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August 2021

Kean was the key man this time, not Dean

By Walter Broeckx

In a cup game where winning is the only important thing we didn’t achieve what we deserved. I think apart from those who support Blackburn and those who hate Arsenal there will be no really neutral football lovers out there who think that Blackburn deserved to win.  But they scored and we didn’t and that is what will go in to the record books.  Now you could say that I as an Arsenal supporter am biased in this but this was the same conclusion that was said by my match commentator when they scored and at the end of the 90 minutes.

And I think also the stats are telling what my match commentator saw and what I have seen.

What I try to remember is that we played a game where we had  a possession number 71%-29%. And yet we couldn’t score.

We had the shot numbers 28-7. And yet we couldn’t score.

We couldn’t break down the Blackburn wall.  Football is about scoring goals and we couldn’t score a goal. Their keeper Kean was the best player on the pitch. In the first half he made a couple of great saves and he just kept on doing that in the second half.

A keeper playing the game of his life against Arsenal is something that we have seen before.  But this is the way it goes sometimes.  In such a game you sometimes need a lucky break. We didn’t get one. Two headers were somehow clawed out of goal and Gervinho missed the chance just before the interval when he was put through on goal by Rosicky.


In the second half we again produced enough chances to score a goal. But again each ball just seemed to end up in his arms.  And when he got beaten by a thunderous strike from Rosicky he got the help of his crossbar. I feared it wouldn’t be our day from last Monday. When that ball came out I just felt it surely wasn’t to be our day.

We were trying to break the 11 player wall but it just wasn’t good enough. In a way our triple substitution might have cost us a bit. Up to then Blackburn could hardly get close to Sczesny and suddenly they turned up in front of goal. Szczesny parried the shot but right in to the feet of Kazim who in fact scuffed his shot but was lucky to see the ball bounce up and against the post and then in the net.

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Maybe the new players not really taken up the positions the other players had taken and those positions seemed good enough to keep them away from our goal. Making Szczesny almost a spectator and maybe he wasn’t really awake when their shot on goal came in.

When the football gods turn away from your team you get such games. Possession, shots, and then one bad taken shot from the opposition that went in. Football can be a cruel game.

Full Time Stats

Arsenal v Blackburn

Shots 28-7

On target 7-2,

Fouls 9-11

Duels Won 48%-52%,

Pass Accuracy 87%-63%,

Possession 71%-29%

And yet we lost. Sometimes it isn’t your day.

We can talk about it for days and we probably will but we just should have won the game. In a way I am glad that the result was determined by Kean and not Dean. Yes he did a few of his usual tricks but it was the performance of Kean that decided the final score. And when a player has an exceptional game I can accept a defeat. That is football and the way it can go. A defeat caused by the ref is more difficult to accept. I’m not happy about the result but well their keeper did his best and had a great game and had the luck of the good. (Das Gluck der Tuchtigen as the German expression is)

The most disappointing thing about this game was the fact that some of the players who got a chance to impress didn’t take the opportunity with both hands. And I think from now on we will mostly see the 7 players we took off before the game will be in the starting line up when fit.

People can argue about not starting with the best 11. But if we would have done this and would have got an injury to one of those players we would be telling that Wenger was wrong in playing them.  It was up to the backup players to perform. But it didn’t work. Well the scoring thing didn’t work.

That is the way it goes sometimes. Time to lick our wounds. But better keep it short. Next Tuesday is another game. I don’t think  Bayern Munich will  play the same Blackburn tactics and will be more open in their game.  They don’t have the habit to play 11 man in front of their keeper. And we can hope that with our best  11 out there we can have a better game and certainly score when the chances present themselves.

Come on Gunners lets ziehen die Bayern die Lederhosen aus. (Lets pull out those Lederhosen from Bayern).

111 comments to Kean was the key man this time, not Dean

  • I have been reading these blogs for three years now and I have never posted a comment but reading your post Walter I nearly vommited on my keyboard. How can you reduce this to stats and possession percentages.They were atrocious no direction,no backbone,they are a shadow of their former selves.We are no longer a good team just a collection of good players that have no leadership.I do not know the answer but neither does Wenger if he did he would have done something in the last seven years.Im sorry about these comments but I do think his time is up.

  • para

    The trouble with AFC is we dont have a second string good enough to beat most championship sides let alone anyone else. Even if they had scored before the subs came on, the manner of playing the game was distressfull to me.
    There was no passion except from Ros and every time we came close to the opposing box it was dreadful to see the amount of times we just petered out.
    Gervino? well i just don’t know what to make of him again.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yes I think playing with 7 other players compared to our last start may have a little influence.

    With hindsight it might not have been a good idea to rest Jack, Theo, Santi, Poldi, Per, Sagna, even Aaron. But this is hindsight of course. And then things always look easy.

    I can imagine the outrage that would have happened if we would have played those players all together and see Jack being injured. Then we would say: what a fool for playing him when not completely fit.

    The back up players didn’t perform. That is a fact and I will not deny this. I think for a few of them it was time to deliver and they failed. Maybe some heads will be chopped after today.

    But I know that if they would have taken one of their chances we would have won the game. But as they didn’t they let themselves and the team down.

    And the reason I put in those stats is because I know that some people will come over and say that Blackburn were the better side (the better and luckier defending side yes) but I think the stats tell a different story and what I have seen also.

    Only the goal scoring was missing against a team that defended with 11 players.

  • Arsenal1Again

    Walter, you’re leaving out the small detail that Wlilshere, Cazorla and Walcott (the top goalscorer this season) was on the bench until the last 20 mins.

    This is the precise reason we lost. I notice you have gone to great trouble here to deflect attention away from this fact.

    What gave Wenger the impression the players were being booed instead of his Mickey Mouse team selection. Nobody would put those players on the bench if he was genuinely wanting to win a trophy this season. Sacrificing a cup we could have won for a cup that’s a pipe dream. I am absolutely livid with the manager.

    You are usually spot on Walter about a lot of issues, but the only stat in this loss you want to focus on is how many top players we had on the bench being spectators.

  • Danny F.

    I just wanted to support the 11 man defending statement. I remember watching an AFC attack forming and seeing 4 men in a defensive line challenging Rosicky. Then the camera kept panning and I noticed yet another 4 men in a line challenging Rosicky.

    I won’t defend Arsene’s tactics however, I think that’s his weak point and he seems doomed to repeat his mistakes in that area. Why can’t he figure out how to open up the defensive wall we face in about 75% of our matches? It’s crystal clear 4-3-3 doesn’t work against the wall/bus. Giroud needed someone to play off to 1-2 through the defensive mire. Never mind we have no one who can cross quickly. Sagna always uses an extra touch (nevermind his terrible accuracy). Was Clichy any better? I can’t seem to recall. Hilariously, I recall Giroud’s cross being the best of the game.

    Last comment: our passing hasn’t been very fluid for the past 3 seasons. Our midfield used to be a constant source of chipped balls and quick 1-2’s that wreaked utter havoc. Now we pass and hold, then make the predictable layoff to the moving man who is invariably covered.

  • uk

    Oh, i wasnt aware we had our 2nd string out there. Sczesny, kos, monreal, tv, diaby, arteta,gerv, giroud,aoc, theo,cazorla, wilshere; are our 2nd string? Who the hell are the 1st string?
    Lets not decieve ourselves, having 71%possesion against struggling blackburn @home is no cause for celebration, especially when that only resulted in 7attempts @goal. Besides, we are used to that, what we arent used to (@least not in d’last 1/2 decade) is purposeful possesion, geared towards scoring, not possesing the baLl while figuring what the hell the plan is. UA, its time to just accept that arsene simply doesnt have it in him to build a winning squad anymore.
    Anyways, @least you wrote an article about football after a long time, i thought UA has given up footbaLl, since u guys seem more interested in things like finances, conspiracy theories, smuggling and organized crime etc

  • uk

    Oh and the last time we won a trophy, the better side by a country mile lost on penalties, does that make u say we didnt win the 2005 FA cup? So whats d point of this article?

  • Royal Bludger

    This blog is run by insane people.

  • tommy

    Completly agree with alan. ‘it was the performance of Kean that decided the final score’ That’s just stupid. It was our lack of quality and a cutting edge that cost us. We had 10 international players starting today and yet we couldn’t break down a secound rate team. Unexceptable. No matter how you try to gloss it up it points to a lack of leadership and organisation. And wenger is ultimatly to blame for this inadequate proformance and season. Our winning percentage is only 47% this season, last year it was 58%. It would appear we’re on the decline. This site would want to wake up relise that being true arsenal fan doesn’t mean you have to agree with all the decisions the players, the club and wenger makes. Its our right to expect better and we derserve much more.

  • jafac

    A lot of you are forgetting, the goal was scored AFTER the ‘cavalry’ came on. In fact it was Theo who let his man go which led to the Blackburn goal. Nonetheless, you would expect the side that was picked for today to win. Like some commentator said, nobody on the Blackburn team would make it into the Arsenal ‘backup’ team that started today. The truth is that this team lacks quality, from top to bottom. Giroud was doing absolutely nothing of use, yet there was nobody on the bench that would have been an adequate replacement. The only player doing anything of note was Rosicky. And he was promptly substituted. The blame falls on Wenger’s shoulders for either not motivating and preparing these players, or not getting in some players that will be able to do the job. You lot can continue to support him; support him as he leads this team to a decade without a single trophy.

  • uk

    Hear hear, royal

  • jafac

    Royal Bludger: well said.

  • bob

    It’s not just that things happen.
    It’s one thing for Arsene not to name names in public, but another thing for a blog that demands accountability of everything that moves to refuse to name names. FFS, how can we improve if we do not name names. Such as the one who let the goal scorer get past with no challenge is Theo. (It wasn’t only Szez being suddenly jarred awake because there were no other challenges – due to our defensive prowess?) And the one who screwed up another goal besides Gervinho (who you mention) is Giroud, who is good but not good enough. What would it take for you to write that we are not clinical enough in the last third, and that this is not “just one of those games” but on a chronic basis? Is it because this would mean that we should have purchased such a quality striker in the last window? Would you admit that? Is there no accountability called for in that decision?

  • Ken

    How many more painful losses to supposedly inferior teams will Wenger supporters take before admitting he will never win anything at Arsenal again?

  • Nekuhan

    Even the Pope resigned! Yes, but he is inteligent, humble and caring for his flock. Wenger is stuborn, gready and does not give a damn for our Club, Arsenal FC. At GBP 7 mil/year he would be stupid to resigne. He is behaving as all ‘Usual Suspects’ he brought to our Club … Just turn on, be present, no responsability, no competition, grab the cash and … do it again next month, next year for another 8 years. But there is nobody to fire him. The biggest problem is Wenger, then Board + Gazidis then owner Kroenke. Poor Arsenal FC!

  • bob

    A last word on the less than clinical striker situation (that is not acknowledged here as a problem).
    Wasn’t one of the reasons Podolski was brought here because of his ability to play multiple positions? Why is it that he was not substituted for in the striker position today? Or have two strikers playing up front to smash the bus? Is there never a Plan B? Where was the heralded flexibility on the pitch, when we’ve purchased versatile multi-positional players? Would hurting Giroud’s pride have been worse than staying in the FA cup?

  • bob

    What is your evidence that AW does not care about the club? Are you serious or deranged? Of all the things he may or may not be in-game or in the transfer window, “not caring” has not been and is not one of his issues. Why not try to analyze something instead of just slobbering forth?

  • brentCPH

    In a reactionary world perspective can often seem like insanity. I prefer the perspective of untold

  • bert hollywood

    Whilst on the subject of starting 11’s, we too had a weakened side out with several first teamers out injured, rested Danny Murphy & and gave Williamson his debut in central midfield.

  • Sav from Australia

    Well said Walter.

  • americangooner

    When the night falls, bugs creep out of small crevices. When something bad happens to arsenal, the media, the boo-boys, reactionaries all creep out and spew ‘wenger out’, ‘blame gervais’, ‘blame ramsey’ blame this, blame that. FFS, football is a team game, and if someone deserves the blame its the whole fucking team. Not just one particular player but the whole squad, including the manager. I blame the squad. I could not figure out any one player outstanding than the next. I could not decide on who i should vote MOTM. All the players played with the same lethargic, devoid of any drive, no desire. Obviously one can point out that the team was AW’s choosing, but the players should have realized the level of trust wenger is putting on them to see the game through. Why couldn’t the team repay the trust? Only the players themselves know?

  • Charlie

    Unfortunately the game is not about possession, it is about GOALS. Forget your stats, this team have lost to Blackburn and Bradford City because the final pass hasn’t been good enough and neither has the finishing. The reason why this is the first season that Arsene has lost to lower league opposition in the FA Cup is that the backup players are worse than they have ever been before. Coquelin and Oxlade-Chamberlain seem to be going backwards, will they ever make the grade ? Giroud doesn’t look good enough and Gervinho is definitely not good enough. I mean not good enough to be in the squad, forget the first team.

  • bob

    There were some pluses, imo. I’d exclude Rosicky, Wilshere and possibly Diaby from your full sweep.

  • forreal

    I have been coming to this blog regularly for the last 3 years. This is my first comment. I am all for AW just as much as this blog is. I respect the man tremendously. But i’m afraid this l is another year without a trophy. And that’s not good enough.

    I’m sorry AW we love you. But we have to break the cycle of losing somewhere.

  • Doublegooner

    The players are not motivated Wenger anymore.
    In the last few year years I cannot think of any of his signings that have progressed.

    Many 000’s dont believe in Wenger anymore.

    Steve Clarke (WBA manager) made a general quote about managers during the ITV Mourinho documentary this week, that more than anything sums up our autocratic man.
    ‘If you dont evolve as a manager , you get left behind’.

    Wenger in a nutshell.

  • Rupert Cook

    Didn’t see the game but I listened on the radio and I do wonder what Wenger was doing replacing Rosicky who seemed to be doing a fine job. Get Diaby off as his performances have been abject since his return.

    I can understand why Wenger didn’t play his very best squad because in all truth the team he put out should have been good enough to deal with Blackburn. But then we wouldn’t have expected to lose to Bradford either. I must admit I have no idea what’s going on at Arsenal anymore. The players seem incapable of stringing a decent run of performances together and that really doesn’t bode well for the fight for fourth.

    On a superstitious note I see we have come a cropper against any team beginning with B in cup games this year and here comes Bayern!

  • uk

    Reactionary? I dont know how someone can be so about the same things for 8years. Face it, this is the new norm, 3-0 wins against milans are the exceptions. Its now more reactionary when AKBs come out with their “we told u we stil got it” after a gr8 performance

  • malaysian gunner

    This is not the first time and neither will it be the last time the gunners had the majority of possession and shots at goal.This has been going on for far too long that is the possession and shots at goal. As you so rightly point out ,goals win matches.If football were based on stats,Arsenal will be winners of the pl for many moons. Sadly it is not.
    I am no soccer expert but football to me is getting the ball in to the goal asap.Why is it some teams can score goals so easily except the gunners? I think the buck stops with Wenger and his philosophy of the beautiful game.He emphasise possession but ,imho,in an extreme way. Why not shoot when there is chance of a goal following a rebound?That is how teams score.
    As for Wenger saying nobody gave him a chance againstJuventus and Milan,he forgot that in those days he had wc palyers.Where are the wc players 2013?To vindicate himself ,Arsenal have to beat BM,no easy task. I believe the germans will play anti soccer which seems to be causing problms for the gunners.The defnce as usual is below par.
    In all honesty I hate to see the gunners get to the qf/sf/final only to be beaten.Stranger things have happened in soccer but I can’t see the gunners getting the better of BM over two legs.

  • The BearMan

    While the rest of us were busy watch the game of football, there were those counting stats, but having impressive stats do not win you games.

    What should you be looking for or considering: Has Mr. Wenger learnt from his mistakes over the last 7 seasons? My answer is NO! For he always end up with a squad ill equip to do battle during the business end of the season.

    A team perhaps OK to finish 4th, but lacking character to push on for honours!

    Did he use the transfer window successfully? Again NO!

  • Rupert Cook

    This is only a rumour but I hope it will bring joy to UA. Wenger is getting a new contract in summer and a pay rise near the 2 million mark.

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    Anger and frustration is overshadowing our sense of reasoning here. ‘I don’t blame those against Wenger for this loss but neither will i blame Wenger for this loss’. Those who blamed Wenger or whoever have their reasons which all looks true but to me i wouldn’t be swimming in that blame lagoon. FA knows Mike Dean absolutely means badluck for Arsenal, ‘just Deans’ presence’ is enough to exit us from any cup competition yet, he is the only qualified and worthy ref to always appear for Arsenal matches to sqash any hope Arsenal might have for trophy. As for the fans, pls stop using the exit as a yardstick for venting your hatred on players and Arsene. Even if Arsenal had scaled through Blackburn, it doesn’t really mean we will win the FA Cup considering Man u, Chelsea, Man City are still in the competition. Ferguson compared to Wenger on cup exit for the past 3/4 season has bowed out of cup competition by lower league team more frequently than Wenger. The difference is that, Ferguson must have been helped by refs to win those cup competition or league title more than Wenger for the past 8 yrs. The wait for trophy makes this kind of cup exit more difficult to take but then, what makes us think we would have won it had we won Blackburn? Iam looking forward to supporting the manager and the team against Bayern and hope for a better response bcos i know the manager and players are boiling by this exit. It really hurts.

  • The BearMan

    Wenger has only served to confirm one thing for us: “Some olde dogs cannot learn new tricks”.

  • The BearMan

    If at the end of each season Arsene keep getting the same results, it proves one thing for sure: He repeatedly make the same mistakes.

    As he himself has confirmed, no one can teach him anything about football.

  • uk

    So true in wenger’s case. Doesnt seem to work with SAF, or is that b’cos saf always had that ability to re-invent his teams?

  • uk

    True bearman. I havent made 50,000 substitutions, what do i know?
    I wonder how many substitutions mourinho had made wen he won his 1st champions league?

  • uk

    True bearman. I havent made 50,000 substitutions, what do i know?
    I wonder how many substitutions mourinho had made wen he won his 1st champions league? Or rdm?

  • Pat Rice

    Walter, I commend your commitment to defend the manager, team and club but you have to face facts not stats and as much as I am a fan of Arsene and have supported him throughout, the fact is no trophies for 8 years (be honest and forget the cl) the manager doesn’t seem to be able to motivate the players anymore. Why was the tempo so slow why were we not pressuring the ball instead of allowing Blackburn possession at the back, I have seen this in so many games against inferior opposition, why??. Fact, Giroud would not make the Man united, Man city, chelsea bench, he is an average player and its as clear as day, he is not good enough if we want to challenge for trophies, I fear Wenger will carry on trying to convince everyone else that he is good enough, he is not. Can you imagine Fergie buying him and if he did he would rectified it by now. Wenger also subs the one player on the pitch who was trying to attack and he leaves Diaby on the pitch. Diaby was great against Liverpool because they were attacking us, against a team that defends he becomes a liability, yet the manager leaves him on, why?? This is not hindsight Walter, it has become foresight because almost everyone can see it accept our partly blinkered manager. I never thought I would say it but it may be time for Arsene to resign.

  • colario

    I believe that if Gervinho had scored from Rosicky’s pass at the end of the first half it would have been a different game.
    That said I could see the logic of a change of attack players but taking Rosicky off was not a good idea as he was far and away our best player and the new attack could have done with his service.

    I have to send an Email to a spud supporter before the day is over ‘ouch’.

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    To solve first maths; FA should stop sending Mike Dean to any match that mean a thing to Arsenal At all. Those criticising Walter for the stats, walter is only trying to prove that Blackburn winning was not as a result of superlative performance from the blackburn players neither is it as a result of quality players Blackburn fielded compared to Arsenal starting eleven. Just showing that in football shits happens and this is one of the shits despite its hard to take.

  • Doublegooner

    Wonder if Tony can enlighten us on the supposed training ground bust up last week between Wenger & Bould.

    The club are trying to keep it under wraps but as it happened in front of all the players it makes you wonder whether the players still have the belief in Wenger.

    I’m sure Bould doesn’t – certainly since last september when he was removed from any defensive duties.

    Time to leave Mr Wenger. You are the ‘viande de cheval’ of the top world managers.

  • AL

    Didn’t watch the game but those stats show we were all over them. Get over it people, these things happen in football. I remember a few games recently when Barcelona lost having had these kinds of stats against teams that were happy to park the bus(chelsea & celtic). Barca fielded their best players too( inc two from three of the worlds best) and still lost. So this should be expected when such negative tactics are employed, the manager may well have started with his first 11 with the same result.

  • Doublegooner


    Clutching at straws mate. Not doing a very convincing job though !

  • zzz

    i actually agree with walter,
    we had attempts on goals, the best was from rosicky hitting the woodwork. At that point i could sense that it wasn’t meant to be for us.

    we played much better when rosicky was still on, lots of tries (even with below par attempts) shortly after the changes made, disaster struck.
    after that only about 1 or 2 tries until the end of the game.

    gerv is gerv. he’s beyond help. i’ve hate him since forever. he’s useless. no footballing brain. no passing skills, no link up play skills, no dribbling skills, no vision. no technical skills. no heading skills. shot power about 2/10. he’s only got pace in him. so basically he’s basically just a 100 metre sprinter. he’s no footballer.

    diaby slows the game, always! just as how ramsey used to be last time (now thank god he’s at least improving even by a little bit)

    chambo didn’t impress much. he needs gametime. he’a got talent though.

    it really fazes me why wenger would prefer these low levels players when u got arshavin, rosicky, and even eisfeld not on the team sheet at all this season.

    i’d rather take this lost than the one where we played more horibbly againts united in the league in the first half of the season. that was hopeless. only 1 shot attempt at goal for a full 90 minutes.
    well at least we tried, but luck wasn’t on our side. too bad.

    actually, i’ve given up on this season for a while now. that’s y i don’t mind too much on the lost.
    im looking at next season already.
    but what keeps me frustrated is that wenger never spend the money on big players. to a point where we misses a lot of could be’s. mata, villa, zaha. all of them had wanted to come to arsenal. but wenger is stingy as ever, i really regret for missing out on them. if not, fabregas nasri clichy would never left as we would have won it all

  • Gerry Lennon

    Walter, I think you have upset some people?

    So many changes suggests that AW has his priorities set on Bayern? But how many of the critics here would have argued against the team that was put out … before the game?

    Personally, I think 3 changes in the back four made the difference. The game was opening up prior to their goal, and I said before the match that Per M should have played, and I would have left Sagna there too. Coquelin had a good game, especially when the Ox was on that wing?

    The other weak point, and has to be improved is the ball in from the corners. No point in having Giroud there if you can’t give him a decent ball to use … or criticise him for that failure?

    Keep the faith, Walter, That’s all we can do. The new era is coming?

  • The BearMan

    If I was standing in a Wenger’s shoes, I would have brought back Henry n Bergkamp as coaches long ago. As they would help to cover personal weaknesses. I would have added 4 world class players to my squad, as they would also serve to sharpen the youngsters. “Iron sharpens iron”.

    What Wenger have been doing over the years is to weaken his squad. I sometimes question his love for Arsenal.

    If I was the owner of Arsenal, the only coaching role role I will find for Wenger is the under 16’s.

    Two players that made the difference at Arsenal last season, Alex Song n RvP, we sold them and kept Squallaci. Where is the logic in that?

  • Florian

    For one thing, Dean had his first moment in the 2nd minute of play, when Jason Lowe of Black Burn had a wild lounge on Ox, and expectedly Monsieur D’ean did nothing, because in his view an attack to the ball is fair no matter the amount of force applied. Had Ox not retired his foot we could have seen a Stoke moment. The exactly right kind of message to send:(

    Now it is true that for all the possession that Arsenal had, the number of shots on goal is rather slim. But at least Arsenal was the positive team, and Black Burn were the totally destructive, negative, timewasting, bus-parking, did I even mention destructive team. Their victory is totally fortuitous and undeserved, as all they relied upon was luck and of course Mr. 12th player.

    And finally, given the order of priorities Arsenal has, I’d say this exit is a blessing in disguise, as now the team can focus on their most important goals, getting the 4th place in PL and going as far as possible in CL. Fixture congestion is something Arsenal can do without, and if a less than glorious exit from the FA Cup is the way to go, so be it. So, all the doom and gloomers, stop bickering and look at the big picture.

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    @bearman, was it Wenger who is also responsible for the exit of the likes of Liverpool, tottenham to exit the FA Cup competition before now? When somebody is being frank about a topic, your likes who couldn’t help but to vent your anger at the slightest opportunity used it against such person but will only be doing so at this kind of time. Shame.

  • @blacksheep63

    I applaud you Walter for the positive spin but possession without penetration does not equal goals. We defended well because there was little to defend. We had the ball because they didn’t want it. We switched off for a few seconds and they scored. There was an inevitability about it. I have missed only one home game this season (Fulham) and I’ve seen a variety of Arsenal performances. This was in the slow casual type: from the first minute we ambled forward, passed it about nicely and tried to walk it into the net. The focus was on Munich not Rovers. No one wanted to get injured, or too tired or to make a mistake – any of which might see them excluded from the squad on Tuesday. The millionaires that play for us (and all top teams to be fair) care much more about the CL than the FA cup. Look at who did play well, Coquelin and Rosicky – fringe players with something to prove. Giroud was ineffectual (apart from a few good flicks), Gerv obviously can’t play in England and the Ox is having a ‘difficult second season’.
    The question for me is who to blame (if we indeed have to blame anyone). The manager for setting the team up, or for the direction he gave? Or the players for letting him down? Or the crowd (which was patchy and quiet)? I got the felling yesterday that Arsenal Football Club didn’t care that much about the old trophy, our focus was on Tuesday and the upcoming away fixture at WHL. It gives the media the chance to gloat and enjoy our embarrassment but the infighting that exploded all over twitter and even on here serves no one at Arsenal. It won’t bring us trophies or CL places or even the satisfaction of beating the neighbours. Untold is a beacon of light, of positivity, that sometimes even I with my red and white tinted spectacles find hard to subscribe to but I ask people this: what is the alternative at the moment? Sack M. Wenger? Really? March around chanting ‘we want our Arsenal back’? For what purpose? Stay away from the ground?
    This team is a little lost in my opinion, it needs help, and frankly it needs help from those that say they they are Arsenal fans. After all we are called SUPPORTERS

  • @blacksheep63

    and to the BearMan, which four ‘world class’ players would you have brought in? Names please. And who would you replaced AW with, again give me realistic and available names. Coach the under 16s (no need for the apostrophe) eh? Yes but we have good coaches already. So you think le Boss might have lost his love for the club? I think you need to think at little more and write a little less, his actions yesterday (in spending time with David Oakes’ widow) demonstrate the kind of man AW is. He understands what makes Arsenal THE Arsenal and he has created the modern club we are. Yes its not been easy for a few years but look at what he has had to contend with,the oil money and a new stadium to finance. So please, come up with something more original than ‘Wenger out’

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    @bearman, what you failed to realize is the fact that they is no buyer for Squillaci, and again, Squillaci never wanted out neither did he (Squillaci) have a little boy inside of him speaking to him to join any rival team in England or Abroad. Neither has Squillaci played up to 3/4 games this season. So what’s your point here?

  • The BearMan

    Blackburn came with a strategy and pulled it off. Arsenal played their usual predictable game which is attractive to the eyes, result not always guaranteed – we fans always have to keep our fingers crossed.

    I want Wenger to prove me wrong: At this stage of the season we normally fall out of every competition, then the only goal is to finish above the Spuds. Is that all we can and must expect from Arsene’s Arsenal? Some Arsenal fans think so!

    From what I am seeing, with the kind of players Wenger keeps buying the next three seasons we would be in the same position.

  • nicky

    If we had taken our chances over the first 70 minutes and led by a goal or two, Wenger would have been praised as a master tactician in resting 3 key players before the Bayern Munich game. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out like that.
    On the subject of stats, Walter, it would be interesting to discover just how many times over (say) the last 10 years, has the opposing goalie been voted MOTM. Playing Arsenal seems to bring out the best in shot-stoppers.

  • JohnW

    The problem with Arsenal is two-fold.
    1. Our manager is not very technical enough. Its not enough to have skill players alone, but you also need players who have the determination to win, at whatever cost. If you look at our unbeaten team, we had plenty of them. Players who come into the match with absolutely one goal, WIN. That’s why it was strange to substitute Rosicky who you could see gave a damn, and leave Diaby on the pitch.
    Do you really think Blackburn would have a chance against ManU? NO! Why, because they would have found a way of bursting that bus. Why leave Podolski on the bench, who has more assists in tne team, and who gives you a genuine goal threat and play Chamberlain from the off? I know some players shouldn’t play all games, but the FA was much more important that the CL. Even if we knock out Bayern (which will happen anyway as far as I’m concerned), do we have the ability to win against all the other contenders? The answer is NO!
    2. Arsenal lacks leaders. You could see, there was no onfield direction, TV5 was lumbering all over the pitch. No one giving instructions. We need a team of strong characters, that’s why when Wilshire came on, suddenly you could see we would score. Skill-wise, Arsenal might be better than ManU, but ManU makes this up with strong charecters who will drag skill players onto the finish line.
    Yesterday was the only time when I lost faith in our manager, it still hurts a lot.

  • uk

    I agree this team needs help, but to give it, d’team has to acknowledge its on its knees and needs help, dats not d impression the team’s representatives (d’manager especially) give. U can’t force help on somebody. @least not the ones who say they’ve made over 50,000 subs hence dont need telling, or the guy that tells u “thanks for being interested in our business”

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    @Blacksheep; Bearman, a pure indication of emotion beclouding sense of reasoning. @bearman, what you failed to realize is the fact that they is no buyer for Squillaci, and again, Squillaci never wanted out neither did he (Squillaci) have a little boy inside of him speaking to him to join any rival team in England or Abroad. Neither has Squillaci played up to 3/4 games this season. So what’s your point here?

  • dan

    For gods sake people ,lets just blame the Dean.

    I am and will be every time he takes to the same pitch as us.

    FA cup no bother.

    The boys will up their game in the CL and Prem!

  • Borntobeagunner(btbag)

    @JohnW; go check Man U cup exits for past 3/4 seasons and tell me those teams responsible for their cup exit. Leeds? Cardiff? Crawley Town? Just find out yourself.

  • The BearMan

    Squallaci was a useless purchase from the start, that has been my opinion from his very first game in the Arsenal colours for the reserves where he was a liability even in that match. Check the club archives.

    Shame we sold RvP, but we need a player of Falcao, Cavani’s ability. These players are match winners. Recently Newcastle purchased a player Arsene overlooked, the lad is also an Arsenal fan his name begins with “S” from the French league.

    We need height n presence on both R / L back positions. Give me a little more time to see who is on the market.

  • ChrisN

    The comments are all a bit emotional. When they scored I had that sinking feeling once again. The goal came because the team lost it’s shape for a few minutes because of the triple substitution. Up until then we had defended well as a team. The ball was relentlessly being turned over and send back into Blackburn’s half. Perhaps staggering the subs would have worked better. I think the goal was due therefore to a managerial error. As to why we didn’t score, it was like watching Barca vs Chelsea last year. Blackburn had an immaculate shape and always two clear banks of four parked in front of goal. Much as that higher profile match showed, our tactics were not effective. You cannot pass through a wall. Aerial bombardment was tried but there was nobody pulling markers off Giroud or running into the box to support him. 442 would have probably worked in theory better, but it’s more to do with the runs off the ball, which is independent of shape. Having runners pulling a defense out of shape is the only way to deal with a wall, but instead we wasted a match trying to pass through it. We should have perhaps just brought on Jack much earlier to see if he could draw defenders and create space, but Arsene’s rigidly adhered to 70 minute rule was too late to change the match. I think for this match, he didn’t have the right tactical answers.

  • The BearMan

    I am the least interested in other teams, my teams performances is my only concerns.

    Time for a change!

    Have a good day gentlemen!

    Thanks for the opportunity to let off steam!

    Come on Arsenal – it still hurts bad: “But in the good times n bad seasons u have my support”.

    “Wenger do not wait until the 60th minute to make that change, come on man stop the rut”!

  • Rupert Cook

    @dan, I don’t think the blame can be aimed at Dean for this latest failure.

  • seagoon

    As well as our own ineptness, there was one classic case of Deanism. Theo get’s fouled in the penalty area. How to avoid giving a penalty? Easy, give Theo offside, when he wasn’t. Making a contentious offside decision is far less controversial than making a contentious penalty decision.

  • ChrisN

    Gervinho was probably playing because he can draw away markers, but you have to say that Podolski would have been a better bet. He wouldn’t have missed. Diaby seems to have forgotten his own ability to change pace and run at defenders. The other main thing we didn’t do was batter them from the kick off to stop them settling . *sigh*

  • Pat

    Thanks for the article Walter, and for the stats. I was waiting for your article to make me feel better, and it did.

    I only saw the highlights, but it looked as if we might have had two shouts for a penalty.

    There are some photos from the match posted on the Arsenal web site. Of 17 photos, two show Blackburn players with their arms wrapped round our players. Of course, we might have got free kicks for these obvious fouls – but then again, we might not. Were these fouls the exception, or did they happen more often?

    Whether we were a bit lethargic or not, from the highlights it looked as if we were unlucky not to score. And their goal was definitely unlucky for us. It hit the goal post and went in, whereas one of our shots hit the bar and went out.

    That’s how it goes sometimes.

    As Arsene Wenger said, he put 11 internationals on the pitch – scarcely a weak team. But he had to have his eye on the Bayern match and, of course, the premiership match a few days later.

    That’s the way I see it. I’m sad, especially for the players, who must have been bitterly disappointed. But on to the next game! All our players and our manager haven’t become bad from one loss.

  • Walter,
    Please tell me, if you know, where was Bould, I didn’t see him on the bench with AW? Has this had an effect on the team’s morale?

  • Nannu

    We hear talk of the Arsenal ‘brand’, how we need to protect that and exploit that and make money from that, but lack of success and apparent lack of ambition will damage it to no end. We do not, and have not for some time, come across like a club that is serious about winning things. Make commercial revenue from that, fellas. Who wants to sponsor a team that continues to fail in increasingly spectacular ways?Out of the League Cup to Bradford, out of the FA Cup to Blackburn, 21 points behind the league leaders – however you try and explain it or rationalise it it’s simply not good enough for a club like Arsenal. And we can talk about oil money or unlevel playing fields all we want, but where are where we are because of us, nobody else. We made the decisions, sold the players, bought the players who continue to fail, we refuse to invest the money we have to make the squad better (except in moments of panic – Monreal another ‘reactive’ signing), we suffer the consequences of having a weak squad reliant on players who’d have been shown the door elsewhere.This is Arsenal’s mess, Arsene’s mess. And it’s about time somebody did something to try and sort it out.

  • ARSENAL 13

    ARSENAL loose a game and suddenly we have tactical experts pouring in.

    Why do you think ARSENAL had 71% possession of the ball??..
    When ever Blackburn lost the ball, there was no attempt to win it back.
    Overall Blackburn dint play to win the game.

    Yes we looked of the pace, and lets not forget Blackburn got lucky. Blackburn won a game that they thought they’d lost already.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The usual stuff happens whenever we lose a game. Suddenly a grou of new/old few fans come over to tell us what is wrong and why we will win never again.

    In the weeks we win games they are not coming over to enjoy the victory together with us.

  • Gerardo

    Good read as always Walter.

    Before the game I heard Mike Dean was the ref and was jokingly thinking about betting against the Arsenal. Kind of wish now I had btw. Anyhow with my bias against Dean running riot I could fault him on his decisions. But it makes no sense we do badly when he refs our games. If every official was Mike Dean, we’d be propping up the Blue Square Premier division south or something. It struck me during the game on one occasion Dean could have played an Arsenal advantage and did nt … It was definitely a foul and the upshot was all 11 Blackburn players got behind the ball.

    Like you say Arsenal have struggled to break down 11 men behind the ball. Does Dean’s style of refing just not suit us? How does he normally play advantage and is he consistent between teams and games? I have nt looked at games with these thoughts in mind before … But since you guys are pouring over them I thought it’d be interesting to hear your views.

    If Dean is wholly consistent viz Arsenal … Then you just got to pray he takes fewer Arsenal games … Cause there’s something about him! lol. Well Done Rovers btw.

  • JohnW

    @Borntobeagunner(btbag) ,
    You’re right, but atleast for them they had a reprieve somewhere else. They either won the PL or FA. For us the FA was our only chance of winning silverware this season. I don’t know why, but i believed we would win it this time. May be that’s why I’m so disappointed.
    But Football is very funny, you never know we might go far in the CL, may be even win it (why not, Chelsea did it against all odds) but still, why make life difficult for yourself?

  • uk

    I promise to celebrate your victory with u when u win a trophy. Is that ok with u?

  • ChrisN

    Did Blackburn get lucky or was the temporary loss of shape inevitable with a triple substitution? Even thought we were aggressively attacking them, there was not enough work off the ball and it’s a common Achilles heel of ours.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think on a few occasions Dean did his usual tricks. I remember a moment when Diaby was fouled some 3 or 4 times and then ultimately lost the ball. You could see all the Arsenal players waiting for the whistle that didn’t come of course.

    I remember a Blackburn player in the first half committing a strong frontal tackle getting to the ball but almost catching the leg of the Arsenal player. He jumped up to save his legs and he let it go. Later in the second half Coquelin made a slightly angled tackle, got to the ball but then his sliding movement made him end up against Pedersen (I think) and then he did gave a foul and a yellow card. On both occasions the players cleanly won the ball but in a dangerous way and it was a foul. But he only punished the Arsenal player.

    Almost every 50/50 decision he has to make goes against Arsenal and that is a constant thing in his game. Consistency… yeah right. He is. But only against one team.

    Throw ins. Even when the Blackburn players turned away to form their Blackburn wall he gave them a 50/50 throw I think to their surprise.

    The holding of players at corners. I noticed it also that on more than one occasion the Blackburn defenders where holding an Arsenal player. I remember Giroud heading a ball over when being pulled down by his marker. But eagle eye Dean only punishes those things against Arsenal as we have seen just 4 weeks ago. You know I don’t even look for those moments any more as it will only make me feel more angry.

    The thing is that the players who have been here during last season know all this and I can assure you that it can bring any team of the boil.
    You have to be very strong and focussed on the game to not let it have any influence on your game.

    Winning a professional football match is very depending on details. And the slightest loss of concentration because a ref not making the decisions one can expect can make you lose the game. People who say that they are highly paid professional miss the point. No player on the field is counting his money when playing. They are like the kids that are playing on a bright summer day in the park. Playing the game.

    But when they feel there is something wrong with the ref (and they know it – TV knows this all too well – I can see it in his eyes and on his face) they can start playing against themselves.

    And I think that is what is happening when Dean is on our field. In fact he has to do hardly anything. Just putting Dean on an Arsenal match is enough to start Arsenal players feeling difficult. They know he will not hesitate one moment to screw us. So they do their utmost best to not give him the chance to screw us. But this results in a more hesitant playing style. Players not going in to the challenge. Or when they do they get the foul against them that the other team doesn’t get punished for.

    Believe me that is something that creeps in the back of your head. And once the little devil is there it takes over your brain for a part and you start to play in an unnatural way to avoid such things.

    So for the moment because of his screwing us over and over in the past, Dean just has to step on an Arsenal field and the players will think : oh no, not him again. Unfortunately the PGMOL sends him every 4 weeks. Why? No person in the referee world can understand why this is happening. Except Mike Riley of course. He will have his reasons. Only he knows.

  • WalterBroeckx


    I think that if we win something you will not be coming on Untold.

  • ChrisN

    The biased ref syndrome was nowhere near as obvious as the Sunderland match, but maybe you might have a point about experienced players not even trying to compete when they know the ref is against us. What can we do when the head ref is a far from neutral figure?

  • Walter!!
    What is up with Bould? Was he on the bench with Wenger? If not why not?

  • Old man

    Gervino who was having a stinker should have come off at half time. Wenger waited far to long to make his changes. There was no urgency and we are best when we are playing at high tempo. This was not hindsight, there were murmurs of discontent all around where I was sitting. How you can still defend Wenger’s selection and tactics is astonishing. The only trophy we had a vague chance of winning and he puts out a second rate team.

  • Thomas Evans

    You might say Kean had the game of his life.
    But i was at the Brighton game on tuesday just gone, and thought he had the game of his life there too.

    I think he’s just that good to be honest.

  • uk

    There’s only one way to find out isn’t there? WIN SOME BLOODY THING!

  • Nannu

    We will never win a trophy with this man in charge

  • dan

    Rupert Cook

    Sure I am, as a former sceptic, I’ve now come to accept some of the paranormal anomalies which our universe is blessed/plagued with. We cannot accept the old 19th century materialism for physics, as demonstrated at the quantum level it all falls apart, leaving the main stream science very in denial and much puzzled. For instance no viable explanation has put forward for the Near Death Experience/Death-bed visions\ESP and even consciousness. Another to perplex our universe if the DEAN effect.

    The DEAN effect conjures a negative outcome and percentages don’t lie, reports of this has lead to a full paranormal investigation in the north London area. So far nothing objective has been forth proving or dis-proving this negative energy.

  • bob

    Your posting is, well, amusing. A case study in the marriage of self-deception and tribalism. Let’s try a re-think:

    “for all the possession that Arsenal had, the number of shots on goal is rather slim…” Ahem, rather slim now means zero? Oh.

    “Their victory is totally fortuitous and undeserved.” But the presenters on AP (one, a former player and earnest gooner) repeatedly affirmed that Blackburn defended “like their lives depended on it.” Sorry, but you might mind the gap on this one.

    “Fixture congestion is something Arsenal can do without…” Now would you have used this expression two seasons ago when, at this time, we were fighting on all four fronts?

    So we are left with: “all the doom and gloomers, stop bickering and look at the big picture.” If we don’t upset BM, what will you then say about “the big picture”? Let’s see what your definition becomes then. You see false optimism and self-deception does not help us; nor does slandering heartfelt analysis and constructive criticism as “doom and gloom”-ing.

  • GunnerSaurus

    Did he really have that good of a game? I remember two saves of note and their fans would have been a bit upset if they went in. We just have no plan B against well-organised defences. They deserved the win because they scored more goals, end of discussion.

  • Stuart

    Why are people only happy with a trophy?

  • americangooner

    I was quite flustered by the loss. Yes you are true that wilshere & rosicky should be spared the blame. I have yet to see those two give less than 100% in any game. Unlike some other players, those two don’t disappear. They always make their presence felt, irrespective of the opponents. I think the two are the only arsenal players one can truly count on.

  • createstrain

    ok i’ve had enough time to calm down so what the hell was up with that performance. And why was it not surprising? shell shocked, me? if it was manure or barca maybe. freak results happen, the thing is these performances are now the norm whether we’re lucky enough to snatch a win or draw.

    ive read this blog for 5+ years and loved it. the so called aaa didnt have a leg to stand on because we had world class players. notice thats plural. And were challenging on every front. but even back then we were short, players at the time were stating that we were short and i thought we’d take that obvious step and evolve. but we didnt did we, so players started to leave and i cant blame em really.

    so here we are with a lesser team than previous years with money in the bank and the jan window shut. rant over?

    the game…

    1 – after all the build up painting him as the devil which possibly helped he didnt shaft us. i thought he played a lenient game and was quite frustrated to see our players on the ground bitching a whining.

    2 – dont know how many times i have to say it but le coq is a liability. potential yes. brains? not so much. why? well i’ve noticed he seems to get off on making sliding tackles which obviously makes him go to ground a little to often for my liking. and when it comes off, great, we all oooh and arhhh. but its few and far between. from the first minute he went to ground and lost his man and i though how have the coaches not noticed and rectified this?

    3 – diaby. seems broken mentally. whats happened to the driving runs? seems he’s more concerned with pitch time than putting the work in.

    4 – mozart. frighteningly our best player. funny that cos for the majority i thought he had a poor game. lots of missed placed passes. though he hasnt had much time and he’s on a higher wavelength so trying to force the issue would account for some of the passes. point being. he was our best player. shocking.

    5 – gervais. i’ve totally given up hope. no need to list, theres too many.

    6 – the ox. gone backwards for some reason.

    7 – defence. same old same old really isnt it.

    seven is a nice number i’ll stop there. so what are the positives?…..errr

    we have a better chance of a forth place trophy with less games now to play. cant see us even drawing any match against bayern really. then come summer arsene will have to address the plethora of problems that have built up over the years. will he? i wont hold my breath. he’s had more than enough time to already.

  • Walter!!!,
    Still no response; I take it it is true there was a training ground bust-up! Now it is obvious why our performance against Blackburn was so bad. If we get 4th place qualification in the PL it will be a miracle. Champion’s league? Another doubt. Maybe if we fail spectacularly this season it will lead to doing things differently than hitherto. For now we’ve been found out by other teams. Their singular tactic is to frustrate us on the field of play and then count on AFC supporters to provide the necessary atmosphere for our boys to get really flustered and end up losing on our home turf!

    The level and performance of our home support is a huge factor in this debacle. If we continue to boo and generally heckle our team especially at home then we’ve gone as far as we can get on the PL table.

  • Stuart

    Have a think about this ‘training bust up’ myth that keeps going around. Everytime I hear it I imagine Wenger and Bould rolling around on the floor scrapping – it’s hardly likely.

    Now put that situation into your life. If you disagreed wit your boss, would you be having a bust up? I didn’t think so.

  • Nannu

    No point explaining to the apologists who are still living in la la land. We are in a spiral of slow painful decline, a club where complacency is king and change is desperately needed. There was apparently a huge training ground bust up in front of the squad between Wenger and Steve Bould during the week when Bould wanted to do some specific work with the players, but the manager told him he couldn’t. Everyone is under orders to hush it up, but too many saw it and the story has leaked. Bould took the job as Wenger’s number two (having turned it down in the summer of 2011) on the assurance that he would be allowed to have some genuine coaching input. This happened for a few weeks before the manager became fed up of Bould getting the credit for the team’s improved early season resilience, and his ego decided enough was enough. Fitness coach Tony Colbert took a training session when Wenger was ill during the autumn, rather then Bould.Look at the contrast with Manchester United – a club that also has debts – but also a board that realises winning trophies will lead to increased profits. Alex Ferguson leaves training sessions to his coaching team – which is periodically changed to freshen things up. There is a real hunger amongst the players during a match to compete and win games, something I do not always see at Arsenal. Would a figure such as Sebastien Squillaci be indulged at Old Trafford? Do you think if, say, Jose Mourinho was in charge at Arsenal, the player would have turned down a loan move to Brighton? His life would be so miserable he would either be upping his game to compete for a first team place or take the opportunity to get out at the first chance. Instead, he is allowed to exist in a highly paid comfort zone.

  • Doublegooner


    Do you doubt that Wenger has stopped Bould doing defensive coaching a few months ago ?

  • Florian


    “zero” attempts on target?
    I believe headers count as shots too in the statistics. Diaby’s header made the save of the day highlights on Fox.

    Blackburn “defended “like their lives depended on it.”” Sure, one team cannot do better than parking the bus. You’re obviously appreciating this kind off play, and most likely are the adept of “winning ugly”. I wonder how can you even be an Arsenal fan.

    Yes, I would like to see Arsenal competing on all fronts, and winning all of the trophies btw. I believe teh difference between us is that I’m being realistic while you’re anything but.

    And last but not least, “false optimism” is called positivity, in case you didn’t know. It’s how you support the team you say you’re a fan of. Not by being a hurdle, like you and a few others are.

  • Nannu

    ..we still have (unbelievably) many brainless sheep within the Gooner masses who still refuse to accept that we are shit and will remain a peripheral team as long as wenger remains in charge  These people (and some journo’s) still cite money as the reason why we can’t compete despite being turned over by Bradford, Blackburn and norwich and of course being held to draws by top teams like villa and Southampton and these are only a few examples of a longer list  Lack of resources is a bullshit excuse that these people cannot use and on Tuesday we are again facing a team with less money than we have so what excuse will be trotted out then ? Putting this simply, in the past wenger and his prima donnas have managed to pull off a shock result when the pressure has been on and that has sadly been enough to quell any rebellion – a humiliation at home will finish off our season and might finally be enough to convince these gobshites that wenger has to go. Either way, there is still more than enough fans out there who want him gone and the “right result” might just be enough to push them into venting their feelings publicly

  • nekuhan

    @ bob February 17, 2013 at 4:56 am
    Because Wenger did not resign 3-4 years ago! When you are harming your … what so ever, you quit not to perpetrate the damages. Wenger is harming Arsenal FC. No need for an enumeration. The Pope resigned, it is the historical decision. Football manager to quit is every day decision. At GBP 7 mil/year Wenger would be foolish to step down. He cares about his pocket only. Incidentally, would you quit by yourself GBP 7 mil/year job? End of the discussion.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Nannu you call people brainless sheep but you do nothing more than copy and paste a Kevin whitcher piece from online gooner.try and engage your own brain and not someone else’s if you are to make such claims

  • Dave C

    Lol, at calling out nannus. It’s so easy to do someones job when you don’t have to actually do it. Even the best coaches spend money to win silverware. Take away Man city’s or Inter’s money and what has Mancini won? At Porto, Jose spent a load of money; no need to mention Chelsea or Madrid. Who do we bring in? I’d stay with Wenger.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Dave c. I would stay with wenger as well but to be honest think the whole club needs to up its game a little. As much as wenger will have my ever lasting respect I do fear there will be change in the air in the next couple of years but that then this is now and we face bayern tues. history will show wenger has had far more to contend with than we know about but it may be the next manager that ultimately receives the fruits of his labours over the last few years.

  • Doublegooner


    I directed the below to Stuart earlier. What’s your answer.

    Do you doubt that Wenger has stopped Bould doing defensive coaching a few months ago ?

  • :Pat


    Thought provoking analysis of the likely Dean effect on players. Your points about details of the way he refereed are interesting.

    I can’t share the general gloom about our team. Or our manager. We just signed six – I think it’s six – young British players on long term contracts, thus hopefully securing our team core. This includes Theo Walcott despite the press rubbing its hands for months in the certainty he wouldn’t sign.

    In the past two seasons we have signed five top class experienced players – Mertesacker, Arteta, Giroud, Podolski, and Cazorla. These players have settled in remarkably quickly to English football and the Arsenal style of play. But obviously with a bit more time they will be even better. Already, though, I find it particularly exciting to watch Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla at their best playing together.

    Much speculation about Bould not being on the bench. Maybe he was ill? We don’t know. But I do know that he and Arsene Wenger have had plenty of conversations on the bench at matches lately and seemed to be getting along fine.

    To me, the future looks bright. Yes, we probably won’t get a trophy this season – but is that the be all and end all? Well, not for me it isn’t. I’ve seen plenty of exciting play this season and hope to see more before the season is out. And good results too.

  • Florian


    That is a provocative question. What are you hoping to achieve by a yes or no?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Double gooner keep reading that but read a lot of things to be honest I have no idea. Even if true bust ups in training not unique. Our main problem with the obvious exception was more attack than defence. For those who chose to believe the words of the objective source that is Stewart robson he stated that bould was a board appointment not a wenger choice so if this is all true …and for all I know it maybe I would expect the board to back their choice or bould to resign in protest. Robson also stated he took the job on the condition he would have coaching input

  • WalterBroeckx

    Some people should take notice that Tony or I are not on the training ground. Unlike popular opinion expressed by some, we are not highly paid members of Arsenal. 😉

    So we don’t know if there has been a bust up between Wenger and Bould. But Robson has said such a thing and certain people will believe anything that suggest there are problems between Wenger and Bould. And of course want to put the blame at the feet of Wenger.

    I just wonder if Robson by spreading such things because maybe he is still dreaming of taking the place of Bould?

    But let us for the sake of the argument believe that there have been arguments (bust up) between Bould and Wenger. What is actually wrong with that? Wasn’t it the big criticism the seasons before that Pat Rice was a “yes man” and that we needed someone there to say NO against Wenger at times. So if it would mean that Bould and Wenger don’t agree on some things would that be bad completely?

    Maybe by discussing and having different views things could improve.

    But once again as it is turning in to an urban myth: when I saw the game live on my TV I have seen Bould sitting next to Wenger and talking with Wenger during the game. HE WAS THERE!

  • Stuart

    How would Robson know? He doesn’t work there!

  • Stuart

    @ Doublegooner

    To be honest the thought had never crossed my mind.

  • bob

    Yep, I meant zero goals, not attempts; so my bad there and apologies due you on that one.

    On Blackburn’s defense, no, dear debating champ, I don’t relish bus parking. But we never are able to deal with it. Never. And the praise for Blackburn’s effort was from the two die-hard AFC fans doing the presenting that match on Arsenal Player. You are a very ungenerous loser, for all your high tone. It’s on us to break it down, and we can’t; and we lack clinicality; so when you paint that as my negativity, I can only smile at your head in the sand tribalism that demands we salute any shite that’s run up the flag pole or else where, what did you call me, a “hurdle”?

    You missed my point about your use of “fixture congestion.” My attempted point was to say that I seriously doubt that you weer speaking about “fixture congestion” two seasons ago. Rather, I’d suggest that you were hailing the team for being in the position to compete on all 4 fronts. Be honest, were you or were you not happy about this back then? And if you were, then being in 3 competitions now should also be praiseworthy. Do we not have the quality to be in 3 competitions now? Apparently not, going out to Bradford and Blackburn. But, unlike you, I don’t turn that lack of quality depth into a good-riddance, we don’t need “fixture congestion.” Your alchemy – or rather opportunism – in turning a negative into a positive this-fast is the problem. You won’t look at what needs fixing and advocate for it. Instead you like to pronounce judgments on whose a REAL supporter. Get it off it. You mistake masochism for support.

    And as far as your open equating of “false optimism” with being a true supporter, and lecturing me on what a true fan is, well, all I can say is that I’m glad you have no power in the actual world. You’d be taking all loyal opposition and those guilty of constructive criticism and putting them behind bars, and I don’t mean pubs. Your intolerance for any but your brand of fan-dumb is a bit, mind numbing. Oh, and as for “a few others” that you would lump me with and consign to your ring of fire, would you care to name them? I’d like to know whether you are capable of distinguishing what you’d call AAA from loyal opposition or constructive critics?

  • bob

    So, are you lowly paid members, then? 🙂
    As for Bould’s “not being there,” how anyone would parrot the Robson line and put that slime out there, without looking first and again to double-check, is really appalling. That lack of accountability – in fact disinformation spreading – on the part such posters must raises flags as to whose agenda is being served.
    Signed, bob (not Bob)

  • bob

    Where’s your evidence that Wenger stopped Bould from coaching defense? Quoting Robson isn’t evidence. What is the evidence that you both cite? If you have it put it out here. If you don’t, you’re an Arsonist, in the literal sense. A claim at that wrecking ball level must be substantiated; otherwise you are playing a arsonist’s game. If you’re right, then give us what you’ve got. Otherwise, those who watch hereabouts will see what you’re doing and what you are about.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ah bob if only… 😉

    Can you believe that when I read those comments about Bould not being on the bench I really questioned myself as I was 99% sure I had seen him when I watched the game live on my TV.
    I recorded it so I put it on again and each time they showed Wenger I saw Bould sitting next to him.

    But yet some people insist he wasn’t there… amazing

  • bob

    You’d better check again tomorrow. In journalism (at least traditional journalism) didn’t writers need to have 2-3 corroborating sources to go public with information? I think so. Oh, and what I also mean by check again tomorrow is check to see whether your tape is still there! Such key evidence cannot be allowed to surface in the anything-goes world of media puppetry. Or, if it’s there, maybe someone will have used Photoshop to “paint in” Bould’s presence next to AW. It’s like the “good old days” when they would erase unwanted faces from official portraits after that unwanted person was, shall we say, erased.

  • bob

    p.s. next thing you know, Micky R. was not actually there at Old Trafford when our unbeaten run was ambushed. Then again, what run was that? (I can hear it now, alas).

  • none

    Walter, just for a joke I asked a leading bookmaker for odds on Mike Leslie Dean being appointed as the ref for the NLD.

    “Sorry we cannot quote odds”

    Read into that what you will.