Strange days. Ever since I saw the teams for last night’s Reserve game against the Tiny Totts I have been puzzling over the tactics of the Appy Arry cartoon character who seemingly runs the show down the poor end of Seven Sisters.
As I was saying yesterday he knew damn well that Arsenal would put out a team of 17 year olds – and not just any old 17 year olds but 17 year olds who (as was pointed out quite rightly in correspondence) are not good enough to go on loan and not good enough to be in the first team squad. Several of our stars (Wilshere, Merida, Murphy) were also out for other reasons.
So what does Appy Array, the man the media will never criticise even when he is arrested by the police, do? He puts out a team of international superstars that cost the club millions and millions and more millions.
And I ask why?
To keep them fit? No – they can do that in private practice games, and predictably none of them made that much effort.
To put them on a showcase so that others will buy them? Hardly. I don’t think there were any scouts at the Orient who were looking at Bentley thinking, “hmmm £17 million superstar, yes we could have him”. Or Bale, “hmm bit of a let down since his buildup at Southampton, but worth a try.”
No, there is only one reason. To humiliate the players and to say to the board, “I, the great Appy Arry, your esteemed manager, need billions of pounds to rebuild the club because these players are not good enough for me. Look, they can only just squeeze past Arsenal’s fourth rated squad.”
And humiliation it certainly was. What does a Brazillian international think? Down the Seven Sisters Rd Denilson is playing every game, is becoming recognised for his outstanding talent (the Independent is currently quiet on the subject, but even they will soon forget and deny that they ever called him “lightweight”), while he, the Tottenham man, is forced to play in the Tott Reserves against Arsenal kids?
And Bentley? The man who left Highbury because he demanded first team football, demanded a place in the European games, and is now playing in front of 500 at the Orient. Good move from Arsenal or what?
In fact it is Arry’s arrogance and personality that is on display when the Tot Reserves trot out. That is all. And I for one hope it continues, because when football clubs are run on the basis of vendeta and arrogance, you know they are going to run into real problems. And that is what Arry is giving them. Real, deep, psychotic, problems. Go to the Totts? What and play in the reserves against a load of kids? No thanks squire. I’d sooner play for Orient. Bigger crowds.
Meanwhile the press has changed its mind about Arsenal. All this stuff about not qualifying for Europe has gone. We’re even getting emails at the Toppled Bollard (home to Untold Arsenal) saying that I would be more believable if I had been saying Arsenal would do ok this year, at the start of the season, and through all the bad bits, like the Fulham, Hull and Stoke defeats.
Well, I think I was. And I still think the same. This is a great team – young still, not quite there, but a great team. I don’t know yet who is ready to step up from the younger levels – but one way or another we need a couple more players for next year. But this is a young team getting better by the second, and if we don’t have the full squad for next August I bank on the Lord Wenger to go and buy someone.
As for the press in general, it is funny. Today the Telegraph ran my story about Liverpool’s owner’s problems. Are we really making the news here? And ever since we did that bit about everyone leaving Arsenal, the press have gradually gone a bit cold on that, and have started up with stories about Arsenal signing people. No more Cesc, VP, Ade, Clichy buggering off to Italy and Spain. Instead it is Johnny Foreigner who will sign from Peru for £400 billion.
Could it be? Could it really be?
Could it possibly be true that people in the wider world are actually reading my rambles and your comments?
Is this the centre of the universe when it comes to informed Arsenal opinion?
Could it be?
No, probably not. But nice to dream.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
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