Thursday, 10 March 2011

And Who Said Arsenal Couldn't Defend?

Arsenal impressed me during the first half in the Camp Nou the other night. We defended very well indeed.

People have said we were slaughtered like Amy Winehouse, well I'd agree we were in the second half. When down to 10 men.

However the first half we defended our goal like a bunch of old women defending their knitting needles. I was happy with that display.

I think Arsene Wenger set the team out to defend like we did. And if memory serves me correctly Barcelona had only 2 shots on goal other the actual goal itself, which came from a mistake.

Of course Barcelona had 99% of possession, something Arsenal are used to having, but they wasn't causing us too many problems.

In fact, I'd say that we had them rattled more than a rattle snake and had we gone into half-time at 0-0 their confidence would have been affected. We conceded a goal at the worst possible time.

Had Chelsea defended like we did in the first-half you would have said they were resolute. Because Arsenal don't play that way, and people say we can't defend, we were outplayed.

You are not going to have any choice other than to defend in long periods against Barcelona and I don't think we got enough credit for the way we handled them until we went down to 10 men.

That said we didn't do what we usually do very well. We gave the ball away a lot. It was like a hot potato at times.

Had we kept the ball better, I firmly believe the longer the game went on we would have won.

Credit must go to Barcelona though. Despite us frustrating them they kept to their principles and kept going. Do they have a plan B? Probably, but so do Arsenal now.

It can be ugly to watch 10 men defending behind the ball, we've seen that more times from the opposition than any, but it does frustrate the other team and can work.

Like my sisters pay-as-you-go phone I don't think Arsene Wenger has received enough credit.

It's said he can be tactically naive at times, something I agree with to a certain extent, but he wasn't during the first half in Barcelona.

He set up our stall to defend in numbers and it worked marvellously until injury time.

Arsenal can definitely defend well its just we won't ever get the chance to show it regularly because its not every day we face a team like Barcelona.

Teams usually do it us and receive loads of credit. Its a shame it doesn't work the other way round.

Keep It Goonerish..........

31 comments:

PartyMarty said...

True, but you have to consider we defended against a team who pass the ball on the ground. Interesting to see how we would cope with the same pressure against us against a team who play high balls inn the box and have the same passesion as Barca.

Leah said...

For as long as i can remember Barcelona has never beaten a full strength Arsenal. Either its injury or one player sent off.
In 2006, the goalkeeper was sent off.
Last season first leg when Arsenal was full squad, it was a draw in the first leg, second leg without 5 key players, they won. This year 1st leg at full strength Barcelona lost and the second leg it was 1-1 upto when RVP was sent off. So Barca cant beat Arsenal

Bassam said...

Lets stop all the excuses - we were shafted good and proper and part of that was down to crap tactics, where we instead should've been launching the ball to a 2nd attacker up front who could domuinate in the air and hold the ball up (as we were without Walcott's runs).

It's disgraceful looking at the stats, regardless of the ref, to now actually go into the history books of the ONLY team to never have had a shot on goal......

Wenger's creating a smoke screen with all his stuff about Eufa and his convictions that we'd have won and I hope Gazidis sees right through it. Surprisingly, most blogs haven't.

Look how well Gallas did yesterday too - amzing that he was so hated by the Arsenal masses - can't recognize heart; determination and quality when it's staring right in the face.

Monty said...

well said... i think we went into the game with the Anfield 89 game plan.. keep it tight, stay in the game, nick a goal if needed and get it to the last 20mins where we have been stronger then them and hit them on the counter, exploit the gaps that they will be leaving.. if we had kept 11 on the pitch i was confident we would have seen it out. as the game went on barca would get desperate, their fans would get on their backs, holes would appear in the defence as they committed more forward.. they needed to the win we didnt remember, draw was enough. shame the ref ruined it for us

Monty said...

Bassam, if you like Gallas so much go and watch him every week at the shit hole you mug

Bassam said...

Get lost Monty - you're the one who's been mugged: idiot

David Morris said...

You know what Wrighty - good on you. you're the only arsenal blogger out there who remains positive NO MATTER WHAT, and that's what we as a club need. All these blogs like le grove who constantly slag us off are pathetic. fine, have your views, but why promote negativity when we as a club should be united while challenging for the title? Why cant ALL gooners get together and fight for the same thing i.e. a successful season? the team needs our support more than ever so why do these negative posts which achieve NOTHING? Two examples of how we can help - Barca at home the crowd was exceptional and we ended up beating the best team in the world 2-1. two weeks later we play sunderland, the crowd cant get up for it (other than to slag off the players) and we end up drawing 0-0 to a side who'd lost 4 on the spin. you do the maths!

David Morris said...

BASSAM - did you also see gallas at blackpool and wolves? where was the heart there?

Bassam said...

We had the players in 89 to have the bottle to win something - not the few pansies that are there now, which Wenger claims are the best side he's ever managed. That's the real joke....

Monty said...

ahahah Bassam... do they accept oyster cards on the 'sack wenger' bus?!? tit

Anonymous said...

Bassam do you happen to live in T*ttenham?

Bassam said...

Some Gooners still hiding behind excuses again - just cos a supporter has an opinion, the defense mechanism kicks in and so they basically just get sworn at, or accused of supporting the arch rivals.
There's unity for you Mr Morris. Everyone's entitled to their views and am sorry I can't always see things through rose coloured spectacles

Anonymous said...

@Bassam - loyalty - look it up.

david morris said...

Bassam of course everyone is entitled to an opinion, but answer me this - do you think it helps or hinders the club when the supporters aren't united and slag the club off?

you also didn't answer me about Gallas - so he raised it for milan, where the fuck has he been the rest of the season while the scum have been shipping goals left right and centre?

Bassam said...

Anonymous - blind faith - look it up

Anonymous said...

@Bassam touché.

Monty said...

maybe you should organise something for the next home game Bassam, or what about utd away if your coming along and we can all show Wenger what we really think hey.. that he is useless and we should get rid despite him being the most successful manager in our history and constantly operating within budget and still over achieving just isnt good enough cos for 5 long years we haven won anything! lets get some perspective.. in the 5 years look at the amount of cash spent at clubs around us, liverpool, man city, tiny totts, what have they achieved? liverpool nearly went bankrupt trying to finish in top 4 we do that every year for 15 years.. look at the bigger picture

Anonymous said...

Na Na Na tactics were poor CESC unfit had a shocker DIABY was invisible ROSICKY im sorry but hes finished,poor against birmingham even worse against barca . No outlet stuck in our own half with a poor unfit midfield, How we didnt start with Bendtner and Cham-man to test them in the air. Both would have won every aerial battle. Our centerbacks an keeper were outstanding. I just think tactics were all wrong Wrighty let me know what ya think nice 1 adetrugoon

Anonymous said...

Bassam, do you think slagging the players, the manager and the team does any good?

No, thought not. Get behind your team.

Anonymous said...

Wrighty...

what did we defend.please explain we where outplayed out classed...and lost fair and square...so please-..what the feck did we defend...????
to use the word defend mate..youll have to defend something..did we go trough.did we defend our lead..what ???
what a joke...get wenger the feck out...
and just to rub it in....if you loose...you dont really defend a fecking thing ..get your head out of Wengers a** and be real..

Bassam said...

David - you've got an argument about those games you refer to about Gallas, with him returning from injury to get sharper.
I don't watch Sp*rs games but accept if you're saying Gallas was krud in those matches.

In comparison, looking at Kos (who I've still got time for) he's not been too great either for quite a few games. I'd have rather kept the experience and defensive cover, than having thrown Kos in at the deep end.

As for what good 'negativity' might do, I'd agree with you. I'm not saying be negative, I'm saying be realistic and honest - look at the facts (starting with actual match stats). I wouldn't have booed or ironically clapped Denilson or got on Arshavin's back - he's great and needs support. There are some players like Rosiscky who I don't however think should be starting games at the mo.....

david morris said...

I see what you are saying, but i think the point is those players are here now so nothing we can do about it until the summer. but until then we may as well at least try and stay positive. and i dont really think it's unrealistic to believe we can win the title this year - do you?

as for gallas, trust me he's been shocking. look at their defensive record for proof of that

Bassam said...

Monty - Wenger has been excellent at managing budgets and spotting great players.

The great shame is that he's only ever been one or two additional players away from a trophy.

Should've got Anelka before he went to Bolton - a cool 7mil

Should've retained Viera/Gilberto/Flamini/Edu whilst bringing through the talent & arguably should've kept Keown as defensive coach.

Seriously hope he gets it right against Man U but just think sometimes as supporters we too easily forget in one respect and on the other hand, we give carte blanche to Wenger just based on the past - where he had success foundations from the defensive strength and mentality that was there before he arrived

Bassam said...

True David, can only support the team as they are now but it's fair to be able to point out, even if a just a humble opinion, if it's felt that out of the current crop available that some players should be selected ahead of others.

Really hoping at the mo that Ramsey gets his chance. In the summer can't wait for Jet to return, as well as our promising DM who got injured for this season....

Anonymous said...

Well written piece.

Arsenal did what everyone said they should do in the first leg. Defend! and I was amazed they did so well in the first half. Second half it was a different game. We started off by having a go at them. First real pressure and the conceded an own goal. I firmly believed if the Ref had not given Van Persie the card we would have won and Barca know that.

As for Gallas, how come the media that constantly derided him when he was playing for Arsenal are now lining up to hail him. No articles reminding us he lacked leadership skills for his behaviour at Birmingham?

Bassam said...

One last thing about Gallas is that he's pretty much admitted only reason he signed for Sp*rs was his family was settled in London.

Really believe he wanted to stay at Arsenal and can also see he's not been as committed to the Spuds, so there's an argument he'd have given more the the gunners cause.

Don't think he can be judged on the one game at Brum - it was a traumatising day and he himself actually played well for that match.

However, what's done is done ...

Danish Gooner said...

You cant be serious !!! We defended like dogs of war but still let in 3 and they could have had another hatful,it was appalling all the way around but apparently standards are dropping all around ,even at the fanbase.

Anonymous said...

Danish Gooner said...
You cant be serious !!! We defended like dogs of war but still let in 3 and they could have had another hatful,it was appalling all the way around but apparently standards are dropping all around ,even at the fanbase.

Have you actually read the article?

Anonymous said...

"Barcelona has never beaten a full strength Arsenal".Haha would you beat a Barcelona side with Valdes,Alves,Piqué,Puyol,Abidal,Xavi,Iniesta,Busquets,Messi,Villa and Pedro? And those IN GOOD FORM, cause even in the last game,Messi looked like he wasn't even trying.Imagine of we played you like we played you like we played Madrid(5-0),you're lucky enough we didn't.

Arsenal having 0 shots is not an excuse for us Barça fans to think they couldn't beat us, because you were playing on the Counter Attack anyway,and once again it shows how much you stick to your "philosophy"(ROFL).

To tell you frankly,Wenger is the problem.He won't win anything if he continues to copy Barça like this.Like the commentator said,Arsenal play this kind of game to 99 percent of teams in the EPL, and look what Barcelona did to them.

Anonymous said...

Bassam's perfectly right!How can fans be happy with a Nearly team, KNOWING WERE ONLY 3 PLAYERS AWAY FROM BEING A GREAT TEAM. I couldnt get tickets for Wembley Hence the strenth of the Aresnal support I felt gutted for the team but more so for the fans who made the trip! To much soft players to much soft fans happy to finish 4th. you tell um Bassam! Adetrugoon!

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