A rubbish blog from a confused girl.

September 18, 2011 30 Comments by Sian

Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Arsenal

How dark was yesterday? Given we’re used to absolutely car-crash-domino-effect-misthrown-knife-incident-gun-backfiring-wing-falling-off-heel-snapping catastrophes of stuff happening this season, it seemed it couldn’t get any worse than the 8-2 against Manchester United a few weeks ago.

Apparently, it could. Manchester United are good, currently top of the league and as I speak, beating Chelsea 3-1 this afternoon (bwa-ha-ha). Blackburn are not that good, not top of the league and… oh wait yeah, they beat us yesterday afternoon. In the first half of the match we looked as though our brand new purchased bulbs had been well and truly bedded in and that we were getting back to the Arsenal of the olden times.

We went 0-1 up in the first fifteen minutes and made Blackburn look like plonkers. Then they got one back, I forget how but I know that Yakubu scored it (didn’t watch Match of the Day, didn’t watch any highlights, if burying your head in the sand and ignoring the world is a bad thing then BABY I DON’T WANNA BE RIGHT). But still, we looked better than them.

I’m having to use the BBC Sport site for my facts as the official Arsenal site is either down and hiding in the sand like me, or my laptop is just a PMSing little cow at the moment. In all honesty, either is a strong possibility. Anyway, according to the Beeb, the key facts were that yesterday was our 100th Premier League away defeat ever. 95 of them have come in the past two seasons.

Also, we fielded an entirely ‘foreign’ team yesterday (that is, ‘not English’). I don’t see why this is in any way relevant… Real Madrid and Barcelona and AC Milan do that all the time.

But anyway, back to the match. Mikel Arteta gave us our lead back in the 34th minute with a strike that bounced in off the crossbar and has, for the past six years, never gone in ever. But yesterday it did, and a great goal it was too. Scored by a great looking man, it has to be said. We went into half time winning and on the better foot. Which was unsettling.

In the second half, basically, it all went to pieces. An own goal from Song in the 50th minute and then an own goal from Koscielny in the 68th sandwiched a second for Yakubu in the 59th. We did get one back through Chamakh in the 85th but it was too little, too late. Let’s take a quick look at the positives: good first half, Chamakh scored, no serious injuries, some good goals (and own goals) from us.

At this point, there is not a single point from which we can feel safe in a match. Going ahead? No, teams can still beat us after we go ahead (twice). Going behind? No, teams can still beat us (by six) after we go behind. Getting a penalty in the 147th minute? No, teams can still get one back if we get a penalty in the 147th minute. If we’re lucky (and I mean really lucky) we can salvage a draw from going four-nil up. But that’s only when we’re really, really lucky.

It’s difficult to know what to say when the situation is such a puddle of confusing pus. I don’t know the solution. Do you know the solution? Beyond ‘WENGER OUT!!!!!!11111′? I am now at the point of agreeing that he’s on thin ice here, but to take a word from someone else on Twitter (I forget… but I THINK it was @MikeN5, I’m sorry if I’m wrong)… I think the best way of guaranteeing we don’t finish in the top four would be to change managers.

If we’re still bedding in players, imagine trying to bed in a new manager into an office that has actually taken on the French shape of its former occupant, such is the length of time it has been occupied by said occupant? When people start talking about that kind of thing, it’s sand hat time again.

The people who copy and paste their ‘WENGER OUT’ comments to all the blogs (don’t think I haven’t checked), will probably vomit at this but instead of actually going insane, I’m going to put faith in the hope that we are still in pre-season. Which is no one’s fault but Arsenal’s fault. While it felt great making all those super-late purchases at the end of August, it is now showing on the pitch.

I did a little poll on Twitter after the match asking where people think we will finish in the league this season and the results were: 70% a top six finish, 20% top four, 5% top three (at least), and one person ‘Bottom half, definitely’.

I must have momentarily forgotten that we are the Arsenal, because when I read those I thought ‘Aw, look at you guys finally being all positive!’. But as it stands, it looks as though a top four finish would be bloody fantastic. I’m not sure exactly where we are now, but we’re below 15th at least. Now, if anyone knows that league standings this early in mean nothing, it’s a Gooner. We were top of the league in January a couple of seasons ago. And that was after having gone 11 points behind Chelsea just two months before. We finished third.

If you’re going to be optimistic, then maybe when we find our form we will keep it. It’s just a question of finding our form first. No doubt about it, there are other factors at work too. So. many. unlucky things have happened to us over the past 12 months. Freak injuries, freak goals, dodgy decisions (speaking of which, FK leading to the goal yesterday was debatable and another one of them was inches offside).

But that happens and you just have to believe that eventually that will happen to someone else and stop happening to you. Besides, there is of course an element of making your own luck. It would be nice if we could get to laugh at other people again. I’m fed up of telling people who I support and them laughing. Get to fuck, mate, I support the Arsenal!… is how I feel inside, but then you can almost understand why everyone finds us funny at the moment. If it was another team, I wouldn’t believe the things that are happening.

To look more specifically at the match again, the defending yesterday was… Well, it was. It did be. But it wasn’t defending that will win us anything. Sagna going off was a bit of a game-changer (again), and I don’t know what’s happened to Johan Djourou over the summer. Laurent Koscielny was blamed for the loss and world debt and poverty yesterday, which was funny given there were grown men wanting to marry him on the back of Tuesday’s performance in Europe. But then this may say it all. Where is the consistency?

I DON’T KNOW WHERE THE CONSISTENCY IS. I don’t know what else to write either as I am but a simple blogger. I’m going to stop talking here. I like to think that the roundabout comings and goings and hereings and thereings and upsidedownings of today’s blog entry somehow represent the mind of the club at the moment.

Unfortunately it’s not intentional, and I just don’t know what to say. We have Shrewsbury next. Let’s see what happens.

29 Comments

  1. Damien
    2224 days ago

    I blame Almunia. I think he imposed scars upon the team that have never healed, every game they continue to have flash backs and find it hard to recover.

    Anyway. Wenger has done a lot for the club and despite the complaints he has actually finished in a position that would be expected of him given the resources at his disposal or even higher. People presume we SHOULD compete with United for the title but that ignores the new Chelsea and new Man City. Wenger has done well, he is one of the most intelligent people in football and should stay.

    We will finish 4th. Liverpool showed that today whereas Spurs just have to weak a squad. Poor runs of form are a part of football. We will recover.

    Anyway I pretty drunk so hopefully all that made sense. I am gonna go to the Shrewsbury game and we gonna win and it’s all up from there.

    Reply

    • Damien
      2224 days ago

      ooo look! A picture of me appears when I post! HOW COOL IS THAT

      Reply

  2. The BearMan
    2224 days ago

    Our players need to go back to the class room, with a large black board, and discuss strategies and tactics. I truly believe they do not know what they are doing wrong.

    Going through a few drills on the training ground will not cure this defensive problem, nor simply discussing it on the playing field. The professor needs to take chalk in hand and point out every wrong positioning and show each player what is expected and what they are doing wrong. Then and only then can they go out on the training field and impliment the same.

    Can someone please let me know if Per Mertesacker can jump? 6’6, this lad should be winning most crosses with his head. We should be targeting him whenever he is in the oppositions box. A BiG let down for a German………

    Defense is not le Boss strengths! He needs help and should search the world to find the best defensive coach/coaches as he does with his hunt for wonderkids! Should anyone take a look at the under 18′s and the Reserves squads you will see the same defensive problem exists there likewise.

    Arsenal could look to buy defenders from all around the world, but unless they could be guided or schooled into the role they have to play it won’t make a blind bid of difference.

    Reply

  3. Rupert
    2224 days ago

    They need a damn good thrashing.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2224 days ago

      Hah, can’t really disagree with that.

      Reply

  4. Rich
    2224 days ago

    Calling for the sacking of Wenger akin to trying to treat a tumour with pain killers. The problem is the board. I mean jeeze! We have 2 billionær directors and we still behave like the chaps running Blackburn! Our marketting is non-existent, we spend more time suing small time businessmen than trying to compete in the market. We spend money on bottom-basement players and complain when they dont perform. The only way we think about raising a profit is by jacking up prices. We are the most expensive team to watch in the world! Going to the Emirates is akin to going to a posh restaurant and paying through the nose for a hotdog!

    Reply

  5. tom
    2224 days ago

    wenger out

    Reply

  6. Alex
    2224 days ago

    From 2-1 up at half-time, to 4-3 down at full-time, kinda sums it all up doesn’t it. Our defence is at rock-bottom, Koscielny hasn’t mentally recovered from the Carling Cup Final completely, Djourjou is all over the place.
    I’ll be going to the Emirates for Shrewsbury and Bolton, hopefully my current negativity will be dispelled with two positive performances from the team I love.
    Still think this season is Wenger’s last chance saloon though, if he doesn’t change, then sadly change will be made, only in the managerial area.

    Reply

  7. Musty
    2224 days ago

    Bearman,agreed, buy he’s got defensive coaches on he’s fkin doorstep,don Howe offered hes services for free, steve boulds there, and did u know, Martin keown was there but because he swore at senderos during training after he fucked up they (wenger) fucked I’m off,pathetic….hate saying it,but thanx for the memories arsene.. But time to go …

    Reply

  8. Tony Lane
    2224 days ago

    Worst start in Arsenal history,
    Worst loss in over 100 years.
    Worst goal difference in the league.
    4 goals conceded against the bottom club.
    Terrible cheap, insufficient, panic deadline-day buys.
    Profit on summer transfer dealings. AGAIN!!!
    Change of manager needed. Change of board needed. ASAP.

    Reply

  9. Gogsy
    2224 days ago

    Always worth dropping by to hear your thoughts. Quality as always.

    It’s a tough situation and I can’t bring myself to watch all the match highlights after hearing teh match on the radio because I know how the story ends.

    As I said yesterday on Arse2Mouse, I don’t believe that AW, an intelligent and analytical man, suddenly becomes stupid overnight. I’m hopeful he can sort it out.

    I’m reminded of Liverpool when they lots their way a few years ago. Lots of money spent and top managers in and out, but they aren’t much better than they were as a result.

    One thing that has been missed in all of this is Sir Alex at Man U. I know, I know, but he is beginning to look very smart just now, staying at the top amongst all of the changes that have gone on in football.

    However, what people seem to forget is that a few years ago he declared his retirement when things where not always going totally for Man U — they were still doing v well, but not quite up to their standards. Everyone said he had lost it, time to move on, thanks very much and all that.

    His “last year” was mediocre for them, so he decided to fight on becasue he wanted to go out on a high. Now look at them. People forget. There’s a chance that AW could do the same. I hope so.

    Reply

  10. Damien
    2224 days ago

    In all seriousness it’s time the fans made a decision to either get Wenger out or back him.

    I think we owe it too him to back him to the tilt. I mean serious backing so when he next comes out we let it be known to him, to the team and to the media that Wenger has our support. We rally around the manager that has given us so much all those years.

    I like to hope that is the club we are.

    Reply

  11. Akshay
    2224 days ago

    WENGER OUT!!!!!111111

    Well, not really. But for me, we haven’t been defensively sound since the 2006 season. :\
    There is something fundamentally wrong with our defense. There is no spatial awareness, our defense and fans alike shit bricks when the opposition has a set piece. Why is that inspite of having a 6 foot 4 inch monster in our defense?! It is because we know that even if we had Fabio Cannavaro of 2006 with us we would still ship goals by the dozen!

    Forget the tiki taka and ball retention training for a while. Focus on hard tackles, on organisation and synchronisation of the back 4, on calling and coming out to grab the ball at the right time and ensure that we have a rock solid defense.

    As they say, defense is the first line of offense, or something like that.

    Reply

    • Paulo
      2220 days ago

      you’re not wholly wrong there

      Reply

  12. ex-pat gooner
    2224 days ago

    There is no point in looking backwards and criticising now. Nothing really to be gained from it. We have to look forwards. And the club has to work out a way to improve. I personally believe the personnel are good enough to have gotten a result on Saturday. The fact that they didn’t after a relatively positive game in the CL means that the continual problems that have dogged the team for years are still there. Wenger has had years to get this right and has consistently failed to do it. If he had some personal magic wand to wave to get the players focused and upbeat then by now he would have waved it. Nothing he says to the players is going to make much difference now. Just as we’ve all heard the same quotes from him in his press conferences you can bet the players also play ‘Wenger popular Sayings’ bingo. So the club has to add something different to the mix. Personally I think sacking Wenger is the wrong thing to do at this point but we simply cannot continue to go on this way because nothing will change. A couple of good results then a set back. Then a couple of good results then another set back. Repeat until dead. What’s the solution ? Bring in a defensive coach ? Sports Psychologist ? Hypnosis ? Changing of training techniques (EG GG’s offside training) or something else ? I don’t know. Maybe all of them. But if nothing else if something different is thrown into the mix at least some of the players might start to think “Hey maybe they’re actually trying to fix something here” and that might just might nudge the confidence levels out of the Mariana trench. Otherwise they will know what’s going to happen just as well as we do…

    Reply

  13. Maz
    2224 days ago

    the key facts were that yesterday was our 100th Premier League away defeat ever. 95 of them have come in the past two seasons.

    95 in past two seasons…how? Only 20 away games in a season

    Reply

    • Sian
      2224 days ago

      I had assumed that people would know this and thus get that it was a joke… :)

      Reply

  14. Treez
    2224 days ago

    Judging by the responses you have had so far, nobody else knows the answer to our current woes. I’m somewhere between the ‘damn good thrashing’ and the ‘bring in Martin Keown’ brigade.
    I still think AW is the man for the job because I can’t think of anyone else available and I think a new manager at this stage of the season would be the best way to the delegation zone.

    Maybe we should invent some kind of ‘anti win-bonus scheme’ – a financial sanction for losing. These days it seems money is all that matters to the players and maybe that would motivate them.

    At the moment we seem to be going backwards. Very disappointing.

    Luckily we have your blog which gives us a positive spin on things.

    Reply

  15. Treez
    2224 days ago

    You know I meant ‘relegation’. Right?

    Reply

  16. Alan
    2224 days ago

    I’m confused too, bird. There appear to be some serious internal problems to allow such Jekyll & Hyde performances as Saturday’s to happen. The answer, however, can’t be to sack AW without a good replacement at such a critical time.

    Reply

  17. Glasgow_Gooner
    2224 days ago

    Great blog, full of life :)

    This season so far has been a total mind f*ck……..Starting wth an awful summer (Cesc’s departure is still a cause of much darkness & anxiety in the pit of my stomach….Is anyone else insanely jealous watching him in consistently top form at Barca?) We have gone from corner turningly good on Tuesday and the 1st half at Ewood to spirit crushingly bad in the 2nd.

    I do believe we will turn it around, basically because as a gooner, I simply have to.

    Reply

  18. Goona
    2224 days ago

    We must play young Chamberlain as that boy would bring us more goals while tearing defences apart with his speed giving us lots of free kicks outside the area with juicy penalties.thrown in. We’d certainly score more goals from his contribution that’s for sure and why Arsene can’t see this at this moment in time I just don’t know..
    Bring the lad on asap I say! young as he is could be our saviour this season…….

    Reply

  19. irishgary
    2224 days ago

    Sian what can I say, I watched the entire match and I was on the edge of my seat for all of it. It was wide open, end to end stuff for the most part. If we had won it, we would have claimed it to be one of the most exciting matches in a very long time. Our defending is getting slated but if you were to watch it yourself you will see that every time we lost the ball in their half, they counter-attacked and guess what? We had nobody in midfield!! That for me is the real problem. Our 4-3-3 formation leaves us wide open in the middle of the park. Or 4-1-2-2-1 or whatever it seems to be. How many times have we all sat there and watched as our players line up along the edge of the box, all passing it back and forth with no idea how to break the defense? As for crosses, corner kicks and free kicks, we must be the worst in the league when it comes from scoring from them and defending them!! I do not know why we insist on playing a 4-3-3, or some variation of, if at the same time our corner backs are flying forward at every opportunity. Who is covering? AA? Pfft!! Theo? Again Pfft!! AW has to start playing with the formation depending on the teams we are playing on the day. Faith in your team is one thing, blind faith is quite another when you are the manager.

    I do not feel AW should be sacked but if this season turns out to be a disaster then he should step down. He has the ability to turn this around but does he have the humility? That is something I would question. Anyways, a tough and ugly start to our season but there are 33 more games to go so all is not lost.

    Sian, when you are asked who you support you should smack any fucker who gives you shit as they fully deserve it. Keep your head out of the sand girl, otherwise how else could you keep writing our favorite blog? :) COYG!!!!

    Reply

  20. Clock End Mike
    2223 days ago

    Confused? Me too! But I thought your blog made a lot of sense, all the same — at least, you said a lot of the things I’m feeling, and better than I could have done.

    I’m not going to comment on last Saturday. But like many of the others who’ve commented on your blog, I still support the boss, I don’t believe it would solve anything to start looking elsewhere. He knows the problems, he’s better qualified and probably better equipped to find the solution than anyone.

    But I’ve thought for some time (2-3 years?) that we needed a new defensive coach, and I’m throwing my support behind the campaign to enlist someone like Martin Keown or Lee Dixon onto the Gunners’ staff (or Tony Adams? not sure…) Now is the time, when we have some defenders who look as if they should be able to do the job, but really need some help to get them organised (how much have we missed Vermaelen again so far this season!).

    I’m still optimistic about this season. And I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Gooner — I’ve seen worse times than this. Whole seasons that have disappointed, seasons when it was our ambition to make the top half of the League. So of course I’m still supporting the team, from the manager down to the reserves. Everyone who wears a red shirt deserves our support.

    COME ON YOU REDS!

    Reply

  21. irishgary
    2223 days ago

    Clock End Mike – Martin Keown was there before and left, I cannot see him going back again. Tony Adams is managing a team in Uzbekistan(?) as part of his own plan in developing into a better manager, I would imagine he might see it as a backwards step coming back to Arsenal to only take on defensive duties. I am not sure about Lee either but that is only because I do not know if he has any experience coaching and that is what we need, an experienced defensive coach. I personally think it is our system and that simply getting in a new coach will just create more confusion. I just hope AW can do something and do it soon.

    Reply

  22. Azeez
    2223 days ago

    Enuff of dis heart attacks …gooner till thy kingdom call.

    Reply

  23. Daniel
    2223 days ago

    What was Song doing.

    Felt so let down after that result, but I will always take Arsenal back in my arms because they’ll keep telling me they have learned and have gotten stronger and can now build on the foundations of past lessons and move on up.

    But the truth is we never seem to learn and the lessons keep getting harsher, albeit leaving me feeling more numb than sad. I shouldn’t be getting used to these kinds of results but at 2-1 at HT I knew we had the power to royally fuck it up.

    It’s going to be the toughest season for us in a long time and, to be honest, I am havibg doubts about a top 4 finish. But we can still make that grade if we work hard and just be more clinical against these teams. Then whenever a Blackburn has “the bit between their teeth, their backs up…” etc etc, we won’t worry about tumbling down like a stack of playing cards.

    Siany, again your blog sums up how I am feeling and that is that I just don’t know how I’m feeling! UGH

    Wake up, Arsenal, FFS.

    Reply

  24. 1NiltotheArsenal
    2222 days ago

    There is enough of the right stuff at Arsenal currently (including the manager), and we have shown enough quality play in most of these few early matches that we can right the ship.

    Irishgary makes a good point about our midfield, but that is still no excuse for two OGs. That is simply down to guys just losing it. I do not understand how our back four look like total clowns in one match but play like heroes in another. We are completely unique in that regard. Never seen anything like it.

    So yes, defensive consistency and excellence look a long way away right now, but the season is NOT over. It is still only September, and Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have all dropped points. Manchester United look invincible and it is their title to lose but they will their own troubles before May.

    Agreed it looks dire today, but I am going to try to do better as a supporter than some of our players on the pitch. That is to not to panic, to keep my head up and to always wear my colours even if I do get ridiculed in public. It will make the inevitable glory one day all that much sweeter…

    Reply

  25. Paulo
    2220 days ago

    The defence is a shambles, but not always! When Vermaelen plays the team is actually pretty composed. That’s because he’s a leader and he can organise the defence, Mertesacker is solid without being great and will never be like that, but I believe both of them together will be a very good pairing. Koscielny though, as somebody said, is still not psychologically recovered from last years Carling Cup final.
    And I would like to see Arsenal play Chamackh upfront, he will get you goals. You can argue van Persie is better but the reality is that he is not a striker he plays outside the box. Get RVP coming off the left with Chamakh in the middle, or RVP playing off him in a 4-4-2 formation.
    Some teams play 4-4-2 and can play a fluent and attractive style of football. I think Wenger has got a bit stuck to his ideas and he needs to try something different.

    Reply

One Trackback

  1. [...] 4-3 was the next low for Arsenal. Again, no fixture or opposition is needed, but it was the match after which I remember asking my dearest dadda if we were getting relegated this season. What a mug. That was the point at which the hand-wringing really started. Check this blog out from Arsenal Vision. I know it’s all hit-whoring, and you should really believe nothing you read in the papers… ever. But somehow we all continue to get sucked in. The worst of it is, at the end of the season when all of their articles have been wrongety-wrong wrong, you can’t even laugh at them, because they didn’t even think it in the first place. Mr. Douchebag Deadline was probably shouting over their shoulder that this was the message they wanted and ‘NO, PICTURE ED, I WANT THAT CREST SMASHEDER, MAKE IT MORE SMASHED, MAKE IT CRUMMMMMBLE!’ I’ve decided that as of next season, not a single journalist will wind me up.* How untorn my spleen will be. [...]

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