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Post by Justin Chew on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:07 am

It's QPR ffs. Kneejerk or not.

Now we are back to leaving our fate to rivals. Just when we could pull further.

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Post by ralph avedikian on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:09 am

Our fate is still in our hands, top 4 at least. pfff

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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:20 am

Justin Chew wrote:
ralph avedikian wrote:
Jenks1981 wrote:
Justin Chew wrote:Did anyone not expect a win today? After all talk about mental strength and playing with confidence? Totally poor.

A London derby away from home against a team fighting for survival after already winning 8 in a row, it was eminantly (spelling) possible that we wouldnt win, anyone thinking otherwise is stupid.

Exactly, and people here telling me to lay off Ramsey.. why don't lay off the team after all? 8 games winning streak isn't something easy. They gave everything today and maybe with a bit more of luck could have made it 9 in a row.

No midweek football , no fatigue . Team high on confidence . Anyone who expected less than a win is stupid. what are you guys on about?
And with City next?

I didn't expect a win, and I'm not stupid. I called a draw - go check the match thread. Because we've expended a lot of effort of late winning games, closing teams down. Because we were away from home, and we're usually less good away. Because this team always gets complacent - ALWAYS. We finally overtake Spurs and have breathing room, so despite all the rhetoric, we get complacent. I mean lets face it: you all did. All the FANS got complacent. Why not the players?

I still think we'll beat City.

Some talking points for me:

1) Is it finally clear that Vermaelen is not as good a defender as we give him credit for? Sure, he's an excellent defender, but in the John Terry mould - run around putting out fires and beating your chest. I think Koscielny has become our number one defender, with Vermaelen and Mert battling it out to partner him.
2) The left side of the team is much weaker than the right. Kos and Sagna, with a resurgent Walcott, are looking solid. Meanwhile, error-prone Vermaelen and not-so-good-defensively Gibbs with whoever is in front of them (in this case Ramsey), just don't look as good going forward or back.
3) How did the first goal happen? A pass on the floor that completely went through our midfield. How did this happen? Terrible. And Vermaelen was very poor in his defending. I'm not sure if he slipped or just got bamboozled for the 2nd goal, but he should've done much better.
4) The curious case of Ramsey on the left. And he doesn't even stick to the left. He just wanders around. It was okay against Villa, a team that came with no ambition and left with no points. But an away trip to a relegation-threatened team? Why Arsene? I don't think its a case of square pegs in round holes, I believe there is some tactical ploy he sees which I don't. Or maybe trying to teach Ramsey something, to add to his game. But I don't know what it is and it's frustrating. Ramsey is a player with a lot of potential, but not on the left. On current form he deserves to start from the bench. He shouldn't be villified, but he should be given time. All you Ramsey haters need to back off and let him blossom.

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Post by Mario on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:21 am

No away game is easy and no away game should we expect to turn up, play shit and win. We could not be at our best and still grind out the victory, maybe get a bit lucky, but today we played poor, we made errors and were punished. If we played near our best we would have won but it's not as simple as that, unfortunately. They never let us settle and it's evident despite recent form that we still lack that extra quality.

I didn't see the last 35mins or so thank god, but it sounds like it continued where the rest of the game left off. It was an Arsenal performance that we have come to expect every now and then but thankfully it hasn't been recently. We've won games in a row that we wouldn't have expected so I can forgive this if we get it out of our system for the rest of the season and not let it be the start of a period of dodgy results.

No one played well from what I did see, and Zamora troubled our defence in the first half. Amazing that after all these years we still seem to struggle with this decent, but journeyman, striker. Their midfield ran, harried, put tackles in and did what you would have expected and we didn't have the quality to get a control of the game and break them down. Really frustrating to watch. However, if RVP goes on to score a chance that he should be scoring and has been scoring this season, we would have got at least a draw from the game. It was a game-changer, small margins etc.

But we didn't deserve to win, they out-fought us and capitalised on our mistakes. Simple as that. I thought that Ramsey on the left wing was a strange selection but other than that we were at full strength and we even gave our players 2 days off this week, so they were fresh and ready. I also think RVP has looked a bit jaded in the last few weeks. And a pet peeve but why is Chamakh on the bench ahead of Park? At least Park scores for the stiffs...

City next week is an easy game to bounce back with. Not the opposition, but the occasion. Everyone will be motivated for it, it's at home and we owe them one at home after not scoring in the last 3 home games against them. Both teams will be needing the win (City will probably be 8 behind Utd by KO) and as it's Easter Sunday I think Jesus will want us to win and hopefully that will make the difference.

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Post by ralph avedikian on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:22 am

He can blossom all he wants, but not at the business end of the season and not at Arsenal.

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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:28 am

ralph avedikian wrote:He can blossom all he wants, but not at the business end of the season and not at Arsenal.

I agree he shouldn't be starting, and out of position to boot, but I hope you're ready to eat your words in a few years if it comes to it.


EDIT: it's exactly this 'not at arsenal' attitude that creates a toxic atmosphere and drives players out.

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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:31 am

Mario Leontiou wrote:We've won games in a row that we wouldn't have expected so I can forgive this if we get it out of our system for the rest of the season and not let it be the start of a period of dodgy results.

This is the attitude to have. We've won some games we wouldn't have been expected to win, so I think this result can slide. As long as we pick it up - another 7 match winning run and third is ours.

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:36 am

Ramsey was poor. He shouldn't start a game let alone being out of position, but to blame him for the loss is insane. Everyone was poor, and by that I mean everyone except maybe Arteta who did his defensive work well enough to be excluded from the "poor" list. The whole team was slow to build up play, to move off the ball, to close down QPR players, to react to 50-50 challenges and out of the horrible bunch today, Vermaelen was the most horrible.

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Post by Dan Hakim on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:42 am

I can't believe what I'm reading. Some of you people are the most spoiled bunch of brats I've ever interacted with. We win SEVEN games in a row to put ourselves into a comfortable-ish position in 3rd, we lose ONE game and you people are losing your shit. Are you fucking kidding me? I'm sorry that 21 of 24 points isn't good enough for you. It makes me sick that we "support" the same team.
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Post by Dan Hakim on Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:46 am

I'm sorry. That was a knee-jerk reaction to your knee-jerk reactions.
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Post by ralph avedikian on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:12 am

Zaid Derweesh wrote:
ralph avedikian wrote:He can blossom all he wants, but not at the business end of the season and not at Arsenal.

I agree he shouldn't be starting, and out of position to boot, but I hope you're ready to eat your words in a few years if it comes to it.


EDIT: it's exactly this 'not at arsenal' attitude that creates a toxic atmosphere and drives players out.

I am not going to eat my words because I didn't say he won't come good. At the moment he is beyond poor and denying it is effectively being blind.
By not at arsenal I mean we can loan him to another PL club, let him blossom and then get him back.

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Post by Jenks1981 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:20 am

Ralph loaning him next season after he has played so much football this season effectively would destroy him as an Arsenal player, he will come through this and will need to sit on the bench until his form improves, he wont feature as much when Wilshire returns anyway.

I must admit I dont understand this playing him on the left business, its a mistake by Wenger and no one can describe it as anything else.

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Post by ralph avedikian on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:23 am

Yeah I agree loaning him next season would be a mistake.. but also letting him play so badly at the business end of the season is a big mistake too.

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Post by vyom.chaudhary on Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:13 am

i dont have a problem with ramsey or wenger starting him on left also.
but when you see its not working you should change something,make substitutions.why the hell there was change in formation or squad till 70th minute.
wenger though brilliant is one of the most stubborn person i have seen.

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Post by John Foxall on Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:43 am

Ramsey can't be the scapegoat. He was quite poor, but not the only one.

At 1-1 I didn't think a draw was a terrible result, we basically committed suicide. On the other hand, there's no point keeping the ball for 30 passes if the player that tries to slip through the key ball is absolutely incapable of that at present. If I'm not mistaken Ramsey gave away the ball for their second goal, though again the man that selected him knew what form he was in. He works very hard but moves break down and counter-attacking opportunities present themselves to the opposition when he plays.

It's not the first time that Wenger has been clearly a little too desperate to include a certain player because he's particularly excited about his development etc. The only logic was that he would help out defensively, that might've been logical if he was replacing Arshavin, but Gervinho has worked very hard in recent weeks so it didn't make sense imo. Our shape has been so good in recent weeks, that to break it up seemed strange.

It has to be said that QPR played well and made us play the game the way we wanted to play. A 1-1 draw after 7 wins in a row wouldn't have been the end of the world but the nature of the defeat just brings back memories of all the old shortcomings. Substitutions could have come earlier when we'd started controlling the game but couldn't create the chances.

Nothing has changed really. We had a very small advantage over our two rivals after a huge change in fortunes for us and them since the start of February.

As for the discussion on Vermaelen, he's certainly vulnerable to the kind of cock-up he showed today. However, the fact that the ball made it through to Taarabt for the first goal was a joke. I couldn't believe one ball from the back could go through unintercepted so easily. Certainly to win this game would have required a much better performance or at the very least a more intelligent performance. Sometimes it doesn't go our way but we didn't need to sacrifice a point or commit too many men forward too early.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:56 pm

I was starting to think that we could almost have claims to the best centre back partnership in the league. But while Kos his ironed out his errors, Vermaelen has to iron out his errors if he wants to be considered top class.

Other than that, agree with what John said.
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Post by Chris Chan on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:48 pm

It its worrying that we canlack commitment in the middle of a fight forfourth. Hopefully it is a one off but when complacency kicks in, it can be tough to stop. As Mario said, city isn't the worst game in the world to have next as it should help our players refocus
You can't blame any one player for this loss, Ramsey certainly wasn't the reason we lost, it was just an abysmal performance all round and we thoroughly got what we deserved

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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:50 am

I think it's worth commenting on the performance of Mike Dean. While he isn't the reason we lost, it's clear that he was decidedly blind to whatever took place from the waist up. I understand there is a certain amount of upper body strength in football, but they were just shoving us off the ball for too often. And we didn't adapt our game to that, unfortunately.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:42 pm

QPR played very physically. There was hardly a pass by an Arsenal player that didn't go unchallenged in the attacking half. Mike Dean probably should have been on top of it early with a few yellows to encourage good football and discourage persistent fouling. Some were so late, while minimal contact, and so unnecessary.

Regarding Ramsey, there was so little space on the left side for us. He had to go searching elsewhere for space. Not sure if QPR were lob sided, but there was a lot more space on the right for us than on our left. Maybe QPR saw it as a avenue to exploit a weakness. Apart from the goal, Walcott wasn't particularly effective either.

I don't think it was a lack of commitment at all by the Arsenal players. It was a number of factors, including mistakes by Vermaelen, a good save by Kenny, (hate to admit but) effective tactics and performance by QPR etc etc.
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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:46 pm

I don't think it is accurate to say that Vermaelen's slip was unavoidable, and not his fault. If he was more composed, I don't think it would have happened. He does go for it. Part of the reason we love him.

But there are 2 key additional reasons why I think we didn't win that game:
- QPR did a great job restricting space for our midfield and forwards. And our reaction was surprise more than anything. The players did not have a tactic to counter act it. Either we need better players, or they need to work on continuing to play how we like, in tight spaces. Quick passing, drawing out the opposition, working off the ball and creating space.
- While the team has more experience now, and is more consistent, the team still lacks somewhat that winning mentality. The Patrick Viera kind of leader, who despite what happens on the field, will only be thinking of one thing. Winning. And accept nothing less. Rise above everything, and drag the whole team with you kind of player.

We either accept that we can't win every game, or we buy Podolski, Rooney and Yaya Toure.
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Post by Min Shan on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:08 pm

imo, its complacency that crept in. there was no sense of urgency after the equalizer. look at the first 20 mins of second half, they were just passing the ball around without real intent of attacking. maybe this is one of the effect of the many comebacks this season, and the players may feel that they'll somehow win it in the later part of the game.

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Post by ChippyBrady on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:50 pm

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xptlu4_adel-taarabt-but-vs-arsenal-by-tla7-net_sport?start=19#from=embed

Mike Dean celebrates another goal against Arsenal.
Watch from 40 seconds for full comedic value.
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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:15 pm

Min Shan wrote:imo, its complacency that crept in. there was no sense of urgency after the equalizer. look at the first 20 mins of second half, they were just passing the ball around without real intent of attacking. maybe this is one of the effect of the many comebacks this season, and the players may feel that they'll somehow win it in the later part of the game.

why did they feel complacent in this game and not any of the previous ones? I here it every time on here. Whenever we lose, it's down to complacency or lack of effort. what about when we lose twice in a row? is it lack of effort in the second game? we were probably 'just passing it around' as QPR were closing down the spaces and blocking off supply to RVP. i think it's too simplistic, and not looking into the game in any depth.
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Post by Sami Rockfeller on Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:48 am

An extract from Michael Cox's report on the QPR match:

There was another previous Hughes v Arsenal battle that sprung to mind – Manchester City's 4-2 win over Arsenal early in 2009-10, the game that featured Adebayor's infamous celebration in front of the Arsenal fans. Following that game, a couple of photos of the whiteboard from Hughes's pre-match team talk were leaked on the internet, and in addition to some fairly basic instructions were a couple of tasks aimed at hurting Arsenal. The first was general – "Expose them in the channels quickly when we regain possession." The second was more specific. "Draw No5 Vermaelen out of the back four, and get behind him."

That was only four games into Vermaelen's Arsenal career, but Hughes had accurately pinpointed his major weakness – he flies up the pitch towards his man and leaves space in behind, which (then) William Gallas and (now) Laurent Koscielny has to cover. Vermaelen had a poor game against City that day, and has continued to concede goals when caught too high up the pitch.

The approach was replicated by QPR this weekend – a couple of times in the first half, Vermaelen stormed into tackles and left space in behind for Zamora, who naturally drifts to the right channel anyway, looking to come inside on to his left foot. Combined with Zamora's physical attention, the Belgian had a very poor game – QPR were looking to expose him both positionally and aerially. He was caught out for both the goals – first Adel Taarabt turned him and coolly finished, then he slipped and allowed Mackie to set up Samba Diakité for the winner.

____________________________________________________________


Is TV's weakness that obvious? I think not as other teams seem to have a hard time going past him. What are your views?
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Post by Zaid Derweesh on Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:51 am

He certainly leaves us exposed when going on those runs - but it doesn't have to be a major weakness. With communication, Song and Kos should be able to cover sufficiently. But yes, it can be a weakness I suppose.

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