Arsenal can’t raise themselves for poor teams | We were leaderless when Arteta left the pitch

by & filed under Match report.

Robin Freekick

The season that just keeps on giving gave some more yesterday as Arsenal sunk to new lows in a topsy turvy season when they dropped 3 points against a lowly, yet resurgent Wigan side. That’s our tenth defeat of the season. What an achievement. It’s our second defeat in two weeks. The other one coming at QPR. It’s also the second time in two weeks we’ve had every right to question the players commitment to the cause.

Yesterday was disappointing on so many levels. Like a few mentioned in the ground before the game, whenever Wenger spends a week blowing smoke up the backsides of the players, it usually ends up in a complacent performance.

Wigan switched it up from the off which made me feel uncomfortable. Arsenal ended up shooting towards the North Bank for the first half. We had the first chance of the game when Thomas Vermaelen whistled a shot just wide of the Wigan post. Our goal was another horror show of defending.

6 minutes in we earned a corner. Robin Van Persie, a player we’re looking to offer £8million a year didn’t beat the man at the front post (how many times do we suffer that indignity?) the ball was cleared as far as Sagna, he returned the header to a Wigan player… they bombed up the pitch, crossed to Di Santo, he hit a first time shot that hit Chezzer and ended up in the net. Shocking defending. Where was our midfield? Why we so committed after 6 minutes?

The second goal didn’t take too long to come. Precisely 2 minutes if you’d like me to be exact. Victor Moses, of ex-Palace notoriety had the ball out on the right, he jinked right, then cut out left, hitting the byline leaving Sagna for dead, he crossed, Djourou fluffed his clearance, Chezzer spilled the ball, Vermaelen didn’t know what he was doing and Jordi Gomez nipped in to bury the gifted opportunity.

An absolutely terrible start.

Things managed to get worse. Arteta had picked up what looked like a hamstring complaint before the second goal. That meant bringing on Aaron Ramsey to rescue the game. Oh dear we all thought. Some very vocally. I don’t think those fears were calmed when Ramsey bottled a 50/50 in the middle of the park after about 5 minutes.

When Arteta left the pitch, so you felt, did our chance of the winning the game. There was no leader present anywhere. The lack of communication was so bad that at one point, there was no one to take a corner on the right side. Rosicky eventually took it… no further than the front post, obviously.

The player who seemed most interested in pulling us back into the game was Vermaelen. He managed to get himself on the end of a drilled low cross from Rosicky and he bulleted his header in. That gave us hope, but the performance never really stepped out of the low gear it had started in.

The team meandered into the second half bereft of any ideas or tactics on how to break down a well oiled Wigan side. Sagna was having the worst game I’ve ever seen him have in an Arsenal shirt. Victor Moses had him chasing shadows all game. He was stronger in the challenge, he was quicker and he was smarter than the Frenchman for the whole ninety minutes.

Up front, what can I tell you? Theo Walcott was utter garbage all evening. His touch was awful, his decision making was embarrassing and his input into the match was precisely zero. He can’t play against a deep lying defence no matter how weak they are as players. Robin Van Persie went missing in a big way yesterday. Where was his rallying cry to the rest of the team? Where was his swash buckling performance? I appreciate he’s had an amazing season, but so did Spurs for the first three months. The season is 38 games. The job isn’t done until it’s done. He’s gone missing over the last few weeks.

It’s not his fault though. If there was ever a two week period where we’ve needed a second striker of great quality, it’s been these two weeks. Wigan and QPR dropped points are partly down to shi*e defending, but also, more importantly, down to the fact that we have played the whole season with one striker. Robin is probably as mentally drained as the fans are at the moment.

Santos was very dodgy in defence again. It seems to take him 8 games to get fit. However, going forward, he was a shining light compared to the rest. Direct, creative and gutsy. Nothing dropped though.

I also have to take exception to the substitutions. I understand why we’re not starting with Chamberlain, I really do. He’s raw, he’s been largely ineffective when he’s been brought on, but he has a spark about his game. Perhaps if he was given longer than 20minutes he’d be a little better than he is now.

Yesterday, with half an hour to go, it was clear that we had no creativity in the side and half the attackers weren’t interested. Why oh why did we bring on Gervinho? He has the WORST one on one conversion rate in the Premier League. He’s been awful in every game since he came back from the ACN and he’s very weak under pressure.

Yesterday, the stage was set for the introduction early of the Ox. He came on with 20 minutes to go, he didn’t do a lot, but he runs at players, he puts defenders on the back foot and he can play that creative centre midfield role better than any of the players we had on show yesterday.

The game just fizzled out without a whimper. Sure the refereeing was poor. When is it not? The embarrassing act that all Premiership refs have of only booking a time wasting goalkeeper in the 93rd minute is something the league should address… but what did we expect? They’re trying to survive. Yesterday’s result wasn’t a surprise. It looked like Wenger hadn’t shown them the videos of Wigan’s last two games. In fact, we turned up so casually, it looked like the players hadn’t been told about the results they’d achieved over the last two weeks.

When Wenger talks about the last 6 games deciding his transfer policy this summer. I hope he’s looking at certain players with cross hairs. JD isn’t good enough. Theo Walcott, for all his stats, isn’t good enough. Szczesny needs proper competition. Alex Song needs competition and he needs to be pulled into a room and told Wenger was misquoted when he said he’d learnt from Cesc. Gervinho needs to address his form. Wenger needs to address our striking woes. The team needs more experience. We desperately need a creative centre midfielder.

I don’t think we’re in danger of losing top 4. I still think we’ll make it. We’ve just made life so much harder on ourselves (historically, haven’t we always?). The biggest worry is that Arteta left the ground on crutches. The importance of him in our midfield can’t be underestimated. We looked lost without him. Who are we going to play against Cheslea? Ramsey will get eaten alive. Outside him, who are the options? We have none. Unless Wenger panics and brings Jack back.

Personally, I’ll be glad when this season is over. I haven’t enjoyed it this year. The shambolic inconsistency of our squad has made it a roller coaster of total misery versus small pockets of jubilation. This season needs to be killed off so the club can rebuild for next year. Saturday needs to be a victory. No moping around. No mental tiredness or playing with the handbrake on. It needs to be a solid win. If it’s not, we’re back in serious trouble again.

Arsenal need to not put stats like… ‘We’ve never lost on a Monday night’… that was asking for trouble on a totally ‘don’t jinx the game’ note.

Before I leave you, I can’t abide by ‘this is the team who have won 9 our of 11 games’… do you know what? Who cares. This is the team that’s lost 2 out its last three games. Two against bang average opposition. That’s not acceptable. You don’t judge results on what went before. If anything, it makes it all the worse because we seem to be more up for the games against the big team. What does that tell you? We haven’t done the double against any of the bottom 5 this year.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

The season of the false dawn is nearly over. Let’s hope that come the end, the sun actually does rise. It’s looking 50/50 at the moment.

554 Responses to “Arsenal can’t raise themselves for poor teams | We were leaderless when Arteta left the pitch”

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  1. SDE

    RR-Goat Fornicator,
    “Okay SDE how about a cyber handshake eh? blog of love and all that”

    Reply:Is this you raising the white flag..?Surrendering…GF(Goat Fornicator)?
    If so,learn to pick your words carefully and your fights!!looney toon..

  2. Radio Raheem

    You really are a demented spastic aren’t you SDE? You are easy to suss out like I showed but you’ve served your purpose – entertained me – but you’re boring. Hos like you get what you deserve shame people like us have to pay for you treatment! Now Fuck off

  3. SDE

    Goat Fornicator

    You are easy to suss out like I showed but you’ve served your purpose – entertained me –

    Reply..Why don’t you,go and blow your herd of goats..Dogbreath..
    You will be entertaining them tonight?,or your herd entertaining you..?

  4. jack

    Yes Gambon

    we invest in dross and we get top 4, humiliated in cl group stage, and the Board reap the rewards.

    get used to standing outside looking in for years to come

  5. demon

    mourinho aligns his team with players he needs to carry out his tactics wenger plays tiki taka with wankers that cant make accurate straight forward passess, too much sidewards passing for my liking. we also have wankers like walcott and gevinho who cant maintain possesion!!!

  6. SDE

    Radio-Goat & Ass Fornicator

    The funny thing was,I was about to accept your truce,of a cyberhandshake!!the penultimate message was just pulling your leg a bit..But you know,as I said earlier on,I hope your days,and nights and your week is filled with misery ,tears and pain..More so pain inflicted by your herd of goats,you fornicating douchebag..

  7. Ricky


    The only players that will get into that bayern from our team would be rvp, sagna, vermaelen (maybe) & jack as a squad player.

    The rest wouldn’t even get a sniff.

  8. Radio Raheem

    Boring game? I thought it was quite interesting Keyser or you messing?
    No way we could live with those two tonight

  9. SDE

    Reading have just been automatically promoted to Premiership beating forest 1-0..

    You reckon wenger will be loaning them some of our season?

  10. David

    Things just have to change, especially when Victor Moses is running round circles round our defenders.

    Note to Mr. Wenger.


  11. Keyser

    It was interesting in terms of Bayern, the way they’ve built a pretty decent around Robben and Ribery, other than that Madrid cane for a draw maybe ana way goal and got it.

    I think both teams were pretty cautious and played within themselves.

  12. SDE


    If wenger had his complete way,he would be picking up players on freebies..Funny how he moaned about Nasri,being in a position,to be able to run down his contract for free,if nasri took that option last summer,and suggested that UEFA should review this situation,as it was rather unfair…
    But on the other hand decided to wait a season and a half for chamakh,in order to pick him up for free,rather than pay the market price for him at the time..
    Then proceeds to do an article in one of the broadsheets,bragging about how he saves the club money,and in any other industry he would be feted/lauded for his uncanny abilities to save the club money and pick up freebies..but not in football..!!He really is a senile,twisted hyprocrite..bit like dogbreath..above RR

  13. Radio Raheem

    I’ll put a £10 on Reading to finish in the top ten next season


    It’s sad considering we played in the final of 2006 outplaying Real on our way there

  14. SDE

    Let’s loan them Wenger and we will take Mcdermott

    Reply:Not sure about that one..Might need to sleep on that one!!

  15. Rohan

    Yeah we couldn’t live with Wigan or QPR but we could with Manchester City.

    I really like Bayern though. Thought they outplayed Madrid and probably should have gotten more out of the game even. The return fixture is mouthwatering. The German league really is getting to a very high level.

  16. SDE


    “I’ll put a £10 on Reading to finish in the top ten next season”

    How about I’ll pay you a tenner to jump in the lions enclosure covered in raw meat,at your nearest zoo..,or £20 to go skinny dipping in shark infested waters..

    That’s my idea of a douchebag!!

  17. Radio Raheem

    I’d really like to see all four top European leagues being at a high level. Italy has been shit for a while now except for when Inter won it. I couldn’t see any of the premier league top teams living with either of the two teams tonight. City have the squad just not the manager

  18. gambon

    Aaaah Ribery

    Another that wanted to join us, Wenger however knew best.

    Yeah, Afobe is at Reading, dont think hes getting much playing time.

  19. vengerzakunt

    if youre all wondering who should be sacked after another shit season then check out what wenger has to say in this video at 1:24

  20. Keyser

    Think he only joined recently, like a couple of weeks, should get some gametime if they’re already promoted.

  21. demon


    like i said im willing to kidnap wenger for the whole summer so gazidis can go out and buy players without having to ask wenger how much he should bid. his sick economical way of thought is dragging our club down the gutter. the prick tried to get past the tpa inserted by banks so the club spent money on giving shit heads like almunia and others huge contracts so he didnt have to spend money.

  22. SDE

    “Things just have to change, especially when Victor Moses is running round circles round our defenders”.

    Reply:Wenger should do what Mourinho used to do when he was at chelsea..Buy up players from the opposition that used to cause the team problems..If they are that good consistently play them..if they show flashes,or glimpses of brillance,either way bench them..Win-win situation..At least when facing certain terms,their potent threat is nullified,as he’s sitting on our bench,or in the first eleven..So worst that can happen,we draw the match..Might seem an irresponsible policy to adopt,but no more so than the great wage debacle ongoing under wenger’s timewatch!!

  23. gambon

    He started the first game after he arrived and did well.

    Since then hes basically been Roberts understudy.

    Ive been a huge fan since he was a kid, but he desperately needs playing time, and needs to start to become prolific. He was massively rated as a kid.

    He was just as good as Oxlade last year in league 1, but because Wenger paid £12m for AOC he will always feel pressure to favour him.

  24. SDE

    “Do you know where Reading is ?”

    What kind of stupid question is that?
    That’s like asking..Is the pope catholic?Or are you stupid?Duh…
    Anyway what’s your point?

  25. demon


    ribery wanted to join us twice but the french frog took his sweet time probably looking to sign him on a free.

    di maria was another one that was on the verge of signing but wenger didnt wanna pay the extra mill like he did with xabi alonson

  26. Radio Raheem

    SDE – Do you know where Reading is ?

    I doubt it, except the zoo the ho is trying to get me to visit is in Reading

    she obviously leaves in a zoo

  27. Keyser

    Afobe was probably going to get games for us this season if it wasn’t for being injured, the Ox is different more versatile, Afobe’s powerful though , looked far more mobile and smaller for some reason when we saw him in pre-season.

  28. demon


    im suprised u fell for this afobe kid, bendtner and jay simpson ripped the youth teams because of their physicality against children. now hes useless just like JET and jay simpson. Im really pissed about rhys murphy and henri lansbury, they would of been the xavi and villa of arsenal if they didnt have them long term injuries.

  29. SDE

    “like i said im willing to kidnap wenger for the whole summer so gazidis can go out and buy players without having to ask wenger how much he should bid. his sick economical way of thought is dragging our club down the gutter. the prick tried to get past the tpa inserted by banks so the club spent money on giving shit heads like almunia and others huge contracts so he didnt have to spend money.”

    You see the situation at arsenal is rather weak..Where wenger has managed to somehow position himself in the club,to the point that his power&influence has gone unchecked..Point I’m trying to make,is that in any other industry the manager reports to the chief executiveand is held accountable..Here at Arsenal,the chief-executive reports to the manager..Incredible..How is that possible?
    So we can only sit and wait patiently for the day wenger decides in his own words to leave at his own time of choosing..

  30. arsenal1886-2006

    “Afobe’s powerful though , looked far more mobile and smaller for some reason when we saw him in pre-season.”
    Maybe give him some HGH like the drug cheat Messi.

  31. SDE

    GF-Radio Raheem

    “I doubt it, except the zoo the ho is trying to get me to visit is in Reading she obviously leaves in a zoo”

    Reply..I thought you were bored..Obsessed the nutter

    You my crazy friend..were born,raised, and reside permanently in a brothel along with your herd of goats.
    You fornicating douchebag!!
    Anyway..why don’t you go forth and multiply!!

  32. SDE

    “Nah you just used ‘douchebag’ a couple of times. Was wondering if you were American”

    Reply..Hmm..Just waiting for you to slip in one your tedious quips..Anyway I might be part american?might not?
    Why are you german?

  33. demon


    the man has a bust held at the club while hes still the manager.

    i think he showed so much busines sense to the old foggies at the top back when we won trophies that they decided to make him god within the club.

    power makes people go crazy hence wenger, he was perfect when dein kept him in check now gazidiz is afraid to do his job properly. I think the whole status quo needs a shake up from pat rice to mr hill wood…. all bloody yes men, have u noticed all pat rice does is listen at wengers rants, shake his head in agree, keeps schtum then get up and shout a few things and sits back down.

  34. SDE


    Reply:You will be permanently zzzzz…when they cover you in slabs of raw meat,and chuck you into the lions enclosure…

  35. Keyser

    arsenal1886-2006 – He was pretty big when he was younger seemed the target man type, but looked smaller, compact but powerful in pres-season and pretty mobile like he could play wide right/left aswell as up front.


    Can anyone tell me if Pedro answered my question on when Le Grove will call for a new manager?

    10 league defeats,
    £7M a year manager
    No where near challenging for the Carling Cup that alone the CL or EPL.
    Constant fkin dross of average players.
    Sell our best players.

    Yet we have a man in Usmanov who wants to pump money in.

    Somebody please do something to change the set up at Arsenal.

  37. gambon


    I gave Bendtner til he was about 22 and realised it wasnt gonna happen. He certainly has enough talent to play for a big club, but his attitude stinks and its clear it just isnt gonna happen.

    Afobe has a lot of talent. As you say he’s ripped up youth football, he went on loan to league 1 at 17, which is very rare, and was impressive, which puts him on a par with Oxlade.

    He no doubt has to improve a lot, but i think he has a real chance. The next 2 years are huge for him.

  38. demon


    i totally agree with you, ive had the same view for these past years.

    i think wenger should be sacked and saluted if we reach top 4. the new manager should have the £50+mill in the tpa plus the £40 mill from UCL and go on a normal mans qualtity spending spree not wengers silvestre, chamackh and squillaci qualidee!!!

  39. SDE


    Gazidis is doing his job as a sub-ordinate to Wenger..As it was wenger who sanctioned his employ..Gazidis can’t do didley squat..

    For there to be change…sometimes they say you need to take 2 steps back,in order to take 1 step forward..
    I believe the best thing that can happen to Arsenal is if we finish 5th,or 6th..Sad I know,but true..This will now set the cat amongst the pigeons..Essentially there is a power struggle at arsenal..And what is uniting the various factions on the board,or management level is that 40 million CHAMPIONS LG Money,along with the other add-ons..Now the repercussions from not qualifying for champions league,will see a few disgruntled board members not happy with their lot and the status quo..They will want changes with immediate effect,heads will roll,there will be infighting,they will look for a scapegoat..At this time,wenger will face the wrath of the board members,maybe he will be their sacrifical lamb and be ousted as a result..Remember managers have been sacked for far less at Arsenal..e.g.Terry O’neil,Stewart Houston,Bruce Rioch..Recall all that George Graham did for us,and the board delivered his head on a silver platter to the FA,in that bung investigation..Wenger is conveniently hiding behind this so called power struggle..But they will turn,if he fails to keep that gravy train running smoothly..

  40. SDE


    I gave Bendtner til he was about 22 and realised it wasnt gonna happen. He certainly has enough talent to play for a big club, but his attitude stinks and its clear it just isnt gonna happen.

    Technically Bendtner is sound..but a clinical striker he is not!!I Yes attitude stinks..more so given all the times,he was being loaned to b’ham..and yet he couldn’t really cut the muster..If he sorted his attitude,I could seem,in a walcott role,in that sense he brings more to the table than walcott..Wenger tried him in that role a couple of times..

  41. demon


    mark my words he will be another jay simpson….always there abouts but never playing. he will be a mid level prem player nothing more. bendtner raped the championship….whats afobe doing of note???

  42. demon

    the summer would of been set if we had lost against the scum but luckily for him we somehow pulled a win and went on a run.

    i would happily drive to barcelona and bring pep guardiola back. he can make arsenal great again plus with the 90 mill transfer kitty!!

  43. gambon


    Bendtner didnt rape the championship at all. He scored 11 in 42, hardly that special.

    This is the season Afobe shouldve spent a year at a championship club, but hes been injured virtually all year.

    Next season hopefully he’ll get a season either in the champs or PL and we will see.

    JET was never gonna make it, it was just A that thought he would.

  44. arsenal1886-2006

    Keyser. I guess you can look bigger when playing against 16-17 year olds but look fairly average against older pros. Leave him at Reading for another year and see how he progresses, he has a good pro in Roberts to show him the tricks and how to use your physique against defenders.

    One player I would like to see more of is Coqeulin. I really like this kid he has a good brain and is versatile, but I can see him leaving this summer as he wants first team football on a more regular basis, he is hungry for success and should be persuaded to stay

  45. demon


    bendtners important goals, assists , passing, movement and hold up play propelled the birmingham side to the premier league.

    i dont see nothing special in afobe. im more hopefull of wellington who looks like a david villa kind of player.

    i hate the way our loaness are mistreated in spain……cant we buy a low tier team in spain so they can be our feeder club?????

  46. Radio Raheem

    lions enclosure = monster pussy. i like that.

    nah prefer smaller ones. dog pound?

  47. SDE

    Can it be right that a lot me wouldn’t mind Chelsea and Stoke beating us if it meant change occurred?

    Reply..mMorally no..But its a means toan end of the status quo..Its looking at the greater good of the club
    No one man,or player is bigger than a club,or an organisation..
    You are only as strong as the sum of the parts..
    And Wenger is a major weak link,or component on the sporting side of this club..

    In Ann Robinson’s famous words..”You are the weakest link..Goodbye Wenger!!

  48. Keyser

    arsenal 1886-2006 – English youth players it can be misleading, some get advanced because they are bigger and quicker at a younger age, rather than technically better, think it was Liverpool reserves a few weeks ago, but he controlled the ball well under pressure physically he’s nearly there, I think Reading still play attacking football ? Or they used to so maybe he could stay, rather he got used to our style.

    Coquelin’s played quite a bit bar injury this year, if he’s smart he should know he’ll get the chances, must’ve been a shock to adjusting to the first team intensity, but hopefully he’ll improve, still very young.

  49. SDE


    You are a disturbed man, dead dogs,bats,wild cats,monster pussy cats,goats..!!What next sewer rats..
    Says it all really,seems your heavily into animals..
    I think the electric chair is too good for you dude!!
    If you think you are so hard and tough,why don’t you take a walk down a dark tube tunnel,and see if you can dodge an oncoming train travelling at 140 mph towards you..
    I tell you I’ll be might impressed if you can dodge that feat..
    Bet you a tenner,you’ll chicken out of that!

  50. SDE

    “electric chair” ? Would that help narrow down what state you’re from ?

    Reply.. Yeah your worst nightmare state..!!
    What ,want to join in along with your siamese goat-fornicating twin RR..

  51. SDE

    Radio Raheem
    you were entertaining for a bit then got boring…nite nite miss ‘lions enclosure’

    Yeah I hope you wake up in the middle of the night,with severe muscle cramp in both your fornicating legs,screaming with no one around you to help,with your phone battery dead unable to call emergency services,and you writhing around in glorious pain,able to do fuck all..As I said..I hope your days,and nights are filled with misery,pain and tears.Starting tonight with muscle cramps in both legs and the sole of your feet..Neanderthal man..

  52. SDE

    “If he could, would he call 911 ?”

    Which hand would be free to call emergency services,if he had severe muscle cramp in both legs..!!
    Anyway for all I care he’ll probably be calling his herd of goats to tend to his needs,the crazy douchebag..

    You’re funny..How comes you’ve mellowed?

  53. wenker-wanger

    wenger praised the wigan defense…i suppose he couldnt use the poor pitch excuse he regularly uses. What a shambles, what a toothless attack. wenger should take all the blame,,he assembled this mediocre outfit and he (apparently) organises the dumb predictable tactics. I just wish the senile idiot would resign……but not a chance whilst his real ambition to make profits for him and the board are going so well.

  54. Confidentgoner


    Sagna—————–Dj or Song—————Verm——Gibbs

    —Rosicky ——— COQ or Song———— Santor


  55. Confidentgoner

    We need to be in their faces from the get go. Frank and terry don’t like teaams that press the ball, as they’lll make mistakes. 2-1 to the Arsenal if AW does not make wrong choices.

    He should Bench Ramsey for impact sub appearance later , either use OX on the left or in the Feo’s position.

  56. goonerboy

    Inconsistent the Milan manager said of us-so true. This Wigan game was a really bad performance and we got what we deserved. Arsenal looked shot-not enough energy and drive.-some players needed resting. Same old-same old with Wenger-unable to bring in fresh legs-no one with top quality necessary to unlock a tough well organised defence-after giving the opposition a 2 goal start. There is not enough creativity in this squad. On this showing there does need to be a clear out of the duds and injury prone players over the summer-and an investment in players who will make a difference.

  57. Robert

    Pedro, if you’re struggling for content, can you give us a rundown of wengers complete career

    Trophies won
    Finals lost
    Yearly league finish
    Goals against by year
    Players bought
    Players sold
    Players missed by fucking around
    Yearly transfer bottom line

    Will be tough work, but I think there will be some good data there.

  58. R,S.P.C.Arsenal

    JD shouting his mouth off again./… so is fabreshit…

    i wish when they are average players they would shut up… i wish when they leave they would shut up…

    i wish wenger would leave…i wish i wish!