Saturday, 29 September 2012

CASH FROM CHAOS (AGAIN)




Today’s game was billed as the most expensive English game ever, and certainly in terms of cash recieved it probably was, however a feast of football was not forthcoming. In fact what was seen today was a disjointed performance from both parties. Chelsea benefitted from good fortune on their winning goal and on another day Arsenal’s near misses may have gone in. The Terry sideshow was just that; a sideshow, and Chelsea showed that they could defend well. The Arsenal gave a lacklustre performance with perhaps only the fullbacks showing sufficient endeavour.

All in all it was an uninspiring afternoon at the Emirates and, the result aside, it showed how insipid and chaotic strategically this Arsenal can be at times. At home against the Champions of Europe I think that those in attendance could have expected more from the players and certainly some inspiration from the touchline. What we got was uninspired and strange substitutions and nothing in the way of problem solving; we simply pottered along with little sense of urgency.
The performance against the League Champions last week was chalk and cheese and one wonders if the playing staff are sufficiently inspired to perform week in week out.

A word about the goalkeeping department. I think its safe to say that each league goal we have conceded this season has had some element of goalkeeping error or poor decision making. We saw the value of a good keeper today with Cech’s save from Carzola.

We now have to move on to the next game and assign this loss, to one of the most repulsive clubs in history, to the dustbin. We will most likely have an up and down season, and today I for one felt short changed, but this is where we are as a club. That’s the reality and we have to accept that while we support The Arsenal we can still have doubts about Wenger’s Arsenal which at times has the feel of chaos about it.

Friday, 28 September 2012

ENEMY OF THE STATE

'JT''s view of FA HQ

If Arsenal v Chelsea becomes a circus of vitriol let us ponder the reasons why. Terry was always a pantomime villain for his off field shenanigans and his general obnoxiousness and now he is defined as that blight on society; the Racist. His treatment by the FA was, in my opinion, lenient (let's not forget that they, in effect, allowed him to play in the Euros having played a part in delaying the court case) and his indignation at them having the temerity to want to take matters further smacks of arrogance and denial.

He's an unpleasant individual and were he less important to his club he would have most likely been shown the door (Jody Morris anyone?). His 'rap sheet' is remarkable in as much as it covers all the bases of bad behaviour and when he rocks up at the Emirates I dare say he will have opprobrium heaped upon him with extreme prejudice. Ashley Cole, his collaborator, will feel relieved that he will not be the focus of the Emirates faithful's ire, although I think the whole 'cashley' situation lies firmly in the draw marked "who cares anymore.
The Boys from SKY keeping an eye on 'JT'

Of course the best way to have any impact on Terry's arrogance is for The Arsenal to take all three points from the Champions of Europe, yes that phrase is hard to type without vomiting, and close the gap. 

It's another test for us in the early stages of the season and an indicator of how our new look squad deals with potential challengers. It's also one of the games where the home support can get behind our boys against a common enemy and let's make no bones about it, this particular enemy is led by an individual who is the enemy of not only football, and the values it tries to uphold, but common decency. After a summer of heroes Terry really is villain, a real enemy of the state.


'JT''s response to his critics

Images Courtesy
Touchstone Pictures-Enemy of the State
Marvel.com-Wolverine:Enemy of the State

Monday, 24 September 2012

Alright now


http://youtu.be/syhAnUX7xQI


The Arsenal are doing alright. No need for hyperbole or false modesty; we’re doing alright. Our squad now has two good Right backs, two good left backs, three good centre halves, a reasonable selection of midfield players and a decent selection of attacking options. In Cazorla and Podolski we appear to have spent well and bought in some quality. Wilshire, Sagna, Rosicky, Arshavin and Frimpong have not appeared this season and we seem to have rediscovered a decent back up keeper in Mannone. Oxlade-Chamberlaine may just make that step up from potential to becoming an integral part of the team, Giroud may recapture the confidence in front of goal that made him top scorer in France last season and there remains some reason for optimism throughout the squad.
To make comparisons with previous Arsenal teams is futile; that was then and this is now. The current Arsenal squad is a good one, not a great one, a good one and that is the starting point for any achievement; start out being good and see where that takes you. On balance our squad for 2012/13 is as good as that of a number of teams that you would expect to be ‘there or there abouts’ and how far we go is unknown at this moment.
What can be agreed upon is that we are unbeaten so far, have the same goal difference as the league leaders and have taken 4 points from Anfield and The Etihad. We have good players to come back and the team spirit seems good. Add an improved defensive ethic and you have to say that we’re doing alright.
The season so far? So far so good
http://youtu.be/LI7qhV36FQ0

Sunday, 23 September 2012

PLAYING AWAY



The Arsenal old boy reunion at Eastlands where Yaya & Kolo, Nasri, Clichy and  Wright  on the playing staff and Vieira, Kidd and Platt off the pitch await.
Feeder club accusations or just some coincidental links aside a game against any club that are current league champions is a pressure fixture for both teams taking part.
Certainly a good test for the Arsenal and, based on last season's head to head, we have nothing to fear from the game; in fact we may be better equipped in terms of personnel than last season against a team with physicality and power.
Early days but a win takes us to third and I expect a win because that has to be our attitude this season; that we are as good as anyone. There is no one outstanding team currently plying their trade in the EPL we are as good as anyone at the moment. Believe in that and who knows?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

DEFINING A FINE LINE





Having just downloaded this excellent new eBook it got me to thinking about a match that, for me was a defining moment in our history:

Arsenal 1 (1) v Chelsea 2 (1) Champions League QF 2nd leg 2004

Having come away from the first leg with Bobby's away goal in the bank in a 1-1 draw Reyes scored on the stroke of half time following a sensational 45 minutes from the Gunners.

The first half was, in Phillipp Aucliar’s opinion, the best 45 minutes Arsenal had ever played in the Champions League, a "breathless, furious, intoxicating" passage of play which prompted one amazed Italian journalist to remark: "This is not football."
 
A second half of attrition would have seen us through into probably the weakest group of semi finalists ever; Porto, Deportivo and Monaco. The Champions League for the Arsenal team of that season was 'up for grabs'.

Even if Chelsea were to have equalised you felt we had a superior bench and options. Rather than a dull defensive 2nd half we played in our usual flamboyant manner. That second half was one in which Wenger showed no tactical inspiration to see out the tie and progress to a glorious achievement.

The result we all know.

Had we made it through that 45 minutes I really believe we could have gone all the way and that great Arsenal side would have fulfilled it's destiny. It is also worth pointing out that the eventual winners, Porto, were managed by Jose Mourinho and this triumph was the springboard for him to join Chelsea and lead them to a level of success that they had never previously known.

Therefore, for me,  this was a defining match not just for that team and Wenger but for the club and football in London in general.

 

Friday, 14 September 2012

A DATE WITH DESTINY?

 

 
Hold up, we play Southampton tommorow and you know what happens when we play Southampton?

Blam! Ian Wright's first League goal for Arsenal
 
Pow! Dennis Bergkamp's first League goal for Arsenal
 
Whack! Thierry Henry's first League goal for Arsenal
 
Thwack! Robin VanPersie's first League goal for Arsenal

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

a moments pause

 
Today of all days a pause for thought for those fans who went out to watch a game of football and never came back.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Friday, 7 September 2012

PREMIER XI

 
 
During this international break what better way to spend a few moments than compiling a list or two.
 
 
 
All time Premier League XI ( 4-3-3 formation)
 
Schmeicel
 
As.Cole-S.Campbell-R.Ferdinand-G.Neville
 
R.Keane-P.Vieira-S.Gerrard
 
R.Giggs-A.Shearer- T.Henry
 
Subs:
Bergkamp
Scholes
Ronaldo
An.Cole
Essien
Manager:
Alex Ferguson
 
 
A tough one as Dennis is my all time favourite player and Adams is the quintessential Arsenal Captain but in putting this team together I'm looking at what would work as an effective attacking side but with strong defensive attributes. I think it's not a bad XI, of course the Premier League landscape has changed considerably and perhaps this XI is best described as a 'golden age prem' team; certainly a Prem XI of the last six/seven years would feature a number of players from the newly rich clubs.
 

 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Softly Softly

It seems that the recurring theme of Sunday's victory at Anfield is that Liverpool were rubbish. That's what the media  are saying. Not a lot about how good the Arsenal were. Yes Liverpool were poor and tougher tests lie ahead; predominantely Man City away and Chelsea at home but to win at  Liverpool is no walk in the park. The ole's that rang around Anfield were not for the home team but for the men in Purple and Black (with a touch of red) and put a smile on our collective faces. The Arsenal away fans were, yet again, magnificent and it's clear that our former Captain is in for a torrid time when we play his new club.
With the dreaded interlull©arseblog ahead of us we can reflect on 3 points no losses and zero goals conceded, which is not bad from the squad we are stuck with until at least January.
It's pretty much the softly softly apptroach as far as I'm concerned; let's see how we go, one game at a time and all that. Despite my issues (regular readers will know what they are) I'm feeling that we can make some kind of progress but we need to set our sights realistically. What those sights are is too early to tell but victory at Anfield is nice; very nice.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

LIVERPOOL v ARSENAL "fings ain't wot they used to be"


An away fixture at Anfield in the second half of the 1990/91 season, and having recorded a 3-0 victory at Highbury earlier that season, The Arsenal went up to Liverpool and grabbed a 0-1 victory. This was a telling result in deciding the destination of the League Championship. The Arsenal took back the title finishing 7 points ahead of Liverpool having lost only 1 game while conceding a paltry 18 goals.
December 1991
Manchester City finished 5th, Manchester United 6th, Sp*rs 10th and Chelsea 11th; this was the English first division. The bombast of the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League was just over the horizon.
Times change and Liverpool v Arsenal is no longer the clash of title challengers, it is a competition of the once mighty; two of England’s greatest clubs who have seen a decline in fortunes, for differing reasons, but a decline never the less.
The football landscape has changed over the two decades since that day in March 1991 when an Arsenal victory brought home the hard reality to Liverpool that perhaps there period of dominance was coming to an end. That great club has now gone without a league title for 22 years. Arsenal have spent 8 years away from the pinnacle of English football and our challenge for that honour has been marginal at best.
So today’s game is another game of football, a game to hopefully be won and enjoyed. It’s not the fixture it once was and it may never be a fixture of that significance again; the arrival of the billionaire benefactor has changed things and ‘greatness’ seems to be just an antiquated phrase, its now more a bout 'richness'.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Embarrassment

 


I don't feel angry or disappointed or frustrated or bitter or sad or much of anything other than embarrassed by Arsenal's failure to bring in any new faces in the transfer window. I feel embarrassed as an Arsenal supporter that the manager, and by implication the board, feel that our current squad is  good enough to challenge for honours. Yes we bought some new players; none of whom are the real deal, but we are still in profit from VanPersie and Song and the savings from Park and Bendnter moving on. That profit is safely tucked away in the vaults while the Arsenal squad for the 2012/13 season looks as exciting as a wet weekend in Rochdale; and believe me I know of which I speak as a I spent last weekend in a wet Rochdale.

Looking at other club's activities in the window you have to say that there have been some imaginative and bold moves. Not from us though. We stay stuck with this latest Wenger experiment until the January window at a minimum and frankly I expect nothing to happen then either. It really is embarrassing. But 'they' couldn't care less.

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