Tuesday 30 December 2008

Because we're worth it

Some people are getting more than a little tiresome with their endless negativity. Apparently this is the worst Arsenal side ever and it's the worst Arsenal defence ever too. Some people are even seeing Bruce Rioch's Arsenal days as some kind of blissful utopia. It's strange how far from reality one can drift.

I'd just like to point a few things out to the more negative amongst us. When Bruce Rioch managed us and we scraped fifth we were not a great side, the football was invariably pretty dire and we were pretty reliant on Bergkamp or Wright nicking a goal. The grass was most definitely not greener back then.

Currently we sit in fourth place, although Villa may well overtake us tonight, I admit we're not going to win the league, however it's not the bloody end of the world. There have been some poor performances, however there have been some outstanding ones too, certainly our lack of experience and depth of experience may well have been the cause of this lack of consistency.

There's no doubt that some players who have been starting are not good enough if you're going to be challenging for the title, however this does not mean that these players deserve routine abuse and criticism, as if they are the worst players in history to ever pull on an Arsenal shirt. Some people have remarkably short memories, I will just mention the names Kiwomya, Helder, McGoldrick, Morrow and there are many more.

I've watched Manu, Chelsea or Liverpool churn out unspectacular grinding wins this season on a rather frequent basis, just as Manu did against Boro last night. Boro could easily have taken the lead, they had a great spell early in the second half, Manu got the lucky goal and won in the end. It wasn't dissimilar to the way in which we ground out the Pompey win, yet I doubt their supporters will be so very critical and ungrateful in victory with the three points.

The way in which the manager has taken criticism is also beyond belief. Although there's no doubt he is to blame to a degree, he is criticised whatever he does these days. If he doesn't criticise the players he's accused of being overprotective of them, I shudder to think how badly our young experienced squad would have reacted to being slated in the press by their manager.

The inconsistency of this year has been down to mainly our lack of experience in the team, but also slightly down some other factors including unfortunate injuries to the likes of Walcott, Rosicky et al leaving as short in certain areas. I don't think it's been down to a lack of effort, a lack of experience - yes, a lack of quality in certain areas - yes, a lack of effort - no.

It's very easy for Tony Adams to comment on, but one should remember that without the rose tinted spectacles of retrospect Tony did have his problems off and on the pitch and was hardly the perfect role model for a long portion of his career. An interesting question, but would fans now react in the same way and be able to forgive a player for such unprofessional behaviour? I'm betting that the current spoilt breed would want the alcoholic Adams of yesteryear kicked out the club straight away without a chance for any support and a recovery.

If we put eleven forty year olds on the pitch and then they unsurprisingly got hammered on a regular basis, would it then be sensible to question the attitude of these players? I think not, and I think this also applies to our extremely young and inexperienced Arsenal side. Some questions are not so legitimate or clever. The buck does stop to some extent with the manager, although there are still quite a few things well outside of his control, but the lack of experience in our squad appears a very legitimate point to make.

However despite the disappointment of this season so far, let's not become so spoilt and negative then we stop even enjoying the victories, that we stop appreciating the many positives of being an Arsenal fan this season. In fact I remember very clearly being ecstatic when we clinched the UEFA cup spot on the final day of the 95/6 season, I get the distinct feeling that our new spoilt breed of fan would probably be whinging whatever the end result. If you always look for the negative then you shall find it, especially if your memory is so short that you ignore all of recent history and lose a sense of perspective.

The same ungrateful whinging was far too prevalent last season as well, we narrowly missed out on the title, and this was largely down to some shocking refereeing in key games. We punched way above our weight, played some sparking football and only went out of Europe because of some dutch theatrics. True there were no trophies, but it was a good season. We should be very careful for what we wish for, because there are plenty of premiership sides which have spent a lot more money than us and are doing considerably worse. We should be very careful, losing perspective and forgetting the past is dangerous, one can start taking things for granted, for example we all know what happens when people start taking peace for granted.


Jay-bear said...

What a post!! I completely agree with you. For a short time now i've been thinking like most fans how bad our season been, we need to improve here, bye new players bla bla bla, but I see the big picture, you've opened my eyes.keep the faith!

Ted said...

well said.

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more with this post mate, spot on!!!

Have some faith in your team you whinging fans out there we are THE ARSENAL!!!

And it's not all gloom I say we are missing a lot of players inlcuding Cesc now and we need to be patient now, it certainly not our best season but we're still there and if you think this aint goon enough go and support another team like Totenscum who not far off the relegation zone!!!

Happy New Year to EVERYONE!!!

1979gooner said...

indeed happy new year to all gooners!

it would be great if we could generate the noise that we did second half versus liverpool for all our home games

come on you reds

Anonymous said...

your right,we having a bit of a rough season but then there are about 15-16 other clubs in the league who wish there were having our rough season.I remember in the seventies when we had a few relegation battles and you could go for a pie at half time and your spot was still open when you returned(memories hahaha).      It is down to experience and if Arsene god gets the 2/3 players needed then these so-called fans can stop the bitching and go  follow someone else!!!!!!!!.It's just one of those seasons half a team out injured and a couple of good buys we be back on track.The reserves ,on watching them, need another year or so to be able to hold they own in the premiership but that's the beauty of it it's all gravy in the future.So have faith

1979gooner said...

cheers exiled gooner,

my dad is always keen to remind me of the spells in the 70s/80s when we were utterly dire

i guess we have a lot of fans who weren't around then and who have made no effort to appreciate that those days existed

the quality of football that we have become used to is second to none, it's easy to start taking it for granted, i know i do sometimes

it's amazing how things can turn around in football, look at the likes of leeds and forest!

Anonymous said...

Great post.
completely agree.


Anonymous said...

Thanks 1979gooner.
(i still got me own teeth hahaha)
your right again about the way we play the beautiful game and we should remember the way we have won the leagues and cups since 98.We have not like scum utd,chelski etc gone out and thrown money at players to win.Arsene has brought players but there have been as you say nobodies and he has made them into great players.He has created teams to play fantastic football so to blot the years before 98 away as if it were a dream.as supporters we all moan and curse and think we know better but could any of us predict the injuries we have now.Like everyone after last season i thought we win it this year but that's football(hahaha).So keep the faith we do it next year.

Anonymous said...

Why do we still have Nicklas Bendtner, the guy literally sucks, we need new players, Edi's form lately sucks as well. Sagne, Van Per Se are the only 2 players really playin well.

Anonymous said...

A very good post and 1 that that needs to said!.When i can get to the emirates me and my brother listen to this negative air and we just laugh.Like exiledgooner we can remember the 70's and 80's when we were a young side but not winning jack.You are correct in saying that it's the new generation of supporters but i too like all fans shout and scream when things ain't going well.In the last l0 years we have been spoilt with trophies that before we only dreamed of and done without ,as noted before,throwing millions around.This season just proved with the injuries we lack strength in depth and some of the younger players are no up to the plate but there has been games when last years form has come thru like bolton away etc.If some think this the worse Arsenal then there should watch graham's title winning team's.If we scored more than 1 goal it was a goal rush but graham let 1 of the best players we ever had go ROCKY ROCASTLE(r.i.p).We didn't moan about the 1-0's then and we weren't pretty but we got 2 titles.so believe in Arsenal and be patient.

K man said...

Good post 1979, as ever a bit of perspective is much needed.

Anyway, our whinging fans should get what they want shortly if the tabloids are to be believed - I think we were linked with about 12 new players this morning.

I'd watch a Diaby/Denilson midfield over Selley/Hillier anyday!

Happy new year to everyone. Let's hope 2009 is a good one for our beloved club.

1979gooner said...

indeed, happy new year everyone in advance

good point about the george graham sides, hardly pleasing on the eye were they!

if you stop appreciating what you've got, then it's as if you'll never be happy whatever is achieved in the future