Bradford 1 – 1 Arsenal, Bradford win 4-3 on penalties…

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that I thought we’d play a weakish team, but tonight’s game saw one of the strongest line-up’s in the history of the Capital One Cup. We played Bradford – a league two side – and the eleven players chosen were:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Metersacker – Vermaelen (c) – Gibbs

Coquelin – Wilshere

Ramsey – Cazorla – Podolski

Gervinho

Wenger rested only Arteta, but made the same mistakes as he’s done before – the same mistakes that saw us lose against the likes of Norwich and others…

  • Don’t play Ramsey on the right
  • Don’t play Gervinho up front
  • Don’t play so many central midfielders (Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Coquelin) in the same team
  • Don’t play Podolski out wide

It doesn’t matter who the opposition is, but if you play round pegs in square holes, then you’re going to have a problem. By playing reserve squads in the past, it was a fail safe mechanism. If we lost, it was because we played a reserve side. If we won, it was great because we rested our main players and our reserves / kids got a run out.

However, today we played our best team and lost (albeit on penalties) to Bradford.

Examine anything you wish, but this is unforgivable. I don’t think any other team in the top ten in the Premier League would have lost to Bradford if they played their top side.

I’m not going to start battering the team or the manager, but this season is a massive turning season. I’ve heard more anti-Wenger than ever before and people who were pro-Wenger are now doubting him. With the exception of Jack Wilshere, I don’t think any fan really “loves” any player…

The stats were eventually amazingly in our favour, but with players playing in different positions and all sorts inability to play, it doesn’t really matter. Normally I’m not one for talking about players, but this group is the worst under Wenger and we has to seriously figure out who will fight for the cause and who will won’t.

The answer is to buy. We won’t get anywhere with this group. I don’t know how we got to this stage and the problem is, I don’t think Arsene does either.

According to Arsene, credit to Braford…

“We had many, many chances, their keeper had a great game and we could not convert out chances,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “When you go out it is never good enough. We lost on penalties against a team who defended well. We have to give credit to Bradford. I cannot fault the effort of the team, they gave everything for 120 minutes.”

Ouch, right?

Til tomorrow…

  • Arsefan101

    Can I cry now?

  • JAT

    Too soon, Dev! Too soon

  • azharie

    this team is weak and shit. why arsene is so damn shit stubborn and never learn shit. sorry for the angry comment.

  • Kiki

    I don’t know what to say or do right now.

  • derk

    Wenger is an economist or has a degree in economics or some such shit. If you
    look at the way he always talks up the stats (apparently Legohead was one of the
    best midfielders in Engerland because his pass completion stats were so high –
    never mind that 99% of his passes were fucking useless 5 yard sideways passes
    )
    and if you look at the way we play tippy tappy you can see that Wenger’s
    obsession with stats is choking us to death.

    We make so many pointless
    little passes of 5 and 10 yards sideways, backwards and sideways again between
    players under no pressure and very seldom pick out the defence-splitting
    decisive pass. It’s like we are trying to accumulate enough pass-completed stats
    for Wenger to point at in press conferences…

    “We had 70% possession, and made 525 passes, but were
    a leetle unlucky, maybe 21% unlucky in the final third… blah blah blah”

    He is obsessed with stats, with numbers. He’s obsessed with quantity to
    the detriment of quality, like all economists.

  • pary

    winning trophies is EVERYTHING – that is, if the intention is to remain a Big
    Club. If Arsenal were a small club (no offence, but let’s say Fulham) then
    staying in PL would be enough, and qualifying for CL would be remarkable. But we
    are not Fulham, we are Arsenal. It’s the same for ALL Big Clubs. By definition:
    a Big CLub is one with a cabinetful of trophies, a chestful of medals. Many may
    have been won in the recent past (like Arsenal) or in the more distant past
    (like Everton, Villa) but without them they would not have the history, the
    tradition, the following and fanbase which constitute a Big Club. That is why
    the regime’s tightwad financial policy is a policy of mediocrity, suited to a
    small club, not Arsenal.

  • worldofarsenal

    The answer is to buy. We won’t get anywhere with this group. I don’t know how we got to this stage and the problem is, I don’t think Arsene does either.

  • fredrick

    Wenger has created a squad with so few genuine threatening options
    that he has been left with little choice but to tire his players out.
    Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla in particular look knackered, and if
    they’re spent 14 games into the league season then it is Wenger’s fault –
    it is responsibility to either ensure they have more rest or that
    they’re fit enough in the first place. It seems like Wenger is running
    out of excuses.

    Stability is often regarded as a virtue in football, an idea that I
    have my doubts about, not least because with stability can often come
    stagnation. Wenger’s tactical approach is evidence of this – in the 16
    years he has been at the club, with the odd variation he has basically
    used two formations; the 4-4-2 that served him well in the early years,
    and then the 4-2-3-1 implemented to get the best out of Cesc Fabregas.
    The best long-serving managers adapt and change, the most obvious
    example being Sir Alex Ferguson, who (perhaps under influence from
    various assistants) has experimented with just about every system going
    in recent years. There was talk that Wenger was toying with a 3-5-2 last
    month (something that, with the players in their squad, does make some
    sense), but this has yet to appear on the pitch.

    What Wenger traditionally does well seems to be disappearing too.
    ArseBlog, another excellent Gooner fan site, made the point that Michu,
    the man who won Saturday’s game for Swansea, is exactly the sort of
    signing that Wenger used to make – cheap, a little under the radar but
    hugely effective. Admittedly, ‘under the radar’ is more difficult to
    achieve than it was even ten years ago, but the point remains.

    Wenger seems to be a manager relying on tomorrow for everything to
    come good. His reliance on youth is perhaps the best example of this,
    but if you wanted one player to sum it all up, then I give you Abou
    Diaby. While clearly a fine player, Diaby has only made nine league
    appearances (five starts) in the past season and a half, and yet still
    Wenger talks about how good the team will be once he returns. A more
    ruthless manager would have cut his losses and discarded Diaby long ago,
    instead of living for the day when he’ll be fit forever. Tomorrow
    doesn’t seem to be coming any quicker.

    One of the reasons he has to rely on tomorrow is that his best
    players keep leaving. And one thing that should be noted is that none of
    Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie have
    taken their decisions lightly. All have an emotional connection to both
    Wenger and Arsenal, but all, having considered the cold facts, chose to
    leave. They did so because they had a better chance of real success
    elsewhere.

    And then perhaps we arrive at the thing that could actually do for
    Wenger. The problem with placing so much emphasis on qualifying for the
    Champions League is that if they no longer manage it, then he’s left
    with little to back himself up. This is Arsenal’s worst start to a
    season since he arrived, and the prospect of them finishing outside the
    top four is very real. What then? Wenger will have lost his best
    defence, and Arsenal will be without a vital source of money. While
    Wenger did turn things around last season, something’s definitely
    seriously awry this time. If, at the end of the season, Wenger has not
    achieved his stated goal, it must surely be time.

    Finally, if you want to be really reductive about it, he hasn’t won a
    trophy since 2005. For a club like Arsenal, that’s not good enough.

  • Syahkoala

    i think we need to come to terms that, we SUCK! My gooner mates Ludin and Ah Yie
    are being disillusioned by Wenger into thinking that we’re world
    beaters! that’s a fart and a half! blimey, we can’t even beat a League 2
    side (no disrespect to Bradford). I kiss my arsenal watch daily, but now i just feel like dumping it. FML.

  • yemi

    Very true, sad but very true

  • yemi

    i started crying years ago

  • yemi

    Wish, pray, hope for better days…… They are not here yet tho!

  • yemi

    What i hate most is the fact that some people still try to justify the loss by saying bradford won their 3 previous matches by penalties or the won 9 of the last 9 penalties they were involved in (not sure of the stat).

    That is bull crap! why should it get to penalties in the first place?

    Celsea, city, united, spurs would have beaten that bradford team comfortably by as much as 4 goals or more….

    This is pathetic and appaling and i am crestfallen, heartbroken, ashamed and embarrassed by the result.

    We scored a lot of goals but conceded too many, wenger shores up the defense and sells off the attack. where is the sense in that? now we are conceding fewer goals but we are not scoring either…….

    Out sleek midfield is gone, we can no longer hold on to possession. we sold off song and put arteta in DM postion.

    If wenger doesn’t spend big dis january (which i doubt), then i will finally agree that he has lost the plot.

    Do you see any player in that team that can motivate the guys? we seem to be ending players careers these days. or groom and sell. chamack was doing well, santos, park chu , arshavin, even arteta in everton, now they look like shadows……

    Permit my ranting because i am actully confuse with the whole setup.

  • derk

    I have a recurring nightmare, a dreadful dream which wakes me in a cold
    sweat: STANLEY IS IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL! It’s been almost an article of faith
    with me that as soon as Stanley saw a healthy profit, he would sell off his
    shares and depart like a thief in the night. I am not so sure any more. Far from
    it. For the greatest enigma of all hidden in the smokescreen surrounding the
    Emirates is Stanley himself. Actually, not just here, but over there, too. What
    motivates him? Nobody knows. He is a business man whose business is sports
    franchises – and yet he claims he has never taken a cent out of any of them.
    This seventeen years after acquiring his first? If not profit, then perhaps
    glory? No evidence of that, not a scrap – the trophy record of his sports
    outfits is mediocre to say the least. Publicity, personal profile? On the
    contrary, he’s almost as reclusive as Howard Hughes. A move onto the political
    stage eventually? Not a chance, who would vote for him. Expensive toys for him
    to play with? But he doesn’t play with them, his henchmen do. So it must be
    profit, right? And that’s when my nightmare starts up: LONG TERM profit. Heaven
    help us!

  • worldofarsenal

    It’s a tough period for all of us – the question is – does Arsene realise it or not?
    Is he hurting just as much as we are?

    The problem is of course, he was responsible for bringing the likes of Chamakh, , Gervinho etc to the club – so when they are not performaning or clearly rubbish, what do you do about it? You have to point the finger at the manager, don’t you?

  • worldofarsenal

    Faith in Arsene until the end of the season?

  • lernerr

    I honestly feel that the fact Wenger STILL has not resigned from his position
    shows how selfish and arrogant he really is. I completely understand that the
    board feel like they cannot sack him. The man has done wonders for the club.
    Saking the man would be completely and utterly dis-respectful. Therefore, it is
    his responsibility to take that upon himself. All I ever hear is how much Wenger
    loves Arsenal. How he has Arsenal in his heart etc etc. Well then, if he really
    does love Arsenal as much as people claim, then he will step down and allow this
    club to appoint someone else. The reason he won’t resign is down to his
    arrogance and self-centreness. The man is being paid an absolute fortune. A
    FORTUNE. He always said that if the time ever came that he honestly believed
    that he could no longer do the job, he would step down. That was obviously a
    lie.

  • lernerr

    arsene said he the cash for two players in the window, do people really
    think that all our trouble can be solved with two players?

    Theo’s going, Diabys perma injured, Chamakh is probably going or if not
    is next to useless as is Gervinho. Arshavin looks like he’s going and
    again if not arsene won’t pick him anyway for some reason.

    That’s without the players that are in the team and don’t look interested like podolski.

    It needs a complete overhaul And I just don’t see arsene or the board
    have the appetite for that, something is wrong at the club when we have
    so many decent players under performing week in week out and adding
    maybe one or two more average players to the mix whilst losing probably
    another 2 or 3 just can’t see it making a huge difference.

    It wasn’t about losing at Bradford that was worrying that can happen to
    any club and has in the past, the worrying thing was not shot in target
    until the 70 minute and its been the lack of chances up front most of
    the season that is going to kill us.

    And our answer is to play Gervinho at center forward and leave Ramsey to
    get slaughtered on the wing when the poor kid is already suffering from
    confidence issues. Frightening stuff it really is..

  • kiki

    Aye, faith in ARSENAL!