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Leicester away – no leadership no quality

By Tony Attwood

“Arsenal fans watching the limp 0-0 draw with Leicester City on Saturday, another game with yet another wrong result, were no doubt crying out for the passion and leadership of Patrick Vieira and his team of Invincibles as they demanded that Arsene Wenger opens his chequebook.

“The Frenchman has offered his own assessment of the current situation, saying he can understand the levels of frustration at the team’s “disappointing” performances and the lack of new signings by Wenger so far this summer.

“He said the current Arsenal team lack the physicality and personality of his Invincibles generation.”

That was from the Daily Telegraph today, and Patrick was I am sure thinking back in detail to his season with the invincibles perhaps on 21 September when Arsenal played Manchester United at Old Trafford. Vieira was sent off, Cole, Lauren, Keown, Parlour, Lehmann, and Vieira were later charged with improper conduct by The Football Association (FA), while the club were fined £175,000, a record fine.  Lauren received a four-game ban;Vieira and Parlour were given one-match suspensions.

It was an early part of the attack by the FA on Arsenal, which was picked up quickly by all the media.

What we forget now is that the criticism of Arsenal at this time was huge.  Game after game we were talked down by the media.   We were mercilessly criticised for the game against Man U, and then even more so for the  goalless draw with Fulham at Highbury.

After that the Guardian correspondent David Lacey wrote summary of Arsenal’s football on the day as “strong in the string section but short on percussion” and noted they reverted to the pattern of scoring a perfect goal, instead of being efficient.

Oh the criticism we had to suffer.  All that “Arsenal want to score the perfect goal” stuff week after week.  The same criticism, game after game after game after game, taken up by the fans following the journalists’ lead.

Then we came to the away game with Leicester.  We had as one of our full backs a player utterly derided in the media and by fans.  A man not worthy of any Premier League side, let alone one with aspirations.   Wenger was endlessly criticised for even buying him, let alone playing him.

The other full back could be difficult at times, but could do ok, but in this game he got sent off for a bad two footed tackle.  As a result we brought on a total rookie full back for his first ever appearance, and we knew that now this total rookie, brought from the French third division at virtually no fee, would be playing at full back in the next three games.

And we had to play another player largely dismissed by the fans at centre forward.   You don’t have to look up what the fans were saying you can imagine.  Pascal Cygan at full back, this unknown kid from France on the other side, Jeremie Aliadiere at centre forward.  What sort of club is this inept as to be reduced to such rubbish before we are even at Christmas.

But we got a draw – although even Arsenal.com said, “It must be said that for long parts of this game Wenger’s men were distinctly average”.

 

And well, let’s emphasise the injuries too.  Vieira was out, so was Ray Parlour.

Rubbish wasn’t it?   But this was the Invincibles as it turned out, and also as it turned out, Leicester were heading for relegation.  So let’s be clear, all we could manage was 1-1 draw with a team heading for relegation.  And even worse this past weekend all we could do was manage a 0-0 draw away to the …. champions.   Indeed in the Invincible season the general view was that Leicester would have scored more had not Muzzy Izzet been suspended.

The criticism of Arsenal was that they “were not retaining the ball in attack. They were failing to find their fluidity between defence and attack because Leicester were snapping at their heels in midfield.”

So a draw all those years back, and Arsenal fans complaining about the lack of any strength in depth.  (The kid who came on at full back of course was Clichy).  The media were calling us distinctly average.  And Leicester fans don’t change either, they “were soon calling for a penalty when Marcus Bent tumbled in the area after tangling with Campbell.”

And there was more moaning when after Cole was sent off it was Bergkamp who was taken off by Wenger to make way for Gael Clichy as a replacement left back.

So all those years apart, a draw – the Invincibles draw with a team that is going to end up bottom of the league, while the modern team draw with the Champions.   Nothing changes – both games were met with outright criticism of Arsenal, and of Mr Wenger.

So it goes.

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17 comments to Leicester away – no leadership no quality

  • Wengers Warriors

    We got a draw at the champions! I would take that every day of the week! Arsene promises new signings and I believe him so everything the fans are crying out for he is doing! Can’t be fairer than that

  • Chris

    Tony,

    thanks for reminding us that in this world all is relative and that things have a tendency to repeat itself….

  • Nickw

    Nothing wrong with a draw a Leicester everything wrong if we fail to add a centre forward and centre back before the window shuts. It’s not like Wenger hasn’t openly stated that we need to and it shouldn’t be impossible, other teams manage to do it. Personally I think it’s unwise to leave it so late there are no last minute bargains if anything the price goes up as people know your desperate and it’s too late to find a replacement. Plus there’s less time to bed the new players in. Why we don’t insist on doing all our business before the season starts makes no sense. Again other top teams manage to do it so why can’t we?

  • have anybody listen to both klopp nd conte of resent where they complain of the price of player going up for average players nd klopp even going far saying the find it hard to believe that England media a so fixted on buy nd buy nd buy nobody was talking about building. Wenger said it all if holding cost us 55m he is a good buy. all those world class supper player everybody is craving for if they are not given chance to develop NY there respective clubs how will they grow.
    I would like us to give holding a chance yo grow coz he looks so calm with kos at is side nd let akpom also show wat he has.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    From day one, the media and the football pundits have been criticizing Arsene Arsenal ever since he arrived there way back in 1996. And they have not relented in the criticisms so far and it doesn’t look they’ll do that anytime soon.

    The unfortunate thing is some Arsenal fans have been sold by the constant media and the pundits criticisms of Arsene Arsenal and have appeared to have totally bought in into these criticisms without looking back or have a 2nd thought even for once.

    I read Patrick Vieira’s comments and all he had to say. I agree with him on some and partially disagree with him on others.

    Talking about his alleged lack of personality and physicality in the current Arsenal squad, I think there are personalities in the current Arsene Arsenal squad. Cech, Mertesacker, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott and Giroud if to mention a few are all personalities in the current Arsenal squad in my opinion.

    Cech, Mert, Holding, Chambers, Xhaka and Giroud are all Gunners with physical presence in the current Arsenal squad. The rest are Gunners are mostly the technical quality ones. Should the Boss signs the lanky Umar Sadiq as I’ve suggested they do, Arsenal physicality will get increased by 1 player. Coquelin does not represent a big physical presence in the current Arsenal squad. But he is a battle ship that sinks the destroyer.

    The Boss cannot totally build his team on physicality alone. The balance mixture of physicality and technicality gifted players is a necessary ingredient that is required to build a modern day team. The sole physicality team era which Patrick Vieira was referring to and using it a reference point to buttress his argument has expired. Evolution has since taken place in the modern game since he last played in the Premier League.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    From day one, the media and the football pundits have been criticizing Arsene Arsenal ever since he arrived there way back in 1996. And they have not relented in the criticisms so far and it doesn’t look they’ll do that anytime soon.

    The unfortunate thing is some Arsenal fans have been sold by the constant media and the pundits criticisms of Arsene Arsenal and have appeared to have totally bought in into these criticisms without looking back or have a 2nd thought even for once.

    I read Patrick Vieira’s comments and all he had to say. I agree with him on some and partially disagreed with him on others.

    Talking about his alleged lack of personality and physicality in the current Arsenal squad, I think there are personalities in the current Arsene Arsenal squad. Cech, Mertesacker, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott and Giroud if to mention a few are all personalities in the current Arsenal squad in my opinion.

    Cech, Mert, Holding, Chambers, Xhaka and Giroud are all Gunners with physical presence in the current Arsenal squad. The rest are Gunners who are mostly the technical quality ones. Should the Boss signs the lanky Umar Sadiq as I’ve suggested they do, Arsenal physicality will get increased by 1 player. Coquelin does not represent a big physical presence in the current Arsenal squad. But he is a battle ship that sinks the destroyer.

    The Boss cannot totally build his team on physicality alone. The balance mixture of physicality and technically gifted players is a necessary ingredient that is required to build a modern day team. The sole physicality team era which Patrick Vieira was referring to and using it a reference point to buttress his argument has expired. Evolution has since taken place in the modern game since he last played in the Premier League.

  • Shabangu

    I find the whole thing a farce, I & im sure the majority of Arsenal fans don’t buy the propaganda from the so called press, the pub met has happened & the knives are out! Spending silly money on average players has no correlation to finishing top of the league. It’s a small part of a complex issue of gains. The myth that spending £100 million guarantees success is childish & stupid really. I hope we’re smarter & stronger than that. Great performance buy Rob Holding at Leicester, won’t be mentioned in the press cause it does not fit into the rhetoric cause he didn’t cost £55million. It infuriates me, Twitter doesn’t represent all arsenal fans IMO 🤐

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I’ve just had a check on the Valencia starts in their home match against Las Plasma. And Arsenal target Shkodran Mustafi is not starting but on the bench. I don’t know if it’s for football reason he’s being benched or it’s because of the reported ongoing negotiations by Arsenal to sign him.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting the comparison between then and now.
    As for Vieira, haven’t read the full transcript, but if he did say that , and taking reported words at face value, he has a short memory.
    It is widely reported he threatened to move from Arsenal abroad after being sent off in two consecutive games he was able to play. That’s what happens when Arsenal play physical, amongst other things mentioned in this article.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The introduction of Shkodran Mustafi 46 minutes into the 2nd half by Valencia did not stop them from conceding the 4th goals in the 2nd half haven conceded 3 in the 1st half when Mustafi wasn’t on the field.

    Valencia lost the plot at home this night in their 1st La Liga game of the season as they crashed 2-4 to the superior fire-power of Las Palmas.

    I didn’t watch the match I only followed it on my handset because of Arsenal target Shkodran Mustafi. But the Boss must have watched the match so that he can assess the current form of Mustafi to know if he’s dipped or not. Because I don’t want the Boss to Bllnd-Sign any player judging his performance solely on last season form. I know some will argue it’s only 1 game into the new season Mustafi has had and his performance cannot be solely assessed by playing only 1 game.

    The decision to sign Mustafi is therefore for the Boss to make.

  • para

    The breakdown:
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160822/the-breakdown-leicester-city-a-

    “blunt in attack and sharp at the back” says Adrian Clarke.

    We need someone to be the “boss” of the team, who will be able to tell them off and spur them on on field. I’m not sure if Per is that person.

    Someone who wants to win every game and can communicate that by their actions on field to the rest of the team.

  • para

    Ha Ha 🙂

    I read this somewhere:
    “Arsenal and Wenger are the last puzzle from God for the humankind! Top Physicists from all over the world are studying to analyse and understand them.”

    But then, this means that only Arsenal fans are going to heaven! Even with all the moaning they have solved the puzzle! 🙂

  • colario

    The late Matt Busby manager when Manchester United were Manchester United and not as now manure told of an incident against himself and the late George Best.

    Before the game he told GB not to take on the full back because the full back will floor him.

    In the game GB did as he was told not to do and was floored.

    Angry with him I told my assistant ‘I told him not to that’

    George did it again and was floored.

    Again ‘I told him not to do that’

    In the 2nd half George again took on the full back only this time George left the full back for dead and scored.

    Matt said ‘I turned to my assistant and said ‘when will I learn to mind my own business?’.

    We buy a striker that is great at playing down the middle. (If there is one that is.) After all this is not fantasy football. It might work. It might not.

    Meantime we need a middle striker so Alexis is put in the middle, (seemingly he has played there before)he doesn’t score in the first two games so what.

    For the One Match Only Experts Alexis is useless.

    If they are proved wrong will they admit they should learn to mind their own business and support the player and the team? I doubt it.

    As has been pointed out her recently a closed mind can never admit it is wrong.

    I know what it is like to believe that Arsenal have the wrong manager in place. I wanted him to win because I want Arsenal to win.

    I can’t get to games now but back then I went in hope and sometimes watched in despair.

    If you disagree with the club and its manager and can’t give them your support then leave or be patient support team the day will come when what you don’t like will change.

    Then hope the change you wish for proves the right change because if it doesn’t. What then?

  • Justin Chinedu

    ….because he did not cost 55 million, he cannot be good’… In my country (Nigeria) we have an adage that says ‘even when you dance on the water, your enemies will accuse you of raising dusts; and if you walk on water, they will say because you could not swim’ How many of us know how a transfer works out in real life not ‘play stations’? Untold here, though not part of player recruitment, and the few we heard from the manager, it is not like going to buy a pair of shoes or shirt(even that hard on colour and amount you can spend)from the shops. the player willing to come, the selling club willing to sell to you, the buying club ability to pay what is asked in relation to what they value the player.It is a pity that all we want is buy, buy, buy and buy again…As fans, we desire and desrve the best for and from our club but if we fail to give our support to the people overseeing the affairs, just because we want us to be like someone else, we miss it.I support Arsenal fc, i support the manager and i love the players and wish them well. If a new player comes in, i will be happy. But if you don’t want to support this club, you can do yourself good, just get out of here fro reallllllllll……

  • Justin Chinedu

    *for real*

  • finsbury

    “Arsenal only have five defenders”
    & Bellerin teleported himself into the first team after a late post transfer deadline day deadly trasfer from way outh there, FC Horseshoe In the Nebuluous Droppings FC, Or Droppings FC as they are known to their fans.

    That was two summers ago. LAst Summer we had the bravhearts squeeling the following:

    “No outfield signings”
    Yet somehow, no doubt using masonic black magic, AFC ended the season with the three players starting the last match who hadn’t been in the squad the previous year. That’d be three out of eleven. I’ll leave the exxperts to work out the percentages here.

    And this Summer, you lucky lucky people, the media meme of choice to troll Arsenal Foobtall Club and a percentage of their gullible fans is…

    GroundHog Day! 😉

    What a bunch of turds

  • finsbury

    ‘scuse the awful spellng m’luds and ladies.

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