Burnley’s soft northern underbelly exposed by a plucky Arsenal

by .

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 19.07.53

via @arsenal Instagram

Yes, yes, yes.

I will take that.

In fact, I’m going to take that result, wrap it in a smug jacket, and sit out in the bitter cold of Burnley and lap up the joy.

Arsenal didn’t have a great game, but please, hold up negative pundits, I thought the narrative was plucky Burnley were going to show us what’s what?

Well, guess what. It didn’t pan out that way, and we absolutely deserved to take the win. Last time I checked, there were no awards for a strong first half of bully boy tactics. It’s always been about the full 90minutes. That’s exactly how Arsenal rolled yesterday, they clearly wanted it more, and made it happen when Aaron Ramsey took a tumble trying to connect with a Kolasinac headed cross.

Now here’s the thing party people. If you have two hands on the back of a player as he’s trying to attack the ball, and that player is pushed off balance, it’s a foul. Was it soft? Well, not really, it was a foul. Was it surprising that it was given? Of course it was, Arsenal don’t get big decisions like that. We’d also not been awarded an absolutely nailed on penalty when ‘Roy of the Rovers’ Robbie Brady made a terrible tackle on Bellerin when he downed him in the box.

The ‘controversial’ moment didn’t phase Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean part-timer stepped up and padded a bad game with a cool finish in the bottom right corner. A bit close to the keeper’s hands for my liking, but impressive when you think of the stinging atmosphere and what was riding on it!

What I found interesting after the game was despite feeling like it was a really horrible game, when I asked the good people of the internet to name a MOM, I had about 6 names thrown at me. Aside from Lee Mason, there really were a lot of stand out performances.

Petr Cech continued his good form with some delightful saves. I thought he had a really strong game, he marshalled his defence well and he controlled his box like an Amazon picker at Christmas, no space or time afforded to anyone. He dealt very with the crosses well, I’ll pass on the Christmas related analogy for that one. Padded hat, doffed.

The entire back three were exceptional all day, they haven’t conceded in the 5 games they’ve started together. There were a few hairy moments, like Monreal losing his man early on, and a semi-penalty shout before offside was called. Outside that, the three amigos (Monreal, Mustafi and Koscielny) were immense. Mustafi was particularly impressive again, he was a brute all game, absolutely relishing the battle. Koscielny showed great composure and hunger all game, never looking under threat. Monreal keeping his consistency going and proving the doubters wrong time and time again.

The midfield took a while to find the right gear. Our first half was uninspired, to say the least. However, as the 90 wore on, Ramsey and Xhaka started to control the tempo and we looked more of a threat moving forward. I thought the introduction of Jack Wilshere gave the game more intrigue, the Englishman finding the nooks Iwobi really struggled with.

I thought Lacazette looked hungry, his hustle in the forward line was noted. I do feel his lack of physical presence is a problem, that’s both moving at pace and dealing with hulking defenders getting in his way. He still managed to carve out chances, I thought he was unlucky not to land an assist with a wicked cross that Ramsey put over the bar.

Alexis was frustrating. If you watch the game back, you’ll see what I mean. He wants to operate in the half spaces to make things happen, when his value isn’t really there if he’s part of the front three. He’d also pick and choose when he fancied getting involved, sometimes preferring not to join an attack for no real reason than being a brat. He wanted to be the number 10 sometimes, other times he’d float out on the wing, or he’d slink into the middle. I really don’t think his attitude is where it needs to be and I honestly think that late penalty saved him some grief.

Trouble is, I think Wenger knows there’s a class gap between him and Lacazette. He brought the Frenchman off at 70m again, bringing on the more physical Danny Welbeck. He decided to forgo finishing for brute strength, a telling sub. I really don’t want the Chilean around the club, I think he’s a bad egg, but the problem is what you do without him? Lemar isn’t going anywhere in January, and I have my doubts even a Draxler is going to make much of an impact in our squad at this point in the season.

So we’re stuck with him.

Also, what the f*ck is wrong with Mesut Ozil? How many times is it feasible for a professional athlete to pick up illness? Honestly, the man is fed, watered and exercised to optimum levels.  It’s such a shame as well, because we really could have done with his class in the final third today.

Those three points were immensely important today. I totally fucked my math yesterday, not realising we climb a point above Spurs. Great to put that lot back in their place… and no, it’s not too early to talk about the gap. I also thought it was important to keep up the pace with United and Chelsea. We host Mourinho in the next 5 games, wouldn’t it just be amazing to deal them a hammer blow before Christmas?

Yes it would.

Right, see you this afternoon for the podcast!

P.S. Big shout out to the club and their push on the Rainbow Laces campaign. Great to see so much support of the LGBTQ Community.

 

121 Responses to “Burnley’s soft northern underbelly exposed by a plucky Arsenal”

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  1. Chairman Gallant

    A win is a win, not minding how. Weldone to our boys.. They never gave up, keep believing until that deserved late pen..

  2. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Our first choice defence is fine as you have pointed out. The problem comes when we need to replace them as has been the case most of the season. Mertesacker may be okay against weak opposition but not the top teams. Chambers
    and Holding are squad standard.

    Our central midfield is average. We need a superior player to Ramsey and Xhaka to control midfield. The other two can then compete for second place
    in starting lineup.

    I understand your view about Sanchez. In an ideal world I would have opted
    to sell him in the summer if we had found an equivalent or superior replacement. Frankly Lemar and Draxler are not such a player because neither is likely to score 20+ goals. They are more likely to be a replacement for Ozil.

    The one player linked with Arsenal who might be the best option is Fekir.
    He can offer goals, but equally important he is used to playing alongside Lacazette.

  3. BacaryisGod

    Now, that’s a good post, Pedro.

    Agree with you on pretty much all fronts. We were lacking a little in creativity today, especially with Alexis having one of his ‘getting more frequent’ off days. I can hardly recall him having any of those in his first coupl of seasons. Still, we showed real toughness and while it started with the back 3, it could also be seen in a beastly sliding tackle from Xhaka when it looked much more likely he would hack him down and pick up a yellow. I think there might be something in just having Kolasinac in the side as it makes everyone feel just that little bit tougher.

    Job well done Arsenal and Pedro..

  4. Wallace

    Pedro

    good post.

    “and he controlled his box like an Amazon picker at Christmas, no space or time afforded to anyone.” 🙂

  5. DM

    Don’t know why but MotD highlights left out our first pen shout. Made it look like we were somewhat lucky when in reality we should’ve had not just one but two pens. Fair result.

  6. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal need to make both short and medium term decisions about their current squad.

    Clearly decision making under old regime has been exceedingly poor highlighted this season with Sanchez, Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain and their agents being in the driving seat in transfer negotiations. You can also add in Wilshire as well.

    There appears to be a misguided loyalty to certain players and a lack of good
    decision making.

    That must never be allowed to be repeated again. If it becomes clear that a player is unlikely to sign a new contract or is stringing the club along then the club should offload him once that position is clear.

    Sanchez transfer track record suggests that he was never likely to stay at Arsenal for the long term. Like many other South American players he is far more focussed on his earning potential and also in his case ambition to be at
    a title winning club. Sometimes the club needs also to look at the track record
    of a player’s agent as well.

    Arsenal will need to make at least 4-5 transfer acquisitions next summer if they are going to be in the frame to have a realistic chance of competing in both EPL and CL.

    That might be reduced to 3 or 4 new players if Ozil can be persuaded to stay.

    The main priority has to be a replacement of Sanchez. That will be hard to fill
    because the options of finding an experienced goalscoring wide forward are
    limited particularly when you factor in the competition and potential cost.

    Arsenal may be able to buy ONE player in the £60-70 million price range, but
    that will diminish our spending elsewhere. I cannot see Arsenal spending in
    any financial year more than £100-120 million or £50 million net.

    The £100 million plus figure is dependent on making some actual sales. Arsenal have probably got about £40-50 million to spend in current financial year
    ie in January if you consider that we have sold Ox, Gabriel and Gibbs for that
    sort of money. Lacazette would have been our annual net spend.

    The question is will Arsenal sell any additional players in January and also will
    we find suitable replacements.

    The four players linked with Arsenal have been Fekir, Lemar, Draxler and Goretzka. I doubt that Fekir will be sold in January and he is the only one of these four who would be considered as a like for like replacement for Sanchez.

    Lemar and Draxler are as Samesong suggests more likely replacements for
    Ozil.

    Goretzka would be a replacement in Central Midfield for Cazorla or Wilshire.

    What is abundantly clear is that Arsenal must not pfaff around in future as we
    did previously with Higuain, Sanchez and last summer with Lemar. If a player
    and agent are hedging bets then the probability is the player is not coming to
    us.

  7. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    The Daily Mail would disagree with Pedros’s assessment that ‘aside from Lee Mason, there really were a lot of stand out performances’.

    Arsenal: Cech 7.5; Koscielny 6.5, Mustafi 6, Monreal 6; Bellerin 5.5, Ramsey 6, Xhaba 5.5, Kolasinac 6.5; Iwobi 5.5 (Wilshere 67 6), Sanchez 7.5; Lacazette 6.5 (Welbeck 79).

    The Independent also disagrees but lets not get in the way of the over the top positivity.

  8. GoonerInNY

    Emirates:

    of a player’s agent as well.

    “Arsenal will need to make at least 4-5 transfer acquisitions next summer if they are going to be in the frame to have a realistic chance of competing in both EPL and CL.”

    You are right but the post-8-2 trolley dash aside, when was the last time Arsenal bought five players in a transfer window?

    As long as Wenger is at the club, Arsenal will have unfilled holes in the squad. I swear Wenger wants it that way so he always has an excuse for his failure.

  9. Buckhurst Gun

    We were shit

    We ground out a result – any other team does that yesterday and its ‘ they showed guts , resolve ‘ and all the other accolades you receive when you grind out results – but when it’s Arsenal that doesn’t count – ask yourselves how important that win was – it was more important than spurs in my opinion these are the games that liverpool will slip up in because they played exceptionally well the week before – it was pretty nailed on that we would fuck it up but we got lucky and you need luck – even Man City need luck

    And we finally took advantage of other results going our way – well overdue that is

    I’m not going to let my disdain for wenger get in the way of getting some joy out of a win , no matter how shit we play

  10. Leedsgunner

    We were savaged by soft penalties against Watford Man City and Koln… nice for the wheel of fortune to turn in our favour for once.

    Plus, thank goodness that Alexis was on the pitch to dispatch it… Theo and Özil would have most likely fluffed it!

  11. Leedsgunner

    Goretzka is off on a free this summer.

    We should going hard for him like clubs are going for Alexis and Özil now… instead of complaining how we are hard done by after the fact.

  12. Guns of Hackney

    Arsenal are going to win the league. We’re back. Bounce-back-ability. Mental strength. Wenger has turned a corner.

    What a load of old fucking horse shite.

    I’ll say this with all due respect but most football fans are thick as pig shit. We just beat Burnley…not Bayern in the CL final.

    That’s a game we should be winning at a cantor, but all of a sudden beating Burnley is some how the measure of us winning a league, or Wenger showing us that he can do tactics???

    Give me a break. The team is shit. The manager is a disgrace. But the fans, oh my…we are the biggest bunch of easily placated drones on planet football.

    Burnley! Last minute! A town with more troglodytes per capita than anywhere else in the world. Fuck you Arsenal.

  13. S. Asoa

    Filling in the gaps
    1-”
    That’s exactly how Arsenal rolled yesterday, they clearly wanted it more, and made it happen when Aaron Ramsey took a tumble trying to connect with a Kolasinac headed cross. ”
    Cross 4feet above Ramsey’s head . But if you extend the lines to the point of congruency could be a foul. Anyway good for us.
    2- Where is Ozil ?
    In Barcelona discussing the menu

    #ConsistentlyWengerOut

  14. Buckhurst Gun

    ‘That’s a game we should be winning at a cantor, but all of a sudden beating Burnley is some how the measure of us winning a league ‘

    You’ve seen burnleys results at home this season right ?

  15. Uwot?

    Emirates-you missed one player who’s potential could be huge.dennis zakaria of borrussia m g.now theirs a player.i read wer’e interested? But can’t find the link.@& yes fekir would be welcome.but then you remember the ditherer runs the show & just know it will never happen….

  16. Bamford10

    Burnley’s soft underbelly? What are you smoking, Pedro? We won, but not because we exposed anyone’s soft underbelly.

  17. Bamford10

    GunnerinNY

    “As long as Wenger is at the club, Arsenal will have unfilled holes in the squad.”

    Absolutely. He is incapable of building a title-contending squad/side — not in the current era.

    And he is incapable of building such a side/squad because this is not his principal aim.

  18. Buckhurst Gun

    ‘Absolutely. He is incapable of building a title-contending squad/side — not in the current era.’

    Yep , totally

    If nothing , he’s proved this so much we can pretty much point to this as a fact

    Any man who willingly keeps Theo Walcott in the set up hasn’t got title aspirations at all

  19. Dream10

    Talk shows this morning fuming because of a legit penalty awarded to us. Bellerín was also taken down ten minutes earlier.
    Referee was lenient with Robbie Brady who committed enough fouls to be sent off.

    Big six months for Iwobi. AW will avoid buying two star replacements for Alexis and Özil. So, if he has 5-10 good performances between now till May, he’s in the XI for next season. He’s a good continuity player, but is poor defensively with irregular end product. Not the biggest fan of his, but AW is desperate for him to come good.

    Think the Wilsh will get his first PL start against Huddersfield, along with Welbeck & Coquelin

  20. Dream10

    Two well managed PL matches in a row from AW.

    Don’t see Lacazette starting on Wednesday.
    He was dead on his feet after 70 minutes.
    Ramsey should not be in the XI tmrw. He needs to be managed well. Guy covers an insane amount of ground and has been making a telling contribution. Really forces the issue. Only he and Welbeck are aggressive enough to make the runs he did to win the penalty.

  21. alexanderhenry

    I actually love it when arsenal win games like that.
    All the journos would have had their pre prepared headlines written: ‘plucky Burnley bully soft gunners ‘ etc etc.

    Instead arsenal were the team who showed some ‘cojones’ yesterday. Well done.

  22. Marko

    Such a dilemma. You want Arsenal to do well but every win keeps him in a job which ultimately keeps Arsenal from doing well. I was hoping that he’d be out of a job come January so someone could come in and salvage this season try to fix this squad but that doesn’t seem likely now. Who honestly knows what’s going to happen with Sanchez and Ozil this January who knows what kind of a squad we’ll have for the second half of the season

  23. Uwot?

    Dream 10-talk shows fuming about the pen cos irate burnley,manure,chav,scousers & spud fans seriously pissed off we nicked at the death.a game they were all convinced we’d drop points.so hell slap it into em. The media are quick enough to dismiss any penalties unfairly given against us as tough luck.they are gutted & I love it…….

  24. Jim Lahey

    @Marko –

    Its a real catch 22! I personally don’t think he would have walked away in Jan no matter the situation, and I also believe this talk of him sitting down with the board at the end of the season to discuss his options is hot air, come what (in) may he will see out his contract at Arsenal and I honestly see him signing another, he has that Ferguson record in his sights.

    As for yesterday, it is always great to see us get a result in such a situation.

  25. raptora

    Thing is that when January starts, the summer toxic transfer climate is back again. Players had interviews how they didn’t know if their teammates will keep being teammates at Anfield and how hard it is to play good in an atmosphere like that. Some players don’t know if they will stay at Arsenal, the rest of the players don’t know if their teammates will stay or not, who’s coming, who’s going, hell even Wenger and Arsenal as a whole had no clue with the Alexis/ Lemar saga in the final hours of the window.

    I sense another meltdown in the coming.

  26. alexanderhenry

    Marko

    This is surely wenger’s last stint at arsenal . Not even kroenke will give a new contract to a 70 year old.
    There’s been movement behind the scenes as well. I honestly think arsenal fc is mobilising. A new Dawn beckons. Will it be a glorious sunrise or a grey Monday morning with a hangover?

    Who knows

    So, that’s a season and a half for wenger to try and go out on a high.
    Might as well get behind him.

    Also, the season doesn’t quite need ‘salvaging ‘ yet, unless you think we ever had a chance of finishing higher than man city- no one will by the way

    I have a good feeling about the Europa league. Top four and a cup would be an acceptable season.

  27. WrightIsGod

    Reading the salty comments from supposed “fans” yesterday was infuriating. A win is a win and I will never let my hatred for Wenger’s rule diminish my desire to see the team I support win and succeed.

    You can’t always play well, but if you don’t getting 3 points is the biggest positive you can hope for.

    Also, to get 1 point from Burnley away would be a good result, 3 points is actually impressive and should be seen as such.

  28. Bobby7

    “As long as Wenger is at the club, Arsenal will have unfilled holes in the squad.”

    Couldnt Coq fill some of those?

  29. HighburyLegend

    “Guys, would anyone on here consider Liverpool a “big club”?”

    That depends.
    For example, you can count the number of CL trophy they have.
    (No need to count ours.)

  30. Emiratesstroller

    Wenger’s team selections over next two games will be interesting.

    On Wednesday we play Huddersfield. They played well against Man City. They are difficult to beat, but don’t score a lot of goals.

    On Saturday we play Manchester United. That will be a difficult game, not least because they have been afforded an advantage of playing on Saturday and their second game is on Tuesday.

    Huddersfield will be very tired from their exertions against Man City so I would expect us to play a number of squad players and treat this as a midweek
    game. Hopefully we will play better than we did against Koln

    We need to put out our best side against Man Utd. That should be our priority.

  31. Redtruth

    Alexanderhenry
    “I have a good feeling about the Europa league. Top four and a cup would be an acceptable season.”

    This is a man who lambasted Kroenke for lack of ambition now says top 4 and a cup would be an acceptable season….lol

  32. Dream10

    alexanderhenry

    Technically, Wilshere is still quality. The problem is he can’t run anymore.
    You combine that with his risky style of play, he’ll get clattered.
    if he doesn’t start on Wednesday, he’s done at the club for sure. it’s already tending 80-20 not in his favour.

  33. Leedsgunner

    Huddersfield will play us in a manner very similar to Burnley. We need to attack with pace from the start and get an early lead. Do that, they will come out of their shell and leave gaps for our attackers to exploit.

    The Terriers should not be underestimated. They are well coached and drilled, and they attack and defend well as a team.

  34. Dream10

    alexanderhenry

    Think, there are couple of differences with Fabregas and Jack. First, Fabregas is a walking final pass. He can create chances in short cameos. Second, Jack is a rhythm player. He needs regular football to be up to speed. Fabregas is a more static player. Third, Jack has the tough guy mentality of wanting to get stuck in, even against his own good. Alexis, Hazard and Eriksen avoid 50-50s. Jack needs to protect himself

  35. HighburyLegend

    “Top four and a cup would be an acceptable season.”
    With 80% of our fan base who thinks the same every season, no need to search why we’re a living dead club.

  36. Marko

    So, that’s a season and a half for wenger to try and go out on a high.
    Might as well get behind him.

    If only he really tried. Nothing last summer suggests he wants to go out “on a high”.

    Anyway hey Alex you must be enjoying the Rams this season they look legit and all with the youngest head coach in the NFL.

  37. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    I want Wenger to spend the bare minimum. He’ll only waste it. Leave as much as possible for the new man.

  38. Marko

    I want Wenger to spend the bare minimum. He’ll only waste it. Leave as much as possible for the new man.

    Me too but I want someone to actually come in spend and compete. No point in bringing in this negotiator from Barcelona and that scout from Dortmund if they’re being hamstrung by a frugal manager who’s past his sell by date

  39. Pedro

    Red, we beat a shit team and you moan. We beat a very good team (Spurs) and you moan.

    Is there any type of win that works for you?

  40. alexanderhenry

    Marko

    I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up the Rams. Thanks for doing so.

    The fact that one out of four of kroenke’s US franchises has hit a bit of form after about 15 years of underachievemen,t in a sport that’s structured specifically to give every team a chance, is nothing to get too excited about.

    It’s certainly doesn’t redeem kroenke in any way.

  41. Wengaball

    Despite all the negativity around Arsenal, we’ve already reeled in Spurs and Liverpool, abd more or less Chelsea as well. United soon hopefully.

    City are way ahead of the pack and they will need to have a mini implosion for the title race to open up again. But a couple of bad results is all it takes. So who knows.

  42. Wengaball

    I hear a lot about ambition here.
    So let’s hear from everyone here what’s acceptable ambition for Arsenal?

    For me:

    1) 10-20% statistical probability to win the PL every year.
    2) CL knockout stage every year – if ever we win it it will be bonus
    3) a cup every other year

    But above all, good football all year long.

  43. gonsterous

    nice getting the win. would be better if we continue this run. but knowing arsenal, we don’t have the balls to put up a real title challenge. we’ll be out of all the competition by the end of March. I won’t say I told you so cause I’ll be as disappointed as you lot…

  44. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    Last season we lost seven games. We have already lost four this season and we have not even reached December. Nine teams have let in fewer goals than us. We are conceding more than a goal a game.

  45. steve

    @Guns of Hackney

    Embarrassing stuff really. No wonder Wenger won’t fuck off.

    __

    “But above all, good football all year long.”

    Lololol

  46. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    Arsene Wengers attempt to win the Premier League can be compared to the infinite monkey theorem which states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

  47. gonsterous

    but realistically, I guess we are just in It to make the numbers up now. kinda like athlethico Madrid. they won’t be winning the league anytime soon. kinda like Napoli, or like Monaco, or like benfica and the list goes on….

  48. Leedsgunner

    Often when we lose Wenger unashamedly says we lost because of bad luck. It’s telling that Wenger doesn’t apply the same when we win.

    The truth is we played badly but we won because of good luck. Here’s the thing, there’s nothing run with admitting that!

    Minimise the negatives, overemphasise the positives…

    No wonder the powers that be at Arsenal hate facing the truth but rely on excuse after excuse.

  49. Pierre

    Wengaball
    Good to see someone on here showing positivety.
    Though I said 6 weeks ago that the title is going to city, I agree with you that you never know. A couple of defeats could change everything. I hope so or the league will end up non competitive and uninteresting.
    At least we are going into the busy period without the usual massive injury list. All The players should be at peak fitness which should be a bonus…
    We should have no inferiority complex in our games against jose/United and Chelsea as we have recently put in good performances against them at home.

  50. Pierre

    Leeds
    I think you will find that nearly all the managers blame luck or the refs…
    If they didn’t do that they would have to tell the truth and say their own players played shit which is not a good idea unless your David unsworth who basically said that the other night after Everton lost in Europe.

  51. Up 4 grabs now

    Evening all.

    Not a great game yesterday, for a few reasons.

    One Burnley have a great home record, they know how to defend and even though yesterday they did try and attack a bit they kept a good shape and was always back in numbers.

    Two We lacked creativity, as much as ozil can be a lazy shit when he wants to, he does create chances
    We looked more threatening with Jack in the side when he came on.
    Three, still no change of game plan or urgency from Wenger.
    If we don’t get the penalty yesterday it was going to be dropped points, Wenger never changed the game, formation or tactics.
    What happened to the Wenger teams that chased a win with four forwards on the pitch?

  52. raptora

    After Dermot Gallagher confirmed again that the decision the ref took was a good and fair one, regarding the penalty vs Ramsey in yesterday’s game, it’s very weird how Arsenal fans have been blowing up the world how we got “helped” and how Burnley got butchered and how they deserved points while we didn’t deserve to win by any means.

    It is a weird one since most of the fans of other teams /Man Utd and Chelsea mainly/ will die before admitting that they got a decision in their favor when they shouldn’t have had. They start to bring water from a thousand wells to justify the decision and how it was the correct one.

    Yet a big percentage of our fans /from my observations/ do the exact opposite and it looks like they almost hate it when their team gets a controversial decision in their favor.

    The reactions are as follows:

    We get a decision in our favor
    “God dang it, we played like shit, we didn’t deserve to win, the other team got robbed, how did the ref give this for us, so undeserved, if the refs didn’t help no way we were winning that, rematch please”

    We get a decision against us
    “We played like sh*t anyways, the decision doesn’t matter, we would have lost anyways, this player is shitty, team is shitty, shitty manager, the other team deserved to win way more, the other team had mercy else we would have lost by 10 goals, not going to bother myself watching next week at all, Wenger had to see it coming after talking bs about the refs, there you go, eat that”

    It’s like we are either the white knights of football or annoying and never happy Danny McBride.

  53. Elmo

    Raptora

    There’s a growing number of people who regard supporting a team as something beyond the traditional mindless, dogmatic partisanship. By all means, you close ranks when a derby comes around or when the fans of some tinpot club tries to mug your club off, and especially if you’re attending a match, but for many, there’s nothing more boring than forcing yourself to take a one eyed view of the world, being unable to have a fair discussion about events because all that matters is tribal chest thumping and towing the party line.

    If you think it’s a pen, say it’s a pen; if you don’t think it’s a pen, then say it’s not a pen. If someone disagrees, debate them on the merits, if you can be arsed. It’s a pretty boring world when everything in politics, sports etc is split into heavily partisan viewpoints on either side, with everyone expected to echo the talking points of one extreme or the other.

    As for the persistent negative outlook you allude to, regardless of results, it’s more a reflection of the many (myself included) who have become jaded (to use a Wengerism) at the stale, repetitiveness at the club, where the same oversights are made year on year, the same failures result etc etc. As a fan you should be getting excited when your team strings together some good performances and exhibits previously uncharacteristic tenacity, but having seen the same script play out with just about every possible permutation in the past, all to the same outcome under this manager, it’s difficult to feel like anything but a fool in building up hope.

    That’s what makes the UEFA Cup interesting to me this season; the knock-out rounds will be a challenge against a calibre of opposition we don’t know how we’ll fare against. I hope the manager can win that then moves on elsewhere.

  54. Samesong

    Love WE

    Our very own overseas correspondent. Better than Balaque.
    WE what did you think of Kluivert son hatrick for Ajax?

  55. WengerEagle

    Samesong

    How are you mate?

    Can’t stand Balague but love me some Tim Vickery.

    As for Kluivert Jr can’t say I’m well informed enough to speak on him as I have little interest in the Eredivisie which has gone down the shitter this decade imo.

    Just checked out his hat-rick though which was impressive, do you fancy him as a player?

  56. Samesong

    WE

    Yes mate. Trying to shake off this viral chest infection. But I am good.

    He reminds slightly of a Sterling\Ben Arfa type with skill and agility.

    He’s still young so haven’t seen much of him also to be honest

    Who’s on your watchlist at the moment? anyone impressing you abroad or closer to home?

  57. WengerEagle

    Samesong

    Sterling is having an insane season, felt that he had yet to really explode since he’d left Liverpool a couple of years ago but Pep has him looking a brute force, he’s as dangerous as anyone in the league right now and I’d only have Hazard over him out wide and possibly Sane. Time will tell if he’s just in a ridiculous purple patch in front of goal or if it’s another dimension he has added to his game which would elevate him to the elite tier of winger/forward.

    I’ll keep an eye on Kluivert Jr, would love for the next great thing to emerge from the Netherlands because growing up watching some of my favourite ever players in RVP, Robben, Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, Seedorf, list goes on representing the Oranjie it depresses me when Robben has to retire finishing second best to a bang average Sweden side. They need a complete rejuvenation of that NT, this is the generation of The French, Belgians and Germans for sure.

    Belgium and the Netherlands have basically reversed roles from a 5-10 years ago in terms of producing world class players.

    As far as players catching my eye, I like Malcolm off of Bordeaux, young Brazilian forward (20) in his first season there but wrecking it, scores and creates goals, can go past people for fun, wise old head on young shoulders, he’ll go far fitness-permitting.

    Fekir is killing it for Lyon, Karim has been on point with how good he’s looked, better than ever.

    Oyarzabal (20) for Real Sociedad has been excellent as has Richarlison for Watford looking closer to home.

    What about you?

  58. Samesong

    WE

    Agree on Sterling. Pep got him playing.
    Fekir is a no brainer the guys class
    I Still like Lemar and hope we sign him
    Sane knew he had pedigree.
    I need to see more of Nketiah.
    Pulisic for Dortmund looks tasty also. theres a few good young players out
    there including the English ones. Guedes for Valencia.

  59. WengerEagle

    Samesong

    Guedes looks fantastic, he tore Barcelona to shreds at times yesterday and clearly has amazing potential. Sky looks the limit only question is what does he do next season because if we’re being real, he isn’t displacing any of Neymar-Cavani-M’Bappe and Draxler on top of that has been brilliant this season so they could sell him to comply with FFP for M’Bappe/Neymar deals.

    If that was the case I’d be all over him, offer them serious money because he’s a legit baller and will only get even better.

    Failing that I’d love one of Lemar/Fekir/Pulisic, all great talents with Fekir particularly being ready to hit the ground running with impact.

  60. WengerEagle

    Di Maria, Lucas Moura, Ben Arfa will all be sold too, Di Maria is a little like Ozil in that he’s an extremely accomplished but lightweight/streaky/defensive liability and a little bit washed up 29 year old CAM who’s sort of been passed by with an influx of better, younger players in the same position.

    His next move is likely to a top 4-6 side in Italy or Spain, Milan a good shout.

  61. Zfree

    Asking for an American friend… no, I’m the idiot here. What’s the deal with the European sporting contracts? Are they all guaranteed money deals? Does Theo get his week’s wages even if he’s not selected in a team at all that week? What about during injuries? Is Santi getting paid right now?

    Anyhow just curious. I’m also wondering if they build many incentives into these contracts. Like for the Theo example – we’ll pay you 100k per week you actually make it on a team sheet, but otherwise you get 50k that week.

  62. bay area gooner

    @Zfree

    Good points. how much are these EPL contracts incentive laden, and how much are we giving our deadwood? no play = full pay?

    Hopefully this will change with the new structures put into place. How the hell did the likes of Diaby, Rosicky and many others stay on is beyond me.

    You can add Wilshere to that list too.

  63. N'gambo

    Can’t wait til we play Barcelona instead of Burnley … “the back three will be immense” again, I’m sure.

    Pedro grogs on the kool-aid every time.

  64. TitsMcGee

    Great to put that lot back in their place… and no, it’s not too early to talk about the gap”

    Smack dab in 4th place and we’re talking about Spurs and the “gap”?

    We should be crushing teams like Burnley. Easing your foot off the collective necks of ABYSMAL FC isn’t how this ship is going to get turned around.

  65. TonyD

    Why does this not surprise me?

    Seems the current squad have little love for the club’s history or past players. At least Wilshire shows respect.

    This team couldn’t hold a candle to GG’s team or their achievements. They’ve won nothing except tin pot F A meaningless cups.

    They’re are probably too embarrassed to go.

    “Arsenal film snub shows how little a club’s past means to today’s players”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5122611/Arsenal-film-snub-shows-clubs-past-means-players.html#ixzz4zgPbTRqT

  66. TonyD

    That also included Wenger not going probably because that squad would laugh at him for his lack of ambition, lack of last 13 year’s EPL zero achievements and, of course, no Euro silverware.

    But then Adams, Dixon and other who have criticized Wenger were there. They know what an arsehole loser megalomaniac he is these days.

  67. Emiratesstroller

    Its beginning to look like Arsenal are making the major structural staff changes that many on Le Grove have been calling for. The appointment of Raul Sanllehi if true would more or less confirm regime change on the management side.

    His arrival would convince me that Wenger could be on his way out of the club at the end of this season. I could not visualise him working with both a Football Director and a new Senior Scout.

    The lack of player contract renewals over past 12 months including serious
    effort to retain both Ozil and Sanchez suggests that perhaps Arsenal are more
    focussed on the backroom revolution than player contract negotiations and
    transfers at moment.

  68. S Asoa

    Your Comment Here
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/pure-class-chelsea-supporters-love-11597029

    ” Commenting on the video, Chelsea fans heaped praise on the 25-year-old’s actions, with one writing: “Respect to Salah for not celebrating. Pure class.”

    Another added: “Gutted to only bag one point… we played with better intensity and deserved a win… but at least brother Salah showed us some respect.”

    Wonder whether we can have the maturity to show such class too. Patience should not be an issue since we been tolerating a flacid dead fish in charge with patience of over 7 years

  69. Wallace

    dispatching the Spuds quite comfortably and then nicking the points at a tough Burnley is good going. if we can win this week’s two home games that’ll be quite a run.

    don’t see many changes for tomorrow. if Ozil’s still out would like to see Wilshere start, but outside of that…our first eleven have been playing one game a week all season. at some point in the next few months that will hopefully start to tell.

  70. Dream10

    Tony D

    Always question what Martin Samuel says.
    He talks a lot of shit. The ’89 premiere was during the int’l break, so players were with their playing in different countries, out of town or even spending time with their families/friends they get to see once every few months/once a year. Martin Samuel comes out with some garbage every few months or so.

    Ask yourself why is that a shambolic article like that is written every time we string a couple of decent results together?
    Particularly, since we beat two media darlings in Tottenham & Burnley. Pochettino’s squad is comprised quite a few English players which form the backbone of the national side. Burnley have been overachieving with a quality English manager in Dyche who is being touted for bigger jobs & their squad is comprised almost entirely of British/Irish players.

    These two wins from us, specifically against these two sides have a sent the media into a tailspin. We are often treated as a foreign side in the PL. They would not have reacted this way, if we beat Man City & Real Madrid in consecutive matches.

    There is quite a bit wrong with our club, but a lot of drivel is written to add gasoline the flames. They know our fanbase are perhaps the most reactive of any PL side & clickbait worthy.

  71. Dream10

    S Asoa

    Saw a few tweets saying that Salah opted to not celebrate out of respect to the horrific domestic terrorist act which killed over 300 people in his country of Egypt.

  72. UTarse

    Alexanderhenry, I don’t mean to single you out but it’s people like you that I attribute the fans lethargy towards wenger and his overstayed welcome at our football club as the main reason for our downfall !

    “May as well get behind wenger” ??? Wtf are you on ??! What will it take for people like you to finally throw in the AKB towel and hound the occupier in chief out of our beloved club ??

    He has destroyed his legacy, I f*cking hate him as much as spurs, I will NEVER get behind this fraudulent arrogant prick and the sooner I am in the majority the sooner we can get him out and restore pride to the club. We are the laughing stock of the premier league, so many on here are celebrating winning at Burnley like a major feat…ffs give me a break !

  73. Pierre

    UTarse
    We all have our own reasons for supporting or not supporting the club but blaming people like alexhenry for what you call our “downfall” is unreasonable.

    From my experience, fans who still support the club and celebrate winning trophies are much happier people than people like you.

    The anti Wenger obsessives, which you are, come across as miserable, angry, irrational fans who are blinkered in their views… Nothing Arsenal or Wenger will do will change the way you feel.

    I have a friend who is a total Wenger obsessive, what a miserable git he is. I have blocked him on my phone now as I got pissed off with the never ending texts about Wenger…

  74. UTarse

    Trust you Pierre to come up with such judgmental drivel, I’m not miserable at all , I have a life outside AFC. How on earth do you think you can judge if I’m happy or not you simpleton ?

    Well your “experience” is not everyone’s experience, anyone that gets behind wenger is part to blame, because it means the idiots in charge can get away with whatever they please as our fanbase just roll over and accept the mismanagement et all.

    What are you Pierre ? If I’m an “wenger obsessive”

  75. Pierre

    I’ll tell you what I’m not and that’s a Wenger obsessive.

    I’m sure you are happy outside of football but accusing someone like alexanderhenry just because he says something positive about the club is irrational.
    If fans support the club it doesn’t mean they are supporting Wenger. Alexanderhenry is not an “AKB” that’s for sure.
    Allow him to support the club how he wishes.

    As for being a “laughing stock of the Premier league”, it’s the Wenger obsessives they are laughing at as clubs fans like Stoke and Tottenham who sing “Wenger, we want you to stay”, deep down would love to have won the trophies and played the style of football that Wenger has brought to the club.
    It’s the Wenger obsessives they are laughing at but you just can’t see it.

  76. Pierre

    UTarse
    “so many on here are celebrating winning at Burnley like a major feat…ffs give me a break !”

    Did you see the way city celebrated at Huddersfield when they scored in the last minute……. Any difference

  77. UTarse

    Pierre,

    Before you start blowing your superiority trumpet , read alexhenry comment…. he said to get behind wenger…. and that is what I’m pointing to as being what’s part wrong with our club, a fan who shrugs his shoulders and says ho hum let’s support the man that has taken our club hostage to his arrogant self fulfilment.

    Shhhhh let’s keep quiet now…. if we speak up we are “obssessive” that’s actually quite funny !

    Try to accept others point of view like ,whilst I don’t like yours, I unfortunately have to accept it.

  78. UTarse

    City were celebrating a widely held belief that they are on the way to a title !!…. their 11 or 12th win on the trot ! How on earth is that comparable to a scrappy win at Burnley for a club whose sole aspiration under its current regime is to get into top 4 ??

  79. DaleDaGooner

    City were celebrating a widely held belief that they are on the way to a title !!…. their 11 or 12th win on the trot ! How on earth is that comparable to a scrappy win at Burnley for a club whose sole aspiration under its current regime is to get into top 4 ??

    Is it gauranteed that City will win it all now? So by your logic, Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs should mail it in and not celebrate any wins…just cause City is on their way to winning.