Arsenal 2-3 Wigan: Two schools of thought for stunning defeat

Whatever slim hopes we had of winning the league this season were comprehensively dashed yesterday as our boys lost 3-2 at Wigan.

There are two contrasting schools of thought that could provide the reasoning for yesterday’s result.

The first comes from the optimists, blaming the injury crisis and a lack of quality players for the defeat. The second comes from the pessimists, blaming the team on the pitch of complacency and the manager of incompetence. As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I spoke after the Spurs game of the fact that we are always going to find it difficult to win games when each and every one of our key players, the first six names on the team sheet, are not available. Once again Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas, Andrey Arshavin and Alex Song were injured, joined by Thomas Vermaelen after last week and with only Robin van Persie on the bench. Once again we found it difficult.

People will point to the fact that we had cruised to a 2-0 lead as proof that the starting team had enough quality to win the game. While that is a fair point, a game of football is played over 90 minutes and it was late on that our lack of quality, particularly in the midlde and defensive thirds of the pitch, was punished.

Can you imagine if someone had told you at the start of the season that the defensive core of our team with five games to go, with the title still in sight, was made up of Lukasz Fabianski, Sol Campell, Mikael Silvestre and Craig Eastmond? You would have quite literally laughed in their face. But that’s what we had and when the going got tough, they and the players around them crumbled.

In saying that there is no denying the fact that the team got complacent. Yet as frustrating as it was to see, particularly after the 2-2 draw with West Ham earlier in the season, it was also quite understandable. When you are lacking the key, experienced players, the ones that keep motivation high in those situations, it’s much easier to get complacent.

As I’ve said before, the best example of this is Abou Diaby. Love him or hate him, Diaby is not a leader. He is a support player, at time a spectacularly devastating one, that requires experienced, reliable players around him to bring out his best performances. He is not the smartest of players at the best of times and with Eastmond and Samir Nasri as his partners in the middle he undoubtedly lost his focus in the second half.

But do you get rid of a player like Diaby just because he is not a cerebral genius or a leader? Or do you accept his flaws as a player and understand his role in the team, that of an attacking midfielder who can create like very few in world football when he supported by experienced players? I know I would.

So the issue of complacency in this game is one worth asking, but in my opinion the problem lay in a complete lack of key players providing the sort of guidance to protect the young players against it, rather than a general problem within the squad. Just one or two of the group I mentioned above would have been sufficient to prevent our rather spectacular demise.

I might be alone in thinking this but I saw three major positives to come out of this game.

The first was the performance of Craig Eastmond, who was absolutely superb in only his second league start ever for the club. His statistics via Guardian Chalkboards showed he made 30 complete passes at a 97% completion rate and that, combined with his excellent composure on the ball and intelligent positioning bodes well for the future.

Likewise, Tomas Rosicky’s energetic performance was a terrific sign of things to come. Observant supporters will have noted he barely ever completes 90 minutes, undoubtedly due to the manager wanting to nurse him back to health, and never plays two games in a short space of time, with the exception of a shocking performance at the Camp Nou played three days after a full match against Wolves. Rosicky will undoubtedly continue to work on his strength and fitness over the off-season and will become a very important player next season.

Finally, the manager’s post match comments suggest to me that he is getting frustrated with a few players, particularly his goalkeepers, and that he may well be at the end of his tether. Another terrific Arsenal blogger, Wrighty7, made the point that he felt Wenger turned down the opportunity to make one or two more January signings to give a few of his players one more chance to prove themselves. I think it’s fair to say he’s been let down by a few – I won’t name names yet – and it will be interesting to see what goes on at the end of the season.

Before then we have work to do.

Spurs are breathing down our back, a desperate Manchester City are up next and third is no longer a certainty. From the season being over, it is all of a sudden back on again. Not in the best way, mind.

Thoughts?

PS. For the people calling for Arsene Wenger to be sacked off the back of this performance, just read this.

Have your say on Arsenal’s loss to Wigan by leaving a comment.

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54 Responses to “Arsenal 2-3 Wigan: Two schools of thought for stunning defeat”

  1. lalbadhur
    April 19, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    I always hope Wenger will just realise where he has gone wrong and deal with it but like you I think that his leaving is inevitable if we are to avoid being a shambles. The reality is the Glee Club and Apologists will have their way. Wenger will still be with us for years to come. The Apologists dont understand what a crap board we have and that Wenger will not be sacked. Today’s game just exposed Wenger’s tactical cluelessness again. The more you look at Wenger you realise the only reason we won things was cos of the old AFC he inherited and what they passed on to the next generation. Yes the Invincibles did not have any core Graham players except Keown and Parlour as bit players. However,they had been passed on the real spirit and nous of AFC by having playyed with the old guard. Wenger threw that tradition into the bin. His weakeness have been exposed. Shape up or Ship out Wenger!

    and the funny thing is he says “Manchester City and Spurs can still catch us, so we have to win at least one of our remaining games” Arsene the Great can’t even put his eggs firmly on this clown to get him a win out of our remaining games! And it does look that way doesn’t it with this pack of losers! To think we had the easiest run in compared to Manure and Chelski 3-4 games ago and this is what you expect out of the a supposedly great team? Don’t make me laugh my head off! I already lost my insides from that piece of art I just witnessed from the Greaties!

    And to top it off I cannot believe there are so many people who defend Wenger. This performance was absolutely inept and disgraceful. It is bad enough that we have had to rely on a man utd reject who was poor in his prime and a 35 year old who could’nt even make the grade for Notts County – that is harsh on Sol who has really tried but the truth is that he is about three years past it. Wenger is to blame for all of this. The squad is so small if we have two or three injuries to key players then we struggle. Arsenal fans should stop living in the past regarding Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal. When George Graham was sacked there was no defending him regarding past trophies yet with Wenger he can fail year after year after year and still people talk on here like he was Alex Ferguson and untouchable. Mourinho hit the nail perfectly on the head when he said there is no pressure on Wenger to succeed and its absolutely true. We have a comatose board of directors that are far more concerned with running Arsenal as a business than as a football club. No pressure equals no success and I just wonder the real reason by Wenger’s decision not to join Real Madrid – Who on earth would not want to manage Real Madrid ? The fact of the matter is there is pressure to succeeed at Real Madrid and its just an easy ride at Arsenal. If you don’t have the ambition and drive to win you never will.

    I remember two years ago in the middle of our relegation spell of form in the last two months of the season, we still had the Wenger Fan Club coming out with bilge such as “If Chelsea and United lose all their matches and we win all ours we’ll be champions”. There were still echoes of that even this morning. What is it about these people that they’re continually predicting such events? They’d argue that the world is flat, that black is white, that the over-the-pond life are human and that Wenger hasn’t lost it. Next someone will say as they did at the last home match last season, that ASA drumming up a few people to march and say “Only one Arsene Wenger” is proof that everyone wants him to remain. Nonsense- he’s looking more and more like some escapee from an Old People’s Home and many fans I’ve spoken to at work, at matches , in the pub, have had enough. We are forking out for the most expensive seats in football- we can almost excuse the ridiculous perseverance with rubbish such as Almunia, Fabianski, Denilson, Eboue, Silvestre, Diaby, Rosicky, Walcott etc. What can never be tolerated is yet again the abject surrender by such highly paid players. The lack of effort, energy, desire and commitment will not be sorted out by 2/3 new purchases. The manager is responsible for this continuing to happen again and again. He has to do the honourable thing and resign as the fossils

    How does one spell nincompoop in french??

  2. christian
    April 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    lalbadhur on Monday 19, 2010: You make some good points but i think Wenger Will Get Tough This Summer
    The defeat to Wigan has already seen the ‘Wenger out’ brigade in full force.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m frustrated too.

    To lose after leading two-nil with only ten minutes left felt like Mike Tyson had taken a run-up and punched you fully in your face. It hurt. Badly.

    Yes the defeat was painful, but sacking Wenger isn’t the answer. I honestly believe that despite the lack of silverware he is still the right man for Arsenal Football Club.

    It’s easy to say ‘Bring in Jose Mourinho’ and the like but life isn’t that straight forward. It isn’t Championship Manager.

    That’s not to say that aren’t people out there who could do a job for Arsenal. Josep Guardiola for example…………….

    Anyhow I have a theory that Wenger is at the end of his tether with this bunch of players.

    I think its the end of the road for some of this squad. Game over. Finito.

    Wenger has hinted at signings this Summer and although he has said the same in the past I actually think he means it this time.

    I expect some investment in the team. None of this ‘killing players’ bollocks. Wenger is pissed and I actually feel that he is going to be ruthless.

    In my opinion he put a lot of faith into the current crop and now feels let-down. I don’t blame him really.

    I’m more than willing to give Arsene more time. I don’t believe he is the be-all and end-all to Arsenal but he hasn’t ‘lost it’.

    Mark my words. This Summer we will see changes at Arsenal. For the better.

  3. Andrew Weber
    April 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    You didn’t read the article at the bottom, did you?

  4. francis
    April 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    I would like to preempt the legions of plastic Arsenal fans that will undoubtedly surface this morning please.

    Awful, awful result which has made our end of season much less comfortable and proven that we’re still not in Chelsea/Man Utd’s league when all is said and done.

    But it’s not the end of the world, it does not justify Wenger’s head, we’ve still numerous first-team players sidelined, so please, spare us all the dramatic moaning about the end being ‘nigh’ or similar such tripe. We’re a goalkeeper away from being contenders.

  5. ken
    April 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Lets see the plan for next season. New Goalkeeper, Joe Hart?, new Centre Forward from France already in the bag, signing Sol for one more year. J D back from injury, new center back signing repacing Gallas. signing a deputy for Song. Getting rid of Silvestre, Eduardo, Vela, Dennison. Then we have great chance for silverwear in 2010-2011 season

  6. deejay
    April 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Tekla, are you a structural steel detailing package as well as an Arsenal supporter ?

  7. tekla
    April 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    We keep hearing that every big club in the world would want Wenger to manage them, really? That’s because of his past achievements. If for any reason he went to Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea or Man Utd and failed to win a trophy for five years, he’d be sacked. These are the leading clubs in Europe, they do not tolerate failure as AFC’s Board do, happy to count the revenue from the most expensive stadium in the world, as it’s “not all about winning” is it?

  8. tekla
    April 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    And yes i did read that article from untold arsenal – I love all this Crap, the amount of shite i have read since we lost a couple of games is amazing!

  9. RipRoaringRed
    April 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    Wenger has finally realised that Almunia is not up to football at this level. The more I see him the more I’m convinced he must have been the model for Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’. Almunia has the guts, steel and backbone of a cloud of volcanic ash, but none of the presence. He is a total wanker and it is no surprise he now has a wrist injury. I believe, though, that he still could have played against Wigan.The manager clearly dropped him to teach him a lesson; forgetting, of course, that his replacement is even worse. Fabianski, a man who cuts his own hair without using a mirror, cannot be trusted. He is not up to the big game, though, apparently, he is like a cat in training. Why didn’t we sign Bagpuss, then? Cheaper and more reliable.

  10. TDP
    April 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    What seperates Arsene from the rest is that he sees things in players when no one else does. But I suspect even he must feel incredibly let down by some of them yesterday. What bothers me about Diaby’s performance isn’t the lack of ability but the lack of desire and application to win the game – I track my man on a Sunday afternoon yet Diaby ambled back and allowed Wigan to score a crucial goal to give them belief going into the last ten minutes.

    To further illustrate the point that our midfielders shirk defensive responsibility, I would suggest re-watching Wayne Rooney’s goal at the Emirates this season. Rooney gives everything he has got to meet that cross to score…Denilson almost jogs back and allows Rooney to score. It is sad that Arsenal’s best player on Wednesday is a 35 year old who has done it all yet he still has more desire to win than his team mates who have won precisely nothing. Desire should be instilled from the manager too, but when you see players pulling on the Arsenal shirt not wanting to give everything to win, it is incredibly disappointing.

  11. Scooch
    April 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    Just a few points on yesterday…

    I actually laughed when their second and third goals went in. I almost didn’t watch past 70 mins of the match as I had so much to do yesterday that it got to 70 mins and the game had just petered out completely. We were treating it like a training game at 2-0 up. But they came back and they did good to do that.

    We were never really in the Premiership race anyway after losing to the spuds. Chelsea would have to drop too many points and with their mahoosive goal difference we just could never finish above them. So it’s now time to finish third, take stock and look to next season.

    I don’t think Wenger should go. He does make mistakes (mainly yesterday for me at 2-0 up and with such a difference in goal difference between us and the other two above, why not bring van Persie on? at least so he can get some matchtime before the next couple of games), but I’m hoping that he will learn and change things around now (I’ve thought that before tho).

    Fabianski shouldn’t play for us. I don’t mind him, but he’s not good enough! I believe Arshavin will (and probably should) go and that Gallas will definitely leave. Probably Eduardo too(shame). Not gonna say who we should sign as I’ll sound like some kind of Championship Manager Pro. But it’s obvious we have a need of quite a bit of strengthening.

    Lastly as I read someone post yesterday, be careful what you wish for. If Wenger was sacked or left we would be left with losing some of our best players (a la Cesc) and have a bunch of players who Wenger gets more than he probably should out of (Denilson, Diaby, Almunia). Until we can compete financially then Wenger is by far the best manager for us!!!

  12. Andrew Weber
    April 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Sorry Tekla, that comment wasn’t aimed at you.

  13. Ray
    April 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    I agree completely that it is the injuries that are hampering our success, you only need to see RVP’s cameo against Spurs to wonder what might have been if we had him for a whole season.

    It is so bloody frustrating, early on in the season RVP and Cesc created something out of nothing in games against Spurs and Fulham to get us the three points, and those are just a couple of examples. We need more luck with injuries definitely.

    The second big thing is the goalkeeping issue, I’m sorry, I’m a huge optimist, believe me, and I have remained patient with Almunia and Fabianski for a while now, but that howler was the last straw.

    Call me crazy but I think Almunia has cost us several points in this title race, with his howler against Birmingham being one and his inability to hold the ball against Tottenham which led to Danny Rose’s stunner. Fabianski had a shocker against Porto, and now this. Yes I am being a little harsh, but this is ARSENAL. We are a proud club and we only deserve the best goalkeepers and these are crucial moments which have cost us. We need this edge, because it is these fine lines that are the difference between winning a title and losing it.

    For example, you’re from Australia, you know how reliable Mark Schwarzer is. In my many years of watching the Socceroos play I have never seen him have a howler, so if Fulham and Australia can have such a keeper, why can’t we? We are the ARSENAL, we deserve only the best.

    Don’t get me wrong mate, I am the last person to look for a scapegoat, I still think the team as a whole needs to take responsibility, but you can’t help but think that there is a serious goalkeeping crisis.

    Wenger has to sign a quality shot stopper this summer or else I’ll be really upset.

    Also what do you think about Eduardo, he’s been out of favour in recent weeks, will he be sold to make way for Chamakh?

  14. ML
    April 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    It seems we are all disappointed, including, as you say, Wenger. And why not start naming names now? Who has failed to make it? Who should leave? Where does the team need new blood?

    In my view, we need a new, world-class goal keeper ASAP! Someone like Frey or Lloris, although Wenger said he doesn’t think Lloris will be available.

    Second, next to Vermaelen we will need serious reinforcement at the back. Out with Sol, Gallas and Sylvestre. In with some big names, central defenders of the level of Terry, Ferdinand, Puyol etc… Djourou is a great prospect, but we need someone way more experienced and tough.

    Defensive midfield; Denilson has been solid, but not world-class. Song has been great, but we need some more depth in the squad there. Melo perhaps?

    Is Nasri really good enough? He is young, has skills and potential, but how long do we have to wait before he starts delivering the real goods? Diaby is good, but as you pointed out, not by himself. He needs great players around him.

    Up front, Chamakh will be a welcome reinforcement as Eduardo and Vela are not good enough to win EPL and CL titles. I think Bendtner could get there with a couple more seasons.

    Is Walcott good enough for a starting place in a future treble-winning Arsenal team? I don’t think so. He has had many chances, has grown over the last few years, but is still not making the impact that we need… Eboue on that same side is a good back-up force to have; he has great character and drive, but also not quite the player that scares the world’s top teams… We need a super winger that can rip apart defences and consistently delivers shots and crosses! (much like Arshavin really…)

    If we are going to challenge ManU, Chelski, Barca etc. we need to build a stronger team over the summer. One filled with class, determination, and a winner’s mentality. Not one filled with young players that have great potential. Potential doesn’t win trophies.

  15. senior citizen
    April 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Believe me or not with Wenger still at an Arsenal manager, with his policies not checked, we shall not win anything even for the next 5 years.
    I love Wenger. I love Arsenal yes, but both Wenger’s transfer and youths policies should be checked, or getting another manager could help.

  16. tekla
    April 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Its not we have lost 2 games its the 5 seasons without a trophy banghead

    Wengers own words were judge him in May and thats what we are doing.

  17. lalbadhur
    April 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    After that “display” it really is impossible to defend the status quo at the club. However, i stand by what i said in the other thread. Given his contract situation he should be allowed to see it out for one more year and if there is no tangible improvement then we should part company.

    Any players that want to leave with arsene should be sold and converted into a transfer kitty for the next man.

    Personally, I’d go for that blanc guy at bordeaux.

  18. grahm
    April 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    It seems there are those that simply want Wenger out because change is required. The club has been run by him for nearly a decade and a half but he has not managed to achieve the consistency that this term of football management would demand. He is certainly not responsible for the new stadium but he has changed many many other aspects of the club which have been fantastic but this is the problem. These are all past achievements and football is about today for most people. Whilst there is no doubt that we all like to reminisce about the past the reality is that football doesn’t care so for many Wenger is on borrowed time and especially when seeing how needless some of the more questionable decisions are. On the flip side you have people who absolutely dote on Wenger and allow the privilege of failure due to his great past work and the long lasting effect this will have for Arsenal and football in general. Who will replace him, well I guess that depends on the package available but I think this depends on who owns the club which seems to be a never ending circus in itself. I simply would like Wenger to go out and spend a bit of the hard earned money that the fans plough into the club week in week out. I really believe that with some investment we can step up to the next level but if Wenger continues to believe in his apparent Utopian dream of self sufficiency in the bank rolled world of football then maybe just maybe it is time for a new broom. The other problem is that time will tell and for the fans that is no good as by the time we know what the plans are it will be too late should nothing or to little be done about the problem as we will only know at the end of the transfer window.

  19. billi
    April 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    it’s good to read some objective view comment, I have done it to me to read the forum to vent, it is bringing you down furthermore
    one thought of mine was: we just have no Messi. . .
    hits not the head of the nail really
    and then, I just asks me: what will change until next sunday? Arshavin maybe, but he wasn’t in form before either, Rosicky energetic? maybe, I would have expected more of him, he lost the ball too several times and ran into the wall….., maybe he misses the last luck?
    Sylvestre out? I don’t like such statements by myself, but I really tend to say it, I can’t judge him really, but I have no good feeling when I see him neither
    which goalkeeper? Mannonee too unexperienced? is either of them reliable in the air?
    they have to turn it around now, enough of this bad run
    and Manchester City is just again one of these reputation foughts, they are not good in that I fear, but they have to,
    how will Wenger prepare them to next match? I think it’s very difficult, but I think they need support now, no boos and protest, they have to fight for cl qulification now, forget about the title and the recent defeats, against all odds, I’m a bit worried about their attitude and confidence,
    is it just the great names? I don’t think about next season or the youth project, but what can they do right now to win the next match? damn it, I want to see that they fight, really fight, with believe, not nervously, be humble and try again and again, it was hard but that happens in football, they have to mobilise their last forces and concentrate on their forces, I can’t believe it that they are falling apart in such a way,
    maybe RvP will change their mentality, hope so 👿 😈

  20. kinneri
    April 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    This probably ain’t gonna be too popular today but after seeing Arsene’s post match interview on MOTD 2 he looked virtually broken. I can’t recall the last time I saw Arsene do a post match interview without his tie and jacket on and be so downbeat.

    For me that shows he’s hurting more than any of us have even bothered to consider. I sit behind the home dugout area and I have seen just how frustrated he gets with the team. Yes he is the man that can change things but as we know financially his hands have been tied.

    We should show our support and respect towards the man, not the vitriolic words that I read on this forum towards our manager. After all we’re out of the title race by the 35th game of 38, not by the 15th game

  21. Filipino Dan
    April 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    I thought our young players had learned a valuable lesson when spurs came back to draw 4-4 last season. I thought we had re-learned that lesson against West Ham. I thought wrong.

    As frustrating as it was, let’s keep it in perspective – the game didnt matter, we will still get third.

    It may even be a blessing in disguise if we see quality players coming in and certain other players being moved on…surely ARSENE KNOWS it is time.

  22. you cant be serious
    April 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    whats all this about Diaby being an enigmatic attacking genius? ARE YOU FOR REAL?
    He cant cross, he cant head (only into his own net), he cant or wont track back, he applies ‘pressure’ from 6 yards away, he cant slide tackle and his touch is inconsistant and he losses possesion as often as he retains it.
    Im struggling to remember him splitting defences or creating chances or arriving late into the box like a scholes,lampard or xabi. You need to get real and stop ‘hoping’ that guys like him will miraculousy improve and grow a pair of balls.
    Iv also read that article on untold Arsenal and I cant understand how an article by an indivdual who shares your outlook should somehow change the minds of thousands of disgruntled SEASON TICKET holders.
    The writer of that article claimed that any manager to come in would drive us into debt by overspending as they wouldnt be as astute with money as wenger…..what a load of crap and its basically spreading fear to back up his own agenda, nobody can claim a new manager will send us to ruin unless hes a prophet or he can see into the future. The writer also includes diaby,denilson,walcott,bendtner and vela as some sort of success story in the Wenger youth policy system, average and at time crap players who replaced the Vieiras,Henrys,Pires and petits we once possessed…..loada bull.
    He asked to be judged in May, you all told us to lay off and judge in May, in the hope that there would be some sort of miracle in his favour. Now you Wenger babies are searching for the minor successes hes acheived that can be seen also on fergusons,moyes,bruces,benitezs C.V.s……but they dont sing about these acheivements because bringin through 3 good young players out of 28 signings isnt something to be singing about now is it?
    Fulham, City, Spurs, Everton, Utd and Chelseas fans can all be happy with their season come the end, hell even Liverpool fans may have something to celebrate, hell even PORTSMOUTH fans can be proud of their teams heart.
    The most dissapointed and dissillusioned fans in the summer will be ours and then MAYBE the relegated teams….brian laws and arsene wenger are the two biggest bullshitters in the pl at the moment.

  23. wishfulthinking
    April 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Wenger has to hold himself responsible. Not just the players. We all shouted from the rooftops a few months ago to buy at least one DM and one decent striker .

  24. hans south Africa
    April 19, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    What a laugh! – We shall finish the season 5th or below as we are about to go down again.

  25. guthrie
    April 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    It’s extraordinary what a little bit of stirring on a Media channel does for the fickle premier football fan of the day. Sacking Wenger is absurd. How does it correlate that he is to blame for the Wigan result. a) he is not actually on the pitch. b) if he hasn’t got an £8m goalie between the sticks it is a matter for the boardroom and not the gaffer. I’m sure if you offered Wenger 20m to spend on a goalie he’d take it. The fact is, injuries, lack of form, and simply not enough quality across the team has cost you. You DO need a goalie. Nay, two. You could consider replacing the entire back four aswell. The team is too reliant on Fabregas. In a way he has become the Henry of this age. The one man team talisman. This is not good. And the forward line needs a lot more competition for places. Look at Man City’s glut. Santa Cruz as fifth choice. He’d make it into your first team I reckon. I never thought I’d say it but I can seriously see the top four in English football changing almost completely next season. Man City are going to win this league with two years. Man Utd are on the slide. Liverpool have completely gone and Spurs are going to be better than you next season. That coupled with Villa and Everton really closing the quality gap I think it is looking very likely that there is going to be a whole new era in British football about to commence. The only criticism of Wenger is that he gave RVP 2o seconds on the pitch. This was futile.

  26. Kevin Keller
    April 19, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    If Wenger still using his YOUTH PLAYER POLICY, he will face more games lose. For best result, It is time to move Arsene Wenger from Arseanl Manager

  27. Victoria Concordia Crescit
    April 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    This in the n-th time I almost had a heart attack this season.
    More to that I have to work to the office head down n do with all the mockery. We shud just do away with all those passengers, 1,2,15,18,21,22.
    But I was Song’s deputy, he has a bright future ahead of him..

  28. Ianinja
    April 19, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Andy, I’ve read the article from untold Arsenal whilst there are truths, I cannot aggree with all that was written. Untold Arsenal is a very informative side but its a well know fact that Untold Arsenal is pro Wenger to the point that I find it nauseating. The word hardline comes to mind when I think of the so-called ‘akb’ or ‘doom-n-glooms’. I too am pro Wenger, (if Jose Mourinho comes to Arsenal I will support Everton) but I won’t cower from giving my opinions about his policies just because the mass mentality from the forum/community I belong to feels the need to be accepted therefore their judgement is clouded by this mass mentality syndrome.

    If a person idolizes another person to the point that he is infallible then whatever articles you write will have very strong bias. So whenever a supporter starts questioning Wenger’s policy he/she will be deemed as heresy by the hardline(note i use hardline here) wenger supporters who religiously idolizes Wenger therefore thinks that whatever opinions that another supporter have is just doom and gloom.

    Untold Arsenal did have a valid point about the youth project. I do aggree that the local players brought up from the local community around london excites me however most of the young players that are in the first team were bought into, eg; Denilson, Clichy etc…I feel supporters are unhappy not because we have a youth academy, but we are buying young players that are frankly mediocore. If we lose because we play some of the fa youth winning team in the first 11, I can wager that most supporters would be kind if Arsenal lose most of the time, but the thing is Wenger puts the young players that he bought with the exception of Eastmond. Its this glaring contradiction that I find perplexing.

    On the defeat to Wigan, most supporters are angry because of the complacency and lack of conviction which are not the proper traits of an EPL player let alone an Arsenal player. We all know how fast EPL is and how hard tackles come in. Of course the defeats opens pandoras box for all the so-called doom gloom to snipe in their comments. The argument about injuries is a factor but it is not a major factor, If everytime arsenal loses and we use injuries to the first 11 as excuse then aren’t we discrediting the players that were playing as having no quality to step up. If that is true, that means players such as Diaby, Walcott, Bendtner, Rosicky do not have any quality at all. To me the excuse of using injuries by most blogs is just a way to cover up obvious cracks. What most supporters want is what you want Andy, an experienced player to guide a talented player such as Diaby. Isn’t this what most want? AKBs and D&G alike. Just imagine Walcott being the understudy of Robben, wouldn’t that improve Walcott tremendously.

    Overall I hope Wenger stays not because he’s my Lord but because I want him to prove all of us wrong next season. In any democracy there is accountability and if Arsene cannot be held accountable or questioned then it defeats the whole purpose of belonging to a club such as Arsenal, the club built on community values that Herbert Chapman championed. I am not as old as Tony Attwood or some of the others in this blog, I only supported Arsenal at 9 years old, almost 30 now but I will always watch Arsenal, even subscribed for cable tv at 150 a month, my opinions of Arsenal is mostly out of love for the club not out of spite.

  29. NewGooner
    April 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Any other manager who oversees 5 years of no trophies,and doesn’t do the best to rectify it i.e. buy new players who can win trophies, and who sells his teams most potent striker in Adebayor (he bought him when he was raw and sold him when he had scored 34 goals in 63 games, who has better stats than that in our current squad), and then refuses to buy reinforcements in January instead releasing Senderos and getting a 35 year old, seriously needs to be questioned, not sacked, but we need to ask serious questions about these poor decisions.

    As for the loss, very very bad, sign of the team and probably manager switching off when focus was required. Let us not lie, we have seen all season bar the first few matches before we met Man Utd, we don’t press, we don’t chart runners, we have no tactical discipline or preparation. Wenger is being showed up on elementary errors like that, so no wonder there are justifiable calls for him to be examined more.

  30. NewGooner
    April 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Also disagree with your point Andrew of ‘ When you are lacking the key, experienced players, the ones that keep motivation high in those situations, it’s much easier to get complacent.’

    These stand in players should be the last ones to be complacent, they are the ones who have the most to prove, Fabianski needed to prove he should be number 1 and Almunia sold, he never. Diaby needs to prove he can do the Song job, he never, Nasri has waited all season to play centrally and show that he is the equal of Fabregas and should not play wide, and in the crunch games he has failed and yesterday, our lack of direction in midfield must fall under him, we lost control as he got complacent and got a petulant yellow card.

    Walcott and Bendtner needed to prove that with the arrivals of Chamakh and Van Persie, they are not just support cast and can do just as well as them, instead they coasted. Clichy and Sagna should also be read the riot act, they are ALWAYS complacent in crossing.

  31. bharat
    April 19, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    Going by almost every Gooner I’ve spoken to in the last few years, outside of this virtual world anyway, we all completely understand – and most are fully in support of – Wenger’s policies over the last few seasons. No one thinks he’s perfect and no one thinks he hasn’t made some huge errors along the way, but he’s been largely vindicated. We’ve been heavily hit by injuries and there’s no question that there are areas where the cover just wasn’t good enough – and don’t get me started on the ‘keeper situation – but mostly, in a season where I don’t think Wengers been able to play his best 11 even once, to have still been within reach of the title in the third week of April has been a great achievement. The way he threw it away yesterday is another story, but one game shouldn’t take away from the fact that this team is not that short of being a title winning side. It’s all very easy to sit here and say he just needs to buy this or that player, but the reality is different. Berba, Sheva and Robinho are all very good examples of very good players, all at £30m +, who don’t simply slot into a side because of their reputations or the money they cost. It’s never as simple as that and it’s why Wenger gets the big bucks and us armchair managers don’t. He needs to sort out proper cover at CB and a decent goalie and we all have ideas about who we’d like to see him buy, but I believe he will buy this summer and I’d rather he picked the players than anyone else.

  32. unchained
    April 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    it is time for us to move on. we give arsene his benefit plaque. he has done his job but football has changed. older gunners want to win in europe and we are used to a side which had more inner steel than this one. i mean to be 2-0 up in a game as this and just collapse. what happens if spurs beat man u and chelsea continues to falter. you do not lose games like that. and why the _*(&*(&*^&%&^%^$ is fabianski still wearing our colours!

    we need change.

  33. ALGunner
    April 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    An relegation bitten team can come back after going down to 2-0 and winning to 3-2 means that the team put upfront are not good enough. Arsenal need some impact changes next season. To me the season in done and dusted. Just Hope that Man-city or SPURS don’t catch us and make us the 5th Team this would be an disastrous. I was so happy with the way arsenal came up with different plan this season. Like Pressing the team high up the pitch and more result oriented passing and crossing. But the current arsenal side on whole is good for nothing. Monotonous passing and passing with no result is just not acceptable.
    I strictly want this arsenal side next season to keep the only positive tactics of pressing the opposition in the half.
    Apart from this we all arsenal people want an strong person on the midfield. One Ugly Beast in the midfield. Upfront it is necessity to have an Pacy CF with our passing game.
    Player who should leave this season
    Almunia (Not Good enough to be even in the squad.)
    Fabiansiki (Given chance after chance but, He is the worst ever Gk in the Arsenal ranks now.)
    Eduardo (Just an Shame, But I believe we will never be what he was again in this physical league.)
    Silvestre and Gallas (Nothing Bad about this player as to me they have given every thing what they at there age. But it is time to move on)
    At least this players should be out.
    Deni,Diaby,Walcoot,Bendy,Nasri…..Can’t walk the garden and get into arsenal starting 11 they need to fight for the starting 11.
    Players I Want in.
    CF :-
    Pacy CF. I like Agbonlahor from astonvilla. This guy was Pace,Strength,Attitude,Winning Mentality. To me every thing. Apart from some more experience. Or any body with above mentioned quality.
    CDM :-
    At the movement what arsenal need is DDR from Roma. But may be arsenal can’t afford that. or we can go for
    Fellaini from everton (Great tall CDM his balance and shooting are great)
    or Lastly Fernando Gago or Miguel veloso. Need to buy in these department.
    CB :-
    Go and Buy Gary Cahill from Bolton he is up for free. Surely Arsenal Should not miss this opportunity.
    GK :-
    I want an commending figure in between the sticks for arsenal next season. End numbers of Gk available. But i would prefer. J.Hart from M.City
    Lets Hope We are third this season and hope Fab stays next season.

  34. Elia
    April 19, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Emotions are raw but there is no hiding from the situation we are in. A win v Man city at home will secure Europe and provide the motivation for finishing the season 3rd. As for next year we will bring in keeper and central defensive replacements as the wigan result was the final straw. As for midfield and attack, chamahk is coming and that leaves us with a versatile midfielder to work with fab and share the organisation as well as track back for defensive support song needs. Read my last post from the spurs match and that is still how I feel for the player roster changes in 10/11 we need to make. I did not mention Walcott last post but I will now. Despite his goal he is an athlete that tries to play football. The off season will be his make or break and if he doesn’t get mentored with an Alan smith or Ian wright he will be gone before you know it. As for wenger, he will stay the 1 year and see through the transition to another manager.

  35. V.persie
    April 19, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Only a fool would still sympathise with wenger remaining.Which scientific experiment takes more than 5 years and it confirms to u that it cant work and you insist it can.Any sensible observer could have seen that these mediocre kids were going no where there is no rocket science in this gentlemen. What hurts most is the expensive ticket to watch rubbish and your the board posting profits from our hard earned money. We hold the solution just get some thing else to do and let the fools watch themselves on weekends thats when they will wake up. The French rascal has nothinhg to prove complacent as he is.As if we have not had enough am expecting another thumping from Man city. You cant plead injuries its just lack of tactical discipline that the team can t squeez a win from nothing . Look at United over city. I wonder why he forged an Almnia injury.He has just benched him for poor form. We shall not rest until there is a change.We may never win the Champions league with him and with competition comming from Mancity our pride is going at the expense of this French rascal.

  36. jkColombia
    April 20, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    i felt anger yesterday, almost rip off my arsenal shirt (then i remember that is a van persie one, so i stop)… but i think this match is a perfect excuse to open wenger’s eyes, the way that we lost that awful match havev to prove the points that we are discussing since the season kick-off: a goalie with confidence and depth in the defense

  37. petre
    April 20, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    so sad…i ve told before that Almunia, fabianski, diaby, eduardo and denilson are suck…!! they are not good enought for bis club as arsenal wenger..we need the quqlity players….Please bring in new keeper as no. 1 and no. 2, hopefully no more almunia n fabianski both schoolboy keepers i ever seen..and wenger is defending them..its rubbish…stupid!!…and moron policy…there are 7 big clubs in epl today..where are we now..??? its so suck..to hear that arsenal can beat Manchester city at emirates..they are big than us…dont be shame wenger..please…7-8 new player needed actually to overhaul our weakness in midfield, center back and GOALKEEPING problem create buy ALMUNIA and ” schoolboy” FABIANSKI”..dont destroy our season…its so costly errors to play one of them in big game…..they have no quality and absolutely not good enough…mr. wenger..please change your rubbish policy like 443-443 formation….its all about cups not trainning policy and then dump our products to the crazy market…lost tonight is big big suck…..for us…all time rubbish f**K policy…

  38. flyin dutchman
    April 20, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    It time wenger starts thinking of game plans to finish the season off, so the season is left in a satisfactory way what I care about is the impact we can make to finish the season off in a high, e.g we lost by just a whisker or something like that and now our main opponents have something to be concern off,but that’s just a dream now.
    I have neva been a fan of wenger from having to watch them from 12yrs ago.Why? I can’t rememba one time where we beat any top sides by a great margin
    inter milan 1-5 arsenal at san siro
    1998\1999 arsenal–3 -0 man utd
    just keep on remembering
    then
    man -6-2 arsenal at old trafford
    4-2, 2-0,3-0 and many more

    chelsea -3-0,2-0,4-1
    wenger should set realist goals next season to pls da fans
    1st major goal bring in quality players -felipe melo,chellini,lloris
    2nd make the league cup the major point for starting the season off.
    3rd play a system that the players can cope with as the players get injured too quickly.

  39. Mac Daniel
    April 20, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    In my openion the problem is in the board room. Wenger is a great manager with a great track record. However is on the brink of finishing with a mediocre record at the end of his Arsenal career. The Arsenal board wants to continue with their policy of buying cheap 16-20 year old players and turning them into star players. Wenger is the best man for that kind of strategy. All he asks for is to be in control of the football matters. The club is making money regardless of the economical trends and while all other big clubs are losing money and getting deeper in debt.
    I don’t see any of that changing very quickly. But don’t wait for any trophies either.

  40. Shard
    April 20, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Andy,
    If a player can’t motivate himself to play for Arsenal and that too on a regular basis without an ‘experienced’ player beside him then he doesnt deserve to play for us. simple. I’m not saying Diaby should be sold. But he needs a serious kick up his backside and maybe needs to spend a few weeks in the reserves until he rediscovers his passion for the game.

    As for the Wenger out brigade. What is it about being an Arsenal fan that makes you want to stick a knife in your own heart. It’s not blind faith in Wenger that bloggers like Tony Atwood and Andy here profess. It’s the realisation of what a great job he’s done in the past, and IS STILL DOING. Management is not about just winning trophies. He has done wonders on a tight budget and while he does have failings, ultimately he’s got the best interests of the club at heart when he doesn’t go out a buy a 20-40 million pound player.
    Besides a player’s valuation is no guarantee that he could make a difference for the better.look at Berbatov.Whatever he may have added to the club he definitely hasn’t added 30 million pounds worth. But Fergie at Man Utd at the moment can throw away money (though they actually CANNOT afford it) in the hope to win trophies and be called the best manager etc. But Wenger actually MANAGES the club better than he does.
    Ultimately he does need to win us trophies. But the 5 years thats bandied about hasn’t actually been a constant decline. There have been some serious extenuating circumstances. 2 offside goals beat us in 2006 against Barca. Referees incompetence and Eduardo’s leg break cost us the league in 2008. This year its been the sheer number of injuries.
    While all of this will be passed of as excuses they still have to be considered as factors when the margins b/w getting a trophy or not are so fine.

    P.S. I HATE it when people try to add a touch of superiority when they say they are season ticket holders and as such have more right to judge. I bloody well wish i could be but i live half a world away. Count your blessings. And if you don’t feel its worth it then stop going. But don’t act like Arsenal belongs more to you than it does to me.

  41. gee
    April 20, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    All rubbish T. Rosicky is one of the worst players to put on an Arsenal shirt and not far behind is S. Nasri
    CANT WAIT TO GET RID OF BOTH
    they are too weak and ineffective for this league

    buy Johan Gorcuff

  42. Russ
    April 20, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    guthrie – Villa and Everton closing the gap? They finished 10 & 9 points behind us respectively last season – This season they are 13 & 17 points behind us, that’s taking into account us dropping 8 points in our last 4 games too. As for Sp*rs we’ve heard it so many times from that lot that ‘this is our season’ etc. They’ve had 2 good results and all of a sudden they are a better than us. A week certainly is a long time in football as everyone seems to have forgotten their dire FA Cup semi performance, blowing their only chance of a trophy. I’m personally not convinced with Man City. Lets see how Adebarndoor behaves this summer if City dont make the top 4. Same goes for other squad players too. Robinho didn’t last long. If they get off to a bad start next season, Mancini is out.

    You’re right about the fickle support though. Unfortunatley success has attracted a lot of new fickle ‘support’ to this club. A lot of these new fans are spoilt and dont remember the days when arsenal were mid table playing absolute garbage football!

    Hopefully Wenger will clear out some of the dross and make a couple of signings – wont hold my breath though.

  43. DJ RC
    April 20, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    It was a case of lackluster, unconvinced, and irresponsible performance. Surely these kids don’t know what it is to win a EPL trophy. How will they they have never won anything in their life. They are taking things for granted, or they are just dick less assholes!!

    At a club like Arsenal these young footballers get all the notice they require to make a good career, they are taking all the help of the club to make their career(which is individual performance driven), and they will move on. And such performances are proof enough. They dont feel for the team, they dont play as a team.

    But why dont they? Isnt the manager supposed to teach the kids? If they dont learn spank their asses? Forget about that, we expect wenger to instill some killer instinct in his boys. I think wenger himself has seen enough. Next season is make or break for him………and believe me a carling cup is not going to do much!

  44. dave m
    April 20, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    I don’t know why anybody does not say it. Bendtner is rubbish. Van Persie came on against Spurs and was outstanding! His quality and ability was FAR better than Bendtner could ever dream of playing. Bendtner is utter rubbish and I can’t wait for new blood to push him back to the bench. Yeah he has scored a few goals recently but even a prized moron from the 2nd division would knock a couple in playing up front for Arsenal. GET THAT AROGANT PRICK out on loan to Brighton or something (no disrespect to BHA).

  45. Andrew Weber
    April 20, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    It seems my decision to let everyone vent yesterday has paid off because today’s discussion has been absolutely superb.

    Thank-you to everyone who has commented: the intelligent, measured conversation is so refreshing compared to a lot of the wild complaining going on around the place.

  46. darragh
    April 20, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Andy, while generally I mostly agree with you on most things, as you know, but in this case, I don’t think I can completely swallow the argument that ‘we lacked senior players’.

    Sure we had injuries, some more than other clubs (as it always seems to be) – thats too easy to argue in this case.

    The reality was – we were still 2 goals up with ten minutes to go with a team that had injuries, lacked influential players, against a team fighting a relegation battle. And we somehow lost it. I think the root cause was complacency rather than inexperience (look a Eastmond who had a relatively good game compared to his more ‘senior’ colleagues).

    It seemed the midfield completely switched off – Diaby in particular. The problems with the Arsenal midfield without Song and Fabregas is seeming lack of willingness to get in the faces of the opposition midfield and attempt to regain possession once lost – much like Barca seem to do.

    Furthermore, we had a senior player albeit on the bench – RVP – who was introduced far too late. Had he brought on earlier, possibly after the first goal, perhaps he could have diverted Wigan’s attention away from their consistent go-forward policy after the first goal.

    I love Wenger, and love what he has done for the club, but now, more than ever before, I question some of his tactical nuance – particularly when we require to shut a game down. On more than one occasion he has seemed to make substitutions too late. He has been _reactive_ rather than _proactive_.

    Sure I’m gutted but I feel that something is missing somewhere in the club – I think they need to have a serious look at the squad and clear out the deadwood, surround the younger players with some more experienced heads.

  47. dave m
    April 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    @ darragh, well said.

    I take it you saw this?

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-we-have-money-to-overtake-chelsea

  48. RGJ
    April 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Iran 1998. Australia 2-0 up against Iran and ten minutes away from the World Cup. I was at the MCG that night and Sunday night watching the Wigan game on Fox was ten times worse! For all you season ticket holders saying you aren’t going to renew your ticket well I swore at my kids and said I was cutting the Foxtel subscription. Take that Rupert!

    But in the cold light of day I know I won’t and I’ll be there in August eagerly looking forward to the new season hoping against hope that we will win something.

    Just as long as Almunia, Fabianski, Walcott, Eduardo, Vela and Silvestre are gone gone gone.

    Happy to give Wenger another season – when were are on form, fully fit and fired up there is no other team I would rather watch. Looking forward to seeing Chamakh, van Persie and Arshavin up front, Fabregas, Song and Diaby in mid. I reckon we are a new goalkeeper and a couple of defenders away from being serious challengers again.

    Read today that Clichy might be off to Barca for 10 million quid. Take the money and give Gibbs a proper run. And spend 40 million on Lloris/Buffon/Hart and two proper defenders.

  49. Habith Hussin
    April 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Bring new faces for the next season or just waste the time of fans.

  50. iloveverminator
    April 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    RVP came in as a substitute for the last few seconds…is it a joke.
    When AW found that we were not holding the ball well in the top two thirds, why didn’t he bring in RVP? His experience would have counted and i am sure he would have been able to marshall the other players. When Arsenal fails to look penetrative, it is a sign that we are swaying away from the game…
    I still can’t believe this has happened. 🙁 I hope AW gives us enough moments of joy next season. This year we will do good to hold on to the third spot.
    New faces that I would like to see in the next season are:
    GK: Joe Hart/ Buffon
    Defender : Lucio/Hangeland
    Midfield : Filippe Melo
    Centreforward: Robben, Torres, Dzeko

  51. BrenGunner
    April 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    The boys tried….wenger gave some chances ..they let him down,he’s a good manager,.I’ll keep supporting arsenal and him

  52. BrenGunner
    April 20, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    everybody want arsenal to win,i just think its unfair to react the way most supporters well ..react, as a manager u got a squad ,some players with high moral,some with low moral,sometimes when buying new players,the younger guys loose moral,wenger gave those a chance,they failed him

  53. JunkEsko
    April 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    When Wenger removed Rosicky and Walcott he removed any offensive threat Arsenal had allowing Wigan to steamroll an already suspect and decimated defense. Wenger’s arrogance hurt the team and the keeper Fabianski. Very poor coaching move. . .

  54. Jay Bones
    April 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Arsene Wenger has been a good manager but terrible coach. His good on the financial side but not for the fans. It is time for Arsenal to move on if we want to win a trophy. The coach has taken the fans for granted and he seems to think for as long as he is making money for the club it doesn’t matter. We need new ideas now. Wenger must go today not tomorrow.

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