The real reason for our defeat

By Walter Broeckx

I think many people could write a book about us losing yesterday. They could point at the mistake player X made, or at the bad pass player Z made. Or we could blame the ref, which I partly do in fact for the first goal. As he made the mistake of playing advantage when there was no advantage on. And even when Bendtner was dispossessed he still kept giving the advantage signal which looked a bit stupid at the time.

But as most things in life are simple I just will tell you in a few moments why we lost. And no it was not down to a bad performance by any of our players. Even if we would have had all our players available it wouldn’t have mattered. Even with Cesc on fire we still would have lost. It would have been just one of those days.

And no it was not down to Shakhtar playing utterly brilliant football. No even with them playing utterly bad we still would have lost the game. It would just have been one of those days for us.

Even if Theo would have gone on a dozen runs like the magnificent run from which he scored we still wouldn’t have won it on the day. It was just going to be one of those days.

Even if Fabianski would have produced some stunning saves, you can hardly give him any blame for the goals I would think, still somewhere down the line a ball would have been deflected somewhere and would have crept in. I knew it would be one of those days.

Even if the ref would have been the best we ever had seen and had a perfect game still something would have happened. The ball would have gone flat at the moment Theo took his shot at goal or something else very strange would happen. A dog running on to the pitch and Theo falling over him when he was going to shoot. We could have known it before kick off.

In fact I could have known it before and I could have told it to Arsenal so they wouldn’t have to put up the effort of going all the way to Ukraine on a long flight just to lose a game. We could have stayed in London and given them the 3 points. It would have been the same at the end of the day and much cheaper also.

By now I can imagine some of you thinking: just spit it out Walter. Just tell us what you are talking about.

The reason we lost is religion. And no I will not start some religious war over here and tell you it’s God, Allah, Bhagwaan, Yahweh or whatever name you can give a god, who is to blame.

No it is the subdivision of gods that is involved. It is the gods that are known as football gods. It’s a bunch of er…. gods, that sit there somewhere and who arrange things in football how they like it. A ball against the post. This isn’t the players fault, no the football gods didn’t want it to go in. A missed penalty? The football gods made the player slip at the moment he was going to shoot.

They are just some evil minded gods who just do things as they like them and who enjoy fans feeling miserable. And at the start of each season they see for some things which they will use against all the teams. Because they are not anti-Arsenal. No they enjoy to mess up with all the teams. But they decide the outcome of the games by making their own rules. Rules that are not printed in the newspapers or told about in MOTD. No, one has to look for them and find them yourself to understand them.

And so I went looking and I found the answer. The answer is “3”. Just 3. Nothing more, nothing less. To understand this you have to go back one month. Go to 3 October and try to remember what you did on 3 October? I give you a clue: you were feeling rather miserable in the evening because on 3 October we lost to Chelsea.

And now exact one month later on 3 November we lose again, and again we will feel a bit miserable. So for me it is clear to see. It is those evil football gods who have declared at the start of the season: Arsenal will lose their games played on the 3th of each month. So it shall be and so it will be. And they all laughed and found it rather amusing and fun and then went on to the next team and decided it would lose their games when it would rain. Things like that.

And we could beat Chelsea on any day. We could beat Shakhtar on any day. But not on the 3rd of each month. On that day we have to suffer. Because the football gods have decided it that way. So is this all bad and are we doomed? And are we going to sit down and feel miserable for ourselves and cry a bit?

Well in fact, no. We are not. Because even if we know we cannot beat the football gods what we can do is check the fixture list and on that list we can see that we don’t play again on the 3th of a month. No games in the EPL on the 3rd for us. The only thing we must avoid is that the home game against Blackburn on April 2nd will be changed to Sunday 3rd.

No games in the Carling cup on the 3rd for us. No games in the FA cup on the 3rd for us for the moment. In fact there is only one chance that we would play this season on the 3rd of a month. And this would be in May. As the semi final of the CL is played on the 3rd or the 4th of May. So the only way we can be stopped to win the CL is to have some bad luck with the draw and if we would have to play the return leg of the CL semi final on 3 May. But then again if we win the first leg with a big difference even the football gods will have to let us go to the final.


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38 Replies to “The real reason for our defeat”

  1. Well you are being superstitious. The reason we lost is because as a whole team we defended badly. It happened against west brom, which was not played on 3rd. I think we mixed up the team a lot. Also our key players missing, it shud be tough. But now we cant even before losin in the rest of the matches in the group stages of the champions league. Bcoz if we do and if we finish in 2nd place, then we will have to face some tough team in our round of 16 namely barca, madrid, munich or inter. So we have to finish as the winners of our group at all cost now.

  2. Well!

    First time ever I think Walter but I am going to disagree from this side of the Channel (by the way, what is “English Channel” in Dutch?)

    We played a reserve team last night. Four of the back five were not our first selections, two of the midfield were not, two of the front men were not.

    From this we can see that our reserves are now competing solidly at the top level of the group stages in the Champs league – which is not bad really.

    But supposing there were godly influence here, then I would think you might like to look at the Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, to which I subscribe.

    As a Pastafarian (as followers of the Spaghetti Monster like to be called) we are regularly attacked and we need to work hard to protect ourselves. But we have fun too.

    Take a look at and scroll down and you will see us celebrating, and generally doing our thing.

    I have not brought up my religion before on this site, for fear that readers might suspect I was using Untold as a front for my deep held beliefs, but as you have ventured into your area of numerology I feel I should come out and confess.

  3. Same old, same old. It really is like groundhog day. We can’t defend any sort of high ball into the area, and Clichy can’t defend full stop. That’s another goal he has given away. Bendtner couldn’t hold the ball up, although a pass somewhere near his body might have helped, Nasri and Rosicky just wanted to pose without getting too involved and Eboue was his usual self, why we still have this con-man at the club is beyond me. And we had further confirmation that Squelchy and Djourou are merely squad players. The only two from last night who performed were FabHeAintSki and Wilshere. The apologists have been getting excited lately, they would be better off waiting for something to get excited about. Sunday’s game will not be easy after that long trek, we have to get 3 points in every game just to stay where we are, nothing less will be good enough
    . The arrogance and complacency factors came into play again last night. I think Wenger was right to rest Cesc but not sure about some of the other decisions. To all those who say Eboue is a useful squad player – I think you mean “useless”. Also Clichy again just fails to deliver in an important game. He played well against WHU but he is too inconsistent and just lacks a good defensive brain. We urgently need a good back up for Sagna and another DM. No Song last night didnt help. I dont know who is coming through the ranks but they must be better than that con man Eboue and if Wenger has any money in Jan please spend it on a DM. The frustrating thing is that this team goes on to autopilot at times. We keep doing the same thing through a game hoping it will change things. When Cesc is not playing its difficult to see who are the natural leaders on the pitch. Wenger needs to get a grip on this or it will 2007/08 all again!

  4. I dont think theres a arenal fan that feels bad about our lost,, Im just glad it happen in a not so important game.. No the Lost is out of the way and that will be our last lost for the year!! Great article.. When did u write it on the 3rd?

  5. The defeat against WBA was another twist of the football gods who decided that WBA would win away at the home of the future champions. 😉

  6. As we think is not the English channel we just say “Het Kanaal” Tony. Even though the English channel is not a channel in fact. And I should know a bit about channels as I work in a town that pretends to have the only real channel-cross road in the world.

  7. To be honest when the CL draw was made I mentally allowed that we would most likely lose in the Ukraine.

    Shakter are a strong talented side backed by big money in tough country. They are unbeaten in their new stadium and very proud of that.
    Consequently, I am actually not that bothered that we lost.
    We are still top of the group and will most likely stay there. We are certainly in no danger of not qualifying.

    Jack was great as was Theo (what a finish very Henryesque) but some individual errors cost us.

    Aint no thing.

    You wont see any other team go to Shaktar and win any time soon either. Should make the playoffs interesting for their opponents eh.

  8. The real reason is the inability of certain Arsenal players to concentrate for lengthy periods at a time,Clichy ,Sagna,Eboue ,Vela,Walcott are the main culprits ?

  9. Ghena, I try to change me feeling down by doing something stupid. Like writing a bit of a story that is some nonsense. But you never know if it true. Lets just wait for May 3rd and find out. 😉 If it is you will admit that there ar football gods around somewhere. Maybe those football gods are pastafarians…

    And as we all know superstition in football world is very real. Like some players who want to walk as the last one on the field, or players who always want the same underwear when playing, stuff like that. In the part where I live we believe in “football gods” who decide things. What a silly place I live in.
    So I took 1/3 of dissapointment, 1/3 of superstition and 1/3 of letters and made this article.

  10. Oh and by the way we are sure of a place in the Europa league by now. Always look for the bright side of life.

  11. @ “mattreadwel”
    Maybe you need to chill a bit. Walter wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece, and you go into a deep analysis by stating the obvious. Anyone who watched the match saw Clichy screw up; saw that Eastmond may not be ready for UCL football; saw Eboue had a bad game; saw the mid field not provide protection for the defence;etc.
    But please, take a chill pill. We will lose some in the course of the season, but it is no time to start calling for new buys again! Even though I may agree that we need cover for Song, I believe AW knows about building a team better than I do.

  12. I dont like to pick on players but sometimes one players mistakes can swing momentum to the other team I dont think eboue was poor… We took an early lead and after we scored we had them under pressure until Eastmond started giving possession away to easily and all of a sudden they were back in the game.

    I’ve seen him play before but last night he was bad I’m pointing this out cause It really shows us what song does for this team I think had he been on the field last night we would have won he constantly wins back possession instead of giving it away and thats when we are best when we have the ball.

    I have no issue with the own goal that can happen to any one even the best but sloppy passing in critical area’s of the pitch I’m sorry but not good enough.

    I think Song and Frimpong play that position the best then Diaby and Denilson if Eastmond wants to ever see it again he better pull his socks up real high. I think he needs another year before he’ll be ready and I think it’s a shame cause I’ve seen him play better.

    Even Wenger thought he was bad last night when was the last time Wenger took some one off before the 60th min unless he was injured.

    People love to bash Fabianski but he was brilliant last night if it wasn’t for him things could have been worse.

    I just hope Eastmond doesn’t read this blog cause I’m sure this will dent his confidence but it had to be said.

    If any one disagrees feel free to comment.

    Does any one think Djourou looks lost some times.

  13. Not a big deal or much of a surprise that we lost given the starting 11 & players on the bench.Shakhtar had pride to regain & a home record to maintain, so were going to be up for it.
    We lost because the team reverted to the gung-ho attacking spirit of old. At times there was no mid-field in evidence from a defensive point of view.There’s no point blaming Clichy..mistakes happen.Had anyone been shaddowing Eduardo who was by himself in the box waiting for a pass…the second goal might well have been averted.
    My only real surprise was that Bendtner was not replaced by Chamahk sooner.

  14. 3 cheers to you Walter for a fun write-up!
    Let us all pray to the football gods to arrange a few defeats for the Chavs,the Mancs,the Arabs and the Spuds!!!

  15. I loved this and I had to go to check our schedule before finishing this. 😉
    There is way we do not qualify but if that happens we really would not deserve to be there (but that would mean Shakhtar drawing or losing at home that I don’t think will happen).
    I was thinking also something else but I can’t remember it anymore as for some reason my brain started playing a song called “Leve België” (I think Walter writing his native tongue made me thinking of this). “Ik hou van België” (I really need to start to study Dutch again…) so sorry going for off topic there…

  16. There is one fact that sometimes gets forgotten. How do players like Eastmond etc get the hang of this type of game without playing in it?

    Jack is very unusual – like Cesc he can come in very young and just do it. But we might get one player like every three or four years. Otherwise players have to grow through experience, so a game like this was a good one to give a few players a bit more experience.

  17. mattreadwel you need to see a shrink

    I dont think we’ll have to buy any one come Jan We have enough players that are performing and more youngsters coming through.

    At the start of the season I thought we just needed one keeper but if fabianski can stay like this till Jan then I dont think we need one its wasting money.

    I think we should let go of arshavin at the end of the season only if he is not performing and hasn’t renewed in order to make money off him.

    To be honest if I was Wenger I’d extend Arshavin’s contract till 2013/2014 that way We can get another year out of him then sell him at a profit instead of letting him go on a free by then vela should be ready to take his place and Jet on the bench like vela is now.

    In the future we wont buy any one maybe 1 player a season and we’ll sell them only when they touching 30 or 31 only to make some money off them.

    And any one who says we should sell eboue is nuts he provides cover when half the team is injured he can play almost anywhere has a good work rate … we’ve used him as a right back, left back, right mid, right wing even left wing once.

    Eboue rarely gets a chance and when he does he works hard trying to get a spot as a regular so therefore he sometimes makes mistakes.

    our whole squad is good and our squad depth is good.

    Everyday I talk football with manIOU supporters and loserpool supporters
    and they tell me arsenal should buy this one and that one and we’ll never win a trophy and I ask them how many trophies have liverpool won since the 80’s and how many trophies did man u win b4 the 90’s and where are they now and how are they doing financially and what happens when the senior players leave.

    I’ve said it b4 and I’ll say it again I dont care if we dont win a trophy this season or the next it’s just a matter of time … once we win our first trophy we winning one every season for the next ten years.

  18. No matters of gods in Football!Either your fit and strong to face the challenges of your opponets or you are weak as we were last night.Our defence is still straglling even though we reinforced with 2 new comes whom are not convicing yet at Arsenal level.
    The second mistake comes from AW who have choosen the reserve team to play with an important out side the Emirates
    In fact we need to buy a central defender who talks to his full backs and organise the Midfielders when they are lost especially during the counter-attacks and corner kicks.

  19. You so right tony I’ll never forget gibbs playing in his first few games at left back man they were shoking now I prefer him to clichy as he reads the game better and he crosses better.

    clichy has pace and plays very well at times when he has cover.

    He cant be blamed for last night.

    but has any one noticed how many times clichy gives away possession trying these long lobbed passes over defenders or when he cant find a way into the box he just crosses it even if there is no one there.

    when he runs down the wing or gets the ball i start counting down from 10 cause I know what he’ll do next as he does this repeatedly in every game.

    I was surprised that he provided such an accurate cross into the box for song the other day.

  20. mutabazi eric

    I think our new signings are doing very well and I think Wenger chose the correct team as he is rotating the players.

    although I wouldn’t have played eastmond but there is no other option song injured diaby injured denilson possibly injured lol frimpong injured.

    The team we played last night can beat almost any team in the world if there mind set is right.

  21. Superfly gunner, I agree in almost everything you’re writing. I know however, I will care if we don’t win anything this season. Arsenal has by far the best squad. I believe Chelsea has a better starting XI than us but if you take out Chech (MA1), Terry (TV5), Lampard (CF4), Malouda (TW14), Drogba (RvP10) and another 3-4 players from the first team squad, I’m quite confident the result against Chelsea would have been very different.
    We have good players all around. Eboue is a quality player who obviously loves the club, who else has CB back ups of the same quality as we do, who has LB pairing of Clichy/Gibbs or RBs of the quality of Sagna/Eboue. Our offensive/creative MFs (Fabregas/Nasri/Rosicky/Wilshere/Ramsey) are second to none – in the world, we have a very strong DM with OK back up (Denilson/Diaby/Frimpong/Eastmond), we have Arshavin, Walcott, Bendtner, Chamakh, RvP, Vela, JET…
    We have so much quality all around it is incredible. Over a season, IF we can avoid complacency, there is no reason to think we will not win a trophy.
    Anybody can get injured, and Chelsea, Spurs and ManU cannot cope with 6-9 injuries to their first team squad with main players being out. ManC has a very good squad but is likely to need some more time to gel.
    I was frustrated yesterday, Clichy stupid mistake, and the rest allowing Eduardo an open run and shot but Shakhtar played very well. Barcelona drew against FCK…
    The WBA game remains my main irritation as we are a better team than them but you cannot win if you don’t put in the effort.
    Let’s continue to support OUR team and all the players + AW, the manager that made Arsenal into a top football club by any standards you choose to measure it against.

  22. Tony- Very astute point about Eastmond!
    But excuse me if I am tired of “fans” who (like me) see the team on TV on match day and believe they know what the team needs more than people paid to do the job.

  23. when ur on it, why don’t someone hires some ppl who can perform rituals to exorcist injurerspirits and some of the anti arsenal brigade….we need luck to win anything and that’s not happening since 2005,
    cl 2006 final, sent off from off side.
    carling cup final 2007 took lead but again sumthing happened
    2008 pl, injury to eduardo
    2009 cl semis, gibbs slipped at an important moment when he had a blinder in the 1st leg…
    2010, 1st there was no midfield, then no forwards and finaly no defenders….


  24. I really dont buy the excuse that we had our reserve team out. Out of the people who played ystrday, fabianski, clichy, squillaci, rosicky, walcott, nasri and wilshere are of our 1st team. And bendtner is a regular substitute for us. Just bcoz eastmond, djourou and eboue played doesn’t mean our whole team was a reserve team. I think many forget that when cesc and arshavin are injured then we get a kind of line up like ystrday night. And looking at cesc’s injury problems, we might have to use such a lineup in our comin games…

    The fact is simple, we defended badly as a team. Its a good thing that we are still in a good position. All we can do is concentrate on our next game against newcastle. You can never underestimate any opponent.

  25. 3rd?!utterly rubbish.I think we need to either drop the dead weight{rosicky,bendtner}or get rid oe them completely.In plain words,I think its about time we let rosicky,coz he has lost it,even wenger knows that for attempting to sell him twice last year and this is how he f repays wenger?!he has underperforming all season and bendtner,he’s a gd player but his attitude will stagnate his potentially illustrious career.bendtner is the type of player that can b literally seen jogging leisurely even when his team is losing! No sense of urgency,watsoeva n that’s bad for the team and its all the coach’s fault.wenger’s a good man!bendtner should try that with muo or fergie and see if he will play.I would hav included vela there but he hasn’t been getting games,ebue and clichy? Their offensive force were too hot to handle or is it a bad day at the office? Me think,the mid field was overrun and that put our defense under enermous pressure! As for lord wenger,he needs to alter the script,unless this will b another trophyless season because wenger’s tactical approach to the game wasn’t on par with the opposition.we can’t keep on trying to pass into our opponents net all the time! Sometimes when all fails,an outside the box strike is what is needed! Hope u read this chamakh.

  26. Ed – a most interesting comment.

    Could you tell us the source of your information that Wenger tried to sell Rosicky twice last year?

  27. Sori,pops I can’t disclose that. p.s. Meant to say before the commencement of this season.

  28. Good to see a smile on a few faces.
    This is football and apart from the invincible season when we was sh*t in Europe (well kind off anyway) we will lose on occasion and then we can give the whole team away or accept it as a natural thing in football, feel bad about it for a while, then take a step back and try to get on with our live and well why not write something stupid about it.
    We have played 22 games so far this season and only lost 3. oops 3… This must be a sign of the football gods I think.

    Better said: lets put thos loss a bit in perspective I would say. We are not out of the CL, are we? We still got it very much in our own hands.

  29. @ mattreadwel you are pissing me off mate I must tell you! I could argue with you on every singe one of your points but to say:

    “Also Clichy again just fails to deliver in an important game”

    Shows how selective your memory is. Only a few days ago he delivered the pass for our winner in what was a far more important game against West Ham…We could have won last night’s game even with the weakened team we put out. Donetsk have a formidable home record and we should have expected a response to the drubbing we gave them at the Em so the fact that – save for the 30 minutes after we scored last night – we played quite well and they never looked like scoring after that. Under the circumstances I’d say that we recovered well. The fact is we have lots of more important games coming up in the Prem starting this Sunday against NFC – while we still have two games left in the CL to clinch qualification to the next round…stop panicking mate – you just make everybody else miserable..

  30. So Ed, just to make sure that in my slow and aged manner I fully understand what you say, you have inside information on the way in which Wenger is dealing, information which no one else has, and you cannot divulge the source.

    And yet, you expect us to believe it – in that you put it on this site without any source revealed.

    Oh, and you also now point out that you actually got the “facts” if there are any, wrong.

    And you have the audacity to call me “pops”. Do that again sunshine and I’ll set Billy the Dog on you.

  31. Lmao! Allllllllllriite,Sir! Read it somewhere but please don’t send your cat after me! Lol!

  32. i thought shaktar were good mates with arsenal and we were helping them get into the next round?

  33. Thats nonesense..the only reason for losing is because we were not good and if we were,we were not good enough.our best was jst not enough..

  34. Walter, much as I recgnize that you meant the post for a joke, I’d rather not go the superstitious route because it has a way of gnawing on the mind and, before you know it a jinx is born!

    We lost because Shakthar was too good for us to be resting 3-5 of our key players and saving them from a long commute to Ukraine and back.

    We chose to rest the players so that they will be fresh and available for the other 7games games we have in the rest of the month starting on Sunday, Nov. 7 with Newcastle) Wednesday, November 10 (Wolverhampton)…

    Fielding a weaker team was a risk Wenger had to take given how far we had advanced in the CL. It was a risk that helps the likes of Eastmond tunes up Djourou, Bendtner and Walcot but it may sometimes not work out as we saw on Wednesday…

    Frankly, it was a good surprise to see that very few people went over the top in moaning and groaning about Wenger or the team. Perhaps, more fans a starting to believe in the team and the improving result of the Wnger project?

  35. We lost because our two full backs made a couple of schoolboy errors, which they tend to do on a fairly regular basis. Neither of them are kids. They both represent their countries. Until we find a pair who can concentrate for 90 minutes and have a vague idea of where they should be and when, we always run the risk of getting turned over. Thankfully the Premier League isn’t stacked full of talented wingers, otherwise results like this would be commonplace.

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