Friday, June 2, 2023

BFG: We don’t deserve a top three finish

Per Mertesacker believes away day capitulations at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea mean Arsenal don’t deserve to finish in the top three this season despite the fact they’ll end the campaign having topped the table for more weeks since August than any of their rivals.

The Gunners conspired to concede 17 goals (currently 41.4% of all league goals conceded this season) in their three fixtures against their title rivals banjaxing the good work put in during the early stages of the season.

Speaking after last night’s victory over Newcastle, which puts the Gunners on the cusp of securing a 17th consecutive season of Champions League football, the BFG pulled no punches in his assessment of their failed bid for Premier League glory.

“Everyone dreamed about the title but it takes more than staying top until the winter period,” the German told the Evening Standard.

“We could not afford [to lose] those big games against big teams, so we did not deserve to be in the first three. That is something we have to manage much better next year.

“The away games killed us. We have to learn how to play and how to defend in the first 20 minutes [Arsenal conceded four in the first 20 minutes at Anfield and three in 17 minutes at Chelsea]. The games were all similar, we got caught on the break and that is something we have to look at.”

While the BFG is looking ahead to next season already, the boss is more focused on winning the final three games and securing both Champions League football and a first cup since 2005.

Pleased that his side appear to have found their feet with four wins on the bounce since defeat to Everton, the boss spoke of confidence returning.

“You could see there is a harmony in the team again and our fluency is strong. We look always like we can create and for a while we had problems on that front. Now that people are back and everyone is confident again you can see that we always look like we can score.

“It is about getting over the line and finishing the job [to secure a top-four place] now. We want to do it on Sunday against West Brom, who are a dangerous team as well.

“It would be nice to do it as quickly as possible but let’s focus on taking as many points as we can. We are at 73 points, with six more points possible and 79 would be a decent total and show as well that we have moved forward.

“We are in a cup final and we can make 79 points [which] would be great. All together on the performance of the season, it would look much better.”

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As much as I love the team I hope they don’t ‘celebrate’ finishing 4th this time… I understand why last term because we had to fight for it but this time we threw something better away.

Perry S.

Agreed. The only celebration this term worth a massive celebration would be the capturing of the long awaited trophy.

2014-2015 = 2003-2004

Agreed, first let’s get that stink-pissing monkey off our back.

That unclothed, stink-pissing monkey whose balls are smothered with gonorrhoea germs and whose breath smells like John Terry’s.

Come May 17th, 2013-2014 will have been all about getting this damn monkey of our backs. Then 2014-2015 can be about restoring Arsenal to greatness. Per Mertesacker would be the ideal captain for that… regardless of whether current captain Thomas Vermalen leaves or stays.


And er by the way I celebrated finishing above sp*rs for the 19th fckn year by getting rather drunk so I’ve already had one celebration. I’d also enjoy seeing the spontaneous combustion of John Terry and Maureen. In fact I’d bring sandwiches and a flask for that one.

Momo (@MuhamLAD)

“Celebrating winning a trophy? Small club mentality.” – Roy Keane, 17th May 2014

You heard it here first


“Arsenal have only won 1 trophy in 9 years, and that was only an FA Cup” – Every Arsenal Basking Press Gutter Snipe


Bashing not basking.

Good Omens

I kind of like the image of them basking though, mouths wide open sucking in all the krill, before regurgitating as a massive heap of stinking nonsense. Makes sense to me.

Fireman Sam

“Arse baskers” – that’s my new name for the press.


Fireman Sam – Could have been worse, i could have said “Arse Buskers”…..


it was also celebrating finishing above tottenham, which is always worth celebrating. there won’t be a similar euphoria at pipping everton. (esp. after the hidings).


Assuming it doesn’t go down to the wire, of course there won’t be a celebration. There only was last time because it was decided on the final day and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you can finish 4th or 5th on the final day then you better be happy when you do the best you can.
It was ridiculous to criticise the team for that last season. Does anyone fault the team that avoids relegation on the final day with “FINISHING 17TH OUT OF 20 IS STILL PRETTY SHIT YOU KNOW”? Of course not.

Just A Gentleman

Can’t disagree that our performance has been bad against top teams away, but hopefully with the FA Cup win, the community shield soon after the team will develop a winners’ mentality and we’ll be much better next season. 🙂


You are talking shit mate, “develop a winning mentality” – that almost makes me laugh if I wasn’t so sick of this appeasement of our current situation. Develop a winning mentality. Pppfff. Trained athletes need to “develop a winning mentality”. We’re hearing too much of this bollocks these days. No other top club talks about needing a winning mentality. They just win shit. I’m sorry to be so blunt, you’re probably trying to take positives, but this kind of absolute pacification of our turmoil doesn’t help mate, it just gently lowers expectations and sounds absolutely fucking pathetic. “Develop a winning… Read more »


I hate posting this cause he’s a cunt. You are likewise for giving me reason to do so.


In your first season with a new squad you may want to instil a high level of expectation. In your 18th year, you’d hope it was well established. And never use Jose to make a point, douche.


And you know what else gets me. All this happy st Totteringhams day guff. It’s only because of their incompetence they haven’t surpassed us yet. We are standing still and the right manager at their club and they’ll blow us out of the water. Look at Rogers and Liverpool. It’s only a matter of time until other clubs spend well with good managers and we’ll get left behind. 8 years. No progress. Let’s hope we develop that winning mentality soon eh?!


I have to say, if he is saying it, perhaps we should definitely not be saying it? The fact you have to post a comment made by that hypocrite defender of british football weakens the point immediately, don’t you think?


Fucking semantics! Let’s get angry at someone’s wishy-washy phrasing! Winning mentality what a load of bollocks! OT: I don’t much care about St. Totteringham since it’s a granted every season, but it’s a bit like Christmas for atheists, you can choose to celebrate it and be jolly if you like or you can choose to scoff at it like what you’re doing and cut someone with that edge. This line though: “8 years. No progress.”. I’m sure you’re pretty new around here, and new people are welcome, but please explore the culture first before fucking posting because I am not… Read more »


I think the word you were looking for was “touché” used as a riposte. And you’re missing the point with St. totteringhams day ffs atheists have never had such a hate/hate relationship with religonists. In fact the phrase “sick as a parrot” was coined when we were promoted in their place to the first division and their mascot died on the very day it was announced. I’d celebrate the sp*rs team getting diahrroea.

Rocky Rocastle

Well, De Boer seems set for Tottenham next season. So then we will see if Tottenham can Challenge us with a decent manager. 🙂 But Even if remaining at Highbury meant we would have won the occasional trophy in the last decade, we would be financially facked far behind or rivals soon enough. And by 2020 we would have been a mid table club, if not allready. But now we have a solid foundation on which to build a proper Top European club. And our next manager will be in a good position to challenge only because of what Wenger… Read more »

Facebook 49 undefeated

Off topic: Who else could not contain their laughter at Luis Suarez getting hot and bothered over Chelsea being unsporting and wasting time? It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. The highlight was Suarez clapping at Schwarzer taking his time over a goal kick. 😀

‘We try to play the game in a sporting manner’, said Brendan Rodgers in a post match interview, obviously speaking about the swimming pool diving of Luis Suarez. A certain mangrove swamp Hippo Species comes to mind, H. Crissi to be exact.


Indeed. Pushing up the pitch when injuries have destroyed your passing game was lunacy.

Walcott's left footed curl

Love it when players are being honest, we don’t deserve to win the title because league titles are won on points, not on any moral grounds (then Chelsea would play the third tier in the Czech Republic). Hopefully this insight will spill over in the squad and staff for next year.


what did the czech republic ever do to you to warrant such a nasty comment?

Mallu Gooner

Just to remind you that a certain Tomas comes from the land that you just belittled!


The match should start at 20:00 and end at 120:00

Lord Nicki B

And they officially call it the Arsenal Handbrake Time?


That’s some horrible math.


Cant be more honest than this.


He’s a top asset to our team. Perfect attitude.

North Bank Gooner

Per. Says it like it is.

Very efficiently.

Love him.



Blunt assessment in public for once.

He should be captain for the next few years.

sanogo's miskick

I’m in total agreement with Mert! You don’t win the league losing 6-3,5-1 and 6-0 in the same season. That being said we have improved dramatically all over the pitch (I’d still contend that on paper we have one of the best midfields in the league), what’s screwing us over is a chronic lack of confidence which hopefully rectified by getting ourselves a nice and shiny FA cup via a simple and straightforward win against Hull (please Arsenal don’t let Hull score first or at all).


pushing up the pitch when your passing game has been rendered moot by injuries is also a key reason for the bashings. absolute lunacy. even with the full complement of attacking midfielders, the fluency is still in the works.

Koscielny's pocket

There are not enough words to explain my love for the BFG.


Try Big Fucking Love


I don’t think there is a player at the club the fans would like more as a captain. He just does everything with a touch of class and honesty.


I know im going to get millions of disagreements for this, but am i the only one here who thinks vermalean is the better centreback?BFG is suppose to be the last line of defence.but can u imagine a pacy striker knocking the ball forward in a quick counter attacking move pass mertesacker?sounds pretty easy considering all u have to do is outrun mertesacker if he was unable to block the flick forward.we cant expect our rb and lb taking cover for mer all the time.take the bale’s goal against barcelona at the copa dey ray for example.players with pace do… Read more »


Yes, you are probably the only one.


You are the only one and if you know anything about football you should knew that when we play high line the last line of defense is Koscielny because of the pace he poses and tracing back Per is up the filed Kos is the last man in defense .

Why is my name required

So? Did you forget, we defeated those mugsmashers twice this season


With Mertesacker at CB.

Ramse'ys spirit

look, the BFG is better, but the issue with Verm isnt his ability, its the lack of that understanding with Koscielny , not bad, just not as compatible


FIFA & PES style analysis. Have you actually seen Mert and Kosc playing together?


I’ve made my peace with this seasons slump in the title race – I’m not worried about finishing 4th, it’s about winning the FA Cup.

Finishing 2nd or 3rd without a title this season, would have only made the monkey on our uglier and larger!

According to the laws of Quantum Mechanics, WENGA can be OUT & IN at the same time. So please STOP FIGHTING

“The games were all similar, we got caught on the break and that is something we have to look at.”

I am still shocked that nothing was done to improve the horrendous Liverpool performance. Instead we go out and get thumped again. The buck stops with Arsene. We know he was never the finest tactician or man motivator around (he has other strengths) but those performances and results should never ever happen to a club like Arsenal. It is still hard to swallow, and impossible to excuse.

Arsene, what have you not done?

So why didnt this thoroughly intelligent footballer together with mikel order the team to drop back a bit? Are you saying that 27 28 and 30 year old men need advise from daddy Wenger or do they need inspiration from 23y.o Ramsey? I get the modern trend of amateurs worldwide wanting to explain to managers like Wenger how to do his job but equally you should perhaps be a bit more demanding from the players. After all , once they out the dugout and are past the white line, its up to them. The manager works with them all week… Read more »

According to the laws of Quantum Mechanics, WENGA can be OUT & IN at the same time. So please STOP FIGHTING

You may be right regarding the on-pitch leadership. but Wenger is still the culprit as he let it happen again for the Chelsea game. Tactics are drilled in by the manager, the players can take some control like French players under the incompetent Domenech during a world cup. but for us, we have a manager that has been in the job for 17 years, the minimum we can expect is that when we do get humiliated against a rival that it doesn’t happen again. It wouldn’t have happened to Bacon cuntface, Mourinho, or any other non-relegation fodder manager.

Yes, the arsenal players should act like the French players like Nasri and Evra. That’s a mould to build on.

Lord Nicki B

Why do you keep reminding me of Tony Adams a lot, Big Per?

Arsene give this guy the armband already!!

There it is

Verm better than BFG. You can have one disagreement from me right here. The lack of pace being the last man is not always crucial, baresi, blanc, sammer to name a few did not have any pace and still (got away with it just about). The reason for the hiding a was simple tactical niavety from wenger. All of them teams gave the opposition midfield time on the ball to pick the passes there was next to no pressure and the ball given away in ridiculous positions where our midfield were caught the wrong side with 3 or 4 attackers… Read more »


in the same sentence you attribute the defeats to tactical naivety on the manager’s part yet immediately after you mention players losing possession ( giving the ball away) in ridiculous positions.

So which of the two is it then ?


its tactical naivety exposed when players give the ball away in bad positions because of tactics. Both are correct. Players give the ball away every game, but it is because of tactics that we did not counter, that players were losing the ball in prime positions for the opponents to counterattack the shit out of us.


You are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

There it is



Spot on! Injuries played a part but the true reason we are not winning the league title is our mentality and consequent capitulation in those big games. You dont deserve to be above them if you cant get results against them. Im ecstatic about the prospect of an FA cup trophy but i cant shake a tinge of disappointment about the season…


Per-fect. We don’t deserve top 3, but we can by the help of others.

Ramse'ys spirit

Big words from our big german, i have no problem so long as he (as i think he does) undertands a poor team performance is due to all 11 men plus manager, and as 1 of those men he has a duty should he feel the performance lacking to improve not only his own games but his organizing abilities too. NOTE i am not calling him into dispute, merely stating that by questioning the teams performance HE questions his own.


Per.fect. And Ryanttc, if you’ve been watching, you’d know Per is incredible at 1 on 1s but is so good at reading the game lets strikers turn. He usually intercepts a pass or holds the line so anything behind is offside.


96 caps for Germany and people still question his quality. Amazing.


Poldi is well over 100…

Springbank 1965

Yet equally we don’t deserve to finish fifth.

Better results against Stoke, Swansea, and Everton and we might well have deserved to finish first.


I think fans of other teams don’t actually watch Per. All they say is, “he’s slow”. On that basis Usain Bolt is the best CB in the world. I can’t speak highly enough of Per. His positioning, reading of the game and organisation of the defence with real leadership is outstanding. Kos provides the pace in the partnership. I don’t understand why we chose to defend so high away at City, Lpool, Eve and Chelsea with full backs pushing too far on way too early….played to our oppo’s strengths in those games and to our weaknesses. I’d happily park the… Read more »


How bout this lads? Lets tell all of our players that we are fighting for fourth position at the beginning of each season because when it comes to securing fourth place, be it being 10 points adrift or 7 point adrift we ultimately end up securing champions league football. We ll pretend the title is fourth place! No stopping us then!


Sorry. Not a WengerOut type at all. But. how he can say 79 points is great is beyond me? As blogs mentioned in his post today or yesterday 7 extra points should not have been beyond this team (Swansea H, Everton H, Stoke A and either United game should have produced more points). 79 points is not great if you want to win the league. These players can cope with being told that they need to be aiming for 85plus points from now on.

Injured Gooner South Africa

It makes complete sense what Arsene was saying regarding the 79 point total, as it would be the first time in a while that his teams have managed to score that many. Iv gone and had a look at the League table to satisfy my own curiosity. It in no way takes away ant of the frustrations of not winning da ting, yet the signs are there that the club is at least moving in the right direction. In years past I used to rage at beating any of the so called big clubs, only to then go and loose… Read more »


Not only dissing Ramsey in the past, but this year Giroud, Poldi, Vermaelen, Arteta, and OZIL!? etc etc.

If the loudest voice of supporters was like that I would have no allegiance as a player.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Inanimate Carbon Rod has yet to get a run in this season. But I’m sure he’ll start for Spuds. They’ll even pay $30M for him just for being linked with Arsenal.


We Arsenal fans talk and believe there is a right way to win. But there is also a right way to lose. Those opposed to Wenger leaving need to realize that change is required. Wenger allowed the team to lose the wrong way not once but twice. Showing that he wasn’t naive but stubborn. He’s been doing this long enough to be aware that the approach was not working and needed to be changed. He didn’t and that’s why the team lost confidence and so, the results against Stoke, Everton, Swansea and even Man City ended up that way. Change… Read more »

Mental strength

We should all listen and take advise from ‘BFG’ when he speaks.


I’m just disappointed with the way things unravelled. Look, we were top till February. We had the quality. Yet we didn’t even beat the poorest united side for a while home and away. And when we were top in January, we needed to reinforce. Panic buys do work out. Meet and Arteta did. We should’ve strengthened. I think we deserved a top 3, we just threw it away. A lot of that is down to tactical naivety from Wenger and inability to strengthen. The buck stops with Arsene. But who would replace him?

Rambling Pete

Deserve is an interesting way to think about it. If we look at the actual dictionary definition it says: to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation. Yet who sets the markers for these things? You can deserve and not get or you can get and not deserve. It’s as if things sometimes take on a random nature over which we have no control. The illusion is that we’re capable of changing any thing at any moment, the reality is far different. You can drive your car but… Read more »


I’m going to ramble like Pete, but not all the way away from whatever, that is his unique skill, very enjoyable. I’ve wanted to say this about Podolski for a while now, but waited till the newcastle game, where I watched him throughout no matter where the play was, to be sure about it. Podolski is an absolutely smashing goalscorer, the best in our team, no doubt about it. But. Podolski is an absolute passenger when it comes to other aspects of the game. He makes no runs behind even though he has decent pace. Passing, I have not seen… Read more »


There is the man with the armband, and then in Arteta and Mertesacker, we have men who lead on the pitch. TV5 is great, but one of these two should be the field general in 14-15. That much is obvious. I don’t see this as anger at not deserving 3rd. I see this as being offended they didn’t finish first. Per isn’t happy with 4th, he’s pissed that the team blew a chance to win the title. Everyone who complains about celebrating CL qualification should look no further than Per. You need a leader who pulls the team aside, flashes… Read more »


I don’t think it’s pers fault or the squads. It is only Arsene’s fault. For a team that were piss poor last season and only added one player of genuine quality, we did pretty well. Yes Flamini was crucial too. But we didn’t invest where we needed to most. The wings or up front. Arsene blew it. He put us in a position where he gave us genuine hope. Got his team playing some terrific football, but he didn’t have a plan B. A philosophy wil not be successful over the course of 38 games. We needed pragmatism away from… Read more »


Damn him for playing terrific football and putting us in a position to give us hope!


Or draws just so we would still be in the race. The FA cup is a must. It will paper over the cracks but we need it anyway.


The performances were down because we’ve missed half of the key players half a season, don’t be so down Per you have been consistent and solid besides that.


no, that is not enough to explain why performances were down. We refuse to buckle down, like it is beneath our aesthetic approach. Let me say again as I have before, I’m not bitter. By january, this was already a satisfactory season for me. I knew we will not get any additions that we need, and I knew that we will probably not win (although 5, 6, 3 goals conceded were sickening), but I was happy all of the first half of the season, believing that we will defend properly and not give away slender leads. That was enough for… Read more »


Oh FFS. Theo, Ozil, Ramsey, Jack, Kos, and Gibbs (and Flamini suspension) out for the most intense run of games of the season and it shouldn’t have an effect? Come off it.


Hello, what’s this? Bayern doing an Arsenal? 😀


Tiki taka being shown up again when up against a solid defence combined with a devastating counter-attack. Tiki taka is so precise and hence difficult to succeed with, and you need players of the absolute highest technical quality to pull it off. Hope Wenger is watching this.


I’m happy to see Pep fail. Hailed as a tactical genius, but he’s never coached a team that wasn’t already dominant and still he fails.

Arsenal is nowhere near that rote and boring Tiki Taka. Can’t be in the Premier League.

Under Pep I turned off Barca games 10 minutes in. Deathly boring.


On a completely separate note, sky are reporting that the Spuds have approached DeBoer from Ajax for their managers position…….. Please God no, if it happens , Dennis doesn’t follow him as his assistant.

That will be simply too much to take.


Never happen.

The again, he’d never have to fly…


After watching Madrid destroy Munich one thing is for sure. Possession and passing style is dead. Something for arsene to consider.


Ridiculous to see people now jumping on the bandwagon after the Madrid win and Chelski on the weekend, Liverpool, City, Bayern and at times Arsenal have been phenomenal this season playing good offensive football that is also pleasing on the eye, yet people are saying based on 3 games the best style in football to go for is the Maureen way. Also the win for Maureen on the weekend was based on one unfortunate slip from Gerrard, had that not happened its likely the game would of finished 0-0 and people would go back to saying either how much of… Read more »


Watching Bayern play tonight was very similar to watching us play, the intent was on keeping the ball ahead of scoring with the assumption that enough passes will inevitably yield opportunities. It worked for Pep brilliantly at Barca mainly because he had a team overloaded with sublime technical talent for whom relentlessly keeping possession was made look easy. Bayern are a great team but they are more about power than technique, which is why it will require a lot more change in personnel on the field for Guardiola to replicate his success at Barca with Bayern. Wenger has opted for… Read more »


I agree with what a lot of the points you say, I was just really pointing out teams who don’t play this defensive style but can still achieve success. Also I really would like to see us at times such as the top 4 away games this season, go with the attitude of if we can’t win we don’t loose like we did much of the tail end of last season, grinding out results. I hate thinking what if, but looking at a previous post mentioning 10 dropped points against Everton twice, orcs and swansea, I can’t help but think… Read more »


Alright man, fair enough. Wouldn’t worry about Jose too much. Sure he’s having a decent season this time around, probably will next season too, but come his third season it will all implode for him again. Always does.


After watching Atletico destroy Chelsea, I hope you’re feeling a bit silly now. Mou and his tight panties parked the double bus and got rolled.


That is a brilliant picture

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Guadiola out!! He lost by 5 goals to RM he must be complete rubbish as a manager.

You see how stupid that sounds? That’s how the Wenger out brigade sound


@flambo that’s maureen’s style. He beat city, Liverpool same way home and away. Eaither way the thing is if you can’t win then don’t loose that’s his way.
Not my way or arsene’s or arsenal’s. But some games it is required.
Remember we were boring boring arsenal once.


We all know we need some additions in the offseason, but get behind the players we have! Leading the league longer than anyone since August is a great feat. Injuries hurt us this year, but I love our chances next year.



Arsenal plays the same way whether it’s cardiff home or man city or chelsea away. A bit of naivety and lack of awareness from Arsene/players. Nobody will remember if the chelsea players were waisting time from the word go against liverpool or that they parked an aeroplane for that matter, especially if they win the title. There is no chelsea way or arsenal way. There is the winning way.


Interesting analysis on Newcastle here


I have a confession. Though my eyes were looking at the words of the article, everything after ‘banjaxing’ is a blur. What a fantastic word hahaha


Of course we don’t. Because we need a new fucking manager!!!

Jesus Christ!!!


From my perspective we need new fucking supporters.


Like this is a surprise. When has Wenger ever consistently beaten good teams???? Has he ever? Today’s Premier League is not ur late 90s/early 2000s Ipwisch team or Chelsea or Liverpool. He actually has to beat more than ONE TEAM (Man Utd).

2qtr Finals wins in the Champions League in almost 20yrs. Yay to 4th and hail to the genius who gets it for us.

Mallu Gooner

I was convinced that BFG should be captain the day he shouted at Ozil for not applauding the away fans. This man knows how to do the job. Arsene, please do the necessary.


I don’t agree. You just need the most number of points to be champions.

It doesn’t matter whether you lost to / drew with the other top 3 teams but make up enough from the rest to achieve the most points overall.

The 3 teams with the most points are deservedly top 3.


We will always be vunerable in counter attacks with per being one of the last men.its not a cynical statement.stop making it sound like it is.its the reason for those big defeats.its the same thing with giroud all over again.when he score terrific goals consistently,a million people start singing giroud praises.then when people start to realise he is just a lamppost as time goes on,majority of people start to question his pace and ability.then in the last game after he scored a brillant goal,and everyone suddenly lavish him with praise saying he is the complete striker.cmon guys,are u having a… Read more »


Vermaelen was very naive in his defending. That was the reason he was dropped. So what if he had pace? He couldn’t use it to save the team.


Ryan, the counters that killed us were almost all on the left. Not Per’s side. Ask Verm, Kos, Gibbs, and Nacho about those. And use the space bar and capital letters at the beginnings of your sentences.

Oh, and find me another lamppost that gets 21 goals in all comps and 7 assists in the BPL, and plays every fucking game without a rest.

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