Oxo a lone positive in a night that leaves me worrying for the next 5

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Well good morning everyone!

I didn’t attend (I watched online) the game yesterday, so I won’t pretend that I can dish out any sort of world-class match report here, but it was certainly a game of two halves and one where fitness and the quality gulf ultimately saved us from another humiliation.

Shrewsbury took a deserved lead early on after a cross from wide right looked so scary, Johan Djorrou couldn’t find it in himself to jump and defend it, Morgan found himself in acres of space and nodded the header past the rooted Fabianski. Boo’s reverberated around the stadium, the fans were not happy.

The next 15-20 minutes Arsenal continued to invite pressure on their goal. We struggled to get our foot on the game and we offered our keeper very little protection, not the most impressive of first halves. It appeared the confidence problem had leaked into every part of the squad. It’s not often a top 4 team could complain they were being outplayed by a League 2 side.

Jenkinson whipped a low cross into the Shrewsbury box on around the 30 minutes mark, the Englishman did well to fashion a downward header into the bottom corner, the keeper scrambled but not quickly enough to keep it out. A good goal and relief for the 46,000 fans who attended.

The second half was the Oxo show. He started to find his feet in the game and almost immediately made an impact, picking the ball out in the middle of the park, looking up and smashing in a low pile driver from 25 yards out. More than deserved and an exceptional goal for his first full debut regardless of who we were playing.

Yossi Benayoun added a third late on after Oyakzup did well to keep the ball in play, cutting it back to the Israeli who fired his shot past the keeper for his 2nd in his career!

All in all, not a game too many will come away from feeling convinced. We’re still struggling woefully at the back and we’re only a tweaked hamstring or a back spasm away from having to field Johann Djourrou against some pretty nasty teams.

Make no mistake, last night was a bad performance. That lack of urgency and concentration that had hindered us or years still show no sign of relenting even with a squad of unknowns slipping in. Should so-called Premiership defenders be getting run ragged by a player sacked by a Aldershot and a winger on his 5th club? This is a team so depleted, they could only name 6 subs!

Arsene Wenger wouldn’t be drawn on the need for a defensive coach,

“I’ve just completed 32 years of coaching – I don’t want to answer this kind of question.”

You’d think in 32 years of coaching someone would have pointed out to him that this was an important part of the game, especially if the last 5 years have seen your defence become progressively worse. Especially if your team is conceding 2.8 goals a game in the league.

Trouble is, we know that it’s a dictatorship down at the Grove and anyone who comes in would have to have an opinion on how we play and Arsene Wenger is not a fan of being told he might have something wrong. Did anyone hear Pat Rice say he didn’t enjoy the responsibility of managing the side last week? Embarrassing. We begged to keep that attitude on for a year.

I’ll take the win. I’ll take the knowledge that AOC could emerge as a talent that will numb the not too sharp a pain of losing Theo, but I’m still gravely concerned about the direction of this club over the next few months. Our manager shouldn’t be in a position where he is told he is un-sackable. It’s a nonsense. Where is the accountability? Where is the motivation for him to change what he’s doing? It’s madness.

I kind of feel for Gazidis though. What can he say 2 months into the season? The cost of removing Wenger now would be £20million+, you’d have no time to bed a new manager in and it could all end in a disaster that would fully be on the head of CEO for years to come.

We’ll have to ride out this season and pray to god a miracle happens and we finish 4th. At the moment, that looks like a pipe dream, we simply don’t have the quality, we don’t have the preparation and the players don’t look like they have the guidance.

The next 5 games could get very messy…

Radio

I made a brief appearance on Radio 5 live last night, which had one caller praising the site and reeling off stats he’d picked up from Sunday’s post, followed by a rampant AKB more interested in debating Le Grove than the facts of Wenger’s demise as a manager. Very embarrassing. He even thought it relevant verbally spell out a very naughty word on a family radio station. The embodiment of class and intelligence.

Fancy that, a debate about Le Grove on the biggest news station in the world. Who’d have thunk it? I’ll post a link when I get one!

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We’ll learn from the Blackburn defeat says Arsenal’s Djourou, or was it Van Persie after the Manc game or Wenger after the Liverpool game Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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My point is that after every loss last season and this, the players always say they’ll learn from this, they owe it to the fans, they’ll come back stronger, but they don’t do any of the above so I wish they’d just stop saying it.

Something like we aren’t worth the money we are paid so will donate it to the miners fund or something similar, may go a lot further.

Anyway forget all that, this team is going nowhere with this current management at the helm so I’m not getting too excited either way, however tonight is a different issue, tonight we get to see the players that haven’t yet been affected too much and will go out and give us a performance to lift our spirits, like in the first game at Shite Hart lane last season when our reserves tore the spuds a new one, remember that? I do, it was one of our rare victories!

I was thinking what his team will be tonight so this is my best guess.

Fabianski

Jenkinson Mertesacker Miquel Santos

Frimpong Yossi Coquelin

Rio Park Chamberlain

With Afobe and Rosicky if fit amongst the others on the bench.

I think he play Mertesacker to give him games that he sorely needs and Santos to get fit. Anyway Gibbs is probably injured so he won’t be available, Frimpong and Coquelin in the middle with Yossi for experience and a brand new forward line which I have to say fills me with excitement, and given that our current forward line will be sold next summer we should at least start bedding them in early, and a team like Shrewsbury would be ideal, and something that even Wenger and Rice, the Laurel and Hardy of the EPL should be able to handle.

I think that Flappy in goal will be okay for this one but don’t get him near the first team door and Miquel will relish the chance to show how good he will be, thing is I think he’s better than Kozzer and Squillaci already, talking of Squillaci I will be happy if he stays out all season, he really is a liability.

Jenkinson is a boy I like, though nowhere near ready yet, he is one for the future, Frimpong and Coquelin once again have their chance and I’m backing them to succeed big time.

I had a dream on Sunday, Cesc (who can’t stop talking about us) was so upset at the shite results we have been getting, asked Barca if he could go back on loan until the end of the season as he felt responsible, then yesterday I read that Cesc says he won’t rule out coming back to Arsenal and a buy-back, first option is in the contract, in 4 years he’ll be 27 and Thiago will be 23 so you never know.

I suspect by then Jack will be the best midfielder in the world, though you’ll probably have to go to Madrid to watch him!

I know it’s only the Carling Cup but for me it’s still the League Cup and when we beat the much fancied Liverpool in 1987 (I was there) we kicked on and became successful, so who knows eh?

Maybe I do for once! Big score tonight, tip our front three to score a bagful, 6nil. Enjoy your night Grovers, this could be a fun one.

P.S. If anyone has a pair of spares they’re looking to shift on, let me know, I have a buyer.

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Was Vince Cable talking about Arsenal? If he was, he’s spot on!

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First of all let me say I really don’t care for Liberals, they live in a fantasy world and probably knit their own jumpers, wear ear muffs and have hairy armpits (the women) but Vince Cable said this.

‘People accept capitalism, but they want responsible capitalism. I want to call time on payouts for failure’

I couldn’t agree more, Arsenal on the other hand don’t, they have paid average players with no heart massive salaries for years and have a manager that is not only in the biggest trough in football, he has won nothing of note since 2005, and even then we got battered, so in truth it goes back to 2004 (unless you want to include losing a final)

Now for an economist that really makes no sense, if Wenger were in business he would have been sacked years ago, let’s just put the record straight, he got a degree in Economics, that doesn’t make him one, a mate of mine got a degree in Theology, he isn’t the Pope though, he took it because it was hard to fail and he wanted a degree.

Let’s go back to 2004 and when this team was successful, not just successful, but the most successful team of all time, the Invincibles.

Most of the players that were in that team also played in the 2005 Cup final, this is what it looked like…

  • Vieira
  • Gilberto
  • Cole
  • Pires
  • Reyes
  • Lehmann
  • Fabregas
  • Lauren
  • Ljunberg
  • Toure
  • Edu
  • Bergkamp
  • Campbell
  • Senderos
  • Van Persie

Players that were in the squad at the time of note but not in the final

Henry

Players still at the Arsenal from that squad

Van Persie

So how many of the above players have been adequately replaced since then?

Apart from Senderos (Vermaelen) none of them.

Yes we have Jack, Theo, Chezzer and Ramsey but I’m talking ready mades, not the future, though it can be argued that Jack is ready made, but that was luck.

How many of the above that went are still playing and are world class

Cole and Fabregas

So someone needs to explain to me what progress we have made since 2005, our defence has got steadily worse, so who have we signed since?

Well we re-signed Campbell again, years after we let him go, we signed Mikel Silvestre after the Mancs let him go, then our defence got worse and somewhere in there we got shot of the hapless Senderos, then we bought Koscielny for £10mil and Squillaci for £5mil. Rubbish to be honest and not even cheap, we could have had Jones, Samba or Cahill for what we paid for Koscielny when we bought him.

Anyone with a basic knowledge of football could see the problems associated with our defence, well I say anyone, but forgot Arsene Wenger, who for the last six years has resolutely refused to buy what we need and continues to shop in the bargain basements of Europe.

Still Arsene knows best doesn’t he. He first of all says that if we sold Nasri and Cesc we would be a club without ambition, he then sells them in August, we called for him to at least buy the replacements before he sold and not only did he not, he didn’t replace them. And he sold Cesc on Barca’s terms not ours, now they are jibing us. He had 3 years left, what sort of a madman sells a world class player with a long contract on the cheap and into the season?

How can anyone defend that? If you do, you really can’t be a real Arsenal fan.

He has also said many times players need to be bought in for pre-season to get used to their surroundings, hmmmm.

We then got tonked by the Mancs, not just tonked but beaten by the biggest margin in 100 odd years, so he then goes out and panic buys Arteta, Mertesacker, Santos, Park and Benayoun although the latter was a loan.

This is after he said the maximum amount of player you can buy is 3 as more can’t be integrated in time.

He never stops contradicting himself, he says he won’t buy a player that isn’t better than what he has, yet Young goes to the Mancs and he’s a Gooner, Smalling and Jones we bid for so must have rated, same with Mata and Cahill and we get none of them.

So he sells 7 players, 3 of them good, he can’t sell three others (Denilson, Bendtner and Almunia) because they are shite, even though we have persevered with them for many years, because he told us they were the best.

And the biggest problem area we have we bring in Mertesacker 3 weeks after the season starts, and play the poor sod alongside the worst defender we have, or joint worst.

We also spend £15mil on a 17 year old, buy a 19 year old we have to loan out for 3 years and sign a Korean that played for a team in France that got relegated, now help me here, who is going mad, me or Wenger.

Yes we lost players but why? We lost them because we signed no one of note, had he signed Alonso when he had the chance we may have kept Cesc.

Had he not haggled over £2mil for Schwarzer we may not have had a keeper crisis last season, had we not screwed Flamini over in the ECL final we may still have him, or kept Diarra instead.

What did Nasri think when he saw Almunia, Squillaci, Eboue and Djourou trotting out, what did Cesc think when he saw the likes of Diaby being persevered with?

If there are any people out there happy with what this manager is doing, I’d be amazed, because I’m not, he is destroying my team, being paid massively in the bargain and proving that he is completely un-sackable, his power has no bounds.

When people say Gazidas has to act, who are they kidding, Gazidas has no power, he was brought in by Kroenke to agree with everything and anything the manager says.

Arteta and Mertesacker are class players, but playing them with the jokers in this team won’t improve us.

How people think Song is world class is beyond me, he has a good game followed by a disaster and some out there think he’s what we need, he’s not. Kozzer is a shocking centreback, Santos is either unfit or yet another poor buy and Yossi is an aging crock. As for Park, I’ve never seen him play, so no comment. And if Wenger has seen him, then why wait until August to sign him? Madness.

Most of the kids we got rid of this season could have gone years ago and before anyone says Wenger finds diamonds, save it, apart from Anelka name me one, Henry was well known and cost £10.5mil, Nasri was £11mil and hailed as the new Zidane, Cesc was the next big thing in Spain and Ashley Cole was already at the Arsenal, either way all of them left. I wonder why?

I am now saying it really is time for Wenger to go, we got beaten by the team at the bottom of the table and Wenger’s response is to say, we scored 6 goals and were on the losing side, no shit Sherlock, thanks for that.

This isn’t about this season, this shocking run goes all the way back to March, it’s a disaster and we pay him £7mil to oversee it, he has had since May to sort this out and now we are 3 from the bottom of the league, Hill-Wood and Kroenke, I’m glad you’re satisfied with your manager and his woeful decision making because in the not too distant future you’ll be watching us playing to a half empty stadium and sod all sponsors.

Then Wenger will leave and all the AKB’s will say we are in trouble because Wenger left, that my friends started in the summer of 2005.

Have a great day Grovers, my week is screwed, next up the Carling Cup so at least I’ll get to see us win a game!

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