Arsenal: Built to fail

by .

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There’s always a result in the season that comes with a heavy match report. Not because I don’t have an opinion, but because the situation totally flatlines me. Yesterday, I didn’t expect to lose. I didn’t expect to see a squad fighting for the title turn up and give nothing. I didn’t expect Stoke to be the team who would kill our season.

Yesterday was a surprise, but when you add up all the failings of the manager over the past year, it really shouldn’t have been such a big one.

Arsenal are set up to fail. Arsene, sets Arsenal up to fail. He does the same thing every season. It’s embarrassingly predictable. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result isn’t the definition of insanity, it’s the definition of negligence… but here’s the thing, negligence for me is a failure to act upon something when you know the outcome could be bad. My issue here is that calling Arsene negligent assumes he knows his actions will lead to failure… I honestly don’t believe he knows that. I think he thinks what he’s doing will eventually lead to glory and that’s the tragedy here.

I don’t want to labour on the game too hard, because it’s simply too depressing. The point about yesterday is that Arsene lined up with a rotated team and the performance that was dropped was a disgrace. So many issue all over the park from players who didn’t look like they were interested.

Key issues:

Strikers:

Ok, we’ve been here before, right? Loads of times. Arsenal have the worst strike force in the top 6. Simple as that. We’ve known for two seasons that Giroud is not a world class striker, nor will he ever be. The failure over two transfer windows to land a striker is beyond embarrassing. It’s an utter failure of the club and the manager.

Anyway, back to Giroud. You need strikers. You need more than one. Because what has happened here is that Giroud is pretty bang average on good day. Now we’ve hit the business end of the season he’s unexpectedly been caught shagging anyone who knows where his hotel room is. He’s not only fatigued, he’s now shot mentally. Anyone who has been caught out doing something they shouldn’t will know the outrageous stress it puts on your life. So now we have an average player performing below par. He was totally anonymous yesterday.

… but here’s the joke. We’re chasing a title, Giroud is having another stinker… so we bring on Sanogo. I don’t mean to be derrogotary to the lad, I like his attitude and I like his passion, but right now, he’s not good enough. He’s not experienced and he doesn’t possess the quality to be playing second fiddle for a top 4 team. His blast over the bar at the death said it all.

Who is that situation down to? Wenger.

Motivation

Chelsea went into half time having played out a 45minute shocker against Fulham. His players went in at halftime expecting the hair dryer. Mourinho walked into the dressing room and said nothing. The players went out  for the second half and destroyed Fulham.

What did Arsene do before the game?

What did Arsene do at half time?

Where was the reaction? Where was the fight? Who wanted to cement their reputation as the legend that pulled us out of the hole we found ourselves in? Nobody. They all flatlined. Nobody wanted to stand up and be counted. There was no Tony Adams moment. There was not Patrick Vieira moment. There was no spirit. No passion to fight for the win

… why? Answer me that? How can you send a team out with 10 or so games to play with not motivation? It’s embarrassing. The players should be ashamed, but so should the manager who sat idly by on the side lines and allowed that to happen.

Squad

We don’t have the squad to deal with the Premier League. It’s as simple as that. Arteta, I love him, but he doesn’t have the legs anymore. Jack Wilshere, looked jaded and heavy legged again. Maybe he was ill? Maybe he’d had a rough night? Whatever it was, he shouldn’t have started. But the key issue with the squad is we don’t have the ingredients you need to change games.

The worst decision outside of not signing a striker in the summer was the absolute atrocity that was January.

Theo Walcott was out back up striker. Think what you like about his ability but he possesses explosive pace and he delivers goals and assists. He picked up his injury on the 5th of January. Arsenal do not have pace anywhere else in the squad, bar maybe Chambo. Why did Arsene not go all out to purchase a striker to cover off what we lost?

Next issue. Aaron Ramsey is both explosive and powerful. He dominates midfield. He’s one of the best in the league. We lost him to serious injury in December… then we lost him at the end of January to a second serious injury. Why did we not look to replace his attributes? Why was there no plan in place to bring in someone else? What, on any level of logical professionalism, was Arsene thinking with Kallstrom? The Premier League is pace and power… the optimum physical peak for a pro footballer is 29… Wenger goes out and signs an unfit broken journeyman who stinks of average to support our season.

Chelsea signed Matic, why weren’t we in for him? Liverpool went in hard for Konoplyanka? Why weren’t we sniffing around him? Why didn’t we push hard for a striker early in the window? What sort of professional outfit waits to see who is around at the end of a window in the hope of picking up a bargain… when they have £140m available to spend?

It’s quite unbelievable we didn’t move for anyone. But this is the issue, we’re a club built to fail. Our scouting network is beyond repair under the current regime. When was the last time we snared a left field signing? Why aren’t we buying in power and pace… the two key ingredients you need to succeed in the Premiership. What’s crazier for me, is that the teams of yesteryear that used to win things were built on exceptional power and pace! Overmars, Ljungberg, Pires, Paddy, Petit, Adams, Keown, Ashley Cole, Lauren, Thierry… we just don’t have players with those attributes anymore.

Which is why we can’t sustain an assault on the Premier League.

Yesterday was a shock to me, but when you look at the team, the management and the way the club is set up, it’s pretty clear why we don’t win things anymore.

Moving Forward:

This is where things get interesting. Being realistic, we have to look at top 4 being the challenge now, not the title. Now, if you put on your logical glasses, some decisions have to be made about how we approach the next gaggle of games.

The Champions League is gone. Give up. Forget about it. We don’t have a side built to win that. Even if we somehow create a miracle and qualify, all we’re doing is granting ourselves a stay of execution. So the manager needs to make a decision. Give it up, focus on what’s important.

For me, that’s firstly the FA Cup. The club need a trophy, that trophy is realistic. If we beat Everton, that puts us into a semi final. Two games and we shake the dreaded ‘no trophy for a decade’ noose. The fans will forgive a lot if we win that. Then it’s Bayern. Put out a reserve team for that game because the game after that is Spurs. We need a fresh squad. Win there, that puts us 9 points clear assuming they win today. Lose there, and that reduces the gap to 3 points. Then we’re in trouble.

The Stoke loss couldn’t have come at a worse time… international week… then 5 really hard games back to back. Arsene Wenger sides are notoriously fragile mentally, so he really needs to do all he can to get the club back on track.

Conclusion:

Football is a game of marginal gains. Management of a football club isn’t rocket science or wizardry. It’s just a case of taking care of the details. If you don’t analyse opponents you lose 1%. If you over train players, you lose 1%. If you don’t have a great scouting network, you lose 1%. If you don’t rotate, you lose 1%. Add up all the 1%’s… it becomes pretty obvious why we don’t win things. Yesterday was an amalgamation of a seasons worth of missed details. It shouldn’t surprise you, but it’ll always disappoint you, because we deserve better from out manager and we deserve better from our club.

Wenger:

I’m not going to talk about my opinion on his future when I’m so disappointed, but what I’ll say is this… he hasn’t signed his deal. He could have signed that a month ago when he was smashing all that went before him. It’s telling that he’s not put pen to paper. There are clearly doubts creeping into his mind. It’s going to be a very interesting few weeks, especially if this season goes to pot in typically spectacular fashion.

More thoughts on Wenger and the future tomorrow…

443 Responses to “Arsenal: Built to fail”

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  1. karim

    Flamini has had a good season, only Radio Raheem constantly stood on the other side

    Dale
    Come on mate, show some objectivity
    No need to make things up in our current situation anyway imo

  2. Crusaderrabbit

    Quite frankly think there’s little point in arguing the merits of this player over that player in our team.

    Think there’s little point in debating how good Stoke are, whether it was a penalty, whether our rivals also lost to them of have been beaten by so called weaker teams.

    Think there’s little point wondered about the ins and outs of yet another transfer deal we effed up.

    Make it clear and simple – forget all these inconsequential matters – focus on the one that counts. Do you want Wenger to be in charge next season – yes or no?

  3. goona

    the fact wenger makes subs at the same time in every game regardless of score or situation at the same time….makes them pointless anyway….easy to predict for the opposition. …that and the fact we have shit on the bench to replace the shit on the pitch

  4. lamia

    I must question whether the players players crave success as much as the supporters. I am a a loss to explain a performance like Stoke. I can accept a loss but what is unacceptable is the manner of the defeat. How can you deliver a flat performance when you are vying for the title. The only time we change our approach is in CL matches when we are up against superior opposition like Bayern.

    The lifeblood and attitude of a team stems from the manager. That is why manure was so successful because they had Ferguson. We have a demented idealist in charge, raging against the way modern football is going. Arsenal are a unique club. We have a manager who earns more that the top players. At other clubs you would have managers pestering the board to make signings they cannot afford, because his future employment depends results, whilst at our club the board has to beg the manager to make signings, and the CEO resorts to telling the press we have money to spend in an effort to force his hand.

    I am beginning to dislike Wenger and this should not be so. He has been a great manager and we owe him so much,so many great memories. But the game has changed and he hasn’t evolved. We can mock Chelsea and City and correctly point out they have no history and without their money would naturally gravitate to their third tier status,but for kids growing up now they are making history.

    I cannot face another summer of Wenger in charge. knowing the areas that we need to strengthen only to be frustrated by wengers stubbornness and penny pinching ways. I accept we will win nothing this season. Please go while we still have fond memories of your achievements.

  5. karim

    How many forgotten penalties and yellow cards did you see during the Madrid derby ?
    I d go for at least 3 pens and 5 yellow cards, especially xabi Alonso
    Winner spends next summer with Mike Dean

  6. Crusaderrabbit

    Keyser – I think people should have to state there position as part of their post. Whilst I know there’s many factors in the state of our team I do think it comes down to this one issue which is pretty black or white now. Do you want him there next season?

  7. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    You could see by the slow pace and bad passing in the first half we needed a change. We brought on Ozil to help with this in the 65th min. Im ok with this but why not bring in Ox too so he can have some pace to pass to. OX came on 75th min. Made an immediate impact. Just think if we would have had 45 mins.
    Sanogo at 80 th min. No time to get into game flow. Sure enough chance falls to him.

    A reasonable, sane person could see we needed a change at half. Reasonable, sane is how we judge guilt. I find Arsene guilty of bad sub pattern.

  8. leon

    well i am glad wenger has not signed a new contract and just hoping if this team does end up winning nothing he does right thing just leave

  9. kwik fit

    The Voice

    Imagine the contestants expressions when they’re told that the song they have to sing to showcase their voice is ‘The boulevard of broken dreams’ by…………Green Day?…………………….Nah Smokie! Priceless 🙂

  10. Keyser

    MidwestGun – Don’t do that reasonable, sane stuff, undermines any point you might be trying to make, and you sound like an affable chap and one of the few who actually expresses why he thinks the tactics needed to be changed.

    The slow pace has been there all year, especially against disciplined teams who sit deep, we’ve got a fair few points doing this, keeping it tight in the first half and going on to score in the second.

    You don’t make the change at the half, partly because of this, partly because you’d want to give them time to adapt, didn’t happen, Ozil came on, I’d have kept Podolski on and taken Rosicky off because he was already on a booking, other than that Ox ? He’s started 5 games and came on as a sub 5 times since coming back from injury.

    Lastly the goal, we’ve shown all year that we struggle if we concede first, this isn’t something new and it’s another reason why we try to keep it tight for soo long.

    The worst part for me was Cazorla opting for the shot, it’s pretty annoying with all the long range shot sycophants failing to reaslise why our game’s all about passing to the player in the better position, but that summed it up, summed up the team and pretty much the whole season.

    It’s all been about fine margins, that one decision, and there’s no guarantee Podolski wouldn’t have scored, but that’s the decision that has got us where we are to the point before the Stoke game, passing to the player in the better Situation.

    Other than that it’s just a microcosm of the whole season. We might not have enough to overwhelm the bigger teams, but Stoke we could’ve been nastier, that bit more aggressive, maybe they really are just on their last legs.

  11. Keyser

    Crusderrabit – I don’t really think it’s a issue at all, but yeah I want him here next season, though I have doubts he will be.

  12. Gregg

    Some of the comments stagger me on here sometimes. The excuses for Wilshere all the time, saying he needs a rest etc. He’s started 19 league games out of 28 for gods sake. The plain and simple fact of the matter, when it comes to Wilshere. he has been awful, he has not stepped up to the plate at all and that’s just as much his fault as anyone elses.

  13. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Ok fair enough. Thats your view I guess. I still think its unreasonable to look at a game and see it needs something and wait until your proscribed sub time to make a change.
    Arsene sticking to his substitution philosophy no matter what, to me, seems ridiculous.
    Doesnt seem reasonable as I said.
    Ok I retract the sane, part. Lol. Little over the top.

  14. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Kwik

    Better than watching that shower of shit yesterday.
    Watched a good few games this week and I realise how far off the mark we are, our tempo is so slow it reminds me of the old Italian Serie A, but without the ability.
    The pressing and fast paced passing game played by the top teams makes us look like a pub team.

  15. Keyser

    MidWestGun – Mate, it’s not unreasonable if you can see why, it’s been like that all year, because this team can’t sustain quick midfield transitions without sacrificing the stability against conceding a goal, the first half performance wasn’t anything new at all.

  16. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Midwest

    The problem with wenger is that he is reactive bordering on inactive while managers like Maureen, Pep, Fergie and other top managers are proactive, they see the signs before the fans whereas wenger needs to be told by the fans.

  17. Crusaderrabbit

    Keyser – well that’s your opinion and – whilst I disagree completely – you’re more than entitled to it. I admire much of what he has achieved and am not always convinced Manager A or Manager B would do better over the last 10 or so years (though I think we would have won something). However the predictable nature of our performance as a team over those seasons and our activities in the transfer windows during this period means a change has to happen if we’re to break this cycle of disappointment. Even if the club struggle in the short term – the Wenger era must end

  18. kwik fit

    86=06

    Its so frustrating cos we do have the ability to play with a quick tempo. We just didn’t seem to get out of third gear yesterday. Its almost as if the team feel ‘their work is done’ (top 4) and that the title is not even in their thoughts.
    It’s criminal if true. Yesterday we lacked gits and desire and we can discuss the various permutations all we want but ultimately there’s only one guy to blame……….’evving kevin.

  19. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Stoke and quick midfield transition, for me, doesn’t compute. Agree our first half performances are lethargic ,but to me that doesn’t mean we can’t make a sub at halftime. I dont think bringing Ox on at half would have sacrificed defense.

  20. Uchmangunnernaija

    Wenger out! Arsenal is a laughing stock for all the teams in the league. No team is scared of us. They know we won’t win, they loudly proclaim this and they are proven right.

  21. Gambon

    Keyser talking dross as usual. He never thinks Wenger is wrong. He always seem to agree with whatever decision he makes.
    Fuck off you AKB mug!

  22. leon

    unlike alot fans inmy opinion i think the squad is not not that bad but you need compliment that with some pace and power real dynamic players.

    also some fans i think were slating chalsea managers comments about wenger,i need say this i dont like the chelsea manager as a person at all but when it comes to tactics i feel he is a far better manager and the fact is there nothing he said was untrue to go that many years without winning a single trophie is failier.

  23. northern gooner

    Uchmangunnernaija
    Fair point about us not winning anything but that’s the same for 17 other teams in the league.
    We have just been better than the rest fir the last few years.
    In Wenger we rust.

  24. Jeff

    Maybe someone took Suarez aside and told him what Wenger is really like. That’s enough to put anyone off CL or no CL.

  25. Norfolk

    CrusaderrabbitMarch 2, 2014 18:56:59
    “………..focus on the one that counts. Do you want Wenger to be in charge next season – yes or no?”

    That will be a big no from me.

  26. northern gooner

    1886-2006

    At least saints are on fire. I’m more of a rugby fan at the moment.
    I’m gunna have to listen to all the mouthy scousers in work tomorrow telling me ” it’s there year”

  27. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Kwik

    lot better pics with safe search turned off.

    On the subject of getting out of third gear that has been our problem for too long now, it should have been remedied a while ago, it seems to be a festering sore and we have Dr Nick Riviera as our surgeon (manager).

  28. Uchmangunnernaija

    Northern gooner,
    Yea but those other 17 teams don’t flatter to deceive. We all know they won’t win the league, but at times they show a bit more hunger in their games than us. Arsenal just tease their supporters, the so called ‘doomers’ clearly see this. Till Wenger leaves we won’t win anything. Guarantee you if Everton or Newcastle had as much revenue and status as Arsenal, they’ll definitely be ahead of us.

  29. kwik fit

    northern gooner

    What is it with the north west 4 games 4 defeats
    United 1/0
    City 6/3
    Pool 5/1
    Stoke 1/0
    12 points dropped in north west.
    Only Everton left early April.

  30. Keyser

    MidwestGun – No but Ox has started 5 games and another 5 as a sub. we’ve kept it tight all year and then scored the odd goal after the break, you’re saying this with hingsight, if you look back on all our games this year, how many times would you say make a change at the half, you can read the comments back for yourself, I don’t even think it’s lethargy, a bit of complaceny maybe especially after how easy last weeks game was, but we just have very few players who can sustain a high energy game for 90 minutes, so they’ve learn’t to adapt.

  31. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Northern

    I was just about to say the same thing about the Saints, great start to the season.

    I have a good few scousers around me as well, I live in Cork City and it is all Manu and ‘Pool while the youngsters are all Chavs, City and Barca supporters, the young Arsenal fan is rarer than a giroud sprint over here and from what I hear back at home it is becoming the same there.
    Kids these days want stars and success from the off, they don’t seem to follow in the family footsteps anymore. I guess if they are priced out of going to the matches then they will latch on to the glamour teams on the box, they do not seem to get the chance to develop some affinity with their families club if they cannot go, shame really.

  32. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    Not saying you have to make sub at half every game, just adapt to the situation. I agree I am looking at it with hindsight but, as I said, a reasonable person viewing that game could see it was necessary.

    I believe Arsene at one point was a top tactical manager. At this point,I think the game has passed him by. It happens to the best. In my opinion, its time for a change.

  33. SpanishDave

    Nine years of nothing, when you keep saying it , its hard to believe. No other club in the world would put up with this failure.
    He gets in one year what we would get in 3 life times about 120 years working. We have every right to hound him out for this.

  34. Dissenter

    @Northern gooner

    Don’t disagree with you when you said “Fair point about us not winning anything but that’s the same for 17 other teams in the league”

    It’s just that none of those “17 other teams” have £120 million in unspent transfer funds in their piggy bank. None of those other teams can afford to play their manager 7.5 million in salary every year.

    To be fair, None of the “17 other teams” would have signed a crock to cover a player who was out injured.

  35. kwik fit

    Midwest

    That was back in 2008 and then I actually thought he was a top manager. Reality is he ‘got lucky’ with a few top signings. He should have won the Champions league a few time’s with the players at his disposal. At that time I never seen it and thought he was the bees knees. How wrong was I.

  36. Keyser

    MidwestGun – That’s what half-times for, you keep saying reasonable, yet a reasonable person would have looked for a bigger sample pool, to see if there’s patterns from the whole season, two of these are that we keep it tight in the first half, score if we can, and generally if we score first we win, whereas if we concede first we drop a fair few points as we struggle to get back in the game.

    Overall I think the biggest criticism anyone can place is obviously that’s it’s been 9 years cumulative, the rest is just filler.

  37. MidwestGun

    Kwik –

    Its very hard to be the best at anything for 17 years. Thats just the cold reality.
    At some point, your skills diminish. Time for someone new.

  38. wenker-wanger

    Wenger out and I have consistently said that for 3 years. He is the biggest charlatan in football, lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. The champagne is in the fridge ready for his departure. Love arsenal hate wenger and would prefer us to lose to everton and finish 5th if it meant wewere rid of this utter failure.

  39. MarbleHall

    Ronaldo joining Arsenal is an old story.
    The fact is Ronaldo joined Man Utd because they offered him treble the amount of wages he would have received ay Arsenal.
    The player admits as such himself.

  40. kwik fit

    Its very hard to be the best at anything for 17 years. Thats just the cold reality.
    At some point, your skills diminish.
    ————————————————-

    Viagra?

  41. MidwestGun

    Keyser –

    I understand what our pattern has been and the strategy. But this game called for something different. . Regardless, bringing Ox on at half would not have jeopardized our ability to score first, it would have increased it, no?

    And as I said,Ox with his speed is not a defensive liability. And if an extra 30 mins was gonna make his fitness suffer than he shouldn’t have been on the bench.

  42. MarbleHall

    The warning signs regarding Wenger were there long before this current losing streak.
    If you didn’t suss it at the time, go and check up the history.

  43. Bermy boy

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah, we are in fourth place where we belong, for a minute I was dreaming we were in the lead and bought new players.

    Ahhhh it was only a dream let me go back to sleep.

  44. Keyser

    MidwestGun – Like Podolski getting a rare start away from home ? Rosicky in midfield ? You’re placing far too much emphasis on this game or the subs considering firstly it might’ve made no difference at all, secondly we’ve seen how fine these margins are all season.

    The criticism for this year could be aimed at the transfer windows, or the depth of the squad if you want, but like I said it’s all filler with the overbearing monkey on our backs.

    I mean are you showing reason now ? Ox shouldn’t have been on the bench ? and then if he gets injured what then ? Would you be saying ‘Oh had no idea he needed a bit of a rest’, likewise Ozil.

  45. kwik fit

    Midwest

    Nah I think their sexy hold ups. Alan looks quite fetching in them don’t you think. He really suits pink it brings out the colour of his eyes.

  46. MidwestGun

    Keyser
    I do blame transfers, depth of the squad, etc…. I just also blame in game tactics.
    And I don’t think it unreasonable to do so. After not winning anything as u pointed out. It brings everything into play. I wonder if a different manager could have done better with the same players.

  47. Keyser

    MidwestGun – I don’t really mind, as long as you can see both sides of the argument, when you say reasonable or sane it’s annoying because I could easily argue the opposite. I’d even say you’re being unreasonable by placing soo much emphasis on one game, but then people are now obviously not really looking at it with a clear head, the frustration of all those years is just too close to the surface.

    In the end I think Wenger could’ve/should’ve swayed a little from what’s kept us in the top 4 to win the odd trophy we needed to give the fans with something to cheer about.

    Like in 2011, before the Cup final, Wenger played a strong side against Stoke, both Walcott and Fabregas were injured in the game and missed the final, we remained in the running for the title at that point for another game, but we lost key players for a trophy that we were favourites for.

  48. Johnty79

    You r all getting what you deserve. You all raved about Ozil you all cheered when we were top. I knew what would happen and told you the dance would collapse when we started playing two games aweek.

    I would rather we finish fifth then win the lotteryWenger has destroyed this club. I’d rather get relegated trying to win the league then not try at all.

    I also prey Liverpool win the league as they deserve it and there fans deserve it. 50% of the people at new highbury are bored rich people with nothing better to do. The last 8 years have been the worst in our history. And wenger is to blame.

    I hope Everton stuff us, I prey spurs finish above us just to lose this club some money and get wenger out.

  49. Johnty79

    Oh and Chris samba would of won us would of won us multiple trophies in the last four years and we would of won yesterday…why cos he’s got heart. And can play up front in an emergency.

    Good night wenger apologists enjoy your disaster of a season.

  50. MidwestGun

    Keyser –
    No I always try to see both sides. But at this point, I just cant do status quo anymore. So I admit, I nitpick everything Wenger does, especially tactically, because thats what interests me ,not necessarily the finances.

  51. Invincibles

    Wenger should of done this, wenger should of done that. What a load of shite. Wenger does failure thats all he’s good at, he was a lucky manager, right place right time, knew the french kids set up as they were the best in the world at the time. Now he’s luck has run out he is showing exactly what he is, a piss poor manager, tactically inept, coaching skills of a pe teacher. Average as fuck.

  52. northern gooner

    Kwik
    there is one common denominator.
    I attended those matches.
    Think I will swerve the Everton game…..

    1886-2006
    I know what you mean about kids being priced out my lad is only 2 and I’m doing my very best to brain wash him.
    With us not winning anything it’s gunna make my job a lot harder. Hopefully by the time he starts school Wenger will have gone and we may start winning a trophy or 3.

  53. hackneylad

    Why is everyone repeating each other? Talking about the fact we need a change of management.

    It’s obvious to all of us his going at the end of the season!

    It’s for the best!

    What we need to be talking about is who the replacement they have lined up.

    I have a fear it was disappointing and lack lustre maybe not a full on Moyes on disaster scale but more a meh not good enough manager! Hope I am wrong though.

  54. DB10

    If anyone still thinks Wenger is the right man for the job then I give up … Painfully apparent that he has lost the plot, we need Klopp and his enthusiasm .. He would have ripped them all a new one during half time at Stoke .. Wenger just talks about mental strength ! Enough is Enough even if we miraculously win a trophy this season ….

  55. leon

    looking at the team as it defensively i they look very good but thats just my opinion in the middle they are very disciplined but lack physicality its shame song did not have arteter discipline.also i feel the team plack dynamic players with pace and power players like chaimberlain.i dont have problem with girude he works his socks off but has hard as he works he will never get to level of a drogba,henry.i am very impressed with podiolski either

  56. MidwestGun

    Hackney –
    Not obvious when Gazidis has publicly confirmed that AW will be signing an extension. No reason to doubt him. Can only hope AW steps out if he doesn’t succeed in winning anything, again. To think that the board has a succession plan tho? Probably not.

  57. hackneylad

    Juergen FLOP more like!

    You seen Dortmund lately? Not looking the master tactician now…

    Before you say bbbb bbb bbb bbbbuutttttttt Bayernnnnnnnnnnnn In (forest gump voice)

    Everyone uses the same excuses for Klopp that AKB’s use for Wenger.

    As in Rich opponents(Bayern) who buy all of his best players(gotze, lewandowski) yet they don’t get the irony of their words?

    Need a hint?

    Here is a set of different keywords

    Nasri, Cesc, Rvp, Ashley cole ect….

    Man City Man united Barcelona Chelsea

    Klopp is a flop

    Wenger out DIEGO IN!!!

  58. hackneylad

    Midwest

    One word Diego!

    I lied!

    two words

    Diego Simeone

    Simeone’s side have averaged just 47.3% possession in La Liga this term – 18.6% behind Barcelona (65.9%) – while their pass accuracy is at a relatively mediocre 78.3%. With Atlético, their approach appears to differ from that of rivals Real or Barcelona. The conventional duopoly in Spain looks to stifle the opposition by retaining possession, probing the defence and “suffocating” their adversary before delivering the knockout blow.

    Spain’s second best team, however, have adopted a much more ruthless style of play, aligned to Simeone’s attitude during his days marshaling the midfield for the team he currently manages. He likened his style to that of a man “holding a knife between his teeth” whenever he took to the field, prepared to battle his way to victory by any means necessary, and his current Atlético side have encapsulated this since his appointment.

    Espanyol are the only team currently in the top half of the table that are committing more fouls per game (17) than Atlético (15.3), while the 37 yellow cards they’ve picked up this term is just 9 below the league’s worst disciplined team, Elche (46). Granted, the number of fouls committed by Atlético isn’t at it’s highest since the 2009/10 season, but with their figure only 0.3 behind their average last season (15.6) the level of consistency, in that respect, under Simeone is clear.

    Team Focus: Simeone’s Atlético Madrid Mirroring His Playing Style

    While the drop in fouls per game is particularly negligible, the number of tackles per game has risen from 23 last season to 26.4 this, with that return the highest in La Liga and the most for Atlético over the last 5 domestic campaigns. In his second full season in charge of Madrid’s supposed “second team”, the message sent out by Simeone of ‘win by any means necessary’ is beginning to take effect.

    This is perhaps epitomised in a WhoScored style of play showing that ‘opponents play aggressively against them’, possibly in order to match Atlético over the 90 minutes. Unfortunately for those that come up against Simeone’s side, this is exactly how the manager would prefer rival teams set up against Atlético, such was his approach to the game during his playing days.

    With their ability to ‘control the game in the opposition’s half’ a further statistically calculated style of play, their aggressive approach will benefit them further as they look to press higher up the pitch to win possession and, as a result, increase the likelihood of scoring. Their combativeness may mean that they’re aforementioned foul count is high but stands them in good stead when defending high pressure situations, resulting in Atlético developing a WhoScored strength of ‘defending set pieces’.

    The goalkeeping capability of Courtois and defensive solidity of Miranda and Diego Godín has aided in this, while any time Atlético are faced with a set piece from a dangerous position, they are rightly confident of denying the opposition from scoring. This has ensured that the side have conceded just the 9 goals in Spain this season, only Barcelona (8) have shipped fewer, while the 9.2 shots per game Atlético are conceding this term is the lowest in the Primera Division.

    That’s an improvement on last season’s 10.1 and highlights how defensively resolute Atlético have become under the stewardship of Simeone. Limiting the opposition to minimal chances, much like the number of tackles made and fouls committed per game, matches the former playing style of their head coach. Furthermore, the fluidity of their attack provided by the likes of Villa, Costa, Koke and Arda Turan means the 38 goals they’ve scored this season is fewer than only Real Madrid (40) and Barcelona (42), highlighting their WhoScored strengths of ‘creating scoring chances’ and ‘finishing scoring chances’.

    It’s plainly obvious that Simeone has improved Atlético, of that there is no doubt. Los Rojiblancos may not be the most aesthetically pleasing of teams on the continent, regardless of their recent 7-0 win over Getafe, but the Argentine has his team playing in a way that mirrors his mindset from the past and matches the knife-in-mouth quip associated with him.

    Many wouldn’t have expected the Madrid based outfit to be in the position they find themselves following the sale of Falcao, but like they have done in the past after a big name striker is sold, Atlético have exceeded expectations and shown that they’re capable of challenging La Liga’s dominant duo once again. Much of that has been down the managerial qualities of Simeone and it’s fairly evident that his approach has formed a more resolute, formidable and ruthless Atlético.

  59. Phil

    Just to add to the argument. Wenger is inept and not a top class manager. No trophies in 10 years. I echo the sentiment mentioned earlier about our kids and supporting teams which have the ability to win things. It’s a shame because my two are avid arsenal supporters but due to the dick heads in charge the chance of silverware is a distant dream for these. As long as wenger is earning 8 mill a year it’s all good..

    It’s arsenal football club not arsene wenger plc

  60. MidwestGun

    Hackney –
    Diego Simeone is a good manager no doubt. Would be a good choice. But until I hear Wenger say, Im not coming back, I can’t speculate.
    If AW has somehow indicated to the board he isn’t coming back privately then I hope they have a list. But, somehow, I doubt it.

  61. Cesc Appeal

    Do people think Wenger leaving will make Kroenke get itchy feet?

    He has no clue about soccer and has up till now left Wenger in total charge of it.

  62. Cesc Appeal

    I worry Wenger will get to choose his replacement and it’ll be someone like Dragan Stojkovic, I know Wenger has said that’s the man he wants to replace him.

    I can’t see Wenger signing off on anyone who might actually win something right away…worse win something with the players already there.

  63. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Eh, I doubt it. He owns an MLS side too. Colorado Rapids. Put his son in charge. Which is why I assume his son is on the Arsenal board now.

  64. Cesc Appeal

    Midwest

    The hypocritical, money orientated nature of the people who run, and ran our club has totally sold it down the swanny.

    We’re just in a never ending cycle of failure and it’s utterly shocking that it’s taken this long for people to start waking up to it.

  65. Cesc Appeal

    Midwest

    Yeah perhaps – might end up being a good thing.

    What’s the betting Ozil becomes a scapegoat for all the apologists? That he didn’t live up to the billing, Wenger trusted him etc

    When as the commentator said before the Stoke game, ‘for everyone saying Ozil is struggling he’s created more chances than any other player in any of Europe’s top 5 divisions.’

    So Ozil is doing his job…that’s what he does, so there’s a problem with the takers of those chances in the quality and lack of them…not a problem with Ozil.

  66. MidwestGun

    Watching that Rm Am game today. The comparison between those teams and Arsenal are shocking. Ozil probably feels like he got relegated playing with Giroud and Sanogo. Ozil can play better but he can’t perform miracles.

  67. Keyser

    “When as the commentator said before the Stoke game, ‘for everyone saying Ozil is struggling he’s created more chances than any other player in any of Europe’s top 5 divisions.’”

    The commentator gives you a sense of perspective and you twist it to your own needs. Says it all really.

  68. Dale Rios

    ”Almost a year to the day, Wenger’s side lost 2-1 at Tottenham and their chances of finishing in the top four looked slim. But they went unbeaten until the end of the season to finish above their north London rivals and the Frenchman believes his team can produce a similar run this year.”

    Lets look at the fixtures we had after that game:

    Swansea(a) won 2-0
    Reading(h) won 4-1
    WBA(a) won 2-1
    Norwich(h) won 3-1
    Everton(h) drew 0-0
    Fulham(a) won 1-0
    QPR(a) won 1-0
    Wigan(h) won 4-1
    Newcastle won 1-0
    Man U(h) drew 1-1

    8 f our last 10 fixtures were against teams in the bottom half of the table.

  69. Keyser

    What was Ozil thinking when he took the penalty then ? Seriously is there any point in bothering to try to be rational on here ?

  70. Same Story

    David Cameron@David_Cameron 50m
    I spoke to @BarackObama tonight. We agreed Russia’s actions are unacceptable & there must be significant costs if they don’t change course.

    Can’t be arsed with a WW3 right now, best not affect our 4th place trophy challenge.

  71. MarbleHall

    That’s not true.
    In Wenger’s early years at Arsenal they finished the season very strongly.
    The last few seasons Arsenal have tailed off alarmingly.
    Last season was an exception rather than the rule.

  72. MidwestGun

    Personally, Im just looking at the FA cup game at Everton. Win that and stay in the competition, maybe get some confidence. Then worry about league games. We lose get knocked out against Everton. Could be a rapid downward spiral. Hope Ramsey has his Superman cape on for the run in.

  73. salparadisenyc

    Morning comes early in Asia, awoke to this gem:

    “Can’t be arsed with a WW3 right now, best not affect our 4th place trophy challenge.”

    Brilliant over a morning coffee.

  74. Munitionsman

    A specialist in failure. Indeed. Who really believes we will beat Everton in the fa cup. And if we do we know in our hearts a wenger team will piss their pants rather than win something. At some point they will fail. Built to fail. Well said pedro

  75. Keyser

    The last two seasons have been about us doing what we can with what we cobbled together in the summer of 2011, they’ve been pretty weird, we’ve lost 8-2, beat Chelsea 5-3, Tottenham 5-2, lost 6-3 to Citeh, 5-1 to Liverpool, beat Munich and Dortmund in Germany, and Newcastle 7-3 just bytheby.

    We’ve had our worst start for 53 years, or spent several months between taking more points than any other team, culminating in last gasp qualification for the Champions League.

    Not sure how this season plays out, started well only to tail off ?

    I think Ozil and Ox will both start against Everton now.

  76. Keyser

    The Ozil stuff’s just mental, I think he’s quality, but he cost 43 million is on 180k a week, and you had people saying ‘Well what must he be thinking, Ronaldo to this’, yeah like now we’ve bought him all we need next is Ronaldo.

  77. MidwestGun

    Keyser,
    We dont need Ronaldo, just some speed. Why I miss Theo. They didnt really get to play together much which is sad. But compare Rm team speed to Arsenals. It would be an adjustment for anyone. Ox and Ozil could be a great partnership. Fingers crossed.

  78. Keyser

    The key word is ‘Compare’, we’ve finally bought someone over the 15m barrier, Real Madrid have that in almost every position.

    Theo’s not perfect, the Ox hasn’t really sustained any form and has a lot to learn, as does Ramsey, but it’s promising, I think if you looked at our tactics this year, they’ve been pretty interesting to see how we’ve done without pace or how we’ve accomodated soo many similarly skilled players, or how well our defence can do, or how easily it can be obliterated at times, hopefully the abiding memory isn’t us falling apart again and they get some reward for the work they’ve put in.

    It’s almost annoying half the team’s going to go off to the World Cup in the summer and won’t get a proper pre-season.

  79. MidwestGun

    World cup thing, annoying plus potential injuries. That and the US is drawn in the group with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. Ghana the worst team who we havent beat in forever. Hard to get excited for that. Lol.

  80. Mavis Breadknife

    Long time reader…

    And finally need to have my say – obviously this has been the only blog thats been warning of whats to come… and all I can say is – I totally agree…

    As fans where do we go from here?

    Well for me its the end.

  81. Clive Hill

    Pedro, that was a brilliant and masterfully restrained reaction to what was such a dismal event! But oh how many times we have seen such listless performances for the past too many years. I couldn’t bring myself to this site til late today. Not because I was angry but because frankly the will to care has been driven out of me. I was waiting for that performance and was totally unsurprised by it. As most who come to this site because there is nothing we can do to change things at what once, perhaps in delusion, we felt in some sense belonged to us.

    Anyway, I just wanted to remark on a tremendous piece of honest writing, resisting what must have been the urge to launch a tirade. And your ability to keep looking forward. To think Arsenal used to have a manager that looked forward and the people with the same dynamism behind him on the board.

    I don’t want to feel like I shouldn’t follow my team because I’m losing the passion that makes it worthwhile but my interest is morphing into another of life’s “who gives a fuck”. And after watching yesterday, its seems there are a lot around the club, on the field and off it, who don’t.

  82. wenker-wanger

    Its not the lack of silverware, its the lack of real passionate ambition to win a trophy. 4th place should be a disappointing consolation, not cause for a celebration. The 4th place trophy has probably affected the attitude of the players and. Their loss of form or inability to push themselves to the limit is the result of the weak ambition surrounding the club.

  83. Hitman49

    Clive hill

    Absolute gem of a post the best I’ve read on here for some time.
    Well said mate you and I feel the same I just couldn’t put it so eloquently .

  84. Crusaderrabbit

    Excellent post Clive – what upsets me most is that for the last few years what hurts the most isn’t the defeats (which feel inevitable) it’s the fact I can’t really celebrate the victories any more. Wenger & co drained my passion for the club (and I know am not alone in this) and that’s unforgivable – I hate has – as you say – I don’t really give enough if a fuck any more

  85. rumble_in_da_jungle

    Good post, bar this: ‘Arsenal are set up to fail. Arsene, sets Arsenal up to fail.’
    I dont think so Pedro. If Gazidis sets Aresne up and Arsene sets Arsenal up to fail, then Gazidis sets Arsenal up to fail.. And by extension , the board sets up Arsenal to fail because the board sets up Gazidis.
    Lets just face it: the way Arsenal is set up now, Arsene >>>> Arsenal. Its all about him, not the club anymore.
    Who will give us back our Arsenal?????
    Only ‘us’ can give us back our Arsenal.

  86. Musketeer

    Cesc Appeal March 2, 2014 23:10:27

    Midwest Yeah perhaps – might end up being a good thing.What’s the betting Ozil becomes a scapegoat for all the apologists? That he didn’t live up to the billing, Wenger trusted him etcWhen as the commentator said before the Stoke game, ‘for everyone saying Ozil is struggling he’s created more chances than any other player in any of Europe’s top 5 divisions.’So Ozil is doing his job…that’s what he does, so there’s a problem with the takers of those chances in the quality and lack of them…not a problem with Ozil.
    ———————————————————

    Well I’m remember the guy from Gunnerblog in a podcast for Arseblog saying he agrees with AW policy regarding passing and limited shooting, he said he would rather we held on to possession than give it away with speculative shooting.

    We have a striker who cannot turn and shoot literally, a striker, no really. They are all so afraid to take a shot and when they inevitably do we know why they don’t, we are poor at shooting in and around the box let alone form 25 yards.

    Scoring from actual shooting is and requirement top clubs need to win trophies consistently. We only have one recognised shot taker in Podolski, he does not play and cannot create his own space for it.

  87. jack

    Mourinho was spot on.

    ” Specialist in Failure ”
    But as far as Arsene and the board are concerned, 4th is success.
    Pedro, when will you ever come out and say whether you want Arsene to stay or go, or do you accept 4th as success also. ( if we get 4th)

  88. N5

    jack, I think Pedro has been more than clear on his thoughts about Wenger.

    Also regarding Mourinho, he’s a cunt so fuck anything that mug says!