Man United vs ARSENAL (match thread)

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Post by Mario on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:12 am

Even Santos, I mean, we knew he was going into the game in very bad form so maybe shouldn't have played. But he did. But when you're making error after error, why not change, even in the first half? Do something, don't just sit there and hope for the best. The only reason Walcott came on when he did is because Ramsey apparently pulled up. Everything is so regimented even when it doesn't work.

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Post by Ravneet Singh on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:15 am

We talk about same things every year nothing is done about.Its like a groundhog day season after season.Don't know when things are going to change.All looking grim at the moment.

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Post by Mario on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:20 am

And even though I love our away fans and they deserve all the credit, when we talk about them after a defeat in a big game it reminds me of small clubs going away to a big club in the FA Cup and celebrating that they have better fans as they know the teams can't compare.

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Post by Ravneet Singh on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:24 am

Mario Leontiou wrote:And even though I love our away fans and they deserve all the credit, when we talk about them after a defeat in a big game it reminds me of small clubs going away to a big club in the FA Cup and celebrating that they have better fans as they know the teams can't compare.

This.Most of us knew before the game we were not going to get anything from it even before started.That's how far we have declined over the years.After the first goal today we went into total damage limitation never looked like scoring.

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Post by John Foxall on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:35 am

Although I agree about the player sales, I think it's more than that.

Man Utd are stronger, quicker, better drilled and better disciplined in almost all the games we play against them.

Even games that look like they're there to be won (last year's league game at home is an example) are lost because we make simple errors or have obvious deficiencies that the better sides (and some of the less strong ones) exploit.

Imo it's hard to avoid the elephant in the room, we'll continue to be mediocre if nothing changes. We don't have the players or the strategy to improve. Some might argue that Wenger is the only one who can operate with these limitations but we can't continue with him forever, which seems to be the status quo we're forced to accept at the moment.

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:54 am

"Vermealen's mistake almost killed the game. Top class defenders never do mistakes" Wenger on Vermaelen

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Post by Ravneet Singh on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:56 am

John Foxall wrote:
Man Utd are stronger, quicker, better drilled and better disciplined in almost all the games we play against them.

Agree with that.Number of times they found space behind our defence was ridiculous.

They have played same way against us over the years.Crowding out our midfield, nicking the ball from us when we have it in their half and launching quick counter.Even today Rooney not giving Arteta an inch of space turned out to be one of our failings.But we still play with same plan same tactics every time we face them.

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Post by Jenks1981 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:03 am

Some standout dreadfull performances for me, Vermaelen every single game is a liability these days, drop him please. Arteta and Cazorla didnt get on the ball enough, they are the idea men and we had no ideas, Cazorla despite his goal was really poor to his first few appearances for us for me.

Thank god for Mertesacker once again, he has been a rock this season and is head and shoulders, in more ways than one a better defender than Koscielny and Vermaelen have been this season.

Score flatters us, we were so pedestrian, said it before saying it again, no better than Spurs and Everton these days, top 6/7 team.

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Post by Jason Morrison on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:09 am

Since the start of last season, Arsenal have made 18 individual errors leading to a goal; more than any other side in the Premier League.

and that ladies and gentleman, is one of our biggest problems right now!
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Post by Jenks1981 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:20 am

Individual errors arent really something you can iron out of people, they are either prone to being clumsy or to losing concentration, Thomas, worst captain EVER Vermaelen is an expert at both.

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Post by Michael Schatzky on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:25 am

John Foxall wrote:Although I agree about the player sales, I think it's more than that.

Man Utd are stronger, quicker, better drilled and better disciplined in almost all the games we play against them.

Even games that look like they're there to be won (last year's league game at home is an example) are lost because we make simple errors or have obvious deficiencies that the better sides (and some of the less strong ones) exploit.

Imo it's hard to avoid the elephant in the room, we'll continue to be mediocre if nothing changes. We don't have the players or the strategy to improve. Some might argue that Wenger is the only one who can operate with these limitations but we can't continue with him forever, which seems to be the status quo we're forced to accept at the moment.

Just bad management ,bad decisions. On field, off-field. We are seeing the results of Wenger's decisions even if some decisions were forced on him.
As every team takes on traits of it's manager after a time, this is the epitome of how Wenger wants to play football. You can use the excuse of budgets and money in talking about quality of players leaving vs. quality brought in , but he doesn't get much out of his squad at times and he only has himself to blame.
Prioritizing winning with "good football" and retaining possession over taking chances and direct play ( as someone on twitter just wrote). Are these not systems that are learned at practice?
Why not shuffle the deck instead of starting Ramsey on the wing. He didn't even do a great job retaining possession there.
I think this squad has talent and eventually will gel and come good, but it might be too late in the season to do anything.

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Post by Michael Schatzky on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:31 am

....furthermore this lack of quality would have shown in the results last year if not for Rvp's ridiculous scoring rate, imo.

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Post by Michael Foster on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:40 am

fed up with talking about the wholesale changes we need......check

fed up with the same old shit coming from wenger................check

fed up with the dont sell ya best to rivals..............................check


as for the money idea...we were told in two years we would be able to compete with the very best...well...

ya know what stan...fuck the model...fuck the bullshit that we have to wait two further years to get a good squad....all the time the damage is being done its fact they know it we know it everybody knows it.....
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Post by Mario on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:40 am

I agree that it's more than just departures and what is going on above in the boardroom and the lack of ambition, spending etc.

We are sending out teams uninspired, tactically we don't adapt like we should (can we not watch and see how Utd took Arteta out of the game and learn from it?) and we still see the same defensive mistakes that we always see. Wenger has to take the blame for being unable to get the most of his resources. Not just the resources he doesn't spend but on what he does. Average players, not getting the best out of them either motivationally or tactically, that is down to him.

I said it after the Schalke game I think it was but watching Arsenal these last few seasons is like reading from the same tired script. Until the script has an unhappy ending in regards to finishing in the Champions League, we will continue to regress.

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Post by Hisham El Mawan on Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:09 am

Not entirely happy that I perfectly predicted the outcome of the game. But let's talk about what comes next, I don't want to waste any words on what we all just saw.

Our next fixtures are Fulham (H), Spurs (H), Aston Villa (A), Everton (A), and Swansea (H). If we're to even compete for a Champions League place, we need at least 12 points out of this. But to be honest, I'm expecting all 15. This team needs to fucking step it up, and soon.

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Post by Meshaal on Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:41 am

Hisham El Mawan wrote:Not entirely happy that I perfectly predicted the outcome of the game. But let's talk about what comes next, I don't want to waste any words on what we all just saw.

Our next fixtures are Fulham (H), Spurs (H), Aston Villa (A), Everton (A), and Swansea (H). If we're to even compete for a Champions League place, we need at least 12 points out of this. But to be honest, I'm expecting all 15. This team needs to fucking step it up, and soon.

Based on our current league position, the Fulham, Spurs and Everton games are 6 pointers.

Yet another disappointing performance today but still firmly behind the team / club for the upcoming games.

I have to say this, I was heart broken when van Persie came out with that statement, but was quick to forgive him when he left and also felt a certain degree of pride when he performed well for United - I still rate him ahead of the likes of Nasri, Adebayor and Ashley Cole (in traitor / Judas terms) especially after his "celebration" after scoring today.


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Post by Marko Maksimović on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:53 am

After today's game what I saw was the same thing I've seen for I dunno how many years... United pressed key players, it seemed as if as soon as our boys were on the ball someone was snapping at their ankles but our guys just looked tired and uninterested to press at times. One time, Rooney received the ball in our half, turned and spread a diagonal ball across to Valencia. The early mistake from TV put us away. Taking away the captaincy sends the wrong message but the whole team need to wake up big time. So much possession and nothing done with the ball. Like I said earlier, class from RvP not celebrating, pussy foul on Sagna. Wtf went on with him and Santos?
Need to buck the fuck up for Schalke, not an easy place to go to especially after what they did to us at home.
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Post by Mario on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:55 am

Hisham El Mawan wrote:Our next fixtures are Fulham (H), Spurs (H), Aston Villa (A), Everton (A), and Swansea (H). If we're to even compete for a Champions League place, we need at least 12 points out of this. But to be honest, I'm expecting all 15. This team needs to fucking step it up, and soon.


Expecting or wanting/hoping? Expecting 15 points from those is a bit confident. The way we're playing we'll do quite well to get 10. 2 of those teams are above us in the table and Fulham are level with us.

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Post by ralph avedikian on Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:05 am

United were so comfortable it's embarrassing. It's like they were playing a West brom side. We are so painful to watch, especially attacking wise, surprisingly. Wenger needs to wake this team up.

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Post by Assan Touray on Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:42 am

Didn't even get mad watching the game, that's how low my expectations of this team have become. I never expected us to get a point at Old Trafford, only positive from the game is that we didn't lose by a huge scoreline.

Wenger's such a nice guy.
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Post by David Hung on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:36 pm

We really need to adapt our tactics to certain situations.

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Post by pwoodman1 on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:03 pm

Was there any surprise in the result yesterday really?
Santos was always going to be targeted as the week link we all know he is (its no coincidence since Gibbs injury we've been poor).
TV made an awful mistake but these things happen to the best what ever Arsene says but people claiming he should be dropped and stripped of the captaincy is unbelievable?!
We created nothing the whole game and our players didn't look interested, there were a few dubious refereeing decisions how cleverly was allowed to stay on the pitch if Jack got sent off I'll never know? We weren't good enough and we still need to replace RVP and Song with top draw players what we have aren't at the right level or being played out of position.

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Post by Ravneet Singh on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:38 pm

We sold Alex Song and didn't buy Sahin saying we have surplus midfield options.Yet yesterday when we were chasing a game and Jack (mind you who is coming back from a 14 month lay off) was on yellow, we only had Coq on the bench to replace him.Over reliance on injury prone players hurt us again and its not the first time this has happened.

About the prediction of points in upcoming games we are far too inconsistent to predict anything at the moment.

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Post by John Foxall on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:43 pm

Why should a player in poor form like him not be under threat of being dropped?

In any case we have a far more pressing concern - Santos. The obvious solution is to put Vermaelen at left-back and bring back Koscielny. Vermaelen doesn't offer a lot going forward from left-back but then again neither does Santos at the moment. Gibbs is the only left-back with the stamina and instincts to get forward and support Podolski well. A link-up that worked well and which since Gibbs' injury has seen Podolski making a far weaker impression.

I think it's bullshit to claim that the players are not interested etc, most of them have little or no experience of games at this level. We have a squad made up of players signed in the last two or three seasons. A situation virtually unheard of, except for relegated clubs who are forced to get rid of all/most of their well-paid stars.

It's a joke that the only two candidates for the captaincy are a player we signed 14 months ago and a CB we signed in 2009 who is by no means an automatic first-choice. We have no spine and in any case it was AW that set the current trend in motion by authorising the sale of a winning team over three seasons in 2005/6/7. There's a reason why no other club would do it, it just shreds all idea of identity etc. For me that's why the sale of a youngster like Bartley was irksome this season. Yes, in principle, I can accept that he might never be good enough. However, it's rarely the foreign players that spend 10, 15 years at one club, it's the domestic players. We've got some good young players, but there's no elder statesmen to help them bed in.

I'm still amazed that we managed to get Cazorla this summer. Very good players will not want to join us when they see how much weight is placed on his shoulders. They could join another club for better wages and have genuine allies. Look at Chelsea - Hazard, Mata and Oscar enjoy playing with each other because they're all excellent players. Cazorla is as good as any of them imo but doesn't have anything like the same allies. Had RvP stayed he would have had at least one but we don't build on the squad we have, we trade. The squad won't be improved like that.

That's before we even get started on how uninspiring the manager's direction of the playing side has been for a few years now. We didn't select a realistic midfield yesterday. Wilshere is a poor defensive player imo, loads of rash challenges. Arteta is not a real DM and this will be exploited by better sides. Ramsey is being used as a Milner type fill-in precisely because we have obvious defensive weaknesses at the core of our side. Man Utd are too well drilled though, they just bypassed our midfield.


Last edited by John Foxall on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:54 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Mario on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:43 pm

Arseblog makes many good points on the game -


Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal: Worse than last year + talking points

Posted by arseblog on 04 Nov 2012 / 225 arses


In the immediate aftermath of the game on Twitter I said that this felt worse than the 8-2 last season. In the cold light of day … I stand by that. Last season was a shambles, an Arsenal squad in complete disarray went there and got taken apart by a United side for whom every single thing went right while the opposite was true for us.

Yesterday, well, that showed the real gulf between the two sides. And why wouldn’t there be? Even with the additions we made this summer we sold a team that missed out on the title by an odd kick of an Argentinian’s boot our best player and, by a long way, the best striker in the Premier League. I’m not really trying to open up that old wound again, and clearly it was a situation off the pitch that was far more complicated, but on it … well, we were always going to be exposed. That scab was well and truly picked yesterday.

United were better than us from front to back, they worked harder, had more desire and really could have won the game by a greater margin. A missed penalty, some spurned chances, some Mannone saves and some last ditch defending prevented this getting out of hand. Meanwhile, we looked as threatening as a kitten in a tutu. Sometimes it’s difficult to put things together coherently, so I’ll stick them down in terms of individual points that are racketing around in my head. Starting with:

Thomas Vermaelen

I think he should be dropped now. The level of his performance this season has been far below what’s required from a senior player and the captain. Had other centre-halves made the mistake he did yesterday for the van Persie goal they would have been slaughtered. And it’s not the first time this season either, the two goals at Chelsea came free kicks given away by his careless tackles. Mistakes happen, any expectation of flawlessness is misguided, but it’s not too much to expect better and Vermaelen isn’t up to scratch right now.

Coupled with his error prone performances there’s a lack of leadership which is also a concern. Arsenal were half-hearted yesterday, there seemed to be no attempt by the captain to change that. I realise it’s not his job alone but he seems inhibited by his own form and at the moment he’s a weak link. The captaincy makes it a difficult thing for the manager to drop him but he should.

And although Laurent Koscielny’s season has hardly been error free, there’s more heart in the Frenchman. Against Reading he had bad moments but sought to make up for them and always looks to contribute in a positive way. He didn’t go into his shell like Vermaelen appears to have done.

Arsenal’s limp attacking display


Once again it took until injury time for us to have a shot on target. Our best spell of the game came when we were down to 10 men but at that point United knew the game was won and were happy enough for us to have it. Cazorla’s goal was beautiful, like Henry’s during the 6-1 a gem that will be forgotten too quickly, but beyond that we were toothless. Arteta was marked out of the game by Rooney, meaning we couldn’t build from the back the way we like to.

Talk of a Plan B is often a bit desperate – it usually means lump it towards the forward and see what happens – but are we really that inflexible that when our favourite avenue is cut off we can’t make a detour? The front three didn’t work and I know people will criticise Aaron Ramsey, but he was no worse than Lukas Podolski who isn’t having to cope with playing out of position. The German was anonymous, again, and it’s clear there’s a lack of understanding between our forwards. Runs are not spotted, passes are played to a man on his heels, they just don’t seem on the same wavelength.

The manager might say it takes time for players to know each other, to click, to find a way of playing together, and that’s normal, but what we lack are options. We’re unbelievably light in that department, all our eggs appear to be in the one basket and at the moment the basket is made out of piss-soaked straw and the eggs are balut (NSFB – Not Safe For Breakfast).

Jack Wilshere


No complaints about the red card really and I think any attempt to blame the referee on our defeat yesterday is smoke-screening of the highest order. I saw a lot of talk yesterday about how Ferguson, having seen Cleverly get away with a foul that could have been a second yellow, immediately made a change. Wenger, in the same situation with Wilshere (he’d just clattered van Persie), chose not to make a change and thus the sending off was his fault.

For this one I have some sympathy with the manager. The key difference for me is that we were 2-0 down and needed to get back into the game. Had the scoreline been reversed I have no doubt Wenger would have hooked Wilshere for the more defensively minded Coquelin and a manager has to have some trust in his players too. You can’t take someone off every time they get a booking. Wilshere’s challenge on Evra was typical of a man who has been out of the game for a long time, he overran the ball when normally he’d control it without a problem, and the challenge itself was rash.

Again there’s a bigger issue, the lack of midfield depth. It’s not an ideal change but Ramsey for Wilshere would have been an obvious change in those circumstances but the Welshman’s deployment out of position, and subsequent substitution, meant the manager had little to work with. You also have to question the decision to allow ourselves to be reliant on Rosicky and Diaby to provide that squad depth. On their days fine players who can contribute a lot, but their injury records are, frankly, appalling and were always going to be miss lots of games. What price now a Nuri Sahin?

Andre Santos

Taking van Persie’s shirt at half-time was foolish and illustrative of the way footballers think very, very differently to fans. Whether it was pre-arranged or spur of the moment I don’t know, but if it had to be done it should have been done out of view of the cameras and thus the fans. You can say it’s symptomatic of issues we have in the squad and that it wouldn’t have happened back in the day but I seem to remember Wiltord doing something similar in a European game and maybe Diaby at Newcastle, so it’s not new.

His performance was really no worse than anyone else’s, the bottom line though is that you can’t convince anyone you’re fully focused on the game when you’re swapping shirts with opponents, particularly that opponent, at half-time. It’s also a bit of a sideshow and the fact is we need Kieran Gibbs back (see note above re: Diaby/Rosicky).

Robin van Persie

His goal was inevitable and the post-game talk of ‘respect’ was pitiful, and insulting, after he failed to celebrate, the faker. The moment that stood out for me though was a horrible challenge on Bacary Sagna, one of the few not to give him a cuddle before the game, and to inflict that tackle on a man who had his leg broken twice last season shows the true measure of the man. Brilliant player, wish we still had him, but that was nasty and something we were quite happy to overlook when wearing our shirt (naturally so, I should add).

Overall

Another disheartening day, more proof that our squad is too light in key areas, and another day when the team looked sluggish and not ready for the fight. Defeat I can take, it’s always painful but not that much of a problem if I know the team has given everything to try and win the game. It’s hard not to be worried when you see the team go out there and appear so off the pace, especially given the intensity of the game and the edge it had before hand.

To go down without a shot in anger until second half injury time suggests something is fundamentally wrong with the current team. Whether it’s quality of players, motivation, management, confidence or, most likely, a combination of all those things we’ll have to wait and see, but when it comes right down to it, it’s hard to see where this team is going. Four wins from ten league games isn’t any kind of form to shout about and unless we start winning games consistently we’re going to struggle to keep up.

We’ll hear plenty of talk of January and what we might do, but between now and then we’ve got 11 league games and 33 points to compete for with the squad we have. There’s no point trying to cling to the vague hope we’ll turn it all around with crafty transfer business (What, us spend?! hahaha … urgh), it’s got to be done through hard work and application because otherwise this season is going to go in a direction that none of us will like. If it hasn’t already.

Till tomorrow.

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