By Walter Broeckx
Apparently all is over.
On July 16 2011 we have lost all and everything. The U10 brigade is throwing up barricades around the Emirates and are preparing themselves to drive the “money grabbing board”, “the manager that has lost it” (and this is one of the nicest ways of putting it) and all the “useless players” out.
The U10 brigade will replace them with all the world class football players that money can buy. You now the mercenary type of player. Maybe they could bring Adebayor back at some stage? They will contact Mr Usmanov for giving us all the money we can dream of. Neglecting and forgetting the small minor detail that it was Usmanov who a while ago was the only person who has a few shares of Arsenal who suggested that some part of the profits might be paid to the shareholders. (Although he is also a firm supporter of Arsenal Fan Share).
And why is the U10 brigade in such a state? Because we couldn’t win our second pre-season game. Now that is quite shocking. And further more the fact that we conceded a goal means that this team is heading for further failure.
Now if we think back some 12 months ago we won all our pre-season games. The U10 brigade dismissed those results and said they counted for nothing. And for once they were right. It is nice to win in pre-season but it counts for nothing. Of course we like Arsenal to win each game. But I rather have a not that good result in pre-season than in the league.
And if we think of last summer we can remember that even Manchester United and Chelsea even lost a few games in pre-season. But it didn’t stop them from finishing first and second last season. So yes the results in pre-season count for nothing.
Now I’m not going to say that we played a brilliant game against Greentown last Saturday. No far from it. We started way too slow and the opposition was very determined to give us nothing at all. I had the impression they played like it was a league game. Including taking a lot of time before restarting the game when the ball was out of play. It looked as if they came for one point. And as they are in the middle of their league competition it could well be that they focussed on the game as if it was a league game and a good way to get yourself in the picture. I think for Arsenal it was just a game on the road to full fitness.
And are we fully fit for the moment? Well I don’t think so. We only got back training for one week and I don’t think that we did much training sessions on board of the long flights to Asia. A few show trainings in Asia, two games and lots of other obligations for the players.
Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv
So at times it looked more like a group holiday to Asia with some training and two games attached to it. One has to do something to raise your revenue but I really wonder if this is what Wenger really wants to prepare the season. I just cant help but feel that Wenger would have liked the more silent environment of the Austrian Alps. But things are what they are and so we went, tried to make more friends, try to raise some money and most of all tried to stay away from injuries. And this mission has succeeded so far.
But for some reason the U10 has changed it point of view on friendly games this season and not winning (just imagine losing one) a pre-season game is now a complete disaster. Okay it wasn’t our best game. In fact we played a very poor first 20 minutes. We came out with no passion and not a lot of fighting spirit. You know the pre-season friendly game atmosphere as you see it from top teams. The “okay, who are we playing today?” attitude which can be costly when playing a team that is ready for it.
And if you look at some players performances one can say they were poor. Van Persie is far away from his last season form. And this is great news. Just imagine he was on fire now. That would be ultimate disaster. No, Robin should be on fire in a month time. Who cares if he loses possession against Greentown or misses a chance? This is why this is PREseason. The time of the season where players get the time to get ready for more important games. The same goes for a lot of players in fact.
Another thing is that the younger players are more willing to show some fight. This is natural as they know they have to impress Wenger more. Let’s face it a Van Persie (like any other top player) will be able to spend some more time to reach his best form. Unlike a player like Vela who has to show from the start that he can be played. So you sometimes get in those games a mixture of half the team trying to impress the manager and the other half just trying to get more fitter and avoid injuries. I think this is one of the reasons why in the second half with more younger players on the pitch we played much better.
If our strikers would have been a bit more in form we would have won the game. Their keeper didn’t do too bad, so at the end of the day it was a disappointing result. But will this result have any influence on the EPL this season? No, the only result is a rise of blood pressure by those who want to feel bad when we don’t beat the opposition with a big score line.
It’s always nicer to win all your games. Even the friendly games in pre-season. But I will not go over board and say the world comes to an end because we couldn’t win a friendly game. I will leave that for the U10 fans.
Now we will be starting with the real work and train in London and really start preparing the season. Next stop will be Cologne. And I will be there as it is not that far away from where I live. Just a 2 hour drive in fact. So looking forward to see us play in the flesh for the first time this season. Against a tough opposition. I will be ready to show my colours. So come on boys just show that we are The Arsenal. Oh, and Basil don’t mention the war.