Arsenal 1-2 Spurs: The fat lady has sung

The fat lady has sung. Loud and clear.

A 2-1 reverse to Tottenham at White Hart Lane, our first North London Derby defeat in over a decade, has ended our hopes of winning the Premier League title.

It was always going to be difficult, it was always going to be unlikely and now, it is over. Six points and a significant amount of goal difference stand between us and Chelsea, a gap that is simply too large to bridge with just four games remaining. Stranger things have happened, of course, but they simply won’t be happening this season.

First things first I want to send my condolences to all the UK born and/or bred Arsenal supporters who will be copping flak from co-workers, friends and family for the loss to our local rivals. It’s going to be a long day for you and I hope you can make it through.

I can understand that there is a lot of frustration around the place at the moment. Heck, our season has just been ended at the hands of our most hated rivals. If there’s a time for being frustrated then this is it. However, I do feel we need to maintain a sense of perspective over what we have achieved this season and the very understandable factors that have prevented us from achieving more.

In many ways the reasons for our Tottenham defeat are representative of our season as a whole.

I know that using the excuse of injuries will be frowned upon by many but the quality and quantity of the players missing in this game, as well as the second-leg defeat to Barcelona a week ago, simply cannot be ignored.

All good teams have a host of key players that are ably supported by a larger group of support players. The key players are in effect the leaders of the group, players capable of combining consistency with brilliance and as a result inspiring confidence in the support group to play without fear and to the best of their limited ability.

This season has shown our key players to be Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, William Gallas, Alex Song, Andrey Arshavin and Thomas Vermaelen. Only the latter started this game and for the period between his first-half injury and van Persie’s unexpected introduction, we played without any of them.

Under those circumstances, against a fired-up Tottenham team shooting for fourth place in the league, it was always going to be difficult. To put it another way: if you took Xavi, Lionel Messi, Carlos Pujol, Seydou Keita, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique out of Barcelona and forced them to play against Valencia in the Mestalla, would you expect them to win? It’s unlikely.

Without one of Cesc or Song in the middle the likes of Samir Nasri, Abou Diaby and Denilson look completely different players. They look timid and unsure of themselves. With Cesc and Song they look like world beaters, particularly Diaby. It is an example of why support players need the key players around to help the team function as a whole. Too often this season we have been denied that opportunity.

There will be people that say I am simply making excuses for another failed season, that I am avoiding the problems of squad depth and the manager’s inexcusable decision not purchase more players. However, the evidence suggests that Wenger has not only noted the areas where we lack depth but made steps to address them.

Sol Campbell’s signing in the summer transfer window was made to counter a unique problem involving both Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos that left us short of defensive options on the very eve of the season. I have no doubt in my mind that Djourou was set for a big season with Arsenal, that he would have been rotated regularly with Gallas and Vermaelen and that the calf injuries to our first-choice pair, a result of poor man management and overplaying, would have been far less likely to occur.

However, after making it clear to Senderos that he was not wanted Djourou’s knee played up and both options were lost. It would have been unfair to make Senderos stay at a pivotal moment of his career and likewise, the proximity of Djourou’s injury to the first game of the season made a replacement impossible. In hindsight it was a horrible stroke of luck, yet one Wenger attempted to fix with the only player realistically happy to fill a short-term void; Campbell.

Likewise Wenger’s interest in Marouane Chamakh has indicated his understanding that for this team to function week-in, week-out with a 4-3-3 then at least three physical strikers are required to balance the load. Ideally having two in the front three gives us the best balance of strength, speed and skill and the inevitable signing of Chamakh means we will never have to see Arshavin play up front on his own again.

An argument can be made that Chamakh should have been brought in during the summer when both van Persie and Bendtner were sidelined but this simply wasn’t possible. The Moroccan’s current club Bordeaux were in the middle of their best ever season and were not happy to let Chamakh go for anything but big money. For a player in the last year of his contract who could be picked up on a free at the end of the season, it would have been foolish for a club so respected for its frugality to splash unreasonable cash.

Keen observers will note that in the early part of our season our 4-3-3 formation encouraged the two wingers to apply an immense amount of pressure on the opposition’s fullbacks, very similar to Barcelona’s approach. Arshavin and particularly Bendtner did this with aplomb but as the key options dropped off, so to did the ability for our players to provide that pressure and Chamakh’s arrival will certainly provide a solution to that problem.

The ridiculous injury to Aaron Ramsey has left us unfortunately short in the middle and this is an area that does require attention for the manager. Yet given that it occurred between the summer transfer window and the end of the season, no remedy could be found and therefore no blame could be attached to the manager.

Likewise Manuel Almunia’s bizarre fall from grace after a season that promised so much and Lukasz Fabianski’s inability to capitalise created a very difficult man-management problem for Wenger. It was not one he could sort out during the season but it is one he will have the opportunity to fix during the break.

I realise this has become a bit waffly but I suppose my point is this: there have been very understandable reasons for our inability to win silverware this season and they should be considered when judging the manager and the club’s performance.

Too many key players have been injured, a couple of very difficult man-management situations have prevented the opportunity to adequately cover the areas that have lacked depth and our goalkeepers have simply underperformed.

But on the positive side the squad appears to be playing with unity, showing a grit and togetherness that has not been apparent in previous season while the manager appears clued-in to the problems with his squad, as shown by the signings of Campbell and Chamakh. When you combine that with the solid state of our club, the development of a whole host of players – Song, Diaby, Bendtner, Gibbs and Eboue to name a few – and the fact that we have improved on last season’s league position there is much to remain optimistic about.

Extending our North London Derby record and winning the league title may have proved beyond us, but let’s not lose our perspective as to what has been achieved this season.

Thoughts?

Have your say on the North London Derby or the season as a whole by leaving a comment.

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106 Responses to “Arsenal 1-2 Spurs: The fat lady has sung”

  1. ken
    April 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    We should offer Sol a new 1 year contract, he was great last night and showed what heart he has to win. The spine of the club, goalkeeper, central defence and striker needs to be strengthened. Thank goodness RVP has come back as good as new, what a player!

  2. king gooner
    April 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    aslong as “coco” is in goal we’ll never win anything-he has to go & fast!!

  3. steve
    April 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    had to go work after that game last nite with all fucking spurs fans taking the piss all nite. this is five years with no silverware to show how long can this go on for? i thiink it time for wenger to go and take most of the team with him sol was are best man last nite so was rvp when he come on i think it was to let to bring him on we were 2-0 down why not bring him on from the start? well there we are season over . fucking pissed rite off

  4. Andrew Weber
    April 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    People. I’d really like people to read the article and try and still to the topic as much as possible.

    I really don’t want this to turn into a vent-without-thought-fest.

  5. James Ndungi - Nairobi
    April 15, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I am a Gooner for better or for worse, i felt like not commenting but come on, didn’t our old folks say that “He who does not contemplate a loss is not a sportsman” so who am I not to accept defeat.

    Yes we lost but we should not lose focus at the moment.
    i still have dreams that something can happen and Gunners are crowned champions this season.

  6. D
    April 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Mmmmmmmhhhhhhh!!!, there was never going to be any silverware afterall, it was just simple truth that was yet to sink in, well now it is true, another failed season.

    The truth is, we do not have to play for second or third spot at any time, improvement is not a solution nor is it an excuse.

    For me, our style of play is also rooted in some serious questions, yesterdays game was just awful to watch, Diaby and although Bentner got one back were just wasters infront of goal.

    i wonder!, why keep possesion and keep passing in front of goal? without some serious injection of players, who can beef up the squad incase of injuries to the likes of Cesc, RvP, or suspensions of key players, it will always be this way. Excuses upon others and nothing to show for it.

    i just feel frustrated, very bad.

  7. D
    April 15, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    AW, please you have to understand that we just have to put what we have in our hearts out, its the best way, well!, dont you think so.

  8. lalbadhur
    April 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Tottenham Hotspur Football club-the whole caboodle- fans, team, manager the lot, only care about one thing in the whole world- not finishing 4th and playing in Europe, not winning the cup- only one thing motivates this club-beating us- the hate filled small minded morons only put in this kind of performance once or twice a season- usually it doesn’t work. Well well done Tinies you won your cup final.
    Anyone who questions whether they support the wrong team in North London need only wait till the weekend to find out- when they play and get hammered by Chelsea.
    A flat forgettable performance by us- except for the RVP cameo at the end.

  9. MTY
    April 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    ”Man of the match by a country mile was 35 year old Sol Campbell and our next best player was a striker who has been out for 5 months. That tells you a lot.” from ArseBlog.

    We have been unlucky with lots of injuries but so were Spurs. Same is with Chelsea. But as i tried to point out last night, they have bigger squads. That’s where the difference lies!
    Spurs used four proven strikers yesterday whereas Arsene kept a sharp RVP on the bench till the 70th minute! It’s tough to blame a manager who did a lot for this club but i sometimes doubt his decisions during games.
    Yes, he’s the best out there in terms of training & preparing players but there have been lots of questionable moments on his side during big matches.
    Remember Scholari with Portugal in Euro 2004 (all the substitutions he made during the whole tournament were spot on & that was how he got them to the final) or Jose at Chelsea?
    If u want to win big games then u need to be a good game-reader as well & I’m afraid Arsene lacks that.

  10. senior citizen
    April 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Syllyvester is not worth any ammount. To the contrary, we should pay the club that offers to offload our baden.
    Diaby had a one of his days. Always unpredictable though.

  11. billy
    April 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    i dont care, as long as we can go on top of united. that would make me feel a bit better in a small way. @ steve: wenger is the man that has kept us up there in the top rankings over the years, come what may. however, i still think he made a huge mistake with our last game of the FA cup. he should’ve taken advantage of at least one cup, but then he went and put the 2nd string on the field at a crucial time. that was his biggest mistake of the season. im still angry with him over that decision. just one problem though, are we the only team in europe with 7 injured players at one time? 7 players????? comon!!!!! isnt that very strange? then you have a man like drogba that has played the whole season in almost every game, always constantly falling down, but hasnt been on injury the whole season. are we the only team whose legs gets broken?? name any other plyaer in the leugue with a broken leg please for the past 3 seasons.

  12. jebo
    April 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Am not amazed, we can not win a thing unlwess we buld a good team, and Rotten ham showed that we dont have a good team; matching the team name “ARsenal”. also wenger has finaly said the truth ”this team lacks something”/…..of course many things.

  13. Rocking Guns
    April 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    I think we should sell Eboue. He was bad last night. He keeps the ball to long! He always loses the ball, and doesn’t even know how to dribble! This is what i think will happen to Arsenal next season:-

    1. Cesc will definitely go to Barca.
    2. Arsenal maybe will spend for about US$20mil on transfers.
    3. The supporters of Arsenal will be unsure to keep faith on AW on the team.

    My options:-

    1. Sell Eboue and Vela.
    2. Spend for Lyon’s Goalkeeper Lloris, and Bordeaux’s Maroune Chamakh. Also Bolton’s Kevin Davies.
    3. Sack Wenger.

  14. Filipino Dan
    April 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    I’m with you on Djourou, Andy. His return will mean that we don’t have to replace Gallas.

    However, we will have to replace Senderos and Silvestre. A new contract for Sol is fine with me, but only as a back up. His experience is priceless.

    So one new defender and a keeper to go along with Chamakh?

  15. jesse
    April 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    last nite shows the problem in the heart of arsenal you can not win a championship with 11players or even less in arsenal
    arsen has to change or we will never win any thing cos’ boys deserve more in their career to win something can’t because AW principle they get frustrated and leave , we start building again for another year or two the same thing set in and the new ones leave again .
    this how flamini and hleb left when arsenal was about to explode into a season that was full of promises
    this was also repeated in the case of ade and toure , yes i understand about their loyalty question around these players but if they feel realistically arsenal had a chance of winning epl or ecl they will take a pay cut to stay and win something , cos’ @ the start of the season with what we have i will gladly take this present position . A typical example is cesc deserve to win something @ this stage of his career , if he now go this summer to try and achive something for his career, the loyalty issue will come up
    but seeing rvp make me say what if ! but that is life plan for the unknown
    pls arsen change to help us the fans and the young players who deserve more than they are gettin

  16. darragh
    April 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Any comment on Vermaelan’s injury, Andy? I’m hoping its not bad, whatever it is.

    I think you’ve written with the correct perspective. Remember, everyone though City would replace Arsenal in the ‘top 4′, and that didn’t happen. Up until RVP unfortunate injury, we were streaking it in the league. Imagine the amount of games we could have turned around during the time he was away.

    Credit to Arsenal somehow managing to stay in the race despite having no real striker for about two months.

    Mathematically, there is still hope, however unlikely that may be.

    To be honest, it has been the inconsistency of the back 5 with the possible exception of Vermaelan, over the course of the season that has let us down. You cannot realistically say that Arsenal’s defense is as strong as Chelsea or United. Arsenal must buy a world class goalkeeper in the next break – and by top class, they’ll have to be international (if only we had gotten Shay Given! Best keeper in the league! haha!).

    Expect Wenger to be keeping a close eye on keepers during the world cup.

  17. Rocking Guns
    April 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    I agree with you billy, Arsenal players are easily injured. In Malay i say it “Lopek!”

  18. mide
    April 15, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    To say that a player who has been out for five months is the person who came to give us hope is a sorry excuse.after the first goal arsenal was playing like the reserve team.i personally think silvestre,denilson,eduardo,almunia should be sold to allow new buys,carlos vela,traore,should be loaned out,Gallas given a 2-year contract,campbell 1-year extension…but still the need of a good goalkeeper,center back,a strong defensive midfielder and goal-thirsty strikers will be needed.Generally we need maturity in our game because i didn’t see that till V.P came in

  19. Rian Joubert
    April 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    I think this team did very well if you consider how it was stretched. Injuries was definitely our biggest issue. I still think that Wenger could have helped the team by splashing out cash. But like you said Andy. Looks like he has got his heart set on Chamak. Well lets hope for next season then

  20. billi
    April 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    I’ve seen only the last 30 minutes or so, I don’t care so much about the title, in honest, don’t mind me, but I doubt a little bit that they deserve the title, though I don’t watch the other matches, especially Chelsea or Manu, but what I ‘ve seen of them was impressive, out of my stomach I just have the feeling Arsenal had too many difficult games recently, I mean games in which they had problems, and in this match they couldn’t cope any more with these problems, I haven’t seen much of last game, but what I noticed was that they had no passing game, their attack was much too slowly, their movement and play without the ball was nearly not existend, my impression, they were defended immediately most of the time by two defenders, when they defended they had to run and run that à dire much too far away from their opponents, Tottenham had space that was unbelievable, and what I really didn’t like, when there was the possibility of a counter attack there wasn’t one, shall mean no fast attack, much too slowly, they nearly waited until Tottenham had organized their defence, at least it looked like that, this was my impression, with RvP there was a little bit change in it, but too late, and too many weak passes and lost one-by-one foughts, I had the imprssion they played without believe, even without determination, it looked like that, maybe the frustation about the two conceded goals were too much, they looked like their spirit had been broken, they looked beaten, whyever, maybe too much disappointment, and it’s just my impression, as I said, I haven’t seen the first half, and neither of the conceded goals, but the passing around the box was really boring, no good performance , not at all, they have to change this or they will fall into a free fall the last matches, I don’t hope so, but this was really uninspirating, I had seen it happening, maybe ’cause I am in an unmotivated mood by myself,

    the reasons that you are mentioning Andy are great detected, really a good description of the background of this outcome, I just hope they will perform a bit better the last games, otherwise they will make a lot to pieces of this season :?

  21. Elia
    April 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    It was the make or break match of our year. The result is a reflection of our season – dominate possesion but nothing to show for it, a great deal of bad luck with injuries to our squad, and our striking ability is inept at best and can’t compete for honours. Wenger will need to find a new spine with a new keeper(almunia has been the biggest risk), centre back(gallas is gone), centre midfield(cesc injured leaves the team without organisation)and a striker (bentdner can’t cut it). Clichy (too slow), diaby (lacks awareness, conviction and consistency) Eduardo (gone) need to be moved on, and last chances to sagna, denilson, eboue, and vela. On the positive Gibbs, Ramsey will become starters, rvp, cesc, arsgavin, nasri, vermaelen are world class, with rosicky and Campbell worth their salt. Pre season here we come!

  22. hans south Africa
    April 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    All i can say is that the few minutes Van P was on the field Arsenal looked dangerous and Bendner was exposed for a 2nd rate strike if that.
    Had V P be available all along we would have likely won the league.

  23. hans south Africa
    April 15, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    You cant play 75 % of the season without a striker and expect to win Wenger has blown it!
    Even heskey is better than our 2nd rate folly Bendner. I have said this many timeson this forum.
    Any striker will get a few goals if you have the players of gunners quality seting things up for you. BUT YOU NEED TO BE A STRIKER!

  24. Kosi
    April 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Arsene’s body language was very poor yesterday and reflected the fighting spirit of our team, particularly against Spurs.

  25. Rian Joubert
    April 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I agree billi. Some of the guys seemed like the arsenal way was too difficult too play without the big names. First touches and innovation was seriously lacking.

  26. C-Bass
    April 15, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    All I want is for Wenger to keep a team that got so close together for once and then add to it. We get close and then always lose key players and rarely replace all of them. If we lose Gallas bring in a sure fire center half. Etc… etc…. improve on the team we have, do not wait and have yet another developmental season and then challenge the year after next.

  27. Margaret
    April 15, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Agree Wenger’s body language bad last night – no encouragement – spurs can enjoy their DVD of this game over the summer and will roll over for Chelsea and ManUtd – but hey until they (and Chelsea) win as much as we have over the Wenger years they are to be ignored!

  28. rehan siddiqui
    April 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    i hate to agreed with john terry that arsenal boys can not win against men. It has been proved against manu, chelsea, barca and to a lesser extent spurs. simply get rid off second raters like bendtner, denilson, diaby, sagna, walcott and of course the master howler almunia. Unless they are booted out the next season will be no different than this one. bring in some men with steel and not midgets in who are so easily pushed or shoved by bigger and stronger men. aw wake up to the changing times and not harp on young team again.

  29. petre
    April 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Aw must buy this summer…there are 6 players must be signed..

    1. manuel nuer-to replace almunia as no.1
    2. hangeland- IF gALLAS RELEASED
    3. GOURCUFF-strong n creative mdfielder
    4. van der vaart-experienced and very creative
    5. chamakh-free
    6. van der weil – replace sagna
    7. arjen robben-I’m sure Arsenal can buy him from Bayern- he wants to play in EPL..

    actually we need experienced player with strong mentality..not like a kid’s mentallity when they play against big team,,,we dont have enought strong player…like sol campbell, clichy,vermalaen,cesc, arshavin.nasri,bandner and persie…but i’m so sorry to say that the main problem that we have now is lack of xperienced players…

  30. Rohit Sharma
    April 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Well a disappointing end to our title hopes this year. I think AW should think about back five. I mean in last match apart from Sol nobody was looking like a defender deserving his place in a champion side.
    In my view its because of our below par defensive capabilities which lead in ending our title hopes. I bet give this defense to Chelsea/ Man U they would certainly be lying in middle of table. People are criticizing Bendtner for his poor finishing but i think our defense is one which should be criticized.

    Vermaelen/Gallas: Great defenders but sometimes they leave their defensive lines either to attack or tackle opposition forward in hole leaving space behind them.This thing has costed so many goals this season to us.

    Sagna: Good defensively but need to work on his crosses especially because we don’t have a winger who can provide crosses.

    Clichy: I don’t want to criticize him but sometimes he forget his defensive duties.

    Goalkeepers: We have serious question mark in this field and if not solved we are not going win anything in next season to. AW should give this problem a thought.

    Also on player on wings should understand their defensive duties.

    in attack we need a player who can take opposition defender one on one and penetrate opposition defenses so giving our game an extra edge.

    Your views.

  31. Matt B
    April 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Great analysis Andrew. I think you’re right: we all need to keep a sense of perspective.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but the game last night was the most frustrating I’ve seen this season. Lots of possession, but no penetration and an unbelieveable lack of desire, demonstrated by very few attempts at goal. Diaby was awful — that’s the second time in as many weeks, that he could have played Theo in, but for some reason, his vision stinks.

    RVP — what a player. Had he been playing for most of the season, I think we would be champions by now.

    Good news for next season though. Man U and Chelsea are aging teams — maybe Man City will be a greater threat next year. Whatever happens, we’ll be in with a much better chance of the league

  32. Breezay
    April 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    It’s obvious that we needed the likes of RvP and our other star players this season. When he came on we were a different team. We still leaked at the back, but we all know why that happened. He brought everyone on the field’s confidence like 20 notches. I can’t tell you how many times this season we have seen the pit pat passing around the box with everyone too scared to make a run into the box with or without the ball. Immediately RvP made runs in the box, received passes in the box and created chances for himself and others IN THE BOX. Passing the ball back and forth is fine when you are in the middle of the field. You can make the other team chase the ball a bit, but you can’t bring that sort of play slowly up the pitch to the other team’s box and continue it when you get there. We get to the box slowly with 6 or 7 guys just passing it around the box. It leaves us susceptible to the counter-attack, as well. We need to employ a more direct approach when we get to the final third or when we are almost to the final third.

    Anyway, I don’t think we are screwed and need to sack AW or get rid of half the team. We have a really good core of young players, but we need an injection of a few more top notch quality players to bring these young guys along. I think we need to get a top quality keeper and get rid of Almunia. Mannone and Schzejzny (spelling?) will benefit from learning from a top notch keeper like Lloric. Second, I think we need to resign Gallas (2 yrs) and Campbell (1 yr) and then bring in a top quality CB that can serve as competition with the rest of the group to pair with Vermaelen. Between Djourou, Verm, Gallas, Campbell, and whoever else we sign we will have a solid group of guys to compete for the top spots and will certainly have enough depth to rotate the squad throughout the long season. Third, we need another CDM to rotate with Song. That will free up other guys like Diaby and Ramsey to play more creative rolls alongside Cesc. Finally, we need a striker, someone that is top quality. I would love to see Torres join the Arsenal. He can’t be happy at Liverpool and would love to join his buddy Cesc. I think Chamakh is def coming, which is a good thing, but we still need another striker. We can’t get into a situation next season where Arshavin or Bendtner are shouldering the load.

    Here’s to us winning out and passing Man U in the standings for second place! Gunner for life!!!

  33. shambogunner
    April 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    I think the managers interest in Marouane Chamakh is based more on his availability on the cheap than his quality or ability so i don’t share the opinion that the boss has identified this as an area that requires attention, if he has identified it then hes not buying a proven Premier League marksman and thats what we should be doing. Would we be going all out to sign chamakh if he were tied into a 4 year contract with bordeaux? The answer is ‘No’, and it is basically another attempt by the manager to show his eye for a bargain and, again wev had enough of these and need proven quality.
    Andy, you have also indicated that you feel players have underacheived and let down the manager but if you go back to last summer there was a large percentage of Arsenal fans roaring for investment so that we didnt have to field sub-standard footballers like almunia,denilson and sylvestre.
    Those calls were based on observation over previous seasons and were nothing personal against the individuals. You can argue that Nasri,Walcott,Diaby and bentdner at times let him down performance wise but too many players were given too much game time when they hadnt earned it and were constantly given ‘the benefit of doubt’.
    I dont think there was anyone that felt Manuel Almunia’s season promised so much back in august.
    However, I do share your optimism for the future and will take the emergence of Song,Eboue,Vermaelen and Ramsey as consolation for another fruitless season, as-well as some memorable performances at stoke and hull where there was great character and pride shown.
    Lloris is a must signing at this stage and we need a greedy striker and Chiellini at the back with Vermaelen would be a dream. Gourcuff is another class act. I would take Jose Reyes back in a heartbeat because we lack pace and players who play wide and beat defenders. What is the point of Theo having blistering pace if he has no skill or imagination?
    Reyes would not return to England but Diego Capel is an alternative and would not cost more than 10 Million.
    We have to show some endeavor and conviction in the transfer market.

  34. guyfrmars
    April 15, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    it says something about the team when the best player last night was a 35 year old defender.

  35. Robert
    April 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Cant believe Robin V. was injured. Or maybe he’s become an recovery specialist. Stil struggling to see how Gomes got to his volley and free kick. But o well, a couple of new faces at the emirates will do us a load of good. And if Silvestre is still with arsenal next month, I’ll shoot myself in the foot!

  36. shambogunner
    April 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    I was hoping for a video clip of the Rose goal so that we could all see Almunias fall to the ground after the punch incase anyone had missed it first time around. This really infuriated me and was just done for theatrical reasons and I was wondering if anybody else was as enraged as I am over it.
    The couple of seconds it took him to get back to his feet and into position were the difference in him palming that over or raising two flailing arms up in vain.
    Im still seething over this and his many other BASIC errors through the years. If he had been at Manu he’d have been sold 3 years ago. I suppose what didnt help my rage was a certain angle of replay which shows Denilson ducking under the shot, he might not have blocked it anyway but one thing was for sure, he wasnt up for trying. Pathetic.
    One other observation from last night that the manager must also take the credit for and this is Sylvestre, not the goal itself, which was routine defending by any standards, but in the 92 min Almunia had the ball at his feet. Under no pressure he elects to not punt it deep into spurs territory but to roll it out to sylvestre who kicks a 9 yard pass forward straight to Crouch. I actually had to leave my living room before I threw my T.V set out the window.
    We didnt get the ball back after that and they ran out time.
    Absolutely unforgiveable displays of cluelessness from both Almunia and Sylvestre and these guys have been identified as potential champions by Arsene Wenger. Both of them being crap is one thing but showing blatant lack of urgency and intelligence with two remaining minutes is another matter altogether.
    Finally, can anyone here point to an Arsenal tackle made in a North London Derby last night that wasnt made by Sol Campbell? Disgraceful lack of intensity and motivation that the guy showing to be trying his best is mid thirties and on the decline. Where were our other ‘athletes’?

  37. shambogunner
    April 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    @ 8 seconds you will see the pathetic needless collapse of Almunias legs perfectly.
    @ 11 and 20 you will see the coward Denilson duck his head, turn to see we have conceded and casually continue his trot out the field. Test youself to see if you dont get very very angry.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDEzIqoW3Uk

  38. Pridesfoe
    April 16, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    i’ll refrain from venting my frustration, and temper it by saying, that season by season there has been an improvement. Last season we struggled to make it to fourth, and this time around we are comfortably in third. Its far from winning anything, but it does show that we are very close to becoming the champions we can be. I think, that during the off season we need to close our eyes (meaning not care how much money it could cost us) and bring Chamakh and Lloris over. A championship team starts with consistent goalkeeping, and as much as Almunia has had some truly brilliant moment, Its hard for me to think of him as a starting keeper.

  39. Ian
    April 16, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Some fair comments Andy and I wouldn’t use the injury problems as excuses either. The brutal facts are we have too many players who just aren’t good enough. Other players are just shadows of their former-selves after injury and are also now not good enough. AW is often too loyal to his players, the prime examples being Alumina, Dennilson and Rosicky who are all past their sell by dates. Diaby and Arshavin are inconsistent and Theo is like a headless chicken. Various posters on this web slated Manchester United as being and I quote “a one man team – Rooney” but if you look at us without Cesc, who is really the one man team? RvP was sublime, what a last 15 minutes he gave us, Gomes was in inspired form but sadly we gifted spurs the match and it cost me a double Irish malt whiskey to a spurs fan into the bargain! A horrible night all round.

  40. theicehammer
    April 16, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    @filipino dan, did you say that if Gallas goes you dont need to replace him. Djourou always gets injured, get your head out yr arse and study his history. Gallas is a far better player and needs to b replaced with equal quality if he goes. SSHHIIIIITTTTTTTTT. @ANDY, i think if Arsenal win nothing for the next 20 seasons you will still come out with the same stiff upper lip stuff. Its all excuses, Wenger is manager and therefore should manage instead of constantly looking at the balance sheet. The fans deserve it. There is to much of a gap between the fans and Wenger, he is in cloud coco land. Listen to Talk Sport radio at this moment, all the Arsenal supporters are calling in stating the truth about Arsene. From what im hearing they have had enough with the injuries. The players are not strong enough or are being pushed to hard in training or the doctors that monitor them are not good enough. They are worried about next season with teams lick shitty pushing for 4th place. Spurs are not that far away either.
    Chamakh is not the answer, i agree wid Shambo about him being a decent player for little money. You need a world class striker. @elia have you really watch a game this season. You sure Arsenal have so many world class players for so little money?

  41. Ianinja
    April 16, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    Ramsey growth at Arsenal before the injury demonstrated one of the outstanding highlights for this season. He is a special player, posesses good technical skills even before joining arsenal, but of course Wales has produced superb players like Gigs.

    I thought Aaron would be the one deputizing for Cesc not Diaby next season but its not to be. However I have a feeling Ramsey is the determined type and with that raging young blood he could well recover earlier.

    On the glaring issues, firstly I felt we were two or three players short, secondly we should have taken advantage of a weakened ManU and finish the season second with this current squad.

    Andy, you pointed out the ‘what could have been scenario’ in the event that Chamakh made it to us this season and that is a valid point about having a different type of physical striker to cover the wing role. Chamakh would have provide balance in the squad’s pool of strikers. The only thing is clichy/sagna have to improve their crosses to capitalize on Chamakh’s headers. The cry for signings this season is borne out of neccesity rather than compulsion.

    As the season is coming to a close I hope next season Arsenal end up as winners in all aspect, cups, finances, and the promises made, fufilled without hesitation. Of course thanks to Andy for being patient and tolerant of my ranting in this ‘commentators’ box.

  42. theicehammer
    April 16, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    @darragh, credit to arsenal somehow managing to stay in the race despite having no real striker!!! I cant believe what im hearing form some of you people. Its the fifth season of winning no thing. Did you say there is still hope? Who is to blame then, the supporters for not paying more at the gate. You mension players Arsenal should or could have, whoes fault is it that they dont have that quality? Thank god for @Breezay, i was about to slit my wrist.

  43. theicehammer
    April 16, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    @shambo you insite is spot on about Almunia. Top observation mate. I just love it when people back up their comments wid facts. Sorry to say i still laughing every time i see him fall to the ground! Ta mate.

  44. flyin dutchman
    April 16, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    hey, icehammer you definitely right about that,but also wenger is treated as too royal.Gud to see you still keeping in touch with us even though your team is struggling to keep heads above water for epl life,west ham.

  45. flyin dutchman
    April 16, 2010 at 2:55 am #

    wenger does get to me, he gets up and complains about everything, I just don’t think he getting the same responds
    as fergie gets, the tactics of winning is too predictable.

  46. shambogunner
    April 16, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    @ice,
    Glad to see Almunia brings a smile to somebodys face mate.
    All my liverpool,utd and chelsea friends just love him,Nasri and Bentdner. If he were at another team I would be laughing my ass off at him aswell……..sadly hes on the books at my team and continues to be selected by a manager who cannot except that some of the players hes paid for are substandard and plays them despite their lack of form and ability. Its a sick joke actually how many times Almunia has worn the jersey. I remember when Wenger was picking him ahead of Lehman after the german had returned from injury and Lehman publicly blasted the spaniards ability compared to him, now i know it was mad jens talking, but it appears he knew more than us…..and Wenger. Who is the worst rated keeper in the PL?? Maybe Myhill at hull, well I’d have him any day ahead of old foam hands.

  47. Anonymous
    April 16, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    your right everything you’ve said is waffle

    Wenger has for some time now been buying too many
    weak players who look pretty on the ball but cannot cope
    when they dont have it. Samir Nasri & T. Rosicky must go

    The answer lies mostley in our midfield, WE NEED JHOAN GORCUFF not his team mate

    Every season Van Persie gets a major injury yet the manager has not addressed the problem

    In the end he picks the team and the squad

    GLB

  48. MTY
    April 16, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    Shay Given was the right man for the job between the sticks……one of many key players we failed to lure to the Emirates!

  49. Andrew Weber
    April 16, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    I think Shay Given is a bit of a myth. Great shot-stopper for sure, but any Manchester City fan will tell you he hardly inspires confidence in and around the penalty. Plus, he’s inconsistent in the air.

  50. TOM
    April 16, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Have to agree about Almunia,the man is a joke. He could have easily caught that ball and his pathetic fall to the ground was just embaressing. I think wenger is clueless when it comes to organising a good defence and i really cant see him sorting it out this summer. Denilson just makes me want to kick my tv out the window,i get angry when i see his name on the teamsheet. Good to see rvp back tho

  51. darragh
    April 16, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Andy, I disagree with you their! There is the possibility that I’m biased consider Shay is Irish. But who would deny that most arsenal fans would rather have Shay that Manuel. He almost single handedly kept Newcastle together over a few years.

    @Icehammer – Your point being? I’m aware we haven’t won anything in 5 years. During the 70s/80s, Arsenal went 20 years without a title. You’re a West Ham fan right?

  52. Juan
    April 16, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    Andy:
    I disagree with what you say that we had players out and that even Barcelona would struggle without this or that player. I think our players could’ve won yesterday because we have already played without our key players. Nasri can fill Cesc’s void and role in midfield, and even if Denilson can´t perform as good as Song, i think with Diaby, Denilson and Nasri we would´ve outplayed Spurs no questions asked… Wednesday´s problem was the attitude the players had in the pitch, and i find that unacceptable, given their 8 day break afetr Barcelona.

  53. Juan
    April 16, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Andy:
    I disagree with what you said about having players out and that even Barcelona would struggle without this or that player. I think our players could’ve won yesterday because we have already played without our key players. Nasri can fill Cesc’s void and role in midfield, and even if Denilson can´t perform as good as Song, i think with Diaby, Denilson and Nasri we would´ve outplayed Spurs no questions asked… Wednesday´s problem was the attitude the players had in the pitch, and i find that unacceptable, given their 8 day break afetr Barcelona.

  54. Andrew Weber
    April 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    @ Juan – I agree with a couple of things you’ve said, that the support players can step up when we’re missing SOME of our key players. But the problem here was that we were missing ALL of them.

    That’s what made it so difficult.

  55. dave
    April 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    to put everything into perspective,
    yes , injuries cost us a chance to be on top of the PL and eventual fall from fans expectation. Healing needs time and there’s just no way to rush things back. I really don’t feel the team played any worst then before but one can see they’re struggling during the last 5/6 games. Late goals is one indication of it.
    No, there’s no excuse to perform badly against Spurs. If only RVP could play at half time instead of the last 20 mins. I say that not only because RP was great but more precisely HE was the ‘spark’ the team needed at that moment when everything failed miserably. Someone to look up to and lead and show the WAY. When Fabregas can’t play due to his injury, we lost the brain and leader of the team. Unfortunately no one else on the team is up to the job. Was that a moment of creativity from Arshavin that urged us to trump Porto at the 2nd leg ? In short Arsenal needs a coach/player in the field. We must have Sol for next season, make him co-captain even he can’t play all the time.

  56. Avik
    April 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    First David Bentley and now Danny Rose. Rotten Spurs and their blasted luck.

  57. Dorset Gooner
    April 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    At the start of the season, we were predicted not to even make Europe by most of the press and ‘experts’ alike. I think Wenger has done an excellent job, perhaps a bit more strength in depth to cover the inevitable anual injury crisis. I am however proud of what this team has acheived and hope that most of the team is retained for next season and added to.

  58. iloveverminator
    April 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Not easy to be an Arsenal fan…i almost had a heart attack during the match.
    Arsene needs to have a serious look at his squad for the next season. we need to have at least one world class player in each departement. I hope this was the last match that Almunia and Silvestre have played for Arsenal. Sooner Arsene realises this better for us.
    I am very sad :( :( :(

  59. steviej
    April 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    The Spurs result was hard to take, however let’s put a little perspective to the season so far.
    We have suffered one of our worst seasons for the number of critical injuries to key players.
    We are again in the Top Four and will play in the Champions League, essential for income to maintain the building process at Arsenal.
    We have one of the best if not the best Stadiums in the country.
    We have a youth and scouting set up second to none.
    We are a profitable club who are clearing their debts, unlike our rivals.
    AW has created a club who are almost in the right position to take on Manure and Chelski at their own game but also turn in a healthy profit and keep the club solvent.
    He has resisted the temptation to spend huge amounts on mediocre players who would inflate our wage structure and ruin our present finances.
    When he does spend money it is most often very shrewdly and on players that will enhance the team.
    Not only that i believe once the stadium is paid for Arsenal can be looking to take on Barcelona et al and dominate Europe as well.
    AW has always looked long term to set up the club for a long and dominant future, this takes time and patience.
    Manure, Chelski etc buy big for short term gains because they are under enormous pressure to win now to justify the expenditure.
    Thankfully Arsenal are not in that position, for our future we should get behind AW because i personally think his plan is sound.
    Barcelona have proved that by playing the game as it should be played you will win, if we emulate them, as i believe AW wants us to then we will win, we just need to be patient.
    Arsenal have come a long way in a very short time, and on a shoestring budget compared to our rivals, but in the long term we are streets ahead of all of them.

  60. Ianinja
    April 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Andy you just said Shay given is a myth? He definitely isn’t the top 5 keepers in the world but he is definitely much better than Almunia.

    Anyway on the issue of keepers we should try looking at the Swiss number 1 who plays for Wolfsburg, Diego Benaglio. I know he is no Iker Casilias but he is not the silent type like Almunia. This guy consistently shouts at Wolfsburg pathetic defenders, singlehandedly saved them from relegation this season and now seems that they should finish mid-table.

    Some highlights of Diego
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfOXkuY03PM

    Because of this new attacking Bayern Munich I started watching bundesliga and saw some of Diego’s fine one to one saves. He would be a good buy, tidy neat and full of rage.

  61. TOM
    April 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    If Almunia,Sylvestre,Fabianski,Rosicky,Walcott,Denilson,Diaby,Bendtner,Eduardo,Eboue and Vela are still at arsenal next season it will be very difficult to win tropheys. We will propably start the season well but when it comes to the business end of the season i can see us struggling again. Everyone knows we need to sign a competent goalkeeper and a powerfull centre back. We have no real quality on our left or right wings apart from Arshavin,Clichy and Sagna get so much space but can never supply good crosses. We need a new pires,ljundberg,overmars etc. We also need another creative midfielder and i think Arteta from everton could be the man. Up front we need a quality striker to play alongside rvp but i cant see Wenger spending 35 million to make that happen unless he trades or sells some of our average players.

  62. shambogunner
    April 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    @ Andy,
    I love the site and love your match analysis, but sometimes im completely bewildered by your lack of objectivity. How can you say shay given is a ‘myth’?
    ‘If you ask any city fan they will tell you he hardly inspires any confidence around the box’.
    Im pretty sure you could’nt find any City fan out of their millions that thinks that,or a Newcastle one or an Irish one. The majority of city fans will say he was and will probably remain their best buy under the new owners.
    I know you get the games very late in Oz mate so il assume you have never watched an entire game with Given playing that wasnt against us,thats fair, but I happen to enjoy watching other teams play aswell as my own and form opinions objectively on great and mediocre players.
    Its obvious you dont have this luxury due to time restrictions and i cant imagine how maybe a highlight show is going to lead you to the conclusion you have made about Given, but you are wrong.
    You tend to put our average players on pedastals, (bendtner,diaby,almunia) and then underplay the value or abilities of those who dont play at our club. I dont know why this is,to me its like a sort of denial thing.
    The fact is Shay Given wanted to join us in January 09, fact. There were already excellent keepers at the other champions league playing clubs. Wenger knew this and was often questioned on his interest in press conferences I actually watched live at the time. Wenger said we are always open to bringing quality to the club. Two weeks later City reveal a 5M bids been excepted and thats that.
    The fact is City put in a bid as soon as Given expressed his desire to move on from Newcastle but he was holding out for a move to us and did so for two weeks. Obviously hes not going to come out and say that now as a City idol.
    I dont mind this being another one of Wengers mistakes aslong as I dont have to see clever Arsenal fans justifying it by downgrading the player(s) in question.

  63. voley_gun
    April 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Arsene should also do one more homework.The balance of the players age and their medical fitness.Getting players young and forcing them to play long causes many fitness problems.It is true that we will lose a player atleast once in the season and he should put his chart ready to face it.

  64. georgetown gooner
    April 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    And so here we are,season over and yet again no silverware so i,ll start with who stays…gallas,tv5,cesc,aa23,song,rvp,ramsey,sol,wilshere,gibbs,merida, drinking in the last chance saloon…diaby,sagna,clichy,nasri,theo,eduardo,rosicky,vela,djourou,b52,eboue,traore, OUT…. the waiter,flapianski,denilson,peanut head. it seems mediocrity has become acceptable at arsenal fc.one of the biggest mistakes wenger has made over the last few years is not having enough english players with that never say die attitude,resilience,pride,passion,courage,strength all attributes vital to sustain a title challenge throughout a full season in the epl, i was disgusted and embarrassed by the timid,weak display in the derby by a few of the liabilities and feel its a reflection of wenger that we were beaten by a team who played 120 mins a few days before whilst we had 8 days since we last played.we have a manager who continues to reward average players with huge wages and fat contracts.we have a manager who is condescending and it seems at times delusion spins a magic web of perpetual belief reinforced through the repetition of blind optimism. of all the teams to end our so called title challenge it had to be those wankers down the road, i keep hearing this injuries crap well i,m not buying it because we all know every season they happen but what wenger has failed to do is BUY quality replacements prefering to go for the CHEAP option even though money is available, its like having a ferrari and replacing broken parts with bits from a skoda.wenger has 1year left on his contract and if he fails AGAIN to get rid of the crap and strength the weak areas in the team then he should GO, this has gone on for too long now and whilst you all continue your love in with a manager who continues to show no respect to the fans by blatantly ignoring major issues that need addressing i.e the clown between the sticks etc, i,ll remain in the minority disenchanted. make no mistake i love arsenal fc and have supported them for over 30 years but i can,t continue to watch some of the jokers pulling on that famous red shirt and not justifying selection whilst taking shit in the press then going out on numerous occassions and performing with such ineptitude it defies belief.

  65. Anonymous
    April 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    weber good article but no amount of words will control our frustrations.Until you realise that it is becomming a song that we shall improve next season you wont win anything. Mind you our league position is not confirmed yet.Man city is not far away from 3rd place. Gallas ,Almnia ,Silvest, Fabianski, Edwardo are all crap and should leave with immediate effect.

  66. DIXHUITE
    April 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi everybody I am sorry if what I want to say is outside this topic.
    Please if there is anyone in this Blog who have a direct relationship with Arsène Wenger, they should tell him to please sign Souleymane Diawara of Olympique de Marseille. This guy has really helped his club this season so much that they have won their first silverware since 1993, they are 5 points clear at the top of their league as at today 16th April 2010 with just 6 games to go and this is his first season in the club from Bordeaux where he spent 2 seasons winning the league with them . He is a very good center back. He is stong and has a frame of 88kg, good with the head. He has 4 goals to his credit this season.
    I wish someone can just tell Arsène Wenger to just check him up. Thanks.

  67. shambogunner
    April 16, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    @ georgetown,
    Totally agree with you. Overpaid bluffers that arrive wanting fat contracts and delivering nothing.
    Diaby,Nasri,Almunia,Denilson,Walcott,Eboue,Fabianski,Bentdner are substandard and dont seem to have grasped the importances of games like Wednesday night, while Sagna,Eduardo,Rosicky and Clichys form has evaporated under Wenger.
    Who out of those TWELVE players iv mentioned would you covet if they were at another club??? Maybe the last four. If Nasri and Bentdner played for Birmingham you wouldnt even consider them in an Arsenal shirt, likewise, whos going to want to buy these guys off us? They may have cost us little in transfer fees but they have cost us in titles and wages, you do the math Arsene. A big name signing pays for himself if you win even the Carling cup, nevermind the PL or CL cash bonuses.
    None of the above can justify the wages they are on.
    Neither can the manager.

  68. lalbadhur
    April 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Just a few questions please. 1) Is it the board that makes wenger not spend the money he has specifically put away for him in the accounts? 2) Is it the board who cannot identify a good goalkeeper? 3) Is it the board who teach our players the tippy tappy passing that seems to go nowhere against good clubs but because it works against lower teams we gush? 4) Is it the board who rest players unecessarily in cup games? 5) Is it the board who think we didnt need any major strengthening in the summer and jan especially ? 6) Was it the board who said this team was 1% away from dominating the premier league last year? 7) Was it the board who guaranteed a trophy this year? * You need to stop blaming those who dont directly affect the decisions/tactics/coaching. 1 man took all the credit for the success, 1 man took all the credit for revolutionising a game and according to some of you building arsenals new ground, their only european success and cup finals etc… Well 1 man takes all the blame for all the current failings & for not adapting to the game when he had a great basis already there and letting my beloved outfit become perenial also rans. The difference between those who here who are negative and those who are positive is becoming faith vs fact. 1 side hope wenger can do something different, We base our pessimism on 5 years of same seasons of no trophies of not building. Before anyone says look at how we have progressed and get any spreadshets out with point per game dont forget the season where we threw it away against birm when contending. Did we get closer the next year? Exactly. Wenger just saw his best chance pass him by. I would be very unhappy now for him to be there at the start of the season. However I accept the board wont get rid of a cash cow so Ill have to wait 1 more season for his farewell. A legend whos memory is tainted for me.

  69. Anonymous
    April 16, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Guys we shouldn’t be over carried by Sols performance.I shiver whenever i see him and Silvester in the back line and it is always a loss of 3 points. This is a 35 year old without pace,add him to ageing gallas who is above 33 and it will resemble the A.C millan defense.Loyalty should be dispensed with and these guys must leave .It is the only way we can get better replacements.Mediocrity by the coach in his tactic and team selection has also hurt the fans.This is a season where second place has been there for the taking but the ineptitudeness of the coach has seen it go.Mediocre French players like Diaby and so on. Edwardo should be flagged off to leave. But Walcott is a jewel we must keep due to his exceptional speed.A good tactician can help him become a robben.Vela is a hardworking player if modeled into a good winger cause he is young and has speed.I shudder when i see wenger starting Edwardo ahead of vela.What a hell happened to Sendoros.He is among the concrete defense which saw us battle it with Barca in 2006 at the finals.Unless the word loyalty has lost meaning then sendoros deserved to be rewarded by wenger instead of hopeless old Silvester.How on earth much time do you need to keep almunia on the peach in the spirit of helping him regain confidence which he never had. I just like how shrewd fergie is he cant tolerate mediocrity. Unless Wenger gets salary percentages on some of these owing to side agreements there is no way any worth his salt and coaching at a top level can tolerate such no sense.Unless we get behind the veil to check wengers monopoly of the club we shall continue wondering why mediocre players are driving expensive cars and enjoying much play time yet there are good players in lowly placed teams that aspire to play for arsenal.Ashly young is an arsenal die hard and better than Nasri.There many average keepers in the premier league better than this clown in goal.Vito manone doesn’t compare to any of two morons.More over is third choice.Much as i appreciate the financial aspect being important,a reward to the fans who make it achievable is paramount too.Thats why i believe the solution may be in dealing with wenger as to whether he goes or changes his myopic thinking .I now understand why L.pool fans are always bitter with Benitez.Mind you Liverpool may have to trophy to present than Wenger.I wouldnt love to hear of any one talking about injuries.I

  70. asder
    April 16, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    arsenal are finished …………fabregas is going to go to barcelona……arsenal wont win anythin in the next 5 years………arsene has to go….

  71. aungmon
    April 17, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    In new Emirates stadium,Arsenal has no victory so no trophy.A team with only first quality players like Varaelam,Clichy,Csec,Diaby,Song,Arshavin &Vanpersie cannot win a match.The other first lineup players are all useless.No fighting spirits, no shooting power & no good defensive might lead the gunners to follow Leeds United’s track.

  72. If you really care for Arsenal!
    April 17, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    For all the FC Arsenal fans and supporters in UK!
    23rd of April, at 14:00 pm we gather at the “Emirates Stadium” to voice our discontent with the current situation at the club. At the end of every season we hear the same stuff from Wenger and the board.
    “We were really close” “If we find an available player we will add to the squad” “Next season is decisive” “We are at the stage where we are developing players”
    Aren’t you fed up with it! We say “Yes”
    Something needs to change! 5 years without trophies. It is hard to take.
    We pay the highest ticket prices, we are told to believe in these bunch of players and keep faith. But enough is enough!!!
    The board says we’ve got the money Wenger says we don’t.
    Who is lying? It is obvious that we need reinforcement, yet Wenger says we cannot spend big money on real quality players. He says we’ve got the policy and we’ll stick to it. For how long?
    We’ve been sticking to that policy long enough to understand that it doesn’t work!
    IF YOU LOVE THE CLUB, IF YOU CARE, IF YOUR HEART IS IN IT THEN JOIN US!!!
    WE HAVE TO EXPRESS OUR DISAPPOINTMENT, PAIN AND DISCONTENT!
    23rd of April, at 14:00, EMIRATES

  73. If you really care for Arsenal!
    April 17, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Come on you Gooners!
    For all the FC Arsenal fans and supporters in UK!
    23rd of April, at 14:00 pm we gather at the “Emirates Stadium” to voice our discontent with the current situation at the club. At the end of every season we hear the same stuff from Wenger and the board.
    “We were really close” “If we find an available player we will add to the squad” “Next season is decisive” “We are at the stage where we are developing players”
    Aren’t you fed up with it! We say “Yes”
    Something needs to change! 5 years without trophies. It is hard to take.
    We pay the highest ticket prices, we are told to believe in these bunch of players and keep faith. But enough is enough!!!
    The board says we’ve got the money Wenger says we don’t.
    Who is lying? It is obvious that we need reinforcement, yet Wenger says we cannot spend big money on real quality players. He says we’ve got the policy and we’ll stick to it. For how long?
    We’ve been sticking to that policy long enough to understand that it doesn’t work!
    IF YOU LOVE THE CLUB, IF YOU CARE, IF YOUR HEART IS IN IT THEN JOIN US!!!
    WE HAVE TO EXPRESS OUR DISAPPOINTMENT, PAIN AND DISCONTENT!
    23rd of April, at 14:00, EMIRATES

  74. shambogunner
    April 17, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Thats what its come to, that post above.
    Some will say its excessive but its down to the break down in the relationship between Wenger and the fans.
    I dont support a mass fan protest but maybe it would open Wengers eyes because this is the fifth year of blind faith and he has never ackowledged the fans, ever. We are expected to buy merchandise and pay the highest prices for tickets and except mediocrity in the form of almunia and denilson.
    Now you have Hillwood talking out his arse about stuff he doesnt know claiming Cesc wouldnt make the barca team and that both clubs have agreed he will stay at Arsenal another season and no bid will be made. Have you ever heard such a load of shite in your life?
    Wenger is in no mans land now because too many of his players arent good enough and hes lost the fans.
    Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith is selling her family stake that has been in the club for years.
    Hillwoods playing mind games with the best and most powerful football team in world football, who are also the boyhood heroes of our prized asset.
    Fans are planning a public protest at the ground next week.
    All this could have been avoided if Wenger had at least been seen to be trying to replace Henry,Pires,Vieira,Hleb,Reyes,Bergkamp and the likes with quality. He would have appeased us fans aswell as the Cescs and Arshavins but instead we continued to sell and lose our Gilbertos (1 bloody million for him!),Flamini,Hleb,Toure and Adebayours without replacement or re-investment.
    Im actually sick of talking about it now and repeating myself is probably irratating the regulars on the blog so am becoming a silent member from here on in protest of our current policy. Will not be posting again until the Almunias,Nasris and Denilsons are out of my club……chat you guys in 5 years then!
    Peace out and heres to next season…..weve matured sinced last year you know!

  75. ALGunner
    April 17, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    5 Years still waiting for trophy’s. May be Arsene has made enough money to clear half of the debts that they have taken for building the new stadium. Now AW needs to act fast. He can’t assume that players like Deni,Almunia,Walcott,Nasri will get into the squad without any competition. Team against spurs was just awful. From that squad i would just take Campbell,Clichy,Sanga,Eboue,Bendy,RVP,Diaby.

  76. Dhibendran
    April 17, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    Hey guys.
    it took a heap of injuries and a developing team for the spurs to beat us. remember we have been beating them for a decade now. it was just not our day. of course i do admit, players didn’t step up for the occasion. but i see bright things for us gunners in the near future. we do need additions and once we get them, we’ll be a major force in Europe. our time is coming gooners !..Oohh to be a gooner..

  77. delano
    April 17, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Lets go to the emirates on that day for amass protest on the club policy and Wenger.

  78. delano
    April 17, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    If there is a sense of pride in the team, then wec have lost it.If there dreams we dreamt and happened, they no longer happen.In the past we dreamt of beating Madrid we could go and beat them , about intermillan nothing was impossible but as i speak now there is no sense of pride in the current hopeless youth project the French arse is trying to convince us believe.It is very obvious to every a young child to see.How can you expect to squeez water from dry bread.To hell with in arsene we trust.It’s all bullshit.We are tired enough is enough .Our pride is important than being embarrassed in Europe and at Home .Any of the top 3 teams in England could have done better.To hell with your free flowing football it has cost us both emotionally and financially.I am just tired of watching this guy and more so his mediocre French players.We protest at the Emirates come 23rd April.Thats the only way this foolish business men will understand that they owe us an apology.Sorry for you fansd who travelled to spain that night.

  79. Anonymous
    April 17, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    How do you continue to play a keeper who is this week thumped 2 goals the next five days he is on the receiving end of 4 as if that is not enough misery enough you play him in the premierleague only to be thumped two and is likely again to be on the receiving end against Wigan? some one remind me when Almnia ever won man of the match.But Manone did it at Fulham this season.All this is Wengers incompetence and stupidity sorry to say but i shall have no kind words for him.

  80. unchained
    April 17, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    i do not live in london anymore but whatever support you guys need i am willing to assist. I have had enough of this. I do not care about almost there, maybe next year etc. I backed a club from the late 70s that won. Even before football became a big money game. We had a solid back line. we had goal keepers who were first choice for national duties and players who played for their club. Yes the blog’s topic is about a spurs loss but hey we as senior gunners know that is it more than that. It is another disappointment. Wenger came to help us with Champions league we cannot even win the Carling Cup. Whether he goes or not in the end as fans a message must be sent. Our standards are quite high here and nothing beats winning some silverware.

  81. georgetown gooner
    April 17, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    @ andy,i would just like to take this oppourtunity to say thank you for allowing me to express my feelings and opinions on your blog, keep up the good work its become part of my life and i never miss it,BUT i like shambo will now refrain from posting until something changes at our great club.so best wishes to you and all my fellows gunners worldwide… arsenal till i die……. georgetown has left the building.

  82. Ianinja
    April 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Hmmmm….whats happening? Just my two cents worth, don’t think its productive to mass protest but I understand the dilemma of the local guys who grew up in islington/london or any gooners in UK. I hope this won’t turn into clashes between supporters.

  83. Victoria Concordia Crescit
    April 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Anyone doubting Chamakh should look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE15wHkL0UI&feature=fvst
    This guy is the god of headers, wen he comes to the emirates, our rivals should prepare for aerial combat!!

  84. TOM
    April 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I think Chamakh could be a decent signing,his heading ability is very good and that could be just what we need since we usually dominate teams but lack the option of someone strong in the air. Against spurs we had plenty of possesion on the wings but never looked like scoring from crosses. I see Denilson is a doubt for the wigan game,i hope he got hit by a bus….

  85. Arsenal AnGel
    April 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Look, the reality of the modern game is money. Arsenal have that now. Man City are GONNA overtake Arsenal because of what they will buy in the summer. We need to do the same or we’ll fall like Liverpool. Man City are clearly a forced to be reckoned with, even Chelsea and Man Utd willl fear them. Arsenal need to strengthen in every position. They NEED to buy QUALITY

  86. Anonymous
    April 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    United just showed how you win a derby match when you have to….nothing else to add.

  87. Rocking Guns
    April 18, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Players in my options next season:

    1. Antonio Valencia ( Man Utd ) = Right wing
    2. This defender from Man City… ‘ I can’t remember he’s name. ( I’ll tell you later )
    3. Maroune Chamakh ( Bordeaux ) = Striker
    4. Lloris ( Lyon ) = Goalkeeper

    Offload next season :

    1. Eboue
    2. Vela
    3. Eduardo
    4. Wilshere

    Team starting 11 options next season :

    1. Leave RVP in the starting line up…
    2. Put Eboue in a more defensive play.
    3. Less passing in the penalty box. Please!!!!!!!!
    4. More shooting and less crossing. Players to be chosen to shoot : Nasri, RVP, Arsha, Fab, Maroune( if still available n not in Barca: Fab )

  88. wandega
    April 18, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Seeing United hurt City in a derby shows you how competitive and how mentally strong they are. By all standards city was a force to reckon with and they were the better team.Am already afraid that they my be so angry and hit 5 past Almunia.Wengers inability to win big matches like the up coming one is difficult to take.The last hope i had of finishing second has gone. The improvement next season will may be in second place.Let us not forget the protest at Emirates on 23rd. Come in numbers.Yes we can ! make a change at the emirates.Fed up of this French moron who has tarnished our pride.Any average coach can achieve what he has done. He lacks game plan, same tactics ,so predictable in game approach, stupid rotating of the ball around goal.He is just a disgrace to the fans.May him not mention any thing about injuries Uh h!

  89. Anonymous
    April 18, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    the managers been saying we are the most stable team out of the top four in all the papers today, will there be an open top bus parade in celebration of this???

  90. kr8ve
    April 18, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    Tottenham 2
    Chelsea 1

  91. TOM
    April 18, 2010 at 6:41 am #

    The spurs result today just makes me think if we had beaten birmingham and spurs we would probably be champions. Maybe if we do make some big signings we can win the league next season since man u and chelsea are very average teams.

  92. ANDY LEE
    April 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    BOTTOM LINE.
    Arsene’s tactics are not good enough. 4-4-2 please.
    2 centre forwards = more goals. Play to our strengths not the oppositions.
    Arsene WILL NOT buy big name players in the summer but we need stronger squad players. There is no doubt that our strongest starting 11 is as good as any team in Europe. We need some quality back up for those 11.
    We need to offload the following weak players who spend most of their time walking around the pitch & not chasing the ball, Eduardo, Vela, Denilson, Traore, Rosicky & Silvestre. I see no passion in their play.
    Arsene needs to start playing Walcott as centre forward. There is nothing worse, as a defender, than a fast player who can run past you with the ball. There’s no doubting his finishing but he’s always too busy looking for the cross to a player in the box who ain’t there!
    Play our strongest players in EVERY game. Why rest players when they quite clearly want to play in every game/competition. These guys are top athletes & more than capable of playing 50+ games a season.
    Arsene, stop talking rubbish in the papers/on TV. You may well “believe” but the fans are what count & we want RESULTS not another trophy-less season. It is not enough that we play ‘the most attractive football in the league’.
    The players need to take more chances in front of goal. SHOOT MORE. DON’T PASS!
    I’m sorry to say but Almunia just doesn’t cut the mustard. He went from being Arsenals no.2 to no.1 went Lehmann left. It’s a bit like Gorden Brown being our PM by default.
    Almunia can’t even make his national squad! So how can he be 1st choice in The Arsenal’s team? We HAVE to buy a world class 1st choice keeper.
    As the next few weeks come to pass I will reflect on this season as the worse one since Arsene Wenger became manager. I don’t want him to be sacked. I just want him to make some serious changes.
    Then again, if by some freak of football, we sneak the league this season, then ignore all that i have said!
    KEEP THE FAITH BROTHERS (“,)

  93. Anonymous
    April 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    Did Spurs not have major names missing also??

  94. Bulespur
    April 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Sing when you’re winning, etc.

  95. GunnerBoss
    April 18, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    This is really crazy, my comment yesterday didn’t go thru. I’m just as pissed off as u guys are over Wenger not buying players, but really didn’t we see all this before now?

    Right from when we sold Ade, Kolo and Sende without reinforcing adequately….this was when we lost the plot especially Ade( a quality striker).

    I remember Andy replying me that we have Walcott, Arsha, Eduardo, Vela and B52 and that another striker would not be necessary…..where are those strikers now Andy? I stated specifically then that our main problem was in goalscoring and that we needed another sniffer/finisher in the mould of an in-form Eduardo. I dont want to state facts now but our defenders seem to have contributed more goals than our strikers this season, talkless of the midfielders. Diaby is pissing me off so far 30 mins into this Wigan match……

    We all know how the injury situation is in Arsenal, yet why do we have a smaller squad than Spurs, Man C for example…..Why cant we buy like 5 or 6 players pre-season?….
    Look at Viera for example, if he were at Arsenal, he would be starting, meanwhile at Inter(a team with ambition)….he was surplus to requirements and immediately offloaded.

  96. Anonymous
    April 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    when Walcott was through and passed into a crowded middle I couln’t believe it…………………….. I just wanted to ask here: what did Walcott there? but then he was brilliant in front of the goal, and another chance………. the ups and downs in football, but his decision in his first chance………………………… horrible………….. :wink:
    he’s really fast , but his passes often are not the best …. you know ………. :cool:

  97. GunnerBoss
    April 18, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    I would appeal to Shambo and Georgetown to end their ceasefire and speakout whenever they can cos I likewise said same when it was only Verm that came in pre-season…..If I maintained my threat, then I would’ve been commenting only when Campbell came in. Meaning we’ve only reinforced with only two defenders all season(what a shame).

    Nasri wants to get red carded and Silvestre just put us 2-0 up. If only we won the Spurs game, we would’ve been top by now or atleast level with Chelski. Nasri and Rosicky combinning very well on the left, beautiful stuff from them.

    Why cant we get Villa and any other solid striker willing to come to the Emirates(we definitely need two now), Frenchman Goucuff, and another very strong defender.

    Finally, for now Sol completely deserves another contract with us eventhough he may not start regularly in the EPL. But, a big club like Arsenal is always challenging on four fronts every season and only serious in two(EPL and UCL). With this in mind, why cant we get players to understand that winning all four or atleast three means making history. Start a proper rotation policy and start players based on the type of competition, form and importance/priority of the cup etc

  98. GunnerBoss
    April 19, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Why does Wenger wait till the 80th minute to bring in reinforcements? Its 2-2 now 89th minute ant this is sick so far.

  99. disgusted gooner
    April 19, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    this is just disgusting! Our immaturity is back. Fuck Fabianski he sucks!

  100. amy
    April 19, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    arsene wenger stupid plan line up…

  101. MTY
    April 19, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    We all know how immature Fabianski is & also we know how far the squad is stretched due to injuries……BUT WHY ON EARTH WENGER WAITS THIS MUCH TO BRING ON RVP? WHY NOT PLAT HIM AT LEAST 15 MINUTES TO GO WHILE THE TEAM WAS CRUISING WITH A 2 GOAL LEAD??????
    My doubt in the ability of the manager is becoming a gruesome reality

  102. Flyin dutchman
    April 19, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    2 hell with this,guys pls go n protest at emirates on 23,it time we stop askin n start demandin.

  103. GunnerBoss
    April 19, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    We’ve lost the game and Silvestre(pure crap) definitely has to be killed. Clichy comes all the way to try to clear the last Wigan goal…..what the fuck is happening on Earth?
    Is Wenger blind? Is Silvestre an in-law of his? We just lost 3-2 to WIGAN…….

  104. billi
    April 19, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    . . . and now Wigan has sung . . .

    they lose control too easily under pressure I would say………… no, I don’t know what to say, second goal by Wigan decisive? . . . third goal was excellent . . . first goal.. . well, . . there he was at the right place at the right moment, surely, there must have been a defender or the ball could’t have penetrated into the middle, … , great finish by Wigan, unlucky and maybe a bit sloppy by Arsenal . . . , how crazy football can be, they can’t keep their focus untill the end of the season, goalkeeper to blame? sloppy defending?, in the end 2 goals don’t suffice for Arsenal, they have to play on and on for another goal, maby I could blame that, they didn’t really wanted another goal, and they are breaking down under pressure and disappointment………… mhhhhhh, something like that, oh dear. .. ., what an end of a promising season so long, :)

  105. MTY
    April 19, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    And mates don’t blame the players….what can they do? Any of us will put on the jersey if offered that sort of money……the problem is with the manager…..tnx to those trophies he won ages back, he’s still revered & no one in the team’s higher hierarchy bothers to challenge him…..he should really go….there’s no other way to rectify this mess….any other manager can put Arsenal in the champions league (that’s all we got from Wenger for the last 5 seasons!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  106. amy
    April 19, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    almunia and fabianki fuck goal keeper,wenger stupid line up,cambel slow player,buy new world player dude,fuck offffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

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