Arsenal fight back… but it disguises nothing. We’re in decline and the manager is blind to it.

by & filed under News Review.

So the topline assessment is that once again, Arsenal weren’t good enough. The… erm… second from topline is that despite us not being good enough, I really enjoyed the second half. Once again, Arsenal seem to have slipped into an irritating pattern we can’t shake. We’ve had them all, conceding early, conceding late, great first halves, great second halves… the trend at the moment is weak first halves and p*ss poor defensive performances.#

Last night saw us drop points because we can’t cut out the individual mistakes. No one seems keen on taking a leading role at the back. The first goal conceded last night started with a slip from Sagna, the ball was cut across the box, Vermaelen got no where near it, Sturridge had his shot blocked by Szeceney, the ball rolled out, it looked like Ramsey tried to back heel it away, then Suarez rolled up to smash it in and Mertesacker turned his back on the shot. A calamity. I’d like to put it all on Sagna but the issue was more down to the poor reactions after the save.

We didn’t roll over and die. Walcott went down the other and and had a powerful shot turned wide. Giroud shanked a shot on the edge of the box dreadfully wide of the post… things weren’t great up top. You really did feel yourself praying for a Villa.

Our keeper showed himself up with some daft 6 yard box shenanigans. He tried to Cruyff turn Sturridge in his area, found himself tackled which put us under pressure. A few minutes later, he made a seriously poor attempt at punching the ball clear from a corner. His positional sense and confidence for high balls into the box has taken a battering. Arsene Wenger should be out there right now brokering a deal for Steklenburg who is on the radar for Fulham. Our keeper has no pressure and his performances are being negatively impacted as a result. He’s arrogant. There’s no consequence for playing terribly.

The first half started to go stale, I remember one moment where Johnson was down injured for a few minutes. Steven Gerrard took time out to speak to 6 of his players. He was barking orders out, trying to raise their game. What was Vermaelen doing? Nothing. Hand on hips, staring blankly into space looking totally shell shocked. Really poor. The lack of leadership qualities in our squad is appalling.

Things went from bad to sour when Kieran Gibbs picked up his customary injury. Santos warmed up to the dread of the whole stadium. He’s like a worse less funny version of Eboue.  It’s not his fault though, which is why the booing is really shameful. There are too many people at the ground who seem to be there just for the bad times. Wenger really should be taken to task as to why, despite knowing Santos isn’t up to the job, has not looked to bolster behind Gibbs… who is an injury disaster.

The second half started off with a bit more intent. Podolski was clattered after a surging run into the box, we thought it was a penalty, goes without saying really. Theo nearly put us ahead after the German put a perfect ball into the back post… the header from 3 yards was a bit of a mess, even for a short man.

Disaster then struck when Jordan Henderson, a player so average even his own mother struggles to watch him, waltzed through our defence, hit a shot that Ramsey did well to block, Santos was in the way so it bounced back into Henderson’s path and he slipped it in. What a joke…

We really kicked into life after that, Podolski had a powerful shot that went just wide. The team started moving for each other and the chances rolled in. Our goal came from a Jack Wilshere freekick. Giroud managed to get his head on the end of it and turn it in. Finally… he’d scored. It didn’t take long for goal number two to arrive, this time Theo picked up a cross from Podolski at the back post and smashed it low from an acute angle to make it two.

Giroud and Theo had numerous chances to close out the game, but the finish just wasn’t there from either of them. Someone with a clinical edge could have had four goals last night, but it wasn’t to be. We were still conceding posession down the other end, so the game didn’t feel closed off until the whistle went…

At the end of the day, a point isn’t good enough. It may have come from being two goals down, but that doesn’t really disguise anything. We’re not good enough in defence and that starts and finishes with the manager. Like a friend said to me last night, Arsene Wenger is managing decline. People say he’s overworked, but what is he actually doing? He’s controlling the club, but he’s not working on defence. He’s not working on a game plan. He’s clearly not working hard to bring players in. He’s just managing the team like he was 10 years ago without the bells and whistles of success. No man in the modern game is capable of managing every aspect of the club, why someone hasn’t pointed this out to Arsene is beyond me.

There’s this theory that your wage bill is reflective of your final position in the league. It generally works out that way. Some use this to justify how we do every year. Why don’t we turn that theory on its head? Should the highest paid manager in the league not be performing to a higher level than his peers? In the same way you pay the best players the best money on the expectation they’ll over achieve… shouldn’t the same be true of the manager?

If yesterday’s post match acceptance that his squad is good enough didn’t convince you he’s dead as a manager in the top echelons of the game, I don’t know what will. As I’ve said many times before, I’m not sure it’s a player thing. Our defence has been the same regardless of who we put into it. Many of them leave and go onto better things. Vermaelen and Mertesacker aren’t bad players, but they’re not being given any instruction or support. Play on… and sort out the mess yourself seems to be the strategy. It’s killing us…

I was told last night that the mess hasn’t gone unnoticed at the top. Apparently Ivan Gazidis is also under pressure as well. If I owned a football club, I think I’d be asking questions of him. I know he can’t over rule the manager on the playing front, but when the manager you’re working with starts to affect commercial income because he’s so unbelievably rigid, you have to step in. If Arsenal finish outside the top 4 this season… who is going to spend out for a club level ticket? Who is going to want to fork out £500 a ticket for a box (that has 16 seats)? Blind loyalty to a manager who is lost in his own arrogance isn’t good CEOing. The fans are unhappy, the team looks unhappy, the pundits are all stating the obvious… so everyone in world football is wrong about this team bar Wenger who has once again said he can’t find anyone in world football good enough to improve his squad?

Utter drivel… it’s almost like he’s behaving the way he is to spite the fans… and in the process, he’s actually doing far worse, he’s spiting his legacy.

Leaving this post on a high note… I though Aaron Ramsey had a really good game last night. He reminds me of Flamini in the middle of the park. He likes getting stuck in and he seems to relish the pressing game. I also thought Theo was excellent. His control has come on leaps and bounds as has his footballing brain. 18 goals, not a bad return.

It’s transfer D-Day… let’s hope for a miracle.

726 Responses to “Arsenal fight back… but it disguises nothing. We’re in decline and the manager is blind to it.”

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  1. gary

    Some of the wank stains who come on here…u couldnt make it up.. santos is shit blah blah .. so We try to but a spanish international and Now its because gibbs is out for 3 games…

  2. HoustonGunner

    I love this Wenger Knows Best parody twitter account:
    “There is a small misunderstanding with Gazidis over Monreal. I merely said “I like Montreal”. But we are now close to a deal of top quality.”

  3. Lordbergkamp

    Monreal on BBC, so done deal.

    Underwhelmed. It’s a replacement for injured so hard to see how it improves squad overall…

    Certainly not going to shoot us to top 4..


  4. Graham O'Keeffe

    if the monreal deal does happen (hes in london and is heavely runoured to be at colney for his medical) hes a very good signing that wenger will ruin….e.g playing him at right midfield etc etc. Quick,good tackler, tall, good engine can score and has some craft etc…now go sign diame and reina…

  5. Bubble

    With the way things go at arsenal, Monreal would probably break his finger while signing his contract & be out for 6months…

  6. Jeff

    I have to be honest and admit I didn’t think we would buy anybody but if Monreal does end up as an Arsenal player he will be very much in the Wenger mould for new acquisitions.

    -Not suggested by anyone; check
    -Not linked; check
    -Not widely known; check
    -Not expensive; check
    -Not world class; check
    -Forced into it (Gibbs injury); check

    The pattern is a perfect fit.

  7. Arsenal 1886-2006


    The reports from Spain seem to suggest he is one of the best left backs in Europe, time will tell but he could well plug the hole left by Cole.
    And as for folks saying he is cup tied for the CL then so what, he will miss two matches for us this season.

  8. Vijiboy


    At what point did I suggest that one was intelligent for not using crass language, or that using foul language makes you unintelligent? I swear like a motherfucker throughout the day (see), I just take offence to insults that I have seen on here such as “cancerous cunt” because I feel such hostility is going too far, especially towards those who still represent our team. Regardless of how impressed/unimpressed you are of their performances for us, you can still insult them using swear words but surely as a “grown man” (as you like to put it) you can tell the difference between calling someone a useless cunt and wishing him death? If you cant then you certainly ARE NOT a grown man.

    And FYI Wenger is the least opposite to my god as you can imagine.

    Cunt (just saying).

  9. Cesc Appeal

    Monreal, Diame and Villa….I’d be happy as I can be with Wenger at the helm.

    Monreal DONE.

    Diame, release clause triggered by mystery club.

    Villa, rumours but nothing more, just hopeful.

  10. HoustonGunner

    I think the concern is more that Santos is likely to be carved up if he starts against Bayern in the CL. I mean, I dont believe we have a real shot at beating Bayern but we’d have a better shot if Santos was out of the lineup.

  11. ahk_13

    Jeff, Someone here was suggesting Monreal just yesterday. He’s decent, good competition for Gibbs, and an improvement over Santos. But no, he’s not Baines.

    I doubt Liverpool will sell reina seeing that they’ve already sold another keeper today, Doni.

  12. Lordbergkamp

    Think this is us done. Wenger forced to bring in to cover one of his disastrous previous signings by a predictable injury.

    So sad.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    If Spurs get Diame I’ll be livid.

    That means they have, Sandro, Parker, Diame, Huddlestone who can play the DM role.

    We got…Aaron Ramsey…lol

  14. bay area gooner

    We will get no one else. We only replaced an injured player. Dammit!
    So what if Villa is shopping in Barca… he can still get on a plane!!!!

    We need a DM right away!!!!! Ramface, Arteta and Diaby just cannot cut it.

    Come on……

  15. Jeff


    That may be so but all in all it is not what you would call an ambitious signing. It might improve our chances for fourth – that is all it is meant to do.

  16. CowleyGooner

    £15.5m accepted for Villa. These cunts on Twitter will say anything to get attention.

    Diames release clause has been triggered by an UNNAMED PL club.

  17. michael

    We just have to remember when were looking at players ,we only scout players who are not playing for the top teams in any league

  18. Cesc Appeal


    No probably about it.

    Ramsey has had like 2 games good games in 18 months and Arsenal fans are already defending him and his place as ‘Flamini.’

    arsenal fans seriously only need a glimmer to think that their long suffering has been cured…it’s quite pathetic actually.

    Walcott is now Henry for some.

    Ramsey, Flamini.

    Cazorla, Fabregas.

    Vermaelen was the next Adams at the start of the year.

  19. Angry Water Bottle

    Sky Sports understands an unnamed Premier League side have triggered Mohammed Diame’s release clause at West Ham.

  20. Harry Redknapp

    well the signing of nacho will keep us covered and will allow gibbs to get over his injurys and come good over the next two 3 years before he joins man utd

  21. Incesc

    Cesc appeal

    Wenger not signing stop gaps like diame, tells me one thing.

    He’s waiting for better players in the summer which also means he’s not going anywhere.

  22. Lordbergkamp

    Incesc or you could read it that the board will only sanction direct replacements, meaning that they are saving big budget for a new manager…

  23. JJ

    That last play against ‘pool where Santos passed the ball to them, ran backwards, fell over, got up, jogged over to the right, the ball hit him, it went to a ‘pool player then he stood still like he didn’t know where to go… was hopefully the last we will see of him.

    If ever there should be Benny Hill music played to a football clip, that was it.

  24. Rob

    You can just bet that within the next 2 hours we’ll make a low ball offer for someone that’ll get refused instantly and that’ll be us done,something like 3.2million plus Arshavin for David villa.All that while spurs sign 3 super super quality know what happens every year just this time without that smug dick Arry in his land rover getting sucked off by the sky sports reporter

  25. Vijiboy

    Well said BermyBoy! I do enjoy the rest, thats why im on this site daily!

    So Diame’s clause has been triggered by an unnamed club? My spurs pal just said it was them, but I read on RedLondon just now it could be us? Any updates?

  26. Cesc Appeal


    I can’t believe people are falling for the ‘splurge’ in the summer lie already.

    Keeps him in a job for ANOTHER season.

    We’re not signing Villa now so we can sign Cavani in the summer…pull the other one

  27. Toli83

    Diame is just some cunt that played for Wigan the other year and has been half decent for west ham. The fuss about him is unreal.

    Wish Wenger didn’t sign anyone . All the akb’s are saying look at this gem Wenger have found… Look he’s done it again, this guy will be one of best lbs in the world…

    Utter utter bollocks, Wenger has well and truly failed us again. Tosser.

    Gazidis, what’s he been up to this window. The scouts might as well be redundant as well.

    Kwik fit, has Wenger loaned his coq out to someone else or is it still rooted in at the emirates?

  28. Thomas

    We have 150m in the bank and still sign fuck all. Embarrassing. I know we’re probably getting Nacho but what about all the other positions? GK, RB, DM, Striker?



    Casc Appeal
    Trust me,if they believed in January they will also believe in the summer market.In Wengers closet is a feathered green cap,green tights and a fife.

  30. Goonerboy

    No Nacho looks a good player-our left back position has been a vulnerability for years. Ok it’s not nearly enough but it’s a start. Poor bugger doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for signing for the defenseless wonders.

  31. Leedsgunner

    Am I the only one who is underwhelmed with this potential defensive signing? Wenger’s record in defensive signings is atrocious… For every Sagna there is Squillaci and Santos –:(

  32. kwik fit

    Apparently wenger has pull off a real coup, David Villa is flying into London in the morning to sign a 3 year deal . Wenger,,,,,,always one step a ahead of the rest!

  33. GUNNER786

    kwik fit January 31, 2013 21:29:27
    Apparently wenger has pull off a real coup, David Villa is flying into London in the morning to sign a 3 year deal . Wenger,,,,,,always one step a ahead of the rest!



  34. SurferX

    Nachos is a very, very good player. Very happy if he comes- exactly the sort of player we need: someone better than we have- he’s miles past Gibbs. More needed though… I think that’ll be it

  35. kwik fit

    Wenger only signed Monreal because Gibbs got injured and Santos is shit. Guys we would have signed no body if Gibbs didn’t get injured.
    Wenger is a reactionary and not the proactive manager all aspiring top clubs need.

  36. Keyser

    Lol how shit was this Deadline day, and Sky still putting in the effort, the highlight of the Day a free agent from America who’s been retired for about 5 seasons.

  37. Jeff

    One thing it does prove though is that all this “we tried very hard” business is a load of old tosh. If we can sign someone at the drop of a hat (as proved tonight), it means we haven’t tried to sign anybody else because we had no intention of doing so. It’s all lies, lies and more lies.

  38. Jeff

    Kwik I saw that live while it was going on. I’m sure the “bloopers” archives already have that and we’ll see it in due course.

  39. Isco

    Odemwingie is such a tool, he was outside QPR saying his heart is with WBA but time to move on, hahahaha, well not only is you heart with them but so your contract mate so fuck off back up north.

  40. Keyser

    dave – fucking hell man, that’s some specialist stuff right there, probably in a drop down box off the second selection page on Xhamster. Or a secret link on Apetube.

  41. Cesc Appeal


    Hope you’re trolling…

    Not a chance.

    Sold Fabregas, Nasri, Van Persie etc without buying.

    Living in dreamland…SK needs that £160 Million cash to borrow against/prop up his portfolio/add value to Arsenal as an asset

  42. Toli83

    Keyser didn’t we do a similar thing with park. If my memory serves me correct, his club had no idea or didn’t permit him to speak with us as they had everything agreed with Lille.

    Suppose in this case it’s slightly worse as they wasn’t intending on selling him to anyone!

  43. Keyser

    Toli83 – Not really, for the reason you suggest, Odemwingie’s decided to do it of his own free will, they don’t want to sell him, or are stringing him along to teach him a lesson.

  44. kwik fit

    Yes, I will be busy,” he confirmed. “I don’t feel under pressure to name names because you [the media] find them on your own.

    “We have the potential to be in the Champions League with what we have. We are open to strengthening the team, but the difficulty is to find what strengthens us. [You don’t always find that with] the players available on the market.

    “Yes [we want players who can make an immediate impact], that is why it is so difficult as well. Man United bought Robin van Persie for £24million and he is 29 years old.

    “They have scouts all over the world. They looked everywhere. Don’t think that they just came in and bought Van Persie, they looked everywhere else. But to find the quality of striker that would strengthen a top Premier League team at the moment in the world is difficult.”

    What a lying B#stard Wenger really is!

  45. Incesc

    Obviously not cavani cesc appeal

    Wenger more goes for international experiencedplayers now of the right age, that are on the cusp but not fully first choice for their countries. Players with something to prove who have some pedigree but aren’t world beaters yet.

    Giroud, cazorla, podolski, now nacho, mert, santos could fall in this category,.

    All class, could push on, but not the best of the best.

    It’s better than kids, and I think he’ll sign some more in the summer. If he signed diame, stekelenberg etc I’d be more inclined to think it was a last ditch thing.

    I think he’s staying and he has longer term targets. They probably won’t be what we need but it’s wengers plan…

    I just hope we don’t sell anyone this summer, and start rebuilding this mess

  46. kwik fit

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Arsenal fail to file the Monreal papers before the 11pm deadline and the deal falls flat on its face.
    Incompetent bunch of tools in charge of our glorious club!

  47. Lordbergkamp

    SKY reporting we’re running out of time to get our underwhelming signing actually signed!

    “We’ll ve tried to sign ze playeur, it voz not to be….” C’est le vie.

    We av ze qualideeeeeee…

    Twat face out!!


    AW….Weeee were close to signing Nacho ,but could not agreee to terms.
    Reporter…..What terms Arsene?
    AW……You know theee terms.
    Reporter…..Again ,what terms Arsene?
    AW……theees interview eees over.
    AW…Ahhhh menteel strenght wins again.

  49. Marko

    That Beckham deal is a joke. 4 million for 5 months work and for two spots in midfield they have Matuidi, Motta, Verrati, Chantome, Pastore and others. Stupid deal just to sell shirts for them and his mrs fashion line.

  50. reality check

    I thought we were in for fellani baines cavani ba ect ect. One by one reality struck. Now its, oh oh, wengers gonna do it in the summer. Which ticks the 9 year wait box.

    It used to be 5 years, oh oh, wengers gonna do something you’ll see.

    6th year came. And went

    We are approaching the Ninth year lol

    “Oh oh wait,next summer he’s gonna buy”

    I’m sorry gooners, but he’s never won the champions league after 16 years of trying.

    “You cannot be considered a great manager until you’ve won the champions league in addition to all your other acheivments”

    Its the crown jewel in the crown. Unfourtunately, time has proven wenger is just a clown and a pretender to the throne.


    Quite sad we drew with Liverpool.

    Was hoping for a fantastic win.

    At least Arsene will tell us ,”we have fantastic quality,etc,etc…
    & no new signing’s..”

    Then the transfer window shut’s& we have the man in all his glory,strip naked,with no bail-out window.& the real game begin’s.

    Happy Dayzzzzzzzzz…Feb 1st 2013 onward’s& downward’s……………

    No new signing’s

    & PSG peep’s…


    MarkoJanuary 31, 2013 22:31:40
    What would you do in his position?

    Turn it down?