Friday, March 21, 2014
Wenger: Schedule is not an excuse

Wenger: Schedule is not an excuse

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s busy schedule didn’t help their preparations for today’s game at Manchester City but refused to use it as an excuse for the drubbing handed to them by Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Having arrived back in the UK early on Thursday morning after Wednesday night’s game in Naples, today’s match at the Etihad represented a third tough game in just six days. Speaking after the game  the boss reflected:

“I don’t want to look for excuses after a defeat like that but it didn’t help. You know take any team you play Sunday afternoon, Wednesday away in the Champions League and Saturday morning away in league you are under threat.

“I said before the game I will not use it as an excuse and I don’t want to do it now. But it was not ideal, you could see that we were not as fresh as we should be for a big game.”

Having watched his side suffer at the hands of poor officiating throughout the game, the boss did aim both barrels at the referee and his flag happy assistants.

“I think we had three real offsides which were not turned down and the penalty turned down. The referee had a bad game.”

“It was a difficult game. We had the best defence in the Premier League and we conceded many goals today. Honestly, we could have scored at least six as well. It was for me a very open game but on our front I think we made too many mistakes. Our strengths until now was our defensive discipline and that went as the game went on.

“In the second half the regret I have is at 2-1 we make it 3-1, after we come back to 3-2 we make it 4-2 and always through easy mistakes. We were in a position where we could see the legs were tired a little bit and we had to run after the score. You have always more chances to lose more than to comeback because we had tired legs.

“In the end it was 6-3 but hurts me more is that we had an opportunity to put Man City at nine points and they are three tonight. That is very difficult to swallow because it’s a team that was not unbeatable today [Man City].”

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71 comments

  1. Theo is the word for clinical

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    • That’s the positive from today, that Theo is back scoring again. That Manc-Reporter-Cunt in the Guardian was saying his first was fortunate but that’s complete and utter bullshit.

      Fuck City. Three points against Chelsea is a must now–time for Wenger to bust the Mourinho hoodoo.

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      • We can’t let this game ruin our good momentum. Yes it was a shite result. Yes we really should have done better, but if the fans start getting on the players backs it’s only going to make things worse. Especially that Ozil situation, he didn’t applaud the fans, get over it. We need to rest up and keep our focus, because City may be beasts at home, but they are horrendous away and we need to capitalize on those mistakes. I hate to say it but i agree three points at chelsea is a must now.

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        • We would’ve won today if we had stayed disciplined. The midfield just forgot to defend. Didn’t bother at all to come back once they had a lead. Really poor from flamini and wilshere and ramsey

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        • Individual stinkers were the order of the day today. Monreal, kozzer, Wilshere, ozil, Flamini and Giroud all had their worst games this season and with a city side like this there’s likely to follow punishment. The last thing we need to do is unsettle Ozil you can’t blame him if he doesn’t like to lose but really dont be pettu and focus soley on that. the game is lost not coz we were bad. chelsea is in for a beating you heard it here first.

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      • Positive = Theo for sure. He adds a totally different dimension.

        After thinking on it for a few hours, I wonder if this adversity is not the worst thing for the players. Ozil already put that overblown issue to bed (no doubt due to Per and others chiding him a bit).

        I think we’ll forget that loss and reload for the next set of important matches. It would be a shame to waste the great start to the season.

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        • His pace is trully something else. the way he got on the end of that Bendtner pass was impressive. definite back on RW for keeps!

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    • List of forwards in leading teams and comparison with ours …

      Man City – Aguero and Negredo
      Man Utd – RVP and Rooney
      Chelsea – Ba and Torres
      Barcelona – Messi and Neymar
      Real Madrid – Benzema and Christiano
      Athletico Madrid – David Villa and Deigo Costa
      PSG – Cavani and Ibrahimovic
      Bayern Munich – Robben and Ribery
      Borussia Dortmund – Lewandowski
      Arsenal – Giroud and ??

      Nothing more to say … we need some heavy weight strikers to deliver silverware…

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  2. Is it just me or was the commentary just a fucking disgrace today?

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  3. 5 game changing decisions all against us, I should probably point them out
    1. Monreal collected a pass from the left side having the goal in sight or set up a tap in but was ruled offside(replay pointed onside)
    2. Theo walcott put through still in the first half and would have surely set up another tap in but he was adjudged offside(replay showed he was absolutely on)
    3. Girouds goal in the 2nd half but was also adjudged off(replay showed he was level with the last city defender)
    4. Pablo zabaleta clearly handled the ball inside the box but the ref astonishingly waved play on.
    5. Yaya toure clearly left his studs high up catching giroud dangerously(was surprised giroud was fit to continue) but not even a yellow(obviously it deserved a red) card was flashed his way.
    Yea! We contributed to our downfall with some stupid sluggish passess but had monreal been left onside, theo same, girouds goal stood, penalty awarded and yaya toure shown a red card few would argue the game would have been totaly different. Only positive note was theo.. Had four shots all game, all four was on target and he converted two with unbelievable technique. I’m just happy he’ld face the team and keeper he loves scoring against on top form, would pretty much prefer we play him as our cf vs chelsea. Coyg!

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    • I agree wholeheartedly mate.

      I understand that we are doing our utmost not to provide any excuses, but my God we need to support these players. We can’t slam the players for bad performances. When you are almost on the deck from commercially induced tiredness at the Etihad [of all places], and denied 5 clear decisions at CRUCIAL moments OF COURSE you will make individual mistakes – can anyone not understand that?

      The media will fail to use any logic when it comes to us. They prefer the team that cost a billion pounds to win. It is curious that even a left leaning paper like the Guardian champion the Oligarch and Sheikh owned.

      We do not need to buy into their narrative, or feel ashamed when we voice our clear concerns by how the momentum was taken away at every single opportunity with a dreadful call. Just because it has been happening for years does not mean we should accept it.

      So..

      I don’t blame the players at all. By the 3rd offside decision did anyone see Giroud [who is relatively respectful] gesticulating to the ref, badge in hand, plainly asking “have you got a problem with my team?”

      Ozil, who is not used to this type of blatant cheating, can also be forgiven. The man was running on reserve energy at the start of the test. OF COURSE it’s harder to track back when your hitting delicious assists and being called offside.

      If Flamini made that tackle on Aguero he’d be off, no doubt.

      We have to regroup, we have to refocus. We’ll win these titles the boring way. That’s by beating every other team outside the top 4. Maybe with a title we’ll earn so of this pompous media respect, and fairness from officials.

      I hope along the way we get City in the champions league.

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  4. Bizarre game really..Most players just didn’t bother defending..Jack and Monreal will come in for some stick..but even Aaaron despite been one of our better player didn’t bother defending that much..Also its not often that you come away from a game conceding 6 goals wishing you had a better striker..Like Giroud but there are limitations to his game which get badly exposed against the big teams..Still top of the table though..Beat Chelsea and will be forgotten

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    • We need our own yaya(diaby) back, fit and playing week in week out, if kangaroo placenta is what it’s gonna take, then so be it, or we go into the market for one

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    • My biggest regret is that we were so, so unbalanced today. We’ve improved massively at it over the last year, but today our midfield players basically just said to Touré and Fernandinho: “Yeah sure, run at our back 4, no problem! And any second ball is yours as well!”

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  5. Just focus on resting and go all out for the Chelsea game , no other option left. COYG

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  6. Very poor performance. Not like Arsenal at all. We looked the best team that has visited the ethihad and they didn’t look unbeatable by any stretch of imagination. Don’t know what nacho was doing. The Brazilian left back never played again after having a very similar game.

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  7. Difficult game. Not making excuses but if the referee had been on top of it (perhaps less partial?), it may have been a slightly different game.
    On a brighter note, I just saw this — love the expression on the players’ faces when asked about the German chef:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/wKhaZiHUXoA

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  8. The quiet trend in this season, barring the opening day defeat, is that the underlying causes for our dropped points so far point to isolated, specific variables and not to any glaring or fundamental flaws in the team itself. We’ll bounce back from this quickly.

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    • wiederverwertetem Kunststoff

      Perhaps.

      But if I was our nr.19,I’d pack my bags tonight and fly one-way to Spain, from where I can blackmail my way out of the contract – before I’m treated like a new Arshavin.

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      • Thankfully, you’re not our no. 19.

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        • wiederverwertetem Kunststoff

          I don’t get it. Are you all brain-dead zombies?

          If he’s not being utilised, what’s the use?
          Hence, thankfully – for whom exactly?

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  9. This team should face chelsea
    shezzny,sagna,BFG,boss,gibbs,arteta,ramsey,ozil,carzola,rosicky,theo
    subs. Fab,verm,mon,flame,giroud,gnabry,jenk or bendtner. Theo must lead the line against the team he loves scoring against

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  10. City’s movement up top was a nightmare to defend against. Their full backs were always high up the pitch and we seemed unsure who’s run to go with. It shows the need for a more mobile striker in games like today, giroud was ok, but if we had Suarez it’d have been a different game, we need giroud but we have to have a top class striker to complement him and who can assist himself/turn a game with a bit of individual brilliance, which he can’t. . Maybe, just maybe, Madrid let Ozil go because he can disappear in big games, lets see if he is better vs Chelski. I think he needs more movement in front of him, many times today we stood still, theo was the only one making runs in behind.

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  11. We,r still on top and have 9 days rest before we beat Chelsea

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  12. It would have been a different game with a different set of officials. Not much more to say than that accept that we should have played much better.

    Well in to big Mert at the end of the game giving Ozil a bollocking.

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    • Exactly. I dont get whats wrong with saying that. We played quite bad and scored three goals. Was it not for the officials we would have had more. And they wouldve had less. The officials completely changed the game. I dont remember seeing a game where a team lost by three goals and had four fantastic chances called falsely offside. Four. Ugh. I guess there is nothing to do but move on.

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    • Are we being too harsh on the linesmen? After 92 minutes of spineless cuntism they decided to abandon their policy of listening to 45,000 bandwagon hopping cunts bark out offsides at will, and with the game gone, one of these 2 spineless cunts said to himself ‘for the remaining 2 minutes, i will cease to be a spineless cunt’ and allowed per’s goal to stand. This could be a crucial goal come May and we could well have to raise a glass to these 2 spineless cunts.

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  13. Whats up with all the post about ozil getting a mouthful from BFG..?? was that really about ozil not applauding away fans??

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  14. Could've been 10-6!

    Wenger never learns does he. Why not bring on Arteta for Flamini. It was to early to go all out. Made the same mistakes against Utd in the 8-2.

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  15. Ozil just disappears in the big games. He tracks people well but then lets them pass him as if he werent there.

    The WHOLE team needs to be able to defend.

    Dont get me wrong Ozil’s stats are great but so were Theo’s last year and he went missing in matches.

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    • wiederverwertetem Kunststoff

      Ozil, together with our nr.19 are the best attacking players we have – and among the best that we’ve ever had. Every true footballing man should be thankful for this, everyday.

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      • Ozil may be the most talented player we’ve ever had but he’s been here 2 months. He was outshone by the City midfield and was one of our poorest performers on the day. These big matches are the moments that fans remember and where Club greats are made.

        Dont use that patronising ” true footballing man” like you invented football.

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        • wiederverwertetem Kunststoff

          I didn’t invent football. But, unluckily for you, every true footballing man would agree with me though ;)

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        • wiederverwertetem Kunststoff

          Again, I didn’t even say he’s the most talented one.

          All I said is that players of his ilk come sparingly, and football purists wouldn’t use the form of criticism that you use.

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        • I just cant . You cant just call yourself a football purist and say other people arent. Get a life

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        • I can easily say you know toss all about football and claim it as a fact. Your argument has no basis. Goodbye

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  16. This was a bizarre game because to be honest we created chances at will. At will. Giroud was profligate, the ref hated us and we still got 3! Even the most optimistic gooner must concede that giroud is a concern (still a below average finisher) and wilshere is truly struggling for form. As for nacho well it is one thing coming on for 20 minutes and another turning up for 90 against a top class attack. Anyway, details aside it is hard to believe we will hold city off this season. Not impossible but hard. Positives? Theo!

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  17. I’m so disappointed, we are so much better than this….fatigue? fixture list? mental block? combination of the three? why can’t we remedy this already

    ..Arsenal till I die!!

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  18. Crazy, crazy game, could have been 7-7! Credit where it’s due, city have some exceptional players and looked dangerous every time they came forward, BUT we looked well dodgy in midfield today. Wilshere had a really poor game similar to his performance against Everton and I was surprised he stayed on to be honest, still a great player and still only 22, he’s just in a run of rotten form. We gave the ball away cheaply throughout the team today as well, and city exploited it every time. As for the officials they were just fucking awful, 3 or 4 major decisions that could have totally changed the game, Cunts. Freak game, we’ll be back…

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  19. Also, why are there no excuses? If mourinho, or ferguson had to play city two and a half days after a midweek CL game they’d go fucking potty, and rightly so. It’s madness, and fatigue was a huge factor in today’s performance

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    • This is very true .. There are lots of excuses the refereeing was a bit odd at times .. Milner falls on ScZ foot after losing ball and that’s a penalty? Zabaleta (accidently)blocks a pass in penaltybox and stops a goalscoring oppurtinity and thats no penalty..? One goal disallowed for Offside wich should have stood .. and 2 other wrongful offside decisions when we had goal-scoring chances.
      But lets give some credit to City as well ..They have the best squad in the premiere league by far but still Pellegrini has turned them into a serious team.
      I think City were the better team… on the day , Aguero is a better finisher than anybody else right now ..so today’s injury came timely. We need to smash Chavs and turn up our best performance when City come to our turf.

      On the positive note .. we scored more there today than all other (top?) teams have .

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  20. Bendtner
    Walcott gnabry
    Ozil
    Flamini ramsey

    Gibbs sagna
    Vermaelen mert

    Szescney

    This should be used against chelsea…

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  21. Wenger please play Podolski up front. He can finish off chances very well.

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  22. The schedule most certainly is an excuse. The players looked very tired in that last 20 minutes, and no wonder having played a tough game on Sunday then away in Italy on Wednesday. That schedule fucked us over and handed City an unfair advantage. This game should have been the 4 pm kick-off tomorrow.

    Wenger has some tough decisions to make now: for me, Wilshere looks well out of form and can’t justify his selection. Ramsey was poor today, too. We seem to have forgotten how to do the basics in midfield, like retain possession and protect the back for when we don’t have the ball. Against Everton, Napoli and City our midfield play was not up to standard. At least Walcott is back and looking great.

    This transfer window is now massively important to us now: Wenger must bring in a striker, even if it’s not a big name. Giroud looks as tired as a guy who has played in almost every gave this season. And a centre-half would be nice, too.

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    • Agree with all of that. Absolutely no reason why it could not have been played tomorrow or even Monday evening. The players looked fucked and as a result made costly errors. We had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled offside, an equally legitimate claim for a penalty turned down and several offsides that never were that could have led to further goals.

      A striker and cb should be a must in the transfer window.
      And what has happened to Jack?

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      • His having a Ramsey season I.e. still getting over a tough injury problem that jhas seen lesser players crumble), similar to Ozil having a bergkamp season (I.e. playing well enough, but you know there is a lot more to come as he better understands the English game.

        Even if we win nothing this season, I still think our star is rising

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    • Guys even FatGooner is making sense right now. The players were knackered and the officials didn’t help us one bit. City are still Shitty away from home, and this break has come at the perfect time for us. Knowing City, they will drop points at a rejuvenated Fulham next week and Chelsea look so vulnerable right now. Chelsea have only ONE clean sheet in their last ELEVEN games. This is not a typical Mourinho team, they are weak defensively and don’t have a cunt of a striker like Drogba who will cause us too much trouble.

      They players will rest up and Arsene knows this is the perfect opportunity to get one over on Mourinho. I hate that cunt. Let the players get a breather and on 23rd December lets get behind them and unleash our fury on Chelsea. Walcott is back and Podolski is back, and this break will do the rest of the team a world of good. Plus we are still top of the league. No need to begin panicking too much just yet.

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    • Completely agree with almost all of what you’ve said. Though I didn’t think Ramsey was bad – he had a key pass that lead to a goal and an assist to his name. He just had no support in midfield with Wilshere really having an atrocious game. He’s tired though, and that’s down to the ridiculous schedule and having played almost every minute of this season barring about 80 minutes.

      I love Giroud and all he does for the team beyond just scoring goals – but at the end of the day he’s a striker and his primary responsibility is to score. And he’s not been doing that often enough for us. He’s also been run into the ground.

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  23. Mesut Özil
    Sorry I didn’t thank the fans at the end of the game!

    You have been brilliant to me and I know you had travelled a long way and spent your money to support us. I was upset with the result and know I should have come to you to say ‘thank you’ and I know it is a big Arsenal tradition win, lose or draw.

    He posted that on his Facebook.

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  24. oh well! 9 days to work on it. good news is ashley cole has just got a new phone so may be unavailable next game.

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  25. I think the warning signs were there against Everton last week when we seemed happy to let them run at our back 4. Worrying to see it again today but we have to learn from it and move on. No more trips to Manchester and still top. We’re still fighting for this title!

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  26. Quite a hard defeat to take despite the fact that City were a better team. We looked capable of matching them most of the match but we sadly seem to have awoken the Arsenal of the old during the match. 4 of the 6 conceded were because of us shooting ourselves in the foot. We followed the same routine and City closed us off in midfield not once, not twice but every time we tried to move it forward. Wilshere and Monreal had shockers. What happened to Gibbs? He wasn’t even on the bench. The spirit of Clichy seemed to have possessed Monreal today because positionally he was awful. Not helped by Jack either. We really didn’t deserve to lose with a margin of score like that but that’s football. Lets just focus on the next match and hopefully get some reinforcements in because we need them. Giroud looks knackered and so does our midfield. Such a shame we didn’t bring on Santi and Rosicky. Tactically we played into City’s hands.

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  27. Before we start jumping off bridges lets look at the situation. No matter what we will get to the 23rd in first place. We win on the 23rd against Moron-ho & company we should enter 2014 in 1st place. The rest of the league has to catch us. That includes the biter, Van Pussy et al. Next time we face ManC it will be on our turf and we all know they are a different team away from home. I just think we are in a good position.
    The schedule this past week may not be an excuse but I think everyone can admit it couldn’t have been much worse and now we are past it.

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  28. We lost this one purely due to cunty officiating and terrible individual errors.Flamini,wilshere,monreal all culpable today. i just would have loved to keep the scoreline respectable. Chelsea are gonna encounter us at the right time. Theo firing!

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  29. Anyone who thinks this performance will ruin us is a fool. I think we looked like champions today and I know we messed up. We are still head and shoulders better than the rest and Martin Atkinson is a cock

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  30. Lot of similarities in this game as with the first of the season including costly officiating, We thought it a disaster but then played two London rivals and a North-east side after which things felt a lot better.

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  31. My thoughts of the game were as such.

    1) Wenger made a tactical mistake in failing to field both Flamini AND Arteta in midfield.

    Arteta’s absence was painfully obvious, as we simply didn’t have a pivot at the base of our midfield to keep possession. Too often, our players had no one to pass back to in the middle of the pitch when they were under pressure. Flamini, tough, snappy, glorious hard man that he is, just doesn’t have the same tactical discipline and nous that Arteta has. When the Flamster embarked on his forays forward, the likes of Jack and Rambo failed to cover for him in the middle. Also, Yaya and Fernandinho often outpaced our players in midfield, and it would have helped to have Arteta just sitting back and acting as the cover player for our attacking midfielders.

    2) Wenger should have fielded Gibbs ahead of Monreal.

    I doubt there’s a faster player in our defence than Gibbs. His pace would have helped us loads today, especially when we were being hit on the counter (a regular occurrence during the game). Nacho, who struggled to keep up with the pace of the game at times, should have started against Napoli, while Gibbo should have started against Man $hitty.

    3) Rosicky should have come on for Jack early in the second half.

    Look, I love Jack as a player and I think he’s a wonderful talent. But every top player have their off days, and it was so for Jack today. His passing, control and dribbling was woeful. Rosicky should have come on at 3-2 to inject some pace and directness, as well as some slidey-tackley goodness in our play. Experience, I believe would have helped a lot more in that situation, rather than youthful exuberance (same thing with Gnabry coming on, instead of Santi).

    4) Per Mertesacker – what a magnificent ent.

    Him yelling at Ozil for not applauding the away fans showed true leadership and a love for the club. Next Arsenal captain?

    In contrast, point number 5 is that…..

    5) Samir Nasri is still a cunt.

    He just is. The cunt.

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  32. Refs were sold out. Sorry to say it, I know it’s low for any gooner to say this, but they were! 6 key goal scoring chances were denied to us today! 6! Fucking 6! And yaya’s tackle on giroud should have resulted in a straight red. We were robbed. Fucking robbed.

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  33. But he made it an excuse.

    he should have been very firm with the message that we have no time for tiredness.

    The noise coming out from the squad (Arteta’s complain) was not a good sign.

    Too many players ambling back or moving forward at pedastrian pace in support of the player with the ball today.

    Of course flip side is Wenger failed to perform necessary tactical adjustments yet again in timely manner exposing his weakness against the bigger teams.

    He flatters to decieve at times because he has been good in the market.

    Monreal was poor out left and horribly exposed. Much as I feel Santi has been errant, he should have started to give MOnreal (better Gibbs) cover and afforded us someone -else to hold the ball.

    Walcott was played which was a good move (he should have been played against Napoli) but Giroud was taken off. Granted Giroud missed a number of key chances but he was at least getting into threatening positions.

    Finally rather than add Bendtner or Gnabry, Rosicky was to me the addition we needed next to Flamini to plug the hole in midfield.

    Poor decisions. Poor patch. 3 test since Everton and all failed.

    We have one more in Chelsea to invigorate us but it will not be anywhere near easy.

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  34. The refs were poor so were our players and tatics.We failed to play a compact midfield against a free scoring side. We lost this match because we were willing to and the refs assisted.

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  35. I think the scariest thing I took away from the game is that all those stats guys seem to be right. Man city have better underlying stats than us and their horrible away form was due to individual errors.

    Remember how we’ve been praising Chesney? His made crucial saves in many games and have contributed to our “best defence in the league”. Without those crucial saves, our defensive stats are average. We saw that today. I’m not puting blame on him btw. I am a big Chesney fan.

    We definitely need to get a back-up to Giroud. Even better, why not get someone who can compete with? Lets show some intent to win the league this January.

    Fuck Man city, fuck Chelsea. This is our time.

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  36. Olivier giroud is incompetent he should not play against CFC if we are to get any thing from that match so lazy & not good enough for title challenger like us! pls gimme NB23 I beg!

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  37. We need better striker urgently cos giroud is too poor,anyway thank jesus is jenuary,Ba or any decent one will do us FUCK CHELSEA & SHITTY

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  38. My major concern is that Wenger is about to sign a new contract for the next three years very shortly. You can take positives from our performance so far but the real point of judgement come in May and if, once again he has failed to deliver then it is time to move on – yesterday was an appalling result and personally I would like to see Wlshere moved on and a top quality, proven striker bought in. Wilshere does nothing for me…

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  39. The officials may have loaded the gun, but we shot ourselves in the foot.
    Also, I really don’t see the problem with Wilshire letting the city fans know we’re still 1st in the league (that clearly was what he was doing right?)

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  40. *Wilshere (my bad)

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  41. Schedule is not an excuse, but it certainly contributes to problems.

    Look anyone that has to travel for work can feel sorry for this bunch. I wouldn’t want to fly home on the 4am flight and then take a long trip up north the day after to play out a match at noon.

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