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

Have Players Been Silenced or Silenced Themselves?

The massively boring International break coupled with the complete and total destruction of my laptop meant I'd been forced into a break from football for a couple of weeks.

To be honest, the break was very welcome. It's been years since I didn't wake up and instantly search the Internet for news of my beloved Gunners, and the run of recent draws and defeats had left me pretty deflated, rummaging through all the crying, whinging, moaning and sniping was more of a chore than anything, it became hard work to be an Arsenal fan.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly happy with the current state of affairs, infact it's one of the hardest periods in my 20 odd years as a Gooner. I'm sure many people will brush this off by saying 'there have been much worse time than this', and they are of course, technically correct, but in the days of horrible football, horrible results and, whisper it, when Spurs finished above us, but we knew we were crap then, crap results were expected, watching one of the most talented squads I've seen in a long time flounder and flap around like a dying fish is difficult to take, this team is the best the league, and the title should be all but sewn up already, I'm having difficulty working out how that isn't a reality, but I digress.

After battling valiantly to save the life of my trusty old laptop, I eventually had to admit the inevitable and call time on our partnership and pop off down to PC World to acquire a shiny new one, and after Mr Gates held my hand through the brisk set-up procedure I was champing at the bit and raring to go again.

But it appears there's nothing to read out there.

It's been a common complaint of Arsenal fans in recent times that our players talk too much. Infact following that devastating last minute defeat in the Carling Cup we saw a whole host of comments and quotes from Arsenal players stating 'We'll just have to concentrate on the League, Champions League and FA Cup', followed by 'We'll just have to concentrate on the League and FA Cup' and then the inevitable 'There's always the league to go for'.

Then after a string of draws, making the possibility of us being crowned champions highly unlikely, we're met with complete silence. Nothing to say.

I'm not saying that our players should be banned from talking to the media, far from it, in the past our players have done a decent job of bridging the gap between fans and players, but in recent times they have just said too much about things that should only be answered with results and performances.

So on my return to the fold I'm met with what seems like a media blackout, it got me wondering whether the players have been told to let their football do the talking, they've finally realised that words in the media aren't doing themselves any good .... or have they just given up?




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 8 2011

Time: 11:02AM

Your Comments

I think the next player to have come out and said "We have the belief, we can win trophies, weare great players" these last few days would of got hung, drawn and quartered by the Grove crowd. If you are not walking the walk, probably best to stfu in the meantime.
LondonGooner
As Wenger said after the Blackburn game they can only be responsible for their own attitudes not for anybody else's. There is little point feeding the media or providing supporters with ammunition that some will fire back at them if things don't go our way. The supporters will only sing when we're winning so let's try to focus on doing that seems to be the current unspoken message.
Amos.
I don't just mean they haven't come out and said we can still win the league .... I mean they haven't said anything .... at all. Nothing about the up coming match, nothing about any injuries, nothing about anything. I was just astonished by the complete lack of quotes this week. I personally think it's a good thing ... however it means I've got to put more effort in to think of articles for the site. lol
Rocky7
I personally think this is a good thing, as well. Said it many times that the players need to keep shut more and concentrate on the playing; if that is the case now, it can only mean we will see a more intense team in the coming games. I'll rather the communication is limited to the Manager's usual press conferences, in which he must choose his words well, not all the gung-ho, hopeful stuff he has become known and derided (sometimes, wrongly) for.
Naijagunner
I personally have found the sudden silence on all things Arsenal refreshing. What a horrible few weeks, but there are 6 points that we definately can pull back on United. Our boys just need to learn how to score goals again. Wenger has to find a way to combat 11 defenders. Everyone knows now, Arsenal cannot score without space. Deny the space and deny them goals. I'd like to see us start Bendtner and RVP on Sunday, with Robin either out wide or a shift to a 4-4-2. Come on, surely we can come back from this?
Trennon
It's better players don't talk about these things after such a bad week. It would only serve to add fuel to the fire which is already burning our arses
Eboue=GOD
It was a good thing until Arsenal.com put up a Bendtner interview with the headline "We must show we have the DNA of Champions". I don't even know what that means and I haven't watched the interview, but it shows me the recent silence wasn't a club in reflection, they had most probably just ran out of things to say, because when they do eventually open their mouth it's the same old rubbish.
Professor calculus
Professor - agreed. They had to go and spoil it with that didn't they. Cesc has literally just tweeted: "In this life you don't get judged by your words, you get judged by your actions. Fact!" Says it all really.
Gooner_Vin
Even better is some of the stuff from Arsene's press conference "Now it is a crucial moment where we have to trust these players and not listen to opinions of people who have not worked half a day in football."
Amos.
Don't worry Amos, Arsenal fans (for most part) aren't listening to the opinions of people who haven't worked in football, the very same people who get a hard on just thinking about having a go at our club, the point is that we don't want to listen to anyone full stop, we want actions which speak louder than words not vice versa.
Professor calculus
I wasn't worried prof., just amused really. You get the impression, especially of late, that Wenger would really much prefer not to have to hold these press conferences too. You can see the contempt he has for some at times.
Amos.
Maybe because he's been in this country for well over a decade on and he ends up talking more about bull***** than football, I've seen Wenger giving press conferences all around the world and they talk to him about the game of football. I haven't seen his most recent conference but I can guess no one asked him about the technicalities of what is going wrong with his team right now. He should just take a leaf out of Ferguson's book, Fergie was asked why his team were given a football lesson by Barcelona, Ferguson just simply replied "You wouldn't understand, next question."
Professor calculus
They did ask him prof., and he did tell them. In much the same way as Fergie in fact but with a little more eloquence "One day people will understand, but at the moment, I am not sure many people do."
Amos.
Well Prof, it's a good thing few take Bendtner's words seriously, anyway. I also have a view about the difference in the way both Managers referred to respond to questions and issues. While Wenger is a journalist's delight, Fergie is always less explicit and would usually make a wisecrack to cover up for what he has failed to say or can't answer. Again, I can't but note the way he has primed his side for the fixture congestion in their run-in, given they challenge on 3 fronts, like it is a good thing they should look forward to and expect to come through in flying colours; "it is 14 games to be played in 2 months...titles at the end of..." or something like that. With Arsenal, you get the feeling we are preparing grounds for an "imminent" poor run. I feel we can improve in the area of psyching up the players for a demanding period, which would come every season. Replacements for injured players need to come in and give a performance, but they rather play pretty much like the 2nd best options, instead of fighting for the place. These are soft issues which have to do with communication but may have some far reaching implications for the output of the team. But then, who am I to know how these things work?
Naijagunner
Totally OT: just watched AW's pre-match interview and was amazed to hear him say that VERMAELEN would be in the *training* squad in 2 weeks!
jaelle
That is good news, Jaelle, relevant for the next season, perhaps. If he can play this season, it will be a welcome bonus.
Naijagunner
Dunno about everyone else but that press conference was bullish from Arsene. He defended his keep brilliantly. Had a dig at Chelsea as well saying "We've done well for our age as we're second in the league. Is that a disaster for you? There are teams who invest ten times more than us, one player cost more than the whole team and they're behind us." Arsene is the right man for the job. Like him or not in the years to come we will be proud of the way he ran/runs the club and the benefits will be felt in hundreds and hundreds of years to come.
Eboue=GOD
Vermaelen should play this season only if he is COMPLETELY match fit which I don't think he is going to be. It's good news on his comeback but realistically I think Verminator 2 shall be released only in August at the start of the next season.
Eboue=GOD
Sky Sports have this big headline saying "Wenger 'happy' with second" which couldn't be farther from the truth. If Arsene was happy with second then he would not have kicked a bottle up into the air at Old Trafford. He wouldn't have felt like slapping the 4th official at the end of the Sp*rs game this season. Another case of twisting his words. Arsene just said that it was not a 'total' disaster that we finished second which is totally alright with me. Did he ever say the words "He is happy with second". Total arses at Sky. I'm not surprised Gary Neville joined them. He would not look out of place in that bunch of dunderheads.
Eboue=GOD
Im not complaining...I htought it was best I stayed away from blogosphere since last week , coz it was too depressing to even think of it and I guess for the first time missed LD's match report. I think let them just stfu for some time. And do the talking on the field.
Sajit
Has anyone heard the s*** Wenger's come out with now? January, "we will go for all trophies" now in April "Second place won't be a disaster"........lol
LondonGooner
Thought he handld that press conference well; tbh, I hadn't seen it before my last post. LondonGooner, you sound like the word twisting rags Eboue= was referring to. If we were in 4 competitions, will you prefer for the Manager to state which he will prioritize over others or affirm he will do as well as possible in all 4? Well, Sir Alex has said the same thing about going for "all 3" and I don't hear anyone making a big deal of it. My suggestion is you change your name to "Long-gone"Gooner. Lol!
Naijagunner
well there you go.. when the manager goes public to say that 2nd isnt bad well before the season is over, why would the players even bother turning up.. why throw in the towel now when all season long we hear crap abt players desire and hunger to win.. have we ever heard fergie goin on and on abt desire and hunger to win, the team being mature and oh last season we wud hv lost the game but not this season.. its same old same old from arsenal and its getting tiring.. i reckon cesc wont be with us next season but it does provide wenger another excuse to not win anything.
McGooner
Yes, McGooner. Fergie goes on about his players desire every opportunity; not that there is anything wrong with that.
Naijagunner
Arsene said what he did in his press conference because he had to say it. He can't show a defeated figure to the press. Nor can he show a defeated figure to the team in the dressing room. I think there must have been a whole lot of questioning going on in that dressing room. Hopefully that kind of talk will fire up those players that need firing up. We need everyone at 100% for us to put up a challenge at least. The team attitude should be to "Win otherwise die trying". Any player that doesn't take this on board can as well pack his bags and go to sleep.
Eboue=GOD
Seems the period of silence is over as Peter Hill-Wood has had a pop at supporters "I simply cannot believe he will react to these stupid comments from these silly people. They are supposed to be supporters, but, in fact, they do quite a lot of damage." Can't disagree with the sentiments but if the suggestion that they might react negatively towards the AST simply because they expressed their disappointment then he's way off track. "They are in danger of us becoming less friendly with them," he said. "We haven't yet, but I am just saying we could become less friendly." The AST could timed any formal announcement a bit better but PH-W is wrong to make those sorts of veiled threats. Fortunately wiser counsels in the club will prevail.
Amos.
Seems like PHW doesn't seem to care about the AST. That's a dengerous path to tread I believe. This gives me an ill feeling about all this. I think the rumours about something going on in the boardroom might be true. Let's just hope things don't take a turn for the worse.
Eboue=GOD
I feel all that is down to the pressure getting to all concerned. Usually, things like this have a happy ending; let's hope it is so for the club, after all.
Naijagunner
Naijagunner - Apologies I didn't respond so quickly, I was in hospital all last night getting my sides stitched back up after reading your hilarious post......no honestly I wasn't. You can read into it whatever you want, I heard the whole interview and that is, in a nutshell what he said. You can go on, being as gullible as you like, Arsenal prefer their fans to be complete mugs. Just look at Hillwoods, crass, ill thought out comments at a time when fans are not happy. The senile old soak is used to dealing with apologists like you....
LondonGooner
Yes, McGooner. Fergie goes on about his players desire every opportunity; not that there is anything wrong with that - Naijagunner - HA HA! So your point is what then? Fergie's players DO show desire and back up their managers words!!
LondonGooner
No it isn't what he said in a nutshell. In a nutshell what he said was that if 2nd place was the worst 'disaster' we could expect in the next 20 years he'd take that. Doesn't mean that he is happier with 2nd place than 1st place or that he isn't challenging for 1st.
Amos.
Thanks Amos. Truth is it is not about being gullible but about putting things in perspective, especially that press conference, given at a time the media and fans like you are making out like the club's 2nd placing with 8 games to go and still with a fighting chance, is a disaster. Hence, he asked: "Do the 18 clubs behind us have a fantastic disaster?". What he said, 'in a nutshell' was that the club will give its maximum in the 8 games to beat United to the title; if that effort isn't good enough, then it shouldn't be a disaster to come 2nd behind a good side like United. United's players 'back up their Manager's words'(?), yet they have 9 draws and lost 3, coming to win from losing positions a few times with 'assists' from the officials. At the end of the day, I think United is looking good because they have "something to fight for"; shake up things and I guarantee they will be putty.
Naijagunner
Of course, my last post is directed at LondonGooner.
Naijagunner
Yeah I agree on the refereeing decisions part Naijagunner. Vidic should probably have been sent off last week. Also the two goals yesterday also were a bit dubious
Eboue=GOD
Apart from many other incidents that have already occurred this season. In fact not only this season but probably for the last few seasons.
Eboue=GOD
Oh good God. Mad Jens in goal. Almunia gets injured in the warm up. The biting and the gnawing is going to be fun.
Eboue=GOD
No thread created for the match with Blackpool, or is it just me?
Naijagunner
Indeed I was also wondering the same thing. No match preview from gunnerkid107 as well. Also, Robin says he would have donned the goalkeeper's gloves if Jens had been sent off. There's a thing we did not know.
Eboue=GOD
How's that for camaraderie?? RvP giving his MOTM champagne bottle to Jens. That was a class interview from both of them.
Eboue=GOD
At least, this win should shift attention from the team a little. I still favour the "silence" till the end of the season.
Naijagunner
Talking about "silence", what about "Silent Stan". I think it's good. He's not gonna put any extra debt on the club and continue the self sustaining model.
Eboue=GOD
 

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