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    (Original post by RobbieC)
    To be sensible for just one second as people demand Wenger's resignation/sacking, we have come close.

    Fine, we may be experiencing the same collapse at the tail end of the season and there might be some fine tuning - through signings, conditioning of players or tactics that we need to reach the maturity that will see us dominate.

    HOWEVER.

    What do we have that we didn't have last season to take away?
    - We dealt better with the bullying from teams like Stoke than we did a couple of seasons back
    - We beat Chelsea and beat them well, with Drogba shackled
    - We defeated Barcelona with a team including some very young and new players and showed some real resolve in the return leg where it was snatched away from us. But still, that victory was big for this team
    - We reached a cup final, the worst one but we still got there and a one in a million bobble saw us defeated
    - We have more options than we've had before as a squad (but I would agree we don't always use them tremendously well)
    - We're starting to see the best of Theo and Jack, who - along with Ramsey - will be a fantastic base for our future (they already play with great maturity, the former two)

    We did all that without our best CB for 90% of the season, Robin for half of it (his goalscoring has been incredible) and I think we need to see that we are close.

    Fine it might be Arsene's shortcomings that mean we are not there, but we've not been this close on all fronts since we last won something.

    I can wait another year if you can, Arsene.

    You guys might not see it, but the breakthrough is inevitable.
    :yy:

    Completely agree with this.

    This season has definitely been one of the most, if not the most frustrating season ever but I can definitely wait another season for silverware. We got so close again and just fell away at the end. Vermaelen will be back next season, and if RVP can avoid injury we can definitely win something.
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    Imagine if Vidic/Terry/Carragher has been out for the whole season, wouldn't their defence be more vulnerable if they weren't there? It's just been a unlucky season for Arsenal as a whole, with injuries, bad luck and some wrong decisions against us.(yes, this can be said about every team in the league but we've been receiving this treatment for the last 3-4 years)
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    (Original post by jit987)
    Imagine if Vidic/Terry/Carragher has been out for the whole season, wouldn't their defence be more vulnerable if they weren't there? It's just been a unlucky season for Arsenal as a whole, with injuries, bad luck and some wrong decisions against us.(yes, this can be said about every team in the league but we've been receiving this treatment for the last 3-4 years)
    I think Wenger is a quality manager and is doing a decent job at the moment but the mental toughness just isn't there. Yes, every club would miss their top centre back for the season but it's more than just that. The last time you won the league your 'defensive 6' were Cole, Campbell, Toure, Lauren, Gilberto and Vieira. The squad before that had the likes of Keown, Adams and Dixon. All of these players had balls of steel. They weren't just great footballing sides they had the mental edge/arrogance/confidence that title winners need. Wenger just hasn't been able to reproduce that recently. There's also no title winning experience in the squad. Those two are the differences between yourselves and Man United at the moment.
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    As much as I agree with a lot of what you've said in recent posts Rob, I'm not sure we are any closer.

    Correct we've not been bullied as much by teams like Stoke, but I'd say that came last season, picking ourselves up and beating Stoke after Ramsey went off with the broken leg just typified that.

    We did beat Chelsea well with some fantastic football, which is something we've not done for a while, but when you consider just how low they were at that point and consider just how incredibly nervous we looked after Drogba pulled one back, it's not the greatest achievement. If that game were played again now, having conceded one the floodgates would almost certainly have opened.

    The Barcelona victory was fantastic but had the officiating been half competent Barca would've had at least another 1/2 goals before we'd scored so the best result we would've hoped for was a draw - exactly what we got last season.

    Yes, we got to a cup final, but we fielded much stronger teams than we normally do throughout the competition and regardless of the luck involved with their goal, we once again failed to make our superiority count and put the game beyond them.

    You make the point about not using the extra squad options well enough yourself and whilst we have seen young players maturing, hasn't that been the case for 5 years now? Whether it be Fabregas coming through, Song stepping up or Jack/Theo this season, overall things haven't changed because we also let others go the other way. Given their attitudes, I was glad to see the back of the likes of Ade/Flamini, but their importance in the side when they left was massive and we've not replaced them quick enough/at all. If we were filling the positions where players left quick enough, there wouldn't be an issue, but we simply aren't.

    In previous years we could look forward saying that with maturity we will do better as that genuinely seemed the case, but surely this season is proving that age =/= the maturity we need, it's leaders with experience that will add the maturity not another trophy-less season. We've had numerous injury problems in our run ins in recent seasons and so you look forward with the thought that an injury free side will make the difference next year. But, this year, we've not sold players, we've attempted to add to the squad and we've not suffered the same sort of injury crises - the likes of Cesc/RvP/Nasri have been fit throughout the majority of the crumble period, but it's not made a blind bit of difference, if anything the crumble has been worse this year. Vermaelen has been out throughout the season and that has made a big difference imo, but it wasn't early on that we were struggling with his absence, it was after 6 months without him, a time in which we should definitely have learnt to cope. You can't base success on having a single player stay fit throughout a season, especially when that's an Arsenal player. If he has been the missing link we have been terribly unfortunate, but we can't risk going into next season saying that he definitely was the missing link because if he wasn't, we'll just get yet another repeat.

    Whilst it might seem like we're moving forward, I can't help but feel we're stuck in the exact same spot.
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    (Original post by RobbieC)
    You guys might not see it, but the breakthrough is inevitable.
    I agree with this.

    I think you also have to consider what effect losing Cesc, would have. The departure of your best player and captain would be a big blow. He is a very influential player, him and RVP are gamewinners. Nasri is good, but his passing is not as good as Cesc's, and neither is his goalscoring ability.

    I don't think Arsenal will be winning the league next season although they may win the FA/Carling, the season after perhaps. But you want the progression to continue, if Cesc leaves you need to buy a replacement, not someone who will grow into a replacement, or the teams progression will fall back another 2-3 while his replacement grows in the player he is ( that is assuming you can find a potential replacement for one of the best young CM's in the world right away). Arsenal realistically have a 3 year window with this current team before RVP will need replacing. He wil be a hard player to replace. Along with him Sagna, Arshavin, Chamakh will all be finished or on their way out.

    Arsenal have a young team, but some key players are older than the rest of the squad, if Arsenal want a team which is going to win the league in coming season they need to accept Cesc or an equivalent is necessary, you will end up with the same situation you have now. Only with Walcott, Ramsay, and Wilshire and a load of youngsters lacking maturity.
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    (Original post by JK.)
    As much as I agree with a lot of what you've said in recent posts Rob, I'm not sure we are any closer.

    Correct we've not been bullied as much by teams like Stoke, but I'd say that came last season, picking ourselves up and beating Stoke after Ramsey went off with the broken leg just typified that.

    We did beat Chelsea well with some fantastic football, which is something we've not done for a while, but when you consider just how low they were at that point and consider just how incredibly nervous we looked after Drogba pulled one back, it's not the greatest achievement. If that game were played again now, having conceded one the floodgates would almost certainly have opened.

    The Barcelona victory was fantastic but had the officiating been half competent Barca would've had at least another 1/2 goals before we'd scored so the best result we would've hoped for was a draw - exactly what we got last season.

    Yes, we got to a cup final, but we fielded much stronger teams than we normally do throughout the competition and regardless of the luck involved with their goal, we once again failed to make our superiority count and put the game beyond them.

    You make the point about not using the extra squad options well enough yourself and whilst we have seen young players maturing, hasn't that been the case for 5 years now? Whether it be Fabregas coming through, Song stepping up or Jack/Theo this season, overall things haven't changed because we also let others go the other way. Given their attitudes, I was glad to see the back of the likes of Ade/Flamini, but their importance in the side when they left was massive and we've not replaced them quick enough/at all. If we were filling the positions where players left quick enough, there wouldn't be an issue, but we simply aren't.

    In previous years we could look forward saying that with maturity we will do better as that genuinely seemed the case, but surely this season is proving that age =/= the maturity we need, it's leaders with experience that will add the maturity not another trophy-less season. We've had numerous injury problems in our run ins in recent seasons and so you look forward with the thought that an injury free side will make the difference next year. But, this year, we've not sold players, we've attempted to add to the squad and we've not suffered the same sort of injury crises - the likes of Cesc/RvP/Nasri have been fit throughout the majority of the crumble period, but it's not made a blind bit of difference, if anything the crumble has been worse this year. Vermaelen has been out throughout the season and that has made a big difference imo, but it wasn't early on that we were struggling with his absence, it was after 6 months without him, a time in which we should definitely have learnt to cope. You can't base success on having a single player stay fit throughout a season, especially when that's an Arsenal player. If he has been the missing link we have been terribly unfortunate, but we can't risk going into next season saying that he definitely was the missing link because if he wasn't, we'll just get yet another repeat.

    Whilst it might seem like we're moving forward, I can't help but feel we're stuck in the exact same spot.
    Some very valid points in there, and it's tough - I do still think there are issues that should and could be addressed. However, I don't think some of them had become apparent until now.

    Your post also raises an important point. Arsene is accused of being stubborn and refusing to adapt and change it up... However, we've seen HUGE adjustments made in the past couple of seasons...

    Arsene has changed our system in the last couple of years. We went from playing a 442 with pacey wingers and 2 reserved CMs to a 433 451 that has greater flexibility and has yielded a better showing away from home I feel.

    We have seen a sincere approach to cup competitions, especially the Carling Cup where we fielded a strong team specifically in response to people saying there was a time and place to develop youth. Arsene has utterly done a 360 there, and to an extent it has worked out well.

    Those two changes are enormous, because like he said if someone can offer/suggest a good solid reason to make the adjustments he will do it. Unfortunately a lot of people talk about Arsene's failings with a lot of hindsight to hand.

    To go back to the points you made, Joe, we ultimately need the players to commit and to have the loyalty a lot of them often pretend to have and then bail like Adagrandmore and Flamoney. I don't want those players near this club.

    We need the stability and the reason I remain of optimistic outlook is because if we keep the group together they will grow into winners. We can't just pluck a 30m player out of the market and drop them in, because we'll not see a return from that kind of investment.

    We need to invest in attitude, and as I said before... if we're not cheating, we're not trying hard enough. Time to get nasty, Arsenal.
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    Haven't really followed this thread, so this might be a bit off topic, but these stats show a great deal:

    "Net transfer spend since '04 #Arsenal +£11.5m (in credit) #MUFC -£108.72m #CFC -£397.95m #MCFC -£435.2m #THFC -£239.6m"
    and
    "A stat for #arsenal fans. Before Wenger, you finished top four in 23 out of 92 seasons. Under him, it is 14 out of 14."

    People wanting Wenger out are delusional to say the least.
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    That's the point though, if Cesc leaves, do you think Wenger will go out and try and get someone like Sahin (ignore whether he'd come/Dortmund would sell him) or do you think he'd expect Ramsey to step up into the role/bring Nasri central leaving a weakness out wide? With Ramsey's injury problems and Nasri's threat out wide, you'd say Wenger has to go and replace Cesc straight away, but everything he's done over the last few years points to him not doing so.
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    :facepalm2: lol no we can't win something with this squad. Is this a joke?
    How can our lack of trophys be down to luck :lolwut:

    We haven't improved or got any closer this year. Some stats...
    1. If Arsenal do not win all 4 of their remaining matches they will end the season with fewer points than they earned in 2009-10.
    2. 56% of the goals Arsenal have conceded have come from set pieces
    3. We let in 41 goals last year in the PL we are 5 away from that this year.

    We went further in all competitions yet our FA cup and Carling Cup runs were poor, needing penalities to get us through on more than one occasion. We've lost a lot more leads this season and the post March crumble has been epic, a lot worse than last season because we've atleast had a mostly fully fit team for it this time.

    On top of all that we can't even secure 2nd place. How exactly have we improved from last year?
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    Hasn't RVP scored 17 in his last 19 or something now? That is amazing goal scoring form, I've said this before, the guy is one of the best stikers in the world... for 2 months of the year
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    If Wenger has a little pride left he would resign or rethink his transfer strategy and bring in a defensive coach.He has to take his rose tinted glasses off and realise that he pretty much has lost the dressing room including captain Cesc.The team yesterday looked like a bunch of lifeless strangers who clearly look to have lost faith in the management,this reason alone it would be criminal for him to remain in charge.Wenger's touchline antics looked yesterday like he was a beaten man, and with the team not progressing overall something has to give.
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    I think it's a tough one. I'm edging towards Wenger out, but we can't forget what he's done for this club. I don't know how old you guys are, but I remember Arsneal being crap. I remember the season Bergkamp came in, a sparkle in a defensive horrible team (which also won nothing). We owe everything we have right now, the stadium, the stature, Cesc, Robin, Samir et al to Wenger and there's no denying that.

    The question is can he take us up to that final level? My doubts lie there.
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    (Original post by Hantheman)
    I think it's a tough one. I'm edging towards Wenger out, but we can't forget what he's done for this club. I don't know how old you guys are, but I remember Arsneal being crap. I remember the season Bergkamp came in, a sparkle in a defensive horrible team (which also won nothing). We owe everything we have right now, the stadium, the stature, Cesc, Robin, Samir et al to Wenger and there's no denying that.

    The question is can he take us up to that final level? My doubts lie there.
    well said.
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    (Original post by jit987)
    Imagine if Vidic/Terry/Carragher has been out for the whole season, wouldn't their defence be more vulnerable if they weren't there? It's just been a unlucky season for Arsenal as a whole, with injuries, bad luck and some wrong decisions against us.(yes, this can be said about every team in the league but we've been receiving this treatment for the last 3-4 years)
    I think other squads have had to deal with defensive problems too. United last season had a horrible defensive crisis and still only lost by 1 point, this season Ferdinand has been injured for much of the season with Smalling filling it. Liverpool had Carragher out for 3 months this season, and Chelsea's defence was unbalanced until they brought in Luiz. Arsenal have had Vermalen injured, but one of Djourou or Koscielny have been fit, there isn't much between them in quality. I think Arsenal have had defensive problems but nothing that they shouldn't be capable of handling.

    1 season is unlucky. 3-4 isn't unlucky, there is problem.
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    I read this thread daily and carefully, and have done for a long time. It's certainly the most active society thread here on TSR and it's so interesting to me because of the many different opinions you guys have, all as fans of the same club. Compared to the LFC soc where we all have similar views on our manager, and our players (individually and as a whole), you guys are a huge spectrum of views - which makes good reading!

    I'll bring some stats about the debate you've been having on the last few pages:

    - Arsenal have the worst disciplinary record in the Premier League this season. (source: http://www.premierleague.com/page/St...,12306,00.html -> choose "Disciplinary table" from drop-down menu) Liverpool, ManU and Chelsea (three 'dirty' teams as cited above) are all within the top-10 best disciplinary records. This table only takes account of red and yellow cards (Arsenal have the most red cards in the Prem, 6, and and the third most yellow cards, 62). It doesn't take account of things like surrounding the ref or all the fouls that don't get spotted, but it does show that Arsenal aren't the "clean, bullied, victimised" team they are traditionally thought to be.

    - Vermarlan played three league games for you this season, you conceded goals in two of them. I don't think he would have a huge amount of difference over the season. Djourou, your 'breakthrough' defender this season is unlikely to have got a chance of Verm stayed fit. Last season, when he was fit almost all season, you guys still conceded 41 goals in the league - probably more than you'll concede this season. I know other factors have changed, you've gone to a new goalie and signed two new CBs this season, but it shows that he's not as big of a factor in your defence as some people here make him out to be.


    The question I always ask my friends who are Arsenal fans is "are you happy as you are, being the 'most sustainable' club in England but not winning trophies?". They always say yes -- I never believe them.
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    Robin van Persie became the first player to score in seven successive Premier League away games when he scored against Bolton.
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    (Original post by RobbieC)
    You guys might not see it, but the breakthrough is inevitable.
    Are you factoring in the improvement of other teams around you though? I don't think you are.
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    (Original post by Deshi)
    Are you factoring in the improvement of other teams around you though? I don't think you are.
    That's my fear. Or more specifically, Man City (Tottenham will run out of steam). Liverpool have less money (and more problems) than they say they have.
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    What is with some deluded Arsenal fans?

    - If Cesc leaves (Which I think he will) and Wenger doesn't replace him then that team probably won't even qualify for CL next season.
    - Those calling for Wenger to be sacked are idiots, I don't think he should be sacked I believe they should move him up to the boardroom level.
    - Team needs to lose the deadwood EG. Bendtner,Clichy, Rosicky etc etc
    - RVP is a top striker, Far to injury prone, Say for examples sake he gets a broken leg at the start of the season, Then what? Who else is their who scores goals like him? Chamakh pffttt....
    - I read somewhere that 54% of Arsenals conceded goals this season have been from set plays.
    - We require a new GK, Don't get me wrong Schezny could become a top keeper but he requires another top keeper he can train with, New defender, Holding midfielder, and a new striker, Will we see these signings in the summer? I doubt it, Will Arsenal win anything next season if they don't sign? No.

    Those who say the squad lacks maturity, The ****, Seriously look how long that squad has had to mature. I love Arsenal but I hate Wenger's arrogance, You can still play sexy football without a teenage squad, Look at Barcelona for example?
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    (Original post by jit987)
    Imagine if Vidic/Terry/Carragher has been out for the whole season, wouldn't their defence be more vulnerable if they weren't there? It's just been a unlucky season for Arsenal as a whole, with injuries, bad luck and some wrong decisions against us.(yes, this can be said about every team in the league but we've been receiving this treatment for the last 3-4 years)
    Lol...just no.
 
 
 
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