Arsenal v Aston Villa

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Michael Foster on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:59 am

thought i would share this....

had a think about today's result and one thing that strikes me more than anything and in all the years i have been a gooner not once have i thought that going into a game knowing at best we would get a draw would not piss me off...

we lost today and it was expected it was not united nor barca nor real but fucking villa...bloody aston villa!!
I said somewhere that it would be a 2-2 result and that was banking on us doing ok against them and then the 3-1 finish and what what did i feel..nothing..and that fucked me off more than anything...
how the hell can we as the ones that stand by this club through thick and thing be coming to this...

all the build up of the transfer window 'arsenal to sign XXXXXX' 'arsenal make a club record bid for XXXXX' every day names bamb! bamb! bamb! wenger commenting the usual saying 'we know what we want' we know we have to sign' and yet first game of the season down..3 points behind the leaders 3 goals worse off..after 1 bloody game....something somewhere within the club is wrong..call it wenger call it the players call it the board..whatever,the problem is still here and needs to be addressed... and yet it brings me to the same thoughts...its getting to the point of where you say fuck it..'what is the point anymore??'

every season i would love the transfer window,every summer i would have the same fun few months of going out and buying 1 or 2 home shirts for myself with players names and premiership badges on the arms...picking up a couple of kits for my boy and having a chuckle with him on the names he wants on the back..spending time enjoying looking through the fresh 6am papers delivered to me and thinking 'oh we have been linked with xxxxxx or xxxxx' enjoying the fact we had our big players and wanted to add to this to 'push on for the next season'.......

And now...what do i do....well stopped buying the kits 3 seasons ago as a pledge to myself soon as the club gets its shit together i will input my money back into it..i still  get my boy a kit (cannot take that away from him..he is too young to understand the reasons) but the paper talk bores me...the sky sports reports piss me off...pundits talk is cheep...i flick through the papers i guess every other day..might catch a quick look at some football news...
why the change....just a fed up gooner...i know people will say 'oh well your just a glory hunting fan..only here for the good times' say what they want...
season after season now is becoming a circus act at arsenal...the club says it wants to compete with the big boys and yet does fuck all to show it..we get handfulls of players coming in that are no good and let handfulls of players worth keeping go...
the gaffer is doing himself no favours by saying we have all we need and yet everyone else is seeing different...we have two billionaires on our board not one but two...why the hell are we not using them to full force?? ask for a little funds to help keep players..ask for a little to buy players..its only in the interests of the two that we do well for the return for them...

anyway i could sit here al night ripping into what i fell is wrong...

but still it wont change why the fact i expected us to get fucked over today...

ref or not...

it happened...the club needs to address it.



fast.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Hisham El Mawan on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Michael Foster wrote:thought i would share this....

had a think about today's result and one thing that strikes me more than anything and in all the years i have been a gooner not once have i thought that going into a game knowing at best we would get a draw would not piss me off...

we lost today and it was expected it was not united nor barca nor real but fucking villa...bloody aston villa!!
I said somewhere that it would be a 2-2 result and that was banking on us doing ok against them and then the 3-1 finish and what what did i feel..nothing..and that fucked me off more than anything...
how the hell can we as the ones that stand by this club through thick and thing be coming to this...

all the build up of the transfer window 'arsenal to sign XXXXXX' 'arsenal make a club record bid for XXXXX' every day names bamb! bamb! bamb! wenger commenting the usual saying 'we know what we want' we know we have to sign' and yet first game of the season down..3 points behind the leaders 3 goals worse off..after 1 bloody game....something somewhere within the club is wrong..call it wenger call it the players call it the board..whatever,the problem is still here and needs to be addressed... and yet it brings me to the same thoughts...its getting to the point of where you say fuck it..'what is the point anymore??'

every season i would love the transfer window,every summer i would have the same fun few months of going out and buying 1 or 2 home shirts for myself with players names and premiership badges on the arms...picking up a couple of kits for my boy and having a chuckle with him on the names he wants on the back..spending time enjoying looking through the fresh 6am papers delivered to me and thinking 'oh we have been linked with xxxxxx or xxxxx' enjoying the fact we had our big players and wanted to add to this to 'push on for the next season'.......

And now...what do i do....well stopped buying the kits 3 seasons ago as a pledge to myself soon as the club gets its shit together i will input my money back into it..i still  get my boy a kit (cannot take that away from him..he is too young to understand the reasons) but the paper talk bores me...the sky sports reports piss me off...pundits talk is cheep...i flick through the papers i guess every other day..might catch a quick look at some football news...
why the change....just a fed up gooner...i know people will say 'oh well your just a glory hunting fan..only here for the good times' say what they want...
season after season now is becoming a circus act at arsenal...the club says it wants to compete with the big boys and yet does fuck all to show it..we get handfulls of players coming in that are no good and let handfulls of players worth keeping go...
the gaffer is doing himself no favours by saying we have all we need and yet everyone else is seeing different...we have two billionaires on our board not one but two...why the hell are we not using them to full force?? ask for a little funds to help keep players..ask for a little to buy players..its only in the interests of the two that we do well for the return for them...

anyway i could sit here al night ripping into what i fell is wrong...

but still it wont change why the fact i expected us to get fucked over today...

ref or not...

it happened...the club needs to address it.



fast.
Well said, Michael. I still consider myself pro-Wenger, but there is something wrong within the club right now. Someone important is not doing their job right now. I don't know who it is, I don't care who it is, but the issue needs to be addressed and taken care of. Even if that person is AW himself, they need to shape up or ship out, because this was supposed to be the year we become challengers again.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:56 pm

I'm right with you Hisham.

Wenger plus existing squad plus 2-3 new top players is the best solution.

So frustrating that it won't seem to happen.


Last edited by Jonathan Prendergast on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spello)

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Michael Foster on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:00 pm

If we dont see us genuinely linked with some big names within the next week we are in big trouble....we need at least 5 players in...no point going for half baked ideas...these need to be internationally and winning mentality....

come on wenger no more repeats of yesterday's bullshit....

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Michael Foster on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:08 pm

As long as spurs lose today I will feel a little better about things

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Vanig Bostanian on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:40 am

Brilliant by Arseblog:
It’s hard to know where to start this morning. Pretty much anything that could go wrong did. We lost the game, lost players from our threadbare squad to injury, suffered some extremely dodgy refereeing decisions, and by the end there was little else but anger and disenchantment. Some start to a season.

Let’s get the referee out of the way first. I thought he was appalling from the first minute. Even leaving aside the big decisions, it was the little ones that set the tone. Every Arsenal challenge seemed to be a foul, yet Villa were allowed to do what they wanted. Villa were given advantage on a number of occasions (the first goal the most notable), yet Arsenal were pulled back and play stopped.

That the loudest cheers of the day were when he deigned to give us the odd free kick says it all. As for the penalties, well, I don’t think we can complain too much about the first one, even if the advantage thing was a bit odd. The second looked like a good Koscielny tackle but it’s always a risk when you go sliding in on a player in the box, especially when you know the ref is trigger happy.

The second yellow for the Frenchman looked ludicrous to me, especially when one Villa player had been allowed make three or four fouls without a card (Howton, Lowton, something?), and moments later Ron Vlaar, on a yellow from the first half, was let away with a much more obvious and cynical foul without a second yellow.

However, it might also be true to say that he could easily have shown Szczesny a red for the first penalty, and while I will not argue with anyone who says the referee had a big influence on proceedings, and was utterly shit, I’m not going to lay the finger of blame on him. To me he’s a handy scapegoat for those who want to ignore our own failings and our own hand in this defeat.

It was a result borne out of a pathetic summer of inaction, dithering and mismanagement at footballing and board level. Arsene Wenger said afterwards that we didn’t lose the game because of lack of new players, suggesting that the players we had were capable of winning it. I agree that we were capable, on paper, of winning. I said as much yesterday in my blog.

But, to say having gone through the entire close season with no investment in the team had no bearing on the result is wrong. Simply put – having better players would make us a better team. A better team could have built on Giroud’s fine early goal. A better team would not have allowed Agbonlahor to waltz through our midfield leading to the first penalty. With better players you have a better chance of controlling the game, thus situations which bring about danger (and bad refereeing decisions) are less likely to happen.

Imagine an Arsenal team with Luiz Gustavo and Gonzalo Higuain available yesterday. Better. More solid, more attacking threat. Imagine an Arsenal team with Begovic in goal. I like Szczesny (perhaps more for his personality than his goalkeeping as it turns out), but seeing him go full Almunia, miles outside his box, heading and making a last ditch tackle while on a yellow card already, was not good.

And in a summer when it’s hard to make any sense of what the manager has done off the pitch, how do we make sense of what he does on it. Why, when Oxlade-Chamberlain had to go off at half-time, did he put on Santi Cazorla? He’s had little or no pre-season, he’s just back from Ecuador and his performance was that of a man who was simply not ready. All the while, a fully fit, well prepared Lukas Podolski sat on the bench until thrown on in the 93rd minute when Sagna went off.

We ended with Aaron Ramsey at centre-half. Think about that for a moment. Now think about next weekend against Fulham when we’re likely to be without the injured Gibbs, Monreal and Vermaelen and the suspended Koscielny. Maybe Sagna will be ok after his horrible looking fall, but if not Arsenal have two available defenders. Carl Jenkinson (who I was told they’re considering loaning out), and Per Mertesacker.

Going into a season with just two centre-halves isn’t so much ill-prepared as downright stupid. We know players get injured and suspended, yet we’ve done nothing about it. We knew our midfield was light, we’ve done nothing about it. We knew we needed somebody else up front, we’ve paid lip-service to it by bringing in Sanogo, walking away from Higuain and involving ourselves in the gigantic, embarrassing mess that is Luis Suarez and his imaginary release clause.

Yesterday was the direct result of the summer. Sure, you can’t legislate for a referee having a nightmare, but you can put yourself in a better position to be able to cope if that happens. At the end of the day, there’s no transfer official making decisions which stop us spending money. We have, deliberately, chosen not to spend any money this summer.

And when I say we, I mean Arsene Wenger. I realise there’s anger at the board and the owner (which I understand and they’re complicit in allowing this culture of inaction to exist), but when it comes right down to it one man and one man only decides what happens on the football side of things at Arsenal Football Club. It’s not Kroenke and it’s certainly not Gazidis.

If Arsene Wenger doesn’t have the right people around him, in terms of scouts, negotiators or other people who can get big transfer deals done, that’s down to Arsene Wenger, because he decides who those people are. He fills the vacancies, he puts the responsibility in their hands. I think it’s clear that whole side of the club is utterly dysfunctional. Capable of operating at a very basic level, but incompetent above that.

Nobody can do anything about this because these are Arsene Wenger’s people. He is the one who decides. And yesterday, at his post-game press conference, he hit out at the press for questioning why a club as cash rich as Arsenal didn’t spend. There was the usual stuff about being on the market and how he wants to buy players (which I find hard to believe any more), and then this stunner:

You got what you wanted, you should be happy. Before the start the season that was all you write in the papers so what do you expect?

Staggering, when you think about it. You can certainly make a case for some members of the press being caustic or wind-up merchants, but to suggest this is a self-fulfilling prophesy because of what they write, rather than what he has done, or not done, is bonkers.

At this point you can’t convince me that any business we end up doing is anything other than reactive. Oh shit, we’ve lost a game in a slapstick manner, bit of an injury crisis, better go buy some players. That’s no way to run a football club. We had the chance to be proactive. We make a complete and utter mess of it. And that mess was what we saw on the pitch yesterday.

Another point to consider: having witnessed that yesterday, and looking at a club and manager who are in turmoil after one game of a new season, how attractive a proposition is a move to Arsenal now? Which super quality player, better than the ones we have (of course), is going to look at us as the place to be with all this going on? Compared to the summer when it would have been seen as a signal of intent and ambition, it’s now the polar opposite. What a mess.

I’ve been running this site a long time, I get a lot of email, and in recent weeks I’ve noticed that many people are so fed up with the way things are at the club that they’re considering jacking it in, for want a better phrase. They just can’t stand it any more. You can say that speaks more to them than anything else, but it’s unprecedented in my time doing this blog. They’ve reached breaking point but agree or not, all of us who love our football club know how far you have to be pushed to make that kind of decision.

As the third goal went in yesterday, a chant erupted around the stadium – “Spend some fucking money.”

Who could argue with that sentiment? What’s gone on since the end of last season has been little short of a disaster and highlighted the deep flaws and problems that exist within the club. Yet, it raises a bigger question now: do you believe Arsene Wenger is the right man to spend that money at this point?

I love the man, he’s given the me the most enjoyable era of my Arsenal supporting life, the best football, the best players, he’s done so much for us, so it’s sad to see him struggle like this. But it’s also difficult to listen to him, to blame the press when he’s the one who decided this squad was good enough to start the season, and go public about how it was good enough to win the title.

The stark reality is that it wasn’t good enough to beat Aston Villa at home on the opening day of the season. Right now, it feels like end of days territory, and perhaps we’d be better off knocking things down and building them up again than trying to plaster over the cracks.

Till tomorrow.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by John Foxall on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:55 am

From Goodplaya.com:

Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 3: Yes, it’s a long season… that’s exactly the fear

Goodplaya says: The below report is from Goodplaya correspondent Nico Hines, who sits next to me at the ground. I was out in rain sodden west Wales yesterday so have had to rely on highlights. Having seen them, I’m not at all sorry that I was where I was. I should say that penalty wise, I thought we could have no complaints: you couldn’t really say the shooting chance they had was obviously better than the one they would have had had their man rounded Szczesny so you can see why it gets pulled back. And the second one could have gone either way but definitely wasn’t a bad decision. Take it away Nico:

“Aaron Ramsey played most of the second half at centre back. By the end of the game he was joined in the back four by Lukas Podolski. That’s really all you need to know.

It was embarrassing.

The result wasn’t quite at 8-2 levels but this was a shambolic performance, and it came against a team who narrowly avoided relegation last season. There is nothing Wenger can say to justify the lack of depth in a squad that is utterly incapable of handling a few injuries and suspensions let alone a grueling season in four competitions.

GLIMMER OF HOPE

On six minutes, Arsenal scored one of those goals that made Wenger’s reputation as the orchestrator of great attacking teams. It started deep in our half where Jack Wilshere, playing almost in the Vieira role, brought the ball out from the back and found Rosicky, who executed his trademark spin-and-burst to set us on our way.

Oxlade-Chamberlain put the pass to devastating use in a rare outing on the left-wing and found Giroud with the outside of his boot. The Frenchman coolly tucked it away. It was a goal that oozed promise.

Perhaps this is Wilshere’s best position; playing deep and picking the ball up from the defence to start counter-attacks and drive the entire team forward like Patrick Vieira and a mid-era Cesc Fabregas.

Although he occasionally looked uncomfortable on his left foot, Oxlade-Chamberlain also made a case that this could his season (heart-breakingly he left the ground on crutches). And as for Giroud, it was one chance – one goal. Bang.

And then it all fell apart.

HARSH REALITY

As soon as Kieran Gibbs was withdrawn after yet another injury on 28 minutes, we began to look like a team in disarray. Bacary Sagna, who had started the game well at right-back, was clearly annoyed to be asked to fill in on the left. He looked uncomfortable and was regularly in dispute with Szczesny and the rest of defence. He was unhappy, but still one of our better performers especially from set-pieces when he tucked back into the penalty area.

Sagna was not the only one to lose his cool. Wilshere spent much of the game waving his arms around in frustration, Szczesny’s Almunia moment was crazed and even Podolski stopped smiling when Wenger asked him to go and play left-back at the end of the game. Laurent Koscielny’s sending off was harsh but he must cut out those moments of rashness if he is to be a reliable part of a strong defensive unit.

Once Jenkinson had come on for Gibbs, the dearth of options on the bench was all too clear. When Sagna went down clutching his foot towards the end of the first half Wenger and Bould didn’t even know who to send for a quick warm-up dash along the touch-line.

If Gibbs, Sagna and the suspended Koscielny are all missing against Fulham next weekend it’s impossible to see who we are going to play at the back. Mertesacker, who completely nullified Benteke, and Jenkinson would be the only players listed in the first team squad as defenders and available to take part. Frimpong and Miyaichi either side of Per and Jenkinson? How could Djourou and Miquel be allowed to leave if we weren’t going to replace them?

All three goals (and an effort that hit the post) came from runs straight through our midfield. It’s a familiar failing. Perhaps Arteta would have cut them out, Gustavo certainly would have tried.

WHAT NOW?

Wenger heard the crowd telling him to “Spend some fucking money!” and he doesn’t have long to do it, we could be out of the Champions League and nine points off the pace in the league by the time the transfer window closes. He says he only wants top-top quality but he’s left himself in the desperate position where he will be forced to sign anyone that’s available. It’s negligent and makes a mockery of his supposed prudence.

It wasn’t just the manager who heard the fans’ desperation. After the game, a visibly upset Wilshere pleaded: “Stick with us, it’s a long season.”

Yes, Jack. That’s what we’re worried about.”

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by John Foxall on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:38 am

Arse2Mouse's offering:

Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa: More A 90-Minute ‘Told You So’ Than A Match


If the manager is unable, or unwilling, to find players of sufficient quality to improve the current squad, then he should leave. If he genuinely thinks that this squad, as currently constructed, is capable of a title challenge, which was the line throughout pre-season, then his judgment is fatally flawed and he should leave. The sad truth is that I think, one way or another, it’s probably over, and he should leave. Certainly any thoughts of a new contract must be shelved indefinitely.

It feels a relief to say clearly here how I’ve felt in private for some time. Away from the internet it’s easier to talk, especially with friends, about the manager’s position – which invariably becomes toxic when raised online. But here’s the thing, if there’s any point to writing these posts (and you’re of course free to think there isn’t), then that point is betrayed when you soften things just to avoid upsetting people.

I started this site just over three years ago, when I first became a season ticket holder, because I found it a cathartic way to capture the excitement and emotion of going to games – win, lose or draw – and also because I was inspired by the writing of two bloggers. One was, of course, Andrew at Arseblog. The other was Jake at Goodplaya, who has this lucid way of analysing events that otherwise feel heated and complicated. Back in April of 2011, after our title bid collapsed, he wrote:

"Instead it must be realised that there has been an overarching failure and if the manager is to continue (and I say if very deliberately), then there must be a full acknowledgement of this failure and as far reaching a change of approach as there has ever been during his time here to put things right. If he can accept that, then fine. If not, he should go."

I remember feeling this weird sort of rush at the time, because I’d been waiting for someone I considered rational to say it – but I was too cowardly to join in with what was a clear call for change. Largely because I couldn’t face the barrage of counter-argument and complaint. Well, not anymore. Two years have passed, and what’s fundamentally changed?

We’re rich like Croesus thanks to the new commercial deals, but despite Ivan’s grandstanding about financial firepower, the modus operandi in the market seems much the same. One or two players. Super quality. Tumbleweed. What has changed, I suppose, is the wattage of the team’s stars. Much as I like the current crop – does anyone not? That isn’t the issue – the 2010-11 side included Fabregas, Van Persie, Song and Nasri. Say what you like about the latter two, but at the time they were considered huge talents. Vital parts of the squad. But year after year we’ve sold and replaced, rather than kept and added.

I tweeted at the end of today’s debacle that the atmosphere inside the ground was like Apocalypse Now, and I’m reminded of Kurtz’s question to Willard: “Are my methods unsound?” To which the answer comes back: “I don’t see any method at all, sir.”

Gustavo played for Wolfsburg in a 4-0 win against Schalke earlier, but had we signed him he might have been fielded in three positions today: 1) To cover for Arteta, as an actual defensive midfield specialist. 2) To replace Gibbs at left back, who got hurt (unluckily) quicker than even the doomiest fan could have dared dream. And 3) to fill in at centre back, after Koscielny’s sending off.

But hey, the player wanted to stay in Germany, and he turned down other big clubs, and… Enough. Stop it. I can’t listen to all the logical contortions and sophistry that the now dwindling band of loyalists are willing to make to defend an organisation, which is worth more than £1bn, and systematically underinvests in the only thing that really matters: the team. If nothing else, the failure to land a guy like Gustavo, or indeed anyone of note, tells you how far Arsenal’s appeal has waned. We have to wake up to that, and work out what we’re going to do about it.

On this week’s Arsenal America podcast, Tim of 7amkickoff made the point that Arsene won’t sign a player unless he think he’s somehow getting a steal. But the kind of players we’re (theoretically) now targeting don’t get marked down in the last-minute sales. You don’t buy them with a bundle of coupons. Not only do you have to pay the asking price, if you’re a club that hasn’t won anything for eight years and tends to finish 3rd or 4th, you may actually have to overpay to push deals through.

If Arsene’s valuations are so removed from the market rate that making new signings becomes almost impossible, then he is hurting the club because, like it or not – and I suspect he hates it – doing deals* for players is a crucial part of football. It’s untenable to have a man in charge who seems diametrically opposed to using the market as a key weapon in his armoury. Christ, given the sheer amount of cash we have sloshing around, it ought to be a weapon we’re using to crush our nearest rivals, much less the likes of Villa.

*Note: That’s ‘doing deals’, not trying. To borrow from Yoda, there is no ‘try’. Anyone can try. Crystal Palace can underbid Quixotically for Suarez tomorrow if they want. They’ll get laughed at too.

At the top I said the manager should leave. Obviously he won’t be sacked, and nor would I want him to be, (though I wonder if Gazidis wouldn’t consider it a relief after the last couple of months). Equally obviously, hiring a manager of any repute now, or that person having any time to actually make some moves, is a total non-starter. And if Arsene does go, then this season will likely be a write off, and we will have to rebuild, possibly without the benefit of Champions League football. So be it. I’m not afraid of change. In fact I crave seeing someone young and dynamic try a new approach.

There will, no doubt, be those who think Arsene can turn it around, because he’s turned it around in the past two seasons. And sure enough they may be right – but only if you define success as another kick, bollock and scramble for fourth, and I’m done with that now. I know it’s only the first game of the season, but this is the same team we saw all last season. On that basis it’s not a rush to judgment.

The revelation, which actually wasn’t a revelation at all – you only needed to look at Swiss Ramble’s analysis of Arsenal’s accounts for the last couple of years – that the club is sitting, Smaug-style, on a vast pile of treasure – has finally given the lie to the idea we were doing all we could with the resources we had. Look on our piecharts, ye mighty, and weep. The fans I speak to, on and offline, can’t muster up any enthusiasm for another year of more of the same, and nor can I. Think about how incredible it is that the ‘spend some fucking money’ chant doesn’t require orchestration. It’s waiting there, under the surface, for days like today. And hoo boy did today go wrong.

It’s hard to know where to start with the actual match. I have to largely gloss over the ref, because yes he was poor but it all became a bit pantomime, and from where I sat the first penalty looked spot on. Szczesny clearly fouled Agbonlahor, advantage was played while he took the shot (because a shot with no keeper is more advantageous than a pen), but when he stuck it into the side netting play was called back for the pen. I’m pretty sure Spurs conceded a similar one a couple of years ago, and people were equally baffled then. Anyway, a yellow rather than a red for the keeper, because he didn’t deny a clear goal-scoring chance in the sense the striker was still able to shoot.

More annoyingly, Rosicky was clipped in the box in the second half and still got his shot away, but because he kept his balance better got nothing. The second pen we conceded looked like a decent tackle to me, but I was sat miles away and have no desire to check. The real gripe was over Villa’s rotational fouling, but that’s been common at the Emirates for years now, and unless refs enforce the rules more strictly from the start, it’s hard to see anything changing. That’s enough on the referee. It’s entirely craven to lay the blame for what occurred today at his door. This is a mess of the club’s making.

All through the summer, people have pointed to our 10-game run at the end of the season, seemingly on the assumption that the same form will continue into this campaign. But that seems to ignore the fact that the entire team was essentially fighting for its life. You can’t the same small core group of players to do that, in four competitions, for an entire season.

And in any case, surely it was just as likely they would regress to the mean, and have some of the kind of uncreative performances that saw us slip so far behind Spurs in the first place, and get dumped out of both domestic cups in shame. Obviously I’m not saying we should assume the bad version of the team would turn up rather than the good one, but you give yourself the best chance of success by bringing in quality additions and letting them bed in – as, let’s face it, almost all the playing staff have been crying out for, on the record, for weeks now.

I feel numb. Not angry, not sad, more just astonished that we are here again. But I wonder how the players feel? Professional athletes are far better gauges of their peers’ ability than we are. I expect the squad knows that it’s not capable of doing what it needs to. I feel sorry for them, in all honesty. Sorry for the talented millionaires! Sorry for Sagna, who doesn’t seem to warrant a new deal, but is deemed good enough to cover centre back. Which would be fine if he wasn’t already having to cover left back. And hadn’t had to play today despite limping after the France match midweek. Sorry for Arteta, who’s injury has been in the post for over a year now, and yet we let the one player even vaguely suited to deputising for him leave on loan. What is this, if not mismanagement?

Mismanagement is assuming we’d scoop up points in August with the same set of players, including a game against Spurs in a fortnight. Mismanagement is assuming we will breeze through Champions League Qualifiers without strengthening the side. Even if players do eventually arrive, this summer has been woefully mismanaged. And I think the truth is, the club has been run wrong for longer than that. What might we have done with even a little more investment in the last few seasons?

So yes, I advocate change. I am (unfortunately) old enough to remember the end days of Clough’s second era at Forrest, and this is starting to feel like that. Back then I understood that the true horror of his failure was that because he was so loved, it meant he had to fall that much further before the situation became impossible. Sack Gazidis if you want, but it won’t make a blind bit of difference. The man holding us back, the dreaded metaphorical handbrake, is the manager.

– TDC

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Marko Maksimović on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:47 am

Right, I should be studying for an exam tomorrow morning but here goes anyway...
As much as I disagree with the fact that our only signing so far has been Sanogo, what happened against Villa was a really bad combination of events. We have 4 full backs and a couple of others who can cover if worst comes to worse. Centre back is slightly light, fair enough. We have midfielders but even there we could do with a player or two. Up front you could say the same. So, this whole summer I've been saying we need two dynamic players one who can play in midfield and attack, and another who can play midfield and fill in at the back. (har har Very Happy )
This brings me to Villa, we started with a nearly full strength side, lost Gibbs to a freak knock, Sagna later to a dodgy fall. Then you have Koscielny who, as good as he was last year, went and made a good challenge and got punished unfairly. Now, a mature CB would steady up and not let his frustrations get the better of him. No, that's not how this crop of players operate. I don't see why TV gets so much stick when Kos is the same type of gung ho defender that uses pace and strength more than his reading of the game. Yes TV dipped but after injury it's hard not to have that. Apart from BFG, every single one of them makes rash challenges. Koscielny did not need to go in late. Yes he shouldn't have been booked in the first place but we see it time and time again. Jack, Kos are just two players that don't settle after getting cheap yellows. Wilshere was on a mission to leave his mark because the ref was shafting us. Which is ok to show guts and spirit but he has to do it by digging deep and making things happen football wise. Arsenal isn't a team of thugs. We will get punished more because our Club is very outspoken against that type of football. I'm not saying that they need to keel over but there's a time to leave your boot in and there's a time to focus on the job at hand.
Now, we need players in, I've read about Cabaye, hope it works out BUT there are things going on behind the scenes which nobody knows except people at the Club themselves. This isn't FIFA or PES where you can buy 3 players to back up nearly every position. The market is still in a depression and prices are inflated. Suarez is not worth 50 mil, not even 40. So why go overboard? If it was your 40 mil why would you pay that much when you can try elsewhere. It's the whole principle of it. We just had hearsay about Higuain. Really I don't know if we did put a bid down. Back to Villa, 2-1 down, red card, everyone goes up for a corner and you could see the counter coming from fricking London Victoria. Wilshere was yelling for someone to back up. Nobody listened.
Shit happens, it's football. The ref had a shocker, having signed someone might not have changed that. How do we know that a new signing wouldn't have conceded a penalty instead of Kos. Cazorla, as knackered as he was had to come on. Every other club has internationals, why do we bitch and moan about it more than the rest? It's not really a shocker but both left backs injured, right back off and a centre back (our hero from last year) sent off. What would anyone have done? It's a really tricky situation and I understand AW, you can't prepare for every single situation by buying extra players. He has a budget to balance even if a decent number of players have been sent off on loan or sold. But one thing, if we had kept some of them it would have been complaints all summer "Get the deadwood out."
We need signings, it seems like incompetence but I'm struggling to believe that AW is THAT incompetent at signing players.
All we can do is hope we get past the Turkish delights (I'm on a roll shit Very Happy)
Pointless rant over...

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:53 pm

Great post Marco. Very much agree, apart from the Koscielny bit. But I am biased and won't here a bad word about Kos!

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Marko Maksimović on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:10 pm

Shot! Kos is a good defender but I put him on the same level as TV. They both have a lot of work to do. I notice that when the opposition plays in front of our back 4 they step out and lose sense of position and then when the ball gets spread to the wing and a cross comes in their men have a headstart. Kos' own goals were partly due to that. When I played full back it was a big no no to lunge towards goal to try intercept the ball. If I remember well the best cbs defend with their backs to goal. You have a better sense of position and where everyone is on the pitch. It helps if you communicate well with your GK because he has the best view/perspective of the game.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by John Foxall on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:40 pm

I think Kos has proved himself more reliable than TV and if anything a more natural defender.

We were like a polo mint on Saturday though, Villa could run through us with ease. Agbonlahor has caused us problems in the past but when he can just run through the middle of our team, you know something is wrong. Without Arteta, no-one in our squad knows how to hold in front of the back four. A position we should have strengthened for the past five years.

So it was a difficult day for Kos and Mert, left exposed against two athletic fast forwards.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Marko Maksimović on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:27 am

Agree with everything but the fact that we haven't seen TV at his best for a while does have an effect on fans' opinions. Hope the boys kick on tomorrow night and get into gear.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:13 pm

TV in his first season made Premier League team of the year.

While I prefer Koscielny, who I think is becoming world class, I agree that if TV got back to that form he would push Kos.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by John Foxall on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:33 pm

Jonathan Prendergast wrote:TV in his first season made Premier League team of the year.

While I prefer Koscielny, who I think is becoming world class, I agree that if TV got back to that form he would push Kos.
Well, neither made a really assuring start to their career in England. However, TV is still a player that teams seem to exploit with relative ease, he gets pulled all over the place and Kos has the better partnership with Mertesacker, the proof is in the runs of results.

Kos, not TV, has been key in our best series of results over the past two seasons. What is this form that TV has? He's never been consistent enough, there have always been doubts over his ability as a defender. A good footballer and a good personality he might be, but that stat about the premier league team of the year is irrelevant. He's never assured like a Ferdinand, Carvalho, Vidic or Kompany.

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Re: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Post by Michael Foster on Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:43 pm

John Foxall wrote:
Jonathan Prendergast wrote:TV in his first season made Premier League team of the year.

While I prefer Koscielny, who I think is becoming world class, I agree that if TV got back to that form he would push Kos.
Well, neither made a really assuring start to their career in England. However, TV is still a player that teams seem to exploit with relative ease, he gets pulled all over the place and Kos has the better partnership with Mertesacker, the proof is in the runs of results.

Kos, not TV, has been key in our best series of results over the past two seasons. What is this form that TV has? He's never been consistent enough, there have always been doubts over his ability as a defender. A good footballer and a good personality he might be, but that stat about the premier league team of the year is irrelevant. He's never assured like a Ferdinand, Carvalho, Vidic or Kompany.
i agree with that fully.....tv has never really had any form and to be honest him smashing in goals helped make him a quick fans favourite..i for one was sucked into that feeling but quickly came back down noticing his faults....
i have always been a fan of moving tv into the holding mid position...his range of passing is great and not being the last man i think would help him...seams to panic just at the wrong moment and draws him into positions he does not need to be in...

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