Failed success.

by .

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.19.10

I’m giving you the chance to tap out of this early. Why? Because I’m struggling with emotions today. It might be because I locked myself out of my house before the game because I went for a run and took the wrong key out with me. It might be because when I finally did get to the Greenman Pub I couldn’t find my family for 2 hours, it might be because when I did meet them, my cousin spilt a pint in my lap… or it might be because I’ve got myself so wrapped up in the details of the club over the past few years that seeing a performance like that against a very average side simply flatlines me because I, like many other fans, can see what the wider implications are.

Yesterday felt like failed success. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to break down Wigan, but to be honest, I was kind of expecting a proper reaction. I was kind of hoping we’d spank them 5-0 and we’d kick on in the league. Wigan were turned over by Millwall last weekend, how tough could it be? Arsene went bold with the selection. By bold, I mean he made some changes. Chamberlain passed a late fitness test and started, Wenger drafted in Ramsey and he went for Sanogo up front. That gave us some pace even if it didn’t give us exceptional experience or quality (or fitness).

The game started off very slowly. There didn’t feel like there was a reaction or the players that had come into the side had added anything. Wigan came with a plan that we couldn’t counter. They pressed up against the midfield. Let our defence have the ball, then when it played into the middle, they pressed into us in packs. A very familiar tactic lots of teams have played this season, but one that Arsene hasn’t found a counter to.

It helped having Ramsey and Chambo in the side. They both struggled with the size of the pitch and their relative lack of fitness, but their speed of thought gave us some joy. Chambo lashed in a half volleyed cross early on that Sanogo guided a well timed header at goal. Outside that, bar a wildly lashed shot and a poorly executed one on one, we didn’t really offer much. If anything, it was Wigan who looked the most threatening going forward, having plenty of luck with our sleepy left hand side.

Sanogo really struggled, because he’s no where near the level you’d expect. Still, the interesting thing is, I still agreed with his inclusion in the starting line up. That’s how terribly wrong Wenger has got his strike force this season. The biggest joke of  it all is that it’d still have been Sanogo even if Bendtner was fit. Anyway, another sour moment, bar the booing at half time was when Wenger took off Lukas Podolski on 70 minutes. He took him off over Sanogo who someone described as an ‘8 minute old Giraffe’. I wasn’t really that fussed, but I could understand the frustration. Was it because Podolski was having a good game they booed? No. Was it because of the habitual nature of Wenger taking Lukas off on 70minutes regardless of what’s going on? More likely.

The second half started off with the same lethargic approach from Arsenal, we conceded first when McManaman touched the ball past Per and fell over. It was a dopey mistake and it was punished when Jordi Gomez powered home to put Wigan one up. We started to craft a few chances, Gibbs forced a good save from Carson. Sagna also hit the woodwork. Our moment did come in the end when Per managed to get his head on a mishit shot.

We couldn’t earn a second, though Chambo did hit the woodwork, so the game went to injury time. That was a pretty tepid affair. Arsene refused to make his third sub. He had Chamberlain cramping up to the point he could barely walk. Wenger eventually made his move taking Ramsey off, with what looked like  a strain to his thigh. The extent of the cramp going off all over the pitch was a sad indictment of the preparation. I’ve not seen that much strain in extra time before.

Penalties ensued and Fabianski was the hero. He saved the first two with excellent reactions. All of Arsenal’s played buried there’s. We won, the boys went ballistic, so did the fans and we scuttled out the ground.

Post game thoughts:

Sanogo:

There are many issues that have highlighted the ineptitude of Arsene Wenger this season. The striking situation is probably one of the most obvious. Namely because Sanogo is so far off the pace when it comes to top flight football, it’s a surprise he’s even in the first team squad. He has some nice attributes, he loves playing football, he’s fast and he’s relatively powerful. But then so is Kenwyne Jones.

Sanogo was well out of his depth against a Championship side yesterday, his touch was poor, his composure was very off and his movement was obvious and heavy footed. He might become Didier Drogba in 5 years time, but at the moment, he should be out on loan like the rest of the kids. For me, Chuba Akpom is more of a shout if we’re going to shoot for change.

Still, like I said earlier, the joke of it is, I’d still have picked him above the out of form Giroud. That’s how desperate the situation is.

Game Plan:

I don’t know why I expected anything different, but the players out on the pitch are being given absolutely nothing with regards to a game plan. I really can’t stand it when I hear things like, ‘these players ain’t got the bottle’… because it’s a deflective unquatifiable statement when you’re talking about top international footballers who have won major trophies. You don’t get to those heights in the game if you’re not a winner. And here’s the thing, you can’t quantify ‘bottle’. It’s an emotional throwaway comment I’ve used in the past. But it’s not an intelligent observation.

Those players are bought by the manager, they’re trained by the manager and they’re prepared by the manager. They had no tools yesterday to deal with a pressing game from a very small Wigan side. There was no change up. There was no visible counter plan, other than perseverance doing the same thing. That’s unacceptable against Everton, it’s criminal against Wigan.

Fans

The fans weren’t on their best behaviour yesterday. A lot of moaning, the guy behind me regularly showered me in spittal, at one point shouting ‘go back home you job thief’ to a Fabianski who pay more tax in a week than this guy earns in a year. But outside the morons, there was a lot of negativity. This didn’t correlate with the prematch fun that was going off. Before the game, it was completley mental. I’ve never heard so much singing. I’ve not seen such camaraderie. Everyone was buzzing after having such a good day.

You get in the ground, and you’re hit by that lack lustre game. It’s really hard to respond positively. The booing at half time wasn’t surprising. The booing at the Lukas sub was unexpected, but I guess people are sick of seeing such habitual management moves. Same game plan, same subs, same sub timings…

The post game journey home was sad. I’ve never come home from a Wembley win and not heard the fans singing on the train. Now, this was just my train, not all of them. But usually, it’s crazy. Not yesterday, just quiet, sombre reflection.

Yesterday, be basically had the whole of the Emirates in the ground… didn’t feel like it. How can I critique it? Though I didn’t boo, I certainly felt the frustration.

Fabianski

What an absolute hero this man was yesterday. Two superb penalty saves, in the main, he was assured and comfortable all game. He even geed up the fans at one point demanding more noise. I really like him. I think he’s the better keeper and I think we’re making a mistake letting a more mature, harder working keeper leave the club on a free transfer.

Chamberlain

That’s what a young player should be all about. He’s raw. Really raw. But he has enthusiasm, he has quality and he has explosive moments of excitement that lift the fans. Sure his decision making isn’t there, sure his touch is sometimes a bit shabby… but I get him as a player and his inclusion is totally merited.

Players Celebrating Wigan

Good. Football is all about glory. Those boys were awful yesterday. They knew they were a spot kick away from historical shaming. No wonder they lose the plot. I like to see that passion. Good for them. I’m glad they loved it!

Fatigue

The big panic now is what happens on Tuesday night against West Ham. We’ve just put some seriously tired players through a hell of a game. Ramsey looked like he picked up an injury, Chamberlain was seriously cramping. Per looked like he was suffering. That game against West Ham on Tuesday is going to be very, very tough now. Because we don’t have the players or the squad depth to cope with it. Bad times and worrying for 4th.

The Win

The win is clearly excellent for the club. We’re in a final and hopefully we can have an equally joyous day against either Sheffield Utd or Hull. It’s just a shame I’m so flatlined. Hearing people disappointed that the players celebrated the penalty shootout is embarrassing. Hearing people say they wish we’d lost is also a touch pathetic. But look, that view isn’t a new one. I’ve heard lots of people talk of taking the hit to cut us loose of the slow burn stagnation. Yesterday was brilliant in the end, but the reality is that cut your way through the foiliage of a meek victory and you can see that we have some very deep rooted problems that are starting to look poisonous. Wenger is out of his depth, even against average Championship sides. That’s frightening. We had no ideas. A massive worry.

I care deeply about Arsenal. I care deeply when we lose. I care deeply when my club looks like it’s going down the pan because of consistently alarming performances against very weak clubs.

I’ll enjoy the victory, it’s just a shame it’s tinged with the sadness of the demise of a once trailblazing manager.

P.S. Get well soon Bob Wilson. Arsenal legend.

885 Responses to “Failed success.”

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  1. Guns of brixton

    Excellent post again pedro.

    The serious lack of depth in this sqaud is worrying and has been a problem in this club for shit long. It prevents proper and efficent rotation of players, is catalyst for fatigue and poor form etc.

  2. Ben

    Pedro – wanted to bring up the point about the singing. I too was in the Green Man and people were going batshit mental – it was like a music festival. I thought the atmosphere in the ground was going to be amazing. Even on the concourse having a beer before the game there was a lot of singing again.

    But then, on the pitch, during the match, nothing. Strange no, why is that? Apart from the very flat performance from the team obviously.

  3. El Tel 1

    I like and respect a lot of your comments Pedders but we need to be positive for the players.

    Sure we could do with more depth but it is not the average Joe who is out injured.

    Losing Ozil,Theo,Jack and Kosser is massive. With Rambo and The Ox on the edge of injury is also a big deal.

    Of course playing Sanogo up top is either arrogance of the highest order or sheer stupidity.

    I agree pace is what we lack but playing a 9 man defence who sit deep does not need pace. Bendtner would have done a better job yesterday and if it is the usual Wenger arrogance then why not Akpom?

    At tleast the lad has scored some goals this year. Has Sanogoal scored any?

    Lets wish for us to win the FA cup and for Wenger to resign.

    As for the CL spot. How ironic how many start to worry that we will miss out but slag off the Manager for making it a priority over the smaller cups.

  4. Crusaderrabbit

    Agree 100% about the ‘bottle’ comments. It’s an easy deflection away from the real issues which are to do with the manager and the direction of the club. They had bottle when it came to the penalties didn’t they – just no plan from the manager for the rest of the game. Saw Carzola shouting when Podolski was subbed, pointing to Sanogo instead – the players know, trust me

    Nothing positive about the result can be put down to Wenger, who was as tired and clueless as ever. Ramsey was run into the ground – would it have hurt to bring Kallstrom on earlier? A pathetic bench for the most expensive club in the country with no depth caused by utterly inept management, terrible investment and a woefully outdated approach to fitness. Pray to Buddah, Allah, Yaweh whoever you want that he chooses to step down (although everything am hearing says the contrary) so we can enjoy an FA cup final properly, and without the hollow feeling most of us were left with yesterday (once the booze had worn off)

  5. El Tel 1

    Ben

    Could it have been that the other 45000 were not into singing?

    How many people were there at the Green Man? Not everyone wants to get pissed up before going to the match.

    This is not a criticism of anyone as I personally have forgotten many a match due to drinking to much before the game.

    I just know that the upper tier fans at the Ems do not sing very much.

    COYG

  6. Mark c

    Our striking options are poor.

    Akpom will not be the Messiah. He could not get a start at Brentford and they are the league below Wigan.

    I can see the need for 3 strikers next season which is a massive change.
    Joel Campbell must come back if Bendtner and Giroud leave (and still buy 3 strikers)

    How we miss Theo !!

  7. Omar

    We are lucky Rosler took off Mcmanaman so early looking to hold a 1-0 lead. When he did that he took out their only outlet that was giving us trouble with his runs. This gave us the leeway to press as we liked.

  8. Bombadier_

    I don’t agree about the celebrations I find it a bit cringy and anyone would think we won the cup yesterday. Carzola picking up the camera behind the goal for a selfy.. Same with chezney in the spurs game… It’s embarrassing I never see other top teams doing that

  9. Omar

    110 minutes for a player fresh off a long injury break. Then his investigations will reveal sex pills and hair growth pills. Only one Wenger……………sigh.

  10. SurferX

    How knackered is our squad? Injured players all over the place; players out of form that now can’t be rested; a lack of faith in his youth-options; a lack of depth for key positions; a lack of tactical manipulation for one-off games and problems.

    Wenger has managed his way into a cull-de-sac of a selection nightmare. I honestly think if we win the FA Cup and finish 4th, the players deserve a huge amount of praise- they would of done it in spite of his management rather than because of it. Is it any wonder he struggles to keep his best players over the long-term? Forget about the money, they just want to be managed properly.

    Its bizarre; I’ve watched the Arsenal in god knows how many finals over 40 years. Never before have I felt so apathetic towards us getting to one. I really hope we win it; I really hope we finish 4th. But I can’t say that either are the biggest hope I have right now- that is reserved for Wenger realising its time to go.

  11. Al

    I don’t get the Sanogo bashing really. …thought he was a handful who constantly got into goal scoring position but lacks the composure because he is very raw. ..

    Look at Giroud came on the 68mim had 50mins on the pitch and looked laboured and had zero effect getting or creating zero chances.

    So happy to be into the final but we have to stop playing Arteta. ..He is killing are attacking game.

    Also think we won’t have trouble in the final as Bruce and clough are not great tactically

  12. Niall McGonagle

    Failed success lol! That’s a flawed negative perspective but I expect nothing else from someone who champions the Wenger out brigade which is making the club a laughing stock with your lack of loyalty. Your not a supporter get real! Supporters like you don’t deserve a legend of a manager like Arsene. I won’t even start on your football knowledge which looks like you learned reading the Roy of The Rovers children’s comic! The truth is Arsenal NEVER looked like losing the game yesterdayAlso, the change of Giroud for Poldi and change of formation to 4-4-2 transformed the team and hence we created numerous chances inevitably finding an equaliser. Well done once again Arsene. Go home to your mammy LOL Grove!

  13. Wallace

    Sanogo had a good game. i think most of you have written him off because we got him on a free. just watch him. he’s going to be a huge player for us.

  14. Niki B's Soldier

    Happy we in the final. Also disappointed about the performance. Considering the circumstances, Sanogo didn’t do too bad. Carson made some good saves. I think that game will do him a world of good and actually feel it was a good decision to start him instead of Giroud thinking that we have West Ham on Tuesday. Ramsey is still very tepid. Our lack of depth is forcing players to rush back. I hope the Ox is okay, he, Mert and Gibbs seems like the only players who give 110%. I agree, we can win the FA Cup and get 4th but then Wenger really needs to take a bow. If he signs a new contract, then he better get in a few more World Class players and decent squad players.

  15. Danny

    Pedro
    Great clip, you had a good seat. Nice one.
    The players deserve to celebrate, not for beating Wigan on penalties, but for reaching the final after playing Liverpool, Everton and The Scum on the way.

  16. Roaaary

    Niall – we were losing for 20 minutes. I’d say during that time we looked likely to lose.

    How would you analyse that game then champ?

  17. Thank you and goodnight

    @Rollen
    I agree with you but it changes nothing. He’s already signed and we have 2 more years of tepid stale outdated football. Enjoy Ramsey, ox and Kos for 1 more season as I can’t see them staying the full term wenger’s their. Players are not stupid no matter what people would like us to believe. Santi, Ozil, ox etc they all know wenger’s finished, why do you honestly believe RVP left. We could have offered him 500k a week and he still wouldn’t of stayed.

  18. SurferX

    Niall McGonagle
    “someone who champions the Wenger out brigade which is making the club a laughing stock with your lack of loyalty.”

    Hmmm…

    No trophy in 9 years
    Annual 4th place fight
    Annual season implosion
    3-0, 6-0, 5-1, 6-3, 8-2, etc
    £150m cash in the bank; est £170m this year, yet same squad deficiencies year after year

    Your right- its Le Grove thats to blame for Arsenal being a ‘laughing stock’. There’s plenty of loyalty around here- its just directed to the club and not the manager.

    Also, who says mammy? Muppet.

  19. Danny

    The truth is Arsenal NEVER looked like losing the game yesterday
    ___________________________________________________________

    Shit, what game were you watching? Equalising in the 82nd minute from an awful mishit shot? Leave it out.
    The quicker Wenger fucks off the better. He should’ve left after we lost to Barcelona in 2006.

  20. Niki B's Soldier

    I have to agree with the AKB, although we played bad, Wigan never looked like winning the game either. We created more chances than them and cannot understand some pundits saying that Wigan deserved to win. How the hell?

  21. Biggus

    Good post Pedro.

    First post here but been reading comments everyday for a few years now.

    Yesterday was pathetic in terms of the players approach to the game. No sense of urgency, no game plan and no desire to win the game except for a few players such as Ox and Ramsey.

    We were still passing sideways and back when we were behind!

    I wasn’t that mad with Podolski sub not cause I thought Sanogoal was better, but cause they both were clueless.

    We need a new direction clearly. A manager that subs for tactical reasons and not just doing the same subs. People using Man U as an example of changing managers forget one important fact; we have not been successful in the last nine years so we have nothing to lose! Most good managers will do better with this team as they will train players, motivate them and also rotate players to avoid fatigue.

    Arsene was great for the club but he can’t do better anymore so it’s time for us to bite the bullet and let him go.

    As much as I didn’t enjoy the players celebrating like its the finals, I can understand their relief. It just shows how Wenger has brought us down from grace.

  22. KurtF

    For us to have 100+ million in the bank and a bench like we had yesterday is nothing short of criminal. No tactical plan, a desperately inexperienced striker leading the line and a team who made beating Wigan look far harder than it should have. I quite enjoy the irony that Wenger’s penny pinching ways (remember £40m +£1) are going to end up costing him a fat £8m 3 year deal, because I can’t see the fans being able to handle another 3 seasons of this and I don’t think he can either. Let’s win the cup and then say goodbye to Wenger, because he clearly doesn’t have it in him to compete at the top level anymore.

  23. susi

    I am not a religious guy, but if there is one thing I pray for always is that let wenger leave, however should he choose not to leave, here are some lil things he needs to do to win the league.

    Send sanogo out on loan,
    Give fabiansky a new contract and make him first choice, send cheezzy out on loan
    Buy diego coasta and let giroud be our carling cup striker, also bring back joel cambell.

    Get sagna to extend his contract and buy another left back, jenkinson should be used as part of the deal for the left back, buy ashley williams on free from swansea.

    Get isco or di maria from madrid

    Buy a good 4

    Change our game plan every once in a while, learn to use the element of suprise and stop being too predictable,

    Always rotate players, our best players must always rest

    Simple yea? Even my kid bro who is the coach of his 7th grade class can implement this.

  24. Niki B's Soldier

    Danny, what game were u watching? Couple of good saves from Carson, two bars and Wigan scored a penalty whereas we scored from open play. Don’t let your hatred for Wenger cloud your opinion of the players and the game.

  25. Rosick@Arsenal

    Pedro
    It’s a shame on you for labelling your post as failed success.
    Why people don’t understand that football is like this no body can win everything.How can u say Wigan is a poor side they were in the semis afters beating city at Etihad it was no fluke.They closed the game and when you close the game it’s not easy to score. I can give you hundred of examples when side play negative game by shutting down. Should I?

    Arsenal had 68 % procession had 28 shots on goal against 8 .Got unlucky hitting the post twice and also missed twice by inches. It could have been 4 -1 in the 120 minutes of open play.

    I keep on saying that a fully fit Arsenal team with Ozil Ramsey Theo could be genuine title contenders.

    Also you keep moaning about lack of quality in our side.
    What kind of quality Liverpool have ? Take out Suarez and Gerrard out and you are left with a mid table side.

    Arsenal we’re rocking before the injuries struck. Infact they were leading. I keep on saying if these 3/4 injuries didn’t happen v would still be fighting for the title.

  26. Santos

    They should have celebrated a little, but we know that players are emotional too. They really needed that win personally amongst them. I’m sure that was why they went overboard celebrating. 🙂

  27. Dave Highbury

    We’re in the final, and all the other teams are not…. and we kicked out the Spuds, Liverpool and Everton on the way. Ozil, WIlshire, Theo, Chezzer, Diaby, Flamini and Rosicky out? I’m proud, I’m happy, I’m a Gooner, not a whinging party pooper. Imagine if the players had LeGrove’s looser’s mentality. The team is new, young and on the up. Shut up Le Grove! you whinge too much.

  28. Niki B's Soldier

    Some guys seem to forget that Wigan beat Man City at Etihad. Where we lost 6-3. We played bad, but Wigan defended most of the game. If they played an open game we woulda thrashed them.

  29. Thank you and goodnight

    Team is young and on the up….ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Brilliant. I’ll have what he’s smoking please. Bell ends like that as a supporter, no wonder we’re fucked. Let me guess dave, next season ….-…. ( insert season as you please), he’ll get it right eh. Next season is the season we kick on yeah. FFS

  30. SurferX

    @Niki B’s Soldier

    I sort of agree where you are coming from- in truth, Wigan didn’t really do anything going forward. But you have to contextualise the result- this was a Championship team that looked fairly comfortable against us. Their penalty was nailed on; yes we scored 1 but outside that we looked very ordinary against a (relatively) poor side. Thats nothing to do with my thoughts on Wenger, thats just how it was.

  31. Biggus

    I think Sanogoal will come good but I would send him out on loan to a championship team where he will experience physicality and play week in week out. I doubt any premier league club will play him regularly if he’s on loan.

    Regarding folks wanting Sagna to extend, I like him and I think he’s solid defensively but going forward, he is very limited. His crosses mostly hit the defenders, he gets confused when he is being closed down but he is very good at headers and composed in defence..well most times..

    I would love us to bring a similar full back like Gibbs minus the positioning issues Gibbs has sometimes 🙂

  32. Omar

    These players know whats going on. You can see from their reactions to Wenger when the subs are made you can see the looks he gets from his players on the bench. The only players that would worship him are those average ones on healthy wages they wouldnt get anywhere else.
    Over a year before RVP actually left, his mind was made up that moment Wenger subbed Ox and brought on Arshavin, after Ox was tearing up United. The look on RVP’s face and his reaction said it all.

  33. Sensible old man

    Same old flat, shit performance. So, so , so bored. I do want to win the cup but we’ll probably freeze again like we did against Birmingham, so we’ll have to suffer another shitty game. Wenger out

  34. Santos

    Sometimes people forget how big Arsenal is while lowering their expectations, values and standards so much. Wenger’s attitude has really been dispersed to the fans for a long time. It’s incurable. I wonder where you will all go when he leaves.

  35. Niki B's Soldier

    Agree SurferX, we were shit. But my point is that Wigan defended. Any team who defends will be difficult to break down. Most of the game they had all 11 players behind the ball. They hardly even counter attacked. Any team would struggle to break that down. Even if we had our best team out, it woulda been a tough game. We might have won it in normal time with Ozil, Kozzer, Walcott and the Real Ramsey. But it still woulda been hard. Therefore I say if Wigan played to go for it, we woulda spanked them easily.

  36. SurferX

    Dave Highbury
    “The team is new, young and on the up”

    Im curious. Given that we only signed 3 players this season- one of whom is 30+ and one that is really raw and not a first-team player, in what way would you say this team is ‘new’ or ‘young’? As for the up, do you mean statistically (because it seems pretty similar to a lot of recent years to me- hell, maybe slightly worse if the next 5 games don’t go so good). I can see a big flatline performance wise that has lasted for 5 seasons now.

    Qualify your statements. How exactly are we on the up? Or are you just making stuff-up?

  37. Frankie T

    We do have squad depth, just no quality squad depth. Our numbers are fine we just have no class in the team other than kos, ozil, theo.

    arteta can only take penalties let’s resign him to the bench as a player to close games out.

    The striker siruation is embarrassing. I’m sorry but sanogo doesn’t have any natural skill, anelka had skill, pace, finishing at the age of 18. This boy will be nowhere near.

    We need like for like replacements upgrading on quality.

    Podolski out, di Maria in
    Arteta out, Pogba in
    Giroud out, mandzukic in

    And for Christ sake can we sort out the injuries.

  38. Santos

    Every Tom, Dick and you know who, has found out Wenger’s tactical ineptitude. They way teams continually press us in the midfield without an antidote provided by the coach is a disappointment. I hope Gazidis and Silent Twat have the balls to move on without this obsolete manager.

  39. Martin Wengrow

    Ben. It’s really quite simple. The fans who congregate in the pubs before the game want to sing. Then everybody sets off into the stadium and all of these fans are are integrated amongst many who will not participate. Also the nature of yesterday’s performance made it difficult to raise the volume.
    Thought that Sanogo, apart from a bad miss due to a poor first touch, made a real contribution. He is quick and strong and a real handful. He is also extremely fit and kept going for the full 120 mins. Absolutely agree with Wenger to take Podoski off in front of Ya Ya.
    This was always going to be a tough game unless we scored early. We never gave up and were well worth our victory. The fans should now back the team for the next six potential Cup Finals. Hope they do, then we’ll see what transpires at the end of the season.

  40. Thank you and goodnight

    Niki B
    Of course wigan defended. It’s called tactics. Wenger should try it some time. What did you expect? Wigan to turn up and roll out the red carpet and allow us to take pot shots at goal? Everyone knew wigan would come to defend and try catch us on the break. That’s the puzzle a manager on 7.5 million a year should have no trouble solving.

  41. SurferX

    @Niki B’s Soldier

    Well, if we had lost that game 1-0, I think I would of thought we were a little unlucky to lose, but Wigan rode their luck and the keeper played well. Its not really about Wigan though, is it? Is about the cyclical-repetition of previous management failures- or, in English, chickens coming home to roost. Injuries. Squad-depth. Lack of tactical management.

    Its like being in a car crash that you can’t avoid: you just sit and brace yourself for the collision. Patch the car up and then watch it happen the following season. And again; and again….

  42. CD

    I don’t really agree about Sanogo being out of his depth against a Championship side. He’s raw but he did not perform much worse than anyone else in Arsenal yesterday. He will come good in a few years but should obviously not play such an important role in a title-contending team. The big disgrace this season has been taking Bendtner back as the second option up front. That is simply inexcusable from Wenger.

    The thing about the player celebrations is that they are way too strong considering the opposition and when it’s happening. The players celebrating like they won the World Cup and snapping selfies after beating a Championship side is cringy as it was wildly celebrating a fourth place last year. Same thing with beating Spurs in a laboured and unconvincing 1-0 or celebrating playing 1-1 with Man City in between getting destroyed in the other matches.

    I really think this team needs a new designated mental coach.

    And enough with the selfies.

  43. Doublegooner

    Pedro:

    You care, we all care,

    What we witnessed yesterday was a Managerial Embarrassment.

    The Green Man was like the old days filled with proper Gooners. Then we get to the stadium & witness that shocking debacle.

    Irrespective of the result, come May 17th. Please God WENGER OUT

  44. Doublegooner

    Wenger Resigned after the Chelsea slaughter.

    Was told via an ex 90’s player but board refused to accept.

  45. Al

    Guys Giroud was on the pitch for 50mins and wtf did he do…

    At least Sanogo was constantly getting into the right areas something Giroud doesn’t do.

  46. Niki B's Soldier

    Yeah SurferX. I don’t dispute that we need a serious shake up and agree Wenger has had his innings. He needs a squad full of World Class players in order to be successful. Currently he doesn’t have that, which is why we are where we are. He seems like the manager who gives the plaers freedom to do what they feel will work in the game while keeping the basics intact. With that said, we don’t have the players to play like that. Apart from Ozil and Ramsey. They the kind of players who tell the other players where to run and who to pass. I just don’t agree with guys saying Wigan deserved to win. Thats absurd. And I don’t agree with guys slating the players. These are the type of players who need a manager to tell them what to do and when to do it. Wenger doesn’t. He got a team in the 90’s with a relatively solid defence, and bawt world class players to compliment that. Hence his early success.

  47. Niki B's Soldier

    Thank you and goodnightApril 13, 2014 10:29:48

    What game were u watching? Wigan hardly caught us on the break. They were not playing counter attack, they were just defending hoping for a miracle. Which they got.

  48. Samir masri

    Sanogo should be loaned out and never at the first place be part of an Arsenal A Team. We should have experience players come out of the bench. But sadly our most experience players are out injured. And yet wenger can’t be blamed for it?

  49. Angry Water Bottle

    “Wenger Resigned after the Chelsea slaughter.Was told via an ex 90′s player but board refused to accept”

    I find that hard to believe.

  50. Al

    Wenger is too stubborn to resign mid season …..He has always said he sees out a contract and I actually believe him in that regard

  51. David Andreassen

    One of the best things about being a football supporter I always thought was that there always will be ppl with different oppinions to discuss with. However, that there’s still, so called “supporters” of our great club, who still defend that shadow of what was once a great man called Wenger just baffels me, pisses me of n most of all scare the shit out of me. How the fuck can someone with the intelligenc. enuff to operate a damn web browser still be so damn clueless???

    Did u all see Fabs comments about his preparations for the game? The man sat at home n studied rhe oposition on freakin Youtube on his own!?! Are U freakin kiddin me??

    Does anyone think Joe Hart, De Gea et al have optional private youtube preps on match day? Or are they perhaps required to plow through video sequneces preparred by their employers as ordered by their manager?

    What the hell is going on, are we running a damn little league team or what???

  52. Niki B's Soldier

    On the decision to pull Poldi instead of Sanogo. Poldi wasn’t doing anything really. Sanogo was winning balls in the air, and getting into scoring positions, Poldi did fuckall.

  53. Niki B's Soldier

    On Fabianski – Now thats what I was talking about the other day. A player taking the initiative bcos he cares about the club and wants to succeed. The manager isn’t showing us videos….hey, why don’t I do it myself. Hats off to him cos he’s extra effort took us to the final.

  54. Thank you and goodnight

    Yes I hate wenger. We are a pro club yet I know of Sunday League teams better prepared and better run. Fucking joke of a manager. Our keeper had to do his research on the opposition from Fucking you tube for crying out loud.

  55. Charlie Boy

    Arsene Wenger managing Arsenal is like my marriage: exciting and full of fun in the early years, enjoyable and the odd special occurrence in the middle years – but depressing and frightfully mundane in the later years with nothing to look forward to.

    That said, whilst I’d like to see Wenger call it a day – my wife is part of me (like this club) and will remain in my heart forever!

  56. MadeToLoveMagic

    stopped reading the post after i read the bit a bout sanogo,,,, well harsh

    credit where credit is due,

    he was our man of the match IMO

    yes he missed some chances but he was strong, his link up play was good, he wanted the ball and his touch was NO WHERE NEAR as bad as you say it was, well well well harsh critique of yaya

  57. Charlie Boy

    @MadeToLoveMagic

    I agree that Sanogo at least tried, worked hard and did get behind players – although MOTM belonged to the Ox IMO.

    Criticism of Sanago in general is a little harsh has he hasn’t been given enough games to gain any type of match sharpness.

    That said – I would have gone with Akpom at the beginning of the season anyway, given his excellent pre-season tour and the fact that he’s young and fearless as well as talented.

  58. stanlee

    My view:
    Sanogo is better than Giroud. At least, he is positive going forward. He faces the goal post and he makes runs.
    The team was poor generally especially the midfield. We should note that they are playing under pressure.
    Wenger is not a bad coach as we think. He was still the one coaching them by december wen we were toping the league. His fault is that he didn’t strenghten his squad.

  59. Rosicky@Arsenal

    ‘@Nicki B

    I fully agree with you Wigan closed the game with a negative game plan still v struck the post twice with a little bit of luck v would have won in90min

    This anti club and anti players posters don’t realize Wigan beat city the richest club in Uk at Etihad.
    Did city fans criticized there team for failing to beat a 2nd tier side????

    Did they slash Pelligrini for failing to unlock Wigan defences with such excellent players like Aguero silva yah ya? We’re was Pelligrinis game plan Pedro?????

    Pedro questions Arsenal medical team?..
    Did he question city medical team for not takin care of Aguero who got injured 3 times in a season for hamstring issues?…

    If anti arsenal people have reasons to blame the club pro arsenal fans also have many to counter them

  60. Niki B's Soldier

    @ Magic, thats exactly what I mean. Guys let their hate for Wenger cloud their judgement on the players and the games. Just because Wenger bought Sanogo and made him start instead of Giroud, which was a good decision IMO, they cannot admit that Sanogo did well cos that would indirectly saying Wenger made the right decision.

  61. Goner Joe

    Did we lose yesterday? The comments on here you would think so just one thing man city has lost to Wigan twice this year in the FA cup and the have spent more than 1.2 billion on players. By the way Wigan had 4 shots in 126 minutes of football and only 2 on target. With a little luck we would have scored 3-4 goals .

  62. Samir masri

    Harsh? What game where u watching? I don’t how many times he held his while he missed those great opportunities that would surely had got us to the final. But it doesn’t matter cos we through to the final. But I’m worried if that sanogo turns up to the fa cup final.

  63. stanlee

    Podolski should be played on the right. He has a good left foot and playing him on the left means he can’t cut in and strike. I also keep saying that the ox may make a good striker

  64. BACKPASS

    Nik b

    explain the sanogo did well part cos the sanogo i watched was poor.
    and should we blame rodgers for us starting sanogo or the manager that bought him?

  65. Niki B's Soldier

    @ Samir – Sanogo is not a seasoned vet. He’s a fucking kid for Gods sakes. What do you expect? Yes I was frustrated but I understand. In saying that, Giroud would not have done better.

  66. Guns of brixton

    Pedro didnt slag off our medical team. . . do you renember the post where he said he saw the state of the art medical facilities?

    He questioned the fitness coaches and rightly so, both RVP and csec hired personal fitness coaches. . . i wonder why?

    and why the fuck would he speak bout citehs medical team? its an ARSENAL blog FFS.

  67. Niki B's Soldier

    @backpass. He coulda scored a well worked header after playing the ball to the right and getting into the box if Carson didn’t make a good save. He played a nice flick for the Ox who shoulda taken a shot first time and he woulda scored if he read the play correctly. He brawt the ball down well in the box and gave Ox a nice pass which led to the eventual equaliser. Got into a good scoring position and one on one with Carson, once again the experienced keeper made a good save. All this from a 19 yearold KID who has never played 90 minutes for Arsenal. You want more eh Backpass?

  68. Samir masri

    So if we would had failed then he gets a pass cos he’s a kid? I don’t think so mate. Wenger failed buying a striker. And he thought sanogo would be enough. So it’s clearly wenger’s fault

  69. N'Gambo

    The only good news from yesterday is that Sanogo is going to be a monster when he puts it all together.

    The Amy Goodman piece is the end of the madman.

  70. BlackSnake

    Man City fans havent waited a decade to win silverware whilst being priced out of watching their team play by their own board.

    I dont see anyone defending the 3% price hike for season tickets so why are we letting that happen? As much as Wenger’s decisions are terrible I think there is a bigger problem at board level. Kroenke out.

  71. Rosicky@Arsenal

    @ guns of Brixton

    Mate Pedro frquently criticized our medical team or our training methods what so ever for our increased injury list

  72. Niki B's Soldier

    @Samir. Blame Wenger. I blame Wenger for not buying a striker in the summer window nevermind the winter one. But Sanogo did as well as he could, and the least we can do as true supporters is give credit where credit is due.

  73. grooveydaddy

    to be fair, how much video footage of wigan penalty takers do you expect to be out there?

    outside of jordi gomez, who probably takes them throughout the season.

  74. Arsene's Nurse

    Only at Arsenal will you get fans praising Sanogo because Giroud isn’t any good either. It’s laughable.

    I’ll give you 3 choices on a menu.

    1. Big shit sandwich.
    2. Slightly less big shit sandwich.
    3. BLT – made with hot crusty bread fresh from the local baker, finest bacon from the local butcher, sweet home grown tomatoes and lettuce with fresh mayonnaise made from free range chickens from your own back yard.

    Oh, wait a minute, hold on, you support Arsenal don’t you? Sorry the BLT is not available to you. You can only chose from the first two.

    Now, which shit sandwich are you going to rave about because that shit sandwich doesn’t contain quit as much shit as the other shit sandwich?

    Sanogo should not be anywhere near our club. Stop making excuses such as “he’s a bit raw”, or “he won some headers”. He is shit. It beggars belief that a club of the stature of Arsenal has such a striker so woefully inadequate, let alone when there is huge wads of cash available.

    Only an Arsenal fan can try to find the positives in eating a big shit sandwich.

    Giroud, at absolute best, should be 3rd choice and on no more than £20k a week. This is what it’s come down to due to a manager that has completely lost the plot.

    Oh and btw, that shit sandwich you are complementing – the price is going up 3% again next year. Bon Appétit!

  75. N5

    Rosicky you might want to reread these alleged post. Pedro doesn’t slate the medical team, he slated Wenger for not listening to their advise. When they red zoned players he still played them.

  76. Zoran

    “Sanogo was winning balls in the air, and getting into scoring positions”

    Exactly. In this aspect of the game far more than Monsieur L’Oreal.

    Give him more chance or even send on loan, and he will show what a deadly striker he is.
    Not for nothing the best striker in the last European U21 championship, where France won.

  77. Ben

    Martin , El Tel – fair points, think you are right. Suppose I naively think that Wembley semi final on a Sat eve everybody would be in a pub beforehand and bang up for it – but clearly not the case!

  78. Niki B's Soldier

    Thanks for being honest Samir. I agree Sanogo isn’t ready yet, nobody said he is. And for someone who isn’t ready to do as much as he done yesterday is a good performance for me. A couple shots on goal, won a couple of aerial duels, a few good runs, he held up the ball well for most of the game, hardly lost the ball needlessly. For someone who never played much and is his age, he did well.

    TYAG – You don’t know football buddy and cannot make an honest comment. So I won’t engage your pointless efforts.

  79. N5

    “Give him more chance or even send on loan, and he will show what a deadly striker he is.”

    Sometimes taking a chance on a lower league player works (Kos) sometimes it doesn’t (Jenkinson) but Sanogo doesn’t look like he’ll be a deadly striker any time. He was hitting balls into the stand that even under 7s would get closer to troubling the keeper. I would love to be wrong, but no way is Sanogo ever going to be a deadly striker!

  80. Arsene's Nurse

    Niki B’s Soldier April 13, 2014 11:30:09

    @ Samir – Sanogo is not a seasoned vet. He’s a fucking kid for Gods sakes. What do you expect? Yes I was frustrated but I understand. In saying that, Giroud would not have done better.
    ——————————————————————————–
    What do I expect? I expect him to be delivering the mail.

  81. BACKPASS

    For fcuk sake Niki b,he is 21 years and cant control a fucking ball.

    He was poor yesterday,just because he did more than Giroud doesnt mean he is good infact it highlights how useless Giroud is.

    You talking of young striker,why not Akpom,surely he cant be worse than those two lumps you call strikers.

    Again sanogo may or may not come good but do you think we have time to wait for him after all the waiting we’ve being doing for years?absolutely no.

    Arsene has belittled your standards to think Average sanogo was man of the match yesterday,i mean WTF

  82. polo

    Crap game, shit performance. a win thats papering over cracks. Until wenger leaves our club we are going nowhere.. and celebrating on the pitch like we had just won the cup tell u everything about how far we’ve fallon. It was crinch worthy. That win on penaltys yesterday against a time like wigan doesn’t fall me. If it falls any of you your madder than wenger is…

  83. Godfather

    My emotions are still raw. What a heart wringer … I must say that I’m more relieved than ecstatic and yes the boys should do better. But for the so called Arsenal fans wishing they lost? C’mon people stop being Nutters and Loonies!

  84. Niki B's Soldier

    I have never said that Sanogo must be our first choice striker, stop reading comments to suit your anti Arsenal agenda. All i’m saying is the lad did well for his age and experience. He had some fight in him. I would say that he didn’t press Wigans defenders hard enough for me. He’s inexperienced, and comparing him to Lukaku is childish and shows that you know bugger all about football.

  85. BACKPASS

    N5

    exactly,against Stoke he just sends the ball to God knows where,he didnt even work the keeper.

    God help us

  86. gonsterous

    Gotta love fabianski for doing a bit of homework… Wenger wasn’t even bothered !! I mean what has he changed in the club in the last 5 years other than make more money ?? His signings have always been crap and if I do meet him I wanna ask him where he sees arsenal football club in 5 years time ??

  87. bigper

    sanogo tried his best its all you can ask for, not his fault he aint ready. at least he gave their defence something to think about unlike giroud.

  88. N5

    I have Niki right with Sanogo’s work rate, but he had no control, no shooting skill and no technique. 21 is a man in footballing terms and had we seen Akpom out there, who’s 18 by the way we would have seen more of a complete striker and no one would be saying, “he’s only a kid”.

    Also If their only kids, why the fuck are they being selected for a Semi-Final anyway?

  89. Niki B's Soldier

    You cannot compare Lukaku to Sanogo. He is better than Sanogo by a mile. He always was thats why Chelsea bought him at a young age. After a couple of loan spells with different teams he’s gaining experience and maturing. Now how the hell can a guy who knows football compare Sanogo to Lukaku. It’s beyond me. It’s like comparing Hazard to Gnabry. lol.

  90. Thank you and goodnight

    @Niki
    Stick to loving wenger mate and leave football to the people who know. I’ve yet to find an AKB who knows what the fuck they’re talking about. Sanogo is shite. Will be no more than average at best.

  91. Niki B's Soldier

    Agreed N5. But the guy has no experience in the top flight. Akpom grew up at Arsenal so he knows the way they play. Sanogo was gonna be a postman before Arsenal took him in. I say give him, I see a great player in there somewhere who has had his development hindered and might take a bit longer to reach the heights of Lukaku/Hazard at his age. All players are different. Anelka was one who was hot naturally. Drogba became a beast later on. Whos the better striker?

  92. bigper

    I actually think yesterday was a weird game, the players seemed so concered about losing that they didn’t play, im not sure wigan were a threat it was simply our players nerves.

    the infamous ‘handbrake’ lol

  93. Thank you and goodnight

    No niki don’t try and twist things. You excused Sanogo ‘ s shite performances on his age and I pointed out that lukaku is roughly around the same age and a fat better footballer. The ox is younger than Sanogo and I would rather start him up top to that french flop.

  94. N5

    “sanogo tried his best its all you can ask for, not his fault he aint ready”

    I 100% agree with this comment. Sanogo did what he could do, Wenger should not have put him on the pitch! The poor fucker has a couple of games and they are two of the most important of our season. Akpom should have been on. The blame lies squarely with Wenger on this one.

  95. BACKPASS

    Niki B

    one is better than one despite being the same age.it is not about how many matches he has played in the Epl

  96. Niki B's Soldier

    TYAG. If you actually read my posts you will know I never said I love Wenger. You a fucking Anti Arsenal cunt who reads comments to suit your own agenda. I have agreed many times that Wenger should leave. He had his time. I’m no AKB. I’m a fucking Gooner!

  97. gonsterous

    Surely anyone asking for Wenger to stay must be insane or just not catching up with the football or heavens forbid, to scared of change…

    Wenger is finished and it’ll be best for him to just leave and we can all move on…

  98. bigper

    lack of tactical approach and no confidence makes it hard for even top players to perform which is where we are.

  99. bigper

    N5

    yeah gotta feel for sanogo its huge pressure for him, but I think he did well.

    he barely played in france either because of injury so he has hardly played any football at all

  100. Niki B's Soldier

    TYAG. Yes, I did say his young. Which is true. BUT what makes the Ox and Lukaku better? Their experience and perhaps natural ability. If they never played at big teams from a young age they would probably be no better.

  101. bergkamplegend

    Poldi out for l’Oréal in, and sanogo staying on the pitch.

    That only fact is a proof that wenger is still a great manager.
    Not funny ??