The next big team will be…

…. the team that is built around the ability to beat anti-football.

It is now 243 years 38 weeks, 4 days, 5 hours, 23 minuutes 3 seconds since one of the big four won a league match, and time is starting to run out for these top clubs.

By having successfully evolved ways of disrupting all real football without engaging the wrath of the refs, the FA and the EPL, the anti-football clubs have endeavoured to aid their own survival.  The result, as we can see, is a bunching of lower teams together in the bottom part of the league.  Two defeats and you are in the relegation zone.  Two wins and you are “challenging for Europe”.

In the short term ultimately someone at the top is going to win a game, but the way it looks at the moment it is either going to be a victory in a game between two of the top four, or it is going to be because of a moment’s luck.

But what of next season, and the one after?  Having found their solution, the lesser clubs are certainly not going to give it up.   You can’t imagine Aston Villa, having found success with their approach, then stopping it and starting to play free-flowing open football.   Likewise you can’t imagine the FA, or EPL, doing anything about all the tricks of anti-football.   That is not their style and besides if they were going to do something, they would have done it by now. Rotational fouling has been around for five years, and there has not been a single move against it.

Which means in the end that the solution has to come from the one of the top four clubs that has imagination: Arsenal.  The only question is how long will it take to find this solution.

There are moments when I watch a game that I think that the answer is just around the corner – and then along comes another major injury and we are set back again.  Three really influential players – Rosicky, Eduardo and Walcott have now been joined by Cesc out of the game.  It is creative players like that who will find a way through, and those are the ones we are missing.

But there is a ray of hope.   It is clear that in the coming years the players who are going to join the Arsenal first team squad will have been around for a while.  They will have been brought up on anti-football as the norm, and they will, as part of their upbringing, seen how to overcome it.   I suspect that by the time Jack Wilshere is striding across the turf game after game, anti-football will be beaten, eaten both by its own desire to negate everything that is good in the game, but also by a new round of utter brilliance.

4 Replies to “The next big team will be…”

  1. I really hope so Tony!

    I can’t stand the sheer joy and hope in the voice of the commentators as they speculate that Cesc could be out for months rather than weeks. You would think they would be disappointed as we all want to see the best most creative players doing their thing on the pitch. They’ll soon get their wish when only the cloggers are left and the EPL goes the way of the Italian league a few years back.

  2. I woke today expecting to see Chelsea atop of the Premiership and our boys languishing behind by 9 points. What a delight it was to see they had failed to beat Everton and that John Terry had been sent off for a very similar challenge to the one he made on Bacary Sagna a few weeks ago. What a crazy, crazy season this is turning out to be.

    The result means that Liverpool will go into Christmas at the head of the table and we will go in fifth, 8 points behind. Aston Villa sit in third although victory over them on Boxing Day will see us jump ahead of them on goal difference. Manchester United currently sit in fourth although the couple of games they have in hand coupled with Liverpool and Chelsea’s recent wobbles suggest to me that they are looking the best of all the title contenders. Whoever wins, it’s going to be one hell of a second half of the season.

    The fallout from the draw with Liverpool is sure to be massive. The news is that Cesc Fabregas could be out for up to two months while Emmanuel Adebayor is certain to miss out on the crucial clash with Villa. How we will line up in that game is anyone’s guess, but the loss of both of those players will mean the likes of Alex Song, Denilson and Abou Diaby are really going to have to step up.

    The loss of Fabregas is going to be a big one, but if there is one positive to be taken from the situation it is that it may force Arsene Wenger to become more active in the January transfer window. A month or so ago he would have been expecting to have Fabregas, Theo Walcott and perhaps even Tomas Rosicky at his disposal but fresh injuries to the former two and the prolonged absence of the latter means we’re desperately low on attacking options from midfield. A change is in order.

    Looking at our fixtures over the next three months after the Villa game reveals a huge opportunity for Arsenal. We play 12 games in a row before another clash with a big four side and the sequence of Portsmouth (H), Bolton (A), Hull City (A), Everton (A), West Ham (H), Tottenham (A), Sunderland (H), Fulham (H), West Brom (A), Blackburn (H), Newcastle (A) and Manchester City (H) is about as easy as it gets.

    Although we have struggled against the smaller sides it will only take a shift in attitude and a couple of good results to overturn that phenomenon, something which could be achieved by bringing in a new player. There are whispers from Russia that we might be making a bid for Andreii Arshavin, but I’d say for that the £20m being suggested it’s unlikely to happen. However, something does need to happen or we could miss out on a huge opportunity that has presented itself in the form of a friendly fixture list and some friendly results from the other members of the big four so far this season.

    There will of course be calls for the centre of our defence to be reinforced and calls for a defensive midfielder to be signed. If William Gallas does leave – as many people are expecting – then the manager has to act but if the Frenchman stays then I would be happy to see him partner Johan Djourou for the rest of the season. As for a defensive midfielder, Song had been a huge improvement on Denilson and has earned the opportunity to be relied upon.

    For me though the injury to Cesc means the priority for the manager is to sign an attacking midfielder when the window opens. The fixture list is kind and if it does happen then I believe we have a much better chance at sneaking the Premiership than most people realise.

  3. To All YOU Arsene haters Perhaps you will allow me to educate you! This current phase of Arsenals history is tied up with the new stadium. Arsene has had to spend less and has decided to develop players rather than buy experienced. At the same time Chelsea has had access to transfer funds that no one else could compete with and they were successful. When they (or rather Roman) decided to spend less Man U took up the spending lead. Regularly spending £20 million on players and they too were successful. Liverpool too have taken to spending big, although not on the same scale as the other two. So what will become of the teams that live the dream that they can’t afford, Arsene is conscience itself, his head, heart and his instincts are right. Balancing the books is more important now than ever. It would have been foolish to flash the cash in the past. Now that there is money he wants to buy and he knows that defence is a problem. Transfer targets didn’t materialise into actual transfers. It is to Arsene’s credit that he doesn’t unsettle players who are under contract unlike any other major team you care to mention. As far as Adebayor is concerned he did what any player would do when shielding the ball. A crucifix position just like Babel did when he wanted to keep Toure away in last years Champions League. Maybe the real problem is that Liverpool players know how to go down in style. They are seasoned professionals after all. ps in the internet age you have to know your subject really well before you write, a selective collection of opinions will nolonger do. Literally there are many many people who know more than you. More importantly Arsenal are a discrete club, and very few people know exactly why things happen or don’t happen. Arsene is an insider so when he speaks I listen!!!!!

  4. Good to see some positive thinking and hope ray – we’ve got as much chance as anyone because even Man U’s games in hand are not yet points on the board. Their little sojourn to Japan could yet have damaging consequences on their season too. This year’s premiership race is certainly interesting!

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