The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Man City 6-3 Arsenal: Ermmm….. Okay then. Bad day at the office.

Aaron chose an odd moment to express his feeling through the majesty of dance.

Afternoon/evening, folks.


Not entirely sure where to start today. I’m disappointed. Doubtless to say, I’m far from the only Arsenal fan feeling that way at present. Yesterday did not go as planned. Before matches, I’ve a habit of playing out scenarios in my head, kind of like a pre-match pre-visualisation. When picturing the way events would unfold, images of a hard fought and close contest were conjured in my brainbox. I did not expect 9 goals.

In the face of defeat, it’s very easy to look for a scapegoat. God only knows why, but some people feel they can ease their misery by piling as much blame onto the shoulders of one of the players.  Aaron Ramsey knows better than most how fickle fans can be when you’re going through a bad time. Olivier Giroud seems to be the latest target. Continue reading

Gervinho, Ramsey, Chamakh, Wilshere, Podolski, and an abject failure in every respect.

Bradford City 1-1 Arsenal (AET Bradford win 3-2 on pens): Oh dear…

Morning folks

Before the snarly, disgruntled. how-the-fuck-did-that-happen post begins, I feel there is something all Arsenal fans should say; congratulations to Bradford City. They played their hearts out, showed the kind of hunger, spirit, and determination we lacked in almost every position, and they richly deserved the spoils. Defeat may be bitter pill to swallow in such embarrassing circumstances, but our opponents warrant their day in the sun.

As for Arsenal? Well… It’s difficult to know where to begin. I hate to be one of those smug know-it-alls that says, “I told you so”, but I did tell you so.

Throughout the hours leading up to kick-off, I was gripped with a sense of worry. Part of me just knew something dreadful was waiting on the horizon. What finally materialised was just about as bad as I think I’ve ever seen Arsenal play. In every regard they were woeful; passing, dedication, shooting, creating chances, defending. The list goes on.

It’s the easy option to try to assign blame or look for scapegoats on the back of failure. Ordinarily, I’d condemn those looking to place fault onto Aaron Ramsey’s shoulders. Today I can’t defend him. He was utterly horrendous. As bad as our Welsh midfielder was, a shadow of shite was cast over him by the mighty Gervinho. The Ivorian took gangly ineptitude in front of goal to uncharted heights – even conspiring to miss a gaping net from 3 yards out without a serious challenge to distract him.

But to place blame on two players would be unfair. Every single one of them was bloody awful. Vermaelen was sloppy, Mertesacker looked as if he was seeing a ghost every other minute, and Podolski and Chamakh might as well have not been on the pitch at all. The only person who might – and I say ‘might’ – be above some criticism is Jack Wilshere, who at least looked as if he cared about what was happening.

Bizarrely, Arsene Wenger gave praise to the efforts of his team after the game. In an interview with Sky Spoorts, he stated:

“I cannot fault the effort we gave for 120 minutes. You have to give credit to Bradford on the night. That’s part of the game.

“It’s not a lack of quality. We couldn’t convert our chances for different reasons. Overall it was a real cup game.

“We will get over that. It’s part of our club, it’s what we do.”

Giving credit to the victors is the sportsmanlike thing to do. It smacks of stubbornness, however, to commend the efforts of a team who, to even the most ardent of supporter, didn’t perform even remotely close to the required level. I’m sure most of us would see fault with the effort over 120 minutes, and if that performance was Arsenal trying their best, then we are in a worse place than I’ve previously thought.

On the back of a result like that, I’m past being angry. Instead I’m genuinely worried. In seasons past when hardship has struck, I’ve always fancied our ability to bounce back. Since those days, the players that made us great have gradually been stripped away, and we’re left with what we have now; a shadow of what we used to be. Selling our best players off at a profit looks finally to have taken a serious toll.

For every brief moment of light we get, there seems to be darker days waiting just around the corner. In a season already filled with disappointment, losing… No, being outplayed comprehensively by a side from League Two is a new low for Arsenal. The Capital One Cup represented our best chance of silverware, and now it is gone. What’s left is a season in tatters, a segregated and angry fanbase, and a manger seemingly flirting dangerously close with the sack – how many other top Club’s wouldn’t have acted by now?

Right now, I’m too damn miserable to write anymore. I’m not one to scream for knee-jerk reactions and fortunes to be spent, but something has to be done about the malaise at our club. It’s beyond a joke now. I love Arsenal, with or without trophies. But what I’m seeing on the pitch is not the Arsenal I love .

That’s all from me, fellow Gooners. Leave a comment in the box below with your thoughts – it should make for interesting reading today.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Gervinho, Podolski, Sczcsney, Arsene, the ‘Arsenal-cokey’, and another terrible performance.

Arsenal 0-2 Swansea: Kieran Gibbs sums it up perfectly…

 Morning folks.

There’s been too much said that’s negative in recent weeks. As best I can, I try to look past the bad, and offer a little hope for some good. This morning, finding the optimistic side of my persona, and getting him to come to the forefront is practically impossible.

Losing is just a part of football. I can take defeat. I struggle when that defeat comes with a total lack of application from a team that can/should do better. Swansea didn’t sneak an undeserved flukey-goal-on-the-break-after-weathering-a-siege win. No, they comprehensively outplayed us on our own ground, and took the spoils deservedly. But for Szczsney, it could have been worse.

Whilst the game was live, I was in Bristol centre glued to a radio that wouldn’t work, and a Twitter feed than chose such an inopportune moment to freeze completely. Having now watched the entirety of the game, I can safely say that ‘abject’ and ‘woeful’ were the words that immediately sprung to mind.

Gervinho and Podolski looked utterly disinterested by the whole thing. Only Jack Wilshere showed the kind of hunger and fight you’d expect. I’ve had the misfortune to see some dire Arsenal performances in the past – most can be brushed off as freak occurrences or “one of those days”. There is a worrying trend with our team at the moment; the players look like they don’t fear losing, and those excuses don’t wash anymore.

Something is wrong at Arsenal.

Blame is easily handed out when frustration overwhelms. The board, the players, Arsene Wenger; they’ve all been singled out as reprehensible a million times over. I truly don’t care about who we can or cannot blame. I care about what happens from hereon-in.

Change must be implemented. I’m no expert, I don’t have ‘insiders’ at the club who can feed me juicy information; I’m just a blogger from Bristol. I can’t give answers, I can only hope that those capable of solutions get their collective heads together and work something out.

If that means a change of management, then so be it. If that means the morons that occupy our board and line their pockets at the expense of die-hard supporters all take a long walk off a treacherous hillside, then all the better. If solving our issues means splashing every bit of the alleged £70m we have in the bank, and quality players come in, then that wouldn’t go amiss, either.

But we can’t just do nothing a hope things will change. This season has followed the same alarming path as the last, but we’re minus a world-class centre forward to dig us out of trouble this time around. Stupidity can be defined as repeating the same mistake and expecting a different outcome. If we repeat anymore mistakes, I think we already all know where this is headed.

On a more jovial note, below is a song I created on Twitter, and I’m sharing it with you as a means of lightening the mood – and because I’d like to prove it was mine before someone rips it off. It’s called ‘The Arsenal-cokey’, and if you’re one of the many who ReTweeted  it, I thank you.

That’s all for today, folks. The comments are below. Vent, vent, vent…

I shall return tomorrow with more.

If you are planning to bet on the next game, then do it over at to get some great odds and enjoy some great casino games too. Have a go on Football Rules or Penalty Shootout to get you in the mood for the beautiful game.

Poor defending costs points, Jack out for the season and Euro 2012 and a bit of Ramsey bashing…

Aaron realised logging into his Twitter account was a bad idea...

FA Premiership, April 16th: Arsenal 1-2 Wigan

Morning, folks.

Yesterday wasn’t a good day. In a season that’s defined ‘topsey-turvey’, a poor result that wasn’t expected turned up on the back of an excellent one. With some signs of consistency and good performances, Arsenal are never far away from showing their capable of doing something a little stupid.

Lacklustre sums it up. We shipped two appallingly defended goals in the opening 8 minutes, and couldn’t show any of the drive and resolve that’s got us out of previous self-induced jams. We lost. The team didn’t function as well as they could. The same collective blunders in defending are cropping up.

I can’t pretend I’m not frustrated at the manner in which the team performed. I expected better. I know they’re capable of better. Perhaps, we considered Wigan to be an easy 3 points and simply fell victim to our own arrogance. I don’t know. With these unnecessary defeats becoming more of a regularity, picking them apart and seeking scapegoats strikes me as pointless. I’m more focused to thinking of solutions. I prefer to support my team, regardless of fortune. As one user on my Twitter timeline said, “We win together, we lose together”.

And that brings me nicely to my opinion on Aaron Ramsey. I am, quite frankly, getting tired of defending one of own players from the vitriol of halfwits and hateful doom merchants masquerading as Arsenal fans. I could just about tolerate and understand taunts from a rival supporter, but when individuals claiming to be Gooners start throwing despicable insults at a young man who never hides, then I feel compelled to speak out. He may be lacking in confidence, and under-performing slightly, yes. Constructive, accurate criticism is perfectly valid, but to use social networking sites as an avenue to threaten violence is simply bafflingly stupid.

It disgusts me. It truly does. There is a small minority in Arsenal’s online fan-base that represent an embarrassing disgrace. If you’re one of those people who seem to believe Aaron is responsible for the defeat – he wasn’t even on the pitch for the two goals we conceded -, If you’re one of the people who posted death threats and remarks about Gary Speed , then I challenge you to offer an intelligent, reasoned argument for the things said that won’t make me think you’re a fucking idiot.

I won’t be expecting any takers.

News on the injury front didn’t improve the mood, either. Mikel Arteta limped off during the 1st half and reports from various folks across the web suggest he could have a serious ankle problem – one that will result in his absence for the remainder of the season. To compounds matters, we won’t be seeing Jack Wilshere this season – not in an Arsenal or an England shirt.

Arsene Wenger and Jack have both confirmed that his lack of fitness will prevent him from travelling with the national team to Euro 2012, and his ankle won’t be risked in competitive football this term. That’s a big blow for Jack, but one I’m actually quite glad about. From an Arsenal perspective, enabling him a full summer of rest and recuperation should ensure he’s raring to go for the next campaign.

That’s all for today folks. There is still plenty to be cheerful about, isn’t there? Let’s all pick ourselves up from the doldrums and look forward to the next game. We’ve got 4 games left, and still enough breathing space to leave securing 3rd place in our own hands. The defeat was far from welcome or ideal, but it’s not the end of the world.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Take a moment to comment and follow all my Twittery goodness on Twitter – @_ArmchairGooner