Date: 10th September 2006 at 2:22am
Written by:

I wish, just as much as any other Gooner, that the start to our season could have bared more fruit, but alas, so far that’s not been the case, however, I think one or two Arsenal fans are getting a little over excited at the thought of only 2 points from 3 games.

On my way home from the game I heard comments such as ‘Why don’t we shoot?’, ‘We are playing the same as we did last season’, ‘We have no plan B’ and more worryingly, the ever increasingly in popularity ‘Wenger has lost the plot’. All of these could not be further from the truth.

‘Why don’t we shoot?’ Ok, so we have been guilty of over playing it a little bit in the past few months, and I myself have been known to scream ‘SHOOT’ every now and again, but it’s now beyond a joke. The fact that we are averaging around 20 shots on goal per game this season disproves the myth that we’re scared of having a few pot shots, just because 60,000 beer fueled Gooners think that a player is in a perfect shooting position doesn’t necessarily make it so.

At times today I heard people screaming their throats raw for Gilberto to have a crack from 30 yards. Gilberto for christ’s sake, not exactly world renouned for his goal scoring capabilities. I witnessed people baying for the blood of Alex Hleb after he didn’t grant them their wish of having a dig at goal whilst he had four defenders in front of him, and the most ridiculous of all was the rousing rendition of ‘Shoot for f**** sake’ when the not so powerfull Francesc Fabregas picked up the ball just outside the centre circle. I know we’re all frustrated, but getting on the backs of the players for being sensible (and not overplaying) isn’t going to help.

‘We are playing the same are we did last season!’ Errr, no we are not. For the majority of the 05/06 season we were bullied off the ball, lacked imagination and to be honest (in the league anyway) didn’t show much fighting spirit till the last quarter of the season, but this season is much much different. In our three league games so far we have dominated, we’ve kept possession well, stroked the ball around with confidence and generally bossed the football matches, at no point have we been out played, for any periods of any games, in the 270 minutes of football we have made three mistakes, three. Ok so they’ve cost us dearly but we have never been under the kosh. We’ve also been very unlucky, keepers playing blinders, shots pinging off the woodwork and a real lack of the rub of the green, but that will not go on forever.

‘We have no plan B’ I guess the punters coming up with those pearls of wisdom didn’t take a close enough look as the triple substitution today. There is a slight possiblity (when I say possibility I mean certainty) that our squad has been a little thin on the ground, but it is something that Le Boss knows and has now rectified. Whilst on the wrong end of a 1-0 score line in the game against Boro, Wenger has strengthened his side in such a way that he had the ability to swap a work horse in Freddie Ljungberg with the ever improving and incredibly slick Tomas Rosicky, we replaced a defensive Gilberto for the powerful and positive Julio Baptista, and on came the tall target man in Adebayor for a skilfull and direct Robin van Perise. If that’s not a plan B than I’m not sure what is.

‘Wenger has lost the plot’ I can not express my enough my hatred for this phrase. Mr Wenger is in the process of building his THIRD awesome team, and if the assembling of this squad means I have to wait a season or two then so be it. Coming from a Gooner who has waited all his life to see the formidable football that Le Boss has brought to us, surely patience is not too much to ask for a guy that has given us so much?! It’s there for everyone to see, the way in which we have dominated our games so far this season tells us that we’re not too far away now, if you can just look past the couple of poor results we’ve had so far this season, if you can look at the bigger picture and accept that things will not always go our way, then you can get excited rather than frustrated.

Frustration is an emotion that we have all felt, we all want the same thing yet we are powerless to help the ball into the back of the net, but if we all remain faithful to the Wenger way, then sooner rather than later we will all reap the fruit from the seeds that Wenger has sewn.

The team is pointing in the right direction, all that is lacking is the killer touch, and once the goals start to flow, we’ll really begin to see what Arsene Wenger has in mind for this team.

Next stop; Old Trafford.


19 Replies to “All Is Not As Bad As It May Seem”

  • Got to take issue with this article. You talk about how we have controlled each game but then would you expect anything less against teams like villa, man city & m’boro? I cannot remember the last time one of those clubs outplayed us. As for us not playing like last season you are quite correct, last season we managed 9 points in these exact corresponding matches & this season have managed just 2. However I dont believe its anything to do with the players we have, I think we have a better squad than last season & we can turn this form around but only if Wenger starts playing people in their correct positions. At the moment he keeps wanting to change things & its causing imbalance in the side. I think our season will be determined over the next week with two such important games as hamburg & man utd. Should we not get at least a draw in hamburg & a win over utd then we are in trouble & everyone knows it.

  • I think you are missing that spark of creativity that Bergkamp and Pires used to provide and no Cole bombing down the left is going to be missed as well. Perhaps the new pitch is a factor too.

  • if we had got the lead in any of these 3 games we’d have gone on to win comfotably in all of them. the opposition have had no more than 4 or 5 chances between them and scored 3 goals – crucially all the first goal on the game. Arsenal are playing well – if we were sat here on 9 points we’d all be waxing lyrical about how much better we are playing this season. and we are, but sometimes football is like this. managers are often asked what they are doing differently when their team goes on a long unbeaten run after a string of defeats and normally they say ‘nothing’.

  • Agree with the article broadly, but I can’t help but think we keep making the same basic mistakes agin and again and again. Agree with you about the’shoot’ thing, c’mon people, it’s getting ridiculous! Would someone please tell RVP that it’s a team game and not his show. I have been so enthusiastic about his talent for two seasons, but he wants six touches every time he gets the ball and its hurting us. We must move the ball quicker.

  • Don’t worry i’m sure thatt Wenger will come out with a perfect solution on the problems we are going through now

  • little dutch it’s not fair that you’re being critical of v.persie’s game their’s reason why v.basten gets the best out of him and wenger doesn’t and that’s because on the right side of 3 v.persie is allowed to play his natural game and at arsenal he’s asked to play someone else’s natural game (bergkamp)under instructions so it doesn’t help, our wingers aren’t even wingers they’re central players playing out wide and the full backs produce nothing in the final third in terms of a final ball. The solution either wait till january and buy proper wingers that can cross or more practically change the formation to 4-3-3 with hleb/roscky/lungberg/fabragas as attacking midfield options and v.persie on the wide right of 3 upfront

  • Gazzap- I find your comment a bit strange, we didnt take the lead in any of those games so youre only speaking hypothetically. Its the same as me saying if arsenal win every game from now on until the end of the season we will win all 4 trophies, thats a fact but it still wont happen. Wenger said after yesterdays game that Gallas doesnt look comfortable at left back but you can bet your life he will still play there against hamburg & man usa, yet we have a terrific youngster who is a natural in that position & can do a job there for a few weeks but wenger wont play him, Why? These pitiful excuses about internationals being our problem are really getting to me, after all they dont seem to affect man usa & chelski. Its about time wenger took responsibility & done something about it, like every other manager would.

  • Arsenalcannot adapt for RVP, RVP must adapt for Arsenal. We play a game of one and two touch, quick movement. He seeks to slow the game down. Don’t get me wrong, the boy’s a fabulous player who can be an Arsenal great, but he’s 23 now and it’s time for him to grow up.

  • LD- Dont you think RVP would be better suited on the left wing where he can give us natural width & put balls into the box for baptista or adebayor to get onto. I think his current problem is that he always wants the ball on his left foot so playing on the right hand side of attack or midfield causes him to slow the play down as he adjusts his feet.

  • I think that maybe a solution, wheteher he could do it in a 4-4-2 is something else. His work rate in that position in the world cup impressed me, could be worth a go.

  • Sorry but I don’t agree with this article at all……

    For almost 2½ years now we have had to put up with supposidly inferior teams shutting us out in the way Villa City and Boro have done so effectively in the first 3 games of this season. It has not always been a case of being bullied out of it the way Bolton have done. Arsene’s style of play that had been so successfull in 2004 was sussed out and he has failed to adapt and change or give an alternative method of playing when we are faced with mass defence.

    The comment in the article is that the players who came on proved we have a plan B…… sorry but it was just more of the same, only the names changed. And as for the commet that Adebeyor is a target man…..please don’t insult us…..he has neither the ability nor the presence to be a target man. He cannot head the ball that well, his control is suspect (he often looks as if he is falling over his own feet!) and his shooting is abysmal.

    And lets get it straight – we do look as if we are playing the same as last season when we failed to beat some of the poorer sides even though we had the larger share of the possession.

    The reason that so many fans are saying that Wenger has lost the plot, is that we see an inbalance in the side constantly, a lack of seeing the obvious and a distinct lack of making real player purchases that the majority of fans (both gunners fans and our rivals)…..I mean the type of signing that makes us have a Wow factor and rivals think, **** they have just signed him!!!

    How you can say that the team is pointing in the right direction when we are 4th from bottom having failed to win 2 home games against poor opposition and lose away to equally poor opposition, I really fail to understand. Sure we all want to be optomistic, but I like everyone else started last season in the same way, but very soon realised that things were not good. And they have not got any better, they are worse!!

    We have a defence that leaks goals, but I don’t understand why when we get a proven great centre back we immediately play him at left back….when Flamini did so well last season. We also keep aquiring lightweight midfielders who all want to play in the centre. Hleb (who I don’t rate) and Rosicky both naturally play in the centre yet Arsene keeps playing Hleb on the right….and just watch what happened again yesterday, he kept coming inside and crowding Fabregas’s space instead of playing wide and givign us width. Rosicky also came inside every time he got the ball when he came on …. not once did he go outside and cross. Upfront we have TH plus a number of sub standard forwards…..not one of which can be used as a muscle man who can head the ball like Drogba, Crouch, Saha etc……. these players have been bought speciafically to provide the “alternative option” and this is what is so badly missing in our side. Just watch how many corners and free kicks we get every game that are wasted and don’t produce anything ….. teams are not concerned at giving away these as they know we provide no threat in the air.

    Come next Monday I expect us to have the record of not winning any of our first 4 games and being 13 points behind in the league…..more worryingly I don’t see us making even 4th place this season with the tactics and the players we have.

    Unless something radical happens then be prepared for a very disappointing season as there will be many more games like yesterday to face.

  • i dont agree. i think we need to be patient and wait end of. we cant always get the results we win. in the premiership or in any football we need luck. on any other day we would have scored atleast 5 of those 18 shots on target. soon youll be saying wenger knew what he was doing. let the team gell and get used to reyes and cole and bergkamp and allll the main others that have left.

  • As the article says i to have compleate faith in sir wenger,you think that after 10 years at arsenal he now sees the game with blinkers on,we have got the most talented exciting team in the league that the man has created yet again,the other teams know it,so play a ***** 11 man behind the ball game that even the best teams in the world would find it difficut to get goals against.That is Sir Wengers problem now is finding ways to get beyond that,even chelski played that way against us for they know as well that if they play their own way against us we`ll destroy them!the last two teams who tried to play their own way properly was juve and real,look how we played and what the outcome was

  • Three games in is far too soon to make a judgement on the season. And even mighty Chelsea have lost to the Boro!

  • I think Arsenal wont manage 4th this season.. if they keep on playing like this.. lest there is a renaissance in the EPL that starts at OLD TRAFFORD.. as for the team.. wenger must understand the invincibles had a lot of experienced players.. and as of now we are playing an Arsenal team with no more than 3-4 experienced players.. though i agree with the writer.. soon as the goals start flowing in.. they’ll come in fast and furious from us.. and maybe buoy us to the top 4..

  • i’d rather get a point and play the uptempo, attractive, attacking football then get three by hoofing it into the box for some unskillful target man to head home

  • The article is brill. Agree with it fully. We may have 2 points but we haven’t played bad football. We’ve been very unlucky against Villa and Boro who both had stubborn defnces to say the least. We’ve hit everything excep the back of the net. That will change. As soon as the first go’s in confidence will start to come back and the goals will come. I agree Rvp has to play a bit more of a team game but i don’t mind him playing the way he does. If we don’t win at Old trafford it isn’t thend for us. I just want to avoid defeat there my self as they are on top form. A draw would be great in my eyes. Come on Arsenal

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