Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A rallying call to journalists

Sort it out.
Your profession, one I aspire to join after University is making itself look like a shambles.

Well it's mainly a repeated criticisim, which keeps on getting whipped out. I admit it's on many blogs, but that does not, I repeat, does not, make it in any way true.

So, what is this criticism?

It is the criticism of Wenger for letting his team become weakened. It is typically written along these lines:
How many of the current Arsenal squad would get into the Invincibles team? Maybe 3 or 4. Sagna, Fabregas and RVP are possible but even Van Persie would find Bergkamp in his way. Now, Wenger's team lacks steel and bite. Where the players were once big and muscular, they are now small and dainty. Great for intricate little passing, but they cannot compete against bog-standard Premiership opposition. This squad is just completely sub-standard to previous ones, and for this Wenger must take blame.

This critique of Arsenal is ridiculous. According to many journo's we should be complaining that this team is not as good as the Invincibles.
The Invincibles: the only team in 120 years to go through a whole season unbeaten. And we should complain the current team is not as good.

People should just have appreciated how good a team that was. I did. It was perhaps the finest team in the history of English football. They went through 49 games unbeaten. And at the same time they played great football.

And so, compared to this, relatively, the current team is not that good. In absolute terms, it is a good team, but contrasted with the side of 03/04 it is not that great. For this, Wenger should be praised, not criticised. How many managers have managed to build a team with a triumvirate of players as good as Henry, Pires and Vieira.

This Arsenal side is different. It isn't as muscular because we play a different game now, trying to pick little holes in the opposition, rather than countering fast. And that is the crux of this Arsenal side.

I admit it's not perfect. But any football team would look bad in comparison to the Invincibles. Emannuel Adebayor is not Thierry Henry. So what? He shouldn't be. If Wenger had found another player as good as Henry it would be a miracle. The biggest miscarriage of justice this century is that Henry did not win a World Player of the Year award. For three years from 2002-04, he was unstoppable. Remember that, when you criticise Arsenal. Remember how unbelievable the Invincibles were. It is a ridiculous comparison.

Instead, Arsenal should be compared with the team of last season. We have undoubtedly gone backwards. But, with players coming back to fitness, this can be rectified soon. This is what journalists should write.

Maybe they'll start soon.
I'm not holding my breath though...


Gilzinio said...

Whilst I agree with your blog which i think is well written and has some good points, I do believe that you along with others seem to look at wenger and feel that the proffesor simply can do no wrong. What many journalists and I believe in is that it is Wenger who has a lot to answer to as we should not compare this team to the invincibles however look at how Arsene has simply not replaced these key players. It is in my opinion his continued stubborness with reagrds to signing players that is hindering our beloved arsenal and I am very worried about the direction we are going in. You simply have to look at how Arsene beleives that players such as song and denilson are good enough and it is his way or no way.Whilst arsenals youngsters are good are they really that good I mean if we want to be challenging for the league and cups we had to go and spend in the summer or even in january on a centre back and defensive midfielder, yet arsene continues to say "we dont need anyone these youngsters are good enough". Well tehy clearly are good hwoever they are not good enough. Gone are the days of Henry pires viera and bergkamp and I worry about our club and its ability to challenge again for the league in the nearcoming future without some signifigant acquistions. Well enough of that rant and I hope I am proved wrong and this team goes on and gets champs league football because if not we can wave goodbye to Cesc and RVP. Up the Gooners

Raphael said...


I fear to much arsenal propaganda has fuelled your argument. How you cna even compare that (altuough good) 03/04 team to the Treble wining team of 98/99 is beyond me. How many trophies Arsenal win in 03/04? Just the 1 major one. However the Manchester United treble winning side of 99 won three trophies and not only 3 but the biggest three you can win. The invincibles are no where near as good for the simple fact they 1. Never won the Champions league 2. Never won the champions league, FA cup AND Premier League in the same season. Surely the greatness of a team is represented by there success. It is all very well not getting beating, but surely you would rather get beaten but win almost everything.

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down said...

I was about to go for the old 'Hi I write for the mirror' etc. but then I noticed Raphael's comment and thought i'd reply.

To suggest that the Invincibles cannot be compared to - let alone better than- the Treble winning side is simply ridiculous. Personally, I'd say the Invincibles were out of the league of any other team in recent memory, but then i'm biased. To rule out comparison, however, is ridiculous.

The class of 2004 (class is the word..) played football never before seen on this planet. Fast, attacking, direct. The best player in the world led this, scoring 30 goals in the league alone, many of which showed technique and finesse beyond anything players like Ronaldo can recreate today. I maintain that, if nothing else, Ronaldo has never reached the level that Titi did in those three seasons that Adam mentioned.

The invincibles were a quality team of quick, athletic thoroughbreds, each one knowing how to pick a wonderful pass. The midfield enforcer was still elegant and full of vision, unlike Mr Keane up north; just one example in a team of heroes.

The assertion that United 1999 were better than Arsenal 2004 is ridiculous because it's on the basis that the more trophies you win, the better you are. This must rank Liverpool 2001 quite highly in the all time list then! Seriously, let's think back to the respective seasons:

United 1999
League; won by ONE POINT on the final day, despite going a goal down to a team that wanted Arsenal to win the league,..oh no wait, it was Tottenham. Funny that.
FA cup: played Arsenal again, in that famous semi final. Once again lucky as Bergkamp misses a penalty that would have won arsenal the game. Hmm.
Champions League: Fair bit of luck there too, Munich capitulating and also in previous rounds just squeezing past Juventus (i think it was them, anyway)

The point being: had United scored three goals fewer, they would have come away empty handed. Impressive, the best team ever? NO.

Arsenal 2004
League: At a canter. You win some, you draw some.
FA Cup: once again edged out by a Scholes goal in a tight semi final, not such a battering is it.
Champions' League: knocked out by Chavski, again by a very late goal by that bellend wayne bridge.

So to sum up, you're talking crap. Maybe I'm just being really ridiculously dogmatic here, but the fact is that you could count the number of goals on the fingers of a hand that would have seen United win jack all in 1999, and Arsenal win the treble in 2004 as was , it is accepted, deserved.

Arise Sir Arsene...

Anonymous said...

In view of your burgeoning career in journalism, I quote:

'I am not holding my breath'