You’re not going to believe this correction…

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Arsenal vs Bayern

Arsenal vs Bayern

So there is a correction I have to make on a comment I made about video analysis, it’s come via a journalist who is close to some of the players. Apparently we do undertake video analysis. We cut video of some opposition attacks. We cut video of some opposition defensive set ups. We look at how they do some set pieces. Then it’s…

… wait for it

… this is great

… put on a drop box that is e-mailed to players

… that is optional viewing.

So apologies there. When I said we do no analysis on games, what I actually meant is our one video guy pulls together a show reel, bangs it online and sends an email.

How half arsed is that? I mean, it’s the equivalent of giving school kids the option on homework.

Think about it, how can you learn to function as a team, when you’re learning on a laptop at home alone?

Isn’t the whole experience of analysis a team thing. Shouldn’t everyone be aware of what’s coming? Shouldn’t all the players be pulled into a room, have the match plan relayed to them and the drill into the details?

Of course they should.

Something as important as analysis should be a ‘thing’. It should be ingrained into the prematch process. The team should be in early to see what’s going on, then the plan should be practiced and drilled all week. All types of different scenarios should have been worked out.

  • What are our weaknesses?
  • How will Everton exploit them?
  • What happens if we go a goal down?
  • How shall we start the game?
  • How shall we play the second half if we’re winning?
  • Who do we bring on to stabilise the game and what happens to our shape?
  • What’s the plan to shake things up if we’re losing?
  • Are Everton susceptible on the break?
  • How do we hone in on their weaknesses?
  • If Lukaku is playing on the right, will he track back, can we test that?m0

A pal messaged me this quote from last nights Chelsea game. I was reticent to out it up because it’s from JT, so please, forgive me… but they turned over PSG and this is what he said after.

“We worked all week on scenarios, 1-0 down, 2-0 down etc. We always thought we could win”

It’s just a snippet into the way Mourinho works. And look, it’s clear that even he’s falling behind a little bit these days. Maybe resting on his laurels, forgetting that players are people and bully boy tactics and flippant comments aren’t great team motivators.

Anyway, point is, the plan is always king. You need a big game strategy and tactical executions that hang off that to make it work under various different circumstances.

Also, having a great vision is exciting for players and it’s motivating. Nothing quite like knowing everyone is pulling in the same direction. Nothing like knowing, that even if something goes wrong, the vision was right and you had a solid plan that had a clear rationale.

It’s not difficult to do the basics right. Like any competitive industry that involves creativity. It’s difficult to find the additional 5% that makes you King. Arsenal don’t have half what other teams have in place. We’re already losing before we walk on the pitch when the big teams come to town. The players know that. Do you think that’s good for squad morale? I don’t. Knowing you’re always on a ship that has a hole is probably quite galling.

There are other basics that are a bit less tangible, but I said a few things around Christmas time that ring true now. Firstly, Arsene didn’t rotate the centre backs at all. We have 3 of them, which is a bit of a joke from the off. However, Wenger insisted on beasting Koscielny and Mertesacker which I said would result in an injury. More to the point, Vermaelen, who is still club captain, should have been given games. You can’t ostracise someone, then when you pick up an injury, expect them to give a crap about what they’re doing. He’s rusty, disinterested, demotivated and probably thinking about where the hell he’s going to head in the summer.

It’s just the basics of motivating human beings. If you’re a professional, that is part of a squad, there is an expectation you’ll get a sniff of action at some point, especially if your team mates are ruined. Nik B is a better striker than Giroud, that much is clear. Regardless of what he has since done, if he was second choice this season, he should have been treated that way. He should have been given games and the burden of beasting should have been lessened on Giroud. That way, in the run in, we’d have had two fit strikers competing with each other. Now, I’m not saying Nik is the solution. But he’s a more skilful version of what we have. Two average strikers is better than one.

It’s unbelievable he just went with one the whole time. Completely mental. But more to the point here… illogical. I’d love someone to ask Wenger what his justification for that was.

‘Arsene, how can a club the size of Arsenal, with the clear wealth at hand, go two transfer windows and not find a striker?’

Simple question. Would love to know the answer, because whatever the answer is, it’s wrapped in incompetence.

So… what else can we talk about? Jurgen Klopp winning 2-0 against Madrid despite being 6 players down. That’s some fight right there. It’s still a bit ‘glorious failure’ but whatever. I’ve been reading quite a few crazy things about the Kloppmeister.

“He took the microphone and threw it on the floor and just walked away,” says Jan Aage Fjortoft, the former Norway striker who is a German football expert. “So Klopp is not always the charismatic Elvis Presley like you always love to see in press conferences.”

He’s been losing the plot a bit of late. Upsetting explayers, throwing microphones and generally being a bit shouty. I love him, but I think there is a darkside to him. Would we want him at the club? Well, absolutely. On the face of it. He’s perfect. However, losing one ego and bringing in another could cause problems. Ivan needs to take back control, not dish it out to a scarier younger man.

My rule of thumb, if Ivan can’t get the next manager in a headlock, don’t bother. I easily reckon he could take down the slight frame of Martinez. But maybe not Steve Bould. Unless he’s seriously mellowed with age. Pochettino? Hmmm… he’s a quiet one, possibly eye gouger. He’s not fighting fairly.

Actually, scrap that idea, let’s just get in the best possible manager we can.

The FA Cup semi is at the weekend. We play Wigan. They’ve won 2 of their last 6 games. That’s not relevant though. Because we are in relegation battle form at the moment. Wigan will be pumped for this game. I’d suspect, knowing bundles of Championship players, that one eye will be on this fixture. Players maybe not over exerting themselves in the league in case they don’t get to play at Wembley. I’d suspect the club have been planning hard for this game. They’ll have taken a lot of solace from us bending over to anyone who powers at us. So it could be tough. We’ll be on a real downer. So we have to be on our guard.

I honestly don’t think it matters how many chemicals I put into my body this weekend… I simply won’t be able to handle a loss. I’ll go into melt down, take all my clothes of and run into the Thames. I can see it catching on as well. So we’d better win. It’s a massive game, a chance for Arsene to layer some pride over the season. A chance for the fans to have a day in the sun and great way to paper over the shame of going from 1st to conceivably 5th inside two months.

More on that tomorrow. Have a ripping day.


P.S. Thanks for all the feedback on yesterdays article, some mega traffic through the door and hopefully some clarity on the narrative of the blog this season.

898 Responses to “You’re not going to believe this correction…”

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  1. N5

    If it wasn’t for Pinto, Barca would have been out of this a long while ago. Madrid have been much the better team for the entire game regardless of possession.

  2. london gunner

    Robben just does everything he has to win I see this as a virtue and a good character trait tbh.

    Viera was an absolute cunt and a bully on the pitch who used every underhand tactic in the book to intimidate the opposition Love the guy because he had that win at all costs mentality!

  3. salparadisenyc

    Love it, fucking gorgeous.
    Well deserved throughly outplayed Barca.
    Now fuck off Wenger you have a job opening at the Nou.

  4. TheBayingMob

    Chelsea and Bayern in the semis?? What does that’s tell you about football? Organised cheating. Still nice to see Barca our, cheats …

  5. Radio Raheem


    I see what you are saying. I know someone might counter with stats but to me he doesn’t look a good fit for this barca side, even post Xavi and Iniesta. I wouldn’t have started him today. I’d have started Pedro instead.

  6. Thank you and goodnight

    Eyemsick is right though. ….simeone is shit. I mean beating Barcelona, what’s that all about. Quality of a manager is how often one gets thrashed, and in that department we have the best of the best

  7. El Tel 1

    If the Ruski’s get RM then they will reach another CL final.

    That shit cunt will know RM inside and out

  8. Paulinho

    Radio – They’ve got him playing really high up the pitch and he just does nothing really. I actually didn’t watch much of the game but surprise, surprise he got subbed again. He just lacks the power and pace, and most of the other Barca players never seem to have much faith in him in the big moments.

    Dare I say, he lacks ATHLETICISM.

  9. Jeff

    A good night all round. Barca out, Man U out! I think I would like Athletico to win it outright. What a team. What heart, desire, work rate, defence, passion, discipline and of course the tactics were spot on. Well done.

  10. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Apart from Bayern all the other teams in the semi’s are chasing the domestic title.
    And I thought you could only go for one piece of silverware due to fatigue.
    Our lack of fitness is really highlighted when you watch well prepared teams in action.

  11. WengerEagle

    What a fantastic job Simeone has done there. These aren’t new kids on the block, Gabi’s 30, Raul Garcia’s 28, Costa’s 25, Miranda’s 29, Godin’s 28 and Juanfran’s 29.

    These players have all formed a fearsome compact team unit and have individually drastically improved their performances. Props must go to Simeone for this.

  12. kwik fit

    I guarantee that Real and Bayern will be kept apart in the draw on joke Friday. Fifa are totally corrupt.

  13. salparadisenyc

    Beating Barcelona without their talisman for 160 + min.
    Some members of this space said it was done and dusted when Costa went out.
    They played liked lions.

  14. El Tel 1


    Are you watching. Your Boys took an el of a beating tonight.

    Those glory days are over for a bit.

  15. Jeff

    No transfers for 2 years. Barcelona are going to slide. But does that mean none of the players can leave even if they wanted to. I think it is a stupid rule if they can’t sell. We’ll see.

  16. Radio Raheem

    I’ll take Song back if the alternative is signing a Flamini/Kardashian type signing this summer.

  17. salparadisenyc

    Lance Armstrong’s outing of the big two in Espana does seem to of have a bigger effrect on Barca.

  18. kwik fit

    Looking forward to seeing Kim ‘big tits’ Kallstrom and Rambo in the middle on Saturday. Could be a good combo.

  19. salparadisenyc

    Pedro is far to good to be sitting on the bench, North London awaits.
    Get in ______________.

    Fill in the blank boys!

  20. Jeff

    Although to be fair, Messi was completely neutralised tonight. I have seen very few teams to that to Barcelona for the full 90 minutes. Again Athletico played the perfect balance of defence and attack and they could have been 4:0 up in the first 20 minutes. Full admiration and accolades to them.

  21. BacaryisGod

    What really worries me is that Chelsea are going to be scarily good for the next few years under Mourinho. They’ll have the best keeper in the world in Courtois, an absolute beast in Matic and Hazard, Oscar and Willian (and who knows in addition) will continue to win games out of nothing. Add a lethal striker like Costa to the mix and we’ll be looking at them far in the distance. This really was our season to take advantage of the changes taking place in the league.

  22. jwl

    How did cunts become swear word? I like cunts, most of you like cunts, not much on earth I like better. Calling someone a cunt should be praise, not insulting. Sometime way back when they lost plot and forgot how delightful cunts are.

  23. jwl

    I cant watch either match because I have to concentrate on work at moment but I am enjoying everyone’s comments here, it is like love blog of both matches at once.

  24. Trickeygooner

    I hope I’m close enough to Arsene on Saturday so’ s I can shout
    “Even I could set up a team to beat Wigan. So if you don’t you’d better fuck off you French cunt”
    Yep that’s the one.

  25. Romford Pele

    Ala Atletico! If I was Mou, I’d rather play Madrid than them. Simeone is top notch!

    Barca’s decline against big teams continue. The team is actually unbalanced now and because they don’t press anymore, they’re so vulnerable.

  26. Jeff

    Thanks Mid. I doubt he’ll be coming to Arsenal then. We’re not the sort of club that’s going to pay other clubs off millions to have their managers break contracts mid way through (even if Simeone wanted to come).

  27. Jeff


    It’s probably some poor internet marketer trying to earn a few clicks. They would have to be desperate to put something like that out. Only the very stupid and completely delusional would believe it.

  28. MarbleHall

    If you are going to have a league type Champions league format then it needs to be revamped so that only the top 2 from each league in Europe can enter otherwise you dilute the tournament having 4 teams from each league participating.

  29. Romford Pele

    I always thought Cesc was more suited to Arsenal. Even though Barca are an attacking team, players tend to be rigid and stick to positions more. Cesc hasn’t really found his place within that side. He’s different from both Xavi and Iniesta and despite his age still finds himself playing second fiddle.

    Like Paulinho said, he’s not very quick and lacks power.

  30. salparadisenyc

    No Puyol replacement is going to do Barca no favors with this ban.
    Shame, i’d love to sell them the Verm.

  31. Jeff

    Looks like Jose is trying to do us a favour. First he calls Wenger a specialist in failure then he goes and beats PSG leading to possible sacking of Blanc and a vacancy for Wenger. Thanks Jose.

  32. Radio Raheem

    Cesc would love to have Wenger at barca I’m sure. Nah not going to happen. Wenger retires from club football at Arsenal. After Arsenal it’s France, Japan or an African country.

  33. Danish Gooner

    Iranian Messi,you just know he will be a dud with that name,like the japanese Overmars, Inamoto or Ukraines own Tony Adams Oleg Youzhny etc.My God Wenger have served up some bangers and Mash and pretended it was Foie Gras.

  34. Radio Raheem

    Miyaichi. I remember the excitement on here with posters going crazy with his performances in Holland.

  35. salparadisenyc

    Think Park was the Korean Agbonlahor.. in fact he may be but i’ve yet to see him play for than 2 minutes.

  36. grooveydaddy


    I think loan players can play against their parent clubs in champions league as long as they haven’t already played for their parent club in the same season????

    Not 100% sure though….

  37. Cesc Appeal


    That would truly destroy Wenger’s legacy.

    He’d be a gigantic hypocrite wouldn’t he?

    Can only see him going for the France job

  38. TitsMcgee

    Chelsea Madrid and Bayern Athletico for me.

    Under no circumstances must Chelsea win.

    @ESPNFC: This is the first time in 7 years Barcelona are out before the semifinals #ChampionsLeague

    Regardless of what you think of them that is a ridiculous run.

  39. 124Toeknee

    Another top post Pedro. You ARE a super scribe. Our” soon to go ” ( hopefully ) manager is such an arrogant idiot. He must believe his second-rate team simply has to turn up to win. I had to violently shake my marbles when I read of how they prepare for the opposition. We are extremely lucky to have done so well so far!
    We have been flat track bullies this term, so we may be lucky enough to win the cup. That would be great. However my hope is that the three clubs immediately below will overtake us and we finish seventh. There will be no escape from the Thursday Cup, but a quick exit from that would be lovely.
    Wenger must go at the end of the season. We need fresh ideas. It has been suggested that Andries Jonker could be his successor, with Louis Van Gaal at his side. I’d love that. We could win the league within three years with them. We will never again win the premiership with Wenger even if he had another fifty years.

  40. follow the money

    don’t be surprised to see Santi spend some time on the bench for his comments. Wenger does not like players telling the truth in the press. He said the team has no mental strength AND that we had no chance with the small squad we have. Here’s another one of our players questioning the manager and pleading for enough quality players to realistically make a run at the title. And people wonder why our good players jump ship. It’s not rocket science. They want to win trophies, and Arsenal will not until Wenger buys enough good players

  41. azed

    Danish Gooner
    April 9, 2014 21:29:09
    Iranian Messi,you just know he will be a dud with that name,like the japanese Overmars, Inamoto or Ukraines own Tony Adams Oleg Youzhny etc.My God Wenger have served up some bangers and Mash and pretended it was Foie Gras.

    Makes you wonder why Wenger never signs the original.
    Couldn’t get Zlatan so he bought Nicky B, Couldn’t get C.Ronaldo so he got Miyaichi, couldn’t get Drogba so he went with Adebayo ( turned out better than the rest)

  42. london gunner

    Diego Simeone is just what we need.

    1 His about as tactical as they get.
    2 His managed a very small squad of aging players currently top of the league and in the semi’s
    3 His a giant killer, his tactical management is so good he gets the best out of his players
    4 His not a philosopher his pragmatist
    5 his ruthless
    6 his a man you can respect and you would not want to cross
    7 his a cunt… all the best managers have a bit of a cunt in them fergie mourinho ect
    8 his not a one season wonder his been constantly improving atletico despite their terrible financial woes

  43. eyemsick

    Think about it, how can you learn to function as a team, when you’re learning on a laptop at home alone?

    ehmmm you seem to be doing pretty good learning the profession of football manager via your keyboard/laptop/internet


  44. london gunner

    I honestly think Monreal is a good player, his come to Arsenal during a time when shit has hit the fan and the manager is at the zenith of his delusions, his immediately been injured a fair bit and has dipped in form..

    Players bare some of the responsibility but I think allot of it is down to Wenger.

    I remember his first match for us thrown in at the deep end, played well collided heads I think it was with a stoke player didn’t pussy about and got up, also he was quite a defensive LB.. fastforward a season and now his pushing up like gibbs trying to do the overlap me thinks its the manager.

  45. eyemsick

    absolutely london gunner…simeone!!!!!

    9. he is argentinian
    10. if you think the english f.a is going to let an argentinian bad ass win their league you are as deluded as those fans who expected trophies while repaying our stadium…

    come on..youre smarter than that

  46. salparadisenyc

    eyemsickApril 9, 2014 22:49:04

    Well they let a deluded Frenchman win it, why not and Argentinian bad ass.

  47. eyemsick

    no no …the frenchman embarssed them morelike…and they cant swallow the pill since….

    how can you accept a frenchman with a funny accent owning you in your national sport and winning the title with foreigners and a 26.12.00 ??? …its painfull…it is….

    ha! where do you think youre going with your 10 and 15 and 20m budgets? we got roman and abdulah here spending 150m each…. 🙂

  48. reality check

    Can anyone confirm SANTI CAZORLAS comments.
    This guy on talk sport is discussing the back pages for tomorrow and I think he said in the sun, there’s quotes from Santi about leaving if no trophies and stoke game is where the league was lost….

    (ALAN MIKELY /spell./ from the Daily Mirror)

    Please confirm!

  49. salparadisenyc

    What a legend.. just watched the recap.
    Stalking the touch like cheetah, had Martino at Hola.

  50. reality check

    even if its bullshit, there’s no smoke etc..

    its in the public domain now, and his name is plastered all over it.

    even if its bullshit. Its already too late.

  51. Arsenal 1886-2006

    This Santi thing is odd, player’s usually say thing’s like this when the manager has fed them the speech, they use it to get the board to release fund’s and back the manager.
    Could it be that Wenger does not have the key to the fund’s that the club holds. I doubt it but it could be a possibility

    It just seems strange that he would have said it with an FA Cup semi final coming up and our recent poor form.
    It could be media bullshit of course, not for the first time.

  52. Jeff

    But Cazorla is not saying anything that hasn’t already been said by other players in years gone. Everybody and his wife know all this stuff. It’s not exactly new. So judging from past experience we have to ask ourselves whether Wenger has done anything about it. Gazidis has been telling us that there are funds available for him to spend so I have to look to Wenger as the one who refuses. January was a big litmus test and he failed miserably.

    No I’m afraid Cazorla singing like a Canary (when he himself isn’t really performing that well anyway) isn’t going to change anything – it’s water off a duck’s back.

  53. peanuts&monkeys

    Can this Crimea takeover by Russia help Usmanov’s stock rise? somehow? So much so, he lures Kroenke to sell his stock….I dont care if Russia takes away Donetsk also if that helps Usmanov to buy Arsenal.

  54. peanuts&monkeys

    Its no point just getting Wenger out of the system. The rot has been nurtured from the. Unless Kroenke goes too, Arsenal will not start winning and fighting. We are doomed till then. BTW, Gazidis, who?

  55. peanuts&monkeys

    I have got bored with so many things in life and took to new ones…all kidns u know :-)….But, how can i get bored enough with Arsenal that i stop pining for them. I wonder how….Can a doctor help? Have any of you guys ever tried this?

  56. bergkamplegend

    History of football : in 2014, Diego Simeone has invented the “anti-Messi weapon”. And the perfect antidote to barcelona
    Hail to the king!! 🙂

  57. N5

    Morning all.

    Can you guys stop indulging that eyemsick weirdo! the sooner you stop talking with him, the sooner he fucks off back to red action.

  58. bergkamplegend

    “I would take winning the FA Cup over finishing top four,” said the former England international.”

    Sorry David, but Arsène disagree lol

  59. Jeff

    “If they spent as much effort on the pitch as they do talking shit, we’d have one hell of a team on our hands.” 😆

  60. bergkamplegend

    I want a win for us against Wigan. The fans deserved it.

    But in the same time I am SOOOOO AFRAID to see wenger’s joy…

  61. Pedro

    Dan is now banned.

    He’s still talking to the spam filter. Bless.

    Surfer, maybe you’re right… I just think if you put the right people around him, he’d work out.