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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….




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 18 2006

Time: 5:37PM

Your Comments

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.
midlothian99
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.
simmy8_2000
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...
midlothian99
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.
simmy8_2000
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.
artyb
No its not rocket science, nor is it football.
simmy8_2000
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.
Sir_Harry
What exactly is it that you want the authorities to do? Outlaw defending?
artyb
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.
simmy8_2000
Aah, like Barca did to Henry in the CL final.... diddums
weststandvoice
Oh look, the 'special (needs) one' has decided to have his say. No I dont mean like Barca did to Henry, it's far worse in the league.
simmy8_2000
referring to the article i think you could hold demonstrations outside the football club and have supporters signing petitions.
kez_mufc
Bolton are another team to look out for, with their kung fu!
kez_mufc
i'm a firm believer in wenger and his tactics.. but i find it real crap when teams come to our stadium and do these kinds of **** things.. but again.. we must ask ourselves too.. these teams play just the same kind of football when they go to someplace like old trafford.. and i hate to say it but manchester united are not dependant on any particular kind of football like us to score goals.. they'll pop up goals from passing, crossing, long balls, blah, blah, blah, blah(i really am hating writing this stuff.. but its sorta true).. unlike arsenal.. who are dependant on only a simple plan a.. we dont have a reserve plan except to be dependant on our passing.. and one stroke of poor defending or luck hands the away team a goal(all 4 teams scored first).. and then its hard to find a way back.. of the four games, in only one game did we come back to draw by scoring in open play.. rest three have been set-pieces.. i dont know what that is pointing at.. but being undefeated is not enough at home.. we need to win.. i am a firm beleiver.. but i think this is starting to play on the minds of the team players.. and i hope wenger sorts this out sooner rather than later.. hoping arsenal get back on tract in the cl against hamburg..
go4it_adi
So you just want to outlaw tackling then...is that not a major part of defending?
artyb
what we need to do is be more clinical in front of goal,take our chances and score first,we had three good chances to score before the barcodes got their opener.its got nothing to do with so called anti football.the other team defending to much or kicking us of the park or bad refs,the fact is we do not turn our early domination into goals,we create sooo many chances that it seems that the players dont mind if they keep missing cos they will create more,but they seem to forget that the other team are competing as well,and they will create one or two chances and they will convert them,which is happening all too often,we should give our chances the respect they deserve,convert them and not squander them away
fran merida
Fran Merida, well said
Sir_Harry
I hate to say this, but i dont agree with the article, simmo. I think we need to come up with a plan to counter this nonsense, and i dont think its that bad, coz we've not been out played yet this season by a team thats played anti-football. So its not alarming. need to watch the bolton game before deciding, though.
prits
Sir Harry do you not think that if the genius known as Mr Wenger could afford to lavish £60 million on 2 of the best English players in the Premiership(Rooney and Ferdinand)he wouldn't?His net spending over his 10 year tenure has been averaging £4.5 million per year and if he chooses to buy Fabrigas,Eboue,Toure etc etc for next to nothing then so be it.I personnaly wouldn't swap our position with our revolting neighbours down The Lane for love or money as given the choice between filling your team with quality foreign players or not winning the League for 45 years but being proud of your English roots(slowly fading under Commoli's guidence)...mmm let me see. We have bought £8 million Jeffers(same price as Rosicky,small difference in ability) Richard Wright £5 million(cost more than Senderos,Eboue,Fabrigas,Toure,Djourru and Clichyput together) Are you starting to get my point?When the increased revenue comes in from the new ground we will have a chance of stumping up for the inflated prices for English players(although Iam not quite sure if we will ever pay £23.5 million for SWP)but until that point we have little choice but to keep overachieving with a foreign squad assembled for a fraction of Chelsea's or Man Utd's(name me please another manager who has achieved what Mr Wenger has achieved on the same budget....Mr Clough springs to mind bit that's about it)
grimsby
 

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