Match Review: Bradford 0 Arsenal 4. Full details before it happens

By Fute Uristick

Following Walter’s innovative notion of posting a preview of the WBA match after the match was actually played, Untold continues where its name has always led, by now bringing the review of tonight’s match, before kick off.

And today is a special day – for it is the 126th anniversary of the first match by the team that was shortly to become Royal Arsenal FC (then Woolwich Arsenal, then The Arsenal, then Arsenal).    We have a special commemorative article on the Arsenal History Site.

First, a word or six about Bradford City.

There are in fact five things you should know about Bradford City FC.

First is their link with Chelsea in that both clubs were given league places without having a team, and without playing a match; the kind of arrangement that many fans might appreciate today.   Bradford were formed in 1903, two years before Chelsea, and there’s little doubt that Chelsea, having been refused entry into the Southern League (because of Tottenham’s objections) used the Bradford model to get into the Football League (where Arsenal had played since 1893).

The fix was arranged by the local newspaper, the FA and an unsuccessful local rugby club, and the idea was to bring football into rugby territory.  Doncaster Rovers were thrown out of the league and Bradford came in, and the local rugby team changed games and became a football team.  (There is also another Bradford team – Bradford Park Avenue who play in the Conference North.  I saw them earlier this season in a match against Corby Town, where the score was something like 4-5, but I must admit I lost count near the end).

Second is their innovative ticketing policy.   Bradford must be praised and praised again for their idea in 2007 in cutting the price of watching football in order to boost crowds.  Season tickets went on sale for £138, and they sold over 12,000 such tickets, giving them by far the highest average league attendance for the fourth division.

In 2008/9 they offered a free season ticket to anyone buying a season ticket as long as 9,000 people bought tickets, but they missed the target by just under 1000.  Then in December they offered season tickets for the rest of the season for from £99.  For this season they went on sale pre-season at £199.

Third, we must remember the most awful fire of 11 May 1985 in which 56 people died.  The fire was enhanced by masses of paper stuffed for years under wooden benches in the stand, and there is a reference to this a book about football grounds published around 1980 (very sorry I just can’t find it at the moment, but I have the book in the house somewhere), which actually warns that this is a serious fire hazard.

Fourth, Roger, Ian and I went to what I think was the last league game at Bradford between the clubs.  I recall us parking on empty ground of the type you would never find in north London, in the city, and admiring the Victorian architecture, but not the ground itself, which reminded me of Luton when they were in the first division.

There is no point five.

Anyway, on to the team. Mr Wenger decided to leave out Sagna who was still recovering from an ankle injury, and Giroud who got a kick in the back in the WBA game.  But the rest of the team was fairly familiar – not least because the next game is not until Monday.

Wojciech Szczesny
Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs
Jack Wilshere, Coquelin
Tomas Rosicky
Ramsey, Podolski, Arshavin

4000 Arsenal fans attended and made  lots of jolly noise and whatnot.

At the start it looked as if Bradford might make something of a breakthrough and take Arsenal by surprise, but Wilshere quickly improved even on the amazing form he showed on Saturday, wherein he played both as a defensive midfielder and a classic number 10 at the same time.

Two goals in each half saw the game done and dusted.  Rosicky got the first from a cross by Arshavin (who must have felt very much at home in the freezing conditions), Ramsey the second hammering home a rebound.  Podolski worked out once again that it is sometimes easier to score than miss (rather than the reverse) with the third and Jack Wilshere rounded off the night with a thundering shot in the closing seconds.

The result left Bradford contemplating their future battles in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and their appeal against expulsion from the FA Cup.   They can take solace from being the first fourth division club to reach the quarter-finals since Wycombe in 2006 and the first time they have gone beyond the second round in 11 years.

Arsenal have qualified for the last eight of the League Cup for the 10 seasons in a row, and this win gives Arsenal the record of 15 League Cup semi finals.   We scored 13 goals in the last two rounds, and this of course makes it 17.   It is our ninth tie against a fourth division club in this competition, and none of them has knocked us out.

On the beach at Bradford were

  • Chamakh
  • Mannone
  • Djourou
  • Miquel
  • Gnabry
  • Eisfeld
  • Chamakh

Chamakh, Miquel and Gnabry all made it on later in the second half.

Anyone who missed the match can revisit it as it is being played all over again tonight.


The books…

The sites…

141 Replies to “Match Review: Bradford 0 Arsenal 4. Full details before it happens”

  1. where the score was something like 4-5, but I must admit I lost count near the end).(I trust you didn,t go to Reading then). I,ll write a preview of tomorrows headlines. Wenger sacked as Gunners are Go(o)ners, Spurs now North London top dogs.

  2. I want to thank the boys for what they did last Night.Secondly i want to encourage Prof. to some good signing upfront. Ghavino,Girud lack the prowess that Henry had and the power to score that we need as a team. Poldy has adopted well a long side Cazola. Please bring lethal striker who is aggressive and angry for goals.

  3. “On the beach at Bradford”. I know Wigan has a pier but I’m certain Bradford doesn’t have a beach.

    A great result. This should give the players the confidence to propel the team to winning everything until 2087.

  4. I may be over-superstitous, but I don’t approve of predictions of comfortable victories before kick-off. Counting chickens………

    Already media hoping for an upset …

    Remember Bradford’s last victory over the Gunners? Dean Saunders goal.

    Arsenal won’t be up for it… crap dressing rooom…. below zero temperatures….. lumpy pitch….. partisan crowd acting as 12th man (thought that was M. Dean’s role)….. get in their faces, stop them playing etc etc…….

  5. I agree with John…never count your chickens before they hatch…especially if you are an Arsenal fan!!!

  6. With 6 days till our next game, I figure the team will be a bit stronger than usual… But no Jack for sure.

  7. I would love to see Arsenal line up in a 4 1 3 2 formation. It supplements our squads abilities and i think it suits the prem, i’ll try show why. Our defense lines up as normal. If we bought a CDM dedicated to defense, our solidity would improve, our defense would improve. Lets say for arguments sake this player would be Wanyama. We have a lot of midfielders that have different abilities to fill the midfield trio. We could use 1 creative player (Cazorla), one combative midfielder (Wilshere) and a quick attacker (AOC) or another industrial mid like (Diaby Arteta or Ramsey) We also have a lot of striker/winger players in Gervinho, Walcott, Podolski. Giroud is our only out and out striker. Our players are well equipped to fill these positions. We could line up with Wazza, Sagna Kosc, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Wanyama, Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Walcott and Giroud (or a new ST). Bench Mannone Jenkinson Podolski Rosicky AOC Diaby. It means we have two players in the box rather than 1, it means the 3 man midfield can keep the ball and can all create chances and dictate the game. Means 1 player is dedicated to breaking up play and counter attacks. Our wingbacks both can help with width on attack and defending the flanks. I think we’d play better with this system. Any thoughts?

  8. bit optmistic ….With no game until the following Monday there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a strong-ish side out. If players have played loads (Arteta, Cazorla, etc) then leave them out but other than that there’s no need to risk it. Giving youngsters a chance is a bonus but let’s be fair, this is a cup quarter-final and about our only chance of a trophy this year, let’s fucking make sure we win the tie.

  9. even with the weak defence you’d like to think we’d be too strong for them, part of the problem i feel is that the squad players are either bereft of confidence or playing time, chamakh is our only other recognised centre forward and he has started what 2-3 games. i know he is piss poor but cant really expect anything from them when they aint getting any game time. the midfield 3 is nailed on i think. i wasent too sure over the ox but i couldnt stand the prospect of chamakh and forehead together again

  10. @davee: I hope the Chamster turns up with his “Reading form” tonight otherwise we are going to be as sharp as a billiard ball up front. Lets not forget that the Chamster and Theo (and to a lesser extent Chapman) saved us in the last round and 2 of those 3 are missing….so there is a massive onus on the Chamster. If he doesn’t perform we’ll be tippy tappying to oblivion. I’m afraid Gnabry is the new Quincy, IMO.

    The main reason I’m worried is that Lord Wenger has treated the Chamster fucking appallingly since that Reading game, not even putting him on the bench despite the fact that when he doesn’t play Chapman we are left with the useless Forehead as a central striker and no other option

    Don’t get me wrong the Chamster really went off the boil for more than a year but when he was a regular in the side (upon joining and when Van Savile was injured) he did well, in my opinion far better than Chapman. Then after a year or more of no form whatsoever he has a stormer at Reading and Lord Wenger doesn’t even see fit to use him as a sub thereafter. Surely if we’re paying the guy 60k per week and on the odd occasion we play him he does well, he’s got to be worthy of a more prominent role given our lack of attacking options

  11. I am surprised that you haven’t mentioned the effect of the weather and the sending-off…tut tut.

  12. It was 6-1 and all those Juda’s started to believe, not until we face the gallows that has been set by those who always do what they want .Playing man-city,liver pool,Chelsea,stoke, sunder-land, villa and spurs in the coming month! But thanks be to the LORD,we survived once again.

  13. We are in a shit hole,no off-sides,throw inns are not given,the towel takes seconds , Varmaleen did nothing ,he stood his ground and that liner he is a pain in the ass whenever we meet him.But we shall overcome.DEAN IS THE S.. IN THE MIDDLE.

  14. Guy’s, we could be witnessing something truly extra-ordinary tonight – Get Guiness on the phone, and hold BBC Sports Personality of the year nominations….

    Yes, Mr Dean is bravely, and single handedly going for the all comers world record for fouls per booking..

    We’re at about 17 from my count (and 13 from Mr Dean’s numbers) and we’ve had just one booking…can he continue this fine form, is he man enough… can he reach the dizzy heights of 20:1? is it possible do you think….

  15. Oh, wait.. he’s taken a dive in the 93rd… looks like the record could be off…can you take the tension…

  16. This is the first time watching a game on Sky Sports (live streaming)and the commentators David (some last name) and (some first name) Lesley have got my blood to boil! Are commentators supposed to be like that…I swear I would kill these bastards if it was not a crime!

  17. From the first minute you could see that Dean was out to his usual stuff: punish Arsenal for the minor challenge and let Bradford get away with it.

    That said we should have scored a few more goals but we just didn’t take our chances.

    This is the saddest birthday in the Arsenal history and to make things worse… in my live.

  18. Fute: Never a great idea to predict an easy win.

    We were so poor we even missed 3 penalties… Who is responsible for this continuous decline at Arsenal?! Total failure. The boards strategy is now for all to see, a complete failure.

    I predict tomorrow’s post at Untold: Arsenal can’t compete with financial might if Bradford.

  19. And we commit League Cup suicide again, this time by hitting the post twice in a penalty shoot out. So we hit the post and crossbar 4 times in 1 game, which we lost by 1 penalty goal, is that correct? Maybe this just wasn’t meant to be.

  20. If I had any authority in Arsenal, I would just send Gervinho home just after leaving the stadium
    I can,t understand why mr Wenger didn’t use Arshavin in this game!!!
    The only free space to run was on their flanks and we were stock in there by Gervinho
    The worst game of Ox, sooooooo disappointing

  21. For fuck sake we had 28 shots in this game to 5 for Bradford but our finishing was really bad.

  22. I wonder what arsharvin did to Wenger ??He res-cured us once before but monsieur does not trust him anymore i have come to believe that i wonder why?/
    Gervinho is good for nothing he was supposed to press that not shoot!

  23. Ox is one of those annoying plateaus young players suffer….they do come good….and before the cynics strike….yes I know we then sell them. Arshavin should have played. We had some talent out there but some very weak links. It is not the time to call for wengers head…but I just knew we would lose that shoot out. I have never seen a top side cross as poorly as we did at times. Wenger will be crucified over this, and maybe rightly so. I just hope he can motivate this squad as he has done in the past, this season, I do wonder. Do these players believe in him. Are all of them trying for him? This evening, I am not so sure. I would set Steve bould onto at least half to the team. This has to be the worst moment under wenger.

  24. I thought I’d come over here to this site to see how the AKB’s would explain this one. You can blame the ref, blame the pitch, the cold, or just bad luck. Bottom line is that our FIRST team was just beaten by a League Two side. Look at the names on each team. I don’t think the entire Bradford team combined would equal Gervinho and Ramsey’s wages for a week. But hey, in Arsene we trust, right?

  25. I told my mate during the game that the only thing Gervinho should be doing in training is practicing his shooting / finishing. It has literally cost us points many times over. Also, some players are way too one-footed. We miss glorious chances due this tendency to try and switch the ball to the good foot, even if that’s the foot closet to the onrushing defender.
    I’m frustrated as hell. If it wasn’t so fcuking late with work looming tomorrow, I’d be having a lot of whiskey right now.

  26. Jack was good, Santi also
    But wingers played very poor
    We are trying to play a very fluent passing game play with poor players who do not have the ability
    Too many wrong passes and failed combinations

  27. Arsenal of the past few years has been a catalogue of mistakes and failures. The great strategy is not working. Calling a large portion of the Arsenal fan base a made up name (AAA) is not going to help. Continuing to do what the club has been doing is not going to help. And praying for FFP every night before going to bed is not going to help.

    PS: Calling anyone that disagrees with you “AAA” is also not a solution.

  28. No Steve, our finishing and penalties were woeful. But what would YOU do?

    I walked 2 miles through a foot of snow and -20 to find a hotel showing this in possibly Russian with Arsenal Radio playing 41 secs behind on my phone. I’m incredibly pissed off. I’d even start a whip round to pay off Chamakh’s contract, except the money would be better spent sponsoring Matt Duke.

  29. Yes gervinho is bad and can make you cry but this was a blessing in disguise. Wenger will buy in the january transfer as wise he was not going to buy had we taken this cup. All Of you who are talking rubbish eat shit and die you always complain that wenger does not take this cup seriously for he brings in young boyS ,today he brought the senior team so what ARE YOU GOING TO TALK ABOUT?? di..

  30. gats, let’s say we had buried another 1 of our many chances tonight and won the game. Would you even have come to this site at all?
    And this is off topic, but are you able to hold a discussion without being abusive? Do you try and pick up girls with that sort of language? Are you older than 15? Just curious, some of your answers might explain a few things…

  31. Jack tried everything, wingers were terrible. Theo’s value goes up game by game, I hope against hope this causes the club a rethink on his contract. We had some weak links out there, who on their present form are not good enough to play for arsenal. We have a lack of depth up front, and it really showed this evening. Have a real feeling this could be wengers last season, maybe some of the players know it? They need to recover from this very quickly. This team have been poor this season, luckily rivals for the top four have as well. As I say, hope he sets Steve bould onto some ….but not all of them, some deserve it. Wenger must use jan to improve this squad.

  32. So Sammy, who would you sign, how much would you pay them, what length of contract would you give them, how would you stop the billionaires guzzumping you, and how would you fund it?

    Time to put your cock on the block instead of your mouth.

  33. Thank you Walter

    You know, we are all sad and angry here, the only thing that help me now is this blog
    That we can talk and share are bad feeling to calm down
    I really like it here
    You always think before posting a word, I mean it’s not just stupid acting out here

  34. Oh and a warning for others: the rule is we don’t tolerate coming on here and abusing us.

  35. @Mandy
    You are right. It seems that the only player who really cares about Wenger is Jack

  36. Arsenal just ruined my own birthday this evening. So I got every reason to be upset and angry.
    But as it will not change a thing I just try to take it on the chin. Next week we have another game.

  37. The team is poor and the team selection is poor. Gervinho as the striker again? No Arshavin, why? And really, Arsene thought Chamakh would be able to score a penalty? Why was Rosicky not a penalty taker? Can anybody in this squad even put in an accurate cross?

    I would be less angry at Arsene if he actually came out and owned up to this performance. He says he can’t fault the effort of the squad, and can’t fault the quality of the squad. So what is it then? Did we lose magically?

    Arsene has no answers. I hate to say it but he needs to go.

  38. People say we need defensive drilling…..think we need crossing drilling. We looked a bit complacent if anything in extra time, wonder if the team were told about brad fords pen shoot out record?
    Just wish bendtner had a bit of humility….and maybe dedication he could be thriving in this team now, we could have done with what he had the potential to become this evening.
    So where now? Is this a bad day at the office……again? A result of a declining squad? Too much attention to finances? A lack of ambition? A result of divides behind the scenes? Adaptation to new ways of playing? A manager lacking?
    Wish I knew!
    Again, I will repeat this, if we had not sold song, or if we had replaced like for like, we would have won more games than we have this season. That worries me.

  39. Persian Gunner, Mandy

    I would imagine a lot of the players care about Wenger considering he is overpaying a lot of them. The fact is that a lot of them are just not good enough.

    Hopefully this will put an end to the failed socialist experiment of having everyone equal with regards to pay when it doesn’t work anywhere else either.

    My greatest fear now is that having played the same players week in week out the normal March, April drop off will be even more marked this season and could see league finish between 8 and 12th.

  40. Happy birth day Walter!

    Let’s see the bright sides of this, coquelin was good, he showed a real power, I think the big mistake was to keep Gervinho on the pitch
    Santi is a real class and I can imagine with a top class striker he could have lots of assists for us
    I don’t know what is mr Wenger planning for Ramsy, but he is not winger and won’t be!

    Actually this was not even a football match!
    I have count their players several times in the game, at least 9 players were in front of their net!
    It was a joke!

  41. @John

    I am with you on this, that we are over paying lots of players, we could have used that amount of budget on keeping our stars
    The problem is we don’t know what is exactly going on behind the sense, and who is really pulling the strings here
    Is it board? Is it mr Wenger?
    But you know, lots of this over payed players are a part of project, which has destroyed just after getting flourished in likes of Fabregas, Nasri and RVP
    I don’t know, maybe they decided to harvest their success in cash, instead of trophies

  42. Happy birthday Walter. Chelsea will probably sign someone stupidly expensive and win this cup anyway. Johan, you are right, some are not good enough….at least in the positions they were played in this evening. The problem is squad depth. Utd, city have four international strikers. We have one, and it is clear wenger wants chamakh out, and Cham is not really bothered, the laziest penalty I have ever seen. I do not like picking on individuals, but as he is , he is not good enough. Gervinho tried, but lacks confidence, and maybe ability at the level we want to be at. What wenger has to do is bring in,people who will lift the dressing room in jan, maybe this is Henry’s most important role. Another striker will help as well. You could see this evening out there , half the team thinks other team mates are not good enough. We appear to be in a vicious spiral, changing players, patterns and coaches, a lot of flux. The players have to be made to keep believing, an ambitious signing or two will help that. We have some very good players, we have to sign or bring through equals. If the manager, or owner will not do that, the guilty party deserves to be held accountable. After Swansea, I warned things could get worse. Things cannot be allowed to get any worse than this. Wonder what the owner thinks……or if he even knows?

  43. I agree with the Song theory. I think missing him has been a blow to the team’s fluency. Basically, very few players really know each other from midfield all the way forward. It’s going to be a long season, brace yourselves for the possibility of Europa League or less for 1 season.

    Now, do we have the worst finishing in the leagues? The impression I have is that we need many, many chances to score, while other teams can beat us with just 3,2, sometimes 1 shot on goal. Do we not practice this in training? I’m thinking especially of Gervinho here. How many shots have gone over the crossbar from close range in the last 2 games? I recall 1 by Cazorla and 1 by Podolski in the WBA game, and 1 by the Ox today. Seems a bit much if you ask me, why are we far less clinical than other teams? They sure as hell aren’t so wasteful wen playing against us. Maybe something is wrong with the way we train. Either that or there’s so much pressure and negativity that they’re getting the basics wrong. By our standards, these are dark days indeed.

  44. Someone said it elsewhere and it just about summed it up. 20something shots on goal and only 1 converted. What do you expect when you play a striker and midfielder on the wings and a winger at striker.

    Seriously though, Gervinho should be ashamed of collecting a pay cheque after missing that sitter.

  45. After this game, huntelaars price has just gone up a few million, along with Theo’s demands. Wonder what the club will do now?
    Wenger is going to be put through the mill like never before , i sometimes wonder how much he will take. just hope stan gets a mention in dispatches as well. Is it my imagination, or have things gone significantly down hill since stan took charge? I know the advent of the petrodollar clubs has not helped , nor have other factors, but I am talking more recent history here. Usmanov must be smiling at the moment.

  46. It’s kind of funny but some time I ask myself: is it me?!
    I mean do I have a bad karma or some thing with me that is influencing the team?!
    I will try not to watch the game next time! Maybe it works!

  47. Lol karma….cause and effect and all that, unfortunately this team seem to be paying a karmic debt for something going on we do not seem to know about. Since the stadium, wenger could at least compete, and normally avoid losses to fourth division teams, since stan, it all seems to have gone horribly wrong. Our very best departing citing lack of ambition in many cases, an extremely cautious transfer policy, players not extending contracts…..we wait to hear on theo, Gibbs, ox,and worryingly, wilshere. Has wenger suddenly lost it in the last could of years, or are there other things going,on? Expect a major open letter or statement from red and white in the next couple of weeks. We have lost players, are changing systems, but there is clearly something wrong out there we do not know about. Seventy mins of that game was like Swansea Norwich…and then some.
    The aaa and their friends in the media will demand wengers head…..maybe this time, they stand a small chance of getting,it, but will the next manager….when he comes be up against similar issues?

  48. mmmhmmmm, it’s the referee’s fault, have a word, they played us off the park…

    Bradford wage bill is said to be 1.2M, I rest my case…

  49. Surely even all the Wenger disciples cannot find any mitigating circumstances after the dross tonight.

    Perhaps the ref ?

    Perhaps when Fair Play kicks in we’ll all be tickety Boo again ?

    How many of you here travelled 400 miles today tried to get behind the team ? ( those that did go, very few sang as they were embarrassed and stunned trying to work out which team was in the Prem ).

    I’m sure the couple of usual village idiots here will denounce me as scum again & all the other garbage.

    Perhaps you all should take a real hard look at your ‘Lord’ & our revolting Owner and his puppet and see what is really happening to this once great club.

    If the owner had balls, he’d make sure Wenger isn’t allowed to spend another penny next month. If he had big balls, he should tell Wenger to resign or sack him ..Tomorrow.

  50. Arsene trade mark to bring pacy youth and give them full backing and confidence has been copied all over England.

    The young managers are adapting exactly to that.

    Bradford !!! WELL DONE.
    What is wrong to admit it ?

    Nobody gave Arsenal the GOD given wrights to win every where.If Bradford or Swansea or Villa or liverpool new young manager are using what Wenger has done it before what we can do ?

    With time Fergie helped by their finance situation is able to buy and add quality player.The contrast is Arsene he did not.

    It might catch our eyes because it is Bradford a non premier league even or championship level club but the fact remain they where at our faces and there was no long balls from their side they defended well and pass the ball adequately.

    This Arsenal team is not clicking at all.

    People lament about Gervinio but the fact remain he is the only one that troubles opponents.The fact is missing chances to me is he is not surrounded by players who is comfortable with.Players that can read his movement.
    In many teams we can find players who understand very well and they are not necessarly to be big names.

    Podolsky :If i take as an example yes he scored some goals and even spectacular ones other than that where is he ?Where ! Is no where to be seen only at the sacro santed 73 hour mark when substituted.

    Ramsey :what is going to do Gervinho with this chap.He had engine to burn,He is all over the pitch is not lazy.I am sorry but he lacks midfielders touch and awareness and positioning.
    Of course i am not excusing the blaten miss of tonight of Gervinho but over all we where playing minus two players against well prepared Bradford.
    The impact of the substitution was very visible after they left this two below par players.Unfortunately it was way to late.Simply because Wenger is not changing before the 73 minute mark.Wenger is just acting like a robot even the advanced one adapt with time.He is not.
    Not that i am expecting anything from this team but reinforced my believe that other clubs are doing very well with the youth set up and with litlle money.

    If my memory serves me well it is on this site that we where talking about the value of Chelsea players fielded against us.And tonight what are we going to say ?
    Gutted !!!!

  51. Could hear the away fans all game…..what are you talking about?
    If wenger goes……good luck to the next manager……our owner does not seem the most generous, and this team has clearly gone down hill since he took over. Is he an asset stripper, or maximiser of profits? What do players really think of being asked to sign contracts with CL qualification clauses….strange, none of them have signed.
    No excuses at all for what happened this evening, but what is wenger really up against and has it in some way diminished him? Maybe it has. He was brave enough to try youth, and went quite a long way with it, but his youth was lost….and for some unknown reason, replaced with the likes of santos and park. Wenger may have signed them, but not signature wenger signings. Maybe he as better left to do what he does best.
    Guess you want Martin,o’neill or Owen coyle in…..that is what wengers critics seemed to want on some sites until quite recently. Pep….yeah right…..this is kronke you are talking about……

  52. Mandy.

    I’ve loved this club since I was a young boy & went to my first game in 1966. I’ve had some great experiences on and off the field, even during the bad era’s. I’ve missed holidays, missed family functions all for my love of The Arsenal.

    Now I feel angry at how the Club is run & voice my opinion.

    Why do you think anyone who dislikes the policies of either Kroenke or / and Wenger is should be called ‘Anti Arsenal’?

    As you are one of the more articulate posters, I’d appreciate your reasoning.’

  53. @Walter

    Happy birthday, I’m sorry it was ruined. But Walter, do we have to endure AAA scum like the xenophobic double talking Doublegooner – who appears on schedule on this site every time the team comes a cropper – time he was red carded?

  54. doublegooner!
    I can see you are a reasonable fan and i dont thing you will get a propper answer from TRIBAL FAN.
    Tribals are tribals they dont act as human.Yes they look and talk like human but they are not.
    If you even kill a human beying as long is not from their tribe they will hide you from the law and even encourage you to do more of killing.

    The same goes with this tribal fans.So please do not waste your time to get an answer.

  55. bj:

    I’m sure you will agree that Mandy is far more articulate than yourself.

    However, do also feel free to explain to me your notion of why a dedicated and committed long term fan like me who chooses to question how this club is being run both on and off the field is ‘Anti Arsenal’ .Try & be a bit more inventive than called me scum or xenophobic !! 🙂

  56. “All Of you who are talking rubbish eat shit and die”
    Kampala Gun,
    I think the Pause button might just be the way to go. Just a thought.

  57. Mandy Dodd, C4
    “Again, I will repeat this, if we had not sold song, or if we had replaced like for like, we would have won more games than we have this season. That worries me.”
    “I agree with the Song theory. I think missing him has been a blow to the team’s fluency. Basically, very few players really know each other from midfield all the way forward”
    Yes. Some of us were hand-wringing about this travesty of a trade – in fact the mad rush to a zero net transfer balance – since August. It was a craven disgrace then and predictably the chickens have come home to roost. The same dynamic is at work with Theo Walcott, who is merely our best scorer and plays part time. Something is rotten upstairs at AFC. I do not believe it is Arsene, but, while it could be, AFC, imo, is being understood as an asset-stripping operation. Do we know, for example, whether some of these players actually came to AFC under the understanding that the club would be doing its utmost to hold on to quality like RVP and Song? In any case, this “performance” will gut many fans who love this team, who have bonded with departed players and men like Sagna and Walcott who are being f#($ed with for a few AFFORDABLE thousands, and who cannot bear the callous accountant/profiteer mentality with which this once and future great club is now being kicked to the curb.

  58. to those who support the club but take swipes at it, remember the arsenal words “victoria concordia crescit”, victory comes through HARMONY!!!

  59. bob,
    In accounting terms, players aren’t really assets. They are more liabilities, since their ‘value’ decreases over the length of their contract, reaching zero when their contract ends. So are we being asset stripped? Maybe, but I don’t think it’s the typical asset stripping such as happened at Portsmouth, or happens at ManU, and as such isn’t to the long term detriment of the club.

    I’m actually pretty sanguine about the result (surprising even to me) But yes, I have serious concerns over this season. The way I see it is this. This is the perfect storm. The period when it’s the worst. Why it’s come about has been due to the high state of flux in the squad. Since 2 seasons ago when we lost in the League Cup final we’ve sold CLichy, Fabregas, Eboue, Nasri, RVP and Song (among others) Basically, I think when Cesc was leaving, it was decided to blow up the whole team and start from scratch. It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better (Theo and Sagna are probably gonzo) but I still think we’ll come out of it stronger.

    I do agree with you that January, (as well as next summer) are important to Arsenal’s future. A striker, a winger and a midfielder (like Diaby, but not him) are what we need now. A LB and GK can be added to that list but that can wait, and if Sagna leaves next season we’ll need an RB too.

    Still. The main thing this year is getting into the CL places, so we can have the extra funds and then spend them. I still think we’ll manage that, and I think we’ll have reinforcements in the transfer window to help us with that. Who? No idea. Probably whoever we buy some people will have a moan about.

    I still don’t buy into the whole 7 years without a trophy thing. That is a media creation and some people have bought into it (consciously or unconsciously) hook, line, and sinker. A trophy would be nice but that’s not what’s really important right now. We need to rediscover ourselves as a club. A trophy might help with it, but we need the joie de vivre back. ANd that is something the poisonous atmosphere does not help with.

  60. Man , we wuz poor ! Bradford played to their plan and won .Good luck to them .
    We have to change things around , get some new ,hungry faces in and kick the butts of some of our senior players !
    And ,as for this review , where did you find this Fute Uristic oracle ,Tony ? Back from the future ? Did his ball fog over high up on his remote mountain top cave ?
    For the next few games ,Tony ,can I suggest you try Claire Voyance? She supposed to be farsighted !She’s also a cousin of the famous Hinde Schight !And distantly related to Knoe Itall the smart aleck !
    And guys don’t bother to find answers to the above nor bother to reply/comment as they really are my rhetoric musings .
    I laugh so that I don’t cry .
    Oh , and Happy Birthday ,Walter ,I’ve e-mailed you something to get you smiling .

  61. There’s no excuses for this. None of this we’re tired nonsense which seems to be the new mantra when we’re up against it. Recently Bob Wilson said he had no time for stupid comments like that as he played 74 games in the 71 season. Past Arsenal teams had no problem dealing with a busy fixture list, that’s what happens when you have a decent squad. Or perhaps it was the weather or the ref?

    Maybe it’s that Wenger is just not that good anymore. Maybe it’s the crazy need to balance the books every transfer window which seems to be the main reason we sold Song. Maybe it’s a very average CEO. Maybe it’s a completely indifferent owner who is happy to cream some money off of our great club and put nothing back. Maybe……….who knows?

    All I know is there has to be some serious investment in January otherwise we could be way off the Holy Grail that is fourth.

  62. Rupert:

    I hope Wenger isn’t allowed to buy one more player.

    He should tender his resignation today.

  63. Jack Wilshere last night was immense. He was everywhere and when the time came for his penalty he was cool confident and had the poise of a winner.

    The unfortunate thing for us is that he stood out like a sore thumb in our team.

    I really think Arsenal need some help mentally – seriously some kind of team shrink. As it stands the team LOOK like losers before they start – they seem so unconfident.

    I think Wenger has made another mistake with the captaincy – I know he doesn’t really value the captains position that highly, but I think we need a leader like Jack to take the armband. Vermaelen is almost as bad as Gallas and Fabregas as a captain.

  64. The players have no excuses for the poor performance in this one. Not turning it on out of pure disrespect for Bradford is awful. Wenger was going mad on the touchline but the players seemed to have their minds on other things.

  65. @ Rupert – no balanced books = administration, torn up contracts, no players, big points deductions and usually relegation.

    Like all these once top division clubs…
    Crystal Palace

    And lets not forget Rangers..

  66. For those that havent read my previous contributions I will put out there for a start that I am a Chelsea season ticket holder so yes have a certain slant on things.
    Quite simply you should have won yesterday but didnt. You can look at the game and said it was because of this or that but the reflection in any mirror from Wenger and your board of directors will show where the blame lies.
    Arsenal should be challenging rather than seeking satisfaction from the balance sheet or pointing the finger at every other team shouting foul and waiting for the white charger that is FFP to right all wrongs.
    Over the years it has been declared there is money available for transfers, big money, but it seems that or some reason you continue to shop from the bargain basement and whilst Wenger had wonderful success in the past there was almost an arrogance that he would continue to unearth little gems time after time.
    The dilema seems to me that your board of directors are comfortable where you as a club are, comfortable with Wenger, comfortbale with a a big bank balance.
    I can see ceratin similarities with Notts Forrest and how they in effect let Brian Clough stay too long he was not sackable for years and when they did let him go the damage was done.
    Arsenal have a fabulous product, a fabulous tradition, a fabulous ground but in the world wide market that football now is you need to win things to increase your foot print and lets face it the Capital One Cup would have helped and whilst not impossible I doubt that you will win either the EPL or CL this year so the FA cup is a must and lets ace it history suggests that is more difficult a competition to win than the Capital One Cup.
    I have said before your whole business model will come under real pressure without CL monies or a surplus from transfer dealings and looking at your current squad there is a need for huge investment but will Wenger or your board let that happen? I doubt it for as long as your board measure your clubs success on a balance sheet as oppossed to the trophy cabinet.

  67. @Robl, are you mad? In what world can we be described as equal to any of those teams you mention? None of them have the worldwide brand we have, not even Rangers who were run by a crook.

    We have a nice healthy bank balance. To be successful you need to speculate to accumulate.

  68. @Mike T, I’m afraid too many Arsenal fans don’t get this. And when they do it’ll be too late.

  69. @RobL

    aren’t we bored with this line of reasoning and/or FUD over the past seasons? For Pete sake we have not spend yet, and probably won’t with all the moneymen and their profit-only approach. And from all the indications by the board to date, it appears, IMO, that Arsene has to sell before he can buy to balance the books. So no, we will not do a Leeds et al with this board in charge. You are lucky if they have funds for you in the first instance.

  70. I don’t know if we can really blame Wenger for this. He’s not the one missing 27 chances. He took the competition seriously like most fans wanted, and fielded a strong team. It’s the players that let him down. If I can fault him for anything in this one, I’d say he should have played Andrei instead of Gervinho. Until Gervinho spends 2 straight weeks working on little else other than his finishing and shooting, I wouldn’t play him.
    I think there’s a mental issue in the team. We knew full well they’d play for penalties, we had had the media spouting it and cheering them on with “stay calm and get to penalties” banners and everything. We knew they would do aim to do this. But the players failed to do anything about it, despite clearly having the ability to do it. Like I said in an earlier comment, something is very wrong when the team constantly and consistently misses sitter after sitter from close range by skying it over bar, or shooting / heading wide. Why can’t we win a game with 3 or 4 shots on target like other teams do against us? 28 shots and 1 goal says a hell of a lot. Hitting the post TWICE in a penalty shoot out says a hell of a lot too. Anyone remember how clinical Cazorla was when he arrived? Anyone noticed how he now kicks over the bar from 10 yards? And how Podolski is starting to do the same? Whatever is affecting the players is highly contagious, and my theory is it’s the incessant negativity being pushed 24/7 365 by the media. It’s now in the minds of some of the fans, most of the neutrals, and creeping into the team. I’m struggling to think of when last I read a positive article on Arsenal in the mainstream media, similar to the sort of article you’d read about manure or the tiny totts. Even on a weekend where we win convincingly and the totts or manure lose, Arsenal will have a negative article and theirs will be positive. It’s not the sort of thing a player would say, but I think when they look at the incredible, widespread bias against the team, they probably feel like they’re fighting a battle they can’t win, so they move on. No-one wants to be hated so much, it’s unnatural. No credit when given when it’s due, no protection on the pitch (you can have your nose kicked bloody – no foul, and not a mention of this later, as the focus is on bashing Arsenal), and just constant negativity about you until you move to manure or man sh!tty. Then all of a sudden you’re the best thing since sliced bread, the refs can see if someone fouls you, and you can get even away with the occasional elbow or get a freakin penalty. Imagine 1 of the most attacking teams in the prem not a getting a penalty at home for 17 months. That’s a year and a half! And nobody in the media sees anything wrong with that? What if manure got no pens at home for a year and a half?
    We’re up against a lot more than just oil money. If ever there was a time for unity, this is it. But instead, fans are turning against each other and the manager, pushed on by the negativity they encounter everywhere they click or turn a page. It’s reached a point where spuds fans are telling Arsenal fans to calm down – they’ve been whipped into mad frenzy, likes sharks around a bloody carcass. It’s not helping the team, and we’re going to lose even more talented players at this rate. many of our players clearly have the talent, but I think whatever is wrong is mostly in their heads and hearts. And the people who can go a long way to fixing it is us the fans who are putting them under that immense pressure in the first place. Just read the last few nterviews by Arteta (Smarteta is my new name for him 🙂 ) and Rosicky, that will tell you how bad things have become. Let’s actually support the team, enough following of someone else’s agenda. there are many who want us to fail, and we’re dealing them a helping hand by attacking our own players. Yes, we lost a cup game. But the treble is still on, right?

  71. Last night was a new low in Arsenal’s history. I am firm believer that Wenger should leave and have been saying that for the past 4 seasons. However, last night was not his fault. The players are entirely to blame. The majority do not give a toss about Arsenal and do not know what it means to play for the club. They should be totally ashamed of themselves. If Wenger would have put out a reserve and youth team, then we could blame him for not taking it seriously etc, but this was basically the best players in our squad that are currently fit (except for Arteta). The players are not good enough and that is Wenger’s fault. He has bought terribly and sold our best players to our rivals. You could not even make this stuff up.

  72. @C4. No the treble is not on. We’re not going to win the league or the CL. We have the FA Cup to focus on.

    Yes I agree that overwhelming negativity is counterproductive but I find it hard to use that as an excuse for not beating Bradford.

    As for the media, well they’re going to focus on our lack of success because we have a manager who has been incredibly successful and no longer is. If Fergie had won nothing for 7 years he would be getting the same treatment. I’m afraid that Arsenal is seen by many as more concerned about making money than making history on the field. That’s why the FT probably love us and the tabloid backpages hate us.

    This perception of the club seems to be spreading as my wife met a French bloke through her work abroad and he said he loved Chelsea. My wife told him I support Arsenal and his response was, ” I hate Arsenal, they’re only interested in making money, they aren’t a proper club.”

  73. Hillarious. STILL STILL STILLLL people supporting Wenger. I heard some dellusional fan come on the radio this morning and say that it wasnt wengers fault?!?!?!?!? what?!?!?!?!? So, he picks the team, installs the tactics, motivates the players, BUYS the players and plays them….. yet it isnt his fault. What makes me laugh even more is the fact that when anything brilliant happens at our club these fans state that it is ALL because of Wenger. Yet when anything bad happens they state that it isnt because of Wenger. What a joke. The man has to take responsibility for this. He has bought Gervinho, Chamakh, Arshavin, Squillaci etc and players of this poor calibur. He is the manager of the football club, yet he is not to blame for anything and it is all the boards fault. What complete and utter nonsense! The man is past it, he was past it 4 years ago. He no longer possesses the ability to coach a top side at the top level. Move aside.

    The cry for a change of manager is not a knee-jerk reaction. I have been asking for it for a long time now. But Bradford away, surely, with the team picked and their lack of ability to break down a League 2 defence, has to be the final straw. Seriously, what will it take to force the board to do the right thing for football reasons? Oh, I forgot, there aren’t any football men on the board any more. What it will take for Arsene Wenger to get the chop is for profits to fall. Well, no fears there. If Theo can be sold in January, and Jack can follow next summer, the healthy balance sheets will remain. In the words of former Spurs manager Keith Burkinshaw, there used to be a football club over there. If there still was, Arsene Wenger would have been shown the door long ago…
    but don’t worry guys, In the famous words of Tom Fox, Arsenal’s chief commercial officer, “It’s not all about winning” but about making money for Arsenal we made a nice little earner on TV money tonight.Come on Arsenal business club !!.Forget the league cup lets go for that 4th place cup whats it called again

  74. andy bishop says:
    December 12, 2012 at 9:59 amI believe that the attitude and effort were right for last nights game. We have for many years enjoyed great players at Arsenal and almost assume that we have them now. It is clear we do not. That was the problem last night..the quality that we expect is just not there. How many times do we have to endure failure to get a head on one of our many 50/50 headers do we win in defence? How many times do we see defenders and midfielders all go toward the ball and leave a spare man free? How many poor crosses do we put in? and when a good one goes in how many times are our supposed strikes found hiding behind a defender?. How many times do our defenders want to put the ball down and play in dangerous positions? How many times do we see Ramsey, Gervinho, Chamakh miskick when in site of goal?. What Wenger sees in Chamakh and Gervinho is beyond me. Chamakh is too stationary, lacks control and pace to be an effective premier league player.He will not get better with games. Playing one twos off a dustbin would be more productive for our midfield players. and lightweight Gervinho despite his undoubted effort lacks team understanding and speed of thought. The Bradford teenager up front was far superior than our two “goalscorers” Surely we must have a youngster at the club who could do better. Why did Wenger bring Cocquelin off instead of Ramsey?. I know Ramsey got a kick on the nose but did anyone notice how we did not get near the ball for 10 minutes after that substitution. Cocquelin was showing enough skill and energy to get past on overlaps aswell as his defensive duties. The board inability to hang onto good players and cash in on them will destroy the Arsenal we all want back. When the Emirates is half full and no champions league money is coming in it will be too late. I have seen this before with Arsenal..they will have to spend big soon and change their attitude. How many fans will accept Walcott and Sagna leaving this year?

  75. This is all very simple. The board pay Wenger £7.5m a year, not to win trophies, but to make them profits to line their own pockets. It is just so transparent. They have a vested interest in not demanding he change his strategy or tactics. He buys kids, makes them players and then sells them on, again for his and the boards own benefit. Not for the team or it’s fans. It is effectively money laundering on a grand scale using Arsenal as go between. I for one cheered Bradford winning. An honest team, with hoesnt values and goals. Only by not papering over the cracks will we force regime change


  77. At half time in extra time I witnessed Wenger walking up and down the touchline while his players we spread about receiving various bits of treatement/encouragement from members of his staff. All Bradford players we in a huddle around the manager receiving instructions and encouragement. Says a lot for me. Nothing is forever…it is clear that Wenger can no longer uncover the little gems at the right price.

  78. I doubt anything will change though. Wenger is part of the Arsenal brand. It’s quite obvious he’s finished, at least as a manager who can guide a team to trophies, but he’s unfortunately intrinsically attached to “modern” Arsenal. If he did go anywhere it would probably be in some job “upstairs” at Arsenal and the next manager would have his lustreless presence looming over him.

  79. As embarrassing as this will be it will help us in the long run as this was the only hope we had this season of silverware and Wengers desperation showed tonight with his squad selection but now we appear to have hit rock bottom, surely his reign is over. Any decent person/manager would put pen to paper tomorrow and do the right thing but we are talking about a man whose ego and £7 million a year will not allow him to walk away and the board will never kill the Golden goose!

  80. As I said earlier its your board and Wenger that are the problem and i really am suprised that even now some cant quite see it.
    I read someone said Wiltshire was immense. He should have been he is a good player playing against players who perform one league up from non league. So why didnt the others perform? Well quite simply they are gifted players but dont have that something extra that winners have.
    Very rarely do teams at the top sale top quality on at a bargain price. Yes these type of players perform for a while but its the performance over a period that is the true measure of a player.
    You need to reflect on why Van Persie left (my arent you missing him)your board say there is money available but if you miss out on CL football for a year or two you will find it hard to attract top players and lets face it your wage bill , although far less than Chelseas, isnt small by any means and you will find it impossible to move on mediocre players.

  81. 30 minutes in and we did not even trouble the keeper of a 1st division club and they looked dangerous every time they got near our box. If this just doesn`t sum up our predicament…..a manager who can not pick the right team, can not get the tactics right and is incapable of motivating the players…..TAXI FOR WENGER

  82. what i don’t understand about these wenger apologists is that its not like this a blip – we’ve won 3 of our last 9 games. three…

    what team are they watching every week, are they actually watching ?

    i don’t think he’ll get the sack til he starts costing the board money and thats either unsold matchday tickets or no chance of 4th left.

    the papers said there was 10,000 empty seats for the west brom game, but Arsenal had sold 60,036. until their matchday sales dip below 50,000 i reckon he’s safe, as who is going to fork out 50 quid to see a game and see us draw or lose or 200 quid plus for these travel packages ?

  83. It doesn’t matter who the opposition is, but if you play round pegs in square holes, then you’re going to have a problem. By playing reserve squads in the past, it was a fail safe mechanism. If we lost, it was because we played a reserve side. If we won, it was great because we rested our main players and our reserves / kids got a run out. we played our best team and lost (albeit on penalties) to Bradford.
    Examine anything you wish, but this is unforgivable. I don’t think any other team in the top ten in the Premier League would have lost to Bradford if they played their top side.
    The answer is to buy. We won’t get anywhere with this group. I don’t know how we got to this stage and the problem is, I don’t think Arsene does either.

  84. I honestly think the kids would have done better last night. I believe if we had played the NextGen squad, they would have gotten a result in normal time. Eisfled, Gnabry and co. seem to be made of the stuff that’s missing from the current 1st team. As long as we’re playing midfielders on the wings, I’d have easily had Eisfeld or Gnabry in for Gervinho or Ramsey. It might also be time to recall the likes of Aneke and Myaichi. All these guys performed better in Pre-season than the first team guys are doing right now. Pity Yennaris is injured, because I’d pick him over Ramsey as well on current form. This not to say Ramsey and Gervinho lack talent, but they have massive psychological / confidence issues which the kids don’t have, and it’s costing us points, games and possibly mickey mouse cups. Let’s give the league cup back to the NextGen kids, they can probably pull it off.

  85. Zonal marking….WTF!!!!! It does not work. We were the Invincibles, now we are the Incapables.

  86. I said it on another thread, I don’t think a lot of these so called ‘fans’ are genuinely Arsenal fans. I think that they are ‘rival’ supporters who want Wenger to stay in charge because they know he is going to ruin the club further. It defies ALL logic to support a man who has taken Arsenal so far backwards and who sells our best players year on year. If we had had RVP up front instead of Gervinho this season I bet we would have scored at least 8 more goals, that would have transformed our season. It’s Wenger’s choice to play one up front and it’s his choice, not the boards, to play Gervinho as a fucking lone striker.
    It’s madness.

  87. I have to say I have become more and more fed up with whats been going on at this club. Since David Dein left it seems there is no connection between the fans and the board. The rich seem to get richer and the fans get nothing…….no investment in the team… trophies…..nothing!!! The yank seems to have no interest in the club he has invested in and hardly ever shows up and now has invested 83m of the clubs money into his new Ranch……well enough is enough. Its about time the board realised that the fans give everything to this club and they give nothing.
    I am not anti-Wenger, I think he is as fed up as the fans are and its beginning to show, he wants a successful side, a powerful winning team that others fear but he is not getting the vocal or financial support and I fear we will lose the manager that has given the fans what they wanted, a team that competed against the very best and was once feared. How can we be feared when we sell our best players to the very teams we are meant to be competing against??
    Its time for the board to give the reigns to someone willing to invest in the TEAM, invest for the FANS and give us back what we had….a winning team with a winning mentality and feared by most. Usmanov and Dein would bring back those glory years and re-invigerate Wenger which is what we all want to see.
    Arsenal FC is not an investment bank, its not a money making organisation….its a Football team fist and foremost and needs to be given the love and investment needed to make it the team we all once cherished. I am fed up losing to teams like Norwich and Swansea, nothing against them, they are well run family clubs but Arsenal FC should be better than them, is better than them and its time to give us them back!!

  88. Let’s place responsibility for last night clearly where it belongs – which is with the players. Yes, there are wider issues about Wenger and the Board but you can’t blame them for that result.

    So what is it with this group of players? Even allowing that there are a few who are not up to the quality required, most are international players with good reputations. Why is it that the collective performance falls so short of what should come from the sum of these individuals?

    It is clear to me that right now there is a lack of chemistry and common purpose and communication from them. The lack of communication and movement coupled with misplaced passes and crosses points to individuals playing from themselves and not a a team. Defenders are left exposed because of poor covering and strikers are deprived of service.

    So we should be asking about player attitudes and commitment (as some have already done here). Only Wilshere (just back from a massive injury as well) and Arteta seem to want to boss their areas of the park. The others seem happy to take what comes their way. If the ball is lost to the opposition it is someone else’s fault. It’s more about character than skill.

  89. some of the players look to me like they could do witha bbit of one on one coaching. they do not lack talent but as a team are certainly lacking something

  90. Stroller: Last night could be blamed on the players IF it was a one off, but this is a trend.

  91. There is no way I trust Wenger to spend whatever money he is given to get us out of this mess. He’s had some humdingers over the years like Cygan, Senderos, Chamakh, Santos, Denilson but Gervinho has to be one of the worst buys ever in PL history. The art of defending was never Wenger’s forte, tbh he never really needed it with the defence he initially inherited and leaders in the team thereafter but now as it’s proved he can’t do anything to improve us defensively , he has completely made us toothless in attack. We are declining at an alarming rate now and it is truly embarrassing to be an Arsenal fan at the min.
    If I were Arsene Wenger, picked up the newspaper and read all the criticism of me, I’d actually take it and think they have a point. Wengers attitude on the other hand seems to me that he’s completely ignoring it. Okay, so we can presume Wenger has gone senile, but what about Bould? This is the man who was nowhere near the first team setup, HE SURELY must of read all the criticism and thought, as an ex Arsenal player I have a duty to get Arsenal back on the right path? SURELY his views must of been heard by Wenger?

  92. To Derek and all of the AW haters.You are part of the media,twitter team.We all live in a age where you believe it is your “RIGHT” to win or your RIGHT to have the best if you pay for it.The media want Arsenal to do poorly because it is a great news story.One week it is Man City,then us.Never a British Manager.Tell me who would you want to take over!Of course, the bloke from Spain.How long do you think he will want,how long will we hear it takes time to adjust to the premier league.Oh,have a look to see how much debt the glaziers have put on Man.Unt.Not mentioned in Ashtons report.

  93. This is wengers team – he bought the players he coaches the players he organises the players – from being ahead of his time he has fallen back and obviously is floundering to modify his ideas to the current environment.

    What makes it even worse that in my opinion the general standard of the premier is as low as it has been. All the clubs it seems to me are struggling and entertainment levels are low on quality but being rescued occasionally by abundant errors (players and refs) causing excitement.

    When you look at the recent few years we have been in the same situation but have have been rescued by odd players like Fab and VP. Now we are in a situation where no-one can make the difference – we have average type players so we need more of a committed team game (runners so forget the technical) approach but that is not happening.

    Anyways, this is going to be a long hard winter and wenger will have to endure a lot of pressure. Maybe the board are reluctant to make a change but I think they need to at least make sure wenger has eyes ONLY on loan players in the transfer window.

  94. Curious…Most of the reasonable posters here recognise the difficulties we are going through. Some do question Wenger. They critique the players and talk about changes in January. What they don’t do is blame EVERYTHING on AW and think firing him will solve all of our problems, though it would certainly change the dynamic. But how about this for changing the dynamic of our club…try supporting the club instead of the incessant negativity and calling everyone who misses a shot…shit. Imagine a workplace where everytime you didn’t absolutely do something perfectly someone screamed on the internet that you were shit. Oh that would help me perform better! NOT!

    AAAs…we lost yesterday. Get over it and hug somebody you care about instead of shooting off your mouth about someone you don’t even know except on Saturday afternoons.

  95. @Paul & the other sheep, first construct a logical argument instead of talking about ‘hugging your mum’. In response to both of you, I hink Wenger has created a squad with so few genuine threatening options that he has been left with little choice but to tire his players out. Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla in particular look knackered, and if they’re spent 14 games into the league season then it is Wenger’s fault – it is responsibility to either ensure they have more rest or that they’re fit enough in the first place. It seems like Wenger is running out of excuses.

    Stability is often regarded as a virtue in football, an idea that I have my doubts about, not least because with stability can often come stagnation. Wenger’s tactical approach is evidence of this – in the 16 years he has been at the club, with the odd variation he has basically used two formations; the 4-4-2 that served him well in the early years, and then the 4-2-3-1 implemented to get the best out of Cesc Fabregas. The best long-serving managers adapt and change, the most obvious example being Sir Alex Ferguson, who (perhaps under influence from various assistants) has experimented with just about every system going in recent years. There was talk that Wenger was toying with a 3-5-2 last month (something that, with the players in their squad, does make some sense), but this has yet to appear on the pitch.

    What Wenger traditionally does well seems to be disappearing too. ArseBlog, another excellent Gooner fan site, made the point that Michu, the man who won Saturday’s game for Swansea, is exactly the sort of signing that Wenger used to make – cheap, a little under the radar but hugely effective. Admittedly, ‘under the radar’ is more difficult to achieve than it was even ten years ago, but the point remains.

    Wenger seems to be a manager relying on tomorrow for everything to come good. His reliance on youth is perhaps the best example of this, but if you wanted one player to sum it all up, then I give you Abou Diaby. While clearly a fine player, Diaby has only made nine league appearances (five starts) in the past season and a half, and yet still Wenger talks about how good the team will be once he returns. A more ruthless manager would have cut his losses and discarded Diaby long ago, instead of living for the day when he’ll be fit forever. Tomorrow doesn’t seem to be coming any quicker.

    One of the reasons he has to rely on tomorrow is that his best players keep leaving. And one thing that should be noted is that none of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie have taken their decisions lightly. All have an emotional connection to both Wenger and Arsenal, but all, having considered the cold facts, chose to leave. They did so because they had a better chance of real success elsewhere.

    And then perhaps we arrive at the thing that could actually do for Wenger. The problem with placing so much emphasis on qualifying for the Champions League is that if they no longer manage it, then he’s left with little to back himself up. This is Arsenal’s worst start to a season since he arrived, and the prospect of them finishing outside the top four is very real. What then? Wenger will have lost his best defence, and Arsenal will be without a vital source of money. While Wenger did turn things around last season, something’s definitely seriously awry this time. If, at the end of the season, Wenger has not achieved his stated goal, it must surely be time.

    Finally, if you want to be really reductive about it, he hasn’t won a trophy since 2005. For a club like Arsenal, that’s not good enough.

  96. Derek,
    a final warning: it is not allowed to copy past comments from others websites and you clearly are doing it.

  97. “derek
    December 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

    30 minutes in and we did not even trouble the keeper of a 1st division club and they looked dangerous every time they got near our box. If this just doesn`t sum up our predicament…..a manager who can not pick the right team, can not get the tactics right and is incapable of motivating the players…..TAXI FOR WENGER”

    Derek is this a copy paste? if not please seek for treatment because it makes no sense. what 1st division team?

  98. Wenger is a great manager; you don’t become a bad manager overnight.

    The problems in football lie much deeper than one man…lol

    (Just as the problems in the world go much deeper than George Bush or Barack Obama)

    Sadly most people like Derek are brainwashed to scapegoat the nearest available target.

    Arsenal’s problems stem from being not allowed to win the league; a clear policy in place for several years, as we know from the bizarre and appalling refereeing.

    Now the players are demoralized, and Wenger doesn’t have the resources to get the players he needs. E.G. SAF got Smalling, we got Vermaelen. This discrepancy in class, between A class players and AB class players is part of the problem. Sure, AW’s attempts to get bargain jewels sometimes backfires, (e.g. Gervinho), but you cannot blame a guy for building a generally top 4 team on a midtable budget…unless of course you brainwashed..

    I guess if you hate paying money for what is on offer, you

    A) stop buying tickets
    B) seek to resolve the deeper problems in football…
    C) rotate managers endlessly a la Chelsea

    B) is actually a reasonable course of action. But it requires a bit of mental effort….

  99. @Walter and Tony- could you colour code the AAAs so that we can just skip them when reading comments? All this “Sky is Falling” rubbish is doing my head in.

  100. @ Doublegooner, let’s cut the abuse from both sides. Given carte blanche what would you do, and who would you sign?

    Here’s a hint – I’d try and prise Dzeko out of City’s grubby mitts, and I’d love Falcao, but there is no way we could compete for him with City and Chelsea. I’d also try and get Fellani if Diaby isn’t back by the transfer window and look for a good left winger.

    Over to you.

  101. RobL
    You call that abuse !

    I wouldnt allow Wenger to sign anymore players. My opinion has always been his time at the club should be up.

  102. robL

    If Pep wants the job, which I believe he would, then it will attract other big names too ( I wouldn’t want Mourinho).

    Personally like many, I do not approve of Kroenke, but with Wenger out, it could weaken Kroenke too.

    The Arsenal of today with the men running it don’t care about the visiting paying fans or indeed football as a whole. In financial terms I’m not sure this source of revenue is as important as it once was.

    For them the ‘EPL’ with it’s world wide audience and the basic millions that comes with is his ‘titles’.

  103. Doublegooner,

    “…the visiting paying fans… In financial terms I’m not sure this source of revenue is as important as it once was.”

    According to Swiss Ramble, last season £95.2 mil/yr came from match day revenue, which is 40% of the turnover, surpassing both the broadcasting and the commercial streams of revenue. Check your facts next time you post anything supposed to be meaningful.

  104. @Doublegooner,

    Thanks for responding, not sure that I’d go for Pep – he succeeded in a 2 team league and has never had to graft with less resources than the competition. I like the look of him but he’s not proven with an average squad. Regarding other Spanish managers, the last ones to break the Real/Barca duopoly were…. Benitez in 02 & 04, and Javier Irureta in 2000.

    From that league I’d have Manuel Pellegrini – looking what he’s achieved with the resources in hand.

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