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And today’s scapegoat is….

By Walter Broeckx

Let us go on the search for the scapegoat. The most popular sport amongst the media and  the non-existing part of our fans.

The first scapegoat the media presented was Özil. As he cost lots of money he has to score at least one goal per match and give 3 assists. That should be the strict minimum. And if he doesn’t perform like that we call him rubbish and a flop.

Really simple isn’t it. We have seen it many times before it takes time for a player to adapt to the PL. The high pace of most matches. The kicking that is allowed in the PL by the refs compared to the more strict approach that is usually found in other leagues in Europe. I still remember how Özil was looking with an expression of disbelief to the refs a dozen times per match at the start.

By now he is getting used to it and you only see him look like that 2 or 3 times pr match. But he still has to get used to that aspect of the PL totally.

What was a big difference however on the playing field when Özil arrived and had a bigger impact in the early part of the season was that he was playing next to potentially one of the best box to box midfielders. And also last season’s scapegoat number 1: Aaron Ramsey.

If you have an energetic player like Ramsey playing next to you, it all gets much easier. Ramsey ran left, right and centre and covered every inch of the field. And he scored goals and had assists. They linked up rather nicely. So the fact that Özil’s performances (or better said final results in goals and assists) have dropped have a lot to do with the absence of Ramsey.

I have said it before and will say it again: Özil is a great player and will come good. And I hope he goes the same way as Bergkamp. He also was called a flop in the media at first. I don’t think anybody still will dare to say that aloud. Still wonder if the whorenalists who wrote such rubbish have ever admitted how wrong they were. Caught in their last 5 seconds perspective probably never.

Another player that has been on the scapegoat list is Giroud. Now taking over first position from Özil in the media the next days/weeks. Take notice.

So Giroud has scored less and has assisted less the last weeks and  months. That is a fact and I don’t dispute this fact at all.

But again this is down to not just Giroud. In fact one of the biggest reasons for this is…again the absence of Ramsey. And in this case also the absence of Walcott. When these two were fit Giroud always had someone that he could interchange passes with. Or flick a ball to them. A ball over the top of the defence, a ball out wide to Theo. Giroud had options available.

With Theo getting injured he has lost those options bigtime. We have no other Theo in our squad. And in fact there is no other Theo in the whole world of football. Well not that I know anyway. Even with his lesser points he offers something that all defenders hate. Theo is unpredictable and fast as lightning. But Theo knows to score and to  assist but as he isn’t there he cannot do those things. And so Giroud is missing the assists from Theo and missing the outlet that Theo gave him.

The same can be said about Ramsey. Ramsey coming more from the midfield and linking up with Giroud to support the attack.

But now with both players not available because of injury it means that Giroud has nobody close to him to work with. Giroud is a striker that needs someone close to him to use as someone to give the ball too. In the match against Manchester United he was surrounded by 5 or 6 players from United most of the times, standing on an island with not enough Arsenal players near to him.

That was a big problem. But with the team having their minds very much focussed on not conceding goals this was holding us back for a big part. I know he missed chances and should have scored. But I think if there was one striker that missed the most clear chances then it was the traitor. While Giroud missed his chances while being challenged, RVP missed when rather being unchallenged. I wonder if the Manchester United fans are lining up on the internet with RVP out messages at this moment?

Singling out players is the easy part. But we have to look at the circumstances and the players that are available and those who we are  missing. Walcott is out for the season so we don’t have to expect him back.

Ramsey could be back around the start of March it seems. Let’s hope it is true and he has no setback this time. We miss him to make the team tick. We miss his energy and drive. And so do Özil and Giroud. Maybe we should revert back to making Ramsey the scapegoat. After all it is his absence that holds Özil and Giroud back…. (this was sarcastic of course)

You win like a team, you lose like a team and you draw like a team. So let us stop looking for scapegoats. Let us look for ways on how to support the whole team. The who is good enough debate is for after the season.

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52 comments to And today’s scapegoat is….

  • ARSENAL 13

    How important is Ramsey? Well, when he is playing we always have one extra man in attack and defense. He is always available for a pass, anywhere in the pitch.

    Lets not forget Jack. He has similar attributes but with a very thin fuse wire. At present Jack is coming back from a long time injury, and this on and off performance is to be expected. When Jack and Ramsey are fully fit…..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some snippets from CHRIST THE TRUTH……

    George Carlin once noted a universal rule of the road: Everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot. And everyone who drives faster is a maniac.

    To the speeding driver, everyone’s an idiot. To the slow driver, everyone’s a maniac. But one rule applies to all: My speed is just right.

    We feel superior, but you know what they say? When you point the finger at others, you have three fingers pointing back.

    All of those in the media trying to sabotage the team will soon get their just desserts .Just a matter of time . Am looking forward to mucho grovelling !

  • Pete

    Wilshere was getting a lot of stick last night – must have been disposseed half a dozen times in his own half – but at least he was prepared to have a go. As Arsenal 13 writes, Wilshere is still trying to recover from his injury, including a number of recurrences/related minor ones.

  • Pete

    Brickfields – I read a survey once which found that 97% of drivers thought they were in the best 50% of drivers…!

  • TJ

    So Giroud will be able to convert a free header from 6 yards when Rambo is back?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Pete – Guilty as charged ! But I think I rated myself at > 75% !

  • Mandy Dodd

    agree with the article below, just think Ozil needs a bit of a rest:
    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11096/9161356/why-is-ozil-fading

    personally, I blame Gus Caesar

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Racing humor – The AAAA horse – what else ?

    I don’t mind when my horse is left at the post.
    I don’t mind when my horse comes up to me in the stands and asks “Which way do I go?”
    But when the horse I bet on is at the $2 window betting on another horse in the same race…
    Henny Youngman

  • goonerology

    Giroud is not a bad striker. But we need more quality to get us over the hump in a game like yesterday. He definitely had to chances to convert and missed. Higuain should have been at Arsenal. What a missed opportunity to sign a quality striker. There’s hardly a striker out there with his quality that’s available. You can win the league when the tip of the spear is dull.

  • WalterBroeckx

    TJ,
    No he will then lay it off to Ramsey who will put the ball in the net

  • mark

    Zero goals against pool and Manure in open play.Pool playing one of the worst defnsive line up ever and Manure Samlling and Vidic,let us not forget that this is not the swashbuckling Vidic it is the Gus Ceasar Vidic and still powderpuff from Arsenal,we will drop like a stone now

  • bob

    To repeat, since August: Quality ensurance on the bench for rotation and um, the um, outside possibility injury. Was there ever enough, Walter?

  • bob

    ^ of injury.

  • Rob

    For me last night was the acid test as to whether we had a chance to win the title this season. The Liverpool result in itself was not terminal but I felt our response to such a setback would be decisive and I for one just don’t believe we can do it anymore (In my heart Ive not believed it since 11pm January 31st!). We had to buy or loan a couple in January and everyone knew it including Wenger…putting in a couple of loan requests for hasbeens on the final day is pathetic! Gross incompetence in the transfer window without question, but whats worse is we’ve been here many times before. Isnt the definition of insanity to keep doing the same things and expect different results? Arsene simply won’t learn and is not willing to change and its hurting our club on the pitch. I am an Arsenal fan NOT an Arsene fan, so for all those AKB who dissmiss the above a) you are blinded by your love for our current leader and b) I really cant wait until Arsene leaves cos then perhaps you will all f*ck off and support whoever he manages next! Cheerio

  • mark

    A top performance and 3 points would have been the perfect tonic to last week’s debacle…opportunity lost then. How can we have 3 strikers on the bench and not one of them gets used when Giroud, who looked absolutely knackered, had spurned the few decent opportunities we had and wasn’t getting any change out of Vidic…surely something different, surely a 100+ capped German international striker is worth 10 minutes? Or perhaps our Sanogo (who if fit enough to be on the bench is fit enough to play), a player who was eulogized by Wenger as a “prolific goalscorer”…but wait, remember “he’s a bit of a gamble”…like Kallstrom then Arsene, just what we need. I am a fan of Giroud who (when not banging hookers into the early hours on the eve of critical games)is clearly committed, offers us something different and can be an asset in the right kind of game. Having said that he is clearly not up to it at the top level against the best teams, which is not his fault at all. Sole countability lies with the manager and his irrational, nonsensical and inexplicable failure to bring in the quality striker we have been crying out for since last summer. Nevermind the title, let’s hope we can keep a resurgent Spurs and Liverpool at bay to secure that top 4 spot, I heard the ‘pot’ has increased for CL qualification this year so Ivan will be pleased. Arsene knows best.

  • Jerry

    @Walter, thank you for this article! All these people seem like they’re on the edge in regards to Giroud. I was having a similar debate on an ESPNFC article by Delaney, where this one guy called Giroud a mediocre club bully showing all his goals and assists against smaller clubs, so then I played his game and showed him Suarez’s numbers against the same big teams (1 assist against Arsenal last week, NO GOALS/ASSISTS against Chelsea, City, or United this year in PL). His response, I’m delusional for believing Giroud is good enough to lead us and we need a striker for the big games like Suarez. I feel like I’m debating with the dumb and dumber sometimes.

  • LOL Ozil 1 goals and 3 assists mate. At least that in 3 games. I agree with you with Goroud and this is our best chance for years. I’d rather have Lord Bendtner, He scores when he wants! The players are tired and we should have brang in a striker. Balotell is on the radar and possibly other players will come in like Draxler. Thing is with Ozil he came from 2nd best La Liga team (now possibly 3rd) and he played amazing there. The players who do good in La Liga and are worth buying are in lower clubs, the higher players have better team mates and better support to score. The Prem is a whole lot more physical (Nani Red Card Man U vs Madrid. Here it would’ve been yellow) he can’t cope. Ancelloti sold him to pay off debts and as he was lazy. Wenger should rest Ozil and put him on sub for at least 2 games and give him 20 mins each match. Our team is getting better. A lot of our players are starting to get international places, just like our team 10 years ago, but they are played too much. Podolski should be a stiker instead of laving him behind on sub. Over 110 caps for Germany and he scores a lot in Bundesliga. For Cologne he scored 18 goals in his last season or something and they ended up getting relegated. So bring in Poldi and he’ll kill the matches. Ever since he arrived he hasn’t got much chances to play.

  • Jerry,

    Evidence be damned.

  • Pierce Holt

    Who can dare to have a pop at Jack Wilshere? WHO?

    He was superlative last nite. Superlative. The ManUre players swarmed around him throughout the whole match and Arteta did not help his buddy out. Arteta was too busy looking for his yard of pace that he lost whilst playing at Everton.

  • Pierce Holt

    @Mark. I made the same point as you in another post. Le Boss has to spread the love….Bendtner, Sanaago and Podolski needed a run out.

    Who remembers the impact Podolski had at Upton Park?

    le Boss is to be trusted but I do wonder why he is reluctant to use use subs…..remember home to Chelski? We were dying for a breath of fresh air…but not one sub used.

    We have chance to achieve the IMPOSSIBLE, to win the league in the backdrop of the russian and arab millions and ManUre no longer count 😉
    I hope our penny pinching in Jan does not bite us back.

  • TJ

    @Pierce Holt

    Do you remember when Arsene used to throw on Kanu and Wiltord (with Henry and Bergkamp already on the pitch!) to go for the win in games like last night? Even when it did not pay off there were few complaints because we went for it.

  • Mick

    I detect a hint of Wilshere criticising beginning to emerge. Surely he will not be the next in front of the firing squad?

  • Pierce Holt

    @TJ. Howdy TJ. I vaugely recall wot u say, but I did not make my point precisly enuff.

    I am not suggesting that we should have done the “Kanu” last nite nor the fantastic n’exciting but ultimately failing approach we took vs. Dortmund at home but freshen it up with all the strikers on the bench. A like for like swap.

    Le Boss I am sure has his reasons. But running out Giroud like a shire horse will not assist in the ultimate ambition of doing the best we can. If the subs and squad is not utilised then we will not meet our potential this season. Our potential is there for all to see, potential league champions.

    Lets not regret over a glass of Root Beer or a nice Chablis…of what could have been.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I just saw this interesting tweet on my twitter TL. It sums it up rather nicely I think:

    You wonder why we struggle mentally to win trophies, well how about you support them for the whole season without trying to find a scapegoat

  • Pierce Holt

    @MICK..
    There will always be Gooners that have a negative line on players. Like my line has always been on Arteta.
    So my defense of Jack Whilshere is overtly hypocritical but last night I saw a midfielder being hacked to bits by a swarm of ManUre and nobody in our midfield helped him in the fight. I could be wrong.

    Anyway, 12 games to go 36 points to win. Chelski away is teh one I am zoning in on. 3 points there. Break Jozaay’s home record!

    I am nervous about one game! SPURZ away. Happy with a draw.

    As one amazing fella once said….

    “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”

    IWWT

  • akasuna

    I just wanna highlight the save made by Szczesny last night to keep us in the game and trolls the Dutch skunk. Could not recall better save yet this season in Premier League.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Where are the days that Szczesny was becoming the scapegoat… one year ago…

  • Pierce Holt

    @Walter

    If you say so..I have only been viewing your website for about a month.

    I do not really ‘get’ your last posts point. Are you making a personal point?

    If not, then when was GERVINHO, SANTOS and ARSHAVIN made scapegoats?

  • nicky

    “Scapegoats”. The very word is a disgrace when applied to Arsenal FC.
    We have no need to blame those who wear the shirt whenever a result doesn’t go our way.
    Every player tries his best but sometimes this is simply not enough to secure the victory we want.
    It’s sufficient to say that our cruel history of long-term injuries keeps taking its toll.
    We can but accept our destiny and in calmly doing so, realise that in any sporting contest, the manner of performance is as important as the final outcome.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Pierce,
    No I just want to say that today scapegoats might be tomorrows saviours.

    So no “scapegoating” from me.

    And as usual the wise words of our oldest commenter are hitting the nail on the head. Cheers Nicky

  • Arvind

    Too many articles these days with commenters looking to chest thump about how they are right. Personally it’s just become a pain to read at times.

    Just get behind the team and support them really – forget about “how much crap” the players are. Just keep encouraging them. They get enough “objective” feedback from the realists (AW and the coaches) to improve. No amount of name calling from people outside that group will improve them. It could bring them down though ..to see how little people trust them. Be careful.

  • Strus

    Wilshere was just bad lately. He is far lesser player than Ramsey has become. Team doesn’t moved the ball quick enough in last few matches. Arsenal just had to suffer a little because of Aaron’s injury.

  • Mick

    @Strus
    Sorry but Wilshere has not been bad, he has not been as good as he can be but not bad for goodness sake.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wilshere is going through very similar to what Ramsey went through, but a season later. That’s what happens to injury blighted young players, like Ramsey, he will come very….very good

  • Pat

    You are so right, Walter. I was exactly trying to explain today how the absence of Ramsey and Walcott affects the whole team to my doubting Arsenal supporter friend who always starts off blaming whoever the mass media has decided to pick on – in this case Giroud, it was Ozil last week. At least he remembers to ask me about Untold Arsenal now. I managed to calm him down – but only until the next time!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Off topic….he once was a scapegoat, but keep hearing horrible rumours Ramsey is out for the season.
    Hopefully this is not true, but I have to make a confession….I am getting almost aaa over our injuries.
    Also worries on TV , apparently a setback, and no obvious replacement.
    Time to keep everything crossed

  • Gord

    @TJ

    I once put a ball over the bar, when I was in the center of the penalty area 1 yard off the line. There are no perfect football players.

    ——

    There are too many trolls out for me. I’ve got work to do, and handling excess depression is a bother. I am hoping for the best come the weekend, and perhaps I will be able to stomach visiting the site again. On soccer links we were down to 3 for a while, it looks like we are at 2 at the moment. This drop in ranking is probably the troll effect.

    Yes, they are probably all sadists. They should stay offline and torture mosquitos at home.

    COYG!

  • Asif

    @Gord – agree with you mate…these trolls are like seasonal viruses who are out in force right now!

    Any team which loses players the stature of Aaron and Theo is going to struggle. I still believe in the team and the manager and I don’t think that there is anyone who suffers more than Wenger when the team doesn’t do well! We just need to stick around with the COYG team and all will be fine…

  • Rob

     A number of people interviewed on Arsenal TV after the match commented on the lack of motivation or desire from the bench yet again. Wenger hardly got out of his seat the second half and as usual sat there with his hands in his pocket offering no encouragement or guidance. What chance is there of getting the players motivated when our manager can’t or won’t show some passion and be pro active with positive substitutions, which yet again he wasn’t

  • Rob

    I’ve just seen his piece saying with Wenger supposedly soon to sign a new 3 year contract “most fans don’t want a change of manager but a change in the manager.” He then goes on to say that the same old mistakes are there, lack of investment in the summer, refusing to over spend in January ( because he failed in the summer!) and running our top players into the ground, just as as happened in the past with Henry, Vieira, Cesc etc, because of inadequate back-ups. The panic last-minute buy of the injured Kallstrom seems to have been the final straw! He says that if we go out to Liverpool and Bayern ( not impossible you could say), that will derail our season and leave us with only a fight for the CL places yet again. Now this is an experienced journalist, who’s a big fan of the club and Wenger who seems to have also now become disillusioned with the stubborn,inflexible manager of ours. Does he deserve a new contract if we end up in May with nothing but a Champions League place because the reality is that he’s not changed that much has he?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A good scapegoat is hard to find.

    With everyone giving their 2 cents worth ,soon they’ll all be broke and peace will return !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Great Truths About Life that Adults have Learned:

    Families are like fudge…mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
    Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
    If you can remain calm, you don’t have all the facts.
    Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s acorn that held its ground.
    My mind not only wanders; sometimes it leaves completely.
    One reason to smile is that every seven minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.
    God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things.

    Right now, I am so far behind I will live forever.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Justice Triumphs

    A lawyer had a jury trial in a very difficult business case. The client, who had attended the trial, was out of town when the jury came back with its
    decision, which was for the lawyer and his client.

    The lawyer immediately sent a telegram to his client, reading, “Justice has
    triumphed!”

    The client wired back, “Appeal at once!”

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mandy Dodd, Gus Caesar, I hope you’re not having a go at glorious Gus. He made look Stepanovs look good.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Pool won the league? That would mean that Wenger had a hand in two league title winning teams. Helping Manu by selling them RVP and helping Pool by not buying Suarez.

    According to Gerrard Pool are the dark horses. This league title race is like a day out at Epsom. I wonder what horse we are.

  • John

    The repeated smart-arse snide criticisms of Arsene Wenger from some quarters are actually quite nauseating.

    No doubt they stem from disappointment that we are actually still in contention and only one point behind current leaders. They will be hoping that Bayern win, so that they can have a further pretext for expressing more poison.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Now yeah let us blame Wenger when another team doesn’t sell their player to us.
    Personally I think the bad weather is all due to Wenger. And the flooding…

  • Walter,

    To be fair, I think Wenger is indeed responsible for the flood. He caused it by making Arsenal lose to Liverpool and fail to beat Man United. The crocodile tears of the AAA is responsible for the flood. Now would they be crying if Arsene had bought that nonexistent striker in January?

    I’m always on the side of Wenger but not when his failures have led to so much pains for so many people.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, Wenger’s not to blame, it’s just quite amusing. You got to laugh at the ironies of life sometimes.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Interesting article about media agenda and scapegoats http://www.football365.com/mediawatch/9164252/Mediawatch

  • Mike

    Having had been watching the team for some 45 years I find myself closer to giving up my season ticket than ever before. And the reason? Wenger, the Board, the players.? Not a bit…………some of the bloody fans.

    If Arsenal finished a season with a record of W37 D1 L0, the media would criticise us for inconsistency and a percentage of the fans would jump on board and whine incessantly about the points we dropped. If we won every game 10-0 they’d moan because Giroud missed a sitter just like he did the previous season.

    Some people just need to grow up and realise they are not more tactically astute than AW; they do not know more about signing players than the club; they do not know how to manage the finances of a multi-million pound business. In fact, a lot of them would struggle to come up with a word with more than two syllables…………if, of course, they actually knew what a syllable was! They are sickening, dispiriting and damaging to the club. They will drive genuine fans away with their constant maoning but even worse, they will drive players away with the utterly disgraceful practice of booing like we heard on Wednesday. We’re second in the league for god’s sake, not bottom.

  • Micheal Ram

    I wish these idiots called all the Arsenal players rubbish and make a farm of scapegoats of them. Then wait for them to do a Ramsey next season and close the farm completely. Stupid farmers!