Friday, April 04, 2008

A season defining week approaches; will April be the cruellest month?

No blog for a while, and I apologise, but the rigours of having to give in essays totaling 16,000 by words next Friday have sidelined me has my decision to travel down to watch the boys play tomorrow. Hmm. May have misjudged the timing on this one.

It's been quite a week. Oop north (where it's grim) our bottle suddenly appeared in the middle of monsoon season, and the god's finally smiled on us when Cesc's corner flag effort was diverted in after bouncing off about 90 players.

Fast forward to Wednesday and we were robbed. I would say robbed by scousers, but that would be a) too easy and b) not entirely true, as we were actually duped by those apparently fun-loving hippies, the Dutch. Apparently, Kuyt and the ref are actually married or something, and there is was a four hundred year old grand conspiracy to deny us a penalty that was hatched at some point during the Dutch Revolt. Possibly; I'm sceptical. What can I say, I've got a university education.

Anyway, we should not just have won on Wednesday, we should have destroyed Liverpool, put the tie beyond them. To have 61% of the possession and come away with a draw is rather galling; but it's hardly a new state of affairs. Yes, we should have had a penalty, but maybe if Hleb had slightly more inclination to shoot - say 1 rather than 0% - the situation may never have had arose. And the Bentnder miss? Actually unbelievable. If you made a film called 'Nicklas Bendtner's and the great blunder', you'd be laughed out the cinema for the preposterousness of the script.

So, we enter a season defining week. It's come a bit later this year than last, when we lost a cup final and crashed out of two cups in the space of almost a week. Even if we blow it this time, at least we've made til almost mid-April. But then T.S. Eliot famously said that 'April is the cruelest month'. He also said that the world would end 'with a whimper' not with 'a bang', so maybe he was generally depressed. In any case, let's hope if he is right about April it relates to a different team than us.

If we beat Liverpool twice, and then United at OT, both trophies will again be within are grasp. It's a big ask but not impossible.

But improbable? Maybe. Any team that has the likes of Diaby and Eboue playing on the wing needs to have a look at the squad, or, more accurately, the rationale behind creating a paper-thin unit.

Our first XI, when not knackered, are as good as any team in Europe. But they are knackered. Clichy, who usually runs about like a maniac, was distinctly seen sauntering around by the end of the Liverpool game. He needs a week off from not just the physical but mental pressure of it all. Others need a breather: Cesc should not being playing every week at his age, even if he thinks he can. Ade needs both a little bit more competition from his place (which admittedly Eduardo was meant to partially provide) an able man to come in and knock one in for him whilst he has his feet up.

United can bring on Tevez, Hargreaves, Nani; Chelsea have Anelka, Belleti, Mikel waiting in the wings. They can mix up their squads when the finish line is in sight.

Because the season is a marathon. It doesn't matter if you play the best football in the world; you have to do it over 50-60 games a season.

Some of our players have injury problems which mean they should not be considered first XI players. If Mssrs Rosicky and RvP cannot play more than a third/half the games in a season, then its' time for a rethink, no matter what their ability.

And if Eboue is really the best option we have on the right wing, then we are really losing it. He has one assist, and 0 goals for the season. And he is a winger, an attacking midfield player. He dives, feigns injuries, acts like an idiot and there isn't even any end product after all of that. Leave. now.

So, these three games will tell us whether not only whether we can win anything this season, but more generally whether the squad as it currently stands is good enough to win anything in the future. We have the players; I just worry we don't have enough of them.

I hope I'm wrong; it would be a dream to win at both Anfield and OT in the same week. Let's hope it's more than just a dream, eh?


Anonymous said...

Spot on Goonerboy, a very accurate assessment of our season to date!

Anonymous said...


i say it again, and i will say it again, wenger is a asshole for not buying more quality players

we have a player , who should be in a ice dancing contest, because thats all he does. helb is a piss player and never shoot. we have a midfield that does not scire and no wingers. plus our defence is crap

wenger should be fired IMO.

Mo'men said...

since dudu's injury, everything has collapsed ..

we need some quality players who have the strenght and ability can play 50 games/year.

beautiful football witout trophies is like arriving LATE to work, driving a ferrari !!