Ten minutes of insanity

By Walter Broeckx

When I write an article I usually give my own thoughts on the things that I see. This time I am going to take the liberty to do otherwise.

When I was watching the Wigan game at home on my sports channel we had a match commentator and it wasn’t the normal one we have. The usual one is a guy who we Arsenal fans don’t like very much as he is one who is always negative in his approach. This time we had another one.

A match commentator is the person who normally is being someone who keeps perspective and is supposed to be neutral in his commentary job.

And around the 70th minute he began with a match summary as he thought the game was over, like our players did actually.

He said: If you look back at the season from Arsenal it really is amazing. They had so many injured players out and still they have a very good chance of winning the title.

He said: Arsenal have been written off many times, even before the season started, and during the season every time when they lost to Chelsea and even this week after the defeat against Tottenham. But still they came back and fought their way back in to it.

And he continued : and the most amazing thing maybe is that after losing to Tottenham, after losing Van Persie for most of the season, after losing Bendtner for more than 3 months, and even after losing Gallas, Cesc, Song, Ramsey in the last weeks, and even losing Vermaelen and Denilson this week, they still are able to win in Wigan who have won against Chelsea and Liverpool this season at home.

He was full of praise for the manager who has been able to overcome all those problems with this team and hold them in the title race.

This is what this person said between the 70th and the 80th minute. It was not me, no it was someone who is being paid to watch football games and to keep a general view on things.

I think I can agree with the things he said. This was our season until the 80th minute of the game, and then it all fell to pieces.

Who is to blame ?

That same manager from the 77th minute who has kept this team in the race despite all the injuries ?

The players that were 2-0 up until the 80th minute ? I think sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. I think the injuries have exhausted the team and the remaining players to much.

If you really want to blame Arsene Wenger for something it could be for the fact that he kept our hopes alive for such a long time. Yes, we could for now have been in the position where Liverpool finds themselves. They have had no title hopes for months.

We had them until the 79th minute of today’s game. I can imagine people willing to slaughter everyone out there but I think we can better try to remember this season as the season where we failed at almost the last hurdle. And that we failed with a team that was without it 7 strongest players and even had to play a player that has only had one EPL game before.

Failure is part of life, so is defeat. To win the league with a team that we had on the field would be impossible for the moment, but with 7 other players on the field or on the bench is possible.

So now we just have to do what we have done before this season when we lost always 2 games in a row: dust ourselves off, get back on the field and win our next game, like we did against Wigan, Stoke and Liverpool earlier this year.

Come on you Gunners, give it your best and remember a game is only over when the ref blows the final whistle.


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22 Replies to “Ten minutes of insanity”

  1. Absolutely spot on Walter, lets be proud of the fact we tried to win something, despite failing 5yrs in a row now. Lets be proud of players for trying to win the league and other cup competitions, when thye could of quite easily given up months and months ago, despite the millions of pounds they get paid!

    Seriously mate, stop trying to polish a turd, its getting rediculous. Our 1st team is good, our squad players are crap. With the exception of a few players, none of them have a back bone and lack fighting spirit.

    to keep blaming things on our injuries is old news, it happens every year, so why should we expect different?

  2. I think you are seriously deluded in your opinion Walter.
    I take it you’re happy to finish where we do season after season with the attitude of “oh well,if we wouldn’t have had so many injuries,and if this,if that,if the other”.
    It’s our acceptance of mediocrity that allows a 2-0 lead to slip away.
    I firmly believe that this summer will bring with it a much needed change at our club.
    We have balanced the books rather successfully it must be said for many years now-but i do sense a realisation in pro- Wenger supporters that an opening of the cheque book is what’s needed.
    With our first team all fit,then there aren’t many teams we can’t take apart(other than Barca-who,i think,gave us a footballing lesson).
    It’s when our first teamers get injured that our problems surface.Their stand ins just aren’t up to the mark.
    Our defence is shocking-even with our saviour-The Verminator at the back,we still can’t stem the flow of goals against us.
    Our keeper is realistically a 2nd choice for other clubs of our stature.
    Quite how we’ve got to 3rd without v.P is amazing.
    I love my club,and have supported it-not just followed it- for 40 years now.
    I am not of the ‘Wenger out’ opinion,but i do feel that maybe a little too much power has been lent to him in recent times.
    With the Yank and Usmanov waiting in the wings,times are about to change methinks.
    Lord Wenger won’t be afforded the unique quantity of ‘support’ that he has been when an individual takes control of our club.
    Indeed,it won’t be ‘our’ club anymore.
    Picking ourselves up and brushing ourselves off isn’t good enough anymore-they need to wake up to how much they earn each week,and the type of lifestyle they can indulge in because of it.
    Very few of our team seem proud to pull on the shirt nowadays.
    I’m not about to do the ‘warrior’ and ‘lion’,’heart and passion’ nonsense-but there is definitely something missing from the team of today with that from 5 years ago-something fundamentally different.
    Lets hope it changes in the closed season-and our manager can inject some pride into his team-i am sure he will let the guilty ones know that there are players queuing up to take their place if they aren’t up to it.We’re a great club and they should feel privileged to play for us.

  3. great post Jonny Gunner.

    Problem is, all these players play for wenger, not for arsenal. and they can all garantee they will get played as long as they turn it on in training.

    if wenger done something as simple as drop players then maybe these overated gits will put some proper effort in.

    is crazy how within a couple of games into the season, the entire team pretty much gave up on the idea of closing down players.

  4. Jonny Gunner. The Arsenal of 5-6 years ago consisted of men like Vieira and Keown who used to kick players off the park if they couldn’t deal with them (you tell ’em Ruud).

    Although the way some Arsenal fans carry on you would think they had always played beautiful football under Wenger and not the violent sort that still see’s them hold that glorious record for red cards under the benevolent one.

  5. Yes I would love to have won the league.
    But is not to win the league a failure ? At the start of the season you have 20 teams who start to win it. Only one will actually win it. They will be the only one who have not failed. Have all the others failed ? No, they just have not won it.
    I think it is a huge difference. We didn’t fail, we just did not win it.

    But with this team, with all the injuries we’ve had, with all our “crap players”(= what some of you are telling us) and our “manager who has lost it 5 years ago” and still with 3 games to go we actually still have a chance to win the title (on paper).
    And yes this is a fact, we actually still could win the title. I know it is very unlikely but if I can still add and do my numbers we still have a chance.

    On saturday our title challenge could be over. And then you please take a look at the table and see how many games are left ? 2 (two-deux-twee-zwei-dos-…) games left.

    You can call that failure, I call it : we did not win it.
    We could have won it. I blame injuries, you blame crap players.
    I think there is only one club you can call a failure this season and that is Liverpool. They were one of the favourites and now they have to scramble to even get in Europe next year.

  6. the last time we played beautiful football was the invincibles season. We had a nice balance of skill, power, pace and defense.

    Now we just play ‘keep the ball’ football(which may i add, alot of these kids ar crap at) which is not beautiful. Its beautiful when it results in a goal, but with a team that reluctant to shoot from more than 10cm off the line, its more tedious than beautiful.

    Barcelona showed us what beautiful football is.

  7. ‘On saturday our title challenge could be over. And then you please take a look at the table and see how many games are left ? 2 (two-deux-twee-zwei-dos-…) games left.

    You can call that failure, I call it : we did not win it.’

    Walter – people like you are the backbone of our club; God bless you. I have been like you for 5 years; now I believe AW must get out the knife and have a clear out for world class replacements. The time has come.

  8. Bergkampslovechild – your father would disagree with you, we play in the same way as Barca but we ain’t good enough.

  9. Gooner man, in principle your right. the basis of our football is the same. but the way in which we play it is very different.

    Barca work for the ball, they move for the ball, they all call for the ball, they are all more than capable of playing a thru ball and all know how to hit a ball. Barca are so good and move for the ball so much, i often found myself counting the players on their team to make sure they hadnt fielded more players than they should have.

    Arsenal with the exception of a couple of players, lack the passion and drive that barca have. and as you say, alot of our players lack the quality.

    Whilst i admire walter for his support – and dont get me wrong, i still back my team to the hilt – sooner or later you have to face facts, be honest and stop trying to put a positive spin on everthing.

    If you wana talk positives, lets talk abt the signing of Vermaelen and his season. Fighting to the last part of the season and then bottling it should not be looked at positively.

  10. Bergkampslove child you said: “Now we just play ‘keep the ball’ football(which may i add, alot of these kids ar crap at) which is not beautiful. Its beautiful when it results in a goal, but with a team that reluctant to shoot from more than 10cm off the line, its more tedious than beautiful.”

    This year we have scored 16 goals from in the six yard box (21%) and 36 goals in the penalty area (49%) and 22 goals from outside the penalty area (30 %). So that’s not that bad for a team that does not shoot from outside the area I would say. ooops Am I polishing the turd again. sorry. Done it again.
    It’s just me.

  11. Or is it just me that is trying to see the facts also ? and not just stick to some kind of “general truth” ?
    I’m just an optimistic soul I think.

  12. actually they are very interesting stats. with regards to the goals outside the box, can you tell me how many were Fabregas and RVP? Not trying to be a smart arse, i generally want to know!

    like i say, i admire you for being optimistic, i was at the begining of this season, but its the same reoccuring problems that keep coming back to bite us and after 5yrs its becoming very tedious. My point is, if we continue to put positive spin on every short coming, where does the desire for improvement come from?

  13. @BergkampsLoveChild, Jonny Gunner

    I really think that you have it all wrong. We all seem to agree that our first team is great, with the exception of the goalkeeper.

    It is my opinion that we would have bought a keeper if one of the requisite standard was available. I guess you support my nephew’s opinion that we should have bought Friedel. I disagree.

    I do not know why there are supporters who think you can buy good players – players better than Eboue, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela – and have them sit on the bench week after week, coming in only if there are injuries or suspensions. Sure, if you pay like Chelsea, and run at a huge loss like Chelsea, but for normal clubs that doesn’t apply.

    When you can explain how you will attract such players, I will give you my support

  14. Bergkamp —

    Point taken, but on the flip side, if we make every error into a life or death situation, and call for the players’ or manager’s head after every loss, then where is the room for improvement? It soon becomes a mental block, as players think more about avoiding mistakes than trying to play well.

    The team is almost there, and it’s still very young. The club is also on sound financial footing, and there’s finally a transfer kitty that will rival any club not named Man City.

    Don’t get me wrong. The Wigan loss is indefensible. And changes need to be made.

    But I believe the main issue in our squad is a lack of confidence and focus at crucial times. And I believe that as fans, the only tangible way to fix this problem is to show our support. It’s fine to point out mistakes, but it’s important not get too critical of players when they are down, and to give them confidence to pick themselves up. Because it’s so easy to get mired in a depression-filled spiral (especially if you are a goalkeeper, the most nerve-racking of all positions).

    These are some basic fundamentals in teaching. And to me, Wenger is a great teacher.

  15. Walter, I’m sure I read we’ve scored the most goals outside the penalty area this season? I can’t remember where I read it though to confirm, do your stats prove it?

    Good read by the way. All I ask for now is a consistent title challenge: this league is too competitive to expect a trophy next season, and assuming United and Chelsea can maintain a similar level next season, with City’s money we could well have a four-way title battle.

    What is undeniable is this: over the five years, this team has improved. It is reasonable to expect this trend to continue, given the age of our squad, and the fact that surely we cannot have so many injuries next season! Note that I expect us to improve even without external purchases. Chamakh + goalkeeper and centreback would be excellent, and will set us up well for the league season.

  16. It would be very interesting to let everyone before the start of next season predict where we would be at the end of the season.
    Because now telling coming 3rd is not good enough, just to have a go at the team and the manager and before the season having told that we would not even qualify for Europa League because of the crap manager and players is a bit double standards.
    I’m not saying anyone over here is in that position but it could be.

    Maybe an idea Tony to do this just before the start when the transfers have been done mostly ?

  17. I think that could be a really interesting idea, maybe a lengthy article a collaboration of all the regular writers and commenters on the site where we all make our predictions and briefly justify them.

    Tony could then republish it at the end of the season for laughs 😛

  18. It`s very trendy to be `positive`, it`s frowned upon to be critical yet the truth lies somewhere inbetween.

    Wenger has done extremely well with the problems he has faced this season and has achieved things where others would have failed.

    The truth is the players have failed to grasp the gravity of the situation and those left holding the fort have let their manager down.

  19. As an ex seaman R.N. we were taught that a warship has three objectives in battle. 1. To stay afloat, 2 To move, 3. To fight.. Anyone can be a sailor on a fine day and I`m quite sure many even think they could do the `skippers` job just as well if not better. It`s only when the ship runs into a force 10 gale or a shell hits one of the magazines that you`re grateful the man up top knows his job and you give him 100% support.
    If the skipper is lost there is an executive line to take control right down to an ordinary seaman and the fight goes on.
    Maybe, just maybe, Arsenal could adopt the same philosophy?

  20. Well said Aussie Jack. Very well said. I know we have great players that most teams only dream about. Question is whether we have leaders. May be it’s an age thing and these players will evolve into exceptional leaders with time.

    For now, we just have to believe that the man up top (The Boss) has it in control…and I think he does. No doubt about it. He has taken risks and most have paid off and very few have not. He’s put his cards on the table and sometimes they have come up lame, but the other times, those same cards have has some cracking results. In my book, The Boss is a legend not matter what.

    You need a lot of patience with teenagers and yound adults (as most of the squad still are) as those readers who are parents would know. They need guidence and need to be handeled with care. That does not mean that they are crap.

  21. Wesley Sneijder was the only player, in the Inter team that beat Barca 3-1 last night, under the age of 26.

    No wonder we have so many injuries. A player is far stronger and has greater stamina at 25 than at 22. A whole team made up of mostly kids is bound to have a high casualty rate over a season imho.

    When you see Giggs and Scholes still turning out for their first team you have to wonder at why the likes of Pires were shipped out so quickly?

    Still a Wenger fan but please Arsene let’s start next season with a decent keeper.

  22. What I find most amusing is how people who come on blogs of recent to chant “Wenger Out!” always add that they’re supporters of upwards of 30 years standing, and have paid thousands for their season tickets. This wasn’t the case before, so one could easily identify the Jonny-come-lately’s by the quality of their comments.

    If you’ve really been an Arsenal supporter of 30+ years standing, then you’ll have experienced barren spells the like of which the modern Arsenal fan can only imagine. In addition, you would have experienced some glorious occasions (such as Anfield 1989) which will live long in your memory. Having experienced the droughts before Wenger, when Arsenal weren’t considered an integral part of Europe’s elite, before we became a global brand, then your anger at Wenger becomes utterly baffling.

    Anyone who’s seen his team go 10 years without so much as a tin cup to parade is not going to be losing his mind at watching a team which is clearly a work in progress going 5 years without one. For everyone’s information, while Barcelona were building their current team, they won nothing between 1999 and 2004. That’s a 6 year barren spell in which Real Madrid won 2 Champions Leagues. And they didn’t have the cost of a new stadium weighing them down. In fact, after Barcelona built the Camp Nou, they didn’t win diddly squat for 14 years. 14 years!

    At Arsenal, we have been spoilt by Wenger’s first 8 years and it seems we do not wish to acknowledge that for the last 5 years, the man has been handicapped by the fact that the bottom fell out of the property market when the Highbury flats were supposed to be providing us with the bridge income we needed. I suspect that without the credit crunch, Wenger would have been able to continue his previous policy of getting in 2-3 players each summer, and a couple in January.

    Losing to Wigan in the manner we did hurt. It caused the taste to go out of my mouth and made eating my lunch an incredibly tough chore. Combined with granting the scum their first win over us in 10 years, it was enough to make heaven weep. But, to hear all the vitriol spewed in Wenger’s direction from the safety of the internet, one would think he’d just been found guilty of genocide. All the man is trying to do is a difficult job in extremely trying circumstances. If you can’t see that, and yet claim to have been a fan since 1970 and whatnot, then you’re either blind, stupid, or lying about how long you’ve been a supporter.

    And one more thing, I’m sick and tired of reading about how much it costs to support Arsenal. Arsenal isn’t some dame you’re trying to nail so you get to complain about how much it cost to buy her dinner and take her to the movies. Arsenal is the wife you marry, and when she says her hair looks raggedy, you smile, hand over the cash and hope she turns up with a hairdo you can lie about liking with a straight face.

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