Apr 102008

There’s altogether too much doom and gloom going around at the moment, too much criticism of Wenger’s transfer policy by the very same people that praised him for it when the season was looking rosier. At a time like this, it can be difficult to get past the dissenting voices and retain a bit of optimism. Here are ten reasons to win that particular battle.

1. We are better than Liverpool

That might seem like a strange thing to say after not beating them in four matches this season, but it isn’t sour grapes to say that was purely down to extraordinarily bad luck. We dominated the league game at Anfield before Christmas, hitting the post twice, dominated the Champions League first leg, being denied by a referee and a less than balletic teammate, before two much closer matches. The league doesn’t lie – two years ago Liverpool were better than us (briefly), but not any more.

2. Luck has to change

I was going to write a piece on how since the Birmingham game, we’ve had goals wrongly ruled out, goals against us wrongly allowed, dodgy penalty calls at both ends, and a stream of bad luck, but Goodplaya’s beaten me to it, and put it better than I could, so I suggest you have a read.

They say luck evens out in the end, so next season should be a cracker.

3. Theo Walcott’s a bit good

Witness the terrified Liverpool players the moment he came on the pitch. See the directness of his running, as if he’s cottoned on to his greatest asset. See the determination in his fight for a first team place. And he’s only just 19. Anyone think the criticism of him this season was premature?

4. We’re coming higher in the league and we’ve gone further in the Champions League than last year

Last season we came a distant fourth, 21 points off the pace, and got deservedly knocked out in an appalling display against PSV in the last 16. This season, we’re fifteen points closer to United, got a round further in Europe, and at least put up a decent fight against Liverpool.

5. We’ve proved the media wrong

They said Wenger was wrong to sell Henry, as no-one could step in and score 20 goals, let alone the 25 Adebayor has. They said Cesc couldn’t score. They said we’d drop out of the top four. They were wrong, oh so very very wrong.

6. Cesc Fabregas is still only 20

Hard to believe, isn’t it, that our midfield talisman is younger than Nani, Babel, and so many more of the ‘up and coming’ players at other clubs. Even better than that, he’s a true Gooner, who dislikes United, Ferguson, Hughes, Savage and Chelsea. The man has good taste – how long before he’s captain?

7. Wenger has money to spend

That doesn’t mean he’ll spend it, of course, more that he isn’t restricted by it. He’ll bide his time, go for the targets he wants, but he isn’t financially constrained any more. If he thinks 10-15m is a bargain for a player, he can pay it.

8. We have the happiest hierarchy in the top four

Chelsea have trigger happy Abramovich, a manager who the fans can’t stand, and Peter Kenyon playing the role of the weasel. United have the ever-popular Glazers, who are currently surviving financially thanks to their on field success but are relying on that a little too heavily, while Liverpool’s board room battles are the stuff of playground legend. Meanwhile, Wenger has the time and space to work his long term magic by his English, and Arsenal attached, board, who are resisting the foreign invasion with everything they have. The heritage of this club is secure.

9. Robin Van Persie will play some football next season

Oh yes he will. Don’t forget what a talent the man is. Clichy had to bide his time to prove it. Van Persie will too.

10. Tottenham and the top four

August is a month of brave and stupid predictions, and last summer’s common theme was Spurs finishing ahead of us and reaching the top four. If that isn’t something to chuckle at, I don’t know what is.

Keep smiling, Gooners.

  20 Responses to “Ten reasons for Arsenal fans to be cheerful today”

  1. […] reasons for Arsenal to be cheerful today (The Beautiful Groan) Category: 22de Daily Dose, English Premier League Tags: English Premier League, Daily […]

  2. there are also a lot of reasons why we shouldn’t be happy

    1) Wenger although having money to spend will probably not spend much if any of it when it is blatantly obvious that we need a stronger squad.

    2) We can not defend to save our lives, Liverpool drew level after we were ahead in the champs league tie after 3minutes, 16 minutes and less than one minute respectively……which in all honesty is fuckin shite!!

    3) And a massive reason to be pissed is that we have gone 3 seasons without silverware and showed a real lack of character and depth with our implosion at the end of this season

    A lot of things have got to change at this club and Wenger has got to start being a bit more ruthless!!!

  3. As usual,AW is defiant and say bad luck with imjuries is to blame.I can see his pt of view.
    He might be throwing a red herring because prices may go up for a player he is interested.If arsenal don’t strengthen when it is obvious to everybody including my 90 yr old grandad,the the gunners can forget abt winning any trophy.

  4. Glen, we have shown a lack of depth but we certainly have not shown a lack of character – otherwise how did we equalise the other night with an exhausted side, and how did we come back from two down at Bolton, with only ten men?

    Wenger will probably sign a few players in the summer, but they certainly aren’t going to be the megastars that some ask for, and nor should they.

    Very few people knew of Eduardo and Sagna a year ago, but now all agree they were excellent signings. Those are the sort we need more of.

  5. Agree with most of that but right now 3/4 in league and or still in Europe??

    Arse had the same problem this season as all – they have a great young squad – but no back ups and. March is a bad month again and again post African nations and all those games.

    Wenger will buy someone unknown and good again – but will the squad be better???

  6. The luck could’ve fallen either way – it could easily have been third and in the Champions League semis. It hung on a knifeedge.

    Where we have fallen down this season is in March, you’re right, and much of that is down to the inability to rotate thanks to a few injuries. With the smallest squad in the top four, those injuries hurt us more than anyone else.

    And that’s the flaw that needs correcting. Wenger buying unknown and good is great, as long as he buys more than he sells.

    Gilberto’s lost it, as has Lehmann, so the only real loss would be Flamini, who may yet depart.

    If he stayed, then it won’t be like last season, where the signings just covered those that were sold – this time any signings would have to improve the squad, as they would increase its size, which as you rightly say, has been what’s killed the title challenge in the end.

  7. Like the song says always look on the bright side of life. I see more positives coming out of this season than negatives and surely the negatives we can see Arsene can see as well. He’s a great beleiver in stats and irrespective of the undouted bad luck we’ve recently encountered stats don’t like and ours have droped off.

  8. when r u clowns ever going to wake up

    with deluded fans like u pete and a stubborn manager like Arsene…..we are going to be a mid table team soon…..

  9. dev, you try financing a stadium while spending on the Chelsea scale. It is precisely Arsene’s frugal nature as to why we are not Leeds II.

    It’s all about the long term, and these ‘mid table’ claims are exactly what people were spouting last summer. Those people conviniently disappeared when we were top of the table all season, and now they’re coming out of the woodwork again.

  10. “Very few people knew of Eduardo…. a year ago”

    Erm, Youre an idiot

  11. excellent article. we’re all pissed off about the way we’ve capitulated in the last 6 weeks, but we an ever improving side, so long as wenger can keep 99% of the squad together.
    these idiots calling for wholesale changes forget that before last season, Man Utd went 3 season without winning fuck all…yet nobody was calling for fergies head on a plate.
    i’m not one of these mugs that says “Arsene Knows” in every situation, as i have disagreeed with a large number of his decisions this season, (for instance, we shouldn’t have got rid of diarra. i don’t give a fuck if he was unhappy, he could cover the centre mid positon better than gilberto, the right mid position better than that clown eboue, and also covered the right back berth in sagna’s absence better than kolo! then we should ahve sold him at the end of this season) however he does know what he’s doing, and next season we will be chalenging and winning trophies.

    criticise whenn it’s due, but keep the faith brothers.

  12. jim, very few fans in England HAD heard of Eduardo a year ago – check out any of the Arsenal blogs at the time he was signed, everyone was rushing to find out who he was.

    Of course scouts knew of him, but that wasn’t my point.

    Care to back up what you say a little more?

  13. 20 reasons for next season and more
    clichy gallas toure sagna

    vela fabregas flamini walcott

    rvp adebeyour

    new defender

    oh yeah adios to lehmann eboue senderos hoyte

    and whatever coos wenger pulls out of his hat

  14. Jim.
    If you can prove you knew of Arsenal’s interest in Eduardo before Wenger bought him you’re a big man.
    If not you’re just another wanker.

  15. Some good points but some totally deluded ones as well.

    Out of the two youngsters on the pitch in the final game at Anfield, Babel was clearly the more gifted and got his rewards. Theo, while a good player, was able to flounce up and put the ball in because the entire Liverpool team were too scared of bringing him down.

    As for Arsenal ‘dominating’ the games with Liverpool, you must have been watching different matches. Liverpool had statistically more posession and emerged the victors! Stop all the whining about Ref’s and luck; you didn’t have the guts when it counted. And yes, Hleb going down was a penalty, but no more so than Toure and Fabregas taking chunks of Babel at Anfield.

    I reckon if Hleb had gone down like the strapping six-footer that he is, rather than a small girl after being mauled by a panda he would have got something, but the Ref wasn’t in the mood for simulation whether it be total or exagerrated.

  16. Tone, the Opta stats for the two matches show that Arsenal had 65.3% possession in the first leg:
    First Leg

    and 49% in the second:
    Second Leg

    So overall, Arsenal had FAR more possession.

    Babel was more impressive than Theo? Really? Babel dived by cutting across Toure and going down with no contact (the only possible foul was Cesc’s outside the box).

    I’ll grant you that his run and finish for the fourth were excellent, but if you want to compare that to Theo’s, fine – Babel had one exhausted player to beat, Walcott had five.

    It wasn’t about guts. Both sides had plenty of that.

  17. I was talking about the defining leg, I would have expected Arsenal to dominate possession at home.

    I don’t accept that Babel dived, at all. He was clearly impeded by Fabregas just outside the area, then Toure in it. He was going for a shot, not trying to go to ground as Hleb did in the first leg.

    I respect Arsenal as a team but all the complaining has really undermined their quality in the two games. What it boils down to is you were beaten, accept it gracefully and stop slaughtering the Reds at every opportunity, as it demeans us both.

  18. I’m not slaughtering Liverpool, they have accepted that the win was somewhat fortuitous and that is no criticism of them.

    But had the penalty decisions been reversed, you can be sure Benitez would’ve have something to say.

    It happens in football, I accept that. This piece was actually a reason for us fans to be positive, rather than anything else.

  19. Fair comment, although the majority of your fellow fans haven’t been as reasonable.

    Arsenal have got lots to be positive about!

    A nice new stadium, a strong squad of youngsters that are improving every game and a mananger that is among the top 5 tacticians in the game. Chalk this season down to experience and learn from it. That’s the only way to become better.

  20. Amen to all of that.

    Now do us a favour, and go and hammer Chelsea in the semis, okay? :)

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