Friday, 2 April 2010

Guest opinions

From John
I always find I need to wait a short while after a match to regain my objectivity after a first half like our on Wed night. The barca players were out on the pitch getting into their second breath, sprinting a series of 10 meter dashes on pairs. There was a rare calmness in the gooners as they passed the ball around, being careful not to rush or sprint. Barca came out 5 mins later as they went in, sprinting and chasing the ball, sprinting into space to give several options to the ball holder. No one pressing the ball holder except Cesc. So Barca could build with speed from the back. Then they played such a high line that the ball rarely entered their half. Of course Theo changed that when he came on, but it was always obvious, especially in that first half. All-Moom-YAAA did so well to keep them out in the first half, its hard to have a go for the two easy ones he let in. But Given would probably have made all the first half saves too, and certainly would not be caught for the first goal.

But Invertebrates as we are now, we must work the wings, get behind defences and deliver the killer punches a la Theo, Cesc, Nasri. To lose two players of the quality of Gallas and the Meer cat so soon, for a change left little space for tactical manoeuvring. Except that he should probably have started with Eboue, clarified with CBs who would do what when a CF moved out wide. We learned nothing from the first error.

I don't think we did any worse than expected. Had we bought a new spine with the £35M we got last summer then we all might have had higher expectations. (Where is is gone to? and will another £35M be required again this summer ?

The injuries too were a bit unfortunate. If we go at Barca on Wed with the 100% energy that they brought with them to face us, we might just get lucky. (The did their home work and saw that we are vulnerable to high tempo starters) But maybe less in the tank for the vital clash at Shite Art Lane. In the meantime we have enough in the can to beat Wolves. Hopefully the Chavs will draw with Manu, and we might be in the chase again tomorrow night.
John T

From Peter
Wenger's qualities are now being buried under the weight of an intransigence that borders on the psychotic. He has always been a great finder and developer of unknown young talent and he has always been a terrible match-day manager. That is why his teams often look like winning trophies and rarely do, not just at Arsenal but in France too.
Do any of the AKB crowd really think that Mourinho or Ferguson would have put up with the 90 minutes of indiluted trash that was served up by Diaby last night?
We are 0 from 18 for trophies won over the last five seasons. By the end of the season it will be 0 from 20. Given that Wenger gives away the League Cup and the FA Cup every season and that we will be found out at about this time every season in the Premier League and Champions League, we will be 0 from 24 by 2011.
I have been lucky enough to watch Kelsey, Wilson, Rimmer, Jennings, Lukic, Seaman and Mad Jens play in our goal and it is incredible that 4 years on from Lehman being jettisoned we still have Almunia in goal.
I hope that I am proven totally wrong and that we are celebrating in May. I am a season-ticket holder and have been for decades and, because The Arsenal is my lifetime passion, I will remain so, but that doesn't mean that I have to dumbly follow and not express my opinions. Those of us who feel that Arsene Wenger has been unchallenged from within the club and been allowed to indulge himself with his set-in-concrete theories for the last six years have as much right to give an opinion as any AKB.
Peter A
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