Gallas asks a question we’ve been asking all season after already answering it

Gallas asks a question we’ve been asking all season after already answering it

If that looks like confusing headline it’s because it is.

I’ll explain what I mean shortly but first things first today I must apologise for the absence of a post for yesterday. I had got home from work and was all ready to start writing when I was hit by a pretty bad bout of sushi-induced vomiting. It was a pretty awful part of my life and I hope you can accept my sincere apologies. And before anyone tries to tell me it wasn’t the sushi’s fault my also-vomiting girlfriend might want to have a word with you.

Anyway, I haven’t had any sushi today and I’m feeling quite good so I’ll get straight into it by explaining that confusing headline.

William Gallas has been talking about such things as his form and his credentials as captain of Arsenal. He reckons he’s been playing pretty well lately and went on to say that the only reason people haven’t picked up on it is because up until the Manchester United game we hadn’t been winning. Funny that. He also asked a question that every Arsenal supporter and his dog have been asking all season after providing the answer to his own question a sentence earlier.

Still confused? Observe:

“What I really liked about last Saturday (against Manchester United) was how hard everyone worked. We really put pressure on them for the whole game and you saw the result. Maybe we haven’t done that enough this season. We have shown we can do it against United, so why can’t we do it in every game from now?”

I personally don’t mind Gallas as a captain but I tend to agree with the general suggestion that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. His reason for why we beat United – hard work – is precisely what has been lacking in the performances against Fulham, Sunderland and Stoke in particular. As a result, his question of why his side can’t do it in every game is a peculiar one given he has already provided the answer as to why or why not they can.

A lack of depth in the squad aside, it all comes down to effort. The team needs to treat games against Wigan, Middlesbrough and West Brom with as much important as games against Manchester United or Chelsea. Winning games against ‘smaller sides’ takes a unique type of motivation and at the moment it is Liverpool and Chelsea who have that motivation. And although this weekend’s game against Aston Villa hardly falls into the ‘smaller side’ category it is a good chance for our boys to show that last Saturday wasn’t a once-off and that they’re really up for this title fight.

Injury news ahead of the game is quite good. Robin van Persie continues his suspension while Eduardo, Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Eboue are definitely out. Manuel Almunia is 70:30 to play after his head knock against United while Emmanuel Adebayor is a shock 50:50 chance to line-up just two weeks after he injured his ankle.

Just reading the tone of the manager’s pre-game interview I personally think Almunia will get the nod while Adebayor won’t be risked. That could leave the team looking identical to the one that beat United which wouldn’t be too bad at all. They say you shouldn’t change a winning side and while I can imagine a few Arsenal fans would love to see Carlos Vela get a start tomorrow I tend to think the Nicklas Bendtner-Abou Diaby combination up front should be the way to go.

It’s a vital game against a club which I believe has the talent to beat any club in the league on their day. Villa are in a bit of a rut after strange losses to Fulham and Newcastle and they’ll want to get their Champions League assault back on track at the Emirates. Last season’s fixture was one of my favourites as Mathieu Flamini (*tear*) and Adebayor scored goals to cancel out Villa’s opener. We were on a real roll at that stage and it was probably the last time we played a really great game.

I should mention before I go that tomorrow is my birthday and as such, I might end up missing the game. I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to drag all my non-football loving friends to the pub to watch the game with me or do something that’s a little more conducive to creating a more positive group dynamic so we’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime all that’s left to say is come on you Gunners!

Have your say on Gallas or Arsenal v Aston Villa by leaving a comment.

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68 Responses to “Gallas asks a question we’ve been asking all season after already answering it”

  1. Fatboy
    November 14, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    Good article again Spanish- Happy Birthday mate. Piece of advice: set your stall out son- go to the pub, watch the game, THEN go and do group activities. If times don’t work out for you down under, do yer group activities first THEN watch the game. If you don’t watch it you won’t be able to write about it properly, then I won’t be able to disagree with your opinions!
    Re: Gallas’ comments. Yes, I think it is a case of being “up for it” against the lesser sides. It takes a certain attitiude to go out on the park knowing you’re going to have to get stuck in before imposing your superior football on opponents. We’ve showed we can do it at times, but we’ve got to be able to do it week in, week out as Man Utd do. I’d love to see Vela get a game (I think you know my views on Bendtner by now!), especially after another cultured performance in the week, but I think you’re right that the Dodgy Dane will start. I hope that Gallas can grow into the role of Captain. He certainly doesn’t lack the passion and commitment, he just needs to learn calmness under pressure. That’s a tall order if it’s not a natural trait, but I hope he can master it. It’ll be a good game on Saturday, and a test, as you say, to see if the Man U performance was a one-off.

  2. Neilo
    November 14, 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    I just think Gallas is a bad leader. Moody, brooding and not consistent enough. There is no other captain in the Premier League who would have behaved like he did at Birmingham last year and you just can’t get over something like that. I don’t think he has regained the confidence of the dressing room since then. But there is also another problem … there are few leaders in our team at the moment, so few REAL alternatives for the captaincy!

  3. Cescy
    November 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    Happy Birthday in advance. Have a great time.

  4. SettaKeys
    November 14, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    A positive group dynamic? what is wrong with you.

    Sylvestre and Gallas in the middle should be alright, and I like diaby and bendtner up front, but i would like to see vela for a bit regardless of if things are or are not going arsenal’s way in this match.

    Also, how far away is Eduardo?

  5. KURUPT
    November 14, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Hey HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATE ill be out and bout in the city/valley for a mates birthday so ill miss the game as well so hope the GUNNERS do well. Might run into U and have A few but if I dont than have A gud one.
    But yes I think U right bout the startin line up but I really wanna see VELA start but if he doesnt than atleast come on a bit after half time so he can have a decent go at gettin big game time and score a few.
    On GALLAS I think he might be comin around and really start puttin in and yes I dont mind seein him as CAPI. 🙂

  6. fernando guilherme
    November 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    happy birthday for saturday and thanks for your great analysis of the game.i look forward to your comments and i generaly agree with most that you say.go to the pub to watch the game and convert your non-soccer buddies to the best team in the world.I just loved the youngsters v wigan.i was mesmerised with the quality of football.thanks once again .fernando

  7. munz
    November 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    Happy Birthday mate hope its a good one. As for the Gunners Galla’s is an decent enough captain providing things are going well or things are going steady, its when shit hits the fan that his sulky temperament gets the better of him.

    To be honest I think quite a few the Arsenal team has this same sulky temperament as Gallas which shouldn’t be made that big of a deal however there needs to be someone with a determined and focused mind who can lead the team under fire.

    This doesn’t mean they have to yell, scream, punch walls etc but I think everyone knows someone who when the chips are down or something needs to be done and people are looking for a leader this person is usually first inline.

    Who this is in Arsenal is still to be decided…

  8. Bruce in Atlanta
    November 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    Is the captaincy really all THAT important? I seem flip/flop on the issue. I think “Capi” is doing a mediocre at best job in the role, however, I’m not sure who could do better. I’ve concluded that Wenger believes Cesc isn’t quite ready for the job. Kolo’s not playing well enough. And after that, who else is there? Anyway, we don’t really know what goes on in the locker room. So, my guiding principle continues to be, “In Wenger we trust!”

  9. C-Bass
    November 15, 2008 at 12:26 am #

    Happy Birthday Spanish Fry! At least you’re feeling better.

    And if I was in your shoes I’d go to the pub. 🙂

    Keep it going you Gunners!

  10. jay-jay
    November 15, 2008 at 1:08 am #

    Happy Birthday SF

    I would like to see Niklas and Diaby bt then see Niklas and Carlos upfront togehter in the late stages, Vela will run through with his pace and with Theo aswell, we will play well in the 2nd half i think.

  11. jay-jay
    November 15, 2008 at 1:10 am #

    AW has stated:
    Almunia is going well and he has recovered completely,” said Wenger.

    “Adebayor is back in the squad and he might play. I will decide that tomorrow.”

  12. James peter
    November 15, 2008 at 1:58 am #

    Dude, Happy Birthday, I cant wait to read your next master script on the growth of our Big and Small GUNS. I will be celeberating our win equally to mark my Daughter’s Birthday and Yours.
    Wishing all Birthday Boys and Girls best of celeberation 2morrow

  13. PAVON
    November 15, 2008 at 2:59 am #

    WEll!!!! First of all, Congratulations on ur Birthday,,,have a bash on ur Birthday…Just don’t forget to write tommorow’s match report …if not just only feed us about how u celebrated ur birthday… ok then Have A grt Birthday.

  14. YARED
    November 15, 2008 at 3:09 am #

    STUDENT

  15. Gibbs
    November 15, 2008 at 3:10 am #

    SF, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATE! The pub is the way to go, there’s nothing like a bunch of drunk guys watching a great football game at the pub! All your non-football loving mates will have have a blast for sure!

    Anyway, great blog once again mate. I allways enjoy reading your blogs!

  16. Raul
    November 15, 2008 at 6:01 am #

    Always love your posts. Find it uncanny how well you can predict starting line-ups.

    In olden days, prior to “food standards” and refrigeration the ginger was provided with the sushi to offset some of the death by fish potential. Apparently, its all myth.

    Happy Birthday. A 7-0 scoreline from our boys would be the best b-day present wouldn’t it.

  17. jay
    November 15, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    hehe a 7-0 scoreline would indeed be a good present but in reality im looking for a 2-0/3-1 scoreline

  18. Drew Gormo
    November 15, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    happy birthday big man have a pint of guiness to settle the stomach.

  19. Spanish Fry
    November 15, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks to everyone for the birthday cheers. One messy night down, another to go. Sigh.

  20. Bugs Bunny
    November 15, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    Happy Birthday, Mr Fry,

  21. Demetrio
    November 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    Buon compleanno from Italy!!!

  22. Mexican Gunner
    November 15, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    Feliz cumpleaños !!

  23. ramugunner
    November 15, 2008 at 5:30 pm #

    Belated Birthday wish mate!

    You made me confused with the title but later on I figured out what you mean.

    So Villa today. My prediction is a hard fought win for the Gunners. Villa are the best team outside big four without a doubt with their consistency and quality. They are in bad form at the moment but with their aerial ability and good pace upfront they will mount a lot of pressure to our team. Last two league games against Villa were drawn at Emirates. I remember a footballing masterclass from Arsenal especially Hleb in the first half at Villa park last season. Hleb and Flamini were outstanding but we do not have them anymore. Nasri should do Hleb’s job, Denilson, not sure. In Young and Agbonlahar Villa will have plenty of pace to trouble our defense. Laursen and Carew(if he plays) are dangerous in the air.

    After an impressive win against Manu and Wigan(kids), confidence should be high at the Grove. We must win this game because if we have to have any chance to challenge for league title we cannot lose anymore game. We already lost three times and still we have to play big games plus defensive teams in the Northern part of the country. Winning home games is always vital.

    The same team that faced Manu should start even if Adebayor is available. He shouldn’t be risked, Bentdner deserves to keep his place at least for this game.

  24. Jay (JediKnut)
    November 15, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    For he’s a Jolly Good Gooner!
    For he’s a Jolly Good Gooner!
    For he’s a Jolly Good Gooner… Which nobody can deny!

    Have a great one Spanish Fry! All the Best 🙂

  25. james
    November 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    If you have never read it, and you like a spot of laughter, it is always worth taking a peek at page 338 on BBC Teletext.

    It is a summary, updated daily, of the madcap ramblings of a drunken bunch of nae’r do wells with nothing else to say (ie Fleet Street’s Finest). Each story lasts a few lines and they tell you absolutely that the Lord Wenger is plotting to buy some reserve geek you’ve never heard of from a second division club that probably doesn’t exist in a country somewhere east of Afghanistan.

    My point is, apart from the jolly amusement that the BBC Gossip column gives each day (it was there, for example that I read last summer that we were selling Adebayor and buying Peter Crouch instead), it is a reminder that it is all going to happen again.

    The journalists, having had a swift half of G&T are even now sharpening their noses to write up the wind up in the walk up to the start up of the transfer window being opened (if you get my drift).

    And some people will get worried. “Why is it always our players that want to leave,” they will scream in anguish, forgetting that the same gibberish is being written about the players of every team. Chrissy Ronald Ronaldo wants £800 million a second to stay at Manchester Bankrupts otherwise he is off to Antarctica, Tevez wants to leave whoever he plays for, and it is the same old barmy army of Real Mad, BarBarBarcaSheep, WC Milan, Inter, and someone else I can’t be bothered to remember who are doing the buying.

    So, let me strike a word in first.

    It’s all a load of tripe. This is how it goes:

    Agent says to player – “you are worth more than this” and makes a fuss.

    Manager ignores it, but at proper time says yes or no and opens negotiations or not depending on what he thinks of the deal.

    Meanwhile agent puts story to drunked up hacks saying “Peter Crouch to Arsenal” and the silly boys down the pub print it because they lost any sense of reality years ago.

    Agent then says to his boy, “look sunshine everyone wants you…”

    So it goes round and round. But in the end, the Lord Wenger usually gets who he wants, where he wants him and when. Not every time – Flamini was an exception, but mostly those who go, go with Wenger’s blessing – from Vieira on.

    And for what it is worth, my guess is that Wenger didn’t mind Hleb going once he knew he had Nasri. And if that is the case, I am with him all the way.

    Last little word before I make the long treck from the wild and windy Midlands to glorious sunny north London: goonernews has decided it doesn’t like us – or rather it did yesterday – so if you fancy reading about Arsenal’s Genetic Production Factory and other exciting stories, go back a page or two (or see the list top right, depending which sort of page you are looking at).

  26. Lompri
    November 15, 2008 at 9:10 pm #

    :-)Happy Birthday:-) watch the game

  27. ramugunner
    November 16, 2008 at 1:59 am #

    Pathetic midfield perofrmance. Sidwell is dominating the midfield of Cesc, Denilson, Diaby. We have been very lucky not to be trailing in the first half.

    I will be happy with three points anyway. Players need desire to win.

  28. jay
    November 16, 2008 at 2:30 am #

    There is us thinking Arsenal will mount a title challenge, but we trail Villa at home atm. Silly us eh?

  29. Demetrio
    November 16, 2008 at 2:51 am #

    @ Jay

    Silly you all. I told many of you to get off your high horses after Man U. Most of you ranting how we were back in the race after beating Man U and then beating Wigan in the Micky Mouse cup, you would have thought we already won the title. THIS IS ARSENAL!!! What you have seen against Villa is the team we will see all season. The win against Man U was a special day. A team in desperate need of a win if we were to have ANY glimmer of a chance at something this season, will play to their best but we will not see that week by week. The team needs at least 2 experienced, world class players. A team as young as Arsenals has NEVER won the BPL and will not ever win it. As rammugunner said, there is no desire in this team, no urgency at all!! Unless Wenger changes his policy of youth over experience, this is what we will get. So all you Wenger-ites, enjoy the non-success brought to us by your man.

  30. jay-jay
    November 16, 2008 at 3:01 am #

    @ Demetrio – very much agree with you, but after the win over united, we all believed it would change. We can win a cup but not the league!

  31. Grant
    November 16, 2008 at 3:04 am #

    Three thoroughly deserved points for Aston Villa. As the commentator put it – “One step forward, two steps back” for Arsenal…
    What can you say… I’m gutted. Villa won’t be taking fourth spot this year – but now my belief about us winning the title is beginning to wain… We don’t need people telling us that “I told you so” and whatnot – Spanish Fry has kept a level head as have a lot of people on here after the win last week. What we need is more support for our boys and some belief. We are badly in need of some consistency at the moment, but who of you would say that Arsenal is not capable of winning 10 matches in a row? Put some form together and we’re right back in it… Surely by now the young guns have learnt their lesson about inconsistency and playing the 90 minutes. Surely…
    Keep your heads up Arsenal players and Arsenal fans cause remember – Form is temporary, Class is permanent.

  32. Gibbs
    November 16, 2008 at 3:10 am #

    What a pathetic day for Arsenal! Im disapointed in the team, our title race is officialy over! The best we can do this season is 3rd, lets forget about winning the leagu and focus on the CC, the FA cup, and the CL. Hey, we lost imediately after winning a CC game for the 2nd time this season. Is this just a coincidence?

  33. Demetrio
    November 16, 2008 at 3:36 am #

    @ Grant.

    You cannot have form to win 10 games in a row, if you do not have the DESIRE!!! There is zero desire in this squad. Half the players looked like they were only out there to collect a pay check today. It is always good to have HOPE. But learn from the American Barack Obama when he says you cannot have Hope without having change. They go hand in hand. If Wenger does not change, we have no hope. If his policy has not worked 3 years ago.. its not gonna work this year. So 10 game winning streak, come back to reality, i’d be happy with 3 games. The team is in lack of experienced players that are there to pull the team along when they play games like this.

    “Surely by now the young guns have learnt their lesson about inconsistency and playing the 90 minutes.” – Was that stolen from the “great” mind of Wenger??? Because for 3 years now im sure he’s been tellin his self that same thing and for 3 years its been happening and happening. Apparently… they havent learnt.

  34. KURUPT
    November 16, 2008 at 3:45 am #

    OH MY FUCKEN GOD WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!
    OH well win some U loose some still be there for THE GUNNERS NO MATTER WHAT but just cant believe it.

  35. Gibbs
    November 16, 2008 at 3:48 am #

    Today’s game confirmed my suspetions of complacency in the team, i thought they learnt their lesson when they lost to stoke but i was wrong! I hope Le Boss has a long talk with the lads, they are letting us down, more importantly they are letting Wenger down, the man who put his head on the chopping block for them. They just dont care! WHAT A SHAME!

  36. Tim
    November 16, 2008 at 4:25 am #

    Aston villa 2-0 Arsenal. Isnt that a crime?!

  37. edc
    November 16, 2008 at 4:55 am #

    unbelievable – such a frustrating season for the gooners.

    for the instant reaction arsenal blog go to http://www.upforgrabsnow.co.uk

  38. Demetrio
    November 16, 2008 at 4:58 am #

    @ Gibbs
    You are absolutely right, and thats the most disturbing thing about it. They just don’t care. Cesc said after Man U, they had to win for Wenger.. Well how about you actually give a damn in games like Villa and win that too. We are set for another fight for 4th like we were a few years ago. Arsenal are going backwards in progress. Last season was the best season in 3 years. This season we are going back to the 05-06, where we could beat the top three but not the smaller teams. There’s no way of getting around it, that comes down to Wenger, and its his fault. Flamini left and instead of buying a world class DMF to replace him he throws that muppet Denilson in there. Had Wenger built on last seasons team, even after losing Falmini and Hleb, just adding a world class DMF and CB we would be in the same position as last season, he didnt so know we will go back to starting all over. When Fab leaves this season (which i think he will), he’ll throw in Ramsey instead of replacing him with a Diego type player and we’ll start all over again.. The question becomes.. When does the fans and board room finally say “enough???!!”

    Maybe because I’m Italian I’m use to winning, and having our systems get rid of what doesn’t work?? Example… Donadoni=Shit, so he was out and a legend in Lippi was brought back in. We dont waste time on what doesnt work.

    Another thing.. I’m sorry to tell the Nik fans.

    Nik Bendtner=Jeremie Aliadiere.

    I cannot see him being anything more then what Aliadiere is, which isnt a bad thing, its just not to the level Arsenal need to compete. I think he’ll be gone as soon as Wenger buys a true scoring forward (which Wenger doesnt buy what we need so he’s safe). I can see Bendtner’s career similar to Aliadiere tho, he’ll start his fair number of games at Arsenal, get a couple of goals and then he’ll be sold to a club like Wigan where he’ll have a decent playing career, but i personally cannot see him living up to anything more then that. Usually players get better as they play, he just isnt getting better. Most of us saw him in the Micky mouse cup (CC) so he looks better then he is, but you have to look at competition in the cup. He can play against the Wigans, Sheff Uinteds, but against the Man U’s and Villas he is overshadowed by the talent around him and its like he isnt even out there. Vela is an example of a player that is getting better. Maybe Bendtner has reached his full potential?? Again im not attacking him because there’s nothing wrong with a player like Aliadiere, but Arsenal need something a littel better to come off the bench or be back up to Ade/RVP/Eduardo.

  39. Dynamite
    November 16, 2008 at 7:21 am #

    Look, Arsene has lost it and the bosrd caused it by offering him Chairmanship of the club. Please lets have a rich owner that can kick some ass ay the club. Does he know what he is doing to oue collective phsychy?

  40. Mexican Gunner
    November 16, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    LOL Demetrio thats what I was talking this week with some friend, Bendtner = Alliadiere, and he told me NO Alliadiere was better!!!

    Today the comentator of the game in Mexico say that he never seen a player so bad like Bendtner in an Arsenal shirt before.

  41. C-Bass
    November 16, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    Two nil and Villa deserved so much more. All credit to them. They wiped the Emirates with us.

    There was a reason I was a bit quiet after the United game and it was simply because the hurdle for this team wasn’t the United game. It was United, Villa, City and Chelsea.

  42. TheOne
    November 16, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    Fabregas will leave in the summer – Wenger knows this, as he has to make a profit. All he does is bring players on, just for that profit, even if its a few million, to him thats better than being in debt. The board made an agreement with him many years ago that he wouldn’t be sacked as long as he brought Champions League revenue to the club. He does, so as long as he finishes fourth, his job is safe. Two views on wenger – either he is mentally ill and is therefore delusional by thinking what he has is good enough. . .or he knows the team isn’t good enough, but takes £75k a week to lie to the fans. I think that is what hurts. he keeps saying we will come back, but they shouldn’t have to come back all the time.

    It has been said that Arsenal have the third highest wage bill in Premier League. If this is true, I’d suggest Wenger has no idea at all what he is doing. Quite why he is paying Bendtner to play for Arsenal is insulting. The guy is a Championship player at most. People say, he’s only young. Wenger says if you are good enough, you’re old enough. He aint good enough full stop.

    Football is full of ups and downs. Arsenal have to accept they won’t chalenge for another 5 years at the very least if they continue this way.

    heed my words, lads.

  43. jay-jay
    November 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    Everyone knows that we cant win the Prem right? Know that Villa made that clear today, the players are gonna carry on playing with no desire and many will leave in the summer. We could win any cup this year but the league is beyond us. Appiah is still a free agent, why Wenger has gotten him yet is a mystery to me! He needs to sign a DM, and Appiah is FREE! I hope he delivers good signings in January, in the mean time, we have to wait for the CC to see a good game from our lads.

  44. FromGunnerBlog::
    November 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Oh Dear…I said last week that the Villa match would tell us more about this team than the United game and so it proved.

    Where to begin?

    1. There is No discipline at Arsenal FC. Gael Clichy is the perfect example of this. Last week-end, a minute after Nasri scored our second, Clichy switched off and allowed Ronaldo all the time in the world to steer in at the far-post. What should have followed was a post-match bollocking of monumental proportions. Instead? Clichy was disgraceful today. He was at fault for the penalty, shanking a clearance pathetically instead of using his right foot to clear it into touch. It’s not the first time Clichy has fucked about and cost us now is it? Spuds at home anyone? Why is a vital first-team defender permitted to piss about on so many occasions? How many more times is Clichy going to cost us momentum? As if the penalty incident were not enough, Clichy then allowed Agbonlahor to score a goal from a standing start. Without even having to jump. Pathetic.

    2. I said at the beginning of the season that no team has ever wom a league title with a non-international in goal. Almunia is a joke. Penalty save? That’s nice. When it counted the most, Almunia was beaten by a shot on target that was right on him. It went Through his left glove. Does it get any more ridiculous?

    3. The manager got his tactics woefully wrong. Again. The decision to pair Bendtner with Diaby up front was borderline ridiulous. It seems Arsene thinks our players are all so good they can play and interchange anywhere. News: they’re nowhere near that good. Arsenal were hampered. The first half was a non-event and might as well have not happened. Instead of forcing the issue in the first half, Arsenal were left with the outrageous scenario of having Bendtner – who was shite today – a deep-lying playmaker, coming to win flick-ons and first-balls. Then of course there was no one to come for the second balls. Diaby thought he would play midfield though we was supposed to play the Bergkamp role. There is also the fact that Diaby has no footballing intelligence and cannot play one-touch so, Arsenal had no incision in the first half. That is Wenger’s fault for selecting Diaby instead of pairing Vela with Bendtner. Crazy decision and 45 minutes wasted.

    4. The manager’s negligence in the transfer market over summer has cost us dearly. Now. There are two schools of thought on this issue. Some people assert: ‘Oh we have what we have there is nothing we can do about it now’. I used to be like that. But fuck that. Enough is enough. If we carry on with that attitude and not demand more then next year we will be having the same conversation as we go a fifth year with no trophies and six years without the league. That was illustrated today as I looked at the awful Silvestre.

    Last week, after barely a minute he had spread panic in the Arsenal defence by allowing them a clear sight on goal after just one minute. Then today? Same again. After 5 minutes presenting Villa with opportunities they did not have to work for.

    It is a worrying state of affairs when United’s third-string left-back is walking into the heart of our defence and no one questions it. Silvestre is shit. Simple. He would never start at any of Chelski, United or Liverpool. When Ferguson sold him to us, it was confirmation that he no longer saw Arsenal as a viable threat: and he would be right on this evidence.

    When you pay £20 to watch matches then perhaps you are in no position to make demands. But when you pay more than any fan in world football to witness pathetic tepid displays such as today’s; you have every right to ask where the hell your money goes.

    Wenger never signed that defensive midfielder in the summer and we are paying the price. No Flamini means we are a walk through the park in the middle. Look at today as an example: faced with the ridicule of a situation whereby, both Denilson and Cesc have been booked within the first 15 minutes. So they both spend the rest of the match walking a disciplinary tightrope and not putting tackles in. In that case, you usually sub Denilson off and bring on a strong replacement – but who do we have? Aaaah yes. Song. Oh dear.

    5. Cesc Fabregas needs to hand in a transfer request and Wenger has an obligation to let him go. I will always be grateful for everything he has done for Arsenal football club. He deserves much better than he is getting. Yes his form has been poor but he is capable and we all know and have seen that. Who else on this Arsenal team is anywhere near Cesc’s level of genuine talent? Answer: Aaron Ramsey, Carlos Vela. However I am not talking about ‘in three years’. I am talking about now. Here. Today.

    To be honest there is so much more wrong. The inability for the manager to motivate the players for ‘smaller’ matches. I could see this one coming today. Think about this: every time Arsenal have faced a team that have pressed them in midfield, and gotten men behind the ball, Arsenal have failed to win.

    Lost 2-0 to Stoke. Stoke could not score from open play if their lives depended on it. They haven’t done so for over 360 minutes in fact. The last time they did was twice, from long throws, against us today. Apparently United had no problems dealing with Delap’s throws: Vidic and Ferdinand simply attacked the ball and ManYoo thrashed Stoke 5-0.

    Lost to Fulham. Lost at home to Hull. And now have lost at home to Villa. We’d lost once at the Emirates in all comps. prior to this season only once – to West Ham in the league. And West Ham were jammy that day.

    This season? We have already lost twice. And not just lost. We have been totally outplayed by Hull and Villa at home. Villa did not even play Carew today – they didn’t have to.

    I mean look at Silvestre. A simple goal-clearance hoof from a Villa defender catches him unawares. Yet, miraculously, he does not bust a gut to track back as Agbonlahor sprints past him. And this is our ‘experienced’ defender.

    Dear Lord.

    9 points behind the Bin Dippers already and it is only November. 4 matches lost already and that’s as much as we lost all last season. Regression is the word, we have gone backwards.

    It is a sad, sad state of affairs.

    Yet, some comedians will claim ‘we can win the Champions League’. Let’s beat Stoke, Villa and Fulham first eh?

  45. butterfingers
    November 16, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Bit of a shitty b’day pressie for ya sf hope ur misses got you something better. As soon as I saw riley I knew we were fucked as he has got to be one of the worst refs in the epl. But that is no excuse for the players to play with no desire and lazy passing plus a dodgy lineup as vela should be playing as he has got class. Would like to see more of the pre uero fabregas as he’s been a big culprit for dodgy passes and not doing enough to get the ball back but then again it shows how much ordinary play viera, silva and flamini did that made our team so great and the likes of denilson and diaby think they are the stars but unfortuantly they are not in the same class of walcott, nasri and fab. Would love to see denilson, behnder and diaby dropped in the next game for the likes of wilshere, vela and ramsey just to shake things up and get our team back on track.

  46. amiaq_ferguson
    November 16, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    I’m so happy for Silvestre and Arsenal FC. Hoping that Wenger put more faith in him and France back four as well.

  47. Demetrio
    November 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    @ FromGunnerBlog::

    I agree with just about everything said.

    And that has been my point about Wenger. Its a never ending story. He lets the best players at the end of each season walk away, right when they start to have an impact and the team is starting to gel. And thats fine, but then instead of replacing them with a player that is world class, he just throws in one of the youngsters, and then it goes back to waiting for them to come good. Example, we let Falmini leave, just as him a Cesc form a good partnership, and instead of picking up Alonso whom could have formed a quick partnership with Cesc… he throws in that muppet Denilson. That is not acceptable!!

    Another example will be if Cesc does indeed leave (Which he has shown very little desire and i think he is falling out of love with Arsenal and the lack of the teams ambition), instead of replacing him with a class midfielder, he would throw in Ramsey and so the circle begins AGAIN. And we will have to wait 3 years for the partnerships to form and right when they do they will want higher wages, end up leaving and the circle starts AGAIN…. When will people step up and tell Wenger.. ENOUGH ALREADY!!

  48. Dynamite
    November 16, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    I agree with u Demetrio. Cesc is leaving. Who would not leave a team without ambition? Again I think Arsene Wenger is the culprit. These boys are too inexperienced to chase for the title. There is nobody to compete with Cesc in the midfield, no holding midfielder, the defence is flat. Why go for Sylvestre? Is is because he is French? I do not get it anymore with Wenger. I rest my case while hoping Spanish Fly had a roaring BD. Happy belated BD.

  49. Gibbs
    November 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    This team is complacent. If Wenger doesnt discipline them soon, we’ll lose our spot in the CL. The first team is not hungry for success. Maybe the Young Guns are ready, they are hungrier than the first team, Le Boss must give them a chance, we’ve nothing to lose anyway.

  50. Spanish Fry
    November 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm #

    Grr.

  51. whiteboy daniel
    November 16, 2008 at 9:19 pm #

    Wishing Mr Fry a very very a cheerful Happy birthda. Gunners forever.

  52. Gibbs
    November 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    @ Demetrio
    I dont think Cesc will be leaving anytime soon. All he needs is a great partner in CM and i think Wenger will get a new CM in the Jan transfer window. Yaya Taure is a sitting duck, Wenger has to make his move. De Rossi is also on the shopping list, but i dont think one signing will solve our problems. We have the quality in the team, but we lack psycologically, we need to focus on developing these players mentally, they must learn to give 110% everytime!

  53. Demetrio
    November 17, 2008 at 4:31 am #

    @ Gibbs

    Well we will see if Wenger will break his cycle and actually add experience to this team and not more 15 year olds that wont help for another 5 years. I cannot see Cesc staying unless Wenger brings in a partner in midfield to keep him happy. De Rossi would be best, but i know what kind of footballers we have here and i dunno if De Rossi would play for Arsenal.

  54. Mexican Gunner
    November 17, 2008 at 4:42 am #

    I dont understand why everybody is too worried about Cesc leaving like everything in the club turns around him.

    Sounds ridicously OH no he will be leaving because the team is not hungry for win, for ME he is the first one without ambition in the team (in the last games).

    Nasri and Rosicky could play in his position at the same quality or even better… if not theres a guy like Diego who is like 3 times better.

    I will be more worried for the leave of Van Persie, Adebayor, Walcott or Toure than Cesc.

  55. Jay
    November 17, 2008 at 6:08 am #

    Anyone esle see Fabregas’ gesture to the crowd after he passd it backwards instead of forwards?

    I was at the game and i was shocking. I pay alot of money going to see the boys and saturday was the first time i ever questionsed myself as to why?!?!?

    Im tired of havib this “Great, stable future” Yes the young(er) guns are brilliant and you rave abiut them all the time: Heres a suggestion – Play some of them then!! You say its not that simple, this is correct. Ramsey has to play more first team as well as Vela. Bendtner gets all his plaudits for working hard and givin 100 percent – this sould be minimal requirement for a professional footballer. He CANT play football- No pace, no first touch and lacks confidence – (Doesnt help when the crowd cheer adebayor for warming up and moan everytime the ball goes near bendtner)

    Diaby is brilliant one week, then awful – Inconsistent again. Clichy has had a poor start to the season – He switches off occasionally and it can cost us. Remember last week against Man Utd? We had just gone 2-0 up and ronaldo ghosted in unmarked totally and if he had scored, we wouldnt have got anythin.

    Up front, is a shambles in my opinion. Adebayor has got his pay rise and now does fuck all. Doesnt look interested. Van perise might as well pack his bags coz he barely changes the game anymore and judgein by stoke game,has the temper of a 15 year old. Vela will be a brilliant striker, but right now isnt ready.

    Fabregas will blatantly leave in next 2 years – He is surrounded by average players who wouldnt get into Chelsea and Utd Team. He has fallen out of love wth the club, goin on performances and maybe is starting to doubt Wenger’s transfer policy. He looks like a young lad with the wish to go home and star in the Barcelona team, so he can play his football alongside the Yaya Toure/Xavi/Hleb (his good friend)

    January has to be when we make an EXPERIENCED player who isnt gonna be good in “4-5 YEARS” That doesnt help the squad for now and this squad is so thin.

    Our title challenge (if it was ever a challenge) is over. The other 3 wont lose games like we have. We have to beat them and hope they slip up and also that we start being consistent – all these things will NEVER happen. Im worried we might not get the 4th spot and then our finances (which Wenger is clearly in love with) will be screwed and wit will be embarrasing to play in the UEFA cup. We would have half a chance of winning it though i suppose.

    Anyway Arsene, Arsenal is NOt a creche and its not your responsibility to make sure the england team is going to have a brilliant future. Your job is to win Arsenal trophies in the current period and not base all your signings on the hope/expectation that in 3-5 years time they will be brilliant players.

    If they are good enough, they will come through – Fabregas came through when we had Vieira, Ljungberg, Gilberto, and Parlour who played in the centre.

    The teams mentality seams to be off as well. Title challenging sides are 100% motivated and up for it every week – and we are hit and miss. Fulham, Stoke, Sunderland and now Villa. Disgusting.

    Arsene, please sort this mess and stop buying for the future – Its now that really counts. This is certainly ur weakest squad and its worrying. Play two up front, give Mr Vela his chance.

    As Fabregas is suspended for City this saturday, give Wishire a go – H ewill have the passion and desire that is so dearly lacking.

    Thanks for reading.

  56. Tim
    November 17, 2008 at 6:56 am #

    We lost, its not the end of the world. We were in the same position at the beging of the season 10 years ago, and went on to win the title. Stop whining and support Le Boss and his boys. Wenger is not stupid, he knows we are struggling, he will find a solution b/c “Arsene knows”! In Arsene we trust!

  57. MoMONEY
    November 17, 2008 at 8:07 am #

    Focus on the Champions League now… Try to pull a Milan Liverpool and put our resources into that… We still need 4th though… I really think we need an experienced, mentally tough DMF…Dont know who but its needed… Would be amazing if we could get Viera back (dont know how he is doing at Inter- he would be our captain right away)… Maybe Appiah maybe someone else…

    I would LOVE Mexes joining the squad in the summer… Beast in the air and Roma may be forced to sell…

  58. Gibbs
    November 17, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    @ MoMONEY
    Appiah would be a great signing for Arsenal. He is a free angent, so it shouldnt be hard for Wenger to get his signature.

  59. butterfingers
    November 17, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    But again there must be a reason appiah is still a free agent and no body has signed him and if cesc goes to barca it might not be much different in the epl where real now look winning the title for the next couple of years. I can’t see why players play if they don’t care just like roy jones jnr last week why stand there for 10 rounds and let someone hit you if you can’t be arsed. Just play wilshere, djorou and vela and drop ade and silvestre and cesc is banned so we might get a half arsed performance and might actually win and the kids have burnley next round who beat chelscums we are in it to win it team so at least we have a good game coming up in a couple of weeks.

  60. Demetrio
    November 17, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    @ MoMoney

    Roma wouldnt Mexes go unless he starts to stir up trouble and asks to leave. They have many others they can let go. They wont be forced to sell him.

    And i agree 100% with butterfingers. The people whom have watch Appiah train know better then us. If he was THAT good someone would have picked him up. So i hope Wenger would not want some other teams sloppy seconds as he did with Silvestre. Silvestre is not the worst, but if he cannot make it into the Man U first team, then he isnt what is needed at Arsenal. I fell Appiah would be the same thing.

    Instead of being cheap bastards, actually spend the money to invest in a real world class DMF. Try to lure De Rossi or Toure to Arsenal, or someone similar not get a player who cant find a team to take him. I think Alonso should be Wengers #1. He would form a quick partnership with Fab and i think Fab would play much better then he has with Alonso there in MF with him.

  61. MoMONEY
    November 17, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Yea i definitely think there is a reason Appiah is unsigned still… I was just mentioning him… Toure is a great player but idn if he has the mental aspect/ leadership we are lacking… De Rossi could be an amazing signing if it would be possible… He is tought, talented, and performs under pressure… I would love to have him…

  62. jay-jay
    November 17, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    Ive heard stories we have signed Toure already, we are just waiting until Jan. Spurs/pompey/fulham would have snapped up Appiah if he was as good as he apparently is. Xabi Alonso would be a great signing and Cesc would play much better, Barry would also be a super signing but Alonso would play better wiv Cesc.

  63. Ianinja
    November 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm #

    Somehow I knew this lost to Villa is coming. All of Arsenal players look bad. I believe this team is complacent and it shows. Cesc had the worse game for a couple of games now, Denilson tried hard but since both our central midfield is slow there’s no tracking of Barry or Sidwell when there’s a counter. Nasri has good feet but is slow. People who say he goes pass players must be blind, when he’s stuck he spins and pass backs or sideways. Why put a playmaker at the wings. A marseille fan once highlighted to me that Nasri will slow Arsenal’s game and yeah it shows. Diaby is another hot and cold, the only thing simmilar to him and Viera is the height and that’s where the simmilarities stop, Viera was a brutal lion whilst Diaby is a bit kitty like, has the grace but no ace. The first team is complacent, plays with no heart and thinks they are champions after the ManU game. If your going to lose, at least lose with a fight. Somebody gotta kick them in the head and say the league is not one game. Really I think Arsene is too soft on these overpaid youngsters. Sometimes I wish Adams is part of the backroom staff. He’ll just squeeze all of their nuts just like how he use to on the pitch, Adams prob say it’ll improve their stamina on the pitch. I’m not for new signings but its apparent that an experienced talented player is needed. I don’t know what Arsene is hiding, but he did try to get Inler. I saw Udinese play and he is one brutal mofo, a good partner for ballerina Cesc. Maybe AFC really has no money or AFC’s board is just a bunch of stingy diamond traders and elitist. The recession is quite bad and I wonder whether the apartments are selling as well as reported, why was Keith sacked? and where’s the new CEO or whatever. There’s more than meets the eyes here…

  64. Dynamite
    November 17, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    Jay,
    Iagree with u. Did we have an all children squad when we had the golden years? Wenger is acting God. It is so frustrating to the over 16 million Arsenal supporters spread all over Nigeria. On Saturday I left the viewing centre like a beatten dog with my tails between my leg. Imagine me a lawyer, 40 years, dressed to kill with my home jessy, face cap, shorts and whistle making so much noise at the pub even though I have paid for subcription at home leaving the centre with Chelsea and Man U fans laughing, jeering and/or starring at me. He does not know what he is doing to me!!!

  65. Gibbs
    November 17, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    I dont know why Appiah is still a free agent, but he is free, we have got nothing to lose. If we get De Rossi and Yaya we will have 3 world class CM, i’d rather have 3 than 1, our rivals have 4 or 5 DCM, they are spoilt for choice, i also want that in our team.

  66. MoMONEY
    November 17, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    I agree that Nasri is a bit out of place on the wing… Ideally we have Rosicky out ther and Nasri in front of the strikers but Wenger rarely uses that kind of setup…

    Another thing I forgot to mention is our lack of depth. We try to use our same first team and replace the injured players throughout the season… The big clubs usually have more than capable backups that they use in order to keep their best players fresh… Example is Tevez at ManU and many many others…

    We dont have depth. We dont have attitude. We need some steel at both DMF and CB. Its been the same for a few years now and it needs to be addressed… I would be THRILLED if we got De Rossi… Yaya is nice but De Rossi is better IMO

  67. SCOPE KNIGHT
    November 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    Dynamite,
    I feel you. With all due respect to other bloggers football especially with Arsenal in Nigeria is a way of life. I actually left my boss’s kids naming ceremony, ran a minimum of 120 miles/hr to get to VGC to watch the match and the united match way behind me.U can imagine. What annoyed me more was that we would have just let united beat us instead of raising false hope. Fucking hell. After the second goal i had to sneak over to the united game a slip out unoticed but i was caught by my friends laughing antics at the gate.I had a bad weekend. I have made up my mind to start watching boxing, skiing or Formula 1 cos i cant support anyother club than arsenal.
    The players have lost respect for wenger.He has got it wrong and they dont trust his judgement. Bent-neerr should be banned from football he is a disgrace.

  68. Bubbles
    November 17, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    Can somebody tell me Why we are loosing to the so called “underdogs”. When we are almost ready to celebrate a victory ahead of the game,Arsene Wenger and his boys would not allow that happen…..Well, i guess its time we took our mind off the tittle this season. So sad.

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