AVB Sacking: Good Or Bad For Arsenal?

The dust settles on the weekend with the sun shining in the Arsenal world, even into the darkest recesses inhabited by the creatures of the underworld, emitting an eye-piercing scream, “Curse you Wenger, I’m melting“, as a top three finish is now deemed achievable.

I am not sure what effect the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas will have. Ordinarily you would expect that to be a spark for the Chelsea season but their season is beset by such deep-rooted problems that beyond the initial feelgood factor, is there any substance? Appointing Roberto di Mateo is not being met with universal dread outside of Stamford Bridge with his spell at The Albion hardly a ringing endorsement of his managerial prowess. Yet different clubs, different times; the judgement will come at the end of the season.

It raises an interesting contrast in managerial philosophy; some would argue that Wenger would be long gone by now, evicted from his position in 2006 following defeat in Paris. If you are going to apply the Abramovich business model, I would observe that Arsène would have been dismissed no later than 2000 following on from the Manchester United treble of 1998-99 and a failure to win silverware the following season. Considering that, how much of the golden years of his reign would have happened under anyone else? To be honest, it is impossible to conceive of it. After all, Arsenal had little or no competition for Thierry Henry’s signature from Juventus.

The constant rotation of managers is interesting. There are few, if any, clubs who have sustained success from that policy. Real Madrid and Chelsea both prove that you might have a few years of silverware but when that well runs dry, the foundations that managerial stability bring to the youth set-up are not there. Looking at Chelsea, they spent some considerable time with Frank Arnesen, buying up the cream of European talent (as they saw it) and have not reaped any benefits so far; how many players are in the first team from their youth ranks? That and spending in excess of £70m buying managerial contracts and then settling them when the incumbent is sacked, signal that they have little intent on complying with Uefa’s FFP regulations. Will Uefa have the same lack of moral backbone in enforcing them?

Not that the manager has given up on silverware this season. Casting his eyes to European shores, Arsène‘s philosophy is clear,

We want to make the impossible possible. From the first leg it looks impossible but we have to have a real go, play with belief and think we can do it. You never know. Maybe I will change the structure of the team to go for it and see if we can put them under pressure and score some goals.

We have nothing to lose. For us to find the right balance between having to completely go forward and not concede a goal will be the difficulty for us because they have talented players.

I should imagine that Monsieur Wenger would be more than happy taking the match to a penalty shootout following Wojciech Szczesny‘s Anfield escapade. As implausible as it seems, the match is a ninety minute cup-tie for Arsenal. They know they have to score at least four which is a tall order even before you consider that Milan are top of Serie A. It is not impossible, the North London Derby proved anything can happen in the next ninety minutes to paraphrase Commander Shore.

We shall see. I still cannot decide whether it is more beneficial for Arsenal to rest key players such as van Persie ahead of the home match against Newcastle. Yet that is a week away being the Monday night fixture which allows plenty of scope for rest.

I do not subscribe to the view that defeat will damage morale. The squad seem well equipped to separate league and cup form; startling well equipped. My initial view was to rest the first team and let Chamakh and Park loose to wreak their own havoc but that was under the presumption that we would defeat Sunderland in the FA Cup. Without that fixture pressure, is there any need to be that cautious? I’m not sure but that’s too decide ahead of tomorrow’s post.

Enjoy the rest of your day, especially if it is matching the Dales sunshine we have. ’til Tomorrow.


168 thoughts on “AVB Sacking: Good Or Bad For Arsenal?

  1. Can’t see us going to 3 at the back. And I hope we don’t either. Getting that system to work takes a lot of practice, and having so many players unsure of their roles would be dangerous against a team as good as Milan.

    I expect us to either play 442 or maybe stick with our normal formation and drop RvP slightly deeper and play Chamakh ahead of him. Also take a gamble with the wide men at absolve them of tracking their full back too much.

  2. I agree with all of that GA. It would be good to have a play around with some other formations like the ones mentioned above in pre-season though, see what happens… I think we’ll start as Markus says, and could well end up as Markus says too..!

  3. If we really do it, if we really make it tomorrow, I am going to make sure my neighbours will be very aware of that. They probably won’t be too happy, being yelled out of their sleep at 11pm, but I won’t really care

  4. Just read that we have a raft of midfielders mssing tomorrow as well. Arteta, Diaby, Benayoun, Ramsey, all out. Rosicky doubtful. Makes even more sense to go 442 now.

    Song + 1 in the middle. The rest of the side picks itself really. Rosicky could partnter him if fit; if not our only other decent option is AOC although asking him to play central midfield for the first time against Milan would be a big ask. Still, needs must and all that.

  5. I think Song Rosicky and AOC will make up the midfield, with RvP, Gerv & Theo in the front line… I’d love a bit of that action.

  6. AW presser: Benayoun, Diaby and Arteta (has to rest as a precaution for a week) all out, Rosicky doubtful, Gibbs carrying a knock.

  7. If Rosicky is fit play a 442 with Park up top to take advantage of his movement and goal scoring ability. With our midfield now taking the place of our LB/RB situation on the injury list a change to a 442 is a must.Even though i said play a 352 earlier, that was under the assupmtion that Benny, Rosicky and maybe Arteta would be fit enough to atleast make the bench but as goonerandy has pointed out to us that isnt possible, so.


    While it would be alot to ask of Ox in the middle, thus the Captain playing in the hole to help ease some of the burden and as we have seen we can not underestimate the Ox on any stage. Then tell Song that he will have to defend the width of the pitch and free up Theo and Gervinho of alot of their tracking back thus allowing them to attack with pace everytime they get the ball

  8. A real football pitch… 🙂

    “Two things that can change: if they can score four then we can as well, why not? We will try. We know we can put a better performance in and you can tell Milan that tomorrow we will play on a football pitch, a real football pitch.”

  9. We played Milan in the San Siro(crap pitch) and Sunderland on their pitch(crap pitch), we score 3 goals. We play Spuds and Chavs on real pitches we score 10 goals. When we play on real pitches against good teams(Chavs and Spuds as much as i hate both must admit their decent) and we play great and score plenty of goals

  10. Mikel Arteta would like to say a few words:

    ‘After my accident on the pitch, the Arsenal medical staff did a great job, together with everyone at Liverpool Football Club. From Anfield, I was taken straight to the Aintree University Hospital, where they checked me, just as a precaution.

    Showing concern: Arteta has praised the fans and players
    ‘Everything was fine and I was able to travel from the hospital and join up with my team-mates for the train journey back to London.
    ‘I’ve since looked back at the TV images of when I was being taken off and just want to show my appreciation to the Liverpool fans at Anfield.
    ‘It is touching to receive that response from the fans of a great club when I am leaving the pitch injured. Thank you.
    ‘I also want to thank Pepe Reina and the Liverpool players who have sent me messages of support and friendship, this again is really touching and just shows class from a great football club.
    ‘And very importantly, a message to all the fantastic Arsenal fans, not only all those at Anfield on Saturday who were brilliant, but also those who have sent me many messages since Saturday.
    ‘It is hugely appreciated. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. It must have looked very serious to everyone as I left the pitch on a stretcher, but I’m pleased to say that I’m fine now and hope to be back on the pitch very soon. Thank you everyone.’

  11. Arsenal’s record Champions League home win came in the 2007/2008 group stages when Slavia Prague were thrashed 7-0, while three seasons ago Porto were beaten 5-0 in the second leg of the knockout stages, having won the first leg 2-1.
    Wenger said: ‘I know my players well, I know they have been hurt by the first result, and I know they have their pride. They will come out tomorrow and give a performance.
    ‘We lost 4-0 at Milan, but they had five shots on target and we had 55% possession there and we didn’t play well at all. If they can score four we can as well, why not?
    ‘It is important that we believe we can do it.

    And just for the record, Milan have thrown away a 4-1 lead before, going on to lose their second leg 4-0 to Deportivo La Coruna in 2003/04. If they repeat that result I think we all will agree that we will have the edge in a PK shootout 🙂

  12. Well, whatever the formation and line-up, it’ll be attack all the way. If we can manage to get a breakthrough earlyish and find a second with at least 40 minutes to go, it will start to get very nervy for them. The problem for all teams in this position is not knowing whether to attack or defend. A third and it gets scary. Milan will play keep ball.

  13. Is it wrong that I am more excited about tomorrows game than I was about the first leg? Actually if I am honest I never got a chance to watch the first leg in it’s entirety as I only caught the second half. And from what I had heard there was no point watching the first half.

    Later Gooners!!! 🙂

  14. Arsenal Reserves beat Chelsea Reserves 2-0. Aneke and Bellerin with the goals. Don’t you just love any kind of victory over the chavs.

    I think we may finally see a 4-4-2 tomorrow with RvP dropping in centrally to support the midfield and Theo spearheading the attack. Injuries will force AW’s hand. Whatever the personnel, our intensity and pressing must not drop. Sure we can do it.

  15. if we attack and attack quickly and get an early goal or 2 they will come out of their defensive shell and have a go at us. We need to attack with as much pace and free flowing as we can and maximize our width.

  16. I am so glad that Arsene is going for it. I also cannot believe that anyone would suggest that we should all but throw the game. If you suggest we play a weakened team, that is what you are saying.

    Gibbs said

    “But we have shown fantastic mentality to come back in the last couple of games and have created a momentum now and would like to continue that. We have to believe otherwise there is no point in being here. If they can beat us 4-0 then why can’t we do the same?

    To quote Herm Edwards (ex NFL coach), “You play to win the game”

  17. BB,in response to your monday teaser,the Emirates Staduim is not called that for European games because UEFA don’t allow it.I believe they just call it Arsenal Stadium.BTW Martin Samuel is a fat bastard who doesn’t know what he is talking about.I bet he gave Eduardo pelters and all.fucking hypocrite.

  18. the reserves games against chelsea will be on arsenal tv “tuesday pm”.

    why can’t they use some young, passionate fans to shoot and edit? the highlights etc would be up and running an hour after the game.

  19. Finn Gun @12:06, indeed. The numbers for Russia are even more disturbing when you see the decline in life expectancy after the collapse of Communism and the looting of public resources under Yeltsin, when Abramovitch made his ill gotten gains. Truly the Oiligarchic clubs, ManCity and Chelsea, are examples of horrific priorities and injustices globally.

  20. Incredible number of midfielders out injured: Ramsey, Arteta, Coquelin, Diaby, Wilshere, Frimpong, Benayoun, and Rosicky doubtful.

    Never seen such a thing!

  21. “the reserves games against chelsea will be on arsenal tv “tuesday pm”.”

    It was live on ChelseaTV. We used to show reserve matches live when we had a TV channel. Now just that useless ATVO rubbish.

  22. I noticed that too, PG. Especially since he went out of his way to thank LFC, several players, and their fans for their concern etc… Quite a glaring omission, I’d say. Especially since he says he watched those parts of the match over again. Professionals know what’s and accident and what isn’t.

  23. @PG
    Same I was thinking. If Arteta thought that Henderson was blameless, he would’ve surely mentioned him.

  24. And to be honest, it has just happened too often to us. Opposition players “announcing” themselves by fouling or just being plain stupid. Henderson wanted to “announce” himself to Arteta by bumping into him and could’ve seriously injured him. And I really don’t believe that the bump was accidental. He is walking in a straight line towards him and he can see him all the way. He just didn’t expect Arteta to turn around. But we can’t blame Arteta for moving around on the pitch (though I am sure some pundit might go with that angle!), but we can blame Henderson for just not having a brain in his 20 million head.

  25. pedantic george | March 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    That Liverhoof player,Henderson, assaulted Arteta.
    It was a deliberate strike and he should have been shown red and banned for maximum possible.
    Seriously ,this is something I do know about.He could have killed him.

    I now feel Arteta agrees
    Had Henderson,when running into Arteta(not walking)dropped his shoulder and turned it away from Arteta ,instead of raising it and turning into him,They would simply have brushed past each other.
    The moment before it happened Henderson made a choice to give some pain to Arteta.I am sure he did not mean to spark him out ,But that is always the result of a strike like that.Any martial artist would have been proud of that hit.
    It was intentionally violent,reckless and dangerous .Enough for three red cards .

  26. Henderson isn’t worth not even a quarter of the money paid for him and even worse is the fact that people believe in him because he made himself famous over a youtube video.

  27. @ Basil | March 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    BB,in response to your monday teaser,the Emirates Staduim is not called that for European games because UEFA don’t allow it. I believe they just call it Arsenal Stadium.

    You are correct, sir. Well done! Match-goers may also notice that the Nike branding next to the big screens is covered up, the “Ebel” next to the clock on the half-way line is replaced by a picture of a cannon, and the advertising on the upper tiers (betsson, etc) is covered up by Champions League branding. Why? None of these companies are official Champions League sponsors.

    You may have thought that this year’s Champions League final was being played at the Allianz Arena? Not so; according to UEFA, it is actually being played at “Fußball Arena München”.

  28. @BB
    But what about the “Emirates Stadium” writing outside the stadium? Does it stay? Or are they just avoiding showing any outside views of our stadium?

  29. Evil, good question. The signs are definitely still up outside. I wasn’t 100% sure if they are illuminated, but in checking some images posted on Arsenal.com (eg before the Barcelona match), they are. I think if the stadium is shown on television, it tends to be from a distance (or from above). UEFA gets a lot of money for the branding rights, so they are keen to make sure other brands don’t sneak into view in the playing area. I guess outside the stadium, they are less concerned.

  30. @ PG re Henderson

    I defer to your greater knowledge of martial arts and physical contact-related injury, but, to me, from the link Passenal posted, the sequence seemed to show Henderson’s path was intended to meet up with Song who was dribbling past. It appeared that Henderson was running in a line, realised that Arteta was in that line, and adjusted at the last minute to try to get around him. I expected it to be more nasty than it looked. If Henderson was really trying to cause injury, I would have expected him to have set himself more than he appeared to. Is there something in that clip that makes you think it was deliberate?

  31. PG having a right go about Henderson and the obligatory pop at John Cross Fan’s Forum.

    Tom’s now picking up the baton and ranting about the difference of treatment of Eduardo and Bale and Suarez…great stuff!!

    It’s funny, when I first started posting on ACLF I imagined George to sound the complete opposite to what he does – Funny stuff 🙂

    Keep it up PG

  32. “is there something in that clip that makes you think it was deliberate?”

    In short Yes ,there is.I repeat,
    The moment before it happened Henderson made a choice to give some pain to Arteta.Had Henderson,when running into Arteta(not walking)dropped his shoulder and turned it away from Arteta ,instead of raising it and turning into him,They would simply have brushed past each other.

  33. nice one c. you are very committed in the upset we will cause ..so i will join you, you have convinced me…lets destroy them …..today as a right back i scored an own goal in the first 6 minutes…everyone looked at me as if i were a squilachi, it pissed me off..we won 1-5 i scored the 4th…the opposition were having goes at each other hahaha….football is a beautiful sport , even at this poor level…if we can do it ( a bunch of overaged overweight stoners and drunks) ..then they can too !!!

    UEFA gets a lot of money for the branding rights, ..hehe thats what they live for

    Basil | March 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    BTW Martin Samuel is a fat bastard who doesn’t know what he is talking about.I bet he gave Eduardo pelters and all.fucking hypocrite.


  34. george is right ..and thats a standard policy against arsenal many many years now. ferguson started it. arteta could have been paralysed if his neck had snapped from the unexpected elbow/shoulder

  35. @hunter

    You should of told them to f*** off cause even Kos put one in our net against Pool this past weekend so. See if yall can make a come back sans RVP then we should be in good shape. Football the most beautiful game in the world. Damn you put the 4th goal in, damn good work damn good work.

  36. hehe cheers c. tomorrow we celebrate progress in last 8 of europe !!! i would like the match to start right NOW !

    no work tommorow thats for sure..all day thinking about the match…preparing…placing the lucky charms corrrectly …VOODOO !

  37. That was a foul with intent, that clown targeted Arteta. There was no reason for him to run straight into Arteta, none at all.

    One of the best comments regarding RVP that I have read.

    Madridista174(Real Madrid)21

    “I think Van Persie should be spoken of in the same breath as Ronaldo and Messi. He is an absolute animal. When that ball floated up to him, I knew he would lash it in. It is not normal to think that”

  38. hunter 13 | March 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    VOODOO !

    At last someone with a bit of mojo, hunter get cracking son contact Mr Lewin and get our effing injury curse sorted.

  39. mattgoonerknight | March 5, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Correction – John Cross on Fan’s Forum

    George will be getting a restraining order lol, go get em PG.

  40. Watching fox soccer channel on saturday and this was a question they asked Barton.

    Who is the better player right now, Dempsey or RVP?

    Now I rate Dempsey highly and wouldn’t mind him at Arsenal but that has to be the dumbest question ever!

  41. At last someone with a bit of mojo, hunter get cracking son contact Mr Lewin and get our effing injury curse sorted.

    whats his telephone number?…no hang on i can visualise it..i see it… im on it ..


    ” Huh,?!”

    “Its me Gary, its Hunter”

    ” Ehmmm, Im not Gary mate, Im his little brother Colin”

    ” Oh?! My bad. …Is that why they re all injured? where is your brother?”

    ” They took him in england national team now..it was ages ago…”

    ” Oh bollocks….make a switch.you go to england and do your thing on arry;s players and tell your brother to come back …saves me the voodoo and shit…”


  42. @ PG

    Thank you, George. I understand now. You may not believe me, but not so long ago, I saw someone do that exact thing (raise shoulder and cause pain as opposed to drop shoulder and avoid) three times in a minute in a crowded station in London!

  43. Would it be too much to expect 8-3 victory over Milan, to assuage pain of the 8-2 defeat elsewhere earlier in season? Zlatan hat-trick, of course, for them, he is on fire right now.

    Hope the kids get a go, Theo and the Ox, I’m sure they’d enjoy trying to knock ’em in.

    Not sure why Park and Chamakh would get a look-in tomorrow night. That does not speak of “going for it” to me. Although with our midfield so decimated (strategically, who knows?), we may only be able to achieve a restrained kind of “going for it” after all.

  44. Chelsea are a scummy set of shitbags..
    From the owner right into the players..

    I watched the Chelsea game the other night and those players werent playing for him anymore..I dont think Roman really wanted to fire AVB but he had to because they are about to fall down the table..Player power gone mad..It would be nice if he had been given a fortnight longer so we could have opened up a much bigger lead, but I agree it remains to be seen whether Di Matteo can steady the ship… As long as we keep winning it doesnt matter if he does..3 points ahead with the chance to make it 6 when we play them at home..We’ve got Chelsea under control still..

    I think spurs should be more worried about us than what we should be about chelsea..

  45. And yeah i watched what happened with Arteta a few times and i think he was intentionally done..

    I remember a while back, I think it was after the Liverpool v Spurs game and i thought that Liverpool are a set of dirty fuckers, they play for draws at home, they cant finish, they bore the shit out of you and kick you in the air all game…bale got targetted in that one and spurs caved in..

    I wasnt sure about going to anfield and they were true to form and they tried to beat us up..Spearing got off with one on rosicky i think and the little fucker knew it as well..

    you cant polish a turd though..

    Theyve got Kuyt, weve got Van persie..

  46. “I would like them to get behind the team and not think about the first leg,” he said. “Getting behind the team will give us a chance.

    “[Negative supporters] didn’t affect the players against Tottenham. They just kept going. A big part of the support was positive. You always have a small part that are not happy. You have to accept that.

    “In fairness as well, in the media when you have 60,000 people, 1,000 people shout against the team then the media reports on the 1,000. That’s the perverse side of the democracy today. The excessive people get more publicity than the normal people.”

    The optimism is great and just what the team need ahead of and during the game. But if it doesn’t work out, I just hope people remember it’s a long shot and don’t turn against the players. Just be proud of the effort whatever the outcome.

  47. Can’t wait for the game tomorrow. Time to teach the cheating Basterds a footballing lesson. On how to win with honor and not by doing dirty pitch work. My expectations are that we will give it a right go. Run them to the ground so much so that they will be dead legs at the end of the game. AC will not come out attacking, even if they go down by a few goals. They will park the bus and hang on for dear life, alma. Shitty from last year. We have to show patience and try hard to unlock the defance. Or maybe bait them out and then hit them on the counter. I can see this game to penalties at the end and in that case my money. Is on WOJO. they will miss one or two due to tired legs.
    As for SPEARING AND HENDERSON THUGS, you might have gotten away with it from the ref. And. Fa point of view. But all is not forgotten you Basterds. Till we meet again. You will be chopped down in half , fucking dirtbags.

    UP THE. GUNS!!!!!!;!!

  48. Agree with George: Henderson has an opportunistic go at him. Some morons don’t know their own strength and how dangerous it is to cause that kind of rotation to the head.

  49. Not knowing the reserves and other possibles well, is it that we will see a fresh face tonight? Not to broadcast my ignorance but before Miguel made his appearance at the start of this season (Liverpool I think) I was not much aware of him, except as a name. Ditto Yennaris. Any ideas? I still see the only option as a 4-4-1-1, with Song and Ox in the middle, between Gervinho and Theo, and Robin sitting behind Chamakh, which is a strong attacking line-up. If Rosicky is OK, then it reverts to 4-3-3, or perhaps Rosicky will be used for the first half only. Or is it conceivable that Wenger will do something weird, place Jenks at left back and Gibbs in front of him to feed Gervinho?

  50. Looking at the potential midfield injury list our plan for a veritable feast of attacking football looks more likely by the minute, (brought to you direct from the Kevin Keegan school of ‘we will score 5 more than you’)

    I like the idea that Song Young Gai ‘drops in’ to make up the fourth man in the defence when necessary, but Arsene was very specific about 6 strikers, the only one to replace can be Sticky Tomato, but I can’t think of anything delicious to replace Park’s name with!

    It looks like Artete’choke might make a come back for hors d’oeuvres.

    Sorry to keep serving this up.

  51. Hahaha, you and MD GOONER should get together and bake them horse meat pasties. I’ll pass though. Never was much of fan of French cuisine. Can’t stand the thought of Escargot even. Nah, not for me tnx.

  52. Please, please, please, Arsene! Forget the CL and just focus on EPL. CL is a lost cause as we don’t have a chance to win it all even if we could have got past Milan. I for one was happy we lost the first leg as our focus this year must be for a top 4 finish. If we can beat Newcastle next fixture that gives us a little breathing room as we would have vanquished most of our closest competition for the position. Playing up the CL risks injury to key players and tired legs for a highly improbable victory. My strategy would be to lose on purpose so we can concentrate all our efforts on catching those fakers just ahead of us. Go Arsenal!!

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