And so it continues.

October 3, 2011 17 Comments by Sian

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Arsenal

Well, there goes that unbeaten run then. I’m not sure how to sum up the performance yesterday because it seems opinions are differing all over the place, and since the end of the match yesterday my mind’s been all over the show trying to decide exactly how well/badly we did play. A group of Arsenal people not showing much unity. Whatever next.

In the first half I think we were much the better team, and that we dropped a lot in the second half, which is odd because Jack Wilshere said to TalkSport something-or-other, that he thought the opposite. Obviously, he’d know more than me so I am wrong, but this was my initial feeling. I thought we gave the ball away a lot, though according to Orbinho, our passing accuracy was almost eight per cent better than theirs. I also thought Aaron Ramsey gave the ball away a silly amount, but his passing accuracy was 83 per cent of 70 passes (also according to Orbinho). Which is not great, but is better than it seemed out there.

Their goals came from van der Vaart and Walker. One, the latter, was a wonder goal and the other came with a lot of help from a handball. Well, an armball. Let’s not make excuses, this was in the first half and there was PLENTY of time to rectify it, but it was still a handball. He was on a yellow anyway and a lot of people commented that, handball aside, he should have been shown a second yellow for his goal celebration, but I think that’s a bloody stupid rule anyway. Shall we just take all passion out of the sport, and expect them to not react at all after scoring? Oh heave, I sound like Glen Hoddle.

Nevertheless, I’ve no doubt next time one of our players do that, he’ll be duly punished. Not because I’m saying the world is against us, but because we can’t have good luck for buttons right now. Their second goal came from Walker, in what was an excellent goal but one that was helped by a mistake from Szczesny. Naturally, Szczesny had been absolutely fantastic up until this goal, with a completely faultless performance to his name. So, with people saying he ‘SHOULD HAVE’ saved that, let’s just look at the other three or four he very easily couldn’t have saved, but did. The fact is, Woj was troubled often at the dive yesterday afternoon, while I barely remember seeing Brad Friedel. Which is worrying.

Our stand-out players yesterday were Szczesny and Coquelin. Alex Song also set Aaron Ramsey up well for our only goal. Theo had a couple of shots on goal, but otherwise was almost entirely anonymous, and Gervinho put a shot wide after brilliant work from RvP to set him up. It was a similar run from RvP to the one from Song. See how easily it can work Gerv?

I worry a bit about that man. I’m sure he’ll come good but I’m 5ft 4 and not exactly big-boned, and it looks as though if he and I sat on a see-saw, I’d plummet towards the floor while his little leggies dangled in the air. We really can’t be having more players who can get shoved off the ball so easily. I’m prescribing him the Morgan Spurlock diet and plenty of time at the weights.

Unfortunately, after their second goal, we showed no real desire to equalise. The only point at which we looked in any way desperate was when we were awarded a corner in the 94th minute, and Szczesny ran up to join in. Obviously it didn’t go in, because we will never score from a corner, ever again. Ever.

That being said, had we ended up winning the match, I’d probably still feel about as deflated as a lilo on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this morning. Why? Because of Bacary. The worst moment of yesterday was his injury in the second half. Incidentally, the funniest was a fat man with no chin calling Kieran Gibbs a wanker, but that’s another story for another day. Arsenal confirmed our greatest fears this morning, that he has fractured his fibula and will be out of action for approximately three months now. As soon as he hit the deck (and the hoarding), he was motioning to the bench that he wanted to come off. The last time I remember seeing a player do that so quickly, was Jonny Wilkinson against Harlequins. And he’s always injured, so I knew it was bad.

You are having. a sodding. bubble bath. aren’t you. We’re back to that Sandra Bullock movie of last year and it’s not even December yet. Bac will be an enormous miss for the team. The absences of Vermaelen and Wilshere obviously compound that, because if you were sketch out the spine of our team, that trio would most certainly be a part of it. I’m not going to mention the other vertebrae of that spine, because I’m sure those Bloody Injury God Bastards need no further direction as to the next targets. I also will stop talking in bone terminology. It’s risky.

Carl Jenkinson did well when he came on as a replacement, and he can’t really help that so far he’s had a baptism of shitty fire. I don’t know if he’ll be used as a replacement for Bacary, or if Coquelin will move into right-back, given he’s played there before. I don’t know, guys. I just don’t know. The trouble is, with the run of luck we’re having at the moment, and the fact we don’t actually HAVE half the players we need, how can we expect to start turning ourselves around? And I don’t believe in that tosh about making your own luck when it comes to injuries. Bacary’s bones are probably really hard-working and well-behaved, they didn’t deserve to be targeted by the BIGBs. And I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to make light of the situation, because I am truly devastated about it and for him, but if you do not laugh, you will probably just die.

So, overall, it was a very un-NLD match, in which there were moments of optimism (Woj/Coq/some good football/the fact Pillock Features didn’t score), but it was another loss. An expected loss by many, but a loss all the same. Our next match against them is in February, when we’re going to tear them a new one, but there are many matches before that to concentrate on. We have Sunderland and Stoke at home after the international break, which is good because so far our home record is alright.

FORWARD!!!!!! (please?)

~ ~ ~

Today’s Blog Extras

Number one: the things sung at White Hart Lane yesterday. Apparently Arsenal fans sang a song about Adebayor. Google it if you’ve not heard, there’s plenty of coverage of it, and I’m not going to repeat it again. It’s grim and horrible and really very shameful. You have absolutely no reason to like him, or to sing his name. But that’s the thing. You have no reason to sing his name. He doesn’t deserve adoration from Arsenal fans, but he didn’t deserve that either, because no one deserves that. I understand it’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere of a match, but we all have enough of a brain to think ‘Woah hey woah… that ain’t OK’.

I do remember one time on our way to an away match where some Arsenal fans (and by some, I mean about 10), started singing the altered Fabregas song, because yes, his surname did rhyme with ‘gas’. It got through about two lines, before it was stopped, because the vast majority of the crowd had a brain and realised that football passion goes so far, but there’s a point at which you realise you’re a human and singing those kind of things is not human at all. Nothing makes me angrier than hearing Wenger targeted by the morons who target him with their similarly vile abuse. I know it’s football and football will never not be fiery but for fuck’s sake learn the difference between having a go and just being a completely ignorant arsehole.

And finally… it was nice to see the majority of the press and of opposition fans having Wenger’s back this morning in light of ‘Handshakegate’. Last year, some people I know who are on Twitter, started a hashtag that went #whohaveyouclappedtoday. It came after a discussion between myself and someone else about clapping pilots on planes (the other person was a West Ham fan… I am culturally diverse in my friend choices) . We both agreed it’s ridiculous and pointless. Landing a plane safely is not a bonus of flying, is it? Were you expecting he’d just aim it at the floor and open the doors? We decided we’d find people who didn’t deserve to be clapped that day, and applaud them. Just for being them. We also agreed that if we couldn’t find anyone fitting this description, we’d meet each other and simply clap away. Because everyone loves to be clapped. So anyway, this contributed to the birth of the #whohaveyouclappedtoday hashtag. The logic behind it got a little twisted, and eventually #whohaveyouclappedtoday became a positive thing, but anyway. I’m proposing a new one.

Because some people just need their hands shook, regardless of whether it’s common practice, or if they were shovey the last time they saw you, or if they’re the third person to have their hand shook, even though the hand shaker’s duties were finished two shakees ago. And even though, let’s face it, the handshake is probably one of the emptiest gestures in existence, especially in a world like… ooh, I don’t know. Football, perhaps.

#whosehandhaveyoushooktoday?

17 Comments

  1. Daniel Wong
    2209 days ago

    According to another article the gunners are caught in the down cycle.What about MU? They don’t seem to suffer anything at all.
    Suffice to say Wenger has mismanaged Arsenal with his last minute buys,so uncharacteristic of him.The epl is the toughest league physically. You dont expect someone driving at 50 mph to drive ina busy thorouhfare where the top speed can hit 80mph. It’s a culture shock.
    Yet Wenger persists in buying continental because they are cheaper.He has been accumulating kids by the dozens when it was obvious the team needed experienced guys .There are other problems not fixed eg the cd and gk. The present gk is only about 80 % of the ability of the top gks in the top teams.
    Despite the vote of confidence given to him by the American boss,Wenger could still be fired if results go against him.In this modern world of instant results,you only as good as your last match.

    Reply

    • Alan
      2209 days ago

      You, mate, need to start actually watching games if you think Szczesny is 80% of the ability of top goalkeepers.

      Reply

  2. Andrew Wilkins
    2209 days ago

    80%of the ability? Are you mad?

    Woj is currently the third best keeper in the Country. It wont be long before he is the very best in the world. He is that good.

    Good blog as ever Sian. What’s worrying me though is that you are starting to sound defeated. If you are defeated, what chances have the rest of us got?

    Reply

  3. UncleK
    2209 days ago

    I’m with you on the first half debate…Take no notice of footballers opinions as they tend to be rubbish at watching matches-They’d rater be playing.
    Personally,I chose the wrong pub to watch the game and was surrounded by braying neanderthals whp,you’d think, had never won a football match before!!
    Well said on the offensive songs question.There really is no need {Unless you”re Millwall or similar} Old baggy face has a bit of a nerve after what his lot were singing.
    Good blog under the circs.

    Reply

  4. irishgary
    2209 days ago

    Great post as always Sian. Totally gutted after yesterday. I have refused to read any write ups of the match as I can guess the crap that is written in most of them. I wish Bacary the best possible recovery time but am confident Jenks can do the job. The one thing that I think should be pointed out is that Spurs are actually a very good team, who play attacking football with pace. So why is it such a disaster to get beaten by them 2-1? The score could just have easily been reversed as there was not a huge difference betweent he 2 teams. I fully admit we are lacking a certain bite in midfield, Ramsey goal aside played awful. Yes his pass % was as always high but every time Spurs had the ball they would simply walk past him like he was not there. The speed of his game is way off too. I have been saying it for the last couple of games, I think we would have been better playing Rosicky but that is pointless now.

    On the subject of the chants, I agree they are disgusting and must be stopped. They serve no purpose other than too spread hate and that is the last thing we need in football. Keep the faith Sian COYG!!!

    Reply

  5. Alex
    2209 days ago

    Great blog as usual Sian, even in the face of such demoralisation.
    Irishgary above me asked why its such a a terrible result if we lose to Sp*rs 2-1 , the answer is its because we’ve lost to Spurs 2-1, let alone any result, and they’re not a good team so that’s a redundant excuse anyway.
    If you could definitely have two wins in a season secured, 6 points definite, you’d want Spurs home and away, that’s what I’d say.
    That was a dark 2 hours yesterday from 4pm to 6pm, that’s all I can say, Aaron Ramsey’s goal doesn’t cover for his erratic performance. Arteta looked a shadow of himself, Gervinho was wasteful and Theo was missing that lightning pace that has torn them a new one plenty of times over.
    Gutted about Sagna’s injury, that’s three 1st team players out on a long-term basis currently, with our current luck, might be more to follow (I hope to God not)
    Andrew above also said ‘If you’re defeated, what chance do the rest of us have?’
    Too true words, keep the faith Sian, for all of our sakes.

    Reply

    • El Greco
      2207 days ago

      Alex,
      There was a time when Tottenham’s definition of success was based on how many trophies Arsenal didn’t win in any particular season. Sad.
      You wanting 6 points guaranteed by playing Spurs home and away is setting your sights just as low, methinks.

      Reply

  6. Goonergal
    2209 days ago

    I always read your posts and find them better than a lot of the negative crap out there, but today even you sound a little depressed.

    If I had been asked before the game which one I would pick 2-1 loss to spurs or a broken leg for Bacary, there would have been no competion, I would have taken the loss anyday, but just Arsenal’s luck we get both, for me Coqelin was outstanding and he will prove to be very important to us in the coming months.
    I hope Arsene remembers that he can do a job for us as a right back in the absence of the one and only Sagna
    I am in a word Gutted!!!

    Reply

  7. frodo barnes
    2209 days ago

    I really hope jenkinson has a decent run of good performances not just for the sake of arsenals defence but for his own confidence, without sagna he’s gonna have it all against him in the next few months……speaking of sagna i’ve experience of fibula injuries (and many others) it seems a long time for it, but being arsenal it’s probably best taking their time on it in anycase.
    I do reckon though that some of the players will take confidence from the performance because as disappointing as it was tottenham didnt do as well as they wanted to but in part i reckon coquelin contributed to that with his work rate.
    Thanks for the articles Sian keep em coming.

    Reply

  8. Alan
    2209 days ago

    A tough blog to write, Siany, but you still made me laugh even in the misery of yesterday. Theo has got to start playing football soon instead of just running and only Bac (poor Bac), Alex Song, Chezzer and the excellent Coquelin can really say they didn’t let us down.

    Reply

  9. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2209 days ago

    Still always positive, but somewhat muted post by your standards. It’s an accurate reflection of where we are right now. I see that Lee Dixon has weighed in with BBC Sports, and he says we are top 6 material at best right now.

    I think where you end up in May is impossible to predict in what is barely October after just a handful of games. This is particularly true of our current team which is (again) missing half its starters to injury, is playing with zero consistency and has not seen its new boys come together at all on the pitch.

    Happier days are sure to come, but it can be therapeutic to wallow a bit given our circumstances. More than anything else, I hope we find a way to play with a greater degree of conviction and belief. Blackpool were rubbish quality last year, but who didn’t love the zest and enthusiasm with which they approached their season in the big league?

    1NTTA

    Reply

  10. Paulo
    2209 days ago

    I wasn’t too disheartened to be honest. I know it’s Spurs and Arsenal losing to Spurs is always going to be a big loss, but I thought the boys played well. Dominated the first half and Gervinho should probably have scored. Second half they pressed better played quicker got very lucky with their “armball” goal and the game was even until that piece of magic by Walker.
    Arsenal gave very good account of themselves on the whole, there’s not going to be many teams that are going to go to White Hart Lane and win this year.
    And for those that doubt Wenger, once again he’s shown that he knows a good player, who would have heard of Cocquelin last year? I mean Frimpong was a pleasant surprise but this guy looks very good, he was very good in the first half.
    Like I said in the fateful game at Old Trafford it was the big players that didn’t turn up, or in this case that did not took control. There was no one prepared, or able, to really take control of the midfield and the game and make things happen, Gervinho always made the wrong decision and Walcott was hardly in the game. Arteta and Ramsey did ok but their movement off the ball was sluggish.
    It will improve with confidence, at the moment a lot of players are just concentrating on doing the basics right and are not prepared to take risks, but you have to, take risks, be prepared to try that through ball or dribble through that player. It will come.

    Reply

  11. FunGunner
    2206 days ago

    Great blog, Sian. I think we were very good in the first half but our best spell was the first 15- 20 mins of the second half, when we scored our goal. Then we dropped off in the last 15-20 mins. So I think that’s maybe what Wilshere means? Anyway, he’s all wrapped up in his new baby, so what the hell does he know?

    Basically I agree with Irish Gray and Paulo as well.
    Trouble is, Sp*rs are a good side these days, they are a lot more confident,and they’re a settled group. We are a better side but less confident, not yet a settled group and our top players are injured. It hurts more to lose to them but you can’t ignore those factors.

    We did dominate the game, but we didn’t create enough. Ramsey was off his game, could just be part of the long road back, but he was exhausted towards the end. I like Arteta, funnily enough I see him as a good example of the type of player which Denilson looked on course to become before he lost his way – but he didn’t impose himself on the game and did not get forward enough. There is a theory that he may have been detailed to support Coquelin, but Le Coq really didn’t look as if he needed it! But our top midfielders are Diaby, Wilshere and Song. All out or out of position. It sucks, but like you, Sian, I look forward to February and revenge.

    And Coquelin I have liked ever since he came to the club so great to see him doing so well.

    Reply

    • irishgary
      2206 days ago

      FG are you claiming Le Coq for yourself aswell? You know you have to leave 1 or 2 for the likes of Sian and FirstLady!! Anyways, when are you going to get around to writing a post yourself? You know you want too….:)

      Reply

  12. Irishgray
    2202 days ago

    Sian – You just have to write something, ANYTHING!!! I can’t take all this negativity that is pervading the blogosphere when it comes to my beloved Arsenal. :( Did you ever put money on the Oyster card? Is your Dad still yelling at you to write your blog? ( he better be!!) Is Uni still kicking your ass? Give us something Sian, please?? We wait in hope!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2202 days ago

      Hi! I saw this comment, loved it, and wrote a blog. I’d had a crap day involving missing lecturers and fire drills, a 2 hour long journey home on a bus that terminated a mile short of my destination, and a lost notebook. Anyway, I posted the blog, and WordPress had somehow chosen to save and publish just one paragraph of it. The other 1,600 words seem to be dead and gone. I’ll try to somehow resurrect it, but at this point, I think it’s gone. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I’ll be able to write something nice again. Sorry, and please know that I did try and write something nice, but today has knackered me in a way the Arsenal have never managed! :)

      Reply

      • Irishgray
        2202 days ago

        Sian – :( . Sorry you have had such a rough day!! But at least look on the bright side, international break is almost over and from what I hear TV, Kos and maybe one or two others are back in full training!! That plus I am off for a vacation as of tomorrow :) Nowhere too exotic, Seattle and San Francisco, nine days in total. Hope you have a better day tomorrow and maybe you can even whip a quick blog together? It would be greatly appreciated. Arseblog himself is really scraping the barrel trying to come up with something and the guys over at ACLF have been swamped with Doomers. It has not been pretty Sian, so get those fingers typing and give us some positivity!!

        Reply

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