Arsene: “If I’ve made a mistake, I’m sorry.” as we lose again…

What a world-wind weekend that was. The Oxlade Chamberlain debacle has overshadowed the whole weekend. A weekend where Man City beat Sp*rs and Man United beat us to make it a two horse race at the top of the table and make it a massive up-hill climb for us, now in 5th and needing a miracle to finish in the top four. Our performance against United in the first half was woeful and the missing Arteta is a player who we can’t function without. Which, in itself is worrying. Tactically, things weren’t right, and the players do not seem to be on the same page.

For the first time in a very long time, most AKB’s are now questioning our performances, our transfer activity and of course, after Oxlade was substituted on the weekend, are questioning our manager’s ability to make substitutions. A few people who wouldn’t say a bad word against Arsene – ever – are now doubtful about whether he’s been on top of his own game for the last 6 months. Whereas I am still a fan and don’t believe it’s entirely the manager’s fault, there are questions about signings and subs which can’t be ignored.

After Arsene subbed Oxlade, we went on to lose the game. Whether or not we would have won the game if Oxlade stayed on is debatable, but the reaction of Arsene post game… stating that he’s made over 50,000 substitutions in his time and the one line:

 ”If I’ve made a mistake, I’m sorry.”

Sums it all up for me – he made a mistake. Following that issue, he did then go on to say that the player was injured… whether or not you believe it. His former coach at Southampton did speak tot he player and confirmed that there was no problems with Alex continuing…

“He said, first and foremost, that he was super happy with his first match from the start, while he was pleased to have played well. I also got confirmation from Alex that he was neither tired or injured.”

Should we trust the manager? Or did he make a mistake? Did he then lie about it? Are we right to question the manager?

Van Persie certainly questioned him Ox was substituted, but since then the captain has released this statement:

I was not having a go at the boss on Sunday — I was just sad to see Alex leave the pitch as he just gave the assist for our only goal. I was not questioning his judgment — I know it’s not my place to challenge what Arsene Wenger does. He is the boss, he makes the decisions and that’s it… end of story. I have worked with the boss long enough to know there’s always a good reason behind his decisions — and there was again on Sunday. When Arsene makes a decision, it is based on a lot of information that everyone else might not know about and he will never betray. I admire him so much for that. As he said after the game, he doesn’t have to explain his substitutions to anyone. He was right to remind everyone that he has been in the job 30 years and made 50,000 substitutions — why on earth should he have to justify each and every one of them? He has all the information, he knows when a player is carrying a small injury, or has been ill, or is tiring. Arsene’s remarkable success in the game is proof enough that his decisions are made from knowledge and experience. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a calf injury. We did not know that but the boss did and brought Andrey Arshavin on. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Arsene Wenger. He is one of the best football coaches in the world, with a brilliant record of success here at Arsenal. I wouldn’t be here or the player I am without him. The manager and I are fine and my relationship with the club is good. I don’t want anyone misunderstanding the situation here for a moment. There is no problem, there is no conflict and there is no controversy. The boss knows that, I know that, the players all know that. But it’s important the Arsenal fans know that and that people in the game know that. We are all committed to doing the very best we can to bring success to The Emirates. We are not giving up on a top-four finish, no way. Losing to Manchester United was a setback — but it is not a knockout blow. The way this season is going I think it’s pretty safe to say there will be a lot more surprises before the Premier League season is over. There’s plenty of games still left, we have recovered from reverses like this before and we will win again. So anybody writing us off is making a mistake. This could still be a good season for us. We have the FA Cup to look forward to and the Champions League. We will all be giving 100 per cent to make sure we bring one of those trophies home, hopefully both of them.

Let’s all stick together and fight

Quite excessive for a substitution right?

Although Van Persie is correct in a few points, I wonder the real reason for sending out this message is – your guess is as good as mine. The worrying thing is that we’ve now lost three games in a row – to Fulham, to Swansea and then to Man United. It leaves is a very dangerous position and the reality is that we have a serious chance of finishing 5th or 6th. The captain goes on to say that we’re still in two competitions – the FA Cup and the Champions League – but will Arsene prioritise attempting to finish 4th ahead of the two trophies…

We do have Arteta back in time for the game this weekend against Aston Villa and we’re hearing that Jack Wilshere is also on his way back to full fitness. Both players will add a lot of depth to our squad – when both fit, will both start ahead of anyone else – and if Oxlade’s cameo’s are anything to go by, then he is a player in the making. Keep the players fit, get some full backs back and there is no reason why we can’t have a better second half to the second that the first. But, without any signings, the risk to Robin Van Persie and / or other key players is still very high.

We’ll do what Robin says, stick together and fight – but it is extremely hard to do so when you don’t see the players doing so themselves… or the manager for that matter.

But victory through harmony is what we’re all about… let’s back the team for the rest of the season. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I am sure there is more & better to come.

Until tomorrow, stay goonerish.

  • paul

    I feel for you my friend, trying to cling on to something that has already been broken. Actually broken since 2005 and despite numerous other blows the idiotic one still doesnt see it. The departures of Viera, Henry, and so on and even Cesc and Nasri are just prime examples of players who have lost faith in the manager. I was delighted at the fans who were shouting you dont know what you are doing at the substituion – this manager has been getting away with murder far too long and needs to be booted out.

    Rvp is clearly going to vamoosh at the end of the season – i mean who the bloody hell would want to stay with the dross that we have?

  • paul

    THIS MAN WILL RUN THIS CLUB TO THE GROUND – KICK OUT THE DICTATOR

  • robin

    The Ministry of Truth, aka Arsenal Football Club has been quick to get Van Persie to deny any conflicts with Wenger this morning- what a surprise! Wenger made a crass decision and then lamely tried to justify it. We have stories spun about how tired OC was, how he had been ill during the week and how he had a sore calf. By all accounts, OC has denied all of those in after-match interviews. When asked why he ( correctly) substituted Djourou, this normally articulate manager of ours stumbled over his words for a while and then mumbled something about a slight hamstring strain, which again no-one bought. I’ve very rarely been at a match where a mood of rising optimism was crushed instantly as it was.The players and crowd were stunned and as the man in front of me said ” I bet he decided that before the match”, which is par for the course with Wenger. For those saying “don’t panic and stop over- reacting”, I say go and follow a team that strives for mediocrity, that is not what Arsenal Football club is about and hasn’t been certainly since the mid 1980′s at least.For those who say respect Wenger for his past achievements, does he respect the fans? This is the individual who reacts with fury when he has faced shareholders, who has lied about making small needed investments to take us over the finishing line. A man who does not think he’s accountable to anyone. Someone who has kept dross at the club for years, who has neglected the defence for seasons and only spends money on bad or average players after the utter humiliation of an 8-2 defeat. A team that does not show consistent fight, hunger, commitment and surrenders meekly when average sides like Fulham and Swansea do.I hope that those near the dug-out continue to tell him how they feel- maybe then this has-been will finally get the message.

  • robin

    I’ve seen worse periods than this under Don Howe and Terry Neill, let alone the season before Rioch when we looked like we’d be relegated for a spell. But for a team that buckles under any sort of pressure, does not work hard, has such brittle confidence and cannot carry out the basic defensive tasks,this is the worst I can recall over the last few years. Poor buys, limited, if any tactical nous or ability to change things, wrong substitutions, playing individuals who refuse to play for each other but still get picked, is down to the manager. Money these days is hard to come by and if the team at least tried, I would not have any qualms about going as often as I used to- about 15 times a season. In recent seasons, however, the team has disrespected its fans more often than not. I might as well throw £50-60 or more down the drain for the amount of pleasure. let alone effort they’ve provided on many match days. Wenger should go if he has any decency left in him- as his terrible performances are now embarrassing. He is now as clueless as Graham and Mee in their last days and to say this is all down to lack of money being sanctioned by the Board is naive. Do they coach the team, did they buy Squillachi Mertesacker, Park or Santos? Did they keep Almunia in goal for years? Did they reward rubbish like Diaby, Bendtner, Denilson and Rosicky so they are now finding it impossible to shift? We’ve got some glory seekers as supporters, but that is not why we are ten points behind Spurs and seem unlikely to qualify for the Champions League. Yes, we’ve got lots to be grateful to Wenger for, but allowing the likes of Fulham and Swansea to out battle us without kicking us is not the sort of thing that should be happening to a top club.Maybe we’re not a top club any more and that is primarily down to the manager, full stop.

  • CON-MAN

    @robin

    cannot agree more. its woeful. I look at players like gibbs and diaby who think its cool to sit in the physio’s room 8 months of the year while collecting their 50k a week

    the game has changed to the point where money is king and the organic way of doing things doesn’t seem to work. If Kroenke is going to buy the club then he should. we need the money, we need to be able to buy players without having to sell top players first. clearly RVP is going-and why not? he’s 28, never won anything and a very good player!

    it saddens me because as they said on sunday supplement this past weekend, its like everything has just grown stale. Wenger seems to diddle in the transfer market and we literally look devoid of ideas throughout.

  • robin

    Still numb after attending my first game in some time.There was only going to be one winner until that quite appalling substitution. I couldn’t face watching the MOTD highlights but saw news excerpts this morning with Wenger suggesting that Ox might have been injured if he had stayed on for much longer. Who believes him- no-one. Just as he tried to justify the quite correct subbing of Djourou by saying he might have had a slight hamstring problem. Wenger you screwed up yet gain and you’re a total disgrace. The subbing of the Ox reminded me of the often inevitable subbing of Bergkamp for Cygan with 10/15 minutes to go with the inevitable goal being conceded. The atmosphere around me in the Family Enclosure was pure poison- lucky for Wenger that this is not South America, or someone would have taken a pot at him! Seeing Van Persie as he lingered on the pitch after the final whistle went reminded me of Henry’s and Cesc’s last seasons- a look of utter dejection and resignation. Like everyone else, he knows he will win nothing with this megalomaniac at the helm. It’s pathetic for people to say pay him £150k a week. He deserves to win medals, as did Cesc. We have lost one truly world class player who had yet to hit his peak- we will lose another one who is at his peak right now. To blame the Board is naive- did they really refuse Wenger the funds until Cesc and Nasri were sold? Why then did both Cesc and Kroenke say it was ” Wenger’s decision to sell?” Was it the Board’s decision to buy a tubby Brazilian wing back instead of Enrique or Mertesacker instead of Jagielka or Cahill? I want you out Wenger as you are a has-been who has not only lost the fans but also the dressing room.

  • miller

    spot on robin. If Chamberlain getting a calf injury is really the case then any Arsenal fan would have brought on Benayoun switching Walcott left side, at least he performs well enough and is committed on the pitch. Any manager with an ounce of ruthlessness would have sold Arshavin or at least put him on loan for rest of season. Gary Neville: “Arshavin’s the most disinterested player in the PL”, damn bloody right! But as usual, Wenger continues to persist with the dead wood and they’ve been the catalyst of dropping points, e.g. Djourou vs. Fulham. This has nothing to do with question marks over the board funding the club more, this is about Wenger’s management and tactics. And another thing, any Arsenal fan/any other manager would have started Yennaris (a natural right back) against Fulham and Swansea. A few run of games in the first team until Sagna/Jenkinson return can’t be bad for his development? He certainly kept one of the PL’s best wingers in Nani quiet in the 2nd half. So if Wenger starts Djourou and Arshavin over Yennaris and Chamberlain against Villa in a game which is our only realistic hope of silverware (as City and Liverpool/Utd will be gone after 4th round), don’t blame me if I have a boo or 2 Wenger! But only until the season’s over do we talk about whether or not Wenger’s time is up. Quite frankly, if we finish 4th & win FA cup, Wenger should stay. If we finish 5th trophyless, he’s out! If we finish just 4th trophyless, that will spark the big question: should he stay or should he go?

  • Berth

    He lost the dressing room ages ago. If you doubt me see how the players dont show commitment and spirit when playing. He waits for just players to show the spirit and he gets along with flow.

  • Berth

    The bottom line is the man is a scum-bag and should be gone by the sunrise and the end of this season.

  • bergChamp

    Great Article!!!

    I have a genuine fear that Arsene doesn’t know what is going on at the moment and that he is making a lot of mistakes – transfer window, personnel and tactics.