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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Rough With The Smooth

I`ve been struggling for words since the final whistle blew at Craven Cottage last night, wondering whether to write an angry piece, a war cry, something to rally the troops, I couldn`t decide, and to be honest I`m winging this one a bit, I`m not sure which direction it`s heading.

It`s never easy to face defeat, especially when we`ve had such a smooth ride over the past 10 years, but as a football fan there are certain truths that you have to admit to every now and again.

Football teams and waves of success come in cycles, it always has been the case and always will be, even Tottenham enjoyed a period of success, albeit well over 40 years ago. Well we have to now face the possibility that if we don`t have a few changes then our period of success may have gone for the time being.

What ever the problem is, it is not a big one, the players we have in our possession are an excellent quality bunch, as fine as they come, but something I missing, and the something, I believe, is the winning instinct.

I think it`s possible that we may be victims of our own success, over the Wenger years we have had the ability to walk all over teams, rip them apart and now I think the players believe they can win any game they play in. Self belief can be as bad is it is good. We became so nonchalant that the fire has gone from our bellies, the possibility is that we became so arrogant that the fight has disappeared because we believed that we can beat anyone, without even trying.

Well that confidence which once served us so well has now turned to doubt. That confidence has been taken from us with all the 1-1 draws. We have always been confident that we could overturn any deficit and because we have failed to come from behind on no less than NINE occasions this season, we no longer believe we can do it.

As soon as that first goal goes in, the heads drop, the doubt comes back, and failure is inevitable.

Passion needs to be instilled into our players, guts, determination, fire, the will to win, the killer instinct, something needs to change. Who`s the person to give them those qualities? Is it something that can be taught in training? Can Arsene Wenger give them what they need? Or is it we the supporters that need to bring some passion to our home?

I offer no answers; I`m just venting my spleen.

What we have to do as fans is accept what ever fate we are dealt, deal with what ever comes our way and not waver in our support of our team. We have been there before, and if the worst comes to the worst we can come back from it again. What better way to show our passion for our team than a North London derby? This has come at a perfect time for us, not only does it give the fans opportunity to rid ourselves of the seasons frustrations vocally, but it gives the players a chance to get some fire in their bellies and register another victory that will make Ashburton Grove feel like home.

My other concern is that old chestnut, the formation!

I`m continuously baffled by Arsene Wenger's persistence with the 4-5-1 formation. I don`t even understand why we have changed our system. What has Arsene Wenger seen that makes him think we should carry on using this formation? Indeed what has he ever seen that made him think it would be successful? Every time we have played in that manner, it hasn`t been good. Is it purely to accommodate the ever improving Tomas Rosicky, because I`m certain he could play just as well on the left of a 4-4-2?

We need to change back, and fast. Only the other week I saw Thierry Henry signaling to the bench to change the formation, he is being smothered and our attacking options limited.

The North London derby is a must win game, it`s game we must give our all in, both players and fans, we need to show we still have passion, we need to show we can still win, and we need to go back to, in the words of Mike Bassett England manager "Four Four F***ing Two."

COME ON YOU GUNNERS.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 30 2006

Time: 11:35AM

Your Comments

The Empire is crumbling!! VP is key man on Sat. Leave whenger at home get mR Rice in
cockeril
I wouldn't go as far as to say it's crumbling, but it's certainly creaking.
Rocky7
i thought we were playing 4-4-2 last night, basically imho we cant have players of the like of song and flamini starting for us. We have such a inexperienced defence that they keep giving away the first goal or os i last nights case. If we can get our defence more solid then its only a matter of time before we score if the score remains at 0-0, becuase at the moment were forever chasig the game and rushing through things. We could of even come away with something last night, if henrys goal stood or gilberto put away his 1on1 after robins Sumptuous backheel.
hazzagooner
The 4-5-1 formation is being used on the basis of the Champions League run we had last year. We sould stick to 4-4-2 in the league as this has served us well since Wenger has been in charge. Also Henry is on paper is our best player, but I really believe he should not be captain of the club. The only player who is worthy of the captains armband is Kolo.
Limpar11
sounds like big probs at the emir*****es!
rushdenspur
Whenger has lost his small supply of marbles and everything suddenly looks a bit shaky!!!
BaldyYid
lol, u lot r obsessed, do u really love arsenal or something, go and discuss your own team.
hazzagooner
i am not sure why or how, it is the first time fulham have beaten us in my lifetime, i suppose it has to happen one day, but the way we lost guts me. I always try and stay positive until mathematically impossible, but I have to say, with so many losses already the league is looking way beyond us and personally i don't give a monkey for much else other than the league. yeah champ league would be nice, but i would take the league everytime. i think wenger needs to come out and be honest with the fans, all this mumble bumble and smoothing over things is not enough, i think the fans know it and Wenger needs to explain exactly what is going on and why. if he did this I would fully support him, but I don't like the politicians approach, it never convinces me.
PUREGOLD
somehow we all thought that, after the comeback vs hamburg, we had finally found a way to come back from a goal down, and WIN a match. that was not far back. im not sure wenger has lost the plot, but i agree with the article, that arsene needs to fix it. im sure he must also be frustrated with some players if they are not pulling their weight. and i think our 4-5-1 formation is good, but only with rosicky and hleb in the team. without them, i think we should stick to 4-4-2. so im only going to agree partially with the article there.
prits
But the empire is crumbling?? big problems?? really u poor sp*rs fans should improve ur efforts when trying to gloat - sound credible, for gods sake!!
prits
well said prits, i am not sure crumble is the right word, i think we need some changes, but i have faith in wenger and the team, i just wish he could sit us down and tell us really why. but its like poker, you never want to reveal your true hand, so he has to keep his cards close to his chest and sort it out internally. he will do it, arsen knows and Jol doesn't !
PUREGOLD
Maybe Arsene "doesn't know!"
Westl
traumatic times at present..
ernshaw
shame.
HATEtheGOONS
the shame will come staurday HTG, we will see a mass exodus of spurs fans from vital, they won't show their faces for a week :D
PUREGOLD
westl, jol certainly doesnt!! let me see, should he play defoe and keane upfront, mido and keane, berbatov and keane,berbatov and defoe? he sure as hell doesnt have a clue !! Nor do any of u poor spuds!! arsene does, definitely. And he will show you, come tomorrow.
prits
PG, so do i!! and I would be happier if a few others had some more faith (though they are entitled to their point of view). But i can see more than a few of us around (who trust arsene). So not the end of the world!!
prits
PG, about the politicians approach - do u think he can really come out and criticise his players? remember, we are still a young team and need to be shielded a little. As long as he gives the players a rollicking in the dressing room, I dont mind if arsene does not say what he means to the press, and unfortunately, if that means he cant tell the fans as well, then so be it!!
prits
hi swfcowls here!
swfcowls
 

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