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7 unbeaten + wholesale injuries = meltdown?

We’ve just had seven league games unbeaten, including three matches against teams above us in the league.   And this has been achieved while we have injuries to virtually all of the players whom we would expect to do everything they can to drive us forward and create the goals.

And yet according to the majority of commentators this is meltdown time.

But if you want to watch a team that is in trouble then KGB Fulham is probably a good place to start – no shots on target and a 3-0 defeat yesterday.  No money available, and the constant threat now that any day the owner is going to say, “I invoke Clause 9” – this being a reference to the part of the Abramovich deal which says that at any moment he can give the club notice that they have to pay back what they owe within 18 months.  (Which is over 500 million).

Or try the Tiny Totts.  Harry Houdini has come in and done his magic, they’ve had the upturn that all clubs get when they sack one manager and bring in another, and now they are grinding out a 1-0 defeat at Wigan.

Or Liverpool Insolvency.  In some ways if you were a Liverpool Insolvents supporter you might think things are ok.  Only one defeat all season, and top of the league.  True the banks have just renewed the loans – but they only gave them for six months (which in banking parlance normally means, this far and no further).   And this weekend there was a 0-0 with Stoke, plus the wildest of rants from the manager.

True the Lord Wenger has on occasion got bit miffed with Sir Alex F Word but as far as I recall he always regained his composure quickly.  What Ben E Tez did was make notes, write it all out, and refer to his compendium while chatting to the press.  The fact that what he says is quite true, that the FA and EPL are terrified of taking on the F Word is irrelevant – such behaviour doesn’t give you much faith in the manager.

I’m reminded of the state of affairs (yet again) 20 years ago when to celebrate the winning of the league at Liverpool, the fanzine “1-0 2-1 Up” ran a series of articles in which “supporters” wrote a set of articles each saying how close it was to being so different, and how we nearly won nothing.

I really don’t get it.

13 comments to 7 unbeaten + wholesale injuries = meltdown?

  • simba

    i must congratulate the boys for working so hard against Bolton, winning the game and keeping a clean sheet. Miracles will never stop happening, Bendtner scored! Well, I hope Adebayor will begin to score loads of goals from now on. Toure Djourou partnership makes more sense to me.

  • gun5

    The treatment of Bendtner was very sad, but I think that, and the treatment of Eboue, may be a side affect of the additional 25,000 people who get into the Emirates who could not get into Highbury. The Highbury crowd was simply more tightly knit, and full of people who were there for every single game. The crowd, and their relationship with the team, was much more like a family. The same is not true for the Grove. Of the additional 25,000 people, I think a much higher percentage are only occasional attendees, they have a little less invested, and are far less patient with the players.

    I don’t think Bendtner has a huge future with the team – he will always be the 3rd or 4th choice striker. However, he has had some great moments with the team (Spurs!!), and has done little to offend. The fans who taunt him are not real fans – they are the type who expect to be entertained, and if they are not stimulated enough, they boo as a way to generate their own amusement. I watched the game from Los Angeles, and you could hear those morons loud and clear through the broadcast. Please, if you happen to be seated next to one of those dolts, for all of our sakes, tell him to shut up.

  • cital

    Gary, totally agree. I don’t know if I’m watching the same matches as the Bendtner bashers. Admittedly I only have my TV set but I actually thought he was reasonably good against Portsmouth, better than he’d been in a while and whilst not everything he tried came off he played a couple of delightful balls first to Adebayor who decided 3 yards offside is a great place to start your run (stinking up the joint indeed, where are the boos for him?) and then to Nasri who had an (albeit difficult) one on one chance with the keeper.

    And then there he was against Bolton coming off the subs bench, misplacing passes and beeing jeered as if it was the first time a substitute had ever done that with their first touches. Pathetic, plastic supporters trying to ruin a young kid who has made the mistake of shooting from the lip about how good he is a tad prematurely; I spose you blokes who despise him never said anything stupid at that age did you?

    As for the argument that he’s not trying, I’d counter that by saying it’s just his style – he actually doesn’t have a blistering turn of speed. Yet that gets mistaken for “not trying, not caring” each and every time. It’s BS, pure and simple. He’s busting his arse, pardon the pun, and it hasn’t been going for him, give the lad a break.

    He’s not Bergkamp. He’s not going to be. But he’s not Christopher Wreh either. I’ll take him as 3rd or 4th choice at this club anytime, any season and he’ll only improve. But it will be for another club if some morons have their way. I am really starting to worry about Arsenal supporters, I think there’s something to this Highbury vs Emirates debate, I used to think gooners were the best supporters in the world but they are really starting to disappoint. Very sad.

  • cital

    I was watching the Mancs v Chavs game last night and just before halftime the disallowed goal incident occured. For those that don’t know, Mancs took a quick short corner and ladyboy scored from it. The ref disallowed the goal as he hadn’t given the go ahead to take the corner. Rooney ran 30 yards over to the ref and let fly with a volley of foul mouthed abuse. His face was one of rage and trust me, he didn’t hold back verbally. The ref just waved him away.
    My question is:- How did the little crunt get away with it? No booking, nothing! He didn’t even get spoken to or told to cool it!
    I’ve seen this several times with him and he never seems to get punished for it. If it were one of ours the refs card would be out in lightning time.

    Why is shrek allowed to abuse refs? So much for thr ‘respect’ campaign

  • messey

    In many ways their treatment of Bendtner on Saturday was worse than anything Eboue endured against Wigan. Eboue’s treatment was largely born out of intense exasperation at what had gone on on the pitch. Even those of us who thought Eboue had it coming to an extent did not for a second take any pleasure in what occurred.

    But on Saturday a noticeable minority baited Nicklas Bendtner like he was some kind of participant in a freak show. They actually enjoyed trying to humiliate one of their own players.

    They baited him from the second he took his jacket off, unleashing volleys of abuse at him before he had had a chance to fail.

    Then when his first pass went astray they leapt on him. By the time the second was similarly wayward they were revelling in it. So much so that his subsequent passes garnered ironic applause when they found their man.

    Letting a player know he needs to buck up his ideas is one thing and perfectly acceptable. Ironic cheering is nothing of the sort. It is pure humiliation aimed not at knocking a player into shape, but at ruining him and doing down the team we are all supposed to be backing

    Thankfully, for the second time in as many months Bendtner shut up the morons. He is no world beater and he would undoubtedly be a better player if he tried a little harder. But he’s not terrible either and the goals he gets are often important ones.

    For a team in such terrible shape, we’re not actually doing so badly. Performances aren’t great but we are seven unbeaten and have 15 point from 21. We needed to stabilise and we have.

    I see Kevin Davies has been mouthing off over Gael Clichy of all people, accusing him of making a meal over challenges. I’ll tell you what I saw from my view on the other side of the pitch.

    I saw Davies blatantly elbow Clichy early on, going up for an early high ball with his elbows completely unnecessarily horizontal. I also saw that when Clichy decided he wasn’t going to accept being roughed up, Davies went down under one challenge pathetically easily.

    The cheating hypocrite. Of course for Davies it matters not one jot that Clichy is as honest (a word I’m using tongue in cheek) a pro as you’ll is. He is ultimately foreign. Perhaps I’m paranoid. But then how many examples can anyone ever find of a foreign player ever being given that “honest” tag?

    Now that Bolton are suddenly struggling to beat us, they (first Megson, now Davies) seem incapable of admitting they were soundly beaten and instead resort to whining about perceived whining. Get over it. It’s very boring.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I should just say a couple of full blooded challenges late-on on Vela that sparked fury from some fans were in my mind in fact perfectly fair. Not that the player complained.

    Bolton were awful. They had one late chance but otherwise lacked any ambition and deservedly left north London with nothing. Approaches such as theirs deserve little credit.

  • FunGunner

    Another good blog, Tony. ..
    which I’ve just read it on Arsenal FC blog, where a poster called “parsi” has lifted and re-posted the entire thing! I know your style so I knew it must be your writing. I suppose the continued plagiarism is a weird backhanded compliment but it must be infuriating. Perhaps you could enlist the support of other Arsenal bloggers to stamp it out?

    http://arsenalfcblog.com/another-step-forward-as-arsenal-s-unbeaten-run-continues/

  • FunGunner

    And messey’s postis nicked from Goodplaya.

  • BoyNextDoor

    or messey = goodplaya?

  • ray

    while i agree with you about any fans booing are idiots i do not agree about highbury. we were known as the library for a reason. the major diff is the fans who used to sing – clock end, north bank have now been split up. but i still think even with those great fans there was always the two other sides of highbury that cheered about 5 minutes of any game and offered no chants etc.

  • F. Frederick Skitty

    Really good blog – I’ll be bookmarking it!

    The number adding thing is a bit annoying though for first time posters. If you don’t know what it’s driving at you lose your post!

    All the best.

  • FunGunner

    I’m not sure the new fans are to blame. I’ve seen lots of posts along the lines of “I’ve been a Gooner for 30/50/2,000 years so I have a right to leave early/boo/demand trophies every season.

  • Waleed

    So this is just an experiment????????????
    This is all bullshit, isn’t it.

    If there’s one big thing I have learned this year it is that blogs can have an enormous impact – or they can be a flop. It all depends on how the blog is written.

    What my colleagues and I have been doing is writing a series of blogs in different ways, and then measuring the number of readers we get. To add to the test we invented the rule that we would not do any promotion for the blogs at all – people would have to find them by searching through Google and the like.

    In the most simple terms the finding we have is this: it is possible to get very high audiences for blogs, without any advertising, if the blog itself covers the selected topic in a way that is different from most other web sites. The blog also has to be regular – in an ideal world daily, but certainly never less than once a week.

    To go on from there, the blog has to be lively, and slightly out of the norm – if you have a fear of not saying something because someone might get upset, then quite probably blogs are not for you.

    For our experiment we set up blogs in four different fields: teaching, popular music, administration and football. Our aim was to see if we could find underlying rules which applied to those four categories. Ultimately we did – although it has taken a lot of experimentation to do this. (I should add that the blog you are reading is not part of the experiment – and indeed doesn’t obey the rules we have discovered. There is debate going on in our own company as to how we now change this blog to reflect the findings!)

    The football blog
    http://www.blog.emiratesstadium.info – for Arsenal fans. There are thousands of blogs world-wide on Arsenal FC. Many of them are incredibly professional-looking, with photographs, effects, shading and every other twist and turn that modern blog programs give.

    After much experimentation we found that the appearance was by an large irrelevant, so long as people could read the site. What affected the readership was the uniqueness of the over-riding theme, and the personality of the writer. So in this regard we adopted the approach that the manager of the club (Arsène Wenger) was always right. We also developed an interest in the finances of football in general, and over time evolved a series of nicknames for other clubs – nicknames that were unique to this blog.

    The current readership is 50,000-60,000 unique readers a month – a figure that is on a par with the most popular websites in the field – and that achieved in a six month burst where the style and approach of the writing was changed to a constant support for the management.

  • No its not an experiment any more.

    The blog was set up as one of a series that my company is doing – and I volunteered to do this blog, not least because I have been going to Arsenal since 1957. The resources for dong the blog are provided by my company, and we monitor the results in order to understand what is happening in terms of readership. I’ve experimented with running slightly funny pieces, serious pieces, critical pieces, although never anti-Wenger pieces, and in each case we look at the level of readership.

    So it was an experiment at the beginning – but once we got over 50,000 readers a month it became something I enjoy doing, so I now continue it of my own volition.

    The article printed by the previous writer is one that appeared on a bloggers group in the United States where I was simply reporting in shorthand on what we have done – and not going into detail.

    Everything starts somewhere for a reason – but the reason it continues can be quite different.