I Can’t Even Laugh At Liverpool Anymore

Morning. I bought a Tardis at the weekend, so this is Mondays blog, but today, instead of yesterday, about stuff that happened over the weekend but also yesterday and probably this summer. Confused? I’ve not even started yet.

Football is at an all time low. Manchester United are on the verge of winning the title by default, by being the least shit of a bad bunch this year despite dropping some pretty funny points throughout the season. The irritation is that Arsenal have been there, neck and neck, but have been marginally more shit towards the end of the campaign. Don’t forget, we beat them making us temporarily less shit than them, but then we lost to Stoke, making us massively shit for the day. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

And now, even the last vestiges of footballing satisfaction have been corroded by King Kenny. 606 used to be the highlight of the week, mad scousers ringing up “sack de manager doh yeah, brrring back King Kennnnnny lad” – it was HILARIOUS. So they did, and they did and it’s actually worked out quite well. He’s got Maxi playing football for fucks sake. The man is either a conjurer, an illusionist, as lucky as a horsehoe tied to a black cat in a field of four leaf clovers… or a pretty good manager. It’s difficult to take.

Now I’ve read, on here and elsewhere, people giving Kenny all the credit. Using that as the stick to try and argue a change of manager would do us a similar service. Firstly, it’s rare that a manager steps in and turns a team of shite into world beaters. Rarer still that they do it more than once. Liverpool are the proof to that themselves. Roy Hodgson is a good manager, and did a fantastic job at Fulham with a team of journeymen and Dickson Etuhu. He had that team punching well above it’s weight. When provided with an arguably better squad he just couldn’t get them playing. Who’s to say that Arsenal replacing Wenger wouldn’t end in the same scenario, with a new Roy Hodgson struggling to motivate a bored and lifeless Andrei Arshavin?

Secondly, it’s not just the manager – the back room staff have changed, the players are no longer mutinous (none of them apparently considered lovely Roy a worthy leader) and the fans are 100% behind the new manager, a ready made legend. It’s about as emotive a mix as you could hope for. What could Arsenal do to match that? Bring back George Graham?

Arsene Wenger has his faults, not least the recent refusal to buy players to bolster his array of youth talent. But people forget, if Arsenal had of bought a big centre midfield player in the summer, Jack Wilshere would not have played anywhere near the number of games he has.

Other positions to – the number of comments, even just on the WOA, suggesting the manager should have been sacked for not buying Schwarzer – did you watch him last night? He must have been smoking Kolo Toure’s crack pipe before the match. He was literally dogshit awful. How many gooners wiped their brow in relief last night? We could have had that awful, old lunatic playing for us. Instead we’ve got Chezza, one of the best goalkeepers in the league.

So it’s not as easy as saying “buy him, or him, or him or even him”. It’s about balancing what you have, with your potential with what’s available. Let’s face it, buying a big name footballer doesn’t solve all your problems all the time. The people demanding purchases must have small memories – you only need to look at Manchester United. What about Veron, the most expensive English transfer at the time. £28m of pure flop. Kleberson, a great player at the 2002 World Cup for Brazil, managed just 20 appearances for United. Even Forlan who was fantastic before arriving at Old Trafford and is now fantastic again, was shit in England.

Buying a player is a gamble that won’t necessarily pay off. Arsenal have had their fair share of Aliadiere’s and Fanny Jeffers’. It’s a gamble that is further complicated by those players waiting in the wings, who could (and will) move on if they don’t get their chances.

This season football is over for me – I watched the Stoke match with a sense of sinking hope. When it got to 2-1 I assumed Stoke would score again and they did. But changing the manager, or buying 6 players won’t necessarily change Arsenal for the better.

  • Berth

    Had the same thought about bringing back GG’; but the reality is that life isn’t exactly perfect. kieran you style of writing is cool but a bit biased to the Arsenal; and am sure you sooo much dislike pool and manu as much as you like us. keep the variation and youthfullness of our site up

  • Sharad

    @kieran – Its amazing what a bit of passion can do for a team! Look at Liverpool, an icon of the team has brought back some tradition and pride, which inspires the players, player for player we are better than pool, we need someone to come in and inspire, Henry or Viera in a assistant coaching role perhaps, someone to work with Wenger, bring in new ideas and deliver the message that half hearted performances will not be tolerated at AFC and that the players must leave everything out there every game! We have the quality, we’ve shown that against cheslea united and city this season, some strength in, some weakness out and as i have mentioned above, we need to bring some Highbury magic into the emirates!

  • Berth

    Bergkamp could do the trick better than henry or Viera I think

  • Sharad

    Fast forward to August 31 and I quote

    “The answer is not always to buy. We have many internal options in that position. Koscielny and Djourou are more mature now, Vermaelen and Squillaci have played many times in big international matches, plus we have Bartley and Miquel too. If you analyse last season we had only lost two away matches until the very end of the season. We were also very unlucky with injuries too. It is too simple to criticise the defenders and I believe we only lost in “special circumstances” in the Carling Cup final”

    BLAH BLAH FUCKING BLAH

    I’ve heard it all before and I swear I’ll hear it all again every Summer for the next 3 years minimum. Bullshit bingo card is in the hand and I’m ready to play the game again starting on June 1st and ending 31st August

  • Kodjo

    The stoke game was a game we shouldn’t have lost…whether we played with passion or not. For me it was down to player selection and I blame Wenger for that. If folks read my pre-match selection tips I wrote that I wouldn’t field Arshavin for the game. Why bcos arsenal were giving too much away in height to Stoke. Ramsey, Wilshere, Gibbs, Arshavin, Walcott and to a less extent Sagna…that is half the team!!! Guess what happened??? Everything went wrong starting with Arshavin’s needless push which led to the 1st goal albeit aided by diabolical defending.

    I said that if I was Wenger, I would field Bendtner in place of Arshavin for the precise reason stated above. And also play Chamakh. We were always going to dominate possession so there was absolutely no need to give the height adv to Stoke. To Wenger’s credit he made the required changes at half time but that was too little too late.

    I have said time and time again that you just cannot play every team with the same tactics or personnel. You just have to vary it…this where Ferguson is miles ahead of Wenger. You wonder if Wenger actually looks at the opposing teams in the premier league and recruits players accordingly.

  • Kodjo

    On transfers…..

    Recruiting a monster like Samba would be good for the team and more importantly psychologically against opposing teams that play the long ball. Why? Bcos he is virtually unbeatable in the air and it would force teams to think twice b4 launching such balls into our box. The plus is that he contributes at least 5 goals per season which can be critical during tight games where our passing game is not working out. His speed may be questionable since we play a high back line, but that can always be compensated for.

    In my opinion Enrique at Newcastle is better than Clichy. At this rate, I’d take Odemwingie over Bendtner…even though it’s only his 1st season in the premiership. In midfield I’d pick Fellaini plus any 1 of Parker or Melo to beef things up. This is all Wenger needs to shore up the team and inject valuable passion as well.

  • Kodjo

    I hear Wenger is interested in Benzema…tactically i dont think he is the kind of striker we need…sure he is mobile has agression a bit like Rooney. A plus is that he is not afraid to shoot from distance.

    In my opinion i think we need a big target man…if Bendtner is going to be let go or not played in that role.

  • Sharad

    who needs bezema we got nentner haha

  • Sharad

    They way our team has become a laughing stock of the footballing world is none too funny. I think wenger has made massive mistakes and I fear he will continue to do so – WTF- Offering bentner another contract???? This just shows that these cunts who rip our club off to put in dismal performances that my granny could put in has left us with this sour taste and I hope wenger feels the heat from the fans – he is the culprit.

  • Chris Charteris

    Good article K…(proof read it next time)!

    It is good that JW and VS have had their chance but surely so too have the back 4! Sagna aside they have all been woeful. How about Baines, Vernealen and AnyoneWhoCanHeadTheBall (Huth [yes really]/Cahill/Mertesacker) Oh and surely Scott Parker is now a must?

  • Kieran

    @ Chris Charteris:
    Considering Squillaci and Kos are 3rd/4th choices I don’t think we’ve done too badly at the back, Clichy aside. TV has been a huge miss though.

  • Sharad

    No Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V please.

  • Kieran

    @ Sharad:
    No problem with you linking to other articles fella, but please don’t copy them and paste them wholesale. A lot of people read the Gooner and so don’t want to wade through the same article again – give people a choice.

  • yemi

    For me, i think the team needs a psychologist..Why ? I have discovered that team is not usually motivated for big occasions. It has become so consistent.
    We beat b’ham 3:0 on the first of january at the emirates when there was no pressure, 27th of febuary when it mattered most, the boys did not show up. A FINAL with no 2nd chances !!!
    After we were disappointed by the draw against l’pool and spurs, mathematically, we needed to win our remaining 5 matches to be on 79 point, chelsea to win theirs to be on 79 points and man u having lost to us and chelsea to 3 of 5 games to be on 79 points. What did we do ? We went and lost to bolton. OK.
    We played early on sunday before man u and chelsea, we needed to win to put us on 70 points and hope that chelsea beat man u. This will put chelsea and man u on 73 points and us on 70 points with 2 games to go. What did we do again ? We went and lost to stoke.

    I think what is really lacking in the team are these.

    1. A big defender with height. I don’t see that jones scoring if we had a Sol campbell-like defender. Having said that, i also agree that we need defenders like KOs who have speed when playing teams like man u, barca etc. But when playing stoke, sunderland, b’ham, villa we need the big guys in.

    2. We need a motivator on the field. Did you see gallas in the spurs/city game ? We need someone who can move the team spirit up a notch when they are not playing well. I would prefer such a player to be a midfielder so he can affect both attack and defense.

    3. We need a bully striker in the mold of drogba, heskey, carew, keweyne jone, ricardo fuller, jason roberts, zigic etc.

    4. We need a wide player who can run at defenders and beat them and cross the ball perfectly.

    All -n all i think we need four players:
    1. Defender
    2. Striker
    3. Wide player
    4. Midfielder

    I think TV should be able to deputize for clichy/Gibbs/song and KOS should be able to deputize for Sagna/Song.
    I also think We should let go of fringe players

    1. Diaby
    2. Denilson
    3. Bendtner
    4. Rosisky

    I dont think That is whole sale changes.
    I have doubts about Arshavin and clichy though.