We barely had any Arsenal reaction in the Mailbox. That is a lie. We have plenty on Arsene Wenger, Mesut Ozil, Steve Bould, Kieran Gibbs and peak Arsenal. Oh, and Jose Mourinho lost…
Phew. Anything to add on these or any other subjects? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
F*ck me, the mailbox is gonna be good tomorrow.
•I’ve seen milk turn faster than Per Mertesacker.
•Alexis Sanchez must have a tremendous pain in his back from carrying this Arsenal side.
•Maybe someday Oxlade-Chamberlain will deflect a shot into the opposition net.
•Theo Walcott looks like one of those pranksters who’s somehow conned his way onto the pitch for the team photo only this time, the conman has somehow managed to stay on the pitch for ninety minutes.
•Wenger should be forbidden from wearing those long, sleeping bag type coats. They’re obviously making the man sleepy and unable to maintain any sense of awareness of what’s happening around him.
•I hope Steve Bould walked into that dressing room after the final whistle and kicked seven shades of sh*t out of somebody, anybody.
•I like Mesut Ozil but he takes corners like Robbie Brady at Norwich. Poorly.
•Esteban Cambiasso has a wonderfully shiny and distinctive head. It must be a commentators dream to identify him. Obviously not bright enough for any Arsenal players to spot and avoid though.
•Harry Redknapp’s punditry on Irish TV was accurate. He foretold what would happen. Just like when Homer predicted that the approaching meteor would cause no harm. I’m frightened too.
•It’s been said that teams looking to get knocked out of the Europa League do so to improve their League chances. It’s frustrating to know that even if Arsenal drop out of the Champions League at the group stage, it won’t result in them improving in the League whatsoever.
•Considering the considerable money paid by football fans to attend matches, is it their duty to cheer the team regardless of performance or is it the teams role to provide the fans with a reason to support them and get behind them? Either way, the Emirates seemed a quiet place.
Eoin (I started laughing when the third goal went in Arsene. You’ve caused me to run out of tears) Ireland
– Arsenal may well be the pride of north London, but they’re definitely the laughing stock of Europe.
– Arséne never learns. Neither do Arsenal.
-“Own Goal” really has it out for the Gunners this season.
-I kinda understand why the likes of Benzema may have been worried about competing for trophies at the highest level at Arsenal.
-Since Wenger has decided he won’t add to the squad, he’s probably come to the conclusion that the best way to keep them from being burnt out is by consciously reducing the number of matches they’ll play this season. That’s definitely 2 less in Europe now. Whatever will the Round of 16 look like without us?
-Goodbye, Monsieur Wenger. Thanks for the memories. Win against United. Win the league. Win the damn World Cup with Arsenal. But it is time. Believe me, I used to shudder at the thought of even thinking this once upon a time.
Deepak (I blamed work for my rapidly greying strands; now I know it was Arsenal all along)
I really try not to write in straight after an Arsenal defeat, I try to let the emotions I am feeling settle down before writing my views down but tonight I just thought sod it ill let it out.
For starts Steve Bould should go, either it is Wenger not listening to him on defensive advice or he has input into the way we defend and we still cannot defend, either way its a lost cause.
How does a club that apparently wants to win major trophies have just one striking option on the bench with 5 minutes to go, did I mention this striking option has spent most of his time on loan around Europe because clearly Wenger has decided he is not good enough for us. Maybe Wenger thinks ill keep Joel Campbell around, f**k it ill send him to Charlton and then call him back in when Walcott and Giroud get injured in December and he will be a revelation like Coquelin.
Kieran Gibbs is the worst left back ive ever seen, your job is to be in position when teams are attacking not at the other end of the field wondering why your latest attempt at a cross failed. Only at Arsenal is crap kept around, he is not a vintage Cabernet Arsene that will be great in five years he is awful and always will be.
I don’t care if he sets up the occasional goal, has a good pass accuracy rating or a World Cup Winners medal Mesut Ozil is sh*te. How many games do you get to be totally ineffective and still make the side, I also don’t understand how someone who does not run in the first place can ever be offside.
Arsene, we need to win big games so why not play your best players eh? If Cech was injured why is he on the bench? We bought him because he was better than what we had, PLAY HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our midfield was schooled by a once great player now in his twilight years and a guy who could not get in the Fulham team, how does this happen? Oh yeah I know we play Santi Cazorla out of position instead of buying a holding midfielder.
What is Carlo Ancelotti’s number? Please take the job, we might get far in Europe with you instead of a guy who is blinded by his own stubbornness.
Sorry, you’re probably inundated with these today, however rather than spout vitriol and abuse I have tried to approach my contribution to the debate with reason and logic so here goes:
It is getting to the point where it is all so predictable. Same story each year. Pace of play too slow, trying to thread balls through packed defences rather than turning the defence from wide positions and packing the edge of the box. No work on defensive cohesion from set pieces and no set piece plans of our own. No allowance to nullify the opposition’s key players.
After Christmas they’ll get it together and go on a run making a valiant charge which ends in glorious failure as again they finish 4th.
Wenger entered the English game as the innovative coach ahead of his time. Unfortunately time moves on and 20 years later the rest of Europe have not only caught him but overtaken him. His stubborn refusal to adapt himself and trotting out the same “difficult to swallow” excuses are becoming boring.
Arsenal should have been 2 up after 10 mins having missed 2 one on ones. A world class striker would have buried them both…then you have a different game and result.
Theo’s place in the team is on the right of the three chipping in 15 goals a season next to a world class striker…and for the record Giroud is not that man!
Question for Arsenal fans
Genuine question to Arsenal fans who want Wenger to stay. Do you want him because you believe he’ll eventually come good and win a PL or CL title, or do you want him to stay because you’re afraid of what might happen to Arsenal when he leaves?
Is this the earliest we’ve ever reached peak Arsenal?
Following on from Popeiwaloye AFC’s elephant on top of a tree analogy for United moving top of the table, I can’t help but find similarities between Arsenal and a puppy chasing its own tail. Going at it with enough enthusiasm such that the optimism of nearly getting there continuously hinders its ability to identify its own perpetual failure and change its ways. All while the rest of us look on with an initial sense of amusement that gradually turns to genuine concern for the puppy’s mentality.
On a serious note though, I genuinely think Arsenal will finish rock bottom of that group.
Ciarán, MUFC, Dublin
How many times can Arsenal be ‘peak Arsenal’ before that is actually ‘normal arsenal’ and a new peak standard of ineptitude needs to be set?
Rich London AFC
How are we back to the banter years again? At least back then we actually had terrible players so the stupidity made sense.
Jason (Chorley Gooner)
Another “shock” loss in Europe for Arsenal? Headlines of that ilk irritate me nearly as much as the games. These stopped being shocks a long time ago.
Now take it away, Stewie!
Greg Benham, AFC
No matter what you say, you’ve gotta hand it to Arsene: his managerial ineptitude is something special and he’s a generous man. Jose was right, unsackable. If losing 8-2 at OT doesn’t do it….
Let’s gloss over that £200m sitting in a bank account, and that £200m wage bill. See here Lord Wenger’s generosity:
* Mourinho can’t buy a win, faces Wenger and gets an easy 3 points
* Zagreb never beaten anyone in Europe since the Balkans war, get an easy win
* Olympiakos, never beaten an English team, face Wenger and cigar and slippers
All for the princely sum of £8.5m a year. Don’t ever change Arsene, you’re making all your cheerleaders look stupider than ever! Thank God we get Top 4 every year…
Stewie Griffin (lost to a team in blue, must be Mike Dean’s fault!)
You know what really grinds my gears?
Riffing on a recent John Nicholson theme but the lack of guilt/responsibility shown by modern managers is really starting to grind my gears. JN used Brentan and Tim Sherwood as examples but Wengers comments after defeat to Olympiakos are, ironically, inexcusable.
Blaming defeat on bad luck is not on, especially when you do it defeat after defeat, predictable performance after predictable performance. If luck is down to losing then surely luck is down to winning (same logic for refereeing decisions) in which case you’re undermining your own position.
To go back to an old mailbox theme it’s probably why Man City are so liked as their manager doesn’t tend to rely on this self serving media interaction style.
Look, I know that managers are in a bad position when facing the press when they lose, but the sheer arrogance is starting to get on my goat. Essentially we have turned our football managers into scandal ridden politicians – swines, the lot of them. Football needn’t be a soap opera with a narrative; sometimes you just need to tell it like it is.
Matt, EFC, London
Dave (hashtag), BAC
Blame the fans
Whilst the Arsenal result was incredibly disappointing (although predictable) my main issue is with our fans.
For years we have been hit with the ‘Highbury Library’ tag and the generally poor atmosphere at The Emirates, however tonight’s game took the biscuit. Yet another match which was ‘sold out’ via the club website, although it seems it was ‘dress as a red seat night’ if you watch back the TV coverage. My main gripe though is the lack of any sort of noise. For 90 minutes a few thousand Greek fans made more noise than 50000 Gooners. This should simply be impossible.
If you don’t want to make any noise or create any form of atmosphere then give up your season or just watch it on the TV.
I don’t know how to address this issue, but something has to be done to get an atmosphere as impressive as the stadium. Who knows, maybe this letter will shame some fans into actually opening their mouth!
Adam Dewar (embarrassed) – Abingdon
Mourinho lost too…
Usually we hear the same old crap about Mourinho deflecting his teams bad performances by saying something inflammatory about the ref, the ball boys, bird flu, so how are Jose’s bum licking press going to turn this latest deflection of his own mistakes, by putting all the blame on his players, into an act of managerial brilliance?
Does the fact that I’m already trying to figure it out mean that the mind games are working? Blimey, the guy really is a genius.
Rob sacked in the morning Carey
Jose and Arsene: What’s the difference?
– Both made costly selection errors
– Both lost by a single goal
So, what differentiates Wenger and Jose tonight? – Luck
One has to answer for his poor choice. The other can blame a handball missed by the officials.
Like most Chelsea fans, I still trust Jose but it’s about time he shows us why he is the special one. Else, he just might end up as the unemployed one. I fear for him; We aren’t exactly known for managerial stability.
Jaxon, CFC (The bus isn’t parked any more. We’re driving it, and it’s porcelain)
The only explaination i can come up with for Ivanovic starting every match is that Mourinho has him in his fantasy team and dropping him would see him lose some fantasy points.
Dozie chukwugbo, Bariga.
Is Ivanovic in possession of a naughty video involving Jose and a pig’s head?
Jaxon, CFC (why, Jose? why?)
After last night, I am sure Petr Cech must be wondering if he made the right decision swapping the Chelsea bench for Arsenal’s.
At least at Chelsea he was benched in preference for a keeper at the same performance and talent level as his.
By the way, we’d have you back any day…
Blame Man City (kind of)
Is there a rough correlation between Man City’s rise to be premier league challengers and the English teams suddenly not being able to compete in Europe?
I am not saying it’s their fault or anything but essentially I think since they got rich we have ended up with six teams that are all pretty competitive near the top who can take points off each other. This makes our league much more exhausting compared to the other top European leagues which maybe drains the English teams in Europe.
Rafa Benitez would often play a second string team at Liverpool before a big Champions League game that would do badly because he could get away with it; the result would merely mean a 4th place finish instead of 3rd with very little risk of finishing lower (obvious exception being his first season but he won big ears so fair play)
I have no stats on this but I would bet any money that Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Juventus have found themselves 2 goals ahead in the league games after 60 minutes more regularly than any of the English teams in the top 4. Come on F365 – get the info and prove I’m right! This implies they can use their subs earlier and rest key players more frequently to keep them fresh. This must have a huge influence at the latter stages of the Champions League as the games come thick and fast; more so if you’re enjoying a domestic cup run too (I.e. Arsenal last two seasons).
This is probably being made worse now because of how flush the entire English league is with cash. It’s making teams like Palace, Everton and Swansea so competitive that you really get so few bankers in the English league anymore. Thank God for Sunderland really.
On Arsenal, I half think a third place CL group finish and a run in the Europa league might be good. They could do with having a great run in a European competition it might actually help them in the future.
No, blame everyone else
It seems clear that the decreased success enjoyed by English clubs in the Champions League has coincided with the increase in quality with the premier league ‘rest’. I don’t think that this is a coincidence at all.
It might be a cliche that 99% of any sport is played in the head, but it seems that a club who streamrolls through their domestic league, winning 80-90% of their games, has a real mental edge when it comes to continuing their success on the continent.
The best example of this is United getting to the CL final in 2011 with a very average squad (Carrick and Giggs in central midfield hardly screams kings of Europe), after a season in which they walked to the top of a pretty poor premier league. But for the last 3 years or so it is fair to say that England’s top teams have to face a much more difficult average BPL fixture, which prevents any of them picking up a head of steam and getting into that zone of continual success which seems to be a essential part of a clubs mentality in order to go far in the champions league.
This isn’t a complaint, as I’d take a more exciting BPL any day, and obviously this isn’t the only reason for the poor Euro showing of British clubs. But I’m a big believer in the importance of mental factors in football, so it might be the case that the reason for the failures of English clubs in Europe lies in the increased excitement which we are enjoying week in week out in the premier league.
After I finished laughing last night upon seeing Arsenal and Chelsea’s results come in, my mind did start to wonder about how our coefficient had taken a bit of a battering recently.
I seem to remember an excellent article a few years back that explained the Uefa coefficient for Champions Leauge places per domestic league to us mere mortals.
The conclusion was that the EPL was so far ahead of Serie A that everyone need not panic or pay attention to the press losing their collective shit as our 4th spot would be safe for the next few years… is it time for an update yet?
Mark (I would probably let them have the 4th spot for a couple of years if they brought back football italia) MUFC
(Ed – I wouldn’t worry…yet)
“Santi likes to play with Coq”, “Red Hot Chilli Pepper Argentina” (prob my favourite) and now “Blues Bothers on Tour” , I love you guys.
Cortez(I almost, almost felt sorry for Jose) MUFC, Botswana
To conclude, some poems
Here’s some efforts in a free-form style I uncovered from a host of stars, obviously inspired by Rooney’s efforts from yesterday:
Y’know, erm, y’know,
Erm, y’know, erm
Y’know, erm, y’know,
– Steven Gerrard, Ballad of the Post-match Interview.
The esoteric nature of my varied interests,
I cast as a disguise.
They serve me as a moat serves,
Defensive to a House.
It somewhat masks my nature,
As a total c**t who uses violence because words just don’t hurt people enough.
You fu*king what, pal?
– Joey ‘Philosopher’ Barton, Composition Upon Finding My Cigar Inexplicably Lodged in Someone’s Face.
It’s not that difficult guys,
You just stop caring what everyone thinks,
And give the tabloids what they want to hear,
Which is attacks on people outside of your club,
Wrapped up in a high-school level metaphor, or simile,
Or whatever, who cares, it’s headlines and pictures really.
Then you take few risks,
Defend like heroes,
And set up for draws against your closest three rivals.
If that doesn’t work, punch defenders.
They’d have to be awfully naughty to punch you back,
Because that’s much worse than an unprovoked assault,
– Jose Mourinho, Dr. SpecialOne, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bus.
Shall I compare thee to a summers day,
Luis Raheem Philippe Daniel?
You are a beautiful, outstanding, magnificent, incredible, wonderful, majestic, and loyal boy.
I love you, the fans love you and…
Hello? Who? A Champion’s League club? Wants who?
For fu*ks sake, not again…..
Good job I’m a tactical genius, but better.
-Brendan Rodgers, A Study in Hyperbolic Outstandingness from the collection ‘Beautiful Boys: How to Obviously Use Outstanding Quality to Give it a Really Good Go and Show Exceptional Character, Determination and Courage’.
Matt (at least as interesting as Simon Armitage) LFC.