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Want to see a review of 2008/9?

One part of me doesn’t actually want to see a review of 2008/9.  Even though I am a great supporter of Wenger I am of course disappointed that we are not playing Barca in the Champs final, or Everton in that other thing.

But I do want to see it, because I want to get a broader perspective.   I want to see exactly what happened after the 3-0 defeat to Manchester Arab – a defeat that then was turned into the 21 game unbeaten run.    I’m reminded of the awful defeat we had to Leeds at home which destroyed our championship win, and which was followed by a 6-0 (or was it 6-1???) victory over Southampton (two hat-tricks – now that’s a rarity).   That, you might recall, was the start of the 49.

Fortunately it seems I can do my comparison between the start of the two runs – because The Gooner Review is producing a review of this year.    They’ve also promised me a copy to review when it comes out – which is rather nice – and it means I’ll come back to this later.

But even that generosity doesn’t stop me taking issue with their survey on attitudes towards the season.   I think they are unbalanced and need a few more positive options.   Where’s the option that says “Great steps forward by several young players especially Song and Vela who I predicted at the start of the season would blossom into great Arsenal players”.   Now that is a box I could tick.

For more on the movie and to see their questionnaire click on the link above.

Tony

10 comments to Want to see a review of 2008/9?

  • Gun_Slinger

    People are more than entitled to their own opinion but one I don’t agree with is sacking Arsene Wenger.

    If you are one of the people that believe sacking Arsene Wenger is the answer then could you please elaborate with who you would like to replace him? Because I can’t think of anyone at the moment!

    Wenger has his faults. I don’t think he is perfect but I know he is a fine manager who, if available, would have almost every top club in Europe trying to get him on board.

    I don’t deny that Wenger has fucked up in the past but who hasn’t? He is only human like the rest of us.

    Arsene Wenger is a very stubborn man and I believe that this stubborness is his downfall. What he needs to do is look into his mirror and realise that he needs to change his policy slightly.

    Its obvious that this group of players need guidance. You look around the squad and I don’t see many players who can provide it.

    Despite the ‘potential’ of this squad the lack of experience is a real problem. I’m hoping that Wenger sees that now and tweaks the squad as necessary.

    I can’t see how replacing Wenger would do any good. I can understand people wanting a new beginning and fresh ideas but I hope that Arsene Wenger can be the man to do that.

    Yes, he may seem stuck in his ways but even the most stubborn of men can change.

    I really hope he does because many Gooners are frustrated, understandably so, and his legendary status at the club could be tainted unless silverware comes our way.

    It hurts to say but Manchester United are setting the benchmark at the moment and although it seems we are miles away from them I really believe we are not.

    Wenger is the man to lead us back to the top but only if he is willing to change.

    Remember, you never know what you got until it’s gone. I hope Wenger proves me right.

  • james

    A couple of months ago Wenger said that “this was the best squad of players” he had ever had. Two weeks ago he said “I will not be buying anyone next season.. why would I, we don’t need anybody”. After Tuesday, he appears less certain and seems to be keeping the door open. Why does it take one match to apparently change things? It’s been obvious to all and sundry that we’ve been light in experience for some time now and that youngsters like Diaby, Denilson,Song and Bendtner will not reach the high standards we used to set ourselves. It’s irrelevant how many years playing time you give them, you’ve either got class and this is apparent from the ouset( e.g Vieira and Fabregas), or you’ll never acquire it. As I’ve said before, it suits the Board to keep Wenger if he spends the bare minimum until the lock-down agreement terminates in two years time and Wenger’s pride will never make him resign his Youth Training Scheme project. So, if we are stuck with what we’ve got, who will make him change and at least make us winners again? Not the old duffers on the Board, not the Chief Executive who Wenger himself gave the final agreement to, but maybe his players. Cesc has said “fourth place is not good enough”- even though many on here seem content with that, so maybe Wenger can take a hint? If we get rid of average players or others who should not be retained i.e. Adebayor, Almunia, Silvestre, Senderos, Eboue, Diaby and Denilson, that should bring in at least £30m. Added to that the CL prize money from this season and other funds- surely we could have £50m to spend on a good spine- goalkeeper, central defender and defensive midfielder? Don’t ask me who- that’s why Wenger is paid £4m a year and we have by all accounts, the best global scouting network around. Who else had heard of Vidic and Skrtel before they were both bought for around £7m each?

  • justin

    Basically an unlucky slip and a bad referre decision (in fairness, so was the penalty) cost us. We kept good possesion after that but admittedly we were poor in attack, the third man utd goal showed the gulf in their attack and our defence and over the two legs, man utd deserved to go through. The real question now is where do Arsenal go from here? I know we will get the same old stupid emails saying that Arsene should go but a serious discussion should happen about the direction of the club.

    We have obvious quality in Arshavin, RVP, Walcott, Nasri, Toure, Clichy, Gallas, Fabregas, Almunia etc. We were top of the league in March last season and got to the semi finals of the FA cup and CL. We may have got weaker from 3 years ago, yet we are improving. But is that enough? Arsene wants to win the CL, but at the current rate of progression, will we get it? I’m not sure, I think a change might be needed.

    First of all, no more Diaby and Denilson starting games. A better No.2 (sorry Fabianski!). And for the love of god, no more Silvestre. Maybe a tall order to do in one summer, especially considering what happened last summer, but Arsene must know more than anyone what we need to go to the next level. As everyone can see from the list above, we have world class players, some who could play in the best team in the world. We just need a little more. What every arsenal fan wants to know is whether we will get that. After this performance, I reckon we will.

  • jbh

    AW will do what he did last year. When it was clear that the league could not be won he went with some key changes of position and said if you can handle it you’ve got a job. Denilson stood up and took the Flamini position well, and held on throughout the pre season. Wenger wants them to be unbeaten for the rest of the league season and see how they manage against Chelsea and Man Utd. No one wants to come 4th, or beaten semi finalists but when you have as many injuries as they have had (particularly Eduardo, Rosicky, Gallas, and Fabregas) for long parts of the season, frankly to come better than 4th would be amazing.
    To call for the sacking of half a dozen players is nothing but ridiculous knee jerk reactions.
    The average age of the first team is about 26 or 27 which is fine. The second team is about 21 which is also fine and to be expected. Excellent talents all the way through. However half of the first team has been injured for most of the year. You can never expect or plan for that.
    AW deserves enormous credit for developing a squad that could easily maintain top 4 (best record against the top 4), and semi finalists in the CL and FA cup despite appalling injuries. None of the other top 4 could achieve that. Yet still many want to whinge.

  • Terence McGovern

    wow, the events of the last 24 hours certainly gave me pause for thought.
    I have to say that watching Barcelona’s equalizer go in, followed by the camera focusing on the distraught face of Ashley Cole was better than sex.(terms and conditions apply)
    I fervently hope that both Ballack and Drogba get rightly done by UEFA in the face of their contribution to the ‘Respect’ campaign.
    If Arsenal Players behaved that way there would be calls for the death sentence.
    In this case there are such calls but only from Chelsea fans regarding last night’s referee who was(I kid you not) smuggled out of England by the police earlier today after having his hotel switched for safety reasons.
    Guardiola was wrong to say he thought that they had reasons to complain. If I were him, I would have paid tribute to the fine refereeing throughout the game into every microphone and camera in range (just out of spite you understand.)
    How myopic are chelsea fans?
    Drogba is a diver, the biggest DIVER in world football in fact. HE was at fault last night. He blatantly dived several times early in the game, feigning injury and the Referee had his number. As a result, when they did have a genuine penalty shout, the referee was sick to his teeth of them and acted accordingly.
    Drogba is the diver who cried wolf! End of story, and a happy ending at that.
    Chelsea fans’ assessment of the game oddly enough, disregards the fact that Barcelona had a player sent off because Nicholas Anelka tripped over his own feet. The player was Anelka’s own international teammate yet he did nothing to help the referee make a just decision. Karma has a lot of sharp edges as it turns out.

    The sad part of this is that all the English-based media is talking up the controversy and slanting everything based on the incompetence of the referee being the root cause.

    NOTHING can excuse the behavior of the chelsea players last night.
    They tried to cheat their way to the final and it backfired. The positive footballing side went through and it will be a great match in Rome. It is not often that Michel Platini and I share delight but today is that day.

    Everyone should spare a thought for that Kenyan Arsenal fan who was so depressed after our defeat on Tuesday night that he hung himself with his own Arsenal replica top.
    Somebody at the Emirates should get that newspaper headline. Frame it and hang it in the home changing room alongside a framed cut out of the comments of Patrice Evra which referred to that game as ‘Men V babies’.

    Hehe! I have just heard that Man Utd have written to UEFA asking them to overturn Darren Fletcher’s Red card on ‘Compassionate grounds’.

    I can just picture Platini giggling away to himself as he slides it teasingly into his shredder.

    Threatening referees and expecting that the rules shouldn’t apply to them out of compassion..

    My God! how detached from reality have these two clubs become? They honestly believe that they are above everything and circumventing the rules is their birthright.

    Thierry Henry Hat-Trick in the final. Karma’s Instrument.

  • Gooner

    Gun_Slinger

    2 things
    – is your comment copied and pasted from another blog
    – I dont think this blog is wanting to sack Wenger

  • This blog, ie Untold Arsenal, says in its banner headline that it supports Wenger – that is the basis of its existence.

    And no, I don’t copy. The people doing the DVD wrote and told me about it, I had a look at the site, and then wrote it as I felt it – that I was uncertain about wanting to review this year… but then on thinking more, I was interested.

    If my words have turned up on someone else’s blog, then the copying is the other way round, and I would like to know about it.

    Tony

  • Ateeb

    Gooner,

    lol…..you’re looking for blogs looking to sack Wenger? THat shouldn’t be so diffiecult. TRY LG.

  • Jonny Neale

    Tony – I think that comment was leveled at Gunslinger rather than you. Gooner, know what you mean, I think I read bits of the comment in question on Gunning Hawk.

  • Jonny Neale

    James – I have one major problem with your comments which is the assertion that, “It’s irrelevant how many years playing time you give them, you’ve either got class and this is apparent from the outset( e.g Vieira and Fabregas), or you’ll never acquire it”.

    This is patently untrue. Ashley Cole didn’t break through to the top level until he was 23/4.

    Ian Wright must be the stellar example – he failed to get a professional contract when he was young until Pete Prentice spotted him at a local Sunday-league match and gave him a trial at Palace. he started at Palace at 22 but didn’t make it to top flight football until 1989 (aged 26).

    Even then it was 2 more seasons before he was deemed of sufficient interest for a top-club. So at the age of 28 Ian Wright joined Arsenal and went on to become the clubs top scorer.

    My point is that every player is unique and will follow a progressive curve peculiar to them. Players like Fabregas are the exception, not the norm. Equally there are numerous players who have all the promise at the outset but follow a regressive curve in their careers (Danny Cadamateri anyone?)

    Flamini would be another good example – not one Arsenal fan, if they are honest, thought he would have the season he did in 07/08. I think it is also fairly obvious Wenger wasn’t sure he would make the grade, otherwise he would have committed him to a new contract rather than letting it get into its final season.

    So many factors go into the making of a footballer – players like Diaby are clearly hugely skilful but terribly inconsistent. I can say hand on heart that if he leaves it would be of no surprise at all, to me, if he went on to suddenly blossom into a majestic player. Wenger’s tricksy job is to identify those to persevere with and those to allow to go but one can never say hand on heart that your decisions will not come back to haunt you (as is proven by the staggering number of players Wenger passed up on signing).

    Don’t forget for every Skrtel that was found at Liverpool there were far too many abject failures.

    As ever the problem is one of patience and this, very modern malaise amongst fans: that if a big club is not winning trophies every season it is ‘a failure’ and that therefore scapegoats should be found, effigies burnt and million upon million spent until the spoilt fans get the success which they demand and oh so rarely deserve.