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One third of the season gone, and Arsenal prepare to win everything

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by Tony Attwood

Where are we?   We have the usual crop of injuries but thus far we cope – and we are coping far better than before.  Cesc running on half throttle, Vermaelen not running at all, Van Persie out for virtually the whole season and Bendtner and Theo for what seems most of it, and no Ramsey at all either. Frimpong, hopefully the absolute backup for Song, out all season.  Lansbury being used by England under 21 as a goalkeeper in an international (yes honestly, read the reports) but still we cope.   Denilson and Diaby out for long spells (although the Anti-Arsenal would like them to leave the club, but not me).

And we are currently second in the league.

We have at least two terrific keepers, the loony stories about the Unpronounceable One not signing a new contract until he gets extra games were proven to be loony stories.  And we have Jack.

OK you know all this stuff – but just look at this…

  • Benik Afobe, had four starts for Huddersfield since he went there on November 2 and scored two goals.
  • Kyle Bartley playing virtually every game for Sheffield United.
  • Pedro Botelho played 12 games for Cartagena and scored two.
  • Tom Cruise, immediately into the Carlisle team – played in the last two games.
  • Cedric Evina, went to Oldham in October, started five games.
  • Luke Freeman, playing for struggling Yeovil, six starts, eight times on as sub, still managed 2 goals
  • Vito Mannone at last has had a game for Hull – a 2-0 away win against Preston.
  • Sanchez Watt, eight starts, four times on as sub for Leeds.
  • Wellington Silva, joining us in January.

Now of course I am not saying that these guys are all going to make it – and in fact some of the guys who I have missed out of the on loan list might surge ahead – but my point is that out of the fourteen (yes 14) players on loan a couple are bound to make it.

Elsewhere Arsenal Ladies are making heavy weather of having no league to play in (they are in the new summer league starting in March) but did in the last couple of seconds manage to get through to the next round of the European Cup.  Progress under difficult circs.

The reserves (men’s reserves I mean) are two points off the pace with two games in hand, and we haven’t even started in the youth cup yet (first game is in the third round in December).  The youth team are third, two points behind the leaders – not bad having had all their promising talent promoted to the reserves (who lost all their top talent to the loan squad).

So is this good or what? And what of the rest?

Fulham Oil have suddenly found that what Untold told them in the summer is true – they don’t have a replacement youth system like Arsenal do.  And if they rush out and buy as the papers are saying today, then that sets back their ability to qualify for Europe.  What is interesting here and in Sheikh Yermoney’s team in the north is that the chairman rules the manager.  A little different at Arsenal methinks.

Both oily teams have proven that money can not only not buy you love (as the rather boring Beatles said) but can’t buy you the championship either, although to be fair it can help.  (Which is why my song, “Money can’t buy you love but it helps” never quite made it to number 1).

Liverpoodle are now talking the same talk as last summer (only then it was £35m to spend – this summer it is £45m to spend) but still there’s nothing going on with the stadium, which is their real problem, because the lack of a proper stadium is what causes their eternal cash short fall.  And if Fernando Torres pulls a sicky, they is dead in the water.

Manchester IOU are still playing games, paying off the PIK loans without telling us how, and it is a measure of how far they have sunk that they have thrown every dice in favour of keeping one player.  Yes they are third and heading for an unbeaten season all of their own, but involving drawing over half their games.   And at the end of this season some of the over 60s in the squad must retire.

Tottenham can’t make it in the Champs and the league at the same time, and will almost certainly give up the Champs League next season to Sheik Yermoney.  Blackpool give us a laugh, Blackburn and Wolverhampton give us the horrors.   Aston Villa have signed the one Arsenal player whose picture adorns a wall in my house, my great hero, the man who made the club tick so perfectly and let the genius of Henry out of the bottle.  Given his age you wonder why Villa have done it – but it also shows why M O’Neill left in a huff.  (I know why Robert did it – he has a radio show in France, and needs new material to keep it rolling along.)

Oh and that Mr Adebayor ain’t doing much, nor is that Mr Hleb at Birmingham.  Funny that.   Good profit for us though.  Meanwhile overseas Barca have done nothing to show that they are not actually totally broke, WC Milan are broke as mentioned earlier, and Real Mad are totally bonkers.

So what of us?  We have a forward line to die for. We have a midfield to die for.   And I think that we have the flexibility to cope utterly in defence.  Don’t give me all that Fabianksi is a prat stuff, or that Clichy is useless.  This is a team plus plus.

Just look at the side we can put out in the diddley cup games.   We make 11 changes and put out 11 class players.

Overall I think we are entering a new world, in which we are seeing the crumbling of the old order (Chelsea trying to downsize, Man U beset with financial worried and old players they can’t replace, Liverpool beset with every problem you can imagine, Tottenham finding they have bitten off more than they can chew) and the failure of the new order (Man City – you can’t just buy you way in.)

My abiding memory of the first bit of the season is Sir Alex F Word defending the situation at Man IOU claiming that there is no problem that Giggs is actually an Old Testament Prophet because he has a wonderful bunch of kids coming through, and then not being able to name any of them and descending into a mumble about how glorious the 14 year olds are.  Man IOU reserves, played four, won 1, drawn 2, lost 1.  Hmmm.  In the youth academy sixth in the table, eight points off the league leaders, one game in hand.  Hmmmm.

Yes, well.

It all looks rather good to me.  I am rather looking forward to the special celebrations on Saturday – celebrations of the Tinies 50 years without a league win.   Special t-shirts at the ready.

PS: The Arsenal History site has a special on how the Tinies managed to get promoted out of the Southern League after finishing 7th.  And they complain about us getting promoted when finishing 5th.  Would you believe it?  Did Tottenham bribe their way into the Football League?

Brainless Fufa – but vote for Samir anyway

Football stumbles to financial insanity

Arsenal don’t like it up em

Injury index after the last game

9 comments to One third of the season gone, and Arsenal prepare to win everything

  • Superfly gunner

    classic Tony

    except I didnt like this line

    Don’t give me all that Fabianksi is a prat stuff, or that Clichy is useless. This is a team plus plus.

    we dont need reminding of what DAB (Dumb ASS Brigade) has to say lol.

  • Paul C.

    The comments you make about not all the young players making it are absolutely true. Chelsea seem to be putting a whole lot of eggs into just a few baskets (Van Aarnholt, Bruma, Kakuta, Sturridge, Mceachren) and if a couple of those baskets spring a leak they are stuffed. The only way to run a youth system is quantity, rather than quality. If you have enough prospects a few will surely make it by simple law of averages. But you have to assume that at least half of your kiddies, no matter how good they look at 17 (see Bentley, D.) or 18.

    The other thing you have to do is play the kids, something for which AW has taken endless grief. But if you dont play them, how can they improve? Chelsea again may find that they suddenly have to play some of these kids when Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Anelka and Malouda suddenly need replacing and they just are not ready.

    A great example is Denilson. He is 22 and has over 80 games for us, most of them starts. Sturridge is a year younger and has 19 appearances for Chelsea, most of them as a sub. Or compare Kakuta and Aaron Ramsey, both 19. Kakuta has 4 appearances for Chelsea. Ramsey has 27 games, and would have had far more if not for injury. Bruma and Van Aarnholt are both 19 as well, and have hardly played. At what point do these guys move beyond “great prospect” and into “stagnant prospect” territory?

    And if those guys dont turn out as good as Chelsea think they are, who else is there? Their U18’s are bottom of the League.

  • nicky

    A well thought-out article,not too weighty and full of justified optimism. I’ll read it again next May!

  • I left this blog for 2 month for perseonnal reasons and today I come back to find what? A great article, just like when I left. I totally agree with you, I wonder why Man IOU and Chelsky are spending all that money in developping young players when they are actually not doing a single thing about it just like the Tinies, what a laugh, these guys want to play the Arsenal way and end up spending millions on players not worth half of it.

    I am waiting the week with great joy as we will show that last time score against the other london side was not a one off

  • GoonerTerry

    Tony Attwood the Beatles are definitely NOT boring – you should take that back mate…

  • La Shiz

    @GoonerTerry, chill out mate. I love the Beatles too but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    They’re Spurs, they’re shite,
    they won the league in black n white…

  • GoonerTerry

    @ La Shiz, it was a joke…perhaps you could use a little chillin eh?

  • GoonerTerry

    They’re Spurs, they’re shite,
    they won the league in black n white…

    But I love this though…(0;

  • Ayoz

    Brilliant again Tony. I’m predicting a 10years or Arsenal dominance!!