Stoke 3 – 1 Arsenal… Inconsistency is rife…

Morning All…

Today is “one of those days”… a typical Monday after a great Monday last week. For every great victory, for every outstanding performance, there is a dire, dire one, just round the corner. For every victory against Barcelona, there is a loss against Birmingham… for every win against Man United, there is a loss to Stoke or Bolton just round the corner. All three goals on the weekend came from “naive” and basically stupid defending.

In fact, if you look at most of our goals conceded, the majority have come from defensive mistakes and / or goalkeeping errors this season. The team does a decent defensive job, but individual mistakes cost the club many points, and many games. It needs to be addressed this summer, with a proper player or two coming in to do a job. As much as I love the emerging talents of Djourou and Koscielny, their both inexperienced and both learning their trade.

Over the weekend, it was revealed that Chris Samba was close to joining us in the January transfer window – apparently the move was blocked by Blackburn. If that was the case, then Arsene obviously knew we needed the experience of a Premiership defender, but failed to strengthen the team. It makes it worse when all the fans, the pundits and even the manager know we need to strengthen defensively and yet we don’t fix the known issue. I work in IT software development and if there is a bug of some sort in the software, then you get your best men on the case to fix it. You don’t sit there and defend it and play it down… Arsene needs to act this summer to add some men to this group, otherwise we simply won’t win anything in the foreseeable future.

The weekend’s team was the same one that lined up against Man United:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Gibbs

Wilshere – Song

Walcott – Ramsey – Arshavin

Van Persie

With a bench of Lehmann, Eboue, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Rosicky, Bendtner, Chamakh

If you look at the bench, it’s not that impressive. Rosicky is on his last legs, and both Chamakh and Bendtner are proving more and more inept and their contributions to changing games has really diminished this season. Eboue is just too random for the team, Squillaci is definitely a liability and Lehmann stop gap period is nearly over. Look further afield, then you’ve got the likes of Denilson (who Arsene seems to have permanently dropped), Diaby, who is probably the most injury prone player in the Premiership and then on-loan Vela who looks a third of the player Hernandez is… Which leaves our main eleven (Cesc, Vermaelen, Nasri aside), as the best we have… and if the best we have can’t win against teams outside of the top 6, such as Bolton and Stoke, then we’ve got serious problems…

Arsene was quite upset – you can see he feels let down.

Yes, it was a disappointing performance. The competitive level of Stoke was higher than ours. I think we lost the game because Stoke defended much better than we did and with much more purpose. That’s the Premier League. If you do not turn up with the same competitive spirit in every game you can lose games everywhere. Stoke defend well and make it difficult for you. The most important thing here is not to be 1-0 down and with the first free kick we were 1-0 down. In a game like that, we did not penetrate enough. At the end of the day we were not dangerous enough. We [have] conceded, I think, 21 from set-pieces and only 17 in open play. Less than anybody else in open play [but] we have been caught on set-pieces. Today, [Kenwyne] Jones didn’t even need to jump to head the ball in. That is something we have to correct. It is the easiest thing to correct in the game but you still must understand the flight of the ball and want to be first to the ball. I feel we are sometimes a bit naïve.

Something that the papers have picked up on more than it probably should have is the following statement:

This team has done well overall this season. This is not the best moment to analyse [the season] after a disappointing game. If you analyse all the competitions and how we have done, we have done well. Something has gone [and] you could see that today. We have to take a distance and make the right analysis of the season.

Most of the tabloids and online press say “Arsene plans major revamp of squad”, “Arsene to buy defenders”, “Arsenal wants clear out”… and when you read the article, they put this down to the fact that Arsene said “something has gone”… I don’t think he meant it as a major squad issue but he meant it as an end of season, post Man United overview.

It’s hard to discuss these inept performances, when your team doesn’t show up, and beaten by team that (with no disrespect), you should beat. It’s painful, and the manager is probably feeling more pain than anyone.

“I believe to play football is a privilege and to play for Arsenal is an even bigger privilege so that is not acceptable.

Our focus now is to cling on to 3rd spot by he skin of our teeth. If Man City beat Sp*rs tomorrow, it’s going to be a nervous few days.

Til tomorrow my friends, til tomorrow…

  • Sharad

    never have i been so apathitic about watching an arsenal game as yesterday. from the first minute you knew what was going to happen.arsene has to sort out the defense before anything else.djourrou as i have said for a long time is 4th rate at best.he is slow ponderous and uncomfortable on the ball. their 3rd goal summed him up. i am sure he would not get a place in any of the top ten teams in europe.koselney is a trier but too loose.the contrast to those twoand then watching the utd game was so obvious.as for song most people rate him. i do not.he is slow and gets caught in possession .we just look like a dead team.arsene cannot motivate these players anymore.shame on them really because he has given them a lot of faith. i must say i am embarrassed that i supported the team i love yesterday and have always backed.yes i am a pro wengerite as some of the morons on here call us but his overall record speaks for itself however after yesterday i am starting to think maybe his time is up .his interview afterwards was of a broken man.at this point i cannot see where we are going forward. we can’t sell 15 players at once so what do we do.maybe just buy the players we all have been going on about for three years now.defender-defensive midfielder and another stiker.all must be world class not some 15 year old from the french 2nd division.

  • ryanparry

    i have made my opinion numerous times that wengers squad aint good enough and never will be. We played stoke who have a cup final next week but you would not have guessed that as they outfought and were far more committed than our bunch of overpaid lightweights,we conceded 3 goals all defensive errors and we had 3 shots on target’ stoke fans are right our football is boring i have said many times our build up is slow we try to be too intricut and have no cutting edge. teams must love playing us as it is so easy to knock us off the ball and get players behind the ball. i am not sure if scezney is ready but as previously stated we need a commanding cb,a def midf,a wide midf and a quality striker. we might as well let cesc go his heart isnt with us anymore and lets face it anybody aw makes capt leaves within 2/3 yrs,he makes his decision to appease players rather than make the right choice,for me thats tv.there is a doubt about nasri and clichy but if they stay thats where our 6 and half% increase will go. i have no confidence in wenger or the team he as assembled and im afraid he wont invest in the summer,possibly 2 at most,that aint enough,we need 4/5 players to replace the ones he should sell.i said with 10 games to go we would be lucky to win 5,its 2 out of 8 so far and i also said my worry was we may only finish 4th,still a possibility. supporters of aw please convince me why he should stay,becos he wont change.finally ive had enough of the dross which have played and my seat for next sunday will be empty.

  • simon

    Please mass protest for the next home game. I think the board, wenger, think that the fans are still patience for the destruction of arsenal fc. For the past 6years we have not tested an atom of success and we are still paying for ticket prices. The worst thing about it is the increment of ticket prices without no return. We can no more attract players except for teenagers that will like to develop and leave for a better carrier choice. The moment I saw wenger comparing us with the like of spurs and man city saying that they spend more than us but we are in a better league position I knew that failure has started as we looking backward not forward. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • vretou

    As much as this season has been the most painful, as Chelski and Man ure are the weakest they have been for a number of years, and the growing unrest regarding Wenger, today, without a shadow of a doubt, showed the players are as weak in the mind as in the body. I believe this is down to the captian above all others. Cesc is the route of of yellow spines. This summer, if Wenger doesn’t sell (or give awway) Cesc, Denilson, Diaby, Clichy, Almunia, Rosicky and Chamakh, then we have Bob Hope of ever winning anything. I want Bouldy to come in for Rice, and get in some players with balls, that actually want to play for Arsenal. Baines? Cahill? Hazard?

  • Berth

    Poor coaching ability from Wenger

  • Berth

    Dev be honest with yourself. Don’t you think he should go

  • Sharad

    I personally believe that this summer will be a tremendous let down for those expecting big money signings or even signings that would benefit our team. I cannot for the life of me see Wenger abandoning his approach to developing players “if I buy players it will block the development of…” is the usual response. I don’t think we will see the likes of Cahill, Jagielka, Hazard, Benzema, Sakho et al coming to the club at all. I also cannot see him abandoning his passing game just because we have failed to win anything in the last six years. Wenger has the 100% support of Silent Stan and the other board members and the less he spends on players the happier (and richer) they become. Nothing will change – he is just telling people what they want to hear – Inquest my ass !

  • devday

    @ Sharad:
    @ Berth:

    A couple of games ago we were challenging for the title… It’s not all doom and gloom. Wehave a very decent squad, but we’re lacking in various places.

    Keep everyone, lose just the fringe players – I can see Squillaci, Rosicky and Chamakh moving on, but that’s about it. I can see a DM, a striker and a Central defender coming in. No more.

    GK sorts itself out next season – 1. Szcznesy 2. Fabianski 3. Mannone.

    Not what I want, but is probably what is going to happen.

  • Sharad

    interesting to read this week that wenger will be sitting down with some of the ‘frustrated players’ this summer to sort out their futures.one of his quotes,regarding kieron gibbs was ‘that is a problem we have to sort out’.rumours are that gibbs is unhappy about both playing time and wages!!! for me this is the kind of situation where wenger now needs to be ruthless.gibbs has potential and i wouldnt go further than that.granted he has had a few injury problems but when given the chance he has not performed well….at all.i know every player wants to play and competition is something we need more of but complaining about wages is something else.gibbs is at one of the best clubs in europe and with arsenal competing in 4 comps a season he will get chances.its up to him to raise his level and make himself a regular.he is in no position to command a regular start on current form.if he wont sign a new deal then show him the door along with a few other.

  • Sharad

    @Dev if you read what ray parlour thinks about arsenal (one of my favourite players) he talks a lot of sense in my opinion. talking about our defensive frailties he said that the team always trained on set pieces when he was at the club.you can only assume therefore that they still do….hell why wouldnt they?!anyway he said it should always be the case that each player has a responsibility.you are assigned to mark a man and if that man scores then its your fault.simple as.there is a photo in todays daily mail following stokes first goal.johan djourou stood with his arms raised wide apart as if to say ‘what happened there?’ what happened was he lost his man.he never really had his man in all honesty.the goal goes in and no one says a thing.they all just trudge off back to the half way line.no one is taking responsility back there.when tony adams played he organised.he told people who to mark and i would imagine if your man scored he would tell you in no uncertain terms that it was your fault.in djourou i see a player who is technically good.strong,quick enough and decent on the ball.not sure i see a player who loves defending.

  • yemi

    If Wenger is does not make the necessary changes (Or if he is not allowed too), Then i think he should GO. Having said that, i don’t see any replacement for him.
    Odemwingie joined WBA when ? and he has 15 goals in his kitty. Chicarito ? 20 goals.

    I am surprised at arsene sometimes, It seems Asene is the only one that does not see the need to strengthen the the team.
    Last season we brought in SOL, this season we brought in Squill… Arsene said if he had known that there would be a relapse to TV’s injury, he would have bought in january… DUH!!!! Everyone saw that (apart from wneger) We had examples of Rosisky and edu who came back from long spell of injury and did not fit in for a long time…. If he brings in a defender, Kos can deputise for Song or Sagna (Ala pepe)

    I have to go for a meeting now but i’ll be back with my views

  • yemi

    @ devday:

    I think its doom and gloom if we are comfy with the position we are currently in. These players seem not to know what big occasions are. They are highly motivated to play man u, chelsea, spurs, city, liverpool but what about the occassions that really count ?
    Like winning bolton ?
    Like beating stoke and hoping chelsea beat man u (even if it does not happen). If chelsea beat man u yesterday, we would not have been in any position to challenge.
    Like beating B’ham to win the league cup?
    Like not conceding leads in six games ?
    Arsenal vs Spurs 2:3 => 3 points. Winner 86th minute
    Spurs vs Arsenal 3:3 => 2 points. Equaliser 70th minute
    Newcastle Vs Arsena 4:4 => 2 points. Equaliser 87th minute
    Arsenal vs l’pool 2:3 => 2 points. Equaliser 101st minute
    Wigan vs Arsenal 2:2 => 2 points. Equaliser 80th minute (og)
    s’land vs Arsenal 1:1 => 2 points. Equaliser 90th minute

    I don’t agree that the title challenge ended last week or even two weeks ago.

    1. It ended when our home form became bad.
    2. it ended when our second stream team could not win FA, carling cup matches against championship sides and we had to call on team one thereby burning them out.
    3. It ended when arsen did not buy a defender in january.
    4. It ended when we couldnt keep leads in those 6 games, a total of 13 points lost from leading positions added to our current point would have put us ahead of man u on 77 points with 2 games to go !! and not on 67 points and looking over our shoulders at city…

  • Madmax

    Ok enough negatives – What has been your moment of the season as a fan at a game or watching a game?

    For me it was the winner against Barca at home, having just seen a wonder goal from Van Persie the crowd are in fine voice, a feeling of belief waved over the stadium, then we gave the ball away, Barca had a man over, the ball was played out wide, got to the feet of Messi on the edge of the box, everyone feared the worst little did we know that within 20 seconds the ball would be in Barca’s net.

    Kos intercepted, dallied on the ball for a second which felt an eternity when your up the other end of the pitch and cant see how far away from his own goal he is, Slides it out wide to Bendtner who strides inside, slips a tight ball through to Wilshire who without hesitation cuts 3 players out the game with a brilliant first time pass. Fabregas quite beautifully takes the ball in his strides, turns and sprays a 40 yard pass with the outside of his foot to Nasri all in one motion. Nasri steaming onto the pass, right in front of me, it looks almost as if the chance has gone, as i looked across the pitch the little Russian had 2 arms aloft, Nasri picks him out with an inch perfect pass. Having seen Arshavin hit the ball 30 yards wide and over from exactly the same position i was fully expecting the same, but no, what a finish. The perfect end to a beautiful goal.

    The players run over right in front of me, Arshavin shirt over head with a picture of himself shushing on his shirt and Bendtner just comes and grabs him closely followed by all the players, men, women, children all going ballistic, random people hugging, pure celebration, no negativity. Szcesney on his knees, the bench going mad and during it all, Guardiola standing motionless almost looking as if too say what the fuck just happend.

    The noise the Emirates generated in the aftermath of that goal was deafening, as one 57,000 singing were by far the greatest team, scarves aloft. What a great feeling.

    The Goal

    That noise i was talking about

  • Sharad

    if you now look at the way liverpool are playing now its all down to the manager.same players but new belief.arsene who i think is our best manager ever just seems to have lost it a bit.we need some fresh new faces around the place because we look dead out there at the moment.first pat rice who has been an arsenal legend should now leave gracefully.upgrade steve bould and possible get a veira or maybe a parlour in.upstairs get david dein back and take over all the transfer dealings from wenger.it is no coincidence that since DD left we have won nothing.arsene mindset has to change.he wants us to play la liga style football in the premership.it does not work.tippy tappy will win us nothing.watching liverpool last night they pass well and are very direct.united the same. we need to drop that formula and get back to the old ways.dont play players like van persie and bentner on the wings leave them up front to attack not chase back and defend or cross the ball.he also has to get rid of the players who just will not make it.the fans can tell normally staright away who will or will not make it.players like djourrou and song are perfect examples.would they get in to united chelsea or barcelona.hell no. so i dont want them here.would fergurson put up with players like walcott arshavin rosicky chamaka denilson or sagna who cannot evn cross a ball.arsene must get ruthless and stop wasting high wages on very average players.as far as protesting concerned that is not the arsenal way.yes we are all frustarted but we do things with a bit of class not a rabble like when newcastle fans protested.i am sure the club know now that things will have to change and i am sure when we arrive back in august there will be new personnel on board .

  • yemi

    @ Madmax:
    Ehough negatives till when ? The win against barca, chelsea , and man u are overshadowed by the 4:4 draw against n’castle and the 3:3 draw at spurs despite leading 1:3 and the 3:2 loss to spurs despite leading 2:0 and the 90th minute bent equalizer against sun’land and the 80th minute own goal against wigan and the league cup defeat to bir’ham that we just beat couple of weeks before and the 101st minute equaliser against liv’pool and the loss to WBA at the emirate and having to come from behind to draw WBA away.
    The negative far out weigh the positives. Who remembers nasris wonderful goals agains fulham ? I saw the highlights again last nite b4 i could remember.
    I certainly remember that we drew with leeds, lost to ipswich. I remember cesc’s back pass against barca
    Lets be realistic man, i cannot see any positive this season apart from the facts that
    1. RVP was not sodelined for long periods.
    2. Jack wilshire was awesome
    3. Rambo returned from injury
    4. Schezney has shown that he is a great keeper
    5. Based on their experience level, djourou and KOS had a very good season (NOT GREAT season)

  • Steve

    I have eventually drag my gag aside and says something.

    I think we are all at fault a little here.

    Fans – Match day at home: Noise or lack of it – all the TV pundits says so. Remember the decision that cost us most fo this misery RVP second yellow @ Camp Nou because he could not hear the whistle. I think we acheive that level sometimes but need it more often. Circumstances do not allow me to get to matches as I’d like but those of you that do – What do you think?

    Could we spend money on the stadium improving the accoustics!

    Players: Now there are a number who obviuously do not try. I play 5 aside (badly) as I am not fit but I alway try and get to that ball rarely head down. There where a large number of Arsenal players head down recently.

    How much money, how much desire.

    Players I think that do not have this problem:
    1)Jack
    2)Sagna
    3)RVP
    4)Szcznesy
    5)Song
    6)Cesc
    7)Nasri
    8)Wallcott

    6)7)&8)from past performance although recently I had my doubts

    Manager: I think everyone has a point here and some right and some wrong. At least against Stoke he did not hang about with the changes although they where no my call buy I am not AFC manager. Sometimes I think he is to loyal to some players – not saying this is bad as confidence is the key. He spoilt Chamakh this is his first season – he played the first half and scored and now everyone is on his case and want rid of him. Why did AW do this – RVP came back – no briainer but so did Bendtner a long time favourite and suddenly Chamakh is 3rd string where he was No1 @ his old club and playing chamions league – that’s got to hit a guy’s confidence. It’s decisions like this that knock other players confidence. It generates the Cesc’s back were OK again …………this is not good.

    Manager& Owners – transfers etc.
    I have to admit I think the who will own the club has been more on their mind that other things. One of the key members of the board passing away (RIP) etc. does cause turmoil and Arsenal Boards as not ones of turmoil.

    However that aside they should have looked at the transfer market more seriously and sooner in the closed season.

    Out: Rosicky, Denilson, Arshavin(after Sunday), Eboue, Squbasically those that have been with us more than one/two seasons and still not making the 1st team let the youngsters fill these holes we keep being told about them.

    Not to Go: Cesc, Nasri, Chamakh(1st season) any of the loan ees unless proven they don;t make the grade.

    In: 1 x CB (keep the others but those youngsters need to be blooded next to a quality CB not a 3rd string – move Kos in as a 2nd DM – also consider him as a utility player backup LB or RB – he tries hard and probably should be on my tries list above.
    In: 1 or 2 true wide players – too much goes through the centre allows teams like Stoke to park the bus.
    In: 1 x forward – someone who can head the damn ball and crunch the uglies into the net. Com’on even Kenwin Jones can! Why can’t Bendtner do this he’s big but thinks he has Linel Messi’s feet and movement. I believe Chamakh can do this but RVP is through the centre. RVP needs the Dennis the Menace role – get the CB;s of his case and let him do what he does best alongside a prompter CF.
    In: Right back backup
    In: 1 x DM with leadership – vice captain can help the defence and attack – Still like Scottie Parker for this!)

    So if I sum that lot up

    Buy three players – quality CB, DM & Winger

    Sell 6 or so make weights

    Thank should balance the books.

  • yemi

    @ Steve:

    I think i agree with you all the way but i still think We need a Goal keeper. Scezney is still young