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Holding and Chambers hold the key to Arsenalís defence

By Simon Rose

Both need the refinement that only comes through playing

Cup appearances this month for Rob Holding and Calum Chambers will tell Arsenal if they are the future or need to be upgraded.

Arsenalís defence has a few too many question marks right now and Arsene Wenger needs to decide if the current transfer window can provide the answers.

Per Mertesacker retires at the end of this season and, although he gave a Tony Adams-like Herculean performance in the FA Cup Final win over Chelsea, he has not excelled this season.

Laurent Koscielny has been nursing Achilles problems for three years and that in itself poses a risk, for him personally and for Arsenal. Koscielnyís timing and decision-making has become increasingly erratic, in at least the last year. He missed the cup final after seeing red for a ridiculously late challenge against Everton and bundles into penalty area tackles too early and too easily.

Is Koscielnyís downturn due solely to physical problems? For me, he has lost that vital sharpness in judgement too. Itíll be interesting to see if Koscielny is fit enough to play for France in this summerís World Cup and how much football he has left in him, after that, at the top level. I have been unconvinced for a good year now.

Shkodran Mustafiís form has improved this season, but there are doubts on his long-term future given how close he was to leaving the club last summer. Nacho Monreal has been Arsenalís most consistent defender for some time, but has only one year on his contract after this season.

Monreal, like Hector Bellerin, is suffering from Arsenal switching formations at times and between three or four in defence. Bellerin has been criticised lately, for not tracking back enough. Bellerin looks unsure of his defensive responsibilities and positioning, depending on if he is playing as a full-back or a wing-back. That exposes central defence and gives them too much to do, without enough back-up.

Midfield certainly doesnít protect defence. Xhaka gets huge abuse, but for me it misses the point. We have attacking midfielders who want to go forwards, but who don't really want to go backwards. Xhaka, like Ramsey - and Diaby before them - does not have a defensive mindset. Defensive midfield is a specialist position. You canít play at it and then bugger off upfield.

Xhaka wanders into defensive positions, but he isnít defending. Heís thinking about attacking and expects someone else to do the defending. We simply still lack a quality defensive midfielder. Coquelin and Elneny are okay, but they are not great and they are certainly not comparable to Kante or Fernandinho, who are precisely what we compete with.

Which leaves Holding and Chambers, as potential central defence saviours. Holding excelled towards the end of last season and bossed Diego Costaís last appearance for Chelsea, at Wembley. But Holding started the season against Leicester with all the grace of a newly-born gazelle and seems yet to have won back Wengerís faith greatly.

Chambers almost joined Crystal Palace in the summer, after last seasonís loan at Middlesbrough. He earnt a late reprieve on that sale, before early injuries this season delayed his chances to prove his Arsenal worth. Chambers has played the last three league games, with varying fortunes.

At Selhurst Park, he handled Wilfried Zaha well at times, especially early on with a well-timed tackle, but Zaha is a fast handful and tough to rebuff. At the Hawthorns, Chambers was helping Arsenal towards a win and a clean sheet, before referee Mike Dean decided a late point-blank block was an intentional handball.

Both Holding and Chambers have now started at home to Chelsea, with varying levels of success. Holding generally seems the more assured of the two. Chambers looks nervy and makes odd judgements. Morataís early chance, which he steered wide, came after Chambers and Mustafi had an alarming miscommunication that saw Morata in huge space, storming towards goal. That cannot be happening. Both debated the misunderstanding with the plaintive air and gesticulations of the other being at fault.

With Nottingham Forest away on Sunday in the FA Cup 3rd round and a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea to come this month, Holding and Chambers both now have excellent platforms to settle and refine their talents. More league starts could follow, offering scope to win a long-term first-team role and press claims to be Arsenalís new first-choice defensive partnership, especially if we play four in defence.

Both currently lack pace and seem a bit too nice. You could argue that their rough edges show they aren't ready for Arsenal. On the other hand, it suggests they need sharpening, which they can only get by playing. So then it becomes an issue of should they be playing for us, or elsewhere, for that vital refinement of their game?

Holding and Chambers have impressed together at England level, in a back four. Now they have to show that they are Arsenalís future. If either or both do not impress, this current transfer window gives Wenger scope to decide if they have an Arsenal future at all. If Wenger decides to phase them out, Jamaal Lascelles looks ripe to pick from Newcastle United. Interestingly, his own personal refinement has come through Newcastle having faith and just playing him.

@thatsimonrose

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5th January 2018 13:17:17

(4.6/10)

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.

Exeter Ex  13:49pm 5th Jan 2018

Simon, do you really, genuinely think the defensive issues could be solved by changing personnel - after a decade of evidence telling you otherwise? Wenger himself has told you he's the issue. Wenger is the one who said he'd like to play with only one defender if it was possible. Wenger is one who when asked why both full backs bomb forward replied 'We play'. Wenger is the one allowing the supposed DM to 'bugger off upfield'. Wenger is the one who has said he's rather lose his job than change his 'values'. He's not interested. Holding, Chambers and any other defender have no chance with such a 'coach'. A debate about the defence is a complete waste of time until the day comes Arsenal have a manager who's actually capable and bothered to doing something about it. You're still scared to properly address the real issue. - Post No. 111595


Yes its Ron  14:09pm 5th Jan 2018

Exeters dead on the money there however, that much said, the thought that these two are the key to Arsenals defensive prowess speaks volumes about the Club this last 10 yrs. Chambers is a Championship player and arguably Holding isnt much better than that. - Post No. 111596


Seven Kings Gooner1  14:42pm 5th Jan 2018

Simon : If we had Baresi and John Charles in defence it would still be a shambles because under Arsene we don't do defending. We have players who line up in a defensive position that suggest a defender is wearing an Arsenal shirt but this purely coincidental and not based on any known fully coached footballer. Holding and Chambers would be better of going to a Championship side under the many excellent young managers who earn their corn in that division - it would certainly help their careers. - Post No. 111597


mbg  15:13pm 5th Jan 2018

Simon you really still don't get it do you ? even after all this time and evidence, Once a wengerite always a wengerite, there's only one up grade needed and has been for years and it's not or hasn't been players (although they would need to come later) the question marks have been after wengers name for years now, about twelve, it's him who has been erratic, (and that's putting it very mildly) forget Holding and Chambers (and any others) they or the club have no future with this old past it erratic manager even if they were to improve or step up it wouldn't be for long, wenger will only destroy them. So keep wasting your time (and ours) penning if's and but's and silly scenarios that are never going to happen or come to frutition with this past it old manager. wenger out now. - Post No. 111598


Yes its Ron  15:47pm 5th Jan 2018

Banks Fachetti Nesta Cannavaro Maldini Scirea Beckanbaur Pirlo. I think essentially Simon what people are saying is that Wenger in another era would f--k this little lot up as a defensive unit. - Post No. 111600


Bard  15:53pm 5th Jan 2018

Simon thats an odd post really, it ignores the defensive malaise that's been evident for years. The bottom line is we dont 'do' defence. Discussions about Holding or Chambers are largely pointless as a consequence. Exeter's excellent reply says it all. - Post No. 111601


Jason  16:31pm 5th Jan 2018

Completely agree with the above posts. Arsenal have had two decent defences under Wenger, and none in over 10 years!! Dixon, Winterburn, Adams, Keown/Bould, who Wenger inherited. Lauren (who was a midfielder and played out of position who happened to work out) Cole (youth player) Campbell (free transfer) Toure (see Lauren) That is it. Our defence is bottom half quality at best, and championship quality at worst. Wenger either, can't see it, doesn't care, or just cannot coach or tactically set it up any better. I suspect its all three. - Post No. 111602


Redshirtwhitesleeves  16:40pm 5th Jan 2018

GG proved you can get a great defence together through sheer hard work and bloody minded grit and determination without having to spend on star names. Wenger just isn't interested and for 10 years we have paid the price of continually making the same mistakes and thus failing. I have never seen a side beaten by 1 long ball over the top as often as Wengers Arsenal of the last decade. I got the 89 DVD for Christmas and got more pleasure from watching that for an hour and a half than I have from Wenger and his brigade of pussies and bottle jobs since moving to the E******. Wenger can bang on about 'values' till he's blue in the face. GG and his sides had all the true Arsenal values in abundance. This current lot would s*** themselves coming up against that 89 team of real men - Post No. 111603


MAF  16:42pm 5th Jan 2018

the guys below are all spot on. for example. maitland niles. clearly an excellent Young prospect but have a look again at Alonso's Goal the other night and watch how MN is out of Position. same happend to Bellerin alot and now Chambers Holding and dont Forget Sead Kolaöinac arrived as a good Defender. they all lose their way as did Gabrielle. Now compare that with Declan Rice the Young back at west ham who you can already see has got Stuart Pearce full back tapes playing in his head on what to do and not to do. this Young guy was excellent last nite v spurs. ARSENAL DO NOT DO DEFENDERS ANYMORE - Post No. 111604


CORNISH GOONER  16:44pm 5th Jan 2018

The players are an irrelevance. Clouseau's media behaviour this week would be a sackable offence elsewhere. Talk about bringing the Club into disrepute! Trump has the mind & behaviour of a small child but some people apparently find that an attraction. What's attractive about our arrogant, out of touch, elderly Supreme Leader? - Post No. 111605


Jason  16:49pm 5th Jan 2018

I believe Wenger decided to go to a three at the back as it would mask our lack of quality, (it doesn't work like that) and despite only having four centre backs at the club who are as follows.. Chambers, young and not good enough, Holding, young and not good enough (yet), Mertesacker, too old and slow, Kos, carrying long term injury, oh and Monreal who is a left back. Hardly surprising its a shambles back there is it!! - Post No. 111606


Seven Kings Gooner1  16:54pm 5th Jan 2018

Sorry Simon but let me give you another example and see if you understand the point we are all trying to make. If, when we lose the ball and both our wide backs, wing backs, full backs, auxiliary wingers, whatever you want to call them, are 50 yards ahead of our centre backs, we have no cover, agreed? The opposition normally have a man over on the break, sometimes two, it does not matter how good our two centre backs are if the opposing player on the ball releases the spare man at the right time, that spare man has a clear run on goal. This happened against Chelsea time & again, it is nothing to do with player quality, it is a tactical coaching problem and this is purely down to Wenger. Teams we play work very hard on counter attacking against Arsenal, because at the moment we lose the ball we have no shape and worse no plan. When you start talking about a new manager at Arsenal then we will all know that the penny has finally dropped with you. - Post No. 111607


Gaz  17:38pm 5th Jan 2018

Waste of time and as utterly pointless as talking about transfers in and out. Simon, you're a sensible lad, do you really not understand what the main problem is at Arsenal? - Post No. 111608


mbg  17:49pm 5th Jan 2018

And to refer to, compare and mention that cart horse Mertesacker in the same breath as the great Tony Adams is sacrilege, and loses you any respect you had, and is indeed only something we'd hear from a devout wengerite, and proves you don't know much about football especially defending, and when you first started supporting and watching Arsenal. wenger out now. - Post No. 111609


Hi Berry  17:56pm 5th Jan 2018

Strange isn't it....but can any of you remember Andy Gray on Sky dissecting another woeful Arsenal defensive performance. I think his words were something along the lines of 'the defence just never seems to be set' as he took us through yet another example of two central defenders outnumbered by attackers. Gray was sacked from Sky in 2011 and his comments were on games way before then. Just about says it all really. - Post No. 111610


Seven Kings Gooner1  18:30pm 5th Jan 2018

Redshirtswhitesleeves,good post mate, I was given the "89" DVD for Christmas and it stirs the blood in me for the old Arsenal. However the saddest part of the film is listening to Steve Bould talking about how GG made him work for hours, without the ball, on how to make your body the right shape for defending, where to stand in relation to the goal you are defending etc. Then to know that this stalwart and fine defender has turned native, it's very upsetting. - Post No. 111611


RobG  20:17pm 5th Jan 2018

Exeter Ex - Post 111595 - that is right on the money. So true. We won't defend until we get a Manager who is determined to get the whole team to defend as a unit, when necessary. - Post No. 111612


John F  21:23pm 5th Jan 2018

Great posts above.I believe Wenger's neglect of the defence is due to his mistaken belief that possession football is the best form of defence and he does not feel he has to do defensive tactics. - Post No. 111613


mbg  22:05pm 5th Jan 2018

Hi Berry, great post, eight nine years ago, and it hasn't got one bit better since, even regressed Sad isn't it, it tells us all we need to know about whinger (as if we didn't already) and oh how the AKB's, who were deafening in their support and defending of him then, especially on here, supporting TOF to the hilt thinking he'll come good, lol, non existent now, gave it to gray and co, and slagged the WOB's off for betraying Arsenal and their precious messiah with their fook off down the lane crap, where are they now ? i'll tell you where they are mate sitting on their arse suffering a serious dose of reality and realising just how right we were, only now it's to late the damage is done. wenger out now. - Post No. 111614


Goonhogday  23:28pm 5th Jan 2018

If Holding & Chambers are to be part of our future defence, weíd better get a new manager in asap then. Wenger out, Kroenke out - Post No. 111615


Moscowgooner  5:23am 6th Jan 2018

Play Holding and Chambers together - in a consistent back 4 - for the rest of the season. Nothing to lose really: they need to be tested as a centre back pairing - but that can't happen until they have a decent run of 10 to 15 (league) games on the trot together. Make or break before the Summer. The defensive midfielder to screen a back four has been a requirement for many seasons now; the lack of a real option there puts huge pressure on the centre backs anyway - but nothing will change in the Wenger era. - Post No. 111616


Hi Berry  9:50am 6th Jan 2018

Following on from my previous post I can also remember an article in either the S Times or Guardian a few years back responding to the perpetual injury crisis which beset Arsenal. It suggested that playing just one or two players out of position put unnecessary stress on other players resulting in a knock on effect throughout the team. Classic example would be Arshavin out wide and not tracking back. This, in turn, created a further problem not only with other players then being dragged out of position to cover but also with an increase in strains on the body resulting in injuries. Sound familier? - Post No. 111617


Bob Bayliss  9:56am 6th Jan 2018

Absolute garbage, Simon. Chambers (of Horrors) will never be good enough for Arsenal. I am not convinced Holding will be, though he could be ok as cover. Our centre-backs were on a par with Liverpool's.....but of course they have recognised this and addressed it. We should have been in for Van Dijk. - Post No. 111618


Bard  10:15am 6th Jan 2018

The more interesting issue to my mind is what we seem to be doing with AMN. He looks as though he has the right stuff but why the hell are we playing him at full back when he's a centre mid holding player. He cant be worse than Xhaka and could be a significant upgrade in the longer run. I dont get this playing players out of position. - Post No. 111619


mbg  15:54pm 6th Jan 2018

So the whinger gets himself a three match ban, he was expecting just one, lol, here's me thinking we'll get to see what boulds made off now and maybe enjoy a game or two again, any other manager would leave it to his assistant, to a certain extent anyway, but we know that won't happen with the old fraud, his arrogance and ego will see to that, team talk instructions(for what it is, and their worth)will be given before hand in the hotel or on the bus no doubt, and bouldy will just sit there nodding as usual only this time through his ear piece, under strict instructions to follow them to the letter with no deviations whatsoever and god help him if he disobeys and doesn't, even if we're getting stuffed. whinger out. - Post No. 111620


northbank123  20:06pm 6th Jan 2018

They both definitely need playing time - both (understandably) very raw and generally dragged out of position far too easily by the better strikers at this level. To be honest I don't think Chambers has it and he doesn't look like a CB to me, but Holding should have been loaned out to play every week. New or improved personnel wouldn't solve the problem though. Not by a long chalk. It's systemic. - Post No. 111621


John F  9:41am 7th Jan 2018

I found it interesting that our new 2 million pound Greek defender wasn't a Wenger signing but the new backroom teams.This gives me hope that this is his final season as there is no way he would relinquish control of transfers and what he said of the new set up did not sound like a ringing endorsement.As far as Wenger never breaking a contract this might of changed due to last years experience,if he had said he was signing a one year contract he would of had to suffer a season of press speculation which Wenger claimed disrupted the team last season.A two year contract stops the speculation and allows the club to get on with the changes behind the scenes in preparation for the new chap. - Post No. 111622


Goonhogday  11:01am 7th Jan 2018

I agree John F. Thatís a plausible strategy to fend off the will he, wonít he speculation. I just have this nagging fear Wenger moves into the boardroom when heís had enough and then recommends a ďpuppet managerĒ that he can advise and manipulate etc. No experienced manager worth their salt would put up with a setup like that. I really hope Iím wrong about that theory though. - Post No. 111623


Bard  11:48am 7th Jan 2018

John F I read that. It would make sense for him to leave after one year as there will be one hell of a ****e show as his current 2 years comes to an end. This will destabilise the club rather in the way Fergie going did at Untd. I do wonder whether his current irritability has something to do with this. Currently we dont look like we will make top 5, never mind top 4. The club are also on the verge of losing in the region of £150/200m with Sanchez. Ozil and possibly Jack going, This is nothing less than a catastrophe financially.The sensible strategy is to appoint someone at the end of this season and move Wenger on with the minimum of fuss. But then again since when have Arsenal done the sensible thing. - Post No. 111624


mbg  16:01pm 7th Jan 2018

Goonhogday, or a plausible strategy to try and fend of and keep the WOB happy and quiet, nothing would surprise anymore with wenger and his devious cronies. wenger out now. - Post No. 111625


markymark  17:06pm 7th Jan 2018

The next battle will be to remove Wengerís presence ASAP. Canít have miserable scoats such as Badarse and his ratgtag follower Toad boring us rigid with their post Wengo mourning. Iíll personally fight to stop a Wengo Statue outside the ground though Iíd imagine thereís enough Wengophiles who want a statue for 14/15 years of mediocrity - Post No. 111626


MAF  17:32pm 7th Jan 2018

we really are an utter shambles of a club thanks to owners board bottling the wenger leave decision last June. lets face it 80% of us knew last summer wenger staying on was the worst possible outcome and our informed fears coming true. its embarassing what we have become. if it was not for ozil sanchez we would not have given utd liverpool chelsea spurs the game we have them at the emirates and these 2 want out. i dont blame them at all. any ambitious player could not stay at Arsenal now. Lemar @ Monaco wont choose Arsenal; Mahrez would be mad to. why be an offensive player at Arsenal when you know your defence will leak goals every single match. it makes all your good work worthless as we saw against utd liverpool chelsea, etc. Wenger is dragging this club into the gutter now and we all have to see out the rest of the season experiencing some horrible pains. well get sorted at Utd and Spurs away and we wont touch City at home. In the Europa the likes of Athletico will eat us for a snack. our club is weak-willed, frail, fragile, negative mentality, complaining, no solutions, no power, no answers. constant injuries, overpaid mediocre players with no bottle. every weak characteristic is tolerated by an old very selfish man who has totally lost his way and been permitted to drag the club into a downward spiral. sad, tragic, sickening. One can only hope the power of the people is going to force change at this club. - Post No. 111627


Goonhogday  17:53pm 7th Jan 2018

The team just gets worse year on year, the elite players want out, contracts left to run down, transfer targets missed or donít want join us, we sell players to our rivals, no clear backroom staff structures, lack of first team coaching, the worst corner takers in the league, an ownership that are far from unified instead of acting like custodians of this great club and the worlds most selfish, stubborn manager who now has a 3 game touch line ban. What a joke we are ... is this the values Wenger refers to? - Post No. 111628


Bob Bayliss  17:56pm 7th Jan 2018

If Holding holds the key we are buggered - Post No. 111629


Guy in Jersey  18:02pm 7th Jan 2018

Walcott, Welbeck and Wenger (especially Wenger) = woeful. - Post No. 111630


BigDaveTheGooner  18:03pm 7th Jan 2018

Untenable,simply untenable,out you go Wenger and take all the dross with you!!!!!! - Post No. 111631


Moscowgooner  18:08pm 7th Jan 2018

Appalling team selection at Forest today: we got exactly what we deserved. Why didn't he at least put some quality on the bench???! Astonishingly offhand attitude towards the one trophy that has kept AW in his job for the past few seasons. - Post No. 111632


Exiled in Pt  18:17pm 7th Jan 2018

What a fu#kin disgrace. Embarrassed by a team of youngsters who had desire commitment and more importantly were coached in how to play football. Headless chickens no organisation Forest deserved that win. Wenger should resign now but we all know he wont. Schoolboys can anyone explain who was playing in what position!!!!!! Glad i am stuck out here and not standing in Nottingham tonight in disbelief. Words cannot express how disgusted i am with a club i once followed home and away. Who will he blame now the referee the linesman it wont be his inept management!! Laughing stock ruined and destroyed everything i would once fight for. Arsenal R. I. P - Post No. 111633


Guy in Jersey  18:17pm 7th Jan 2018

Wenger has treated the cup competitions with contempt for years even though they've saved his a**e on a number of occasions. Today, his luck finally ran out. Hopefully, it's a sign that we're nearing the end of his increasingly depressing tenure. Professor Clueless, stop moaning, whingeing and blaming everyone else, and kindly sod off. - Post No. 111634


KC38  18:21pm 7th Jan 2018

Pass pass pass no end product. Caught on the break again and again and again, itís beyond explanation simply put we are a circus. Iwobi Walcott Welbeck Holding Elneny average at best. How do those Arsenal fans not turn on this manager, this was nearly as shameful as Wrexham. We are going backwards fast, home tickets not selling, the signs are there I cannot believe the hierarchy canít see it, very soon top 4 will be out of reach, the ground will see more and more empty seats, Wenger will be in for a torrid time which will be very much deserved, his arrogance is beyond belief, just does not pay the defensive side of the game any time at all. Iím all in favour of good football but a team has to have balance Wenger wonít have it and we ship goals for fun, 4 goals to a team 14th in the championship......... - Post No. 111635


Hi Berry  18:22pm 7th Jan 2018

It's arrogance, MoscowGooner pure and simple. Thought he would swat away a Championship side with his top quality second string. Why should the travelling fans make the effort to watch the reserves? Complete disdain for the paying 'customers'. - Post No. 111636


Exiled in Pt  18:28pm 7th Jan 2018

Mertsacker retired by an 18 year old Holding humiliated!!The board and Wenger fu#k off now sick and tired of saying it.. Sacrifice the one real cup for what!! A once proud club destroyed!! - Post No. 111637


mbg  19:23pm 7th Jan 2018

Who's fault was that then AKB's ? the ref ? the grass ? lets be havin ye ? if there's any decency left in the c**t he'll resign tonight, wenger out now. - Post No. 111638


GoonerRon  19:31pm 7th Jan 2018

Well that was utter ****. I know weíve had lots of games recently and a lot of injuries but surely at least the bench had got to be stronger? For the umpteenth time this season the fringe players prove they donít have the ability or appetite (or both) to push into the first team. The feeling of end of days for Wenger continuing to build. - Post No. 111639


proudtosaythatname  19:48pm 7th Jan 2018

Totally agree with GoonerRon. Wenger should be sacked for his non-team selection for the only competition we can win. The (devalued) FA Cup was his lifebelt and now he's punctured that too. Proudtosaythatname? I once was. - Post No. 111640


mbg  19:48pm 7th Jan 2018

Well there's our answer and so soon too, you couldn't make it up, wenger out tonight. - Post No. 111641


mbg  19:59pm 7th Jan 2018

Hi Berry, and I wonder what their doing about it mate, I expectthe usual. wenger out. - Post No. 111642


Arseneknewbest  20:11pm 7th Jan 2018

A huge corner turned tonight...for goonerron who has seen the light and realised that Arsenal's sad demise has been caused by wengo! You've come over to the light side at last Ronnie! Otherwise, I'm out of words. Our enemy within has almost finished f*cking us. - Post No. 111643


Ebor Gooner  20:15pm 7th Jan 2018

The man in charge at THE Arsenal these days only cares about himself, and his enormous salary. This wasn't a weakened selection. It was a calculated decision that his "first choice" XI could easily have lost to Forest. That possibility would put his continued employment under pressure. Therefore, selecting an apparently "lesser" side allows him a "get out" that his best side (might) have managed a win. And thus, he continues as our Manager. It will end, eventually, but I fear we have further to fail before he is finally ousted. - Post No. 111644


Paulward  20:32pm 7th Jan 2018

Think he would have played a stronger team if it wasnít for Wednesday night. He simply has to play the first 11 v Chelsea now.The selection wasnít the problem because all the top six did the same thing except Liverpool who had to play Everton. The problems were a lack of fight in the middle of the pitch, a lightweight forward line and a non existent defensive strategy.In other words the same problems the first team suffer with. - Post No. 111645


mbg  22:47pm 7th Jan 2018

Clueless headless f*****g chickens, and the old limp clueless rooster himself sitting up on his perch in the stands looking like death warmed up. Any resignation yet ?. wenger out. - Post No. 111646


johngage1  23:00pm 7th Jan 2018

6th Place Trophy? - Post No. 111647


proudtosaythatname  23:07pm 7th Jan 2018

I agree with Paulward that other clubs have put out weaker teams. However, generally they include a few big hitters on the bench as insurance. Wenger picked a bench that was weaker than the starting 11 so that he couldn't react when we went behind. - Post No. 111648


mbg  0:14am 8th Jan 2018

proudtosay, it wouldn't have made any difference anyway, he wouldn't/doesn't know how to react, he just gets lucky. wenger out. - Post No. 111649


Moscowgooner  6:16am 8th Jan 2018

This really has to rank up there with my worst 3rd round memories: Blackpool in 1970 (a real thrashing at Bloomfield Road by a second division team), Wrexham (of course) and then Wolves in about 1975 - an abject 0-3 surrender against a team that was bottom (or close to it) of the first division. - Post No. 111650


markymark  6:42am 8th Jan 2018

Good to see proper Arsenal supporters getting on Radiio 5 last night telling it like it is. Good to hear Chris Sutton say that Wenger should have gone years ago. Wengerphiles kept their heads down. At least we are moving the paradigm shift to the majority of supporters finally realising its end stage stuff. Wonder if Badarse has crawled back under thar rock he was always on about. - Post No. 111651


MAF  8:41am 8th Jan 2018

i hope Alexis and Ozil do move on for their own sake and i for one will miss them both. they cannot be blamed when the Club they were good enough to join, refuses to do proper defending behind them. These 2 proved they can open up any defence in the EPL. the Problem is any Team in the EPL can also open up arsenal's defence so we leak Goals everywhere. Can we make the FA touchline ban 3 years instead of 3 matches...? - Post No. 111652


The Man From UNCLE  9:07am 8th Jan 2018

No way would I defend Le Fraud or that performance yesterday but it was a long way from a big humiliation. Losing to 4th div opposition in the shape both of Sheffield Utd (1981) and Wrexham (1992) now THAT was a proper humiliation. Oh, and Bradford too. All three games with full strength line up. - Post No. 111653


Hi Berry  9:07am 8th Jan 2018

It's not as if there wasn't a precedent to learn from.....Sheffield Wednesday away in the League Cup in the last season or two? Same kind of side selected with the same result. - Post No. 111654


GSPM  9:10am 8th Jan 2018

ZZZZzzzzzz. From Champions to Top4 - From CL to Europa - From FA Cup to Carabao Cup - From Top4 to Top6 . Wenger Knows ??? - Post No. 111655


peter wain  9:13am 8th Jan 2018

both are not good enough. they are not quick enough and we need reinforcements which the manager is incapable of producing - Post No. 111656


mbg  23:57pm 8th Jan 2018

markymark, yes where are the wengerphiles i'd say like this particular one they're all underneath their rocks nice and comfy at the minute embarrassed, until the next regulation 1-0 or 2-0 rollover comes along, like I always say they f*****g deserve him. We want wenger out. - Post No. 111685


Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

15th January 2018

Being muscled off the ball by Bournemouth is like being mugged by your grandma

Online Ed: Another poor Arsenal display on the road just another signpost as we near the end of the Wenger era