Mails: Wenger is the delusional drunk uncle

Date published: Monday 14th March 2016 11:12

Arsene Wenger Football365

Pee car snull
Wenger: The FA Cup is not enough

Wenger: Arsenal have spied on Watford

FA Cup: Arsenal 1 – 2 Watford

Even the headlines on Football 365 are reaching peak Arsenal now.
Chris ITFC, Liverpool

 

Peak Arsenal? More like the Mariana Trench.
Martin

 

The final straw?
Congratulations Arsene – you finally broke me.

I haven’t left a game early since I was 9 – and that wasn’t my choice.

Something changed yesterday and you could feel it in the air at the Emirates and rather than watch Arsene and his team be booed to high heaven I left with 10 minutes to play.

Yes I missed our goal, but I can’t watch Arsene tarnish his legacy any further. I’m not a Stewie Griffin – I don’t hate Arsene – I love the guy but watching his disintegrate is just too painful.

There’s bound to be a barrage of mails from gooners calling for Wenger’s head, followed by a backlash from rival fans telling gooners to shut up and stop acting like big babies.

But yesterday, Watford fans in the clock were chanting ‘There’s only one Arsene Wenger’.

I can take that level of mocking, just about, from Chelsea and United fans but not from a club that was playing in the championship this time last year.

Yesterday, something broke and I have up sucking it all up and telling myself we’ll be better next time – something has to give but this is Arsenal so it probably won’t.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

 

Wenger: The drunk uncle
For the last 19 years Ive never doubted Arsene Wenger’s dignity, but he’s turned himself Into that p*ssed up aggressive uncle who embarrasses everyone at the end of a family get together who won’t go home.

Wenger has become the hammered dignity free relative at the end of a wedding who’s suit jacket is off, his tie loosened and who sits frightening the kids and making the adults uncomfortable with his stubborn and childish behaviour who won’t just leave and go home.

You can see him there gripping the table to hold his balance, pointing the finger and laying life’s blames at everyone’s else’s feet.

Arsenals board, fans, and ex players need to place a loving and forgiving arm around his shoulders and show him to a cab before he has another drink.
Blackbyrds shining eye

 

Arsene in his own reality
In response to Daniel Storey’s article, I couldn’t agree more with that last paragraph. Every man and his dog knows what should be fixed and what generally doesn’t when it comes to Arsenal. There have been several points during the season (and over the years) where fans have been disappointed, moaned and then it’s back to a string of good performances followed by the interim forgiveness until the next set of losses, ad nauseum.

But I think Arsene has generated his own reality. It’s a reality that celebrities tend to operate in, where they may do or say certain things that may anger the masses but yet they do not feel they should be accountable for, even to the point of not knowing why in the first place. And unless some grave injustice has been done on a public scale, they continue to be themselves and go about their business.

In the daily routine of Arsene’s managerial duties, he doesn’t feel that he is doing anything wrong. He’s accountable to the owners and he’s performing at the business level. He meets all the criteria and anything else is just an added bonus. Sure, he would like to win the CL but why go all in when even the top clubs like Barca and Bayern are not guaranteed to win it every season in spite of the huge amounts of money they spend on buying top players each season? This is probably how he sees it.

What concerns me is that for all the talk of quality and mentality, does he question himself if he is doing justice to players such as Sanchez and Ozil. These are players that have achieved success and glory on a club and country level. They have they quality and mentality he keeps harping about. Barring possibly Cech and Santi as well the rest need to be convinced that they have that mentality. And the look of frustration on the faces of Ozil and Sanchez is telling. It’s that look of disbelief, like ‘what am I doing with this bunch of mediocre players?’ As an Arsenal supporter, I sympathize with them. Yesterday, you could see them going for it and the rest of the team just clueless playing with zero urgency until Welbeck stepped onto the pitch. And if they leave for City or the likes of them, why shouldn’t they? All RVP wanted was to win a premier league title and Arsene was not going to invest further that summer, to reach that goal. Vieira has also brought this up during his time at the club, when Madrid and other such top clubs were trying to secure him.

And why does Arsene do this to himself? How is it possible that he cannot see the gulf in class and quality between the likes of Santi, Ozil and Sanchez and the rest, who keep having this crisis of confidence, which he keeps excusing them for? It’s like he truly believes in some law of averages where the top players must be surrounded by mediocre talent so that the mediocre talent learn from them and his methods as well. You could perhaps apply this philosophy towards the likes of Iwobi but certainly not towards Theo, Ramsey and Oxlade. Yesterday was one of those days where I was longing for the presence of Adebayor on the pitch. watching Mertesacker freeze when Guedioura took that rocket of a shot, reminded me that scene from the movie Snatch where Turkish and co. just freeze at the end when the gun is pointed at them.

But it’s the norm isn’t it? It is what we’ve come to expect and what we should continue to expect. Honestly, I won’t be shocked if we survive Camp Nou with a bravely fought draw and we’ll be back to normal. I think things will truly have to go south, like the current Chelsea side and who knows, for possibly more than a season. Until then, we shouldn’t expect anything different. Theo said that prior to the Hull victory, players had a get together and discussed what issues were conerning them. I guess that discussion has yet to be concluded. Maybe a series of discussions to come in future. These players have had it too easy for too long and are ok with where they are now.

Arsene has generated his own reality and barring a few players, the rest are part of it and have succumbed to this reality.
Carl (Gabriel is no angel) AFC

 

Delusional
Arsene Wenger’s post match comments about the way fans have been reacting to the club’s recent form is, quite frankly, utterly disgusting and disrespectful. It shines a new light on how delusional the man is. After the match against Watford, Arsene Wenger stated that the way the fans are treating recent performances is ‘a farce’.

What the actual f**k? Is this man serious? How can he sit in front of a camera and say that the fans’ reactions are a farce and not the fact that Arsenal have only won 4 of their last 14 games? He stated that it was only one game and we have to look to the next one. True. But it was a game that got us knocked out of a Cup which was our only hope of winning silverware this season.

Again he refuses to take any responsibility for the defeat. Again, the fans are told that they are not allowed to show their discontent with the way the team is being managed. If you have a person who cannot even see faults in his team or himself, how does one expect to see improvement? Every time he is criticised, he lashes out on the defensive, claiming he has won the most FA cups or qualified for the Champions League every season. They are tiring excuses that do not justify mismanagement, negligence and horrible performances from a team who should really be aiming higher.

And the most frustrating part is that, even if the entire Emirates faithful want him out he will still be in his position. Because we are all wrong and he is right. Because he gets the club money. He keeps the board happy with high profits and why would you want to change that? Arsene Wenger will be manager of Arsenal until his contract runs out because he decides when he should step down. Not the board, not the staff and certainly not us fans who know nothing and should really appreciate how great he is. Seriously, sod off.
Malcolm, (you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain) AFC

 

He’s lost the dressing room
The pure laziness of this Arsenal team is astonishing, Watford raced to every ball whilst Arsenal were practically walking to close down the opposition. When Ozil was crowded of the ball numerous times, where were his teammates to help him? 3 or 4 times he was surrounded by Watford players yet his teammates just stood and watched and didn’t even try to offer themselves as an outlet. It’s pathetic how little this team cares, the only two players who even look slightly bothered are Ozil and Welbeck. Arsenal are resembling Chelsea’s performances up until Mourinho left, players who you’ve seen are top quality look awful and are not trying, and only one or two players look bothered and are showing their quality( Willian in Chelsea’s case, Ozil in Arsenal’s). Wenger seems to have lost the dressing room much like Mourinho did. The entire team having a team meeting without him really shows how much faith they have in the boss. Unlike Chelsea, the board will not have the spine to sack him, and he is much much too egotistical to resign. With so many players not trying for Wenger anymore, performances like the one today will carry on and you could easily see Arsenal drop out the top four and maybe even the Europa places as well.
Matt, Arsenal fan

 

Arsenal: A scarf made of spiders
Eight points off the top. Out of both cup competitions. Alex Iwobi brought on when we need three goals.

Arsenal are like a scarf made of spiders.

Thats all I have to say.
Stu AFC

 

Groundhog week
Has Arsene been reading the mailbox? Calling the booing and reaction to another loss a farce.

We had the November blues (which extended into December). We’ve now had our annual February-March collapse!

So, things that are more of a farce than our fans (who have seen this all before) as Mr storey pointed out yesterday:

A last 16 exit in the champions league whether it be to a top team or favourable draw (Monaco) every year.

Our leading striker having 12 goals from 29 games when you’re trying to win the league. By the way, at what point does him being unlucky with keepers saving his big chances become bad misses for putting the shots in the wrong areas? (for reference, a smashed volley from 6yards against Swansea hitting the bar, or the 6 yes that’s SIX!!!! Big chances missed vs Monaco last year.

The back-up striker having 4 from 22.

Replacing his faith in diaby with his faith in Wilshere.

Not signing an outfield player

Saying that your leading striker is cyclical in scoring and will now go “boom” again.

And the biggest farce of all?

Me writing this email, and then realizing I wrote almost the same thing along with a whole host of other gooners in an Arsenal specific mailbox last Wednesday!

Groundhog Day used to be a yearly thing, now it’s becoming weekly!
Strevs, Afc, Canada (Messi is cyclical too, but it’s perpetual)

 

Who should replace him?
So just to spark discussion: I have been the biggest Wenger fan for a long time, stupendous individual who has helped Arsenal through a transition period that probably no other manager could, but these last few seasons have shown a lack of killer instinct. Especially this summer, Arsenal could have added three players to make them far and away (in hindsight) the title favorites and he didn’t. He got 1/3 of the way there and then stopped. He made that decision and now he has to wear it.

That said, and I think he should go, what do we do now? We need a change, but we completely shat the bed in tying up his successor. Klopp and Pep were his natural successors and we waited too long. Instead of getting one of these two after 2014/2015 FA Cup wins, we ga,bled with a new contract and those chickens have come home to roost.

So who’s left? Best fits are probably Teuchel or Luis Enrique and those are clearly pipe dreams considering current club status. Simeone doesn’t seem like a good fit in terms of playing style or culture. Hiddink? Sampaoli? Loew. I’d probably take Hiddink out of those and for personal reasons I don’t want to consider Mourinho.

All of that is reliant on of course Kroenke actually giving two flying you know what’s. History shows he doesn’t. I trust Gazidis (who I firmly believe has the best interests of club at heart) to make the right decision if he’s given the proper options, but as an American, I don’t trust Kroenke.

I feel Arsenal are up the proverbial creek with out a paddle and its of their own making. If it comes down to Ozil or Wenger this summer, where would you realistically place your money? I know where I would, and it’s depressing as hell.

Viva La Revolution
Adam

 

Like Cameron’s Britain
I saw a Facebook status after the defeat yesterday from someone saying ‘Can’t fathom what it must feel like being an Arsenal fan’. It’s actually really easy to explain. It’s pretty much what life is like in Britain under a Tory government. You don’t want to moan too much as in the grand-scheme of things and in so many ways you’re extremely lucky. You’re a Citizen of one of the wealthiest countries in the world and have a standard of living that people in Third-World countries can only dream of. People may quite rightly call you ungrateful and entitled if you moan too much. However there’s so many problems with the way the Country’s run and what with it’s resources and World-Standing it’s obvious it should be doing a lot better. It’s also ridiculously expensive to live here and is run by incompetent tw**s.
Simon

 

The fans must do better too
Arsene Wenger, the board, the players etc. all have a responsibility to do better. But it seems to me that the fans also have a responsibility to do better and at the moment they are completely shirking that responsibility. When the team is 0-1 down at home with 40 minutes to go and there are people walking out of the stadium, then the fans are most certainly not trying hard enough.

As the fans are there to stay and you can’t get rid of all the players, it is Arsene Wenger who will be the fall-guy. I do wonder though, how different it would be at the Emirates if fans cheered their team, not scolded it. A supporter’s job is to support, not moan every time there is a misplaced pass and cry every time the team is 0-1 down.
Global Gooner

 

Other thoughts
A strange write up by Daniel Storey. I saw A team too static up front to give Watford the run around. Meanwhile the only match analysis offered by F365 was to say our defending was awful in a game where the opposition had 2 meaningful shots. I’ve watched Watford a fair bit recently and they always fluff loads of chances. So yes, must have been Arsenal’s defending. Then as usual he pads out the word count by saying Wengers rubbish and Arsenal are going nowhere with some slightly different vocabulary to the last time.

The depressing thing from Arsenal was that whenever Ozil had the ball he saw a Static Giroud up top by himself with Campbell and Alexis far too deep. From now on we basically need Alexis and Welbeck up front, preferentially with Alexis on the right where he’s been getting a little more joy.

A final bug bear on my entirely un-fun Sunday was paying £50 to see Watford players pretend to be injured and take goal kicks. You’d think booking him early might have stopped Pantillimon from his incessant time wasting. Or that Marriner might have added on the time he wasted, or threatened a second booking. No such luck. The Watford physio must have been on 4 time in the 2nd half. Not a single genuine injury and then only 4 minutes added on. Brainless that Arsenal played the game by kicking the ball out for them, weak and pathetic that Mariner was complicit.
James Gooner

 

Stewie was right
I’ve disagreed with Stewie Griffin for about 6 years now but the time has come: thanks for the memories but….

And if you scribble out the A, O, R and D from “Watford” you’re left with WTF?
Al, Arsenal, Sydney.

 

It’s taken 6 or 7 years to convert me but now….yeah. Maybe you were right – now you definitely are.

Wenger is done. That flag/banner at Hull was kind of prophetic.

Who the f*** loses to Watford at home?
Al, Arsenal, Sydney (wondering why I stayed up so late to watch that sh*te)

 

And here he is
I blame the banner boys. It got to our delicate petals, you could tell. Now could be a good time to bring out the banner, then again, too premature as it’ll look silly after Arsene knocks Barca out come Tuesday.
Stewie Griffin (Groundhog Day battle for 4th starts here!)

 

And again
Could you please rename your 365 Feature “Winners and Wengers”?

The term Wenger captures the essence of the Loser so much more than any other word.
Stewie Griffin (Giroud wouldn’t start at Watford. But was good enough to win the league with eh? Poor AKBs. Panic stations now)

 

Wenger deserves his chance
I’m pre empting a heavy Wenger out mailbox so I thought I would make a contribution to try and even things out a bit. At the end of last season, us Gooners were all pretty satisfied. A solid third place finish along with a second FA Cup in two years, but I was actually of the opinion that last year was Wenger’s worst ever as Arsenal manager.

Blaming Wenger for his lack of trophies between 2006 and 2013 is utterly ridiculous. His achievement of staying in the Champions League every season whilst having to make money on transfers every year was sensational. I would go so far as to say that it was bordering on genius. People asked what the point of it all was but the answer is very simple. Ozil and Sanchez. If Arsene hadn’t spectacularly kept us up there and won a couple of cups instead, Arsenal would not have had the money or prestige to entice these players. Arsene had done it, when the odds were hugely stacked against him, and the new sponsorship deals suddenly meant that Arsenal were back, and were able to compete again. For that he deserves unbelievable credit.

As soon as we signed Ozil, we won a major trophy. Wenger needed more time to build a title challenging squad when compared to City and Chelsea and that season was an undoubted success. Last year, however, was different. For the first real time in his career I felt that Arsene didn’t get the best out of the players at his disposal. That squad should have maintained a title challenge but it faded into a top four battle. No matter, we retained the FA Cup and I was very confident going into this season that Wenger would guide us to the title.

At that point, as far as I was concerned, his record was basically immaculate. When he had resources, he won trophies, sometimes in spectacular fashion. When he didn’t he had done the best we could possibly hope for. The slight disappointment of not challenging last season was offset by the cup win and the glory that I was confident was to come. But it hasn’t.

Now the targets have changed. Regardless of his brilliant achievements, now Wenger has to prove he can win the league again. He has the money and, more importantly, he already has the squad. It seems foolish to judge a season before its conclusion but if Arsenal fail to win the league this year, and Leicester or Spurs win it, it will comfortably be the worst of his reign. And that fact alone suddenly puts him under pressure. However, given the fact that we’re only in this position due to his gifts and hard work, doesn’t he deserve another shot next season? Regardless of the outcome.

When it comes to Wenger familiarity breeds contempt. Some people simply want change for changes sake and I understand why. Why not just give someone else a go and see what happens? I’ll tell you why, because Wenger deserves his chance. He finally, finally has the resources to build a title winning team, and even if he messes this season up, and it looks like he has, he has earned the right to have a bad season, something which he has never had before in the history of his Arsenal career. So lets all get behind him. You might think there is a better man out there, and maybe you’re right. But that man will only have a chance at winning trophies because Arsene Wenger somehow kept the club at the top fighting bazooka’s with a slingshot. Have respect for the great man, and get behind him, at least for one more season.
Tom Goldenballs

 

Payet should have been sent off
As everybody seems to be enamoured with that (all be it excellent) Payet free kick, I thought I would write in with a United perspective, and the fact is as wonderful as it was Payet shouldn’t of been on the field of play to score it if Martin Atkinson had the balls he was born with, already on a yellow card a blatant dive in the area in an attempt to win a penalty should have been an automatic 2nd yellow yet the man in the middle totally bottled it leaving Payet on to score said free kick. Howard Webb the mouth piece for referees now on TV even came out and said it was a penalty, no contact going over before Rojo was anywhere near him and that’s a penalty? the law is skewed in favour of the attacker he dives in the box most of the time it’s either a yellow card but if he cons the ref it’s a penalty and possible red for the innocent defender, until we get retrospective bans for simulation in the box then it will always be worth a try to fall over in the box. Stan Collymore had in right (yeah I know) when he said Payet threw his legs back, arched his back and threw out his arms in the classic ‘Look ref I’ve been fouled’ dive, he also berated Howard Webb for his ridiculous assertion that is was a penalty.
United were still shocking though.
Paul Murphy. Manchester

 

Watching Match of the Day, there were two incidents this weekend where a referee has decided that a player dived in the area, and no card was given. While I’m not desperately seeking more yellow cards, I think rules either need to be enforced or abandoned. As it stands, either the referee deems that a foul has been committed, in which case a penalty is the correct outcome, or the referee deems that a player has deliberately tried to cheat him through simulation, for which a yellow card is the correct outcome.

In particular, I think Dimitri Payet, fantastic player though he is, dived and should have been awarded a second yellow card. That the referee agreed it was a dive is evident by a penalty not being awarded. That he was not, and then scored a a goal from a free kick a few minutes later adds insult to injury. No doubt many will say that there was contact (there was) but he was already going down when that contact was made and so I think the referee made the correct decision. Perhaps if he hadn’t a first yellow card, he would have been shown one, but then where is the consistency?

I appreciate refereeing is a hard task, and I agree referees should be shown respect, but respect needs to be earned, and I don’t think that they help themselves by allowing such inconsistency, and we all know examples. Fouls inside the box vs outside, shirt pulling in the area, fouls when players are already on a yellow. By allowing these, they make it more difficult for themselves since players know there is a grey area to take advantage of, sometimes it will go their way, other times it won’t, and often the reward is greater than the risk. And this also undermines the referee, since players can see referees giving some decisions, and waving away others.
Daniel (resigned to a wasted season) Cambridge

 

You what, Louis?
“We have played against West Brom and lost, and Liverpool and lost this week, and when you come back from that I think that it is amazing, and fantastic spirit in the team, in spite of a very nasty week, I am very proud of my players. We are still in three competitions.”

What is this? Some kind of voodoo? And I supposed to be tricked into believing these words? I’m not at all surprised, he’s been speaking absolute tosh for months now, however this takes the biscuit. I’ll start with the obvious….

“We are still in three competitions.” – Louis, Aston Villa are still in 1 competition. In fact they are as much ‘in’ that competition as we are. Saying that, they are just about as much ‘in’ the Europa League as we will be after Thursday. I give us very little hope away to West Ham too but I’ll give him that we are still just about ‘in’ 2 competitions.

“We have played against West Brom and lost, and Liverpool and lost this week, and when you come back from that I think that it is amazing.” – How the mighty have fallen. For the umpteenth time this season we have had these very nasty weeks, which he goes on to say. He seems to forget this. I honestly think he thinks this is our first very nasty week. But then he praises us for coming back from this dreadful week with a well fought draw at home to West Ham in the FA Cup, in our only slightly realistic chance of silverware this season. No offence to West Ham, they deserved something out the game and they are definitely the in-form team, but with the resources we have, the money spent, the fact we are DESPERATE to put on a performance… praising us like we’re the underdogs is the mentality that I think he must be instilling into our players minds prior to every game.

I don’t like to ramble on about the Manager but when I read utter tripe like this it really makes my Red blood boil!
Joe, MUFC/LOFC

 

Martial vs Rooney
I’d like to pick up from Ronnie Buzzard’s point in Friday’s mailbox on Martial’s recent struggles as a central striker. It reminded me of a theory I had around about October time. As we all know Rooney was playing about as poorly as any time in his career. I think it’s fair to say that United fans in the main turned on him very quickly. In contrast; the exciting, energetic Martial shone brightly. He was quickly heralded as the tonic to Rooney’s impotence, everything that Rooney wasn’t. The solution was simple according to some. Drop Rooney and play Martial in his place.

The popular opinion that Rooney was suddenly past it, whilst Martial was a class above just didn’t sit right with me. Martial is indeed an exciting player, who will be world class. However there were two more factors that occurred to me. His young age and his lack of exposure to LVG’s philosophy. He came in with all the confidence and enthusiasm of an 18 year old who (I assume) had been allowed to express his abilities and take risks at Monaco. My theory was that this initial positivity could not last as the reality of life in this United team set in. Few chances created and isolation up front.

So when I recently noticed that Rubbish Rooney and Magnificent Martial were tied on 7 goals each in the league this season, I thought it was worth checking out some of the other league stats. It made for some interesting reading.

Appearances R 21(1) M 22(1)
Minutes R 1905 M 1994
Goals R 7 M 7
Assists R 4 M 3
Shots/game R 2.6 M 1.9
On target/game R 0.9 M 0.7
Pass success R 81.6% M 78.3%
MOM R 3 M 2
Key passes/game R 1.5 M 1.2
Dribbles/game R 0.7 M 2.7
Successful dribbles R 56.2% M 44.3%
Dispossessed/game R 2 M 3
Bad control/game R1.7 M 2.3

Of course stats don’t tell the whole story, but that’s a lot of stats. I was particularly surprised that Martial has even given the ball away more. He’s been Van Gaalled, and Rashford is next.
Quackeththeduck

 

Ouch
Man Utd have failed to win 21 of their last 34 games, that’s 62% of the 34 matches played without a win

Let that sink in for a moment.
Simon MUFC, KL

 

A mail from Daniel Storey
If i were our new major shareholder Mr. Moshiri (not Morishi as every commentator in the world seems to believe) having just seen that game against Chelsea and the performance Monsieur Lukaku put in, I would be doing all I could to ensure the millions I had pledged to invest were out towards a huge new contract for him including a buy out clause upwards of 50 million pounds. Same goes for Barkley and to a lesser extent Stones (boy seems to be believing his own hype a bit).

These three seem the most likely to leave in the summer and if Everton are to progress in the near future retaining these players is key, more so than investing in the transfer market I believe. Just convince them to stay, at least for a year or two more and see if the team can’t build upon the youthful core the club has fostered in the last couple of years. As has been said, the team league position belies the talent in the squad and an overhaul would seem a counterintuitive step and really needs to be avoided. Martinez seems to be very good at convincing players of his ‘project’, we now have the money to back it up, and incentive for these key young players to stay and continue performing should be priority number one over the transfer market.

I like Martinez and I hope he can reverse the fortunes of Everton in the league, but as this website and many others have said, this comes down to him and if Everton can keep the players next season then failing to progress means his time is up. Interesting times ahead.

Good lord Lukaku is a monster though.
Will (Özil looks like a talented dad having a kick about with his young kids) Wymant, EFC

 

COYS! (from a Villa fan)
Very impressed with Tottenham’s fans in B6 today – was amazed to see the away fans displaying 100% sympathy with the Villa mess, rather than schadenfreude (basically, not what we’d have been doing in their position)

Our last prem game at VP for…a while is vs Newcastle, who have something of a score to settle, so that is not going to be nice; and odds on that Emirates on the last day will be a pretty sour experience too. So the Spurs salve is much appreciated.

So between that, the quality football, pissing off Arsenal, and Pochettino constructing an actual good England team in his spare time across his two jobs in this country, you now have my vote for the title. COYS etc!
Neil Raines AVFC FORL

 

Palace thoughts
Seeing red at this email will be a rare moment of colour in your otherwise grey lives.

*They may have only been up against a Championship-calibre side, but nonetheless Reading gave it a good go. Ultimately, Crystal Palace were able to weather a couple of storms and eventually press home their superiority. Given that Palace’s natural style is to cede possession and use speed on the counter-attack, it was interesting to see how they coped with having the lion’s share of the ball.

*2-0 was probably a bit harsh on Reading, but it was indicative of a side who had run out of steam. They’d played some decent passing football and threatened a few times. The “triple threat” punishment of penalty, red card and goal was harsh for a seemingly minor foul, but was the correct decision.

As a pedantic point, it’s curious that Jake Cooper was shown a second yellow card for his foul, rather than a straight red. Surely had he not had his name taken earlier in the game, he would have been shown red – rather than yellow – under the DOGSO guidelines.

*Ali Al-Habsi was in incredible form, making five world class saves. Between that and Wayne Hennessey gifting the ball to Ola John, I was convinced this would be the Royals’ night. That said, Hennessey’s save from Hal Robson-Kanu was also excellent, from a goalkeeper struggling for form.

*Robson-Kanu’s great chance was a result of a tactic that leads to many chances against the Glaziers: a cross from the right to deep goes over the head of Joel Ward, who isn’t close enough to the recipient to block a shot. Ward has played well at times this season, but his defensive positioning needs addressing.

*Palace’s tactics resembled something that worked incredibly well at the start of the season. Although they nominally lined up in 4-4-2, with Bolasie and Adebayor up front, and Zaha as a wide midfielder, in reality Adebayor dropped back almost into the midfield and Zaha moved forward. This meant the two paciest players in the team were able to run through the centre – in addition to Cooper, Michael Hector also picked up a yellow card for a foul on Zaha.

*That pitch was awful. No wonder London Irish ran away to New Jersey after leaving it like that.

*Still, a win is a win and you could see how much it meant to the players. I’m indebted to/shamelessly nicking this from Palace blogger RedNBlueArmy.co.uk, but the Glaziers are the first team in the Premier League era to progress from the third to the sixth round of the FA Cup whilst failing to win a league game in between.

The FA Cup form has been a major factor in the club and the fans giving Alan Pardew an easy ride, but this should be a catalyst for our league form. Unfortunately, our next four games are against title-chasing Leicester City, Champions League-chasing West Ham United, survival-chasing Norwich City, and manager-out-of-town-on-a-rail-chasing Arsenal. Things could get interesting.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven

 

How refreshing
How very refreshing,

Despite my personal feelings towards Fellaini and Costa due to their twuntish behaviour I have to say how very refreshing it is for both Emre Can and Gareth Barry to come straight out and say it was nothing really / he didnt bite me…

There was / would have been outrage and twitter led ‘fury’ if it hadnt been for these 2 players quashing these rumours and I think its for the best,

Just saying..

Makes a nice change
Al – LFC

 

Guedioura
THAT is the definition of a thunderb*stard.

What a strike from Guedioura
Ashton (Salford MUFC)

 

Congratulations Ross County
Just a quick congratulations to Ross County. Highland League 20ish years ago, now win their first big trophy, the Scottish League Cup.

Also, excellent quote from Arsenal fan, Liam O’Connor (on BBC website) – “Wenger is like our old family dog. We know he is suffering and it’s time for him to go. We just don’t have the heart to do it.”
Mike Woolrich, LFC

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