Arsene pushes player/fan apathy to new lows in entertaining sh*t show

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Everything good and bad about Danny W was on display yesterday as Arsenal bumbled their way past the worst Southampton side we’ve seen in 5 years. He missed an open goal so wide you could have squeezed Samir Nasri’s arse through it, he assisted with a delightful deft touch, and he banged in two goals, one with a scruffy deflection, the other with an opportunistic header at the back post.

It was Danny’s day, but it wasn’t one you’d look back on with a great deal of fondness. It was Arsenal at their most banterful. The ground was half empty, the players were preserving their legs on the off chance they could land a starting place in Russia this Thursday, and the output of the day was a touch bizarre.

We went one goal down early. Tadic and Cedric made mincemeat of Chambers and Kolasinac down the left, a speculative ball was fired at our front post with the curve moving away from the keeper, Mustafi just zoned out like he’d had a clean energy production epiphany, Shane Long nipped in and put it past Cech. A defensive error so very symptomatic of any Wenger side you could remember over the past fifteen years.

The German would likely be a machine under a proper manager who cared about defence, but he’s not with us. He’s clumsy, he’s a finger-wagger like Flamini, and he’s ever so average.

We clawed a goal back in a sumptuous move. Elneney found Auba from deep midfield, he laid off Iwobes who returned the pass, a quick one-two with WELBZ set the man from Gabon free to poke his shot inside the keepers post.

9 minutes later Danny W picked up a great ball from Iwobi, he cut inside right and rifled a deflected shot into the top corner from 20 yards. Has the man ever had a clean shot? Can we call this a strategy now? A great goal regardless.

Their second goal was a collection of very Arsenal fuck-ups. We weren’t alert to their quick freekick, we managed to get away with the first ball fizzed across our box, Jack Wilshere was pottering around and didn’t get close to Hojberg on the edge of the box. The Dane played a one-two with Tadic, crossed across a now packed box and found Charlie Austin for a near instant goal after he came on as a sub. Utterly embarrassing. I mean, I’m not even touching on Chambers shocking clearance, another player who looked off the pace all day. That £23m we rejected for him looking crazier by the day.

I thought we’d see out a point, but Danny Welbeck had other ideas, popping up to nod home a looping Iwobi cross in the 80th minute.

The game wasn’t finished from a drama perspective, Jack Wilshere had to make an impact the only way he knows how to these days. He had a tussle with Stephens just outside the Stoke box and didn’t like the outcome. He decided to track him down as he powered through the middle of the pitch, Jack ripped his shirt because he couldn’t keep pace with the centre back, and was instantly thrown to the floor in retaliation. Jack got up, protested, landed Stephens a red card, he managed to get away with a yellow. Then Elneney got involved in the mess and landed a red. A real joke of a situation that was completely unnecessary.

An entertaining afternoon, no doubt. But entertaining like a comical WWE bout. We shouldn’t be conceding 2 goals to relegation fodder under any circumstances, let alone at home. We shouldn’t be picking up late red cards in nothing matches. We shouldn’t be so flat. But we are. Arsenal is a weird old place at the moment.

Aubameayang is an interesting striker. He’s starting to settle into the rhythm of the first team, he’s offering up the runs our playmaker’s dream of, and he’s starting to connect better with the build-up play. His MO is goals, and pretty much just goals. I don’t think he wants to be involved in the play like a Thierry, Robin or Alexis would be. His end product outside of goals isn’t great, and I don’t expect we’ll be seeing much in the way of link-up play like a Giroud would offer. But, look, he scores goals. He’s now our most prolific striker over the first 7 games, beating out Davor Suker (Opta inventing stats to new levels). It would be a real shame not to give him a run with a proper manager, in a proper team. Next year is going to be him at his peak, we need to max out his value and that won’t be with Wenger.

Jack Wilshere was disappointing again. The apologists will say his head isn’t in the game at the moment as he’s thinking about his contract. Well, that never stopped Theo and it certainly isn’t stopping Ramsey pulling up trees (nor Ozil earlier in the season). I think it’s mostly because he doesn’t have the extra level we’d hoped would be there. He’s 26 now, and he’s no more interesting than he was when he was 18. At least when he was a kid, you felt he cared about the game, I look at him now and wonder if he’s just in it for the wages and the good life at home? He’s certainly not playing like he wants a new deal or a move to a better club. I’m not sure I’d be whacking £100k p/w on him based on what we’ve seen this year.

Arsene is clearly blowing all on zero at the roulette table. It’s the only way he saves this season. We’ll win on Thursday, and he’ll have a chance at a new deal because Stan and Josh don’t understand the context of failure. If he makes the final, he’ll have to avoid Atleti, who have so many levels to their game. I watched them respond to going 1 down at Madrid. They have many great players and a coach who can change the game from the touchline. We have no chance against them over two legs, and it’ll be a Chelsea like miracle over one game.

But we’ll see… this season is the Europa mission. A shame for the home fans, because the Premier League season is like watching paint dry. The apathy in the ground is met in the living rooms. Pray we don’t mess up Thursday.

See you in the comments, and watch our podcast where Matt and I discuss:

  • Aubameyeng: Hit or miss?
  • The case for our defence: Who stays or goes?
  • Iwobi: Hero in waiting, or another Nik B?
  • Jack Wilshere: What do you do with him?

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537 Responses to “Arsene pushes player/fan apathy to new lows in entertaining sh*t show”

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  1. Akilan

    I’ve seen this happen before. Ozil scored a similar goal in his debut season with us. He was awarded the goal but I remember the debate after the game that it shouldn’t have been given. Can’t remember the opponents but he Scored 2 goals in that game. I’m not sure but I think we were in our away Jersey that day.

  2. TR7

    Although Sane is not at his best today but I have always said he is the man at City, ahead of even KDB in my humble opinion. The guy oozes class.

  3. champagne charlie

    Sane is given space by Peps system, each winger is afforded a run on their fullback by having to stay wide and seeing the middle men congest the CB.

    It’s lethal, and Sane is absolutely brilliant. He’s ‘on’ every time.

  4. TR7

    Really naive from Liverpool. When in possession of the ball they don’t even try to keep the ball, slow the pace of the game down,give their players some breather who have been chasing shadows for almost an hour now.

  5. London gunner

    Wenger eagle mane cut through cities defence like butter.

    Most players would have gone wide and tried to take it round the defenders he cut right in.

    Have to say Ederson should have done better there. Sloppy letting that ball goal

  6. Samesong

    Liverpool defensively today so far have managed well with a bit of luck also. Citeh were always going to have most of the possession.

  7. London gunner

    Why is aguero not starting this and the previous match. He is so much better than jesus who goes anonymous unless he is provided with a tap in

  8. Danny

    gambon
    ————
    Back then it seemed like Klopp was definitely coming to us, he himself made a joke about it after Dortmund beat us in 2013 or 2014.

  9. Marko

    Rare appearance from gambon what’s up boy. Not me I’ve been a Klopp obsessive from his very first Dortmund game. Some of the football his teams have played have honestly been as good or better than anything Arsene has ever produced. Anything good has been long gone

    Salah though is absolutely god this season. Ice runneth through his veins. Also special mention to Liverpool’s defence and the misconception that Klopp doesn’t do defence or doesn’t put an emphasis on it. He’s working wonders on Alexander Arnold and Gomez and Robertson looks very good at LB and he spotted a problem with CB and addressed it with VVD. We complained about the price tag but you get what you pay for in life and they’re defending with a 75 million excellent defender while we’re struggling with a 10 million (Kos) and 35 million (Mustafi) headless chicken.

    1-2 high press and finish by the tireless Firmino.

    They can win the champions league I’m telling you

  10. Dissenter

    I remember being laughed at when I stated that Liverpool will beat City.

    City started the season on steroids and have petered out slowly
    Liverpool peaked at the right time.They might win the CL again
    Laugh at your peril.

  11. Marko

    Defeats in both legs will dent pep’s reputation.

    Dunno about that but one things for sure there’ll be another spending spree in the summer and they’ll go again. Pep’s there to win a champions league

  12. gambon

    Jurgen Klopp showing Arsene Wenger up as a complete fraud.

    Wenger repeatedly insisting that getting knocked out at the R16 is a great achievement with limited funds.

    It has taken Klopp 2 years to get to a Semi-Final, something Wenger hasnt done for 9 years.

    Klopp has also made a £34m profit in that time, where as Wenger has spent £80m net in that time and is now 6th in the PL.

  13. Dissenter

    Liverpool will makes loads of money from this CL league excursion
    You can see them reaching the final, if they get drawn against Roma.

  14. Marko

    Klopp has also made a £34m profit in that time, where as Wenger has spent £80m net in that time and is now 6th in the PL.

    Can’t be trusted with money everyone knows that. How else do you explain Xhaka?

  15. Dissenter

    Klopp does everything in his own way. He is a fearless manager.
    He beat City home and away with Trent Alexander-Arnold starting.

  16. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Defeats in both legs will dent pep’s reputation.’

    What reputation? He’s been a joke in the competiton every since he left Barca.

    Fraudiola.

  17. Paulinho

    Despite all the stats suggesting Barca were still some top team, the reality always comes home to roost on nights like tonight.

  18. TR7

    Fuck Real Madrid and Bayern. I hope Liverpool win the trophy. Tired of usual suspects winning it again and again.

    All of us were talking about a comeback from City, who would have thought it would be Roma doing it instead.

  19. Marko

    What reputation? He’s been a joke in the competiton every since he left Barca.

    Bit harsh. He’s a fraud cause he never won one at Bayern? It can happen. Mou’s not won one since Inter. Arsene’s never won one Carlo hasn’t won one since Milan.

  20. london gunner

    TR7

    Really on you with that one. Would be nauseating to see RM win it again.

    Then again I hate Liverpool fans (though love the football they play and have started loving their manager)

    Roma will never win it but they would have my vote.

  21. Paulinho

    Where was that overrated clown Busquets.

    Stands there like a cultured bollard,doing absolutely f-all as usual.

  22. WengerEagle

    Yeah have to say that it’s pretty bizarre that from the age of 23-30 that Messi has won 1 UCL trophy with 3 consecutive QF exits now.

    People won’t like hearing that, but it’s the reality.

  23. Marko

    Zidane is honestly odds on to get the chop in the summer and yet he could win the champions league 3 years in a row. That’s how you leave a job

  24. Akilan

    Liverpool actually have got a chance to win it. If they get say Roma in the semis, the odds of them winning the CL should actually be lower than us winning the EL. Thank fuck for that

  25. WengerEagle

    I think Real’s name is on the trophy once again.

    They’re PVP as least as good as Bayern but they have their number when it comes to mentality and big game bottle as we’ve seen in recent seasons.

    And with respect to Roma and Liverpool, neither have what it takes to beat RM over 2 legs.

  26. WengerEagle

    LG

    Definitely Roma SF which is very winnable.

    A Final vs either Bayern or Real they will be sizable underdogs but they have more chance on Final day where anything can happen then over 2 legs.

  27. gambon

    Lol at the idea of Pep Guariola being a fraud at anything.

    He literally has THE best Champs League record of any manager that has ever lived.

  28. Paulinho

    “Yeah have to say that it’s pretty bizarre that from the age of 23-30 that Messi has won 1 UCL trophy with 3 consecutive QF exits now”

    Tonight is yet another match where he just doesn’t look like doing anything.

    The more time goes on the more I rank Ronaldo above him. Ronaldo has a better mentality.

  29. Rambo Ramsey

    Marko, yes and none of those managers are revered and worshipped to the degree that Guardiola is.

    ‘Greatest manager ever..’, ‘Best in the world’.. Bullshit and cringeworthy. He’s in the same caliber as some of the ones you mention.

  30. WengerEagle

    Really incredible how contrasting Barcelona and Real Madrid have been in competitions.

    Barcelona once again about to win the League miles in front and continue to dominate in Spain, completely different story in Europe though where Real Madrid are the big dogs.

  31. london gunner

    Barcelona I think could have gone through to the Semi final’s if their game plan was different.

    They didn’t bother playing all match instead hoping their lead was enough.

    As soon as they started playing in the last 8 minutes it looked like they could have penetrated Roma’s defence.

    Threw away the tie, though congrats to Roma!

  32. TR7

    If Liverpool draw Roma in SF and get through to the final, they can win it. You would back this Liverpool team to stun any team in a 90 min game. Beating Bayern or Madrid over two legs would be very difficult for them.

  33. gambon

    “still not convinced Pep is a better tactician than Allegri,Simeoni,Klopp?he always walk the leagues but then comes short in Europe..why is that?”

    Won
    Semi Final
    Won
    Semi Final
    Semi FInal
    Semi Final
    Semi Final
    R16
    Quarter FInal

    Find me any manager that even compares with that.

  34. london gunner

    Paulinho

    TBF Ronaldo has a better team as well.

    Ronaldo is awesome though none the less.

    It’s just Messi has been pretty clutch all season winning games for Barca with freekicks and the such.

  35. WengerEagle

    ‘Find me any manager that even compares with that.’

    I’m not at all in the Pep is a fraud camp, have to imagine that Ancelotti has a similarly impressive UCL record though.

  36. Paulinho

    The knockout format doesn’t suit Guardiola teams. It’s like he gets his teams into an 400 metre type cruising leg pattern, so what they have in consistency they lack in terms of improvising and adapting to certain unique scenarios that crop up in knockout scenarios.

    Definitely a flaw there. Bayern three times looked disconsolate and dejected when it mattered at the semi final stage, and now City going left going through the motions.

  37. london gunner

    What’s better for Liverpool Bayern and RM, discuss.

    Does anyone want to play devil’s advocate on this one?

  38. WengerEagle

    I think that’s an important fact that’s been overlooked for a while.

    Real Madrid do have the better team over Barcelona.

    Way stronger squad, much better midfield, better defence for my money when it counts and a much tougher big game mentality.

  39. Akilan

    Just imagine the klopp vs jupp final MK II. Last time I was sad when klopp lost. This time it would be the opposite. I do want a Real vs Bayern final though.

    The thought of ox, hendo and milner playing in the final is cringy, but I do respect their manager to get them this far.

  40. Marko

    on point mate,how much do Fraudiola actually need to make get past the last 8 in Europe,decent manager but way too overrated

    Yep what an absolute fraud. 23 trophies as a manager. 6 league titles soon to be 7 and two champions league titles and he’s only 47 years old.

    I swear to god some people on here

  41. WengerEagle

    Yeah 3 of Pep’s UCL exits have been very notable in how they were completely out of the match for one of the 2 games, killing off the tie.

    3-0 last week at Anfield, 4-0 loss to RM in Munich a few years back and the 3-0 loss to Barca at the Nou Camp in 2015.

  42. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘He literally has THE best Champs League record of any manager that has ever lived.’

    Give it time, he’s on a slide.

    From being knocked out by Real Madrids and Barcas, then by Athletico and Monaco, now by Liverpools of the World.

    Lolz

  43. Bamford10

    gambon

    Yep, I remember that. I remember when people here gave me a hard time for rating Klopp; I remember people arguing that he was no better than dipshit (Wenger).

    What a joke.

  44. Marko

    Don’t wanna be that guy, but Carlo did win the UCL with Real, their la decima

    Be that guy mate. I thought it was Zidane.

  45. WengerEagle

    TR7

    Even prime Messi would find it practically impossible to drag this current Argie side further than the WC SF.

    He has lost a step, said it towards the end of last season when Neymar outshone him in every UCL knockout round match.

  46. Josip Skoblar

    Well done Pool! This is what a great European team looks like. I remember LFC in the 70s, and they were always strong in Europe.
    Pep, « football genius »? Mmmm… He’s a good manager.

  47. azed

    “That was nothing more than the “company line”. He’s paid, in part, to toe the company line.”

    Bamford,

    That was sarcastic.

  48. Bamford10

    Guardiola is a fantastic manager; there is no question about that. But his approach to the game, like almost any approach, clearly has its weaknesses. And as Paulinho said the other day, his teams don’t seem to be as good in knock-out play as they are in league play.

  49. TR7

    London

    Real Madrid is a fucking machine, ruthless and efficient.liverpool would rather fancy Bayern. Also Madrid style is similar to that of Pool making it difficult for the dippers to counter them.

  50. Marko

    still not convinced Pep is a better tactician than Allegri,Simeoni,Klopp?he always walk the leagues but then comes short in Europe..why is that?

    He won the champions league twice while none of them has won it once. What are you talking about honestly

  51. loyika

    Gambon if Zidane wins it again, 3 UCL tops that anyhow you cut it.

    Zizou is no where near Pep in terms of coaching ability, but winning 3 UCL on the bat!! Nothing will compare.

    Have to win it first though

  52. champagne charlie

    “The knockout format doesn’t suit Guardiola teams.”

    Hard to buy that, far more likely to have a high number of ‘fails’ when you’re always in the knockouts to begin with.

    He’s played in the CL 9 times, won it twice, been in the semi’s 5 times. The teams he’s losing to are the fucking best available in European football for that year. Hardly a flaw in his approach to lose at the latter stages of the CL.

  53. loyika

    Errrrr Marko!?

    Poch hasn’t won diddly squat but you and some others hail him as some Managerial genius….so what gives

  54. Akilan

    Marko,
    Zidane won their last two UCLs. It was Don Carlo that won their la decima with the help of one Angel Di Maria.

  55. azed

    “The more time goes on the more I rank Ronaldo above him. Ronaldo has a better mentality.”

    This is laughable. Ronaldo has a whole team playing for him, Messi is carrying a whole team.

    Ronaldo is basically a modern day Inzaghi.

  56. Rambo Ramsey

    TR7, don’t go overrating Liverpool now just because they beat Fraudiola’team.

    I bet they get knocked out in the next round.

  57. WengerEagle

    steve

    Nope, he’s won 4 total and the 1st time he won it in 2006 he didn’t play past the last 16 where he was injured vs Chelsea.

    2008, 2011 were 2 of his other 3 wins.

    So 2015 was his only win in the last 7 attempts.

  58. TR7

    Pep is the best manager in the world by some distance. Nothing wrong with his approach in even knock out games in my opinion. Once you reach semi finals of CL, it’s anyone’s game really from there on. Real Madrid won two champions league with Zidane, so do you mean to say he knows better than Pep how to approach a knock out tournament ? He has transformed the style of every team he has coached and that is for me his true genius.

  59. Marko

    He has lost a step, said it towards the end of last season when Neymar outshone him in every UCL knockout round match.

    Not in decisive matches surely 😉
    Had to

  60. Marko

    Poch hasn’t won diddly squat but you and some others hail him as some Managerial genius….so what gives

    Em I don’t know…how to respond to this

  61. WengerEagle

    They have been every season since their treble winning 2015 season.

    Messi and Iniesta have both regressed since then year after year, the latter quite dramatically.

  62. TR7

    Rambo

    Where have I overrated Pool. In fact I said they would struggle against Bayern and Real over 2 legs. They will beat Roma though.

  63. Marko

    Yeah I honestly don’t understand it all to be honest. Don’t over rate Liverpool. Pep is a fraud. But let me constantly champion Aaron Ramsey. It makes me furrow my brow bro

  64. loyika

    @ Marko

    You can’t, because you used the “not winning stuff” to say Allegri and Klopp are not better “tactically”

    So just wondering why one rule doesn’t fit all?

  65. Paulinho

    You can ask Wallace; I used to say to him at the start of every season Bayern would get knocked out before the final, and he used to scoff because he loves him, and every time Bayern got knocked out. It was obvious to me while at Bayern he had a problem, and no amount of 9-0 victories in the group stages would make me think any different.

    All too often his teams look lethargic, listless and naive when they need to be alert to inferior teams trying to ‘get one over on them’ to make up for the disparity in quality.

  66. Paulinho

    Guardiola is great though. It’s his form of hamartia that haunts him, but overall he deserves to be lauded for consistently getting his teams to play quality possession football.

  67. Bamford10

    I thought Barca looked a little vulnerable against Chelsea, but I would never have guessed they’d give up three goals in Rome. That is a historic failure. For those who were able to watch the game, what doing you think it came down to?

  68. loyika

    TR7

    Don’t underrate Roma, beating Barca after losing 4 – 1 at the Nou Camp. I don’t think Roma will fear anyone.

    Real M are the favorites for sure, but the rest of the teams all have a chance and I doubt any of them will fear each other.

    All Semi games might be decided by small margins.

  69. Marko

    Loyika I don’t recall the Poch stuff is what I’m saying. The only compliment I can give to Poch is that he’s taken a piece of shit outfit like Spurs and made them somewhat relevant. He’s clearly done a good job. What’s wrong with that. And I don’t agree with victorious in saying Pep struggles in knockout European football and then mentions three managers that haven’t won the champions league

  70. Rambo Ramsey

    Marko, you are really a pathetic little bitch.

    I ignored your ‘Ramsey’ ankle biting attempts for the past few days but here you are again.

  71. loyika

    @ Marko

    Only pulling your legs with the Poch reference mate.

    As for Pep, well despite his record it seems Klopp is his “Bogey” Manager.

    Anyways Klopp himself will need to get over his “I don’t win finals” hoo doo.

    The Semis should be fun though regardless of the draws

  72. London gunner

    People say Messi is regressing but put him in a better team with a great midfield and he will look unstoppable again.

    Messi is literally playing cm, cam and striker his team is so dependent on him. He has to drop incredibly deep because his team are so lacklustre in the middle.

    The need to strengthen the team massively and either give Messi the playmaker role or striker role and focus him on that one role.

  73. Marko

    Always loved Dzeko man. Guy is just a perfect striker. Should have signed him from Wolfsburg all those years ago. Would have won us at least a league title at least

  74. WengerEagle

    LG

    Not disagreeing with most of that but do you not think that he’s lost an edge in terms of his explosiveness over 10-15 metres? He’s not as devastating a player as he was in his mid to late 20’s.

    He used to bodybag virtually anyone on a 1 vs 1, not been the case for a while now.