Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd | You don’t know what you’re doing!

Most of the headlines post-match have been about that substitution and that’s where I want to start. There was anger, boos and chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing!” from sections of the crowd when Wenger replaced our best performer with Arshavin straight after we’d equalised. It was a ridiculous decision and all our momentum was lost, but it summed up our increasingly stubborn manager and here’s why.

When Gervinho left for Africa after the Fulham match everybody was clamouring for Oxlade-Chamberlain to be given his chance in the next league game against Swansea. We’d had enough of Arshavin by then with his woeful form and casual attitude and the Ox looked ready. But Wenger decided to give Arshavin yet another chance and was rewarded with an ineffective display (who’d have thought!) as we lost to a team more spirited than us.

Today it seemed the penny finally dropped and Wenger gave Oxlade-Chamberlain his first league start, claiming he was now ‘ready’. If he was ready now then surely he was ready just seven days ago? Judging from his performance today it’s a fair bet the result may have been very different if the Ox had started in Wales.

This sums up one of Wenger’s key flaws — sticking with players who aren’t good enough for way too long. Arshavin has been useless for over a year now but Wenger keeps on playing him. Just like he kept playing Denilson, Almunia, Bendtner etc until he realised long, long after everyone else that they were finished at the club.

So seconds after Oxlade-Chamberlain sets up van Persie for the equaliser to cap an excellent display, he is yanked off for Arshavin.

UNBE-FUCKING-LIEVABLE! Not only is our best performer replaced while the likes of Walcott stay on, but Arshavin get’s another chance!

And what happens? The lethargic Russian makes a lazy, half-arsed attempt to stop Valencia and seconds later the ball is in our net. Who could have predicted that? Well actually, 60,000 people inside the Emirates and a few million at home. But not, it would seem, the man paid £7m a year to make easy choices like leaving our most dangerous player on when the momentum is with us and United are vulnerable.

I think a large number of supporters lost faith in Wenger after that and the boss didn’t help matters with his comments afterwards:

“We lost the game just now and I do not have to explain to you what I do. I have to stand up to the result and the subs. I’ve been 30 years a manager and made 50,000 subs and I have to justify every decision I make to you? I stand up for it. I do not have to explain to you every single decision I make.”

That’s typical Wenger — stubborn and arrogant. His attitude is ‘I know better than you, don’t dare to question me’. He went on to say:

“I can understand the fans are upset about the substitution, especially when it doesn’t work. It means I made the right decision at the start of the game [to play Oxlade-Chamberlain].”

It was also the right decision to start him last week and probably even before that but you didn’t, so don’t congratulate yourself too much. He continued:

“He had started to fatigue. He was sick in the week. You have an 18-year-old kid making his first Premier League start and a player who’s captain of his country and they are querying the substitution? Let’s be serious.”

When the captain of his country has been off-form and disinterested for months and the 18-year-old kid is the game’s outstanding player, then yes, we are querying the substitution. Interestingly, Match of the Day 2 interviewed the Ox who said physically he felt absolutely fine so I don’t know where Wenger got his ‘he had started to fatigue’ information from.

Arshavin replaces Oxlade-Chamberlain

'Am I bothered?' No Andrei, we can see you no longer are

While I’m having a rant about Wenger talking rubbish, I want to mention Arsenal.com because it seems like the site is an extension of the bullshit we are being fed by Wenger. I’m fed up with the propoganda and patronising spin they put on everything. For example, there’s a story on there now called ‘Wenger – Walcott is on the way back up’. Yeah, of course he is. We saw that today with another confident, dazzling display. The humdinger though is the main headline, which at the time of writing is: ‘We played our game but weren’t rewarded.’

Excuse me? If that was ‘our game’ then we need to go back to the drawing board. It makes it sound like we were robbed when the truth is that Arsenal were outplayed for most of this match. The only time we were competitive was for half an hour straight after halftime when we created five excellent chances of which only one was put away — more frustrating profligacy.

If we’d played like that in the first half the game would have been different, but we were all over the place defensively and only Oxlade-Chamberlain was offering any threat going forward. Much has been made of our missing full backs and Ferguson was clever in targeting Djourou, who endured a torrid 45 minutes at the hands of Nani and Evra. For some reason he then stood off one of the world’s best crossers and allowed Giggs time and space to pick out Valencia, who beat Vermaelen too easily for 1-0.

It was no more than the visitors deserved. Koscielny and Szczesny apart, we looked hesitant and nervous at the back with Song offering little protection as his poor form continued.

The second half was much better, with our improved attacking play forcing Man Utd onto the back foot. RVP missed a sitter, Ramsey blazed over, Rosicky had a good chance blocked and Oxlade-Chamberlain shot just wide as we carved them open.

Man Utd still looked dangerous on the break though — Mertesacker cleared off the line after being embarrassingly skinned and Szczesny saved well when Evra burst through.

Still, this was more like it. With the crowd roaring the team on and the sparky Oxlade-Chamberlain at the heart of everything, he ran at the defence before setting up van Persie’s neat finish. 20 minutes to go, 1-1, Man Utd deflated and Arsenal in the ascendancy — this match was there for the taking.

But then Wenger made his fatal error, van Persie publicly voiced his disapproval and all the momentum fell away. Man Utd regrouped and when Valencia eased his way inside Arshavin, both Song and Vermaelen made poor efforts to rescue the situation and Welbeck finished off a crisp passing move.

In desperation we brought on Park and moved Mertesacker up front. It didn’t work. It’s sad, but after our goal on 70 minutes we didn’t create another decent chance.

So was “You don’t know what you’re doing!” a fair shout? As an assessment of the substitution, I’d say certainly. As an assessment of the season so far? I’m beginning to think so.

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Comments
  1. Richard Goh

    Three straight defeats in 5 years?
    Unable to qualify for Europe next year?
    I think the club will need to look into these ‘shame’ and the manager. If he is still goin to be ‘arrogant’ he sud leave the club. Great things he has done but let admit it he is no Fergie. He mentioned that the Ox was starting to fatigue, a whole lot of bull as he was still the most dangerous for Arsenal before he left.
    Changes please!!!!!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  2. Unruly

    He dosen’t have a clue what happening on the playing side of the sports, spent most of his time thinking about the finances of Europe’s elite. Too old, for years now he have been making these mistakes and making Ferguson looks like a genius. The prem is so poor, look at what AFC is doing for the past 6 years and remains in the top four, i can see why we are exposed this year

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. brian waldron

    ANother disaster from the frech idiot. When will arsene realize that were just not good enough. Players like djourou,ramsey, song and walcot were made to look stupid by the likes of nani, valencia etc. Yet our coach continues to sprout bullshit at every opportunity. As for his sustitution were not even going to try work thatv one out, oxilade will follow Rvp,etc out the door if he persists in punishing good form. the board , the fans and the few good players we have need to stand together and demand some possitive changes before were no better than also rans!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. itopa okene

    Some bunch of fools called fans have jus start 2 realise now dat wenger has nothing 2 offer again. Imagine ds man getn senile insisted dat he wont buy any player ds window. CURSE b on d myopic wenger n d greedy board 4 dstroyn arsenal.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Scott

    Can the learned author explain a few things,please.
    What was Song(defender) doing just after Arshavin(attacker)was beaten?
    Has ANY ignorant,arrogant wanker writing this SAME article,just in their own words,acknowledged the fact that we created MORE scoring opportunities,then proceeded to stuff them up,than our opposition?
    This seems important to me,as a 2-1 scoreline determines how many points we get,not whether the dickhead Wenger haters will be handed new material to whinge about.
    RVP was the biggest culprit in missing an absolute certainty,yet NONE OF YOU legends have mentioned it-why I’d that.
    You fool’s were conspicuous with your absence a month ago,yet are jumping all over Wenger now…..again,why is that so?
    Last,do any if you arseholes actually follow the side????
    Complete scumbags!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    • Gooner Steve

      Scott, would you care to explain why Arsenal are sitting outside the top four, 10 points behind Spurs, having won nothing for the last 6 years DESPITE being the third richest club in the world with millions sitting idly in the bank following the sale of our best two players last summer, neither of who has been properly replaced?

      I put it down to poor management both on and off the field. If I’m wrong, explain what the real reason is because I and a few thousand others would love to know.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Shanzuman

    Scott, I don’t normally like to use your type of language but after the disappointment yesterday, last week, all season so far, 7 years without anything and your arrogant comment above the only language you seem to understand is the abusive type. So why don’t you go fuck yourself with all the other asshole Wenger supporting cunts and piss off to your fucking fantasy land. Oh and also take with you the fucking Arsenal Board who are stuffing themselves with all the land they can buy all around the Highbury and Emirates stadium so as to capitalise later on their property development plans. Clearly not giving a toss what happens to the team as they have asshole Wenger to look after proceedings knowing fuckers like you will always love and stand by what ever he does. We are the true fans because we care and are passionate what happens to the team we support as we voice our concern for the betterment of the club. Yes we are happy when we win and obviously don’t whinge at AW or any one else but will state our view when after 7 years the club has done nothing. You are the the complete scumbug not us.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. DanS

    If Ryan Giggs can haul is 72 year old ass up and down the field for 90 minutes, than an eighteen year old should be able to as well. If not, something is seriously wrong on the training ground. I’ll admit I don’t have other examples at the ready, but too often we seem to sub people at their productive best, only to bring on the latest “project”. There really was no excuse for subbing him, other than wanting to play amateur psychologist with the Russian dwarf. I don’t care about #23’s feelings or psyche, I care about winning. It seems Wenger spends too much time trying to be everyone’s father and not their boss. Sometimes, quite frequently actually, a kick in the ass is what’s needed. Its the 23rd, and we’ve made how many moves this transfer period? We are sitting on a winter’s worth of dead firewood, and its the 23rd?

    Arsenal will be finishing 6th or 7th, RvP will be bidding us adieu and we’ll have ~30Mil. less next year because we missed the Champions League. But Wenger supporters, feel free to keep up the idolatry. Its almost a decade since the last trophy, almost a decade. Only as good as your last game mates.

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