Cesc Fabregas crocked or just doesn’t fancy it? | Big bit of Arsenal injury news + Match review

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Eboue Squillaci Djourou Gibbs

Wilshere Fabregas Denilson,

Rosicky Walcott  Bendtner

Another shocking night of football to throw onto the nasty smelly pile that is gathering in corner of the Arsenal dressing room. I spoke to someone close to the club before the game and he said he thought last night was going to be a really tough game on account of how deflated everyone was after the Spurs game.

How right was he?

My brother said it was like watching England and I couldn’t help but agree. We were unimaginative, flat and completely lacking in confidence. That was a team on their knees, a team struggling for leadership… a team without a clue.

This wasn’t your run of the mill Champions League team. This was a team of first timers who have a novelty stadium built into a cliff. They’re not a big name in Portugal… they’re one season wonders in the Champions league and they’re currently sitting 10th in their home division after losing 4 of their last 5 games.

We dominated them possession wise but as we’ve touched on a thousand times over the past 4 years… posession doesn’t count for anything if you don’t put the ball in the net. We were so poor in attack I can barely remember their keeper making a save. Arsenal crabbed the ball around the park in a most unfluid fashion. Without Arshavin, Chamakh and Robin Van Precious in the side, we really do struggle with directness. 1 shot on target is testament to that.

Cesc played with that 2010 sullen moody look on his face. I said earlier in the summer that it wouldn’t surprise me if he picked up lots of niggly injuries this season. He doesn’t want to be here and he’s playing that way. He picked up a hamstring tweak but it wasn’t bad enough for him to go down. I can’t help but be reminded of Arjen Robben in his last season at Chelsea. Is he really interested in fighting for us out there? Did he fancy it last night? It didn’t look that way to me and sadly a team is a reflection of it’s captain.

Nik Bendtner added about £26 to his £2.5million valuation with yet another anonymous performance. If his game was as good as his arrogant sound bites, we’d have a real player on our hands. Not that he was the only poor player out there today. I can’t remember seeing Nasri at all, he really didn’t impose his good form on the night, like I’d have hoped from an impact sub.

When I did see Theo he was either running into someone or trying to show off one of his two tricks (jink left / jink right). Rosicky kept the ball flowing and that was about it. Denilson returned to type with a typically poor performance making two costly errors in the process. How many times do I have to complain that Denilson isn’t up to the physical challenge of top class football?

I knew once we hit the hour mark at 0-0, we were in trouble. I said to my brother,

‘This is the sort of game we’ll lose 1-0’

85 minutes kicked in, a long ball was launched up the pitch, Denilson was marking one of the fastest players on the pitch… bang… 1-0 down. How our Brazilian can be so switched off that he loses at least 10 yards in two seconds is totally beyond me. No one in our back line was thinking about Mateus. We totally switched off again.

Shortly afterwards a similar event unfolded, Denilson wasn’t strong enough to shield the ball, he was clattered over, Mateus picked the loose ball up from behind the half way line, he powered into our box, 3 of our defenders couldn’t handle his trickery and he rifled home from 10 yards out.

At least Song would have had the decency to body check his man.

I have to say, that last goal actually made me laugh. The defending looked like a scripted re-make of a Charlie Chaplin silent movie classic. It was slap stick. It wasn’t something that was meant to be seen on a professional football field. It was totally Arsenal.

I can’t even say it was unbelievable because it was 100% believable. The players all huffed and puffed because they knew, once again, they’d shown they’re not up to it.

We can complain about the penalty that definitely was not a dive. We can complain the referee was so bad the Scottish FA would probably pass on him if he threw an application into the ring this weekend. We can shout about our bad luck with injuries. The simple fact is, if we can’t do the basics right, we’ve only got ourselves to blame.

I said after the home Shaktar game that clean sheets were important because we couldn’t go on averaging 3 goals a game. Well, now we’re not scoring the goals, we’re suffering the indignity of losing to poor teams… and yes, Spurs are a poor side compared to us.

Why are we playing such a high line against a team of incredibly fast players? I called it in yesterday’s post… beware of the pace! How can we be so consistently naive? Why is Denilson chasing Bale one week and the fastest player for Braga the next? Even more frightening is that we rarely concede more than 6-7 shots… yet we can’t stop leaking goals. They only managed 3 shots on target yesterday!

Fans respond to fighters on the pitch. I didn’t see any evidence of that out there this evening. Where is the desperation to win? Where is that never say die attitude? Why didn’t Carlos Vela scream at the ref when he was blatantly hacked down? Where were the rest of his team mates backing his case?

Technical talent can’t hide the fact that we’re soft to the core. The mental spirit is weak, there’s no winning mentality on the pitch and right now I’m struggling to work out who is more at fault, Arsene Wenger for sending out his team without motivation or the players for being so gutless?

Someone asked me if I thought another manager could do a better job. Personally, I think we’ve got the best squad in the league. I am totally of the belief that if we had a culture of ‘win at all costs’ in the dressing room things would be different. Young players are different to experienced pros. You have to teach them the art of winning. Wenger isn’t doing that at the moment. He’s teaching them that if you stick to Wengerball, everything will be ok. Don’t worry about defending, don’t worry about the other teams strengths… just play the beautiful game.

It doesn’t work…

Those players need instructions. They need to be told exactly how to defend. They need to be told who are the danger players and we need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition before we play and build a plan around them. This squad are good enough to win the league and on their day they are good enough to make a semi final of the champions league.

They’re not good enough to do it without leadership, tactics and motivation.

We’ve lost our edge and the manager now needs to earn his crust and give these boys the belief back.

As bad as tonight was, don’t lose sight of the fact that we can go top of the Premiership on Saturday and we only need a win against Belgrade to qualify for the Champions League.

Things feel bad at the moment, but they could be a whole lot worse. Tonight will have meant nothing if we go to Villa on Saturday and stuff our Brummie friends in their own back yard.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Injury News

A few weeks ago I was told Cesc wasn’t injured, he was playing with the hand brake on… Last night he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring tweak. Hopefully its minor, either way, you’d imagine he’ll be out longer than the 2-3weeks Wenger has been quoted on. How can he keep coming back in the minimum time if it’s ‘recurring‘?

Emmanuel Eboue picked up his first serious injury from a tackle. Ironic as he’s been feigning leg break like pain for years. Wenger said it’s serious which is a worry. There is also the news that Robin didn’t travel because of an ankle knock… which is just precautionary, so hopefully we’ll see him this weekend.

The only bit of positive news I can give you is that Thomas Vermaelen does not have a career ending injury. He’ll be back in January and maybe even before if his rehab goes well. We could really do with his presence and hunger out on that field right now.

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507 Responses to “Cesc Fabregas crocked or just doesn’t fancy it? | Big bit of Arsenal injury news + Match review”

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  1. chozzer

    Is BT good? I’m on Virgin but don’t use it for gaming.

    Bale missed deliberately. He was shagging his fiance up the arse last night and got pissed off when she wouldn’t suck him off half way through. Definitely didn’t want to be making a heart sign today.

  2. Martin Hayes Never Missed

    A mate works in IT said to try to get your broadband through companies that supply large business – apparently alot better standard…none of this BT or Virgin stuff..

  3. melvyn

    Stu – yes true but we have lost 3 of our last 4 home games so I’m not sure we benefit from home advantage.

    The team is captained by a guy who’d rather not be there has no leader at the back no one to defend the back four – oh to have Viera and Petit and clueless strikers well except for NB52 ho is aspiring to clueless.

    I havent dared watch any replays of Saturdays game can someone tell me why Chamakh stopped when he was clean through.

  4. Stu

    Melvyn, at home in the CL group stages we are formidable to say the least. 6-0 and 5-1 are testament to that.

    At home in the league (this season) is best not talked about.

    And chamakh stopped because he is a spastic…simple as that.

    Only at arsenal would there be a striker who cant finish and would rather look for a pass when clean through on goal.

  5. JJ

    Suga – See my earlier posts. We are in agreement that Denilson should not be put in that position… and Wenger needs to coach more from the sideline. E.g. Telling Song to sit back and telling CB’s not to go up for certain set pieces.

  6. Stu

    Its Wengers instructions that have Song bombing forward in the first place. He’s not now going to tell him to sit back.

    And the CBs going forward for set pieces isnt the problem, its Clichy being the one who stays back to defend thats the issue because he cant defend for shit.

  7. JJ

    Stu – Whether Barton was crap or not is not the point. I spotted the Gibbs issue before I heard his comments. As I said earlier, I think Gibbs played well in general but was at fault in both goals. We can agree to disagree. I am sure it won’t be the first time.

    I do wonder this, how many games does Wenger have to lose/where do we have to finish in the table before he is asked to leave? Yesterday I said that he will never be sacked but today I am not so sure…

  8. Man

    This is disgraceful the spuds comfortably qualify from what seems a more difficult group and we are supposed to be experienced at this.

    Goodnight all

  9. JJ

    Stu – When we are up 2-0, we do not need to have fullbacks flying forward at every opportunity and knowing who our cover at the back is (Clichy, Denilson et al), we do not need to commit both CB’s and play such a high line. I am not sure that Wenger tells Song to bomb forward… but he certainly does not tell him to sit back when he needs to.

  10. JJ

    Pedro – That is a big IF at this stage. Average teams know how to beat us and our home form (obviously) can not be banked on.

  11. TOMTOM

    Listening to all the football talkshows on the radio lately alot of fans are now asking questions of Wenger and I think the pressure of no trophies in 5 years is getting to him

  12. TOMTOM

    If Arsenal sack Wenger would he be available to manage the finances in Ireland? Someone that spends fuck all money is just what we need right now…..

  13. Limestonegunner

    Pedro, in some of those groups top spot is still up for grabs. So we could face Inter (if tots win group), Schalke or Lyon, Valencia (if ManU lose final game to them), Barcelona, Bayern, or Real Madrid.

    It doesn’t look very good. I’d only want to face Schalke/Lyon, Valencia or Inter. It is too bad we can’t play an English side. I would love to see the Tots in an early knockout tie and wipe away memory of this last humiliating Saturday.

  14. Stu

    I dont know what to want from arsenal in the CL. Obviously i want us to win it but thats very unlikely this season. If we get past the group stage we will probably get smashed again by a team who uses tactics rather than just passing it around assuming things will work out.

    Coincidentally i will miss the Cl final this season…whether we are playing or not.

  15. Stu

    And btw :
    “sixx pac says:
    November 24, 2010 at 22:23
    Wtf Stu giving grammar lesson”

    Its either giving A grammar lesson, or giving grammar lessons. :mrgreen:

  16. Limestonegunner

    We should root for Valencia to defeat ManU and for Inter to win their group over Tots. Both would give happiness to us to see defeats for regular rivals but also give us a better chance of avoiding the toughest three teams of Barca, Bayern and Real.

    Then again, we will have to play a good side to go deep no matter what and we have trouble in these big games. We might as well face them at the outset. We either win and build some confidence or we get dumped and can concentrate on the PL. Playing less than top opposition and progressing just stretches our resources and convinces us that we are doing well without passing the real tests against top teams.

    I’ve talked myself into hoping we get Real or a revenge match against Barca straight away.

    Assuming we qualify…

  17. reggie 57

    It dont matter who we play next(assuming we qualify)the manager is so inept on the tactical front we will get a lashing anyway! stands to reason dont it!!

  18. Jules78

    Time for Arsene to lose the manager job and go to a director of football type role. Let Brady relax and get a good hungry manager in.

  19. Jules78

    Arsene’d be good managing the Irish finances actually. Spend what seems fuck all yet get his pockets full and keep the foreign workforce coming in, keep the corporate guys happy.

  20. reggie 57

    It’s a nightmare the spuds easily qualify and we struggle to get thru, all radio stations are even hyping them cunt’s up to go all the way!! can you believe that? they are the upstarts,where with us we have not got a hope in hell! could harry really have the last laugh………..

  21. DaleDaGooner

    Can’t even comment since the Spuds came to whoop us in our own house…here i am shacked up in a Radisson hotel with my Spanish mamcita, waking up early as hell in Mexico City and these lots made my girl deny me some good loving after i became the devil incarnate, engrossed by such a disgraceful performance….And they repeated the gross misconduct again yesterday…NOVEMBER SUCKS TO BE A GOONER!

    Don’t even know who to blame, now my girl knows i love the Arseal more than her..lol

  22. Jules78

    Stu, what I meant by that is that he’s the player who’s brought fwd the most, gets his face on everything etc. So that makes him the no 1 marketed player in the prem which is poor considering it’s only Rooney at the end if the day.

  23. Limestonegunner

    The club is already talking about targeting the ManU game on the 13th for Cesc’s return. This is the problem, they keep rushing him back before really clearing up the problem and before Cesc is fully confident that he isn’t going to have a recurrence of the injury. I don’t think his head is elsewhere, but I don’t think he is eager to risk himself the way he used to, even last year. He has sacrificed his body and played with a leg fracture, and I think he isn’t going to keep doing that.

    Heal the hamstring. I’d like to see the other boys step up and learn to play well without him.

  24. Jules78

    Cesc’s overestimated IMO for now. I think it’s a pity we’ve come to expect so much of him. Great player in the making, great potential, love him, but he’s not there yet. Same as for Nasri really. As it is now these 2 don’t stand a chance against Xavi and Iniesta.

  25. Jules78

    Well, it’s been a pretty bad spell, and it looks like we’ve again shown that we can’t bulk up when we need to so… Same again? How long is that gonna last before someone’s got the balls to tell AW thank u but no thanks, we’ve got a nice reconversion job for u, take it now or lose it all.

  26. Marko

    Our goal difference will have us through from the group and I’m hoping for a Braga win on the next match day as I’m fearful of getting Barca or Madrid at an early stage

  27. Limestonegunner

    Marko, we’ll have to play them and beat them anyway to progress to the final and win. What good is it to play weaker sides, get farther in the competition and lose later to these big teams? Might as well see if we can make it: win, or go out and concentrate on the league. The only thing lost is some matchday and CL competition revenue we aren’t going to use to buy new players anyway.

  28. Jules78

    Let’s start from the start and win something. We haven’t won fuck all for nearly 6 years and here we are dreaming of CL… seriously… And we just lost 3-2 at home being 2-0 up at half time. Against the scum ??!!!! and u actually believe we’ve got what it takes to win the CL?? please…

  29. Limestonegunner

    I think we can win this weakened league (but equally we could fail to be in the top four; if we keep faltering we will be in a scrum with Spuds, City, Everton, Bolton, Villa, Sunderland, and Liverpool). I think we can win the Carling Cup and possibly the FA cup. I think the CL is more difficult with our squad as we haven’t proven able to win big games the last several years. The last really big win in the CL was our defeat of AC Milan in 2008, I think it was.

  30. Jules78

    LSG, noone, just this CL business sorta gets to my head as to me it’s like putting the cart before the horse. I think we’ve been fed with false expectations for too long and were lead to believe that we’re much better that what we really are but hey, reality will always come knocking, and once again it has.

  31. Geoff

    As you all know I’ve never been a fan of the ECL, Wenger has and is, I would sooner go out now and concentrate on the domestics, we have no chance of winning it when we rely of players like Denilso, Fabianski, Koscielny etc.

    Once again we had the chance to learn from our mistakes and once again our manager goes into the French league and buys unknown players that are horribly average, and I still bet he bought Koscielny on Grimandi’s say so and had never seen him play.

    This intransigence is killing future support and die hards like me are getting to the point where they just don’t want to go anymore, he really is screwing this club over, like heavyweight boxers, they never know when to retire.

    And worse of all, there is no reproach, he does what he wants and when we lose there are no penalty’s, had he said he was giving he salary back for the spud capitulation I would have respected him, but what he’s said for our last two results, I despair, I really do.

  32. SUGA3

    all the squad members who played in the last two games should have their wages docked!

    I know it may not be fair on the likes of Djourou, Gibbs, Chamakh and Nasri, but perhaps the sense of injustice would push them into giving the underperforming mates a good bollocking?