Thursday 29 January 2009

A decent away point

Firstly forgive me I didn't watch the game, unfortunately I was working, however I did have time to catch the highlights and read a few of the match reports floating around the Internet. I always find myself agreeing with Goodplaya's post match verdicts, they always seem to ooze the perspective and common sense that so many other people so blatantly lack.

Secondly this concept of 'luck' and 'deserving results'. We have a handy knack of scoring late goals and this is no new thing, I suspect there is much more to this than just 'luck', it's probably down to fitness and a bit of a never say die attitude. Yesterday we matched Everton on their home turf, in fact we arguably had the better chances in the game, other than the goal Everton didn't really have anything other than a half chance. The stats back this up, on the balance of play a draw seems a very fair result in the end.

Everton are a good side, they also played with a very defensive formation with a lot of men behind the ball and just Cahill up front on his own, anyone thinking we should go there and bang in three or four goals is frankly just plain naive. Everton went to Anfield last weekend and restricted Liverpool to only a couple of decent chances, they are a very solid side. It is not only naive to assume we should go there are pick up three points at a canter, but it is also arrogant and disrespectful to a good Everton side.

I know we are not going to win the league this year and I don't expect a medal for my remarkable foresight. On the negative last night Adebayor continued his run of poor form and seems worryingly unmotivated, while Denilson was played out of position at right midfield, probably a better option that persisting with Eboue though. On the plus the defense is looking much more solid with Johan Djourou cementing his place in the side, it did take an excellent Cahill header to break the deadlock, while RVP is really looking like a top player as a result of his continued injury free run in the side.

Some of the stuff I've read from Arsenal fans after this away point at Goodison beggars belief. I've even seen the performance described as 'dogsh*t' in some quarters. We have not had the season we all hoped for but results like this point away to Everton have not lost us the title, it is our sloppy defeats to sides like Stoke and Fulham earlier in the season that cost us so dearly. I fear that there is a lot of rage and aggression being inappropriately and unfairly vented at the moment. For example why is Cesc's absence suddenly seen as the root of all of our woes, I seem to remember him playing when we dropped so many points so lazily and his form had been well below par this season. Why can't we take some heart from a decent away point and a simply majestic late goal?


Ted said...

1-1 away at Everton is a perfectly decent result. Anyone who disagrees is a fuck wit.

Anonymous said...

A good battle and it put paid to the media idea that we can't mix it.I saw the game on ARSENAL TV and i thought we started well,for once,but then it turned into a war in mid-field which we didn't run from.RVP this season has stepped up and is trying to get this team back on track he was great tonite,djourou was a stalwart in defence he had a good battle with afro-man (bloke wearing harry enfield's scousers wig)and cahill(what a whinger!)Sagna done a clichy but other than that was solid and Clichy the same.The defence was strong and didn't buckle as Everton first chance on goal was on 55 min!!.
Midfield,we needed someone to put there foot on the ball and control the passing and it also needed that killer pass which i think Nasri could have provided but he played out of position on the left!Adebayor,i not going to waste my time with him!!!!
Agood battling display and at least we didn't lose,so hopefully we get 3 points against west ham on sat

Obsinho said...

1-1 is a perfectly decent result, but arguably nothing less than a win was needed if we are to challenge Villa.

There is a mix of hysteria and rationality in people's reactions. But the simple truth is that Everton are a good solid side, who will finish 3rd-6th most seasons. Same can be said for us.

Your reaction to that state of affairs is what places you as either a hysteric or a ratioanlist.

At the minute I'm a rationeric. Or hysteratioanlist. I know it's unrealistic, but I really believed in August 2008 that we had a great chance of something memorable this year.

Don't want Wenger sacked or anything dramatic/stupid, just a healthy process of stock-taking and decision making to be completed before next season.

Anonymous said...

great article, the glass if half-full, i enjoy your reasonableness instead of the unnecessary whining that goes on in other quarters.

it was a good result against a good side. the unbeaten run is up to 9 games (fingers crossed).

everyone goes through a bad patch, hopefully the arsenal have gone through theirs. hopefully villa (and chelsea) will hit some bad patches, and the arsenal will place top 4.


1979gooner said...

I think if we can keep hold of our best players, clear out the dead wood that was rotting the squad morale, and inject a smidgeon more bite to the squad then we can challenge next season.

What we cannot afford to do is let anyone stay who is not 100% up for a fight, no matter of their ability.

We lost too many players in the summer and didn't bring in the experience to replace it, hence this season has been great learning for the likes of song and denilson but it wa never going to result in a league title, they will be better players next season for it though.

Adebayor is a big concern for me, his work rate is not what it used to be, plus he hasn't scored enough goals, RVP can't keep his form up forever.

The likes of Gibbs, Wilshere, Vela, Ramsey are all growing up fast. While the likes of Song, Denilson, Djourou and Nasri are looking excellent players already.

Anonymous said...

Greetings everyone. I'm feeling a bit uneasy about sharing too many of my thoughts here today for fear of being flamed.

I suppose my perspective on our situation this season (carrying over from the end of last season), would be perceived as negative by some and I would be called names and told to go support Spurs or Chelsea. I try to be balanced and reasonable with my comments. But I think I will refrain today as to avoid kicking the hornets nest.

I just want to put this out there for consideration: As supporters, do you think that our degree of dissatisfaction and criticism is directly related to our degree of expectations for our club?

1979gooner said...

Hi Rhino,

It's partly related to expectations in my opinion,

however some of us are more inclined to be optimistic than others,

I also feel to some degree it can reflect one's attitude to life in general, you'll never be happy if you don't appreciate what you have, I'm not saying it's unhealthy to want more, but if you don't realise that you can always have more then you'll never be happy!

that probably makes bugger all sense

but back to the football, that RVP was fucking poetry in motion, sublime goal

Anonymous said...

Hello there 1979. Too right, absolute peach that RVP goal was.

I suppose I'm dissappointed this season because I feel this was all very avoidable if we would have strengthened in the summer. When the window closed, I thought we would struggle in this magnitude this season (it still hurts though).

And still, though our squad lacks the quality to win the league, I feel that we should be playing better than we have this season with the team we have. There is more wrong with the squad than just a lack of depth or too many inexperienced players. Because there IS a large amount of talent in the squad. But talent alone does not win football matches.

Which leads me to this question: what do you think could/ought to be done to improve our current plight? What would you do to solve our problems? I'd like to hear from anyone interested in voicing their thoughts.

I'm certain there is no single answer. Since our club is disjointed in many areas, we require improvement in multiple facets. So include your thoughts outside of just buying players.

1979gooner said...

I had a go at answering it in the post below. It's a long and complicated question that is hard to answer, and I reckon we need a lot more inside information to know what exactly needs to be done.

I feel sorting out the morale, getting rid of any players who are not 100% committed, and letting time heal a few problems will remedy a lot of our woes.

Once we've lost the uncommitted we could maybe do with one or two more players in their mid/late twenties with a bit of experience.

Having said that the negatives of this season will turn into positives next year, players who may not have had games if we'd brought in experience are now more experienced, the likes of song, djourou and denilson are far better players than on a year back.

We need to be 100% committed in all games, even against the lesser sides, I feel a big failing has been these lethergic performances where not all the team were up for it, in the premiership you need 11 players fighting every game, even your strikers need to defend. To win the league takes a lot of committment, so shedding the uncommitted would be my first step.

I think only Arsene knows who they are.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you've said there 1979. Without knowing what goes on inside the club, no one can really say for sure that other changes need to be made.

However, I wonder if there is a need to change/add some coaching staff. The defending seems amateur at times, particularly at corners as we all know (how about George Graham back as defensive coach?) :-) I do wonder sometimes how effective our training sessions are compared to other top teams.

And the dismissal of Bracewell-Smith, Edelman and even Dein raises questions and causes some embarrassment for the club. Is Gazidas meant to do the jobs of Dein and Edelman? Who challenges Mr. Wenger with Dein gone?

Then, of course, there is the issue with our struggles to make efficient transfers. Are we not as skilled as other clubs or is it all down to frugality?

Another area that could be questioned is how much mollycoddling Mr. Wenger gives the players. Would a good barracking be helpful from time to time when it's called for? I understand that Mr. Wenger doesn't do that in the press or post game interviews. But maybe he ought to be honest and publicly say we underperformed when we have and we need to get ourselves sorted so the players know they're being called out. Maybe he ought to drop players when they've been poor and sub them when they're struggling more often too so they know that they need to buck up their ideas or effort.

Anyroad, just spitballing some different thoughts I consider at times.

1979gooner said...

The transfer issue is probably down to the fact that Wenger doesn't like wasting money on dross, given how some other clubs do this for a living and end up bottom of the table, you can see where he's coming from.

The mollycoddling of players is something I don't think Arsene does, he just has a very honest and calm approach with players, there's no hair dryer at the Emirates for sure.

It's hard to know when to drop a player, as many times in the past he's proved us wrong when we said someone was not good enough, then they developed into a club legend!

I think he may have persisted with Eboue for too long on the right side of midfield, maybe he just can't admit he's wrong here. While I think Vela and Wilshere should have been given more match minutes recently.

I also think some people have a point when they argue that our young players are paid a bit too much, I think our wage policy is more socialist than most and it results in some of the young unproven players getting a lot of money and this must surely reduce their hunger a bit sometimes.

I do like the idea of a ceiling for the top salaries, however I think we should probably pay the developing players less, having said that would we be able to attract in the likes of Denilson, Vela et al if we paid them the same as other clubs were offering?

Obsinho said...

Good banter Rhino and 1979.

The level of disappointment is certainly linked to the level of expectations. We failed last season through a nasty cocktail of injury, misfortune and at times poor management. None of those things should expect to occur to the same lvele every season, so given a margin of only 4 points for the title last season, we should really have challenged this time.

During the Summer, a hell of a lot of bad feeling kicked off against Wenger. People wanted to see positive reactiosn to last seasons narrow miss. We got inaction and a level of amateurish dealings. Lots of people, Wenger included, said just believe in the players and give it time.

Straight away it was obvious this had not worked. Early performances were shcoking (I remember Ted after the first game against WBA saying it was the worst Arsenal team he could remember), and although results have improved, performances have not (barring one or two against the Top 4).

The options open to Wenger are the same as they always have been - buy players, develop players and make changes. To my mind he has not taken any of these options, and it is possible we will miss out on Champions League. This will be directly due to the manager's decisions, and sadly this could cost him and Arsenal dearly (apparently the Mirror claims we face financial "Armageddon" if we don't qualify for the champion's league - I am 100% sure this is rubbish).

WHat concerns me, is that none of the fans concerns are shared by the club. Granted fans' concerns are based on nothing but passion and Champ Manager so are mostly worthless, but to my mind the majority of vocal fans (in the stadium and on the web) are very unhappy.

Everyone wants what is best for their club, and the desire to win titles is natural. Equally you can't say that you WANT to finish 3rd/4th each season and have a cup run. That may be what you realistically get, but it will never be what you want and aspire for.

The trouble is, the club are doing their best to convince us they want to win titles with their PR(Diaby/Nasri/Wenger all have more "title" soundbites today)but in their business of running a club they are showing a remarkable lack of ambition.

This was probably long enough for a post, but I am not sure the blog deserves to suffer from my increasing doom and gloom every day.

Si said...

I agree with most of the comments here, but, Song looking an excellent player already??? Jesus wept. Rose tinted doesn't even come into it. Song is ball-ache bollocks.

Obsinho said...

Could everyone go to Arseblog and go to 25 minutes on the Arsecast then have a little listen for the next 5 minutes.....

If that doesn't put a smile on your face and put a sense of perspective on the situation then I don't know what will.

"wankers twats arseholes and fuckbags"