Oh dear oh dear and I'm not talking of Arsenal's performance last night, I thought our young side fought hard and gave a decent account of themselves against City's heartless mercenaries. For most of the game you couldn't tell which side was made of young hopefuls and which was made of thirty million pound internationals. The difference between the sides was that class and penetration in the final third.
The behaviour of Mark Hughes and a few of the city players was nothing short of a complete and utter embarrassment. Hughes's pathetic words are beneath contempt, he pretends Arsene is a sore loser and that is the sole reason for the lack of hand shaking at the end, nothing could be further from the truth. Hughes behaved like a caveman on steroids last night, strutting around aggressively and abusing Arsene with some rather below the belt insults. Arseblogger has it spot on, Arsene's actions took a lot of courage, he acted on a matter of principle, there is simply no obligation to offer your hand at the end of game in which your opposition number has shown you less than zero respect for the entirity. The irony of it all is that the bullying Hughes has the audacity to accuse Arsene of not 'knowing how to behave', pot, kettle and all that.
The xenophobia in the English media and a rather large conglomerate of the English football establishment is blatant. This appalling behaviour that Arsene has been subjected to has happened on numerous previous occasions. In particular I recall Alan Pardew, Phil Brown and Brian Horton all getting away with murder and not getting any criticism or punishment for their actions. It seems to me that the FA have no desire at all to clamp down on the bad behaviour that is endemic in certain quarters of the English game, in this I include the appalling dissent that referees are subjected to from certain teams and players, for example Craig Bellamy's consistent barracking of the ref last night. It seems that the game is almost lawless for some people.
Overall I thought that our young side deserved to come out of yesterday's game with a lot of credit. We had Djourou, RVP, Bendtner, Senderos, Clichy, Gibbs, Sagna and Walcott all out injured. So the side played City's first team was in reality a slightly weak second string side. We competed well for most of the game, ironically we played some better stuff in the second half and this was when we conceded the goals. The first saw Eboue let Tevez come inside too easily and then Song went to ground far too easily, Tevez's finish was top notch. The second was a brilliant shot from Wright-Phillips but Silvestre was backing off a little too readily. Vela worked his socks off up front but was mainly limited to half chances, he did have one good break in the first half but he couldn't quite steer it goal wards when played through having outpaced Lescott.
The midfield played some tidy football but there wasn't nearly enough support for Vela, we had three neat small ball players on the field in Merida, Rosicky and Wilshere but no one who could hold the ball up or knock people out the way. With two of our top strikers injured we have been left well short of options up front. Fabianski looked very solid and confident. Silvestre had a strange game, looking good at times, but at others making some rather poor decisions. Traore put in a good shift and I thought Eboue was pretty handy on the whole. The midfield worked hard but were too lightweight, we gave the ball away far too freely at times. Again it was no 3-0 game, but if this trend continues we shall all get fed up with this kind of consolation.
Mark Hughes is Sean Avery, Arsene Wenger is Martin Brodeur. If you're not familiar with hockey, look the names up and you'll see a very apt parallel.
What was it Wenger said after the 4-2 game with them? "Ninety-nine will say it was wrong, and the other will be Mark Hughes." I don't know how to say "Bingo" in French, but he was right.
Hughes is Welsh, right? Do the Welsh have a name for their chavs? I think the Scots call them neds. Here in the U.S., we don't have a single name for them, unless you count "a$$holes."
there is simply no obligation to offer your hand at the end of game in which your opposition number has shown you less than zero respect for the entirity
No one says it better than you.
After having read a lot of blog posts on last night's game, I agree with your assessment more than any other. We must understand that Wenger never intends to emphasize the Carling Cup and it was clear that he instructed his senior players to avoid injuries because he needs them for more important ocmpetitions. Last night's loss did not bohter me at all. This weekend's game against Stoke is much more important and a good result is vital. I'm looking forward to it.
i agree 100%
you can't have it both ways with the carling cup as some of arsene's critics seem to insist upon
the young players develop and learn so much as a result of the exposure they get
stoke is the important game and we need 3 points there
any result away to man city would have been a miracle really, the quarters was a good result with the reserves and a lot of people forget that as no other team actually players a proper reserve side
THANK YOU! Excellent, excellent post! Arseblogger and onlinegooner have it exactly right. Also, Amy Lawrence at the Guardian had a very good piece on this peculiar English obsession with shaking hands that simply doesn't exist in other football countries:
In other countries it's just not an issue. Hughes' moral hypocrisy in whinging to the media is disgusting. He hates Arsene and deliberately baited him, insulted him, cursed at him, disrespected him during the entire match -- and AW's just supposed to ignore it and shake his hand??? What crap! Brown, Allardyce, Horton and Hughes go running to the media when they're disrespected yet Arsene gets the most abuse by opposition managers and never complains.
I'm not too bothered by the loss either but I'm not as positive about it as you are. Forget the young players, look at how awful our senior players were -- they provided no leadership, played with no commitment and played like they wanted to be somewhere else. The team showed the same problem shown at Chelsea: unwillingness to fight for the ball. We're great when we have the ball but refuse to fight for it when we don't.
The team is going through a period of (mini-)adjustment: players out with injuries (RvP, Bendtner, Diaby), players coming back from injury (Walcott, Nasri) so the understanding is missing. The team play essentially the same way with or without RvP but are much more effective when RvP is on the pitch. It is because Robin knows how to hold off his marker and get his teammates involved. Eduardo and Vela need to learn to play the same way although I think Vela looks more suited to the center forward role.
Without a center forward with the skill and some strength to hold up the ball, Arsenal are going to face teams after teams that clog the middle to stop the passing game.
Sparky is a bad winner and an even poor loser. Who do you think taught him?
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