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I didn’t see it

The youngplaya’s first birthday was to blame.

Whether we will finish above spurs is anybody’s guess. Personally I always thought it would be tight at this point and I suspect we may still have some blips of our own to come. But what we can say is that so much of what was written by so many apparently esteemed observers in the aftermath of the derby game was complete guff.

17 Responses to “I didn’t see it”

  1. skillz says:

    congratulations to you and yours on the little one’s first birthday….football should take the back seat on such occasions….

  2. Elvis says:

    Fair play, I think we all feared the worst after the defeat at WHL, but I am sure we all feel more optimistic about finishing above Spurs than we did a month ago.

    At that time Andre Villas-Boas saw us in “a negative spiral” and his team in “a positive spiral.”

    But we have since taken 9 points from 9 (and beaten Bayern Munich away). Spurs have taken 4 points from 12 (and been thrashed by Inter Milan, whilst scraping a draw with Basel).

    We are doing nothing spectacular but we keep winning games, sometimes with a bit of luck and mostly with a lot of grit. They are failing to win games and look nervous.

    We now play three times in the league before Spurs play again so we have a chance to really turn the screw.

    But no game in the PL is easy (except Reading, they were awful) and we could still slip up against any one of the 7 sides we still have to play. I just hope the lads stay focused and professional till 6 pm on 19th May.

  3. MDP says:

    It’s one game at a time but imagine if Spurs take to the field against City with Arsenal 9 points better off. Play like they have in the last 3 and it’s very achievable.

    I saw an interview with Tony Woodcock a few years back and with his know how on German football, he talked of the brilliance of Rosicky. I think we’re seeing what could have been had injuries not robbed him of seasons out of the game. He had a big influence in the games he played last season, lets hope he continues the good work this season.

  4. PD says:

    Amazing how different Saturday felt to Sunderland which on first glance might look identical. I thought at Sunderland we were heroic after the sending off. On Saturday, I thought we just fell apart completely. That ‘mental strength’ was distinctly lacking. Again. Where the fcuk were our leaders Arsene ? Very lucky but hugely important 3 points.

    MDP, having been at Highbury many years ago when Sparta Prague came with this skinny 19 year old kid running everything, neither I nor any other Gooner present that night needed Tony Woodcock to tell us how brilliant Rosicky is! We won 4-2 but he was immense. Such a shame about his injuries. Us being out of everything actually suits him now, 3 games a week is simply beyond him.

    One game at a time gents….let’s not get ahead of ourselves….

  5. sean says:

    Understandably many of us will beg to differ on this summer’s needed transfer activity with this season’s lows but we don’t actually need as many changes as people think. It’s important not to get too caught up in the media hype re the £70 million kitty, Jovetic, Valdes. But it all depends on the stats come the end of the season & whether we qualify for the CL. Nonetheless, Giroud 10 league goals in 21 games (9 games from the bench), Walcott 11 in 18 (7 off the bench, some as a striker), Podolski 8 in 21 on the left. Jovetic has a worse league goal ratio than Giroud and Walcott with 12 in 26 in his fourth full season at Fiorentina. We’ve scored more than City so far which is quite remarkable losing RVP considered albeit Aguero and Tevez’s poor goal return. It would be a bit of a gamble relying only on Giroud and Walcott next season but the fans love Giroud and it’s more than likely he’ll do even better next season. RVP’s first few seasons goal ratios are as follows: 5 in 26 then 5 in 24 then 11 in 22 so it took him 3 seasons to match Giroud’s first season ratio. Henry matched Giroud’s first season ratio in his 2nd season albeit his first being at left mid for half the season. The weakness is too many attacks going through the middle all because we didn’t buy a midfield enforcer to replace Song relying on Diaby to be injury free. The NEEDED transfer is someone like Tiote or Capoue especially for games where we’re not in control of the game. We also need to get Vermaelen back to his best. Wenger has to give the armband to Wilshere as the captaincy has affected Vermaelen’s performances too much. We will of course need a 4th centre back now. A goalkeeper and an additional striker would be a bonus but so would another midfielder and a proven right back for Man United or another centre half and midfielder to partner Kompany and Yaya Toure

  6. PD says:

    Sean, totally agree on a midfield enforcer being the top priority. (though I wouldn’t hold your breath,I don’t think Arsene has any interest in buying one)
    But a goalkeeper and an additional striker ‘would be a bonus’ ??? They are absolutely, utterly necessary. We’ve got one striker (neither Walcott or Podolski count in our current formation & Gervinho is well…Gervinho) & one keeper. To go into next season without enforcing those positions would be suicidal. Again.
    Those 3 & another centre-half & we are talking about the biggest net spend in one summer ever for the club. (because all the dross we need rid of will bring in sod all in fees, we may even be better giving some of them free transfers if it helps get rid – Santos,Djourou,Denilson,Bendtner,Chamakh,Park etc)
    And that spend simply has to happen. No question. It might not be 70m but we’ve realistically got to spend maybe 40m.

    Agree on the captaincy. Jack has to get it as soon as possible.

  7. simon says:

    So rumours that Arshavin is going to retire at the end if the season as he has tired of playing football. I thought he had retired 2 years ago. Still never mind, it will save the club £90,000 per week, unfortunately we haven’t had much to show for the £16 million transfer fee.

  8. paul says:

    you can’t expect us to challenge for the title for at least two, maybe three seasons. I would say that it would probably take a new manager at least that amount of time (two to three seasons) to get shot of all the deadwood on their ridiculous contracts (it’s finding clubs that will take them and their obscene salaries, given their quality, off our hands) and approx £250 million+ (over the next three seasons) to have us even thinking about winning the title. As for the players, apart from Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, The Ox, Carl Jenkinson, Santi Carzola and maybe Thomas Vermaelen, we’d need a complete and utter clearout. Again, that’s not going to happen overnight, such is the state of this club. I’ll tell you something though. ANY new manager worth his pedigree wouldn’t go eight years without winning anything at all – and that’d be good enough for me for a start. I’d give any manager three years to win the title. Not nine and counting. George Graham promised the title in three years when he took over Arsenal and he delivered. I’d expect any other manager of Arsenal Football Club to do the same.

  9. mahon says:

    Wenger couldn’t win anything when he had Fabregas, Nasri, RvP and Song all playing together in the same Arsenal squad – what on earth makes you think he’ll win anything with Wilshere, Walcott, Ramsey and the Ox……?? The man has lost it. He won’t invest properly, he has taken to selling our best players on an annual basis (Vermaelen will be the next one out of the door) and remember that with the exception of Sagna and Rosicky, we have a completely different starting line-up to when we moved to the Emirates – and he STILL can’t win anything!! Those that have left us, meanwhile, have started collecting the gongs. The common denominator for our failure is Wenger. If you really want to see Arsenal Football Club move forward, then Wenger has to go first.

  10. wycliffe says:

    Found the rumours about Arshavin’s potential retirement quite sad. I really do have a soft spot for the guy and will always try to remember him for the first six months he was with us and little spells in the next year. Let’s face it, it’s not been a huge success, but I felt that he carried the side into the Champions League the season he joined. Anyone who says he played well in one game and points a finger at Wenger is plain wrong. I’m all for dishing out criticism where it’s due and Wenger certainly deserves his share, but Arshavin’s decline is sadly all of his own doing. There are those that say he was played out of position, that he’s not a winger, has been made a scapegoat and made unfairly to track back, but I don’t think that’s convincing. In his first 6 months, Arshavin played wide and was superb. He’d easily beat his man, he’d track back as all players should and was involved in a lot of goals. Some of his best goals for Russia show him burning some poor full back on his way to brilliant individual goals. In my opinion, he was given too many opportunities and Wenger showed faith in him for too long. He became lazy and allowed his head to drop. Yes, the fans turned on him, but why shouldn’t they when a player so talented repeatedly refuses to apply himself? Worse players than him have faced the same and proved themselves (to a limited extent) – Song, Eboue, Ramsey, Gervinho (the latter two are work in progress but have been good recently). Don’t blame Wenger. Blame a man who had the entire world at his feet and should be leaving a legend. He should be shown a DVD of Ray Parlour’s Arsenal career.

  11. MDP says:

    With Arshavin (our record signing), I question a player who seems content to see out his extremely large contract in the reserves without so much as a fight or an attempt to move anywhere (i.e Fulham) just for a game. We’ll never really know the inside story until the relevant book deals are published but that’s the impression I get. Where’s the hunger and desire, the simple love of football that you see in better players?

    I’ve often said the previous era has been underlined by instability with trouble makers like Adebayor, Gallas, Bendtner and Nasri, with our best player in Fabregas inevitably moving home, with RVP releasing that unnecessary statement, with Song’s lack of respect for the club who quite simply made him. Arshavin fits into this category comfortably.

    In reply to Mahon. You say, “Wenger couldn’t win anything when he had Fabregas, Nasri, RvP and Song all playing together in the same Arsenal squad”… Well, RVP and Fabregas rarely played together because RVP was always injured. We only saw the best from RVP once Fabregas was gone. Nasri was a troublemaker. Song was one of the most undisciplined defensive midfielders I’ve ever seen… I would love to have seen RVP and Fabregas playing regularly together for Arsenal but events transpired against it. All things considered, I reckon Wilshere, The Ox, Theo and Ramsey will turn out to be a much more important foursome for Arsenal in the years to come.

    In reply to Paul I think we’ll know a lot more about the current crop of players once we’ve seen if they can maintain the current run of form and clinch top four. I’m not saying this will make the lack of trophies okay and I’m not saying that their aren’t a fair few fringe players that need to be moved on quickly. I just think your assessment of the ins and outs was somewhat harsh and the uphill battle Arsenal gave themselves a few weeks back will be a good gauge for who’s worthy of being at Arsenal next season.

    I’m not getting drawn into the Wenger debate now when I’m sure we will all chew it over for many days, come the end of the season. I’m also certain Wenger will be here next season whatever happens.

    I strongly agree that a defensive midfielder is number one on the shopping list, followed by a striker, then a centre half and then a keeper. I’d like at least one of those signings to be a marquee player like Fellaini. The noises from the club regarding new sponsorship deals and ambitions for the future suggest the shadow of the new stadium are past and perhaps this is possible. There certainly seems to be a consensus of opinion amongst those in the know that this summer could be busy. Put it this way, if this summer turns out to be another damp squib, it will kick off big time. Even myself, who I’m not afraid to say is still just sat in the Wenger side of the argument may have finally had enough.

  12. PD says:

    MDP, your thinking is along the same lines as Arsene -given his comments last week – and that’s what terrifies me. Surely we know enough about the quality – or lack of – in the squad by now ? Nothing that happens between now & the end of the season should change that.I just can’t understand how anyone could think otherwise. What more could we possibly learn ?? The fact that Arsene thinks these games could decide his transfer plans just appals me.
    The 4 positions you suggest signings for are the same as what I want (& unlike others I don’t think we need a whole lot more than that) but if we get 3rd/4th I can foresee a new contract for Fabianski, more dependancy on Gervinho up front (with probably a new, improved contract to ‘protect his resale value’ rather than actually being earned as per Denilson, Diaby etc in the past) & Arteta starting next season at the base of our midfield again. This is how Arsene works now. Sad but true.
    You are right though : he will undoubtedly be there next season. That though is more of a reflection on our Board’s lack of guts than on his recent performance. He is an extraordinarily lucky man to still have his job.

  13. MDP says:

    PD, apologies, I don’t think my post was very clear

    My mind wasn’t on what Arsene had said but my thinking was more in reference to Paul who only deemed 6 players worthy of playing for Arsenal from this squad. I think his statement was a bit harsh on Giroud (16 goals in his first season), Podolski (13 goals and 9 assists), Gibbs, Monreal, Arteta and Ramsey to name a few.

    As things stand today, I whole heartedly agree that 4 players are needed as stated above, regardless of what happens, as there are 4 gaping holes in this squad.

    I’m just saying, it might be better for Paul to judge the squad come the end of the season. We can then see whether this squad can withstand a bit of pressure. If they can’t we might be adding a couple more players to our list of 4.

    To make it clear. Just because I’m in favour of Arsene remaining as manager, it doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says or does. I think I’ve been more frustrated than ever by some of the things I’ve seen or heard this season, see below:

    1. I can’t for the life of me understand why we are playing Arteta as a defensive midfielder. For the record Diaby is not a defensive player either despite his build.

    2. The whole “equality in wages” structure was a mess and frankly embarrassing. Theo’s new deal is a sign that this is thankfully going to be a thing of the past.

    3. The talk of “our philosophy” in relation to our style of football. “Our” seems to suggest that the club as a whole including the fans buy into this. It’s not my philosophy, I don’t want to be the next Barcelona. Barcelona are a phenomenon difficult to repeat. I want to use the successful Arsenal sides under Arsene as our blue print for success. I actually love the art of defending coupled with free flowing attacking football.

    Without going into too much detail and opening up a huge debate at the wrong time. I’ve said it before, but I believe we have more chance of success by sticking with Arsene than going down the rocky road of a new manager route. I still believe there is a good coach and manager in Arsene and I’d like to see what he can do now the club have stated that there is significantly more funds available. Arsene has done a passable job of bringing us into a new ground but by his own high standards has underachieved somewhat. This summer is the time to stop twating around and get this club moving in the right direction. If that doesn’t happen I will be re-thinking my views and I don’t think I’ll be alone.

  14. PD says:

    Fair enough. Totally agree with you. Outside of those 4 obvious needed signings, there’s not need for much more. We have one fantastic young keeper (though I’m getting very worried that he’s on his way out which would be madness imo), I doubt there’s many clubs with 4 better fullbacks (again, letting Sagna go would be madness imo – I cannot understand why so many Gooners seem to be ok with it) we have 3 decent centre-halves (though Koscielny’s inability to stop himself diving in still terrifies me), lots of good midfielders including one who is potentially the best in the world (and all of whom would be instantly better if we buy that physical presence we so desperately need), one very good striker & plenty of options out wide. It’s a decent squad in most positions but one that will win nothing until the gaps are addressed.

    Anyway…..great win yesterday. Totally deserved too. The officiating was nothing short of abysmal but we were as harshly treated as Norwich but of course the BBCC/Lineker led media completely ignore the instances where we suffered. Norwich were not hard done by in any way.
    Everton is huge. If we win, they’re out of it realistically & the pressure is really on Chelsea/the Totts.

  15. MDP says:

    Agreed…

  16. Moron says:

    Happy birthday Youngplaya!

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