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Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Maybe this article should really be held over for the end of the season, but the optimist in me hopes it won`t be necessary by then. Besides which, whatever else happens this year, this team have outstripped the estimation of 95% of the footballing populace and there have been many great moments to savour, hopefully there`ll be a few more yet. But at what is probably our lowest ebb (though it will in all likelihood get worse on Sunday), the sadomasochist in me is trying to pinpoint the catalyst for this capitulation. There have been a fair few moments post Christmas which have been hoisted onto a neon mast and trumped as the fall of our season. I thought I`d put forward my own view on each, chronologically deconstructing one misery after another. If you don`t feel like reading on, I don`t blame you. (Look, I spent my teens listening to Radiohead, Nirvana and the Smiths; I was always going to be attracted to the melancholy!)

The 5-1 reverse at the Lane- Some contend that this foreshadowed our current predicament. I think most of us expected defeat at some point this millennia, even a stopped clock gets it right twice a day. But the manner of the defeat and the size of the score line has been put forward by some as the moment it all went wrong. Bendtner and Adebayor`s embarrassing tiff elucidated the loss of team spirit and the sure-fire sign that we had lost our heads under pressure. Since their tiff, it is noticeable that Bendtner largely celebrates his goals on his lonesome. The match and the score line itself had little effect in my view; we immediately sauntered to convincing victories over Fulham, Newcastle times two, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers, so it did not affect our results. Maybe there is something in the team spirit question though, Gallas was on hand to arbitrate the argument, and it looked as though Bendtner took exception to his intervention. That apart, this is a competition Arsenal don`t place nearly enough emphasis on to derail our season, nobody attributes our 2001/02 title win to the fact that we pummelled United 4-0 in the Fourth Round of the Worthington Cup.

Going Five Points Clear- When United slipped up at home to City, Arsenal took on Blackburn needing to win to race five points clear at the summit of the Premiership. The Gunners raced into an early lead, looking imperious. But the nerves clearly set in and we endured a tense night at the Grove before Adebayor wrapped up the result in injury time. The enormity of going five points clear affected their play and the subsequent results sequence ever since suggests we haven`t coped with the pressure. Early season, Arsenal revelled in their role as underdogs, but as fatigue began to set in and we were elevated to the status of favourites, we have capitulated. I would put this down to a lack of experience in the squad, Gallas is the sole bastion of experience in the side with the collected, calm Jens and 'Mad` Gilberto now out of favour. We just haven`t had the experience to see it out.

The 4-0 Reverse at United- Similarly to the Tottenham match, I don`t really think the team placed nearly enough emphasis on this game for the result to adversely affect their psychology. In fact, we stopped just short of throwing the game. In the pre match press conference, Arsene Wenger affirmed that he would prefer to lose than draw the match, thus avoiding an undesired replay. The fixture was always treated as an inconvenience. Players aren`t stupid, that wasn`t the real Arsenal that day and I think they know that. Had United struck a last minute winner in a closely contested match, I would accept the psychological implications of that. That said, winning was a habit we were in up to that game, we soon fell out of it. The Nani ball juggling incident was something of nothing, blown out of all proportion by an increasingly moronic press. Nani was not wrong to do it and he did not receive "a kicking" as reported. Gallas` flick out was petulant, but so was Nani`s on Hoyte thirty seconds previous.

The injury to Eduardo- Not just because we lost a fine player who was just beginning to become an integral part of our side (I would wager at the very least, one of our recent draws would have been a victory had he still been fit), but the sickening manner of the injury. Now, I accept that for that game, the players would have been troubled by the quite appalling sight of their team mate`s leg in tatters. But to pinpoint that for the subsequent series of poor results is stretching it too far for me. The consequential press reaction might not have helped, but save for Wenger`s initial reaction and immediate retraction, little of it came from the club. I feel the nature of the coverage has been covered on these pages quite enough. Save for losing an important player, you can`t put one win in the next six games down to the psychological impact of the injury.

The last minute penalty at Brum- For the last ten minutes of this game, you could see this one coming. Arsenal were a goal up and a man up and they mentally relaxed. Our play became lackadaisical until the last second; Clichy unforgivably took leave of his senses in the penalty area and allowed Parnaby to sneak in and win a penalty. The penalty award was harsh, as Clichy clearly won the ball, but to have left himself in that position was stupidity of such a degree I don`t have words for it. Despite having had such a fine season, I am afraid this is a contribution that Clichy will be remembered for. Having made a similar mistake against City three weeks earlier, he should have learned. Birmingham grabbed an unlikely equaliser and we had eschewed the chance to go eight points clear. All in all, it made for a very traumatic day. Which brings me onto;

Gallas` sit in protest- Personally, I`m not having a bar of this as some kind of adverse turning point. Not defending the penalty was completely stupid, but the sit in protest, seriously, how on earth can this be painted as some kind of mental blow for a professional footballer? I implore anybody with half a brain; ignore the media bullshit (most of which was cynically intended to take the focus off of Taylor`s poor challenge, Hansen I`m looking at you). The captain was upset at the result and sat down on the pitch shaking his head. If that is enough to mentally maul you, you should not be a professional footballer. Nobody with the talent and ability to play in a team that is six points clear at the top of the Premiership in February could possibly see a team mate sitting on the ground in frustration and suddenly think, "oh dear, I just cannot cope." I envy anybody that is that mentally fragile because they have obviously lived a very sheltered life. What do you think Tony Adams would have done in the dressing room in that situation? If these players could not cope with their captain on the ground after the game has finished, they should be thankful that Ferguson is not their manager or that Adams has retired, because I imagine his reaction would have been much more savage than that. But the press, being the disgustingly egotistical entity that they are, saw Gallas` naked reaction; they somehow think it takes on more significance for the team. I bet Gallas read the riot act in the dressing room as well. He would have been correct to do so. As an addendum, what would the press reaction have been had John Terry performed the same action?

January Transfer Window- One could say the warning signs were there in the Tottenham game. Wenger overlooked younger squad players and brought in older heads, it was a catastrophic decision and a sign that Wenger did not trust his younger squad players. I have to enquire why he did not strengthen the side. In hindsight, van Persie looked to be coming back to fitness, Rosicky (remember him?) was enjoying a rare bout of fitness disease and playing well. Diarra had demanded to leave earlier in the month, but with central midfield well stocked, the need to replace him did not look urgent. But we were in all four competitions at this point, the schedule would always get demanding. Now we are in a situation whereby Hleb, Fabregas and Adebayor, our key attacking players, look utterly shattered and there is simply nobody to replace their ailing limbs. I think one quality signing on the wing would have kept us ticking over. In January 2004, we signed Jose Reyes, and while his impact on our eventual saunter to the title was not huge, he still came up with important goals and played in our cup assaults. Who could forget his match winning contribution against Chelsea that year to keep our F.A. Cup challenge alive? Injuries have been harsh, but Chelsea lost Cech, Terry, Drogba and Lumplard at the same time at one point this season, but they coped. Obviously, their resources far outstrip ours, but the painful fact is that our squad is not deep enough. Wenger would rather play Toure at right back than Hoyte, Hleb upfront rather than Walcott. We have been punished hugely as a result. In the thirteen game winning run that propelled us to the 2001/02 title, we spent seven of those games with Stepanovs at centre half and Lauren at left back, three goalkeepers won a championship medal. We`ve circumnavigated the grim spectre of injuries before, as Chelsea have done this year. The situation has been bad, but could have been avoided with a little more foresight.

Referees- Key decisions have gone against us at the wrong time of the season. The penalty at St. Andrews, the disallowed goal against Boro, Chelsea`s offside winner, blatant penalties for Hleb and Fabregas, shady penalty for Babel. The list is seemingly endless. Luck has played a part in our demise, however, I am of the opinion that only good teams get lucky, you make your own luck in this game at times, and while officials haven`t been kind to us of late, Champions triumph in adversity. As an aside, I think there`s a point about media management here. While Wenger certainly complains about bad decisions, you don`t see the media assault that you see from our rivals. United are denied one penalty and Ferguson attacks the referee, the whole football association and the club keep it press worthy for a while. A football club can be a lot like a Government, they can manage the press and cajole them, they have contacts and pursue them rabidly. Ferguson effectively chose his own referees for the three weeks after. Michael Essien was sent off in November, quite correctly, and Chelsea threatened to put together a DVD of wrongful decisions against them. Of course it`s ridiculous, Orwellian bullying of the governing bodies, but they see that said bodies are weak enough to target and expose them. We don`t employ such Machiavellian tactics, instead we envelope ourselves in self pity and whine. Chelsea and United take active steps to ensure their voice is heard. Maybe we need to sacrifice our integrity and manage the press better? It was Malcolm X who said, "When a person gets sad, they don`t do anything, they sit and cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change."

I suppose in conclusion, one could attest that all of these factors contribute in one way or another (except the Gallas one, that`s just crass stupidity). Personally, I think the manager`s decision not to strengthen when he demonstratably did not trust the likes of Hoyte and Traore was a bad call. Luck has gone against us, but we simply have not been resolute enough to turn our own fortune. We`ve shown signs in the Bolton fight back, let`s hope we carry that forward. But the real turning point has to be Birmingham`s last minute equaliser. If I am honest with myself, I knew we weren`t going to win the league after that. It felt too much like a turning point. So it has proved.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 10 2008

Time: 2:06PM

Your Comments

And wait for it.... I hear the pitter patter of stupid Yids' on their way over here now (they don't hang around Vital Spurs after all).
Moorish
Them showing up here has inferiority complex written all over it. Next Spud to post and all Spud posts thereafter will simply prove my point (unless they have a degree of sense about them).
Little Dutch
Did you just use the words sense and Spuds in the same sentence?!
adamski243
Too right LD. I call it THIC for short. They are all seriously THIC.
Moorish
Hi, there is penalty at St Andrews, no doubt about it..... I love Clichy and even think he should be in our squad for the World Cup behind Evra (Abidal center back, or not in the 23), but it was a fault. As it was one from Toure and Fabregas in Champions League game on babel, it was (for me a penalty), It was also a penalty in the firsst leg. Don't blame the second leg referee, i din't make mistake, the firts one, did. In my lttle french opinion, the mentality is a problem, not exeprience enough in the start eleven, and What the hell Gallas is capitain of Arsenal?????? Is the more immature Arsenal player imo, is is childish and have a big ego. Wenger is a part of the problem too, he wants all the glory and the merit fot himself. In france everybody see him like a kind of Football God, a exeptionnal manager in a little club without any money to spend and only form young players..... But nobody talk about the millions he spent on Reyes (as expensiv as Torres) or the fact he buy (or stole) young player (Fabregas, Merdia, Bendtner, Senderos, Clichy, Djourou, Walcott, Flamini.......) so, he is the star of the team, and all Arsenal's light are on him, but nobody ever said anything to him, and when players grow up and are bigger than him, he sales them (Vieira, Henry or Pires....), so now he's got a lack of experience in his team. I saw today in a french newspaper, Jens Lehmann told Wenger he doesn't have enough exeprience in the start eleven, and said he sould play instead of Almunia, Wenger replied it not a problem. I honestly thing it was, as they didn't deal well with their good moment (Adebayor lack of ability in the box) or in their bad moments (Torres Goal or the penalty). It's a bit long, but it is my little french opinion.
FloG
who cares about them silly idiots? there is absolutely nothing in their posts that makes any sense. Their wind-ups are a full of bitterness and carry absolutely zero humor. What they all fail to realize is that years of humiliation and enjoyment of the eternal Arsenal shade they live in can not be washed by a one-off freak result (no matter how many DVDs they produce). Arsenalwise, I tend to agree with LD there - the apparent downfall of our season was a mixture of events which were not foreseeable by the management. Ref's decisions and injuries are not something you can predict - you just hope for the best. The fact that our squad is rich in talent but short in experience (and perhaps quality) is clear. Yes AW, could have and perhaps should have added to "beef up" the squad in January but he kept to his principles and his belief in the squad at his disposal. As for his trust in the youngsters, I'd say most of them made their own destiny: Diaby was inconsistent (and lazy) in his displays and suffered a few knocks that put him off of a prolonged run in the team. Denilson was getting some playing time, he got him self sent off and had to sit out a number of games, Traore looked overwhelmed and a bit out of his depth when called upon. Senderos took a while to get going and then Toure reclaimed his place next to Gallas. Djourou didn't get a chance at all after his loan at Brum due to his immediate injury, Theo was woeful in the beginning but grew in stature as the season progressed, while Song had the misfortune of injuring himself during the ACN where he was Cameroon's best player and looked as if he could give Flamini a breather. Hoyte wasn't up to his last year's standards, in his largely limited appearances due to the amazing Bac Sagna. Bendtner seems as if he can't stop trying to prove something to everyone, rather than focus on playing and banging in goals which we know he can. Eduardo's situation I won't mention, while Diarra simply wanted to play. When it all adds up, the management and the players need to look at themselves and figure out how to make this season a learning experience but also a solid basis for improvement next year. The Arsenal fans at the Emirates also need to ask themselves what the f*** are they doing to rectify the situation and whether booing your team when down is the right solution. Perhaps the Kop doesn't intimidate opponents but it sure lifts their players when they are down. Gooners need to learn from this and stop being fickle. Sorry for the length of this rant.
G4L
let me just add a few points: with all due respect for everything he did in his career at Arsenal, Lehmann needs to seriously ***** off. Flamini needs to sign the dotted line soon or ***** off as well. He has had one solid season and he has received all the praise and applause from everyone for that, now its his turn to show faith in the club. I'd love for Bert to stay if he accepts the one year deals as he is a fantastic professional.
G4L
Just reading through Newsnow it appears that both Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp are available this summer. DB10 is starting his coaching badges and TA is out of contract at Pompey. I think we start a petition to bring them both back. We've got the money. TA could work on the defence and help turn Fabregas into our next captain and Dennis, well Dennis could just be a presence. Pie in the sky maybe but I'd feel way more confident with them on board!!!
d11gunner
I think it was a typo....LD meant "scents".
SUX2BU
Excellent write-up LD. What really gets to me is how the media exaggerate so much of what happens to us. Everything is overplayed like it's literally the end of the world. The way minor incidents are hyped up in the media with us, you'd think martians had invaded earth. Your discussion of the media treatment of the Gallas incident at Birmingham is on-target and is proven by the difference in the media treatment of that game in other countries, a media which I read all the time. I had non-gooner friends in Brazil, Argentina and South Africa e-mail me and ask why the hell Gallas had suddenly become some sort of lunatic monster because for one moment he'd given in to his emotions. The media fixate and exaggerate so many things about Arsenal--even the sight of Wenger demonstrating open frustration on the touchline becomes a HUGE talking point and an opportunity to insult and abuse him. Lazy, sophomoric psychological analyses of our manager and players pour forth from witless know nothing idiots. In the last couple of days the media has MISREPORTED once again on Wenger's reaction to Tuesday's game, saying only that he blamed the penalty. They do this cherrypicking of his statements CONSTANTLY and deliberately. These are the same people who sit thru the entirety of his press conferences, which are available on the official site. Wenger clearly and equally mentions both the penalty decisions AND our defensive weaknesses, he emphasizes both equally. But the media revel in selective cheap shots against our manager (because he's French) and they choose only one part of his statements. Ferguson is a constant whiner and does not get the same kind of personally abusive stick. I don't put any weight on the importance of the CC semifinal or the FA cup thrashing to MU. We lost it at Birmingham with Clichy's mistake borne from exhaustion (and still reeling from what happened to Eduardo) and the wrongly called penalty. The breakdown rests with the squad weaknesses we gooners have been pointing to for months. One thing, tho: it seems that in recent months we have been punished far more for mistakes than other clubs. Liverpool's defensive mistakes were not punished in our CL tie. The ref let the Pool get away with a stupid Kuyt mistake in the box whereas we were punished for ours. The ref allowed Pool to get away with constant fouls and dives, while we were punished for ours. So luck has definitely played a part.
jaelle
Sorry for the long post. I wanted to include something here, ironically provided by skysports who love to trash us. Recent progress since we last won the title, at the 33 game mark: 03/04, 81 pts; 04/05, 71 pts; 05/06, 54 pts; 06/07, 59 pts; 07/08, 71 pts. We ARE progressing. skysports also pointed to the comparative youth of our squad (which rival fans always dismiss): avg age of Chelsea squad: 27 yrs, 9 mos / avg for MU: 25 yrs, 6 mos / avg age for Pool: 24 yrs, 4 mos / avg age for Arsenal: 23 yrs, 1 mo.
jaelle
Flamini is out for 3 weeks with an ankle injury...really? is wenger just gambling that if gilberto plays the end of the season and re-gains form that he has a better hand to play in flaminis contract negotiations?
bootoo
Looks like Bergkamp will study for his coaching license under Wenger: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/european_football/article3716438.ece. And if you want a rare article in the press that praises AW from an unabashedly idealistic viewpoint, check this out: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/arsenal/article3717226.ece
jaelle
Well if he's out for 3 weeks, he's got time to sign the contract then!!
adamski243
A friend and I were discussing on the way back from the Pool game the need for a defensive coach, when we underwent that 10 game record in the CL Keown was drafted in on the training ground. If we could get Adams as a defensive coach for next season, that'd be a massive move. With Bould and Rice around as well and Keown at a loose end, we really have the potential resources to home in on this.
Little Dutch
Would be great. It's one of these small anoyances of being an Arrsenal supporter at the moment. Our defence should be excellent with Kolo and Billy at the back, yetwe just can't seem to stop leeking stupid goals. TA should sort them out.
ArsenalRob
Haven't finished reading all the articles and comments, will respond later (if I still have anything to add after all you guys' posts). Just on Jaelle's piont of "Sky Sports who love to trash us" - I've been wondering about it for some time cos part of my study is media - BSkyB owns 33.3% of MUTV. Just like before Kroenke came in to buy the 50% stake of Arsenal Broadband, who controls the club's internet content and rights, it was ITV who owned half of Arsenal Broadband. Conflict of interest or me being paranoid about this whole Murdoch-style conglomerate thing going on in football broadcasting? And cool, thanks for the link, glad to hear Dennis has plans to get his coaching badges. If I remember correctly, he initially wasn't necessarily looking at a coaching job after his playing career, but just said he's open to working for the club in some capacity. Would be great to have him back in any form. :)
Lou the Gunneress
senderous needs to go. You cant afford to give a player like torres an inch of space in front of our own 6 yard box
49ers
And yeah if we do the Keown thing with the defenders again, it'd be great. Tony Adams is ideal but I don't think he'd be interested in just being a defensive coach. He said that he's getting experience and moving towards running a club himself. He even considered whether to stay as No. 2 at Pompey in the summer. Don't know if he sees himself as eventually Arsene's successor. But it's clear that he wants to be a manager in the next job. So Martin Keown or actually Nigel Winterburn (looking at his analyses as a pundit in media) would be helpful. Or if Lee Dixon's tired of working with those BBC idiots...
Lou the Gunneress
Look 49ers, had Kolo been fit post-ACN-and-injury, he would have been the one in the middle trying to stop Torres. Senderos is a 22-year-old still in his development, something he's done well this year. We're all gutted. I don't think you'd've let someone go just based on the last match. And to say that is ignoring the fact that Torres is such an unstoppable striker. It's like blaming him for Drogba's goals against us. No doubt they could have done better by giving the striker no space at all. But you don't fire people on a couple of mistakes. Or you thought there's more and stronger reasons why he "needs to go" than that one at Anfield?
Lou the Gunneress
On a Times podcast, when asked "If you had to play against a striker like Torres now, who's got all the tricks on and off the ball, can beat you with pace, and his acceleration is so scary that he's just unpredictable, what would you do now as a defender?" Nigel Winterburn simply said, "Kick him." He was half joking, but then he explained, "Seriously, he's almost unplayable. That's how good he is right now."
Lou the Gunneress
The difference is Fergusson, would never let Diarra go, and he would play him instead to play constantly Flamini and Fabregas, you have to start to rest player from the first few weeks, and make understand to everyone in the squad they are involved in the project. Instaed, Arsene played is eleven constantly, and lot of players didn't like this situation. I don't really like fergusson, but his rotation is perfect, we've seen yesterday, Andersson, Carrick, fletcher, Scholes, Hargreaves, they are busy in central midfield, but everybody is happy about his situation and had a couple of start......Diarra was quality but didn't feel at all like it, Arsene played him only if Cesc or Flamini were injure or in the Cup.....BIG MISTAKE, i'm sure you miss him now, as both Flamini and Fabregas are really tired and don't have any concurence......what do you think?
FloG
Dropping 2 points in the manner we did away to B'ham was a tipping point for us. Gallas' post match reaction simply showed that he realised its significance too. He knew that we had to go into the Chelsea game with at least our 5 point lead over ManU intact. Had we done so it wouldn't have been all over but it would have meant that whatever the results against L'pool and ManU which succeeded it we would still have been in a strong enough position to win it. Maybe we could have had a punt in the January window but he would have possibly anticipated a fit RvP, Rosicky and Eduardo in the 2nd half of the season. Just the sort of experienced players we needed.
Amos.
Lou - I need some sort of clarification on the Senderos issue.. the fact is that aside from the 10 game clean sheet time in the UCL 2 years back.. he has been a liability. He isn't mobile, he doesnt mark, he doesnt have the nous of a defender. He let Drogba run all over him whenever he played against him, he let Torres score a goal which could have been avoided. The stats do speak for themselves, and I'm sorry, I am very much for Wenger selling Senderos. He isn't capable of making it in the Premier League. He gets outmuscled in the challenges and really, I do get scared when he gets the ball at times.. he's a liability and of course I am still thinking about the Liverpool game while writing this.. we wouldn't be talking about the penalty decision had we stopped one of those goals from going in.. both for which Senderos was at fault for.
arsenalrulz4ever
Not that any of you care what i think but if you Gooners sit back and reflect on what your true aspirations were back in the summer for this season i think you'll all accept that you've had a pretty good season, Wenger has worked wonders with the squad he's had and if anything you may have overachieved on your original hopes for the season. To be knocked out of the CL at the QF stage (albeit on the end of some dubious decisions) and to be competing for the league with 6 games to go is, if you're totally honest, with the size of squad you have probably the best you could've achieved with such a youthful evolving side. Having said that, i still think you lack a plan B, unfortunately it's 100% total football, which is great to watch but the scousers and the chavs are testament to the succes you can get by playing what seems to be the new age of the long ball game. Look forward to playing you again next season...
Dr Yid
FloG - I agree, we should have done more to keep Diarra. He could have even played right back against Liverpool and Toure back in centre.
Gooner_Vin
The games that cost us were also Boro and Villa at home, we had to be putting those teams away. Once we had made such a good start, and maintained it, we seemed to have gone back to the bad habits of last season - giving away soft goals, and not playing with ruthlessness. I even remember the Man City game away from home, we won 1-3 but only scored the third goal in the last minute and gave them plenty of opportunities to get back into a game we should've been comfortably winning. That's the only problem with us, we ain't got that ruthlessness. Even Ade's terrible miss on Tuesday before he equalised. All that said, you have to hand it to this team for sticking to its principles. But if we've only got Vela to come in the Summer and the squad stays the same, I can't see us winning the title again, Man Utd and Chelsea are too strong.
Gooner_Vin
Wow, a rational, civil spurs fan, Dr Yid, thanks for your comment. (Note I do not call you a spud, that's a name I reserve for the trashy likes of YidEdy and 5-1/spursinbarca). A lot of gooners would agree with your comment except that your "no plan B" point isn't quite right. One of the features of Arsenal that everyone's picked up on this season, incl. media pundits, is exactly the fact that Arsenal have improved precisely in mixing it up, learning to win ugly, using long balls when necessary. Arsenal have shown this season that they are not one-dimensional. That was during our successful run. However, I agree that we've seen some of that old one-dimensional play come back in the last 2-3 months.
jaelle
Well reasoned post, Dr Yid. Kudos to you for showing some intelligence, unlike the other moronic Spud trolls who hang around this forum. You show them all up.
Moorish
Jaelle, yep you're right, Adebayor this season has given you that added dimension of a long ball outlet, however it's no coincidence that when his goals started to dry up so did your chances of keeping up with Man U.
Dr Yid
Moorish, easy mate or i'll never be welcome back their again lol!
Dr Yid
Flamini is out for 3 weeks.......hahaha, how ill you win the league now
spursinbarca
With reference to the plan b thing, it's interesting to note that, up until Tuesday, every single one of Arsenal's goals since Milan had been scored from a set piece with the exception of a JLloyd Samuel own goal.
Little Dutch
Spurs in arse-a, In fact, we have a better chance of winning the league than you have of finishing 9th. I would assume you're brain dead, but you did manage to turn the computer on.
Phantom of the Grove
ok phantom, be honest who has a better chance of finishing with no silverware
spursinbarca
Hi guys i'm new on here. Well been reading for a while but new to posting. Jesus those guys from down the road are bitter aren't they? As for no silverware, yes you may be right, but how often does that happen, you winning a trophy i mean.
MrArsenal
For me, it all went wrong with the Eduardo injury. We cannot blame the Eduardo injury on every single game, but we can definitely blame the Taylor tackle on the draw we got at B'ham, which took us on the path towards more and more draws and later, losses. Dr Yid, you raise a very interesting point about how the long ball game brings success. Man Utd. have a mixture of both pretty and ugly football in their game, and they're sitting at the top. Chelsea and Arsenal's sit on either extreme, and are currently only managing second and third. I don't think a purely long-ball game wins trophies. I think it's a mixture of both, and sadly, ManUtd are the only ones who have incorporated the use of both in their play.
Cheese.
do any of you know is sagna will be out of the OT match?
united4life
Hard luck on Tuesday Gunners, when Ade scored with 6 minutes to go I was hoping for the best, but admitedly preparing for the worst. I should realise by now that 6 minutes is a lifetime for Liverpool. Anyway GOOD LUCK for Sunday. A win and your 3 points behind the Mancs and then your right back in it and how many times have the Hammers thrown a spanner in the works. A long shot....but hey keep the faith. I'm sure your totally aware that I wouldn't be this magnanimous but for those penalty decisions.
Redgie
Well ManUsed got CockyRonaldo. Take him out and u will see ManUsed lingering at 3rd or 4th! Oh and take Torres out... Pool lingering @ relegation :P
Inoue Takahiro
Sadly for us Sagna is out of sundays game :-(
MrArsenal
It looked as if he was making a faster recovery than it's expected, U4L, but I'm not sure.
Cheese.
We can forget about Sunday's game. Flam and Sagna are out. Gilberto will start and we never win when he starts.
jaelle
i think that the real fall was Eduardo's injury. Maybe even more so because he completely lost his leg. If it had been like a thigh injury we would still be top of the league. I know this, i'm the son of an astrologist lol
mtlgooner
Kenny Dalglish once said,'the greatest attribute a manager can have is luck'.In your case you just havent had it,what with injuries to key players for prolonged periods and also some abysmal officaldom at crucial parts of crucial games.You just cant legislate for that kind of luck,just as King Kenny said.
cockaduddle
Just like to add on to the press bit - this lack of objectivity is not peculiar to UK, miles away at this very place where I'm sitting here typing while still nursing the wounds from Tue, it's the same. I guess it got to do with the larger fan-base manu and pool enjoy, and also becos of the lack of current english full internationals in our squad makes us "foreign" in the eyes of media...hence, Wenger always "claimed" but when Fergie opens his mouth it's "remarked", "assessed", "rationalised"; had the role been reversed and it was us instead of babel in, we would be chastised for "going to ground too easily" or "gunners dive again" and the headline would read "Liverpool ROBBED!"...if you add this on to the lesser $$$ resources we have as compared to the other big 3, imho there are more obstacles faced by our team and the manager and it made whatever success we achieve (i'm sure the team will bounce back and our time will come sooner than later) doubly sweeter and significant
Temasek
sorry, should read "had the role been reversed and it was us instead of babel in Tue's game, ..."
Temasek
WOW really just confirms my doubts about low iq amongst gooner fans..stereotyping chelsea a long ball team..despite the fact that stats have shown that we are only 2nd to you lot in terms of the no. long balls used, thats despite having drogba...give me a break and that goal was offside...ahahahahh...typical excuses..tutututut!!
essientric
Are you claiming that goal wasnt off side ?
prits
Watch a relay!!
MrArsenal
This are the couple of things I like to say to the players if I'm the professor : 1. You all have to take your chance to shoot straight to the post. You have 50% to hit on target. Out of this 50%, you will have 50% percent of not hitting straight to the keeper. If it does, you will have 50% of it being bounce off or deflected from the keeper. Then you have 50% of this loose ball ended up to you or your team mate. Take your chances!!!! 2. Bendtner - you are good in the air. No doubt but do more talking with your feet as well. You need to be more confident with your ball control. When you do one touch, first, make sure it go forward, second, it ends up to your teammate. One touch backward just give too much time for your opponents to track back and reorganize the defends. It happened too many times and its frustrates me. Remember the last season of Pires, it was when he like to play horizontal football. 3. Eboue - you are not a bad player when you are in the mood. But you lack of guts in the box is disappointing. Please think less and shoot more, instead of thinking too much than shoot. You can be a good reserve until you are more positive on the field. 4. Gallas - do more talking with your feet. Talk less to the media. 5. Traore & Hoyte - both of you will have to play with confident. Please work on your body and be more physical. You often over powered by opponent and lack in confident controlling and passing the ball. 6.Rosicky - your name without the "ro" says it all. When you are fit enough to return. I will have to play you alternatively or maybe one out of every 3 games. Maybe for a little more than 45mins each time. 7. Eduadro - When you back. I will have to hypnotize you and you will never remember you had a broken leg before. 8. Diaby - Be more physical. You have the skill but not fearsome enough. I know you will burn off you energy fast doing so, although I don't quite understand that. I will substitute you when you are tired but before than, please remember to score at least one goal.
nwkcmk
"Where did it go so wrong?" You really need to ask...?? Merde alors... LOOOL!!!
Blue is the colour
 

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