Sunday 24 February 2013

Negativity of a nasty minority is not helping

Firstly as I know some rather small minded individuals will be reading this and looking for another needless fight, I shall explain myself clearly and simply.  Yesterday saw us win a game of football against an Aston Villa side that were on a fairly reasonable run of form.  I know it was far from perfect, and yes, several of our recurrent problems, most notably our defensively susceptibility to the counter attack, were obvious.  However the side did show a lot of character, they rallied when it would have been far easier to let their heads drop, they fought back to get a vital win and the three points which keep us well in the race for the Champions League spots.

Some seem to think that games against Villa should be 'big games', the breathtaking arrogance shown by this kind of Arsenal supporter is demonstrative of a quite remarkable hypocrisy, as this brand of Arsenal fan is often quick to accuse our own players of complacency, their complacency is assuming that not every league game is a big important three points for the taking is so deeply hypocritical.  It is also this breed who never gives any credit to the opposition, any game not won in style is always to be blamed on someone from our own camp, it is the blame game, never show humility and never show any respect for the opposition.

Villa did well, their tactics were spot on, and although one can make a very strong argument that we should have been far wiser in our dealing with their swift counter attacks, credit must go to them, they also defended well for the most part.  Lambert does appear to be building a good young side and it will take him time, if they can stay up then they will only grow, the problem for them is that it is very much touch and go as to whether they will stay up, their lack of an ability to hold on to leads has cost them so many points in recent weeks.

I think Arsene needs to wake up and realise that the way we have played 4-3-3 is defensively extremely naive.  My personal view is that we do not have the correct players to play 4-3-3 adequately, and that Arsene has used it because it allows him to play numerous attacking central players.  The problem is that this has meant our side has frequently lacked defensive balance and often attacking width.  We were simply leaving ourselves outnumbered at the back on too many occasions yesterday, defenders were bombing forward and the gaps were not being plugged, so Villa often countered with a numerical advantage and this had to tell at some point, it has been a recurrent problem at the Emirates for many months now.

Whatever the manager's failings and whatever the inadequacies of certain players, it certainly does the team absolutely no good to get on their backs, everyone would benefit from the support of all the fans for all of our matches.  Unfortunately this isn't happening and a negative minority of our own support are really harming our chances.  Players like Gervinho may not be good enough, but do people honestly think it helps anyone other than our opposition to boo and barrack these individuals?  It is so so depressing and so so counter-productive.  I wonder how many of Bergkamp/Pires/Anelka/Wiltord/Henry/Toure would have been booed by this current crop of spoilt supporters, it is worth remembering how many of our greats took a long time to find their feet and benefited from the patience of our 'supporters'.

One player that it is absolutely vital the supporters get behind is the goalkeeper, especially when this goalkeeper is young and relatively inexperienced.  Some would do well to remember that Wojciech Szczesny has only player just over 70 first team games, and overall he has done a damn fine job for one so young.  He is the best young keeper out there for me, of course he has made errors, even the best experienced keepers will do this and every keeper goes through a bad run of form.  His error against Blackburn was poor, however he was not to blame for Munich's second goal, and yesterday he was given far too much criticism for Villa's goal, it was a belting low shot from Weimann, maybe he could have saved it, but it was certainly not a howler.  Our young keeper needs our support not the fickle criticism that he is getting from some of our 'support'.

So there you have it, I am sorry if I am short circuiting some of your 'Wenger Out' brains by criticising the manager and also urging you all to support all of our players all of the time, but frankly I am fed up to the back teeth with the fickle arrogance that some of our spoilt supporters are showing.  It is not big, it is not clever and most importantly is is not helping the club, in fact the only people it is helping is Tottenham and Chelsea in battling us for the CL spots.  So grow up, support the players when they are on the pitch and stop moaning like spoilt babies.  I have no problem with criticism of the manager, players and the board, but is must be done with respect, and at the right time and in the right place.  Abusing our own during home games is simply not on.


Unknown said...

You are being overly sympathetic to the team. At the start of a game the crowd is positive. Yesterday there were no negative noises until the players dropped into their complacent mode when we went one up. Then they stopped working hard (except Jack), played at a pedestrian pace, didn't look for the ball and were generally lethargic. Yes they upped their game after the equaliser but by then the mood had been set. The manager needs to know that we are not happy with his current decisions, during a game is the only time we have. I was critical of us against Blackburn and Villa. I actually felt the players tried their best against Munich and I did not criticise them for losing to a better team.

clockendjim said...

I completely agree with Paul Williams and I find the tone of your blog quite insulting
I was at the game yesterday and there was a great atmosphere at the start with the crowd really behind the team and the players seemed to react positively attacking at speed and scoring a good early goal - Oh Oh. Yes they took their foot of the pedal when if they had kept up the momentum with Villa rocking, they could have gone in at half-time 2 or 3 goals up.
Predicatively they slowed to a snail's pace mostly passing sideways; Diaby was particularly frustrating. It's no good excusing Szczesny because he is young; a top team should not have an inexperienced No1 learning the game at the expense of letting in soft goals. Can you imaging Petr Cech letting that long range shot past him - no way. I would take almost any keeper from the rest of the League; virtually every team, even those right down the bottom of the table have a superior No1 to ours
It is also very misleading to refer to 'the mindless minority'. If you have been at The Emirates as often as I have this season and talked to so many fans as I make a point of doing, no way is this a minority. Without fail everyone I have spoken to is unhappy with the situation and the phrase that keeps recurring is that Wenger has 'lost the plot'
I love the man but for whatever reasons he is not performing these days. Any other Manager would have been out of the door long ago. I would like to see him remain at the club but pushed upstairs. Then bring in a more dogmatic manager like Moyes who has performed miracles with no budget. I cannot see him putting up with the lethargic displays we are becoming used to

Aqu4rius said...

agree with both comments above...
are you Arsene in disguise?

Anonymous said...

I also agree with the first two comments. How else do fans get across that they are unhappy other than voice their discontent at matches? If anything, Arsenal fans have been extremely patient bearing in mind how long this has been going on. Yet another site to add to the Newsnow block list.

Unknown said...

Oh common chaps, take a reality check. We're 2 points behind Chelsea, whom in the last eighteen months have spent big. Mata, hazard, Oscar, Moses etc. Spending guarantees nothing. If spurs don't win against west ham, and we beat them we overtake them. Admittedly we are miles behind united, but so is everyone else.
I'm not blind and know there are issues with this team, but I'm also not running around calling for wengers head, that would e foolish. Support your team, or go glory hunt elsewhere.

Unknown said...

The message is to support your team and boo the opposition. How can anyone disagree?
Arsene hasn't given up trying, the players haven't given up playing, it's just some Arsenal supporters seemed to have stopped supporting, that is a fact.
I have been supporting Arsenal for nearly 30 years and even this team is one of the top four or five Arsenal sides I have seen. It is no where near the worst and NEVER have I felt that we should be beating all opposition just by turning up or even playing our best. Worst sides had Jensen, McGoldrick and Keown in midfield, Chris Kiwomya up front and Glenn Helder running the ball straight out of the stadium, that was dire, but I still supported those players and my team.

Unknown said...

It`s supporters like you that will guarantee that we stay in this decline as just like Wenger, you are happy with a C/L place and the occasional cup run!

Unknown said...

Sadly these days I am an armchair fan but I went to hundreds of games at Highbury during the 70's and 80's and I do not remember ever hearing our team being booed off. Not once!
While I agree with many that we need changes it saddens me to hear my clubs so called supporters booing our team. It is clearly not helping matters.
In my days at Highbury we had no internet or people commenting, we did our moaning to each other in the stands rather than spitting vitriol online. Gooner for life.

1979gooner said...

Oh dear, sad that some of you have completely missed the point as I predicted you would!

As Richard and Harjit point out, the simple point is that getting on the back of the team and the players at games is hurting us.

I shall repeat for those of you who feign the feeling of being insulted because you would rather do this than confront this obvious fact, if everyone really got behind the team at games then we would do better and the niggling atmosphere is overtly hurting us.

I am not being sympathetic to the team, I am more than happy to admit we are not good enough in certain areas and that clear tactical errors have been made for a long time. If you had read this blog for a while you would realise this to be the case.

Simple points are:

1. Not getting behind the team during games is counter productive and it is hurting the players and the club.

2. Not getting behind the team at games is only helping our opponents and rivals.

3. One has to see things in some kind of context and it is not a realistic option to sack Arsene mid season with no replacement lined up.

4. Scapegoating individuals is not helpful and merely results in 1 and 2.

Simple points all, all of which several of you fail to acknowledge or answer.

Overall I would make the point that there are still a hell of a lot of great fans who get behind the team and who raise the volume when we go behind.

I would just like to reiterate that we do not need the negative whingers who are constantly undermining the team and certain players, they help no one but our opponents.

Digger said...

With respect Allan. I've seen players and the team booed off and heard the slow hand clap.It always sounded eerie because it was usually in a half filled stadium, because the other fans had already voted with their feet. Before the internet that was how the fans told the board that they had had enough with the manager and the team. We are not there yet, but be assured that the fans are unhappy. This usually preceded the manager being sacked, or players being sold.
The divide and rule policy of the club is successful because some fans blame the players, some the manager, some the board and the most misguided...blame each other.Whoever or whatever the problems are, because we now all speak Wenglish, we can't articulate them, but like Arsenal supporters from years gone by, we know it when we see it.

NBG said...

To look at it from a slightly different perspective, how would you compare the relevant performances of; a) The Team and b) The Supporters.
So far as the Team are concerned there is an objective measure of performance, I.e. league position, currently 5th of 20.
So far as the Supporters are concerned looking at it on a similar basis, it is more subjective. I'll leave you to make your own assessment but mine are; Home 13th of 20. Away 8th of 20. This gives an average of say 10th of 20.
Not a scientific approach, just a gut feeling but it seems to me that the Team deserve better support than they've got and the Supporters don't deserve the team they've got. What can be said of supporters who jeer and boo at their own team? From my perspective, arrogant, ignorant and self-absorbed. It simply wouldn't have been tolerated on the North Bank in the 60's and 70's.
I honestly despair for Arsenal. Not because of the pathetically weak board or the financially focused owner but because of the useless, self pitying fan base they have attracted over the last 15 years or so. Arsenal will never be successful until the supporters wholeheartedly get behind whatever team is on the pitch representing the club rather than openly and continually criticising any player who fails to fit into some nonsensical 'superstar' model.

Unknown said...

The fans are the initiators and the sustainers of the current problems facing the club. But most ot the critics would not back out because they are working for an insider bent of rubbishing the present set up. This not to say that both manager and players do not need to sit up but the fans must also behave well and support the team.

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clockendjim said...

The whole of your argument is shot down if you were at the game on Saturday.
The fans really got behind the team at the start of the game, as good an atmosphere as any I have experienced at The Emirates, which after the Blackburn & Bayern Munich debacles I thought was terrific. After the opening goal we were then treated once more to the lackadaisical Sunday morning stroll around the park that is becoming the norm from this current team. Can you blame the fans for not liking this ?
Most fans remember the up and at 'em approach of the Adams, Viera, Henry, Ljungberg days, never letting the opposition rest, which is just not there anymore - why?
We are paying the highest ticket prices in Europe to watch a team that at times just doesn't seem to care
There is something missing from the heart of this squad and it can only be from lack of direction from the management

Uncle Mike said...

I agree with everything you said except the Villa goal. In my opinion, Szczesny totally botched it. But plenty of goalies botch shots. Look what both France and Man U won with Fabien Barthez, yet he's best known for his "Taxi for Barthez" moments, including 2 from Henry in one game. I'm certainly willing to give Szcz the benefit of the doubt -- and not just because I'm also Polish.

Paul: You think the manager doesn't know? At this stage, he knows what he's doing more than any of the 60,000 paying customers, because he's seen more of the players and the in-house situation than they ever could. The fact that he's kept us in the CL every year since 1998-99, in spite of injuries, disloyalties, tap-ups and suspicious calls proves this. Barring a crime, the Wenger Outers are stuck with Arsene until at least May 2014, get used to it. He hasn't lost the plot, Jim: He's still very much writing it.

Shaun: We are NOT in decline. The drop from 2004 to '05 was a decline, and most clubs would kill for a decline like that. From '05 to '13 may be stagnation, but it's not decline, and most clubs would kill for a stagnation like that. Spurs, for example.