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Arsenal: not quite the end of the world.

We’re not playing well, it was a lucky escape, and we’re further behind Aston “if you fall over hold your head” Villa.

So all bad news then.  Except…

  • It is  nine match unbeaten run which has included games against a number of clubs near the top or at the top
  • Three of the four players that you would expect to feature regularly in midfield have been out for ages
  • A brilliant centre forward who would provide extra relief to the regular strikers has been out for a year
  • And to repeat the regular phrase, it is an astonishingly young team

Actually I thought it was an enjoyable if nerve breaking game – there seemed more life in it than against Cardiff.  At Everton I never know what to expect… Wayne Rooney scoring to end our unbeaten away run, or slaughtering them four-one.   In the end we got neither, but the goal was certainly worth waiting for.
I guess if I had been manager at the start of the season I would have thought my midfield would be Theo and Rosicky on the wings and Cesc and Denilson in the middle.  With Nasri as the relief – particularly until Rosicky came back.

To cover for injuries and tactical issues I’d have thought… Song, Diaby, Eboue, Ramsey…

Yup, looks fair enough to me.  But of course it is not if the first three names on your list are all long term injuries.

And so we are 8 million points behind the Bankrupts and heading for the Southern League (at least that’s how some blogs seem to read).  Or we are holding on in terribly difficult circumstances and should be celebrating 9 unbeaten with half the team missing.  You take your choice.

But let me say the unsayable.  Supposing we end up 5th this season.  Then what?  Does the world end?  Does Russia set up a nuclear strike (as per the last episode of Spooks last year)?

Not really.  We get to play in a smaller cup competition, where there is less show and less pressure.   By next season the players are older and wiser, and let us hope, our dreadful two year run of injuries must surely come to an end.  The financial strains on other clubs will be stronger and the cracks will appear deeper.   Arsenal’s finances are not based on full houses and the Champions League each year, so we’ll be ok on that front…

Even that scenario doesn’t seem too awful to me.   Last season we were four points from winning the league, and that doesn’t seem so dreadful.

One final thing.  If you come to this site via Goonernews or Arsenal News you probably just see the article and any responses.  If however you type in www.blog.emiratesstadium.info you’ll get the full flavour of the page with all the extra bits down the side.   I mention this because I’ve managed to add a few bits to the site over the months, and I think they add a little something.

The injury table which I added last week is quite neat I think, and as the numbers go down, a bit reassuring.  Natarjack, which brings this site to you via your mobile, for free, has been amended and improved so it is just Arsenal now.   Arsenal News is a recent addition allowing you to vote on the quality of stories (do give me a vote if you find anything I do of interest), and there’s more to come later in the year.

I do hope you’ll have time to have a look.  Thank you for reading.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

12 comments to Arsenal: not quite the end of the world.

  • don't believe the hype

    Thanks for keeping the positivity going Tony. I’m fed up of reading the non-stop criticism of this young team, who are keeping us in touch until the cavalry arrives. I particularly wish some of the blogs would take a step back and look at the situation with some perspective. You expect doom and gloom from the media – bad news sells and they are not Arsenal supporters in the main.

  • DINO

    I agree 100% with dont believe the hype…
    yet again tony thank you for another good blog in the midst of many rubbish bloggers who thrive on negative coverage.
    And thank god for a rare positive comment about last night’s game. I always see the glass half full. I think the team is doing well under difficult circumstances and in patches I could see the arsenal flow and speed of game improving.
    With injured stars coming back and the possible signing of ashavin I am sure we will not loose the CL spot (at the very least) and we still have the CL and the FA cup to play for…..

  • Colonel Mustard

    Ok here is where I stand – you mention “Even that scenario doesn’t seem too awful to me. Last season we were four points from winning the league, and that doesn’t seem so dreadful.”…..that team midfield was dismantled not reinforced. Helb/Flamini/Diarra OUT. it seems we are stuck in a perpetual “one step up…two steps back” mode. United dont lose there best players without making it an ordeal for other teams but with us the bean counters show up and say “ohhh yess” DINO…I accept injuries but our midfield is terrrible. Any pressure on Arsene this season is of his own making.

    “don’t believe the hype Says: ” “you expect doom and gloom from the media – bad news sells and they are not Arsenal supporters in the main.” – you really think that don’t you…that any criticism means you are not a supporter. Your the likes that will see us slip into mediocrity. Our board charges us through the nose and expects us to stump up to watch a social experiment while they bank the money. No investment in the team. Ardshavin deal a farce. – questions need to be asked and answered but no we have had 3 years of “we have no money but you will pay chaps”. Arsene is either hamstrung or complicit. I don’t know. He spoke about making the club a profit year on year recently. If your our CFO then thats a great boast but do you think Demento cares about where the money for Berbatov came from, does he f*****k. Thats why he wins year on year. he responded to the Chelsea cash influx by acknowledging that the rules had changed. Wegner needs to acknowledge to a degree that he need to buy quality but we know his stubborness, he will persist just to prove us wrong and we will lose our stars year on year. (it will happen again this summer). Can we really win a league or champions league? I just don’t see it for a long time.

  • Listen to them.If i were you,i should go and find something better to do with my life.So,now you know that you play with kids.When you were on a winning run,you never sulked as u sulk now.Things have turned around;the kids have been separated from the real men.Now you can rant,and remember your long-forgotten real men.Football is all about wisdom,experience,and maturity.You guys have to do the right thing.A child dare not challenge his father to a fight.The child might be very strong but an elder is still an elder.There is a place the father will blow the child,and the child cannot act again.So,always respect the elders.Infact,you(gunners)are nuisance to premiership.How on earth do you hope to win the title with the crop of young players that you have?When the likes of Lampard,Gerrald,Giggs,Mascherano are there,you expect Theo Walcot(although a talented footballer)to come and lift the trophy.Lies,that can never happen.Undoubtedly,you will see the best of these boys in the near future but certainly,not now.They still need to grow.Imagine Wilshere lifting the premiership.Its greatly unimaginable.So Wenger,if i were you,i should use my head.This current form of yours(Gunners)has exoposed the depth which the team lacks.A balanced team is a team that is combined with of younger and older players.The younger ones will be there to provide the srength while the older ones are there to provide the experience especially when things get tough.Look at these teams:Man u,Liverpool and Chelsea.Can you notice the difference?These are balanced teams.So, Wenger stop relying virtually on young players.They can play very well with there youthful age but the question there is”how much can they go?”How prepared are they to cope when pressure sets in?But when the team is balanced,they will look up to the experinced ones for encouragement.A word they say,is enough for the wise.Wenger!! do the right thing.

  • Ravi

    Darn it. I was getting all prepared to have a go at us again, but then VanPersie had to show some magic. Fool.

    I think I’ll still have a go.

    So, we’re a pretty shit team. I got so bored I stopped paying attention after the first half. Just listened to the commentary. Saw their goal – we completely switched off, the lazy jackasses that we are, and gave them as much time and space as they wanted, and we couldn’t keep Cahill out. Great work from our CBs. Idiots. And Diaby was as usual giving the ball away. Song was doing well winning it back and keeping posession and Diaby would go and loose it the next second. Denilson, I heard was pretty wasteful too. But overall, it was just such a bore. If Everton had a striker or two playing, we’d probably have lost it.

    Now I’m convinced we’re not finishing in the top 4. Maybe Arshavin should think about not playing champions league football next season if he joins us. I can’t believe what a shit team we have become. Unbelievable. It just sickens me to watch us play now. Constant frustration.

  • Ravi

    I think I’ve made a slight mistake. Denilson had a decent game. It was Song, Diaby and Adebayor who were the jackassholes. And obviously Eboue later on. How well was Bendtner running around closing Everton down, chasing the ball. Wow.

    But this is becoming worrying now. VanPersie and Nasri are two of the players on form and they have around them muppets who can’t seem to find any form. I hope their run doesn’t come to an end because of the others’ lack of form.

    One other thing I wanted to mention was that it doesn’t seem to me like our players get a shouting at when they’re doing something wrong. Adebayor’s got such a merry attitude and Song thinks he’s in a park and doing drugs with Diaby. Lazy idiots. I think Wenger’s very calm with his players. He needs to change his attitude. He needs to become more strict and ruthless. There’s just no urgency in us to go and get a couple of goals and win the game. We start of so defensively and wait till 70mins have passed on the clock to threaten the opposition. By then we’re either a goal down or having to face a 10 man wall, or both. We keep making it difficult for ourselves. We need to be more attacking.

    It’s quite a difference without Cesc. Wonder if he’s thinking about leaving if he misses champions league football. Probably not since he’ll remain loyal to Wenger. But things aren’t looking good. Havn’t been for 3 years but every year it was promises of things coming good for us ‘next season’ because of one more years’ experience. Bloody good that’s doing us !

  • gary

    Tony, ususally agree with you but have to differ this time. i think finishing fifth would be a disaster, it would show that we are easily beatable and wenger is doing nothing about it.
    but the point at everton was a good result
    villa can still be caught – there is a long, long way to go yet

  • Consolsbob

    Very dissapointing Mustard. The sort of tawdry stuff you can read on LG every day.

    So, Old Red Nose doesn’t care where the money comes from. Well, he should. Man.U fans will want their club to be there after he leaves, which won’t be long now. He is just a steward of the club, as are the owners and the Board. The club, as do all clubs, are there for ever. It’s just that if you do not take care of the club, that future might be in the Conference or the bankruptcy court.

    All those who pour scorn on Arsene for his prudence need to think a bit more. Arsene thinks of our club 24/7. How to build it, make it better, how to ensure it’s future. Old red Nose? He’s a disgrace to football. Corrupted by easy money and cheap adulation a long time ago.

  • Ian Trevett

    We got away with it last night, but the late goal was great for morale. Everton worked hard in a functional sort of way, pressing us to disrupt our game. A lot of reports today said how well they played, but Everton are a big club playing at home. I think it’s disappointing that they don’t even try and play creative football. I’d hate to have Moyes at our club. Arsenal and Everton cannot compete financially with United or Chelsea at the moment, but Wenger always tries to play decent football.
    This unbeaten run could be very good for us. Each unbeaten game adds a bit of confidence and if it continues the free-flowing football will come back. United have ridden their luck a lot recently, but the confidence built up and their form returned against West Brom. If we can remain unbeaten at The Lane (going to be tough) next week, then the goals will return.
    Villa won’t last – Pompey totally outplayed them. Liverpool looking vulnerable as well. We will get better when Walcott returns – even Adebayor will start scoring again. Liverpool and Villa have had their time at the top.

  • boy next door's sister

    Thanks always for the good read, Tony. It’s really an education.
    Even though last night’s performance wasn’t far from stellar, there are so many positive things to find if we’re willing to. Especially, praise the lord for RvP. The boys are hanging in there until the big guys are coming back-Theo in 1 month, Eduardo in less than 1 month, Tomas in 2 months (hopefully!) and Cesc in 2 months; then we have sterling team.

    So please please even if the performance of the team at the moment is not at your “haute” standard, don’t knock those guys down.

  • rob

    Time to say goodbye Mr Wenger.
    The season has been a sham from the very start and all the while we have had to endure your bluff and bullshit. We are intelligent people Arsene, we know what is served up infront of us is shit and we could handle that if you was honest about it.

    I have watched and will watch Arsenal through thick and thin. I have celebrated Hillier’s goals the same as Henry’s. Not anymore though. Until you offer me some honesty and interity you won’t receive my support.

    Seeing your interview last night made my blood boil. You try and hide the facts with words that were once eloquent but are now tired and thin with no substance.

    “This is a game we wanted to win”. As opposed to what Arsene? What games do you want to lose? Say something factual that means something to me instead of the bullshit only swallowed by our new supporters.

    If you stood up and said mistakes have been made and admitted that the side is not good enough I would applaud you. When I saw Arsenal in the mid-nineties I didn’t mind that in the main it was awful as there was no disguise wrapped around it. We were what we were and I was happy with that as there were no expectations.

    Your side now though is little better than that in truth. Our odds today of winning the title are 66-1, double that of Aston Villa! The bookies are not stupid as we in the main are not stupid. Everyone can see through your gutless speeches, everyone can see you are half the manager you used to be and that your team is a shadow of what it was just four years ago.

    Every week I hear economic’s from you. Ramblings about how the club will be in good shape in fifteen years time. Are these words meant to pacify the support who have seen a fantastic football side dismantled and replaced with sub-standard shit with no love for the club.

    Right now I would like a new manager to come in and tear apart your squad. If it means finishing mid-table for a few years then so be it. I will be happy that someone else is trying to build a team capable of winning honours in an open and honest way. I’d take that day in, day out over your lies and misguided notion that the only way to create a succesful side is your way.

    You have done it more than once with wonderful players such as Overmars, Viera, Bergkamp, Henry and Pires. How the hell do you expect to replicate that success with Eboue, Diaby, Song and Bendtner? Your blueprint for footballing success is totally flawed because one of the most crucial elements of it is making the club wealthy!

    You struck lucky with Fabregas. Without him we would not have one world class player. With the exception of maybe Van Persie all your other signings have failed to a degree since the Invincibles side. Hleb, Rosicky, Gallas and even now Sagna. None of these players performed or are performing to the ability they have showed elsewhere. Apart from Cesc, none of the youngsters you have brought through have set the world alight. Bendtner, Theo and Clichy have never performed to the levels you say they can. The less said about Denilson and Diaby the better and we won’t even go near Song.

    Since 2004 you have one success, Fabregas. The product of another clubs youth policy. Where are these kids with “massive potential, spirit and belief”? All I see is a bunch of mediocre, at best, players who would never have got near your teams of the past.

    Start showing us some respect Arsene in what should be your final year as manager of the club. You have already soured what you have acheived previously by constantly speaking bullshit to us or telling us about financial figures that mean little to us.

    You have lost the respect I have for you Arsene and if it carries on they should take that bust of you down. I don’t think it is right that someone is lifted to god like status while still at the club. Maybe this adultation has gone to your head and you feel you, as lord and master of Arsenal, can do and say as you like without question. Wrong! I can’t imagine that Herbert Chapman treated the heart of the club with the same disdain as you and I can’t believe he lied in an attempt to pull the wool over the supporters eyes!

    Quite simply Wenger, I have had enough. My hard earned money is worth more than the shit you are serving me both verbally and on the pitch.

    You were once great but now you are making yourself look a dick and I for one wish you had the balls to face facts and to realise you are a spent force.

    You are simply a servant of my club and the time has come to say goodbye because I can no longer trust you with the team I love!

    Just go now with some dignity!

  • Colonel Mustard

    Consolsbob – How can you justify so our tickets being the highest in world football and little or now investment seeping back into the team. The board is hoarding money yet they say he has a 30million+ budget, Wegner says I have no money to spend. WHATS THE TRUTH? Don’t say the stadium as thats a fixed loan and how much did we sell at profit over the last 3 years? I struggle to see this team fufill its potential. There is always injuries, players sold or some other reason. Transfer windows ignored or penny pinching losing us targets. How can we go in 4 seasons from champions to also-rans. I can’t see where Wegner is going with Arsenal, Is it only to sustain us in the top 5? Tony takes shots at United but the pay, they win and get on with the business of success. Will you pay next season to watch Eboue, Songs and other dross shame our shirt? We are being treated like idiots. The fans will always pay just open the gates. We will keep the gate receipts and increase tickets. Arsenes youth brigade will ensure they do just enough but never succced. Its kills me, 2-3 additions to last years team would have had us in prime position for 2009 but its really back to square 1 and it will be again this summer when we lose more of our stars and Arsenes turns around and says we dont need anyone in that stubborn way of his. I dont expect success but I damn well sure expect the board and management give the team the best chance of succeeding. We don’t. full stop.