Arsenal overcome the Palace wall but must now invade Istanbul!

The Kara Kartallar ‘Black Eagles’ circle in Istanbul by RH

“The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.” Winston Churchill

It is true that Arsenal got their victory against Crystal Palace, marginal albeit. It is a victory that perhaps answered some questions but also asked some more. Churchill’s quote rings true after the weekend’s events but perhaps is also apt, as the great man also new a thing or two about campaigns in Turkey.

It is an insipid man who compares football to war but that does not mean that lessons of marginal gains or planning for that matter, cannot be taken from it. Winston Churchill’s Gallipoli campaign is best remembered for ill planning, even arrogance and the loss of so many lives. Still to this day it leaves a scar that is etched in the country’s history. This week Arsenal enter the cauldron of Istanbul and Besiktas, with much to lose. Although it is not ‘do or die’ it certainly is ‘must win’.

Before the game against Crystal Palace, Arsene Wenger had talked about the intensity his team must start with and the importance of maintaining the technical application during the process. It is perhaps a little disconcerting that Arsenal did not show any of that early explosive attack and in fact started almost a little jaded. The last minute goal from Aaron Ramsey has left the Arsenal Manager with a quandary’. Although this win will be filed under the ‘Playing bad and winning is the sign of Champions’ section, it does not discard the lack of dynamism and defensive ‘switch offs’ that occurred.

Arsenal will enter the Ataturk Olympic Stadium (that’s right the Gallipoli theme continues) with 70,000 Turks raining hell and brimstone down on them. They have been here before of course, as last year they beat Fenerbahce at the same stage in the competition but there should be no room for complacency. The urgency will need to be there but more importantly the defence will need be coherent and disciplined. Wojciech Szczesny’s distribution was poor on the weekend and with Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny doubtful they will need to be switched on.

The first game is often not a true representation of the season ahead but with Arsenal’s games coming thick and fast and throwing up tough opposition, good and bad habits can be formed in these times. Besiktas are more than capable opponents but they can be silenced if Arsene Wenger can repeatedly persist with his philosophy of tempo and technical continuity.

As Winston Churchill pointed out, winning can be agreeable and most Arsenal fans will have come away from the weekend happy. It does however, pose some tough questions for the team as to whether they just started off slowly or if they were lucky to get the points.

Perhaps Arsene will not look back on the Palace game at all? Perhaps it’s all forward thinking? In the end what good does it do you to look back into the past? Churchill’s outing into Turkey was after all disastrous and did he learn? Perhaps Arsenal fans should all look forward to Tuesday night, D-Day.

By Richard Hall

Follow him on Twitter @TheArsenalChap

Read all of the Arsenal Chap diaries at

Tags Besiktas Crystal Palace


  1. Ohh fabregas u make me enjoy watchng chelsea play. Unfortunately we have giroud the best striker in the whole world and wilshear who some bitches thnk is better than u so we dnt need u sorsz

    1. Giroud not good enough for our first team if we want the BPL .

      I could spend hours writing why not but only delusionisal fans will disagree

      1. 22 goals, 10 assists..
        Stinger vs city, set up the game winner vs palace… Care to wager on whether he’ll score away at Beskitas?

    1. If I see an article on this site dedicated to Fabregas’ Chelsea debut, on… I will officially go mental. If i’m not already…

      1. Fabregas aside.. Carragher and Neville’s comments about Man City and Chelsea having the ‘power’ in the side and Arsenal & Liverpool not having the same power.. I usually take their comments with a pinch of salt. But think about it, when we get a DM, we’ll have the physical presence in the side too. Mertesacker 6’6, Koscielny 6’2, the DM ~6’2, Giroud 6’3. Plus if we want to put a physical side out we have the options like Flamini, Podolski and, if fit, maybe Diaby..

  2. This could easily be a tough game for Arsenal. Has Arsene f’d up by not providing defensive cover so far this window?

    1. we just can’t play against Bestiskas acting complacent like we were against Crystal Palace. And that terrible defending on set pieces cannot happen again. Ever.

    2. I just saw highlights of Sebastien Squillaci in Bastia’s last game. He fecked up an easy ball as usual, can we get him back ?

    1. getting kinda low on the 🙁 I see…

      @haywill this is not gonna happen anytime soon, probably never actually. So let’s stop focusing on that fool and focus only on bettering our own squad now.

  3. Chelsea were great in the first half but in the second they were subdued. Let’s face it, Chelsea have a squad filled to the brim with quality but I genuinly think Mourinho will waste the team. You could tell that at half time, Mourinho had told his team to sit back and take what they had. I think against the best teams this could cost them. Chelsea scored a few nice goals against a newly promoted side who are being pretty much universally touted as guaranteed to be relegated. Let’s not lose our heads. I do think that Chelsea will probably win the league, but it won’t be as comfortable as many pundits seem to think. We will be up there, City will be up there, Liverpool are dark horses and who knows about United. If we buy a big versatile midfielder and a top quality, versatile attacker, we could just as easily win the league.

  4. Attack is the best defence! So we might have gibbs out, kos sdoubtful (sort of), but we have shieetload of talent in the midfield and in the final even if besiktas manages to score, even 2 at that, we should be able to score 4…

    ps-cesc can go suck mous balls

    1. Not if you’re facing a team with good attack and defence. I’d prefer us sort out our defence before any world class striker. Better to stop a good attacking team and go for a draw or tight win than to try and outscore a team already with soild defence like we did against Chelsea and Man City.

    2. you gotta remember that we haven’t been scoring many goals in games lately. I think there were only a few times we won by a margin of 3 or more goals last season and then the rest were by 1 or 2 goal margins. This wouldn’t have been possible without a strong defense and good goal keeping, which is why Woj got a trophy.

  5. Campbell needs to play. He’s a man for the big occasion. I can’t understand why Wenger plays the OX ahead of Campbell to be honest.

  6. Tbh if giroud still isnt match fit then i dont see why we cant give joel campbell a start, fed up of watchin dopey sonogo running around aimlessly when he is a million miles away from bein good enough for us

  7. Oh my god, looking at the comments from the last article and this one, you guys are so impressionable.

  8. Then they laugh like… So we just sit and have to listen to chelsea man u( though we better than them nw) and city bs. In Uk u guys are lucky coz most fans come from london and u dine together, here in kenya we are mixed and being an arsenal fan wil get u raped so please bear with me i i want giroud out.

    1. looool, i know right. Its the same where i come from. No raping but they sure know how to crack a lot of jokes about us.

    2. Chelsea fans joke about Giroud? Just say the name Torres and they will go quiet quickly..

  9. Wenger gave the title to utd by selling them RVP, he just gave the title to Chelsea by allowing them to have Cesc. We should’ve sold Podolski if that’s what it took.

    Thanks wenger…

    1. Poldi is a nothing compared to them. Robin and Cesc are more then players, they are history and remain Arsenal in our hearts. The club and players disgust me sometimes.

    2. Don’t u dare go there! Sell Poldi!!! He’s our mystery man. How many times has he come on and delivered? I say he should be given more time this season and u’ll eat ur words. We should have gotten rid of Carzola and bagged Cesc. But AW serious botched this opportunity. What a miss!

  10. Our main problem is defending set pieces. WE SUCK AT THEM!!!! The reason why Palace scored was because Sanchez who is 5’6 was defending a guy who was 6’4!!!!

    1. Our defending on set pieces is awful, but that sh*t won’t happen as often when Per is back there.

    2. noo that was not alexis fault the sky team was anylyising the goal and explaining the zonal marking and alexis did his job which was to deley the runner from the first line of defense it was all koscileny fault he was asleep was not aware around him and his body position was wrong

  11. Churchill smoked Cigars
    and lived till he was 90
    so there is hope for Jack yet.
    Churchill won his first Pemieship in 1945
    when he was 71 so again Jack has time.
    We shall smoke them at Anfield
    smoke them at Stamford Bridge
    smoke them at the Etihad
    we shall never quit.

  12. Our team is unbalanced. Chelsea and City will be hard to beat. If you analyze tactics, and players men by men, you will end up realizing that winning the tittle is going to be harder then winning the CL.

    Arsenal main problem are: Off the ball tactics, height, fragile players, and not a big variety of subs, and striker option.

    The CL is a cup competition. Luck and good tactics and you will end up on the finals. The Epl is something which you have to suffer to get it.

    1. Well said Ks-gunner. The team is terribly unbalanced. Too many right wingers: Sanchez, Walcott, OX and Campbell. No left winger. Two average centre forwards. Too many CAMs, No single defensive midfielder -not even ONE! Only 2 senior defenders (Manolas might fix that though). City and Chelsea are miles ahead of us 🙁

  13. I think our main problems are scoring goals and keeping ball out of our net. If we can solve these problems, we will do well


  14. Only in Arsenal where Sanogo and Giroud will start ahead of Joel Campbell, seriously why!, Campbel has everything, pace, skillful, a good finisher and most of all hunger.

    1. i agree with you hope he gets his chance tomorrow even i will start him ahead of the ox who was a bit disappointing again this weekend again running down blind alleys without having a purpose

  15. i wounder what was going through arsene wengers mind this evening when he sat in his hotel watching a master piece from cesc fabregas i really would of love to know what he was thinking . but putting aside the cesc show there is something that stuck out for me in both city and chelsea game and that is those bloody powerhouse dm players matic was a enforcer today and while some are happy with arteta i cant help but think why wenger does not get this enforcer this arsenal team soo badly needs

    1. He’ll get an enforcer, I’d bet on it..

      I think what happened with the Khedira transfer is talks took place – Wenger didn’t deny enquiries at this point.

      Talks then broke down over wages – Wenger then said we aren’t after him.

      Khedira knows he needs a move and wants to leave as he’ll never get game time at Madrid. Arsenal know he’ll eventually try for a move so are holding out until he and Madrid are desperate so we can get a better deal.

      To try and get more interest and lure Arsenal back to the table, the agent tries to get it in the news that Bayern are after him (which the Bayern president has since denied).

      I think it’s all gone wrong on Khedira’s part, playing hardball with us didn’t work, creating other speculation didn’t bring us back to the table so his agent flew to London today to try and get the deal back on.. Just my theory by piecing together the news stories that have been going on..

      Is Khedira the right player for us? I don’t know, but we are certainly a stronger side with Khedira than without him. But the fact that we haven’t rushed the deal tells me there may be some other players we’re also looking at, Carvalho maybe..

      On the point about Bayern, I think it was the agent trying to get it out that other clubs are interested, but with the injury to Javi Martinez, Bayern may be genuinely looking at Khedira as a replacement now.

      1. To add to your story, another bit of news has it that Arsenal were in Portugal to watch Carvalho play over the weekend. (He did get sent off though). I think Callum Chambers might be Wenger’s fall back option if neither Khedira nor Carvalho works…

  16. look at cesc he had hazard schurller and costa all of those who try to win behind the defenders yet we have a maestro like ozil and instead of having these types of players to utilize ozils skill we have cazorla and giroud for ozil . i hope once ozil is back in the team wenger puts runners ahead of him .

  17. The team that scores more goals has a high probability to win the title. Fact is, Giroud+Sanogo will not score more goals than Aguero+Dzeko and Costa+Drogba hence if Giroud and Sanogo are gonna be Arsenal’s main strikers, Arsenal has a very small probabilty to win the title. Its a painful fact

    1. Our forwards Walcott, Sanchez, Campbell, Poldolski, will score more than their forwards. Not a painful fact.

  18. Fabregas this, Fabregas that, and so on….!!!
    Have you seen the Chelsea bench???
    We are just not in it, not at all, not even near…!!
    Each player on their bench would get in our first team, easy!

    I mean tomorrow is about doing everything possible (Even Wenger said it… Pathetic! he should, may be, think about making us champion or anything better than fourth every year…!!) to get into the group stage and not miss the Champions league cash (I assume that since Wenger spent some of the funds, we need to recuperate a bit of it).

    Gibbs is out… Again! Just a useless and not even a good player (and he is Arsenal number one LB… Scary!)
    Koscielny is 50/50… He even played the Saturday game injured… That is the pinnacle of the joke! But hey, we don’t have anybody else…!!

    Luckily we still have days left before the end of the market (again we are hoping, but none of us is Wenger) in order to add some more “bodies” and hopefully quality to the mix.

    Wenger still believes in a team playing without a proper DM (he just forgot how he won trophies)… I guess he does not mind being trashed and battered once in a while…!!

    In a ideal world a top LB and a poacher would be nice too, but I am stretching the hopes.

  19. I wish Wenger would give Campbell a run at LW instead of Cazorla and I really don’t understand how Sanogo is starting ahead of him. I think we should try Campbell and Alexis on the wings from the beginning and see how it works and who knows we might be in for a pleasant surprise, it would be at lot more balance since one is left footed and the other right to provide outlets from both sides and not always just the right for counters…

  20. Gibbs out (Hamstring)
    Sanogo out (Hamstring)

    We have to many “weak” not good enough players…!!

    Man City and Chelsea are just too strong…. We need so much power and we have so little of it.

    A strong DM would be a plus, but Wenger still believe in his “small” players. BPL is physical… He just don’t want to make the changes…!!

    Koscielny has recovered from his injury. That is a positive.

    1. City spent a BILLION on players. Not even Chelsea spent that much. That got them a perfect squad.
      We play with who we have.

      1. You would think it was fairly easy to understand why Man City and Chelsea have a better squad than us – but doesn’t appear that way.

    2. we need to spend but we have a stubborn manager that refuse to spend or spend on the wrong players

  21. Frustrating to know Gibbs is now out for 2-3 weeks after in the first league game which leaves us with just Monreal for that period. With that the only other player who could have comfortably fill in there is now at Barcelona and to add to that Kosielny has been nursing an injury since the Community Shield and Per is now rushed back. I know it’s been stated a million times on here but we REALLY need to sort our defense out along with that CDM.

    1. we need to sign a replacement LB for GIBBS…

      every top team has 3 or 4 world class players in every position

      Man utd, chelsea or City they have 4 or 5 LBs to cover the position in case 1 or 2 get injured

  22. So apparently fab performs well against a disjointed burnley team and he’s won the title already? at least make your judgment after 20-30 games and stop behaving like prostitutes falling for everything. Some Arsenal fans are so plastic that you can’t even make anything of them. Today Arsenal win and we are the best, tomorrow we lose and arsenal is one of the worse teams ever. Stick with Arsenal through thick and thin and if u can’t piss off. GUNNER TILL I DIE!!!!

  23. i still hope that we will sign one more superstar, if wenger watched that chelsea game he must realize that we cannot win anything with sanogo and giroud up front!!! we need a true striker since robin leave us and true dm since patrick leave us…alexis is superb but he is not striker and would be easier for him to play with some world class striker like falcao, cavani even j.martinez and not just alexis but ozil, ramsey whole team eventually… we done superb job for these signings we shall continue!!!

  24. Mourinho did well getting Fabregas and Costa, but keeping Torres and selling Lukaku was stupid

    I’d rather have Bendtner than Torres

    1. need back up…..Torres is world class he guarantee goals….big name big tag…..

      Lukaku is a no name player….unproven…..just like Pogba when he was 19yo

  25. I am worried with these injuries on top of that turky is a difficult place to play its going to be hard game and then we face everton on saturday i am looking for a win in turky hope to see fresh legs in

  26. OT
    am I the only person that thinks it was only Burnley?
    I mean, in the same phrase we have “title contenders” and “newly promoted”….i bet if it was us that had beaten Burnley the media would be sayin “itsonly Burnley”

  27. Yeah! I have seen the Cesc’s assist! It was wonderful! But it doesn’t makes him greater above us all! If you consider him the best, then please watch The beautiful Wilshere and Rosicky goals again. They both were far better then this!
    Plus I reckon Santi Cazorla is better than him, please watch assist to Podolski against West Ham (h). Also watch Ozil’s assist to Ramsey against Cardiff. I can state you numerous examples. It’s your choice to decide who’s better!!

    1. Rosicky is old

      Carzola is ageing

      Wishere is not good enough and hasnt improve

      We need Fab should have sign him back

  28. unless we spend big and sign 2 or 3 more top players, we will not be challenging for the title….

    look at the strength of Chelsea, City and Liverfool

    Utd is making a comeback by spending big to secure Rojo and Di Maria

    and we are doing nothing as usual

  29. Wenger is not going to see whatever thing we say here. Let’s just wait and see what happens by 31th when the transfer window closes. Go gonners let’s win tonyt game.

  30. Our lacklustre performance against CP on Sat was cos we re preparing for Besiktas. We saved our strenght
    for d CL qualification which is a catalyst for bringin in new world class signings.
    OT: on Fab, pls spare me these BS about his perfomance for Chelsea. If u can’t face d fact dat he left us wen we needed him and as such will never be needed by Arsenal, then join him in chelsea and lick his a*se there.

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