Summer Practice

Good morning! I missed my regular Monday spot last week due to a serious attack of the John Terry’s. Work got so busy it was horrendous, bastards everywhere. But in any case, it’s calmer now and so I actually have a moment to think about something that doesn’t involve writing enormous reams of code for men with big sticks.

The trouble is, there isn’t really a lot to write about down Arsenal way. I mean there’s loads of stuff I could revisit, the lack of spine in the team, the disappointment of the Carling Cup, the return of crazy Jens, Arsenal’s awful record with injuries…. but I don’t want to ruin another week just yet.

One thing I will say, I’m still far more unhappy about losing the Carling Cup final than being knocked out of the Champions League or the FA Cup. Whether United played well or not, we were beaten by two very good teams in those competitions. That United are still in both, and will have the added burden of an extra 7 fixtures should they reach the finals of both, makes our run in easier in terms of rest and recuperation between games.

We don’t have to win every game either – we need to win our game in hand, beat United when we play them and then match their results. That is a big task, but we should have key players back and more importantly, for the first time in years, 9 games in 9 weeks – with virtually a week between both. Niggling injuries that cause a player to miss a midweek game, or various tweaks and pulls, should be allowed to rest and heal and generally, the squad couldn’t ask for better conditions in which the enter the title run in.

Whether they bottle it or not, time will only tell. Arsenal could win every remaining fixture, whilst United collapse horribly and get knocked out of everything themselves – or Arsenal could just draw every game as yet another season full of promise and belief stutters to the end in a kind of wheezy, smack addled shit sack of disappointment.

What still gets right inside my head is that we lost the Carling Cup final to those horrible brum wankers. It’s biased, and sour grapes, but I really hope they go down. I’m sick of hearing the Birmingham’s and Stokes of this league bang on about playing football their way because it’s the only way a small club can survive. Everton have a similar scale of budget but, Fellani aside, are a lovely team. Bolton don’t spend freely, yet Coyle has them sitting in 7th place. Blackpool have taken to the premiership like a multi coloured loud mouthed rent-a-soundbite duck with a leaky back to water, scoring goals whilst they concede loads. 6 points separate the bottom 10 teams, showing that being thug’s doesn’t increase you chances of survival necessarily.

I’m not saying you can’t press the opposition, shouldn’t stifle the opposition, or shouldn’t play defensively. You just don’t have to go around slapping peoples heads after scoring or snapping legs. You can be a really tough team to play against without being twats at the same time.

I’m also sick of the “I have to set up my team to suit the players strengths” like it’s not the managers fault his team are cretins. Newsflash chaps, you signed those massively tall killer juggernauts. If your intention wasn’t to try and demolish the opposition you’d have made an attempt at assembling a smarter, more technically gifted team.

Anyway, losing the Carling Cup was a bitter pill to swallow – although in fairness Birmingham actually outplayed us for periods of the game, at actual football. Maybe criticising the football they play is harsh, I just hate them. I hope they go down. And then they plummet to the depths of League 2. And then the ground is stolen by aliens and sold to the French for rugby. Etc.

On a side note, Stuart “I Really Promise I’m Not A Massive Prick” Pearce appears to be a massive prick. Apparently Jack Wilshere will be required to play for the England U21’s for their Euro Championship Campaign. I think the idea is to ensure that next season he has a permanent run of injuries, before being dropped from the full squad for losing his form and not playing much. The aim of Stuart Pearce’s U21 set up you see is to try and ruin the players careers just as they start to gather momentum. Sabotage of the full national team appears to be his primary concern, masquerading as some sort of desire to “teach the kids how to win”. Pro tip, winning is not the same as being broken. Ask Charlie Sheen.

The England U21 set up should be used for promoting talent, providing experience and getting players used to international set up. It should be a seed bed, and when you move up that should be the end of it, unless you’re not good enough to stay there in which case you should move back age permitting. Having any player, regardless of club or country, playing full campaigns for U21’s and the full international team at the same time is a recipe for disaster. And a massive “I’m doing it because I can” prick move from Pearce.

  • Arsefan101

    Great article Kieran!

    I think you’re spot on with your comments re Stoke, Birmingham and Blackburn etc… teams like Blackpool and Bolton now play with more “footballingness” about them and are doing relatively well, so there is no need to be so hard.

    Another point – I am AMAZED at the lack of respect for Jack Wilshere, by a) not sending him home after the first England game when the like of Terry & Lampard can go…

    And secondly, trying their best to ruin him by playing him in 2 competitions – for seniors and juniors!! Ridiculous…

    Capello has to stand up and be a man and fix up and sort it out. No more under 21s for Jack!

  • Jamie

    Fair points here, whilst some Arsenal fans will claim they never wanted to win the Carling Cup it is still a trophy and it was against a team that we should of beaten hands down.

    Going back to the Pearce argument the guy is a complete dick. There is no need to play senior players in the u21’s if they are full internationals. Whilst Wilshere has not played many games it is clear to see he will be a permanent starter from now on. I am hoping that due to his robust nature he will come through injury free but nevertheless he is still going to be fucked for the new season as he wont have any rest.

  • Fo

    Capello said if Pearce wanted his players then he would say yes to him – as players like Wilshere should learn how to win trophies with the under 21s – since when have the under 21’s ever won any trophies?

  • devday

    Love the article Kieran!

    Nine games in nine weeks – with Cesc, Song & Theo all to come back into the team very soon – could be very interesting.

    I am worried about Almunia – I wasn’t so much before the last game, but he was pretty scary against WBA – news that Lehmann may start our next game is even more worrying….

  • devday

    @ Arsefan101:
    Crazy to see that Jack isn’t considered special enough to send home – considering he’s started MORE games for Arsenal than any other player!

    I can understand why Capello wants to play him some more – because he wants to see him play more football – but a massive lack of respect!

  • weasel

    Nice post K

  • devday

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