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Arsenal in 2010, beating rotational timewasting, & Bob Dylan

Thank you Nahn – ~I love it when people quote Dylan at me.   Although it has nothing to do with football, I run a little Bob Dylan blog which slowly records commentaries on the meaning of Dylan’s music.

But meanwhile back in the real world, how about starting to talk about next season now?  Perverse, bizarre, stupid, irrational, untimely and strange, so it is just right for this blog.

I doubt that many of our players will be childishly ignorant enough this year to listen to their agents and think of trotting off to WC Milan or Bar Bar Barca Sheep to follow the great career development plan of Hleb or Flamini.  Maybe Ade will go, which would be a great shame, but even without doing anything to replace him we have four great strikers plus one more moving up from the reserves.

What’s more we always have one or two break through from the ranks – just as Denilson and Song have done this year.   By next August Vela should be joining those two, and so will Bischoff, Wilshere, and Merida be pushing up from behind.   Plus pushing up from further below are the likes of Coquelin, and maybe one or two of the guys on loan…

Elsewhere Diaby and Ramsey look certain to become more regular players (to me that is) while I would expect to see Lansbury and Murphy from the kiddies team stepping up to the League Cup squad.

If we compare this situation with that of the start of this season, in which the untried Ramsey had to do his stuff in the Champions League qualifiers, what is clear is that we are developing not just a maturing team, but a squad that can cope with the ravages of injury.

The question then is, can the team cope with the rotational timewasting that is now central to the English Premier League.  I’ve pondered this (while playing me Dylan albums) and I think the trick is twofold: the change of position and the substitution.

Playing for 0-0 for a whole game is very tiring, and rotational time wasting is an attempt to remove the tiredness from such matches.   But the way to beat this is a sudden switch of tactics.   The movement of the player from midfield to centre forward, the change from the big loping centre forward to the perfect finisher, or the guy at the edge of the box.

The extra number of players we are now allowed on the bench gives the option of this – as does the fact that some players can move position – as can Arshavin, Nasri, Bendtner, Vela.

So I think that not only is the squad looking interesting, but I spy a change in tactic to overcome the growing number of 0-0 teams.  And don’t forget you read it here before it cropped up in the Guardian or football 365.

Now where’s that bloody chauffeur gone, I’m ready to go to Zebra Land.

(c) The Great Soothsayer of Arsenal 2009

8 comments to Arsenal in 2010, beating rotational timewasting, & Bob Dylan

  • Hi. To be fair on Wenger he had made a lot of changes during the time we couldn’t score but at that time we didn’t have the relative depth we’ve had quite recently.

    I’ve been saying all season we need that unpredictability and variety, and with the movement from such an elaborate football we played last year, we had that. With Arshavin and Walcott we’ve recently had that dynamism and directness. Fabregas and Eduardo coming back should be a very big boost and should see more fluidity and variety.
    I would like to see a midfielder arrive late in the box similar to Lampard, Ireland as they call in Spain the ‘llegada.’ Also someone really take up the channel between midfield and attack like Bergkamp used to.

  • Ferguson says he might “field a weakened team” for their home game against Aston Villa.

    Where’s that famous imperious squad of his? This bothers me to tell the truth.

    He is looking forward to the semi-finals which might be against us, and wants to ensure we are still grappling with Aston Villa when that time comes.

  • Flint McCoullough

    He may have to rethink that after this afternoon’s result, Ole!!

  • pig

    I’m not as pessimistic as you, i think timewasting is limited to just a few negative teams managed by negative mangers. I saw the manu match, and fulham who were one up for most of the match didnt timewaste or park the bus. they came under sustained pressure especially in the second half, but still managed to break and score another. manu have lost two in a row now, they cant afford to play a weak team against anyone.

    newcastle today played with real spirit against us. no hint of looking for a 0-0. i’m glad we beat them, but i really hope they dont get relegated.

    on the other hand, i wholeheartedly agree with you about dealing with negative teams. unpredictability, a change of tactics and rising above their mind numbing tactics. I also think that no points for a nil all draw would liven things up a bit as well.

    just hope pool beat villa tomorrow to round off an otherwise perfect weekend

  • Nhan

    I didn’t notice you said thanks to me to open an article. That’s quite an honor!
    There’s a saying that there’s a Bob for everyone but my Bob doesn’t have to be your Bob. Others write up books about his song and the Bible. For me his lyrics sound like he went to grad school for economics. And well economics does say a lot about football. Not least our coach has a Master in it. I guess being you, you can write a whole football article using his quotes.

  • Nhan

    Is you Dylan link actually working, btw?

  • The link was broken, but the actual web site address was right – and there is a blogroll link too. Thanks for letting me know it was broken – I have corrected it now.

    The site is at http://www.bob-dylan.org.uk