Wigan 3 – 2 Arsenal: Football For Dummies, Anyone?

We just don’t learn, do we now?!! If ever there was a squad in football where each and every player mastered the art of making idiotic defensive mistakes, this Arsenal squad is one.

Fair play to Wigan, they fought hard, played a positive game, and got just rewards for their endeavour. In the end they had more shots on goal and equal possession. The hosts had far more desire than anyone in a red shirt and Wenger needs to take a real hard look at many of his players who just stop playing halfway through a football game.

The first 70 minutes of the game showed us why the Latics are so close to the bottom. They had some good moments but just didn’t do enough in the final third. In contrast their defence was too open and offered plenty of opportunities to get in behind.

The start to the game was tough. Arsenal had no clue how to move the ball for the first 5 minutes and the hosts were creating some pressure in the final third. Somehow we survived that and slowly got into a good rhythm.

After that it got progressively difficult for the Latics to get out of their half as we maintained possession and pushed forward. Walcott in particular looked impressive and got in behind on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, his final decision or pass wasn’t always the right one.

It changed in the 41st minute. Bendtner received the ball halfway inside the Wigan half. There was no pressure on him as the defence backed away. The Dane had plenty of time to pick out Theo’s run with a inch perfect through ball. Walcott beat the first challenge with a deft touch, shrugged off the physical presence of Figueroa and placed it past Kirkland with his left foot. A goal of sublime quality that made football look easy.

We got a second one early in the second half when Silvestre scored from a corner. It’s been a long time since I saw Arsenal score one directly from a set piece. All looked nice and comfortable and that’s where the problems started.

After the second goal too many Arsenal players went back to second gear. The touches were casual, the intensity was missing and in general there was a false sense of comfort. Wigan grew in confidence as Arsenal dropped deep and started looking like an amateur team hacking the ball out of defence without any purpose.

I’d love to know the number of stupid, aimless forward punts we made in the final half hour of the game. Even a girls’ Under-12 school team would have a chance against this Arsenal defence let alone a Premier League side.

The bloopers have become so painful that I’m not going to watch the replays or comment on the details of what went wrong. Suffice it to say that we made unacceptable errors for all their goals.

As the goalkeeper at Arsenal is a hot topic Fabianski will get a lot of stick for his blunder. In my book we’d have lost this one even without his mistake. There were far too many players who weren’t fighting on the pitch and the defence was woefully exposed for the last quarter of the game. As I’ve said before this is not an attempt to defend the keeper but one at pointing to bigger areas of concern.

Everyone at Arsenal goes into a panic mode once some of our players stop playing. Our passing game doesn’t work and we have no alternate option. Why didn’t Bendtner make more runs into the channels if the balls were being kicked long? Why didn’t we swap Walcott and Nick so that Theo could use his pace when Wigan were pushing up? Simple answer is that everyone including the manager were clueless.

The substitutions were shocking. What’s the point of bringing Merida on when we’d just conceded a goal and were looking extremely shaky? What’s the point of Eboue making idiotic runs all over the attacking third when Sagna really needed some support in dealing with Moses? What’s the manager thinking while making these changes and what does he say to the players coming on?

It might have made a lot more sense if we’d brought Traore on and told both the substitutes to provide cover to the full backs. And this isn’t even based on hindsight. We’ve seen our defence crumble time and again. The regular midfield struggles to deal with the pressure then how can we expect Eastmond and Diaby to do any better without further support!!?

Unless Song comes back, we are in some serious trouble in these last few games.

Individual Performances

Fabianski: Arsenal career over.

Sagna: Struggled once the fresh legs of Moses came onto the pitch. Was quite solid before that.

Campbell: Another top class performance. Some of his acceleration was a real surprise. Should have used his experience to organize the midfield.

Silvestre: Good goal and decent defensively. Can’t really blame him for any of the goals although he could have done better on occasions including the third goal.

Clichy: Had a good game but was at fault for the third goal. I don’t blame our defence too much because the support from the six in front of them is woeful.

Eastmond: Very poor. Not ready for the Premier League. Looked really nervous in the initial minutes. Having a kid like him in such an important role is far worse than playing the full game with 10 men. Did well in the middle part of the game and was poor again in the final minutes when we really needed midfield support. Can’t keep saying he’s young. If he’s young loan him out, don’t start him in the League. I hate watching a guy whose body language says he doesn’t belong.

Nasri: Once again he had a patchy game. Made some good runs but the end product wasn’t there. Contribution in defence and in keeping the ball in the last quarter hour was very poor.

Diaby: Looked impressive whenever he got a chance to run with the ball. Rubbish in the final quarter of the game. Completely switched off and made everyone’s life difficult. Should have been much closer to the defence and holding the ball with his physical skills.

Walcott: One of the better players on the night. Finish was top quality. Could have done better on other occasions.

Bendtner: His movement in the first half was quite good. In the second half he should have done a lot more. Just didn’t offer a channel for getting out of the defence. As I’ve said before, he has a lot to learn and needs to improve his work rate.

Rosicky: Like Nasri, he had some good moments. Looked tired after the hour mark. He’ll look much better if we have Cesc and RvP on the pitch but without them he struggles with the limited movement of the others. Should have done more to support Clichy.

Subs: Merida was clueless, Eboue was Daft, Van Persie was frustrated.

44 Responses to Wigan 3 – 2 Arsenal: Football For Dummies, Anyone?

  1. DaGoon(er) says:

    Fabianski’s arsenal career isn’t over…because Wenger will make the stupid mistake of keeping him

  2. Dave says:

    Arsene is over-rated. Any idiot can do what he did at Arsenal, he should be a football guru instead of being a coach. Too many over-rated teenagers, less committed players and a manager who has been making the same mistakes for the past five years, that is why we will never have a sniff of a trophy. What arsene has being doing is wrong, you can not continue raising hope and instilling belief of fans in something that he knows is unattainable and not learning from past mistakes.
    We need direct players I am sure he can tell that to the current crop.Time after time we are told they will mature and get better but inconstitencies shown are horrendous. AW should not be taking us for ride he can get away with this for now but fans will be asking questions about his ability soon. You can live on past glories but at least show improvement. We are lucky this season otherwise we should be sitting fifth or sixth.

    • Nischit says:

      I’m not sure any idiot could do what he’s done at Arsenal, because that would mean you could too.
      Pray tell me what the same mistakes he’s been making for the five years are?
      Never have a sniff of a trophy? We were in with a chance of getting into the semis of the champions league and winning the premier league in the middle of april. I’d say that was having a sniff of a trophy considering the season ends at the start of may.
      He isn’t living on past glories. He himself suggested that he will evaluate if he is capable of taking the club forward at the end of next season.
      Sometimes I wonder if some fans are deluded by the media about the finances available at Arsenal. Either that or arsenal fans truly believe that wenger is so suicidally stupid and doesn’t want to win trophies that he’d not spend the money he has to buy players that could win him trophies.

  3. Pinddagooner says:

    I don’t think merida’s mind was on the game. Probably due to the fact that he’s off to athletico.
    Disgraceful defensive performance!

    We’ve gotta turn this around. I’m sick of recieving text messages from spurs fans!

  4. spook says:

    I think one of the reasons AW did not know what to do in the end is because this loss was so insane! I mean who in their right mind would ever think Wigan could come back from 2-0 in the last 10 mins?? Even a poor poor poor poor playing Arsenal should not manage to loose to wigan! The team that score 30 goals in all of pl this year and just added 10%!
    I mean, i think Weneger was as shellshocked as the rest of us and that it did not even cross his mind that his team could conceed 3 goals in 10 mins against Wigan!

    Ok midfield is shakey, ok defence is not 100% ok keeper is rusty but god! Even with all thouse flaws and with 10 more one should be able to hold on to a 2-0 lead when its 10 mins to go.

    Arsene will leave i think cos he does not see any future with this kids and he knows 30M is not enough to compete with the big guns. I think he will come to the conclusion there is not reason to stay if you do not get the funds to strenghten the squads. When the arsenal board talk about “plenty of money”. “plenty of money” for Arsenal is 30M while “plenty of money” for City is 100M. With such a big gap between “plenty of money”. It is impossible to compete on equal terms thus it is no point.

    @Dave, we have not been lucky, but the manger has been clever and shrewd by managing to get the results we have with the squad he has had. And why nothing was bougth this summer? Well it would be stupid paying10M for a striker using up 1/3rd of the transfare budget in the winter for a player that would come on free in the summer no? Now we can use those 10M on a dender instead, and still get the striker while play CL next year.

    • Nischit says:

      You’re right. It was like they expected to win the match at 2-0 and were waiting for the clock to run down. I wouldn’t go as far as to say AW didn’t expect wigan to fight back, but I would say he didn’t expect his players to take things SO easy.

      I don’t think AW will leave. He has built the club into the strong position that it is right now, and he would want to invest the money when he finally has it, and have a real go at the epl. The only way I see him leaving is if a vast majority of the fans start turning on him, or if he feels he has taken the club as far as he can.

      Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.

    • desigunner says:

      I agree with you about not expecting it but that’s extremely unprofessional and completely unacceptable.

      Wigan were threatening right from the first minutes and we survived that because players were alert. Once they switched off the manager should be able to see it and make the right changes. Or did Arsene switch off as well!

  5. Nischit says:

    Fabianski had a great chance today. Wenger was hoping that fabianski would grab the opportunity and in turn inspire some confidence that he could be the long term no.1 . Lets just say that this is one birthday that he’d wanna forget real quick.
    At 2-0, I couldn’t bear to watch. They were so frustrating. I was almost sure that we were going to collapse. I was just waiting for the 70th minute to see rockin robin come on and then hopefully turn on the magic. I don’t understand wenger’s substitutions. Why put on Merida? Unless the reports I read are false, why?? I thought the entire team was disgraceful today. The only players to come out of it with a little credit were Sol and Theo. I didn’t think eastmond was “very poor”, but solid and unspectacular. Bit like a denilson. I do agree with you though. His body language does suggest that he doesn’t seem to think he belongs at this level.
    Oh and I thought nasri and rosicky were woeful. They should’ve been more in the game being the only creative players in the team. Diaby was okay, but held on to the ball far too long. Bendtner was anonymous except for the assist.

    I sometimes wonder if Arsene Wenger inspires this over confidence in the players. Not putting on RVP was criminal. Roberto Martinez is a brilliant tactician. Lulled arsenal into a false sense of security with a performance equal to arsenal in terms of motivation, tempo and effort. Then his team suddenly show their true colors in the final ten minutes giving arsenal a taste of their own medicine. I think the players who were out there had just given up on the title and the season.

    However, 1 result doesn’t take away what has been achieved this season. I don’t think the spurs loss was as bad as this one. We showed a bit more fight and determination and running against spurs. We have been quite consistent this season and showed a lot of determination in a lot of games. Sadly, the players who did show the fight seem to be missing. The team today composed of mostly squad players and now we know why they’ll remain just squad players. Before the doom and gloom brigade set up camp, I’d like to remind people of the wins against stoke, hull, bolton and several other games where we grit our teeth and held our nerve. I know there is a lot more to be improved upon, but surely, surely, even the most myopic fan can see the improvement from last season.

  6. spook says:

    ehm i mean why nothing was bought this winter ofc…

  7. spook says:

    Doom and gloom does not care about improvements unless they involve silver, i thought you knew this buy now :p

  8. lewis says:

    im just wondering if you mistook eastmond for another player, he was good, fantastic if you consider his age and inexperience, but even that aside he was good, better than denilson. agree with the rest except maybe campbell. as much as i love him and he did play very well, especially as its 2 games in 5 days for the 35 year old. however, he and clichy are at fault with the second goal. clichy should have dealt with it, silvestre should have closed him down and campbell should have stayed in position blocking off the shot, instead of running at nzogbia, allowing him to knock it sideways with ease and shoot at goal. terrible performance defensively from the whole backline and goalkeeper. we need to sell almunia and fabianski and let silvestre go. sign 2 defenders and 2 goalkeepers along with chamackh and hazard. maybe david silva if eduardo and rosicky are sold but wages may be difficult, and arshavin or nasri would have to drop to the bench

    • desigunner says:

      From what I saw Eastmond was walking around in the initial minutes afraid of receiving the ball. He hardly ever ran close to a defender or other midfielder offering to receive the ball and on occasions when he happened to be around by chance, people saw him and chose not to pass. To me that’s a very big problem.

      He was decent in the middle when our game was working and possession was in their half. Seemed to have more confidence at that time. Still his touches and passing were very tentative. Towards the end he should have been within 3-4 yards of the defence but was missing quite often.

      I agree he is a kid and will improve. But right now he’s just not ready for the Premier League.

  9. Jacob says:

    Dave, firstly let’s not forget what Wenger has won for the club, the building of the stadium etc. Secondly, I don’t know how you can blame him for today! The players didn’t perform. A team containing Rosicky, Nasri, Diaby, Theo, Clichy, Sagna should be able to beat a bottom five side. Almunia was injured, as are Song, Cesc and Andrei do the team selection was pretty expected.
    The players didn’t turn up and be sure that Wenger will gIve them a tongue-lashing in the dressing room.
    Knee jerk reactions like yours are ridiculous, we HAVE Improved this season and even though today was awful let’s not overreact with harsh statements based solely on today. Fabianski to go though.

    • desigunner says:

      The reason I’m unhappy with Arsene today is that he could and should see that his players are switching off. Either he has to get them focused or make the right substitutions.

  10. keith says:

    Lets face it Wenger has been great for the club but his era is over a manager is only as good as his last success he has no tacticle awareness and whats is the use of Pat rice ? just as well have a cardboard cutt out on the bench
    RVP should have been on in the 60th min and why take theo off as he was keeping there defence busy from the 75th min i knew we where not going to win the game to many week players

    • desigunner says:

      Yeah even I’ve been wondering if Pat Rice has any tactical inputs to give during the 90 minutes. Arsene really needs a tactical person with him in the dugout.

  11. Jim says:

    Eastmond was easily our best midfielder today. Diaby was a disgrace.

    Really wish these clueless bloggers actually watched games and knew what they were talking about.

    • desigunner says:

      It’s very easy to just put an opinion forward. Can you back it up with any observations?

    • critic says:

      both were disgrace. just b’coz he is young doesn’t mean u will protect him for all the wrong reason. Yes he performed more than his age but that doesn’t mean he was best midfielder…

  12. chux says:

    Anyone making excuses for Wenger has to realise that the buck stops with him. He praises his average players to high heavens and they don’t bother to put in more effort cos they all know le’boss will always defend their performance with the same lame excuses. Wenger himself should look at his tactics (team selection and substitutions) which has cost us quite a few points this season. He’s promised to buy in the summer, but I won’t be surprised if the only improvement will be a couple of kids who are still wet behind the ears. You want to go to war, bring on the ARMY and not a bunch of boy scouts.

  13. canadiangunner says:

    The whole team lack spirit.we need a strong and a fighting team

  14. Devon C says:

    At least we cant get much worse – the manager can now see the real limitations of his players and system and change it for good …. I hope.

    The argument for youth and development just does not cut it over the full season – look at the teams we have lost to.

    I still feel we are not too far off though.

  15. arvind says:

    the problem is that arsene does not stick it to his players like other top rated coaches. I agree that he actually hurts his players developing by worrying about stunting their growth etc etc… he needs to give them a good thrashing and the threat of losing their place in the team altogether. The philosophy must change. Defense must be a priority. Credit Rosicky for running his injured butt off today.. also Nasri..the guy needs to get tough…his facial expressions are one of fear and confusion. He had no ideas against the spurs and today he didnt do much better…ditto with Diaby. I like Both players.. i love when they are on their game but it is this mentality of not busting their lungs out there that is hurting arsenal. All I have to say is look at 35 year old Sol… this guy was running his socks off…he knows what it like to win at arsenal and what it takes. I knew that off loading all our veterans years ago would lead to this.. there needs to be a good mix of young and old. the entire youth experiement and excuse is over. these primadonnas have had enough time together to take out a low level team like wigan.

    defense, mature signings, and accountability of the manager and poor performing players is what is needed

  16. Hong_gunner says:

    Sacking Wenger and being too myopic will only take us backwards, take my word on this. Wenger is just the right man we need, but a few changes surely need to be made this summer. Fabianski is not at where he belongs. And it’ll be justice to his career if we let him go. Same goes for a few other players, and we could talk about them when the window is here. But the main concern for me remains the back-room staff. Bring back TONY ADAMS, but for a defensive coaching role, i say. Neither is wenger very clue-full regarding the defensive areas. He can recognise attacking talent, no doubt, but when has wenger found a gem of a natural defender or a keeper(lehmann probably an exception)? I say that, because, neither was the invincibles defence a solid typical back 4. Lauren was an average midfielder whose suitable attributes helped wenger turn him at right back. Same goes for toure. Wenger can read the attacking side of a game, but when we are down to bare bones, he’ll need sensible head to help him see us through.

  17. Robespierre says:

    After the collapse last year Wenger was attacked by the few independent shareholders left, remember? he was all sulken and threatened to leave to Real and everyone was contrite begging and beating themselves on the chest.. what will happen this time?
    The thing is Arsenal is wed to Arsene for life it seems,without him the whole concept of this franchise will go down the tube, normally this sort of end season debacle, that did not start with Wigan but imploded there,when a team still has realistic chance and falls so hard and in such a manner tells you that a manager has lost it with the team. Of course Arsene is special case..

    But the last few weeks has shown couple of truly alarming things:

    Arsene is not just an average tactician of/in games he is a terrible one. his lack of reaction on the lines (besides the emotional one of frustration) is late and/or wrong.

    The youth policy in itself is perhaps the right way, e.g. Barca, but what youth? there is reason to doubt the recruitment decisions of Wenger are in some crucial instances dead wrong AND he does not change course,

    Most of all, is Wenger ball the right ball? is Arsene still on the wavelength of what is cutting edge of the game?. the way we close games when we lead (against anyone from wolves, hull, bolton, stoke etc) is just a SYmptom. Manu and Chelsea were a shock, But the Barca case is more important because it pointed to the long term truth;
    When we lost to Barca in 2006, in the first 20 minutes before Jens lost it, we were more then a challenge to the great Ronaldinho team in its pomp. in fact we were on the ascent in that patch of the game. in any case equal to the task. Also Barca dismantled a team very shortly after and went youth. But it did not only that, they discovered new things about the game and reconceived their style ( it is not just Messi factor) but we? we have regressed there is no doubt about that, not for a year or two but for 5 and still going. When we played Barca now we were absurd, people make fun of the spanish league, but you will rarely see such display against Barca there. This can be analysed on many levels, but bottom line Wenger failed to keep up.
    Our first team has three world class overused players, half the first 11 have class the rest are average and, beyond the first 11 nothing of note.

    We can keep on competing for 3rd next year, but that is who we are. we will flatter to deceive in a few games and silence the doubters, but the present outfit ( with or without the Chamakh joke) is flawed physically, mentally and “footballistically”
    above all THE PROGRAM is stagnant;
    Clearly If there is no radical change, and there won’t be, after NEXT year Fab and vPersie and possibly Arshavin ( our 3 world class) will be gone too.

    I DO THINK THOUGH that Arsenal is a savvy franchise, and they will react, they do have some reserves, and they will not go for a revolution but they will do something that will bolster the team , they are business men after all and they know when/where the rot has to be stopped to keep the value of the team

    • Nischit says:

      Arsenal isn’t a franchise. FFS, don’t call it a franchise. Although, the fact that you call it that make your comments easier to interpret.

    • desigunner says:

      I’m not sure what end of season debacle we are talking about here? Losing to Spurs with a team full of squad players when Chelsea lost with the first team? Losing to Barcelona, with the spine missing, against whom full strength United and Chelsea have lost?

      This particular game was an exception to our general performance this season. It was shocking and unacceptable but it isn’t an implosion. We’re down to bare bone and don’t know the best way of coping with it. Agree with you about Arsene being an average tactician. He needs to recognize his weaknesses and get someone to help him in that. It’s not just last few weeks, I’ve mentioned this all season long.

      I’ll leave the comparison with Barca till they play more than half a season without Messi.

      Arshavin has been really poor this season given the expectations from his supposed class. The out of position argument doesn’t cut it if you want to call a player world class. If he’d done better we might still have been very close to the top. If anything he is proof that big signings don’t guarantee a result.

  18. Aussie Jack says:

    To be perfectly honest we`re more than lucky to be sitting in third spot, Tottenham ( you know the `scum`) have improved the Gunners have gone backwards.

    If I hear the words `potential`, patience, or `philosophy` one more time I`ll puke. Rightly or wrongly Arsenal played the `beautiful game` and were a joy to watch, now they can`t even play that. The team target level must be Fabregas and Van Persie not Denilson, Silvestre, Almunia and company so ,that should they be unavailable ,the rhythm and intensity
    of play continues and the confidence retained.

    • desigunner says:

      I get your frustration but don’t agree with the comparison with the Tinies.

      In this particular game we didn’t have a single first choice player in any position! That’s like playing with reserves. Still we managed a lead and should have won comfortably!

      Tottenham would lose to a league 1 side if they had to do that. Remember United lost 3-0 to Fulham and looked clueless when they had their central defenders injured. Also that Chelsea lost to Wigan with a worse scoreline.

      I don’t deny our problems. We need to identify and accept the problems otherwise we cannot improve. But we must not get so upset that we cannot distinguish right from wrong.

  19. Robespierre says:

    what is the meaning of that remark of yours?
    ArsenalFC IS a franchise and is ran like a franchise in its everyday business, as it should be.
    it is often a point of pride and/or consolation to its supporters and believers that it is run like a very good and smart one.
    All the rest ( the club , tradition, ‘philosophy’ the supporters/fans/devotees) that you think I cross out is a given
    What is you point then?

    Aussi Jack sums it up maybe better or definitely more succinct then I do i.e the existing personal, the program and Wenger ball played, AND the charade concerning both

    • Nischit says:

      Arsenal isn’t a franchise as it will never make profits that are available to its owners/shareholders, unless the club is bought over by some moron at which point it might become a ‘franchise’.
      Examples of franchises : Manchester United ( now ), and franchises in the nba, nhl, etc
      Examples of clubs : Arsenal, and most other english clubs before Roman sparked a takeover spree.

      The point of pride comes from living within our means, and yet competing at the highest level. We don’t have debt that is converted to shares by a rich oil baron and we’re lucky so far that a moronic businessman hasn’t ‘bought’ our club into debt and then stealing money from it.

      I could go on for days about my ‘point’ but no offence, I just don’t think you’d see it.

  20. Northbanker says:

    Why wasn’t RVP brought on in the last half hour? At 0-2 we gradually slipped so far into the comfort zone that Wigan were able to push more and more men forward without really exposing themselves at the back. Bringing Van Persie on and not taking off Walcott would have exposed Wigan to the break had they pushed so many forward.
    But I prefer to look forward rather than dwell on this game. Todays team was more or less a squad team. It now seems quite obvious why our best players are always injured as they expend too much energy covering for inadequate squad players. When a clearout is mentioned it’s the same crop of names that pop up so I won’t go into that except a clearout of some of the deadwood is vital. It would be Utopia to have players as good as RVP or Fabrigas as cover but that of course is impossible. But what I do ask is that our squad players, although less talented, make up for that with fighting spirit and commitment when called upon.
    I think decisions taken this summer will be the most crucial since moving to the Emirates. I do believe we have some great young prospects who are in dire need of some older more experienced heads to guide them. Take Cashley for example. When he came in he had the benefit of players like Bould, Winterburn , Adams and Dixon to turn to. It’s not my job to say who should be shipped out and who should be brought in, that’s the managers job this summer. But I’m certain that decisions taken this summer together with progress on the field next season will define Wenger’s and Arsenals future.

    • desigunner says:

      Well said.

      I think RvP isn’t fit enough and Arsene didn’t want to risk him as he will be really needed next weekend. We could have played Theo down the middle and Bendtner on the right. This way the space behind their centre backs could have been really exploited.

  21. messi says:

    just know now that man city will mugg us off now

  22. Robespierre says:

    “I’m not sure what end of season debacle we are talking about here? ”
    Desi you amaze me, if you do not think that this is as good a time as any for a serious surgical analysis of the deeper flaws in the team AND Wenger’s destructive blind spot,and it is a matter of a few corrigible tweaks and details then there is really nothing to talk about here, but just to cheer, Go Gunners! and in Arsene we trust, show support for the team

    • desigunner says:

      I’ve been talking about the flaws in this team right from the start of the season. I’ve also talked about our collective defensive issues and Arsene’s tactical weakness. Those are all legit issues that need to be addressed.

      But I certainly don’t see an implosion and definitely don’t agree that we’ve gone backwards.

      One of the biggest problems I have with Wenger is that he hasn’t learnt how to deal with injuries. Even when I did the strength-in-depth analysis at the beginning of the season I’d said injuries are our main worry. If Arsene can’t prevent injuries he has to assemble a bigger squad.

      The problems we have are extremely complex. It’s not a simple matter of signing whoever is priced highest or changing the manager. Arshavin is an example that money can’t always get you consistency at the highest level.

      We need to clearly define what our problems are. Most writers tend to oversimplify issues and that defeats the purpose. In your earlier comment I don’t see a clear problem defintion. It’s more like a rant.

      If being mentally, physically and footballistically flawed is a problem definition, then you need to ask yourself why do 16-17 clubs finish below us even when some of them spend far more than us? Are they all mentally, physically and footballistically flawed?

      I’m going to do a season end autopsy during the summer. I intend to cover various issues we face and possible solutions. If you want to contribute to that or write an article on that feel free to email it to me.

      • Robespierre says:

        Well, I appreciate your response, though I think you do me injustice when you say I presented a ‘mere rant’ venting fan’s frustration.

        I did not go into details surely but I mentioned three general rubrics, that have to do with Arsene’s 1)tactics and formation (e.g just as an example the total misuse of THEO as a clueless winger instead of an explosive right channel striker where he creates most damage when he does); 2)his recruitment policy and choice of personal obvious even if variant opinions in the details; and 3)most importantly ‘style’ of play.
        The latter interest me the most i.e what happened when the Arsenal was transformed from a speedy counter attacking team with brawn in the middle axis to a finesse tiki taka football team which yet has NOT fully adapted nor developed nor thought through what this way of playing entails and demands on the highest level AND in ALL phases of the game.

        We may seem to have made progress viz LAST year but not viz the team with Flamini Hleb Adebayor of the year before AND the defensive capabilities we had then as a team.

        btw since you mentioned it few times I disagree with you about Arshavin, funny that he should be singled as a big bottler and a let down; he turned around our faltering season , saved our 4th place when he was recruited , he has been largely misused this year, played injured, and true he is a complex player who needs right handling (i.e not of a spoiled brat but yes an eccentric solo)in order to perform well, when at his best his thinking is faster then the other two equals.

        The most dangerous imminent danger, I think is that Wenger is loosing his cache, his credibility, not just with the fans but more importantly with senior players and the entire project depends on that. It is a moment of crisis that is for sure, not just short sighted fans vent type myopia.

      • desigunner says:

        I’ll mention a couple of quick points right now and will leave the bulk for later.

        Speedy team vs present team?

        It’s possible that the League has changed into a much faster league. It’s also possible that the opponents have evolved into stronger defensive units thereby forcing us to change our style. It needs significant analysis if we want to have a rational opinion.


        Adebayor was a phenom in that year and Cesc was fit for most of the season. Hleb and Rosicky played a big part. It’s not easy to find strikers of that caliber. So he will always be difficult to replace. RvP could have done better but his problems have been really unfortunate. We’ve also missed Cesc for large parts in the last two seasons. Once again, it’s very difficult to get replacements of that quality.

        In spite of these problems our results are better. Other players have matured to an extent and we’ve snatched some results we would not have previously. The response at Stoke vs the response at Birmingham is a massive example.

        Defensively I think this year we are much worse than the last 4-5 years. Part of the reason is that full backs haven’t fully adapted to this formation. The other was Wenger’s decision of not getting a proper back up for Gallas and Vermaelen. Even our three man midfield isn’t completely sure of defensive contribution as we want to set Fabregas free and Arshavin rarely helped out.

        Well this is getting quite long. Will leave it at this for now. The devil, as always, is in the details.

      • desigunner says:

        And I’ve no doubt players like Cesc and RvP have complete faith in Arsene.

        Players can never know as much as a good manager. They live on instincts while the manager lives on observations and analysis. No player’s analysis will ever be half as good as a top manager’s.

        They could have their personal feelings though, it then becomes a matter of communication and respect.

  23. Just wondering, i googled and youtubed those songs you have in the description, but nothing seems to come up, are those the real names for the songs?

  24. oleguer says:

    How can you say Silvestre was decent? He was at fault for the first and third goals. A good center back wouldn’t have allowed the time time and space he gave Wigan’s players.

    He is a joke of a defender but hey, in Arsene you trust huh?

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