Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea: Wenger didn’t really want to win

It was another big game, another massive punch to the guts as Arsenal fell to a 2-0 loss against league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba predictably got both goals, punishing two pieces of slack defending by Gael Clichy.

The first saw Clichy leave his position on the far post for no apparent reason, allowing Drogba free reign to smack home John Terry’s header. Had the Frenchman stayed put he would have had the relatively comfortable job of pumping the ball clear of danger before Drogba was allowed to arrive on the scene.

The second was even worse as Clichy zig-zagged bizarrely while tracking back on a Chelsea breakaway, confusing Thomas Vermaelen and allowing Drogba space on the right side of the penalty area. In an attempt to make up for the error Clichy was beaten far too easily by the Chelsea man, once again selling the well-positioned Vermaelen short and allowing Drogba the space to hammer the ball home from close range.

It was amateur defending from a usually reliable player that has been in terrible form since his return from injury.

In between those goals Andrey Arshavin had a volley superbly saved from Petr Cech and once it was 2-0 in my mind there was only ever going to be one result. We passed and passed and passed the ball without ever really threatening Cech again from open play, his only other save of note coming from Cesc Fabregas’ low free-kick on 70 minutes.

Drogba was denied a hat-trick at the end when his excellent free-kick hit the bar but it ended 2-0, a scoreline that leaves Arsenal languishing off the top of the table by no less than nine points.

So what to make of another horrible result that has seen us lose twice to both our major title rivals?

Well, for one, I don’t think that Wenger really wanted to win this game. I mean, I’m sure he wanted to win the game but he certainly didn’t do everything in his power to get the three points.

If this was an FA Cup final, a Champions League final or the last game of the season, I am convinced that Nicklas Bendtner would have started. As it was I think Wenger weighed up the difference in quality between Chelsea and our opponents on Wednesday Liverpool, the run-in of the three title rivals and the fact that Bendtner’s groin is not yet at 100% and made a calculated decision to essentially throw the game.

Here is a comment I made following our 3-0 loss to Chelsea in November:

“We could play this Chelsea team ten times without van Persie or Bendtner spearheading the attack and I don’t think we would beat them once. Their defence is just too strong and physical and unfortunately we did not have the right players available to allow a genuine chance of winning the match.”

By not playing Bendtner from the start last night I feel that Wenger took away any realistic chance of winning. He took the safe bet of ensuring arguably our most important player for the run-in, our one out-and-out striker, did not suffer a re-occurrence of his injury in a fixture that on paper looked exceptionally difficult to win. I feel he did that because he backs this team, with Bendtner in it, to beat Liverpool on Wednesday and put together a good enough run of results to pose a real threat in the title race.

Because despite claims to the contrary, we are still well and truly in this title race. Nine points seems a lot – but the fixtures don’t lie. It might not be fashionable to win the league after losing all four games to the other two best sides in the country, conceding ten goals and scoring just two in the process, but all that matters is who sits atop the table at the end of the season. Much as the last two games have hurt our pride, it’s really not over just yet.

Having said that, I’m not kidding myself here, it’s not going to be easy. There are serious problems in the team that need to be addressed if we are to post another good run of results.

Our general crossing is woeful, our runs into the box to get on the end of the crosses are non-existant and our attacking threat from set-pieces has completely deteriorated since we lost Robin van Persie to injury.

Certain players are simply not performing up to scratch and that there are still far too many individual defensive errors being committed.

It’s inexcusable and it has to change. But whether it does or not is the big question.

Liverpool are up next in a game that we simply have to win to retain a realistic hope of winning the title. Best we forget about this one as soon as possible.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea by leaving a comment.

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50 Responses to “Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea: Wenger didn’t really want to win”

  1. Shard
    February 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Forget the title..Let’s just play to win every match and if the title comes to us it’ll just be luck..A team that defends as poorly as we do don’t really deserve the title..Our finishing leaves a lot to be desired too.Maybe a striker coming back into the team will help with that though..

  2. Sandy
    February 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    I have nothing to add to what has already been said above….but I cant stop thinking about that second goal…..not one tackle was put in by anyone…get the f***in yellow card if you have to but knock the bollocks of Lampard if necessary……our defense a.ka Clichy has turned into some sort of pre Valentine’s day mush that every striker is just lapping up…..disgusting

    Point to note : if the scousers beat us on wed we will be only 2 ahead

    I’m scared…………and hate admitting as much

  3. Shard
    February 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    It wasnt just clichy at fault for the 1st goal. Terry lost vermaelen, Song was ball watching instead of staying with Drogba and of course Clichy went walkabout.

    The second goal was embarrassing. I know we used to do that to teams but I don’t think the other big teams ever made it so easy for us..

    I think its not an issue of personnel.More a training issue. Maybe getting back Martin Keown or Tony Adams or even Winterburn as a coach should be looked at.

    Strangely enough though, I’m not really worried about the liverpool game.Maybe because I don’t believe we’re in for the title anymore. Hope I’m wrong.

  4. Fabgooner
    February 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Bendtner wasn’t fit enough to start. Would you rather that we win against Chelsea (something that is in no way guaranteed by Bendtner) and play the rest of our matches with no striker?

    Our season mostly rests on our Liverpool game now. A win, and dropped points from Manelsea would be amazing, while anything else might mean facing a fight for 3 place.

    Personally, I think we’ll win the league xD

  5. Shard
    February 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    @Fabgooner

    Wish I could share your optimism. But I don’t think both the teams ahead of us will drop enough points for us to benefit. One might. Both is hoping for too much.

    Before we even think of the title we have to sort out our issues.Both defensively and offensively. We havent scored against Villa, ManU( Not when it mattered) and now Chelsea. That’s putting more pressure on our already suspect defense.

  6. Angie
    February 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    After reading your analysis Andrew, I think you are right. I wish we knew what Wenger has in mind and what type of strategy he’s using. I hope this isn’t just a kamikaze act! I feel it’s a risky move! but like you said some players aren’t at 100%!

    My biggest disappointment is the defense! What annoys me the most is what one player can do to make us lose in only 30 min! Last week was Denilson in the mid-field and now it’s Clichy in the back!
    I personally feel that the team is young and needs older players that will lead the way and inspire them.
    I truly wonder where we are going. But yes I’m disappointed! I hate getting those smirks from these other fans! We didn’t lose like true fighters…The game was just shameful for such a team, and such a history!
    Do you guys think that Wenger will stay ? or go?
    I truly respect him…but I wish we knew what’s the deal with his strategy!

    😉

  7. Shard
    February 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    It’s surely a sign that even some Wenger backers(i’m one of them) have started questioning whether he should go or stay.. I think he needs to change the way he does somethings but its unthinkable that he should go. He is at fault for our situation. When VanPersie got done for the season I and Im sure everyone thought that lets just get to January somehow and then we’ll get a striker. Well January came, we had injuries to Eduardo and Bendtner. Walcott had just come back and was in bad form. Vela isn’t even really an option at the moment. But no striker arrived. Instead our having scored the most goals was pointed to as a reason for not needing a striker. Well, we aren’t scoring now. But it’s too late to get in anybody..

    Im ranting quite a bit today aren’t I? 🙂

  8. Angie
    February 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    I just read this on the thesun.co.uk:
    “The Bordeaux striker is free at the end of the season but, despite reports suggesting he has agreed a deal with Rafa Benitez’s Reds, the Morocco international admitted he would prefer to go to the Gunners.

    He said: “My choice is to join a Premier League club. If I had a choice, I would go to Arsenal.

    “Bordeaux gave me a lot. I will soon clarify things so the club can prepare my successor.”

    SunSport understands Liverpool have offered him a four-year contract worth £3million a season.

    Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger made a counter-offer in a meeting with Chamakh’s agents a few weeks ago but it is thought he did not match the Reds’ wage offer.”

    Knowing the French league, he’s a great player. Bordeaux is doing very well under Laurent Blanc. Who is, by the way, an amazing coach and was a super defender! I think that he could help! if it’s not too late!
    what do u think guys ?

  9. Kevin
    February 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Another big disappointment. I watched the game without any optimism that Arsenal will even obtain a point from chelsea. Its time to stop throwing the blames on the players. In the first place, the Manager is responsible for putting the players on the field. The manager is also responsible to ensure that the team is made up of a deep squad of capable players. Unfortunately for Arsenal that is not the case. Arsenal losses to Chelsea and Man united in the first round were the symptoms of defficiency in the team when face with tougher opponents. What did the manager do about it. NOTHING. We all know the way forward. Read all the blogg on arsenal and you will see. the only one who does not know is the manager. Strange. I pray that Arsenal will be able to keep its third position.

  10. Fabgooner
    February 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    It’s surely a sign that even some Wenger backers(i’m one of them) have started questioning whether he should go or stay..

    It’s a sign that you should stop reading Myles Palmer and the like xD

    Wenger has made some mistakes, the most obvious one being the GK situation, but he’s done some great stuff his season as well. remember how everyone was saying that RvP wasn’t good playing as the lone forward?xD

    Remember the effect of the Liverpool half time talk?

  11. Danish Gooner
    February 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Dont be crazy !!! The title ??? There will be plenty of bananskins along the way and isnt as suddenly we have grown a spine so anyone who dreams of 13 wins from 13 are just borderline Psychotic.

  12. billi
    February 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I remember this shot by Shava against the leg of Cech, I think it wasn’t great defending it just has been bad luck, it just went like it went

  13. Womble
    February 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    You dick. Eternally optimistic and never once pointing the finger at Wenger. We might still win the league, it’s the existing players fault, certain players aren’t performing, fans like you keep saying. Open your eyes and smell the roses man. This squad simply isn’t good enough. Whose fault is it…Mr Arsene Wenger. Period. He has the money but keeps choosing not to invest in the squad properly. “Same old Wenger..always scrimping!”

  14. Ibrahaz
    February 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    Hi A.W. thanks for a well laid out article as always u never cease to impress with your analysis. But I would like to point out that the second goal was not Clichy’s fault. That does not mean am defending him for current lack of form, he has been really poor since returning from injury. But it should be noted that Verm was the only Arsenal player nearest to Drogba when the ball was released to him, in the counter attack that led to the goal. If you watch the reply keenly you will notice that Verm decided to leave Drogba on the wings and go back to the center instead of trying to stop him. He actually decided to let Clichy who was tracking back to take care of him, which was not a wise decision taking into account Clichy’s current form.

  15. dennis
    February 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    expected result…the only positive note was the determination arsenal showed compared to the lifeless performance last week against man utd…in terms of title chances..what’s the bet man utd or chelsea will have a bad run of results again?their hitting a red hot patch of form…9 points in pretty much impossible even if we win all our remaining games…the best we could hope for is a draw against pool…from optimism..to pessimism to now lack of belief..that is the life of an arsenal fan summed up…the only bright news is chamakh finally deciding where he wants to go..and it’s us =)

  16. ALGunner
    February 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    @Andrew. Optimistic and realistic are two different words. 13 games 13 Win. With No Fit Striker. It is impossible. I think AW should have sorted it out. In Stanpard Bridge i thought it was more about stealing points from Chelsea rather than winning one point. To which i got the answer with in 15 Min. Once the goal was scored that to by Excellent Drogba the match once for me was over. I am still not able to understand AW With only Three ST (RVP,Edu,Bendy) except Bendy all are injury prone he could win the EPL. If you look at the history mostly the ST partnership have won the EPL or even challenged for EPL title. Ex(Lampard,Drogba for chelsea and Ronaldo and Rooney for Manu, Torres and Gerrard for Liverpool,Once Adebayour and Fab for Arsenal) For Arsenal this season where is the partnership Fabregas and “????”. Come on AW you’re not going to win anything without investing it is simple as that when you invest something than only you’re are going to get the returns. Whatever still wants to support arsenal till i die. Just Frustrated by losing streak to Rival .

  17. SCOPE KNIGHT
    February 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    sorry but did i hear we can win the title? sir alex said it that we do not have the experience to go all the way. what a shame. if i was wenger i will be truely ashamed. my question why do we all feel wenger is a messiah? is chelsea not going on strong without jose? pls lets put sentiments apart arsenal do not want to win trophies instead we have a greedy french manager who wants to make money for the club at a premium to his pocket. Stupid fagot. Sir Alex i dare say is 1 million times a better coach, ancelloti way ahead. why they have held the champs lge. And what pisses me off is fans going on and on about what wenger has done for the club. daaaaaaa is he not paid for it. he has too much freedom in arsenal thats why he is fucking things up. tired and sad. sooo gutted. my country is slowly leaning towards chelsea cos they see that fucking gay bastard has no ambition. liverpool 3 arsenal 1.i hope someone then shoots wenger dead at the end of the game. what a beautiful sight that would have being. the idiot. fucking failure.7 trophies sooo fucking what man u has won same since we won the fa cup. i hate wenger. i think the fans need to protest cos he is taking us for a ride

  18. Knife
    February 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    look back at the Arsenal sides that brought us so much success….they are imposing at the back(from the keeper). Look at all the sides in the top 4 and we have scored as many goals but have conceded 10 more. We have the creative talents to score and yes we have been injury raved up front but the real problem is deeper then bringing in a striker. In the big games our players at present dont seem to have the belief or spirit to do whatever it takes to get a result. We concede a cheap goal early and then get close out of the game.
    We have quality defenders Clichy, Traore, Sagna, Gallas, Verm, Eboue and a decent defensive mid in Song that has come along way but none of these players would really strike fear into opposition strikers or make them at least know they were going to have a real scrap on their hands. I have full confidence that if our current crop of players can get that real mongrel we can go on one hell of a run and put some real pressure on Utd and Chelsea.

  19. Tazz
    February 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Very sad indeed. A Chamakh/GK would have surely helped our cause. Faith!

    http://11gunners.com/opinion/a-perfect-exhibition-of-the-elephant-syndrome/3081/

  20. brian
    February 8, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Mourinho is a great coach—that’s what he is.

    Wenger is a great manager.

    The game last night showed 2 things to me:

    – We can compete with all teams despite people’s claims. Just like the next trophy, the next win against those teams is the biggest hurdle which the players have to surpass. I know we didn’t win but just think if our players made the chances count, we clearly had many more chances to score.

    – You want criticism about Wenger? I’ll give you this: I realm think Clichy is not ready. The way he defended (or lack of) Park’s and last night second goal was so bad. I know Traore is maybe too raw to be thrown into big games but I feel Clichy is playing with no confidence whatsoever. Almunia too should be rested. The way he stopped and stood still with that expression on his face at drogba’s free kick was telling enough. If Wenger was prepared to drop Lehman after 2 bad mistakes then I think it’s time to do the same to Almunia. The young goalie(s) maybe too raw now but they at least will play with more confidence.

    The loss was a big blow but what I can do now is looking forward to the next game.

    And who can say this team won’t win another title? Anything CAN still happen and CL is 7 games away to be won.

    I just wish the players come to read the comments in the site and know that a big part of supporters always believe in them no matter what.

    i saw lots of positives in the match. obviously the final score wasnt great, but its obvious that walcott is improving since coming back from injury. his tracking back and defensive plays were excellent. diaby looked assured and will soon be back on form. clichy had a much better match than last time. we had the majority of possession mostly in their half.

    i am sure that critic will be pulling his hair out but hes probably a spud anyway. liverpool at home next week will bring more improvements and maybe even some points. its true that we are missing rvp, and that he will probably get fit just in time to get injured in south africa, but the season is far from over. we have the spuds away and city at home to worry about, but apart from those, the rest of the epl season looks fairly tidy.

    we are back in europe in 10 days and that is another front we can attack.

    chin up all you d&gers, it might never happen.

  21. valencia
    February 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Arsenal always comes under mental pressure while playing against Manchester United and Chelsea.Arsenal have to be mentally strong to win trophies.

  22. grahm
    February 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    The problem with this analysis is that there is no evidence for it apart from that based on opinion rather than fact. In the match against Man U at the Ems Wenger changed the whole format and arrangement of the team in a way none of us had ever seen before. I don’t know if it was mentioned on TV, but sitting at the match behind the goal Arsenal attacked in the second half, we found ourselves watching a totally new experimental format.

    If you have been watching Arsenal from the start of this season (let alone for the rest of the century) you will see how Wenger has come up with all sorts of experimental strategies.

    Yet somehow these are air-brushed out of history, and instead we have statements about “Lightweight Denilson” and how Wenger’s insistence on playing him reveals his intransigence. (I know this was not mentioned in the email above, I am trying to widen the point here).

    I don’t see anything in the current set-up to suggest that Wenger is less liable to change than any other manager – in fact the absolute reverse is true. But because this statement is made over and over again on the anti-Wengerian blogs and in the press, it is believed.

    It is the same old problem – say it enough and everyone takes it to be axiomatic, even when the facts and stats don’t show this to be so.

  23. francis
    February 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    If everyone who read this was put in a room and asked to raise a hand if they believed that Arsenal could still win the league I doubt there would be many hands in the air.

    Mine would be. Just. Because it maybe hard to believe but I honestly feel that we can still do it.

    Yes it will be hard, extremely hard. Yes, it may seem impossible, extremely impossible but it isn’t over until the fat lady sings and although I’m sure I can hear Susan Boyle on the radio I prefer to say she is big boned.

    Of course we will have to do it the hard way. We have to rely on Chelsea and Manchester United dropping points (and they will) but after the Liverpool game we have a run-in that doesn’t strike the fear of God into me.

    Chelsea and United have a far tougher ending to this campaign and as long as we keep on winning our games then we have a chance.

    Today’s performance from the boys was in stark contrast from the United game, albeit both ended in defeat. The effort and demeanour cannot be faulted. In fact I only felt that we lost the game because of the usual mistakes we have failed to learn from; sloppy defending.

    Against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United you cannot get away with these mistakes. Luckily for us we don’t have to play either again (in the Premiership) this campaign.

    Other than the mistakes for the goals I don’t think we did a lot wrong today. We played well and as long we keep playing like that then we will have a very good end to the season. In my opinion Drogba was the difference, pouncing on our indifferences.

    Had Drogba been wearing a red and white shirt today I’ve no doubt we would have won. Yes Wenger should have rectified that we needed a striker in the transfer market but at the end of the day he didn’t and it may cost us. It may not.

    The run of games against Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool was a real test to our title ambitions, so far we have come up short. However, victory for us against Liverpool and if results go our way on Wednesday it could put things in a more positive light for us.

    Manchester United go to Aston Villa and Chelsea travel to Everton. Do you think those games are certain wins for either of our title rivals? You may say we look far from certain to beat Liverpool at the moment but this is my point; we have to do it the hard way.

    We had it in our own hands before this testing run of games. As I’ve said, we come up short and appear to have fucked ourselves. We have to rely on others slipping up, not ideal I know, but we are not out of it yet.

    Of course I’m gutted that we have lost again and I’m sure the media and many others (including some Gooners) will cum in their pants at the thought of Arsenal blowing their own load a bit early (again) in the season but we have to still believe we can do it. Even if that seems a little mental.

    Even if there is just a little smidgen of belief hold on to it because strange things can happen in football. I believe we can still win the league this season. I just hope some others do to.

  24. Bukola
    February 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Wenger should find a solution wit immediate effect. As far as i’m concern, we can still win the league.
    Fabianski
    ebnue sol gallas verm
    diaby song fab
    rosicky bendt. Arshavin.
    Whats your take on this

  25. Andrew Weber
    February 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Just to respond to a couple of people criticising my “we can still win the title” comment.

    I’m not in any way suggesting we will win the last 13 games. What matters is that we stay as close to the top two as possible and wait for any slip-ups and previous form against the “lesser teams” have shown this squad of players can put a run together. I linked to an article that I wrote last week that shows we only have two really big games left in the season while Manchester United and Chelsea have six each.

    I’m not being eternally optimistic – I was so disappointed with Wenger’s tactical performance against United, as well as at other points in the season – but the fact remains that we have a shot. Still need to beat Liverpool though.

  26. Andrew Weber
    February 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    @ grahm – I think you’ve got some good points there but I don’t quite understand what you mean. Do you mean Wenger is tactically flexible? That he’s open to different options in different positions? I’m interested to hear your points if you could elaborate.

    And yes this article is based on opinion, absolutely. It’s a blog post! 🙂

  27. Baxter
    February 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Definately agree with the title of this post. I would have chosen Bendtner to play just to give us a different attacking option to compete physically against chelsea. However Chelsea and Man U still have a lot of tough games where they could drop points, so we need 2 win all ours and hope for some luck on the way.

    Once again we play most of the football and have over half the possession and don’t come away with a result. I find myself time and time again asking why RVP played in a meaningless friendly when he was in such good form. In games against the big teams we need a clinical striker & another quality midfielder alongside Fab & Song. In my opinion Denilson falls well short and other than RVP , our strikers aren’t good enough. Bendter isn’t as good as he thinks he is and Eduardo has lost alot of confidence. Just heard Chamakh say he wants to join at the end of the season but i won’t judge him and say wether he is good enough or not because i havent seen him play enough.

    ‘In Arsene We Trust’…I Believe it less and less as are trophyless spell goes on.

  28. SOBIN THE GOONER
    February 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Iam very much disappointed.We played well but they win.it’s frusturating.I Still have faith in Wenger and our players .We have to win all our next 13 matches. Can we do it??????

  29. kevin
    February 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    hmmmmmmmmm

  30. D
    February 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    @SOBIN, i hope you sober up, coz i think u wrote this wen you were bit dazed from drink. we played well!!!!? were you blind???? playing the kind of ball were playing? do you think in a million years we would threaten Chelsea???, shooting feebly like the kids they were/are?
    yeah!! continue having that faith in AW, at least you are entitled to that, but don’t have faith or optimism in a title! 2nd finish, what you might get is probably a third if not a fourth finish.
    well, thats AW for you, the professor of football!!!!

  31. Giddie- Nairobi
    February 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    from what i have learned from the games we have lost so far these points come in mind.
    Against strong opposition we lack confidence and mental strength.
    some opposition require physical presence which we lack ( Against everton when there was snow)
    In some areas defence( including keeper) and striking force we lack Quality- we cant compare to our opponents we have no depth in our squad 4 example RVP is injured no replacement same applies to many of our senior players.
    we don’t play complete football such as long balls quality crosses even free kicks we concetrate on one way of play even when we are loosing………..
    ……………………………………………………………………………….
    having said that this is my advice to all arsenal fans and especially those who engage in battles with other fans, if u don’t want frustration and yet u wanna remain an arsenal fan please read and understand Wenger’s theory which states ” YOU DON’T HAVE TO WIN TROPHIES AS LONG AS YOU FINISH N0. 4 IN THE TABLE AND REACH SEMIFINAL OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE THE OTHER TROPHIES ARE TRAINING GROUND FOR YOUNG TALENT AND U DON’T NEED TO SPEND MONEY WHEN THE SQUAD U HAVE CAN DELIVER THE AFORESAID OBJECTIVE” according to me achieving n0.3 this season is a great accomplishment but the title we didn’t have the chance with the current squad and we are asking too much from our current squad. Don’t blame Wenger those r his objectives and he can deliver. Thank u Andrew n the rest ciau.

  32. Giddie- Nairobi
    February 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    i support denis 100% from optimissim-pessimism- lack of faith and frustration even to death for those who cant withstand.

  33. chief
    February 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    The worst player I have seen in Arsenal team is goal keeper Alimunia. If you were critical on the match then you can count how many goals did Cezch save and compare him with Allimunia. Guys our goal keeper is far below average and for me I know if Manone is given chance to play three matches in a row he will be far better than Alimunia. The mistake Wenger has is that he keeps players who are off form to player as you can see in the Chelsea game, Alimunia, Clichy and song were completely out of the game and yet he had the options of Traore,Ramsey and Fabiaski on the bench and he didnot act. For me Wenger is too conservative to lead Arsenal to any silverware, afterall we donot need him to be a manager but to be a coach which is what he has fail to be. We should stop the illusion about winning the title because that is unrealistic with such a very low esteem our players have.

  34. Petchi
    February 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    For how long shall we continue to go without silverware. No league cup, no Carling cup, no FA cup. Every year Wenger tells us that both carling cup and FA are not important to him, still he will not win the league. Let him give us something to cheer about, we are tired of waiting fot the league cup.

  35. Aske P.
    February 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    “Players lose you games, not tactics. There’s so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes.”
    –Brian Clough

    There’s no doubting that the lack of effort in these past games have been truly frightening. Denilson needs to sit his ass down on the bench for a long time and ponder his commitment to the club, cause he sure ain’t leaving it all out on the field, that’s for damn sure. I find myself thinking the same things about Denilson that I thought to myself about Alex Song a year or so ago. The talent undoubtedly there, just needs a massive kick in the arse.

    But I digress.. The point I wanted to make was that Arsène didn’t have much choice with regards to picking the starting eleven.

  36. lusungo
    February 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    My major dissapointment was with Walcot, he has become toatally inefffective, he ran to no avail,he has no stamina easily bumped off the ball. I also feel Eboue should be starting as he is more effective that Sagna.My other view is that our defenders are forced to go foreward because the strikers are not delivering the goods. AW must buy a proven striker NOt only because the money is the,but the team needs to start winning the big games in order to justify being one of the big FOUR.

  37. darragh
    February 8, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    Interesting angle Andy. I like it.

  38. RipRoarinRed
    February 9, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Alex Ferguson would have been livid with Arsenal’s feebly lightweight performance against Chelsea. I hope he turns up at our training ground today and bollocks the team. Arsene clearly isn’t going to. A temporary solution to our onfield woes would be to play Almunia up front as a lone striker and have a bucket of shit in goal.

  39. harrison
    February 9, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    told u so. this man is stubborn. he won`t buy

  40. chelseadaft
    February 9, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Hi all,

    I am a Chelsea fan with my own site and I come in peace!. I have to say, honestly, you outplayed us yesterday and dominated possession but that was it. Ok, you had two chances through Arshavin (whats happened to him in recent weeks) and Fabregas’ free kick. But that was about it.

    To be fair Almunia didn’t have a save to make and still had to pick the ball up out of his net twice!

    In my opinion you need a great Goalkeeper and a forward that can intimidate and dominate defences. If you had that you would be the complete team, but hey I’m just a Chelsea fan with an opinion.

    Let’s hope you beat the bin dippers on Wednesday!

  41. sa gunnar
    February 9, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    what was biggest dissapointment was that wenger had no plan b, nothing to say that we learnty from our mistakes playing at emirates-manu game. It’s more like he didn’t do his research on chelsea and manu before playing,that’s the biggest pain seening your team lose with any ambition, how can it remain the biggest game on the schedule when people and media now what da possible out look.It sad also that players seem so lost
    no drive just waiting for sum thing to happen.

  42. ADEYEMI
    February 9, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    Chlichy has proved again and again that he is a party spoiler, remember b’harm 3 seasons ago, hospur last season. He is good player with costly mistakes. The title race is over. Best luck next season as usual.

  43. joqim
    February 9, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    U right Adeyemi. People have given too much benefit of doubt to Clichy. A player who is pretty good normally, has been apparently slackening in his runs to allow access to attackers . Very strange indeed in crucial matches now and in the past. The way Man U and Chelsea been probing in his directions , are they reading the commercial market better than our ” see no evil?”

  44. Philby
    February 9, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    Unless results quickly turn around, this season’s a write-off. I’m a real fan of Arsene, but can’t help thinking that by not investing in a striker in January, he not only missed the chance to win the title this year, but he also convinced Fabregas to leave the club. Wenger’s ambition to win nowadays seems to be overshadowed by the ambition to bring players through. What’s the point of turning kids into champions if they leave just as they’ve developed?

  45. Tarik Hussein
    February 9, 2010 at 7:59 am #

    The last two games have shown the limits of Wenger philosophy, however admirable. You do not become champion without a very expensive world-class striker (like Rooney, Drogba, or for that matter Henri in his prime) and a world-class keeper (certainly not Almunia).

    Perhaps there is not enough money, perhaps the winning of championships is down to becoming the toy of some corrupt tycoon… Until FIFA changes the rules to prevent clubs from spending more than they earn.

  46. Awuor Awuor
    February 9, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Wenger is enjoying because after every lose he starts crying because he is alergic to signing players,why why wenger why are you doing this to the loyal fans of the GUNNERS ?

  47. Knife
    February 9, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    lets be serious and face facts – Arsenal went through a great period of sucess winning 12 trophies in quick time – we have transitioned into a World Class Stadium to allow us to be become a dominant force on the world stage. have world class training facilities ( thanks Anelka )
    We dont splash money around like Chelsea, Man Utd or Liverpool for that matter yet are able to be very close at the business end of the season. ( and dont have their debt or a Russian or American Tycoons to worry about…Yet )

    Give this side one more year to grow and learn what it is going to take to be a top the EPL after 38 games. the current squad is capable of growing and developing into a dominant force with only minor additions – new striker, Cham – new first choice keeper – new Defensive Mid

    AW has done great things with our club we just dont seem to have the belief of Utd or Chelsea – both of whom can play 88 minutes of rubbish but still believe they are good enough to get a result and more often then not they do.

    oh and didnt The Professor say that around 83 points would win the league this year?? we can still make that and Chelsea and Utd still have some tough games……

  48. andrea
    February 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    its time the gunners grow mentally strong that’s their weakest point.

  49. eddy
    February 10, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    i don`t think that we can be defeated so easily like that. i think that the players need to practice shooting from a far range its not amust they always score inside the 18.

  50. kisekka
    February 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    I agree with you about bentner. I really wonder why wenger did not start him though he was not in better form.

    The way played chealse showed how much we are lucking in some departments.

    I stil believe we need Egland from fulham.

    And ebetter song with experience.

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