Patrick Vieira – “There was a lack of leadership”

Patrick Vieira – “There was a lack of leadership”

Prior to the game up on the AFC Blog Facebook wall I posted the video of Cesc’s goal last time we played Milan, and after mentioning Henry in 2003 and Cesc in 2008 I asked who our San Siro hero would be tonight. I meant it in earnest; the San Siro has been a welcoming venue for Arsenal and after some positive games as of late this could have been a night where we really showed some mental strength and threw away that ridiculous handbrake metaphor for good.

But that didn’t happen. In fact–from an Arsenal point of view–nothing happened, and Roy Keane summed it during the half time pundit chat as he said, “Arsenal haven’t turned up tonight.”

It was a dreadful collecive performance. It’s not an irregular occurrence for us to have a worse bark than our bite, holding more possession but not doing much with it. Tonight we didn’t even have any bark. We looked more like a stray mutt wondering around aimlessly looking for a spot to defecate. Our passing was laboured, wide of the mark, our movement didn’t involve any moving; we were guilty of all the things our critics have accused us of being.

But instead of dwelling on the game tonight–because that’s tantamount to an emo kid self-harming plus we all know what happened–it might be better to look at the factors that have culminated in that utterly shambolic performance.

It’s well documented that many former players after leaving the club still feel a strong affinity with the Arsenal. You just have to look at Henry’s behaviour since coming back to see that and even Samir Nasri curiously wished us well for the Milan game and tweeted today “once a Gunner, always a Gunner”.

Even with silly shorts Patrick knew how to win

After the final whistle another former Gunner who still feels that bond, Patrick Vieira, offered his thoughts on what went wrong, tweeting “Really sorry for the result for Arsenal – there was a lack of leadership.”

When van Persie rifled a low volley into the corner after Henry cleverly found him with a flick, the Milan ‘keeper celebrated his save like he’d stopped a penalty in a World Cup final, not prevented his team from conceding while they’re three goals to the good and cruising. We never looked so animated even after the fourth goal went in.

This is also something Dennis Bergkamp touched upon today in an English newspaper when discussing our chances against Milan.

You need a few strong characters who can get the team going, in training as well as matches.  

Sometimes you need more of a winning mentality than a passing mentailty.”

It’s extremely difficult not to agree with these formers players, especially as they know what they’re talking about, their trophy cabinets will attest to that.

In a few hours it will have been exactly one year since that wonderful game at the Emirates where Arsenal triumphed over Barcelona. In midfield that night were Jack Wilshere, Fabregas and an in-form Nasri. Since then, one decided a sub’s bench made of 50 pound notes was better than playing for us, one went to play for his childhood club, and one has suffered a season-long injury.

They are three players with the determination to change a game single handedly and we haven’t found similar replacements for them. And so tonight we witnessed a midfield that took part in one of the worst Arsenal performances I’ve witnessed.

What makes it all sadder is that was Henry’s last game for the club. What a way to bid bon voyage to a club hero. It’s almost shameful.

 

Traumatised by that game? Get it off your chest by leaving a comment.

 

 

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143 Responses to “Patrick Vieira – “There was a lack of leadership””

  1. Shrek2be
    February 16, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    We win as a team,lose as a team.Walcott’s limitations as a player come to the fore against well organized defences.

  2. rellends
    February 16, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    i can’t believe the club have got the nerve to put the vote for your motm on the official website. utterly abysmal. utterly predictable. did anyone expect anything other than a milan victory? i didn’t. i backed them to win 3-1. i thought we’d at least score a goal although i don’t know on what evidence i based that on. i’ve got a very bad feeling that the season will be all over come 7pm on saturday night and then we will suffer our usual spring capitulation. 4th place? you’re having a laugh.

  3. fred
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    Today also showed Van Persie’s limitations. People say he carries Arsenal but that is not the case. He does not do anything when the team is not playing well. No self-made goal for nothing. Needs Walcott or the other winger to be having a good game creating chances. Abrahimovich today didn’t need to score. He played and created and brought others into the game. RVP went missing. He cannot get chances laid on a plate all the time
    Worse though was no one was shouting to help wake the players up
    Were they drugged? The pitch was intended to limit our attacking play and it worked
    If we can get 2 goals in the first half…

  4. jet
    February 16, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    now that this has happened… i’m taking solace in the fact that we can just focus on the league (and a little on the FA cup). it will be good to be less stretched, have fewer games for injuries, etc. what a horrible performance.

    and i would not include nasri in the group of players to pick up a team and carry them or make things happen. this season is pathetic.

  5. Jekyll
    February 16, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    It’s not RVP’s fault. It’s the fact the manager doesn’t believe in proper strikers. Amongst other things like defensive organisation etc, etc. This has been going on for so long now. The man needs to have the dignity to leave and let someone else have a go. He won’t though.

  6. leftcoastgooner
    February 16, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Traumatised?? That was years ago, recurrently numb is more like it.
    Too bad but after awhile one becomes inured to repeated diaster.
    5 or 6 years ago this would have been a big deal demanding a major response from the team. Now I only hope we can somehow manage to get past mighty Sunderland this weekend and somehow ( and only God knows how) right this bilge-bucket and keep fourth place.
    Now tell me this “in Arsene we trusters” that this team needed NO additions this transfer window or is it simply OK to be an embarrasment as long as one does it at a healthy profit?

  7. rizki
    February 16, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    i think we’re so naive to play in LC when we are so difficult to get the place in PL. and i’m not surprise we loose against milan, because we dont have enough players to play in this level. agree with vieira and bergkamp. we not have a leadership and mentality. keep spirit MY GUNNER!

  8. Terry
    February 16, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Our recent history does not inspire much confidence that we can bounce back from this set back easily. I fear for the cup game on the weekend as we field an even more understrength side against a fired up sunderland on another crappy pitch.

  9. delano
    February 16, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Blame the coach for players he buys. We have never gotten an attacking holding midfielder.
    The coach must leave ,it is disgressful that Wenger even obliged to compare a serie A team like Milan to a pathetic squad.We have played in this competition before in the past and tactically come out as winners but Wenger has developed a complacency i don’t care attitude towards teams so superior to us that he decides to out rightly attack. A defensive -negative minded approach towards the game would have ensured a slim score line with hope of over turning at the Emirates but its now gone and we are out. Milan for once looked like our usual tormentors Barca. Rosicky is so old,cant shoot on target and must be playing his last season.he was pathetic at best. Ramsey is a complete joke to be playing for a top club like arsenal. JIBS is totally a shocker and the earlier Santo’s comes back the better for us to finish in the top ten.Am beginning to question Schzeny’s credentials.It looks like 90% of shots towards goal went in and his positioning was suspect at times.
    More doom is that we have to play at Stadium of light and i can’t see us even getting a draw from that game. The worst is by the end of our premier league match we shall officially be out of top four as i can’t see arsenal beating Totenham at the Emirates. Top seven position is more likely and the only hope is that Wenger will one day leave and we shall not regret for all his mediocrity.

  10. RT
    February 16, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I have always said that we need a few more players with a bull-dog mentality. Right now, besides Wilshere, we appear to have no one else. We talk about rebuilding year in and year out. This time, it is no longer about rebuilding because a club like Arsenal does not need to rebuild. Players who come in must love the club and “die” for the club. Sadly that is missing in majority of our players. The players who took to the field against Milan have let the club and fans down. Hopefully. Arshavin and Park will take to the field against Sunderland.

  11. 345
    February 16, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    I think Arshavin will not start against Sunderland, if ever. To keep him on the bench no matter what is another part of Wenger’s “phylosophy”, so he will hold it forever.

  12. theicehammer
    February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Morning all. What can i say about last nights PERFORMANCE apart from Wenger loosing the dressing room. There no longer seems to be the belief necessary to play at that level, i dont really think Wenger expected anything better,…. result wise that is. No leaders, spirit. desire, energy, never say die, strength. all the attributes of your boys of old. The ammers are playing shit footy but at least they kick keepers into the net.
    Nevertheless i believe Arsenal will get something out of the Sunderland game because it is at a level below lastnight.
    The question i still keep asking myself is, does Wenger really have the money just sitting there gaining all that lovely interest or is it just his loyalty.
    Morning Shambo, hows things with you mate.

  13. GunnerBoss
    February 16, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    There was no lack of fuckin leadership? RVP always leads by example, but where was the fuckin service…he was shifted out of position twice……Oh, I get it …he meant the coach lacks leadership.

    @Delano – what did you want Rosicky to do on the left? He wanted to placate Ramsey and he took off the Ox from the starting line-up and placed Rosicky on the left. Ramsey is utter rubbish…..lacks any form of understanding at all….couldn’t keep his shape, infact everything was on Song because somehow Arteta was also negligible. If we didn’t have Song, it could may well have been 8-0…….

    It is in matches like this that people like Arshavin, Benayoun(experienced players) thrive……

    Everybody kept on asking me why we play children against experienced men….its not that we dont have the experienced players to do the tactical job, but that old man is just too sentimental for my liking. Why start Ramsey in attacking midfield? Does he have anything to prove to us? We all know Rosicky did better in that position the past two games, now , we loose any kind of gathered momentum…START AGAIN says the gaffer “Ramsey must be made to perform”.
    No matter how you look at it, a young player on form will always cause experienced players lots of problems. The Ox should have started alongside Walcott to keep their midfielders busy….we rather they came at us and the result?

    We should be more careful when attacking our players, especially when they are played out of position….

  14. khaba00
    February 16, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Lack of quality @CL level is more like it. There are more than 7 captains and former captains of clubs and countries at Arsenal.

  15. Meether
    February 16, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Arsene needs to shape up or ship out.
    That performance is solely placed on what the Greats said.
    If the team is playing dismally,it is paramount that someone needs to take responsibility on the pitch.
    Wenger cannot force the players to do it on the pitch.They themselves need to get the gusto and do it.That is what they are paid for anyway.
    The reason why Man U is so formidable is coz even when they are at their worst, they learn the opponents and try scrap up.
    Yesterdays players showed they have no heart and really deserve to re-assess whether they would die for the Arsenal shirt.
    Thats what makes the difference between a great team and an exceptional team.Right now we are neither.

  16. emmanuel Ngala
    February 16, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    We are not even Europa Cup Material with that performance

  17. CHARLION
    February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    the manager totally got it wrong from the start with two of the worst mid fielders in the starting line up i.e Ramsey and Rosiscky we had no chance and also leaving a 2nd winger on the bench caused us.

  18. dave the gooner
    February 16, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    i have been trawling the sites looking for information about kozza’s injury, does anyone know??????? all i can find is loads of negative shit. we got properly beat. we played shit, the pitch was shit and our team is the worst i have seen for a while. but hey we got back into 4th place at the weekend. fa cup is massive and we do not have a squad capable of 3 big competitions, so if there was a bit more positiveness we can climb again. hopefully we will have a big summer. 4th place is massive what ever the 5 year old fans say, i want to win. i want iwant. pethetic…. we are not man utd, real, barca, ac milian. we have never won a european cup. our club is in a good state but wrenger needs help. we need some signings for morale if nothing else. i hope we can pull something off but chances are we will loose more big players. would not mind wallcott going, he can not play for arsenal, we play the wrong game for him. he needs to be in a weaker team that counter attacks 80 percent of the time and he needs to play through the middle nexts to a stricker that can feed it to him. he has no clue on the wing, he trys though i think. but he should play for a martin o’neil team if he wants to show his best.

  19. rehan siddiqui
    February 16, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Arsenal were pathetic in every aspect of the game. This team of shits like walcott, djourou, ramsey, arteta, gibbs and song is now nothing more than a mid table epl outfit thanks to obscene wenger. There is no guts amongst these so called mediocre players drawing fablous salaries. The way manager had assembled third raters I can only say he is bent on destroying the image of arsenal and when he is booted out or decides to quit he will leave a mountain to climb for the new man. Arse is tryig to prove the world that he could win by bringing in players of unknown quality and turned them into world beaters. It is true for arsenal that if you throw peanuts you will get monkeys. Come next season off-load more than dozen of these worthless players and sign four or five quality players including an experienced goalkeeper.

  20. Danny
    February 16, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Bull shit is the word to discribe Wenger. The guy should just to Arsenal a favour and leave. He has outlived his usefulness. Lets face the facts, I am a democrat, if I vote in the Labour and they screw me up, I kick them out and experiment with some conservative hogwash torries who can’t spell the word JOB. But all is good if change comes fast.

    Wenger leave please and save us from the embarrasment.

  21. visiting yid
    February 16, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I actually thought you were unlucky last night, I hope that we don’t now see the sort of knee jerk reaction about wenger’s position being under threat.

    He is the best and most successful manager Arsenal have had, one poor game doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be around for a good few years to come.

    I’m sure he has a plan.

    As someone who has been there before, people should still be careful what they wish for.

  22. Franck
    February 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    This link was sent to by my man u loving cousin: http://www.sincearsenallastwonatrophy.co.uk/

  23. GunnerBoss
    February 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Goalie can never be blamed, there was no midfield…..how many times did we have a shot on target? Did we see what their midfield did?

    From defense……

    Vermaelen misplaced- started at the centre after a very fine run in LB and taken back to LB towards the end to show the coach does not know his players or he does not know what he is doing…..Cant blame him.
    Koscielny misplaced- he could have paired Djourou or Song same way he pairs BFG, not playing him where BFG plays……Cant blame him.
    Gibbs & Sagna not ready-Vermaelen and the Coq should’ve been allowed to continue their fine run of form on the flanks till Sagna and Gibbs become fighting fit. I said this earlier, didn’t I? Cant blame them, you dont joke/tinker anyhow with ur defense in important matches.

    Ramsey completely misplaced- he should be looking for another place to ply his trade next season as he is completely incompetent at holding & distributing the ball…i’m talking through balls(accurate) to the striker, dribbles etc. Cant blame him, he was an impact sub for the last game and should remain as that.
    Rosicky misplaced- why is he wasting on the wings? Why is he limited to a portion of the pitch when he could have had the whole centre? Cant blame him. Rosicky would’ve done a better job of holding the midfield and distributing balls(controlling the game) rather than being wasted on the flanks just like he showed in the last two games played…Who can blame him?
    Walcott does better when played with another winger, only God knows what Wenger went out to do there today. Two wingers would have given them food for thought. The whole team was changed, we have not been playing like this…..
    RVP- i can see why our players leave. He was arguably the best player on that pitch yet he was on the side loosing 4-0? Jeez! We just made sure RVP never got to see the ball. He had just one shot(with his right leg) on goal. How more depressed can we make him be?
    This kind of matches, you play the likes of Arshavin and Benayoun, not Ramsey…even Arteta was rubbish today.

    When they scored, he should’ve brought in Chamberlain, so we start building any kind of pressure. They made a substitution in the 18th minute? The rest held up till the end……We were better, but Wenger messed everything up…all the momentum built up for nothing, everything is slapped back in our faces.

    If this is what he wanted to do, he should have started with Blackburn and continued with Sunderland, not after for goodness sakes.

    The Ox has to be starting every match from now on…..he deserves it on current form.
    Rosicky has to be made the arrow head of this midfield from now on with Benayoun/Arshavin as options. I personally prefer Arshavin to start, but Rosicky is doing okay for now.
    Wilshere as central midfielder(running up and down) with Arteta/Coquelin/Ramsey as options.
    Song as defensive midfielder with Arteta/Wilshere/Coquelin/frimpong as options.
    I dont care what he does on the flanks, but would prefer a Gervinho/Ox to a Gervinho/Walcott. Our coach is too sentimental and often picks players based on seniority than on current form(I hope we dont loose Coquelin to this mess).

    You see running around and doing nothing when you get the ball can NEVER be positive football. The better team is not necessarily the one who puts in the better work-rate, but more often the team which allows the ball to do the running. The better team tells the ball where to go better. One could run around the whole pitch but does nothing positive when he gets the ball(Ramsey). A lot of us seem to accept this wastefulness because we draw or win matches in which we were very wasteful. Secondly, a lot of us see running as someone doing some work. When Ramsey runs at their defenders and expects the team to run with him, he just shows how silly he is….because, all they need to do is loop the ball over the midfield(you give them the space to do this). Did any of us notice the TITAN(Van Bommel)? Did we see him running like a mad man, but he was probably their most valuable player. I’m I a bad person for noticing this?
    Only RVP should be running at their defenders(when we dont have the ball), so we can maintain our shape in the middle, those guys are way more experienced than we are. When we conceeded, we should have been tighter in the middle, STOP RUNNING AIMLESSLY at them, but let them come to you. Only God knows if Ramsey thinks he was playing with kids…..
    At a point we were doing a 4-4-2(before the Ox came in), a formation we have never done with this set of players before. We wouldnt have found ourselves in this mess if we set up like we started against Sunderland and Blackburn. Stick to what you know, STOP EXPERIMENTING like you do in Carling cup.

    This is why we will NEVER win anything.

  24. Gunfest
    February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    @davegooner still defending Wenger after all these years. You used to think those of us who were questioning AW decisions were naive or mad …. Well we have been proven right by this shameful display. Frankly we are not a top 4 team right now , to many mediocre players, overrated players .
    Blaming the pitch that’s lame ! Did you see the technical level of the Milan team on that bad pitch , it is because they have quality!
    2 or 3 years ago watching Prince Port smith fighting relegation , the kid had some ability, played with desired, fearless, strong thought why Wenger does not sign that kid he would better than , Diaby or Denilson.
    Who do we sign ? Chamakh and Park
    Our problem is not the lack of funds but our incompetent management!

  25. shambogunner
    February 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    @ice,
    Dont know how I feel today…that was the biggest game of the season and we were all waiting, anticipating a big effort from the team, a chance to redeem themselves for this seasons countless dissapointments.
    What we got was nothing short of a disgrace.
    A highly questionable starting 11 for starters, but hey you still expect workrate and for them to raise their game…afterall their playing in the San Siro ffs.
    First ten mins we looked disjointed and shakey at the back but had possession on the edge of their box…..but we choosr to revert to backward and horizontal six yard passing…it was like we were waiting
    for them to have ten men behind the ball before wed begin to attack in earnest. I dont know how many times I seen players bump into each other, ramsey chief culprit, in a yellow jersey or how many times we went from a dangerous central position to running into a corner and then bein tamely dispossesed and then not making any attempt to win the ball back even though its a mere 10 feet away from you, see Theo Walcott.
    We have so many players here now that its impossible to sell, the editor Mark posted recently that Djourou wants to stay, I said of course he did, because he isnt good enough and is getting serious wages, why wouldnt he want to stay? Its only the few top players we have that want to leave.
    Really how do we sell Djourou, Squillachi, Diaby, Almunia, Fabbianski, Rosicky, Chamakh, Park, Vela, Bendtner, Denilson, Arshavin or the woeful Walcott? How do we begin to offload them? Who would have half them?
    The manager signed them, he selected them and he motivated them to that shambles last night. Im sorry but he has to go. I watch in dumbfounded amazement as my team struggle to retain possession when we have a throw in yet never contest an opposition one!. Why do welet other teams play as they please???!? Our corners are attrocious we never look threatebing..how many went to their keeper last night yet we didnt try one short or low to the edgeof the area.
    Their manager was on his feet when 4-0 up demanding more from his players, ours was peeping out from the dugout. Shouldnt that have been the other way round????
    That is whats wrong here, Wenger cant man manage and his repeated excuse making and absolving the players of responsibility has led to them not putting themselves on the line…the third goal Verm slips, ok, but the effort song makes to prevent the shot!!!?!!!?? Im sorry but thats not commitment and hes our so called hardman???!??
    Wenger now must go, we cant even complete throw ins anymore, we have no imagination or oace attacking, the players refuse to put in the hard yards; and most glaringly and problematic, these players arent playing for the coach…..belief and spirit you keep telling us Wenger,fight to the end you telk us. .there no more true than any of the other lies you have fed us the last five years… ‘there is no value in the market, City have destroyed it for everyone’ this is more deflection…’look at City and vent at them, do not look closer at your own club’…
    What exactly is Wenger bringing to Arsenal right now????Because the standard of football is shocking from basics to tactics to motivation and providing the platform for expression.
    He has to go.

  26. shambogunner
    February 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    And take that disgrace of a ‘ medical team’ with you.
    We have more seperate instances of injury this year than goals scored without Van Persies tally. What a bad joke we are becoming, how far down do we let this mans obssession drag us before we make a move in a positive direction…first the manager showed the players he tolerated mediocrity and lack of effort, since then the board has shown the manager that they condone it too. Are we as fans now going to make it aclean sweep across the board and sit on our hands and wait dissilussioned for a miracle to turn us around?

    This is my favourite Wengerite proverb ; ‘ the prof knows, hes got something up his sleeve’ except hes not the prof anymore, now hes onslow, hes rab c nesbitt and hes wearing a dirty stained sleeveless white vest with a tattoo saying ‘I did it my way’.

  27. Izutex
    February 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh dear…..enough of this whinning from Arsenal fans.
    We do not have to win always,even though I agree with you that the score line was humiliating.I feel Arsenal did not come to party against the Rosoneri.
    that said,I feel we are not being fair by calling for wenger’s head any time something goes wrong.blame him yes-maybe,but haul insult at him…that is not acceptable.
    please tell me,which coach could achive wengers feat with this same team….not many.
    wenger fought really hard to keep Fabregas…but the lad’s mind was made up. he wanted to play for his child hood club..good who would blame wenger for that?
    Nasri wanted to leave for cah or trophey?whatever….how would you blame wenger for that?
    he (wenger) even tried to keep Nasri to the last season since he refused to sign but our money happy directors went to the bank even to the disgust of wenger.

    please dont’t get me wrong here ..I am not an advocate of wenger, infact,I have beef with him for failing to play the OX from the beging of that match.
    Walcot didn;t help matters.
    The team just did not gell yester night.whatever the reason ,our team was just not good enough .
    There is no gain saying the fact that we must sign at least 3 quality players to beefup this team.I wander why wenger refused to buy during the Jan window.

    but if you ask me I think we will find it really difficult to get even 4th position this season.let the truth be said.this team need quality additions befoe we could fight for any major honors.

    please to save ourselfs of heart attack. let’s forget about any trouphey this season……and hope we can make it to champions leage position else we loose RVP and few good players in the team now.
    Be positive…..be realistic….be hopeful.

    Gunner for life.

  28. leftcoastgooner
    February 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    @gunnerboss
    Goalie can never be blamed?
    Pull it it out mate he takes his share along with everybody else.
    The first goal was more than stoppable but you have to be on your line. His distribution was woeful and and he gave it to the opposition as often as to our guys. We win as a team and lose as a team yesterday we LOST as a team.
    I think selection to some degree was dictated by availabilty but the tactics were poor and we got punished. Here’s some salt for the wound Mario Goetze is talking to Man U about a move there and who can blame him.
    Does anybody know anything about the extent of Kos’s injury?
    Well since the match is over is it OK to boo now or would that hurt tender feelings and dampen the team spirit? Yeah, that’s a good one. BOOO.

  29. dutch
    February 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Izutex -u got to be kidding is this for real,to keep rvp and others we need champion league?
    If real madrid came knocking on the door with champion league n better salary do u think rvp would think twice
    Rvp is waiting for the directors to open their wallets to buy proper professionals if not then to hell with wenger and his shit philosophy for there will be no trophies coming
    I don’t a rat ass about 4th place,becoz the team has made no significant effort to win it expect from 2005/2006 with the quality players been the finalist other than that we have wasted so many opportunies to win it, becoz u play it to win,not to make the 32 teams taking part and trying to make it out of the group and throw the penny and seeing where it may lay. Trophies is what gunners come to see come on ! For god sakes

  30. unchained
    February 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    you cannot develop a team like the arsenal currently does. stick to the fundamentals for god sake. everybody else does it. that is why they win. solid coordinated back line, dependable hard working midfield and one small striker good with his feet and a tall guy who is good in the air. It is that simple but we have to complicate things. Result almost a decade without a trophy.

    when will it end… only when i am finished.

  31. Zak
    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Izutex, stop talking nonsense.

    You wrote:
    “Nasri wanted to leave for cah or trophey ?
    whatever….how would you blame wenger for that?”

    Of course Wenger should be blamed for it.
    If Wenger’s Arsenal won some trophies, Nasri and many
    other top players would loove to play for successful Arsenal.

  32. dutch
    February 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    If leadership is the problem then bring in someone with leadership qualities for the game a retired gilberto or a vieira becoz pat rice n wenger have definitely loss touch with reality.

  33. Eric
    February 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    What’s so gutting about the performance is that it is exactly what we gooners see as being so apparent with the club but what management refuses to acknowledge. We have no heart or desire to take on big clubs. We manage heroics against EPL and European mid-tablers and bottom-feeders (even then, not as much as we should). Against the big clubs, we shrink. The boys play scared, dispassionate football on the big stage. Never was that more clear than last night. Arsenal will not be a big club on the world stage until we acquire players who have a fighting, confident mentality. Extremely disappointing lack of spirit from all, including RvP, Song, and Arteta. Walcott is paper-thin, physically and mentally. The game was his to take last night, playing against the worst back in top-tier football. What we saw was a lethargic, intimidated version of #14 who refused to push the flank because he was out-muscled. He’s too small in both stature and desire. Hey Arsene, adapt or die! Profits should not come at the expense of our status. Arsenal is not a top-20 world club right now…fading fast!

    Wenger’s tactics were awful.

  34. 1NiltoTheArsenal
    February 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Quality post and interesting commentary as usual.

    The Manchester United game in August was an aberration. It was fault in the time-space continuum. It felt weird, surreal and not of this world.

    This one doesn’t. It feels VERY REAL. Like we’ve been honestly exposed once and for all. There’s been discussion about the pitch, the Starting XI, etc. but this match felt like we were lost no matter who we would or would not have put out there.

    To some extent it is numbing as Left Coast feels, but to a greater extent, it just adds to the feeling that I’ve had all season long. I don’t know who these guys are anymore. I cheer for them, I scream and shout during the games, but from fixture to fixture I have no idea which version of this ill-starred team is going to show up.

    I love the Boss, I support the Boss, but his banal tripe in the aftermath surely flames the fuel of the haters:

    Actually, I won’t bother to cut and paste – you can read what I’m talking about online in 50 different places.

    Where to go from here? Of course all is not lost. We can hope that a fired up Arsenal can restore some wounded pride on Saturday in the FA cup tie against Sunderland. We are still very much contending for CL spot, and as for the return Milan tie down by 4, well who knows – stranger things have happened. To us, but one day we’ll inflict the improbable on others as well. (No, I’m not holding my breath).

    Not know which Arsenal is going to show up on Saturday, all I can say is COME ON YOU GUNNERS (whoever you are)…

  35. Terry
    February 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    That was a collective fuck up. No one – the manager nor the players can caome away with anything but shame and humiliation. What was most perplexing was the performance of our better players – RVP, Song, Arteta, Vermeulen and Sagna. They all played poorly.

    It’s roll up the sleeves time and put all effort in to two comps, but I fear it is all going to go even more pear shaped.

    I am taking to the wilderness this weekend which is probably just as well because I don’t think I have the stomach to watch the Sunderland game! Plus it’s not on my cable tv subscription! A whole weekend without fretting about whether the Ox starts, why Djourou ever got a contract extension and just what is the point of Park…Should do it more often really.

    It’s hard – no, pointless arguing with the Wenger out brigade after a performance as abject as Wednesday’s. Let’s just see how the rest of the season pans out though. Let’s face it you can scream Wenger out til you are blue in the face but it ain’t going to happen before the end of the season.

  36. adam
    February 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    after 20 minutes i turned to my 10 year old son and said we are being completely out classed here. In every area we were 2nd best. Make no bones about it this is Wengers team. He signed everyone of them players they were all his choice. He trains them and he manages them. The only thing he does not do is pay them. That is our job, and for last nights shambles i hope a refund is on the way. We can not trust the current regime to run our club, out of the 25 man squad how many are value for money???? If my employees put the same effort and know how in there work for me, i would be bust. Change is needed, the fairytale of being debt free and still competeing for trophies is finished. If i was the owner and i was a billionaire i would loan the club 100 million, why would i do this??? because i love the club and dont want to see it die!!! do you love the club Stan?? do you have the hump after defeat Stan?? Did you cry when Cesc left Stan?, Did you smile when we got £25 mil for Nasri Stan?? Can you help me to pusuede my child that supporting Man city is wrong Stan, do you know why he wants to support Man city Stan?? are you a fan Stan? if you was a fan Stan you would know Stan!!! RIP Arsenal

  37. Gunfest
    February 17, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Well said Adam! Very true and touching!
    I thought that bringing Sylvestre to Arsenal was a firing offense. A player unwanted by manure
    Bringing over Squilacci was another firing offense.
    Wenger should have fired for thinking Denilson was capable of being a defensive midfielder in the EPL.
    I don’t care if a player is playing in the championship league. Before he comes to Arsenal , I want to know if he is a first choice for his club? Is he a winner, is he strong mentally?
    Fab , Nasri, Henry the first time left the time left not because of the false stories put out by the club. IMO they left because they saw a club declining while fans were still singing out loud in Wenger we trust. The club should always be bigger than the team!

  38. davem
    February 17, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    I’m gutted. HOWEVER, we needed this season to fail. We need the straw to break the camel’s back. We need something to give so we can remove Arsene. I REALLY hate saying that but his time is up. It’s utterly horible to watch. He doesn’t know what he’s doing!

    Spurs on the other hand play three strikers which is why they are good for a goal a game. Arsenal used to do that and I wish Wenger looked at the tapes from six years back to see why we were a better team then. We used to play Henry, Van Persie, Adebayor and Baptista with Fabregas in behind … 4 strikers … awesome! Even worse than that, Wenger says he does not have any money?!?! I just can’t understand it really. Man U are the 3rd richest club in the world however they’re 650m in debt and spend millions each year. Arsenal have NO debt but apparently NO money … go figure?!?!

    I’m not a bad loser because we don’t have a great team. If we were a great team then I would be angry but to be honest, until Wenger goes, we’ll just have to suck it up and watch the team decline as we sell what good players we have when we don’t qualify for Chumps League, which is a distinct possibility. We’re still just hanging on to the ‘Top Four’ mantle but Man City, Newcastle and Spurs are now knocking on the door.

    God help us but we might do a ‘Leeds’

  39. leftcoastgooner
    February 17, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    @ Davem For God sake man the death penalty?
    No,not a Leeds maybe just a Leicester City.

  40. delano
    February 17, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    @Nilto the Arsenal. This pile of rubbish can’t be fired for Sunderland. The player who rescued us will be gone by the time we play them. Immagination of a draw is far fetched.Amidst all that ,the tactical acumen of the coach leaves alot to be desired.He can never decide whether his team sits back for counter attacks and he never decides whether it can attack. Walcott was the best player suited for the Milan game tactically. We had faster players who could win the ball deep in our half and counter attack. Walcott and Ox. Guys this wasn’t a miracle nor rocket science. This is a Coach who can’t utilise his teams strength and never seems to know his players apart from picking who pleases him most. Milan was superior but we could have been dominated but won the game the way Spurs did it.Wenger doesn’t seem to know the team in training and it seems he is just called to choose which player starts.Arshavin has been there and done that, why not play him in the midfield role for once and decide to play a 30 year plus Rosicky 90 minutes of about 3 games. I have no words for Ramsey. A total joke around. The rumour i hear is Squillachi wants a contract extension!!Any truth in that. The power is in us the fans to do what we did against Black burn May be the team will perform better in absence of fans like they did against BB. But on the whole Wenger has no desire, passion ,heart and the brains to take us forward . He is utter rubbish even from the players he gives chance to play at the emirates. Guys Newcastle has a better squad than us.Wenger is just degenerating the club into an abyss by rewarding mediocre players who i think give him a kick buck on their pay days. Otherwise no sane premier league coach can a ssemble a pile of mediocre plays in his squad like Aresne has done. No fighters at all, no immagination and no pride in an arsenal shirt. God save us this.

  41. delano
    February 17, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Vermaleen has been decent enough and remorseful to the over 5000 travelling fans.But to illustrate the arrogance of the coach and lack of he class he has nothing to say aprt from saying we were never in the game from the start. Then why did you fly with the team to Milan instead of delegating to your second in command. He never apologises. Schsny risks becomming a joke by saying its not impossible .He is to blame for some of the stupid goals and failure to draw back his defenders to defend from deep. I just dont understand some fans. How can Rosicky become man of the match when he never placed any pass to any of our strokers.Total rubbish

  42. DJ RC
    February 17, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    It’s a question of ambition. Our clubs ambition is to make a healthy profit every summer transfer window and Arsene has been ensuring that to the board almost every single year of his reign. So why do you think the Board would not support him? The board pays more attention to the balance sheet than the trophy cabinet. They know Arsene is the best man for that and Arsene knows he has the full faith of the board.

    Precarious situation for the club no doubt about it. No trophies this season, no UCL next season would mean departure of key players(RVP surely won’t sign contract extension and Wenger would have no option but to sell him next summer) and no interest of big players joining the club(Wenger would obviously convince some french players to join promising them first team action).

    As Arsenal fan we can only wait for the day Wenger decides to quit(hopefully that day is near) because surely Wenger is not the man to take our club one more step ahead.

  43. Sandy
    February 17, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Adam,
    Straight from the heart- which is something too many of our players dont have.
    This cannot have been a surprise for anyone who knows a bit about the game- our squad is weak and we are in a steady decline- for 3 years we sell our best players and , with some exceptions, replace them with second raters. Our manager hes been saying for 3 years that the squad is maturing- well i for one cant see it.
    A once great club is in a trully perilous state- I stated back in August that we wouldnt qualify for the CL and sadly , although the manager seems to have got more than expected out of them, we will still need a lot of luck to get above Liverpool and Chelsea- we can stop dreaming of any totteringham day this season.
    Where is the explanation of where the money has gone and what is the stratgey for the club going forward- why did Kronke buy the club if he has no intention of investing and improving- I think he has only the intention of taking money out. I also say very sadly I am losing faith in AW- he has done so much for Arsenal that it hurts to criticise but- we have won nothing in 6 years and the squad is going backwards.
    I wish RVP , and probably others, well as they seek clubs with ambition and leadership.
    I dont know what we lovers of the club can do- invade the directors box and throw the lot out of the ground- but our Stan is never there so that wouldnt do much good.
    I am very angry yet powerless as our great club slides into mid table mediocrity.
    As for Platinis ‘ fair play rules’ , laudable as they are dont anyone think they will help us out very much.
    Its so so sad.
    Sandy

  44. peterarsenal
    February 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    No Djourou & rosicky for the 1st 11 anymore..please!!!!!

  45. Leroy
    February 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    This team, as a team and as individuals, is just a little bit shit. This is confirmed when you see them lose 8-2 to Man U, 4-3 to Blackburn, and in the heaviest European defeat ever 4-0 to AC Milan. So, to see them there in fourth place in a Premier League which collects the best players from all over the world is a compliment to Arsene Wenger.

    I’ll even go another step further and say that Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager this club has ever seen and could even go down as the greatest manager this club will ever see. In years we will come to appreciate what he has done and in the greatest compliment ever we will measure other managers by the standards he has set.

    Already his footballing legacy is written. He was the first foreign manager to win the League. He is the only manager in the Premier League era to go an entire season unbeaten. Two doubles. Fourteen years in the Champions League. He carved London Colney out of the woods and created a state-of-the-art training facility that is used by the England team and is the envy of all. He has launched more careers in football than I care to count. And, possibly the biggest compliment to him is that teams, managers, and players aspire to play “like Arsenal.”

    You’ll note, however, that I left the stadium off that list of accomplishments. That’s because I think we built that stadium. Our money built that stadium. Our money at the turnstiles, at the Arsenal shop, as Red Level members, or even just in passionately following the team and watching games on television. He built us a team that we could love, he gave us a philosophy that we could believe in, and we poured our money and passion into that stadium in return.

    We built Ashburton Grove, because we love Arsene Wenger and what he has done to make Arsenal Football Club one of the greatest teams the world has ever seen.

    One day, days like today will be all but forgotten. Swept away by the memories of winning the League at Old Trafford, memories of Thierry Henry scoring at White Hart Lane, of Tony Adams’ famous goal, Freddie’s goals in the FA Cup finals, and of the Invincibles season. 49 games unbeaten. 229 goals. 229 is a prime number, only divisible by one and itself. Just like Thierry Henry. Just like Arsene Wenger.

  46. Leroy
    February 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    And as the long slog of this season marches toward its inevitable conclusion, piece by piece Wenger’s legacy is worn down. Far from invincible, this team’s defense is quite vincible. Whereas Arsenal under Arsene have always been weak at set plays, there isn’t even any single thing about the Arsenal defense that you can point to and say it needs fixing. The whole team’s defensive set-up is wrong from front to back.

    And worse, whereas teams once feared Arsenal as they would a tiger with our swift attacks, sweeping counter-attacks, and devastating goals, they now look at us as kitten chasing a ball around on the kitchen floor. The sad reality is that Arsenal don’t even play beautiful football any more. Arsenal are now predictable, slow, and frankly, at times boring.

    Arsene’s other great strength was always in finding bargains in the transfer market. But lately, I suspect that the manager is somewhat out of touch with the reality of transfer costs and player salaries and as such keeps thinking that he is overpaying when a team asks for a few pounds more for Juan Mata. And he also believes he is getting a bargain when he sells players like Toure and Clichy to Manchester City. Perhaps it is as others have suggested and his hands are tied in that regard. But if his hands are tied it is with golden handcuffs because he is well compensated for the job he is doing.

  47. Gunfest
    February 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Arsenal fans need to understand Wenger had great successes for the first 6 years of his reign, and he became known as a winner of trophies. Our manager’s legend grew. When he came to Arsenal , he found good core of players, he then added some young talented French players and the mix was magical.
    At that time Wenger could go to France and buy young French players who were well known outside of France for less than a million pounds.

    Times have changed all the big teams in Europe are scouting the French league, the going rate for talent has gone up – like it or not!
    Wenger has not been able to adjust to the new reality. He basically reverted back to who he really is a coach satisfy with not being the first, happy with his team good passing football. He only won the French league once before coming to Arsenal, he always team finishing in the top 4 or 5.
    IMO he does not have the ambition required to be an Arsenal manager as a coach, he is great. The truth is the players that he has assembled are not good enough technically to play the style , he expect of them.
    The sadness about the AC Milan game was it felt like role reversal, they did too us what we used to do to English teams 7 years ago . Our technical superiority used to allow us to dominate team everywhere on the field.
    We have been found out on the world stage. Our so called passing game is now a joke, we get outplayed by a team like Swansea.
    We need a new coach , a new direction someone ambitious who has the fire in his belly.
    For those who say ,there is no one who could replace Wenger, I reply most of them did not know who Wenger was before he arrived at Arsenal.
    Here are 3 names of managers who could fill that position : Rudi Garcia, Didier Deschamps or Laurent Blanc , they all have as good a record as AW before he managed our club. These are examples to show that the world end for Arsenal if AW leaves. The team should always be bigger than the man!
    Wenger has been great for us but to let go and turn the page.

  48. 1NiltoTheArsenal
    February 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    @Gunfest 1:25, I’m not ready to let go of Wenger yet, but of all the many comments against Wenger staying, yours is one of the very few that actually suggest (not unreasonable) alternatives, and provides an intelligent perspective.

  49. Dave wondering
    February 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    having watched such a timid performance, I wondered what exactly happened to the kids that used to play with such great verve and without fear in the carling cup 2 or 3 years ago. The whole team now seem scared to play. Walcott may have improved some aspects of his game, but has lost his instinctive flair. Remember how good Arshavin was when he first came, buzzing with energy, but watch him now. Ramsey looked good we he first played, but looks lost now.

    Will Ox, Frimpong, Santos, Wilshere et al end up scared to play as well? Are they over-coached and over-constrained?

  50. leftcoastgooner
    February 18, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Wenger’s “stlye” of football or even his lack of ambition is not a the core of my worries. To me he seems almost pathalogically stubborn. Out to prove that his is the correct way of doing things and that he will not be told when or how to change. Yet, as gunfest mentioned above the game has changed and while we speak is changing. Our team has become predictable to such an extent that our own predicatibilty is something WE have to overcome in our matches.
    Teams are well prepared for us simply because they know what we are going to do and the fact the the manager refuses to do anything different is stifiling to the point opression.
    The ONLY reason I think we need to change the manager is because the manager refuses to change. If he were to even experiment with different formations and try new players (Coq,Park,Ox,Miquel and previously but not now Frimpong) I would say give the guy time to sort it out. But tomorrow we will almost certainly do the same thing with the same players and if we win (and I believe we can) it will almost be in spite of his selection and tactics and not because of them.

  51. Gunfest
    February 18, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    @leftcoastgooner I agree with you that it must be a pathology because honestly there is no rational explanation. As an example when Sol Campbell came to Arsenal our defense was solid, he was a dominant center back in the air when we was associated with Kolo , it was perfect . Kolo’s speed and Sol’s heading ability and toughness.
    After Campbell left we had Senderos and Gallas back there with Kolo. Do you know how many goals we let in on set pieces over the years as a results how many points we lost of the last 6 years because of that.
    A manager with half of Wenger’s brain, intellect and experience should be able to recognize what made the defense for the invincible strong.
    Wenger reminds me of Napoleon against all reason decided to march into Russia , he would not listen to anyone as his army was dying from the cold and was being defeated.
    We have reached our Waterloo. As bad as things are right now, more humiliation is forthcoming if we do not let him go.
    Let’s thank him for what he has done for us and say goodbye.

  52. GunnerBoss
    February 18, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    Classic example of wengers ineptitude…
    Everything is directly taken from below….
    http://www.goal.com/en/match/71879/ac-milan-vs-arsenal/player-ratings

    Clarence Seedorf – 6.0
    Substituted after only 12 minutes with injury.
    Antonio Nocerino – 7.0
    Enjoyed plenty of space in midfield and took advantage of it. The pass that set up Boateng’s opener was exquisite and he went close with long distance shots on a couple of occasions.
    Mark van Bommel -7.5
    Masterful in central midfield. Rarely gave the ball away and snuffed out most potential Arsenal attacks before they had gathered any sort of steam.

    Tomas Rosicky – 6.0
    Found space better than any other Arsenal player, but had little in the way of support and frequently gave up possession by trying to force the ball into the feet of van Persie.
    Ramsey – 5.0
    There are few players in Europe more effective at shutting down the space between defence and midfield better than van Bommel. Shifted out to the right-hand side in the second half, he had little impact.
    Walcott – 4.0 (Flop of the match)
    Perhaps the poor condition of the pitch played a part, but the England winger did not cause Antonini nearly enough problems. His ineffective performance was even more significant given the absence of an out-and-out attacking player on the opposite flank.

    This WONDERFUL EDITORIAL by Goal.coms Carlo Garganese puts it all in perspective…

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2012/02/16/2909047/ibrahimovic-ac-milan-silence-their-doubters-but-must-not-get

  53. peterarsenal
    February 18, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    stupid tacticals by wenger always be utter disaster for the arsenal….why did he play djourou (always suck!!!)..at the back 4…why not song???..why should be rosicky at the middle alongside with arteta, song, ramsey n rvp….rosicky is no longer the best player for arsenal ( no creativity & lack of passion),,,please dont play djourou !!!!….or more dissasters to come..try to sign good centre defender (subotic & vertonghen), good midfielder (gourcuff, hazard, mvilla, marvin martin & gotze)…good striker (lkas podolski)…..

  54. dutch
    February 18, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Leftcoastgooner-at last u re seeing the big picture n sort of lost patience with wenger arrogant behaviour
    Guys did any of u watch espnsoccernet last night?every interesting the guest martin keown was on the show,they touch on arsenal wounds n more importantly that there will be more money spent at the next transfer window whether wenger like it or not there must be a clear out,excuses will be possible

  55. dutch
    February 18, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    I don’t think djourou is that crappy,but I feel his place is at defensive midfielder,eg he play above average under harry redknapp at portsmouth

  56. Rayed
    February 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I am very worried about Djourou starting in CB now. Gervinho is back though, but Sunderland away will be a difficult task, especially given we only scrapped past them last week.

  57. leftcoastgooner
    February 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Well fellow Gooners,
    Today is the day. Can we go up to “The Stadium of Shite” get a win on their crappy pitch and try at least to get this season salvaged or is this the point of collapse? I’m almost afraid to watch but am compelled to do so like a man looking out the window as his plane crashes to earth, terrified but none-the-less fixated.
    Oh well, I guess in the end it is only a game but it feels like so much more.
    Good luck to all the squad and especially the away supporters. and as always…
    Come on you Gunners!!!

  58. GunnerBoss
    February 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    What can we do but support……

    I feel a lot better now knowing i was not alone in what i saw wednesday…..

    Carlo Garganese’s editorial is purely genius.

  59. shambogunner
    February 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    20 mins gone. Il snap your hand off if you offer me a 0-0…championship stuff at the mo..cant string three passes together…Djourou is dodgy out. like I said id take the draw now…woeful stuff.

  60. dutch
    February 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Ox chamberlain might off done us all a favour we just couldn’t except,knowing just how awful we have become,in reality its the truth,big changes is what all we gunners need

  61. dutch
    February 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    The real madrid job I think would become available after this season whether wenger takes it or not I wouldn’t give a rat ass as long as he is dethrone as manager,its hard to believe that our season is over so soon,but injuries,bad pitches and other excuses can’t be used again,its time to cut our losses n let wenger finish up n leave.

  62. iggypup
    February 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    well..after watching this train wreck, even i have to say that a change is needed at the top. i have been a big wenger supporter, but it is now obvious to me that this team lacks the fighting spirit needed to compeat at the highest level. to lose 4-0 to ac milan is depressing, but to lose to sunderland 2-0 the very next match and lose our last hope of silverware this season is the straw that broke the camels back for me. they were out played, out hustled, and had more passes going back than going forward. i know we’ve had our share of injurys, but also we’ve had our share of excuses from wenger as well. as long as he makes excuses, players will under perform. i will always support the gunners, but i don’t like what i see from this squad, and i’m hoping for a change in leadership. we need a real fighter at the top, and i don’t see this coming from wenger anymore. he’s more interested in developing younger players and finding the jewel in a pile of crap that makes him look brilliant than winning silverware, and winning silverware is what this club is all about- or it was….

  63. Per
    February 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Yes I know, another poor performance and another bad result. And as usual, you guys are going to come with your very thoughtful and well argumented comments such as: “Time to go Wenger” or “Now it’s enough Arsène, time to leave”.

    I do not think anybody could do a better job than Arsène Wenger in this position. But I do think something went wrong with the club, particularly with the board and the way it runs things. Arsène Wenger does have his share of responsability, but I don’t think it is fair for us supporters to only blame him, and even less for the board to hide behind him.

    It would be a good time for the owner(s) to come out and affirm their support to the manager, and understand that we need to shake things up this summer and get some world class players.

    I am very proud to be an Arsenal supporter, and even more to support one of the only clubs in the world that is run responsively and in a sustainable way. Just for this, supporters should be forever thankful to Arsène Wenger.

    I am going to stay behind my team, whether we succeed or not in our chase for the 4th spot in the league. Because that’s a real supporter does. Come on, get behind your team and the manager too, they never needed it as much as they do now.

  64. shambogunner
    February 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    @per,
    What your asking for from fans has been delivered time and time again…but its a two way street and Wenger and the players havnt been representing the club or fans in the right way for a long time.
    Yeah its great your being loyal…but when are you going to demand more from this thing we all love so much?
    The reality is there and has been for so long…where are all the morons who argued with me otherwise now?
    Wenger had to sign at least a fullback on loan in January and a GOALSCORER….but no…..and here we are…where the honest few of us knew we would be three years ago.

  65. leftcoastgooner
    February 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    @ Per
    Come on mate, we are all proud to be gooners and those that were along for the silverware and glory years are long,long since gone. Support for the team is one thing but to put on the blinders and say the manager needs me behind him when what he really needs is a kick in the behind is un-critical thinking to the point of pure, fantastical delusion.
    You can fool yourself but I think it’s plain to see and painfully plainer every day that what’s wrong with our squad goes ALL the way to the top.
    This had been a golden epoch for us but it is over. O-V-E-R. We know not what will be next better or worse but the get-behind-it no matter how bad it is era is done with for this gooner.
    If you think you can support Wenger now just wait until this summer’s transfer window when he uses Euro 2012 and the lunar cycle of Ganymede as excuses for bringing in no one except perhaps some unknown though marginally prodigal Bolivian middle schooler.
    Oh yeah, and remember our fiscally prudent policy which is to sell good players at a premium replace them with mediocre ones and charge the loyal supporter absolute top-dollar for the priviledge of watching them collapse under the suggestion of pressure.
    Being a “real” supporter doesn’t mean you permanently dispense with your abilty to judge critically. That’s being a real stooge. (Sorry iggypup you know it has nothing to do with you.)

  66. 1NiltoTheArsenal
    February 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    @shambogunner:
    “but it’s a two way street and Wenger and the players haven’t been representing the club or fans in the right way for a long time.”
    Well said. It is indeed.

    As supporters we deserve better, and as consumers of the product we should demand better. I’m unsurprised by today’s result, but no less disappointed as I always am after any loss.

    Trophies can no longer be a priority. The only way to get there is to first arrest, and second to reverse this clear and obvious decline in our once mighty club.

    We are just no longer good enough. Not nearly. Poor quality at nearly every position – even I can see that now. Poor management of most all the on-pitch stuff – players, transfers, squad selection, match tactics, etc.

    On our vaunted financial front, we have gouged our supporters for the highest cost of entry in the league while simultaneously putting out the weakest product in years – YEARS.

    I don’t know what else to say. I have no witticisms or black humour or anything else funny to offer. I wish I did because we surely good all use a good laugh right now. Because lot’s of people are laughing at us.

  67. shambogunner
    February 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Lefty,
    The irony is that we now find ourselves in a position where we have to buy in the summer just to get back to being a top four club when the money that that will take could and should have been used properlyy in the last three seasons to 1) Have a go at winning the League and 2) keeping our better players from forcing moves away.
    I think we had 3 shots on target between wed and tonights game…we play a shocking brand of football now where it appears no one has the vision, balls or respobsibility to even attempt to open up opposition defenses….even at the death we had a corner where song and arteta went short and fell over eachother conceding a throw…then with 10 secs on the clock sagna knocks the ball back to flappy instead of lumping it forward…its just mind boggling how inept these players are and have become.

  68. Buggered by the Queen
    February 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    Be of good heart my kind friends.
    Next up Tottenham. (gulp)

  69. Gunfest
    February 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Not only Wenger is responsible for this disaster, but the fans who have been complacent and gullible over the years are also responsible.
    Well said Shambogunner ! How in the world the manager thinks not investing in quality players year after year is sound financially ? How about missing the champion ‘s league and over 30 million euros that come with it?

  70. GunnerBoss
    February 19, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    I’m having the laugh already …these are the things I have spent some crazy man hours analysing over the years.. When u come over here to air ur views, u become a doom and gloomer. How sad that I now have to laugh and say to all those AKB’s; ‘You were IDIOTS for not seeing’. U were idiots for saying Chamakh was what we needed to compete when we should’ve been thinking of getting the Villa’s, the Silva’s, the Tevez’s, the Aguero’s, the Suarez’s, the Ribery’s, the Sneijder’s, the vandervart’s to ADD seasons earlier. I remember when our midfield was quite comparable to that of Barcelona, I remember when the problem was just strikers and we would’ve been world beaters. I remember that problem being solved and at the end of the season Adebawhore and Kolo were sold, we claimed we had Bentner, Eduardo, Rvp, Walcott, Vela for cover(Eduardo now got his leg broken) and SINCE THEN…It has been problems galore….did I mention the Gilberto Silva loss? Who do the youngsters look up to for guidance in the midfield? It can be fair to say we NEVER RECOVERED….Kolo was never replaced and that my friends was when we gave up the ghost…….we have never had the defense again until per tree came along to pair Kos and Vermaelen….but the problems are from the midfield organisation, aren’t they? We have been exposed, we are bare again, where are the last minute summer signings? Can we now see the man is mad? Arshavin, Benayoun, Park, Miyaichi(now on loan), all wasted….Which of the Shitty stars want to leave? They are happy to have a place on the bench, aren’t they? The burial is next my friends…..Wenger will leave us with a mediocre team and that will be it…i can conclude here that he has succesfully killed Arshavin and Walcotts careers..everybody seems to play shit under this man….. Can u imagine about 90% of arsenal fans right now may not feel slighted if RVP leaves? We know he does not deserve this shit. Revenues are dwindling because of non-progression in competitions, our biggest player might leave, how do we now attract the superstars needed for rebuilding for goodness sakes? But, we have had more than 50mil in the kitty for the past two seasons…..pity money like this is not enough to resurrect cos the Magreeds and the Barca’s are the ones who get stars on the cheap. RIP Arsenal….we pray a saviour comes soon to exhume ur rotting body, clean it, perfume it(cos it is already stinky), polish it, make it look beautiful and desirable again… Our present manager needs to win the award of ‘Most Stubborn Manager Ever’.. Cant believe what i’m writing on the damn phone…..Is all hope lost guys? How can these players motivate themselves if they know this is how we feel about them? This is the difference between boys and men….

  71. jet
    February 19, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    this arsenal side blows. there is some talent, but… not enough. i could care less about world class at the moment and would be content with hard working, quality, DURABLE, DEPENDABLE players that will show up and play for an entire season. that would be enough to get us a top for spot for sure, and something to build off of.

  72. Per
    February 19, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Shambogunner and Leftcoastgunner: My post was not particularly directed towards people like you. I know you are loyal supporters. It was more for the morons that want to fire the manager and spend some f***ing money every time we fail to win a game.

    However, I would like to respond to your comments:

    @Shambogunner:
    My way of asking for more right now is to try to get people to realize that now is not a good time to ask for big changes. Our next three premier league fixtures are Sp*rs, Liverpool and Newcastle. This period will be critical in our attempt to clintch the 4th spot, and I believe that the club doesn’t need to get the fans and the media trashing them right now. We need to get to this 4th place, so the only thing we can do now is push as hard as we can to help get it. Then we can judge and ask for changes.

    I agree with the fact that we should have signed a couple of players in January. And I actually think that Arsène Wenger would have done it had he found a suitable player. But it is very difficult to find a player in January, and it just didn’t happen. I am glad we didn’t sign a Wayne Bridge just for the sake of signing someone.

    @Lefcoastgunner:
    I don’t think I am unable to think and judge critically. I am not blindly supporting the manager. I also question some of his decisions and view, but as I said before, I don’t think it is the right moment to throw everything in his face, or ask him to leave.

    The reason why I would like Wenger to stay is that I am tired of this football (and this society in general) where everythink is disposable. You lose a couple of games or have a bad period? Let’s fire the manager! Buy a lot of players, whether they suit your club, philosophy and projects or not. This is ridiculous, and I am so happy Arsenal is not run that way.

    Football is also a matter of values, and the main reason why I am an Arsenal supporter is that I support the vision and philosophy the club has had under Arsène Wenger. He has made mistakes, like anybody else, but always followed his principles. It is undeniable that he is a world class manager, and I think he deserve more respect.

    I do think there is something disfunctional with the club at the moment. I am not quite sure what it is, but I believe it is not the manager. One thing that has been a big blow in my opinion is the departure and non replacement of David Dein. I feel it has been – and still is – difficult for Wenger to cope without him.

    As I said, there also seem to be some problems with the ownership and the board of director, that are maybe overwhelmed by the modern game and economy, and stuck in their old principles. They seem to hide behind the manager, and some changes are needed there.

    I don’t know what the best thing is for the club, but I am convinced that nobody could do a better job than Wenger in his exact position. Changing manager and nothing else would be a disaster and would see us sink in the table in my opinion.

    Yes this golden epoch is over, but that doesn’t mean the next one is not around the corner. I am convinced Arsenal has a bright future and I do not care how many trophyless years it will take before we win something again. For now I just want the players, manager, club and supporters to get their act together for the rest of the season.

  73. shambogunner
    February 19, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    @Per,
    I get what your saying dude about just sacking Wenger and Im also not a
    fan of this, indeed no Arsenal fan really would be either, but the Wenger situation isnt as black and white as you think, this is going on years and all the time we were told to judge him at the end of the season, we were being strung along like sheep, we were treated like ignorant masses who.would be blinded by one or two results and the promise then that the manager and biard have identified our problems and will rectify them,
    see 2010 seasons defeat away to Wigan…we went on to sign Chamakh….Wenger has been doing it for years..tells us something with a broad timeline on it so that half of us will forget and the other half will be placated by a couple of performances in between where theyl have convinced themselves theyd seen enough ‘growth’ in certain players to think that next season will be a different ball game…
    I could talk about this all night but to be honest Im tired of trying to open other Arsenal fans eyes to it only to be called a judas…the fact is I and many of my arsenal bros above have been calling this for years, it makes
    me sick that we were right but I can only imagine whats happening at the club now isnt as hard on us as alot of the ‘believers’ because we been resigned to it for so long.
    Im actually going to be honest, for the first time in my 29 year old life I couldnt give a rats about Arsenal. Im not looking forward to the next game. I can no longer justify wasting so much time and money into this current Arsenal board and team. And I am one of a million who feel the same.
    The man cant get these

  74. leftcoastgooner
    February 19, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    @Per
    Mate your a great gooner and obviously a decent human being and yes there are more important things than just spending monet on players. But now wait one minute being a gooner on a spectating basis is not cheap. On this side of the pond my media package runs $70 USD a month just to watch gunner games. I don’t know what the southern hemispere supporters are paying but I doubt that it’s any cheaper than here. The club is raking it in hand over foot could we not put SOME of it into a quality player or two.When the last transfer window opened we had been without both starting fullbacks and both replacements for weeks. It was known that Wilshere would not be returning in the then future and that Gervinho would be at the African Cup tourney for weeks. The club was awfully thin and it was obvious. Did we even try to bolster the side with even ONE significant signing? What, did we expect that we would have no further injuries? We don’t need to throw money out hand over fist (though that is the way the club takes it in) but for prudence sake we have to be prepared for the inevitabilties of a long campaign in many competitions. Are you even going to say that Arsene has prepared this team to the best of his ability and foresight? Or has he already made his mind up about what he is going to do and if the situation calls for flexibilty of thinking or God forbid a change of plan (plan B if you will) then it is out of the question.
    That to me is why he should leave because he cannot or will not ammend his will to the exigencies at hand. Hence, in the words of “Bartleby the Scrivner”
    “sir I would prefer not to”.
    HIS spirit is what is most affecting this team as with all who are clostured with the diluded. All that is missing to complete the tableau is his own bunker and a Bavarian mistress.

  75. shambogunner
    February 19, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    @lefty,
    Lovin your work bro….your on the ball lately.

  76. GoodOldArsenal
    February 19, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Firing Wenger in the middle of a campaign is not possible for myriad reasons, the most important of which is the respect he should be afforded based on his past accomplishments. At this point, however, it is clear that significant changes need to be made in the offseason, including checking Arsene’s one-man show by bringing other minds into the equation or perhaps even, I dare say, firing the man. All legends die agonizing deaths.

    I appreciate and share the sentiments here, mates…the frustration, apathy, depression, anger, bewilderment. If there are five stages of reality grief, I’m finding Arsenal grief to encompass many more than that, of which acceptance might not be one. That said, Per, your line confuses me:

    “I am convinced Arsenal has a bright future and I do not care how many trophyless years it will take before we win something again.”

    It will now be SEVEN years with no silverware. The bottom line is that trophies are everything. If Arsenal is not winning trophies, they’re not doing squat. Beautiful stadium, profits galore, sustainable model, globally-massive fanbase, incredible public relations, class and style…none of it means a god-given thing if we don’t gain silverware. This is not a case of everything being expendable, and I’m proud to support the Arsenal way. However, the model can’t be so rigid as to get in the way of winning, as it currently has.

    To quote Sophocles, “In flood time you can see how some trees bend, and because they bend, even their twigs are safe while stubborn trees are torn up, roots and all.” Wenger and the board must adapt. Learn from the Leeds disaster! Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s misery.

    Good Old Arsenal! We’re proud to say that name! While we sing this song, things must change!

  77. iggypup
    February 19, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    @ leftcoastgooner
    no offence taken bro, but in defence of “the stooges”, even they can see that a change is whats needed. whether its a change in tactics, personel, or leadership..this aint working…somethings gotta give..if wenger doesnt change some things, then they should start with changing him. and what about “silent stan”… time to make some noise stan..don’t turn this great club into the epl version of the st. louis rams.(another one of his holdings) they are my hometown nfl team, but are bottom dwellers in the nfl….they are so lucky the nfl doesnt have relegation, or they would be playing in the church league by now..

  78. delano
    February 19, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Guys i predicted Sunderland was going to thump us.At last Wenger is calling on fans to stay together with him in his mediocrity. What a fuss when it was apparent to every fan that the team was filled of mediocre’s and Wenger single handedly acted like a fortune teller who knew it all.Make no mistake about this Spurs is going to put us to the sword come Saturday and will have won twice at the emirates in consecutive seasons. No mercy or explanations or excuses for Wenger he must leave the club the earlier the better. Most of the rubbish players are renewing their contracts meaning we wont sign any players. Total rubbish i will not even waste a second of my time to watch rubbish again as Spurs sends us out of EUROPE,S ELITE clubs in favour of Chelsea. There is simply no reason to get behind Wenger.

  79. Rooiseun
    February 19, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Are we supposed to jump and celebrate if we clinch the top 4 on the last day of the season?
    Its all seems dark rite now. Every year we are told to judge AW at the end of the season. Every year the same shit happens.
    Summer: we can’t get the rite quality or players that can improve our squad.
    January: players don’t want to move.
    Unfortunately I do not see any changes until AW leaves the club.
    It pains me to say it but I feel it’s the only way forward now.

  80. Gunfest
    February 19, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    The seeds of this disastrous season was sown 5 or 6 years ago. I remember being attacked on football forums for questionning Wenger’s decisions 3 or 4 years ago. We have reached a critical mass of mediocre players , and we can’t mask it or hide any more. Having Fabregas deluded some fans that we had a good team, truth is we were rotting inside all these years.
    I am convince that’s why Fabregas left, he is smart! He looked around him and except for 2 or 3 players, he saw mediocrity all around him, and he was never going to win the league with these guys or even less likely win the CL.
    We were heading slowly but surely to this train wreck of a season when Henry,Viera,Pires,Campbell , Petit and others left … We brought in inferior talent to replace them . Yes we were still finishing top 3 because , we had only 2 other challengers who had quality squads.
    New castle which was in the lower league just a couple years ago has improved much more in that time than we did. They brought in Cabaye , Tiote, Demba Ba, Ben Arfa all players that could help our squad if we had them right now. Van der Vart cost Spurs less than 10 million euros, we don’t expect our club to spend 50 million on a player, but to make an effort.
    We think that we have it bad right now , let’s wait until RVP gets injured and we have to play Chamakh upfront…

  81. joel sequeira
    February 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    We must do a mass protest , ban one league match no one mst turn up twitter and face book all arsenal fans to not watch a telecast … thats the only way choose one game and do this instead of cribbing … show that money making scoundrel who gets him the money !!

    Start with this week end league match! Time to be a true Gooner !!

  82. maltagooner
    February 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    This must surely be the last straw in Wenger’s coffin. He has proved himself as a person of no vision, and even less tactical football sense. He should have the decency to offer his resignation, which the Board should gladly accept. I am only surprised how the British Arsenal fans have not organised themselves into a ‘sack Wenger’ campaign.

  83. theicehammer
    February 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    @shambo@leftcoast@gunnerboss, and others who were willing to put their heads above the parapet and risked it getting verbally shot off are the real lovers of a club. As you all know by now I’m a hammer fan whoes son “was” a member of your footballing academy up until last year. Because of this, for years I was fortunate enough to watch 3-4 games a season at the worlds famous Emerates. Shame of me as it may be to admit, I also fell in love with your WELL BALANCED winning brand of one touch sexy, silky and aggresive football you played.
    Up until 5-6 seasons ago i noticed a change in the type of player being offered scholarships at u16. What ever the height of youth player, a more technically guifted and silghty framed build seemed to be prefered and all defenders had to be able to play or do a good JOB somewhere in the middle of the park. Chosen denfenders were usually converted midfilders. Although with good potential the cumbersome or less silky, athletic or agile was discarded ie the Sole Campball, Patrick or Adams type. All the players seemed to be well ballanced and have an uninforced standard of conduct.
    I’m no expert but i believe this points are some of the main reasons why the team lacks guts drive and above all leadership when the chips are down. The club, Wenger included wants to surround itself with YES players and staff who are WELL MANNERED and POLITE OR DONT ROCK THE BOAT. Dont you think its strange that most players who left the club with their best years potentialy ahead was surrounded by rumours created by others of lacking loyalty or just chasing cash or disruptive in the dressing room. Cashley for instance. Wenger’s is a good man manager only when the player is young and green the moment he grows up and sees reality he is out and if this slump remains will the ox or Theo or Vanpercy be next.
    Wenger is the greatest manager in the world for getting the best out of an average player but only when that player is surrounded by experience drive and leadership all characteristics that sometimes argue back and tell you that “your talking fucking rubbish Gov, cant you see we ave to many light weight and young creative players in one team and squad for fuck sake” Gallas! What a cry baby they said.

  84. GunnerBoss
    February 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Well said ice….i wanted to write about the Gallas thing, but i keep on forgetting…

    I remember when he sat on the grass and refused to be consoled when we drew at Birmingham(the game that would have put us 6 points above Manure and the game Eduardo’s leg was broken)…

    I saw a real winner, a Tiger….this is the behaviour that the whole squad should carry so that next time they try to pre-empt teams doing come-backs at all when we lead like that….but he was labelled a sisi for gooness sakes…

    Gallas is real quality, it was very sad the armband was taken from him at the time it was…..i’m very sure Gallas tried to help in the tactical details…..STUPID COACH

  85. shambogunner
    February 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    ice and boss,
    The Gallas situation you both brought up is possibly more important now than it was then…Gallas probably bit his lip for months before that about the mediocre players that were being selected, the performances of these players and then the tactical ineptness in general and particularly that game…no team, not even Barce can go out and expect to play the same way, same formation every single game, its ludicris to think that other coaches cant counteract our now predictable 4-3-3…if we gave every opponent the respect they deserve and play against their strengths whilsy not surrendering all of our own attributes surely wed give ourselves half a chance….nowhere is this more evident than the Swansea game this year… Im an Arsenal fan…80% of anything football I take in is about my team, but I still knew you had to stop Sinclair and Dyer if we were to have any success..if I could come to this conclussion being just a mere fan then how could the Arsenal managerial staff have us go yhere and get mauled….Danny Graham was made to look like Gonzalo Higuain ffs.
    Gallas was right but when he was ushered out we were blinded by what we thought could be exciting signings and another year of ‘potentiel’ and so Wenger led us on another season of deceit and deflection.

  86. Per
    February 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    @Shambo&Lefty:

    You guys didn’t react to the comments I made about the board of directors at the club. In my opinion, the problem lies there: behind the scenes. There is a lack of leadership and nobody comes out to support the manager.

    And it looks more and more to me like Wenger has his hands tied and tries his best with what he has. He is definitely not making all these decisions that can seem mad to us at times without pressure from behind. If he happens to leave in a near future, I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of the truth. You may then realize that it could have been so much worse.

    There was actually a couple of very good points made about this situation in the last couple of days on Arseblog.

  87. Gunfest
    February 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    @per please tell us?
    Did the board bring Sylvestre , Chamakh or Squilacci to Arsenal?
    Did the board think that Denilson was a defensive midfielder?
    Did the board think that Djourou was a defender that should be playing with a top 4 team?
    Did board tell Wenger not to buy Van der Vart for less 10 million euros?
    Did the board tell Wenger to sell Fabregas and Nasri and not bring a quality offensive midfielder?
    Did the board twist AW mars to buy Arteta and Metzarker?
    Did the board tell Wenger not to get a center back who was strong in the air when Sol Campbell left even though , we were leaking goals on set pieces?
    Did the board tell Wenger to give all these high wages to a bunch of mediocre players?
    I could be wrong but Wenger always seems confident that the players he has were good enough to win.
    It is time for Wenger to leave!!!

  88. dutch
    February 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Arsenal, a club that still making a profit through season ticket holders,if there was a cure for arsenal trophy less season I guarantee you wenger would think twice of taking it,that’s how frustrating it is having to listen about wenger and the philosophy and saying he has the money but cant find anyone to suit his taste,sometimes I wish the fans would stand up and be counted,and that’s idiot who continue putting up the flag,in wenger we trust. Yes thank you wenger for those great seasons but those great seasons have been overtaken but poor seasons,wenger wants to correct all the wrongs from the rights,but at our expense.it reminds of a time when patrice evra told the media that the match was spoilt by facing boys instead of men,8-1,4-0,4-3,4-1, do u think a club a top club would be languishing with such scores would of kept a manager,but we fans have been kissing wenger back side allowing so much time,should we been blame for wanting to leave at the end of the season,not forgetting he had so much time to buy players before that 8-2 drubbing,I don’t give a chicken shit what your guys
    think,I am also a loyal fan for the last 14 years but we give a hell of a long time for wenger and his experiments to work,now we re the bad ones for asking him to quit at the end of the season,rafael benitez,carlo ancelotti, n scolari would be saying,wenger is lucky the fans still believe in him even for such a long time. If Wenger wants to keep his job he should roll over to suggests and makes changes that other clubs have taken but not to a bankrupty stage.it time fans speak through their hearts for better of the club.

  89. dutch
    February 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Arsenal, a club that still making a profit through season ticket holders,if there was a cure for arsenal trophy less season I guarantee you wenger would think twice of taking it,that’s how frustrating it is having to listen about wenger and the philosophy and saying he has the money but cant find anyone to suit his taste,sometimes I wish the fans would stand up and be counted,and that’s idiot who continue putting up the flag,in wenger we trust. Yes thank you wenger for those great seasons but those great seasons have been overtaken but poor seasons,wenger wants to correct all the wrongs from the rights,but at our expense.it reminds of a time when patrice evra told the media that the match was spoilt by facing boys instead of men,8-1,4-0,4-3,4-1, do u think a club a top club would be languishing with such scores would of kept a manager,but we fans have been kissing wenger back side allowing so much time,should we been blame for wanting to leave at the end of the season,not forgetting he had so much time to buy players before that 8-2 drubbing,I don’t give a chicken shit what your guys
    think,I am also a loyal fan for the last 14 years but we give a hell of a long time for wenger and his experiments to work,now we re the bad ones for asking him to quit at the end of the season,rafael benitez,carlo ancelotti, n scolari would be saying,wenger is lucky the fans still believe in him even for such a long time. If Wenger wants to keep his job he should roll over to suggestions and make changes that other clubs have taken but not to a bankrupty stage.it time fans speak through their hearts for better of the club.

  90. davem
    February 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    And now to Tottenham. I’m scared … very scared. If Spurs beat us by a margin the pressure on Wenger will be … too much possibly. I’m hoping we can force a draw but seeing as Spurs play 3 strikers and the state of our defence is … well … s##t, we’re going to be in for a bad afternoon.

  91. Per
    February 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    @Gunfest:

    How well argumented of you to bring up all these things. Do you know of any manager who hasn’t made a couple of errors after 15 years in a club. Don’t be ridiculous. I feel sorry for you for being so negative.

    I don’t actually even agree some of the things you mention are/were errors:

    – Silvestre, Chamakh and Squilaci were all three proven and recognized profesionnal when they were signed. And they were all signed as squad players. I see nothing wrong there. The fact that they didn’t perform as well as they could have is unfortunate, and partly their own problem.

    – Denilson was a very promising player that failed to make the last step to the top level, just like so many other players in the league. It was worth a shot.

    – About Van der Vaart (or any other potential signing actually): a lot of people seem to think that the reputation and quality of a player is the only thing that matters when wanting to sign a player. But as a manager, you also need to look at the player’s personality, commitment, workrate in training, and so many other things that are impossible to see as a ‘normal’ supporter.

    – The board did want Wenger to sell Nasri after Cesc left, and Wenger trusted Wilshere and Ramsey to step up. I supported that at the time. We were then infortunate with Jack’s injury.

    – Arteta has been one of our best players this season and is still one of the best midfielders in the league. Mertesacker turned out to be a good defender after his period of adaptation to english football.

    “I could be wrong but Wenger always seems confident that the players he has were good enough to win.”
    That’s what I like about Wenger as opposed to most other actors in the world of football. He is capable of trusting, giving young players a chance and is very good at finding and developing talents. He is like the footballing version of Dumbledore (ok, sorry for this comparasion. It’s mostly meant as a joke but there is still kind of a point there :-p). I find his way to fight for his values inspiring and I am glad this world has people like him.

  92. Per
    February 19, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Here is what Martin O’Neill had to say about Arsène Wenger after the game:
    (found in the mirror: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Sunderland-2-0-Arsenal-Daily-Mirror-match-report-Arsene-Wenger-gives-doubters-the-show-us-your-medals-speech-article867397.html)

    “I don’t pretend to know him, but what Wenger has achieved has been fantastic,” he said. “When he chooses to leave he will be a major loss to them. A major loss.

    “You are talking about a very intelligent man. His judgment and record stands the highest scrutiny. He has had a disappointing week and ­expectations have been high.

    “But I always say eventually you win a game or two and the pressure passes on to the next manager.

    “My genuine view is that he is one of the greatest managers. As time goes on, people forget what he has done. He was vying with Sir Alex Ferguson every year for the title not so long ago.

    “He will come again.”

  93. Gunfest
    February 20, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    @per well with fans like you we have the record we deserve.
    For the last 6 years most of decisions on players have been wrong.
    Sylvestre who unwanted, not good enough for Manu is brought to Arsenal.
    I call that incompetence , he could not start in the back for even the worst teams in the EPL .
    If you think that Ramsey and Wilshere are good enough to replace Fabregas and Nasri, I have to question your judgement and knowledge about the game.
    Arteta being one of our best players this year explains why we have been so mediocre… How many chances he created against AC Milan, or against Sunderland? And how many assists he has this season?
    We sinking into mediocrity because we have mediocre players that our manager brought to the club. You can blame the board if you want , the tooth ferry or ET

  94. Gunfest
    February 20, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Managers are a fraternity , they will support a manager who’s team in being relegated. It is nice, but it should not influencing our decision.
    Wenger is a great coach and wil remain a legend, but as manager he is been clueless for the last 6 years.
    Anyone who a few games played by Denilson and who thought that he was good enough to be a holding midfielder for Arsenal should not manage this club.
    Our great manager even went into this season with Squilacci and Djourou as covers at center back, incredible!
    Right now we have no cover for Song if he gets injured…sorry that’s the board fault too! LOL

  95. jet
    February 20, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    i’m curious who you all think should be our manager, and please make realistic suggestions. i’m not ready to give up on wenger yet, but i believe time is wearing thin should the next season or two offer no change… by change i mean good players leaving (RVP) and nobody brought in to fill their shoes. we could use quality, dependable new players in the squad as well, even if bought for a high price. without those things this club is out for a while.

    i agree now is not the time for change. i do, however, believe there is quality in this side that is not being seen right now. i’m kind of thankful for the FA cup loss so that we only have the league to focus on… a fewer games to play and lose players in. heaven forbid our medical team keep anyone healthy or show a quick recovery.

  96. leftcoastgooner
    February 20, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    @jet
    I agree with you in as much as I think our players are better than the results they are getting. However our formations and tactics are so predictable and also do not play to the strength of the players we have so even if we were to sign new players in the offseason who’s to say that they will be played to their strengths.
    There’s some talk that Wenger’s hands made be tied. I don’t know but it may be a possibility. If so, why go on saying we have money for players? It’s like a sight draft you claim you have the cash for….until it’s due.

  97. davem
    February 20, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    Evidently, if you don’t spend at least SOME cash on players you don’t make the Camps League. The Champs League is worth over 50m pounds to the club so why not invest that money to make sure we have the players!?!? Then at least we CAN attract good players.

    I’m very, very distressed. If we lose to Spurs this weekend I can’t imagine anything worse than some of the crowd singing “you don’t know what you’re doing!” And even worse, our crowd, in front of the Spurs fans, booing us off. It’s just all gone wrong. I said that last year, and the year before that. How long do we have to put up with it? 2013? 2014? Yeah, yeah, Wenger’s the best we’ve ever had but REALLY, if we lose 0-3 to Spurs will we be happy?

  98. dennis10
    February 20, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    I had a bad feeling about the Sunderland match. Past records show that when meeting the same team over a short period of time in different league games, Arsenal suffer. We lost to Chelsea in CL many years ago when we had to play 4 matches. Same with MU although we lost all with them I think. what I don’t understand is why do the players need half time talk and other motivational tools when playing for one of the biggest clubs, representing a lineage of great players should be enough? If those are not enough, the very fact that they are in San Siro which most teams can only dream of, or playing for the only trophy (FA), and being 17 point off the pace in the league should be enough, yes? Dark times indeed.

  99. delano
    February 20, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    The only path to honour is resignation. I never knew Gadaffi would be thrown out of power until it happened. Wenger doesn’t seem like he will throw in the towel soon. He is just ready to take up all the insult and ridicule while his bank accounts swell with fans money. We must protest and abscond watching this pile of rubbish. Am ready for a fresh arsenal even if it means Persie leaving but as long as we dont have Wenger. No tactics at all ,same stupid style and so predictable even to junior coaches. He doesn’t know what quality players can do apart from buying Chamakh and Park as strikers. We must protest and beg for his resignation. A big team doesnt loose a final so cheaply to a team like Birmingham which was fighting for relegation. The man is senile and doesnt know what he is doing . He must go even if it means using the assistant coach to help out while we look for suitable coach.

  100. Terry
    February 20, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    So apparently if you say anything that remotely defends our most successful ever manager you are a clueless imbecile who is happy to settle for mediocrity and deserve everything that comes our way.

    Sorry but it’s all too black and white for me. I don’t get how someone who has led us to so much glory, in a style admired around the world, and developed so many unknown players into world class players can now be a senile, tactically inept, unable to tell the difference between a ferrari and a fiat, arrogant fool.

    Something is clearly not right with our club and Wenger must take a share of the blame and the end of the season may well be the time for him to step down but some of the stuff here is over the top.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t care – I am as gutted as everyone else about the way things are going, but just think some perspective needs to be kept and no matter what our view, support the team when they take the field. House divided and all that.

    It’s Spuds next week ffs – get behind the team and keep that fourth spot ours!

    COYG

  101. DELANO
    February 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Can’t wait to see a Spurs completion of a double at the Emirates. I also predict 3-2 win in favor of AC Milan in the return leg. This is not because am not a fan enough but i want to pile alot of pressure on Wenger from the fans so that he flees the Emirates stadium before the season ends may be we can rescue the fourth spot without him.Am utter disgusted with any of his statements or consolations what so ever. Enough is enough with his rubbish!!

  102. leftcoastgooner
    February 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    I’m as un-happy about our present state of affairs as the next goone but I will NEVER root against my team. Not to make a moral point,not to prove i’m right, not to make the coach leave or even change his stale tactical approach.
    What I want (and think most of us want) is for the team to be sucessful or in ou present situation fight on and do the best we can. The worse possible scene for me is the one Davem describes above where our fans boo our team off the pitch in front of the S***s. We just HAVE to win this weekend though I know realistically how doubtful this is.
    This is the conundrum of the supporter at times. You know things are not being done the right way but you still want the team to win despite it. I’m sick of trying to compete on a frayed shoestring with the same non-competitive tactics but this Sunday is the North London derby.
    For God’s sake, Come on you Gunners!

  103. jet
    February 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    @leftcoast – agree with the tactics bit… of course, having all our right and left backs out doesn’t help for the tactics either. but who could have seen the injuries being this bad? i guess we could because it happens every season.

    and amen to never turning against your own team. they kill me sometimes but i’ll always want them to win. especially this weekend. this season would have a LITTLE solace if we were to pull it out this weekend.

  104. leftcoastgooner
    February 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    @jet
    Who could have foreseen the injuries? Anyone really! Like Vermaelen last year, Van Persie the year before, Clichy the year before that Rosicky the year before that,Diaby and Wilshere,Santos and Jenkinson this year.
    That is one of the most annoying things. We don’t want to just waste money like Chelsea,Man$ity and S***s but we did not bring in ONE player of any usable quality this January’s window.(or even play Park) Can anyone tell me why?
    And yes, I’m bewildered and upset but not a turncoat. I’m with you mate, let’s pull as many chestnuts as we can out of this fire goodness knows we may be going hungry in the seasons to come.

  105. shambogunner
    February 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Per,
    Your spouting nonsense.
    Firslty any footballer who gets paid for playing falls into the category of professional…but labelling Chamakh/ Sylvestre and Chamkah as such a thing doesnt make them a decent or, in this case, an even half decent player.
    We dont want Utds retiring rejects, we dont want a guy cos hes a french league freebie and we dont want anymore french players who cant cut it in this league.
    We want proven International standard footballers, we want players who are attracting the attention of other big clubs but choose us because we showed our desire to get the, made an effort and sold ourselves properly to them.
    We lost Mata to Chelsea.
    We lost Smalling to Utd.
    We lost Alverez to Inter- WHEN OUR REPS WERE OU TTHERE WITH HIM.
    All over the odd 1 or 2 million and our incompetence when it comes to a clean transaction…how come other teams can be so efficoent yet it takes us days to conclude deals….only then to hear they dont have a work permit or ,and heres a good one, we only have him for two years because he has to perform military service….what a joke.
    ‘The fact that they couldnt perform is partly down to themselves’
    Its the MANAGERS job to motivate and put a player in a position, mental and tactical, to perform to his optimum, if this repeatedly fails, you sell them, end of. Wenger doesnt sell unless they want to leave and the only obes who want to leave are the ambitious ones with a winning mentality…Wenger is like an old lady hoarding tonnes of useless shit in her attic for some reason that she now cant quite remember.
    How do YOU know Denilson was “promising” before he signed?????? Do you watch Brazilian u/16 s league games?
    And about Van Der Vaart ( or any other potential signing). The best way to sign them IS on their reputation and quality, i.e if their proven international standatd, please tell me how a buying club could possibly know about personality/ commitment/ workrate in training or any of the other things you listed before signing them?????????
    As hard as these things would be to guage on an experienced player how the hell could it be done with a Brazilian/ bolivian/ japanese or peruvian child?
    If Arsenal fans really thought along the lines of what you said then thete wouldnt be many around right now.
    We dont sign proven tested quality, and we dont sign established international quality and have now lost the capacity and appeal to do so. Who wants to come play for Arsenal now, who wants to play alongside the great Theo Walcott or Seb Squillachi, or the brilliant Djourou???? Gimme a break.
    I dont wanna hear about injuries either, and how can you compare Ramsey and Wilshere to Cesc and Nasri?? they are all different players hence they were able to play together in midfield. Wilshere is vital but not in the way cesc was. What Wilshere has naturally Cesc could learn, but what cesc had technically Jack can and will learn in timeYour simply covering for wenger again by saying when we sold our best players that we could promote from within and as you and the ones who share your views like to say ‘ Diaby will step up now’ or ‘ Song will take up the responsibility’ …what a croc….Song is one of the most complascent and careless carefree footballer Iv ever seen…his attitude is tje same everygame he goes out, regardless of what happened the previous week…hes one of the most over-rated players at Arsenal ever so much so that you drool when he completes a pass or assist, its crazy.
    Arteta is unrecognisable from the play he was at Everton, no belief or determination, passing left, right and backways all the time, no penetration or craft and he was made look like a bitch by the 5″5 monster that is stephane sessagnon sat night.
    You even unwittingly called wenger an actor in your last paragraph….but turns out you were on the money….cos hes been impersonating a manager who knows what hes doin for the last 5 years….give that man an oscar.

  106. Gunfest
    February 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    All I have to say Shambogunner is “Amen” . You nailed it brother, you need more fans like you.

  107. Ianinja
    February 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    The fact that Arteta is a much better tackler than Song demonstrates the calamity AFC is in. Arsene lost it when he signed Silvestre. That was the first tell-tale signs… which we as fans ignored.

    This time most fan views are not knee jerk but a colletion of what has been happening over the years since 2005. Knee jerk is Chelsea or ManCity fans. There’s a fundamental problem and Wenger got to solve it or he got to go. No romanticism this time. Its cold hard facts time.

  108. leftcoastgooner
    February 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    @Shambogunner,
    I agree with you on our paltry transfer policy but disagree with your appraisal of Alex Song. He’s a quality holding midfielder who is being aked to do too much, too often. If he was in ManU or Liverpool’s side he would be lauded as the best holding midfielder in the league. But he’s not. He’s saddled with a losing formation and players too timid or unskilled to go forward so he winds up having to do that also with occassional success and and also unavoidable disasters. I wouldn’t want his job and would not blame him if he asked to leave this club and ply his trade in a much healthier environ.
    @ Terry,
    Mate AW has been great but am I missing something or is he pig-headed pursuing strategies and policies that have not worked in what has become the best part of a decade. The game has moved along since he has come to Arsenal. All the teams in the prem scout the entire world (and not just England anymore) for the best talent they can find. We are falling behind. Transfer policies,tactics and wage structure are at the heart of it or very near.
    You keep asking me to remember the great years. Well I do but should I forget the last seven while I’m at it or should we be a mid-table team for a few years and then see if we can claw our way back. Why is it despite the fact that he controls most of the day-to-day workings of a club in decline he is above critizism? He took the plaudits,contract extensions and pay raises that came with winning. Should he not also share in the bitter fruits of failure?

  109. Terry
    February 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Hi Left Coast – firstly double amen to your call that no matter what we should be right behind the team. As for the Arse-hole who can’t wait for us to beaten by Spurs no less – as far as I am concerned you are no Gooner.

    As to your point above I am not saying he is above criticsm but what I do say is that if he has been a great manager lauded for his astuteness then how can he suddenly be an idiot like some people on this blog say.

    I just think there is more to this than Wenger is clueless and has to go. Like I say it may well be that his time is up and we need a fresh start but there is something not right in our club around our financial state and it’s hard to know precisely what it is. I do agree that we have too many players who have not lived up to hopes and expectations and we need to shift them out and bring in some quality. And where I do think we should have cause for optimism is the high quality local young players coming through that I hope we can keep and develop. Coquelin, Frimpong,Ox, Miquel etc.

    And for the record we have NEVER been a big spending club that splashes out regularly on big name established star players. SInce the 70s there have been one or two reasonably big every four to five years at most – Alan Ball, Alan Hudson, Malcolm Macdonald in the 70s, (can’t remember much of the 80s as I was experimenting with too many mind altering substances!), Ian Wright. But we have never as far as I know come close to breaking the transfer record of the day and I don’t see that changing in these oil baron running club days. In the Wenger era, name me the BIG name players he has bought. Arshavin is the only one that springs to mind and see how he has turned out.

    Good news is that Spuds have a number of injury problems so let’s hope they are ripe for a beating.

  110. leftcoastgooner
    February 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    @Terry
    You Know Mr T, I think you are right and that there is much,much more under the carpet that we can’t see or know. The thing that puzzles me is that Ivan and Arsene consistantly go on about how sound our model is and how we have money to spend for the right players. Now contrast this against Arsene’s post-FA cup loss statement about the team “giving everything it had in it’s (tired) legs.”
    Okay, who is responsible for there being no fresh legs? If the money is there could we not spend some reasonable amount for one or two players that have enough quality to be of help? In the present fiscal climate there are many,many teams under the kosh to sell assets and trim budgets or go under. We, despite claiming to have assets to use cannot find even ONE player in the january transfer window that could make a positive contribution to a clearly tired side. Recall Terry, that by the start of January we had not had either starting fullback or either replacement for more than a month. So we loan Frimpong out and sign a 17 year old who not only has not played any first team football but is also out on a long-term injury(He’s already fitting in with the team. Now all he has to do is get injured while being injured).
    What?????? Did someone miss the fact that we got Zero league points in january?(0).
    Okay, perhaps the manager is as savvey as ever, granted he could not have been just suddenly struck dunce but, in that case would somebody please explain what is going on here? Didn’t we learn anything from dawdling through last summer’s transfer window besides how to concede 8 goals to sir alex?
    Hey Mark Thompson,
    I think we need a clean sheet to cry on here. It’s along way down to the latest comments. (I hope our blogger hasn’t gone missing with our transfer funds.)

  111. Opus
    February 21, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    All these people making noise about sacking Arsene should get this straight: the guy is unsackable! Go to the Emirates stadium, you will see his statue/bust there. He’s the most successful in the history of AFC – how d’you sack someone like that? While I don’t always agree with him, I still think the guy is a top-top manager. He’s kept Arsenal consistently challenging on a shoe string budget for years. People tend not to look at the bigger picture; if you know Arsene well, you will know that he’s loyal (almost to the point of stupidity) to his players and board as well. I strongly believe that the board have told him about their limitations in the transfer market, and the fact that one big name must be sold every summer in order to balance the books – only Arsene can do this! Did you know that he was ready to keep Nasri for one more season and let him go for free next season? Obviously, the board weren’t having any of that.
    You will respect the guy a bit more if you follow this link: http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/2006-2011.html
    Since 2006, Arsene has kept Arsenal challenging consistently without breaking the bank. Arsenal are bottom of the league table of net spenders – ask yourself, how does he do it?
    It’s a case of be careful what you wish for. Arsene will go one day, and the truth will be told afterwards. The problem of Arsenal Football club is the board, not Arsene, but he will never come out and say it. Arsene is not Rafa Benitez or Jose Mourinho; that’s just not his style!
    Again, ask yourself why the board pushed out David Dein and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith? It’s no coincidence that Arsenal’s most successful years were when David Dein was the Vice Chairman. Why did they pitch their tents with the lackadaisical Kroenke instead of the enthusiastic Usmanov? Usmanov will spend big, I mean, the guy is richer than Abrahamovic, and he’s desperate to take over. The board members can’t stand Usmanov, because they feel that he will start taking all the plaudits when Arsenal start to win trophies.
    Arsene spearheaded the move from the 38k capacity Highbury to over 60k capacity Emirates stadium. Match day income is now about £3.5m. Adebayor was bought for £7m and sold for £25; Fabregas was bought for £0.5m and sold for £35; Van Persie was bought for £2.75 and will be sold for around £25m in the summer; Nasri £12m to £25m; Alex Song was picked up for £1m; I can go on and on.
    Now ask yourself, which board will sack such a manager?
    If Arsene goes and the present board remain, Arsenal will struggle to remain in the top half of the table season in, season out!

  112. delano
    February 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    How could a sane coach go and buy Silvestre cause he is French. I just have no ords to say for this moron of a coach. He must go. We are a laughing stoke with this senile coach. Uhhhrr.

  113. leftcoastgooner
    February 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    @Opus
    That’s great Opus,
    How much do you think he’ll get for Squillaci,Fabianski,Almunia and Chamahk?
    What about Arshavin, can he pull his career out of the toilet or will he be another give away? Why are we still paying part of the salary for both Denilson and Bentdner? As far as Usmanov (or anyone lese for that matter) taking the credit for winnig trophies what do I care WHO get it. God Lord win something it is seven(7) years now and will be at least 8.
    Oh by the way just in case you haven’t looked at the sporting sheet lately we got knocked out our last 2 competitions this week while scoring no goals and conceding six (6). (who shall we give the credit to?) We’ve been as low as 17th this year in a 20 team league and will be very fortunate not to finish mid-table.(like a trophy?)
    You do make a valid point though. Arsene will not go because he makes money for the board.

  114. shard
    February 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    The words “mental strength” have been so preposterously used by Arsène Wenger to explain our many defeats that they now evoke the same sort of mockery which followed his “I didn’t see it” line. At a certain point, the point must beckon to him that this has nothing to do with mentality, rather that it is footballing quality which the current team lacks in spades. One cannot simply will to win a football match; otherwise, third-round FA cup-ties would all be won by the underdogs. Attitude and mental strength are important, but they are more generally the factors which tip the scale when two big competing teams meet. Anyone who follows Piers Morgan on twitter (an action which, in itself, is some form of self-abuse) will see his constant calls for Wenger’s head and will have to decide which side of the line they actually fall upon. The cross-roads have been reached; do we want him to stay or go? Now, it is natural to feel defensive of Arsène. I am not one who will ever be able to lead the call for his head, but the evidence in support of his continuing becomes far slimmer with every passing season. The goodwill he has gathered from being the founder of the modern Arsenal, the stadium, the Invincibles and the Double teams preceding that, has all but run out.

    This cannot be a knee-jerk discussion. One defeat should never condemn a man of Arsène’s stature. The whole operation of Arsenal Football Club must be understood to see why Arsène’s time may finally be up. There are some false arguments floating around which disguise the real and far more damning issue. Firstly, some critics say he can’t organise a defence. I find this a somewhat shallow argument. They suggest that he inherited an incredible defence for the first half of his reign (which is true), but he still had to guide those teams into playing the best football the Premier League has ever seen. Critics also forget that, on our Champions League Final run, we produced one of the finest defensive displays that that competition has ever seen. The problem for me now is not so much in the organisation of the team, it is something far more systemic than that. It is the quality. The quality has gone, season by season, year by year; players have continually left and this coming summer will prove no different.

    I cannot believe for one second that Song, who continually flatters to deceive, was not told before Wednesday’s game to stifle Ibrahimovic when he flittered between the lines of our defence and midfield. Too often, Ibrahimovic’s touch went unpressured and, on a night where the slight shift in personnel in the defence left us off-balance, he should have known better where to be. Let’s be frank, the far bigger problem was that there was only one area of choice for Arsène yesterday – to play OC or not. That was it. Whether he got that question wrong is slightly immaterial given the larger worry, which was that that was the only choice he had to make! Seven substitutes and only one of them we really wanted to see (excusing le king obviously). The idea for the game was to retain possession, dictate play, keep things tight, and, when Milan tired from chasing the ball, put on OC to exploit the pace and Henry to exploit the lack of concentration which tired legs bring. None of this happened because there wasn’t the quality out there to execute the plan.

    Last season, there was still high quality in the side, but there wasn’t enough quality (the second-half-of-the-season implosion is evidence to this fact). Back then, we were 2/3 players away from strengthening into a title-winning side. Now we are what, 5/6 players away from even being able to compete again. Project Youth has failed. It has failed for two reasons; some of the players never fulfilled their potential and the ones who did left. Ironically, the ones that did make it left partly because they couldn’t stand the thought of playing with the ones that didn’t make the cut.

    Arsène’s idea behind Project Youth was to forgo the stupidity of the £30/40m signing when big players can as equally flop as inexperienced youngsters. The lavish money spent at Chelsea and Liverpool on Torres and Carroll are testament to this fact. The €35m plus Samuel Eto’o which Barcelona dispensed in order to sign Ibrahimovic in the first instance, only to discard him for a knock-down fee a couple of seasons later, are further evidence of this. The preference for Arsène (and this has nothing to do with any FFP laws, which may or may not make any difference) was to play youngsters and watch them grow into superstars with an attachment for the Arsenal. Yet, after watching Flamini leave on a free, Arsène was acutely aware that, to ensure a proper return from these youngsters, they would need long contracts. However, to get a player to sign a long contract, an equitable wage near to the established stars already in the squad is required to maintain harmony. Thus Project Youth was a plot of numerous small investments made in order to create huge returns.

    Arsène is an economist, never forget this. His calculation is that you can spend £18m on Anderson, as United did, or use that in wages to groom several in-house prospects. The transfer market can and will sink clubs which don’t have the commercial power-base of United or the oligarchy ownership of Chelsea and City. In an era when Leeds and Portsmouth have been washed into memory and where currently we are seeing Rangers fall into administration, the bank balance is an important asset. The flip-side of this positivity is that we, the fans, really pay the price for this good bank balance and we have seen absolutely no return on our investment. We are completely within our right to ask huge questions of the club because of the huge cost to us personally of supporting it.

    The problem for Arsène became that some of these would-be stars are worth the investment and wage while others become impossible to offload because their contracts are too high. The likes of Denilson and Bendtner (etc, etc) must go on loan because of these wages, possibly for the remainder of their contracts, and Arsenal must still pay a good portion of them. Arsène, it could be argued, was simply safeguarding these players so they could not run off for nothing if they came good. £25m for Nasri, after all, is far from a poor transfer fee. Arsène believed these youngsters would come good and he believed this very strongly. In his fierce loyalty for those in the kingdom he has created, he misjudged how those he was nurturing might never be able to reciprocate that loyalty in performance terms.

    Players like Eboué never deserved the manager’s faith, but, in giving it comprehensively, Arsène was subsequently blinded. For all of Mourinho’s faults, he would not abide some of the mistakes our players make. Arsène has too often forgiven players their shortcomings and spoken consistently about his belief in them, a belief blinded by an approach he thought as logical, economical even, and a loyalty to his players which boarded on selfishness on his part. After all, it is not their fault they are picked. It was incredibly sad that Rosicky spent longer on the sidelines then Eduardo, but it is clear he is not up to the competitive standard needed to compete at the top. It feels like Gibbs has been out for about five years. Despite this, Arsène was confident he could be our starting left-back this season. The list of players still at the club who can contribute next to nothing to the playing side is as extensive as it is soul-destroying. Yes, some of them might be alright for the Aston Villas or Evertons of the world, but this is the club of Bergkamp, Brady and Bastin; we need better.

    Quality of sort is not enough. To be at the top, you need top quality. Arteta is a good player but he is not close to Cesc or Nasri. We lost these two top players because Arsène was unable to rid the squad of those that were unable to meet the level. The wages were definitely a stumbling block to selling on and replacing those players, but that’s where a man like David Dein would come in handy. A person at the club who understands the ins and outs of the market, not the global merchandising market, not the Asian market but the transfer market! An individual who could ensure Arsenal were in a strategic position to make possible signings for players like Mata when it would be very necessary. The club is very well run from a financial point of view, but this seems at the moment to come at the expense of the footballing side when they must not be mutually exclusive. The inability for anyone at board level to pressure Arsène into making the tough decisions on his players is a major failing.

    Six months after Bendtner came back from his loan spell at Birmingham, someone should have said “Yes or No; is he good enough?”. The pressure-free position that Arsène has been in has made the squad untenable. Cesc loved our club but he couldn’t stick around and watch us falter anymore; it was too painful for him. For all the comments of greed that can be poured upon Nasri, he joined a club that are so many points ahead of us, one might need a calculator by the end of the season. And why spend the transfer fee now when to buy another big player would be to “kill” Ramsey. Arsène seems to forget that competition can be good for a squad. He trusts them and he believes they should trust him back. Defeats followed by defeats do not make great ties to bind players to their clubs.

    There is a reason why even the most loyal of players leave their home town clubs for pastures new – everyone eventually gets tired of losing. Henry left because he couldn’t see out the growth of a new team and RvP will do the same as Cesc did the summer just gone. Arsène’s comments last summer speak volumes, “You can’t sell Fabregas and Nasri and claim to be competitive”. On this occasion, Wenger was spot on but was too blinded by loyalty and stubbornness even to understand his own position. He genuinely believed they would stay in the same way that Henry and Vieira in their pomp used to pass up the overtures of Real Madrid each summer. The difference in quality of the squads was easy for everyone to see but Arsène. It was a mixture of naïvety, arrogance and misplaced loyalty from him. It was a summer that called out for change and strengthening. We got change but only to weaken us, and not only our team but our stature in world football. It is hard to argue against the claim that we are now a feeder-club.

    Project Youth also came at the expense of keeping older players on larger wages. It is only a passing thought, but one does wonder whether, if Pires, Vieira and Henry had seen out their playing time at the Arsenal, it would have born similar fruit to that seen at Manchester United with Giggs and Scholes. Chelski currently struggle as the money pumped into their team bought them one squad and one squad only. Transition between old and new is key; the young mixed with the old is needed in order to keep constant rejuvenation linked with established success. Some of the complacency that has seen Arsenal needlessly lose home games to the likes of Newcastle, West Brom, Hull and West Ham in years gone by would most certainly have been rectified by having seasoned pros who could ensure that winning remained a commodity you earned rather than something you’re entitled too.

    On the side of the tactics of the team, these now seem even further off-key. The Cesc role now enstrusted to Ramsey is too much to bear for the young lad. Ramsey, a raw talent recovering from a devastating injury, has no quality, experienced midfield to guide him in this squad. He is in a role that requires too much. The role is pivotal to the way Arsenal play as it has to link the defensive and attacking phases through top-notch passing to create a counter-attack through one expert pass onto the flanks, or when in front of a bank of four to find that killer/unlocking pass. Unfortunately, the sideways pass appears quite sadly to be our raison d’être this season. The lack of goals over the winter months displays quite clearly a lack of incisiveness which accompanies our defensive frailties. When a team can neither attack nor defend, change is the only option. For Arsène, a change of tactic and approach is akin to admitting defeat; a wholesale change of personnel would equally be a defeat for him. In fact, it seems the only real squad-changes of significance have come as a result of player-power. Even Clichy, someone no Arsenal fan really wept for when he left, had an unsigned contract offer on the table for a long time.

    Arsène now resembles something of a parody of his former self. The assured openness of attacking freestyle play of which his philosophy began is now a distant memory of his old Arsenal. Now he holds a rigid stubborn principle, a mixture of loyalty and ignorance which recreates the same mistakes. The continual decline in quality in the squad could possibly see Arsenal drop from the echelons of Europe’s finest competition, and for good reason, as our record against top opposition over the following seasons has been dismal. This season, including Milan, it reads as P9 W1 D1 L7 GF9 GA23. Losses in the next two games could see most of us finally decide that usurpation, or regicide, is the only option. For Arsène is now like a King whose people now go hungry, a prophet whose proclamations turn out all wrong, a magician whose tricks are poor and tacky. He still wants the same as us, and he has given us so much, which makes this all too painful to write. We want Arsène to succeed but we want Arsenal to succeed more. Perhaps he will see that he is a leader who has lost his way and he may yet abdicate gently, but I fear the mob will demand its lynching long before that happens.

  115. Opus
    February 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    leftcoastgooner

    We were 17th in 20 team league and now we are in 4th position. Again , who do you give the credit to?

  116. Hanrik
    February 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    The formation, the pick of players and the substitution are among the many reasons which went wrong with Arsene. Most of the time, play only RVP upfront. Look at the starting lineup, totally wrong this season, without a main man in defence and midfield. Only lately, Arsene dropped Ashavin ‘cos of critics. If Arsenal has no luck, they will not even get one point in coming 3 EPL matches. Arsene can forget about claiming a place in CL again. Haha, he said fourth in the table worth more than a trophy, this is from the mind of a loser. Times up for him, Arsenals need a new coach, serious.

  117. leftcoastgooner
    February 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    @ Opus
    Our play is one reason we are in 4th place not in 17th or 1st,2nd or 3rd.
    The best we can hope for is to stay there. Is this the measure of our success?

  118. shambogunner
    February 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    @shard,
    Read every word you wrote, as usual, and there was alot of reading there that I can relate to but at the end of it all, when I think of where we can go from here, I just get depressed man.
    What do we do to get back on track?
    I would like to think the penny has finally dropped with the manager and he can work hard this summer, but I just cant see it.
    Even if we do have a clearout there are so many that need to be shown the door and off the payroll that the realistic values of these players will also leave me depressed.
    Almunia 500,000. mannone/ fabianski 1m.
    Squillachi 1.5.
    Djourou 2.5 m.
    Denilson 3m. Diaby 6m. Arshavin 8.5m. Walcott 12m (has to go).
    Rosicky 3m. Vela 1.5m. Bentdner 5m.
    Whos gonna pay any more for this lot???? And we are still left with the likes of jenkinson, gibbs and ramsey.
    Id sell Song and all his attitude isnt right for someone whos supposed to be a leader, he was the one who needed to stand up and be a man v sunderland and he just flapped around for the duration, but hey at least his hands were warm with those gloves….fuckin midfield hardman my hole.
    Where does anyone start to clean up this mess?

  119. GunnerBoss
    February 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    @Terry – I know u were referring to me…..Is it okay if I call him stupid for once? He used our in-form and only available left-back in a useless(this match was completely meaningless) champions league game and ensured the guy was injured in the process…….Do you know what Santos’s injury has caused us? Lets leave the Rb position for now cos we atleast had Jenkinson and the 18 year old as replacements…..If you can look back and see that it was a very very terrible decision alongside not starting the Ox against Milan(our next UCL game), then you can see that I still reserve the right to call him stupid/an idiot.

    @Shard – Brilliant, outstanding……….seen Carlo Garganese’s editorial on our milan game?

    @Opus – Why were we 17th?

    @all – If RVP has any injury now, what happens? Why are we so one dimensional? Why can someone else NEVER play CF? I would’ve thought our aim would’ve been to grab atleast one of the cups on offer since we are too timid to go for the EPL. Why not re-model a bit? Placing more emphasis on winning a cup and trying not to be predictable when playing in it would’ve been nice.

    Guess what guys? After we knew we would still be top in our UCL group irrespective of if we lost our last match, why did we ever have to play any regular? Do u remember he also played Vermaelen in that match? If he/we still had Santos, our season would never have been as poor as it became after his injury. We were doing very well and with the Verminator just coming back, it would have been nice to have our best three CBs hustle for the two available CB positions in the team leaving the third to pair Djourou, Squilachi in the cups against lesser teams…ensuring the first team is kept fresh, giving us options in the team etc. But what happened?

    Can anyone tell me why we do not play Benayoun? Can anyone tell me why teams keep on counter-attacking us and not the other way round considering that we have BLISTERING pace on both wings? Arshavin is very accurate with the ball, why not give him the attacking midfielder position? Can anyone tell me why we make things so hard for ourselves? We could’ve done a 4-5-1 in Milan with two midfield destroyers, but what did we do?
    1. Played a 4-3-3(with no specific roles to the defensive midfielders) in total disrespect to milan(who truth be told are not great at all).
    2. Toyed with our perfect chance of progressing in UCL by;
    a. virtually changing the whole winning team we had come to like.
    b. not trying to keep things tight or reshape even after we conceeded the first.
    c. an undue/unmerited over-reliance on Ramsey to be the midfield arrowhead.

    Against Sunderland in FA cup, the stubbornness continued, we made those guys look like super heroes……….more injuries inevitably followed our performance because when the unit is inefficient, certain players will do more work in order to try shield the deficiencies.

    Have we completely lost our counter attacking art? Why is it that at a time we are blessed with at-least four SPEEDSTERS in the team, we keep on making them look ordinary/harmless by not sensibly sitting back and trying to hit teams on the counter-attack especially after leading? I hope we can try to understand what the opposition is doing at times and implement a solution rather than pretend we do not know what they are doing even when it is bloody obvious what they are doing/trying to do…

    WE JUST DO THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER AGAIN IRRESPECTIVE OF THE OPPOSITION…..is this a sensible strategy? Why do we seem to NEVER have a plan B and C?

    Ramsey coming on and scoring against Sunderland, Arshavin laying the perfect cross for a predatory Henry to score at the death means we were lucky all the SUBSTITUTES worked. It does not mean Ramsey scores often or that he is accurate in shooting or that he even merits to start there in the first place…….being a sub was/is okay, same with Arshavin for now till their form can improve. Even Walcott on current form deserves the bench till he hungers to play better, same with the rest of the bunch.

    Why is he not an Idiot now? I love him, but I dont think he cares a heck about what anyone thinks right now, HE IS TOO STUBBORN……HE LOOKS STUPID….more like an idiot(keeps repeating same old same stuff that does not work).

  120. Tom
    February 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Hola,os dejo el link de un blog del Arsenal,para debatir y dar opiniones…
    Hello, you leave the link to an Arsenal blog to discuss and give opinions …

    http://arsenal-gunnersfc.blogspot.com/

  121. leftcoastgooner
    February 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    @Gunner Boss,
    I generally find your style over-abraisive but you say too many truths to be ignored.
    Our manager does not scout other teams or alter our tactics for who we play.
    Simply put though plan “A” has not worked for some years now there is no plan “B”.
    Is this genius or pathalogical stubborness? You decide.

  122. Opus
    February 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    shambogunner

    I laugh in my native language. Anyway, Song was awarded the MOM against Suderland.

  123. Terry
    February 22, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    @GunnerBoss – actually I think it was more aimed at Delano who I think was the one saying he hoped we lost to Spuds or something along those lines.

    Man I get where you are coming from but I jst think there is something more to it than a once great coach going senile.

    @Shard – enjoyed (if that’s the right work – cos it’s a painful topic) your post. You make a lot of sense.

    Bottom line is we have deteriorated as a squad and a major rebuild is in order. We can debate till the cows come home as to whether Wenger is the man to oversee that or not.

    You could argue that the man has done wonders to keep us in the top four with a squad full of crap players like: Almunia, Sqillaci, Djorou, Benayoun, Walcott, Denilson, Bendtner, Vela, Clichy, Eboue, Chamakh, Sylvestre, Senderos, Cygan, etc etc!

    Now that is where some serious questions need to be asked. And of Wenger too btw before some of you ask the obvious question…

  124. B.T
    February 22, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    There was no lack of leadership in Milan. There was lack of spark, all the players out on the field looked dead. I don’t know if it’s just me or when we bring new players to Arsenal it has been a life long dream and goal. I mean it’s nice to want to play for The Arsenal but I think that’s where the problem is. Once they get to arsenal it’s like they’ve accomplished what they wanted to do all their lives and this should not be the case. Take Gervinho for example when he came to Arsenal he said it was a dream and he was angry that Nasri left. It makes me question his goal and aim; is it to play for a particular team and with particular players or to win trophies. To put it simply I think we lack players with spark not leadership. SPARK!. See our previous squad even up to our 2008 squad someone could make a solo run and put us level and then give the required spark to win the game but now once we go down 1 or 2 i just feel the game is over.

  125. Gunfest
    February 22, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    @Chard a truly great article! I am very happy to have joined this blog with so many thoughtful Gooners. Even when we disagree, we respect the opinions of others.
    There is a consensus on this site that despite our results , there is little evidence that changes will be made at the top. Unless of course the fans organize and show their displeasure by boycotting or protesting. I am afraid in the Gooners nation still too many fans want to remain loyal to Wenger.
    I am afraid that could be a grave mistake, the best solution should to have an orderly change of regime and thanking Wenger. The risk is things might get very nasty if the team continue to be mediocre and we lose RVP .

    I do not want to see the fans boo Wenger and him leave a bitter old man.
    There is nothing to fear, yes it is a big change and risk to change managers, but there are managers who would fit our needs younger and hungrier and more adaptable…example Didier Deschamps, Rudy Garcia and Laurent Blanc could do the job, all have as a good record as le professeur had before coming to Arsenal. ” if you want to go heaven, you have to be willing to die”

  126. delano
    February 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    @Opus fuck 4th place .Wait whether by end of Saturday Arsenal will still be there. By the end of the 3 games we may be languishing in the 7th . All our opponents have stronger and better players at this time of the season and i will be so shocked if we don’t loose all the 3 games. This all sums up the stupidity the coach has exhibited in fooling loyal fans for all this long. How do you justify the highest ticket for a game in England for such irresponsible blatant mediocrity. No style or idea of play. No game plan,failure to motivate players in the dressing room. What other reason would you look for to fire a coach if such evidence is not enough. We boycott this stupid home games.

  127. Per
    February 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    @Opus:

    Thanks, it feels good to find out I am not the only one seeing things the way I do! Your post (#111) is spot on, and another way to put what I posted earlier.

  128. Opus
    February 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    @delano
    I am quoting you here. “All our opponents have stronger and better players at this time of the season”
    Tell me, what position are they in the league? If Chelsea, Liverpool maybe Newcastle have stronger and better players than Arsenal why are we ahead of them in the league? Stop complaining about the team performance because you would rather be happy if Arsenal as a team is not winning games so that you will always have things to criticize about. Again, you said you will be shocked if Arsenal don’t lose the next 3 games. If you are truly a fan of this club you have to remain loyal to the club both bad and good period. That is what a real supporter should do.

  129. leftcoastgooner
    February 23, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    @delano
    Dude, we cannot “fuck 4th place”. I agree it’s not what we ultimately wanted this year but it is all that is left to us.
    We NEED to secure a CL qualifying place for next year no matter who the manager is or isn’t. Don’t let your dislike of certain personalities turn you anti-Arsenal as a principle. We are all in this together even when it sucks.
    If by some awful happenstance we do lose the next three games you will have the pitiful consolation of having been right. But it’s shit for consolation for me.
    What I’m looking for out of the next three games is 9 points. wether AW pulls his head out and has a look around is another off-the-field issue.

  130. kel
    February 23, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    @ shard
    very interesting post eh!!!
    I feel real bad for Arsenal because the fans don’t deserve to be lied to at all after all the dam money they pay for the games
    SHAME ON YOU ARSENAL BOARD!!!!!!
    @ shard
    You want to know whats more shameful
    someone name paul posted word for word your entire post on a next blog, i can’t fadom that, really shocking.

  131. davem
    February 23, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    Boy oh boy, listen to all of us argue about our team. It makes me so unhappy.
    My brother on the other hand, a Scum fan (yes, we’re from North London), is rolling around laughing … and for good reason. He’s literally rubbing his hands together about this game on the weekend where they could do the double over us for the first time in 20 years.

    I fear a predicable Arsenal line up and a predictable score. There have been some bad results for us this season, Man U and AC Milan but this could be the one that beats them all.

    I’m struggling to be positive but if I were to be …. if we win, we’ll be 7 points behind the Scum with 12 to play. I won’t say we won’t win … I’ll just say we CAN’T win.

    The knives are out.

  132. leftcoastgooner
    February 23, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    @Davem
    The hen is wise because she doesn’t cackle until the egg is hatched.
    S***s fans can get as uppidty as they want, so far they won exactly the same thing we have nothing. Roll around laughing about that if you please.
    It’s a put up or shut up weekend and if we go down (an I hope we don’t) the knives will not only be out but deservedly so.
    Since there are cleary to be no trophies to display perhaps a scalp or two will suffice. The natives are rightly restless.

  133. Gunfest
    February 23, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17095045
    Emmanuel Petit agrees with most of us. We have been saying this for years.
    Is Wenger listening?!

  134. delano
    February 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    @Terry how do you call me not a gunner enough. Legally you are entitled to your on opinion.
    @Opus u should get to the root cause of my pessimism before criticism. My opinion is just a reflection of how hopeless we have reached at the hands of this of our lovely coach.I hate to say that. I just feel Wenger has lost interest in the team apart from telling lies that he feels hurt when we loose. Thats a lie. The Wenger i knew of the past would take time to study and respect his opponents.Then tactically beat them by frustrating them and attacking them at pace. This is long gone. Ho do you have Walcott and Ox some of the fastest in not the best in the league and they fail to perform in a game. Persie is good at winning balls deep in midfield and releasing . Why can,t the team play to its potential now days even with the mediocre players we have.
    I will be contented if e loose to Spurs but have tactically changed our approach towards the game cause in truth Spurs will be superior to us on Sunday and we can’t afford the luxury of going foot to foot with them in open play come Sunday. I would love finishing in top four but on top of Wenger leaving us next season.You can’t teach an old dog new tricks enough is enough.

  135. Ianinja
    February 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Pfft….Its the referee’s fault, so obvious.

  136. Buggered by the Queen
    February 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    It seems Gibbs,Koscielny and Coquelin are all doubtful for Sunday’s derby.
    Add to that Mertesacker, Santos and Jenkinson and it becomes clear why our manager made no moves in the last transfer window.
    There is no substitute for brilliance. With perhaps the exception of Sebastian Squilaci.

  137. theicehammer
    February 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    @shard, what can i say………master piece….. thats all i ever asked from you, a balanced view of genuine, deep thinking truth. It must have been very hard and painful to admit some of those points. Respect to you man. After that i feel from today there will soon be light at the end of the tunnel. P.S what ever profession your in, your in the wrong one!

  138. theicehammer
    February 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Cant remember who said this but i agree with im that Song is a good player…….unfortunately he has far to many holes to fill, and as i said before. The answer was Frimpong but Wenger “did not see it” Sorry Shambo mate.

  139. kel
    February 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    So some very interesting info all over the web this week eh!!!
    The arsenal wage bill makes me sick to my spine, What the hell is going on???
    Iv always accused arsenal of being a club full of double standards and this has been proven true. We say we don’t pay over the odds for players right???? fine!!! BUT then we pay them a a whole lot of money when they don’t deserve it, we haven’t spent half the money that chel, MAU have spent over the years so how could we have such a high wage bill, madness.
    simlpy put, 1/2 dozen of one 6 of the other same millions being spent.

    And all the board does is lie lie lie and the manager too
    Arsenal board giving wenger 100mill to spend, YEH RIGHT!!!!!!
    and am a duck in a pond.

    SHAME ON YOU ARSENAL BOARD AND WENGER!!!!!
    All these lies to get some very gullible fans to renew there season tickets, please o please don’t get sucker punched with this shit, its all lies.
    And if they were even to give wenger all that cash he would spend it, because he doesn’t know how.

    wenger you better hope chelsea don’t fire AVB cause if they do most likely it might be HIDDINK and he will surely get them back on track.

    You better win this weekend and for christ sakes please spend some time on analyzing spurs strengths and weakness because contrary to what you think they have both, our team is total crap so concentrating on what we do only will be crazy, and if you don’t do this we will loose this match because spurs are a good team this season.

    I want this team to finish because if we don’t were screwed and if you think falling out of the top 4 is bad try getting back in.

  140. Gunfest
    February 24, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    I agree with you Kel, it seems many Arsenal fans are not too concern if we do not make the CL next year. They think , Wenger will be forced to buy and we’ll have a great team once more. Think again ! Most quality players would not want to come play for team which is not in the CL, teams in the top 4 will spend to make sure they remain there.
    The fan base had to be vocal at the end of last season and not the state of the club get to the point where we have just one world class player remaining at the club. This is a nightmare scenario !

  141. GunnersTW
    April 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    There was definitely a lack of leadership displayed in the first leg. The second game was a different story all together. In the second leg I was glued to my television. The lads were playing extremely well, from Szczesny at the back to RVP up top. The were very unlucky not to advance, especially after climbing back 3 goals. It just shows how 90 minutes of poor football in the first game can put us in over our heads.

  142. thuoc giam can
    July 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering problems with your blog. It appears as if some of the written text in your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before. Thanks

  143. Justin T. Fugate
    September 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    How do we begin to offload them? Who would have half them?
    The manager signed them, he selected them and he motivated them to that shambles last night. Im sorry but he has to go. I watch in dumbfounded amazement as my team struggle to retain possession when we have a throw in yet never contest an opposition one!.

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