On Scott Parker’s Talents And Related Misconceptions

Take a look at the table above and try to guess the two teams and the context. If you read my tweet with these numbers then you know the sides involved and the context. Even otherwise, the title of the post and the colours used should be a giveaway. Yes, those are numbers for Arsenal and Spurs. The context, if you don’t already know, isn’t very obvious. It’s the summary of these two clubs’ League performances since the North London Derby at White Hart Lane in the first week of October.

Essentially, after their worst start to the Premiership campaign in 58 years, the Gunners are currently outperforming the best Tottenham side in decades. Before someone gets me wrong, I want to be very clear this post is not about making fun of or putting Spurs down. I want to acknowledge they have created a very strong team and have been competitive in the League at a more than respectable level. My main intention is to address the difference in popular perception of Spurs and their players vis-à-vis that of the Gunners and Arsenal.

Everyone who has followed the broader commentary on various teams this season knows that Tottenham have constantly received widespread acclaim for the way they’ve performed. A place in the top three, which for a while was closer to the sides above than below them, merited at least some of the accolades that went their way.

Naturally, their players too have been exalted for their exploits. On its own I would not have many issues with the general public perception of Spurs or their players. Interestingly though, it’s reached such heights that many of their players have been classed world class leading to hilarious claims that none of the Gunners, apart from Van Persie, would make it to their starting line up. Such comparisons, while insignificant and lacking any serious weight in themselves, are part of a larger narrative – we will return to this word later – which suggests the Gunners have just been awful this season, to put it mildly.

So on one hand we have Spurs with their extraordinary season with a genius of a manager and world class players, and on the other there’s miserable Arsenal going downhill with a manager who’s lost the plot, players that don’t care or are panic buys or simply not good enough.

This is where things get a tad annoying. If such effusively grand opinions had been limited to certain ebullient Tottenham fans alone, one could take it in the stride as predictable and harmless hype. But no, the media seems as much in cahoots with said fans and many disgruntled Arsenal fans with short memories have also joined the bandwagon. Similarly, if the criticisms directed towards the Gunners had been limited to a section of fans with limited perspective or a clearly biased narrow portion of the media, one could ignore it as one of those insufferable parts of following the game and supporting a club. Sadly, such opinions seem very widespread and even people who are usually fairly sensible seem to have been caught up in these misconceptions.

Take another look at the above table. Arsenal have played one game less but have more wins, more points, and a better goal difference than Spurs. Those who really think Arsenal would be nowhere without Van Persie should answer why Tottenham with all their great players aren’t doing better than a one man team. And it’s important to note this isn’t over a small period. These numbers are from 20 games – more than half a season – spread over 5+ months of football.

Furthermore, last season after 27 games Arsenal were at 56 points. That while competing in the Champions League and reaching the finals of the Carling Cup. Till this point we haven’t even mentioned the fact that Spurs suffered rather embarrassing early exits from the Europa League and the League Cup this season. Granted they are still in the FA Cup but then they are yet to meet quality opposition in that tournament. Indeed, considering they are the highest placed side in the Cup, shouldn’t the failure to win it be considered catastrophic? Anyway, I digress, that’s for the future.

Even in 2009-10, Arsenal had 58 points from 28 games at the end of February. It’s a number Spurs can’t reach even if they win their next game against Everton. The Gunners achieved that too while competing the Champions League and other Cups. Spurs are yet to show they can manage the pressure of two high-level competitions.

I have no qualms in accepting that Arsenal had a difficult summer that led to a horrible start to the season. It was painfully substandard to say the least. But since then, Arsene Wenger and his players have turned it around and done much better than a highly rated bunch of players who are being managed by England’s next great managerial hope. Not only that, the results and numbers from the last two seasons clearly show that Arsenal have done much better in the recent past when compared to Tottenham’s achievements this season.

But think back, research it if you want to, and tell me if you’ve heard or read Arsenal getting anywhere near the same kind of admiration that their North London rivals have received this season. Forget accolades, have the Gunners even received enough respect? For the club? For the manager? For the players?

The widely held perception of many players has often surprised, bemused, and troubled me at the same time.  Let’s take one example. How about England’s latest captain – the diminutive, tough-tackling embodiment of grit and determination, Scotty Parker.

Now, I must say I like the former West Ham midfielder. He’s tenacious, dedicated, and gives his all on the pitch. Having him in the side has played a vital role in Tottenham’s League efforts and position this season. To a large extent I can accept the strongly positive opinions that he generates. But a number of people have offered opinions that lack balance to the extent that I have even read outrageously ignorant suggestions that Parker is the best midfielder in the League. Similar opinions of profusely extolling nature have been expressed for a number of Redknapp’s players.

Why then, despite so many supposedly top class players and a superstar manager, have Tottenham not outclassed Arsenal? I could understand if someone said Yaya Toure was the best midfielder in the League. I might not agree with that but it’s an opinion that can be respected. City’s performances, in the League at least, have been outstanding. Their position does not betray the talents of their players it reinforces them.

Sticking with Parker, I want to dig a little deeper into the quality of his efforts. I’m going to put some snapshots of his positioning against Arsenal in that – sensational or horrific, depending on the colour of your glasses – 5-2 loss in order to discuss the effectiveness of the role he’s performing. The images in themselves will not prove anything – they rarely do in a game as fluid as football – but should be seen as a reference point.

For the first Arsenal goal, we can see Parker going out to close Arteta down but England’s El Capitan, if I may, fails to put in a meaningful challenge to prevent the cross. You could say it’s impossible to prevent all crosses and that would be valid to a large extent. This effort, per se, was not a massive blunder from the highly-rated midfielder but it is one example that shows he wasn’t able to do as well as can be expected from someone in that role. Let’s carry on and look at other instances from the game.

For the second goal, Parker again failed to get close enough to Van Persie and was left sprawling on the ground as the Dutchman found the back of the net with an exquisite finish. Shouldn’t the player who is supposed to be excellent at sitting in front of the defence do better?

This wasn’t a one-off either. Earlier in the game, around the 20 min mark, RvP had left Scotty P on the turf with a neat turn. Sagna took a throw and Van Persie sucked Parker to one side before letting the ball roll in front of his body. This left the hardman biting the dust as RvP won a corner when his shot was deflected.

Clearly, Parker wasn’t learning from his mistakes in the game. If we look at the fourth goal, once again it was the tackle-master who was short of making any kind of effective tackle on Theo as the winger got his shot away.

That failure to tackle would again be excusable if it were a lone event in the game. As the other examples show, that’s clearly not the case. And once we take a different look at the events in the build-up, Parker’s effort looks criminally negligent.

As you can see, Theo was at least 10 yards behind his temporary England skipper. The Arsenal winger is fast but is he so quick he can beat an opponent with a 10 yard head start? Or is it more likely that Parker was completely unaware of the threat and only reacted after it was too late? Reminds us of a certain Arsenal player currently out on loan, doesn’t it?

Yes, it would not be way off the mark to say that the so-called best midfielder in the League did a Denilson there! Speaking of whom, let’s take a quick look at a statistical comparison of the two.

I have already looked at it in detail in this piece for EPL Index but want to quickly compare Denilson in 08-09 with updated stats of the Tottenham midfielder this season.

There are a number of surprising figures in there. While Parker is touted as a tough-tackling hardman and Denilson derided as a wimp who couldn’t tackle to save his life, it’s actually the Brazilian who has the better tackling success rate. In contrast, the Arsenal man is often remembered for his metronomic passing abilities but it’s actually Parker who’s done better on that front. The focus of this article is not a comparison of the two so I won’t dwell on it but look carefully and you’ll see a lot of other interesting details.

They’ve played under different tactical systems and these numbers are from different seasons so I agree they shouldn’t be directly compared but I also insist they do give enough of an idea. At the very least they’re sufficient enough to say that Denilson wasn’t as bad a player as he’s made out to be and Parker isn’t as great as some people like to think.

Indeed, if you look at the mistakes of Parker discussed above, throw in the stats, and look at where Tottenham are in the League, it’s hard to say he’s that different from Denilson as far as impact goes even if their styles are different.

Arsene Wenger has consistently kept Arsenal in the top four even with a number of players who were commonly considered useless. The problem wasn’t with the players, otherwise Arsenal would not finish where they did, but with the popular perception. The same is the case right now.

Spurs are now close to reaching the level Wenger’s teams have consistently achieved in recent seasons on a very tight budget. But we can only say Tottenham have reached that level, leave alone passed it, after they can show a level of consistency and sustain the performances while competing for more than one major trophy. And until Spurs prove their mettle, there is no valid reason to consider their players as far superior.

Based on this discussion, it would seem absurd to claim none of the Arsenal players, barring RvP, would make it to the Tottenham starting eleven. In the interest of fairness though, it must be said that many of their players are also comparable to their Gunner counterparts and could take a place in the current Arsenal line-up. Obviously not in a man-for-man manner, although in some cases that is also possible, as the style of play and systems used a quite different but more in terms of relatively comparable qualities.

At this moment I want to stress that the point of this article is not to belittle individuals but to cut through the hype and derision that is commonly seen in the media and on the internet. Both sets of players, with some exceptions, are fairly comparable. And as a direct result, the output of their efforts is also in the same bracket. The table at the beginning of this post shows that well enough. Therefore, one lot can’t be considered world class if some of the others are considered panic buys.

So the next logical question is – why is there such a difference between popular perception of these teams and players, either individually or a group?

In my opinion, the single biggest factor is expectations. Arsenal have been in the top four all these years and have been competing for various trophies. The demands placed on the club, manager, and players are consequently – directly or indirectly – linked to heightened aspirations. Finishing 3rd or 4th is considered a failure. On the other hand Spurs have not been close to the top for a long, long time. In the recent years they’ve invested a lot and worked hard to move up the ladder. Finally, in the last couple of years they’ve started looking like a team that can be considered in the same league as the top sides. This season a strong run in the League, although with the benefit of competing in only one competition, seems to have established them as close to the top as they’ve been for decades. Starting with lower expectations even a 3rd or 4th place finish will look like a decent achievement. Winning the League was never going to happen but, as we’ve seen with Arsenal in recent years, long sequences of positive results does create an impression of a title challenge. That alone was enough to add to the hype around Tottenham, Redknapp, and their players.

Apart from the expectation-induced differences in opinion, the short-term thinking of many pundits, journalists, and fans also helps build such false perceptions. Few remember that Arsenal have been in similar or better positions. Such people often only vaguely remember the negative feelings that were generated due to the expectation-performance mismatch.

These factors are only a starting point though. The real weight behind such opinions comes from narratives that are built over time. If Arsenal have an expectation-performance mismatch for a few years, and if some people only, or even predominantly, remember the disappointments, the criticisms develop and worsen on a consistent basis. Bloggers/fans who can’t discuss the problems equitably; pundits who are either biased, xenophobic, morons, or worse; and those with a propensity to dispense lazy opinions come together to develop the negative narrative. Mistakes are highlighted, small issues are blown out of proportion, positives are ignored or served with a malicious spin, and of course – occasionally there are genuinely disheartening moments like the loss of Fabregas or the results of certain games.

After a point it’s the easy thing to do. There is safety in numbers and too many people start pretending they know better. Whether it’s driven by low self-esteem or a pathological need to be right, too many individuals fall into the trap of trying to prove their superiority in something they barely understand (like football tactics for instance).

The worst part of this is that an ordinary fan, when bombarded with such a vicious and consistently negative narrative at all times, can easily be led astray as he struggles to deal with the frustrations of the transfer market or the results of certain games, especially a string of poor performances.

In similar vein, it can be said that some people put an unnecessary and unjustified positive spin on events. For instance, those with a higher than normal degree of nationalistic zeal might see more in the performances of Scott Parker than neutral observers might. Club it with the low-expectation driven hype around Tottenham and it’s not hard to see how baseless but vehemently exalting opinions are formed. If the highlights packages don’t focus on the player’s errors at all, those are conveniently forgotten by most. An so the story builds over the course of a season.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, my argument isn’t against valid and constructive criticism but against the narrative driven myths that are propagated as facts. I don’t have a problem with players receiving the acclaim their performances merit either, just with the extravagant undeserved levels that such praise often reaches.

The comparison of Denilson and Parker throws light on the kind of gaps that can be created in public perceptions by the spin or the narrative. The Brazilian was never an exceptional performer but he was by no means the utter dud many portrayed him to be. In contrast, Parker remains a very good player but he isn’t the midfield genius he’s often made out to be. The difference between the two is marginal at best and is clear not only from their stats but the impact that they’ve had – both can play a part in taking their team into the top four but neither seems good enough to be a vital part of a side that is going to win major titles.

An extension of the same thought process can explain the difference in current common perception about other Arsenal and Tottenham players as well as the sides in general. One side isn’t on the way down while the other is in ascendancy. Both have done reasonably well in recent years. Only one has proven longevity.

I think back to the number of times Arsene Wenger says he has to find players better than the ones he has. People looked at guys like Denilson and wondered how he can’t find someone better. They pointed at Parker as an obvious solution. But if you look at actual facts, the impact that players have, and don’t get carried away by the force of the sweeping but fallacious narrative, you will see the point Wenger makes.

The Arsenal manager is not a fool and hasn’t gone senile. It isn’t by accident that an Arsenal side supposedly devoid of world class players, struggling with injuries, and relying on panic buys goes on to win consecutive games against Spurs, Liverpool, and Milan. That is not to say Arsene is without his flaws. Just that it’s too lazy to give in to common myths pretending to be popular wisdom. Any meaningful debate has to start with respect. People who wish to make a point must demonstrate that they can think beyond the obvious.

Unfortunately, such biased opinions against Gunners are not limited to the opinions on some players. There are a number of myths that have been created including yarns that a usually spun based on activity in the transfer market. Depending on what Arsene does, it’s either a panic buy, or a change of failed policy, or over-reliance on an approach that isn’t working, or a lack of ambition, or some such twist that is full of negativity. These fallacies aren’t limited to transfers but extend to many other club policies as well. I don’t wish to get into individual details right now but will urge you to exercise caution while reading such stories. Simply because a lot of people are repeating them, such myths don’t become hard truths.

Arsenal suffer enough artificial external pressure. I want to end by asking whether you really want to add to it or do you wish to alleviate some of it?

130 Responses to On Scott Parker’s Talents And Related Misconceptions

  1. An excellent, thoughtful and perceptive analysis, supported by fact, and logic. This should be essential reading for all Arsenal fans, both real and supposed.

    • Dhruv says:

      Interesting article. We shouldn’t have allowed Spuds to get so near to us in the first place. Now lets forget what happened. It is time to get our rightful place back from twitchy and his band of eccentrics and push them behind us.

  2. Phil says:

    Magnificent. One of the best football dissections I’ve ever read.

  3. syedhamzaali says:

    Decent, Before the season I was of the opinion that we really could’ve benefited from Parker’s acquisition. I also always thought Denilson was absolutely useless.

  4. Vishal says:

    as always. Brilliant. Tell me…has Arsene wenger ever written to you after reading your blogs? I am sure he has. Yours are the most sensible Arsenal related posts out there.
    Proud of you my desi brah!

  5. GbG says:

    Looks like you’re focusing on quality over quantity. Rejoice, it’s working.

    Wonderful analysis. Busts a number of myths. That doesn’t mean I want Denilson back but your point about greater respect is well taken.

  6. Desi gooner you have outdone yourself!!!
    Keep the articles rolling!!

  7. Stoney says:

    Deluded goonie. I’m so glad you wasted your time writing such a pointless asinine piece of literary drivel. More fool me for noticing it I suppose. Then again you probably had plenty of time as you won’t have a job. I was out working to pay for you to sit at home, a home which my taxes also pay for, whilst you conjured up this dribble. Now you need to go out and do something positive to cancel out this negative you spent days dreaming up. I pity you. You lame simpleton. Do the world a favour and don’t reproduce. Your offspring will only get bullied for being ugly and stupid and for having a father who’s a goonie. And that’s not fair on any defenceless child. What a total embarrassment. The gene pool could do with a bit of chlorine. Forever in our shadow.

    • Manamongst says:

      You achieved in saying nothing of consequence…

      What’s your problem, Proud Brit that loves your helpings of Terry, Parker, Lampard and Thatcher…yapping on about taxes. Do us all a favor next time, save the keystrokes.

    • Paul says:

      Lol wow stoney I didn’t think u had to pay that much tax when Ur on min wage working at tesco’s u stinking yid!!!!

      Anyway u just go count your pennys mate

      • Stoney says:

        Pennies. Not pennys. English, grammar and spelling, has obviously eluded you. If you’re going to take a shot at me at the very least spell it correctly. Shame on you. I think you’re probably the one on minimum wage, if anyone has been stupid enough to employ an illiterate fool. Joke’s on you goonie.

      • Paul says:

        I was making the text shorter —- boy as you can see, However there is only one way to say your a wanker!!!! What’s the problem why are you so angry is it because your mum gave you the chop when u was a boy are you a little shorter in that area???
        —-edited—– let’s not get too excited or go overboard please. Thanks.

      • FinnGun says:

        Less of the ‘yids’ and ‘jew boys’. Let’s not sink to a liverpudlian level.

    • Vishal says:

      lol. Here come the spuds!

    • raisonar says:

      A person named stoney above is still rocked by what happen in NLD….I understand it is tough for spuds to swallow that how come there best team ever is outclassed by ours worst team of decade….
      But still never mind…its obviously sucks to be a spud, and this poor fella must be having hard time…his wife must have left him years ago for him being a spud!!

      • Stoney says:

        Another one to which English is a mysterious and elusive art. Did any of you goonies actually go to school? I blame your parents. You probably don’t even know who your dad is do you though. Mum, flat on her back working hard all day, probably lost count. Poor little goonie.

      • Aniruddh says:

        I@stoney let’s see you speak/write in several languages while still make sense

    • Zama says:

      Didn’t realise Brit taxes supported folks in America. 😀

    • Crow says:

      A spud talking about people not paying taxes?! You should take this issue up with ‘arry ‘melted faced’ Redknapp the tax evading slimeball before accusing other people of things you know nothing of. ‘Rosy 47’ hahaha!

    • Gru says:

      how old are you? you’re either in your early twenties working in a bank or late fifties, a plumber about to retire. either way sounds like you like to shave your head. don’t talk about taxes, and grammar, you sound like you’re growing a vertical mustache.

    • SB says:

      Sorry, do you pay taxes in the US & India as well? Don’t assume all bloggers & readers of an Arsenal blog are from the UK.

  8. Manamongst says:

    I for one have always seen through Parker, if he looked like Rooney he would rarely get a call-up. I was also elated to see him get the lion’s share of touches when we beat them at Emirates. I’ve always been of the school of thought that Scott Parker doesn’t have a creative bone in his body and when put under minimal pressure he will hoof the ball. Any coach with half a brain or lets take Wenger in the same team, would have had Krancjar teamed with Modric, they would have a lot more success linking up with the lazy likes of VDV who’s heatmap is the size of badminton court. Parker just simply bumps it back to Freidel, BAE and Walker all day.

  9. Paul says:

    WOW!!!! Brilliant bit of reading there I was shocked on the whole denilson and Parker chart u have there, I’ve always thought Scott Parker is way over rated and how he is England captian is crazy!!!!! I don’t think we need denilson back as song is far better and is growing into a truly world class midfielder,
    Does any1 here think that arteta and Ramsey aren’t good enough for our first team?? I think both of these players hold the ball up way to much and the proof was in the pudding against AC when they wasn’t in the team we really played another level…

    • Manamongst says:

      Arteta is good enough, but there’s no way Ramsey is good enough, that is, in my opinion why Arteta looks so up against it all the time. Ramsey isn’t able to do what Rosicky is doing, gather the ball…TURN AND FACE opposition and take them on and turn the corner on them. When you can do that; the third of fourth time you receive the ball they’ll either attempt to steal it or most likely back the f*ck up off of you. Which is what they DON’T do against Ramsey, they close him down faster than you can say “Lampard” and he dumps it off like a scared kid. And this places all of the pressure on Arteta, who still has a few pirouettes, half turns and general ball/player location awareness tricks to status him as more than capable down the channel. Wenger needs a bit of ruthlessness about him at this point and needs to keep it Song-Arteta-Rosicky…if healthy of course. And let Gervinho, Benayoun and Ramsey watch from the bench. I could even live with Gervinho playing and Walcott rotated, BUT AOC had better play.

      • Paul says:

        I seeyour point mate however we signed arteta when we lost cesc and nasri, when he was playing for everton he was there creative midfielder and supplied there final balls into the strikers..
        However at arsenal where the quality of football is much higher I think he’s been found wanting and has almost become a more defensive player while song has taken it apon his self to put killer passes into RVP I just think he’s a decent sub but nothing more!!!! Glad to see u agree with the Ramsey thing that guy is shocking!! And how any young footballer can say he’s burnt out!!!!! Is madness

      • Manamongst says:

        Shocking was exactly my thought as well. Wenger just needs toget Arteta to temper the ‘magic passes’ and keep it moving and drop a few pounds and improve his fitness. But a one for one replacement for Cesc…NEVER.

      • LRV says:

        Paul & Mana, you both clearly misunderstand the role that Arteta has been called on to play for Arsenal. He was never a replacement for Cesc. Even Wenger himself said so. Your deduction that he was bought at the departure of Cesc does not necessarily make him a direct replacement. He is simply what is known as a midfield-link, a sort of sort of stabilizer for the midfield. Ramsey was supposed to play the creative part, with Rosicky as his backup; at least that was the plan. But Ramsey got ‘mentally tired’ and started to ridiculously over-elaborate. So even though Wenger wanted to stick by him, the manager had to tactically withdraw him in favour of Rosicky; who has been excellent. In fact, we would have won at Swansea if the manager had been ruthless and made the change there. But he saw what damage that (a withdrawal at Swansea of the Welsh golden boy) would do to Ramsey’s confidence (which may be more long term than we need).

      • richie says:

        Exactly Ramsey is still young and developing but Arteta keeps the ball moving beautifully. His positional play is exceptional. I just wish we’d had him playing alongside Cesc. He’s a player a little like our old Gilberto Silva in that he does nothing really spectacular but very little wrong and a hell of a lot right. Ramsey will improve I’m sure but at the moment he’s not first choice, because he’s neither great being a defensive mid nor creative enough to be an offensive mid.

  10. Siva says:

    Brilliantly written. That just made me tear…

  11. Paul says:

    OH and also I fear for willshere if rednkapp becomes england manager as I can’t see him starting him over either gerrard or lampard and Parker will defo be in there!!!! Even tho jack has more creative play in his little toe than all three of these over rated DONUTS

    • Manamongst says:

      The team, as it is now, from a midfield perspective has not a care in the world of keeping possession; at a time when most teams (see Germany) are tweaking their own philosophy towards those of success (see Spain). So…when Harry goes to Euros,and sees the German side playing their corners short…and Parker…Citeh’s working wings hoofing it…and Rooney and Welbeck having to come back to their half to establish possession, they will know they are well f*cked.

      • Paul says:

        Yes I agree with that I just fear he will be overlooked bcos of his age and obv gooner connection!!! And Harrys loyalty will still be with the stinky yids an with crappy Parker I would like to see jack and gerrard in thee middle as long as that scouser can leave the creative side to willshere that is and use his excellent engine for defensive perposes!!

    • Billy says:

      Redknapp has always played creative players wherever he’s been, Prosineski, Di Canio, Joe Cole, Sheringham, Merson Van der Vaart and our very own Modric. I would say that Harry will buildthe team around Jack.

  12. Jejo says:

    Nice piece.This is certainly the best blog around. Better than untold arsenal and le ‘immoral’ grove.

    • Vishal says:

      agree totally.

    • gooner50 says:

      Excellent article. But I think it is fairer to consider Untold Arsenal and this site as complimentary rather than one being better than the other; they do have a slightly different format. As for Le Gripe – not worth reading!

  13. Gedion says:

    Top Top notch article. many get carried away by the force of the sweeping but fallacious narrative from pundits with no clue of football management. Thank u for highlighting this propaganda waged against our dear club by people who pretend to know all yet they know nothing and most of them have tried coaching and have ended up being fired.

  14. goosebump says:

    Splendidly written Sir.. Your best one yet Desi.. I for one never believe everything written by the agenda driven journos.. It is bloggers like you who show us the light..

  15. Dgob says:


  16. Gedion says:

    By the way, Manure were beaten at their own backyard but non has talked about it. how comes? if it was arsenal, the whole world would have crumbled on wenger. Pathetic journalistic reporting in England.

  17. too says:

    i always agree with your views,especially when you try n being optimistic eve if the odds are against arsenal. but allow a pessimist to burst you bubble a little bit,my take on your views is that you are defending arsenal and wenger too much,you seem to get carried away wid few positive results forgeting the other omen that befell us earlier,the fact is wenger is a mess n i dont need to read anything to fathoth that hypotheses,his phylosophy is a major fail n has turnd us into top four contenders from championship fighters he needs to change or else arsenal will mark time n remain stagnant n us the fans cannot argue wd the man u fans in the bars anymore…my point is we are trophy winnwers,we need wenger to get his visage outta his bloody ass n rally the troops after making good signings…n denilson n parke? really desi really?

    • LRV says:

      Pray, produce factual argument, if you can, to prove that Wenger actually did what you claim. While you are at it, can you please show us from factual history of the club where we were and exactly how many trophies we were winning per year?

  18. Abubakri says:

    Brilliant. The article writer is one of d best writer i have ever come accross. Weldone guy.

  19. LMM says:

    Wow. Congratulations, a piece of writing and analysis to be proud of.

  20. Arsenalite says:

    Great article!
    Keep it up!

  21. SamNigeria says:

    DESI, u are truely one of the best arsenal blogger if not the best. Ur analysis is spot on, i always will prefer denilson to parker as the later has everything it takes to be a world class DM just that he lacks the “perfect Timing” which affect his overall decision making while on the ball. But parker is just a joke who is only good in running here and there. Anyway, desi!!! Keep up with ur analysis. U are not only a true gunner but also a real football analyst. Gunner till i die!!!.

    As for Stoney!!! U make me wana puke!! Are u affraid that we gonna catch u mate…..u sound lik a piece of shit

    • Stoney says:

      Not afraid at all goonie.

      • Dhruv says:

        Hey spud, stop giving thumbs up to yourself moron!

      • richie says:

        Exactly its so easy to spot “The Stoners” reply’s arrive with a ready pasted thumb its typical Spud. Mind you as most of the lazy pundits and jurno’s all seem to have got caught up with the Spud spin it hardly surprising that their own think they are better than they are. Still when you consider its been 50 years since they won the title, its harly surprising that getting into the top 4 twice in 20 years, is enough to get them all excited.

  22. CB says:

    What are you doing? Using interesting and comprehensive data in order to validate an argument? And more than once? And clear pictures of what happens on the pitch? You’ll never make it as a blog writer with that attitude – try to include outrageous statements of how bad Arsenal are, what a tool AW is, how useless he is at tactics, defence (see the goals conceded above….oh), how we are in the biggest crisis ever, ignore anything good going on etc etc

    Only then will you attract a bunch of AKBs and AMGs slugging out in the comments section and depressing everyone who supports Arsenal.

    Great work, by the way.

    • richie says:

      Spot on CB
      But if we all wanted to engage in that sort of drivel we wouldn’t be on Desi G’s blog we’d be @ Le Grove

  23. Shubham says:

    As a gooner from PUNE, I feel this is a very good post Desi. Interesting facts with sensible reasoning. We need to scratch beneath he surface to extract meaningful logic of things happening with AFC. Keep up the good work.

  24. Sunnyroy says:

    Simple fact is, the media love an underdog and that’s what the spuds are. It would be the same if it was Bolton or Fulham. Conversely they also love to knock down the bigger teams and that’s what we are. It’s not anti Arsenal or pro spuds, it’s just human nature. If the teams involved were Everton and Liverpool we would all be routing for Everton it just what people do. Let’s not take it too personally, anyway when we get third everything will return to normal.

    • Stoney says:

      “Rooting” not “routing”. Dear oh dear. Another inane display of illiteracy from you goonies. I’m amazed you even now how to switch on your computer. One foot in front of the other, steady as she goes, well done you’re walking. Soon you’re be talking. Hang on, don’t overload that peanut you call a brain.

      • Sunnyroy says:

        Funnily enough, I saw that after I’d posted it. Oh well. Are you really going to base every argument on people’s grammar? Do you even realise this is a football comments page?
        You just show up that you have no opinion worthy of the name and no idea how to formulate a well thought out response.

        By the way brainiac “you’re” is “you are” therefore “you are be talking” is, as you are aware wrong?

      • ppp says:

        “I’m amazed you even *now* how to switch on your computer”

        Why do you exist again? I blame the parents…

    • richie says:

      Sunnyroy sorry mate your wrong its nothing to do with underdogs its all about Xenophobic idea’s. I’m English mate and I know exactly what happens when every World Cup or European Championship rolls around. The English press pundits and Journo’s start to over hype how good English player are. Last time out if you believed the papers Lumpalard was one of the best midfielders in the world. Forget Xavi & Iniesta or our own Fabrigas at the time. Then we played the Germans and they Panzered our midfield. The papers all went quiet the jurno’s had to keep their big xenaphobic mouths closed and watch the above 3 easily dismantle the Germans tanks like they were tonka toys. Its was all English ‘arry and English Parker, and Foreign Arsene & Arsenal until the 5-2 now they are all quiet again.

  25. Borntobeagunner(btbag) says:

    Desi, ooh Desi, you are on it dazzling again, your articles are sooo inspiring. I guess if there is anything like ‘football article competition’ where each club is represented by a writer and you represent arsenal, we will be sweeping all the awards in that front. Well done, just keep it rolling, at least this kind of article will tell some of us that we are on the right path in terms of what we believed. Your final question is so valid despite the simple nature of the question. Biblically put, those who have ears let them hear, and not just hearing but make an efforts to change their perception of things that will put them on the right parts as they support their respective clubs and carry out their jobs(journalists and pundits, fans and opposed fans). A Nigerian Arsenal Fan. Well done Desi.

  26. Billy says:

    Good article. The reason for the media being down on you guys is that you’re used to success under Wenger. Compared to someof your past teams this one isn’t great. Every squad needs a Denilson/Diaby/Arteta player who can back-up the likes of Wilshere/Song. The difference isyou haven’treplaced the Fabregas’, etc, the ones that take you to anotherlevel. Chamakh is a terrible replacement for Van Persie, even last season your depth was better with Bendtner.

    Spurs on the other hand have our bestteam for 20 years. We still lack depth in certain areas (centrehalf, winger, 2 strikers) but have created a very good squad without spending too much. Plus you pay higher wages. There is also more of a British feel to Spurs which the media love to hype up.

    I hope you guys get 4th this season as you deserve it more than Chelsea and ‘Pool asthey spend big money andplay crap football. I still think we’lll get 3rd as yourrun in istougherthan ours, but we need to take7 points from ournext 3 games against Everton, Stoke and Chelsea.

    P.s Do you agree that Chesney was very childishin his comments about us? I could understand that typeof comment coming from a Wilshere, Adams or whoever but a foreign (Polish?) ‘ keeper that was not anArsenal supporter growing up? Pathetic.

    • Dhruv says:

      Why don’t you worry about Spuds position at the end of season rather than thinking about Arsenal.

      As far as Chesney’s comments, well Arsenal as a club wants the utmost commitment from its players and we dont differentiate between Englishmen and foreigners. So your point is invalid.

      • Billy says:

        So why does Chesney hate Spurs? Could it be he’s pretending to to try and win favour with your fans?

  27. cartel says:

    the article seems well thought out. but the undeniable truth is without rvp arsenal would be lost around midtable or lower. spurs score regularly from all over the pitch. take away rvp 25league goals this season and where would arsenal be? im not sure who ur next top scorer would be, maybe theo on 7 or 8 league goals? so to say arsenal are not a 1 man team is delusional. rvp has something like 50+ % of all arsenals league goals…..1 player from a 25man squad has that! dont get me wrong, its an amazing statistic. and i beleive he is currently up there with the worlds top 5 players. but take away rvp and his 50+ % of arsenals league goals, and we are back to the undeniable truth. arsenal would be way, way down the table without him, and hence are a 1 man team in every sense of th word. arsenal fans can crow all day that this is untrue but any right minded person knows it to be truth

    • Stoney says:

      Absolutely. But, the difficulty is that however an intelligent argument you put across the goonies greater stupidity will win out and shit all over it. You can’t teach those that don’t have the capacity for even the most basic cognitive function.

      • Paul says:

        They need help at the check out stoney!!! Chop chop son

      • Dhruv says:

        Hey loonies, RVP has been a success for last 2 seasons but Arsenal have a top 4 team since a decade.

        I know you guys are afraid to talk about Theo who ripped you a new one. Twitchy did not know what to do, hardly got up from his seat. Is he getting ready to make an excuse?

  28. Borntobeagunner(btbag) says:

    Sunnyroy, observe whenever man u faces difficulties similar to arsenal like mancity trashed man u at home 1:6, went out of carling cup, fa cup and UCL, had it been arsenal, it would be down grading of arsenal club and praising of spurs. So read well into Desi’s point again and you will see a better angle where Desi is coming from than that of small/big club accertion you are making.

    • Sunnyroy says:

      See your point but, if the same were to happen to Man U and they were sitting in 5th place with only the a 4th place to aim for the media would be all over them. Probably about how fergie is too old and his best years behind him etc…. As for Man City, this is not a true comparison to a small club making it, due to their vast wealth. Media will get them the minute it starts to go wrong ( see Chelski). Fact is, 7 years without etc…. Is big news for a team the size of Arsenal but not for a team the size of spuds. Whereas small clubs pushing for the title, top 4 is news for them.

  29. Passenal says:

    Would have been a good article were it not for the totally unnecessary dig at Denilson. And while you’re at it, you might have pointed out that Parker is 10 years older and more experienced than Denilson. Why not look at Parker’s stats at that age? He is not up to the level of a top team as his disastrous spell at chelsea demonstrated and while he is on his way down, Denilson has plenty of time to improve and shove some humble pie down the throats of those who have been so quick to write him off.

  30. John says:

    @moderator, please remove Paul’s reply to Stoney at 10.31, it is sick, could be interpreted as racist and discredits this blog. I personally would delete Stoney’s post as well as it’s pointless trolling.

  31. Simon mutugi says:

    I really like the in depth analysis done by the writter. It has actuall made me relize that Arsenal have consistently performed well over the years.

  32. Ole Gunner says:

    “the article seems well thought out. but the undeniable truth is without rvp arsenal would be lost around midtable or lower”

    It might shock and amaze you to know that Robin van Persie is an Arsenal player, MORON.

    How many years did we not have RvP in the team for no more than 25% of the season, with him being injured or just coming back to fitness the rest of the time??

    Where did we finish then?

    Were we not challenging for the title last season without him or Cesc fit? With Chamakh leading the attack?

    • Billy says:

      Last season you had 3 players performing to s world class level (Fab/V.Persie/Nasri), some very very goodplayers (Verma/Jack) and then some very good support players. This season you’ve missed Jack and Verma and lost 2 world class players. Maybe Ramsey/Gibbs/Gervinho/Ox will eventually be able to replace those players ( esp. The last one) but this is probably a season too soon for them.

      If you keep RVP and sign a couple of class players there is no reason why you can’t challenge for honours again.

      • Joshua says:

        Of the 4 players you talk about from last season… Nasri had a great first half of the season but he was nowhere near world class for the second half. Fabragas missed a shed load of games with his constant hamstring problems and Van Persie too had injury concerns. Vermaelen play may be 2 matches for all of last season… he was injured at the beginning and never recovered enough to kick a ball for us. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Fabregas and RVP played together a total of 17 times for Arsenal last season. Just 17 times according to Wenger.

        Arsenal, at the moment are not a one-man team. We have an exceptional player, in RVP, who is able to make the difference but even without him Arsenal are still a very good side. The one-man team jibe works as a wind-up but no serious analysis of Arsenal will arrive at the conclusion that Arsenal are a one-man team. Only a moron would proffer such a view seriously. Song, Szczensy, Vermaelen, Kosceilny, Gervinho, Walcott and even recently the Ox and Rosicky have all made big contributions that have helped Arsenal get to where they are at the moment following such a wretched start to the season and all the upheaval that losing key players caused.

        Finally… everyone now says how precious to Arsenal Van Persie is but very few will acknowledge that at the start of last season a load of Arsenal bloggers were calling for him to be sold as he was too injury prone. No one remembers that now! Someone made the decision to stick with Van Persie through out the periods when he was unlucky with injuries, someone believed in him enough to make him vice-Captain and then Captain. Someone decided to offer him the wages that kept him at the club. Van Persie’s presence in the Arsenal team is not a mistake or a mere piece of good fortune… there were actual decisions that led to him being where he is and becoming the player he has become.

    • cartel says:

      can i remind you that it was the author of the article who went out of his way to state arsenal are not a 1 man rvp show, and if you read my comment again, i was simply providing the truth that arsenal very much are, a 1 man show MORON

      • Dhruv says:

        Arsenal are not a 1-man team MORON!

      • cartel says:

        ok arsenal are not a 1 one man team…..just a team who would be 12th at best, without rvp goals!!! undeniable. look at the goal stats numptys! are any of you really suggesting, even for a minute, that if you replaced rvp with any of your other strikers that you would currently be 4th in the prem! you would be nowhere. fighting for a top ten finish. look at the goal stats of your team.

      • Dhruv says:

        Spuds lost to Everton yesterday. So better look for that man who can lift your team before the freefall begins moron!

        And yes Scotty Parker is overrated and so are players like Bale, Defoe, Kranjcar, Saha, your man from Starwars Friedel, and so on. In fact, you are a bunch of overrated players. Next time, you would not be replacating whatever successes you had this season.

        As for RVP, he is one of the best finishers in the league, but we have won matches without him last season or the season before. We will see if he is not around longer. Who would have thought that we would be so close of getting 3rd after Cesc left but as a team we have done it.

  33. Borntobeagunner(btbag) says:

    Billy, stop being a racist. Cartel, Desi also asked a question that why is spurs not outing arsenal statistically compared to the generally believed opinion about spurs being the better team and players since spurs is not a one man team but 11 man’s team. Moreover, when Fabregas and Nasri left, all we heard was, ‘RVP cant stitched a number of matches together without going injury,he is too far way injury prone player’. The point is, spurs should be doing far better than arsenal with their 11 man’s team but they are not so, what’s the need for this 1 man’s team campaign? That’s Desi’s point.

    • Billy says:

      At no point did I suggest that you’re a one man team. I just dtatedthat there is a void in quality in your squad after Nasri and Fabregas left. This void can eventually be filled by Px/Gervinho/Ramsey and Wilshere but perhapsthis is a season too soon.

      How am I racist?

  34. Ole Gunner says:

    Another example: how impossible it is for the media to talk about Arsenal without resorting to three cheap and malicious narratives:

    1. Top player will leave. (RVP, Cesc, Henry, hello)
    2. Haven’t won a trophy in x years (how many clubs have, why does that get no mention)
    3. The players aren’t as good as the invincibles (which club’s current crop is as good as its best ever crop of player)
    4. So and so have to be sold (which club has players that don’t have to be moved on)

    Add it together and its a powerful deluge from media, opposing fans and our own fans that puts pressure on our players that other teams don’t have to face.

    We face not just positive pressure (the pressure to succeed) but also very strong negative pressure (the pressure not to have even small failures).

    I posit that this is at least part of the reason why we have spectacular collapses. The psychological aspect. And no, other teams don’t face the same thing.

    I hope the players realise this and can shut it out and even have it spur them on.

    We have a very talented team. Our squad is an elite squad and most of our players deserve their place at the level they play in. Whatever minority doesnt will be out sooner or later.

    In the last 12 months we have beaten Barcelona, Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City, Liverpool, Milan, Borussia Dortmund, etc.

    We’re an elite side

  35. Iain says:

    Lol the table shows Spurs doing better than your lot so you use a subset of matches of your choice to “prove” the reverse.

  36. Yidango says:

    Obsessing about Spurs taken to another level!
    Are you a goalkeeper by any chance. 🙂

  37. Borntobeagunner(btbag) says:

    PASSENAL, Desi is not taking a dig at Denilson, neither the article is about Denilson/Parker comparism. Desi is only pointing out that a player or a team can be sooo over hyped or downgraded in comparism yet, the difference is just marginal inbetween but such opinion can easily buy fans, pundits n journos over thereby, if not carefully looked into just like Desi did, it could be believed to be the case while it is not but far from the truth.

  38. Pritpal Manku says:

    Excellent article. It reminded me of a satirical article that I wrote a couple of years back intended as a joke but taken offensively by so many. I hope the author reads it and has a good laugh


  39. coys says:

    Parker has been fantastic for Spurs this season but the real contrast is in the summer transfer window.

    Spurs bought 3 in the summer Friedel, Parker, Adebayor for small fees. Each player has been ever present in the league and been vital to Tottenham’s excellent season.

    Arsenal denied they would sell then sold off their best players and made a last minute dash to the bargain bin to replace them. The new players are substandard and have contributed to a poor season rescused only by RVP.

    In short, it is not just about Parker, Spurs have bought well and Arsenal have bought poorly and the table shows this. Your best bet is to hope Harry goes to England as he has been key to the success at Tottenham.

    • Stoney says:

      They’re a joke. A selling club.

      • Paul says:

        Criminal yes!!! Racist no LOL!!!! —-edited—- ??? Do u use curling tongs or do u guys get a perm????

        Oh and ur still a wanker u mug

        Paul, I don’t wish to preach but as Arsenal fans should we not maintain our class?

      • Joshua says:

        Paul…. Please shut up you ignorant disgrace of an Arsenal fan. The Holocaust is not an event to be used to taunt anyone, any where at any time. If you haven’t the wit to reply to others without saying the most stupid and idiotic stuff then please…. SHUT UP.

      • FinnGun says:

        all clubs have idiots – some of them racists. paul, have you noticed a certain arsenal player called yossi?

  40. Well argued and the facts speak for themselves, but Where Would Arsenal Be??? without robin Van Persie. This season they are the epitome of a one man team!

  41. Ashy says:

    What is a spud fan doing in an Arsenal blog! Shows that spuds have nothing to offer their fans as entertainment. Poor chap. Hahaha.

    • cartel says:

      what is a woolwich blog doing writing spurs articles!!! happening more and more these days numpty!

    • Billy says:

      I showed on our newnow page. But we have ad muchright to give our opinions as amyone. And if you had a brain cell between your ears you would respect fans (yes even rival ones) who try to give a balanced view.

  42. Amit says:

    Excellent post that, keep it rolling!!

  43. Dear Desi Gunner,

    Love your blog. It’s the only one I read consistently after Arseblog.

    Excellent article and one that I wish some more insightful English commentators to make but I think that is beyond any of them.

    My take on the poor mainstream press that Arsenal always get in England is simply because the English commentators are xenophobic. Even when Arsenal win well, their write ups about the team/players/match will go overboard in their praise as if to set them up for a bigger fall when it does come. They will always try to mention something negative in passing (7 years since they last won a trophy, a player wanting to leave, contract renewals). There is always a crisis in Arsenal after a loss or a draw.

    I think they reserve particular vitriol for Wenger because he is French and his revolutionary impact and influence on English football and how the game is approached (financial stability, developing the youth, how training is carried out, wide scouting network, etc.).

    The English still haven’t reconciled themselves to the fact that they are not a world class footballing force. They have not reconciled themselves to the fact that a great deal of the English players and managers are mediocre. And the hate the fact that the way the Premier League is developing towards Wenger’s vision i.e. financial fair play, and that he did it at one of England’s top football clubs.

    These days I don’t bother reading opinions from the major newspapers and sports writers because they are creatively bankrupt, narrow minded, shallow and negative when it comes to commenting about Arsenal. In fact, I don’t even bother listening to their commentary during the match. I turn the volume down and focus on the screen.

    English mainstream media pundits are an utter waste of time, money, effort and a bunch of twats.

  44. John says:

    Very disappointing that the comments of that uneducated low life called Paul are still on this site. ‘Jokes’ about gas chambers are surely totally out of order? As a gooner I am embarrassed that this is tolerated on a site linked to Arsenal. I will never visit here again. Shame on the moderators of this site.

    • Archangel Arsene says:

      @John, this type of nonsense doesn’t usually manifest itself on Desi’ blog; I would say that typically his articles are well thought out and delivered with greater clarity than almost all professional football journalism that I see online. Most readers appreciate the effort and come here to avoid the Punch and Judy – AAA vs AKB banter.

      Unfortunately the use of a Spurs player as evidence to illustrate a point, has ‘tagged’ the rif raf in from Spurs sites and dragged our skeletons out of the closet in reply; none of it is edifying and I’m sure most regulars would agree. I would suggest that Desi writes a personal blog from India, so I can only hope that the time difference, a real job (grow up Stoney) and perhaps the lesser ‘over watch’ on a one man blog means he may not have got to your reasonable request as yet – I hope this is the case.

      Stick with this site as it usually delivers something interesting; sod all the comments delivered in bad spirit, most seem to miss the point of the article. To Spurs fans who commented in the right spirit i.e. Billy of course we will disagree, but thanks for not descending into meaninless invective, you support your team, we support ours – a bit of banter is all part of the fun. To Arsenal supporters who were successfully trolled by Stoney… sigh 😦

      • Billy says:

        Thanks for appreciating that Arsenal and Spurs fans can debate without things becoming petty.

        Speaking with my grandfather the other day (an Arsenal fan) he told me that he used to go and watch Spurs quite often back in the day, and there was little or no problem between the two sets of fans. Shows how much the social climate has changed in the last 50 years.

    • desigunner says:


      Archangel Arsene has covered the points I would have made. Will just add that I haven’t had the need to moderate comments for a long time now. Because of that I’d removed all the filters. I published this post at 2 AM and have only just checked it again.

      Whether you visit here again or not is your choice. It’s not my problem but do you really want to jump to hasty conclusions?

      @Archangel Arsene, Thanks mate. It simply was an issue of time zone.

      • Paul says:

        WOW just came back to look at sum comments!!!!!! I caused quite the sture today lol desi sorry for any trouble I caused never men2 mate and ur blog is seriously good the best I’ve seen… However to that mug stoney I don’t take anything back if u wana get lippy and play with fire ur gona get burnt!!! If u have a problem I drink in the 12 pins in north London and will be there tonight!!!!! So I would enjoy nothing more to crack u in ur stinking yid jaw guys I speak my mind sum to
        Es I should prob think b4 I do but that’s why I’m on the frontline at any away game with the E.I.E!!! So go fuck yourselves and have a wonderfull evening bitches!!!!!! Once again sorry desi

  45. cartel says:

    “i think they reserve particular vitriol for wenger because he is french”

    whats utter crap! so nothing to do with the fact wenger is without doubt the most ungracious loser in the prem? i.e losing by sevral goals to go on and say “the better team” lost, i heard him remark once!…..wenger is his own worst enemy….. he WAS without doubt revolutionary….in the past…

    as for xenophobia, its a shame we live in a day and age where such silly remarks are made so easily

  46. wenger says:

    for monday game….



    …………………..arteta…………song bilong



    result : arsenal 4 newcastle 1

    and our gap with spud just 1 point.!! ’cause they grab their hattrick for being loooooseeerr..!!!!!!

  47. Paul says:

    DAMMM i phone!!!! Predictive text is a bastard!!! I should really check what I’ve wrote b4 I send it lol!!!!

  48. Paul says:

    WOW just came back to look at sum comments!!!!!! I caused quite the sture today lol desi sorry for any trouble I caused never men2 mate and ur blog is seriously good the best I’ve seen… However to that mug stoney I don’t take anything back if u wana get lippy and play with fire ur gona get burnt!!! If u have a problem I drink in the 12 pins in north London and will be there tonight!!!!! So I would enjoy nothing more to crack u in ur stinking yid jaw, guys I speak my mind sum times I should prob think b4 I do but that’s the way I am and why I’m on the frontline at any away game with the E.I.E!!! So go fuck yourselves and have a wonderfull evening bitches!!!!!! Once again sorry desi

  49. Byo says:

    Very insightful analysis, albeit simplified. Great effort and read
    I have had the same thoughts on some of the issues raised sometimes. Football is a very unforgiving game, though.

    Some need to realize this is still a game after all. A shock that some(like Stoney) will be abusive and crass on a blog as it provides some anonymity. He has not even bothered to refute/discuss/argue any of the issues you raised here!

  50. Chris says:

    Funny that this Stoney character can’t help but criticize others’ grammar yet he makes countless grammatical mistakes himself. So sad and hypocritical, though I can understand why he may not be all “there” considering he’s a Spud.

  51. Anne says:

    Absolutely brilliant, Desi. Brilliant.

  52. Chinke Chikezie says:

    Who is this Stoney dude? I won’t be surprise if he’s not KK hiding under the name Stoney, after Spurs were trashed by Arsenal, but then what do you expect from an unreasonable Spurs fan. Guys I think it’s time to ignore Stoney or KK, the HARVARD, OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE graduate, I think he just want to be noticed.

    Now let me focus on the topic of the day. Desi! Desi! Desi! Great blog, but I’m tempted to agree with you 100% on this one. Just as has been acclaimed this season that this is arguably the weakest Arsenal side in the last 10 years and the strongest Spurs side from the inception of the club till date, and the fallacy that only RVP will make their starting eleven. I will strongly point out that no Spurs right back is better than Sagna, neither is their any Spurs center back better than Koscielny nor Vermalean, not even Kaboul not to talk of Gallas. Take a look at Wilshere, he will make the first eleven of any premiership side even Man City not to talk of Spurs, and no Spurs player can even match Song in the defensive Midfield position. OK, lets make the analysis easier by selecting the best eleven players between Spurs and Arsenal on a 4-4-2 formation.
    Goal keeper – Szczesny
    Defenders – Sagna, Assou-Ekotto, Koscielny, Vermaelen
    Mid-field – Song, Modric, Wilshere, Bale
    Attack – Van Persie, Adebayo

    On a 4-3-3 formation I will have
    Goal keeper – Szczesny
    Defenders – Sagna, Assou-Ekotto, Koscielny, Vermaelen
    Mid-field – Song, Modric, Wilshere
    Attack – Bale, Van Persie, Walcott

    If you look at the 4-4-2 formation Arsenal has 7 players and Spurs has 4 players, while on 4-3-3 formation Arsenal has 8 players and Spurs has 3 players.
    Actually, I have Assou-Ekotto among the defenders, not because his better than Gibbs or Santos arguably, but because I did not want to make it look like an all Arsenal affair in the defence. Well as we can all see that the so called weakest Arsenal side is stronger than the best ever Spurs side on a first eleven bases. Spurs yes, has a better bench than Arsenal, which has really kept them where they are today, but they need a strong starting eleven to really strike a position for a top spot, before they can claim a challenge on Arsenal. Just like Kolo Toure said, that he sees Man City as the like of the invisibles. I feel that the statement might have come to early, but to a large extent they have merited such statement – I can excuse such, even if they are far from it.

    To talk of Parker I don’t think he’s an issue because a midfielder with 1 assist and no goal in 22 games is an appalling situation.
    All Arsenal midfielders have perfumed far better than that, even Benayoun that have featured in a handful of matches (14 = started 4 times and played less than 20 minutes as a sub 10 times) has better achievements to show for it, after all they all have high work rate.
    Lets go Gunners, Tottenham, Liverpool, Milan all down in one blink. Who is next – New Castle.

  53. Chinke Chikezie says:

    Come to think of it, nice word Chris.

  54. santori says:

    I applaud you Desi for this article.

    Scotty Parker is overated much as Charlie Adams.

    Great work.

    Had a good laugh again watching those stills of Parker sprawled on the ground several paces off. The media has a lot to answer for these conveniently mypoic (or some would say non delibrately biased) views.

  55. santori says:

    108 responses…and even before I’ve started weighing in.:D

  56. JJ Pittman says:

    109 before mine! Great insight by Desi. Don’t know why Gooners should ever worry about Spuds. Will be very surprised if they are not the 5th place team. Yeah, I know it’s less than 4 miles from the Grove to WHL, but history tells the continuing story.
    Take care of our own business and:
    Victoria Concordia Crescit!

  57. JohnW says:

    The other misconception is that Theo Walcott is a useless player and that Gareth Bale is world class. But I hope some one looks at their stats this season- goals, assists and you would be surprised.

  58. Alex says:

    Fantastic read. Really puts a lot of things into perspective. If only people used their brains more & stop being sheep!

  59. Sajit says:

    Good or at least till it got too long. Don’t necessarily agree to the points you have used to argue your points, and none more so than the “Curious case of Scott Parker”. But agree with your conclusions. Parker is s very good player but clearly not the player he is touted to be. Also Spurs receive a lot of good press due to the expectation vs performance matrix, and also because Wenger is non-compliant to the English way. Many top pundits said that Arry should get the England job because he has a sense of humor. Agree that a man who names accounts after dogs has a sense of humor, but England job for that reason ehem 😀

  60. abnet says:

    what a read ! Good Job

  61. terrywogan says:

    Well done on a well written piece.
    I don’t think the effect it has on players and performances can be underestimated. Not only do players watch the rubbish on sky, they read papers. The crowd believe the hype, or lack there of, and give the players a less than welcoming reception. As seen with Denilson.

  62. Kushagra India says:

    hats off mate!

  63. […] those who might have missed it, I want to end with a link to this post from Saturday. It is an attempt to look at this season’s efforts of Spurs and Arsenal in a balanced and […]

  64. melcfromfinsburypark says:

    The voices of reason out there on the blogosphere help keep me sane! Thankfully common sense and grounded opinion pieces like this are something that a number of gooner bloggers specialise in. I doff my cap to you desi, you and your kind put most of the fleet street hacks to shame

  65. bringu says:

    Hats off Desi…Havent got words to praise this…The problem with the media and the so called pundits is plain..they hate to admit the changes that arsene has made on english football..while they are busy reaffirming the 7 trophy barren years of arsenal, they forget to think that their beloved liverpool and spuds haven’t won the premier league yet…if dalglish had done half of what wenger did, he would been knighted..
    the other problem with arsenal, is the fickle fans, who started to follow arsenal during the invincible times…most of them wanted players like parker, gary cahill, cana etc..most of them questioned the decision to bring in vermaelen, kos and even AOC (hah! another useless kid, they would have said..).. the funny thing is that they don’t even remember what they asked for..all of them wanted arshavin, and later booed him…blame it on fans who take fantasy football seriously and think that they know more than an experienced guy who did almost everything to the club he loved (s)..
    keep the good (sorry, excellent) work mate..

  66. Chris says:

    Very good piece. A number of Arsenal players suffer from a similar amount of negativity. One that comes to mind is Bendtner. While I’m not a massive fan of Bendtner, the negativity about him has always been excessive and the numerous suggestions of who Arsenal should buy to replace him, have been quite ridiculous. I don’t think he is good enough to make it at a top club but he hasn’t been the terrible player that many make him out to be and circumstances certainly haven’t helped his chances of success.

    – At Arsenal, Bendtner has generally played out of position on the right.

    – The English media have an issue with anyone who has an ego (especially if they can’t live up to their own hype).

    – Of course it also didn’t help that he was succeeding Henry at Arsenal.

    I think it is fantastic that Arsenal fans have high expectations for their team and players but the negativity often comes too quickly and is too excessive. If Bendtner was playing and missed some of the chances RVP has missed recently, everyone would be moaning. Of course RVP is an amazing player and doesn’t usually take too long to make up for his mistakes but a lot of the time public perception is all that matters and views are had by people who haven’t even watched the match – it is very easy to regurgitate the headlines.

  67. […] to you. But it would come as a surprise to a lot of people I know. Taking inspiration from your Scott Parker post, I just pulled out stats for how premier league table would look if we were to keep the disastrous […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s