It ain’t over for Arsenal ’til the fat lady sings

It ain’t over for Arsenal ’til the fat lady sings

With the risk of sound overly negative I do feel that Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Sunday has all but ended their chances of winning the title. Sure, there are still seven games to go and Manchester United still have both Chelsea and Arsenal to play, but Arsene Wenger’s side are now six points off the top and I can’t see them making up the deficit unless they win all their remaining games. Gael Clichy thinks it’s still possible (bless his heart) but given that the boys have taken just four points from their last five games, this looks a long way off happening.

Nevertheless, football is a funny game and I will not be giving up just yet. While I now feel that Arsenal will not win the Premiership this season I will be watching every one of the remaining seven games with great interest. This side have not come this far just to let it all fade away and hopefully they can get things going in the right direction again this weekend against Bolton.

The injury to Sagna was the turning point in the match

Looking specifically at the Chelsea game, I felt that although Arsenal played OK the home side were worthy winners. It was heartbreaking to watch given that Wenger’s side took the lead through Bacary Sagna’s first goal for the club (how good is that guy by the way?!) but Chelsea had more possession and made more chances throughout the match and deserved the win. To win games like this you need a little bit of luck and when Sagna went down injured it really impacted on Arsenal’s organisation at the back, something that Wenger was quick to point out after the match.

“We were 1-0 up and had it all in our hands. We needed a bit more defensive authority as the game was there to be taken. We had plenty of chances on the counter-attack when they went 4-4-2. It was just a matter of time to score the second goal. We were not serene enough defensively.”

Unsurprisingly it was Didier Drogba who capitalised on the poor defending to single-handedly steal the game away from Arsenal. There is so much to admire about the way Drogba as a player but when he consistently wins matches against the team you support it’s really hard not to hate him. Especially when he dances like an absolute toolbot after scoring a winning goal as important as the one on Sunday. Up yours Didier you evil, evil man.

If Arsenal were defensively poor in the final half-hour, offensively they looked a little out of ideas from the outset. For me, most of that seemed to be down to a lack of sharpness and a general feeling that the team looked both physically and mentall tired. The three main game-breakers in the side; Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas and Alexandr Hleb, looked  jaded throughout and it was clear as day to me that they are absolutely buggered at the moment. I’d argue that the lack of genuine depth in the squad and consistent injuries to potential replacements has denied Wenger the ability to give those players a rest every once in a while to recharge the batteries. While Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez look fresh for Manchester United at this crucial stage of the season, Arsenal’s top players look very, very flat.

There’s no point questioning the size of the squad at this stage of the season but Wenger would be mad not to add a little more depth in the summer. In the short term, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to give one or two of Adebayor, Fabregas and Hleb a rest against Bolton to allow them to regain their freshness and give some other players a chance. In particular, I’d really like to see Nicklas Bendtner start against Bolton. Readers will know how much I love Adebayor and he’s been absolutely immense this season but Arsenal are really in a bit of a rut at the moment and I think some small changes need to be made to get back to winning ways. Bringing in a hungry Bendtner just might do the trick.

It was a pretty tough weekend to be an Arsenal fan but as someone once said, it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings. Although Arsenal’s chances of winning the league are now very slim, I do get the feeling that she won’t be singing for another six or seven games. So stick behind the boys and give them your support and hopefully Wenger and his side can get things back on track against Bolton this weekend. Fingers crossed.

What do you think?

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

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38 Responses to “It ain’t over for Arsenal ’til the fat lady sings”

  1. Scope Knight
    March 25, 2008 at 10:41 pm #

    There is no fucking depth in this team.we wont win nothing this season and you know it SF.

  2. Nick
    March 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

    Not impossible but very unlikely we’ll win PL. Major rethink me thinks.

  3. Nick
    March 25, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    By the way SF, the fat lady started singing in August, most of us knew there was no way they were going to mount a serious challenge for the PL.The best we could’ve hoped for this season is the carling or FA cups.

    If we don’t strengthen next season she’ll be singing the same song.

  4. Spanish Fry
    March 25, 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    Sometimes I don’t know why you comment on here, Scope Knight. Lately you’ve had nothing to say but negativity. If you only want to follow a winning team then I suggest you go for someone else. All the negativity does is bring down the other supporters who enjoy watching Arsenal play.

  5. Nighthawk4900
    March 25, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Screw that guy lol, IM gonna be supporting this club through thick and thin… it just happens to be a little thick rite now, but … given the circumstances, i see no real reason to complain… enjoy the football and move on lol

  6. Trevor
    March 25, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    Listen guys whatever happens going forward we had a good season so far.
    The facts:
    Third in Premier League(most pundits said that we would finish in 6/7th place BEHIND the Scum.

    In the quarter finals of the champions league ( could go either way,you have to be in it to win it)

    Young team, definately going to win something big in the future.

    Just be positive keep supporting the boys, you never know there could be smiles yet this season. Keep the faith.

  7. gunner 4 life
    March 26, 2008 at 12:02 am #

    i am with u guys we might not win this pl but if you believe in them we might win both trophies

  8. JaR
    March 26, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    The fat lady would not have chance to start singing…because after the 7th match, ARSENAL will be the the EPL champions !!!!!

  9. JaR
    March 26, 2008 at 12:05 am #

    The fat lady would not have the chance to start singing…because after the 7th match, ARSENAL will be the the EPL champions !!!!!

  10. Football news
    March 26, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    What kind of fans are you?!
    The last thing Arsenal needs right now is negative energy.
    I can tell you that I haven’t given up yet.

  11. JaR
    March 26, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    A true fan will support his team through thick & thin. I’ll support Arsenal forever.

  12. JaR
    March 26, 2008 at 12:27 am #

    i really hope that the “arrogant” Man U & the “over confident” Chelsea will fall to their feet at the end of the season.

  13. Spanish Fry
    March 26, 2008 at 12:37 am #

    Most people are sticking with the team. I just can’t understand why some people have given up..

  14. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 12:40 am #

    Yeh I’d love it if they both fucked up.If not in the PL they might just fuck up in CL.

  15. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 12:50 am #

    SP, the PL is going to be really difficult now.CL is still on, although some comments are OTT sometimes you just have to be realistic.The mancs need to lose 2 and draw 1 of the remaining 7 games at the very least.

  16. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 1:04 am #

    Apparently AW is interested Hatem Ben Arfa from Lyon.

    Does anyone know anything about this guy?

  17. Grant
    March 26, 2008 at 1:23 am #

    I absolutely agree SF. I’m with you. It’s not over til it’s over.
    A little more depth – especially in the wide areas – would be great, but I’m sticking with the team. Anything is possible in the world of football.
    Love JaR – such belief! I’m right there with you buddy!! Arsenal to be EPL champions 07/08!!

  18. ck
    March 26, 2008 at 1:41 am #

    well from what i’ve heard he’s like nani…. left winger…

  19. saf
    March 26, 2008 at 1:44 am #

    yeah, no true fan can give up on the team – we’ve had a bad run, it looks unlikely to win, but hey, would you have predicted 4 draws and a loss 5 games ago? be honest, NO! so, i say, keep the negative comments going from the phoney fans, but dont celebrate with us when WE WIN something THIS season! good on u SP, good article.

  20. Richard
    March 26, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    The play was good against Chelsea. Good article too. I agree that key players are tired, that the lack of depth is a problem – especially with the CL added to the domestic competitions. There was a heartbreaking commentary in one of the weekend papers in England, describing Arsenal’s play as beautiful and fragile at the same time. Saying that key players have literally had to put their bodies on the line for the team this season. Somehow when Sagna twisted his ankle at 1-0 I had a sense of dread on how things were going to go. It’s been wrenching to see the crippling of Eduardo, RvP struggling to regain form (it seems), Rosicky’s absence .. all these great artists clobbered or knackered. But I’ve been with the Gunners since the 60s. And it’s wonderful these days to support a team of great artists who win silverware from time to time. And while I’m here I want to say good on Flamini and Almunia who have come on by leaps and bounds this season. Take heart folks. We have great players. And the CL will be interesting, to say the least. We can beat Liverpool and the others there if we’ve got a fit 11.

  21. useroz
    March 26, 2008 at 2:41 am #

    couldn’t agree that ade + cesc + helb could be that tired in the chelsea game … they all (and others in the team of course)had 1 whole week resting while chelsea played mid week in the intense battle with spurs! and for pro footballers that’s heaps of rest (perhaps too much?!) so tired was a pathetic excuse in this case

  22. TayGoon
    March 26, 2008 at 2:57 am #

    I am with SF on Scope Knight. Scope Knight needs to re-evaluate his allegiance.

    Man U needs 2 draws and a loss for us to overtake them if we are to win the epl. I hope the draw is against Chelsea. A win against Bolton will rejuvenate the squad and might start a 7 game winning streak. We are still in it. Chelsea needs to drop just one point compared to us and are behind us, in the meantime, if we beat Utd, and they drop points against Chelsea, one more slip by utd will win us the title. The fat lady is ways away from singing and the sound fairy may have stollen her vocal cords.

    We haven’t been playing badly, we just can’t score and I think the ice-cream man had too much ice-cream. Could it have any parallels with Flamini not signing until now?!?!?. We saw AW play Diaby in DM and withdrawing Flamini. It could be a glimpse of our central midfield for next season. if Hleb also leaves in summer, Vela will cover the LM and Theo/Eboue will cover the right. Rosicky could play the supporting stricker role. While I will be disappointed to see either of Flamini or Hleb leave, I believe we will have a stronger team both attacking in 4-4-1-1 with Rosicky in it and better defending with Diaby, who is a good dribbler, retains the ball probably better than any other arsenal player and is technicaly superior to Flamini in every department except work rate. I know people will be incensed by my inferences, but so was I when Gilberto was stripped of the captaincy and dropped to the bench. I have already resigned to losing Flamini, and although he has been immense this season, If he wanted to sign, he would have signed by now. Let’s hope he does. But if he doesn’t we WILL witness the emergence of Diaby as our Midfield Maestro. Hleb can go. We will make good money on him if he goes this summer for I have a feeling he won’t enjoy the same success/freedom next season with Vela on the left and Rosicky lurking somewhere.

    Just my 2 cents’ worth.

    Here to the Premiership Championship come May.

  23. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 3:17 am #

    Thanks CK.Sounds good if he’s anything like Nani.

  24. Demetrio
    March 26, 2008 at 3:21 am #

    Man U is still gonna drop points, they will go thru a slump and it will probably start when they play Arsenal. Man U will drop points, so we still have a chance we just cant drop anymore points or the season is over. But once again, even if we end up winning the EPL title.. people are right to say Wenger needs to add more to the team.. we have no depth, and the boys are clearly tired. Wenger needs to stop buying 15 year olds and start buyin some established players so Wenger could have some kind of rotation thru the team for whe players get tired we have a world class player to fill in that postion.

  25. looneygooner
    March 26, 2008 at 4:10 am #

    Adebayor is not a first choice striker for Arsenal, for some reason he has got it into his head he will be as good as Henry, what a load of bollocks, Henry would win a game even if he played shit for 89 mins, Adebayor is a dreamer and he isn’t fit to lace up Henry’s boots. He is a second rate striker with no awareness, crap first touch and a lazy attitude. He is simply not good enough for Arsenal, the Spuds yes

  26. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 4:32 am #

    Ade will improve but he’s certainly no Henry.I think drogba showed what a real world class striker he is.

  27. Shank Barki
    March 26, 2008 at 4:50 am #

    Hi Gunners!! Have you seen movie Rocky? He says in the movie ‘It aint over till its over’…………EPL is still not over mathematically……..like in 2002-03 when we lost having 6-8 point lead to Manu after Viduka and Leeds shocked us at Highbury, Same might happen to Manu as well…lets wait and see..I dont want to dig into Chelsea match analysis or our squad’s weeknesses or Adeb’s inability…….

  28. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 4:59 am #

    Lets have a sing song lads.

    We love you ARSENAL… we do,
    We love you ARSENAL… we do,
    We love you ARSENAL… we do,
    Oh ARSENAL we love you.

    LOL.

  29. C-Bass
    March 26, 2008 at 5:33 am #

    Forget the title (for now) let’s just get some wins. I for one can’t wait for the Liverpool triple and the United game. I should be bummed but for some reason I’m pumped.

    I’m ready to jump up and run around my apartment screaming, waking up my roommates all while twirling my shirt around my head with more flamboyance than Drogba will ever show.

    Speaking of which Drogba might have overdone it a bit but he did stand up for Gallas in a post match interview. Stated he was great player who helped win two titles for Chelsea and deserved more respect than the fans gave him.

    Anyhoo…

    ARSENAL FOREVER!

    THE GUNNERS WILL MARCH ON!

  30. Spanish Fry
    March 26, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    Forget the title (for now) let’s just get some wins.

    That’s exactly the attitude the team needs to take now. Thinking about how they can win the title is not the go anymore – it has to be about just making sure they can get a win this weekend. If they can do that then the next step is to win the game after. That’s how the title will be won, not by looking forward and trying to predict where the others will drop points.

  31. RvP Fan
    March 26, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Great to see you back SF!
    Its Absolutely True What you have written, and I Agree with what C-Bass has written. If the boys do get some wins under their belt, then who knows what could happen. An even if the EPL Trophy has slipped from our grasp, we can still go for the other title, that being CL.

  32. millefiori
    March 26, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    I am not 100% sure whether we are right in decapitating Scope Knight. He doesnt auto become a non-supporter just because he aired his views, we have to be open to multiplicity of views guys. SOme feel we wont and they say it. Some feel we wont win , but still keep saying we will. Eben that gives out negative energies without our knowing it.

    More importantly, many people expect and state the worst so that they are 1) ready for the worst 2) can rejoice if things turn best. Many times we expect a lot from a movie and it turns out to be a let down. And vice versa.

    For me, I dont think we are in it any more. Yet, I will rest happil if we can grind out a win against ManU….Period.

  33. 枪手
    March 26, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    以目前阿森纳的状态,想要在剩下的7轮联赛中全部获胜,难度非常的大
    而且现在有传说:阿森纳的更衣室不够和谐,队长加拉说:他在阿森纳没有朋友,这是不好的现象

  34. Scope Knight
    March 26, 2008 at 5:40 pm #

    Thanks Millefiori,
    I appreciate the support. I would very much love to say screw Taygoon and Nighthawk but they are not worth it.

    SF,
    If you are so bitter about my comments i can as well stop commenting on your blog.

    Arsenal Fans have the greatest population in Nigeria. When Nigeria was playing to qualify for the ACN, Arsenal was hosting Man United and majority of nigerians preferred to watch the match than our qualifier. My point is there is intense passion for Arsenal in this part of the world than anywhere so you can understand my bitterness.

    Lets state the facts.
    1. Our first team is the best in the EPL but there is no unity and loyalty anymore. Flamini failing to sign, Helb off to get icecream with inter agents before the milan match
    2. Mentally Arsenal is weak. I can not see how an injury to EDa Silva will affect the team up to the extent of getting 4 draws and a loss. Remember Gallas stint. Mental strength is important at this point in the season.Remember Mascherano of liverpool?
    4.NO DEPTH-Look at the subs on the bench against chelsea and look at the chelsea bench.Look at our changes and look at theirs.We would have locked up the midfieild when we scored.Why was Gilberto not on the bench for such an important game.
    5. What are arsenal players tired of? I guess we are the only fans making excuses for our players that they are tired or that drogba’s goal was offside.

    Please as far as i am concerned we will not win anything this season.Do you think Man U will drop points.Lets say they drop the 6 points.Goals diffrence is also crucial cos it automatically gives them a point. We arsenal lack character and there is nothing we can do about it because there is so much responsibility you can give a 20 year old ,ie, Cesc.

    I have given up on this team and until Arsene decides to spend in the transfer market with the view of creating depth in the team i am not intrested in what they have to offer.

  35. Spanish Fry
    March 26, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    My problem is that, if you’re a true supporter of the team, someone who loves them with your heart, the fact that they probably won’t win now shouldn’t mean you stop supporting them. You don’t give up on a team until they change their ways, you either give up on them or you stick with them.

    You have been positive all season and as soon as things have gone wrong you have given up. I don’t care how much people in Nigeria love the team or how much you enjoyed watching them play, if you really loved them you would stick with them regardless of the faults you have pointed out.

    Make your choice, either you love the team or you don’t. You don’t go changing.

  36. ArsenalKenya
    March 26, 2008 at 7:32 pm #

    We should not think about the title as at now but win all the remaining games and then see what happens. We should not give up!!

    My advise to Wenger is just to buy stars like Ben Arfa, Quaresma and Eto’o and we are set for next season.

    ”KUVUNJIKA KWA MWIKO SIO MWISHO WA KUPIKA UGALI ”
    WHICH MEANS IN ENGLISH

    THE BREAKING OF AN UGALI COOKING STICK DOES NOT SIGNIFY THE END OF COOKING UGALI ( COOKED MAIZE FLOUR ).

    The same transalates to Arsenal and the team should now start scoring goals.

    I AM AN ARSENAL FAN FOR LIFE AND I WILL NEVER EVER GIVE UP …..

  37. Scope Knight
    March 26, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    SF,
    I agree u do not care if the whole 120 million people in africas largest country support arsenal.why I am stating dat fact is the huge followership creates an undying passion in Nigeria. I have stated why arsenal will not win anything this season and it is left to anyone to agree(which i care less about.
    What makes me irritated is the fact that a fan can not air his bitterness on this blog.I as a fan has all the right to be bitter and annoyed at the teams performance.Simple and short

  38. Nick
    March 26, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    Scope Knight, I understand your frustration mate,but what you said is absurd.
    Can I ask how you’d feel if AW bought 3 or 4 players in the summer and we still don’t win anything?

    Would you still give up on Arsenal?

    We’re all disappointed Scope, I’ve been critical about our lack of depth and quality but NEVER in a million will I ever abandon ship.

    As fans most of us will have a moan now and again but NEVER NEVER will we stop supporting our beloved Arsenal.

    So come on mate cheer up and get behind the team.

    I’m sure AW will strengthen the team and we’ll be even better next season.

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