Why Arsenal Must Make A Statement Against Spurs

It’s only the seventh match of the Premier League season, but as many ups and downs as there have been in just the first month and a half for Arsenal, it’s not unreasonable to look at Sunday’s visit to Tottenham as a potentially pivotal point in the Gunners’ campaign.

Why Arsenal Must Make A Statement Against Spurs

Eddie Griffin from Soccerlens.com looks at Arsenal’s trip to White Hart Lane and the challenges facing the Gunners.

It’s only the seventh match of the Premier League season, but as many ups and downs as there have been in just the first month and a half for Arsenal, it’s not unreasonable to look at Sunday’s visit to Tottenham as a potentially pivotal point in the Gunners’ campaign.

Last season’s three meetings were a perfect example of why things like football betting trends, recent form, and predictability can be forcefully drop-kicked out of the window when Arsenal and Tottenham meet. And while Arsenal need to be a little forgetful when they head to White Hart Lane, they can’t be at the same time, as contradictory as that might seem.

Despite winning three matches on the trot in all competitions for the first time since a six-match run from mid-January to the start of February, there are still just as many questions as there are answers for the Gunners. And though this season’s first installment of the North London derby is extremely important for both sides, is it even more important for Arsenal?

With their recent away form, their position in the Premier League, how they let two wins against Tottenham get away last season, and lingering questions about their mettle in games such as these, yes.

The numbers don’t really bear repeating, but to sum it up, Arsenal have found the going tough away from the Emirates for a while now. Dating back to last season, the Gunners are winless in their last seven away league matches, losing four and drawing three. In that span, they’ve been outscored 22-10 and have conceded two or more goals six times, with the lone exception being the season-opening goalless draw at Newcastle. Overall, Arsenal have only two wins in their last 15 away matches in all competitions, a run that started with ‘that’ draw at St. James’ Park in February.

Among the matches in this stretch was April’s 3-3 draw at White Hart Lane, in which Arsenal led 3-1 late in the first half, only to see Tottenham rally to land a draw via Rafael van der Vaart’s penalty with 20 minutes remaining. As if missing a golden opportunity to close the gap on Manchester United wasn’t painful enough, it was something Arsenal supporters had seen before. When the two sides met at the Emirates last November, the Gunners led 2-0 inside the opening half hour, but Spurs scored three without reply in the second half, the final blow coming courtesy of Younes Kaboul’s 85th-minute header, to record their first away win against Arsenal since 1993 in stunning fashion.

To put last season’s disasters behind them, break their away hoodoo, and notch win that could serve as a serious boost for their season, Arsenal need to find a way past a Tottenham side that has found their form after being outscored 8-1 by Manchester United and Manchester City in consecutive losses to start the season. Since those two thumpings, Spurs have won their last three Premier League matches in a row, including a 4-0 battering of Liverpool two weeks ago. They’re also unbeaten in the Europa League, following up a draw at PAOK with Thursday’s 3-1 win over Shamrock Rovers. Against their Irish opposition, Harry Redknapp opted to rest some key players, and it could have proved costly, as they fell behind 1-0 early in the second half. But they scored three quick-fire goals over a six-minute stretch to take control of the match and ward off a potential shock result.

Tottenham’s resurgence has come about thanks in no small part to instant production by none other than Emmanuel Adebayor, who has gone from scoring against them to scoring for them. Adebayor, who notched eight goals in nine games against Tottenham while with Arsenal, has three goals and an assist in his first three games with Spurs since signing on loan from Manchester City late in the summer transfer window, and he’s sure to start on Sunday.

He’s not the only reason for their upswing, as Luka Modric’s recommitment and return to form after spending much of the summer attempting to engineer a move to Chelsea has also provided a boost, deadline-day acquisition Scott Parker made an instant impression, and they’ve been far sharper defensively, allowing only one goal in their runs of wins. Rafael van der Vaart, arguably ‘the‘ key figure of both league meetings between Arsenal and Tottenham last season, and Gareth Bale haven‘t yet had the same impact they had last season, but both scored their first goals of the season in a win at Wigan last Saturday.

So, Arsenal don’t face an easy task in the least. But after all of the early bumps and lumps, there’s positive momentum from the wins over Shrewsbury, Bolton, and Olympiakos, and Arsene Wenger must find a way to translate that momentum into a much better away performance than has been seen in some time.

More than getting performances from the likes of Mikel Arteta, Gervinho, Robin van Persie, and Theo Walcott, Arsenal need to be stand tall defensively against Tottenham’s multiple threats, but more importantly, they need to stand tall mentally. Failing to do so on both counts cost them two wins against Spurs last season, and it’s cost them numerous times over the last several months both home and away.

Given recent history, the odds are in favor of a draw on Sunday, as that’s been the result eight of the last 11 league encounters between the two sides at White Hart Lane. But if the Gunners can step up and produce a win on Sunday, they’ll not only move up the Premier League table, but it’ll also be a massive mental stride forward. Sometimes all it takes is one win to really get things going, and the opportunity is there to do just that.

But if they come up short or fail to make the most of a lead yet again, the same old tired questions will persist, and rightfully so.

Eddie Griffin writes for Soccerlens.com.

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48 Responses to “Why Arsenal Must Make A Statement Against Spurs”

  1. Snoop
    September 30, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Arsenal have lost the mental battle against Spurs, so even when they take the lead they know what is coming next, this time Spurs will take the lead and totally control the game from start to finish, the final score will be 4 v 0

  2. The Bagel
    September 30, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Hello. Spurs fan here. Interesting to see how you frame the last encounter at WHL. While the away fixture (for us) was certainly something that you guys let go, I don’t think it was really the same case the second time around.

    Of course, arsenal had the lead, as you say, but the game never felt like it was in arsenal’s hands. It’s probably the most competitive derby I’ve ever seen; a superb game. Both teams went in fighting knowing that only a win was good enough and, in a lot of ways, the draw was not only the right result but also spelled the beginning of the end for both teams’ campaigns.

    I think for the first time in 10 years, Spurs go into this one as favourites with a combination of form and the home advantage. 2011/2012 also has the makings of the closest the two teams have ever been in terms of ability and I fully expect it to be a very competitive 3-way fight for fourth place with Liverpool thrown in as well.

    As you say, it’s a key game on Sunday – probably more so for us than yourselves. Sting as it might, you can afford to lose it if you win the return fixture, whereas it’s quite a blow to our season should arsenal finish victorious.

    Van der Vaart is not looking quite like the player he was although big games do appear to be his thing. Bale, I wouldn’t discount. He might not be making the headlines but he’s still a threat. That said, I think Sagna just about gets the better of him on the occasions I’ve witnessed. Fascinating battle that one, incidentally, as was Modric/Fabregas last season.

    As you suggest, I think it’s Adebayor and Parker who are probably the key along with possibly Van Persie and whether or not the arsenal defence decides to turn up. We haven’t had cutting edge like your old boy since Berbatov, really. So, if Parker can get us the lion’s share of play, then Modric will get the big guy some service.

    All very interesting. Getting quite excited just thinking about it. Enjoy the game.

  3. Jay
    September 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I would love it to be as entertaining as last season but I can only see Tottenham dominating from start to finish, Ledley King didnt play either game last year and therefore we wont be as exposed at the back, plus Sandro and Parker will be playing in there first NL Derbies and they will stop Arsenal from playing.

    I see something similar to what we did to Liverpool utter domination, thats basically down to what I have seen so far from Arsenal this season.

    If Vermealan and Wilshere were playing I would have more confidence in Arsenal but without them Arsenal are a defensive shambles and RVP is the only real threat going forward but King has stopped Suarez with ease this season and I expet him to do the same with RVP.

    4-1 Spurs- Adebayor, VDVaart, Parker and Defoe, Walcott for Arsenal

  4. pablo
    September 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    cant wait for the monday morning headlines. Spurs fans seeming just a little too confident. Lets see…………………..

  5. J
    September 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Arsenal at the moment are a one man team. Keep Van Persie quiiet and that’s arsenal f#cked! I don’t rate whiltshere as highly as most arsenal fans. Vermalen is good but too injury prone. Walcott is no better than Lennon. An for me the only other players arsenal have who are really can be hit an miss is arteta and sagna.

  6. leftcoastgooner
    September 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Drew, Hi all,
    Great to see the new posting!!!
    It seems to have become the latest in drab fashion that S**** supporters come over to Aresenal blogs and spew. Not to worry we won’t respond in kind. We gooners also prefer it here. Better company, better team and a much higher degree of literacy than you deluded Chimps seem to be capable of at what passes for your pathetic,urine-yellow rag sheet blogs. Really one can’t blame you for being attracted considering what you’ve got.

    It’s been said that the hen is the wisest animal in all creation because she never cackles until AFTER the egg is laid. So, Jay or j or Bagel (which, incidentally is what your team has won over the last 50 years) we will speak(here I’m sure unless one of you flat-liners actually learns how to write your own blog)again on Sunday post-game.
    Until then my friend, See you and am quite grateful not to be you.
    BTW: You might notice, no profanity or derogation of your players or coaches. Just a plain truthful sagacity the type of which the lower primates may crudely mimic but never,ever master.
    Bye-bye now.

  7. J J Pittman
    September 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Was starting to wonder if all the Gooners slept in this am and behold the left coast Gooner is up way before breakfast! Have to agree with our blogger that this will be an important match and with lcg about the hen! Maybe a lot of right coast Gooners are holding their words and their breath.
    Sagna can neutralize any left flank attack with reasonable help from midfield and Santos and his help a big improvement on the other side. Up front and in support of RvP, I really like Gervinho, Arteta and AOC over last seasons group, though Walcott and AA can help.
    Hope to cackle after the match, but like our chances going in.
    Gooners forever!

  8. leftcoastgooner
    September 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    @JJP
    I’m all Navy mate 04:30 everyday unless I’m sick or in full body cast traction.
    COYG!!!!

  9. delano
    September 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Am lost of confidence to even guess what the result could be. Naturally we’ve lost the edge over Spuds. But the slim hope i have is that the Europa cup could have created tired legs in there and we are abit more fresher which could play to our advantage. I only hope Chamakh doesnot surface anywhere near our starting eleven because it was his inability that led to a Spurs win at the emirates.I would prefer starting Song and Frimpong to break any spurs attacks and leave Theo/ Ox to counter attack when necessary cause Spuds are not good defensively either as they are attack minded. My only worry is the French moron fuckin’ it up by playing an open game yet we are the underdogs. He never has a game plan until we are beaten.Damage limitation is never in his vocubrary .I just hope e let Spurs dominate the game but attack at frightening pace when we get the ball. That’s the only way to go in order to guarantee a first away win.Our defense can’t handle an open play game. I just hope Wenger gets some footballing gods to help him realise the importance of counter attacking against seemingly better sides than us. Otherwise United couldnt have won by such a margin. I cant even predict this game because a loss will not come as a shock to me.

  10. radads
    September 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Yep!! I would say, sunday agst totenham would define our next few games and may be our season!!!! a win from WHL wiould take us a loooong way from now to the end of the year. This will be a massive game guys till we meet Chelski agn. Theo will be available, Song will be more likely to play as a full back which I really disagree with.. if Djourou is still available. Im very happy with Frimpong as a holding midfielder but having Song along with Arteta in the midfield always make a difference on our attack. My line up:

    Sagna- Mertsacker–Djourou- Santos
    —————Song—–Frimpong—
    ———————Arteta—————-
    -Theo————RVP————-Arshavin (If Gervinho isnt avalbl)

    We defintly need experienced players on sunday but Im definetly sure that AW will have some surprise faces in his starting line up agn.

  11. radads
    September 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    BTW, I must say that, Im very confident for Sunday’s game, our guys look very promising at the back even though its not perfect, solid in the midfield and mature on attack, however its not for us to decide who s gonna win or loose, our Job is to watch, so lets watch and enjoy the game!!!!

  12. kel
    October 1, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    well this game against SPURS will tell us a lot about this Arsenal team its one thing to beat very average teams BUT to beat teams with Quality you have to be good SO lets see come Sunday how good this team is if we have learnt anything from last season.
    Wenger wants to manage for 15 more years,
    “thank heavens GOD is in control of the future”

  13. Terry
    October 1, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    Last season we were the better team for the bulk of the two league games and killed them in the Carling Cup. Yet somehow we contrived to get only one point. Since then Spuds have strengthened thanks to Man$ity pimping out Adebayor and the purchase of Scott Parker, while we are probably weaker through the departures of Fabregas and the two French whores of Manchester (not that I am bitter!). In all honesty I think Spuds should be favourites and I would settle for a draw but will be hoping we can pull off a season changing victory and get us back to where we belong. I’d be happy to see Song continue at CB and have Frimpong in midfield, and would love to see OxC crack a start up front. Head says 2-1 Spuds, heart says 3-1 to the Arse and my arse says pass me Adebayors shirt to use as bog roll.

    Nice to see you finally blogging again Andrew!

    2am kick off down under – it’s going to be a long night!!!

  14. Arsenal
    October 1, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    Clear for any unbiased expert to see that Arsenal need for transition playing style once Fabregas leave for Barcefuka. Nasri is not an important figure in the team dynamic and Wenger can extract players in the team to offer his role. Anyway Fabregas is an unique case and the team play had already started to revolved into other very interesting team dynamic.

    The way I see it players are stepping out to play with offer different styles in each department from attackers, midfielders and defenders. We can’t be out of the Top 4 and added purchase in the Jan ’12 transfer can go in some ways to help the team other options too. I am seeing a 3-1 scoreline for Arsenal win. I goal against us as Arshavin really don’t help much in the defending when all bodies are required. The previous goals Arsenal conceded in CL match shows he still refused to totally help out especially in goal area. I personally prefer Wenger to buy Eden Hazard for his pace, creativity and engine but he also had the same defensive issue like Arshavin which we just need that upgrade dynamic in attacking front.

  15. theicehammer
    October 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Hi all, been so busy of late wid work have no time to blog or watch much footy. @Shambo Shard nice to see your boys string some victories together hopefully it will continue. A little anxious bout the story round RVP and contracts though. By the way @shambo is it true that we have signed one of your top keepers for a few months, what the hell will Arsene do without im. Big al that is…..lol Going up de ammers!

  16. leftcoastgooner
    October 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    @theicehammer
    Hey hammer hows ya been?
    I noticed we quietly shipped Manny Almunia off to you guys last week. I’m somewhat relieved to hear that. How is this news recieved on your end of town. I think Manuel is a first rate shot-stopper but the farther he gets off his line the greater a liabilty he’s likely to become.
    @Arsenal I also noticed our ex captain Fab will miss 3 to 4 weeks with what the Barcelona press list only as a “leg injury”. I suspect it may be his Hamstring again and if it had happened at London Colney it would due to poor training habits and an incompetent medical staff. So I guess these things can happen anywhere.

  17. voley_gun
    October 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    We definitely need Wilshere back after the departure of Fabregas in big games.But still i feel Arshavin is too predictable to the opponents and he never seems get his form back.
    Rosicky can replace him when he is at his best rather than playing in the midfield.Arteta looks like to slow down the pace of the game too much and i don’t want him to do the next Denilson. With Arteta and Song we have the holding and defensive midfield.Rosicky can play the role of CAM to link van persie . Gervinho and Walcott to take on wings .On Left back Santos will take time to adapt to premeirship so gibbs would be good. Hope we will get through.

  18. maltagooner
    October 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Miserable first half by Arsenal. Ramsey, Metesker, Sagna and Song seemingly in for a Sunday stroll. I am impressed by ‘Saker’s slowness and bad positioning – no idea where the opponents are. Why is Sagna playing so high, leaving Bale the space he needs? and Ramsey is a two-legged joke. I predict a tennis score unless AW makes radical changes to this set-up, but he will only change a player or not when we are 2 or 3 down.

  19. leftcoastgooner
    October 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    I guess I watched a different game. We missed 3 very good chances and Ramsey did look bad in the first half but atoned with a goal in the second The defense as a whole was fairly solid and we were the better side for good stretches.
    What I did not enjoy is that instead of rising to the challange after spurs second goal we wilted.
    It doesn’t make much sense to blame now but we played well enough to win and had our chances but did not take them.
    What is really irritating is that now the blog will fill up with groaners who didn’t have the time or interest before the game but will but will show up in full force now that we have lost.
    I suppose that is their right and folks need a place to go when things go bad so what are ya gonna do?
    Well gang let’s buck-up and get ready for the next one.
    COYG!

  20. maltagooner
    October 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    To be honest, we saw a better team in the second half, but our defence is still very disorganised and jittery under pressure. Our defenders are all over the place, except where they should be, Pity on Schniesny for failing to save the ball which won the game for the spuds, after a good game. Still overall a team which no team in the BPL should be afraid of, and there’s is no way we will acheive anything this year.

  21. theicehammer
    October 3, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    @leftcoast i actually thought Manny played like a ship today, most disappointing, you could ave at least informed Big Sam that Manny’s not at all very good, im sure he would ave taken your advice. West am dominated the match but could not defend the two shots at goal. Not much to add bout the North London Derby because i couldn’t even see your boys sharing the spoils, sorry mate. Arsenal had some good phases but at this moment in time Spurs have a stronger side. Your keeper was fantastic today and kept the score down. As i said before you need to put a good run of 4-5 prem wins.
    Is Frimping fit, cause i still say Arsene needs to play 2 strong and physical holding mid fielders. Song and Frimpong together in a 4-2 3-1.

  22. theicehammer
    October 3, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Actually there was another thing, Paul Parker was one of the best players on the pitch and only cost a snip. Up de ammers

  23. Terry
    October 3, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Bit harsh on Szc who otherwise was impeccable. Ball took a vicious swerve that Waqar Younis would have been proud of. But he could have saved it. Gervinho’smiss in thefirst half was also critical (becominga bit of a habit for him already).

    One of those game that if it had remained 1-1 no one would have complained. Spuds probably shaded it in terms of chances. At times the defence looked shaky and now Sagna is injured!!! I think Ramsay and Arteta are both to slow…

  24. dennis10
    October 3, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    It wasn’t like we were played off the park or that they were terrific, we created chances which we didn’t take, like the gervinho one, and even the Walcott miss. Defense, while at times was nervy, was decent. Coq was impressive, Ramsey had another off day, szczesny kept the score line down, all in all I would have accepted a draw they way things were. What the heck, regroup and hope we win back to win in the coming ones. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can come off the bench and up or change the game for us.

  25. leftcoastgooner
    October 3, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    @theicehammer
    Well hammer, if you’ve got any more of those diamonds in the rough send ’em north-west we could use a little help righting the ship. I still maintain had we hit the net on our good opportunities we would have had all three. But you should know how little consolation that is especially in a derby. Thinking of which do you guys play Millwall now? Anyhow Sagna’s broken leg is the feces icing on today’s crap cake (yum). How’s the saying? Sometimes you’re the windshield, Sometimes you’re the bug.
    I got that one from your Mark Knoppfler. Later dude.

  26. gunna shah
    October 3, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    @ dennis10
    Ramsey had another off day? Dude,he´s been on off days for the past 4 to 5 games!

  27. gunnerrealist
    October 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Fucking pussy go write your rubish some where else.

  28. delano
    October 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    @Ramsey. he is never going to be a Fabregas. He is just an average player like others. We must stop hyping Ramsey. He is no different from Micheal Carrick or even worse. The French moronn has lost it all. Why play a high line? Why not play two holding midfielders. What was Cock doing on that pitch yet we had Frimpong on the bench. Why did he have to buy a strikere any way in Park Ju…. The coach is just hopeless and looking a looser in every game. How could an avaerage Totenham performance flow us down. What is very worrying is the fighting spirit. No sense of a derby at all. There was no urgency even when the clock ticked as we were one down. Even if the injured players were to return the season is far to gone and the best we can afford is avoid relegation.Am sometimes ashamed to see V.persie in this team. He surely must be getting his lugage ready to jump ship. There is absolutely no hope in the players we have and non seems to step up for the team.

  29. the flyindutchmen
    October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Delano,I certainly agree with you,rvp looks unlikely to sign an extentsion to his contract I wouldn’t blame him,he has done so much for the team from 2004 so if he left I wouldn’t consider him as in flamini category but rather henry category . if tottenham was 2-1 down in the last ten minutes they would be throwing everything forward to get draw its a shame couldn’t say the same thing about our beloved arsenal, we as arsenal fans deserve to question the manager,we do our part,sell our souls just to see arsenal play, fans have been patient we deserve to see the team win trophies,not a manager who continue to buy rubbish players,what different does it make having players like squllaci,diaby n djourou oya kosienly it wouldn’t be long until they are injured again.the seven matches remind us of the seven long years of waiting to touch some real silverware.

  30. theicehammer
    October 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    @leftcoast, cant understand why so many let Demba Ba get away so cheaply, really thought Wenger would ave spotted im. a real rough diamond.
    @Flyindutch all Arsene has to do is purchase some real, i say again, real quality and im sure RVP will change his mind for sure although it would take a hell of a run for your boys to close the gap that is beginning to widen between you and the big four. Oh yes, and 4/2/3/1 system.

  31. sandy
    October 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    Friends, I can only assume the lack of posts is because we are all feel completely humiliated.
    A once great football club are becoming a joke- sorry not becoming we are a joke.
    And the sad thing is we all saw it coming – what i cant understand is why such a great manager as AW didnt also see it.
    There will be no CL next seasong – end of that story- therefore less money for players from a board which dont want to spend any in whatever event.
    This is the worst squad of players at a great club in living memory – maybe ever.
    Only Czesny, Song, TVM and RVP are worthy of wearing the shirt.
    What really gets me is the lack of honesty from the board and manager towards the supporters- evryone knew our best players were leaving but we ended up buying duds at the last minute in the transfer window. Please can someone tell us the truth about the clubs finances and transfer policy- surely the least we deserve is some kind of explanantion.
    RVP will be next to go along with Song – who can blame them , why stay with a team of losers.
    Regarding our signings- Arteta scared, useless never gets forward , Benayoun couldnt get a game for Chelsea, santos is so good Gibbs is keeping him out.
    As for Ramsay and Walcott lets get rid of them along with Rosiscky and Arshavin- shirkers to a man.
    I am not enjoying writitng this- quite the opposite- I am genuinely gutted.
    We must demostrate loudly and long agianst the board- a good question is why did Kronkite buy the club if he wants it to fail so much _ I can only guess like the Glazers he wants to rip us off for as much as possible, he certainly has no intention of investing in the club thats obvious.
    We must protest long and hard to protect something which means so much to us- even if it doesnt mean anything to the board or most of the players.
    SACK THE BOARD.
    As I have posted before- I live in hope but my head tells me we are in for an awful season of humiliation and sadness.
    Sandy

  32. leftcoastgooner
    October 4, 2011 at 3:42 am #

    @Sandy
    You may be right dude but I hope not.
    It’s clear we won’t win the league but if we could have a solid Champions League run or get to the FA cup final or even semi I’ll take it as a moral victory and a starting point.
    I understand how you feel about the way the club is run somewhat on the cheap but I honestly don’t think the management reads this blog especially after a loss.
    Try and keep heart dude it has to change some point. Who knows perhaps within our lifetime.

  33. dennis10
    October 4, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    I think the whole abysmal start of the season and the continuing disaster plus the pre-season broken promises and the un-addressed issues, with mounting injuries have made the fans very numb. And not in a comfortable, Floydian way either. Now the consonant-heavy keeper seems to be injured with the unpleasant prospect of fabiansky and a shaky back four … not to mention a spark-less midfield.
    @leftcoast: “…within our lifetime”. Good one.
    @gunna shah: you’re right, he’s been off this season, perhaps more so in the last two games. Maybe longer. It’s been a looong season already.

  34. Terry
    October 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    @Sandy
    I would add Sagna to your list of players worthy of the shirt – he has been by far and away our best defender for the last few season. Sad to see him break his leg – our injury curse continues.

    I think you’re harsh on Ramsay – to me he looks like a player shorn of confidence after his injury and also having unrealistic expectations thrust on him with Cesc, Nasri gone and Wilshire out long term. Don’t see him as a shirker by any stretch. And I would take him over Carrick any day.

    Doesn’t mean that I don’t think that we have lost our way as a club. Until the board does something about the wage structure and the financial fair play rules come into play we are just going to be a feeder club for Man$ity and Chelski.

    I agree that Wenger made some strange selections on Sunday. Why no Ox-C after his performance against Olympiacos? Why no Frimpong? And where’s the Japanese wonder kid Wenger kept going on about? I think one or both of them deserve a run over Walcott, Arshavin and Gervinho.

  35. GunnerBoss
    October 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    ?Now, what can i say

  36. Francis
    October 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    There is neva gonna be a finacial fair play rule,it is never gonna happen wenger shuld stop kiddin himself dat its gonna happen,spend the money nd return us to our former glory,this is by far the worst wenger squad ever…bt the consolation i take is dat apart 4rm d blackburn game,we droppd points to teams currently in d top 6 of d table and on their home ground except liverpool game.played 7 games 4 away 3 home,we lost at old trafford last season,lost drew at blackburn,drew at whl,drew at st james’ park,in a season we were good,i am nt sayin we r gonna win d league bt i’m nt too worried,i’d be worried if our four losses were against the likes of sunderland,stoke,wolves,nd swansea,we have back to back home games against sunderland and stoke city,we’ve got to make our home games count this season.COYG.Cheer d team to home victories,they need it.

  37. the flyindutchmen
    October 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    @icehammer,just wanted to say thanks for taking almunia on loan,hahahaha! Okay his a good shotstopper but his weakness overthrows what’s good about him. Icehammer I think you got some david gold in you,but try telling wenger to buy some popular players, wenger will just say the money is there but can’t find the players,what bullshit. Icehammer I don’t believe rvp should be playing alone his definitely not rooney or david villa,when there is crosses in the box defenders seem to be there before him something that’s common,solution bring in chamakh in beginning chamakh use to score when rvp wasn’t there, now he not even a shadow of that player,2/1/3/4 is what I would use,it leave the defenders with more to think about,should they push up or not.

  38. the flyindutchmen
    October 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Say what you want but Szczesny is keeping the team losses at respectable scorelines,he wasn’t really to blame for 8-2 defeat n 4-2 that was really poor defending, the tottenham goal was bad judgement but he had a lot on his plate and can only do so much,he really made world class saves,thank you szczesny.

  39. leftcoastgooner
    October 5, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    @ the flyindutchmen
    I agree dutch I’ve no problem with the big Pole.
    He’s not responsible for the lack of cohesion at the back, the foolish high line tactics or zonal marking which as far as I can tell doesn’t mark anyone or anything.It’s just his job to clean up the messes and there been too many lately to see to all of them.

  40. the flyindutchmen
    October 5, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    LEFTCOASTGOONER -talking about zonal marking while the players were in the tunnel coming out, one of the tv commentaries said that the arsenal defenders try something new than the zonal marking and didn’t work out so they went back to what they feel is good, the real puzzler hey! A new tactic don’t just happen so quickly it takes time,also don’t agree with highline mertesacker can’t run fast enough and arsenal attacking is not quick than those years back then

  41. quartzgooner
    October 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    February 1st is when I will worry about relegation.

    That is when we will know to what extent the squad has been strengthened for the second half of the season.

  42. shambogunner
    October 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    For ages on here there has been quarelling among arsenal fans about who is a doom and gloomer and who is a real fan, about who is a realist and whos head is in the sand, whilst I have been saying for ages that we as fans have to re-evaluate our expectations of this team and manager.
    @Leftcoast,
    Your avalanche of foretold negativity and doom and gloomers posts on the blog havnt materialised and its obvious why.
    Id love to know which you prefer; fans who wear their hearts on their sleeves that are maybe prone to getting worked up or fans that just dont care anymore, because thats what we are seeing now all over the Arsenal blogoshere, disinterest. If this transcends to the stands then we are in major trouble, but hey the blog will be a serious lovenest, eh dude?

  43. leftcoastgooner
    October 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    @Shambogunner
    Dude there are millions of us gooners and each bring a different kind of love.
    I grew up in a military family and learned that you stand by the colors no matter what. It doesn’t mean I’m right but when one is indoctrinated a certain way it goes through everything one does. True,it annoys me that some people will show up just to bitch and say “see I told you this guy or that guy sucks or the coach has missed the bus or lost the plot” or whatever. But (very important) they have EVERY RIGHT and they don’t derive that right from me or the board of directors at Arsenal FC or the pope.
    It came with them into this world and they have until they leave to wherever people go after it.
    I’m not very happy about our current state of affairs but I’m old enough to remember that we were once a pretty good team playing in a small but lovely fortress that went on to become a footballing power in a spaceship of a stadium. Now it seems we’re on the decline but we will,repeat WILL be back on top. For selfish reasons I want to be there to see it but it will happen whether I am or not. The Arsenal was here before me and it will be here after Me and you and Wenger and Gazza and Silent Stan and all his “yes-boss” cronies are long cold and forgotten.
    In the meanwhile though, I’ve already got my eye on the January transfer window.
    Typical fan huh? Any hooo COYG!!!!!

  44. the flyindutchmen
    October 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Having to watch espn soccernet on friday, robert stewart raise a few thoughts that arsenal should really consider its been a while and has been seen arshavin n ramsey lack the quality of defending which is costing the team dearly,not to sure about arteta and his defending. Second there is just no love to play for a win especially when the team is a goal up. The defending must communciate especially the two centre back which seems quiet and lastly wenger must admit there is a problem everywhere and should start listening to others that see flaws and able to correct it than rather his ego. There is still life in arsenal it just been hided away by not understanding each other.

  45. leftcoastgooner
    October 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    @the flyindutchmen
    Hey dutch,
    Nobody aound here I guess not even Andy.
    I just saw that we offered Liverpool 20m last summer but the club blocked the offer.
    I don’t know how much it would have helped. I think the return of Vermaelen might be a great boost for the club but heck, he’s been out for the better part of two seasons now. I don’t even know when he’s expected to return.
    The Mirror says that there is an anti-Wenger protest planned for the game against Sunderland. This would have been un-thought of even a year ago. A few consecutive wins would put this grim chapter all behind us but are we still capable of it?
    Hope things are well in your hemisphere here it has started raining early but at least the surf is still good and the rain keeps the tourist away more effectively than zonal marking.
    Just kidding. Later dude.

  46. Boris-Aus
    October 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m still here…. but I have lost interest. I love Arsenal but my head says we are in big trouble… yet my heart says there is hope.

    We have a good side, it just completely lacks confidence… and watching the games you can tell at home when we are 1-0 up that the crowd are nervous and you can feel it.

    in todays society i think the fans have a lot to answer for. Everyone wants success….. NOW…. and most do not realise how hard it is to win the EPL… it is a two horse race this year.. My money is on man city… as 92.5% of the time in the last 8 years the team who has spent the most wins.. I think it was brian Glanville who researched that stat… An amazing stat really….. it is pretty much guaranteed man city will win it…… We will nto win the EPL again unless we are the top or second top spender…. this is now reality in todays football society and fans must wake up to this and look at the now…. nto look at the past and the teams we once had.

    I love arsenal i really do…. but its todays modern football with sugar daddies owning clubs as play toys to play along to their egos… you spend and you win… its fucking sad honestly… I wish I grew up in the 70s,80s where it was more of an open competition…even in the early to mid 90s… Then I would have witnessed competitive competition where more than 2-3 teams could win it…..

    Perhaps its time I watch more Bundesliga…. more goals and good technical attacking football and anyone can win….

    sorry for the rant I went on a complete tangent… hopefully it envokes some thought though.

    good bye for now

  47. Brad Jordan
    October 11, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Some statement that was…

  48. the flyindutchmen
    October 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Leftcoastgooner n company,haaaaaaaa,what a relief having the euro places sorted out, although rosicky will be playing for czech in playoffs but it epl week again,little bit of an incentive is having to log on the arsenal website- team news to see in red only four players that are unavailable mostly ankle crap,it still bitter news that vermeulen will be fully recovered in 2 weeks time, I am not sure what you meant about liverpool 20 m!
    As for the protest against wenger n co whether it happen or not, its been coming for awhile, I would want to be there with my 97-99 arsenal jvc jersey on, singing the club anthems demanding to be hear for the love of arsenal.

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