Stopping the match after 60 minutes

By Walter Broeckx

As I wasn’t at home for the match and had other obligations right after the match I couldn’t get to write this earlier.

And when I came on to the site I had to get rid of the usual rubbish posted by people who had been waiting for a few weeks to spend their usual hate against Wenger. So that took again a bit of my time away.  So some 12 hours after the match I thought it would be too late to write a match report as I usually do. So I will take another approach to this match and to answer the moaners who of course had a great night and enjoyed it very much.

In a way the title of this article is hypothetical because it can’t happen.  You cannot have both captains go up to the referee and ask him to stop the match and consider it finished. Or both managers going to the 4th official and tell him that he can inform the ref that they both consider the match to be played. But just for the sake of it try to imagine that scenario.

How would Arsenal have reacted? They would have said: fine we don’t risk any injuries from this point and we have another match to play in the weekend.

How would Anderlecht have reacted? They probably would have said: oh yes before we concede another goal and get beaten completely.  As that was what they feared before the match and was about to happen.

I think the chance that this would have been the reaction just after Oxlade-Chamberlain scored our third goal is rather big.

And maybe we should ask this question also to ourselves.  Lets be honest. Who ran to the bookmaker after Oxlade-Chamberlain put the third past Proto to put some money on a draw as a final result?  Anyone? No of course. Nobody did. Because Anderlecht looked completely beaten at that moment in time.

Now you can say you knew we would bottle it but unless you can show me he bookmakers bill with the hour you put your money on a draw, I don’t believe you.  Talking with hindsight is easy.

I think everyone considered the match as played at that moment in time. So what happened then?

I think first of all even before the offside goal Anderlecht scored we had the fact that Arteta got injured. I know he is not the beast defensive midfielder some dream about. But what he is, is more important. He is the brain in the team. He will keep the ball moving. Slow things down when needed, speed things up when it is required.  After the Ox scored our third goal we had to bring on Flamini. Now bringing on Flamini itself was not that bad but the fact that it was in the place of Arteta was bad.

Because in the two matches we played them together we have seen that with those two on the field we are very capable of keeping the shop shut up. The two seem to work together very well lately. But with one just replacing the other I think that the other midfielders just considered that they had no more defensive duties to fulfil.

When Arteta is on the field he will always try to pass the ball on the floor. And suddenly we completely forgot this basic rule. We just kicked it away without looking. And by doing this we brought pressure upon ourselves.

It was as if half of the team was already on the train to Swansea with their heads. Trying to avoid contact. Staying out of challenges they went in before. They stopped closing down the Anderlecht players and suddenly the latter found themselves in space to play in. And if you give them space they can be dangerous as we have seen.

Of course the first all important goal for Anderlecht shouldn’t have been given. It was a rather easy decision to make for the assistant but he failed to do so. And this shows how each decision even in a match that seems to be decided you have to be sure the right decision is made. I think that maybe even the assistant lost his concentration for a moment. You feel as a referee or assistant when the match “is played” and that could have caused to him missing the offside from the Anderlecht player.

I’m also rather sure that if the offside call would have been made we would have comfortably won the match. We could have conceded a goal at some point, maybe the penalty goal. For the record:  I have no real complaints about the penalty as Monreal had his arms around the shoulders of Mitrovic when he tried to make a run and that is a foul.

That offside goal gave Anderlecht a lift and certainly the penalty was a stupid foul to make but that is our own mistake.

But the main reason we didn’t win  is that after scoring the third goal and losing Arteta we lost a bit of leadership in the middle of the field. And got complacent.  And paid for it.

Our players were mostly just watching Anderlecht moving the ball in that last half hour. Thinking: oh, let them have the ball and fool around with it a bit. If one player thinks like that it isn’t a big deal. But if half of the team is doing that, then you are asking for trouble.  We didn’t close them down to stop their crosses.  We dropped two points because we thought the match had stopped after 60 minutes.

The main lesson we learned today is that you take the lead with 11 players. And then you have to defend with 11 players. And not just expose the defenders and let them do their thing on their own. Instead of creeping back ourselves we should have kept the ball moving at high speed and move it forward. Now we just played the ball between our defenders and not one of our midfielders or attackers made himself available for the pass so the defenders had to kick it forward and the ball came back and we didn’t stop them from coming to our goal like we should have done.

Let’s hope this is a kick on the but for our players. Maybe they thought that keeping a clean sheet comes from itself. It is all about hard work from all the players on the field. From the strikers to the defenders. We did this for 60 minutes but that isn’t enough. It should be done for 90 minutes.

A final note for those who want to comment. No need to spout abuse. No need to abuse players or manager. And if you want to abuse the AKB and tell them to f*ck off I can only give you the advice to do the latter yourself.

75 Replies to “Stopping the match after 60 minutes”

  1. a sober balanced post Walter. From my seat we cantered to a lead in the first half, but the danger signs were there: Anderlecht kept on finding spaces behind us but fluffed their opportunities or were repelled. Alexis was excellent in the first half and the Ox’s goal in the second was a peach. But everyone could see that Arteta was carrying a knock before he went off so I think we were slow to react to that.

    I’m not going to abuse anyone but I would question the mentality (as le Boss did) of the team. At 3-0 we eased off when the lieks of Bayern would have said, ok three is good, but let’s gets 4 or 5.

    We should qualify, maybe even next match if results go our way but top spot is now unlikely. That still means we could draw Porto or Leverkusen and a winnable tie. By then we should have most of our walking dead back, so who knows what might happen.
    Anyway, if there were a dozen or more happy Belgians at the Emirates on Saturday there were a few thousand of them last night!

  2. Thanks Walter. What I still don’t understand though is the lack of replays for the penalty. Sky have the ability to show replays from any angle; front, back, above, etc. But when we have a controversial decision against us they choose to show the least conclusive angle. Why? That, coupled with other behaviour we have come to expect from them and the media in general, suggests to me it may not have been a clear cut foul. Also the way Monreal remonstrated with that ref was telling. Unless he’d lost his marbles I can’t see why he’d do that.

    Anyway, I think you nailed it with the rest of your assessment. Only a draw, no train smash.

  3. Good article, but you neglected to mention the role Wenger has played in all this. The very reason that we had to use Monreal(who gave away the penalty)at CB is because we dont have enough depth defensively, an issue Wenger, for reasons best known to himself, has failed to address.

  4. Thanks Walter , a disappointing score , but hopefully we will learn from this and never do it again .

  5. The one thing you ignore Walter I’m afraid, despite writing accurately and fairly, is that this has happened time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time ad time and time and time and time AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Arsenal’s defense play woefully before, I think. It isn’t me is it?
    I mean it is Mr Wenger who is responsible for a never-ending collection of Arsenal defensive calamities isn’t it? He is in charge isn’t he? The reason I complain and moan (apart from being just a bad supporter of course Walter) is because nobody at the club does anything about it. Over many years. Nothing. So sorry, I’m entitled to moan.

  6. Predictable comment in Guardian about Arsenal collapse, barely a mention of the off-side goal.

    In addition, proof that reporters have great powers of invention, as it is reported that we were down to 10 men as a result of Monreal’s red card.

    (or maybe just wishful thinking by the writer)

  7. It’s the ‘kick in the butt’ comment that to me is completely correct. There were players on that pitch last night (after 60 minutes ) who stopped working defensively. The fear I have is that a ‘kick in the butt’ does not work with this group of players. They seem to make the same mistakes time and time again. They need to realise that they really let Wenger down last night. It’s he who has to face the media who were delighted when it went to 3-3 last night.

  8. Fishpie
    yeah. it is AAALLL wengers fault.
    but is kos one of the best CD in a PL?
    is mertz one of the best in a WORLD ? and a champion of the same world?
    and i still think that gibbs is one of the best (and still very young)LD in PL
    and i remember that everyone even KINGS OF AAA was happy about debuchy.
    and i almost forgot about calum. all those AAA morons was and still happy that wenger bought him.
    but whos fault is that debuchy was almost killed by milner?
    and kos is injured too.

    oh yeah… that is wengers fault. always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always

  9. Why does everyone get so depressed and defensive I don’t get it. We will still qualify and I never believed at this point we’d win the group. The performance ( last 20 mins was disappointing , no team should give up a 3 nil lead ) and I’m sure AW will try to ensure this won’t happen again, so stop moaning AKB’s AAA try to be a little more understanding

  10. Wenger is a good manager but tactically he is below bar.We should accept! we lost 8-2 to man u,6-0 to chelsea,5-1 to liverpool,5-2 to man city and surrenderd 4-0 lead to Newcastle.Which other top 4 team has gone through humiliation in recent times?

  11. Paul,
    yes it sure should have been retaken. The Anderlecht player was already 2-3 metres in the penalty area.

  12. Stop tormenting yourselves , to be fair to Anderlecht would it be unfair or AAA to say over the two games , they had done enough to at least have won a point !

  13. All said and done but if you are top tier football team, managed by a top side coach and full of super earning super stars, may i ask humbly where was the leadership, experience and professionalism of players and manager. What is the responsibility of second in command? Are the players, managers and coach answerable to anyone at all either within or outside the club. I want to know from the faithfuls here and anyone who has played club level football
    1. Why couldn’t Mertesacker the captain after the first goal and as a Center back with over 100 international cap and a world cup winner, take charge and ordered the full back and midfield flamini and Ramsey to stay back. he was almost at the center D during most times.
    2. Why couldn’t steve bould organize the defence immediately after the first goal wen tin?
    3. Who is the manager answerable when he criticizes his own make shift defense? Why did he allow vermalean to leave knowing Kos’s Achilles problem?
    4. What was the Manager doing when the first goal went in? What were his instructions and if its was not carried out what action will he take against them?
    5. When is Steve Bould going to take any responsibility for Defence? If he is not allowed to fix it then he should quit for the sake of club?
    The reason iam upset is that we may have a situation where top players may start thinking twice about joining Arsenal. Ozil and Alexis might be gone this summer. top defenders may not join us as they will believe that they will regress at Arsenal. These are serious issues if we dont introspect and make some changes.
    A Sheffield Wednesday fan once told me this ‘ We are a Top Club with a great stadium, Great fans and Crap Players. This sounded like a stark warning to me and iam very fearful right now as an Arsenal Fan.

  14. Bigger concern attendance ‘s are dropping ,it was noticeably quitter last night and I’m getting surrounded by tourists up in club

  15. What goes around comes around.
    All those bewailing last night’s steal of a point by Anderlecht conveniently forget Arsenal’s earlier similar thieving of 3 points in the land of chips, chocolate and beer.
    Professional footballers sometimes let a bit of domination go to their heads and seek further goals instead of quiet consolidation and a lot of “keep ball”.
    Lessons will be learnt, no doubt.
    Sadly, we will not win the Group now and will meet a Big Gun in the KO stage.
    Historically, just the sort of challenge Arsenal like to face and overcome.
    Football’s a funny old game although not much to laugh about last night.

  16. Walter, you have written it exactly as it was!!

    Your analysis is a mirror of the match I watched – to the letter.

  17. @AB, give it up, if you want peace between AAAs and AKBs you’ll never get it. It’s all extremely childish and I thought the hysterical attack you got on the previous thread quite unnecessary.

    As for last night’s performance it’s not the first time we’ve surrendered a good lead. Defensively we’ve been fairly ordinary for some years and we certainly can’t win the league or CL without that being addressed. I still think Wenger’s trying to build the team patiently and will concentrate on the defence either in January or next summer, I just find it odd that he didn’t get either a CB or DM last summer. I’m sure there are logical reasons.

  18. Thanks Walter, agree, losing Arteta was pivotal, his influence, and injury record this season is a huge worry, and one that the manager should strongly consider in jan, if it’s true the likes of cabaye may be available.
    Hindsight yes, but the substitutions were poor as well.
    And let me understate, we miss Kos ever so slightly.
    Worryingly, this is further evidence the team can still implode when things go against them. This result in itself could drain confidence for the next few matches. There are times when the team, for all their attacking talent need to be much more savvy In defensive duties, or they need to have that drilled into them, these type of performances are as damaging as they are un necessecary.
    It is easy to point fingers of blame after such performances. But it is not going to achieve much., during the second half of wengers tenure, for whatever reason we have not always been the most defensively switched on of teams, despite improvements in some games last season. I and many others find this frustrating, and wish the manager and coaching staff would get to grips with it once and for all. It seems to waste our fine attacking work. Surely there is the option of being an attacking team with a solid defence… we were pre 2005?
    But, ultimately we have a game at the weekend, that’s what matters.

  19. Chaps Ghost , AAA and AKB very silly I don’t subscribe rather be in my own group if it’s alright with you

  20. Nicky Harry Truman I think.
    ” The buck stops here “. My all time favourite , many would do well to live by , stop blaming others

  21. @Nicky
    November 5, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Exactly mate…I said the same thing last night – payback is a bitch!!!

    We plaid poorly in Belgium (in comparison to last night) and still we picked the pockets of Anderlecht on their patch in the dying seconds…THEY didn’t forget obviously – WE DID and paid for our laps of memory/collective defensive duties!

    The Big question must be; will this be a valuable lesson?

  22. Walter I think the enforced time space you had between the end of the game and your report really allowed for a very honest and balanced view of the game thank you – Im sure if most of us wrote it last night it would have been slanted with disappointment either with the officials as some on here posted after the game or the team as others focused on – I think as you said after 60 mins the players thought the game was over and could not recover their level once the first goal went in against us – the departure of Arteta had a big affect on this as although as you mentioned he’s not our mythical Vieira replacement he does organise and influence the tactics on the pitch .
    Their first goal was an unholy disgrace in terms of the officials I mean the pointless idiot with the wand next to the goal was looking directly at it from 2 metres and did nothing ? really terrible – but as you allude to in your piece that is the moment when as a team you say to each other “right no more lets get our shape again and really close them down for 10 mins” but we seemed to drop deeper and let them have the ball .
    Their penalty was soft but its the champions league and those are penalties plus no one seems to have mentioned that our pen was virtually the same and welbeck was not even facing the goal !
    Sadly the 3rd was just a poor goal all round with the 2 guys who came on not cutting out the cross properly and the BFG for once letting the guy get across him .
    What I thought showed our lack of ruthlessness most was our game management in the last 30mins – top sports teams have a way of punctuating the play , im not talking about cheating but they slow the game down keep the ball ,break up the play , take the foul’s etc – we still go forward , our re start’s seem un thought out and sloppy , we run after the ball when it goes out , and with our tallest forward off the pitch our keeper starts whoofing the ball long to our small forwards thereby conceding possession – Managing the end of a game you are ahead in is part of a professional winning mentality which is not pretty but gets you over the line in games like last night .
    Agin thanks for your balanced view .

  23. Undestandably we’re all frustrated about the score 3-3, but we got out of jail at their place. The issue in my opinion is not really down to tactics, but down to discipline and certain players accepting their responsilibilty to the team. Last season it was Aaron Ramsey the star player scoring the goals with the rest of team playing the supporting role. This season we have Alexis Sanchez, but unfortunately instead of certain players accepting their supporting role prefer to lose discipline and try and play like Alexis which means we’re not playing as a team. Maybe sometimes, Arsene’s loyalty and patients to these players can have negative impact on the outcome of games. I only hope that all the players recognise their resonsibilties because I can see a situation where the Emirates has a negative vibe and fans getting on players back again, which can impact badly on our performances.

  24. The way to put this right (if I was wearing the red and white shirt) would be to go and beat both Dortmund and Galatasaray!!!

    They are both beatable if we play as we should do at this level!!

  25. I don’t put labels like AKB or anything else but sit somewhere on the fence with each match sending me one way or t’other depending on how it unfolds (not necessarily the result). My firm belief is that Arsenal would not be where it is today without AW…. but crucially that is now both in the positive AND the negative sense. He seems to be stuck now, and hasd been for a couple of years – tactically 5/10, motivation skills 5/10, adaptability to match circumstances 3/10, communication during games 2/10. He relies too much on the players to think situations through for themselves but when it’s not working as was clearly the case last night after Arteta went off (the turning point) he was stuck firmly on his seat and making one poor substitute after another.
    So – yes, last night was one of those games (well, 30 minutes of it) when I moved over to the side that feels he is hostage to the performances of his players rather than a manager who can shape and change tides in the game.

  26. This was a very poor result following the domination we showed before they scored. Results like this happen in football and I agree with most that there were two turning ponts: 1. Arteta’s injury disrupted the midfield and we lost a measure of control, 2. The offside goal (what disgraceful officiating) changed the dynamic and mentality of Anderlecht. We also visibly eased off after the third goal and as we know, it is difficult to put your foot on the gas after it has been taken off.

    My hope is that that this is a lesson learnt and that Arsene does strengthen in January as we appear to be the only top 10 team in the prem with two recognized centre halves (Mert and Kos). I worry that no centre half was on the bench last night (or in recent games) and if Mertersaker gets injured we are in big trouble. The only cover is Isaac Hayden who is also injured as I understand it and we risk paying the price for being light in this area.

    The team we had out were more than good enough to win last night, but cover needs to be purchased, or promoted from the youth set up. Man u are a prime example of being light at the back. I am sure (and hope) that Arsene will address this and I appreciate there is a lack of quality in the market, but until hi does we will continue to have hairy moments like this (particularly against better teams).

    Finally I disagreed with the booing last night, no need for that at all and it won’t help!

    Let’s keep it tighter and turn over Swansea on Sunday.

  27. As a result of the match yesterday,the team had me thrashing about wildly, mumbling in my sleep and making the poor Mrs uncomfortable. Everybody at the Ems has to share a little of the blame, even the home fans. I saw the match on tv and from the noise the away fans were making, it appeared as if our own fans were too stunned to shout and cheer. Those Anderlecht fans sure came to rock the Ems! They helped catalyse that enviable comeback. But how could a couple thousand fans from Belgium out-cheer, out-scream more than 40,000 Arsenal fans in our own stadim? How did we not see this coming and close down the game? The players on the pitch should answer that. And they shouldnt begin to give Arteta’s sub as an excuse. Team work. How was it that Wenger took off the only player that had pace to burn, and therefore created problems – Ox, and didnt replace him. He had Walcott on the bench. What was Rosicky’s job when he came on? We may never know the answer to these questions. But my point is that the blame game will include many. No single person, player or manager should be blamed. However, I know we will respond. But beyond responding, we need to stop this trend, by fixing our tactical flaws that allow opponents to turn matches against us when we clearly should have things sewn up. All the same, I love this team too much to turn against it even after a night like yesterday.

  28. I can’t help dreaming of Arsenal being managed jointly by George Graham and Arsene Wenger.
    George organising the back division and defensive mid field on the basis that “they shall not pass” and Arsene running the rest of the mid field engine room assisting the attack with flair and speed.
    It’s only an old man’s dream world but what a dream….

  29. Alex, yep, you are right. Key players went missing during last night’s performance at the wrong time, we’ve had injuries and yep, Mr Wenger wasn’t on the pitch himself to head clear and yep, he didn’t personally injure Debuchy. I agree, there are other people and other things to blame too. My point is that with us though, in the second period of Mr Wenger’s reign, all sorts of defenders have had injuries and made mistakes and not performed well and lost substantial leads, shown lack of discipline, not taken defensive responsibilities seriously or just looked plain hopeless. The players have changed, some have been better than others, but the same thing keeps happening with different players. Why? Despite there being a series of different players there is a repeating pattern of inadequate defensive performances. So what is the consistent thing we can see across all of these years? The one thing that hasn’t changed? Let me think…….

  30. I have thunk and I’ve expressed what I thunk. Do you want to offer a counter argument at all, may be, or just have a pop at me?

  31. Was the booing for our players ?I don’t think so,i thought the booing was for that deluded lines man and his damn ref,if it was for the team then those who where booing have snail brains,but all in all welldone to the team and the coach.

  32. yeah you right…it is all about the POP … at you

    just check the PL tables from when OilMoney invade the league
    with all this moans “we lose to manU 60-0” “our defence is useless”… “hopleless”…”shitfull” and … of course!!!… “it is all wengers fault” mantra

    what are the teams that stand higher then usless hopless wengerian arsenal…..?

    year the ones that spend alot. have two full adequate teams or even three
    have some red nose knight with refs phone number in his poket

    and where arsenal sould be without all those “that how things works in modern football” teams?!!?!?
    so yeah “IT IS ALL WENGERS FAULT”!!!!!!!

  33. Hey Apo, I tried to clear the obvious misunderstanding on the other thread, not sure if you saw my post. You’re the last person I’d label AAA 🙂

    Going back to the match, I understand players dropped their levels a bit after 60 or so minutes, and that contributed to final result. But for me, when there’s an injustice that provides the other team with a platform for their revival, everything else matters little to me. In the spirit of competing fairly noone should benefit from an unfair advantage, if that’s allowed I don’t even go as far as looking for faults in the disadvantaged competitor. There should be controls in place to reverse these advantages gained unfairly; in athletics if a sprinter false starts the start is re ordered, in tennis a point gained from an incorrect line call is reversed, in boxing you lose a point if you hit below the belt, and so on…. Noone should be declared a winner or be allowed a result that includes a point gained unfairly. It just defeats the purpose of competing in the first place. Call it a siege mentality or whatever but I will stick with that view. There should be no place for cheating in sport, simple.

  34. Wenger and Graham, now that would be a combination!
    Some of the critics may be generally unpleasant and abusive, but that does not make them always wrong, defending is a persistent issue at the club, goal keeping has been in the past as well. I am not labelling individuals, but more how we defend as a team.
    As a believer that …generally speaking…the more you put into something, the more you get out of it…..and from this observer, it looks like we put much more into attacking than defending, and sometimes, in fact on a regular basis it shows.
    I have no idea what happened on signing more defensive players in the summer, looks to me like they had someone in mind, hence allowing Jenks out on loan, but something fell through for whatever reason. I don’t buy the idea that Wenger willingly went in so short of cover, …and there is a richer club that us from up north who had similar problems recruiting defenders….but this is a situation that really needs looking into in Jan. But, looking at recent signings, looks like we are aiming high, and as Walter was told by a little bird, the club will not be signing players who could burden the club
    Game management has been mentioned..may be something in this. Wenger appears to let out of form players play their way back into form, admirable, but in certain games, maybe more urgent action is required. Agree with the point that discipline is more of an issue than tactics
    I really hope that unacceptable performance does mark a tipping point, and the powers that be stop these defensive relapses. Recruitment, training drills, team talks, preparation, analysing videos, game management, ref awareness, discipline….hope they look at all issues and act asap. As has been posted, major trophies will not be won defending like that.

    We will never get Wenger and Graham, but we do have Wenger and Bould. That, and hard work on defence behind the scenes should be enough to prevent these performances

  35. Yes the linesman should have ruled there 1st goal out for offside. To say over the 2 games that Anderlecht deserved nothing from the 2 games is deluded.
    The last 30 mins last night was terrible from us it just wasn’t the 3 goals we conceded but we were completely dominated at home aginst a team that had won 2/34 games in the CL.

    Some of the people on this web-site are deluded or completely off there rocker’s it’s ok to defend the club but to refuse to accept what you see with your own eyes is pathetic.

  36. ZOON
    theres a lot of sites where people like you are write thing that will please your eyes
    this is the site for the FANS not for “i know what to do and whos to buy better then wenger”

  37. @ Alex

    If you want things to improve stop burying your head in the sand and accept what you see. Just agreeing with everything that goes on in the name of being a fan is ridiculous and doesn’t happen in any other facets of people’s lives.

  38. when i will become a manager …I WILL IMPROVE THINGS AND ACCEPT Everything
    but know i am just a fan who knows that football is not about sport of physicality or talent
    or “knows everything and accept everything”….
    it is about being loyal to the team that you love.
    and i dont give a shit about “that was awful” “we stop playing after 60 mins”
    even with all those facts WE LOOSE BECAUSE OF REFS MISTAKE

  39. @Alex

    So you would accept catching your wife in bed with your Brother because you love and are loyal to them?

  40. ZOON
    best argument ever!!!

    thats why football is “just a game” for me.
    and unlike you i have a life.
    and that is what i am really care about.

  41. Fishpie – time for you to be dumped coz you thunk and stunk.

    The game turned when Anderlect were allowed to play wide without anyone marking the wide players. The width allowed them forward movement unrestricted. The goals were quality even offside. The decisions by the officials were questionable but have to be accepted.

    Leadership was missing and even up front there was no cohesion. Alexis was pissed off by Artetta taking the pen but still managed to score. It is still a puzzle why Arsenal don’t shoot when in good position.

  42. ZOON
    November 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

    So you would accept catching your wife in bed with your Brother because you love and are loyal to them?

    If I caught my wife in bed with Sanchez i would get them and extra blanket incase he strained a muscle 🙂

  43. 4evered and some serious counselling , excellent humour at last a small step for Untold and a giant leap for Mankind !

  44. @Walter,
    Excellent article as usual! The team showed a lack of spirit after the offside goal and Arteta substitution. Hopefully the club learns from it for the future games.

    Today, your messages are more moderate compared to yesterday so thank you.

  45. @AL
    November 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Ok thanks for that!!! 🙂

    As for your second paragraph – I totally agree that we were put in a disadvantageous position with theta blatant offside goal…its not the first time either – something needs to change in the way games are officiated!!! That assistant, directly on the goal line had a perfect view, instead of waiving his arms to indicate no goal, he stood so still he could have been mistaken for a statue.

    Last nights game can be dissected in so many ways and from so many different angles; I will conclude by saying that it was a combination of the officials tilting (even slightly) the playing field (don’t need much at that level) and our lads taking their goal advantage as a given to win without going the distance.

    A formula that cost us 2 valuable points and the guaranteed path to the 16.

  46. …and AL, yes you are absolutely right in saying our players are affected now by these biased/incorrect calls…they see them week in week out!

  47. The reason Arsenal lost two points was because lack of professionalism by the players. The moment players get married and/or have children, they are considered as adults. And you don’t need anyone to tell an adult to behave professionally on the field. The players should take the responsibility. It does not make sense that people condemn Arsene Wenger the way he man-manage his players where else in that very manner of conduct, he has brought out the best of most players who became superstars at Arsenal. The very commotion that’s going on right now, condemning the club, from the chairman to the CEO, from the manager to assistant, from captain to average players is literally an act of glory-hunting at its worst because from that very club’s achievement and association with superstars, we, fans do get joy and laid in a public celebrations. Some morons also compared yesterday’s result like catching your wife in bed with your brother. What kind of example is that? Let me counter that. You just want the baby, but no labour pains?! You would disown your own children because they committed silly mistakes?! Because of such immoral and misleading statement of intent, we have young and immature fans who will jumping into that AAA wagons. If you can’t set an good, adult examples of yourself, then you have no intregrity to condemn others adults just because they showed they are humans, bound to make mistakes. All of us always forget how young this team is. And very raw with their talents. Do you know how long and how tough it took Arsene to line up the ‘Invincibles’? Do you know how many worse performance the ‘Pre-Invincibles’ players put on? Of course, morons like you don’t know. Because I’m sure all of you jumped into that glory wagons in that ‘Invincibles’ season and lie flatly that you’ve been supporting Arsenal all along to everyone. How I verify this? 80% of people I know are wagon-jumpers and that very 80% is pulling their hairs right now cause they two-faced, lying, phony bastards. If there were classic hit to describe you with disgust, then here it is:

  48. Why can’t we blame AW on this? I know I will get stick for saying this, but some of the blame should be taken by him. Hear me out.

    If you see other managers, you will see them in their tech area giving out instruction’s. AW only leaves his chair, when we score or concede. I know as a player myself, if your manager shouts too much, you tend to ignore. Now since we were up 3-1 and after the loss of Arteta, we lost our shape. Why did AW not get up & instruct the players to keep their shape? One might say, “the players should know”. How many of the fans commenting have gone on to the field with certain instructions from their managers only to forget what needs doing. I have done this and after a reminder from the manager, you do it. Our players are no different. You need to constantly be reminded.

    I saw the game on TV and sometimes wondered is this for real? The acres or space between the midfield and defence was shocking especially when we conceded the 3rd goal. Reminded me of our school football and yes, we are not paid obscene amounts of money.

    I as CD myself, I would go mental if the midfield left us exposed, so what did AFC do when we lost Arteta, nothing. Our BFG is the German international, while playing in the national squad, would he be exposed? Or let the wing backs bomb up when 3 nil up? Hell no! He should have instructed Arron and Flamini to sit in from of him and Monreal, ask the Ox to tuck in as well. But no, Aaron was almost a 3rd striker leaving the defence and midfield hopelessly exposed. Where is the leadership here, he was the captain wasn’t he? there was an incident the 1st half at the corner we got. We lost the ball and BFG was hassling their player in their ½. A quick counter attack and Szczesny made the save. Arteta was in the box sliding and I don’t if anyone of you saw, because as he got up, we was screaming at someone and my guess that some1 was BFG who was jogging back and was in the middle of our half.
    Now I am no manager, but why not go 5 in the middle when 3-1? Flamini, Aaron, Ox, Welbeck brought in the middle, Santi. Taken off Alexis for the game on Saturday and leave Poldi up front?

    Some of the fans have commented on previous articles “lesson learnt”. Really? Have we? The fans who throw stats at us will tell us that we haven’t. The Spurs and Newcastle games come to mind. You make a mistake ONCE and you thrive not to repeat it again. If you do the same mistakes again and again, you are incompetent.

    I really really feel that this is not going to change very soon.

  49. Walter, what about that Monreal’s touching of the referee during the protest? The Spaniard got away with that one.

    I don’t know if the rules have changed lately but it seems that referees are now too lenient to the players that intrude their personal space. Look at Oliver’s pathetic dealing with Hart in the Manchester Derby last weekend or Webb’s stupid decision to allow Raheem Sterling to grab his boobs in our FA Cup clash with Liverpool last term.

  50. I am a massive Wenger fan and remain so. This does not mean I do not criticise him when he makes mistakes, I do.

    If Wenger is to get the blame for throwing away the Anderlecht game, then he must also get the praise for the good things that happen, the fact that we went three goals up and were playing some pretty good stuff. So too the purchase of Sanchez. The injuries that have left us short defensively were unlucky. This is the balance that is too often missing by those who only ever see one side of the argument. Drop a point and its all Wengers fault. Win a game and it is because the other team werent trying or had players missing. Totally one sided and pathetic arguments.


    I am not going to sit here and excuse us throwing away a match that we had won. I am not going to excuse poor defending. I am not going to excuse us trying to push for more goals. I am not going to blame the loss of Kos and Debouchy – because that is irrelevant.Nor will I use the offside goal as an excuse because they still scored two more afterwards..!

    What I am going to do is ask a very simple question. Who is responsible for our total naivety?

    Did the manager tell the players to continue pushing for more goals and commit players ahead of the ball? If he did, he needs shooting.

    Or are the players responsible? These are supposed to be top professionals who know the game. They should take responsibility for in game management and their individual mistakes. It is the players that make poor passes, the players that give the ball away, the players that get caught out of position. Some were show boating, too many flicks and blind balls. That is the players.

    For me it is far to easy to point the finger at the manager. I noticed him signalling to Ramsey to sit deep but Ramsey did not appear to do this.

    Before I start ranting like a girl or continue following an ‘agenda’, I would like someone within the club to tell me why we threw that game away. And if it is the players that are responsible, then they need to told that this is unacceptable and dropped.

    This isn’t school. These players do not need to be told by the Manager what to do all the time, as some seem to want to believe. They are professionals and paid handsomely. I get a bit sick and tired of the manager always getting the blame when the players are the ones responsible. Never seen a manager score an own goal or fail to go with a runner.

    But we need to learn quick. As an attacking force we have built something special but without the ball yesterday we were Sunday League at times. It is no good finding excuses, that was not acceptable. Stupid. And I’m still fuming.

  51. Nice post proud kev.difficult to aportion blame. On the night, you have to blame the players collectively, perhaps with a few exceptions.
    But looking at the way we play, and the lack of depth at the back, I would say there is a lack of emphasis on defending at the club…..and the manager must shoulder some of the blame for that. The way to fix things is to work hard on them… the squad work as hard on defence as they do on attack or possession? There is anecdotal evidence from ex players that they do not.
    Every time this happens, I hope there will be a change….but such changes do not always materialise. However, I really expect something to happen in Jan this time.
    Not widely reported, but we have loaned out Coquelin to Charlton. He can play in our troubled positions….including that of the constantly injured Arteta. If wenger has let him go, with Arteta injured without being confident of something happening in Jan, well, then maybe he is as mad or wreck less as his critics say…..but in reality, he is neither if these things.
    To win major trophies, we need a strong defence. I hope all at the club learn from last night, and similar recent events…..these collapses are damaging to club morale and reputation. The manager needs to look at some things urgently.

  52. Some of you have commented on the official on the goal line as there offside goal went in. He in fact immediately looked to the lino but seeing no movement either chose not do anything or perhaps had been told before the match that it was not his place . Could our refereeing fraternity explain exactly what they are there for other than goal line decisions.We can argue the blame game as much as we like , truth is they were all to blame , Wenger , Bould the players all of them. The last half hour was stupid ! Anderlecht proved in the first leg that if nothing else that they were a pacy side that liked to run at us. We allowed them the space and time to do just that. Cazorla and |Ramsey were having stinkers again and surely should have been the ones hoiked off.i don’t think that Podolski and Rosicky were the wrong ones to come on but the wrong ones made room for them . They should have come on earlier with strict instruction to bind the team together and defend in front of the back 4 . The fullbacks should have been told to tuck in and just as a group collective pass them to death. Whatever happened to the days when we would string 20 -30- 40 passes together and play out time.?

  53. Stan the Man asks how We the 40’000 were outsung by the away fans . Truth is that of that 40,000 probably 5000 were trying to text home , others were one/ two match a season attendees, others were there as business partners . I have a group of 5 behind me that over the years have informed me of the basic traits of the envelope business , 2 are there more often than not and the others are customers from all over the country. It is a problem of our support the faces that followed from the old Lady down the road are disappearing fast , they still have their season tickets but they just choose not to use them and either rent them out or exchange them. That’s why it’s so quiet , the ones that make noise are no longer there and the ones that are come to be entertained or else partake in the matchday experience.s

  54. Philip 2711
    I agree completely. Generally we have the right players, but tactically we are not at the races. Just having good, technical players does not work and they need to be organised and follow tactics.

    What we do not seem to fail at regularly:
    1 Committing too many players forward, leaving the defence exposed
    2 Not defending corners and free kicks
    3 Not capitalising on corners
    4 Not making runs in the final 3rd, leading to tippy tappy football
    5 Not buying to obtain team balance eg some big strong midfielders
    6 Goalkeeper prone to at least one mistake per game
    7 Seemingly sending out teams which appear unmotivated
    8 Not having a leader on the pitch
    9 Not dropping underperforming players eg Ramsey at the moment

    Behind all this I am a fan of wenger, but i’m really not sure we are going in the right direction this year. We have only looked convincing in 3 games this year and have won late and narrowly in other games we have won.

    Can’t blame the media or refs for this consistency.

  55. Thanks Al, sometimes when you speak from the heart the truth comes out! I absolutely love this club and it really hurts when we screw up. What doesn’t help is when we have to listen to all those idiots that seem to rejoice in our misfortune, whether they are pundits, journos or those misguided elements who call themselves fans.

    Man City have proved tonight that there is nothing the Managers can do when World class players fail to perform and display a poor attitude.

    And Chelsa struggled against a really poor side that belongs in the Spursday Cup, although Chelsea and their manager appear immune from criticism.

    But Arsenal need to sort themselves out when we haven’t got the ball or we are going to have more of the same.

  56. Mandy. Yep I have to agree with you, our shape without the ball is terrible at times. But when you are three nil up you really don’t need any practice or instruction to know you deny the opposition space and keep players behind the ball. It’s a real basic and that’s what concerns me.

  57. Thank you Walter. Article very well written. I just have this to say. It is evident that our downfall started the moment Arteta was subbed off & we were a headless chicken since then. Flamini is not what we are looking for from the DM role. Le Prof has to, there are no two ways about it, he has to stress on these two players in the January transfer window. High quality DM, a great CB for the future(replacement for BFG). I would like to write this in bold. The warnings are deafening now. We have still not lost it; neither in the PL nor in the UCL. But we have to sign very good high quality players for these two positions to be the threat & shut every naysayer out there while proving ourselves.

  58. @ Kev thanks for your 4:01pm post, very sensible words.

    However, and as per the “what Arsene told them”. I don’t know what he told them, but –

    (1) sometimes just “telling” doesn’t cut it. Arsene’s style on the touchline is quite reserved – he doesn’t do a Diego Simeone and scream at players. Maybe if he had, some players would have shown a bit more responsibility.

    (2) sometimes it is not “telling”, but rather having the squad be ready for certain situations. In the army it is called “cases and responses”. When you are in patrol duty driving a Humvee, and you are ambushed, you have no time to think. You react. And in order to optimize your reaction, you drill certain cases: ambush from the right; from the left; roadside explosive. So let’s say it’s ambush from the right and you are the driver. The drill is open the humvee door in 45 degrees angle, get cover behind the door and shoot through the gap between the door and the hood. You do it in less than 2 seconds. You don’t think. Same goes for the rest of the squad members.

    Now let’s go back to football. You lead comfortably? The opposition somehow seems to claw their way back in? Then you don’t have to think. You react, because you worked on it during training.

    And I believe that, philosophy wise, we are not a “drilled” team. It pays off when we flow (like the first 60 minutes) but we pay dearly when we need to do certain things to ensure an outcome.

    (3) The substitutions. Yes, Arteta going out was unplanned and probably hurt us badly (because he is a thinker, pls see point no. 2 above). But even though Welbeck did not have the best game as far as final touches in the box go – he was immense in tracking back, working hard, and making Anderlecht players miserable. Poldi on the other hand, will never have this quality. Different players, different attitudes. Or Rosicky – a player whose best qualities are imagination and trickery – not defense; a player who like to increase the pace, not to subside it.

    It is not that I do not agree fully that professional players who get paid ridiculous amount of money should not and could not think about these things themselves, like you said – I am saying, there were other things that could have helped.

  59. Wenger rarely gave instructions to the players. It is not something new. He expects them to be intelligent. When he says something, it is even more important to listen, and some of our best players are not. I always defended Ramsey (I know someone who wanted to kick out Giroud, Ramsey, Kos…) but I think that his attitude has been wrong for some time. Even when he was scoring last year, Wenger always talked about his passing and defending abilities. This year Wenger said once again that Ramsey should go back to the basics. Clearly he is not getting it, and i hope that this result will make him understand that we need him to help with the defense and in the transition phase. Since we first saw hiw play for arsenal, i thought that he is our most special talent (apart from diaby), and i still think that he must be our commander on the field. I feared what would happen when he got so much praised for his goals, and you can see the result now.

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