Ramsey recuperation disaster exposes thin squad | Dreadful Arsenal lucky escape

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rainy emirates

Arsenal ran into a bit of a Premier League block last night when they drew to Southampton away from home. We played badly, we didn’t find our rhythm and individual mistakes cost us a full three points in a game that really… we probably deserved to lose.

We went one down after some shoddy full backery from Monreal who allowed a header in at the near post… the keeper also made a total hash of the goal at his near post. We didn’t really get back into the first half, Monreal spent most of his time making a mess of anything that came his way, it’s like he’d never experienced the rain which made a total mockery of my pregame excitement he’d been given a run in the side.

The second half started with a bit more zip, like they normally do this season. Sagna picked up an overhit cross, he whipped it into the box low with Giroud turning it in with some sort of crazy turn and drag. It was an exciting goal, though I’m unsure he had a clue what the hell he was doing.

It didn’t take long for us to take the lead. Ozil made space on the edge of the Southampton box, he slipped Cazorla in on the 18 yard line, the Spaniard carved his shot into the far corner with the outside of his foot.

The last thing we expected was to go down almost straight away, but that’s what happened when Rodriguez took advantage of poor Sagna defending outwide, he cut the ball back and Lallana finished well.

We had a few chances after that, but they had better chances, forcing a couple of decent saves from Szeceney. Flamini topped off a wet and upsetting afternoon with a two footed lunge that earned him a red card. What an absolute tool.

Concluding Points:

Aaron Ramsey

Still total speculation, but the rumour is that Aaron Ramsey suffered a major setback and won’t return for another 6 weeks. Something to do with a tendon. Now, this is all too predictable. How often have I said it this year? Fitness management will be our undoing. Ramsey is injured because he was poorly managed during the Christmas period and if he’s injured this close to recovery, it’s probably not too wild a guess to say it’s likely to be because we’ve rushed him back and over trained him. This is something we’ve been notoriously bad at over the year. Vermaelen and Jack are prime examples of this in action.

*Asking if I’m medically trained really is a simpleton question. I’m not a trained meteorologist, but I can tell you how a cloud is formed. If you speak to the right people, it’s not difficult to gain a grasp of the basics and layer them over what Arsenal do. We always over play key members of our squad and we ALWAYS struggle with injuries. It’s no coincidence, I’m not speaking with hindsight and experts in the game say similar things (read this article).

This poses a really big issue for us. He won’t be with us for two Liverpool games, two Bayern games and a United fixture. How many teams can compete without their best player and without the previous season’s number one goal scorer? We’re losing options all over the pitch. Which means Arteta, who has really lacked on a number of occasions this season, will have to play in high tempo games, which is bad news in my opinion.

We’ve known what the squad issues are all transfer window, yet we’ve done nothing. Cabaye has gone to PSG, Matic to Chelsea, Vucinic could go… there are plenty of clubs in Europe desperate to move players on… yet we’ve opted for no one. We’ve actually looked to complain about how unfair a transfer window that could massively help us is… it’s like refusing to treat a gangrenous leg because you think the healthcare you bought is elitist.

You can’t fight reality

As I said in this morning’s post, our issue isn’t quality this season, it’s Wenger’s lack of trust in his squad. Diaby, Park, Bendtner, Frimpong, Jenkinson and Sanogo are all players that don’t have the managers’ trust… or they’re massive liabilities on the injury front. How much wastage do City and Chelsea have? Ok, let me rephrase that… who are the Chelsea / City equivalents of what we have? Dzeko is City’s Sanogo… need I say more?

Those players cost us points… because it means we play fatigued players who can’t perform, or it means overworked players pick up injuries and we have to put substandard options on the bench. We have a brilliant 16 players. However, this isn’t 2002, you can’t win the league with a brilliant 16. You need a brilliant 22 players.

That said…  despite it being a painfully slow road back to the top, us having a brilliant 16 is progress.


Now we’re kind of heading out of the Christmas rut of games and into the Champions League and FA Cup. Liverpool start getting more of a rest than Arsenal do, which is exactly why they have been so good this year. They’re title contenders this year and if we start to drop points, we could easily find ourselves in a battle for top four… which after the season we’ve had is not what we need. We’re going to have to shape up, we’re going to have to hope fringe players come good and we’re going to have to pray that we don’t pick up anymore key injuries to key players…

Who else is looking at Mertesacker, Sagna and Koscielny and wondering if they truly are super human? Because let me tell you, chances are, they’re not… and those three are hugely overplayed because what sits behind them is not trusted by the manager.


The German wideman was given 7 minutes yesterday as he once again found himself relegated to the bench. He recently admitted he was struggling for fitness, well, he’s not going to regain that picking up sub ten minutes every week. I think people need to simply accept he’s never been a favourite of the manager. The club would have shipped him out last summer if they’d had an offer and look at his record… does he ever last a full game? Do you think a manager whose favourite attribute is fitness and pace would be happy with a player like that?

I feel for Lukas, he’s a good finisher, but he’s not particularly dynamic. Alex (blog writer) and I were watching him a few weeks ago, he came on with 20 to go, he chased a ball down… took and age to return past the half way line, then he didn’t rejoin the attack… we thought he was injured, he wasn’t, he was just being lazy.

Love hazes the reality sometimes. I love him. He loves us. He scores goals, he can create them, he’s just not the full package, which for £90k a week… I’d imagine Arsene believes he should be.

Ticket Pricing

I’ve read with interest as Arsenal fans celebrate the new Arsenal deals and the sustainable business model. Sustainable has meant ‘YOU’… we’re topping that up by £22m this summer.

Arsenal fans and Liverpool fans have rallied against the prices of the FA Cup game, which have been reduced for Liverpool fans. Nice move Arsenal. Does nothing for the home fans and as far as I know, nothing for the ticket costs at Bayern. Fans are angry… but you have to face facts, sustainable, whilst having  a lot to do with Wenger keeping us in the Champions League, really, mostly sat with fans coughing up £93m a year. See, whilst Wenger has spent transfer fees on a budget, he’s still had £120m+ a year to spend on wages. Fans contribute over double what the Champions League does

Puma = 23% of what fans contribute with tickets

CL = 30% of what fans contribute with tickets

So in short, don’t expect concession on tickets. If you do, expect Ivan to say… ‘but you want shiny players’… he’s right, we do. It’s just a shame the club can’t compromise. I’m happy to pay out what I do if we’re investing in the squad. I’d be happy if those concessions went to away fans. I’d spare a third of a Diaby every year to see that happen.

Average Season ticket crowd x 3000

Concession on each ticket £25

Total cost: £1.35m

Who agrees with me? Everyone? Amazing. Ivan, make it happen…


Dropping a point away at a top , albeit depleted Southampton is no shame. The problem is the narrative going on around the squad that I’ve been muttering about all year. Hopefully we can weather the storm… fingers crossed, a massive month awaits.


990 Responses to “Ramsey recuperation disaster exposes thin squad | Dreadful Arsenal lucky escape”

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  1. Revving Kevin

    “This Argentina/Napoli thing is bullshit. Just an excuse to hide Wengers failure in the transfer market”

    Yes Higuains a complete liar. Arsenal put in a bid but according to Higuain they didn’t speak to him. You think Higuains lying, I guess you know best mate.

    Higuain: “They said Arsenal wanted to sign me but I never spoke to them. There is a unique sentiment attached to Napoli for people in Argentina, the warmth of the people, the fact the city is a little crazy means there is a special bond. It is a very Argentine city that has helped me adapt to life here.”

  2. Thomas

    MarbleHall January 29, 2014 21:55:55

    Clubs around Europe must be scratching their heads in bemusement as to how Wenger keeps managing to pull off big bumper pay contracts every 3 years for himself and at the same time give so very little back in return.

    He’s the most successful conman of all time.

    City has four strikers that are better than our first choice.

  3. LeMassiveCoq

    Ha Kudos to big fat Sam if he really said that.

    Draxler is a huge talent, but he’s a project for Arsene, let’s face it. Can’t see him making the difference to win us the EPL or CL. His main impact would be a feel good factor.

    Honestly don’t know much about Vucinic. If he’s fairly shit, then he’s an improovement on Giroud.

  4. Gunnershabz

    Costas mitroglou is a decent player am surprised we not linked with him apparently Fulham signing him maybe berbatov might be leaving

    How the hell we still not got rid of park and frimpong

  5. TheBlaster

    We’ve looked wobbly in the last few matches and managed to blag it, but this sit back and soak it approach will not work against a top side as it did not work against Southampton. We couldn’t live with their pressing, but we didn’t press ourselves. Far from needing a striker we missed Wilshire, Ramsey and Rosicki’s tackling up the pitch. Cazorla, Ozil (1st half) and Gnabry were giving the ball away without winning it back. Better in the 2nd buy then Flam went flying and it all went to shit. The pressing is the big deal more than the forwards. Pressurising teams, not leaving them play

  6. Southernpeople


    “Hazard was absolutely top drawer tonight. If we rate Messi as 10/10, Eden at his best is a 8.5-9/10. Messi, CR7, Aguero, Suarez, Neymar. He is just behind those five for me.”

    Hazard is just as great. He’s technically astute, has pace, strong and visionary. It’s unfair to compare Aguero, Suarez with Hazard as they dont play in the same position.

    But, in terms of usefulness to their side i will definitely argue that Hazard is much than those 2. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a world class striker to finish the opportunities he creates for himself.

    He’s also much better than Neymar. Neymar plays with great players and in a very attacking team unlike hazard who plays under Mourinho who tends to park the bus.

    For me Hazard is just below Messi/Ronaldo level and I have no doubt that we will reach their current level in the near future.

  7. Wengerites be damned!

    There was interest in Higuain. Wenger just f*cked up again by not signing a top striker. Time to accept this and stop the excuses.

  8. Revving Kevin

    Yes,, Argentina have Alvarez, Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Higuain, Zabaleta, maxi Rodriguez and Tevez, not a bad few players.

    We’ve got Milner, Lampard, Gerrard, Townsend, Rooney and Welbeck!

    Could be a short trip.

    Who’s your money on winning the World Cup.

  9. MarbleHall

    Internstional football is a level up from domestic football. Aguero and Messi won’t be playing against cannon fodder at the World Cup like they do week in week out at club level.

  10. Dissenter

    I can see Chelsea parking a double decker bus at the Etihad on Monday next. It is a game that Chelsea cannot afford to lose. It will probably be the most boring game of all time.

  11. samsensible

    Suarez over Hazard any day.

    Hazard is a great player on his day but how many games has he owned in his time here? A handful at most. Much still to prove before you can put him anywhere near Ronaldo and Messi.

  12. Sam

    Schalke know we are desperate they are not going to play our silly game.
    I hope we don’t end up with gourcouff we don’t need him

  13. hackneylad


    “Several rated far above him.”

    But that was my point or did entirely miss it… Argentina has such quality tevez cant get in the squad and his a very very good striker.

  14. hackneylad


    Mate I thought we could win the title but are small squad is already ravaged by injury

    Walcott out.
    Jack injured on off permanently
    Arteta, can’t hack 90 minutes of football let alone 2 games in a week, his also injury prone
    Ramsey is out for 6 weeks
    Flamini is out for 4 matches.

    Currently We have no DM, We have 1 cm in arteta who isn’t up to it anymore
    WE have ox who plays better on the wing.

    Are only saving grace is Rosiscky but that’s not enough.

    On the wings we have Gnarby an 18 year old who wont score many goals.

    We have Podolski whose not being played.

    We have Cazorla and Ozil who have been hit and miss recently.

    We are being stretched to breaking point and we haven#t even hit the period of congested big deal matches.

  15. hackneylad

    Fucking hell mate Hazard is very good but his nowhere near Messi and Ronaldo

    Nor Ribery even the much maligned Robben

    His not even close to Aguero or Suarez.

    Hazard for crying out loud at least needs to outscore and out assist Walcott for crying out loud lol.

    His very good, his tricky strong very fast with a great shot, but technique wise his not on par with aguero or suarez.. for instance aguero is so efficient he takes the least amount of touches to score, his just got an utter deadly crispness to his game.

  16. Zeus


    I got your point. My point is that I don’t rate him highly at all. He’ll bully some league defenders, but he will always be limited-workhorse type of player to me.

    He’s been in Europe for close to a decade and is still so unbelievably one footed (right foot)

    As for the argentine midfield, mascherano plays his right DM position accompanied by a rejuvenated Fernando gago. Add Esteban cambiasso to that bunch.

    Gutierrez was just a Maradona favourite, nowhere near midfield. Problem areas obvious, de fence and goalkeeper.

    Garay from Porto and zan alerta in the mix though. Argie in with a chance, but messi needs a monster tournie. He looks to be saving himself judging by his play for barca since his return.

    And Aguero looks to have messed up his hamstring (yet another injury) vs Spurs today.

  17. Dissenter

    We have 6 games in 20 frantic days. This is with all the injuries and suspensions.
    It’s hard to think our squad can deal with this. If we hang on within 3 ponts of the league leader anything can happen bug we gotta buy.

  18. hackneylad


    Robben is so left footed one of the best wingers in the world.

    He used to be an absolute beast never the most technical but could score from nothing out of his own creation just be soldering through defenses who simply couldn’t cope with his strength and power.

    Also incredibly clinical, think of all the world class strikers missing sitters Tevez never does.

    When he was at Man United every club at Europe were interested in him.

    His also the second highest striker in Seria A and its only his first season.

    His very good, would be first choice for England squad.

  19. WengerEagle

    Not surprised City spanked the Spuds, very surprised Chelsea dropped points at home to relegation fodder though.

    If we were to sign Vucinic and Draxler I’d be quite happy with that, what are people’s sources for Vucinic though?

    RE Hazard, top top player but still behind Aguero, Suarez and Yaya who are the best 3 players in the BPL. He’s a future Ballon D’or winner though IMO and out of Hazard, Isco, Gotze and Neymar I’d rank Hazard as the best(granted he’s 23 and the other 3 are 21)- 1) Hazard 2) Gotze 3)Isco 4)Neymar IMO

    RE Argentina don’t they have Pastore and Banega who can play centrally?

  20. WengerEagle


    It’s neck and neck between the two and at the end of the day comes down to opinion, I personally rank Hazard as slightly better than Gotze but Gotze is a year and a half younger, he could well be = to Hazard in 18 months time from now

  21. Cesc Appeal

    Really we need to spank Palace and build up a good head of steam as we tumble into that maelstrom of fixture horrors.

    I just hope we pull something out of the fire in the next two days.

    The rate the injuries are flowing right now, not good. We all know how bad Wilshere’s ‘knocks’ and ‘niggles’ can be.

    If I was Wenger I’d be looking worst case, we won’t see Ramsey again, at least not in any meaningful fixtures, and let’s envisage a spell on the sidelines for Wilshere at some point as well in that fixture pile up.

    Means we could do with a CM/CDM before the close of the window on Friday.

    A striker back up, though it seems Vucinic is on his way (I did read he was going to Zenit though?)

    And the Draxler signing would be brilliant, his Doctor has said he’ll be ready to play in 7 days, so perfect. Gives us threat from wide and will provide a lift to the squad at exactly the right time.

  22. Wengerites be damned!

    Yeah, World Cup is coming and Wenger will probably be offering his ‘insight’ on some French TV instead of doing his job. Similar to 2010.

  23. WengerEagle


    Why is no-one in for Marchisio off Juventus? Am I missing something? Top player who is just unfortunate to be competing with 2 of the top 5 CM’s in world football in Vidal and Pogba, and Andrea Pirlo. I reckon he would be gettable for 20 odd million as Juventus are fairly skint and he can play CDM, B2B and even in CAM, very versatile player

  24. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah I like Marchisio, good all round player in the middle. But I don’t know if Juventus would let him go.

    If there’s going to be ‘hard’ negotiations I’d rather we focus on Draxler – we all know how hard it seems to be for us to do deals. To ask them to do two times the amount of work would probably make their heads explode.

  25. WengerEagle


    True we wouldn’t sign both Draxler and Marchisio and if I had to choose one it would be Draxler hands down. Vucinic, Draxler and a deadline day bid of 12 million to Southampton for Morgan Schneiderlin who really has impressed me in the last season and a half, not to mention last night, would set us on our way for a legitimate title push IMO. Vucinic loan and Draxler+Schneiderlin would cost approx 50 million together.

    Is it worth spending 50 million to win the title? Definitely IMO, Does Wenger? I’d imagine not

  26. bazza

    The only good news about Flamini, Walcott & Ramsey being out, is that it will encourage Wenger to go the extra mile to sign up Draxler.

  27. BacaryisGod


    Trust me on this one. SkyBet have gone from 1-8 to now taking his name off the site completely. No bets can be placed. It’s done. He’s in (now let me get prepared for egg on my face…)

  28. BacaryisGod

    Here’s what I expect will be the response to the blockbuster signing of Draxler:

    “We can’t even use him until March. We’ll be out of the race by then”

    ” We still didn’t get the striker we need”

    Of course, not many will be commenting that this is yet another huge display of ambition from the club after the Ozil deal. How can any Arsenal fan not be excited about the future after we’ve flexed our muscles to the tune of 75 million pounds for just TWO players!!!

  29. Zeus

    Draxler is a big get. Certainly takes the pressure off for the summer. He’s the marqee signing 6 months early.

    As long as we get a decent option for giroud, we can start the long term Rvp mk2 project in earnest.

    Dracular and theo will/should bag 20 goals a season each.

  30. Marko

    Bac you are absolutely right. Ozil for 42.5 million and Draxler for 30+ million is a hug sign of intent for us. What it says for me also is we’d be willing to make another marquee signing in the summer likely a striker. Really promising times if we pull off Draxler after Ozil. This will still be a pit full of misery though

  31. Bamford13

    Draxler is pure class, so if we do in fact sign him we should all be quite happy. He’s technical, athletic, confident and a goal scorer. He has everything.

    We need a quality CF and holding mid at the moment, however, so he’s an interesting signing.

    Vucinic wouldn’t be a terrible signing. He’s not that exciting of a player, but he’s better than Giroud, so he could help us.

    I still don’t see us winning anything — especially with City playing as they are — but maybe my view will change when Jack and Ramsey return, whenever that will be.

  32. Zeus


    Let’s see how City does vs barca.
    My barca mate was laughing his ass off at the draw. Easy peezy he said.

    If barca can knock them off their perch, never can tell how that affects their confidence.

    I really want a trophy at the end if this. A game at a time.

    Let them score dozens of goals, I’ll take our 1-0 wins.

  33. Moray

    Arsenal will bid for former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou if they can’t get Julian Draxler Daily Star 08:15

    This rumour just won;t go away.

    It’s like saying “I couldn’t buy you a yacht for your birthday, so instead I will violently sodomise you”

  34. Wengerites be damned!

    “I couldn’t buy you a yacht for your birthday, so instead I will violently sodomise you”

    LOL !!!

  35. Leedsgunner

    I’m not overly enamoured with Vicinic (2 goals in 12 twelve matches hardly sets the heart racing) but at this late stage we have to take what we can get, and it’s a loan, leaving us to buy big later.

    Why we’ve left it this late again is an important question as he’s been linked with us all window — we should have brought him in and helped him settle in. Although I’m surprised we’ve allowed Fulham to snatch Mitroglou for £11m. Surely with Joel Campbell playing there on loan and playing well a deal could have been done.

  36. Leedsgunner


    At least we’re getting people in… Matuidi would be astute buy and needed after Arteta’s poor display the other night.

  37. TheBayingMob

    “Honestly don’t know much about Vucinic. If he’s fairly shit, then he’s an improovement on Giroud.”
    Classic … I have been told he is basically a Giroud clone …

  38. TheBayingMob

    These comments are cracking me up this morning … “Yeah, World Cup is coming and Wenger will probably be offering his ‘insight’ on some French TV instead of doing his job. Similar to 2010.”

  39. TheBayingMob

    It’s like saying “I couldn’t buy you a yacht for your birthday, so instead I will violently sodomise you”

  40. WengerEagle

    ‘It’s like saying “I couldn’t buy you a yacht for your birthday, so instead I will violently sodomise you”’

    Hahahahaha that’s comment of the year so far!!!

  41. WengerEagle

    People who are sceptical about paying so much money for Draxler are the same people who will go nuts if another big club swoops in for him and say he could have been our Hazard. The lad is worth the 37 million trust me

  42. Rickybel

    We have a Watch Partner
    “@Arsenal: We are delighted to announce that JEANRICHARD is now Arsenal’s Official Watch Partner and global partner of the club

  43. TheBayingMob

    He is worth 37m yes, Wenger should look at the examples of Cabaye and Mata, he should be considering that if it works out (which it normally does for quality), he’ll be able to sell him to a direct rival for a profit in 2 to 3 seasons, for ‘footballing reasons’ of course …

  44. Jeff

    Welcome back to the PL Mr Special One or is it Mr “Not So Happy” One.

    “This is not the best league in the world; this is football from the 19th century,”

    “The only other thing I could bring was a Black and Decker to destroy the wall.”

    Mourinho’s comments are baffling considering he’s not exactly “new” to the PL. And the hypocrisy is dazzling. What about the game he played against us. Wasn’t that all defend, defend, defend as well? We accuse Wenger of senility but I think Jose is going to beat him to it.


  45. WengerEagle

    If we did bid 2.5 million for Kalou failing to sign Draxler it would scream of 2011 when instead of signing Eden Hazard we signed Gervinho *shudders and splashes cold water in face as typing this*

  46. WengerEagle

    RE the bottom of the table, it’s very simple I have one wish- to see Stoke and that hideous cunt Mark Hughes relegated to the Championship! Make it happen footballing Gods

  47. Jeff


    I know; he must have been reeling when the game finished. We ourselves have been on the receiving end of such games and it’s not nice but to accuse the other side of playing football from the 19th century (what does that even mean) because they chose to defend rather than attack is just silly.

  48. TheBayingMob

    WE, I’m with you … let’s head to the alter and pray together and drinketh at the cup of the holy Stella … mind you, Hughes is doing well at getting them to play some pretty shit football, I’d rather Toilet Penis and Palace were gone, not that I dislike Palace, I just fucking hate Pulis more than Hughes, even thoguh Hughes is a fat headed cunt …

  49. TheBayingMob

    Kalou … I think Wenger has the biggest crush on him ever, I wonder if he carves AW 4 SK FOREVA in the bark of trees, you know shit like that??

  50. Moray

    Wenger Eagle, the problem is that Hughes will probably be offered another shit Premiership job and be stinking the place up again. The lower reaches of the Premiership are a merry go round of cunts.

    As for Matuidi, it’s a no brainer. He’s French African, small and almost out of contract. What is not for Wenger to like? The only problem is that PSG do NOT need the money to sell him. They probably spend more on polishing Zlatan’s nut sack than we would offer for Matuidi. If we can get 2-3 bodies through the door in the RIGHT positions, then things could be looking more healthy, though why we haven’t learnt yet not to leave it to the last minute is beyond me.

  51. Jeff

    We have another morning with a frenzy of reports all converging on Draxler. I just hope it’s not woo woo. As for Vucinic, it appears his sole purpose is to do a short term job (i.e. cover for Giroud) but I agree with others that he is not what we would consider as an upgrade to our nice but slow and clumsy forward.

  52. goonerDNA

    “He’s French African, small and almost out of contract. What is not for Wenger to like? ”

    He’s not German and German is the new French African

  53. WengerEagle


    Let’s compromise: We’ll take Pulis and Hughes out on a ‘fishing trip’ only for them never to return to England again! Fed-Ex them in a box to the Taliban with the American Flag painted on their foreheads would be my preference

  54. Moray

    WengerEagle, it might take more than that. Hughes once played off a broken leg and only discovered it when he had a medical a few years later when transferring clubs. Tough old player. Shit old manager. unfortunately