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We Can't Even Win The Emirates Cup

As the season draws ever closer, Arsenal hosted their annual "Emirates Trophy" over the course of the weekend, playing host to Boca Juniors, PSG and Thierry Henry`s New York Red Bulls.

There`s no real importance over the result of the competition other than getting in some good preparation for the upcoming campaign, however having watched Arsenal surrender a 2 goal lead over Boca Juniors that saw the Argentine`s secure a late draw and then a 1 goal lead over the Red Bulls you can`t help but feeling a scarey sense of de ja vu.

I was philosophical over yesterday`s 2-2 draw, the strong first half team easily out-played a very poor Boca side and we only gave up the lead once a very unfamiliar backline took to the pitch, however today`s team that let yet another lead slide was much much stronger.

True, the line up towards the end that conceded the late goal didn`t resemble that much of a first team line up, however the toothless attack that was readily unable to break down a New York team that had no other gameplan than to hoof the ball down the lines at every opportunity was very concerning.

At the start of last season Wenger told we Gooners to judge them at the end of the season, and the outcome of that was as sad as it was embarrassing, and it`s a shame to say that it doesn`t look like anything has changed.

Lots of possession, lots of fannying around the centre of the park not doing much of anything, nobody getting in the box, and scrappy late goals.

I stressed the point through the summer that we needed to get in all our transfers asap to get the squad to gel, Wenger responded (not to me personally of course) by claiming we needed to wait for someone to blink. Well I`m of the opinion that we should have been the ones blinking, we`ve saved more than enough cash to splash out on ourselves for a change.

The telling thing for me was that the player who showed the most desire in this match was a player who gave his all for the club, and today gave his all against it. Witnessing a 52 year old striker busting a gut trying to get back and help defend in the last minute of a pre-season friendly is exactly the kind of work ethic we`ve been missing.

With two weeks till the start of the season it very much feels like the more things change, the more they stay the same.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 31 2011

Time: 6:29PM

Your Comments

I've said before in the forums that our attack is as much of a concern as the defense. When the A team is on its fine, but as soon there is the slightest change to the forward line, we suffer. A lot of sideways passing, everyone congesting the center without looking to go in behind it really is a mess. I think another system that brings out the best out of the '2nd' attack is really needed, a case in point being Bendtner's painful attempts at playing as a wide man last season. Still optimistic, because a lot of our problems are internal, where you start to doubt is whether we have the right people to sort these particular problems.
goooner4life
None of the big summer spending has happened. None of the ballast has been cleared out. We're full of players who don't want to be here and our tactics are stale and totally predictable. We've become a laughing stock.
gunnerpig
Suspect the Cesc and Nasri transfer sagas have distracted your players and that's why you've had an underwhelming pre-season. Sort that and I'm sure you'll improve, although it's worth remembering that pre-season seldom has any bearing on what happens once the real action starts.
fifthcolumnblue
Anyone who thinks Fabregas is easily replaceable needs to think again. Gervinho looked very good again today though, and Afobe was also very impressive.
Gun 'Em Down
When we won the Emirates cup on earlier occasions we didnt overplay it and now that we haven't won it, we cant overplay it either. The problems are there for all to see but it was an own goal from an inexperienced defender 6 mins from time that denied us the win. Not saying we dont need more quality back up in central defence - yes we do, but we cant overstate this draw either.
Deltaforce
Whilst that is true FCB, our past couple have performances have been indentical to our late season form that saw us win just 2 of 13 matches, I mean exactly the same. Lots of pretty football early on, maybe score a goal or two, then the other team gets back into the game without having to do anything other than just be on the pitch.
Rocky7
Tbf deltaforce the ball was going in, cant really blame Bartley for that. All in all i thought we looked ok at the back, albeit against an extremely limited team, having said that i thought defensively Gibbs looked poor again today, he's gonna learn of that there is no doubt. However we are gonna pay through points for his education. I really am dumbstruck as to why a LB is not as much a priority as a CB.
goooner4life
The positives for me we van Persie on the score sheet yet again, Gervinho looks real quality and Rosicky played really nice!
Rocky7
I'm liking the look of Gervinho. He's a lot more direct. We have a few chinstrokers, good to see someone taking players on and making runs in behind. He's got a touch of the Ljungbergs from what I've seen and I hope he can take that into more serious games.
Little Dutch
Not going for a OTT reacton.Not because its preseason but little better can be expected from a team that is so unsettled.
Sajit
We've won this cup since inception and have won nothing else since; losing it may be the wake-up call needed. I suspect we will have a slow start to the season proper but should get going as soon as the lads settle, having known who is 'staying or leaving' in the team. Re: Gervinho. I can say "I told you so" :-)
Naijagunner
We didnt win in 2008.. Naija. That season was an absolute nightmare
Sajit
What an impressive performance from Rosicky in the first half. Legs seem to go a bit in the second but he didn't have quite so much to work with either. Shame that he hasn't really had the career his talent and quality should have brought him.
Amos.
Stand corrected Sajit. That was the year Hamburg won it; the season? Well, that was another footnote in our roller coaster history. I recall we scored as many goals as the leaders but conceded so much more than any of the top 4 teams. It was down to the number of games drawn that season. We still have some transfer business to complete and then we'll see. This remains a friendly game and we can't make too much of it since winning it hasn't done us much good in the past.
Naijagunner
Sign some ****en defenders Wenger you dumb ******** ! I am so sick of your BS !
Will-i-am10
I went yesterday and Yep that Deja Vu feeling was very strong even b4 the own Goal. We needed a 2nd to kill the game off.But maybe just maybe Wenger will see that All this Uncertain regarding Cesc and Nasri IS affecting the rest of the Team. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE sort it out Wenger!
hackneyval
What's important though is not to get carried away at this stage. I know the game showed us things we didn't want to see, but it really is very difficult to judge from a non competitive fixture. For evidence, look up our pre season results in the summer of 97. Woeful, yet we had a great season. People wouldn't have been turning cartwheels and saying we were set to conquer England had we won 3-0 and lifted the cup, so by that token, it's important not to then prophesy the end of the world based on similar pretext. The team that finished the game had no Sagna, no Koscielny (Or Djourou or Squillaci), no Nasri, no Walcott, no Gervinho, no van Persie, no Wilshere.
Little Dutch
I know that's the right thing to do Tim, but the look and feel of the game was indentical to how we played at the end of last season. It's as if we're not trying anything new. and it's really worrying.
Rocky7
Try anything new? Like what? There's no wand he can wave, if there is something new it'll be something that needs to be worked on over the start of the season in proper matches, not easily translated from the training pitch into the emirates cup, chill out. That said, if we haven't signed any by Newcastle and we're not playing well I can see that's gonna be a poisonous atmosphere already.
shewore
We don't need to try anything new we just have to do what we did last season a bit better. It's far better that we come out of pre-season knowing that we have to work at our game. We've tended to do better when we have.
Amos.
If by "bit better" you mean "much better" especially in defending set pieces then I agree 100%
shewore
I'm not so bothered by not winning this game or tournament. What is concerning is that that the 11 that started the game could be our best starting 11 this season and if that's the case we're going to have problems. We simply have to try and replace Fabregas somehow with a creative midfielder or play in a different way because without him this team/formation struggles. Plus, all it's going to take is another injury to TV5 and we're back with a defence of Kos, Djourou and Squillaci. That's a very concerning prospect. I've never felt as pessimistic going into a new season as this one. As Arseblogger and others have pointed out, all it's going to take is for any sort of negative result (or even in-match incident) to go against us and the fans will turn on Wenger.
Gooner_Vin
And yes it is a shame about Rosicky not living up to a lot of promise, but he's had enough opportunities, lots of of opportunities and more than he'd get elsewhere I feel.
shewore
I wasn't suggesting some miraculous new form of football, just that we need to tweek our style. We're so slow in going forward that almost everytime the oppo defence has time to get back and defend in numbers, leaving us to pass it around the edge of the box for ten minutes trying to thread the eye of the needle. When Cesc is in the team we can usually do this fairly well, but when he isn't, we have no creativity. And I think we can all agree that the likelyhood is we won't have Cesc come the new season, and even if we do, it won't be for more than one more year. In the height of the Invincibles we'd go from one end of the pitch to the other in around ten seconds, with players instantly passing the ball. Why did we stop doing that? We have great pace in the team, and we have great passers, I don't understand why we take so long to do everything.
Rocky7
As much as I really like Ramsey and Wilshere, and believe they will be top-class players, do we seriously believe that a midfield of Ramsey-Wilshere-Song is one that can win us trophies this season?
Gooner_Vin
It looks like the signings we've made and the ones we're attempting are looking at remedying that. I'd like to have seen how we'd played with Gervinho and Walcott on the flanks, but we didn't get that chance. Gervinho certainly seems to be a move to a less transitional and deliberate style of attacking play. We're going for Mata and went for Alvarez too whom, from what I hear, are similar sorts of penetrative players. But playing like that also relies on intensity and I'm not sure you can really get that in pre season. The manager was correct to point out that we played well for about 60 minutes of both games before fatigue and lots of changes took over. In any case, though bringing NYRB was a commercial move due to Henry, it was a smart game to play because we are going to face a lot of ten man defences at home this season.
Little Dutch
In that first 60 minutes Rosicky showed precisely what we need in terms of high tempo midfield creativity. Unfortunately we can't rely on him doing that for 40 games a season and even if we could he couldn't do it on is own. Replacing both Nasri and Cesc with Mata probably wouldn't be enough - we'd need one of them to stick around.
Amos.
how can the board say that we hv cash when we hv only spent a net 3 million.. the winners of the league with the best defense hv gone and bought another talented CB yet wenger still sees some ray of light in squillaci and djorou.. we start the season without an established 1st choice left back n hope to win the league.. and even if cesc and nasri stay, they'll not touch the heights of previous seasons.. mata's deal if there was any is now reported to be on a verge of collapse.. we had a ludicrous bid turned down by everton (if jones is worth 16 million, surely jagielka must be at least equal if not more).. if sagna is injured we hv a rookie as a backup at RB.. talkin of injuries, walcott, wilshere and diaby hv already checked in to the treatment room.. i've never felt this pessimistic going into a season.
McGooner
Arsenal will bounce back,its only a preseason fixture.haha,u're having a laugh!
Dannism
Yep your only chance of silverware has now gone but theres always the 2012/2013 season.
Wswilly3
I hate to say this but some arsenal fans are the most pathetic i have ever come across. I preach dooms even when we have not started. The playing field is not fair. Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City dwarf our money 24/7. We have only been outspent by Liverpool and their signing are crap. if they playing field was fair, i guarantee you, Mancini CANNOT top Wenger. We discovered Alvarez, someone else took him, why? MONEY. We have Nasri, Man City and his agent conspired in FEB to sign him to 180k/Week, he thenm stopped performing for us, why? MONEY.
Arseniger
*They not I
Arseniger
Whats ur point,Arseniger?
Dannism
Oh well folks, if you're looking to add a bit of steel to your midfield Joey Barton was released by Newcastle today! ;)
fifthcolumnblue
And according to the rumour mill you are actually interested (!) http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11672_7076344,00.html
fifthcolumnblue
Winning the Ems Cup is unimportant-I wouldn't care if we finished 4th. It's the fact that the team is showing the same exact failings we've been seeing for 5 seasons. Positives were definitely Afobe, Frimpong, Rosicky. Gervinho is a superb purchase, was always very happy that AW targeted him. What's got me a bit depressed is Chamakh--I strongly believed in AW's pursuit of him & thought he'd be an excellent addition to our squad. Also think Jenkinson--tho still raw--looks pretty good.
jaelle
Do you believe everything the rumour mill churns out FCB? Curious. Joey Barton does have a few advantages though. Decent at set pieces and his passport means that he is not booked as often as he should be. Barton would be massacred by Eurpoean referees and is the kind of person who can start a fight in an empty room. Such characters may have been fine with City in the past but not Arsenal in my opinion.
Deltaforce
Tongue firmly in cheek Delta! And for what it's worth, the only reason we ever put up with Barton was because we were desparately skint and didn't really have much choice. That we got rid when we did is testament to what a d1ck he really is.
fifthcolumnblue
Fair point FCB.
Deltaforce
McGooner,Chelsea had the best defense in the epl last season,just a sidenote,you may continue.
Chelsea24/7
 

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