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

You Do It To Yourselves, You Do

Sometimes you come out of a game just thinking, 'you know, I'd really rather we were thumped 4-0 tonight.' Last night was one of those nights. As we trudged dejectedly out of the Anfield Road End, a guy behind me just shouted, 'Arsenal, you know EXACTLY how to break my heart.' It was hard to waiver fromthat sentiment. I have only seen a short highlights reel on Sky Sports News just now, several people texted me to say it was never a penalty. From my vantage point, some 90 yards away tucked away in the far corner of the Anfield Road End, it looked it. Having seen it again, it looked soft, but I can see why the ref gave it. My gripe is how we allowed ourselves to be in that position. Over the two ties we have played very well. But we led the tie three times, yet were in the ascendancy for only 20 of the 180 minutes. At this lofty level of the game, if you don't learn your lessons you get knocked out. That's what has happened to us.

We tried to begin our evening in the Arkles pub but it was too full, so we retreated to the ground only to remember that they don't serve alcohol inside the ground on European nights (they ignore this rule in every country except England. In fact in Germany, they let you take it in the ground). So I had to settle for a bovril and a hot dog to steady the nerves. The teams came out to the famous 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with both sets of supporters in extremely good voice. For those interested in whether Anfield on a European night lived up to expectation, well no it didn't. The atmosophere was very good, but no better or more intense than when Arsenal played Madrid and Juve at Highbury. Liverpool fans were very loud when they scored and very quiet when we were in front. In other words, it was just like every other European ground would have been for a Champions League Quarter Final.

Arsenal started the brighter, passing and moving with intent. Hleb and Fabregas weaved in and out of space, Diaby was menacing on the left, Eboue looked a half decent right winger for twenty minutes. After 14 minutes, Fabregas and Hleb played a deft one two, before Hleb played through a marauding Diaby, who took one touch and unleashed a powerful shot past Reina. It took a good two seconds for the Arsenal fans to celebrate the goal, we all thought it had hit the side netting. The away side were in complete control, with Liverpool looking very wary. Clichy's cross was nearlymet by Adebayor, but Hyypia impressively headed away. But once again, Arsenal created their own downfall by conceding a soft goal. Its root was somebad decision making from Almunia, with Liverpool pumping the ball long, Gallas had it covered and could have seen it out, but Almunia came racing out and a poor clearance gave Pool a throw in in an advanced position. Aurelio's cross was headed behind by Clichy and fromthe resulting corner, Hyypia lost Senderos and headed Gerrard's delivery in off the post. Where we had been in control, we gave the home side the impetus. Where there is hope, it seems Arsenal are hell bent on bringing despair.

The pattern of the game changed when Mathieu Flamini hobbled off injured to be replaced by Gilberto. Arsenal's battery was flat and we played out the last 15 minutes of the half desperate for half time. Adebayor's constant propensity towards being offside nullified what little attacking threat we could muster. Liverpool began the second period on the front foot, aware that they had to take the game tous. But as the clock ticked over the hour mark, Liverpool began to look nervous, knowing that the later it got in the game, the more damaging another Arsenal goalwould be. But just as Arsenal began to get a foothold again, Gerrard played the ball to Torres, who for the first time over the two legs didn't fall over, he spun Senderos who gave him far too much space to smash the ball into the top corner. Walcott and a heavily strapped van Persie were introduced. I don't recall van Persie touching the ball and given the heavy duty strapping on his thigh, I would venture he was barely mobile. The Gunners showed signs of carving Liverpool open when they kept the ball on the ground. They did just that and provided the gilt edged chance of the tie, Hleb played a slide rule pass through the Pool defence, which I think was intedned for Fabregas,but it reached Adebayor unchallenged in front of goal, but he lost his composure and tippedthe ball wide.

Arsenal looked to have run out of legs and ideas thereafter. The players you rely on in these situations have just played too many games and the size of this squad has hurt us more than anything this year. But from the darkness, came the brightest light. A Liverpool attack broke down and Walcott picked the ball up on the edge of his own box. With Jaguaresque poise, he made like Forrest Gump and ran, riding four challenges, staying on his feet and maintaining his balance as Liverpool looked to foul him. But he would not be denied, carrying the ball seventy yards and eliminating the whole of Liverpool's rearguard before squaring for Adebayor to convert a tap in. With only four minutes left it looked to be the killer blow. Delirium took hold of the away end, I have a bit of a fat lip which suggests I copped one in the chops from the sea of flailing limbs. It was rather poignant that one the way to the match on the Travel Club coach, we had been treated to a DVD retrospective on the career of Thierry Henry. In the same way Henry had pranced through Liverpool's backline to deliver us the title in 2004, Walcott looked to have graced the highest stage with the most imperious quality.

But before we could stretch our vocal chords to appraise the apotheosis of the piece, familiar foes in the shape of defensive naivety and lady luck intervened. As we had done in the first leg, when we should have been at our most inpenetrable, we were at our most vulnerable. Straight from centre, Babel received the ball and astoundingly was given space to run into and Toure's clumsy challenge saw the referee award a penalty. It was soft, but we should never have allowed Babel into the penalty area staright from kick off. We lost our heads yet again, and at this level, if you keep making the same mistakes you'll keep getting the same punishment. Where he bottled it in Istanbul, Stevie Me chose to step up this time and hammer the penalty into the top corner with his first kick of the game. An absolute sickener. Arsenal got a free kick in the last minute, but as Cesc pumped it forwards, Liverpool cleared and the fresh Ryan Babel out paced a valiant Fabregas to deliver the final blow. Theo had been robbed of a deserved moment. After all the crap that kid has put up with over the last two years, an intervention as breath taking as that deserved more. The next stage for him is to be able to produce over 90 minutes. I would imagine he will get that chance on Sunday.

As the final whistle sounded, true to form, all the Arsenal players trudged off with only Fabregas, Walcott and Gallas acknowledging the away support. It's a constant pattern now and I know the players are disappointed, but so are we and our support was constant. Like Theo, we deserved more from our team than that. The Liverpool fans over in the West Stand and the travelling Gooners applauded one another warmly, which is an indication for a mutual respect that I think runs right between our two clubs. From players, to staff, to supporters and it was a gesture of class from Liverpool fans who might easily have rubbed our noses in it. A young lad of about eight stood crying as we filed out, 'it gets easier as you get older' I told him. Of course, I lied. We trudged out of the ground left to piece together the crumbling remains of a season that promised so much. Mistakes have been made, but its hard not to get a persecution complex about the things that have gone against us, and it's made every dropped point and every conceded goal that little bit harder to swallow. Every blow of the referee's whistle seems to lead to as much bitterness as a lemon flavoured suppository.

I fear for Sunday, I really do. There's nothing in the tank for a lot of players now and legs get heavier after a mental blow such as that. Unfortunately, we don't have the players to bring in as replacements. That's a moan I've already had and don't have the energy or the inlcination to repeat. Our younger players will learn fromthe experience, I hope the manager rectifies the obvious deficiencies as I am sure he will. While most of us will feel despondant this morning, we have to remember how far this side has come from last season and these disappointments will only teach them and fill them with the desire to insulate themselves from such despair again. There is an old saying that goes, 'Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.'LD.






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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 9 2008

Time: 11:22AM

Your Comments

so how many of you have a russian visa..................ahgahahahahha
spursinbarca
The very least I can say spursinbarca is that, being that I'm not on the sex offenders register, I am at least elligible for one. Once again your post has all the poise and accuracy of a Chimbonda penalty.
Little Dutch
great article, shown great signs of promise this season but I feel like a broken record with this next season, next season lark. How we haven't won anything this season I don't know, last time we blew a lead like this we went unbeaten the next...heres to hoping.
hazzagooner
Nice of you to let that kid down lightly LD. Best not let him know that despite the highs he will experience he will also have to endure the lows for the rest of his life. It's going to be difficult to lift ourselves for the ManU game and I rather fear that the resolution just won't be there. This season has seemed like climbing a mountain against all the odds only to find that the peak is still a little further on. Collectively and individually we will have learnt from this season and can use that stronger base from which we start next season. But I hope that the boys have it within them to still aim as high as they can in the remaining 5 games.
Amos.
This Article just brought back the whole game, I cant get over the defeat and probably won't for a couple of weeks at least. Great read anyway....now as i read through many arsenal fans views of the match and how well the players played, i see alot that are praising Theo and rightly soo but just a couple of weeks ago the same people were bashing the lad and saying that he isnt good enough for arsenal!!! I personally feel that Theo is an impact player at the moment but deserves to start as Eboue just inst producing, but over 90mins Theo would not have done 'that' run every time he got the ball, he just needs to work on being consistent now and he will surely start get more regular starts!!!
RVP11
have to say, it seemed to me like a total lack of character/experience that at 2-2 we let Liverpool come back so easily to win it. I was proud of the players up to that point and then we blew it. I dont think it was a penalty bu thats not the point. also wengers team selection leaves a lot to be desired. why no play your right back at right back, your centre back at centre back and your electric English winger on the wing from the start?
gazzap
over the 2 legs you created as many chances as the scousers, you lost because your fans are crap, liverpool were twice out of the CL last night but their fans pulled them out of it, you all know it your the worst fans in the prem, ok maybe your better then boro fans
spursinbarca
...........even fibreglass said it, in an indirect way!
spursinbarca
spursinbarca is a bit simple.
Professor Calculus
Weren't you once managed by David Pleat? "She wore,she wore, she wore a fishet stocking, she wore a fishnet stocking and stilettos on her feet. And when I asked her why she wore that stocking, she said it's for her client and his name is David Pleat. David Pleat, David Pleat, he's the famous Tottenham pervert and his name is David Pleat." It's true what yer granny tells you you know, the old ones are the best :-)
Little Dutch
why dont you come to portsmoth and the lane, this season, you know to see what a trophy looks like
spursinbarca
a lot simple.. no need to be nice to "it" prof! :)
Unwell
Nicely put LD. Felt for the fans last night. Only had one minute of delirium. Feel totally dejected this morning. Although the thought of going out to United in the final was starting to give me nightmares. Every cloud has a silver lining though. Walcott annouced himself last night and Eboue has hopefully played his last game. I don't like to criticize players after a defeat normally, but Eboue is possibly the worst Arsenal player I can remember. He offers us nothing. I'd take a fiver for him at this stage.
d11gunner
Good article. My frustration & anger from last night has simmered down considerably this morning. I have been accused of breaking the pub door by the owner after i stormed out after the penalty. I have a very bruised hand where i slammed it in to a stool 4 or 5 times. This morning i could not hold my cereal bowl or change gears. Anyway, i think you are spot on when you say we will learn from our mistakes. I find it difficult to understand why we do not learn to shut up shop and see games out. After having just scored, Liverpool deflated, how hard should it be to snub them out. Why did no one trip Babel up before he went soaring in to the box? Why is Kolo Toure, an experienced defender jumping about from behind when there are still 2 defenders to get passed. Yes it was a soft penalty, yes we are unlucky, but we put ourselves in these situations. I too fear Sundays match. I almost feel like selling my ticket, but i am not made of plastic, and will be there giving my support.
paul_ownz
Have to say Toure is not cutting it at right back or centre back at the moment. I don't blame the guy. He's played constantly forabout four years and he is due a bad spell. But Eboue should have played at right back.
Little Dutch
yes yes spurs wont a cup this season but i am guessin you would trade it all in a moment to have something to do with your lonely lonely tuesday and wednesday nites or even to know what the top half of the prem table looks like! toddle off back to where ever you crawled out of and realise you dont have much to be happy about..
Unwell
oh and before i forget.. great article.. i felt exactly the same last nite.. arguably as painful as the champs league final vs barca.
Unwell
"With strategic player purchases we could really make Spurs a very strong team and a player that has surfaced in reports of late is David Bentley". Buynig up Arsenal rejects Spudbarca??? I'd say even Adebayors dad the elephant washer would get a run out ahead of Chumpbonda.
d11gunner
bull, as a fan id rather go to wembley agaisnt the most expensive team in the world and win, then get in to the CL and be nothing but an also ran and cry when i get dumped out, i wonder whos done that
spursinbarca
d11 but adeybuyors dad probably hits his wife, it runs in the family you know, probably head butts her
spursinbarca
That puts you in the same league as McLaren's Middlesbrough then circa 2004. An MK Dons fan might also express a similar sentiment. Nice to know you're keeping such prestigious company. Your arguments seem tobe based on "we're crap, but that's what we expect, you're good so it gives mea great lift when you goout of a competition we have no experience of." There's one phrase for that mentality. Small time.
Little Dutch
Funny how you can be on your moral perch when your club willingly employs Jonathan Woodgate. Remind me, what was he charged with again? No wonder Chumpbonda runs off down the tunnel and King cries off games in their dozens, Defoe leaves and Bent hides on the bench.
Little Dutch
This morning I woke, my 9 month old son flashed me a goofy smile and all was well in my life again. I made a concious effort to not read or watch anything football related today, and I've been a happy bunny. Then came the genius moment "I know, I'll just see what's happening on Vital!" Well what a ******** top idea that was.....I'm all sad again now. I should have known better, after all I'm still *****ed off about Stefan Henchoz's handball in the 2001 FA Cup final. Knackers.
Rocky7
ahaha............our players are moaners are you serious, even the neutral will point to le scum, lets see gallas at brum, adeybuyor and nick bender at the lane, wenger at every stadium, one question will fibreglass leave in search of trophies like henry?
spursinbarca
so rocky, your 9 month old son supports liverpool?
spursinbarca
Having just looked at the penalty again closely online, watching it in slow motion and pausing it i have come to the conclusion its just really unlucky. Kolo is running behind Babel, his arm gets tugged by fabregas slowing him down and off balance and suddenly kolo is too close because of this. As Kolo tries to jump out of the way, babels arm which had been pulled back gets hit by Kolo totally unbalancing him. Its not a dive, and i dont think its Kolos fault. I think it could of been given for the initial foul be Fabregas outside the box, but at the same time cant blame the ref for giving it.
paul_ownz
No Spursinbarca, he's very young so he's still learning about football, but he did mention to me the other day that he thinks Spurs are ****!!!!
Rocky7
spurs in barca you and your small minded mid table little team have nothing better to do then hang around at this stage till next season begins and as usual right on schedual here the loud mouths come telling us that nexct season next season next season you are going to beat us... once in 9 years and you went and brought out a dvd... well thats great.. you can put that dvd in your trophy cabinet at white flag lane with your very very lonely cup..
Unwell
yeah but like me he had a goofy smile this morning unlike your lot hahha, i got to go to work now, i work in a boozer i get to see highlights of gerrards penalty over and over again, i love my job
spursinbarca
no unwell it was next season we will win somthing, and btw 5-1 was that not you tool, dont worry maybe next year lol
spursinbarca
In France, a football's journalist, who is normally for Arsenal and really like (sometime too much and not always objectively Arsene Wenger) said it was a penalty. definitly two faults against Babel, maybe (i dindn't rewatch it) Fabregas one is out of the box, but it is clear Cesc was trying to slow Babel, naivly, really naivly. And Kolo, hurts him. Like you said Paul, it is nit really lucky, but that should never happen at this stage of a Competition like the Champions League.....
FloG
wont take your word for it spursinbarca... i know the words "next season" from a spud is footballs kiss of death!
Unwell
Tim has been critical of Toure in a few of his articles recently, and until now I thought he was being a bit harsh. I know Toure has played so much football over the last few years, but he really isn't up to scratch. Does anyone else think Wenger needs to be a bit more ruthless with players? Toure shouldn't be playing, Eboue shouldn't be playing on the wing. If Wenger doesn't want to use Eboue at RB then he has to sell him. I'd be as much use as him on the right wing. Walcott needs to get playing time somewhere so he can build on his new-found confidence and self belief. I know long-term he's going to be a striker but playing on the wing is better than not playing, surely?
simmy8_2000
Pool fan here. Great article. Summed up the game perfectly. An absolutely brilliant game. Pity someone had to lose the game. The dignity and respect between our fans make a nice change. Pity it's not reported on more. Hope you guys go on and win the league. Good luck against the Mancs.
artful_dodger74
I still feel very proud of our performance yesterday. You've got to hand it to Arsene and the team, no matter what, they always stick to their footballing principles. Difficult to swallow is definitely the right phrase. But we're conceding far too many silly goals for a team that wants to succeed at that level. I thought Cesc was absoutely brilliant yesterday, the fact that he can play with such calm and authority in the frenetic pace and pressure of such a game is just astounding. It is easy to criticise and scapegoat but I really don't think that Senderos is good enough to consistently give performances at this level. Although we have Carlos Vela coming, we still need to add 2 more experienced and wolrd class players to the squad.
Gooner_Vin
i cant understand why eboue is picked over walcott week after week. eboue is extremely wasteful and no matter how many times he seems to wriggle his way towards the oppositions net i never seem to feel like there is going to be a goal out of it. BTW cheers artful.. i hope after last nite the pool go on to win in europe. better yourselves than any of the others left in it.
Unwell
And Tim mentioned having a persecution complex. I don't think it's a complex at all. ALL the big decisions have gone against us this season, espically in the last 3 months. Surely all this is just supporting the case for video technology to be introduced into the game? Time and time again referee's are making big mistakes. In the modern game these mistakes cost millions and millions. Since the Birmingham game ***** decisions by ref's have cost us 6 points. Someone remind me how many points behind United we are?
simmy8_2000
I personaly like seeing Theo come of the bench. When he starts, opposition land him early with a few strong tackles and he fizzles out. As a sub he comes on when the opposition are not as fresh, and he runs them ragged. He deserves a chance, but i think Wenger has done well by slowly bringing him in to games an impact sub, and maybe now he has proven himself enough to get a start.
paul_ownz
why are some of you wasting your time talking to that fake "spurs fan"? He's not a spurs fan, he's an Arsenal hater, he's not even a football fan. That's his top priority--to see Arsenal fail, that's it, that's the be-all and end-all of his entire puny pathetic little existence. That's all that concerns him. He admitted it on this very board just a few weeks ago. Ignore the loser with no life.
jaelle
I am very proud of the team, proud of the fans, even proud at the inevitable knee-jerk reaction (like Rocky's article) after last night. I am also grinning every time I read the pathetic jibes of the fans of the epitome of mediocrity club - spuds. I have to agree with simmy. Toure has been poor at RB, and same goes for Eboue at RM. What in my opinion AW has to do is find the right balance in the team again. It is becoming increasingly difficult to have a bench with decent players on it unless you're owned by an oligarch or multi-millionaire, or you club is up to its ears in debt. Or you have the spuds who get shafted year-in year-out with Bents, Zokoras, Rebrovs etc.
G4L
LD, yours is the first article I've read about the game and I'm glad I chose it to start with. It managed to give me a little perspective. Before reading it, I had intended to post the following: I was prepared for us losing but it's difficult to accept losing to a team that was not better than us. We made defensive mistakes but so did they. The difference was that in the first leg they got away with a blatant foul in the penalty area that should've given us a good chance to score another goal, while in the 2nd leg they were awared a very soft penalty. In other words, the difference was in the officiating. I'm not one to blame failure solely on officiating, injuries, etc. Yes we've had bad luck, bad decisions, too many injuries. But the manager could've made better decisions that would've mitigated the affect of at least some of those factors. But when we play as well as we did and concede as many goals as the opposition and then lose only because of two ref decisions, it's very hard to take. However, having read LD's article I understand that of course he's right in that we let Pool back into the game once we'd scored that 2nd goal, so it is our fault. I'm also glad he included comments about the classy response of the Pool fans. Great to read that. We can't let this get to us---there's a lot to be proud of with this team so stretched and exhausted and dealing with injuries, constantly dismissed in the media. We provided the best games in the CL this season for neutrals to watch, v. Liverpool and Milan (not to mention games in the earlier rounds). We have to see the rest of the season out with our heads held high.
jaelle
Excellent read LD. I was on the brink of crying yesterday but at the same time was extremely proud of the lads. I don't care whether Babel should have been in that position or not but that penalty should not have been given. I felt it was a penalty until I saw the replay but the ref won't have that option so no ill towards him I guess. I felt in the second half especially we were very tired. Lets hope Arsene brings some reinforcements next year. But we can worry about all those later. Lets just get this season over with
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
Reading this brings the pain back...we may have seen bad decisions by the refs, but we have to admit that we lost due to lack of maturity. I am as proud as anyone of what we have done this season despite some gut-wrenching losses. Weve come a long way on youthful exuberance its painted wildly on Cescs face every time we score but have become more mentally fragile (or nervous) since Christmas. Ive seen it happen whenever we go a goal down and become frantic to try and recover, or whenever we go a goal up and seem to become jittery and fearful of losing the advantage. The experience of games like last night will help build that maturity we need, but we could probably do with one other leader upfield in the team too someone a bit older with some natural authority who can be a steadying influence. On a more positive note - even if this team makes only modest progress next year, we will witness something very special again.
Andy-bayor
I for 1 loved the game and was delighted to see you goons loose,but you did play well the better of the 2 teams, graet game to watch, 50/50 on the penalty, but you were finished off by Babel the result was always going Liverpools way, think you would have benefitted from having the home game last, very difficult to go to Anfield with the scousers on song like that. Anyway my goon friends i look forward to next season and the battles we will have with you COYS
Master
Another thing to consider: imagine if we had won last night due to a dodgy penalty by a blatant dive by one of our players against Pool or the media luvvies Man United. Wed never hear the end of it.
jaelle
jaelle hows brazil or new york you massive fan you get to see the em,irates alot, i bet you aint been to one gooner match this year, dont use being abroad as an excuse you pathetic bitch, i jump on a plane to see spurs all the time, bye the way ahahahaha
spursinbarca
BArcaspud, you really are a pathetic piece of crap. Tell you what, tell me the name of yoru bar and when i'm in Barca next, lets see if your man enough to stand up to a man, rather than insult a woman over the internet. You epitomise the spirit of spurs. Pathetic!
Cesky
How can you afford that on a barman's wages?
AFC85Lew
Oh he works in a bar now does he. He was lording it up here a few weeks ago trying to tell us that he owned a bar. Well well, delusions of grandeur eh, just typical of the spud. Next he'll be telling us that the wortless cup means more to him than being in the CHAMPIONS league! Its all in the name spud - champions, something you will never be.
Cesky
Bar work's long hours, especially when you own the gaff, so that's probably a lie. He is a frightening prospect though, a yid having a go at women, hmmm, where have i seen that before.... they are ever so terrifying.
AFC85Lew
Notice how he's gone all quiet. Spineless waster - all talk no action. I bet he's really age 14, acne spattered and lives in a council house in Tottenscumwith his overweight chain smoking shameless style single parent. That would explain a lot about his attitude and why he supports turds.
Cesky
Those poor residents of the wonderful city that is Barcelona, having such an ugly little toad in their midst
jaelle
i was in the anfield road end, and to tell you the truth me along with everyone around me thought it was a penalty, it was only on the replays at home that it look soft, but still it looked like toure was jumping all over babel. The other thing was it really looked like babel tried staying on his feet, only if hleb did the same we would have had ours. i think it really came down to the fact how the two players went to ground. anyway props to the liverpool fans, it was a great atmosphere, not the best in the world or anything the media will have you believe tho.
eazy
Agree with article totally. Atmosphere is hard to generate when you are being played off the park for half an hour. You lot are a to club with a top set of fans and a nice humble attitude unlike those t*ats from Chelsea. At least you saw Walcott come of age last night and good luck for the Man U game. The respect between teh clubs goes back to the days of a certain game in 1989...can't see that changing to be honest as you lot are welcome here anytime.
5 times
Your absolutely pathetic spursinbarca, do you not realize that you lot have NEVER been in the Champions League, or do you have to justify your reason for being a spurs fan by hating gunners. Enlighten me, what matter is it of yours if jaelle has been to the Emirates this year?...is it because you're a straight **** or because nobody can be bothered to care what you have to say? Mate... just F*ck off, atleast until you grow some hair.
Phantom of the Grove
happy days!
HuddersfieldYiddo
I don't even read his posts, I just scroll right by them. It's not as if he posts anything worth reading.
jaelle
yidmuginbarca you are full of crap and obviously obsessed with ARSENAL, why else would you be on here??????
9 Years
from huddersfield and a yid!! double blow or what!!!!!!!!!!!
9 Years
How's your luck? First time in eons an even slightly questionable pen gets given against United and it goes a mile over the bar. If that was us, the ref would have given de Rossi another go.
Little Dutch
On reflection, it's a good thing we went out in that fashion last night and it's also good that for all our early promise our season is petering out abysmally. I'm shocked but I now understand. If at the start of the season you gave me a 3rd place and Arsenal in contention for most of the season, i and most gooners would have taken it after 2 poor seasons. The team has overachieved. This squad is built for the top 3 nothing more. It has been built on the cheap because of the stadium and it's good enough to stay in the top 3 which is a great achievement. We stayed 'competitive' without investing money in the team. However the squad is not good enough for both PL and CL glory. You get what you pay for. No miracles in life. The good thing is Wenger will now realise our shortcomings. Had we gone to the semi-finals and grabbed 2nd place in the league, he might have not realised it.
Gael-Force
Gael-Force, thanks for that. Helps me to bear this sense of misery I'm fighting.
jaelle
jaelle: you raised an interesting point. If it was Hleb who pulled the same kind of act on Kuyt, or any other Pool/ManU/etc. player, then we definitely wouldn't hear the end of it.
Cheese.
Cheese, damned straight we'd NEVER hear the end of it, the press and the football blogs would be so full of outrage and bile against our cheating the way to the semis, the whole of the internet would self-combust, heaven itself would shake from the earthquake of noise.
jaelle
I agree only partly, LD. Our defence was poor, and we shouldnt have let Babel be in that position. However, the ref needs to do his job, and he didnt. In my eyes, it was a dive. The contact was so soft, it was merely a brush with Toure, and Babel went down. The team did very well to come back to 2-2. After all the talk of buying wingers, mid fielders blah blah, we dont seem to have a problem creating chances, but defence seems to be a major problem. For the last 2 seasons, during this time, the season has let in some really soft goals. Also, I heard Wenger criticising the team, i.e. his defence - once after the Chelsea game, two after the Pool game (you could see him telling the players to calm down immediately after our 2nd goal). I have a feeling that either Gallas or Toure will take a back seat now or in the summer (either in terms of being sold, or accepting a bench place).
prits
Yoy have to remember its Liverpool though, they have a divine right in the CL dont they?!?!?
9 Years
prits, it's not so much creating chances as it is putting those chances into the back of the net. I the 4th or 5th minute Ade could have scored easily, and yet again when we were 2-1 down. It becomes clear that we miss having Dudu or pre-injury RvP on our sides. The chances come, but now that we no longer have our Eduardo-Ade pairing, goals don't seem to find their way too easily as they used to in mid-season.
Cheese.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz your 5hit zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
YidEdy
we're 3rd and *****. Your 11th and 31 pts behind. What a mug you really are!
9 Years
You obviously tired everytime u come on here YidEdy. Why dont you take a nap? Watch some spurs history just to make sure.
paul_ownz
 

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