Arsenal Take A Point; Shame About The Two Dropped.


Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur

0 – 1 Chadli (56)
1 – 1 Oxlade-Chamberlain (74)

I am not sure what it says but the first positive that sent through my mind after the full-time whistle was that no matter what happens next weekend at Stamford Bridge, the gap to the top of the table is not going to be double figures. Until Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s equaliser that was a distinct possibility.

Actually I am sure what that says. And it will only be October.

Which, given that Arsenal haven’t lost a Premier League game this season is not much of a positive. Somewhere in a talented squad of individuals is a team screaming to get out but they have yet to find cohesion on a consistent basis to take the next step forward. Too many draws is costing them; whether it is dear remains to be seen.

But nothing quite captures the feeling of a missed opportunity in the same way.

Despite this, Arsenal sit in the familiar surroundings of the top four. To highlight the cost of draws, the two teams they head on goal difference have lost twice. The two immediately above them have lost once. Four draws out of six is two too many for aspirations of a significant improvement on last season to become a reality.

And we didn’t lose to Tottenham. At home. A draw in yesterday’s match isn’t leaving me anywhere near as despondent as defeat but Arsenal were once more below their peak and that happens too often to give grounds for optimism about progress being made this season.

The real cost may not be in points dropped as injuries are beginning to take their toll. Whilst Arsène is not the most reliable in his initial prognosis, it isn’t hard to believe that neither Arteta or Ramsey will play until after the international break. Judging by the recent updates, the manager will have quite a good squad to choose from. He has one now but the problems are in creating a unit which can beat mediocre sides such as the Tottenham one which left The Emirates with a point.

Losing two players in the centre of the pitch is unsettling to the pattern of the match, particularly with Tottenham sitting deep to protect the point they arrived with. It was nearly a trio with Jack Wilshere’s ankle turning awkwardly having been felled in the area. Moments like that push you in favour of video referees – or further entrench your opinions – as does a spinning ball which photographs hint may have crossed the line.

Not making those moments count proved costly when against the run of play, Tottenham scored a goal of Arsenal’s making. It was a poor choice of pass by Mertesacker in the first place but ponderous possession on the part of Flamini. As a defensive midfielder, I would have expected a more robust attempt at withstanding Eriksen’s challenge. It wasn’t there and Chadli finished well from Lamela’s pass.

The Argentine was pivotal in Arsenal’s equaliser as well. A misplaced clearance to Sanchez offered the opportunity to pull the defence out of position. Welbeck’s winning entry in the World Air Kicking Championship fooled everyone bar Oxlade-Chamberlain who rammed the ball home convincingly. Well taken, and a thoroughly deserved equaliser.

That said, depending on decisions to go in your favour to get a performance moving indicates a problem. Arsenal created shooting opportunities and Lloris was by far the busier of the two ‘keeper, pushing Oxlade-Chamberlain in the choice for Man of the Match. The England international shaded it and proved he deserved his place in the starting line-up yesterday ahead of Santi Cazorla but Arsenal – and Arsène – are caught between two attacking stools.

I was surprised the Sanchez didn’t start, particularly with Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right. The Chilean offers a similar pacey threat on the left and there was little evidence that what is becoming a habitually slow transformation of defence into attack, one that Sanchez was bought, is being solved. As Arsène commented afterwards, there wasn’t any other reason beyond selection as its basis. Was it was right? It’s a matter of opinion but you would like to think that a £35m signing would have made a difference.

Tottenham’s formation and tactics were nothing new, many teams come to Arsenal and play that way. It’s one that we seem to need an early goal to overcome, to open up the game and exploit space. For a technically adept team, one with extremely talented players, we do lack imagination at times, which when you need to find a breakthrough is a problem.

It isn’t gloom and doom, despite the previous seven hundred and fifty words; that’s what not beating a distinctly average Tottenham side does for you.

Calum Chambers continues to learn his trade in public and improves although being one booking away from a suspension already is concerning. His comfort on the ball shows the youngster has much promise and I suspect, had Arsène conducted summer transfer business, Chambers performances would not be the subject of such intense scrutiny. The manager didn’t and for me, the speed that Chambers has taken to playing in any of the competitions is a huge plus.

Equally, Mesut Özil, despite not being given his favoured role, was instrumental in prompting during the match, drifting across the pitch as Tottenham sought to crowd him in the centre. It was a performance born of the confidence of an outstanding contribution at Villa Park. It’s easy to point to Sanchez’s absence as allowing him the freedom but Arsène has to find a way of accommodating the pair if Arsenal’s attack is to thrive in coming seasons, as well as for the rest of this one.

It’s a bit flat this morning, the overwhelming sense of two points dropped is emphasised by the ease with which others won yesterday in matches which, like Arsenal, they were expected to triumph. There will be more weekends like this before next May; it’s up to the manager and players to ensure they are kept to a minimum.

’til Tomorrow.




74 thoughts on “Arsenal Take A Point; Shame About The Two Dropped.

  1. aligooner says:

    lets put the hawkeye thing to bed – i don’t think it was in. it’s just that the hawkeye replay thing is utter crap. reddit seems to be going mental over some dodgy camera still which shows the ball in mid-air in a position that could be construed as over the line.

    good post today YW. Ozil was a positive for me, pleased to see him working hard and trying to make things happen. but i was equally bamboozled by leaving Alexis out. I wonder if AW is worried about burning him out too soon? with gala and c****a on the horizon, having him fresh might be in the manager’s mind. Chambers another positive – he looks the part. as you say, it’s not all bad, but we’re looking at 3rd place as a realistic ambition. on the other hand, i suppose you could argue theoretically that we’re still on course for another invincibles season……?

  2. andy1886 says:

    Quite a restrained post today YW, although repeating the list of deficiencies game after game really wouldn’t be a good read so fair enough.

    Until Arsene suddenly discovers we’re not in 2009 anymore nothing is likely to change, even if we do get the semi-mythical DM and ‘impossible to find’ CD in January.

    You can have the greatest set of footballers in the world but if they’re not a team and lack a cohesive plan you’re always going to struggle.

  3. Diego says:

    A flat performance and deserved result. Our attack was blunt for the most part, but what alarmed me more was the kind of counter attacking opportunities Spurs got. It is our good fortune that they managed to fuck up all of them. We better tighten up against the chavs, or else, it will be a repeat of last year.

  4. aligooner says:


    I agree. But getting caught on the counter is probably concern #2 for next week – it presumes that we’ll be pressing in the Chelsea half in the first instance, which might not even happen if we get railroaded in the centre again (a la last season). That’s my main concern for next weekend – we didn’t buy a big bruiser of a midfielder in the summer and it may well cost us yet again. we may have to start with Flamini and Diaby/Coquelin as our central pair, if Rambo/Jack/Arteta are all out. If I was AW this week, id be working on a defensive gameplan to try and keep it solid for 90, and maybe pinch a 0-1.

    Yogi – im a glass half full kind of guy, but i really have no case for another invincibles repeat :D..staying unbeaten after the chelsea game would be nice though – so, one game at a time.

  5. The Arse in The Gamb says:

    Chambers looks like he will be the real deal. Altogether a very commanding and intuitive player and with shots and distribution like that maybe he should be our new DM.
    Rather a defensive player with shots and passing skills, than an attacking player with some aggression like Flamini or Arteta – surely they are just infilling until we get the right player.
    Unfortunately even if logic brings the gaffer to that conclusion, we have no cover at the back so could not do it anyway. We are light all over the back, which is odd because we sent Jenks out and sold Vermaelen.
    Two guys out and one in to cover both – that is light, especially when you consider that we ran out of substitution slots yesterday before we ran out of CMs; 2 more on the bench and we still had 5 on the pitch.
    Sorry for the double post.

  6. I.P. from South Africa says:

    We have become a one dimensional and boring team under Wenger. What a flat game to watch.

  7. UKGold says:

    DM DM DM DM.We are just a DM away from winning the league IMO.The CB is not a 1st team need,more of a 3rd choice.Whether you favour a 4231 or 4141,this mythical DM would make it work better.In summary we need a Dominant Midfielder that can make us less vulnerable of the counter,but a System that can achieve this is more rewarding.

  8. Diego says:


    Now that Arteta and Ramsey are out, I am not sure whether we have the team to put in a solid performance. Flamini, poor guy, doesn’t stand a chance against the likes of Matic/Ramirez. I frankly have no hope as Jose has always been able to tactically outmaneuver Arsene; AW is yet to win a single match against JM. So the best I am hoping for is a narrow defeat, something which doesn’t destroy the confidence of our players.

  9. erasto bemeye says:

    I agree with you that Ozil was influantial against Spuds and he nearly had a goal. Other media like biased rated him below 2 which isn’t true.Danny had a below par perfomance but i think it was due to isolation or brave perfomance of Yunnus .Otherwise the team played very well and Spuds are happy with a point they stole .

  10. The Arse in The Gamb says:

    Neither Arteta or Flamini are Defensive Midfielders. Just because we say they are it ain’t necessarily so.

  11. The Arse in The Gamb says:

    UK gold. I hear the frustration, but the system at the moment is to 1st or 2nd every position forward of the back 4 with a number 10. They are not defensively good enough to do this, they don’t score enough goals and they don’t give us enough width as they love to come in. A DM does not a title make; it just means we don’t give possession away in front of goal.

  12. UKGold says:

    Conceding that goal was frustrating,these defensive errors are costly

  13. wilson says:

    With that kind of play , and with our manager with no tactics , chelshit will kill us. Wenger will never learn atall in his coaching career

  14. UKGold says:

    A in The Gamb,if you look at the statistic like shots on target and possession,you will see we are bossing games but concede needlessly.This has definately turned our wins to draws.

  15. Northbank1969 says:

    Nice and fairly positive Yogi

    I enjoyed the game… typical NLD, it was good to see the spuds park the bus. We could have snatched it apart from some good keeping from Lloris and defending by Kaboul. Ox MOTM for me. Rambo and Mikel injuries are worrying but we still have loads of midfielders to slip into the side.

    I’m taking my normal liberty and posting a link to my blog. No post match report malarky but looking at Wengers French arrogance. Ras will understand:

  16. consolsbob says:

    I agree with that NB. I enjoyed it too and we could have won. No question that this team could be better, both in terms of personnel and performance but I can’t be too critical after that.

    YW caught the tone about right, for me.

    We will have worse days at the office. Better ones too.

  17. Ras says:

    Morning YW although not a defeat I’m still totally gutted.

    NB I read your article and I concur with you. I posted something of a similar vein 2 weeks ago at most. Re French and there thinking they are ” best” . AW is in that mould.

    I fear for next week,it maybe totally irrational on my part but a storm is coming. We can do nothing until Transfer window opens and then it maybe to late. Flamini and Arteta are just not what we require. Both the wrong side of the 30. Arteta it seems is for ever getting injured.

    A season of mediocrity looms

  18. Moe says:

    Mourinho has Arsene’s number saved as ‘3 points’.

    Depressing but true.

    I might sound pessimistic but i have seen nothing this season to suggest we are better at stopping counter attacks. I might even say worse at times.

    The game will go like this, we will try and pass Chelsea to death and commit players, Chelsea will
    counter and score.

    Rinse,repeat however many times you think it’s likely to happen.

    I’ll go with 3 or 4 at worst.

  19. Wavey says:

    Again it’s the accumulation of similar performances that really irritates. The draw against Everton on its own is fine, so is the one against City, so is the one against Leicester and even the draw against Tottenham, although frustrating, would normally regarded as a sound result. When you put them all together it just smacks of a very flat season with poor team performances being churned out every week.
    Ozil was influential yesterday, but no one seemed to move for him. Everyone was static and players ran into trouble as they ventured into enemy territory and were surrounded by white shirts with no option but to try to run through them. That’s clearly unlikely to work, but the skill on the ball of players like Jack and Ox at least gave them a half chance. When Sanchez came on the interchange down the left hand side was much more progressive and it’s clear that Gibbs likes a winger in front of him to play off. It’s probably the first time this season he has been able to get forward that often with a real threat to his play.
    The goal conceded was a shambles and a poor ball out from goal to one player under pressure led to a pass which put another player under pressure and finally a pass to Flamini who had no idea who was near him and was too easily shrugged off the ball. Per should probably have hoofed it, but he expected Flamini to be able to handle the one player trying to press him. You expect your CDM to be able to take the ball from the CBs and settle things down, but Flamini just isn’t good enough. I would be tempted to go with Flamini and Coquelin against Chelsea. Shut up shop and hope for a ball on the break, hassle their defenders when they have the ball, just like they do at the Emirates. I would regard it as a compliment if Pellegrini started moaning about us parking the bus away at City in the way he did about Chelsea.

  20. dkgÖÖnér says:

    Can’t agree with most of the positive comments. For me it was a mediocre match played by two mediocre teams. Don’t really understand all the praise of Ox either. He tries hard but gives the ball away too much and I’m not sure he’s too bright sometimes – more instinctive than thoughtful. Nothing to be done about that.
    Maybe it’s because I can feel myself taking more of a distanced view of the games as I get older – not the same involvement as I used to have – it’s like it’s not so important any more. I could feel even when we were 1-0 down a sense of “so what?” Whatever, i didn’t see much to get excited about. I’m 95% certain that we will lose the unbeaten tag next weekend because Arsène, all credit to him, will not park the bus and Chelsea will have too much for us. They seem to have gelled quickly as a team. Cesc is an intelligent, experienced player who will always find his feet fast and it still beats me that AW could tell him that there was no space for him at Arsenal. One of the many things I don’t understand about him. Not starting one of our best players yesterday when he started him in the C1 Cup is another one.
    Theo can’t come back quick enough for me. He’s not consistent but on his day he’s a game winner and even when it’s not his day, his pace frightens teams and puts them on the back foot.
    Meanwhile, we have a lot of injuries to key players – squad is looking thin again.
    Not much to be positive about.

  21. Paulie Walnuts says:

    The Ox , Chambers & Ozil stood out for me but opposition teams just have to spend a few days on the training pitch to set up against us as we always play the same (paceless) way these days.

    Welbeck practically disappeared in the second half as we tapped it around twenty yards in front of him.He stopped making runs as he knew he wouldn’t get a pass.

    Gala & Chel$ea will surely have done their homework & will try to pick us off.

    Arsene has to try something different.

  22. chris says:

    Arsene cannot do anything different, this is all he knows. Yes he wants to win things … but only via his very own footballing philosophy. Other teams have found it all too easy to get results against us for a long time …. and for the next 3 years this will NOT change.

  23. Moe says:

    This is Arsene’s Philosophy, he will play this way until he retires.

    No chance of any dramatic change at Arsenal, our reaction to any event is almost as glacial as our football nowadays.

  24. poodle says:

    well with all these injuries we will have space for the Ox right? He could expect to start a lot of matches next month. If we can get him properly up and running before Jack and Aaron are back it will make us a lot stronger for the later stages of the campaign.

    Maybe even Jack and Aaron will find it hard to get their spots back again if the remaining midfielders do a decent job.

    Arteta is our biggest loss imo, because we currently got nobody to do his job even half as good as he does.
    Lets hope Diaby can do a job until xmas because one thing is 100% certain. The window is SHUT and we cannot do anything until 1st of january….

  25. poodle says:

    @dkgÖÖnér jeez im glad football is not affecting me the way it affects you. You sound way depressed.

  26. The Arse in The Gamb says:

    Uk (including Scotland)

    Ours is the most tightly nit, intricate, beautiful and creative sewing circle ever put assembled on British soil.

  27. Bill says:


    Thanks for the post. Balanced and well written as always.

    You mention that we have a talented squad, which I think is true. However, my concern is that our talent is unbalanced and heavily concentrated in technical skill and pace. However, technical skill and pace does not necessarily lead to goals scored. We all bemoan our tactics and I agree with that concern, however, the biggest problem is that we lack goal scorers and goal scorers are your match winners. Without enough match winners in your squad you will struggle to win matches. When you looked at the line up that started the game yesterday, which individual player would you have thought was a good bet to actually score a goal? The answer is none. I love Aaron Ramsey but there was not much chance that he could repeat the otherworldly conversion percentage he had last season. If I was forced to place a bet on how many of the currently healthy players in our squad would score more then 10 league goals this season then the only one I would bet on to actually score in double figures would be Sanchez. I doubt there ever has been or ever will be a PL team that will win the league with only 1 healthy player who is a good bet to score in double figures for the league season.

    I said this yesterday but forwards are your goal scorers and match winners and Arsene’s title winning teams were full to the brim. However, we have tried to to replace Henry, Pires, Dennis B, Freddie L, Ian Wright, RVP etc etc with Bendtner, Arshavin, Chamahk, Park, Gervinho, Giroud, Podolski, Sonogo, Campbell etc. etc. etc. If the goal is to win the PL and be truly competitive in the CL that is not going to work. The only forward that we have brought into this side that is worth getting excited about is Sanchez and that underinvestment in our forward line has left us way to short on firepower which is the single biggest reason we struggle to score enough goals.

  28. Moe says:

    Because Arsene still thinks he can turn lead into gold.

  29. Bill says:

    Our difficulty with scoring goals has been a problem for several seasons and this years struggles should be no surprise. We were able to compensate somewhat last year by leading the league in clean sheets. It is possible to win without overwhelming firepower if you consistently keep clean sheets. Chelsea in 04/05 was not an attacking juggernaut but they only conceded 14-15 league goals in the entire season and that team was as dominant as any team in this century. We are currently on a pace to score about the same number of goals this season compared with last year but the problem so far this year is that we only have 1 clean sheet in our league games. If we had kept 4-5 clean sheets then we would be very close to the top of the league. We need our defensive mojo back.

  30. Harry says:

    Nice one YW.

    I agree with notorious über doomer Bob (confusing his critics this morning by being reasonably upbeat. Keep the buggers on their toes, what). Thought we played quite well actually, all over them like a rash for the most part, and even when we gave ’em false hope by conceding yet another soft goal, I knew we’d get back into it. Thing is though, even by their exalted standards, twas a dreadfully average Spurs side. So yes, another two points dropped for sure, but still…..even though Flamini’s legs have gone, and we don’t yet look a real “team”, and we don’t score near enough goals, and AW’s “philosophy” may have become stale and predictable, his decisions increasingly infuriating yadda yadda yadda….

    We’re still unbeaten. And, injuries aside, and with Theo back soon, we can only improve. And it’s not yet October. Reasons to be cheerful then. Or rather, reasons to be not totally despairing.

    Next week?

    What’s the worst that can happen? Eh?


  31. Moe says:


    I think i’ve turned into a miserable git 😀 Supposing i wasn’t already.

    I think maybe we sometimes as fans are too emotionally invested in this team, it would probably do me good to step back for a while.

  32. Harry says:

    Misplaced emotional investment in multi-millionaire footballers, false hope followed by crushing despair…

    It’s all part of the “fun” Moe.

  33. Moe says:


    It’s going to be a long season….

  34. goonerandy says:

    I thought we was OK. There was some good performances from from Ozil, Chambers, and AOC. The real shame is the game should have been out of sight by the time they (predictably) scored. We missed the chance to beat the worst Spuds team in a long while.

  35. goonerandy says:

    Also, I am a little worried about the Chelsea game. There is no doubt that Mourinho will set up to counter on us (as we are shite at defending counter attacking football as all the goals conceded this season will attest), and they have the players to do it well.

  36. Bill says:

    I share everyone elses concern regarding the slow pace that we turn defense into attack. You have to win the ball back in a favorable position in order to counter attack and if we have the ball 70% of the time the other team does not have much of the ball there are not many opportunities. The bigger problem is that this squad is not built to be a counterattacking team. Our talent is concentrated in creativity in the midfield and that favors a ball possession strategy. The attacking part of good counterattacking teams are generally built around the forward line. Last years Liverpool or Real Madrid or even our 03/04 title teams are examples. You can’t just turn a team that has built its attacking identity for many years on ball possession and midfield into a counterattacking team overnight. Ozil was successful at helping to orchestrate a counter attacking side in Madrid but even if we tried to play more like that, the reality is that we don’t have the firepower upfront to make a system like that highly successful. Even the strongest pair of rose colored glasses would not compare our forwards with Benzema, Ronaldo, DiMaria, Higuiain etc etc . or the even best Dortmund sides with Lewandowski, Goetze and Rues. Beside Real would not have sold Ozil if he was really that critical to their counterattacking style.

    The other problem is that if we do try to counterattack a lot more ourselves, it would leave us even more vulnerable to counterattacks going the other way. Andy points out we are already struggling to contain counterattacks and if we are going to fall out of the title race even faster if we concede more goals.

    Ball possession can be effective with Barcelona and Munich probably being the best examples. The difference between our squad and those teams is again the amount of firepower that they had upfront. However, even great possession teams like Barcelona could be frustrated if the other team can set up and effectively park the bus. The other major difference is that when Barcelona did lose the ball they were incredibly good at winning the ball back in dangerous positions because they pressed so hard up top. They would run 30 yard counterattacks after they won the ball back and get the ball into dangerous positions before the opposition could reset thier defense. We are not the sort of team that can press the way those Barca or Munich teams.

  37. gunner wil says:

    What a sound of drab 🙁
    You would think we lost 5 – 0!!
    The lads played with heart and skill all throughout the match. Against a team that was set up to defend and hit on the counter. Even in the midst of all the counter attacks they got, there wasn’t one moment we were unnerved. Two seasons ago we would have conceded at least three goals from such a counterattacking side. But we didn’t.
    I appreciate all the effort we put in to get that point especially after that inadvertent error by Flamini that cost us a clean sheet. That error aside, I will take such a performance from the team any day!

    Talking Galatasary and Chelsea, I would like either of Ox, Diaby and Cocquelin in the centre behind a trio of Ozil, Welbeck and Sanchez. That offers us defensive hardwork Ox or Cocquelin and technical awareness in Diaby plus pace and push going forward in event that we have the ball. Carzolla or Jack could take up the other place.
    I like Welbeck coz he never let’s his defender have it easy, unlike Giroud who at times just stands and let’s the defender play him out.

  38. goonerandy says:

    Pretty much every goal conceded this season, is directly from us losing the ball and the other team been straight at us.

  39. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Nice stuff , Harry,

    A couple of paragraphs that made me feel slightly better…then crushing all hope with your last line.

    Much like the team we support.

  40. erasto bemeye says:

    I watched Song play against Liverpool and Man U, although is he fat nowdays but he seems to be good on defending and going forward. He is at West Ham on season long, i.wish Wenger snap him next january because he has some how Arsenal’s roots and blood. We could’ve got him on cheap in the summer window, but with such perfomance and playing every week i suspects his price will surge, so blames to Wenger for his let go of him and Fabrigas.

  41. Wavey says:

    Bored of reading how we played well, but it was tough against a team set up to defend, or we were playing against a good team so what did we expect. I expect us to win, or at least appear to be trying to win every game we play in. I know we won’t win every game, but I want to see us fight. Some of our performances this season have been pretty shocking and we have hung on rather than ever looking like a team that can win. Some of that is a lack of the players we need, some of that is poor use of the players we have and some is just poor application by those on the pitch. Playing loose passes isn’t what the players are trained to do, but playing out of position or being given little help on the ball due to deployment of players around them can lead to those mistakes.
    I’m not particularly unhappy about drawing against Spurs yesterday, we weren’t great but we weren’t a disaster either. I’m unhappy at drawing 4 games out of 6 in our start to the season when I can’t see a way for us to turn this round at present. It seems too much now rests on Walcott’s shoulders and he is really on a hiding to nothing when he returns. Play well and it was expected anyway, play badly and the crowd could be on his back quickly.
    The next two games now appear to have a feel of being critical to our season about them, lose them both and our season may be over before its started. That may seem like doom and gloom, but nine points behind Chelsea and no points in the CL in the first week of October is a disaster isn’t it?

  42. G4E says:

    @Dear Cbob
    “I agree with most of what you say, G4E but football is not bent to the extent that you beleive.

    I’m sure that there are dodgy results in international matched occasionally and elsewhere but not regularly and the league does not run on tramlines or a predecided course. Who does that? FIFA? The FA? A consortium of bookies?”


    Thank you for reading and commenting on my comment, but the question back to you is: How can you say that with absolute confidence in the system?

    How a tournament is pre-decided? By it’s own governing body…..
    UEFA: Champions league
    FIFA: World Cup
    FA: Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup
    And of course bookies have a stake all over it.

    Arsene Wenger said in one of his interviews that Welbeck’s signing was a reciprocation by Man United for Robin Van Persie. All this rivalry crap is to get us to pay for a season ticket, buy peers in games, and buy shirts from clubs. It’s all about the money….Where there is a $ to be made, there’s greed lurking and there’s is corruption to make more of it.

    Maybe decades ago when there was little money in it, it was clean. Now a days, my doubts are only growing.

    I’m changing the way I view this sport, I will enjoy the way Arsenal play on their good day…..Nothing else matters, the FA can shove their trophies along with their $$$ where the sun never shines, and of course I’m not spending an orphaned PENNY on any of this crap.

  43. andy1886 says:

    Wil, unless you haven’t been around very long you will know that absolutely everyone has known for years that the best way to play Arsenal is to harry them in posession and hit them on the counter. This isn’t something to use as an insult if a team plays like this against us – they do it because it works! Lecicester did it, Man City did it, the quality of the team is irrelevant, Arsene has had years to find a solution but he cannot do it.

    As for not being unnerved for one minute you obviously missed Chadli’s first one on one that he missed and Adebayor’s great chance too. We could have conceded three this time too but we were lucky.

    If you are happy with this kind of rather toothless performance from a side we are told has the best attacking options in the division then good for you. Many of us would expect a bit more. Just to recap a last minute winner at home to Palace after being behind, scraping a draw at Everton after going two down, a draw at promoted Leicester, and loses in two cup competitions isn’t something to get excited about, it’s mid table form, average. Yes we beat Villa with a good ten minutes and another eigthty of average play. Unless fourth again is the limit of our ambition we are going to have to do a lot better than that.

    Getting a first win over Maureen next time out would be a good start.

  44. Bill says:


    I don’t think you have to have confidence in the system to disbelieve the sort of conspiracy theories you are talking about. Trying to set up a script for an entire season or a tournament like the CL would involve literally hundreds of people from all of the teams including owners, managers, players and all the refs buying into the script and playing along. The minimum wage administrative assistants who type memos and send the emails would all know. It would only take one person who has access to a memo and is given a $1000 bill to leak it to the press to blow it all open. There would be so many people that would have a lot more to gain by breaking the story. Trying to keep something as controversial and potentially sensational as a major conspiracy hidden would be completely impossible.

    I agree with Cbob that there is probably isolated incidents that one person or a team manager or a ref might get paid off to try and influence a result. However, a conspiracy on a grand scale involving the entire ref fraternity or multiple clubs and the FA is just not a realistic possibility. IMO

  45. andy1886 says:

    For heavens sake let’s not go down the PGMOL are all out to get us route, there are enough nutters singing that theme already. Play well and chance becomes less of an issue, no need to take on the cloak of victims just yet.

  46. consolsbob says:

    I don’t think that was G4E’s point andy. I try never to make excuses for our performances, unlike my own, of course.

    He is talking about corruption and money. Well, doubtless that does exist. Money is the root, etc.

  47. G4E says:

    Andy as Cbob said, I’m not talking about conspiracy against Arsenal specifically. I’m talking in General.

    Football is a money making machine, and hence there’s corruption in it just like any other venue where money making is involved.

    You can argue that I can’t prove it, and I will argue the other way is also true….You can’t prove that it’s all clean and dandy.

  48. G4E says:


    FIFA’s corruption is well documented, yet they’re still there and making a shit load of money.

    Big corporations and banks corruption is well documented, yet they are still there and doing exactly the same things they did before.

  49. G4E says:

    I lived in a country where they used to let a big team win by all possible means because they were afraid their fans would wreak havoc if they lost to their slightly less popular rivals.

    This was not done for the sake of money of course, but in the name of national security.

  50. consolsbob says:

    Your comments and activity suggest that, despite your protestations, you remain passionate about the fame and Arsenal, G4E.

    You haven’t posted so much, in total, for years as you have today.

  51. Bill says:


    There will be instances of corruptioni in any organization or institution that deals with money or power. That’s impossible to avoid. Human nature is flawed. My point is that the logistics of putting together a conspiracy that scripts results over a league season or even a tournament such as the CL would’ve so complex and involve so many people that it would be impossible to put it together and get all of the winners and losers in the script to agree and stick with the script. It would’ve even more difficult to get everyone involved to keep their mouths shut after their involvement was finished. It would only take one whistle blower with a Zip drive to copy the emails of someone who is involved to blow it all open. Imagine the global sensation and fury if someone with any credibility to accuse FIFA of fixing the world cup. That would be impossible to keep secret

  52. consolsbob says:

    “Misplaced emotional investment in multi-millionaire footballers, false hope followed by crushing despair…”

    A concise and timely reminder of the nature of modern ‘support’.

    Brilliant Harry. Mind you, given your newly earned status as a doomer yourself, I would say that!

  53. consolsbob says:

    In another life and another place, I did that myself once, Bill.

    I only had a photocopier. Pre internet days.

  54. Bill says:


    Thankfully there are almost always going to be whistle blowers when the stakes are that high. In your case it was the desire to do the right thing that was the motivation. However, even without the noble motive there is going to be someone who would take a big payoff to blow the whistle. Even in football there is not enough money that you could pay enough for everyone involved from top to bottom and get them to keep quiet forever. I suspect any major news organization would pay a huge amount to be the one who broke that sort of story.

  55. G4E says:

    You’re right CBob….Arsenal still runs in my blood no matter what.

    I just quit being naive thinking that there is still good in anything connected with money any more.

  56. G4E says:

    Bill, if we take banks as an example……They didn’t need anyone to blow a whistle, they did it all in the open, they tanked the global economy under the eyes of the law of no oversight. No one got jailed, No one got punished, and they are still playing the same game.

    In football, it doesn’t have to be that every game get fixed….Just selected few important ones to direct a trophy where they want it to go.

    Do you really think Sepp Blatter is going to send an email to his secretary telling her
    what should happen in a game?

    Does the corporate CEO of the corporation I work for take my opinion on a shady deal the company is going to make?

  57. G4E says:

    All I’m trying to say is don’t let your blood boil over something that may very well be already pre-determined.

    In an ideal world with no corruption I would say and my my mind, Arsene already wrote off this season as a transitional one. He will try a few new things with the new signings, some will work some won’t and he will do just enough to get 4th as the usual minimum achievement in a season.

    Let’s hope the world is morally unquestionable and next season will be ours.

    Good luck to us with that.

  58. Bill says:


    Sepp Blatter is not going to send an email to his secretary but his secretary is going to be the one who sends out all the emails and memo’s so he/she will know what is happening and so will a large number of people.

    Either way there is no way to prove that such things are or are not happening. The fact that there is no creditable evidence that something like that is really happening is a lot more convincing then arguing that we can’t prove there isn’t something going on. Its impossible to prove that there is nothing going on so the absence of any evidence that something is happening is the best we will ever have.

  59. andy1886 says:

    Hi G4E, apologies if I appeared to be classing you in with the nutters – that wasn’t what I meant. I think that any sane person would have to conceed that FIFA and probably UEFA are corrupt, although I think that their corruption is limited to making as much money as possible from their offices rather than fixing games or tournaments. I’m sure they would prefer the biggest clubs to stay in their competitions as long as possible purely for the additional revenues that might generate, but they do this by seeding and giving the second knock out leg at home to group winners for example. Allowing the bigger leagues with bigger teams more qualifiers at the expense of some genuine champions from smaller leagues is another example. In the old days the Bulgarian champions had as much right to qualification as the champions in England, Spain and Italy. Today we have teams like Arsenal finishing fourth and being seeded which I think is fundamentally wrong.

  60. The Arse in The Gamb says:


    The worst corruption in football has nothing to do with what happens on the pitch.

    It is not the outcome of a world cup that matters to the corrupt vermin at the higher eschelons, it is all about who gets to stage the damned thing and how it’s spoils are distributed. FIFA has turned the World Cup into a fatuous load of payback for bought elections.

    It’s ruling last week that it will not make the report on the Qatar bid public is the latest example. To do so would show how corrupt the system truly is. I would guess that the report doesn’t say anything; not even the title.

    Nothing is ever made public in FIFA as it is not accountable to anyone who has not already been bought with the revenue from its one big event.

  61. gunner wil says:


    I have been around a while now. The chances that the tots missed, any team gets,and misses. To criticise the team over a few lucky breaks that the opponents got is a bit unappreciative. I have watched an absolutely dominant and rampant Arsenal side conspire to lose an F.A. cup final to Liverpool so I know it can always be worse.
    Do I wish for more? Certainly. Did I throw tantrums when we conceded in that manner? Yes. But I appreciate each effort the players put in to salvage a point inspire of the distractions of injuries.
    FYI Tottenham is not that average, instead we made them look that average. They looked distinctly like a relegation threatened side.

  62. andy1886 says:

    Fair enough Wil, but you have to concede that we always, always seem to get caught on the break and have never learned to do anything to prevent that, nor does it seem that we have even tried. Even the worst teams in the league can catch us that way. I appreciate the efforts of the players on the pitch but I think that they are being let down by poor preparation before the game because one man and his huge ego refuse to see what is blindingly obvious to everyone else. We could probably improve 20-30% just if that one employee would swallow his pride and get an assistant with more tactical savvy to help him out (which Fergie always did to great effect and with no reduction in his authority or the plaudits he earned).

  63. Wavey says:


    Spot on. So often the comments back are that we can surely know nothing when compared with a UEFA/FIFA accredited coach with as many years experience as AW, but that’s a sop. It is clear that simple things like closing down the player on the ball and having cover when your FBs go maurauding up the field seem to have passed him by. And the insistence on trying to play a version of tiki taka with small skilful players when they are up against players in one of the physically strongest leagues in the World makes no sense. It seems he has forgotten that most of his success came when he also had a team of strong athletic players. Its fine to have a couple of very skilful players to give you the guile to go with the power, but you can’t do without the powerful players. That is becoming more and more obvious when our alleged midfield powerhouse is so easily shrugged off the ball and ends up on his backside. The Orc Army are probably already staking their claims on whose skulls they will be taking home when they invade North London. At least we dodged them in the Capital One Cup by getting knocked out.

  64. Moe says:


    That is very true and something alot of people miss, Arsenal’s success coincided with having these athletic, strong but technical players. Not only that but a counter attacking team that played with immense pace.

    So how come we are now the opposite of almost everything that brought us success? Now we have short technical players who get bullied and a brand of football which would have stifled even Henry himself, slow and ponderous.

    It’s almost as if he just decided ‘I’ll change everything that brought me success’

    In my opinion he may have foreseen a future where small technical players would rule and a style that is possession based. So he may have decided to adapt to an on coming trend.

    But unfortunately we are not Barcelona and this type of football is not suited to the Premier League. Add to that the fact that we do not even do it well (Everton, Southampton and even Liverpool do it better) then it begs the question, why haven’t we reverted back? Is the style too ingrained? I mean the youth system, training and philosophy is so deeply ingrained that maybe it has become do or die for Arsene.

    And finally, i do not hate Arsene or dislike him, but i no longer like him as either a manager or even a man, i may not know him personally but there is a tangible stubbornness and arrogance in his press conferences. A total lack of flexibility and a completely misplaced trust in a system and philosophy that have either failed or he is not good enough to implement.

    It is an interesting dilema, many fans will give Arsene a free pass because of his tenure and success at the club, yet fail to understand that his image is not tarnished by stepping down, it is the rightful understanding of a man who knows he should.

    Many will do well to remember that Arsene was going to step down as Arsenal boss had we lost the FA CUP FINAL, not because of the ‘doomers’ but because he may have decided that this team is not capable of winning. He didn’t step down, it may be because he might be giving it one more go.

    Furthermore the biggest downfall of Arsene is his loyalty to a select number of players he believes in and will give countless opportunities to. Even knowing that playing all the CMs will have a detrimental effect on the team, he still does it because he feels he somehow owes these players something. So maybe his responsibility to bringing through the Wilshere’s and Ramsey’s also inhibits the balance of a team.

    Ramble over.

  65. goonerandy says:

    G4E – That is some serious paranioa there my friend. I don’t doubt there is corruption in football, but not to the extent of some mass fix of results in games. Thre would just have to be too many people invovled, and there would have been some evidence of this by now. Any team sport is very difficult to “fix”, and the larger the scale, the more people are reuired to be invovled.

  66. Phil says:

    Thought the performance was patchy, it was the result that was dissapointing.
    It’s not the first and won’t be the last time we are confronted with a team just playing for a draw, but opportunistic about a win if the chance is presented.
    Seems zero point cheering when we get a corner, nothing much ever comes from them, well certainly not on the weekend anyway.

  67. G4E says:

    “Sepp Blatter is not going to send an email to his secretary but his secretary is going to be the one who sends out all the emails and memo’s so he/she will know what is happening and so will a large number of people.”

    Seriously? Someone who is doing something that serious is going to make his secretary send emails and written memos tracing it back to him?
    That is very naive to say the least and be polite as I can be.

    One thing I can confirm, you personally would fail miserably at corruption 🙂

    @The Arse in The Gamb

    No offense taken, it’s an open discussion so long as we don’t call each other names 🙂



    Fair enough, and I will even add that Referees just do honest mistakes, right? It can’t be anything else, because a referee has one Characteristic like any other human being…. and it’s Honesty!

  68. goonerandy says:

    The main characteristic is being human. Even if a ref was crooked, he still can only influence a game. He can’t fix it.

  69. Goonerton says:

    What most Gooners and non Gooners already know:

    “Somewhere in a talented squad of individuals is a team screaming to get out but they have yet to find cohesion on a consistent basis to take the next step forward”.

    What most of the world also know is that there is one man holding them back with his madness not listening to any of his Generals.

    I just want this guy called Wenger to f-off and leave Arsenal First team alone. As soon as another man comes in Arsenal will be where there are supposed to be with the amazing amount of talent that they have.

    What can one do to get this c**t out of the managers hot seat?

  70. Goonerton says:

    Post’s saying that “Ozil played well” & “good to see Ozil playing depite out of position”.

    These post must be written by folk who never played at any level because there is no f-king way that a player who has been trained for most part of his life in a number 10 role or central position is now happy at being played on the LW or RW. What f-king planet or what you are smoking is a mystery to me and a million other world wide.

    Next you will be posting up how happy Arshavin was after being lied to and f-ked about by the same mad man. Unbeaten eh? Happy with that for now yeah.

  71. Yogi's Warrior says:


    Utter bollocks. MO didn’t play LW, he drifted. And the reason he played well is not due to his position but his own confidence. He is a confidence player, who plays well according to his form and his licence to roam. If he is tasked with staying wide, he is ineffective. Villa gave him freedom and he started the game well, took it from there, continued onto Saturday where he popped up right, left and centre.

    > Next you will be posting up how happy Arshavin was after being lied to and f-ked about by the same mad man. Unbeaten eh? Happy with that for now yeah

    Next you will posting something that shows you watched the game…

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