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Arsenal 0 Blackburn Rovers 0

Yesterday began quite well. I managed to catch the first half of the West Ham v Manchester United match shortly before leaving for the ground. Two penalties saw West Ham assume an early two goal lead. My thoughts as I left for Highbury were that United would probably peg them back, but even if the match finished a draw, that would still represent points dropped and a chance to blow the title race wide open. By the time I was on the train, United had pegged it back to 2-2. By the time I got to Victoria tube station, it was 4-2. The comeback seemed to knock the stuffing out of the day before the game had even started. Even so, we knew the pressure was on and anything less than a win would probably spell curtains for the title race. The reaction to that particular gauntlet being tossed at the team`s feet was a really rather painful sight.

A moving tribute on the big screens to David Rocastle was a wistful way to begin the afternoon. Cesc Fabregas was restored only to the bench, with the manager very worryingly revealing after the game that Fabregas still had a psychological problem following his hamstring woe. Alex Song and Theo Walcott returned. Despite the restoration of key cogs in the team, the display we were treated to was of a team that can`t wait for the season to end. The Gunners created the odd half chance in the first half, Clichy`s cross was met by a Nasri header that sailed over, the consequences of which left Nasri with an unsightly bump on the side of his head via an accidental collision with Nelsen`s forearm. Arshavin looked to be one of Arsenal`s sparkier players- not that that`s a huge commendation based on the collective performance- he caused Robinson to flap with a snap shot from long range.

There was only one move of any note that carved Blackburn apart, as Wilshere carried the ball forwards, released van Persie on the left, he slipped a disguised pass into the channel for Nasri, Nasri sent a low cross which found Wilshere unmarked inside the area, but he turned it well wide with his left foot. The chance would have been much more easily taken on Jack`s right foot, but we all know Jack would rather eat a jar of wasps than even touch the ball with his right foot. Big flaw in the young man`s game that I hope is being worked on. Truth is, the best chances of the half went to Blackburn. Firstly when Martin Olsson moved towards the edge of the Arsenal area unchallenged, his low shot took a slight deflection, but Almunia made a pig`s ear of the save and fumbled it through his fingertips, only just past the post. Almunia looks a haunted man. Like he just cannot wait for his Arsenal career to end.

That said his handling and quick thinking from a Blackburn corner set Walcott free on the right, he ran at Nelsen, eked out some space but dragged a low shot well wide. But as the Arsenal side ambled on towards half time, Rovers very nearly snatched the lead when Robinson`s high, floated free kick sailed into the Arsenal penalty area, Almunia came and got nowhere near it and Steven N`Zonzi headed agonisingly wide. Half time was something of a blessing, it had been rather disappointing fare. The second half wasn`t much of an improvement. After a rather insipid start to the half, Wenger called for Fabregas, replacing Arshavin. That was an incredibly strange move considering, for once, Arshavin wasn`t being a complete liability defensively, wasn`t playing badly, yet Song was limping and, by and large, completely redundant anyway.

Arsenal continued to toil, but Blackburn didn`t have to do anything superhuman to keep us at bay. Wilshere teed up van Persie, whose shot was well held by Robinson. Rovers were reduced to ten men for the latter stages after Steven N`Zonzi put a reckless two footed challenge on Laurent Koscielny. A deserved sending off and an unnecessary manner in which to contest a 50-50. But the away side being down to ten men doesn`t tend to make a huge difference when the game plan is that defensive. Really it needs to happen earlier in the hope that you can work the ball and tire the reduced side out with possession. At that stage of the game, it was never going to make a significant difference. Wenger bought Bendtner and Chamakh on for a clearly rusty Walcott and a dazed Nasri. It was rather confusing to see Bendtner deployed on the right when he is our most potent aerial threat. Seeing him stranded next to the touchline as cross after cross was tossed hopefully into the box was just baffling.

The Gunners did threaten when van Persie`s clever back heel released Wilshere in the area, he moved towards the touchline and cut back to Chamakh, but his effort was brilliantly blocked by Olsson. From there, Bendtner headed a van Persie cross over, and then had a header cleared off the line by Salgado from van Persie`s corner, whilst van Persie headed Bendtner`s cross over the bar in injury time. But the truth is, the Gunners never looked convinced they could break Blackburn down and I think Rovers will have been pleasantly surprised by how easy a job they had containing Arsenal yesterday. The performance lacked any urgency and was totally flat. In his post match comments, Wenger was as candid as I can ever remember, refusing to protect or make excuses for the players and admitting to being very worried by what he`d seen.

Now there is an air of mutiny around the ground, a great many have completely lost their faith. It seems to be becoming an annual event as predictable as Christmas that Arsenal will fight and claw their way into great positions, but when the time comes for the crunch, when the last hurdle is in sight, they capitulate. One bad result sees them indulge themselves in a binge of moon faced shoe gazing. Yet another season has completely melted away into a shapeless sludge of self pity. A lot of easy answers are being proffered forth by some keyboard warriors this morning. Vague, empty phrases such as "leadership," "winning mentality", "more purchases" echo up and down the interweb. Really, these are just unquantifiable buzz terms used to help us all mask the fact that none of us really know why this team can`t jump that final hurdle. We are in the microwave culture after all, the thought that there isn`t just an easy quick-fit, off the shelf solution to everything is not acceptable. Nor is it desirable on the anonymous intellectual battle ground of the internet and its armchair managers to say, "You know what? I haven`t got a clue what it is and even less of a clue how to solve it." But really that`s the position we are all in. That`s fine.

What`s worrying is that the manager doesn`t seem to have cracked the problem yet. His post match interview was weary, a man who believes he is preparing his team correctly but that keep letting him down when the pressure is on. We knew full well before the game started yesterday that anything less than a win would probably see us exit the title race in any serious way. To produce a display as listless and one paced as that is quite unbelievable. A season of fighting and scrapping- and the team have fought and scrapped to get here. You don`t get into the title race in April without doing that. But they`ve precociously tossed away a season`s work due to self pity that has poured out of the team since the Carling Cup Final. I was thinking about the home game with Everton in February, in which we were wronged by an official so flagrantly and faced a solid, stubborn Everton side. We fought tooth and nail to win that game, by hook or by crook. We don`t seem to be able to muster up those same resources once the clocks go forward. It all rather has a feeling of Groundhog Day about it.LD.

1.ALMUNIA, 3.SAGNA, 18.SQUILLACI, 6.KOSCIELNY, 22.CLICHY, 17.SONG, 19.WILSHERE, 8.NASRI (52.Bendtner `78), 14.WALCOTT (29.Chamakh `72), 23.ARSHAVIN (4.Fabregas `58), 10.v.PERSIE(c). Unused: 2.Diaby, 7.Rosicky, 13.Lehmann, 27.Eboue.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 3 2011

Time: 3:52PM

Your Comments

I know it's easy to point at the CC Final but if we'd have won that I do think we'd be in a far better position, both mentally as well as in the table. The players, and maybe Wenger himself, are still haunted by the huge monkey on our backs. That day at Wembley was our easiest chance and we blew it. The players know it; they're not THAT vacant. I do believe the players are 'good enough' in terms of ability and I agree that cliched terms like 'mental strength' don't make much sense but we are missing that mystery ingridient and while I'll undoubtedly be buzzing when we're top in Feb '12 I'll be prepared for the capitulation. Wenger is not to blame if you ask me, but for whatever reason, I really can't see us winning anything during his reign. I'm not saying he should go because not only does he not deserve that treatment but nobody in the world can turn this issue around. It's extremely worrying and I fear for the long term future of the team.
super_gooner
it took mancity 9 mins to score against sunderland! We couldnt do it in 90 mins. Paul Robinson doesn't keep a clean sheet against arsenal, until yesterday. If wenger cannot motivate his team to score one goal against sunderland and blackburn at home, they are not title winning material. Wenger is to blame. The haters and media are vindicated. Must ensure 2nd place finish at least.
49ers
Somehow that mood after the West Ham result told its own story. At least we know that Denilson and Diaby aren't the problem! New GK, CB and DM and we'd have won! The balance of the attack wasn't good. Nasri is among our most potent of attacking forces. He can be playmaker but it takes something away from us at the same time. We need to seriously look at our creative options in the summer.
Amos.
I wouldn't be surprised to see second place, third, and fourth place slip away with this disinterested squad and tactically rigid, bordering on inept manager. I've supported the team since the early 1980s and seen some pretty bad times to go with the good, and Wenger has been mostly good, but I think it's time for a new chapter.
elbondo
The guy who makes us tick is Fabregas. And I tell you we missed him for 3 weeks. We missed him yesterday as well I think because he didn't start and even when he came on he looked out of sorts. I think with him getting a full week's training before our next game and with a fully fit squad we can win all our remaining games. I will go out on record to say that if Fabregas and Walcott start each and every one of our remaining games then we are going to win all of them. And if we win all of them then let's hope Chelsea or some other club do us a favour and take points off Man United. I think we can still do this.
Eboue=GOD
I was also very annoyed with Wilshere's wasted chance. Why oh, did he not swing his right leg. It would've been almost impossible to miss with his right. I also thought taking off Arshavin was a bad move. Yes he's played a lot of football for club and country but he was our most creative player up until that point. Song on the other hand was struggling.
gronedrone
Also when your in gung ho mode Arshavin is a great asset. He got the goal that never was vs Sunderland and the 1st in the West Brom comeback when we were going all out, add to the fact he was better than Walcott and Nasri yesterday and its a baffling decision.
iceman10
Arshavin probably edged Walcott (though Theo had as many scoring attempts and created as many chances) but Nasri created more chances and had more scoring attempts than either of them. I'd agree that if you're going for it then having Arshavin on the pitch is probably a better bet than some but definitely not at a fit Nasri's expense.
Amos.
Could argue that Song's skills were redundant and he should've been subbed at his expense.
shewore
It was after that Everton game LD referred to that I thought this team had grit, which had been lacking in previous seasons. True, it wasn't evident yesterday but, it can return with one week's full squad (focused) training. I agree with Eboue= that if we can get Cesc firing again alongside Theo, this chestnut can still be pulled out the fire; Arshavin should also be given some role early enough. Two things we'd need, though, are for the team to stop feeling sorry for itself and for United to drop points in one of their next 3 games then the pressure will be on again. The title hasn't been handed to United yet, or has it?
Naijagunner
What tells us that we fought harder in the Everton game back in Feb than in the game against Blackburn - other than the result? We had more goal attempts against Blackburn and as many on target as we had against Everton. We made 20% more passes at the weekend with the same degree of accuracy and put in pretty much the same level of successful tackles. The only reason for feeling we didn't put in as much effort against Blackburn if not more was that we didn't win this time.
Amos.
I thought Arsene got his subs wrong. In a game where you need a wild card to create something out of nothing, Arshavin is one of the best. And Chamakh/Bendtner came on too late. From midway in the 1st half it became clear that our main form of attack was Sagna pumping in crosses from the right. So rather than pray that Van Persie would somehow win headers against 6ft 5 Samba, we shoulda had someone in there with some size.
krismon1
In the Everton game we made some clear cut chances and scored them, in this game we made a couple of half decent chances. Everton are a much better side than Blackburn to boot. There was a hell of a lot more purpose in what we did against Everton than there was yesterday.
Little Dutch
As I recall the ball fell kindly for us as an Everton player made our first goal and Koscielny scored the 2nd from a corner. If corners are a measure of effort we had twice as many of those against Blackburn. Other than failing to score from more goal attempts created, by any objective measure we expended as much effort if not more against Blackburn. We lacked the sharpness to score but if anything we were guilty of too much effort and not enough precision.
Amos.
The difference between the Everton and Blackburn game was momentum and confidence. At the time of the Everton game, I believe we were still in all 4 competitions and most of our key players were fit and on form. On Saturday we were almost the opposite. I thought the effort was there on Saturday, just seemed like the quality and sharpness wasn't. This is the time you feel something other than our 'A' game is needed to pull the win out of the bag - or for one of our top players to pull a rabbit out of the bag like Henry, Pires or Bergkamp used to. By the way, what's the consensus about the booing on Saturday - wrong or acceptable?
Gooner_Vin
I suppose this could be a circular debate, because there's no quantifiable measure for conviction, but if Everton made an error and the ball fell kindly to Arshavin for the equaliser, it's because we forced it. We played a probing pass that stretched Everton's defence, Arshavin anticipated and attacked the ricochet. Blackburn did not make any errors at the back or any slips and that's not because they are an unbreachable defence. Their league position and goals against column tells you that. It's because we didn't force the issue. Having possession and a few looping headers that comfortable clear the crossbar from hopeful crosses might make the stats match up, but they don't match the performances up. Consider also that we needed a goal right up until the last whistle on Saturday, whereas against Everton Koscielny scored the winner with 15 minutes left, so we weren't in a position of having to toss hopeful balls and weak headers in for the last 15 minutes. We did the sensible thing that night and protected what we had.
Little Dutch
"guilty of too much effort". Hillarious.
paul_ownz
Hilarious*
paul_ownz
Lol. Hi Amos and Lil Dutch :). Been awhile. Remember me? Remember FIVE years ago (2006) over at GunnerBlog, I called for Wengers head? Remember the on-slaught I got and was told I was wrong. Well, doesn't look like it now does it?
Gelbsy
When the manager, who usualy is positive after any result says " we had no pace in our game. Overall it was a flat performance with a lack of energy level". "Very few players looked to have the resources to put the pace up in the game". That has something with me thinking "we didn't put in as much effort" plus what i saw with my eyes.
paul_ownz
Well, in that I don't agree that the manager should go (who to replace him? What could they do significantly different?), no, I wouldn'ty say you're right, personally speaking. But I accept many are taking that point now. But ask yourself what kind of supporter and what kind of person you are, that after 5 years, you choose a goalless draw to come over to a site you've never posted on and boast about the team you supposedly supports failures? You actively want your team to fail so you can feel smug through the anonymous medium of an internet message board? I'll say now what I said to you five years ago, you're no Arsenal supporter at all and you strike me as a tragic human being.
Little Dutch
I didn't choose a "goal-less" draw to come over here. Come off the back off the past few seasons of complete and utter *****-all. Just thought it be nice to come say "hi". And you're right. I am not an Arsenal supporter. Not until Wenger changes his ways, or preferably *****s off. Wenger is the cancer of the Club, and it's morons like yourself who are deluded and allow the Club and Wenger to get away with it. Laughing at you mugs who pay the season ticket. Enjoy your 6 per cent increase too. And I do take pleasure in Arsenal losing. Because it proves what a disgrace the club is. The Arsenal way. Doing things the right way eh? Ripping off it's fans to watch overpaid *****e like Bendtner, Diaby, Denilson et al. And winning sod-all. Even Fabregas has had enough. The blue-eyed boy. Says it all.
Gelbsy
I can't say I remeber you gelbsy - you doomsayers all tend to merge into one after a while - there's no shortage of them - and you are still wrong. The effort can be measured based on the output and there's no objective measure that says we didn't do more of almost everything against Blackburn than we did against Everton except score. It was the lack of precision, invention or guile that we missed. We didn't have the creative energy not physical effort. Relying on crosses from Sagna who made more passes (90) in that game than any midfielder was unlikely to yield much reward against a team like Blackburn no matter how much effort was put into them.
Amos.
And the third highest wage bill around. Nice to know now that a lot of fans are waking up and can see what Wenger and the Club are.
Gelbsy
Reason I want them to lose as well, is the total neglect of not re-investing in the squad. If they had done that, I'd support them.
Gelbsy
Begun this around 2007/2008, and there is so much more, which proves how bad and repetitive everything has become. And a **** of a manager and Club who's star player in Fabregas wants out from this shower of ***** because of the crap he is surrounded with and lack of ambition and lack of silverware, refuses to strengthen to show him and It's fans that they mean business. Too busy making money for themselves. People say Fabregas signed a long-term deal a few seasons back, and should honour it and no-one forced him to. More like Wenger manipulated him into signing it, and promising all this ***** like he tried in vain with Henry. Now, Fabregas isn't as young and naive anymore, he's realised the bull*****. Chugging along, playing his heart out, and noticed it is all one-sided and flawed. The Club's a laughing stock. Sooner it goes tits up, and Arsenal learn the hard way, the better. The more ****s who re-new their season tickets (mainly the Wenger brigade) etc (and yet still complain), is the reason the board and Wenger get away with it continually. Like a drug addict, if he refuses help, the only way they'll learn if they do, is to ***** themselves up and learn the hard way.. *****s me off something chronic, when die-hard idiots defend Wenger because he changed that, because he changed this. Errrr. One major flaw with that. What has a successful past got to do with a *****e present?! Brian Clough bought success to Forest then got them relegated. Prime example of making and breaking a team. Stayed too long. If Arsenal win nothing much within the next 5-6 years, you'd still get *****ers defending Wenger because he changed the dietary methods 20 years ago, and won league titles 15 years ago etc etc. Remarkable. The fact he also inherited from Graham, the winning mentality, defensiveness, power and strength from Adams, Keown, Bould etc who passed it on to Vieira and co. makes you wonder if he'd of won anything. Not taking anything away from his success', but seeing now how poor Arsenal have been for ages, no drilling for the defence nor fighting and "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" attitude. Whole situation stinks! A man too, who claims "We SHALL win a trophy this season!" yet "throws" and shows utter contempt towards competitions i.e. FA Cup and League Cup, in favour of the more "bigger" prizes/competitions, in which they never come close to winning neither, so completely, and utterly, pointless! Seeing him try and take the League Cup more seriously now, after years of contempt, and still not winning it, is such an ironic thing. So desperate to try and make it look like his "project" as finally come to fruition. Get somebody else in to give it a chance and take us back to the heights Wenger can no longer do. Or WON'T do.
Gelbsy
Well there you go, your post rather proves my point. But what I do with my money and how much of it I spend watching the club has sod all to do with you. I think we're probably using different ways to say the same thing, I'm not saying they didn't try against Blackburn, they clearly did. I'm talking about gumption, against Everton they believed they would get back into the game. On Saturday, you could tell after about 15 minutes that we weren't going to score.
Little Dutch
Feeling lonely and unloved are you gelbsy? Not really surprising is it :)
Amos.
Someone who hasn't won a pot for years, in a position to chuck any competition under no pressure from the board is way beyond words. Lack of squad depth? Who's to blame for that then? I used the same scenario once before. If your married for example of 20 odd years and your wife has bought you so much happiness and changed your life etc etc, and one day you found out she was ******** other guys recently, you gonna defend her and keep a hold of her because of the happy past? Or are you gonna consider the present and cut your losses? Maybe you'd work something out, well, Wenger has had 5 years. Plenty of time to deliver but hasn't. In football, you judge someone in the recent past and present to be fair. And Arsenal's last few seasons have been in general, ***** and trophy-less. Wenger takes the plaudits when we were successful, now he has to take the majority of blame for the ultimate failings...
Gelbsy
Fact of the matter remains. Regardless of CL qualification. 5 years without nothing and no progress whatsoever. Taken 5 years to try and build a top draw squad with which there is no end product. The squad doesn't even look convincing. Weaker every summer. 10 per cent doing well in CL qualifying, 90 per cent ***** on the whole for under-achieving and winning *****. I could be manager of Arsenal and win ***** for 5 years, anyone could. I might miss out on a CL place, but then if Wenger did, I doubt he would STILL get sacked!! I sure as ***** too, bet Wenger would spend money more if it was the top 2 only who qualify for the Champions League! 4th at worst is a comfort zone. He said himself once, that it should only be the "Champions" in it. Yeah, easy to say that when he use to win the Premier League. Something which was years ago and never to be repeated again under his reign.
Gelbsy
It is ***** because he has FAILED to build upon the squad year after year, and ultimately, has won ***** all. And a total disgrace being offered a new contract of at least 6 million quid a year AND a 20 per cent pay-rise on top of!! Hill-Wood the****, saying in regards to Gallas' contract, how players need to know the value of money, and realise that money doesn't grow on trees. Total contradiction and disgust! And again, any top draw manager could finish at least 4th at WORST with this squad. But then, it would be inaccurate to say that anyway, because any decent manager who came in would add/replace players significantly in order to achieve success. At least make an attempt. Not buying success, but spending what is required and building upon the squad currently. This **** has shown nothing but contempt and negligence, that Arsenal after years, STILL require 3 or 4 top players at LEAST to make them successful again.
Gelbsy
After the 2004 season, The **** thought that winning the League unbeaten, was as good as it got. So, with his ego (his "master-plan"), he thought he could build a team with youth, whilst spending next to nothing and winning stuff, although not as bothered as seeing his ***** play so-called "wonderful" football. And using the stadium move and lack of money as a smoke screen for his "project." He thought it would take 5 years tops. Although believed it would take sooner. Obviously, it all went wrong. Rather than admit defeat and do something about it, he refused to, whilst then claiming 3rd/4th was a trophy within itself. People bang on about it being an achievement, and in small doses it is. But ask yourself this, if UEFA wasn't so generous with it's 4th spot qualifying, would it be deemed such a glorious success?
Gelbsy
Oh, and maybe stability breeds success. After-all, look at the incredible success and trophies Dario Gradi bought to Crewe after so many years of being their manager! People also brand Wenger a genius. Truth is, the bloke is an idiot! Why would a genius make the same old simple and many mistakes eh? Bunch of Wenger (magic) ass-hats. And does a so-called "genius" go a total since they have been at a club of around a DECADE without a trophy?! And does a genius who has had such wonderful, world-class players at their disposal, have such a ***** general record in Europe and never won a CL and back-2-back league titles?!
Gelbsy
Amos you're not having a primary argument here and backing it up with stats (as you always preach), you're throwing stats straight at it and saying we tried harder than Everton? Or are you not casting your opinion on what didn't go right on Sat? Agree with Ownz quotation of your comedy gold.
shewore
The amount of insulting words you feel the need to use when describing the players, the management and the fans of the club show that you're not really a human being worth discussing anything with. I hear superdrug have got a special on razor blades, treat yourself.
Little Dutch
Bloke wants to admit defeat, gain respect by ******** off to Japan or France and take the board of directors with him. Prove how "good" he is by building a young/youth team with a small club over there for peanuts. Then if he makes them world-class, THEN we can say he is a genius. What a****. *****ed Arsenal just like he did with Monaco. In fact, even worse. At least they had the balls to drop kick him into touch where they replaced him with Tigana. Who went that extra step and signed the right players in order to achieve success. Same as the great George Graham said on his arrival as Arsenal manager: "If you can't think big, or act big, at a club like Arsenal, you may as well crawl under the carpet...." Wenger needs to crawl and rot under his Aubusson! It was a shame the board never shared Graham's ambitions too, restricted to a shoe-string budget and strict (at the time) wage policy which got thrown out the window when he was sacked. If the board bent over backwards for Graham like the **** Wenger now, he would of been even more successful! Particularly when Graham made Arsenal a lot of money for his successes.
Gelbsy
Wenger apologists always point out we were "*****" before Wenger came along and were a "mid-table team", which has a whole is utter *****e, because it was only around twice (1993 & '95) we were mid-table. 1993 and 1995 was the only real time in recent years prior to Wenger we were mid-table, but ultimately, still a VERY successful side. Second most successful era/period since the 1930's. In 1993, we still won a cup double which was a first in those days, so not at all a bad season and was a fantastic triumph when the League Cup meant something back then. So in fact, it was only really 1995 (still reached CWC Final again and unlucky to lose) and 1996, we had 2 *****ty seasons until Wenger came along. In fact, Graham himself, only finished outside the top 4 like 3 times in his 9 seasons or so he was at Arsenal.
Gelbsy
Wenger said in the summer of 2005, when he sold Vieira, he had a "Master-plan" and "Trust me". I guess that that plan and the trust in him, was to finish with *****-all 5 seasons on the trot, whilst watching your fiercest rivals sweep the lot between them. Champions Leagues, League Titles, Doubles etc. How wonderful. The ****'s ego is writing checks his body can't cash ("Top ****") and he is a skinny *****er too. Starved of success. Whilst everyone else involved with The Arsenal (mainly the fans) is to suffer. Seeing United and Chelsea etc win *****, you'd think would agonize and make Wenger etc more determined to do something about it. Particularly as he stated himself he hates losing. Wouldn't of thought so based on recent seasons...
Gelbsy
Thinking there is a conspiracy against Arsenal too, is also typical of being a **** and when decisions etc go against him. Should take a long hard look in the mirror and closer to home. Always someone else's fault. It amazes me why people continue to defend this man to the death. He is seriously ******** up Arsenal, to a point, if he did leave, no world-class players would want to join Arsenal anyway. Won't ever change under Wenger. All true and the truth hurts. With a French git who speaks such ***** and thinks The World is against Arsenal. That is why I dislike Wenger, not just because of the lack of success recently, it is the refusal to learn from the ultimate, simple a lot of the time mistakes, and the constant "bigging" up of his team when they aren't good enough, and the repetitive *****e he continues to spout. Whatever he once achieved at Arsenal is history. He will be remembered as the maker and breaker. Most successful manager, but also the most under-achiever. Fact!
Gelbsy
SACK THE BOARD AND WENGER!! It is the only way forward if Arsenal are to win trophies. Lie to the fans. Just because Wenger wants to do it his way and bring on ***** kids and basement/bargain buys just to save a few bob, who are too young (or old and has beens or never beens of will be) and not good enough, then blame the lack of success on "Lack of maturity." A self-inflicted, repetitive wound.. And people defend Wenger (Arsene knows brigade and apologists) stating the board are letting Wenger down in regards to transfer money. Wenger is the ******** man behind it!! He wanted to move to the stadium and do things on the cheap with his "Experiment" (his word) and brain-washed the board to the point they are now BOTH to blame. Wenger doesn't even spend the money which we all know we have which is proved. Said himself he wouldn't spend 100 million if he could because of hampering the younger players development etc. Nor did he spend big anyway when at Highbury, but still managed to compete became successful. And if there really is NO money, then guilty by association as they oppose a money takeover. Happy to line their own pockets first. Both tight ****s, although Wenger is the main culprit as he is still given the opportunity to spend money, but the board are happy for him not spend it hence making a saving.
Gelbsy
Wenger himself, one of the highest paid managers in World Football, on at least 6.5 million a year, to win ***** all, and be under no pressure to deliver at all. Even more than Ferguson at United. Money for nothing. Building a bust for the bloke as well, when he is still at the Club and completely over-rated, and single-handedly destroyed his own Legacy he created. Brilliant times though eh? After we won the FA Cup (un-deserved playing negatively and *****, something Wenger hates and slates other clubs who do that against us whom we struggle) in 2005, we have had to watch Liverpool, Chelsea and in-particularly, Man United, sweep the lot between them, i.e. CL and the PL. What a wonderful place to be in! And people reckon us Arsenal fans are spoilt! What the ***** does that make United and Chelsea fans then eh?! United dominated the 90's, and now the 2000's! And who can forget Avram Grant, reaching his first CL Final in only a few months, someone who was inexperienced and might not even had the right coaching badges etc. Something Wenger had taken a decade to do in reaching the final, and still not won a Champions League! In fact, the only manager to reach all 3 finals of each European competition and lose!
Gelbsy
Plus, Wenger said success can only be measured in time. Okay then. Have it your way: 7 trophies in 12/13 years not bad. But add up a total of 8 years of not winning anything, no back-2-back Titles EVER, no Champions League EVER, 3 League Titles in 14 seasons, and no Title for 6 seasons, and a trophyless 5 seasons on the bounce. Overall, ***** ratio. Well done, Arsene! Once Fabregas goes, which will probably be next summer, seeing as the team is built around him, Wenger will ***** off, and the Arsenal board because daddy left, leaving it someone elses' problem to hire a new manager and leaving the club in the *****. Probably end up Arsenal having the best stadium in the Coca-Cola Championship. With sad *****ing Wenger ****s with banners sat there saying "Arsene Knows." "Bring back Arsene!" We are *****. *****ed. Finished. Back to mediocracy like the 80's until Graham saved us and turned Highbury into practically a full house and not just 20,000. Out of the darkness, into the light....
Gelbsy
When you got a manager and board of directors happy and content with winning nothing and finishing 3rd and 4th, you are never gonna be successful again. Wenger has gone full circle. He made Arsenal and made them successful, and now taken them right back to where they started when he joined way back in '96 when the team went a little bit stale. Trophyless and mediocre. In fact worst as far as trophyless seasons. Although they weren't as ***** as everyone made them out to be prior to Wenger. When he leaves, the Club will be worse off than ever, and all the money he has saved up, leave Arsenal in a fantastic situation financially, which will be brief before The Board sell up and a new owner pumps debt into the Club. So completely, and utterly, pointless... Wenger's 2004 Invincible season, something which may not ever happen again, was his swan song. The worst sequence of runs since 1980 to 1986 where Arsenal never won anything until George Graham took up the reigns. And even he never went more than one season without *****all! Sinatra style, with Wenger singing - "And I *****ed Arsenal...............MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "It is unacceptable for a big club to go 4 years without a league title." - Arsene Wenger on Real Madrid. No League Title for Wenger for 6 years, and trophy-less for 5 and counting............ Wenger for me, was once a very good manager at Arsenal, but never a great manager...... Arsenal....Where failure and losers are rewarded...
Gelbsy
People are also quick to harp on about how we wouldn't even be where we are today without Wenger. Damn right about that!! Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Same people, however, aren't as quick to notice that the past 5 seasons, which have been *****, are also thanks to Wenger. After 2004, it is sure ***** to be an Arsenal fan. Maybe as well, we don't have the funds to get players in (although we all know we do which has been proven) because of the new stadium etc. Well, if that's true, sounds like a right hash job and not thought through enough, with crippling debts. Might be good for the future, but by then, probably be a lower division side. Yet again, you can blame Wenger, seeing as he was the one behind the new stadium and the one with the "vision". Not to mention the disgraceful wage bill which is one of the highest around, particularly in England. Paying over-rated crap which aren't good enough, nor win anything PERIOD. Total ******** shambles. Even for a small amount, you telling me there isn't an affordable batch of players out there, better than Diaby, Denilson, Bendtner, Chamakh et al?!
Gelbsy
I'm doing both shewore - take a while to think about it rather than just acting out of instinct. I'm sure that paul will be delighted with your appreciation.
Amos.
Well, my mum does work in Superdrug. Have to have a word. And Arsenal are nothing but ****. Overpaid *****. Utter disgrace. The likes of Bendtner and Denilson on 50k a week. And what can I say, I'm a masochist. You obviously are too. Hope you like the read :).
Gelbsy
Whether your points are valid or not Gelsby, i will not read through that library you have posted
paul_ownz
If your mum works in superdrug she should be able to help you out with some medication Gelbsy - you seem overdue for some.
Amos.
So you all agree Wenger's "Masterplan" is working then after 6 years?
Gelbsy
I think the club are in much better shape than they were 6 years ago and infinitely better than they were 15 years ago - so the Masterplan has already worked. But if your support is conditional on winning trophies then you're unlikely to be able to appreciate all the good times we've had in the last 6 years.
Amos.
I concur. The "Masterplan" is working for the Board. Never been richer.
Gelbsy
The board has changed over the last 6 years. It's not the same board that embarked on the Masterplan. But you're right to say that the club has never been stronger or more firmly established amongst the worlds top clubs than it is now. These are the good times.
Amos.
Which major European club with a wage bill as big as ours and a stadium and income as big as ours would settle for 5-6 years of total under achievement without a change of manager? None and until that happens we will continue to qualify for the CL every season and that is it. Not good enough I am afraid.
LondonGooner
I dont think you are wrong. Financialy we are stable, a beautiful ground & facilities, an attractive brand of football, played in the right spirit, young players develop in to world class players, in europe every year. However it is hard to stomach that we have become seasonal choke artists at the same time every year. We fight hard to get in to great positions before pressing the self destruct button. No one f**** up a run in like the Arsenal.
paul_ownz
Agree with Ownz quotation of your comedy gold shewore - I couldn't believe while reading that. Amos has a new career in stand up comedy ahead of him if that's how funny he can be.
LondonGooner
We fight hard to get in to great positions before pressing the self destruct button. No one f**** up a run in like the Arsenal. paul_ownz - Yeah Paul, we probably try 'too hard' mate lol
LondonGooner
or more firmly established amongst the worlds top clubs than it is now. These are the good times Amos - What? No we are not. The world's top clubs win trophies year in year out, we don't. Hence we are NOT one of the world's top clubs and anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. Unless you mean money wise? In which case I would rather be mediocre in the wealth stakes and win trophies instead.
LondonGooner
We'll reach the stage before too long where we'll trade managers frequently chasing pots of gold. Before getting to that point we needed someone to turn us into a major European club with a wage bill as big as ours. You'll get what you think you want soon enough but it won't necessarily make you any happier. Take all the laughs you can get now.
Amos.
Take all the laughs you can get now, Amos - With comments like that, believe me I am, classic.
LondonGooner
Not true - all the worlds top clubs have barren spells and other spells when they seem win continuously but every dynasty ends and another takes over. You may see us as at the end of the Wenger era or maybe in the early stages of a new one. We have the resources to progress in a changing competitive environment. What makes you a top club is that you can sustain a challenge every season at the highest level. There has never been a period in the clubs 125 year history when we've challenged as consistently as we've done over the last 15 years. Or moved as far as we have done in our standing amongst the world clubs.
Amos.
Believe me I'm laughing LG - it's those that aren't I'm laughing at.
Amos.
Using your argument about dynasties coming to an end then Wenger's ended 5 years ago. Challenged and failed.
LondonGooner
If you're counting achievements only as trophies won then you're absolutely right LG. A narrow parochial view of of achievement from the perspective of the club's 125 year history perhaps but you can only see it as you can see it.
Amos.
Again i agree with all you say, but the final goal must be to win a trophy, which we seem to have some mental block or something which prevents us from doing so. A bit of a crude analogy but i liken it to having great sex to some amazing bird. You look at her and think wow, the foreplay is great, the sex is better, all the positions get you to the final hurdle. But ultimatly if you dont climax then you are left disappointed.
paul_ownz
respect your passion Gelbsy
49ers
Sounds like tantric sex Paul :-)
Gooner_Vin
As if you've had it off with an amazing bird ;)
shewore
hehe
paul_ownz
It's like listening to spurs supporters spouting their god given right to be in the top 4.
nakcuh
There is something lacking in this team. That much has been evident for the past 3 seasons at least and Wenger has not been able to turn it around. The responsibility for that HAS to be on Wenger. He has built the solid base for a team that can challenge consistently, and thats a good start but he is struggling to put the finishing touches to a title winning squad. We falter towards the business end of the season, and thats a serious problem. I fear we will lose our 2nd place this season. I'm not sure that replacing Wenger will improve things, because this team could well slide out of the top 4 if we change our manager. Is that a risk we are willing to take? A new manager will take 1-2 years to build his team, bring in his type of players. If the fans are willing to have some patience, perhaps, it is the time for change.
prits
What is most dispiriting is that we have genuinely improved this season--we didn't last season, regardless of what others claimed--but we are a better team than last year. Defensively we've definitely improved-ignore the media idiocy on that front. We've had a better season injury-wise too and Arsene's handled rotation on that score very well. Plus we had most of our best players on the pitch on Saturday. These players may well be forced to give Man Utd the honor guard when they come to the Grove in May. I'd like to think that humiliation would be enuf for them to wake the hell up and learn to become winners. Sadly, I don't think even that would induce them from their torpor. It's incredible how LONG this team takes to recover from a big disappointment/defeat. We've been very poor since the CC final.
jaelle
I actually have sympathy with those defending Wenger. Don't get me wrong i really dislike Wenger as a person but you're still in a strong position. And there arent many upgrades from Arsene Wenger about! On VS we have the same pointless discussions about Harry - how hes took us as far as he can. Yet the truth is we havent had it so good in 20 years
HuddersfieldYiddo
The thing is, jaelle, we improve every season, but not in the aspects that really matter to winning titles. 3-4 seasons back, our striking conversion was really bad, and our goal scoring record has improved since then. Mid field solidity was lacking 2 seasons back, and that has improved with Song coming in. However, there is no overall improvement as a unit, as a team and thats the worrying sign for me. Wenger is not able to teach them the critical lessons (either its that, or the players are too thick to pick up those lessons). There are 2-3 players who have stand out seasons and who show good improvement, every season. So there are always positive signs every year, just not in the aspects that really matter.
prits
Well said prits. We're all flailing around for an answer, I don't claim to have it. I just keep going back to how mentally weak this team is in recovering from an important defeat - and the lack of players who (when the team is in trouble) shout and bark and organize and rally their teammates. We sometimes see that - Vermaelen does it sometimes, Djourou sometimes. But there are no strong, commanding authorities or personalities in the team.
jaelle
Disappointed yep, feel the side has hit a brick-wall yep, season over no. For f@ck sake its not over yet. Taking shots at fans such as Amos and LD what a load of turkeys. Disagree by all means but to mock your own fans, give me a break. I thought i was on the scums page and as for Gelsby you W@nker p#ss off. Rocky why you let this vile pr#ck mouth off for so long amazes me. Yes let him come on and make his comment but whats the use of letting him vomit continually. Wonder what the comments will be like if we win the next three matches. Hold this page and reprint it then. Anyone would think we were facing relegation. Call yourselves fans, join your mates booing a side off. If you dont like the club think its a waste of time then find someone else to support.
alwaysgunner
In truth, Gelsby does sound in need of a lot of help. Christ! I couldn't even be bothered to read all the bile. Sick ----.
Naijagunner
Remember the way Sol Campbell was fighting for us last season even when we went down at Spurs. Even Wenger commented on it. That's what we really need right now in the run-in, those kinds of players.
Gooner_Vin
Let's not get too romantic about Sol at the end of last season. We didn't even win as many of the games he played in as we normally manage. There's a lot more to it than all this Braveheart stuff. It's just one component, a good one to have but if you haven't got skill, ability and intelligence all the fighting in the world won't get more than a few extra bruises.
Amos.
That's the point the Amos. We do have the skill, ability and intelligence to a degree - or, more accurately, that's what we focus on the most. Even Wenger himself made special reference to the desire that Sol had shown.
Gooner_Vin
I would have thought that Sol would have signed on for another season and based on the enthusiasm he showed I would have been happy with him as back up. After all it's not as though we would have expected him to play that much with TV, JD and Kos in front of him unless we were unlucky with injuries. Looking back though I'm glad we went for someone a bit better in Squillaci. Sol has a bit too much of the Flamini's about him. He'll play the part when there's something he wants.
Amos.
I think we are missing in two positions(if we continue 4-3-3). Another Midfielder to compete with Song and another winger. At the moment we only really have Walcott, Nasri & Arshavin who are effective on the wing. 3 players for 2 positions over 50 games is not enough really. Pushing Bendtner, Chamakh, Rosicky there just does not work
paul_ownz
Funny, I was angry with the lack of fight/imagination/tactics directly after the game. Now I've had time to chill, read the bilous rants of Geltard and Londongooner above, and watched a woeful Spurs team get destroyed by Madrid, themselves not in the same league (figuratively, of course) as Barcelona, and feel much better about this team now, thank you. Perspective and time are our friends. Two or three new faces, clear out some deadwood and promote some kids and we'll be champions again. And this season ain't over yet- surely the slide has to end, and ManU will take a physical and emotional battering against Chelsea in the CL whether they win or lose that tie. They will drop points, it's down to us not to.
elbondo
It has taken Huddersfield Yiddo to put it all in perspective. No doubt the team needs restructuring, the manager a reminder of his primary responsibility and some team members a kick up the gazoo. But chcuking it all away right now will put us in the same category as the Spuds or the chavs. Ferguson went through a barren spell too and came out stronger from it. I have no doubt that will be the case with AW as well. Its not like I haven't taken the constant banter from opposing fans about Arsenal with a tinge of bitterness but to let the banter of opposing fans channel and fuel ones own thought process is plain wrong.
Deltaforce
well wow, some seriously *****ed off people on here!! I am angry as that is the title gone. The blame is a mixed bag for me, for the players their bum cheeks sudenly have no control overthemselves and open up to a rush of the brown runny stuff that spurs had when the nearly ended a season ahead of us! The manager needs to identify that the players get this as a lack of experience is in the squad in terms of winning titles and knowing how to deal with the preasure. So he needs to have the right mix of youth and talent and experience of winning and talent. Wenger also needs a plan B. Against the likes of blackburn sunderland stoke, i actually believe they are not scared of us any more, we are scared of them!! We know they are gonna stick 10 men behind the ball and hit us on the counter or from set pieces. We need more height strength in the team ( fellani maybe ), older heads with experience of winning titles ( not Silvestre tho ), and more pace so we can hit teams on the brek like we used to score from an oponents corner within 20 seconds. That NEVER happens any more? We alwasy charge forward to the half way line then stop. Y?? Something needs to change that is for sure, but i really do not believe it is Wenger going, But i do think he needs to change his ways. It does appear he has become stuborn with his philosophy. These are my views.
JLOWEP
On that performance against Chelsea, I don't think Stoke will be sticking 10 men behind the ball and looking to catch us on the break. That team has grown in confidence and some ability too. Our lads must look forward to an end to end game and be ready for the fight.

Yeah, Elbondo, "Geltard" is about right.
Naijagunner
alwaysgunner - No one is naive enough to think 3 wins and all is well. It isn't and 3 wins won't hide the fact we bottle the games that matter (for a multitude of reasons) then the players sulk like little bitches for an extortionatly long time afterwards. Our last victory (6 games ago in this crunch period of the season) was against Orient FFS. It is the same every year, we make a complete balls up of every run in, fact. I am almost certain we will this season also, doesn't mean I'll be pleased to say I told you so, but I know I will end up uttering that phrase.
LondonGooner
elbondo - I think the word is bilious and I don't for once see what my posts have to do with Gelbsy's? Bracketing my posts with his highlights a certain lack of ability at understanding my rather simple to read posts. I haven't claimed Wenger is s*** or that the whole squad needs breaking down, just that I feel it's time for a change. Still, I suppose you can only be as clear as your audience...
LondonGooner
LG, watch and read if we win the next three matches everyones opinion will change. But to be a defeatist like you appear to be makes me wonder why you follow football. If you know with almost certainty that we are finished whats the point in following the team. I really feel sorry for you, I bet you walk with a black cloud over your head all day. Me i have faith as i have over the past odd 60 years we will win, and my friend we will.
alwaysgunner
My opinion that the Title is now uniteds wont change and therefore i dont know if the doom and gloom surrounding us as fans will actually change that much either hence the whole season is built on hope and without that hope there is nothing. Lets hope they at least play some decent stuff and make us smile a bit till the end of the season now!!
JLOWEP
I don't need someone like you to feel sorry for me, if you want to make this personal then go ahead, that says more about you than me. I know we are not going to win the title, but i will still go at teh weekends and cheer them on or boo them off (whatever i feel is right at the time). Your faith, is foolishly misplaced, same as last season, the season before that, the one before that (repeat adinfinitum).
LondonGooner
Great can you give me the winning lotto tickets oh and a few horse races coming up. Must be great being a know all.
alwaysgunner
I little picky of me I know LG but it wouldn't be correct if you repeated it ad infinitum - ad haud ita pridem might work but ad nauseam might be more appropriate.
Amos.
Will bringing in 2-3 more players really help? Wenger added just that over the summer (Kosc, Squillaci) who are experienced and that has not changed the squad's fortunes. Of course it has improved the defence (our goals conceded is better than ManU with our 1st choice out for the full season) but it has not improved the team's results towards the season end.
prits
 

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