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Team News: West Brom v. Arsenal

Arsenal XI: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Nasri, Denilson, Wilshere, Ramsey, Arshavin, van Persie

Arsenal Bench: Lehmann, Rosicky, Eboue, Gibbs, Chamakh, Miquel, Bendtner

West Brom XI: Carson, Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey, Scharner Mulumbu, Brunt, Morrison, Thomas, Odemwingie

West Brom Bench: Myhill, Jara, Cox, Tamas, Fortune, Cech, Tchoyi

Ref: Stuart Attwell

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 19 2011

Time: 2:51PM

Your Comments

HAHA what a brilliant start!!!Not.
Just got home. Wth happened?!?! :(
I could kill the **** Wenger if he knew Vermalen would be out for the season and still did not buy a cover.
Alright Wegnhaa .. we will give you credit for getting done by WBA .. twice.. Good going
haha.. its funny you know..
We're never going to achieve anything playing the chuckle brothers. Koscielny has been good with Djourou and I'm sure Squillaci is a decent player but together, everything they touch turns to *****. Big test of the boys' character. The big players simply have to step up.
Is there anyone looking forward to having Squillacy and Kos in defense together against Manure and L'pool?
Ignasi Miquel \m/ , Armory
Dunno he is very young.
Lost all my confidence in CBs with a name like ''Miqel'
If Nasri doesn't wake up, then Arsenal won't win this game. We need him more than anyone else.
I have to admit, I am getting fed up to the back teeth with this group of players. Never mind the "hairdryer," it's a blast in front of a JET ENGINE this team needs. They are letting the fans down badly.
Lol, wake up Jule, theyve been doing that for 6 years and counting.
If Nasri doesn't wake up Arsenal won't win this game? We'll be lucky to get a point.
Professor Calculus
Anyone got any good streams. I've been searching and searching and couldn't find a decent one. Could any of you guys please PM me if you've got one??
Best chance in 3 years and we are blowing it. Our season has now got 45 minutes left.
I wonder what the excuse will be at seasons end? And if the fans will finally revolt.
Oh come on we're gonna come out firing in the second half. We've got plenty of resources on the bench as well if needed. So let's just not concede defeat already. There's many more a goal to be scored in this game. Hopefully by us.
Our season had 4 cups, then 3, then 2 and finally 45 mins, all in the space of about 3 weeks.
Professor Calculus
we are absolute *****e! Denilson is poor in midfield
e dubbz
@ Eboue=GOD
e dubbz
I'm watching Blackburn at the moment.....C. Adams what a player he is.
Yeah thanks edubbz. But I thought posting live links on the forum and the walls was banned.
Ban incoming!
Ah it's Denilson. Finally Arsene's realised Denilson was just a passenger.
Chamakh's on. Don't know in who's place though
The unstoppable march of the bottle merchants continues. How the hell does anyone think we have a hope in the league is mind boggling? We'll get nothing out of today, playing a system noone has any faith in with the dearth of quality available. Bendtner is pretty gash no doubt but given robin a chance at the mo he has nuthin, no service no chance. Ramsey is on what in the name of feck is Denilson on for???????????? Utterly clueless, same old Arsenal no urgency, no directness, no leaders and no feckin idea. The season ends today and I have no interest in watching us unravel further. Depressing beyond words.
Ramsey was marking Reed for their header; not sure what the CBs did wrong there. There's still a lot to play for in the 2nd half and we have to stay positive.
Good news is that virtually anyone can replace Denilson.
For all the 'creative' players on the field we've created one chance from a rare decent cross by Clichy
Utd are drawing though and have a worse defence playing than you!
Cu season
who saw what almunia did???! wtf????????
e dubbz
hahah Lehman's curse is back!
depressing. west brom are playing exactly the same way as all other teams except barca that picked up points against us & that's for 6 years and counting. insanity is defined as doing something exactly the same but expecting different results. wenger knows... nothing
well im off to bed then.
there we go. the timer is triggered again. we implode again when it matters most
u cvnnt Almunia. useless feckin half witted joke of a keeper. Once again the laughable stinginess of our management and board has thrown another season down the crapper. But it's ok cos we're a young team with strong mental resolve we'll get over it, 9 points against utd, the scouse and the scum? Cast iron, no probs. fvcck this.
I'm sure Amos and LD are more objective and will find some other reasons for our downfall, rather than 'scapegoating' players but Almunia consistently makes the most basic of errors time and again. Once a season he'll make some great stops in a game but at the end of the day he costs us more points than he gains. A midtable goalkeeper at very best. Not even close to being good enough.
this is shocking! absolutely crap!
e dubbz
Almunia isnt good enough thats why he is 3rd choice.Its not like AW as alot of choice for goalkeepers,dunno what you expected.
Who was it said they hope Lehman just comes as a bench player??? Jeez... ANYONE is better than Almunia. We could always borrow an average sunday league keeper, I'm sure they'd do a better job.... Hopeless... Season OVER!!!!!!!!!!
arshavin! great goal!
e dubbz
come end of the seoson, nasri & clichy will refuse to renew their contracts. fab will hand in his transfer request. we will use all the money saved from their wage to give almunia, denilson etc long term contracts. maybe also buy some 16 year-olds to pull down the average age of the team & start telling everybody we are in transition but have a great future because the average age of the team is under 23, the same old gimmick over half a decade
shoot shoot shoot the ball..thats what happens when you shoot the f-ing ball
Ooh andrey,someone is finally trying after 70mins!
Game on? I'll try and stay positive as long as we're in it. United drawing and down to 10 btw. Don't write Arsenal off yet. We're just as Jekyll as we are Hyde remember.
2 **** 2! yes!!!!!
e dubbz
4-2-4 FTW
Unsurprisingly United get one. Now we really need another. Come on boys!
Denilson CANNOT ever be a defensive midfielfer. I am totally flummoxed as to how Arsene can consider him as a DM. He's not got strength. He's not got pace. He's not got experience. We need a person with at least 2 if not all three of these qualities. Denilson can't play that role. If Denilson plays then he needs a bigger stronger man alongside him in midfield to hold the fort. And also after today's comedy moment(for other fans), I request Arsene solemnly to seriously consider putting Mad Jens in.
jackstan.. you re no\t in CL anymore..
How could anyone claim Eboue is god, he's a cheating, diving, imaginary card waving **** and his dirty tackles have injured a fair amount of players, plus he's *****! Goodbye Assnul, thanks for the jokes!
jackstan if you want to come here to troll about members' names then good luck to you. Because the insults are not hitting home.
I keep saying the lads just need to talk less in the media and play more on the pitch. I had figured with one week to prepare (for a change), we could have made more of this game but shambolic defending and undecisive keeping has cost us goals that United wouldn't be conceding and that is the crux of the matter. United comes to the Hawthorns and WBA will just give them a free run at them; these teams only save their best for us and this has become a trend we appear to have no answer for.
There's a lack of penetration again which I saw in today's game. We tried to play our way through again which worked partially in the second half. But the thing is that against a better defence we would have been easily shut out. We need two things: an outlet with pace(like Walcott) and players getting into the box in numbers when crosses come in from the wing.
who the ***** is jackstan?? go to hell you****! go do what your name suggests
e dubbz
We were vulnerable on the counter once more. That's why we conceded the second goal. Although the mistake accounted for a major part of that.
jackstan you guys have troubles of your own. Why don't you go away like a good child and attend to them. You've got a striker who cost 50m quid yet I can proudly say that I myself have scored as many goals as him for Chelsea. So please don't come over here and try to get under our nerves. It's not working.
Offensively I find it difficult to groan today. Wenger did the right thing in going 2 up top and Chamakh was pretty decent when coming on. It's good to know that we have that plan B. I don't want to point to injuries because it's an easy way out, but without Cesc we're never gonna create a huge number of chances. Some will say, go and spunk 50 million on Ozil or something but I don't know any world class playmakers willing to benchwarm until Cesc gets injured. On the downside, Almunia and Denilson were especially *****. Yes, I am blaming the same players. But there's a reason for it. Players like these seriously need to up their game or we need to get shot of them in the summer. We're not out of the hunt yet (United aren't good enough this year to have it wrapped up) but we continue to make it difficult for ourselves. If we're less than 3 points behind by the time we play United I'll be happy. It's not over yet boys and girls, let's keep the faith while we still can.
No eboue we conceded the 2nd goal because we have an abject 6th rate pinhead between the sticks. All of this should have been sorted out last summer it's not fair on either party Arsenal football club because we deserve and require a top drawer keeper and Almunia as he is patently and never has been that. Some things you can scrimp and save on and bring through the ranks without it costing you points, a keeper is not one of those. Here we are at the last desperate throw of the towel to salvage a season and we're faced with that hapless feckin incompetent, he cannot handle any form of pressure and his decision making is not even amateur level. Now it's game over because nothing will improve. We will not make up the 5 points with the games we have remaining, I can see us only picking up a maximum of 3 against utd the scouse and the scum. You are at fault Arsene, appalling negative selection again. And how many times does your tightfisted transfer market gambling have to spectacularly backfire before you are taken to task?? RVP needs someone to partner when he doesn't have cesc, walcott. Yeah keep the tippy tappy bollix when we're 3 up, stick a lump like cham/bendtner on to start with to get us in that position because without fabregas this side cannot succeed playing the way you want. If you cannot see and are not willing/flexible enough to see this and make the change accordingly then your stubbornness will have thrown the title away for sure. Plan B must now become Plan A until cesc returns for his final few games at Arsenal.
eboue=god, we are vulnerable because of our tactic. our passing is very short, thus covering an area would require a lot more involvement of players and more runnings. this may explain why our players get muscular injuries more often. this tactic also compels us to defend high up the pitch with wingbacks overlapping from the flanks, leaving the back open when they fail to track back quick enough. for many seasons, our opponents have been exploiting our glaring deficiency by launching long balls to the flanks as when they could. when they did, our central defenders would be pulled out of position and subsequently everything would go haywire. if they failed with long ball counter attacks, they could simply wait for set pieces. we probably conceded 70% of goals from set pieces. i am sure i am repeating what everyone knows here except wenger...
Niko - totally agree. It's fine when you have your best 11 available and not carrying niggles and on form to play the tippy-tappy 4-3-3 way, but unless your backup players are nearly on a par with your first team, it ain't gonna work. In which case, you need to play a different way to get a result. Not conceding, keeping it tight, and nicking it - a la the hallmark of championship winning sides. There's simply not enough pressure at Arsenal to win anymore. The Board are satisfied with top 4 finishes as long as we keep filling the stadium. What recent teams under Wenger have proven is that they can't deliver when they need to. Now we need to do it every single game till the end of the season. Yeah, right, that's gonna happen!
The mistake from Almunia was an absolute farce, with Squillaci also at fault. Our first half was at a far too slow tempo with simple passes being misplaced, and Denilson was the main culprit imo, and I'm not even sure I saw a tackle from him either. (although Amos will probably bring out a stat to prove me wrong). I know Arsenal fans are quick to blame certain players, but I feel that criticism of these players' performance today is justified. I'm still clinging on to the fact that it is still in our own hands though, it could have been much worse.
Gun 'Em Down
Hopefully this international break gives the players a mental break from Arsenal, lets injured players recover and hopefully there are no new injuries.
Gun 'Em Down
Sick of this *****. Wenger is the architect of this team and must bear the blame.
Whilst the manure v chav 2 legger is a massive bonus, I just have no faith in this set of players to capitalise on any potential slip any more, I only see potential slips for us, sad but true. Bolton and stoke away? blackpool away, fulham away on the last day. All look like draws to me the way this side are conducting themselves. I'm not surprised and this is no lingering disappointment at the three cups as i fully expected us to lose against Barca and utd and in the exact manner in which we did too. With the exception of van persies red I could've written the script, we all could have. The utd game even more so, possession possession possession, round the area, other side of the area, centre edge of box more possession back to original side of their box, allez oops counter one shot goal utd. We are damningly predictable to watch and play against, most teams have our number now, there is never a surprise from us never any mixing up tactics, player after player comes out stating we are told always to pass not shoot as if to say 'don't take it out on us guv only following orders'. I could forgive and continue to unconditionally support if i can see lessons are learnt from mgmt and players alike but they never are and I mean never. Right now i just don't know if I can be arsed to watch us any more this season, i hear people say it's enough to just see my team play and fair enuff, i'm happy for you, but i just don't enjoy the way this group of players when missing what 3 players? they just fanny about meandering aimlessly like clouseau on crack. It's frustrating constipation cos you know that shh1tts in there somewhere and it may or may not explode into life.
I feel it isn't all doom and gloom already as there are going to be many twists and turns in the run-in. I am not sure any other top side has gone to the Hawthorns and dominated WBA as we did today; recall they did get some results against top sides too (I think United was 2-2 at OT). To be fair the lads didn't give up till the end and gained a point, instead of losing all 3. However, I agree we do need Cesc and Theo this stage.
Shocking that we needed to be two goals down to get some shots on target and bombard the West Brom defence. It is a very unfortunate time in the season to have a dip in form overall. With 5 key first team players out - Cesc, Szczesny, Djourou, Vermaelen, Walcott it may be irrational to expect sterling performances each game but basic defensive organisation is something which has to be taken for granted at this level. That said, the fans have to decide whether to write this team off and then not have too many expectations or to get behind them even at the risk of failure. The middle ground of slating the club, team and manager and at the same time expecting us to win the league is hypocritical. I personally do not expect us to win the league this season now and will have expectations only to finish second.
And can people please stop referring to Almunia Denilson Squillaci etc as 'scapegoats' please check the dictionary definition of scapegoats and realise they are most definitely not scapegoats as they are fully deserving of the criticism levelled, it's not unwarranted, it's not unjustified, it's not misdirected by blind fans who don't know a thing about the game. It's there for a reason and you don't need me to tell you what that reason is.
How can you include Vermaelen Delta??? He has been out since frickin August and we have had a transfer window to rectify that. Now Wenger says he never expected him back. Oh really? but when the transfer window was open it was 2-3 weeks. Now he always knew he wouldn't return? If i lied like that to my paymasters then the phone calls would stop. I would be stunned if we finished 2nd I fully expect a fight for 3rd, did I say fight? sorry rather strong word to use I mean limply partially compete.
Anyway I'm off out on the lash b4 I depress u chaps any further. :) We are feckin doomed tho make no mistake :(
You are right Niko, it should be Song in place of Vermaelen. The simultaneous absence of Djourou and Song has hit us hard. I find Squillaci's performances when alongside Djourou consistently good but he just cant seem to gel and develop an understanding with Kos. Chelsea and City are close to us and dropping down to third is likely if our form doesn't improve. One can only hope that Cesc and Song return soon followed by Walcott. The presence of these three will make a big difference.
Almunia has demonstrated time and again that his decision making on crosses, high balls and 50-50's with strikers is not upto par as is his communication with his defenders. That said, thats why he is the 3rd choice goalkeeper. It is extremely freakily unfortunate to have both Szczesny and Fabianski injured at the same time.
You know even with our Sellotape and super glue transfer policy we would probably have won the Carling cup and be 6-8 points better off in the league if somebody on the coaching staff had the balls to work on defending set pieces. 54% of our goals conceded are from set plays FIFTY FOUR PERCENT, that is a joke.
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 when will this farcical saga ever end,
cornish gooner
Not sure whether Wenger is a conjurer or a con artist. Whatever he is he's going to have to work harder to renew belief in this team. Not many showing any 'winning mentality' at the moment.
Wyn Mills
there he goes, wenger blames the pitch again for our poor performance against west brom. he has lost it
There were too many passers of the ball on the pitch. There wasn't somebody who could just run at 'em like Walcott or even Fabregas who does it sometimes. Nasri tried and Wilshere did but they are not as scary as a Walcott running at you. Also the first goal we scored it came as a result of good direct running at towards goal from Arshavin. That was a real top class goal. I just get so flustered by Arshavin. If he can provide moments like that then why can't he do it for the whole of the 90.
niko and Joe I meant the same thing. The major part of the second goal was contributed to by Almunia's mistake but it also came about as a result of them trying to exploit our vulnerability on the break.
Apologies for the erratic use of grammar two posts above.
It's not about silverware that comes and it goes, & 6 yrs aint a farcical saga so don't believe that media driven soundbyte piffle, but, and it is a sir mix a lot size but, there are cracks that have been papered over which could and should have been remedied long before it got to this, our defensive shortcomings have been detailed to the point of tedium yet almost to spite ourselves and to prove a stubborn point these shortcomings have not been redressed. Squillaci and Almunia are short term stopgaps but they are patently substandard stopgaps, who here would not rather see potential like Miquel, Bartley or Mannone strive and fail and learn for the future rather than past their prime never weres like the aforementioned cock things up in repetitively futile fashion? Wenger did change things round sharpish today, subs at half time are almost unheard of but we should've never started with that line up really, please for the rest of the season don't isolate RVP, without cesc to feed eye of the needle passes to him he's peripheral, give him bendtner or chamakh to play off. Forget Arshavin unless he's playing in the hole, passengers don't pay dividends. His stamina is low so use him wisely and sparingly. To get ahead in games lets put this whole square pegs arrogance to bed. We are facing well drilled prem hardened outfits, No cesc, then lets play to strengths with our other world class MF samir central and two strikers ahead of him. The rigidity of this system is stifling and killing the nature of the undisputable talent we have. For a club that takes so many gambles in the market to make do, we have become stultifyingly reticent to do likewise when it comes to formation and tactics. Every passing game seems more of a vainglorious fart from the cult of Wenger that makes Evras taunt of you're just a footballing academy seem painfully closer to the bone.
The rigidity of the system is a really good point raised by you niko. We have players playing out of there natural positions like Nasri, Arshavin and Denilson. That is one too many. Nasri and Arshavin are playmakers. They are being wasted down the flanks. But the lack of personnel has just forced them to play those roles and although they have adjusted quite well to those roles yet they are still performing at a level much lower than what they can achieve if playing in the center.
As Nasri showed in the second half, in the absence of Cesc he needs to play a deeper role for better ball distribution and defensive solidity. No use playing Nasri in an advanced position with no Cesc and Song behind him to play the playmaker and DM roles. Ramsey needs more time to bed in and while Denilson is an effective shield against counter attacks he offers us little forward movement. A strong central midfielder who can play box to box is urgently required in the team restructuring.
The error by Almunia was the sort no top class keeper would make. And therein lies the story of our season and a few before it. No point bemoaning bad luck and bad pitches. Our current problems are entirely self-inflicted.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, if you say an error like that cannot be committed by a world class goalie then you might be a bit wrong. Because I do seem to remember Jens commiting a similar(if not bigger) error against Panathinaikos in 2005 CL group stages I think. And he has also committed many more errors after and before that. Yet we still call him world class. I'm not defending Almunia in any way yet I seem to think that if Almunia is criticised so much then why not Jens as well.
Deltaforce why don't we just say that we need an Essien in the midfield. A guy who can play any position, who can score goals, who can head, who can tackle, who can take a fall for the team if required. That's what we need. An Essien type player.
I thought we were meant to "Do something funny for Money" on Friday? So what the **** was Arsenal's goalkeeper doing yesterday? ha ha ha
BigBadBobbyC 9
I disagree that Denilson is an effective shield against counter attacks. Counter attacks are often fast, while Denilson is painfully slow to catch up with runners to have a chance to make a tackle imo.
Gun 'Em Down
Have a feeling these last 9 games of the season will be the last we'll see Cesc in an Arsenal shirt (if fit), so we may as well try and enjoy that whilst he's here. I'm convinced he'll go this Summer and you cannot blame him. Without him, I don't see the 4-3-3 formation working. He's the only one that can make it work really effectively. Nasri is great, but noone has Cesc's ability to see and make the cutting edge pass. It will be shattering to lose our best player and can't really see Wenger going out and buying a ready made replacement.
Gun 'Em Down, Denilson is not fast granted but he anticipates the runners in the counter attacks quite well and often intercepts passes before they reach the runners. Not saying Denilson is the first choice solution in midfield, but he has some good qualities. Eboue=God, yes we need an Essien type. Not the Essien of this season mind but of two seasons back! Very few players like that. Though he is injury prone, Fellaini is very good. Tiote at Newcastle is quite good too.
Although on the face of it we are still in the hunt for the PL in many ways I think the Tottenham result yeaterday may be more significant to us. Realistically the team could not put away Ipswich , Leeds and Huddersfield wihout a real struggle and the Pl results in this same period have reflected this as well, aand now her real pressure is on those indicators of form are going ot become reality I fear. Unfortunately this is a team limping to the end of the season with only two CB's and one goal keeper, and I think we should keep an eye on those CL places for next year, rather than dream of what is now not a realistic target.
I take it Almunia was being chased by a massive bee :P Still plenty of points available yet and we're not ruling you out so you guys shouldn't either.

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