Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Look beyond the Anfield trees

Ed: This is a comment left by a regular visitor to the site. See what you think about it.

By Angelo

Seriously, everyone needs to stop with this penalty rubbish. Yes, I know, it seems we get a questionable decision against us nearly every game. We had two in two against Liverpool.

Yes, it seems that at least 3 key players occupy the treatment room at any given time but how is this different to any other season?

To be perfectly honest the only reason we make such a big deal out of it is because we are never comfortable enough or clinical enough to allow room for any errors from the refs or indeed from our own making.

What worries me about this team is that it seems to battle in every game as if it were a Champions League or FA Cup final.

Honestly, when was the last comfortable win we had in which we've finished the match in the first half? Derby? Sunderland? (Oh no that was 3-2 wasn't it?)

Come on people, don't be losers. This is what you're all acting like to be perfectly honest. Those of you who accept the defeat are pathetic and those of you who blame refereeing decisions are just plain ignorant.

Bad decisions occur in every match but if you have sufficient quality you can overcome these obstacles; just like when you have a large and talented enough squad you can brush over injuries (like our main rivals).

Arsene Wenger is really pushing it. Yes the team is improving organically but what he fails to realise is that other teams around us, with the help of funds and influx of quality players, are also improving.

Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea all finished above us last season and this season they brought in Torres, Tevez and Anelka respectively, to name but a few.

And I would say that Chelsea and Man Utd already had a stronger base to start of with in the first place.

This is getting ridiculous. Wenger chooses to tie his feet before a race then claim he still did well considering that he hopped till the finishing line; but it doesn't hide the fact that he is left in the dust by his opponents.

He is also stubborn in his beliefs. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is slightly self indulgent in the modern game to convert players from central play-makers into narrow wingers and wingers into width orientated strikers.

Wenger is a great manager and must distance himself from sentimentality which usually clouds his judgment. After doing this he needs to re-assess the strengths and weakness of his team and decide who the best players are to solve these problems.

Benzema, Eto'o, Villa and Ribery all come to mind but I don't make the decisions. But I swear to God, if he even bids for Ben Arfa I will hunt him down and shove his tie down his throat.

Walcott needs to play some of the remaining games as a striker. That piece of individual quality earned him the right to prove himself in his favoured position.

We need to jump up a couple of levels this summer if we are to even begin to accomplish what Wenger claims this group of players promise.

But what do I know? I mean Wenger knows.... Right?

Thank you to 1970's Gooner for publishing this article and to you all for taking the time to read my post. I look forward to your opinions. Enjoy the remainder of the season.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I'm a Liverpool fan and over the decades have experienced many games that have gone against us due to a decision. Arsenal were brilliant for periods of the game last night. But bet against Liverpool in Europe at your peril, as they NEVER give up. I thought it was a penalty last night but I also thought Kuyt conceded one at The Emirates which he got away with.
Doesn't matter now. Great game of football and crap decisions happen when its that tight between the teams.

Anonymous said...

excellent post it exactly what i would have said. cheers

Anonymous said...

Beautiful football don't win matches, scoring goals does. The blame is squarely on Arsene.
Stingy and stubborn, or maybe blinded by his own idealism. Stingy, penny wise and pound foolish. Money is there but refused to buy experienced players.
Consistently unable to produce a world class defense line, apart for the 2 fullbacks. He's been here over 10 years, yet he still never learn from the past trophy-less seasons. NO use blaming the refs, FA, officials, media, when in the first place they're all totally crap.

Anonymous said...

some of what you say is true but as far as injuries not effecting our rivals??? you are very wrong rooney missed 5 games this season and utd lost 3 and won none of the games vidic was missing last week v boro and they were lucky to get a draw when rafa was resting steve g and torres liverpoolcould not win a game so i think you are very wrong on the injuries you see every team in the world has 3/4 key players ronaldo/rooney/vidic/rio are utd,s and steveg/torres/mascharano/carragher are liverpools and terry/lampard/drogba/carvahlo for chelski so if these players get injured you struggle but not alone did arsenal miss key players but at times they got injuries in same positions like in december cesc/flam/hleb all missing for 3 weeks and vanpersie was missing to so that is 4 of you r starting midfield/fowardline if that was to happen to liverpool for e.g it would be stsveg/torres/gerrard and alanso out would they win many games NO!!! and for ytd that would be rooney/ronaldo/carrick/scholes i think they would struggle also so dont say injuries are not a facto when they are but the biggest factor is luck with dicisions from refs/linesman and luck with injuries and on both we have all bad luck

sikatinavra said...

we simple

Anonymous said...

bad referee decisions is what cost us plain and simple. if liverpool not awarded penalty, then we go through plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Spot on sums up my sentiments exactly? what I would say if I had to lose like that better it be liverpool, than any other of the top 3, the post that I've read from the majority of them have been honest and somewhat sympathic in places, they truely are a massive club! and a lot of their supporters are humble with it.

Arsene in my mind will not change his policy unless forced, so am afraid maybe more of the same to come. I guess it's easy to say, but imagine woodgate last nite instead of sendros ( we all know his got games like this in his makeup)or distan, these are just two denfenders that arsene could of brought, even carrick when he was going for 3.5mil, still at west ham. Wenger just doesn't believe in a squad!

Anonymous said...

I am a liverpool fan and would like to congratulate Arsenal on the quality of their football last night. Some of it was breathtaking, however.. it does not give you a divine right to win.
Both the Hleb and Babel fouls were penalties, we got ours, you didn't. That is football, remember 'the invincibles' and Pires diving for the penalty at Portsmouth?
Why is everyone so surprised that the ref gave a penalty in front of the Kop, that's the nature of 2 legged football, you get a home-leg where you can rally your team and put pressure on the ref. Had Arsenal made any noise at Emirates and created a bit of atmosphere you may well have got your penalty.
Unfortunately you didn't, you don't deserve such a team. Next year put as much effort into supporting your team on the night as you do in excusing them afterwards and you might actually win something.

Anonymous said...

I think your analysis is silly really.

I don't understand why you all want to insist Wenger doesn't buy players when 80% of this squad wasn't here 4 years ago.

The question is how much he spends. I don't agree that the quality of a team is measured by price.

Listen, Arsene bought Sagna and Eduardo in mid-season, and they have to be two of the best signings this year save Torres.

They've been better than Nani, Hargrieves, Tevez, Malouda, ***insert big name signing here***

I think Wenger deserves praise for what he is doing and not slating, but once some silly ideas go viral nobody stops to think anymore.

People talk about £70M being available but it has to be spent well. And that's what Wenger is aiming to do.

Seems obvious to me.

Anonymous said...

arrr get over it, the ref gave a pen we won 4-2 you go out your manager acts like a baby!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

I agree with some of what you say. Yes, we need more strength in depth. I expect Wenger to address this problem this Summer as he will most likely be the one who is most disappointed if we finish without silverware.

I also agree that there will always be bad refereeing decisions and injuries throughout the season, which is exactly why we need more strength in depth.

But, and this is a big but, think of all the poor decisions that have gone against us starting with the Birmingham game, that have cost us points or knocked us out of the CL. Now ask yourself, would the calls for massive retooling of the team, Wenger abandoning his pretty football, blah blah blah, etc. exist if even half of these poor decisions weren't made? The answer is of course, NO. The fact is that poor decisions have cost us everything this season. Sure, you can say that we should win more comfortably so that these decisions don't matter, but that attitude simply validates poor refereeing. In a game of so few scores, where one goal is the difference between three points and one point, these decisions are massive and it's not so easy to tack on a few goals here and there.

Lastly, name the last time any of the other big four experienced such a string of poor decisions. My guess is that if ManU were the ones on the short end of the stick, SKY Sports would be spewing propaganda that would coerce referees into some makeup calls. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the previous poster, Jeremy. Yes the article's author is correct that Arsenal could really afford to strengthen the squad depth, and I believe AW needs to try and get some real wide players and central defenders this summer. However, I believe it must be said that Arsenal have been dealt an unusually disproportionate string of KEY blows this year. I don't really complain about the non-call at the Emirates, even though I disagree with the ref's decision. At the end of the day, that ref did not want to decide the outcome of the match without being 100% convinced. Fair enough. However, the refs who blew penalties against Arsenal in the Birmingham and Liverpool matches single-handedly decided those match outcomes. And based on the fact that those calls were HIGHLY questionable, it's hard not to feel a really strong sense of injustice about that. You can't say that Arsenal should have scored 2 or 3 more goals in those games. Goals just aren't that easy to come by, no matter who the opponent is. ManU only scored 1 late goal against Derby in mid March. Why didn't they just score 2more and put it out of reach? BTW, if not for some helpful refereeing, ManU would not have salvaged a point against Tottenham. Right now, Arsenal could EASILY be within 3 points of Man U and on their way to a CL semifinal against Chelsea. Instead, we're likely out of the Championship and definitely out of the CL. THAT is the reality of the very very very fine line between a great season and a trophyless one. Arsenal are really not that far from where they want to be.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say to a certain extent.Walcott should start the rest of the season in the striker position; it would be interesting to see if he can last the full 90 minutes as oppossed to just 20 minutes b4 the end when defenders start to tire.

Dont agree with you about Ben Arfa though. On the contrary I feel he is the exacy kind of player we lack at the moment. We play a good team game but, Van Persie apart, how many players do we have that can take on and beat defenders one on one.
One thing is for sure Wenger is going to have to be as ruthless as he has ever been in the summer months.Toure and Gallas don't work. We need a Sol Campbell-esque player to play along side one of them. Can't imagine Toure not playing when fit and Gallas is the captain, but a decision has to be made.
As for strikers, we can't bas Adebayor even though he missed a sitter.He will lead the forward line and score,but as well as he has done this year, with a creative midfield like ours his return should be better. Not sure who to buy cuz i think Eduardo is as clinical as they come. Shame he got injured.
As for Wenger being set in his ways, my worry is that he will buy nobody and bood players like fran merida and henri lansbury from the academy. If that's the case then, next may we will be saying 'next year is our year.'

Alar Helstein said...

Some of the reasoning here does not add up. If the teams that finished above us last season strengthened more than we did in the summer, how is it possible that we will finish at least third this season, being a lot closer to the top? Would it not be the case that, despite signing fewer players for less money, we have improved more than they have? This suggests that there is no linear causation between buying expensive players and improving the squad. It is conceivable that we will buy less than the others in the coming summer as well, yet improve more than they do. And looking at our current position, any more improvement for us can only mean winning the title.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tristan. Good point and well put. The fact is that I covered a fair number of topics in a compressed article and thus could not elaborate as much as I may have liked. I am not saying that success is intrinsically linked to spending, far from it. What I am saying is that however much we improve others around us will constantly do so as well. One cannot speak of linear causation in football because it simply does not exist. Things are not determined by equations, and problems not solved through calculations.

If you read the article I do not mention the words 'spend' or 'money', what I say is that players of the same caliber of our rivals must be added if we are to surpass them. Like I said Benzema, Villa, Ribery and Eto'o.

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