Norwich 1-0 Arsenal | That was an absolute disgrace

I can take losing, I really can. When Chelsea outplayed us for large chunks of the match last month I walked out of the Emirates disconsolate, but full of admiration for the movement and skill of Oscar, Hazard, Mata and Torres. We tried but failed to match a side which cost as much to build as our stadium.

But today we didn’t try. Not one little bit. And that is why I am fuming.

I could tell after a few minutes that we weren’t in the right frame of mind. While Norwich were running their arses off to try and close us down, we casually stroked the ball sideways, then forward a bit, then backwards, then sideways, then sideways some more… you get the picture. There was no tempo or purpose to our play and the team looked short on determination and focus.

Arrogant Arsenal thought all that was required of them was to turn up and little Norwich would swoon at their wonderful technique, laying open a path to their goal.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a freak result or a bad day at the office. We saw this a number of times last season, losing to Blackburn, Swansea, QPR, Wigan, Fulham and Sunderland. Not because we were outplayed by a good footballing side as happened when Chelsea came to town, but because we underestimated our ‘inferior’ opponents. We were poorly motivated on all occasions, as we were this evening, and that is down to the most arrogant man at the club — Arsene Wenger.

A genius in the transfer market he may be (when he can be persuaded to enter it) but his motivational skills must once again be called into question. I showed more heart screaming at the telly and thumping the sofa in disgust than any Arsenal player did tonight and that is unforgivable. It keeps happening and it will happen again this season, mark my words. The players may be different, but it’s the same old problem which tells you the common denominator is Wenger.

Holt scores against Arsenal

"It's ok guys, he only plays for Norwich, we don't need to close him dow...... oh."

It wasn’t just his team talk that wasn’t up to scratch though, his tactics were also found wanting. When we needed a Plan B he changed the personnel but not the formation. Which of course had no impact whatsoever and we continued to play slow, ineffective passes in front of Norwich’s disciplined backline where it couldn’t hurt them. Then he finally threw another body up front for the last 10 minutes and we ended the match with a front two of Giroud and… Mertesacker. Are you fucking kidding me? If you’re going to go 4-4-2, why not try an actual striker up there like Podolski who has 44 goals for Germany and is the only natural finisher in the squad? Oh hang on, you took him off early again after playing him out of position all match, so you couldn’t. Unbelievable.

The man who did lead the line was Giroud who, after taking one step forwards with a good display at West Ham, took a couple backwards today. He looked lost again, his touch was poor and his link up play was non-existent. His nervous fresh-air shot in the last few minutes betrayed his lack of confidence and while I refuse to judge him definitively until the end of the season, we have a serious problem up front if Wenger has decided Podolski is best suited to the left flank.

Things don’t look much better at the back to be honest. The goal was diabolical with nobody bothering to close down Alexander Tettey as he wound up for a pot shot (mistake one) which Mannone pushed back into play instead of to safety out wide (mistake two) allowing Grant Holt a simple tap in. I wrote last week about how poor our keepers are and tonight was further evidence that Wenger has neglected the goalkeeping position in recent years.

Neither Mannone or Fabianski is fit for the Premiership, let alone a place in Arsenal’s squad, and how Wenger thinks he can get away with having three inexperienced keepers beggars belief. I rate Szczesny, but the fact remains he is still young. Our top three keepers have played just 93 times in the Premiership between them! Where is the experience back there? You might see a youngster fill the number three and/or even number two goalkeeping jerseys at a club, but only one man would choose to nurture three inexperienced keepers at the same time in order to save a few quid in the transfer market. The last time we signed a keeper over the age of 22 was way back in 2004 when Almunia joined from Celta Vigo reserves as a back up to Lehmann.

Since then we’ve tried to do things on the cheap, famously refusing to pay more than £2m for Schwarzer a few seasons ago, preferring to gamble that Fabianski or Mannone would come good. Well, neither has done or ever will do — and guess who kept a clean sheet for Fulham today?

I’m also concerned about our marking at set pieces. Today we should’ve been 2-0 down when Turner headed wide from a corner just before halftime. We look ill at ease with the zonal marking system and after earning many premature plaudits for our defending in August, we’ve now gone eight matches without a clean sheet.

I promised not to judge the team until ten matches had gone by, so I’ll not rule us out of anything yet, but seeing as we’ve succumbed to our achilles heel of last season already (taking certain opponents too lightly) it’s not looking good. We are ninth and the top three look pretty far away already — don’t think I’ll bother with Match of the Day tonight.

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Comments
  1. Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/oohtobea/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-rating/comment-rating.php on line 219

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1221">
    cabbie

    spot on with pretty much everything you say. It was deja vu tonight, very sad

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1222">
    Jake

    And the Gooners have started on Wenger again….so fickle.

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      class="comment even depth-2" id="li-comment-1228">
      Simon

      It’s arsene knows best fans like you that have led to us becoming so average. Wenger should have gone when we blew the league in 2008, how many more years do loyal season ticket holders who pay over a grand a season have to put up with a manager who is no longer up to the high standards he once set?

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    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1223">
    johnnyhouro

    getting really bored with the misconception of false dawns . If there is anybody out there who can justify the fact that we , gooners , pay more than anybody else in the PL for the love of our club , then I would very much like to listen to their dribble …. if only we were in the FTSE division eh !!!!!

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    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1224">
    Paul

    Agree with everything bar one point and that is when you say Wenger is a genius in the transfer market. Squillaci, Chamakh, Gervinho, Benayoun, Santos, Park and possibly Giroud in the future suggest otherwise. You add in the transfer fees and wages that these players costed and that is a lot of money gone down the drain. There is no doubt in the past Wenger had the messiah touch in the transfer market but not now and especially not since 2010. I am not so sure I trust him to spend the money sensibly as I once did in the past. I don’t think there is any argument his judgement is on the wane wth regards to this.

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      class="comment odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-1226">
      Gooner Steve

      I meant with the limited funds he has, ie keeping us top four by spotting and nurturing cheap talent to sell on for a vast profit while spending way less than our rivals.

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      class="comment even depth-2" id="li-comment-1229">
      JacksBack

      You’ve picked a handful of players from the 60 odd he has brought in.
      And if you really think Benayoun last season wasn’t a key player in our securing 3rd spot, you are a fool too.
      No doubt you bow at the alter of Sir Alex like the press do – a man who has shattered the British transfer record over ten times, and has spent over £100m on complete failures like of Veron, DjembaDjemba, Obertan, Bebe, Kleberson, Saha, Manucho, etc.,

      By january – a midfield of Wilshere, Cazorla, Arteta will be the best in Europe! If Wenger can bring in a top striker to alternate with Giroud, Arsenal will win a trophy this season. I think it will be a Wembley in May. And its not the FA Cup!

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        class="comment odd alt depth-3" id="li-comment-1244">
        jc

        And probably won more than £100 million in prize money!

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1225">
    Bob

    No bottle which we come to expect from wengers teams. We won’t win anything else until he goes

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1227">
    JacksBack

    Yep – we were pants!
    Mannone is a Clown. He constantly palms the ball into the danger zone and has been rescues most times by defenders clearing. He is WORSE than Almunia.
    It was very flat, but no need to think the season is over.
    But the truth is, unlike City, United or Chavsea, if we miss any first team players we have no-one to step in and cover.
    We badly missed Gibbs (who is not exactly flawless himself), and desperately needed Theo & the OX to come on – now both injured! And we have NO strikers for Giroud! Crazy!

    Guys like ‘Bob’ are idiots. “We won’t win anything with Wenger” Really? Even though he is our most succesful EVER manager in winning trophies? Moron!

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1230">
    Tony Manero

    Ho-hum, let’s all jump on the wenger out bandwagon

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1231">
    Simon

    7years and counting, any other ambitious club could see that a change is needed. Wenger may not have the petrol dollars to spend but when you see the money he’s wasted on the likes of gerviniho, squidlaci, hleb and then quibbles over buying a decent defender like Cahill then it’s hard not to say his time is up!

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1232">
    danish gooner

    I never really went of the bandwagon,9 games in to the season and Wenger have royally screwed up again.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1233">
    danish gooner

    It is not the 7 years and counting it is the 7 years of watching the same stupid mistakes being made and never really fixed.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1234">
    Paul

    Bob, read my post again. I am referring to Wenger’s signings since 2010. Also where did I say anything about United and Ferguson’s signings. I don’t care about them whatsoever coz I don’t support them but since we are it, there is one big difference with the bad signings that you mention above with him. Ferguson got rid of those names quickly and was’nt stubborn like Wenger who kept playing his bad signings even when it is plain obvious to the dogs in the street that they are not good enough. Wenger used to be like Ferguson here himself and examples are Jeffers and Richard Wright and Wenger was ruthless enough to get rid of these poor buys quickly. I would like that old Wenger back but I fear that man has well and truly left the building long go. We know Wenger too well now. He will keep playing guys like Gervinho and Giroud even if they continue to fail to perform. His stubborness and own agenda to prove people wrong with regards to these poor signings is costing our chance at winning trophies on the future. As for Benayoun, if we are happy with signing the likes of him and calling him a key player then the game is truly well and up. He had a few decent games that’s all, so does that make him all of a sudden a “key player”. £3.5m a year in wages for 10 PL starts of which only a few were good and he is a “key player” by our standards now. Give me a break.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1235">
    Paul

    Sorry, my last post was meant to be for JacksBack, not Bob. Apologies.

    Thanks.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1236">
    bedford bobby gooner

    Today i am ashamed to be an Arsenal fan,Wenger has to much power at the club,pays
    himself £7,000,000 a year,picked his CEO & has all his coaching staff scared to
    say anything against him,for the good of Dial Square 1886, Please Leave Now.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1237">
    Goonerboyo

    Not the end of the world.
    Had to lose sometime and was likely to have been today with such a poor performance.
    International duty is no excuse.
    Norwich played with fire in their hearts, an appetite for battle and the determination to win.
    What a limp, lamentable and lacklustre performance from the arsenal
    Did they even want to play let alone want to win?
    We are owed an apology for this abject, dismal disappointment.
    The team should all donate a day’s pay to a good cause. They didn’t earn it!
    Same issues, same complaints. We are all angry hurt and dismayed. Our boys let us down…. Again

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1238">
    Paul Terry

    Spurs fan in peace….I think Norwich are better than they are made out to be and I knew that at the time when we drew with them….. many of your lads gave our fans a lot of stick at the time. There are several problems with your team that Wenger seems to be unwilling or unable to fix for either monetary or stubborn reasons. Fair play to him for getting you champions league football consistently, and you play really good football (only the most blinkered of spurs fans would claim otherwise). But Wenger needs to seriously rethink things if he wants to get 4th…..given how close Spurs were last season (despite our Redknapp triggered collapse) nothing is inevitable result or finishing spot-wise……….

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1239">
    Shanzuman

    Goonerboyo, Norwich’s tactic today was twofold, firstly, they were out to stop us from playing by employing the only tactic that stops an Arsenal team playing and that is to keep tight and close us down and secondly hope for the best! Well they certainly succeeded with the first and the second we simply obliged! A scenario that we have witnessed in the past 5/7 years playing inferior teams as described in the article above. We really do not know how to change our game when faced with this problem and the only one that has to take responsibility for this is our past hero Arsene. It is time to have a change as the past is the past for which we are very grateful and a past that we will always cherish. Arsene go now before it is too late!

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1240">
    Mohd Isa

    Ten points of Chelsea.Wenger is surrounded by yes men.It won’t surprise me if Bould leaves.That will surely indicate something is seriously wrong.The FM is too powerful to entertain any other way of playing other than his.This is the epl, not the Spanish league.
    Take for example the corner kicks. Arsenal seldom score from corners unlike other teams. I bet RVP is laughing all the way.
    This is not the first time and wont be the last time Arsenal have lost to a lowly team.Something is definitelt 100% wrong. The problem is it has been like this the last seven ,make it eight years.
    Arsenal play in a predictable style which makes it easy for the opposition. Deny them time and space and get two players to mark the little magician and you have won the game .
    Over to you,Wenger.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1241">
    Agim

    Spot on! What it makes me sick at times, are the interviews of the players. our players love to do the talking. Today, Per said “Arsenal must defend better”, or Santos saying that we should be tight v Schalke…. Up to now, Giroud has given about 15 interviews…and scored two goals! Becoming worse than spuds who keep tesing us for not wining anything for 7 years…and won nothing themselves.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1242">
    Trophyless fan

    I bet the team doesn’t even know what they are playing for tonight. Again boring passes with no real intent and purpose. Is it really a sin to be in the 6 yards box? Why can’t AW watch more of ManU plays to admit that his philosophy doesn’t always apply or need to be change when things don’t work out on the pitch like tonight? I can’t stop believing the premier league season is over for us, and see no light in the tunnel to when we, fans, will see that triumph again in the near future. Too many old men running this club.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1243">
    jc

    A genius in the transfer market ? is that what you call a manager who lets the FRENCH internation keeper go to that lot down the road and one of our greatest all time strikers go to one of our main rivals ??

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1245">
    Shadow

    Well… I told anyone who cared to listen that the problem with arsenal is not just the players it is arsene wenger’s mentality… A team’s character is a reflection of the manager’s character… As a gunner I feel we(players management and fans) talk to much to challenge for a title… At this point It is not really the players that we buy… I am a fan of AW, but I feel he has some emotional issues(after the invincibles He just lost his wits) that is affecting arsenal… Watch his reactions when loosing a game he falls apart most of the time arsenal falls apart… I never voted us to challenge for the PL title this season I was tipping us for either a Carling or FA.. But as it is… God help us… Gunner’s 4Life

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1246">
    Essien

    @jacksback and co. Things change bro. Wenger is d clubs most successful manager but he may have passed his cycle at arsenal. He obviously isnt the TROPHY WINNING GENIUS we used to know anymore. Its hard to admit but U know d truth. Wenger has lost it! So ramsey now replaces SONG? Why play d Ram in songs position wen EVEN I can SEE That ramsey would be at his best in d left flank(podolski’s current position) u can see dat wenger doesnt even know wat to do wit his players anymore! MUST D RAMSEY OF A RETARD EVEN START?? RVP AND CO. Were right to leave afterall. We are now seeing wat dey saw a while back: they saw that their manager has lost it! Even if tinz are going too well in d future, d cluelessness of Arsene wil rear its ugly head every once in a while to ruin things!(E.G THE MANU GAME AT THE EMIRATES LAST SEASON! Wenger lost us dat game. And remember Vanpersie shouted ”why?” at him. I stil believe dat match was one of d reasons vanpersie left.) WHO WANTS TO BET: ARSENAL WIL WIN NOTHING ELSE UNDER WENGER! Mark my words! Watch this space!

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1248">
    Phil from SA

    Being an Arsenal fan for 35 years and never saying anything bad about my club – shit @#$#@&%$#@$#@%$#&***#@. What are these guys getting paid for.Yesterday not one of them wanted to be there, NOT ONE!!!!!!! I have never in my life been so furious with something I love so much. It was an absolute disgrace. Useless people standing around acting interested and feeling shit for the shirt they pull over their heads!! Never have I witnessed something so disgraceful. Whether its management that cant motivate or players that just dont care, no one will know. Although I hate R v Pussy I must admit that what he said regarding ambition before he deserted us now makes sense. There is zippp ambition all are there only for the weekly gravy train!!!! Im done with this!

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1249">
    Kurt

    Is pep guardiola still out of work.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1250">
    The Second Coming is only half an album

    oh, Jesus wept. The defeat heralds the chest-beating and hand-wringing of all the Wenger out MUGS (I am shouting, yes), closely trailed by the execrable, excrement-headed Danish Gooner – let me count the ways I detest thee.

    I think your post said it all when you believed that we were out-played by the Blue scum of the Russian thief last month; I was at the match and my view was and remains the very opposite of yours.

    Look at the posts from your recent contributors, kapok-stuffed head ‘Essien’ and Saffer Phil; one pins yesterday’s defeat on Ramsey in the mistaken belief that Ramsey was playing in Song’s position (what was Song’s position for 2011/12, Essien old son? It was supposed to be the one he played in for 2010/11, no?), whilst the other literally brain dumps his ‘thoughts’ in to the blogosphere with the notion that van Prostitute was right about his agents’ crafted ‘message to the fans’ yet overlooking the fact that our false ex-captain fooked off to the northwest to ride the Glazers’ gravy train and trouser over £200K per week and kiss whatever embroidered turd resides on the MancYanks’ badge.

    This is one of those blogs, attracting those sorts of posters, and I won’t be coming here again, but wish you and your faithful nothing but ill-will for continuing to ‘support’ our club in the manner that only grants the lot of you the rapture brought on by defeat. Yep, we were 5hit yesterday, but too soon all of you MUGS have forgotten results against the Qatari bankrolled and bullock-faced Brummie’s West Bolton Ham, both teams that all the experts bar the Keown predicted humblings for us.

    If the lot of you are that bothered about Wenger and Ramsey, coordinate some action like last season’s black bag protest ‘planned’ for Blackburn. Print some banners up and display them; I’m looking forward to seeing, ‘Wenger out’, ‘Ramsey is a c***’, ‘Arteta has great hair’ etc and then watch you get a shoeing. But no, the likes of you have forgotten what it’s like to support your club because of the success bought by the Russian Thief and the Qatari liberators of the northwest.

    I’m surprised nobody’s yet mentioned the saviour that is the Uzbek billionaire who remains a Gooner until his love wanes, much as one suspects, as the flatulence wanes by midday from a night of lagers and a kebab with chilli sauce.

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      class="comment odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-1251">
      Gooner Steve

      I love the way you write ‘support’ like that, as though people who dare criticise Saint Wenger aren’t proper supporters. What a pompous twat you are.

      It sounds like you have all the answers. Care to enlighten us as to why we keep losing to inferior sides then? Why we don’t have a plan B? Why Mannone is considered good enough for Arsenal?

      You mentioned the West Ham win. What’s the point of a great result like that if you then don’t turn up against Norwich? Whose fault is it that we couldn’t be bothered yesterday if not Wenger’s? You talk a lot about what mugs we are, but I don’t see any explanations from you. Perhaps because you’re as clueless as Wenger.

      Keep that head firmly tucked in the sand mate.

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    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1252">
    Kevin

    I have never screamed so much at a Tv in my entire adult life, I’m 46 and should know better. Was the half-time talk centred around who gets the window seat? As opposed to pull your finger out boys and find some tempo!! Again we are left with the feeling that there really is no plan B. I have been a gooner for quite a few years now and I can honestly say that , that was without doubt the worst i have seen my team play,. Disgraceful,.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1253">
    Thundertinygooner

    You are absolutely right about the goalkeepers. We have rarely had poorer back- up than we have to Szczesny now and he is largely unproven. The problem is we need to make a profit on player transfers because the rest of the club is so badly run and we won’t invest in experienced back- up leaving rubbish like Mannone to fill in. Shameful Wenger and shameful that a cart horse like Giroud is our only striker.

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    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1254">
    Shanzuman

    To my fellow Arsenal supporter ”The Second Coming is only half an album”, your comment is absolute crap without substance or constructive input as to why our beloved club has been going through 7 years of frustrating ’emptiness’. Its indocrinated, moronic and idiotic football supporting fans like you that Board members of clubs like Arsenal love because what ever they say and do you follow like senseless chickens! Stand up and be constructive say what you feel and they who take our money every week might listen and do something that will stop this rot. You say that you won’t be visiting this blog again, well good ridance, we like to have a constructive debate about our club on this blog so you can just fuck off and read the Arsenal blog all day long and get indocrinated further.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1255">
    Danish Gooner

    The Second Coming is only half an album if you are so clever and the rest of us are numbnuts tell me this or use your dark magic to solve following problems.

    1.Seven years of getting turned over by inferior opponents.(Solve)
    2.Large parts of players constantly injured and at crucial times.(Solve)
    3.Same players coming back lacking focus and heart.(solve)
    4.players lacking committment and heart in seriously crucial games.8Solve)
    5.Wenger constantly playing players out of position.(Solve)
    6.Wenger giving bloated wages to crap players then making it impossible to ship them on aka Bendtner,Squid,Djourou,Flappianski etc.(Solve).
    7.Wengers laughable tactics,like Mertesacker desperately playing attacker for the last 15 minutes against Norwich.(Solve)
    8.Wengers inability to spend any money on the squad or selling the best players and replacing them with inferior ones.(Solve)
    9.Wengers inability to motivate his players.
    10.Wengers 7 mil a year for getting us in to the cl and nothing else,remember he is in charge of Englands third most winning club and the one with the richest history.(Solve)

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    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-1256">
    Phil from SA

    @ the second coming and only half a scumbag. You have serious rage issues, must be because of our excellent performance against bottom of the league Norwich. If in need I have contacts in North-London that will set you up with a good counselor. On the other hand where were you Saturday as we really could have used your unresolved anger issues to motivate the team!! As they say in all conspiracy movies “You have truly been turned”. Please answer Danish Gooner’s questions and be aware not to spill any toothpaste on your hair when you brush your teeth tomorrow, as your head is way to high up your own arse!!!

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    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-1273">
    DanS

    I among many have repeated hammered on about dropping points to “inferiors”, well it’s happened again, and I’ll bet it happens at least twice more this season. They can’t seem to get up for these games. I don’t know if it’s coaching or just a squadwide sense of superiority. But this has to be addressed at some point.

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