Monday, May 14, 2007

Neither Baptista nor Arsenal good enough as season finally comes to an end.

So here we are finally, the polar opposite to the end of last season. No fireworks displays; no thrilling comebacks; no Henry; no Champions League final. Just turgid, wasteful football, played by a bunch of youngsters and underachievers.

And it had to be him as well, didn't it. It had to be Baptista stepping up to cap off his extraordinarily poor season . Three out of three penalty misses is no mean fit for a player supposedly worth over £10 million, perhaps even £15 million. And in many ways, Baptista is the iconic figurehead of our season: over-hyped, profligate in front of goal, wasteful in possession, and, more than anything, not coming anywhere near the hopes we had last May. You have to feel for the guy - I certainly don't think it's from lack of trying that he's been so poor this year - but it must be recognised that he's been no where near the required standard. And even if he leaves, which he must, who's the replacement going to be? An exciting, proven goalscorer? An Eto'o, or even a Huntelaar? No, I should imagine it will be Bendtner, who has hardly set the Championship on fire this season, despite the statements from his publicity hungry agent/father.

I read back through some of my posts from June/July last year, and there was a real buzz and hope for this season. Unfortunately, the performance yesterday encapsulated much of the frustrating, and, it has to be said, pretty average football we've seen from the team this year. Why send out such a weakened team? It was almost an insult to the fans who'd travelled down to watch the game. We could have snatched third place yesterday, with Liverpool only able to draw against Charlton, but it was hard to see how we could have beaten Portsmouth, let alone score a goal, with the personnel we put out yesterday.

It looks like there will be a clear out this summer, but my concern remains that we won't buy proven quality to replace the outgoing players. Yesterday was not a one-off, and even taking into account injuries, it shows the lack of depth in the squad. The bench might as well have been for the under-18s side, and it was hardly surprising that Arsene didn't delve into it.

So another season of transition ends, but the return of the club to a position where we can really challenge for trophies hardly seems that much closer. Perhaps, with Henry, RvP, and Rosicky all fully fit and firing on all cylinders, things might be different next year. But I think we need some new players of proven quality in the mix. Otherwise we could be in for a few more days like yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree with u more. I ve been a gooner for a while now and just dont seem to be getting whats happening at the club now. We really need strenghtening in just abt every department.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the youngster are under-achievers. They are overhyped!

Anonymous said...

Let us stand back and place the place on ourselves for a second.

Why? Because, while Arsene has worked miracles with a budget that is smaller than Hull City, Arsenal is still a team of talents - not players, and certainly not world beaters.

And before people start ranting about the masterful genius that is one Thierry Henry, remember that the backbone of the team are players aqcuired for peanuts.

But, is it not naive to expect miracles from Arsene. Sure, he may discover a Kolo or Cesc every now and then, but for all I care most of today's Arsenal squad are not worthy of the jersey.

We bought a Polish keeper in competition with second rate German teams. Seriously, are we not kidding our selves into believing that the Arsenal board is serious about making Arsenal a contender for anything but a battle for third spot?

And why are we the fans still expecting a team of children winning against determined and quite experienced opposition? Besides the Premiership has improved immensely in the past three seasons, but have we?

The word has to be overhyped! Baring Kolo, Cesc, Gallas, Henry, Van Persie and Rosicky, we are a team of squad players at best. And even some of the abovementioned have to roll up their socks and start performing to the levels that we have given them credit for.

Step up or get out... and that has to be the key word for next season.

Surely, there are quite a few names in this season's squad who I would like to see applying their trade elsewhere come next season.

I am gutted, and have to say that the money I spent on my season ticket does not feel justified.

With hopes of a change in mentality,

Gus J.

Anonymous said...

Aw has no choice but to buy young players and then turn them into stars cause he can't compete with one red faced scot.To rub it in the same old guy says he wants to retain the title. As everyone knows his initial aim was to break the Liverpool strangle hold on English soccer and impose his own superiority.This he did in the nineties when Villa, Norwich Sunderland and Nerwcastle were the main threat plus Arsenal.Since then he has found it tougher because of the gunners,Chelsea Pool and other teams whohave money.s
I believe he wanted to carry his domination into Europe and I am happy to say he will never achieve.
When AC scored the second goal can you his forlorn look.
Back to Arsenal/ No doubt it's a young team full of potential.I just hope they gel and win the title cause that guy has been and will continue to use his millions to buy the the title and the pl will eventually be non competive like in Scotland.
I am absolutely certain Chelsea are going to win the cup and frustrate him again.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if Wenger had bought Baptista last year as he intended to do!

He would have been his worst buy ever. Even when taking into account Jeffers and Wiltord

Anonymous said...

would love to play the devil's advocate on behalf of the team.
so here goes,
we've all hard something to say about our team's performance and rightfully so and we have condemned those who have fallen short of the required standard.
now have we ever taken the time to think maybe the team also requires something from us all? Lets assume it is so, what have we done for the team every match day, do you think it is possible that they go to other grounds and wish thier fans were that vocal and maybe, just maybe it could add that extra something to get them going. what is the point having a 60,000 seater stadium only for fans to waltz in with their binoculars and pick on the team after every match day.
so the season has come to an end and as the players reflect on their own issue we will ever as fans reflect on our own contributions to making our home a fortress, or giving those players the voice they so crave when things are not going right?
i think collectively, both players and fans have failled, there's a big stadium out there in search of a soul.

Anonymous said...

I think Baptista has been the biggest mistake AW has made.

However other clubs have done worse.

In terms of forwards with Van Persie, Walcott and Henry fully fit in August we should make a good start next season.

Look at how Man U and Chelsea are falling over the line now.

We do however need a clear out, and a new winger that can score goals and a right back, Micah Richards, join the M6 and drive down to Shenley.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely spot on - that article is sharp to the point and god dam it hurts... what hurts more is that it might be the same next season - bloody hell - surely the funds are there to bring in some names.

Where is the Arsene who brought in Overmars and Petit in the same season... Seriously while i think major surgery is maybe slightly wide of the mark - surgery with a general and not a local is required!
Too many average players in that squad.

Goonerboy said...

We need a player like Micah Richards, but we'll never stump up the £10m+ necessary for him. That's why we're stuck with 2nd string players like Hoyte and Eboue.

Anonymous said...

As an add on - i had a furios drunken debate with a mate the day before manure arrived at the Emirates this season. and god dam was he bullish (annoyingly so).. but despite all my bravado during that drunken haze when i walked home and honestly thought about it - he had every right to be.
Rooney, Giggs, Scholes, Ronaldo, - that is a frightening line up although it pains me to say it when i compared it to Hleb (still love Hleb however), Flamini, Ljunberg, and Gilberto. Now i'm not saying that was the line up but it could have been and i think you catch my drift.. I really think we've fallen well behind again. 5 years ago it would have been Overmars, Petit, Vierra and an On form freddie, even 3 years ago Pires, Viera.. the point i am making is that even though that arsenal team at the emirates was not as specified as above its a far cry from yesteryear.. Outrage i hear you cry and to a certain extent true. I still think Hleb, Fabregas, Diaby (Gilberto) and Rosicky is a potent mix on there Day but we really do need to bring in some heavy hitters otherwise next season could be a catastrophe. For the first time in years i will be really worried about taking a pounding at Old Trafford.!

Anonymous said...

although it has been a majorly depressing season i feel that we must aso look at the positives. however few there are:

we have discovered that baptista is not gonna cut it at this level and therefore must go back to spain

on top of this reyes is not coming back...he is a lightwieght and a moning w**k*r... his sale to a spanish club should earn us a few bob...

that money shoud be used to buy a winger to replace him and pires....not a centra player who has ben moved to the wing...some one like ribery or babel...both are amazing players who have proven they can cu it at tp level

as well as this i feel like we need a stricker who when the ball hits his arse it goes in....some like dean ashton on kevin davies....perhaps AW shoud go for nuget...he is a top class striker

We also need to add some grit to the midfield....chelsea have fat boy lampard and essien u have scholes...liverpool have gerrad...we need a bit of grit that can allow fabregas to wonder aroud the pitch doing what he does best....someone like barton (although to much of a thug)...

with these additions we could adopt a 4-5-1 with van persie out on the eft wing with henry and a new winger in the right...rosicky coud play in his prefered central free role...the top thee could be interchangeabe so if henry drifts to the eft van prsie can come etc...

honestly i think tht the back bone is there for a serious title challenge but i feel that we don't have the correct mix of youth enthusiasm and experience wel as this Henry is not a captain...we need some one like captain birdseye who really knows how to motivate in hard times....gilberto has done well but i think kolo should be captain...

Anonymous said...

A lot of crap spoken...yesterday actually proved the strength and versatility we have in depth..we went to Portsmouth without most of the first team yet played them off the park and should have won..does noone remember that united lost there and chelsea struggled??..To say that united could field giggs, scholes, ronaldo and rooney and then say that we could potentially field Flamini, Hleb and Ljunberg is daft as they could also potentially field o'shea, fletcher and richardson...we've had a season blighted by injuries but shortsighted fans presume that the team we fielded yesterday and over the last few months is the limit of our powers

Anonymous said...

The comment about the fans having a good look at themselves is spot on!! We all know the team hasnt played as we all wish they have, but can ALL fans say they have supported the team as well as the players would expect them to( no matter how much tickets cost)!!Fans leaving early(yeah that 1 again), groans after a missed place pass. 60,000 fans should be making ALOT more noise than is currently being generated.

Anonymous said...

When you look at what Wenger has done - he's lost it. It's just bizarre that he's thrown caution to the wind - caution epitomised by his extreme stinginess in the transfer market - and promoted all the young, raw talent by axing the experience. Seriously - the guy is too far in it's like he's lost an objective perspective. It looks like a miserly pet project from when I'm standing.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that 99% of Arsenal "fans" on the Internet talk complete, and utter bollocks.
All of you, from goonerboy, to every other anonymous idiot. Who are you people, you're appalling all of you.

How you all profess to know more than Arsene Wenger is amazing, it's just staggering. There is an express "trust Arsene", learn it, believe it, it's the only two words you need to know, because none of you have the intellience to say anything otherwise.

We have a fantastic young team, that is still learning how to beat poor teams that play 11 men behind the ball. We also have a team that doesn't have many goal scorers, and the ones we have, have been injured pretty-much all season.

There is every inclination that next year we will have the world's best striker available, Thierry Henry, plus Robin Van Persie who looked liked he'd really developed at the time we lost him.

We have outplayed all the top teams this season, and we have come of the league between the top teams. When you talk about Wenger losing the plot, when you talking about needing hard-hitters, what the hell are you talking about. And when you talk about needing someone like Huntelaar, you're just talking pure shit. None of you have you seen him, if you did, and you knew anything, you'd know he's nothing more than a Mark Viduka, probably not that good. If you want one of those, you can get Mark Viduka for free this summer. Wake up, stop reading names out of The Sun, and hope that Wenger signs some amazing new player that you've never heard of. I'm sure we'll have a bloody good go at getting Ribery, and that's all we really need.

Stop ignoring injuries, what do you think Man Utd would have done this season without Ronaldo ... well!, Henry is a bit better than him so work it out. None of the top teams can lose their best players, Barcelona have gone to pieces without an in-form Ronaldinho. Stop writing bollocks for bollocks sense, take Wenger at face value, and wait for the start of next season. WE DO NOT NEED LOTS OF NEW PLAYERS. Plus, another piece of bollocks that you all talk. Arsenal don't have any money to spend ... that's crap. Utter crap. No-one official has ever said that, ever, ever, ever. The manager and the board say on every possible occasion that there is money available for any signings Wenger wants. Listen to them, and believe them. The money is there. But Arsene does not want to spend £30 on someone who is worth £5, and he's right, and you should back him in that.

Anonymous said...

And more bollocks I just read from you goonerboy, we need Micah Ricards, how do you work that out. They've had a fantastic season Man City haven't they. No we don't need Micah Richards. Second rate Eboue, how do you work that. He's had a shit season, but he's still probably got bags more talent than Richards. Wasn't Eboue he the guy the pundits were creaming themselves about by the time the champs league final came. He had a fantastic finish to last season and was a real star. He's been mad this season, but that can be corrected. He's still a very dangerous guy, who beats defenders for fun. He went on the run and crossed for Henry to score against Man Utd, he put a number of crosses in for Henry. Again, you're going with the crowd. Eboue is a real talent that should be nurtured, if he was English, and playing for Man City, you'd all be shitting yourselves, saying how much we need him to 15 million.

Goonerboy said...

Eboue is excellent going forward, but I've seen no real improvement in his defensive abilities. Richards is a far better player, and will probably move to Chelsea this summer.

Huntelaar is good: I've seen him play for Ajax a few times. An out and out goalscorer - something we need...

I'm sure we will buy Ribery and he'll just add to problems: another player needing a year to acclimatise to the Premiership, who has nice build up play, but doesn't score goals. He's only got something like 4 or 5 goals this season for Marseille. At least he might give us some width though.

Babel at Ajax seems a far more exciting prospect, and I'm sure he'd link up well with RvP.

Anonymous said...

Babel is the only serious suggestion made.

Ribery would rather go to manure ( although dont rule us out) and huntelaar isnt going to come to arsenal...i think we need micah richards because he is so strong and versatile..he can play centre back and right back as well as a holding pearce hasgot the axe it is a realistic opurtunity especially as richards is a gooner and has seen what happened to shaun wright - phillips

bit of a shame about sidwell...he wouldhave added bite to our midfield ...and asit stands looks like another player will rot on the bench

i think baron could do a job but his behavoir is disgraceful...

perhaps wenger should bid for an out of favour ronaldinho...but then again this is real life...

i honestly think with a few adjustments and fine tuning our team will be amazing again...but the stadium is far too quiet on match days

Anonymous said...

AW has lost his touch when it comes to big signings who have to deliver pretty sharpish. It's easy to buy "potential" because no one expects too much too soon, if at all. But it takes nerve and judgement to spend big, and our manager has lost it.
Since the 2001 signings, the last time he spent big in the close season, give me the name of someone who's value has increased whilst at the club and who was a big money buy? Reyes? Hleb? Walcott?....possibly, only possibly Adebayor.
Wenger has become a scout, not the manager of a club with 180000 members, average gates of 60000 and the most expensive admission prices in world football.

Anonymous said...

I think many above me are not telling the truth here. This current squad is not far from winning the premiership. They are only short of two to three world class players, one or two strikers and a play maker with high rate goal assist. That's all this squad needs. This squad beat the champion twice the same season convaincingly. AW needs to bring in different quality to balance out the squad.

Anonymous said...

I think all we need is a deputy keeper and a winger or two, maybe a right back. Most of the games this season has seen us make one error at the back and waste our chances, a problem that may be gone next season with five fit strikers and hope our midfielders chip in more which I think they will, just need a good defensive coach.

I liked the Best, his finishing was poor but he tried hard and did some good stuff, just think the English game didn't suit him and neither did being played up front. I look forward to next season, I think we can do well

Anonymous said...

Huntelaar is not Viduka; I can tell you that he is even better striker than Henry, because I watched him play for a couple of games; He is a true footballer. I would compare him to Berbatov. He will only cost around £12m.

Anonymous said...

I really wouldn't mind if near the same team came back. Some width would be a big help IMO, but otherwise we're not nearly as bad as some people put on about. I would really like to have Baptista back as well. I don't think Arsene judged him on a couple of game tapes. How many players have we seen take a year to adjust, and if you watch him he's got the natural gift of getting in position. Yes, he's blown quit a few chances, but it's not only possible but probable IMO that if he comes back next year he starts hitting those. He could EASILY be a 15-20 goal scorer for us and that would be huge. RVP being back will also make a big difference IMO. The real reason we lost so much ground this year was that we wasted so many chances. I don't think that happens to this kind of talent two years in a row.
I don't really think with the revamping of the team the last two years have been bad at all with a FA Cup and a Champions League final appearance. This year was disappointing all around but you had some new pieces which take some time to mesh, some serious youth getting experience, and some injuries.
Have faith gooners.

Anonymous said...

Anybody remember how bad Cole was at defending when he started out? Clichy wasnt the best either and I noticed the whinge crew didnt mention him in their comments when he has been brilliant since his return. Huntface better than Henry I dnt even know what to say to such a dumb comment. Look how long it took Man U to rebuild, this young team have acomplished a lot i can understand the frustration but not the analysis, coz its very flawed.
We have improved despite loosing tens of millions of pounds worht of players not to mention the experience. So I salute our battling young team and I will continue to do so I believe we can hold our heads up high and be proud of our young guns.
Goonerboy I have to say Im very dissapointed with this blog we are not far from the finished product and when we get to it I shall remind you of this article.

Goonerboy said...

Clichy has been superb in the second half of the season. I'm not sure we have adequate back-up for if he gets injured though.

Matej said...

Clichy is far much better defensive than Eboe.
About Richards, he can be really good for us but he will just be build-up for the team, like Cole for Chelsea.
Really if we have fully fit squad next season, we don't need anyone.
Still we need to see Rosicky, Gallas playing, at least 5 games in row.Baptista is our,Bendtner in.
I would like that we sign new medical team, that's all...

Anonymous said...

It's funny how effortlessly you transition from complaining about how money dictates decisions to complaining that there isn't enough depth and quality in the side and proven talent needs to be brought in. Where do you think proven talent comes from? It doesn't grow on trees, you have to make the money to buy the talent.

knikik said...

If Arsene stays, I am not concerned. Arsene knows. Besides, our weaknesses have been so glaringly obvious and consistent this season, they will be worked on.

If Arsene leaves, I might die ... for a very long time too.

Anonymous said...

We could use another winger but if Clichy gets injured, Troare will gain valuable experience of we can move Hoyte to the left. Not ideal goonerboy but not too alarming either

Anonymous said...

i don t have anything to say PLZ leave bipista to go home