Is the Rioch team of 96 better than the current team?

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Good morning everyone, today we’re mostly going to be comparing the past with the present.

The above question is one I feel could spark some healthy debate in what could prove to be quite a boring week.

Which players would you take from the 1996 squad if you had the choice?

I know a common myth that prevails around cyber space is that Arsenal were a shower of rubbish when the coach took over, but that is a point I’ve always fiercely opposed.

This question isn’t about who plays the best football or who is technically superior… this is a question of preference, who would you prefer to see on the team sheet if you had the choice? What do you prefer in a footballer, technical superiority and sublime skill or hardwork, passion and heart?

If you look at the team Rioch provided, you’d be hard pushed to say it was a write off. I simply can’t accept that Arsene inherited a poor team. Excluding the signings he made before he was employed… lets have a run through the pro’s and cons of both teams!

So, in midfield… We’ve got Cesc Fabregas who has amazing vision and control of the game. We’ve got arguably one of the most exciting prospects since Bobby P in Arshavin and we’ve got a pretty talented wide man in Nasri. However, Song and Denilson seem to be struggling to adapt to the holding role. We’re beautiful going forward but we totally lack a winner in the middle of the park and we don’t have anyone who lives to defend/protect.

The Rioch team had a midfield that boasted Paul Merson… who was a magical player, he worked his socks off and could provide moments of brilliance from anywhere on the field. We had a youngish Ray Parlour… a solid player and a hard worker… some say he is one of the most underated Arsenal players ever… and I’d agree. We also had an ageing David Platt there to provide a bit of spark… but after that, we were in Eddie McGoldrick, Ian Selley, David Hillier territory. We didn’t have much strength in the middle…

So despite our current team having the same problems and the 1996 lot, I’m tipping it in their favour due to the attacking edge. 1-0 Project Youth.

How about up front? Well… this is an interesting one.

Rioch had Ian Wright… A legend, a goal scoring machine… he was Mr Arsenal. Then we had arguably the most important signing in Arsenal’s history playing off him… Mr Bergkamp. In reserve, we had fat Welsh journeyman, John Hartson. All three of those strikers were capable of 20 goals a season.

Compare them to the current crop of Nik B, Adebayor and Robin… Ade is a battering ram of a striker, capable of sticking the ball in the net if he gets enough chances, but prone to being offside (If you get the chance, pick up a copy of GQ this month and read Ade’s tip for staying onside… hilarious) 5 times a game and a bit lazy. Nik B is too young to make a judgement, but his composure in front of goal is poor… he does have great control and he is a team player… but he’d have nothing on Wrighty and Bergkamp. Robin Van Persie is a bit hit and miss… he is the best of our 3 fit strikers, but I don’t think anyone would say he’s blown us away this year.

So, if I’m given a choice here… I’m going with Bruce’s front line.

Defense is where I think we’re struggling… who would you prefer?

Sagna Gallas Toure Clichy

Or…

Dixon Keown Adams Winterburn

Would it be fair to say no brainer?

Individually, you’d have to admit that the above defenders would struggle to compete technically with most of our current defence… they may even struggle to compete for pace… but there in lies the issue. Do you need to be technically perfect to be a great defender? Is this where Wenger struggles? That back 4 had passion and heart by the bucket load, they worked hard at their art and they knew each others game inside out.

They were a real unit and a legendary defense. Could we replicate that again? Well… if we bring someone in who knows how to teach defence, we employ some more defenders like Gallas who live and breath clean sheets… then there is a chance.

Now… in goal. David Seaman versus Manuel Almunia. This one for me isn’t so cut and dry. I think they are pretty similar keepers… never too spectacular, but quite reliable. David Seaman gave us more magic though… but in fairness, he had a longer crack at the whip. However, Dave in a penalty shootout gives him a few extra percentage points…

Dave was prone to the odd clanger but the most disappointing thing he ever did was change his hairstyle, no one likes to see a grown man rocking a pony tail. On the flip side of the coin, one thing I can guarantee is that Dave would never roll around the streets of London with a cat on a leash… sorry Al… you’ve really got to man up over the summer. I’m awarding this one to big Dave.

So… overall, if we were taking best bits from both teams, this is how I’d line up.

Seaman

Dixon Gallas Adams Clichy

Merson Cesc Song Arshavin

Bergkamp Wright

Subs:

  • Parlour
  • Hartson
  • Robin
  • Keown
  • Nasri

How would your team line up?

See you in the comments!

1,473 Responses to “Is the Rioch team of 96 better than the current team?”

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  1. Pedro

    A… we need pace and skill out wide.

    Vela would do… but I’d like someone out wide who want’s to be there… we don’t really have that at the moment.

  2. David

    A

    For all the negative media…we havent won anything for 5 years runnning.

    And what is worse…is that United get to win the tittle against us at Old trafford.

    Cherry on top of the Cake.

  3. Pedro

    A… trouble is… the players don’t believe in what he is saying.

    If the players don’t, why would the fans?

  4. peachesgooner

    I’ve heard it always rains in that part of spain πŸ™‚

    Have a lovely time, it’ll be easier to watch the game on saturday if you’ve had a round of golf in the morning πŸ˜†

  5. A

    pedro he can’t tell people that, it would be bad for business, and give a competitive advantage to the other clubs.

    no club is ever open about what they’re thinking, what they’re planning to do, or the reasons they’ve done what they’ve done, it just can’t happen like that, because you can’t let the other clubs you’re competing with or negotiating with know any of it.

  6. Keyser

    Pedro – If you mean’t watching him squirm because people asked challenging questions ? Then fine, if it’s because you’d like to eek out some sort of justice or revenge for anything you’ve experienced over the season, it’s petty but each to their own.

    It’s a good question, and it’s one of the few that would actaually mean something to me.

    Heh, so honestly thats the vibe you get from me ? I could say the same of you, Le Groves a far busier place when there’s something to moan about, anyone chooses to question this, people seem to get upset and they don’t last long on here.

    You’ve basically asked me the question I asked of you, I don’t mind if they give him grief as long as it’s something that’s constructive instead of the inane nonsense the apers will print.

  7. A

    pedro the players don’t not believe in what he’s saying, the players completely and utterly trust and believe in wenger

  8. Pedro

    A… sorry mate… but that is rubbish.

    Barca, Milan, ManU, Liverpool, Real, Chelsea… always let the media know what they are doing.

    Who didn’t know we were in for Nasri last summer?

    The only time you can keep it quiet is if no one knows about the player… ala, Eduardo.

    Do you think Chelsea would have chased him had Zagreb alerted them? No way…

    Peaches… loads of clouds… it’s upsetting! Are you about for Stoke?

  9. David

    A,

    After the invinsibles and we sold Vierra and had a heartbreaking season in 2006 did Wenger not give us a pretty spin similar to what we are hearing.

    Its like BBK just said…its the same old bollocks.

    We need more than that atm.

  10. BOY BETTER KNOW

    a the other clubs already know what arsenal are gonna do,do the past 4 years not indicate what will happen

  11. Pedro

    A… they don’t.

    Hleb didn’t, Flamini didn’t… Henry didn’t.

    Almunia, Toure, Cesc, RvP and Arshavin have all expressed displeasure this year.

    The players are not idiots and if the fans are feeling upset, you can bet your bottom dollar the players are.

  12. A

    no they don’t pedro – noone knows what any of them are doing, they just use the media to spin things and try and unsettle players etc, in terms of the actual inner working of the club they aren’t one little bit more open than we are, or any club is. Some of them officially announce interest in players, but only because they’re trying to undermine the selling club, and thankfully we’ve got more class than that.

    what’s the relevance of people knowing about us and nasri – it was leaked, marseille didn’t say a thing about it

  13. ethangunner

    Franchise/A

    A find out how many games we have not scored in this season and compare it to the Mancs?
    ————————————–
    absolute pinnacle of using stats to prove a point well done FRAN ,thats my point. the fact is like the ade debate , you might be able to cover his short comings up by his goal tally, but he does more on and off the pitch to sabotage himself ,like wenger , like arsenal its all relevant ,A to compare us to the manc’s is delusional ,pure and simple we aren’t in the same league currently (even though we are supposed to be ), hell we are not even in the same galaxy !
    Also A we are NOT a defensive team , Arsenal is a run and stun attacking team NOT based on defense . because our attack has been less than effective in putting games to bed this season,
    our bread and butter has been score more than the opposition .ifg you dont understand that you dont understand the Arsenal mentality …
    Also do you think that our defense is less effective or exposed because we have no ball retention ?? we have no creativity ? of course opposing teams will attack more if we suffer from these short comings .. FFS !
    hence tested more . and scored upon more ..

    LOGIC PLEASE !

    Lou(probably not still around)

    Surely he must remember that everyone told him he had it wrong last summer and didn’t he appeal to our rationality and sense of fair play when he practically challenged us to judge him in May? He played his Ace and he lost.
    —————————————
    simply brilliant ! yes and like you very rightly said , we are telling him nothing different now than we did to pre season ,
    me especially … get shot of ade !

  14. A

    hleb and flamini didn’t, henry did and has kissed wenger’s arse in every interview since, despite the fact that wenger flogged him because his back was fucked!

    almunia, toure, cesc, vp have all had their words twisted to make it sound like they were questioning wenger, and in almunia and toure’s case both of the them stated at the same time that they felt we needed to improve, but that they trusted wenger completely to make the decisions necessary and he knew best!

    the arshavin bollocks arshavin himself came out and said it was all bullshit, made up by the daily mail!

  15. Pedro

    Kesyer, it’s easy to say it’s only busy when things are going wrong because things have been going wrong all year.

    Check back through the comments when we’ve destroyed teams… they’ve been equally as high, if not higher than when we’ve lost.

    People only get moderated when they cause problems on here… you and A pretty much disagree with everyone… and you’ve been doing it all year… you’re still here and still valued by everyone.

    Let’s not play the, ‘If people disagree they get kicked off’ card… because you know it’s not true.

  16. A

    ethan – we’ve failed to score in 7, utd 3, 4 more, and mainly because of the 4 in a row we failed to score because we just went to shit, which is misrepresentative of our actual ability.

    we’ve kept 7 clean sheets less than utd though

    the difference between us and utd is that we can’t defend – if we’d kept clean sheets in the 7 score draws we had, where utd were winning 1-0, then we’d be at the top of the table!

  17. David

    A,

    You cant blame our failures on Media spin….everybody has come out to say they arent happy with 4th spot…our current captain…our former captain…

    The thing is while the likes of Manure and Liverpool are getting better we went backwards…this has nothing to do with Media bias.

  18. peachesgooner

    Sadly I have to go to a wedding so I won’t be around, I’m hoping Franchise and Chary are gonna have my tickets. I was horrified when my friend said she’d been given extra invitations for her sons wedding and she wanted me to go……I told her I had football planned and she said ‘don’t be so ridiculous’ πŸ™

  19. Pedro

    A… you have to make veiled comments when it’s about your employer…

    Wenger isn’t going to call his players cunts… his players aren’t going to call him a cunt… but they can make insinuations in a round about way.

    My point about player transfers is that it is impossible to keep it secret anyway… let the fans know what you are planning.

  20. Pedro

    Right… I’m hitting the sack!

    A, Keyser… yellow cards… you know the drill when it comes to disagreeing with me!

    Have a good one, pleasure as always.

  21. ethangunner

    Arsenal is a run and stun attacking team NOT based on defense .
    —————————————-
    If we were a defensive team wouldnt we have a defensive coach ???
    we havent so ive answered my own question ..

  22. David

    I disagree A,

    Wenger said the difference between us and United is that we cant defend.

    I say the difference between us and United is that we cant defend…we cant cross..we are hapless in set pieces…we are not even half as clinical finishing our chances and we have a tactical inept manager.

  23. A

    of course noone’s happy with 4th place david, wenger least of all….

    you can’t let the fans know what you’re planning pedro, because then clubs know what you’re planning, and increase prices as a result. transfers are all a mass of mind games and secrecy, with leaks here and there, and intentionally misleading leaks here and there.

    there isn’t a club in the world that is honest about transfers, because it would completely undermine said club’s negotiating position and power. If one club knows what the other is thinking, then it has massive power over that club, and can react accordingly

  24. David

    I dont know A,

    Arshavin’s signing was pretty public.

    There is also nothing wrong in admitting our short comings and saying we will work on our defending and setpieces aspect of the game…our positioning on the pitch etc…it doesnt have to be all about transfers…these are reassuring plans about improving arsenal but all we hear is that “I believe in the teams quality”

  25. A

    if that’s all you hear you’ve not been listening then david – wenger has said we need to improve greatly defensive, and has been constantly for the last few days….

    arshavin’s signing was public because zenit were trying to fuck us over and play mind games, as well as get other bidders – they acted like complete fuckheads during the entire thing, and as a result they’ll find it difficult to find anyone in western europe who’s willing to do deals with them in the future

  26. Keyser

    Pedro – Well don’t play the ‘You revel..’ in it card because I choose to say something different from the norm or I don’t get all hysterical.

    Heh, I’ll take your word for the comments bit, I get called an AKB, it doesn’t matter to me because people are generally too thick to read the description you’ve got up there, but to say I like the current state of affairs or revel in them is just silly, not really something I’d expect from you.

  27. David

    Ive been listening…but its mostly the same old bullshit. We need to be better defensively…but it is incorrect to say that the only difference between us and United is the defensive aspects of the game…No Sir!

  28. A

    i’ve never heard wenger say we’ve been shocking defensively before david – it’s reassured me massively and made me very optimistic for the summer.

    going forward we create just as many chances as utd do, and we dominate possession just as much as they do, and we’re actually as clinical as they are in front of goal, people don’t realise that they miss shitloads of chances too, and we score as many goals as them.

    The only thing that’s differentiated us from them is that they’re very solid defensively, and we aren’t!!

    they’ve kept 7 clean sheets more than us, and we’ve had 7 score draws, that’s the difference, whilst we were drawing 1-1 or 2-2, or on the odd occasion 4-4(!) they were keeping clean sheets and winning those games.

    earlier in the season they were probably better going forward, but certainly since arshavin has come in, nasri has settled etc, we’re at least on par with them in that aspect of the game.

  29. A

    nope bbk, the only 4 0-0 draws all season were the 4 in a row in january/feb

    the other 7 score draws is what cost us this season, and differentiated us from utd

  30. A

    although obviously the 4 0-0s cost us too, but they were far from symptomatic of the team in general – and what cost us overall this season was conceding goals, and that’s currently the main problem that we need to rectify to compete with the big boys

  31. BOY BETTER KNOW

    A- losing to the likes of stoke city,hull city and man city also differentiated us from untd dont forget

  32. A

    tru bbk, though utd only lost 2 games less than us this season, and again that was down to conceding goals, in 2 of the 5 games we lost we still scored

  33. BOY BETTER KNOW

    Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 36 16 1 1 43 13 11 4 3 24 11 43 86
    2 Liverpool 36 11 7 0 38 12 12 4 2 34 14 46
    3 Chelsea 36 10 6 2 31 12 13 2 3 32 10 41 77
    4 Arsenal 36 10 5 3 27 15 9 6 3 37 21 28 68

  34. A

    games like against hull, villa, and fulham we certainly weren’t creating many chances, because nasri was our only playmaker, and he was still settling in. Those aren’t problems we’ve got now with theo and nasri being a level above, not to mention arshavin’s signing, and eduardo and rosicky are almost back. city we were in turmoil after gallas issues too, and chelsea we only just lost to

    those are the five losses this season. we also had problems creating chances in the 4 games in a row where we had loads of injuries, and it just wasn’t clicking.

    the way we’ve played since arshavin arrived, and it clicked again, we’re unrecognisable from the side that went 4 games without scoring or creating, and the team that were out-harried against fulham and villa.

  35. BOY BETTER KNOW

    we have always had injury’s and i.m.o always will have on this sort of scale, it’s up to wenger to have adequate replacement’s in order to maintain a challenge on the title.

  36. A

    which we do now bbk, apart from defensively, which hopefully wenger will put right in the summer!

    last season we had ade, eduardo rosicky, hleb, vp as real attacking/creative threats, theo and bendy were a fair way away, so injuries to eduardo, rosicky, and vp fucked us completely.

    now we’ve got ade (if he stays), eduardo, bendy, arshavin, rosicky, nasri, theo, vela

    we’ve got almost double the numbers we had before, so we could cope with the same injuries, it’s just a case of getting defensive reinforcements….

  37. BOY BETTER KNOW

    the players we have to come in will not sustain a title challenge they might have an unbeaten but that run will not do.

  38. A

    the only player in that list who might not be good enough at the moment if he had to play regularly is vela.

  39. A

    obviously we know vp, eduardo, rosicky are from before, arshavin is undoubtedly, nasri has shown he is now though obviously not on arshavin’s level. bendy and theo have also shown they’re at a level to fill in and be very good, they won’t carry a team by themselves, but can come in for others and not make a massive difference negatively, such as what happened with eboue having to play so much last season, and theo not being ready

  40. A

    its all about opinions bbk – i think bendy should be first choice at the moment, and is more than good enough to play and sustain a title challenge. he’s been better this season than tevez.

  41. Stu

    Hey A/BBK, i think even without Ade we have more than enough up front. And IF Eduardo and Rosicky can stay fit for 90% of next season then we will win something….provided the defence is better.

    And i agree Bendtner should be starting atm and maybe next season.

  42. Stu

    Silvestre and 1 of Gallas/Toure or Djourou out. Senderos back and 1 top defender.
    Plus Diaby out and a DM in to teach Denilsong the ways of a defensive midfielder. You know….how to not pass the half way line unless necessary and how to never be ahead of the ball. The basics.

    Maybe a new keeper if im being picky.

  43. A

    i agree completely stu

    it is impressive isn’t it – all the stick that bendtner has got, all the interest in tevez, yet they’ve played almost exactly the same number of games, tevez playing in a team firing whereas bendtner was playing in a team in the shit alot of the time, yet bendy has 4 goals more, and 1 assist more.

    rosicky and eduardo actually will be new signings next season, neither of them have played one minute in the league this season, and arshavin will be a new signing to start off

    that’s essentially 3 new attacking players that we didn’t have at the start of this season

    and that’s before you get into the fact that nasri, theo, bendy, vela will all be at a level higher having a season more under their belts

    the Q & A is on arsenal tv tomorrow, so i’ll be able to watch it – awesome

  44. Stu

    As long as Wenger doesnt count those 3 and Senderos as new signings then all will be well and he can go out and buy some quality defensive players.

  45. A

    stu – silvestre won’t go, but shouldn’t have to play.

    new centre back alongside kolo, with sendy as back up, and jd/ silvestre as 4th choice and that would be ok, though i’d prefer a new 4th choice but it won’t happen i very much doubt.

    new dm and diaby out and that’s it for me, wonder squad, and would win the quadruple next year!

  46. BOY BETTER KNOW

    Well guys i think it’s safe to say that the best days of our arsenal supporting lives have well and truly gone along with that 03-04 team,we will never see the likes of the the calibre of football or players we had then……those were the best days sadly they are long gone……….

  47. A

    yeah stu – in his one or 2 players coming in he doesn’t count them obviously!

    but when one thinks that this season we scored as many as utd, and next season we’ll have 3 top top attacking players at our disposal that we didn’t this season, not to mention the seasons experience that the kids have got, we’re in an incredibly promising position offensively

  48. Stu

    Im a big Senderos fan and i think you wont disagree that to get the best out of him he has to play consistently. His mistakes usually came when he was playing because of an injury to someone else.

    I’d rather sell Senderos than have him waste his career on our bench. Either start him or sell him.

  49. A

    i disagree bbk, i don’t think it’s safe to say that in the slightest!

    vp, theo, cesc, arshavin, nasri, wilshere could replicate the achievements of the invincibles if they fulfil their potential and arshavin stays around

  50. A

    yeah i agree with that stu – i still think it’s more likely sendy will go than stay, but he’ll stay if we can’t get a top quality centre back in, rather than sign average players like lescott or hangeland who wouldn’t be any better, but would cost more money.

    bbk i’m from england, why?

  51. Stu

    Even tho we have scored a similar amount of goals to united i still think they pip us because they can shake things up if one thing isnt working. We always try the same approach until the opposition defence cracks.
    Untied score a variation of goals. Goals on the break, set pieces, headers, some long balls. We just seem to be 1 dimensional. Thats not always a bad thing but it is when the opposition defences expect it.

  52. BOY BETTER KNOW

    A Says:
    May 15, 2009 at 02:06
    i disagree bbk, i don’t think it’s safe to say that in the slightest!

    vp, theo, cesc, arshavin, nasri, wilshere could replicate the achievements of the invincibles if they fulfil their potential and arshavin stays around…..Don’t agree the bulid up play is far to slow from how it used to be,it sometimes used to be 3 passes and we were in on goal with this teams it takes a long time to build the play up

  53. abdulhakim09

    did anyone ask wenger why he didn’t start arshavin in fa cup semi against chelsea???? πŸ˜•

  54. Stu

    I think signing anyone with even a reasonably high profile would be good for everyone. It would be like a declaration of intent from the club to the fans and other rival clubs and obviously improve the squad.

  55. Stu

    BBK, i wholeheartedly agree with that.

    Whereas goals now are somewhat satisfying because they are often good goals is nothing compared to the breathing speed at which the invincibles used to attack.

    They could score a goal in the time it takes Denilson or Diaby to release the ball nowdays.

  56. A

    it depends bbk – with arshavin, cesc, theo and bendtner, it’s much quicker, but bendy has only really developed and stepped up a level recently, arshavin only arrived later on, and cesc and theo were out for a while, as well as theo having stepped up a level recently.

    with nasri, denilson, song, eboue it certainly was very very slow! nasri has improved alot though, and by the start of next season will be much more settled still.

  57. A

    i agree about that actually stu – we lost the ability to score late goals when really pushing for it, unlike utd, but i think that’ll come as we click more

    the reason for it is that utd always believe it’s gonna come

    with us we’ve usually conceded before, and because we’ve had so little confidence when the pressure is on we go the opposite way to utd and lose belief, tense up, and run out of ideas.

    with a few batterings of teams next season early on the belief will return and so will the ability to score late goals

  58. A

    abdul we know why arshavin didn’t start

    the pitch was complete and utter shit meaning it would be very hard for us to play our football and just outplay them.

    they had a massive physical advantage over us, so we needed more physical players to compete with them

    vp was chosen over ars because with the pitch preventing us from playing slick football etc, we needed his threat from set pieces, same goes for ade.

  59. BOY BETTER KNOW

    you look at this midfield-ljungberg gilberto vieira pires…..and look at the one we have now if everybody was fit walcott cesc song rosicky….these lot just dont compare

  60. Stu

    I dnt agree with that A.

    Arshavin played on shite pitches in Russia and VP need a better durface to control the ball on his left. Pkus the shite pitch made an injury that much more likely for VP. And suprise suprise he got injured playing on it.

  61. A

    sometimes bbk – look at cesc’s goal set up by arshavin after bendy’s flick, or the goal on the break against liverpool.

    we were lacking because we didn’t have the movement nor players with the ability to move the ball as quickly, but with cesc, theo, arshavin we do, and nasri and vp as well when the others are playing.

  62. abdulhakim09

    “ARSENE WENGER puts Emmanuel Adebayor’s unhappy season down to fans getting on the Arsenal striker’s back.”

    wtf with this yellow pages?????

  63. BOY BETTER KNOW

    lehmann
    lauren toure campbell cole

    freddie gilberto vieira pires

    bergakamp henry…………….lolllllllllllll oh my god what a fucking team

  64. Stu

    BBK, i agree that midfield is amazing but with everyone fit AA and Rosicky would be on the wings or Nasri. Theo wouldnt be there unless the oppos left back was really slow. Otherwise he is pretty clueless against pace.

  65. A

    had nothing to do with injuries stu – the ball bobbled all over the place in passes, it wasn’t an issue of it being dangerous.

    obviously arshavin played on shitty pitches before, but against obviously he’s just not going to be as effective on a shitty pitch as he is on a carpet.

    as we could have outdone them playing football on a good pitch, but not by much, the pitch created a situation where we wouldn’t have been able to out-football them.

    therefore we had to pick the best team to compete with chelsea physically, as we couldn’t run rings around them

    arshavin is amazing in terms of playing football, but wouldn’t provide anything to the team in physical terms.

  66. BOY BETTER KNOW

    almunia
    sagna toure gallas clichy

    walcott cesc song arshavin

    adebayor van persie………….nope don’t compare does it

  67. Stu

    AA didnt play in either match against chelsea and we were on a better pitch at the emirates. Whatever about the performance but they won on both pitches. Its not all down to the pitch.

  68. A

    it wasn’t a case of arshavin not being able to play on that pitch either

    we would have wanted to pick a team to run rings around them, and destroy them with good football

    the pitch meant that no team could play good football on it

    therefore we had to play a system to compete with chelsea physically

    arshavin would have fitted into the first system, but not the second system. Rosicky if he was fit wouldn’t have played either, just as nasri didn’t. It was a pitch where we needed to prioritise physical attributes over technical ability

  69. BOY BETTER KNOW

    arshavin or not they still would of beat us why? well its simple they have the upper hand at the moment…..

  70. A

    the game was completely different both games though stu

    and if arshavin didn’t have flu he would have played at the emirates.

    in the game at wembley, over the weekend in fact there was not a single example of quick passing played once by any of the 4 teams, because it was just impossible

    we played more good football in the first 15 minutes at the emirates than all 4 teams did put together in their 90 minutes at wembley, because it was simply impossible to play on that pitch

  71. A

    last sunday was shit bbk – but it was just how shit our defence was that cost us!

    that game was completely different though to the game at wembley, last sunday we created loads of chances and played good football, at wembley we created none, and couldn’t play football.

  72. gnarleygeorge9

    Excuses, excuses, excuses! Thats all Arsenal has nowadays. The pitch wasn’t right for our pissing 😳 passing game; the ref was against us; the media hate us; the northern “monkeys” bully us; the fans are leaving before the final whistle; on & on & on it goes. New Arsenal supporters, who turn their noses up @ the 111 years before the Charles de Gaulle of football arrived @ The Club are so blinded by this manager who lives in Fergusons shadow, they would follow Wenger through another 5 years of shit. Good luck I’ve got better things to do πŸ˜†

  73. BOY BETTER KNOW

    all the facking same bollocks,when will it ever end im outta here take care people se yaaaaaaaaaa 😎 ….. 😎 …… 8-( …….

  74. ethangunner

    they would follow wenger thru fire and brim stone GG , the sad fact is wenger is 61 this year , and probably only has 3/4 years left in him anyhow even if he does decide to see it thru ..

    what then AKB’s ? going to support another team then ?

    i pray you do ..

  75. ethangunner

    everyone here needs to understand the perfect club setup for a dynasty of world dominant football…
    great manager – great players and great coaching staff -a good board in place that put a emphasis on results ….

    im starting to think we have none of those qualities and its going to take more than 2 signings if things are going to completely change , or we will be sitting around fussing about the same shite come this time next year .

    comparing stats and denying the obvious is the wenger way .. excuse are excuse is the wenger way ..

    there is no prize for 2nd . or 3rd …

    so just as well we’ve finished 4th .. πŸ™‚

  76. iceman

    Change is not necessarily a bad thing…

    Barca for instance….were poor….got Rijkaard in….revamped the team….won a couple of titles….got complacent….got rid of him got Pep in…tweaked a little…and now look at them…on course for the treble…

    Rijkaard anyone? πŸ˜‰

  77. ethangunner

    you know iceman i wouldnt say no , but you know i think its 50% the Arsenal board too , you might get the same board limiting the new manager just like they have to wenger …

    and things might get worse ..
    its a real shade of gray to me ..

    if the fans knew more of the going’s on at the club , im sure it would be an easier decision to make

  78. ethangunner

    i mean you wouldnt want wenger sacked and then find out it was fiz boys and hill-woods idea to play Ebenezer the past few years ,

    like pedro said wenger will stick up for his employer , and if it does fail like it has, wenger needs to take some measure of responsibility for its failure , but the design might have been more a case of the boards , and
    what wenger achieved in the past like the sale of anelka, petit etc might have created a rod for his own back ..

    then enter the chevski money wielding Russian
    and its game over for the Arsenal low cost rebuild plan . wenger will not rat on the board,
    because he knows a top flight club should be spending far more than they are ..

    and the owners aren’t .. not wenger the BOARD !

  79. ethangunner

    im almost sure that’s the way it panned out .
    how anyone can put the life blood of a company into the hired help is beyond me ,Even wenger.

    Im sure wenger is blamed for doing things that were not his decisions… mostly involving funds available .

    and knowing how ruthless the board is with its previous sackings of dein , nina and co. they hardly display the qualities of a passive board that would let wenger take total control over the clubs future direction …

    sorry but i look at the big picture and i find it unfathomable that wenger gets the blame for most of the going’s on at the club ..

    if anything this season wengers management looks like a coach who has given up and is not happy internally with the current squad .
    it might explain why he has been unpredictable this season …and less than stable in his decision making .

  80. iceman

    That is true…

    So what happens now…this is a tricky situation…but if he signs a new deal surely he’s gotta tell them show me the money….there’s only so far a midfield containing Song and Denilson can go. No offense. it’s been said a million times…it’s just a fact.

    He needs to speak up!!

  81. kelsey

    morning ethan and all.

    Just look were we where 15 months ago,6 points on top of the league,and I will argue that we have plummeted more this season than the the 3 trophyless seasons before.I haven’t read what happened at the meeting last night,but I have read Wenger’s press statement to the press,yesterday.He is not going to discuss exactly what happend with the Adebayor situation last summer,but I feel the emphasis of youth,or asking squad players to act as experienced players in the really important games has backfired on him,but he kept to his policy either thinking it wood come good or through stubborness or even lack of funds.

    I can’t remember two consecutive games this season when we have really looked to be motivated or players really coming to gether with a real appetite for the match.
    Maybe they believe they are that good,but more likely I have said countless times there are too many disruptive players in the squad,Wenger has lost the respect of some,and money to these players comes first and foremost before performance and loyalty.
    These are the times we live in,and quite honestly i will never understand the acquasition of Bischoff and Silvestre.
    When did we last have to play United where literally it doesn’t matter an iota to us.We are plumetting fast and a wholesale change of 6 or 7 players out,is not feasable and hopefully 2 or 3 come in, which is a must.We need a real leader on the pitch,which we just haven’t got.So sad,but could have been avoided if action had been taken 3 years ago.

  82. iceman

    Looks like Ade’s on his way…

    He sounds like the way he did just before Hleb left to bench warm.

  83. reggie57

    For a man of wengers standing to come out with a bullshit statement like that proves to me he has lost his marbles, the board should take him to task,what type of message does that send out especialy when ST are up for renewal. Time for him to ride off into the sunset and take the shit with him

  84. kelsey

    Do you really care a fuck if ade’s on his way.only trouble is that we will be lucky to get half what we could have got for him last year.
    one season wonder springs to mind,and he is the most arrogant player I have ever seen in an arsenal shirt with limited ability.

  85. ArsenalKenya

    Arsene Wenger has criticised the negativity which has engulfed the Emirates Stadium this season – but admits his Arsenal team must turn promise into trophies next term.

    The Gunners boss went head-to-head with supporters at a shareholders forum on Thursday evening where he faced stern criticism over a fourth consecutive trophyless campaign. Wenger was stung by suggestions his youthful squad lacked heart for a fight, and told fans they were partially responsible for the team’s problems.

    “It is easy to sit in the stand and say that they are not up for the fight,” Wenger said. “What they have done in this season in a negative environment shows what they can do.”

    Referring to Manchester United’s Champions League semi-final win at the Emirates, Wenger added: “There is a massive difference between the away fans, who are absolutely fantastic, and the home ones.

    “It is always that negative way of thinking, that the players do not care.

    “If we do not get there (to win a trophy) next year then I am responsible and will stand up for it. But what this team needs is people who are fans of the club.”

    Wenger railed at a shareholder’s assertion that 31-year-old defender Mikael Silvestre was a “geriatric”, while admitting that he would be willing to sell striker Emmanuel Adebayor – another who came in for criticism – to London rivals Chelsea.

    However, he added: “Adebayor is part of our plans for the future.

    “I believe he has been disturbed at the start of the season a little bit, by bad feelings from the fans because he was close to leaving.”

  86. iceman

    I’m happy.

    Even a pound above what we paid for him would be fine by me.

    Ethan made some solid points at 6:14-6:30….maybe that is what’s happening?

  87. ArsenalKenya

    This summarises Arsene’s meeting with shareholders yesterday…http://www.arsenalinsider.com/?p=4788

    HE IS TO DEFENSIVE BUT AS HE HAS SAID IF HE DOESN’T GET IT RIGHT NEXT SEASON THEN WE’LL SCREW HIM…

    I will want the board to adopt a rights issue to raise around Β£100 million for him to invest in players instead of expecting cash from some fat ass billionare

  88. tonyadamsisgod

    Again….WENGER HAS LOST THE PLOT!!!!!!!

    Get him out before he wastes another year! We all know it will be the same old story over the summer! He says he will spend money on experienced players! That can be translated into ‘I’m going to bid Β£3m for Gareth Barry and if they dont accept it then no one can say I didn’t try!’…..bullshit!

    Oh, mornign all!