Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn | We. Keep. Making. The. Same. Mistakes.

Back in December Wenger fielded his first team against lower league Bradford. The players weren’t motivated, didn’t take their opponents seriously, performed badly and lost.

Today Wenger fielded his reserves against lower league Blackburn. The players weren’t motivated, didn’t take their opponents seriously, performed badly and lost.

The problem is therefore not the personnel — it is Wenger. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the first team or the reserves, Wenger’s inability to instill a ruthless mentality in his side and coax a performance out of them is why we have crashed out of two very winnable cups in the most humiliating of circumstances.

I am staggered that the lesson of Bradford has not been learned. It was only nine weeks ago for goodness sake, but the same calamitous mistake has already been repeated. That is simply unacceptable.

But that sums up Wenger’s approach to managing Arsenal these days — refuse to even acknowledge your weaknesses, let alone do anything about them, and carry on regardless hoping things will magically come good.

Sold your only defensive midfielder in the summer? Play Arteta there and hope it works out.
Only got one decent keeper on the books? Play Mannone when Szczesny’s injured and hope it works out.
Conceding a lot of goals from set pieces? Persist with a zonal marking system and hope it works out.
Does the team consistently defend badly? Keep coaching attacking play and hope it works out.
Struggling to break down a stubborn defence? Keep passing sideways a lot and hope it works out.
Adrift of the top four in January and need reinforcements? Stick with the same squad and hope it works out.
(Yes we bought Monreal, but only because Gibbs got injured. Where is Song’s replacement? Or Chamakh’s? Or a decent keeper to keep Szczesny focused so he doesn’t make mistakes like today?)

Consider Wenger’s response to the Bradford defeat:

“Where it leaves our season is to focus on the next game. Sport is about that. Win the next game [and] focus on the next game.”

And after today’s match:

I think it is important to focus on our next game and it is a good opportunity to show that we have character and are men who can fight for each other.

So just move on then. Don’t even consider for one second that something is very wrong and changes are necessary on and off the pitch.

Keep doing what you’re doing and hope it works out.

It should be our new club motto because nothing ever changes. Nobody is ever held accountable, no lessons are learned and the next screw up is just around the corner. How long can it be allowed to go on? Seven trophy-less seasons has now become eight and we are far too inconsistent to finish fourth.

Wilshere after the Blackburn defeat

If only every player cared as much as this man

I’m so angry I haven’t even talked about the game itself yet. Much has been made of Wenger’s seven changes, but I think it was the right call. The likes of Cazorla and Wilshere needed a rest and the purpose of a big squad is to use it effectively throughout the season so your stars aren’t burned out by March. Besides, as I said earlier the issue is one of motivation, not skill level. Our first team fared no better against Bradford, remember. While I acknowledge our squad players aren’t great, they still should’ve been good enough to beat Blackburn if they were sufficiently focused and professional. That they weren’t is my beef with Wenger, not his team selection.

From minute one Blackburn got men behind the ball and worked hard to frustrate us. That combined with our casual approach meant we created just two good chances in a lacklustre first half. Diaby had a header well saved before Gervinho was put clean through by Rosicky. The man described by Wenger as the best player in the Africa Cup of Nations shot wastefully wide and put his head in his hands. If he was the best player in the tournament I’m glad I didn’t waste my time watching any of it.

I expected our customary improvement after the break but it didn’t really materialise. We had plenty of possession but Blackburn were restricting us to pot shots from distance. They weren’t doing anything extraordinary to keep us out, they were just well organised, committed and rode their luck when they had to. If we’d shown even half their desire we’d have been in the hat for the next round.

Rosicky was unlucky to hit the bar with a terrific long range strike before Wenger sent for the cavalry. Wilshere, Cazorla and Walcott came on but couldn’t rescue the situation. In fact Walcott was culpable in the goal when he failed to track Olsson as the Swede chased a long ball into our half. When it broke to him, his effort was parried by Szczesny straight to Kazim-Richards, who bobbled a mis-hit shot in off the post.

It was a shocking goal to give away. Szczesny had nothing to do all game, but when called upon he presented the rebound to Kazim-Richards instead of palming it to safety. Brilliant last week against Sunderland, he has shown himself to be inconsistent — much like Arsenal really.

We laid siege to the Blackburn goal but couldn’t force an equaliser. Walcott headed straight at the keeper and Arteta lashed an injury time shot into the side netting as the visitors held on for their valiant victory. Boos rained down from the angry and frustrated home support, but they won’t have worried Wenger.

His solution is simple — move on to the next game and hope it works out.

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Comments
  1. Mo Hafiz

    This is so shockingly right…Thats summed been the last 8 years for Arsenal ‘Ahhh we lost today, we’ll win the next one’

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  2. Tulula

    Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  3. Danish Gooner

    The worst is yet to come.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  4. Frank

    By T.boy

    IT’S OFFICIAL: Arsenal has extended its contract with Trophyless for one more season. Trophyless who signed with Arsenal in August 2005 have spent 7 yrs @ d club and is delighted with his contract extension. In an interview with Radio Kossi, Trophyless said, ”I am over the moon with this contract extension, and I hope to repay this club (Arsenal) with good displays. The fans and the coach believe in me thats why they extended this contract. I hope to stay here for many more seasons bcos I feel @ home here. I want to end my career here. I know with d help of d coach (Arsene) and d support of d fans, I would achieve this

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  5. docbrody

    “The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  6. Hitul

    Great post!!! You’ve nailed it!! As well as Wengers one-eyedness and players lack of cohones, the other missing ingredients for me are lack of grit and toughness, jack the only leader (TV captain?!?), and the crazy system we play. Wengers forgotten his own success formula, which was rooted in 442. Couldn’t agree more with “In Arsene we trusted”. Sad, but he’s not going to change….

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  7. mudah

    In 3 words “wenger must go”

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  8. EIE

    Wenger you cunt, die a nasty death you arrogant prick!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 23

  9. Fishface

    That you Gerald?

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Shanzuman

    Where are you indoctrinated Arsene Wenger followers who have been slagging us and the writer of this blog for not getting behind our team and that we are not true fans etc. Are you now happy that we have gone thru yet another trophyless season? I suppose you are now looking forward to the next match and the beating of Bayern Munich!! We will be lucky if we marginally loose!! We tell the truth as we see it and as true passionate caring fans have been voicing our deep concerns for a long time now but to deaf ears. I hated today not because of what I have just said but the shear way we lost ……. trying to win a game with the likes of Diaby, Coquelin (at right back????), Rosicky, Gervinho etc, mediocre players who think playing for the Arsenal will win them games. Wenger has lost it, is not keeping up with the modern game and has become more and more stubborn and it is time he does the honourable and resigns.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • Gooner Steve

      I wouldn’t expect the Arsene worshippers to pipe up tonight. They will have buried their heads firmly in the sand at the final whistle and will keep them there all weekend to make sure they don’t have to hear any criticism against Arsenal from disloyal fans like us.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

      • Shanzuman

        We are not disloyal fans!! As I said we care passionately about our club and want us to succeed and win trophies.

        Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Gooner Steve

          I know. I was being ironic!

          Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. Corinthian

    Arsen “arrogant”
    I suppose that’s what happens when you mix with with pathetic Gooners

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  12. gooner-girl

    Horrible. Heartbreaking. But not surprising. Rosicky an old campaigner was the only one who knew what was required and he was taken off. Often booting seems counterproductive but this time the boos were richly deserved. Every single player bar rosicky in my opinion should be ashamed of himself and the manager should too. I’m gutted.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. Leon

    The Arsenal manager is not judged on results on the pitch but rather financial results. He is excellent at managing on a zero budget thus maximising profit for the board and for that reason Wenger’s job is the most secure job in the premiership. As long as he is making money he will be around until he dies or decides to leave. The fans and trophies mean nothing…

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Caz

    One cannot criticise AW – never failed to reach knockout stages of CL on a breakeven budget ffs? Who could do better? In Arsene we trust!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6