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Some Heads Go Down As Arsenal Surrender Cup Ahead of Munich

neville4

But in today’s post, Blackburn George asks – exactly who are the real losers here?

I can’t think how yesterday’s result could have been worse.

We lost a game we dominated from start to finish.  Blackburn’s solitary effort on goal was struck so badly that it looped into the net via the post.  It was a nightmare.  But Arsenal undeniably performed below par.  Some players were understandably off the pace following extended layoffs and/or lack of playing opportunities.  Others just did not seem to have the urgency required to put a poor Blackburn team to the sword.

On the other hand, no player in particular had a stinker.

We were not crap, or even very bad.

Arsene picked a team that should have been more than good enough to win.  He later strengthened it further with the introduction of Santi, Jack and Theo.  Thomas Rosicky – who was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch – was withdrawn, together with The Ox and Gervinho.  I think most would have made the same changes given that Thomas was unlikely to last ninety minutes.

It took a huge slice of good fortune on their part to score and more luck – this time of the bad variety – combined with some poor finishing, for us not to score.  Arsene must be livid and desperately disappointed in a team that should have gotten the business done.  On any other day it would have.  In the words of Lucas Podolski:

 “Shit happens”

Onwards and upwards is now our only option.

Twitter, following the game was absolute carnage.  A performance of over-reaction and judgmental cowardice that frankly beggared belief.

Forgotten was the West Ham display.

Forgotten was the comeback against Liverpool.

Forgotten was the brilliance – and courage – shown against Sunderland.

The team and manager were disparaged and rubbished in the rudest of terms.  It was, by any standards, disgraceful.  In response to some of it I tweeted the following:

“If you can’t get behind the team in the worst of circumstances, you are nothing but a fair-weather glory-hunting twat.”

I thought it then and I still do.  I am not suggesting we could – or should –  not have done better as a unit.  But were we bad enough to justify what followed as supposedly ‘loyal’ supporters turned on their team like a pack of deranged halfwits?  No, we were not.  Not by a long way.  True, it is the second time in the season that lightning has struck in the cup, and that undeniably makes it harder to swallow.

But swallow it we must.

Nothing I saw yesterday has changed my opinion that given a settled Summer and the addition of one or two players, this squad will be good enough to compete both domestically and in Europe.  The future is bright, despite what the ill-informed may say.  For me, Tuesday simply can not come quickly enough.

I am confident we will see the real Arsenal very soon.

Hopefully we’ll see the real fans, too.

About ArsenalAndrew

Annoying, perennial optimist and lifelong supporter of the finest football club the world has ever seen. My support for the club manager and every single player is non-negotiable, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Retain all options on fellow fans.

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98 comments on “Some Heads Go Down As Arsenal Surrender Cup Ahead of Munich

  1. This is how I would like to deal with doomers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-cPWheNyaA

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  2. pg @ 3:44pm
    Another theme from many of these self-righteous, self-promoting blogs is the idea that the players made no effort and cared little for the results. Apparently if you are not running around on the field at 100 mph for 90 minutes is an index of sloth and lack of commitment. Apart from the sheer impossibility of sustaining high tempo for 90 minutes, unless you are doped, the idea of going gangbusters against a parked double-decker bus betrays sheer naivete. Teams who adopt such tactics vs Arsenal are keen to see us play gung-ho making it us ripe for the counter-attack. In fact it was exactly how we were caught on the counter yesterday. Right after the three subs, in our rush to go forward, Blackburn broke, with Theo caught upfield.
    One blogger, in a hurry to show how smart he is now suggesting that because Cazorla was going 100 mph, he shoud be dropped for Bayern. Unbelievable!

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  3. Ahhh..feels like home. Good post, George, and of course huge thanks to you and Adi for setting this up.

    Yesterday’s defeat was hard to swallow, but alas shit happens and it wasn’t to be. Usual shit-stirring from some journos and fans with short term memories who can’t wait to pull their swords out.

    Bring on Bayern!

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  4. Kew Gardens are growing another Titan Arum in a bucket amongst the orchids and bromeliads. Only flowers every few years and when it does it suddenly bursts and lets off a godawful stink. I was there a few years ago when it ‘ performed’. It smelt like a mixture of vomit, faeces and rotting flesh. Very reminiscent of the smell of Old Trafford…the Big Manc Comms Dept have always kept a lid on it but if you are unlucky enough to watch one of their home games watch the fans carefully. Many have appliances on their noses, and others have forced rictus grins. It is why PV4 used to have Vick on his shirt and why Robbie Fowler started wearing that odd thing on his conk when he played there…and it drove bluenose to drink. It is why he never does interviews after their games. He is not actually there. The bloke in the dugout is just a projection.

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  5. Hear hear!! God bless your soul but that was what I thought as well! The fight was there and any ‘fan’ claiming that we lacked it was sheer insulting! I stayed off twitter because far too many people were still slagging the arsenal and even the bulk of positive fans were caught up defending it. The best remedy is to focus positively and your well written post has done just that. Cheers!

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  6. Fortunately I’ve been busy since straight after the game, but even had I the time on my hands I would have known to avoid the internet after yesterday’s result. But thank goodness for PA and another fine piece of writing from George. This is why I want to keep the ‘debate’ away from this place. This is a haven when things are not going well and a place to celebrate in the good times.

    Frank, I was in the East Upper yesterday and it was Gervinho who was getting it from all around me and when he missed that chance, I was met by surprise when I said he’ll get the next one and that if we want him to do well for us, we need to support him. Why should I need to do that amongst alleged Arsenal supporters? I hoped momentarily that the FA cup crowd was going to be different to the usual home crowd, but the support was horrible. I was the only person singing in my area and the guy next to me left with about 7 mins to go when the team were throwing everything forward to try to get a goal. There is no advantage to playing at home for us unfortunately. The fair weather fools don’t seem to realise how much damage they are doing to the confidence of the players. I just hope the boys can find a way to rise above it and shove the negativity back down their throats.

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  7. Very well said George. We played a good game and created more than enough to win but you don’t always get what you deserve. During the game on twitter I didn’t get the feeling fans though we were having a bad team performance, or any player a poor individual performance, or that we were vulnerable to conceding. However the poor result suddenly transformed many fans’ memory of the game as being an atrocious Arsenal performance! We could have done better of course, but we’ve played worse and got a result.

    It saddens me to see many usually strong and positive fans soften their stance after such an unfortunate but undeserved result, railroaded by an emotionally volatile minority. I’m sorry but I refuse to negotiate with terrorists. There’s a difference between weather and climate, and I won’t allow the odd bout of poor weather taint my otherwise sunny experience of supporting Arsenal.

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  8. Passenal – a subject worthy of a main article in itself, I’d suggest, and something I’ve felt I’ve been aware of for a while (as I expect you have too).

    The nature of our current support base has reversed the status of our home games in as far as our opponents now most certainly enjoy our ‘home disadvantage’. I’m certain the opposition are lifted by the jeers of our own ‘fans’ laying into Arsenal players and I’m equally sure that, little by little, our players become more reticent to take chances with their passing or shooting, acutely aware of how chronically unsympathetic – let alone un-supportive – the at-times wretched home crowd is.

    I quite recently suggested as much on another well-known blog and got slapped down for my pains. I think the reason given was that as highly paid professionals they should be capable of rising above it all.

    Talk about cloud cuckoo land …

    I rather like the idea of Frank’s banner!

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  9. I missed the match so no comments there. As for the rest, I simply agree with many comments. I’m not worried. For me, it changes nothing. Bring on Bayern. I was very taken with what FunGunner said (players belief), and Frank (the mood in the crowd). We will just have to overcome.

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  10. @ArsenalAndrew 7.03pm

    And quite ironic when the team is accused of not turning up against smaller sides that large swathes of the crowd do exactly the same, and feel their support isn’t required against smaller sides!

    I’ve heard the excuse that Old Trafford lacks atmosphere and it doesn’t stop Man Utd from winning constantly, but their fans don’t moan and groan at every misplaced pass, failed dribble, overhit cross or poor set piece delivery. Their players are not brow-beaten by a crowd that passes judgement on every action and decision they make until they stop taking risks altogether.

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  11. There is someone who commentates on Fox Soccer Channel and on more than one occasion he has said that Arsenals support is a hindrance to the team. He says that instead of getting behind the team and helping to pick them up, they are waiting for something good to happen and then they will make some noise. These people are really full of themselves.

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  12. I couldn’t agree more Andrew. When Gervinho missed that chance, the way he sank to his knees in anguish told it’s own story. But what I really loved was the way Rosicky went over to console him. There is a definite spirit of togetherness in this team. Arsene himself said that the negativity surrounding the team is sapping their confidence and still the thick headed are not listening. It is there for all with eyes to see. These are top quality players, but they are playing without their spark and either make one more pass rather than take a chance of missing or respond to the shouts of ‘shoot’ and end up making wildly off target efforts.

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  13. @ Wrenny February 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    “the team is accused of not turning up against smaller sides that large swathes of the crowd do exactly the same, and feel their support isn’t required against smaller sides!”

    Yes!! Drives me up the wall. The supporters spend the preceding week dismissing the opposition (“It’s only Swansea/Brighton/Bradford/Blackburn”) and then if we don’t win, they accuse the team of being complacent.

    ***

    Is there anything we can do to combat this stuff, especially in the stadium? A petition/open letter saying we support the manager and the team to the hilt? We would get thousands of signatures from around the world, I feel sure of that. Something has to happen because some of the “support” is slowly strangling our players.

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  14. “But what I really loved was the way Rosicky went over to console him. There is a definite spirit of togetherness in this team.”

    There is. I’m kind of hoping that a bunker mentality is being fostered as a reaction to the overreaction, if you see what I mean.

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  15. It’s not all gloom amongst the support. As I was leaving the ground yesterday it was quite heartening to hear a young lad saying to his father “oh well, that’s football. You win some you lose some, eh dad?” And I thought, what a well brought up lad, much more balanced than a lot more (im)mature supporters who frequent the internet!

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  16. Yes. I agree with that, Passenal.

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  17. I hope the bunker mentality works, FG. Ridiculous that OUR team has to insulate itself against US.

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  18. a 0-0 and a 0-1 in europe and everyone will shut up

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  19. LeoS @ 6:55 pm
    An “emotionally volatile minority”. I wouldn’t be sure about that my friend. All manias are fed by a deluded majority., most recently the real estate bubble. The current genearation of fans are brought up on the idea that a billionaire owner can buy instant success. You just need an owner who will spend some “fuckin” money.

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  20. Frank

    “Ridiculous that OUR team has to insulate itself against US.”
    That should be a tweet

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  21. dont know if its the new generation shotta, to me they look more like losers of all ages who are attached to arsenal to make up for other failures in their lives and so when the team doesnt win they have to blame someone for that inadequacy. i trust our strong minded ownership to not listen to the cretins and keep as is. if wenger gets past munich the doomers will have to shut up for a while…..till we lose another game and throw tantrums again..however..at some point the reasonable fans of arsenal will have to stand up and deal with this “cancer” .

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  22. LIke Wrenny, FG and others have hinted. Support it’s what’s important in the stadium at present.

    Chap behind me on Saturday swore at Wenger two minutes from end of game and walked out. FFS, when the team need most support the fuckers fuck off, happy in their miserableness.

    Even the most dim among them surely note that when such games as the Barca game, the 5-2 spuds games, the 3-0 milan 2nd leg – all games in very recent memory, even the most dim must note that the atmosphere at those games have been huge. Coincidence that the team do so well… I think not. Fickle fuckers… turn up, shout FOR the team and stay til after the game has finished, bloody simple. Have your moan online/in the pub/in the privacy of your own crypt, but have the decency to support the team you claim to support when they are playing… it’s not hard.

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  23. Well said Steve

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  24. Problem being afc for the last 7 year’s has been 3 or 4 players short of being in the mix AW failure to address this has cost us. Early on after the move from highbury money was tight and I think we over achieved but the money is there truth is can he spend it. Hopefully now more money is coming in with new deals more quality can be added. Always a But tho no CL this year can we persuade players to come play europa cup time will tell “up the gunners”

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  25. No Barry “the truth is”we dont know if the money was/is there and if the board will sanction its use.To assume Arsene has chosen not to spend ,is to assume too much

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  26. George

    This blog is attracting some rather excellent comment(er)s.

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  27. Barry, there is money in the bank, but it’s not all available for spending as the club have to keep a certain amount of cash reserves as a guarantee against the stadium debt. Arsene tried to spend in January, but the quality players are not often available in the winter window. Would you have him buy for the sake of it or spend the money on top quality in the summer? We have the players to get us to our minimum targets. We just need the support to do their job and help them over the finish line.

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  28. You should see the trash bin Dups.not so excellent

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  29. @ pedantic george February 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    “You should see the trash bin Dups.not so excellent”

    Is it a bit smelly, PG? Bet it’s rank with bin juice.

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  30. I can imagine the trash bin and the comments therein. The sort of folk who can’t comprehend the premis behind a site such as this… duh! the clue is in the name.

    What gives one reason to smile is to know that there’s now a place that won’t let them in, in their little flock, purveying their rote learned portions of doom and gloom and, as much as they would not dare admit it, they will be reading daily and they know that their souls are unclean as they drown in their own saliva of inadequacy as the foam at the mouth at their own impotence. Either that or I’ve had too much Speckled Hen this evening…

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  31. Great seeing some new faces here. After a defeat as well. Good on you.

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  32. @ Barry

    I’d say Arsene has been spending more money, but not in a spectacular way. For example, it feels as if in recent years we’ve bought more players in total, and paid more transfer fees as opposed to getting players on a free. And in addition they have been experienced quality. Previously, we had to choose between experience and quality most of the time. We got some of our experience relatively cheaply and bought younger players with the potential to be top quality. Furthermore, some of those experienced quality players are players on whom we’re going to lose money – they will be worth less after four years than they are when we bring them in. I also wonder if, a few years ago, we would have been able to bring in Monreal in January – maybe we would have had to make do until the end of the season? I don’t know for sure, of course, as I haven’t checked any of the numbers, but that’s my impression.
    And of course wages have shot up, too, so more has been spent there.

    Anyway, good night, all. I second dups – very high standard of comments, alcohol befuddlement notwithstanding.

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  33. Arsenal have been in the mix on more than one occasion, no?
    We have been close to winning the PL a couple of times, went to the CL Finals and were robbed of a chance to go to the CL finals again.

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  34. More importantly, I think this current team is special, additions or no additions. I really have nothing of note to offer other than this. It will take time but this team will shock the world.

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  35. Nice article George. Well said!

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  36. My George, quite a resurrection. Love it.

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  37. Colin Kazim-Richards:

    “I was here as a schoolboy, so my connections are to Arsenal, I am an Arsenal fan. I love Arsenal,” he said.

    “I will be supporting them against Bayern Munich. I will have my Arsenal top on…”I used to train under the Clock End (at Highbury) on the indoor pitches, so for me to get the goal is amazing. You dream of stuff like this and for it to come true,” said Kazim-Richards, who dedicated the goal to his brother Rodney – who passed away as an infant from Edwards Syndrome.

    Alas Colin, there are a number of fans, who never had the courage or ability like yourself to up sticks and play their football abroad, fans who clearly know far more about The Game then any of us. Y’know, the sort that spent years heckling Walcott as a ‘shit Aaron Lennon’, the sort who last season booed Arshavin when he came on for a tiring teenager, and this season are booing that very teenager! A nineteen year old England International.
    No doubt these ginormous Football brains, we know who they are, they will be hoping for another defeat. *facepalm*

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  38. Morning all – a new post will be with us by around lunchtime.

    You know the anti-Arsenal agenda has moved into overdrive when Richard Keys is moved to defend the club against all the hostility on TalkSport this morning …

    How upset they are all gonna be when we put in a great performance against the Germans on Tuesday?

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  39. During a recent game (not the Blackburn game) I turned to my friends Uncle Henry who I was at the game with and said: “Now, I’m no Brian Clough, but don’t you find that the jip a nineteen year old England International who’s not been playing regularly is receiving from a number of his fans to be a little psychotic?”

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  40. How refreshing it is to find some like minded Arsenal fans.

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  41. She seems a bit upset

    Fit in well down the Grove though

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  42. @ finsbury February 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Nice from k-z, but shame he couldn’t have been a bit more of a fan and missed!

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  43. Fun
    I know! He tried his best to match Rosicky’s shot against the bar/woodwork, but the football gawds weren’t having any of it, and in it went.

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  44. pufftsshahahaaa anicol…excellent find !! luv it!

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  45. Been trawling the blogs trying to find some kindred spirits. Just the word positive was a breath of fresh air. Really enjoyed reading the post and will join the happy community as am fed up with arguing with the glass half full brigade.

    Really hopefully for tonight. COYG

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