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Now More Than Ever

lads and ladettes, it's good to be a Gooner. You know it is.

There comes a time in a season when the team goes through a rough time and we become upset, fickle, smart-arse, greedy, desperate, sad, self-pitying so-called experts on all things related to Arsenal and forget that we need to stick together and give our all best in any form and shape possible with one goal in our minds: to lift the team up. I see myself in those categories, too, although at different points of time.

This down-hearted mood is evident at the Emirates both in visual and audio. A very small section of fans can be heard singing throughout the game, I assume this is the die-hard contingent that follows the boys around the world, unfortunately scattered around the beautiful stadium. The rest are set with their elbows on their knees, some with watery eyes, struggling between the angry and the sad because their beloved team is not giving them what they came for - a 'sexy' brand of football, plenty goals and three points to take home.

Immediately we see the 'analysis' masters asking for heads to roll: Ade should be off coz he is ultimately crap and inconsistent, Hleb is a circus pony, Flamini is actually nothing special, Nick should be playing coz he is promising, AW has lost it, Eboue should be sold, Cesc is overrated, we need a left winger (duh!), and my personal favourites a tall centreback (Matt Taylor the Butcher springs to mind) and a holding midfielder (?!). Of course, the inevitable 'shopping lists' follow immediately, usually containg famous 'brands' such as Eto'o, Benzema, Van der Vaart, or the more general categories 'a goalscoring midfielder', 'a freescoring forward', or the footbaling cyborg that is 'a striker who scores 1 goal from 1 chance, not like Adebayor'. Interesting.

What people fail to realize time and time again that this is a team that has gone against every prediction launched prior to the season, against every expectation of any honest Gooner who had they been offered this position with 9 games to go prior to the season, (we) would have bitten their hand off with no hesitation. What people also fail to realize is that the team being slated (including Eboue) is the same team that produced amazing games, results and comebacks, and with this slump has proved the most obvious fact: they are human. Arsene Wenger is human. Emmanuel Adebayor is human and has an ego. William Gallas also. Cesc Fabregas, too. The non-signing Matthieu Flamini as well.

Another point is that this season is everything but over. It could be in a few weeks, and then it could not. That's why football is a magical game. Where is our role as fans/supporters in this? Gooners have done marvelously in showing teeth to Usmanov and Dein, have behaved impeccably when going abroad for CL games, supported the team with vocal venom on all away games, reacted with grace when beaten (the whole 4 times), and constructively depicting the sad state of affairs at the Lane. So where now?

I say relax. We will have time to analyze at the end of the season. It is big balls time and we as fans have to show that as well. For all those going to the Grove, week-in week-out if u think moaning and booing at your own team helps at this stage of the season, go ahead. If not - sing up for the Arsenal!

It is great to be a Gooner!




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The Journalist

Writer: G4L Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 17 2008

Time: 6:58PM

Your Comments

I'll second that G4L. Win or lose, it's great to be a Gooner!
flv
Good article, I like the whole tone of it. As for those reactionaries calling for Eboue to be sold...they are absolutely right.
Professor Calculus
here here...
fran merida
i don't want eboue to go. what if Sagna picks up an injury next season? i personally don't rate hoyte in the same bracket as sagna or eboue so we need eboue to be there in the squad. and no matter how much the fans hate him, Arsene still keeps playing him and keeps faith in him, so he must be doing something right..
luckys_10
I don't want Eboue to go either luckys. In fact he's one of my favourite players. It won't be long before he starts adding some goals to his game, then the moaners will be as blind to the annoying aspects to his game, ala Manure fans and media to Ronaldo. He's also one of only a few players we've got who looks for a blast on goal before another pass. That greediness will reap benefits sooner rather than later, mark my words. I wonder if the guys in the redsection could be granted special permission to take in some African drums to bang throughout the game. That'd at least create some atmosphere in the quieter moments of the games.
flv
Lets all not forget we do have the best midfield duo, cesk and flam, best full backs sagna and clichy and best striker in the prem in ade. We have a lot to look forward to this season. We need a consistently scoring hleb and injury free rosicky/van p and walcott to win our trophy back.
KingGunner
I know how most of us feel after those 4 draws, I feel the same. I caught myself screaming "get that ****** out of the game" referred to certain individual(s) for a number of times. My mind is split on Eboue, mainly because I've eaten large chunks of the humble pie served hot by AW, when it came to my least preferred links in the squad Senderos and oh yes, Matt Flamini. Realistically, if Rosicky and RvP were fit, Eboue would not be in the first 11. He is a decent squad player that we all love hating. Yes the bloke dives and cheats probably once or twice every game, but so do certain English 'hardmen'. As LD mentioned in the last match report, he probably wouldn't get a penalty if he was decapitated in the box - he had legitimate calls for one last game as the defender was actually holding his shirt and pulling him back. What is important is that this is his first full season as a wide midfielder, and he has shown glimpses of an energetic player that takes on defenders and can put a good cross in. He was excellent as a RB for a couple of years, and as luckys mentioned, provides cover for the excellent Sagna. Amazingly, he is the only Arsenal player that I can remember, who managed to generate so much negative critics from his own fans. There have been many of those who were just plain untalented (Cygan, Stepanovs, Grimster the Legend, Malz, etc.) but even they were able to squeeze a few good, funny or encouraging words from the AFC faithful. I hope he is aware how we perceive him.
G4L
Since I've been Mr Doom merchant lately, I thought it only right to front page this piece. Basically,compare nowwith this time last year,much better isn't it? We've got massive games coming up, but hey, Tottenham don't. Big clubs have to play big games to be successful and I'd rather be preparing for my trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge than watching Jermaine Jenas.
Little Dutch
On a separate noteand on my favourite subject (me), cheers to everyone who voted, very humbled http://www.footballfanzineawards.com/nominations-writer.php
Little Dutch
big balls time indeed
bootoo
Great article G4L, now's when we need to gee up the lads, not slate them!! Come on you reds, let's kick CSKA's arse next Sunday!!
devvil
Gooner till I Die
Wenger_Knows
Gooneress till I die too.
Lou the Gunneress
Oh good, Clatenberk to ref the Chelsea game.
paul_ownz
Er but didn't he make David Moyes jump up and down with that stupid equalising penalty at Goodison Park..?
Lou the Gunneress
I believe so Lou.
paul_ownz
You just have to love RvP, hope his and Gallas' fighting spirit will pick/wake the team up: http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,2266207,00.html
Lou the Gunneress
agree with you G4L, c'mon gooners, stand by your club. remember AW said that this team is AHEAD of schedule, he didnt expect us to be fighting for prem and CL glory til another 2 years. the fact that we are in this position is testimony of how good our young lads are. i have no doubt we will dominate europe in coming years. so lets stand behind our team and for god's sake can those *****ers who are lucky enough to attend games please raise your voice and sing some songs (preferably not the adebayooor song cos its getting a bit dull now, maybe the flintstone kolo song or one for RVP to get his spirits up.) as for eboue, HE SHOULD STAY!!! who put the cross for henry to score against manure last season for the dramatic win at emirates?? i saw the EXACT same cross in the boro game, only difference is that we didnt have an henry to head it in. so get off the lad's back and give him a chance. i agree with luckys, what if sagna gets injured? eboue is perfect cover for RB. we just need to drop less points than chelski and manure in the home straight, which will be exciting cos we all play against each other. go gunners!!!
supersof
I've not been against Eboue for his ability, I think he is a good squad player. His attitude irks me no end, and I'd like him to improve that ASAP, but I also acknowledge what LD said in an earlier article - that he comes in for undue criticism at times. There was a lot of criticism of Eboue in the Boro game, while I thought that he had a pretty decent game.
prits
Yup.. agreed.. but I am not sure about Hleb starting on the right.. if theres anything I've learnt about this season it is that we play the 4-5-1 better than the 4-4-2.. I dont knw if thats because we've played it more but, we do better and that allows Hleb to take up a central role behind the striker.. I like our team playing 4-5-1.. we play it in a positive way. I just get a sneaky feeling that RvP will play left side against Chelsea and we will go 4-5-1. The fact about Eboue is that defensively our right side is secure. He may be off positionally but he's better than most right midfielders at defending. He is quick and gets crosses in.. and we all forget that this is his first season as a right midfielder. If he doesnt leave next year, he will only get better.
arsenalrulz4ever
coungrats tim u more than deserve it,although i am a gunner i don't agree with u king gunner i think that torres is the best striker in the prem
princeoflove909
In Eboue's case, I wouldn't mind to see him go, or stay. But if we do sell him, then we are going to need a replacement because I don't know if Hoyte can fill in for Sagna. That aside, good article G4L, we need to do our part now.
Cheese.
I say that Eboue should not go, Sagna is good at RB but what if he gets injured??? Hoyte is not ready (and may never be) for a first team slot, Rosicky is also easily injured as we have seen this season, he's already suffered 2 setbacks preventing him from making a comeback. As Hleb would need to be switched to the left flank someone would have to be on the right flank, Walcott's good but don't expect him to carry on running like a hamster for 60'+ minutes so who could you come up with. Eboue is the most likely answer, he runs fast and could carry on for 70'+ minutes, if he gets tired then we could sub Walcott to do the job. It is exactly the opposite case for Diaby (sub Rosicky, Hleb). As for Bendtner, I don't think that Ade is crap, it's just that he could be tired after so many consecutive starts and someone else could be given a chance. With Eduardo out till September, Walcott destined for the wing and RvP an automatic starter, it would be interesting to see how a RvP/Bendtner partnership would work out. With the injuries we have right now it's worth a shot. And with Carlos Vela coming back next season he should solve the problem for the Winger AND the striker as he's proved himself in Spain. If not then I reckon Jeremy Munez or Ayew of France may come to good on the wing.
stukazufuss
P.S It's good to be a gooner, to lose to your most bitter rivals once every 9 years... :D
stukazufuss
Big balls needed all round. Fans included.
saisho
little dutch its great to be a gooner, promise everything and win nothing, i hope you enjoy that losing feeling, small or big cup at least our fans got a trip to winning trip to wembly, litle knob
5-1
Of course the situation at Tottenham is much better, promise everything, spunk a load of cash and win the league cup once every ten years. I don't enjoy the losing feeling, but Arsenal haven't lost in the league or CL this year. Tottenham on the other hand get much more practise. The winners of the St. Johnstone Paint trophy and the League Two Play Off Final will also get a winning trip to Wembley, nice to know Spurs keep such prestigious company.
Little Dutch
can idiot spurs fans who have no life and nothing better to do than visit our site not be blocked from leaving comments ? (i.e. blocked I.P. address ?
gillvy4
LMAO @ 5-1! you just got bitchslapped for the umpteenth time! I still haven't received an answer to the question: what was your nick prior to the historical win against Arsenal in the CC semi? was it 1999?
G4L
So gillvy4, you guys finally got the feeling when salt is rubbed onto your wounds. The feeling is not good right? LOL !!!
ivanskg
To add more detail to that prestigious company that sp*rs will enjoy, the JPT Final this year is between Grimsby and MK Dons, so if Incey does win it, they can organize a London parade together. As it stands now, they could be joined by one from: Darlington, Stockport, Wycombe and Hereford... I am envious.
G4L
Why not cheer us on during the Wednesday match. We may do you guys a big favour.
ivanskg
I couldn't cheer you if it was the last thing to win us the EPL... unless you provide another DVD performance you might join Keagan's team in the struggle for survival...
G4L
arsenal will end this season in 3rd position.
ivanskg
Which would be a long way above Tottenham.
Little Dutch
Little Dutch, I forgot to add another line to my note above .... "and trophy-less". But I will send you guys a milk bottle for your baby gallas as a consolation.
ivanskg
Keep it for Keano ivan......if he can keep his dummy out of his mouth long enough.
Little Dutch
Too late little dutch, I've already sent the milk bottle to a5sena1 FC.
ivanskg
Or maybe you should have sent it to Ar7ena1?
Little Dutch
if we can only draw against the 'small' teams, let start winning games against the big teams now. come on Arsenal.
fcdematthew
ivanskg, nice to see that you prefer commenting on our articles rather than your own. If you have nothing better to do in your sad little life than try and wind other people up, then I feel very, very, sorry for you and will be sending a milk bottle over to Vital Man Utd for you shortly. Or maybe, I don't have to, seeing as you spend so much more time on our pages.
Cheese.
Seriously Cheese, I've actually gone to some of those sites to see why they keep coming here. The answer's clear - they got no new content to comment on lol. Some sites even have like 1 or 2 writers. So I realised this site is blessed with supporters - Gooners and otherwise. lol
Lou the Gunneress
Oh fcdematthew, I'm surprise you are still dreaming.
ivanskg
Cheese, its not that i have nothing better to do, cos its such an enjoyment whenever ar5ena1 fails.
ivanskg
ivanskg, Arsenal 'failing' (which isn't actually the case anyway) is the only way you made it to the top of the table. Isn't it sad, that in order for Man Utd to become first, you have to rely on Arsenal slipping up, rather than the successes of your own team? Arsenal can still win without relying on other clubs doing them any favours. However, Man Utd would have never reached this position had it not been for the likes of Wigan, Birmingham etc. doing Man Utd a favour and holding us at draws. If Arsenal's 'failure' is the reason for Man Utd's success, then it wasn't really your beloved team that won you a top spot. Nice to know that Arsenal's results are of greater importance to you as a Man Utd fan than your own. Also, as Lou mentioned, I doubt you'll be on here making 8 or 9 posts if your own sites can stuff your time up with some good content. And Lou, it's nice to know that we have the preferred site. They rely on us for good reading, even though, by the looks of it, I think the actual 'reading the article' part is irrelevant to them. And writing is most probably beyond their capabilities too, because I never thought the word 'Arsenal' had so many numbers in it.
Cheese.
One of the main reasons for your success this season has been playing Hleb in a central position, ie behind the striker. The extra man in midfield gives Fabregas and Flamini an extra outlet as Hleb can take a pass even when surrounded by a couple of defenders. Hleb also has the ability to thread eye of the needle passes from this position. But Wenger only tends to use Hleb in the hole against the top teams or when playing in Europe.......... Hleb is wasted on the wings and only plays to 40% of his ability when played there. Most of you goons have hailed the return of the vastly over-rated RVP as the man to re-ignite your season but his return will have the complete opposite effect. With RVP back Wenger will play 4-4-2 which failed last year and will do the same this year.
sport
4-4-2 never works for wenger does it? He's never won any trophy with Bergkamp/Anelka. Wreh/Anelka. Bergkamp/Wright. Henry/Bergkamp. Henry/Kanu. Henry/wiltord.
KingGunner
Even Francis F.in Jeffers won a charity shield medal along side Bergkamp!!
KingGunner
Yeah clearly they know so much about our team that they felt compelled to share with us what they thought. Have to thank them for watching us in the first place - or you'd assume they do?
Lou the Gunneress
It worked back then because Wenger used to always field 2 very strong defensive midfielders. The combination of Fabregas and Flamini is completely different.
sport
 

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