Daily Archives: May 17, 2011

Frustration being the order of the day and Gooner Daily’s season review to be determined by its esteemed readers

“Is the season over already?” A question my 15 year old cousin asked this morning. Being born into a family that supports the greatest club in the World, he chose to pledge his allegiance to a team that has given him his fair share of heartbreak at such a tender age. The last time Arsenal won a trophy, he was only 9 years old.

I can’t really wait to see the back of the 2010/11 campaign. This was the season that we thought that we got everything right. The signings made were not in the mold of superstars but they were replacements for the ones that departed. Mancini, Carlo, Ol’ Twitchy Harry and Sir Alex Chewie of Man Utd prefer to buy, buy and buy while AW prefers to replace, replace and replace. When Sir Chewie wants to select his squad for any game, he walks into the dressing room, closes his eyes then puts his hands into the Man Utd lucky dip ballot box.

The only players that are outside the box are the £250,000 RooThug and that Dutch goalie that took his first driving lessons on a dinosaur, Edwin van der Save.

I’m looking forward to the summer for a million and one reasons. Firstly, I’ll prefer to be publishing posts about how we have been linked that green Martian bloke in Justice League or how we fought hard to shove off the challenge of Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd to secure the services of Captain America. At least, he could use his shield in our defense to send every ball out of our danger area.

I also want to write about how we start our preseason with a Space Shuttle trip to Planet Jupiter to play their best team, Spaceiods United. After having lots of fun in Jupiter, we’ll return to Earth to see Wilshere play in the European U-21 Championships were England will be dumped out of the first round so that PFA’s Young Player of the Year will return back to us unscathed.  There’ll also be an Emirates Cup tourney to write about. After whooping Boca 5-1 in the tourney’s curtain raiser, we’ll play the final game against New York Red Bulls where King Henry will score a brace for them in the first half before scoring a hattrick of own goals in the second with Arsenal’s match winner being a spectacular overhead kick into his own net from a rVp corner.

Back to reality and I’ll start with the Arsenal newsletter I subscribed to. These are the words of the boss, AW

Dear Arsenal Supporter,

Sunday was very disappointing because we made a very bad start and Aston Villa punished us.

We went into the game too tentatively, we were not dominant enough in anything we did and we were on the back foot at the start. After that we battled to get back into the game but we were a bit unlucky.

I feel we should have had a penalty, we had a goal ruled out for something that often goes unpunished and overall we are very frustrated. We dropped three points which could cost us automatic qualification for the Champions League.

Why were we so tentative? We have been hit very hard by bad results and you could see that we suffered a little bit at the start of the game. But we have to rise above that. By the time we looked comfortable it was too late.

Thomas Vermaelen and Sebastien Squillaci played together for the first time but they are two players with experience so normally it should work. Vermaelen grew stronger as the game went on but it is a lot to ask to be dominant when he has not played since September.

I believe we gave very cheap goals away and at half time I took off Squillaci because we had to take a gamble, we had to score two goals. Because Villa closed us down we were forced to play out from the back and we needed somebody – a midfielder – at the back.

Some people have questioned whether we were right to do a ‘lap of appreciation’ after the game but it is our job to thank the fans and you should never feel embarrassed for doing your job.

It was not a tour of glory, of course. But I think, no matter what happens, you have to respect your fans for turning up for the whole season. It was not an ego trip, it was a chance to show our respect for the fans.

I know many fans left the stadium before the ‘lap of appreciation’ but you have to thank those who are still in the stand. What is important is that this Club has values and respects those values.

I feel fortunate that for 15 years we have played with full stands so when people are not happy they can show it. We are in a job where you have to please people and if they are not happy, we have to accept that.

Finally, we now know that Cesc Fabregas will not play against Fulham next weekend after suffering a setback with his thigh injury. Samir Nasri has a very small chance of returning next Sunday and Johan Djourou is also a big doubt.

Thanks for your support.

AW has to know that he’ll always have my support and the support of many other fans. In as much as Arsenal has gone through 6 good years without securing any silverware, the best man for the Arsenal job is still Arsene Wenger. The note to the gooners worldwide sums it all up. We were tentative and we weren’t dominant from the onset and we were punished by that goal hungry predator called Darren Bent. Referees like Howard Webb, Chris Foy or Phil Dowd would have pointed to the spot when rVp and Ramsey were hacked by that large oaf in the box. I’ve also watched the replay of Chamakh’s goal a thousand and one times using different camera angles but I can’t still figure out how the goal was disallowed.

At the end of it all, the players still have themselves to blame. Who would have thought that at some point Chelsea would overtake Arsenal with the kind of horrible form they were in? It really sucks to know that Man City could go one better by claiming the final automatic spot with a win against Stoke Rugby FC tonight. Yogi’s Warrior wrote in his blog that 4th place might not be disastrous because we might not play potential banana skins like Villarreal or Bayern Munich.

Let me quote it the way it was written in his blog,

Elsewhere rumours of a Champions League qualifier against a top notch side where scotched when it emerged that the 4th Qualifying Round is seeded and as a club with one of the higher coefficients, Arsenal will be amongst them. It means that Arsenal are likely to face Udinese, Lazio or Dynamo Kiev rather than Villarreal or Bayern”

He writes about Udinese, Lazio or Dynamo Kiev as if they’ll be a stroll in the park. This is a squad that has lost to Newcastle, Bolton, Stoke, Birmingham and a host of other teams that might not contend very well with the European sides mentioned. Arsenal knows how to turn on the style when they want to so I’m confident that we’ll make it to the group stages should we have to go through the embarrassment of playing a qualifying tie after challenging for the title at some point.

It was expected that some of the players within the squad would say a thing or two to the media Vultures. rVp has talked about how frustrated he was but he says that we have to prove ourselves next season.  We won our last trophy in 2005. After missing out on the biggest prize a year after AW promised that they’ll do better the next season. In our maiden season at the Emirates, we also missed out on the Carling Spoon trophy. AW said that they’ll do better the next season. Arsenal showed their title intent in the 2007/08 campaign but lost out to both Man Utd and Chelsea after a series of poor draws and defeats to their title rivals. AW said that they’ll do better the next season. In the 2008/09 season, we had an impregnable home form in the Champions League but we were screwed over by Man Utd in the semis.

In all the seasons mentioned, we were really close to a trophy but last season and this campaign has seen us plummet into mediocrity in our performance. Arsenal FC got 8 points from a possible 21 at some point this season. That is the kind of form a Premier League title challenging team shouldn’t have. Szczesny also said that we didn’t turn up against Villa. If he had allowed Young or Downing’s shot to enter, we would have been on the end of an extremely embarrassing defeat at home. The last time I got embarrassed watching a home game was when Anelka and co. decimated us at the Emirates with a 4-1 reverse scoreline.

Vermaelen has also come to say that the squad must improve their winning mentality. That is a feature that was clearly missing this season. From the games we were losing to the games we were winning but we couldn’t hold unto it, Arsenal were the P in pathetic. The season is dead and gone so there’ll be no need reminiscing on any of the games because the list is really long. He also said that he was impressed with the performances of our new players. I’m pretty sure that he was talking about Wilshere, Szczesny, Nasri and Djourou. They were our bright sparks in such a dark season.

This is the first time I’m going to finish a season as a blog writer because I started blogging in November 2010 so I intend to write a season review that is similar to this page 2010 – a year review. I also want to be doing this at the end of every season. The thing about the season review I intend to write after the Fulham game is that I want you, my esteemed readers to be the ones that will determine the way the post will be written so I’ve created a series of polls on my blog’s facebook page so that you can visit it and vote in the appropriate place.

The criteria include the save of the season, goalkeeping blunder of the season, goal of the season, assist of the season, match of the season, worst match of the season, most improved player of the season, most disappointing player of the season and the most valuable player of the season.

For the award of MVP of the season, the nominees are Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Robin van Persie but there’s the ‘add an option’ tab so that you can add your own MVP. The goals that have been nominated for the goal of the season are rVp’s impossible drive against Barca, Bendtner’s curler against Ipswich and Nasri’s defense breaker against Fulham. The ‘add an option’ tab is also in that poll so if you feel that these 3 goals were not good enough to be your goal of the season, feel free to add yours.

The award of assist of the season was drafted only to Mr. Creativity himself Fabregas so you’re going to vote for the game he gave the assist. The options there are the assist for Vela against Bolton after we had interchanged 23 passes or so, the assist for Nasri against Tottenham close to the centre circle and the assist for rVp against Wigan that was finished sweetly by the Flying Dutchman. The ‘add an option’  tab is also there so you can tell us the Fabregas assist that enticed you the most if the aforementioned three where not good enough.

For the award for save of the season , the nominated saves are Fabianski’s 90th minute save against Wolves, Szczesny’s low save from Welbeck against Sunderland and Almunia’s stop against Huddersfield. You can also add an option. However, you can’t add any option for the blunder of the season because there are only 3 nominations; Szczesny in the Carling Spoon final, Almunia at home to West Brom and Almunia away to West Brom at the Hawthorns.

For the most improved player, Szczesny, Wilshere and Djourou are the contenders with the ‘add an option’ tab available so they you can vote for your own personal ‘most improved player’ but on the opposite side, the most disappointing player award has only 3 options, Squillaci, Denilson and Arshavin.

Finally, the match of the season award has only 3 nominated games which include Arsenal 3 Chelsea 1, Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1 and Tottenham 3 Arsenal 3 while the worst match of the season award goes to either Stoke 3 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 1 Birmingham 2 or Arsenal 2 Tottenham 3.

I’ll be deeply honoured if you go to the blog’s ‘facebook page’ and cast your votes. The voting will end shortly after the Fulham game.While your at it, please ‘like’ the page. I’ll really appreciate it.

The tweet of the day goes to @LargeKatt,

“@LargeKatt: The only stadium in the Premier League without a goal scored from outside the 18 box this season is the Emirates”

AW please sign Captain America.

He’ll use his shield only in the box.