Arsenal Chasing top 4, not the league – A point is good

by .

So I missed the pregame protest. As I understand it, it didn’t go well. Shockingly, not many people showed up.

I mean honestly, I don’t get it. 7,000 people on Twitter say they’ll be there. The moment comes, and they don’t show up?

Absolute shocker. 12 people showed. Like the unpopular kids birthday party (my 9th, to be precise).

This was the money shot…

Bj9o68rIQAAQuna

Interesting for many reason. Firstly, that the protest was about ticket price hikes, so not sure what that banner was all about. PEOPLE LOVE BANNERS though. This much is true. Secondly, 5 people around that banner have their phones out. The revolution will not be attended, but it’ll be live Tweeted for sure. Crazy eh? You’re at the game, doing the mega protest and you’re on your phone showing everyone how hard your protesting?

I don’t like protesting at games. I don’t agree that we’re in a situation that merits it. Clearly, fans aren’t ready for it, regardless of the noise online. Also, let’s call a spade a spade here, the protest isn’t about the 3%, it’s about Wenger. Look at that banner.

Anyway, eloquent banners aside. The game. This post is late because I treated myself to all the beer pregame. The sun was shining, it was a stunning day… I wanted to be suitably numb.

Well, I needn’t have worried, that game was suitably numb in itself!

I think.

Or was it the beer that made it numb?

City and Arsenal were both playing their third game in a week and it told. I thought City would come to destroy, but the reality is they came for a point. They sat back most of the game and absorbed pressure. Arsene lined up with a side that wasn’t really capable of launching any sort of attack, so we had to play it safe.

Arsenal typically average in the first half. City dominated play in the main, with Arsenal contributing one shot to their seven. City took the lead after we lost the ball. Silva was given far too much space, we didn’t have the pace to catch him, he picked out Dzeko who hit the post but Silva was there to bury the rebound. Bad times.

The second half saw Arsenal fight a bit harder. Cazorla really had a good game, he was driven and pushing as hard as he could to open up play. Problem was that he didn’t really have anyone to target. We did get our break though, I couldn’t really see what was going on because Arsenal played away from me in the second half, but Matty Flamini turned in what looked like a Lukas cross. It was a great finish. I’m sure he was probably trying to clear it!

That charged the crowd, not that we weren’t already making a lot of noise. We saw some resurgent play. Wenger didn’t bring on subs until pretty late. Chamberlain got everyone excited as he sat outwide on the right. We still struggled to get chances. I mean, chasing a game and the best we can do is bring on a rookie… it’s a bit amateur, but there you go.

The half played out, there was one amusing moment. The fans were chanting ‘wanker’ at Samir Nasri and he threw his hand up in a really camp manner, like he was owning up to being a wanker. We all laughed.

The game finished a point for each side. Fair result I’d say, but still pretty damn disappointing. We didn’t need a point, we needed three. But after the week we’ve had, I’d have taken anything outside a spanking, so happy days.

Tings to tink about:

Striker:

Man, I can’t keep writing it all the time, but Giroud really was garbage again yesterday. His averageness stank the ground out yesterday. It’s not his fault, but we really do need an upgrade this summer. A proper upgrade as well, none of this smart arsed stuff. We’re no good at that anymore. I want power, pace and a serious goal record.

Gears:

Because of the power problem in our side, we don’t have gears. Wenger literally had nothing to come from the bench. Sure Chambo is a talent, but he’s not really a game chasing talent at the moment. Outside that, we had Kim Kallstrom and Sanogo. That really is a joke. We need to add some serious depth this summer. Wenger needs 4 really top players and he needs to add to the squad where he can. We need proper competition. We shouldn’t be broken 4 players down.

Packs:

Really interesting watching City defend in packs. They didn’t press yesterday, but they pressed us when we attacked them. Countless times our players were dispossessed right to the end. I was chatting with the guys around me about our pressing game. We do it for the first three months of the season, then it disappears. Partly because the players don’t have the energy, but partly, I’m guessing, because Wenger doesn’t enforce it hard enough.

Concluding point:

We’re chasing 4th, not the league. A point is important. It puts Everton right up behind us. That’s a must win, because they’ll beat Fulham by a margin today. So overall, a good day and a refresh of our ambitions.

More tomorrow.

818 Responses to “Arsenal Chasing top 4, not the league – A point is good”

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  1. Just Curious

    The Premier League Title is Man City’s to lose… I don’t see Liverpool defeating both M. City and Chelsea.

    By the way the insults on this site should be toned down. There is no need to be so rude. We are supposedly on the same side even if we don’t sing from the same book (talk less of same page).

    Cheers.

  2. Leedsgunner

    We all know why Sherwood had to throw punches at his players don’t we? He forgot where he took off his boots (along with his tactics!)

  3. Arsene's Nurse

    Same Story March 30, 2014 22:32:54

    Did you do that on purpose mate, just after the man asked for the insults to be toned down.
    ————————————————————————————-
    It made me laugh.

    The thing is sometimes you refresh the page, type a bit of a comment then going and get a cup of tea or chase the TB ridden cat or watch a bit of telly or have some other distraction. Then you come back and finish the comment only for it to be out-dated.

  4. MidwestGun

    Nurse –
    Sooo true. Try typing it on a tablet in a tiny comment box and then try and edit and spellcheck. Then check spacing. By the time I hit enter. We are talking about the Liverpool Suarez deal again. Lol.

  5. Arsene's Nurse

    MidwestGun March 30, 2014 22:51:46

    Nurse –
    Sooo true. Try typing it on a tablet in a tiny comment box and then try and edit and spellcheck. Then check spacing. By the time I hit enter. We are talking about the Liverpool Suarez deal again. Lol.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    I was using my sister-in-laws tablet to post a comment to a different forum a few months ago when I was baby sitting. Mid-post I needed a wiz and found that I’d post consisted of a reasoned post followed by a load of gibberish courtesy of my 3 year old nephew!

    Little bugger is more than capable of getting a hold of the mobile and taking loads of unfocused pictures of random crap too!

  6. Arsenal1886-2006

    Arsenes nurse

    ‘I was using my sister-in-laws tablet to post a comment to a different forum a few months ago when I was baby sitting. Mid-post I needed a wiz and found that I’d post consisted of a reasoned post followed by a load of gibberish courtesy of my 3 year old nephew!’

    You were probably upset to find your nephew made more sense 😉

  7. Arsene's Nurse

    Arsenal1886-2006 March 30, 2014 23:16:30

    Arsenes nurse

    You were probably upset to find your nephew made more sense 😉
    —————————————————————————————-
    lol. Wouldn’t be the first time!

    Here’s a story for you. About 6 years ago I was round my folks house and they had some friends of my brother and mine over including their two kids. Their oldest was a daughter of 4 at the time. I got roped into a made up game by the 4 year old.

    You know those ABC jigsaws with the alphabet on each tile and a picture. Well the game was to throw a dice onto the alphabet jigsaw and what ever letter the dice landed on you had to come up with an object beginning with that letter. The other person had to guess what the word/object was.

    So 4 year old throws the dice and it lands on “O”.

    So after guessing orange and orangutan (which she didn’t know) I was a bit stumped. I racked my brains to try and think of a word a 4 year old would know.

    As I ummed and arrred, I was kindly given a hint; she lent over and with hands clasped, whispered in my ear, “it lives in the sea”.

    So I sat there and thought and thought. All of a sudden she jumped up with arms raised in the air and shouted, “Octopus!”

    Yep, outsmarted by a 4 year old. It’s been downhill ever since.

  8. Thomas

    Arsenal1886-2006 March 30, 2014 23:29:40

    Mid

    I didn’t know that Arsenes nurse was Keysers uncle.

    ___

    lol 😀

  9. Arsenal1886-2006

    Nurse

    That’s is hilarious, Kid’s are definitely smarter than some give them credit for.
    They have an ability to think outside of the box and have not yet had the intuitiveness of youth knocked out of them by the mis-education system.

  10. MidwestGun

    Lookin at the table and we are basically in a scrap for 4th, again.
    And yet somehow this is progress because we are more financially sound, so now we can compete after we reinforce in the summer. Like all the other top 4 teams will stand still. I really do not get this logic.
    Also, As a fan I want us to win the FA cup. But Fa cup does not make up for lack of competitiveness in the League. By this logic Wigan fans should be ecstatic they won the cup and got relegated.

  11. Arsenal1886-2006

    Mid

    We will be hearing more about the importance of 4th place in the coming weeks.
    I wonder if United will refuse to spend as they will have no CL money next season?
    I think we all know the answer to that.

  12. Dissenter

    The argument all day about Josip was unnecessary. The whole thing was a lie.

    “Reports in Germany had claimed that Arsenal had already moved to secure a deal and Lothar Matthaus, working as a pundit for Sky Deutschland, claimed that the player’s wife was already looking for houses in London.

    But Drmic has reacted to the speculation and he told Bild: “At the moment I am single and there is no one house hunting in London.”
    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9241491/transfer-news-josip-drmic-denies-arsenal-deal

  13. Arsenal1886-2006

    We will break even on transfer dealings this summer when wages and sales are taken into consideration, there will be a good few leaving and off the wage list and 2 or maybe 3 coming in.
    That money in the bank will not be spent.

  14. Uchmangunnernaija

    Scary thing is that next year we could actually fall out of the top 4 really.
    City, Chelsea, UTD and Liverpool will all spend and be better than they are.
    I’m already dreading next season with Wenger in charge.
    Think about it…..

  15. MidwestGun

    Dissenter –
    Thats why initially, I kept saying if true. Because like every year we are linked with everyone that’s ever scored a goal then nothing happens. Plus its not August yet. 😀

  16. Arsenal1886-2006

    Uchman

    We all know that the other clubs will spend all they have in the way of transfer kittys, our kitty will stay tucked up in it’s bed getting fatter.
    We might even miss out on top four the way Everton are playing, our game against them is going to be nerve wracking.
    That will make for an interesting summer

  17. MidwestGun

    Uchmann –
    This year is lookin shaky. Everton is a must win now. Only 4 pts back with a game in hand. Hopefully we rekindle our early season form when Ramsey returns. If he returns.

  18. Arsenal1886-2006

    Another angle I was thinking about involves our new sponsorship deals, will wenger risk £50 million on another quality player or will he think that it is better not to spend and speculate especially if we crash out of the top four after signing Ozil for £40 million.

    I can see some of the kids being moved up to the first team squad next season to cover for players leaving, I don’t have a problem with Akpom or Bellerin becoming the 3rd choice in their position but it should be behind two quality players they can learn from.

  19. Gustav Graves

    I agree with many on here that with Wenger still in charge…it will take a miracle for us to get the kind of pieces we want to make the squad better…but I’m not buying the liverpool Kool – aide.

    Do you guys remember where they finished last season? 7th or 8th? That was due to a year in Europe and not even the Champions League. They can spend 60 million in the summer, if they lose Suarez I see them fighting for that 5th or 6th position. I don’t Brenda and his boys can handle the type of schedule that comes with playing those big European nights.

  20. Uchmangunnernaija

    Mid,
    I’m pretty confident that Everton won’t pip us to 4th place. We’ll do enough to get that 4th, we’re specialists at that.
    I’ve lost all faith I ever had in Wenger, sad but true. I think for the next three years we’ll probably be looking at 4th and 5th place finishes.
    Hopefully not

  21. MidwestGun

    Uchmann –
    Successful season after some thought would be 3rd place. But coming from the top when we had a chance, 3rd feels like failure. So, ya im torn. But 3rd I guess is progress.

  22. ozrus

    rollen (during the game yesterday) March 29, 2014 18:20:06
    lol we will not score vs city

    oops. you must have been devastated. Some people should keep their gob shut during games so as not to look like complete fucking tossers afterwards. hahaha

  23. ozrus

    here’s another one:

    Dale RiosMarch 29, 2014 18:11:15
    90% of Flamini’s brain power goes into attempting to control the ball. Such an awful player.

    boom! Flamster scores! and Dale looks like a red faced lobster hehehe

  24. ozrus

    Radio RaheemMarch 29, 2014 18:20:46
    City are happy with a 1-0 lead. They are happy to win on cruise control. They can take it up a notch if they have to. City need to win not give us a tonking, maybe on another day.

    So professor Raheem, they had 30+ mins to take it up a notch after Flamini scored. What happened?

  25. ozrus

    goona March 29, 2014 18:09:38
    You do realise city are strolling around they have 5 more gears if they want….we don’t…..its akin to a cat playing with a mouse

    March 29, 2014 18:19:12
    Useroz…..hard to show urgency with no pace!….city will go up a couple of gears in 2nd half…..we will get caught on break chasing game……

    despite your ferocious belief in manshitty and their players, and no belief whatsofuckingever in supposedly your team, guess what?! you was wrong!

  26. grooveydaddy

    losing the league this year would be down to points dropped at home more than anything else. not the three heavy losses away

    villa 3
    everton 2
    chelsea 2
    united 2
    swansea 2
    city 2

    winning three of those would have kept us firmly in the title race. maybe even favorites…

  27. Jeff

    Every year they ask Wenger if he thinks 4th is good enough and every time the answer is the same: no it is not good enough we want to be first. So, every year, even though he’s admitting failure, he carries on anyway. You tell me on what planet and in which universe this is acceptable?

  28. Emiratesstroller

    There are a number of lessons to be learned from the weekend games.

    1. Liverpool are maintaining impetus whereas other clubs at the top are struggling to do so. Obviously the main reason for this is that they are not playing in
    Europe or have other commitments in Cup Competitions this season.

    2. Manchester City are still in frame for League Title despite not beating us this weekend, because they are no longer in Champions League. They have
    also the strongest squad.

    3. I don’t think that Chelsea will win League, because despite their massive
    victory over us they struggle at times to score goals. Also they have still
    commitments in Champions League.

    4. Arsenal’s intrinsic weaknesses remain the same as ever. We have soft under belly in midfield unless someone like Flamini plays and he is not capable
    of maintaining performance every week. We struggle also to score goals on
    same level as the others in top 3 and our injury list particularly those out for
    several months is horrible.

    The only matters left for Arsenal this season are to secure 4th place in League
    and win FA Cup. Neither is going to be easy not least because of our injuries
    and in particular dearth of goalscorers.

    Looking forward there needs to be a fundamental change in the philosophy of
    the club. I am all for running the club as a business, but its main activity is at
    end of day ‘football’ and we should be aiming to win Titles and Cups.

    The club has a financial structure superior to any of the others in top 7. This
    is reflected by the huge ‘accumulated’ bank balance which in last financial
    year exceeded £140 million. Liverpool by contrast had under £5 million.

    There comes a time when Arsenal needs to be seen to be spending money and
    use their financial clout. The problem is that until now there is no evidence that the major shareholder, board, CEO or Manager have any inclination to do so.

    We were told that Wenger has money to spend on players. Yes he broke a habit of lifetime when he bought Ozil, but he did not make any other significant acquisitions and has actually spent less this season than in previous 2
    years.

    The real problems with our team/squad is that Wenger fails to address weaknesses. We have too many injury prone players and he fails to deal with the
    inherent problems of recruiting top class ‘striker’ and ‘hard working disciplined’ midfielder. A younger version of Flamini is required.

    A number of players are likely to leave this summer most notably Sagna. The
    club should have resolved this matter, because he is still one of our better
    defenders and to lose him on Bosman is crazy. Also we are going to
    have to replace at least one goalkeeper and bring in at least one centre back.
    You are taking big risk in having just 3 centre backs in squad.

    All the other major clubs apart from perhaps Everton are going to invest ‘serious’ money in their squads. The worry with Arsenal is as ever will a club under
    Wenger be prepared to do so.

    Each year we receive the same message going into the summer transfer window. We have the funds to invest. Yet we seldom if ever do and as usual we fall
    short.

    If there is any lesson to be learned from Liverpool this year it is that despite
    their limited financial clout they have managed to put together a well balanced and ‘hungry’ team with an ambitious and effective manager. Can we
    say honestly that we are in same position?

  29. Jeff

    Managing a national team would be the absolute best job for Wenger. He doesn’t have to worry about player wages or transfers. He can implement his “football” philosophy in whatever way he wants and good luck to him. Club level football past him by at least 10 years ago, and whether that’s considered to be his fault or not is immaterial.

    If the rumours about managing France are true, I think he should grab it with both arms.

  30. Adelaide Gooner

    Jeff why can’t they tell him to just concentrate on coaching and not get involved in transfer business. Just ask him for a wish list. It’s quite easy for a CEO with balls but we don’t have one of those.

  31. babatunde

    Why does anyone think pool will sell.and if they sell, it won’t be For anything less than 80m. Which is enough to build a new team. Add that to their previous transfer budget and u have lots of money to spend. If I was liverpool, I would try to hold on to him till at least winter and focus only on the CL and PL. No cups For me

  32. Jeff

    Adelaide,

    They can’t tell him because he tells them. Wenger has his hand in all player transfers, fees and wages. He thinks he needs it to be able to run the team. The fact is, I really don’t rate Wenger at all highly when it comes down to purely coaching, technical or tactical matters and I sense he enjoys the financial side of it much more anyway.

    If he can say he came fourth 10 years in a row having spent less than whoever ended up above fourth; that is actually seen as resounding success. Will some of those powers be taken away in the new contract? I don’t think so.

  33. Leedsgunner

    “Wenger has his hand in all player transfers, fees and wages. He thinks he needs it to be able to run the team. The fact is, I really don’t rate Wenger at all highly when it comes down to purely coaching, technical or tactical matters and I sense he enjoys the financial side of it much more anyway.”

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the heart of the problem. Ironically, we have a manager, who acts more like the CEO than the CEO does.

    I’m with Jeff in Wenger’s coaching abilities… he’s decent, but not a world beater. That’s why against the top sides he gets continually exposed and commits the same errors.

    Wenger is like a blind man, who has been given the money and the resources to have full sight. However, he’s afraid to take it. He finds comfort in his “blindness”. He likes blaming others for his so-called misfortune, rather than getting on with his life, and taking accountability for himself and his actions.

    Otherwise, how do you explain his reluctance to spend, over and over again, year after year? (For everyone that raises Ozil, I’ll raise you a Kallstrom so the point is void in my opinion).

    How do you explain his continual inepitude to sign a decent forward, commanding centre back and a defensive midfielder who can add actual steel to the team?

    It’s pathetic that it’s been years since Henry and PV4 left and we are still seeking their replacements…

    Wenger, the blind man that refuses to see the truth.

  34. kingbergkamp

    Afc is a business first and foremost Lots of money being made by the top brass.Wonka and his croonies aint going anywhere any time soon

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Much has been written about the lack of goals at Arsenal and in particular Giroud’s performance this season. For the record Giroud has scored just 13
    goals in EPL.

    Clearly the loss of Walcott this season who scored 20 goals in all competitions
    in 2012/13 has impacted on our overall performance.

    However, the simple fact is that there are today very few prolific goalscorers
    in Europe particularly in major 5 leagues. 29 players have managed 14 goals+.

    The standout players with 20+ are Suarez [29], Sturridge [20],Ronaldo [28],
    Costa [25], Messi [23] and Ibrahimovic [25]. None of these apart from perhaps
    Costa is buyable.

    When you look at goalscorers between 15 and 19 the number in these leagues
    are also fairly limited. In France none,Germany 4, Italy 3, Spain 3 and England
    4. If you discount those who are unbuyable, because they are with major clubs we are talking Ramos and Drmic in Germany,Griezmann in Spain, Tevez,Immobile,Toni in Italy and Rodriguez [Southampton] in England.

    That does not leave us with many stand out options particularly when you see
    Tevez and Toni in list who are wrong side of 30.

  36. Radio Raheem

    ozrusMarch 31, 2014 02:13:18
    ————

    Behave man. How about you quote the comments I made after that? I fully owned up to not expecting the reaction we saw second half.

  37. Bamford13

    Another year, and Arsenal are irrelevant again. Irrelevant in the CL, irrelevant in the league. Alive in the FA Cup, yes, but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

    For a period of time we were at the top — and seemed somewhat relevant — but only the blind and dumb thought we’d remain there. Injuries, fatigue, a few average players in the XI and the absence of tactics ensured our demise — same as they do every year.

    Wenger strengthened in January, though, with the signing of Kallstrom.

    What a terrible joke.

    And now the world talks of Liverpool, City and Chelsea, and of whether United can re-build and possibly surprise against Bayern.

    Other than Arsenal supporters, no one talks of Arsenal, except out of pity.

    Sorry to moan, but it’s true: Arsenal are irrelevant yet again, and it is all thanks to one man, Arsene Wenger.

  38. DanC

    Bamford

    Irrelevant?

    Just like your opinion.

    Why doesn’t the FA Cup matter all of a sudden when we have a good chance to win it?

  39. Moray

    haha Wenger fuck off now. a hahaa. Really makes me laugh that. He won’t of course.

    Bamford, we have been the whipping boys for the last decade. They hated us for the ugly success of the 1-0 to the Arsenal, and we didn;t care. They hated us because of the French showing the English players how to play football, and we laughed. They hated us for trying to rival their Liverpool-Man U cabal at the top of the game and we loved it. Now they pity us. I know which is worse. Other managers even give words of support to Wenger. They didn’t do this when we were competitive. He should be ashamed.

  40. Bamford13

    DanC

    If my opinion were irrelevant, it wouldn’t be seconded by so many, and you wouldn’t feel the need to respond to it.

    As for the FA Cup, it has been losing its luster for years now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s something. It’s still the oldest cup competition in the world. It still means something.

    But it doesn’t mean what it once did, and it doesn’t mean enough.

    Winning the FA Cup will not redeem this poor season. Not as far as I’m concerned. And I am not alone in this opinion. Not at all.

  41. Moray

    @Emiratesstroller, what is particularly damaging about Giroud’s 13 goals is that only one of them is against top opposition. That is the sign of a shit player even more than his efficacy in front of goal.

  42. DanC

    Bamford

    I feel the need to respond as i cant believe what Im reading sometimes.

    Redeem a poor season? It doesn’t mean enough? What?

    It would end our trophy drought. We finished 16 points behind last years winners but this season we were well in the mix up until the Chelsea collapse.

    Seeing as this has been such a poor season in your eyes what would of constituted a good season for you?

  43. Bamford13

    DanC

    A good season — at a minimum — would have been:

    1. challenging for the title till the season’s end and finishing 1 or 2
    2. advancing to CL quarters, with legitimate belief in our ability to beat anyone
    3. beating City, Chelsea or United
    4. not getting humiliated by Liverpool, City and Chelsea
    5. having a side that plays some of the best football in the world
    6. having a side that features some of the best players in the world
    7. having a side that does NOT feature poor or mediocre players in the XI

    As it stands, Arsenal failed to realize any of these criteria.

    That you can’t believe people are disappointed in this side and season only shows how low your expectations have fallen under Wenger.

  44. Minion

    Its hilarious how a team who are skint are pressing us for top 4. It shows what a fraud Wenger is. Can’t help but think how good we would actually be under a decent manager.

  45. Alan

    Whole season very predictable, and we still wonder why we were nt bookies favourites when clearly in lead of premier . Injuries..predictable… No proper jan signings…predictable…wenger bollocksing on about spirit and character, which we lack so badly…predictable.. Now the arsenal board bigging up potential arsenal spend, pre the season ticket renewal deadline…predictable..and yet more whinging arsenal fans on le grove…predictable

  46. Alan

    Our biggest enemies are not our hapless board, our “specialist in failure” manager, nor the dozen or so average players that populate our main squad…it is our loser fans with their loser expectations.. Let’s half the size of our stadium, and eliminate the losers. We deserve what we get. Can’t even organise a proper protest. That s why mourinho would never want to manage this club .

  47. MadeToLoveMagic

    the fact that only 15 people showed to the protest show two things,

    1) that the opinions you read internet are nothing but hot air

    and 2) people arent ready to lose wenger yet