Archive for November 17th, 2008


O’Neil and Sidwell talking smack

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king

Ugh, I feel miserable. I fell down yesterday during the five-a-side and hurt my shoulder, exactly like Theo Walcott — except fatter and slower and unable to put in a decent cross. Plus I have a cold, which is just starting and is probably going to go full blown cold here probably tomorrow. Right now I just have sniffles and aches and my shoulder hurts. Oh and my hip hurts too for some reason and my left toe.

Which is pretty much how I imagine Arsenal feel right now. To add insult to their injury, Steve Sidwell (that’s a link to the Daily Star which has, erm, links to boobies so if you’re easily offended or at work, don’t click the link, now, if you’re not at work and not easily offended, then…) and Martin O’Neil are claiming that Arsenal have a soft center and that teams are now excited to come to town and win games at the Emirates. I

‘d be mad at Sidwell here if it wasn’t true and I hadn’t said the exact same thing yesterday. In case you don’t want to click the link, here’s what Sidwell said:

You look at the top four and you come to Arsenal thinking you can pick up points. Chelsea and Manchester United don’t drop many points because they are more consistent. I believe you play Arsenal home and away thinking you can get a result. I do not think that Arsenal are necessarily easy to bully. But perhaps they don’t take their chances as well as Manchester United or Chelsea. You can get points at Arsenal. And to be honest, they didn’t really have any chances. When I was at Chelsea, the thing I learned is you need to be consistent at the top of the table. Chelsea always looked at United. They knew United never really dropped points whereas the other teams in the league did.

Be consistent and you can win things.

Damnit… there’s not a damn thing wrong with that statement. It’s actually spoken like a fan: Arsenal are seriously in danger of losing their place in the top four when teams like Hull and Fulham and Sunderland and Villa are picking up points against Arsenal. Teams are licking their chops to come and break the 10 year duck that Arsenal have held over them. If the other warning signs weren’t loud enough, the fact that Sidwell and O’Neil feel confident enough to say out loud what has been unsaid up till now should be the loudest warning sign of all.

I said it yesterday and I’m sticking to it until I see evidence otherwise: Wenger needs to change his tactics and pick up Appiah (now linked to Spurs, SWEET!). That’s what he can do, right now, to fix this season. No more 8 attackers passing the ball around in the opponent’s half, get cynical, play some defense. Re-assuring these kids that they are good enough, smart enough, and dog gone it people like them is not cutting it any more. Telling us the lie that signing Appiah will slow the “development” of players like Denilson is not working.

Arsene needs to shit or get off the pot. He needs to do something to set the team straight and give some excitement back to the fans because right now, this team and these fans are about as low as I have ever seen them.

Right… so it’s internationals “week” meaning that there are a bunch of pointless international friendlies in mid-week which always result in injuries and which means that even if Arsene wanted to switch up tactics and mend some broken hearts (Clichy is probably beside himself) no one will be around! Well, Denilson and Almunia will be around — hey, those are the two who need the most work!

Also, Saturday, Arsenal travel to Manchester to play Citeh and they will be without Cesc who is suspended after getting his 5th yellow, Sagna who is injured, Vela who is playing in Honduras and won’t make it back in time to meet up with the team bus, and anyone else who gets injured during this wonderfully important mid-week international friendly clash. I guess if there is a silver lining to internationals week, it’s that Arsenal could, if they wanted, send a scout to Ghana and watch Stephen Appiah. If they wanted.

Of course with Wenger saying stupid shit like “Not really, we had no player we really wanted and for now we have no regrets,” when asked if they regretted not buying a midfielder this summer and following it up with this gem “You cannot explain the own goal of Gael Clichy by the fact we haven’t got an experienced player in midfield.” I seriously doubt he’s going to send someone to Ghana to watch anything. Nope, I think this team is staying pat.

So, that means Diaby will get a start along side… oh Denilson with probably Adebayor and van Persie up front and Nasri and Walcott on the wings, with Toure, Silvestre, Gallas, and Clichy “at the back.” I also fully expect to see Citeh pack it in and invite Arsenal’s “fullbacks” to attack so that when the inevitable foul that isn’t called leads to an open counter they can play the ball to Robinho who will score.

Too cynical?

You’re right, I should have mentioned “I see that formation only if by some miracle van Persie and Walcott remain uninjured when they play this week.”

Now I’m being cynical.

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