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The Ugly Beautiful Game

The Ugly Beautiful Game

We all know that anti-football is becoming common place in the Premiership these days and we all know that it is ruining not only our title hopes but also the English game.

We have had articles from Tim, Paul and the Professor telling us how damaging it is on the league, English football and Arsenal. Amongst ourselves we have all called on the FA, Uefa and Fifa to act, no campaign has been launched as a result and frankly, there would be no point. All three organisations are too concerned with the size of manhood and their bank balance.

They are too busy trying to ensure that G14 don`t break away and form a European 'super league` and pushing through laws that stop clubs from having too many foreigners in their side. Why? Because they say it will ruin international football. Is there much left to ruin?

The premier league is still considered the best league in the world by most, why I don`t know because it is full of diving, cheating, negative football. If you took Arsenal and I hate to say it, Manchester United out of the league then it would be right down there with France and Germany.

There may be diving and time wasting in Spain, which is bad, but at least 99% of the teams actually play football instead of looking to take the man off the rather than the ball from the man. In Italy there is a lot of little niggles and digs at players, but even they play more free-flowing football than English teams now.

This article may be written in anger more than anything but it`s all relevant to the 'beautiful game.`

How many people can honestly say that they enjoy the Premiership as much as they did 4 or 5 years ago? Not many I can tell you!

Football is big business now and there is pressure on managers to get results because results generate money. That should not give players and managers an excuse to openly say they intend to go into a game playing anti-football.

Is there a solution?

Clearly the governing bodies are far too incompetent to act about it so what can we as clubs and fans do?

Well, it`s down to managers like Wenger and Ferguson to come up with the tactics to overcome teams like Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn without lowering ourselves to their level. I`m not going to go into that because I`m not a manager.

So, as fans is there anything we can do? Well not really. We can let these teams know that we really do not like it, we can approach the FA, Uefa and Fifa but they won`t do a thing about it.

Just one more thought to add before I end my rant. Xenophobic managers, fans etc say that by using too many foreign footballers in the Premiership we are ruining the English national team. What do you think is more damaging to the national side, the introduction of new styles of football, new training techniques (including more technical training) and a higher standard of football, Or managers who send their teams out to fight rather than to play a game of football? You can make your own decision, I know I have….

End of rant.

Don`t forget to catch Tim Stillman`s match review later….

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

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday November 18 2006
Time: 5:37PM


Weaker teams always loved to build an impenetrable defence. The best teams can break them down, that's one of the things that mark the best sides.
18/11/2006 18:48:00
Teams dont play against Arsenal the way they play against other teams, if it was on a level playing field then what you say would be true but that is not the case.
18/11/2006 19:18:00
Newcastle did the very same thing at Old Trafford but they didn't even have counter-attacks. United managed to break them down. The big four teams all experience this but Arsenal have far the biggest problems with it. It will be Wenger's job to find the reasons. I don't think the way teams play at Emirates is any different from the way they play at Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. Just think of Aston Villa...
18/11/2006 19:36:00
I totally disagree. Arsenal are the most technical and the least physical side in the country. Because of this, teams come to us with a "roll yer sleves up" mentality. Teams go to OT and defend but not in the way they do at Arsenal.
18/11/2006 22:06:00
What do you expect these teams to do, NOT pick on your weaknesses...They all play that way against you because it's been shown to get results, it's not rocket science.
18/11/2006 22:33:00
No its not rocket science, nor is it football.
18/11/2006 23:13:00
I find it interesting that in The Independent today there was an interview with Henry who was very complemetary to Lyon and who said it was great that there was a strong French team contributing 9 French players to the national side .. ha ha .. it was stated that in each of these draws at the Emirates, the oppostion has scored first then sat on the lead. Therefore if Arsenal score first, then they force the opposition to come out to play. And there is as much skill in defending as there is in attacking. Lets us not forget the most exciting game was Germany v Italy which was very technical and 0-0 after normal time. This nonsense and complaining is only made by those who are trying to find some excuses for the performance of their team. There is nothing wrong with the game of football. Anti-Football is merely a phrase coined by Arsenal fans to excuse their team converting pressure into goals. If Arsenal scored first and didn't concede first, then where would be the problem? ... FiFA/UEFA don't need to fix it, Wenger needs to fix it on the training ground.
18/11/2006 23:29:00
What exactly is it that you want the authorities to do? Outlaw defending?
18/11/2006 23:42:00
No, I would hate them to outlaw defending, it's an art in its self. What i DO want them to outlaw is players flying in kicking the s*** out of our team.
Aah, like Barca did to Henry in the CL final.... diddums
19/11/2006 00:05:00
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