WOOHO…. RUHOH!! Arsenal 1 – 0 Liverpool.

So that was messy – from the get go Arsenal looked like they didn’t know how to score again – how familiar is that? How often to Arsenal turn up, keep the ball, pass it across the middle and then pass it back across the middle and then pass it back across the middle and then pass it back across the middle and then pass it back across the middle…. and then lose the ball in the middle?

Essentially, Arsenal played OK yesterday – it wasn’t a great performance, but there weren’t any players who stood out for being particularly poor. Fabregas and Nasri look like they’ve lost something recently, and had quiet games again, but aside from that everybody on the pitch did their job. The problem we had is that we cannot break down a team set up to absorb our possessive pressure – we’ve lost 17 points at home this season because teams know that if they are organised, if they are bunched and the defend well, we will most likely huff and puff and then conceded a sloppy goal.

When Arsenal won their penalty, I had a sudden warm feeling – this is the stuff of champions! Win the game in the dying minutes, a game that we hadn’t done enough to win! It’s what champions do! WE COULD STILL WIN THE LEAGUE!

And then Eboue was a massive thundercunt.

I’m not suggesting for one second that the manager throw his players to the wolves, or put them to the sword publicly, but admitting that someone made a mistake, that he should never even have given Lucas the opportunity to go to ground would surely have served to give our players some responsibility. We weren’t cheated out of two points, and the Arsenal players need to take responsibility for that. Too often, we blame everybody else.

The frustrating thing about yesterday was that on reflection I thought that perhaps we deserved to win the game, hitting the crossbar and forcing a few saves, but in reality this morning, we didn’t apply nearly enough pressure on a jittery, flappy Reina (seriously, how anyone can suggest Arsenal buy him in the summer is beyond me, he’s toss).

Lets face it, it’s symptomatic of Arsenal’s game currently – we’ve lost our potent edge, our ruthlessness. It was on display at Birmingham, it was on display yesterday – we simply don’t know how to finish teams off whilst on top.

As always, the “Wenger out!” brigade are spreading their message today, neglecting to mention the fact that Arsene Wenger can be held on no way responsible for the referee playing 14 minutes of injury time when 8 were indicated, and can be in no way held accountable for Eboue making such an awful mistake. The fact remains, Eboue is our back up right back – you will not find a better right back who is prepared to make only 10 league appearances (mostly as a substitute). You cannot blame Wenger for that.

A draw with Liverpool is not a terrible result. The manner of the draw underlines the feelings of doubt and sure, it feels like a loss, but at the start of the season I’d have taken 2 points from Liverpool. And we have.

I’m not the kind of person who thinks we should keep the manager based on past achievements – but the simple fact of the matter is, with 6 games to go we’re 6 points off the top and we still have to play the league leaders – we can still win this.

Kieran @kieran_delaney

  • Arsefan101

    The problem is with Arsenal is that we’ve lost that attacking edge. Seeing RvP isolated up front is painful.

    Even when we had to win it – to see Niklas Bendtner slot into the right of a 4-5-1 position AT HOME… is very bad tactics.

    Arsene has to do something about it – the team formation and personnel are simply just not working.

  • fo

    When was the last time we won a game at home in the league? Exactly.

  • alfie

    Eboue should not have touched the guy. It was a very soft penalty, but all Eboue had to do was see the player away from danger and let the ref blow the whistle. He tries but that is not good enough. He must go along with several others. AW must also take a lot of blame for a performance which was more like a preseason friendly. Where was the passion and urgency. What is the matter with running at opponents, putting them under pressure and shooting. I hope Pat Rice does retire because AW needs someone challenging what is going on on the pitch. To get back to my first point, Silent Stan can start by tearing up a few contracts – Eboue first!

  • alfie

    And do you honestly see any tranfer activity in sight with this dunce of a manger around? I cannot see much transfer activity at all from Wenger over the summer.We all know we need a (GK,CB) GK- Wenger won’t buy a good keeper because it will “interupt Szesneys progress at the club”, instead at best he will buy a keeper that is well past it. CB – He won’t buy a CB because with Vermaelen coming back (hopefully) he will start Djouru and Vermaelin, he will think we have sufficiant cover with Kos, Squillaci, Miguel. etc.

    Wenger showed his typical petulance after the final whistle when, walking over for the handshake,I understand Wenger is upset, but Dalglish didn’t award the penalty — sometimes you just need to grit your teeth, avoid eye contact, hold your hand out for the ceremonial handshake, and move on. I don’t why it was necessary to start yelling at Dalglish there. Regular readers know what a big defender of Wenger I am in just about everything except the classless way he deals with losing, and this is a perfect example.

  • bayo

    Everyone keeps shouting that arsene needs to go which i dont understand, you all sound as if arsene has the money to spend.Everything about arsenal having 50 million pounds is a lie. It is well documented we have just 35 million pounds is our player transfer fund which is an accumulation of player sales like adebayor and kolo toure over the years.

    This shows clearly that what he has been spending has always been from what he sells in his team, arsenal does not have money. Even the 35 million pounds available must cover the cost of a new player and his contract that means if we buy a 20 million pounds player on a 4 million pounds a year contract for 4 years the total cost is 36 million pounds which we cannot afford clearly as the 35 million pounds available wont be spent on a player and at once. Open ur heads the reason y u all complain is he was able to get the players that u called shit at the price he has gotten them to remain competitive.

  • alfie

    @bayo – Whether you like it or not the tide is turning against wenger and watching yet another Wenger inspired disaster and another cheating faking stupid contribution from that useless article Eboue it’s painfully apparent that we will lose on Wednesday and may not even finish second now. For the third consecutive home game Wenger has insisted in playing five in midfield who seem intent on making no effort to shoot, they together with the wasteful van Persie and a build up so slow the opposition can sit in deck-chairs smoking cigars waiting for us to arrive leads to no goal threat at all. Then Wenger throws a tantrum at the final whistle which makes him look more childish than usual, no wonder the likes of Eboue perform the way they do, all he is doing is copying the manager. The club are going nowhere, ownership unresolved, manager in denial, players who don’t care and supporters being fleeced for thousands that never get reinvested in the team. We are going nowhere.

  • devday

    @ Arsefan101:
    Definitely agree with you regarding the formation and inability to change the formation. Playing 4-5-1 at home with 10 minutes to go in a game you need to win and putting Bendtner on the wing raises massive tactical questions. Naivity than AW’s experience should not allow him to do…

    I remember only a few years ago – if we weren’t winning, we’d throw quite a few strikers – like Adebayor, Van Persie, Eduardo etc and they’d all play up front. We’d score the goal and win.

    Now the formation dictates everything and we lack tooth.

  • alfie

    I was brought up to believe that you get what you deserve in life and that while it may take years for what you deserve to arrive, it always will. This season, like the previous six, this Arsenal team and its manager will receive what they deserve, third place (if we are lucky). Yes, there were a few brief moments during the season when the more optimistic of us dared to dream that we might actually win a trophy this year, but then came the annual spring collapse and now (barring a miracle of the kind we simply don’t deserve) once again we are looking at an empty season.

    But sitting in the Emirates yesterday, I suddenly realized that truly this is what this team Arsene has built, merits. They are simply not-quite-good-enough, pretty much across the whole squad. With the honourable of exceptions of our three ‘World Class Players’ (Arshavin, Fabregas and Wilshere) this is a team of 85 percent men. Players who are just not-quite-good-enough to put the chances that fall to them in the back of the net or to defend sensibly or even to see our the final two minutes of a match we are leading. Players who don’t quite try hard enough or cannot quite muster enough self-belief. This is a team that consistently gets what it deserves, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory like yesterday, and Arsene Wenger has made it very clear that that is good enough for him.

    Previously I have been angered by the statements of what an achievement it is to keep qualifying for the Champions League and remain in the top four despite our lack of investment. But yesterday, watching players like Van Persie, Clichy and Eboue, it suddenly dawned on me that they would never win anything. Yes, there may be a false dawn or two each season (like the victories against Barcelona and Chelsea) but players of the calibre of Bendtner, Walcott and Song are simply not capable of delivering 100 percent, 100 percent of time. That may be good enough for Arsene his team of also-rans but its’ not good enough for me, I’m afraid and it should not be good enough for the Board.

  • yemi

    When arsene brought on B52, i though he was supposed to boost the attack whilst nasri/arshavin will move to the flanks but surprise surprise, B52 was on the flanks, i thought we were going for a plan B of crossing in the ball with his entry !!!
    Once again, we were undone by the fact that:
    1. We have a poor home season this term
    2. We fail to kill of opponents when in upper hand and allow them to grow in confidence
    3. We lack experience, or is it that some players don’t just learn the art of time wasting !!!
    4. We were toothless upfront.

    After we scored our penalty, there was no reason why l’pool should be attacking…. waste the time boyz !!!! Then there were some silly unnecessary tackles in dangerous areas…

    All in all it was an average performance. In-fact l’pool looked more like the team to score despite our possession….

    All hope is not lost, i just hope we can do 3 things this season
    1. Try not to finish less than 2nd
    2. Try to beat man u(pride sake)
    3. Reshape/reorganize/strengthen the team

    The era of having 3 strikers who are best at being supporting strikers should be over and done with

  • devday

    @ alfie:
    Eboue was pretty useless at defending all game. His best attribute is attacking and it raises questions to why he hasn’t been used in the attacking midfield position – especially against Barcelona – who are scared of pace.

    I’m not sure if it was totally Eboue’s fault. Lucas did stop and it was 4 minutes after the 8 minutes stoppage time – you would have never have guessed something like that could have happened. Eboue didn’t mean to be clumsy, he meant to get to the ball first.

  • devday

    @ bayo:
    Forget money, forget the players. It doesn’t matter if Arsene spends £100m if his tactics are evidently wrong, or he has the world’s best XI, it won’t make a difference.

    Personally, if Arsene was more flexible with his formation and could drum urgency into the team and belief, then it would be different.

    You can’t tell me Nasri, Arshavin, Van Persie and Cesc are rubbish can you? Of course not. They’re great players.

    AW needs to be able to adapt and force the issue. We should have played Bendtner alongside RvP when he came on, not wide in a 4-5-1.

    Time for AW to review his tactics, his man-management and his ability to motivate.

  • Arsefan101

    @ yemi:
    Yemi, Arsene is too stubborn for his own good. The winning mentality of tactics is gone. How on earth can he bring on Bendtner, and play him on the right.

    We need to play 4-4-2 next season:

    Szcznesy
    Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Clichy
    Walcott – Wilshere – Cesc – Nasri
    Bendtner – Van Persie

    Song / Diaby can be used in rotation with Cesc / Wilshere depending on what game we’re playing.

  • Arsefan101

    @ devday:
    Even Chelsea and United struggle with 4-5-1. The only time it worked was when Man United had Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez.

    No one else can pull it off – Barcelona yes, but they are exceptional at keeping the ball. And in addition, their wing backs play such advanced roles.

    Barcelona took 6 years to build their team. We’ve spent 6 years and are back at square one I think.

  • Zohaib

    Hi guys. I’d like to point out something. I’ve been looking at the forums and it seems to me everyone’s blaming Eboue for the penalty. After having watched it again, one can clearly see (in my opinion anyway), that Lucas backs into Eboue and it is in fact NOT a penalty. So you could argue that another refereeing blunder/conspiracy has cost us 2 points.
    Maybe we weren’t good enough anyway. Maybe we should’ve killed the game off earlier. We do lack the killer instinct. But luck doesn’t seem to go for us either. I remember we hit the bar from a corner earlier on.
    Let’s not blame Eboue simply because it was NOT a penalty. Watch it again ! I’m not Eboue’s biggest fan but I do believe in being fair. He may not be a great player but like everybody he’s got his plus points and his negative points. On this occasion Lucas conned the referee and quite a number of viewers !

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    our way back in:

    we win and they win all their games up to 1st may when we play them, we beat them, then we beat stoke, before they play chelsea that afternoon, we will be on the same amount of points as them at this point, they lose to chelsea,so were same games same points, it goes down to goal difference and we win the league.

  • alfie

    just lose with dignity on wednesday thats all i ask for – we are gonna get mullered by spuds

  • alfie

    lol @ /josiah – wat u been smokin mam

  • Arsefan101

    @ Josiah:
    Maybe… just maybe… but HIGHLY unlikely!!!

    I think it all hangs on tomorrow’s game – Newcastle vs Man United and if United fail to win… we’re back in…

  • Kodjo

    i an understand the frustraion of wenger not playing B52 upfront with RVP. Wait a minute he playefd the same way and was instrumental in fecthing the equalizer agianst west brom.

    B52′s positon out wide is a decoy…the plan is to work the ball to the left wing for crosses into the box that way B52 can come in from behind. Problem though id Clichy is not the best crosser of balls…so we have not been able to maxmize or utilize this strategy fully.

    Ther were times when B52 was in playing centrally with RVP on the flanks whilst Arshavin moved upfront to partner B52. Its all about constant movement to flumox the oppsing teams but unfortunately it hasnt quite worked out.

    Please get off Eboue’s back sure he is better going forward than defending yet this guys commitment and attitude despite being a sub is fantastic. Its easy to say he shoukd have backed off..what if Lucas turned around towards goal. Eboue did the right thing by getting close but Lucas conned the ref. Its intersting that the ref is standing 15 or so yards and call a penalty when in the 1st half he was standing i’d say 6 yards when a ball strikes Kuyt’s arm in the box.

  • Kodjo

    @Arsefan101

    Do you think that Newcastle will play with the same committment against ManUtd as they did against us in the 2nd half ….or do you think that Man Utd will have horrible ref decisons against them as we did..or better still do you think they will surrender 4 goals????

    i don’t think so

  • Kodjo

    @ Kieran

    I agree with you…we seem to have lost the edge to our games…we’ve become less fluid, Nasri seems to have stopped shooting from distance…all in all the players seem jaded after 45 mins.

  • Fo

    @ Kodjo:

    I really doubt Newcastle will beat Man U.
    In fact, I think they’ll not really perform at all.

    The reason is that by conceding goals so easily and having such a soft centre we create the impression to other teams that we can be beaten / or drawn against even when 4-0 up.

    What that means is that clubs smell fear, smell chances against us – where as with Man United, they don’t collapse like us so if a team is 4-0 down, they never think they can come back.

  • Tony Boy

    Time for excuses ran out long ago – this team lacks; leaders, motivation, a will to win and experince in key places. It also lacks a quality squad that can go a season with a sustained challenge.

    I love Arsene of-course I do what he has done for Arsenal has been remarkable. However he is at the end of the road and probably has been for a couple of seasons. I would hate for him to go on and this time next year Arsenal fans starting to remember him for all the wrong reasons and not for his great achievements.

    I think as soon as he did not buy the 3 or 4 players we obvioulsy needed at the start of the season this was always going to be the likely outcome.

    There is just too many players who are not good enough to win a league and even more telling you just get the feeling that they do not enter the field of play under any pressure to perform (like Man U) players obviously do!

    So it has to be a balance of talent and will to win or it wont work because presently there is no one pulling us across the line like; Adams, Viera, Henry would.

    Re the money well we do have some money as we made a £50m plus operating profit last year and thats after paying back a very large amount of our debt. Added to this we need to unload I feel at least 8-9 players which could bring in an additional £40-60m.

    We do have the core of a good team with JW, AR, TV, WC, AS, RVP (not CF as he will go) we just need to build around it with a combination of foriegn and british players – we need more brits in the team as they bring determination as JW has shown.

    I just cant see this happening under Arsene and for this reason I think its time for change- who well thats the difficult bit but thats not a reason not to tackle the problem.

    I hope Bouldy comes in as Asst Manager as he has a the defensive know how that we lack at present.

    Finally I am just so tired of hearing the press and other fans pointing out all of our faults (they are right which makes it worse) so for the sake of Arsenal and all the fans lets make some big decisions.

    Cheers

  • Berth

    Experience is no issue at all. Greater part of this team has been together for a while now. Instead I would say Wenger’s tactical know how and ability to motivate a team which he protects far too much should be questioned.

    The man seriously needs a refresher course in coaching

  • Berth

    I had hoped Wenger would have known that ramsey is one of the few direct players he has got; and we need his service now more than Jack’s and Fab -

  • Fo

    @ Berth:
    Would love to have seen Ramsey in place of Diaby – but again we are now speculating on one player thinking it would make a difference – the whole team has lost complete confidence.

    Cesc probably had his worst 2nd half in an Arsenal shirt.

  • bayo

    @devday…what do u know about tactics..its thesame tactics that brought the best out of nasri scoring over 15 goals, walcot scoring 10 goals or more if am right, van persie 16 in 17 matches if am right again. You all failed to notice some issues before u point ur hands to daiby, koscielny and the usual scape goats…what has fabregas done throughout the season, before he used to gives us over 10 goals and 15 assist but we have not had that this season, where is Mr arshavin am dreaming of barcelona ( he was someone to bank on to give 10 plus goals plus 15 assists a season) remove that from the team again. The truth Fabregas heart is not here again, arsenal needs to let arshavin go, rosicky, bentner, denilson should all go

    If money is everything in football for all u money does all fan then why has our most expensive signing in history ARSHAVIN has turned to a failure

  • devday

    @ bayo:

    1) The use of 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 has done us well away from home, which has seen the majority of our goals scored. But at home, statistically, it’s been very poor. This is due to away teams coming to the Emirates with a defensive setup – we’ve lost several games at home this season and in addition, we have failed to score in a handful of other games. A change of formation at home or even mid-game is something that have previously reaped dividends and therefore the lack of such can be pointed out this season.

    2) Cesc hasn’t performed to the level that we know he can, that is for sure – but he doesn’t make silly mistakes and still contributes to our attack in a big way. Stats will point to the % pass completion, assists etc. However, he does seem a little sidetracked and performances such as yesterday and against Barcelona indicate perhaps something is lacking. Perhaps the speculation, captaincy and lack of silverware has mentally effected him. We’ll what happens this summer.

    3) I don’t think you can classify Arshavin as a failure. He has more assists than anyone in our team – has more appearances and has done very well in the last couple of seasons – AW is choosing other players ahead of him, not his fault. However, he did go through a mid-season blip, which was clear to see – his contribution since mid / end of Jan has been much better.

  • bayo

    @devday…then can u explain to me with the transfer funds just at 35 million pounds which from accumulation of player sales…do u feel there has been money to spend like what the media says

    What can 35 million pounds do if it must even cover the player bought and his contract.

    Do you think the 35 million pounds can be spent once if it has taken us years to accrude it.

  • tm17

    Funny how everyone thinks wenger has made bad tactical decision when we were two minute and a decent referee away from wining at the 97h min!!!

  • alfie

    AS long as that muppet is in charge we will not win a single trophy again. you can put that in writing and I hope stan bloody kicks this baboon out

  • bayo

    alife stop calling arsene a baboon..u are the baboon

  • Berth

    But the guy merits being called names after toiling emotions aplenty; perhaps Bayo u just joined Arsenal.

  • bayo

    Berth i have been arsenal fan since 10 years, I stayed in a flat for 4 years in school and i was taunted by my flat mates heavily even my class mates cause i was known for the love i have for arsenal to the extent that the opposition fan wait to question me when we loose a match..have been ridiculed, embarrassed and I have certainly felt angry at wenger.

    What we need to do is to put things in perspective
    1) Do u think there is money in arsenal if all we have in our transfer kitty is 35 million pounds which must cover the wage bill of the new player bought

    2) This transfer kitty has been from the accumulation of player sales so where is all the information of wenger having money to spend coming from and is it true?

    3) We may be right if we say players like bentner, denilson,rosicky, almunia should go but everything about the team is not negative. Eboue is decent for a 2nd choice right back though he needs to cut off his stupidity.

    4) Without wenger we would have been less competitive during the period of moving to the emirates, even if u call his players shit truly some players are shit without him we would be playing europa league, Liverpool is an example.

    5) Wenger may be wrong but he has been conditioned to do some certain things and u would never expect a manager to come out and say arshavin is stupid, denison is stupid…u dont declare war on your household if u want a change, there are better ways of doing it

    WE ARE ALL DISAPPOINTED BUT WE COULD STILL SEE POSITIVES

  • devday

    @ bayo:
    The current player transfer fund has £35m in it – this is correct. This fund is used for player re-signings, sign on fees and transfer fees.

    The discussion’s I’ve been part of suggest that a portion of that will be used for the re-signing of Samir Nasri and perhaps one or two players.

    What that effectively means is that we can go out and buy one or two players but not a £35m player.

  • devday

    @ tm17:
    At the same time, within 90 minutes, we have been unable to score at home for the last 3 games. The penalty we got should not mask the poor attacking performance at home in recent games.

  • bayo

    @devday…..so why do all arsenal fans keep talking about buying hazard,neuer, and so on when they can all see that we cannot afford it but i dont think the transfer fund is meant to resign players but to buy players and it must also cover the wages of the player….BLEAK TIMES ARE AHEAD NOT BECAUSE OF ARSENE BUT THE STATE OF THE CLUB….ALEX FERGUSON OR ANY OTHER COACH IN MY KNOWLEDGE NEVER PASSED THROUGH FINANCING UR TEAM FROM PLAYER SALES AND MOVING TO A NEW STADIUM,THE FUNDS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR THEM

  • Berth

    For my money its not a question of buy; its a question of making a tough call on players who are not disciplined but most importantly is for Wenger to make sound tactical judgments; you have to prepare your tropes like they are going for a war.

    The players are good enough; saying that Chamack, Gk and CB re not good is a very superficial judgement, the players are good and very capable, the questioning should be the managers way of preparing the players and the way he handles indiscipline. And of cos his mentality has been troubled a lot since Mourinho came and left; he still remains rattled by that and can’t still come to terms on how to rally his tropes; saying that second is could enough for 20 years; as sarcastic as it may sound is not a very good thing to say to the media.

    The man really needs to access and question his management before even considering tinkering with the team. Arshavin can’t be a bad player overnight, same as Ade and selling players like Hleb and Flamini still shows lack of man management and cockiness

  • Kodjo

    @ Bayo

    I think your views are quite reasonable and I am on the same page with you. The reality is that we do not have the mega bucks to go on and sign so-called world beaters. Yes we’ve lost games and it appears that it is all self inflicted. In certain respects we’ve been the victim of our style of play…the natural progression is to find antidote to teams that just come in and park the bus.

    The issue that bugs me is how are barca able to virtually mainten the same level of intensity for most of their games. I have always said that arsenal burn too much energy with their style of play and it is highly unlikely that they’d be able to maintain it season long. I believe this is why we are suffering…inability to maintain the sprightliness and spontaneity that we witnessed at the start of the season. May be what is needed is a change in formation or better still a different approach to our game.

    Having said all of the above I understand that arsenal is the team with the most attempts at goal???

    Dev can you bail me out on this statistic.

  • Berth

    Someone said our most important signing could be the replacement for Pat Rice. I think that makes a lot of sense

  • vj

    A lot of comments bursting out, all I have to say is that 6 points off, 6 to play, man u win assumed man u still need to drop 4 points somewhere from 5, with them playing chelsea it is possible. Szczesny has come out to say we have to win at spurs and our last six, CORRECT! Anyway I just think the team is gonna pull together for some reason. Maybe cause it might be Cesc’s last season, maybe because it’s just time, who knows but a win at spurs and a result from good old newcastle….