in Carling Cup games.
    3. Finally, the historic fickleness of Arsenal supporters simply has to be reversed if an improvement in our fortunes is to be achieved. There can be little doubt that the attitude of the home support (or lack of it) at the Emirates has contributed to the lack of confidence by the team.
    Booing and outright abuse has, on a number of occasions, been so rife that it is no wonder that performance has suffered.
    So there you have it. A remedy for the present mess is available from Club and supporters alike, provided the will is there to administer it. The choice is pretty clear.

  41. @Nicky: You mentioned historical fickleness. For someone who hasn’t followed the team as long as you have..I’m interested in knowing..Were the AAA around say 20 – 30 years ago too? How did they protest? Maybe there is a lesson in history?

  42. The financial side is definitely there…but that’s not as Shard said ..the only thing. It’s not that the manager or the players are rubbish…it is just that despite getting those older players in, we haven’t been able to remain consistent for some reason.

  43. I remember when arsenal lost to Swindon town in league cup final 3-1 (don rogers final ) Swindon were in the then 3rd division we were first I thought it was the worst team effort I had seen. Untill today .
    I am a A K B last year we finished above the European champions and were only bettered by the zillions of city and the biggest club in the world Man U if we brought in pep or Jose with these players do you think we would finish higher Yes ask yourself that question again on the other hand there is an underlying problem with our performances this year. Is it the confidence of the players. Or the tactical noir of wenger if it is the confidence of the players it maybe coming from the negative remarks from the emirates faithful which would explain our dreadful form at home the results at Liverpool man city west ham and even shalka seems to point to there being some mileage in my thoughts

  44. @jayramfootball, well said mate I cannot agree with you more. Today’s performance and result were dire, and the worrying thing is we have struggled all season. The current team is a classic example of the whole being less than the sum of its individual parts. I have long accepted that Arsenal cannot compete with the big 3 spenders and yet we have always done well qualifying for the CL consistently under Arsene but even that is in real danger now. How bad must things get before we realise it is not working? For some reason, the team is showing very little fight and desire. Even our captain TV5 seems a little subdued, what is going on? It is like a team that has lost its soul. Something is not right and Arsene needs to sort it out fast. We have now given ourselves a mountain to climb to clinch that coverted CL spot…and this time it might be a mountain too high. I hope, for Arsenal’s sake, I am wrong.

  45. It seems quite obvious to me. Wenger has devised a system that doesn’t work but refuses to change it.

    One of my favourite sayings is: if you do what you’ve always done you will get what you’ve always got.

    In the the 37 years that I’ve been watching Arsenal I can’t remember such a run of games where the team has created so few chances.

    When I watch the games these days all I see is 11 individuals passing to their team mates who have two opponents on them and then turn their backs on them. It looks as if they’re saying “there you go, show us what you can do with that”.

    Arsenal fielded 13 full internationals today (and one player who would be if he wasn’t Spanish). They are not rubbish but have been thrown together and told to play a system that not only doesn’t work but can easily be counteracted.

    And what is done about it? Nothing. Just keep persisting with it in the vain hope it will eventually work. Surely a man as intelligent as Arsene Wenger can see this? At £140,000 per week I would expect him to see this and be able to do something about it.

  46. We lost last year to Swansea with RVP and Song in the starting eleven. Why would it have been different this year? Swansea are a good passing side and Arsenal currently will let teams play. we have to be collectively better.

  47. Saying NO to wantaway RvP and Alex Song in the summer was the decisive road not taken. Other teams can manage to say no. (And we have had the resources to say no, even without being a petro-club). Indeed, RvP could not have afforded a bad season for (since he’d be out of contract) and he would have guaranteed at least a CL qualification (which is far from assured, as many of us here have assumed). I for one, and a few others, argued this point ad nauseum. But many feel, Ok, if you want out, then get out. Well, that’s nice and purist; but it is not pragmatic and has hurt us.

    Especially when AFC had the money in hand with the real estate sale and the CL qualification, had even more coming in with the big new TV deal (which almost no one talks about hereabouts as it takes away the plead poverty card), and we had the contractual right to say no.

    Some in management simply would not play hard ball with RvP and Song because that posed a risk of losing them on a free (eventually). But the risk of letting them go and never replacing what they brought to this team was also substantial; and, alas, is proving to have been a serious miscalculation. To assume that either RvP or Alex Song would have been toxic malcontents and injured AFC’s prospects on the pitch, or in the locker room, is self-serving fantasy. Indeed, both wantaway players would still have made a massive difference because of (a) their demonstrated professionalism and (b) their self-interest in jumping ship to a better future would be based on maintaining consistent quality. Instead AFC took the clearly (and predictable) reckless gambles: on Diaby staying healthy; on Arteta consistently replacing the defense needed in the midfield with his other skill set; on Jack and Rosicky coming back sooner and then getting back into form that-fast (before we dropped too many points while waiting for them to gel); and on the assumption that the new signings were of such sleeper quality that they would bed in so much quicker to AFC and EPL way, all heedless of the fact that the wondrous bean counter’s Asian trip decidedly pushed back the needed training time together, so that the season itself became the extended training ground (and points were/continue to be dropped); and, as with Nasri and x-Cesc, not being close to replacing like with like – until perhaps January, that is.

    Several of us here, back in the summer, felt parts of what I list above, and we agreed to keep our powder dry until January. There’d be a need still to better close the gaps left by RvP and Song’s departures, one way or the other. Well January is coming fast upon us. And, with confusing mixed messages already in the air, there is both eagerness for meaningful changes and trepidations that whatever mystery afflicts management quarters – and, I agree with Mandy Dodd that there is something awry going on thereabouts – in needs to be sorted out enough for us to right the ship. The current football is not beautiful, and the spirit on the pitch is not inspired. I’m not a black scarfer, nor AAA; but my eyes and heart don’t deceive me as to a team that, at this juncture, is decidedly less than the sum of its parts.

  48. Were only 15 games into the season and there’s still every chance we can qualify for the Europa league. Wenger will only be sacked if we don’t qualify for the Europa league. Kroenke and this Board absolutely love him and won’t sack him until they absolutely have no choice.

  49. Bloody hell men. Because this is an all male debate. Clattencrap….. He must hate London? Perfectly could have called a penalty in the 70′ instead Michu who Ive never heard of scores in the 87′ because mertsacker and the captn from belgium did not bother to track him. All the meanwhile #8 just collapsed and watched as the whole thing happened. At this point should have been 1-1. But, then the terrible mistake as all defenders know you don’t dribble out of the back… But Carl J. made another rookie mistake. and Michu scores again. Laudrup you poop….You get your wish…. you are a joke!

  50. Bloody hell men. Because this is an all male debate. Clattencrap….. He must hate London? Perfectly could have called a penalty in the 70′ instead Michu who Ive never heard of scores in the 87′ because mertsacker and the captn from belgium did not bother to track him. All the meanwhile #8 just collapsed and watched as the whole thing happened. At this point should have been 1-1. But, then the terrible mistake as all defenders know you don’t dribble out of the back… But Carl J. made another rookie mistake. and Michu scores again. Laudrup you poop….You get your wish…. you are a joke!

  51. Good post Walter, agree with you, the only way is forward.

    I still don’t think this team is as bad as people are making it out to be. Alot of the players do look lethargic and I have noticed this has been over several weeks. Maybe all the ill feeling towards the players from the media and AAA are causing them to be depressed – I know I would be.

    I still think the only thing this team is lackign is confidence. Once the guys stop letting others bully them and regain a bit of arrogance, its game on.

  52. The squad Arsene has put together is not a bad group of players. They are the most frustrating side I have watched in a long time. They cannot seem to close down in numbers and look disjointed in possesion. However when in full flow they are a match for any side, its collective consistency thats missing. Even when I used to watch Henry play I got frustrated with him when he lost the ball he hardly ever chased back only when he was pissed off did he. Same thing with most of this side, Very very frustrating to watch are Arsenal at the moment.

  53. Arvin, Mandy Dodd,
    The not-gelling factor. Do you think that some part it is because a lot of players are not being played in their preferred pre-AW/AFC customary positions; and that the theory of infinite jack-of-all-trades flexibility does not work over time in practice? Is there any reason now why not to play Arshavin and Theo where they prefer? And Arteta where he’s been best? And Ramsey too? Is it too many round holes being shoved into square pegs, all at once?

  54. @Arvind,
    The reputation that Arsenal fans are fickle stemmed many years ago, largely, IMO, due to the combination of the success of the Club coupled with the natural cockiness and pride of Londoners forming its fan base. This success became vital to them and the Club was able to provide it.
    Unfortunately, since moving to the Emirates, the relative lack of success has resulted in over-criticism. Whether the size and magnificence of the stadium has anything to do with it I don’t know but the increasing level of discontent there is becoming an unpleasant aspect of attending matches.

  55. @Walter Broeckx, I think it’s a bit cheap to blame departed badge-kissing players for our present predicament. The reality is players may come to Arsenal for exactly the same reasons other players are leaving Arsenal, which in your logic makes them all mercenaries. Why do you expect players to stay at Arsenal for their whole career? And when is it the right time for a player to leave? We will see more and more players winding their contracts down because it makes economic sense for them, the same economic sense that informs Arsene’s decisions about transfers! I am sure the manager’s job is a difficult one and Arsene is now a victim of his own success but such is life. At the moment Arsene is struggling to maintain the high standards he set earlier. On one hand, there is a slight tendency among some fans to hero-worship Arsene and on the other, to be over-critical and demonise him. I hope most Arsenal fans have a balanced view and can put things into perspective. Recognising our own mistakes rather than blaming it on others is a good place to start.

  56. @nicky: Thanks. I was actually looking at an era earlier to AW..say the 1980s and 1990s. When Arsenal “failed” in those eras..or say in even earlier eras after a period of did fans react?

    @Bob: It’s possible yes. But then AW has always done this at times. Starting from TH14 on the left wing to Ashley Cole as a left back (from a striker) to Gibbs who was a winger to recently RVP as a forward and I daresay many more who I don’t remember. Having said that though…I do agree it’s nicer for all these players to play in their own positions. Although Arsenal’s system is so fluid…that this “limitation” is addressed to a degree…at least in an offensive way. Defensively it could be a problem..the worst case I can remember is Diaby on the left wing in a 4-4-2 or Gilberto at times playing at right wing.

    Having said that..Ramsey on the right wing or Arteta sitting in front of the defense are both slightly complicated things; the former more than the latter. Arteta sitting is because he’s the only player in the side who has the defensive discipline needed. I’d love to see Coquelin get a run though and the current midfield 3 rotated a little bit.

    I’d like to think that it’s taking time because it’s a completely new strike force and I hope they’ll be better as they go forward. I don’t know if they will though..but I think it will be better..eventually. I just hope it’s enough to get 3rd.

    @toto: I think what Walter is saying … although he can speak for himself when he sees your to be professional till you go and not talk rubbish like ‘you guys’ or ‘little boy inside me’ or ‘arsenal ambition’. The best examples of these are Toure and Clichy. Have you ever heard them say one bad word ever about Arsenal? So again..I’m fine with RVP leaving…as long as he doesn’t talk trash.

  57. The march was a major watershed as was this result today.

    Wenger is a spent force and hopefully will be gone by the new transfer window.

    Laudrup made his team look relegation fodder.

    Dont bet on this side sliding right down to the bottom half of the table.

    Wenger should do the respectable thing and resign now.

  58. Maybe we could get Benitez then Doublegooner?

    What do you mean he has a job at Chelsea?

  59. Of course Walter, it’s all RVP’s fault and Nasri and Song, and all the other players who decided that this club’s ambition was just a little restricted, that we’re now in this rather pathetic position. It’s nothing to do with a manager who says fourth is a trophy and seems quite happy to sell our best players every year. That wouldn’t effect morale would it?

    Of course this maybe Kroenke’s fault but then there are plenty on here that’ll defend him for some unknown reason. Him and his crazy self-sustainable model which no other club adheres to. Although Wenger seems to think owners of clubs use the same restrictive business model we apply. I don’t think so or does he not include City, Chelsea, Spurs, Manu and most clubs in the higher echelons?

    And then there’s bizarre posters who claim the AAA, this mythical beast that wants to devour Wenger and all his works, are the reason the team is malfunctioning. Ludicrous logic but that’s how mad this club has become.

    Meanwhile Wenger sits on a wobbly chair like King Canute while the cold sea of reality laps at his feet.

  60. toto,
    I don’t mind players leaving. But when you paint yourself as Mr. Arsenal in person (like RVP did) and then you publish a statement like he did forcing your way out and he knew where he wanted to end up.

    Then I have a problem with such persons….

  61. Rupert,
    on this site not so long ago some one wrote:
    “For an Arsenal supporter you are as good as your last ball touch” or something in that style.
    win: huray
    lose: rubbish

    Maybe it’s is something in between.

    but for most it isn’t it is just those two options.

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t in football. Sometimes a team goes on a winning run, sometimes the same team goes on a losing streak. the same players, the same manager… One of those strange things that can happen in football.

    Are those players who won 7 in a row suddenly became rubbish overnight? No, sometimes the magic is there and sometimes it is lost.

    Love it or hate it, but that is exactly “our” Arsenal.

  62. @Rupert

    Plenty of clubs adhere to the self-sustaining model.

    You only have to look at the healthy nature of German football to understand its benefits.

  63. Walter:

    Stupid comment, I thought you’d have something better than that.

    I’m not interested in what happens in West London, that is one horrible football club.

    What is happening at the club I support now and have done home & away for 45 years is very sad.

    We have a manager who has lost his way, it’s very sad but it is fact.

    Today was nothing about lack of funds or Wenger working with his hands tied etc etc. Swansea were better than us in all departments. Their 2nd goal demonstrated determination & hard work to force Jenkinson into making the mistake for the 2nd goal.

    Our players on paper are better than their performances but Wenger cannot get the basics right.We look lost, disorganised and it’s time to accept change has to come.

    My main concern that even though we are falling like a stone, our owner & his ceo wouldn’t have a clue who to appoint, they’d likely ask the departing Wenger

  64. Rupert, the premier league are the exception to the rule as all other pro leagues in English football have implemented a form of financial fair play, so you will find the clubs not adhering to FFP in the minority. All clubs promoted from the Championship from now on will be within FFP rules. As soon as the premier has 15 or more clubs that will vote in favor of FFP, expect change.
    I think the reason some stick up for Kroenke is he is a better choice than Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri, but that is only personal opinion.
    This link will take you to my opinion on Usmanov and Mr K.

  65. @Tasos, they may adhere to it in Germany but not in this country and that’s where Arsenal play. We’re being hampered by this madness because no other top club in England adheres to this business model.

    I think we’ll have to spend big in January. It’s about time we actually spent like the big club we pretend to be.

    Having said that I’m not sure I’d trust Wenger to get the right players.

    @Walter, there’s no consistency or stability at Arsenal. We laugh at Chelsea and their numerous managers but we have the same manager and an ever changing team. We lose captains every year and the minute it looks like the side is improving we sell the vital architects of that improvement.

    That’s not a recipe for success.

  66. @Adam, believe me I trust Usmanov less than I do Kroenke. Neither seem like the right men for our club. And if Usmanov takes over I shall seriously consider supporting another team, that being Oxford, the wife’s home team.

  67. Tasos, German football is allowed to indulge in third party player ownership it is not as healthy as they will have you believe. When or if UEFA bans this you will see a big change.

  68. @Arvind: I agree about being professional and not publicly criticise your employer, but that is irrelevant to the issue at hand; that the team is performing below par. To be honest, I have no problem with what RVP said. If his ambition was to win the title can you really argue with his move? It has clearly been the case for many years than Man Utd are more likely than Arsenal to win the title. Do we (Arsenal) have title ambitions? The plain answer at is no. I still support and care about my club and it hurts to see how this season turning out. How the mighty have fallen…but by faith The Arsenal shall rise again.

  69. @Doublegooner

    It is sad that scum like you have more interest in backstabbing the manager than anything else. It is time for you to take your xenophobic double talking backside back to the AAA sewer at Le Groan.

  70. @Rupert

    Whilst many clubs have not yet adhered to the self sustaining model in the EPL, the likes of Aston Villa must wish they had done years ago.

  71. I’m sure German football has its skeletons but I admire the way they have tried to address the problems in the modern game within their own league.

  72. Arsenal are desperately missing a midfield general. One who runs the midfield and drives it forward. Arteta could be that player but he seems to be mostly mucking out he latrines…. What we do have to accept is that right now Jack is not that guy either. Several times he wanted the ball from his team mates and they turned away for a safer option. Santi Carzola is a class player, but he is no organiser. I laugh at the fans calling for a 442 to accommodate Theo and wonder where they think we could find 2 midfielders who could do that job in the current EPL.

    I love Carl Jenkinson’s passion but he was at fault for both goals today – sitting 2m behind the defence playing Michu on side for the first and failing to take the obvious pass back to the keeper for the second. Someone should tell him that turning back on himself is only acceptable in the final 3rd! He will be a good player but not tomorrow and all those saying we can afford to lose Sagna cause with have “the corporal” are plainly insane.

    As was the fellow suggesting Podolski should be played centrally!!! He made no decisive runs tho Swansea’s bank of sometimes five defenders occupied the 6 yard line didnt help.
    Clearly apart from Giroud our striker cupboard is bare.

    I can’t help wondering if the Theo thing is affecting the squad. It is pretty obvious to me he is going (despite what his chief cheerleader John Cross says) and he plays like that – selfish!! He definitely needs to be told to sign or scoot – If I was Arsene thats exactly what I’d be telling him to do. He surely could not get any less popular right now.

  73. @Rupert

    Yes we are richer than Aston Villa, thanks to the present manager and board.

    Although back in 90’s we probably had very similar potential.

  74. Forget what we had, but what we got is a spineless team. If it is true Wenger offered his resignation after the Fulham game, then we have manager who can’t take the club forward. Wenger already gambled our season taking a chance with Diaby (RvP last year but that was a one off). I tell you now, this January we’ll sign no-one, because as always the lies the half truths will spill out from our board/manager. As always anyone who speaks out or voices his opinions is anti Arsenal Arsenal according to this blog, then I say this blog is anti Arsenal, because it is all too happy with our current form and position.

  75. Well now that everyone is playing the blame game and the amateur Fantasy Football manager role, here are a few observations:

    1)I am disappointed at how we have suddenly declined in efficiency and effectiveness but also know that 3 hard games in 7 days is very demanding at this time of year….their tiredness and mental fatigue are really showing.
    2)Wenger has been here many times, he has seen disappointment and despair before, especially when he was stabbed in the back by those who say they love him and the Club. He needs our support more than ever and his loss will be the nail in AFC’s coffin!!!
    3)Our players seem to have forgotten the pride and privilege of playing for Arsenal….this is our real problem.

  76. @ Doublegooner
    You seem to have all the answers, sack the Manager” yes good idea” lets be like all the other fools, go for the five managers in 3 years model of running a football club!!! For what’s its worth, Arsene Wenger is entitled to try and sort this out. At the end of the season we can all decide if he has achieved success and how that success should be measured that’s just my opinion of course, however one I think the majority of Arsenal SUPPORTER, S still Hold.

  77. Already we see some folk on this site whinging about this site. Like were going to trust your decision making when you visit a pro Wenger site to moan about Wenger. Really bright sparks some folk?

  78. There seems to be many causes as to why our form is poor. some are evident-cazorla & arteta playing every games, one striker and lackluster passing, while others are more subtle – mentality, attitude and trust.
    nobody denies that arsenal lack depth in squad. wenger has already hinted he is adding two players. but that is still some 1-2 months away. we have until then the same squad. wenger must be thinking long & hard “how this squad should improve”.
    maybe coq. and some youngster like eisfeld should be trusted more. after all ramsey, wilshere ,cesc, denilson all started playing epl matches at around 19. and I bet eisfeld is is better than sterling.
    we are playing the same kind of formation with the same personnel. either change formation or change personnel, esp. midfield, where we have some depth if youngsters are trusted more.

  79. When George Graham was manager we were criticised for being negative and boring but guess what… we won games. Wenger has been a great servant of the club but the board and Wenger need to be honest and admit that we are going backwards and are indeed in freefall! How can Arsenal football club continue to think that it is acceptable for it’s fans to pay more than any other EPL team for tickets based on a promise that we will return back to the glory days. We are dismal and currently more negative and boring than any team George Graham ever fielded. We have no idea what to do with the ball when in the final third and spend most of our sol called ‘fluid’ football passing backwards. Time for a change and Wenger needs to move upstairs yesterday! There was a time when Wenger was revered but that was so long ago that even I as an Arsenal supporter can’t remember. No more faith, no more patience as a 5th generation Gooner Arsene Wenger out and lets get someone with some understanding of the modern game. Arsene simple has no answer to what teams through at us and tries to kid the fans that the youngsters will come good. Yes they will but unfortunately not for Arsenal as like all of our decent talent over the last few years they go elsewhere seeking success and guess what? They seem to get it! Beginning to think the ‘In Arsene we trust’ brigade are really Spurs fans in disguise!
    5th Gen Gooner signing off until Arsenal returns as the team we know and love.. No more Wenger, no more Hillwood and no more Jimmy Kroenke!

  80. You know, there is a term in military strategy called: Asymmetric Warfare
    And I believe by now, we are just a victim of it

    Asymmetric Warfare is used to describe the situation of a battle ground where, two sides are not at the same size of supplements and Fire power
    So, in this situation, the weaker sides changes their goal so they can achieve it more easily or to force the bigger side just enough anxiety or frustrations to break them down and surrender
    They try to attack the enemy’s weakest spot and keep hitting again and again and again

    Other managers now that the weakest part of body is in our “patience” so they clearly understood that by every minute of the game passing away with out any goals from Arsenal, this fragile part breaks more and more, by every attempt on Arsenal gate, even a simple run behind the defensive lines or a single shot on our goal, frustration comes to all part of the stadium and respectively to the team

    This the asymmetric Warfare they are all playing against us
    And as long as we do not recognize that, and stay this fragile and impatient, booing our manager and our own players, it will work to bring us down!

  81. @Domhuail, who has stabbed Wenger in the back? If you’re suggesting Kroenke and Gazidis you may have a point. Maybe you mean the players who have sinced moved on. Or the fans who I think have been incredibly patient after years of under investment in the team. I find it hard to accept Wenger as some poor victim. The situation at the moment is of his own making. He buys the players. Now if he’s being forced to sell the best players every year maybe he should say so, he’s certainly hinted at it. Or maybe he’s showing loyalty to those above him whilst getting none in return. If that’s so he’s being very honorable but their comes a point when honour drifts into stupidity.

    Also as much as I think that the loss of Wenger will initially be a bad thing I think it is hardly going to be the nail in AFC’s coffin. I think that’s bordering on hysteria. The club was around long before he came to it and had a few successful years in the past. There’s something wrong at AFC and some of us have sensed that for some years. Wenger may not be the cause of it but sadly I think he’s part of it.

    @americangooner yes I think you’re right. I couldn’t understand why Eisfield wasn’t on the bench in place of Wilshire in the previous game when Wilshire was carrying an injury. There’s too much reliance on a small core of players who can’t be expected to perform like super humans every game.

  82. @Tasos, I’m not saying we’re not well run financially but there comes a time when we need to spend all that money we’re stockpiling.

    Supporting Arsenal is a bit like being married to a beautiful woman who beats you up every week.

  83. @Persian Gunner, yes you’ve summed up what inferior teams do but to be fair Swansea outplayed us and we looked like we had the inferior manager.

  84. @Rupert
    I’m just one of your fans here, as you always keep talking just like that strange part of my brain who is really disturbing my calm happy rose tinted attitude on my favorite team every day

    And sometime I really like it when you bring things on for other beloved friends here to smash it down and rest my nerves a bit! You’ve bee the one who kept us talking and of course ” thinking” to find answers!

    Thank you for that!
    And now, I am going to tell you that it is defenatly our worst problem to day, I can see us getting trouble with self confidence and self imaging
    Did you notice the game that Mr Ladrup played in his conference by calling us no title racer any more, he was right, and he was even fair about the way of commenting but, that was completely aimed toward our nerves!
    I can see us winning things when we are calm and playing our games and of course not having a lot of disturbing “boo” around the stadium
    Did you remember the game against AC Milan?

  85. Let me give an example
    I was watching the game on my computer by this very slow speed Internet and shouting voicelessly on players to go forward and suddenly Swansea made this counter attack and Dyer started the run behind our defensive line, I watched this senesce by that mind blowing delay in the screen, and couldn’t believe how brilliant Thomas Vermaelen acted to tackle that shot away!
    He was just brilliant, when he passed from Dyers back not even touching him or any foul, and then got back by a thunder run again and tackled the ball
    What was my reaction?
    I was simply pissed off!
    Because I couldn’t bare even a single try from them on our goal
    This frustration, this learned helplessness is getting us depressive and weak
    I can see it change by having the King Henry, back at the team, I wish Mr Wenger go for a permanent long time deal with him, as he can be a real encouragement in the dressing room
    And I can see it the face of players

  86. 1. I don’t comprehend this bit about gelling. How can a team gel when you keep selling your CORE players every year and hoping that the replacements assume their roles? And when things turned sour, you counter that the replacements need time to gel?

    2. And what’s amusing is the excuse of ‘traitors’. What is a contract and the relevance of club loyalty? So RVP decides not to renew his contract but played his guts out is a traitor but the Squid collecting his doe and running down the contract is not? RVP did not violate anything contractually. Arsenal decided to cash out rather than holding out. Ditto Song. Its purely financial considerations without a thought as to who they were sold to or what both have achieve (RVP=top scorer, Song=top assists). They gambled and lost (to-date). How many points had RVP single-handledly done for MU?
    And to belabor on loyalty is a bit ticklish. The only thing I asked of players is that they give their all to justify their wages. When their contracts are up, it is their perogatives to re-new or to move.
    To suggest that a player is beholden to the club during their injuries again is pretty emotional. These are professional footballers for fcuk sake. The club has already factored that in. And for detractors, is it fair to Park? (still remember this guy we signed without playing). Try the Korean forums and see what they are saying about Wenger. Or try the Chinese sites (if you read Chinese) and see what they say about Wenger. In short, Arsenal has a huge huge following in Asia, Africa, Europe… and not just UK. If the black scarf movement will to be held in Asia, I assure you it won’t be 2000

  87. @Arvind,
    Before the move to the Emirates I do not recall the decibels of discontent now prevalent. It might have been the closeness of the fans at Highbury compared to the vastness of the present stadium. Or my memory is selective in old age.
    It could be that so far performance has not matched the venue but never fear…it will come.

  88. Thank you Walter for the article.
    I agree with the thrust of it.

    @Persian gunner:
    Brilliant observation regarding other teams’ approach to The Arsenal.

    I think too that we are the most desirable team to beat (for the quality of football that we play and the season unbeaten) and other teams raise their games against us.

    Analysis of what may ail us is all very well, but when the team runs out on the pitch any booing against team or manager is Fifth Column in action.

  89. Bob, they certainly do not seem to be gelling at the moment. Not sure if it is so much players being out of position, tho that could be a factor in some cases. I believe Wenger…and Bould are changing the way we play, they want us to attack as a team, and defend as a team. Gone are the Cesc Nasri Arshavin days. This will take time, like a golfer changing a swing. Tired legs, lack of rotation and poor squad depth is certainly an issue. Alex Song …sorry I keep repeating it….would have helped more than most in this transition, I rate that decision as one of Wengers worst. We MUST buy such a player in Jan, no matter how good Diaby could be. personally, I think Wenger sacrificed Song to keep Jack Arteta Santi Rosicky and unfortunately, Diaby in the team, and maybe Le Coq in contention, but it has not worked.

    The brutal fact is, things could get worse,but our whole game pattern is changing. We will emerge stronger, maybe more of an EPL style team as opposed to a CL team.
    As for Arshavin, and in my opinion, unfortunately Theo, these are not players who will really help out defensively, neither will be here next season. Quite ironic really, I believe what we are seeing now is an attempt to make the team stronger, certainly does not look like it at the moment, but we are currently unbalanced and urgently need reinforcements. As Michu proves, they do not have to be expensive internationals either.
    Unfortunately..or not depending on where you stand, I also believe this new way of playing will mark part of a succession, providing a stronger platform for a new management team (Bould + Dennis / Henry??). Wenger is making radical changes, ,maybe even building up money for his successor. He has given hints this may be his last contract. He will be doing everything to ensure he leaves the club in a very secure place, we are just going through a bit of a transition. A painful, sometimes baffling one at that.

  90. One more thing…an issue to look forward to about Wenger retiring, that book. He has too much class to drop people in it, unless they may be somehow deserving, but for his legacy, his fans and critics need to know what he has really been up against, and only then can he really be judged. Only insiders know that now, but I have my hunches. I do not think Stan is the worst owner on the planet, but we could have had better.

  91. I guess the way Arsenal is playing miserably now doesn’t happen over-night, it started last season. The defence was , and still is, leaking goals, it unfortunately plays a negative impact on those players who try their hardest to get the offence going and score a goal. I know it’s not the correct thinking to try to put blame on your fellow team members and don’t ask themselves questions, but when this situation happens game in and game out, you will give up and say what the f…The team just doesn’t exist as a coherent unit because players don’t play for each other and the club. No one wants to make a wrong pass and take the blame. No one wants to run into space and ask for the ball because he doesn’t see the ball coming his way. Eventually the desire and interest in the game is gone, which is what we’re watching the team Arsenal now.
    Finally, the inconsistency with Walcott is easy to explain if his mind is occupied with the contract situation. I pray he’ll make up his mind ( if he hasn’t decided yet ) and stay, only for reason the message of him signing another extension is a show of believe at Arsenal going forward again, which can be viewed positive. The reverse of it would just stab another wound to the already bleeding team.

  92. dy,
    We have conceded 2 goals less than last seasons comparitive fixtures, it’s the lack of goals scored that is letting us down.

  93. The Wenger out brigade need to be careful what they wish for, can think of a club in Paris currently around 4th in their league, but expecting better….who would be more than happy to relieve us of our manager this summer.

  94. Stuart, I agree, its leaking less but the main point is cutting out the sloppiness in conceding goals and at the same time as you said, scoring more. When everyone is doing their jobs then I don’t see any complain regardless of the game results. Win or loss, you’ve got to put up a fight. What’s the word ? Competitiveness, right ?

  95. @ Mandy Dodd
    Your comments here … Just exactly kind of things I wanted to hear right now
    Brilliant aspect of view, as it shows how well you the manager
    It’s very sad that just a few like you can see it

    But thank you for highlighting it for all of us

  96. A very optimistic write up but I think Wenger’s one too many gamble is catching up with him. Looking at how things went last season, one would expect that he must have learnt a lesson or two as regards the balance of the team. The saving grace last season obviously was RvP and to some extent Song; now that they are gone, the odd goal that would have seen us beat teams like Sunderland, Stoke, Everton, Aston Villa is missing. That would have given us a minimum of additional 8 points this season. Over the past 3 seasons, the side has changed so much for any form of stability to be found. Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Fabregas, Nasri, Song, RvP not to mention Almunia.

    Football is no mathematics but at the same time some element of logic would have made a difference. His decision to acquire a striker with no Premier League experience is part of what is causing us problems at the moment. It is a known fact that it usually takes a while for most players coming from some other leagues to adjust to the demands of the EPL moreso a striker. Podolski for instance has said that having to play twice a week on a regular basis is not something he’s used to. I’m sure Steven Fletcher would have jumped at the opportunity of playing for Arsenal if he had been approached which would have guaranteed 15 – 20 goals. He put in a decent shift with the kind of support he had at Wolves last season but Wenger never usually never gives the players in the other PL clubs a look in. In my opinion, Giroud is not much better than Bendtner who could not fully blossom under the shadow of RvP regardless of his form. He’s a tested international with 22 goals in 55 appearances for Denmark. If made the focal point of Arsenal play and guaranteed a place in the side based on performance, I’m sure he would deliver.
    As it is now, I see the club winning a trophy eventually this season – the Capital Cup but I don’t see them retaining their traditional slot in the EPL. I would prefer Wenger to be retained as he’s about the most experienced manager available at this level but with some form of supervision. He currently wields too much authority as per the players at the moment which does not bode well for the team. The team got problems with our attack yet we have the highest number of attackers out on loan – Bendtner, Park, Campbell, Ryo and the one available, Chamakh is permanently left out of the first team.

    This indeed is trying time not only for Wenger, but also for all the true Arsenal fans. Arsenal is the fourth most valuable association football club in the world as of 2012, valued at $1.3 billion which informs the expectation of the fans but its currently not anywhere near the top three of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United both in performance and league position.
    The fans expectations are not unfounded!

  97. All these so called supporters who want AW out, can you tell me who is to replace him.Coyle,Hughes.Get a life!.Its not good at present, but 5pts from 3rd,in the last 16 of the champions league and should be semis of the league cup.The media are to blame for many things that are wrong in football.Loose 2 games on the bounce and everyone thinks you should be sacked.There are 2 spuds supporters who work full time trying to de stablise Arsenal.They spend all day on twitter,forums and talk shows talking crap.It is going to be like Italy or Chelsea soon.2 or 3 managers a season.Very sad

  98. Yeah Walter lets blame the players cos Wenger is righteous and holy. When Wenger came up with the policy of not giving players over 30 more than a 1 year deal, he did not think about loyalty. Now he is getting a doze of his own medicine and you cry foul?
    Besides i don’t think any of the players signed a life contract.

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