Editorial

By hook or by crook

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Arsenal make FA Cup Final

The last time that Arsenal won a penalty shoot-out in the FA Cup, it was after boring the pants off everyone for 120 minutes with a performance not unlike that of Wigan yesterday at Wembley. Attempting to contain a side with greater goal threat, they showed resilience and enjoyed good fortune. On that occasion, the 2005 final, the side that deserved to win the match lost out in the penalty shoot-out. In 2014, it was the team that did most to win the game that triumphed.

However, that really isnít saying much. Wiganís containment job was successful enough to take the game to the lottery of a shoot out, and that was due to the poverty of Arsenalís attacking play. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started the game, and was the one real bright spot, with some sense of wanting to drive at the opposition. Yaya Sanogo got into position to miss a number of chances, but ultimately, itís meaningless if he canít convert. Too much is being placed on this young kidís shoulders and frankly, he has been found wanting at the key moments, hence his yet to register his debut goal. He did offer more pace and physical presence than Giroud, but did not have the control to do anything with it.

As a consequence, Wigan eventually took the lead themselves from the penalty spot in the second half, although at least early enough for Wenger and his team to react.

The first two substitutions undoubtedly improved Arsenal attacking-wise. Gibbs came on for Monreal who was injured (and arguably fouled) in the build-up that led to the Wigan penalty. The number 23 improved the Gunnersí attacking threat down the left side. Then Giroud replaced Podolski and Wenger switched to a 4-4-2. Hallelujah. Some tactical reaction. Less enjoyable was the booing Podolski received from the Arsenal fans as he ambled off, but time was of the essence by then and the crowd were in no mood for a primadonna trooping off at a lackadaisical pace which symbolized much of his teamís play yesterday. He became the focus for the fan frustration and was clearly shocked by it, combined with his own disappointment at being withdrawn. He had not played well, although that can be said about many of his colleagues. Still, to hear a player booed by his own fans at Wembley is quite something, and perhaps a sign of the direction the game has gone over recent years.

Arsenal at last started to fathom more dangerous chances, Sanogo hitting the post and Gibbs having a header well saved. When Meresacker scored, my first instinct was to look at the linesman as there had been a couple of dubious calls during the match. Fortunately (and correctly) his flag stayed down. Relief for the majority of the fans in the stadium with less than ten minutes on the clock.

Extra time was necessary and it was astonishing to see Aaron Ramsey being left on, as surely the player needs phasing back into match action on a more gradual basis than this. Surely he will not start on Tuesday with Kallstrom or Flamini given the nod. On that note, at least the latter provides the team with more zip than Arteta, moving the ball on more quickly and trying to make things happen. For so much of the game, the Gunners looked ponderous, a team shorn of the confidence to have a go at the opposition. Understandable after some shocking recent results, but it is going to take time to play themselves out of the malaise, and they do not have much time. A guy sitting next to me opined that the team had fallen apart since losing Walcott to injury and it was hard to argue.

The Ox hit the bar in the best chance of the extra time, although Wigan threatened on a couple of occasions as well. Kim Kallstrom eventually replaced Aaron Ramsey, but did not do anything which made you think Ė this is the guy that will salvage the season.

One thing I did notice in the break between normal and extra time, with the teams remaining on the pitch, was Arsene Wenger actually issuing some instruction to his players. Why he canít do more of this during the game is one for debate.

The penalty shoot out came and the Gunnersí spot kicks were simply better than Wiganís. There seemed little debate they were the more deserving winners as they at least tried much harder to threaten the opposition goal than Wigan, but both teams were poor and I am uncertain this was great entertainment for the neutral. Wigan played for the result and Arsenal played in fear of an upset.

Yet getting in the final was the point of the exercise, and on that level the aim was achieved, but it was a performance that raised a lot of doubts and questions. Naturally, the view, we are in the final - who cares how, can be taken, and on one level, fair enough. Arsenal won their last trophy playing a truly dreadful match and no-one complained about that amongst the supporters. Yet, this performance was indicative of a wider malaise, and demonstrated a very stretched squad. The unused outfield substitutes were Jenkinson, Eisfeld and Akpom. They have Ė on paper Ė five very winnable matches before returning to Wembley for the final. But Everton have leapfrogged them in the league, and even if the Toffeemen do not pick up maximum points between now and the end of the campaign, can you honestly see Arsenal doing that either?

Even the manager acknowledged that the players would have been affected mentally if they had failed to win this game, but in the end, they needed a lottery to do so. Mentally, they already look shot. Tuesday will reveal whether this result is a mini-springboard, a turning point or whether we are in for more performances of this ilk before the current campaign is put to bed. If it is the latter, one suspects we will be seeing plenty of Thursday and Sunday matches next season.

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13th April 2014 09:00:00

(8.2/10)

Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

BADARSE  8:07am 13th Apr 2014

Thank you Kevin, a fair report and view. The lack of imagination and the overall paucity of invention was evident. It was something to expect I suppose as the fear of losing was a prime concern. However with all of that the forced tactics seemed to serve us well. Wigan clearly came to contain and in so doing gave us the ball. Had we found the net then the game would have taken a different form one assumes. Still I hope it will give a lift to the team, I truly don't expect it to be footballing renaissance moment though. - Post No. 52385


GoonGoonerGone  8:11am 13th Apr 2014

Once Wenger was an upstart revolutionary. Now he is a sad old dictator slumped on a bench,wringing his hands. Time to move back home, Wenger. You have outlived your welcome. - Post No. 52386


RJ  8:21am 13th Apr 2014

I had a slightly different take on the podolski substitute booing. From my seat he had a good second half and provided some drive at Wigan. I was very surprised that he was taken off as really arteta was more deserving of being removed. At that point we needed attacking options to win the game. Podolski was providing that threat. I assumed any booing was at winger for a curious decision. Other than that a fair report Coyg. - Post No. 52387


Podolski  8:27am 13th Apr 2014

They were booing the substitution not the player. Lucky for Wenger it worked out ok. - Post No. 52388


CharlieNick87  8:27am 13th Apr 2014

This team certainly know how to put you through mental torture but at least we are there. Think Fabianski has been superb throughout this Cup competition, just worry that confidence is too brittle to string together 5 wins in the league before we head back to Wembley. - Post No. 52389


Chris  8:31am 13th Apr 2014

Almost all of us agreed at the beginning of the season that we were short of one or two players to win the league, most specifically a striker. The early good form lead some, possibly many of us to believe that in spite of that, maybe this year was going to be a bit different. The injury to Walcott was indeed a horrible moment (well, learning its extent the following day was) and I felt a little defeatist in my initial instinct that any chance of the title had just disappeared. Managed to talk myself round, boosted by Draxler rumours. But although I certainly didn't foresee the extent of our subsequent collapse (unlike some here), neither did I foresee the really rotten run of injuries as Ramsey, Jack and Ozil followed Theo to the treatment room. Nonetheless, just as it can be argued that fixture scheduling helped us to the top of the table (I'd disagree though), so it can be argued that they've helped Everton into 4th. I still think it's very likely we'll finish in 4th and win the FA Cup, which wouldn't be so bad at all. Personally, I very much doubt there will be a new manager at the club next season and, although it seems unlikely, we can only hope that lessons about squad depth and over-playing key personnel are belatedly learnt. Personally, I don't think the situation is as bad as it looks due to the recent heavy defeats and performances, although I concede that the 'groundhog day' resonances make it less forgivable. I think better squad management, in terms of more top signings, managing player fatigue and increasing squad depth, would see our fortunes change even with the current coaching regime. - Post No. 52390


Gaz  8:35am 13th Apr 2014

Kev-from where I was sitting I thought the boos were aimed at Wenger for taking Podolski off rather than Sanogo? Certainly thats how I read the situation too. As for the rest of it I really enjoyed the day out. Got there early with my brother-in-law, found a nice bar showing the QPR game, then spent an enjoyably couple of hours chatting to a real old school Gooner called Rob from Enfield! Great fun walking up Wembley way with 65,000+ Gooners and it really brought back the fun I used to have when I was going regulary. Then the game started and it kind of went down hill from there! Was hoping for a really good performance but what I got was mostly awful. We're lacking in so many areas and whilst I can't argue with Sanogos effort (I think we'd all put that sort of effort in if we were playing!) he plainly isn't good enough yet and quite frankly I doubt he ever will be good enough. It was no surprise when they scored and whilst I feel awful for this I can't deny my immidiate thought was that this could spell the end of Wengers reign at the Club. I take no pleasure in saying that but I'd be amazed if others weren't thinking along the same lines. Dont get me wrong-I was desperate for us to win-after all I'm an Arsenal fan first and foremost-but I'm also of the opinion that winning this competition will see Wenger remain at the Club for at least another two years. As somebody suggested the other day its an awful dilema a lot of fans find themselves in at this moment in time. I mean win and we're in a Cup final-lose and Wengers position would have been untenable. As it is we're through to another FA Cup final and Wenger has the chance to win his first trophy in nine years. Play like we did yesterday though versus Hull (who I expect to win) and we may not be celebrating come May. One final thing. These 'selfies' that seem to be all the rage nowadays. How about leaving them for when we've won a trophy eh? - Post No. 52391


Prof. A. Wenger  8:40am 13th Apr 2014

arteta is a useless lump. playing in that key position, so much goes through him, but he always looks sideways or backwards, slowing it down every time. add to that that he is physically weedy, petulant and woefully slow, and ask yourself: what is the point of him? a modern day denilson. - Post No. 52392


Lord Froth  8:42am 13th Apr 2014

Discussing the manager has been done to death over the last month or so, so I won't mention anything about that but the fact is Arsenal are in a final at long last. The way they got there was not convincing but it's in the past now and we all have a final to look forward to. It's still not a certainty that we'll have Thursday night football next season as now the team are officially in 5th place maybe they'll feel some of the pressure is off, like last season, and string a few results together. I'm Keeping my fingers crossed. Yesterday was hard work but they won in the end so well done to the team. - Post No. 52393


Simon  8:43am 13th Apr 2014

I think you got booing all wrong, it was clearly aimed at wenger. As for the game I think we deserved the win even if it wasn't a classic performance and let's not forget we have a lot of talent to return between now and the end of the season. - Post No. 52394


Paul  8:52am 13th Apr 2014

The big result was Everton's win at Sunderland.We are 5th.That seems to have been swept under the carpet.Sanogo is up there with the wors Arsenal players Ever.A park player at best - Post No. 52395


tugboy  8:53am 13th Apr 2014

The booing was for Poldi being taken off..... For **** Sake out of this current lot he is the only one that can find the net. Does the club not have any other U21s that can slot in up front. The poverty of this squad is disturbing..the business end of the season and half the ****ing fist team are injured. - Post No. 52396


Website Editor  9:01am 13th Apr 2014

On the booing - If I got that wrong, my mistake. I just felt that it grew from the player taking an eternity to leave the pitch when we were chasing a goal. I could certainly understand Wenger being booed, and in honesty, did not think Podolski (or pretty much anyone aside from the Ox) played particularly well. All I know is that I did not boo, so can only guess what was going on in the heads of others. - Post No. 52397


Mike Collins  9:01am 13th Apr 2014

We scraped a dreadful match against feeble opposition despite having AW in charge, rather than because of him. Players celebrating a semi-final win over an average Championship side as if they'd just beaten Real Madrid in the European Cup final shows just how far we have fallen. I am not 100% we can beat either Hull or Sheffield Utd in the final, let alone any of the Champions League semi-finalists, which is where we should be exercising our efforts. The rate of decline is accelerating dangerously now and an FA Cup win next month won't change that and will probably convice AW to stay on to wreak more damage on us. Depressing days indeed for my beloved club that it should have come to this. - Post No. 52398


Steve  9:09am 13th Apr 2014

The booing was because he took off the wrong man! - Post No. 52399


Gaz  9:10am 13th Apr 2014

Its all very well blaming injuries for this bad run of form but consider this. Would most of you agree that not winning our Champions league Group was a bad thing? Would all of you then agree that winning it and playing a lesser side-at home second-would have given us a greater chance of both progressing and subsequently incresing confidence? Ok then. Would you be surprised to know that when we lost to Napoli away-where a draw would have been good enough to win the group-all of Kosielney, Ozil, Flamini, Wilshere, Walcott and Rmsey were in the squad. Any idea how many of them started? three of them!!! Point is injuries or no injuries when you've got a manager who fails to pick all of them in a game most would agree was absolutely vital you're kind of swimming against the tide. Now I know some will say he had to do that because we were playing City at the weekend but I'd rather take it one game at a time, win that, then look at the next game. By trying to be too clever we lost ultimately lost both games anyway!!! - Post No. 52400


Mathew  9:17am 13th Apr 2014

The boo's were at Wenger for his substitution, as all were expecting Sanogo to be taken off for Giroud, he looked hapless. I heard Wenger is persuaded to sign his contract extension as AFC is in the final, what a joke ! - Post No. 52401


James  9:18am 13th Apr 2014

The Ox, Gibbs, Fabby, BFG were all very good. Arsenal support was excellent must have been 65,000 there. Wigan fans are little strange one guy I met had a ferret up his trousers and their women all look like Bella Emberg. Still great day out and looking forward to the final. - Post No. 52402


TeeCee  9:20am 13th Apr 2014

Decent report but I think you got the Poldi situation completely wrong. For me the booing was at Wonga for taking Poldi off. Even the cameras showed Gooners in the crowd just standing shaking their heads, that wasn't at Poldi's performance. The team is shorn of it's best players at the moment so that is a small excuse for some games but players like Arteta and Cazorla should not be anywhere near the first team and Sanogo clearly should have joined the postal service......or at least a ligue deux club which would have been more his level. We all know Wonga is the problem but unfortunately, as great as getting to the final is, it means our dear dictator is likely to hang around for another 2 years and that is disastrous for Arsenal FC. - Post No. 52403


GoonerGoal!  9:31am 13th Apr 2014

Embarrassingly rubbish performance, but only what has come to be expected from us under Wenger, and somehow we find ourselves in the Final! Meanwhile, Everton have moved into 4th spot with a two point lead. Actually, it's really a THREE POINTS GAP when goal difference is taken into consideration, THANKS TO THE VARIOUS HAMMERINGS we've taken this season. Surely nobody is really expecting us to take maximum points from our final five matches. I have us struggling to finish on 74-76 points, exactly the same as Everton. The Wenger chickens could really be coming home to roost in the form of just one of those heavy defeats. Imagine the mental state of the team turning out in the Final six days after being dumped from a Champions League spot. You think it won't matter? Then you are forgetting the over-the-top celebrations at the final whistle of the final game of last season! WENGER/GAZIDIS/KROENKE OUT! VIVE LA REVOLUTION! - Post No. 52404


Gaz  9:33am 13th Apr 2014

@Mike Collins: summed up the day pretty well there pal... - Post No. 52405


Gooner age  9:42am 13th Apr 2014

Look, Wenger has got to go. End of. But by trying to address this item you've forgotten to mention how the lad in the picture produced two blinding saves to win us the tie. As a young lad l rember Seaman watching seaman do the same and the joy that brought me. I think the whole wenger fiasco is taking the shine off a lot of good things at the club. However, fabianski has taken a lot of stick over the years so I think it only right to redress the balance. Thanks for taking us to the Final Lukasz!!!! - Post No. 52406


El Bodgeo  9:44am 13th Apr 2014

Kevin, booing comes from the heart mate, not the head. Stop being so high and mighty. Wenger deserved that reaction for his p*ss poor performance. Our team should have been better selected and better motivated. Our relief at making the final should be coupled with the hope that he can get his and the players act together and hit some form over the next month so that we can actually win the cup. Both Hull and Sheffield Utd will fancy their chances after yesterday's effort. - Post No. 52407


Bb  9:44am 13th Apr 2014

Booing not for Podolski but for the decision to take him off and not Sonogo - Post No. 52408


Daniel MK Gooner  9:45am 13th Apr 2014

Hated every single minute of that but we got through. I think people were booing the substitution not Podolski although as far as I am concerned if I never saw him play for Arsenal again it would be a day too soon......Lets face it we all know we are a poor team with a manager who is past his sell by date but lets try and enjoy the final now and the usual scramble for tickets! - Post No. 52409


Any Old Iron  9:49am 13th Apr 2014

We have been 'unlucky' so many times in the past. Perhaps the gods took kindly to us this time. Wit could easily have gone against us. We won a shootout. We've lost in finals like that more than once. Let's get this trophy now, and fill out very sparse boots! Wenger though is yesterday's news. We all now that really! He really now should accept this gift-horse of a Cup final from the football gods, hoping that we can overcome either of the two who will confront us and carry this trophy off. Wenger then should jack it in!! - Post No. 52410


BADARSE  9:58am 13th Apr 2014

Gaz I think you talk a lot of sense. I am not trying to be obsequious as am sure most joined-up posters would agree with my sentiment. I would offer this though. Sometimes when a person believes something so strongly it takes on an accepted view in all assessments. I am guilty of this on a grand scale and have to consciously work at 'cleansing the palette'. The point you made, regarding playing your best side and not spreading the players, or rotating, is probably valid and certainly a fair take on team selection. I don't altogether share that view though, and I think my rationale is also valid. Sure on occasions 'he might be better than him', and sometimes the decision blows up in your face-the point of finishing top in the CL typifies what is at stake, but like the substitute-making timing Arsene gets slated for it's a personal view. The timing has been scientifically proven to be the optimum when players dip and new legs give you a two-pronged advantage. Fresh power to your side and something for your opponents tired legs to worry about. It's a strong reason why I am such a firm advocate of Theo being exclusively an impact sub. A good post all the same pal. - Post No. 52411


BADARSE  10:22am 13th Apr 2014

Any Old Iron I think fortune hasn't favoured us as a team for many years, in fact perhaps for all my supporting life. There have been favourable turns amongst the damning occurrences it's true but the 'bad luck' certainly seems to outweigh the 'good' in my book. I didn't see the gods favouring us yesterday, I thought had there been gods of football they favoured Wigan. A couple of attempts that may have been goals, a first minute flier which would have been a signal for Wigan to tear up their game strategy, twice hitting the woodwork, a goal line clearance, and behind to a clumsy tackle which might not have occurred on another day. It would be great to win this cup though, for all of us, and at least to make the media muppets write a new script. No more, 'How long has it been since you won something?' - Post No. 52412


BNG  10:22am 13th Apr 2014

Kev where i was in the top tier the booing and abuse was aimed at Wenger for the substitution and not for Podolski - Post No. 52413


kilkenny cat  10:27am 13th Apr 2014

Cant remember too many semi finals when we have played well. Even with the great teams they were a struggle. The most important thing was winning,and having a chance of a trophy. I expect Hull to win today and we,ll have to play a lot better to beat them. Cup final is a massive game,as the club and fans need some silverware. Ozil is a big game player and if he is fit,he will bee the match winner in my opinion. We wont be top 4 now unless Everton lose their nerve as i dont think we will win all our games. Hopefully win the cup in May, Wenger resigns and we can look forward to next season. - Post No. 52414


Hornsey Bill  10:32am 13th Apr 2014

The two endearing memories from yesterday was the pre match singing in some ridiculously overcrowded pub on the Harrow Road and being in the company of proper gooners 100% nailed on fans. Not the fairweather tourist variety you get at the Emirates After the first 10 minutes the team descended into the usual laboured and frustrating slog that seems to be the norm these days. You only had to look round the stadium to see the MASSIVE difference in resources. We had 2/3rds and could have sold more and Wigan sections with loads of empty seat. Yet little difference between the two teams! A win's a win and delighted to be in the final but performances like this is really not what such tremendous fans deserve. Where is the flair, the zip the excitement? We were on a level with a team like Wigan, who, no disrespect, we should be streets ahead of Almost everyone I speak to these days, no matter what they think about Wenger agrees that the time has come for him to move on and to bring some fresh blood and new impetus back into out great club! - Post No. 52415


Gaz  10:54am 13th Apr 2014

@BADARSE: Cheers pal. Might not always agree with your points but I can't help but admire the way you get them across! One thing we obviously both agree on is the use of Theo as an impact sub. Quite frankly I can't think of another player in world football I'd rather bring on against a tiring defence. Sadly on 100k a week I doubt either Walcott or Wenger see his role as thus!!!... - Post No. 52416


Any Old Iron  11:02am 13th Apr 2014

Badarse, read what I wrote again! You have basically repeated what I'd already said. A quote, not a misquote. The football gods as a phrase in term: Wigan are out. Therefore fortune(football gods)favoured us, not Wigan. - Post No. 52417


Wibblefish  11:02am 13th Apr 2014

We are in the final and that's the good news. We have played some top teams to get to this stage, so maybe yersterday's performance can be forgiven. What can't be forgiven is the strength of the squad. Just look at the bench yesterday and ask yourself what options were available? You can argue all you like about injuries to key players, but to be at this stage of the season with these limited options is just piss poor management. If yesterday did not demonstrate to the wider world just how far this team have deteriorated over the last few seasons, then I'm at a loss as to what will? We no longer need to add a few key players but are in desparate need of major investment for many transfer windows to come. Mourinho thinks his team have a problem scoring goals, oh to have his f@@king problem! FA cup semi final and we have Sanogo up front! Anyway rant over......come on you Gunners, FA cup final in May! - Post No. 52418


Peter  11:05am 13th Apr 2014

A dire match which it was difficult to tell who was the championship side.Which is where some of our players should be playing.The only winner yesterday was Wenger and the board.For 80 odd minutes Wenger was staring down the barrel of a gun.Then when we equalized we went back to normal playing like zombies hitting long balls to two clueless strikers.Forget Suarez we might as well sign Crouch.Everyone is missing the point.Wenger had no influence on the result at all, the major decision in the whole game was Rosler taking off their best player McManaman(you failed to mention that Kev) who was murdering our back 4 what a change to see a player actually run at and beat a man.Sanogo is from the Ceasar/Stephanov school of player who shouldnt be within a million miles of Arsenal football club.You could have picked out any fan from the crowd and i include the 20st ones who could have done better than him even Wengers biggest fan John Cross said he's not good enough.You totally misread the booing.The fans were booing Wenger for taking off Podolski and leaving on Sanogo.And mark my words Wenger will pick him for the final.Our only hope now of getting rid of Wenger is if Everton get 4th.Which on our recent form looks very likely.I couldnt take 4 more years of this - Post No. 52419


Mike Collins  11:06am 13th Apr 2014

Hornsey Bill makes a good point about "nailed-on Gooners", a rarer breed at the Emirates these days than they were at Highbury. If we do miss out on the CL next season, however, I presume a lot of part-timers, Glory Hunters and corporate wallies will abandon us. This would free up plenty of seats around the stadium and I'd like to see some of them allocated to kids who live in north London but who don't have the financial resources to watch the team at the moment. That way real local passion will be reinjected into the club and Arsenal re-rooted in its surrounding community. If Wenger's tenure brings about such a sea change that would be one positive for the future. I'm not holding my breath, though, and let's see how many "valued" corporate guests turn out to watch Amon Duul II in the Nohopa League next season. - Post No. 52420


Torbay gooner  11:13am 13th Apr 2014

Not pretty to watch and the team seemed devoid of all confidence. Only the Ox was prepare to drive forward and the team are carrying far too many passengers, Arteta, Cazorla, Giroud and Sanago for starters. Poldoski is an impact sub at best as he has not impressed in the recent games he has started. However, thankfully we are in the final and well done to Fabianski who I like others on this site have criticised heavily in the past. The latest pearl of wisdom, that I heard from our manager just prior to kick off, was him responding to an interviewer, questioning him playing Sanago instead of Giroud. He said that 'you cannot play all season with one striker and Sanago was in good form'!! LOL! I hope we win the cup but do not see the point of this team 'competing' in the Champions League under this manager. - Post No. 52421


Guy in Jersey  11:15am 13th Apr 2014

Couldn't attend yesterday, so had to watch it on television. As a result, I got to hear Roy Keane slagging off Arteta for his lack of dynamism and attacking intent, i.e. constantly going backwards and sideways. Arteta sums up the current Arsenal - pedestrian. A stopgap signing who's provided valuable service, and a decent Premiership player, but nowhere near good enough if you want to win the title or Champions League. There are many others in the squad who fit the same description. - Post No. 52422


Hghbury Boy  11:15am 13th Apr 2014

I was there and thought as all around me thought that the booing was for Wenger as he didn't know what he was doing in taking off Podolski, a player who can at least score,as opposed to the very raw Sanogo who has less control than Bendtner and looks like he will never score. PLEASE M. Wenger just leave. When you came we had Wright and Bergkamp up front now we have Sanogo and Giroud. Oh and reserve strikers Bentner and Park. I rest my case. - Post No. 52423


BADARSE  11:15am 13th Apr 2014

Hang on a minute, I can see someone swimming in the opposite direction. Oh don't worry about him, it's only BADARSE. First let me take off my water-wings. Well I thought there was a noticeable difference in class yesterday. True we didn't play with the confident aire of a well-oiled machine, mainly because our confidence, and that of the manager has been shot. We played a more cautious, 'keep ball', and probing approach. That wasn't a surprise to me and I took comfort from it. I saw it as a lesson learned, whether it is fully absorbed and integrated into our regular playing philosophy when required is anyone's guess. True it is a frustrating thing to watch and endure, but this is the point we are at right now. The topic though is class. I thought it was easy to see the premier club of reasonable standards, (which is what I believe our true standard to be with absences through injury, and limitations in certain areas), and that of a quite good Championship side. Leading up to the game I heard from 'experts' and assorted pundits that Wigan were a Premier League side really. Unfortunate to be relegated, won FA Cup against top opposition. A blip with a new manager settling in but a confident run to the S/F dispensing with Prem opposition en route, coupled with a drive for the Play-Off position and a likely return to the top flight. Well it's one or the other. It's the same with disparagingly tilted jibes at Giroud being a carthorse. He isn't! He has little speed for a main thrusting single-man striker, and sometimes his first touch isn't subtle or good enough. He does have immense skill though. A man who can take a dropping ball over his shoulder, whilst on the run is very skilful. If he doesn't display it often enough then a case is there to answer for replacing him. I was very pleased to see him step up to take the third penalty for us. Think I'll do a length of backstroke now. - Post No. 52424


Jamie  11:22am 13th Apr 2014

Great article as ever Kev. I have so say, we all need to be Sheffield Utd fans today because no way can I see Wenger being able to get a team ready to beat even a middle lower premier league team. I'd love to know what fans of big teams abroad must think when they tune in to see The Mighty Arsenal playing cup semi finals with players like Sanogo on the pitch. He doesn't hide, he doesn't let the magnitude of the occasion get to him. But Jesus he is bad! One of the other bloggers summed him up perfectly yesterday likening him to a competition winner. Disturbingly, for all that I think most of us wanted him in yesterday instead of the hapless Giroud. I think your other readers are correct in that the booing was for the substitution, not the player. Only Wenger would elect to take off a 100 cap German international striker and leave a novice out of his depth on the field. I fear a defeat to West Ham on Tuesday but hopefully it will further accelerate Wenger's long overdue departure. - Post No. 52425


KC  11:30am 13th Apr 2014

The best team won even though our performance was dire and pretty much consistent with what we deliver away from the Emirates. The lack of expenditure was fully exposed and the lack of pace equally so. It's very difficult to watch this team at present when you consider the wealth available that's criminal. The Ox, Sagna, we're our best players, but Carzola and Poldoski were non existent in the first half, appreciate the booing was for the substitution but I can't understand that he was no threat at all. We are a team without a major threat up front add that to the slow out of position Arteta which is doubly dangerous playing in front of an equally slow BFG and you have a a team with no X factor at the front a team dangerously exposed to counter attacking. The injuries hurt but the spine is the problem and has been since the season started. It's great to get to the final hope we go on and win to silence the press but mentally away from the Emirates we are ordinary at best and the bigger picture is worrying. - Post No. 52426


Chris  11:30am 13th Apr 2014

Gaz / Badarse - The thing is, unless we win everything, Wenger is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Had we got a draw at Napoli and/or City, Wenger would have been lauded for judicious squad rotation. He's often castigated for over-playing his main-men, leading to injury, so it's hard to take seriously an argument that he did it too much in a specific circumstance that didn't go our way. No one gets everything right - even Mourinho threw the CL 1st leg in Paris by taking off Schurrle. That's why we have to look a the over-all results and, hate to say it, there's every chance we'll finish on par in the league (4th) and with a trophy to boot. - Post No. 52427


Any Old Iron  11:36am 13th Apr 2014

This business with Sa-No-Go. Wenger has done this before. Anelka, Adebayor. Sanogo looks the most raw of the three. If, and that's a big if, Sanogo does improve drastically and starts more games and scores goals, Wenger will refuse to give him a wage comparable to what he could get elsewhere and ship him out for a fat fee. Wenger is so predictable and repetitive, and he loves trading for a profit. It is awful though that Arsenal as a football club competes with teams who have superior players because the manager wants it that way. Wenger GO GO!! - Post No. 52428


BADARSE  11:36am 13th Apr 2014

Hi Any Old Iron. I wasn't really disagreeing with you, but pretty much endorsing the fickleness between winning and losing. I do think we have been unfortunate more often than not, and where and when you begin measuring plays a part in the judgement. Yep the footballing gods saw us across the line, but they sure as hell kept Wigan in with a chance for a very protracted time. Now for the final. - Post No. 52429


allybear  11:40am 13th Apr 2014

Paul i agree with you about the fact we are now in 5th. That game yesterday was between 2 very poor teams and the inclusion of Sanogo is a joke,he is a very poor player but a typical FIND from the manager. However im glad we are in the final but unfortunately it means we will have more years of AW. - Post No. 52430


Izutex  11:46am 13th Apr 2014

No one seem to mention the fact that this same Wigan won at the Etihad stadium,and rightly so against a top top class team with Yaya and the loads of strikers on the pitch. Give them some respect would you? we are talking about the defending champions here, they did beat Man city at Wembley last season and went ahead to beat them again at their own backyard in the quarter finals. Agreed it was not a pleasant display from both team,but what where you expecting? a run over? give me a break and stop whining guys. As for those calling for Wenger's head,I will make it a point of duty to rub it on your faces when he finally leaves and we go back to Europa league where we belonged before he came. Welldone to the players,now let's put up some fight I. the league. - Post No. 52431


BADARSE  11:50am 13th Apr 2014

Chris I totally agree with your view of things. I find that very reassuring; perhaps I am still crazy, as some might have it, but at least I am not alone.4th place and the Cup sounds good to me at this stage, and believe me I shall celebrate both...but the cup a little louder no doubt. - Post No. 52432


Any Old Iron  12:02pm 13th Apr 2014

Winning the cup and finishing 4th for the Chumps league (we can't win a group), let alone the Trophy (we'll be eliminated by a seed), (we'll play Sa-No-Go), Wenger will get the revenue in for his U.S boys is BS and does not equate to an endorsement from ME! The Cup and 4th is still a resounding and resonating Wenger OUT! - Post No. 52433


WENGER OUT  12:06pm 13th Apr 2014

Thanks for the report Kevin, generally fair all round but I agree with others that the booing was entirely for the decision and not Poldi who is always dangerous as he's one of the most naturally gifted finishers in the world... others have done the point to death so I won't go over it. I also thought I heard a chorus of 'You don't know what you're doing!' I don't subscribe the notion that the performance matters in a game like this, the result is everything, and for getting the result the lads deserve credit. What really bugged me was the complete contrast to the other FAC performances this season - FAC is the only competition where we have really played with freedom and played enjoyable football this year, such a shame to see us revert to some of the worst football I have seen ever. Roy Keane pretty much summed up my thoughts at half time when he said Arteta was driving him mad with his sideways and backwards passing, I was actually screaming during the first half 'PASS THE F***KING BALL FORWARDS YOU F***KING COWARDS!' The entire pattern of play for the last 35 mins of the first half: midfield get scared, give the ball to Sagna, Sagna to Mertesacker, BFG to Arteta, Arteta to Vermaelen or Mertesacker, back to Sagna, back to Mertesacker, back to Arteta, back to Fabianski and repeat.... kill me now FFS! Arteta should get nowhere near that team, how is he in the starting line up week in week out? I totally agree with you Kev that KK is a better option, showed so much more energy and invention (not a lot mind). My girlfriend who knows absolutely nothing about football was coerced into watching the game with me yesterday and she learnt a number things without getting any guidance from me whatsoever. 1. Arteta fouls someone every time he manages to get near them, then throws his hands up in the air like he did nothing. 2. Arteta never passes the ball forwards. 3. Sanogo can't hit a barn door with a banjo. 4. Oxlade-Chamberlain is the only one who looks like he's trying to win. 5. That ManUre player Powell is 'good looking for a footballer' - The can't all be insightful. Oh and 6. Cazorla is very small - Which helps him define the latest entry to the Oxford English Dictionary - 'Cazorla' - definition: to completely disappear in plain sight of thousands of people. Example - 'The magician Dynamo performed a fantastic Cazorla to wow a crowd of impressed onlookers'. The duo of Arteta and Cazorla, collectively known as the 'untouchables', need dropping fast; I think Cazorla has a future at Arsenal, but Wiggy needs putting out to pasture, he's just an embarrassment now. All season I have said that we will finish 4th with no trophies, the evidence now points to us finishing 5th with 1 trophy, but I will stick by my prediction as I think that Everton have tougher fixtures and that the lads will implode under the pressure of the final. The prospect of having a new manager next season is the most excited I've been about Arsenal since 2008, so from that point of view, I am feeling very positive. COYG! - Post No. 52434


Artetanal  12:13pm 13th Apr 2014

Did you see me and Santi taking our selfies. That is what we are here for. Sanogo is such a laugh and it is good that Mr Wenger still has a sense of humour. Poldolski was taken off because he does not disagree with the referees enough. I can make a hundred fouls a game and stay on the pitch. My job is easy. Why waste your energy like that Viera guy did. Mr Wenger says I play in this position and beat Gigg's record. I feel young as ever and some lucky fan has my shirt too! She who got Giroud's shirt is now the new girlfriend of Olivier. We should play at wembley all the time. I hear the Wigan fans could not get a train home. So funny but it is their own fault. You know one thing. If Roy Keane was still playing I would sort him out. Must go my adoring fans. Another selfie and an interview, new house, car, I love you guys! How you say - Come on the Arsenal! - Post No. 52435


johnnyhawleylovinggooner  12:16pm 13th Apr 2014

Brutal match to watch live,but I watched the highlights later and thought we were easily the better team.when Wigan scored it reminded me of a time early in Ferguson's days when the Stratford end were calling for his head, they went behind in a matchyet the tide turned he stayed and never looked back. Semi finals are often very poor games,we beat three premiership teams to get there,and Wigan put man city out last time.their best player was their goalkeeper. We should still be happy we. got there and the players should be able to pick up and win the last few games.we lost 4 top players for long periods and suffered accordingly. Yet The fact a raw player,so young we can not say what we really think of him,was left to do a mans job well it just beggers belief. I would love to know what the story of poldiski is.is he not fit?bad trainer?or just fallen out with the manager?the fact a very raw player was preferred ,or needed instead surely shows a major problem,though today's paper seem to question his workrate et all. - Post No. 52436


Bard  12:30pm 13th Apr 2014

Terrible match great result.Semis are rarely classics. We got through thats all that counts. Thought it was cruel to put Sanogo in that position. He looked way out of his doth. It was an embarrassment. Forget the injuries we need half a new team for next season, Centre half, another midfielder to replace Arteta, two new strikers and another defensive midfielder. Does anyone honestly believe that Wenger is the right man to make that happen. On a positive note I was glad to catch a glimpse of our Jan signing fully 4 months after we signed him. It will be one of those obscure Arsenal quiz questions, When did Kallstrom play for Arsenal. - Post No. 52437


Billthered  12:39pm 13th Apr 2014

We'll we won albeit by the skin of our teeth but truth be told none of us got any enjoyment from it just a sense of relief.ItsAnogo proved he is not the answer to our problems and Arteta looks like he is carrying a ball and chain when he is running around.Are we all that stupid be it that none of us have worked professionally in football that a striker was needed at the start of the season.Do you think we should have increased our offer for Suarez by another pound or two. - Post No. 52438


Gaz  12:40pm 13th Apr 2014

On a far more serious note best wishes to the legend that is Bob Wilson. As usual he'll fight this horrible disease with good grace and fierce determination... - Post No. 52439


jeff wright  12:43pm 13th Apr 2014

Wenger will once again be judged on whether or not he finishes 4th in the league, not least by Stan , the cup is irrelevant to this. Talking it up as meaning that Wenger has been successful this season if he wins it is a nonsense . Same with City and their League Cup win Pellegrini has to win the Prem otherwise cup or no cup he will be judged has having failed. These dom cups are just a side-show to the main events the Prem and European Cup . If Wenger finishes 5th in the league winning the FAC will mean diddy squat because he will already have 'qualified 'for the Thursday night Europa Cup anyway and he will just be celebrating winning the same trophy that he last won 9 years ago, deja vu yesterday's horror show, on a penalty shootout. If Wenger had a half decent striker to call on we would have won the tie in normal time. Anyway,let's hope after their exertions against Wigan that our lack lustre looking players have recovered in time for Tuesday night's tete a tete v Wenger's old adversary Fat Sam now reinforced with Andy Carrol on crosses and corners . The fat pie - eater will have relished the sight of Arteta struggling in extra-time and AOC suffering from exhaustion at the end of the boring tiresome affair. It looks likely to be another nery night as was the case against Swansea if anyone has forgotten. - Post No. 52440


Zee  12:46pm 13th Apr 2014

Seriously? We win the semi-final and all some of you have to say is Wenger Out? What a sad life you have - Post No. 52441


BADARSE  12:56pm 13th Apr 2014

You and me too Gaz. This prostate cancer can be an OKish thing or a killer. It depends on just two main factors, catching it in time before it escapes the prostate, and whether it is an aggressive form or a slow-growing type. That is oversimplification of course, but the essence is roughly correct. Bob Wilson was the bravest goalkeeper I ever had the privilege of watching. His trademark was diving at the feet of oncoming strikers, but head first! I love him to bits, a giant of a man. I was unaware of his plight until I read your post buddy, and it has affected me a little bit. Good old Arsenal! Good old Bob! - Post No. 52442


Vince  12:57pm 13th Apr 2014

Agree with the article Kevin, and we are now in the final and can bring home some silverware, we so need but may be a problem for us in the summer if there is no champions league. In terms of the wider issues I think though we are about as good now as the late 70's. The team then had many good cup runs, a few finals and of course we won it in 79. They were a good team, played good football but never good enough to seriously challenge for the title - I believe thats us now. Would still like Liam Brady to be in our current team if you can excuse me a bit of nostalgia :-) On a positive note I though the vocal support was great yesterday and the sight of so many gooners in wembley way was a bit special. - Post No. 52443


Frank Butcher  12:58pm 13th Apr 2014

Good to see Wenger's disciples on here lauding a scrappy win on penalties against a Championship side. We could be in the Conference under this clown and they'd argue Wenger is the man to take us back into the Football League. - Post No. 52444


WENGER OUT  12:58pm 13th Apr 2014

Zee, back to Untold Arsenal with you scamp! Far too much freedom of speech for you here. - Post No. 52445


Stevieo  13:09pm 13th Apr 2014

Spot on Jeff. The point is Pellegrini will be measured as a barometer against finishing first, whereas Wengerís barometer is fourth. I think weíll finish fourth, and I also think weíll win the Cup. Therefore, thus, hence, this season will have been our best since 2006. Even if we donít win the cup and finish fourth, that statistic still holds true, with a cup final to boot. Therefore, thus, hence considering the last 8 years have been a success and we have Ďoverachievedí, this season must be deemed as a triumph. On that score, those demanding trophies will have to concede this year is progress, and brace for a Wenger contract extension. - Post No. 52446


jeff wright  13:19pm 13th Apr 2014

Stevieo, spot on I think mself that we will get 4th and even Wenger surely can't mess up the FAC now,although he did lose to relegated Brum in the last cup final (LC)that we contested. Anyway he has conceded that we are odds on to win the FAC so nowwhere now for him to hide. Personally I think that his manegement has been so poor again this season that winning or no winning the cup is irrelevant and it's time he loaded up his charabanc and wished us au revoir while departing back to France taking Oliver and Sanago with him. - Post No. 52447


KC  13:19pm 13th Apr 2014

@Zee - sad life because we can see through a result. We all want Arsenal to be the best club side in world football but it's not the results it's the football we are watching the direction of the team, the strange lack of using the transfer market, the judgement of players and the realisation that we are slowly falling further behind the the best sides. Sad life is someone who buries their head in the sand and thinks things are great because we won a game. I am happy we won but surely you can see the bigger picture over the last few seasons! - Post No. 52448


Aylesbury Gooner  13:21pm 13th Apr 2014

Good report but like most posters it was definitely the substitution (Wenger) and not Podlski that the boos were aimed at.@ Izutex don't really think this team has a fight in them unlike some supporters. I was in entrance A block 520 right at the back and from my position there were two incidents one to my right not far from me which the stewards took an age to get to and by the time they did it was all over the other was on the lower tier over to my left. Don't know what it was all over but not nice to see. The games itself was torture but relieved we are in the final. What with players coming back we won'y have a better chance of some long overdue silverware. - Post No. 52449


GoonGoonerGone  13:30pm 13th Apr 2014

Not for a moment do I believe that we are going to make fourth. After the last five displays including yesterday, I see a team mentally shot mirroring the hapless manager. This is a tired rag-tag group of individuals (I don't see a team anymore) who are going to be severely tested by West Ham with Big Sam already licking his chops at physically breaking all our dwarfs with his giants. Fourth - you are having a laugh. - Post No. 52450


Fozzy's mate  13:33pm 13th Apr 2014

Yesterdays post match feeling was similar to cardiff 2005. Initial delight followed by the feeling of scraping through a poor spectacle. Wenger knows his time has gone its obvious to us and starting to be to him. Lifes cycle goes on. - Post No. 52451


THE WEAKNESS IS CLEAR  13:51pm 13th Apr 2014

WHILST PLEASED WE ARE IN FINAL, I AM STILL DISTRAUGHT OVER THE UTTER COLLAPSE IN THE LEAGUE. AN UNPRECENDTED COLLAPSE. LIEK THE RECORD DEFEATS/SURRENDERS THAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED OVER THIS TIRED, SELFISH MANAGER. THE CUP WIN CAN BE A GOOD BASE FROM WHICH A NEW MANAGER AND COACHING TEAM CAN RE-BUILD. LIVERPOOL HAVE GONE ON AND ON UNDER RODGERS BECAUSE HE IS A SMART MOTIVATED, SELFLESS YET DYNAMIC COACH. WE ARE A JOKE BY COMPARISON - Post No. 52452


DW Thomas  13:55pm 13th Apr 2014

How immensely boring that game was. At the shoot out had some drama. Yet we are in a final. So tired of hearing how the team is shot mentally. They are professionals, paid huge money to perform! SUCK IT UP! This team is a shadow of the squad we had just 5 or 6 years ago. Wenger is the one who looks shot. He Is devoid of any ideas but at least he went 4-4-2 yesterday. That was the biggest surprise. What a joke this season has become. Even if we win a trophy, we threw away the league, AGAIN! Yesterday I was honestly excited about the game, but then after 20 minutes I almost fell asleep. Who are we anymore? A business and not a football club. - Post No. 52453


Clockendpaul  13:56pm 13th Apr 2014

Can't believe you thought we were boing podolski, thought it was obviously aimed at wenger. People are happy reaching the final, but look at the bigger picture, poor tactics, selection, no motivation, and a total lack of ambition from the manager upwards. I just hope he wins the bloody thing and leaves, no going upstairs either. - Post No. 52454


Any Old Iron  14:02pm 13th Apr 2014

False prophets = unrequited promised land for disciples. I cannot refute the evidence. Others can if they so wish.. Wenger OUT again! - Post No. 52455


GoonerRon  14:12pm 13th Apr 2014

The fans booing the substitution that made us into a 4-4-2 and opened up the opportunity for a more direct style are probably the same people who whinge when Wenger never makes subs that change out shape or tactics. Poldi was anonymous and I'd argue Sanogo was occupying their CB's well and proved to be a handful, not to mention a key part in our equaliser. Yes, he's very raw and shouldn't be a first choice for us but to write him off after what, 4 or 5 games, as one of our worst players ever is nonsense. And a shoot out isn't a lottery - players with better technique and bottle usually prevail. - Post No. 52456


KC  14:36pm 13th Apr 2014

I dislike Liverpool because of their arrogant belief they are special and the media love in they enjoy. But why can Wenger not see how pace and quality forwards have such an impact. Strikers cost because they change football matches yet Wenger continues to ignore the obvious. Totally depressing to watch them play as we were once like this and we are now the complete opposite! WHY? Utterly bewildering and indefensible. - Post No. 52457


jjetplane  14:46pm 13th Apr 2014

RON Know just how you feel mate. Boring boring and you could hardly call it Arsenal. We await your analysis because it's the best. Never really hated anyone in an Arsenal shirt but Arteta has to be the biggest snake this cub has ever had. Now it just remains as to who will come in for the Ox which must be the only thought on Stan's mind. Ha ha Keane mentioned Newcastle last season in comparison to the rubbish yesterday. Bang on the head for the serial failures who make perfect business. Now if Chelsea and Citeh end up with nought I for one will be celebrating with a full pot of green tea. As all my south coast football distractions are having such fun even watching the ****e yesterday cannot put a downer on football. Fell sorry for the Wigan fans who could not get a train home (why Wembley?) but they were rubbish once their best man went off exhausted - gifting Wenger with an easy game which of course never transpired. Kept thinking when I wasn't staring out the window that if it had been any middling PL team out there yesterday, Arsenal would not have been taking pretty penalties. Seen some poor Arsenal teams in my time but I have never seen a mob so happy with so little. Then again, when you're earning over your odds, why ****ing bother? Still wondering how Yeovil managed a point yesterday. Football hey! - Post No. 52458


SLIPPERY SLOPE TO MEDIOCRITY  14:49pm 13th Apr 2014

DISLIKING OTHER CLUBS WILL DETRACT FROM US ALL SEEING WHAT THEY HAVE DONE RIGHT AND WHAT WE HAVE DONE WRONG. WE ARE NOT THE 4TH BEST TEAM IN THIS LEAGUE. WE ARE ON A PAR WITH SPURS AND MANU AND FOR 100% CERTAIN MANU WILL BE BETTER THIS YEAR. UNLESS ARSENAL CHANGE WE WILL TAKE A LONG TERM PLACE IN THE 5TH-8TH LEAGUE TABLE STARTING THIS YEAR AND THE SOLE REASON WILL BE MIS-MANAGEMENT BY OWNERS BOARD AND MANAGER - Post No. 52459


Moscow Gooner  14:55pm 13th Apr 2014

Surely the booing - at least in our section - was directed more at Wenger's decision to remove Podolski not at the player himself? In that sense it was more like the famous Arshavin/Oxlade 'incident' a couple of seasons back. Keeping Sanogo on the pitch didn't seem to make much sense at that point.... - Post No. 52460


maguiresbridge gooner  15:32pm 13th Apr 2014

Well it was another bore fest yesterday with all the usual that goes along with it with OGL (and us fans) minutes away from yet another humiliation, and having no alternative but to tender his resignation immediately. Now he has had a stay of execution and the chance to do it with some dignity after the final what ever that means. But we're going to have to play a lot better than we did yesterday against the mighty wigan another so called inferior team after scraping through on pens thanks to flappy who hadn't much else to do, but how many times have we said that before, it's just as well it was them and not the blue mancs and the fact it won't be a top team in the final also, could swing things our way but don't bet on it because as we know we have previous there, but scraped through we did, and we're into a final and the chance to win a real trophy at last and not an imaginary one, and i'm absolutely delighted for all the fans who deserve this more than anybody else. And although the fans enjoyed themselves and celebrated after the shoot out and rightly so it was good to see it was kept to a minimum unlike some of the players who were at the selfies again, at least there was no silly bouncing, because as fans we've been through enough and seen enough to realise we've won nothing yet. - Post No. 52461


Chris  16:00pm 13th Apr 2014

Gooneron - Spot on. Obviously Kevin doesn't like to put his reports through a credibility test. Two quotes: "The Gunnersí spot kicks were simply better than Wiganís." And: "They needed a lottery to [win in the end]". Hmmm - doesn't quite stack up. As you say, technique AND bottle are required - not bad from a team of whom Kevin says - "Mentally, they already look shot." - Post No. 52462


Edmund  16:04pm 13th Apr 2014

Just saw Liverpool beat City 3-2. The team Arsenal beat twice but got trashed by at Antfield. Makes me wonder if we all pretended at least for the next two matches to be AKBs, would it make a better Arsenal? Interesting experiment.. - Post No. 52463


maguiresbridge gooner  16:16pm 13th Apr 2014

The Everton result has flown in under the radar alright (i wonder why) would it come as any surprise if another low flying missile launched by TKOP were to do the same any day now especially during the euphoria of taking the mighty wigans scalp to reach a final? even as early as tomorrow, the announcement that OGL has signed on again. - Post No. 52464


matt p  16:20pm 13th Apr 2014

kevin im sure you've been to enough football matches to realise that the crowd weren't booing Podolksi. They were booing Wengers decision to take him off and not Sanogo. i might have expected such a comment from a lesser informed/ non arsenal supporting pundit, but not from someone like you! were you at the game!!? - Post No. 52465


anti-wenger  16:51pm 13th Apr 2014

well, wenger has been past it for years. this season will prove it beyond all reasonable doubt. but the bigger problem is that the board is even more clueless, so if wenger even leaves, I'm not sure they'll even have a plan B.my only surprise is that most of u were surprised with the performance.this is how we've been playing since the spurs win. we'll end up 5th or 6th and trophyless. - Post No. 52466


maguiresbridge gooner  17:08pm 13th Apr 2014

Hornsey Bill, excellent shout yes it's great to be in a final and a chance to win something we can actually see at last, and those type of gooners you mention deserve a lot more and have done for quite a while to be just on a par with Wigan and the rest, there was indeed a time when we were streets ahead and swotted teams like Wigan, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford, away like a cow does to a fly buzzing around it's arse, but not any more, sadly your spot on the only difference between the teams there yesterday was the amount of fans, is this really where we are now? or how far we've fallen after all this time? Sadly it is, and it's all down to a manager who's outstayed his welcome and i hope and pray i'm wrong about my earlier post that the news that he's staying will be sent out under the radar of the celebrations (what there are of them)of reaching a final. - Post No. 52468


Bard  17:38pm 13th Apr 2014

Some of these posts are a bit too gloom and doom. We've been playing s**** for months now. Saturday was nothing new. There isn't going to be an epiphany and we will suddenly morph into a great side. It will be a grind and slog to the end of the season. I hope the rest will have done Ozil good and we might see some magic to enliven the games I was seriously worried about Wigan. We've got a cup final day to look forward to in May and if it inspires them for the run in all the better. Wenger isn't going to resign before the end of the season so there's little point in keep banging on about how hopeless he is at the moment. Arrogant he may be but you'd have to be blind and stupid not to see how far we have fallen and he's' neither. - Post No. 52469


Mark T  17:38pm 13th Apr 2014

Another gutless, passionless and clueless performance, but at least we're in the final. For the first time, I really felt that most of our support had reached the end of their patience. Sanogo is what he is - a player who was about to retire and become a postman. Arteta gets a nose bleed if he passes forward. So he doesn't. And what on earth has happened to Santi? He's playing like Arshavin with a sun tan. Giroud just needs to go. And Vermaelen.....that's a mystery fit for Agatha Christie. And if Flamini is the answer, the question being asked is the wrong one. - Post No. 52470


Stroud Green Road Boy  17:49pm 13th Apr 2014

Welcome back, Chris and GoonerRon! Was wondering where you were the last few weeks. We've had to put up with poor man's versions of your good selves on here recently. It's good you feel sufficiently emboldened by Wenger's masterminding of a penalty shoot out win over a championship team to put the Editor - who has been proved correct in all his doubts and fears - through a 'credibility test'. Is it really only a matter of weeks ago we were hearing: 'It's good he's shown faith in the players that have got us this far by not buying in January'? - Post No. 52471


Gaz  18:05pm 13th Apr 2014

@Kev: Surprised nobody else has mentioned it yet but I think the booing was aimed more at Wenger than Podolski... - Post No. 52473


jeff wright  18:25pm 13th Apr 2014

You can always count on Gooner Ron and Chris to pop up after any sort of win to desperately try to back up Arsene .It's all rather like drowning men clutching desperately at straws though this FAC malarkey , because it's league results that will make or break Wenger this season. The gap between us and the eventual title winners is again like that between a rut and a grave and petro dollars can't be used for an excuse with Liverpool making a realistic title challenge and Everton pushing us for 4th place. In Europe Athletico have also blown Barca awayand are top of la liga at present . So Wenger once again faces Fat Sam in a decisive game that he needs to win . Sam has had some success in away local Derbies this season at spuds and at Chelsea , and he is not under any pressure,unlike Wenger is, it's not a foregone conclusion that 3 points are any certainty for us .Everton also face a tough game against Palace at home they do have 2 point advantage though over us and now only need to match our remaining points tally to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Arsene in his usual 4th battle for 4th place. It looks like Mourinho made a shewed move in keeping Ba at the bridge and another in letting Martinez have Lukaku on loan. Whichever way you look at things it's obvious that Wenger is getting out thought everywhere .Even by players like Giroud who obviously never believed in his claims that we were fighting for the Prem title . How we were suppossed to win it with Giroud ,Bendtner and a postman for our strike force is something that only Wenger knows. - Post No. 52475


KC  18:26pm 13th Apr 2014

The season end no doubt holds some answers but can we really believe a man who earns 7.5 mill and has a business board asking him to sign a new contract will not do so. I would like to know the truth but from watching the performances recently it does look like he has lost respect from the dressing room. His lost my support and trust but I guess he won't worry about that ! The way we are playing fourth looks far away, I keep making the point so sorry but away from the Emirates I have lost all faith. - Post No. 52476


Chris  18:38pm 13th Apr 2014

SGRB - To be fair, I think Kevin's reports have mostly been fair of late, by which I mean the last few months rather than weeks. But I do think there's a tendency to refuse to give credit where it's due at times, because of the context of a horrible few weeks, as demonstrated by the coverage of the penalty shootout. And I don't think you'll find I was one who was glad faith was shown in what we had by not buying in January... - Post No. 52477


Stroud Green Road Boy  18:51pm 13th Apr 2014

@Chris, to be fair to you, that was GoonerRon who made 'the good he's shown faith' comment. But I'm not sure how much more credit you expect Kevin to give than 'they were the more deserving winners as they at least tried much harder to threaten the opposition goal than Wigan'. It looks a little like you were trying to have a go for the sake of it there - penalty shoots outs being a lottery is a commonly held belief, not a way to attack this Arsenal team. So Hull it is in the final, lower mid table in the Prem rather than play off spots in the Championship. Think this mentally and physically shot team will have to find a way to up their game on yesterday. - Post No. 52478


Gaz  19:09pm 13th Apr 2014

Just been listening to the latest 'Bergkamp Wonderland' podcast. Summary? Wenger needs to change just about every aspect of his game but can't because he simply wont be told by anyone what to do. So, whats their answer to all of this then? They want him to stay as long as he changes!!!! You really couldn't make this up!!!! - Post No. 52480


Any Old Iron  19:13pm 13th Apr 2014

Further to the performance comments:- I venture to suggest that yesterday's team selection, and overall approach still has the Wenger hallmark 4th spot is my raison d'Ítre! If my team plays with little-bit the handbrake on, and I specifically pick a team mindful that they may, it will equal in economic terms ' keeping something in the tank for the forthcoming league game so I can keep on attempting my holy grail of 4th even at great peril and utter disdain of anyone and everyone at falling to Wigan in a cup semi so that on paper at least the cherished money spinner of Champions League remains in the horizon for now at least! I am Arsene Wenger remember!! - Post No. 52481


DW Thomas  19:14pm 13th Apr 2014

Gerrard's emotion in the game and after is what so many of our journeymen players lack. Dedication and heart. Who is our longest serving and biggest hearted player? Sagna for one and how do we reward him? This club is no more, a business bent on profit is all that remains. Sure an FA Cup win is great but how many points will we be behind the league winners? That should be the measure of the team and we are no where near them, again! Wenger buys no one and then blames all but himself for the team's demise. This once great club may not finish above Everton. And that is just embarrassing. It is indefensible to take fans' money only to do nothing with it and oversee a series of failures like this board and manager. Yet some fans see masterstrokes in what he is doing and has done in games and transfers. Delusions of grandeur!! - Post No. 52482


KC  19:25pm 13th Apr 2014

@Gaz soul destroying. His time is up not based just this season not based just on results. His whole outlook, players signed, the crap he put on long contracts, decision making, excuses, his inability to see trouble and change the formation. How can people defend other than what he has done for us in the past. I would love him to change but it ain't gonna happen. We might both see things the same but there is still a lot who do not. ye - Post No. 52484


David the Price is Ian Wright Wrigjt right!  19:25pm 13th Apr 2014

Any Old Iron - hilarious stuff. Never a truer word said in jest. Dot on! Ha ha ha... - Post No. 52485


we got the wrong american owner  19:39pm 13th Apr 2014

liverpool owner at the game with his family. heart as well as wallet in the club. steve gerrard more heart than the whole arsenal squad put together. i regret renewing my tickets too early so i am going to sell match by match to 3rd parties and make some money from arsenal as it seems that money is the most important thing to this club - Post No. 52486


maguiresbridge gooner  20:16pm 13th Apr 2014

DW Thomas, yes it was fist clenching and chest thumping and words coming straight from the heart from a player and players that care for the shirt (unlike the farce and embarrassment we had with gallas way back) and the club, and they didn't make idiots of themselves at the end celebrating as if they'd won something with selfies. - Post No. 52489


GoonerRon  20:28pm 13th Apr 2014

@ SGRB - I started a new job a fortnight ago so have not had chance to come on here. I've never said Wenger is perfect but the lack of balance on here and in some parts of the media just infuriate me. How many times have we heard that Wenger never abandons his principles, never makes system-altering substitutions, we need to play 4-4-2, stop playing tippy-tappy-never-shooty and get the ball in the mixer etc? Many, many times is the answer. So when he semi-abandons his philosophy to try to win a game and put us into a 4-4-2 shape some supporters boo. Then the players get accused of over-celebrating the victory, as if there is some sort of quota on to what extent is allowable for celebration. The media cannot write a sentence about us without harping on about 9 years no trophy so when we move to within one step of shoving it up their arses aren't the players entitled to celebrate? We can't accuse the players of having no bottle and not caring in one breath and in the next admonish them for celebrating after aceing a penalty shoot out in a critical game. The same goes for the Newcastle game at the end of last season - finishing 5th to Spuds would have been the start of the apocalypse according to some, so when we secure 4th place to avoid the aforementioned apocalypse shouldn't we be happy about that? Then some say it's only Wigan and ignore their recent track record in this competition, we've probably got more flak for beating them than Citeh did for losing twice to them in 10 months. Then there's the comments about the draw being kind to us as if it almost renders a potential win as null and void - I suspect much of this is to offset comments many have made about us never winning a trophy under Wenger. In all honesty, I'm really torn on the future of the club after this season, but for now I want us to end the season on a high and get this piss-stained, flea-ridden, mother ****er of a monkey off our back. - Post No. 52490


Gingerreaper  20:28pm 13th Apr 2014

Good article. One comment on the booing - this was for the odd decision to take Poldi off due to the inept performance on Sanogo. Overall a very disappointing performance and we did nothing for the first 70 minutes. We just looked toothless - Post No. 52491


maguiresbridge gooner  20:41pm 13th Apr 2014

Gaz, maybe they were referring to his clothes or hair, or even his sleeping bag from zip to velceo. - Post No. 52492


Graham Simons  21:05pm 13th Apr 2014

If you're going to boo - do us all a favour and stay at home. Victoria Concordia crescit - go look it up - Post No. 52493


Martyn  21:08pm 13th Apr 2014

Any reason why we can't bring Joel Campbell back from loan at Olympiacos? Surely a better bet than Sanogo. Are there work permit issues? - Post No. 52494


paul denham  21:12pm 13th Apr 2014

Kevin, I was lucky enough to get a ticket for a semi final at Wembley for the first time ever after supporting arsenal for just under 40 years I would have preferred it was a final but it will be unlikely I get the chance I think u misunderstood the booing I felt it was because the crowd could see a no of players having cramp problems and although podolski was pheripheral it was seen as removing an attacking threat PS don't publish my email address as a friend got me a ticket in the last batch to go on sale as he was unable to go himself and as a purple member the club will know I didn't get ticket through my scheme and I got in to a lot of bother on new years day and I don't want to lose the smaller chance of getting tickets I have at the most many thanks - Post No. 52495


maguiresbridge gooner  21:29pm 13th Apr 2014

Martyn, maybe it would look like OGL was wrong and that would never do. - Post No. 52496


Chris  21:31pm 13th Apr 2014

SGRB - The players who took the penalties showed great nerve and good technique in scoring theirs, whilst the keeper did really well to make two save. That's hardly a lottery - a lottery is down to chance. Seems to me Kevin used a well-worn, tired old cliche that he could see with his own eyes didn't hold on this occasion (as he explained to us)to avoid giving the team praise it deserved. Why only he knows. - Post No. 52497


munchbaghat  21:50pm 13th Apr 2014

History does repeat itself often at arsenal. Crikey, the number of players that have been slated by the fans and gone on to be excellent. A short list: Pires Anelka Adams (remember the donkey chants?) Ramsey Walcott. I'm not saying sanogo is titi in disguise but seriously give the kid a break!! He forced 3 excellent saves, was willing and pacey. But hey, carry on, crucify a young guy coming back from injury and playing, what, his fifth game?? Brilliant!!! - Post No. 52498


Rocky RIP  22:06pm 13th Apr 2014

@Badarse - I'm with you all the way my friend. We were far from great and it was excruciating to watch at times, but anyone who says we were lucky needs to look the word up. Wigan offered next to nothing. Even their goal came from a clumsy challenge from us. We made hard work of beating them and fair play to them for putting up a good fight, but we hit the woodwork several times and had a brilliant clearance off the line. Can anyone deny that the better team on the day won?: how is this lucky? Can we also dispel this myth that penalties are a lottery? There's a heck of a lot of skill, nerve, composure and technique required. Keepers get lucky with which way they go sometimes, but the people taking the penalties are rarely lucky in the way they strike it. If it was really a lottery then my daughter's school 11 could beat Bayern Munich on penalties every now and then. Anyway, we all know things are far from ideal, but sod it. We are in the FA Cup Final having knocked out Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton and that is worth being delighted with. Bring it on! - Post No. 52499


Bob  22:06pm 13th Apr 2014

An attempt at perspective. We are in the FA Cup Final, and we have got there by beating Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham - albeit drawn at home throughout. We are now likely, in fact very likely, to win a trophy after nine years without. But the bigger picture confirms that we are continuing to stagnate. Too many of this season's performances away to the top teams have been embarrassing beyond words. The lack of quality in key positions - striker, ball-winning midfield, and depth in other positions. The lack of tactical nous. And, perhaps above all, the hunger that Liverpool Football Club have shown. Did they settle for winning one domestic cup and reaching the final of the other two seasons ago? You bet they didn't. "King Kenny" was sent on his bike, and they have reaped the benefit. Win or lose the final, finish 4th or 5th, Wenger must go. It's time for change. - Post No. 52500


Any Old Iron  22:14pm 13th Apr 2014

The blooding of a junior player returning from injury, acquired on a free transfer, should not be facilitated in a Champions League participating outfit who are chasing a title and a cup. Can you imagine the conversation amongst Bayern's senior people:- Arsenal are playing an unknown up front at home against us Herr Beckenbauer states seŮor Guardiola. Beckenbauer then asks " who do we face next did you say seŮor Guardiola?" It's a farcical scandal nothing short of it. Wenger is getting away with daylight robbery in football terms because there are people who still believe in his ****e methods. Give it up will you we're not all gullible! - Post No. 52501


Guy in Jersey  22:20pm 13th Apr 2014

Who needs Higuain? Our great leader was so right not to waste our hard-earned money on Higuain. He's only got 25 goals for Serie A hopefuls Napoli and they're not even close to winning the league, so his contribution doesn't count. And although they reached the final of the Italian Cup, it doesn't count as the FA Cup is a far more prestigious competition. Think of how much money we've saved by not having Higuain (or Suarez for that matter) as we've reached the final of the FA Cup without them or the legendary Park or Bendtner. Truly Arsene Wenger is a wonderful, visionary, brilliant trophy-winning, never-ever-wrong, to be worshipped and exalted, only ever manager of Arsenal FC. No-one can possibly come close to his greatness, the last nine years have been a schemingly brilliant ploy to confuse and deceive our rivals while we set out upon the magnificent capture of yet another glorious FA Cup (possibly). And just think of all the money we've saved....... (and have screwed out of all the suckers, Stan.........he he he........) - Post No. 52502


Highbury Boy  22:35pm 13th Apr 2014

Coming down the steps out of the ground yesterday with hundreds of fans there was one lone voice from one young guy shouting very excitedly "One Arsene Wenger. There's only one Arsene Wenger" No-one else joined in but I've just seen him interviewed on the Daily Mail site. They have interviewed a pro and anti Wenger fan and that site along with many others gives the impression that the fan base is split 50/50 whereas apart from Westlower,Chris and a couple of others on this site I don't know anyone who wants Wenger to stay whether or not we win the Cup or qualify for the CL. - Post No. 52503


David the Price is you know what by now'  22:36pm 13th Apr 2014

It appears that crypto Wengerite sycophants are rearing their heads again. This is being cloaked under the ' we did ever so well' to win a shootout banner. The true context of it though is to subversively channel credit to Wenger. Our penalties were better on the day than theirs. That's it! Translates as ' a lottery'. Sorry guys! Wenger's attempt at the great football swindle has never got out of the traps. Let's win the Fa cup, but keep pillorying him as it's totally with justification. Wenger OUT!! - Post No. 52504


Rocky RIP  23:08pm 13th Apr 2014

@ David the price .. I guess your comments were aimed at me among others. My comments were made irrespective of where I stand on Wenger. Personally, I'm not so wrapped up in the manager to the point where I can't savour reaching an FA Cup Final. I recognise the bigger picture and our deficiencies, but if you demand perfection in every victory then it's going to be one long series of disappointments as a football fan. I was referring to the fact that the media consensus and that of some our own fans was that we were somehow lucky. If you had no prior knowledge of either side and watched that match with no preconceptions or agendas, anyone with half a brain would say the side in red were better than the one in blue. (Where were Wigan's close range headers being saved a la Sanogo, or them rattling the woodwork several times or having balls hooked off the goal line?) Hence not lucky. Unconvincing yes and we very nearly lost, which could well have been curtains for Wenger. (It would have been nigh on impossible to defend him had that happened.) I stand by my comments over penalties not being a lottery. I've heard them being compared to a toss of a coin. Total drivel. - Post No. 52505


GoonerRon  23:18pm 13th Apr 2014

@ David the price - put the boot on the other foot, if the penalties were totally reversed and Wigan scored all of theirs with our GK making zero saves and we missed two of ours can you imagine if I, Westlower, Rocky RIP, whoever came on here and said 'ah, its a lottery lads, anyone can win a shoot out'? The site would be in meltdown with the sheer number of posts on here calling the Arsenal players bottlers. Surely it works both ways, no? I'm not saying the performance was great and clearly our form has been poor of late but on this day, when the moment of final reckoning came, we passed with flying colours. - Post No. 52506


Martin Skrtel  23:19pm 13th Apr 2014

Guys, this is great. You lot moan about your cup victory being imperfect all you like as it just deflects from my outrageous hand ball punch v Man City. I totally got away with it. What's even better, those guys from Sky swept it under the carpet and I think the media will do the same. Do you think if one of your Arsenal players had done it you'd be let off so lightly? Me neither. Endless replays so it's ingrained on the public's memory of how 'lucky' 'cheating' Arsenal won a title race game.... Why does everyone always remember Pires v Portsmouth? - Post No. 52507


DW Thomas  23:21pm 13th Apr 2014

Just watched highlights of Liverpool vs Manchester city. What a game both teams hungry for glory, both teams best players showed up. Great goals all around. Oh how I dream of Arsenal one day playing like that. But, no we get the most boring FA Cup semi in years. Yet some fans are viewing it as this tactical master class? By who? Wenger? He looked sick to his stomach that he could fail against a lower division side again! And sorry, but PKs at this level are a lottery. Arteta and Ozil have missed some recently, so can anyone score one. Thus the "lottery" saying. This whole season has seemed a throw of the dice to me. Just take Bendtner and Sanogo as our backups. One said not too long ago he'd never play for us again, the other was shipped off to beef up for a league he wasn't ready for physically or it seems now technically. That bit alone is reason for Wenger to leave as he had chances to fix the situation many times and didn't. His arrogance is the thing I detest. It is obvious by his actions/inactions that he listens to no one and has absolute power. We need freshening up at this club. Not more of the same. - Post No. 52508


Rocky RIP  23:30pm 13th Apr 2014

@ DW - Ozil missed because his penalties were dreadful. That's my point. It's hard to name a single top player in history that hasn't missed one. They aren't easy. They require an unappreciated amount of skill, mental strength, bottle, composure, technique and luck that the keeper guesses the wrong way. Calling them a lottery does them a disservice. - Post No. 52509


Nozzer  23:53pm 13th Apr 2014

Well we got through and hopefully we can put to bed the trophy drought. In terms of the players, it is significant that Wenger left out Giroud for Sanogoals, Giroud has not played well recently but I think the situation with Wenger is not good if he is left out for a rookie from the French second division. Further to that he leaves Sanogo on and takes off Podolski. Surely it would have made more sense to take Sanogoals off. Wenger got away with it, pure and simple. What baffles me with Wenger is that we signed Podolski after scouting him playing for Cologne where he played down the middle and scored 25 goals, yet we play him on the left wing. I know he plays there for Germany but why not play him up top with Giroud and see what happens. He never played Arshavin in the number 10 role, he played him on the wing and look what happened. Arteta is not a defensive midfielder and last season he played Ramsey wide on the right. We will lose Sagna in the Summer and I can foresee other players leaving like Giroud, Podolski, Vermaelen and Monreal. So in the summer there is another squad rebuilding program because the personnel drafted in have not worked out. Plus we have too many small technical tika taka type midfielders. It is a big job and I don't trust Wenger to get it done. - Post No. 52510


DW Thomas  0:50am 14th Apr 2014

@Rocky...get what you are saying, but I have to disagree. I think your points almost defend my side. Ozil may be our most skillful player, and they are typically best at pens. There are numerous occasions in history where the better team lost on penalties. Many players are great at them in practice, but don't have the mental strength to do it the same under pressure. Hence I think there is some control, but mostly luck. One team could take 5 great shots and hit the post or lose out to great saves where the other might go through on poor shooting but the goalkeeper guesses totally wrong and theirs go in. Just take 2006 WC Final. Zidane hits the cheekiest of penalties in the game, then is sent off to miss the game deciding ones. Trezeguet hit the crossbar I believe and the Italians by far the worse team defending for their lives win. It's a coin flip at best. Players just can't handle the pressure, understandably so. Remember Baggio in 1994? Another example. Luck rules, given with some technical control by the player, but they will always be a terrible way to decide a major match! - Post No. 52511


Ron  1:13am 14th Apr 2014

SF are just about winning them. It matters not how, so ill not comment much further. Hull will be a sticky final tie for this lot of ours though. It does make me wonder if there are players there who are wondering what their own futures hold now in these difficult times. Still, another Final. Changes nothing but its a least some thing to look forward too. How long is it since Arsenal fans could say that? - Post No. 52512


Gare K  1:39am 14th Apr 2014

Not a great performance but weíll be back at Wembley again for the final and thatís the important thing. As someone who was at Wembley, Iím in agreement with those who say that it was Wenger who was booed because of his decision to substitute Podolski but fair play to Kevin for holding his hands up on his earlier error. Despite being in the final, you can bet your bottom dollar that Wenger still sees finishing 4th as a bigger priority. Everton arenít going away and Martinez has done it through shrewd management. But I suppose the Wenger apologists will still claim how a team does is all down to money spent alone as opposed to coaching too? I also wonder how some of these Wenger apologists feel about us being in this yearís FA Cup final? After all, didnít some of them wanted us to lose at home to Tottenham in the third round back in January so that our players donít get tired? Pathetic. The Arsenal right now in my view is every similar to Liverpool in their latter days under Houllier. Still, onwards & upwards. Up The Arsenal! - Post No. 52513


julesd  5:46am 14th Apr 2014

I like having a manager who doesn't slag off the opposition manager and never says anything derogatory about other players either, don't you boo boys think it would be more beneficial to the team and management if you really supported them, the other way is far too negative and ebbs everyones confidence! Come on Arsenal bring home the FA Cup. - Post No. 52514


BADARSE  5:54am 14th Apr 2014

Good morning gentlemen and ladies. Firstly I feel neglected. I would stand shoulder to shoulder with westlower, Rocky RIP and GoonerRon-and consider it a privilege, so why is my moniker missing from the list of 'Blue Meanies'? My overall view of these, and in general most posts, is a skewed perspective. There isn't much wrong with the synopsis but is usually unbalanced, biased or just plain inappropriate. To aire a view those three considerations have to be uppermost in the poster's mind. If not the exchanges descend into a verbal tennis match, just knocking the ball backwards and forwards over the net. Penalties! They have a huge amount of luck omnipresent in taking one, but are based on skill and the execution and translation of that skill into a finished product. I took penalties for my teams. Once I took my eye off the ball and miss hit it. The keeper had moved and my shot went straight down the middle and dribbled over the line, barely creating a ripple in the netting. On a separate occasion I hit one very hard. It travelled a foot off the ground like a missile, hit the inside of the post and cannoned away towards the touchline, the keeper had stood rooted to the ground. Which was the good and bad penalty? I had the ability to wipe the event and stay focused. Forty years later though I am still troubled by the miss. My young grandson has a great deal of skill. He is a very good penalty taker. In practise I would stand on the goal line, outstretched fingertips of my left hand touching the post, and ask him to hit my body area. He could do it with unerring regularity. Immense skill at work! I told him 9 out of 10 people are right handed, so too with keepers. They are happier diving to their stronger side so we now have the odds on our side(did you hear that 24601?). Keep the shot low as a preference making it further to dive down to. A use of science and practised skill. What isn't there to understand? Now with all that the human psyche strolls up and plays it's part. Sudden loss of confidence, change of mind because a previous penalty was saved. The ground conditions, weather, wind, taking them at the opponents end-oh, strike that we took them at their end, (only kidding!). Here endeth the lesson-sorry guys, but you know what you get with me, just look upon it as a fixed penalty! - Post No. 52515


BADARSE  6:14am 14th Apr 2014

There's me talking of omissions and I promptly omit your handle Julesd. Apologies sweetie. I caught a glimpse of you and westlower in the London Marathon. Who was at the front of the pantomime horse? I wanted something innovative for the circus and went for the old jalopy driving into the big top. Then when it stopped it was the clowns who blew up. It didn't work. I thought,' That's clowns all over!' Anyway as I said we couldn't get it to work, their limbs came off but it proved impossible to get them back on. I blame my manager! With that in mind I am recruiting clowns again, now where did I put Cathy's number? - Post No. 52516


Mathew  6:15am 14th Apr 2014

This semi-final has left us wondering how many players we need for the next year. Looking at Spuds example last year, we cant go for a complete overhaul as it will take more time for them to gel. And by then we will be moved to mid-table. Oh God, dont give me more headaches, when are we going to be in a safe zone to compete with the best in Europe. - Post No. 52517


Ed Enough...  6:45am 14th Apr 2014

Booing Podolski??.. Was you at the Game? We were booing the fact our best finisher was again being removed. Come on Wake up. TV supporter... - Post No. 52518


BADARSE  6:56am 14th Apr 2014

Hi Mathew. Tomorrow morning I have to get up, shower, brush my teeth, kiss my wife, affix my 'syrup', make my first cuppa Rosie, kiss my wife, drink the 'splosh', wash up, kiss my wife, make my porridge and then, believe it or not, I have to eat it! My long-winded response is to say 'chill!' The other day my suggestion that a football club is organic was refuted. That's OK, people have their views, though I know I am correct in this thinking. Amongst other things, it is. Change occurs through evolution or revolution. I prefer the former, naturally, but never discount the power and sometimes the need for the latter. Take it one step at a time. In the close season Arsene will make his decision and we assess the then requirements. We await the comings and goings. A footballer's life is short and sometimes the development of a young one is meteoric. It is all so interesting. A new beginning always is. The big bang theory is accepted as fact, but is the universe flying everlastingly apart, eventually making it completely dark? Or is it elastic, reaching it's zenith only to collapse back in on itself to begin the cycle again? An imponderable to reflect upon but not worth troubling over. True that it isn't as important to us as AFC, but perspective has to be kept. Before the season began posters were saying we needed a new squad, coaching staff, stadium, medical team, owners, board, badge, shirt, and tea lady. Doris left and Elsie arrived so tick that one off. She can juggle spoons and spin plates but isn't a clown! - Post No. 52519


Tony Evans  8:44am 14th Apr 2014

We only upped our game (as usual) when we went a goal down and then once we equalised quickly reverted back to to tippy-tappy, making a draw and penalties almost inevitable. Great to be in the final but this team leaves so much to be desired it is untrue. - Post No. 52520


Ian  8:56am 14th Apr 2014

Regarding the Podolski substitution from where I was sitting the boos were directed at Wenger for failing to replace Sanogo with Giroud?? - Post No. 52521


ITK  9:06am 14th Apr 2014

Yes Podolski was excellent. What are some of you lot watching? He rarely produces? Sell him. He's not good enough for us. Wake up. Arteta was useless too, he's always been slow. Yet he's our vice captain. TV played well but let's praise BFG, yet he gave the penalty away. - Post No. 52522


The Flying Doormat  9:14am 14th Apr 2014

wigan, hull, Sheffield utd, congratulations playing amongst the big boys arsene. That you couldn't beat wigan in 120 minutes of gametime suggest you have plenty of work to do to match the likes of west brom, villa, swansea, stoke and the saints. It's time you looked up to Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and the Manchester teams and showed some respect, even to the Spurs who are again breathing down your neck - Post No. 52523


BADARSE  9:22am 14th Apr 2014

Oh, here we go. I think Mikael does a fair job. Not brilliantly, but a reasonably fair one. As pointed out he is not a natural DM, he has been converted. You do that-you make use of the resources available. Despite critical claims to the contrary he does have vision. Yes he is slow, even ponderous on occasions and is now only a stop-gap until a newcomer arrives, at least he would be in my squad. Yes he does make sideways and backward passes but these must be his instructions surely? Oh of course shoot the messenger. He is also a clumsy tackler and will insist on nibbling at a man from behind. Many do, he isn't so adept at disguising the fact, and yes he repeats the arm-throwing disgruntled victim when penalised. I tell you what though, he takes a really good penalty. Perhaps he should buy more lottery tickets! - Post No. 52524


Calli  9:26am 14th Apr 2014

You've got the booing completely wrong. It was at the decision to take Poldi off, not at the player! That was unanimous in my section behind the goal - Post No. 52525


WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  9:30am 14th Apr 2014

How could Arsenal win on Saturday? If they lost the shootout, everyone would be putting posts about "lost their bottle, couldn't handle the pressure" etc. So they win the shootout and it's still doom and gloom, presumably because of the stodge that went before it. I know the Beeb don't like us but their eminent hack McNulty posted about "how standards have fallen, celebrating a shootout win against a lower league side blah blah blah". I guess had Man Utd done the same, it would have shown their guts, commitment, passion etc. Reminds me of the mid to late 1980's when Liverpool played a "searching" ball, but everyone else played a long ball. Now let's finish the job because if Hull defend like that in the final, we will rip them to shreds. - Post No. 52526


Rocky RIP  9:35am 14th Apr 2014

@DW -'Players just can't handle the pressure, understandably so. Remember Baggio in 1994?' - how is this luck? It's about nerve and composure. Although I agree it's fairly arbitrary who the 'culprit' is going to be in any given shoot out. It's a seriously harsh process, but a severe test of character. There's a reason the Germans are so consistently good at them. As I've said, it's hard to name any of the world's best who hasn't missed a big pen at some point. @doormat - silly comment deriding our manager for reaching the last four amongst the likes of Hull and Sheff Utd, whilst overlooking the fact that he knocked out 3 of the clubs you are saying he should respect - Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton. What exactly is the guy supposed to do to win the cup other than beat what's in front of him? - Post No. 52527


BADARSE  9:37am 14th Apr 2014

Hang on! Was the booing directed at the decision to substitute Podolski? Phew, glad we got that right...except 'they' didn't. Booing a decision of your own team whilst in battle, with all it's ramifications and misinterpretations? Not on! I like Podolski, but have critical reservations about his contribution and what he sometimes doesn't bring to the team. My view, which would differ from the 'boo boys' at Wembley, but that is an aside. I am one who has craved a 4-4-2 set-up for years, we got one with the substitution and if nothing else showed at least a recognition that perhaps something new was needed on the pitch. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. I wonder how many of you critical posters would fall out with each other if you were given the role of manager. Just a thought. Excuse me, Cathy is ringing me back. - Post No. 52528


Rocky RIP  10:11am 14th Apr 2014

@we are building - too right mate. We got castigated for celebrating finishing 4th last season by the same media who put us under such intense scrutiny and would have ripped us to shreds if we hadn't. When Tottenham finished 4th the media all smiled and joined in this 'arry's 'ave a go heroes daring to dream' nonsense. Look up the clip of David Bentley and jubilant Sp*rs players tipping water over 'arry as he's giving an interview. Such larks! And all smiles in the media. THE MEDIA DO NOT STOP REMINDING US THAT WE HAVEN'T WON A TROPHY SINCE 2005. How many times have we seen the empty space next to '2005' at the Emirates. If we beat Hull the same media won't be happy if we celebrate too hard. F*** em. If we win I'm dancing on tables. - Post No. 52529


chris dee  10:12am 14th Apr 2014

We won the cup in 2005 by 'boring the pants of everybody'? Not me,I loved every minute of it because Arsenal winning a trophy is more important than any style of play,and if we bore the pants of everybody against Hull and win a penalty shoot out that will do for me.Watching the recording of the game it did not fully convey the nervousness of the Arsenal fans that I felt at Wembley. But it did show the Manager,coaches and players looking like they were on the edge of a collective mental meltdown.It will require a huge effort on the part of the manager and coaches to restore any semblance of confidence for the remainder of the season starting with West Ham tomorrow.I'm not sure Arsene has that ability anymore although a couple of the injured players coming back and Fabianski keeping out Mr Selfie would help. - Post No. 52530


WENGER OUT  10:18am 14th Apr 2014

Westlower - What are the odds on Arsenal for the title now? You've been telling us all season, gone very quiet recently? - Post No. 52531


BADARSE  10:38am 14th Apr 2014

WENGER OUT, westlower is being re-shod after his London Marathon-he helped raise a huge amount for Arsene's new contract. I will offer a gut layman's odds though. Slightly above 2/1, say 9/4. Odds higher than that put a few bob on Hull. (Listen to me, ha ha). WeAreBuilding and chris dee, you both are so switched on to this, good lads. As for you Rocky RIP, that table had better be big enough for the two of us; actually there will be many clambering up onto it, what a 'knees up' there would be. Now where is Zimmerman, I know he has clowns, usually to the left of him. - Post No. 52532


WENGER MUST GO ASAP(MARCUS). HES A BUST  11:37am 14th Apr 2014

IF LIVERPOOL WIN THE LEAGUE WHICH IS SEEMING MORE LIKELY NOW. AS I PREDICTED THE WINNER OF THE MATCH BETWEEN THEM AND MAN CITY WOULD WIN THE LEAGUE. THAN IT THROWS WENGER LOVERS I.E THE DELUDED AKBS WHOLE ARGUMENT IN THE BIN. AS THEY ALWAYS SAY WE CAN NOT COMPETE WITH THE LIKES OF CHELSEA AND MAN CITY BECAUSE OF THE PETROL DOLLARS AND THE STOLEN RUSSIAN MONEY. WELL LIVERPOOL HAVE NEITHER OF THAT. ALSO THIS IS THE SAME TEAM THAT FINISHED 7TH LAST SEASON YES 7TH LOOL AND 8TH THE SEASON BEFORE THAT. ITS A DAMMING INDICTMENT ON WENGER IF THEY WIN IT. WENGER COULD NOT WIN THE LEAGUE WITH NASRI, RVP, FABREGAS AND ADEBAYOR. EVEN THEN FOLKS WHERE SAYING WE LACKED BACKBONE, NO LEADERSHIP ETC THE USUAL STUFF THAT HAS COME TO REFLECT ARSENAL OVER THE LAST 9 YEARS. ALSO METERSACKER SAVED WENGERS CAREER AT ARSENAL. I THINK HE KNEW IF WE LOST ON SATURDAY HE WOULD HAVE TO GO. I DONT TRUST HIM TO SPEND THE MONEY WE "APPARENTLY" HAVE NOW. HE WOULD PROBABLY GO BUY SOME AVERAGE FRENCH STRIKER WITH NO PACE OR A KID WHO HAS BROKEN HES LEGS TWICE HMMM SOUND FAMILIAR?? - Post No. 52533


Adam  11:49am 14th Apr 2014

Firstly, Gibbs' squad number is 23 and secondly, the booing was not at Podolski, but the decision to substitute him. Get your facts right, you are meant to be the editor. - Post No. 52534


Highbury Boo Boy  11:52am 14th Apr 2014

Kev, youíve got it completely wrong. We were booing BADARSEís decision to remain sermonising from his pulpit. - Post No. 52535


Kerryman Gooner  11:54am 14th Apr 2014

Wenger = Wonga. Spot on. Wenger was great. Now he practically owns Arsenal. I heard he earns £7m per annum. For that kind of money anyone would take the boos of the crowd. And the board are happy. Fellow fans, please realise, this guy is staying. Next season, more Sanogo, more injuries, more of the same. - Post No. 52536


King Jeremy  11:56am 14th Apr 2014

Another typical big-game performace from this mob. How ironic that when we went something akin to George Graham tactics, the game turned our way. Still, performace forgotten and on to the chase for the other trophy of the season - the 4th place championship. Let's just hope that (i) we play a hell of a lot better on the 17th and (ii) there is a referee appointed for the game who won't tolerate Bruce's clogger tactics. If the latter prevails I can see our lot whining in the mid-May sun while yet another chance eludes us. - Post No. 52537


BADARSE  11:59am 14th Apr 2014

Highbury Boo Hoo Boy, that was a real rib-tickler, you are a hoot...ooh, but I like you. - Post No. 52538


Goontang  12:01pm 14th Apr 2014

I thought Flamini was still suspended for another game? Also, the impression I got was that the fans were booing Wenger for taking Podolski off - the camera panned across the Gooners with loads of them holding their hands out and shaking their heads. Just my interpretation though. Lastly, I don't personally regard a penalty shoot out as a 'lottery' - not if you look at the dictionary definition. - Post No. 52539


Gaz  12:05pm 14th Apr 2014

@Kerryman Gooner: You're right-Wenger is definately staying next season. Sadly you're also right in that nothing will change. Wenger has built his entire career managing this way and anybody who thinks he's gonna change right at the end are kidding themselves. Fair enough those who want him to stay but dont expect us to challenge for the really big trophies next season because even if the injuries clear up he'll find a way of mucking it all up. Quite frankly I can't take any more of it. I hate our board with a passion and I hate the fact they won't ever hold Wenger accountable. This Club is simply drifting along with this lot in charge and quite frankly I've no idea how we'll ever break their hold. Because trust me in two years time we'll be going through exactly the same thing with the board willing Wenger to stay and fans looking for any old excuse to absolve him of any blame. Whoever allowed Kroenke/Gazidis control of our Club have a lot to answer for... - Post No. 52540


Stroud Green Road Boy  12:05pm 14th Apr 2014

Jesus, how many more people are going to feel the need to make the 'booing' comment? Like two more years of Wenger, it's a big waste of everyone's time. - Post No. 52541


Highbury Squirrel  12:14pm 14th Apr 2014

I felt fans were booing the decision to remove Podolski. I have heard that some areas of the ground were full of cheering and support from the fans,(I have heard that downstairs was great for atmosphere) while others were incredibly quiet (my upper tier seat level with Wigans penalty spot) and actually, we couldn't hear the other Arsenal supporters! I can not understand how the stadium can kill that much noise. - Post No. 52542


Gaz  12:20pm 14th Apr 2014

Anybody remember that scene in Only fools and horses where triggers telling Del Boy that he's had the same broom for 25 years? It might have had 17 different brushes and 15 new handles but to him its still the same brush!!! I think thats how I see Arsenal at the moment. I grew up watching them at Highbury, playing in nothing but red and white and yellow and blue. Loved the Club crest, the Northbank and the Clock. Had a connection with the players, never felt the Club were ripping me off, and however bad it got you knew they were aiming high. Managers came and went, players came and went, and the fanbase were all pulling in the same direction. What have we got now? We're still called 'the Arsenal' but nothing that drew me into supporting them remains. We play somewhere else, have all sorts of garish kits, changed the crest and get ripped off every step of the way. We have a board I really couldn't give a **** about and most of the players are complete tossers and only here for an easy pay day. The fans are split into two groups and we now treat fourth place as if its some kind of trophy! Maybe its me but I sometimes really do wonder where my Arsenal has gone... - Post No. 52543


Jon  12:25pm 14th Apr 2014

I never heard any booing only cheering and applause and a couple of rounds of 'There's only one Arsene Wenger' - Post No. 52544


Evolution not Revolution  12:25pm 14th Apr 2014

MARCUS - The reason Liverpool can win it is because they have no other competitions to deal with. Thankfully we always have CL football, without which we couldn't buy world class players, keep our self sustaining model going and pay Arsene the salary he deserves. Change will come but only when Arsene decrees he has had enough, and quite right too. - Post No. 52545


Gaz  12:31pm 14th Apr 2014

@Evolution not Revolution: Funny but I don't remember too many fans dismissing our run-in last season that included no cup games? Seem to remember both players and fans alike celebrating 'wildly' at our fourth place finish... - Post No. 52546


Tony Evans  12:40pm 14th Apr 2014

Gaz - I know exactly where you are coming from. I don't recognise this powder-puff outfit as an Arsenal team. As I said in my previous post they only put a real shift in on Saturday when they went a goal down and then quickly retreated back into their tippy tappy shell at 1-1. I have never felt so underwhelmed about my team reaching an FA Cup final and I don't think I will be able to celebrate anything properly until Wenger has gone. One good thing, if we win the final, is that at least the 9 years without a trophy jibe, that the media are so in love with, will be gone. The bad thing is that it might guarantee two more years of rubbish under Wenger. - Post No. 52547


Gaz  12:48pm 14th Apr 2014

Tony Evans-Can't argue with any of that especially the bit about not celebrating a trophy properly until he's gone. I'm just so desperate for a change now that it dominates all of my Arsenal thinking. Feel bad for thinking like that but I'm sure I'm/We're not alone. For me the 'natural conclusion' to all of this would have been Wenger moving on three years back. Up until that point I was still right behind him and his side even though I was really critical of how he was managing us. Wanted change but still held out hope he might be the one that changes. Wasn't to be and now I just feel pretty empty towards a Club I still love with a passion... - Post No. 52548


Stroud Green Road Boy  13:01pm 14th Apr 2014

Gaz, the broom analogy is a great one. For those that crave evolution not revolution, we're reaching a natural end point now with the end of Wenger's contract, meaning we can 'evolve' now rather than have a bloody uprising. Wenger doesn't build squads that last a season, his outdated methodology mitigates against competing at the very top, the club's management structure is going to have to transition soon anyway - the club is way too big now for one man to hold so much power - so what reason is there to put it off for another two years? - Post No. 52549


The Whole Nine Yards  13:09pm 14th Apr 2014

@Adam.. You might want to check that squad number. - Post No. 52550


Ron  13:10pm 14th Apr 2014

So many years of the Club having not taken the FAC too seriously have scarred the perception of the FAC by the fans, inc me, even though the idea and romance of the FAC remains in principle. Its a really flat feeling isnt it, having reached the Final but being underwhelmed. Perhaps the opposition has some thing to do with it though. No disrecpect meant, as Hull may well beat Arsenal if their mentality is right on the day i.e Arsenal really arent very good and are weak mentally and physically (whatever Wenger says) and are there to be beaten, but they are very, very unfashionable. The irony that AW needs a Cup that hes dismissed for so long to re establish some credibilty isnt lost on the fans and you cant blame the media for harping on about it. Its their job. Theyre not Arsenal fans, though many DO want Arsenal and Wenger to cast off the 9 year albatross. Its not ALL of the media that gang up as some of you are prone to think. They do it to any 'victim' whos hanging on the barbed wire. Look at Moyes and how hes being cooked on a medium heat Gas mark 180, till brown. Its only untill they say, turn up the heat though and burn him! The media love the edge of the seat hyped up drama. Wenger gets 7 Mill a year to take the heat. Its all good stuff. If he cant hack anything but hacks doffing their caps to him as theyve done in the main for 18 years, its time he walked anyway. Hes the Clubs self nominated, self sustaining 'lightning conductor' after all. Whatever Wenger or the Club or the players say, that series of merciless thrashings on the pitch and poor transfer policy last Summer and in January off it, have marked this season indellibly and it will be remembered for them, even if they beat Hull 25-0 and finish 4th. Theres no escape from it. If Man C dont win the title and Arsenal win the FAC and end up 4th, there will be those of the 'westlower' persuasion who will come on here and say Arsenals season was better than Citys, ignoring the underlying truth of where Arsenal really are. The decline and rot has set in to the roots of the Club this Season and the biggest tragedy of all is that there are now so many long standing fans who arent sure whether they really care too much anymore. - Post No. 52551


Gaz  13:11pm 14th Apr 2014

SGRB-I hear you fella but I really think Wengers going to be here for another two years at least. Kroenke/Gazidis have absolutely no idea how english football 'works' and however bad it gets they'll only ever see the one option. Letting the Americans in was the worst thing thats ever happened to this Club. Sadly I just cant see a way out... - Post No. 52552


Graham Simons  13:32pm 14th Apr 2014

Could not agree more with GoonerRon. This site appears to one of the only ones to have picked up on Wenger's tactical change following the removal of Podolski. Podolski didn't put in a shift while Sanogo worked his socks off. Victoria Concordia Crescit - that's our club motto and how we can win this FA cup - everyone needs to stop moaning and get behind the boys. Talk of a new manager needs to wait until the summer - we've bigger fish to fry. - Post No. 52553


Nine Years  13:34pm 14th Apr 2014

What a suprise/Nine years/And my brain hurts a lot/Nine years/Thats what we got ..... Hunky Dory ..... - Post No. 52554


Steve  13:39pm 14th Apr 2014

Did you have your head in a bucket of sand on Saturday? the booing was for Wenger hauling Podolski off instead of the inept Sanogo - the booing wasnt aimed at Podolski. Thought that was blatantly obvious - Post No. 52555


Spaced  13:57pm 14th Apr 2014

Badarse, Rocky, Chris, I agree with most of your comments as usual. But then I'm not a blind cynic either... And for those who say that taking a penalty is pure luck, well you have definitely never taken one that matters before! Enjoyed the day, not the best match to watch but my first penalty shootout in 31 years of watching Arsenal! So I came away happy! Probably won't get a ticket to the final though, boo. - Post No. 52556


Graham Simons  14:10pm 14th Apr 2014

If people want to boo their own club they're entitled to but no-one is going to convince me Podolski played better than Sanogo. All I ask of our players is they give 100% - Sanogo did that even though he's patently out of his depth - what's unforgiveable is Podolski has all the ability but didn't put a shift in and then has a moan after he's been removed. All of these players have to work for each other and everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction. - Post No. 52557


jjetplane  14:11pm 14th Apr 2014

GAZ You have summed it up perfectly. This current version may prove to be one of the most unpopular squads in football history. The rot as you say is right through the club and is beginning to look like a perverse version of Chelski/Citeh. At least the two appear to be having a go at it. Just heard chief fund manager Wenger saying the pressure is off and now we can go all hell for 4th place. Looks like some of you are gonna need a bigger table if he pulls that off! Just think - CL football and not Europa which he could never win either. Bubbles, clowns and Tigers. All the same to me! Wonder if the Beeb will do a disappearing tribes doc on 'do you remember the Gooners?' - Post No. 52558


maguiresbridge gooner  14:14pm 14th Apr 2014

Gare K, it would be interesting to know (or maybe it wouldn't)if he was given the choice now, what it would be, a proper trophy FAC or yet another imaginary one fourth place. It wouldn't take a wild guess to name the one he holds dearest regardless of all the spin we've heard from him in the build up to the semi and we'll hear again before the final itself, and it just wouldn't do to lose that great record (for all the good it has done)and it would/will be a massive blow to his ego. It would also be interesting to know what his apologists would say if asked or faced with the same dilemma (again i suppose not) as like you say some of them were advocating throwing it not so long ago, the same ones no doubt who were first on line and at the box office to get their tickets for the semi (probably the best seats) and will again for the final. - Post No. 52559


Tony Evans  14:14pm 14th Apr 2014

Gaz - as Ron says the tragedy is that so many long term fans feel the same as we do. I watched the semi final with my best mate and fellow long standing Arsenal fan, and one of his lads who has known only Wenger in charge. Predictably my mate's lad still wouldn't condemn Wenger, yet my mate and I can't even bring ourselves to listen to anything the man says, such is our anger at the pathetic shambles we see on the pitch that he is presiding over. As you say Wenger should have gone about 3 years ago when he was still being cut some slack by the likes of you and me - admittedly with some major doubts creeping in. Most reasonable fans will give a manager time, especially if they can see improvements to the squad and general standard of play on the pitch, but how anyone can still cut Wenger slack when lessons aren't learned, mistakes are repeated and the team becomes more and more un-Arsenal like is beyond me. - Post No. 52560


Ramgun  14:16pm 14th Apr 2014

PL prediction; 1. Arsenal 2. Chelsea 3. Man C 4. Liverpool 5. Man U 6. Everton 7. Spurs. 'Smile when your heart is breaking', the LC will soon be a distant memory, well out of it! - The above is Westlower's laughable prediction of the outcome of this season's Premier League made just after we were dumped out of the League Cup by Chelsea. Not very good, is it? - Post No. 52561


Stroud Green Road Boy  14:21pm 14th Apr 2014

Those of you who want Wenger to carry on - I cannot believe you are so blind that you cannot see what the rest of us can see. You surely can. But you like dear old Arsene so very much you want him to carry on anyway, don't you? He's urban, he's professorial ... supporting him makes you feel intelligent and loyal ... he provides a constant; were he to go, it would remind you that time is passing, and change is scary. That's it, isn't it? Wenger signing that new contract has become the biggest 'trophy' there could be for you all. - Post No. 52562


Podolski  14:24pm 14th Apr 2014

I am with the Wenger Out boys! He is the worst manager ever! All he does is put the cones out and then he takes his box of DVDs into his shed and then it's eat boiled chicken, watch a game, eat more boiled chicken. I want to go home! ...... - Post No. 52563


declan burke  14:32pm 14th Apr 2014

The fact that we are in the final glosses over the ugly reality of Arsenal F.C. I greatly fear now that the desperate need for change at the club will be shelved because we will as I expect win the cup and AW will stay. To look at young Sanogo out there struggling to look worthy of wearing the shirt summed up what has become of us, IT WAS EMBARASSING. Regardless of whether we win the cup or not or finish in the top 4 or not THIS CLUB NEEDS A NEW MANAGER and a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR overhaul. - Post No. 52564


Dandy Modd  14:57pm 14th Apr 2014

I thought I'd take a peek at this site again after Arsene's wonderful masterminding of our victory on Penalties. I'm thrilled to see so many favourable posts, and can gain confidence in once more returning with my Wenger Hagiography knowing that some will rally to this cause. I like many on here truly marvelled at the dexterity of our men who stepped up and took a penalty. One wonders had one of them skyed it, or hit the upright you could put it down to misfortune or just plain bad-luck. Bearing in mind the perfection at how these kicks were taken I can only garner from this that we were adorned with a healthy chunk of good luck! It's all down to Arsene really standing on the touch line looking dapper though. Oh I'm so glad there exists once more a gentile climate here for myself and other Arsene lovers whether by definition, design, or desire. It's a shame the cup final is after our last league game, as I know Arsene would do everything in his very considerable capacity to both win the cup and attain 4th. As the opponents are Hull Arsene wouldn't have baulked at keeping some players fresh for the 4th spot finale. The final with Hull is really secondary to our annual 4th spot trophy. Never mind perhaps we can still achieve 4th and then field a half decent side to face Hull. Akbs 4ever Dandy.... - Post No. 52565


maguiresbridge gooner  14:58pm 14th Apr 2014

chris dee, fear not mate OGL has been on Sky telling us all something we've known for ages that with the pressure off we can concentrate and go on a run and get fourth place (his true goal)he must have got fed up talking the same old gibberish and took to reading the Online gooner for quotes for his press conferences now as that's what posters on here were saying would happen when the pressures off and there's nothing to play for for weeks now. - Post No. 52566


Any Old Iron  15:12pm 14th Apr 2014

Declan - well said, well done! I agree with the comments on Sa-No-Go. Let's start with Sanogo v Hull, so as to give Giroud all the remaining league games to lead the attack. That way we have a better chance of 4th. Sanogo will be just fine versus Hull, I mean he started versus the Eurooean champions... - Post No. 52568


Evolution not Revolution  15:25pm 14th Apr 2014

Why are you complaining about Sanogo. Arsene has said he will be the new Anelka. Who are we to say otherwise? Have any of you spent half a day in football? - Post No. 52569


Chris  15:33pm 14th Apr 2014

SGRB - If you told me that nice Mr Klopp was going to come and bring his friend Master Reus with him, I'd be more than happy for OGL to leave / retire. Last week I heard something shocking - Adrian Durham said something I agreed with, and it was about Arsenal too! He said - "There's nothing wrong with change, it's what you change to that matters." I tend to agree that it's increasingly obvious that if the manager stays, we'll probably get more of the same. And whilst my argument is and always has been that that isn't as bad as many try to make out (and hence I do not see 'what the rest of you see'), I do kind of agree that we'd have more reason for optimism with a younger, fresher manager. Brendan Rodger's Liverpool and the verve of the (octogenarian?) Gerrard seem to reinforce that. - Post No. 52570


Dreamland NOT Poundland  15:42pm 14th Apr 2014

Adrian Durham also said :- Wenger is a business man now, and not a football manager. Sanogo can be the new Anelka for Wenger's new mark-up transfer to?? - Post No. 52571


maguiresbridge gooner  15:43pm 14th Apr 2014

Gaz, there used to be a programme on in the seventies called Worzel Gummage starring John Pertwee and Una stubbs. Stubbs played a character called aunt Sally and Pertwee Worzel. I think it was aunt Sally who could change her heads, she just popped one off and another on for whatever occasion, wouldn't it be great if OGL could do the same? he could go into his office before a game and come out with a different head, he could have a tactical one, a defensive one, an attacking one, and also one especially for interviews (already preened and made up ready to go)so we don't have to listen to the same gibberish over and over again. One for every game and if he found himself rocking back and forth on the touch line during a game, not knowing what to do as usual, he could pop back in to his office and come back out with the proper head on,it would work wonders. And it would keep all the fans happy as well, as it would be like having a new manager in Arsenes body. - Post No. 52572


Stroud Green Road Boy  15:50pm 14th Apr 2014

Chris - if you agree we'd probably get more of the same, then you do see what we see. 'More of the same' is the very thing that's so bad! Welcome to the dark side (or at least, the twilight). - Post No. 52573


David the Price is Ian Wright Wright right!  15:59pm 14th Apr 2014

SGRB - top stuff! - Post No. 52574


Gaz  16:04pm 14th Apr 2014

@maguiresbridge gooner; 'a cup of tea and a slice of cake!!!' Remember the programme well (I'm 46!). Love the idea-but I forsee a problem! You've forgotten about his crap substitutions and zero tactics heads!!! - Post No. 52575


Ron  16:05pm 14th Apr 2014

Hi Chris - Its the leading question isnt it, who follows AW if he does leave? I know youre not saying Rodgers cd be it, but on that point, it will be interesting to see him when the S and S goals dry up a bit and Liverpool are playing CL. Im not sure about him still, esp as Gerrads legs wont cope with CL and PL games every few days.Same applies to Martinez, another oft mentioned candidate. I wonder how he ll do if he gets CL and is minus 1 or 2 of his loanees? On balance, i think the route for Arsenal has to be an older type Coach now, who knows how to force change, get rid of the non producers in the sqaud and who wont be putty in Kroenkes hands. A Benitez type maybe? - Post No. 52576


Chris  16:21pm 14th Apr 2014

Hi Ron - I'd agree with all that about Rodgers but even without CL football, what Liverpool's success has done is demonstrate the benefit of a galvanising input from a coach. If they win the league this year and that's it, he'll have done his job and what we all wanted Arsenal to do - seize the opportunity that this transitional season for many teams presented. Totally agree that juggling the CL and PL is no mean feat, certainly without petrodollars, and that's part of what I mean when i say that the current situation isn't nearly as bad as many would have us believe. But i do think we probably need a change to take the next step and where we differ is what's needed. I've no doubt e.g. Benetez would do a decent job but someone like Klopp, with his almost maniacal verve (maybe the 'almost' was extraneous!) would fit the bill I reckon. - Post No. 52577


maguiresbridge gooner  16:29pm 14th Apr 2014

Ron, 52551, excellent shout it was worth waiting for. And the indellibly even if we beat Hull 25-0 quip certainly best of the day so far. - Post No. 52578


Edmund  16:38pm 14th Apr 2014

Ron,I'd like Rafa Benitez in the technical area but he's pretty poor in other aspects of club management which AW is probably better at. He is to blame in part for Liverpool's decline when the money ran out. We really need Dein and Usmanov on the board if we get Rafa. If that happens maybe even AW may rediscover his mojo. - Post No. 52579


Graham Simons  16:54pm 14th Apr 2014

For the record the booing probably was for Wenger's decision rather than Podolski. Think I was on my own at Wembley in shouting to hurry up and get off the pitch as were still losing at that point. For the record I want Klopp to manage us come August but we are where we are and we're all gooners so let's get behind the team. - Post No. 52580


Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge  16:58pm 14th Apr 2014

Liverpool are on the brink of a return to winning the premiership. This , as much as Chelsea's Champions League win, is a kick in the face for those of us who feel that Arsenal still ought to be a big club if properly directed. Will Wenger ever stop wasting our time? On another subject, spare a thought for the poor commercial department. This final has come at the worst possible time for them as Arsenal haters. We have a broadly sensible red kit, and a yellow and blue away kit. Whoever won the other semi final, we were always going to go into the game with a proper kit. I'm sure that they will have been working on an all crŤme or an all blue kit or spurs type kit with the new kit suppliers. - Post No. 52581


John  17:08pm 14th Apr 2014

Arsenal, like all teams are a reflection of there manager, and as such we are passive, weak, indecisive and reactionary. We display these traits both on and off the pitch, Saturdays game was a good example and the same can be said of our transfer dealings. The signings of Flamini and Ozil were last minute and opportunistic and that's also how we play, no urgency, wait and see what happens, and don't start playing until we're either behind or running out of time. Man Utd under Ferguson were winners because he was a winner, under Moyes they're 7th because that's his level. Chelsea under Mourinho are ****s because he's a ****. Teams are and always have been a reflection of their manager and Saturdays game was further highlight of it. That said, naturally I hope we win the Cup and Wenger can hopefully leave on a high note, because even though I want him to now go, he's been a great manager for us. - Post No. 52582


Gaz  17:16pm 14th Apr 2014

@John: Interesting point there RE managers. One thing though. There realy isn't an option available to us where Wenger wins the FA Cup and rides off to the sunset. If he wins the FA Cup he satys. Indeed if he loses the FA cup he stays. Really wish there was another option but there isn't... - Post No. 52583


FPGooner  17:21pm 14th Apr 2014

Edmund, What aspects of club management is AW better at? Could it be putting him in charge of purchasing players? Squillaci, Stepanovs, Senderos, Silvestre, Santos spring to mind to disqualify him from that role and we were just on defenders' names beginning with 'S'. AW has said or done nothing, and god knows I have tried looking, for any loyalty or gratitudue towards the fans for enduring almost a decade of winning nothing. Instead, he comes out with 'but we know the biggest budget will win it'. At a time when Atletico Madrid and Liverpool lead two of the major leagues in Europe, this is more indication of his desperate scraping for excuses and the fact that he just does not get it and will not change. There have been posts on here defending Sanogo. To those guys - Gooners criticising Sanogo's performance are not attacking the guy personally. Yes, as someone said, Sanogo works his socks off. However, if we have any pretensions of the success our standing, history, support and financial standing deserves, then our forward line needs to look better than Giroud, Bendtner and Sanogo. The forward I want up front is not someone I want to describe as 'works his socks off' but someone who terrorises defences and scores an abundance of goals. It is not Sanogo's fault that he was plucked out of the comfort of a medical bed from the second tier of French football and put on the frontline of the Premier league. When AW justified his decision to play Sanogo, he said 'We cannot always play with one striker the whole season'. No ***t, Arsene. Even my wife could have told you that, Arsene, over the last few years, but I had expected you to use some of the £100 war chest, not a player who didn't even cost a bag of onions. On that point, we have Kim Kallstrom. Not his fault, that we bought him. Indeed, he has said that he was surprised to be bought by us, broken back and all. Again, not his fault. No more than if I went out to buy a car for the aforementioned wife and came back with an old Jalopy, no history and then seeming surprised that it can't do 80, sorry 70, down the motorway but claiming all the time that it will be fantastic and as good as an F1 car. IF AW just shut up and said nothing, maybe he may not be so annoying. - Post No. 52584


Manu  17:38pm 14th Apr 2014

To all you angry people... who from time to time have advocated that our teajm should loose so you could make your point that our manager should go, to all these people on here who explain that the best way to make the board understand that fans are not happy is to stop going to the game.... to all of you who moan week in week out (whether we win or loose) PLEASE DO NOT APLLY FOR TICKET FOR THE FA CUP FINAL!!!! we need fans that give the team unconditional support.... show us that what you say is in line with what you do.... STAY AWAY FROM THE FA CUP FINAL... - Post No. 52585


John  18:01pm 14th Apr 2014

@Gaz, that is the fear, but there is always hope!! My opinion is he's going to have to be pushed and that is the problem because to a board of directors, Wenger is without question the best manager in the World, maximum income for minimum outlay. And with an American businessman at the top the odds are he's going to side with the most logical short term business decision which is to keep him. I hope I'm wrong! - Post No. 52586


Wenger's departure has the handbrake little-bit on  18:16pm 14th Apr 2014

What I find extremely fascinating is you can actually discern where Wenger stands in the affections, or not with the Arsenal public by studying at close-hand the comments in merit, or, in demerit. Few on here hold to a cohesive argument against him. I'm not saying that none do, but few. As for any support for him, I don't see anyone trying to outlay a bonsfide argument in his favour. Just as well because there ain't one. They would look rather foolish, and they wouldn't dare. It's just that, when there's a slightly favourable environment re ailing, albeit for a short time, I detect a slight thawing to him. In fact since the shootout Wenger seems to be enjoying an early summer. Perhaps that's his real expertise. A master at manipulation. Another word for it is spin doctor. It is probably this dithering, that allows these masters of deceipt to reign. Arsene, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all............... Personally I wish he'd **** **f now cup or no cup! - Post No. 52587


Gaz  18:16pm 14th Apr 2014

John-thats the problem isn't it? Wenger will never ever be forced out by this current board-and I use the term 'board' lightly. Myles Palmer indicated last week that there might be another option other than Usmanov ready to make a bid for the Club. Wish it was true but old Myles hardly gets anything right! - Post No. 52588


John  18:37pm 14th Apr 2014

@ Gaz, from listening to Uzmanov I'm not sure he see's Wenger as the problem but the board so I'm not convinced that would make a difference - Post No. 52589


Gaz  18:42pm 14th Apr 2014

John-I guess I'd hope if Usmanov came in he'd put more pressure on Wenger to perform by setting bigger targets than simply finishing fourth. - Post No. 52590


maguiresbridge gooner  18:56pm 14th Apr 2014

Manu, Obviously your referring to the AKB'S and wenger apologists and disiples who advocated throwing the FA cup or playing a weakened team some time ago so the precious little lambs wouldn't be tired so they could concentrate on the CL? I hope not because they were probably the first to apply and first in the queue at Wembley waiting for the gates to open last Saturday for the Semi, and will up at the crack of dawn queuing at the box office, or at home on their lap top finger on the button ten minutes before it opens looking for the best seats for the final, unabling the fans who have always valued the FA Cup and took it seriously and always thought it worth winning to get any. - Post No. 52591


BADARSE  19:46pm 14th Apr 2014

maguiresbridge, it was Worzel who changed his head. My favourite was when, '...he puts on 'is 'telligence head!' If only some on here could. Now tell me was it Podolski they were booing? SGRB beware the man who craves. 'Gee up, westlower.' Nice to have you in the team Spaced. - Post No. 52592


Jason B  20:29pm 14th Apr 2014

I was there on Saturday and although I wouldn't say it was brilliant to watch, we dug in and,eventually,got our reward. As for Roy Keane criticising the team's celebrations, isn't he a bit over the top? After all if you can't celebrate a cup semi final win,you might as well not bother entering the competition in the first place.Mind you nothing is good enough for him, is it?(Unless its for his personal gain) Fantastic player,failed manager,misreable pundit. - Post No. 52593


Big Bad Sam  20:46pm 14th Apr 2014

Release the Bubbles. - Post No. 52595


maguiresbridge gooner  21:40pm 14th Apr 2014

BADARSE, thanks for that i wasn't sure, and you know something he wasn't unlike OGL either, looks wise anyway longer hair of course depending on the head, i remember there was a cat weasel dude as well maybe it was a different programme. But it would certainly solve a lot of problems if Arsene could find and put his 2000 head back on but i think we all know that's not going to happen. - Post No. 52596


Arsene fights back!  21:46pm 14th Apr 2014

4 finals in 9 years is not failure. One in 2006, 2007, 2011, 2014. Coupled with continuous top 4 finishes. Winning and losing are finite margins. Like a shootout it's a lottery whether you win a final or not. It's how the runes fall. I can claim very bad luck and unforeseen circumstances to explain Arsenal's defeats to Barca, Chelsea, & Birmingham. I will add Hull to that lost erm list!! Always remember, I am Arsene Wenger. - Post No. 52597


Ron  21:58pm 14th Apr 2014

Hi Chris - Yes mate. Klopp seems like he ticks all of the boxes, but i can't see Arsenal pushing the boat out far enough to net him. PS New Broom and one or two others from time to time mention Thierry Henry? I can never get my head around that suggestion.I wouldn't want him managing a Christmas Club, never mind AFC. He doesn't tick one box as a potential manager for me. In fact i reckon he would be a disaster of Decanioesque proportions. I perceive him as a brooding sulker to match Wenger and his pitiful show as a Captain condemns him for me as a man manager. It wd be lots of me, me, me, with Henry, just like Mourinho, but without the tactical and motivational nous. - Post No. 52598


Any Old Iron  22:05pm 14th Apr 2014

Ron - you talk sense re Henry. Great striker, crap captain. Never scored in a final either. Wenger then made Fabregas captain. Shows how bad his squad purges became that no veteran was left to obtain the armband. - Post No. 52599


Ron  22:10pm 14th Apr 2014

Dont worry Manu, i wont be doing. Fair bet nearly all of the those 25000 tickets will be hoovered up by westlower and Co, plus many who subscribed to the view last December time that the Carling Cup and the FAC needed aborting, pretty damn quick. In fact they'll be busting their deluded guts to get aboard the Save Arsene Wenger campaign trail. Not me, i want him to do some thing honourable and honest for the first time for years and resign, whatever the outcome of this dreadful season is. The Club needs it pride and its purpose back. You cant ask the guy who removed those facets of the Club to bring them back seeing as he clearly thinks a Club doesn't need them. - Post No. 52600


Gaz  23:05pm 14th Apr 2014

There is a real dilemma here. If Wenger wins the FA cup he's staying-100%. Even if we lose the FA cup I reckon he's staying BUT there's a slight chance he might go. Let's be clear about this though. He's not going to win the FA cup then announce he's retiring. That's a fanciful notion but it just ain't happening. So where do those of us who passionately-and in most cases respectfully-want him out go? He's not going to be sacked-ever and I still believe he thinks he's an injury hit season away from hitting the big time again. Once again that's just not happening. For a start I think he's part of the injury problem and as I've said before injuries or no injuries his managing will always find a way to bugger it up. Cold hard fact is that the only way I can see him leaving is if results get worse. So here's the dilemma. If you want him out the stark reality is you'll need results to go against him. You'll need to see us either finish fourth or lose to Hull. But how can you want your own side to lose? Quite frankly I'm not sure but as I've just explained if you want him out it might be the only way. I'm just sorry it's come to this... - Post No. 52601


hobart  23:19pm 14th Apr 2014

modern fans eh? how old is Sanogo? how many games has he had? you all seem to have written him off already.... FFS! - Post No. 52602


Keef Petrovic  23:20pm 14th Apr 2014

I wanted us to lose to Wigan, and in the late League match last season to them as well to get him out then (if top 4 had been missed). Weird feelings having supported the club for 40 years but the worst Terry Neill team in mid-80'S I saw was more likable than these goons and this manager, at least they tried their limited best. This is a hard team and management to like, to put it mildly... - Post No. 52603


Steve Cousens  23:36pm 14th Apr 2014

One thing you seem to have misunderstood is the fact that the crowd were not booing Podolski. They were booing another ridiculous substitution by the idiot that masquerades as a football coach. It was clear that Sanogo should have been subbed and not Podolski. The other point is that Arteta's problem is that he has run himself into the ground for the cause and is physically shot playing in the holding position largely by himself because everyone else has been busy getting injured or suspended. These situations seem obvious to the fans that I have spoken to and are evident from watching the team play in recent weeks. - Post No. 52604


DW Thomas  0:27am 15th Apr 2014

What I want to see is a challenge for the title. I would accept, not as a trophy mind you, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th if it was close in points to the champs. We've been nowhere near for years. The FAC would a trophy, but one Wenger has won already a few times so he only cares as it is a trophy. What is a joke is the whole we can't compete excuses or the I only buy top top quality having bought Denilson, Giroud, Silvestre, Park, et al. It's all smoke and mirrors to placate the fans. BS top to bottom. And the players slowly absorb Wenger's mentality. Just look at Wilshere. Started out his career a lion, now whines all the time. The rot needs to stop starting next season! - Post No. 52605


Up4Grabs  0:59am 15th Apr 2014

In 2014 Liverpool may win the league... In 2005 we won the FA Cup (our last silverware) and Liverpool won the Champions League. They have kept their old ground, spent a fraction of what we spend on wages... And are about to win the league with a British manager and mainly British players. I'm not sure what Arsenal are for anymore? - Post No. 52606


Edmund  1:19am 15th Apr 2014

KPGooner,all managers including SAF have bought duds. Good point about the 'S' connection though. Sagna being a notable exception. AW's error have not bled the club. We still have a decent youth system.The problem is that I don't think the £100mil warchest is real. After spending on Ozil, the cupboard must be empty. The rest of the loot probably repatriated across the Atlantic. AW is accountable for keeping this farce going on. Once he leaves, we may sink to mid table as he will likely be replaced by a cheaper option. By the way, anyone else notice Vermaelen's eyes always seem bloodshot and watery? He doesn't look healthy for a top sportsman. Unless he's been crying over the team's poor performance. - Post No. 52607


AFCasap  2:11am 15th Apr 2014

hello edmund...what youth system?... that went out the window years ago....and what other club talks about about how much money they have to spend?...100 mil lol...they day after that came out wenger said "I will not splash the cash" bull**** neverending bull**** - Post No. 52608


Edmund  3:11am 15th Apr 2014

AFCasap, the "will not splash the cash" b*****t is typical AW-speak for "we don't really have it to spend." If Usmanov and Dein who know AW personally don't think he's the main problem, I would be inclined to cut him some slack. But with AW staying, the decline will only prolong. If we do drop to mid table or get relegated, maybe Stan will sell. - Post No. 52609


BADARSE  8:36am 15th Apr 2014

Good morning gentlemen and ladies. Thankfully another game looms large. Three points the order of the day and hopefully a gelling of the side now Aaron is back. He is a vital factor from this point onwards in my opinion. He gets others to appear to play better because of his movement and link play. Kim may also get another cameo and he may yet influence matters. maguiresbridge people change, so do circumstances. Life is a like that. Arsene, still worthy of being addressed thus, is no exception. People fall in and out of love, sometimes on rare occasions back in again. All around the dynamics are altering, the successful are those who adapt. Some cannot. My wife often says to me, 'You would argue with yourself if you met.' That's probably true, because I am so insistent. I think of a variation on the same theme, which is closer to the spirit of your post. That is this, would I get on with a younger me? If I met a BADARSE of twenty years ago how different would he be and what values would bind us? I wonder if, on important issues the outlook would be enough to keep us singing from the same song sheet, or axioms persuasive enough to cover any disharmony. It gets a little cosmic if you consider a third BADARSE of thirty years ago joining the soiree. He might get on better with me now than the slightly older version. You see how the neurons are firing in my brain? Frightening! I am going to lay down for a while, but firstly all together, ' I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together...' - Post No. 52610


FPGooner  9:07am 15th Apr 2014

Edmund, you make a hell of a lot of assumptions, all of it conjecture and speculation to shore up AW's increasingly unteneble position. 'AW's error have not bled the club'. What do you think having the huge amount of duds on the wage bill until this summer had been doing to the balance sheet? Even then, he refused to sell Djourou and Bendtner. 'We still have a decent youth system'? what is your interpretation of the word 'decent'? We are one of the biggest clubs in the world, in terms of revenue generated, we are not Leyton Orient, so what has AW's 'decent youth system' won for us? You don't think the £100 million war chest is real? what do you base this on? The cupboard must be empty after Ozil's purchase? So, according to your calculations we did at one stage have £42 million and now there is none because Kroenke has sent it all to the US. Are you starting to see how much you are prepared to look ridiculous to speak up for AW, when you do not matter a jot to him or Gazidis or Kroenke? We can think up any number of imaginary machinations to support or oppose AW's tenure but the one fact that comes out is we continue to be thrashed by all of our rivals with ease. This is not about 'splashing the cash', this is about tactics, preparation, motivation and fitness. Do you see Mourinho, Simeone, Rogers, Klopp etc on the touchline? They MAKE things happen. They do not wait until 70 minutes have passed wringing their hands and then take off the wrong player. Kroenke may come to his senses or maybe AW will, and we will see his departure and yes, we will get a cheaper option, but a better one. You talk about cutting him some slack. Do you have any idea how much slack he has had? Can you imagine any club or bunch of fans giving him SO MUCH slack? The one thing you had correct was 'AW is accountable for keeping this farce going on'. - Post No. 52611


Gaz  9:08am 15th Apr 2014

...See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly I'm crying!!! :-)... - Post No. 52612


WENGER OUT  9:10am 15th Apr 2014

Morning BADARSE, your posts certainly offer something different on this forum. That last one was a corker, a real BADARSE classic right out of left-field. Unfortunately I think Rambo will need to be benched this evening following his exertions on Saturday. I hope I'm wrong because I love that little b*****d. Kim in for Arteta please! - Post No. 52613


Bard  9:54am 15th Apr 2014

If Arsenal were a proper football club Wenger would resign or be sacked at the end of this season, but it's not and hasn't been for years. It's a business and you don't sack your best salesman. Neither does any sane man walk away from an £8m a year job that doesnt require you to win anything.So he will be at the helm next season without doubt. The problem they have got is how to spin it so we buy into it. Over the coming months we will hear all about our crippling list of injuries and bad luck. One bad season in 17 etc. It will all be bull****. Groundhog day is around the corner. - Post No. 52614


julesd  10:03am 15th Apr 2014

WBA(16th), Sunderland(20th), Fulham(18th), Swansea(15th), Cardiff(19th), Norwich(17th), TH(6th), Palace (12th), Man U(7th)& Barcelona (3rd). All have changed their manager before the start or during this season. Arguably only Palace have improved as a result of a new man at the helm. How would Liverpool have coped with the equivalent long term injuries suffered by AFC? Walcott (Sterling), Ozil (Henderson), Ramsey (Gerrard), Wilshire (Coutinho). - Post No. 52615


Stroud Green Road Boy  10:11am 15th Apr 2014

@julesd (or is that Westlower?), you're right, a new man would be too much of a risk. Let's carry on with a couple more years of the same old thing. And ever considered WHY Arsenal have seasonal injury crises? - Post No. 52616


Bob  10:47am 15th Apr 2014

JulesD, your attempt at comparison with Liverpool is unfortunate to say the least. Firstly, Ramsey (despite his purple patch) is not within a million miles of being our equivalent of Gerrard, nor does Wilshire offer us as much as Coutinho does them. Ozil - despite his price tag - has not delivered more than Henderson when fit. Walcott is probably a bit ahead of Sterling, but the gap is closing fast. And don't forget our one decent premiership squad striker (Giroud) has been injury-free and available all season; their world-class striker (Suarez) missed the first part of the season, then their international class striker (Sturridge)was injured for a sizeable chunk too. And, of course, Liverpool had the courage to get rid of a 'legend' of a manager - King Kenny, no less, who had just won them the League Cup and got to the final of the FA Cup. And - unlike us - they had the balls to refuse to let their prize asset go to a rival club. In every respect, they have got it right where we have stagnated. - Post No. 52617


Reality bites  11:04am 15th Apr 2014

julesd and the rest of the AKB muppets....future historians will laugh at Arsene Wenger. - Post No. 52618


Another miserable Arsenal fan  11:11am 15th Apr 2014

We are in the FA Cup Final. In the merry month of May. It's simply not good enough. PS. Has anyone else noticed how there's far more articles posted after a defeat than a victory? Wasn't like this in Martin Hayes's day. - Post No. 52619


jeff wright  11:13am 15th Apr 2014

Wenger was forced to play old fashioned 4-4-2 on Saturday we looked like a Sunday pub side playing against mighty Wigan after the usual tippy tappy tika taka had come up short . As it so often does away from the perfect pitch at the Emirates ,whatever the opposition is. If Wigan had better players they might easily have won the game but fortunately they offered little goal threat. Fear not though for fans of Wenger's tippy tappy,because he says it will be normal service resumed tonight Wenger however says that he was not happy with having to go route one with two big strikers up front against Wigan and promises that this will not be the case tonight. Tbh honest though I thought that we actually looked better playing long ball than we did tippy tappy. Alright, not much better, agreed,but a bit better and we put more pressure on Wigan as a result of that. Just as well they were useless at talking pens though... Wenger says that he is worried about Andy Carrol tonight , he apparently can cause us problems by leaping up and heading the ball , now who would have thought that! Anyway,Arsene has this sussed out and says that Chesnay will play in goal , instead of penalty saver hero Flappy,who once again did a Bruce Grobbelaar walk-about outside his area against Wigan that nearly proved costly, apart from saving duff taken spot-kicks though he rarely had anything else to do. So then , Chesnay who in truth is also a bit of a flapper himself is back in harness , because Wenger says he is a bit taller than Flappy and will be able to go up and catch the ball better under big dense Andy's aerial threat. Well that's the theory ,how it all transpires is another matter . This game must be a nightmare for Wenger with Fat Sam, an odious capricious creature, coming out of the mists of time to try and chuck another spanner in the works as he has done in the past toward the end of season.In those long ago days though it was titles at stake ,now it's only 4th place . Even a belated FAC final can't disguise the decline of Wenger from what he once was. Although personally I do believe that even back then he was making costly errors, and could have and should have, won more hings than what he did win. Good luck to him tonight against a manager who has also been booed by his own supporters recently , and if the tippy tappy fails then don't be too proud Arsene to go route one again with two big lads up front , desperate times call for desperate measures,non? It would be ironic though if we did beat Fat Sam playing like that. C'est la vie! - Post No. 52620


Ron  11:18am 15th Apr 2014

julesd - Talk about the last throes of desperation of thiose of you who still refuse to accept Wengers culpability for this dire Season. That last post 52615 is bottom of the barrel stuff indeed. Its a whine though to match anything Wenger can come up with it, so your master has taught you well at least. Staggeringly naive.Open your eyes for heavenes sake. Your guru is done, washed up. Finito. - Post No. 52621


BADARSE  11:29am 15th Apr 2014

Hi WENGER OUT. Of course you are almost certainly correct that Aaron will be rested-he may get a late run. In general terms I still see him as a likely catalyst. For me he makes the difference between feeling gloomy and feeling very hopeful. He has just been compared to Gerrard unfavourably, and I would probably support that-Gerrard drives his team on, though Aaron may yet add that string to his bow. (Bob- a million miles separating them? Bit unrealistic chum. You do make a good case though. Of course an important ingredient in the comparison is the number of matches Liverpool have played). Your suggestion, WENGER OUT, regarding Kim is interesting on two counts. Firstly as it would obviously offer something different and might appease those howling for Mikael's exclusion, secondly because I actually rate the player. Whether he is our answer is something else, but he may be. Can you throw any light on who was booing whom? Hi Gaz, just remember, 'man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe'. (Because he dared criticise other writers). - Post No. 52622


Ron  11:56am 15th Apr 2014

BADARSE - 'a million miles' indeed. Gerrard (like or dislike him) has had 15 years of driving his team on. Ramsey has had 5 months of inspirational football for his Club. What more do you want to see to help you recognise a non sustainable effort at a comparison? - Post No. 52624


Chris  12:05pm 15th Apr 2014

SGRB - Unless it's a smoke screen, the fact that Wenger suggested 'secret remedies' might be responsible for the excess injuries is one of the main reasons it seems to me things won't change. Publicly at least, it's as if he's total convinced that it can't possibly be down to training methods / overplaying etc and whilst I'd accept that he has access to data that we don't, that doesn't exactly make it seem likely that the situation is going to change. There's no doubt injuries have played a massive part in what's happened, together with players being jaded, but it is true that everyone said the squad wasn't deep enough and players were being over-played. Wenger Out - If Arsenal finish 5th this season, Wenger will still have qualified for the CL 16 times in a row, he just won't have made it 17. - Post No. 52625


julesd  12:17pm 15th Apr 2014

@Wenger Out, Apologies for doubting your judgement as I mistook it for your daily moan. @Reality Bites, Most FA Cup Finals, most FAC semi finals, Only Invincibles, Only UK club with annual membership of the CL. Only UK club to build new stadium from own sustainable resources. Where will the historians begin their laughter? 25,000 AKB muppets roaring their team on at Wembley, bliss! - Post No. 52626


WENGER OUT  12:27pm 15th Apr 2014

Thanks for the maths lesson Chris, I guess that engineering degree was a waste of time. My point was that if consecutive qualification is so important to some, perhaps avoiding number 17 would galvanise a few more to see sense. Although you might be right, they would probably fall back on the fact that no other manager has managed 16 in a row, can't take that away from him, real scraping the barrel sort of stuff as Ron would say. Unfortunately, I think we will probably get 4th and in Wenger's mind (the only one that matters when it comes to who will be manager next season) it will be 'I lost so many players to injury and still I finished 4th, I am still the man!' We all know the real reason behind the injury problems is a thin squad playing 4 competitions (the travel alone tires the body) with outdated training methods and a reliance on perfect pitches and protective referees - 1 suggestion, have a training pitch modelled on that of Wembley (arguably the worst surface in England), so that before visits the middle earth, the players can get used to having the ball bobble and run like treacle being pushed up a hill. While we're at it, buy a proper central midfield enforcer, someone to protect our delicate wallflowers... These are just silly suggestions from a football peasant, but you get the point. I like you Ron, spent a few years living in Liverpool but I don't quite share your affection for them or the fans. For me Everton were the true Liverpool team, the team of the people, Liverpool were largely the team for tourists and glory hunting southerners.. Just my impressions though. - Post No. 52627


maguiresbridge gooner  12:34pm 15th Apr 2014

Gaz, yes it really is a sorry state of affairs we've found our selves in thanks to this past it manager, but it's been coming slowly but surely for a long time now, some have seen it for a long time, some have known it, some have realised it a while ago, some have finally realised it now, of course some still have to, maybe they already have and just don't want to admit it because they just don't want to let go. But it's here now whether we like it or not we have a past it manager who's just not up to the job anymore. And the fact we have an FA Cup final to look forward to, one game we really want to win, a cup we really want/wanted to win (well most of us anyway)and certainly need to win, but to have this dilemma of winning it and this old man staying on, or losing and the hope that he might go it really is a sorry state of affairs he's brought on us and that really is unforgivable. - Post No. 52628


Stroud Green Road Boy  12:39pm 15th Apr 2014

Just been reading some of the build up to tonight's 'battle for 4th' and had to pinch myself this is still the same season. Is it really only a few weeks ago we were top? This must be one of the most monumental title challenge collapses of all time, surely? It certainly eclipses the ones we've seen at AFC the last few years. @julesd (or Westlower), the stadium was built with a bank loan, not own resources. The laughter will begin when the historians come to his latter years, the hair product comment Chris refers to being a recent mirth provoking example. - Post No. 52629


Reality bites  12:53pm 15th Apr 2014

julesd...Wenker has been allowed the priviledge to occupy his position since '96...his win ratio in finals doesn't match that of George Graham whose '91 campaign is up there with the unbeaten season when you take into account the deduction of 2 points and the detaining of a certain Tony Adams at Her Majesty's pleasure.Has never won a European trophy...doesn't have the tactical nous to do so. Arsenal have moved grounds and rebuilt their home in the past....are you telling me that had Wenker never existed we would forever be plying our trade at Highbury Stadium? Once Tottenham get their compulsory purchase order and build their state of the art stadium I'll be back here to hunt you down and believe me Daniel Levy will get that stadium built. - Post No. 52630


julesd  13:13pm 15th Apr 2014

@Reality Bites, Bit dramatic that you have to 'hunt me down' if the Spuds build a new ground, behave! I've no doubt Wenger played a massive part in us moving from Highbury, assuring the board he could keep AFC in the CL while being targeted to make an average profit of £15m per year. In my opinion this is one of the finest achievements in AFC history. Yes, it was funded from a bank loan but haven't we done well in getting that particular monkey of our back. @Ron, Gerrard's 15 years worth of driving hasn't to date produced a league winning team. This may well be his year but remove Suarez from the team and they'd struggle to make top 4. - Post No. 52632


Danny  13:18pm 15th Apr 2014

Looks like clubs are proactively tapping up players for next season. Chelsea are in for COSTA. Liverpool inquiring about BARKLYN what is our idiot coach doing- NOTHING!! - Post No. 52633


Ron  13:33pm 15th Apr 2014

Wenger out - For the record,ive not lived in Liverpool mate,(lived in Manch for 3/4 years - early to mid 70s) just have spent a lot of time there, freinds etc in the last 20 years or so. Youre absolutely correct though. Everton are very much the 'local team' and supported very much by scousers. Liverpool fans tend to come from , let me tentatively say, the worst and less well off side of Merseyside areas/communities plus its fan base is very, very heavily made up from support from the Midlands and the South. Everton were once the money Club, as recently as the 60s and 70s in fact. Its an annoyance to their fans that Liverpool were a nothing, run of the mill Club until Shankly in the early 60s, but its now forgotten. Everton have the history and pedigree, yet you would never know it via the media. Like Arsenal, theyve never been releagetd from the top tier either, whereas Liverpool have spent a lot of their history in the lower levels. Has to be said though, a history from 1964 to 1990 for Liverpool is a pretty good one!! - Post No. 52634


Stroud Green Road Boy  13:36pm 15th Apr 2014

@julesd, all your pro-Wenger arguments are historical. The club needs to move forward. He's done his time and been phenomenally well rewarded for it; his particular skillset is no longer appropriate. The argument for him to stay on is purely sentimental. You'll probably get your wish for him to carry on, but his era is over now - the next couple of years will be zombie management, a waste of everyone's time, including Wenger's. - Post No. 52635


maguiresbridge gooner  13:37pm 15th Apr 2014

BADARSE, two of you? don't even go there one's enough, no dis - Post No. 52636


julesd  13:40pm 15th Apr 2014

@Reality Bites, Totally agree about 90/91 season, deserved to have gone through season unbeaten. Limpar, Davis & Smudge star men. GG never the same after that season as he resorted to Morinho style percentage football. Great times while they lasted. - Post No. 52637


Ron  13:48pm 15th Apr 2014

julesd - Come out Westie, the egg on your face isnt a problem surely? Note your Suarez comment. Very childish and smacks of envy to be honest.Fact is he does play from them. Drop your bias and give another team due credit, esp when our own is so rubbish.Its not difficult. Suspect you watch too much SKY tele mate. - Post No. 52638


Reality bites  13:50pm 15th Apr 2014

julesd....did he identify the Ashburton Grove site?..no; did he smooth over the legal obstacles?..no; did he put together the funding required?..no; did he design the stadium?..no(Benfica's identical); did he decide who should construct it?..no; Was the project dependent on the stadium selling out every week?..no..Answer the question...without Arsene Wenker would we forever have been stranded at Highbury Stadium? Tottenham will build their new stadium consigning another pro Wenger excuse to the dustbin.Liverpool and Athletico Madrid are currently ridiculing the other argument.Enjoy your day out Wembley. - Post No. 52639


Rocky RIP  13:58pm 15th Apr 2014

@Julesd & reality bites - the turning point for GG was the Benfica defeat in the 1991/92 European Cup. We were taught something of a lesson in that game. From thereon GG adopted the Italian 'catennacio' style football. Arsenal's history is always re-written unfavourably. It only remembers the latter version of GG's reign. The football we played prior to 1992 was open and attacking and full of flair and big scorelines. Just as there were two GGs, there will be 2 AWs remembered. The Highbury version and the financially stringent Emirates version. By the way, did anyone else like the look of Kim Kallstrom on Saturday? He seemed like a decent, tidy player, with fresh legs, good pass selection and a reasonable football brain. We may well need him from now until the end of May. - Post No. 52640


underacheiver  13:59pm 15th Apr 2014

Ron, Everton have been relegated twice ( i thought it was once but just checked ) in 31 and 51. But agree they are a classy club. We are the only club never relegated from the top flight. I just pray that Wenger doesn't stay too long and break that record as well - Post No. 52641


maguiresbridge gooner  14:02pm 15th Apr 2014

Has anyone thought for a minute that maybe it was the players who took it upon themselves and decided to go long, route one last Sat? and not the tactical genius himself, but would they have the brains to do that? Well thank goodness the laundry lady was there. - Post No. 52642


Graham Simons  14:07pm 15th Apr 2014

What people forget is our challenges for the title trailed off because we had to pay for the North Bank redevelopment. Back then there wasn't a fourth place to guarantee champions league revenue so the club did what it could to secure additional revenue - namely winning silverware which ultimately brought in the cash to balance the books. Fast forward twenty years or so and you get more money for being in the champions league than winning silverware and that's helped not to do a Leeds in the lean years. Like of loathe Wenger you cannot argue with the fact that by repeatedly qualifying for the champions league he has helped secure the clubs long-term future and we should be grateful to him. However, the next step of the project, for me, requires a different kind of manager - someone who will firstly spend the money available and secondly bring in new coaching systems so that this club can truly be feared across Europe. With the amount of young German talent at the club, I would turn to Klopp. However grateful I personally am to Wenger, few of our players these days improve under his tutelage which is why we thrashed routinely by other clubs and why it often seems like we don't have a plan and why never seem to improve - always getting to fourth and no more. I read Klopp works with his players to address frailties in their game and improve for the future. This is what we all want long-term. I can think of no better way of sending the old manager off than one last hurrah at Wembley. While I think it's time for him to go - some of you should remember all he's done for this club before aiming the sort of vitriol at him that a United fan would be ashamed of. - Post No. 52643


BADARSE  14:17pm 15th Apr 2014

Ron we have had our differences. It doesn't make either wrong, we just have just different views, and different ways of dealing with those differences. You have been kind to me on occasions and I respectful and appreciative. You do have a small problem with couching your views though. You display a very forcible character, (that is a compliment), and have a support network on this site due to it. Ironically you suffer with a style you accuse me of, that of being blinkered, shall we say? You speak with a passion and invariably take the high ground as if it is a pronouncement. It is just a point of view. On a note of realism the claim that Gerrard was a million miles away from Ramsey in skill and value to the side is ridiculous. I countered one such claim, whilst being in tune with the poster. You were just oppositional. Gerrard has failed on numerous occasions with England, and hasn't driven his team across the finishing line to date in the league. I can accept your view politely, whilst disagreeing strongly with it. You need to do the same. Your view in most things is perfectly reasonable, and many can learn from your utterances. One of those utterances at the start of the season was contempt and dismissal for Brendan Rogers. I remember this because not for the first time, it was disrespectful to the man. We all do things differently. I am good at figures and 15 million is quite a lot. Did you realise that since SUSEJ's supposed birth, (not on the 25th Dec), a million days haven't elapsed? This is intended as a gentle rebuke, no more. As another pointed out their view of Liverpool/Everton is different to your view. Neither right or wrong, just different. I have a cruel and ugly personal memory involving Everton fans. They are just people though, just people. The northern attitudes are much more pleasant in general terms, to southern ones, to me that is a given. My Dad was a northerner and a good man. Still I know many ace southerners, even I qualify for that accolade amongst some. - Post No. 52644


Rocky RIP  14:21pm 15th Apr 2014

@ reality bites- you make it sound like Wenger had no input on the new stadium, which is utter drivel. When Wenger visited the AG site and saw what was possible he came back virtually cheering. (David Dein wanted to move us to Wembley.)He had a clear vision of what he wanted. Danny Fiszman and Ken Friar worked tirelessly on the project and rightly have bridges named after them. The stadium copied Benfica's because he insisted on a pitch that had enough light and air to enable the perfect playing surface. Who insisted the dressing room was shaped the way it is so that the manager could speak to all the players equally? Who insists on rooms being a certain temperature? The bloke even had massive input in the re-design of club level. People criticise him, rightly or wrongly, for being a control freak. Now we're told he played little to no part in the move. He was instrumental in convincing the board that a move was imperative in order to compete with Manchester United. Don't get me wrong, I loved Highbury and still miss it and recognise it hasn't worked out perfectly for us. The Emirates feels to impersonal and corporate and attracts the wrong type of fan for me. No trophies doesn't endear it to anyone either. But to imply Wenger wasn't instrumental in any part of the process is plain wrong. - Post No. 52645


julesd  14:33pm 15th Apr 2014

The booing at Wembley brought back memories of Eboue, GG substituting Limpar & Jon Sammels. To all those intent on venting your ill feelings towards the team/manager, please watch the Cup Final at your local and give Wembley a wide berth. The team needs help, not derision. @Ron, Admirable player though Gerrard is, he's also renowned for not being an intelligent player and struggles to carry out the coaches instructions both at club and international level. - Post No. 52646


BADARSE  14:33pm 15th Apr 2014

Rocky RIP, have just had a 'Pires moment', but am finding it difficult to get up off my football-ravaged knees. Well said sir. Admirable, just admirable. - Post No. 52647


Stroud Green Road Boy  14:36pm 15th Apr 2014

Wenger obviously played a big part in the stadium move. Perhaps we'd be at an enlarged Highbury without his input. - Post No. 52648


Rocky RIP  14:42pm 15th Apr 2014

SGRB- Did Wenger personally block Arsenal from enlarging Highbury which would have been every fan's favoured choice? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that the local Islington residents were the biggest bar to stadium expansion and we didn't get planning permission. Hence it became a necessary evil to leave home. Who in their right mind would spend millions to leave our beloved home when expansion was possible? - Post No. 52649


Ron  14:47pm 15th Apr 2014

BADARSE - As you say, we all have our styles. Im interested in holding no 'high ground'though(equally with respect to you, ill leave that mission to such as yourself and others) nor wanting 'followers'of which im sure there are none anyway. The bias against other Clubs though amongst fans on here and generally is for me one of the worst sides of modern football.Its very caustic in fact. I dont want to get carried away in any comparitve excercise ie the Gerro/Ramsey thing that been mentioned, save to say that there isnt a sensible comparison to be made. Im pretty sure Ramsey would echo this view and be embarrased by it too! On Rodgers? True - i think hes been a little lucky and the test for him is when theyre in the CL and Gerro wont play all of the games.Hes also a 'media player'. He does it quite well granted but it often puts him a bad shade for me in respect of many of his comments.I suspect hes a tad disingenuos. I could be wrong. Time will tell. Same view as early season on him. The lad earlier and myself didnt disagree on the Liverpool/Everton thing either. I think youve misread the exchanges perhaps. I may be a bit forcible. Point taken, but much is lost in translation on these boards as with texts and email mediums etc. Youre best not to take it (or me in fact) so seriously.Its just footie. A simple corrupted old game! PS UNDERACHEIVER - Thanks pal. I stand corrected. Ive learned some thing today from you! - Post No. 52650


Stroud Green Road Boy  14:55pm 15th Apr 2014

Rocky RIP, my point is simply history would have been different. Of course Wenger would not have 'personally blocked' redeveloping Highbury, but his particular skillset was one of the enablers of the move. The stadium move happened because the then current shareholders saw that they could massively boost their share price whilst loading the cost onto the club itself. Then could then sell those shares at a massive profit once the move had taken place. And that's exactly what happened. - Post No. 52651


David Starkey  15:03pm 15th Apr 2014

Ron/underachiever- Sorry guys but we were relegated from the top flight in 1913. - Post No. 52652


Rocky RIP  15:04pm 15th Apr 2014

SGRB - I take your points, but the implication was that but for Wenger we'd be at an enlarged Highbury. Expanding Highbury wasn't an option. Sad but true. - Post No. 52653


Stroud Green Road Boy  15:18pm 15th Apr 2014

@RockyRIP, expanding Highbury was an option, but a very limited one as things stood, nowhere near the capacity of the Emirates. And enough money being chucked at problems of that nature often overcome the obstacles. Would it have in that instance? We'll never know. They turned to the move option instead. - Post No. 52654


Reality bites  15:18pm 15th Apr 2014

Rocky RIP.Weren't we all cheering at the prospect of a new state of the art 60K stadium? Didn't we all at some stage during a dull 0-0 GG draw at Highbury look around at our dear old ground and dream of improved facilities and an increased capacity? Pointing out the pitch needs air flow isn't rocket science and having a horse shoe shaped dressing room at a certain temperature doesn't warrant the erection of a bust.Chapman would outscore Wenger on innovation every day of the week.Of course Wenger played a part in the stadium move but he wasn't single handedly responsible for it as some like to imagine.The move to a new ground would have eventually happened with or without him.Will be very interesting to see where the land lies when Tottenham rebuild their ground.Now regarding George Graham,unlike Wenger,at least he took it upon himself to assess the situation and rightly or wrongly adopt a different approach.Rightly in my view as he continued to bag trophies right up till his departure..weren't you doing the conga up and down the Blackstock Road or in Copenhagen the night we beat Parma!? BADARSE...I could put you in touch with a good spin doctor for those football-ravaged kness..just give me a nod and I'll get onto it. - Post No. 52655


Ron  15:22pm 15th Apr 2014

julesd - Oh dear. I wish we had a few more 'unintelligent' players at Arsenal then matey if what you say is right, though we both know, youve no idea really if what you say is really true and im guessing Houlier, Dalglish, Benitez, Evans, Rodgers, Hodgson and Co wdt have persisted with him in those circs. Im no great Gerro fan really either, he s become a bit of a cheat what with his diving etc in recent years i reckon, though hes not alone in football of course, but i m detecting an unhealthy, slightly irrational bias against him from you and any Liverpool fan would maybe laugh at your take on the esteemed Mr Gerrard i guess. Each to their own though. - Post No. 52656


Reality bites  15:32pm 15th Apr 2014

''By hook or by crook'' it was the favourable interest rates that swung it.The latest is that Arsene the economist manipulated the markets in our favour! Your heard it here first folks. - Post No. 52657


underacheiver  15:51pm 15th Apr 2014

David - We were Woolwich Arsenal when relegated but changed the name to The Arsenal prior to being promoted again. So it can still be said that the The Arsenal have never been relegated. Either way we have the longest spell in the top flight. - Post No. 52658


jjetplane  16:06pm 15th Apr 2014

Reckon if Wenger wins the FAC then he will walk. The utter humiliation of winning that after nine years and knowing it would be even harder to retain it will prove too much. For the Wengerites it will be heaven getting the 'media off their backs' and they will be singing 'welcome home Arsene' still not aware of the fact that he has never liked any of them. He perversely probably likes the anti-brigade more because he likes the fans who are always on the offensive and do not need a team talk from their leader. On the other hand, the 'jolly' little wengerites (the little seethers) are not his cup of coffee. He has no message for any of them and would just like the next two years to put 'his dream in order' in a quiet fashion with Arteta (new player coach) in charge of publique relasssons. Wait for Arteta's book which should pacify those who feel fully betrayed by that nasty french man and his 380 turn on the matter of domestique cuups. Possible title could well be 'The Spirit and the Character' (an appraisal of the fuutball revolution of Arsene Wenger). Here is a quote from world star Sanogo: 'He carried my bag for me when it was too heavy...' It won't top the best sellers lists but will always claim 'that 4th spot'. Just get me sheepskin ... - Post No. 52659


julesd  16:08pm 15th Apr 2014

@Ron, You accuse me of watching too much SKY TV. By your own admission you don't attend many games these days and no longer subscribe to Sky, I can only assume you watch AFC games in a pub? The majority of my friends on Merseyside are Evertonians and only on one occasion was I able to talk one of them into accompanying me to Anfield when AFC were the visitors. No different from us taking a happy Hammer to the Lane - NO CHANCE! Stories were rife on Merseyside that Gerrard's proposed move to Chelsea was stopped by local gangs threatening harm to his family. Whether true or not he stayed put. @Reality Bites, Looking forward to seeing the mess the Spuds get into when they move to a new stadium. You're assuming the troll Levy will still be there at that juncture? - Post No. 52660


Reality bites  16:15pm 15th Apr 2014

julesd...very much looking forward to debating this further once the Spuds are trotting out in front of 58,000.Kiss Wenger good luck for me at Wembley won't you. - Post No. 52661


Ron  16:19pm 15th Apr 2014

julesd - Yes, the pubs backroom via the 'unnoffical' sattelite/internet box matey. Nobody needs to pay Murdoch for his dubious products these days, plus the away days here and there i do. True - You wont get many Blues venture into Anfield unless its derby day. I know of very few thats done it either. - Post No. 52662


maguiresbridge gooner  16:42pm 15th Apr 2014

I bought the pair of steel toe capped boots on ebay that OGL wore when he was building the emirates, i wanted his trowel and hod but a mate got them. - Post No. 52663


Rocky RIP  16:54pm 15th Apr 2014

@ reality bites - I don't necessarily disagree with any of what you say, and yes I was having one of the best days/nights of my life on May 4th 1994. (So much so that I didn't have to look the date up or even check.) I merely picked up on your inference that Wenger played little part in us moving stadium. Please don't then conflate your points and move the metaphorical goalposts of your argument to stuff it's hard to disagree with in order to back up a different point. - Post No. 52664


Arsene Arteta  16:57pm 15th Apr 2014

On behalf: Wishes to be known that certain person had no knowledge of 'another stadium' and claims no attachment in either the construction or the present reality of stadia. Certain person is quoted as saying: 'Leaving Highbury was a big mistake and the record shows my greatest triumphs were at Highbury. I am restless and lonely in the other place and the fans bore me with their phones and their selfies. It has spread to the players and now I am surrounded by grinning idiots. Bouldie is not of them as he hates phones...' Au revoir Gooners ... - Post No. 52665


julesd  17:05pm 15th Apr 2014

REALITY BITES .. I will most certainly pass on your very best wishes to Arsene and a kiss if you so desire! He is such a charming man and I'm sure would thank you profusely. - Post No. 52666


jjetplane  17:09pm 15th Apr 2014

Still a bit lost on who was/is booing who/when on here but can put other matter to rest. Wenger cut the tape. - Post No. 52667


Rocky RIP  17:09pm 15th Apr 2014

@SGRB - please define 'a very limited option'. 38,000 increased to what exactly? - Post No. 52668


Ron  17:19pm 15th Apr 2014

Guys - one of the planning options for Highbury was an increase to 50000 capacity by development of the Clock end, the corners and a what would have been a new North bank stand. As i recall this was accepted by the planners but wasnt considered a sufficient rise in capacity and the capita spend to do it was seen as too onerous to justify only a 12000 increase. For what the Club has lost in pursuing the option they did for the sake of another 10000 seats is the remaining issue with retrospect i suppose. - Post No. 52669


Levy'll fix it  17:20pm 15th Apr 2014

Daniel Levy will get it sorted. Don't you worry about that. He's a shrewd businessman with a beady eye for a new manager, only ever so slightly less successful than the last one. Give him £100m to spend in the transfer market over the manager's head and watch him fly. He has a master plan for world domination. Genius. - Post No. 52670


BADARSE  17:21pm 15th Apr 2014

OK a reappraisal. What have we learned today? Well underachiever was spot on regarding AFC's relegation record and added a few nice touches-you don't need me to tell you that you are a Gooner buddy, but you are! The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. Well as a listed building the limitations on development were such that the whole concept was a lost cause and didn't reach the drawing board. The acquiring of a new stadium in Highbury's shadow, (some will expect it to remain in it eternally), was the greatest of masterstrokes. Just the greatest. We have learned that Julesd is not westlower, (ask westlower if he was ever comfortable with a striker named Smith and he will just say, 'Neigh.')Julesd has a few G&T's and starts chanting, 'KEE-OWN!' easy to tell them apart. We have learned that Ron and I are still fiends, I mean friends. We know that if Reality bites ever did drive his 'Chevvy' to the Levy then it would be dry. We know Worzel had a,'It's me thinkin' 'ead, ain't it Aunt Sally?' and wished a few on here had one also. We know the nation's hero 'Stevie G' is representing the UK in the High Board event at the next Coca Cola Olympics. We know much of what I say comes from left field but is occasionally entertaining-I was a left-sided midfield player after all. Those who had the temerity to dream of a title have been duly castigated by those who never dream, yet in turn never expected such a woeful team and manager to reach the FA Cup Final, defeating three of the other top six and the conquerors of a fourth. We know the The Walrus was Paul. That SGRB knows, 'there is nothing you can do that can't be done'. jjetplane still smiling at the knowledge his seasiders may get promotion and finding out it is 2014. Yet I am still not clear on who booed whom. Is this a conspiracy? Why will no one tell me? Off for a shower as my make up is dry and it clags on my chin. - Post No. 52671


Ron  17:33pm 15th Apr 2014

BADARSE - Always friends matey. NEVER EVER think otherwise! These boards are the worse when youre posts are lost to it. Its a very healthy board this is in the main. There are some fantastic posters, whether we agree or disagree with each other or not. Cmon you Gunners tonight. Flatten the Sam! - Post No. 52672


Stroud Green Road Boy  17:50pm 15th Apr 2014

Thanks for that on Highbury, Ron (Badarse, hope this doesn't make me one of Ron's 'followers'). Naming rights would've been another motivation for the move. Imagine if they'd tried to rename a redeveloped Highbury. We'd all have been united in descending on the Marble Halls with our pitchforks. - Post No. 52673


What has Arsene Wenger ever done for us?  17:50pm 15th Apr 2014

What has he ever given us in return? ... the aquaduct? - Post No. 52674


julesd  17:57pm 15th Apr 2014

@Badarse, there must be a Cup Final song in there somewhere - "When Jules kissed Arsene, in the merry month of May, Up the Arsenal? Not on your nelly, I'd sooner be with Ron watching on his pub's telly." Badarse, I'm sure your fertile imagination can come up with something better? - Post No. 52675


The FA Cup  18:24pm 15th Apr 2014

They say Mr Wenger has no respect for me. If Arsenal beat Hull he'll have won me 5 times. Has any other manager won me more times? SrAlex won me 5 times I know, but apparently Wenger has shown little interest in me over the years. - Post No. 52676


Gaz  18:27pm 15th Apr 2014

@BADARSE: Just had a text from Ron allowing me to compliment you on that last post. Well done fella, very entertaining... - Post No. 52677


Stroud Green Road Boy  18:48pm 15th Apr 2014

We know that Badarse likes to paraphrase 1960s song lyrics, thinking us 'youngsters' won't get the allusion: "Only me and Westlower truly understand". We know that julesd IS Westlower (except post 5266). We know that Ron has a band of followers cowed into agreement by his forceful personality - how else could someone possibly come to the conclusion Wenger's past it? Badarse - if you were one of my grandchildren, I'd tousle your hair and call you 'daft' for that one. Ron - thanks for the permit to type the above. - Post No. 52678


jjetplane  18:48pm 15th Apr 2014

Have not read a single post yet but can state that the booing (yes - that booing) was directed at CRASH! ........ - Post No. 52679


Reality bites  18:55pm 15th Apr 2014

Rocky RIP..my original one sided take on the stadium move was a swipe at some who steadfastly maintain its conception,delivery and ongoing survival is all down to Wenger.As you've pointed out there were very significant contributions made by Danny,Ken and several others. julesd...I'm praying that BADARSE can undergo a third reincarnation so you're able to worship at the altar of The Holy Trinity. - Post No. 52680


Ron  19:26pm 15th Apr 2014

Ha . You rowdy beggars. Stop youre mischief now! BADARSE will only start waxing lyrical to us all, guiding, chiding and deriding us. You know his spirits are high when Westie s back in town. Don't encourage him! Meanwhile feel free to worship at my feet and absorb the wisdom of my words my subjects all!! - Post No. 52681


Reality bites  19:41pm 15th Apr 2014

Levy'll fix it...didn't we do well splashing out £50 million (fee and wages) on our midfield Ghazi. Ron...I'll only worship at your feet if julesd washes them first. - Post No. 52682


maguiresbridge gooner  20:42pm 15th Apr 2014

Ron, can i have you permission to agree with you on here or do i need to apply for a special permit? are you on twitter? am i allowed to follow you? if your on face book is it ok to like you. - Post No. 52683


BADARSE  22:00pm 15th Apr 2014

You are all rascals, especially you Ron, ha ha. Julesd, a while ago I came up with, and thought worthy, 'Do they know we're Arsenal', to the tune 'Do they know it's Xmas'. Anyway, with tongue in cheek here's an idea, to the tune of Gary Glitter's 'I'm the Leader of the Gang(I am)'. "Come on, I'm Ron. Come on, I'm Ron, Come on, I'm Ron. Come on. I'm the leader, I'm the leader, I'm the leader of the gang, I am. Do you wanna be in my gang? My gang? My gang? Oh no! Arsene just goes on, goes on, goes on, goes on, goes on and on and on. So I'll go on, or my name's not Ron, I'll go on and on and on!" On a more serious note a 3-1 win tonight. A few lads performed well. Watch Aaron try to take us over the line. - Post No. 52684


Ron  22:19pm 15th Apr 2014

Hi lads. Good win that was tonight. They really 'put it in' didn't they. Well deserved i thought. - Post No. 52685


Jealous Guy.  22:28pm 15th Apr 2014

What's he got that I haven't? - Post No. 52686


Edmund  1:22am 16th Apr 2014

KPGooner,you probably have a much lower opinion of Wilshere and the others who came through the youth system. The club is in a healthy financial status so the 'bleeding' by AW was not as you would put it. Most others agree Kroenke would like AW to stay as he is making them money. You are right when you say I make a lot of assumptions but with no real transparency over club matters who is to say I'm not right. AW has denied for years that money was a problem and only hinted it earlier in the year when we were top of the table and looking good. If you are a club insider who knows better, then I accept your opinion as valid. The rest of us fans read the what comes from the press and make our own conclusions. - Post No. 52687


Edmund  2:24am 16th Apr 2014

A good win for the team. Hope we can still get champions league next year. We need that to attract new players and a good new coach if AW leaves. In any case I want Arsenal to win the FA Cup regardless of Wenger's situation. It has been too long since we had any bragging rights. - Post No. 52688


BADARSE  7:42am 16th Apr 2014

Good morning gentlemen and ladies and Ron (you were right, quite a few put in a shift last night). Incidentally, it's good to have you on the site Edmund. Sorry to stress this but Aaron is an important, very important piece in the jigsaw that is our 5 remaining games. It is often difficult to assess an individual's value, especially when they have been missing for a while and what remains is accepted as the norm. I also believe it was a key loss with Jack being injured playing for that oddball team England. Although they operate differently and bring differences to the side they cover for each in many respects. It would be daft to say we must have one or the other in any Arsenal side but it is close to my way of thinking. We have missed this element in our play. It is why I am championing Aaron for our run in. Now come on, where are you? You all have permission to post. As for you SGRB did you need to ask? Always your own man, always. - Post No. 52689


Reality bites  7:59am 16th Apr 2014

BADARSE..using a Gary Glitter song to laud the man you hold so dear isn't very clever is it..... - Post No. 52690


Any Old Iron  8:01am 16th Apr 2014

BadArse - I would venture to say that Ramsey is the singular most important component of Arsenal this season. The fulcrum in fact. Getting injured, and the absence of any attempt to 'like for line' replace him in January is arguably the cause if Arsenal's derailed title attempt. I would concur with Walcott's absence also contributing to this. But, the lack of a forward being brought in has already been elaborated many times. Now carry on keeping us charmed with your dulcit tones....tomes!! - Post No. 52691


Westlower  8:05am 16th Apr 2014

Rare day off for me yesterday but it's business as usual at Newmarket this afternoon. Apologies if Jules has been upsetting any of you but you know how it is when females get the bit between their teeth? Must concur with Badarse that we instantly look more dynamic when Ramsey is bursting from the midfield. Kallstrom warmed to his game in the second half and looks a class act plus he's not afraid to put his foot in. Not too hard to imagine Cazorla & Ozil thriving in the presence of Ramsey's runs into the box. Add Ox to the mix and all of a sudden our creativity has reappeared. If 20 goal Giroud can add 5 more before the end of the season we can look forward to the merry month of May. @Badarse Just to let you know there is a circus at Newmarket racetrack on Guineas festival weekend May 3rd & 4th. Loved the GG song about OGL RON. - Post No. 52692


Stroud Green Road Boy  8:46am 16th Apr 2014

Definitely a more focused, improved performance last night. The reason? I'd venture it's because they know the focus is definitely 4th now, nothing more. The manager, the players, and some of the fans are all now 'up for it'. What a relief to have all those nasty 'pressure' games out the way, eh? - Post No. 52694


BADARSE  9:01am 16th Apr 2014

Ron, is that you advertising French perfumes? Like all of us there is a real possibility we shall have the sweet smell of success. Reality bites, do you really think that way? Seriously? Wow! Good morning 24601. It's true there is a bounce in my stride when you are back in town, albeit a fleeting visit of popping in, signing the visitor's book like MP's, and scarpering, (The Scarperer-that was a good book). I liken your reappearance to Aaron's. Actually, come to think of it no one has ever seen you two together at anytime...mmm interesting. I often wondered, because when you serenaded Julesd with the Tom Jones impersonations I detected a Welsh lilt-probably your moves distracted anyone's attention from the voice. Can't make Newmarket. Firstly 3rd May is a biggie for me, I annually celebrate winning the league in 1971 at the swamp. The 4th also very doubtful as Bobo ran off with four night's takings from the kiddies 'lightsticks'. So at the moment am drowning my sorrows in whisky and gin. This for you SGRB, which song begins, 'On a day like today, we pass the time away writing love letters in the...'. What is the next word? Male USA singer, my first idol as a child, also had a film career. Actually Ron says you all have permission to join in on this one. Incidentally SGRB, there is many a true word spoken in jest and am certain without the pressure the players will display a more confident approach. Though playing for a cup final place would also be a part of the same equation. Gaz be careful, you may become a fan. - Post No. 52695


Chris  9:44am 16th Apr 2014

Westlower - Hope you don't mind me asking and sorry for risking the wrath of some but I know nothing about horses and someone I met last week told me I should put some money on Kingston Hill in the 2000 Guineas. Would that be sensible? He was talking 10/1 but it was 8 or 9 when I looked... - Post No. 52700


Westlower  10:37am 16th Apr 2014

@Chris I suggest you back each way on Kingston Hill because he's taking on three formidable opponents in Australia, Kingman & Toormore. Stan James are offering 12/1, Ladbrokes & Bet365 10/1. Kingman is best priced at 6/4, Australia 7/2 & Toormore 8/1. If Toormore wins tomorrows Craven Stakes his price will shorten & the odds on Kingston Hill may lengthen. I suggest you delay backing Kingston Hill until nearer or on May 3rd. He's not going to have a prep run so there's a fair chance his odds will get bigger. Australia will be heavily backed as he's hyped as the new wonder horse. Kingman has been backed off the boards after impressing at Newbury on Saturday. Toormore will be well supported if he impresses tomorrow. It promises to be the most competitive 2000 Guineas for many years. Good luck!!! AFC are 4/6 to finish 4th in PL, Everton 7/5. AFC are 4/11 to win FA Cup, Hull 11/4. - Post No. 52706


Chris  11:21am 16th Apr 2014

Excellent, thanks v much Westlower. Sounds like good advice - I like your reasoning! - Post No. 52713


Westlower  12:50pm 16th Apr 2014

@Chris, I hope you have as much luck as an old work mate of mine. He was down to only £3 credit in his bookies account. Backed 4 horses at Cheltenham in a 10p each way Lucky 15. All 4 won and he collected £21,173. Better born lucky than rich! - Post No. 52730


Stroud Green Road Boy  17:54pm 16th Apr 2014

Badarse, the next word is 'sand'. The singer is Andy Williams or Pat Boone but obviously not - unless there is something about her I don't know - Patsy Cline. Is it cheating to use an internet search engine? Sticking with the sand theme, the very great Jimi Hendrix's 'Castles In The Sand' seems apt for Wenger's (or indeed, any) empire. As does the less great Belinda Carlisle's 'Circles in the Sand'. Round and round and round we go... - Post No. 52753


BADARSE  18:59pm 16th Apr 2014

SGRB yes buddy it was Pat Boone. He somehow touched the very young BADARSE. Pat Boone was mega in his day, and of course using the internet is fine chum, nice to connect. We all walk on shifting sands, and never leave a footprint behind. Going on from there without being patronising and with the best of intentions as a pal, try to focus on what is in front of you. You know some Gooners, somewhere, will not see the end of the season. Enjoy what you have. Life flashes past so darn quickly. I want the cup for my Grandsons as much as anything. Want it badly SGRB, want it badly, and if it comes along this time around enjoy it as if it was the last, one day it shall be. - Post No. 52758


Issue #268 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

8th December 2017

A Feast Of Goals In Front Of The Few

Online Ed: Arsenal demolish Bate Borisov witnessed by circa 20,000