This plane is crashing, and no one can stop it… Ratings and match report

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Wenger Airlines. Who wants to get off?

Wenger Airlines. Who wants to get off?

In 1989, a British Midland’s 737 attempted an emergency landing at Kegworth Airport. Cabin crew had alerted the pilot mid-flight that an engine was on fire. Normally this problem is resolved by shutting down the engine that is on fire and landing at the nearest airport using the other engine. On this fateful day, the Captain accidentally shut down the wrong engine. As the Pilots could not see the engines from their seats, they assumed everything was ok… However, cabin crew could still see the smoke billowing from the engine as could the passengers… but no one said anything until it was too late. They all assumed the Captain knew what he was doing. The plane crashed just before the runway and 47 people died.

An extreme story… but I am a football fan and I feel extreme emotions.

Arsene is our captain, he’s shut down the wrong engine and there is no one on the plane who is willing to tell him he’s made a mistake… Our plane seems to have been in free fall all season… but it’s getting to the point now where even if he does realise his mistakes… we’re still going to crash.

Aston Villa play today and if they win, we will be 8 points behind them with 11 games to go. Not insurmountable, but judging by today’s performance, and the previous 2 months… you’d say it’s going to be a big ask.

The starting 11 was the most exciting of the year. Finally we got to see Vela out wide, finally Wenger took a bit of a risk and lined up with a bit of flair… but when it came to the crunch, the players let their leader down.

Today felt like a backwards step… the whole day felt flat, devoid of any urgency… devoid of any realisation the we might be playing in something called the ‘Europa Cup’ next year.

The fact of the matter is that we were promised a team that would contend for the league this year and now we’re in a situation where we are struggling to gain entry to the Champions league. This could be a failure of catastrophic proportion… I am not exaggerating… if we are struggling for money now, imagine the ramifications of losing out on the gold mine that is the Champions league?

So what went wrong today? Well… I’ve got a few observations…

1. Leadership: A question you could only answer if you were there… or watching on an extremely good feed… Who is leading this team? Who is making sure all lost causes are chased down? Who is there to scream at players who aren’t giving 100%? No one… no one wants to take that sort of responsibility. The team spirit today wasn’t there today… the players don’t fight for each other.

2. Motivation: Motivating players to play in the big games is easy… but if you can’t motivate them to play in the minor games, then something is up. Those players today couldn’t have looked any more uninterested in the second half. The manager has to be questioned on this subject… why can’t you motivate your team? Is it because you can’t bullshit players… if all of us can see our weaknesses… I am pretty sure our players can as well. They know as well as we do why we’re failing and that must be pretty demotivating. It has been pointed out that the players looked unfit in the second half, I’d agree… but these are professional athletes… aren’t big players supposed to drive through that barrier?

3. Winning mentality: Where has it gone? I’m half expecting Wenger to come out in his next interview and tell us, ‘It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts’. A winning mentality should run through the club… but it doesn’t. Hillwood reckons 5th will be ok, Wenger cited Milan as missing out this year… so he thinks it’s ok… So where are we on this? When did we stop being a football club? If the coach and the chairman don’t believe in winning… why would the players?

Wenger said to judge the players at the end of the season. I’m interested to know what that means? If they fail, like most people think they will… what will the coach do? I’ll take a wild guess… persevere… again.

4. Responsibility: This kind of ties in with leadership… Today, no one took the initiative in the final third. Like the passengers on the plane… they assumed someone else would take the lead… when everyone thinks like that, you have optimum conditions for ‘crabbing’. Today we saw exactly that… Their goalkeeper made a few smart saves, but I didn’t feel he was really worked. No one was brave enough to take the initiative and have a go. 4 goals since at home since November the 8th…

We can’t even brag about how we dominated the possession… because we didn’t… Fulham tipped the scales in their favour with a 53% dominance. We can’t say that we peppered their goal… because again, we didn’t. 8 shots on goal, 4 on target… Fulham had more chances than us!

I hope people don’t complain about Fulham parking the bus… if you were in a fight with a man twice the size of you, you wouldn’t try and out punch him, would you (Maybe Geoff would)? Teams know not to play football against us… if they get their tactics right, a point is highly likely.

I really don’t know what to think of the whole situation. Going into the summer knowing we’re ‘Europa cupped’ is a horrible thought.  Knowing if that happens, we wont have any money to spend is even worse, knowing players will want to leave because we didn’t bolster the squad when we should of makes me want to weep…I don’t think I can handle another summer of Vela, Rambo and Wilshere potential stories. They are a long way off turning in world class performances every week.

We’re being told this team will dominate in 3 years time… I’m sure I heard that 3 years ago… hands up who is prepared to suffer another 3 years of this? My hand is firmly down…

The chorus of boo’s at the end of each game is getting louder and louder… which is amazing, because if the plastics are the ones that leave early (Loads leaving with 11 minutes to go)… that means a lot of real fans are very angry about what is going on at the club.

The whole set up needs freshening up… because the stench of stagnation at The Grove couldn’t be stronger.

Ratings:

Almunia: Had one shot on target all afternoon to deal with. He saved it and gained another clean sheet. 7

Sagna: Oh Sags… what has happened to your game this year? The longer the season goes on… the more your confidence looks shot to pieces. He couldn’t cross the road at the moment, could he? He was pretty strong defensively, but further up the pitch he looks as though he is suffering. 6

Gallas: I’m impressed by him all the time. He quietly gets on with his job without making too much noise… His defending has been outstanding, but his input vocally is noticeably less than what it was… Did anyone see him hobbling around? 8

Kolo: If Kolo and Gallas were a couple, Kolo would be the crazy one who Gallas had to keep in check. Thankfully the only partnership those two have is on the pitch… and it is proving to be a successful one. Another clean sheet, but a few mistakes by the crazy one… I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel with Kolo and JD… 6.5

Clichy: Suffering the same problems as Sagna. Going forward less because he has been instructed to, or his confidence is low? Sound at the back, crap in attack. 6.5

Vela: Another one of those, ‘Wenger needs to start playing X, that will solve our problems’. Sadly it didn’t. Carling Cup Vela didn’t turn up today… but I still thought he played well. He creates openings, he runs at players and he is prepared to play that killer pass. He is shot shy at the moment… but give him as many games as Eboue has had and we might have a player. 7

Diaby: Conflicting view’s were exchanged during half time drinks. I thought he was poor in the first half. He links up the play better than Song and Denilson do, he runs with the ball well… but sometimes he holds onto it too long… and his decision making can be woeful. He also left us exposed at the back on a number of occasions. I thought he was poor today… and he looked really tired by the end… but Bud and his brothers thought otherwise. 5

Denilson: If you watch him play with the same mindset you would watching Gilberto play, he is actually a very hand player. He doesn’t waste many balls, he covers a lot of ground and he is a hard worker. His standards dropped a little late on, but I thought he was adequate today. 7

Nasri: Our rotund wide man took up a new role today… sitting just deep of RvP in the Bergkamp role. I thought he played very well. He was busy as ever, looking for gaps and shooting opportunities, but like the rest of the team… no end product. He was our best player today… and I am pleased he is showing it consistently now. 8.5

Arshavin: Can’t you tell when you see an experienced player of quality? Arshavin knows exactly what he is going to do about 5 seconds before anyone else does… he sees runs and space… has the vision to exploit them and he isn’t afraid to have a pop at goal. His fitness levels are pretty low at the moment, he looked very tired at the end of the game. That is why he can’t be played centrally yet… although I am sure that will come soon. 8

RvP: Guilty of more misses today. I wonder how long it is before Arshavin takes the freekicks off him… because his are beyond a joke. Robin has to start taking more of his chances, because he is missing more than Nik B and he is being forgiven because we all love him. Must do better in my opinion. 6

Subs:

Eboue: Came on at right back and looked better than Sagna going forward. 6.5

Nik B: Created a few chances, fluffed a few passes… but ok. 6

I’ll leave you with this quote to cheer you up… remember Hleb saying he wanted to leave London for the quiet life?

‘In London he was a hero. If I went went to a restaurant with him, there in a matter of seconds about 20 people would surround him asking for an autograph.’

‘Now he is at a mega-club. They have 25 world-class players. Only 11 of them can go on to the pitch. Seven sit on the bench and seven more watch games from the stands.’

Looks like all his dreams have come true! Happy Sunday Grovers!


648 Responses to “This plane is crashing, and no one can stop it… Ratings and match report”

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  1. gnarleygeorge9

    Evening/morning all

    Aston Villa are now dropping points, but Arsenal don’t take advantage 👿

    But good news is very much being provided in the golfing world. Another Australian win over the poms, Chamoneeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

  2. iceman

    Gnarley you been MIA.

    It’s funny how we could have been 3 points ahead of Villa had we hit the back of the net AT HOME against West Ham, Sunderland, Fulham.

    It’s all good….we’ve been thrown a life line and we need to unleash the wrath against WBA!!!!

    No excuses this time. Just net bulging!!!!!

  3. VforGunners

    I believe some of you guys, even Pedro, are being so harsh on RVP. Don’t start comparing him to NB and Ade. He’s much much better than them, at the moment, in all terms class, skills, winning mentality…

    Take a look back at his chances. They were saved or unfortunate, but clearly good finishes. If the ball was just a few centimeters directed away, it should have been at the back of the net.

    For NB or Ade, they might not have even been on-goal shots.

  4. Rob From Aus

    What a tosspot ————–>

    http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_4990936,00.html

    Look at Man utd, they spend stupid amounts for players, but on the otherhand look at what theyve won? They have won more cups in the last 2months than what we have in 4 years! Nice one AW. Hope its all worth it….Even Frank Stubbs on Arse.com is finally getting annoyed and he is the biggest Wenger lover out there.
    Chammmmonnne!

  5. gooner-pak

    iceman and next villa is away against man city …who lost to west ham…so they’ll be doing their best

  6. Rob From Aus

    GG9,

    He n I had an agreemennt that i wouldnt email him anymore and whinge at him and about AW…..

    Its good to see that he finally see’s my point! 🙂

  7. leon

    rob

    the fact the great team that that won the prem all years ago is dead and gon and the fact we may never get back greatness the fact is other teams see use for what are which nothing more than just another team they no longer have that fear factor when comming to the emirates, i think we only have 3 top strikers,alot people say ade is shit but the thing with him loke drogbar when they are in good form they are unstopeble but when playing bad the are realy bad there is no middle ground with ade,rvp is great playmaker and will score 15-20 goal on top form but will never be goal poacher,edwardo can it all and will score 25 goals i see has good as berbatov. another problem we have central midfield which is a big problem for and until that is resolved we will never get back greatness

  8. Rob From Aus

    Yeh Leon…..

    I already kno these points u have highlighted. I want the solution, rather than reflecting on the problem….

  9. leon

    rob

    there is no big mystory arsenal a need a few top players in central midfield and a few goal poac hers there not bad there just not very confedent in front of goal

  10. leon

    rob

    i am from london but cant afford to season ticket holder though,i can see the longer they go without scoring the more they lose evon more confedence and the worst thing about it manu are that specail in front of goal this season either but there midfield have been solid the whole season

  11. Rob From Aus

    Leon,

    I’m not being mean,but you have said the same thing but in different words 3 times mate…

    I do get your point

  12. ethangunner

    it all comes down to the midfield, lack of creativity stops our flow of goals , as for the defense looking better , well thats not hard when you see who we have been up against recently .
    most lesser teams play 10 men behind the ball playing for a draw … so accordingly dont go forward often to test the defense .

    and so far with our record 10 men behind the ball appears to be working 4 them ..

  13. ethangunner

    just like last season , ade was made to look good by an excellent midfield , now transversely a poor midfield with no creativity makes good strikers look poor .

    the very reason i knew ade wouldnt make it this season ..

    we have gone polar opposites within 1 season
    but the problems remain the same ..

  14. ethangunner

    leon

    cesc told arsene last week he was ready , and arsene didnt want to rush him back …

    well i think you might see wenger have a change of heart shortly ..

  15. tonyadamsisgod

    Morning, morning…..

    Eduardo could make the Fa Cup game against Burnley. Lets hope he does coz we need a player that knows where the back of the net is right now!

  16. leon

    ethan

    ade is very lazy but there is no dought in my mind that when he is an extremly gifted player drobar and ade are very similar when they are bad the are realy bad but when they are top form to defender can cope with them,there is no half way with ade either realy good or realy bad

  17. leon

    ethan

    i would be very happy if sold and then he startred scoring 25 goals every season he has had bad season but lets see how he does the rest of the sesason and judge him then

  18. peachesgooner

    Morning all. I’m feeling slightly better this morning, glad I won’t have to listen to crowing scummers!!!

  19. Geoff

    The way to look at it is ManU didn’t score against the spuds either and we only had 10 men, but when we don’t score, we aren’t good enough.

  20. peachesgooner

    Morning Geoff – thats because we’ve set the standard – when we don’t come up to scratch everyone moans!

  21. leon

    geoff

    we are good enough manu have far better midfield than use not sure about defence when gallas is top form he is as good as ferdiand,they have better squad

  22. peachesgooner

    Bet you’re pleased about that. I can’t go on Sunday against Burnley and if we get a hat-full I’ll have to assume I’m the bock 🙁

  23. Geoff

    Leon they just have more experienced players, all their bad ones, they sell, like Silvestre, he was always injured, so we buy him so he can earn £50k a week, not play but be in London, which is closer to France!

  24. gnarleygeorge9

    Is missing CL football that bad;) Does anyone reckon it could be the catalyst that sparks The Club to win the PL, i.e less distractions, less chances of quality players getting injured.

  25. peachesgooner

    gnarley – yes missing CL football is that bad – even without the loss of earnings for the club we won’t be able to attract players and our better players will want to leave

  26. gooner-pak

    i dont know but the reason given by patric (on on skysport comes on espn prediction program) seems bit sound!! he said “when arsenal play free flowing footbal they are the one to watch e.g; against cardiff…but when tht doesnt click they are left frustrating!!!!”
    (Me again) yes the way we play football is great but we have to adopt some other plan for teams who are content to have one point from the game….(knock out game is totally different ball game and there our way of style is more suited)

  27. gnarleygeorge9

    peaches

    Do the players @ Arsenal only play because of CL football, or coz they want Arsenal to win.

    Surely the match committee will get the squad pre season & instill a we must bounce back type or die attitude. If footballers are only interested in their personal goals, instead of seeing the big picture, then they are selfish arseholes IMO.

    Besides you can count the players on one hand who have given their utmost best for The Club, Kolo, clichy & Gallas are 3, the Spanish waiter tries hard, & so does Eboue, even though he is clumsy alot when played on the wing.

  28. tonyadamsisgod

    Missing out on CL football could be catastrophic. We struggle to raise cash for new players even when we get the millions that the CL generates let alone so we would be in a dire situation without it.

    Our top players would probably look to leave and you wouldn’t blame them for that. RvP is the only player that could be questioned about leaving as he has been injured for so long. Personally I dont believe in that. People say he owes us, I say its not his fault he gets injured and its not his fault he gets paid vast somes of money for sitting in the stands. He wants the club to show ambition and they really aren’t. So him, Cesc, Theo etc would all consider options if they came in.

    Then we have the lack of attraction for new players. The confidence/enthusiasm at the club will die and we could find ourselves on a very slippery slope.

    Luckily for us, though, we will still get 4th spot!

  29. gooner-pak

    gg9 my freain (chav fan) called me inthe morning (early office hour) and said u wont be playin CL next season but u might focus of PL then so not a bad thing….but i was adamant on villa sheding pts in next 4-5 matches i hardly see them getting 2 pts from these matches……….

  30. tonyadamsisgod

    I can see this being another case of it all coming down to the final match day of the season. Its all going to be very tight. Both us and Villa have to play Man Utd and Liverpool but we still have to play Chelsea again. They have Newcastle on the final day and we have Stoke. And we know what happened the last time we played Stoke dont we………

  31. gnarleygeorge9

    What I am about to say to you all over there in Blighty might come as a shock too most of u, but……..

    Winning the English Premier League is far more prestigious than the CL. The other dopey teams from spain, italy, etc say its important coz they can’t win the PL 🙂

  32. gnarleygeorge9

    Anyway, imagine the fall out if The Arsenal don’t make the CL next year. It could be just the kick up the idle arse some deluded fools running The Club need.

  33. peachesgooner

    I think that the clubs ambition would always be to win the premiership. The CL is an added bonus.

    We definitely wouldn’t attract world-class Arsenal style players to our club without playing CL football now.

    Gnarley – while I would love to think that our players only play for the shirt I am more realistic that the money and being on a big stage does have an influence.

    Also. Champions League nights are fantastic and Geoff you’re right – if we’re not in it then we’re just an ordinary team 🙁

  34. clockendjim

    If we had moved from Highbury with the current team and the level of crap football being served up like now, would they have sold out the 60,000 seater Emirates every game – I very much doubt it.
    The planning behind the move was to create more income (which we the paying fans have dutifully supplied) to compete with the other top PL teams and attract the best players.
    Where has it all gone so wrong