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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

The Beauty of Football Is....

I am sure most of you reading this are familiar with Hornby's seminal text 'Fever Pitch.' (That is save for gloating Spurs fans, who are currently whooping in their caravan parks with delight, their mullets flapping forcefully in the wind). There's a passage in it, which is included prominently in the cinematic adaptation that always presents itself to my conscience in moments like these. It goes something along the lines of, 'the beauty of football is it keeps coming around again. If you go out of the Cup Final in May, there's always the fourth round in January. That's pretty comforting when you think about it.'

This morning life in Goonerdom does not feel good. Having exited three cup competitions in ten days, we are left to contemplate the remains of our season. Of course the Lotto Chavs are loving it, their vital editor Merlin declaring the fact that they are the sole London club left in the competition, 'a unique achievement.' How that is I am not quite sure, but given the fact that Chelsea still have '1955 Youth Cup runners up' listed under Honours in their programme, you could see why the poor mite would think that. I am sure he considered dispatching his morning turd 'a unique achivement' as well. Not to worry, Chelsea football club will literally cease to exist in ten years time, and you will not find me contributing to the Chelsea collection buckets when it does. As for the Tottenham fans that are gloating here, their barbs laced with the usual cocktail of ignorance and schaudenfraude, they really have nothing on us here. The material we have over them is more rich and varied than a Steve Coogan characterisation, when they develop opposable thumbs and actually manage to beat Arsenal (perhaps we should bet on which will happen first) they may realise how pathetic they look.

Anyway, rant nowithstanding I arrived at the ground with a mixture of fear, nerves, apprehension and that nausea in my stomach that had nothing to do with the volume of Guinness consumed pre match. We knew it would be tight, but we needed to stay patient and play our game. We only needed one goal to level the tie and we played it correctly in the first half, keeping the game tight and being sure not to concede. Predictably we monopolised possession, but only half chances came our way, a rumbustuous Toure raid down the right could have produced better results early on, but his decision making let him down at the byline. Julio Baptista continued to be a nuisance, collecting a Hleb cross, flicking it in the air and scissor kicking it wide. Arsenal continued to get the ball in the box and Emmanuel Adebayor headed iwde. At the other end, little trouble was encountered save for a dangerously underhit backpass from Gilberto which nearly let Jefferson Farfan in.

In the second half, the Gunners raised their game, as Hleb once again assumed the mantle of creator, looking to commit PSV defenders, working the Chinese left back Sun Xing ragged and looking to create opportunities. Natuarlly, the home crowd berated him and Baptista for having the gall to try and create in dangerous areas, howling their discontent whenever PSV's ten man defence, superbly marshalled by Alex, frustrated. Naturally, Freddie went off to thunderous applause for nil output, he should really journey to Rwanda with these idiot fans who insist on berating players that put themselves in the firing line, together they should be able to crack the problem of famine. Because Ljungberg has been dining out on 2002 for five years. Arsenal stayed patient and got their reward. Wenger commented in the days building up to the game that they ahd worked extra hard on converting set pieces. Well, Denilson whipped in a wicked corner from the left which cannonned in off of Alex. It was a very undeserving own goal, but I did not concern myself with that. Convinced we could go on and win the game, the pathetic atmosphere lifted slightly and it was game on.

Seconds after the restart, a long ball from Toure found Adebayor onside, his controlling touch was good but he contrived to blast the ball straight at Gomes. My feeling became more negative as at this level of the game you cannot waste chances of that calibre. With the Gunners firmly on top, we were to repeat the trick minutes later. Hleb brilliantly beat three players (how dare he? sell him!) and found an onrushing Fabregas who placed the ball over the bar when he really should have scored. Once again, it is worthless blaming individuals, our profligacy in front of goal is a collective problem and it is one that has seen us exit three competitions in ten days. Interestingly, our two central midfielders' combined age is only two years more than Philip Cocu, yet they dominated the central midfield. Wenger looked to panic for me in sending Henry on, he clearly was not fit and I felt we could have scored again without him. I know it is a stomach muscle he has torn, but when you are carrying an injury, you shift emphasis to other parts of your body and this sort of problem usually follows. With Henry prone, we were suddenly playing with ten men. Ljungberg ran out of legs after half time and Fabregas found himself covering cental midfield and the left wing as the game became stretched.

The culmination was sickeningly predictable. Hleb conceded an unnecessary free kick in his eagerness to get the ball and Arsenal, once again, did not produce on the only defensive situation they were presented with all night. Simons swung the free kick in, and Alex climbed incredibly high above Diaby to head home. Lehmann looked to be caught in no mans' land, but given his heroics in last year's run to the Final it is hard to castigate him. My feeling is that this will probably his last European game for us and I only wish for him, that it could have been in more prosperous circumstances. As the ball hit the net, legions of 'fans' headed for the exits. All I can say is that I am glad none of these people are my friends/family if that is their pathetic and childish reaction to adversity. They might as well have thrown dollies and dumbies onto the pitch and the ignorance I see at home games continues to astound me. PSV keeper Gomes injured himself in the celebrations with all substitutions used. As unlikely as it seemed, a goal could have sparked a last ditch rally against a goalie who was rendered immobile. But the players' morale visibly sapped at the sight of their own supporters turning their backs on them. Some people really do not deserve to get tickets for games of this stature. Through this site, I am regularly in touch with people who, through a quirk of geography, cannot get to see Arsenal live and I know the sight of these erudite twats walking out will have hurt you more than it did me. For my part, I stayed until the bitter end and, yes, I got stuck in a huge jam in the Blackwall Tunnel, but that's the way it goes. If you cannot handle that, do us all a favour and fuck right off, honestly.

Watching PSV celebrate like they had won the Cup stung my sensibilities as well, it made you realise that this was the ceiling of their ambition, a Quarter Final berth. But credit to them, they fed ravenously on our weaknesses and the best of luck to them in the next round. As for us, well it was lost on two major factors. Firstly, not scoring in the first half an hour in Eindhoven was frankly criminal. Secondly, not defending a simple set piece in a game you dominate, we have been punished time and time again in a like manner this year. But remember last year? We all thought we would continue to be outmuscled and lose 0-1 away from home ad infinitum, that seems like a long while ago now and Arsene will sort this problem. The Carling Cup run should by now have convinced all concerned that the future here is incredibly bright. Football offers you something life does not, another chance. Lose on Wednesday, there's always the next game. Out of the Champions Legaue, well there's next year. These young Gunners have got a few years left in them yet and we now have the opportunity to begin the planning for next season. The likes of Denilson and Diaby can now fully ingratiate themselves and Mr. Wenger can assess what needs to be done in the summer. I leave you with a quote from Thomas Paine, 'the real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength in distress, and grows barve by reflection.' We are the Arsenal and we will be back, because we are the Arsenal. LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 8 2007

Time: 2:14PM

Your Comments

Like you said, there is always next season, and with the kids you have, you will have a great team in the years to come. Good luck.
JohnDoe
Last year we used the 4-5-1 formation with so much success.. and I think we even did that in the beginning of this season in the CL.. why didn't Wenger use that formation in these 2 games? That said, I think people having a go at our philosophy again is just ridiculous.. we just need to be sharper in that final third! We don't need to be whacking long balls all over the place..
arsenalrulz4ever
yes great piece LD, these articles really do cheer me up. But when will we learnt to defend set pieces, how can this go on ?? Next game we have carew to deal with, and have a timid striker force. Adebayor really dissapointed me yesterday, but im not going to start moaning, we are out and got beaten again by the sly fox that is koeman, good luck psv
hazzagooner
I agree that the 4-5-1 is a must in next year's competition, we got the balance right last year. I just had a feeling after Moscow we'd gone back to our old ways a bit, and this feels like a huge step backwards. What is truly amazing, is that given the classless taunts of classless chavs and success starved Spuds, a Liverpool fan, a person whose team's European history dwarfs our own so significantly, probably the only team in England who could claim, without argument, to be the biggest in the country, is the one who is the most gracious. All I can say is I'm so made up Liverpool won because it won me fifty quid, I bet my mate back in December that Benitez's guile would knock Barca out and at least I can buy some new shoes now!
Little Dutch
'the beauty of football is it keeps coming around again. If you go out of the Cup Final in May, there's always the fourth round in January." providing you negotiate the third round!
Jacky B
Whats the matter LD, didnt get enough feedback from your "witty" comments on our board than you felt like basing an entire editorial on it? Bless. Nice article though - agree with much of what you say. IN truth, amusing as I found it, you were unlucky to go out and I'd have loved to get you lot in the CL as we havent had a chance to abuse Gallas yet. He left us, a winning team, took a paycut, and moved to your lot who promptly stick him out on the right back spot, and win nothing all season. How gutted must he be?!?!?
OLASAL
We do have a few problems in taking the chances we create, our end result from taking set pieces isnt very good, and our defending against set pieces is shaky, at best. I dont think we need to change our playing style/formation.
prits
The finishing from Adebayor and Cesc on those 2 chances wasnt very good - they ought to have done better, but LD is right. I'm not going to berate the individuals, coz it could just as easily have been anyone else in the team. And Lehmann was in no-mans land, he showed bad judgment there. Expected more from such an experienced keeper.
prits
LD, do you want cheering up? check out the following article. Newcastle fans think that being a Newcastle manager is the hardest job in English football. :) http://www.newcastle.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=55825
JohnDoe
You seriously need to spell check it though mate.
OLASAL
bullers, come sunday, wouldnt be surprised if we dont see ya around here, mate. mebbe for a whole week after that. atleast beat them before gloating, and yes, if u do lose, be prepared to have us on ur site reminding you of ur lil boast :). just a gentle reminder, of course,.
prits
Those of you who saw bullers' comment and wonder why it is deleted should know it is because of yet more disgusting comments about Wenger. Any comments of that tone will not be tolerated, so don't ebven bother typing them. Have your fun if you must (it must have been a pretty moserable 46 years to be a Spurs fan), but don't try that crap cos it'll just get taken off. OLASAL, you're criticising me for doing one sentence on your site in my article? Really? Would you like to look at the title of your site's leading article this morning? And you criticise me for commenting on it, yet have no reservations putting 'ARSENAL' in the title. Your house is very much made of glass my friend and your football club is on life support. Can't wait to see your faces when the plug is pulled. Never will the expression 'blue is the colour' have quite so much relevance as that day.
Little Dutch
Littel Dutch I appreciate that you don't want to har opinions about your manager. But please understand that they are MY OPINIONS and as a human being I AM ENTITLED TO THINK WHAT I LIKE. Inotice that you didn't just edit the post you had to take it all away so you can forget forget forget what a waste of space you club is when it comes to keeping your bottle. What I wanted to say to all gooners that are still alive - Was THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR A VERY SATISFYING EVENING OF FOOTBALL - IT WAS GREAT TO SEE SUCH TACTICAL GENIUS COMING FROM YOU MANAGER. IT WAS GOOD TO SEE YOU SQUANDER ALL OF YOUR CHANCES IN FRONT OF GOAL AND IT WILL BE GOOD TO SEE HOW YOU FAIR IN THE RUN IN WITH CONFIDENCE AT DANGEROUSLY LOW LEVELS. THANKS YOU LADIES - YOU;'D BE BETTRE OFF WATCHING YOUR LADIES - AT LEAST THEY'VE GOT 'BALLS' TO PROGRESS IN CUPS
bullers
LOL LD - come now my frustrated little friend. You must know by now that wishing for something, no matter how hard you do it, doesnt mean its going to happen. I bet you lie awake at night wishing for Mr A to walk away, for Jose to leave, for Chelsea to be brought down a peg or three, down to the days when we werent winning anything - like you are now. Sad truth of it is mate - this IS our bad season. We're having it now. And we are still better than you. Think about next season - Villa and Liverpool spend big in the summer, we spend big and attack the league with renewed hunger, and United remain a formidable force. You STILL cant fill your ground, and there isnt any atmosphere anyway even when you do. Your team of kids is not added to, and Wenger's growing disenchantment with the British game widens. You fail to qualify for the Champions League next season and Sp*rs are in it instead. We go on to have a fantastic season, and you will still be having (another) season of consolidation and "building for the future" - you've been doing that for a while now havent you? What do you think mate, time to start winning things? Us and United win everything now mate - not sure where you fit in? Still telling everyone who listens how you play lovely football? Yeah great - but what have you won recently? You are just a big club fallen on tough times and whilst us, United, and probably Liverpool and Villa are scrapping it out, where is that going to leave you? Henry, Fabregas, Toure, etc - how long are they going to stay for a cemetary of a stadium and no chance of any winners medals? Future bright? Whatever you say mate. *pats LD on the head*
OLASAL
Whats that song from Bugsy Malone?

Tomorrow! Tomorrow never comes! : )
OLASAL
I prefer Tomorrow Never Knows OLASAL, yor attemot at a wind up is commendable, but your club is on its knees, at the mercy of an oligarch. You know that and it scares you, which is why you have to come out with ill informed crap. e,g that we cannot fill our stadium. There is one game this season, where we did not sell out, Blackburn at home when we had two days to sell and distribute tickets. Remind me of Chelsea's attendance at home to Bremen? And why were tickets for your home game with Arsenal on sale on the door? Tut, tut, tut. The fact si your posturing belies a sense of insecurity in you, otherwise why would you feel the need to wind people up so badly? I look at your post and I just wonder who you are trying to convince, me or you? Keep that penny jar filling up dude, because few people in this country will be making donations. bullers, you are free and entitled to your opinions, howver desperate and ignorant they are, but you are not free to make libellous and frankly disgusting claims against somebody else, hence your post being deleted. Now back to your trailer park mullet boy. P.S By describing yourself as "a human being" I think you're taking some poetic license there, I think of you more as a w*nk that went horribly wrong.
Little Dutch
Bullers, you ARE entitled to your opinions, but you are NOT entitled to share your crap with the rest of us. Spot the difference? And what the ***** is a Spurs fan doing trying to wind us up? A Chelsea, Man U, Pool fan, I understand, coz they do win stuff (or buy, whichever works). But a Spur's fan? That's a bit like Margaret Thacher's husband (is he called Thatcher? It doesn't go without saying!) trying to wind up Angelina Jolie's husband "...your wife is ugly...brrrrrr!!...". Huh?
Olasal, the reason Little Dutch didn't get any response to his comments on your site is coz there was nothing you could say back. I mean, come now, last London club left in the CL a "unique achievement"?? Like LD said, someone does it every year. And I'm sure listing the 1955 Youth cup as an achievement in your 2007 program is a bit sad, to be quite frank.
Gaga
Bullers, comments about people's parentage that offensive will also not be tolerated. Insult me if you must, but don't involve my parents. Having lost a parent in my lifetime you'll have to forgive me if that sounds oversensitive. Moron.
Little Dutch
Another song from Bugsy Malone is 'Ordinary fool' I think that sums you up perfectly OLASAL. At the end of the day we do have another trophyless season but united have had as many as us over the last 5 years and they will deservedly be crowned champions this year (the whole country hopes). I would much rather never win a trophy again than win it with money that belongs to starving children who desperately need clothes. We have filled our stadium for every home game except Blackburn and we still managed to get over 50,000 in for that one. A chelsea fan laughing at a lack of atmosphere in a football ground should be taken as seriously as Ali G's views on global warming.
iceman10
OLasal, "us and United"? Where's the comradeship coming from mate? and that bit where you say that wishing fro something won't make it happen is advice you'd do well to use.
Gaga
Don't expect him back boys. Cowardly club, cowardly fans. That's what they do, they're the internet arsonists, light the fires then run away.
Little Dutch
i see the spuds have Crawled out from the woodwork again, they should be gone by the weekend tho :)
ExRox
Of course bullers, ur talking about the same arsenal side that 'lost their bottle' in all the games theyve conceded 1st in, but still got points from? yes thats right, THAT arsenal team thats done more bottle keeping than a recycling bin this season so dont dare criticise our resilience. As for you olasal I dont need a gypsy crystal ball like yours to see into the future. The arsenal side at the moment is simply still brewing, with mere tasters of what is yet to come its not hard to understand that they will be nothing less than incredible.
MeetTheGunners
it is plain and simple, spuds need to actually win something before it winds me up... and you know its only a game of football, you win you lose, that is life, we move on.. BULLERS, first off, your name is quite apt to what you write. your comments about wenger, should they of been printed in a national would have had your young scrotum in court and a libel case so quick before you could say Martin Jol's super something supposed winning army.. and as for it being YOUR opinion, who you kidding ? isn't it funny how a majority of small minded spud fans all supposedly have the same opinion, so who is the SHEEP ?: hmmmm... you are following as ususal and thinking that it is clever and funny, well sonny jim, it ain't big, it ain't clever , it ain't funny.. and I would think certain vital site admin will take certain measures against this sort of stupid abusive behaviour..maybe they should have like a credit card age identity system on here to get rid of all the kids and their immature comments, life would be much more enjoyable. you should read people like JackyB, yes he likes tgo give as good as he gets, but atleast the man has class in his windups and doesn't stoop to stupid low comments like your childish act... i am done with you now, go finish your homework.
PUREGOLD
...while your millions go down the drain
MeetTheGunners
Below is a mail that I have received from my mate Shango (no his actual name) this morning and I think he sums it up very well what WE HAVE ACTUALLY ACHIEVED this season, I thought I should share it with you guys:

There is more to a season than winning trophies. And i remember how stale our last FA cup win was, especially as we had lost the league to Chelski the same year. I also remember the anti-climatic nature of our last league win. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I should, too much emphasis was put on winning (i did at least) that I forgot to enjoy the season.

We as a club, are doing and attempting to do the right things. Arsene, himself admits mistakes would be made. And a lot will be learnt from the mistakes of the last two seasons. In my opinion, the issue of Henry has affected the club more than Wenger would like. But even with hindsight, i doubt if much could have been done.

People have been critical of points lost at home at the beginning of the season. But, very few have been smart enough to acknowledge how difficult it would be to settle in a new ground were the opposition will be just as motivated as us to achieve a result.

Henry as a player, captain and senior player has been poor, with his mood and image overbearing on the younger players. Little wonder the Carling Cup team played better overall than our League team.

One crucial thing against us this season, is the level of officiating in the Premiership especially against us has been poor. Teams have been allowed to get away with all sort. I re-watched the FA cup against Blackburn, and could not believe how long it took the referee to book Tugay. While Denilson got a yellow for a wrongly judged foul.

I am glad Wenger is still intent on raising this with the FA. For example the injury to Diaby, should have been punished severely by the FA but the choose to ignore it. This only serve to encourage teams like Blackburn, Bolton and Sheffield Utd go about kicking teams like Arsenal. Remember that Diaby and Adebayor arrived at the same time, while Adebayor has impacted and improved the team, Diaby is just getting started a season later.

We have successfully been able to move into a new state of the art ground, and are still in the running to finish 2nd or 3rd. This season, more than any, is one i have personally enjoyed. Going to the new ground gives me so much joy and pride.

I have a lot recorded matches that I regularly re-watch. And frankly watching them is good entertainment. The most any good manager can do is put his club into the best position to win things. Wenger does more than that; he also strives to give value for money. As this is the only way we can move the club from a 38,000 capacity club to a 60,000 capacity club, season after season for years to come.

Forget all what the media (print and radio) rave about, for it is their mentality that has almost guarantee that England will never win any Major trophy. Result over performance is the worst mentality. Result should be a product of performance.

The defeat yesterday hurts, but not as much as losing the Champions League last season. We, as a club will be up there for seasons to come, the transition to a new stadium and a new generation of players is almost complete. When Henry goes next season, I believe a number of players will step up to deliver the goals. (He will go, Wenger knows he’s presence has been detrimental to the team)

For those loathing the potential loss of Henry should remember, ManU lost their highest goal scorer last season, yet they have moved on, and are about to win the league.

My worst nightmare, is if and when loose Wenger, but that is a worry for another time, hopefully not for another 2 or 3 seasons.

Regards

Shango
Barnet Gooner
We deployed the 4-5-1 last season after the group stages as it suited our underdog status against the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus where we could play on the counter attack. The time when that formation started faulter was against Villareal when the onus was on us to attack. Consequently, deploying this formation against P.S.V. would have been a waste and would have given a packed defence 1 man upfront to deal with. Though the freekick was naive and ultimately costly I cannot understand the widespread criticism that Hleb is attracting today when he was, in my opinion, our most dangerous attacker.
Anon 1
I am worried that a few of the players that wenger thinks are undroppable are our problem. I mean I am really starting to question fabregas. clearly he is a very talented player with bags of passing ability and class. but is he too laborious in midfield. does he really get the ball into the danger areas quickly enough? does he shoot or score enough for a central attacking midfielder? I know we dominate the possession stats with this boy controlling things but I am starting to question whether we have a player of style not substance. I love the lad and I dont like saying these things but I seriously think this could be the case. then there is Gilberto. its hard to question him with his goals this season, but is he dominating midfield enough? does he do enough in terms of attacking? can you carry a player that is one dimensional? wenger has set this midfield up to dominate possession, not to score goals or indeed defend. possession in football is nothing. Goals are king.
gazzap
Looking back (when we were at our peak) a few seasons ago, our style was more direct due to 2 factors; firstly, we have the right type of players and secondly, teams didnt have a clue how to play against us. Vieira used to feed a through ball the first thing he won a tackle or burst forward, fending off physical challenge when he couldnt find the right angle. Bergkamp's vision and passing is still unmatched by anyone in the current team and i doubt anyone would ever come close. With these two players around, Arsenal used to be known as a team that could 'put the ball into the opponent's goal in less than 5 touches from a counter attack'. When we lost these two players, we lost the physical dominance and directness from the midfield, we lost the passing precision and the fantastic vision to penetrate a tight defence and we almost lose Ljungberg. I believe he is still capable of making those ghostly runs into the box but there is no provider anymore. Enjoy the clip below. The highlight is Vieira but Bergkamp amazingly created almost all Vieira's most memorable goals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5GApPDxxSQ
Joe_@**
we are not so far off from winning the premiership again. we have a decent chance next seaosn, only if we win our first 4 games. If we drop point early, it will be hard to catch up. We have lost only 5 lg games this season. chelsea and manutd lost 3. not so much difference. we only need to convert our draws into wins. Home Draws against villa boro newcastle and everton are haunting us now.
49ers
You're right Joe_@**, we are adapting a new style of play. Frankly, we are missing Bergkamp and Pires, of course. I doubt there are two players out there that good, save maybe for Kaka. If there are any more, they are certainly not in our price range. But we are certainly not creating less chances than the Invincibles did, it's a question of ruthlessness. It was in the CC Final, it was at B'burn, it was v PSV and it has been in all those stupid draws. The only games I can think of this season where we genuinely deserved to lose were Fulham and Sheffield.
Little Dutch
Ld, getting back to the fans last night, your spot on mate. Well said. I'm an irish gooner and I've made the trip quite a few times this year, both home and away in the CL and the league, but infortunately had to watch this one from home. I was absolutely disgusted in the fans last night. The atmosphere stank and the amount of empty seats with 7 minutes to go was an embarrasment. I remember thinking, who'd blame Wenger if he walked away from Arsenal, I mean all that he's put into this team over 10 years and thats the respect shown.BY HIS OWN FANS!! We expect it from the rest. He has dragged the English game to a different level, produced some of the most watchable sides in living memory, unearthed some of the greatest talent to play the game. For no one else but Wenger, them fans should have stayed. He's had to put up with morons like bull(s*it)ers since he arrived at Arsenal. Press are still trying to hound him out as the scurge of "English (No foreigners allowed!!!)" football. But he stuck with us. The blatent truth is that without him we'd be Spurs or worse still Chelsea, out selling our soul like a prostitute (in true east end tradition) to the first greasy billionaire. I know we dissapointed last night but anyone who isn't hopeful with regards us needs a headcheck. This teams ready to rumble next year. But we need Wenger at the helm. And when his own fans start turning their backs, I wonder will he bother.
d11gunner
I miss Paddy, I miss Bergy and I miss Bobby. We are going through a very difficult period now. I reckon that our philosophy on football is right but if we do not have the right players to play to the style we desired, we must do something about it. Furthermore, as we are now well known for losing to teams that are rough, play 9 men behind ball and rely on long balls & set pieces, we can expect more 'lowly' teams to do that against us. My opinion is if we cant get two prolific goal scoring wingers, we should at least get 2 wingers who are good in crossing next season. We have Adebayor, Baptista (if he is still around) and van Persie who are good in the air to provide the unexplored aerial option. If we can integrate this alternative into our game plan, we would have less problem against those ultra-negative teams. Also, I would like to note that Rocisky, Hleb and Fabregas are not suited to play together. They are fantastic players but the problem is, the are all 'possesive players'. They keep passing the ball around among them without much penetration. Like gazzap says, we are unable to get the ball into the danger areas quickly enough. Not shooting or scoring enough by our central midfielders is an inherent issue but our wingers now even refuse to go into the box and shoot on sight. This inevitably put extra pressure to our striker.
Joe_@**
I was there last night and I really am not surprised we lost, the 'atmosphere' was a disgrace, really an absolute ****in' disgrace. I can take losing, but I can't take being surrounded by complacent, over comfortable zombified bring your canting picnic hamper middle class waaaankaaas, knowing there is more noise during the new Eddie Murphy vehicle at the cinema down the road makes me homicidal. This was our biggest European game of the season and one in which we really had to get behind the team but we did'nt, we let them down, the twelfth man was a fackin mute eunuch, i know this is'nt just an Arsenal problem, it's a growing issue nationwide with the high ticket prices being a major factor in attracting the passionless 'arrive late leave early' brigade, but even so I feel betrayed and I can't see how our team would feel otherwise, If I was a player and it kills me to say this, but despite the beautiful game we play I would'nt join us, as to play for such a joy free soulless throng would'nt inspire me, imagine a comedian having a residency where the audience don't chuckle at the gags where he dies every week and you see the picture. It was never gonna be easy upon moving to a ground of almost double the capacity, and Highbury on many occasions never really rivalled Motorhead in the volume stakes but last night took the copulating urine. Yeah we went out of Europe last night and that's upsetting but this depresses me way more cos I can see how the team will improve but find it hard to see how any improvement will take place in the grove, sorry for the rambling rant!! but I'm hacked off big style.
nikolaijns
this happens at all big stadiums though mate, i cant think of a stadium with 60 plus capacity that is really noisy. The san siro is probably worse than the emirates, and when liverpool move out of anfield they will not have the same atmosphere anymore believe me.
hazzagooner
Maracanã,Morumbi, Castelão, Mineirão.Maracanã was almost 180 thousand, now it's 97 thousand.Pretty noisy.
k_chelski
We feel your pain gooner scum!!! It remind me of a Kinks song a lazy summer afternoon.. Yes we are basking.. But you brought it on your selves to be honest... I see you are looking in the mirror again !! It must be hard in the Caravan Park!! Enjoy your pain enjoy your humiliation from the Carling cup.. And Little Dutch girl I will treasure your ramblings on the cheating Van Perie and Ebbwhoo weee!!
cusop
What are you even basking in? On others success in beating Arsenal? As if it were you who knocked them out the champs league. Try and ACHIEVE beating them before you "bask" in others deserved glory. Even Sheff utd had a better chance beating them than you EVER will. Congrats on your uefa cup win against a top class european team, Barca ...I mean Braga (just remove the words "top" and "class"). Bring that trombone trophy home won't you. Tough luck, gooners I thought you played well. Plenty of chances to score and it should have been you going through. Better luck next time eh
diesel_
cusop, I pity you. If your ultimate joy in life is watching other teams beat us, you must have really given up the ghost eh? I mean, I can see why, having not beaten us for eight years, losing to our reserves in the process, I can see why. It's just a bit pathetic don't you think? What a horrible indictment on your club, you have so little confidence in them that you have to wait for others to do your bidding. Now run along little boy, unless, that is, you would like me to cut your sandwiches into triangles for you?
Little Dutch
cusop i will leave my abuse of your pathetic small club till the end of the season, we shall see who has acheived more in way of positions. so far we have gone further in the league cup, you are at the moment further in the FA cup by one round, and we are further in the league.
PUREGOLD
And, due to our superior stomach linings, we qualified for the CL.
Little Dutch
I'm sure cusop knows a thing or two about enjoying pain :) !! He must be used to it by now, the poor fellow.
prits
diesel_, how many trophies have you got a chance of winning this season?
Sir_Harry
diesel_ isn't an Arsenal supporter.
Little Dutch
LD,even though we were two nil down against fulham,i dont agree with you to suggest that we deserved to lose that game,because we pulled one goal back,and then we got right back at them and henry scored a beautifull legit equalizer,which was incorrectly chalked of for offside,had that goal stood we would have continued our comeback,gone on to win,and from the confidence and belief that would have been built from that game,we would have been looking at a strong run of wins.i cant stand the fact that our club can be so easily derailed by the so called men in charge,who continually mess it up for us,thats why we need to have technology,to sort this out,and put to rest any debate as to whether we are a winning team or a nearly team
fran merida
fran merida...I think you should look at how many penalties you have been given this season. We were ***** at cashburden but if there was technology then you wouldnt have been given 2 penalties and a few offside decisions would have gone against you. If you ask any other team in the league about refs then you would get the same answer that they always favour the top four. So blaming the ref at the fulham game for the reason you haven't done better in the league is comical. Whats next ?? you lost to PSV because the grass was too long or was it the floodlights were too bright. Seems like your manager's constant moaning, complaining and blaming every loss to factors other than that you just werent good enough has eroded any sense of reality you may have had
yidarmy
LD, even though you quote an optimistic Hornby the tone of your article is really quite bitter. Relax and enjoy the free flowing football. Now all the pressure's off maybe the ball will start to fly into the net! And you can wish all you want that Roman's going away, but it's not happening anytime soon.
Westl
In the words of Zach de la Richa, "anger is a gift."
Little Dutch
i love the arsenal
bootoo
Do you mean Zack de la Rocha? I ask, because I had never heard of him. BUt if anger is a gift you should feel well blessed!
Westl
TH, is out for the season then, i still believe we will come 4th or higher!!!! lets hope he has long enough off to come back to the old TH with no injuries for the new season!!! anyone know how RVP is getting on??
RVP11
Ade is given an additional 1 match suspension - 4 in total. It doesn't rain, it pours. This is the best chance for Aliadiere to show us how good he is, in a less pressure circumstance. I hope Le Boss would make good use of the rest of the season to explore some alternatives in our game. I would love to see some set pieces converted into goals. Maybe some long shot from outside the box and some headed-in goals from crosses when the opponent's box is too crowded for through ball. Also, more attempt on goal from Hleb and Rocisky.
Joe_@**
The season is not over yet, there is still heaps to play for. It broke my heart to see us lose but we will rise again. This is merely a set back in our rebuild. We will be back this is just an intermission. The scum are singing loudly, but what can you expect no class just arse. Go you GUNNERS.
alwaysgunner
yeah i understand where your coming from,cos they were two dodgy pens, and since then we have had several pens not given,but against your lot at the grove we were beating you anyway,its all ifs and buts,and im saying if there was the technology,no-one would be able to complain,as for adebayors' goal he was level...its all about momentum,and ours was disrupted that night in fulham,as for arsenal,and incorrect decisions,they say it evens itself out,i know for a fact that this year it hasnt,we had two against you go our way,but several more has gone against us,plus offside goals,im sure you would have prefered robbie keane to have been allowed to go through on goal at the lane and try n make it 3-1 ,instead of being pulled back and eventually the gunners drawing 2-2
fran merida
The problem with technology is that it is not infallible. That is why in flowing games like rugby its use is highly restricted. Even in games like cricket it is not used for every decision. The difficulty is often that one camera angle suggests one thing, another camera will provide a different impression. We all get annoyed when we don't get the decisions we want but in many ways its this human factor which makes football great. Even in the NFL where the referees can look at plays, they still make calls which are instantly questioned by commentators and pundits. Whilst I think it would work with the ball crossing the line, in most cases it will still would leave as many questions as it answers ... after all its still a fallible human considering the images.
Sir_Harry
Starting to get very wound up with people saying the future looks bright .... i dont give a **** about the future we want trophies now ! we wanna see the gunners play some good football not all our fans actin like puppets and covering up for our teams mess ... im not happy with the season we are in march now and playing the rest of the season for nothing ... there got to be some changes ... weather its management or players ... its got to be considerd ... we have another waste of a season yet again .... and i think thierry will now leave us in the summer ... he can walk into any club in the world he will want to experience more then 4th place finishes ... things have come to a head ... need to be sorted ... before the start of next season ... lets bring eto'o, villa or torres to the gooners
Achilles
Achilles, the FUTURE is bright for arsenal, and OH MY GOD you did not say change in mangement?? please do not suggest to me that wenger should go!!! he is the best thing that ever happened to the club, and should never ever be forced out!!!!! i agree our season should not be over now, but suggesting henry could walk into any teams says to me he is our star man and is our leader, well certainly this season he hasnt been injuries or not!!!our main man has kolo toure and has got to be furure captain!!am looking forward to the rest of season to see how we fare without our captain!!
RVP11
Sir Harry I agree with your comments on video replays (on a less serious note - only as long as the goal-line cameras are Made in England and not some cheap imports!)
Andy-bayor
Achilles for god's sake we're gonna be fine. After the diffiucalties of the last couple of years, it will taste all the better for it. I dont know exactly what we should do but there are some glaring errors in our ways: -1- lack of sharpness in final third, due to no killers in the penalty box and passing for the hell of it sometimes - I know we will overcome this with RVP, Rosicky and others next season. -2- lack of aerial power - we need to work on it - no quick fix here. -3- Henry the captain has his killer instinct blunted by his armband (he is the best, but the nest can be blunted too) -4- Our flakiness (I dont know - is it reflected from our captain?) is why Wenger mentions mental strength in recent times - we need more of it and that comes from the older or tougher types, and is the reason I believe he will keep Baptista next year. In honest I am gutted like the rest of you guys, but just dying to see next season unfolding. As the very good article above says, thats the beauty of football - it offers you another chance. Roll on the next match and the next year! Roll on the Gunners!
Andy-bayor
Very funny Andy-bayor, maybe assembled here, containing some Biritsh and some overseas parts :)
Sir_Harry
This is exacly wt i was saying were covering up for our mess ... ok wenger has been good and so have the rest of the squad but were a big big club and are capable of much much more ... and somethings must change for this to happen ... its fine us saying ok this as happend that has happend there next season but something has to change for us to become succesful and i really do think thierry will leave us in the summer ... a massive blow if he does ... if he doesnt maybe eto'o will be coming our way ???
Achilles
Achilles - its not so much a case of covering up, than having some patience in the model that arsene is trying to construct. sure, we have some problems, but based on what u've seen, u think the problem is so serious for drastic changes? there ARE some problems, but I am confident that arsene can fix them before next season.
prits
 

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