Tevez Transfer Request, Big Sham Sacking, Fabregas Key To The Season

I haven’t had the chance to look at the United game again or to even study the chalkboards and there is plenty of chat on the internet about that, most of which is just zero-value noise, so I thought it’s best to leave that game aside for a day or two. I do want to discuss how Manchester United have a much better organized collective defensive system (best in the League if not the best in the world) but it’ll take some work. Hopefully I’ll get some time before the Stoke game.

Moving on, there have been a couple of interesting events at other clubs that I wanted to touch upon.

Carlos Tevez has put in a transfer request at City. Apparently, his wife doesn’t want to return to England and Tevez is citing personal issues and breakdown of relationships with certain people at the club as reasons for the quit request. Based on what City have said about this, one does wonder if it’s an attempt to do a Rooney. I don’t want to remind people of the various team spirit problems at City (something Arsenal fans must keep track of considering the demands to sign ‘world class’ defenders, keeper, striker, winger, midfielder, et al.) that in my opinion have not been dealt with properly. So I’m really keen to see how they deal with this situation.

City have the financial muscle to put Tevez in the reserves and buy another striker. Of course, it will have a big impact on their season because for large parts of the season the Argentinean has been their only real goal scorer. He is also very popular with fans. But if they don’t deal with Tevez in a strict manner, considering he has over three years left on his contract, then they will just give other troublemakers a chance to, er, make trouble!

While that would be fun for us from the outside, I’m not a fan of player power rising to such an extent that they start holding the club hostage with unreasonable and extremely selfish demands. Can Mancini and the City management make a statement?

On a related note, will the Misery Brigade say that Arsenal players have a winning mentality if the throw a strop when substituted?

The best news of the week though, has been the sacking of Big Sham. Kudos to the Indian owners for doing the right thing. I cannot imagine someone buying a football club and having Fat Sam as the manager. But the real big step for Venky’s will be the appointment of the next manager. Can they find someone like Holloway, Di Matteo, Owen Coyle, or Roberto Martinez to build a proper team on limited resources? And will that manager be able to get results with the collection of Thugs that Big Sham has accumulated? Will the short term result oriented thinking and the fickle nature of fans build artificial pressure on the club?

Since Venky’s are a proper business I’m assuming they won’t be interested in making huge losses at Blackburn. They’ll have to find a way of staying in the Premiership, keep the fans and players happy, while finding avenues to improve the business aspect of the club, and develop a better youth system for the future. Based on the decision to sack Fat Sam it seems the new owners also want to see real entertaining football. Not many have been able to achieve this balance in the Premiership. It’ll be interesting to see how others run a club the Arsenal way and how they handle the pressure that goes with it.

Finally, I wanted to touch upon the importance of having Fabregas back. While I like the fact that so many fans were disappointed we didn’t win at Old Trafford despite our best players not being in the starting line-up, highlighting their faith in the depth of the squad, I do feel we need Fabregas back in the form he was at the start of the season.

No team wins major trophies without significant contributions from the best players in the squad. I feel Arshavin, Chamakh, Nasri, and others are pulling their weight but the real champions are Van Persie and Cesc. Unless this pair, most notably Cesc, hits top form we will struggle in the battle for the two major trophies. Domestic cups are a different matter and hopefully we’ll bring home one if not both of those.

I’m not sure if Fabregas is having a fitness problem, a mental issue, or a combination of both. He hasn’t been close to his best for a few weeks and getting El Capitan back in top form seems to be Arsene’s biggest challenge right now. That’s not to say Wenger doesn’t have other issues to deal with but a fully firing Fabregas will solve half or more of those.

55 Responses to Tevez Transfer Request, Big Sham Sacking, Fabregas Key To The Season

  1. eirik says:

    “That’s not to say Wenger doesn’t have other issues to deal with but a fully firing Fabregas will solve half or more of those.”

    Well said!

  2. Robespierre says:

    “I’m not a fan of player power rising..”
    top games in europe are shown all over the world, the TV market revenue is phenomenal, why shouldn’t players in those leagues earn as much as NBA or MLBaseball earnings? . Tevez is City MVP, Why shouldn’t one think Tevez is worth 500,000 a week to the City for the phenomenal work he has been doing for them
    Moreover, babyfaced 39 years old sheikh Mansour personal fortune is in excess of 15 billion, which is just a tiny fraction of the Abu Dhabi Emiri clan ( sitting on 15% of petrol&gas reserves of the world) that he is fronting .
    It is utterly morally and politically bankrupt to criticize the illiterate ( checked fact) Carlito and pretend to be the friend of the most ruthlessly rich and selfish humans on the planet.

    and wtf is the Misery Brigade you love to oretend as the enemy here anyway?

    • desigunner says:

      There is a difference between asking/deserving more money and holding the club hostage, seriously affecting team morale, making the managers job difficult and playing with supporters’ feelings. Based on your recent comments I’m not sure if you can see this difference.

      Btw I do find the fact that you could convert this into a moral/political issue quite amusing.

    • Damian says:

      Yes he should be the highest paid player at the club Yaya getting more money than him is criminal but just because your boss has x amount doesn,t mean you should by your reasoning a plumber working 4 say Gates should be getting a billion a year

    • shooter says:

      Why shouldn’t Tevez take 500,000 at home every week? Maybe because he has signed a contract for less? Also, I can’t see why sheikh mansour should give his money to Tevez, no matter what his fortune is…
      And illiterate Tevez earns a lot of money anyway, but he’s the kind of guy that can’t settle in anywhere and he’s probably making a lot of bad atmosphere in the dressing room. But when you buy “nice guys” like Tevez, Adebayor, Balotelli what would you expect?

  3. Aussie Jack says:

    Fabregas hasn`t been close to his best since the end of last season and all that `stalking` by Barcelona has unsettled him. My own feeling is won`t return to the young dazzler he was and he should rescue his career by telling Wenger this is his last season at Arsenal then lifting his game and having something (like going home) to look forward to. Meanwhile Arsene Wenger has some planning to do.

    • desigunner says:

      I thought Cesc was really good in the period we played against Blackburn, Bolton and Braga. Even his recent comments were along the lines that early season form was good but struggling with injury these days.

      The Farcelona stalking seems like the obvious cause but does not corroborate with his performances in those games. I think it was an international break and then an injury after which he has really struggled.

    • Damian says:

      Don,t anyone get it he had no choice and has no choice yes he is probably having a hang over but it will stop or he,ll get dropped what wont happen is he goes to Barca. Barca. don,t wont to buy him they tried to steal him work a con he is worth 45/55m Barca. offered 33m and said they will never pay more cause he was 1 of ours well almost all 25 year old players were someone else,s at 16 Inter offered 45m if you owned the club would you take 33m instead of 45/55m cause thats where he wants to go i,m sure i wouldn,t its get happy or get sold to the highest bidder if the Eskimos offed 60m id be telling him to buy a warm coat

  4. gurkhaligunner says:

    i don`t know if this is related to the topic but from the season so far we haven`t seen a goal from a long range. What do u think is this the reason behind we r not getting positive results. Do we need to get some1 like Honda???? Just the thought???

    • desigunner says:

      Interesting observation that. I guess it would be a combination of factors. Arshavin hasn’t found his shooting range, Denilson hasn’t played that much neither have Fabregas or RvP.

      I do feel we have scored from just inside the box on a number of occasions but no real long range crackers. Do you know the performance of other teams in this regard? I’ve not tracked that but it could offer some more insight.

  5. BarDel says:

    Arshavin is pulling his weight now? Desi, I’ve respected your blog posts for a while, but I think you’re off in this regard. Arshavin has clearly shown that he has a clear lack of interest in winning. We need players that are hungry to win. Arsene’s until recent disregard for domestic silverware has led to him to create a team that doesn’t truly care about winning in this league. Other than Chamakh (for now), there doesn’t seem to be a player that cares about Arsenal. They seem to all want to demonstrate their own individual skills, at which point they can move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

    • desigunner says:

      Arshavin was probably the best player against Villa and quite impressive against Fulham. Those wins came less than a month ago. Overall his contribution this season has been quite good offensively.

      I don’t expect the Russian to track back and defend all the time or to run up and down the pitch in every game. That’s not his style and is a limitation we have known for a long while. That is the reason he cannot be the main player of the team for the whole season. So what I wanted to say was that given his strengths and weaknesses, Arshavin has done well.

      • BarDel says:

        Its funny – the only point this season where I thought he played well was the game against Aston Villa. So we agree on that point.

        I just feel like he is just floating through every game. How many times have we seen him attempt an ill fated effort? How many times have we seen him try and break through the oppositions defence and fail when instead he should have crossed it to Chamakh? Far too many! His head is not in the game.

      • Furovich says:

        Arshavin has scored a couple of good goals and made some good assists but there’s a large contingent of commentators on the game that think he’s well below his best and I certainly agree. In my opinion he looks far short of the player that stunned fans with performances in his debut season. At the moment, he’s giving away about 50% of his possesions with either incompleted passes or being tackled. That stat alone is terrible, never mind his unwillingness to defend. Also has anyone noticed how often he falls over now? Either attempting to make a pass or by being dispossed?

      • desigunner says:

        Could it be that defenders have now adapted to his game?

        When he came and took the League by surprise many defenders didn’t know how he was going to dribble, what his strengths were, and so on. Now defenders know they can deal with his pace, they know he likes to cut inside more often, they know his close control isn’t as good as some of the other wingers and so on. All this has made defending against him relatively easier.

        Secondly, he seems to be having a confidence crisis in terms of his shooting. In the last two seasons combined I haven’t seen him fluff as many shots as he has already done this season. That has to be a confidence issue.

        Thirdly, Arshavin has far more assists this season than he had in the first two. That seems to tell me that he has changed his focus somewhat from being direct and attacking the goal to creating openings. Nasri and Walcott have done well but they owe a lot of their goals to Arshavin.

        This also seems to be the reason why he struggles in games like the one against United. He doesn’t have many options to pass the ball, something that he’s been looking to do a lot this season.

      • Furovich says:

        I completely agree that he is a very talented player and certainly capable of making some assists. But I’m just saying he is not as effective as he once was.

        It probably is true that defenders have adapted to his game but that’s no excuse for poor performances. All players get analysed by the opposition. If defenders adapt to him, he needs to find ways to better them. All players get analysed by the opposition.

        Even though he is making some assists, the amount of possession he gives away, does in my opinion, negate a lot of his good work. Especially considering that Arsenal are trying to play possession football. If they were a side that played on the counter more, Arshavin’s poor ability at maintaining possession wouldn’t be as a bad.

        Also, the fact that he plays on the wing is in my opinion not a good idea. This is obviously an issue I have with Wenger’s tactics and not Arshavin. When you play a 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1, the wingers either have to be extremely good in possession, hardly giving the ball away or, they need to be work horses that can run up and down the pitch all day long. Arshavin is neither of these things. That’s why he never played on the wing until Wenger brought him to Arsenal. He is better suited behind the main striker, there he doesn’t have to worry about tracking back.

      • desigunner says:

        I’m not trying to defend Arshavin but just trying to make an objective assessment of what’s happening on the pitch and how it affects his performances.

        I do agree he is not playing at the level we need from him. The only difference would be, even in the past I’d have said something similar. Last season we had a very strong midfield with Cesc and Diaby doing well for large periods of the season alongside Song. This meant that Arshavin didn’t have to make too many passes.

        It is not that he was very good in possession in the first two seasons and has become poor now. He’s always been that way. But in his first two seasons he didn’t have to make as many passes as he is making these days. So his weakness is exposed more often even though he is getting more assists.

        I agree there are times when it would seem a lot better to have Arshavin down the middle, especially when we are under pressure and Clichy needs some help. I did remark on the change in the Villa game when Rosicky moved to the wing and Arshavin came into the middle in the second half. It’s an interesting idea but we haven’t seen a successful implementation.

        The advantage of having him on the wing is that if he loses possession the team can recover. Losing possession on the wing is a lot less dangerous than losing it down the middle.

  6. Robespierre says:

    “plenty of chat on the internet about that, most of which is just zero-value noise”
    takes some silly arrogance to say that, nothing in Zonal Marking (http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/12/13/manchester-united-1-0-arsenal-tactics/) of value? nothing in some of the talk backs of the Guardian that inspired a thought ?

    • desigunner says:

      How do I explain the difference between what I said “most of which is …” and what you probably read ” all of which … “

    • Phil23 says:

      Why don’t you read another blog then? Your contributions aren’t appreciated by anyone here so you may as well comment on the guardian instead.

  7. Burgerkamp says:

    It’s all psychological I think. Our teams attacks rarely scare defences due to the lack of shots on goal. I always used to believe in the pass it into the back of net mentality until now. We should shout more often when there is no option not try and thread an impossible pass. More shots would show further threat and shock teams into mistakes. Take a look at other teams attacking us and you are constantly bricking it, waiting for the shot on goal. Now look at our attacks, they are totally lacking in threat at times as the ball gets passed sideways along the box losing all danger. I do love the way we play but it’s really feeling robotic now and every time I watch a match I feel like I’m having déjà vu.

    • Burgerkamp says:

      Shoot not shout more often, I meant to say

    • desigunner says:

      It’s interesting you mention our teams rarely scare defences. United put 10 men behind the ball for the whole of the second half. I’d say that’s a huge sign of respect and they were scared we could score anytime so they had to defend in numbers.

      I do agree there are times when other teams attack us we are under threat but often that is due to the fact that attacks against us are counter attacks and the opposition players have a lot of space. This makes it easier for them to shoot. But overall if you look at the shots against us, they are not very high as one would expect if shooting against us was all that easy.

  8. Filip says:

    Desigunner , I read a comment from another site and I am interested to see your view of it. Here it is :


    We can chat all we want about all the passes gone astray, the dodgy pitch, the bad luck, United’s resolute defending, their constant pressurizing, their snappy and combative midfielders clogging up the center of the park, the once again curious decisions of the obviously biased Webb, our lack of bottle or belief, the list could go on and on.

    But the fundamental reason United won, and will WIN the title, mind you, is the superior power that they possess over us in almost every position on the park.

    The result was inevitable, only the most zealous, the most biased and those clearly half drunk on the Wenger Koolaid, knew in their heart of hearts that United had the power in reserve to do just enough to win the game, however it played out.

    Over the years, you have written of “stylish, power football”.

    But few really understand what the “power” aspect means. Sure they can tell you about pace, desire, positional sense, technical ability, the ability to pass accurately under pressure, the ability to anticipate and read the game, etc etc., when discussing a player.

    The list of qualities is long, but the most important is power.

    Throughout his career, until about 4 or 5 years ago, Wenger understood and championed this.

    It was the most desirable trait he looked for in a footballer. He combed the earth, and in particular the west coast of Africa, in search of “power players”.That’s why Monaco won Ligue 1, that’s why he won the Double’s and the Cups and the “Invincibles” came to pass.

    Those sides were loaded with “power players”.

    I still can’t get my head around why he turned his back on this proven and winning recipe in recent years and fashioned a new side so clearly lacking in this type of player.

    Almost every winning side, with very few exceptions, in every league or competition throughout the history of the sport has been won by teams that had the best “power” players, especially in the spinal positions.

    As you know, power does not just equate to height or size. Tevez, Freddie, Messi, Maradona, and Giggs are a few of the many examples that come to mind.

    I know what it means, Wenger obviously “used” to know what it means and we most certainly know you know what it means.If you would be so kind, please expound on this trait.

    It is not a brilliant revelation for me to say this Arsenal side are flat track bullies. Their record against the big sides is there for all to see.It is fact. It is history. It is written.

    But the simple reason that they lack the impetus, the bottle and the balls in a match like this is they know deep down that United have more power to spare all over the park and can and will use it to do what it takes to win, whether by one goal or three or four.

    • Damian says:

      The answer to your question is money & 4 6 years Wenger has had none 15M a year budget old saying a good big man will beat a good little man thats y the best middle weight can,t beat the 5th rated heavy weight nothing to do with bottle the middle weight has just as much so Wenger can,t buy Balotteli 4 30m he can,t buy a 6,4 Vermalin he has to buy the 5.10 version

    • desigunner says:

      Firstly, I must confess I don’t know what the author is trying to say because he doesn’t really define Power. It seems to me that he is using a loose term which makes the argument quite easy but rather vague.

      If we assume that he is talking about physical strength, because I can’t really think of anything else based on that write-up, then there are several flaws in the argument.

      If Power/physical strength is the most important trait then we should take the World Title from Spain and give it to someone else. Similarly most of Farcelona’s titles should be taken away. And if the writer thinks Messi, Xavi, Iniesta are power players then he really must define Power better. To me these players have sublime technique, superior footballing intelligence, unbelievable co-ordination, and other traits. The combination makes them great. It’s silly to say Power is their greatest trait if Power isn’t even clearly defined.

      The writer must also explain why the Arsenal teams with great Power players were so ordinary in Europe. And why England don’t overpower sides like Algeria and Slovenia!

      • Furovich says:

        I agree with a lot of what Desi is saying there.

        But a point probably a little off topic with what the “power author” was saying, is that I would love to see the staff at Arsenal develop their players physical strength further. This would be achieved by basic bar-bell work.

        Exercises like the squat and dead lift not only increase physical strength and power (power being defined as in “force = mass x acceleration) but also go along way in injury prevention. This is due to the fact that basic weight training increases bone density as well as the thickness and strength of ligaments and tendons.

        We all know to well of the terrible injury history of Arsenal players and by looking at most of the squad, they certainly don’t appear to be doing a lot of strength training.

        This isn’t unique to Arsenal though as I’ve heard about a lot of players at other clubs that don’t spend time in the gym so therefore it isn’t being inforced by coaching staff.

        There is no doubt that good basic strength exercises have been neglected by some in profesional football but interestingly a change does appear to be taking place in a younger generation of players. This is just based on my own observations mind you, and isn’t backed up by ans statistical evidence. But look at Jack Wilshere for example. I’m not sure if any of you guys have noticed, but his leg size and strength is extremely developed and I would be very surprised if he isn’t doing good squats in the gym.

        I just wonder if players of the latest generation are paying more attention to strength training in order to better to better their performance as well as prevent injuries.

      • desigunner says:

        I do vaguely recall Koscielny talking about the need for bulking up and his efforts in that regard.

        Wouldn’t it take time to build up some muscle mass? I guess the players can’t really go at it like bodybuilders because they can’t afford to have sore/tired muscles. Bulk of their time has to go in actual training?

      • Furovich says:

        It takes time to build muscle mass of course but significant strength gains can be made in a very short time, even in just 1 month. Strength training should be done throughout their whole careers though, beginning in their teenage years.

        Of course the players aren’t going to lift like body builders because it’s completely unrealistic and of no use to their careers as professional footballers. But I’m not talking about that. I’m saying they should be doing and need a good yet simple program of strength training. A program that isn’t going to inhibit their technical training or their need for a high level of aerobic fitness (long distance running).

        This is extremely realistic. A program of strength training done even twice a week at 45-60 minutes per session would make massive improvements in strength, injury resistance and general athletic performance without inhibiting the other traits they need as professional footballers (i.e technical practice as well as cardio fitness).

        I just find all this very interesting because it seems that professional football clubs have ignored/misunderstood or are possibly just unaware of the benefits of strength training.

        I was reading something the other day that cited injury rates in sport per 100 hours of participation. Soccer tops the list with over 6 injuries per 100 hours of participation. Next is Rugby Union at only just over 2 injuries per 100 hours. Obviously they are different sports with different movements etc but there is no denying the physicality of Rugby Union and there is also no denying the benefits of strength training. Rugby players utilize lots of strength training and good injury prevention is simply a result of that.

        It will be interesting to see how strength training evolves in it’s role within soccer. As I was saying before, I certainly believe there is an increase in players engaging in strength training by the look of their physiques on the field. There looks like there are more players than there was even 5 years ago that appear to be doing significant strength training.

        Genetics and bad luck plays a factor in injuries but I can very confidently say that If the Arsenal players engaged in more (or possibly even any) strength training, injury rates will drop.

      • desigunner says:

        It’ll be very interesting to hear Arsene’s opinion on this because he is very scientific in his approach. I hope someone poses that question to him in one of the press conferences or some other forum.

        Strength training is definitely important so it will be interesting to know whether it is mandatory or optional at Arsenal and other clubs.

      • Furic says:

        Indeed. I would love to know exactly what goes on.

  9. ed says:

    Stop with the fab talk,man! R u blind? Wenger’s the problem..give mourinho,this same team and we will be winning trophies again.*sigh*

  10. Indian Gunner says:

    Yes ,We need Fabregas for sure,but i highly doubt whether robin van persie will fit into this team….He has lost his shooting abilities and he is doing all the twists and turns which is not what was expected from him…..
    For some reason,we lost our momentum in then Manu match after fab and RVP substitutions…..

    Hoping for 3 points in the stoke match and we will be league leaders again…

    • desigunner says:

      RvP is just in a different position these days and will need time to adapt just like he took a few games at the start of last season. I’d personally like to see him back in the central role where he excelled last season.

  11. Sonu says:

    Big Sam getting kicked from one club to another is just hilarious and the fact that it was an Indian owned company is just brilliant.Hope they can get a good Manager as you said Desi and maybe they can get a few more Indian supporters too if they can get rid of some thugs in the team. The Tevez thing is just an absolute joke.Anything associated with City is a joke now and hardly warrants a comment.
    The news I’m interested in though is Samir Nasri was voted the French player of the Year. Kudos to Nasri. 🙂 .But isn’t it comical that their best player of the year was not chosen to play in the World cup.

    • desigunner says:

      Speaking of jokes, the Indian owners have to be very careful with how they proceed now because if they’ve underestimated the complications in the league they could easily take over as the biggest joke of the league.

      Yeah Nasri is having a good time these days. Hope it continues and he grows into a phenomenon.

  12. noobpro says:

    agree with filip. Current arsenal team is too light weight bar song and sagna. Invincibles team combined power with skill. Henry and viera was the epitome of it. Pure physical power with grace. No one could bully him on the pitch. Currently wenger has no money so he can only choose one trait. So power or skill? Guessed he went with skill. Now if steroids were legal then we could get teams with c ronaldos in then.

  13. santori says:

    It will do us no harm at all if we got ourselves a specialist coach for our defense.

    Having said that, I didn’t think we did all that bad defending against United, BUT the added defensive posture was at cost to our attack.

    Look forward to your analysis in detail.

  14. Ajinkya says:

    alex freguson on Big Sam sacking,”It is devastating to know…….”. Of course, alex, no free three points now onwards. Blackburn are a good team defensively, and something was definitely wrong when they lost 7-1.
    Tevez problem, no comments. But i think he is good, as a person from, what he was talking the other day,”I do not care for money” etc.
    And so the most important thing, Arsenal problems.
    Many have already started branding Cesc as a ‘half-hearted’ and ‘want away’ captain. Maybe. And also there are possibilities that he was never fit and being unnecessarily rushed, marring his performance, aggravating the problems for him and the team. Here comes Wenger’s problem of being too rigid as i mentioned in your earlier post.
    And moreover he must stop giving excuses. Do they change the result? No. He makes himself a target for more criticism.
    Cesc must think about it and talk openly about what he thinks, in case of problems. We do not want any ‘half hearted’ people in the team. We rely on him so much. He must repay our trust in him. He has been playing like a glum mug this season( i have decided to be very critical after the manu game).
    We must stop trying for textbook goals always and try shooting long and scoring on set-pieces. The sad part is that the quality is there but no one wants to do it, we just roam around the box.
    We did not look like a unit in our last game, given the misplaced passes and unattended through balls.
    There is a lot to be done. Talent alone does not win games, Messi excluded.
    Let us see what happens against Stoke and Chelsea. Only then can we reach a conclusion.

  15. Steve says:

    Read a report today that West Ham are considering Fat Sam…..PERFECT – Jabba the Hut could be sacked and relegated all in the same year – love it!!!!

  16. Phil23 says:

    I disagree with the power comments. Look at Song, he was never seen as a powr player until he started bulking out. Give him two more years and he will be just as powerful as Viera. We hae a young team and they are rapidly gaining power as can be seen by the difference between last season and this season. I am more worried by Arsenes recent comments about how we do not look to exploit the other teams weaknesses or even to counter-act their strengths. This isn’t the first time hes said this and it is quite obviously not the best way to go about things.

    • Phil23 says:

      To further my arguement, is Diaby not a power player? Will Djourou not be an absolute beast in a couple of years? Will young Jack Wilshere (who holds his own at 18) not be more powerful at the age of 23? If Messi or Giggs are power players is an in form Cesc or Van Persie not? Is it more likely that Arsene ‘forgot’ what a power player is or that he has an elaborate plan which most are far too short sighted to see?

      • samir nasri says:

        i’m for the plan, most are still too frustrated with monday and how we couldn’t get a goal. i’m part of that group too though..

  17. noobpro says:

    Messi is not a power player. He is a rare kind of flair player who is somewhat immune (bounces off) to rough tackles.
    The general look of the team is too lightweight. I would prefer more muscle bulk (without sacrificing) flair in the defense and the spine of the team. We are getting shoved in all areas of the field.
    Besides power I’m also all for character ie the commando with the death stare. Someone like puyol would help the team from getting bullied.

  18. em says:

    All this talk of power or not.bottom line is man-u won an arsenal team that played without passion.asharvin for all his technical abilities has no passion for the club.he represents the mercenary-athlete type.this has rubbed off on arsenal players evidently.I remember the great Patrick Viera breaking down n sheedin tears bcos his injury wouldn’t let him keep playin a match against the mancs,never felt more moved by a player’s passion.we don’t need players wit power cos skill overcomes power anyday(just ask Busquets).we need a passionate team period.what makes mou successful is his uncanny abilty to stir up that feelin in any club he handles.c’mon ppl the talent of this squad is undeniable.all we need is passion from these players n even Bendtner ‘ll surprise u.the catch to all this is passion is best stirred up by the fans.ever watch the fans cheer on @ camp nou?u’ll get the idea.we need more Ray Parlours,Freddie Ljunbergs.vermaelen is cut from the same cloth and it is evident in his play-my choice for captain when Fab leaves.If we get our passion back,we’ll get our trophies back trust me.just pick any random match from the 2003/04 season and pick any from this season and compare.difference is clear.Gunner marrow….season to go

  19. critic says:

    i don’t agree on sacking of sam allerdyce. If they thought he was not the right guy for the job, then they should have done it in off season, not in the middle of season. January transfer window doesn’t have same quality of players as that of summer’s transfer window. It was his team and he was doing a decent job for keeping them up.

    • desigunner says:

      You’re right about the risk they’ve taken. And if they seriously think someone else will take them higher than their present position and play attractive football and work on a budget then they’re in for some surprises. That’s why I said it will be fun to see how someone else achieves what Arsenal have done or at least tries to … we’ll learn a lot from their struggles.

  20. critic says:

    as for ian wright comments and whining of some idiotic fans- nasri shud have played in middle and blah blah, look at song, he is not comfortable with his new role for some time(he will be). It will take some time. how can u expect nasri to play in middle and deliver instantly. people wud have been whining then – oh look, he played him at wings all season and now he is trying something new at such an important match. As wenger rightly said – people tend to judge ur performance on the basis of result. HOW TRUE. Fact is we lost the game b’coz of one brilliant but lucky goal. If we had drawn the game ppl wud have hailed arsenal performance as they r real title contenders which salvaged a point even when they were not at their best.
    I think it was good performance despite result.

    • desigunner says:

      fair comment but I think if we’d drawn people would have said Arsenal played for a draw and were too scared to go for a win and stuff like that. I can’t see too many people praising Arsenal 🙂

  21. KP says:

    Disagree with your POV on the importance of Fabregas. I think for the first time in your blog, you are over valuing something.

    Fabregas could be called the best player of our team. But to say that we depend on him hitting top form to win trophies would be incorrect. Sorry for counting basics but just want to reiterate what we all know.

    First, football is and will always remain a team game. It can never be an individual-led effort for a long term. Exceptions average out on a long term.

    Second is more of an emotional point of view. I feel the way Wenger feels. Our squad, with or without Cesc, is capable of winning. If the few fundamental issues are sorted out, I think we don’t need Cesc.

    Also, you have stated a very diplomatic thing which is very hard to prove false. If Cesc starts next game onwards and we continue to not get consistent results, one could say “Cesc is not in his top form”. So basically if Cesc is part of the team that starts winning, one could say it is because Cesc is in his top form.

    Know what I mean?

  22. critic says:

    let’s hope he has developd arsenal genes now, may b really mads or barcaloanme mite try claim him in future..

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