Monday, April 24, 2006

A few more reflections on Saturday.

I wrote the last post as soon as I got back from watching the game and, as my blood was still up, I didn't see everything as clearly as I do now - or, at least, as i think i do now.

Firstly, I maintain that the Sp rs' goal resulted from gamesmanship. The ref has come out today and said that he made a sign to play on, but this is how i see things:

Eb+gilbs knock into eachother and both go down injured; everyone pauses, including Carrick; instead of following his instinct, and the spirit of the game, he looks up to the ref to see if the injuries are severe enough to stop the game for; the ref checks and waves play on - as Carrick has asked him if he will be penalised for disregarding PL ettiquete; Carrick passes to Tainio, who lays it off to Davids, who can now take full advantage of our a) absent r-b and b) our general dissaray; Spurs score.

We should have played to the whiste; but we shouldn't have had to. That is the essential point for me. Furthermore, the clip on Arseblog today shos that Jol can clearly be seen to be shouting 'play, play' to Carrick, and following the ball. It's no wonder Arsene got so upset.

What has particularly annoyed me is the guff Sp*rs have come out with along the lines of: 'well we outplayed you for 45 minutes so we deserved to be ahead anyway'. Er, no. If they'd deserved to be ahead they would have been: Defoe would have passed to Davids when he was clean through; Jens wouldn't have stopped Defoe's effort from going in; Carrick would have scored and not hit the side netting; Lennon would have made something more productive from his repeated skinnings of Flam and Phil. Sp*rs did out play us in the first half but we were missing more first choice players than them, and we still managed to keep it at 0-0.

Having said that Sp*rs have come on a long way in a year. They played well . Robbie Keane is a dynamo up front and a player I'd love to see at our club. He can score a variety of goals and was a constant thorn in our side . Lennon looked a real prospect as well, and, hopefully, him and Theo will be competing for England places soon. I still think, however, we are the stronger club on balance. We've played far more games this season than sp*rs, and, if we didnt have two of the most important games in the club's history 3 days either side of the game on Saturday, we would have won.

Arsene perhaps shouldn't have rested so many players- but then if he'd played a full strength team on Saturday, and we'd lost in Villareal on Tuesday, we'd all criticise him even if we'd beaten Sp*rs. I think he made the right team selection yesterday, but the replacements let him down. Djourou was poor at r-b; Diaby clearly didn't didn't understand he was playing in a derby, letting Carrick run wild; and Rvp looked a shadow of his former self. My concerns about him are growing. He needs to get some goals because without them you wonder what he brings to the team. The same can't be said about Adey.

The game also hammered home, even more so, how much trouble we'll be in if Tel leaves. He was incredible, and no-one else could have scored his goal. [awful pun time] Without Henry we are like a blunt knife: we have no cutting edge. Without him, and Fabregas, we look like a mid table team.

But there's a lot of football until the end of the season. Spurs have two tough games, while we have 1 difficult match - in the graveyard of our form that is the NW - and two games we should win. IF we get through to the CL final then a draw yesterday will be forgotten.

Still, the last North London derby at Highbuey did bring back to me that wonderful aphorism of Alex Ferguson: 'Football. bloody hell.'

2 other matters relating to the site:

1) Comments. I, and it seems a lot of other people, are getting fed up with some of the comments that are being left. Ones which seem to revolve around just abusing arsenal/spurs, making homophobic remarks, and generally just lowering the tone. I want people to leave comments, but I want to have a degree of rational debate on here, not just mindless, childish banter. Although, this problem in the comments only really happens when I get put on the Sp*rs newsnow thread - which inevitably leads to banter such as this; usually the comments are great and we debate things as I hoped. Hence me writing Sp*rs - it seems to stop me being listed on the Sp*rs thread. I'm not just being childish! An anonymous poster suggested i take action over this: short of moderating comments, can anyone else make any suggestions? I could turn on only registered users/members of blog? If I could get some feedback that'd be great: I like eastlower's comment system. Overall, please leave comments! I don't care if you don't agree with me, but lets try and make this a nice site eh? I don't want to have to spend an hour every day deleting pointlessly abusive/offensive comments!

2) posting will be rather intermittent for the next month as I have rather a lot of work on at the moment. I hope this dissapoints some people - if so, fear not! by June I will have less to do, and near hourly updates will begin.

Take care, and try and stick to these new rules,

Gb.

96 comments:

LG said...

Using Spuds or Manu or somesuch obvious nickname works as well. I think it pays to not end up on another teams NewsNow feed as that's when you get all that kind of nonsense.

Plus, it's your blog, if you don't like some of the comments, why not delete or edit them. It's not as if civil liberties are being threatened or anything.

tunadog said...

i cant help thinking that A.Ws anger was directed at himself for his team selection...he knew he had boobed...i have never seen him so irate on the touchline.Surely he realises that when the team sheets go in & the oppo see T.H is not on the team sheet they get an automatic lift...why not start with the 1st team ,win the game in the first hour,then make the substitutions.I have lost count of the number of times that A.W has employed this tactic & it never seems to work...now it is 95% certain that we will have to win the C.L to qualify for next season...surely it was easier to beat Spuds at home than get past Villareal & Barcelona...as soon as that team was announced on Saturday everyone at Highbury knew we were in trouble..A.W YOUVE MADE A SERIOUS ERROR.

vavavoooooom83 said...

Yes it was a mistake by Wenger as I think if you keep on winning games players want to keep on playing and dont complain about being tired. However, we did have a good enough team on paper to beat Spurs and I think our players are too hung up on trying to convince Henry they are good enough to carry us to the level he wants rather than playing with freedom. Had we won and the players were fresh against a Villareal side who rested 10 players, it would have seemed like the best of both worlds, such are the margins in football. One final point, yes getting 4th would have been easier than winning the champions league, but the whole point of qualifying for it is to win the damn thing! So when we have a chance to win the thing, should our priority be to get back in it rather than to win it? seems a circular argument.

Anonymous said...

Comments:
Probably the main thing is to make people register; then you can block the user name of anyone who's simply abusive. (I think Arsenalamerica do that and they don't seem to suffer from spam.) Arseblog actually vets people before letting them in, and allegedly strikes them off if they don't contribute or are boring etc. Good idea but would involve work for you? Eastlower have a spam filter, but it malfunctions a lot, so I wouldn't recommend it. Yes, sure, delete offensive comments.

Nervous yet? In particular about Sol? He and the totally exhausted Toure have a good record, which is something, I suppose, but his lack of fitness (mental and physical) is scaring me stiff. He's also hardly ever played with Flam in defence. God, I hope they don't all start bumping into each other again ... Nice to see Clichy on the bench. Makes me wonder about Ashley, however. Given his years of experience playing with Sol, wouldn't you expect him to be the first choice on the bench? Looks like he's insisting on being protected from injury for his England spot, sod it.

They are all really well rested, of course, and Vieira and Pena are back.

Anyone know who the ref is? It's going to be crucial. Presumably Barca-Milan will get the best one - Merk, I should think?

tunadog said...

of course to win the C.L is the priority..but if we are not playing C.L football next season T.H will definitely not stay ,& without him we have huge problems.I am not convinced that we had a strong enough team on paper to beat Spuds & as unpleasant as it is to face they outplayed us...when players arrive from foreign countries they need to be given a season to find their feet ..Hleb is the latest example,he is starting to flourish...but how much longer must we wait for Reyes

vavavoooooom83 said...

Yeh I agree about Reyes, such a talented player but so frustrating. I doubt he will ever have the poise or penache of Bobby Pires but I hope I am wrong, we r maybe 1 left midfielder short and we r still too dependent on Henry to get the goals, although I am hopeful that RVP will get more consistency. Every world class team needs 2 world class strikers, we only have 1, altho RVP is well on his way.

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Goonerboy said...

I couldn't believe that Villa rested ten players on saturday. Incredible.

I thought Sol did well against Portsmouth, so I'm less nervous about him coming in than before.

I have to agree with Vavavoom: we've qualified for the CL for ages, but never come close to winning. I know it was the last game at Highbury vs Spurs and I know winning the CL is harder than getting fourth would have been. But come on! two games to immortality! Although...didn't Leeds also falter at the semi-final stage?

If it wasn't for the CL money and the potential of losing Tel, I would back Arsene 100%. As it is...we'll have to wait until tomorrow, and hopefully 17 May to know whether his selection was right.

jobby said...

See the quotes from Reyes today talking bout going back to Spain, and its not in the long term either, says eventhough he signed a five year contract he doesnt expect to stay that long and talks up a move to Madrid again. I say cut our losses and see if we can get £10m for him. What ye think?

Anonymous said...

Yes, sell Reyes. Fantastic player when he first came, and a very hard worker, but his continual unhappiness here makes it look unlikely he's going to recover his form. Henry has bullied him mercilessly since the Arragones thing - hands on hips eyebrows raised while poor Reyes is lying on the ground rubbing his leg - which can't have helped any, but Reyes's constant assertions to the Spanish press that he wants to come home is undermining for the rest of the squad. I also think he's ideally a pure striker not a winger, but he's never going to get time in that position with us. Hopefully, playing for his home audience tonight will bring out the best in him. Then, when the window opens, we sell. Van Persie worries me more: no pace, no work rate, no creativity - and these days losing his nerve in front of goal. Also not sure he'll bring out the best in Ade long term. Suppose - God forbid - we're two-down this evening with 20 minutes to go: who will come on? Walcott or van P?

Anonymous said...

The ref is Russian. That ref who ruled Scholes's goal offside in ManU against Porto. I laughed at the time but without his mistake I suppose we wouldn't now be graced with the Special One's presence. Karma etc.

jobby said...

confident we will go through, but with that diving bastard Mari up front im scared of Toure getting a booking and missing the final, esp if campbell is off the pace and kolo trying to cover for him.

Goonerboy said...

Kolo missing the final would be a disaster. Sol and Senderos together at the back. We all know what would happen.

Where have you read this statement by Reyes? I haven't seen it anywhere? I was a bit annoyed that he told Bobby to go and play in Spain. I think the problem with Reyes is his lack of confidence, which Tel did have a massive role in destroying. Although, Reyes never came out and said Arragones should apologise which i thought was odd.

If we sold Reyes we would miss him though. He's never consistently fulfilled his potential but he's still our best left winger by a mile. And he does produce a lot of assists.

I agree with anon. 10.14: RvP is seriously worrying me at the mo. Needs goals, and needs to shift himself round the pitch more.

No post today - on my lunch break - but will be one today/tmoz on the game.

So regarding tonight...please, please, please, PLEASE!!!!

jobby said...

Heres the quote:

And Reyes has stunned his team-mates by revealing he cannot see himself carrying on at Arsenal even though he signed a five-year deal — and would love to join Real Madrid.

The former Seville star added: “I have five more years with Arsenal but it’s not because I see myself here for all that time, even though I signed it. I’m going step by step and if one day someone comes to see me, we will listen. But I think the next step will be Spain.

“You never know about a move to Madrid. My brother and some other family members are Real fans — but they all supported Arsenal when we played them.”

Goonerboy said...

Where's the quote from?

If that's true i think it's just realised my fears about how unhappy he's been here. I don't think it's even got anything to do with the club: he's just a pretty immature guy - he still lives with his mum and dad who he moved over to London - who misses Spain and wants to move home.

I hope he stays though.

Anonymous said...

Senderos is almost certainly out for the rest of the season so he wouldn't be playing with Sol whatever happens with Toure tonight. It'll be Sol and Djourou presumably, at least in the remaining premiership games, so Toure can have a well-deserved rest. That might not be such a disaster? On the other hand, if Sol is appalling tonight . . . well I guess it won't make much odds anyway as we'll be out.

I'm gutted for Senderos and will be for Toure if he does pick another card - those two have contributed so much. As has Flam. If we do make the final - fingers crossed, fingers crossed - I really hope the original back four can pick up their medals. (OK, runners-up medals probably, but better than no medals at all.)

Will Pires even come off the bench now he's signed a contract with them? What beautiful, impeccable timing! So maybe Walcott will be getting his chance?

Butterflies, butterflies.

Anonymous said...

This blog is so much better without the uneccessarily abusive comments.

Regarding Reyes, I've been quite supportive of him up to now believing he just needed time and a couple of goals to build his confidence. But for all his hard work he is just not clicking in front of goal and I wonder if he'll ever settle into a consistent performer for the team? Yes, his assists record is good, but he also needs to score goals. We also need goals/more goals from Freddie, Fab, Pires, and Helb. The unbeatable Arsenal team were able to score goals from all over the park, not just relying on TH14, which we seem to be doing more and more this season (apart from a couple of notable exceptions). I fear that if he decides not to renew his contract, this will leave us in a vulnerable position. I can only continue to hope that the club has shown him enough sporting ambition to keep him motivated for the rest of his career because that is what it is going to take to keep him here. A good result tonight will be a big step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

I think reyes has had enough time to adapt to english football and life at thof. He is not good enough to play for Arse. We can all remember how awesome pires was on the left wing - reyes shows no signs of ever hitting that sort of form and when he is bad he is really bad. I would sell him for whatever we can before other people stop rating him.

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