Bayern Review: No Discipline, No Leadership, No Cohesion, No Cutting Edge.

One of the few positives: Jack stood out once again.

One of the few positives: Jack stood out once again.

Key conclusions:

  1. We are seemingly incapable of learning from our mistakes, and keep giving away games before they even have started properly;
  2. Arsene cannot settle on a formation and style of play at the moment, resulting in a continuous lack of cohesion, and systemic and focused approach to our football;
  3. Theo, alone up-front, did not work;
  4. We lack extrovert leadership;
  5. We lack quality in certain areas;
  6. We lack a beast of a DM;
  7. Our painful period of transition is to continue for quite a while.

After a promising start, Arsenal gave once again the game away with a couple of defensive mistakes. Against MU away, and Liverpool, Chelsea and ManCity at home we did exactly the same, and in top football this is utterly self-defeating.

I really thought our defence would be fully prepared for this happening again last night, and therefore would focus from the start. When I say defence, I do not just mean the back-five of Szczesny and his four defenders in front of him. Of course defending is a team responsibility and for both goals the rest of the team deserve at least some of the blame.

Our two ‘DM’s were wrongly positioned to block of the midfield runner on goal, Kroos; and for the second goal we simply missed height at the near post. Especially Van Buyten/Muller’s goal was bad to concede: really amateurish and it effectively meant the game was over without it ever having started properly. This has now become a very worrying pattern and I struggle to see how we can get out of it any time soon. With big games coming up against Everton, Spuds and MU, this is the biggest worry we currently have.

It is so disappointing that nobody seems able to organise our defence properly. All our defenders are good but nobody seems to have the overview and leadership skills to make us a strong unit and organise our defending. Our defence is a combination of individuals and is crying out for an organisational leader like Adams or Campbell used to be for Arsenal. Vermaelen, as our captain, comes short, and Mertesacker is also disappearing into his own shell far too often.

At least there was fight left in us. After conceding the second goal the team tried hard to get back into the game, and some healthy aggression was on display. We were not producing anywhere near enough decent chances, but at least were able to get back into the game after a big mistake in the German defence from one of our corners, early on in the second half. Well done Podolski for being in the right place and accepting the double gift – it should never have been a corner in the first place – with both hands.

After that we had a good spell, and it was really important to keep the pressure on Bayern. We managed to do that for about 10 minutes, and I was hoping for Wenger to make earlier-than-normal substitutions to sustain our momentum. He did not do that and the game was finally lost by conceding another goal. This was the best worked goal of the game, but it still needed a big slice of luck by the Germans to go in.

Who knows what could have happened if Giroud had finished a half decent chance inside the box, after Rosicky’s fine diagonal pass and Theo excellent first touch and cross, had put him in a scoring position. Unfortunately, it fell to his ‘wrong’ foot and his effort was directed straight at the keeper.

Our defensive play failed us and cost us the game, we did not dominate midfield enough, we did not create enough chances, and our ploy to play Walcott up-front did work for us either. Bayern were too strong and indeed out-classed us for large parts of the game.

However, we showed fighting spirit in short spells and Wilshere grew into the best player on the pitch in the second half. We will never know whether we could have made this a proper contest if our defence had stood stronger and got proper hold of the game.

There is no doubt, though, our midfield needs further strengthening with a beast of a DM: having two deeper laying midfielders with defensive responsibilities will sometimes work, but in games like these it is so important to have a strong physical, athletic presence who can protect our defence and move on play quickly and effectively.

Giroud on his own up-front has clear limitations, and so does playing Theo there. We were not able to launch the Englishman into a promising position anywhere near enough, and we also missed proper wing-play last night. I still believe that playing Theo and Giroud together up-front is our strongest option currently, as their combined strength could become a force to reckon with. I thought it was a mistake to play Theo alone up-front: the team has not settled at all on this formation and many automatisms were missing last night.

How many times last night did we see a player being ‘dumped’ with the ball in an isolated area, surrounded not by fellow players but by ant-like Germans, trying to nick it of him as soon as he receives it? What has happened to us playing as a close unit, our triangles, our cohesive play based around possession and passing, and us taking collective responsibility?

Jack, once again, tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck but too many of our players were not able to follow suit. We lack that sort of extrovert leadership at the moment, and relying on Jack alone to drive us on is not going to work.

In order to start winning our encounters with top-teams, significant improvements will have to be made:

  1. Leadership, discipline and organisation in our defensive play;
  2. More physical presence in midfield, allowing Jack to be freed up to run the show;
  3. More extrovert leadership throughout the team;
  4. More quality throughout the team, especially on the wings and up-front, so we can produce better chances and take them more regularly when they occur;
  5. Settle on a formation and train the entire squad to understand it, including every player knowing how they should play in their position(s)/what their roles and responsibilities are. Also, Arsenal need to improve significantly on both playing the pressing game and keeping hold of the ball ourselves by passing it round.

I thought, naively in retrospect, that this team was able to raise itself for the game last night, and would show step improvements in most, if not all, of the above mentioned five areas. They did not, and a lot more work will have to be done in the next six to twelve months.

It all remains to be seen whether Wenger and Bould are able to complete the transition in that sort of time span, and it is a certainty that the patience of the fans will be tested to the absolute limit for quite a bit longer.

Written by: Total Arsenal.




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65 Responses to Bayern Review: No Discipline, No Leadership, No Cohesion, No Cutting Edge.

  1. thedavidryan says:

    Hey top article you have here! I’ve wrote my thoughts on what I think the problem is with Arsenal see what you think.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA,

    What a brilliant and brave essay to write after the disappointing result last night. Well done sir!! 🙂

    Note that I say a disappointing ‘result’. I think our players put in a great deal of effort, and were not being lazy, careless or any other such thing. No! Let’s face it – we were well and truly outclassed last night, and even if I would point the finger at some crass defending and poor control in midfield, the fact is that we had players who are just not ‘top, top quality’ despite Arsene trying to convince us to the contrary.
    Bayern DO have top, top quality players and it showed.

    In the final analysis Bayern have shown us what a steep incline we have to climb in order to get back up to the level of the very top teams – especially in Europe.

    I take no pleasure in pointing to my comment before both the Blackburn and Bayern games that these events have a habit of ending in tears. I wish I was wrong, but recognizing the extent of the problem is the first step in fixing it!

  3. graham says:

    Another armchair expert the team tried but the other team were better that’s sport why ate there so many arsenalBloggers most are anti arsenal could not get past A I suppose

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment Graham, thanks for the effort to read the article and what Bergkampesque is all about – you clearly are a superior Gooner to me! 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA 🙂

    Agreed there was no lack of effort last night and that is the most important thing in terms of being able to support our team.

    Are we really that far away from Bayern’s level? I guess the answer is yes. If only we did not make these unnecessary mistakes so early on in our games, it could all be quite different… 😕

  6. Red Arse says:


    Today is not a good day to blog because many fans are rat arsed with disappointment, and just looking for a reason to argue. 🙂

    Before I depart, as an ‘armchair spectator/expert — probably like millions of others watching on TV — maybe even this guy Graham – not that I could understand what he was saying, frankly, 🙂 but one thought that kept recurring to me, was that the Bayern players, apart from being technically excellent, looked bigger and fitter than our guys, and frequently shrugged off our smaller players in the tussle when we were being pressed on the ball.

    Just a thought to throw out there. 🙂

  7. glic says:

    Hi Muchiesques 🙂

    Back from eye test and to tell the truth before the young lady with the cracking looking cleaverage

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Redders, they did look fitter and stronger.

  9. glic says:

    Sorry…..cleavage put the eye test equipment in front of me, I knew my eyes were OK !. hahaha
    Sorry about the gap in the comment, but I had her cleavage on my brain !

  10. Gerry says:

    Hi TA – I could spend a lot of time arguing the odd point of difference here and there, but I won’t.

    The bottom line is we played well for the 7-8 minutes, basically until they got hold of the ball? Then we were only allowed to play as well as they would let us. Sad but true. They were the better team.

    We came back, got a goal, and put plenty of effort into it. When we see them at Wembley in the final, our performance may look somewhat better than it does now?

    For those among us who think they are where we want be in future? Then we should look closely at their play. It is not so much about formation or style of play, it is about players knowing where their fellow players are, knowing where to run to, position themselves in attack or defence. It is about a settled side who have work hard on achieving that understanding.

    That is what I think AW has being trying to bring into our squad. Unfortunately, the first requirement of keeping a settle squad has been buggared at the start of every one of the last three seasons, if not by players leaving, then by injuries. We now have a good base to improve the overall strength in depth, as well as youngsters coming through who have been playing with the same mentality at Under 18’s and 21 level.

    It is a mental thing. I did not notice, although I wasn’t watching for it, that the Bayern players were yelling at others to get into defensive positions? Although their ‘bored’ GK was their only player on a par with ours for being erratic? I hope we get a chance to get corners into the far post a few times in the next leg??

    I would suggest that it is not so much about training in a settled formation, as that brings the criticism of ‘predictability’? Plus, changes in personnel sometimes means a forced change in approach – Plan B if you like? No, it is getting the understanding that the players need between whoever plays is what is required. We have it in small areas, but totally lacking in others. That, as you rightly concluded, does take time. So whatever players come in in this summer, they have got to be of top quality to learn that mentality if we are to show a major improvement next term?

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha Glic, a real shame you are far-sighted then! 🙂

  12. glic says:

    Fine knockers…….I mean post Total !. hahaha

    Just had a look on AA, there were some great comments from dandan, 26May1989, Shark attack and especially our Stretch. Stretch hits the nailk on the head for me, in that The Munchies are the blue print for Arsenal. We are very similar ( also with a few other German clubs ) in so many aspects, but the one thing they have not had to contend with in their rightly run league, is the financial doping cheats we have in our league. If we were a Bundesliga club, we would be lauded the same as they are.
    They are, as many rightly put, a level above us, but we are going in the right direction and will, with or without the patience of the supporters eventually get there. Everthing has been put into place with years of sound foundations been built and FFP about to kick some oily arse`s. Lets hope the BOD dont listen to the ungratefull, desperate fans and anti-Arsenal press. Patience my friends !.

  13. sleepinggiant says:

    As always at least you try to put a brave face on it!! Well done. Just a couple of things I would like to add:-

    I hate the soundbite that we are in a period of transition. We aren’t. Tansition means change and that that implies a coherrant direction. But we still make no effort to pay our top players what they are worth and the manager still wrings his hands when they want to leave.
    Call a spade a spade. We have not been in a period of transition for the past five years. We have been in a period of delcine. Lets face it, admit it and deal with it. Only then can we begin the long road back. IF you don’t recognise the problem you cannot address it.

    And that leads me to point 2. I agree with all of your points where the club needs to be improved. But they are largely on the pitch. Yes we need to imporve the personnel. but we need to do something else first to arrest teh decline. We need to restore the pride and spirit of what Arsenal means. This is not a club that should be satisfied with still being in existance, as some would have it. What a load of absolute garbabge. This is Arsenal and being Arsenal means that we have to strive for a lot more than that. We need a clear, unequivocal declaration – not mutterings, not suggestions, but a declaration. We need to say no more sales. WE need to laugh off Barcelona and Man City when an interest in out players is declared. Enough is enough. Pay our top men what they are worth in the current market. We need to stop pretending we have no money. We have absolute fortunes – if you dont believe me, believe the Financial Times £164 sodding million quid sitting rotting in an account. And this is without asking the asset stripping yank to invest his billions.- lets not forget we are already owned by a billionaire, not the local cornershop.

    The club play the poor mouth because it means they dont have to spend their own money. And the reason they have done that up to now is because they could rely on increasing the share price each year becaue of CL qualification.

    But thats all about to change. We won’t,I believe, get top 4 this year. And by then it will be too late for the current model, because the club will start to use the excuse that ‘cant attract the players as they wont come to non top 4 clubs’ Again, this is absolute garbage – how did Man City get all their players before they made the champions league? They got them becauase the club made a statement that they were going somewhere. Add that to a reasistic paypacket for top players and you have a platform to go forward from.

    Therefore, even when we fall out of the top 4 this year, it is possible to arrest the decline. Becaues Arsenal have the money, Arsenal has the stadium and Arsenal have the history, The need to reannounce this to the world. They need to banish the pretence of poverty and make it clear to the world that this club is going to be a serious player again..They have to make it clear to the players,the media, teh fans, other clubs that they have the vision to get back to the top. Otherwise the decline will continue.

    But don’t hold your breath. Because nobody in the heirarchy at the club knows what Arsenal is about. And sadly they have wiped this from the memory of many of the fans too.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    hi Gerry 🙂

    No surprise about the balance in your response, and mostly agreed.

    You wrote: ‘I would suggest that it is not so much about training in a settled formation, as that brings the criticism of ‘predictability’? Plus, changes in personnel sometimes means a forced change in approach – Plan B if you like? No, it is getting the understanding that the players need between whoever plays is what is required.’

    The two are totally interlinked: understanding between players and playing in a settled formation/style of football go hand in hand.

    Arsene always wants us to play a particular formation and style of football, and at the moment the necessary automatisms are lacking, which is costing us. As long as Arsene does not settle on what he wants, we will continue to have problems with this in my view.

    Changes in personnel should not make much of a difference as we should have two or three players in the squad who understand a particular position and can play in it effectively, at least. This is one of the things we have struggled with so much in recent seasons, and dare I say it, not one of Wenger strengths.

    Of course, I agree that the longer we play the squad together the stronger they will become. I am all for accepting we are going through a major transition, but it is also important to be honest about our shortcomings, and last night’s game gave me cause for concern in the areas I pointed out.

  15. Gerry says:

    SG – I am probably not the best to rebuff what you have written. So just a few quick points?

    The £164m sitting ‘rotting in the bank’ …. I assume it is still there?

    So the ‘asset stripping yank’ hasn’t done a runner with it? …. As far I know he has taken a very modest director salary to date.

    Man City made a statement and ‘paid realistic paypackets for top players’ ? Shouldn’t that be unrealistic paypackets. which is why they cannot shift any of them because of it? A criticism levelled at Arsenal only on a lower scale …. What happened to their intent after ‘buying’ their league title? Oh yes, out of the CL before Arsenal, and little chance in the league. FA Cup? Well let’s see if they get to the semis eh?

    As for us falling out of the top 4, I am looking at No2 spot! … But then, I tend to think we have a decent core of players who are not in decline, and are about to take us forwards.

    Perhaps one of us will be right, eh?

  16. Gerry says:

    TA – No, I wasn’t disagreeing, with your main thrust of the blog, just odd points around the edges?

    I think it might be difficult to say what formation Bayern played at times, but they never seemed to be troubled if a player went on a run. Just a thought?


    Great stuff once again TA

    The bit “dumped with ball in an isolated area” realy struck me. This is a familer pattern against the big teams and last night this particular problem realy reminded of the Barcalona matches.

    We play an expansive game were our players look to find pockets of space but unfortunitly when we come up against “swarming” pressing our players understandbly lose possesion.

    If the ball is shifted quickly then this is not a problem, but when there isnt an available pass then hesitation and lose of possesion is a result. i am not against our approach or tactics per say, but a lack of confidence and experience our are major undoing.

    Arsene puts a lot of faith in his players but at present they lack the nous to carry out his instructions.

    I think this ability to succeed will come, and sooner than people think. We just need more experince in certain areas and then confidence will grow.

    Once this happens we will conquer all.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi SleepingG 🙂

    How is life treating you?

    I genuinely think we have entered a new era now. Players signed up, youth players coming through, more money for quality players to be added this and next summer, and nobody will be sold against ‘our’ wish for quite a while.

    This is a significant change from last two seasons. Imagine Adebarndoor, Song, RvP, Fabregas and (a motivated) Nasri in our team and it would all be quite different I reckon. We simply have to hope we can keep this squad together, and add a bit more quality to it. I also believe we will be able to be more competitive salary-wise going forward.

    But I am frustrated with some of the areas in which we are failing currently. Although I don’t think we are on a decline, I also don’t think it is something that will disappear by itself. Wenger and Bould have their work cut out.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I am from the Dutch school of thinking, and believe if you are not able/willing to buy the very best players, or there about, from the market, you need to invest in playing a system of football, i.e. catenaccio (1-0 to the Arsenal football) or total football, and make it perfect.

    Of course a formation changes during a game regularly but the basis of mutual understanding is a system of football we play and knowing your role(s). And we are struggling in both areas at the moment, although this is to be expected at this stage to some extent.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry, all agreed. I reckon their is a lot of potential in our team/squad and there is good reason to be optimistic about the future. However, the here and now is clearly showing us areas in need of improvement, and it is clear this is also concerning Arsene at the moment. We need to remain patient and hopefully we’ll see more progress in the next few months. 🙂

  21. Red Arse says:

    Interesting comment earlier about whether or not coaching has been at fault, and a massive part of coaching is the repetition of routines which helps team mates to be able to understand each other and respond accordingly.

    I heard various comments elsewhere in the media and on the blogs, that Arsenal were unlucky, for one reason or another.

    That great golfer, Gary Player, once said, in an ironic response to a jibe about him being a ‘lucky’ golfer that the more he practised the luckier he got.

    Defensively, Arsenal need a lot more practise (a lot more hard work on the practise pitches) and then they will become ‘luckier’.

    Just a thought!

  22. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi TA,

    Another fantastic write-up and plainly put, you state it as it was. I don’t understand why fans are shocked to see any criticism in an Arsenal article after the horrible results we’ve been seeing this season (and over the years). Do they really think that if we’ll just be positive that we’ll eventually win?? Oh boy, just give it some time and we might win something in 2014-15!!!….

    I agree with all your points 1-5 and I’ve been vocal about those changes for quite some time. It’s evident that we were outclassed in performance by Bayern yesterday AND outclassed by them in the quality of players. Offensively, I’ve seen Bayern play much better (which is scary) but they played like a team on the road of the first leg; attacked for an early lead, defended very well and countered when given the opportunity.

    There have been some excellent comments today, particularly by RA and SG. I know a lot of people won’t be “happy” when they read their comments, but it’s the truth and the sooner we (and the club) can acknowledge that our squad is just not good enough, the sooner we can move on and actually try to improve in earnest. And it’s not only personnel in terms of the on-field product, but also in the coaching and tactical aspects. Our team is just not well coached and the players are just not absorbing whatever the coaches are trying to teach them on the training ground. They need structure and discipline; not free reign and the license to be expressive since it has let us down way too often now. As sad as it is for me to say this, but I think it’s time for a change in management. There are a lot of good pieces in place, but the direction and strategy is just lacking.

    I’ve said this many times before and was met with much criticism, but after yesterday’s performance, I think it’s become more clear – we’re a team that CAN beat a top, top club but more often than not we’ll come out as losers because ultimately, we can’t match those clubs’ quality. Looking at the best teams in the world, it goes something like:

    Top, Top – Barca, Bayern, Real Madrid
    Top – United, City, Dortmund, Juventus
    Just below Top – Arsenal, Chelsea, PSG, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Malaga, etc.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Another thought springs to mind.

    It is becoming more and more difficult, on the Arsenal blogs, to avoid falling foul of either the evangelical ‘there is nothing wrong with anything’ movement or the scabrous ‘everything and everyone is wrong – especially the manager and the owner’ wing.

    What do I mean?

    It is almost impossible for an independent thinking person, who relies on his own faculties of sight and intellect, to both see problems and assess possible solutions for himself — and to do this without relying on what others want him to accept, without question, one way or the other.

    By making public his opinions, he is almost inevitably going to be challenged by one or the other of these factions, and possibly both.

    It seems that the ‘evangelical’ wing see any questioning of the quality of the team, or the manager as heresy, and seek to prove this by claiming the moral high ground. You know, the ‘I am a better supporter than you — because I choose to see no wrong’.

    On the other side, any attempt to explain, rationalise or disagree with blatantly ignorant comments, as to the manager’s competence, will to win or even his sanity, will see the ‘culprit’ vilified by the ridiculous concept of being an AKB.

    Fie on both these ‘sides’, they are equally intellectually flawed. I, for one, do not need anyone else to be judgemental about the quality of my support when judged against their passive acceptance of the status quo, and neither will I be corralled into condemning the manager, or the team, or the club with vile and arrant nonsense based on illiterate, unintelligible and puerile filth.

    I am in no one’s ‘camp’. I am a free thinking, passionate and committed Gooner, who does not need anyone’s permission to support my club and my team!

    I invite you to join me — come and be in my camp!!! 😛

  24. Red Arse says:

    My comments are either so brilliant there is nothing to question (unlikely), 🙂 or so boring no one cares to discuss them with me! (highly likely). 🙂

    Either way, I am off to find someone to chat to, who is not blinded by my brilliance, or rendered comatose by the banality of my musings, before word gets out!! 🙂


    I totaly agree with you Redders. it takes courage to see both sides of an argument and at times wins you no friends.

    I of course do not have this problem.i openly admit to been an evangelical nutter. Ime one stop short of going to the next game with a placard. hahaha

  26. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hahaha Redders, I am 100% in your camp and have been for quite some time! Very well written comment and on a more “intellectual” and “reasonable” blog like BK, we’ve seen more of the evangelical approach to Arsenal’s failures, where as a blog for the masses like JA has seen more of the vilified approach. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to understand that a supporter can have their own opinion; there’s a constant need for other fans to try and disprove their points and show that for some ridiculous reason that they’re the “superior” supporter because they have unwavering faith in an under performing club.

  27. GonnABayern says:

    cool article friend. 🙂

    >I still believe that playing Theo and Giroud together up-front is our strongest
    >option currently, as their combined strength could become a force to reckon with

    Sorry i’m not into Arsenals insights… Arsenal played what… a 4-1-4-1? An indeed very brave and ambitious lineup against Bayern. Is Arsenal often using this tactical formation? ’cause i always thought that only Spaniards can use this tactical formation on the long run successfully. 😉

    Btw talking ’bout needing good DM’s i’ve read in some German papers during the Arsenal-Bayern build up, that Arsenal is on Luiz Gustavo for 2013/2014… in case it is of any interests:


  28. GoonABayern says:

    cool article friend. 🙂

    >I still believe that playing Theo and Giroud together up-front is our strongest
    >option currently, as their combined strength could become a force to reckon with

    Sorry i’m not into Arsenals insights… Arsenal played what… a 4-1-4-1? An indeed very brave and ambitious lineup vs. Bayern. Is Arsenal often using this tactical formation? ’cause i always thought, that only Spaniards can use this tactical formation and play it on the long run successfully.

    Btw talking ’bout needing good DM’s: i’ve read in some German papers during the Arsenal-Bayern build up, that Arsenal is on Luiz Gustavo for 2013/2014… u know more?

  29. glic says:

    Unless there are any ex-professional footballers on here, I doubt any of us know what happens on a training pitch.
    I will hazard a guess though, that if you went to Clungechester and Arsenal training grounds you wouldn`t see much difference in repetition of training techniques. Being that players come and go between clubs, there are going to be no secrets on the training field.
    In all the teams I played for, none were any diffferent from another and to tell the truth a lot of it was a waste of time !. The biggest difference has always been simple hard graft and work. Myself and Oz have preached many a time the need for stamina fitness, if you had a team of players with Mo Farah`s fitness, the trophy cabinet would be fuller. Everyone seems to be saying the Munchies looked fitter than us, well, it doesn`t take a genius like me to work out, lets work on the fitness !.
    Fat Sam walked into Upton Park and the first thing he said was the players weren`t fit enough. Clichy went to Man City and said the training was harder to make them fitter !.
    Guess what, you dont need Abramobitches billions to make you fitter !.

    Personally, I never expected to win a thing for at least 10 years when we moved stadiums and would have moved the goal posts even further had I known the likes of City and Chavs were going to come along and dope the game, only the introduction of FFP has kept me thinking all the hard work will be rewarded in the next few years.
    It`s not down to being positive that we will be competing in the next few years, it`s down to using all the information and facts we have at our disposal.
    We have done the hard stuff with the move, TV money, future sponsorships are being put in place, regulations have been brought in to nullify the financial doping cheats, we have some great young talent tied down. Like I said , Is it fair that someone else takes over and takes all the credit for all the hidden hard work that went on previous.
    This summer AW will have his easiest TW ever with no pressure to sell, just cherry pick some of the top talent and in the season 2014-15 it would have all gelled together !.

    In glic we trust !. hahaha

  30. Highbury Harmony says:


    Very fair and well balanced comment. For what it’s worth, I actually wasn’t quoting you about the possibility of winning in 2014-15 my friend 🙂 (it looks like it’s correlated but I’ve seen others mention it on other blogs).

    You’re right that we don’t know what goes on in the training grounds, but clearly there’s a disconnect if all the training sessions are similar across all clubs. Either we’re not working on the right areas or the players we have are not absorbing what is being taught. That’s a serious concern for me because it means either 1) the coaching staff is clueless, 2) the players are clueless or the more worrying 3) the players have become immune to the coaching staff and they’ve lost their touch with the squad.

    Also, you are the least of my concerns, your positivity never interferes with others’ opinions and you simply maintain it as your own. At least you are willing to fully admit that you never expected to win anything for 10 years since the stadium move, where as others continuously say year after year that this is the year, we were just unlucky, I know we’ll win something next year. At some point, there has to be a realization that it’s not a matter of luck, but a matter of a lack of quality in both the squad and coaching.

    Going forward, if AW makes it to the TW then it will be the first true test to see if he can bring in the personnel to move us into true contention. If he still fails after this summer without the financial constraints that have held him back in the past, then I think it’s clear that he’s lost his grips with acquiring talent and coaching a football club. There’s nothing wrong with voicing disappointment and displeasure with this club, because our losses have been a recurring theme for years and 4th place cannot forever be a long-term goal for a “top” club.

  31. glic says:

    Hi Double H 🙂

    Top 4 or not top 4, this summer is going to be the most exciting sales ever !, more exciting than when I queued outside the ” Pound Store ” for their Mega January Sale !.

  32. glic says:

    I must admit that with all the ” Arsene / Arsenal bashing going on lately, this summers TW will either make him or break him imo. Fair enough most people think we are desperate for a DM and most seem to want Capoue, but if we do not buy a player of outstanding talent as in ……Isco, Neymar, Falcao etc, then other than a big trophy win, I dont think AW will not last longer than his current contract of 2014.

  33. ahahah .! kcolrehS tihs oN

  34. The Gooner says:

    Glic, I must concur that if the desired results are not achieved next season, i.e. be in serious contention for the PL title, domestic cup competitions or Europe, then AW’s contract will not be extended past the summer of 2014. He should well know by now that we’re in dire need of an outstanding talent to bring us to the next level. You can see the player unrest and that our top quality players (Santi and Jack) are a little frustrated by the lack of other top quality players around them.

    I know many have stated that our best combination in attack is by playing Giroud and Theo up front together for the rest of the season. However, the key word is “for the rest of the season”. I maintain that it’s more effective for us to have one stone that can kill two birds, opposed to two stones that can kill two birds. A world-class striker would certainly relieve some of that pressure and would allow us to line up a more effective front three if he had all four of pace, clinical finishing, strong link-up play and the ability to hold the ball up. I’d rather our winger focus more on delivery and wing play than assuming the major burden of scoring goals as well. I still think Giroud will play an integral role in our team down the road, but I’ve always felt he’s the ideal super sub to bring on in games (much like Dzeko for $hitty).

  35. Highbury Harmony says:

    Also, I think Falcao and Cavani are well out of our reach; by that I mean out of AW’s desired price range, not out of the club’s financial reach. There are too many holes in the current squad and we’d be better off long-term investing the cash across a few positions than just one.

    For example:

    Fernando Amorebieta – sign on a free. Think Mertesacker with more pace, aerial ability and better ability on the ball.

    Martin Stekelenburg – £5 million. We need a veteran back-up keeper to push Szczesny, has a history of being a fantastic keeper for Roma, he’s hungry for first team football and can adequately fill in, in case of injury or poor form.

    Jovetic, Lewandowski, Reus – £20-25 million. Any one of these would give us more versatility up front and would be an out and out striker that offers more pace, ability on the ball and consistent finishing than Giroud. Lewandowski is much better at holding the ball up and is very effective when playing with his back to the goal, while Jovetic and Reus are much faster and both have more ability on the ball (than Lewa and Giroud), but are not as good aerially and at holding up the play.

    Capoue, Wanyama, Rode – £8-12 million. Again, the need for a beast and true DM has been well documented and no further explanation is needed. I think the rumoured prices we saw in January will ultimately drop a bit in the summer window when more players become available, aka clubs are not fighting for CL and Europa berths or to avoid the relegation zone.

    In sum, that would roughly be the same amount of money we spent last summer, the only difference being that we’ll hopefully not see any departures in respect to significant players. Arshavin, Squillaci and Fabianski will be off the books, while we can always hope that Djourou, Chamakh, Park and Santos will be re-loaned or signed by another club.

  36. glic says:

    Yes HH
    Get Reus and Wellendowedski and I`d be happy, but the rumours are Clungechester and the Munchies want Wellendowedski.

    As per usual, I was shat in my pants too scared to watch the game last night, so I dont know what formation we played, but going on Nik`s post about possession, I said to my son before the game started that I wanted us to play 4-5-1 to crowd out the midfield, hopefully getting a win and not conceding, but with a 0-0 being fine and putting the pressure on to the Munchies having to achieve a result in their own back yard. !. What formation was it ?.

  37. VCC says:

    glic 19:21.

    A losing one

  38. glic says:

    Ahhh Vic`s, I thought you might have topped yourself after the second Cup defeat in a week !. If we lose or draw against Villa I may join you !. hahaha

    My UMF predictions are :

    The Orc`s

    Erectile Dysfunctioners

    Alice in Sunderland

    Where Total van Klompenstein lives

    Querulous Painfull Rectum

    All to win.

  39. VCC says:

    cheers GLiC.. Your always the first entry. Your my hero. XXX

    Correct buddy, I’m pretty pissed off with Arsenal at the moment. I really thought Theo would have done more for the team. He was somewhat useless. Giroud could have put us back into it and possibly made a difference if he had put the ball either side of the keeper. Considering the goal is 8 yards wide you would have thought it possibly for a striker ??????

    Not a happy bunny.

    Where are those photos you were going to send me of the love shack?

  40. VCC says:

    glic. can you ckeck your selections out please. Your odds are 6-1 ????????

  41. Gerry says:

    glic – on the subject of fitness – There was an interview with one of the German coaches on ESPN a few days ago, and he was saying something along the lines ‘ That most top teams do between 90-105kms per match – i assume he meant collectively – so they trained to do 120kms. …. and if you can get possession back after a turnover within the first 8-10secs you can save about 2km each time’

    It was a good interview, but I cannot remember who the coach was, or even if I got the figures exactly right …. My excuse was I was doing something else at the time ..
    So I think you are on a winner there?

    Off to see how the Milan – Barca match is progressing. ..

    Redders – Surely being in ‘your camp’ restricts my independent thinking too? I am not opposed to people having the opposite views, only I do dislike things put forwards as ‘facts’ which are plainly untrue. But then I’ll nit pick with the best of them ..

    Catch you in the morning .. nite all

  42. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milan showing Arsenal how to defend against a top, top club. Great showing by them so far, they’ve even looked the more dangerous team on attack too!

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH, fine comment at 16.43 🙂

    I would not have MC in your second group, or even third group, unless you were measuring financial might.

    Milan are impressive indeed in terms of discipline and game plan – it is killing the football on display but only a few can play footie against Barca.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders at 16.37 🙂

    Very sensible comment and I hope you feel free to express yourself as you wish on Bergkampesque, where love for the club and truth are made to match as much as possible.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    GoonABayern, hi.

    We usually play 4-2-1-3, and yes on occasions it looks like 4-1-4-1. I would prefer us to play 4-4-2 with both Theo and Giroud up-front, as one has speed, a good touch and quite clinical in front of goal and the other is strong, good in the air and not bad in producing assists.

    Arsenal are constantly linked with players, as it means journalists can earn a living, but thanks for the info.

    Oh and well done Bayern yesterday: this could be your year in which you will keep Die Lederhosen above the knees! 🙂

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Messi is looking messy tonight…

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    In Glic we trust hahaha 🙂

    Good read Glixter, you should write a post about this stuff matey! 🙂

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes he is total, and Barcelona play as crap as their outfits tonight!

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh yes, they are awful Total: what do they think they are: ice lollies? 🙂

    I reckon Fabregas ain’t winning the CL this season either.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Should never have left Total, never have left..

  51. Highbury Harmony says:

    What is going on? TA, are you having a conversation with yourself?

  52. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, I put Manchester $hitty in that second group because they did win the PL title last year and were unfortunate to be grouped with Real, Dortmund and Ajax in the CL group of death this year. They also still beat us this year, so where would that leave us? Surely, they’re at least in the third tier, or else we’d be nowhere to be seen!

  53. glic says:

    Vic`s, I make my odds 899-1, I know, not down to my usual low standards of over a thousand to one, but I am running away with it at the bottom !.
    As for the photo`s, I`m going to send you them all in one go at the end, which hopefully wont be too long. It will tell a better story in a montage of pictures!. The timber frame has started production and should be arriving soon !.

  54. VCC says:

    Sorry G:iC, I don’t know what happened there. I thought it was funny, so low for you.

    Checked it out with Bet Victor and your odds are = 1314-1

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH,

    Yes I was having a conversation with myself as nobody was around hahaha 🙂

    I see where you are coming from re MC. I rather look at clubs historically, as per the last 10 years or so.

  56. glic says:

    Poor old Vic`s like a lot of gooners is down in the dump`s after the second Cup defeat in a week . It got me thinking, apart from the obvious Final losses, which we seem to suffer too often ( our last three finals have all ended in 2-1 defeats, what we after, synchronised final defeats ? ) , which game has really pissed you off ?.
    Mine isn`t even a defeat like the 8-2 Manu embarrassment, they`re actually draws and it`s hard to pick a winner , but the 4-4 draws against the Spuds and Newcastle really had me cursing !, as I once said before, the Newcastle one had me flat on the floor screaming, kicking and punching like a 5 year old spoilt brat, my wife was so embarrassed as I was in the chiller aisle in Tesco`s at the time !.
    Thjer`s probably been loads of others, but they are the two that stick in my mind from recent years !. What`s your`s for losing your cool ?.

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, there are too many games that pissed me off over the years. The loss against the Mancs ending our unbeaten run whilst being allowed by the ref to be kicked off the pitch by them. That FA cup semi-final when DB missed a penalty and Giggs scored the winner. Most losses away to Stoke, the Bradford loss, the Blackburn loss this week, the loss/elimination away to Liverpool for the CL, etc etc etc.

    The 4-4 draw against Newcastle did not bother me that much. Sometimes these things happen.

  58. glic says:

    Forgot about when God missed the penalty and Manu went on to win the treble……damn you God !.
    Oh and that CL away to the bindippers, a draw would have put us through ! and the CL Chav loss……..I`m now glad JT shagged Bridge`s WaG, he deserved it !.

    Being 4-0 up against Newcastle and throwing it away just seemed to get to me !

    Arsenal I love you…….but sometimes I f**king hate you !. hahaha

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    I know what you mean Glic. But that is football and the good memories surely outshine the dark side! hahaha

  60. glic says:

    Night Bastardos ! hahaha

  61. glic says:

    For us yes Totes, but unlikely if you are a Spud !. hahaha

  62. Milo says:

    I’m with glic on this one…I don’t want someone else to come in and take credit for all the hard work Wenger has put in to helping the club form a solid foundation for years to come.
    I was against the stadium move simply for the fact that I took pride in Highbury, but seeing as we did it, I too didn’t expect us to compete for trophies immediately…

    What do you guys think of Dein coming back??? Speculation is, that if Wenger signs a new contract, he wants his old mate back…what do you think??? I don’t remember too much about him leaving…He went behind everyone’s back, but I think it might be time to bring him back from the cold…he hasn’t said ONE bad word about the club since his departure, and I think he has realized his mistakes, if he even made any of them. Back when he left I didn’t really follow all of the boardroom activities that I do now…so many of you would know more about the situation than me. What is your opinion???

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Milo

    I would welcome it. We need somebody who understands our club on a senior level and can help with both getting the right sort of players again and bridge the gap between the fans and the BoD. Still would like Gazidis to stay, but maybe concentrate on commercial dealings….

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