Arsenal 0-2 Swansea | Their wage bill is £17.4m, ours is £130m

I had a family function to attend this afternoon and for the first time I can remember I didn’t try to get out of it when I realised it clashed with an Arsenal match. Nor did I moan about not being able to watch a stream of the game or listen to a radio commentary. Instead I kept half an eye on Soccer Saturday flickering away quietly in the corner of the room and waited for the inevitable update. The only surprise was that it took so long for Swansea to score.

It is sad that my enjoyment at watching Arsenal has been eroded to the point I no longer care whether I see matches or not. My two cousins are season ticket holders (I finally had enough and let mine lapse this summer) and had no qualms about giving their tickets away in order to attend today’s do.

At this point I want to make something very clear. Neither I nor my cousins are fairweather fans having a tantrum because we’re not lifting trophies anymore or because we only want to go when we’re winning. We have been Gooners all our lives, going to Highbury regularly through the good days and the bad, and fully understand that we don’t have a divine right to win anything.

However, we’re disillusioned because Arsenal’s mediocrity on the pitch and consistent selling of top players coincides with us having £154m in the bank. Why isn’t some of that invested in the team? To add insult to injury we are charged the highest ticket prices in the world despite this huge cash reserve. It is nothing more than greed from an out of touch board interested in profit margins instead of football results and to hell with what the supporters think because they’ll keep turning up regardless. How did Peter Hill-Wood end the AGM recently? Oh yes, that was it: “Thank you for your interest in our affairs.”

And I thought Wenger was arrogant!

I’ve got a lot more to say about the current situation and where the club is heading, but I’ll save that for another article. Regarding today’s game, I won’t bother with a match report because even though I watched the extended highlights on Football First, it’s impossible to judge properly if you haven’t seen the match live. I want to touch on a few points though.

Firstly, when I saw the teamsheet at 2.55pm and noticed we were playing a front three of Gervinho, Podolski and Walcott, I thought: “Oooh, Podolski is getting a game up front. About time — he is wasted on the wing. Or will it be Walcott? He deserves a go, has Wenger finally given him his chance?”

Erm, no. Wenger gave the nod to a woefully off form winger and kept our top scorer on one flank and a man who’s netted 44 times for Germany on the other. So it was no surprise that our best chance of the first half was a free header which Gervinho fluffed so badly that it didn’t even go out for a goal kick.

Michu opens the scoring at Emirates

A clinical finish earns the Swans a deserved win

My take is that Wenger wouldn’t play Walcott up front even if he was our only fit forward. He is trying to show him who’s boss and is too stubborn to admit that Walcott has a point and should be given a chance through the middle. Wenger is letting his arrogance and his terrible handling of the contract situation hinder the team and that is rank bad management. A rusty Gervinho up front instead of Podolski or Walcott? Absolutely ridiculous.

Secondly, we are suffering through having no proper defensive midfielder. Arteta is doing his best as a short term stop-gap, but he is not good enough as a screen for the back four against quality sides. I noticed he was beaten quite easily a couple of times and then Michu was allowed to run straight at our retreating backline in the build up to his goal. I know we were pushing forward looking for a winner, but as Wenger said in his post match interview, if you can’t win you must make sure you don’t lose. With Arteta trying to break up play instead of Song, we are much more likely to lose.

Thirdly, by all accounts Swansea were good value for their win, especially in the first half. The BBC report credits us with only 44% of possession, which staggers me, and with less shots than our visitors. Certainly our best player was Szczesny which says a lot.

So let’s put this into perspective — we were outpassed and outplayed on our own pitch by a team whose record signing is £5.55m (Pablo Hernandez, who wasn’t even playing!) and whose wage bill is £17.4m. Ours is £130m.

That puts paid to the oft quoted excuse from AKBs that we can’t afford to spend as much as Man City or Chelsea so therefore Wenger is immune from criticism blah blah blah. Well, we can certainly afford to compete with the likes of Swansea, so I’d say today’s result and being below them in the league represents a serious case of poor management. Anybody want to come up with some excuses for him in the comments this week? And don’t say “It was raining” because an AKB already used that for the Aston Villa game. I’m being serious, he really did.

So we’ve slipped to 10th, five points behind Spurs in that coveted Champions League spot. On Friday Wenger was still trying to maintain that we could win the league which looks pretty hollow now we’re 15 points behind Man Utd. Coincidentally, we’re 15 points ahead of QPR who are bottom — I think it’s time to get real Wenger and acknowledge the severity of our situation. And while we’re at it, stop saying our spirit is great after every single match. It quite clearly isn’t so stop insulting our intelligence.

I want to end on a positive note, but I’m really struggling. The best I can come up with is that we may have lost, but at least we didn’t feel the need to spitefully fabricate a serious accusation against Mark Clattenburg. Crap we may be, but we’re not bitter chavs with no class!

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Comments
  1. Mickle mad

    Your headline sums up how badly we are underachieving this season. Nowhere near good enough

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  2. gooner

    That’s it.Wenger is deluded if he thinks he can still win the epl.This latest defeat shows his tactics of ball possession and passing all the time ant working.
    When you see how other teams score with three to five passes ,it makes you wonder why Wenger opts for this style.
    Football is a simple game. He doesn’t want to go direct and chooses the intricate square passing as top priority.That is why he is playing into the hands of other teams who let him have 90% possession and hit him with a direct pass and a goal.

    Swansea played in the same way that Chelsea and MU with Ronaldo did some time ago. Wenger still doesn’t want to change his tactics.Change he must or he will be leading ARsenal to mid table at season’s end.If that is the case its’time he calls it a day and let someone who has a more pragmatic style take over.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  3. Andy

    exactly. while the board keep selling the fans the dream that FFP will allow Arsenal to compete with the other ‘big’ spenders, it said nothing why we can’t win against team with less money at their disposal.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  4. talib

    time up for wenger now . he has not longer able to handle arsenal kid on EPL. the team now are no longer viable to match other top 4. Liverpool,chelsea, have brave enough to proof they can come up after change old manager why not ARSENAL without win 6 season? Board are sleeping and collect money they dun even care the voice of fan to bring top player to replace , VAN PERSIE,SONG,CESC,KALO TOURE,ADIBAYOR,GLINCY, NASRI, ..WHERE All this money goes? TIME to gunner fan EMPTY THE STADIUM if the chairman still keep WENGER. to many FRENCH player in wenger squad that a reason why he keep big head.

    SAVE NOW NO NEED UNTIL JAN WINDOW SPEND BUYING KID TO SCHOOL

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  5. ojong odo

    I love your comments but its a little hallow. Chelsea lost to west ham so compare their wage bills, a few weeks back Man Utd lost to Norwish again compare de wagebill, last season we lost to swansea but still finished ahead of them on de table alone 17 other clubs my point is u don’t draw such conclusion until de season is over cus you never know how both teams finish. The positive is that eventhough we are 10th on d table we only have 5 points seperating us from 3rd place so a desent run will see us back in the top 4. My realistic expectation for dis season is a top 3 place and any of d domestic cups and so far we are still on point.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 21

  6. Ben

    Wenger’s is an idiot. How is Gervinho a center forward? He is small, short, poor header of the ball, and cannot shoot straight except on rare occasions. What is he thinking? Even Podolski or Walcott would have been a better choice. He has really lost the plot. He needs to go. Tired of hearing his excuses: lacking a bit of sharpness and creativity in the final third, fatigue, other team playing negative football, playing with handbrake on etc.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  7. Dobromir

    AKBs? Really, do people still use that term? It’s so 2006.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. hussein

    Hi, let us just to talk individual players because its clear that they really donot have a winning metality and if they do then they are not morally motivated our play is dull and not creative ,tell me why Podoski ,oliveria and Gev arenot creative yet they are good players ,this may be the manager’s role but individual player’s respossibility to improve on the teams performance.we need players to know that we should only relax if we have started winning trophies,AW please stop being conservative,learn from others to improve .

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. hussein

    please stop buying tickets and club products to protest the performance may some people are after our team to see it perform poorly day in day out.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  10. Joseph

    apparently we are jaded. then we have a mid-week olympiacos game where we’ll be even more jaded then the weekend after that the jadedness will reach monumental levels and with tight fixtures like this until next year, i guess our only hope will be an internatiinal break now, but then we’ll be even more jaded. by sheer quality and removing luck from the picture, we will finish 6th in the league. our only hope for top 4 now is IF we get lucky. Been a gooner since 1996 when wenger joined. ive stuck by him through thick and thin, defending him online against what i was calling plastic fans, but now it is clear that he is the problem. he has assembled a below average team that will only depend on luck and occassional carzola brilliance to create goals and win matches. he keeps saying we play attacking football but is that true? one goal in three matches against mid-table teams? i dont even know what style we are playing now, we are not defending, we cant dominate midfield, we are definitely not creating scoring chances. so what style are we playing??? we have an average defense, an average midfield and a superb attack. this combination should be able to challenge for atleast the EPL and FA cup. but our playing style continually creates less clear chances for the strikers and inturn make them look useless. giroud is a world class striker with no service around him. gervinho and ramsey are not arsenal players. the ox and walcott can flourish anywhere but arsenal is killing their careers esp the ox. if zaha wanted to join us, he must be having second thoughts now… its all down to tactics, squad improvement and mentality, which means its all down to the manager

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  11. ArsenalFanatic

    Our fans have the team we deserve, shit.

    Swansea’s fans got behind them and pushed them on to victory!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 20 Thumb down 16

  12. bergkampdude

    WENGER OUT !!!!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

  13. sadgunner

    I think you got that winning the league part wrong. Wenger said we can go top of the table he was talking about CL group stages, rest all i agree with whatever is the in the article. If u see the match live u’ll notice that players didn’t even run enough. Wenger talks about quality and stuff, its not true, in the match against everton and Swansea u’ll notice that no player could hold the ball or beat a player, no quick passes nothing, midfield was tight and we were trying to go through flanks(which has never been our game) with Gervinho in the middle.
    Also wenger said they bought intelligently and after the match it kept ringing in my head : “the fuck did you do”.
    Well when you see it you’ll get what i was talking about. Matches get aired back to back and you see class (even Chelsea showed it in the first half) and character (Man U does it week after week). Traits we never saw this season.
    If Wenger were true economist he’d understand that trophies bring money.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  14. Lobster

    Ojong, has more sense than most of the people in here, including the author. Well done at being able to keep ure head in all this madness son

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    • Gooner Steve

      Priceless! Ignore all logic and everything your eyes tell you and then intimate I make no sense without giving a single reason why or attempting to counter any of my arguments.

      Keep the faith because that’s all it is — blind faith.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. jackarmy

    we out played u swansea r a better team jack army !

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  16. Ascot jack

    Our players play their heart out for their team-mates, their manager and their fans. Mostly your players play for their WAG’s shopping budget and their own egos. Wenger seems to have lost the players and is now losing the fans. His team slection & tactics gave us the opportunity to exploit our own game plan and simply enjoy our day out.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  17. Andy jack

    looking forward to the cup game ??I am:-):-)

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Gooner Steve

      And so you should. You outplayed us the last two times we met and I’ll be amazed if the bookies make us favourites for that one.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0