Tuesday 26 August 2008

Cracks in Arsene's foundations?

Life is certainly not black and white, and as I am becoming increasingly confused and bemused about goings on at Arsenal I am finding it impossible to see things with much clarity at the moment. Le Boss has been defending his captain:

"We did not play well as a team, everybody knows that and William is no more guilty than anybody else"

William is the club captain, I'd argue that he should be more responsible than any other player for the motivation of his troops. Le Boss has also been talking more about the defeat:

"When you have an away game, it can happen that you are caught for 20 or 30 minutes. But I know my squad is good, my team is good, our spirit is good. We are intelligent enough to know we did not play well , but we know as well we have the needed quality to respond."

“Your desire is to play well and win. No matter how much experience you have, if you don’t play well you have more chances to lose than to win.”

Arsene is a great manager, however some of these comments betray a slightly twisted perspective on events in my eyes. We were not caught for 20 or 30 minutes, we were poor for virtually the whole ninety. Experience can sometimes be very useful, obviously having a team of geriatrics is not a good idea, but having too many inexperienced kids without the old heads can sometimes reduce one's chances of getting the win.

I would have rubbished articles like this a few months ago, however having seen several experienced players leave without being replaced, I am starting to agree with certain strands of the logic used. I genuinely expected some experience to be brought in this summer and now it sadly looks as if it won't be happening.

In my opinion our squad is most definitely not 'strong' in certain areas, bringing in Silvestre and getting rid of the dedicated big Phil seems to be something that is rather incomprehensible to many others as well as I. Arsene is no God, he's proven himself to be a rather handy manager over the years, so much so that his mistakes have been remarkably rare. However I can't help but notice that he's given us a few good reasons to begin to doubt him of late, the Gallas captaincy, our inability to defend simple aerial balls, our obvious weakness in the centre of midfield, Eboue as a first choice right midfielder, to name but a few.

I hope Arsene proves me wrong. It has also been pointed out to me that maybe our finances are not quite as solid as the club would have us believe, there is precious little evidence behind this rumour though. No matter how hard I try to ignore these doubts about Arsene, they simply will not go away. I have enormous respect for the principles that he adheres to, the beautiful football and fair play. However practically I just think we look too small and too weak to win the Premiership this time around, we can still out football anyone on our day, but do we really have the ability to keep clean sheets and grind out one nils on those bitterly cold November nights up North?


Si said...

Clean sheets up North in November? Forget it mate, sunny days in the south are going to be trying enough. Ade - hope you can hit the target this week, it's the big bloody thing with an onion bag on it. Gallas - maybe have a word with some of the players, pick them up, give them some motivation - or is that beyond your amazing abilities as a captain? Fabregas - Let's wrap him up in cotton wool during the week and save him for the weekend.Eboue - fuck off.

Obsinho said...

Let's get off Eboue's back now shall we. He's been arguably our best player of this albeit young season, and despite his limitations he is giving it his all.

He is a right back, masquerading as a right midfielder playing as a make shift defensive midfielder. And he has done alright.

Si said...

You may have a point there regarding Eboue, but believe me the only reason he is looking ok is that eveyone else is playing below par.

Anonymous said...

Leave off Eboue for crying out loud. Who would you rather have on right wing when your midfield is getting pressed and hit hard- the rabbit in headlights Walcott?

We would have got something out of the game if Song had started alongside Denilson with Eboue on the right.

Walcott is awful at the moment. He's offereing nothing- nothing offensively, nothing defensively.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal is very lucky that they have got someone like Arsene Wenger during the tough time Arsenal is going through for few years now. Following the establishment of Emirates stadium, Arsenal is going through a tough time, but still Wenger is guiding the team excellently well.

Walcott is potential and skilled, but very young. So, I think, he should be given more time to get the best out of him. I think, we should not forget what Eboue can offer to us. He has even proved his skill already.

Anonymous said...

we suck.

Anonymous said...

When we visit a top team, we're gonna get broken in two. If cesc gets injured again we should put in Jack just to see how far gerrard can kick him.

Anonymous said...

Walcott is skilled and very young, but mostly he's very skilled at being young. Fooball 101 Playa vs. Piece of crap; Nasri is a Playa, Walcott is a Piece of crap. As long as we've got pieces of crap on the pitch taking the place of Playas, we're fooked.

Anonymous said...

I’m actually fine with Gallas leaving the club. He’s our best cb but he’s also the biggest asshole the club has had in 20 years, since ol’ whats his name. The way Gallas screamed like a girl at Djourou and then the way Gallas played on Saturday? No wonder Djourou asked to be loaned out.

I think Gallas is gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that coz there isn’t, but he’s clearly having an identity crisis out there and it’s affecting the team negatively. Gallas has to decide once and for all if he’s gay or not. If he is gay, that’s fine coz so is Wenger and they’ll make a cute couple. If he’s not gay, then he should stop acting so effeminate and confusing all the gay people. Seriously because having a gay/not gay identity crisis is flippin’ out the entire squad. Did you see Gallas touching Toure’s balls on Saturday? That’s why Wenger had to sub in Song because Toure just aint that way and Song had fresh legs so he could run away from Gallas if he had to, which I think he did a couple of times. Gallas, you old ass-watcher, you old ball fondler you, just stop that, keep it in the locker room, ffs.

1979gooner said...


Arseblogger seems to agree.

We should be fair to Eboue, he's not of sufficient quality to be a starter in the midfield of a top side, however he's a decent squad player and at least he tries hard.

Obsinho said...

I agree fully with Arseblogger. I am a Wenger fan, but he currently managing in a fashion that would make Fat Sam wince.

He is making terrible decisions and saying stupid things. He is a great manager and a clever man.

Arsene, or the Club, redress whatever has gone wrong. PLease.....

Ted said...

Good post 1979. I watched a bit of Arsenal v Spurs on Arsenal TV last night - the 2004 Invincibles winning the league at Shite Hart Lane. Brilliant stuff. The midfield was Gilberto, Edu, Vieira and Pires. Ljungberg was injured for that game, I think, but played 40 games for the Invincibles. Ray Parlour (the Romford Pele) also played about 30 games that year.

Thats 6 good names to pick from for midfield, plus Wiltord and Reyes could drop wide if AW fancied a 4-5-1 formation.

It was great to see them play again, but it was like watching ghosts. I simply cannot believe that it was only 4 years ago that our squad was so massively strong.

Something has gone badly wrong recently.

Obsinho said...

I know 1979 has a chequered past with Le Grove, but they seem to be starting the idea of finding a way to get some answers from the club.

Now I am sure they will go about this in an explosion of rage and vitriol, but if handled well could have some impact.

I would say it may be worth considering a "truce" in the blogging world and finding a way to carry theses concerns to the club. I'd say that a high % of bloggers are regular Emiartes attendees at the least, Season ticket and shareholders will also make up a proportion - i.e. despite different views we are all Gooners. And Gooners the club have an interest in.

This may be naive, but the ground swell of fears and concerns has grown very high now.

Ted said...

Obs - not quite sure what you mean, but if you think that the Board of Arsenal Plc is going to give a group of angry bloggers some inside information to quell our rage, then think again.

Also, whilst we all clamour for answers (and signings) we should remember than no-one has spent big this summer. Not even Chelsea (depending on the Robinho deal going through). Manure have spent nothing (so far). Liverpool have had to sell in order to buy. Newcastle have not spent. Blackbrun have not spent the money from Bentley. Aston Villa have not spent much. Its all peanuts compared to 12 months ago.

The only exception is Spurs, who will have to take whatever Manure are offering for Berbatov this week, otherwise they will be right up the creek. Happy days.

Apparently the Emirates has not sold out for tonights game. If I was in charge of the purse strings, I would be saying that it is far more difficult to finance a £30m player now and perhaps its a risk we should avoid.

Obsinho said...

As I said, it's a naive idea, and not one bourne of the expectation that we'd get answers. But, Blogging does carry some media weight, and if handled well can be a potent tool - look at the bullshit transfer stories people got going last year.

And I don't think it is an issue of the spending that concerns me, or from your comments on the 2004 game, but it is the losses to the squad that are of concern.

1979gooner said...

There's not much point throwing toys out of a pram and getting angry.

I've only had an issue with people who simply don't allow those with a different opinion to politely express their opinion.

There's something not right at the moment, if someone has some sensible adult ideas about how to go about addressing it then I'm all ears, however if they're going to throw around toys to get attention, then I won't be paying attention.

Ted said...

This quote from AW is on the Telegraph website about the Fulham game:

"I don't remember being that angry after a game," Wenger said. "I was furious because we didn't create a lot."

I think AW knows full well how we all feel.

K man said...

I think our expectations may be too high for the club.

Last season I thought we did remarkably well to finish 4 points off top. Our squad has slightly worsened over the summer while the other big 3 have improved - Deco and Bosingwa have improved Chelsea, Berbatov will improve Man U and Liverpool have signed Robbie Keane.

For me, FLamin was our best player last season. We clearly are going to miss him this season because we don;t currently have an adequate replacement.

My expectations are now that a top 4 finish and decent cup run (hopefully in the Champions League) would be respectable - anything more than that would be a bonus - that's the way I see it.

There are lots of problem areas in the team that need fixing before we can challenge again for the title - goalkeeper is ordinary; centre backs can't play together or deal with the aerial threat; no one is winning the tackles in midfield and the wingers aren't scoring a la pires and freddie; ade is sulking and rvp gets injured.

But at least you can rely on spurs to be even worse...

Obsinho said...

But 4 yeqars ago we were invincible - why should we now aim for 4th? And should we accept that a our aims?

Is the fact that we cannot compete financially with CHelsea/United? If so, and if even we cannot compete then the FA must do something as how are other clubs supposed to.

Is the fact that we cannot compete at the moment as the Emirates stadium move has crippled us? If so, who is taking the fall for this and how long will this last?

Is the fact that we cannot compete because AW has decided that we will only use youth players, and has self-imposed limits on his spending and his salary budgets?

1979gooner said...

Competing with Chelsea is impossible for one thing, as they can spend like no other club, making massive yearly losses as a club.

Also we are not yet quite as big as Manure as a club, turnover wise etc.

However we do not to need to be the club that we currently are, ie weak squad in certain areas and the obvious lack of experience.

It's not so much a matter of money, it's a matter of judgement for me.

Gallas and Toure don't work for me as a top premiership pairing at the back.

Our lack of a top defensive midfielder is also ominous, making the decision to play Song at the back to look bizarre to say the least.

Si said...

Last night, when Song went in the middle for Denilson I thought our shape improved. He could definately play there. I'd still go for Alonso though. Lots of people think he wouldn't work, but I've seen him chase back aplenty, plus he's an intelligent enough player to have to learn a new side to his game. It would be obvious to him and all and sundry that Cesc is our creative midfielder and that he would have to play a more defensive role. But if we don't get him; Song for me.
And to everyone who said get off Eboue's back... did they go to last night's match? He was fucking dire!
Nasri is a natural, I thought he was brilliant and Theo's goal was a beauty. Feel a lot better than I did after Fulham that's for sure.

Obsinho said...

I did go to last night's match and once again I thought Eboue did well.

He played no worse than Nasri, and although he didn't get a goal, he did enough to get a few ironic cheers, including one drag-back tat if cesc had done we would have been crowing about.

Thing is though, the fans opinion of him is such that he is never going to be seen as a good player.

Si said...

Bollocks, Eboue was pony mate.