64 Comments

Who Can I Blame For My Arsenal Misery?

Some perspective from @arsenalandrew

The notorious over-emotional toxicity of Arsenal’s online support is in stark contrast to most of the support in the stadium. Whereas online, Arsenal could do no right, in the stadium, a largely ‘flat’ crowd grew increasingly despondent at the sight of a rookie referee entirely out of his depth, a willing accomplice to the hateful Bruce’s brilliantly simplistic resort to time-wasting every single time Arsenal started to get momentum.

Truth is, Arsenal rarely look the best after an international break disrupts our natural but precise squad rhythm and the absence of so many first-teamers yesterday took its toll on our usual fluidity. From reaction online you’d be forgiven for assuming we’ve lost all our opening games but the reality is despite needing to bed in new players and accomodate the debilitation of an unenviable injury record, we are, as a side, hard to beat. The margins between these costly draws and the victories we seek are fine, and whilst we can’t simply point the finger of disappointment at the entire refereeing stable, at this level, and with such marginal differences, the impact of key refereeing decisions can not be lightly dismissed.

Online, it’s seemingly all about Arsene. The reality, however, is more complex.

And whilst I have no doubt this squad will come good I’m more concerned that the online poison will seep through to our matchday crowd making life easier for our opponents and ever-tougher for Arsenal. The gleeful joy of those attacking the club are as odious as the time-wasting of the fat one right out of the Ferguson stable, and as infuriating as the incompetent referees that allow him to get away with it.

Arsenal – and Arsenal fans – need to rise above this as surely as the PGMOL need to get a grip on their officials.

From pedantic george @Blackburngeorge

The danger is that we try to shift all the blame onto the referees, or that we are seen to be trying to do so. The reasons we find Chelsea with twice as many points as us are complex and there is a few of them. To absolve Arsene from all blame, without at least considering he is in some part complicit, is as ridiculous and narrow minded as laying all of the blame at his feet.

Well I have considered his part, and I think he has to shoulder some of the blame (if we have to apportion blame) I believe not only will he accept some blame, but he will put things right. In the last 10 years he has had a lot poorer players than these, playing a lot better than these currently are. I see no reason to think he won’t get this squad firing on all cylinders when circumstance permit.

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64 comments on “Who Can I Blame For My Arsenal Misery?

  1. Thanks Andrew and George. That has helped put things in perspective. Im looking forward to watching the game this evening so I can see for myself. I would be absolutely certain that AW looks to blame himself first of all before looking for other reasons. This sounds lame but the luck seems to have deserted us just now which combined with a few not quite at the top of their game isn’t conducive to a triumphal progression to the top spots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even the most ardent doomers are still talking about their dissapointment at finishing fourth this year, so obviously even they think that this team will go on a run and click. The argument comes, on when and how big that recovery is. The problem is a poor start always handicaps the team later on when the fixtures get heavier and there is no room for dropped points. However we have seen Arsenal teams win consistently at the end of the season and the critical last ten games. The top two at this moment does seem a long way away but this is the start of the season and not the end and we could still see many great victories.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Andrew you sound like a demented extremist AKB. Like most Arsenal fans then.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think it’s Arsene’s fault at all. There was nothing wrong with the team that was out there. They started the game really well and should have been more efficient with their finishing. Hull were no match for us, which is why they had to resort to cheating aided and abetted by a referee who either could not see it or chose to ignore it. Sadly, we shot ourselves in the foot with one moment of weak defending and our inability to convert from the myriad shots we had. To me that is down to the players on the pitch. If we had been outplayed and tactics exposed, I would agree the manager should take a share of the blame. But given the resources at his disposal I thought he set up a very good team. For example, Ox was clearly not at the races yesterday and if we had more on the bench he would probably have come off. I suspect Rosicky was carrying something and the boss would avoid using him unless absolutely necessary.

    If we can get a few more first team players back into the squad and get some consistent game time without anymore international match breaks, I’m sure we’ll rediscover our rhythm. There were some good signs going forward in the first 20 minutes. And it was good to see Jack at the centre of what we were doing well.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. If I ever catch an Arsenal player ever waving their arms and squealing at a referee on the ludicrous assumption that they will persuade the official to give a foul which he previously has not –

    Then I shall search for that player

    I shall find that player

    And I will terminate his contract with extreme prejudice

    I recall a few weeks back writing about the generally good performances we were putting in but the lack of the proper reward resulting from a lack of efficiency. That was not converting superiority of possession and territory into goals, and allowing the opposition back into the game through poor concentration and silly and sometimes entirely avoidable errors.

    We were by far the better side yesterday.

    Groundhull day.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I see we both used the word efficient Pass – bloody right

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice one, Andrew. Glad to hear the crowd are positive. The bloody talking head on the Sky Sports feed – i.e. not the ex-pros – always try to make the Arsenal crowd frustration seem – to the viewer – to be directed at the manager or the team. Basically everytime the Arsenal crowd makes noise at the referee the commentator on Sky is trying to make it seem like the crowd is in fact shouting at the team or manager. Sly, devious even.

    As for the PGMOL – they really do have a grip on their officials already. Its obvious the referees are given specific instructions on how to ‘handle’ Arsenal. Don’t expect the corrupt to fix themselves.

    @George
    Agree, Arsene will get them firing, with his record its only a matter of time.

    Although, the referee apologists specifically do not want anyone talking about cheating referees. I dunno – if the referee is fair how would the outcome of matches change. If the referee is fair yesterday, Arsenal win. No question. Even with leaking goals, if the referee calls the game fair then Arsenal keep and grow the momentum. They try their best to disrupt the passing game through unlawful means and then the players get blamed – but its the referee who’s at fault. I don’t even blame the opposition because they will just play to the whistle – except Chelsea, they are just dirty.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I was among those who wanted to keep Vermaelan. The irony being that if he was still here he’d still be out with that WC injury, I think, or only just back in training. Ditto for Jenkinson. Hilarious, eh?

    As George reasoned the other day, for a team that were solid, even a little boring at times dare I say it last year with their uber-efficient Özil inspired football for half a season at the top of the league. Scoring and creating were the priority. Sanchez! Told you all he was good! And quick! Very quick when bursting past hapless FBs. And much more valuable to this team/squad then a passing (through) Suarez would ever have been. So, the right buy then! No doubt about it.

    But back to the back line, I like Hayden and I’d like to see him play more, same as Bellerin who clearly is going to make it. Let’s hope he makes it at the Arsenal. Hector had a tough baptism against a Dortmund team who really look like they emptied the tank in that CL game (league form is still suffering and stuttering – 14th), and a full strength in form impressive Southampton team*

    *the core of their midfield is more or less the same as last year and this has been key to settling in their new players – that plus the consideration that some losses were exaggerated (not Big or Key players like the previous two captains at AFC, the big losses for the Tinies or the Scousers…): Bertrand as far as my ignorant eye can tell is more or less on the same level as the Bung Shaw, sorry I meant Luke Shaw.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have no doubt that the team will come good. The worry is that we are a ways behind so early, but the same problem also gives us a good amount if time to catch up. I agree with Passenal and Anicoll, that the players need to take full responsibility (apart from the blind ref’s blunder). The talent on this squad is excellent and we ought to be in a better position, injuries or not.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Love what Flamini said about the ref. He said he was the only one who didn’t see the foul. It was blatant, how he missed it is beyond me. But, it all evens out, I heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had a vague and fortunately distant encounter with a real life genuine non-cyber WOB after the game yesterday. He was walking through the crowd after the game, by himself, shouting at the top of his voice. To be clear he was walking along by himself in the crowd and shouting. To himself. And this is what he had to say:

    “I’m glad we drew. I hope we lose on Wednesday. I hope we lose in Sunderland”

    Because that is all he has to cling on to. But then, we saw this last year.
    They failed to drive out the gaffer, and now they can’t take it.

    The term AAAA is reasonable and justified in its use.

    In contrast I’ve yet to meet an interesting football fan who thinks that managers don’t make mistakes, in most games they manage…

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  12. “But then, we saw this last year.
    They failed to drive out the gaffer, and now they can’t take it”

    Yup, that was during a year when the club spent half the season on top of the league and went not to win the FA Cup. The AAAA!

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  13. Arsene has always acknowledged he is capabable of mistakes and given the almost infinite number of opportunities for any manager to cock things up, he’s as fallible as the next person; as a general rule though, he makes fewer errors than most in his position.

    Despite this, on the solitary occasion I had the chance to speak to him one-to-one he simply said he and the squad had to work much harder. Hardly the language of one resting on his laurels, is complacent or remotely self-satisfied.

    That season culminated in last May’s FA Cup win and a summer spent substantially strengthening the squad. Everywhere I look at the squad today, I see improvements – Sanchez, Welbeck, Bellerin simply representing the standouts from yesterday’s game.

    Arsenal are indisputably on an upwards trajectory and the tragedy is the noise of the doubters trying so hard to prevent us from enjoying the ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. When something goes wrong, the effective organisation says: “What was the chance of that happening?” and “What (if anything) can we do to reduce that chance in the future?”

    The ineffective organisation says: “Who can we blame?”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thanks AA and PG.
    Should Arsene have bought back Cesc just to stop him playing for Chelsea? That’s what Jose would have done if it was the other way around.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. have to agree with so much of the article, the keyboard warriors who want Wenger out are a special kind of idiot. I just seen one such WOB tell an AKB that the AKB was not an Arsenal supporter, with the irony being that the WOB had just posted that he did not care where Arsenal finish in the league if we did not win it, and that he wanted Arsenal to finish 3rd in our CL group so we would go into the EL.

    I have today also seen many WOB say we should sack Wenger and replace him with Klopp. Now I could not be arsed to inquire if they knew Dortmund have lost 5 of their 8 league games this season, or if they could explain why this great manager Klopp had such a bad record this season.
    the funniest thing I seen from the WOB today was one saying AW would deserve no praise for finishing in top 4 this season, as its easy for him to do it as he is that good, but he should be replaced, cos he finds it hard to finish in top two or three.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Andrew,

    Good Post and right on point.

    The ‘Flamini’ goal was clearly a foul and should never have been awarded.
    If it had not been – we would have won, and the possession stats show that to be true.

    It was awarded, refs do not make mistakes, I make mistakes, I bey everyone on here makes mistakes, and we move on.

    Arsene needs to shoulder some responsibilities for only having a physical light-weight who gets brushed off the ball too easily, and dithers in the penalty area.

    It’s football – crap happens – see QPR today, they outplayed ‘Pool who admitted they did not deserve to win – but they did, and QPR lost.

    No blame – nothing to see here – but there are some blogs and some bloggers who will ladle copious blame on Arsene. What can you do?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sorry,

    “refs do not make mistakes’ should have read “refs do make mistakes’.

    Like

  19. Its my job to know how to take the balance from people. Size is of little importance when running or moving even. Flamini did nothing wrong and the result would have been the same were he 6 inches taller and 5 stone heavier.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I have seen that excuse of ‘size’ used against Arsenal players. Arsenal players get fouled and pushed over and no fouls are called. Its just business as usual. That size makes a difference is just ignoring clear referee ‘tactics’.

    It is a shame the referees who are such a travesty of sportsmanship are not held to account. I caught a local – Australian – match on Saturday evening and I was utterly shocked – fouls called, studs up called as straight red, yellow card to put mischief maker in their place. Crazy. I am so used to seeing the cheating at the highest level in England and Europe that I forgot that sometimes there is such a thing as fair officiating.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Someone was asking for the angry BBC interview Wenger gave:

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/29677078

    Have a read at the text below and note the way the BBC have portrayed the interview.

    The biggest bullshit is: “Addressing fans’ concerns, Oatley asks why the Gunners did not sign a defender or defensive midfielder….”. In the video, you can see Arsene inhale deeply when he is asked that stupid question for the hundredth time. No way in hell you are addressing fans’ concerns woman! A few days ago, they had written about that Tim Payton fellow as though he was a leader of fans’ revolt.

    When Wenger says that we were not good defensively, she says, why didnt you buy a defensive midfielder. Then Wenger through gritted teeth explains that it is not the defensive midfielder but the concentration during defense that was the problem. How can sports reporters and interviewers be so simplistic?

    Liked by 4 people

  22. “How can sports reporters and interviewers be so simplistic?”

    They are pandering to the lowest common denominator – it gets them plenty of clicks if they parrot back to the discontented what they believe to be the problem. They feel vindicated as they reinforce each others prejudiced conclusions. Because we watch a lot of football we all think we know a lot more than we do. Some of us have the humility to accept the limits of our understanding and knowledge. Others…?

    How would a DM have prevented the momentary lapse of concentration for the second goal as the defender in the box (I think it was Per) did not realise a Hull player was arriving behind him? He seemed to be ball watching, waiting for the ball to come to him. Neither did he get a shout from his goal keeper who would have been in the best position to see what was behind the defender. A DM is only one player in a team sport. If the whole team does not carry out it’s defensive responsibilities mistakes will happen. We were generally much more solid last season apart from a few anomalies, so I’m not sure what the answer is. It’s certainly not this mythical beast of a DM that seems to be the easy answer. I wish someone would change the record and it sounds like Arsene is running out of patience. That is generally what happens as you get older, you find it harder and harder to suffer fools gladly! And there are a good few of those around the place!

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Yes, passenal. Something of our generally solid defense of the past two seasons seems to be missing. Wenger has acknowledged it too. Hope we fix it soon and our attacking play regains its ruthless efficiency.

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  24. They looked at that interview an the BBC this morning , all 4 “experts” said she was right and said Arsene had £200 million in the bank. Utter utter bollocks.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The referees are instructed to “keep the game flowing”, before Mike Riley’s site, “Tammany Hall” was taken out of circulation.

    You all, must realise that Flamini was impeding the Hull scorer, NO!

    Dear Passenal, please pass!

    PG, £200 millions minus £30 millions for the Bond holders, minus £40 millions for June, July and August salaries, minus £14 millions for other operating costs, minus £6 millions interest for the Bond Holders (1st June 2014), minus £5 millions for the refurbishment and restocking of the Arsenal shops as a payment in kind by Puma, minus £99 millions as per Mr Gazidis’s transfer “fiction”. That is the way the money goes.

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  26. So the BBC plays to the lowest denominator like the rest of the mainstream media? Surprise, surprise!
    Only 8 games. 30 more to go. Concern, yes but no need to panic.
    We drew yesterday for a multiple of reasons as Andrew and George explained. This year the team is performing way below its optimum. My opinion only: For two years we played to Giroud’s strengths, tight at the back and focus our attacks around the big-man. It was effective but we were not scoring enough goals to be compete with the title-winners. Having bought Alexis, as a wide forward and Welbeck now our main striker, the focus is on the Chilean (and prospectively Walcott) to create opportunities for our striker or themselves by attacking the defenders especially the fullbacks. Unfortunately it hasn’t clicked and we can still be ineffective around the box. I trust Wenger to sort this out.

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  27. I would trust Wenger to sort any problem out

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The notion you have to live within a mile of the Emirates in order to be a fan is hillarious. HighburyHarold and YorkshireGunner are so jealous that newer fans are better fans than they are, they have to react with negativity just to get attention. I hope one day i can meet them in person. Tim Payton too.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I’m not sure any fan is a better fan. I am sure some fans are better human beings.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. I’ve just seen the highlights. What a grim, grim irony that in the week that poor adjudication gets highlighted in the press we have that shocking decision from Roger East. That was a really bad one and took the wind out of sails that were starting to fill nicely. I’ve also just seen the interview that I had been led to believe showed Arsene Wenger in a poor light. It did no such thing and for Lineker to have claimed that it did, and for the BBC to have been so pleased with the “grilling” suggests massive editorial bias. Now that would be something for the fans to organise a protest over. Dream on Heady, that will never happen.

    We have rescued a few matches this season by the players believing and trying their hardest to the end. We saw excellent goals yesterday by two of our summer signings. We saw a great performance by a new young player at right back (it must have been great as I saw no criticism of him from any of our so called supporters). We saw the introduction of Joel Campbell (and given the Podolski situation I expect we will start to see more and more of him which may well be an exciting development). So for me, there are many, many reasons to be cheerful, and I am already looking forward to the next match.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. fully agree with you foreverheady that the way the interview is portrayed shows that the BBC and others clearly have an agenda against Arsenal or Arsene. For me Wenger was right to react the way he did, she tried to twist his answers to make it seem like he was saying something he had not said, he was totally right to correct her. we have the antiarsenalarsenal lot backing up her antics, what a shower of shits they are.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. The mainstream media, which the BBC is an integral part, loves pandering and exploiting the gullible and uninformed. As it is in politics and the economy so it is in football. The idea that we are currently struggling because we lack a defender or defensive midfilder is laughable to the extreme. But it fits the narrrative that scrooge Wenger failed to splash the cash unlike clubs with endless oil money. The same BBC together with the Guardian will occasionally cover their asses by tut-tutting about how money is ruining the game, but when push comes to shove, they are mild little puppies when it comes Mr Abramovich and the Sheiks; mild-mindless barking and no bite.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Shotta – on that last point of yours, the enduring image of the weekend for me, and one I hope is reshown time and again is the photo of the huge banner at Crystal Palace heralding Abramovich’s foul input into the league:

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/social/crystal-palace-banner-v-chelsea-romans-dirty-money-is-a-disease-that-has-plagued-our-game-picture/

    Kudos to the marvellous fans in south London; one Palace Roman will never be able to call home.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. COYG,
    I read back through PGs discussions with Harold and Yorkie, they are no saints and the digs at our meerkat were barbed, but it was another crony pal of theirs who went over the line.
    The WOB squad didn’t balk at denying his ‘you’re not a real Gooner’ shite,or reel him in at all.

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  35. AA
    That didn’t get a lot of coverage on mainstream media.

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  36. COYG1886 – the antics of Highbury Harold are acutely embarrassing for the vast majority, an online equivalent to that perenial and ever-present terrace nuisance Bully, another of the noisy but misguidedly empty vessels we seem to have become lumbered with.

    There is a massive irony that the players have on more than one occasion singled out the distinctive looking hippy for a shirt at the end of games, entirely unaware of the abuse he’s been aiming at them all game. In the unlikely event I ever find myself in conversation with anyone connected with the team I’ll advise them to steer clear of the deranged looking old tramp.

    I think he sincerely believes the players need a rocket up there arses but there’s a time and a place (I’m thinking training grounds and dressing rooms though I’m not certain it’s a frequently used Wenger weapon) and he’d be far better leading his part of the north bank in getting behind the players for 90 minutes rather than on top of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. DC – not surprised the banner failed to get media coverage what with ‘Arsene’s Implosion’ and other non-events to distract them. Not to mention it was border-line libellous (though I can’t imagine the Chelsea Tsar looking to test that line of argument at the High Court anytime soon).

    Liked by 1 person

  38. AA
    I read through a lot of shite today,
    It’s amazing how similar and repetitive – and downright moronic their justifications are.
    Is there an intelligent WOB out there?
    Yogi perhaps?

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  39. Harold hates Vengah with a passion,
    But he pulled back from falling into his own trap he was trying to set up for George.

    George is way too cute for that.

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  40. if i have to blame arsene, i will say he seems too soft on his players. although this has always been his style but he needs to put the players under pressure sometimes and make them take responsibilities for their mistakes. hazard was head and shoulder above any chelsea players last season but moreen still pointed out to him his fault leading to them conceding the goal that knocked them out of cl.
    yes, flamini was pulled back by diame. all he has to do is pull diame back as well. at worst he gets a yellow as he was not the last man.

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  41. i have read a lot of comments about arsenes refusal to play joel more regularly. i dont agree with them. some of you here know that joel is my ‘boy’ and i will love it more to see him more often but wenger has pointed it out that he relied too much on his skills and technical ability at the detriment of physical abilities. at this level and aspecially in th epl, you need more then just good control and accurate tailored passes to be efficient. you can see two things from his cameo on saturday. he was almost the best passer and most gifted player among our strikers. the second thing was that he was tired in the closing minutes of the game despite only coming in as a sub. if he can play as well as he did in the first 10 to 15 minutes on saturday, wenger will be stupid to ignore him.
    those kind of decisions are what i expect from wenger more often. if we must do well as a team every player in the squad must help the team in both attacking and defensive situations.

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  42. the difference between the players like messi, ronaldo, suares and the likes of arshavin, robinho and ozil is nothing but their engine. the truth is that i havent seen many players who are as gifted as arshavin. at arsenal, he was clearly the best. the latter three are equally ballon dor potentials as the former but lack consistency and willingness to give what they naturally wouldnt want or able to give are what hinder them.

    we have the best technical players in the league but if we depend too much on this without trying to give a little more, we will always suffer. arteta should be a good role model for many of our players. despite being one of the smallest and most technical players in the team, his time at everton has thought him great work ethic that today we deploy him in a defensive role. he has said many times that he doesnt necessarily like the role but he is doing it just to help the team. this is the least i expect from every members of playing staff of the arsenal.

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  43. I don’t think I am seeing a lack of physical effort from the team Layksite, mentally a bit off perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Appaling piece of hatchet job journalism in the Telegraph today from Jonathan Liew.
    The little shit has form in slagging off Arsene.

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  45. E’s stealin’ a livin’ DC.

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  46. George, you are very cruel, trolling these bitter horrible bigots into exposing their true nature:

    The league of extraordinary football fans
    “This is a local club, for local people!”

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  47. But George has a tail!

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  48. The league of extraordinary football fans
    “This is a local club, for local people!”

    haha stolen for twitter

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  49. DC: I hate the phrase too, but always think it worth using it back at those who are not so keen on the current manager!

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  50. Its hard to be mentally strong when you keep getting sat on your arse and are not allowed to retaliate.

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