Feb 012009
 

Arsenal 0 West Ham 0
(Premiership)

This time last season, had we drawn away at a strong Everton side, and drawn at home to a West Ham side in form, there would not have been much angst among the support. At that point, the context had us flying, and those matches would’ve been blips on a bigger, more successful picture.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a completely different position this time around. Outside the top four, looking as uncreative as we probably ever have under Wenger, yesterday’s match was another where you have to hunt for the positives.

There were some, undoubtedly – we controlled the game, and for the second match in succession we looked very solid at the back, the Toure-Gallas partnership finally seeming to click. But going forward, we created very little despite having so much possession, and when the chances did arrive, the woefully out of form Adebayor missed them.

I don’t want to criticise the big man too much, because he has scored some critical goals for us this season, but he has never been the most skillful player in the world, and what endeared him to us in the first place was that he worked his socks off to compensate. Last season, he added finishing and finesse to a powerful and determined make up, and became a tremendous forward. This term, he seems to be uninterested at times, and without the workrate he has shown us in the past, he is a shadow of the player he can and should be.

That said, he could easily have had a brace. He first chance, the best of the game, saw him lunge for a cross with the wrong foot, putting it wide, and the second he made a better fist of, getting in front of his man to head straight at the keeper. Elsewhere, Denilson was having a couple of decent efforts, and Toure had a looped shot cleared off the line.

Van Persie was the surprising absentee from the team, rested after carrying the side for a month (and perhaps protected from picking up a booking that would’ve seen him miss the Spurs game). Wenger gambled on this being the game we could win without him, and it backfired. Having criticised Liverpool for years for being reliant on a couple of players, I have to admit we’re slipping into the same trap. The Dutchman could’ve won it in injury time, but snatched at a half chance.

Villa drew at home to Wigan, so it is a relief not to be seven points behind them today, but eyes now turn to Anfield, where our other rivals – Liverpool and Chelsea – fight it out. A winner would be eight points ahead of us, but defeat for either would make them look over their shoulders.

It is all a bit infuriating, if I’m honest. There are three or four players in our team who just shouldn’t be there at the moment. Song still seems out of his depth despite the occasional good performance, Denilson can become a great player but isn’t ready yet, while Adebayor is so clearly out of form that Eduardo can’t return soon enough.

Thoughts now turn inevitably towards the transfer window, which closes tomorrow night. It is hard to read whether anything will happen, but we need something to lift us out of of this malaise.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

  15 Responses to “Stalemate is another chapter in a frustrating season”

  1. HOW LONG, HOW LONG. ARE WE GONNA LISTEN TO THIS FROM ARSENE. G.G BUILT THE GREATEST EVER ARSENAL BACK FOUR AND ARSENE BUILT HIS TEAM AROUND THEM. OUR DEFENCE . PAT RICE , PETER SIMPSON,FRANK MCLINTOCK, BOB MCNAB. COMPARE , YOU HAVING A LAUGH !! KENNEDY AND RADFORD OR ADEBAYOR AND BENDNER IF IT WASNT TRUE IT WOULD BE HILARIOUS.

    TIME F

  2. SAVE WENGER!

    Message to all Wenger haters, please hear me out.

    I know you want him out,

    I know you feel he has taken us as far he can,

    I know his transfer policy leaves you frustrated,

    I also appreciate that you feel that the ‘Arsene Knows’ mob are blind to his faults and too loyal.

    The above points may be valid and I’m sure you could reply to this post with even further evidence to see him on his way.

    But let’s get real, let’s have a reality check.

    No matter what the board is telling us, it is clear that WE DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO SPEND! And,

    This is NOT WENGERS FAULT!

    David DEIN has stated that he left because the board would not allow new investment from the Russian or other willing sources.

    I feel the board believe that they are protecting the interests of the club and that they are protecting the club we love from a foreign owner who may just want a new toy toy play with.

    Now I’m not sure if foreign investment is a good or a bad thing but I’m convinced the board promised WENGER the money from the Highbury Square Development. Obviously with the Credit crunch this money is no longer available.
    Now this may be the boards fault, it maybe the fault the greedy banks and governments of the world, but I can assure that,

    This is NOT WENGERS FAULT!

    THE simple fact is WE DON’T THE MONEY and he sooner we get used to this the better. WENGER is nothing short of a miracle worker and yes he has made mistakes more then previous seasons but he his fighting to keep a club with a transfer budget, of a lower mid-table team in the mix, with Europe’s Elite clubs and quite frankly under this pressure he ‘WILL’ make mistakes.

    He has spent money in the past and would spend it if he had the funds. How many times has he said that he is working within a tight budget, what more do you want from him?

    If anyone out there believes that no off a manager who with the same budget could do a better job please let me know.

    If we push him away we will regret this madness for years to come.

    Look at Newcastle, and Spurs, they budgets are far superior and they are nowhere.

    Vent your anger at the board if you see fit but leave the boss alone he is still working miracles.

    Sensible gooner!

  3. RIGHT SO WHY DO WE PAY THE ADEBAYOR

    A COMIC FIGURE 80K A WEEK ,THATS BAD BAD BAD MANAGEMENT , WHEN WE HAD A
    CRAZY OFFER FOR HIM PRE SEASON,

    ITS TIME AT ARSENAL FOR A CHANGE OF MANAGEMENT.

    THE MIGHTY QUINN

  4. he keeps playing eboue that is his
    fault.

  5. To have a look on somewhat of the bright side, we are defending much better than we have in the past although I do not understand Eboue and Adebayor. I an so tired of Eboues antics and Adebayors laziness. Offload them both and bring in players that will play for the shirt.

  6. Feel free to launch your rants. But please refrain from using all capitals – it is annoying to read.

  7. In light of what has happened this season we should have sold Adebayor and used the money to keep Hleb and Flamini.

  8. well failure to invest in the team will be a false economy when we are playing in the intertoto cup and the lost income from the champions league, corporate fans and normal fans who won’t be paying top dollar to watch mediocre football. And our top players will have gone to pastures new and we will be left with the crap like eboue,denilson,bendner,song. So get used to it.

    Also wenger has become like brian clough, untouchable and we all no what happened when his powers started to wane. I am not saying we ill get relegated but midtable mediocrity is what we are heading for. Wenger goes on about having players back but by the time they return we will have run out of games plus when fabregas and walcott were fit we lost 5 games and drew endless games earlier this season so don’t hold out much hope when they return. Also our squad is worse than last season and we won fuck all……

  9. were just lacking creativity at the moment coz our defending has improved since the beggining of the season.why we won’t pay a few more millions for arshavin,especially at this time, ill never know. my only hope now is that we get that 4th spot, we need it badly

  10. So here’s a question to all of you who say ‘he should’ve spent X and we wouldn’t be in this position’:

    Look at Spurs and Newcastle as proof that money does not always buy success. Spending 30m would not guarantee Champions League football, even though it would help. This is football – you can’t guarantee anything.

    So would you have preferred Wenger to spend the money which would arrive from participation in next season’s Champions League? That seems to be in line with the argument that the money saved is going to be cancelled out by missing it.

    And isn’t that exactly the mistake Leeds made? They gambled by spending Champions League money that hadn’t yet arrived, and never did, and look what happened.

    My point is this – when you take away the Champions League money from the next couple of years, there is very little to spend, especially given the recession we are in.

    The only false economy is provided by the fat cats who do not run clubs as a business, only as a toy.

  11. you get some clowns making comments , more interested in the useage of the written word . such as,please refrain from using capitals , god help us.!!!!

    Lets try and be the voice of genuine issues , and we have problems, this side are poor very poor/

  12. I have to say that the continued faith in Adebayor, Bendtner and Eboue is puzzling, but show me a manager who can entertain and compete in the way Arsene does with the resources he has to spend. The point is that we just don’t have the money, and Arsenal is run as a business and not some Russian oligarchs plaything. There is not a better manager out there, get over it!

  13. calm down people its not like we are in a relegation battle! its obvious that we will only end up signing a 16 year old with “bags of potential” rather than big name signings but have faith in this team! i will admit i really want us to sign arshavin because eboue is the pits and must be wengers lovechild from years ago. Because how he plays week in week out is beyond me! anyway enuff attempts at jokes i would just like to gt the point across that this team has potential and unfortuantely you have to wait for that to be realised. We obviously don’t have the money to splash around the place so we have to deal with that, it just means that we will have to persevere with what we have got and eboue on the wing! have faith wenger out is b*llocks if u asked me.

  14. Pete,
    AGAIN your missing the point.

    Big signings !! yes at UTD. but they
    kept Neville,Scholes,Giggs,etc. who did we keep to help through the transformation period. Kolo.

    LAST 4 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN POORLY MANAGED

  15. HEC – so you think we should’ve kept players? I can name a couple I would’ve liked to see stay, but most had viable reasons:

    Gilberto – I would have loved to see the guy stay, but Wenger respected his professionalism and the guy wanted first team football.
    Flamini – contract ran out, and he moved to a bigger club. We could not stop that.
    Hleb – we got overpaid for him.
    Henry – we got overpaid for him.
    Diarra – good player, complete muppet of a man.

    The list goes on. Neville, Scholes and Giggs played for United as kids, of course they don’t want to leave even when their careers are fading. We haven’t got the same luxury.

    Hopefully in the future that will change, as our youth products (e.g. Wilshere) have the potential to become really special.

    But the problem is that in the current football climate, you CANNOT keep a player who has his mind set on leaving.

    If you try, you might end up with a lazy player up front, as Ade is unfortunately turning out to be.

    I’m not trying to pretend we have no problems, and I’m not blindly defending Wenger. If he doesn’t make some serious moves in the summer, I’ll have questions to ask as well. But right now we’re panicking and its helping no-one.

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