Fulham 2 – 2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

This game wasn’t that critical from a result point of view so it was good to see Wenger trying something different.

Chamakh started up front with Van Persie in a free role behind him. Nasri was deployed on the left and Ramsey on the right. It was surprising to see Theo on the bench. My guess is that Arsene wanted a good balance between players who could retain possession and move the ball around, and those who are more focussed on creating and scoring. With Walcott in the side the team would have struggled for possession. Some might say that could have worked to our advantage and it’s hard to argue against that conclusively.

Before a minute was up, Fulham had successfully hoofed the ball into the Arsenal defensive third and created half a chance. That particular routine was repeated countless times during the whole game.

Arsenal’s defending was embarrassing at best but I don’t blame the back four. Wilshere is really struggling physically, Diaby wasn’t close enough to the defenders on many occasions, and playing RvP in the hole meant there wasn’t an extra midfielder – this lead to poor cover for the defence and way too many open spaces for the opponents.

The fact that, despite the ease with which Fulham reached the final third, Szczesny wasn’t being tested that often showed that the defenders were working really hard despite the systemic problems.

The first goal for Fulham was a classic Arsenal tragedy of errors.

Ramsey latched on to a loose ball in the center circle. At that point he was the furthest forward and hence had to run sideways to retain possession. Nasri made a good run taking two players with him. Chamakh and Van Persie ran forward down the middle. Rambo attempted a tricky backheel towards Wilshere who just wasn’t alert to the possibility.

Dempsey was able to get on the ball and play it forward for Zamora in acres of space. Djourou played the striker onside by being 5 yards behind all other defenders.

Gibbs did well to charge back and close Zamora down. Vermaelen was jogging back instead of reading the game as the Fulham striker had few options from a tight angle. Sidwell was a couple of yards behind Wilshere but ended up five yards in front of him as the young England international jogged back without realizing the danger. Finally, Szczesny let a tame strike go through his legs.

If Almunia had conceded a goal in that manner people would have claimed even schoolboys would have done better. If Denilson had jogged back the way Wilshere did, he would have been crucified. I don’t have to remind you about the criticism Squillaci received for Villa’s first goal. Why do people think Djourou is any better? Vermaelen again showed he doesn’t read certain defensive situations very well.

Despite all this I don’t really blame the defenders or the midfielders. Blaming individuals is a pointless exercise. Someone else is going to come in and make other mistakes. It is inevitable given the way Arsenal play and will not improve unless there is a major change in training, which can only come with a new coach.

Soon after though, we saw a glimpse of the quality that has gone missing in recent weeks. Diaby beat the Fulham pressing with a neat turn and nimble feet. As he galloped forward with giant strides, Chamakh dropped into space to play a simple but effective one-two. Diaby’s first time through ball was a bit heavy but Van Persie’s touch was excellent. The Dutchman’s finish showed a keen awareness of the Goalkeeper’s technique and the corners of the goal.

Apart from the goal there wasn’t much to cheer in the first half but one piece of attacking play stood out. In the 18th minute, Arsenal moved the ball well with many players getting involved. Wilshere found RvP, his touch took the ball towards Chamakh who played it wide for Nasri. The Frenchman laid it off for Gibbs to cross. The ball was high and went over everyone but I was impressed by the numbers Arsenal had in the box and the fact that Sagna was there at the back to collect it. The Right-Back crossed it back in with his left foot. It looked like a harmless floater when out of nowhere Gibbs attacked it and forced a good save. Both these aspects – someone collecting an over hit cross at the far end and a full-back/winger attacking the back post – are more reminiscent of United than Arsenal. We need a lot more of this in such games. It was a shame this was the only occasion in the game when the Gunners did this.

The second half was very similar to the first. Fulham pushed Arsenal back with ease and the Gunners struggled to get their shape right. Van Persie was booked for complaining as Hangeland got away with a blatant foul. In contrast, Djourou was penalized for a foul when Zamora was grabbing his shirt. Will buying a defender get Arsenal this ability of winning ridiculous decisions from the ref? If so, Wenger should buy half a dozen.

The second goal for Fulham was just as annoying as the first. Hangeland got on the end of a hoof from an Arsenal defender. He was allowed to play a penetrating pass to an unmarked Johnson just outside the Arsenal box. Fulham were able to move the ball across the face of goal with ease before it came to Greening on their left. Sagna didn’t close him well enough, Zamora peeled away from Djourou, Vermaelen couldn’t get in front of the striker in time, and Szczesny was caught in two minds.

Again, how many players do we blame? What’s the point of it all? You could have a big, tall defender but height doesn’t help when the striker moves away from him. You could have a good keeper but if he can’t decide whether to come for the ball or stay on his line he won’t have a chance. Defensive training is a broad term, but Arsenal specifically need to work on balls in the air. Whether it is long balls down the middle or diagonally hit ones, crosses, corners, or free-kicks; everyone in this squad has to do better in terms of maintaining their shape, reading the situation, decision making, and attacking the ball.

Wenger made three changes just after the hour mark. It was surprising to see Wilshere on the pitch even though he is physically struggling, while Diaby was taken off. Walcott came on for Ramsey, Eboue for Gibbs, and Arshavin for Diaby.

The game didn’t change much. Gera received a deserved red card for a dangerous tackle. If all such tackles had led to red cards, Arsenal’s opponents would have been a man down in almost every game. But even with ten men Fulham were able to hold on as the Gunners struggled for ideas and inspiration.

The equalizer was another glimpse of what this Arsenal side can achieve. Vermaelen played a wonderful diagonal ball towards Theo who chested it past the defender and fired home after bursting into the box. Walcott can be lethal when he gets space. Arsenal have to learn to play to his strengths more often. When the ball is given to him after twenty touches there usually are two or three opponents crowding him out. This is another tactic we must develop.

Individual Performances:

Szczesny: Disappointing again. But as I have said in the past, Goalkeepers will struggle unless Arsenal sort out the systemic defensive issues.

Sagna: Should have done better to block Greening. Put in some delightful crosses. Fairly good on the whole.

Djourou: Very Poor. Bad positioning for the first goal, should have done better for the second, decision making was shaky at best.

Vermaelen: Should have done better for the first goal. Worked hard but tired towards the end. Made a couple of excellent last gasp tackles. Showed his passing range with some passes, especially the for Theo.

Gibbs: Good pace. Good header on goal. Struggled with the ball over the top but he’s not alone in that.

The back five weren’t convincing but they had to do a lot more than their fair share. Wenger could sell all the defenders and goalkeepers at the club and replace them with “proven players”, it won’t change a thing unless the Gunners learn how to defend as a team.

Diaby: Had a couple of great moments. Was instrumental in the first goal. Needs to offer a lot more in front of the defence.

RvP: Wasn’t really playing as a midfielder. Roamed all over the pitch. Work rate was good but didn’t have many options to create.

Wilshere: He looked exhausted but continues to fight. I appreciate his ability to chat up opponents and referees. It can develop into a useful leadership trait.

The midfield should have played much deeper and closer to the defence. This would have reduced the influence of the long balls. It would also have created more space behind the Fulham defence. It would also have given the team an opportunity to better manipulate the tempo of the game.

Ramsey: Didn’t play like a winger. Was more of a working midfielder like Ray Parlour. He has been struggling since his return from that injury. A proper pre-season should help.

Chamakh: Good movement but has to learn to attack the ball better in the box. Should have scored when Schwarzer spilled it (others do it too you know!). Should also have been alert after the Gibbs header. Needs more playing time to develop. Hard work in the summer will help.

Nasri: Won a number of individual battles, often against two or three players. Didn’t have enough options in front of him once he got clear. Still one of his better games in recent times. Good free-kick that forced a save. Good to see him getting into the box more often.

Subs: Walcott scored a beauty. Arshavin struggled. Eboue did a good job in an unfamiliar position.

Wenger: Surprising to see Wilshere in the starting eleven despite his well-documented exhaustion. Starting with Ramsey in the middle and Walcott on the right might have been a lot more effective. It was good to see a genuine attempt at something different. One just has to count the number of times a Fulham player was able to run, with the ball, 20-30 yards towards the Arsenal goal, or the ease with which the ball moved from the attacking third to the defensive third to realize that he needs quality help.


41 Responses to Fulham 2 – 2 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. G4L says:

    I loved the way Nasri turned his man at will and his free-kick. RvP should let him take more. Eboue looked lively on the left. Last season Arshavin would have scored with the chance he got in injury time.

  2. G4L says:

    Did you see the clash between Sagna and Szczesny when the keeper came for a ball? Never could figure out why out players bang into each other so often.

  3. fred says:

    they do it on purpose

  4. Golden Gooner says:

    Surprised you let Gibbs off the hook on the 1st goal. He went to double Dempsey who was already marked by Ramsey (?), leaving Zamora all alone in the proverbial “acres of spaces”

    • santori says:

      Agree.

      Which is why we appreciate Clichy somewhat more.

    • desigunner says:

      Ramsey had gone forward after the backheel. Vermaelen was in front of Dempsey. Gibbs had to go towards the ball because it would have been easy for Dempsey to just knock it past Vermaelen and run forward. As Vermaelen had his back to the Arsenal goal he would have lost time in turning and chasing after Dempsey. What Gibbs did slowed Dempsey down and if Djourou had been in position, Zamora would have been off-side.

      I don’t think Gibbs is to blame for this. He was also quick enough to recover and get between Zamora and the goal.

  5. Phil23 says:

    Once again, the results of having a midfield that is not directly in front of the defense is telling. I respect that Diaby has tried to curb his attacking instincts but it is a simple matter of repositioning yourself deeper after such runs. Song was a big miss but is exhausted. We need naturally deeper defensive mid’s and they need to have power and strength. Vertonghen and Song are the pairing that would compare to Vieira and Gilberto in years to come.

    • santori says:

      I don’t think we can (will) be playing 2 defensive minded players.

      I think our midfield can be divided into 4 parts.

      1) DM – Song
      2) CM – link men who carry the ball forward and do a bit of both – Jack and Diaby
      3) AM – Fab and Ramsey (understudy)
      4)Wingers – AA, Nasri, Walcott

      We have frimpong coming through (but he will have a learning curve. Diaby is not naturally a DM (albeit his defensive play has improved), I hope Wenger doesn’t use him specifically as such.

      So we either get ourselves another DM to supplement Song or we might have a ready made solution in house.

      Koscielny is an intelligent player and if we have an appropriate senior player to alternate TV/Djourou, Laurent could be pushed up to cover Song in absence.

      Otherwise bringing in a new man specifically for the role may impede the growth of Frimpong or say Batrley who should also be groomed from within.

      The other option would be to get someone like HItzelsperger (great West Ham Fire Sale) who can serve as replacement to the erratic Eboue and cover DM.

      • Phil23 says:

        Three kinds of midfielders is a good idea on paper but it hasn’t worked over the last few years so must be changed. this year was the closest we have gotten to two defensive midfielders. Diaby and Wilshere are the more attacking of the two but there is only one truely capable defender which is Song. There needs to be a second defensive mid. Instead of having a CM and a DM we must have two players who are capable of both or the system doesn’t work. If only Jack brings the ball up we are WAY too predictable and when Song also brings it up it shows on the scoreline. At the start of the year both players were given similar roles, bring the ball up or cover for the other player bringing it up. This year Song got tired as he was used too much and the plan began to fall apart. Diaby is better than Jack at bringing the ball up the pitch yet he has not figured out when to come forward or not yet. The pairing of Jack and Diaby shouldn’t really happen or it spells out counter attacking goals for the opposition. If we have two defensively aware players who are also capable of bringing the ball up the pitch (both Vertonghen and Song would be such players) we will be able to attack from more avenues. The fullbacks will have cover and this means they will look better in attack and defense. The centre backs will face much less pressure as many of the long balls will be dealt with by the deeper lying defensive mids who are both capable centre backs. This means we will see more of those big accurate diagonal passes we sometimes see from Vermaelen and Koscielny. Honestly by having an extra defensive minded player it makes the job easier for everyone. We currently have five defensive minded players in the outfield and three of those are also asked to largely focus on attack. This is simply unfair on the back four. All im saying is that the team needs balance and once it gains that balance it will benefit the team in both defense and attack. We actually have quite similar views!

      • santori says:

        Agreed somewhat. I do see a possibility of us having to use 2 defensive minded players to shut out a crucial lead. But I do not see Wenger playing such a defensive set regularly, it will have a converse effect up front.

        OTOH, Song IS our only dependable DM and we run into difficulties when he his out.

        We need cover.

        Question is how will this cover possibly impact the potential emergence of Frimpong? And are we able to find a sloution in house?

        I do feel KOscielny may be able to hold the position when Song is out but this as yet to be experimented with.

        Whilst we need to reinforce, we must also weigh against potential from within. As you say, it is all about balance.

  6. santori says:

    1)Szsc. Poor decision making. Should have done better coming out for the cross and cut out Zamora. That said, as you mentioned (and I have repeatedly said), the systemic issues will only be resolve with a revamp of our coaching set up to focus on core maladies.

    2)Djourou. He is better than Squillaci because he is younger, quicker and will continue to develop. Squillaci is at the end of his career and physically unable to offer more. What I think we may need this summer at the back (CB) is :

    a) Someone experienced. Pref someone who is experienced wnning at top level (not just Ligue One)

    b) Someone with some physical height. TV and Kos are similar in some ways as they work better as sweepers. We need someone to backup/aletrnate Djourou.

    Lucio isn’t quite as tall but he is a strong jump and is hard as nails. BUT Hangeland is 6’4 29yrs and built like a brick sh#thouse. His asking price should have also come down to respectable levels being flavour of the moment is Cahill, Samba and Parker (Goodness knows why being that Fulham has a better defensive record then any of those teams)

    3) Vermaelen. Struggled. I don’t think he is up to peak match fitness having just come back from injury. He should have tracked back for the first goal and I thought he was as much if not more culpable than Djourou in not picking up Zamorra.

    That said, he was otherwise solid and did well to prevent the ball crossing the line with Murphy.

    Both our CBacks will (and have room to) improve IMO and with prerequisite coaching, the defense can get much tighter.

    4) Diaby. Whilst his defensive game has imporved, I still don’t see Diaby as a reliable DM. I;ve said this before that I see him more in the role of Jack, a central midfield link man willing(and able) to carry the ball forward from deep, and doing a bit of both defending/attacking.

    That said, I thought he contributed well overall and put in a good assist to RVP (Didn’t think it was overcooked in the slightest)

    However I still think we have only Song as a reliable DM with young Frimpong perhaps still rough round the edges (but who should make first team). Therefore we might either grab someone-else who can seal the position (Say Hitzelsperger who can also come in as a healthy RB in lieu of Eboue) or maybe try Kos (if we have secured a new senior man at the back in place of Squillaci)

    5) Ramsey. Not his preferred position out wide. I agree with desi that he should have been played in field with Walcott out right. BUt perhaps Wenger wanted to suss out Diaby in the middle alongside Jack (Presumably the stronger pairing in absence of Song)

    6) Walcott. Thought he was brought in later as Wenger anticapted Fulham relinquishing space later on in the game (the ten men was a bonus and god sent…why are you complaining about the ref again?)

    That said, again, I think we are short of wide men in particular as Arsharvin has slowed.

    We are linked to Ricky Alvarez, the Argentinian from Velez Saarsfeld. he is 6’2 and can play both LW and centrally. His pplay reminds me somewhat of a certain Bobby Pires.

    Between Hazard and him, I hope Wenger gets someone to add alternative to Walcott who can be one dimensional.

    As is, he prospered when the game oepned up and got us our equaliser.

    6) Arsharvin. Thought he was interesting and operated centrally. He took a couple of shots, none successful but there is every indication that he may function slightly better in field given his loss of pace.

    7) Chamakh. Ring rust. He needs to be more selfish. We need to see him hungry for goals. He often passes when he should try his luck and attempt a shot at goal. This is something Wenger needs to instill in the strikers (With Bendtner possibly going, and RVP scorring 21, now Chamakh). They(he) should not be afraid (and be given special license) to try his luck (especially) when in the box

    All the same, we need another (pref pacy) striker.

    Good to see Arsene play 4-4-1-1 for a change.

    Instantaneously, we were putting more crosses in (The gibb’s effort was a prime example) because we did not have the added man in the middle to thread the ball intricately around. There was an obvious tendency to spread the play wide and some telling balls in (particularly from Sagna, particularly as we had the added physical presence in Chamakh in the box.

    7) RVP. This is a good position for him. Whilst he needs to learn to track back defensively (I didn’t think he did too badly), it affords him an opporunity to get involved with the build up whilst popping up dangerously in all sorts of areas.

    Still some understanding to be ironed out between him and Chamakh but I think it’s an added OPTION to 4-3-3 (which is better when opponents are more open)

    At the start of the season, there were voices clamouring for us to get ourselves a proper 20 goal a season striker. Well, how about that, we have our own 21 goal a half season man in RVP!

    I think his matured in recent year and I have been most impressed by his leadership qualities (Pulling Diaby aside for a ‘quiet’ chat and such)

    Whilst I think Vermaelen is in a more natural position to organise and steel us from the back, I think RVP deserves in very least a co-captainship with the Belgian as one of the senior players that seemingly has the desire to win and fight to the very end. I cannot quite say the same for Fabregas (injury granted)

    • santori says:

      Sorry lost track and repeated some numbers.:D

      Dissapointing end game but as as expected in recent form.

      Wenger is on the official site stating that it will be a busy summer and several players (the ones we need be rid of) have already made appropriate noises suggesting exits (come and get me clause)

      I expect there will be 2-3 coming in at very least.

      IF the situation persist and we are where we are end next season, I don’t expect even Wenger to carry on much longer.

      Wenger knows this and although he will stick to his principles, he will prob spend appropriately (which I feel may be a little more than usual)

  7. sameep says:

    Desi, do you think someone like Martin Keown (who has been working around the club for getting his coaching badges according to some news!) can help in changing the way team defends? He was heavily involved in training the 2006 champions league finalist team (defense in particular).

    • santori says:

      I don’t know about Keown’s tactics but if anything, Wenger could use him as his hairdryer. The very sight of Keown patrolling the touch line should send enough motivation for the lads to pull their socks up.

      Coaching staff, Bould could be promoted. Dixon sounds like another insightful old boy. Bergkamp is getting his coaching credentials. Plenty of others maybe without Arsenal lineage but who can come in and shore up our defensive thought at the back. (I’ll take a United old boy at this point)

    • desigunner says:

      I have read conflicting accounts of his involvement and none from an authoritative source. Some say he as involved with training defenders, others have said he was just there for his work and wasn’t involved with the players.

      What is interesting is that Arsenal had a great defence in that Champions League run but didn’t really score that many goals. It was an overall defensive approach from the whole team. It wasn’t just about the defenders. If Keown had worked with the midfielders and wide players we might have heard something from someone, no?

      If you know or find a reliable source, please do share it. I am interested in knowing what went on in those days that made the team defend as a unit.

  8. RockyLives says:

    I didn’t see the game (apart from about 10 minutes with no goals) so the detailed write-up is welcome Desi.

    I particularly like your point about the mistakes made by Chesney and Wilshere and how people would have slaughtered Almunia and Denilson for the same offences.

    Overall I think you’re right – it’s not so much new players we need as a new attitude to playing as a team.

  9. Kushagra India says:

    Good Riddance to the season when we conceded the most since aargh 99…

  10. Kushagra India says:

    JUDGE ME IN MAY ….since when huh??

  11. 037 says:

    Seeing the decisions going against us, it MIGHT make some sense to bring a British defender, as he is likely to get calls go Arsenal’s way, due to the English bias that realistically exists.

    • Miranda says:

      It’s not worth paying the prices English clubs want, not when we’ve already got Bartley who has had rave reviews from Rangers fans.

    • santori says:

      Supposition.

      English defenders have been over rated by the media.

      What we need is the right dfender for the job.

      Hangeland has bags of experience in the PL and is captain of Norway (leadership). @29, he has 3+ good seasons left in him at least.

      And being that he isn’t flavour of the moment, his price would be respectable. I think it’s worth Arsene repaying a visit.

  12. Kushagra India says:

    Chesney is inexperienced so people cut him a little slack I promise you if this continues next season as well he will be the new pantomime villain …..look at Vn Der Sar he is worth 10 points a season and whats his age what did he cost ,how old were Seaman and Scheimichael………on Almunia his quality will be certified in summer no one seems to be interested.. …sticking with him for so many years has been Wenger’s biggest mmistake how many years did Ben Foster survive in Manure after making some gaffes….my point is we need xperience and stop giving too much leeway to players stop flogging the dead horses ….Diaby when was the last time he played more than 4 matches in a row(he is immensly talented imo but there needs to be a time frame )….but players like him make sure that we dont buy others …quality and quantity eh….

    • desigunner says:

      Can you please point out game wise how VdS has won 10 points per season over the last three seasons. Don’t say that everyone knows it. Give me examples of actual games where he saved points and lost points. Then give me the net balance. I’m bored of these things being repeated without anyone actually giving any evidence.

  13. Kushagra India says:

    “It’s a situation that requires a bit of humility from Wenger, but he’s simply incapable of it. His response to fans chanting ‘spend some money’ is to say we can’t spend £50m on one player. His response to the collapse to 4th is to say ‘maybe one year you’ll realise how hard it is finish in the top 4 every year’. To suggestions of shaking up the coaching staff he says ‘it will be difficult to find a coach who can teach me how to manage a team’. It’s this patronising attitude, this arrogance, that’s as offputting as his inability or unwillingness to address the fundamental and obvious weaknesses the team have had for years.

    This kind of manner is the opposite of what Arsenal were supposed to be about when I was growing up (even when we had a crap team) and it’s embarrassing to be identified with.”

    online gooner…
    make or break summer for Arsene otherwise the swords will be out by August…

    • santori says:

      You’re being a tad dramatic.

      Yes Wenger needs to spend more this season than he is accustomed to over rcent years to keep us competitive.

      But he still has to watch our pocket and 50m purchases are beyond our means (Wage bill)

      That does not preclude us spending say 20m+ on a player if need be where our previous top expenditure was 15m.

      This is also in part recognition of market dynamics at present with several team willing to spend at all costs (and having, we hope the means to do so).

      Yes wenger is stubborn to his principles and that has blind sided him a little but I don’t see him as a facetious or arrogant man.

      He is going to have to address weakenesses with purchases from the market but he will still have to weigh this against development from within the team.

      OTOH, you ay you were not embaressed to be identified with us when we were crap, where is the embaressement in being identified with us now?

      We have not fulfilled our goals true but we are still competitive and we have a strong base to build upon.

      I think you may need to take a deep breathe.

    • AP says:

      I don’t quite understand whats wrong with speaking the truth that 50m is something that cant be spent by Arsenal. That does not mean Wenger isnt gonna spend, he is just setting the correct expectation around the sort of spending he is NOT likely to do.

      Sounds to me like the writer of that piece is looking for some patronizing from Wenger instead and his definition of ‘humility’ seems to be ‘do what i tell u’. Also collective wisdom of the crowd could be a guidance for selling soap, not sure if it applies to niche work like football mgmt 🙂

      • santori says:

        http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Arsenal-transfer-news-Arsene-Wenger-drops-hint-about-Karim-Benzema-bid-article740434.html

        Well it is the Mirror but since this is more straight reporting than actual speculation on their part, prooves to show that we (Wenger) will be prepared to spend above his usual threshold this summer (but within limits.

        Again, I think 1 x 20m+ player will not be out of place along with 2 in the 10-15m range.

        That would mean a possible outlay of say 45m.

        Sales of players surplus to use (namely, Denilson, Almunia, Rosicky, Vela, Bendtner, Squillaci)should tally between 15-20m in returns.

        We will therefore be 25m out of pocket.

        Now assuming Fab is sold (at a representative price of 40m++), we will prob see one other in the 10-20m bracket.

        This leaves us with about 20m from the Fab sale which will give us break even with other purchases.

        Hypothetical of course but worth considering to get a guage of what is affordable to us this summer.

        On that note, Benzema in the 20m++ range is nnot terribly expensive (particularly relative to what you can get for similar price if purchasing British)

      • santori says:

        Yes, had we followed the collective wisdom of the media, we would have bought Melo (not quite the success he was made out to be in Italy)

    • desigunner says:

      I try very hard to avoid reading such ignorant ,half-baked, one-sided rants where quotes are taken out of context or not viewed in entirety. I don’t want them on this blog. From now on i will delete such comments.

  14. Kushagra India says:

    another point which you harp upon players not playing regularly how many starts has berbatov made or Park Ji Sung made but they more often than not have alot to offer its all about squad management and getting best out of it on yearly basis…another thing how many starts has Ferdinand made but Vidic availability helped the youngsters and the defence ,he helped them in organising , soothes the nerves now thats what you call leadership……..

    • desigunner says:

      I didn’t want to do this but from now on I will be moderating your comments.

      When it is convenient to your argument, United become a mediocre team. On other occasions they have leadership and squad management etc.

      This is a classic example of argument for the sake of argument and frankly I’m tired of it.

    • Miranda says:

      Only great news if some lunatic is prepared to pay the 9 million we’re demanding. Perhaps the fans could organise a fundraising drive. I’m off to stand in Upper Street right now rattling my tin.

      • Miranda says:

        And Bendtner’s dad, from whom Bendtner seems to have inherited his big-headedness, is demanding that Arsenal ‘show respect’, by which I’d guess he means we should only sell him to a grand club which meets with the Bendtner approval – e.g. Bayern, who I fear aren’t that interested. Meanwhile Bendtner is being much criticised in Denmark for refusing to play in the under-21s (for which he’s apparantly still eligible) on the grounds that he wants to spend time with his family.

      • santori says:

        This is all a bit of gamesmanship. It’s a “come and get me” signal on the part of camp Bendtner.

        Nothing wrong with that if they fetch Nicklas a good price.

        It will help Arsenal in the end.

  15. aditya says:

    desi we would love to see your opinions on summer transfers. Just highlight the areas we need reinforcements and the personnel wenger is likely to sign

  16. kaycee says:

    our major problem dis season was lack of plan B and position rotation,walcott will flourish in 442 and most of our squad,d 433 sud be used after we had finish clinching the carling cup next season with our traditional 442 formation,in arsene wenger wt trust

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