So Arsenal fans… are you going to protest?

by & filed under Uncategorized.

You can’t hide from it, people are talking about it all over the web, in comment sections, on twitter… it’s the planned demonstration planned by Where has our Arsenal gone (WHOAG). It’s happening at 1430 on the 15th of May before the Aston Villa game. At the moment, rumours are that 200 or so Arsenal fans are going to meet, don black scarves and wander up to the ground to make a statement of dissatisfaction against the club.

I recently wrote that I’m not a fan of protest and pop up action groups. I still stand by that but what I am a fan of is people who actually want to do something. I’m a fan of supporters joining together to do something they see as for the better of the club and I’m a fan of giving everyone the choice to make a rational decision on whether they want to join.

From what I can gather, they are in the main marching against the increase in season ticket pricing. The group are not a collection of post 1996 Arsenal fans, they are in fact the opposite. Many of them have been season ticket holders since the 70’s, they’ve seen the dark days of Arsenal football club, they’re members of the AST and AISA but they want to take things into their own hands to let the club know they’re not happy about the way things are going.

Some of their ideas are very fair. They want the club to recognise that increasing the cost of season tickets is hitting fans hard, they want to offer the chance for fans to downgrade their seats, they want the club to allow fans the chance to have a season ticket holiday for a year, they want the away fans to be moved into the upper tier into the more expensive areas so there are more affordable seats for the faithful.

A protest about season ticket pricing makes absolute sense to me and that is a cause I’d absolutely back.

The trouble from where I’m sitting is the press release about the march lacks direction and clear objectives. They veer off into areas like commercial activity, corporate fan slagging, the manager’s lack of spending and sacking the Chairman. All debatable points on their own, but all they do for me is add confusion to the situation and they muddy the water.

A protest needs goals and objectives. If no one is exactly sure about what they’re protesting about, you allow the rest of the web to make snap assumptions. Many people are calling it a ‘Wenger out’ protest. Le Grove has dealt with people who make assumptions about our site without reading it and I fear that what is essentially a good willed movement is being tarnished by the very vocal and aggressive AKB.

This is the problem with new groups, it’s very hard to create an organisation when no one is fronting the group. I tried to contact them via their twitter account last night for a few words and I’ve heard nothing. That’s why my preference is go through more official channels like the AST. You know every statement made by them is carefully researched and rational. The AST wrote an e-mail to Ivan Gazidis the day after they found out about the potential hike in season ticket prices way back in February. Do you think it’s a coincidence the club has waited so long to announce regular season ticket increases?

I don’t like the factions that have been created at Arsenal this season, it’s really sad that we can’t all get along. It’s sad that fans are tearing lumps out of each other in the ground and it’s sad that groups like WHOAG have to set up in the first place. I won’t be joining any protest until there is more clarity around exactly what the goal of it is supposed to be but I do admire that a group of Arsenal fans are willing to take their grievances to the street and make a public point to the club.

What I’ve done is join the AST. I’ll be filling out the end of season questionnaire which goes directly to the board. I’ll then be attending the AST Ivan Gazidis meeting (June 13th) where he’ll take questions uncensored for an hour and a half from anyone who is a member. For all the criticism the club receives, there aren’t many CEO’s that would put themselves through such an ordeal.

We may have lost out way on the pitch this season but I strongly believe the club tries its best to involve the fans every step of the way. Globalisation of football is inevitable… if you want tradition, you’ll have to find another sport. For all the eulogizing about the game way back when… you did get what you paid for. Terracing was fun, but football violence wasn’t. Paying a tuppence for a ticket was value for money, seeing people throw bananas at black players was not. Knowing that you were likely to see your favourite players down the local after was nice… but seeing the power, pace and skill we have now is far more enjoyable.

Hopefully when Ivan Gazidis takes his hot seat in June, he’ll have snapped up a decent player and the fans will feel somewhat appeased. At the core of it, we all want what’s best for the club, we all want to be optimistic and we all want to feel our club is trying its hardest to be the best that it can be.

This summer is the chance for the club to unite the fans again, I just hope Stan understands that sentiment.

So… will you be protesting? Let us know in the comments!

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799 Responses to “So Arsenal fans… are you going to protest?”

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  1. gambon

    “David Moyes is often held up as a man with a team performing way beyond its budget, but has has outspent Wenger by nearly £25 million since 2003”

    You have to stop with all this pro wenger lying on forums.

    Wenger has spent £50m more than moyes on wages yearly, meaning he has outspent him by £375m in this time.

  2. tiarnan

    In addition to those wonderful traits, Wenger also possesses some other fine characteristics, perhaps the kind of things you put on your cv under “hobbies”:

    -360 degree spins whilst juggling 4 bananas
    -Kicking waterbottles into row Z
    -John Cleese impressions “remember ZE war!”
    -Uri Geller mind control techniques over AKB’s
    -Blood sacrificing in the catacombs beneath Arsenal
    -Turning Gold into Shit & Passion into lethargy

    etc

  3. (bernard) bade the gooner

    i’m watching the game & i’m gutted….
    this red nose is really unbelievable, you have to admit

  4. SUGA3

    albo,

    on the flipside:

    EITHER this squad is good enough to win trophies, which means the manager is lacking tactics and motivation wise, OR it is not good enough to win them, which means that the manager has failed to address the deficiencies we were banging on about for ages…

    so, which one is it again?

  5. andy c

    walcott scores a few but valencia certainly is a better winger and crosser of the ball, id rather a valencia type winger and walcott up front in a 442

  6. (bernard) bade the gooner

    giggs playing like he is 25, if he was at arsenal wenger would release him 6 years ago!!!
    what a joke

  7. albo

    gambon – and you need to stop using the word ‘lying’ when discussing statistics.

    And if you want to start introducing wages into the mix, while it favours teams like Everton in this argument, it also stretches the spending gap between us and teams like Chelsea, Man U and Man City even further…

  8. gambon

    Mr B

    Silver?

    Not really a commodities man, i know a few people who are but there arent many people who are good with metals, hence why they earn so much and end up working in the US.

    With the markets where they currently are i dont know how much value there is in commodities, but id hate to be tied up in equities even more.

  9. David

    albo says:
    April 26, 2011 at 21:10

    My genuine worry is this – that unless things change financially David Dein’s original prediction will come true. ie that we will have nowhere near enough to compete and we will drop down the table very swiftly. Without Wenger to build squads WAY better than their budget should allow, how long would be even be top 4

    =————————————

    Now that really is a doomish comment if I ever read one.

    The underlying issue isnt really the spending its the shafting off of our winners and investing so heavily in youth.

    United are where they are because they still have 4 players in their starting XI from the David Beckam era!

    Wenger has had the 40m to spend but refuses to but everyday you hear of another 17 year old thats singed up.

    I cringe when people talk as if Wenger has performed some sort of miracle.

    He’s been working on this bunch for 7 years ffs and their worse than theyve ever been!

  10. tiarnan

    Man Utd have an average age of 28.9 tonight …

    Dya think Fergie will mention this in the post match press conference?

    Is age important to Fergie?

    No, thats right Fergies not mentally retarded, so he wont mention age. Why?

    BECAUSE IT HAS FUCK ALL TO DO WITH FOOTBALL.

    Only requirment – are they GOOD enough?

    FUCK OFF WENGER

  11. G STAR

    Iniesta injured for the 1st leg against REAL MADRID.

    ps

    read my post @ 19 : 31 for the players that wenger is considering buying

  12. andy c

    exactly santos, i think his pace would be better used making runs down the middle or from the left even on to his right foot, much better getting supplied from cescs defence splitters or a quality wideman, i dont think we have a quality wideman and this is one of the things we are missing as an option at least

  13. andy c

    when do you see walcott becoming a striker though santos?
    Has he ever been played as an out and out striker by wenger?

  14. Franchise

    Manunited play mature footy. Some serious grown man shit

    I fucking hate the cunts. They are just too consistent

  15. CedarBayDave

    Pugh fires over after Whitehad ‘does an Arsenal’ and opts to pass instead of finish after Jones put him through.

    – Off the Stoke v. Wolves Matchcast on Yahoo!

  16. albo

    SUGA – its a tough question. And I think the answer is a bit of both.

    On the one hand, I really don’t rate Wenger as a tactician at all. So there can be no question that tactically we could be better, and therefore might have won games we otherwise lost or drew.

    On the other, there is no question that there are some squad players who have underachieved enormously this season and let the manager down. In particular, Rosicky ought to have been our Giggs. A quality old hand who could swing games in our favour when we needed it most. He very much hasn’t been!

    My own feeling is that this squad IS good enough to win trophies with a bit of luck, but perhaps not that extra bit good enough to make our OWN luck and guarantee one. For me, Wenger has taken the first bit of that sentence and said to himself ‘that is enough’, when what he should have done is considered the second point and added where needed…

  17. tiarnan

    Business End of the season and Man Utd are like Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.

    Arsene Wenger is like Norris from Coronation Street.

  18. albo

    David – actually totally agree with you there re Walcott. A far more significant injury than Cescs in my opinion…

  19. David

    And also Franchise,

    Arsenal are very consistent too.

    We are consistent Bottlers.

    Check the record.

    We dont like pressure at all.

    Bet we beat the living shite out of united now theres nothing to play for.

  20. andy c

    David,
    Do you really think theo provides more than valencia?
    He was doing well before getting injured (against stoke?)
    i will give you that

  21. Man

    Walcott has improved this season. I used to be one of his main critiques. The comparison between Valencia and Walcott is misplaced.
    Arshavin is the problem!

  22. gambon

    Never mind the Walcott / Valencia debate, ive a more important question:

    Is that the fucking guy from the new adventures of superman?

  23. andy c

    man
    what do you mean about arshavin?
    I think he hasnt played when nasri and theo have been fit? or do you mean he shouldnt be on the wing at all?

  24. gambon

    Oh and Chicarito is MUCH better than Walcott.

    Both 22, Chicaritos first PL season, Where as Walcott has had 5 years of finding his feet.

    In 3 years time the question will be redundant.

    Wenger – best scout in the world eh!

  25. albo

    But surely Gambon, your point has always been that the 5 years pre-22/23 are irrelevant anyway? It’s at 23 that players become top class…?

  26. Man

    You are right Andy he is good as an impact sub…20 mins here 30 mins there, maybe start against ‘poor’ opposition or be there to give either Walcott or Nasri a break.
    The problem is he is one of the higher earners and for the amount of money he is on we should be able to get someone better.
    Walcott’s persistent injuries means he’ll be getting a lot of playing time so it’ll be better to get someone more consistent. That Bendtner on the right wing thing must stop…none of that nonsense next season.

  27. tiarnan

    andy c says:
    April 26, 2011 at 22:08

    Gambon
    Chicharito and walcott are asked to do different jobs surely?

    ——————-

    Thats right, Chicharito is asked to win the league and score goals – Walcott is asked to do tippy tappy and come in the top 20.

    Big difference.

  28. andy c

    tianan,
    Thats not what i was getting at.

    Man,
    I can see arshavin going in the window, for a multitude of reasons, but would you replace him with a proper winger ( young for example ) or someone who can play anywhere in a front 3.

    I think a proper winger and 442 or 4411 is the way we should be looking

  29. Keyser

    I don’t think he’s ready yet, he still needs other players to create space for him. If we buy another winger than you could try it, but teams would just back off him or play him tight and crowd him out.

  30. patthegooner

    I like Arshavin, but I would trade him in this year.

    Sell him back to Zenit and get Hazard in.

    I would also trade in Clichy. I think we need to strengthen at the back and someone like Baines is better defensively….Oh and he can wrestle the ball off RVP for freekicks too.

  31. patthegooner

    4-4-2 for me Andy C

    All of our sucess has come playing 4-4-2.

    And we should start trialing it now until the end of the season.

    Lets see how RVP supporting Theo works. Arshavin and Nasri left and right and Ramsey and Cesc or Ramsey and Wilshire in the middle.

  32. Man

    People need to get over this Theo upfront idea. He has only just come to terms with playing on the wings. Give him a season or two before pushing him upfront.

    Wilshere, Sagna, JD, Theo, RvP, Nasri and Szczesny have been our best players this season.

  33. tiarnan

    Andy C –

    I know, I was just being facetious.

    Anyway, Wenger wont change from his beloved tippy tappy 4-2-3-1…

    If he did it would be admitting defeat. So rather than admit defeat he’d rather we’d get relegated. Which on current form we would. 8 points from our last 7 games and next up is Man U and the away game at Stoke.

    Wenger changed from the dynamic 4-4-2 because he thought the system no longer worked.

    The same system United steamroll everyone with.

    No, what wasnt working was the shit players like Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner etc and playing the wrong players in the wrong positions.

    Bendtner might be great but we’ll never know.

  34. zeus

    How many times does Theo have to come inside and do nothing before you see his true worth. Against Bolton he started brightly while on the flanks, but the moment he moved inside you forgot he was on the pitch.

  35. Keyser

    Yeah, but others don’t have his space to exploit it.

    Walcott’s first touch needs to be as good as Nasri/ Van Persie/ Fabregas, before you can play in the middle.

    Those 3 players are all intelligent enough to release him with first time balls, and unlike those 3 players there’s no-one in the premiership that’s catching Walcott once he’s through.

  36. Man

    Next season I’d like Wenger to be less rigid, tactically. (I know this seems like an impossible dream but hey…)

    I’d like to see 442, 4411, 4231, 433, 4222…

    I’d like to see him vary the players, change formations. It’ll allow him to rest players so we don’t look too shattered or injured in March!

  37. andy c

    Tiernan,
    I thought so.

    I just think with 442 we can play theo up top, we can bring bendnter on and say stay in the box, or chamahk, robin can drop slightly deeper which he does all the time in a 443 and we end up with no one in the box when clichy/sagna waste a cross anyway! aaaaaaaaaaah frustrated!

  38. Keyser

    United don’t play 4-4-2, they play with players that can adapt, it’s why Rooney moves back into midfield, or ends up tracking back to his own 18 yard box to help out Evra.

    Hernandez plays because he works far harder than Berbatov could and because Rooney can pull his strings the same way you’d expect Berbatov to.

    It’s not that Wenger doesn’t want to change from the system, it’s that it really does suit most of our players.

  39. Keyser

    Man – I’d like these lot to build up some understandings before we stretch them again, we barely got everything together in January and then it all fell apart again as players got injured and so on.

  40. Franchise

    keyser u sounding A-ish

    United play 442. 442 dont mean one of the forwards cant drop deep or that players cant track back

  41. gambon

    I think Theo upfront would be a disaster, and just wenger tinkering and trying to be his usual cheap self. Also 20 goals is nothing special.

    We should do what any self respecting top club would do and sign a great striker.

    Benzema, Higuain, Etoo, Cavani etc

  42. Keyser

    Franchise – It depends on who the forward is, Berbatov isn’t doing shit, Rooney works his aSs off as does Hernandez.

    ..and then likewise in midfield, they can afford to play Giggs because Park and Valencia make up for his lack of energy. Aswell as Rooney dropping deep.

    It’s not soo much a formation unless in defence, but covering space efficiently.

  43. tiarnan

    Keyser – ok theres no need for me to reply Franchise already cleared up that burst of inanaity…

    There couldnt be a more 4-4-2 team that ever existed than United….when we played 4-4-2 with Henry & Bergkamp – Rooney is just doing what Bergkamp used to do – but make no mistake its 4-4-2

  44. Keyser

    tiarnan – and yet you carried on with your post.

    Your idea of Rooney in our team is Bergkamp ? Says it all.

  45. Wenger the liar

    Keyser –

    LOL, nah I was so far hedged that regardless of the result I was never winning or losing much.

    Reminds me of when I was about 15 and I placed a bet on the scottish cup final, back in the day when the bookie would keep 10% tax. I placed a tenner on Rangers at 10-1 on, came back for my winnings and the bookie took my pound winnings as tax!

    Tomorrows game is of greater intrest to me. Never seen Barca odds so long in ages. Thing is even though it worked for real once theres no saying that 1 barca goal wont lead to 4.

    Tomorrow will be a good measure of Pep as a manager. When the TH PV and the lads lost that first game the slump was bad, lets see how Barca react. Reacting to adversity is a true measure of a person, which probably explains a lot about our bunch of losers.

    Tiarnan –

    You need your own channel, youre fucking funny.

  46. choy

    Keyser, but its wenger stocking up on attacking mids!

    I doubt we’ll change the formation though, its been implemented from the youth team onwards.. barca play the formation pretty well, but they are on another level.

    Messi works harder than the entire arsenal team!

  47. Joppa

    Walcott is the future of this Arsenal side and will move centrally.

    The game will start to revert back to 4-4-2 around europe and EPL. When that happens we will have RVP with Walcott then we will start to see the real Arsenal and dare I say Wenger again.

    Our great teams under Wenger had lightning pace and could rip teams apart on the break.

    I would say Theo centrally different class and Arsenal will rise to the top once again.

  48. Wenger the liar

    Gambon –

    Cant see Cavani leaving this summer. In fact Cavani is one of the few people that are less likely to change this club than Arsene this summer.

  49. gambon

    “gambon – Only one of those is a great striker”

    Good point, chamakh & bendtner are way better. Lets stick with them.

  50. Wenger the liar

    Yeah thats right choy, only thing is parking the bus works up until the first goal goes in but if Barca come out the traps flying and score in the first 20 minutes cant see reals players sticking to parking the bus regardless of Jose.

  51. tiarnan

    Keyser –
    Well I probably would have written more….

    So you dont think Rooneys jobs is to knit midfield and attack?

    What was Bergkamps role?

    Rooney may do a hell of alot more defending – in fact hes a better defender than any fuckwit defender we presently have – but his role is to knit midfield and attack, unless you dont think so…

    So pray tell what is it?

  52. Keyser

    WTL – It seems soo obvious after the fact that you wonder how anyone could get it wrong.

    United away in Europe or anytime they play Arsenal ? Ultra defensive, crowd the midfield, attack quick on the counter, I got sucked in by the scorelines againast Inter. Schalke were very poor.

    Mourinho’s got it down to his level at the moment, they can’t beat them through passing, or even out work them, so they tire the shit out of them, bridging the gap by being as dirty as possible.

    Depending on the way the ref goes or how long Real hold out without getting silly bookings, it’ll just come down to who can score at the right moment.

  53. Paulinho

    Keyser – You’re always going on about injuries. What do you make of our first choice eleven that’s been out in the last few games?

    I think we’ve exhausted certain “understandings”, that’s the problem, and certain other avenues, that teams like United use, for example a left back that can actually play football and make runs, are not available to the likes of Cesc so we play through certain options ad nauseum.

  54. choy

    In other news.. i think we’ll get thumped against UTD.

    They are in the form of their lives and we are quite the opposite.

  55. Keyser

    tiarnan – That’s the point though, it’s about balance, you know like in the old football games where you’d see who had the highest percentages of every skill option and just play them because they didn’t have the license’s for the names so you had no idea who they were.

    Rooney knits midfield and attack ? To an extent, but then there’s Giggs and Scholes, both are more like Bergkamp in that their legs aren’t what they used to be, but their minds are still two steps ahead of most other people.

    Rooney’s like Henry, except he has to make up for Park, or Valencia’s lack of craft, because they don’t have a Pires type player.

  56. Wenger the liar

    Gambon –

    Higuan is a killer finisher but like you either would be great.

    6 weeks later…..

    Arsenal sign 16 year old real madrid youth player carlos left bollock yet to drop on a 5 year contract

  57. choy

    WTL,

    I think it will be a low scoring game, I don’t think Madrid will change their game plan even if they concede early. RM will defend and try not to concede a goal.

    Barca will have most of the possession and even for an away team, they will have to do most of the probing!

    Barca will have to be at their attacking best and if they commit too many men forward, RM will rip them apart on the counter.

  58. Keyser

    Paulinho – Have you watched Evra this year, he’s probably made as many of those horrendous errors as any left back around.

    That’s beside the point though, I think we’re creating similar chances, and so on, it’s just not coming off as it was mid-season.

    We’re making the same mistakes we were making at the start of the year, before things started to click.

  59. Wenger the liar

    Choy –

    Thats fair and probably correct with the deciding factor the ref as keyser said.

    I would just love to see Barca hammer them though, down but not out. I will back the hammering and hope they have slys eye of the tiger.

    Last thing we need is for united to play real cause they have half a chance against them.

  60. tiarnan

    Keyser –

    Thats right we’re making the same mistake year in year out – keeping Arsene Wenger as manager.

  61. Paulinho

    Evra being able to contribute in the final third somewhat compensates for errors. Clichy manages to compound rather than compensate.

    Silvinho of the year 2000 would be perfect for this team.

  62. Wenger the liar

    Keyser –

    Fuck wacthing the games!

    Man which fucktard decided to put this march together? Honestly I wouldnt mind if they were actually trying to get some real change in there. Wanting to be able to rent the ST out and then get it back a year later, thats fair on the poor fucker that gets it for just one year!

    Seriously these wankers are giving doomers a bad name!

  63. Santos

    442 is not totally dead. Bayern Munich played it last season and it worked. Bastian as the box to box. Vanbommel as the holding MF. Robben and Ribery as the wingers. Muller in the no 10 role and Klose or Gomez as the striker. Van Persie and Walcott or Llorente could work for us, but first, we need a strong holding midfielder and effective wingers to play that system.

  64. Keyser

    Paulinho – Evra’s contribution is over-rated, Silvinho would literally piss over him, he could at least shoot.

    We created the chances, even when there were few, like Ramsey against West Brom, you’d expect him to bury that to equalise, Wilshere against Blackburn from 6 yards out, Nasri through against Bolton. It’s just the difference between taking them and not.

  65. Keyser

    Santos – You say Muller in the number 10 role, the problem I have with the idea that they played 4-4-2, is that Muller works his absolute ass off and he drops deeper as Ribery and Robben just push forward.

    At times they looked like they didn’t have much of a midfield, it wasn’t an especially solid line-up defensively as it told against Inter, and they relied heavily on the individual brilliance of Robben and Ribery, as soon as I knew Ribery was out of the final, you pretty much knew they wouldn’t win.

  66. Paulinho

    Keyser – United have plenty of chances, and miss them. Difference is they keep the tempo high and completely strangle the other side for the rest of the game, limiting them to almost zero chances and looking on the verge of scoring constantly themselves.

    Whereas we miss a chance, have a big sulk, and play like we’ve given up and the writing is on the wall. The other team continually have just as many chances as we do as the game opens up.

    The disparity attitude wise and belief wise is huge. There really is zero comparison between the two sides, and we’ll get another lesson on Sunday.

  67. tiarnan

    Paulinho – thats exactly it…

    United look forward to playing us – they can rest all their major players pack the midfield withh full backs and still beat us at a canter…

    Sunday – anything less than a 3 – 0 win for United and Id be highly surprised..and then let the games begin in the stands

  68. Rohan

    How did these bunch of cunts make it to the final?

    Fucking red nose. However grudgingly, you’ve got to give him some credit. The freckled smelly bastard

  69. albo

    Paulinho – actually, now the pressure is off I could see us beating United. It’s the pressure we are hopeless at dealing with…

  70. Paulinho

    Tiarnan – We’re out of the race so we might be a bit more penetrative than usual. Bit like the Chelsea match a couple of years when we lost 4-1 at home had lots of chances early on.

    If anything big was riding on the game it would be a stroll in the park for them. Probably will be anyway, mind.

  71. Keyser

    Paulinho – I’ve said we need a couple of athletes to supplement our squad, it’s not Evra’s ability in the final third, it’s generally his comeptantcy, and his stamina that are valuable.

    When they open up and really attack they do leave themselves far more open and with players like Berbatov and without say Park or Valencia they’ve struggled this year because of it.

    Because their general tactic is to defend in numbers when they play us they leave little space to exploit.

    It’s not especially attitude, but the belief they have because they’ve been through it all, they have those understandings.

    I don’t get why you’re generalising though, for a brief period this year we were actually controlling the games we wanted them to, you must at least admit that ?!

  72. Paulinho

    Albo – Yep, as I mentioned just above, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us create a few chances, making us think about what might have been etc. Ultimately though I’ll be amazed if we won regardless of how penetrative we are.

  73. tiarnan

    Paulinho – Yeh I know what youre saying but its still always a big game (obviously nothing what it used to be though)…

    We’ll start off with some nice tippy tappy shit but United will land a couple of nice hefty tackles and then they’ll begin to coil themselves around us and as we starve of oxygen we’ll let in a goal from a corner or free kick…then the team will have a collective nervous breakdown and we could see a total capitulation…

    The 4-2-3-1 formation plays right into Fergies hands….and Rooney & Hernandez are on fire now..so I can see nothing other than a resounding United victory.

  74. Paulinho

    Keyser – Do you watch full backs at all? Did you see Cole square the ball back for Lampard on Saturday? Did you see Evra run into the box and square for Giggs against Newcastle last Tuesday? Are you aware Clichy hasn’t done that in his entire career? He literally doesn’t make that run. Ever.

    United defend in numbers when we have the ball, as most teams do, because we play so ridiculously slowly it’s almost an inevitability they’ll drop back. Have a look at the possession stats when the scores are level between us, heck even overall, and a have a re-think about United’s supposed negative tactics. The only teams that don’t sit everyone behind the ball against us are second rate european teams like Porto and Donetsk.

    As for understandings, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team that played Everton on Saturday was making its first appearance together. Gibson, Valencia, Hernandez? Yep, they played years together…….

    You said yourself in regards to us ; “for a brief period”. Shame turning up with the required tempo for four months of the season doesnt win medals.

  75. Keyser

    Paulinho – Don’t get all emotional, a brief period, where you saw a possible title winning team, not just the team that’s going to finsih 3rd’ish.

    Your overplaying the fullbacks thing, Ashley Cole has 3 assists all season, Clichy and Sagna both had 6 a few seasons ago, Sagna’s even scored a few more goals this year.

    Neither are Maicon or Alves, but that’s not especially needed in this league as defence comes first and physically they are probably far better.

    United’s negative tactics work that’s why they use them, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time they work because of the players they have and because fergie has found that the easiest way of winning big games, he doesn’t really veer from this path unless he has to.

    Everton at home ? Who else was playing, Van De Sar, Ferdinand, Rooney, Nani, Anderson, even Evans has more Premiership experience than Koscielny for example.

    and they scraped a 1-0 win.

  76. tiarnan

    Keyser – because we’ll tippy tappy around getting nowhere fast in front of uniteds 2 banks of 4 – our 1 and only striker will be completely dominated by vidic and ferdinand – and when our full backs go on the overlap – rooney and co will break like lightning into the wide open spaces and quick as you like its in the back of the net…

    how many goals have we scored or looked like scoring against united this season in 180 mins of football?

    How many times have we beaten united in the last 5 seasons of tippy tappy nonsense?

  77. albo

    Paulinho – I do agree that, given what an attacking team we are, it is shocking how ineffective our full-backs are in attack.

    Clichy is a great dribbler and has fantastic pace, but his end product is beyond shocking. His crossing is abysmal and he’s not a whole lot better at creating things with the ball on the floor.

    Sagna is better defensively and is a great athlete, but his attacking end product is pretty woeful too.

    Both seem to have the same 2 default actions when they get to their respective corner flag area. 1) Slow things up and pass back to their midfield partner on the wing. 2) Put in a woeful and utterly ineffective cross!

    Neither of these options gives us much attacking threat. Actually, the main end result is often that they are out of position defensively, but with no attacking advantage to us to balance it out!

    Imagine if both of those players had all their current attributes but were also able to zip in top class deliveries both in the air and on the deck. We would be a completely different team!

  78. incesc

    oh right keyser

    so man u are actually not that good despite another league title and probably champions league final.

    🙄

  79. tiarnan

    United were dominant against everton – there was no scraping about it – its the hallmark of champions to be able to win 1-0….in fact I seem to remember another football team having a song about them in relation to winning 1-0….

  80. Keyser

    tiarnan – Yeah, but formation wise ? You’d go 4-4-2, put an extra striker in, crowd it all out even more and leave us even more vulnerable to the attack.

  81. AKB HATER

    IV BEEN SCREAMING FOR PROTESTS FOR THREE SEASONS!!! BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! FINALLY SOME ACTION BEING TAKEN BY REAL FANS – NOT THE BIG POTATOES WHO HIDE BEHIND A KEYBOARD- LIKE ALL THESE SILLY BLOGS – PEDRO AND GEOFF SHOULD BE FRONTING THIS PROTEST! BOTTLE JOBS

  82. Paulinho

    Keyser – As long as you make the run do you don’t necessarily have to receive the ball to make a difference. By making that run you’ll have caused an opposition player to track that run and open up space for others. What Cole and Evra do every time their teams attack. I’m not emotional, just aghast at how much in denial, or incapable, you are at seeing how much that stifles the team’s mojo, having Clichy just jittering on the same spot thirty yards from goal while Cesc is scanning for options. As Albo says, look at the type of team we try to be, playing total football etc. Is it any wonder why fold like an accordian every spring? Pressure + limited offensive options = powder puff impotence and collective collapse.

    As for the United-Everton match, I’m only going by your own criteria for ‘instability’. Whenever we have any players missing you make a massive deal of it, and excuse the team’s failings because so and so never played together for ten games on the bounce. Really is complete nonsense, as proved by the last week’s embarrassing flump, and United purposely rotating their squad.

  83. tiarnan

    AKB HATER – fuck up with all your shouting you hypocritical lunatic cunt

    Keyser – 4-4-2 is the system we played when we used to beat United regularly….are you saying playing with one striker is a good idea?

    In the last few seasons since weve been doing this – how much success have we had?

    And have you never heard the saying defending from the front? Uniteds front players harass the opposition defenders so much they cant build any momentum from the back – how does Van Persie on his own compare?

  84. Keyser

    Paulinho – You’re not aghast, you just want some pointless banter, we’ve had these discussion before and you ignore any other valid points, both Sagna and Clichy have been productive at times, they have made runs like that, Clichy did bomb on and cross from the byline.

    So instead of just having your usual bitch fest, you have to ask yourself why they don’t do the same now.
    The idea Evra and Cole are marauding left backs is bollocks, they play in different defensive systems and different teams, it’s not all down to them or our left backs. It comes down to how much the team can let them get away with.

    Watch Cole this year against Sunderland him being caught out of position and getting no protection was part of why Sunderland tore them apart.

    Likewise Evra, he’s made several high profile mistakes, because of the way the teams let him down or left him exposed.

    Clichy and Sagna aren’t perfect, they have their weaknesses, you have to be able to work around them.

    Bollocks it’s complete nonsense, you mean after we go on a decent run, where we build up those understandings look solid, then we get all manner of injury’s and players are left out, we’re not quite the same again a few games back.

    Well, duh. Compare that team they played against Everton, even at their rotational extreme, where they’ve left players out, who did they leave in ?!There you go.

  85. Keyser

    tiarnan – Again, it’s more down to the players we had back then, rather then the formation, unless you think this team can play aswell as that team and it’s just the formation we have to change ?!

  86. hitman

    If Walcott played up front he’d easily get 20 goal per season – just like the rat at Utd. I reckon he’d be brilliant.

    It would stop all those northern teams parking their bus. Too risky with 442 and Theo’s pace and directliness.

    Unfortuneately zee directness iz not acceptable method for playing ze beautiful football. I do not emply zee tactics.
    442 destroys le crab formation. Ah dont like ze end product so zer must only be one striker.

    Ah will not change my principles – even if it means winning trophies.
    It is more important to finiz second.
    No wait…

  87. Paulinho

    Keyser – They left out Nemanja Vidic against Everton……..

    You don’t make any valid points, just absolute shite about Clichy being scared to make a run because big bad Andrey might lose the ball. Oh no!

    And there you are again talking about different systems and systems. What tangible and coherant defensive strategy do we deploy when we choke leads away every season? Against Liverpool for example, rather than carrying out a system, it seems we adopted the ‘defend like a headless chicken’manual. Really interesed in how we differ from United where that great scrapper Nani is often ahead of Evra…..

  88. Paulinho

    Also, once again going on about defensive errors completely randomly, when we’re talking about our offensive game, you yourself consistently talk about how important our attack is for our defence.

  89. Rohan

    Sagna is the best right back in the league as far as I’m concerned. Has 2 goals and 3 assists this season. Defensively , he’s a rock. Couldn’t ask for better, really.

    Probably would have had more assists if there was someone in the box.

    Clichy has been very shaky past few games as has been Djourou. Having said that, I don’t rate Gibbs defensively at all.

  90. Keyser

    Paulinho – Players make mistakes, you can’t always prepare against that, but then you’ve just ignored my point about Evra.

    He’s been fucking shit at times this year, leaving all your bullshit about him being great going forward redundant, because he’s made the sort of mistake you’d have your usual hissy fit over.

    So again, use your reasoning, why is that ? Is that just Evra’s shit, or is it a blip because United haven’t been their usual selves at times this year ?!

    It’s just weird, I’m in denial, you’re aghast, everyone else can see Arshavin’s lack of work-rate, but what you expect everything to be same regardless ?! That Clichy shouldn’t give two shits, because it’ll all work out in the end.

    Watch them this year, and compare them to previous years. Use your head.

  91. Rohan

    To put it into perspective, Evra has 1 goal and 1 assist this season.

    I agree that Clichy is a joke in the final third though.

  92. tiarnan

    Keyser – its a combination of both – the players we had were far better and the system of 4-4-2 is far better – The Arsenal team of 2004 would have won this league by Christmas – this has been by far the worst EPL ever…but because United have a great manager they’ll win it again…

    And in that regard its not just about players & formations its also about the culture created by the club – United have a culture of winning driven into them by their manager – we have a culture of mediocrity…

    We havent wone a game or looked like winning since Wenger started making these “2nd is success” comments…in fact our slump is alarming – 8 points in 7 games is relegation material – we may be lucky to finish fourth….

    This “2nd is success” comment is like opening Pandoras box – once its opened thats it – Wenger is now seen as accepting mediocrity – I said years ago wed never win anything under him again – but now we’ll be lucky to stay in the top half of the table….

    8 points in 7 games is fucking atrocious.

  93. Paulinho

    Yep Keyser, and Nasri, the supposedly hard-working tyro, has been playing ahead of Clichy for the past two months and what’s happened? Ah yes, f-all has happened. Clichy is still a muppet going forward.

    I agree Evra had a dodgy spell, and can be defensively got at, completely irrelevant to the point at hand though. Obfuscation by going off on tangents is your speciality though.

    Oh yeah, and Nemanja Vidic it was who was rested against Everton, as well as Ryan Giggs. Really not sure of your point there, unless having the temerity to play Wazza is what your clinging onto…..

  94. Keyser

    Paulinho – It’s not random though is it, it’s all interconnected.

    The Bolton game is the perfect example, actually there’s several throughout the last few games, games can hinge on individual shifts of momentum, and you either make the right decision or it costs.

    The thing we have to work out is if Wilshere will always miss from a few yards out, or if Nasri will mess up the next time he’s put clean through.