Sunday, 30 November 2008

Impossible is Nothing

"Impossible is Nothing" - so Adidas felt the need to tell us from the pitch-side advertising hoardings for much of the match. And boy were they right. For once, a dodgy offside decision went for Arsenal, rather than against. RVP was offside. Lets have no qualms about admitting that. But if one team deserves a bit of luck, it's Arsenal.

For an hour we were insipid and sloppy. Clumsy passing meant Chelsea could shut us out. But I want to make one key point here: blaming Almunia for Chelsea's goal is ridiculous. It was a sloppy goal to concede, but to blame Almunia for it, is not just harsh, but also patently untrue. Almunia had the ball in his hands, and as he has done on numerous occasions, he threw the ball out, trying to work a quick counter-attack. Samir Nasri was unfortunate in that he failed to control the ball fully, and Chelsea scored a soft, soft goal. However, if we had scored from that counter-attack, no-one would have praised Manuel for his quick thinking. And the key point lies therein: throwing the ball out quickly is a normal piece of play, so to be critical over it, forgets there was no real error. Djourou was unlucky, that's all. On another occasion, Nasri control the ball.

But whilst I speak of the key point, I think there are actually three: And they all belong to Arsenal! How amazing is that. This wasn't vintage Arsenal. We weren't at our best, but we took our chances. We were more clinical than Man United and we were more clinical than Chelsea and that's why we took 6 points from those games. You could say Chelsea were clinical, but the fact is, Chelsea had shots, they just didn't hit the target. And that reflects really well on our defence, who incidentally, were superb. It could easily have gone 2-0 Chelsea, curtains, cheerio time, and the fact it didn't is testament to our defence.

I can't write a blog entry without paying testament to RVP. I'd like to think he reads this blog and responded to my criticism, but I find that unlikely. However, his goals gave us victory and Adebayor was the striker who contributed little today. Robin worked hard, and was tenacious. The little half-chances he created gave us the hope to keep going. Whilst maybe for some of this season he hasn’t been rewarded for his efforts, today he was. Handsomely. Quite right too though – he’s dealt with his injuries, he’s fought back. And whilst Sky weren’t wrong for saying he’s an enigma, there are more moments of good than bad. He was bloody stupid against Stoke. He was bloody amazing today.

On the subject of Sky, I think Andy ‘take a boo son’ Gray, well and truly showed his true colours today. His hate for Arsenal was documented in his analysis. Here’s a rough exchange.

Tyler:“Andy, how do you rate Arsenal’s chances?”

Gray:“Chelsea haven’t conceded a second-half goal this season”

Tyler:“So you think Arsenal are up against it?”

Gray:“Chelsea haven’t conceded a second-half goal this season”

Tyler:“What are Arsenal’s chances of getting back into this game?”

Gray:“Chelsea haven’t conceded a second-half goal this season”.

It really was embarrassing, the way somebody who was supposed to be giving expert analysis, tried to will the result he wanted to happen by repeating the same statistic like some sort of Buddhist mantra. Well, it didn’t work, and deservedly so in my opinion.

Tomorrow’s press will focus on the offside decision. What I find more interesting is the classic protection afforded to the England captain. It’s like being given that armband gives you magical powers to do what you want, with no fear of repercussions. Terry’s tackle on Sagna was hideous. A potential leg-breaker, where he just scythed straight through him. Yet, Mike Dean felt only a yellow card was reasonable punishment. Will the media focus on this though? Course not, they’d rather continue their love affair with Capello rather than make him answer questions about his captain. Fact is, there’s only one magical captain and that’s Cescy.

Cesc was inspirational. It wasn’t his best performance, but the sheer workload he carried in taking the game to Chelsea throughout was superb. There were one or two ball of sheer magnificence, but you could see the team spirit he had brought in by the player’s reaction at the final whistle. It meant a lot to them. This result could be so much more than 3 points.

Performances like this could and should act like an inspiration. I felt today the players were psyched up to prove the media wrong. Well, they need to do that every game. And frankly, I think they will. This is a talented team which should take heart from this. This is what Arsenal Football Club is about. It’s about a siege mentality and prove the defeatists wrong. And ultimately, it’s about being winners.

And finally, to Cashley – I’d still rather have a Willie than a Cunt.

Absolutely soup-herb, keep the faith…


Anonymous said...

Ivanovic should have gone

Anonymous said...

wenger still needs to go

Anonymous said...

Youre reading far too much into the game.

Fact is, you weren't looking likely of getting anything, until a bit of luck went your way with the offside decision and you capitalised, followed with a quick second goal formed from a mixture of a burst of confidence and adrenaline.

Credit where credit is due, RVP took his goals well, but lets go on about how great Cesc was, for large parts of the game he was nowhere. Either way, its always better to see the Chavs beaten.

AShipley said...

i think that you see a lot that wasn't there in terms of fabregas. he had a normal game, and chelsea were sloppy.

the ref was truly shit, though. his interpretation of the obstruction laws astounded me, his decision-making on whether players from either side had got the ball was also shit, and didn't manage the game at all well in terms of advantage.

oh well.
fair play, we should have shut you out, and you were strong enough to hang in and win.