Arsenal find magic and focus as they attack the #Top4Trophy

by & filed under News Review.

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Nothing focuses Arsenal quite like the battle for the #TopFourTrophy.

It’s a real oddity, because look, it’s a pressurised situation. We’re battling three very good clubs with equal resources and better coaches, and we’re attacking the problem like soldiers storming the beaches in WWII.

Arsenal put on a classy show yesterday, if you can’t take joy in that game, you might as well give up. It had it all, some superb goals, another great Petr Cech performance, a young defender emerging as a bit of a star, some sweet revenge for Rambo with an assist, and even comeuppance for Arnautovic when Holding shoved him over and busted his arm.

Wenger pulled off a selection masterclass, I mean, come on… don’t pretend you didn’t look at Coquelin and Giroud in the lineup and cry some boredom tears! Both players contributed positively in the first half.

Our first goal came on 41 minutes, Xhaka found Coquelin in space 40 yards out, the Frenchman played a perfectly weighted pass into the run of Bellerin on the right. The Spaniard showed unusual composure, firing a low cross at Giroud on the 6-yard line, with the finish executed with tap-in perfection. Imagine all those elements coming together at once? Amusing reading around how many people thought the Xhaka pass was something out of the Zizou hall of fame. Calm down people, let’s not start creating mythical legend out of 10-yard passes. The hero there was Coquelin who probably had to be treated for a nosebleed after that.

Our second goal came in the second half and was a thing of 2004 like beauty. Ozil played a delayed one-two with Sanchez. He exploded into the box, Sanchez picking him out with a standing pass that beat 6 Stoke players (plus the keeper), Ozil finished deftly with one touch. An incredible goal.

Peter Crouch, the 47 years old giant from an 80s comic strip, did cause us some bother when he nipped in at the near post and pushed in a cross with his hand. If that were Pires or Thierry, we’d hear calls for the hardest Brexit of all time so we could hang them. Because it was Crouchy, it was just kind of amusing. Yet another reason for video analysis. Those sorts of decision can derail a #TopFourTrophy challenge and cost clubs in excess of £40m. Unreal that people think there’s anything pure in unjust decisions.

Arsenal looked flustered for a moment or two, we conceded 350 corners in the space of 12 minutes, but we didn’t cave. Sanchez’s thigh did, the gay icon wincing at the camera whilst showing some serious leg to the world. Any normal manager would have taken his star man off immediately with a cup final looming, not Wenger, he left him on… and miraculously, the top 4 gods shined on him again. Bellerin played Sanchez a ball inside, expecting a return pass, the Chilean had different ideas, he powered on at the goal from the right, then picked out the bottom corner with a low daisy-cutter.

Some say his celebration indicated he’s staying on. I’d say that’s a long shot. The man has created 30 goals / assists this season. He’s going somewhere to win things this summer. Cheslea, PSG, and Bayern all interested.

Anyway, he rolled off for Aaron Ramsey, who was booed on for having the audacity to have his leg broken once upon a time. The Welshman nearly scored immediately, cutting some sweet movement across the edge of the area, but not doing well enough with his shot. He did manage an assist, setting up Giroud for an easy finish at the death.

4-1 to Arsenal. We’re not a point behind Liverpool who play West Ham. I have a feeling they’re more than capable of a choke there, so don’t be surprised if we’re sitting in the top 4 come the end of the season. We’ve absolutely destroyed the last few games, which I was sure would end in tears.

Interesting looking at the United game now, because it’s quite clear that Mourinho is gambling on the Europa League final… and making sure that if he doesn’t make it, he’s not stuck in Spursday night hell next season.

Also interesting to see all the player tweets and Instagrams now, it’s like they’re fully onboard the top 4 tophy train. I find it all a bit embarrassing to be honest. I was watching Ferguson on an NBC doco earlier, he was saying that the only thing that mattered was the league. How I wish we had a manager into that. Wenger on the side celebrating the goals like he’d won the World Cup. He’s completely reframed what it is to be successful, and it works.

Even if we do fail to make the top 4, he’ll be close enough to dress it up as a success… it’ll be glorious failure, and we know that Wenger is all about that.

I will always enjoy us winning, but that sick feeling I have in the pit of my stomach thinking about what a disaster we’re going to enter into next year is really upsetting.

… but hey, it’s only football right?

On a positive note, I thought Rob Holding looked very good again. He wasn’t quite peak Cannavaro, was roasted a couple of times. However, he looks like an interesting defender, and considering our track record with young British players, he looks promising. He’s great on the ball, he’s very strong, and he damaged Arnautovic, which was exciting to watch. He’s from Bolton, you’re not going to bully him.

On Alexis and Ozil. They’re such good players. Sanchez would be much better under a manager that could coach him, and Ozil would be much better if had fire in his belly every game. I was watching the game with Alfred, he was saying prematch that if Ozil made the runs into the box Ramsey does, we’d probably love him a little more… it was a great goal, the sort he should be getting more of.

Fingers crossed the Chilean is fine for the Chelsea game.

P.S. Thanks for all the positive comments around the podcast, we’re very grateful and we shall be continuing it next season for sure. Maybe even the summer if there’s something good to talk about.

369 Responses to “Arsenal find magic and focus as they attack the #Top4Trophy”

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  1. Bankz

    Wenger could beat PSG, Madrid and Barca at a stretch and I’d still want him out.
    He’s an old idiot.
    So the team could play like this but only got to show this when Top4 became under threat?

  2. PinoyGooner

    12th man.

    Interesting we got out of that series of corners without conceding. Or was it just poor from Stoke?

  3. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Most posters want to see Arsenal being a success and of course support should not be blind.

    Wenger is for me a liability as has been discussed ad infinitum. I think that
    that most people agree that there needs to be a fresh broom at the club.

    However, when I read constantly posts from people who are actually wishing the club ill-will and abusing others who are not obsessed by Wenger
    then it impacts on the overall impression of Le Grove.

    Arsenal played well against Stoke yesterday a team with a very good record
    at home against us and more importantly one who have known how to bully our players and wind us up.

    The team apart from a very brief period in second half controlled the situation very well.

    As both you and I have suggested Holding looks to be a good prospect and a
    “proper defender”. Yet there are people like Red who are already slagging
    him off. Let’s be clear he is solid and has made a difference since his introduction to the defence. He is not the finished article, but certainly an asset to our squad.

    The wing backs specifically Bellerin and.or Ox on the right most definitely
    look more comfortable in the current framework and both highlight the
    difference when they play and Walcott is in the team. They are physically stronger and work harder for the team.

    Arsenal do need to improve their squad at end of season. It is important that
    Sanchez and Ozil stay and that may depend in my view in case of former on
    whether we qualify for CL.

    However, I would prefer that Arsenal spend serious money on buying two
    or three top class players genuinely needed rather than making wholesale changes for sake of it

    Most successful teams are selective when they buy, because they are aware
    that foreign players like Xhaka and Mustafi need time to adapt to the pace,
    physicality and style of English game. That does not happen overnight.

    We know already that Arsenal are going to bring in a new left back, because
    today’s rumours have more or less confirmed that Kolisnac has signed on a
    Bosman. My personal preference is that Gibbs is sold rather than Monreal,
    because I view him as an average winger rather than a decent full-back.

    We need to spend our money on an additional Centre Back to replace Mertesacker and Gabriel neither of whom are good enough, a decent
    play maker in midfield to replace Cazorla who is injury prone and of course a replacement for Giroud who can still score goals, but lacks the mobility and work ethic to play in this team.

  4. steve

    “We are still a long way short of Chelsea in performance and the club needs
    to start separating the chaff from the wheat, but we are in better shape now
    than a month ago.”

    Hmm. Maybe it has something to do with playing teams with nothing to play for. Where were this types of performances when playing for the title? Same shit at the end of every season and the gullible fans fall for it everytime. *smh*

    “For once I would like to see some evidence that those who criticise Wenger
    obsessively start supporting the team.”

    You just don’t get it do you? Winning games just keeps the fraud in a job so why should one support the team right now?

  5. Bob N16

    Really enjoyed the performance but agree with Emirates, Giroud’s mobility and work ethic is unacceptable.
    Come on the bubble blowers!

  6. GoonerDave

    Decent article.
    If only we had this level of application when we’re in a title race. We seem to be cool as ice, playing great stuff when going for top 4. Frustrating.
    But such a pleasure to beat Stoke so comfortably, despite all their usual behaviour. Great to see Holding giving some back. Some of our older players could do with his attitude! He could end up being a great player for us with any luck.

  7. GoonerDNA

    Steve, I don’t think you get it. Wenger’s future will come down to a split in the board because we have a few very good players who win us games basically. Once we lose Alexis and Ozil then results will play a huge role ESPECIALLY if the manager doesn’t take the board seriously with regards to change.

  8. Redtruth

    It would take more than an FA Cup victory to repair the damage of the last 13 seasons.
    For a start Wenger can stop all this bullshit with mental strength.and trade in his suit for a tracksuit

  9. Wallace

    Pedro

    “Interesting looking at the United game now, because it’s quite clear that Mourinho is gambling on the Europa League final… and making sure that if he doesn’t make it, he’s not stuck in Spursday night hell next season.”

    ‘quite clear’?

    also, please don’t be posting vids of a no longer svelte Bergkamp. nothing sadder than ageing athletes.

  10. Emiratesstroller

    I think that one lesson to be learned in recent seasons has been Chelsea’s
    recruitment policy.

    They have maintained a fairly stable squad, but key acquisitions have been
    this summer Luiz and Kante following Fabregas not so long ago.

    All three have a common denominator and that is previous experience of playing in the EPL earlier in their careers.

    My guess is that Chelsea will focus this summer on recruiting Lukaku and
    benefit from him also playing in EPL.

    By contrast Arsenal and Man Utd have been busy bringing in high price overseas players with limited or no experience playing in England and it has taken them time to adapt.

  11. jasongms

    “Hmm. Maybe it has something to do with playing teams with nothing to play for. Where were this types of performances when playing for the title? Same shit at the end of every season and the gullible fans fall for it everytime. *smh*”

    Yeah, you have to wonder as to the mental’ faculty of the Arsenal faithful when the exact same thing happens every f’king season.

    We’re out of the league and CL by February “every season”. Are the fans narcoleptic or just pathetic ?? How about winning when it really matters, yeah? You know like not being embarrassed in the Champions League and actually challenging for the title !!!

    As soon as there’s nothing to play for but the annual push for 4th, the fans forget the past transgressions and fall in line…. Guaranteed the “one Arsene Wenger” chant is being dusted off as I write this

    I’m really starting to think that the fans and Wenger deserve each other …

  12. Ashley

    The only reason I want us to win fa cup and get 4th is so I can watch a meme of Wengers head photo shopped onto someone’s body , dancing

  13. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Get over yourself, Wallace. Nothing you posted, and I mean NOTHING, brought any value to anyone other than yourself as you sit on your throne busting out a log of corn blasted feces. Get lost already!

  14. Ashley

    The catch 22 yet again , we love the sight of holding smashing stone players , we love smashing stoke but at the same time the club misconstrues this appreciation as us wanting Wenger to stay , it’s almost as if you have to silently appreciate the little slithers of goodness that escape from our club from time to time 1 , to not give Wenger false support and 2, to not get labelled an AKB

  15. Barking Arsene

    Good result yesterday with quite a few positives. Obviously it doesn’t change the bigger picture at all but I’m enjoying winning a couple of games.

    Let’s just hope Le Maniac isn’t allowed to continue.

  16. Rambo Ramsey

    Rob Holding? Meh. I’ve seen a long, long list of talents peter out to nothingness after impressing initially. Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamberlain heck even Chambers looked composed and classy in his first few matches.

  17. Ashley

    Rambo

    Nah mate , holding is different gravy , i think he’s being managed way better than chambers , who was basically hung out to dry by Wenger and has never recovered … the opening game of the season could have ruined holding but he’s progressed more and more throughout the season – he’s got class about him that the others you mentioned haven’t except I’d have to say , Ox

  18. GoonerDave

    Rambo –
    True, we have had a lot of false dawns with promising young players, but they lack attitude at times. Holding bullied Arnautovic yesterday, which shows he may have the attitude to go with the skill. That is a good sign. Time will tell.

  19. Dissenter

    West Ham beat Spuds last week so they’ll know they can beat Liverpool.
    It’s the last home game of the season so the players will be up to,it.
    Bilic is still fighting for his place as manager for next season

    Liverpool better score two goals innth first twenty minutes to kill the game .

  20. Rambo Ramsey

    I have a feeling the result of that cup final will have more bearing on whether Wenger stays or goes. Don’t think it matters one iota whether we finish fourth or fifth.

  21. Jay

    I genuinely believed we had a chance of getting rid but this run of games will have give Wenger another 2 years. Think about that.
    Will he leave after those 2 years, not a chance.
    These feckless players and manager have proved time and again, they’ll do just enough to keep the gravy train rolling. Sad times.

  22. Emiratesstroller

    Ashley

    Agreed most of our British players have been disappointing.

    I do think that Holding is different, because unlike the others he is not a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’. Holding is a centre back and nothing else.

    Part of problem with Wenger has always been that he brings in players who
    he thinks have got talent, but fails to identify a] whether he needs them and
    b] what is their best position.

    That has certainly been the case with Ox. Also to some extent with Ramsey and Wilshire as well. In case of Messrs Walcott, Gibbs and Chambers they
    were not good enough for our team.

  23. Rambo Ramsey

    The fact that we’re having to envisage these scenarios is in itself a tragedy. But hey, you can still find the usual suspects ask ‘How is Kroenke at fault?’ while simultaneously frothing at the mouth over the prospect of a never ending Wenger reign. Gotta marvel at these low IQ buffoons.

  24. Wallace

    Adam A. Car…

    “Get over yourself, Wallace. Nothing you posted, and I mean NOTHING, brought any value to anyone other than yourself as you sit on your throne busting out a log of corn blasted feces. Get lost already!”

    who are you?

  25. Wallace

    Rambo

    “It is amusing to see Wallace find his voice again after going awol for most of the season. Fair weather sort, are we?”

    :) I’ve spent 5/6yrs posting on here whatever the situation/mood.

    and I’m hardly mounting a robust defence of Wenger here, am I? I just don’t get anything out of adding to the ‘he’s a c*nt’ chorus.

  26. £8,000,000

    So we have the usual end of season push for the ‘top4trophy’ , seems the players have exactly the say priorities as their ‘manager’, they all obviously get a nice bonus for this trophy so they raise their game when necessary , I also think that they are playing for a starting position for the glamorous cup final v Chelsea. FAKE CLUB.

  27. SpanishDave

    Today we will know the 4th trophy result if Liverpool win.
    Wenger will not go as he will say he just missed 4th and lost the cup final which is fantastic in his head.
    Nothing will change . So sad.

  28. TheBlaster

    Even with a middle aged man’s figure and no hair, Bergkamp is still class. No need to run around like a mad bastard when you can make the ball do all the work for you. I’ll bet him and Le Tissier would have a spectacular game of keepy uppy

  29. RJM

    Why though? He is a cunt! His behaviour over the past few months proves he’s a total cunt!
    Fair dues though. We were excellent yesterday. Fancied we’d get beat. Thought Stokes tactics sitting deep allowing us to play through midfield was wrong. But when Deano who was obviuosly disappointed Stoke weren’t kicking us off the park decided to change that by putting his whistle in his pocket for 5mins until they scored we showed, unusually for us, great fortitide. Helped though their donkey upfront is even worse than ours!
    Why is it we always show form now we are incapable of during the winter months? 3 at the back has helped immensely our fullbacks look much better as wing backs, Ox showed his best form there and Nacho done well as a fill in CB too. Hopefully the more they play they it the better the team will get. Shame our 8m a year cunt waited till after the Palace debacle to allow the players to try it….

  30. TheBlaster

    PS Holding was awesome. What a fantastic f**k you tackle! Not vicious or nasty, just ‘get outta my way bitch’. Future legend!

  31. Jim Lahey

    Yohan Cabaye is another player we dicked around with until he went PSG.. Would still have him at Arsenal, would much prefer to see him on the bench than what we have now.

  32. Champagne charlie

    S Asoa

    Nah mate “akb” originally was a tongue in cheek Kobe at other fans. Now it’s purely used as a discriminatory barb by those trying to undermine another poster. Pedro has spoken about this already.

    Short version is… those who use it are twats.

    Jim
    Yea Cabaye was such an obvious buy for us, would have been a seamless replacement for Arteta when his legs were going. Bizarre. Been too many of that ilk hasn’t there, Lloris is the most obvious and painful reminder for me. Almunia, Fabianksi etc and we could’ve just paid 10 mil for the highest rated young GK in France.

  33. Jim Lahey

    @CC –

    As you say there have been so many of those situations over the years. It seem slike every year there are more that get added to the list. If by some chance that CP were to go down (obviously not looking that way now) I would still take him onboard, even at 31 he would be a decent option to have on the bench.

  34. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Top 4 will result in the exact same debacle as in previous years, utter humiliation at the hand of a real world class team. What’s the point?

    Wenger exemplifies the true definition of insanity and only someone as absent as Stan would ever permit such foolish nonsense, year in and year out. But then again, AFC are a business and not a football club, so to that end what does it actually matter? Winning trophies will only marginally increase the financial coffers, so keep on keeping on.

    As a true football fan, it’s utterly hopeless.

  35. Bamford10

    And before someone points out that Giroud scored in the first, that was a tap-in which anyone could have scored. I challenge anyone to highlight positive contributions made by Giroud otherwise. He was a complete zero. Absolutely no reason ever to play Giroud in a first half. None.

  36. Hunter

    How fickle AFC supporters are!just because we have won our last three games Dosent mean we can forgive or forget the absolute mess we have been this season.I am over the moon we are winning and playing well again,but I certainly don’t give credit to WENGER.
    Reading the posts for weeks on end berating the man and his management style a couple of results and all is forgiven.It Dosent matter what we achieve this season IF he signs another two year contract it will be like Groundhog Day again and again.
    This guy will not lead us to success in the league EVER again !and by success I mean the Premiership Title.
    He has had his time and now he MUST GO!for the sake of the club and its fans.
    Unfortunately the pressure on him has relented and he will escape no matter where we finish even Ivan has backed off!The media think it’s a done deal too and even the players are putting in a shift albeit a little late.They know under WENGER they have an easy time,top wages and accepting top four is their goal.
    The club has sold its soul to the devil,the devil being WENGER,he who rules over everything at AFC!
    How just How did this guy get so much power,he has become Bigger than the club,the Owner,The board and the CEO all report to him,what are they frightened of?
    The Media are cowards and whimps,no-one but no-one has the balls to confront him.
    He is just a man like any other,has feelings has opinions,but just like anyone else MUST be answerable for his actions.
    I just know what’s going to happen come the end of the season,we all do,so I put the blame squarley at the feet of the fans!We have the power to call him out,starting with the home game against Sunderland but my fears are that any protest will simply die away yet again.
    I was on the first Protest march this year and was optimistic but my hopes died at the next one with so few in attendance.
    The other thing that pisses me off are those guys at Arsenal Tv!Huffing and puffing about WENGER OUT including that idiot of a presenter who constantly sits on the fence,these were the guys who wanted the team to do well but also couldn’t wait for WENGER to go,I was hopefull they continued their campaign but yet again these guys too turn the other cheek now(DT)being the exception.
    He (Wenger) will get away with it again for another two maybe four more years and it’s all our fault.
    I am done with AFC until change is made,gave up my season ticket last year,attended protest marches and for what!Dick all that what!

  37. Bamford10

    Emirates

    Good point re Chelsea’s recruitment. I’d also point out that they are pro-active — signing players in advance of when they might be needed — where Wenger is almost always re-active, i.e., Oh my God we really need a fill-in-the-blank.

    As for Le Grove, the problem isn’t negative types, it’s the Pierres of the world who come on here and try to paint a positive gloss over a shit season. “We’ve scored 72 goals!” he tells Le Grove. Sorry, but that kind of comment deserves the treatment it received.

  38. Jim Lahey

    @Bamford –

    I very much dislike Giroud, especially as a main striker.. and even more so as our main striker for the past 5/6 years! Yesterday he was once again poor, there in no debating that.

    “And before someone points out that Giroud scored in the first, that was a tap-in which anyone could have scored. ”

    Yeah anyone could have scored it, but I thought he did well to get into a position to score it, he initially did well to hold Shawcross off. Saying that, the guy is bench material at best.

  39. Bamford10

    Champagne

    No, those who defend Wenger in any way are twats. And AKB remains an accurate description of people who either continue to believe in Wenger or only recently stopped believing in Wenger.

    Yes Pedro came down on its use, but he clearly was trying to sow seeds of unity and harmony post an ugly incident or two outside of the stadium. I get his reason for trying to promote unity among fans, but it says “AKB Guide” at the top of the website, and the term has been used as an insulting derogatory here from time immemorial.

    You’re the one trying to re-write norms here so as to paint yourself (and the erstwhile AKB) in a better light.

    The critics of Wenger were right all along; you lot were wrong. If Wenger-Outers still have contempt for the AKB, this contempt is well-deserved.

  40. Bamford10

    Jim

    I agree he was in the right place, but many strikers at this level can do that. Other than that one tap-in, he did zilch in the first half. Zilch.

  41. Jim Lahey

    @Bamford –

    Won’t argue with you on that, would much prefer to see Sanchez play up front. But After that I would have to go with Giroud over the other options currently at the club, which is a sad and sorry situation to be in.

  42. Bamford10

    Rob Holding vs. Stoke: (via @Squawka)
    84% pass accuracy
    7 clearances
    6 aerial duels won
    5 blocks
    3 interceptions

  43. GoonerDave

    Pool going for the early kill with Sturridge and Origi. If they don’t score early they might get nervy.
    They should have way too much for West Ham but you never know.

  44. Paulinho

    West Ham – Liverpool should be a good game. Starting to love watching their games now, especially Klopp, who is struggling to keep it together without losing his rag. Liked him at the start and he is a good manager, but his habit of wildy celebrating victories with his staff- and then acting all surprised when the opposition’s manager is not there for a handshake – put me off him.

    Also slowly dawning on the Liverpool fans how average Wijnaldum is.

    Said at the start of the season he was their big weakness and majority of their fans are starting too see how limited he is in games where he has scope and space to do more than he does.

  45. Adam A. Carbarundum

    And don’t forget, Bamford…One broken arm inflicted!

    Holding has great potential. Shame it will be wasted under the tutelage of Wenger. Many a decent defender has been laid waste by that moron.

  46. Jim Lahey

    “Liked him at the start and he is a good manager, but his habit of wildy celebrating victories with his staff- and then acting all surprised when the opposition’s manager is not there for a handshake – put me off him.”

    Yeah absolutely spot on. Its one thing to have some passion its another to run around the place like a complete tosser every time you score! Also I really feel like its not genuine.

  47. Dissenter

    Europa league next season, Thursday night footie unless Liverpool choke.
    They have too many goal scorers on the field to not score.

  48. TR7

    ” Its one thing to have some passion its another to run around the place like a complete tosser every time you score”

    Conte is not much different in this regard, is he ?

  49. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Based on the standings it would and should not surprise if some managers are uncomfortable in their shoes. Mark Hughes comes quickly to mind as his Stoke squad are horribly inept.

  50. jasongms

    “it says “AKB Guide” at the top of the website, and the term has been used as an insulting derogatory here from time immemorial.You’re the one trying to re-write norms here so as to paint yourself (and the erstwhile AKB) in a better light. The critics of Wenger were right all along; you lot were wrong. If Wenger-Outers still have contempt for the AKB, this contempt is well-deserved.”

    Here, here …..

  51. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Dissenter…methinks that West Ham hoped for a better look and feel for the stadium, but beggars should not be choosers. It’s basically cost them next to nothing. Same can’t be said for the taxpayer.

  52. Adam A. Carbarundum

    It’s no secret that CC is the king of AKB’s, despite his constant and incessant whining denials.

  53. izzo

    I have given up on the team long ago so another meaningless victory is nothing to be happy about or to enjoy. When we’re actually winning the league and or challenging properly for it that’s when I’ll enjoy and be happy. Right! Now I await the abuse that I’m a plastic/armchair fan comments. Let it roll…

  54. Champagne charlie

    Jim

    Nah the Cabaye ship has sailed for me, if we were to nip at their carcas it has to be Zaha. Potentially a very good premier league winger there, good return in terms of goals/assists for a poor side.

    Don see Theo or Ox getting that return in a respective team playing that type of football. He’s no Mahrez, but he’s superb on the ball unlike our wide bunch.

  55. AC Gooner

    Anyone notice how Alexis avoided Wenger when he came off? Of course he hates being subbed off, but I think it shows he is going this summer.

  56. Globalgunner

    The natural and available replacements for Cazorla and Giroud are Gylfi Siggurdsen of Swansea and Benteke at Palace. New CB needed to replace Merts and sell the short are keeper. Allow Martinez to step up. All meaningless of course if Wenger stays and Sanchez leaves

  57. leftsidesanch

    @AC i noticed that it was a lukewarm embrace. However, I don’t read too much into those things. I think he’s off regardless.

  58. Dissenter

    Europa league here we come.
    The remaining two games are just academic endeavors
    WestHam aren’t coming back. They are dreadful.

  59. S.Asoa

    Think our focus gets off when we deliberate the imponderable. For a Club of Arsenal size it is Ridiculous and Puerile to focus on the 4th place . This is a FAILURE to win for the great, has become a commercial proposition for the Also Rans.
    There should be a moratorium on not discussing the probability of Wenger staying. But for purpose of information should be OK to deliberate on chances of Wenger leaving. ( You won’t miss a thing , being same thing ).

    We should re-start the mandatory salutation in post of

    WENGER OUT

  60. Guns of Hackney

    4-1 or 141-1. Pointless.

    Holding good. Give Wenger the summer to destroy him or put him in purgatory or wherever Perez has been all season.

    Enjoy Le Grove everyone, it’s been fun but I don’t see an end to Wenger, so I have to end my affiliation with the club.

  61. TR7

    “The natural and available replacements for Cazorla and Giroud are Gylfi Siggurdsen of Swansea and Benteke at Palace”

    Gylfi and Benteke – two mid-table level player.

  62. Marc

    Who the fuck just suggested that we should replace Cazorla and Giroud with two players who have just barely avoided relegation?

  63. Ishola70

    lol it was the fixtures of death spiral the other week.

    This back three has come in handy. As well as giving better defensive solidity if used properly with the wing backs it gives good width in attack as well and we saw some of that against Stoke.

    Tbh I would forgive the old fool and back him if I thought he would continue with this new formation from now on and going into next season but I just don’t trust him to do it.

  64. Dissenter

    Chelsea will probably beat use in the Final of the FA cup
    We come fifth in the league

    Will these poor outcome cost Wenger his new contract?
    I’m not sure because of the centralization of power that exist at Arsenal.
    Wenger stil gets his comfy contract with a salary increment with some cosmetic changes to make Gazidis look good.
    How will they justify the expensive tickets for next season?

  65. Globalgunner

    Instead of criticising others. Why don’t you engage brain and make your own suggestions. Benteke is an improvement on Giroud and Siggurdsen is better than an invisible Cazorla. I don’t imagine many Madrid Barca or Bayern players are itching to join our top 4 quest.

  66. TR7

    Daniel Sturidge is easily one of the most talented strikers in the league. If he’s available at 30-35 M, worth going for despite his injury record.

  67. Marc

    Dissenter

    I think they’re going to have a serious problem with both ST drop outs and then people not taking up the option. We’ll lose Sanchez, probably keep Ozil on a huge salary increase but I can’t see much in the way of exciting recruitment and if there’s no CL one of Wenger’s biggest selling points will be gone as well.

  68. Jim Lahey

    @Dissenter –

    “Will these poor outcome cost Wenger his new contract?
    I’m not sure because of the centralization of power that exist at Arsenal.”

    Then what is next for the fans that wanted us to finish out of the CL positions and tank the FA Cup as they believe it would see the end of him? Hoping we get relegated next year? Maybe hoping the club goes into liquidation? Wenger can’t be manger at the club if the club doesn’t exist!!

    As I have said before, guarantee me that dropping out of the CL spots or losing the FA Cup will see him walk then I will gladly see it happen. But I can’t get on board with wanting the club to fail just on some off chance he will be booted out because I honestly don’t think he will… Its going to be another two years of this abject failure at our club I would rather see us win a pointless FA Cup rather than lose it.

  69. Jim Lahey

    @Global –

    “Benteke is an improvement on Giroud and Siggurdsen is better than an invisible Cazorla”

    You ask people to “engage brain” then make that statement…

  70. Dissenter

    TR7
    You would pay 30 million for Sturridge for the unique privilege of getting a striker who’s only scored twice in the league.
    The best predictor of the present is past behaviors. He’s known for being a wimp because he does not like to play with injuries…and he’s always injured.

  71. Marc

    Jim

    Agree with you Wenger staying is about more than just ego it’s also about how he’s terrified of not having anything to do. We could finish 6th and get beaten 7 nil in the cup final and he’d use it as a reason as to stay on.

  72. Alexanderhenry

    Dissenter

    We just don’t know.

    Is there an offer on the table for wenger?

    Was there an offer that has since been withdrawn?

    Is wenger himself undecided?

    Wenger and arsenal’s refusal to shed any light at all on the situation implies that the it remains unresolved.

  73. Marko

    Always great to see an Arsenal win over Stoke but we’re talking long term wise here and right now it’s the not knowing one way or the other that’s fucking killing. He’s actually a piece of shit for that alone we deserve to know one way or the other so that the club and fans can prepare for the inevitable

  74. Alexanderhenry

    Marc

    Whatever you think of him, wenger wouldn’t find it difficult to find another managerial job elsewhere.

  75. Dissenter

    Wenger ball has completely desensitized me from watching us play.
    I’m watching these games like a robot; no adrenaline, no anger just a numbed sense of de ja vu.

  76. Champagne charlie

    Sturridge is not a good shout at 30 mil. Not even close.

    How can people moan about Welbz, cazorla, Ramsey, jack etc then shell out for another sicknote?

  77. Marko

    Daniel Sturridge? Fuck off. We’ve already got the mentality of signing up bang average injured players with no bottle and continuing with them we don’t need another. Wouldn’t touch him for 10 million

  78. Jim Lahey

    @Marc –

    My fear is Wenger using the situation of dropping out of the CL places as an excuse to stay at Arsenal “Can’t leave the club like that” or some other nonsense. I want the guy to leave, have done so since 2009 but the cold hard reality at this point is that he is staying.

    And I believe we will lose the FA Cup anyway, but it would be nice to win something.

  79. Alexanderhenry

    Pedro

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Also, the way arsenal has been run, it’s not an ‘elite’ job.

  80. Dissenter

    AlexanderH
    You bet your last sterling that Wenger will be making a case to stay with the same structure in place.
    He is not accountable to anyone and never takes responsibility for the glaring errors.

  81. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘He’s actually a piece of shit for that alone we deserve to know one way or the other so that the club and fans can prepare for the inevitable’

    Yeah, blame Wenger for taking up what’s offered- all the time and freedom in the world to make a decision on his own future. Its unheard of.

  82. Bamford10

    Sturridge is great, but his injury woes make him a risk. I was for signing him years ago. I could probably still be talked into it, but it would have to be more like 25m, and he’d have to be a second option.

    I like Sigurdsson too, but I like him as a replacement for Ramsey, not Cazorla.

    I like Benteke too, and agree that he is a better striker than Giroud, but he is not well-liked on Le Grove.

  83. Alexanderhenry

    ‘He would never get the power he has at Arsenal ever again.’

    I’m not disputing that. I’m just saying that he would be able to manage a decent club elsewhere.

  84. TR7

    Welbeck is injury prone and would be a massive gamble to take but then I don’t see us to be in a position to either afford or lure any other elite or hugely talented striker in the world at the moment. Let’s get rid of all the sicknotes in our squad and then probably we can have the luxury of keeping another sicknote – Sturidge. We desperately need a top notch striker and I am all for taking a gamble for a ST.

  85. Pedro

    Alex, Arsenal is an elite club and you’ll have every great manager in Europe desperate to take it over.

    I’m not sure what you think is not elite about us.

    > good wages
    > hands off owner
    > hands off CEO
    > Low expectations
    > long term project status

  86. Marko

    Of course he wouldn’t have the same hold over another club. This sort of thing doesn’t happen at other well run successfull clubs

  87. Jim Lahey

    @Marc –

    “When does everyone think we’ll start to hear the “balance of power has shifted” from the Spud’s?”

    Been hearing it for the last few years already! Especially last year! They have a long way still to go, but in fairness to them they are moving in the right direction. It will be fun to see if they can keep their player over the next few years when money is tight.

  88. Dissenter

    Whoever recruits for WestHam needs to be binned.
    They are really poor. How did they beat Spuds?

  89. jasongms

    “Daniel Sturidge is easily one of the most talented strikers in the league. If he’s available at 30-35 M, worth going for despite his injury record.”

    No, mate, he’d be only worth around 20m because of his injury record and do we really want another talented sicknote? I think not!
    ___________

    Wenger would never get another position as cozy as he has now and no elite club would ever consider him … Arsene’s future is either in retirement or china / USA

  90. Marc

    Jim

    Two difficult seasons coming up for the Spud’s. Just look at West Ham struggling to make the London Free Stadium home, we had it when we moved. Poch has to either win something very soon or move on whilst his stock is good.

  91. Rambo Ramsey


    > hands off owner
    > hands off CEO

    Sorry Pedro but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. I don’t understand why some here project it as such. Imagine going to work and find out your manager and boss haven’t a clue and rely on you to do everything. Sure, some people like Wenger who are control freaks may love it but for majority other people its a nightmare scenario.

  92. Marko

    Just no Bam. We have to as a club get away from signing up average players for massive amounts of money and wages and the three you’d described would be just same old same old. Lukaku over Benteke, Belotti over Sturridge, Bernardo Silva over Sigurdsson. We have to target better players in the future not players who no one else is interested in

  93. Joe

    Stoke’s recent record before facing us. 3 wins 8 losses 3 draws.

    2nd to last game of the season. Nothing to play for.

    And we put on our performance of the season. Ha

  94. Jim Lahey

    @Marc –

    Do you think they will be able to hold on to the likes of Kane or Ali?

    Could see United come in for Kane this summer, or Chelsea if they sell on Costa

  95. Vince

    “The natural and available replacements for Cazorla and Giroud are Gylfi Siggurdsen of Swansea and Benteke at Palace”Gylfi and Benteke – two mid-table level player.

    Let me try some cheap upgrades: Fornals and Cahill. And I’m serious about both. If we want to go route air Cahill is as good as a ready made solution.

  96. Bamford10

    No top club would be interested in Wenger. Not if they have been paying attention over the past 5-10 years. Wenger’s teams are always inadequate in any number of ways (tactically, athletically, physically, positionally, personnel-wise,) and this even when he spends. He’s been past-it for some time now.

  97. Dissenter

    If United go on to win Europa league and qualify for the CL then we will be in major trouble.
    All five of Chelsea, Spuds, City, Liverpool and United will have the opportunity to sign players that only consider CL football.
    The gap is going to start growing next season.