Daily Archives: April 13, 2011
I’ll start today’s post with my routine apologies. I want to apologize for not writing a post yesterday. I spent all day waiting for a bloody passport that I didn’t still get so I devoted a lot of time sleeping like a bear that’s ready for hibernation. I also want to apologize for an error I made in my previous post about rVp.
“Any fool can defend his mistakes as most fools do but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistake.”
I wrote this in my last post.
“With his amazing technical ability with the ball, it’s still bemusing to know that the last time rVp scored a free kick was in 2007 in that 3-2 victory against Sunderland.”
I was reminded yesterday by Chuck Bass through my BlackBerry Messenger that rVp’s last free kick was scored on New Year’s day against Birmingham City. It deflected off some bloke before beating Foster Benny.
We’ll good to know that my esteemed readers read in between the lines in any post I write but we also have to remember that mistakes are human. The last time I checked, bloggers are humans too. 🙂
Yesterday saw the 1st set of Champs League quarter finals concluded. Barca had enough in their gas to see off Shakhtar. The Champions League semifinal soil needed an English fertilizer so league leaders and treble seekers ManUre United did enough to see off the threat of Chelshit FC. Aztec Warrior Javier ChiChi slammed the roof after Tall Leprechaun O’ Shea gave a nice pass to Hugh Giggs Hefner before the old hag sent a good assist for the goal.
I saw this tweet after the goal was scored.
“@dconq: If football was like academics, Giggs would have a PhD”
If a player like Giggs holds a footballing PhD, a player like £50m Torres won’t have a high school certificate because at club level he has only won the Liga Adelante with Atletico in the 2001/02 season. He should thank his lucky stars that he has Spanish Alien DNA in his body so the European and World Cup medal is somewhere in his cabinet.
The Drog Man equalized for Chelshit but Wong Fei-Hong lived up to his personal hype as ManUre’s big game player to score the killer goal that has sent Carlo the Cannibal’s stooges on a trophyless adventure. Carlo shouldn’t be bothered because the membership duration for Club Trophyless is just for one year but he can chose to renew his club’s membership should he please. AW the Alchemist has renewed his club’s membership for 5 years in a fucking row and Club Trophyless is getting tired of us. Liverpool just renewed their membership for the 5th year running.
American Billizillionaire Stan Kroenke acquired 62.89% percent of our shares and a takeover is imminent because of the rule book. It’s now left for Alisher Usmanov to sell his 27% stake at the club to Mr. Kroenke. Since issues about Kroenke this and Kroenke that has dominated the headlines, I felt that today’s post will be a little bit spicy and different from others.
I’m writing about the reasons why Arsenal remains a core member of Club Trophyless from my own perspective so you have to remember that it’s my own opinion. Remember that “opinions are like arseholes, everybody’s got one”. This is my own arsehole…..in meant to write opinion there
AW the Alchemist has come under increasing scrutiny recently as his Gunners team again looks set to end the season without a trophy. In a season that promised much, Arsenal was gunning for all the competitions football as a sport had to offer at the start of 2011.
A Szczesny-Koscielny cock-up cost Arsenal the Carling Spoon, a very lame performance coupled with the fact that we played against 7 defenders cost us the FA Cup while Bussy the ref’s incompetence and Szczesny untimely injury cost us the Champions League.
A win over relegation-threatened Blackpool helped ease the situation for AW the Alchemist, but a considerable point gap and some unconvincing player performances means it’s unlikely the Frenchman will get his saving grace with Premier League glory.
AW the Alchemist literally brought out that white flag saying that 2nd place would be labeled as a success.
Such comments haven’t gone down well with large sections of the Arsenal support, further disappointed to hear that qualifying for the Champions League is more important than winning titles.
Listed below are few of the reasons I feel that makes Arsenal FC a core member of Club Trophyless.
Same ol’ Same ol’ Arsenal
We all know how Arsenal plays, intricate passing, technical awareness, use of a playmaker and the winger with the ultimate aim of trying to pass the ball into the net. They tend to forget that the perfect goal won’t give you 6 points. After sharing 24 passes before Vela put the icing on the Gunner baked cake, if Bolton were a goal up and the game would have ended in a draw because the scoreboard would’ve written “1-1”.
The midfield is crucial for the Gunners, with Jack Wilshere pulling the strings and Cesc Fabregas often being the main outlet between midfield and attack. The wingers also play their role, providing width in the final third, willing to feed the ball to the central striker, with the fullbacks occasionally getting forward and overlapping the wingers, try to double-team the opposition defenders.
And that’s the problem exactly. We all know how Arsenal plays. Same old predictable Arsenal, using the wings, passing the ball around, making sure every attack goes through the playmaker (i.e. Fabregas) or the wingers or both. Have those players consistently marked and it suddenly becomes a lot harder for Arsenal, who fail to produce a Plan B in the hope that like FC Barcelona, their Plan A will come to fruition eventually.
AW the Alchemist shows great faith in his players by allowing to stick to their footballing principles, but its blind faith. Arsenal badly needs a Plan B, but just don’t have one, as proven recently against that bore draw against Blackburn Rovers.
There have been many games down the years when all Arsenal needed was a slight change in philosophy to get that result. Maybe a few long balls in or a new tactic to change the game. Managers like Sir Alex Chewie and Jose Moaninho have proved times and times again that they are more tactically proficient than AW the Alchemist.
In ManUre United’s game against Wolves this season, the £7.5m superstar unknown signing simply known as Bebe replaced the injury prone Owen Hargreaves and played for roughly an hour before he was withdrawn by Sir Alex Chewie. Wong Fei-Hong came up with the goods late on but it proved that Sir Chewie’s tactics were on point like a needle. There’ve been a million and one games when Diaby, Denilson or even Fabregas were not playing well at all but AW the Alchemist tends to leave them on the pitch hoping that they’ll come good but after intense pressure from the fans or when the player becomes unbearable to watch again, AW the Alchemist will finally buckle then replace the player. We all know how Jose Moaninho is with his tactics and players so there’ll be no need giving any illustration.
When AW the Alchemist decides that he’ll be ready to create a Plan B for his side, 1 point would change to 3 points in a matter of seconds.
Lack of Transfer Market ruthlessness
In the days of old, AW the Alchemist wasn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth was in terms of signings. There were times when we paid fees for players like Henry, Reyes, Bergkamp and a host of others. But after our move to the Emirates, AW the Alchemist hasn’t been as callous as he needs to be when it comes to signing the top talent.
In recent times, he has changed his approach by honing younglings from our Mutant Academy or other academies in the Milky Way to give them a chance at the very highest level. If a player is massively overpriced there’s no point attempting to sign them unless you’re Real Madrid or Manchester City, but it appears, in the transfer market at least, AW the Alchemist does take no for answer instead of pressurising the board of directors into increasing the transfer budget slightly to clinch that marquee signature. This has made us lose a few players that would have contributed immensely to taking the club forward.
Arsenal was a few million pounds away from buying Xabi Alonso, Barry, Tower of Babel and a host of others. The first two players mentioned would certainly have done a much better job than Denilson and Diaby. While it’s always good for his job to maintain a healthy relationship with the board, Wenger could’ve won many more trophies in his Arsenal tenure had he had the ability to attract the top players to the Emirates.
We have a very strong first team but our second tier isn’t up to scratch. The shameful draws against Leyton Orient in Brisbane Road, Leeds at the Emirates with the defeat to Ipswich in the Carling Spoon semis first leg proved that fact.
Even if AW the Alchemist doesn’t want to halt the progress of the younglings like Ramsey, Wilshere and Djourou, he has to remember that Arsenal is an injury prone squad. A center back and a recognized defensive midfielder are badly needed in Arsenal FC. I hope he gets it right this summer.
Focus on technical ability over leadership influence
Don’t get me wrong. There are leaders in the Arsenal squad. I even wrote a post about leadership in the team
When watching the Gunners play in tough matches with their backs against the rope, it’s clear to see they don’t have enough men on the field pulling the side together and lifting their spirits. AW the Alchemist can do all he wants on the sidelines to help motivate the players, but there’s nothing like having two or three leaders on the pitch spurring the team on in difficult times.
Arsenal only has their captain Cesc Fabregas, their die-hard Verminator and the ever-emerging Jack Wilshere as leaders when it matters. Even then it’s clear El Capitan isn’t a natural born leader in the mold of Monsieur Vieira or Tony Adams, but a player with such outstanding technical ability, he leads by example.
There were many games that Fabregas’ influence shown through but he’s best ever showing as a leader was that 26 minute cameo against Aston Villa last season when he scored 2 goals and was substituted. He also showed great passion for his side in that game against his former Aliens last season when he scored the penalty with a broken leg even if Little Wizard Messi whitewashed us in the 2nd leg. This season Fabregas has saved our skins times without number.
When Arsenal youngster Aaron Ramsey was announced as Wales captain, he summed up Wenger’s problem, declaring he was going to “lead by example” after admitting he wasn’t the greatest communicator. There’s a difference between leading by example through technical ability and leading by communicating and motivating teammates. It seems like AW the Alchemist hasn’t seen that difference yet.
But it’s known that leadership and influence increases as player mature in age and know their roles in their clubs so let’s hope that as the years go by, more Arsenal leaders will emerge.
The way we have handled the glassboned vP’s injuries
If you’re very adept in Football Manager, you’ll find a section known as the data editor. In that program you can edit anything in the Football Manager World from adding more money to your club’s coffers, modifying player attributes to creating new teams and stadia. rVp’s injury proneness will not be visible in the stats profile screen but if you check that data editor you’ll find out that our Flying Dutchman’s injury proneness is 6/20.
Whether it’s the main responsibility of the physio team or the fitness coach or AW the Alchemist and his assistant Pat Rice, it’s clear to see that rVp’s injury problems haven’t been handled too well since his arrival in 2005.
And one area which Wenger has made mistakes in his Arsenal reign is by allowing Robin van Persie to return too soon. Even if it’s still up to the player to look after himself, and it’s his fault at times for getting recurrent injuries instead of allowing his muscle tear or letting his hammy get twanged again.
However, the ultimate responsibility lies with the manager once that player is chosen to walk out onto the field of play to represent Arsenal FC and as we’ve seen time and time before, Van Persie has comeback after an injury, only to come off injured again after just 35 minutes. When rVp got injured weeks before the 2nd leg at the Nou Camp, we all thought that the game against those BarcAliens was too soon but we saw our number 10 get red carded after an hour. Before that injury break he was in scintillating form but he has done well to get a few goals after coming back.
It’s clear his injuries haven’t been handled too well, and had AW the Alchemist use his judgement and helped get van Persie back to full, proven match fitness before starting a game, he could’ve got a lot more goals out of the Flying Dutchman.
Faith in El Capitan
This is a very normal thing in World Football. Every football team playing in the planet will always have one player that will stand out from the rest because of a certain attribute. AS Roma calls Alhaji Totti their talisman because he has been there through thick and thin and has produced a million and one moments of outstanding quality for the Itie side. CR7 was the all and all of ManUre United but his exit meant that the baton was passed to the Rich RooThug. Liverpool has their Steven G while Chelshit have the Lampback of NotreDame. Arsenal’s present captain is the All Spark of the team.
AW the Alchemist has shown tremendous and admirable faith in his captain Cesc Fabregas in recent seasons. Whilst this is a great morale boost for the Spain international, which therefore means AW the Alchemist can get the best out his star player, it’s also a bit of a hindrance.
Firstly, it’s meant the Arsenal captain gets recurrent hamstring problems after declaring himself “fit,” which have seen him miss considerable parts of the past two seasons and not actually get the best out of him and in terms of on-pitch performance, it’s been a problem, as proven most crucially in the game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, where it was Fabregas’ mistake that allowed Barca to get that all-important opening goal.
Nasri has done well to cover for our captain but there’s this aura of dampened morale when El Capitan isn’t on the pitch.
Immeasurable faith in Youth
It’s a line thrown out time and time again, but it’s always proved to be true. AW the Alchemist’s insistence on fielding mainly young players has hindered Arsenal’s chances of winning major trophies.
And that’s simply because these players aren’t experienced enough in dealing with the big-time games come the business end of the season where one match can make or break chances of lifting top trophies. The little time wasting tips to see out games, the cool head required not to get frustrated when things aren’t going your way, not making silly spontaneous mistakes that can cost precious points (Diaby away at Newcastle United for example), are all things this Arsenal team doesn’t have with players that haven’t had enough experience competing for league and cup honours.
Whilst it’s good for AW the Alchemist to develop homegrown talent to save money, add further prestige to the club’s academy, bolster Arsenal’s financial reputation and boost his own ego, it does mean the Gunners can be hindered when challenging for the Premier League title.
When Arsenal won their last trophy back in 2005, beating Manchester United in the FA Cup, they had experienced winners such as Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira in the team.
How many players with that experience (at the time) does Arsenal have at their disposal now? The answer—not enough.
Mockery of the Carling Spoon in previous years
Had AW the Alchemist just won the Carling Spoon in the whole time his Arsenal side has gone without a trophy, he wouldn’t be under such scrutiny now.
In 2006, we were a minute away from the final with ManUre United before Jason Roberts scored that goal. In the 2007 final against Chelsea, AW the Alchemist fielded a younger side containing the likes of Armand Traore, Jeremie Aliadiere and Justin Hoyte, where the Blues fielded a full-strength team. Chelshit won 2-1 thanks to a brace from the Drog Man. In 2009, Bendtner’s profligacy meant that Burnley ran out as 2-0 winners. 2010 saw us lose 3-0 to Man City in the quarter finals.
Wenger’s insistence on always giving the younger players experience in the Carling Spoon, no matter how far into it the Gunners progress, has damaged their chances of winning the trophy, apart from this year of course, when they just lost due to a highly comical defensive mix up.
Again it can be a good thing as it can turn these young players into potential world-beaters, winning in big, high pressure games when it matters most. Or, as is Arsenal’s case, it can just again leave the club trophyless.
However, had the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Aliaksandr Hleb, Thierry Henry, etc, been playing, it could’ve been a different story altogether, both then and now.
This season, AW the Alchemist used a different approach by blending the first team with the younglings which yielded fruit but when it mattered the most, we gave the trophy to Birmingham.
The French revolution
Down the years, there have been many French players turning out for Arsenal, and some of them have been total success stories, like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira.
Others however, have been total flops, such as Jeremie Aliadiere, Armand Traore and most recently, the sub-standard Sebastien Squillaci signed from Sevilla.
AW the Alchemist’s lack of scope when getting scouting done for new recruits looks like it might cost Arsenal quite significantly. This season’s French centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and the Squisha hasn’t exactly blossomed into a Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic sort of partnership but rather that of a team like Blackpool, as the Gunners have shipped in goals at all the wrong times while the likes of Abou Diaby and Gael Clichy also haven’t lived up to the hype with inconsistent displays, while the likes of Pascal Cygan were flops from the very beginning.
Continual belief in underperforming inconsistent players
The likes of Tomas Rosicky, Denilson, Abou Diaby, Andrei Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner and lately Marouane Chamakh have underperformed massively for the Gunners.
Whilst it’s of course good for AW the Alchemist to back his under-firing men to try and raise their morale, give them game time and let them prove themselves to the manager, fans and the whole watching world, it has backfired this season.
Denilson has again failed to convince anyone, proving he’s not the next Gilberto Silva, while Rosicky has clearly lost that spark from his Borussia Dortmund days following his injuries.
Bendtner has also been less than prolific for the Gunners, with the big Dane lacking the consistent finishing ability and close control required to be a big hit at Arsenal.
Wenger’s faith in these players has bemused fans, and while he hopes it may come off and these lads blossom into top stars like Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri, it looks highly unlikely.
The 61-year-old might well have put in the final nail in his Arsenal coffin with his consistent faith in his under-performing squad players.
As I’ve written earlier, this is my own OPINION.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as I enjoyed writing it.