Arsenal Almost Coq It Up


Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2 Arsenal

0 – 1 Ramsey (39)
1 – 1 Alderweireld (60)
2 – 1 Kane (62)
2 – 2 Sanchez (76)

Sent off: Coquelin (54)

When two quick-fire goals entered the Arsenal net, we feared the worst. Instead, Arsenal uncharacteristically fought back and with ten men, snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat. It was the performance of champions in that sense; a pity that it is all far too late.

The mathematics tell you otherwise but Leicester, eight points clear of Arsenal, have been all but crowned champions. And that remains a damning indictment of Arsenal and the rest of the Premier League’s big clubs. None had the nerve, the strength of character or ability, to take advantage of the failings of their rivals. Hopefully Leicester will keep theirs and prevent Tottenham ending their record of only having won the league in a monochrome world.

Whilst Arsène wouldn’t concede the title outright, he observed that a win for The Foxes would put them into a “strong position” which is putting it mildly. It will be a major shock if they don’t win it from this position, particularly with their kind run-in. Fair play to them for doing the hard work in the difficult matches previously.

Aaron Ramsey’s delicious flick had given Arsenal the perfect smash-and-grab goal, enough for a half-time lead but all the good work was lost in one flash of Michael Oliver’s red card. You can’t argue with it; Coquelin lacked the presence of mind in the heat of the battle and went to ground, despite being warned by the manager and coaches at the interval about rash challenges.

The only surprise was that a similar punishment wasn’t meted out when Giroud’s shirt was clearly pulled by Dier, a second bookable offence. But when the referee had to make the decision, he bottled it. There’s not much point in complaining afterwards nor is it a conspiracy against Arsenal; it isn’t and I’m sure that all supporters from all clubs have similar gripes at some point in a season. All we ask for is consistency in the official’s performance and we don’t see it very often.

That’s not to absolve Coquelin. It was rash and stupid, underlined by his subsequent apology. What followed next was a surprising fightback. Arsène was pleased with what he saw,

We showed good attitude and character and I’m happy and proud of our performance and attitude. We refused to lose the game. We have as well big regrets because I could not see how 11 against 11 could have dropped points today. We made a mistake at 1-0 when it was 11 against 11 but even though we had a shock loss and it went to 2-1, we refused to lose the game. We always looked dangerous going forward

It was a stark contrast to the supine second half against Swansea in midweek. That contrast underpins the frustration with the way the season is panning out. Champions don’t lose seven games in a season, certainly not before the title is decided.

Both Tottenham goals were well-taken but avoidable. Defensive woes are nothing new and in both instances, there were opportunities to deal with the situations before the ball fell to the goalscorers. Two goals in as many minutes seemed to be the precursor of an Arsenal collapse. Instead, shirt sleeves were rolled up and there could be few complaints when Alexis equalised. And even if Tottenham complained, who was listening?

It was a most welcome goal, ending the Chilean’s own drought and hopefully a sign of better times ahead in terms of his individual form. And for the team of course. It’s too late for the Premier League – and Europe. Defeat would have all but sealed a third or fourth placed finish. A point keeps the runners-up spot a possibility.

The FA Cup comes into sharp focus this week. With a proper rest in between, there’s no reason why the strongest XI can’t be played at Hull on Tuesday night. It’s not an arduous fixture list to play three games in eight days, including the ‘dead rubber’ against Barcelona. With the FA Cup the only genuine route to silverware this season, it will be surprising if Arsène risks it with a weakened side.

’til Tomorrow.

99 thoughts on “Arsenal Almost Coq It Up

  1. andy1886 says:

    No weakened side for Hull Arsene, even you couldn’t think that would be a good idea – could you? Hmm….

  2. Ras says:

    Good afternoon YW a late than usual post

  3. Paulie Walnuts says:

    It’s a tough call for Arsene , Andy.

    He won’t want to be humiliated in Spain but knows that the Everton game is huge.

    I suspect he’ll pick similar strength sides for Hull & Barca.

    As for yesterday, the rousing fightback was as welcome as it was unexpected but as YW states, too little, too late.

  4. Finnish Hit says:

    That was a nicely positive write-up! And good to see that you’re okay, regarding the late timing of your blog.

    More positives: Welbeck ran his socks off and was determined. Ramsey’s just-about-10th flick was rather good. Mertesacker is a leader despite his age and agility. The tactics were spot on in the beginning. Mahrez is effing fantastically outrageous (can you say that here?) Ospina was determined. Gabriel missed the own goal. (My family was confused because Dad kept giggling during the cooking, but those seconds just kept rendering before my eyes again and again.) Gibbs wasn’t rusty. Bellerin’s the new Özil.

  5. SV says:

    We stood here on this blog a week ago before the three crucial league games and tried to guess which Arsenal would turn up in them.

    The result is 1 point out of 9. Disapponting.

    The manager and the players clearly did not justify optimistic expectations. Now, if the run Arsene Wenger was talking about yesterday does materialize they will regret the dropped points and think what if. If the run does not materialize, it’s time to prepare ourselves for West Ham away as the fifth place six pointer.

  6. Bill says:

    Great post Yogi

    It was nice to see us avoid a loss after going down 2-1. It’s probably a bit late for our annual show of mental strength with regards to winning the PL title but it’s just about the right time for us to find the form we need to make sure we hold on to the top 4.

  7. Orson Kaert says:

    Good day chaps, thanks Yogi a fair summary.

    On the Coquelin booking, it was a stupid challenge particularly as he was already on a yellow.

    I think the fact that the Dier foul took place almost on the halfway line gave the ref an excuse not to book him. Similar, n fact, to the foul on Ozil before the goal in was it the Swansea game?

    When Ramsey is played on the right he doesn’t feel it is any part of his responsibility to help Bellerin out. Yesterday was a case in point, if he had been doing his job Coquelin wouldn’t have needed to get involved with Kane.

    Apart from his goal he had a poor game, aside from his lack of defensive work he failed to put any pressure on Danny Rose thus allowing the freedom to get forward as often as he liked and he lost possession too often and made no attempt to regain it.

    If I’ve repeated things already mentioned in earlier comments I apologise, there were just too many to read.

  8. Master John says:

    The title is out of our hands but let’s finish above spuds.

    Wenger should please pull the weight toward the FA Cup

  9. Bill says:

    It’s looking a bit dicey right now but I have absolutely no doubt that Arsene will find a way to make sure we hang on to the top 4 spot.

  10. C says:


    I understand your gripes but that was just one of many articles that stated the same thing.

    Yea normally I don’t agree with Phil Thompson but I think he had an excellent point. Say Ox had put in the performance and scored the goal that Campbell scored against Swansea, everybody would have called for him to start and if he hadn’t got the start then most would be all up in arms. So why doesn’t Campbell get the same treatment when you consider futbol and technique wise he is more the finished article and has produced when called upon?

  11. Bill says:

    I mentioned this at the end of yesterday’s comment section but this years of Le Coq has certainly not been as good as last years version. I wonder if last year he knew it was his last chance and he played like his life depended on it. This season he knew that there was no realistic competition for his spot. Some players perform better when they are really worried about their spot. Elneny looks like a nice player but early indications suggest he will make an adequate squad player. Fortunately we don’t need greatness from a DM because Arsene has never been inclined to spend for any money on our DM position but we need last years Le Coq back. Hopefully last year was not just a “flash in the pan” and this season will turn out to be nothing more then sophomore slump.

  12. C says:

    Excellent stuff Yogi.

    FA Cup is the focus, no weakend side.

    Glad to see the fight yesterday, it was something that was very much needed. If we had 11 v11, or even 10 v 10, I certainly would have fancied us to take all 3 points.

    Ospina did extremely well and to be honest, he made 2 brilliant saves that kept us in the match. Welbeck and Elneny were really good.

  13. Bill says:

    Bellerin had a tough day yesterday and has had some ups and downs but for the most part he has managed to avoid the sophomore slump

  14. C says:

    It will be interesting to see where Ramsey ultimately ends up playing. On the RW he doesn’t offer any protection to Bellerin because he drifts and plays centrally. At CM he doesn’t offer quite the defensive discipline that we need.

    Should be interesting going forward.

  15. YW says:


    Only late due to #2 son having a 10.30 kick off in the second longest away journey of the season.

  16. Bill says:


    If you want all players judged fairly then I am not sure what Welbeck or Elneny did to deserve being rated as “really good”. You know I am not a fan of Giroud but if he played yesterday instead of Welbeck then we would have given him grief for not being much a goal threat and missing the one chance he did get rather then praising him for running around and working hard. Elneny did not make any big mistakes but we have fallen quite far if avoiding screw ups is the reason we single someone out for special praise. No?

  17. Bill says:


    In the interest of fairness, imagine the screaming if Flamini had been the one getting sent off yesterday. 😉

  18. Orson Kaert says:

    Bill, avoiding screw ups is not something that Arsenal either as a team or as a club do as a matter of course.

  19. Phil says:

    Good write up YW.
    But be honest, the delay for the post was due to your time spent conjuring up an appropriate headline.
    It was worth the wait- today’s was very droll.

  20. HenryB says:

    Not that I am making excuses for Le Coq – but I thought that Kane made the most of it, and it is a pity that players feel the need to cheat.

    I saw some of the game Palace v “Pool and the penalty that was awarded to Benteke was a disgrace on two counts.

    First, Benteke dived. Carahgher said on TV that the defender had touched Bentekes’s knee, conveniently ignoring the fact that Benteke had been falling for about five minutes before finally hitting the ground.

    Second, the officials must be sure that a foul has been committed before awarding a game changing foul/penalty. Having watched it several times on the replay I could see no obvious contact -Carragher was lying – and I cannot believe that the officials could see it any better either.

    FIFA have, now that Bladder has gone, agreed that they are prepared to trial TV videos to help the referees – but I wonder how that will work out on the basis of the above decision – confirmation bias will raise its ugly head again.

    Incidentally, Thierry Henry said it was not a foul/penalty, but later changed his mind, not because of what he had seen, but because his new mate “Carrie’ Carragher had convinced him. What crap is that – and just shows that a High Court judge will have to be the Video decider, to avoid witnesses being corrupted. 🙂

    I do not care a stuff about Palace, but if Arsenal had lost a game because of a crap decision like that, I would have bee very unhappy.

  21. Phil says:

    Reference has been made by somebody about the tactics employed yesterday, specifically regarding the use of Ramsay on the right.
    As Orson points out, Ramsay gave Bellerin zero cover. Too busy running wherever he wanted. Admittedly our central midfield was more crowded as a result., but the consequence was giving them a free run down the right which they exploited.

  22. Orson Kaert says:

    Henry, video replays as such are coming whether we like or not, not in my case, but according to the info released so far, the only person who can request a video replay is the referee. Naturally the paying customers will not be allowed to see the replay on the screens in the ground.

  23. Orson Kaert says:

    Thinking about yesterday, a video replay would not have been allowed in the case of Coquelin’s dismissal, as he only recieved a caution for the offence and the protocol only calls for video evidence in the case of goal line decisions, red cards and mistaken identity.

  24. Bill says:

    I mentioned this yesterday but one of the greatest indictments of Arsene’s squad building strategy is the fact that he has $200M in the bank and he had almost his full complement of forwards to choose from yet in arguably one of the biggest league games in the last 10 years and we started a CF who could not make it at ManU and a CM as 2/3 of our starting front 3.

  25. HenryB says:

    Yogi, please tell #2 son that I really liked his Post, and after all that travelling, and playing too, it is a credit to him.

    The only bit I would slightly cavil at is the acceptance that the Premiership is beyond Arsenal.
    I know that sentiment is against all reason given our performances for some weeks now, but football has nothing to do with reason and logic.

    After all, what reason or logic is there for relegation threatened Leicester in 2014/15 to be leading the Premiership in 2015/16, and leading all the big boys trailing by 5 clear points with only 9/38 games to go.

    Or for the title winning Chavs in 2014/15 to be abject also-rans in 2015/16.

    No. The fat lady won’t sing for a while yet, and although we could end up 6th or 7th at the end of the season, we could by the same token also finish first.

    I am a self-confessed optimist who is totally frustrated by the crap Arsenal performances I have forced myself to watch, knowing it will only ruin my weekend – bast*rds. 🙂

  26. HenryB says:


    I bow to your much greater knowledge on the subject of trial by Video, as, unlike you, I did not have the benefit of sitting in the meeting with the FIFA and FA bigwigs, who agreed to the principle and set up a working party to bring in the trial usage within 2 years after the process is agreed.

    But if you say that the process is per your comments at 4:21 and 4:27 then fair enough! 🙄

    However, as our representative on the FIFA committee, and you have said it only affects red cards, among other things, how is Coquelin’s two yellows and a red card ‘not’ a red card — what will your Committee’s rule say in justification.

    You are sure of your facts, I suppose? 😀

  27. C says:


    People have called Le Coq stupid and rash for those challenges. The only difference between rhe two is that Le Coq has a future with the club and Flamini shouldn’t be at the club and that is both truth and fair. People cruahed Flamini for his red against Barca but if you remember quite a few didn’t lay the blame with him but instead at Mert.

  28. C says:


    Elneny did exactly what we have been missing, winning tacklesm being diaciplined and keep things moving. You want your pivots to do that and do that effectively and efficiently. Not making mistakes, keeping things moving, breaking up play and keeping possession, plus staying disciplined, he did his j9b and did so very effectively.

    We would be critical of Giroud for taking that chance but lets be honest, he was a threat up there by himself. He was strong in hold up play and how often have we alsp praised Giroud for his hold up play and link up play? If thats the case then Welbeck not only did those really well but it was him who held up play, then calmly found Bellerin who found Ramsey for th3 goal, you know nothing like a hockey assist.

  29. SV says:


    >>> we started a CF who could not make it at ManU and a CM as 2/3 of our starting front 3.

    Who did the ManU start with? We don’t even know. And they still won. I remember when the Red Nose played 7 defenders against us in the FA Cup, and they won.

    Its not always about forwards. Give Arsene Wenger Neymar, Suarez and Messi or whoever they have, and he will still not win the title with them.

    There is no silver bullet to our problems. There are many of them.

  30. Bill says:


    There is nothing in the bloggers bylaws that says fans have to be fair. 😉

    In reality Flamini never should have been here. He turned up in preseason training looking a job 3 seasons ago and did not cost anything. It’s another indictment of Arsene’s squad building strategy. He seems unwilling to pay any real money for a DM. Le Coq fell materialized out of thin air and fell into his lap last season and Elneny was an inexpensive way to avoid fill an empty space in the squad and avoid having to spend very much for a Flamini/Arteta replacement next summer. The frustration with the thought process is part of the reason I griped about spending so little for Elneny.

  31. Bill says:


    “Its not always about forwards. Give Arsene Wenger Neymar, Suarez and Messi or whoever they have, and he will still not”

    Perhaps you are correct but it would be fun to see what would happen if we gave something like that a try.,

  32. Orson Kaert says:

    Henry, the protocol for video replays was published some months ago, January in fact.

    The IFAB AGM yesterday confirmed that trials will take place. Gianni Infantino, the new FiFa president announced that a two year trial will start no later than the start of the season after next.

    Coquelin received a caution (yellow card) for the foul on Kane, not a red card. The protocol allows for video replays only for straight red card offences.

    Although I did not attend the IFAB AGM, my very good friend Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph was present, so I can assure you that my information is correct.

  33. Bill says:


    I agree with you that Campbell seems to be the unloved step child for some reason. He has been as good or better then anyone else who has played that position this season. Ultimately I don’t think he has enough upside to be a difference maker or a regular starter if we ever want to really build a top team but he certainly has the talent to be a good squad player

  34. Orson Kaert says:

    The IFAB technical committee are to take a new look at handball decisions, they will try to differentiate between “natural” and “unnatural” body positions. So, it could be deemed that handling the ball in the missionary position is within the rules but do so in the doggy position is a red card offence.

  35. C says:


    That is fair, the one thing I will say is that from time to time you can buy somebody im that position for little, the DM position isn’t the sexy position. Kante was purchased for 5m, Kouyate, for little. Elneny still has much to offer, you see it in him. I get your gripe though.

  36. C says:


    Its strange that Campbell has produced and offered much on that RW. Why does he get shunned? The thing is, you say he doesn’t have upside but why, because he isn’t an explosive athlete or because he doesn’t do one thimg at present brilliantly but does everything good and certainly has the talent to do everything really good. We talk about time for Ox to come good, but Campbell is ONLY a year older and not even a full year.

    I think Campbell could make it at Arsenal as a really good squad player but more than capable of playing regularly if he continues to develop, problem is Arsene rates others ahead of him.

    When you look at the top 4, is Campbell not better or equal to some.

  37. HenryB says:


    Here’s another one for you and your mate to argue with me about – not that I will argue. 🙂

    FIFA under the auspices of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at their AGM agreed to revise Law 12.

    Colloquially known as the ‘last man rule’, in which not only does the team lose a player if he gets sent off for committing a foul, preventing a goal scoring chance as the last man, but if it happens in the penalty box a penalty is awarded, and the player also gets suspended for the next game, ( and it buggers up the use of the substitutes to cover for the original sending of.)

    A triple whammy.

    OK, go ahead – argue. 🙂

    a penalty is awarded, the offence is no longer automatically punishable by a straight red card.

  38. Foetry says:

    Not sure if any influential member of the squad read your last Mondays post Yogi, but the lads really look fired up yesterday.

    Sadly with regards to the league, it may yet end up being a case of nearly men. I think the general consensus on these boards before the start of the season was that we pretty much were happy with our combined strike force but midfield reinforcement was needed. During the season with Danny out, Theo misfiring and OG being hot & cold, Arsene clearly struggling to get the best of them, the decision not to strengthen in that area has backfired.

    I agree with Bill that we need more goal scorers and still scatching my head as to how none of the forwards from the academy was deemed good enough or what explains that we have not produced or found any with our scouting and all the resources available in the last decade. Not sure for how long we would regret missing out on Suarez, Higuian through the way it was handled.!!

    I think Arsene is paying the price of putting too much faith into organic progress/development compounded with his determination to balance the books in spite of the new deals kick in since 2014.

    Having said that if our front line including Alexis had been as good as our midfield and back 5 (including Cech) this season, Arsenal would be comfortably topping the league right now..

  39. Bill says:


    DM is not a sex and in truth it does not take much skill to play the position. I defend Flamini not because he is a good player but I thought the criticism of him was over done and worse it just served to deflect attention away from our real problems. Nonetheless it’s still remarkably frustrating that we have $200M in the bank and a cast off like Flamini that no one else wanted turns up in preseason training camp trolling for a new contract and ends up playing such a big part in our squad for 3 years. I realize he wasn’t supposed to be more then a back up but anyone backing up Arteta was bound to be playing a huge role.

    Regarding Elneny I hope you are correct but that may be your natural optimism talking. What we have seen so far does not suggest he is a difference making player or anything more then an adequate Flamini replacement in the squad. IMO

  40. Orson Kaert says:

    Quite right Henry, if the player is making a genuine attempt to play the ball but fouls the other thus denying a goalscoring opportunity, a penalty will be awarded but the player will not receive a red card.

    Gianni and I are in total agreement that the triple whammy has to go.

  41. SV says:

    ManU dropping 3 points. Our top four conquest is gaining pace.

  42. Orson Kaert says:

    Bill, perhaps with Elneny alongside him Coquelin won’t feel quite so compelled to go rampaging about the pitch clattering the opposition’s strikers.

    The down side to this midfield pairing is that Ramsey will once again be played, nominally at least, on the right wing with all the problems that brings for the luck less Bellerin.

    My personal preference would be to see Campbell out wide and Ramsey tucked up on the bench out of harm’s way.

  43. SV says:


    “Its not always about forwards. Give Arsene Wenger Neymar, Suarez and Messi or whoever they have, and he will still not”

    >>> Perhaps you are correct but it would be fun to see what would happen if we gave something like that a try.,

    I’m not so sure it would be fun to watch. Was it fun to watch a team with Sanches, Ozil, Chech to win 2 out of 9 and fall 8 points behind Lecester?

    If we ever put together a classy squad, I would prefer to give it a try under a more pragmatic coaching that gets the basics right and keeps low profile. I’m not sure Arsene is capable of doing this. May be I’m wrong.

  44. SV says:

    My point is Arsene is not getting the best out of the players available to him. Would it be different if he had Messi?

  45. Bill says:


    “Bill, perhaps with Elneny alongside him Coquelin won’t feel quite so compelled to go rampaging about the pitch clattering the opposition’s strikers.”

    Obviously the sample size is small since they have not played together much but at least based on what we saw yesterday that has not been the case.

  46. Bill says:


    I know it’s a worm out cliche but I completely agree that Arsene no longer builds teams that are equal to the sum of their individual parts. The only chance we have is to buy as many top players as we can afford. If the sum of the individual parts is high enough perhaps they can over come the disadvantage.

  47. JonJon says:

    wenger could have jesus, the easter bunny, the toothfairy and aslan in the squad and we’d still look like we couldnt beat an egg…

    hes been making good players look bottle jobs for years in the predictable directionless bollox hes got going on

  48. Orson Kaert says:

    Bill early days for the Elneny/Coquelin axis, but with Campbell to give a bit of protection down our right and Ramsey not giving the ball away we could be less porous in midfield. Thus helping out the geriatrics in central defence.

  49. Finnish Hit says:

    If buying is a solution, I recommend we buy Gareth Bale for £100m. Or someone else, just as long as the price tag is high enough. Priceless.

  50. Bill says:


    I like the gareth bale idea. Add him and a CF and we might have something. I suggest we send some of our best scouts out immediately. What do you think? Go Arsene Go Ivan.

  51. SV says:

    Assuming that your defence and midfield are sorted, what would be wrong with buying Gareth Bale? Or is he an average player?

  52. Orson Kaert says:

    Well Jon Kon, Jesus has been dead for about two thousand years, the Easter Bunny is usually made of chocolate these days, the tooth fairy hasn’t scored a goal in living memory and what skill a hairy carnivorous quadrupled could bring to the party is open to question so they wouldn’t be much use in a football team let alone in an omelette factory. The idea should not necessarily be consigned to the dustbin however, they could be used as a half time crowd pleaser.

  53. Bill says:


    That sounds like a bit of grasping for straws. I am not convinced it woukd help the defense that much but even if it does you still have not addressed the biggest problem we have had for the majority of this season which is not scoring enough.

  54. C says:


    We are mostly in full agreement about Flamini except whenever your DM is the furthest player forward l, that makes you somebody that doesn’t understand your job and role in the squad.

    It might be my general optimis but then again, you yourself said the player has more to offer. He is 3 matches started into his Arsenal career. He is experienced and is proven in Europe, I will continue to be optimistic about him because you see it in him, he just has to get comfortable. Best part, we get to see him moving forward with Le Coq’s red unless Arsene does something crazy like start Flamini which would be really strange give he chose Elneny over Flamini for a massive tie/NLD.

  55. SV says:

    @Orson Kaert

    There were wintesses that Jesus rose from the dead, so he may still help.

  56. JonJon says:

    our scouts couldnt find a bon bon in a sweetshop

  57. Paulie Walnuts says:

    We’d ruin Bale.

    He’d look great for 6 months or so then join the malaise with the rest of them.

  58. Foetry says:

    @ Bill & C

    It may also be a case that since we have gone Santi-less, Arsene may have given instructions to his CM to push a bit further up the pitch in certain games to avoid having Ozil dropping too deep?

    Elneny took a bit of time yesterday to exercise some form of “technical” authority in the game yesterday. But when he did he was good. What I liked is that he seems to make his mind up about his next pass pretty quickly.

    I am not sure he is physically there yet though to cope when other midfielders from opposition teams start giving him more attention. So Elneny having that awareness and being constantly on the look out to create / close out space when we are in possession or defending would be crucial to him continuing to have an impact in the games he plays in IMO

  59. Orson Kaert says:

    Bill, I have the answer to our lack of goals but I’m keeping it to myself for the time being. 😀

  60. Finnish Hit says:

    I was of course joking about buying Bale for £100m. It’s a Real Madrid thing to do.

    What I do think is that this is one amazing season of Prem football we’re witnessing, when the current top two are none of the usual suspects. I’m all for that stuff if it’s not us. We don’t have the solemn right of expectation for magical seasons. Although some of us do…

  61. Bill says:


    I am torn between wanting Leicester to lose so we still have a chance or just giving up the ghost of our very slim chances and hoping that Leicester can hold on just to see something really new and unique.

  62. Alex Ice Cream says:


    I have gone for the latter as they can stop Sperz. We have already screwed up the title race so top 4 and Leicester champions is the best we can hope for.

  63. Alex Ice Cream says:

    We would ruin Messi and co. They would all be injured. Wenger even manager to break Sanchez – the bionic man.

    If Wenger doesn’t get them, the medical team will. There is no escape.

  64. Finnish Hit says:

    Oh, being Santi-less! One huge (short…) piece of our picture-perfect puzzle missing.

    And there’s one thing we all should give credit to the player and Wenger: his new role in lower midfield. The long range passing and ability to be available to offer the defenders a way of passing the ball upwards… Like the Arteta new-positioning before.


  65. Bill says:


    I am not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. Both Leicester and Spurs could still totally melt down. I have to admit that I am on the edge of the precipice and will take the leap if we don’t make up any ground in the next couple of league games.

  66. Finnish Hit says:

    @AIC “We would ruin Messi and co. They would all be injured.”

    I’m getting to understand your point of view: things will always get badder than worse and worse than bad.

    Although I’m not sure if my point of view is better– or healthier–at all: staying desperately positive.

  67. Alex Ice Cream says:


    I hear you – meltdown is very possible but I feel that we would blow it yet again. I can’t stand the thought of Sperz winning the league….

  68. Alex Ice Cream says:


    Everyone is entitled to their view – there is no good and bad.

    Come on though, if we bought Messi (! see me being positive albeit in a silly way) would you have any confidence that we wouldn’t injure him?

    My views have been substantiated by the passage of time unfortunately. I want to see Arsenal back at the top and the current path will never get us there.

  69. dukey says:

    ask any yid (sorry spud ) that you so happen to unluckily bump into and they will tell you we will still finish above them? and thay we or Leicester will win the title.

    what do us gooners reckon? do you all think they will finish above us, you call us chokers but they bloody made the handbook on it. they have been choking for over 30 years. will Leicester choke? that’s the question, the closer they get and the more they taste the title the harder it will be for them to play with the freedom they have. stats will tell you though that no team wins it losing so many games as us, and I know how we all love our stats.

  70. Foetry says:

    I don’t think our Coq has gone cocky ☺ I don’t think he has suddenly decided to have no discipline due to lack of competition for his position. In fact I would say that le Coq of this season was on course of emulating his version of last season if it was not for injury.

    To me it is no coincidence that since Santi got injured our CM seem a bit more adventurous, especially since the goals dried up, Arsene may have given instructions to press higher and also to Flamini to run into space in that final third.

    Flamini was being praised for his discipline and organisational skills 3 years ago, one occasion being at the NLD at the Emirates.

    On another note I heard somewhere that OG, Theo & Alexis had 2 goals between them for a combined 31 games! ! Horrible Stat that is ?

  71. Damon says:

    Maybe it’s because we’re missing Santi?

    When Jack’s back, things will change

    Our lead striker has gone eleven games without a goal, but it’s just a slump he’ll get out of

    It’s because Damon put the wrong socks on on match day morning

    It’s all excuses that seem to have a never ending rinse and repeat to them. Some of you are prepared to ignore what the common denominator is and cross everything that the best team in the land blow up. I’m sick of it

  72. Finnish Hit says:

    @AIC “if we bought Messi (! see me being positive albeit in a silly way) would you have any confidence that we wouldn’t injure him?”

    He has just come back from injury… Getting injuries is mathematical possibilities, getting them healed educated medical guessing. I bet the Man United doctors are under the cosh more than anyone else this season.

  73. Phil says:

    Pretty sure you have run that every time Dukey.

  74. C says:


    Very true, I offered my services to the scouting department and they told me to fuck off!!! Said I was asking for too much money! 😉

  75. andy1886 says:

    Damon, Arsene has an excuse for every day of the month, and brings them out for regular airings. If anyone is daft enough after all this time to keep falling for them then they really are beyond hope.

  76. C says:


    That’s certainly a possibility but if so then its a strange one. The thing is, Elneny is the most “Santi” type player we have in that position given Ramsey and Jack prefer to run with the ball at their feet.

    I think one thing is certain, we will find out quite a bit about Elneny in the coming matches and I think he will do quite well.

  77. C says:


    “When Jack is back, things will change.”

    Hahahaha, when will Jack be back? As Moe stated the other day, Arsene has said Jack is 3/4 weeks away for about 3/4 weeks.

  78. Harry says:

    Spurs choked when it really mattered on Saturday. Brilliant. Hopefully that continues now.

    We’ve thrown away every opportunity we’ve been given (gifted) this season, time after time, to the point we are now looking over our shoulders again.

    Unbelievable. Only it’s not really is it. Not at all.

  79. C says:

    Watching NYCFC, and Viera’s managerial debut; his tactics and style are very reminicent of Arsene and NOT Mourinho. He plays a highly line and very much all out attack with Pirlo playing the role of deep-lying playmaker spraying balls all over the park.

  80. Damon says:

    Not sure how much I’ll be around here to season end. You can already see the divide has become a bit more pronounced in the last week, as the title ratchets up a bit. I think that’ll only get worse as time ticks on. There will be a twist to it, for sure. Everyone will get their knickers in a knot but I think it’ll ultimately end with this being Arsenes big chance flushed down the toilet. I can’t ever remember such an open goal for the title? We didn’t even have to be that good, just get and hold shit together

    If we were to win it, right now I struggle to see how I’d celebrate it. If we won every game from here to the end. Some in style, scoring for fun and a couple of gritty grind outs, then yes. That would deserve it. But it’s less likely than finding the leprechaun st the end of the rainbow. If Leicester collapse so badly that we win without winning every game from here, they’ll have lost it. We won’t have won it

  81. Damon says:

    That’s the joke C, he never will be. He’s a Diaby. You might squeeze a year or two out of him, like we and United did from Van Persie. Odds against now I’d say.

  82. Harry says:

    Couldn’t really care less about the “how”, much less if we’d deserve it or not. Not emotionally invested in Leicester, so it means nothing to me. They’ve been refreshing this season though, fair play to them (and the oft-maligned Ranieri), much rather them than City or…..the unthinkable.

    Given up hoping now (LOVE to be proved wrong though, goes without saying).

  83. gunnerlife says:

    Arsenal is going to win the league.Period

  84. consolsbob says:

    Damon, I fear my earlier admission of complete cynicism in this team, club and sport may have infected you. I hope that I am wrong.

    We have met and supped ale together, I recognise the spirit in you. Often I am completely wrong about things, just ask consolslel!

  85. C says:


    I should of known but I did get a good laugh, thanks.

  86. C says:

    The thing I found interesting was how both the players and manager have stated/tried to hold accountable Le Coq responsible for not only his red but how costly it was.

  87. C says:

    Toral scored again, Arsenal need to sign him, send him on loan in PL next season and keep a close eye because he is flourishing and showing not only the grit and fight but why he was so highly rated and Barca fought so hard to keep him.

    I be damned but Yaya is playing well too and set up the winner and then had the whole stadium signing his name.

  88. dukey says:

    Oh come on Damon, no man in the history of winning has ever downtrodden the win because someone fucked up. a win is a win is a win. I suppose the chavs , city utd can’t really appreciate the numerous titles they won after we fucked them up in those whatever years it was when we collapsed in title run ins.

  89. consolsbob says:

    You are correct, duke and I don’t think that anyone really means some of the things that have been said.

    I do, however, completely understand the sentiment.

    We are becoming the antithesis of what Arsenal was and should always be.

    It’s bloody horrible to see.

  90. Moe says:

    Players don’t lack effort or desire. They lack the tactical fluidity and quality to execute our game plans. They are so mentally frail and prone to major breakdowns when things are not going well. But interesting they play at their best at their lowest point, as if we NEED to have our backs to the wall to start taking games seriously. We never take advantage, we are reactive and never proactive. Kind of like s certain Arsenal manager.

    To me those are our issues, players do try and they do care alot, just mentally frail,not enough quality and direction to do the job.

  91. Damon says:

    @ Bob

    I think the missus wins this time my friend. It wasn’t you. It’s been in me a while now though, rolling around. I reckon I’m about two years behind JJ on the Arsenal-Fan-Collapse-Curve. We’re all on it, just at different phases of its lifecycle. All irritating each other that we’re not in the same phase simultaneously. Which is generally impossible, so we should relax about it

    But none of us will

    Swansea was a hubris for me. I think for you too? I think for others as well. We were built up. Again. And bought it again. Only for it to fall down again. Not sure I fancy sticking thousands of pounds a year into Sky subscriptions and tickets to line the pockets of a billionaire when he wont do his part of the deal. The deal I signed up to anyway


    Yes, I’d still be pleased. Happy even. But it would be cheapened, to me anyway. We’ve been horrible this year to say you were chuffed with this would be a lie. The joy is best when it’s wrapped up in glory and moments of perfection and occasionally making something jaw dropping that has never been done or seen before

    In watching the best team in the land that have done all that for three quarters of a season, so far, flush that away so you can say you “won”? That doesn’t bring me the same pleasure for me. I know that won’t work for everyone, but I don’t really care. No one will ever change that subtle difference in me

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