Wenger baffles with team selection | Vermaelen switches off twice to cost us

by & filed under News Review.

So there we have it, our seven game winning streak has come crashing down with an almighty thud against a team my QPR supporting guest blogger was almost certain they had no chance of winning. We’re at that point in the season now where you can’t look at that result with anything other than total disappointment. We should have gone out and taken them apart, instead, we put in a lack lustre performance and dropped three extremely vital points. Our cushion has now disappeared and we’ve invited a world of pressure back onto ourselves.

The selection was odd straight from the off. Why when you have the £15million Gervinho and the £15million Chamberlain in your squad you opt for Ramsey on the left is completely perplexing. Both of the latter are wingers, both have far more threat going forward than the Welshman. A decision that reeks of trying to be too clever… even though I can’t quite work out what he was trying to counter with his strategy?

Anyway the first chance of the match fell to Robin after a solid opening 15minutes, his freekick was hit low at Paddy Kenny who had no problem gathering the ball up. After that, QPR started to feel their way into the game playing at a higher intensity than us. Their first chance fell to Zamora when he leaped highest to head over from a Taarabt freekick into our box.

Their opener was a sickener. The ball was played from QPR’s defence right through the middle of park. It wasn’t even a well hit pass and it should have been intercepted by our midfield, it wasn’t, Kieran Gibbs played Taarabt onside as he picked up the ball, shook off Vermaelen who kind of gave up the challenge as he watched the Moroccan smash the ball past Chesney.

What a shocking piece of defending by the whole team there. Especially disappointing to see Thomas make such a weak mistake.

It didn’t take a huge amount of time for us to level up against the run of play. Robin Van Persie managed to bundle the ball through to Theo Walcott who was in the box… he turned and struck his shot at the base of the post, the second ball came out and he fired it into the empty net. A great finish…

The second half wasn’t really much better than the first. We lacked urgency and drive all over the pitch. Aaron Ramsey was showing that he’s still not being coached properly. I like him as a player, I really do… but as I said earlier on in the season, he just doesn’t seem to get told about the bad parts of his game… namely, that he holds onto the ball too long. When he zips the ball around quickly, he’s great. What he tends to do is run with it until he’s knocked over, the attacking advantage is lost or he runs it out of play. That’s a coaching issue for me.

Alex Song was demonstrating all my fears. He’s a defensive midfielder who can create. Not a great creative midfielder. All of this nonsense around him being like Cesc is absolutely that, nonsense. However, someone needs to tell him that. He was one of the worst offenders yesterday for misplaced passes going forward. He should not be the focal point for creativity because that’s simply not where he excels.

However, it is worth noting that he set Robin free on goal one on one on 58 minutes, the Dutchman fired a high shot, but Paddy Kenny pulled off a masterful save to deny Robin his goal. That was pretty much the turning point for us in the game.

QPR took the lead again after gaining possession after Chesney failed to communicate with Koscielny resulting in a throw. Joey Barton played in Mackie, Vermaelen ran out to challenge him, slipped, lost his man, Mackie bombed into the box, picked out Diakité who had no one marking him and bang… we were 2-1 down.

Where was our midfield?  Where were Vermaelen’s studs?

3 points dropped at a ground where we really should have been extending our unbeaten run.

So what went wrong?

Well, apparently an 7 game winning run doesn’t make you the greatest team in the world and it doesn’t mask the deficiencies you’ve had in your squad all season. We have a good starting 11, we just don’t have a great starting 11. If a few things don’t click out on the pitch, we have very little to call upon, particularly up front.

You also have to make sure if you’re banking your season on having a good starting 11, you actually play that starting 11. Fielding Ramsey out on the left when I can name 4 players I’d rather have there (Gibbs, Santos, Gervinho and Chamberlain) is nothing short of ridiculous. Still, I liked Wenger’s reasoning after the game…

 “The thinking is that he played there because I decided for him to play there,”

I like that line, we should all take that back to the work place on Monday, the world would be a better place. I think what made the Ramsey decision even worse is that it took until 69minutes to make a change. Surely Wenger could see what we were seeing? Why not make the change earlier? Chamberlain might be rough round the edges but he’d have given us more options and possibly prevented Song passing to Theo all game, which as an opposition gets quite easy to defend against… especially if Theo is having an off day.

Then we have Robin Van Persie. He can’t score every game, he really can’t… but we have no other option if he’s not on fire. I don’t know how many times Chamakh has come on this season, but I’d be interested to know how many times he’s come on and we’ve lost. He is our white flag, you know it’s time to switch off the hope button when he saunters onto the pitch. I know this is a bit out there, but wouldn’t you prefer to throw Afobe into the mix over a player who we know is absolute garbage? Even worse is watching Nik B score and assist against City. Our second best striker is playing for Sunderland. Go figure?

There’s also the Alex Song problem. He’s being compared to Cesc on the main website. He’s not the sharpest, he’ll believe those comparisons and the stats show it. He made 18 duff passes going forward. 18! That’s huge. Sure he set Robin off on a run, but 18 duff passes was the reason we used to get so annoyed at Arshavin. Song is a defensive midfielder, he should play as one. Yesterday highlighted why we need a disciplined one so badly this summer. Diakité should have had Alex Song hanging off his back or in front of him for his goal, not a million miles away telling Robin off for not calling him Zidane.

Thomas Vermaelen has to be the real scapegoat if there was one yesterday. One of the guys I sit next to at the stadium has been saying for a while that the reason we love him so much is because of the Keown-esque bluster he has about his game, not his great defending. It’s true. We do overlook the errors he makes on the pitch because we connect with him (same with the keeper). Yesterday he performed badly. He’s far better than that. He needs to tighten up and sometimes I feel he needs a bit more focus.

The most important issue to stem from the game today isn’t that we lost. It’s how we react to the loss. Traditionally, we tend to collapse after a disappointment. If we do that at this point in the season, say hello to Europa Cup football next season. If we can steady the ship, win our next two against Manchester City and Wolves, then 3rd is still ours for the taking. There will be plenty of twists and turns during the run in, we just need to hope Wenger has a plan to combat the confidence crisis he usually finds his team in.

Also, I hope yesterday highlighted the need for top quality reinforcements this summer. I hope it showed all the supporters who were thinking we’d be challenging for the title next season that we’re still a very long way off that. Wenger needs to address his squad issues or we’ll be in exactly the same situation again next season. We’ve all been taking the p*ss out of Spurs fans for thinking they’re world beaters after 3 good months, we’ve been guilty of the same because we’ve won 7 games on the bounce. We can still take third, keep them crossed the boys bounce back.

Oh… and come on the SWANS!

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

See you in the comments.

357 Responses to “Wenger baffles with team selection | Vermaelen switches off twice to cost us”

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  1. clubfoot

    As I just said:

    The problem with Gervinho is that even if he does manage to go past a couple of players down the wing he’s only slightly better than Walcott at cutting in to a dangerous position. Again, like Walcott you just need to show him wide as he can’t cross for shit either and it’s not like he looks up to spot a team mate very often. The guy just seems to run aimlessly into bodies (like a 12 yr old kid) without the ability to finish a move, his shooting is pitiful for a professional footballer.

  2. kwik fit

    The Team started to believe there own hype and assumed that the game would be won at a canter. They forgot that each of the previous 7 victories were hard fought and required 100% effort for 95 mins. Yesterday they played like jerks.
    Spuds/ chav’s will be right up for it now. Do we ever learn?

  3. gunsp

    ive also notice that when welose we.play that stupid tippy tappy football around their box, no one has the balls to take a punt

  4. Doublegooner

    Yesterday was another £50 down the toilet.

    We were awful.

    Two twats behind me carried on as if Song was Messi.

    Other than his ‘flick’ he is messi.. FUCKIN DOG MESSY.

    He is so casual. His house is up for sale. Please dont sign a new contract & clear off.

    Wenger reverted back to his nonsense egotystical tactics. Yesterday could cost us top 4.

    Time for every player to buck up by next week.

  5. tony

    walcot and song look world class when they are wining 7-0 at home but when ur down2-1 away u can see how shit they reali are. walcot u little dick suck songs cock and fuck off now.

  6. Chamakh for A Skipper?!

    the burning question on every lip is not
    ‘why start Ramsey on the left?’
    The question is ‘why start him at all?’

    Chezzer 6
    Bac 7
    Kozzer 7
    Tommy 3
    Gibbs 5,5
    Walnut 6.5
    Arteta 6
    Belong 5
    Ramsey 4,5
    Sicknote 6,5
    Robin 5,5

    The Forehead 4
    The oily abdul twat 4
    Cnambo 5

  7. tony

    song,ramsey,walprick what other top team in the world would pick them ? fab4 and nasri cant even get in the 1st team for man city and barca what chance have they got???

  8. kwik fit

    Lukas Podolski: “Yes, United spoke to my agent, to be honest I don’t like their style of play. Besides, I have my heart set on another club”

    I’m liking the pod already.

  9. kwik fit

    Lukas Podolski: “Tottenham wanted my signature in January but I didn’t know the club existed until last years Champions League, I declined.”

    He ticks all the right boxes.

  10. Sleek

    Don’t know why Ramsey started. We lost the game from the left, he offered nothing going forward. Would have prefered even Santos there.

    Pedro, Ramsey was awful but do you have to make an excuse for him? He’s not being coached well and told what to do? What if he is but he can’t just seem to get a handle on things? I don’t wanna see Ramsey start any games for us this season.

  11. Geoff

    Song is average at best but you Pedro had him on your poll for player of the year, if you think he is one of our 4 best players then we are in trouble.

  12. Confidentgoner

    Really angry we lost this match due to the way the manager lined up the team. For these critical away matches, we need our back 5 to be solid, meaning Song and Verm respect their position and keep the shape untillbwe are crusing. Gaving said that starting Ramsey was suicidal and not taking him off at half time smacks of incompetence. This loss is clearly on Wenger. YOU start to appreciate the folks who feel its time for him to step aside.

  13. Alexander

    Massively saw that result coming. We get far too big for our boots and think we can roll over ant team with minimum effort.

    Even the guys on arsenal player were baffled at Ramseys position! Wtf? When I saw the sheet I assumed Rosicky was up front.

    Wenger = tactically inept

  14. Sleek

    Geoff, I rate Song but he was awful yesterday! We seriously need to get Vertonghen in, he will be a better left back than Gibbs.

  15. Doublegooner

    Wenger’s tactics, yesterday & his lack of motivation could be extremely costly.

    We may have been laughing at the spuds for dropping their lead, but they’ll beat Swansea today & the pressure is on us.

    Now it is time for Wenger, RVP & TV to stand up & drive this group on.

    For those who’ve been jumping up & down over the last month, lets remind them the season ends on May 13th, not in feb or march or after a 7 game winning run.

  16. Yippee Kai Yay

    Been following from a distance for last few weeks,

    I think yesterday showed only one thing. That the closer to the end of the season we get the greater people play the significance of individual games.

    So many talk about ‘the next five / three / one game*’ (*delete as applicable) as being ‘the most important of the season’ and yet, all that matters (and I hate to have to say it, but agree with something Keyser said yesterday) is where the team are by the end of May.

    It is as easy to write off yesterdays loss as ‘under performance’ as it it the spurs home game as ‘over performance’, or even the liverpool away win as ‘undeserved’.

    When all the really matters now is what happens by May, of course that includes the schizophrenic Chavs (you never know which team turns up) and Stoke RFC, but we always had to play them at some point in the season so why focus so heavily on them now (other than it sucks into the ‘sky sports – most significant game’ mentality).

    As a mitchell & webb fan I am frequently reminded of this:


    As for the bigger picture currently. Fans already resigned to no silverware, so now 3rd is a ‘trophy’. Is that really the limit of the clubs or the fans ambitions? or is it the limit of the manager / board / corporate sponsors ambition?

    Who knows, but the time for reflection is June, before season tickets are renewed. Not April.

    It gets all too easy to overplay significance of one-offs without looking at the bigger picture.

    I shall reserve judgement until May.

    Now where have I heard that before.

  17. Blablabla

    Seriously no one Blame Vermaelen??? we will win 1-0, but thank you very very much for 2 awful stupid mistakes by him, we lose. The only good thing bout Verm is his grit , determination , and can score goals. Defensive wise, he just a mediocre defender , sloppy, and mistake prone, he can’t even do the basics. Overrated and overhype.

  18. Pedro

    Geoff, he deserves to be in our 3rd best player this season. Maybe that tells a story, but you can’t keep claiming he’s the worst player in our side when clearly he’s not by a long way.

  19. andy

    ramsey was bad, song was worse and tommy V was completly off but guys, what´s wrong with robin? he didn´t score since newcastle and it´s not just that … he has lost so many balls it´s ridiculous … I know he saved us and without him we would be +-1 point to lpool but as a CF you have to score … it was a bad game but we had the chance to get up 2:1 and it was a chance you have to score with

  20. andy

    don´t get on aaron´s back he was played out of position … try to play on the wings as a slow player like he is … gibbs didn´t help him at all

  21. DialSquare

    There were plenty of under performing players other than Song yesterday, you need to get over the obsession with him

  22. Geoff

    Pedro, I didn’t, Squillaci, Almunia and Chamakh trump him, I said he’s average at best, not in our top four, not for a few chipped balls.

    Great players have the odd off game, he has way too many, and during a game he gives the ball away a lot more that he finds people and always gets booked, because he slow and has no footballing brain..

  23. K.C.

    Song should be sold this summer. He is way over-hyped. His numbers look great because we have had to suffer all season without a creative CM. Also having RVP up front would pad anyone’s stats. We could get a shit load more than he’s worth and bring in M’villa. Oh and Ramsey is just awful. He seems to be in his own world out there. What a waste of a selection every time.

  24. reggie57

    Gervinho good dribbler! no end product, cant cross, cant score, cant stand him complete waste of space..

  25. Bade


    Exactly Geoff

    And there have been almost 1000 Grovers vote for him

    Of course he will try that dumb ball 18 times, he like jerking while looking at himself in the mirror, just like his cuckoo manager

  26. gazzap

    Wenger blamed the players, but he got it all wrong. the blog was spot on – Santos could easily have played that left wing position if wenger was saying Chamberlain isn’t ready and Gerv is off form.
    then if song is playing badly, bring Rambo on for him. And dont EVER bring Chamakh on because everyone knows that means game over. Park has still done nothing wrong but the useless Moroccan always gets 20 mins to remind us how crap he is.

  27. kwik fit

    The centre of Midfield position is the single most important position for any team. It is the engine room of a side. Top teams need players who can control game’s and inspire those around them. Song is not that man end off.

  28. Silentstan

    A stupid over reactive article with mind numbing arrogant comments such as the ramsey coaching nonesense. All it does is encourage morons like “tony”

  29. AJ

    Nice post Pedro.

    ”The thinking is that he played there because I decided for him to play there,”

    Anyway, they totally outplayed us, especially in the midfiled.

  30. Bade

    One loss can’t be a disaster, the fear is from a bad streak of results

    We can dip in very easily, and if it does happen, we’re in a hell of a shite

  31. Dave gooner

    Arsenal will not win a major trophy until Alex Song is replaced with a proper DM. I’d rather play Coquelin. He is twice the player. I just don’t get the Song hype. He makes one great pass and everyone raves about it and ignores the other 20 failed attempts to find the target, the fact that his primary function is to provide protection for the back 4 but he is always out of position and does sense danger. The team can not progress with Song as DM. Replacing him with someone like M’Villa would transform the team but Wenger will never do it!!

  32. Bade

    Sorry, but Song cost us much more points than he gain us

    How 8 league assist makes you a great team player when you’r supposed to defend and you do it shitely ?

  33. Bade

    Vermaelen had a one off, but from the worst possible kind

    I have to admit in the first goal I though it was Kozzer for the first glimpse

    Really uncharacteristic for Tommy to gave up on a ball like he did, after a horrible positioning in the first place

  34. Bade

    Rambo, Rosa were just bad yesterday, Arteta was average, though too many side passes. With so many side way passes, it felt like an energetic Denilson is on the pitch …..

  35. Pedro

    Bade, he hasn’t cost us more points than he’s won. We’re third in the league here, so whatever he’s been doing as one of the most consistent performers has been working.

    He’s slack defensively sometimes, then others he’s brilliant. He’s a dynamic player and he’s not average. 8 assists is hugely impressed regardless of how you try and downplay them… That’s more than Yaya Toure has managed in a better team in a more advanced position and more than Nasri has managed.

  36. Bade

    And positive word should be dropped for Kozzer

    He was top quality yesterday, but he couldn’t cover the mega holes Tommy, Gibbs and Song made

  37. Pedro

    Silentstan, if I thought you had anything worth contributing knowledge wise about football, I’d take that comment on.

  38. colonel mustard

    we still have no natural front man. Robin is a technical assassin but no wrighty..most of his goals are from the same playbook. we need a Darren Bent ot Chicarato. we are F***kin crying out for it.

  39. Pedro

    colonel mustard, how have you deduced that?

    Robin is one of the most complete strikers in the world right now. What we don’t have is a good back up.

  40. Hitman

    I dont think we can blame RVP. Strong shot and on target. The keeper closed down the angle and made a good save.

    The problem was we didnt create enough. We didnt keep the ball enough.
    Dont mind losing to a better team ( actually that’s a lie)

    Do mind losing due to lack of effort and committment and manager error.

  41. andy

    well it´s an easy comparison regarding song: 1 genius pass to 10 incomplete passes … depending on the form of the guy who will receive the genius pass it will be 1:x … x depends on how good the boys at the back react on his incomplete passes … in the best possible case we are 1:0 up – or 2:1 like yesterday … I think song is a weapon if kozzer and tommy V are focussed and good positioned – in this case we can defend an catastrophic incomplete pass quite easy and we can use his good passes to score
    but with so many day offs like yesterday we really don´t have to talk about one or two guys – nobody, and I really mean NOBODY was at normal standards yesterday, neither rvp, rosicky, theo nor song, TV, sagna
    but to be honest if we had a day off like this a few months ago we would have conceded 4+ goals … heads up, city will get bashed soon

  42. Bade


    Nasri had 7 assists and 4 goals in 24 games, Song had 1 goal and 8 assists in 27 games (in the EPL), Yaya has 4 goals and 5 assists in 26 games. So I don’t think he’s being better

    I am amazed how people twisting standards of a player. I never tried to downplay his 8 assists, it’s more accurate to say people overrating his stats I’d say

    He’s a DM so you firstly measure him by his defensive contribution which was most of the season POOR

    You and others made him so great for assists, which is a attacking element, and not for any defending merits

    Even if Chamakh made 10 clearances off the goal line, that won’t make him a good striker

  43. gambon

    I robbed a bank yesterday, the police asked me what the thinking behind me doing it was.

    “The thinking behind me robbing the bank was that I decided to rob the bank”

    I then said “I have made 50000 bad decisions, I don’t have to explain myself to you”

    Let’s face it, wenger is losing it.

  44. Bade


    I hope the dip in form from Robin isn’t related to the negotiations … I hope it doesn’t present his inner decision to leave us in the summer

  45. gunzsp

    What the hell kind of formation were we playing? ramsey was shifted on the left, but seemed to always drift to the centre and even on the right. This meant that we played with 4 cm and 1 right side winger with 1 stiker, leaving the left exposed, hence the amount of free kicks and the second goal coming from that side. Ramsey is not ready, loan him out to a PL clubs and see how he develops, we cant be putting our trust in inexperieced players in this situatuion.

    It was our first 3.00 KO on sat loss this season, maybe this wil be a kick in the backside to gear ourselves up for the run in. I havent even looked at the table to see how close chelsea are now.

  46. Hitman

    Funny how QPR rolled over and died when Utd played them is Dec.
    They were awful against Sunderland last week.

    Funny how teams up their game against us.
    Probably because they know upping the work rate is usually enough to get a result against us.

    We really need some midfield enforcers in the summer to help us win games like this.

    I see Roskicy is back to his usual self after getting his new contract. Didnt see that coming…

    Keeping medioricy like Rosiscky and JD will mean more results like yesterday in the future.

  47. Bade

    And Song is costing us Pedro

    Yesterday he should’ve been there, like many more occasions he’s been slow and with no positioning awareness and will ill discipline defending

    For me, Arteta was average at best yesterday, so Song was exposed with his irresponsible game, again.

  48. Pedro

    Bade, so you’re not factoring in that Song is playing in the most average Arsenal side for 15 years… whilst Nasri and Yaya are playing for the most expensively assembled side ever?

  49. andy

    rvp is our only striker. If you play with one up front you are dependent on his goals … he did get us back in the race for top4 but he did not hit the target since 3,5 games and you may not forget that … of course he is the hero and he is unbelievable but not scoring for so long is a problem for every team if you play with just one striker up front

  50. AJ

    Vertonghen in, Vermaelen left sided DM (and filler CB), Arteta on the right, some CM to be bought.

    We need 3 top players, minimum.

  51. Pedro

    Bade, Robin still managed an assist yesterday, hardly a dip in form.

    Song isn’t my favourite player… but he’s too often the sole focus on here. You should be talking about Chezzer’s fuck up with Koscielny that led to the throw that led to the second goal yesterday… or Vermalen’s slip. For the first, again, shocking defending from Vermaelen… he gave up. Also, slack positioning from Gibbs.

    With Song when he sits in front of the back 4, he’s more than capable. Problem is that way Wenger drills his team… there’s no repercussions for slack play.

  52. Dave gooner

    RVP looks tired. Wenger is doing what he usually does and over playing players because we haven’t got any decent back-up. I just hope he stays fit until the end of the season as even a less than sharp RVP is better than the alternatives.
    Your judgement of players is usually spot on but I have to agree with Geoff of the Song issue.

  53. gambon


    Teams don’t up their game against us.

    We lower our games every so often for no appparent reason.

  54. Bade

    And as I like stats, those are the stat of the players you mentioned Pedro this season, in all competitions

    Song, 37 starts, 1 goal, 10 assists, 13 shots 4 on goal, 76 fouls committed
    Yaya, 37 starts, 7 goals, 7 assists, 69 shots, 20 on goal, 50 fouls committed

  55. tony

    some idot said last week song is almost world class made me feel sick. arsenal need 4or5 players next season. and plz jack wilshire ant gonna save us so stop the hype over a 19year old boy.

  56. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    I think alot of us got brought back down to earth yesterday. The squad played like it was an away banker after their run and clearly forgot 3 of those 7 games we didn’t deserve to win and got very lucky in 2 of the others.

    The squad is quite clearly not good enough to challenge for the title and it’s clear alot of £ investment in top class players is needed. Those who think otherwise must be happy with just about scraping into the top 4 every season. I actually think we’re going to bottle it and lose 4th place on the last day. Remember, we don’t do one off defeats. If city come here and beat us with toure, nasri and clichy, leaving chelsea right up our arse and tottenham back in front. The chelsea game then takes on a significance of epic proportions.

    Agree with Geoff that if you’ve got koscielny and song up for your player of the year awards, your team isn’t a very good one, not by a long shot.

  57. AJ

    Agree with Pedro.
    Wenger doesn’t buy and tries to play people out of position or in a role which isn’t suitable.
    The way we play, the creative responsibility is on only one man, who yesterday was Rosicky. Stop him and we lose half the kick in us. Van Persie helps by dropping back, but nothing is going to work if you have Walcott and Ramsey on the wings.

  58. andy

    I do like song as long as the guys around him realise they have to back up because he´s good for bad passes
    what I am interested in is do you believe it´s easier to shine in a better team than in an “average” team? You pointed that out above, that´s why I am asking?!?!
    Let´s get some examples: Hleb shined at arsenal, where was he at barcelona? Flamini shined at Arsenal, where is he at Milan? Adebaywhore shined at Arsenal, where was he at city?
    I don´t think it´s easier to play better in a better team – I think it´s easier to stay above a certain level because they know better how to help you with your bad positioning but I don´t think song would have had nearly so many assists if he had played at man city, even if he also has had 27 starts

  59. Bergkamp63

    I can’t help feeling TV’s performance was partly down to the fact that he knew Kozzer was on 9 yellows and couldn’t risk getting booked ?

    Chesney has nobody pushing him for his place.

    Why is the ox not coming on until the 80th min when we are behind on 66 mins ?

    And WTF is Song doing still on at the end of the match only Wenger knows ?

  60. Dave gooner

    I agree Vermaelen was awful yesterday as he was in the San Siro but I don’t think it helps him constantly having to cover GIbbs at left back. It’s beyond unbelievable that Wenger hasn’t addressed Gibbs’ and Song’s positional problems. These are fundamental ooaching issues!!

  61. Matchy

    Walcot and Ramsey.

    When you have these two in the team, the team is not balanced. Hence you had the problem as exhibited yesterday.

    Walcot cannot defend and doesnt offer anything in defense at all. Sagna had a terrible 200 yesterday.

    Ramsey, is not good enough to start from Arsenal.

    I thought the team selection was a massive mistake.

    Arsenal had a glorious chance to close the gap to Man City. Yes it is a massive gap but you never know. They could have been 10 behind if they won and next week 7 points.

    Again as i often have written … walcot and ramsey ….. forget it. Walcot is ok as a sub and against certain oppnonnents he can start, BUT ramsey no no no. He has no clue how to play and poisitioning is high school stuff. He doesnt know and have no idea to play that transition game between defence and attack.

    With him in mid with song ans areta its just totally unbalanced.

    Seriously arsenal must get m’vila or another experience rock in that midfield. Cos if song is injured, who can step up? if areat is injured who to step up?

    Totally mess from wenger yesterday with the selection.

  62. Pedro

    Andy, Hleb, Flamini and Ade shined at Arsenal because we had systems that suited their skill sets.

    Alex Song landing 8 assists is great stuff for a defensive midfielder whatever way you look at it. It should be easier to get 8 assists if you’re playing for the second best team in the country with world class talent all around you.

    If Nasri left to play with better players, he should be returning better results.

    That’s why Cesc was so incredible… he was playing with average players and still grabbing 20 assists a season. He’s moved to Barca and he’s moved his game up a level.

  63. clubfoot

    Footballers generally thrive on confidence, they attempt things they’d otherwise decide against and then impose their game on the opposition or at least give them something to think about. This confidence can then transfer to team mates, instilling belief and promoting effort to which they can all benefit. Now I said generally because you can also have the situation whereby a players deluded self worth & miraculous new found mastery can be to the detriment of his colleagues.

    Step forward Alex-keep it real-Song. Just wish he’d stick to what he’s good at and stop fart arsing about with overdoing the Bergkamp passes and Pires lay off’s that in all honesty he’ll only manage to fluke occasionally. His role in the team demands discipline and concentration yet he’s often the cause of counter attacks due to his refusal to play the appropriate ball rather than the stupid pass he thinks he can complete. This then exposes his complete lack of urgency to retrieve the ball, often just trotting back leaving the defence to deal with his mistake. The boy is either a bid dim or downright thick, either way he needs to be told but then that’s not what Arsene does is it.

  64. andy

    koscielny, arteta and rvp have been our most consistent perfomers this season
    koscielny is a top class defender and I guarantee he would play at united for sure

  65. tony

    song and ramsey are crap but what has walcot done hes at arsenal for 6 years what has he done? just coz he put in a few crosses it dnt make him world class. hope walcot is the 1st one out hes shit.

  66. nathan

    We just got to laugh about yesterday’s result. What a fucking joke that cunt Wenger is. Why in the hell did Rambo start on the left and poor ol’ Ox was keeping the bench warm. Can’t that cunt Wenger see that the Ox loves to take on defenders.

  67. theresonlyonedennisbergkamp

    it was the same starting line up that beat everton at goodison so its only becomes baffling when it doesnt work out, they were good enough to win but as wenger said they didnt give it any heart

  68. Bade

    Pedro @ 11:14

    I don’t get this, you may factor as well Song being played with the best striker in the world in his form, bar Messi.

    Or Song playing in the same team for years now, not like Nasri who new there …

    All I mean is those factors can be twisted by will

  69. tippitappi

    Have to say the post says it all really , ant team can have a off day against anyone just a shame it was against a rather poor QPR side that offered some effort but little else infact nothing unexpected. But for a bit of Wengermanics in team selection we may have got away with it. The problem is we don’t have one off days the alarming thing is like their manager they go to a dark place for about three matches at a time that seems to be the pattern and I’m worrried. Ches & Kos are still having their birmingham moments thats not acceptable don’t they communicate for fuck sake sort it boys YOU TWO cost us today

  70. kwik fit

    Gareth Bale – “I wouldn’t turn down an offer from Barcelona or Real Madrid. But my focus is entirely on Tottenham.”

    Absolutely fuckin triffic.

  71. gambon


    The system that we play is the problem.

    Our players are not expected tto display any kind of discipline, wenger just let’s them do what they want.

    This is why ade is able tto score 30 att arsenal, hleb looks a decent player, but they can’t do it elsewhere.

    Its also the reason our ‘top class’ defenders often look so shit.

    Cesc said himself that he has to be much more tactically and positionally defensive at barca.

    Which other team let’s their defensive midfielder spend most of his time up the pitch constantly tryiing to set goals up?

  72. kwik fit

    Totally agree with gambon.

    The team basically determine if their up for it our not.
    No need for a manager really.RVP could select and provide the team talk with as much affect.

  73. Matchy

    PedroApril 1, 2012 11:41:39

    Fabby is special. Nasri is over rated. i never rated him. He doesnt have the vision as cecs and cannot delivery balls like cecs. Ok he is maybe a better dribbler. But defensive qualities he is far behind CECS.

    The reason Nasri or one of the reason nasri is struggling at man city is he is not good enough in his defensive play. Mancini is a coach from italy who likes players who can offer not just offensively but defensively too.

    Hence he shipped out whats his name to aston villa. And the english winger whats his name is not a regular starter. And Walcot’s contracts is running out but how come the city aint interested? Walcott offers nothing in defensive.

  74. Squirrel

    I’m not a big Ramsay fan but playing him on the wing is surely not gonna help him with his progress in the team.

    Also can someone hit colonel mustard on the head with the candlestick in the dining room please

  75. Bade

    Pedro @11:19

    I did slag all the others for their part, no question about it. Song isn’t my sole focus or others focus he’s just under the spotlight for the over praising he’s getting here, so he’s due to a more public critic

    I always said Song can be good for 4th spot aspirations, not if you want to get trophies

  76. andy

    it´s easy to say our system suited them … they simply played well in a good team but where not able to step up to a better team … As I said before I think song played really consistent and got us some points over the last months but if you have so many players with day-off like yesterday a player like song is pure suicide – if we play well he is a weapon

  77. kwik fit

    Ramsey played wide left against Everton and the team played well in the first 30mins.
    QPR are no Everton however and shouldn’t have been given the same respect. We should of had them on the back foot from the start with two wide men.

  78. Matchy

    As i have written many many times. you can have the top four defenders in the world in for the backline at arsenal and they will be leaking goals. Because these four defenders are left to deal with constant attack from opposition with nothing from the arsenal mid and attackers to help the back four.

    The team is not balanced.

    Hence no matter who arsenal plays. the opp will ‘feel’ they have a chance to ‘nick’ it.

    If opp players ‘feel’ they have a chance then often they will.

    But if you go to war and opp ‘feel’ they are behind, they have no chance, they are ‘inferior’ theyn they usually fall.

    Its the mentality.

    The mindset.

    As i written many times, arsenal’s main problem lies in the midde of the field. Its not really the attackers.

    Hence i have written many times, chamk, park etc are good players.

    Sort out the middle. Make the opp feel they have no chance even before they step on the field. It was like the old days when teams played arsenal, they ‘fear’ the asrenal team.

    Just like teams playing barcelona now. Every team and players in their mind thinks BARCELONA is favourite

  79. gambon

    The funny thing is by playing ramsey on. The wing wenger is once again agreeing with the fans and admitting he can’t play the AM role.

    I’m starting to worry that he has completely lost it and is running his team according to what is written on blogs.

    The problem is, will he sell Ramsey? Nope.

    Will he loan him? Nope.

    Will he play him 200 times to see if he’s good enough, whilst damaging the team? Yep.

  80. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Pedro – Excellent… I dont’ know about that. I think Koscielny wins the ‘most improved player’ award, but little else. He’s been a defensive ever present in a team that in the last 2 seasons has leaked the most goals in wenger’s 15 year reign. We’re probably going to end the season with double figure losses.. That is a disgusting showing by a team of our standing. We don’t really deserve a CL spot.

    I’m not solely placing the blame on his shoulders as there are 4 others in any back line. However, some arsenal fans are trumpeting him as the best centre half in the country etc.. Let’s at least have a bit of perspective….

  81. @K_Swiss147

    The next time I see Ramsey in the starting eleven, I’ll just change the channel. If Wenger’s dumb enough to start him whether it’s in the midfield or left-wing or whatever, I won’t be the sucker who’s gonna watch that crap!

  82. Matchy

    Ramsey is not good enough. He should go out on loan.

    Ramsey is far far behind diabe. If diabe did not suffers from so many injuries. These is no way ramsey is a starter.

    And Walcot said in his interview Ramsey is going to be better then Cecs. That guy is brainless.

    Ramsey cannot be that attacking creative midfielder. He has no vision. He cannot dribble past players (no talent. not can he bring in players or setup players.

    What he has is an engine that can jog up and down the field all day.

    But why play ramsey in the wing position? This is the last 7-8 games where points are very important and its no time to eperiement. Its not as if Gervino or Ox cannot play in there. WHY RAMSEY??????

    Get hi out on loan and see how ramsey can perform. I wanna see if he earn his position just like wilshire, ryo, etc

  83. Squirrel

    No motivation is the problem I think,when the shit hit the fan against spurs they all played as a team and turned it around and in the following weeks when cl football next season was in doubt.
    Once they got back to 3rd and lapping up the praise they revert back to prima donnas who think they’ve achieved the goal of cl football again.
    That performance against some absolute shite yesterday was a total disgrace

  84. Ryan

    One point I want to make is this…
    Wenger always goes in about how our metal strength is great and so and so… We’re in the last few games of the season and you’d expect that mental strength to be at the forefront! Didn’t see it yesterday.. I know it’s all about how we bounce back… But it’s not good enough for me, QPR man!! Shocking! I predict a rapping against man city! 🙁

  85. Ryan

    Our strong mental strength should of seen us not concede a goal against a lesser team, also, we should of been much more aware of defending against a team that is fighting relegation! Pussys

  86. Ryan

    One more thing. Gibbs is not ready for premiere leauge football… Seriously, if a big wind were to blow through the stadium he’s gone away with it! Light weight mate. Think that’s why he’s out of positional the time..

  87. dennisdamenace

    Once again the teams’s balance is STILL wrong, playing a woefully out of form/out of his depth CM on the wing & playing a CDM as an ACM is just another example of wank management……

    Once again Wenger starts believing his own hype, and once again he tries to be too clever by fucking up a winning formula. Once again he can’t resist throwing in an average kid to prove he’s right.

    Couple that with watching Vermin throughout the game playing like he was a cross between Squillaci and Djourou, it becomes painfully clear that AW’s “defensive coaching” turns quality defenders into fucking clowns…….

    And, here we are again in pole position only to undo all our recent good work with a performance that has almost become our trade mark under post-2004 Wenger. Insipid.

    It’s not the defeat, because no team has a God given right to win every game, it’s the nature of the defeat. Once again, no drive, passion, fight, leadership, no urgency………and that goes from the bench too.

    They say a team plays in the image of it’s manager………. Insipid.

  88. tippitappi

    Interestingly we have no cup distractions so if either chavs or spuds or both end up above us thats going to be hard to swallow .And with minimum games left to play why the rotation to accomodate the out of form Ramsey just wenger being wenger I suppose

  89. Bade


    Sometimes I feel I only need to cut and paste critics written months and years ago

    The simple thing is, Arsene doesn’t learn from his mistakes and keeps repeating those time and time again

    Even in our good run I said Arsene should clear his disk come the summer, so for me nothing changes really

  90. Bade

    I think it was Lurch who said on here yesterday we looked like as if we’re playing 3 times a week (or something of the sort)

    How true was that

    We’re resting enough now, still the spirit goes missing and the players looked fatigued as if they were played once in three day for 2 months

  91. arsenal1886-2006

    Just a thought on Vermaelen, defensively he is a bit gung-ho and goes up front a bit too much for my liking. You would not see Adams, Bould or Keown out of their own half let alone up front, so what about playing him in a Gerrard sort of role? He seems to like being involved with play at all times and he is quick, strong and has a wicked left foot and he is good in the air, an aerial threat is something we lack from our midfield and forwards.

    If we sign Vertonghen we can pair him with either Kos or Mert with Bartley and Miquel as understudies, and if injuries pile up we could drop Vermaelen back into defence temporarily.

    Imagine Vermaelen driving the midfield forward, it would add a dynamism we are lacking.

    Just a thought.

  92. Paddywhack

    People say we need Bent or Chicarito. No we don’t and don’t laugh but we need Fletcher from Wolves. That guy knows how to score goals and he is playing in a very bad team. And for defensive coach, go get George Graham, he would kick some ass and get these defenders doing what they are supposed to do DEFEND

  93. Genious But Stubbborn Wenger

    Excellent Analysis of the Game I must say!! Ramsey should never play on the wings.. Chamberlain would have made a huge difference with his speed and intense play and why on Earth does Wenger waits for so long to make changes.. Likes of Mourinho does it at half-time again and again… I must say Wenger is a great(probably the best) Coach but he is too stubborn and lacks the acumen of a top Manager!!

  94. Keyser

    Simple thing is this teams ceiling for potential is far closer than we’ve seen before, Song isn’t that good but if there’s a game that shows how he’s covered for Arteta’s difficiencies that was it.

    Arteta isn’t sitting back to cover him he simply can’t push forward like he used to knowing he won’t be able tog et back, likewise Rosicky, they got bullied yesterday and that’s it really. That’s how fine the line is.

    Who was brought back down to earth ? Anyone’s who’s paid attention this season should be able to see what we’re capable of the Milan games should tell you that.

    This is going till the end, we could lose the next 3 and fall away, or we could take it right till the last day, not going to be easy.

    Hopefully people can stop thinking about who we’re going to buy in the summer, because we’re going to be fucked finishing 5th or 6th.

  95. andy

    it´s quite interesting how many of you start to be unhappy .. of course we did lose yesterday but we got 21 of 24 points and even if spuds win today we will still be 3rd by goaldiff … ok, it´s not perfect, in case of a win it would be possible to lose against the chavs if everything goes wrong and we still can drop points against mancity or stoke; now we have to win against the chavs and everything´s ok for fourth … I predicted we will be 2 points ahead of the spuds at the end of the season – I thought we would lose at goodison and win against qpr, now it´s the other way round so whatever … we will destroy mancitys titlehopes next week

  96. Big difference between Beach Soccer and Premier League football

    Theo should be sold. How many times did he run into a dead-end and then failed to chase the ball back. Have I ever seen him chase back? Only when it makes him look good. He just watches defenders play out. They say he has speed. But he never uses it to win the ball back. If that is not enough the way he was politely moved off the ball time and time again says only one thing. You are not fit or strong enough to play Premier League football so go back to Beach Soccer.

    Oh, and Arsene the great tactician. He should be CEO of the club not the manager. The Ox devastated them when he came on while Ramsay looked lost like most of them. I wonder what they did all week at training? Did they expect to be playing Barcelona in the Emirates Cup or a determined, physical, well-drilled and sometimes creative team fighting for their lives?

    Today was a time when AW should have changed the line-up to play this sort of game. Play all your heavyweaight players. Drop VP. Drop Walcott. Play anyone else. Yes Coquelin and Jack. WHy not Yennaris. Or someone else who can play tough. Put some steel in there. Nullify them that way, Then maybe bring on some style. Of course AW would say that our passing game would nullify them and open up the match but does that work when all our players are bundled off the ball?

  97. Ichiban

    Yesterday’s performance was absolutely disgusting. Far too many times we have seen Arsenal choke under pressure and lose games that we really should be winning. Coming off a 7-win streak against a team in 18th place we should be playing a heavy attacking force, not midfielders in attacking positions.

    I think several players out there are getting complacent and that is the last thing we need, especially at such a crucial time in the season.

    I have no idea why Van Persie hasn’t scored in the last 3 games, he has had more than enough chances and his finishing hasn’t been as clinical as we’ve seen the rest of this season. Alex Song is clearly getting caught up in his own hype and he needs to come back into a more disciplined defensive role, perhaps as a deep-lying playmaker from the defense, supporting the back line especially as our full-backs attack so much.

    Also, am I the only one that would love to see more of oxchambo in a central midfield role? He was fantastic there against Milan and showed very good work rate but Wenger hasn’t played him there again despite reporting on Arsenal.com that he would develop into a CM role.

    I think Coquelin should start the next game in place of Song so that he realises that poor performances will not be tolerated.

    For Chrissakes, get a grip Arsenal. We’re all tired of the bullshit.

  98. Keyser

    “I think it was Lurch who said on here yesterday we looked like as if we’re playing 3 times a week (or something of the sort”

    I think you’d have to say imagine if we were playing 3 times a week and it’d explain why we were soo lacking in energy against Fulham in that second half.

    Yesterday we came up against a team that was fighting for relegation with a ref that allowed them, maybe rightly so, to do all they could to bully us, that’s it. Plus a couple of individial mistakes.

  99. Arsene's Nurse

    What a classless cunt Carroll is; trying to dupe the ref against his old club. Fucking disrespectful.

    If you entered Carroll in the Grand National he’d fall over before the first fence the useless donkey.

  100. Paulinho

    Keyser – Song was just as bad as Arteta defensively. He gets around more but that’s countered by the fact he’s clueless at reading the game and Arteta’s intelligence means he doesn’t need to run around as much.

    30 is not old, the likes of Ballack and Lampard were at their peak at that stage of their careers, running midfields. Song shouldn’t get a free pass just because he fits into your beloved youth program.

  101. Keyser

    Haha, see that’s it he doesn’t get a free pass I know exactly how good he is, 30 might not be old, but they got bullied yesterday, maybe a few crunching tackles a bit more nastiness might have been enough, we could’ve slowed their play down like they did ours, maybe Coquelin, but Arteta and Rosicky got bullied.

    “30 is not old, the likes of Ballack and Lampard were at their peak at that stage of their careers, running midfields”

    Umm, so what happened to them yesterday, that’s the whole point, what’s happened to you mate.

  102. Paulinho

    Keyser – Yeah it was because they were 30. If it was five years ago Rosicky and Arteta would’ve been like Tiote and Essien in there.

  103. colonel mustard

    Pedro – colonel mustard, how have you deduced that?Robin is one of the most complete strikers in the world right now. What we don’t have is a good back up.

    Hi Pedro, just to respond from earlier, Robin is such a unique striker in terms of movement. I disagree he is the complete striker. as I said he is a specialist a la Bergkamp. he is still not a player to play onto at pace in traditional sense. Robin likes the ball when back to goals or when play is broken. then is devastating. we still dont have a off the shoulder striker that Robin can link with (maybe Poldolski may be effective). you must admit our forwards rarely take a chance on a run into box. anyways its obvious he need a rest. Yes, a back up striker but also an alternative to vary play. Why not get Theo into the middle and go to a natural 4-4-2 if needed though it is an outdated formation but would offer us variation in tactics. fully in agreement we need a back up striker. it goes back to the summer of inept management which still has not been accounted for. my point really is that we still need a striker who is direct and can take messy chances and take risks. we dont seem to have that at moment.

  104. Keyser

    Don’t really get your point ? Their supposed to be able to do the things that Song can’t, keep the ball, distribute and provide creativity, if they can’t do that, 5 years ago they’d at least be able to get back in transition, they struggled to do either.

  105. Ezenta Kaycee Peter

    “30 is not old, the likes of Ballack and Lampard were at their peak at that stage of their careers, running midfields”

    Umm, so what happened to them yesterday, that’s the whole point, what’s happened to you mate.

    i think rosicky had turned corner…one bad match dont make him a bad player now

  106. Keyser

    A couple of good games didn’t make him back to his best either, people should go back to when he first came and the energy and sharpness with which he used to push forward or track back.

  107. Paulinho

    Keyser – If they were supposed to be doing things Song can’t then they would playing for Barcelona.

  108. Keyser

    Paulinho – Heh, knew you didn’t have a point, Lampard peaked at 30, haha, Arteta’s just like Ballack, who also peaked at 30, Hleb..

  109. Keyser

    reggie57 – Dunno, do we really ever know anyone ? I think they were a bit shocked yesterday with how good QPR were, also if I wanted to blame the ref, who is Mike Dean btw, he booked Vermaelen for nothing after he’d let everything go all game, and for their second goal, it stopped him from pulling down their striker.

  110. reggie57

    Why do we blame the ref’s when even a blind man can see it was a fuck-up on the manager’s side with a piss poor team selection…

  111. Paulinho

    Keyser – The point is pretty obvious. Age per se(especially 29-30) has fuck all to do with anything, more likely in Arteta and Rosicky’s case injuries played more of a part and Arteta was never a central midfielder for Everton anyway. He played on the wing, so he’s still getting to grips with the position. He’ll always be limited though.

    I can’t help thinking if you replaced Arteta and Rosicky with Denilson and Diaby yesterday then you wouldn’t half as critical. You instead would be looking around for the next elder squad member to blames things on.

    Like I said, obsessed with youth and this apparent golden spell that you think they will go through between ages 25-28. Newsflash: Diaby, Denilson, and SONG, will be still be planks at that age.

  112. andy

    yeah keyser that´s true … you could see him getting his hand on mackie but pulled back as he knew he was already booked … btw we had a penalty appeal which never was a penalty in my opinion but I bet right now 100 € qpr would have get this penalty if vermaelen handled the ball the same way in our box
    please do not think this is any excuse for our game yesterday … qpr deserved the win they get