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On an International Break 18 March, 2013

Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.

As our international players leave London to join their respective nations for World Cup Qualification duty, I have also escaped London for an intentional break of my own. I can’t say I will do much to represent the great nation of England except for beer drinking and rolling about in the snow – I’ve gone on a snowboarding holiday for a couple weeks. Long-term readers will know I fucked off here last year to return some 14 months later but there’ll be none of that this time.

I’m travelling back the day of the Reading game, which is a bit of a shame but at least I’m only missing one Arsenal match. I can’t say this trip wasn’t timed to coincide with the Internationals! So I’ll be back with a comment on the Reading performance.

As I sit here typing you this from Geneva Airport, it’s looking on the up again as far as Arsenal are concerned isn’t it? Two great away wins against Bayern Munich and Swansea, whilst the lot across North London have lost three on the bounce since beating us, dropping points against Liverpool and Reading with a thrashing in Milan in between.

I wrote previously that I hoped Liverpool might take points off them but I never thought they’d struggle against Fulham at home. I checked the scored with ten minutes to go yesterday and laughed my head off, I am sure now, that their wheels are well and truly coming falling off.

Spurs’ next four games are Man City, Everton, Swansea and Chelsea (can’t be arsed to look up in what order). That’s some ask in any kind of form. With our confidence seemingly on a sudden high you’d have to fancy us to topple the scum, again.

Win our game in hand and the gap is just a point, albeit that game in hand is against Everton but still. After losing at The Shithole I reserved us a chance of getting back but there’s not one fan or critic that could’ve imagined it to happen this quickly!

It’s up to us now to keep that pressure on, with an on paper easier run in of games. I reckon we can do it. And I’m absolutely loving it! I saw a few miserable Spurs fans at Stanstead Airport this morning which did nothing but widen my smile. Brilliant.

Now, we’ve got yet another gap between games. This time the focus is on continuing that improvement shown in the last two games whilst hoping players return in one piece from their international trips. At the same time keeping fingers crossed Jack Wilshere’s injury The lay off becomes longer and shorter depending on who you believe so we’ll see.

So I’ll leave you to it for a couple weeks, I’m off to concentrate on making sure I return in one piece from my own international break. Until then, enjoy Spurs fans shitting themselves, again.




1. Dr Momoh Abdul-Razaq Mcsionel - 18 March, 2013

This is one of the best piece I have read in recent times.Oh…how I truly enjoyed Spurs being wiped by Fulham.Very amazing,I couldn’t help but imagine the players’ thought after the game.Lest I forget,who was that among Spurs players who voiced Spurs are now better than Arsenal,or the one chased out of Chelsea,who claimed Arsenal would rather remain in Europe than salvage pride with a demolition of Bayern at Alianz Arena? Come the end of the season,we shall see who is still laughing.Meanwhile,the next 4 or 5 games could as well define our season. Go for it Gunners!

2. cpknight - 19 March, 2013

I don’t think Steve Bould’s training of the defence was ever in question. I still think he drills us because of the following things: Our youth team whom Steve coached made the same sort of mistakes as the current Arsenal line up are making and number two: I believe Sagna and Vermaelen are letting the team down and basically chucking away all the instructions Steve Bould implemented. How coincidentally, dropping the aforementioned – we are a lot more solid as a unit? In saying all that, I wouldn’t be surprised that Wenger has restrained Steve from training the defence but the likely scenario (and the one that I believe) is Steve is doing the same job as he was doing at the start of the season.

3. steve - 21 March, 2013

The only problem with us getting 4th place is that it gives Wenger the excuse to say how strong this proves we are. All summer we will then be linked with a number of players buy none and in August be told by the manager that it is difficult to buy better than we already have. When we do invest we pannick buy over spend on fees and wages and buy total rubbish. Santos, Gervinho and Park are three that come under this heading but there are others too many in recent years. What we need is a total clear out of the dross which infects the first team squad and to buy top top quality players not fat overweight Brazilian full backs. To do this we also need a new owner, ceo, board and manager. Also need new scouts because whoever thought that Santos was a professional footballer, Gervinho could play or Mertsacker could run needs help. We also need to review our academy which is showing signs of being in need of new direction. –

4. cpknight - 28 March, 2013

We have an opportunity this weekend to notch what should be a routine home win and put the pressure on the Spuds. Then again Bradford in the League Cup was ‘routine’ and Blackburn Rovers in the F.A.Cup was ‘routine’…..nothing but nothing can EVER be taken for granted when it’s Wenger making the team selections. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he doesn’t cock it up again….

5. sid - 31 March, 2013

We’re caught in a cycle that never seems to end and it’s very dull. Arsenal’s football has been boring for several years now, due to not only his obsession with keeping possession but also with players having any individuality trained out of them, or having none in the first place, (Arteta). Remember Wenger’s expression of disgust when Giroud tried to lob the Stoke keeper from 40 yards at the beginning of the season, instead of squaring it to renowned goalscorer Aaron Ramsay? Most sane Arsenal fans will not get excited about Gervinho scoring a goal against Reading anymore than they did about beating Bayern 2-0 at their ground when Bayern WERE ALREADY 3-1 UP!!! It’s hard to say without it sounding over melodramatic but Arsene Wenger is killing The Arsenal. I really believe that.

6. cpknight - 2 April, 2013

A squad rotation system is a technique often used in sport, usually association football, which is designed to rest players and give playing time to everyone, rather than to just play the same players in every game. When Wenger chooses players you don’t like, or doesn’t choose players you like, its not because you’re smarter than him. It doesn’t mean he can’t see something others can’t. Its more likely that he sees things that we don’t.

7. cpknight - 5 April, 2013

The insane one has again for the 999th time reminded us that Wenger hands are tied by the regime’s financial strategy and finishing 4th is an overacheivement. Blame the board, blame Kroenke but don’t blame his beloved master pleads the Canadian maple leaf. The one major flaw in his already leaky defence of his lord is that both Gazadis and Hillwood had reiterated time and again that money is availble for Wenger to spend on players. Just for argument’ sake, can you imagine what would happened if they had instead insisted there was no money in Arsenal’s coffers? This ‘mad as a hatter’ individual would have used this info as a stick to poke holes into every argument of the anti crowd, heck he would blast craters into them at every given opportunity with this info. Now the 2 board members comments are sometimes swept under the carpet or at other times they are accused of lying because to aknowledge them is as good as shooting himself in the foot. It’s hilarious watching this berserk Wengerite moved his goal posts each time his defence of his almighty is shot down in flames.

8. sid - 7 April, 2013

I’m certainly very happy with the result and the overall performance for the most part, but I think the penalty and the sending off, among other situations at the back, really highlighted our lack of defensive leadership. The only reason Mertesacker made the challenge was because nobody else stepped up to catch Long offside with him. He was out run and had to make a challenge, and unfortunately it was too late to get in front of the player. On top of that, Koscielny was forced to make several desperate, headed clearances under pressure, when Fabianski came out and should have come out and claimed them, but he didn’t call, forcing the defender to do whatever he could to thwart the oncoming striker. Both Szczesny and Fabianski are good shot stoppers, but I think we could do with another keeper who doesn’t have to be as good in that department, but is better at organising everyone in the box. I think we all know that we’ve been lacking proper leadership for a long time, and personally, I think a few new faces, who don’t have to be super stars but need to have leadership qualities, would go a long way towards a more solid playing unit. Still, very happy with the result, and good to see us grinding them out under pressure, which was certainly something we couldn’t do a couple of seasons back

9. cpknight - 8 April, 2013

Some self-justification on the 4th spot race and why it’s more important than a trophy. The title race is beyond most team’s due to the oil money that has come into the prem over the last decade and gives such an advantage. Only United can really cope with Chelsea & City’s money and that’s mainly because they became the best/biggest side in the country (and possibly Europe) at the perfect time when big money came into the league via global sponsors etc.. Spurs have done fantastic to get where they are but can’t see them getting much further as bigger team’s will try and steal their top players, Arsene has done fantastic to turn a profit with the stadium situation and Arsenal have had lots of injuries at the wrong time (not to make excuses but if Eduardo didnt get his leg break we very well could have won the league that season and there are many other situations although everyone gets them). Anyway, the money is in the champions league, rather than winning the FA cup or league cup and the league is unrealistic due to the money there so naturally for the long-term Arsenal’s board will always go for Champions league qualifying as it has the incentive. On the basis of all of this, I hate to say but its right that Arsenal go for 4th. If the money for the champions league and FA cup were the same I’d say go for the cup but as it is, 4th spot every time.

10. sean - 8 April, 2013

I hate to bring in a sour note after what has been a good weekend, but the new Man U/Aon deal underlines how far we have slipped in the pecking order of Europe’s Big Clubs. Aon are paying them over £22m pa for their name on their training kit(!) and on their Carrington training centre(!). WE get £30m pa from Emirates for their name on our shirts and give them several years FREE naming rights on the Stadium. To put it into context, Ivan will claim a great feat if he accomplishes £8m for somebody’s name on our training kit. To put it into even greater context, ten years ago we and Man U were neck and neck in commercial revenue. The Emirates project was designed to get us up to speed with them in match-day revenue. But whatever we’ve gained in doing that, we have more than lost through the disastrous financial strategy of owners, past and present. We are not catching up with the elite here and in Europe, we are falling further behind. And FFP won’t make a scrap of difference unless we invest massively in the exceptional and top-quality signings required to make us genuine contenders once more.

11. cpknight - 9 April, 2013

I think we all agree that arsenal are underachieving, but it’s the cause of this underachievement that divides fans. One curious theory coming from the some anti wengerites is that the current team is actually good enough, that we do have a team capable of challenging for major honours, that it’s all down to wenger’s tactics and substitutions. I think this is nonsense. This team are currently performing as well as they possibly can. They’re about the fourth of fifth best in the country; marginally better than everton and perhaps level with or slightly behind spurs. I can’t think of a single player we have now that would get into the invincibles first team; not one. Not walcott, wilshire, vermaelen, sagna, arteta..any of them. That says it all really. Now consider the club’s financial policy. Look at how much we’ve spent and how many players we’ve sold off. Now compare that to the financial policies of our rivals. The sad fact is that we cannot compete at the highest level until the club spends some serious money, and who’s decision is that?

12. sien - 11 April, 2013

Found the rumours about Arshavin’s potential retirement quite sad. I really do have a soft spot for the guy and will always try to remember him for the first six months he was with us and little spells in the next year. Let’s face it, it’s not been a huge success, but I felt that he carried the side into the Champions League the season he joined. Anyone who says he played well in one game and points a finger at Wenger is plain wrong. I’m all for dishing out criticism where it’s due and Wenger certainly deserves his share, but Arshavin’s decline is sadly all of his own doing. There are those that say he was played out of position, that he’s not a winger, has been made a scapegoat and made unfairly to track back, but I don’t think that’s convincing. In his first 6 months, Arshavin played wide and was superb. He’d easily beat his man, he’d track back as all players should and was involved in a lot of goals. Some of his best goals for Russia show him burning some poor full back on his way to brilliant individual goals. In my opinion, he was given too many opportunities and Wenger showed faith in him for too long. He became lazy and allowed his head to drop. Yes, the fans turned on him, but why shouldn’t they when a player so talented repeatedly refuses to apply himself? Worse players than him have faced the same and proved themselves (to a limited extent) – Song, Eboue, Ramsey, Gervinho (the latter two are work in progress but have been good recently). Don’t blame Wenger. Blame a man who had the entire world at his feet and should be leaving a legend. He should be shown a DVD of Ray Parlour’s Arsenal career.

13. GOONERSRUS - 12 April, 2013

Real shame if Rosicky is out of Saturday’s game as suggested on the club web-site- he never seems to be able to string more than a few games on the trot without having to then miss a game. He is quality though and we’ll miss his urgency and passing ability against Norwich. I hope we don’t make the same mistake as we did last May when we went 1-0 up and then produced a horror show defensively, started by Szczesny’s terrible clanger for their opener. I think his form started to deteriorate from that time on- nearly a year ago, but why are we linked with Valdes or Begovic? Our keeper will, I feel, come back stronger ( maybe he’d taken his place for granted) and to waste money on two that are not much better, if at all, would be lunacy. It has to be the training that is at fault- all of our keepers since Lehmann have had exactly the same faults, so that is something to be looked at. Peyton out- Seaman in!

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