Arsenal's home record continues to suck.

November 21, 2010 29 Comments by Sian

I never was able to write an essay plan. I’d always go walk into exams at school going full steam ahead with no clue as to what I was going to say. With these blogs, on the other hand, there’s usually some kind of mental mind map going on before I start.

But you know what, I got A*s at school and thus far have no awards for this blog so maybe today, the fact I have NO IDEA what to say is not such a bad thing.

So yesterday was the North London Derby. Two teams who play their home matches almost walking distance apart. If you’re in fairly good shape, anyway. It had been billed as being yet another snoozefest given the Manchester derby that took place a couple of weeks back. We all know that deep in our hearts we were hoping it’d be more like the North-East version that ended 5-1 to Newcastle Halloween weekend.

In the first half it looked as though that could be the case, Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh putting us two up and setting the pace for what looked to be showing signs of another day where everything just goes right. The atmosphere was good (not as good as it has been, but good), the players were linking up well, we were defending solidly and the match was obviously not going to be one of those matches in which we just can’t score.

We were absolutely killing them. Even Gareth Bale, the Arsenal fan who is also the Best Player in the World Ever, couldn’t get near the goal, can you imagine that?

Then came half time. I don’t even want to know what happened in either dressing room because whatever did obviously worked for them and didn’t for us. Thierry Henry was in attendance and had apparently met the boys off the bus when they arrived at the stadium. We were all saying that if that didn’t gear them up for the match, nothing would. Maybe he should have given the half time talk. He gets it, he always did. He always will.

Unfortunately, the second half yesterday proved to us that few of the others actually do. Tottenham were better in the second half, sure. Nothing special though. It was us who was at fault. We crumbled like a big mountain of really crumbly stuff. Cake, if you will.

Bale scored first. Then Van der Vaart took a freekick that bounced off Cesc’s hand, winning Spurs a penalty. Van der Vaart took it. Van der Vaart scored it. Then Squillaci scored for us to put us 3-2 up. But it was offside. RvP came on with Walcott and Rosicky maybe in an attempt to throw the kitchen sink at them too. But it failed.

In the boys’ defence, in spite of really letting ourselves drop after the first goal, we kept going after 2-2, making some great chances that were either inexplicably missed or inexplicably saved. And then the beast that is Kaboul headed in their winner in something like the 85th minute (is it obvious that I was at the match but have tried to avoid any replays?)

And there you have it, Tottenham’s first win at the Emirates and their first win against us at home in the Premiership in 17 years, apparently. Something like that. I suppose it was due, after all. Nice one boys. Enjoy the DVD. Can’t have any complaints Arsenal’s end, we shouldn’t have played like it was over at 2-0. They wanted it more than us. Third home loss of the season. Bloody brilliant.

There ends the focus on Tottenham. I had a record number of comments on my last Tottenham blog and while some fans put forth some good points, most were just out to give me abuse. The part that offended me the most is that most of it was spelt wrong as well. So I can’t be arsed today. The rest will focus on Arsenal.

Or it would, if I knew what to say. Three defeats at home now. What the buggering hell are you doing? Against Newcastle, fans who aren’t a part of the home crowd were all riled up with their ”Blame the home crowd” anger. We can’t be blamed this time. We wanted it a bloody sight more than the players did.

The most easy thing to pinpoint would be the mentality. And the intelligence… you get the feeling that, though we love them, some of our players just aren’t very bright. They don’t understand that a match is not over when you’re 2-0 up at half time, ESPECIALLY in a derby in which the opposition is going to exploit any weakness they can. You can say what you like about non-English players not understanding English rivalries, which I think sometimes is a fair argument, though just how much Thierry for instance GETS it, kind of disproves this theory. But at the end of the day, they’re all professionals. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, they should understand that in order to win, no matter who it is, you need to bloody try!

It’s no good looking lost and sad at the end when it’s blatantly obvious that if you’d given it a bit of welly, you’d not be looking lost and sad because you’d be too busy celebrating your deserved win.

I just despair of this lot at times. They can be so brilliant and so magnificent… and then other times you look at (some of) them and think “Oh, you massive twat!”

People are blaming Wenger for not instilling them with the correct winning mentality. Fair enough, some of the blame does have to land at Wenger’s door. Calling for his head though? If you’re one of these people, please PLEASE leave me a comment below with an idea of who you’d like to replace him. And don’t you dare say Mourinho. This is something I’ve heard from a couple of people. So he could come along, shake us up, win us a trophy then bugger off as is the Mourinho Way? So we could have a season of it all being about one man? So we could take Chelsea’s former manager and give him a little go for a while? I’d sooner Ricky Tomlinson.

Cesc being stripped of the captaincy is another gem I’ve heard. Yeah, Vermaelen might make a decent replacement but do we even know when he’s coming back? Cesc ballsed up yesterday with the handball but he is often the only player on the team with a desire to win anything. Yes, he’s only 23. But he also happens to have won a European Championship AND a World Cup. Anyone else in the squad able to claim that? Surely if your argument is that we don’t know how to win trophies, Cesc more than ticks that box.

After the previous two home defeats, I said they needed a kick up the arse. Well, yesterday should have been the mother of all arse-kicks. Only trouble is, it’ll probably work… until next time.

I STILL hold the belief we’re going to win something, especially when Chelsea keep dropping points and Manchester United keep showing such tosh football. Remember how we felt on 29th November 2009, 11 points off the top. We are now two off the top, even after yesterday.

Question is, do the players actually understand that? Do they understand that in order to capitalise on other teams’ shortcomings, they need to… I don’t know, lengthen their own shortcomings. Or, you know, do something that would make that sentence make sense.

You can probably tell from the quality of writing that yesterday blew my mind completely, as it did all of us. No one saw it coming. Arsenal really and truly shocked us by messing up. We’ve got Braga away on Tuesday. We need to show up there because we still need to qualify thanks to the fact we arsed up the Shakhtar Donetsk match away.

We need a massive performance from the boys. We need to show signs that we do know how to win and that more importantly we do WANT to win. Is that really so flaming hard?

28 Comments

  1. Helen
    2463 days ago

    After yesterday’s arrogant post, I hope you enjoy your sunday lunch with a large portion of humble pie.

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2463 days ago

      Not entirely sure who you’re thinking of but I last posted on 15th November. Which wasn’t yesterday. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment anyway.

      Reply

  2. Ankush
    2463 days ago

    In the first half, when our players were trying to slow down the game by strolling with the ball, doing absolutely nothing, Pat Rice and Arsene were furious at the touchline. So people claiming that Arsene is not instilling the correct mentality in the squad are totally out of their mind. Despite of this fact, there was a clear drop of intensity in our game in the second half.

    For the first goal, Sagna was completely ball-watching instead of tackling Van der Twat. Result was The World’s Greatest scored. How much I hated that moment..Ideally after that goal, someone should have rallied our players and egged them to play for the third goal. During his interview with BBC, Cesc was asked if they beat their chest and go out for the match as if it was war and he replied, giggling, that Arsenal is more European. Well that says it all, someone other Cesc should be given that role because it’s not his personality..enough said.

    I’m very disappointed from our collective performance. People claiming Koscielny is shit and Chamakh is dumb are again knobheads because these guys have been good till now. In the hindsight, it is very easy to criticize. Our team was good enough to beat Spurs on any given day, just not yesterday.

    Reply

  3. Trugun
    2463 days ago

    Hi,
    Like you I was at the game yesterday, when you say no-one saw it coming, I don’t agree I was confident we’d do the norm but lots of people I spoke to before the game were not of the same opinion due to the totaly crap show against west brom and the joke against newcastle. Cesc, some things need to be clarified with him, is he with us or not? I don’t see the Cesc of last season and I don’t buy the injury thats not an injury B.S. I watch the team from the North Stand and they don’t look right if anything they look disinterested no fight no committment nothing. People calling for Wenger to go are to my mind mad, what concerns me with him is that he says he cannot understand why they are not playing well, to me that says things are not right in the dressing room and it needs sorting pretty darn quick .

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2463 days ago

      @Trugun I agree with you on the comment about the dressing room. With regard to them shocking us, I meant that they shocked us by losing the lead so easly. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be an easy match.

      Reply

  4. Red Arse
    2463 days ago

    Chin up, a Girl,

    You continue to write well and passionately.

    The thing is we are still only 2 points off the top and it is still all to play for this season.

    What is hurting us gooners is that we gave the Spuds a footballing lesson in the first half and led 2:0 at HT.

    To allow a fairly poor Spurs team to come back so well, in the 2nd half, was down to complacency, a questionable refereeing decision and a mad penchant for playing attacking football and getting caught on the break (Bale’s goal), when we were comfortably winning.

    A cruel, chastening but hopefully valuable lesson!

    Reply

  5. goonergerry
    2463 days ago

    Before the game I didn’t think we would do well- too many players away- tired-or coming back from injuries- Nasri can never play 3 games in a week. Arshavin is not fit, Cesc- away in Portugal- jaded as a result of the WC- Chamakh tired is being over-used because our other strikers have long term injuries-which will take weeks to overcome. There were a few successes- Song was one and Denilson was another- but with him the blend is wrong- Song, Fabregas, Denilson does not work- they are too small especially at set pieces.
    Koscielny has never faced this kind of intensity- and Squilacci for all his Spanish experience will also not have experienced this kind of physical challenge. My conclusion-that we were likely to run out of steam and once we ran out of steam we could be in trouble- and we were- especially against the hysterical spuds backed by a desperate Gallas- who like Kaboul played a blinder.
    Will be interested to see how they do next week.

    Reply

  6. Alan
    2463 days ago

    I’m mystified by yesterday. I don’t understand how a mediocre Tottenham side scored 3 times from 4 or 5 meaningful attacks, but they did – 3 points lost and that’s got to be down to individual mistakes and/or poor attitude. Thank heavens for Ben Foster. I hope doom and gloom descends on all those so-called Arsenal fans whose answer is to get rid of Arsene Wenger and, here’s the best bit, replace him with Mourinho – wankers!

    Reply

  7. Ibrahim
    2463 days ago

    We can not blame Wenger for this defeat. Wenger create a top side with minimum spending in the last years. The quality we have on the field can win the league. But no one can win without fighting, we did not fight in the second half.

    The table never lies, we are third, actualy we are two poins from the top. We can still take it. Everybody has a bad start because of the small difference in the level between most teams in the league.

    You can expect evey team (even from the big four) to drop points each game. Three or may be even two wins in a row can see us on the top of the table… But that is not the point. The point is What Wenger said; concentration until the final whistle ..

    I still believe we will win the league this year ..

    Reply

  8. Treez
    2463 days ago

    I still feel like someone has died! Usually reading your blog makes losing a game not feel so bad. You usually find something humorous to make light of the situation. There was nothing remotely humorous in what happened yesterday. I feel like most Arsenal fans – angry with them that they lost a 2-0 lead and frustrated by not being able to let them know how much losing to the Spuds hurts us. They’ll still get paid at the end of the month, so nothing will change for them.
    I don’t have any answers. All I know is to win the title they have to be able to hang on to a lead. Still a good blog, Sian. Subject matter 0.

    Still very disappointed.

    Reply

  9. ACC
    2463 days ago

    Good rational post, but our manager did not get this right at all! He took off arguably our best performers. Yes, Nasri was tired, but so what! This was a derby and if we won we would go top – the incentive doesn’t get much greater than that! However, when Walcott came on what were his instructions, such was his impact? And as for RVP, he did far less than the exhausted Chamakh who was replaced! And where was our passion? I don’t expect chest beating in the changing room before a game, but there was none – and that is down to the manager. This is nothing new and we have lost so many important games after dominating much of the play. Its’ excruciating! However, surely this also points to the fact that we just cannot go to the next level when we are lacking in the fundamentals such a driven leadership and the players raising their game in response! How can we fix this? Simples. Get Keown back in to show this team how to defend and then get him to demonstrate the passion needed to win a derby! Then, ship out anyone who doesn’t meet the grade or wants to leave. And if that means making some harsh decisions, so be it. So if whining Bendtner wants out – then send him on his way, now, and secure the services of a striker like Luis Suarez with the money. This football club is not a crèche! Suarez would be inspired and a perfect antidote to whether the enigma that is RVP will ever again explode into life. It would be an improvement as would the signing of a proper CB like Subotic. So why don’t we? Can it be that Wingers recent comments that our current team is the best he has ever worked simply means that he sees no need to make any improvements’? Is our current best eleven therefore better than the Invisibles’: – Cole, Campbell, Toure, Lauren, Gilberto, Freddie, Pires, Vieira, Bergkamp and Henry? If our manager thinks so, then frankly I just don’t see it. What do you think?

    Reply

  10. abbas
    2463 days ago

    I want to thank u coz u actually spoke what I might be unable to say.everytime we say we learn a lesson, a new one comes so how many lesson should we still learn till we graduate with a good note??I refer to” We”coz simplly”WE” ARE and will be together no matter what happens.even the worst fans ever that talked shit abt wenger or cesc etc didn’t say that they will go and support manc or chelsea…we r all in deep pain and angry.who said that angry is energy??let’s be angry and run like mad in games and damm finish these games when the ref says it is over.not in half time!!!!!!
    Please keep writing whether with a clue or not…it is correct.

    Reply

  11. Mark
    2463 days ago

    Good post, I think we are all mystified by the result yesterday and trying, but struggling, to find some sort of rational explanation for it

    Going in to an NLD with the chance of going top of the league (even if only temporarily) should be quite a big motivator in itself, making Arsene’s job before the game that bit easier, what could be better than stuffing the spuds to take you top ? We also had a strong squad available, bar the absence of TV5, so no excuses really

    It all started so, so well in the first half, Nasri played great and was involved in so much of our play, including the first goal from possibly the tightest ever angle, 2-0 at half-time, Spuds great hopes – Bale (world’s greatest) was invisible and VdV had had a frustrating first half, I actually commented that I could see him getting sent off later in the game as he looked so out of it. At this point I was buzzing, it couldn’t have gone better, this game was ours, but then……..

    The 2nd half started and almost immediately we looked a different team, to be fair it was hardly surprising that Spuds stepped up their game, judging from how shit they were in the first half and the bollocking they surely got from the twitcher at half-time, it wouldn’t even have surprised me if they got one back, but judging from our 1st half performance we were comfortably in control and out playing them and could get another 1 or 2 in the 2nd to finish them off. Nasri seemed to largely disappear until he was subbed in the 77th, probably due to him playing 90mins for France in possibly (for Arsenal & England supporters) the most pointless game ever played. Chamakh’s legs also seemed to go and he looked poor in the 2nd. The defensive frailties were also highlighted again.

    I’m not going to criticise any individuals and blame them for us losing this, I have done that in the past and they have later made me look a twat by putting in some top notch performances (think Fabianski !), I also don’t make rash statements in the heat of the moment just after losing, calm down first and look at it in the cold light of day. This has hurt everyone hugely and, make no mistake, it will hurt the players and Wenger just as much but, as it clear from other games (Newcastle…) something is clearly wrong and MUST change.

    By that, I do not mean Wenger going, I have seen several people saying that and they are frankly, fucking idiots, what replace him with Mourinho or Hiddink ? yeah sure, spend tens of millions buying big players to rebuild the team and destroy everything which Wenger has put in place. Would Wilshere have been given a chance at 18 with Mourinho or Hiddink in charge, would Cesc even at such a young age ? No chance.

    Similarly with Cesc and people blaming him, especially for the penalty or saying he shouldn’t be captain, what a bunch of dicks, you can’t praise somebody one minute and then slaughter them following one mistake. How many times has Cesc put in outstanding performances and largely carried the rest of the team ? How many times have we looked ordinary when he’s been injured ? Maybe Cesc isn’t a true natural leader in the form of Adams, Keown or even Viera but he’s been given the captaincy and does the best he can. I think that’s touching on one of the key things we miss in central defence – an organiser / leader.

    It’s clearly not due to lack of technical ability, when you see how we can play, but then too often at the moment this doesn’t happen. We find it difficult to kill off games and the reluctance to shoot at times can be very frustrating.

    So, despite everything, all the hurt, in Arsene We Trust……. but there are without doubt big problems which he needs to sort, quickly !

    Reply

  12. SUCK MY BALE
    2462 days ago

    i WOULD LIKE TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU TO THE NOMADS FOR TURNING UP YESTERDAY!

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2462 days ago

      @SuckMyBale (I see what you DID there!)

      Thank you for proving me right about the kind of Tottenham fans who’ll post here.

      Reply

  13. Rahul
    2462 days ago

    I just feel we keep playing like the sides from the first half of the sports movies hollywood turns up, say Miracle or Damned United. Sadly we never seem to be able to turn the tide. I think the captaincy is fine, we need someone who revs the guys up when we are struck by something like what Tottenham did. Cesc is, like he said in the interview with Theo, more European. Maybe we need some Englishmen to standup (not as captain but in general).

    Reply

  14. Suck my bale
    2462 days ago

    Upgrade the quality of your blog and attract higher class people then! We are football fans and have no brain! Yesterday was for the kind of arsenal fan that posts on your blog!! Just reading all you’d sorry troubles makes it all the more sweet! A bug fat raspberry to you xx

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2462 days ago

      Thank you for another comment and another hit to the site. Xx

      Reply

  15. Suck my bale
    2462 days ago

    No problem! Here’s another hit! I’ll make it three just like yesterday! Xxx

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2462 days ago

      All hits are good hits. Appreciate it. :)

      Reply

  16. Reznuk
    2462 days ago

    Thanks Sian for a lovely balanced blog, and I’m totally with you – one swallow does not a summer make, and one win or loss does not win or lose the title – the premiership is a marathon, not a sprint. Enough cliches?

    The only thing I would say apart from that is the crowd – we were up for it, making more noise than I’ve heard at home all season. But…. what happened when we fell back to 2-2? The crowd were not supportive, but were restless and negative (especially about mistakes). That loss was *not* the crowds *fault* but, when we should have been roaring our support to push them on were were silent, groaning and petulant, occasionally shouting “come ON Arsenal” in frustration. Think about fans such as Portsmouth’s singing their heads off while being beaten 4-0 – we didn’t match that level of support and I dare say would struggle to, at home at least.

    Reply

  17. Chilangooner
    2462 days ago

    While I agree with mostly everything you said, Cesc success with his national team doesn’t qualify him to be our captain, IMO. His age is something that at this moment is working against him. Yes, he has won the WC and the Euro. But his role in the Spain team is hardly that of leader. He’s hardly ever in their starting 11 unless it’s a friendly. While I do agree that there is noone else on the team that should get it, the fact aline that we have to rely on someone who, let’s be honest, might not be around for many more seasons is worrying. But the only solution to all these problems right now is for these players to play another game, and FAST. We need to put this behind us like a bad headache and allow Arsene to fix whatever is troubling this squad.I don’t understand the notion of axing him. He didn’t put Cesc’s hand up. He didn’t tell Bac to watch that ball bounce instead of clearing it. How does firing him right now make us better? No other manager in the world could do what he does with this team. If there’s people that think we are a bad team with him, they wull rue the day they have to find out what life is like without him. Onwards and upwards lads. Sorry for the long post but I like your blog and hope you don’t mind

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2462 days ago

      @ChilanGooner Of course not I love comments and a difference in opinion… particularly when it’s from someone with a few intelligent points to actually make :)

      Reply

  18. Chilangooner
    2462 days ago

    Note to self: proofread your post BEFORE posting said post. *smacks forehead*

    Reply

  19. Uncle K
    2462 days ago

    It’s attitude and sheer bloody mindedness that our defence needs.I like the Keown idea a lot.Can you remember the last time the C word let a 2.0 turn into a 2.3?..Neither can I.Get a grip,chaps.Great blog Siany.

    Reply

  20. Greg Theoharis
    2461 days ago

    Well, as a Spurs fan, firstly let’s just say we’re not all ignorant morons who spit bile and venom at your lot for no apparent reason other than you sharing London space with us.

    You did play well in the first half but hey, it looks like we’re finally getting over the self-inflicted inferiority complex we’ve had against you for too many years.

    As far as I can tell, Wenger didn’t get too much wrong….just out-thought on the day and we took advantage of your complacency. It happens. Enjoyably so this time…but swings and roundabouts and all that.

    (If you fancy a sane Spurs fan’s take on the game…check out my ramblings at Dispatches From a Football Sofa http://gregtheoharis.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/fans/)

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2461 days ago

      @GregTheoharis Thanks Greg, nice to be proven wrong sometimes! Between last night’s comments and some of the ones I got on the post-CC match blog, you can see why we’d have that impression. But I know others exist too. Congrats to your lot… For now!

      Thanks for the link, will have a butchers.

      Reply

  21. El Greco
    2461 days ago

    Good Blog, Siany – I think your comments are well balanced.
    As for me, this Arsenal team provides me the opportunity to practice a bit of blind faith….

    Reply

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