Arsenal Bag Point In Flawed Performance

West Bromwich Albion 2 – 2 Arsenal

1 – 0 Reid (3)
2 – 0 Odemwingie (58)
2 – 1 Arshavin (71)
2 – 2 van Persie (78)

Arsenal showed the character that is so often deemed to be missing in retrieving a deficit that arose through the flaws that have so often been shown in the past. Arguments will be made for this being two points dropped or a point gained, the dominance of either view depending on your outlook for the season.

Albion were two goals ahead but had been pummelled. At the end of the match, Arsenal had over sixty per cent of the possession and eighteen attempts on goal to the hosts four. Arsenal made two defensive mistakes and were punished. The Baggies might be a yo-yo team but are not going to return to The Championship without a fight.

Arsenal have wobbled but like the Weebles of yesteryear, refuse to fall down. Defeated in domestic cup competitions, ousted from Europe’s top table, the battered and bruised visitors refused to cower as the title race seemed destined to move out of their control.

West Brom came out of the traps quickly and within three minutes were ahead. Brunt’s corner found Reid to power home a header from point blank range. The returning Aaron Ramsey had been assigned the task of marking the Albion midfielder but failed to track his man effectively. One goal down but most of the match remained to retrieve the deficit.

Dusting themselves down from the set back, Arsenal gradually assumed a control of the game that reflected the two teams relative positions in the Premier League. Albion were assiduous in their defending, banks of four and five confronting the Arsenal players, stifling any attempts to stretch the play.

On one occasion in the first half, Arsenal found width. Clichy broke on the left, his cross met by a looping Robin van Persie header which bounced off the crossbar into the path of Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh youngster attempted to find redemption via the back of the net, instead found Carson blocking his way to goal.

Arsenal’s dominance required more attacking nous; it arrived in the form of Marouane Chamakh at half-time, Denilson withdrawn as the visitor’s sought to turn possession into points. It did not bring about immediate dividends.

Albion threats were few and far between. As the pitch churned, Brunt wasted a good opportunity to increase the lead before the fickle finger of fate turned on Arsenal once more.

Mulumbu hoisted an archetypally English ball over the top of the defence. Odimwingie gave chase with Squillaci and as the two seemed destined to tangle for possession, Manuel Almunia met them, almost collided with Squillaci and left the Albion forward a straightforward finish. No hiding for Almunia, his rashness had cost a goal and the withering look of Squillaci said it all.

There can be no excuses from the Spaniard, his view unimpeded as the ball came over the top of the defence. The bounce spat the ball into an alternative course than one might have expected but even the deceptively slow Squillaci was in control of the situation enough to force Odimwingie toward the touchline. Quite simply, the goalkeeper should not have been in the position that he found himself.

It mean that a small hill became larger yet nowhere near mountainous in its size. Bendtner came on for Ramsey, Wenger deciding that the lead was retrievable and Albion unlikely to hold out against an attacking onslaught. It was a substitution which would prove rewarding.

The players needed to regather their strength, physically and mentally. A quick response would have refilled energy levels, drained through the deflation of the host’s second. van Persie provided a small tonic but his free kick drifted harmlessly past the post.

With twenty minutes to go, Arsenal gained the necessary foothold. Chamakh is following the path trodden by Arshavin in regaining form, emerging from the bench to provide assists, followed by goals. It would be a timely return if that is the case. The Russian picked up the ball in midfield and laid it wide to Chamakh. His measured pass found Arshavin’ bustling run into the box, the power built by the pocket dynamo unleashed in his shot.

Back in the game, Arsenal turned the screw. The Albion defence, already stretch buckled once more, breaking point reached. Arshavin’s cross swirled to the far post where Bendtner returned the ball into the goalmouth. Dithering Albion defending was punished by an incisive Robin van Persie tackle, the ball poked into an empty net as Carson looked on despairingly.

Arsenal sought a winner, the urgency missing for big parts of the game now evident. In truth it was much as before. Albion riding their luck, Carson once more called into action displaying the inconsistency which saw his international career end before it started; culpable in van Persie’s equaliser, the Albion custodian redeemed himself with a save from Clichy as the pressure grew.

The final whistle brought relief for the home fans, an emotion matched by Arsenal’s less the elation. Dropped points because of defensive errors will bring forth criticism, bearing the brunt will be Manuel Almunia.

Goalkeeping is a touchy subject. Almunia had won plaudits in Barcelona, one of only two players to emerge with any credit from the Champions League exit. That has quickly evaporated and the welter of abuse towards him is swelling. He made the mistake but Wenger’s options are limited. Were there a match this week, I wonder if the manager would have taken a risk and played Lehmann.

As it is we go into the international break which allows him and his staff to work on the Spaniard, rebuilding his confidence following yesterday. It will be necessary; no matter what you think of Almunia, to play Lehmann is a huge risk. With a respect to the German, some reserve matches over the next fortnight would not go amiss. Training is one thing but match sharpness another.

The Premier League table identifies one thing, a point not to be forgotten. Arsenal sit second, one game in hand, five points behind Manchester United, the two sides still to meet at The Emirates. The destiny of the title is in their hands, the grip loosened a little but not wrenched out of their control.

’til Tomorrow.

184 thoughts on “Arsenal Bag Point In Flawed Performance

  1. Nice post YW.

    Ignore the bitter sp*d.

    * Clarification of two comments yesterday:

    > The Cricketer’s Handbook states ‘always get to the pitch of the ball on a spinning top’. That’s not always possible. Doesn’t really matter.
    > No opinion on Eduardo leaving or staying, am not in a position to comment. Considering the amount of games he’s been starting for Shaktar, he’s doing well, as expected. Nice to see a bit of speed and strength for his goal.

  2. Although I think Almunia was at fault for the second goal, it is understandable. Having the one and only Mad Jens waiting for his cockup does not help. I think he wanted to take initiatives and gain manager’s confidence in him by rushing out and getting the ball. Unfortunately ball movement defied him and he ended up conceding an otherwise avoidable goal.

    And another thing, I like to see my fellow countrymen on this blog. Like there was one fellow couple of months ago, when I triumphantly announced I was the “first” poster after Yogi. Not that he rewarded me anything (but I think Yogi should think of something to reward us :P). This Khubla Khan fellow is annoying. He doesn’t invest in any informative discussion occasionally occur here. I mean I don’t invest too but I don’t annoy either. What’s his agenda, or where does his allegiance lie? Does he support Arsenal? If he thinks Arsene is not good enough for Arsenal, then who is? Maybe he thinks Owen Coyle should be here in Arsene’s stead? Surely he knows that Arsene had transformed the Arsenal to today’s status. Or does he prefer Arsenal to be old mediocre “boring, boring Arsenal” (my apologies for old time Gooners or tribal Gooners as Kenyan Gunner would say)?

    Sorry for the rant. But this weirdo ruining one of my good ancestors name seemed a not good. And it isn’t even spelled as would any Mongol. Khubilai is the right spelling. And his full name should be Khubilai Khaan. With two A’s. Which is higher than Khan.

    Just wanted to say that we Mongols are generally positive nation and these kind of unpleasant provocations are not Mongol style.

  3. Paul N – Here’s another saying you might like to explain ; “There is none so blind that will not see.” Any other A.K.B.’s like to help him out ? Oh I suppose you all fall into the same category, hmmm ?
    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  4. Spectrum Is this what weve got to look forward to from the doomers if we convert our mathematical advantage and win the league. I expected it from the press but from our own fans, doomer or not take a few days off mate you sound as if you need it.

    If we win and if you don’t enjoy that maybe Arsenal football club and your good self should part company. Opt out big guy fill your emotional void with something else, I feel sorry for you mate granted your not up there with the people of Japan and Libya but your emotional funk sounds like the empty sigh of a life unfulfilled, hate make you bitter if you could muster it mate why not try supporting the team in the last furlong of this season. If we don’t win there will be time to revel in the doom all summer, and god forbid if we do win you might actually enjoy it .

  5. dukeGoonem – “we are challenging the title seriously which we havnt for a few years.” And why haven’t we I wonder ? Could it be because the team and manager keep making the same mistakes season after season, and nothing ever changes ? And why don’t things ever change ?
    Can’t you all see that we’re likely to finish this season the same way we did in the previous six ? Think. Analyse. Ask questions of the team and management, and of the board. Don’t be taken for granted. Stop blindly following the pied piper that leads you down the same disappointing road every year.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  6. Spectrum;
    Answer my question; Are you autistic
    You demand people to take your points seriously and debate them, then stop acting like a small child.

    “In arseholes we cuss.”

  7. Players greedy demands, principles in not giving into them is one reason, had Flamoney and Hleb stayed we would have won the title the following year, Luck as in bad luck,had Eds not had his leg broken we would have won the title that year. granted we could have done with a few purchases but i wouldnt say we are rusting. not like we are a million miles away from winning things unlike other clubs on our par.

  8. Yea Fucking Gods.

    OK a brief pop in – I will be back online later for a proper chat – but in the meantime some thoughts:


    WTF are you on? I can barely read the comments you have made. Stop fucking around and type in a proper font FFS.


    >To win the title under the present conditions would leave me feeling empty. It would be a welcome, though hollow victory.We deserve better.

    What utter bilge. A hollow title victory is one won through the foul means of others being discovered. This side will win the title through hard work. Please go and support someone else because, I mean this genuinely you snivelling little scrote, you are not welcome at The Emirates.


  9. I have read some crazy comments on here before but Spectrum takes the bacon.
    Strange, very strange!

  10. Yogi’s Warrior – O.K. you get your wish. I’ll leave you and your playmates in the kindergarten. I’m sure your uncle Wenger will see to it that you all stay happy and content.
    Unfortunately, one day uncle Wenger will retire, and you’ll all have to face being orphans. But you’ll see that life in football really does go on, you know.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  11. Yep, definitely autistic. Warped logic; check, zero social skills; check. Repetitive behaviour; check, ritualisitc obsessions; check.

    Get help dude.

  12. Admit it Spectrum you were disappointed we came back to draw yesterday, the reason you wont enjoy winning the league is simple you hate Wenger. That makes it impossible to support the team through that prism. The uncomfortable reality for the IAWR brigade is we could win the league in a few weeks despite being ravaged by injury. For me everything is looking good not just for the league and this team going forward but If you look at the wider picture Batley, Landsbury, Frimpong, Ramsey, Wilshire, Chezney, Walcott, Wellington Silva all havelong and huge futures at the club. I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that Ryo Miyaichi is going to be one of the greatest attacking players of his generation, I hope we get a Fifa exceptional talent permit for the home office in the summer. Roll on Blackburn COYG.

  13. I quote from the blog ” the welter of abuse towards him is swelling”.
    What an indictment of Arsenal fans. This is about our current No.1 goalie, with only a 41 year-old waiting in the wings. He made a mistake. He has made many mistakes in the past. He will probably leave in the Summer.
    We lie second in the EPL, pressing for the title and EVERY one of our players is entitled to 100% support in every remaining game. What good can come from abuse towards a key member of a team pushing for glory? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Talk about “killing the golden goose” . The abusers are poised to press the self-destruct button and serve them right. Keep your adverse ranting and raving until the Summer where it belongs and direct ONLY SUPPORT for the team until then.

  14. Spectrum, I am wondering how old you are because the comment you leave at the end of each post, “In Arsene we rust.” is not a sign of any sort of maturity! All of your negativity appears to merely focus around the point of not winning a trophy in 5/6 seasons. While of course that is a disappointing factor it cannot be solely used as a marker for failure or success. During these trophy less seasons I ask you to look at the big picture, where have we finished in the league, were we always in the top 4? Have we been in the Champions League every season? Are we in financial ruin? Are we competing on all fronts? Are we grooming future talent? When you answer these points correctly, I hardly think that we are a team that is unsuccessful. Man City have invested millions in an attempt to “buy” the title but are they more successful than us? My point is merely this, success is not measured on trophy’s alone. Of course I am not saying that I am not disappointed to win trophy’s but it is the plastic fans such as yourself who really have no clue about running a football club and only exist in a world of everything is doom and gloom. Therefore you are entitled to your opinion based on the facts that you are basing it on but the more mature fans most likely see things some what different to the likes of yourself.

  15. Chelsea aint out of this, what are they 4 points behind us, we need to get our act together and get that winning mentality back.

  16. There is no such thing as an empty title win. You can win the lge title by luck; if we win the lge, it will be because we were the best side. The lge table does not lie.

  17. yes Duke, its getting sticky in 2nd place. City didnt do much though, why have all that talent and play cautious all the time.

  18. Yogi:

    Nice balanced post. Great that we were able to come back and get a draw. I said yesterday that the much hated international break actually is a good thing for us this year. Hopefully we can come back ready to fight and do whatever it takes to get the title.

    I know you do not want to hear any more complaints about our teams mental strength but it gets more and more difficult to not raise the questions. Costly mental lapses and the inability to play well in “pressure situations” (with a couple notable exceptions) is a recurring theme. If the team goes on a strong run for the last 9 games we can win the title it will put to bed all these concerns and prove the pundits and naysayers wrong. If we continue to struggle then it will get even harder to deny what on the surface seems an obvious conclusion. Nothing we can do now but hope the team can regain its mojo. If we continue to have these same issues the rest of this year then hopefully the boss will make some changes next summer.

  19. Come on! What? Nine games to go. manu to come to our home? A game in hand? Cesc back soon?

    Bloody hell, what more could anyone want?

  20. That would be nice george but why make it too easy?

    Strife, problems, they all add to the tension and drama.

    Makes the victory all the sweeter.

    If the worst happens and we don’t win, well, that’s football.

    Next year always beckons.

  21. Bob,that is how I feel,I love everything about this team.Including the weaknesses and deficiencies.

  22. What an idiot. Spectrum asks others to think and analyse when he is utterly incapable of any coherent thought much less anything that approaches an analysis. Why don’t you practice what you preach you empty headed gimp.

    What sort of moron believes that there’s any sort of typical template for ANY championship winning side… the only common feature amongst the last few winners of the League title in England has been how much they’ve been willing to spend more than any tactical flexibility or even brilliant football. Titles are won in all manner of ways by all manner of teams and if there’s any consistent theme to winning titles it is that there are no consistent themes at all… some teams are so superior that their victories appear inevitable and others scrape and grind their way to titles. Some start slow and pick up steam and other start fast and stumble over the line… we all watch the game and we all know that referees decisions, blind luck and fickle fate as well as tactical acumen and technical ability all play a part in both success and failure. How about that, Spectrum?

    If Eduardo had not had his limb shattered at Birmingham would that team have won the league? Would Eduardo have gone on to become an Arsenal legend given the calmness and coolness he exhibited in front of goal? We would never know but the fact that we can even ask the question ought to tell you that winning isn’t merely about tactical acumen and technical ability… unforeseen events play their part too. Without the sending off at the Camp Nou would we have won? If a referee other than Phil Dowd had handled the game up at Newcastle how would the league table look?… the fact is that only an utter moron would claim that ONLY good management and good players win you trophies. Money invested, luck, refereeing competence, etc, etc all play a part.

    We have our faults (and so does everyone else) but we have also had a ridiculous amount of just inexplicable bad luck. Djourou suffers a potential season ending injury because Sagna runs into him. Szczensy catches a ball that he’d have caught 999 times out of a thousand and dislocates his finger and injures a tendon and all this happens in successive matches. Who can legislate for that?

    The bottom line for me is that a lot of these idiots who are demanding titles as a right are absolute fools. In a world where your team can only really spend a fraction of what our rivals regularly spend and where the men managing these rivals are not only competent but some of the best managers in the history of the game you cannot be capable of anything approaching analysis or coherent thought if you are DEMANDING titles. Idiots like Spectrum will only truly appreciate the genius of Wenger’s management when he leaves… these people are so stupid that they imagine that is NATURAL for Arsenal to spend a fraction of what Chelsea and City (much less Tottenham) spend and finish above them! That is the rank idiocy of people like Spectrum the actually imagine that Second in league and a losing Carling Cup final is the worst that can happen to Arsenal. Second in league is rusting to this fool… says it all really. Morons.

  23. Idiots like spectrum will never appreciate the genius of Arsene.

    Too thick, too much the me, me, me, now, now, now types so beloved of our media.

    Give them Maureen and a £50 million striker and they will be happy for a while in the same way that a slice of pizza and a lager makes them happy.

    Just not worth thinking about. A waste of time. Ignore.

  24. It doesn’t look great, but if we win our game in hand, keep pace in the remaining fixtures with ManU and win against them at home, we win the title. So it is still in our hands, albeit our grasp seems weaker at the moment. This is no time to panic or turn on the club, manager, players. Hopefully Cesc, Theo, and Song will come back after the break and into the starting lineup. The defense is a worry as the injuries are more serious and long-term, but hopefully the CB’s and GK will gel.

    Brady’s left foot@2:56. I don’t think Arsene Wenger needs any real defense as the best manager in our history. So depreciating the club to do so is incredibly wrong-headed. How any Arsenal fan can assert that it was not a “big club” before Wenger is beyond me. We didn’t have the status we now have, but this is a very different era, the PL and CL has created a top strata of clubs of which we are thankfully a part due to Wenger’s management; we haven’t cemented that status in Europe by winning the CL but are established among Europe’s best for a decade.

    Before Wenger, we were nevertheless a big club in English terms with 10 league titles and 5 FA cups before Arsene Wenger. Herbert Chapman was a visionary and made Arsenal a “big club” as far back as the 30’s. We have had a league title in every decade after except for the 60’s. We also had the most famous, dramatic league title victory in English first division history in 1989. We have long been the biggest club in one of Europe’s great capitals. While we weren’t on the level of ManU and Liverpool and hadn’t had much success in Europe, we were still the third most successful team in England with a massive supporter base. By what measure were we not a big club?

    There is no need to rubbish our history to defend Arsene Wenger. That is simply perverse.

  25. The one thing I don’t understand is: Why the continued focus on Arsenal? Why not focus on Liverpool? Or Chelsea? Or Man City?

    Perhaps we should be flattered that the media expects so much of us, but wait, didn’t the media write us off at the start of the season? In that case, shouldn’t they be praising us for exceeding their expectations and instead castigating Chelsea and Man City for bottling things despite the cash splurges? Why the perverse interest in gloating at Arsenal?

    On separate note: If we win this title its because we were the best through the 38 matches relative to other teams. Saying stuff like “hollow trophy” because of rivals slipping up is retarded, because it happens every damn season! It’s like saying Usain Bolt won because his rivals were slower… duh!

    Ok I rest my case. We should really try to make it a mantra to just avoid getting baited by the doomers; I know reading their comments is an eyesore, but if we make a concerted effort to ignore them, they will disappear eventually. Or so the iron law of troll exterminating goes.

  26. it really seems like these people only come on here after losses or fuck ups. there were a whole slew of names up there that i never see during the week. and there are still people dropping that world-class tag. “Well this arsenal squad is great, but the defence really gets me nervous. Personally i think Arsene should invest in a world-class CB and a proven world-class GK that can win us some games” i’m getting really sick of reading these losers posts. But i am glad that there are some familiar posters out there who have fair opinions and those are the people that make this blog such a good read.

  27. Er, was it just me who was offered the chance to buy cheap bin bags from an American site through a link at the end of my last post?

    I mean, I am obviously honoured but wonder what I have done to deserve such an opportunity?

  28. do you ever think about how cool it is that two people who are separated by tens of thousands of miles get to have chats about arsenal all with the magical power of internets?

  29. Are these morons for real? We’re in 2nd place, and look at all the doom and gloom. Fucking hell. Been here for 4 years, and I really believe that we haven’t been at a better position to win the league. And this is how the ‘others’ are feeling about our title chase? We can do without them. Fuck off to all these tossers.

  30. Limestone…

    You are absolutely correct that we’ve always been a grand old English club before Wenger, the fact though is that Arsenal are an infinitely bigger club now and that is down to one man if we are honest. And it is not enough to just look at our history, as glorious as it was, but it it is even more helpful to look at where we were headed before Wenger fetched up. I remember the air of regression and decline in GG’s last years as we relied almost solely on Ian Wright and signed dross like Kiwomya, etc. That’s before we get to the scandal of GG taking bungs to lumber us with those players. And then we had the chaos under Rioch as players became a law unto themselves.

    People often forget that great clubs can suffer serious decline too… Aston Villa have 2 European Cups to our none, look at them. Nottingham Forest have a glorious past too but Cloughie, for all his genius, didn’t really lay down any solid foundations for the club. Leeds are a grand old English club too… that’s before we get to Liverpool who were so utterly dominant in the 80s but find themselves being knocked out of competitions by the likes of Braga, against whom they didn’t score a single goal.

    I think that what hacks people like me off is all the sepia tinted garbage you get on some other blogs about how it is all rotten now and how GG would have won this, that and the other and how our players have no guts… it as if some folks want to use a half true past to beat up on the players and manager in the present.

    I will always remember Anfield in ’89. It was a glorious night and I am one of those who strongly believe that some of GG’s football is vastly underestimated and under appreciated by the myth that we only played negative football but I have to say that what is happening at Arsenal, even now after all disappointed hopes of this season, fills me with genuine pride.

    We are a bigger, better and much improved club with a clear identity and a culture that is being embedded that can, if properly managed, see us remain competitive at the very highest level for generations. That for me is the true mark of Wenger’s absolute genius. For me Wenger’s true rivals are not Mourinho or even Ferguson but men like Shankley and Rinus Michels. Men who built or rebuilt clubs by giving them deep rooted legacies which are far valuable than trophies alone.

  31. i truly don’t understand how fans are complaining when we are in 2nd place in the league. as has been said before, we don’t need you fuckin wankers

  32. I was trying to buy some cheap American bin bags this morning and I have lost the fucking link.

  33. I dont really get the media obsession with aresenal either. We are probably the most exiting interesting club in england really. They just wont admit it.

  34. Joshua, I don’t disagree with you at all. I simply think the statement that we were not a “big club” before Wenger, made by an Arsenal fan, is ridiculous and unnecessary for establishing Wenger’s incredible legacy in our club’s history. Everyone here complains about how terrible the doomers are for slagging off our current team, but it took the whole day before someone defended the club’s history (without in any way diminishing Arsene Wenger’s achievements or the higher status of the club during his era–and I was in fact thinking exactly of Aston Villa as an analogue, as they were the 4th most successful team in England when Wenger took over at Arsenal, but they clearly did not flourish in the PL/CL era the way Arsenal has). That is a real shame, to my mind. I agree with everything you said. I think, however, you could acknowledge the context of my reply and the main point more directly: we were a big club for decades and it is unnecessary to diminish that status to appreciate and defend the accomplishments of our most successful manager.

  35. “Brian Spencer, 61, said that the behaviour of the 19-year-old England star was “the worst I’ve ever seen in my 38 years as a cabbie.””

    What sort of cabbie thinks someone spitting is the worst thing to happen in London for 38 years. I bet he does not get out much

  36. You heard it here first. Our next game is in 2 weeks. Walcott, Song, Cesc will all be fit. We’re going to win this league.

    Mark my words.

  37. Dups

    I’d be really proud of either of my sons if they behaved that way. Still, I’m damn sure that the cabbie in question would not run to the Mirror in the hope of making a quick quid or two if that’s the case.

    Yes, I am disappointed in Jack’s behaviour if true but let’s look at the behaviour of the cabbie as well. Quick to condemn celebrities and quick to take the cash because of cult of celebrity. And I bet his children were all angels…a hypocrite of the highest order.


  38. Limestone…

    I agree with you totally. It is not just unnecessary but in fact plainly untrue to pretend that we were not a big club before Wenger… even Wenger acknowledges that he has built on foundations laid by others. I really don’t think that the point is even arguable.

    It is also true that our big club status prior to Wenger’s arrival guaranteed us nothing in the EPL era and the fact is that we were regressing rather alarmingly. For me there are two things that absolutely stand out with Wenger
    1) The fact that he has been able to compete and triumph (people forget that even when we were winning we were still being heavily outspent) with a vastly inferior budget.
    2) That he was willing to give up winning trophies for a time at least in order to see us build the stadium.

    When I think of the modern Arsenal and the present day EPL those two facts are just mind blowing. In today’s world where a man like Rafa Benitez spent his entire time at Liverpool asking for more money, when Mourinho regularly threatens the owners of his clubs for not spending ever more dosh… when Spurs are willing to leave North London in order to cut the expense on their stadium to have a manager give up the chance of personal glory just so that he can lay foundations for others is just unbelievable. Wenger could have pushed for us to build the stadium somewhere on the M25 corridor and save money for example but instead he understood the need to remain in Islington as close to Highbury as possible! It is amazing really.

    Don’t get me wrong… Wenger is well remunerated for what he does (although he could conceivably earn more elsewhere and have a bigger transfer kitty too) and he isn’t a saint or an angel… but his whole attitude is still so at odds with the spirit of the times we live in that in some ways it is not a surprise at all that idiots like Spectrum don’t get it.

  39. Limestonegunner | March 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    I hear what your saying believe me I’m not running down the club, but when I was growing up there were only two “big clubs” Utd and Liverpool. I dont think despite Chapmans legacy that Arsenal were viewed on that level. Now we are viewed not just domestically but also in Europe as a massive club helped obviously by our yearly appearances in the Champions League. I wasn’t using our perceived status now as a defense for Arsene, the manager is incredible and we are lucky to have him. The point I was making was from the mid 50s onwards despite a brief spell in the early 70s until the Graham era as a supporter we weren’t on the level we are now, I think its fair to say weve grown as a club in recent years.

  40. Brady- Arsenal were among the most successful teams in England . . even before Wenger but he took us to a different level, he changed the style of football , now the ” Arsenal way ” is admired worldwide. Despite united huge recent success in terms of titles, we are only 5 behind . Liverpool 18. United 18, Arsenal 13. It is unfortunate that few Billionaires came to the premiership as we just moved to an new stadium and that made winning the title even harder. We are getting close every year. We still have a chance this year and I can’t see us getting any worst next season. So things are on the up finacially and on the field. It is a matter of time before we over take them

  41. I’m getting a fair amount of stick for saying and I quote,

    “Post Chapman we were never a “big team” even under Graham. We are only a “big team” because Wenger has brought us success during the premier league years.”

    I stand by the sentiment although I should have mentioned Mee. You’ve got to ask yourself If we were not successful in the premier league era from 92-93 onwards how would we be viewed. The narrative of the club would be completely different and you can point back to the legacy of Chapman, Alison, Shaw and Whittaker but two generations of fans had been born and bred going to Highbury until Bertie came along, and another two generations until Graham. If we hadn’t have been successful in this modern era we wouldn’t be viewed as a big club despite our rich heritage. For those old enough to remember Wolves were once a massive club not anymore. A much closer parallel would be the Tofees, If we hadn’t have been successful in the modern era we may well have been viewed in a similar way to the fourth most succesful English club of all time. I respect their heritage but wouldn’t consider them a big club anymore.

  42. Brady, fair enough and thanks for clarifying. Joshua and 1 loose, I agree fully. The man transformed the club. My hope is that this second phase of growth, along with fair play rules, will lead to a period of dominance during which Wenger’s genius will be universally recognized for not only its unique approach but for its resounding success as well. I enjoyed all those posts a great deal, thanks!

  43. RVP is really a gem of a player. I truly believe that you can show me any goal in the world and RVP could score it as well. He is the one player, even more than Cesc, that I hope will stay with us until his career ends.

  44. Joshua: “Don’t get me wrong… Wenger is well remunerated for what he does (although he could conceivably earn more elsewhere and have a bigger transfer kitty too) and he isn’t a saint or an angel… but his whole attitude is still so at odds with the spirit of the times we live in that in some ways it is not a surprise at all that idiots like Spectrum don’t get it.”

    If Wenger were anything like spectrum and his ilk he’d be sitting pretty at the Bernabeu throwing around cash for the fuck of it. He’s here to finish the project he started. Instead these morons think he’s making a buck off the players he buys and is involved in some sort of conspiracy to leave Arsenal cash rich so the club could be sold without debt. Seriously. Who the fuck would sell off a club like Arsenal when it’s debt free? Man IOU and Liverpool would give their left nut to be operating debt free right now.

  45. Spectrum/pharo9ja,

    I think you boys are letting your frustrations blind your reason. When intelligable, you arguments fly in the face of history and actual achievements. When not, your youth or frustrations (or maybe your ‘youthful frustrations’) shine through.

    To make contributions that add nothing is, I suppose, an art of sorts and I congratulate you on that alone. Read, watch and think more: the truth is out there (if not necessarily in the red top tabloid punditdumb(!

  46. Humph.

    Inexpensive American pasties manufactured in some redundant Ford factory in Cleveland and packaged with a cheap toy and Clotted Cream Slushpuppy no doubt.

  47. Watched the match live on Saturday. What angered me was that we seemed complacent until we went 2 down.

  48. I think it’s pretty simple – we’re missing 6 of our first 11, down to our 3rd choice goalkeeper, 3rd and 4th choice CBs and are collectively trying to get over a couple of nasty shocks. Nasri and RvP haven’t quite found their pre-injury form yet, JW’s had to play more games than anyone would have wanted, and replacements like Denilson and Diaby, who have performed really well at times over the last couple of years, are stuck in the doldrums for different reasons.

    The good part is that we showed some real fight on Saturday, should have players back soon and spring has just started.

  49. Interesting thread by led by BRF, limestone, Joshua et al.
    Everyday I learn more about this great club to whom I became attracted relatively recently and which I quickly began to appreciate was one of the greatest football clubs in the world. In my many years of playing (poorly) and watching football I have seen no other club with a philosophy of attractive football, openness to all talent regardless of nationality (I don’t check on passports when selecting my team) combined with fair-play and self-sufficiency. Trust me, by dint of experience and many sporting political heartbreaks, I am a hardened sceptic. Under Wenger, my faith in the sport of football, after the dirge I witnessed from the late 80s to the 90s, was fully restored.

  50. OOU – I agree we did show some really fight to get back into the game. I actually thought we would go on and win it to be honest. But we also showed how slack we can be at the back for the 1st goal. The 2nd goal was just a clanger pure and simple.

  51. We can’t do much about that anyway, GA – just hope that Almunia’s got it out of his system now!

    And also, that bounce was totally fucked. It was almost the only place it could have gone to put Almunia in trouble, which sort of summed up our recent luck I suppose.

  52. OOU – Yeah hopefully. That type of incident is why he lost his place in the 1st place though. The bounce really had nothing to do with it, it should not have been there in the 1st place. Old argument though eh?

    Hopefully it will focus him for the remaining games, as until the weekend he had been very good.

  53. A goal from a set piece and then another Howler from the worst Arsenal goalkeeper since George Wood.

    I could be describing any number of games from the last few years not just Saturday. Was anyone surprised? No. We have had these weaknesses for years and Wenger simply cannot solve the problems.

    60% possession and one shot on goal in the first half, WBA scoring from their only attempt on target. Rubbish, utter rubbish. 1 point out of 6 v WBA, 2 points from Sunderland and we are the only team not to beat them in their last 6 games, 2 points from Newcastle, even though we were 4-0 up in the away game. 1 clean sheet in 12 with Kos and Squilacci at the back. Great teams don’t get results like this, but we are not a great team.

    Let’s hope we can get some players back during the break otherwise we could find ourselves being overhauled by Chelsea for 2nd, never mind the title.

    Ggreat comeback and a wonderful goal from Andrey but we should never have been 2 down in the first place.

  54. The more your look at Utd’s run-in the tougher it looks. Especially when you crowbar in cup games against Chelsea and City. Lots of teams fighting against the drop… plus some others like Everton and Fulham who are always harder to beat than you think. And they’ve got problems at centreback too.

    Fabregas, Song and Walcott could be the difference. All match-winners. Get them fit for Blackburn and the momentum’s with us again.

  55. finishing third isnt even worth thinking about..
    if chelsea take us then this season has been a total disastor and serious questions need to be asked about this squad and the manager..

  56. GA, Almunia’s only in the team because of bad luck; injuries to the two players ahead of him, both of whom performed well enough to nail down a starting spot. Fuck, even Mannone would have had a shout, but he’s also injured. So that’s three out of four out. At time like this you’ve got to take a different tack; he’s all we’ve got at the moment, so what’s the point in slating him?

  57. we are having problems with our own fixtures theres no point looking too deep into utd’s
    we are having problems with our own defence so theres no point looking too deep into utd’s

    the leagues in our own hands…. fuck utd..
    no excuses…

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