A Tale of Two Arsenals

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Shambles before Resurrection at Bournemouth

Emotionally, it may have been a draw that felt like a win, but even if Arsenal had been the side to squander a three goal lead, in the cold light of day, this was two vital points dropped at a venue where Manchester United, Southampton and Sunderland have taken maximum points this season. Chelsea are still to go there, but one thing you can put your mortgage on when they do is that we won’t see defending of the quality that Arsenal displayed in the opening 45 minutes.

Giroud celebration - Ref didn't add time on for this

For the first goal, one wonders exactly what kind of defensive coaching goes on at London Colney. It is difficult at times to believe that Steve Bould is a paid employee at the club. Talk about lack of awareness. Of course, panto season is not quite over, and a shout of ‘Look, he’s behind you!’ was the order of the day. But Charlie Daniels was given more space than you can view through a NASA telescope to give Eddie Howe’s side the lead.

It got worse. Mustafi and Coquelin cocked up possession between them, allowing Bournemouth to break. Granit Xhaka’s shove in the penalty box on Ryan Fraser was both naïve and suicidal. Madness. Usher the guy to the line, but don’t push him over. From the spot, Callum Wilson doubled the home side’s lead.

A response after a half-time dressing room dressing down? Well, an increase in possession, but it was the home side that scored next. Certainly, Bellerin was fouled in the build-up, so it should not have stood, but the fact is that when Arsenal finally pulled one back in the 70th minute, it was their first shot on target. And that simply isn’t good enough. Significantly, Lucas Perez was on the field by this time, and the wisdom of not starting him after what I felt was a perfectly good display against Palace has to be questioned. It might have meant Aaron Ramsey not starting, but the Welshman’s contribution was a case of trying manfully but nothing coming off. One suspects we’d have seen a less predictable Gunners in the first half if Perez has begun the game. Ramsey, unfortunately, is not quite at the level required to start for a team that has serious title pretentions. He may have been for a purple patch of three months an age ago, but it’s never been consistently repeated.

The goals, all fine finishes, from Sanchez, Perez and Giroud were a case of too little too late as far as the three points were concerned. I was astonished that Giroud, scoring two minutes into injury time, then decided to play for the camera and celebrate. Arsenal had momentum, there were only four minutes of injury time left. A case of get back to the centre circle and get on with it as quickly as possible. But no, where there is a celebration dance to try out, the HFB is going to ensure the spotlight. Equally unforgivable, with seconds remaining, was the building from the back when all the clock allowed for was a ‘Hail Mary’ punt into the opposition penalty box. The ref blew long before Wenger’s men could pass their way into the danger zone.

It was the good and the bad of Arsenal. Rank bad defending followed by pressure leading to goals as momentum shifted. It reminded me of that 7-5 League Cup win at Reading, the game in which Arsenal were 4-0 down, but clawed it back to 4-4 in normal time.

An interesting question for Gooners is what result they want between Spurs and Chelsea tonight. I would guess a draw, but if there had to be a winner, do we back Spurs in the hope that Arsenal can still make up the gap to top spot? Or do we accept the Gunners are not going to overtake Chelsea, and worry more about the other four teams in the top six in the battle to be part of next season’s Champions League?

For me, the latter is more realistic. After seeing the defending at Bournemouth, I shall be hiding behind the sofa for some of the away trips still to be negotiated this season. Arsenal do not have the organizational quality and intelligence at the back to get the results they need, and this will also be confirmed, as usual, in Europe.

Arsene Wenger’s side needed 18 points from the next six ‘winnable’ matches after the defeat against Manchester City. They could not afford to drop any if they had any hopes of catching Chelsea. So even if Spurs do take the spoils tonight, it will only benefit others. Arsenal have blown their chance. If the defeats at Everton and the Etihad did not convince you this side does not have what it takes to be champions, then the goals conceded against Bournemouth surely do. The comeback last night was enjoyable, but the hole the team managed to dig themselves into before being able to muster an attempt on target was a horrorshow of the first degree.

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4th January 2017 09:00:00


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.

Augustus Flair  9:11am 4th Jan 2017

Perfect report, Kev. A shocker all round and I confess I cannot see any merits in Xhaka as he is a liability. Again, I'd say the key question is how long Sanchez wants to be associated with this ill-trained and poorly disciplined mob. There was plenty of growling at team-mates last night - quite rightly too. - Post No. 102177

WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  9:12am 4th Jan 2017

As Kev says, I thought pantomime season finished last week. Not in AW land obviously. Is Xhaka one of the worst ever Arsenal players? I think so. A DM who can't defend. - Post No. 102178

Red Member  9:20am 4th Jan 2017

losing interest. cant be bothered to even look at ticket availability for games anymore - Post No. 102179

chris dee  9:23am 4th Jan 2017

No Online Ed, it did not, in any shape or form, feel emotionally like a win. It felt like it has done over the last ten years,a team that has no defensive coaching or organisation,players who are physically weak,players who are mentally weak,players who only perform in spasm during games and during the season.I felt sorry for Sanchez a player who has a million times more desire that the rest of the prancing,posing mediocre players that Wenger laughingly tries to convince us can win the Premiership or Champions League.Still he can soon leave like Fabrigas and the rest who went onto clubs who were serious about winning trophies.Being weak,soft and easily intimidated is now ingrained into the club's D N A an it is all down to the manager.Feel emotionally like a win?Jeez give us a break! - Post No. 102180

Bonzo  9:25am 4th Jan 2017

Squeak, rotten Wobby Top and Jameeba celebrated this match result last night. They obviously don't have any desire for a title. Part of the problem, not the solution dooming us with their silent choir of 40,000 They need to take a hike with Wenger in 2017 - Post No. 102181

Stuart  9:30am 4th Jan 2017

Pathetic, inept, horrific, embarrassing, not entirely unexpected. Quite frankly, it could be any time over the last decade. Still, be careful what we wish for, eh. - Post No. 102182

jeff wright  9:35am 4th Jan 2017

I did warn Wengo about counting his chickens cluck..cluck...cluck... all 3 of them... Bellerin was ball watching for the first goal and that is one of the worst defensive mistakes that any defender can make and why was Wengo - who sat pale faced and stressed out as usual fiddling with a piece of string on the bench - not up on his feet screaming at Bellend to get back into position .Not since Hitler in 1940 drove his Panzers through the undefended French lines in the Ardennes Forest has so much space been offered to opponents to take advantage of . We have witnessed these 'amazing comeback 'games against lower opponents before though the Reading cup tie away when Wally scored a bucketful of goals was another defensive shambolic game with the same claims of great speeeerit being made about the farce afterwards . Bournemouth are the sort of sides that we that we should be beating away and not going 3-0 down to. At 3-0 down the sight of Keystone Kos limping disconsolately off was rather a familiar one as well.He also did it in that Reading game and in others when the going was getting too tough fore him. You don't win league titles and European Cups with bottle jobs like this in your side. I seem to recall him being responsible for the French getting fried in the Euro final last year as well when he got well turned over by some Portugeezer striker who couldn't get into the first team at Swansea. Rambo is world class of course and could get into any top team in Europe - or so it is claimed . You couldn't make it up. Anyway last night's result has made a win for Chelsea tonight even more important to Wengo because it really is just all about 4th place this season for him. - Post No. 102183

Mark  9:50am 4th Jan 2017

Sorry if you think that felt anything like a win Kev then you are as deluded as Wenger.It was another disgraceful shameful pathetic performance.It was a game we needed to win yet were 3-0 down in the first 70 mins and being totally outplayed.Nothing summed up the whole shambles up more than when we scored our third goal and instead of rushing back to the centre circle to try and get a 4th Giroud spent a minute showing off his Scorpion kicks to our fans.I really feel sorry for Sanchez and wish him every luck at his new club - Post No. 102184

Know Man  9:54am 4th Jan 2017

Every clown celebrating at the return of Mustafi, yet he was worse than awful last night. Same thing each season, this team will not win the league. The mentality is all wrong, Le Boss cannot motivate them. We're predictable, however all fans are concerned with is stats, passing stats, possession stats, not points or performances. Twitter loves Wenger, brain washed that 4th is a trophy and something to celebrate. Xhaka, £30m, what a waste of money. Stock piling midfield players, useless ones at that! We have Elnenny too don't forget! Another powerful sic player! I can't believe the support Wenger gets on Twitter when you consider his inability to challenge, given he's spent good money on Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil who is useless and Alexis! The spine too and he still can't get it right! - Post No. 102185

Greg38  9:54am 4th Jan 2017

Shambles. And i agree regarding giroud..I was swearing at him to get back to own half!! No chance we will catch Chelsea, win this title..so for me think i want a Chelsea win later..pains me to say. Guess arsene will get an extension on the back of the last 3 away games??!! - Post No. 102186

Wear Your Colours  10:00am 4th Jan 2017

Kev I agree. What a total bloody shambles the first seventy minutes were. Bellerin had a nightmare when exposed one-on-one; Xhaka had a brain-freeze in conceding an unnecessary penalty and Ramsey charged aimlessly around midfield with all the poise and finesse of a baby elephant! Our tactics were so easy to read and counter it was embarrassing. We had right-footed Alexis playing on the left and left-footed Iwobi playing on the right of Giroud; it was obvious that both preferred to cut inside. Bournemouth simply held a high line and kept bodies in the middle knowing Giroud was not going to threaten them in behind. Our only option to provide width was to send Monreal and Bellerin forward and Bournemouth simply played the ball into the spaces in the channels behind them for their pace merchants to attack and wreak havoc. Eventually, after the hour mark we got a semblance of balance with the Ox on the right and Perez on the left. We managed to supply crosses into the box and Giroud was transformed from a bystander into a Tyro! Two assists and a goal later we had salvaged a point. Hence, a very frustrating evening ended better than it began. Let’s hope we start with a more balanced line-up at Preston. COYG! - Post No. 102187

N4  10:13am 4th Jan 2017

We just witnessed the worst in every player last night bar Alexis though! Every year this type of display gets repeated and Wenger doesn't see that. I supposed that game just saved Wenger's new contract. Bottom line I can't see who else to blame apart from the manager...when is this going to stop...?? Under this manager it doesn't matter what top top player we get as we will see the worst in that player and same thing will be repeated but wenger will be congratulated with a new contract to put things right...again!! - Post No. 102188

David  10:14am 4th Jan 2017

shambolic sums it up. Sanchez storming off the pitch at the end tells a story; it will be surprising if money is the only thing that keeps him at Arsenal. Giroud's celebrations gave away the fact that they (except for Sanchez) probably felt like a point was enough. That way of thinking has become endemic to the Arsenal dressing room over the past 10 years. Which is why the PL title will remain out of reach until Zippy has done the decent thing. - Post No. 102189

Paulo75  10:29am 4th Jan 2017

A horror show from Bellerin and Xhaka in particular but they had a great supporting cast. The report hit the nail on the head, the final confirmation after the shambles at Goodison & the Etihad that Arsenal will be also ran's yet again in the title race. Stan and Ivan - its not working, hasn't been for years - what are you going to do about it? Probably the square route of F All as per usual. Laughing stock. - Post No. 102191

Redshirtswhitesleeves  10:34am 4th Jan 2017

Spot on report kev. I can comfortably make 3 depressing predictions. 1. We will not pick a single point up at chelski, Liverpool or the spuds or even stoke. 4 classic Wenger-inspired roll over and die performances on the cards in these fixtures with much pathetic blaming of the officials in their wake. 2. We will not see proper defending and players carrying out clearly defined rolls and a savvy 90 minute tactical performance until this clown of a manager has departed. 3. A new 2 year contract extension to be announced sometime around the end of the season once 4th place has been assured. Then best of all we get to do this all over again for another 2 groundhog seasons....you couldn't make it up...and it could only happen at the gentile, comfortable, arrogant, smug gentlemans club that is Arsenal in its current interminable state. Just shows Wenger up for the kind of bloke he really is...anyone with a bit about them would have accepted their day has been and gone and done the decent thing and let someone else take the reigns. Effing parasite....bugger off now and take gazidis and the yank with you, you are not wanted and haven't been for many years - Post No. 102192

Ron  10:42am 4th Jan 2017

Great match and great comeback. The comeback papers over the cracks though at AFC that have become endemic this last 6 or 7 years. Would the comeback have happened v 10 men? Would it have happened at all had Frazer not have been forced off? I doubt it somehow. - Post No. 102193

Wardy  10:43am 4th Jan 2017

I thought we showed great mental resilience and proved we are capable of winning the 4th placed title ..... Preston will be quaking in their boots ..... by the way, goodbye Alexi, it's been a privilege watching a genuinely talented player with the heart of a lion ..... shame you came along 10 years too late, can you imagine a front 3 of Bergkamp, Henry and Sanchez ??!?! - Post No. 102194

Time for Change  10:45am 4th Jan 2017

Draw tonight please. Mancini in. - Post No. 102195

GS  10:47am 4th Jan 2017

The Panto season is not over yet, as witnessed last night. Alexis must be wondering what is going on, he cant be happy with the shambles around him, Why Ramsey was picked ahead of Lucas , only Wenger knows. You keep a clean sheet in 2 games, so why change it, save the changes for Preston, or is the FA his true goal?? Two identical fouls, ref gives one, not the other. That aside Arsenal were a shambles, they just don't seem to handle mid-week games well, so much for mental strength. I'm hoping for a draw tonight, need both to drop points. Same old season looms for us. Never mind, NBC are bring out a new sit-com " Everybody Loves Wenger" coming to a screen near you soon. - Post No. 102196

David  10:48am 4th Jan 2017

"I was astonished that Giroud, scoring two minutes into injury time, then decided to play for the camera and celebrate." I was fuming at that. Celebrating drawing at Bournemouth reminds me of the celebrating 4th at St. James's Park. Nothing changes. The mentality is all wrong, happy to be second (or fourth) best season on season. A bloody disgrace. - Post No. 102197

Seven Kings Gooner  10:50am 4th Jan 2017

Good report Kev, except for the term "defensive coaching" I think we need a new word to describe our efforts at stopping the opposition from scoring, "a huddled mass drawn towards the ball" sounds better. Our so called defenders can't even push out in a straight line, to call it Sunday League defending is a huge insult to the hung over warriors who do their very best each week. For me I learnt two things watching last night, in my detached mode. One, Hector needs proper coaching to save his career and clearly Sanchez is a distant relative of Geordie Armstong, what a shift he put in, I suspect he is discussing his next club with his agent right now. - Post No. 102198

Ron  10:53am 4th Jan 2017

So far as tonight's game applies Kev, i hope Chelsea win. It makes not an iota of difference to AFC if they do. We re going nowhere near to the top spot. The Club isnt remotely interested in doing so. My prediction though for Totts v Chels is a draw. - Post No. 102199

JDG  11:00am 4th Jan 2017

As per A Flair's comment the most depressing aspect was That of Sanchez''a reaction at full time, he must be wondering What he he is doing with this crop of players, I have never seen a Player try more in an Arsenal shirt, however, his reaction was one Of "I'm out of here" - very sad really & ultimately all down to Wenger.K - Post No. 102200

GTG  11:20am 4th Jan 2017

One of the most infuriating things about being an Arsenal fan over the last 7/8 years has been that us fans, many of whom have not worked a day in football, can see exactly how the season and even individual games will pan out before the ball is even kicked. As soon as that team was announced last night my 1st thought was..... that looks totally unbalanced. Low and behold it was. I've got many friends who blindly support wenger or basically say removing him won't solve the problems. Im sorry but he is responsible for the team and they're preparation and hes failing year in year out. - Post No. 102202

Bob  11:28am 4th Jan 2017

The turning point came at 3-0 down, before the sending off. The outstanding midfielder on show was Ryan Fraser, who only started last night because Wilshere was ineligible. He bossed Xhaka, Coquelin and Ramsey, and is exactly the type of player who would make a genuine difference to our team. After he was injured as a result of the Ox's last ditch saving tackle, Bournemouth were never the same. - Post No. 102204

MH  11:37am 4th Jan 2017

Agree with most comments here. Xhaka was a liability for most of the match, Ramsey ineffective and frankly Cech needs to take a good look at himself too. Tacticly clueless again and only when Perez came on did we start to look threatening. I don't agree though with the criticism of Giroud's celebration; remember it was Bournemouth who nearly scored after we equalised. The extra 20 seconds grabbing the ball and running back could equally have benefitted them. We didn't deserve anything from last night so let Giroud have his moment for getting something from the game and giving the fans that were there something to cheer. - Post No. 102205

Mark  12:02pm 4th Jan 2017

why is any Arsenal supporter remotely suprised is totally beyond me. this is a Team and Club in decline and this season will finally prove to ALL supporters the reality of the Situation that some of us on here have felt and known for the last few seasons was coming. we are the weakest Team of the top 6 with the weakest Manager and the Club with the worst fighting sprit. This has all come from wenger, the Management and the board. it will all end in tears this season. the sooner the better for the sake of the Club. we should ALL be pushing to get SIMEONE lined up for end of May. Arsenal Club needs a passionate Manager with energy, tactics, fighting Spirit and drive. Situation far more desperate than most Arsenal fans have realised. - Post No. 102206

JM - LONDON  12:03pm 4th Jan 2017

Giroud out, Walcott out. Won't win anything with these clowns. Xhaka, well he's starting to make a habit of this. And yes I agree, who would blame Sanchez for heading back to sunny Espana. He's not going to win anything here. The team have looked unusually poor for the last 6 games. I'm not fooled by Giroud fancy goal, lazy statue at best. - Post No. 102207

Nick  12:05pm 4th Jan 2017

Great comeback yes but good performance definitely NOT ! The first Cherries goal typified the type of defending I hate ! Our right back was in a center half position leaving HIS flank unguarded our covering player saw it unfold but made little or no effort to get back to shore things up ! Surely to either Mustaphi or Kos should have told Billericay who for all his talent is still relatively inexperienced to GET THE HELL BACK TO HIS OWN POSITION ! The times I've seen our full backs on both flanks do exactly this and leave an opposition player the time and space he needs to either cross leisurely or drive into our box on countless occasions you would never have seen such defending from Dixon and Winterburn and had you test assured George Graham would have roasted them alive for it ! Bould obviously has NO input on our defensive coaching as the George Graham way would be indoctrinated in him ! The second and third goals were also rank bad defending albeit how the blatant shove on Hector going at full pelt wasn't given is beyond me ! As an attacking force it wasn't untill the arrival of Lukas Perez that we began to gel ,what more dpes the lad have to do to get a run in the side in a handful of appearances many as sub he has plundered 6 goals his finish last night was superb and his movement intelligent if we had a Bergkamp to spot his runs last night we may have even won the game ! Yet again though Wenger waits until the horse has well and truly bolted before trying to shut the stable door as he ALWAYS does ! We have some excellent players a really good coach could get far more from them and organise them far better ! Go Wenger please just go you are a spent force everyone with half an eye can see it except for those who are truly blind ! - Post No. 102208

Jude  12:10pm 4th Jan 2017

Ramsey was pants once again. Bellerin's positioning for the first goal beggars belief, but watch Ramsey -- who just points to the danger of a wide open Charlie Daniels -- jogging back. I'd suggest we sent the wrong midfielder on loan to Bournemouth. The Welshman's nowhere near good enough. - Post No. 102209

jjetplane  12:27pm 4th Jan 2017

Cherries on a great learning curve under a great young coach and again noted how Jack in his last game was a more controlled and measured player and all the better for it. Cite that as an example that if the presently corrupt Arsenal were to throw that useless accountant out in a nice way then I might like some of the players again. Giroud is a very naive player who has been bolstered by a historically useless coach. Remember when he thought he owned the French team after a goal he was soon back on the bench where he belongs. Things can only get better for the Cherries but things will have to stink a lot more around the leaking food mall before a simple change is made. Get in a coach who understands and loves football. The quite useless Wengo shows he hates the game when things get real. - Post No. 102210

Rochey  12:47pm 4th Jan 2017

The club has become a joke. We won't give a new contract to our best player who not only scores and assist's but also works harder than most of the team. let's replace him with a cheap french striker. But then we haven't cashed in a player for a while have we. As for the football...what an embarrassment,we crumble each time a team gets into our faces. We need to offload players like Ozil, Ramsey and Walcott AND Wenger but we all say this every year don't we. - Post No. 102211

GET WENGER OUT ASAP(MARCUS)  12:56pm 4th Jan 2017

Same old, same old..... Wenger needs to go..., this surely has to be his last season. Yesterday was also a reason why Eddie Howe should not be are next manager, how in the hell do you draw a game 3-3 when you are 3-0 up with 20 mins to go?? I'm sorry he is not good enough and will be another moyes!! We need a proven winner who has managed at a top club and been successful... - Post No. 102212

Exiled gooner in Portugal  12:57pm 4th Jan 2017

Spot on report. Usual horror show of pure Arsenal defending and to think some people thought Mustafi was the answer to all our problems at the back!! 6th spot looks a more likely end to yet another woeful season. Please let it be his last as his impression of Brian Clough is becoming very tiresome, at least Cloughie was pissed in his refusal to go when the time had come and he was not destroying the reputation of a so called big club!!!! Wenger and the board out give us our club back - Post No. 102213

Peter Wain  13:10pm 4th Jan 2017

same performance for this season and many seasons in the past.The management of the club seem incapable of learning from these abject performances and concentrate on excuse after excuse which the players take on board and take to the next performance. Bellerin was awful as were Mustafi Xhaka Ramsey and Iwobi who clearly is not a premiership player. The keeper did not cover himself in glory either and the managers winging over scheduling was a pathetic excuse. If we do not have fit players bring in more. Holding could have played and Adelaide could not have been worse than Iwobi. The truth is that this type of performance is not new and has been happening regulary over the last 6 years with no action being taken.Perez should have started and it is clear we will lose Sanchez and Ozil at the end of this season. Wenger out now. - Post No. 102215

Augustus Flair  13:16pm 4th Jan 2017

Peter Wain is right to point to Iwobi's awful performance. His closed-eyes headed goal against Palace was very fortunate and reminded me of my inglorious pub-player career. He is not a Premiership player, more one for Leyton Orient or Barnet. Sorry to be so blunt but there it is. - Post No. 102216

Bob  13:26pm 4th Jan 2017

Ratings this season: 9 - Sanchez 8 - Koscielney 7 - Bellerin, Walcott, Ozil, Giroud, Carzorla 6 - Cech, Monreal, Mustafi, Ox, Coq, Perez, Elnenney 5 - Xhaka, Gabriel, Ramsey, Iwobi And that's the problem......in a class team even the quieter players would be getting 7s, the rest 8s and 9s. - Post No. 102217

Reg  13:29pm 4th Jan 2017

Clouseau says we were tired defensively which explains Belerin having a nap for the first. Ramsey was tired too that's why he had a look and couldn't be arsed but hang on Ramsey only had an 18 minute jog out against Palace with only 50 hours recovery! Mustafi didn't play but bless him very tired. You really couldn't make it up but it doesn't stop the old twat! - Post No. 102218

Exeter Gunner  13:49pm 4th Jan 2017

The only true steely resolve and resilience on show at AFC is Wenger's absolute determination to not learn from his mistakes, or allow any help to do that which he's incapable of. One man's ego before the entire club. It's a shame Bournemouth couldn't keep going and dish out a proper thumping. Lots of defeats needed the rest of this season and a slide down the table, to force the massive shake up so desperately required. But Wenger's protected by a know-nothing board and know-nothing supporters who don't know what they're watching, so go by what Wenger's telling them they're watching instead, as he's 'Le Professor'. The first and most important order of business should in many ways suit this board as it's passive - just let the manager's contract expire. - Post No. 102219

mbg  14:23pm 4th Jan 2017

It was another shambles no matter what way you look at, a simple case of TOF and his nice boys thinking after a couple of wins against mediocre opposition oh and a lucky flick from the carthorse, they just had to turn up (yet again) they never fooking learn do they ? well they were taught a lesson again last night and brought back down to earth with sore arses,(along with the AKB's) and got away with it by the skin of their teeth, or the smell of their body spray, but will they learn ? will they f**k. Any resignation yet ? wenger out now. - Post No. 102220

mbg  14:35pm 4th Jan 2017

It simply hasn't been good enough for ten years now, (or nowhere near it) there's only one person to blame for that, a clueless old manager. wenger out now. - Post No. 102221

@chelsea hero  14:41pm 4th Jan 2017

I have never for a second got nervous whenever I look behind and see who's behind (me) chelsea is Arsene Wenger's Arsenal. spent 20 yrs and got 20 woe altogether - Post No. 102222

Ron  14:44pm 4th Jan 2017

Hi Rochey - ' we haven't cashed in on a player for a while .......' . There you've got it. The reason Sanchez will not sign a new contract (putting aside the issue of whether he would want to or not) is precisely that. Hes a jewel and we sell our jewellery. End of. The spin that we dont need to sell these days is just spin. Ive no probs with selling Ozil. In truth theres not a player there would sale would be lamented by me. Still feel a bit sorry for Ramsey and have done for 8 years. Hes tried hard to become the player he would have done if not for the Shawcross tackle, but his every movement since has been to avoid another bad injury as a priority, hence hes become an ultra lightweight player in a sea of humdrum N7 lightweights. Its right hes not good enough and hasent been since. The problem has been the Clubs loyalty to him. He could have had a far better career by moving 5/6 yrs back to a Club lower down the food chain in my view. The lad Frazer last night took me back many a year when we had Geordie Armstrong types and Talbots etc in our team with the self same bottle, drive and physical impetus to offer to games. B mouth were stronger all round physically. Wdt have lost had they had 11 men inc Frazer. They just ran out of steam as AFC cranked up their intensity a few notches. On Howe, he seems a likeable, very considered, cerebral and honest man, but his fit with Bmouth is in my view a perfect one. A jump to a large Club may prove too much to ask as i read him. So hope they survive in the PL though as they offer such a lot. Its the Palaces and Sunderlands that need ousting both who do nothing but stink the PL out yr on yr, plus its high time that grotesque fat bloated gum chewing Allardyce had the surly arrogance knocked from under him once and for all. Not sure why Giroud cops as much flak as he does. Hes not top marque of course, but s hes not a bottler either and that sets him apart there for me. Hes 30 and knows where his bread is buttered. A top class squad man in my view. Souness i think it was, said over the holiday period that hed love to enter the dressing room and take a look in the eyes of a few of the Arsenal players to see who he thought were up for a fight. We know who he was alluding too though dont we. PS the Kos did his trademark disappearing act last night, leaving the fray as the going got hard. How many times now? Quite a few. Bellerin now believes his own hype and needs bringing down a few pegs. One of the worst full back shows last night that ive seen in years. Monreal was nt much better. We ve had s--t full backs for years and the Centre backs always look exposed and worse than they really are as a result. Playing CB there is a thankless task and i can nearly understand why Kos can always find his opportune mystery injury when he wants out from time to time. Another who knows where his breads buttered he is. - Post No. 102223

mbg  14:54pm 4th Jan 2017

chris dee, good post, but you can bet there are those who will see it as a win and were whooping and celebrating as it were, Sad. - Post No. 102224

Aylesbury Gooner  15:34pm 4th Jan 2017

Preston North End next,will be their cup final so will be up for it.Nothing to worried about there then. - Post No. 102225

Highbury Boy  15:43pm 4th Jan 2017

As always I feel so sorry for Sanchez. Exceptionally skilful and always working hard. Scored and clutching the ball ran back to the centre circle to encourage the others that the game was still on. He is unfortunately wasting his time with us. How long before he treads the same path as other class players like RvP and Fabregas to go to a club who want to win? - Post No. 102226

Mark  16:10pm 4th Jan 2017

some good Posts here. extremely upsetting alround. Arsenal's real & new DNA (Born circa 2006/7) is finally becoming more clear for everyone to see. The real Arsenal died around summer 2006 when the owners saw the profits and starting to cash out. No one realised at the time how crtical David Dein had been. Bought into Arsenal for £250k and sold out for £70m?. He was the link to the old Arsenal that even in its worst days was full of fight and no one was given an easy ride at Highbury. Dead and buried now and People coming to realise that. The only Chance that we have to bring this Thing back to passionate life is to bring in a new Coach like a Conte or Klopp equivalent who will shake the place up. But let us be very honest with ourselves can you really see how Management owners allowing a SIMEONE to run the Show?? a street fighter who wants to take on Jose, Klopp, Pep and Conte ? the fans would of course ALL love to see this but I doubt that the owners do.... RIP Arsenal - Post No. 102227

Paul  16:15pm 4th Jan 2017

Ron the reason Giroud cops so much flak is his apalling league goalscoring record.He has never scored more than 16 league goals in any of his 4 seasons with us.Last season he actually went 16 games without a goal.That is absolutely pathetic.As for Giroud not being a bottler he reminds me of the lion in the Wizard of Oz - Post No. 102228

mbg  16:23pm 4th Jan 2017

Indeed typical of the Nancy boy/boys to think of their pathetic celebration/celebrations before the team, (didn't Morecambe and Wise used to do a silly skip like that years back ?) with still time for the winner, (Obviously the lucky flick has went to his head, and it was certainly big enough) how many times did we see Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright rush back to the centre circle carrying the ball with still time for the winner ? or Tony Adams sprinting back waving everybody to do the same, and George Graham screaming from the side lines waving everybody back and to get on with it and go for the winner ? No not these pathetic nice boys and their old past it manager, they haven't it in them. Any resignation yet ? - Post No. 102229

David  16:28pm 4th Jan 2017

"Aylesbury Gooner 15:34pm 4th Jan 2017 Preston North End next,will be their cup final so will be up for it." - Looking like Arsenal's cup final as well. By the time Arsenal get to Stamford Bridge in February, they could be concentrating on the Champions League and the top 4 trophy. Same old same old. - Post No. 102230

Mad Monk  16:41pm 4th Jan 2017

Well at least Wenger has acted on the defensive lapse last night by acquiring a world class defender! - Post No. 102231

Jason  16:56pm 4th Jan 2017

As much as I hate to say it, I'll be hoping for a Spurs win tonight. Not because I think we have any hope of catching Chelsea, but because failing to make the top 4 may be the only way to shake this club up. The whole mentality at Arsenal from top to bottom is shameful!! - Post No. 102232

Ron  17:10pm 4th Jan 2017

Hi Paul - take yr point mate but i only ever look at him as a support forward in which case his goal tally isnt bad at all. Hes a chap thats been asked to do a job thats beyond him really. Thats always a bosses fault and not the employee's. Hes made a decent fist of it though as i see it. Its his elevation to being a primary forward for most of his time with us that has been Wengers error, not Girouds. I do really feel that hes a spirited bloke and in the main, he digs in. I accept hes had matches in the past where hes looked lethargic, but name an Arsenal players who hasnt been allowed to get away with that this last 10 years or so. I think most have, inc even Sanchez occasionally. - Post No. 102233

mbg  17:11pm 4th Jan 2017

They've certainly done the chavs a favour (but no surprises there) they can afford a draw tonight, maybe even a loss, although it's not going to make any difference at the end of the day one way or the other anyway, but one things for sure regardless of the result we'll not see any complacency on show tonight from either club or fancy dan flicks from nice boys skipping around in celebration. wenger out - Post No. 102234

GoonerRon  17:11pm 4th Jan 2017

Our defending was just plain **** for the most part. For the first goal, whilst Bellerin should have been further across I do think Iwobi (who I think was playing right side midfield at the time) needs to be more switched on. Xhaka's challenge was idiotic (and not for the first time) although some of the comments about him on here are ridiculously OTT. 3rd goal shouldn't have stood. Great to come back and it could be an important point but ultimately this was a game we had to win. I think the difference in rest argument carries so far (50% more rest time is significant, as Eddie Howe admitted) but we just can't go 0-3 down because we're tired. So frustrated at the lack of first half performance. - Post No. 102235

Mark  17:16pm 4th Jan 2017

lets face it tonight you will see 2 Teams in a Gladiator ring fight to the death as they did last season in a fantastic match with some fisty cuffs also. bloody Passion desire massive will to win and overcome. reminds me of Tony Adams, Ian Wright, etc. I hope Wenger watches the match - Post No. 102236

CT Gooner  17:24pm 4th Jan 2017

My words of caution is don't be too hard on the players right now. Let's recall they were signed by Wenger, so some are just not upto it. Others however are very good professionals that I think a better manager will turn around(i.e. Hazard this year vs. last). Unfortunately, we won't trurly know which is which until our manager gets rightfully replaced. - Post No. 102237

Jason  17:34pm 4th Jan 2017

Another point while I'm on my high horse, how can Wenger blame fixture congestion when against Palace a) he substituted Elneny (who was off to the Afican Nations anyway, and Perez who didn't even start against Bournemouth. b) Arsenal played better in the last 20 against Bournemouth when in theory they should have been getting tired!! - Post No. 102238

Roy  17:39pm 4th Jan 2017

Jason, for the first time in my life ( and I'm no spring chicken anymore! ), I too will be hoping for a Spurs win tonight. - Post No. 102239

Bard  17:42pm 4th Jan 2017

Good report Kev. It was a quite unbelievable that first 50 mins for a side who are supposed to be title contenders. I dont think there can possibly be an argument for keeping Wenger. Even the nuetrals cant possibly think he is the right man to take us forward. Last night was reminiscent of so many games over the last 10 years. It never changes. The fact that this is allegedly the best squad for years and still the performances are exactly the same says it all. The argument that finances have kept us from competing is surely dead in the water. Some great posts, keep them coming. - Post No. 102240

Jamerson  17:48pm 4th Jan 2017

We have far too many weak bottlers for fans.The Wenger outs need to grow a pair and stop whinging.Many of these lightweights even want Chelsea to win tonight,they remind me of the Philistines and Baal worshippers from Old testament times,one of the elect is worth a thousand of these fools... - Post No. 102241

I remember when Arsenal cared about its supporters.  17:51pm 4th Jan 2017

-Did you lot have a bad Christmas?! - Post No. 102242

mbg  18:36pm 4th Jan 2017

jw indeed, remember that idiot during the gulf war who was standing giving an interview telling us all Saddam was still winning the war and still going to triumph as the American tanks rolled by in the background,(remind you of anyone) at least that half wit was standing up saying something. wenger out. - Post No. 102243

Mad Monk  19:22pm 4th Jan 2017

Apparently running 27 marathons in 27 days (Eddie Izzard) is easier than playing 2 games in 3 day's, we are lucky to have Giroud as he is better than Ibra , Bellerin had a touch of the cold and Wenger is still the man. Attwood has asked for evidence and a logical set of arguments with point's that can be analysed and tested in the same way his statistics proved Giroud is a better goalscorer than Messi. He and his 'soccer' loving moron's are the reason why Arsenal fan's are labelled bad losers and whingers similar to the manager. - Post No. 102245

Rob  19:33pm 4th Jan 2017

There's still half a season to go but it's obvious how this will finish. We are not going to win either the PL or the CL. Sanchez wil move on - either Spain or Italy ; and who will blame him ?The real teeth kick is that this will none Wenger's end. At least another two years. Only if the Emirates sheep revolt en mass, will it change. But whilst we have prats holding up 'Proud of Wenger. Ashamed of fans' banners, you have at least two more years of this. In fact I could see him here in 2020. FFS.... I gave up going in 2010 and said I wouldn't come back until there's a change. And I really fear more of the same for at least two more years unless the fan base turns nasty - Post No. 102247

CORNISH GOONER  20:15pm 4th Jan 2017

mbg - you beat me to it! L'Oreal's celebration after the 3rd goal was less "scorpion"{ooh - matron, so macho) & much more Eric Morcombe. I'm afraid the routine needs a lot more development. But I am sure he will be given plenty of time to work on it as this "team" is quite happy to accept mediocrity. Before last night I was not too keen on Howe but so depressing is the downward momentum of a once great FOOTBALL club that I am becoming an ABW - anyone but Wenger. "Be careful what you wish for" is a foolish phrase - a proper football club doesn't reward continual failure. - Post No. 102249

Bonzo  20:23pm 4th Jan 2017

Jamerson - your wife has a huge pair of balls in front of her right now. They belong to the plumber. - Post No. 102250

I havnt seen Ozil for a week  21:40pm 4th Jan 2017

The old man must be in bed by now. Anyway the Lane tonite would be far too noisy a place for soft ole arsene. And so we have arrived where we all knew we were heading to. Out of the top 4, shortly to go out of europe same time same place again. i wouldnt bet on us not getting done at preston given we dont have the bottle to play in the North West. we should all take 4-5 months off and pray Simeone listens to our prayers - Post No. 102251

Bonzo  21:48pm 4th Jan 2017

Jamerson - is it true every time Tottenham win your balls shrivel? I'm sure that's what your wife said. - Post No. 102252

Peter  22:01pm 4th Jan 2017

Oh No the BBC have given Arsene a reason to stay because they have stated that Tottenham "Doing Arsenal a favour" by beating Chelsea as and I quote:- "14 – Arsenal’s run of 14 successive wins between Feb-Aug 2002 (over two seasons) remains the all-time top flight English league record. Safe". Just what the real fans of The Gooners want another excuse to keep Wenger. Tottenham win and Man Utd doing well could mean Europe League matches for us next year. So if this happens hopefully all real fans will make sure Emirates is empty every home match if Wenger still there. - Post No. 102254

mbg  22:02pm 4th Jan 2017

I think someone ha already mentioned Sanchez letting the welsh Jesus know what he thought of him as he put his hands up in apparent despair (as if he was going to do a better job) as Sanchez fired over the bar during the game yesterday, GMS got the translator in although it wasn't really needed, Sanchez told him to f**k off, TOF will not have liked that show of passion or out burst from him as he likes harmony and cosiness among his little dears at all times, so well done to Sanchez, and the welsh Jesus hadn't much to say after being put in his box, little pratt, Any resignation yet ? - Post No. 102255

Arseneknewbest  22:09pm 4th Jan 2017

Yippee - we're fifth! Jamee son - shame you weren't bored to death. Utter garbage indeed. - Post No. 102256

mbg  22:24pm 4th Jan 2017

Mad Monk, obviously the baseball seasons over. - Post No. 102257

Paul Ward  23:25pm 4th Jan 2017

Glad Chelsea lost, didn't want them breaking our winning run record. Have to admit Tottenham were impressive tonight, displaying a desire and energy that was the polar opposite of our pathetic showing last night.Gonna be close but I predict us and City to miss out on the top four, tippy tappy football based on possession does not seem to cut the mustard in the Prem these days, bit like Arsene Wenger really. - Post No. 102259

jjetplane  23:27pm 4th Jan 2017

Ha ha ha! Alii showing up Ozil big time. That is how you turn up in big games. Two classes above them old Totts! Good result and more of them will finally get Wengo out! Was it the Riviera Touch wot starred Giroud? hahahahah .... Love this PL circus - pick and mix like the supermarket it is. Arsenal may finish 6th as predicted .... bye bye Southwold the water is coming! - Post No. 102260

a mere walking hillock  0:08am 5th Jan 2017

jamerson, you pretend to be a follower of Christ, but the way you comport yourself is incompatible with Christ's holy gospel. You do the Lord a shameful disservice and injustice to his high and holy cause by pretending to be one of his followers whilst behaving in a manner which is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with his. Did the Lord behave in a humble manner? If the incarnate most high God of the universe behaved in a humble manner, then I'm not sure why you as one of his followers continually behaves in such a boastful, ungracious manner. - Post No. 102261

mbg  0:40am 5th Jan 2017

jj, I have to say I was also impressed with Alii tonight, big and strong, reminded me of Henry in his pomp, i'd imagine he's just like Henry was, has it in him and needed/needs no coaching, him and the rest playing power football none of this tippy tappy crap, imagine how he'd end up if TOF got his scrawny hands on him. wenger out. - Post No. 102262

Mungo  5:47am 5th Jan 2017

Jamerson - you have been identified as a charlatan and a fraud a worker for the great trickster of man for it is true only a follower of Satan could continually boast and bully with your aggression and desire for worldly objects and desires. You and your false elect are doomed to the fiery pit. - Post No. 102263

Peter  6:02am 5th Jan 2017

Jamerson your comments "The WOBs never turn up for games so can't see many boycotting matches" and "Most ..are too bone to appreciate good football anyway". We appreciate good football but have not had this at Emirates for sometime and then only once in a while. We are not paying top prices to watch rubbish for usually 80%-85% of the game for the past few seasons. The only way therefore to get change at thsi club is to not go to matches. Mind you non supporters of Gooners still want to go to say they have ticket it off their "to do list before dying". Also true fans have "bone" (not as you stated) because the bone they have is a brain and it is telling them to not go to see rubbish. - Post No. 102264

Peter  6:14am 5th Jan 2017

GREAT NEWS. Just read sky sources and we are going to sign a fantastic defender called Cohen Bramall. Great news after the awful defencive performance against Bournemouth. He has great experience and can play in Champions League because we are buying him from that well know club Hednesford, who play in the seventh-tier Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH OUR CLUB? - Post No. 102265

Arseneknewbest  8:58am 5th Jan 2017

Readable article in the Guardian (for a change...) about Arsenal's 14 game winning streak back in 2002. 15 years ago in the apparently endless wengacean geological era. We are formally a club living off its past glories thanks to the fossilised chihuahua. Peter - Bramhall will join asano (the real one), chambers, sanogo, jenko and others in wenger's self-styled land of nod. As depressing as being tied up in Jamee son's caravan for a warm potato juice suffolk weekend. - Post No. 102266

Joe S.  10:31am 5th Jan 2017

I notice that about one in three of you knowledgeable people seem to be pointing the finger at Ozil and blaming him for the Bournmouth shambles. I know that Ozil can sometimes go missing but the last time I looked at the team sheet he wasn't even on it. Much easier to point the finger at Ramsey and Giroud two really useless wasters. I also think Iwobi has also been given a bad rap, he kept trying ang looking for an opening. he and Bellarin were sriously missing Ozil's guile. How cold they trust the ball to the other three pedestrian midfielders? I think we must be watching different games. Nobody seems to praise the Ox,but he had a positive influence doing a lot of Bellerin;s defensive work, while trying to spark something in attack.Then there was a contrast of contrast of two players: and their respective Sanchez scores, runs to pick the ball out of the nets and get on with the game. Giroud equalises and then parties on with his AKB accolytes Game over. We have a draw and I'm a hero. - Post No. 102268

mbg  14:39pm 5th Jan 2017

Peter i doubt coming to the Emirates to watch Arsenal under wenger would be on anyone's bucket list as the experience would only speed the process up and bring death closer, there again if someone wanted it that way a ticket might be cheaper than one of these euthanasia clinics. - Post No. 102292

mbg  15:01pm 5th Jan 2017

Peter, no doubt another Steptoe then, maybe even his horse as if one wasn't bad enough. wenger out. - Post No. 102294

Moscow Gooner  16:14pm 5th Jan 2017

Wenger prepared the ground nicely for surrender at Bournemouth by whining about the fixture list at Christmas: getting excuses in early so no real surprise that we fell apart. And shouldn't Giroud be dropped and/or fined for that celebration?? Chapman, Mee or Graham would have put him on the transfer list. Utterly unacceptable to waste time like that and settle for a draw when a win was vital. One scorpion kick does not a season make.... - Post No. 102297

NocebIb  23:07pm 5th Jan 2017

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JAGS  3:31am 6th Jan 2017

Face it Giroud is second rate on a good day , the goal against Palace was pure luck , he doesnt put in a shift , Ramsey since his leg break has had one purple patch but he is done , we miss cazorla , walcotts pace and sanchez must play in the middle .Giroud can com eon for 10 mins at the end thats all , and all you anti Wengers who have only ever been to the Emirates be carfeul what you wish for , some of us experienced the mid 70;s and 80;s with a succession of idiots in charge - Post No. 102341

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