By Walter Broeckx
Today was a day that some players have answered some critics they have been receiving for a while now.
I want to start with the player that left the field in tears just over one year ago. Eboue. After that he had is horror display at the Lane, not helped by the ref in anyway, and it seemed the end for that nice friendly and always smiling player.
But to show you that whenever you are in big trouble and have a horrific time, you just have to dig in deep, work harder and the reward will come your way. Wenger backed him up after those difficult games and at the end of last season he showed some good things and even started scoring. And how did he came back this season?
This past weekend against West Ham he showed again what a player he is. Started as right back and then because of the red card from Vermaelen and the introduction of Sagna he moved to the midfield and he made some great runs. He has turned a page and really became good. Lucky Wenger didn’t listen to the booing fans and the blogs that told him to get rid of him. Glad to have him in our team. Even if we should be in need for a goalkeeper, he just would do it and maybe even be successful.
Let’s talk about Almunia. He had his bad moments in the beginning of the season when he wasn’t focused. Later we found out that he had a terrible personal loss and this was one of the reasons his concentration level was not where it should have been. We can all hear some of the fans crying out to Wenger to buy a new goalkeeper. Wenger, you know that stubborn Frenchman, once again refused to let his player down. May I remember you that just before the Porto game Almunia had a broken finger, and he was playing with an injury for some weeks before.
I don’t know how a Spanish finger heels when it’s broken but Almunia came back after one game and still is in the team. And most of all, broken finger or not, he has not done much wrong since then. Au contraire, today’s penalty safe was what the same as the late Bendtner goal was in attack. This time it kept us ahead and the team felt confident with him after that. I know I have defended him before and you can imagine me being a bit satisfied with his performances of late.
And then we have Denilson. On some blogs the comments on him are so disgraceful at times it makes me sick. When some people come to his defence and show stats on how seldom he loses possession and how many good passes he gives, some answer with the remark that those statistics count for nothing and the only statistic that are vital are the goals he scored in how many games he plays. Well let us take a look at that statistic and we will see that he has 21 starts this season and scored 6 goals. Now I would like to know how many midfielders that mostly play a more holding role have such number of goals after their name?
I know he is not a real holding midfielder like Song, he has a totally different style. He has less body so he has to defend on technique and not on power like Song can do. But he mostly plays in support and more holding back to let the other do the attacking and still he scored 6 goals and some real class goals as well.
And Song, another of those “not good enough to be an Arsenal player”. He got the most of the stick last season but with his performances this season he has shut the mouth of most of those ignorant people up. After the sending off it was 15 minutes waiting in tension what Wenger would do. Would he bring on Silvestre or would he change the position of some players. He chose the last option and from the moment I saw Song in defence I felt confident. He has played some great games there and I remembered him being outstanding 2 seasons back in the Carling Cup against Blackburn when we were a man down. So once again he showed what a versatile player he is and how good he has become in whatever position you play him.
And still I will read in the next day’s some people writing that those players should be sold or even given away. I say just leave them alone. They all are doing their best and they all are doing what they can and it is thanks to those 3 players that we won the game against West Ham. Just give credit when it is due and let us all get behind our players even more.
With the fighting spirit they showed, again, today anything is possible. After the defeat against Chelsea I wrote on this blog that everything was still possible. Today we are very much in the title race and have put pressure on MIOU and Chelsea. Even when all the decisions go against us, our team shows grit and determination and display a over my dead body mentality. 7 games to go. Come on you Gunners! Come on you Gooners, get behind your Gunners!
Walter Broeckx is a leading member of the Arsenal Benelux Supporters Club http://www.arsenalbenelux.be/
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