Come on You Gunners!

By Walter Broeckx

This was a match between two teams who try to play the same style of  football. And when you get two teams who play a similar style you get or a great open match or two teams cancelling each other out for most of the time. The latter was surely what happened for most of the time.

Hardly any clear cut chances for both sides in the first half. One for Swansea that I can remember. At the end of the first half however we should have taken the lead. Welbeck his effort was stopped by Fabianski. And seconds later a volley from Ramsey shaved the post. If only….

The second half started as the first with again both teams holding each other at arms length with not much happening in both penalty areas.  But the first chances fell for Arsenal but Oxlade-Chamberlain with a tame shot couldn’t really trouble Fabianski.

The deadlock was broken when Oxlade-Chamberlain ran off with the ball in the Arsenal half, gave it to Cazorla who played Welbeck in. Welbeck pulled the ball back and passed it to Alexis who made no mistake from 6 meters out.

The tempo went up a bit and when Swansea got a free kick when Gibbs had to make a foul in the middle you knew something could happen. Sigurdson is one of the free kick takers and as a football lover you can only admit that he expertly buried it in the top corner.  Every goal you concede is one that hurts but I can only admire his kick.

Minutes later the moment came that I feared a bit. Swansea forward Montero was giving Chambers a very difficult game and the young full back had a lot of trouble with him. He could hardly stop him the whole match. And yet again Montero ran past Chambers and his cross was headed in by Gomis who had just come on.  Going from 0-1 in front to 2-1 down in a few minutes. That was hard to swallow.

What followed was a bit of “holderdebolder” football as we would call it. Not much organisation just trying to hope for the ball to fall kindly. But it just wasn’t going to happen. Walcott was released with a great ball from Alexis but he couldn’t control the ball and Fabianski could collect it.

So it all went wrong in a few horrible minutes.  It is as if there is a kind of mental block during a match. Where we suddenly seem to freeze for a while and don’t know what to do.  I think that missing a few key players could be vital to having that.  Players who know more how to deal with such situations and who keep a calm head. Players who are said that we should get rid of like Arteta but who is oh so vital for keeping the ball in our ranks.

And of course a player like Özil. I will try to have a look in the next days on points won with and without him. I think his injury last season resulted in us dropping points. I do have the feeling that we now have the same scenario.

I can imagine that a few will use this to blame all and everyone and one in particular. As usual we will try to keep our head cool. And will provide the support.

When you are down on the floor I will not kick you down. No I will try to help you up.

When things aren’t working I will not boo you. No I will shout out for you.

When things look bleak I will not lose the faith in you.

Sometimes things don’t work for you. And we are in such a part of the season. A part we have seen but later in the season. It is as if our engine works and can go in to higher speed when needed but then suddenly a part goes missing and the car just goes down.  It seems that each chance for the other team just finds the back of the net. And we with all our attacking options just can’t score when we need to or score enough.

Sometimes life as a supporter is about taking it on the chin and look to the future. We will need the whole team ready in 14 days.  And I hope that they will bounce back. They must bounce back. As that is the only option they have.

And they will bounce back! I’m sure they will.  We just have to make sure that the engine will do it’s job for the whole 90 minutes. As just in F1 a car has to get to the finish line in a race to win in the end.

And as Nicky will confirm just as always in the past when things look hopeless and lost, we find new resources and come back.  We still have a lot of top players to come back to help the ones that are out there for the moment. Having Theo nearly back and hopefully players like Giroud back after the international break we can look at a stronger squad in a few weeks time with more options.

Come On You Gunners!

85 Replies to “Come on You Gunners!”

  1. Well written, Walter.

    A mere. mere skirmish has been lost.

    Expect the brickbats from the “football managers inc.”.


  2. Sky rabbiting on and on and on and on about Swansea’s penalty claim. They never do it on our behalf.

    In fairness, Dowd was fairly OK today, although he seemed to be getting worse as the game went on. Some of his numerous yellow cards, for both sides, seemed strange.

  3. I would like as many as possible of our players to be withdrawn from the England squad. The risk of more injuries is a concern we could do without.

  4. Agreed – Arsenal had one decision that went for them cos the referee knew Swansea were going to win and Sky haven’t shut up about it – what more proof do you need that the referees are anti arsenal?

  5. I can see why Wenger kept faith with Wednesday’s team (other than the enforced change of Flamini). Unfortunately, it backfired.

    Chambers really struggled against Montero. I hate to criticise Wenger, but I felt he should have brought on Bellerin who has the pace and either put Chambers in the middle with Mertesacker, or taken him off. Particularly once Chambers was carded.


  6. Perhaps we should look at the medical staff as no other team seems to suffer the amount of injuries we have.

  7. As always, Walter, your calm words offer comfort at hard times!

    I think you are right, we seem to be missing some calm, experienced heads as a result of injuries. It is tough, for example, for a 19 year old new to the club like Chambers to have to bear the burden he does at the moment in defence, however good he is. And of course he is very good and will get much better.

    Anyway, at least Spurs lost as well. The fishmonger (Spurs fan) and I can mutually commiserate instead of humorously sniping.

  8. Come on on no more ‘referee excuses!’. Chambers should have conceded a penalty in the first half so pleeeezzz!

  9. Chambers is new and young and has been dropped in the deep end – respect for him. Monreal is playing out of position so I accept he’s mistakes the problem is the manager putting us in this position. This isn’t unusual, it’s been the same situation for the last 9 years!

  10. Walter this insight although reasonably accurate can be applied to every season for the last 9 years. The truth is it’s like Ground-Hog day except the manager never tries for a different outcome but believes he’s right despite history.

  11. Well put Walter, a disappointing result.

    However, come hell, high water or AAAA scum I will support the team, manager and club. As you rightly put it Walter, we are going through a bad patch just now, but we will come through it.

    There are better days to come!

  12. Thank you, Walter. After this match, I was left cursing ourselves for carrying too forward and not have enough players backing up defence! Again, sat blaming our transfer policies for the second half. Sat upset about why this was happening with our team, even though we are a lot better than are made out to be. Was waiting for an update from UA. And you have done the job. Not that I support my team any less. But your article has given me & I’m sure the many others who sincerely wish for our resurrection to take it on the chin & move on. Wait with renewed breath for after the international break & take on our opponents head on! Thank you once again UA team! You guys rock & soon the Gunners will be back to our destructive best. COYG!!!

  13. We all support he team, let’s just start putting our hands up and start helping them by moving forward with new leadership.

  14. Am I the only one who doesn’t think that putting our heads in the sand is a solution? Oh no, there’s tens of thousands of supporters who inject cash into this club who think the same way. Come on let’s rally around the team and put pressure on the board to find a new leader that can actually support the team rather than leave them floundering on the pitch with no support!

  15. George Graham had a tenure half of Arsene and yet arguably achieved more – European trophy and League Cup success (not to mention Fa Cup and league championships)!

  16. New leadership lots available we could have moyes or even coyle!
    What we need and will get is our players back from injury and I would imagine defensive recruits in jan. The defensive situation is causing a lack of confidence through the team and will continue to do so if left unchecked. Yes it was a mistake to go into the season so light on CDs with kos Achilles issues. But there may be mitigating factors we do not know about. But all we can do for now is back the team this is a situation the manager coaches and medics need to sort out. The players are giving all despite some out of position and all deserve our support

  17. I’m actually feeling upbeat instead of being down. Why? The better team won, even though a draw would have been a fairer result if one looks at chances created both ends. It’s nice to have this feeling that you know you lost not because someone robbed you, if only most of our losses were like this I’d be making less frequent trips to the doctors!

    Speaking in hindsight is always easy, chambers had been brilliant in that position so far this season, to say he should have been dropped just doesn’t make any sense. I remember Wenger putting Podolski on in Belgium, he scored the winner. But when he put him on in the return leg he was slated. Today he left him out and I’m sure someone will say why didn’t he bring him on. Easier to be wiser after the event. I’m looking ahead to our next match. COYG!

  18. Özil’s stats so far:

    6 league games played (out of 11 played, 54.5%), 1 victory (MoTM performance in one of two games that he had started in the central role), 4 draws and one defeat. So we have gained 7 points out of possible 18 (38.8%) with Mesut in the squad. Without him we have played five games (45.5%), won three of them, drew one and lost one (10 points out of possible 15 – 66,7%).

    Of course, these stats don’t say all the truth about the German’s influence – Özil has played in all the big games so far.

    In Champions’ League he has featured against Bešiktaš, Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray. We have won two games out of three played with him in the squad (two victories, one defeat). In both victories he was involved in our goals and both times he started down the middle. Against Borussia he was one of the worst on the pitch and started the game down the left flank. He didn’t play against Bešiktaš away (a draw) and in neither of games against Anderlecht (a victory and a draw). If both matches against Bešiktaš were played for points, we would win four of them – three with Mesut in the squad and one without him. All in all, we won six out of nine possible points with him (66,7%) and five out of nine points without him (55,5%).

    Last term Özil got injured in the return leg against Bayern München. He felt his hamstring in the second minute of the game but stayed on the pitch for the whole first half (a real negligence to both his health and Arsenal, if you ask me).

    He featured in 26 league games. We won 17 of them, drew 5 and lost four. We won 56 points out of possible 78 (72%) with Mesut on the pitch. Without him we played 12 times (including three games while he was still a Real Madrid player). We won seven, lost two and drew three times – 24 points out of 36 possible (66,7%). Now, it’s important to remember we had also Ramsey, Walcott, Wilshere and Koscielny out for the defeat against Chelsea and most of them were out for our defeat against Everton as well.

    He played in all eight games in Champions’ League. We won four, lost three and drew once.

  19. Hmm, we were dreadful today and there is no disguising it. After the Anderlecht game we listened to the players talk about lessons learned (heard it all before). I did not see any reaction to that midweek shambles and that is probably the most worrying thing of all. It’s not good enough at the moment and Wenger needs to make some changes.

  20. Walter,
    At this very moment I think the majority of Untolders would cheerfully swap places with Tony…

  21. I don’t think this was Chambers 1st bad game at RB. Anderlect sussed him out on Tuesday and put pressure on that flank. He has struggled there at times. Hence the 6 yellow cards. He should have been played at CB where he did really well. Belliren has done nothing wrong when he has played at RB.

  22. Come on guys, what does it take for you lot to want change? Wenger has been great but clearly no longer the man we need.

    When did caz or ramsey last influence a game? If not when will they be dropped? When is chez going to inspire confidence. When is wenger going to make a decent substitution? When are we going to score from a corner? When are we going to learn to defend from the front?
    When is the spending going to be on tough, strong players? Surely you can see it? Surely?

    Its not the refs or the media, its the way the team is set up. Some great players, playing in a disorganised system, lacking key links.

  23. I do not normally criticize but leaving Chambers, who is badly out of form at the moment, at right back when he was getting skinned by the winger from early in the game, especially with the fastest man in the club and a right back to boot sitting on the bench is beyond comprehension. Even more so after Chambers had been booked and was at serious risk of getting a second yellow! The lightning quick Bellerin could well have prevented that game winning cross from coming in, and Chambers extra height in the middle may have prevented the striker getting his head on it.

  24. Slugboy you are right about the corners, the opposition have more chance of scoring a breakaway goal from one of our corners than we have of finding the net. We never even get a head on one, it’s embarrassing. I know we lack height so why not try some different tactics from the corners rather than just pumping the ball into the six yard box.

  25. Stop moaning you lot! Being a football supporter means taking the rough with the smooth and not playing the blame game all the time.

    Our performance wasn’t that terrible. Our goal was brilliant and so was their free kick. And then we got beaten – it happens.

    At the start of the season our defence didn’t look that bad and if we hadn’t lost Debuchy and Koscielny to injury it wouldn’t be bad now. Last season we had one of the best defences in the premiership. The only person we have actually lost is Sagna and he was replaced by Debuchy. Chambers was an additional defender bought by the manager.

    And don’t start blaming the manager and the rest of the support team for the injuries. We have plenty of evidence that rough treatment unchecked by the referees is a major factor in Arsenal’s injury problems.

  26. @Mick – actually, Mertesacker had a chance after a corner in the first half but he was already landing when he hit the ball. Giroud’s injury and departure of Sagna have been important factors in our poor dealing with set-pieces.

  27. Chambers is a very good footballer suited to centre back like Cahill of Chelsea. Swansea winger was very quick and happens. We cannot close a game down..its obvious..this is to do with the tactics employed by the manager. We can all quote examples of games where we did close out, we can all quote poor referee decisions, we can all quote press on our backs…lets quote the injury situation as we do year upon year. We will never know until another manager uses different tactics how good or bad our team structure is.

  28. Oat. It’s not about blame game. We weren’t good enough today and have not been for a number of games this season. Some occasions the fault lies with the manager but the quality of players we had on the pitch on Tuesday should not have thrown the game away.

  29. Interesting analysis Josif. Can you do another one for Arteta please.

    Only 11 games played. 27 left, that’s 81 points up for grabs, as Wenger said the other day. Chin up! Too many injuries, as always, has been our problem.

  30. They don’t want to admit it but age catches everyone differently .Wenger is not different.

    When a team surrenders 3 goals lead the alarm rings loudly and normally one would expect certain changes that reflect the reality. Yet Wenger as nothing happens is not moving even one bit from his seat.

    Today in that wet afternoon in Swansea another lead surrendered .When everyone can see Chamberlain was skinned by the opposition not one attempt from Wenger was heard or seen.

    He didn’t even bother to come out and shout orders.

    Age matters.
    As it stands if Mourinho comes and manage this team and Wenger manages the Chelsea team definitely I will put my money Arsenal to win the league and Chelsea barely to make it top four.

    There is nothing wrong with board as they provided money .It is all Wenger fault planning and managing.

    Definitely Wenger out.

  31. Quincy – it isn’t too many injuries that is the problem but not enough players. It isn’t unreasonable to expect injuries or suspension to two defenders at once, that is why most squads have 7 or 8 defenders and we chose to have 6

  32. I think I might have to reinstitute Troll Bingo. It’s the “Weakest Link Syndrome” – too many people ONLY think about the most recent performance. Allardyce and Pardew are current flavours of the month – but in recent times they were facing vociferous criticism.

    Arsenal have always lost matches and always will. Missing Debuchy, Koscielny, Arteta, Ozil, Walcott and Giroud from today’s starting line up – likely all 1st choice when fit. That is more than half a team.

    Keep saying it – the ONLY serious problem at Arsenal is the injuries. Other serious problems outside Arsenal but limited scope to influence that.

  33. Thanks Walter. Your perspective helps. No use crying over spilt milk. This game is gone. The next game is just around the corner, and more of the guys will return from injury. We will hit our rhythm soon and go on a run. Today we lost and it’s so predictable that some will pick up their favourite line, ‘Wenger out’. But I find that so boring. Wenger messed up in his tactics and substitutions. So what? He’s not perfect, but then , who is? Look what’s happening to Man U. We are still a team in the process and we are not doing too badly. We’ll bounce back. I know will.

  34. Comments from Per Mertesacker and Arsene Wenger are now up on Seeing the match through to the end with concentration and patience is the motto and Per is confident that they’ll be working on it and will solve it. Trust the team (and the manager)!

  35. The injuries are not the only problem. All teams have injuries. The teams we had on the pitch should be more than enough to cope with spurs,hull, Anderlect etc.

  36. What makes you feel they will do it right this time?

    The Ox was the first one to say that we should be more cautious after the Anderlecht disarray.

    And who was one leaving exposed Chamberlain ?

    I am sorry the manager has past it . Let’s be honest with ourselves.

  37. Posting this again from other thread.

    There were a lot of tackles that got yellows but Williams on Santi was a leg breaker and should have had red. Dowd was poor but so was the Boss.

    On MOTD no mention of the tackle. There were two one with studs to Santi’s shin and one a kick to try and break the leg. Dowd only books the second tackle. The first was just as bad. So he’s not that type of player! I don’t care. The evil bastard should have been off. The FA should look at the tackles and act.

  38. “We were struggling a bit on the right side but I have no experienced players on the bench” and as i let 2 experienced Right backs leave in the summer without getting sufficient cover I would like to offer my resignation .

  39. Who’s not playing serious football? You can always demand a better showing from some players, yeah, but titles aren’t won on players playing at 100% of their ability all the time. Hence, ‘management’.As a manager of a title-aspiring team, you have to make sure that the average performance of the team never drops below a certain level. As imprecise a concept as that is, it CERTAINLY means that your absolute worst performance cannot drop to letting a three goal lead slip against Anderlecht and, arguably, a middling performance should hold a one goal lead against Swansea.The boss seems to happily sacrifice this concept of a minimum standard by saying that it’s all part of the learning process to hit a new maximum. One, this learning curve seems to have had no result whatsoever in the past 10 years (the signs were even present in the last two FA Cup games, thankfully we didn’t fall below *that* standard). Second, these apparently lofty principles are happily abandoned at the first sign of a non-top four finish, suggesting that that’s the beginning-and-end of the club’s revenue model and long-term plan and the manager’s bonus.The real question, therefore, is whether you’re okay with a team finishing exactly fourth, year after year, until you’re dead.

  40. Wouldn’t worry about the critics Pete. Some come from a site run mainly by a thirty something digital marketing guy called Pedro, who feeds them all this ageist crap we have seen a few times on here this evening. The problem is, he is amarketing guy, not Brian clough or bob paisley….but some live by his word. He is of course entitled to his opinion…..but…..he should be followed blindly in context by his acolytes. Another problem, his site have spoken out with great passion and vigour in the past for Coyle and Moyes to replace wenger, and they have spent the last five years saying wenger would never win another trophy. They get the odd thing wrong it must be said.
    Not to say of course that all is rosy at the moment Have always agreed with you Pete on injuries. Now, we have some real key injuries. I also think we have screwed up royally on strength in defence, yes one freak injury, another predicted injury, not sufficient replacements. This must be rectified in jan, I for one think it will. If fact, I would go as far as suggesting the club need increased emphasis on defence in general to help stop these slumps of confidence. We need to cope if missing Kos, per, Debuchy Arteta. But that does not mean we need a new manager, and I really do not see what his age has to do with anything.
    Got to feel for the WOB, they detest the guy with every fibre of what may be quite a miserable existence for some, but there is nothing they can do to force wenger, kronke or Ivan’s exit. Powerless, impotent they are. Guess they can just lie back and think of Jose until wenger departs, seems that’s what some of them do most of the time anyway.

  41. For the umpteenth time, site. Deal with it. If u need a different opinion try visiting when wenger’s tenure is over.for me? I normally visit dis site n .com when we lose to get the positive spin on things.dosent make me feel beta tho’ but whats my alternative?

  42. nothing seems much changed from Mid week game. No amount of this blog supporting Wenger will hold good. As any business corporation which i think Arsenal is under Kreonke, if the results are consistently bad with mistakes for all there to see, Heads should roll. This is the same at all levels much so at the top level. No excuse, we have heard it all along. This is getting to a point where if we are not careful
    1. Alexis, Ozil and few others will leave. its not there fault that the manager at a top club fails to shore up his defence and plays make shift defence all the time.
    2. No defender will probably join us as they feel that they will regress under Wenger

    Heads needs to roll, more questions needs to be asked by the ultimate custodians the Fans who pay the costliest tickets at Emirates

  43. Well, isn’t it nice how people that sit quiet most of the time burst out in flames when a result was not up to their expectations.

    Yes, we lost a(nother) match. Not the first, most likely won’t be the last. Yet for them it’s the end of the world. According to them, radical measures briskly taken (i’m talking of course about replacing Arsene, Ivan, Stan, Szczesny to Sanogo, the players on loan, the training staff, and the maid’s dog) will instantly bring absolute success and glory, and no one will stand in our way towards total domination in England, Europe, and what the hell, the Intercontinental Cup.

    What a load of bollocks.

    We were evenly matched with Swansea for the first half, bettered them in the second half until we scored, and then yes, we switched off, and we conceded 2 goals in 3 minutes. It’s tough to take, but that’s how life is sometimes. You get a kick in the balls and realize something’s deeply wrong, and rise back to correct it. I one trust Arsene and the players will have an honest look at themselves, realize they have to do something, find that something (whatever it is among the myriad of actions a football team can potentially take) and do it. We’ve been here before, and we came good in the end. Ok, PL might not be achievable by these standards (although nothing’s completely lost yet), but Top 4 is well within our grasp.

    PS I had, and still have, a torrid time at the job, that sometimes forced me to work week-ends, and doesn’t leave me much time to follow and comment during the day, so, I can’t promise I’ll be back here regularly for another few months, but you’ll hear my scream from Seattle whenever the amount of sewer goes above the acceptable limit, if there was such a thing ever.

  44. Florian, surely you can see that starting the season with only two experienced centre backs was a HUGE mistake and that can only lay at the feet of one person?

  45. Will, if you had bothered to read Untold for a few months back you would know that football transfers are not simple business, not only because the market fragmentation and lack of transparency from the parties involved, but because so many parties need to be in agreement just to get things moving. Not to mention some entities that demonstrate complete duplicity as far as the contractual situation is concerned. But I guess you know better that Arsene is so much above these things that with one phone call he can order the transfer of the past, present and future Messi from FC Anywhere to Arsenal, without the players’ agents, third party investors, present clubs and Arsenal’s chairman and financial officer dare to make a sound about it.

  46. Well yes, they are not a simple business but it is your job to make sure you are competitive. Has Wenger done that with our defence?

    I am one of the guys major fans and back him to the hilt but no one is above reproach and he has made a huge mistake here.

    We started the season with a good left back and a decent back up. A good right back and two prospects and TWO centre backs.

    That is not good enough in anyone’s book.

  47. Hm, “I am one of the guys major fans and back him to the hilt”: Really? So, in your well meant opinion, pointing to these flaws and screaming that they are such failures is a proof of support? How many times in your life have you considered being slagged by your friends a proof of encouragement?

    “a good left back and a decent back up. A good right back and two prospects and TWO centre backs. ” – great, we have a Gibbs admirer! Woohoo! You probably forgot that Chambers has PL experience, so he’s hardly a prospect (but then again, we’re talking about heavenly standards, where you have to be beyond the mere mortal to be good enough). Also, our centre backs are established internationals, with a wealth of selections under their belt. And, you might have noticed that many of our players are polivalent, meaning they can play at full back (Ramsey, Flamini), or at centre back (Chambers, Monreal). In fact, what you tacitly acknowledge is that our defenders have been targeted for injuries and yellow cards, leaving us exposed. Um, if I remember correctly, there is one team in PL that had one (1) defender available, and even that one got injured a few matches ago. No need to mention names, but they won the PL 2 seasons ago, and have a certain Dutch Skunk in their ranks. So, it can be worse. I’d say, chill out, there are 27 matches still to play, many things can turn around.

  48. Well, actually we have 3 centre backs (also Chambers) plus Hayden, who I believe is also injured (although could be wrong).

    Mandy – thanks. Also, repeating an earlier comment, Gazidis has been voted the best CEO in the PL by his peers! Doesn’t really equate with the “baby and bathwater” merchants…

    Also, some disrespect to Swansea here. They were just behind us in the League (now ahead) – not a bad team and playing at their place too.

  49. Wait until the January Window closes before writing off our manager.
    And remember the players we need may not be available OR are prepared to join our Club.
    A lot of the present criticism is based on hindsight and we are all good at that.
    Mistakes have been made and lessons learnt….as happens every season. And every season we recover. Have faith and all will come right…

  50. Thanks Walter for the calming article as usual. It is in human nature to go mental with negativity and blame apportioning at times like this but it is football. It happens. A lot. And to all.

    Looking at the entire league right now, it is only Chelsea, Southampton and West Ham that are really having a good season. Newcastle fans were calling for the head of Pardew only a few weeks ago and now he has won 4 back to back and is prime for manager of the month soon.

    That is football, it happens so let’s all just chill the f*ck out.

  51. “…. if Mourinho was our manager, we would be certain to win trophies..”

    I thank God that he isn’t. I don’t want to win trophies by assorted and inventive methods of cheating, destroying any remaining notion of ethics in sport, using rotational fouling, bus parking, insulting opponents, intimidating ball-boys, professional diving, poking other teams’ coaches in the eye….etc etc

  52. From now on I believe in God.
    I decided to go to temple for the first time.
    I sat down and the priest came up to me, laid his hands on my hand and said “by the will of God the Almighty and all the Prophets you will walk today.”
    I told him I was not paralyzed.
    He came back and laid his hands on me and repeated the same thing.
    Again I told him there is nothing wrong with me..
    After the prayers I stepped outside and lo and behold my bike had been stolen.

  53. Your right Boo, we live in a world of sensationalism and until something shifts in society its an on going polemical scrap.Yawn.

    “…. if Mourinho was our manager, we would be certain to win trophies..”
    a statement of pure speculation, nobody can tell what that situation would be like if he came.
    Theres so many polemics that affect humans each day that a recipe for “success” is not possible, as the flux of life knows.Aha!

  54. Yesterday’s result made me think. I couldn’t bring myself to post immediately after the match, or even a few hours afterwards. The reason was that it brought some thoughts to my mind, which took time to become clear.

    I remember Don’s post from a few days ago (“Positive Thinking”), and my response to it (which was, essentially, that in many instances positive thinking is being satsified with what one has, which in turn leads to mediocre results; and vice versa: negative feelings of discontent can lead great achievements). But it’s easier to sum it up with the idiom that there are no happy perfectionists.

    Anyhow, going back to yesterday. It wasn’t a terrible result, nor was it a terrible game from Arsenal. We played worse, and suffered worse defeats. Swansea is a good team, playing at home, etc.

    As any of the regulars here would remember, I don’t usually care about resuls. If the lads give their hearts out, try their best, and bleed on the pitch, I’m content. And conversly, when they don’t put out their best, I’m upset. In most cases, when we give our best, the results are positive (and when those two – giving out all we have, and getting a good result – do not coincide, it is usually down to some outrageous referee decisions against us).

    So why was I, and still am, feeling so low? Why can’t I even bring myself to tell my 6 year old son, who missed the match, how it ended?

    And Don’s post comes back here. I support Arsenal for almost 20 years. The short story is Dennis. The long story is just longer… but we all know that there were better times and worse times, but Arsenal was always, always a team that was meant to be on top. A “big” club. There was not a single year that I didn’t believe that we are 100% eligble title contenders.

    And after yesterday’s match, and the one before, and since the beginning of the season which was not brilliant, I kept feeling well the injuries and new players and we need to gel together and the new formation and this and that … but in the end, if we are playing like we play – very good (against Anderlecht) and draw a 3-3 in 30 minutes after leading 3-0; or quite good (against Swansea) and lose 2-1 after leading 1-0 in the 64th minute (that is to say, we didn’t just score in the beginning of the match and lost it after some time; we gained the lead, and almost immediately collapsed) – what does that mean?

    And what does that mean, if we don’t get upset about such a result? That we no longer see ourselves as genuine title contenders?

    I think that our squad, injuries included, is miles better than Swansea; and light years better than Anderlecht. Our squad is also miles better than Tottenham, Leicester City and Hull City. No important player left the club; we have the same manager; and we actually signed an amazing player in Sanchez.

    So what the fuck is going on ?

    In the beginning of the year I thought it was Ozil played out of position; later on I thought Jack is congesting our midfield; now I’m thinking Ramsey is lacking motivation; thing is, it might be all of the above or none of the above; Chambers who started out brilliantly did not all of the sudden become rubbish; however, his performances are declining. Why? Ramsey who was the best player in the PL for the first half of last season, and an amazing inspiration, turned into someone very regular. Why?

    Motivation? Decision making? A plan?

    I don’t know. But I really, really want us to do better.

  55. If Jose were our manager, he might just win trophies, but it would cost a fortune, and he would leave a divided unstable club after a couple of years. Jose is a deeply driven, but ultimately very insecure man, he creates an atmosphere of negativity against others on all levels to drive performance, this only works for so long. Sadly, the refs and media here let him away with things, but that won’t last forever.
    Yes, if he came in in Jan with his methods, in the short term, he may , just may achieve more than wenger and his methods, he would certainly improve the defence and we may not suffer so much with refs. But such people come at a cost, he is not for a self financed club that seeks stability and harmony. So with Jose, no point in going there, not for this club and thankfully, never ever will be. If you want the likes of Jose, go elsewhere, this is not the club for you.

  56. I blame the referee if he had stopped the game after 72 minutes we would have won the game.

    @ Mandy Dodd

    Were not a divided club at the moment?

  57. Tommiegun, we all want us to do better. Wenger has to sort out defensive issues, and I am not referring to individuals here. He had Kos and per who play well and have developed a good understanding, but take one of them out of the equation, we have serious problems, team confidence is undermined , we concede at virtually every chance and can lose to anybody. This is not acceptable for a club of our standing and resources. I am a wenger fan, but I can only conclude that defense has been neglected at the club compared to attack. Not sure this is really the way to go. We need players back, I believe we need to recruit, but to be honest, it looks like we need specialist defence coaching and training. Wenger reportedly does not like such things , have no idea if this is true of not, and not going to rake up the old wenger bould stuff,but we need a foundation for success and we are not going to get it defending as a team like we have done this week,even if it is only for 10 or 15 mins at the end.
    Would also have liked to see Poldi when we went behind…..but that’s only me!
    If recruitment is needed, nothing can be done now, but specialist coaching may just help….assuming they don’t get it already of course. We will not win the league this year that will go to a petrodollar team that have had a billion ploughed into it over the years and we recovered from the stadium, but if we build properly, we just may next year or the year after.
    The team have to get through in Europe, stay in touch in the league, and if at all possible, act in Jan.we are currently at the mercy of the injury gods, and for arsenal, that will never be a good place to be.

  58. A few weeks ago Alan Pardew should have been sacked (according to the Newcastle fans). This week and based on his last 5 results (5 wins in 5) let’s just hire the man already to replace the bumbling idiot Arsene Wenger. Unlike the shiftless Frenchman, Alan Pardew knows how to win. Or maybe we should get Sam Allardice. His West Ham are 4th in the league!

    As I noted in Walter’s articles countering the claim that the PL is the best league in the word; fortunes in football is cyclical both in short and long terms. And this is why the pundits like Merson always make a fool of themselves with their foam in the mouth doomsday reaction to every blip in teams’ misfortunes.

    It hurts to get the last 2 results we did but the only thing that hurt even more is the reaction of our fans to it. Everybody needs to calm down.

  59. TommieGun,

    You could have saved yourself a lot of typing by just limiting your post to your last sentence.

    NONE of know and but ALL of us really, really want us to do better.

    I have always stayed away from tactical analysis of our performances because I am absolutely clueless. Like you, I would think it is one thing then it will turn it out it is something totally different. What this shows is that football management is very, very difficult and complex. That is why many of the so called pundits ARE pundits: because they failed at football management or never had the know-how to become a manager in the first place. Who can forget Alan Shearer’s ‘miracle’ at Newcastle?

    Yes, I confess to ALWAYS giving Wenger the benefit of the doubt on his decisions but this is borne out of what the great man has achieved in the game in extraordinary difficult circumstances. We have lost games before and we will lose again but my support for Arsenal and faith in Arsene Wenger will never be shaken.

  60. @ Mandy and Boo, thanks.

    Had to type all of that to unload…

    However re the “never be shaken” bit in Boo’s post – I only have 3 nevers: (A) never stop loving my kids (B) never stop snowboarding like a maniac [until I can’t do it physically anymore) (C) never stop supporting AFC.

    For the rest, I remain with never say never.

  61. I am not advocating we sack Wenger and I still say he is the best manager in the league but to start a season with that defence was criminal.

  62. Zoon, a divided fanbase maybe, but we have always had that. From where I sit, I see no divisions in the club at all, just a bunch of guys who have worked to make our finances a lot stronger, and sustainable pretty much forever, unless the game changes or someone does something stupid like selling to the wrong person.
    I think maybe honest mistakes have been made, and for reasons we know nothing of ,but now , we have to finances to put things right at will, with the best players available to us.
    The club has had had a very bad week, a shaky season, but is in a very good place for future success. And even if you hate wenger…..look at what the next guy will inherit because of his sacrifices.

  63. Not a very divided fanbase. Most people are sensible about it. Yes, we are all disappointed after a couple of poor results, but it is not as if it has never happened before!

    Chelsea are off to a flyer but all the other “big” teams have stumbled, some far worse than us. If Chelsea had 6 first team starters injured I suspect their results may fall off too…

  64. About the age thing. I remember all too well how the AAA was moaning about Wenger a few years ago saying the was behaving like a lunatic waving his arms in his area, running around like a fool and that was one of the reasons they wanted him out.
    Now that Wenger does this not so much any more they want him out for not doing it.

    Bottom line: they want him out no matter what he does, win, lose, draw, they are tired of their toy and want a new one

  65. You can say whatever you want, but we lost yesterday not because of personel, but organisation. First, we missed Arteta’s organisation in the middle. Second, Montero was playing the old-type winger, injecting pace, and crossing in. All we needed was young Bellerin who is faster to match his pace, then Chambers would have swept excellently behind him.
    Thirdly; Monk saw that Monreal had put Bony in his pocket, he put Gomis on. Now, any one would have realised that Bony is more technical, but not a proper header of the ball, but Gomis is ( you can check him out). In the Arsenal defence, who is the most vulnerable player to a cross? Ofcourse Monreal, because that’s not his posistion. Why was nothing done about it? That’s what’s annoying me this morning. IF Bellerin can play in Dortmund (and he was one of the few who came out with any credit), then he can play against lowly Swansea, for God’s sake! So, for me, we have the players but are failing to organise them i wonder what will come of us against ManUre!

  66. agree Walter, but with some of the names the AAA have suggested as replacements, we can only be thankful the club are not as knee jerk and herd like as the aaa.
    Things look bad, they may even get worse, some of the decisions, tactical, and in terms of selection and defensive strength do look a bit strange for some outsiders looking in but Wenger and the team will get out of this.
    like many, I wish wenger had bought another defender, but remember the quote from walters conversation with an unidentified club source, that they would no longer buy players who would burden the club just for the sake of adding numbers. Maybe Wenger is waiting to buy a special defender, not a Man City reserve priced at £21 million.
    That said, there is still a bit of a sense that some of this may be a little self inflicted, but lets see what the new year brings, as spinal players hopefully return, perhaps others are bought in. One thing this autumn has made me realise, and I mean no disrespect to those covering them, but how good are Kos, Arteta and Giroud for this team. The latter is invaluable in stopping opponents attacks at source, in addition to his goals and assists. Welbeck is doing well, but Giroud has a couple years in this team on him. Arteta of the calm demeanour, organising the MF, altering the tempo, keeping an eye on Flamini, and what more needs to be said of Kos?
    and some idiots said we would be better off with these players missing…or at least 2 of them..

  67. Both quotes :
    1)-MOURINHO would have won with team etc…
    2)-My opinion on Mr.Wenger Age.

    I wrote them and I haven’t seen anything to change my mind.
    This AAA or AKB things don’t work on me .
    In any game the result is win lose or draw.

    I love Wenger to bits but the man is old and I judge from what I see.
    I like his calmness but this time is frozen. From the last two games only one can see Wenger never hurried to take any action.
    You guys that blindly praise him even when is not doing good you are intentionally misleading yourself. Fair enough to keep quite but to praise him is out of order.

    I don’t like Mourinho the arrogant side of him.But you must a complete idiot if you don’t see the winning attitude that insert into his players mentality.
    Armed with that strong attitude our boys yes they can do it.
    Hope this will clear and respect to the writer for your positivity I am positive too but in different way.

  68. For me, I don’t even think buying is that necessary ( well, may be a CD), but having a dogged work ethic can improve us another 30% and thus move us up the table. I wish Arteta is paired with The Ox. The Ox would bring energy,directness and speed in the middle, Arteta- calmness. If he’s injured, we play Hayden there ( I mean Isaac Hayden. Then Wilshire and Ramsey would take turns on the beach. The modern game is faster, and yesterday we missed speed in the middle. Don’t start with Hayden, how old was Caroll in the Swansea team yesterday?

  69. @ Mandy
    I agree with you on a few post back that Arsenal are playing a different system to last year . It has effected greatly on Aaron Ramsey playing off Giroud also nobody picks him out when he does make the run this is because the set up of the team and where Sanchez and Wellbeck play
    Arsene likes players to take responsibilty on the pitch but sometimes they need a bit of guidance . Chambers needed help yesterday and doubling up would have stemmed some of the Swansea attacks down that side .
    Time will tell and Iam sure this team will become outstanding BUILDING

  70. This first 30% of the season has been disappointing.
    The boss was very unhappy about the short pre-season.
    And we seem to lack cohesion, especially in the back.
    I am also superstitious; KSE must return the money.
    It feels that taking that money brought bad karma.
    It would have been a better idea to use it on a CB.

  71. No real problem with this defeat.

    Yet again the team played well, and deserved something out of the game.

    My only worry was that the players on the pitch could not see that Chambers was finding it difficult to cope and was given no help. This should have been organised by the players; I think the Ox has much to answer for on this as he failed totally in his defensive responsibility.

    Chambers is still too young to constantly perform without mistakes at this level, but his time will come.

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