Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal. Oh-so typical.

At the moment, we’re 2-0 down to United, and I’ve turned the volume right down. We started brightly, have dominated the possession, but as almost everyone on my timeline, including me, tweeted when the first United goal went in, it’s all ‘typical’. I have sufficiently calmed down I think, and turned the volume up. But I am getting fed up of it all. Dominate, then concede. We never get the results to justify our performance, and it’s very frustrating. I don’t know what’s going wrong, but at the moment, there’s just something missing. The vital components that make our team work, in my opinion, just aren’t ever present at the same time.  It’s been AGES since we had the likes of Vermaelen, Theo, Cesc, Song and Robin on the pitch at the same time, not to talk of successive games. We can’t blame injuries forever, but our key players tend to be the ones who get injured, not the bit-part players. And as I type this, Ryan Giggs just almost scored the third. That would have been heartbreaking (as if our hearts aren’t already bruised enough), and he really should have. He had all the time in the world, being in the 6-yard box with virtually an empty net, but he dithered too long.

There are 25 minutes to go, and I’m hopeful we can turn this game around, but it’s just in hope, not expectation. I’m hopeful we pull it off, but at the same time, I won’t hold my breath. It’s just SO frustrating that we have so much talent in the team, but we tend to be unable to pull off the big results consistently. Our best result of the season was against Barca at the Emirates, but looking back at it now, it didn’t count for much. Obviously in the long run, it’s a massive win psycologically. But what I mean is, despite winning that game, we didn’t progress in the Champions League, and neither did it add any points to our league tally. Why can’t it be that when we do pull out the big result, it counts? Barca won the tie, but no one remembers we beat them. We are clearly good enough to beat the best, but is that enough? Anyways, I’m off on a tangent.

Back to the game. The starting line-up was:


Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Gibbs

Wilshere – Denilson

Nasri – Diaby – Arshavin

Van Persie

As I said already, we started really well, both halves. And we’ve gotten close a number of times, but like I said last time about ‘keepers, they always play blinders against us, and Van der Sar is having one of those days. And oh, we’ve got a man down! Almunia’s just clawed away a certain goal off the line, and in all the craziness, Djourou went down. Still receiving treatment and it’s been a few good minutes. Not really sure what happened there, but hope it’s not too serious. We’ve used all our subs, too. And of all people we don’t want to lose, it’s Djourou. See what I meant earlier? Unbelievable. He’s had to have oxygen, and he’s finally being stretchered off the pitch. Great to see him waving just to show he’s okay.

5 minutes, plus a huge amount of injury-time left, and we’re down to 10-men. That’s pretty much our goose cooked. With United having to play 7 defenders today because of injury, one would have thought we’d be able to take advantage, but we’re depleted as well. There have been stand-out individual performances, but as a team, it hasn’t worked for us today, unfortunately.

Wilshere’s had a blinder, but it’s not surprising as he does it game in, game out. Almunia’s done really well since he was thrown into the deep-end against Barca, but with 2 goals conceded, it doesn’t seem that way. Nasri and Sagna have been decent as well, but you need all 11 players operating at the top of their game to make things work. Individual stand-out performances aren’t enough. We just can’t seem to click ALL at once. Why?

8 minutes of added time, by the way.

It might as well be full-time already, to be honest. Sorry to dump a whole lot of negativity on you guys, but the last few days haven’t been the greatest. I’m just a bit down about it, but once this haze has lifted, I’m sure I’ll be back to my usual optimistic self. It doesn’t help ofcourse, to have lost the Carling Cup final and been knocked out of two competitions, as well. Oh, Almunia’s just helped keep the score more respectable!

Full-time already, I’m sure you probably know. Not much good news has come out from today, I’m afraid. Djourou’s out for the season now with a dislocated shoulder. Okay, I’ll stop with the negativity there, it’s a bit too much for me.


We’ve got only one trophy we’re in the hunt for now, the league.  That’s all we’ve got to focus on now, minus ofcourse, the annoying distraction of internationals coming up. To be honest, that’s the trophy we really want. Like I mentioned last time, the league’s the priority, and the Champions League is (was) a luxury. We KNOW we only have 10 games to win something. Complete and utter focus on those games, and to me, the league is ours. Our main challengers, United, have the Champions League and now the FA cup to focus on as well. So not only do they have more games than us to play, there’s no way on earth that they can be 100% focused on the league. We can. Who knows, today’s defeat might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, but it only becomes on if the players realise that the biggest price of all, the league, is there for the taking. If we win it, it won’t matter one JOT about the other competitions. That’s the ultimate trophy. To show that no matter what the referees have thrown at us, no matter the injuries and suspensions, we can do the business over a long, hard season. It shouldn’t matter that the other teams- Man U and Chelsea- have been fairly crap. We need to take advantage of it. Our squad keeps improving, but all Man U and Chelsea need to do is buy a big-name player next season- which we can’t do- to tip the balance in their favour. We’ve got a great team. We know it, we just need to world to know it too. It doesn’t matter how much beautiful football we play. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. In this case, the proof’s in winning trophies.

I believe in this team, and I’ll keep taking the knocks, if all that means is that when we eventually win something, I can say ‘I told you so’. No pain, no gain, right? I’ll keep believing. And when we DO win something that means something, it’ll be oh-so sweet.

Please keep believing in the team, I promise it’ll pay off. Some day. 😉

  • Gooner Get Ya

    For me if we don’t win anythIng this season then Wenger needs to either invest or fuck off

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Blessing in disguise we are down to two shut defenders

  • Gooner Get Ya

    We lost to a crap man u team,

  • yemi

    The problem is that arsenal are so predictable. Teams know that wn u pack the bus against arsenal, the get confused. Man city did same at emirates and got a draw.
    That is why mourinho is so succesful. Your strategy must be based on the team u play. My gooners have just one strategy! Play good football.
    Sir alex played 7 defenderp on purpose knowing arsenal will always attack. He played an attack of rooney and chicharito, 2 very fast playes to hit us on the counter with help from fabio and rafael, 2 over lapping mobile full backs acting as wingers.

  • mesol

    Just find a new tactic with a new manager..if the board dont want to lose Wenger just give him a new position, something like youth development, take someone new to manage our 1st team, we need new tactic, new game, new man, new player etc.

  • olutoni

    @Mesol..I agree with u 100%

  • Josiah

    The international break is good it will give the likes of song cesc and theo chance to get back to full fitness

  • Berth

    Verminator we need you now please. The god of soccer has been really really unfair to us. In crucial stage we need Theo, Fab Vermin. Please god of soccer.Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!

  • bayo

    the solution
    this player need to be sold

    Rosicky 3 million pounds
    Denilson 7 million pounds
    Squillaci 2 million pounds
    Arshavin 10 million pounds
    Clichy 8 million pounds
    Daiby 7 million pounds
    Bendtner 12 million
    total 51 million pounds plus 10 million pounds from summer funds

    that makes something close to 61 million pounds

    Buy a new keeper, a new defensive midfielder, a new striker,
    of superb quality.
    Stop wasting our season ticket money to pay fools like daiby denilson and bentner.

    If fabregas wants to go then he can for 50 million pounds, use the money to strengthen the team all round, liverpool sold torress, players go and come.

  • Kodjo

    @ Yemi

    The likes of Diaby, Denilson, Wilshere & nasri couldnt break down the likes of Oshea, Gibson, Da Silva twins then we have very big problem…hardly the sort of midfield tat will strike any fear in any team….cue above averahe L’pool team took Man Utd apart.

    It tells me that that Wenger has patiently stood by the likes of Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky and they have embarassed him…cant even play with passion…sometime when things arent going right you make it up with tenacity…it wasnt there.

    To be honest some players dont know what it is to wear the arsenal jersey…even an obviuosly tired Wilshere showed more passion the than the combined likes of Arshavin, Denilson & Diaby.

    Look its time to give the likes of Lansbury, JET, Vela, Bartley, Henderson, hopefully Frimpong when he is back to fitness.

    I have stood by the likes of Arshavin, Deni, Diaby, Bendtner, Rosicky but they’ve failed when it matters most. These players showed no bottle whatsoever.

    Time surely for a summer clearout!!!! Arsene your 5 year policy has reached its conclusion with virtually nothing to show in the trophy cabinet. Please rethink your philosophy because there obvious flaws not in technique but in certain personalities and our game plan.

    A lot of money has been spent on season tickets in these hard economic times for players to put up such a limp performance.

  • Bonathan

    There is no doubt that teams know exactly how to play against us. especially united who are particularly hard to break down. Having said that, nearly every team in the league tries the same thing and we are still in the title race (and should be doing even better if not for the collapse at newcastle) so we must be still finding ways through. Trouble against united is, it’s no ordinary defence.

    That said, we still created 2 golden opportunities (chamack and KOS) as well as several other reasonable chances against united and were probably unlucky not to score. it wasn’t actually that bad a performance and until djourou went off, there was still a chance of us getting back in.

    as per usual there was some sloppyness for their goals, which needs to be cut out. the two centre backs and sagna i thought played well. but there’s still basic errors from our team in general when it comes to tracking runners from midfield and making sure with tackles. Gibbs was beaten far too easily for the second goal and didn’t know whether he was coming or going. granted, he needs a run in the team, but that was pretty embarrasing how easy da silva went past him. basic errors.

    The biggest loss for us, bigger than being knocked out, was the injury to djourou, who for me, is starting to look top drawer. We are now down to our 3rd and 4th best cb’s with little cover behind them. hopefully Tommy V can make a comeback for the last month or so and we can stay in the mix till then. the international break should help.

    I must say this though. Diaby needs to be dropped. it should have been he, and not denilson, that made way for chamackh, and it should definitely have been denilson starting against barcelona. shocking decision. the guy may have telescopic legs, but he cannot tackle for shit. at least denilson retains good posession of the ball. Also, chamackh needs to be ahead of bentner in the reckoning. ok, so he’s been quieter since the turn of the year, but he’s hardly played! and how bentner seemed to get above him in the pecking order i do not know. again, he is a lot better and retaining possession, at actually controlling the ball for a start.

  • DF

    Bayo, Are you nuts?
    Rosicky 3 million pounds
    Denilson 7 million pounds
    Squillaci 2 million pounds
    Arshavin 10 million pounds
    Clichy 8 million pounds
    Daiby 7 million pounds
    Bendtner 12 million
    total 51 million pounds plus 10 million pounds from summer funds

    Would you buy Denilson with 7M? or Bendtner for 12M? With 60M, Liverpool can only land a Suarez + Andy Carroll…50M just a Torres who cannot get a goal in 6 games and overall performing dismally.
    and you say with 51M you want to do what?

    “Buy a new keeper, a new defensive midfielder, a new striker,
    of superb quality.”

    You are either out of your mind, or play Football Manager.
    An on-the-way-down Yaya Toure already costs you 30M!

  • JayJayGooner

    Excellent article Debs – I don’t know how you did it, but I was feeling rubbish before and you turned my mind around!

  • Josiah

    Beat west brom next week with with a side similar to the one which featured against united, allow players to recover and come back from injury during the international break, hopefully by then we will have a fully fit side and we can drop as little points as possible in the run in and win the league

    Never ever lose the faith

  • Berth

    Like the blog by Deb and the response from guys like Josiahs keep the faith Bonathan’s in depth analysis too. But whoever saw yesterdays game should not be calling for Clichy’s head because Gibbs is far from the quality expected of an Arsenal player. Clichy on the other hand has been there and can be relied on more than most left back in the league. In fact Yemi could you please name any top three left back in the premier league better than Clichy?

  • Askhat

    A manager who is considered to be a genius fails to come up with a tactic to hurt his old rival. Wenger has been playing Man United for 14 years now and SAF knows Arsenal from A-Z while stubborn Wenger fails to adopt any tactics time and time again. Wenger is tactically clueless. With the talents at his disposal he couldn’t beat the weakest MU team in years. SAF would have won all the competitions he was in with this arsenal players because he knows how to build a team according to the plauers’ strengths and weaknesses.

    *Wenger has chosen the way of cheap transfers and it didn’t bring us any trophies and it is high time to try the second variant. Buy established players.Nobody is asking him to spend 60 million on one player, just buy experienced and proven players.

    *Summer transfers (I hope)
    1.Rosicky out (Ramsey)
    2.Eboue out (young right-back in; Sheme Vrsaljko may be)
    3.Arshavin out (Hazard; he is a must buy)
    4.Bendtner out (Vela, Ryo Miyaichi)
    5.Denilson out (Lansbury, Frimpong)

    I think we need only two players coming in and that is realistic. We have to show some ambition by buying Hazard.

  • Berth

    @ Askhat- your player choice is more convincing than the rest. However your actually asking for experience which clearly is not the case; Lansbury, Frimpong, Sheme, Hazard and Ramsey are all under 21 years.

  • yemi

    @ Berth:
    “In fact Yemi could you please name any top three left back in the premier league better than Clichy?”

    There could be many more on current form but just 3 + 1 you asked for !!

    Evra, Cashley, baines, Warnock