Bring Back Football (Leave Out The Whining Though)

Well, there isn’t much in the way of interesting news just now surrounding Arsenal. We still haven’t bought a goalkeeper and people are still going mental about it. I think it’s an age thing, the internet being predominantly filled with younger tech savy users who simply don’t remember the Arsenal glory days when we escaped relegation by 4pts. Time and time again I get lambasted by people who say “you’re used to mediocrity” or “you’re conditioned into accepting failure as success”. I’ve said approximately 50,000 times, that of course I want to win trophies, but equally I realise that coming 3rd out of 96 clubs is an achievement in it’s self.

Here’s an analogy. I’d quite like to have sex every night. As long as my cock doesn’t fall off, I’m at least close to winning.

There are 93 worse of positions we could come in, and we as Arsenal fans have fighting for our lives at the bottom of this league before, so we know it’s possible. The only people running around with their hands in the air like their pants are on fire are supporters who have never actually seen the team in a relegation battle or are too narrow to see other clubs fall from grace.

One bad manager and it’s kaput. Look at Liverpool, Houllier was so terrible that for years he managed to make Benetiz (an equally terrible, tactically insane man) look perfectly acceptable. They’ve sold more of their better players over the summer, and appear to be uninterested in the Europa League scraping through qualifying by leaving what remains of the team at home. I have no doubt lovely Roy Hodgson (well he was until he signed up for the mugsmashers anyway, and Fulham were a lovely team until they instilled Brillo head at the top – I tell you, the summer has been far more distressing than us not signing a goalkeeper), blah, anyway, I have no doubt lovely Roy will turn them around into a team of fighters, but will he get them into the top 4 again? Doubtful.

It’s another classic “we haven’t won a trophy for 5 years, the manager has had time enough, sack him now” that just shows how little those people know about football.

I’ve listed Wengers achievements before, I won’t bore you again, but our squads were finalised this week. 7 of our under 21s are full internationals, 3 of those English. Regardless of whether you believe Alan Hansen when he says kids never win anything, or the facts, like United winning the league with a team of kids (Beckham, Giggs and Scholes were young once) the fact remains that Arsene Wenger has built a sustainable model for the club, and each year the talent pool in the reserves increases exponentially.

Goonerholic, who’s blog is nearly always thoughtful and always a well written read pointed out the following in a recent blog:

  • In the 70′s the other three of last seasons top 4 were all relegated. That’s Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United.
  • In the 70′s Leeds and Derby won the league, where are they now?

As ‘holic points out, Leeds and Derby especially are great indicators of what financial mismanagement brings to the table. Leeds especially who have yo-yo’d quite a bit including most recently, Champions League to League 1. That’s quite the fall from grace.

Also wanted to point out just how cretinous MOTD is. Well, specifically Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen. Ordinarily I wouldn’t waste my breath, but it’s a quiet time and it bears repeating. Specifically their behaviour over Joey Barton getting kicked up in the air repeatedly against Wolves.

As threeandin points out (picture courtesy of the threeandin team) it’s disgusting that any professional football team go out to wind up and intimidate another player physically, especially in that manner. Some of the ‘challenges’ were straight reds, or should have been if the ref had a pair of balls. It doesn’t matter if you like Joey Barton or not, it’s dangerous and reckless and indicative of the approach teams like Wolves take.

Yet, the two Alan’s laughed their tiny bollocks off. Giggling like children as they showed replay after replay. I thought chest kicking was disgusting and there was no place in the game? That’s what Hansen said after the World Cup final right? But if it’s an English team (Wolves) doing it, to someone they deem unworthy…. that’s OK? Hypocrites and morons the pair of them.

On a totally different note I read Dev’s article about Ade/Robben yesterday with interest. Adebayor really is a total gobshite. Once again he proves the only thing that matters to Adebayor is Adebayor. It’s quite telling the only thing he’s remembered for in a City shirt is running the length of the pitch to celebrate that goal. I remember saying at the time, “milk it you prick because you won’t get many more chances”. He hasn’t and it looks increasingly likely that he will eventually be sold on to another club, maybe as soon as January. Hopefully he’ll end his career in the Alaskan league, telling everybody in Alaska that he’s even better at whaling than them. Moron.

In regards to Rafael Van Der Vart the reason Arsenal didn’t sign him is we didn’t need him. If you count Arshavin and Walcott as forwards, which I do (because obviously attacking wingers are really forwards, how many times do either player track back and make crunching tackles?), then Arsenal have a forward like of RvP, Chamakh, Bendtner, Walcott, Arshavin and Vela. That’s 6 players for at most, 3 positions. It doesn’t get simpler than that.

I echo Dev’s thoughts regarding Spurs. They lost to Wigan directly after taking the Young Boys from behind, and I suspect they’ll lose to Villa after Twente, Everton after Inter, Bolton after Inter, Liverpool after Werder, Chelsea after Twente and maybe they’ll get a draw against Wolves after Werder in a few weeks. The point is, they have little to no experience of playing so many games in a week at such a high level, and now they’ve lost their best defender in Dawson for 8 weeks (yes, I said it, he’s better than Ledley King, because he can play more than one game a year see) I can see them really struggling after each European midweek fixture. I think City will eclipse them this season for that reason alone.

Not a lot else to say today – Houllier looks set to take over Villa, which will be hilarious.

Oh and bottom of the list, is Ryan “Snapper” Shawcross. He’s not happy that Wenger thinks he’s a thug:

He always seems to have a problem with Stoke, our manager and certain players. He’s obviously got something against me. It’s just weird. He brings my name into it.

Aside from him kicking goalkeepers, so far he’s nobbled Walcott, broken Ramsey and managed to kick Adebayor up in the air whilst they weren’t even on the pitch. It’s baffling why Arsene Wenger wouldn’t like him. The fucking cabbage. [edit]Unintentional Shawcross similarities with today’s Arseblog, great minds.[/edit]

  • GLONDON

    I was forced to stay – Fabregas

    Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has hinted that if it was down to him, he would have secured a switch to Barcelona this summer.

    The midfielder was strongly linked with a return to his Catalan roots throughout the transfer window, with both parties making it clear that they wished to reach an agreement.

    However, the deadline for deals passed last week and Gunners skipper Fabregas remains on the books at Emirates Stadium.

    The World Cup winner is not the type of player to mope around and go through the motions as he attempts to force through a move to Camp Nou.

    He is, though, a proud Barcelona native and admits his continued presence in north London is only down to Arsenal’s stubborn refusal to discuss a deal with their Spanish rivals.

    Fabregas said: “Barcelona did all they could to sign me but Arsenal told me I had to stay, that there was no way they were going to let me go.

    “In the end I had to stay – but the content of my conversation with Arsene Wenger will remain private.”

    While Fabregas is staying put for now, it does appear to be only a matter of time before Barca get their man.

    They are confident a move can be put in place next summer and have already left their number four jersey open for his arrival.

    Barca stars Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who have publicly called for a deal to be done throughout the summer, are also confident that their international colleague will soon be joining them back in his homeland.

    Xavi said: “If the signing has not happened this year, it will happen next.”

    Andres Iniesta said: “When you talk with him (Fabregas), you realise how excited he was about the prospect (of joining Barca).”

    article from teamtalk dot com.

    Has anyone heard anything else abou this? Or is this just the usual bile they’re making up?

  • Kieran

    Who cares if it’s true or made up? He’s an Arsenal player, he’s under contract and we didn’t sell him. Seriously, ignore Sky Sports or Teamtalk’s reposting of Sky Sports news – you’ll give yourself a hernia worrying about it.

    It really is a non story. I was going to mention it in my article but I think it’s probably best for everyone to just move on and ignore Xavi and Inniesta. They were so certain he’d join this summer, now they’re certain it will be next summer. Seriously, he;ll still have 4 years left next summer. They should either fuck off or come back with £60m.

  • GLONDON

    But you know wenger will let him go next season at some sill reduced price

  • Kieran

    Based on what? The fact that we told Barca to do one this summer? We didn’t even waver, we were straight down the line all summer, we told them to swivel and maintained our silence.

    I don’t have a time machine, so I have absolutely no idea what we’ll do next summer, but it’s unimportant as it’s 11 months away.

    I’d be seriously amazed if anyone ‘knows’ what Wenger will do, I’d be even more amazed if after playing hardball all window we suddenly collapse and sell up cheap. There is literally no reason to. Fabregas will hold his value for at least more years, by which point he;ll still have 2 years on his contract.

  • devday

    @ GLONDON:
    I wouldn’t worry about any Cesc rumours at the moment. I’d concentrate on the fact he’s our captain THIS season and is going to lead us to a trophy.

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    As usual, a great article – so glad you’re writing the Monday digests!!

    The treatment of Joey Barton (first time I’ve said that) by Karl Henry was completely ridiculous – the first two challenges of Henry on Barton were 2 yellows and he should have been off.. why the ref allowed it to go on, I don’t know!

  • Kieran

    @ devday:
    Yeah, it’s sad when you have to stick up for someone as loathsome as Barton, but he earned a lot of respect from me in that game, he didn’t rise to it once. He’s come a long way.

  • afcgoonerp

    Cesc Fabregas has been made by ARSENAL FC and managed by the one and only Arsene Wenger, in my opinion FABREGAS is a main part of Wengers rebuild for 2010/11 season, we do not want all this speculation about main players not been 100% committed, most of the players if not all of them are signed up to heavy duty contacts so Arsene Wenger knows how to play the contact game!!! NUFFSAID, AFC-KTF 4 LIFE, “IN ARSENE I TRUST-hope everyone esle does”, “come on ARSENAL Dare to Believe”

  • devday

    @ Kieran: Agree!!

  • Tom

    @ Kieran
    Nice article, one comment though you have an awfully similar style to the Arseblog on oleole, which isn’t a criticsm since thats my favourite way to start the day when I come into work. Just wondering if you are affiliated with that blog?
    Tom

  • Kieran

    @ Tom:
    Not at all, it’s a blog I read daily though!

  • Kieran

    I should point out Arse also commented similarly on the Shawcross thing, I noticed when catching up on the weekends blogs at lunch. Unintentional similarities, I blame the dry season.

  • devday

    @ Tom:
    Now I am wondering if Tom is the Tom that fills in for Andrew when he is not blogging!!

  • devday

    Good news that Nasri is fit too!!

  • Tom

    @ Dev
    no thank god, that guys unlucky as hell…….

  • vernon

    The optimist in me recognises that we have retained the services of Cesc Fabregas, probably until May. Chamakh’s performances to date suggest that he will add another dimension and no little quality. I like Koscielny’s tenacity, but worry about how easily Diouf brushed him aside for Blackburn’s goal. Squillaci looks more psychopathic than The Verminator. If he becomes as intrinsic, I would certainly applaud his signing. Time will tell. The goalkeeping situation remains risible: perhaps we should ask what Gerry Payton is being paid for.

    Are we good enough to mount the requisite challenge(s), as things stand? I have substantial doubts. The perennial frustration is that we are close, but the only cigar within sight accompanies Peter Hill Wood’s favourite tipple. That said, matchday support does not rely on belief alone.

    Sp*rs away in the Carling Cup. We know about Gallas, but he won’t be clinching the title at The Grove: Sol Campbell did at White Hart Lane. What Gallas does have, is more winners medals than the entire squad he will face on 21st September. Regrettably, I fear that experience (and rabid fervour) will out.

    The FA Cup has recently dropped in Arsene Wenger’s list of priorities. Cup draws are impossible to predict – but our squad, talented as they are, may not have enough in reserve for potential bigger ties. Indeed, an inability to prevail against the foremost teams remains unresolved in all competitions.

    I am confident of progression in the Champions League, where the resultant draw will again dictate expectations.

    As for the “bread and butter” of the league? The group stages of the Champions League nearly all precede key fixtures. Those will clearly be telling indicators.

    If nothing has been learned from last season’s collapse, it never will be. Whilst other clubs set their own benchmarks, we are again invited to postpone judgment until May.

    With the definition of success no longer limited merely to silverware, what other successes would constitute a prosperous campaign?

    Further reduction of the debt is assured. The Club will continue speculating to accumulate with the “Arsenalisation” process. Other ventures, from the Fanshare innovation to plaques on seats will contrive to enhance both revenue and brand.

    On the pitch, I would consider improvement in the fundamentals a portent of success:

    • The ability to concentrate for 90 minutes every game,
    • Linked inextricably to concentration, a meaningful reduction in “soft” goals conceded,
    • Better management of injuries (although I recognise that luck, referees and the integrity of opponents make this unlikely,
    • Sad as it is to have to ask, 100% commitment throughout the squad. There are individuals who are content to coast; whilst others strain themselves – quite literally – to maintain a standard,
    • Team selection based on form, rather than hierarchy,
    • Evidence of less profligacy in front of goal; for the sake of a pass when a shot is clearly on.

    Whilst the basket case formerly known as Manchester City and the Phoney Russian Franchise will affect our season, I consider United a more comparable barometer. Those three will expect a top four place. It is up to Arsenal to ensure that any pretenders again aspiring to displace them are denied. That is a reasonable expectation and one that the Club cannot afford not to meet, if trophies are not the prioritised currency of trade.

  • Nick

    Great… RVP now out till mid October.

  • Goonerman

    Van persie out again are you kidding me!! That will be about 6 weeks then, chamakh is actually looking like a quality freebie hopefully he’s indestructible! Van persies ankles mus be made of glass!

  • Goonerman

    On the other hand If this is gonna be van persies main injury this season i will happily let him get over his injury for a month! Also this will jet chamack play alot more than he mite of!

  • Shawn

    walcott just got stretchered of the pitch . . . hope its better than it looks . . .

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Walcott has been taken to hospital for an X-ray … Joy. When will this curse finally be lifted.

  • goonerman

    WOW the arsenal injury curse has come around quick this season!!

  • goonerman

    defoe off on a stretcher! big blow for the spuds! not a good night for anyone except chelsea, i cant believe the pricks tell england terry and lampard are injured and can not play yet they look set to return for the weekend game what a joke!

  • goonerman

    final comment i feel like im the only one on here im just tryna find fresh theo updates!! theo’s imjury could be a big blow but i really think vela can come in and play a wide role either on the left or right he has all the skill and nearly the pace of theo so he could step it up with the oppurtunities he could be getting.

  • CON-MAN

    what happened to theo’s ankle? and also RVP out til mid october? FFS any chance of the injury bug not hitting arsenal 3 games into the flippin season

  • goonerman

    like dev has posted on twitter i saw oliver kay post and apparently capello asked theo 2 weeks? and theo replied “less” so lets hope that is true and he could be back way sooner than first feared! i suppose we have to wasit till thursday for any real news though.

  • fan

    I HATE internationals.