Monday, December 9, 2013

Why Are Pundits And Experts Against The Arsenal?

15 games in and Arsenal are leading the English Premier League by 5 points from their closest rivals. Arsenal fans could not have asked for more especially considering Arsenal's disastrous start last season.

Arsenal have stood firm this campaign when teams around them are leaking points here and there. Much of the good performance can be credited to their efficient use of the ball as well as their collective play when they lose the ball.
Pundits On a Write Off Arsenal

This has meant we have had a lot lesser possession than we are used to in recent years but we have been far more efficient in front of goal while also being solid at the back.

This brings me to the point I want to make. The so-called "Pundits" and "Experts" just cannot let go of their habit of taking Arsenal seriously. Why?

A lot of that I believe, is down to the fact that Arsenal have not won anything since 2005(Yes that is a long time ago!). Also, it is a fact that we have been guilty of completely losing our way (2006/2007 season comes to mind) when we were sitting at the top. It is also true that we are relatively inexperienced at winning trophies(Ok make that "very" inexperienced).

To be honest, I don't have a problem with pundits writing us off regarding our title challenge. It is not that I don't believe Arsenal will not win a trophy but because I think it is still too early. Premier League fans will testify to the fact that the league winner was decided on the last minute of the last day of football a couple of seasons ago!

That was after 38 games and we are not even half-way through! So, I don't think you can say team A will win or team B will not.But I do think Arsenal have a very good chance.

The thing that has bugged me the most about the pundits comes mainly from some of their comments following our 1-1 draw with Everton in the weekend.

These were the pundits who have been shouting at the top their voices, year-in year-out that pretty football alone will not get Arsenal anywhere. They have said on numerous occasions that Arsenal need to learn to grind out results and win by playing "dirty" if need be so that they can win games even when they are not playing well.

When suddenly, they saw Everton playing a better passing game than Arsenal in the weekend, they stick with the "pretty football" and disregard "dirty football" again! If that is not farcical, I don't know what is.

My intentions are not to take away the gloss from Everton's performance. They were excellent and they have been excellent throughout this season so far. Yes, they out-passed Arsenal and enjoyed better possession. But out-passing the opponent or having more of the possession will not win you matches.

Wait a second.Isn't this the same thing Arsenal have been criticized for by the pundits for all these seasons? I am forced to use the "F" word once again.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Massive Fixtures Ahead : Arsenal Title Credentials On The Line

They said "Arsenal will be tested by Swansea"; Arsenal won the match. They said "It will be Napoli who will really test Arsenal"; Arsenal won the match- comfortably I should add. We lost against Dortmund but they were champions league finalists last season and Arsenal did not make it a walk in the park for them did they?

Arsenal FC Team
Arsenal Flying High But Tougher Tests Lie Ahead

Arsenal are 2 points clear at the top of the EPL and there still remains doubts, in the minds of the so-called football pundits at least, whether Arsenal are genuine contenders to the title. Who cares what they think, Arsenal are top of the league and Arsenal fans are loving the view from the top :). My honest opinion is that it is too early to predict who will win but we will get a better idea at the end of December.

Moving on from foretelling the title winner, Arsenal are heading into the start of a very difficult period in the season with some tricky ties coming up. Staring with the home match against Chelsea tonight in the Capital One Cup, Arsenal host Liverpool followed by a visit to Dortmund in the Champions League and then to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the League and they face an equally daunting task against a flying Southampton side at home in the league.As if that was not enough, Arsenal will arguably have an even tougher December to follow with games against Everton(H), Machester City(A), Napoli(A) and Chelsea(H). It is incredible how these big fixtures have all been put together. No wonder people are reserving their thoughts on Arsenal's credibility, because if Arsenal get past this storm of massive fixtures unscathed, or at least not battered, the title would be Arsenal's to lose.

A short note on tonight's match. Arsene knows that a critical phase is approaching in the season and I think he will be forced to prioritize here. He would want his best players to be fit for all these fixtures ahead and I think he will take a big gamble if decides to start with any of his regulars in tonight's match. Whether he will take that risk remains to be seen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

POLL: Higuain for £22m or Tevez for £12m

Carlos Tevez has just completed a move to Juventus for a reported £12m which seems quite a bargain for what he brings to any team. On the other hand, Arsenal have been heavily linked with a £22m move for Gonzalo Higuain, which is yet to be finalized. Considering how Arsene has been trying to get cheaper players into Arsenal, it looks like we have just missed out on a very good player for a bargain price IMO.

If you were given a choice, what would you do?

Who would you rather have in an Arsenal shirt?


Friday, June 14, 2013

Wenger: I Am Waiting For Christmas!

Arsene Wenger Smiling
Arsene Wenger

Ok those were not exactly the words that came out from Mr.Wenger but as they say, actions speak louder than words so it could not me more obvious now could it.

If you are wondering what I am talking about, I am talking about our transfers. Mr.Wenger is waiting for Christmas to  arrive before arriving at his decision to buy a good player. The more worrying thing is that it is more likely not be be this year's Christmas!

As I mentioned in my previous post (link), we continue to be linked with all the players but we have not made a single signing while on the other hand, the teams above and below us continue to sign players. If you want to be the best, you have to buy the best or produce the best. We do neither. In fact, if some player becomes very good at Arsenal, we sell them off!

Some may say we do not need signings at all because of the way we played at the end of  last season. True. We played well to get to top 4 when it looked like we were destined to falter this season at the beginning. But we must realize that we finished way behind the winners and none of our performances in the cups were something to be proud about.

And why does Ivan Gazidis have to come out and say we have enough money to spend on big players when we actually do not spend on such players? Why should he compare our club with other clubs like Bayern and Dortmund when we show no ambition to succeed like they do? Why does he want to play with the fans' minds and make them go crazy?

The sad truth is that Arsenal FC are no longer a football club. It is  purely a business club. It is more like Arsenal BC; B for business. The fans pay the most to watch Arsenal at the Emirates, the club generates one of the highest revenues in the world and most annoyingly, it gives back nothing to the ones that are the essence of the club, the fans.

Monday, June 10, 2013

An Appeal To Arsenal Fans

"Man City sign........Manchester United sign.........Chelsea sign.........(even) Liverpool and Tottenham sign.......Arsenal linked with......."

I think the sentence speaks for itself here.

While other rival clubs of ours are busy signing players, most of us Arsenal fans are celebrating the 'big' players being linked with moves to the club, most of which are obviously fabricated. The more worrying thing for me is that we do this during every transfer window!

Its not that we do not sign players at all. We do. Over the years we have we signed Chamakh,Squillachi, Santos, Arteta, Mertesacker, Gervinho, Giroud....... after being linked with Ronaldinho, Sergio Ramos, Yaya Toure, David Villa, Fernando LLorente among others.

People come up with fantastic stories every year and every year, most Arsenal fans fall for it; every year. The more ridiculous the story, the more popular it is. The writers get their desired number of hits on the story and the readers get their dose of  "day-dreaming".

You have to look no further than comments on such stories. Comments like " Arsenal will win it this year......Arsenal triple winners this year.......Invincibles again.....a new dawn at Arsenal..."..... it goes on and on. And if you reply to such comments with comments like "we have not signed anyone yet" all you get is.... don't make me swear now! 

It is not a crime to be apprehensive. Being naive and "living in a bubble" is.

I am not saying we must be pessimistic about our team. We should always remain hopeful. We should hope that it will be different this year. But, we should keep our celebrations to ourselves until we actually sign a player or risk being ridiculed by "other fans" year after year.

You also do not have suffer the disappointment of broken promises......because the promises might not have been actually made in the first place!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fellaini To Arsenal And The Negredo Connection

Marouane Fellaini Everton Arsenal
Fellaini Could Be Heading To Arsenal Next Season

First of all, let us answer an important question : "Will Fellaini be a good signing for Arsenal?"

The answer would be a resounding yes. A combative midfielder, good in the air, good on the ground...he  is exactly what Arsenal have been missing since Patrick Viera.

Fellaini, with a price tag of £22m , would be a dream signing for any Arsenal fan, especially because we have never spent so much on a single player. Its too good to be true right!

That brings me to my other question. "Is it really true or just another fabricated rumor?"

I cannot be 100% sure.Until Fellaini actually signs for Arsenal no one can be fully certain. But, I can tell you that Sky have reported it and usually when they report it, it turns out to be true!

We could end up signing the player...or not signing him if he decides to stay at Everton. But, what I am happy about ( and I am sure most Arsenal fans and critics are too) is that for once, we are showing some intent to strengthen the team and take a step forward after all these years of dissapointment.

Moving on to my final question "Where does Negredo come in all this?"

A few days back, Sky revealed, what I call, the "Negredo incident", according to which, West Ham had a  £14.5m bid rejected for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo. Here was a guy who scored 31 goals in all competitions for Sevilla last season, who was apparently, linked with all the top clubs in Europe and then receives a bid from a team that finished 10th in the EPL. Fantastic...maybe. If you don't have wings, it does not mean you cannot dream of flying one day!

This tells something about the intent of this "10th placed club". To move ahead to; to reach for the next level. This is what is/was severely lacking in our own club Arsenal, needless to say. We have sold our best players each season and replaced, or at least tried to replace them with unproven talents.

We have never spent money on marquee signings and all of a sudden we come up with a massive bid for Fellaini! The "Negredo incident" might just have woken up our board from their slumber!

Monday, May 20, 2013

POLL : Will Wenger Break The Bank?

Arsenal fans need no reminding of the bitter truth that the club manager Arsene Wenger has been very miserly when it comes to spending on good players. Although Arsenal have been linked with moves for many top players in the past and present, in the end, the fans have largely been disappointed. There have been numerous talk of "war-chest" and "large transfer kitty" made available to the manager but fans have never seen funds being fully utilized to take Arsenal to another level.

As the season closes and the transfer window re-opens, the media is full of talks of funds available to Arsene and the list of players linked with moves to Arsenal seems to grow by the day. History suggests this will be another disappointing transfer window for Arsenal fans. But like every year, most fans, if not all, still believe that this will be "the" year when ARSENE WILL BREAK THE BANK.

Do you think this will finally be "the" year?
Arsene Wenger Arsenal

Will it Be Thumbs Up From Arsene To Break The Bank This Year ?