Aren’t you glad we’re not West Ham?

Morning All…

The last 48 hours has been pretty emotionless. It seems like Arsenal have really sucked out all the emotion that I had this weekend. When that first goal went in from Darren Bent – the way he just waltzed into our box, the way he wasn’t tracked, the way he then did it again 10 minutes later summed up our season. In fact, Squillaci is a player for me who has summed up our season – potential, a good player in his hey day, but simply out of his depth.

For me, the mixture of kids, fringe players and proper players is in a weird balance at the moment. There is too much discontent in the squad – it’s obvious that Arsene has taken a dislike to Almunia and Denilson and even Eboue – three players who have found themselves outside of the first team – albeit it with some reason, but Denilson and Almunia have completed vanished. Interesting, considering how many games they’ve both played – is their treatment right? It’s like Arsene has finally realised that they’re not very good players and decided they’ve both played their last games.

Talking to the fans at the close of this season, it’s clear that there are a few more players who the fans aren’t happy with – and the fans are now voicing their concerns more than ever before. To see the behaviour on the weekend, some of it correct, some a little out of character, it’s clear that the fans aren’t happy. People marching before the game, banners around the ground, people chanting in the ground and moreover than anything, booing the announcement of the 60,000+ tickets sold.

It’s clear that fans are getting upset with the way the club has become – profit, money, budgets are the most important thing – directors and shareholders make considerable money, millions of pounds, and then the fans get lumbered with a 6.5% increase – it doesn’t seem right. The team seems unmotivated, they coast. The fact that we have such a high wage bill for a group of young players who barely seem interested in some of the games is in fact very worrying.

Arsene has to win back the fans, and it’s probably the first time he really lost the majority of them.

We’re a great club, with a nucleus of talent – Van Persie, Nasri, Cesc, Wilshere, Sagna and Szcznesy are very good players. In fact, they’d all get into nearly every team in the Premiership. But for those players, we have the likes of Bendtner, Denilson, Squillaci etc who are simply not the calibre that Arsenal should have. Do you remember the days when we had such a formidable team that every one of our players would get into every team. Don’t those 6 players deserve to have a better team around them?

Are Arsenal fans demanding too much? Perhaps we are. We’re used to success, and we’re used to winning things. The stadium has definitely paid it’s price on our squad – and if you look at clubs like Newcastle and West Ham, it’s quite amazing that we’ve managed to do what we’ve managed to do. West Ham have spent more money that us this season, and they’ve just been relegated. They’ve sacked their manager and just had a massive brawl at the end of season dinner.

Man City take on Stoke tonight and baring in mind the FA Cup result, I can’t really see past a City win – it suddenly looks more increasingly likely that we will finish fourth this season and considering where we were 4 weeks ago, it’s quite unbelievable. I’ll be a Stoke supporter tonight, that’s for sure.

That’s all for now… my brain has melted…. I need to get my emotion back…

  • Berth

    Everything is getting boring now.Even blogs are getting more boring cos they tend to enhance our expectation creating addiction and more obsession. We all should just shot it if we can.

  • nieche

    Until that dunce goes we will contimue to decline – mark my words this summer will be more of the same cheap dross that he will bring to the club and I can see us not even getting europa lge at this rate

  • Fo

    @ Berth:
    What does that mean??

    This is the most important summer in Arsene Wenger’s reign!

  • Berth

    Blogging you fool

  • yum

    I totally agree with devday,the villa game was annoying! How would you want to play a team with 2 fast attackers & you play a ‘slow squillaci’ & a ‘just recovering verminator’? Sometimes wengers selection just baffles me! Trying to accomodate persie, chamakh & bendtner into a 4-5-1 formation is just utterly stupid, someone should pls tell wenger this! What he does this summer would determine if i’d watch any Arsenal game next season! I’m a gunner to the bone,but i’m tired of heartaches!

  • Kodjo

    I just hope that the Board and Arsene gets the message. Do something drastic to arrest the current slide!!!

    Whilst we do not have the divine right to win trophies…the least fans want is to see is the team trying hard and committed to the cause. When obviuos flaws are not addressed or patched up with cheap alternatives and the Wenger coming out by saying that 2nd place is okay it smacks of disrespect. Now 3rd place is out of our hands…

  • mesol

    sack wenger..the stupid stubborn oldman

  • mesol

    wenger has lost his mind right now

  • Bonathan

    I really don’t think we’re in as desperate a situation as people think. Ok, so we’ve nose dived lately, but only after we were safe in the top 4 anyway. No excuse, i know.

    Finishing 4th, as it looks like it’s now going to be, is a slap in the face, and the players should be rather embarrased after the position we were in. It all points to a lack of experience. experienced teams keep going to the end regardless. But in a controlled manner. There’s no doubt there is a phsycological flaw in our team when the chips are down.

    A major shake up probably isn’t required though. I actually think the likes of denilson is a great squad player. It’s not as if we play him week in week out.

    I must agree however that part of our problem has come from playing players out of position. Bentner out wide is a crime. It’s embarrasing that we even resort to it. We clearly need another wide option rather than play him there. Having said that, I think we have had better options, we just haven’t used them. I remember eboue playing some useful games in that position last year, surely he would have been a better option than bentner.

    I think we would have seen a fair bit of frimpong in the season if it hadn’t have been for his injury. Instead, diaby and denilson were left to fill the void when song was out. I would have liked to have seen denilson get the nod over diaby more. Diaby cannot tackle and is not particularly good at passing (he can’t head a ball either). For me, both players are back up to the wilshire role. I don’t think there’s any pressing need to get rid of either of them unless they are unhappy. we already have better who we play.

    Also, I kind of like the formation we play. Ok, so van persie is isolated at times. But if that’s the case i think we should be pushing walcott/arsharvin on more than changing the formation to two up front. I just think the 3 in midfield suits the likes of wilshire, song and fab. There’s a nice balance there.

    I just don’t think we’ve quite got it right with those wide players playing in ‘floating’ roles, after all, it can also be considered a 433 formation when done correctly, but all to often, it looks 451. There’s only nasri who really seems to have taken to the role. Even though i feel that the role is made for walcott and arsharvin, they haven’t quite made it work for themselves…..yet. not on a regular basis anyway.

    It’s difficult to address the lack of experience and leadership issue. There’s no doubt our team is gaining it all the time, but none of being successful yet. I do feel we’v been rather foolish in the past with some experienced players we’ve let go. do you think ryan giggs would have been so successful under wenger? or would he have been cast off? its an interesting question. It’s hard to bring in experience because they don’t have the club values that someone who’s been with the club for years has.

    That said, I think he needs to try. arguably, we can do without a keeper. But if shay given is going then i think you’d have to seriously consider making a move.

    I’ve said it already but for me; almunia, squillaci and bentner should go. I’d keep rosicky as long as he is content getting very little playing time.

  • Bonathan

    I was also suppsosed to say…

    I must agree with the person above, how did wenger think he could fit bentner chamack and v persie in?? I think that was a rash decision on half time. I was all for bringing 2nd striker on at half time, butall 3? Later in the game i could have maybe understood.

    Denilson seems to get a lot of stick on here, but I actually think he deserves more games ahead of diaby. It baffles me sometimes why diaby is preffered. He has to be one of the most inconsistant players i have ever seen.

    But more baffling for me in the 2nd half of the season was how bentner got ahead of chamackh?? ok, so chamack went quiet when RVP was back, but he was hardly getting a game. what did wenger expect. all of a sudden, he found himself behind bentner as well for no apparant reason. Or maybe it was what wenger ‘sees in training’. bentner must be a hell of a player in training.

    To be fair, they were my only selcetion issues, but i guess everyone has there own opinion.

  • Kodjo

    People talk about Giggs, Scholes etc …i beg to differ bcos their situation is not the same as that of say Gilberto or Veira. Unlike the latter 2 who needed to play week in week out and factored for their nationl teams…the lack of playing time was certainly something that Gilberto or Veira could not deal with. Gilberto and Veira were captains of their respective national teams so lack of playing time was a big no.

    Scholes had already retired from the national team so for him 15-20 games per season is o.k. Keeping those 2 would have been difficult but not impossible. Besides, Wenger thought Flamini was going to stay.

    It’s letting Edu leave bcos of a difference of 15-20 grand he demanded for improved wages… i think was criminal.

    As Bonathan stated i’d keep Rosicky for exp sake bcos he knows the culture of the club if he accepts limited playing time.

  • JDD

    the fact that some people are saying 4th is ok sickens me.we are not spurs you know.we are arsenal and arsenal win tropies.yes we have gone years withput winning trophies before but those side that never won shit still showed passion and were proud to wear the arsenal shirt.if players such as adams or keown were at the club now certain players wouldnt be as lazy and unfocused because theyd slap the shit out of you.i used to hear stories of our players threatening the opposition in the tunnel.can u really see more than 2or3 of our current players doing that.hell no.there more concerned about hugging their mates or international team mates.frankly i say fuck international football.i couldnt give two shits about that apart from the world cup,euros,african nations etc.i am an arsenal man and always will be some players dont have passion for the club and thats clear to see and also some are too frightened to get stuck in.i am not fully against wenger yet but im being pushed close hes kept too many shit players at the club for too long and has got to change it.4th place is a fuckin disgrace and no trophy for 7 is just a joke to be honest.i hear wenger say coming 4th for so many years in a row is an acheivment.? how the fuck is it an acheivement if the team is full of too many shit unpassionate players that dont have a chance in hell to win the cl.some may argue it has financial advantages but what the fuck is this money being spent on.the move to the emirates was a terrible decision.the atmosphere apart from a few occasions is embarrasing.only one corner of the ground can arsenal fans be heard most of the time.the rest of the stadium is filled with fuckin yuppies you persist to ‘sit down’ or text a steward if foul language is those people i say fuck you its a football match if you dont like it go home and wacth it only telly there you can sit down and wont have to hear foul language.some people will say it was essential for us to move to compete.well since wev mived wev won nothing so erm you can piss off with that nonsense.a 38000 seater stadium filled with real passionate fans rubs of on the players they feel our hunger and desire but at the emirates 9 times out 0f 10 the atmoshpere is a joke.look at chelsea they still have a relitively small stadium yet they have won 5+ trophies since we moved to this shit hole.the increase in ticket prices will only leady to more of the real fans not going to the emirates and soon the stadium will be full of yuppies that will clap an opposition goal because it was ‘good’ or sit there having a fuckin picnic during the game.we are becoming too modern honestly and times need to change where the ground is full of die hard fans.

  • nieche

    I am expecting another disappointing summer after I heard Arsene say that we do not require major changes to the squad. That would be true if finishing third or fourth were our only concern, but it is way short of what is required if we are to return to winning trophies. The biggest change has to come in the attitude and belief, but I don’t believe that will happen without a change to the back room staff. We are crying out for a dedicated defensive coach to drill the team, so that the basics become second nature to them. We cannot continue to concede goals like the ones we did at Stoke where schoolboy defending once again contributed to our downfall. Also, 56% of the goals we have conceded this season have come from set pieces – the highest percentage in the Premier League. That really isn’t good enough!

    Under George Graham, the team believed that if we went one up that the game was over. I cannot imagine the current team have that belief even when we are two or three up. I certainly don’t! Arsene has got to wake up and admit that it is our defence that is costing us every time. His blind spot for goalkeepers has become laughable. Goalkeeping errors have cost us several points again this season, points that could have seen us still challenging for the title now. Szczesny has done a decent job but even he has made mistakes, most notably the one at Wembley. We need to sign an experienced keeper like Buffon, who is out of contract this summer and play for the next two seasons with Szczesny as understudy. This will give Szczesny time to mature.

    Another failing this season was Arsene not following through with his vow to get central defensive cover in the January window. The bottom line is that our central defenders have just not performed well enough this season. Each one of them has put in an occasional good performance, but the mistake ratio is far too high as witnessed again this weekend. The first goal was another disaster from a set piece. The second saw Pennant run without challenge from the half way line and only being closed down when it was too late. Djourou’s contribution to the third was an embarrassment.

    We are seriously lacking height in the squad and I don’t think our weakness at set pieces is a coincidence. Organisation is also very important and there seems to be very little of that. It’s great news that TV is now fit, but we must invest in a top quality partner for him with a big ball winning monster a priority. Djourou and Koscielny would then be warming the bench, which given their performance levels this year is about right.

    Midfield is another area where we appear to have an abundance of riches, but the players have again failed to see their good early season carried on to the end of the season: Nasri had an excellent season up until the new year where he has hit the buffers. Cesc has been his brilliant best far less often this season and has missed far too many games. Alex Song has been hit and miss, but this is probably because he has been playing with an injury. Arshavin has done little to appease the fans and I’m not sure many will shed many tears if he leaves. Diaby continues to frustrate, he has obvious ability, but is one of the main culprits who disappears when the going gets tough. Theo is the one that frustrates me the most. At times he looks like a world beater, but too often his good work is ruined by his lack of end product. A special mention has to go to Jack Wilshere, who has been immense this season. He has played with a passion that shames the rest of the team. If his commitment were matched by the rest of the team, we would be home and hosed in the league by now.

    As for the rest: Denilson and Eboue should be gone but with Arsene’s loyalty probably won’t be. Ramsey will be an asset next season with a full summer under his belt and I am sure Frimpong will play a major part in the squad next season.

    We also appear to be short up front. We only have one top quality striker and he is injured far too easily. Chamakh faded badly after a good start. Vela is not strong enough to succeed in the PL and Bendtner is nowhere near good enough, but to be fair to him, he is also not a right winger which is where he has played most of this season. I think Gilles Sunu will become a regular first teamer next season, but we will need to off load the dead wood and bring in a proven goal scorer.

    My guess would be that Arsene will look to shift Rosicky, Almunia, and Vela with two or three new faces that none of us have ever heard of coming in. This will not be sufficient to take us the final step next season. I would like to see the aforementioned three joined by Eboue, Bendtner, and Denilson through the exit door. Then we would have the funds for the addition of four experienced players right through the spine of the team (i.e. – a keeper, a centre half, a central midfielder and a 20 goal a season striker). With those additions, I think we could finally end our trophy drought. Anything short of this will almost certainly involve me having the same arduous task of dissecting another fruitless season next year.

  • sigma

    and then we were FOURTH ……………………….the great slide into mediocrity continues unabated but MR WENGER will still do nothing to change it. A manager devoid of ideas, stubborn as a mule, no right hand man to question him or dare anyone question him for that matter, a man who has continually said season after season jusge us at the END OF THE SEASON. Its jusgement time we WANT U OUT and we want the KROENKE’s and the HILL WOODS who back your philosophy of building a kindergarden OUT TO ……………..SURELY ARSENAL FANS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and the signing of one or two players should not be good enought to appease us what we NEED is a REVOLUTION and we need it NOW NOW NOW

  • yemi

    When I pointed out our decline 2months ago someone called me a pessimist. Now we have added more games in d form of champ qualifiers.
    We just declined so fast from title challenge to 4th. What a massive meltdown.
    We a(e overdue for major changes.

  • nieche

    Who thinks we will beat Fulham on Sunday? I dont fancy our chances to win as Fulham are not a pushover and we look as deadly as a cuddly toy. We now have to hope Citeh lose on Sunday at Bolton for us to clinch 3rd. Maybe they will have some dodgy lasagna the night before in their hotel! Coming 4th means a CL pre-qualifier. I read that this could be against teams like Bayern Munich or Villareal this year. Not the usual non-entities. This doesnt matter to Wenger and the team he coaches. Since the Birmingham final they have effectively thrown the towel in cos Wenger cannot motivate them and has refused to change his approach. The team has something to play for on Sunday lets see if they realise. What I can’t understand on this site is the few posters who could not see through this seasons (and the last few ) performances to know that we had fundamental problems and our 2nd slot was flattery. PS to the poster who wrote Wenger had all the long being saying Szczesny wa going to be world class that is nonsense. Flappy was hailed by Wenger last season as the one who was going to be world class. Be honest for once you fantasists – Szczesny is only in place cos Manuel and Flappy got injured. Wenger said judge him in May. Well we have and he is guilty!

  • nieche

    No, this late-season collapse doesn’t point to a lack of experience. It points to a simple lack of commitment and the fact that these players can no longer be motivated by Wenger. You say a major shake-up isn’t required. However we have seen the results of Wenger’s apathy and his abject failure to reinforce with qualitywhie retaining faith in players who clearly aren’t good enough.

  • Kodjo

    Wenger ought to be careful that he doesn’t lose support in the dressing room. The worst and probably disingenous thing is for the Board to think fans will con’t buying into excuse after excuse…moving to a new stadium, young team, Wenger has money to spend etc.

    If Wenger does not arrest the situation a combination of the following may happen….increasing fan unrest leading to a massive revolt, dedicated players like RVP, Wilshere, Cesc, Nasri will think of moving on.

    With respect to the Board, i think they will begin to get the message when attendance begins to dwindle. Thereby undermining the whole idea of moving to a bigger stadium.

    I do not think the expectation of fans are unreasonable…the botttom line is that we should be challenging for trophies even if we do not win anything …fans want to see 100% committment and passion. What makes it worse is that the problems to a large extent are self inflicted bcos they are addressable by partly shifting a few players… to say the least.

    For the first time in years, i question Wenger’s tactical acumen and wherewithal in acquiring mature players (emphasis not youth).

    Please bring David Dein back he knows how to get the job done!!! i.e. acquiring players!!!!

  • jinx

    So Falcao just notched up his 17th goal in this season’s Europa League competition. That’s got to be some sort of record. An excellent goal too. Is he what Arsenal have been missing? He looks a real goal-poacher and he isn’t half-bad on the ball either.