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Manchester United 2 Arsenal 0

After a controversial Champions League exit at the Nou Camp, a trip to Old Trafford was hardly heading the list of desired destinations. But United had their own preoccupations with their second leg Champions League tie with Marseilles taking place on Tuesday and the wounds of consecutive defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool still fresh, the game felt more like who could conceal their wounds the best rather than flex their muscles. Our trip North (and back down South as it turns out) was blighted by the fact that we had to travel next to the four biggest arseholes I think I`ve ever chanced across in my life. Imagine being stuck in a lift with four Tim Lovejoys for nine hours. Amongst their witticisms that Djourou`s injury was the one bright spot of the day because he`s apparently the worst player ever to play for us. Figure that out.

My sister and brother in law were also able to make the journey North thanks to the increased allocation F.A. Cup games bring, so after a quiet drink with family and friends, we were ready to join the raucous 9,000 that consummately out sung Old Trafford from beginning to end. The team selections gave us cause for encouragement with United playing three defenders and Darron Gibson in their midfield- hardly the vintage of the Keane and Scholes days. With only Walcott and Fabregas missing, you felt this was as good a chance as Arsenal would ever have to win at Old Trafford. As it turns out, Cesc and Walcott were the two players we missed the most. Arsenal began the game brightly, United clearly set up to counter attack and look for the long ball to Rooney or Hernandez as we might have expected. But United`s execution was all shot and their balls into the channels failed to hit the mark. The Gunners bossed the opening exchanges but struggled to create anything concrete.

In fact, despite Arsenal`s territorial dominance, United almost scored with their first attack when Gibson showed neat feet to find Fabio on the left, he whipped in a cross and Rafael all too easily rose above Kieran Gibbs on the back post to head over. Arsenal responded when van Persie`s curler stung the palms of van der Sar. The Gunners were growing into the game and the home support were becoming restless. But for the cod psychoanalysis of "winning mentality" etc (which is shorthand for "I don`t really know why we didn`t win, so I`ll just wheel that old chestnut out and hope it makes me look vaguely perceptive"), we were principally guilty of giving a goal away when we were under no real pressure. Rafael found it all too easy to skip past Gibbs- who had a torrid afternoon, whilst Arshavin watched on idly- he was booed off by the away support when he was substituted. Gibson found Fabio, who in turn nudged the ball to Rooney. His first time cross saw Hernandez peel away from Djourou at the back post, Almunia made the save, but Gibbs and Koscielny were too stationary and Fabio was allowed to sweep the rebound into the roof of the net. United`s home record is such that losing a goal in such circumstances rather sets you up for defeat. Particularly when they`re playing seven defenders in their side.

Arsenal almost equalised instantaneously with one of the few moments of swift action they showed in the first half, rather than the labouring and agonising over possession. Nasri played an angled pass into van Persie, he let the ball run past him, which allowed him about the only millisecond Vidic gave anyone all afternoon, he used it to aim a first time shot for the bottom corner, only for van der Sar to claw the ball just wide. It was the story of our afternoon, on the rare occasions Vidic wasn`t hoovering up, van der Sar was in inspired form. From our point of view, the truth is we look too pedestrian creatively without Fabregas and lacked penetration without Walcott. From Nasri`s resulting corner, van Persie rose above Smalling but headed just wide. At half time it was hard to be displeased with anything Arsenal had done, you just felt they needed to do it a bit quicker. Seconds into the second half; that impetus in the final third would be given to us by a centre back.

Laurent Koscielny drove forwards, finding Wilshere. He used van Persie as a sounding board to flick the ball back to Arshavin, who played Koscielny in in a promising position in the right channel. His attempted cutback led to a scramble where the ball cannoned off van der Sar`s legs, ten van Persie`s and back into the path of Koscielny. But his snapshot was brilliantly tipped round the post by van der Sar. Two minutes later, the importance of that save would be crystallized. Rafael once again went past Gibbs all too easily and once again Arshavin was only too happy to give his left back no support, Rafael`s cross almost found Hernandez but for a timely block by Djourou, the ball ricocheted into the air and Wayne Rooney was on hand to head it in off the post. When it`s not your day, it`s just not your day. Arsenal poured forwards but found United in no mood to concede ground. When the Gunners did progress beyond the midfield, Vidic was stretching tentacle like limbs out to block through balls left, right and centre. We missed Fabregas` precision.

That said, we worked van der Sar hard in the final throes and had the game come back to 2-1, you felt there would really have been some store in it for us. Gibbs saw his cross headed out by first Smalling, then Brown, only to drop to Nasri on the volley, but he hit his shot into the ground and van der Sar saved. On a luckier day, it takes a nick in a packed box and causes the keeper a bigger headache. Wilshere, the picture of perpetual movement, clipped a ball into the box for substitute Marouane Chamakh, but his header touched the crossbar. Arsenal removed two of their principle problems. Diaby is a vastly talented player, but I`ve taken to calling him 'Scarecrow`, because every time he gets the ball, I always sing Ray Bolger`s "If I Only Had A Brain" song from Wizard of Oz. He slows the game down far too much, far too often. It`s been five and a half years since he signed for Arsenal and I think I`ve lost faith that he can be taught. Arshavin is 30 years old and probably too old to be taught, but there are games and times where the "I`m a lazy genius and can do it all at half tilt" shtick gets tiresome. He can surely only now be an impact sub once Walcott regains fitness. How ironic, given that for many years Theo was the one that stood accused of only being trusted for short period of games. Both Diaby and Arshavin were booed off by the away support, but at least one of the replacements, Aaron Ramsey, received uproarious applause.

Arsenal continued to plug away, as Sagna`s inch perfect delivery was met by a Chamakh header, but van der Sar was again on hand to make the save. Thereafter, Rosicky`s shot from the edge of the box moved the veteran Dutch keeper into action again, but the rebound fell to Evra rather than Chamakh. When you have the run of the ball blah, blah, blah etc. Evra was then replaced to the sound of a resounding ear bashing from the travelling contingent, he gave as good as he got to the away section. Fair enough really. His replacement Scholes came on to perform his usual hatchet job with two terrible tackles and the referee, as per usual, bent over and smiled, only too happy to take the Scholes meat injection like every other referee in the land. The United fans even taunted the referee with "we`re Man United, we do what we want." Surely the fact that this chant is such a mainstay for United fans rings some alarm bells for officiating in this country. I mean, they take the piss out of the referee whilst he`s in the act of taking a shafting from the Glazer Boys? Are referees not just a little humiliated by that? You`ve got 70,000 people tucking a fiver into your thong, slapping your arse and demanding two sugars in their tea Chris Foy, how about developing a spine?

Whilst Foy mislaid his backbone, Johan Djourou`s collarbone was soon to implode and end his season. As United counter attacked, Giggs found Rooney; his tuck back saw Hernandez prod towards goal, only for Almunia to prod the ball away. As Sagna rushed to clear, he unwittingly stood on Djourou and around seven minutes of treatment followed. As he was treated, van der Sar was given a standing ovation by the United fans, which tells a story. Though Wenger had it right when he lamented post match, "We were punished by a United team that were more clinical than us." We had to soldier on with ten men for the second time in four days. Such is life for us at the moment. Many seem to have written the game off yesterday as a typical example of United cornering us and pouncing when it mattered. I don`t quite think it was as simple as that. United set up to play on the counter and made the best of their chances, that much is true. Where we were guilty was of conceding the first goal when there was little pressure from a United side that were struggling to even hold the ball when they had it. The ball isn`t running for us at the moment. I recall a similar period back in 2002; after we lost a long unbeaten run at Everton we went on to lose four in a row. That spell was broken by an outrageously fortuitous Steve Marlet own goal to give us a narrow victory at Fulham. That`s the sort of tonic we need now. That said, it is hard to see Arsenal beating United at home had they put a strong team out whilst we staffed our midfield with Gibbs, Diaby and Eboue. But, we`ve just got to get on with it. We are in a very good position to win the league without the distractions that United have, it`s up to us to take that chance by the throat and keep our season from steering off track. A win at the Hawthorns next Saturday is a matter of urgency.LD.

1.ALMUNIA, 3.SAGNA, 20.DJOUROU, 6.KOSCIELNY, 28.GIBBS, 15.DENILSON (29.Chamakh `59), 2.DIABY (16.Ramsey `72), 19.WILSHERE, 8.NASRI, 23.ARSHAVIN (7.Rosicky `72), 10.v.PERSIE(c). Unused: 18.Squillaci, 22.Clichy, 27.Eboue, 55.Shea.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 13 2011

Time: 5:58PM

Your Comments

for the first time since december, the players get a full week rest ahead of next game
With djourou now out we really really need Song back, any news on how close he is to coming back? And I tell you for the first time in I don't know how long I'm glad we have an international break and some of our injured players can come back (assuming others don't get injured!)
Van Der Sar had a blinder and the luck didn't run with us again..blah blah blah. Sorry LD. I've heard all of this a million times before. The only thing missing this time was the dodgy ref, despite the Utd chants. You may not like the expression 'winning mentality' but it exists. And for good reason. More excuses from Wenger. More complacency.
Wyn Mills
If you'd read it correctly, you'd see I didn't say it was solely down to luck. (Which is an entity I don't much care for anyway). But I just pointed out incidents that didn't go our way, all teams go through spells of it. We're in one now but we won't be in it forever. Winning mentality might exist, but I still maintain it's shorthand for "I don't have any solutions to suggest but am afraid to say so."
Little Dutch
not sure I saw any excuses from the manager either?
Little Dutch
I would suggest part of a winning mentality it is not adopting a victim mentality. We seem to be good at doing that these days.
Wyn Mills
Evidence for victim mentality? Pointing things out doesn't necessarily equate to blaming them outright?
Little Dutch
Once again we started too slowly, not the response you want after 2 recent cup exits. United played us perfectly yet again, you would have thunk AW might try something different by now but the team selection and plodding style was all to familiar for 60 minutes of the game. The injury to JD is a sickner in terms of our prospects for the rest of the season, lucky we made a real effort to sign that new centre half in January enit.......
The manager has given an excuse for each of the 3 defeats we've suffered in the past 10 days. ie; unlucky last minute goal (why were we even vulnerable to this?), superior opponents (we could and should have avoided), more clinical attack (more hunger to score more like). Each of them in various ways absolve our players and deflect any criticism of our tactical approach. Perhaps he sees and says things differently behind closed doors. We don't know obviously. But to the world at large it would appear he believes we are simply victims of fortune.
Wyn Mills
not blaming any player here..but can't we start a game with the most strength we have? I mean Nasri TOTALLY can fill in Cesc's role in the middle, ramsey can start any day rather than Denilson, why Rosicky on the bench? We've seen Denilson-Diaby-Wilshere did not worked against Barca..why a repeat? Faith? Where's the limit? We can start Nasri-Ramsey-Wilshere with front three of Rosicky-RVP-Arshavin..WHY clichy's not starting? Guess the boss got the answer, but even supporters can see Diaby and Denilson are not up to it, how he couldn't?? They're jogging while we're under counter-attack from ManUtd for god sake!
Correction about Denilson-Wilshere-Diaby against barca..sorry about that
The performances of Denilson and Diaby are identical to any they have given over the past 3 years, No progression at all.
After Sunderland I'm aghast as to what Wenger saw that could work by starting Diaby and Denilson together - again.
They don't really sound like excuses. An excuse would be something like, "we would have won if that pigeon hadn't shat on the crossbar." I can see wy he started Denilson and Diaby, because with Song injured he didn't have a lot of choice for a game like this, anything else would've been considered too cavalier. Actually thought Denilson had a good game yesterday.
Little Dutch
This is my opinion, I think this team is too vulnerable to counter-attack. We're so good playing when facing the ball, but when opponent runs with it towards our post, our midfielder don't have the urgency to run back to cover the defenders, hence the Fabio@Rafael goal (seriously? they could've switch shirt and we won't know it)
All the winning mentality in the world wouldn't have plugged the acres of space down our left flank. It's never going to be easy at OT and the idea that you can prosper there just with a little extra will power is palpable nonsense. It's always been the most pathetic of jibes but a convenient because you can't measure it and therefore can't disprove it. That's why it's so routinely trotted out. I didn't see any lack of a will to win yesterday. In the end the shortcomings were more fundamental and the strengths not quite strong enough on this occassion.
Again LD, its not necessary down to the individual, its the combination that we have seen time and time again didn't work. Denilson played well when Cesc is around him. Combined with Diaby, we can only see sideway passes among them. Combined with Cesc, we can see fast one-two between them. The way Diaby played, he's better off playing a lone striker... hold up the ball well..IMO
Incidentally while Fabio and Rafael are nominally defenders they were playing as wingers/wingbacks. To give Fergie his due he had it set up perfectly to exploit the way we set up. The team he picked had a fair amount of thought put into it and certainly wasn't cobbled together from his spare parts. It could all have been undone had we scored first but such are the fine lines between tactical success and tactical failure.
If they are marauding down our left flank should one of the midfielders cover that side of the pitch more? should Arshavin play a little deeper and help Gibbs? or do they all need their arses to be wiped and be told to do something that is so glaringly obvious? Dealing with game situations is a major fault of this side.
I'd agree with that, Arshavin particularly should know by now. The "winning mentality" stick is a preconceived criticism. The same way that every defeat could be averted with the sale of Denilson, Almunia and Bendtner, or with the purchase of a centre half, it's trotted out without thought. When we beat Chelsea and Barcelona at home, nobody put it down to a winning mentality. Nobody put United's consecutive losses to Chelsea and Liverpool down to a lack of winning mentality. It's a spare coin in the pocket, tossed in the air every time the result is a little less than what we want.
Little Dutch
The problem is that the side isn't really set up to let Arshavin play as the free player he needs to be so if a defender or midfielder gets dragged over to plug a gap left on that side there's a hole somewhere else unless another player reads that. All fine in theory except that nobody is too sure what position Arshavin is gonna take up or if and when he will...least of all Arshavin himself. He has become used to being left to his own devices in the Russian league. Getting him to fully adjust here is too big an ask now.
More than any tactical hokey cokey Fabio, Rafael and Rooney were busting a gut to score. Call it hunger. call it desperation. call it 'winning mentality'. call it whatever you like. We sure as hell didn't have it, judging by the way certain players were trotting around. Way I see it. Gents, we'll have to agree to disagree once more.
Wyn Mills
Fact: Arsenal almost ALWAYS dominate possession - especially when, as commonly, Arsene Wenger rounds the figure up to the nearest 10, making a neat '60 or 70'. (Watch out for this in his next post-defeat interview.) Unfortunately, a lot of teams worked out some while ago that one of the most efficient ways to beat Arsenal is to let them have the ball almost for as long as they want it, and then clobber them on the break. And, as a result of always dominating possession, Arsenal haven't won anything for six years and counting. Possession, we can conclude, is NOT nine tenths of the law. It's practically nothing.
And how is possession calculated to such a refined degree, indeed - down to a single percentage point, indeed? What astonishingly precise scientific tool is used? As far as we know, it's a stop watch. And furthermore, the clock is running and it counts as possession when a player is holding the ball at a throw-in. In other words, far from reflecting an overwhelming domination of the play in the key areas, a possession percentage could merely mean that your left-back couldn't find anybody unmarked on four separate occasions during the second half, or that your right-back was going through a spell of enormous indecision, as a person. So, possession statistics are, by and large, rubbish.
You've used a lot of words there bluemillionaire without saying anything sensible at all. Arsenal win the majority of games they play so arguing that possession stats have no significance is a bit silly. On their own they don't mean a great deal of course but it's no great surprise that all the top teams tend to dominate possession whether it be Arsenal, Manu, Chelsea or City. Those with the lowest possession stats are usually busy trying to avoid relegation.
LD, for the 2nd goal, I'll look more at Diaby's role (or lack of one) rather than Arshavin. Van Der Sar had just made a save and Arshavin remained behind him waiting for a slip/drop ball, as most forwards do when they expect keepers to be unaware of their presence. Diaby should be covering that left channel for him, had plenty of time to run into position, but simply jogged his way back to the middle and allowed the united player in the right channel run all of 70 yards 'unaccompanied'. He could have done more and showed he wants it; we need more runners and grafters in midfield, a quality Diaby has shown little of this term.
Sorry Amos, Let me be more specific.... United reserves (with 2 defenders playing as wingers) 2 - 0 Arsenal..pass, pass, pass, nothing, pass pass pass,nothing.... sorry for using a lot if words previously
..and I agree with LD about Denilson having had a good game yesterday. He just can't do much right by most fans these days, can he. He was very energetic, made himself available to the defenders and fellow midfielders, as an option, was tough in the tackle (the twins will tell you so) and did a few forward passes, quite contrary to the commentators' criticism of him being a sideways passer; result of the bandwagon effect, if you ask me.
I see. So you have based your whole football perspective on the merits of possession on the outcome of one game. Even using fewer words it doesn't amount to much does it? Hardly the most compelling contribution to these forums.
A lot of fans underestimate the impact of the physical and mental exertion the side went through at the Nou camp, only to travel to OT next and be expected to play with characteritic sharpness. Good thing United had eyes on their CL game and set up in an unusual formation, so we did have a chance but for VDS' inspired keeping and some unlucky situations. I thought we showed desire as a team, but did have some below par individual performances. There are things the coach can't teach you; one of these is rising up to occasions and we need to improve this aspect of our approach to games. Speaking of which, I feel Wenger must teach the team how to play/react in times of adversity like playing with 10 men (or against '12 men'). We seem to fall apart and give up whenever we are down to 10, against top sides, even if we need to chase the game, then play the victim when some decisions go against us.
the one game is the topic of this article, or isn't it? I could also add Sunderland or even Birmingham... I wont add Barcelona, they didn't even give you chance to waste their time...
It is but you were talking in general terms were you not? Certainly the possession counted for nothing in this game but when we played Chelsea at the Emirates we came away with 61% possession and a victory - so damning the strategy on the outcome of one game isn't very informative.
You're that close from winning a zillion trophy's yet you always fall just short. Your team imo is better than Man Utd's yet you lose to them almost every time (As do we) It can't always be bad luck or poor refereeing (A particular favourite on here) They have so much determination & experience in their side aswell as the talent which is why theyre so good. Its even evident for us, if you witnessed Sandro's, Gallas's and VDV's performances in the CL this year you'd realise that "Winning Mentality" isn't some golden egg and that the experience of having players in your side who have been there, done it and got the tee-shirt is vital. We'd have got nowhere without them especially when you consider its our first year in the competition. Leadership, old heads, experienced players with trophy's under their belt - you seem to have less and less of these every season. And if Cesc leaves this summer more of the same. Just because Paul Merson and Co suggest this reasoning for your annual March collapse doesn't necessarily mean its false.
Sandro, Gallas and VDV all played in the loss to Fulham didn't they? Gallas played in your loss to Blackpool and featured in a few defeats against ManU while playing for us too. So what happens to those players winning mentalities when they are losing games? Winning mentality is a myth and for all their determination and experience ManU have lost their last two PL games. All the top teams have the mentality to win, most wouldn't make it as professional footballers if they didn't, but closely contested games are often decided on much finer details than that.
I think our style of play is predicated on having several players with outstanding technical ability, but when they are off form or injured we don't have anything else to fall back on. Man U proved that despite their overall comparative lack of technical ability against us, they will work harder and just want it more. The tap-in scored by Rafael is not a goal that would be scored by Arsenal, because few players have that same hunger to get in the box. We try to play like Barca, but they have outstanding finishers and we don't.
Mr Hudders, I just looked at the premiership table now and arsenal have the most wins, and should have won more. I think arsenals problem is down to bad luck than winning mentality. we can say chelsea lacked the winning mentality in 07/08 season or was it just down to bad luck. In spite of the so-called manutd mentality, they dont seem to win all the big games either. for example, they haven't won at stamford bridge since 2002 while arsenal have won thrice,
as i highlighted in my comment in another article, "we have lost 6 times in our last 7 travels to OT and lost 8 games, drew 2 in the last 11 against mu. obviously, saf knows exactly how to play us just like mourinho who never lost a game against wenger. now even teams like birmingham & sunderland know how to play us". clearly we need some injection of new ideas tactically. we seem to have a self-implode timer that would trigger anytime. we have been breaking all records for the wrong reason in the past few years. teams like birmingham, spurs, wigan & newcastle had staged shocking comeback against us in just a couple of years. whenever it was absolutely crucial to win, we would blow it. we have been claiming that we were more superior against others by the statistics of our possesion. dont we realised it it is a delusion? teams are actually happy to let us continue with our sideway passing because that is how they could hit us on counter attacks & set pieces. just look at our statistics against mu & chelsea in the past 6 years. it would easily show we dominated 9 out of 10 games but lost 9 out of 10 as well. again, time to ask some serious questions
Amos, Dawson had aweful 10 minutes giving a goal and penalty. Got send him off, which meant Harry had to substitute Sandro in 10min with a defender. So, you are wrong there. The midfield didnt get into the game at all at Fulham. It was just a very bad 10 minutes from one player caused the result.
LD I concur with your judgement of the game. Gibbs had a poor game, and Diaby along with Arshavin seems to fail to understand you have to track back and help in defense; Theo used to be guilty of the same thing. Wyn explain to me how the manager is supposed to explain our loss. They were all sh@t and i stuffed up the coaching. We had shots on goal and we missed because we we all sh@t and their goal keeper saved them all. I didnt buy in the transfer market because all the dills told me to buy this this this and I stuffed up. Our club has the best bunch of young stars around but i should have wasted 130million by buying this this and this. Perhaps we should have stayed at Highbury with crowds of 35000 and not spent the 400 million on a new stadium worth what now?? Cost to buy now ?? We are just paper thin from being the best team in Europe make no mistake of that. If we win the EPL (comment I have seen on one of the blogs said we would still be lossers if we won the EPL) how many will come running back saying what a great team we are we have won the EPL. A few weeks ago we beat the Barca at home and all the fair wind followers were out in force what a team we are. I dont need to tell you how many important players we have missing but two weeks rest and a game a week,(note we played Barca three days ago Manure had a weeks rest) my money is still on us to lift the EPL. HY your comments are fair but i tend to side with Amos on this.
How about 'we were not good enough. We have to up our game substantially. This team is talented but we have to want this title a bit more.' Not asking for Wenger to go. Not saying the new stadium was a bad move. Not saying all our players are sh@te. Not even saying we played badly. I just want the manager and some of the players to stop feeling sorry for themselves and look closer to home for some of the reasons why we're falling at the final hurdle.
Wyn Mills
That illustrates my point perfectly sydqcb5 there are many variables in the game that determines the outcome. Psychology plays a role but it isn't anything like as simple as the presence or absence of a 'winning mentality' among players. Pretty well all players have that psychological strength anyway.
Wyn have you ever in your life coached a team? I am sure when he talks to them he points out their faults, his desires and aims as a coach. I would think coaches such as Martin Johnson would not only acknowledge his ability but uses his knowledge with the England team. I am sure he is aware of their shortcomings but honestly the number of games these lads have played over the this part of the season including high profile games with the media only to pleased to rubbish him at every opportunity. Was he wrong with the Brum defeat? was he wrong at the Sunderland defeat? Did he defeat Barca at home? His team considering the number of players out; and oh yeah thats all his fault too has performed every time never dropping their heads and trying their best. Which players have said they were sorry for themselves? Most of them have said sorry to their fans for not winning. Its the fans who are feeling sorry for themselves. Fans who three weeks ago were saying what a marvelous manger to bring nick as Arshvin on to beat Barca. If you have never coached a team, just try it for a while, perhaps then you will not be so unforgiving.
Whatever it is, I think thereís something plainly missing from our side and it all feels a bit too familiar from seasons gone by. Itís probably a combination of factors rather than just Ďwinning mentalityí. Our game relies far too much on Cescís creativity, so when heís not around we canít unlock defences in the final third. Perhaps we should vary our game and play Bendtner and/or Chamakh centrally and start crossing more balls into the box. We canít expect Diaby and Denilson to operate in the same formation and expect it work like clockwork. As nice as our pretty patterns looked on Saturday, we never looked really being able to hurt United in the final third. What really grates is that United didnít seem to have to do an awful lot to beat us because of our propensity to concede goals. I simply cannot believe how players like Diaby and Arshavin have seen first-hand the work rate of Barcelona and then can be so lazy the next game. Watching Diaby tackling is laughable. It gives you the impression we donít work hard enough in training on that side of the game. Booing your own players isnít right though. I believe Denilson does try hard and gives his all, but probably just isnít top quality. Anyway, time to really get behind the team and go on a 10 match winning run. We have 3 winnable matches coming up. 3 wins would change everything.
Quick question HY, these experienced heads you have signed (Gallas, VDV and Sandro) should help you finish equally or higher than the inexperienced bunch that got you 4th last season right? When we needed the experience and leadership of Gallas during the title run in of 2008 he sat on the centre circle crying.
Arsenal first XI can beat any team but my issue is with the rest of players. I would have expected more fire from them to prove to Wenger that they are first team players. Denilson and Diaby coast through games, unaware of the score. Bendtner talks a good game and yet can't control a single ball. I think their attitude is the problem. Talent is good but a little bit of fire and aggressivity would take us a long way. Jack is always fired up. Rooney the same. Players who hate losing. You don't learn that. With fame and money, players who don't have that fire in them become lazy and go through the motions.. Get me a Vermaelen or a Vidic anytime.. Always up for the fight..
It's mad how much current players and ex players talk about winning mentality though isn't it, Cesc and Petit for e.g. I don't think people should pour scorn over posters talking about us not having it when the club captain has said we haven't possessed it.
The point im trying to make is that something surely must be wrong when a team as good as yours (Seriously have you seen how good your midfield and attack is?) amazingly collapses predictably every Feburary/May and is soon to be 7 years without a trophy. You're better than Man Utd imo on paper yet they beat you every year, in the same way. Chelsea usually do aswell as will Cit£h in the coming years. Its not all "Bad luck and poor refereeing" and its certainly not lack of talent. So what is it then? And using the Fulham game to dismiss that theory is unfair, it wasnt exactly our priority + we had a mare. Xavi, Puyol and Messi lost at home to Rubin Kazan last season. so what. Besides youre a better team than us and i thought you'd be asking more questions yourselves.
Iceman10 the very fact that were competing with the £1.7Billion combined investment sides of Man City and Chelsea for 4th with our current limited infustructure and modest wage bill makes me very happy indeed. I suppose when you look at those ridiculous figures you should be delighted finishing higher than both of them aswell!

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WBA 0 - 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd
Swansea 2 - 1 Arsenal

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
3. Man Utd 16 9 4 3 12 31
4. West Ham 16 8 4 4 8 28
5. Southampton 16 8 2 6 12 26
6. Arsenal 16 7 5 4 9 26
7. Spurs 16 7 3 6 -2 24
8. Newcastle 16 6 5 5 -4 23
9. Swansea 16 6 4 6 2 22

Breaking League News

Liverpool: Reds Draw Chelsea In Semis
Ľ Liverpool : 17/12/2014 21:52:00
Ľ Newcastle : 17/12/2014 21:38:00
Irish Striker Arrives For Talks?
Ľ Q.P.R. : 17/12/2014 21:27:00
Striker Signs Pro Deal With QPR
Ľ Q.P.R. : 17/12/2014 21:26:00
Milner Talks Stall?
Ľ Man City : 17/12/2014 21:23:00

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