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Yesterdays Heroes and Todays Chip Wrap

Slowly it all begins to get real again. Instead of the interminable transfer speculation and diet of manufactured stories that we have been forced to feed on since the end of the season we can start to see real players kicking a real ball again. For football junkies the Euro`s provided the footballing equivalent of methadone for a couple of weeks and some of us could bask in the reflected glory of the successes of our club players in national shirts. But it`s not like the buzz you get from the real thing. On July 19th the run in to the opening game of the season, on the 16th August against the Baggies (though maybe strictly speaking it is the CL qualifier on the 12-13th August against as yet unknown opposition) begins with a friendly against Barnet. Not the most high profile event but right now it`s a desert oasis just in front of us. Something real to digest, assess and review no matter how modest it is as a footballing contest. In between these two games are some more interesting encounters in our annual pilgrimage to Austria and both Amsterdam and Emirates tournaments with stop offs in Hungary and Germany slotted in. More methadone maybe but very welcome nonetheless.

Before then we have to endure the transfer circus and the media carnival that though we want to ignore, and even promise ourselves that we will ignore, is still always there like a persistent hangover. We go through it every summer heightened by the information age, which has increased the quantity of information but not the quality. Eventually we will all get more discerning about the information sources we trust and we`ll filter out those we don`t but at present it is all dumped in front of us like a doormat full of junkmail. You`ll sift through it all only to find that the only communication of any substance is one from HM Customs and Revenue!

But the internet age is biting back. Tabloid distortions are nothing new. Much the same stories we are currently fed have been manufactured distorted and spun for decades. The difference now is that with a click of a mouse the source of these stories can be found pretty quickly and journalistic absurdities exposed for all to see. Tales of Wenger`s transfer chequebook and Hleb`s criticisms have been scotched by searching out their context, and where needed running them through an online translator, to arrive at the truth. Stories of Sagna discontent emerging today can be settled by reading the original item in L`Equipe. In fact there is little need to do it yourself as a small army of determined bloggers are competing to do it for you. So fast is information accessed and processed now that the old journalistic adage that today`s newspapers are tomorrow`s fish and chip wrapping is replaced as today`s tabloid news is turned into instant digital chipwrap.

As for the brown envelope from the Revenue, which almost always looks as though it will be bad news, well sometimes it contains a rebate cheque. The players that are departing always seem to be indispensable but in reality they never are no matter how inconvenient their departure might be. This time last year whoever we were expecting to be amongst our saviours for the season now behind us Flamini and Adebayor probably wouldn`t have been too high on too many lists. Rosicky, van Persie and Eduardo would probably have figured more prominently with Hleb maybe somewhere between. Yet we did well enough while missing the first three for big chunks of the season. Gilberto almost certainly would have seemed not only a dead cert as captain but one of the first names on the team sheet given his performances the season before last. Now Flamini and Adebayor seem difficult to replace and Gilberto disposable.

Whoever next season`s heroes might be they may not always be the ones you expect looking at the season from this end. That`s what football does - it creates heroes just as quickly as it gets rid of them. More often than not the players you thought indispensable weren't and those disposable more useful than you imagined. There is always someone else to cheer and another game to watch - eventually.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 10 2008

Time: 11:51AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Great article, so who do you think will be this seasons heroes?
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10/07/2008 12:25:00

I won't know until the end of next season !
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10/07/2008 12:27:00

Good article in these dry times - I'm looking forward to seeing who will become this season's Ade and Flam - i.e. unexpected heroes, which is why I'm not crying about possible departures.
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10/07/2008 13:14:00

Lou the Gunneress
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10/07/2008 13:28:00

Nicely put Amos! Somebody put me on ice and wake me up next Saturday, please.
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10/07/2008 13:50:00

Good one Amos. I pretty much use the same thought process when it comes to dealing with exits. My tip for next seasons surprise [ackage is Abou Diaby. You heard it here first.
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10/07/2008 14:44:00

intelligent write up
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10/07/2008 15:39:00

ill say djorou will surprise(you heard it here first)...we should take bets huh prits?
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10/07/2008 15:41:00

Theo Walcott will be next seasons hero. Complete specualtion but I think he'll get 15-20 goals!!!! I seriously can't wait for the Barnet game ..... I never thought I'd say that.
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10/07/2008 15:45:00

I'll take you up on that, anon :). I'm willing to put a tenner on Diaby. I only hope my confidence is not misplaced.
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10/07/2008 16:16:00

"That`s what football does - it creates heroes just as quickly as it gets rid of them." -- It's very sad how much this is true. By late 2007, two of the biggest names in world football were effectively has-beens: Eto'o and Ronaldinho. "Has-beens" meaning they no longer got the media hype and club attention they had only a year before. Think about how long Cronaldo has actually been in the forefront of world football attention as "the" best player or at least one of the best players in the world: what, a year maybe? 2005-06 was not a long time ago at all and yet those 2 Barca names seem like an era ago.
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10/07/2008 16:23:00

While I do have fears about losing 3 key players and our ability to challenge for trophies because of it (forcing AW to focus on replacing rather than beefing up the squad), I too have thought that many gooners are just assuming none of our 2nd tier players can stand up the way Flam did last season. Re your point about the Euros v. the "real thing" -- I generally agree that int'l tournaments can't beat club football but this time I found the Euros a refreshing change from club football's media hysteria, meanspirited club tribalism, pathetic FA actions or non-actions, miserable league referreeing and arrogant bull**** from the likes of Fergie and his cohort. Had the tournament been just a dreary example of negative football like the 2004 edition, I wouldn't feel the same way. But the 2008 version was a wonderful break from the misery of club football that I'd felt from March-on. Of course if you're a MU fan, you'll feel quite differently.
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10/07/2008 16:29:00

I'd have to agree that many of the 2008 tournament games were very watchable. Certainly by recent standards. The good thing for many club supporters as clubs have become more inetrnational is that they do have an interest in some of the team by virtue of their club players. In that sense a good international tournament can be football without the pain.
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10/07/2008 16:34:00

Amos and Jaelle, the other good thing about the Euro's was the commitment to atttacking football, rather than the usual negative percentage football you get at International tournaments. I'm hoping it will spill over into PL club football this season.
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10/07/2008 19:04:00

Great article Amos. Since Prits has gone for his surprise package of the season in Diaby, I'm going to have a go too. How about one Emmanuel Eboue to turn it around and have a storming season? Before everyone s*******s, remember what everyone thought about Flamini and Song (me included)?
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10/07/2008 19:15:00

Sorry, that wasn't a swear word and it got typed over. It was meant to be s*iggers, as in laughs.
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10/07/2008 19:16:00

My surprise package for next season would be Rosicky....he'll play three games in a row. No, in all seriousness, I'd tip Bendtner all day long. He improved with every single game last season and I'd back him to get more than ten Premiership goals next season.
Little Dutch
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10/07/2008 19:24:00

Agree with all the players mentioned but I especially have echo LD and emphasize Bendtner--he's the one I'll be looking at in particular.
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10/07/2008 19:32:00

I think an injury free Rosicky has the potential to be as good as Pires. Well maybe not as good, but a good replacement
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10/07/2008 19:45:00

Considering that I think Arsenal's first team will develop into: Almunia; Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy; Walcott Fabregas Diaby/New DM Nasri; Van Persie Vela, I would have to say that Vela and Walcott will be the surprise package.
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10/07/2008 19:47:00

May I add that this would be next years team, not a future team beyond that.
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10/07/2008 19:51:00

Rosicky (if fit) or Carlos Vela will be next seasons heroes, but i hope the whole team are heroes next season!
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10/07/2008 20:34:00

I would love to see Rosicky really show his capabilties. Watching some of the early season games on ATVO really shows what we missed later in the season. He is a really talented footballer and a very hard worker for the team. I'm feeling very confident that a number of players will step up next season including Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, and Bendtner. I'm also hopeful that Vela quickly settles into the team and that Eduardo comes back sooner and even better than expected.
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10/07/2008 22:32:00


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