How I loathe the the silly season. Even with the World Cup, the thought that the only sides I’m interested in at are those with Gooners playing (preferably they all get minor injuries whilst training and miss out) and the locals, is insufficient to stir the enthusiasm.
So a tendency to look back at the season just gone occurs about this time every year.
Analysing our performance every which way (just in order to prove that we deserved to win the league) I came to a temporary halt when looking at my personal bete noir, our unwillingness to shoot from outside the area.
Goals scored from outside the area last season? Source Opta:
1. Arsenal (20)
2. Man City (10)
3. Chelsea, Fulham, Man Utd (9)
6. Aston Villa, Birmingham, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham (8)
11. Hul City (7)
12. Blackburn, West Ham (6)
14. Wigan (5)
15. Bolton, Burnley, Sunderland
18. Portsmouth, Wolves
20. Stoke (2)
So much for that theory. But there’s always another theory…our keeper dropped too many crosses/corners?
Nope. Brad Friedel was the best followed by Brian Jensen and Joe Hart. And the worst….? Shay Given, Pepe Reina and Paul Robinson. Surprised me as well.
Oh well. Obviously our 3rd place was all down to injuries.
What else to keep the footballing thoughts going?
Admit to the fact that there players around (say it very soto voce) playing against us? Players I far prefer to watch playing against sides other than Arsenal? They exist I fear…but I do admire them.
Not necessarily Gooner squad candidates but having several qualities that appeal.
Here are mine.
- Shay Given,
- Richard Dunne,Ledley King, Patrice Evra,
- Lee Bowyer, Scott Parker, Florent Malouda, Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar, Yossi Benayoun,Tom Huddlestone, James Milner, Charles N’Zogbia, Martin Petrov, Ryan Giggs,Craig Bellamy,
- Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, Frederic Piquionne
Bit light on defence but defenders who appeal are few and far between!
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