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      I'm anticipating a nervy game. In fact, I'm predicting a draw. 1-1.

      I think:

      Almunia
      Sagna Squillaci Koscielny Clichy
      Ramsey Wilshere
      Fabregas
      Walcott-------------------------Nasri
      RVP
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      Damn how awesome would it be if Rosicky iswas half the player he was
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      I wonder what RobbieC and Marcus have to say about Hill-Wood's and Wenger's statements on Friday and yesterday. I will laugh if they keep backing Wenger.

      Fact is Arsenal isn't a big club anymore. Not small like some of the bottom-half clubs, but not big either. We're aiming lower than what the likes of United, Chelsea, Barca, Inter, and even ****ing Spurs. Simple.

      Anyway, must win today or the race is over for us, and we'll have to preserve at least the 3rd spot for ourselves.
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      Muppet, Arsenal are definitely still a big club. I think the title race is over, 10 point lead, still 6 points if you take maximum points, but there lies the problem.

      The problem with Arsenal at the moment is the injuries yes, and long term the mental strength. CL last 2 seasons has been a write off, the second you drew Barca you were effectively out. League, FA cup, League Cup have all been hurt by poor performances. Arsenal have dropped points against teams through out the season in the league, lost to a United team fielding ~7 defenders with the Da Silva twins, O'Shea and Gibson in the middle, and choked horribly against Birmingham. You should be closer in the league, you should have already won the League cup, and you should have knocked United out of the FA cup.

      No club approches Arsenal like they would Everton/Sunderland but Wenger somehow needs to get that team to grind out results when they don't play well.
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        We looked like we had managed to grind out results at one point in the season as well. Everton, for instance, comes to mind.

        I'm looking forward to seeing if a Fabregas-Wlishere-Ramsey midfield can do what it should be able to do today. It has the potential to be :sogood:

        Assuming, of course, that the papers are right about Song not being fit to play.
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        (Original post by doggyfizzel)
        Muppet, Arsenal are definitely still a big club. I think the title race is over, 10 point lead, still 6 points if you take maximum points, but there lies the problem.

        The problem with Arsenal at the moment is the injuries yes, and long term the mental strength. CL last 2 seasons has been a write off, the second you drew Barca you were effectively out. League, FA cup, League Cup have all been hurt by poor performances. Arsenal have dropped points against teams through out the season in the league, lost to a United team fielding ~7 defenders with the Da Silva twins, O'Shea and Gibson in the middle, and choked horribly against Birmingham. You should be closer in the league, you should have already won the League cup, and you should have knocked United out of the FA cup.

        No club approches Arsenal like they would Everton/Sunderland but Wenger somehow needs to get that team to grind out results when they don't play well.
        Injuries, mental strength. These two things would not matter as much for a genuine big club as it does for Arsenal.

        We have a weak bench - compare that to, say, United, who beat us 2-0 with what was basically a B squad. Hell, even our best player Fabregas would be on Barca's bench for half their games. Do you really think we have the same squad depth as Barca, United, or Chelsea? Granted, we don't have as much money, but we sure do have money to spend every summer and we spend it on players like Squillaci. Small-club mentality move in a big club by a manager who has lost it.

        3 years ago, we were still a big club. Now, I really think clubs don't see Arsenal as a major threat to look forward to, at least as much as Chelsea, United, etc. I am sure that other clubs see us as a good opportunity to snatch a point.

        We're NOT a small club, not at all. We're not big either, a decline is starting because of Wenger and it will continue as long as Wenger stays.
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          (Original post by rhinger)
          Injuries, mental strength. These two things would not matter as much for a genuine big club as it does for Arsenal.

          We have a weak bench - compare that to, say, United, who beat us 2-0 with what was basically a B squad. Hell, even our best player Fabregas would be on Barca's bench for half their games. Do you really think we have the same squad depth as Barca, United, or Chelsea? Granted, we don't have as much money, but we sure do have money to spend every summer and we spend it on players like Squillaci. Small-club mentality move in a big club by a manager who has lost it.

          3 years ago, we were still a big club. Now, I really think clubs don't see Arsenal as a major threat to look forward to, at least as much as Chelsea, United, etc. I am sure that other clubs see us as a good opportunity to snatch a point.

          We're NOT a small club, not at all. We're not big either, a decline is starting because of Wenger and it will continue as long as Wenger stays.
          We've been the chief title-contenders to United this season. Until a couple of weeks ago, Ferguson was saying that it was a two-horse race and that we had a good chance of winning it. We might have won it as well had it not been for United's persistence and our recent inability form.

          We beat both Barca and Chelsea this season. We haven't been able to beat United yet, but we haven't played them at home, and hardly anyone has been able to do so.

          In short, I don't think we're quite as mediocre as you seem to imply (and I do appreciate that you stress that we are not a small club).
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          (Original post by Abiraleft)
          We've been the chief title-contenders to United this season. Until a couple of weeks ago, Ferguson was saying that it was a two-horse race and that we had a good chance of winning it. We might have won it as well had it not been for United's persistence and our recent inability form.

          We beat both Barca and Chelsea this season. We haven't been able to beat United yet, but we haven't played them at home, and hardly anyone has been able to do so.

          In short, I don't think we're quite as mediocre as you seem to imply (and I do appreciate that you stress that we are not a small club).
          I agree that the first half of the season was tremendous in general, we got good results, beat Chelsea, Barca, City, etc. We've also been title contenders for the best part of the last 6 seasons.

          If you look at the other side of the coin, even Wolves managed to upset the league's big boys. I don't think it's just the results that makes a club a "big club", it's a lot about the attitude and the sort of team it has. That is what differentiates say, Chelsea, United, Barca, and Inter, from us. They are willing to change their approach to each game they play, they cut out the dead wood, and they expect the best out of their players and they let them know that.

          Take the 2nd leg of the tie against Barca as an example. What had to be done was to play defensive to maintain that slender one goal lead. What did we do? We kept on attempting to attack and we were punished by what should be considered the world's best attacking team. We're too predictable, too one-dimensional, too merciful to players, and that's what I believe has rid us of big club status.
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          (Original post by rhinger)
          they cut out the dead wood, and they expect the best out of their players and they let them know that.
          Spot on.

          We really should not be taking into consideration the development of our players when picking a side. It should be an HONOUR to play for Arsenal, and ONLY the best of the best should be given a chance. In our case though, the players have the power. Diaby can do what he likes in a match, knowing he won't be dropped. It's sickening.
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          (Original post by rhinger)
          Injuries, mental strength. These two things would not matter as much for a genuine big club as it does for Arsenal.

          We have a weak bench - compare that to, say, United, who beat us 2-0 with what was basically a B squad. Hell, even our best player Fabregas would be on Barca's bench for half their games. Do you really think we have the same squad depth as Barca, United, or Chelsea? Granted, we don't have as much money, but we sure do have money to spend every summer and we spend it on players like Squillaci. Small-club mentality move in a big club by a manager who has lost it.

          3 years ago, we were still a big club. Now, I really think clubs don't see Arsenal as a major threat to look forward to, at least as much as Chelsea, United, etc. I am sure that other clubs see us as a good opportunity to snatch a point.

          We're NOT a small club, not at all. We're not big either, a decline is starting because of Wenger and it will continue as long as Wenger stays.
          United have pretty decent squad depth, but to do that you need to have plenty of players on the bench who are decent which will increase you wage bill, and you need squad rotation to keep them happy. I don't think it suits Arsenal's style. United have great depth as was shown yesterday, and so do Chelsea, but thats mainly through spending money. Barca don't really have good squad depth, there bench is miles behind their actual team, Mach is decent, but Keita, Maxwell, Milito are hardly top class players. You do have a bit of a defensive crisis at the moment, very usual to see a club with 2 CB injured and 2 goal keepers injured at the same time.

          2nd in premier league say you are still more than just a threat to the big teams. But I would imagine although small clubs don't see it as a chance to snatch a point, they know with the right tactics they can give you a game.


          The main problem I would have if I was an Arsenal fan is, you try to play like Barca but I don't think some of you midfield players have the technical ability to work in that set up, and the defensive is not well drilled enough to try the 70% and 1 goal trick. Barca are a good team, but they do work really hard when they haven't got the ball, or when they briefly lose it. Arsenal to often dominate games, then concede a cheap goal against the flow.
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          Clichy denies reports of Arsenal exit
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            (Original post by rhinger)
            I agree that the first half of the season was tremendous in general, we got good results, beat Chelsea, Barca, City, etc. We've also been title contenders for the best part of the last 6 seasons.

            If you look at the other side of the coin, even Wolves managed to upset the league's big boys. I don't think it's just the results that makes a club a "big club", it's a lot about the attitude and the sort of team it has. That is what differentiates say, Chelsea, United, Barca, and Inter, from us. They are willing to change their approach to each game they play, they cut out the dead wood, and they expect the best out of their players and they let them know that.

            Take the 2nd leg of the tie against Barca as an example. What had to be done was to play defensive to maintain that slender one goal lead. What did we do? We kept on attempting to attack and we were punished by what should be considered the world's best attacking team. We're too predictable, too one-dimensional, too merciful to players, and that's what I believe has rid us of big club status.
            Oh okay, that changes things completely. I agree that attitude is very important, but I'm only really unhappy with the attitude shown by some of our players - Bendtner (except on certain occaisons) and Denilson stand out. Chamakh has been accused of not caring, but I honestly think his is more an issue of fitness and adaptation to England than attitude (as is evidenced by his performances earlier on in the season). Arshavin would have been the likeliest culprit here, but I do think he's improved since the Barcelona game; he still doesn't defend as often as you'd like him to, and I'd drop him for Nasri/Walcott any day, but his attitude doesn't seem to be as bad as I initially thought.

            I suppose the issue is most significant amongst the bench players - in the first team, we have Fabregas, RVP, Walcott, Sagna and now Wilshere who really seem to care. What I would like to believe is that this problem will be much reduced when our more promising youth and reserve players begin to push their way into the senior squad, a process that I hope starts from next season; the ones I hope will make it next season are JET for Bendtner (who I suspect will be sold), Frimpong/Eastmond for Denilson and Lansbury for Rosicky. Or course, there's no guarantee that this will solve things, but I would hope/like to believe that it will, and vaguely suspect that Wenger is thinking along these lines as well.
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            Almunia, Eboue, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy, Diaby, Fabregas, Wilshere, Nasri, van Persie, Arshavin
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            (Original post by doggyfizzel)
            United have pretty decent squad depth, but to do that you need to have plenty of players on the bench who are decent which will increase you wage bill, and you need squad rotation to keep them happy. I don't think it suits Arsenal's style. United have great depth as was shown yesterday, and so do Chelsea, but thats mainly through spending money. Barca don't really have good squad depth, there bench is miles behind their actual team, Mach is decent, but Keita, Maxwell, Milito are hardly top class players. You do have a bit of a defensive crisis at the moment, very usual to see a club with 2 CB injured and 2 goal keepers injured at the same time.

            2nd in premier league say you are still more than just a threat to the big teams. But I would imagine although small clubs don't see it as a chance to snatch a point, they know with the right tactics they can give you a game.


            The main problem I would have if I was an Arsenal fan is, you try to play like Barca but I don't think some of you midfield players have the technical ability to work in that set up, and the defensive is not well drilled enough to try the 70% and 1 goal trick. Barca are a good team, but they do work really hard when they haven't got the ball, or when they briefly lose it. Arsenal to often dominate games, then concede a cheap goal against the flow.
            To be honest, even as an Arsenal supporter, I don't see anything special about our play. The media hypes us up as the British Barca, but really we only play like Barca once every two months. The rest of the time we're doing what any other team does, pass the ball around, give it to the fullback, cross, try again. And yet it's called the "Arsenal Way", when really I can watch a Villa v Everton game and see the same things from either team.

            Agreed about Barca's bench strength, but if they were in Arsenal - what then? Maxwell, Milito, and Keita would actually be strong enough for our first team I think.

            And yes, we may be second, but we just fluff up our lines too much. Up until late Feb, United were consistent in their games against potential slip-ups. Chelsea had a bad period in the middle of the season, and only seem to recovering now, but before that they were smashing everyone. Arsenal, on the other hand, has slipped up constantly at various parts of the season. Newcastle, WBA, Spurs, Wigan, etc, all at various parts of the season.

            Basically we're probably the easiest target out of Chelsea and United to snatch points off.
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            (Original post by Abiraleft)
            Oh okay, that changes things completely. I agree that attitude is very important, but I'm only really unhappy with the attitude shown by some of our players - Bendtner (except on certain occaisons) and Denilson stand out. Chamakh has been accused of not caring, but I honestly think his is more an issue of fitness and adaptation to England than attitude (as is evidenced by his performances earlier on in the season). Arshavin would have been the likeliest culprit here, but I do think he's improved since the Barcelona game; he still doesn't defend as often as you'd like him to, and I'd drop him for Nasri/Walcott any day, but his attitude doesn't seem to be as bad as I initially thought.

            I suppose the issue is most significant amongst the bench players - in the first team, we have Fabregas, RVP, Walcott, Sagna and now Wilshere who really seem to care. What I would like to believe is that this problem will be much reduced when our more promising youth and reserve players begin to push their way into the senior squad, a process that I hope starts from next season; the ones I hope will make it next season are JET for Bendtner (who I suspect will be sold), Frimpong/Eastmond for Denilson and Lansbury for Rosicky. Or course, there's no guarantee that this will solve things, but I would hope/like to believe that it will, and vaguely suspect that Wenger is thinking along these lines as well.
            I want all Eastmond/Lansbury/JET/Ramsey to all feature in our squad from next season. Hopefully we'll see which ones are good enough in pre-season. But Ramsey is a must.

            Diaby/Denilson/Squillaci clearly don't care about the tradition of our club.
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            Lehmann STARTS
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              Lehmann in goal. HAHAHAHAHHA. This should be classic.
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              Lehmann starting !!
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              :facepalm2:
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              Zomg the mad german is back
             
             
             
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