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Team News: Chelsea vs Arsenal

Team news for the crucial match vs Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud

Arsenal subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Flamini, Kallstrom, Sanogo, Gnabry



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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 22 2014

Time: 12:37PM

Your Comments

Arsene is at it again...the expert in failure
Blue_Mel
Specialist in failure indeed! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL...
HGH Magic
WE ARE CHELSEA. WE BLITZ WHO WE WANT!!! LOL
HGH Magic
When we do get it wrong we really do get it wrong!
Amos.
Ha ha ha chelsea is the only way. Bring on PSG and Real Madrid combine!
Killerpass
Oh please
Sajit
Can't believe the scoreline. Was unable to see the 1st half and to tune in to see this? Devastating. With all the changes in the second half, it can only be damage limitation stuff now, no? Sagna would take some time settling down on the left. Whatever happened to Koscielny?
Naijagunner
a manage called ARSEne and club called ARSEnal ...what do you expect? lol
Blue_Mel
Mariner: "Gibbs, you're off!" The Ox: "Ref, it was me!" Mariner: "Shut up Walcott, or you'll be off too"
ledleygomez
This would go down as another horrible loss to a direct rival. 6-0? Heads dropped at 5-0 and the Chelsea players are not letting up with their pressing, even after so many goals. It is official. We are not up to it against sides with a bit of quality, especially away from home.
Naijagunner
Humiliating to say the least and it could get worse with so much time left on the clock.
Naijagunner
Naija, just like you I had a shock checking the scoreline after missing the first half. The weekend is obviously ruined and we have to endure the Obnoxious One for sometime now. Other than that we should just move on.
NYArse
Lick the wounds, learn the lessons and go again. Plenty of time for the post mortems.
Amos.
Beaten before a ball was even kicked yet again. Very sad.
Will-i-am10
Glad it is over. We have to move on from this now and not allow our season to collapse on us. Still a few games to go. It is well.
Naijagunner
6-0 is a humiliation even by tennis score. mourinho must be amused that after all these years, we are still playing with the same template. as saf noted, it's not difficult to beat us. all the opponents have to do is sit back, intercept and couunter attack. he was proven right again
Joe_@**
next time around, mourinho could send out his under 18 team and offer us to concede a 2-0 walk over before the first whistle. i would snatch off his hands
Joe_@**
All well and good saying we learn from it and move on but Wenger never does learn. The same old mentality of failure and acceptance of second best. Time to think seriously about a change.
Galway Gooner
If his team selection is anything to go by (not that the options were plentiful) Wenger seemed to think that this was a game we couldn't afford not to win rather than a game we couldn't afford to lose if we were serious about anything more than just a top four finish. If anything he was too ambitious in picking Poldi and Chamberlain. It didn't work but I can understand the reasoning.
Amos.
Errrr what lessons can we learn that we didn'f from anfield? Amos, you are utterly deluded
shewore
What lessons? Depends what you think the objectives were at the time shewore. We went out believing we could win both games. The players we put out weren't good enough to do so. We could have set out to try to not lose which might not have gained us any more points. In hindsight that might now seem the better tactic but if you're ambitious enough to believe you can win the title you have to set out to try to win it at some point.
Amos.
We've conceded 34 goals this season, exactly half of them in three away games against Liverpool, Man City & Chelsea. I think if any lessons were to ebe learned from these thumpings we would have learned them already.
Rocky7
There're always lessons to be learned. Which players to trust in certain situations and which you can't. We might have learned how to reduce the risk of a thumping playing away to the better sides with better home records but it's still going to involve a degree of risk (or ambition if you prefer) to take any points from the game.
Amos.
The key is, and always has been in these away fixtures not to concede early. And we've done that every time. If you go to Stamford Bridge, Anfield or the City of Manchester and try and blast out of the traps everytime completely abandoning your defensive shape then you haven't learnt anything. It really needs addressing.
Rocky7
That's true Rocky. Concede an early goal in these big games and it's very difficult to come back from that. The irony is that if Giroud's effort had been more positive it might have been Chelsea who had conceded first. Picking Chamberlain in central midfield now, in hindsight, seems naive and it was the Ox's naivety that cost us initially. Hopefully he'll have learned something from that but Chelsea's players are far too experienced to let us get away with much.
Amos.
I remember when Arsenal won the league back in November.
foreign_viewer
We can bemoan the penalty but at 2 nil it looked to be over. We were carved open easily and then after that completely fell apart. The result was embarrassing and humiliating, but to put it in perspective 4th/3rd place and the FA cup would be a good season in hind sight. My only grudge would be the utter freak results against City, Pool and this Chelsea away defeat; what the ***** happened!?
Nwankwo25
Not sure you can call them freak results anymore.
Wyn Mills
Before the game the consensus forecast from our end appears to be a draw. I don't recall any hint from anyone predicting a loss. That perhaps suggests this team has earned some credibility to warrant such 'optimism' against the leaders at their home court. So while there are more data points to bolster the argument of our frailties against our closest competitors they by no means preclude us from examining the game under its own context and learning from it.
NYArse
Really pleased for your keeper today, arrogant tw*t, no selfie today.
Thats Entertainment
Nyarse and Amos - come on, this is a galling defeat and Wenger has no defense. There is absolutely no excuse for a 'big ' club to get three maulings by their direct title opponents in a season. None .
Gooner_Vin
You seem more in the mood for flagellation than contemplation Vin but there's little point looking for excuses in any event. It's more about understanding why the risks we took didn't come off and how we might best minimise those risks next time we're in the same position with the same ambition.
Amos.
Wenger clearly does not have the ability to get these overpaid pansies 'motivated' for a big game. Whatever happened to the kind of spirit we saw up at old trafford in the untouchables season? Guys like Vieira, Keown and Lauren didn't need to be motivated, they were just mentally tough from kickoff.
Will-i-am10
Was that the same mentally tough spirit that saw us lose 6-1 at OT before doing the double the following season? Trying to play the way we do has always risked some heavy defeats when it doesn't come off.
Amos.
Amos, you're out of your element and utterly clueless. You have no sunstance behind a decent argument, we're nowhere near good enough and facts have shown this
shewore
One defeat of this magnitude with any of our title rivals might be written off as a bad day at the office. But three? And all by the clubs above us. That says everything you need to know about where we are. Wenger is aware of the weaknesses but he's his own worst enemy in choosing not to properly address them when he can.
Wyn Mills
That's a reasoned contribution shewore. What element is it that I'm supposedly out of - and you presumably are in? We're probably not good enough to win the title but we haven't been favourites to do so at any time this season. Unless you're going to win it there always comes a point when that realisation becomes a little more certain.
Amos.
We needed someone who scares the pants off defenders. Someone with good ball skills, guile and speed. I guess that was what Wenger was trying to address when he was willing to break the club's transfer record to bring in Suarez. There are some things he can't control, you know.
Naijagunner
I am usually very pragmatic about issues but did we really learn from the humiliation at Looserpool No! we go up against a fast team like Chelsea and the defence is no where to be seen. What is wrong with being compact till the second half. We have shipped 17 goals against the top 3 totally unacceptable.
phreddy
Naija, wow!! "it is well" is something I only hear when I go to 9ja especially when they have no excuse but to accept complacency and mediocrity. I for one think at 2 down the players should have parked the bus till later on in the 2nd half.
phreddy
we should not laugh at Tim of Tiny Tots "papering the cracks" because we really are just doing that. Without Theo and co, we should have been more defensive minded ala Tiny Tots team
phreddy
Amos, I'm sorry, but you can try and paint a positive picture all you like, but those three defeats are not acceptable at a big club. Wenger is just not up to setting up the team for these big games and we are easily nullified by the opponent pressing the ball in midfield and then breaking at speed. That's exactly what Liverpool did. There comes a point where you cannot defend the manager anymore despite you doing so at every point.
Gooner_Vin
I don't buy the argument that we risk getting perodically thumped because of the way we play. Do Barcelona habitually have their pants pulled down? Collectively the team do not have the reserves to maintain the pace. Our best players are crocked when it matters and we have a manager who believes its ok to finish second in our CL group and sees no correlation between that and failure to progress. If we continue to just do enough to get along we're always going to fall short.
Wyn Mills
Defeats of that magnitude should never be acceptable. And so should the oft repeated mono-causal variable for explaining all our failures: Wenger. The performances against the 'big' clubs have been abysmal and no one is sugarcoating them at all. The counter argument here is, in addition to blaming the manager --- an obvious pastime --- we should cast the net wider and identify other variables that may be game-specific or not.
NYArse
Where have I tried to paint a positive picture Vin? Where have I defended the manager for that matter? I've said the team selection was wrong, Ox was naive, we're not good enough to win the title. If that's too much positivity for you then you must really want to wallow in some misery. The way we play does leave us open to good counter acting sides if our midfield isn't up to speed. We've been caught a few times this season and not only in games in which we've been thumped. As it happens Barca have also been similarly caught on occasions this season but we're no Barca side yet.
Amos.
*****************Sigh************* back to the drawing board to accept realism that you can't compete against Sugar Daddy's teams by snapping up bargain "2nd tier players" and refusing to break the bank to buy marquee players you needed. Perhaps Liverpool will prove me wrong by winning all their remaining games to win the title. Those romantic days of snapping up a young Anelka, a young Vieira and a young Henry at a bargain is over. it is no more the late-1990s but late-2010s, the Era of Sugar Daddy and corporation taking over professional football. Alex Ferguson, Mourinho, Mancini and Pellegrini proved that. You think Alex Ferguson will give two hoots over the costs to Glazer Family when he pursue the players he wanted and willing to pay RvP, 250,000pw to win his last title before retiring? And Moyes willing to spend 300,000pw to tie-up Rooney which he knew it is vital to build the TEAM he wanted next season?
Merlion96
Just another 3 pts in isolation tho yeah? Dp you reckon the result at Anfield had no bearing on this one, with the players thinking 'not again!'? These big games are so so important for belief amongst the fans and more importantly, the players, who clearly have none of it when playing our rivals above us. We seem to get closer yet a lot farer away at the same time. Wenger and the club should be ashamed, Chelsea didn't even have to work for it! Disgraceful.
shewore
It was all a bit too easy for them but the errors can be eliminated. We could have put a more defensive team out but chances are they would have scored at some point and we'd have left with the same number of points. We're looking to win games (and according to one of those 1000th game stats have a better win percentage this season than any previous season) but against the top teams we need our most experienced midfield and first pick forwards to stand a chance of getting something out of it. We do seem to get closer but we haven't got further away just by dropping points away to a team most drop points to. In the end it is just 3 points dropped.
Amos.
If you believe it's just three pts dropped then you obviously do not believe in any form of psychology in sport
shewore
here we go daddies and oil barons, that means four teams max the rest of the teams as extras. This team, who clowns were saying from the first game of the season were rubbish hey you must be right. The manager is crap the team are crap. If you went to buy a car and it was as crap crap crap why buy(support ) it. This Arsenal team went out on Saturday and said hey lets lose, the Manager I don't know why I'm here, I should go to Vital Arsenal they have top managers who can tell me what to do. Come on you experts nick down to Arsenal tomorrow put your applications in. We lost, hated it thought the team played very poor thought we should have parked the bus for the first half and played the way they played us at home. We did not, we lost 6 -0 but its not six points not nine points its bloody three. The fat lady is in the dressing room we maybe not in the final song of who the winner is but we are in the chorus. We played without Ozil, Ramsy, Wlshire and Theo for FFS. Rip four top players out of any on the top four and see how they do. Sugar daddies and oil barons, and buy players who cost the earth, the day Arsenal do this is the day I will return to fairy stories rather than watch football. Amos I am with you,(boll...s to those want to run Arsenal team and manager down.
alwaysgunner
I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion! It's a bit like claiming I don't believe there're any minds in sport! The psychology is in the size of the defeat but you don't drop any more points losing 6-0 than you do 1-0. You deal with the psychology in understanding what happened and why. You don't deal with it at all simply by wailing about how disgraceful it all was and how ashamed we all need to be and how those involved must show proper penitence for their unforgivable failings.
Amos.
Amos, it is more than 3 points dropped ... it is how will those players picked themselves up and ready for Swansea. It is how a superb man-motivator like Arsene Wenger can get into the heads of all those battered, bashed and demoralised players to play out of their skins for the next 3 vital matches that will either cement our Top-4 status or Everton will overtake us after the very next 3 games. The damages that Chelski inflicted onto Arsenal is more than 3 dropped points but whether this TEAM will implode like they did in the aftermath of St. Andrew Grounds, Feb 2007/08. The fear is Groundhog Day - 17 August 2013 - comes 25-March-2014 and 29-March-2014 with fans booing the TEAM and Arsene Wenger off the pitch.
Merlion96
Were you there yesterday, always? Cos i was, y'know 'supporting' the team. So don't gimme all that crap about not being allowed an opinion, utter rubbish
shewore
They'll only pick themselves up if they're rational about what happened. We picked ourselves up against City and Liverpool didn't we? Most of the players are mentally much tougher than a good many supporters are. I don't believe they're battered, bashed and demoralised though I'm sure they're pretty p***ed off. They will know that they're probably having to play for 3rd at best at present but will also know that they have to scrap for every single point to get the most out of this season.
Amos.
We haven't gotta play any top three away from home again so we'll be alright for top four again zzzzzzz
shewore
Everyone is allowed an opinion shewore even if that opinion extends only as far as accusing others of being deluded, utterly clueless, out of their element, lacking substance et c. Always at least had the decency not to personalise his opinion. If you want to feel free to abuse others for opinions expressed then you probably shouldn't be so sensitive to implied but more general criticism. :)
Amos.
Not so much personal sensitivity more general frustration of the wider point of being told how to support our team and the implication that it's a choice as to who you support
shewore
The cumulative effect of these heavy defeats is bound to have a pscyhological effect and the fact that they are repeating perhaps shows the team are not being properly prepared to deal with the bigger games. Wenger is a brilliant manager, but he has some worrying blindspots, including a reluctance to change his game plan mid game or adjust his strategy to deal with adversity. Sadly I dont think hes a man who learns from his mistakes.
Wyn Mills
There are some who will always pipe up to berate other supporters who have an opinion SW. I cant say I understand the pleasure they get from that, but to each his own.
Wyn Mills
Yes, we had to try and win the game but that doesn't mean your set your team up to be a complete shambles from the first minute. Maybe it's wise to see how other top teams have approached the game when they've tonked you and consider it may happen again. Don't mistake me calling it indefensible for not having thought it through and wailing, you're not the only one capable of analysis.
Gooner_Vin
No-ones telling you how you should support the team shewore and you do have the choice whether you do or not. Always is just expressing his opinion as to how the team should be supported. You're suggesting he shouldn't express that opinion as he wasn't 'there'. Wenger took the blame for yesterday's defeat rightly enough Wyn. Maybe he could have better prepared the team for a lesser defeat or the hope that we could have successfully parked the bus to gain a point but I doubt that he'll ever favour that approach. In that sense you're right that his basic philosophy probably won't ever change. He'll always believe that he stands a better chance of competing consistently and doing so entertainingly his way than playing the percentages.
Amos.
There's a definite irony in you consoling shewore Wyn! I have never claimed that I'm the only one, or even that I am capable of analysis Vin. But I'm pretty sure we didn't set the team up to be a complete shambles from the first minute. We may have been wrong to set the team up to score in the first minute but again it was maybe a game we couldn't afford not to win if we're aiming for the big prize more than we couldn't afford not to lose. Too much ambition, too naive or strategic incompetence? As NYArse suggested there's nothing wrong with considering more than the conventional conclusions - even if they're bound to be the most popular.
Amos.
I wonder if this is as far as Wenger can bring the team? I know some people on here dont believe in the winning mentality or culture that a club should have but to me it looks like we don't have it and Wenger, having had so many seasons of accepting these defeats, may not be able to shift the mentality. There is no doubt that Chelesa were the better side yesterday but when I look at the 11 that they had out and compare it to ours I don't see them as six goals better, just as I don't see Liverpool as five goals better or city as three. We have a mental problem in the big games in that we rarely preform and despite several lessons we still ain't learning. Maybe it's time to change the teacher?
Galway Gooner
Chelsea have a better squad than we have GG. They lose Ramires and Willian and can bring in Schurlle and Luiz. We've got a talented 20 year old playing in his first full season. Even so we weren't playing our 11 against their 11 for more than 15 minutes - even if it was our own fault. Liverpool were 4 goals better than us one week and one goal worse a week later. There's no mental problem just a depth of quality problem - a physical problem. No teacher with the same resources will change that without external help.
Amos.
Amos no one will ever convince you that you are wrong. If Wenger stays for another 1000 games and still fails to beat the big teams then you will have an excuse as to why. I Believe that this team has an issue in big games, our mentality and our tactics are second rate. You think sam aladryce and tony pulis are as good as Jose, and starting from that point we will never agree!
Galway Gooner
Wrong about what exactly GG? What opinion have I offered that excuses the result yesterday - or Wenger's part in it? I've no problem with you believing that we have a mentality problem or that we're tactically inept. Such beliefs are impossible to disprove which is what makes them so attractive I suppose. Liverpool had a winning mentality at Anfield but a losing mentality when they played at the Emirates a week later. How can any one disprove such a contention? I made no such claim about Pulis and Allardyce my point was that give them Jose's resources at the club he's managed and give Jose the resources that Allardyce and Pulis have had at the club's they've managed and results and performances would be much the same. That's also impossible to prove or disprove but with a better balance of probabilities (the probability that if you give a manager more resources he'll do better than the man given fewer) than the 'winning mentality' cliché.
Amos.
Amos, parking the bus is an option. We did it successfully against Spurs only last week. It can and should have been an option Wenger entertained yesterday, but it looks like he told the team to go gung-ho knowing full well Chelsea are not as profligate in front of goal as Tiny Tim's lot. He's at least owned up. But will it make any difference? I'd have no pleasure telling you I told you so if we're tonked 6-0 by City.
Wyn Mills
The thing is, against Spurs, we went ahead early and had the luxury of "parking the bus", with something to hold onto. When you go behind and so early, the natural tendency is to throw out the game plan and try to get back into the game. Alas! Against sides like Chelsea, you can only get punished, serially.
Naijagunner
Giroud missed a sitter at the start last season, and this he misses another good chance. A top striker puts that away and puts the game in an entirely different direction. Giroud and Sonogo on the bench, with all that cash, it's definitely grounds for questions if we don't sort it (we should have already)
shewore
Wyn, parking the bus is surely an option and a fairly debatable point. I am not sure though whether that would have absolved Wenger of any blame especially from those who want him out. We have precedence; he has been accused of not being ambitious enough and not trying to win the big prize. So, yes, damage control would have 'massaged' our hurt pride some. But at the end of the day, it is still 3 points lost and so the risk profile would have remained the same whether we were gun-ho or not. The default counterpoint of psychology, often cited, is really difficult to verify (a point made by Amos) and often a dustbin used for collecting and for explaining any statistical pattern that emerges when it comes to the human condition. We've struggled against top teams but the observed pattern may just be spurious correlations and have nothing to do with fear, doubt, or anything to do with the mind or mind games. For starters, Chelsea is ahead of us in almost all measureable ways going into the game.
NYArse
Can you not see the correlation in conceding 6, 5 and 6 goals away against the top 3, NYArse? I think speculation on psychology is entirely reasonable when you consider that, man for man, our teams aren't lightyears apart. Why do we make more simple mistakes, for example? Feel free to offer your own insight, i'm sure it'll be just as spurious as others, though.
shewore
Shewore, lest my use of 'spurious' is misinterpreted what I mean is correlations are the initial things we observe when two events are examined. I advocate going beyond the initial observation that are easily available to our senses in order to isolate causal factors. And some causal variables are easily measureable while others require 'clinical' investigation. I am suggesting in the absence of the latter, we should at least be cautious in our use of 'psychology' to explain the three samples you cited.
NYArse
Our first 11 and Chelsea's first 11 may not be miles apart shewore but our squad of 25 isn't as strong as their squad of 25 and that's where there is some distance between us. Speculation on psychology, more popularly expressed as mental weakness or toughness or spirit is a regular fall back to explain things that are difficult to explain. Its convenience is that it is easy to claim if you don't win that you don't have 'it'. In truth it's cod psychology to suggest that all you need to win difficult games is to want to win it.
Amos.
Who suggested that?! We've got stuffed 3 times away from home now, against the top 3, there has to be a causal link - I don't see you, or NYArse offering any insight, just dismissing what other people are saying as it's popular opinion
shewore
As you well know, an important part of debating is to scrutinize what the other side is offering. Dismissing propositions that are beyond verification is very important. If anyone has offered voodoo or a 'spell' cast on us as explanation for our poor performances I am sure you would join anyone dismissing such a notion (I am not comparing voodoo to psychology). In any case, Amos has offered several propositions, depth of squad being one. I have not simply because a sample of 3 seems to me to be just too small for any firm conclusion that hints at removing the manager, for example. My insight is we are on the right path but not just where we must be to avoid such losses especially when we face the adversity of 'mass' injuries to key players. And often our expectations make the losses and their impact worse than reality suggests.
NYArse
Having half of your first choice players out through injury seems more reason to adopt a cautious defensive counter-attacking approach to a tough game like this, rather than the reckless high line of yesterday. Mourinho probably couldn't believe his eyes. I simply don't understand the reasoning. Wenger says now is not the time to explore the reasons why. I hope he means 'not with the press and fans', because the stats point to more than a mere blip. Our away record against the top 4 teams over the past 5 seasons reads: Played 15 Won 1 Drawn 1 Lost 13 ( For 13 Against 44). Last season against the sides competing for the title we picked up just two points out of a possible 18, winning no games. That's got to be cause for some concern.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, I agree that the numbers you cited " ... got to be cause for concern' for which improvement must be sought. However, it should also be acknowledged that our record against the top four over 5 seasons, in and by itself, is not a necessary or sufficient condition to measure our overall progress. Don't get me wrong, how we fare against them matter. But a record showing a bottom half of the table team doing well against the top 4, for example, will only go so far in its analytical utility. My point is in an attempt to propose a far-reaching conclusions we as fans should not go to every length to minimize the context of each game for there may be unique circumstances and lessons offered in each of these defeats.
NYArse
Unique by its very definition is one of a kind, we've conceded 17 goals in 3 big games away from home, what has squad depth got to do with our shocking approach to the game and the tactics employed? And even if it were that simple, are we really 6 goals worse?
shewore
The tactics employed were those of a club ambitious enough to want to go further than just a top four finish. The circumstances going into each big game can be different, including what has gone before and what comes after. For example had we not lost the Stoke game a draw against Chelsea might have been a reasonable objective but having lost it, if we really were trying to win the title, we had no option other than to go for the win instead of trying to hold out for a draw. Similarly if we were only 8 games into the season instead of 8 games from the end our considerations can be different. In itself games against the big boys don't tell you anything more than you are less likely to take points in games away to them than to lesser teams - and in any event it isn't particularly more significant than 3 points won or lost anywhere else - for reasons I've tried to indicate before: http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=541379 -though it may be more critical to need to win them in some situations than others.
Amos.
Games against the big boys are usually 6 pointers, so in addition to the confidence boost you would expect to get from at least level pegging with them there's the added benefit of depriving your rivals of points and goals. It shouldn't be a question of glory or bust when we're talking about a gap of a few points. The game is much subtler than that. As you've mentioned its a question of whether one is prepared to play the percentages. Its something Wenger appears reluctant to do, which is why he probably doesn't think its a problem finishing second in our CL group.
Wyn Mills
Phreddy, Lol! In reality, "it is well" isn't of Nigerian origin but a phrase coined from the hymn of same title, written in 1884 by an American (Horatio Spafford) after a series of traumatic events rocked his life. My use of it isn't to edify mediocrity or complacency, as you stated. On the contrary, it is intended to suggest that it will end well (as it could have been worse for the team) this season. It isn't over yet, especially as we have the FA cup to play for and, mathematically, are still in the running for the title (I know that's stretching it).
Naijagunner
not winning the f.a. cup this season could be the waterloo for wenger
Joe_@**
If we don't win the cup it'd be desperately sad for all concerned, you'd think he might think "bollox" and just retire if he doesn't. But then you'd also need to consider that he's not here any more for trophies, he's here to keep us in the top 4 and the associated revenues coming in. Re them not being more or less significant than any other 3 pts won or loss, there's no point debating it with Amos anymore as his mind is entirely shut to the idea of the losses or wins having any sort of gain, based on Utd winning the title after losing to everyone once.
shewore
My mind isn't closed to anything shewore - certainly not to losses or wins having any sort of gain. There're no gains in a loss. I'm happy for anyone to debate anything but you don't really do debate at all. You'll snipe and sneer and on occasions will dismiss an opinion that doesn't fit your prejudice with abuse. It's your mind that's closed to argument hence you find it easier to dismiss an entire argument you can't otherwise respond to other than by personalising and misrepresenting it in extracting just one point. I guess you won't want to debate your assertion that Wenger is only here for a top four finish and doesn't want trophies he just wants to keep the revenues coming in? As it's such a well structured and well supported argument that isn't at all rooted simply in your prejudices it would clearly be wrong to suggest it is just the conclusion of a genuinely closed mind. :)
Amos.
1 win out of 15 and a massive 13 losses to the top teams in the top 4 over the past 5 years should show everyone that something is wrong with the mental strength of the team. We are by no means the best team in the world but our team is a lot better than 1 win in 15. Can't be bothered to do the maths but I'd be willing to bet that if we looked at the team relegated in the last 5 seasons the average points return away to the top 4 would be better than us.

Anything can happen in a one off game, but you simply don't get unlucky constantly over 15 games.

Galway Gooner
I'm not gonna have the debate again cos in reality it's not really worth having as it's plain as day. Wenger's #1 is winning the Champions League, you can even tell on the day as it's the only games he prowls his technical area, all the others he sits down with his arms folded. #2 is winning the league and #3 is the fourth place trophy, and his paymasters are happy for that to happen on a minimal budget, why else would he not have spent the cash available to him? Why do we have a 12m forward up front and a no name kid his back up? With all that cash, we're well within our rights to ask questions. Big games against the teams above and around us have farther reaching consequences than you can see, or can admit to, they're not just 3 points, that's a nonsense that's entirely black and white and looks good on paper, not not in the real world
shewore
Amos, I don't know Shewore but I've always found him/her to be pretty open and rational in his/her opinions. Don't see any of the sniping that you are suggesting.

You disagree with someone's point of view and you launch into a long winded and somewhat arrogant and condescending lecture on how they can't prove anything and don't really understand what they are talking about, and if they did then wed all see things from your side.

We didn't have to win at Chelsea a draw would have been a good result, would have slowed them and also kept a bit of a run going for us. And even if we needed 3 points we didn't have to go mad from the off, we could have played tight and slowed the game down. But we didn't.

It was simply an appalling tactical approach to a game and one that I'm sure Jose loved. I know you rate him only as highly as Sam and Tony but I happen to think that his record of 8 odd league titles in a 10-11 year career is pretty impressive, and he tactically destroyed us at the weekend. As he has consistently done during his career. Sooner or later the mounting evidence of defeats to Jose would suggest that maybe Wenger is weak tactically at the very top level? Can you even accept that?

Galway Gooner
You may be right GG I haven't checked the figures of teams below us either. But certainly when I looked at the figures recently of teams around us Everton had a better points performance over the previous 3 seasons, since City have been at their strongest, than either of us Liverpool or Spuds but their average finishing position is usually the lower of us all. Which begs the question what is the significance of points against the big teams compared to points won elsewhere? You don't get bonus points for beating a big four team. You can argue that those wins against big teams give extra confidence and 'mental strength' in which case why haven't Everton finished higher?
Amos.
No you do not get bonus points for beat those teams above or around you.

But to win the league you need to hit about 85 points. Over 38 games that 2.23 average points per game. Just looking at Chelsea this season they took 4 points off us. So in their remaining 36 games they need to hit 2.25 points per game to reach 85.

We on other hand, having only taken 1 point off Chelsea need 2.33 points per game out of the remaining 36 games in the season to reach the 85 point mark.

Follow this logic out over the United, City, Liverpool and even Everton/Spurs games and you can see we are facing an uphill battle.

We are flat track bullies. That is all. The club is setup to achieve second best and shows very little sign of improving.

Galway Gooner
"I'm not gonna have the debate again cos in reality it's not really worth having as it's plain as day." Well that's an unfortunate opening sentence for someone ready to accuse others of having a closed mind shewore. There's a definite irony there. There's also a fair amount of irony in GG's long winded post accusing me of making long winded posts! I didn't ever try to make the point that Wenger didn't get his tactics wrong. Read the posts again. All I offered as an opinion is some reasoned view why he might have felt he had to go for a win as opposed to a rear guard action trying not to lose. NyArse can see what's really being said and is rational in understanding and extending the debate. Others just get defensive about their own views.
Amos.
I'm not disagreeing with the maths GG but we wouldn't be the first flat track bully to win the PL title. Of course it makes our chances of winning the title greater the more teams we beat but logically you'll get fewer points against the best teams than against the poorer teams. There're many variables that affect points won or lost in any given game but to win the title you just have to gain more points than the other teams. Precisely where they are won is secondary. But I'm not gonna have this debate again cos in reality it's not really worth having as it's plain as day. ;)
Amos.
there you go again Amos; if only we could see things from your side then we'd all know how right you are.
Galway Gooner
You could have responded to the points made instead if you wished GG. If you disagree, especially if you're convinced it's plainly wrong, it should be as easy to shoot the point down as it is to shoot at the person making it shouldn't it?
Amos.
I'm done Amos, whatever you say I now agree 100% with you as there is quite clearly no point in questioning your brilliance. Hell I even agree with your point that Fat Sam and Pulis as on a par with Jose.

To quote a brilliant (if perhaps misunderstood, man;

"..I'm not gonna have this debate again cos in reality it's not really worth having as it's as plain as day"

Galway Gooner
" you don't get bonus points for beating a big four team". I would beg to differ. We all understand the 'six pointer' concept which is all about points differentials between competing teams.
Wyn Mills
Perhaps you've misunderstood the purpose of such forums GG (at least in my mind) - it isn't to establish the brilliance or stupidity of any individual making any post or expressing an opinion - it's simply to exchange those views and opinions. It's a diversion to personalise these exchanges. That said I don't see that I've said anything that anyone need be upset about - unless perhaps you've a particular regard for Jose.
Amos.
Depends when you play them Wyn. I did concede above, and in earlier posts, that the points can be more critical at some times and in some situations than others. Hence it may have been more critical to try to win this game now, and in these particular circumstances, than to try not to lose. Which is the point I made early on.
Amos.
If this isn't a critical phase then frankly I don't know what is. Wasn't it more critical not to lose than win? Following your logic that we were less likely to come away with the points from an away match why did we end up leaving the back door so wide open? With 8 games to go it was hardly the last throw of the dice. Now, arguably, it is.
Wyn Mills
“We knew their full-backs are very offensive and go forward a lot,” said Schürrle. “And when they lose the ball you have the chance to take advantage of the transition because they leave a lot of space." Yes, its called leaving the back door open. Wenger should know all about it by now. City and Liverpool gleefully ran through the same open door.
Wyn Mills
Again I did make the point in an earlier article I linked above that it would be more critical this season than in others. Was it more critical to pick up one point than 3 or none? Not if the ambition was to go for something more than shewore's assertion that we'd be happy just with a top four finish it wasn't Even if we'd won it was going to be tough but if we'd picked up just one point the idea that we'd gain 5 points more than Chelsea, at this stage and with just 24 points available to us seems ambitious. As I said at the start with hindsight the tactics may have been wrong (though it was more the execution of those tactics) but it should be possible to understand the reasoning even if you don't agree with it.
Amos.
A draw against Chelsea would of put us 4 points behind Chelsea with a game in hand that we will most probably win Amos. That would of been 2 points to overturn and not 5. Against a rubbish Man Untied team we played the cautious game even though they are utterly pants. That is the kind of game you want to be more ambitious because the odds are more in your favour. Going to Chelsea with a high line, no midfielder holding and fullbacks nowhere to be seen is not ambitious but suicidal and nothing to do with Hindsight. At home Galatsaray tried to play a high line and Chelsea were in time and time again. Mancini changed it and admitted to getting it wrong. Chelsea were in twice before they scored, god forbid anyone from the management team get up on the sideline and get players to sit in. All just sat and watched us self explode.
paul_ownz
Wenger admitted after the Utd game that it was as much to do with psychological reasons as well. Easy to disprove purely on the basis that there's no proof, even though it's from the manager's mouth, of course.
shewore
We'd still have to win 5 points more than Chelsea win over a very limited number of games paul. If we'd won against Chelsea though we'd only have had to take 2 points more than they took. The difference between the ManU game and this was that the difference between 1 point then and 3 now was more critical this weekend. There's a difference between psychological reasons (being overly cautious or excessively confident - which can depend on the specific circumstances of the time) and the repetitive mantra that the team lacks mental strength or is mentally weak or lacks spirit as a pre-existing and continuing condition. That's clearly not what came out of Wenger's mouth. Playing with the handbrake on or off is a psychological assessment too - and we seem to do one or the other in most games!
Amos.
Wenger after the ManU game at the Emirates "Let's say it's a disappointing result against a good team but the attitude of the players, the fighting spirit, was very reassuring"
Amos.
If we beat Swansea say 3-0 on Tuesday which is fairly possible, then we would of been 2 points & 5 GD behind Chelsea. With both teams having 7 games left I don't think that it would of been out of reach or "ambitious" to overturn.
paul_ownz
We'd still need 2 points more than Chelsea out of the next 21 paul whereas if we'd won and then won the game in hand Chelsea would have needed 3 points more than us. Leaving the calculations between us and Chelsea aside City would still have a potential pot of 30 points to contest for. I accept that 1 point is better than 0 points but you can see why, if the club were really aim for more than top four, then you might expect them to have shown the ambition to take control. Had we won the Stoke game earlier we might well have had a different approach to this one. Once again I'm not disagreeing with those who claim our tactics were wrong but they can't really claim we're only going for a top four finish each season and then castigate the team for showing more ambition than that.
Amos.
Not sure the game at the Emirates has any bearing on the away performances. After a 1-0 defeat away to Manchester United in November, Wenger suggested that his players had been “nervous” because “we haven’t won at Old Trafford for a long time and it was a big game”.
shewore
Also Amos, I don't agree that their is distance between our squad and theirs. Not this season anyway, I think player for player we match up pretty evenly.
paul_ownz
We are lacking up front because we failed to buy a striker in the last 3 transfer windows, but other than that I don't think the gap is that huge. Next year it probably will be as we will sit on out cash reserves again. We are lacking tactically and mentally and this is down to the manager.
paul_ownz
I'm not sure that the away game at OT would have been the one we were talking about in terms of us playing cautiously. We had more of the play and twice as many goal attempts as they did. ManU seemed to be the cautious side in that particular encounter. Nervous we may have been but ManU looked the more nervous. I reckon we have a greater reliance on young raw talent to make up our squad - outside our first pick 11 - than Chelsea do at present paul.
Amos.
Cech, Schwarzer - Scz, Fabianski Terry, Cahill, Luiz - Kos, Mertesacker, Vermaelen Azpilucetta Cole, Gibbs, Monreal Ivanovic - Sagna Hazard, Oscar, Schurle, Saleh - Ozil, Cazorla, Walcott, Ox Ramires, Willian, Matic - Flaimini, Ramsey, Wilshere Lampard, Mikel, Van Ginkel - Rosicky, Arteta, Gnabry Etoo, Torres, Ba - Giroud, Podolski, Sanogo Not sure Amos. I tried to compare as fairly as possible. Obviously we lack in power, but this is a choice made by Wenger.
paul_ownz
Again with the age, I think we stack up similarly. Schurle 23 , Oscar 22 & Van Ginkel 20 & Salah 21. Ramsey 23, Wilshere 22, Ox 20 & Gnabry 18.
paul_ownz
If you compare the 22 Chelsea players who have started a PL game this season with the 22 that have started PL games for us this season, or go further and look at those 16 Chelsea players who have started 10 games or more and compare them with the 13 for Arsenal, and look at it as squad resources paul - you may see the point I'm trying to make. You could also look at the respective benches for the weekend game. In a normal competitive landscape every team will have a mix between young players who need development, to learn on the job as it were, and experienced players that have either been bought in or have matured with the team. But that has been less of a choice that simply has to be made for some teams than others.
Amos.
Just an observation on the 'young players' point paul. Only two on your Chelsea list have started PL games whereas all 4 of the Arsenal players plus Carl Jenkinson have started PL games for us this season.
Amos.
You are right above, but my point was more that I don't think we rely on youth more than Chelsea by a considerable amount, not this season anyway. In the last 11 games Gnabry has played 35 mins in two sub appearances. Jenkinson has made two 45min sub appearances in league games since December. Of the 15 players who have started most league games (7 games or more) for Arsenal this season, all have all played over 100 games for the club or have plenty of experience (Cazorla, Giroud, Podolski, Ozil). In fact of any Arsenal player who has started a league game, only Ox, Gnabry & Jenkinson could be considered inexperienced, and they have only 16 starts between them.
paul_ownz
You make some good points paul. I agree the distant isn't that great but I still think it's enough to give them an important edge over us. I think Jack still shows some inexperience at times but Ox learning the central midfield role at this level isn't a risk Chelsea would have to take. Therein lies the difference as I see it but you've made your case well with some sound objective reasoning.
Amos.
Amos you agree that mental toughness would be to come back from a heavy loss to win the double a year later. If this team can win the double next season then I am Ronald McDonald. Yes we lost 1-6 at old trafford - once and once only. And that was against United at their absolute peak.
Will-i-am10
Well we did lose 6-1 at OT a couple of months after losing 4-0 at Anfield so it wasn't the only disaster that season (forgetting the 3-0 loss at home to 'boro). I don't think mental toughness would have played as much of a role as the quality of the team. Out went mentally tough stalwarts Adams and Dixon (and dodgy passported Silvinho) and in came Campbell & Lauren. I'm with you that we won't win the double next season though but I'd like to see us compete for it just a touch better next season. It's not impossible as we've shown before.
Amos.
 

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