Arsenal – Chelsea, wake us up at the final whistle

By Walter Broeckx

From the team that brought us our second FA cup final in one year Arsenal made four changes.

Ospina cam in goal and Szczesny dropped to the bench again. At right back Bellerin came back in the team and Debuchy dropped next to Szczeseny. Monreal also took back hos place from Gibbs.

Per Mertesacker recovered from his ankle injury from last weekend and could start. Gabriel not even on the bench so in case of a central defender dropping out it would be Debuchy or Monreal who was the third change that can come to the centre and Gibbs coming in if needed.

Up front Giroud starts in the place of Welbeck. All in all the changes most that one would have expected.

The team that started: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. And on the bench: Szczesny, Debuchy, Gibbs, Wilshere, Walcott, Flamini, Welbeck.

A bit of a tight start from both teams with a few fouls called by the ref. Neither team coming close to the keeper in the opening minutes. A free kick from Cazorla ends up with Courtois and that was the first keeper in action after 5 minutes. Oscar looking for a penalty with a patetic dive. Ivanovic kicking Alexis from behind getting him reprimanded but no card. Alexis then being pulled back bu ref lets it go this time.  Arsenal now the better team and Chelsea in their favourite role defending. A wonderful attack on the left flank is just cut out by Ivanovic. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

A ball from Fabregas over the top to Oscar who lobs Ospina but Bellerin can save a few meters in front of the goal line.  Oscar and Opsina collide and the first needs some treatment. Fabregas then going down in the penalty area but ref Oliver who was two meters away gives a dive and a yellow against Fabregas to the amusement of the Emirates.  Ref Oliver then doesn’t give Arsenal a corner when a attempt from Giroud is blocked . For the moment Cahill and Terry heading away all the crosses aimed at Giroud.  0-0 after half an hour.

Arsenal attack Bellegin puts in a cross and  Cahill handles the shot with his arm but again Oliver refuses to put the ball on the spot. Coquelin then has to chase Hazard and brings him down at the cost of a yellow card. Chelsea with an attack but Ramires shoots too weak and Ospina can easily save. Ramsey then with a nice control and back heel forcing a corner to Arsenal. Arsenal come close but the shot from Alexis goes well wide in the end. Arsenal again have a few shots but the final shot goes straight at Courtois.

At half time the score was 0-0 with both teams keeping each other at a distance. Arsenal had most of the ball and Chelsea waiting for that counter.  You feel as if this will be a goalles draw or a small victory for one team.

One change for Chelsea with Drogba coming on in the place of Oscar.  Monreal the one with the first attempt in the direction of the goal after some 5 minutes but it went well wide. Fabregas colliding in to Ospina right on the edge of the penalty area causing some medical assistance for our keeper. On the hour mark Coquelin headed a ball and his head clashed against the back of the head of Drogba leading to another medical intervention. Still 0-0.

Almost a shooting chance then for Ramseu but a defender was first to the ball. Monreal with a low cross but a defender could block the attempt from Alexis. A low shot from Drogba from far outside the penalty area was easily picked up by Ospina. Özil just not getting enough control or he would have been through.  Willian then hitting Koscielny in the face and only getting a yellow card for it.  From the resulting free kick the ball fell for Mertesacker but he dragged his shot wide.  Typical defenders attempt one could say.

Ivanovic getting a yellow card for kicking Alexis from behind. Drogba getting a corner and not a penalty for a handball. Ref was right it was from very close that Drogba kicked against the arm of Koscielny.  Arsenal then trying and having a shot from Cazorla but it went well wide. 0-0 after 75 minutes.

Welbeck came in the place of Coquelin. Ramsey dropping a bit back in midfield. Arsenal looking a bit more pressing forward. Theo came in the place of Giroud with 7 minutes to go. Ramsey getting a yellow card for stopping Hazard. Fabregas was taken off in the last minute by Mourinho.  In extra time a low cross from Monreal no Arsenal player could really connect properly. Both Özil and Welbeckk missing the big chance.  Cazorla getting in the book also for a foul to stop a Chelsea counter. Monreal also getting a yellow card for stopping a counter.

Chelsea celebrating a draw as if they had won said it all at the final whistle. They had came to kill any football spectacle and they did this with expertise. What a boring experience signed, sealed and delivered by specialist in boring football Jose the eye poker Mourinho.

Arsenal  now sit level with City in second place with one game in hand.  United losing was the best thing of this football day.  Poor chap that paid the £1000 on the black market…..



132 Replies to “Arsenal – Chelsea, wake us up at the final whistle”

  1. Thanks Walter.

    The game wasn’t on TV here, but I don’t think I missed much.

    It’s going to be a tight finish for 2,3,4 and 5,6,7.

    I think it will be St. Totteringham before Chelsea gets declared.

  2. They really suck the joy out of the beautiful game. I thought Jose was sacked first time around for the brand of football he played…..well.
    Everyone knows Chelsea really wanted Pep and Jose wanted Utd, but Chelsea wind up with the silverware, but is it really worth it for watching what we have seen at least in 2015? I do not think I could watch such a team week in week out, yes I know, George Graham, but that was a different time ……and before Wenger.
    Still with the shambolic Utd performance, remember the media when we got a similar result at Everton last spring…… not the worst of days, wonder if that made us a little more tentitave than we might have been? If Utd had won, maybe more emphasis on us going for it today.
    No lack of effort, no demoralising defeat for us, but with hindsight, maybe Welbeck on earlier might have caused them much more problems, but maybe the important issue is that we seem to be putting those horrible demoralising defeats behind us.

  3. As you say Walter, seeing the racist shagger of his best friends and team mates missus so pumped up,after a nil nil draw really sums that team up. Class is forever!

  4. Between both (pairs of) teams playing today (Arsenal and Arsenal Ladies, Chelsea and Chelsea Ladies), we outscored Chelsea 4-1.

    I suspect Oospina and Koscielny (Coquelin too?) may have sore heads for a day or so.

  5. Had to leave the tv as the praise fest started for Chelski’s ‘resolute ‘defensive play ! Puke !
    The same clowns were looking up each others alleys to see the positives from the ManUre defeat !
    Thank god I don’t watch the pre and post shows . And with the volume way ,way down , only could hear the fantastic backing of the crowd .Well done guys – you were awesome.
    Some fine booing for the traitor too !

  6. I might differ in opinion on this match from some regulars here, because in a strange way I enjoyed this match. It does not mean that I am happy with the draw, we did have some chances to win the match and what a result that would have been,

    But the enjoyment came from seeing how well our guys went about their work – against a good team who in addition to their footballing ability are masters of cheating – diving to get penalties, free kicks, or cards for the opponents; feigning injuries, super at pushing, pulling and obstruction – all with an air of innocence, and of course masters of playing the ref.

    Having said all that we looked the better team.

    How Ivanovic avoided first half cards amazed me – does Oliver have a vision problem?

    I agree with the comments about Chelski playing anti-football – but against this background we looked a much classier outfit.

    Overall a good performance from the team – well done guys.

  7. Why did Ivanovich only get a warning lecture after his second yellow card offence?

    Contrast with Coquelin, Ramsey, Cazorla, Monreal who got yellow for first offences.

  8. With a ref prepared to do an honest job we would have had a penalty and the Chavs would have ended up with nine men. That and a nil all final score line pretty much what I expected before kick off. Our unbeaten run continues. COYG

  9. Poor performance by the team today. I though they lacked conviction going forward and made it really easy for Chelsea. In fact I don’t think Chelsea’s defenders broke a sweat. Lots of possession but we really never looked a serious threat and Chelsea were quite unfortunate not to get at least one penalty. Still its a point against the best team in the league and we now have to move on and try and get second or third to qualify automatically for the CL.

    In terms of the boring Chelsea band wagon – its as stupid as it was when it was leveled at Arsenal. It mike make opposing fans feel better but its still BS. Away against a big team in the PL, Mourinho’s tactics were spot on. They came to the Emirates to do a job and they did it and really it was easy for them. If we had done that at Chelsea or Utd or City we’d be talking about how wonderful our defence was. Chelsea are the leagues top goal scorers and overall have also been the most entertaining team this year. Their level is what Wenger should be trying to aspire to as a manager and our players should be as professional footballers.

  10. Reposted:

    Yes Walter, the best result for Arsenal today was at Goodison Park.

    I am not shocked that Chelsea played like this today. Although I dislike the team and their manager, I totally understand why they play like this. If Arsenal were in their shoes, I would expect us to play like that at Stamford Bridge too. They did what they had to do. This was what Brendan Rodgers should have instructed his team to do at Anfield last season when they were mathematically poised to win the title and needed only a draw.

    The only reason why I will join others in complaining about the borefest is because that is how Chelsea have played all season and frankly, it is a shame that they are not just winning the league but basically walking away with it

  11. jayramfootball,

    We are back to slagging off the team and wishing they lose to get Wenger sacked aren’t we?

    A leopard never changes its spots.

  12. Tidbits (and maybe comments):

    > I’ve seen a few people commenting on Mesut Ozil’s performance again so it’s worth pointing out that Ozil had the most touches (107) and created the most chances (four) in this game.

  13. it must really suck to be a chelsea fan….whats a title? when you have to sit through that shite every week….

  14. @bootoomee

    No, just calling it like it is. They were poor today and it was easy for Chelsea. I have not changed my opinion at all that we need a new manager.

  15. @jayram

    “Poor performance by the team today.” – your all too familiar bollocks of a comment. You remind me of a certain member of the aaaa who formerly commented here – although I will admit you are slightly more fluent than he was.

  16. Was Hazard playing today? Probably couldn’t see him because he was in Bellerins pocket all the game.
    Most unusual to see a contrary point of view from jaaayramfootball isn’t it?

  17. @ bjtgooner – April 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm – I guess we all are proud of the way the team played their heart out ,but just disappointed with the result .
    We could have won this. We were all geared to see Moanin’inho and his boring team get their comeuppance.
    The ref was blind ,as well as ……
    Anyway this cartoon made me laugh ,and you’ll probably enjoy it too ! You’d smell a rat !

  18. @bjtgooner

    I am afraid that comment is indeed familiar because we put in so many poor performances. There has been a change this year in that we have won whilst playing poorly on several occasions and that can only be a good sign. However today, I was simply amazed at how easy the game was for Chelsea. The most disappointing element of the game for us was they lack of composure in the final third. Too many times our players took the wrong option or just plain lacked the quality to execute. The Chelsea players must be fresh enough to go and play another 90 minutes right now. I doubt they got out of first gear.

  19. Jayram, they were entertaining at the start of the season, but their manager soon reverted to type.I hope never to see an Arsenal team aspiring to their level, their success, of course, but never the way that have played in the second half of the season

  20. @Mick – I guess if anyone thinks we played well today then yes I certainly have a contrary view to that. I am in full agreement that Chelsea also played well within themselves and very defensively. Hazard was barely seen and it was really only their defence who played well. they came with a clear job in mind as Terry said at the end of the game and they did it quite easily. I dont think it was ever in their mind to attack and get Hazard on the ball a lot.

  21. jayramfootball,

    I wouldn’t know you haven’t changed your mind because you’ve not been posting on Untold wishing Arsenal would lose games so that Wenger can get sacked. The first draw in 10 games and BOOM here you are with your crap!

    Two-faced hypocrites like you don’t get to insult our players after a game like today just because you hate their manager.

  22. @Mandy – i would sway Chelsea’s season for ours in a heartbeat. They are going to be champions. I dont buy this boring nonsense. Personally I find our over passing and possession play more boring than anything Chelsea do. It’s mind numbingly boring. You will notice our fans booed the Chelsea team when they were passing it around the midfield at the end of the game, yet that is exactly what we do all game. The boring Chelsea tag is rubbish – just as it was when Arsenal played under George Graham.

  23. @jayram

    More likely the comment is familiar because your propaganda gramophone is stuck – and repeats…repeats…repeats etc!!

  24. lol bootoomee – how is it an insult to say they played poorly? A little sensitive to say the least. In my opinion we were poor today, no need for the over the top insults and reaction. You can be proud of them all you like – I just dont agree with you. The fact that I dislike Wenger is my personal opinion and choice and I await eagerly the day he is gone.

  25. Jayram, Mourinhos game is so often about nullifying the opposition rather than creating. To be fair, they did create at the start of the season, but their manager just cannot help himself. To destroy is always easier that to create, despite the resources he has at his disposal, he takes the easy option. Yes, it has bought him success, Yet for all his success, Real rapidly tired of him, Utd went for Moyes when Jose did everything he could to put himself their way.
    I will take The eye gouging ones trophies but never his methods. Winning doesn’t always have to be done using the negative

  26. jayramfootball

    Chelsea have a net spend of nearly £600 Million since season 03/04.

    I’ll repeat that because it is simply a mind boggling amount.


    Or £47.6 million per season.

    The last 5 years alone, a net spend of £278 Million.

    Or £55.6 million per season.

    Those sums are NOT the amount spent on players but the overall amount of money LOST.

    And all to do what George Graham did for five bob.

    I think people understand when lesser sides, for want of a better word, park the bus.

    But to spend that amount of money and do it, is shameful.

    I do not give a flying f*** what they win playing that way, I actually think it is embarrassing, that for that amount of money, that’s all he can come up with.

    Just for a bit of perspective since 03/04 Arsenal have a Net spend of £82.7 Million. That’s just under £7 million per season.

    For even more perspective that is LESS than all these have spent:

    City, United and Liverpool, obviously, but also, Villa, Sunderland, spurs, and Stoke City, with QPR, Hull and West Ham spending almost the same.

    So don’t give me this ‘Genius coach’ bullshit.

    He’s an embarrassment and detested everywhere else in the World except by our sycophantic, up his arse media.

  27. Chelsea beat Man United with crap football and Mourhino was called a genius. I wonder what label they’ll be tagging on Martinez for a classy 3-0 win with mid table Everton today. I think this will be clear to anyone who saw both Man United losses and especially how Barcelona dealt with the team that dumped Chelsea out of the CL with only 10 men and at Stamford Bridge.

    I guess only non 2-faced simpletons can see this.

  28. @jayram

    Probably he consensus would be that most fans can’t wait for the day when two faced gits like you hang up your laptop.

  29. @jayram

    Please don’t make up things like,’Chelsea are the leagues top goal scorers and overall have also been the most entertaining team this year’. Man city have 5 more goals than Chelsea, and Chelsea only have 2 more than us. It’s just not true.

  30. Jayram

    People have been laying into our team for years for playing naively, i.e committing too many players forward and being caught by the counter.

    Yet you imagine it is possible to greatly increase the pressure you can put on one of the world’s premier (in every sense, especially in terms of being composed of elite and very expensive players) defend-and-counter teams without dramatically increasing your exposure to counters. That is the height of naivety. Or did you want them to simply use the ball much better with the same numbers? A totally different criticism, and one it would be your job to defend.

    ‘Conviction’ here seems a wishy-washy bullshit term. The only meaningful things I can think that it was intended to mean are : a lack of quality; numbers attacking; or desire to use the ball well when you have it. I think some self-awareness stopped you opting for those terms.

    Quality is pretty obvious- we tried but we produced no magic in and around the box- can we be slammed for that? Numbers? Well, you’d look silly asking for that if you’ve ever complained about naivety or complimented Chelsea for their sound cautious principles. Desire? Well, it’s close to conviction, but doesn’t make for the stuff of a good swipe at the team. They desired it, they gave it plenty, they tried various approaches, including quick bold passes.

    So you went for conviction. Conviction felt like the best term to try attack the team with.

    They did not play poorly at all, they just didn’t play brilliantly.

  31. I guess Thierry Henry is also someone that insults our players and is a two faced git.

    He said it best live on TV very clearly.

    Arsenal need to buy 4 players – goalkeeper , holding midfielder, central defender and striker.
    Giroud is not good enough to carry Arsenal to a title. He was very clear on this point – saying Giroud is doing his job but he is just not top quality.
    Injuries are not bad luck and speculated on the training methods at Arsenal

    Whilst the real world can see that Arsenal are not good enough yet and Wenger needs to act – you guys can go on pretending everything is great and slating anyone who gives you a dose of reality 🙂

  32. @Dave C – fair enough – you are right. City have overtaken Chelsea on goals over the last 3 weeks as Chelsea have gone ultra defensive to win the league having been the most entertaining team in the league till then.

  33. @rich – our play in the final third today was abysmal and the defending pretty good. Overall were poor. That is my opinion based on what I saw. Go back and re-look at the game. What I mean by conviction is the lack of confidence to play the ball early and the lack of quality on crossing and the final ball. On the few occasions where we did stretch Chelsea we slowed the game down and passed it backwards. The quality issue I have put down to real conviction as we know they have the talent. Alexis’s passing today for example was truly awful as was his shooting.

    To say they were not poor is just burying your head in the sand. Only Ramsey showed signs of confidence to make something happen in the first half – he then tailed off on the second.

  34. jayramfootball,

    Get your head of out Henry’s ass.

    Last time I checked, Henry’s a pundit and they are paid to give Captain Hindsight like verdict after games. While I love and respect Thierry, the player who failed to take the chances leading to Arsenal losing the CL trophy in 2006 is not the ultimate authority now is he?

    See what I did there? You could use a single game to rubbish a player’s career and I am not even talking about his hand ball goal against Ireland. I respect Henry but quoting his opinion on a game as a kind of water tight validation of yours is ridiculous and would only work on simpletons who can’t think for themselves.

  35. jayramfootball

    No reference to my post I see.

    And I was so looking forward to you justifying how someone can spend £50 Million a season and still play like a George Graham team.

    Two simple questions that you should be able to answer:

    -How many titles would Mourhino of won on a £5 Million annual Net spend over his tenure? (as opposed to the £40 plus he has spent)

    -How many titles would Wenger of won on £40 million annual net spend over his Tenure? (as opposed to the £7 Million, or actually £3 Million till 2 years ago, he has spent)

    And explain your answers.

  36. So much for our brief charge at the title- it was never meant to be, I guess :).

    Jayram certainly has a point. There is no point complaining about Chelsea’s tactics- they came here to ensure we didn’t get any closer and did that perfectly- or almost perfectly considering the Ozil miss in stoppage time. Barring that chance right at the end- we did not really create much. Chelsea were easily the better side in the first half- they created two great chances. In the second, they reverted to type, lumping long balls forward or out of play at every opportunity.

    One question certainly needs to be asked though. Is this the type of football (the second half type) they spent so much money to play? It looks like a waste of talent to me. I am not for one moment saying that results do not matter. But was the caution that they exercised commensurate with the gap in points between the two sides?

    Whatever the answer, we have to accept that they deserve to win the league. They certainly won a lot of games playing good football in the beginning. And now they are winning by boring us to death. It’s easy for us Arsenal fans to slag them off- after all, any risk that they take can play into our hands. I wonder how their own fans feel about it.

  37. When a team plays without a recognised forward from the start of the game and puts the Spanish Traitor as a defensive midfielder it is pretty obvious what their ambitions for the game are. They fulfilled their gameplay to the letter. We produced a disciplined performance mindful of their threat on a breakaway and so nearly fulfilled ours. I stand by my earlier comment that we should have had a penalty in the first half and both Ivanovic and Willian should both have been sent off for their respective challenges so Mr Oliver probably fulfilled his game plan as well.

    We didn’t lose so let’s not get downhearted. The championship has gone for this year but we were the better team for the most part today and if we continue like this will be real title contenders next season.


  38. Arsene admitted we were lucky at Ospina-Oscar case.

    I have a hypothesis that says we get better treatment from the refs once our title bid is over. FA wants us to represent England in Champions’ League as we deliver a lot of points for English coefficient but they don’t want us as champions. We were massacred by the refs last term until we were out of the title race. Then we got some dodgy decisions in our favour (like that Özil’s goal from offside against Newcastle) and we leapfrogged Everton for the fourth. Same thing happened a year before that (e.g. Walcott’s offside goal against United).

  39. @hrishi

    Have you considered the points we dropped early in the season mainly thanks to a series of appalling ref decisions?

    With those points we would leading the table by a clear margin.

    More recently, our team has had fewer injuries and in consequence has been stronger – and usually has been able to win despite ref errors.

    The two faced Jayram has compromised his reputation and integrity by his previous comments – he has no valid point!

  40. Everyone is praising Chelseas defence for not conceding. Well we didn’t concede either against a supposedly superior attack so a little praise for our back five wouldn’t go amiss.
    How about it jayram, do you agree our defence played well?

  41. hrishi,

    If you take a look at the previous thread, you’ll see that I called this game perfectly hours before kick-off.

    Personally, I don’t begrudge Chelsea for playing the way they did today. While I don’t like it, I understand and I wouldn’t complain if the tables were turned and Arsenal played like that at Stamford Bridge or against any other opposition for that matter. The reason why many here object to jayramfootball’s condemnation of the team, apart from his notoriety for wishing Arsenal lose games to ensure Wenger’s sacking, is that he totally ignores the overriding factors involved in the game. Neither of Arsenal nor Chelsea really needed to win this game other than for bragging rights but Arsenal still gave it a go. The fact that we didn’t score and win does not mean that the team played poorly. A win would have taken Chelsea closer to their more important goal of winning the league but their failure to try to win isn’t being criticised while Arsenal’s unsuccessful attempt is. At least the team tried.

    I don’t know how you look at it but I really can’t see his point.

  42. Jayram,

    Did you watch the game?


    Search inside Bellerin pocket, this guy is gonna be something in the future. Maybe he should be best young player of the season?

  43. Giroud, isn’t he the deadliest striker in the league per minute played? If not has to be close to it. Henry is entitled to his opinion if indeed he said that, but who would he realistically replace Giroud with? Did he mention anyone?
    As for,the performance, agree with the posts of Bootoomee and Rich before the game, would have been nice to win, but that result is not the end of the world, far from it. As someone who backs the team and manager, but became frustrated at our heavy demoralising losses last season, Monaco and Anderlect this season,and at times the naive defending, I will take a nil nil against the champions elect ,world class spoilers, and specialists in negativity if it is a step on the road of us leaving the silly defeats and kamikaze defending behind. We are massively improving defensively, with players like the steady reliable and magnificent Monreal and Coq being picked, that sends a very clear message to those who would replace them.
    We are not there yet over the season, but we are getting close on a journey that will balance us between defensive solidity and attacking fluidity.
    Before this game started, we were never going to win the league, but a demoralising loss today could have affected confidence and morale, and hampered our quest for second place. That lofty position, which would bring tangible signs of progress, and hopefully, the same respect Liverpoll got last year…..ok maybe ambitious on the last point…..remains firmly within our grasp with this result.
    As posted earlier, the unbeaten run continues , I hope all can see the importance of that.

  44. Pity Henry, on Sky TV, referred to the number of Arsenal hamstring injuries this season.

    I think he ought to get his facts right next time.

    In my reckoning, of the 9 injuries before Christmas only 1 was a hamstring,(Ramsey) the other 8 were contact injuries (caused by being kicked by the opposition)

    Pity he did not go down that route as it might have opened the question………….why do Arsenal get so many contact injuries?

  45. Saint,
    as you make a difference between English people and foreigners….
    as you make differnce between people who live nearby and can come and those unlucky to live in far away places….

    this is enough to not publish your comments as this goes against everything Untold stands for.

  46. Interesting, I hear Mr Wenger made no mention of Cesc in today’s programme notes. Is that true? Maybe sometimes, silence speaks so much louder than words.

  47. The game was very tight between the two best sides in the country. Chelsea will win the League because they have had a small fraction of the injuries Arsenal have had. I won’t comment about relative refereeing because that is opinion (however overwhelming) whereas injuries are facts. It was notable, from the match programme today, how thin Chelsea’s squad is (a surprise to me). If they had had an Arsenal-level of injuries they would have been mid-table!

    Chelsea are renowned for their ability to set up so as to not concede. It is critical to score first against them. Pretty dull, but effective unfortunately.

    No criticism of Arsenal who tried hard and matched Chelsea but it didn’t quite work in the final third. A draw is no disgrace although the title dream has finally died today.

    Roll on next season! If we start fresh and fit I am very confident indeed.

  48. Jayram – I really find it hard to believe that anyone with a modicum of intelligence and football knowledge would want to see Wenger replaced? Really, really hard!

  49. Its not that Chelsea won today by this tactics, its that they won the leagye by those tactics, Arsenal or Westham, defend and wait a LUCKY break.

    Had Arsenal started better, or city been more better, chelsea would have not dream of it

  50. Mandy Dodd,

    I am developing neck pain from nodding in agreement with you so much. Your 9.07pm post is excellent as it succinctly summarises what today’s game and result is all about.

    As for Henry, I was never one of those Gooners celebrating when Sky decided to pay him millions of £s to tell us what we have just seen with our own eyes. Henry is no different from the other football pundits. The standard operating principle is to glorify the winning team – no matter how horrible they might have played and to ridicule the losing team, no matter how valiant their effort. Their other schtick is to overpraise a player in form (e.g. “Coquelin is Colombo”) and ridicule a player going through purple patch, e.g. Giroud today.

    It is bad enough that TV companies think so little of their audiences that they think that they need to pay millions for some ex-footballers to interpret the things they’ve just seen with their own eyes but what is more pathetic is that some in the audience indeed take the pundits’ words as Gospel, propagating such to those they come in contact with.

    Thierry Henry’s opinion on an Arsenal games is no more valid than those of Ian Wright, Robert Pires or Ben, my local grocer. I’ve got my own eyes and brain, I am not relying on those of others.

  51. The reason we got to the champions league final was in a major part due to Thierry Henry.. what do some people somke?

  52. Cracking post at 9:07. Today has been one of the most useful days I’ve ever had in improving my understanding of the various ways people support, or ‘support’, the club.

    A defeat, and my disappointment might have prevented me from absorbing many of the lessons on offer. A draw, ( a good one in my opinion) and I was able to take it all in.

    It’s common sense that occasionally you can play well and lose, or play badly and win, or play pretty well and draw, plus all the other combinations, and therefore it’s common sense that analysis should involve a big effort to understand the whole match as it was played, and the wider context (recent weeks, recent seasons; financial histories and realities, as well as trophy histories) of it.

    But no, the critics see the result only, and then, knowing an adult invites ridicule, or the possibly worse fate of being ignored, if they say no more than, ‘booooo. I wanted the win. We didn’t win. I’m pissed off (I have been denied the opportunity to feel good that victory would have given me!). BOOOO.’, they convert their disappointment with the result into disappointment with the team, and produce an analysis that justifies their displeasure, allowing them the role of a reasonable, reasoning person who is rightfully annoyed at the substandard performance of others.

    I wonder if you could find many occasions over the course of many years when the harsher critics have ever felt a draw was ok, or a defeat unlucky. Or do such things only exist when you have recently claimed a trophy, thereby proving your worth and earning some sort of credit (ah, do what you want pals…that title felt so f***ing good!)?

    If so, that would only confirm the match analysis is no such thing, but is only based on results and the feelings they supply.

  53. I haven’t read all the comments because Jayramfootball pissed me off. I was at the game & PGMO was at work as usual – the penalty calls were absolute bollocks. The referee Oliver was an appalling cheat. He allowed Alexis to get kicked freely. He should have red carded Ivanovic for deliberately kicking Alexis & Willian for kicking Giroud with a high boot. The Cahill handball was also a red card offence because it stopped a goal bound shot with a hand (making himself bigger bollocks). Oliver was the cheating cnut that one expects from cheat Rileys PGMO.

    Jayram your opinion is typical of the arseholes in the media. Chelsea fouled Giroud regularly with hands to his neck. They got away with so many fouls its not funny.

    The Oscar clash with Ospina was because Oscar lobbed Ospina in the air & had no control of his body & headbutted Ospina in the process.

    Arsenal were not ruthless enough against a physical team that can pass a ball (learned fro Cole) & allowed too much time.

    Despite all the cheating by PGMO & the Jose trained West London diving team, Arsenal played well but missed out on good chances.

  54. Cesc dive was so bad, even Alan Shearer said it was minimal contact and no way a pen. It was embarrassing, it really was, he is not a Chelsea cheat through and through.
    The man was once great for us, but in his desire to leave, for whatever reason, he became toxic,and worse, put out PR suggesting he was otherwise. The truth will not come out from Wenger as he has too much class. Those who booed him were wrong,those who applauded were also wrong. Though I can understand both reactions. Surely He should just have been ignored?
    Now the game has passed, I hope I never again read stuff blaming wenger for not bringing Cesc back, have a very strong feeling Wenger is guilty only of not telling the damning truth of the whole issue.

  55. Mandy Dodd,

    I am developing neck pain from nodding in agreement with you so much. Your 9.07pm post is excellent as it succinctly summarises what today’s game and result is all about.

    As for Henry, I was never one of those Gooners celebrating when Sky decided to pay him millions of £s to tell us what we have just seen with our own eyes. Henry is no different from the other football pundits. The standard operating principle is to glorify the winning team – no matter how horrible they might have played and to ridicule the losing team, no matter how valiant their effort. Their other schtick is to overpraise a player in form (e.g. “Coquelin is Colombo”) and ridicule a player going through purple patch, e.g. Giroud today.

    It is bad enough that TV companies think so little of their audiences that they think that they need to pay millions for some ex-footballers to interpret the things they’ve just seen with their own eyes but what is more pathetic is that some in the audience indeed take the pundits’ words as Gospel, propagating such to those they come in contact with.

    Thierry Henry’s opinion on an Arsenal games is no more valid than those of Ian Wright, Robert Pires or Ben, my local grocer. I’ve got my own eyes and brain, I am not relying on those of others..

  56. Mandy – I think it was a combination of greed & Agent that made Wenger decide against taking Cesc back.

  57. Can Jose perform any function without it being described as a tactical masterclass by the uk media? That was not a tactical masterclass, it was spoiling tactics and our forwards not at their very best.

  58. One report I ran across suggested that to take back Cesc would be a detriment to Ramsey. This makes sense. Cesc was Arsenal, became successful and left (still successful). Wenger has started many projects since then. I cannot see Wenger bringing back Cesc if that would interfere with another project with a big upside. And Cesc is successful. He will do well wherever he goes.

  59. I didn’t like joseys boring comment. Giroud had been banging away at the Chelsea defence all game. Alexis is pretty fast. Welbeck had been brought on, who is fast. To trade Giroud for Walcott is not about making the game boring. You now have 2.5 or 3 fast people up front, and the Chelsea defenders had been chasing all game. The idea has merit. We didn’t score, so it didn’t work (this time). Who knows about next time.

  60. Menace

    Great post 🙂

    Remember that guy who told you to go get help imiedietly ?
    This is way better and far more entertaining.
    The only thing you forgot to add was the red card for Oscar for head butting Ospina, other than that I think you got it all.
    I hope Walter is paying attention and uses your expert “seen it live ” analysis in his ref review report.

    Can’t wait.

  61. Apparently, Leah Williamson has won the women’s young PFA of the year. Congratulations Leah! (sorry it is capitalised wrong, typing is a chore at the moment.)

  62. Tom you’re missing your blues brothers in the Paris metro. If you’re waiting please hold your breath……..

  63. Martin Lipton on Sunday Supplement: –

    “Moss has made a lot of mistakes, currently leading the Howler’s League”.

    Lipton also writes for the Sun – so it must be true! 🙂

    The interesting point is that it has been admitted that a PGMO ref makes a lot of mistakes.

  64. Chelsea reminds me of the Italian team…only liked by their own fans…and only remembered by them. Everybody remembers Netherlands in 1974 despite their loss because they played for the ages. Ashley Cole will be remembered because he played for the Invincibles not for what he did for Chelsea (or God forbid England).

  65. Is is me or do you guys think that some of the sad posters on here are pissed off always because they aren’t ‘getting any ‘ ? Being an arsehole and also a cunt at the same time really takes some doing !
    Well fuck me silly , apparently there is hope for all those losers who are not able to inter-react with real people . A pipe dream you say ? No ! There really is a solution to prevent the overusing your hand ,and you can kiss arse all you want in the privacy of your home .

    The Medical Division of UA , presents the following aid to all those …’thems’ who really need it !

  66. One day , it’ll all even out ! Goading gets its due reward !

    A married couple at a Zoo walks past a gorilla enclosure.

    Says the woman: ‘Mark, Do you know that gorillas are the only animals which resemble men in their behavior?

    Look, seeing that no one is looking, I’ll expose one of my breasts to it and see how horny it gets just as men do.’

    Mary then exposes one of her breasts, and, sure enough the gorilla gets excited and grabs the bars of the enclosure as if it wanted to break free.

    ‘See,’ says the woman, ‘Now, I know why you react the way you do; men can’t control their animal instincts just like gorillas can’t.’

    Says Mark: ‘Now expose both breasts and let us see what happens.’

    The woman exposes both breasts to the gorilla and it gets very excited and is now desperately trying to escape from the enclosure.

    Says Mark: ‘This is incredible, now, pull your skirt up, turn around and expose your bum and let us see what happens!’

    The woman pulls her skirt up, turns around with her bum to the gorilla, which by now ,was extremely aroused, breaks free from the enclosure, grabs the woman and starts yanking the clothes off her.

    The woman yells: ‘Mark , what do I do now? Please, help me!’

    Mark replies: ‘Now, tell him you have a headache and you’re not in mood … Let us see if Gorillas and Men are the same.

  67. @Mandy
    Shearer felt that Cesc dived?- Whatever the case, I don’t think his opinion has usually counted for much among many people here. In my opinion, that was a clear penalty. Cazorla stuck his leg out, Cesc made contact and fell. I don’t think anyone would have seen things differently had it been an Arsenal player.

    Oliver was quite average yesterday. But was he biased? I don’t think so. Arsenal could have been without Ospina and conceded two penalties. We should have got one as well. Moving to the cards that were not given, I certainly think Ivanovic got away easily. That man is a cynical thug, no doubt. He should have been carded in the first half but had that been done, I doubt he would attempted the tackle that he actually he got carded for. It was not that they were in any immediate threat of conceding had the fouls not happened. Hence we can’t really say that Ivanovic should have been sent off because if that reasoning is applied, one could argue that Coquelin could have been sent off as well.

    My biggest problem with Oliver was the time that he added on. 4 minutes! Seriously? Apart from the substitutions and the Coquelin injury, Chelsea players wasted time at every opportunity they got. This was the same guy who added on 8 minutes at Anfield.

  68. @Hrishi

    i think cesc was carded for simulation, he made too much of the situation imo. the only two penalties i felt was legit was oscar/opsina clash & the ivanoic handball when cazorla took the shot… then again, perhaps the refs here will have a better idea which is legit and which is not~ waiting to see the referee review for this match… pretty sure the bias is against arsenal~

  69. I am not going to comment on whether Cesc should have got a penalty or a card BUT the ref made his decision with utmost conviction. He was looking straight at Santi and Cesc during the incident.

    Santi stretched out his leg and he must have thought “shit, what am I doing” and pulled out. Oliver, having seen Santi’s effort must have been disappointed with Cesc’s cheating hence the card.

  70. This test is sorely for ‘them ‘ , to find out who they truly are( if they are in any doubt!) .
    AKBs don’t have to take it .Really , you don’t have to ! Trust me !

    Pick a number between 1 to 9.
    Now multiply it with 3 .
    Now again multiply it with 3 .
    You will get 2 digits , now add them .
    This number will tell you what you really are .

    1. Kind
    2. Honest
    3. Faithful
    4. Caring
    5. Passionate
    6. Romantic
    7. Gentle
    8. Reliable
    9. Arsehole

    You’d be amazed at what this test says about you. Or not !
    We AKBs already know what you are !

  71. @blackfoox,
    I respect your opinion. Just didn’t feel the same when I watched it.

    Things might have been different had our injuries been fewer. We can curse our luck there. It’s hard to say the same about referees’ decisions though. Leaving aside the fact that I don’t agree with the reviews entirely, it’s very easy to blame the referees for all our misfortune. And most teams try to do that. Chelsea complained about a conspiracy a few weeks back and City certainly have grounds for complaint looking at their last few games.
    Honestly, if you ask me, I feel we could have had a slightly higher points tally had the decisions been right, but looking at the gap between us and Chelsea- it will be a stretch to say that we would be leading.

    @Bootoomee 8:44
    I concurred with Jayram only on the futility of complaining about Chelsea’s tactics. Even you agreed that you wouldn’t mind us playing like that away at Stamford Bridge. Also, it would be hard to argue that Chelsea did not play well in the first half. I don’t think we played poorly- Liverpool away was the last time that happened. But we were not brilliant either though we gave it our all. Ramsey was excellent, especially in the first half but not everyone else was on his wavelength yesterday. That Wenger and Mourinho

  72. Did not finish the last post.. That Wenger and Mourinho chose to play differently just shows the clash of philosophies between the two. Let us leave it at that.

  73. Hrishi,

    Now compare your own nuanced account of the game with jayramfootball’s and you will no doubt see why he got so much push back. He is also well known for wishing heavy defeats on the team with the hope that it will get Wenger sacked.

    Be careful who you pitch your tent with.

  74. @ Bootoomee – April 27, 2015 at 7:51 am – True , was baiting , the mentally deficient ,who often infest this site !
    One has to get his kicks in different ways !

  75. “Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.”
    — Ralph Marston

  76. Justice may not be blind ,but sometimes ….

    The cross eyed judge looked at the three defendants in the dock and said to the first one, “So how do you plead?”
    “Not guilty” said the second defendant.
    “I wasn’t talking to you” the judge replied.
    “I never said a word” the third defendant replied.

  77. As I woke up this morning it struck me how hollow Chelsea’s title and silverware wins have been thanks to Ambramovich.Hes like the hunter who gets some people to capture a tiger, who then put it in a cage and then the hunter shoots it and tells everyone that hes bagged a tiger. Or Manure crowing about game 50. Utterly pathetic.
    Wenger might have a worse record head to head with Mourinho but at least the blokes got a bit of integrity. Yet Mourhino says Arsenal are the boring team, yet really his on-going slithering and sneaky comments belie a person of great lack, of great fear.Yet somehow this kind of character is only seen as being a shit in polemically dumb films like Harry Potter, yet in day to day life its upheld as being De rigeur— like Boo says, you don’t need anyone to tell you whats happening when you’ve got eyes in your head.
    Lets see how he would get on with a really small budget, and what kind of team would he make? I get the feeling he would be the specialist in failure. That guy bitches like some twat in the art world or some sadistic weirdo who wants to dig you out. Certainly Mourinhos is really frightened of Wenger more than any other manager.Its all their to be seen, of course the hacks love it, its gives them some hyperbolic copy rather than having to write fiction, which they save for the summer.
    Our brethren at LG may think Mourinhos fantastic and a winner, but who would want to be Ambramovich, Mourinho or Mike Riley when they get to the end of their life and look back?
    Yes, its about winning, but bullying (etc) your way shows that your not really able to compete on an even level.Interesting how SAf is starting to look in his post managerial days.What would the Premier league look like if all the teams had the same budget? In a way its boring to see how money operates at Chelsea, in the same way Piers and Clarkson get so much exposure.Boring. Good on Ramsey.We need more integrity in the EPL it might bring back some really great matches and we all want to see that.
    Anyway, love from cloud 9.

  78. Before a burglary trial, the judge explained to the defendant, “You can let me try your case, or you can choose to have a jury of your peers.”
    The man thought for a moment. “What are peers?” he asked.
    “They re people just like you your equals.”
    “Forget it,” retorted the defendant. “I don’t want to be tried by a bunch of thieves.”

  79. @jambug – sorry I missed your post

    In terms of the spend figures..

    I don’t know what Mourinho would have won with less money and I don’t know what Wenger would have won if we had spent more money. No one can possibly know that.
    I cant stand Mourinho but I am not buying into the sheep mentality of ‘boring Chelsea’. Over the course of the season they have probably played the best football and it is only in the last 5-6 games where they have gone ultra defensive in order to lock down the title. That’s just smart, not boring.

    In terms of the Henry comments I also dont agree with all of them, but the point was that it is not the work of the devil to criticise Arsenal players. If they play poorly they deserve criticism – playing poorly on a regular basis and they deserve to be dropped and sold on. As I have said before I dont really care who plays for Arsenal as long as they play well. If they dont I want to see them dropped and once they are out of the side I forget them completely. Even Henry I dont really like that much…just view him as an ex player who left the club for money. They are just footballers, not gods above the criticism of fans. I think the last player I have fond memories of is Bergkamp. After that generation of players, the league just went mad with money and the players became people to dislike rather than admire. So, if they dont pull their weight then they deserve to be berated for it. Its a business now and in business poorly performing employees are sacked.

  80. Jayram, do you have a job, or something you can put your name to? You do not know what Wenger would have done with Mourinho’s resources, but you do have a clue what Wenger did without those resources. If you support Arsenal Football club, all you need do is stand behind your team, and quit the cynicism and treasonous sniping. You are no voice of reason, and I think people like you should be fired to outer space.

  81. Chelsea came for a a draw and got that. It’s our job to break them down and we still can’t manage it. The gulf between us and Chelsea has narrowed but it’s still too wide. As for all this nonsense about boring Chelsea I recall an Arsenal side who played similarly under George Graham and I don’t recall our fans moaning when that style of football won us the league.

    In fact in recent seasons we’ve been quite boring ourselves with endless sideways passing that bore no fruit. Fortunately with the arrival of Ozil and Sanchez those days appear to be over.

    As much as I detest Mourinho I do like his retorts now and then…” It’s boring not to have won the league for ten years”, he says and who can argue. Of course we haven’t had the resources Chelsea have but I do find it disappointing that in numerous attempts Wenger still can’t get the better of Mourinho on the field.

    Anyway we can still improve on last season and finish second or third and if we can replicate our form since the new year throughout next season we might win the league.

  82. @jayram

    while its alright to criticize the players if they perform poorly over a substantial period of time. On many occasions, criticism come after just one game, and some of the criticism is overboard and blind… and there is always constructive criticism and destructive criticism. The media love destructive criticism, so do the AAA. Just look at ytd game, there were postive and negative aspects in the game, but to come to the conclusion that the game was POOR? i think you need to re-watch the match itself. It is definitely not a brilliant performance, a decent one at best.

    To generalise that players ONLY play for money just gonna shoot down your credibility, and that the relationship being strictly employer and employee? perhaps you need to know more about arsenal as a club and arsene as a manager.

  83. The opening paragraph of the Lizards post is close to my opinions on yesterday. Despite having better players we still fell into the trap of going to where Chelsea are best when they defend. They compress the pitch and force players to go inside to the middle. Alexis and Ramsey need no invitation for this and we falter on a brick wall built around Terry . And so it has been for a long time and until we instruct players with pace to get chalk on their boots and stretch them it will continue. Big muscular defenders of which they have many like to see the play in front of them . Lobbing balls to Giroud was a fruitless enterprise he was jumping against two players one pushing and pulling the other dropping off and sweeping. We need to get behind them regularly as we did near the end when a couple of half chances appeared for Ozil and Wellbeck . Run with pace at Ivanovic and Azpilicueta make them foul you , do it spectacularly , every ref loves 3 rolls and a pike .We need to something differently it may or may not work but three points in the last four seasons is the marker we have to improve on.

  84. JayRam,

    Plz change your name. I don’t want any Untold guest to mistaken me as your relation.

  85. the only criticism, I have was that we were too slow in our passing which allowed the bus company to get into parking spaces easily. I can also understand that we were a bit cautions, that we have possession but not loose the game, like Manure. I would have preferred to have Theo and Welbeck a lot earlier. but I will take the draw anytime over a defeat. I think we had an excellent game. once they got Drogba, you could see that all their game play was to lob it up and hope for the best. so much for spending shit loads of money on creative players and playing like a champion-ship team. I bet the owner is well pleased.

    What’s the point in having an academy and not be able to pull players from there when need be. it must really suck to be a Bus companys academy player. no scope to play in the 1st team.

    @ Jayram: Your point of “we booed when Chelsea players were booed while passing and we play the same type”. I really, really hope you watch the arsenal games with your eyes open. We play the passing game and that has a purpose, to find the opening or make the opponents defence move. we also do that the opponents don’t come out to play, or if we are leading. I haven’t seen such negative football from us. we never play in hope of nullifying the opponents.

  86. A priest rears chicken one day one of the cocks goes missing. At the gathering, the priest asked, Who has a cock? All the men get up. “No No,no! Who has seen a cock that isn’t theirs, said the priest. Half the women got. “Oh,for goodness sake, who has seen my cock? Said the priest, only one young lady stood up.

  87. I thought we played pretty well and should have scored when Ozil had an air shot and Welbeck muffed it too. Would the press have viewed the game differently? (It would’ve been all about the penalties I expect).

    I’m going to avoid reading the press after a game because they’re just so biased and I struggle to understand why. They laud Mourinho who is a completely charmless individual and produces football I wouldn’t cross the road to watch.

    I’m interested as to why Man U get thrashed by Everton (who were in the bottom half of the table before the game) and there’s barely any criticism. Chelsea play boring boring football and Mourinho’s a genius and when he comes out with childish snide remark, it seems that the press are tacitly agreeing.

    Does anybody have a theory as to why Arsenal get such ridiculously biased and unfair press?

  88. The Ospina / Oscar was a collision & no foul play was involved. The Fabregas simulation was exactly that after the slightest touch.

    The Willian high foot in Girouds face was exactly that & constituted dangerous play.

    The stopping of a goal bound shot by the use of a hand/arm is a foul & red card offense.

    The deliberate kicking of an opponent without any intention of getting the ball is a red card offense.

    That’s all folks. Signing out from cloud cuckoo land.

  89. Laughing Lizard

    “As for all this nonsense about boring Chelsea I recall an Arsenal side who played similarly under George Graham and I don’t recall our fans moaning when that style of football won us the league.”

    As I said earlier, Chelsea have spent/lost £600 MILLION quid to play the way George Graham spent 5 Bob to do. That’s the point.

    Not many people like the way Stoke and the like play when they park the bus, but everyone understands, that with the limited resources and options they have, why they do it.

    But to spend/lose around £50 Million a year on players for 10 consecutive seasons and do it? Come on !

    And about Grahams Arsenal, no we didn’t moan when it bought us Trophies, and I don’t really expect Chelsea fans to moan either, but you know what the big difference is, every over fucker moaned, including the media who labelled us ‘boring boring Arsenal’ if you remember.

    Like we had ‘Lucky Arsenal’ rammed down our throats throughout the 70’s we had ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ thrown down our throats throughout the 80’s.

    Jose does it and he’s a fucking Genius.

    So basically, as usual, you’re talking out of your backside.

  90. @bjtgooner 🙂

    Concerning Mou and his bus parking:
    I’ve got nothing against his bus parking, if that’s his style, then that’s his style. ONLY i thought the owner wants to emulate Arsenal and play great football, then he goes and gets Mou, who he sacked for playing boring football. Mou then signs Cesc, once a mainstay of our midfield, played a few games with a little bit of “flair”, realised they cannot emulate Arsenal and reverts back to HIS proven way. End of story, or not. Watch who Chel$ buy, and i guarantee you that they will be looking to play like Arsenal again, but it naw go work, and Mou will probably get the chance to go to Manu, who are playing like headless chickens, even when they win.

    For long time most of us wished that Arsenal defended well, NOW we are defending well, and our defence will surpass Chel$ bus parking, we are defending in style just like we attack, but one thing i fervently hope for is that when needed, we will park the Arsenal bus too, but NEVER for 90 mins of one game like they do, it’s just not Arsenal’s style.

    Concerning Jamram, if we do not like what he/she posts, then we do not have to reply to it. As long as Walter allows the post, that means Walter is satisfied that there is nothing else in the post but Jamram’s opinion.

  91. Now that the game is over and done, i suggest those who like to review games take a look at it again on Arsenal player, then watch Arsenal the breakdown on Arsenal player.

    The breakdown is always very true and not in any way Arsenal biased, it tells it like it happened.

  92. Para

    As you quit rightly say, the breakdown is always very true and definitely not Arsenal biased at all.

    As the guy that does it, Adrian Clarke, also, shamefully, works for Talksport, he’s hardly likely to be is he?

  93. @Menace – would you please stop embarrassing yourself? Come on, say you were joking so we can give a fake “ha-ha” and move on.

  94. I am not enjoying the conversation regarding whether Chelsea is boring or not. Are they boring?…Often they are. The difficulty I have is that discussion can not but place us in a bad light, whether we are correct or not. The context – at the end of a championship year for Chelsea – can show us as sore losers, whiners. My critique of Chelsea more often focuses on their funding model, some of their leaders (Costa’s stamps, Terry’s racism, Mourinho’s unrefined nature), and their cynicism toward the game (If you are ‘Big team’ you should play to win every game…not just to avoid defeat).

    If we want accolades when we win, and we shall, then we must give them some credit where it is due. Injuries or not, referee shenanigans or not, Chelsea will have accumulated the most points at season’s end. Congratulations to them. Where I believe we have a point is that they will only be remembered by their own fans because of my aforementioned critiques. They came, they saw and they avoided defeat. Bletch.

  95. @jambug, actually Chelsea have played very entertaining football through much of the season, it’s now when they see the prize that they shut up shop so to speak.

    As for your comment about George Graham only spending 5 bob I think you’re a little mistaken. Anyway what has the amount of money got to do with the way Graham told his team to play? He would have most likely adopted the same approach if he’d spent “10 bob”. Mourinho’s style of football is highly effective as his trophy count will tell you, Graham’s style wasn’t too bad either, he even won an European trophy!

  96. Laughing Lizard

    It’s not so much when they see the prize as when they see another big team. I don’t take it away from them that they are very good at what they do in those circumstances, but I still find there’s plenty to criticise about it.

    For one, if every big side took the same view, football would rapidly lose a great deal of its appeal. Sky could blather all they want, but if in every big game the top sides set out with the idea of not losing paramount in their minds, the notion this is a great league would die and the idea its a great sport would be in jeopardy. Pragmatists need not give too much consideration to that scenario because there will always be some idealistic schmucks trying to do things the other way. The crisis for the parasites never comes because of these people with another idea of the sport.

    You’re right enough though, they blast in them goals against the weaker teams. This protected Mourinho’s reputation at Madrid and does again here. The combination of a fantastically cynical manager and fantastical wealth allows it.

    Can you have that good a defence without being able to procure first rate defenders? Not quite, but almost (Southampton have been extremely solid this year). Can you play that defensively in big games and then manage to score a load of goals in the other games without very good and very expensive attackers? No f***ing chance. Tadic, Pelle and Long haven’t done bad but they aren’t Hazard, Costa and Fabregas and they aren’t Ronaldo, Ozil and Benzema.

    If Mourinho had a tiny bit of interest in discovering whether you can win leagues without one of the biggest budgets, he would obviously take on the challenge of a lower budget, but he is not an idiot. I would fully expect him to retire if ever some nasty, and improbable, turn of events meant he was left with no giant budget to turn to.

    Where’s his ambition? Shouldn’t a man who clearly believes he is a genius smack down any doubters and prove to us all that it’s not money, no, not money, that allows him to do his thing in any league, by taking on the ultimate challenge and…leading Spurs to glory? And if that’s too unrealistic, go one notch up ,budget wise, and end the Anfield boredom of the last quarter century.

  97. I recall that Mourinho won the Champions League with Porto playing against sides with far more resources. Like him or not he is a fantastic manager, one that has proven he can win in more circumstances than just having the biggest budget. I would like to see Wenger take a leaf out of Mourinho’s book and set his team sup to defend when up against better opposition. There is a time for expansive football and a time to defend to win. Mourinho understands this and Wenger does seems not to, which is why Mourinho is the more successful manager, not because of the money.

  98. I just kept snapping during the game…Chelsea were at their best and Arsenal made sure they didn’t lose the game…actually they tried to win. It was an okay match only that we need some player with a touch of magic against such dogged philosophy as that of Chelsea.

  99. @Jayram football,

    You said “I recall that Mourinho won the Champions League with Porto playing against sides with far more resources.”

    If you are an Arsenal fan, you should also have the ability to recall that in that same year (2004), Arsène Wenger lead Arsenal through a whole season unbeaten!

    Just a theory, but maybe that is why Mourinho hates Arsène Wenger so much. Mourinho’s big achievement of winning the Champions League with Porto was overshadowed by a once in a lifetime achievement by one Arsène Wenger.

    Number of managers that have won the Champions League multiple times: 19
    Number of managers who have won the Premier League unbeaten: 1 (Arsène Wenger)

  100. @Jerry. with all due respect I don’t think Mourinho’s CL league win was overshadowed by Wenger’s unbeaten side, great achievement though that was. That’s a bit of a parochial view. I know I’d rather we won the CL than go a season unbeaten but each to their own.

    @rich I agree, I certainly wouldn’t want a whole league of teams that play like Chelsea. The sad thing is that if Mourinho had let Chelsea express themselves more we might have got a more entertaining game and they might have won too. And yes I’d like to see what Mourinho could do at a club run to a budget but that’ll probably never happen.

  101. @jerry
    I also believe Wengers achievement to go through a season unbeaten is greater than any single achievement in Mourinho’s career.

    However, the point was raised to show that Mourinho has won against teams with greater resources. The money and the style of play are used as general methods to try and play down his achievements, but they don’t stack up.

    I will give you an example , that idiot on talk sport Adrian Durham constantly plays down the Invincibles achievement saying we had too many draws and lost cup matches so it’s not all that good.

    Those trying to play down Mourinho’s achievements are basically doing exactly what Durham does, but of course will never admit it.

  102. @Laughing Lizard & Jayramfootball,

    I think both of you guys are failing to consider the achievements in a historical context. Winning the Champions League back then with a smaller club such as Porto is not as big as an achievement as if they were to win right now.

    Football has changed completely due to the influence of Russian money (which only began in 03/04 w/ Chelsea) and oil money. In a knockout competition, luck can sometimes influence the results as well.

    In 03/04, Porto did not even win their group, but were able to overcome United due to an injury time goal, a goal by Scholes was incorrectly ruled offside, and Ronaldo who came on as a sub was injured after only 8 minutes.
    The beat Monaco after their captain was injured in the 1st half after only 22 minutes in the final.

    There’s a difference between winning the league and winning the league UNDEFEATED. Yes, I would also take winning the Champions League over winning the Premier League, but I would definitely take winning the Premier League UNDEFEATED over the Champions League.

    If that was so easy, there would have been more teams that did it, but only 1 team has ever been able to. Just my opinion, but each their own.

  103. @Jayram,

    yes Mourinho’s Porto won against teams with greater resources. My point is that an Arsene Wenger team did the same thing in the league, in the same exact year, but you dismiss it.

    In 2003/04, here’s some net transfer spends: Chelsea £153 million, Arsenal £16.5 million (Reyes in the winter as the big purchase), United £13.5 million

    Since then however, only Wenger has continued to compete with these financially doped teams with limited resources. Mourinho, however, is somewhat responsible for the financially doped state football is in now.

  104. Jayramfootball

    (Only with a ridiculously long argument can I say anything meaningful at this point. You could contend this is because what can’t be said briefly is inherently suspect. But I’ll cling onto my belief that for any complicated matter, to get near the truth, you tend to need words, lots of words. Hence, if you want to learn, you open a book; and if you want to learn about a form of communication which improves no-one and settles nothing you go on twitter)

    I was near 100 per cent certain you’d reply by mentioning the Porto win,and I don’t blame you at all for doing so.

    If you’re going to make the case for Mourinho’s greatness you should lead with the Cl achievements. They cannot be dismissed,and I don’t dismiss them.

    To me they fit with my beliefs that Mourinho is superb at what he does, and that what he does would almost never win a league unless backed by the biggest or near biggest budget in that league.

    Further beliefs are that in football you stand to gain a lot by the use of great cynicism. Many games are decided by small margins, so what do you lose by, for instance, staying on your feet as Ramsay did when being grabbed by the last man against Reading last week? You lost, in that instance, a penalty and a red card for your opponent. That was not an isolated incident. You lose a lot over the years from that lack of cynicism, and you gain a terrific amount, in a game notable for its small margins, by pushing cyncisim to and beyond its outer extremes

    Hazard is all the more terrifying running at you, in the box especially, because you know all you have to do is raise the arm
    for a moment, and bam, there you go, penalty, booking, maybe a red card. In an alternate universe where we have Hazard and Chelsea have Sanchez, it is Sanchez who is becoming better and more successful by the week at earning key penalties and free kicks, Hazard who isn’t getting half the fouls he should. You are looking at anything up to 10 points a season. In a knock-out tie, you are often looking at the difference, game over.

    In Wenger, we basically have a manager who in the short term view of an individual match gives up a competitive advantage of a few per cent- the few per cent to be gained by cheating and incredible cynicism. Mourinho ,meanwhile, targets the gains there ruthlessly and efficiently. This fits perfectly with my belief that a knockout competition rewards that style – superb defensive organisation, ultimate cynicism- quite a bit better than league football, which itself is pretty hospitable to it, does.

    That’s my belief : positive football as a tactic for getting more out of a team than the budget would predict is ,by a small yet significant margin, an inferior tactic, in the short-term, to negative football. If someone has better players than you, or a distinct advantage if you were to both play the game positively, negative football gives you your best chance of success on the day, and lends itself particularly towards cup football.

    Mourinho is a supremely cynical, supremely negative manager, and he is bloody good at it.

    Why on earth would any maniac opt for something other than ultra cynical defensive football then? Well, first you have to get out of the way the fact not everyone is willing to live like that, not every last person, not even football managers or fans, is ready to concede. Second, there remains some pesky cultural stuff. Third, some clubs are so big, with so much money and so many good attacking players that too much negativity can not only look wrong, but be wrong, i.e you are giving up more than you gain, and managing ineffectively, by being too defensive; last, and by far most important for me, this crazy positive football stuff is not as much of a mugs game as all that.

    A talented, resilient idealist can, with justification, point to what can be achieved with it in the mid – and long-term (which of course paradoxically includes what will be the short-term, i.e every individual game of football) : commit to it, with everything you have, and over the long months and years something glorious can happen, players can develop their individual skills and their play as a team to levels which make positive football attractive not only on a moral or aesthetic level, but on the maximise-your-resources winning front,too.

    All this comes together to allow me to view Wenger as someone who, with regret, I can only give a B-minus to for his champions league efforts, while I suppose, because of those two f***ing wins, I have to give Mourinho an A. (damn, and yet it could all be so different…one goal here or there, one sending off, one…aargh, but even I have to give those scores, though my heart teems with reasons to amend them, or the will at least)

    While in the league, I give Wenger that A, with Mourinho a, reluctant again, A minus.

    How can I do that, considering all those league wins for the latter and Wenger’s long drought? Easily. Money, money, money.

    Give Wenger nearly as much as his domestic rivals and he will rarely be far from the ideal – beautiful football, with trophies. Give him more, and who knows what he would achieve. Mourinho meanwhile can, with the biggest or near-biggest budget in a league, deliver trophies, but who knows what would happen if he was at a clear and significant financial disadvantage. I believe he would get you a cup or two, maybe, and bring home a top four place for a season or two, but it would not be sustainable, and he certainly wouldn’t be able to hold on in the top four for a decade. He, Mourinho, would not have put our club where it now is, and where Wenger is already beginning to show the critics what happens when he is not forced to sell players and, to boot, can do a little shopping near the top of the market.


  105. May we also point at the fact that due to Portuguese laws Porto can recruit in an easy way from Brazil and also with 3rd party ownership they can bring in any player they want without a big cost for them. In fact I think 3 or 4 of the players in that team were Brazilian.
    Add to that the fact that Portugal had a golden generation that should have won the European Championship in 2004 when it was held in their country.
    So combine a golden generation of Portuguese footballers of whom a lot played for Porto with some great Brazilian talent owned on 3rd party ownership, combine this with a coach that made a living on counter football and you get the best combination to win the CL in those days.

    Come to think of it Portugal lost that EC because of facing a team that could have been trained and educated by Mourinho. Maybe the Greek had watched Porto and studied them and copied their style?

  106. @Jerry
    I did not dismiss Wenger’s achievement at all. You cant make things up like that and expect it to stick.
    I stated clearly that Wenger’s achievement that year was beyond anything one of Mourinho’s achievements – in my opinion.
    The point was simply that Mourinho HAS won against teams with greater resources.

  107. @Rich

    That is a great post and I largely agree with everything you have said. There is absolutely no argument from me that Mourinho has been helped immensely by budget and also the cynical style of football that he adopts. I would also add the quite incredible (manipulative) way that he handles the FA and the media. However, whether you like his style as a person and a manager – I don’t – it’s just plain wrong to belittle his achievement or indeed call his teams boring. For sure they have been dull as dishwater over the last 6 weeks but that is because he decided to lock up the title by not being beaten. Chelsea had earned a decent lead in the league with very good and attractive football. If other clubs had performed as well as they did and won the points they did then draws and boring 1-0 wins would not have been enough and he would have been under more pressure. I think he has played his hand fantastically well this year in terms of doing what he needed to do to win the league.

  108. @Walter
    Nothing you said there takes away from the fact that Mourinho – up against the resources of Real Madrid, Manchester Utd, Barcelona, et al – won the CL with a team that cost less than his top rivals. Even if the players in that team were assembled at full market value they still would be nowhere near the kind of money changing hands at the bigger teams. They had 2 Brazilian players that night (3 if you count Deco) but so what? Real, Utd … they had huge resources and better players. If you want to talk about golden generations of players, then what about the French generation that Wenger took great advantage of? It does not make his achievement any less impressive.

    My view is that Mourinho has won with boring football and attractive football, less resources and more resources. That final ended 3-0 to Porto and his team were superb.

    All we do by calling him and his team names is make it sweeter for them because it comes off as sour grapes. The latest ‘boring’ Chelsea nonsense has already given Mourinho more ammunition to rub our noses in it today. He is basically loving the reaction by Arsenal fans.

    It s far better to congratulate him and his team for being the best team in the league this year by some distance and try to reverse it next year.

  109. Jayram

    A pleasant surprise for me that you like that post.

    Kind of proves to me that it’s best to avoid using the bazookas (or nukes!) on these forums.

    I don’t always manage that, and where you perceive someone has nuked you, or the things you stand for, first, there’s probably nothing to lose from responding in kind, or up a level again. Not only nothing to lose, but it’s inevitable, and justified.

    However, the point still stands, that, if you don’t want to kill the debate stone dead, you have to avoid the bazookas/personal attacks. And if you’d rather not provoke the ire of people here, extra care is needed before making strong criticisms of the manager most of us revere.

    I don’t exactly remember your original posts at this point, but I’m sure they were more contentious than the most recent one -1:02 – above. I find that one to be pretty reasonable.

    I have arguments against some of it….but I’ll have to leave it there for the day. I’ve already spent about an hour on football, when today was another day I was meant to be doing no thinking about football.

    Oh well, maybe tomorrow. Maybe I’ve got to take more drastic measures such as disconnecting the internet when home.

  110. Laughing Lizard

    “@jambug, actually Chelsea have played very entertaining football through much of the season,”

    –No they haven’t, they have played entertaining football on occasions, but George Grahams teams also played good football on occasions.

    “As for your comment about George Graham only spending 5 bob I think you’re a little mistaken.”

    –Are you really trying to suggest that GG spent/lost £50 Million (or the equivalent amount for the time) a year on players? Really? Please tell me your joking.

    If you are not joking could you please show me some statistics to back up this rather dubious claim?

    “Anyway what has the amount of money got to do with the way Graham told his team to play?”

    –Maybe nothing. He may of played different with a bigger budget, he may not, who knows, but the main point about GG was to do with how he was slaughtered by other fans, and the media, (As I said, ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ was the chant) for the type of football his teams played. The same media that praise Mourhino as a genius for playing the same way.

    “Mourinho’s style of football is highly effective as his trophy count will tell you,”

    Nobody denies that.

    You’ve missed or chosen to ignore my entire point, which in a nutshell is,

    Why is Multi Billion pound spending Mourhino hailed as a Genius and his teams as works of tactical brilliance, whilst Graham was ridiculed, and his teams labelled as ‘Boring Boring’?

    Oh, and don’t forget to show me these enormous amounts of money you claimed graham spent.

  111. @Jayram,

    You did acknowledge the undefeated season as a greater achievement, that part was mostly for Laughing Lizard.

    Winning the CL with Porto was a great achievement, but in a knockout tournament with the away goal rules anything is possible.

    In the group stages, they finished 2nd to Real Madrid (whose net transfer spend was 6 million in 03/04)

    In Round of 16,I already mentioned the United games (net spend 13.5 m), how Porto luckily escaped with an injury time away goal, as well as a United goal disallowed incorrectly.

    In the Quarterfinals, they beat Olympique Lyon 4-2 (Agg), whose net spend (19 m).

    In the SemiFinals, Porto beat Deportivo de La Coruña 1-0 (Agg),

    In the final, they beat a Monaco side 3-0 whose net transfer spend (1.8m PROFIT) was actually LESS than Porto’s in that year (500K Loss).

    In summary that year, Porto had to overcome teams listed by the highest Net Spend:
    Lyon (19 Mill. £)
    United (13.5 Mill. £)
    Real Madrid (6 Mill. £)
    FC Porto (500K £)

    Monaco (1.8 Mill. £ PROFIT)
    Deportivo La Coruña (15 Mill. PROFIT)

    Porto used less resources than the big teams they faced, but the resources these teams used I would hardly consider insurmountable compared to the net transfer spends Arsenal have faced both domestically (which Porto does not have to really contend with as much) and in Europe!

    And In FACT, during Porto’s run in, they faced opposition that used EVEN LESS RESOURCES than them in both the semifinal and final!!

    If people actually did the research instead of following the media like sheep, I don’t think anyone would consider that as really overcoming a significant financial gap.

  112. @Jambug

    “Why is Multi Billion pound spending Mourhino hailed as a Genius and his teams as works of tactical brilliance, whilst Graham was ridiculed, and his teams labelled as ‘Boring Boring’?”

    Simple – the press don’t really like Arsenal and the love Mourinho (primarily because he digs at Arsenal).
    Take all that away and what you have are two great (and successful) managers, both playing a mix of attractive football and negative football as per the gameplan each felt was necessary for a given match. The really common link between the two are the great defences they both built.

  113. @Jerry

    You can not look at net spend over one season. If you do that then you also have to say that Chelsea have done brilliantly and above expectations based on a net spend of less than Arsenal over the last year and yet are 10 points clear. I am sure that is not an argument that you believe holds any water (neither do I). Its also not just about net spend. Resources include the stadia, wage levels, training facilities, even what a country can offer a footballer. A club like Real Madrid or Man Utd are way way ahead of Porto in the type of players they can attract and retain over a sustained period of time.

    Mourinho winning the CL with Porto can only be remembered as a superb achievement surely?

  114. @Jayram,

    I did state that Mourinho winning with Porto was a great achievement, but it’s not really as big of a David overcoming Goliath moment that the media and you consider it to be. Porto

    I chose only the year that Porto won, because Mourinho was only at that club for 2.5 seasons, in fact he left a few days after that final to coach Chelsea. And truly there is no real way to calculate Porto’s transfer activity due to their strong bond with 3rd party ownership and “super agent” Jorge Mendes.

    Essentially, they pay significantly less for the player due to third party ownership. Then they buy out the 3rd party ownership based on an agreed upon reduced rate and sell the player for a significant fee. No way to know how much they truly paid and received on many of their transfers. The start of where Mourinho began to push the moral envelope one could say.

  115. Jayram

    “Simple – the press don’t really like Arsenal and they love Mourinho (primarily because he digs at Arsenal)”

    So you agree he should be labelled boring, as George Graham was, but he’s not, because the press like him and hate Wenger.

    Sounds like you’ve hit the nail on the head there Jay. Thanks.

  116. @Jambug, I didn’t say Graham spent millions, I said he spent more than 5 bob. You seem to be unable to take a joke. The fact is that Graham didn’t spend absolutely nothing but of course compared to today’s teams he spent a miniscule amount. He played a certain style of football but of course we could be entertaining too, remember 7-0 against Standard Liege?

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