Sunday, 27 April 2008

Is it our lack of English backbone that is costing us trophies?

I was watching the Chelsea V Manchester United game with my Chelsea mad friend and he brought up a comment that infuriated me and resulted in an argument for a few hours! (A raging debate to pass the time!)

His argument is that Arsenal have no bottle and that is because we have hardly any English players. Also because of us, England will struggle in the future and how can England win World cups if the top sides have no English players.

I was angry with his comments because Arsenal having hardly any English players doesn't really bother me.

I couldn't care where the players come from who play for Arsenal. As long as they do the business for the club then I'm happy.

And in fairness to the England side, who could fit into the Arsenal style of play? None of them if you ask me. It's so obvious at International tournaments that England are lacking in technical ability. We try bless us, but for all our effort we fail.

Arsenal have a style of play that involves pace and technique, we don't depend on hard graft and long balls. England don't play our way and for me, there are hardly any English players that I think could get in the Arsenal side. And I mean Gerrard, Rooney and Lampard as well.

And as for the argument that England fail because of Arsenal, do me favour!!!

When did England last win the World Cup? 1966? Wenger took over Arsenal in 1996. That's thirty years in between. England won nothing in that time, I suppose that's Arsenal and Wenger's fault as well!

Look at the amount of times England have lost on penalties or just been knocked out of tournaments. Surely that shows that English players lose their bottle as well as anyone?

I hope that no-one reading this thinks I'm on a anti-England rant. I'm English and I would love England to win something in my life. But Arsenal are my true love and when under the cosh I will defend my club's honour.

And if you look at the big picture, Arsenal are really the only "real" English club in the top four. The owners of Chelsea aren't English, the owners of Manchester United aren't English, the owners of Liverpool aren't English. Arsenal are run by English people.

So in my opinion, it is not a lack of English backbone that is costing us trophies. It is a lack of depth in the squad and a little more experience needed. I coundn't care less if a player came from London or Lille, as long as they did the business for my club.

Keep it Goonerish....


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe some of the comments around lately refereing to Arsenal and perticularly Arsene Wenger. The so called fans who question Arsene Wengers performance or ability to take Arsenal forward are rediculous, pathetic and not at all based in reality or truth. Firstly we will finish the season only a matter of a few points behind the Champions, whoever it might end up being. Secondly, no-one could (not even Wenger) have forseen the horrific events at Birmingham and how they would affect the team. Thirdly, we will finish this year with more points than last year when we had TH14. Fourthly, Arsene Wenger will not buy any, I repeat ANY of the names being mentioned in so many pathetic blogs. We are far more likely to hear about 1 or 2 signings of unknown names that we will learn to love. Names just like Sagna. We had never heard of him. Arsene didn't pay over the odds and he is quality. Fifthly, we will all get the four players we think we need. Two will emerge from the Youth system and two will be unknown, unheard of treasures that Wenger will unearth from some far flung league we know nothing about. So for me at least, I have faith in Arsene Wenger. I have faith in the current squad. And, I have faith in Arsene Wengers stylish, beautiful football. I have only seen a few football matches live this year but many on TV. When at Craven Cottage early in this season with Cousin Andy and Uncle Bern (both Pompey season ticket holders for more than 25years) I watched two very ordinary teams bash the ball long and high into the air for the first 10-15 minutes and thought how difficult it was going to be for me to last the next 80 minutes. Then Pompey put the ball on the ground and passed and ran Fulham off their own pitch. I left Craven Cottage thinking that the Pompey support was the best I had ever seen and that Harry was building a team worthy of that love and passion. It was also clear to me that Fulham would go down this year as they were bereft of ideas other than to kick Pompey or continue to smash the ball into the air above the Pompey players. Pompey have been very good this season and easy to watch. Fulham have been awful to watch this season. Fulham will be well suited to England's second tier competition as they have been playing football of that style and standard all of this season in preparation for next. It is my belief that the reason Mourinho was replaced is not about trophy's as his record is without equal on that front. Better than Wengers one might argue. It was not about bigger ego's or personalities than the Russian. It was about entertainment. "Schindlers List" won many trophy's as did "The English Patient". We have all seen them once and once was more than enough. "Back to the Future" and "Pulp Fiction" were never going to win any trophy's for anything, but served as great entertainment years ago and will do for many years to come. Chelsea cannot sell out their small ground in South West London for one very good reason. The football they play is effective but not at all entertaining. Arsenal on the other hand sell out their magnificent new stadium weeks and months in advance of every fixture (I know because I am a Ticket Registration Scheme Member) for one very good reason. The football they play whilst not always effective is enormously entertaining. Arsenal's fan base is destined to grow out of this entertainment. Chelsea's fan base has grown in the fashion stakes of a few uneducated (football wise, fashion wise or otherwise) young boys in Singapore and Hong Kong who believe girls might be fooled into thinking they are cool if they wear a Chelsea shirt. Some of these boys are under the illusion that the boys and girls who see them in a Chelsea shirt might think them a winner like the Chelsea team. I think the 10 000 real Chelsea fans that frequent Stamford Bridge each week would not even wish to embrace these lost souls. I did not support Brazil in the days of Pele. I had my Bobby Moore signature boots on as a child. But I still look back at those grainy pictures of Pele "entertaining" us with his skill and audacity with great fondness, as I'm sure we all do. Chelsea can win every trophy available for the next 4-5 years and they will never be loved by history the way great sides of the past are. Nottingham Forest, West Ham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester United sides of the past have all had their periods of affection in our hearts not for the trophy's they won but the football they played. I will remain a highly entertained Arsenal fan despite our failings. Chelsea's failing is the football they play and it seems the only Chelsea fan who knows that is the owner. I think history will look favorably on Arsene Wenger's team. The record books might not. I don't know the record books of the 1950's and 1960's but I know Pele was the best player in the world back then and Brazil were the best team. I know Arsene will not get his hands on a trophy this year, but that will not make him a loser in my eyes. I thank Mr Wenger for fulfilling his promise to me. I am grateful that in a world filled with reality television I was able to watch another great year of entertaining football.

Anonymous said...

At first when I read the title I was angry. I though this was going to be yet another blog about not having enough English players in the team. Thankfully I read the article before replying, and I hope others show you the same curtsey.

I agree with you its the lack of depth in the squad not the fact that we are lacking English players. If someone believes that adding more English players will help us win trophies then they are just stupid.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same English backbone that didn't make the Euro championship in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Thats one of the best articles I have read in a long time.

As long as a player plays well for Arsenal then I'm happy.

Anonymous said...

Wrighty7, I agree with everything that you have posted.

I sometimes think that the media and other clubs supporters are just jealous and xenophobic about Arsenal.

This team will come good, and we do not need English players to win the trophies. Of that I'm sure.

GOONER said...





Anonymous said...

Defensive problems need attention.
Arsenal have had just 12 clean sheets this season — Man United 20.


Anonymous said...

excellent write up....

Anonymous said...

the lack of English players hurts Arsenal because the English refs will continually bone the club with bad calls because of it. it goes all the way back to Arsene's original team when only half his players were foreign. am i supposed to believe that the ref's don't hold the same xenophobic feelings that are constantly spouted by English managers, coaches, players and fans?

Kalle said...

Mr Annonymous comment at 18:18 really scared me. I wanted to right a piece and found identical words of my thoughts. I do KNOW that not having English players hurt Arsenal in one way ony. Ref Decisions.
I was aughing when I saw on MOTD that Manure conceded a penaty in EPL for the first time in a year.

Forget about that. I remember PV4 taking about leaving EPL for the same reason. The only way we can win seems to be by being 5x better than any other team. therefore we do doubles that year.

Anyway, another evidencce of EPL referees is that they never do well in Euro and World Cup, neither in CL and UEFA Cup. COuntries such as Sweden whose league is 40th in Europe produces far better referees than EPL. That tells you that we need to get professional referees from outside England to take the game forward.



Anonymous said...

as a football fan.. i dont agree im a spurs fan, we have a lot of english players, after our cup win we are a joke,. as for arse , great to be ill be honest, but they need is a tough guy, which they dont have is keane vieria type player, a leader which arse an spurs dont have at mo, u need a players defend in front of back 4 an dont leave ur owen half, u shud pretect ur team ur lead in a game help ur players comment till final whistle goes. coys til i die

Anonymous said...

what is wanker wenger afraid of buyin top players to play with........hes afraid to have top players on bench n wouldnt no what to do with them after alll hes a kiddie lover

Anonymous said...

16.56 whhat bull are u talkin about....alkin totall shiteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Run Coach David said...

I read a great article (sorry I cannot remember where), talking about how much fun it was at Arsenal training sessions. They play attacking football ALL THE TIME. They are not focused on Set Piece drills. They are not focused on defending skills.

I don't think it's the lack of an English backbone, because backbone isn't a solely English thing.

But I do think it is because we do not know how to play any style other than attacking.

Watching any Arsenal game, it's always beautiful. Clichy always plays it out of defence. He got caught a couple of times, and we lost games because of it. Senderos is not a skillful player. When he tries to play it clever, he gets caught. Song will be a pretty player, but isn't yet, and he got caught out both at Man U and at Derby.

How many times do you see Ferdinand and Vidic, Carvalho or Terry do the cute option? NEVER.

That is why we don't win trophies, but always win friends.

I love Wenger, but he drives me mad. I wish he would be the midfield and attacking coach, and bring in Tony Adams to be a defense coach, just like in American Football. It would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

arsenal fans love foreign player

ha ha ha