Papering the cracks Wenger sledgehammered into our set up

by .

We're gonna need more paper...

We’re gonna need more paper…

Faith. It’s a beautiful thing. When you’re an Arsenal fan, it’s often the only thing. Last night, post game, in my Gooner Whatsapp group, the crescendo to the evening was…

‘great spirit’

‘Quality’

‘Togetherness’

‘Big. Balls.’

It made me a bit sad. Not because there was any sincerity in the words, but because the only way we can deal with the situation is faux hope. Aping the predictable words of a manager who has lost his mojo.

Yesterday was a shit show. Play it back to yourself however you want. Take solace in the three points. Do all of the things fans in denial do. Accept this though, our 65 year old manager is well past his sell by date. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing these days and the best we can hope for is 4th and to avoid humiliation in the next round of the Champions League.

Ironically, the trophy Wenger treasures over anything, he seems the least equipped to tackle. He’s been getting schooled in what you need for years. Yet he never makes an effort to alter what we see.

Yesterday, we took on a team that deal with a budget lower than most League One teams. We took on an Anderlecht ravaged by injury, filled with average players and children. They were embarrassingly bad. We go out and struggle.

Once again, we hit the pitch one paced and low on everything. I find it mildly amusing that fans out this down to the players not caring when the reality is it’s the manager not having a clue about how to manage players fitness. He’s the one who says it’s easy to motivate millionaires because they’re already motivated to make it in the game… so how do you demotivate them?

The set up was standard. Ineffective, completely ignorant of how Anderlecht play and bereft of any instruction or vision. Our passing was off all night, key players seem to have forgotten their roles and the output was dire. We created almost nothing. Had it not been for the terrible finishing of Anderlecht, we might have found ourselves facing a taller mole hill to climb after we went one down.

The goal we did concede was absolutely embarrassing. A speculative cross into the box. Chambers and Flamini clattered each other, their player headed across goal and took the deserved lead for his side.

Was I livid? No. I expected it.

You also knew that on Wenger’s 65th, his team would bail him out… so I held off the trigger on social media thoughts. Took a while though, the manager sat on his hands until the 72nd minute as usual. I get that maybe you have a routine with style and formation, but to take routine into subs is beyond absurd and counter productive.

Anyway, it didn’t matter, his masterstroke of bringing players on to change the game worked. We started to look a bit more interested, but only marginally. Calum Chambers made amends for his part in their goal by whipping a cross to the back post where Gibbs was on hand to expertly slot home a volley back across the keeper. A really, really well taken goal.

Lukas had also made his way onto the pitch and managed to pivot on a loose ball and slam home a top corner winner late on in the game.

Wenger’s bacon saved… but the breakfast was still ruined.

Pause, suck up that line for a moment.

… and on we go.

Things I like…

3 points. Sanchez.

Things I don’t like…

Energy:

The team looked sapped as usual. Where is the zip in our play? Why are our players not bullying crap outfits with exceptional mesmeric energy?

I simply refuse to believe Wenger is taking on any advice because if we’re not being blitzed by avoidable injuries, we’re turning up away from home in leagues that are way slower than ours and being given the run around. We brought in a World Cup winner and we’ve never looked so weak. Pretty sure there’s a deeper issue here that, in all likelihood, the club won’t investigate (remember, we’ve performed three internal investigations that seem to have thrown up sweet FA in terms of action points).

Consistently drab:

Why haven’t we found a flow. Chelsea signed, what, 6 players this summer and brought 2 back off loan and they’re absolutely buzzing. We brought in 4, because, you know, any more and Colney would explode under the pressure. So where is our rhythm? Where is our style? Why do the players look like they’ve been thrown together in a school playground?

Sad thing about the whole set up, is the players know what a joke it is. They’ve played under great managers, they’ve worked with advanced coaches pushing boundaries, they’ll know the reason all their friends are sitting in the medical room isn’t because of ‘accidental injuries’. They’ll also know that the squad recruitment was mismanaged this summer. It all adds up. If you’re not confident in the process, the management or the way you’re set up to play… what does that do to you psychologically? No wonder the output is turgid.

Purgatory:

Owner who accepts average and loves the manager. A CEO who can’t make a decision on the manager because his hands are tied. We have all the ingredients for a disgustingly boring period of purgatory. The manager isn’t accountable at all. The people who work at the club will know this. The fans know this. What a terrible environment to have to work in. An environment where you know failure has no consequence. Where under-performance is excused because of nepotism. Where innovation is sneered at.

It’s a joke. It’s not the Arsenal way. It’s not going to end unless the man in charge of it hands his notice in. Which he doesn’t have the self-awareness to do.

Pray it gets better and that we sustain our top 4 mediocrity… which, let’s be honest, as a strategy, is doomed to fail at some point.

Onto an easy run of games now, hopefully we can turn the corner.

 

430 Responses to “Papering the cracks Wenger sledgehammered into our set up”

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  1. Wallace

    re flow – we should have found some by now, true. but Chelsea have been playing the same side week in week out since the season started. lot easier to find it when that’s the case.

  2. gambon

    Oh and London Gunner,

    Your last post on yesterdays blog was once again nonsensical.

    I didnt prove Theo is more effective that Hazard at all.

    Hazard scored 14 last season, Theo 14 the season before. However Hazard had far less shots, and takes less shots in general.

    Once again you have used stats and come to completely the wrong conclusions.

    Theo plays high up the pitch and does nothing other than squaring balls across the box and taking shots.

    Hazard is as productive, however, as i pointed out yesterday, he is far more involved throughout a game.

    Defending more, dribbling a lot more, passing a lot more, creating more chances.

    So once again, yes Theo CAN BE as effective, provided you let the whole team suffer by giving him the cushiest role in football.

    I’ll say it again……ask Theo to defend more, dribble more, pass more and play deeper and see what happens to his stats.

  3. modusho

    First, how many of the new chelsea players are regular starters?- 2. they have the same set up as last year. I dont agree with Arsene but i think if we followed your advice, we would be having the ‘Balotelli’ issue that liverpool is having now.
    can you please support the team and offer constructive criticisms without the ‘I have all the answers’ toga.
    Terrible performance from most of the team last night, Monreal has no business at CB, Jack and especially Ramsey and Carzola were poor. Let us see what the weekend brings

  4. leprofessorknowsbest

    “I thought that easy run of games started last weekend?”

    The “easy run” will start once we will be in the CL’s knockout stage.

  5. modusho

    And oh, if Arsene was having the terrible time that Klopp is having in the league and winning all the champions league game, we all would want his head. Why has the Klopp love gone cold. He has a good team, bought loads of players in the summer and he is having a stinker in the league.

  6. leprofessorknowsbest

    “Where is the zip in our play? ”

    All I know is that wenger’s “zip” will be back with the cold days.

  7. Jim Lahey

    The hypocrisy on Untold Arsenal is just stunning, Walter Broeckx goes on and on and this “AAA” while he is at the forefront of this Arsené can do no wrong agenda. The guy is incapable of writing a fair and objective report as he is constantly trying to gain approval from the powers that be at Arsenal. And Arsenal reward his blind devotion with puching his bias blog on thier offical site and twitter.

    I honestly think he doesn’t believe a word he types, he has just found a way to get into Arsenal’s good graces and will write anything to stay there.

    Its the people who comment on the site that really shock me, they have nothing to gain, yet all follow Wenger like apostles.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    Wallace no point in saying that though. It’ll be classed as an excuse. We were poor last night but somehow we nicked the 3 points. I too am hoping that we start to improve over the next few weeks and get a bit of momentum and fluidity. Need to play either Rambo or Jack, it’s too congested in the middle at the moment.

  9. Globalgunner

    Yesterday was like every other game. We could have been playing Brentford or Blackpool. The game would be the same, We struggle against everyone these days

  10. gambon

    Jim Lahey

    Untold is a cult, its a bunch of very strange paranoid losers. I would steer well clear.

    They actually tried to spin the Cesc to Barca transfer as being Arsenes (Arsenes, not the boards) plan to bankrupt Barcelona.

    Yes this is Barcelona that have spent £70m on Neymar and £70m on Suarez recently.

  11. Wallace

    tunny

    surely we’ll go back to last season’s formation soon. Ramsey certainly more effective in it, and i think Jack, if he’s got a more defensive-minded player alongside him, will be effective there, too.

  12. Romford Pele

    Tunny/Wallace – but then when was the last time we were able to play a fully fit team? Do we even know what our first choice 11 is? Part of loads of unanswered questions at Arsenal under Wenger. What’s the plan? What’s our playing style? No accountability. This would all be massively scrutinised in the workplace. But the board trust Wenger wholeheartedly. It’s pathetic

  13. michael

    Chambers wud b better suited in cd n bring bellerin at rb for a run of games but as we kniw koscielny will b rushed back for his tendinitis to flare up n lose him for a season

  14. Al

    “Please for the love of god stop this Walcott/Hazard debate.”

    LOL it’s tad embarrassing to the the actual game of football. I mean people will be telling us Zidane wasn’t all that because his stats didn’t have as many goals or assist

  15. Romford Pele

    Fluidity? Come on man, Wenger has had years to implement his style. Should be fluid irrespective of who’s playing. Look at the sheer scale of injuries Dortmund suffer yet they manage to extract the same level of performance regardless. Defour saying we’re not the same level as Dortmund was telling. Massive wage bill, bigger squad yet unbalanced, vulnerable and susceptible to the counter

  16. 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 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 what are they today? Inconsistent, immature, unimpressive.

    It is very simple: the manager is a disaster and absolutely must go ASAP. Every day the club continues with him is a day wasted. We may not even be treading water these days; we may in fact be going backwards.

    Wenger out.

  17. tunnygriffboy

    Romford

    Agree, that’s part of the problem. Also I wish he would go back to 4-2-3-1, suits us much better. If Rambo and Jack have to rotate so be it. We have enough games and keeps them fresh. The constant injuries don’t help either. We’re scrambling a few results together without playing well at all. I can’t believe that performances won’t improve. The players are better than they’re showing

  18. Edem Sanchez

    we won yesterday! If that was any other big club who didn’t play well and still won, u guys will be praising them, but its Arsenal so we must play champagne football all the time. What happened to those who said they’ll take a win playing badly to a draw or loss while playing well ??? city with all their resources struggled and threw away a 2 goal lead. So we won, if some fans re happy we won, please leave them alone.

  19. Al

    What frustrates me the most about this team is the lack of an idea on how to press a team. I mean do you think Wenger want’s them to press? Its confusing because i see one or two of the forward players do it but the third man always fails to press so teams have the out ball against us…We never press as a unit.

    I don’t get why this team is happy for the likes of Hull and Anderlect to have the ball and not putting them under pressure when they don’t have the players to hold on to the ball even with the slightest amount of pressing?

  20. 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.

    Bamford Out

  21. shad

    A scrappy win that I’m glad I didn’t watch.

    Come weekend we’ll struggle for a draw against Sunderland because Poyet will get his tactics spot on and we’ll be, “jaded, played with the handbrake on, had more touches in the opposition half, weren’t sharp enough in the final 3rd, hair gel, 50, 000 substitutions, I just turned 65, I know everything, we had minimal recovery time, We just came against top, top , qualidee…[insert whatever other bullshit excuse you can think of HERE]..”

  22. Dream10

    – Chambers really struggling defeding the RB position Bellerin, the other teenager, seems more comfortable there

    – Chambers played over 20 times for the Saints last year and never got carded. Effect of having two midfielders in front of the back of the four perhaps?

  23. Romford Pele

    Tunny 4-2-3-1 would be the jest thing I do but that would only get us so far. We struggle in transition. I’ve never seen a team who looks so vulnerable to the counter. And don’t get me started on our corners

  24. gambon

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

    Anyone who says this = automatic cunt status for life.

  25. shad

    Who here would like to wager that Özil will want out come end of this season and Alexis the next? Wenger is a very pale shadow of himself and the more petulant he tries to assert himself,the more ridiculous he looks.

    Last kicks of a dying horse that one.

  26. Dream10

    Don’t think we will see 4-1-4-1 against Sunderland as Jack Wilshere will need a rest. Too many consecutive games for him.

    Is it a coincidence that we score when he is subbed off?

  27. Hitchy

    “Wenger’s bacon saved… but the breakfast was still ruined.”

    Pleased with yourself on that little beaut then Pedro… and rightly so.

    Good post again, we are all thinking the same things so why can no-one at the club speak up against Wenger?

  28. Bamford13

    Le Prof

    Then please highlight a point I’ve made or an argument I’ve made that is as ridiculous as London’s re Walcott.

    If I say so many patently absurd things, this shouldn’t be hard to do.

    Except you won’t be able to, because I don’t say patently absurd things.

    In reality you’re just a dim-witted AKB who doesn’t like that I’m a yank who has “only” been supporting Arsenal for eight years and has anti-Wenger opinions.

    Except my opinions are no different from the vast majority on here — most of whom have been supporting the club for decades.

    Make an argument or kindly fuck off.

  29. Laissez-Faire vs Marine Corp Drilling

    I think Wenger does not tell his players anything at all. He just says go out there and play football. Work it out yourselves. I cannot explain Arsenal any other way.

    The problem is this team is not the Invincibles. Grat players who know how to play, when to play, what to play. Players who can orchestrate a match. Players who will die to win the centre circle. Players who have intuition.

    Unfortunately this team cannot play laissez faire. They are not good enough. Santi has head down and runs around in circles. Jack is too young to orchestrtate. Rambo should be but cannot. Ox is too young. And on and on. No one takes the match by the horns. Sorry but please tell me Jack is not over-rated. Rambo over-rated. Ozil is one player who can control the game and movement and tempo but he is better on the wing says the tactical genius.

    It takes courage to say to your players go an play whatever you want – just work it out for your selves. Of course when this happens it is great. But it hasn’t happened for a long long time. No wonder Alexis was upset.

    I cannot work it out any other way. If we were to get a great DM, play Ozil in teh middle and get a Sol Campbell back then maybe this team can play laissez-faire. Outside of this they need a Pep or Mr Negative Mourinho to drill them into exactly what to do every step for 90 minutes.

    Why is Wenger infallible? These boys cannot play your fantasy football. So bring in someone who can teach them how to play. Oh and by play I not only mean orchestration, tempo, direction but play with some bite.

    So often we play keep ball and make ourselves fall asleep by playing in second gear for 80 minutes until we go down 0-1 and then we decide to play. Well play like that from teh first whistel and then maybe like Real Madird at Anfield you just put a 30-3 win away by half-time.

  30. gambon

    Who cares if Ozil wants out, hes a huge part of the problem.

    Sanchez is a top player, and yes, cant see him wanting to stay around for long in this shitfest of a team.

  31. shad

    Always love watching the interviews on Arsenal Fan TV after a game, especially an away game. The Wenger Out wagon is gathering steam and rightfully so.

  32. WengerEagle

    gambon

    Don’t bother with the Theo/Hazard debate, I ended up smashing my bonce against the nearest brick wall as LG just kept repeating that Theo’s more ‘effective’ in the final third without understanding what he really means, it’s just a buzz word he thinks fits.

    Like you say Theo’s contribution outside of hanging further up the pitch and recieving the ball in the final third is pretty much zero. Hazard is a brilliant combination player and is one of the best passers in that Chelsea side.

    I’d be much more worried personally that LG thinks that Messi is now over the hill and is a much inferior player to Neymar.

    Digest that.

  33. Dream10

    shad

    I don’t blame them. Oezil has to be shifted to the left and run like Ray Parlour so Wilshere can dribble into defenders.

    Sanchez is working on overdrive to earn us a point against midtable mediocrity.

  34. El Patron

    Guys … we can’t do much worse. I think we get better from as the season progresses. Glad we are having our injuries and shit show early in the season rather than February when everything goes to shit.

    Maybe this time everything picks up in February and we go on and win a trophy.

    Patron ….your local Faith giver.

  35. David Smith

    sadly, Alexis will have realised what he has landed. Like Henry, RVP and Cesc before him, he will realise he cannot do it all alone. Nor will he want to be in that situation Come next summer, he will be wanting out. And as with what will soon happen with Ozil, wave money at Arsenal, they club will always oblige.
    Wenger needs managing, Dein knew that, but it all started going wrong when he left. We can all blame wenger, but he is what he is and is not for changing
    The blame lies squarely with Stan, and the previous board…who were all blinded by cash. This was once a football club, now, its only about money. the socialist Wenger should hang his head in shame

  36. GoonerInNY

    Edem,

    It is all about context. If Arsenal had an occasional off game but won anyway, the reaction would be different. But this was a crapfest that followed many other crapfests. That is why people are angry. There is a way bigger problem that goes beyond this one game.

    Jim Lahey,
    Untold is the anti-Arsenal. Those “supporters” support an individual, not the best interests of the club.

  37. GoonerGaunty73

    Imagine how Bellerin must feel, he had as good a debut as you could wish for on Saturday and then gets dropped. Why wasnt he left in and Chambers played next to BFG? AW’s insistance on playing people out of position is a joke.

    What Joel Campbell and some of the other subs must be thinking not being able to get on the pitch watching that shite is beyond me. Wellbeck is looking leggy to me, won’t be long before he is broken not doubt.

    I hate to say this but I was embarrassed when we stole that result. It just papers over the ever increasing cracks in our squad

  38. Michael Pinnell

    Wenger needs to get a deputy who will challange him this sea we played well in patches against Villa 5 mins and City. Ww don’t seem to look at the weakness of other teams and play the same side ways backward passing every week. No width from the full backs enough Wenger out Kloop in

  39. Bamford13

    Agree that Chambers is a CB, not an RB. His lack of pace gets him caught out as an RB, and then he’s forced to foul. A very sound, technical player, though, who makes good decisions on the ball. Hopefully he isn’t ruined under Wenger.

  40. Romford Pele

    Formation aside, big problem with Wilshere is that he tends to play with too much emotion. Sure, be committed to the cause, but play with your head and don’t just push up unnecessarily vacating masses of space behind you. Great talent but his temperament is questionable. Then again, I think another manager would just manage him better. All this bullshit about let players have freedom and be free. F**k that. Tell ‘me what you want from them.

  41. Andy

    We won’t finish 4th, our current form is shocking, and imagine how it would have looked without the late goals against hull & everton.

  42. Romford Pele

    Tunny, this is the issue though. At least last season we played with a pivot. This time round our CBs are more exposed because Wenger wants to play 4-1- let’s have some fun.

  43. Paulinho

    Yeah, Welbeck is physically wrecked. I’ve noticed in the last three or four games he’s been hobbling and grimacing.

    Of course Wenger will keep playing him ‘because we are a little bit short’.

  44. Bamford13

    And it would’ve made sense to start Bellerin against a very young Anderlecht side. But one should never expect sense from Wenger.

  45. Mo

    I’m glad we won, of course I am. However, that doesn’t hide the level of sheer dross on view. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Sunderland turn us over, given they will feel they have something to prove after their Saints spanking. Bar Sanchez, there is so little dynamism in Arsenal at the moment. It’s all so ponderous, we might as have have a team of lumpy overweight twats instead of technically gifted midgets.

  46. Bamford13

    David

    Stan does nothing but sit back and watch his asset increase in value. He hasn’t ordered Wenger not to spend — quite the opposite — nor does he tell Wenger who to sign, what tactics or formation to adopt or how to train the team.

    The problem is Wenger. Plain and simple.

  47. GoonerInNY

    @David Smith

    You are right, of course, that Kroenke is the root of the problem. But I do believe that while a new manager would not be allowed to spend, everything else (squad construction, training, pteparation, squad rotation, game planning, motivation, injuries, etc.) Would be better if Wenger left.

  48. WengerEagle

    Romford

    What happened to Roma on Tuesday mate?

    I watched the highlights and it looks like they got torn a new one by Bayern even ignoring the scoreline, wave after wave of pressure they were under. Was it more how brilliant were Bayern or how bad were Roma would you say?

    Pretty stunning result, Roma are brilliant at home usually.

  49. Paulinho

    Only in Wenger’s dense mind can we go from being well-stocked in an area to ‘a little bit short’ simply because one player gets injured.

  50. gambon

    Ive said many many times that the problems at Arsenal are so broad and so widespread that change can only occur with a new manager, and in fact change only seems possible with a new board. So until Kroenke or Wenger leave, we are gonna be stuck with this average team lacking ambition.

    people try to find a single problem within the team that can be blamed (Defence, Centre forward, central MF) when in fact there are so many problems.

    Theres a big difference between a world class team with a few weak links and a whole team of sub-standard players/processes. We have the latter.

    Our defence isnt good enough, our midfield isnt good enough, our attack isnt good enough.l We concede too many, score too few.

    We have no variation in our play, we are useless at set pieces, we are too slow, we are too weak, We dont have world class goalscorers, we dont have a world class midfield, we dont have a world class defence etc.

    If a top manager came in I honestly think he would axe 80% of the squad.

  51. Dream10

    Romford Pele

    Against Hull, he became frustrated. He lashed out and was lucky to hurt himself. He needs to be coached out of overdribbling and into simplifying.

    Pires the perfect example. He dribbled only when necessary. Granted, Wilshere’s pass and move game is not on his level.

    Jack is a CM who wants to dribble. Wenger sees him as a #10. What position can he flourish in w/out the rest of the team having to suffer?

  52. Paulinho

    Roma are just a bit overrated. I like the way they play, and Garcia seems a good manager, but they’re lightweight and too easy to play against.

    I would actually fancy us to turn them over if we played them. They haven’t got that cynical, hardened edge that we struggle against.

  53. Carts

    Went to see The Judge yesterday with the missus and flew by Pizza Express. 2 for 1 makes so much sense. Anyway, Downey Jr and Duval were impressive. Had the missus balling her eyes out a few times. Had tissues at the ready like a real gentleman.

    At times I feel so switched off from Arsenal it’s not even funny. I knew we wouldn’t lose, but at the same time, I couldn’t subjegate myself to watching gobshite football. Watching Wenger sit there talking rhetoric shit to Bould, and Bould then having that ‘ffs Arsene do something about it’ look on his grid.

    Then come the magical 70th min we…yeah you know the rest. The guy is bang out of ideas it’s painful. There is no way on earth anyone in that dressing room can, hand on heart, say Wenger preps almost every game differently.

    Wenger probably uses the ‘it’s….FC today, lads’. Roy Keane said that’s what Fergie said when Yids come to town. I lol’d.

  54. GoonerInNY

    Bamford,

    I am not being snarky, I am honestly asking: Why do you think Stan wants to spend? My view is he appears to be in total control of the club, and if he wanted things to be different they would be. Also, all his management decisions seem pointed towatd nickel and diming, including taking a fee equal to the ticket price increase. Throw in how consistently mediocre to lousy his four American teams are and I come to a conclusion thatKroenke supports Wenger so strongly because Wenger does exactly what Kroenke wants: doesn’t spend but still makes top four, adding revenue and asset value.

    What do you see that tells you he wishes Wenger would spend?

  55. Shaun Wilson

    I reached a point last night, when the mighty Anderlecht were one up with about ten minutes to play and then they started to play ‘ole’ football with us, where I thought we could not get any lower. The final result of that game is inconsequential to anyone who really cares about our club. The utterly dispirited performances of almost all of our players in this game suggests a team in complete meltdown and a team that has lost it’s heart. This got me wondering does a man who treated the reasoned journalistic probing from the BBC’s Ms Oatley with arrogance, patronisation (with perhaps a soupcon of misogyny thrown in there for good measure?) bring this charming skillset to the table when dealing with unmotivated players? The Ox’s recent demeanour and performances comes to mind.
    Really Arsene… It is time to go.

  56. Wallace

    while Bellerin looks like the long-term challenger to Debuchy, i’ve no problem with Wenger resting him last night. away games in the CL are a lot more challenging than home games against teams mostly looking to hit on the counter. that said, i’d start him in the return and move Chambers inside if Koscielny’s not back.

  57. Thank you and goodnight

    Apparently Arsenal fans were fighting amongst themselves last night in Belgium. Surely someone at the club must be reading or seeing this, they have to be concerned with the damage wenger is doing to this great club.
    The players are no longer playing for him. Sad sad days at AFC.

    Wenger Out, He’s Had His Time !!! – Anderlecht 1 …: http://youtu.be/WyCGZQY4F6w

    Happy 65th Birthday Wenger, Thank You and Good By…: http://youtu.be/8R3OZtteaEE

    The Team Is Unbalanced !!! – Anderlecht 1 Arsenal…: http://youtu.be/Yz6CEguswbs

  58. Romford Pele

    Eagle, bit of both really. Garcia admitted he got the tactics wrong by being a bit too gung-ho. He said they needed to be a bit more pragmatic in hindsight as the pressing totally went to pot when Bayern got the first goal. Not to take away from Bayern though who were amazing and look like they’ve adapted to Pep’s methods now. Still think Roma can make it through mind you.

    Paulinho, Roma lightweight? No way mate. We could beat them but I wouldn’t bank on it either. When fit they have a very strong midfield in DDR, Strootman and Pjanic. I think the result makes Roma look a lot worse than they are. Check the City game at the Etihad and you’ll get a better feel for their level

  59. Zoran

    Reading in the morning papers that Wenger said his tactical gamble paid off at the end.
    Does he knows at all what the word tactic means? If his game was revolutionary 17 years ago, it is nowadays out of time. But the old asshole is still pushing it.
    We have now a squad of very talented young lads, that, I believe, every high profile manager would love to manage.
    I can only imagine what one Ancelotti, or Maurinho, or Simeone, all of them tactical genius, would do with our squad. Or Klopp, the master in transition and counterattack. We have exactly those kind of players, for those tactics.
    The age of 65 is the age of retirement, I believe if that Yankee cunt gives him a post in the board, Wenger would do fine there. On the pitch he has nothing to do anymore

  60. Romford Pele

    Dream – for me, it’s always been Ramsey or Wilshere. One or the other. Maybe they can play together in a diamond but Wenger won’t experiment with that. I prefer Ramsey because he has that knack for scoring and is more combative. Who knows though. Under Wenger, we’re a mess.

  61. Gunner2301

    Pedro another great post today

    Despite the result yesterday it’s clear that we’re seeing a manager who’s lost his way. The performance bar the last 5 minutes was diabolical. That needs to be the focus, not the result but the overall performance.

    Paul Merson knows as do many others who will not speak up. Arsene is washed up, finished, a walking corpse. How we’re going to get through the next 3 seasons I don’t know. Hopefully rumours of replacing him before then are true. We shouldn’t allow him to pull us into a Brian Clough scenario.

  62. shad

    @RP,

    Not so sure about 4th mate. In seasons past, our purple patch would be 3-5 games. We’ve been playing on 1st gear all season.

    I agree that the issues extend beyond Wenger (Board, backroom staff, etc) but thing is, the players don’t seem to play with any specific purpose. It’s all “let’s just pass the ball and see if we can walk it in”kind of thing.
    I wish Pedro you could dig into how far the video analysis is being done.

    The shit shows hat have been and Wenger’s growing appalling lack of tactical nous is what is shocking. We play the same pedantic stuff against Bayern, Anderlect, Hull, Leicester..etc. It’s a copy-paste thing. I watched the Bayern v Roma game and saw how Roma were made to look average by sheer power, pace and intelligent movement of Bayern. You don’t fluke seeing Alaba or Lahm popping up at CF positions. Or Lewandowski ghosting from flank to midfield to CF position.

    Here we just have a man forcing round pegs in square holes. He’ll play 4-2-3-1 till he gets tired and then stupidly migrates to 4-1-4-1 to accommodate Jw and Rambo for the sake of.

    I believe any of the coaches Pedro listed yesterday, given the same resources and team will milk out so much more. Then we can press for board changes thereafter.

    Wenger is just too clueless, wasteful, arrogant and myopic to lead this club further.

  63. leprofessorknowsbest

    “Arsenal fans were fighting amongst themselves last night in Belgium.”
    == >> ?????????

    Holy shit… That’s what happen when you let the situation degenerate, thanks again to Ivan and to the board.

  64. Romford Pele

    Shad, I don’t disagree that the whole formation and set-up is an absolute s***fest and just about getting certain players into the team. That said, at the end of the day, we will win games for the pure fact that we have better players than most other teams. Won’t be enough to win us anything but like I said, haven’t seen anything from any of the other teams to suggest we should c**p ourselves about missing out. Plus, we always manage to put a run together at some stage. While Wenger is incredibly flawed, his overall record is decent. It would take new levels of s***ness for us to miss out on the top 4. Could well happen but going on history I’d say it’s unlikely

  65. Josip Skoblar

    I agree: Sanchez was our only outstanding player last night. He fought hard too. The display was so poor, particularly in defence (Chambers and Gibbs despite his well-taken goal), and in midfield (Flamini, Ramsey and Wilshere were all ineffective), our real weak area at the moment. You’re right, Pedro, you wonder why Wenger, a clever man, can put up with such abysmal displays week in week out. There was no game plan again.

  66. Bamford13

    GoonerinNY

    “My view is he appears to be in total control of the club”

    Then you haven’t been paying attention to what club officials have been saying for some time now. One man has the lion’s share of power at the club and his name is Arsene Wenger. He makes the spending decisions and he has been given plenty to spend. This has been obvious for some time.

    I don’t think Stan knows much about football, and I don’t think he’s willing to pour bottomless funds in like certain other billionaires, but I don’t think he’s shortchanging Wenger. That myth was discredited some time ago.

    San is called “silent” for a reason. He says and does little, leaving the details to Wenger and Gazidis.

    Wenger has the most power and control at the club — no question — and he is the principal reason for the mediocrity and rot. Just think of what Chips said recently.

  67. shad

    @RP,

    I hope so. The only thing holding back that run is Wenger playing players out of position, making his usual subs at the 67th min and of course not rotating. He’s so stuck up he’ll always play his favourites.

    Reason why it’ll be that much harder to put a run together is all the pieces need to fall in place. This season so far, we’ve either had ridiculous injuries and those relied on (Özil, JW, Ramsey, Dat Guy) have been too inconsistent on form. The rest have simply been mismanaged or not trusted enough (Santi, Campbell, Poldi). Only person to be on song is Sanchez and even he will burn out sooner than later. And a good chunk of our runs in seasons past has been down to our defence. But Kos is injured and Per is a very long yard slower. We are more porous.
    Other teams also have known our tactics and have seen our counter-vulnerability.

    So pardon me for not seeing it that way. Our players may be better, but they don’t show it on the pitch.

  68. Le Prof

    Bamford

    Your hardon for Balotelli is hilarious and the fact you thought Bendtner was the best forward at the club last year should only render any of your future opinions invalid.

    Your opinions usually mean an argument isn’t needed. To say your views are extremist is an understatement.

    Bamford making ISIS look like the Brady bunch since 2006.

  69. Ash79

    Pisses me off that I cant even enjoy a champions league win anymore. Had some gooners saying ‘enjoy it, cheer up’ but again its all about the bigger picture. Once again the ECL will prove to be a hindrance to our season as we aren’t equipped to deal with a season of several tournaments.

    I dont want to feel like this. When Poldi scored, i was emotionless, hell i even laughed when Anders scored.

    I also hate the post-match interview questions “Arsene, does this win give you give confidence for consistency going forward?” what a fuckin terrible question! what do you expect him to answer. You’re just lettinng him off the hook, ask him some pressing questions – why were you shit? what will you do to fix this?

    His Q&As have been pointless for years. If anyoen hasnt noticed this but listen to his answers, all he does is narrate the game back to you and tells you what happened – you never get any proper fuckin insight as to why we were shit and what he will do about it.

    1. Why were you poor?

    2. what are you going to do about it?

    thats the only 2 questions you need when interviewing Arsene.

  70. leprofessorknowsbest

    “thats the only 2 questions you need when interviewing Arsene.”

    And for the love of god, DON’T LOOK HIM IN THE EYES!! lol

  71. GoonerInNY

    Bamford,

    But here is the thing: Kroenke owns the club. He pays Wenger. You can’t say the man who receives the paycheck has power than the man who (practically) signs it.

    I agree Wenger is the single most powerful employee of the club. Even Ivan and Chips and the board work for him at Arsenal. But they all work for Kroenke.

    We are going to have to agree to disagree on Kroenke. I think he is thrilled Wengerdoesn’t spend, and the next manager will be similarly financially limited. Of course, that manager will likely be better in every respect than Wenger.

    As an aside, I don’t appreciate the I haven’t been paying attention comment. I respectfully asked you a question and made my case. I didn’t attack you (and we agree on the Wenger part of the issue). The comment was unnecessarily hostile.

  72. shockandawe

    Has anyone ever checked to see if the Emirates was built on an Indian Burial ground?Or perhaps we have been cursed by a Gypsie. Since moving there we have had awful injuries and with Wenger still at the helm, we have not even looked like winning the domestic or champions leagues. His ideas are now archaic.Fergie used to change his assistant manager regularly and allow them to be involved in coaching, formations, tactics and selction. Wenger has had Pat Rice and Steve Bould who, all respect due, appear to be nodding dogs.
    Change is required and pretty bloody quickly

  73. leprofessorknowsbest

    “Club must spend money on players, even if Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to”

    Paul Merson about Arsenal.
    “even if Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to”

    Another one who completely understand the rules of our club…

  74. Le Prof

    Pre season predictions: Not good enough for the title but too good to miss out on top 4

    Now: Not good enough for the title but too good to miss out on top 4

    Nothing has changed, its just how far away from City and Chelsea we’ll finish.

    Last season it was just a case of when the challenge would fizzle out.

    The bottom line is we are nowhere near City or Chelsea last year or this.

  75. Thank you and goodnight

    @Ash79

    Yet when a journalist does ask wenger a tricky question, like that female reporter did on Saturday, he loses it and makes himself look a mug. I agree it sickens me that short of sucking him off they all fawn over him so

  76. leprofessorknowsbest

    “Has anyone ever checked to see if the Emirates was built on an Indian Burial ground?Or perhaps we have been cursed by a Gypsie. ”

    Even call an exorcist would be pointless for us at this point…

  77. TitsMcgee

    Anyone who says this = automatic cunt status for life.”

    lol

    Disagree with the almighty Wenger and it means you are a Chelsea fan.

    That’s how these AKB types rationalize things. They can’t fathom that an Arsenal fan could/ would be justifiably critical of the club. They can’t wrap their heads around it so they call you a fan of another club because that must be the only reason.

    Not much more you would expect from somebody with the call-sign Le Prof though I guess.

  78. Biggles

    Back in the early 90s when we were crap, I didn’t have a problem with it. I supported my team, I rejoiced in the victories and backed the team in defeat. I felt like they were typically playing to their level and were performing about as well as could be expected. Sure, there’s always the odd bad result here and there, but overall, you couldn’t fault the team as a collective whole.

    Now, we’re consistently 4th. On paper, we’re doing better. But in reality, as a collective whole, we’re a huge disappointment because we’re not playing at our level. We’re one of the biggest clubs on the planet by money (and that is linked to success); we have lots of fans; a large, modern stadium and great training facilities. But we don’t play like we’re on a par with teams like Juventus, or bigger than Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid. We play like we’re at the level of Anderlecht and Hull.

    We’ve been stuck in second gear for so long that it is making me fall out of love with football.

  79. Danny

    @David Smith
    Alvin Stardust: Another part of our childhood disappears, but memories remain strong from back then along with are double in 70-71 etc

  80. Sam Barnes

    By far the most worrying thing was the lack of invention.

    I can’t even begin to count how many times somebody picked the ball up deep, carried it a few yards forward, then just passed backwards or wide.

    We know from experience that the players in this squad can move intelligently and create chances with ease when they’re flowing.

    Is there something in the instructions they’re being given that prevents them from making the creative runs we love to see?

    Is it a confidence issue with the players behind them that they’re too worried about giving the ball away, because they’re so scared that the we’re terrible susceptible to the counter attack?

    There’s a few things at play here and I’ve no doubt that Le Prof may be to blame for some aspects of the, quite frankly abject, performances recently.

    But without a doubt some blame must lie with the people out there on the pitch. If you don’t stick your chest out and take a risk playing that ball or trying to get past that defender, you’re NOT going to score.

    And I think that’s where we are.

    Nobody seems to have the confidence to go forward and really punish teams.

    Whether or not this will be the start of a revival we’ll have to see.

    After all that negativity, I want to mention the fact that Sanchez was fantastic last night. He’s continuing to improve with us and he, not Ozil, should be the linchpin of this squad going forward.

  81. goonpharm

    Theo Vs Hazard.

    It’s obvious that Hazard is a far more talented player who is can potentially become a Ballon D’or in a couple of years.

    However you can not ignore Theo’s numbers irrespective of how he does it. With his limited skillet he’s consistently producing goals and assists.

    This does not make him the better player but he works hard and is keeping up with Hazard in terms of goals and assists.

    Credit to the boy. Wish others in the Arsenal team would do the same.

  82. Le Prof

    Debbie

    ‘Disagree with the almighty Wenger and it means you are a Chelsea fan.’

    I think you have difficulty reading son.

  83. leprofessorknowsbest

    @Biggles : I see your point.

    Back in the 90’s, at least players had balls and they showed it on the pitch.

    And the cherry on the cake : we’re stuck with a manager who have no balls either.

  84. Mark

    Sums it all up really…

    http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/

    Arsenal had no substitute goalkeeper on the bench after again failing to comply with UEFA regulations. U15 goalkeeper George Phillips had travelled with the squad but wasn’t permitted to be named amongst the substitutes as he hadn’t been registered to play in this competition. Last season, Arsenal named just six substitutes away to Bayern Munich in the Champions League following a similar incident involving Ryo, following on from previous situations with Martin Angha and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

  85. Nasri's Mouth

    Not often I spend the last 2 mins of a football match laughing my head off.

    How shit were we last night ?

    (Obviously rhetorical, as I know there’ll have been countless posts explaining the level of shitness we reached)

    I actually thought the Hull game would be a wake up call, and that we’d see a response from the players last night. Often in Wenger’s career, we’ve managed to wake ourselves up after a lethargic performance to do something, but not last night. Worrying stuff.

    Still, watching Sanchez play almost makes it all worthwhile. Unbelievable stuff. Against Hull, on more than one occasion he ran himself into the ground, crouched down because he could hardly stand, before getting up and dazzling with his drive and energy. Similar last night.

    There must be some way we can distil what he has and give it to the other players.

    A Sanchez cocktail perhaps?

    100ml of Orange Juice
    3 raw eggs
    2 Fl oz of Alexis semen
    and a squeeze of sweat from his shirt

    Give that to each of the players

  86. El Pige

    The only positive from last night was that Premier League Legends followed and it was Bobby Pires. What a player. Sad to think we have gone from a midfield pairing of Vieira/Petit or Vieira/Gilberto to the sh!t c*nts that played last night, picking up higher wages than their predecessors and yet wouldn’t be fit enough to lace there boots. At least i know how Liverpool fans feel when they talk about the glory days.

    Agree with another commenter that it is either Jack or Ramsey but not both. It just doesn’t work. Correct me if i am wrong but i believe Wilshere is suspended this weekend so could be a blessing in disguise.

    Last night felt like I was watching Man Utd play towards the end of Moyes reign. Truly painful to watch. Any new manager coming in would be like someone buying a home that has been occupied by a old person who has lived there most of their lives and not done anything to the property for a long time. You are going to have to go in and gut the place and spend a lot of money to put right over a long period of time. Still not for another two and half years yet though so things can only get worse.

  87. David Smith

    Yes Danny, a great era to be a kid…and a Gooner!
    Always preferred him to Glitter during my childhood….now I know why! Lyndsey De Paul gone as well- and on the young side.

  88. Leedsgunner

    Pleased we won… but we all know no matter how loudly Wenger “hails the spirit of the squad” that they are not good enough. The truth will manifest back in the league when we drop needless points again…

    This was a lucky escape nothing more and nothing less… against Anderlecht.

  89. TitsMcgee

    Schweiny goes down with an injury after World Cup Bayern goes out and signs Xabi alonso.

    Javi Martinez goes down with an injury Bayern sign Benatia.

    Two quality players and both signed relatively quickly.

    We sell a CB, complain we can’t find a replacement, say to hell with it, go into the season under-equipped just for the hell of it.

    Two clear and distinct philosophies.

  90. Loyal Gunner

    I’m not surprised I wasn’t the only one who showed no emotion last night when Pod popped in the winner. First time in all these years that I’ve not celebrated Arsenal goals. It let Wenger off the hook and we didn’t deserve the win. End of.

    In the summer I was so pissed off that Wenger still had that contract on the table and was allowed to sign for another three years. I hoped things might change when we made some signings, but then everything stopped with obvious glaring holes in key positions. What’s happened since is no surprise. It was expected – only it’s worse than I thought it would be.

    I’ve been Arsenal since I could crawl. Seen highs, lows and everything in between. But I’ve never felt this ambivalent about the club or its results before. We have a manager who takes very good players and degrades their performances. They all seem to go backwards these days, they don’t improve. If we got Messi he would look average within a year. It’s obviously a combination of poor training, poor physical management, poor match preparation and an absence of leadership.

    I don’t want 4th place this year. I don’t want a trophy. I want our end result to reflect the shite management that brought it about. Only then might someone behind the scenes, grow a pair, and get Wenger out of the club. For God’s sake, don’t let him go upstairs either, he has to leave completely. It’s the only way things will change.

  91. TitsMcgee

    “Not many clubs would have jumped at the chance to sign a 32-year-old for 10 million euros on a two-year deal and spend a similar amount on his annual wages. But Bayern needed a stopgap solution and Alonso needed an out. “Football is about the here and now,” Guardiola said later, when someone asked him about the team having too many midfielders at his disposal once the injured trio of Schweinsteiger, Martinez and Thiago Alcantara would return. (Guardiola, you sense, doesn’t believe that there could ever be too many midfielders in the squad, nor in the pitch.)”

    “The here and now.”

    –Pep

    http://www.espnfc.com/blog/espn-fc-united-blog/68/post/2103551/xabi-alonso-provides-the-tempo-that-makes-bayerns-jazz-flow

  92. Nasri's Mouth

    On the plus side to last night, Chambers has shown he can put in much better performances than that, Arteta must be ready to come back in ahead of Flamini, Koscielny’s will have had nearly 3 weeks off, and Walcott will be in the squad too.

  93. TT

    Jeysus can we put this Hazard v Walnut debate to bed please :/.Its a known fact that Hazard is a better player in every department so no need to discuss this any further.

  94. Dissenter

    Romford,
    I agree that’s it’s either of Wilshere or Ramsey
    Don’t you think there’s a case for Jack, ahead of Rambo?

    Ramsey’s form has been shocking. I understand that even good players have bad games but Ramsey has had like 4-6 consecutive horrible games now.

    You might disagree but jeez, is he having bedroom issues?.
    He’s been shockingly bad.

    Jack has been more consistent.

  95. kelsey

    I have always maintained that a good settled team needs little management and the basis of a good team is a solid defence that understands each other and that includes the keeper.
    Concede less is of primary importance not score more,as that comes later.

    Wenger based his tippy tappy football so that Arsenal could become the British Barcelona.

    It didn’t work and we are now more predictable than ever that the so called lesser teams do not fear us.

    Our past strength was fluid quick counter attack , the very thing that is out doing us time and time again.

  96. Bade

    Top post Pedro

    I don’t agree that much with Mersey, but I thought yesterday he was spot on about almost everything he said

    Sad times Grovers. Sad times.

    HANG ON

  97. Bigper

    Not so confident we will get top four this season, normally confident we will but just don’t see it this year

    People keep alluding to Liverpool and United etc being shit this season but they are both ahead of us already and you can guarantee they will be doing everything in their power to improve, along with everton and tottenham

    We won’t improve, we will just get worse as players burn out even more and the players get pissed. Also teams just find it easier and easier to play against us as the seasons go on

    There is no way we can put together consistent results with our shit defence and defensive middle and our lack of planning and our predictable play

  98. Dissenter

    Wenger runs a very closed shop, insular and provincial.
    How’s he going to get better when he surrounds himself with yes-men.
    Boro Primorac and Steve Bould never challenge him.
    Why can’t someone tell him that this formation isn’t working?

    Good coaches surround themselves with youth, have interns doingnthe legwork. That’s what Mourhino does, they always have a coterie of younger coaches learning off him.
    Hate Mourhino as much as you want but he’s spawned more coaches that Wenger can ever dream of.

  99. 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. Read Peps interview he has a very enlightening segment on the massive important of overloading a wing.

    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.

    You say Hazard is a better forward than walcott its just that Mourinho plays him as AM instead … don’t you see the massive elephant in the room?

    .Why did Mourinho last season not play Hazard in a more of a forward/attacking role? Why did he not seek to get the goals from Hazard instead of a struggling torres and Ba. I don’t mean to say play Hazard as a CF/ST I mean to say tailor his focus on more predatory grounds. Focus him on netting the goals you say he would provide if he was as forward thinking as Walcott. I would state Mourinho is wiser than you.. so perhaps there is something he knows about Hazard we don’t. Perhaps he knows his a better AM than a forward.winger and thus doesn’t put such an onus on him to get those goals.

    It’s funny because Arsenal and Chelsea have been in a similar boat in regards to having shit strikers by top club standards. Difference is Theo filled in remarkably after RVP left.. Hazard did well after drogba went but he still wasn’t clocking theo’s numbers. Theo was called upon for Goals and he succeeded, either your saying Morunho called upon hazard but he didn’t do quite as well or Mourinho didn’t call upon him and then you have to ask the question why?

    Hazard is younger but hopefully he can kick on a gear. Walcott got 14/12 at 23 Hazard needs to hit that.

  100. N5

    London, to start this debate where you originally started it, lets just forget Theo, you used Theo as an example to show that Eden is overrated right?

    Others don’t agree, it’s on day 5 now and so not worth the amount of energy that everyone has put into it.

    Regardless of the comparison, gambons stats proved Eden is not overrated. So his point put your original point to bed regardless of how he stacks up against wally.

  101. Rhys Jaggar

    There’s one truism I’ve been aware of since pretty young (having been surrounded growing up by extremely talented musicians): the more competent you are and the more motivated you are, the more likely you are to see quickly what the blocks to progress are.

    The corollary to that is this: if you know very quickly what needs to be done and it doesn’t get done, you can’t force change to make it get done, then you have two choices:
    1. Move on.
    2. Lower your standards and rationalise.

    Everyone knows that anger is an emotion telling us that something must change because something unacceptable has just happened/you have just become aware of something unacceptable which happened. If the brain then processes all available information and concludes: ‘that change isn’t going to happen’, then what actually happens is that you lose the ability to get angry to that stimulus at this time, because the body has rewired to reflect the new reality.

    Another lesson I learned young is this: the best place to be in a group on an improvement curve is in the top 20%, but not as an outlier way ahead of the pack. That is the group which pragmatic managers focus on, because they feel good about themselves, being in a group of similar standards. They are not frustrated like the unbelievable odd outlier, nor are they scorned as the worst 20% either.

    If you are an outlier, you usually get accelerated up until you find your standard. OK if your bodily development/emotional development is similarly accelerated. Recipe for ‘head case job’ if not, as you will lose all the emotional interactions, banter, camaraderie through not being at the same level in those things as you are in, say football, music or whatever you are rather brilliant at.

    Ozil, Arshavin, Sanchez have fitted the outlier model at Arsenal. One wasted, one on the tightrope, one still standing…….

  102. Crusaderrabbit

    Happiness equals the difference between your expectations and your reality. To be happy you have to choose whether to lower your expectations or improve your reality.

    The reason Arsenal fans are so miserable is because the reality of our club is so far from our expectations. Expectations that have been raised, not by the fans, but by future promises mad by the club, raised with the same regularity as ticket prices. You can’t possibly have low expectations of a product if you’re paying top price for it.

    That’s why you can’t say fans of a team that gets fourth place or narrowly beat Anderlecht away should be happy, because that’s a reality that doesn’t match expectations. That’s why saying things like ‘oh we could be Spuds etc, it could be worse’ is utterly irrelevant to our current predicament.

    I have supported this team for decades and seen much worse squads than this finishing with lower league positions, but we were still in a relatively small ground, with affordable ticket prices and my expectations were set accordingly. Supporting the team then made me a lot lot lot happier than it does today

  103. Kane

    For anyone who thinks this season has not been a shit show so far or wants to defend Wenger here are the facts – in the Premier league we have

    Played Palace, Hull, City, Spurs at HOME – Won 1 game
    Played Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Villa AWAY – Won 1 game

    We couldn’t beat a poor Spurs side, had to salvage points against Everton, Hull and Palace and have been unable to beat anyone of note.

    In the ECL, we have beaten a Belgium and Turkish team and got our pants pulled down by the worst Dortmund side of the last few years

    We also lost at HOME to Southampton in the league cup – despite playing Sanchez, Jack and a host of other first teamers

    Based on this and the lacklustre performances, I would say that Wenger is failing us and the team is playing badly.

    Why should I put up with this and “hope” it gets better?

    WENGER OUT!!!!