Villa 0 – 0 Arsenal: Arsenal’s lack of ammunition exposed

Aston Villa 0 – 0 Arsenal
Match Report | Highlights (?) | Arsene’s reaction 

This was a deadly dull game…
I’m always loathe to call Arsenal games boring.  It sounds a bit spoilt, like I’m some sort of prawn sandwich-scoffing ponce who demands to be entertained.  However, this was truly tedious.  Goalscoring chances were few and far between, and midfield play was turgid and tentative.

A point is a poor result…
No away game is easy, but a side in the top four has to be looking to win pretty much every game they play.  Villa played well, but to put things in perspective, they ended the weekend in the relegation zone, behind the likes of Norwich, Wigan and Southampton.  These are games a club of our supposed ambition should be taking three points from.

Substituting Olivier Giroud for Francis Coquelin infuriated me…
…and I wasn’t alone.   The away fans openly booed and chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing” at Arsene.  The only precedent I can think of is the removal of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Manchester United.  On that occasion, I did my best to back the manager.  This time, I’m not sure I can.  Lukas Podolski had been withdrawn, as has become customary, at the 70 minute mark.  With the German off the field, Giroud was our only credible goal threat.  I appreciate he was tired, but the game was almost over.  An extra five minutes would not have killed him.  Taking him off, for a defensive midfielder of all things, was a tacit admission that we were content with a draw.  Against a tiring Villa side, this show of reduced ambition pained me.  A top side – Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, for example – would have thrown on a forward and gone for the win.

A crucial difference, of course, is that United would have a forward to throw on…
The need for a striker is pressing.  Gervinho is not a striker.  Theo Walcott is not (yet) a striker.  Lukas Podolski is a striker, but is required to play on the left wing, because we have no-one else realistically capable of filling that position.  Marouane Chamakh is a striker, but is so far out of favour that he didn’t even make the bench yesterday.  Giroud is the only realistic option to play centre-forward at the club.  It’s a situation that can needs resolving sooner rather than later – and not with a temporary fix like the return of Thierry Henry.  Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Fernando Llorente are both just six months away from the end of their contracts with Schalke and Bilbao.  Theo Walcott might not be worth £100k p/week to us, but either of these two might be.

Why bother taking Jack Wilshere with the squad?
The young midfielder spent the entire game sat on the bench.  Arsene admitted after the game he didn’t want to use him unless absolutely necessary.  I’m sorry, but for me, toiling to a 0-0 draw against a side as poor as Villa necessitates the introduction of a creative talent like Wilshere.  If he’s not fit to play, leave him at home.

Andrey Arshavin ought to be given more of a chance…
Speaking of creative talents, I have to say I’ve generally been impressed with the little I’ve seen of Andrey Arshavin this season.  I certainly think he’s a more worthwhile substitute than Gervinho, whose first two touches of the ball yesterday were both hideous pieces of miscontrol.  It seems likely that Arshavin will be allowed to leave in January, but between now and then I’d back him to make a telling contribution or two.

It’s telling where Arsene chose to rotate…
He changed both his full-backs, which is arguably where he has the most strength in depth.  Gibbs, Santos and Vermaelen are three credible options at left-back, whilst Jenkinson, Sagna and even Coquelin give him options on the right.  He also left out Wilshere for Aaron Ramsey, in a box-to-box midfield role that has been also been filled by Diaby and Coquelin in the course of this season.  There are, however, several players in the side that Arsene simply cannot afford to leave out: Arteta, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud.  Unsurprisingly, it is these players who are beginning to look jaded.  The transfer window is only a month or so away.  If we’re to make the Champions League, Arsene will have to recruit some trustworthy alternatives to prevent these key players being run in to the ground.

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.


  1. @greatdemmy   •  

    Yes the traveling fans were right…Arsene doesn’t know what he is doing anymore…it is him who is tired and jaded, not the players

  2. @Siddhant_9   •  

    @greatdemmy I’d rather the club I support is run by a bona fide managerial genius than a bunch of people who’s sole knowledge of running a football club stem from video games and who rely on the sensationalist and biased media to form opinions for them.

    With Rosicky almost back, hopefully Cazorla will get regular breathers. So that’s 1 problem solved out of the 4.

    Let’s hope we can find adequate players to back up the other 3. From a financial POV it should be easier with the new money coming in and the wages of the new recruits being balanced by the impending departures of Chamakh, Arshavin and others.

    The bigger problem will be finding the right players who can kick on in the short-term but also have potential in the long run (unlike Arshavin) and convincing clubs to sell those players mid-season at reasonable prices.

    • WRINKLY VOYEUR   •  

      arsehole wanker is an asshat clown to be mocked and ridiculed. Anyone who supports him is a shameless imbecile who is too stupid to realize they should be embarrassed to be led by such a laughingstock joke. It’s great entertainment for people like me who enjoy comedy.

      • sperez   •  

        Unfortunately, I cannot disagree with you. Wenger is nothing more than a sorry clown nowadays. Hey, but at least he is being paid handsomely to lead the circus.

      • Dan   •  

        You were abused as a child weren’t you? I’m sorry for you.

      • hunter13   •  

        wrong. your mother and father are to be mocked and ridiculed for failing to use condoms.

        no bigger comedy than listening to cretin little engladers scum thinking they can tell a pro like wenger how to do his job

    • sperez   •  

      New money coming in? I wouldn’t want Wenger to waste this money. He’ll probably use the money to increase the wages of the overpaid shite he brought to the club and it will get even harder to shift the dross. But this is nothing new to us, right?

  3. CL   •  

    Are you having a laugh.
    “with Rosicky almost back”, now where have i heard that before? “hopefully Cazorla will get regular breathers” and thats one problem solved is it?
    How the fuck do you work that out? Rosicky may get 2 games when he finally gets back from injury before he injures himself again and i hope he does as we dont need shit like him. He’s not fit to lace Cazorla’s boots nevermind step in for him, Santi is on another level and its about 10 levels above Sicknote. the guy looked a bit better lasy year but it wasn’t hard to look better than the shit he produced for years prior to that. If that is problem solving to you then god help you.
    We need Wilshere playing and not sat on the bench incase he gets injured.
    We need Diaby back and to stay injury free which wont happen i know, but he started the few games well this year and he can cover midfield so that it pushes Ramsey further down the pecking order so that he doesn’t even come on as sub.
    We need a CF like Hunterlaar who can get us plenty of goals and give us a genuine option other than Giroud. Giroud has done well and is getting better and i like the guy but he’s not gonna get you 20-25 goals a season unless he becomes more selfish and greedy, he goes wondering out wide which leaves nobody in the middle and he passes too much instead of having a crack at goal. Someone like Hunterlaar will be cheap as he’s OOC this summer, is in the prime of his career and would do well at Arsenal but Wenger would have to leave one of them on the bench and he’s got no balls so he wont buy anyone and we’ll struggle, end of season he’ll say like he did with Berbatov “i didn’t no he was on the transfer list” the only man in world football that didn’t but Arsene Knows doesn’t he.

    • sperez   •  

      You know this club is in deep trouble when the fans expectations are so low that they start to rely on average dross like Rosicky.

    • hunter13   •  

      yes he does ! ;)

  4. bernardinho   •  

    GS, i have a question. we usually do horribly in away games after mid-week champions league matches, and in part that is because we dont rotate much. in part that is related to the lack of options, but i dont think that is all, and i struggle to understand why arsene rotates so little. ngog would get games for liverpool, romeu gets many games for chelsea (look at their midfield), we could have arshavin starting the odd game, gervinho could have started yesterday as well, chamakh could get a few minutes when giroud can barely walk (like yesterday), we could certainly have rotated more. why does arsenal rotate so little? it is an honest question, i dont know the answer, i dont think it is as simple as “arsene is stupid” or “we have no options”. any clue?

  5. Dan   •  

    The pessimism is overwhelmingly misplaced. Bunch of spoiled, entitled little scumbags you all are. The team has a lot of problems but calling the manager names won’t fix any of them. At this point I think you all just want change for change’s sake. I hope you get your wish, and you will see that you’ll get exactly what you deserve. Cretins.

    • hunter13   •  

      thank god hillwood and co are serious people who dont listen to fans and media.

      all the moaning cretins are totenham fans in disguise, this constant dismissal of wenger and their constant efforts to seperate arsenal from wenger is the work of cunts.

      • sperez   •  

        Let’s see the most disappoints aspects of Wenger’s managerial ‘skills’. First, he can’t motivate his players anymore. This has nothing to do with fatigue or whatever excuses coming out of his mouth. Hence, the players are complacent. Second, Wenger does not take any kind of responsibility for his failures. More excuses blaming the weather, the pitch, tiredness, the referee, the tea lady, etc. No accountability at all. Third, Wenger doesn’t have any tactical nous. Ferguson change his players and formations to get the results, Wenger only changes his personal but not the tactics. Wenger got the touchline ban in UCL and Bould said the subs are decided previously so you know for sure the subs have nothing to do with tactics. We are a predictable side, no plan b. Fourth, Wenger does not study the opposition. Fabregas said the players were not instructed about the opposition. Wenger only told them to play their game. What kind of manager does not care about the opposition? Even Guardiola with his fancy Barça side would write a book about the teams Barcelona would face. Fifth, Wenger dislikes competition. Nobody feels the pressure to perform because they know they will be picked by Wenger. More complacency.Sixth, this is, in my opinion, one of the most abysmal aspects about Wenger. The utopian vision of the French manager is preventing Arsenal from being competitive. You cannot reward shite and top players in the same way. Go see if Barcelona is paying almost the same to Messi and Song. Do Arbeloa or Albiol earn the same as Ronaldo ? Waste of important resources. We have a wage bill of Bayern but we cannot buy top class players or prevent them from leaving the club because of this stupid wage structure. This is unacceptable. We live in a real world, not in some kind of Shangri-la dream that came straight out of Wenger’s mind. But Wenger, of course, is getting paid at least twice as much as everyone.

        • hunter13   •  

          oh sorry i didnt realise you needed a father figure to inspire you to win games in the fucking epl in the year 2013…..youre a fuckin professional footballer..own up…repay your managers faith in you and stop hidding, take em out and show em.

          what the manager will say in press conference after an unfortunate result is none of your business. he has to protect players, club, and defend the team. no use coming out trashing his players when they have failled him, he will do that in the dressing room, not in the open.

          wenger doesnt have a tactical nous? lol you got no nous at all buddy. he is the only manager who has defeated barcelona with his defence on the centre line. plus the fact he gets consistenly in the best positions in epl and europe with kids and second rate players does signify tactical brilliance.

          fuck the opposition, youre too dumb to understand wha he is doing. we dont care what the others do, if we play our game to the maximum we will beat them all. therefore the focus is on US AND PLAYING AT OUR BEST, fuck the opposition…..

          what is unacceptable is cunts like you putting the name arsene wenger in your mouth/keyboard… arsene wenger transformed our club for the better…he can do whatever he wants..if you dont like it then give us your cv and we will fax it to ivan and maybe we give you a three month trial to relegate us.

          • sperez   •  

            Do you feel better now, douchebag? One of the highest paid managers in the world has to understand tactics. I don’t know what you smoking. Are you living in Shangri-la too ? We beat Barcelona with the help of a legal goal disallowed. And then, what did happen? Did you remember the pathetic display at Camp Nou? No shot at target. Even Guardiola, that usually doesn’t talk too much about opposition, mocked us. You are either a pathetic Wengerite or a troll. When was the last time that Arsenal won against a top side playing his best? If we finish 1st in the UCL and draw Real Madrid, I am sure Mourinho will teach a thing or two about tactics.If we come 2nd, a team like , Bayern, Barcelona or Dortmund can do the job too. Hell, even Malaga will beat us. And when Wenger is exposed for being a complete tactical clown again you may keep repeating that he’s a genius or whatever bollocks you want to make you feel better. Wenger, the only manager to have lost all three European competition finals. He made history. LOL!

  6. indianGooner   •  

    disappointing result. i don’t think it was down to lack of effort. There were quite a few tired legs especially Arteta Cazorla Podolski and Giroud.
    i don’t blame Wenger for resting Wilshere, probably the right call with him coming back from a long term injury.

    The fact that we don’t have too many options is what is disconcerting. The above 4 players seem to be ever present and at some point fatigue or injury is going to cost us.
    For that the board/wenger have to take the blame.

    Surely we need another forward to play in giroud’s role, the closest replacement is Podolski who is already our first choice wide left.
    I think Arshavin is worth a go in cazorla’s position in such games where he could give a good 60-70 mins
    Wenger doesn’t seem to trust coquelin enough to rest arteta in his favour, well in that case get someone who can fill in :)
    Atleast ramsey is a decent replacement for jack despite all the stick he gets.

    We don’t need to do anything crazy, get rid of the dross (squillaci,djourou,chamakh,park,bendtner permanently )
    buy a striker and a midfielder in january
    huntelaar would be a “super quality” player to quote arsene at a pretty decent price.
    and yeah sign walcott on, his agents have played their cards well, we need him now more than he needs us even if at 90/100k a week :P podolski gervinho giroud huntelaar walcott and the ox for the front 3 doesn’t sound too bad to me

  7. Me   •  

    Fuck off.

  8. EPLfootball   •  

    I’m not an Arsenal fan, but I often enjoy watching their games.
    I’ve always been a fan of Arshavin’s, and I’m surprsied he doesn’t get more game-time under Wenger. I think he has creativity, pace and determination. He can make things happen in my opinion.

  9. fu   •  

    Gs you talk sometimes of wenger being stuborn and refusing to do the right thing. Why dont you practise what you preach and admit them tee shirts your selling are a joke. is anyone on here brave enough to admit to buying one of these things.
    ps. After years of reading comments on here theres been some amount of deranged clowns posting but its fair to say this latest resident twat ska hunter 13, is absolutely the most deluded fool of them all.

  10. santori   •  

    1) Giroud. Maybe he should have stayed on but the converse issue is Arteta. He looks leggy and with Ramsey playing, he tends to have to do even more work. Bringing Coquelin on is sensible in affording Arteta a little more cover. PLUS being that we do not have a substitute for Arteta, Coquelin is the closest we’ve got and it is imperative for him to snatch as many minutes he can as much as possible.

    2)Strikers. yes we are short and could do with another but although not ideal, both Podolski (and to some extend the ‘enigmatic Gervinho) can be played to good effect up top. This particularly as Villa are set up to play on the counter and can be caught exposed to speed.

    Podolski should be givena chance to play up front as a speedy outlet with Gervinho (or Chamberlain or Walcott) close to shoulder out right as a second. This particular as Giroud is not the quickest of feet and the German may be better giving us a quick numerical advantage from a turnover and counter of our own.

    3) Jack. Likely not to feature. Gaffer did the right thing bringing him along. We were playing at a draw so there was no reason to commit Jack. Had we been behind by one goal, it may have been a necessary option.

    4) Arsharvin. You complain about lack of options @LW. Then you bring up one of our best options that should have IMO been used (and possibly ahead of the better but still less effective Ramsey). Particularly with Giroud on, Arsharvin would have been very useful in providing quality crosses.

    For some inexplicable reason (much as with Walcott when Wenger froze him out for contractual reasons over crucial games which we dropped points), we are not using one of our best assets in the squad.

    Particularly with the need to protect several overused players, Podolski, santi, Arteta,the use of the Russian might have help alleviate the physical cliff.

    (and whilst we may gripe a bout lack of strike options…don’t forget as limited as he has become, we have one Maroune Chamakh to come in as cover without sacrificing any aerial threat that Giroud may possess…for what its worth…again not used)

    Here’s how I see a possible revision with Andrei in without deviating away from our 9defensive) structure of 4-3-3 :


    With Andrei in, we could have put better crosses into the big man or later rested him/shift Podolski up top.

    It would also had likely deviated some attention off of Santi affording him room to be more creative (he could switch LW or RW with Gervinho)

    And with Coquelin on, we would provide Arteta with a bit more puff to do the midfield covering ahead of the defense.

    5) One gripe you don’t seem to have mentioned would be substitution timing. I am continuously perplexed as to hhow little time Wenger gives his subs to influence a game (granted Villa normally leak goals in the last 10 minutes). BUt 13 minutes for Arsharvin and Gervinho to exert some sort of effect seems to me a bit minimal. This particularly with the Ivorian and his ‘mecurial talent’. Surely we do ourselves slightly more favour and better our odds the more time he has to create the unexpected move that would come to our favour?

    Anyway, whilst I agree with some of your issues with regard the manager’s tactical decision making, I think you may be over reacting in others.

    Either way, the most galling issue I have is he is yet again not using assets available to us to best effect (Mainly Arsharvin)

  11. Stevieo   •  

    Dear me GS. More negative posts like this thinking you can tell Wenger how to do his job, and you’ll be getting stalked by that squawking scrote cockhunter.

    Let’s get back in the real world and look at things from the perspective of the clueless cockbreath and True Cunt.

    A point at Villa is not a bad result. You have to twist this round and say Villa were beating United 2-0 the other week so are no mugs. Now we all know that United went on to blow Villa away, but then to counter this, United do get all the luck and refereeing decisions.

    So you disagree with the Giroud substitution. Well the only retort to this is to call you a little englander for having the temerity to dispute a Wenger decision. You should have no opinion and follow Wenger blindly like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

    Then you compared Wenger with what Fergie would have done. This is a cardinal sin. This is not a logical option, because apparently United are in decline with ageing players Scholes and Giggs and are on the road to ruin. If you’re going to compare Wenger, please keep all comparisons with mangers such as Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis for a like with like analysis.

    And if you are going to compare us with United, then you must… and this is my favourite… you must compare how many games we have both lost. The fact that we have both lost 3 games, means therefore, hence, thus we are apparently on par with United? I suppose if you take out needless variables such as games won and trophies accumulated, maybe even Einstein could construct a formula to substantiate this?

    To say that we need to buy a striker is not permitted. By saying this it means you want to buy Messi for £80m and pay him £300k/week. We are not City/Chelsea and will end up like Portsmouth.

    To criticise £13m Gervinho also means you want to spend £80m on a player. There is no better for £13m out there!

    The fans that chanted ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ need pulling up in your blog. After all, it is the fans according to cockbreath that drives our players away from the club? I don’t know which players that would be? Van Persie, Cesc, Nasri? Very much doubt the fans drove these players out.

    Seriously, I found it refreshing to read a blog that showed the anguish of your thoughts, instead of writing it up like a .con article. I cannot dispute anything you wrote. However, this shit is nothing new. We have seen these performances and embarrassing tactics on and off for years now.

    And I know should we beat Everton with a better performance you will be back saying that was better and hopefully have turned a corner. But it will be nothing more than a blip.

    • hunter13   •  

      well stevie-o i wouldnt want to play for cunts like you either ….. :)

      risking my health and my legs for muppets like you in the stands ? piss off…ill go to barcelona where the ref dont allow shawcrosses to injure me….. or ill go to united where the refs protect us … :)

      ^^ cesc and robin^^^^

      why stay at arsenal and get fucked by refs and have the home crowd against me when i can play football in ac milan and barcelona where the refs respect the names milan and barcelona a lot more than the name arsenal

      ^^^flamini and hleb^^^

      why stay at arsenal when i can earn double that as a mercenary ?

      ^^^ cole , adebayor, nasri^^^

      keep blaming wenger you cunt…

  12. shaun   •  

    santori you are one funny dude no 4. is hillarious and n03. not far off and no5 is no where near as funny but you obviously give your full backing to wenger and his tactical nouse so you must be appladed ….now where is that drunken cunt …come on now boy come out to play

  13. Kem - Wenger is a cunt   •  

    Jesus Christ, are people still frequenting this blog talking about the same shit ??!!

    If you’re like me you’ll be attending the Protest March this Saturday to show your dissatisfaction with the Board etc…

    If you’re free this Saturday (Dec 1st) come to the March, or otherwise SHUT THE FUCK UP and accept the mediocre mess this club has become. A mediocre mess while charging fans the highest prices in World Football.

    • Bona   •  

      I hope you mean it this time. It was set to be a protest last season also against Swansea……. I was there never saw a thing. But I`ll be there again come saturday and hopefully many more. Things had to change now, not in may.

      • hunter13   •  

        well you see… the person organising the protests could be some totenham supporting cunt hidding in pacistan or the philipines after last years “mind the gap” shame pulling your leg in forums..?


  14. kharis   •  

    I do not care about the arsenal board, I just wanted Wenger more creative in preparing strategies and Bould more active in organizing players to be more excited and passionate in every game

  15. hunter13   •  

    sperez November 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    yes i feel a lot better when i put ignorant disrespectful shitheads like you at your place, thats in the trash can with the rest of your black bin bag buddies… :)

    black bin bag protest huh…more like the bbbo protest for blondes….:)

    the only thing mourinho can teach us is how to lose 5-0 with a squad of players worth 300 million and more and he can also teach us how to park a bus of 300m for the champions league ( inter-barca) …funny how rehaggel did it in 04 with greece was called the death of football, yet when uk media honeybunny mou does it he is a legend and a tactical di matteo can park the bus and win the champions league…as long as you got drogbas right?


    and dont talk like that about dortmund mate…champions league winners with sammer chapuisat souza muller against juventus in 1997 i think..hitzfeld as coach…shhhhh …its where we got rosicky from mate…you dont know anything about football do you son ? .. :)

  16. Sir "Wegs" Wegwick   •  

    lets be friends!

    • hunter13   •  

      cant be friends with cunts who want to seperate arsenal from our greatest ever manager


  17. Carin Fultz   •  

    Hey Eric. Thanks for including my PSD templates. :)

  18. Eddie Acierno   •  

    Good day!
    Others have voiced my confusion above, but it’s nice sometimes to add for the melee. I have been signed up since the middle of January, but have three letters. They’re great letters! But similarly, I’d like to know if this is just the process in the dust settling or if this is to be expected?

  19. Harley Lopau   •  

    Wow!!! Enjoy the depth and reception photographs!! Oh, and every little thing in among! Wonderful.

  20. Pingback: wRDwgC1HqM wRDwgC1HqM

  21. YHS4   •  

    119815 303362Thanks for the info provided! I was researching for this write-up for a long time, but I was not able to see a dependable source. 942000

  22. 873289 204210I was suggested this weblog by way of my cousin. Im no longer confident whether or not this put up is written by him as nobody else realize such detailed about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks! 236106

  23. 158583 327369An very fascinating go via, I might not concur entirely, nevertheless you do make some truly legitimate factors. 332863

  24. SEOKanzler   •  

    349822 656294Can I basically say exactly what a relief to get someone who in fact knows what theyre dealing with on the internet. You in fact know how to bring a difficulty to light and make it critical. The diet ought to see this and fully grasp this side on the story. I cant believe youre not far more common because you undoubtedly hold the gift. 134287

  25. Solar   •  

    913152 483205Id ought to verify with you here. Which isnt something I often do! I take pleasure in reading a post that could make men and women feel. Furthermore, thanks for permitting me to comment! 660807

  26. 644274 285976magnificent submit, really informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector dont realize this. You need to proceed your writing. Im positive, youve a fantastic readers base already! 464075

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>