Villa – It’s a big game, but it shouldn’t be… | Arsene Wenger’s contradictions

by & filed under Match Preview.

So Villa come to town off the back of what can only be described as an incredibly shocking season. I mean, they haven’t had it good over the past few years, but they’ve never really been in danger of dropping. However, under the guidance of Paul Lambert, they’re looking every inch the doomed club. I feel for Paul, I think he’s a good manager… I just think he bit off more than he could chew with this job. He should have stayed with Norwich for a few more seasons.

Anyway, we’ll have more on Villa in the guest post piece below. I want to talk about Arsenal. This is a major, major game… arguably bigger than the Bayern game because of the impending importance of the fixture after… which is Spurs away. Beating Blackburn was important so we could take something resembling confidence into the Bayern game… that didn’t happen, we lost to Bayern. That’s why this game is a massive worry, because we need three confident points to stand a chance next week.

I watched Spurs against Lyon in the week. Adebayor looked motivated and charged up, Gareth Bale is in an inspired run  of form and they’re team overall looks pretty compact. AVB has worked on their play off the ball, he’s brought structure and and planning to the side and they’re reaping the rewards at the moment. I still don’t think they’re a better side… but considering they spend £60m less a season on wages, they’re doing alright. They’re still in Europe and the winds of progress are blowing firmly in their directions.

If we win today… then next week, the gap will have shut significantly. If we drop points today, next week will look even more daunting and we could find ourselves out of all cups and the run for fourth place by early March. That really will be a tragedy.

Arsene Wenger is still talking nonsense in the press each week. I can’t work out whether he’s bluffing or he’s totally deluded. Whatever it is, taken at face value he doesn’t think we’re that far away from Bayern Munich.

“We are not so far when people think at the moment from Bayern. We need to be intelligent and strong in this period and keep a guideline of what we have done until now. Strengthen the team where in the positions we feel we are a bit weaker. But we have a basis of a team that is very strong for me.”

How can we make up the ground?

“It costs a lot of money*, it costs intelligent work,”

Hmmm… it doesn’t cost a lot of money to do the basics right Arsene.

When pushed on players, he said the following.

“I think, now, we are in a stronger situation where, like you say, we can spend some money,”

“We went out to spend money at Christmas but we didn’t find the players. If we find tomorrow a player of top, top, top quality, we will take him.”

Would you buy Falcao for loads of cash?

“We can do it. If we can afford it, we will not say no.”

When asked if he had an issue spending out…

“I’m not reluctant to spend,”

First of all, we only had money recently. *Secondly, in England there is a way of thinking that every problem is sorted out just by spending money but that’s not always the case.”

Can we afford to keep our best players?

“Yes, of course,”

Could we resist buyers?

“You can only keep your best players, let’s be realistic, by paying the wages of the market.”

So above, you have all the ingredients you normally find spread across a transfer window.

1. We haven’t had money in the past (Even though it’s been pretty clear for the last 4 years there’s been plenty)

2.We have money to spend now (he said this two seasons ago… ‘we can compete with Chelsea’)

3. He said he’ll sign top top quality if he can find it

4. He said he can’t find top top quality

5. He’s said we could sign a £40m player

6. He said problems aren’t sorted with money

7. He said the only way to catch Bayern is with money

I mean honestly… the man is an absolute nightmare. I’ve gone through the clubs issues at length all week, I can’t be bothered to this morning, I think his contradictory press conferences are enough for you to chew through this morning.

All we need out there today is a win. We can’t afford to take Villa lightly and we can’t afford to sit in reverse gear until late into the second half. I hope we get a performance out there today… we desperately need one. It’s going to be freezing, sadly, I’m expecting to see loads of empty seats dotted around the ground. Not as many as there will be if we don’t win out next two games.

Anyway… fancy reading something from a good pal of mine who is a Villa fan? Why not. Here’s Tom… his e-mail was titled ‘Villa are sh*t’… enjoy and follow him on Twitter.

Guest Post – Villa

This fixture last season produced a routinely comfortable hammering of Villa. This was back in the dark days of Alex McLeish, who considered a thorough 3-0 defeat to a ‘top 4’ team a significant achievement. Big ‘Eck didn’t send his teams out to win; he sent them out to lose by a respectable margin. So cut to a year later, and we’re in an even worse position. Some how. However, there is nowhere near the disdain for Paul Lambert that there was in bile-filled bucket loads for McLeish, probably because we actually try to win games now. The only problem is – we’re not very good at it.

You’ll hear about how Villa generally aren’t playing as badly as their results suggest, and that’s partly true, although shipping 15 goals in 3 games without
reply is hardly an indicator of great quality. We’re coming off the back of a rare victory over West Ham, but that seems like an awfully long time ago now, and I
would worry that the team’s collective short term memory of how to win games, is as underdeveloped as their ability to adequately defend set pieces.

This Villa side fold like a house cards at the first sign of trouble, and even Arsenal on a bad day have plenty to tear apart our feeble defence. Arsenal fans should
brace themselves for a goal fest if Lambert sends the team out with 3 at the back; a bizarre preference he insists on returning to, despite the fact that the team
look much more solid, comfortable and dynamic in a 4-4-2. Gabby Agbonlahor should be back from injury, which is good news for us, and not so good news for
Per Mertesacker’s ability to turn, and obviously Christian Benteke is a match for the toughest of premier league defences (and someone you really don’t want to
see in a Spurs shirt next season). Charles N’zogbia has suddenly started to look like a man who actually accepts the fact he plays football for a living, albeit with
all the gusto of a nightclub toilet cleaner. Still, his undoubted quality represents one of the few remaining strands of hope we’re clinging onto to somehow drag us out of the relegation quicksand. And although this isn’t necessarily a game we would expect to win, sooner or later that ‘do or die’ mentality surely has to kick in. And let’s face it, stranger things have happened. After all, we did both lose to Bradford City.

570 Responses to “Villa – It’s a big game, but it shouldn’t be… | Arsene Wenger’s contradictions”

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  1. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    Cheseny can catch the bus home … Pack his bag. Get his card out and book a one way ticket back to Poland ! Good bye to bad rubbish he is an will always be shit, should have signed Schwarer

  2. useroz

    Shit crosses all afternoon…from Arsenal

    Wot do they practice in training??? Not defence not shooting ….

    We could find ourselves down if these suckers don’t wait the fuck up.

    Where’s out subs?????

  3. Al

    Bergkamp63 February 23, 2013 16:22:20

    it wasn’t even in the corner of the goal !!
    It was right in the middle.

    Lambert takes off a defensive player and adds another attacking player to the 4 they already has and actually goes for the win.

  4. Arsene's Nurse

    If I were Villa I’d purposely kick the ball out for an Arsenal corner. That way I know I have a good chance at a counter-attack and a goal.

  5. Al

    We have a Dud in Goal and we have another Dud as our 1st choice striker so what do you expect.

    Now Wenger has panicked and instead of going to a 442 he has panicked and utillised the everyone attack with no formation which will lead to us getting caught out.

    We have seen this before

  6. Arsene's Nurse

    Why can’t Giroud kick or head the ball away from the keeper. He did it last week, shooting right at the keeper. Golden chance gone begging.

  7. Al

    useroz February 23, 2013 16:32:33

    Oh giroud…..shouldve headed either side too central
    Giroud is just not good enough

  8. Arsene's Nurse


    10 Year old children have more drive, anticipation and desire to get on the end of a tap in.


  9. Arsene's Nurse

    Now you expect Bould and Wenger to be on the sideline telling everyone to keep it tight, keep the ball – but I bet they don’t.

  10. Al

    Our defence is offered no flipping protection from Arteta. He is one off are biggest problems. Another is Giroud who clearly is not cut out to be the first choice striker for us.

  11. SPiTZBLiTZ

    You should be fucking ashamed cheering on Villa, I want Wenger gone as well, but he will see out his contracts and they won’t fire him, so stop being muggy cunts and cheering on the other teams.

  12. Ric

    Are villa fielding 10 flagpoles or what? I’m Glad we finally got one, but seriously these Villa players ought to commit ritual Harakiri after this.

  13. gambon

    The very very sad fact is that Szczesny wont in any way feel any pressure thanks to Santi

    As Mancini said, Wenger is happy to let his players make repeated mistakes.

  14. gambon

    Fuck me we are SCRAPING past one of the PLs worst teams, and the fans are cheering like we won the league.

    We will get annihilated next week.

  15. Ric

    SPiTZBLiTZFebruary 23, 2013 16:44:31
    Your not a gooner your a spud!

    Shut the fuck up looser. Or make a better argument than that.

  16. patthegooner

    Well we got away with that.

    Loads of possession but simple mistakes and an average Keeper with no pressure nearly cost us

    Happy we have won and hopefully we can build some confidence going into Spuds away. We will need it, because if we play like that, we will get battered.

  17. g0tch34ted

    gambonFebruary 23, 2013 16:47:16
    Fuck me we are SCRAPING past one of the PLs worst teams, and the fans are cheering like we won the league.


    It’s called relief.

  18. G787

    Fortunate win thanks to Cazorla. I’ve been saying since the beginning of the Season Szesny is shit for whatever reason. Letting in long range shots repeatedly is criminal. He needs an experienced keeper in front of him, but I guess that won’t happen.

  19. tom

    Ric Jon Toral’s better then Diaby the guy’s a joke he always slows down the play, get’s a yellow and then get’s injured. Hopeless player get rid ASAP and get a new number Wojiech is far too comfortable in his position because Fabianski and Mannone are a hundred times worse.

  20. Ric

    tomFebruary 23, 2013 16:59:28

    Well thats a first tom I’ve been saying those things for years so I guess this is the first time we’re in total agreement 😉

  21. kwik fit

    Man of the Match CAZORLA – 2 Goals, 2/6 Shots on Target, 4 KPs, 3 Dribbles, 2 Tackles, 2 Interceptions, 1 Clearance, 90% Pass Accuacy

    Yes you read it right TWO tackles!

  22. tom

    Szczesny is far too cocky with his comments he think’s he has achieved a lot when in fact he hasn’t achieved anything much like our squad and why before the game is Diaby talking about finishing in the top four as if it’s like winning the world cup ffs.

  23. Ric

    I think Wenger has been complacent to a degree where the notion that “we cannoz compeze wizz ze Man cizyzzyz ez chelzies of ze worlz” has permeated throughout the club. We are content to compete for 4th and anything more is a godsend Wenger chooses to bestow only on the worthy,

  24. jlp

    Used to be people got fucked when we lost…was completely understandable but to get fucked when we win and still claim it is in fact Arsenal you support…really?
    Cheering on the opposition now….really?
    Blinkered as fucking Arsene himself…

  25. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    The club is in total disarray major changes are need , but they won’t happen , this time next year those lucky to still be alive will be posting comment of akb’s and Shiite like that its just a vicious cycle, what was the minority is now the majority . He wenger has to go. Change of his attitude and tactics will no longer be accepted. A new manger is what is wanted and needed,

  26. Ric

    jlpFebruary 23, 2013 17:17:29

    Did we just watch the same match?

    Because I saw my favorite team miss everything but the fucking corner flag for 90 minutes against arguably THE worst Villa team I have ever seen. Yay we pegged two in, but that was pretty much a statistical fucking certainty wasnt it!

  27. jlp

    Only change I want is a few players ,owner and manager.
    Never going to change which team I want to see put the ball in back of the net.

  28. Ric

    jlpFebruary 23, 2013 17:23:42

    Yeah well read the fucking comment then because I haven’t, I defended RSPCs right to not support this tripe. I will not buy Arsenal merchandise as long as Wenger is in charge either, but I can’t go full on Villa support either.


  29. tom

    Giroud missed to many chances if that was a Jovetic,Villa or Lewandowski we wouldn’t be panicking and why isn’t Podolski starting it’s a joke. Also take Walcott away from set piece duty his delivery nine times out of ten is shocking Cazorla is miles better at set pieces.

  30. Ric

    Tom Actually I’ll have to stop you there for a bit Walcott ws shiite in general today, but his crosses were unusually good until the last 15 I think, where you can excuse a part of it on tired legs. I mean how often does anyone get on the end of those to even have the chance to miss a blatant goal as so many today did?

  31. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    I asked earlier … What’s the most dishonest thing we have at the club? The board for not telling the truth?
    The manager for not either ?
    Or the supporters so diillusioned with arsenal these days that rather than return their season because they don’t want to go they lease them out? Since quitting a year ago I have been offered countless tickets taken a few . The name on the red book is not the same as the Redon I have money too, olin fact Ii know of a trile of seat that are ‘looked after’ by a person three names away from the owner , it’s disgusting if they support pay an go , if they support but can’t go all games become a red member , the people who lease are scum and u know who you and they are!

  32. Ric

    We had a criminal amount of chances considering the final score, to say the guns have started firing again would be a dangerous self delusion to envoke.

  33. tom

    True Ric but we still a need winger who can cross and dribble on a consistent basis we haven’t had one for years. Walcott/Podolski are strikers cum wingers and the closest we have to a winger is Gervinho who is just a shocking footballer. In the summer we need a new Goalkeeper, Centre Back,Defensive midfielder, winger and a striker whilst get rid of the large deadwood and avoid signing players like the Bilbao defender.

  34. Ric

    So what do you guys feel about Ferguson employing RVP to tap up Wislhire? They say its just a facebook rumour so I doubt it but still hypothetically?

  35. Guns of brixton

    ric, its a typical manure trick. man u fans i work with do say that- o we missed out on pogba and snejder, lets get wilshre, and make him scholes replacement cos anderson is shite.
    so yes they want wilshere. so do barca, bayern, real and AC. they believe they have an advantage bcos they have a ‘personal’ point of contact, i.e- RVP.

  36. Ric

    tomFebruary 23, 2013 17:46:25

    Yeah but to say we need to use 80 mill for that, as stingy Wenger is shockingly partly suggesting today is insane. We don’t need that, it is to a degree true when Wenger says stuff like “I have leaders, I have five national captain” etc. The problem is he wrecks them, no one is greater than he or the ones he pick. So Santos or Ramsey is treated the same way as Mertesacker and Vermealen, its great for Chezzers confidence but shit for our CAPTAIN! Who I for one feel should be the effing primadonna if only for seniority and because he has the effing badge! This socialist culture shit is not only on the books and you see it out on the field.

  37. Ric

    Guns of brixtonFebruary 23, 2013 17:56:05

    You just know whatever unfolds…. This summer will be the most interesting for years.

  38. Guns of brixton

    ric, u r not wrong there m8, all mufc fans think that they could get the treble if they beat real in the cl. . . but fuck them. i just hope wilshere stays.
    sagna and verm will proably go in the summer.

  39. Ric

    Oh yay now my spud friend decided to drop by just to sarcastically snipe about how much he fears us.

    … Motherfucker texted me *translation; Cazorla on form, maybe Arsenal are back for derby?

    I’m off guys I’m going to torment the crap out of this spud on Pes 2013 instead.

  40. tom

    I don’t understand how can any manager in there right mind can sell our captain/top scorer/best player and not replace him properly. Everybody knew it would take Giroud a year to settle it’s a joke. In saying that if Giroud was a little bit clinical then Giroud would at least be on 25 goals by now and maybe we wouldn’t be in such a mess.

  41. R.S..P.C.Arsenal

    Guns,,, yes I do want to lose if it means that we lose wenger as manager… Fella I assume ? Easy wiv the aggressiveness tho old boy. Ain’t good for your ticker? U can’t disagree with people who you feel don’t dubscribe to your way of thinking by calling the dick heads? Play the game !

  42. Ric

    Guns of brixtonFebruary 23, 2013 18:04:23
    tomFebruary 23, 2013 18:08:39

    Right with both of you on those, and If we’ve only kept RVP then Giroud would be able to stand on both legs next year, and we could very possibly be cruising towards a serious challenge for something this year. its…. yeah… torn hear in hands time…. Bye guys.

  43. Alex Jars

    I have even saying all season that we ave three rubbish keepers. None of them can be relied upon, and are on a par with Almunia. They are defiling the memories of Kelsey and Seaman.From the beginning, Giroud has been a poor buy. He is a lumpen player and will not improve. As for Diaby! Words fail me. TheSpurs match on this performance is going to be a nightmare.

  44. tom

    Giroud has a good character so he will be better and more clinical next season but a new striker is an absolute must and I personally can’t see Walcott being a centre forward for a while.

  45. luke

    Am I alone in thinking Per and Verm should be our backup Center backs and we should buy somebody to partner Kozz? I rate Kozzer way more than per or verm. I think he just isn’t a good partner for TV or Per.

  46. Alex James

    Tom Sorry, don’t share your optimism over Giroud. The French league has dropped in its overall standards, and Giroud is a reflection of this.

  47. Thomas

    Giroud is slow as hell. When you sell Rvp you replace with the likes of Cavani or Falcao not Giroud. Nothing against him but he’s not good enough.

  48. GoonerDave

    Its factually impossible to be an Arsenal supporter while wanting the team to lose.
    You cannot truthfully call yourself an Arsenal supporter if you dont support. You think the AKB is blinkered? Time some of you had a look in the mirror.
    At least, those of you that arent rival supporters in disguise. Because it appears obvious now that there are rival fans on this blog. Why does nobody ever question the loyalty of those who slate everything about the club and want us to lose?
    I for one am delighted with the win today. Should have been by more and more comfortable, and our keeper was poor on the goal.
    But Im still delighted with the 3 points. I might be in the minority, but Im pleased that Arsenal won today, and Ill always be happy when we win a match.

  49. patthegooner


    I think Per should be our starting CB but we need a new top quality partner for him. Per is very underrated IMO. Sure he has a bad game every now and again but show me a CB that doesn’t.

    Kosser has regressed IMO. He has been an accident waiting to happen this year.