NOT FIT TO……..Domhnal MacMagthamhna
The subject of this article is, of course, all our useless deadwood and second rate management that, season-in,season-out, fail to achieve the lofty summits of the Invincibles and who, to boot, are lazy, overpaid and slothful regardless of actual reality.
I wanted to review some of these lesser beings in the light of their actual achievements and qualities and to highlight their contributions to our team’s success and progress towards that elusive pedestal the Invincibles once occupied. So here goes:
The first object of my scrutiny is none other than a few defensive players. Wenger has been roundly abused by the his avid detractors for ¨letting Arsenal’s defense rot into infamy¨ by failing to bring in sufficient replacements for Sagna and Vermaelen last summer. So what we have is a pitifully feeble choice of Ospina, Szcesny, Debuchy (now out for a few months), Bellerin, Coquelin, Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Monreal, Flamini and Hayden. This list includes five internationally capped players, 1 world cup winner and has the fourth best defensive record in the EPL but clearly they are useless.
Now looking at those who are particularly unworthy of the Gunners, we can easily pick out Monreal. He has been described as a poor man’s defender and as being recruited in as a ¨panic buy¨ by Wenger.
However, if any of his critics actually bothered to watch him play, they would realise that he is a very talented defender who can also convert defence to attack, as we have seen many times this season. He may not be a 60M sterling acquisition BUT he has done his work with aplomb and professionalism and we are lucky to have him healthy and motivated to play.
We then have another piece of flaming deadwood in Mertesacker. The BFG has truthfully had a mixed start to the season, especially when bereft of his soul mate Kos, but he is returning to normal service and while he will never be the most fluid or flashy of CB’s, he handled Peter Crutch fairly well in the Stoke game and put another notch on his gun as AFC got another shutout. According to the flailing few, he was one of Wenger’s worst transfers but even they have to admit that his longevity and staying power have greatly added to the Arsenal’s steadying the ship since November.
What is amusing to me is that the obsequious moany-whiners who lament the departure of Sagna and Vermaelen fail to admit that Debuchy has easily replaced Sagna (who is not getting many games at City) and Chambers has been a more than adequate replacement for a perennially injured Vermaelen who has yet to actually play this season at Barca. However when have this gaggle of bitchers EVER let the facts interfere with their prejudices?
Lets now take a look at the midfielders. Here we have Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky, Ozil, the Ox, Ramsey,Cazorla, Flamini,Coquelin, Zalelem, and Diaby. In this group we have 6 capped internationals one of whom is his nation’s captain and 1 world cup winner.
The ¨deadwood¨ like Arteta, Coquelin, Rosicky, Ozil, Ramsey, Flamini and Diaby have all been roundly demeaned and insulted by the ¨expert¨ FIFA football manager brigade at one time or another. If anyone denies this, there are innumerable posts both on UA and elsewhere which have dismissed these Gunners as not being fit to wear the shirt.
Just check out UA’s archives to see what has been rudely said about each and every one in this group. Cazorla has suddenly risen, Lazarus-like from the aaa dug grave he was condemned to, and Coquelin is suddenly the potential ¨beast¨of a DM that myopic supporters cried out for over this TW.
The strikers are, on occasion, the most maligned individuals at the club. We have Podolski (now on loan) Giroud, Walcott, Alexis, Sanogo (also on loan), Welbeck, Gnabry, Campbell and Akpom. Six of these people have been capped internationally and one is a WC winner. Few of the slithering snipers dare to criticize Alexis because that would be too obvious an indicator of their paucity of intelligence, but that didn’t stop them from calling Giroud a waste of money, Walcott a one trick pony, and Sanogo a typical Wenger stopgap.
But suddenly we are playing like champions. In December and January we have played 11 games so far, winning eight, losing two and drawing one. And getting into the CL knock-out stages for the 18th consecutive year. Not bad for a team so riddled with deadwood and those not fit to wear the jersey, that everyone who knows nothing about Football were convinced that it is Wenger’s fault. We saw the well-oiled machine demolish the Orcs on one Sunday and the Oils on the next. Sure we’ve had some poor displays this season but overall we are headed in the right direction as we get our wounded warriors back.
Our Cazorlas, Monreals, Bellerins, Coquelins, Rosickys, Ozils, Ramseys, Flaminis, Girouds, Chambers and Artetas have been the foundation of Arsenal’s push for glory this season and once they are all fit, available for duty and back in the squad, we have much reason to be positive and optimistic.
However for those who desperately celebrate the Arsenal’s obituary, feast on the prospect of Wenger being abandoned by AFC, applaud every negative word the media and a few faithless fanboys vomit about your club and writhe with anticipation at the prospect of a loss for AFC, then there is no possibility of redemption. The rest of us, the vast majority, will restrain our premature judgements about any player’s worth and trust to our manager to know better than anyone, how to proceed, deadwood and all.
By the way, my name in the byline is the Celtic version my Irish father bequeathed me…..just for a bit of diversity, seeing as how some aaa here believe anyone who is not British is NOT FIT TO SUPPORT the Arsenal. At least they’re consistent in their ignorance and myopic blindness.
Here are the rules if you want to comment – lots of people don’t read this, so we don’t publish the comments they send in. That seems fairly logical.
- Serendipity – the true power behind the Arsenal
- Coaching in the Premier League is unstable and unsustainable.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal
- Football is facing its biggest crisis ever, Part 4: taking emotion to a new level
- Football’s biggest crisis ever part 3: How to maintain the excitement
- Football’s biggest ever crisis Part 2: the big are just getting bigger
- Football is blindly walking into its biggest ever crisis. Part 1
- Why this season is not a one-off for Arsenal, but probably a sign of things to come
45 Replies to “He’s not fit to…”
Very good article. Reminding us who have faith that we were right to be optimistic.
All I can do is applaud this article.
ALTHOUGH…you do fail to mention Emiliano Martinez. Back to the corner with you 😀
Steve Bull and John Fashanu have been internationaly capped.
The biggest problem arsenal fans have is that , after 8-9 years of buying players that were not as good as city, chelsea and Utd now we have the resources, what are you supposed to do with the players, sell them? if they were so bad how come we have still managed to get into the champs league and teams like liverpool , spurs, everton and UTD last season cant get into
Yes wenger has said they have more money but that doesnt mean wholesale changes
as for the media – they are full of crap, why do liverpool and utd never get as much criticism.
No mention that our injury problems maybe hindering our team but wenger still gets the criticism – the worst being ” why didn’t wenger sign fabregas because ramsey, arteta , wilshere ozil are injured”
yes because wenger knew all these players would be injured at the same time.
absolute joke, just like jamie carragher who has a real issue with arsenal
Agree, up to a point. The ‘criticism’ and abuse is way over the top at times, but there are issues with the quality & quantity of players in certain areas. We are defensively short, and have been for a while.
We do need a minimum of three quality centre-halves plus one with the potential to develop. I.e. three proven performers + Chambers (Hayden? Not sure yet) for the future.
I’d argue we need something similar in the full-back positions, too. At least one of absolutely top class on each side, one more on each side almost as good and one more on each side with the potential to develop. I.e. Debuchy + one top right back and Bellerin for the future, Gibbs/Monreal and one for the future.
That’s 10. We have seven (one of whom – Hayden – can’t get a game despite the injuries, so perhaps hasn’t convinced the coaches, so perhaps six), and as has been seen this season, it isn’t enough.
Midfield and forward, we’re in reasonable shape.
Great to support Wenger and the team, but you also must be realistic. The players we have are mostly bloody good. We just don’t have enough in defence and it has cost us points.
As I have been consistently posting through the entirety of the first half of the season, our mediocre form has been primarily due to injuries (and with a bit of post-World Cup blip for some).
Given the same level of injuries (and the same standard of refereeing) through the season as Chelsea, we would be right up there alongside or ahead of them.
Zoon – and?
the current set of Arsenal fans not all i may add are the most idiotic i have seen since my first visit to Arsenal in 1976 I have been a season ticket holder all these years and without doubt the Wenger era has been the most spectacular in terms of football played and the talent that I have been privileged to witness over Wengers tenure.
most of the aaa crowd would not know the first thing about talented footballers yet they have the audacity to criticise and demean a venerated professional manager the world over.
most of the players who we have signed have all said Wenger was the lure there are players who have stated their desire to join Arsenal so that they can play under Wenger yet the aaa know better .
Arsene knows better then moronic the aaa crowd ever will.
Author kept telling us about players who have been internationaly capped so thought i would add a few of my own. Steve Guppy, Michael Ricketts & Seth Johnson.
Who are these people slating the players in the way stated on here? You here a few grumbles in the ground like you do any ground when things dont go well.
There are few more Arsene bashers around these days but when you have been in office 18 years this is bound to happen people get fed up of the same voice as much as anything.
Who takes people on the internet seriously siting behind there computer screen abusing all sorts of people for all sorts of things. Most of them to frightened to go out and face the world.
Off-topic but two points
We have completed the paperwork for Christian Bielik (Aka “Bald Eagle”) from Legia Warsaw. He is a holding midfielder or centre back and is 17 so one for the future.
If any of you are in North London and fancy watching a game of football for FREE the Arsenal v Royston Town FC FA Youth Cup fourth round tie is at Meadow Park, Borehamwood k.o. 19:00. Come along and support our future players.
You said it Zoon…
You know very well that there are many Arsenal fans that criticise in the manner put forward by this post. I myself had one friend of mine in mind as I read this post.
They are the sort that, whether in the ground or behind a computer or watching the tv moan when Arsenal lose and stay quiet when we win. Like those idiots at Stoke or the fan at Southampton. I have had people scream in my face in the ground because I will not bad-mouth the manager and/or the players when things aren’t going well. And they are the sort that leave a game 10 minutes early to get to the pub and come and stand in the vacant seat in front of me!
Enjoy the game Andrew. Hopefully the youth team does well.
On the other thread, I ran across a Cambridge paper writing about the game. They are bringing 2 buses and 200 people to the game. So I hope you get at least that many Arsenal fans.
It is getting exciting now as our injury situation becomes more manageable. (By the by, Shad seems to be doing a good job in improving injury recovery speeds – if not yet in prevention. Next season will be the true test).
Brighton will be a great opportunity for the likes of Ozil, Welbeck, Campbell, Walcott, Ramsey, Flamini, Chambers, Gibbs et al to get minutes under their belt – while giving a 2 week break to the likes of Sanchez, Mertesacker, Cazorla and Koscielny. Indeed Sanchez seems to have tweeted pictures from a beach somewhere (very unlikely to be England right now!)…
Then we should be fresh and raring to go against Villa, with tougher tests to come.
Guilty. I have written, elsewhere, suggesting that if Arsene Wenger is looking for players to play like Alexis Sanchez, energy, class, and desire to win, then several players on our books had better step up. From front to back I listed flaws, briefly, in their game that could make the vulnerable if some thing better came along. Theo copt it, for yes, being a ‘one trick pony’. Sorry, but just having pace is a weakness, especially when against PTB teams who leave him no space to run into. Of course, when he gets it right, he does have a decent cross in him, and can score some nice goals.
But to put it in context of what I was saying. If you had an Alexis clone or Walcott, who would you play?
Nice to know bloggers read other blogs, unless someone else made the same comment?
Everyone is entitled to an opinion so let them have a go if they want it’s up to them. The problem is football is subjective and everybody thinks there point of view is more valid than anybody else’s.
I have seen on this site people saying because Arsene has more experience in football than me i cant have a valid opinion if i disagree with him.
The author of this article seems to be frothing at the mouth with anger but if makes him happy let him get on with it.
Using the same kind of logic that a small portion of “fans” use against players & managers, some supporters arn’t fit to follow & affiliate themselves with a club. It goes both ways. If you unfairly criticise sports professionals then you’re not a fan & dont deserve to follow any team.
off topic but can anyone enlighten me on how some of chelsea players are being sold for astronomical prices
For a non-league team to get this far they must have some good players and it should be a good match. With 200 supporters they will probably make more noise than the usual Arsenal U18 supporters, I’ll just have to shout louder I guess!
I’ll try and do a post later but it will probably be brief.
As the saying goes – one swallow doesn’t make a summer. After an outstanding performance against City, we must kick on from here, and really build a winning run to the end of the season.
Pete, I’d disagree about the Brighton game, we can’t take them too lightly, and we want to retain the FAC – but I know where you’re coming from on rotation and giving injury returnees some valuable game time.
The critical games – where we need to replicate our City performance – are Spuds (a) early Feb, Monaco home and away – April at home to Liver Birds and Chelski, then mid May for Man U away – all the other games are winnable.
Signing Alexis was a major coup by AW, but his major impact is not just his goals, but how he has galvanised and “shamed” his team mates into trying to match his impression of the Duracell Bunny!! Santi was Mr Perpetual Motion vs City with the OX and Le Coq not far behind. Now we just need Theo, Rambo and Mesut to step up to the plate
There is a note up at Arsenal about travel to Brighton. Apparently the rail lines will be under repair.
I am hesitant to put Henry with other brainless pundits but he has given me no choice based on his pre match City talk.
He said we need song and i wondered is he dumb or does he share an agent with him. Indeed he does, ONE DEIN. lol
Has the winter weather in England improved to an extend for Sanchez to be tweeting pictures of himself having a good time on the beach? Criticisms can be of a benefit to the boss as the criticisms could make him think twice over some issues about his games. And could brings about him making some corrections that can make his team perform better than they have not been performing well enough results-wise. The Gunners can still improve the quality of their killer pass in and around the box. Santi Cazorla intended killer pass by the right side in the box to Giroud was blocked by Vincent Kompany. That pass should have gotten to Giroud for the 3rd goal. So improving Cazorla can still improve the quality of his killer passing. Why didn’t he first sell Kompany before making his killer delivery to Giroud? I think the boss has axed about 4 players in d persons of: Jenkinson, Podolski, Sanogo, Afobe and Ajayi appears to be in d pipeline. And 4 players hv also been brought-in to balance the books so far. Who’s next?
Good article- we have certainly taken steps in the right direction. Given some time, this group of players can be special.
A couple of minor issues- you left Martinez out (We have him to thank for, among other things, the Anderlecht smash and grab!) and it’s 15 consecutive seasons (not 18) into the knockouts/ second group stage.
You certainly raise a valid point. While Mata’s price tag could have been justified to some extent by his performances in the two seasons prior to Mourinho’s arrival, De Bruyne, Luiz and Lukaku have all been solved for inflated sums. Odds working in Chelsea’s favour or a deliberate accounting ruse to bypass FFP? The latter looks unlikely for the Luiz transfer as PSG have their own troubles but for De Bruyne (Wolfsburg) and Lukaku (Everton), it certainly looks like win-win to me.
It certainly sounds like a good story but, only aided by conjecture, it’s built on quicksand.
The Arsenal-Royston Youth FA Cup game is on the twitter feed, https://twitter.com/arsenal. Game is only a few minutes old, Royston just scored the first goal.
Mavididi ties the game in the 37th minute.
Half time. Mavididi scored in the 44th minute, to give Arsenal a 2-1 lead over non-league Royston Town.
I think the game is over, no more scoring that I can see.
Nope, game is over, no more scoring.
Final Arsenal 2 – 1 Royston Town FC
So the author writes and therefore believes that some supporters are unhappy that the team are not reaching the heights of the Invincibles, when the reality is that nobody on the planet expects or anticipates that. Either the author is deluded or engaging in hyperbolic nonsense.
I always wonder when people go on about having an opinion.
Just a little info for these I have my opinion people just because you have one doesn’t make it right and the rest of the world our allowed to point that out.
Zoon…..I don’t get overexcited or even mildly disturbed as I appreciate that football is only a game. what gets my goat however are the persistently miserable lot we call the aaa (for convenience sake) whose öpinions¨are unsupported, irrational and never defended with facts but they expect that these ¨opinions¨ be taken as gospel. As far as Arsene’s opinions versus a neophyte supporter’s opinions, I’ll believe Arsene’s anytime since his are based on experience,expertise and everyday facts in the ¨trenches¨so to speak….the neophyte on the other hand…..!
Gunnerjoe…..everyone is entitled to their opinions, but not everyone is wise to express them without being able to support them.you can have an opinion about a call the ref made but if you want to match yours against mine, a retired national referee, you had better have the same expertise,experience and knowledge of the Laws that I do, otherwise you’ll look foolish.
ThomB…..How can you possibly not appreciate the ubiquitous moaners who sadly proclaim how ¨far we have fallen¨ from those invincible days and how Wenger has ¨failed¨ to achieve the heights the Arsenal should obtain? Don’t take my word for it, ask Walter and Tony about how many posts they delete with the same meme I just mentioned. What planet are you currently living on?
Gerry….Alexis and Walcott are two different styles. Alexis is a complete footballer, Walcott is still moving to a maturity that he currently lacks. Comparing them is a case of apples and oranges but certainly I’d be happy to have two clones like them!!!
Hayden is injured I read somewhere. This year was supposed to be his debut season. Slowly eased into the side. But injuries to Debuchy and then himself did not help.
I don’t understand why people come here and just post ‘you are deluded’. And then talk the same bullshit the main stream media do. Wenger is tactically inept. Arsenal lack steel. Arsenal lack depth. Arsenal need to sign 5 players to compete!!…
Omg..i live on earth and in the uk and i still profess that no fan- NONE- not one, expect a repeat of the invincibles. Produce the evidence, as ye say here. This whole site is based on hyperbole and stirring up the natives, which totally diminishes every valid argument and point made, referee bias included
I think they expect Arsenal to remove the so called “stop gap” players now we have money, and replace them with so called super stars.
In this they obviously have not innerstood the policy of Arsenal Football Club.
It is clear to us that Arsenal, however much money they have, will only buy a “star” player IF he has the potential to fit into Arsenal’s way. There is no way that this will happen in a Manc, Chel$ or Manu way, that is buy the player and force fit him into the team, adjusting the team to fit the player.
AW adjusts the player to fit the team, thereby letting the team grow. I tell you, an invincible team is not created in a flash, but Arsenal WILL create another one. WHY?
Because the standard that Arsenal wants to play football will invariably in success create that invincible team.
Now those who think AW going will change the club. I do not think that Arsenal will change much, they will of course look for a Coach with many of AW attributes too in order to continue the Arsenal way.
This will only change if Arsenal is sold and some other owner with different ideas appear.
I am surprised that Duracell have not approached Alexis yet for an advert.
So you obviously do not think that Theo has improved? Everyone else sees this, but not you, or are you still living in 2012 when those comments first surfaced, damm, look at the date man, look at the date.
@ Don – another fine article , thanks .
Here’s the magnificent AKBs , and then there’s the rest of ‘them’!
I suspect it was me who made the comment about Arsene having more experience (and knowledge and qualifications etc etc etc). What I did not say is that this means someone else can’t have an opinion. What I did say, and will continue to say, is that an opinion is all very well. What happens, however, is that AAA’s (and the media and idiot MotD pundits) who have never as much managed a market stall let alone one of the biggest football clubs in the world say things like; “Wenger doesn’t have a clue, what he should do is this,” or “Wenger’s an idiot, he should have signed so and so…”.
What I’m actually saying is that if I’m ill, you may have an opinion as to what’s wrong with me and whether I might need an operation because you saw something similar on Holby City last week. No way am I going to believe your diagnosis over that of my doctor and I sure as hell am not going to let you perform surgery………..because you are an amateur and have no experience, knowledge, training or qualifications…….just an opinion!
Trouble is, some people simply don’t understand the difference between an opinion and actual ability.
Btw. Excellent article…….in my opinion 🙂
Goonermickey – you need a throat operation & there is an expert in Stoke. His name is Charles Adams – he operated on Alexis with success as the media didn’t see any scars.
Dude I love your analogy – particularly Holby City as a reference!!
Totally agree with your view.
Goonermikey. Good points.
As you say, every fan has a right to an opinion. What gets my goat is the fact that they ‘assume’ that what they say is correct. They don’t have to back it up though because it is just hypothetical nonsense.
The other irritation is this complete ignorance regarding the stadium. It happened at a time when the oil men were splashing their cash. Wenger was being expected to make profits ever season while Chelsea and City were spending £150m quid each year. Man Utd too were spending big. David Dein actually said that we had Roman Abramovich parking his tank on our pitch firing £50 notes at us. Dein also said that whilst we committed to project youth, once wenger had made the players, the oil clubs came after them. Cole was tapped up, Nasri was hunted etc.
The stadium is something all Gooners should take great pride in. This was a monumental achievement. From 38,000 people to 60,000. It was essential for future success to increase the clubs revenue streams.
The fact the media and a section of our fans ignore this success and seem happy to deny the affect this had on our ability to be competitive, is pure ignorance. The fact they also seem unable to grasp the enormity of what wenger achieved by qualifying for the CL every season, why rebuilding teams and losing players is weird. It is as if they live on Mars.
So the article is spot on. There are, unfortunately, a small group of loud mouthed individuals who do not realise how utterly stupid they are. Wenger has performed miracles and under his guidance the club has transformed itself from one with a shared training facility and a small ground to one of the biggest clubs in the World game, with facilities to match.
ThomB….glad to see you’re back on earth BUT if you have the time, visit the archives, where you’ll read countless posts about Wenger never being able to duplicate his early success (the Invincibles)and how ¨far¨we have fallen since their achievements. But don’t let me spoil your belief, and your own version of hyperbole….stating that this ¨entire¨site is based on hyperbole and stirring up the natives, which totally diminishes every valid argument and point made, referee bias included.¨ Well Walter, there goes your efforts to record and analyze referee performances…..never mind the actual facts, its all exaggerated and pure spin according to ThomB. Maybe he will join the team that analyzes officials for UA and we can finally get a ¨balanced¨ assessment?
Just to set some facts straight: it’s not “18th consecutive season in the Knockout Stage” as the Knockout Stage in the current format were introduced in The Season of Invincibles. It’s 18th season of the Champions’ League football (which is also a remarkable feat as only Real Madrid have had a longer run – 19).
Prior to the change in 2003-04, Champions’ League were organized in two group stages before the quarterfinals between 1999-00 and 2002-03. We managed to progress from the First Group Stage for the first time in 2000-01 (during that campaign met this wonderful young player Tomas Rosicky, saw Arsenal playing one game in two different kits and Martin Keown scoring two important goals in our home victory against Shakhtar) and have repeated the feat in the following seasons including the current one which means it’s 15th season of Champions’ League football beyond the Group Stage.
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