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Sweet Ain't Sweet Without The Bitter

Sweet Ain't Sweet Without The Bitter

I always thought being an Arsenal supporter deep down in the south of the continent is not easy. After watching the DVD 'The official history of Arsenal FC', it has come to my knowledge that it has been far from 'easy' for everyone on the island as well. I mean, yes there is the privilege of going to games, becoming a season-ticket holder, but as we can see from the pics and comments of LD and other Arsenal fans it doesn't go without the usual 'kicks and bruises'.

The last two years have been particularly difficult for the Gooners, especially for those who were bread during the Wenger years (like myself and many others), and became spoilt by the team's success. The transition from the 49ers to last year's defeats at Everton, Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle was hard to swallow. It all ended with the loss in the CL final where this transitional team was 15-odd minutes away from having their hands on the cup.

I am sure that all of you have recently read and heard comments (from gooners, too) such as 'Wenger's lost it', 'We are a light-brigade', the inevitable 'We lack the Englishness, the grit, and the determination' and the odd 'sack Wenger' shout. Yes everyone is entitled to an opinion... well, except when AW's competences are the topic. The fact that these individuals came up with such thoughts is a reason enough why I make no attempts to engage in a discussion with them about anything, let alone football and Arsenal.

As everyone who genuinely cares about Arsenal, this year started frustratingly. Draws at home, losses away and more ammo for the 'shoot' and 'sack Wenger and the foreigners' brigade. Yet, it is the blind who cannot see.

Yesterday's game along with the two games at Anfield is just a glimpse of what the brilliance of Arsene (supported by his staff and the Board) has in mind. It is not a finished product yet but it is a vision and version of football unlike anywhere else. The improved version of the Dutch 'total football'. Everything what all the Jose's, Rafa's and Sven's of this earth dream about when they are watching their dire teams play day-in day-out.

The game against Blackburn pushed forward a few messages, especially from Arsene Wenger:
'We are north, we are away, it is raining. We are a player down, we are being kicked... But! I will not take Van Persie out and put in Flamini or Djourou. I will leave you three in the MF, because I believe in you, because I know you are good enough to win this game, no matter how light-weight they say you are. You are faster, smarter, technically-superior and have great hearts and will to win.' He went for the win. It was a message to Cesc, Tommy, Alex, and the rest of the team, but it was a message for the Gooners, the doubters, for Blackburn and for the rest of the Premier League.

This team is slowly coming of age. But as the title says...

Article submitted by G4L

Articles submitted by Vital Arsenal members are based on the opinion of the member and not necessarily the view's of the network itself.

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

Date:Sunday January 14 2007
Time: 10:09PM


nice one, shame about the comments a few months back, i was shocked when people were calling for wenger to be sacked, i have forgotten the culprits but i havent heard much of that stupudity lately, wenger will ALWAYS produce beautiful football and gems of players, arsene knows, simple as.
14/01/2007 23:27:00
Let's face it, we've been spoiled as Gooners since Wenger took over. Especially that incredible 03/04 squad...the level of football played by that team was simply magic, good enough where you'd have fans of opposition teams cheering us. The argument has been made that Wenger took that team apart too soon, but I think two things made him go in the current direction: the cost of the new stadium, plus the fact that these young players were available, had a ton of potential, and Wenger didn't want to risk losing them. Anyone with working eyeballs can see the plan taking have a team this young, this talented, and to have won so many key matches already (away to Real Madrid, Man United, twice at Liverpool, taking Juventus apart at home) is a testament to Wenger's eye for talent, his coaching acumen and belief in his players. They've had some stumbles sure, but young teams are going to go through that. But progress is defintely being made, within two years we're gonna be wondering what the fuss was all about.
14/01/2007 23:32:00
all those jeakous eyes, especialy from past glory lane, we are coming good, as i said early this month, 2007 is the year of the gun, we are growing into a force to be reckoned with, the perfect year would be spuds relegated and mourinho off to madrid or milan.
15/01/2007 00:21:00
great article, and as PG said, this is our year, and United and Chelsea better be ready, or this team is going to blow them away..
15/01/2007 01:24:00
Excellent article. We are indeed lucky to have AW as the manager and also the board in supporting him to see through the transition plan.
15/01/2007 02:19:00
very good piece...this team have a massive amount of potential and it is starting to show season I reckon it will really come into fruition.......a very good win yesterday...
15/01/2007 10:36:00
exactly earnshaw, massive potential, it is frightening how quickly they are progressing and all the gooner faithful who follow arsenal and wenger can now see what he has been talking about for the last couple of years.
15/01/2007 10:41:00
I was certainly one who said wenger should consider his own future. I have never called for him to be sacked but certainly wouldn't have been too distressed should he have quit. Unlike G4L I wasn't brought up during the Wenger years. My first games were with George in charge & I have been a season ticket holder ever since. My issue has never been with the type of football wenger plays, its fantastic & to my mind he is the nearest thing we have ever had to Herbert Chapman someone who has once again revolutionised the club from top to bottom. Just because someone like myself & others think maybe Wenger has gone as far as he can on the trophy side of things does not mean we are wrong. We are worse off this season than last but because the premiership is so bad it means our place in 4th has not been in question. Am I wrong & is Wenger still capable of getting the major trophies?? Only time will tell & hey I will be delighted to admit I was wrong. King Henry has admitted himself that playing great football is pointless if you dont have the trophies to go with it. We all want arsenal to be the best but opinions are always going to be divided on how we achieve that. Having your own mind doesn't make you a moron!!
Ashburton Gooner
15/01/2007 14:21:00
Good one G4L. i agree completely. we just need some more patience, and with a team thats coming together, we're still in 4th with a good shot at 3rd place. next season (or mebbe season after next), arsene will surely have the last laugh. at the same time, i still see arsene being criticised, on other forums. people are upset with something or the other he does, like letting lauren go, our playing formation and believe it ot not, with playing RVP and ade !!!
15/01/2007 15:01:00
Ashburton Gooner I see your point. My 'ill-views' are directed to those who genuinely refuse to acknowledge Wenger's managerial skills, and especially to those who are so impatient and want success here and now. Wenger did not 'dismantle' the 49ers because he wanted to play Football Manager or God - I believe that he had a goal to build another team that could eclipse the Unbeaten team in both style and trophies. I am pi$$ed at those who cannot appreciate what this man has almost single-handedly done for the club, and after a season like last one, where this transitional team reached the FINAL of the CL, after beating Juventus, Madrid and Villareal en route to Paris he deserves a bit more respect than the moans of those who are personally unsatisfied with being fourth and in all cup competitions. I would only point in the direction of the club we are meeting next week at the Grove, and their three trophyless years under the same obnoxious manager that we love to hate. They stuck with him although they were dumped from CL as 4th in their group and look where they are now. 6 points in front of the dirty Russians who after the first major 'crisis' want to get rid of their manager. Show a little faith, and ultimately, show a little respect for one of the best managers in the world, A.W.
15/01/2007 15:27:00
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