Keep calm but panic a little

Morning Gooners,

So here we are again, everyone is bickering and licking their wounds over another painful away defeat and I still don’t have broadband at home.

The Swansea defeat has invoked the sinking feeling we had back in August (maybe it has something to do with the transfer window).  Bringing in the new year has brought about our old problems; no defensive cohesion, individual errors and no fight.

We’ve all replayed the Swansea game in our heads since Sunday so I’m not going to go dissect the whole game to analyse where we when wrong. There are certain points I would like to raise that are still fresh;

1)  The Full back dilemma:

Wenger said a couple of weeks ago that to lose points due to lack of cover at left back would be ‘criminal’, well he’s done the crime so now we’re doing the time. IF we have been in the market for a left back on loan (let’s say Bridge for argument’s sake) shouldn’t this deal have been secured by the Fulham game? Why have we waited so long to put the problem right? I attribute both those defeats to our lack of full back cover.

 What people are doing unfairly is criticising Djourou and Miquel. Yes both have made mistakes and both have been caught out of position on occasions but in Miquel, we are talking about a rookie centre back who is being asked to play left back far too often. I actually think Miquel has done well considering the mess he’s been thrown into.

The reason we didn’t bring in cover at full back is because Sagna and Vermaelen are nearing returns into the first team. It’s a feeble excuse that has cost us 6 dear points and will have an impact come May.


2) Too many passengers:

I was there on Sunday and the frustration at a number of players not pulling their weight was vocal through out the away stand. The main perpetrators were Arshavin, Walcott, Yossi and for the first 30mins, Song.

Arshavin, has the ability but he doesn’t want to be there. His heart looks elsewhere and his performances are a pale shadow of the player we know he can be.

I defend Theo as I truly believe people are way too critical on him but on Sunday he looked a player devoid of any confidence, running the ball out of play and unable to find a Red shirt with a pass. He took his goal fantastically but he needs to step up and step up soon.

Yossi, correct me if I’m wrong but his best performances have come off the bench? For a player of his experience, he should be able to dictate play and calm things down atSwansea. Instead he gave the ball away along with cheap freekicks. Not good enough.

When we have stand full backs and 3 passenger players, the rest of the team really don’t stand a chance against a great footballing team asSwansea.

3) Expectations on Ramsey:

Aaron’s name was on the lips of many fans for the wrong reasons on Sunday night but I feel sorry for the lad. Wenger himself told us not to forget this was practically Ramsey’s first full season in the first team, unfortunately Le boss has forgotten that himself. Ramsey is a talented player but he is being asked to do the most difficult thing in the footballing world, fill the void left by Cesc. Ramsey isn’t ready to dictate play and control games in the final 3rd on his own. Sunday’s performance optimised what I’ve seen for the last month, he tries too hard to be the player he thinks we want him to be. Clever turns, flicks and backheels that never materialise, easily dispossessed and tiring at the end of games.

 We need to buy a playmaker to save the set up of this team and also let Rambo mature into the player in his own natural time. A school of thought is maybe that Jack will step up into that role but again how much expectation are we putting on to a young head??

I know may of you are waiting to criticise the team, Wenger and board below, you probably have every right to. I am hurting as much as any one of you but the bottom line fact is that this is the club we love so we need to get behind the players regardless of issues. 4th is still up for grabs and the United game at home is our chance to react the right way.

‘Wake up and focus’

Enjoy your Wednesday.


Comments welcome – @Tottz82

  • KTbird

    Stoopid away defeats. Down with that sort of thing


    The point i never get that someone brought up on sunday supplement is that why do managers wait until deadline day? why not just get it sorted ASAP? OK I get Vermz and Sagna are nearing fitness but santos, gibbs arent (that we know of) and so thats still 2 left backs!

  • paul

    how long till we keep kiding ourselves?
    The pathetic 1-0 wins at home are exactly the tye of rubbish we are going to see- thats why we get thumped away from home.
    Wenger is o stupid that the whole world can see the problems yet he cant …. will the board do anything about it? That’s like asking, have you seen a pig fly?

  • Tottz

    Con-man, John Cross said that on Sunday supplement. Makes perfect sense.

    Paul, clearly no repsect for Wenger then? Who would you bring in to replace him?

  • paul

    Anyone at this stage.
    Wenger lost my respect mnay years ago – his inability to change teak the team even slightly, losing the star players around him yet being completely blind and buying cheap africans.

  • paul

    I fear without additions we will struggle badly for a top 4 place. It seems we have money, in abundance. The sale of others (we all know who) would add to that. Prob too late to revive this season,but next could be a new start, especially if Arsene were to announce his move ‘upstairs’, and a progressive new mngr were inserted. Yea, dreamin’ I know !

  • bergChamp

    Spot on! Great article.

  • paul

    If only The dunce WEnger and the Board cared half as much as you did mate.

  • robin

    We try to stretch the money so we buy players who we HOPE we can convert into what we need, and end up with many duds whereas we could’ve spent good money on a couple of solid players who are exactly what we need for our system! It’s all well and good thinking about how much the players cost to BUY, but we forget their wages as well – each player like Denilson, Rosicky, Squillachi, Diaby or Bendtner on about 50k+ a week is sapping up over 2.5m a year in wages (not even counting medical/pastoral bills!)! Chamakh might have been a “striker” who was “free”, BUT he doesn’t fit into our system and never has, and yet, we pay 3.5m+ a year in wages to a player who is one tick away from useless! Doesn’t sound “free” to me! Amauri Bischoff, Park… they cost money to have around even when they do nothing! It’s staggeringly expensive in the long run when you run a club like this. I’d rather have less players but quality, fit-for-purpose ones sitting on the bench than so many awful ones sucking at the AFC teat while contributing nothing! This is not sustainability! We may not have loads of money to spend, but the money we do have is being wasted when we DO spend, period!

  • robin

    This was the starting XI vs Man Utd when we were whopped back in August: 13 Szczesny, Koscielny, Djourou, Jenkinson, Traore, Rosicky, Walcott, Ramsey, Arshavin, Coquelin, Van Persie. That day our undouted weakness was our fullbacks, and in the build up to this game we could potentially have Miquel and Djourou at left and right back. Swansea exposed them badly enough never mind what United could do with Nani and Valencia. That is scary. Rosicky could be playing again if Arteta doesn’t make it. Arshavin probably will too, given his place in Wenger’s affections, adding to the problems at full back as he provides zero cover. I fear for another mauling. If it’s true that Wenger refuses to spend in this window then I’m sorry he has completely lost the plot. Even with a fit Arteta, Vermaelen, Wilshere and Diaby we need quality added. Given our financial state, the handsome sum of 50m has been rumoured to be in the bank for transfer activity. this can also be added to through sale of the undesirables. Arshavin, Chamakh, Squilacci, Rosicky and to be honest I’d even take offers for Walcott and Gibbs. I’d take my 50m and invest it in Baines, Tiote and Podolski in this window. But that’s just my opinion.

  • Leroy

    these have been hard times for arsenal fans over the last few years and i agree that something has to change dramaticaly if we are to challenge for the title again,ie a few top class players,a change in transfer policy,mabye a new manager.what i do find amazing is spuds fans.the majority who wernt born in 1961,when they last won a title mocking arsenal fans,its title in 50yrs no fa cup in 20yrs and 1 solitary season in the champions league in 50yrs and they think there bigger than arsenal.sol campbell won more league titles with arsenal between 2002~2004 than spurs won in the last 50yrs.we may be under the cosh at the moment but spurs idea of glory is just to be in the title race,while ours is win or nothing,thats what makes us and our club what we are,if you dont win 2nd,3rd,and 4th mean nothing.enjoy the open top bus ride if you get into the champs league for the 2nd time in 51yrs spuds fans.

  • gerry

    Football is a fantastic business model if you’re a top football club! You have everything that any business would kill for – over-subscribed consumer base, obscene cash flow from equity, sponsors and consumables (merchandise and match-day tickets), and, above all, BRAND LOYALTY! That one factor tips the scales in the favour of the clubs over its fans. Thankfully, clubs have rarely sought to exploit it; rather, many overcompensate in a bid to please the fans even to their detriment. But I never imagined it would be my beloved club that would stoop so low as to take advantage of its fans. They ask us to pay increased ticket prices – but refuse to spend for our benefit. They ask us for blind trust and unrelenting faith – but keep us firmly in the dark. They ask us for time – and then steal even more time with broken promises. They ask and take, and take and ask, giving nothing back in return. Even the basic entertainment value of good football is gone! And for PHW to slap each and everyone of us in the face by effectively belittling and denouncing the one thing that, realistic or not, gives fans hope – ambition for success – is the final straw and… to be honest, I just don’t recognise this club anymore. I really don’t. I’ll always love and support AFC but I’ve flown my last flight, bought my last ticket and eaten my last overpriced hotdog to watch Arsenal until I am made to feel valued as a fan again!

  • paul

    It only struck me earlier today, but I had to muster a chuckle when it did (is was either laugh or cry). But we have descended into madness. Why? Well, this is the first time in 15 years that we have all realised the title is 100% not going to happen. In the past few years we may have been bad, but there was always a glimmer of hope that a late title charge may come around, and whilst every man and his dog was writing us off the most hardened gooner (myself included) thought ‘we can still get this title if x and y result happens’. This time around, we have all accepted that our state of affairs has left us desperately scrambling to get into the Champions League. Basically, 4th is our ultimate prize. As i said, had to laugh..

  • stevethegunner

    My concern is Arsenal have earned only 4 points from their last 4 EPL games and our rivals have won more….

    Spuds has won 11 out of 15 points (includes game v Everton)

    Chelsea won 7 out of 12 points

    ManU won 6 out of 12 points

    Liverpool won 5 out of 12 points

    ManC won 7 out of 12 points

    NewC won 9 out of 12 points

  • sistable

    As we have seen in the arab world and other countries..the public made the difference to outthrow the regime.the public never gave up untill thier voices were if all gunners who support arsenal..lets not 4get its the fans who pay the wages its the fans who fill the stadium its the fans who need to be entertained and they are paing so much money to see thier beloved clubs, and for arsenal we its the most expensive ticket in the premiership and we have one of the best and one of the biggest stadium in premiership and yet we cant compete in the transfer market.. now this is just a suggestion if all he fans went on strike for 3 games at least and not go to watch any of the arsenal games wehter they play home or away, and this will hit the board hard, and we demand a world class player to be bought we dont have to ask for a certain players, but put our demands our best players to be kept and given top contracts and our flops to get rid off and most of all they must sign a couple of world class players other wise we dont go to watch the games and we dont go to he games..and we will carry on strike 3 games every month untill our demands are agreed. dont you think the board wil give in becouse think about it. if the fans dont turn up they are loosing money and it will cost them…and i for think all the gunners should do this..and only then we can see quality signing at emirate. and am sure all the fans will love to see a world class player in emirate…and if i am wrong or any 1 any suggestion better than this let me know

  • robin

    If Arsenal/Wenger started a Ponzi scheme, I reckon there are enough hard-of-thinking amongst the cult of Wenger who would join it, as the majority have all bought into the glorious surge for fourth place as the equivalent of a trophy. The latest capitulations against Fulham and Swansea will, I’m sure, be blamed on refereeing decisions and bad luck……….ahem. How about calling OGL to account for his abysmal running of the team for the past five years and calling a spade a shovel? Just take last summer, for example, when Fabregas and Nasri were both leaving the club. I knew it, the media knew it, the fans knew it and two of our best players knew it as fact………..just remind me which person was in denial right up until the moment they left. The last-minute panic-buys to shore up a squad that wasn’t good enough with Fabregas and Nasri in it……….if his youth vanity project is over, can somebody explain to me what his new master plan is? Because, if it is aiming for fourth place every season whilst he does a strange jig in the technical area, and RvP leaving this summer……… I think it’s safe to say I’ve had enough and 2014 can’t come quick enough………unless Kroenke or Usmanov want to put a stop to groundhog season that is.

  • Berth

    The Ponzi has been on since the move to the stadium which on its own is part of the Ponzi

  • stevethegunner

    Expect to get trounced on sunday.

  • azharie

    there goes more injury woes…next person would be RVP…so please dont get upset…

  • robin

    I can see it now. End of season RVP will be sold off for about £25Mill and the BOD will be wringing their hands thinking it a great piece of business to have made a profit from their long term investment while at the same time being oblivious to our league position and hence the inability to even hope of attracting the next RVP. We need RVP and he needs support on the pitch. There is enough deadwood (albeit some out on loan) to trade in and get at least one decent strike partner.

  • punkos

    Great post Tottz82,

    I too sometimes defend Walcott, Walcott is now a senior player in the team, I cannot remember his last good performance, the game against swansea was 11 against 8.5 (Ramsay being the half, and Arshavin being the other player gone missing).

    If you was picking the team on footballing merit, Walcott and Arshavin wouldn’t even be driving the coach…

    Looking at it from another point of view, if Walcott was up for sale, I very much doubt anyone in the top 5, 6, 7 or 8 would buy him

    It’s a shame Frimpong has gone on loan, we could do with him at the moment, he seems determined and ok he may get stuck in, but I would rather have him starting than Walcott and Arshavin

    I wasn’t bothered about losing to Man C in the cup, because of the great performance we gave, but recently i’m just not seeing it…