Not. Good. Enough.

However this morning it has really hit home that yesterday was one of few chances we will have in the remainder of the season to close the gap. Not only on Villa, but also on Chelsea and Liverpool, with one or both of them dropping points later on today. This is really going to be a big grind for fourth place until the end of the season.

The game itself was nothing to write home about. In the first half the only real chance I can remember was an early Diaby header from a corner that was deflected on to the top of the bar. West Ham had no intention of leaving their own half for the entire game. Their gameplan in my opinion was nothing short of a disgrace. I know people say 'what do you expect them to do? Go at Arsenal all guns blazing and concede heavily due to being exposed from their attacks?'. However when you see, with 5 minutes to go, West Ham counter-attacking us with four/five players to our two you would expect them to go for the winner. But no, they merely turned back to their own half and rejected the chance to trouble Almunia for, perhaps, the second time in the 90 minutes. Shocking shocking stuff in my opinion.

People will say it is down to us to break these teams down. It is. However Arsene has since said that his team were lacking sharpness after tough away games against Cardiff and Everton. I'm sorry but that just doesn't work for me. This team should be used to playing three times a week. Earlier in the season we played three games a week, with midweek games in Istanbul, Kiev and Porto. It is just the way it is and AW needs to ensure he has a squad capable of coping with the hectic schedule that comes with being a top European team. We really needed the three points yesterday, I find it bitterly disappointing that we couldn't convert what must have been 70%+ possession into a goal (which, lets face it would have been more than enough to beat a side who had no intention of scoring themselves).

Is anyone else thinking we should have taken the £20m+ for Adebayor? What has happened to him? I have never seen a player look so disinterested in playing for us. Two guilt-edged chances. The first was a perfectly floated cross. From about 6 yards out he rose and met the ball only to head it passively straight at Rob Green. The second, a great piece of skill from Bendtner who slid the ball across the 6 yard line. Adebayor managed to scuff it about a yard wide of the near post. Unbelieveable. When you consider the miss he had against Bolton a couple of weeks earlier, you struggle to see how Bendtner (who got better as the game progressed) was taken off for RVP when he was far more influential in the game than Adebayor.

Given his knack of scoring late goals for us, it really should have been Adebayor going off instead of Bendtner. All this will have done is tell Adebayor that he is an invincible member of the squad, rather than giving him the kick up the **** he needs (and deserves) in order to get him to get his act together. We also lost Diaby an Eboue to injuries. Yes, more injuries. It hasn't been disclosed yet how long each player will be out for, but we do know Diaby will miss the game against Sp*rs next week for picking up his 5th yellow card of the season.

So, apart from not losing ground on Villa, can we take any more positives from yesterday? Maybe. Here's hoping that yesterday will have convinced AW that we must do whatever it is necessary to bring Arshavin to the club. With Arshavin's penetrative power and ability to go past people (as AW himself has recently said), we will be better-equipped to beat teams whose tactics are to park the bus and do nothing else.

I think he needs to sign him, not only for the good of the team, but also to keep the fans on his side. People are losing patience and not many of us buy into his stance that we have resources within the squad that can ensure a top-four finish, as well as serious challenges on the Champions League and FA cup. Only 30 more painful hours to go until the window closes. We will know soon enough whether the deal is on.]]>

  • AJ

    < ![CDATA[I agree its not good enough, particularly when we could of and should of closed the gap up on Villa. A point isn't good enough and as you said they should be use to playing 3 games a week, the funny thing is, thats where all the pundits who think we will be in the top 4 say we are better than Villa, they say because we are use to playing more games we should be able to finish the season without burning out but they are not sure about Villa, but given our recent performances I think this team has already decided 5th is good enough for them and I think we definetly need Arshavin now as he takes on players and goes past them, he runs with the ball into the box, something that none of our team do often enough, because when they do, we usually force a good opportunity or atleast a freekick in a dangerous area.

    Oh and I read somewhere that Arshavin's Agent said he hadn't flown to London yesterday but to St. Petersburg.

    As for the match against sp*rs, god knows what will happen.]]>

  • http://www.wedontknowfootball.wordpress.com williamhill

    you have to give west ham credit for defending well, sure they “packed the bus” in front of the goal but thats tactic. arsenal is a great team, even against the best defence they should be able to open any up chances.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I doubt that Ade will be with us for much longer and hopefully we can sell in for at least £20m and get a proven goal scorer.

    As I type this Torres has just bagged a goal for Liverpool...that is the type of player we want up top for us. I was hoping Liverpool would lose and continue imploding until the end of the season....make that 2 for Torres....man he is good.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Gooner, Torres only scored twice because of Cashley Hole!

    I'm afraid I'm with William, West Ham were exceptional in defence as were Everton. Arsenal fans are going to have to start accepting that playing defensively is acceptable. Even Liverpool and Chelsea do it.

    Jat - cub insiders have already released statements saying the club were waiting or a bid for Adebayor all summer - they held him signing his contract up for 5 weeks. There never was a bid of £20m+ on the table, Arsenal were ready to buy Ade plane tickets that day if a bid came through.

    Anyway, less than 24hrs now to find if if Arsenal actually buy Arshavin or not.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Really ? (on Arsenal wanting to get rid of Ade so bad)Wow, I didn't know that. It does make me feel a bit better. But it won't make me feel better until he's actually sold and we get one of the 3/4 top strikers that are possibly going to move soon. Kenwyne Jones is better than Adebayor ! And he plays like he gives a shit.

    Arsenal definitely have to accept teams being too defensive. My question is, why is it that teams, take Everton for example, come out all guns blazing and put in the performance of their lives against Arsenal, but when they face ManUtd, they're scared shitless !? ManUtd played Everton with much more ease than we could manage. And that wasn't a one-off. They regularly play with mid-table sides as if it was a walk in the park while we have to battle and battle and only if we're lucky do we manage to get 3 points.]]>

  • zohaib

    Sometimes if we’re lucky we can only manage 1 point.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[David Dein's spoken on our current troubles. This should be interesting. I have a feeling Dein wanted the club to be bought by Usmanov or Kroenke :

    soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=614963&sec=england&cc=4716]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[''When I left I said it was only because I could see what was on the horizon,'' he told Radio Five's Sportsweek programme. ''I said it was in danger of slipping and I think that's what is happening at the moment and it has to be contained.
    ''This season is one of the most delicate in that they are fighting for their Champions League place.
    ''The first goal is to get that Champions League place. Five points behind Aston Villa is a mini-mountain to climb but there is talent there and there is resolve. They can do it.''
    When pressed about his own future plans he said: ''I'm there for every home game, I still see the boys playing and still get a tremendous feeling of entertainment because I still feel part of it.
    ''I'm an Arsenal fan through and through. I've been offered many glamorous opportunities with other clubs but I'm not looking for a 24/7, 365-days-a year job and Arsenal is my only club.''
    Key to those prospects will be Wenger, who Dein believes would be an almost impossible figure to replace.
    ''I call him the miracle worker,'' said Dein. ''He does it year-in, year-out and for 12 years we've been in the Champions League every year. That's not easy and it's getting harder.
    ''He does get stressed but you don't see it it. He conceals it brilliantly. His external persona is calm, collected, pensive. He's such a professional.
    ''I think only he can say when he feels he's had enough of putting on a tracksuit and a stopwatch in the morning.
    ''The easiest thing to do is to get rid of someone. The clever thing is to find someone better. He would certainly be a hard act to follow.'']]>

  • zohaib

    He saw the troubles coming so he jumped ship ?

  • zohaib

    And he predicted the injury nuisance we’ve experienced ?

  • Marriich

    just watched pool-chelsea game and it comes to my mind that sometimes when i watch arsenal game i am too cynical or too demanding. before that lampard red card that game was very boring. both teams lack´s creativity,pace, workrate, and willingness. and those superstars altogether cost about 250 million pounds. comes to my mind that tale which name is ” new clothes of emperor”. that result of that game flatters liverpool. they are going drops points but still they give some pressure to manu. which is good. scholari have hard job to get their game back in balance. Our rivals is suffering too so we should not panic. things is gonna change. i promise that.

  • Tom G

    Marriich, you’re are being very positive.. which I appreciate.. but what I’m having real trouble with is the decision to put RVP on the bench. When a player’s in that sort of form it doesn’t make sense to me, and isn’t he just who we needed? I agree with JAT that he could always have taken him off if we got in front. But maybe again there are things i don’t know.

  • Berth

    Pervet!!!!

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[I'm glad David Dein has spoken some sense about what Arsenal need right now. I've a feeling that Wenger feels the same way, but being the manager, he cant come out and say it without causing some controversy. David Dein hasn't anything to loose by speaking out, so perhaps he can be a vocal outlet for Arsene.

    Marrich, got to agree with you mate. Even when results go against us, Arsenal still manage to play better football than teams that tend to win more.

    Sadly, something tells me we're going to miss out on signing Arshavin, but theres still less than 24 hours, so lets wait and see.]]>

  • Pete

    In regards to RVP, I think Wenger is trying to prevent loosing him to injury, which he’s been very prone to in recent seasons. If he played 90 mins on Saturday, then that would have been 3 full games in the last 7 days, plus there’s Tuesday evenings FA Cup game and the Spurs game to come this week. Perhaps it was over causious, but then you have to ask why only one of our strikers is able to score/create goals at the moment.

  • Fabrez

    Defensively we’ve been more steady, Midfield…while lacking penetration have been ok…and 1 striker? That indeed is the problem Pete…RVP needs some who is in at least half his form. Drop Ade and bring in Bendtner for a couple games…. see what he does…by then Edu will b back for sure and me may just have knicked Arshavin? Maybe… Perhaps better times are ahead very soon!

  • zohaib

    SkySports are saying Arshavin has travelled via private jet to London so that if the clubs do agree a fee, that he can complete the logistics before the deadline.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Anyone looking forward to Transfer Deadline Day today? As long as we sign Arshavin and at least someone else today, I'll be fine!
    Oh, have you guys noticed how the first 3 letters of 'Arshavin' are the same as the first 3 letters of 'Arsenal' and 'Arsene'? Maybe that's a positive sign! lol]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[LOL Debs, i am looking forward to deadline day and fingers crossed AW has a Veloso/DM shaped ace up his sleeve as well as Arshavin.

    If we do buy in the window I will be more confident we can salvage our season...especially with Eduardo back as well.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Well we are the most pathetic club known to man…Arshavin is reportedly heading back to Russia after we couldn’t provide a contract for him… We can’t buy ONE PLAYER?? I’m very embarassed to be an Arsenal supporter…i’m losing confidence in the board and AW slowly… What are they doin man? Have us wait till the last day for him to come to the UK then just go back to Russia? How screwed up is that…

  • Fabrez

    Sp*rs mite as well buy him…bcuz we deserve nothing more than our enemies to get him…i just don’t understand why we can’t afford him… Guys…what the hell?!?! Are we really that poor? Or are we ridiculously miserly? Splash the stinkin cash! AHHHHH!!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Fabrez, Where did you hear about him going back to Russia.

  • Fabrez

    SkySports…on telly

  • Fabrez

    *Sky Sports News rather

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Fabrez, looks like you are right. this is what they have on Sky Sports Website.

    8.38 Sky Sports News' Bryan Swanson has the day's first news of Andrei Arshavin. He has been spotted in Hertfordshire close to Arsenal's London Colney training ground, fueling speculation he is closing in on a move to the Gunners. Sky Bet are pretty sure he will be an Arsenal player by the end of the day, rating him 1/8 to move to the Emirates.

    9.47 Latest news on Arshavin. Sky Sports News reports he is heading back to a London airport with sources close to Arsenal claiming the Gunners are not prepared to meet Zenit's terms. Sky Bet have moved quickly to reflect this latest development with him now rated as 6/4 to move to the Emirates.

    Please dont tell me we haven't moved from our 12m bid to meet the asking price of 15m...we must be able to raise 3m surely.]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Just had a thought, maybe AW is placing a bet on SKY BET to make up the 3m needed and feeding them false info to get the odds up?

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[lol gooner get ya. But it's a really pathetic situaton, honestly. The dude's keen, and is apparently willing to take a pay cut but we're messing it up! Why, I don't know. Maybe we're planning on holding on until late, hoping Zenit have a change of heart? Argghh!
    Why oh why did Dein leave?!]]>

  • realist23

    < ![CDATA[One would expect Arsenal fans to be positive about the team or offer constructive criticism. The unusually high level of “time for Wenger to go” and absolute panning of players is more attune to the fans of other teams attempting to disgruntle Arsenal fans and create dissension. You are right in blocking those that do not constructively add to the debate.

    Stats don’t show everything but over an extended run of games and by looking at the key stats appropriate by position you do get a good understanding of who is and isn’t good. Defensive midfielder is one of those positions where the stats don’t lie. Over 24 games of the EPL Denilson as of today, is the leading midfielder in terms of passes, accurate passes, tackles (best amongst top 4) and pass interceptions. Making tackles, interceptions, and being always available to get the ball and move it on quickly and accurately is the job description for his position, as it was for Flamini and Gilberto. He is not the creative midfielder (Cesc, Rosicky, Nasri, etc) but the water carrier (although his assists and assist attempts are actually very respectable).

    The counter arguments fall into 2 areas - he has made Cesc be more defensive (and less effective) because he gets forward too much, and his passes are too short and often sideways or backwards. The answer to these points is easy - Cesc, before his injury was making just as many assist attempts and attempts (himself) on goal as last year (and tackles) - only he was himself not as efficient in scoring goals. In terms of passing, yes, many of Denilsons passes are short and sideways or backwards, but that is the case for all in his position, and bearing in mind that he is not the key creative midfielder. His assists, assist attempts and shots on goal (better than Flamini) show that he is still doing his bit in the attacking third of the pitch, and the fact that his pass pattern shows activity in all parts of the pitch show that he is fast becoming a strong box to box player (again part of Wengers job description for him).

    The criticisms of Denilson are often a veiled attempt at criticising Wenger for not signing Flamini (140k a week when you consider his signing on bonus at AC Milan) or signing a high profile, high cost, midfield bruiser. But as Denilson puts in more tackles, intercepts and passes than any other player in the UK or indeed in the Champions league this year (top 3 in these categories) - then who is there to buy?

    It is easy to ascribe the problems of the team to the “skiny young guy” that is “overawed” by the Premier league, or “what was Wenger thinking when he failed to sign….. (Viera clone - if such a thing exists)”. But the reality is that the problems of the team cannot be put at Denilson’s door - his performances as a 20 year old in this position, and in his first season in the PL and CL is quite remarkable. As I wrote the other day the real reason for being 5th (not say 2nd or 1st) is the poor conversion rate of the chances the strikers are getting, and weaknesses amongst the defenders (compared to say Man Utd). But thats for another days debate.]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I agree with you realist23, Denilson has played beyond his years for sure but our midfield is very weak this season. Eboue and Diaby in particular have not performed well at all.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[I guess it's because of injuries, that's why our midfiled's week this season. I doubt it would be the case next season, what with Fabregas and Rosicky back, and Walcott maybe still playing in midfield. And really, I'd be surprised if Wenger does not buy a midfielder in summer if we don't buy anyone.
    But as far as this season is concerned anyways, we may not be getting Arshavin, but Walcott may be back in 'four weeks' and I'm sure he'd be deployed in midfield most of the time, cos we really need some improvement in midfield as we near the business end of the season. Also, there'll be no issue of him being overworked, seeing as he's just coming back from injury and hasn't played in a bit.
    But still though, fingers crossed the Arshavin deal will be done today, cos he could create that spark that seems to be missing- and he's a good finisher as well, seeing as we only seem to be able to get that from VP nowadays!]]>

  • Debs

    Cool name realist23 by the way! Particularly fitting at the moment! I should learn from that! :)

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Zenit St Petersburg have snapped up Celtic target Szabolcs Huszti from Hannover. The highly-rated Hungarian international midfielder was high on Gordon Strachan's wanted list, but former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat has moved to take him to Russia.

    Maybe paving the way for Arshavin to leave?]]>

  • Debs

    I thought so too, gooner get ya, but doesn’t it all depend on whether we’re willing to meet their price demand? And apparently Arshavin’s waiting in London- poor dude! lol

  • Debs

    I guess the ball’s in our court, really.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Am i right in thinking we have ssaid we will pay 12m upfront and the 3m in stages but Zenit want the whole 15m now?

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    The Arshavin deal is doomed – Zenit are paying him equivelent of £150k a week. That is ridiculous money and unlikely to be matched by any club in this country for an unproven player. He won’t accept a drop in wages and that’s that. He’s stranded at London City airport in the snow! But I’d be very surprised if he signed now especially after he laid on all that money for a private jet ;)

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[

    if you hurry to Wikipedia you might see the following snippet in Angelos Basinas’ entry before it’s removed: “In unusual circumstances Basinas asked for a signing-on ‘bonus’ but instead of a fee he requested his own Punch & Judy stall on Bognor pier. After much consideration Portsmouth accepted.”

    Genius. :D ]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Yep, thats what all the hold up is about, Gooner Get Ya. Seems bloody stupid, to be perfectly honest. Thank goodness for the snow, otherwise the deal might be already dead.

    Tomorrows FA Cup game has been cancelled too, so at least our players will be fresh for the game at Sp*rs.

    The Walcott news seems a bit of damage limitation exercise in case the Arshavin doesn't work out. It's a shame because I'm sure Arsene really wants to sign him, but has to stick to the official statements for the sake of the club.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Really? Where did you hear that? The player himself has just given an interview saying the wages he has been offered are unacceptable as London is a more expensive place to live and he has two kids to support.

  • Pete

    Thats what the Sky Sports News reporter outside the Emirates said a bit earlier this afternoon. Apparently we’ve only offered 12m upfront, plus 3m bonus. Zenit want 15m upfront.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Kieran - surely if the wages are a problem he wouldn't have paid for a private jet to fly him to London, that sort of detail would have been sorted before hand?

    It must be a club issue if he has made the effort to come over...ready for medicals etc...do you not agree.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Gooner, I'm just going by what the player said himself rather than what Sky Sports have made up to fill 24hrs of coverage.

    He knows we are desperate, he knows we need to bolster our attack and he knows we haven't signed anyone else - so it's not inconceivable that he would fly here and demand the money in person. I guess he assumes the board will back down and agree in desperation.

    I'd heard that Arsenal were originally offering £10m plus 5 depending on appearences and the clubs have met 'half way' and accepted the 12m upfront with 3m in appearence related payments.

    Ironically, we would give them money for each champions league appearence and they are not so certain we will qualify!!]]>