Arsenal Lost – But Don’t Give Up

dont give up

“If you can keep your head …”

It’s 9 am Sunday morning and I am just starting to write about the events that began to unfold some 18 hours ago.  I haven’t been able to eat or sleep and I feel like shit.

That’s what football can do.

Perhaps I would feel better if I had spent last night attacking the team, the manager and everyone else I could find in order to transfer my disappointment onto them. It seems to work for many, I might give it a go next time.

It doesn’t get much worse than yesterday.  The team played poorly and we lost.

If only it was that simple, but it’s not.

We started off slowly and one of our normally most dependable players – Tomas Rosicky – decided he would pick this match to have a ‘mare.  He chose to ignore his team mates and pass the ball to Stoke players instead.  Jack and Santi seemed to think that was a good idea too, and joined in.

Podolski  thought he would reinvent himself as a midfielder and took up some deep lying duties, leaving Giroud isolated and ineffective.  That’s when he wasn’t lying on the pitch complaining about being fouled.

Which he inevitably had been, by the way.

There was no fluency, no speed of foot or thought from our attacking players.  In short, they were piss-poor.  Of course the defence were sound, Arteta was doing a decent job of shielding them and frankly they didn’t look like scoring until the referee decided to gift them a penalty kick.

It was a shocking decision, by a man who had a shocking game.

The disappointment of fans turned to anger and all the old clichés were rolled out and scapegoats duly sought.

The team selected was wrong, blame the manager.

That’s always a good one, eh ?

This was basically the same team that put Sunderland to the sword last week, better if you rate Gibbs over Monreal.

People then claim that it was because Sunderland had their eye on the COC final and were shit.  Of course it was! So despite the sheer beauty of our play that day, we can write off that elevens’ performance and claim they can’t play together?

What happened to never change a winning team?

The referee sanctioned Stoke in their attempts to stop us playing by foul means.

Some of the attacks on Jack and Giroud were outrageous.  The lack of yellow (or even red card, some were that bad) allowed them to stop our lads ever finding a rhythm.

Now people then say we should have taken the referee out of the game by playing better.  The team lacked the character to do that. Well ok, in that case The Invincables were a bunch of lightweights as well because they didn’t man up against Man United on Game 50 and take Mike Dean out of the match! Did they?

The disappointment is magnified because we hoped that days like yesterday were a thing of the past. Yes indeed, we were never again going to have an off-day, that was the hope.  Good luck with that.

When a team relies on technical excellence it takes only a couple of players to have a bad day and there is a huge spanner in the works. The more technical your play, the more you need all of the components to perform up to a level. I think we have to accept that that’s the way it is. And please don’t come with the old “We need a plan B “ or I will come after you and poke you with a big shit-covered stick.

I am of a mind that we are now more likely to finish 4th than 1st.

Disappointing as that is, I can cope and I can cope because the curve is upwards. With the addition of one or two top players and the progression of our core, I believe next year we will be better, and the year after that, better still.

Now that’s not to say that we can’t win something this year.

We can, but it’s getting more difficult. Fans should understand that moaning, crying and attacking everyone they can find does not make them as fans more passionate. It just makes them sad, needy people who have  to blame someone else because their team was not able to provide the success in life that they are unable to provide for themselves.

Life’s losers, calling other losers is irony gone mad.

You can be ironic with George (whilst not giving up) on Twitter @Blackburngeorge

45 comments on “Arsenal Lost – But Don’t Give Up

  1. Now I think I have my reservations about these so called “FANS”. What is this meltdown about? All of a sudden, Wenger needs to be sacked at the end of the season because we’ll probably end up 5th if not 6th because sp*rs will even overtake us. For God sake where is the sanity in the world gone. We lost to stoke who also beat the Chavs and it’s all Wenger’s fault. I’m indeed very angry nt at the result nor the Stoke touts but at our fickle fan base.
    Rant over.


  2. Admittedly, the team played badly yesterday but it will be unreasonable of anybody to expect the team to play well or even win every game. Days like stoke will always come and we must all learn to live with it.


  3. People are so quick to give up – in doing so they only hurt themselves and assist the opposition.

    They should try living with real failure, year in year out.

    Like the Spuds.


  4. (my 8:16am post)

    G69..I like our chances too but we have to up the ante immediately.
    No room for sloppiness.
    AW needs to deploy ALL available troops irrespective of seniority/experience.

    Gnabry & Ox are primed & ready for wing assault…(add Ryo if either is out)
    Oz needs their speed to split open defences easier
    Our over-concentrated CM needs to be simplified & the wings utilized better.
    Long balls to Giroud should be the 3rd option
    We need to be flying.

    I don’t care if its Bayern, Shitty or Chelski
    We have the personnel to win EVERY battle ahead

    Ox & Gnabry are ready
    The Verminator is ready
    Oz is rested & ready
    Rosicky sure as hell is ready!
    Sagna, Kos, & Per have been rocksteady all season
    Sanogo, Nik & OG have under-used necks that need feeding
    Flamini & Arteta have no fear of blood
    Szcz & Fabia are as good as any goalies anywhere
    Jack will engage without a doubt
    You know Rambo’s always got that eye of le tigre
    Who knows what Kim K & Abou can add to the mix?

    I just know in my heart of hearts that we can win the EPL
    If we truly believe we can.
    Just ONE POINT would do it.

    FUCK Mourinho!
    FUCK Etihad Shitty!
    Fuck the Establishment!

    CARMON ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. Just ONE POINT could win the EPL this year
    Are we mice or men?
    How badly do WE want it gooners?


  6. Without wishing to tempt George and his poking stick too much, I think there are times when we do need a plan B, and yesterday was probably one of them. I only listened to the match, but time and time again the commentators talked about poor pitch conditions and passes not getting to their targets quickly enough as a result. If you play a passing game, then it will be nullified by a slow surface, so that is a time when you might change your approach.


  7. Another of those games where we clearly missed Theo and Aaron – but what team wouldn’t? Regardless of opposition? But relative lack of pace (at least until Ox came on) meant we couldn’t hit the byeline and then cut it back which may well have asked all sorts of questions. LIked Sanogo and Olly being on the pitch together and in the last 15 minutes we looked more dangerous especially with Ox probing away.

    But Arsene’s never been a knee-jerk merchant – he leaves that to the fans – but had we had the last 30 minutes set up like that rather than the last 15 or so we may have seen greater success. But hindsight is a truly marvellous thing and it’s all so easy to judge from afar, isn’t it?


  8. It is a huge disappointment but we are still in the Runnings. Over the last few seasons we have ended well, I think we will bounce back now.

    Andrew, I did not watch most of the game but maybe we need to make changes earlier if the same thing that happened in the first half continues in the second.

    On another note, I have to agree that it is not easy to play well if you are being targeted by players gettin stick in and the ref does nothing. Trust me, OG seems to be called for a foul every time him and defender jump for a high ball but others get away with stamping on him!?


  9. Can’t give in to hysteria PG
    ‘Tis not the mantra of the positivistas.

    10 PL games left:

    1. Spurs (A) – 16/03
    2. Chelski (A) – 22/03
    3. ManShitty (H) – 29/03
    4. Everton (A) – 06/04
    5. West Ham (H) – 13/04
    6. Hull (A) – 19/04
    7. Newcastle (H) – 28/04
    8. West Brom (H) – 03/05
    9. Norwich (A) – 11/05
    10. Swansea (H) – TBC


  10. i dont think there is any true fan that wont be disappointed with yesterday result. if you are not about the performance of the team, you would about the referee or about the other rival who picked up points around us. more painful is the fact that many halfwit pundits who have always predicted our failure now feel like a gods or something.

    it is not yet over but certainly tougher than before. its time for the true arsenal players to rise up and be counted. they gave us great hope this season and they must not let us down now that we are almost there. i still believe we can do what we did last season. win the remaining ten games by taking each as a cup final and a must win. we can do it and we must do it.


  11. 1-6 CL games left:

    1. Bayern Munchen R16.2L – 11/03
    2. QF 1L – 1or2/04
    3. QF 2L – 8or9/04
    4. SF 1L – 22or23/04
    5. SF 2L – 29or30/04
    6. FINAL 24/05


  12. Good inspirational post at 12.14 Aman.

    10 cup finals lads! We can do this! Lets make the bus driver’s we are not going to win the title “mind games” a reality.

    Come on boys. Home stretch. 10 games. Game after game, win after win. I hope each and every Arsenal player steps up a gear or two and the Arsenal Team hits overdrive.


  13. 1-3 FA Cup games left:

    1. Everton (H) – 08/03
    2. SF (N) – 11or12or13or14/04
    3. FINAL (W) – 17/05

    we have 12-19 games left.
    we have THREE trophies available for lifting
    YES, it’s going to take some HEAVY LIFTING but we are more than capable.

    Can’t have the naysayers polluting this shrine of positivistas PG & AA.
    We’ve got to KEEP THE FAITH.



  14. Through most of 2013 our away form was superb, with any number of courageous and disciplined performances inching us towards first a fourth Place finish and then to the top of the League. 2014 hasn’t been nearly so special, although there has been nothing much wrong with our home form since January. I wonder if this is mere coincidence, or whether our approach has changed in some way.


  15. I’ve been casting my mind back to see if any game of relatively recent vintage came close to seeing both sides playing such an appalling game of first class football. The closest was an Arse-Spuds game of circa 1966 where at least both sides managed to score.

    The first half is best reported as pprjj4 uhyegbd *&%$ nsidte olsbrdf ##### fogutxz. Ches makes a good save.

    The second half was not much better. In short, we were dreadful, the Neanderthals excruciating and there should be at least a 3 match ban for Adam. A great number of fouls passed by a ref who really should have cracked down on more than the 3 cards issued to the uglies and dumb. Kos shouldn’t have had his hand up in the area. AW can’t really complain…and if I can’t complain, why should he? Ches makes another good save though not unfortunately from the penalty.
    It was an ‘orrible ‘ardship to watch and tested “keeping the faith” to the absolute bloody limit.


  16. Stoke beat Chelski 3-2 at the Britannia and broke a fantastic streak they were on. Do you guys not recall that game? Chelski had them on the ropes, but Stoke came back and won it with a fantastic strike. Apart from the referee letting Adam and Whelan stamp all over our players, this was never going to be an easy win.


  17. Despite the totally deflating nature of yesterday, I still can’t see why Liverpool are seen as real contenders, while we have been written off. 10 games left. More than 25% of the League season to go.


  18. .betting places had this game as a stoke win since thursday…ref was suspicious….players not really up for it…only ox played for the title yday. however we are still on for the historic treble. aaron ? no pressure ….


  19. “It wasn’t our sort of day, because we made it that sort of day,” he added.

    its got to be all guns blazing from now on…….


  20. Andy Dunn in The Mirror writes “Apart from forming an orderly queue to tread on Olivier Giroud, Mark Hughes’ team were not inordinately naughty. Niggly, naturally, but not startlingly out of order [a Charlie Adam studding apart].”

    That seems like quite a massive “apart” to me.


  21. I think I’ll need some clarification from sane fans please.
    How does it work that @ some other club like Liverpool, their owner get the credit for players purchase and or sale or the lack of it while in Arsenals case, it’s all Wengers fault.


  22. The penalty was wrong, the many fouls uncalled were wrong, however they are out of our control. The weak crossing, indecision , un ARSENAL like passing, slow pace and wrong decisions were all us. So we had a bad day, probably the most stale game we played for ages. We know if we have a bad half we need to up the tempo in the second, we know these sort of teams will foul us and the ref will offer no protection so we shouldn’t be surprised.
    The main thing is, even if some of the fans give up, that this squad has a good feel and great sprit and I truly believe they can pull some really big wins out of the bag. Whether there will be enough of them remains to be seen but the season is still very much alive


  23. @foreverheady Someone on twitter yesterday said “Bar the stamp…” Giroud was just flopping around looking for fouls. My response was that’s like saying “Apart from the hurricaine, it was a great vacation.”

    I see people saying there’s still a lot of season left, and a lot left to play for, which I agree with. But then I see some follow that up with “wait until the end of the season to get the knives out”. I will never understand people who think like that. Why would you ever want to treat your club that way? “I have a right to criticize” they’ll say. Well, sure you do. I’m disappointed, and I criticize, too. I just don’t understand why you get such joy out of doing it like that. I’m not sure I’d go as far as George and call them life’s losers (but I’ll bet he’s right about some of them), but surely there’s some sort of psychological mind-set at work here? Why does complaining and fault-finding make them feel better? When they can find a scapegoat to tear apart, does that make them feel better about themselves? Are they like that at home and work as well? Or do they hide their natural tendencies there, and use bitching about Arsenal as their outlet for it? Whatever the reason, it just drags me down, and I want to stay as far away from it as possible. I avoid these types at work…I surely don’t want to engage with them about something that’s supposed to be a fun pastime; a way to disengage from all the shit life dishes out. It’s football, for godsake. Unless you’re making your living from it, it’s just a game. Enjoy the ride, commiserate the disappointments, and move the fuck on. We go again next game, next season. Up the Arsenal.


  24. if there is anywhere szcz or any arsenal keeper need to improve or work on is the spot kick. because we are arsenal means referees award many pen against us every season. szcz doesnt fill me with confidence as fabianski when there is a penalty kick against us. he really needs to start saving some. ironically, he saved the first penalty awarded against us in his arsenal career.


  25. Now this is interesting, the Liverpool owner has admitted that Suarez had a buyout clause and we triggered it, but they simply refused to sell and honour the contract…


  26. Watched Bayern take Schalke apart last night. Draxler hardly got a kick.
    Maybe we should be careful what we wish for. Personally, I think we have a strong squad and as others have suggested maybe it is time for others to step up to the plate.


  27. As I suspected, any feelings I had of sorrow about yesterday have been replaced by irritation with the fan base, anger towards the media, and loathing for the corrupt regime that allows such terrible officiating.


  28. Some great points, personally I think we will finish third. The ref , if that’s what you can call him in the Stoke game is actually a declared Liverpool fan. Conflict of interests? And a ref that has been regularly demoted over recent seasons as well, the disallowed tiote goal for Newcastle vs City leading to the most recent demotion. But yes , we were perhaps inexcusably poor, as we often are there, but not easy to play when your playmakers are regularly being flattened with impunity.


  29. Some factors combine in the end to make inexcusably poor… didn’t watch the game, i hear the pitch was not all that which is a trick even the nightly Milan has used against us, so maybe we needed more long balls to counter that. No surprise we took them apart at home where we could better play our game. The rotational fouling didn’t help… If we had only won against man u and Chelsea, marches i felt we played better and could have won, we would still be top even by this result which was not as unexpected as many like to act as if it was… we still did have one or 2 games more to loose, better against stoke than man city or Chelsea…

    30 pts more to play for; 10 cup finals, all won, 89 pts and who know where that leaves us… since BM took the 2-0 score this time around, maybe we get to have the 3-1 which comes back to 3-3 and in our favour… The season still has a lot in it,,, lets move forward


  30. I only saw 10 minutes of the game yesterday so that I can’t comment much on what ensued but it seems, as I predicted early on PA, Charlie Adam and company had their way with us without a stop by the ref. From all reports, especially George’s blog, we played below our standards and criticism of the team is necessary. But why would a so-called “supporter” single out the squad and the manager for so much venom yet give a pass to those like Adam who stamped on Giroud as well the ref for giving a phantom penalty. It boggle my mind and quite frankly I have little time for such plastic gooners. George call them losers. They take no joy in our successes and rejoice in our failures. Whoever they are they should be ashamed of themselves but I doubt it.

    As for the future, I am sure the guys will take a good look at themselves after yesterday’s results and come out fighting in the next game. We have had plenty experience in the last 8 years finishing with a bang and proving our detractors wrong. At 59 points in the League there is still a lot to play for. George is pessimistic that we may finish 4th. Happily for us when he expects the worse, the squad proves him wrong and exceeds all expectations.

    As always, Up The Arsenal!


  31. The reality is the Stoke game won’t define the EPL season, those come and go, I wasn’t surprised by the below pat performance, especially after time off for players; I think the team is in a bit of a lull and drawing breath before the back straight to the finish line. Wenger took a calculated gamble giving the whole team it seems 2 days away; not unlike a pit stop, you lose momentum or ground, but then you should have some reserves to catch up. The next four games will shape the final result, especially City and Chelsea. If we are anywhere close to contention, let’s say within 4 points going into the final six, we have a very good chance because every game is winnable. Don’t believe for a second our competitors won’t drop alarming points at alarming moments. If, frankly if they don’t, they deserve the bloody gong, but they will.


  32. sorry Mandy, we are still going to WIN THE LEAGUE!
    I never doubt this team & manager after a setback.

    Buckle up gooners, its all or nothing time!


  33. words from an Orc revelling in the bile called “strong pottery”…

    “We know that Arsenal play good football but when you start kicking them a little bit, it gets harder for them,” Nzonzi said. “They don’t like it, we know that. We don’t care. We’ll keep on doing it, being strong and trying to be as good as we can be on the ball.”

    – if it was a cup final I’d wager they’d get relegated….twat!

    (there goes any interest I might have had for u SN’Z)


  34. yes it was a miserbale saturday…not so much on sunday …oly – pao : 0-3 …he he he


  35. Fans are emotional. 4 points off the top (including I suppose City if they win both) with 10 games and 30 points to play for means we remain realistic contenders. I can prove this in many ways, but mainly in previous trends (last season was not a trend). I mean really, it’s anyone’s game. I am personally a bit happy we have not peaked in the final sprint too early. Expect a nail-biting photo finish, and hang in there. Do not waste time listening to the pundits or the habitual doomsayers, they will all be wrong. Just follow the facts.


  36. Never mind we still have to play Chelsea and City; no, they still have to play us and will fear meeting in an the other Arsenal in the run-in.


  37. hear hear ZP!

    ONE point should do it !


  38. When I begin to doubt I just ask myself “WHAT WOULD FRANK SAY”
    I miss him so much.


  39. where did stew and frank go off to anyway?


  40. I know this is heresy of the highest order, but perspective can help too. It was, after all, a football match, not a war we lost, We might win the league, we might miss out on 4th place – but it is unlikely that our women and children will be violated whilst all healthy males are sent to the chambers, whatever the final placing or lack of trophy.
    I happen to think we will do rather well from now on, and that injuries permiiting we won’t see quite so much rotation. I also sense there will be a few surprised by the couple of players who step up and win it for us.


  41. 1 good result in the next game and the narrative will change again (even though I am still feeling pretty down about this weekend’s results. Fulham was never going to get anything from Chelsea so it felt like a must-win, especially with L’pool creeping in and ManCity having 2 games in hand still). I do hope this is not a sign of a collapse that we’ve seen so many times, but for once, really just a blip and we can prove doubters wrong for a change. We were in top spot for long stretches of the season, a bit too early on maybe, but being so close means it would be a disappointment to end 4th.


  42. @ foreverheady, perspective more than anything is required as such times…

    Liverpool was top on Christmas day… they are currently 4 points off the top so REALLY AND TRULY, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN…

    Didnt even mean the caps lock, but seems a nice emphasis so I will leave it


  43. Opinions based on facts, agree, but facts increasingly hard to find these days, especially with a fanbase suffering viral media induced trophy nervosa


  44. Aman, wish we could win the league, but think there are too many things, most beyond our control,stacked against us this year, but would love to be proven wrong.
    Your post at 9.54am…. on what a stoke “Player ” said about kicking us, guarantee if flam or Jack had come out with that, they would be up on a disrepute charge. But having said that, think wenger will not change this league or those that officiate it or report on it, at least not single handedly or over night, however much he may want to. This is a last bastion of the failed English kick rush hoof and kick again game , holding out against the nasty European technical types, in a way that would probably make UKIP proud!. and they are fighting hard in their death throes, our club and manager are for now bearing the brunt .maybe for a while,wenger needs to …cleverly…fight fire with fire a bit more in such games?


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