A Perfectly Good Sunday Ruined

Yesterday’s game was like one of those pre Christmas pantomimes in which the main character is unaware of an imminent danger but everyone in the audience can see exactly what is going on and cries out, it’s behind you, it’s behind you.

These situations are usually funny and so should this one have been, if drawing with West Ham, after being two up, wasn’t so utterly soul destroying.

In our pantomime, the main character is Wenger and our cries from the audience have been getting louder and louder since Alkmaar, it’s the team selection, it’s the team section.

The pattern is so predictable, Song breaks up the play, usually quite well, then passes to Fabregas who looks up; by this time, Van Persie and Arshavin are surrounded which leaves Diaby and Eboue; Fabregas having no faith in either of them tries the Hollywood pass to the Dutchman or the Russian, more often than not, without success. We lose possession and have to try to regain it. When Rosicky or Nasri are playing, Fabregas can pass with confidence knowing that he will get the ball back once he has moved into a better position. The result is usually devastating for the opposition.

I find Wenger’s comments disturbing such as “We need to learn how to kill of other teams”. The ruthlessness that is needed is in the team selection.

So what should he have done?


32 Responses to A Perfectly Good Sunday Ruined

  1. London says:

    Morning Roadsters

    If anyone has written a match report, please put it right on up there. I am not precious about what I have written; I just thought that something would be useful.

  2. kelsey says:

    Good analysis london of how I and many others felt during the game,even when we were two nil up.You make a valid point that when Cesc has RVP,Arshavin and Rosicky all fully fit and focused the intelligence in play goes up a notch.

    Be not fooled, West Ham are fighting for their lives financially as well as being in the relegation zone, and are a poor team. Not much was said about the appalling mistake by Green leading to our fortunate goal, but he made that up with his left foot clearance in the last few seconds,and otherwise had a good game. Then there is Mannone, who can only try his best but quite understandably is young and inexperienced and it quite apparent there is no real understanding with him and the defence,a common theme with all our keepers.

    I must say that the crossing of the ball from both Clichy and Sagna has not improved, and Diaby is definitely not getting any better. Eboue will never be a match winner however much he is adored in the dressing room.

    Overall a bit complacent by the whole team, and Arshavin had a very quiet game.

    If we don’t have a keeper of a higher standard we will continue to leak goals, but that many of us have known for years.

    The ironic thing is hat we moved up to third,but the same defence frailties remain.We had a strong bench and for the best part of 55 minutes W.H> were never really a threat,and Wenger should have seen the complacency creeping in and made changes then, not after they scored.

  3. rico says:

    Morning Roadsters,

    I think your mood of post sums it up nicely London, but my view is that the ‘players’ in the pantomime were the players on the pitch – over confident, arrogant and pig headed. 2-0 up and all a bit too easy for them. Their attutide was very wrong after the second. Instead of thinking game over, they should have been saying at half time – ‘lets go get our goal tally right up now in case we need it at the end of the season’

    The first 20-30 minutes in the second half is when we should have been on fire, but no, we were dreadful.

    Arshavin – well I am starting to believe his mind is elsewhere, or the first few games he played were fluke. He plays like a man who would rather be at home eating his Sunday lunch, or the colleague you sometimes work with you just doesn’t pull his weight, he is really annoying!

    I didn’t think Eboue was ‘too’ bad, but Diaby surpassed his usual low standard. He offers little but gives nothing to our side.

    Arsene, you have shown Almunia he is not to take No1 GK shirt for granted, but now I think it is time for him to come back.

    Thankfully Wednesday is not far away, we will be seeing a crop of players who want to play football, want to be out there for their club whole heartedly, a crop of players (Silvestre and Senderos apart) who are our future…. And does anyone think they will give up at half time???

    Bet your bottom dollar they don’t..

    That team yesterday on paper should have torn WH apart! The one player we missed badly was Tomas Rosicky.

  4. Rasputin says:

    Excellent post London – sums up my feelings perfectly.

    Two words for our legions of training staff – YOU’RE CRAP!!!!!!

    Why can’t we identify simple failings and rectify them in training?
    They couldn’t stop Ade wandering offside.

    They can’t get a single one of our keepers to communicate with the defence.

    They can’t train the team on how to hold on to a lead by keeping it simple and as London so eloquently put it “trying Hollywood passes” when we just need to keep possession and batten down the hatches……

    Yesterday was 2 points lost because we still can’t do the basics when put under pressure. We need a leader in midfield and quality players around Cesc.

  5. Rasputin says:

    Morning rico,

    I doubt we will hold onto AA if the season continues in this vein. He will do an ‘Ad’e and start making statements to the press critical of the side/players and force the club to let him go (for a profit – so that’s OK then 😦 )

  6. peachesgooner says:

    Morning all

    Excellent excellent post London, very succinctly put – shall I post it through Arsenes door

    Gonna read everyone elses posts now 🙂

  7. peachesgooner says:


    1. What happens to team-work when a couple of memebers of the team consistently don’t perform to the high standards of the others. A certain amount of dissent creeps in surely………..

    2. Rasp – your point about the training staff being crap. London picked up the other day that Arsene likes to focus on the positives and not point out the negatives in a player and that might explain why all the niggly faults that we see don’t get corrected. Too much kid-glove treatment – even I have to tell my children off sometimes 🙂

  8. rico says:

    Hi Rasp

    He is already doing it, and I really don’t understand why. He has said he would have loved to go to Barca, and they play the beautiful game and even rates Manure and the chavs above us..

    If that is how he is going to speak to the press then sell him for 20M in January and get a player who wants to put in 100% each week..

    I know we all want to blame the boss, but shouldn’t the players be held responsible for their own crap performance…

  9. Rasputin says:

    Although I think Song has developed into a very good player, I don’t think he is the quality we need for that important midfield role, his lack of pace is always going to be an achilles heel. If AA goes and we buy any two players, I’d like to see a top class goalkeeper and a solid midfielder with pace, power, a ferocious tackle and endless energy….. (Flamini? 😦 )

    PV … I still love you the most 😳

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post London

    Like the Spuds game last year, it feels like a defeat.

    AA…. I just don’t get it. Why is no-one involving what is clearly a brilliant player into the game. Don’t the rest of the team like him? It’s true that he is always heavily marked, but he often cut inside or came deep to receive the ball, instead Diaby/Eboue tried t beat a man. That said AA was very ordinary yesterday.

    As Kelsey says, crossing was crap.

    Bendtner did more in 10 minutes than AA in the whole game (slight exaggeration!) When he came on the tempo of the team lifted, and that is what went wrong in the 2nd half. We slowed the game down and paid the price.

    Great save at the end by Green? Awful miss by RvP more like. 3 yards out , almost free header and hits the keeper….

    If Nasri was fit enough to be on the bench he should have come on after 65 minutes and given Fab someone to pass to.

    It is clear that Eboue is not the answer in midfield and I hope that was the last time we see him play there. His positional sense is awful, as is his crossing and shooting.

    The Ref was hopeless. The sending off of Parker was farcical. The free-kick leading to the first goal was in no way a foul. The WH player ran at Diaby.
    I have been saying for 2 seasons that we need a GK. Fabianski is a hope but to win the EPL we need more than hope. Mannone should be taught to punch the ball away from goal, not towards it ! It is elementary for a GK, he is a pro FFS, and being 21 is no excuse.

    We allowed a very poor team to take 2 points from us. The only boon is that the Spuds and MC had a similarly frustrating day.

  11. rico says:

    I thought the penalty decision against him was a joke !

    He does lack pace, and he doesn’t quite have enough in his game to counteract his loss of speed. A different level I know, but in my day, she lacked pace. But what she could skill wise was incredible. She also has the ability to read the game so well she was always in the right place at the right time.

    That’s half the problem with Eboue, Diaby, Song and even Clichy, they dont anticipate. Tony Adams wasn’t the most skillful player, but he read the game better than I can read a book. TV has shown that strength in his game too…

  12. peachesgooner says:

    The manner of the draw – letting them back in when we were 2 goals up – is the most upsetting.

    At the start of the season the whole team were fighting for every ball – keeping and getting back possession all over the pitch – yesterday they went back to being happy to allow WH to come on to us and thats when players like Song, Diaby and Eboue let us down.

  13. peachesgooner says:

    Goes back to footballing brain doesn’t it rico – the anticipation is part of being able to read the game which as you say TV and I have to say Gallas are excellent at doing.

    When Diaby and Eboue are on the pitch they hamper both the attack and the defence – they are liabilities 😦 😦

  14. rico says:

    Spot on peaches, i forgot Gallas 😦 And like Raddy says, most of our errors are not rocket science to rectify, it has to be natural for the player as a footballer – he shouldn’t need to be told everyday in training.. I bet the reserves and youth dont even get told what to do, as much as some appear need to be told..

    dreadful English 😦

  15. Big Raddy says:

    I will own up.

    The draw was my fault, I wasn’t wearing my lucky away socks. They were in the wash post AZ.


  16. rico says:

    Oh no Raddy, it was me, I had my AFC shirt on for a change, never again, I say……

    But just in case Raddy, next time just turn them inside out 😳

  17. rico says:

    Its very quiet today 😦

  18. peachesgooner says:

    rico 😉

  19. rico says:

    Hi peaches, doom and gloom around today me thinks 😦

  20. rico says:

    You heard from ave peaches?

  21. David says:

    The reason why we keep struggling for 4th place is shocking tactics and shocking team selections.

    Look at Last season.

    Ade was made a scape goat for Arsene’s failures. The Togo Twat was the Lazy bayor…when infact the whole team was lazy.

    So case in point….when the team shows up again like they cant be arsed the favorites take the blame.

    Last year it was Ade. This year a host of players Diaby, Eboue….etc etc….It is not and has never been their fucking fault.

    Ade was never a world class striker. Eboue is nothing more than a right back. Diaby is just…..Strange.

    So When people tell me Arsene knows…I want to punch their lights out.

  22. coadsi says:

    It certainly feels like a loss. was it just me or did anyone else did not want to talk to anyone after the match?
    in fact i guess thats prolly still the case Rico.
    evening all

  23. rico says:

    Hi coadsi, i think you are right – i just wanted a rant a get it out of my system 😉

    Hi David

  24. rico says:

    Just checked yesterdays post and saw ave was on, I shal now stop having any little worries 😉

  25. rico says:

    Pop back later, as no-one about now 😦

  26. Gunnersgun says:

    already leak 13 goals in EPL; 4 goals in CPL.
    Always the same excuses: didn’t get final ball to kill the game. Where & when is the ruthlessness coming ? (always like to buy midfielder who can play wide & not deadly striker e.g Torres from LFC)
    If the defenders can grind out, the game is already won. it’s better to win 1-0 than draw 2-2. Don’t understand y other teams can grind out 1-0 win. At the end of season they have trophies
    Arshavin was the worst, Cesc was not his usual self may be of family problem.
    AW likes to play players out of position, y he didn’t do to diaby as a lone striker baffles me ???
    If continue to let Diaby involve in defence, we will definitely get more similar result & forget about winning trophies.
    Pls Mr AW don’t be TOO stubborn in substitution, learn from J. Mourinho
    We have many wide players who should cross very well, why still need Sagna & Clichy to be gd in supply crosses. They are defenders.
    We Respect u

  27. JonJon says:

    evening all…

    i havent wanted anything to do with football since the final whistle went…

    it feels like a defeat…a draw against a derby team, away from home after a european mid week is a decent result…but to throw away a 2 goal lead is ridiculous…

    anyway, i have a theory, we miss rosicky…arshavin doesnt get into the game when rosicky doesnt play…ive noticed alot that teams tend to double man mark cesc, and it cuts our flow…and arsh has to go looking for the ball cos he’ll go 15-20mins without touching it…

    but when we have tomas in the team, he can pick a pass as well…so if cesc gets marked out rosicky turns it on…and visa versa..cesc needs tomas…

    we need two playmakers in that midfield cos with only one the three up top get cut off…

    keep song in the middle with two of cesc, rosicky, nasri and even AK…he needs to see the ball more so id put him in the middle…

    denilson only plays when song doesnt and diabys a last resort cos i still dont get it with him…

    im off to look at the league table now though and gather my thoughts about bad the weekend really was…luckily for us manure and mancity dropped points too and liverpool and spurs are shit, and weve still got a game in hand….if we are in the top four and within 6 points of the leaders i’ll accept that…

  28. Rasputin says:

    While we’re all in a ranting mood, I’d like to repeat my oft made observation about the quality of our corners and dead ball delivery.

    RVP is the best corner taker as he whips the ball in, but as the main striker he should be in there to pick up any scraps (because he can’t head the ball for tuppence).

    Cesc is rubbish at corners – he always floats the ball and either the keeper gathers or it doesn’t get past the first defender.

    AA’s not bad at corners but he too should be in a position to pick up any scraps on the edge of the box.

    Instead of Sagna and Clichy floating misdirected crosses into the middle when we often don’t even have a player in the middle, they should fire it in low more often, the resultant pinball can lead to OG’s, ricochets or something we haven’t seen since Freddie – a near post tap-in.

  29. JonJon says:

    gunnersgun, good evening…

    i dont think it matters who we play in defence it will get no better…gallas and TV are not crap defenders they can get into anyteam in the league, but wenger doenst do defending, our tactics are detrimental towards our defensive game becuase we are so attacking and we play with a high line….

    i dont agree with this ‘kill teams off’ phrase wengers come out with…

    thing is with yesterday is that at 2-0 the games won…we should have relaxed and just passed the ball about and let west ham chase the game,tire them out and maybe get a 3rd in the last minutes…but instead we went all out for the 3rd from the word go, didnt get it and lost composure, kept losing the ball, got desperate and started to panick and conceeded two silly goals under the pressure….

  30. JonJon says:

    hi rasp..

    the league table still looks good…3rd in the league with a game in hand, which if we win would take us upto 2nd and 2 points behind chelsea…

    if it reads like that at the end of february i’ll start to get excited…

  31. avenell says:

    Hi guys.. I have stuck a NEW POST up.

  32. Rasputin says:

    Hi JonJon 😉

    It’s good, but it could/should have been so much better. We have to beat the spuds to maintain the momentum and put the pressure on those around us. Pool bounced back after 4 losses, we’ve had 2 draws where we’ve been weak under pressure – where’s this ‘team spirit’ we hear so much about?

    I think the blame lies jointly with the players and the manager. It was a predictably uninspired team selection and poorly timed and judged subs, but the players were complacent, lacked concentration and still should have been plenty good enough to see off wham.

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