Thoughts On Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Manchester United

This is a tough one. Easily the hardest fixture of the opening month. Let’s be real, if Arsenal had a full team with no injuries or suspensions and even with a couple of signings, this game would still have been the most difficult away game of the League. I am not trying to hype up United but they do have a more than respectable home record. And they have Howard Webb.

Sometimes, a good win sets expectations soaring. Some people lose track of the context and demand miracles in the next game. When reality bites, the pendulum swings to the other extreme and, along with the raucous rants of losers living off of misery, the general degree of despondency hits new heights, or is it lows. Can this be changed or is this an inescapable certainty that we must suffer through? I don’t know the answer to that but setting the right expectations can most definitely help.

Let’s not forget Arsenal have, under Wenger, rarely, if ever, scored more than one goal at Old Trafford. So can the current group, severely limited by injuries and suspension, break that trend? Doubtful. Is this side good enough to win 1-0? I promise not to utter a single criticism against the Arsenal defence all season if that result is achieved.

1-1 then? Now we are entering a more realistic, or cautiously optimistic, zone and this in my opinion is the best result Arsenal can get from this game. Other likely outcomes are not worth discussing before the match.

As I’d said prior to a couple of other games, the progress of the tactical adjustments being made will be of more interest than the final result. But does Arsene have 11 players to put together a tactically strong unit?

Starting line-up option 1 –

Szczesny – Jenkison, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Sagna – Djourou, Ramsey, Rosicky – Walcott, RvP, Arshavin.

This assumes the two centre-backs are fit to play.

Option 2 –

Szczesny – Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Sagna – Ramsey, Rosicky, RvP – Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin.

If Vermaelen fails the fitness test, Djourou will have to drop back into the back four. Van Persie seems the most experienced and feasible option for midfield. Rosicky and Ramsey will have to show a great deal of defensive discipline. A considerable improvement in form will be demanded of Arshavin and Chamakh.

There are some other options as well – Traore could play on the wing to provide better defensive cover (with Jenkinson on the left) so that Sagna can do his usual excellent job on the right. Lansbury (if he is fit) could be played in the midfield for his engine and desire. After all, he has played with Cleverly and knows the youngster’s game well. Arsene could also thrust a young gun (AOC or Miyaichi) into the starting line-up for a baptism by fire. This could allow Arshavin to come inwards and take up a position in the hole. That way both teams might end up with a 4-4-1-1. It would make this an open and entertaining game. There are a number of other combinations possible, but these seem to be the most likely ones.

I think the single biggest test for Arsenal will be the quality of the collective defence. Other teams have been able to bring the ball from defence to attack quite often but have lacked the quality in the final third. That won’t be the case with this well-oiled United side that has plenty of pace and finishing prowess. Any lack of concentration or laxity in tracking back can be calamitous.

The first goal will, as is the case in such games, make all the difference. If United get one early they will get complete control over the game and will seamlessly transition into a counter-attacking style.

Last season at Old Trafford, Arsenal started with a cautious approach but didn’t have the right shape to transition from defence to attack. That meant the ball kept coming into the defensive third every minute or so. Eventually, it led to a freakish goal and gave the tie to the hosts. In order to avoid that, Arsene has to find a way to keep the defence solid while having options to break. Walcott can certainly make a big difference in this regard but his runs have to be tactically coordinated otherwise he looks highly ineffective and one dimensional.

Ramsey and Rosicky have the quality to provide balls from deep. Even then, without a clear tactic and practice, it’s hard to expect players to figure these things out on the go. Time will tell whether the Gunners have worked on this in the build up.

If United play with two midfielders like Anderson and Cleverly, Arsenal could get some joy in the middle and opportunities to unlock their defence. I will be surprised if Ferguson leaves that crack open. But if he does, this game won’t be as tight as some of the other encounters between these teams. I expect at least three goals in that case but can’t say which net they will be in.

Szczesny will have the opportunity to put in a MotM display and he has the talent to do it. I would love to know the odds on that one.

And won’t this be a great game for Arshavin to rediscover his shooting boots. Even Rosicky, Ramsey, and RvP should chance their luck at every opportunity. United have a keeper who, in current form, can also be the MotM for the Gunners. The attacking players need to be aware of and attack the second ball from every cross or shot that goes towards De Gea.

Oddly enough, Arsenal have just one win in the last nine League games. Guess who that came against 🙂

Another little tidbit that might interest you is that Arsenal won 49 percent of the games when Nasri started and 62 percent of those he didn’t.

Hopefully, the Webb effect will not come into play and we will get a fascinating tussle between the already presumed League winners and widely predicted no-hopers that will prove the gap isn’t as big as some would have you believe.

Ending on a different note, my folks have come from India and I will be very busy over the weekend. Apologies to regular readers who prefer a quick report after the game. I won’t be able to do one till late on Monday afternoon US Central time. Till then, enjoy the rebuilding phase with reinvigorated hope and tempered expectations.


60 Responses to Thoughts On Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Manchester United

  1. Steve says:

    I think 1-0 win for us is more than possible because Wenger surely knows the need to defend well in this game. The spirit and fight in the last few games has been phenomenal. Anything is possible if we can repeat the same pride and passion.

    • WE ARE LOSING THIS GAME, UNITED ARE NOT UDINESE, THE SQUAD IS VERY WEAK AND NEEDS AT LEAST FIVE NEW QUALITY SIGNINGS TO COMPETE WITH THE MANUs OF THIS WORLD. WHY WENGER IS NOT SIGNING CAHILL AND OTHER QUALITY PLAYERS BEFORE THIS GAME IS BEYOND ME. THE LACK OF QUALITY AND DEPTH OF THIS SQUAD WILL BE ON FULL DISPLAY ONCE AGAIN ON SUNDAY.

      • XX says:

        OK. I HATE TO SAY THIS AS WE ARE GOONERS, BUT, I TOLD YOU SO! WE NEED FIVE NEW PLAYERS PLUS NEW COACHING STAFF, A NEW BOARD AND A NEW OWNER. WE HAVE SAID THIS ALL SUMMER AND BEEN LABELLED TRAITORS AND CALLED NAMES BY THE AKB BRIGADE.

    • gunner_expat says:

      Hi Desi, why not institute some blog rule. for eg. delete this eye sore of a comment above…(No All Caps aloud)

  2. inad says:

    yap i just wanted correct aurgement that under wenger that arsenal has never scored more than one goal. well thats a lie rvpand henry scored one each to be united at trafford before rvp got injured in the celebration. and many other examples

    • THAT WAS AT THE EMIRATES, NOT OT

      • gunner_expat says:

        ur soon going to be in competition for the biggest cunt of the month with na$ri…in fact you probably already are. not scoot off kid.

    • Genie says:

      @inad, the game you refer to was at the Emirates, but you are still correct in that Arsenal have scored more than one goal at Old Trafford, it was a two nil win, an FA Cup tie (a quarter final if i am not mistaken) . All goals were scored in the first half and Red Nose used the hair drier during the interval with Beckham being on the receiving end. Still when the game resumed, the gunners did not let Man U into the game that day. I do not remember the goal scorers but I think Wiltord and Lungberg are a great possibility.

  3. hamzi says:

    its still early in the season, maybe wenger should take a gamble and let landsbury have his chance.

    • Jrock says:

      It was at the emirates Sir!! You remember that eboue cross that Henry headed in??

    • santori says:

      I honestly do not think Lansbury is up to it.

      Ramsey himself looks a bit lost at times.

      We’ll need someone very solid to help patrol midfield just in front of the CBacks.

      I think Koscielny should do the job. Just get stuck in, upset their rythm, help cover left and give it to either Rosicky or Andrei to release our wingers out wide.

      Give them a taste of their own medicine.

  4. gazzap says:

    He could do something like this. not great defensively, but as you hinted anything we get from this fixture is a bonus.
    Szczesny
    Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Sagna
    Theo, Ramsey, Rosicky, Traore
    Arshavin
    RVP

    If it all starts going wrong i’d bring on AOC and give him some minutes to give him some great experience.
    Also I assume the squad wont have Coquelin in it, but he has finished with the France under 20’s.

    Bendtner will travel no doubt, and of course Lansbury is also an option for midfielder but its already incredibly attacking. I think i’d go with the 4 across the middle. Or there is Miquel at the back and JD in midfield. None is perfect but there are a few options.

  5. Manama says:

    U r being ur usual careful self understandably so.i realy dnt xpect much 4rm our boys,bt wil b hapi wt a pt n happier wt 3.kip d fire burning,responsible sports journalism desi.

  6. khimz says:

    ”and they have howard webb” no chance here! Looking forward to swansea either. Howard Equal to red card plus penalty 4 utd.

    • HeavyFeather says:

      although this happened, and the penalty was soft, Jenkinson earned his red card. Arshavin did his bit to get sent off too, even though he didn’t see red. Can’t blame Webb for this debacle.

  7. Jazbo says:

    You worry to much the team should be:

    Szczesny
    Sanga Koscielny Vermalin Traore
    Lansbury Ramsey Rosicky Ryo
    RVP Theo

    Djourou Jenkinson Arshavin Chamak Chamberlain

  8. nicky says:

    My only worry is Webb. On the last 10 occasions he has officiated at OT, he has awarded Man Utd no less than 5 penalties.
    We cannot fight against that statistic.

  9. Michael says:

    Coquelin should be back by now. He’d be perfect in midfield and he has more experience than Frimpong.

  10. All I know is if Arsenal played like before in Alumunia’s time with all guns blazing,they will be ripe for the plunder.I have seen pass and pass ,god/allah knows how many passes ,were made .We all know when a pass is misdirected or intercepted as it will inevitably,it’s the cue for the ugly British bulldog and company to counter and usually it ends in a goal.
    Why not slow down and play anti soccer ie pack the midfield or park the bus and don’t don’t have such a hdl,then things can be different and it aint going to give time and space for the ubd.
    Btw a strong defence is a must for all teams,including Arsenal,which want to win trophies.I remember 1996 very well. Keegan another Brahmin for attack is the name of the game could have won the title if he had invested in a defender.Instead he went for an attacker and the rest is history.
    Perhaps Wenger could pause and reflect why teams that are successful invariably have a solid defence with the motto:Thou shalt not pass over my dead body.

    • ZGunner says:

      I agree with slowing down the pace, but I do not agree with Anti-Futbol…

      I want my team to play the way that makes me proud of Arsenal, regardless of score.

      We beat them with style, or we lose in style. I have a lot of faith in the defensive ability of our team, and I believe it will be the key to success tomorrow, as for the rest of the season.

      And by this I am talking about the whole team not just the defenders. The whole team are defenders.. but also attackers.

      Tomorrow’s game is the sort of game I expect to be one in which it is more likely for defenders to score in. It will be a very unpredictable and hopefully very entertaining win.

      God Bless the Arsenal…

      ———-The Wall (Wojeich-I still spell it wrong-I think)—————

      Jenkins———–Kosceilny———–Vermaalen——–Sagna———-

      ——————Ramsey—————–GRAND Mozard——————

      ——————————-Arshavin———————————————

      Walcott—————–Robin “Steel” Van Persie——————–Ri-Yo

      That would be option1 (4-3-3 based)

      • ZGunner says:

        I would not prefer this formation for tomorrow though I predict it will be (though at times no one proves me wrong more than Wenger)..

  11. critic says:

    I only hope “no more injuries” to arsenal players…..that’s it.

    I am kinda easy going guy with no or low expectation. Every arsenal fan should try it every now and then. 🙂 🙂

  12. 49Unbeaten says:

    Erm…..everyone seems to have missed the news it seems. Koscielny is still injured and Vermaelen is a doubt with an ankle injury. Our defence could well be Squid and Djourou. 3-0 to ManUre with them pair flapping at everything i’m afraid…

  13. kidd says:

    @ inad u do’nt know what u ar takn abt,wn we beat manure 2-1 it was @ the emirites not old traford,that day henry scored a bullet of a header in stoppage time after rvp had cancelled out rooney strike 7 min from time.The other season we also deafted em 2-1 @ emirites thanks 2 a nasri double.infact the last time we beat em at old traford it was 1-0 adebayor got the goal.As 4 sunday i expect us to give em a real run 4 eir money.they wil start as huge favourates,but i think it wil b a tightly contested game we ar not shor of confidence after wed’s massive result. uu

  14. Alex says:

    People with low confidence like you will never succede in life.
    It is only the start of the season and you guys you all lot believe we are already relegated.Man U they got new youngster and so do we. Our youth never let us down.And on the Liverpool game i can see one young boy that was way below par.Infact i would put my finger on the so called experienced ones like Walcot and Ramsey.By no means i am slating them>All i am saying is Frimpong -Coqueling-jenkinson they did excellent and why not after all they being trusted by Wenger.So who am i to doubt them ?

    No one is here to say that he had seen enough of the youth and make a mature judgement.It is just the norm of this days to believe on a player that comes with big pay is the messaiah that will deliver everything.
    Sorry guys !i differ from many of you and i do believe enough power to come triumphant from old trafford.

    Believe !Believe!believe

  15. SoCal_Gun says:

    Webb will be the ref? God damn it…….

  16. Arsenite says:

    Sz, jenkinson, djourou, Vermaelen, sanga, Ramsey, rosicky, arshavin, oxlade-chamberlain, van persie, Walcott
    Play a 4-4-2 with van persie /Walcott combo makes an interesting combo up front…
    What do u think? Maybe give lansbury, ryo, chamakh, koscielny, fabianski, bendtner on bench

    • ZGunner says:

      I would prefer a 4-4-2 as well..

      —-Scez
      Jenkinson–Kos–Verm—Sagna
      Ramsey–Rosicky–Djourou–Ryo
      ———Walcott–RVP—————

      I would love to see this tomorrow for so many reasons.
      Mainly because I think it is SOLID yet creative.

  17. Ashis says:

    Have a great weekend with family

  18. oh.2.b.a.gooner says:

    what are the odds fergie looks at our squad and has no clue who we will play therefore has a gameplan that is to conservative?? we should field young fast team and comeout all guns blazing.. shock and awe

  19. Okello (Cpl) says:

    Lets be contented with what we have, the players at arsenal are duty bound to show why they are in Arsenal shirts. If we doubt them, then why are they there? In football we must have losers and winners even in war you expect anything. In a nutshell lets rally before Arsenal players and give them the support they need to win matches. Some fans talking ill of Wenger cannot even coach a nursery school team or even know when a player is offside or onside

  20. FinnGun says:

    Everything from financial markets to football seems to be bipolar these days…

  21. thegeeman says:

    this baby could be a blow out city or We can win but the hair of our chinny chin chin. Man U is fast. They can score from anywhere on the pitch. We are suspect on “D”. We lack scoring power. et if we can force the clown in net for Sir Alex and the Boys de Gea to make a gaffer we can win. I expect the worst and hope for the best. We need help big time. It is ime for Wenger to go.

  22. Gunner2301 says:

    Alex i think what fans object to is the stellar ticket prices to see kids and average players. If they want to use kids and half that ticket price i think fans would probably see that as being fair. We need to equate what we see on the pitch with what were paying and haven’t been getting for the last 6 years. When the manager comes out and says that we have a wage bill approaching 120mill a year you have to ask if we are supporting a dictatorship in some foreign country somewhere because I can’t see where that money is going especially as we have no Drogba Torres Lampard Terry Rooney Ferdinand etc on stellar wages.

  23. santori says:

    …………………………..Szsc…………………………….
    Sagna…………TV…………Djourou…………Traore
    ………………………..Koscielny…………………………
    Walcott……….Ramsey…….Rosicky……………Ryo
    …………………………….RVP…………………………….

    1) Sagna was skinned one time too many out left against Udinese. Much rather prefer a natural LB out there . They’ll be coming at us with speed on both flanks (Young and Nani) so we can do with both Sagan’s speed covering out right and Traore’s out left.

    2)Koscielny seems the quickest and the best at reading dangers. Put him in front of Djourou/TV to screen and importantly cover left with Traore.

    3) I prefer to put AAjust behind RVP because he is the better distributor but we should keep things tight and I am just not sure how much work rate we can get out of AA. So Ramsey/Rosicky in front of Kosc. They’ve played together for a bit now and Rosicky is in good form.

    4) Much as I like to see AA out wide, I think it would be good for us to have a bit of a surprise package for UNIted in Ryo out wide (stretching the game). We’ll also need his youthful energy (and importantly speed) to help cover Traore on the left.

    5) AA to come on after 50 minutes in lieu of Ramsey or Rosicky. If we are holding level (or a lead…hopeful), we can pull Ramsey back a little, shhuffle AA behind RVP ready for a break down the middle or to help release the flanks. Or we can do the reverse start with AA then revert to Rosicky.

    …………………………….Szsc…………………………………
    Sagna……………TV……….Djourou…………….Traore
    ………………..Ramsey……Koscielny……………………..
    Walcott…………………AA………………………………Ryo
    ………………………….RVP…………………………………..

    I’m hoping we edge this despite our problems. Come on lads!!! Keep it tight, hit them on the break. We’ve got nothing to lose (it’s already a write off…with the press and the moaners anyway):D

  24. Told you So!!! says:

    Apart from injuries, bad referee, injustice and all other relevant excuses, let’s see what Desi and Wenger have to say about this.

    I am sure Arsense Knows Brigade will find some!

  25. Kushagra India says:

    Despite all injuries and transfer inactivity a championship team will give a better account of themselves……..Neville lambasting our complete lack of understanding the basic rules of defending………rightly so……

    and bloggers like Untold will be posting Arsenal vs United ref watch…….u r havin alaff son..

  26. canadiangooner says:

    It was a disaster to say the least, i think wenger needs to go,,,, get george graham back i say, atleast we will not leak as many :-), but we will not score as many as well, oh wait we are not anyway, so how will that hurt!

    Seriously though, i think we need a re-think, whether wenger stays/goes that is not my decision nor any of the people posting here, but someone needs to go out and spend some money, i saw the city game today as well and money can buy talent and loads of it!
    All the BS about financially well managed etc etc comes down to nothing if we do not win and that is what is happening, i could understand if we were a mediocre club with limited resources, but we are one of the biggest in the world, it comes to mis-management, a project gone terribly wrong, wenger is accountable,so is gazidis,the board and the owner, but till the fans rise up and stop going to games this will continue, i say boycott till someone positive takes control and mind you i am not saying fire the lot we have including wenger, but rather make someone in charge and not wenger or gazidis

  27. canadiangooner says:

    Oh ya forgot to add,
    United takes on Leeds in their Carling cup, watch that game and then watch a replay of our game, i am sure it will be evident, you do not need superstars to take on united, just some players who understand the game and know how to play, unlike the lot we had today

  28. Claver says:

    Things are happening behind the scene. Arsene has never had such a catastrophe at Arsenal such as this season.

    Kronke and Gazidis OUT! We don’t want the stingy American. Why doesn’t he pay off Arsenal debt? Why doesn’t he offer money for transfers like the Russian does?

    Get rid of Gazidis and Kronke.

    Arsene is a great manager, he has never had such a terrible summer and a terrible loss since arriving at Arsenal!!!!!

    It’s Kronke. Get of him!!!

  29. Amelia Ananpour says:

    ARSENAL SLAUGHTERED AT OLD TRAFFORD

    The game took place yesterday and Desi has not yet posted his much awaited analysis.

    But what a number of us on this Blog have been saying all along has finally come to the open. Under Wenger, the club has suffered its worst defeat in a … century.

    We have been saying all along that Wenger’s project has failed. This, except for the ‘Don’t Worry Brigade’, has been open knowledge for some time now. It was all clear by the end of last season and by the way, yesterday was the 14th game we have failed to win in succession.

    We sold 3 of our most experienced players and did not buy a single one in return.

    Wenger has lost so much credibility that hardly any serious person in the business believes him. He has been led to say so many lies, produce so many excuses, contradict himself so many times that he has become pathetic.

    How come a professional team like Arsenal so poorly planned the pre-season? Who is the Boss at this club, and therefore accountable? Is it worth saving small pennies and not investing in the team under the pretext that we cannot find the right players?

    Objectively, what other proof one needs before recognizing that the thing is stuck?

    It is time for Wenger to go.

    • Prabal Rakshit says:

      Desi has mentioned in the post that he has his folks come over from India, so he would be delayed posting the match review.

      Anyway I would perfectly understand if he decides to leave this out.

  30. AP says:

    Lovely game….sometimes it is so liberating to witness the unadulterated, raw and uncompromising reality…whichever side you may support…

  31. critic says:

    take your time desi, take your time….. :p

  32. dotstuff says:

    so no new comments desi?
    looking forward to how this embarrassment will b explained

  33. Geli Arnold says:

    I am also wondering why Desi is not providing his usually nuanced analysis.

    Meanwhile one thing we can say is that the defeat yesterday was all but nuanced. It was a brutal reality check in the hands of one of the most genial managers of modern football.

    It is time every Arsenal fan wakes up. This is not a blip. This is a deep crisis and it is a structural crisis. Every single excuse seems to be falling apart and shown to be what these excuses have always been. There is no hiding place left. It is no longer enough to rest on Wenger’s past laurels. Wenger now also carries the ignominious record of having taken the team to its most humiliating defeat in a century!

    This is not the result of some bad luck. It is the result of bad policies, bad governance and bad economics.

    It is the result of terrible negligence, sheer incompetence and mismanagement.

    This mismanagement is now so rooted at Arsenal that, for a number of years now, Arsene Wenger has been presiding to the club being stripped of its main assets, its best players.

    Sound financial management requires to re-invest a proportion of the profits into the business. Where has all the money gained in selling Arsenal prime assets (its best players) gone? Didn’t the club know that Fabregas and Nasri were leaving and why on Earth was nothing done to identify who would replace themn and aggressively go and buy them?

    What is this hullaballoo about the club being properly run when so much mismanagement and incomptence is going on? Where are the 20 scouts in charge of finding the players? Why should Wenger keep saying one thing and its opposite to the point where nobody in his right mind believes him anylonger? How can we let a man who showed such intelligence earlier in his career end up looking so pathetic and delusional in front of the world cameras? Doesn’t he has any honor and dignity left?

    This is not simply shocking. It is scandalous.

    So, I agree with the chorus of those who are demanding some action. The structure needs a radical overhaul. Wenger is exhausted and no longer has any innovative idea.

    He should go with his technical team, Pat Rice included.

    Whoever runs the Board has to step in and speak out and answer all the questions.

    Many people think Wenger cannot be replaced. Of course nobody is irrep[leacable. Only the club is irrepleacable.

    Call on Frank Rijkjard. Give him the means to resurrect this now moribund ship.

  34. lolololol says:

    Man Utd showed us how to play beautiful football.

  35. Anthony McCarthy says:

    I reside in South Africa where there are many Arsenal fans although we are outnumbered by fans of Man U. I can also say that I am a fan of Desi and am a bit astonished that he has not yet posted his analysis. I hope he did not have a heart attack during that fateful match on Sunday.

    I tend to be a rather measured kind of guy and I am not prone to hyperbolics. But the way we were spanked on Sunday is damning. We were caught with our pants completely down and God knows Sir Alex gave us a spanking and he relished it.

    Over the last few years, being an Arsenal fan has been a total drama. Arsene Wenger has brought us almost every week on the verge of a nervous breakdown. We have lost the calm assurance the team used to exhibit under the same Wenger when the likes of Vieira, Pires, Henry, Berkamp, Wiltord, and others were playing.

    Clubs go through cycles, for sure. But this is something else. This is serious decline. This is not just a momentary slip in form. This is something very serious. I have read on this Blog many warnings and Desi himself chided some of those posting them here some time ago. But it now looks as if there were right all along and those of us who keep finding excuses were wrong.

    We should not be in denial. Denialism is what will sink the club. We have to face the truth, and however we loved what Wenger brought, the truth today is that he has lost the plot. I agree with the earlier post that Wenger is on the verge of losing whatever little credibility he still has. And I say this with both pain and anger.

    He should stop finding exotic excuses to what is going on. He should be manly enough to accept that he lost the plot and draw the consequences. Before the Old Trafford game he said Arsenal season was starting with this game. Here we are. He said a big club does not sell its best players and here we are. He has said so many things which happened to not be true that it is becoming increasingly difficult to trust him.

    I know Desi does not like this kind of comments because he says they do not anything to our debates. But I beg to differ. This is no longer a normal situation and it does not help anybody to bury our heads in the sand.

    We look foolish when we keep doing that while every single result contradicts our statements.

    Arsenal is facing a clear-cut situation of serious mismanagement, inept governance and loss of dignity. How low does anyone wants to bring the club before they are sacked. In any serious club, Wenger would have been sacked after he lost the Carling Cup last year.

    Finally, it is true that Frank Rijkjard would be a great manager. He showed it at Barcelona. But here the problem is structural. It is the Board, it is the coach and his team, it is the entire structure that is in need of revamping. Unless this is done, we are geared toward further catastrophe.

  36. Told you So!!! says:

    Where is alll AKB brigade hiding today?

  37. james says:

    Desi, seems like the “show me” time has come pretty early this season, the only sad thing in my opinion is that we truly have no idea of the suspiciously dirty, untruthful and weird stuff going on behind the scenes with the Arsenal Board; I highly doubt that Wenger is both stubborn and quite simply a fool, it’s hard for anyone to become a raving lunatic, much less someone who was pretty smart to begin with.
    The next 3 days will give us our answers…

  38. Ronislav Azetorav says:

    WHERE IS DESI?

    I do not understand why Desi is not providing us with his analysis. What is going on? I just hope nothing happened to him. We might not always agree with what he says. But he is such a fine voice, a bit too complacent with Wenger and the team for my taste, but always entertaining to read. So please come out and tell us what you think of the brutal undressing of Sunday.

    I just read somewhere that the only response Arsenal has found for Sunday Waterloo defeat is to invite those fans who went to Old Trafford for a free game at the Emirates. This is quite incredible. I am not against reimbursing the fans. But is this really what is needed at such a dark hour? Who will stand up an dtell us how we intend to correct all that has gone wrong since the end of last year?

    This is like taking the captain arm band and giving it to the one we all know is thinking about leaving. That’s what Wenger has done with Vieira, then with Henry, then with Fabregas, and now with Van Persie. Does he really think that Van Persie will stay next year just because he has the armband of the captain? And by the way none of those I just cited ended up staying. They all left.

    I do not want to go into things that are too personal. I am not saying that Wenger has become a lunatic. But he is clearly delusional. Of course there are structural stuff that is not clear. But he is made to look more and more like a fool and a liar. For a man who exhibited such intelligence and a capacity for novelty many years ago, this is really painful to watch.

    If he is put in an untenable position, why doesn’t he let it be known in one way or the other? Why is he carrying the Cross for what s clearly an inept Board? Why is he in collusion with a Board that is clearly destroying what could have been a top team?

    I therefore agree with those who are after his head. We cannot go as lower as what happened on Sunday.

    • Prabal Rakshit says:

      Desi has mentioned in the post that he has his folks come over from India, so he would be delayed posting the match review.

      I agree about Wenger’s culpability from the footballing side of the debacle, not enough support from midfield to the defenders, lack of communication between the defenders, shocking decision making etc.
      Pretty much our usual set of mistakes that have been papered up by some individual brilliances over the time. However yesterday’s team depth coupled with clinical Man Utd finishing, just took us past the threshold.

      I would not be surprised if internally Wenger took the full responsibility of this defeat on his shoulders (although it is not entirely of his making). However the plain truth is that with 3 days remaining in the transfer window, and the season just started, there are no good alternatives available in the market.

      This is definitely not the right time to sack Arsene, and I have a feeling he might quit by himself by end of this season if things remain as they are.

      For now we can just hope that the international break gives both players and coaching staff, a chance to take a long hard look at themselves. All of us know and agree that Arsenal cannot compete for the creme de la creme of world football any more (with financial relaities being the way they are). That is even more important why our footballing basics should be stronger than before.

      Desi, I wish you can come up with the next installment of the analysis of Arsenal;s defensive issues, after this match. Maybe we can give this match review a quite RIP :-).

      Gallows humour: we finally scored more than a goal in OT.. could have had three had RVP not mishit the penalty.

  39. Yang says:

    It was a weird game. How many time Young could score such a super goal in his entire career? Rooney scored two from Free kick etc.

    I don’t agree with AW must adjust team tactic because adjustment team tactic cause more trouble than solve it however AW need to admit that he assembled too tin squad to cope season long campaign.

    It is very clear to see Arsenal 2nd fiddle players not acceptable level in the last season but AW didn’t reinforce squad.Guess what? Team suffer big time when suspension and injury hit.

    Need more players, no need to be big signing even number is not enough. Bring in few reliable men.

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