Bolton 0-0 Arsenal | Champions League? You’re having a laugh

Sitting here in front of my keyboard thinking over the points I want to make, I suddenly realise I’ve said them all before. Let’s see… van Persie is our only decent striker – check. We miss too many chances – check. There is not enough depth to the squad – check. Wenger has taken a massive gamble not strengthening in January – check. Our mediocrity is a result of a terribly mismanaged summer – check. Spurs are much better than us – check. We won’t qualify for the Champions League – check. Our transfer strategy is causing us to be left behind – check. Wenger is going to tarnish his wonderful legacy – check.

Have I got any of those wrong? Have I missed any?

To be honest I’m way too disillusioned right now to write a proper match report, even though I was fortunate enough to watch it uninterrupted on a decent stream. A lot of reports are saying we missed loads of chances and make it sound like Bolton were hanging on like the 0-0 at home to Wolves last month. That’s not true at all. While we did miss a few decent opportunities and van Persie was extremely unlucky to hit the woodwork twice, Bolton had their moments too. We had 16 shots to their 14, had 51% possession and forced 6 corners apiece. A point each was a fair result on a night where we didn’t create enough in the final third to hurt them. For a change.

Which brings me onto the subject of Aaron Ramsey. I’ve seen loads of people lay into him recently, criticising his performances and suggesting he isn’t good enough. What people seem to be forgetting though is that Wenger left a world class hole in the midfield when he sold Fabregas and has filled it with a raw 21 year old just back from a career threatening injury.

It’s not Ramsey’s fault he’s been asked to take over from Fabregas. It’s the fault of the tight-arse who refused to spend money to replace him and has put all the pressure and burden of expectation on a player who isn’t ready to be a regular starter. Don’t blame Ramsey for not being as good as Fabregas — blame Wenger and his misguided transfer policy.

One person who is coping much better with the pressure is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He was our best player again, allying his terrific skills with determination and desire. On more than one occasion he picked up the ball wide left and drove at the defence, causing panic and creating chances for us. The best example came after about half an hour when he picked out Walcott superbly and left the England man with a one on one chance, but he fluffed it, allowing Bogdan to save with his legs.

van Persie against Bolton

If RVP is out of luck, Arsenal are out of luck

Wenger withdrew the Ox after 69 minutes despite him being our most potent threat (along with van Persie) and introduced Henry. I’m sad to say it, but Thierry did nothing. He looks a shadow of his former self and the goal against Leeds will probably be his only significant contribution. Again, not his fault — he didn’t ask to come here on loan. It was the cheapest option available to Wenger so he took it, simple as that.

I don’t even know what Wenger said after the game and frankly I don’t care. I’m fed up with reading his bullshit propaganda and get insulted when he tries to convince me we have a good side. It may wash with the Arsene worshippers but I’ve heard it all before and nothing ever changes. Actually that’s not true, it has changed — we are now much worse and sit in 7th place behind Newcastle and Liverpool.

So we head into a month where we play Milan in the Champions League, Spurs in the Premiership and Sunderland/Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. In years gone by we’d be fielding a weakened team in the FA Cup to concentrate on the bigger matches, but things are different now. We have no chance of winning the Champions League and only a slim one of finishing 4th, so Sunderland/Middlesbrough is the crucial game.

The fact that the FA Cup is now our best hope of salvaging something from a disastrous season is a damning indictment of Wenger and the direction he’s taking this club.

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  1. schoolboy

    I have pitty for wenger, for years he had been scouting for best players, we have been strongly linked to the like of hazard, gotze, mata, podolski which I think wenger will love to bring them in.. but it’s the board who are not willing to spend the money. Better if wenger goes to madrid then he can create his own dream team. While for arenal, gazidis needs to f**k off, he’s using all the sales money to buy LA Dodgers.
    There will come a time when we do not attract barcelona for buying our players anymore because they’re crap

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  2. meaner

    I don’t think i wanna watch anymore games when Ramilson and walcock play. These 2 players really let our games down.

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  3. S J Little

    “Your having a laugh” is perfect. It says it all.
    Any other Manager appointed as Arsenal Manager 7 years ago would if he had Wengers record in that time be sacked.

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  4. Kevin

    I fully agree with all of your points….sadly for some reason there are still too many “supporters” who support Wenger blindly no matter what, but surely even they must understand things now or very soon.

    Another largely pathetic performance against Bolton…it goes to prove the level that we are now falling too….and whay the hell was Ox taken off when the useless Walcott is left on?????!!!!!

    The Board have displayed a completely insane support for a man who was successful for the first 6 years of his employment MAINLY on the back of our previous 2 managers (George Graham & to a minor part Bruce Rioch), and after that with the major involvement of David Dein, Wenger was kept at the top but it was Dein who was mainly responsible for building the Invincibles side NOT Wenger. Since He has had to go alone with only the support of Mr “Yes” man Pat Rice and Mr “Know bugger all about football” Ivan Gazlidis we have seen a steady decline in the league position, a zero return in the way of trophies, and a squad full of average players (barring RVP, Vermealen & young Ox) who wouldn’t be bought by any other side with ambition (hence the reason we cannot get rid of the likes of Bendtner,Vela,Almunia,Diaby,Denilson etc.etc. AW’s panic buys at the beginning of the season proved that we now occupy the same standing as the likes of Everton,Liverpool,Newcastle Villa etc. & to make iot worse Sp*rs have shown ambition and drive to build a side by buying players of quality, who play the brand of exciting football that we played between 1995 & 2004….but now we have a team of Boring eurofootball sideways passers who have a Manager who has completely lost the plot-supported by a greedy,self centered and opinionated board who are controlled by the completely useless Stan Kronke (who only bought Arsenal shares so that he could add our proud name to his portfolio)…… this is the board who made the fateful decision to move out of Highbury into the Emirates, thus in one go losing the heart and soul of our club that was Highbury. Teams feared coming to our stadium, each side had an identity that real gunners fans identified with from the day they could walk to the day they died, not so our showpiece ground erected for the fat cat supporters and board members who now have what they wanted stylish lounges, luxury boxes – but in reality a stadium lacking heart,lacking real identity and a pricing structure that has lost the true working class support!

    The only way forward is to replace Wenger with a manager who has the balls to tell it how it really is and not the lying,irroneous, infantile and insulting comments that we now get from AW!!! He may have been in the game 30 years but he has failed a lot of that time….ask Monaco!

    There must be a groundswell of supporters comments and banners to insist/push for the managerial change and for Kronke to sell his shares to Usamov on the proviso that he makes 200million available for rebuilding the squad immediately as he said he would!

    Unless this happens, we shall spend years in the wilderness of the EPL and possibly even sink into the mire of a downwards spiral into obscurity and maybe even relegation ……… Wengers ridiculous comments about his squad and on why we do not purchase big name players and how proud he is about having the best U19’s in the EPL…..this man is living in his own fantasy world which is great, but U19’s do not win trophies alone , however they can if they have TOP QUALITY EXPERIENCED players forming the core of the squad.



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  5. Gerg

    Wenger’s problems are tactical not administrative. I think we have a team that could have easily beat Bolton and won some of the last games. Wenger does not see that team since he plays the same personnel in the same formation over and over expecting different results. For example, tonight if Rosicky had started instead of Ramsey and Benayoun instead of Walcott, we would have won. How can a bunch of amateurs like myself notice that Walcott and Ramsey are not effective, have not been effective and really need to sit on the bench a while to regain their purpose and Wenger does not?

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  6. Ganesh

    Wenger really needs to go. I was a pro-Wenger despite our faltering start to the season, but now after 7 years, he has convinced me that he does not have the stamina to motivate the team for both halves of the season. We suffer from a lack of depth, a lack of concentration and a real gut to win matches. We really have good players, players good enough to win cups; but time and time again, they do not get the replenishment through the January transfer window when the manager is supposed to push for glory. Every season for about 5 seasons we’ve had at least one player out for almost the whole season. And then of course, we sign them again.

    But truly, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I used to blame Ramsey and Walcott for being shoddy players. But the problem is Wenger. He is too nice to the players. Nani lost form back in early 2010, but Ferguson had a one-on-one meeting with him and he got to his best (and terrorised Clichy in their 3-1 victory over us at the Emirates).

    The board and Wenger have both sold this club with their outdated methods.

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  7. Shrek2be

    You know what ? You are right!!!! Wenger didn’t do anything during the Invincibles era.It was all David Dein. He went and taught the players how to play football in a stylish way.Wenger was just sitting there & doing nothing.

    Arsenal fans, get over your self entitlement. The club has NEVER EVER been close to the status of Barca,Utd,Madrid or even Liverpool before the Wenger era. Wenger made our club world class. Hell the reason Arsenal is famous worldwide now is because of the brand of football brought in by AW.The club had always been a great club in England,never in Europe. Wenger took us to that status.Hell,half the players who want to play for us now come to us because of Wenger and the football he has created.

    I am not an AKB. Wenger has made mistakes no doubt, but he has also done a lot of good things.He is not above criticism.

    Just remember one thing,Wenger has shaped the culture around Arsenal the same way Cruyff did to Barcelona. Be grateful for that.Otherwise we can go back to the typical English “hoof the ball and run after it” game. We’d just become another Stoke.

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  8. Flavour

    UK has the highest divorce rate. When the marriage has problems they jump ship and I am seeing the same attitude here. We fail to score but played absolutely better than our opponent so Arsène Wenger is rubbish and must leave. Wake up? I enjoyed the game and am optimistic no matter what. I hate divorce and won’t divorce Arsenal, the board, the players or Arsène Wenger. I give them my support has they go through a hard patch. Never you talk down on a man that is already down. This is what all the negative fans have been doing. They kick a wounded man that is struggling to survive because they are too agree with him for losing the fight and making them lose their bet

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    • Gooner Steve

      Arsenal went through a tough patch in 2006. We sold experienced players and bought youngsters. I gave them my support.

      Arsenal went through a tough patch in 2007. We sold experienced players and bought youngsters. I gave them my support.

      Arsenal went through a tough patch in 2008. We sold experienced players and bought youngsters. I gave them my support.

      Arsenal went through a tough patch in 2009. We sold experienced players and bought youngsters. I gave them my support.

      Arsenal went through a tough patch in 2010. We sold experienced players and bought youngsters. I started to have doubts, but gave them my support.

      Arsenal went through a tough patch in 2011. We sold experienced players and bought youngsters. I started to have serious doubts, but gave them my support.

      Arsenal are going through a tough patch in 2012. I have had enough and am disillusioned with the direction the club is going.

      Am I really being out of order?

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  9. DanS

    Flavour, so if your wife cheats on you repeatedly, but keeps promising to stop, you’d stay with her? If she kept spending recklessly, but promised to stop, you’d stay with her? If she kept neglecting your kids, but kept promising she’ll do better, you’d stay with her? If she couldn’t hold a job, but promises she’ll keep the next, you’d stay with her?

    Yes teams and relationships can go through rough patches. Maybe a poor year or two, but with the resources at Arsenal’s disposal, seven years w/o a trophy isn’t a rough patch. Its a systematic dismantling of a reputation and legacy. Arsenal will not be winning the Champions League this year. Because of their current lack of talent and managerial miscues, they most likely will finish between 7th and 10th in the table. So, even Europa League is dream at this point. If/when RvP goes down with an injury, who is going to pick up the scoring? WHO? Other than RvP, four players have scored more than one goal. Their combined total is 13 goals, six less than RvP’s total. Its a joke. Keep your head in the sand if you want, I’m sure lots of Newcastle fans kept the faith too when they were headed down too.

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  10. S J Little

    Its no use. Theres none so blind as these who will not see! And Wenger is one of these.

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