I’m losing my edge

by .

Someone gave that guy on the fountain chair a child to dance with...

Someone gave that guy on the fountain chair a child to dance with…

Happy 65th Arsene. The big 65. Wow. Huge achievement. You’ve done some things. Won stuff. Made some cash money. You’ve got it all.

Question though. I have questions. How long do you go on for? When is it right to hand over to someone new? When does continuity become detrimental? When are you just holding onto power because of ego? When do you say, ‘I can’t do this anymore’?

Interesting that I raised the age thing yesterday to great fanfare. When people question the age of the board, it’s cool. When you question the age of the manager and his relevance in football, it’s ageist.

So when it gets like that, you have to put numbers into the game. Before we play this, my view is this. Football is a young mans game these days. The sweet spot for great managers is between 42-55. I personally think the real talent lies at the lower end of that spectrum. Usually when managers have done their stint as an assistant and are ready to emerge with fresh ideas.

The reason young managers work well is they don’t have a formula. They have access to more tools. They’re part of a generation more accepting of technology and its evolution. They have more to prove. They also have more of a connection with the youth generation. Especially in football, where you’re trying to connect with teenagers.

The difference between football now and football of ten years ago is immense. It’s the same in marketing. My Dad ran a successful creative agency in the eighties and nineties, but things changed. Digital became more prominent, data became more of a focal point and the world went from less than ten channels to hundreds. When Wenger took over Arsenal, revolutionary was stopping players from drinking 10 pints, having a strong play on nutrition and raiding the French market for talent. 20 years on sport has changed. All clubs have access to the same tools. Tech is cheaper, smarter and it’s being mastered by experts rather than managers. Teams like Barca and City have video analysts sitting in the stands cutting video for half time. Prozone are integrating with Football manager to improve access to scouting. Football globalisation has lowered the barriers to entry to pretty much all the markets. Football is 80%+ faster than it was. The players are bigger and faster. Managers are more tactical and flexible. Clubs aren’t about the domineering manager who is jack of all trades, they’re built out so they own process IP… they’re built out into departments that are run by experts who feed into the main man who makes the decisions.

The game is a million miles away from where it was. Our manager, however, isn’t. He’s still sitting at the starting line refusing to purchase the bus ticket to the future.

Ok, so before I crack into this, there are a couple of anomalies. Firstly, Pelligrini. Personally, I don’t rate him. Also, he’s dealing with the Man City squad. Don’t come defending him to me if you’re the type of fan who uses City’s resource to defend Arsene. If Jose was at City, I think you’d see a far more dominant team. Ferguson is the exception but he’s retired. Heynckes was replaced by a Bayern Munich who understand what I’m making a point about here.

Pep G 43
Carlo A 55
L Enrique 44
R. Garcia 50
Conte 44
Allegri 47
Mourinho 51
Blanc 48
Klopp 47
Simeone 44
Unai Emery 42
Rogers 41
Lopetegui 48
Jardim 40
Pelligrini 62
Loew 54
47.5

So above are the best coaches in Europe, either by performance or job. I’ve left LVG out of the loop because, let’s be honest, he’s going to be a disaster. Wenger isn’t an elite coach anymore. The rest up there have all won something major or they’re doing a pretty major job. Allegri perhaps shouldn’t be there, but he’s the new man at Juve, so there’s something in his appointment.

Anyway, average age of a top football manager in Europe is 47.5. Wenger is 37% older than the average, even when you factor in the City manager. 34% older if you wanted to the throw LVG into the mix.

Now, I’m not for a minute suggesting you can’t be dynamic at that age. I’m just pointing out that the clear trend with football managers is to opt for the younger man. I’m saying our problems stem from not accepting the future. Refusing to adapt. Not adapting the core team of backroom leaders despite clear failings.

Steve Jobs believed creative contribution post 30 was a tough ask citing musicians and artists. He had to go out of his way to keep his thinking radical and ahead of the curve, namely by always asking questions of himself. Mark Zuckerberg had a similar mindset when he was starting out Facebook. Now, whilst these are extreme examples and probably misguided (I am thirty, I don’t want to be useless), there is something in the idea that there’s a top out point when it comes to being innovative. There has to be a point where you say enough is enough. Looking at all our failings as a club, that all centre around one man who has been here for too long.

65 is great. Even greater if you’re still in a job. Not great if you’re only in the job because you’ve built an impenetrable power base no one can break.

TONIGHT

Enough on the birthday celebrations. What about the game tonight? Well, Koscielny won’t be about. Still injured. Ospina has some how managed to crock himself for the next three months. His injury powers are strong.

Arteta could be available as could Aaron Ramsey. That’s good news. The more bodies we can get back the better. We want people firing as soon as possible. Wondering when we’ll see Theo back in the mix.

You’d hope we have enough in the locker tonight. We’ve not responded well to anything this season. We’ve looked like we’re on a  permanent hangover all season. We need to wake up, we need to show a bit of passion and the manager needs to inject a bit of instruction into the side.

If you’re going, have fun. Stay safe. Drink all the Belgian beer!

I’ll leave you with this song by one of my favourite bands. I imagine Arsene Wenger singing the footballing equivalent of the below track in the shower.

885 Responses to “I’m losing my edge”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Thomas

    @Arsenal: AW: It was disappointing we did not create more chanceS but I put that down to Anderlecht defending well. #ANDvAFC

    ______

    What a pathetic comment by Wenger. Like we dominated the game and should’ve scored more if we were sharper. You just knew he was going to milk this result.

  2. kwik fit

    Sanchez was shaking his head at the final whistle knowing that the performance was dismissal. The rest meanwhile where celebrating the ‘victory’ sad sad night.

  3. Blsany

    I kow we are all buzzing but Anderlecht should have put the game to bed. The stretched with bunch of kids. no player had a good game. Some people need to get of sanchezs dick.

  4. gunnergetyou

    “I know that in the last 5 minutes of Champions League games teams always get nervous ”

    Haha Wenger trying to take some credit.

    His mate Podolski bailed him out big time.

  5. ikon

    One man who was sorely missed was Koscielny.

    Shocker of a performance though. The number of times we lost ball near the final third was school boy stuff.

    We definitely need a change, and I am not sure if getting new players is going to be enough

  6. Blsany

    There is no know how within our ranks . Not even funny also why is Caz so shattered lately? He should be revelling with no ozil and all that.

  7. El Tel 1

    I never saw the second half so no comment there but astonished to read that Anderlecht outplayed us and deserved to win.

    I watched the first half and Martinez had nothing to do. We controlled the match had a couple of half chances but gave the ball away far to often.

    Did Anderlecht really dominate the second half or are the comments the same as usual on here?

    So glad Poldi scored the winner. He is a natural finiser and would score regularly with Sanchez and Walcott up top with him.

    No excuses but that was a depleted Arsenal side tonight and slightly agree with most of the Willshere comments.

    He is a talented technical player but has no vision and as said many times before we grind to a standstill when he is on the ball.

    Also got to say that we would have smashed them tonight if Ozil was fit. He would have dragged them about and exploited the gaps.

    Would love the Ancelloti rumours to be true but until the day comes when Wenger gets booted I will stick with supporting my team.

  8. alex cutter

    “Sanchez was shaking his head at the final whistle knowing that the performance was dismissal.”

    I get the feeling that Ozil isn’t going to be the only one looking for the door during the transfer window.

  9. ikon

    And Jack Wilshere… I dont know what is missing, application or real guidance.

    Ideally I think Murinho or any other coach would play him wide since his best ability is to dribble, and he is very good at that. But Wenger plays everyone in the wrong position does n’t he?

    Shocker performance from Monreal, get real!!

    Shocker again from Welbeck, an average striker, Alexis Sanchez… will get tired working his ass off like this for the team week in week out.

  10. Thomas

    Cesc AppealOctober 22, 2014 21:24:58
    Buying new players at this stage is pointless.

    ___

    Yep we’re beyond that and formations at this stage. As long as Wenger is still manager we’re not getting anywhere.

  11. Blsany

    Ramsey is back to himself again after getting payrise for 6 months work. How does a team create any chances if every one wants the ball to their feet. At one point all the cms were few yards from each other that is fine if you can make patterns and triangles but they cannot even make the ball stick when the receive the ball. This team is even worse to watxh the liverpool and the were fucking poor.

  12. Wenger's Wallet

    What total tip tap passing drivel. No plan no tactics. I wish the Belgians kept their lead. Another nail in le Senile’s ball less beanbag. Tosser.

  13. Blsany

    Arsenal has become the team were you just showcase your skills before a real team comes and takes you away just look at our players. They know mate wenger out now!!!!!

  14. Blsany

    Ludogorety deserves to be in Cl more than us coz the actually contribute something new not the old tippy tappý, wilshire on the flooor type of footie we play. Lol

  15. Radio Raheem

    Glad I didn’t watch that.

    Saw the first half of Liverpool vs Real. Levante would’ve put up a better fight.

  16. Loyika

    Your Comment HereSanchez this and Sanchez that!? WTF!? Whoelse wanted to buy him!? Liverpool and i doubt if he compares the situation there he would have any complaints.

    He is payed a handsome salary to work his socks off and if he has to carry the team till it gels so be it!! Henry did it, Cesc did it, RVP did it, Rambo did it last season so why can’t he!!

    You all like reading meanings to the dumbest shite its unbelievable.

    On to the game, rubbish performance but will take the result. We really need to play our way out of this funk!!

    I hope Theo finds his goal scoring form asap. Hope he gets a runout against Sunderland as i am sure they will come all out in the first 20 mins on saturday and if we are not at the races i see this defence being torn apart in the 1st half of that game, so Theo’s pace could be useful. Or better yet he starts Ox and Arteta (instead of Flamini)

    Also Bellerin instead of Chambers for me.

    The players just need to play their way out of this, and if we can’t do that against Sunderland, Burnley and Anderlecht at home, then i guess it’s all downhill from there.

    On another note, i see a royal rumble about to take place in the Mario vs Brendan Show.

  17. Blsany

    Rspc exactly what i thought. Its just a collection of average individuals i mean they do the same thing over again. People say we are team of technical players we should be walking games like this. These type of games should be the ones were our superior way should have shone through!

  18. karim

    Tyag

    Just keep your baby away from the living room while watching Arsenal and everything will be just fine lol

    Joking mate, very happy for ya !

  19. Confidentgoner

    Most teams now know how to play us. Simple. Pack players in front of their 18yard area, dispossessed us and do a fast counter. Simple.

    We are so easy to play against its not funny.

    Chambers should have played his CB role. He is not great as a wing back. Think Bellerin is better. We need a DM and another CB. Messenger is a train. I agree Wilshire foes not suit us, but apparently our manager has not seen this. For God’s sake Montreal is no CB.

    Welbeck is average, and tires easily. Same with Ox. We need a top class striker

  20. Thank you and goodnight

    @Karim

    Ha ha ha. Cheers. I just hope by the time the little one is old enough to watch footie wenger is no longer in charge of the team. If I made him support Arsenal the way we are at the moment I’d get done for child cruelty. I’ve already lost the eldest boy to man city.

  21. Dissenter

    Cesc<
    "Buying new players at this stage is pointless"

    I really think there should be a moratorium on renewing contracts. Let the new manager in 2.5 years make those decisions. Wenger should be sent away to Greenland on an expedition window to avoid us buying shams.

    Why did we sign a crocked goal keeper in the summer?

  22. Confidentgoner

    Most teams now know how to play us. Simple. Pack players in front of their 18yard area, dispossessed us and do a fast counter. Simple.

    We are so easy to play against its not funny.

    Chambers should have played his CB role. He is not great as a wing back. Think Bellerin is better. We need a DM and another CB. Mertesaker is a train, very slow. I agree Wilshire does not suit us, but apparently our manager has not seen this. For God’s sake Monreal is no CB.

    Welbeck is average, and tires easily. Same with Ox. We need a top class striker

  23. Blsany

    We all blame wenger but players should just identify weakness of other team on the pitch we have enough skilled players to do that. Thats how they used to it in the old days.

  24. WengerEagle

    TYAG

    Congrats on the new arrival mate, I’m very happy for you.

    As this is your 4th child, can you please teach our forwards a thing or two about shooting accuracy?

    And Wenger what a working pair of balls can produce?

    😀

  25. tunnygriffboy

    Poor performance. First 60 minutes nothing between the teams which is sad in itself. We huffed and puffed, misplaced too many passes and held onto the ball too long. From minute 65 to 82 they were the better side but missed their chances ( thank you Martinez ). 85 minutes onwards we were the better side and took our chances

    Why put Campbell and Ox on after they score. Why not be pro active after 60 and make the changes when you could see that things were going badly

    Wilshere was by no means the worse performer on there tonight. He gets some fearful stick on here. There were worse performances from Ramsey, Welbeck, Santi, Per and Flamini

  26. Cesc Appeal

    tunny

    It’s not even about his performance, it’s something I personally have felt all last season as well as this one just that we don’t play anywhere near as well with him on the pitch. He doesn’t fit and just seems to ruin our game somehow.

    Just one of those things.

    Our two best performances this year have come when he isn’t playing; Everton as well, 2-0 down, took him off revert to a 4-2-3-1 and we instantly looked better, scored 2 and really could have won the game still.

    I don’t think Wilshere knows what he’s doing and I don’t think the team knows what to do with him. What is he? What does he do? He seems to really hurt our tempo and loses possession a lot, holds onto the ball for too long and always tries clever little flicks or toe pokes on the edge of the box – great when they come off, but most of the time he concedes possession again.

  27. ScotsGooner

    Evening fellow Gunners,

    Well what a shocker that was I’m sure we’ll all agree. Got out of jail doesn’t even cover that performance.

    Never in many years following Arsenal have I seen the team so dispirited and I mean not just tonight but for the whole of this season so far. WTF is going on at the Emirates?

    What I found interesting was the post-match interview with Wenger – why was he not asked “Why did it take your team until the 89th minute to score?” – given all your resources and ticket prices. Something stinks at AFC (Wenger’s corpse in interviews like weekend at Bernies probably) and I’m not happy about it all. I mean who can possibly be happy after the last few games – totally devoid of passion.

    Wenger was going on about ingredients of the team in interviews for the last few seasons – I mean WTF can he say now? – a touch of shit, a splash of no passion and a sprinkling of no belief – the guy is a fecking maniac/dinosaur who is past is sell by date – even though he has worked wonders for the club.

    He has been eclipsed by younger managers and found out big time this season so far. All good things come to an end and now is the time. For the first time I really fear for Wenger’s job this season unless he can produce a miracle and turn this shit around.

    Please reply to this post for other thoughts and musings.

    Best Regards

    (Disgruntled) ScotsGooner

  28. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    Part of it’s the system. Also either play him or Ramsey not both of them. Ramsey was awful tonight ( and I’m a huge fan ). Santi on the left but always comes to themiddle. It’s too congested. We didnt win because Wilshere came off, we won because we chucked everyone forward, Gibbs scored a great goal, and Poldi did his thing. Far to simplistic to blame Wilshere tonight. Honest.

  29. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc cont . . . . .

    Campbell looked lively tonight. Came on 15 mins to late. Should have come on way before they scored while we were enjoying possession and territory, ditto the Ox

  30. Loyika

    @ N5

    Was just reacting to folks making out as if Sanchez was doing his team mates a favor. He might not have liked the performance but he is part of a team and if he is the player on form he should take the responsibility and folks should stop making out as if he is better than the team.

    Like Poldi, when he scores he doesn’t make it a personal thingy, he is happy for the team, so folks reading meanings into Alexis’s demeanor after the game to make up their subjective conclusions is just not on!!

  31. N5

    Cheers for clearing that up for me Loyika, I couldn’t quite understand the first time round, it was probably me being a dumbass.

  32. WrightIsGod

    I’ve become a pessimist full of scepticism thanks to Mr Wenger but…..just but……that was the kind of result that can turn a season on its head.

  33. fourthisatrophy

    What a jammy manager, escapes again, clueless, brings Podolski on with 7 minutes to go, and people think he’s a tactical genius because he scores, as usual nothing done until around 72-74th minute, then the laptop says make a change, so he does, this fool is managing by numbers

  34. WrightIsGod

    LOYIKA: “Your Comment HereSanchez this and Sanchez that!? WTF!? Whoelse wanted to buy him!? Liverpool and i doubt if he compares the situation there he would have any complaints.He is payed a handsome salary to work his socks off and if he has to carry the team till it gels so be it!! Henry did it, Cesc did it, RVP did it, Rambo did it last season so why can’t he!!’

    – I enjoyed this entry I must say. I’m with you!

  35. gnarleygeorge9

    Why would Old Frenchie leave ‘Lead Foot’ Podolski out in the cold, yet Diaby gets paid squillions to do nothing? To me it just doesn’t add up. Why is my man Lukas a transfer chance, whereas Diaby does nothing, gives nothing & he is un-transferable in the eyes of Le Gaffer 😉

  36. Bermy boy

    Sanchez and Ozil must have been higher than Sputnik when they signed those contracts,Arsene must have sent over Snoop dogg an hour before he arrived with the papers.

  37. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Shameful display from Arsenal. Take the three points and get the heck out of Belgium with your collective tails between your legs. Bar none this was the worst performance of the season. They were in awe of you until they realized you were more lost on the pitch than they could have ever been. Wenger is such an incredulous jackass!

  38. Bamford13

    London is ruining the comments section. Complete dipshit. Not even bright enough to recognize how badly gambon dismantled his argument. Knows fuck all about the game.

    “Hey guys, who would your starting XI be today if you were Madrid’s manager?”

    What are you, five years old?

  39. cladicus

    My exact words when they scored were “Holy shit, D C United scored on us?”

    Sanchez may not decide to stay, but he will always work hard. Just the type of player he is.

  40. Bamford13

    “Bob” still hasn’t managed to make a comment about something other than Wilshere. Guy must be something like 117 for 117 at this point.

    He’s probably hiding in the bushes in front of Wilshere’s house at moment, hoping to take a club his knees when he returns home.

    Complete nutjob.

  41. MidwestGun

    Rewatched the match. SAnchez, JW, Ramsey, and Santi are a terrible midfield group because they all want to play in the center of the pitch. Sanchez is the only one who at times stuck to the chalk. But mostly it was a center mess of players due to stupid 4-1-4-1. In one comical interchange in the second half Sanchez ran into Ramsey and tripped they were so close together.
    As soon as Podolski came on (83rd minute or so..lol) we switched to 4-2-3-1 with Ramsey and Ox behind , Campbell, Santi and Podolski with Sanchez Cf. Immediate difference with spacing. It wasnt a true double pivot as Ramsey did most of the work and Ox roamed forward. And Ramsey played a million times better. Pinged a few longer passes to Gibbs and made a few late runs into box. The result 2 goals in 5 minuted. He needs to play deeper. It’s not really even about JW’s play. It’s about shoehorning him into a wack formation. And Rambo is a better defender. Was playing Flamini’s role at the end as cdm. So once again its about playing either JW or Rambo not both at same time. Welbeck was useless also in this match, his worst match by far for us.
    Frustrated because as most have pointed out it makes no difference who we bring in as we will have the same issues with stubborn tactics. AW only switches down goals and in last few minutes apparently when he has nothing to lose.

    And yes Bob has issues with his obssessed anti British JW troll crap. JW isn’t the reason he’s a symptom of our crap manager. Chambers to Gibbs, both from England for our first goal.
    Anyhow, long way to say, Wenger is the majority of problem. Ya the players made mistakes but they weren’t in a position to succeed until the end. And we didn’t start a balanced lineup.

    Going forward I would keep Rambo and Ox as double pivot and let Rambo play cdm. Not interested in seeing Flamini play unless emergency.

    *Keyser disclaimer * – this is all my opinion based on watching the last ten minutes about 5 times.

  42. MidwestGun

    Player ratings from Whoscored. Com based on stats.
    Welbeck – 5.8
    Sanchez – 7.1
    Cazorla – 7.6
    Rambo – 6.7
    Flamini – 6.9
    Wilshere- 7.0
    Chambers- 7.2
    Mert. – 6.8
    Monreal. -7.4
    Gibbs. -8.6
    Martinez. – 6.5

    Overall crap performance considering we were playing a glorified MLS squad. DC United indeed.
    3 point miracle via Agent Podselfie with the left foot hammer.

  43. Dark Hei

    I actually like Pelegrini a lot, for the style of football that he brings to City. It is fluid, devastating and very pretty.

    I would love to see Calos A over at Arsenal too; he is Mr Diplomatic himself. Perfect for guys like Silent Stan. Perhaps he can be poached given the job security at the Emirates.

    Garcia is great too. I like that stylistic football, though Forehead will be mighty displeased if fate brings him over.

    I am not sure about putting Conte and Allegri on that list. Sure they won the Serie A, but subsequently bombed in Europe. They are the flip side of Wenger.

    How do you even put Rodgers on that list? (Got the spelling wrong too). Let’s see how this season pans out. Should have signed Remy instead of that nut Ballotelli.

    Not a big fan of guys like Mourinho and Simeone since their football ain’t so pretty.

  44. Wallace

    “London is ruining the comments section. Complete dipshit. Not even bright enough to recognize how badly gambon dismantled his argument.”

    no, man, i think he’s hilarious. with his unique ability to think outside of the box, his paradigm busting…when we’re playing as badly as we did last night it’s a welcome relief to be able to scroll up and re-read some of his pearlers.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Have reflected on last night and the season as a whole.

    What is wrong.

    1. Defence. Shortage of numbers and no cover for Koscielny in left centre back
    position. Organization is also very poor.
    2.Defensive Midfield. Lack of physical and mobile player.
    3.Central Midfield. Too many lightweight and pedestrian players. We need a
    midfield general eg Fabregas.
    4.Wing. In absence of Walcott we lack pace on the flanks and someone who
    can cross properly ball.
    5.Strikers. Welbeck or Giroud are decent squad players, but we need a top
    notch goalscorer.
    6.Formation. Current formation in midfield and up front is completely
    ineffective. We are pedestrian, overelaborate with short passing game and
    no width.
    7.Lack of leadership on pitch.
    8.Too many injuries in squad.
    9.Need to reassess our coaching,medical and scouting resources.
    10.New Manager providing fresh ideas and stimulation.

  46. Jeff

    TYAG,

    Merson was going on about how extremely lucky we were to come out with a win and any other top team such as Real Madrid would have beaten us 7:0. Stuff like that. He’s quite right of course but it will mostly fall on deaf ears.

  47. Wallace

    i’m sure the shortened pre-season and the many injuries are partly to blame, but we’ve played 15 odd games now and i can recall maybe about 60mins of good football in that time. in theory i can see why he wants the 4-1-4-1 but it’s just not working out. we’re as exposed as ever on the counter, and there’s just no fluency at all to the play. Arteta is still our best option at DM, and that’s despite him looking even dodgier this season than he did last.

    it’d be nice to think last night’s freak result might be a turning point, but he’s got to go back to 4-2-3-1.

  48. Jeff

    Wallace,

    It’s all too late for this season. The damage is already done. The best we can hope for is fourth and even that will look extremely dodgy if we carry on with this mind-set. Even you know how stubborn he is and won’t change so we are basically buggered.

  49. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    Nothing will change so long as Wenger remains at helm.

    What we all say on this website and everywhere else is becoming repetitive,but the reality is that the club at the moment is rudderless, stale and devoid of ideas and good tactical planning.

    Last night’s performance and everything else this season prove that we need
    urgently a new manager.

  50. Thank you and goodnight

    The reality is 2 months in and our season is over and already we are fighting just for 4th. Not good enough for a club of our stature. And while wenger is to blame let’s not leave kroenke and gazidis out of this momentous fuck up that has become AFC. The rotten lot of them out.

  51. Justice4 Sonogo

    That was a SHOCKER I mean give my Arsenal back plz Wenger or who evere took away my beutifull baby!!!
    Never seen any thing like this befor I mean even in the days of Denilson and Diaby we’ve never lost our Identity ..
    They need to get back on track sooner rather than later or the big fall is only round the cornre…. Heart aching watching U guys and Wenger still in denial ..

  52. Wallace

    the kid Tielemans is going to be a top player. be nice to think he caught Wenger’s eye last night. only 17 and already think he’d improve us quite dramatically. interesting to see if he’s as influential at Emirates.

  53. Thorough

    JAMAL, OCTOBER 22: This is gonna be one of them boring games with no urgency whatsoever from us. We might wake up when Anderlecth score.
    Jamal, how much do I offer to get me them winning numbers/scores?

  54. Romford Pele

    Lol f*** Wenger and this stupid system. Like I was saying, it’s not really personnel. This 4-1-4-1 is a load of BS. The sooner he buggers off, the better.

    Felt so sorry for Welbz last night, literally had no service, so so poor.

    Big up Big Benz though, proper striker.

  55. gambon

    Nice to see Kieran Gibbs running to the touchline and sliding on his knees, putting his own glory before the club.

    You would never, ever catch a player from a top club doing this.

    Embarrassing.

  56. Romford Pele

    “only 17 and already think he’d improve us quite dramatically”

    No he wouldn’t. Not when Wenger is playing a s*** roundabout formation where the ball stays in the middle all the time and doesn’t get circulated more than five yards.

  57. Dark Hei

    Going by the history books, Wenger will ditch the 4-1-4-1 just as it looks like the 4th place trophy is out of his gasp.

    He will switch back to the 4-2-3-1 and we will snatch the invisible trophy in the dying moments of the final match of the season.

    But Wenger still got the sack this time round because half of the fan base died of heart related ailments due to the roller coaster nature of the season and so season renewals are at an all time low.

  58. Romford Pele

    Lol Gibbs sliding on his knees like 1-1 was a good result. Dortmund battered these lot with their eyes closed. Predictable sterile possession BS from Arsenal. Honestly Wengerball is the worst.

  59. Hal

    Sorry guys. cant agree on Gibbs scoring and then his celebration being a joke. He is a left back that never scores, so was elated to have done so and he knew that, despite the team playing soooooo badly, he has won them a point they didn’t deserve (and as it turned out 3 points).

  60. Romford Pele

    “He is a left back that never scores, so was elated to have done”

    Lol who gives a s***. Team first. Pick up the ball and go back to the centre.

  61. gambon

    Hal

    What a load of absolute shit.

    Considering we cant get any further than the CL 2nd round these days, and considering the main reason for that is we keep finishing second in the group…..for Gibbs to act like that when we had 5 mins to win the game is shocking.

    However not unexpected in a team that celebrate coming 4th like theyve won the CL and World Cup combined.

    There is absolutely zero excuse for what Gibbs did, but the blame lies most certainly with Wenger, who sets standards so low that scoring the equaliser against Anderlecht becomes something to celebrate.

  62. Hal

    I know what you mean RP, but give the guy a brake. As I said left backs that score, lose control of their emotions almost as much as Goalies who score. At least we have confirmation he gives a damn.

  63. Dissenter

    Arsene Wenger on Podolski; “He was never close to leaving in the summer. He has 115 caps for Germany that is not a coincidence, that shows you the quality.

    “I think he is a guy you want to have the ball in the box. His shot is fantastic, his accuracy is great and he has very short back lift. He nearly scored before and I know when he comes on he can score.”

    The whole world knows Podolski was on the verge of leaving until Giroud got injured. Wenger himself alluded to it in earlier interviews. So because he score a goal, he’s not leaving again?
    Podolski run, run, run.

    This man is full of so much shite, no one really knows what he wants. You’ve got to feel for these players, Arsene is all over the place.
    Does he even assign specific roles and tasks to these players?

  64. Hal

    Oh and Gambon. What I said was not S*** as you say. It was a completely factual statement. The only part you can argue with is my opinion that he isn’t a complete idiot for celebrating that way.

  65. Dissenter

    And yes,
    Gibbs was freaking disgrace.
    Did he think 1:1 was a good score line against Anderlech away?

    He should have been running to get the ball back to the center for a quick restart. The mentality of these guys is crap, aren’t we supposed to still be a big club?

    He’s 25 years old and not yet a leader. Calamitous shame.

  66. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    The sad thing is
    As much as we were expected to win….

    Wenger will put it down to his creative management skills, making those dramatic subs was pure genius…
    That’s how his mind thinks an will tell the board that .

    We are lumbered for 2.5 years

    We can only hope he announces plans to retire after this contract, that will allow us to open the books on replacing.

  67. Hal

    We can only hope that he announces that R.S.P.C.

    Had that argument with some friends yesterday about who could replace him and even if we fail to get his 4th place trophy, will he leave?

  68. Dissenter

    Do you guys realize that Gibbs is one of our longest serving players.
    You expect leadership from him.
    The excuse of he “hardly ever scores” doesn’t cut it.

    You grab the ball and point your team mates to the center.
    Did anyone even attempt to return the ball back to the center?

    Arsene has created this no-pressure and low expectation environment.
    When you don’t score, blame the opposition
    Celebrate like crazy with fourth place.
    Spin CL second round knock-out as a success.
    We’ve become the mediocre’s paradise.

  69. Hal

    Lol Dark Hei, they are becoming something of a normal occurrences arn’t they.

    Just wish Wenger would make the connection between them and the formation having changed each time etc.

  70. Bamford13

    I think the truth is somewhere in the middle: Gibbs slid because he was simply thrilled to score a great goal in the final minutes of a desperate game — a perfectly natural reaction — but also because of how low expectations are now within the side, how average we’ve become.

    No left back for a top club would have celebrated that goal as if it were the game winner. Think of Kolarov or Ramos or Alba scoring that goal: they’d pump their fist and urge everyone back to the midfield line so as to get on with the business of winning the game, so unhappy would they be to have been down 1-0 to Anderlecht.

    Different expectations.

    I like Gibbs so I wouldn’t fault him too much; it’s the manager who is to blame for the sad state of affairs at Arsenal.

  71. Wallace

    re Gibbs celebrating – i think we were looking so inept a draw was already a bit of a smash and grab. the idea we might actually go on and win it was probably not even a consideration.

  72. Thank you and goodnight

    @Romford
    Cheers mate. By way I’ve never known you this anti wenger before, he’s really getting to you eh?

    You can’t blame any of the players as wenger’s to blame for lowering standards to the point that a goal against stoke is the equivalent of a hatrick against real madrid in players and AKB’S eyes. Gibbs isn’t a good enough left back, I’m not saying he is shite as he’s not. But the hammers are more his level. Could he become better with a better coach? Who knows and i’ll doubt we’ll ever find out. I’ve said this before but I think we have a good group of players barring 2 or 3, and with better organisation and discipline on the pitch, better coaching we could get at least 50% more from them. Wenger doesn’t make players he breaks them these days.

  73. leprofessorknowsbest

    What a game!!
    Such an awesome performance!!

    A win in the last minutes at Anderlecht, one of the most terrifying teams in Europe!!

    By the way which team do you prefer in the 1/8 ?? Real, Munich, Barcelona ??

    I must admit I want Madrid, just for the fun.

  74. Bamford13

    Pedro

    What the f*** is going on with the site? Just got a 20-second pop-up advertisement for women’s make-up on here. Lame.

    Also that live blog: was there an announcement about that that I missed? I didn’t like the formatting at all. Was impossible to follow. Better to just follow the comments.

  75. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Diss

    He may well be one of the longest serving…
    However did you see his post match interview ?

    I think he may well be intellectually challenged ?

    Not have the nouce for being a leader into battle….

  76. Hal

    Dissenter, you make two very good points, a) him not just getting the ball and running back to the centre.

    All i’m saying is that he scored a very good goal that almost all players would have celebrated like that having scored. I think thats fair to say as it was a great volley but, yes in those circumstances getting the ball back to the centre would have been better.

    I personally think that it showed how much he is irked by the situation and that the goal was complete relief.

    Also b) the complete crap set of standards that Wenger has instilled in the team.

  77. Thank you and goodnight

    I think for the next game at home the fans should get masks of that female journalist who ruffled wenger the other day. Now that would be Fucking amusing and a great statement at wenger , If every time he turns and looks at the crowd he sees 20000 jacquies ( or whatever her name is) 😀

  78. Rhys Jaggar

    If Arsenal hates Wilshere so much, then sell the poor guy to a manager who doesn’t. Allardyce wanted him, I’m sure Paul Scholes would know what to do with him. So would plenty of others.

    This site would sell Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Welbeck, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs, Monreal, Mertesacker, Sczeseny and all the other goalkeepers, Chambers, Diaby, Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky, Podolski and half of you would bin Ramsey as well. Not to mention everyone wanting rid of Ozil.

    So far as I can see, the team should be Debuchy, Koscielny and Sanchez and if Walcott comes back no doubt you’ll kick him out as well, after 5 years of saying how rubbish he was.

    How many blokes would marry a woman who demands six orgasms each and every night and if you’re ever overtired, off form or a bit under the weather she calls you a limp-wristed, limp dicked pile of self-absorbed woofterish shite??

    Now ask yourselves how many players think there are better sets of fans to play for after reading all this??

    You’re not alone: plenty of ‘bloggers’ implying on the DM today that the only reason Marina Granovskaia keeps getting promoted in Chelsea is because she ‘seals the transfer deals with a kiss (and a blowjob)’. Not convinced myself. More likely Roman burst out laughing when she told John Terry to stick his increased wage demands where the sun don’t shine and got him to sign on the dotted line as a result. She did get a degree in Moscow and work in the oil industry before coming to London you know. Probably suggests she’s got some brains……

  79. Dissenter

    Gibbs; “we controlled quite a lot of the game…we made a statement”

    Baghdad Bob moment
    I’ll like him to go back and review the tapes.

    I have to admit that I was surprised that he got up intact after the slide to celebrate. I was afraid that he had injured himself again.

  80. Thank you and goodnight

    @Rhys

    I agree about Wilshire. I’ve said this a million times but with a better coach you’d see a hell of a better player than we’re seeing at the moment. I think the kid has a hell of a lot to offer for a better coach. Look at gervinho, looks a thousand times a better player under garcia than he did under wenger

  81. Dissenter

    TYAG!
    “I think for the next game at home the fans should get masks of that female journalist who ruffled wenger the other day”

    The Wengerites will probably snatch the mask of your hands and start a riot. You might get arrested by the metropolitan police for inciting a riot.

    It’s not a good idea because you know Kieiren Gibbs might score a last minute equalizer and Podolski will come in to win the game with the last kick to make you look like a loser.

    Nope, not a good idea.

  82. Bamford13

    Rhys

    Truth is a lot of those players are in fact not good enough — not to win a title, at least. That’s the truth. If people are dissatisfied with them, it because they’re dissatisfied with players who just aren’t good enough.

    I defend Jack and Ox constantly but will readily admit their play is not always at the level it should be. And I’m one of the few here that likes Gibbs. But a lot of our players just aren’t good enough. Sad but true.

  83. Thank you and goodnight

    @Dissenter

    And Christ there are still a few loony wenger it’s out their. It’s actually quite frightening. Went on a newspapers comment section last night and the love in for wenger was still huge. Couldn’t believe it. I thought fuck me just how bad do we have to be for how long before people will genuinely wake up. Players come and go, assistants change and the only constant in the pile of shit we keep getting served up is Wenger. …..Yet still they worship the idiot

  84. leprofessorknowsbest

    Wenger about Poldi : “We know that Podolski can always score. He is frustrated and I understand, of course. But he showed tonight that he can be very important for us in the coming months. It took a while to regain his physical after the World Cup, and is now close to 100% ”

    Typical wenger’s media bullshit lol

  85. tunnygriffboy

    Dissenter

    Alexis and Ox got the ball and I saw Ox urging everyone to get back. I won’t be too harsh on Gibbs, as Wallace said we were so sloppy gaining a draw would have been a massive lift in itself. Bloody good finish as well

    Rhys

    Agree. All our players are shite, we should sell all of them 🙂 🙂 Alexis was getting slagged off earlier in the week as well.

  86. leprofessorknowsbest

    “It took a while to regain his physical after the World Cup, and is now close to 100%”

    So Poldi has played ALL the Germany’s games during the WC, that’s what you’re trying to say Arsène ??? lol

  87. Bamford13

    Kieran Gibbs: No player has made more tackles in a CL match this season than @KieranGibbs did vs Anderlecht (9) last night #afc

    -WhoScored.com

  88. Al

    Wilshere is such a huge problem. …like a majority of English players his reading of the game is just appalling. ..the tactical and positional awareness is just a joke.

    Technically he has all the tools to be world class…but his poor understanding and lack of judgement within the game constantly sees him make the wrong decision.

    Doesn’t know when to hold, no idea when to press, no idea when to cover a man, constantly showing no defensive discipline and leaving huge holes/space behind him.

    He is such a typical England player…..done next to nothing in the game but thinks he is the dogs bollocks already…With a huge ego.

  89. london gunner

    Bamford13

    If you don’t agree with me that is fine, but don’t you think its pathetic to slag me off to other people at 2am when I am not on the site? To call me a dipshit and I know nothing about the game when its obvious I put a whole lot of research and analysis into it. Ok I have a different opinion but why resort to petty insults. I will move on from that but I am disappointed in you.

    Also stop sucking up to gambon its sad, how can he dismantle my argument when I can use the very stats he posted and fit them to my argument. I can manipulate the data he provided.

    Case point. When my whole point is theo is a more efficient player.. gambon proved more fire for this argument by posting various stats that actually pointed to the fact Theo gets more goals with less touches and he registers more assists with less passes… that’s kind of what efficiency is about.. more from less.

    All people can do with the gambon’s stats is point to how hazard is a more well rounded player… that’s not disproving anything I say what so ever because what people fail to register is… I have been saying consistently that Hazard is a better football player, his got more skills in more areas, but Walcott triumphs over him in the forward position in PERFORMANCES/RESULTS because his more efficient.

    Walcott without that insane pace would be nothing but his got it so that’s another argument, his got decent first touch, his very good at finishing and his lightning pace get him into positions even Hazard could not hope to get into. So H needs to build up attacks with the rest of the team, while walcott instead exploits the space of the shoulder.. so right there there are two ways to pop a cherry it just so happens despite walcotts approach being more simple and less aesthetic its more frequently dangerous in the fact it has lead to more goals and more assists.

    Hazard has great potential but we don’t call a player WC till he achieves these results to a consistent degree or Jack Wilshere would be a WC player.

  90. Thank you and goodnight

    @ Bamford

    While they might not be WC players mate, I do think with a better coach we’d see a lot more from them. Look at athletico madrid, before they won title last year, how many of their players were household names and how many players would of made top 2 teams in the German, Spanish or Italian leagues. But as a TEAM and unit and with each player knowing what was expected of him they were a minute away from adding the CL to their title win last year. Look at United in fergies last 2 years. A team that had Carrick, Jones, smalling, young, anderson and an 85 yr old giggs won 1 title and missed out on the other by 1 point.

  91. Romford Pele

    TYAG, the regime just bores me ate, and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any quick fix. Wenger’s sterile set up on just being a possession based side is boring. I actually think a lot of the players we have are better suited to a more direct style. Like you, I actually think we have a good set up of players, 3/4 positions aside. It wouldn’t take that much to get Arsenal up to scratch. Sack the manager and strengthen a few positions and we’re good to go.

    And right now I can’t stand this formation, it’s the biggest pile of BS. Might work for Bayern but I think it suits them better. Wenger’s obsession with getting as many no.10s into the side as possible is stupid

  92. tunnygriffboy

    Romford

    Agree that we have some very good players but they’re a bit rudderless at the moment. 2 or 3 top players would do wonders for the team even with Wenger in charge.

    Missed Ozil last night in terms of his passing and finding space. He keeps the team ticking over.

  93. Bamford13

    And you still don’t get it, London! Fucking incredible.

    Walcott falls short of Hazard in a variety of categories you’re not accounting for — as pointed out by gambon — and only has the stats he has because of how little he is asked to do, how little he does other than sit high and wide and shoot. If he were asked to do what Hazard does, he wouldn’t have the stats he has. If Hazard were allowed to do only what Walcott does, he’s have better scoring stats.

    Walcott is pacy and dangerous in the final third, but he is also a very, very limited player. He and Hazard are simply not comparable and the fact that you keep going on about it just shows how little you understand the game. Just drop the point and forget you ever brought it up. You’re spoiling the blog with your bullshit point and your touting of your own intelligence.

    Yes, people have different opinions on things. But some opinions — like yours on Walcott vs. Hazard — are fucking dumb and deserve to be called so. Deal with it.

    I had to read through your nonsense posts last night in reviewing the day’s postings, so I have no problem “slagging” you off. You’re putting in poor performances, but apparently you’re too dim to recognize it.

  94. Le Prof

    Midwest

    ‘As soon as Podolski came on (83rd minute or so..lol) we switched to 4-2-3-1 with Ramsey and Ox behind , Campbell, Santi and Podolski with Sanchez Cf.’

    I think you might have to watch it again then. Poldi came on and was signalling to Alexis with two fingers as to say two up top.

    It was more a 4-4-2 or more likely 4-2-4 but the point being we had 2 up top.

    It doesn’t actually matter what formation you play if no one takes responsibility, tries anything other than a 5 yard pass, always take the safe option, everybody wanting it to feet and not have any desire to run in behind.

    The amount of time in the 1st half Alexis was spinning off making runs off the last man but was ignored or not seen was a piss take. You could see him getting frustrated and he stopped making as many in the 2nd half when he wasn’t getting found.

  95. Bamford13

    TYAG

    I agree that clubs like Atletico and Dortmund take players who in some cases are no better than ours and do much, much more with them, and I agree that many of our players would be much better under a Simeone or Klopp.

    Fully agreed.

    At the same time, it is hard at times to separate the mediocrity one sees on display from a player and the player himself. Yes, if I step back, I can ask what would a Wilshere or Ox or Ramsey or Welbeck might be under Simeone or Klopp — in short, much fucking better — but in the end I’m forced to watch them as they are today, and they are not very impressive.

  96. Le Prof

    Bamford

    ‘You’re spoiling the blog with your bullshit point and your touting of your own intelligence.’

    Kettle. Black. Comes to mind

    ‘I had to read through your nonsense posts last night in reviewing the day’s postings, so I have no problem “slagging” you off. You’re putting in poor performances, but apparently you’re too dim to recognize it.’

    Oh my lord if only you had even the smallest amount of self awareness you would realise why Im laughing at you and probably others are too.

    Your opinions border on ridiculous to illogical at best.

    You’ve followed The Arsenal for what? 10years max? And you think you are the all knowing all seeing oracle of all things AFC.

    You my friend are what is known as glory grabber and you’re just a little angry things didn’t turn out the way you planned these last 10 years!

    In hindsight Chelsea would of been a better option for you.

  97. Arsenic Poisoning

    It’s becoming pretty apparent that this season is sliding into an unprecedented (in recent years anyway) slide into mediocrity. It also would appear that Wenger cannot or will not do anything to stop this slide. This club has become about making money – Wenger’s increasingly obvious incapability to manage a top premier league club will lead to the club making less cash – ergo he will go before the end of his deal, hopefully soon. I think before the end of the season. We have to believe this and keep the belief that our club will be placed in better hands shortly.

  98. london gunner

    Bamford13

    I am allowed an opinion and I hold one that differs to yours get over it and yourself you absolute control freak.

    “how little he does other than sit high and wide and shoot”

    Do you not understand yourself? By playing Walcott we force the other team to drop deeper and not press us with such a high line as that would expose their defence on the counter with walcott’s pace. This has a direct effect on the rest of our team in two ways.

    1 it allows the other arsenal players in midfield more time on the ball and more time making with the pass, so the pressure is alleviated during arsenal’s build up play.

    2. A key part to Walcott playing high and wide is it keeps the opposing fullback in a check mate scenario where he can’t bomb forward to support his teams attack without the permanent danger/menace of walcott. This basically hinders the other team from the overloading of our right wing with a fullback overlapping run.

    I’m surprised you haven’t realised this its so basic and obvious to a even a casual football spectator.

    ” If he were asked to do what Hazard does, he wouldn’t have the stats”

    But why should he? What he is doing works.. evidently the stats prove this… Why doesn’t hazard attempt to simplify his game and score more goals he needs to be a bit more predatory. Fact is Chelsea have Cesc and Oscar and matic, willian to provide the build up. Perhaps Hazard would be better served being a bit more measured and calculated with his approach.. if he spends to much time down field his presence is being missed up top partnering Costa… Hazard by all rights with his skill and Costa’s remarkable finishing needs to be raking up serious amounts of assists. I just want more focus and efficiency from Hazard. His a forward/winger if he started playing to the role instead of spreading himself thin about the pitch he would be a better player because he would be more specialised. Granted Messi can take on variety of roles during one match but his level is beyond Hazards hence why his still capable of hitting those amazing figures.