Report by Steve Yates
I confess that I have a liking for Arsenal. In simple fact, of all the so-named ‘Big Four’ they are most likely the one particular staff that I wouldn’t thoughts possessing to view each week. They play a wonderful, silky sport of football and, when they are in complete flight, they are probably the nearest thing we have in this region to a staff that can match Barcelona.
Unfortunately, they cannot match Barcelona in terms of finishing potential. Or possibly defending, for that subject. In simple fact, in these two departments they themsleves can be matched by very a handful of of the ‘lesser’ teams in English football.
It’s such a shame, genuinely, for the neutral, that a group that has the passing capability in it that this Arsenal crew has in some way looks to arrive up quick time and time again. Players with the capability of Fabregas, Arshavin, Van Persie, and Walcott should surely have won some thing in the previous couple of seasons.
So exactly where has it gone wrong? Or, as some Arsenal enthusiasts are positive to argue, has it not gone incorrect at all it’s simply a make a difference of time. Or economics. Or a thing else.
3 issues strike me. Once again, I tension as a neutral. My wife supports Tottenham but I really don’t allow that colour my standpoint at all.
Anyway, the 1st is that when I remember that really fantastic Arsenal group of a number of years in the past, it’s not just their quality of passing I bear in mind. Yes, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, etc could pass the ball – but the complete crew had a solidity and physicality about it that just doesn’t appear to be there in the present one particular. When you remember Patrick Vieira, you bear in mind his hardness as much as his undoubted talent. So usually now when you see the two groups lining up for the girly handshakes – sorry, pre-match civilities – the Arsenal staff looks like a junior aspect in comparison to the team they’re taking part in in opposition to. That so-important spine running through the team does not seem to be to be fairly proper.
And when you keep in mind Ian Wright, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp you don’t forget their ruthless precision in making practically every single likelihood count something today’s strikerss are a extended way from achieving.
Last but not least, and here Arsenal enthusiasts will be in a position to shed light on this – the lack of trophies appears to me to have coincided with the move to the Emirates Stadium. It’s a fantastic location to watch football, and absolutely everyone ought to go there – but Arsenal left Highbury in Might, 2006 and haven’t won something because. I don’t believe in curses or things like that. I do wonder, although, if the monetary influence of the stadium, especially in what we have to get in touch with ‘the existing financial climate’, has had a dramatic influence on the manager’s transfer price range.
I totally applaud the way that Arsene Wenger can get players of whom we know very small and make them into superstars. But I wonder if this coverage has rather been compelled on him simply because most of the income is tied up elsewhere.
Whichever the cause, I genuinely fear for Arsenal this 12 months. A group with the fiscal clout of Manchester Metropolis might start to make genuine progress. Everton are only a couple of gamers absent from getting a actually very good squad – and no-one could accuse them of lacking physicality. My wife tells me to compose that Tottenham are going to be up there this period as nicely she might be proper.
I desire, by some means, that Arsenal can, in 2009/2010, end becoming ‘promising’ and ‘young’ and genuinely play like they did a handful of years ago. I hated the way Manchester United brushed them aside in the Champions’ League semi-final it was brutal.
I want to see an Arsenal crew that plays fast, fluent, passing football but also has received some steel at the back again and a ruthlessness in attack.
If they have one more period like previous year, I dread that the ‘Big Four’ may possibly not consist of them.
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