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Boring, Boring, Premiership!

Boring, Boring, Premiership!

After another display of defensive football from a visiting team at Ashburton Grove yesterday, Arsene Wenger has spoken out about the negative tactics that are threatening our beautiful game.

All too often teams come to Arsenal knowing that if they take the game to the Gunners then in all likelyhood, they will get ripped apart, but if they can sneak a goal and the build a preverbial wall in front of their goal then at the very least they can earn a draw, which lets be honest, is a great result for anyone coming to the Home of Football.

Can we really blame them?

Speaking on behalf of myself, I go to football because it's exciting, even in the old George Graham days when the football wasn't that great there was always that air of 'anything could happen', especially with Wrighty, Merse & Anders Limpar on the pitch. But now it's getting all too predictable.

Arsene Wenger takes the wheel,

'Every game we don't win is a massive disappointment. '

'It was very frustrating against a team with zero shots on or off target and when you have 70% of the ball. From the first minute to the last the goalkeeper was placing goal-kicks from the left and then moving them to the right.'

'They were standing in front of the ball at free-kicks. It was negative but that's the way the game is going at the moment.

'It's like a film you have seen 10 times. It is becoming boring.'

I've been asked many times by Chelsea fans visiting this site if I would prefer boring football and many trophies or exciting football and be 'always the bridesmaid', and after many hours contemplation my answer is......

As long as my team leaves me feeling fullfilled then I'm happy.

If I am entertained and I feel the money I've paid for ticket and travel has been well spent then I can bide my time for trophies.

I don't want to be one of these people who must win at all costs, especially if that cost is ultimately the main reason I watch football in the first place. Excitement.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday October 29 2006
Time: 12:38PM


Spot on, mate, I agree with most of your words though I'm a United fan. But I really don't see why are you surprised. It's not a new phenomenon. You must have read Fever Pitch and therefore I'm sure you remember Alan Durban's immortal comment. And you don't want to be entertained by the other team, I'm sure, you want to see enthralling football played by Arsenal. Or did you enjoy our 4-2 victory at Highbury? It was a thoroughly entertaining game... for the neutrals. But are you interested in the neutrals' opinion? I don't think so. (And to be honest, such a game like yesterday's vs Everton can be much more exciting for neutrals than the type of "Arsenal are 4 up after 30 minutes" even if you enjoy the latter much more)
29/10/2006 13:05:00
Of course results matter, but the day after you beat us 4-2 is was extemely comforting to have so many people coming up to me and saying "unlucky, that was a proper game of football". First and foremost I am a Gooner, but I love football, I'll watch what ever game is on telly, even conference. Not every week of course, but I'd rather lose like we did to you than a crappy boring 0-0 draw. That's what is killing the game. (Along with the money issues)
29/10/2006 13:12:00
Also, I don't expect the teams like Bolton & Boro and such to have a go at the big boys every week, but once or twice would at least show their intentions to play football every so often.
29/10/2006 13:14:00
Sophocles said, "there is nothing so demoralizing as money." That's the problem, money has sucked the joy out of football, resulst are demanded instantly and nihilism becomes the way forwards. It's interesting you bring up that Alan Durban comment, I liked Hornby's take on it, a confirmation that football had well and truly gone to the dogs. I think sides have a responsibility to entertain, but also to get results. The best thing Arsenal can do is score some set pieces and blow away teams that are negative. Besides, Everton went a goal up, so you can't really chastise them.
Little Dutch
29/10/2006 13:25:00
I hear (not sure how true it is) that in training we don't practise corners (from look of which is very true) and I honestly believe, more now than ever, that it is paramount that we utilise every corner and make the oppo work. Rather than just float it into the keepers hands every time a little variation wouldn't go amiss. If we could come up with away of really killing a few teams who have negative tactics they might be forced to rethink their strategies.
29/10/2006 13:31:00
Too true Rocky. Hope this article from The Observer last week is still 'news'. Gut feel says that the side that concedes the highest proportion of goals is us, so we screw up both ways. Paul Wilson in the Observer Still, I bet not even Reading fans knew that if corners were points, they would now be even higher in the table. With 47 corners in seven games, the Royals are bettered by Manchester United (52), Liverpool (57) and Arsenal (60 from six games). Yet the word 'bettered' reflects the commonly held belief that corners are a sign of success, the next best thing to a goal or a penalty. Some interesting statistics disprove this theory. Winning more corners might be a reasonable indicator of which teams have done most of the attacking, but it is hard to understand why fans still cheer them when they so rarely lead to a goal. Of the four teams mentioned above, only Manchester United have managed to score from a corner in the Premiership this season and they have done it twice, which puts them well ahead of the average. Reading, Liverpool and Arsenal have won 164 corners between them and not a single goal has resulted. All that cheering for so little reward. A whopping 13 Premiership clubs have yet to score from a corner this season and even Bolton, who might be expected to have a selection of cunning plans for set pieces, have scored only once. That is not the biggest surprise, though. The biggest surprise is that the team on the bottom of the table for corners won are on top of the table for goals gained from them. Aston Villa have won a paltry 20 corners to date, a third of Arsenal's total and a long way behind teams such as Sheffield United and Watford, yet they have resulted in three goals.
Gooner for 59 years
29/10/2006 14:16:00
Yeah, Rocky, I know what you mean. It was depressingly painful losing to Liverpool in last season's FA Cup in that awful game. Our only defeat this season was not a good feeling but that was a fantastic game to watch again and it eased the pain a bit afterwards. But really, Everton are not the main culprits in ruining the beautiful game as they very rarely step on the pitch with the intention of destroying the other teams' gameplay. And there's one more thing, too: when the gulf in class is as obvious as it is in the case of Arsenal v Everton, it does not make the game boring when the weaker team opts for negative tactics because there's a constant bombardment of the area, there are chances etc. The players are not locked up in the middle of the park, chasing long balls. It's much more boring and scrappy when a superior team's only intention to keep out their opponents after taking the lead - as Liverpool or Chelsea usually do. The weaker team do not have the skill to break them down, they don't wnt to go forward and the neutrals turn off the telly...
29/10/2006 15:29:00
Surprised Wenger has the testicular fortitude to actually admit he saw something. However, I have every sympathy for your plight. Teams, when they play against the top three are content to string ten behind the ball and hope to escape with a point. The worst thing that can happen is if they sneak a goal!
29/10/2006 15:31:00
Yes but why would it matter to Chelsea Merlin? They'll just HOOF the ball anyway, a slight nudge in the box, a fake handball or Carvaliho fouls someone, you get a deflected goal and you go home with all 3 points :)
29/10/2006 15:37:00
keepers are even diving out of the way of lampards free kicks now :)
29/10/2006 16:27:00
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