Date:Sunday September 10 2006
I wish, just as much as any other Gooner, that the start to our season could have bared more fruit, but alas, so far that's not been the case, however, I think one or two Arsenal fans are getting a little over excited at the thought of only 2 points from 3 games.
On my way home from the game I heard comments such as 'Why don't we shoot?', 'We are playing the same as we did last season', 'We have no plan B' and more worryingly, the ever increasingly in popularity 'Wenger has lost the plot'. All of these could not be further from the truth.
'Why don't we shoot?' Ok, so we have been guilty of over playing it a little bit in the past few months, and I myself have been known to scream 'SHOOT' every now and again, but it's now beyond a joke. The fact that we are averaging around 20 shots on goal per game this season disproves the myth that we're scared of having a few pot shots, just because 60,000 beer fueled Gooners think that a player is in a perfect shooting position doesn't necessarily make it so.
At times today I heard people screaming their throats raw for Gilberto to have a crack from 30 yards. Gilberto for christ's sake, not exactly world renouned for his goal scoring capabilities. I witnessed people baying for the blood of Alex Hleb after he didn't grant them their wish of having a dig at goal whilst he had four defenders in front of him, and the most ridiculous of all was the rousing rendition of 'Shoot for f**** sake' when the not so powerfull Francesc Fabregas picked up the ball just outside the centre circle. I know we're all frustrated, but getting on the backs of the players for being sensible (and not overplaying) isn't going to help.
'We are playing the same are we did last season!' Errr, no we are not. For the majority of the 05/06 season we were bullied off the ball, lacked imagination and to be honest (in the league anyway) didn't show much fighting spirit till the last quarter of the season, but this season is much much different. In our three league games so far we have dominated, we've kept possession well, stroked the ball around with confidence and generally bossed the football matches, at no point have we been out played, for any periods of any games, in the 270 minutes of football we have made three mistakes, three. Ok so they've cost us dearly but we have never been under the kosh. We've also been very unlucky, keepers playing blinders, shots pinging off the woodwork and a real lack of the rub of the green, but that will not go on forever.
'We have no plan B' I guess the punters coming up with those pearls of wisdom didn't take a close enough look as the triple substitution today. There is a slight possiblity (when I say possibility I mean certainty) that our squad has been a little thin on the ground, but it is something that Le Boss knows and has now rectified. Whilst on the wrong end of a 1-0 score line in the game against Boro, Wenger has strengthened his side in such a way that he had the ability to swap a work horse in Freddie Ljungberg with the ever improving and incredibly slick Tomas Rosicky, we replaced a defensive Gilberto for the powerful and positive Julio Baptista, and on came the tall target man in Adebayor for a skilfull and direct Robin van Perise. If that's not a plan B than I'm not sure what is.
'Wenger has lost the plot' I can not express my enough my hatred for this phrase. Mr Wenger is in the process of building his THIRD awesome team, and if the assembling of this squad means I have to wait a season or two then so be it. Coming from a Gooner who has waited all his life to see the formidable football that Le Boss has brought to us, surely patience is not too much to ask for a guy that has given us so much?! It's there for everyone to see, the way in which we have dominated our games so far this season tells us that we're not too far away now, if you can just look past the couple of poor results we've had so far this season, if you can look at the bigger picture and accept that things will not always go our way, then you can get excited rather than frustrated.
Frustration is an emotion that we have all felt, we all want the same thing yet we are powerless to help the ball into the back of the net, but if we all remain faithful to the Wenger way, then sooner rather than later we will all reap the fruit from the seeds that Wenger has sewn.
The team is pointing in the right direction, all that is lacking is the killer touch, and once the goals start to flow, we'll really begin to see what Arsene Wenger has in mind for this team.
Next stop; Old Trafford.
Date:Sunday September 10 2006
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