Arsenal 2-2 West Ham: Referee more to blame than a lack of killer instinct

Arsenal 2-2 West Ham: Referee more to blame than a lack of killer instinct

Vermaelen knows the referee has made a cock-up

Arsenal 2 (van Persie 16, Gallas 37)
West Ham 2 (Cole 74, Diamanti pen 80)

Video Highlights | Minute-by-Minute

For the second time in a week Arsenal had two points nicked away from them late on by an opponent that they should have beaten. But those of you expecting me to criticise our team for throwing the game away via complacency and an inability to put West Ham away have come to the wrong place.

The truth is that until Abou Diaby was ridiculously penalised for being bear-hugged by Zavon Hines and Carlton Cole punished Vito Mannone’s poor effort, Arsenal were in complete control and playing well at Upton Park. Even then it took another appalling referring decision to see the Hammers pull level, Alex Song being harshly adjudged of bringing down Cole in the penalty area and Alessandro Diamanti scoring from the spot.

From 2-0 up and coasting it was 2-2 and in my opinion any fingers being pointed at the team for failing to kill off West Ham are extremely harsh. Until the home team’s first goal we performed extremely well and good chances created by van Persie, Andrey Arshavin and Cesc Fabregas accompanied the two first-half goals. Even after being pegged back to 2-2 we should have won the game, van Persie heading straight at Robert Green with the goal gaping.

The team that started against West Ham was the same as the one that drew against Alkmaar midweek with Mannone keeping his spot in the team ahead of Manuel Almunia. I made clear my view that I felt the Spaniard should have been brought back in for the Italian at Upton Park and while it’s impossible to predict whether that change would have altered the result, it’s undeniable that Mannone was at fault for the opener.

I don’t want to criticise the young goalkeeper too much because I feel he’s done quite well overall since being brought in, but yesterday was the third blemish on his record after spilling the ball against Birmingham and allowing a header to float over him against Blackburn. With the North London derby coming up next weekend I’ll say again that it’s time for Almunia, our best and most experienced goalkeeper, to return.

Aside from the goalkeeper I can really only think of one person who drastically underperformed last night and that was Arsene Wenger. I felt the manager missed an opportunity to make a substitution or two to give the team a little bit more spark to the team when they were coasting around the hour mark. I thought bringing on Nicklas Bendtner, Eduardo or even Samir Nasri earlier would have helped maintain our tempo. Once West Ham got their goal though, we struggled to regain control of the match and by the time the substitutes did arrive we were very much playing a different game.

Yesterday’s result was perhaps made worse by the fact that Manchester United lost to Liverpool and a win would have given us the opportunity to use our game in hand to move to the top of the table. As it was, after being 2-0 up this was a hard result to take and the sort of which desperately needs to be avoided as the season progresses. Conceding late to Alkmaar is unlikely to stop us from winning the Champions League but dropping more points in the manner that we did against West Ham will almost certainly prevent us from winning the Premiership.

As much as I am frustrated about last night’s game – and believe me, I am – I still don’t think the team should be overly criticised for their efforts. As painful as it was to see the points snatched away from us, it was much more the referee’s poor performance that contributed to the result than any complacency or lack of a killer instinct by our own players.

A big week awaits with Liverpool in the Carling Cup and Tottenham in the league. Just how will our boys respond?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with West Ham by leaving a comment.

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81 Responses to “Arsenal 2-2 West Ham: Referee more to blame than a lack of killer instinct”

  1. Jammathon
    October 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    The ref was poor, but I honestly think the result was more down to poor attitude over anything else. You can still win despite the ref.

  2. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    @ Jammathon – Really? Poor attitude just doesn’t sit right with me. I thought we did well until Mannone’s error and just couldn’t get a hold on it from there. Even then they needed to ref to help them out – without him I don’t think they score.

  3. North For Short
    October 26, 2009 at 6:49 pm #

    I felt that there was too many times Eboue and Diaby failed to do what they are supposed to do and made poor decisions. I feel that Mannone was only a fluff away from being replaced. His mistakes cost us goals and our defence looks decidely shaky however that is not down to the back four, that is down to our defensive midfiled whoever they were yesterday.

  4. TDP
    October 26, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    The decisions were soft certainly, but I saw this coming a mile off. We were playing out at exhibition pace and as soon as we inevitably conceded, it was very difficult to get back up to speed.

    Unfortunately there is still a fragility about this team. You get the feeling United or Chelsea would not throw away a two goal lead with 15 minutes remaining. I love Arsenal but we had a reminder of this scenario only a few days ago and we did the same thing here.

    I would agree that Almunia has to be restored to the side now.

  5. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    It’s a shame that Mannone was given one game too many. If he’d been replaced for West Ham he would have gone out with his head held high, knowing he’d helped the team and full of positivity about his ability to make a contribution further along in his career. Now he’ll be “dropped” instead of just replaced by Almunia and that won’t be good for his confidence.

  6. tumang
    October 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    when will DIaby grow up. i thought AW missed a glorious opportunity by not playing Edu and nasri when we had the upper hand.

  7. geeman
    October 26, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    Andy,
    I disagree with you on your points here. The team performed excellently well but the killer instinct is not there which is what the squad lacked. To give away a 2-0 lead at 75 minutes and still pressing forward is ‘unpardonable’ for this team knowing fully well what is at stake. A win would have put ManUre and Chelski under pressure before the visit of Tottenham. It will take the manager a lot of work before the weekend to restore the team’s confidence and Spurs will be roaring to the Emirates from the blast of the whistle against the weekend defeat by Stoke. The team is up against an uphill task and I feel they are capable. However, we must start killing off games of this nature if the title is our aim.. Gunners for life!

  8. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    @ geema – I see what you’re saying but I don’t see how Mannone’s error and two refereeing decisions constitutes a lack of killer instinct. It just doesn’t add up – we didn’t particularly waste chances, we hit the target with a number of shots and it was individual efforts (Mannone, the referee) that cost us.

  9. geeman
    October 26, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    Still on the match, Arsene ought to have made those changes when the team had upper hand. Introduce Nick and Edu and take out Eboue and Arshavin who have given us some freshness as the game wore on. Eboue is not really a winger that can deliver the crosses when needed as he misfired a number of times at the final third.

  10. VanMoulds
    October 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    If Almunia was fit he should have been brought back into the team. 5

    i read the above on another arsenal blog, and was very happy to find this article.

    totally agree, it was refereeing decisions that cost us. 2-0 up and they haven’t had a shot on target. we were comfortable, no need to go through the gears. the referee just cost us 2 points because he reacted the the west ham fans.
    hats off to them, they pressured the ref into it but our boys didn’t do a great deal wrong.

    one criticism is that i would like wenger to bring on the subs a bit earlier, we have a great squad, he should use it. fresh legs might have made it 4 goals before the ref could give them anything.

  11. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    @ tumang – What did Diaby do wrong today? I just don’t understand what he did wrong or why he needs to ‘grow up’. I do agree, however, with your points about not throwing Eduardo or Nasri into the fray when we were 2-0 up.

  12. Frichie
    October 26, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    I wrote on Friday that i thought it would be good for Almunia to come back ‘ along the lines of each game Mannone stays in goal the more pressure that grows on him, and it would have been better to drop him when he was doing well than after an error. Almunia will be back soon.

    On the game, we were cruising, but in all the bad games Arsenal have been their worst enemy. At 2-nil up the urgency dropped, if we want be title winning we need to be more ruthless, do u think Man U/Chelsea would sit back if they were 2 goals up at ht. Seriously!! I think both goals came from poor decisions, but still we should have been tearing them apart, with 5 min to go that ball should never been near our own box. Diaby had another of his off days and although eboue won us some dodgy free kicks why do we have to wait for the 87th min to get Eduardo on…grrr

    Lastly, As if there was any reason for motivation…why do Arsenal alaways fail to capitalise on the other teams dropping points…

  13. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    @ VanMoulds – Spot on, in my opinion, on all points.

    A question: which blog did you happen to find my article? 🙂

  14. geeman
    October 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    @Andy,
    Yeah Mannone goof and the ref also contributed but also Arsenal could have been up by more than 5 goals by that time. I don’t see Chelski slipping off with such an upper hand or any other big four team for that matter. I just hope a repeat of Spurs levelling up when we are 4 goals up will not repeat itself.

  15. georgetown gooner
    October 26, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    i have to say andy i disagreed about almunia returning to the team before the west ham game but your right with the north london derby this weekend its time for him to come back in, i think song at times does not get much defensive help from cesc and diaby which puts us under pressure and has led to us conceding too many goals this season.if we can keep a clean sheet we are always likely to score a goal.

  16. geeman
    October 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    @Frichie,
    You’ve made a point.. Why don’t we capitalise on other teams dropping points?
    I just hope the team can use the game in hand to close up the gap..

  17. Gibbs
    October 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    Hey Andy. Its been a while since my last comment here. Hope youre well.

    I think we need a new keeper. All of our keepers are liabilities and thats why we aren’t top of the table atm. The team is brilliant this season but we keep conceding silly goals. If this trend continues we will finish the season trophyless again.

  18. george leaney
    October 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Like most of us in the bar last night, went home totally frustrated by the game being thrown away yet again….2 POINTS lost, and headlines this morning again reiterate the brittleness of the Arsenal forwards and AW’s apparent inability to put some beef and size into his team….how long since he was able to field a regular 11 up front ? he dos’nt need a rotation system, he has an inbuilt one !!
    Rosiky,Walcott,Dejourno,Edwardo Nasri etc.etc.

  19. Paul
    October 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more about Arsene. After 60 minutes it was obvious that there was nothing coming from Diaby or Eboue and we had to up our game. It was the ideal situation to make a couple of substitutions to revitalise the team. I’m not saying that the result would definitely have been different but it would have been a proactive response for a team sleeping its way through the second half.

  20. Alan
    October 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Wenger’s weakest quality as a manager is to always underestimate the importance of a top goal keeper.
    Almunia himself has done many identical catastrohic instances of “punch into the area, instead of punch away”, and we all remember how Fabianski cost Arsenal an FA Cup vs. Chelsea and a Calring Cup vs. Spurs.
    What good is it if a team is totally dominated and have not tested the keeper in 75 minutes as home, and all they need (besides the referee awarding them ficticious free kick and penalty) is a clueless goalkeeper to bring them bak into the game.

    If I were an Arsenal out player, I would be devestated with my manager betraying me with 5th rate goal keepers turning to nothing all the good work.

  21. woody
    October 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    it was the same old failing. our style is fantastic played at pace. but as soon as we slow down it enables oppo to cloe us down and get the ball, because our guys hang on to the ball instead of moving it around.
    as for diaby. “what did he do wrong” someone asked. watch the game again.
    i lost count of the number of moves close to their box that broke down because he isnt quick witted enough to know when to move the ball on.
    one final poiint. i have been a fan of sagna since he came but whats happening to the guy. his inability to cross properly is reaching pathological heights. its appalling

  22. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    @ woody – Re: crossing. Do you mean Sagna or Clichy? Sagna set up the first goal and put it on a plate for RVP late on. Clichy is all over the place…

  23. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    @ Alan – Interesting point about the goalkeepers. I think I’d like to see how Almunia responds (if he returns) before I agree or disagree. For me he was great last season and if he can get back to the same sort of form I will be happy. Hard to argue with your point about Wenger underrating goalkeepers though.

  24. geeman
    October 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Almunia was great last season but he’s not been in great form this season. Let’s hope he’ll be thrown a lifeline with the Spurs match and possibly use that to get himself back up.

  25. Jo
    October 26, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    HERE IS ALL ARSENAL NEED TO DO TO BECOME STRONGEST AND FINALLY WIN TROPHIES AGGAIN:

    1-GET A WORLD CLASS KEEPER; ALMUNIA AT BEST SOULD BE 3RD CHOICE

    2-GIVE A REAL ALMOST FERGIE-STYLE BASHING TO PLAYERS LIKE DIABY OR EBOUE WHO DO NONECHALLANT THINGS DURING A GAME, OR SHOW OFF AND LOSE POSSESSION EASILY, OR SOMETIMES LAZY AROUND AND ARE BALL WATCHING- THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY DO TO TEH FANS WITH THEIR CARELESSNESS

    3-GET A WORLD CLASS KEEPER!!!

  26. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    @ Jo – No need for the CAPS, take it easy. Reminds me of this guy…

    http://www.dirtytackle.net/category/artur-borucs-friday-rage-list/

  27. billi
    October 26, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    I don’t agree that it were poor referee decisions, if it was the first time that a game went this way I would have said it was bad luck, shit happens, some sort of this, but I don’t know how often it went like this way for Arsenal, they definitely don’t defend well if they come under pressure, and that was West Ham, not Chelsea, not United not whomever, you are a real fan Andy, I am really more critical this time, they have to stop those penalties! it is really not the first time, and that cannot be due to poor referee decisions all the time, Mannone made an error and the team couldn’t make it meaningless in answering with pressure from themselves instead they were made unsettled, I had a bad day myself and those things happen but they happen too often with Arsenal for my flavour, I would be a bit angry with them this time, not with Mannone, I’m more upset about those fouls, and you could whistle in my opinion, though I can’t remember the one which caused the first free-kick that lead to the first goal against, they have to defend more cleanly, I agree that it would be more painful for Mannone now if the change arrives now but who knows, maybe just therefore it will not happen,
    I agree with that there was no lack of killer instinct in this game, I won’t say that it was due to complacency neither, it was due to silly fouls or poor defending from my point of view, it was the wrong reaction after the *connecting* goal, they can do it better, stop the silly mistakes, that’s all, frankly 😥

  28. Jo
    October 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    ANDY,
    Sorry, agreed, but the frustration is so big …
    Why should a world-class team have a first keeper, who is not even the 5th keeper for Spain, and has never won anything or an important final?!

  29. NewGooner
    October 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    The referee never cost us the game, we don’t need the referee to help us against a team that is a relegation candidate at the moment. We are supposed to be a championship candidate, so why are we giving points away to relegation candidates?

    Mannone should have been dropped as soon as ‘Almunia’ recovered, we need to play our best players all the time so they get into a good rhythm, so why is Mannone playing? The only way he’d be dropped is if he cost points, why take that risk?

    Arshavin underperformed yet again, if he isn’t fit, then he shouldn’t play, why do we have the likes of Ramsey-Eduardo-Bendtner-Nasri all raring to go, only for Wenger to ignore them?

    Wenger also made a very bad error tactically, why doesn’t he ever change his tactics? Tactics win championships, we never mix our tactics, and that really sucks.

    The team hasn’t learned from mistakes, not even the AZ game, there have been many already, giving away cheap goals even when far ahead, complacency in those games have now come home to roost, even if you are 6-0 ahead, you need to defend to the death, we probably need to score 5 goals to win matches as we scored 4twice last year and never won those matches.

  30. Jo
    October 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    Dear Andy,

    BTW I disagree, Almunia was NOT great last season, this deduction really frustrates me. Please consider that normally there are very few shots on Arsenal’s target during a game. E.g. yesterday there was none that the keeper had to save for 75 minutes.
    That does not make the keeper good. Please watch carefully at United’s first goal against us in teh CL return match: Granted, Gibbs slippe, but if you taped it please check again Almunia’s ridiculous movements before the goal!
    He is a decent/good shot-stopper, but he has NEVER been a good keeper, even last year!

  31. Gooner77
    October 26, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    I’m sorry but the ref did not cost us the game. You get decisions that go for you and some that don’t and over a season it works out. We were lucky not to concede a pen just before and I think that pen was given to make up for that. Granted the Diaby offence was a soft free kick but how to do you explain Mannone making such a mess of the save? Why at 2-0 up was I still seeing Clichy bombing upfield like a headless chicken? All we needed to do was see that game out. We havent had a decent keeper since Lehman and even though I think Mannone might get there I think the lack of a decnt keeper could really cost us this season.

  32. Young Gooner
    October 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Yes we lack of world class keeper but for now i dont think we should shouting at that..because the transfer market is still close and now we should use the player that we have..almunia should be our first keeper not mannone…again i says he is too raw for big tasks. I dont blame him but look at easy birmingham goal and yesterday??it because of lack of experience….he can make easy mistakes even he is talented…yesterday is a big dissapointment…i dont care about their performance….how many times we must lead but draw??mentality was our problem on previous season and i think overly criticised is not a right words…we made it for many times including the previous season games…im hoping for a win against spurs..no other than a win….and i want almunia back…

  33. Young Gooner
    October 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    and i agree with those who said referee didnt cost us the game….

  34. ayaan
    October 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    hey guys stop being 2 hard on manone.ur memories seems to b short. dont u remember the fulham game.he saved the team single handedly.the keeper is gud.just needs a lil mo experience. its sad 2 c losing pts 4m winnin position.bt its still early 2 to lose hope.we realy need denilson or nasri in the midfield.wenger ws the one who let us down.he shld hv brot in the subs earlier.we need 2 focus on the carlin cup now.liverpool nxt!

  35. Dagenham Dave
    October 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Maybe you should look closer to home ie your ‘supporters’, giving it large and ole’s at 2-0 and yet didn’t hear a peep from 2-1 to the final whistle, you were like naughty little kids put in their place and didn’t know how to react.

  36. White Ox
    October 26, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    I think we all agree about the first goal and that Vito had deputised well but it was time for Almunia.

    I also agree you are spot on Andy with your analysis of the subs, had they come on at 60 mimnutes (bearing in mind nearly all the starting XI had played 3 games in a week) we really could have scored the killer third.

    But blaming the referee? It is the refuge of those looking for excuses for their own errors.

    I would like to bore you with the analogy my father taught me for playing cricket, namely if you get struck on the pads and the opposition appeals loudly for leg before wicket and you survive then you had best not get hit on the pads again soon after. Why? Because whether you are out or not the umpire will be under pressure on a second appeal.

    Alex Song has come on in leaps and bounds this year so I won’t throw him to the wolves. But I will suggest a misplaced challenge on a player with their back to goal and no threat to score is like being hit on the pads again. Very naive and likely to be given even if not there.

    No, it wasn’t an attitude problem, but it wasn’t the referee either. Arsenal got what they deserved yesterday. Wenger chose to give the gifts on his birthday than to take them.

  37. Giddie
    October 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    watching the game from beginning to end i must say that we had three problems
    1. when u r 2-0 up u had better play a relaxed, passing kind of football not with the urgency to score putting Ur opponent under pressure to attack maintaining possession then catching them at the break.
    2. when Ur opponents make critical substitutions u respond thus maintaining ur tempo
    3. bringing on a more experienced keeper.
    lastly if we want to win in this very competitive league we must learn to stamp our authority and stop dropping points in this manner nway we have a chance to correct this

  38. NewGooner
    October 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Mannone should not live off 1 performance, he should strive to get better every game, instead he is going backwards. He should realise he is playing for a team that wants to be champions, so he should also play and act like a champion, give his best, make good decisions, and ensure he does everything the team needs for winning.

    That was an amateurish mistake for him to make, time to go back and learn in the Reserves or on loan, by his age, Cassillas was already Real Madrid number 1 and Buffon was winning the UEFA Cup and about to move to Juventus, that is what we need, players that want to improve and be champions.

  39. essexboy
    October 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    did you not see the penalty incident five minutes earlier? AND the sending off of Scott PArker??? AND the big team bias of Chris Foy. e.g Parker getting booked (1st booking) for an innocuous challenge when a Gooner appealed and the same challenge moments later on a West Ham player warranting nothing at all. The penalty was a penalty as the Gooner kicked Cole, okay he did not need to go down like that but I dont think Arsenal can complain about diving, they were at it all game yesterday. Stones and glass. houses and all that. ARE YOU TOTTENHAM IN DISGUISE? Ha ha

  40. Gooner77
    October 26, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    Essexboy and DagenhamDave

    I agree with both of you, we can have no complaints. There were poor decisions against both sides the denied penalty and Parker sending off was harsh on West Ham. We have no one to blame but ourselves, we were 2 up with 15 minutes to go not dissimilar to our collapse at OT earlier in the season. Wake up kids!!!!

  41. Gooner77
    October 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    By the way, we won’t win the title this year. Whenever we’ve won the title I’ve had a gut feeling throughout the season, and I don’t have it this year. I have to say that Chelsea have been the most impressive side so far….

  42. I mole
    October 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    Mannone shud not be hugely criticised ,right he made a mistake conceding d goal but d team shud ave responded back as a champion by strucking back goals after d first goal. Aw has 2 be blamed 4 not bringing d subs earlier on. D match against liv shud be used wisely by d coach and get us a win & d match against tottenham ,best of luck arsenal in ur 2 upcoming strong match.

  43. Gbenga
    October 26, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    Its so stupid for people to constantly say that Man Utd and Chelsea will not do this or that……Get an act guys…..Let me remind you of situations where such things happened to those teams…..Chelsea vs Wigan two seasons ago, The blues lost their chance of ctching up with Man Utd by conceeding a last minute equaliser to Wigan at Stamford Bridge and 2 weeks prior, Tottenham came from 2-4 about 10 minutes to the end of their game at Stamford Bridge to equalise against Chelsea.

    For Man Utd, remember when Arsenal scored a last minute winner at Old Trafford, same season, Man Utd were leading Arsenal at Emirate till the last 7 minutes when they conceeded 2 goals to still lose the game…..And how many of you will be happy if Chelsea or Man Utd should come to Emirate to win the league at Arsenal expense by beating us the same way we did to Man Utd in 2002?

    Get behind this team and realise that all big teams are struggling this season….Real Madrid with over 250 Pounds investment are where now?

  44. Ian
    October 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Sorry Andy definitely complacency again. They usually do that at 1-0 when we’re coasting but to be two up and “throw” away the points is nothing short of gross stupidity. That’s not the sign of a team that will win trophies!

  45. Simon Gooner
    October 26, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    I have thought long and hard before writing this but I think the time has come for Wenger to bring someone in to work with him or under his to motivate the players as he can no longer do it. I think Tony Adams should be brought in as he cwill most certainly be taking over once Wenger moves on!

  46. NewGooner
    October 26, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    NO to Tony Adams EVER coaching Arsenal. Why isn’t Keown back in some capacity, with him around, we got to the CL Final with a record defence, now we leak them so easily, and we gift goals, really sucks.

  47. Gbenga
    October 26, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    @Simon Gooner, Do you really believe that the players are no more motivated by Wenger?

    But most of them confess being /still been at Arsenal because of him……does it tally with your belief?

    Dont let all be one match alarmist…..Arsenal is in 3rd position in EPL and 1st in ECL group….not too bad at this stage…..Man Utd was like this last season…..Moreover,the team has scored an amazing 29 goals in EPL and 42 overall this season… not mean feat.

  48. Rob
    October 26, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    that ref was really bad when we watched it we were shouting at the screen without some bad lanuage well he did deserve it but oh well I am not happy about the result but now day sky never seem to blame the ref for the poor decsion I think they have taken this whole respect thing a bit to far casue it has to be earned really and he did not earn my respect and I do agree it time to bring him back mannone has proven himself to be one for the future but he needs to be able to develop more before they put him into the first time again not sure about the subs thou he did leave them rather late on into the game when it was tied up by a west ham side who was rather poor and no way was cole the man of the match he went down so lighthy in the box and they give him a man of the match award very werid

  49. Goons_with_Guns
    October 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    You’re a tool Andy, as daft as they come. Wenger is to blame for his game tactics, not the ref.

  50. george leaney
    October 26, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    “Times” quote this morning
    Gary Jacob, our writer, responds: The way they threw away two points yesterday perhaps highlights why Arsenal are unlikely to win the title. It is not a new problem for Arsene Wenger, but their failure to kill off teams and the lack of leadership and characters on the field mean it is always going to be hard for Arsenal to win those scrappy matches while not playing well and those are the kind of games you need to win to become champions.

    When you look back at the great Arsenal sides they have always had strong personalities in the dressing room. Under Wenger, the likes of Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and even players like Jens Lehmann and Lauren have always had something to say. In the current side you just can’t see that kind of leadership out there. The lack of mental toughness and concentration may well be what costs Arsenal this season and those kind of attributes tend to come with experience – something Wenger’s current side doesn’t have an awful lot of.

  51. Gooner77
    October 26, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    @SimonGooner

    Do you really think that Adams will ever even come close to managing our club? He was a legendary player but his managerial record is appalling and he has shown no signs of improving.

    Let’s get a grip of the situation we dropped two points yesterday and during the week but at least we didn’t lose. Unless we learn how to defend and see out a game then we won’t win anything this year. How many times in the last couple of seasons have we been in a winning position in a big game only to end up drawing or losing? If the team have finally learnt their lesson we could do something this year….

  52. Simon Gooner
    October 26, 2009 at 11:36 pm #

    Gbenga. I am not saying Wenger should go. Did you hear Wenger after the match yesterday? Why does he never balme the players and say that it was their fault instead of balming everyone else???

  53. chief
    October 27, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    It was indeed disappointing and I call upon our guys to improve if we are to win any thing this season. with the next game against Totennam I am worried of our possibility.

  54. spanishgunner
    October 27, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    Watched the match . Seriously pissed off at the naivety ,lack of respect (oh yes, lots of that)and misplaced arrogance on show . We played well for 75 minutes and scored two goals. West Ham played well for 15 minutes and scored two goals !! Goalkeeping error ? Watch it again and see the bend on the ball just before it gets to the keeper .Watched the Wenger interview after and heard somebody say ” you’re a fucking idiot”! It was me!!! Never , ever thought I’d say that.Same old , same old . Been happening for 3 seasons now.I’ve said before that Wenger needs to kick some ass in the dressing room – well I’m saying now that somebody needs to kick HIS ass – hard , because if he is trying to get the message over then it’s not working and maybe somebody else should do the “bollockings”.

  55. radads
    October 27, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    @Andy, poor referee decision? id say yes i agree.Late coming subs? i agree.
    benching Manonne? I dont agree.
    I think that we just repeated the same mistake that we did during our last CL game.Our boys lacked a 90mn consistency, they seemed to loose a bit of concentration at certain stage of the game, and the opponent along with their fans just took advantages of the situation.However, you are right saying that Subs were supposed to be introduced earlier to give more spark to our game (Arsha who wasnt really at his pace yestrday and Eboue) but, we also shouldnt have given them the opportunities to come up and put pressure on us,the boys shud have kept on pressing up till the last minute like they did in the 1st half.Its a pitty but i personnaly think that, thats how the referee lost the control of the game, just bcos we ve lost that control.AW is right by saying that the game should have been played on our way.
    As for Manonne, i think that he shud be given more time.How long has been playing now? 1&half month??i beleive he can perform better with two more months.We cant change goal keeper every two months, we MUST have a one single trust-worthy one,and to me, Vito is the best guy for the job.I dont even think that the 1st goal was totally his fault,the fact that he punched the ball back to Cole becos his hand has gone too wide than expected, was his main mistake. To me he was still doing his job right and my blame is on the guys who shud have kept Cole behind.

  56. radads
    October 27, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Intersting comments though! Andy

  57. george leaney
    October 27, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    Reasons we failed to beat West Ham
    1, Complacency

    2, Lethargy

    3, Ref gave a cheap free kick

    4, Ref gave a cheap penalty

    5, Fabregas very quiet

    6, Diaby = Shit (again)

    7, Mannone = Unconvincing

    8, Green’s lucky, but effective save

    9, We put Eduardo on too late

    10,We put Bendtner on

  58. Ian
    October 27, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    @george leaney I agree with you mostly but as much as I think Benders skill levels aren’t good enough he makes up for it with sheer effort. Diaby might as well take up netball or tennis cos he’s no use at football!

  59. mathew okello
    October 27, 2009 at 1:30 am #

    I think we have a tendency of becoming complacent when we are performing well and that is what cost as the two points yesterday.lets understand that games are not won in the first half.

  60. shambogunner
    October 27, 2009 at 3:46 am #

    have read everyones comments and i just cant believe that some of us are really blaming the ref for wot happened yesterday..andy you are right about the team tryin their best and being the dominant side,but that was until we went 2-0 up and to be fair the people makin the points of arrogance and complacency on our part are dead right…its their for all to see,it was as if we wer just passing to keep it off them and its only been 3 days since the players themselves came out and said theyv got to learn to close out games….3 DAYS and they show they havnt learned a thing.theres no way ud see utd,chelski and liverpool fall away in this manner….i mean be honest when the equaliser went in,deep down wer u really shocked???because as an arsenal fan u shouldnt have been,wer the best in the league at dropping points that way….

  61. billi
    October 27, 2009 at 4:31 am #

    watching this I’m not so sure about the referee decisions any more, it’s strange, during the game I never doubted the penalties, but in this video….. I don’t know, maybe it really depends on the perspective:

    http://www.footballkitsonline.com/2009/10/26/arsenal-premier-league-highlights/

  62. billi
    October 27, 2009 at 4:34 am #

    …and the first definitely wasn’t a foul, I have done injustice to them ❗

  63. shambogunner
    October 27, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    hey ice hammer i thought ud hav been in by now,wotcha make of that game yesterday

  64. umaha
    October 27, 2009 at 6:44 am #

    The players are largely to blame!!!

  65. Anonymous
    October 27, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    disagree with you this time Andy.
    After 2-0 up, we lost concentration and the game was theirs for the taking.

    i read the Bendtner/Diaby haters comments and i say get a life.Our team is well balanced and do not need any new players.

    If there is one to blame it be Mr. Captain. Yes. I’m talking bout Cesc. He has to show an example and pick up the slack when the team lost concentration.Thats what a captain, a leader should do. He has a lot to learn but he’s getting there.

    Is it me or has Arshavin not been playing as good as he used to.

  66. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    October 27, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    @ Anon – Fair enough. Arshavin is an interesting one, I thought he wasn’t as bad as a lot of people though – he seemed to be conserving energy without the ball so that he could make an impact with it. The few times he got the ball in dangerous positions he was quite explosive – burning past the full-back on one occasion, playing wall-passes with his teammates another time and squeezing out a decent shot. I thought he was OK.

  67. California_Gooner
    October 27, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    The goalkeeper issue is definitely a problem.

    I think this article indentifies my two areas of frustration –

    1. Arsene should have brought an attacker or two on when our tempo dipped around the 65th minute. Never mind, everyone makes mistakes, but he’s done this a few times – not been decisive enough to take a risk and potentially kill off the game.

    2. We’ve relied on Mannone too heavily, and I would think his confidence will now be in tatters (presuming he is dropped, which he will be)

    Our goalkeepers aren’t great – there is no denying it. Almunia will have a lot of work to do to get my vote, I still think he was at fault for the 2 goals Barca scored in the CL final – beaten at the near post anyone?

  68. California_Gooner
    October 27, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Arshavin is an interesting one.

    I think he is struggling a bit with the pace of the premiership. His vision and skill are unquestionable, but his fitness does seem a bit ropey.

  69. arcalterego
    October 27, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    I’m afraid you were slightly generous with the lads. They did well enough in the 1st half but was too complacent in the 2nd. I could see the West Ham goal (I didn’t think they would score 2 until the ref cock-up) coming a mile away. Arsenal was too slow, too pedestrian when they should have scored at least 1 more. If they had tried harder, it would’ve been possible.

    Arshavin had a poor game by his standards. My dad is really not a fan of the Russian (I keep having to defend him) because he says Arsh is too inconsistent and lazy. His crosses and passes around the penalty box were poor on Sunday.

  70. charles
    October 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    It just makes me so mad, to watch these shitty refs lose us points, and I was not that upset with the alkamaar game, maybe because I coudlnt watch it, but the hammers game, was frustrating. I get so mad when I see eboue on the field, because I know that we have a few too many injuries then. Eboue is overall a fairly terrible player in my opinion. Mannone had his fun, he got us the win against Fulham, now lets get almunia back out there.He isnt the best keeper in england, but he is much better and smarter than manonne. He doesnt center the ball perfectly to a shitty teams best player, like mannone giving cole the perfect assist, and he also doesnt get yellow cards. this was a very frustrating game, ARsenal had the chance to really make them selves heard in the table, having played a a game less than chelsea and man United. but of course, shitty refs, and some shitty players interfere

  71. charles
    October 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    oh and arshavin played like a sack of shit, his cross around the 85th minute? a donkey might have done better

  72. Tobin
    October 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    I think Eboue is not at all a good midfielder, he should have been substituted earlier by Nasri. Eboue would be better at RB than at midfield.

  73. seddy
    October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    im so frustrated, we could have closed gap on chelsea with a game in hand with these 3 priceless points!

    i know we were at fault, probably diaby and arsha should have been subd with nicky and eduardo, arsha omg im starting to hate him all of a sudden, crap shit talks big, we dont need another adebayor in the dressing room!!
    we have merida, wilshere, nasri, who can do better in his position, hes talented but i dont want such a bragging mouth in my dressing room

    and arsene wenger has brought all those boys like his very own kids and thus he sometimes tries to stay away from criticising them and i totally understand that but sometimes even our parents need to give us a little stick to make sure we harden up!

    come on you gunnners, we have a wonderful squad this season, you talk about our bad defence? is that why clubs like milan, inter, madrid want sagna n clichy ? and im sure by the end of this season, verma will be one of the most respected and sought after cb’s in europe!
    our midfield is filled with diamonds! and we have RVP, eduardo, nicky, upfront!
    if only thing, i wud love to have klaas jan huntelaar in my team, that guy is a gem being wasted at milan!!

    Up Gunnners!

  74. seddy
    October 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    @andy,
    thanks for such a wonderful place where we can just say our hearts out, we love our team!!

    and i totaly dont understand why all the pundits, football websites, just dont applaud Arsene for what he has been doing 🙁

    its a wonderful project, he just needs to put icing on the cake by winning the PL this season!!

  75. johny t
    October 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    The referee was to blame …? I think someone’s trying to create some controversy and get this blog comment section pumping ….so to you I say well done !

  76. voley_gun
    October 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Whenever we miss Rosicky we lack that killer instinct

  77. guyfrmars
    October 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    lol it turned out im anonymous.

    AW should try subbing the players earlier when they start to lose concentration but mind you, unlike us he doesnt have the benefit of sitting and watching replays of events.We tend to analyze more because all we do is sit,watch,drink beer and chips. He has a million things on his mind.Like i said, it’s the captain that has to pick the pace up, be assertive and stop treating the game as an exhibition.

    i think last game, everyone just switched off after 60mins.

    The passionate comments always makes me smile. We are not in a crisis, its a run of bad luck and bad performance. Don’t go into a match expecting to score 4-0, but analyze the opponents. Some perform better Vs us than others.Credit to West Ham! They are a good team. If i sat down, and list the teams and what our predicted outcome be, West Ham is always in the “Draw” list.

    I quote Mr Arsenal himself, ” When everyone had caviar, its hard to go back to sausages”

  78. Old Timer
    October 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Thank you for your Assessment, Andrew, but I have to disagree.
    Had it had been a tight game maybe you could have put blame on poor referring decisions – but the fact is that Arsenal were coasting it. They managed to score 2 goals without even getting out of first gear. West Ham’s defence was terrible for both our goals. We also had a clear handball penalty unseen by the ref and pretty much ignored. We could have been at least 3-0 up at half time – and I was expecting that. Instead it was the same old same old in the second half as they seemed to believe they could just cruise home. That’s a shockingly naive mistake to make against any team, let alone a Prem League outfit in front of their home crowd – AW should have been flinging on substitutes and balling at the others on the field to pull their fingers out. You have to expect a mistake- be it referee, our own player or whatever – that’s going to let the opposition back in and be ready for it. Thank you West Ham for making our lads look like Charlie’s when they were already mentally in the changing room toasting their success.

  79. barry the gooner
    October 27, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    sadly all 3 of our keepers are a “disaster” waiting to happen.Our league position proves we are not far away but we’ve been living on the promise of song improving in my opinion he’ll never be more than average add the diving eboue and dithering diaby to any midfield then silverware seems doubtful.

  80. charles
    October 28, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    have to agree with barry, our keeper situation is just not taht great, mannone earned my respect until he gave up that first goal against carlton cole. almunia is just not that great either, he just gets some good stats because our defense and midfeiled is so talented. except when we have that waste of space, eboue on the pitch

  81. senior citizen
    October 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    @Charles. I do agree with u. but where did u put Diaby?

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