Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Twelve Hours From Now.....

Things could be very, very different indeed.

Who knows? If results go our way we could be only six points off Chelsea and only four behind Manchester United.

On the other hand we may find ourselves only two points clear of Liverpool.

Two very different scenario's but both should give this Arsenal squad enough motivation to go on and claim three of the most important points this Premiership campaign has to offer tonight.

Every game for Arsenal from now to the end of the season must be treated like a cup-final. We need to keep winning, letting Chelsea and Manchester United know we haven't given up yet.

It may seem worthless at the moment, many Gooners have conceded defeat already but don't. Please don't.

I know Wenger has made mistakes, especially not signing anyone other than Sol Campbell in January, but we have to get behind the side for the last push of the season.

Let's be like those away Gooners, who never gave up singing at Stamford Bridge despite being 2-0 down. Let's call on that under-dog spirit that Arsenal are famous for.

Chelsea and Manchester United will drop points from now till the end of the season. We have to be there to capitalise. We can help. We can be the twelfth man on that pitch.

I know we are all pissed off at the moment. Who wouldn't be? But let's show the wankers out there that we are Arsenal and we are united as one.

The media, experts, ex-players have all wrote us off and love having a dig. Let's not resort to that amongst ourselves.

In twelve hours time we may be a little closer to the top. We may not. I reckon we will be though. We can still win the league, albeit relying on others, but we are still there. In the mix.

Keep believing! Football is an unpredictable game.

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


b.B.K said...

i think we and united,chelsea will win

Marv tha' gooner said...

C'mon you GOONERS!!! I'll be there front an centre (well, block F actually LOL)

Jarred Grimshaw said...

Saw a tv show the other day that had Robbie Fowler, Robbie Slater on and they were talking about the old days.

Robbie Slater was talking about when he was at Blackburn and they won the title, they lost both games to liverpool and Man United, but won all the games against the lower teams.

I have to say We are going ok atm, despite being 9 points behind. Win tomorrow and Man u lose to Villa things look a little better, Chelsea also have a trip to Man U to come, and im sure they will drop points in between.

Im disappointed that we have 1 point from the last 3 games, but I aint going to jump off the Arsenal wagon now (I've been a supporter since I was a kid) But I must say its put up or shutup for Wenger in the coming months.

I hope he can pull a 'rabbit out of the hat' If not it might be time for a change.

Real Social Dad said...

let hope the former hey

we only have to go away to 2 top half teams for the rest of the season
so still could be our year just
Dont believe the Hype

Jarred Grimshaw said...

As real social dad said, we have a fairly soft run home.

We can do it, our record against lower teams is great. Beating Liverpool is vital for a start.

Supporters need to make us much noise as possible!

Joppa Road said...

Lets just concentrate on beating Liverpool. I think its silly to think about winning the league.

Top 4 should be our first aim (ideally 3rd).

Wrighty you go on about the top two dropping points, I dont think they will drop that many. More importantly though may I remind you of Wenger's team selection policy in the league before big Champions League matches. You know it, I know it - he will rest players in important league matches and WE will drop points.

Not being a doom merchant, just going on what Wenger has done in the past and I think its a fairly strong point I make.


Real Social Dad said...

JR if we start playing for 4th then were doomed.
lets beat the dippers.
as for utd and chels dropping there run ins are scary. like away to all the top 6. teams almost for both of them.

xeeez said...

we are behind the team wrighty..i like the optimistic nature of this blog!

Anonymous said...

Another week, another defeat, another round of Chicken Licken posturing from the Arse-blogosphere. I’m not going to dwell on the painful realities of the loss to Chelsea, here, but offer another long-term perspective of Arsenal’s situation. I will start with the cult of personality that informs much football coverage in this country.

If you think about it, there’s very little penetrating analysis of football in the British popular media, from tabloid journalism to MotD to Football First. It often concentrates on personalities, where it does exist: how did so-and-so play? In the worst of the Arse-blogosphere this descends into invective against perceived offenders (the perpetual Denilson, this week Clichy, in the past Song and Eboue) or, of course, calls for Arsène’s resignation, as he’s to blame for every bad performance, not the players.

On a few blogs you read how Arshavin is clearly unhappy, the other players don’t like him and neither does the manager. (If this were true, and if Arsène has total control of footballing matters, why did Arsenal buy Arshavin and why still play him?) The cult of personality has the institution of Arsenal FC, its team and tactics and strategies, replaced by Arsène himself, a one-man band, an obsessive, a crank. I refer you to my previous post for more in this line.

Myles Palmer, himself the cheerleader of the Chicken Licken faction (and who does it for reasons of personal animus and the journalistic ‘story’, it seems, rather than emotional investment in the club) has written recently that Wenger is not a good tactician, rarely winning games through tactical adjustments or substitutions. Instead, Palmer calls Wenger a ‘choreographer’.

In part, I would tend to agree that Arsène is not the greatest manager at tactical switches on-the-fly, but I think it’s important here to make a distinction between those tactics and strategies. Tactics are short-term decisions or procedures that implement a broader, long-term plan of action, a strategy, to achieve a certain goal. While Arsène may have weaknesses as a tactician, as a strategist I think that he is without peer.

Most managers are not, and indeed in the current footballing culture of instantaneous success, cannot afford to be strategists. It is to Arsenal’s credit as a club that in the mid-1990s they employed world football’s most innovative strategic thinker, then completely unheralded in this country, to take the club forward, something that Bruce Rioch was signally unable to convince Dein and other board members that he would be able to do.

Since when, Arsène Wenger has overseen the complete remodelling of Arsenal’s training facilities, its move to a new stadium, its re-imagination not as ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ but as the most thrilling footballing side in England, its backroom culture, its recruitment strategies with regard to players. Everything is different now.

What, then, is the current strategy? If we ignore the ‘blame game’ and cult of personality rhetoric which sees Arsenal’s football planning in terms of one man’s stubbornness or whimsical desire to ‘experiment’, how can we analyse what Arsenal are doing with a long-term perspective?

Anonymous said...

The ‘youth policy’ is fundamental. This is far from being a whimsical experiment to see whether he can win the league ‘with kids’. It’s a strategic plan that responds to long-term developments in football that have still to fully unwind. It begins with the arrival of Sky monies, the transfer bubble, the spending of 70-80% of revenues on salaries which sustained the English Premier league from the mid-1990s until 2008, which has also had the side-effect of producing large numbers of institutional casualties: Leeds United, Charlton, Norwich, Southampton, Portsmouth, and so on.

Thankfully, Arsenal have not placed themselves in debt to finance the acquisition of superstars. It’s now clear that Arsène saw the inevitable deflation of the transfer bubble coming and decided upon an alternative long-term strategy to maintain the club’s position as an elite European and Premier League institution. Spending on younger players allows Arsenal to maximise the value of its outlay.

It is also well-known that Arsenal’s current internal culture runs counter to the prevailing English one of nightlife, celebrity and conspicuous consumption. This is why Arsenal develops its own players, to educate them in a different kind of lifestyle. Even media superstars like Thierry Henry behaved differently from Beckham or Terry; Arsenal players like Jermaine Pennant and Ashley Cole, who clearly were attracted to and were part of that English footballing culture, left the club, and it’s to be hoped that Jay-Emmanuel Thomas’s recent misadventure is not a bad omen for him.

That’s not to say that the club rules its players with an iron hand. Instead, the club (and Arsène) is criticised for insulating its players from the world, that they’re ‘pampered’ and ‘soft’. Clearly it would be absurd to take Arsène’s public statements of support for his players as a sign that he is incapable of criticising them in private (though some do), but the crucial thing is that Arsène constantly emphasises group responsibility, group mentality, group togetherness.

Anonymous said...

This emphasis on teamwork is, I think, a response to developments in the relationship between player and club/ employer over the last 10 years. While the Bosman ruling gave players the necessary freedom to leave a club at the end of a contract, it tended to dissolve the bonds of loyalty that were once the norm. We see very few ‘one-club’ players now. If fans are now customers and consumers, players are contractors, willing to move from team to team if opportunities arise to earn more, or win more trophies. Fair enough; but this must have a negative impact on group dynamics, on team ‘chemistry’. This is also why Arsenal consistently, and rightly, refuse to abandon their wage structure.

It is also the reason why Arsenal have spent the year re-signing young players to long-term contracts. Player mobility is only controlled by the club if they have two years or more on their contract to run, and player value is determined partly by contract length.

Vieira and Henry might have seemed undersold at the time of their sales, but contract length as well as age limited their sell-on value. (And if you don’t think sell-on value is important, remember that Manchester United have changed their own transfer strategy to target under-26s, and that Liverpool struggled mightily – and failed – to offload unwanted players like Babel because their estimation of the player’s value was too high.) Limiting player mobility allows for the group to develop together. Incoming players are intensively scouted in order to maintain this team dynamic.

Today’s Arsenal, even though Arsène necessarily embodies the club in the public sphere, is actually wedded to the opposite of the cult of personality: the primacy of the collective. Adebayor and Toure were purged in the summer because their cliques disrupted the collective, and the team has been healthier for it. The primacy of the collective is also the primacy of the strategy over the tactic, the long-term over the short-term, the development of a team rather than the acquisition of a roster of stars.

And here comes an unexpected conclusion: Arsène Wenger is contemporary Arsenal’s Virgin Queen. Like Elizabeth I, Arsène Wenger understands that the long-term continuity of the institution is far more important than the merely personal or individual. Elizabeth rejected the dynastic politics of the 16th century (where geo-politics was conducted through marriage and personal alliances) in order to construct a different nation state that would survive her: ‘England’ was her child, she needed no biological heir.

Arsène Wenger has constructed a different Arsenal that will survive him, in terms of its finances, its facilities, its scouting networks, its group of players; and like Elizabeth, a cult of personality surrounds him that obscures, in the popular eye, what he has truly done. Perhaps he likes it that way.

Anonymous said...

wy does everyone say we have an 'easy' run in. spurs AWAY, city home, stoke AWAY, birmingham AWAY.

can you really see this team going to STOKE and winning. i love arsenal as much as you guys but lets be realistic-thats a 99% loss. birmingham and spurs could be draws and i would hope to beat city home but a very tough one.

iwannaplayagame! said...


Anonymous said...

loving the optimism wrighty. we gotta win this one and hope that manu and chelsea drop points

KIlla K said...

1-0 Your a GENIUS!!! I can't believe the lack of faith showed by some of the so called faithful lately! SHAME ON YOU ALL. Now we ARE 6 POINTS behind...CHASE ON...GAME ON! BRING IT!

Keep the faith.