Arsenal League Cup shambles par the course, but welcomed

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via @t0wey (instagram)

via @t0wey (instagram)

I wrote this report having not watched the game, but then I rewatched and I didn’t need to change much.


Or, you’re in the pragmatist group that points to the fact we now have less games, and that’s a good thing all things considered.

Here are my thoughts.


It’s usually this point of the year we’re playing averagely and fans harp on about how many compeitions we’re in… then it all goes to shite. We drop out of the League Cup, fall to 4th in the league and finish 2nd in our CL group. All these things are happening again, so I can understand why the fans are in a, ‘we’ve been here before’ rut right now.

The League Cup is for the also-rans

Yep, it is. Put your, ‘but we should aim to win everything’ cap back in the box. We’re already at a massive disadvantage to Liverpool and Chelsea because of our CL commitments, the last thing we need is a whole bunch of additional games. The League Cup is about testing the strength of your backup players. It’s about injecting some freshness into bored legs. It’s about hoping you’ll see players fight hard for you.

Onto my next point…


I think the biggest beef Arsenal fans have here is that the players Wenger put out didn’t seem to want it that badly. It was almost an imposition on some players. Funny enough, players not fancying Southampton was a massive last year when certain players took offence at being sent to St Mary’s over Christmas. Same thing last night, except it was the indignity of playing the League Cup with the kids.

Huge anger directed towards Aaron Ramsey. In his defence, I don’t think #10 is his position and I think that he probably knows it’s a bit like Theo being given a bone as a lone striker. I mean, give him a run in the side, but don’t play him in a role that should be reserved for Iwobi when Ozil is absent. That’s car crash to start with.

Still can’t defend him against having a bad attitude on the pitch. But, like Jack Wilshere, you can sense the tension Rambo has with the manager. Always played out of position, which affects how fans judge performance, which affects how he performs. However, under Pep G, or any other of the new breed of managers, if you don’t play like there’s a gun to your head when you’re a pro, you need to be spanked with a wet stick and made to train in the river for 2 weeks.

Wenger isn’t the best at getting the most out of his players. He’s no Conte or Klopp, and that’s been an issue for years. Is it the makeup of his players? Is it the way he instructs? I don’t know, but it’s an issue. Fans should never leave a ground feeling like the players mailed it in. They did last night.

Set up

It’s hard to fathom why Wenger does the things he does. At home, against Southampton, why is he opting for Coquelin and Elneney (who had the shits?)? Coquelin plays well with only one player and that’s Santi. But why are we opting for such a dull midfield? Do we not have a super star in reserve we can play next to one of those two who could inject a bit of life into the game? Wenger really doesn’t think much when it comes to what exactly he’s setting up. I’d have dropped Iwobi into 10, Ramsey into 8 and played him next to Coq (or a fit Elneney), then stuck someone fast in Iwobi’s place. Some say that Ramsey prefers to play as a 10, my view is he’s not really suited to that role at Arsenal level, nor does he have any chance over the next 3 years in making that position his. So why not stick him in a position he can own?

Things to learn from Southampton

They have a production line of kids to die for. How do they do it? Are we anywhere near that level after investing heavily in our kids? Someone needs to take that blueprint and work out how we can replicate it. OR HIRE THEIR LEADER.

Also another point I bang on about all the time is rotation and how it can benefit the squad physically and mentally. Puel has used an unreal amount of players this season and it clearly pays dividends. Good form in all 3 competitions they’re in and a set of players all ready to hit the ground running when called upon.

Compared to our backup team? Night and day blud…


The season either slips into the same old, or it takes a turn for the better. We’ll see what happens at West Ham at the weekend. A massive game, especially after an embarrassing loss at home. Let’s pray the rested 11 put in a performance and let’s pray Wenger doesn’t panic and put Coquelin straight back in the midfield as an insurance policy.

Onwards and hopefully upwards!


251 Responses to “Arsenal League Cup shambles par the course, but welcomed”

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  1. Mark S

    Congrats raptora! I must admit that when I lost my virginity, it was a hell of a lot better than my first Tr4phy. 🙂

  2. gonsterous

    Forget the fact that it was a league cup game or the fact that we had several first teamers playing or the fact that our 2nd team is more expensive than the first team of several EPL teams. What I want an answer in is a very simple question.
    Can arsene wenger motivate a team to win a game of football ??
    For me, he’s lost the plot. Not that it’s happened recently. It’s been going on for ages and the worst ( really, the worst) is that he’s not looking to change that or make a different approach or even try anything remotely new. He just sits on his arse ( which I feel he does at half time too when the team is in the dressing room )

    Definitely not motivated to watch any of arsenal games for a while now. Been catching them up on Motd.
    Weighed up my options last night and I surprised myself when I watched the latest episode of the flash over arsenal. But that’s how it is now !!

  3. grooveydaddy


    that’s the first episode of a trilogy, right?

    that means you have to watch arrow and legends of tomorrow this week…

  4. raptora

    I am with Pedro on this. Wenger was furious at the attitude and play of most of his players. I wouldn’t say that he didn’t want to win since he put out a side that technically should have a good chance to qualify at home vs a mixed team of reserves and first teamers of Southampton. I kinda saw similarities between this game and the game vs Chealsea that we won with us being the Saints. That day we were playing smarter and we scored with our first three chances which has always luck involved in no matter how good you’re playing. I don’t want to excuse nobody but when the opponents score 2 goals in the first half on your home ground it takes a lot of psychological power to hit back at them. Something that this side last night obviously lacked and it led to such dire performance and a nightmare to watch.

    However after the final whistle Wenger was smiling a lot so I guess he doesn’t feel too bad after the loss, but he surely learned stuff from it. I’m positive his trust in some of the players dropped by a ton after what some of them showed last night. A loss here and there is always healthy because you cannot learn anything from winning and drawing in a way, but when you lose you can see at what didn’t work and what got wrong. The spanking we caused to Chealsea looks like the best favor we could have done to them.

  5. JoppaRoad

    I was at the game last night and for me Ramsay was terrible regardless of position. Saints could have run out much easier winner had they taken their chances.

    What bothered me was not just Ramsay but for the second goal, Jenks lost the ball, then stood back and watched (instead of busting a gut to get back). Sure enough the ball went out to where he should of been was crossed in and tucked away nicely. Jenks could easily of been there to block the cross.

    It’s more than just Jenks though, it’s the whole defensive attitude. If he’s doing that on pitch, what the hell is going on in training?

    Same old, same old.

  6. omar

    After Eduardo’s injury in 2008 with Arsenal coasting to victory in the League, Wenger was unable to motivate Arsenal and we lost our way badly. One injury threw our season away with the manager unable to motivate his team. Thats the year when it dawned on me that this man was simply getting by due to having players before that were so good they didnt need his guidance. Wenger offers nothing and was lucky to have inherited great players and having Dein to bring in great players. Coincidence that our stagnation started once Dein left? Over the last decade we have gone through countless players with the same results every year, the only constant is Arsene Wenger.

  7. Goonereris

    Any suggestion that somehow, Wenger put out a team to throw the game last night is delusion. The selection, on another day, with focus, will beat most teams in the EPL. We have to agree that the players just didn’t start to play until they saw it slipping away, which was the period of the game that Southampton had a few dangerous moments on the break away. It is easy to criticize the players but we must hold up our hands to agree the visitors probably defended very well and were a bit more incisive upfront. All it required was for us to get one goal and you just knew there will be two more to give us the win. One of those nights, in my view. We have to move on from it.

  8. Keem

    Ramsey was poor, sorry extremely very poor last night. Jenkinson, Gibbs and Elneny were all poor as well.

    In the second half, Iwobi was great and his combination play with the Jeff was quite good.

    I hope against WHU, the team plays better.

  9. gonsterous


    Yes, it’s a trilogy this week. I don’t normally catch up with the other shows but this week, I have to cause they left the episode on a cliffhanger !!

  10. Goonereris

    Omar, don’t re-write facts just because it suits you to do so. Even Dein had been known to credit Wenger with the choice of players to be recruited; agreed, that Dein will go out to make it happen, but Arsene Wenger usually starts the discussion to attract the player. When you say “lucky to have inherited”, it just doesn’t resonate well with most reasonable fans but sounds popular right after a defeat at home.
    Some of the comments on here in another thread even went on to denigrate the 20years of the man’s reign. That’s a bit OTT in my view. We are all unhappy with the loss but it does take away some nights of playing some gruelling games (“avoided” now, by key rivals in City, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton) and it has given some of the lads a run out. Just saw the game and I thought, contrary to some assessments I have seen, some of the players gave it a go, like Iwobi, Gabriel, Holding, Ox, Coq, ….even Perez, considering he is only returning. Southampton defended in numbers and very deep, forcing us to pass and pass, seeking openings the likes of Ramsey needed to do a bit more to thread passes through for the front men. I hope lessons are rightly learnt from the game. On to the weekend.

  11. Joe


    A couple things

    “Also rans”. Even though it is the Mickey Mouse cup it will most likely Be a United – scouse final. Hardly “also-rans”

    “Playing with kids”. There was one real u-21 playing. Iwobi is a regular starter. And Ramsey , Elneny and coq are all regular starters for us. Gibbs Gabriel and Perez are over mid -20s. Jenkinson Is mid 20s / and then xhaka and ox thrown on

    This was no way “a kids team”

    A team like Arsenal under wenger who aren’t going to comepete for the league or CL should be trying to win the league cup

    Does it justify wenger as our manager. Fuck n
    Just like winning 2 fa cups in the last 12 doesn’t.

  12. Joe

    All those saying well at least we have to play less games

    How in the last 12 years has being knocked out of the league cup early helped us achieve anything??

    Another lame excuse to justify wenger

    By the way he has won 2 cups out of the last 45 available.

    2 fa cups for a man who makes 8.5 m a year and is supposedly an elite manager and spent as much as he has

    Fraud of the highest order

  13. Diabyearnshowmuch

    Can’t wait for Wenger to leave, we drop further and further behind Liverpool, City, Chelsea and the spuds after every single game. I felt sickened walking out of the game last night.

  14. Vote leave


    All he inherited was an aging squad that he dismantled in two years

    Only seaman Bergkamp parlour Adams and keown stayed on.
    The rest was his side

    You clearly were still in nappies or digging some hole and shitting in it some where

  15. Vote leave


    While I agree that yes we did start to stagnate once Dein left, it was around that time that we moved to anew stadium and the oil clubs came to prominence.

    Do you think there may be a link?

  16. mysticleaves

    when Arsenal won the fa cup

    joe: fa cup has no value.

    when mourinho has a chance of being in the final of an even lesser cup than fa cup

    joe: efl cup has value.


  17. Chi Tom

    “raptoraDecember 1, 2016 15:36:40
    My first ever trophy god bless. Feels better than when I lost my virginity! Wohooo!”

    Was it a buck tooth whore in Tijuana ? 🙂

  18. Goonereris

    Joe, I know you crave that salary, but trying to count the number of cups 2/45 (sic) Arsenal (not Wenger has won) as a further assumption of some great wrong fails to tell the truth that there are, at least, 4 other well paid managers who may have at best, 4/45 (assuming your count is right).

    The only reason you feel we have divine right to win more than 2 cups (isn’t the charity shield a cup?) is because Arsene has come in to give you the taste all those years of winning them. He has won 6 FA cups, the highest number by a single manager and now you know what Caviar tastes like, you just hate sausages -)

  19. Joe


    You muppet.

    Where do I say it has value?!!

    “Also rans”. Even though it is the Mickey Mouse cup it will most likely Be a United – scouse final. Hardly “also-rans”

    Micky mouse cup

    Reading comprehension of a 3 year old

  20. mysticleaves

    Wenger inherited a great squad but made it his own. Same way Guardiola inherited a great squad at Barca but made it his own.

    The season Wenger started you could immediately see the difference in play, even with the same players as the previous manager.

    That being said, he has flunked the past few seasons and only has himself to blame.

    lastly, Dein needed Arsene just as Arsene needed Dein. A football club is better run when knowledgable football people come together.

    They couldnt have done without eachother

  21. Joe


    GG had a better winning rate of trophies than Wenger. Including a European trophy.

    6 in 8 for GG
    9 in 20 for Wenger

    GG gave us a way better taste

    Try again though.

  22. Christian

    elneny really is overrated after re-watching that game.the number of hind passes and sideways ones he made when a simple turn to pick a forward pass could do was criminal… especially before they scored the first game.perez grew tired of making runs no one could pick in my opinion

  23. Joe

    Hey Wallace

    How thrilling was that game for you yesterday

    Or the one vs b mouth

    Or 75 % of the games wenger has dished up This season or for the last 7-8 seasons

    That Arsenal play exciting football is the biggest myth wenger. And you are too up wenger’s ass to see that we play boring tip tap crap under wenger

  24. Joe


    Does GG have a better trophy winning % than wenger

    Yes or no

    And if you can’t do the grade 2 math I can do it for you and give you the answer

  25. Emiratesstroller

    As I suggested earlier today the real concern apart from the large turnover in selections made by Wenger in recent games is the overall quality of our squad and lack of motivation in some of the players.

    However, of greater concern to me is the very poor medical diagnosis at the club. Cazorla got injured in mid October some 6 weeks ago and they have finally made the decision to operate on the ligaments with his potential absence for a further 3 months [12 weeks].

    Had the diagnosis and decision to operate been made straight away in
    October he might have recovered in mid to late January and been available from start of February.

    Sometimes I wonder what actually goes on and with the medical experts who are being used by club. Like the manager it seems to me there is a lack of good and decisive decision making.

  26. Joe

    Wallace would rather score more goals and not win a trophy for 10 seasons than win 6 for 8 seasons and only score 40 goals.

    Akb logic

  27. pedro

    Joe, I pretty clearly said back up. Did you read the article?

    Rhys, do you think you struggle with millennials / people because you’re rude?

  28. gonsterous

    Never seen arsenal under another manager but looking at the records.. Wenger has been our most successful manager to date. The only good thing about managers in the past were they left when their time was up. Wenger though.. seems to be immune from leaving …

  29. Dissenter

    “Cazorla out,Welbeck back in training.”

    I’m not so sure this makes any difference.
    Welbeck isn’t replacing Carzola
    Welbeck’s place in uncertain. He is just going to discombobulate Wenger’s brain and force him to drive more square pegs in round holes.

    Walcott is scoring enough and Giroud is doing his own bit.
    Perez hasn’t gotten a fair shake.
    …where does Welbeck fit in?

  30. Dissenter

    Daily Mail; “Theo Walcott becomes Guinness World Record holder after beating Arsenal stars in challenge to control football dropped from 34m high crane”

    Who lets these players take part in meaningless challenges on the club’s time?
    Shouldn’t they be working on tactics and improving their technique?
    What if his feeble body has broken down again?

  31. Wallace


    “Does GG have a better trophy winning % than wenger Yes or no?”

    you think GG was going to win some more trophies for us?

    you think he was sacked in his prime? because things were going too well?

  32. Pedro

    No Joe, because you’re boring people and talking nonsense about George Graham, a man who would never have competed past 96, that was kicked out of the club for taking back handers.

    This blog started the Wenger piece way before you showed up, stop trying to take ownership of it and stop making people feel bad about having an opinion.

  33. Wallace


    “GG would have won us another league trophy.”

    never in a million years. might have gotten us relegated, no way he was winning the league again.

  34. Joe

    stop making people feel bad about having an opinion.

    Isn’t that what you are doing to me?

    Why delete my stuff about wenger and GG

    Wenger shouldn’t have been a manager past 2006

    What’s your point Pedro?

  35. Pedro

    Joe, just behave like an Arsenal fan and try and diversify you opinion.

    I get more complaints about you than anyone and I don’t mind putting you in the bin with redtruth and sam.

  36. Goonereris

    Oh, come off it, Joe. Surely, you are not 60+ years, so I will be correct in thinking Wenger is the manager that’s influenced your Arsenal perspective more (you can tell me I am wrong, if you wish). Wenger is Arsenal’s most successful manager; GG didn’t have to build a spanking new statdium nor navigate a drastic shift in club ownership where a club can rely on the resources of a Country to buy the best players and hire the best management team. We were a Yo-yo club but find ourselves in the mix year after year. Even the greatest managers admit that is a tough thing to do. If the club find a replacement for Wenger and we manage the transition well, I won’t lose sleep. But as long as he remains the gaffer, he has my support.

  37. vicky

    Do you think Jack should be recalled back now that Santi is out for 3 months. Although I doubt it will help much but Jack is more likely to be of some help than say Ramsey.

  38. Jim Lahey

    @Vicky –

    “Do you think Jack should be recalled back now that Santi is out for 3 months.”

    Would rather see Jack sold and the funds used to bring in someone like Pjanic.

  39. gonsterous

    Its not about having a quality squad anymore under Wenger. He just ruins players. Worse, it cant motivate himself to do the job he’s paid to do !! Last nights game is still taking its toll on me. Bear with me lads 🙁

  40. Joe


    I am
    Acting like an Arsenal fan.

    Because I want wenger gone. And that’s the best thing for Arsenal.

    So if losing , which we did through no fault of MY OWN, gets us closer to wenger leaving. So be it.

    I don’t cause Arsenal to lose

    Wenger does.

    You’re softening on wenger Pedro

    Sad to see

  41. Joe

    I remember as a 16 year old watching Thomas score at anfield.

    So sorry wenger didn’t influence anything.

    89 anfield is a greater moment than wenger has aver produced

  42. gonsterous


    I would advice you to just take the night off from le grove. Trust me,no one’s gonna miss you when you get banned and I even think there’s gonna be more traffic in here with you gone !!

  43. Joe


    I doubt that

    And because you’re an akb. Please don’t think
    You’re posts hold more value

    I don’t
    Miss you when you’re Not here

    Trust me

  44. Rambo Ramsey

    Seriously, what does this Joe chap have to do to get the ban? Every effing day we have to witness the comments section taken over by his boring, pointless, juvenile, inflammatory posts.

    Pedro continues to give ‘warnings’ but perhaps its time to take action?

  45. gonsterous


    Still ignoring the facts I see.. Anyone who disagrees with you is an AKB right ??
    Wow I’m staying to side with people who call you boring.

  46. bacaryisgod

    I’m usually one of the most positive posters on here, but despite the recent unbeaten run, I’m fearing for the rest of the season. Here’s why:

    1. Managerial Instability: We have a manager with an expiring contract. No-one really knows if he’s staying or going.

    2. Player Instability: Our three best creative players are also at or near the end of their contracts. Alexis and Ozil will be down to a year at the end of the season, a point at which the club loses all leverage. Santi’s contract is over at the end of the season. He’s spoken positively about staying but he can still move on for nothing if he chooses. Don’t underestimate the impact contract negotiations have on a player’s form. If their heads are elsewhere, it will certainly show on the field.

    3. Injuries: The club did well this summer shoring up some weakened areas in the squad. Mertesacker and Welbeck’s long-term injuries played a role in the arrival of Mustafi, Lucas and Holding. However, we’ve seen the team struggle to replace the brilliance of Bellerin and Cazorla in recent weeks and the news keeps getting worse with Santi out for 3 more months, the surprisingly impressive Debuchy out for at least a month and Giroud, Walcott and Elneny all getting hurt in the last week. Our most recent player down hurt? No kidding, but it’s Sanogo with a calf strain.

    All this while Welbeck and Merteacker recover. We’re top of the injury League table again (9 out) and recent perma-injured players like Gnabry and Wilshere are looking impressively robust for their new teams.

    4. Tactical Issues: It’s clear to see how Conte and Klopp have revitalized their teams. Conte moved to a back 3 and Chelsea went on a 7 game winning streak. We all know with near certainty there will never be an adjustment in Arsenal’s formation or approach to games. Unfortunately, other managers know this too.

    5. Half-Deadwood: Let’s be fair here. We have a lot less true deadwood than we used to have. Most of the players on the team have a good chunk of support from the fan base, but we still need to obviously offload a few players.

    Let’s start with players taking up just space (Sanogo, Jenkinson) then move on to players who seem doomed or unhappy at Arsenal (Ramsey, Giroud, Debuchy). Hate to say it, but we should also say farewell to the BFG in the summer too and give Holding a chance to nail down the #4 CB spot. Of our loan players, we should bring back Jack for one final crack at him shining for us and sell Chambers to a mid-table Premier League side for close to what we paid for.

    With the Ramsey and Giroud money we can make a serious play for either Reus or Aubameyang at Dortmund. Either of these players would give us more options up front and be the kind of signings that would inspire Ozil and Alexis to commit.

    The truth about our squad is that we don’t need several decent additions but simply one or two more world-class ones.

    Until then, it’s going to be rinse and repeat.

  47. Joe

    I’ve been talking football
    The whole time.

    It’s you moaners who are ruining the blog whining incited by Pedro saying I’m happy we lost.

  48. Pedro

    Joe, if you’re 43 and you’re telling me you watched GG football and thought his dull, one track approach during the latter stages of his career was 1) more attractive than Wenger 2) Sustainable past his departure for Euro success… I’d say you either have no clue what you were watching, or you’re stretching to make the same point you make every day.

    Give it a rest. It’s boring to read.

  49. Joe


    Never said it was more attractive than wenger but wenger also hasn’t played attractive football in years and years

    Please dispute that.

    And who knows what GG would have done with a few more years and a bergkamp on his way

    But we do know what wenger has done with his extra 12 years don’t we.

    It’s in the history books

  50. Pedro

    Sure we do Joe, we’ve been writing about it for 10 years. Again, you’re reiterating the same thing over and over again.

  51. Pierre

    I think Wenger was in a no win situation yesterday against Southampton . If he had played kos , ozil and Sanchez and we won but one of those were injured then he would have been slated..
    The main problem with last night was that we only had Perez, who was coming back from injury , as our striker. We then conceded an early goal and started to chase the game and Southampton cleverly picked picked us off. The Arsenal players looked like they knew we was struggling up front and the balance of the team was affected. I am not an admirer of Ramsey but I really thought that last night he would prove a lot of doubters wrong. Sadly I was wrong , Ramsey was clueless in the no.10 position and his time must be running out.

  52. SUGA3

    Last night’s performance was really bad. Really. I can’t be bothered to even bash individual players, but they should know who they are and take a long, hard look at themselves. One thought I had at halftime was thank fuck I did not go, as I would probably still be hanging off my arse by now 😆

    Wenger is finished. Everyone knows it, including the fans, the players and probably himself. Whilst I had a bit of optimism at the beginning of the season, marred by piss poor start of the season day team management, now I know it is just the same shit, different season.

    Shit marketing strategy too. EFL Cup games are frequented by those who don’t normally get to go to games. If you you serve good product, you have thousands of free excited advertising boards for a couple of days. If you serve a shit sandwich, however…

  53. Joe


    That team should have walked soton

    It another case of being un prepared and un motivated for a game.

    And that falls on the manager.

    And to excuse the loss because it’s league cup is bollocks

  54. daniel

    I like u,i like ur broad view of things concerning arsenal,av been a keen reader of ur post since 2007,i like that u don’t allow the past influence ur judgement on the present when it comes 2 AKB but for once I was unable 2 complete reading ur “POST” reason being I feel u r making 2 many excuse for Ramsey,as a 10 against liverpool he was super poor, even yesterday,even as a box2box,when was d last time he played well,not being busy(running into the opponent’s box) but played well,sorry to say but “Lampard”was less technical like him but he ad passes,a good shot n a good penetrative pass n also he was a serious goal treat frm midfield. PLEASE WHAT IS RAMSEY STRENGH?bcos all I c u judge is 6months(some season ago) n euros,am tired of the excuse u make for,he is d poorest of all our midfield combinations……..iwobi was forced 2 play as a 10 n as a left winger bcos RAMSEY was non existing!

  55. Wallace

    the league cup’s for giving young players a chance to impress. nothing more. if AM-N breaks through this season (or next) then this little run will have been worthwhile.

  56. Wallace


    “Arsenal won the Cup Double in 1992/93 season so not sure where you are coming from.”

    Joe was blustering on about the glory days under GG. we scored 40 goals in 42 league games that year. less than a goal a game. still astonishes me even now.

  57. vicky


    That is for the summer window I presume. I was talking about the immediate solution and whether Jack could be one. I would love to see Wenger try to bring Payet in January if possible,he is one player who could make an impact from the word go, no bed in period and is similar to Santi in a few aspects.

  58. Joe


    Iwobi. Ramsey. Coq. Elneny

    Then add Gibbs , Gabriel, Perez and Jenks

    The only kids were holding RA and Martinez

  59. bacaryisgod

    Joe-I’m happy to dispute your argument that we haven’t played attractive football under Wenger in recent years. In fact, we’ve played some beautiful football under him. The frustration for many of us is that we can’t do it on a consistent basis but to say we haven’t played attractive football in recent years is to deny the obvious.

  60. bacaryisgod

    As bad as our performance was, I’m thrilled we don’t have to play the two-legged semi-final in January. If we end up winning the title come May, this defeat could be the best thing that happened to us. I don’t think we will win it, but those two fewer games in January will certainly improve our chances.

  61. bacaryisgod

    Still a kid. He shouldn’t be part of the starting XI if Ox and Theo were at the levels they should be and we had a CF like Aubameyang to allow Alexis to play wide.

  62. Pierre

    “he could have won with his second string. .”

    I agree but the striker situation was the problem . Remember we was without welbeck, giroud and akpom and any one or 2 of those 3 would probably had started and the team would have had a completely different feel to it . Instead we started with an unfit Perez with absolutely no back up .

    And Joe , I did not excuse the loss because it was the league cup ………

  63. bacaryisgod

    Average age of Southampton Starting XI: 25.9
    Average age of Arsenal Starting XI: 22.9

    That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have won this game but those are the facts.

  64. bacaryisgod

    Joe-you can say he’s not a kid all day but he’s still only 20. That puts him in the youngest 15% of Premier League players.

  65. bacaryisgod

    As I mentioned earlier, one of our biggest problems (and one of Arsene’s greatest failings) is our injury record.

    How do Chelsea have 2 players out (Terry and Obi Mikel, neither of whom are key players these days) and we have 9 out? This has been a constant season after season and absolutely kills us. Something is very wrong here!

    Here could be our team vs Soton without injuries: (Resting Cech, Bellerin, Monreal, Kozzer, Mustafi, Coq, Santi, Walcott, Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck)

    Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ox, Iwobi, Giroud

    subs. Macey, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Bielik, Reine-Adelaide, Lucas Perez, Akpom

  66. Frankie T

    So Ramsey is still being defended in this post. “No 10 is not his position”

    What on earth is it that allows Ramsey to be defended in these posts and that gives him a free ride in the media also?

    “Playing out of position”
    “Not being managed properly”
    “He’s been our with an injury”
    “The team should be built around him”
    “He’s needs a proper DM next to him”
    “The team is not playing to his strengths”
    “He bossed the euros” (my personal favourite bullshit quote)

    So in other words he can literally only perform when he is in central midfield AND with let’s say Xhaka next to him. What is going to be said when that experiment fails?

    The man is holding back the team. This is not just last night it’s been going on since 2011. Last night was awful and everyone is accountable, however he had the opportunity to show what he could do and failed miserably.

    Blah blah blah blah.

  67. Joe


    I got 23.9. But whatever.

    Iwobi may be a kid. But he is part of our regular starting 11.

    Kid or not. He is a first team player

  68. Arsenal not Arsene

    Seems people here are keen to defend their favorite till death. Wenger is dividing the fan base while winning fck all. For 12 years now. Football should be fun and something to look forward to. Not anymore

  69. daniel

    Frankie T,thanks………u quoted Pedro word 4 word on a number of ur lines there……..when will the excuses end pleaseeeee!

  70. Pierre

    ” Wenger is dividing the fan base while winning fck all. For 12 years

    Didn’t Arsenal win the FA cup 2 years on the bounce or was it just a dream …

  71. Joe

    Especially by itself and no other major trophy for 12 seasons.

    It’s huge for clubs like Wigan and Portsmouth and a great day out for fans.

    But in terms of value for a club like Arsenal. It’s as meaningless as the league cup

  72. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I’m still a little miffed about Wenger post match chat …,
    Now he said the saints were a yard quicker an they wanted it more …
    I can umderstand wanting it more but if they are fitter thenthsts totally his fault ?
    7 months to go

  73. steve

    “if AM-N breaks through this season (or next) then this little run will have been worthwhile.”


    lol like he’s going to break threw based on 2,5 mickey mouse games.

  74. Spanishdave

    Wenger has become stuck in a rut. His tactics are the same, his set up is the same, his subs on at the same time, and his excuses are the same.
    He is done for as he has run out of ideas and cannot change or move on because he doesn’t know how to.
    So managers can set up their teams to counter him more easily. each year.
    We are well overdue for a new manager and the club needs a good overhaul.
    It’s like Leyland motors all those years ago a slowly dying old fashioned company who couldn’t move on with the times.

  75. Wallace


    “Wallace, Would you take the 1992/93 season over any season from 2004-5 to present.”

    the trophies, of course, but the players? Wenger’s never been close to fielding a team so short of quality, and so painful to watch. I’m a pretty optimistic guy, but I never for one moment thought those sides Graham was knocking out at the end could challenge for the title.

  76. Joe


    Denilson sanago. Silvetsre. Squillaci santos. Arteta. Bedtner. Flamini. Eboue. Stepanov. Chamack.
    Name a few off the top of my head.

  77. Alex James

    Ramsay always gets a lot of stick on here. I will always stand by him for one reason. He chose us over the Mancs! He deserves a statue for this.

  78. Du Vi

    Arsenal entire creative midfield has collapsed with the injury to a thirty two year old.This train has crashed long a go its just yet to come to a complete halt!!

  79. Wallace


    “We haven’t challenged for the title for 12 seasons. If it’s not the players as you say .”

    we’ve always had the talent to challenge, the issue, and frustration, has been the mental side of things. but the talent’s always been there, even when the money’s been scarce. nothing worse than knowing your team’s just not talented enough. that no matter how disciplined your back 4 and 3 defensive midfielders are, going forward, Wrighty aside, you aint got shit going on….

  80. Wallace

    losing one of your 3 or 4 most important players long term is always a blow, but if it gives Xhaka the chance to nail down his place in the side it won’t be all bad. think everyone knows he has to come good if we are to challenge, and I don’t think anyone was salivating over a Xhaka/Cazorla partnership.

  81. Du Vi

    Why do players never get sold at Arsenal but shambolic players are being rewarded with contracts one tenth of which they would not get elsewhere.

  82. SUGA3

    Santi’s injury, which is obviously fatigue related is the biggest ‘we told you so’ of the summer so far. You have to be fucking clueless to play a short arse 32 year old for 90 minutes every few days. And mostly in the country where there are pretty much no easy games.

    Inability to rotate and utilise the squad is probably Wenger’s biggest weakness. That, and trying to reinvent the wheel with some players like Ramsey. I mean, what is so hard, he is a certain type of player that is good at a few things and this is what he should be doing when the game plan and opposition suits him.

  83. Du Vi

    Case in point Theo Walcott ……….. in his entire Ten plus years at Arsenal not one club to my recollection has actively chased or aggressively pursued,or remotely shown interest in this fellow ,Yet were handing out 100 grand plus contrcats to a guy so technically inept that i make bold to say in any other club his playing career would have com to an abrupt halt.

  84. string

    Silverware breeds success Pedro we learnt that from George Graham and wot that team achieved in 87 against the scousers 89 /91 all of our late history would not have happened if we had not won that “shit cup” not long now till the loony French dictator leaves and we can start again from fresh just like klop is doing

  85. Danish Gooner

    We all know where the season is gonna take us now,down the dumps.This season is a complete replica of the seasons before,terrible game in the qf of the lc,dumped out,fanbase not concerned ,major player injured for season(Santi) next up coming is an Andy carroll inspired draw at wembley and a turgid 1-0 deafeat at basel and a draw of Barcelona in the last 16 of the cl until we end up in May potless and completely stunned that once again Wenger conned us.

  86. Wallace


    “Sorry Xhaka is not in the league of Santi. ”

    not as talented, but then few are. don’t see him as a like for like replacement, but as someone who can bring some of the things Cazorla does, and also a few others.

  87. Wallace


    “Santi’s injury, which is obviously fatigue related…”

    he’s started 10 games since the beginning of the season which was…..August 9th?

    so 10 games in….roughly 100 days….a game every 10 days after having the whole summer off…yeah, must be shattered at this point.

  88. leftsidesanch

    playing devils advocate..and i know this is beyond unlikely

    but would anyone take cesc back especially knowing santis injury problems and that he no longer is a reliable member of the squad in terms of sustaining fitness?

  89. SUGA3

    Xhaka is good against opposition which plays high line, as some of his long balls are totally peachy. For that. however, we need a well drilled front three to give him options. The downside is that opposition playing high line tends to press forward, which may result in rash challenges and bookings.

  90. SUGA3

    Cesc can fuck off. Granted, he may have been disgusted by the two-bobness of Wenger’s management as some of us are, but he was the paid professional in this puzzle. And his last season was anything but professional.

  91. SUGA3


    Thinking a 32 year old person can hack it with over a decade of career in his legs is delusional. Maybe in Serie A, but not in the Prem.

  92. leftsidesanch

    @suga fair point, some of the things i heard (while cant be verified cos i wasn’t there) were distasteful to say the least

  93. leftsidesanch

    what i find is the surprise and anger of the regulars on the likes of arsenal fan tv. Wenger is delusional, he constantly turns his nose at a competition that he has never won. That behaviour wouldn’t be acceptable even if he managed a club who is a serial winner, but for Arsenal (where we should be desperate for success because we’ve been starved of it) – it’s nothing short of embarassing.

    The thing is, he’s going to be offered a new contract that he will sign. I don’t hate Wenger or have a weird obsession (positive or negative) like many fans but how do you justify giving him the contract? What is the contract which is a reward, measured against?

    Face it, Arsenal as a whole just aren’t an ambitious club and never have been.

  94. Arsenal not Arsene

    Du Vi getting rid of dross is not hard for other clubs except Arsenal. After a season at Liverpool, the flop benteke was sold easily, mancs have sold many flops over the years, Welbeck, cleverly, rvp, Nani, those Rafael brothers. Martinez and madzukic sold after a season at atletico. It’s only Arsenal where we have to make do with average players for so long who clearly aren’t going to work for us.IMO players to sell >>Ramsey, Ox,Welbeck, Perez, Elneny, Jenkison, Debuchy, Gabriel. Get back Campbell plus wilshere and a new manager and watch them shine.

  95. Wallace


    “Thinking a 32 year old person can hack it with over a decade of career in his legs is delusional. Maybe in Serie A, but not in the Prem.”

    Cazorla’s 31. Scholes was still a regular for Ferguson until he was 33/34 and he started 18/19yrs old.

  96. Samesong

    If you want to be injured within 6 months of your career come to Arsenal.

    Injuries for you. What an advert that will be.