Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Lets wait until the end of the season and then judge Arsenal

For Gooners this campaign has been pretty painful. We've seen our title hopes disappear in November and our Champions League place for next season is under threat.

I, along with many other Gooners have been critical of Arsenal this season and Arsene Wenger has also been under the cosh at times. In my opinion the criticism has been deserved at times but maybe not all the time.

Obviously there many Gooners unhappy at the moment, I'm not the happiest but lets just wait until the end of the season until we judge Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.

It's clear the squad isn't the strongest we've had under Wenger but its what we have and nothing can be done about it now.

Arsene Wenger should have strengthened the squad more than just Arshavin but he didn't and he believes in this set of players even if some Gooners don't. He has put his head on the chopping block and that's why I say wait until the end of the season to judge if he is right.

Who knows? We may well be Champions League or FA Cup winners by May!

I understand it is frustrating at the moment. I'm frustrated because I see the performance of last night, the wins over Manchester United and Chelsea and then a defeat against Hull or Manchester City.

The inconsistency can drive drive you mad but we are picking up now at the business end of the season. And I'm sure that we will qualify for the Champions League next season. I happen to believe we will win it this year!

Of course I'm slightly concerned about Arsenal's position in the league but I say only slightly because as I've said I'm quietly confident that we will finish in the top four despite how bleak our league position seems.

Trophies are what we Gooners want and while we are still in with a shout for the FA Cup and Champions League we have the chance to achieve these targets.

Granted the league position is far from what we want but I'm sure most Gooners would be satisfied with a top four finish and a trophy. I would have taken that at the beginning of the season.

If we don't succeed in getting into the Champions League next season or win a trophy then by all means Wenger and Arsenal will get plenty of flak and deservedly so. Until then lets just get behind the team and fingers crossed we can end up with a campaign that didn't end too badly.

Keep it Goonerish..............


Pasha said...

Best blog I've read in a long, long time.

Keep it Goonerish! ;)

CescIsGenius said...

Well put Wrighty. I believe, as you do, that AFC will end in 4th position. Villa haven't had any injuries nor bad luck as we have. What would they be doing w/o Berry or Gabby - sitting 6th probably.

Wenger will start to have a selection headache on his hands, which is something I welcome!

The only clear cut starters are Clichy, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, V. Persie, and when fit Cesc.

Nasri is sure staking claim to a starting spot based on some of his playmaking ability in the last month.

That leaves Arshavin, Vela, Walcott, Ade, Eboue, Song, Denilson, Bendtner, Dudu, Rosicky, Diaby & Ramsey to fight for 4 spots.

Should be a great finish!

Al said...

I think I along with many other fans really felt like we should of built on last year but the loss of Flamini and Hleb hurt us along with all the injuries but we are not the only team to have injuries and thats not an excuse we have not been good enough and improvements need to be made to the squad for next year a quality central midfielder is a must in my opinion.

I dont think we can get a top 4place this year in the league but I do think we can win the Champions League thats our best shot along with the FA cup. Shortly we will have Adebayor, Eduardo, Walcott, Fabregas and Rosicky all back and that is our only hope with favourable draws and returning players we could do it.

A said...

This is quite sensible. There seems to be too much criticisms going on at the moment of Arsenal and Arsene, you are right sometimes it is deserving, but not always.

People seem to jump to conclusions because we have not had the best of results, so whether the team perform well or bad is not always judged properly. For instance, against Sunderland on Saturday, it wasn't a bad performance, it was a bad result, against Roma, it was a terrific performance, and not a bad result. If we score our chances then it becomes a brilliant performance, if you don't, even though we were brilliant, it is called a awful display, thats just not fair, some of the players are struggling to score, apart from that, generally the team is playing good. This team may prove to be, as Wenger believes, one of his greatest, but no one will think that yet, but no one has worked with the players as closely as Wenger, so how can they really know? I remember just over two years ago, people were saying the same things about Manchester United, Fergie's lost it, crap players, Giggs and Scholes are past it, Ronaldo is useless etc etc, now with most of those players still there look at them, now everyone says they have so much strength in depth! so before everyone jumps on the negativity bandwagon, maybe a bit of perspective would be good, our players were all hailed as great players in the making, now they are hailed as not good enough, well Wenger doesn't judge like that, that's why he still believes in them, and you are right, lets wait until May and see how they do.

Anonymous said...

its time to get behind arsenal from the beginning not just second half, the fans play their part aswell in a football match and the more support we offer the better it is for the team c'mon arsenal, forget all this anti eboue, alex song saga and start supporting the reds

WC said...

Even if we do win the CL - so what? Sure I'd shout out loud and scream at the top of my voice but what good is it if we end up 5th in the league? We'd have to win CL every single season if this is the best Wenger can put together and it's impossible to win CL every single season. The underlying problem is consistency and that is what makes winning teams. Even if we win something this season, without finding a strong consistent team we're facing the same problems we are this season, in the future. We're 6 points from 4th place and about 12 games t make that up - it's not impossible but a huge mountain that we've never faced before. We have gone from a team that has never finished outside the top two in about 9 years to fighting for our lives to scrape 4th place. Meanwhile the likes of Man Utd have never been in doubt of their place in a CL spot, even when they finished 3rd a few years ago. Wenger talks about the team as the future but he has to realize there is a sense of urgency to prove that because most players don't have 3-4 years to wait because they have their careers to think about and you cannot wrong them for thinking about straying if the team cannot produce while some of these players are getting to their prime.

Anonymous said...

i still beleive we have a cahnce of the top four, but if our two next reaults are draws we have blown it, of course villa seem to want 4th, apperently tht cunt o'neil is going to rest NINE 9!!! players for the CSK game.

Ole Gunner said...

Absolutely correct! Freaking obvious really!!

I'll chide you for not having said this in early November when all you blogs went crazy.

It's hard to believe that since November, every important match Arsenal has played has been deemed the end of Arsenal's season. Amazing really!

Pundits are maiking wild pronouncements about the team.

And fans are eating it up.

Anonymous said...

ARGH! I thought we have got past the central midfield issue and then Al brings it up.

There is no problem, Denilson is performing at the same level of Flamini without the level of quality surrounding him.

Fabregas and Eduardo coming back and the signing of Arshavin will address the dirth of quality in the squad, then we will see what a tidy player like Denilson would look like with quality to pass to.

MeteorMonster said...

I have never booed or insulted an Arsenal player, and never will. I will support them and cheer them on.

However, asking me to support Arsene is totally different. It is shameful the manner in which he has used Arsenal as nothing more than a grand experiment to prove his recent theory of what I call "Youth Relativity".

He should have replaced players in the Summer and did not. Even after failing, he continued to show his arrogance of self belief by not bringing in more players in January.

It has gotten so bad that now we fans have to lower our expectations to coming in 4th in the League rather than competing for the title.

Failure to do so will cost us 40-50 mill in FIFA CL money, endorsements, CL match revenue, CL broadcast fees and merchandising.

Ole Gunner said...

Meteor monster,

Question for you:

Wenger, while faced with the task of replacing the invincibles without a Chelsea-type budget decided to go for picking good talented players at an early age, or unknowns he had watched a lot and was sure of their quality. If you'd been the manager. What would you have done?

Thanks! Looking forward to your reply!

Anonymous said...

Well said Wrighty7, Arsene has managed to get Arsenal in a CL position for last 11 years so definitely deserves until the end of the season before judgment as a minimum.

MeteorMonster said...

To all the bloggers who use injury as an excuse.

Going into this season we knew we had 2 long term injuries in Eduardo and Rosicky. Added to that, we lost Diarra, Flamini, Gilberto, Hleib and Lehman. RVP was also uncertain because of reoccurring injuries the past 2 seasons.

Any manager worth his salt would have taken this into consideration and acquired enough depth to at least maintain last season's team quality.

Instead, we got Nasri (great pick up), Ramsey (future star)and an injured player Bischoff who had only played in 1 game for the Werder Bremen 1st eleven.

Does this make any sense to someone with one iota of intelligence.

The only long term injuries we have had this year has been Walcott (not a full starter)and Fabregas.

Forget about injuries, Manu had 12 players out at one point this year and are still in 1st place in the League, finals of the CC and still alive in both the FA and CL.

Fact is, Arsene took a big gamble on unproven, untested, unqualified youth and it has backfired.

Joppa Road said...

agree Meteor, I have been saying a similar thing since the start of the season. Our expectations are subtely being lowered.

I was thinking about the Man U fans calling for Fergie's head a few years ago but now they are flying. Maybe this could happen with Arsenal - but I am not so sure.

People talk about Fab coming back soon etc but at present we are probably the most solid we have been all season (having not lost for a while now). Fab wasn't playing that great before he got injured, lets just hope the break will do him some good. Will be great to see him back.

As much as Wenger goes on about how great this squad 'can' be I have my doubts. Whats frustrating is that a few more quality signings would do the trick.

I am not going to get carried away about beating Roma as I don't think they are that great a side. The champions league will be a great bonus if we can get through but what I want is some strong performances in the league. Fulham will be another tough test but one we need to be winning.

Anonymous said...

Arshavin is the exact player we needed, and now we miss Fabregas. Add those two players and we look a lot better (as Arshavin showed at 60% against Sunderland)

MeteorMonster said...

@ Ole Gunner,

Very simple, we could have acquired any number of players during the Summer including, Corluka (8M), Kompany (7M), Lescott(10-12M),Alonso(15M), Barry (18M), Bullard (5M),and any number of GK's, including Freitel (3M), to name a few.

Say we picked up Corluka, Kompany, Alonso and Freitel for 33M. We would have added height, EPL experience, veteran leadership,versatility across the mid field and back four, all problems which we have been presented with this season.

Alonso can play DM and when Fab got injured he could have assumed his role without missing a beat. Kompany and Corluka are both tall, excellent headers, versatile in the mid or back and technically excellent. Freitel is self explanatory, he is way better than Almunia, and more importantly, commands his penalty box which takes pressure off the back 4.

FACT: Arsenal has over 90M in an unallocated cash reserve (check the Annual Report, it's public.

Read my previous blog to see why spending 33M would have made sense.

Do I need to go any further.

Anonymous said...

You are asking us to sign players that would not do the job required. Alonso would never in his life do the job that Flamini, Denilson and Gilberto have done. he may be a better "footballer", but a defensive midfielder he is not. And you are assuming Corluka and Kompany are better than Toure, Gallas and Djourou. But Friedel would have been a good signing, but Almunia has not been that bad to be fair.

FACT: You don't know how well any player would fit in unless you see them at the club.

FACT: You know nothing about Arsenal's finances.

Anonymous said...

im a very up set gooner!I dont believe in judging others....But weve been sh*T and at times pretty shocking!You see a problem you fix it! Leaky pipe work you call in the plumber BEFORE your carpets get damaged im just saying! Denilson & Song should never EVER,EVER play together.We've not taken advantage of villa's slip up's and not giving them anything to worry about, it's to cushy!Where's our CM back up to Cesc and Diaby seasons been a shambles bring the Flamster back. My head say's they'll make it but my heart says we've left it a little to late. The presure Wenger has put himself under is crazy but couragous an shows his undoubted unhindered belief,so I shall follow him to the depths an beyond. Nice 1 Wrighty Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Yes, its Denilson's fault that we have been abysmal going forward this season...

avenell said...

Hello wrighty..

It may still be a season too early, a bit like judging how beautiful a butterfly is by looking at the catepillar.
mr wenger obe has been working under financial restraints that should be eased in the summer.
Emirates stadiums don't grow on trees.. lol..

Ole Gunner said...

Your reply was disappointing. In 2005, we had a squad that was old. They came 4th in the league, and it was out of our hands on the last day of the season. Only luck helped us qualify. That was when the choice had to be made.

Anyway, I just have to laugh at your comments.

1st. At the notion that you know the magic wand and Wenger with his long track record of discovering....Weah, Vieira, Henry, Fabregas...........etc etc, knows less than you.

2nd. That Corluka, Kompany & co playing and being distinctly average were the magic players.

3rd. You ignore the rest of the squad. The 4 players you mentioned couldn't possibly have been the whole squad. So who assembled the remaining squad? I mean, the fact that you think only those 4 were needed means you think the rest of the squad was good. Ok. And only about4 of those were at Arsenal during the invincibles. How could you have assembled that 90% of the squad without a Chelsea-like budget? Don't forget that not going for youth would mean no Fabregas, no Clichy, no Van Persie, no Flamini, no Walcott, no Adebayor... You'd have had to buy top established internationals of similar talent.

So I think you haven't even come close to addressing the practical question of getting a squad of 25 top players for Arsenal.

I mean, if your 4 superstars cost £33M, and average of £8M, It'd have cost 8 x 25= £200M to assemble the squad. Where would that money have come from?

Begeegs said...

Some optimistic - what is that? ;-)

This team is very very young, but they do have a lot of quality - Even Song. In fact, he and Denilson are being slated for lack of creativity, but they aren't the most creative midfielders - that isn't their games. Bendtner gets slated and he is 21 - what other top 4 teams have a 21 year old striker that is playing regular football?

I have faith that when we get the injured players back, things will turn around. More competition for places means that people will up their game. Look at Eboue. Lethargic pre-Arshavin (i am ignoring the Spuds game), he has also upped his game....

Spike said...

WC said...

Even if we do win the CL - so what? Sure I'd shout out loud and scream at the top of my voice but what good is it if we end up 5th in the league? We'd have to win CL every single season if this is the best Wenger can put together and it's impossible to win CL every single season.


That has got to be one of the funniest ever written on this blog!!!


Oh, you were being serious? Oh dear

Anonymous said...

Meteor Monster!!!
Your mad my man! It's been a tough season for sure but just get behind the team for god's sake! The only reason you feel we should have bought a new keeper is because Almunia didn't cost 12 million!!
Some fans have short, short memories. I'll take them young boys over Hillier,McGoldric,Jensen,Morrow and Selley any day of the week. Having said that, when those players wore the red and white i totally supported them.
Get Real Bro!!
Great positive blog and some lovely comments guys.

Anonymous said...

dream on wrighty. we,re a team who can only get up for big matches. it will be back to the same old shit on saturday. watch. a team of prima donnas who wont do their job week in week out.. thats the difference between us and utd.. as for the match in rome. god knows which arsenal will turn up. remember porto

starscream said...

to meteor monster
u seem to know better than wenger...wy dont u apply for the job??

to all others
is this an arsenal blog or man scum blog??arent u ashamed of urselves?? a true gooner will support the club in thick and thin and not whine like a jackass...u the hell made u think u are better than the dude who wrote wenger should be replaced..are u fuckin dumb?? u think u can do one in a million th part wat wenger has done or for that matter 90 %of the other managers in the world cant even dream of havin wengers talents...i think u should go join spuds if u r not one already..

a great team is not the team that wins every game ..but it tis the team that never gives up...plays with lot of heart..all u pessimistic fucks can go fuck proud of wat this team has achieved with so many ppl injured..we do miss cesc..van persie needs a bit more quality behind him...denilson is maturing brilliantly....back four are building a fortress...nasri is worth every penny of tht 11 million..arshavin for 15 million is a bargain considering the price city and spuds are paying for third rate players..

starscream said...

who would ve thought walcott and cesc will get injured and rosicky will take so long to recover?? some of u ppl are askin for wengers head for not replacing them during the transfer window...all of em will return in few weeks after tht wat would u ve done with the players thus bought??make them sit in the bench??tlk logic ppl..last two seasons have been unlucky..not tht we could ve done any thin bout it..wenger built a perfect was gng perfect till dudu got injured..after tht we did not pick up..cos it is tough to get back the rythm we once had once it is broken tht too after an injury like tht..then the traitors left the club..wenger knew denilson can do wat flamini did and rite nw he s doin it quietly efficiently..and he bought nasri to replace hleb..and boy wat a replacement..he s one of wengers master strokes.a bargain for 11 million..then he sneakily bought arshavin might be too little too late ...but keep the wenger ..he knws ..he gave us pires viera and henry...he gave us cesc rvp eduardo sagna and clichy day u ppl ll say he gave us denilson nasri arshavin walcott and ramsey..

gooner for life..

Anonymous said...

Agree with MM about the transfer targets that could have been signed.As it is AW has signed one kid after another forgetting that it takes time for them to get the experience.Yet he complains of lack of experience.This hole was dug by him and he has to show his managerial credentials by getting the gunners moving instead of giving one excuse one after another.

Anonymous said...


id be happy to finish in 17th if it meant we win the CL in the same season.