Bad luck against Braga ends in a 2-0 defeat…

Braga versus Arsenal was a certain win right? For us, I meant!

November is a month I hate, simply because we lose way too many games – this month we have lost 4 games – yes, 4 games this month. Yesterday’s defeat against Braga was our second in succession in the Champions League – but in all honesty – how much bad luck can a team have? Regardless of bad luck or good luck, a team such ours should not concede those types of goals as we conceded yesterday. But in reality, did Braga out-tactic us?

First of all – please do not tell me it’s time for Arsene Wenger to retire. He’s the captain of our ship and yes, it sank today, but life is not over. Braga defended for 75 minutes and when Carlos Vela was fouled in the box and a certain penalty should have been given – it was not. 1-0 to the Arsenal became a frustrating evening as the home team broke on us – twice to make the score line look more impressive than it really was.

Arsene made 7 changes – but if you look at my predicted team and if you look at most other predicted teams, they were all the same. Before the game, I wanted Rosicky, Walcott and Bendtner to prove their worth – I wanted Djourou and Eboue to be given a run out – so in reality – Arsene did the sensible thing. The team was:


Eboue – Squillaci – Djourou – Gibbs

Wilshere – Denilson

Walcott – Cesc – Rosicky


And in my opinion, that is a team that should have been able to win the game. These players should have been hungry for the win – they really should have been eager to win – and we were the better side for the first 75 minutes. We asked all the questions… but yes, I admit, defensively we were caught out again. The lack of discipline when we want to so desperately win a game has come back to haunt us – again. It has happened time and time again.

Arsene was fuming after the game and layed into:

“It was a disappointing result as we played against a team who played in their own half. I felt we had back luck as well. We were punished when Eboue was kicked off the park and we had a penalty turned down. I would like to see what the fifth the official is doing. It has been proved again tonight that it is absolutely useless this system. It was a difficult performance. We needed to be patient. We didn’t create many chances. It was a difficult game against a team who used all the tricks to slow the game down. For us we needed not to make a mistake but unfortunately when we were down to 10 v 11 we were open at the back. We made a mistake and they took advantage of it. We did not communicate and that’s where we were punished.”

Bad luck comes in the form of the result as well as the injuries – Eboue will be out for 3 weeks now – but more importantly (no offence to Eboue), our captain Cesc could be out for a similar time. Cesc’s injuries have been far more regular this season – and considering the pre-match talk from Arsene about Cesc not even making this game, it was astonishing to see him start and even worse to see him get injured.

From a slightly depressed Arsenal fan, that’s me, signing off for now… back tomorrow with new enthusiasm…

  • Goonerman

    I know he is a fantastic player and I always want him starting for us but for the last couple of weeks he has been playing in second gear he looks scared to run that bit harder and ibthink the hamstring has always been one stretch away from him being injured again! We lose fabregas but we gain van persie and an in form nasty along with a hungry rosicky can fill in for a few weeks and at lessened know they can give 110% without injury worries.

    I still think it’s not good enough to lose against brags but that was typical arsenal luck tonight hopefully it’s all gone from the system for Saturday!

  • Shawn

    that was the kind of game for cesc to be rested and arshavin to be brought in the recover his form, i feel he would have been far more effective that cesc.

  • devday

    Indeed, shocking that Cesc started yesterday considering the manager wasn’t happy with his fitness. When will Arsene learn?


    In recent weeks Arsenal have left me more gutted than a Tuna fish fresh from the Atlantic Ocean.

    In fact, the way things are going we might even be watching Arsenal on a Thursday night in the Europa League!

    Arsene Wenger really needs to kick this lot up the arse. And quick. No more excuses, just be brutal.

    The Premiership is there for the taking and yet we seem to be bottling it. This could be the easiest title that Wenger has ever won for Arsenal.

    We should have qualified from the Champions League group stage already. Instead we are left sweating it out in the last game.

    Just what is going on?

    I used to laugh at teams having a serious go at winning the Carling Cup. I called it a joke.

    Now I realise by disregarding it, and in some ways the FA Cup, Wenger has just bred complacency throughout the club.

    That winning mentality has left the club.

    “The Invincibles” would have smashed this seasons Premiership title by a record number of points.

    In fact, “The Invincibles” would have gone TWO seasons unbeaten.

    I’m telling you now, the state the Premiership is in now that side would crushed any fucker in the way.

    It’s not that the other teams in the division have improved rapidly, its that the so-called top-four have deteriorated and gone down in standards.

    If any team put a run together then the title is theirs. That’s what frustrates me.

    We lack winners and that’s why I worry so much. Cesc Fabregas looks like a beaten man. He is a World Cup and European Champion. He wants to win.

    He looks round at this side and how many are winners?

    His team-mates are bottling it. But they are not completely to blame.

    Arsene Wenger needs to shoulder some blame too. He built this side but it has been built on complacency. As long as they play pretty football its ok. Winning isn’t everything.

    That’s what most of this squad believes, with a couple of exceptions.

    We need to change something. Maybe its the back-room staff that needs a shake-up? It’s obvious Wenger needs to buy players who have won things.

    What ever it is, something needs to be done or we will be kicking ourselves come May that we haven’t won the easiest title we ever could.

  • sid

    Let’s get the hard luck story out of the way first. Yes we should have had a penalty when Carlos Vela was taken out late on. Yes that would probably have seen us win 1-0 in Braga and qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. But neither of those things happened. We got mugged 2-0 and it was no real shock to any of us.

    Arsenal spent most of the match doing very little. Not much creativity, not many chances. We have heard a lot this week about how wonderful Nicklas Bendtner is: well he looked pretty damn ordinary to me tonight. Did our players realise when the match had started? I am not sure we were even as much as going through the motions. We did our usual thing of wasting 80 minutes hanging around and then 10 minutes of doing our nut to rescue a result.

    Are we collectively so poor that we had to risk Cesc Fabregas from the start, even though it has been clear that his hamstrings are like elastic bands right now? What was the point of risking him? Yet again, we are asking Fabregas to run himself into the ground, because he is practically the only player who might be able to drag us towards a victory. He ran after a wide pass against Spurs and I shouted “don’t run! Your hamstrings can’t take it!” He got away with it then, not tonight. So now he’ll miss the vital home match with Partizan Belgrade and most likely the trip to Old Trafford on December 13. That’s what you call great management.

    I take no great pleasure from this but I did see problems coming in our Champions League group after Eduardo scored to beat us in Donetsk. I pointed out how the group was far closer than people may have realised and that we could yet have a serious problem. Sadly that is where are now at. It is inexcusable and practically unfathomable that we can go from beating Braga 6-0 at home in September to losing 2-0 away to them two months later.

    Some observers have said, claimed, pleaded, practically foamed at the mouth that Arsene Wenger has had his time at the club now. I would feel terrible to say that and I don’t really agree with it but you cannot escape that there could be an outcome if we fail to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage. I am rock solid sure that the club will continue to back Arsene. If Wenger says the day after Wednesday is Tuesday the board would back him. You just wonder though what the board makes of the now quite open supporter derision. That could surely begin to affect their judgement. If Ivan Gazidis is as on the ball as he thinks he is he’ll be noting the growing disharmony among supporters.

    The fine lines of football struck us tonight, as we could have won 1-0 with the penalty, but we cannot escape that the team seems to have very little organisation. Like England in their entire performance, Arsenal just seem to be drifting lost and bereft, hoping for cameos from the likes of Fabregas and Samir Nasri to save them. It’s pretty desperate stuff.

    Still, if we win at Villa on Saturday we go top of the Premier League.

  • Kodjo

    Hello folks:

    I am not a big fan of the Mirror but i just thought i’d point folks to Darren Lewis’s “common sense” assessment of the current situation at Arsenal.

    Interesting perspective….

  • amar

    Relax all.

    Here’s a thought… This is the BEST result we could’ve hoped for!!! Now Braga HAVE to beat Shakhtar. And will go all out to do so. And if they do and we beat Patizan – which we will! – we are group winners!!! Ever thought about that?

    We’ve had zero luck with refs this season. 4 ridiculous sending offs, the penalty tonight, the free-kick v the Spuds for the pen, the 6mins at Sunderland…

    We just gotta hang in there. Top by January – then catch us if you can.

    The Wenger haters can fuck off.
    As can Clichy – Gibbs proved again tonight he’s 10times the player.

  • kameron

    Please please please fellow Gooners do not embarrass ourselves in front of fans of other clubs….third in the Premier League, two points behind the leaders, Champions League progress still in our hands and in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup…this is not a crisis. Yes there are problems with this team but plenty of clubs would swap places with us (especially with the financial future of the club so secure – a fact other Arsenal fans seem so keen to belittle for some reason beyond me). We have no divine right to win football games and we, the supporters, need to recognise this as much as the players.

    There may not be a load of e-mails this morning calling for Wenger to be sacked…I hope there aren’t but I would ask anyone writing in suggesting this course of action to please put forward their candidates to replace him. Who do they think could actually do a better job at Arsenal right now? I have found watching this team extremely frustrating at times this season but I don’t think kicking Wenger out is going to solve this – he needs to be given the chance to sort this out. To anyone who says that he’s had 5 years to sort this out without winning anything I would again suggest that there is no right to win anything in football….trophies don’t come easy. Consistently finishing in the top 4 of the premier league, consistently making it into the quarter finals of the champions league…they may not be the ‘achievements’ which we long for as fans but they are stats that, again, fans of almost all other clubs would be happy with.

    So please have some patience (dismissing players as useless when they have only been playing in England for three months is also embarrassing) and have some perspective and get behind the team even when they are playing a bit rubbish.

  • kameron

    How can Arsenal have ended up with 5 yellow cards when they spent the whole game being hacked down? The guy who dived in from behind on Eboue and snapped his knee ligaments with no attempt at getting the ball didn’t even get a yellow. Then the penalty. The karate kid would have been proud of that challenge, but Vela gets a yellow card. Madness

    Yes, we were poor and should have done better, but that doesn’t excuse refereeing like that.

    And while we are talking about officials, what is the point of the 4th and 5th official? They just stand there and agree with the ref, even if they know he is wrong. There was a bit in the first half when Djourou kicked the ball off one of their players right in front of one of them. It was about as obvious as you could want. The ref gave a goal kick which on this occasion I can see why because (unlike the penalty) he was unsighted. Why didn’t the guy tell him that he had got it wrong?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ kameron:

    I was screaming at the TV when the 5th Official missed the corner.

    I have never seen so many bad tackles being waved on by a ref and it got worse as the game went on. Bendtner got rugby tackled at one point and that was fine, Rosicky was getting a battering from behind (hello sailor) every time he had the ball and that was ok, Eboue also gets his leg done in and there was nothing wrong with that. In the end I was laughing deliriously with the whole penalty incident.

  • yemi

    @ amar:
    “Here’s a thought… This is the BEST result we could’ve hoped for!!! Now Braga HAVE to beat Shakhtar. And will go all out to do so. And if they do and we beat Patizan – which we will! – we are group winners!!! Ever thought about that?”

    Did it have to come to this, calculation, permutation, IF’s ? When we could easily have qualified with a draw in any of the two last CL matches ?

    They additional officials (on both sides) in yesterdays matches have shown that more officials simply mean for mistakes !!!!