Arsenal - Enthralling Match Shows How Far We've Come
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Enthralling Match Shows How Far We've Come

A mere few months ago, we were, let`s face it, bollocksed, an horrendous start to the season saw us in the bottom third of the table, and whilst relegation wasn`t that much on my mind, it did seem hard to see where and how we were going to start climbing the table.

Our worst start in Premier League history coupled with our worst defeat in 120 years, we`d lost some of our best players and I`m sure many of you joined me in feeling we had hit rock bottom.

Arsene Wenger had brought in Gervinho in over the summer, but the lack of incoming players was also a massive concern. However in our first ever exciting "Transfer Deadline Day" (Trademark owned by Sky Sports News), Le Boss brought in Mikel Arteta, Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker on permanent deals and Yossi Benayoun on loan.

Many pointed a finger at Arsene claiming these were panic buys, however each and everyone of them has played their part in our rehabilitation. Yossi to a lesser extent, but hey, he is only on loan!

Of course we`ve been aided on our way by the continued emergence of the fabulous Wojciech Szczesny, and most notably the man who on current form I consider to be the best striker on the planet, Robin van Persie.

Like most recoverys, it`s been a tough one, scraped results here and there, bad performances just enough to see us through, but the more we won, the better we got, culminating in a thrilling game at the City of Manchester Stadium yesterday (I don`t advertise for my own club by refering to it`s sponsored name, no chance of me doing it for someone else).

Of course some might think it odd that the barrometer to measure our progression might be a 1-0 reverse away at one of our rivals, but when you consider what we have been through, not to mention what we were up against, then there`s no more proof needed, when you look at our performance, to know that we`re back!

We have to be realistic and say we just can`t compete financially with Man City (or Chelsea), so over the course of the season it`s going to be an almost impossible task to best them, but over the course of 90 minutes we stood toe to toe with them, trading blows with such ferocity I was sure the players would all collapse with exhaustion before the end.

Yes, City were worthy of their 1-0, but on the flip side of the coin they couldn`t have any complaints had Thomas Vermaelen`s late effort crept inside the post. It`s just one of those games where someone has to lose, even though they might not deserve it, unfortunately for us, it was our turn.

It was a crazy game, one that both teams should be proud of participating in, but our players and fans should be proud of our efforts, that was a tough game, against the toughest opponents in England, and whilst some might bemoan how City came by this amazing team, we`d be much better off focussing on what we can influence, and that seems to be what Arsene Wenger has done rather well.

If we can keep performing like this till the end of the season, we`ll have no problems finishing in the top four.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 19 2011

Time: 1:29PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Well said. That we gave so much does make me worry for Wednesday :-/
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19/12/2011 13:37:00

Good article Rocky. Things certainly look a lot more rosy for Arsenal now in comparison to that disastrous start. The only concern I would have is the obvious over reliance on RVP ( who I agree is the best striker in the world at the moment ) for goals, I'm not suggesting you're a one man team or anything ridiculous like that but the rest of the team need to start chipping in with their fair share. It was a cracking game and it's good to be on here talking football for a change. Good luck for the rest of the season and I'd also like to wish you all a very happy Christmas.
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19/12/2011 14:56:00

A great game and the next time we meet it will be in our back yard. I thought they were starting to tire towards the end of the game. Noticed that they cut theo out by ganging up on him and stopping any effect he could have on the game. It changed when he stated to move towards the centre of our attack by the boss subbed him. Loved the fact he was annoyed at being subbed which shows how players in our side now react; except for a certain Russian who I suspect can play better but does not care or is interested in putting a real effort in. At a recent QA Martin asked the question that he thought the Russian did not love the club and apart from his match at Liverpool had been missing disinterested. I attacking one of our players but enough is enough. Gooner Vin I suspect Man city may have given too much did you not notice yaya Toure was almost out on his feet and Richards was grabbing his leg a hammy?? l
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19/12/2011 15:13:00

That was a nice post, Bluedub. Forgive my ignorance, but which blue team do you support? (serious question) / as with our CC game v. City, I'm very proud of our players. Frustrated with AW for not subbing Benayoun on, tho. We may well finish outside the top 4 this season, I'm prepared for that. My expectations this season are modest & pragmatic. I'm just happy to see maturity, fight, bravery and discipline in the team. Have to say tho City showed their the total lack of class when their fans chanted "RVP is ours" and "you're our feeder club" and then by naming Nasri as MOTM just to rub our noses in it-when clearly their best player was Kompany. How can you respect that kind of petty lack of class? It's not something Arsenal would ever do. I have no love for Utd or Chelsea but I've yet to hear their fans (or ours) ever chant to an opposing team "so and so is ours" re one of their players. And the notion that we're their feeder club is ludicrous since we've made them pay exorbitant money for players who are often on the bench or in the case of Ade don't even play for them anymore. Anyway, clearly our problem is our bench in such big games.
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19/12/2011 15:22:00

over the last few games, i think we have finally rectified a couple of our longest standing problems i.e. defending set pieces and defending counter attacks from the flanks. we have certainly traded some flair (in fab & na$ri) for more grit. glad to say that we are more balance now
Report Abuse
19/12/2011 15:40:00

You ever heard of a wind-up between fans then jaelle? I don't think anyone at City actually considers RVP as a realistic target, fine player though he may be. The feeder club chant is what the rags sing at Spurs all the time, so I don't think that argument holds water either. On another note, I'm very surprised that Wenger didn't choose to have Oxlade Chamberlain on the bench at least - he certainly gave us a tough time in the Carling cup match and personally was more worried about him than Walcott, as Zabaleta always seems to have a good game against him. Arshavin is just going through the motions and looks like he'd rather be somwhere else!
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19/12/2011 15:44:00

I'd agree with FCB that it doesn't matter what fans sing to each other (within reason of course) and that's nothing more than banter. There was a time we used to sing "you're the Spurs of, you're the Spurs of, you're the Spurs of Manchester, you're the Spurs of Man-chest-er" to the City fans, so it's all fair game. However I thought naming Nasri MOTM was not only tacky, but disrespectful to Kompany and the other City players who worked their arses of for the game. With regards to Bluedub's comment, whilst van Persie is clearly our best player, I'm convinced that the reason everything goes to him not because it has to, but because it's the best idea. If he wasn't on the pitch we'd plan for that fact. It took us a while, but everyone thought we wouldn't create chances when we lost Cesc, but we've proven that you can lose even the finest players and not cease to exist.
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19/12/2011 15:59:00

Hmm Jaelle, I'm sure there was no gooners laughing and joking @ sp*rs when we robbed them of their captain. All part and parcel of terrace back & forth.
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19/12/2011 16:27:00

Calling us the "Spurs of Manchester" is beyond the pale in my opinion! ;)
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19/12/2011 16:32:00

Yeah that was a bit below the belt! But it was usually followed up with a rousing chorus of "Stand up, if you hate Man U!" in which both home and away fans both rose and then clapped each other. Ahhh those were the days, back when there were no oligarchs, no shieks, Arsenal were the toast of the world, and spurs were truly sh**e. It was a simpler time, it was a better time.
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19/12/2011 18:01:00

There were sugardaddies before oligarchs and sheikhs got involved Rocky, I'm sure the name Sir Henry Norris rings a bell?
Report Abuse
19/12/2011 18:11:00

Not to mention the Edwards family fortune making manure what they are today, or Jack Walker giving Blackburn their moment of glory. Their are loads of billionaires about in football, I guess it all boils down to whether they're looking to turn a short term profit from their clubs or whether they're investing for the long run. One could argue that ther Glazers are the biggest tumour on football, with their huge drain on the rag's profits and the ammount of debt they've brought to the game, but unfortunately it's our owners that get the negative publicity due to the accelerated spending program and the associated media hysteria that goes along with it. And don't forget, having billionaire owners is no guarantee of success, even in the short term - just ask a Blackburn fan!
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19/12/2011 18:42:00

@FCB I was a little annoyed not to see the OX on the bench. A very good game and two very good teams.
No 10
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19/12/2011 19:22:00

Bdub, there are sugar daddies and then there are sugar daddies. Sheik Mansour in particular is like nothing we've ever seen before. He makes Roman Abramovich look like a tramp. FCB - Blackburn won the Premiership, not bad for such a small club. "Accelerated spending program" is that some marketing spin put out by City? Because your accelerated spending program strategy has basically been spunking hundreds of millions of pounds on any players they could get. Anyway, I didn't intend to derail this article, it's supoosed to be about our recovery and a brilliant game of football.
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19/12/2011 19:55:00

FCB, blackburn owners are Indian Rupee billionaires but not pound sterling billionaires. Your statement about billionaire owners being no guarantee of success could be altered to say small time billionaires are no guarantee of success! No seriously, today buying success in the premiership is so cash intensive that only those with a networth of 10 billion USD plus need apply :-)
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20/12/2011 09:45:00

How much was it Sir Henry Norris invested?
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20/12/2011 10:01:00

I didnt know you were around in the early part of the 20th century Bluedub.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 10:36:00

No Delta, I'm referring to history, you know that thing that only exists when it suits your argument?
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 10:55:00

Yeah Bluedub I understand, now that you have demonstrated what you meant by example. Equating Henry Norris and Sheikh Mansour is a very creative but highly inaccurate argument which only demonstrates that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:07:00

So, have you got an answer for me Delta? How much did he invest?
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:10:00

And I'm not talking about the alleged bribing, just what was legitimately invested.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:11:00

Bluedub, a) I reject your argument equating Norris & Mansour and b) Who are you to demand answers from anyone?
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:16:00

Norris invested the equivalent of approximately £400 million. I'm not demanding answers, I was just asking a question, no need to get so tetchy.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:20:00

Sorry, should have said equivalent by today's standards.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:21:00

Can you enlighten us from where you plucked the original investment figure and how you extrapolated that figure to a present day equivalent?
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:24:00

That would be telling wouldn't it? Are you disputing that figure?
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:26:00

Before one can judge any investment figure one should know whether its from a genuine source and if the assumptions used in any calculation are realistic.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:30:00

Well it is your club's history Delta so I presumed you'd be aware of the figures or how to source them.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:34:00

Thats quite funny Bluedub. Its like me saying "Sergio Aguero is paid 500,000 pounds per week by City" and if you ask me to produce a source for my claim I respond by saying "its your club you confirm the information."
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:38:00

Is that your get out Delta because you aren't aware how to access the information? That's a poor attempt mate. It was actually an Arsenal fan that pointed me in the direction of how to access this info, he used the word hypocrite too. I thought considering your profession you would know how to access it.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:41:00

Bluedub, I dont trust the veracity of your information enough to go through the effort of validating it. Its hardly a get out clause merely good old fashioned common sense.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:44:00

Of course it's a get out. If you said that about Aguero I would produce the relevant info to show you where you're mistaken.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 11:46:00

I'm not sure where you get your information from BD but Norris found £125,000 to invest in Arsenal, largely to redevelop Highbury by the time they played their first game there in 1913. That's equivalent to around £11.5 million in today's money. But the significant factor is that it wasn't a gift it was an investment in a tangible asset. Spending on players came from revenues the club generated itself.
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20/12/2011 12:09:00

Incidentally Norris spent most of his time (19 years) as owner of Arsenal trying to introduce/enforce a cap on transfer fees. He was pretty parsimonious when it came to spending on players. His job spec., for a new manager when recruiting Chapman stipulated that the man coming in would not be permitted to spend "heavy and exorbitant" amounts on players. Chapman brought a lot of success to the club but only after Norris had sold his interests in Arsenal. I'm afraid you're way off the mark if you're trying to paint Norris as a Sugar Daddy BD.
Report Abuse
20/12/2011 12:24:00

There it is, boom! don't ***** with the stat daddy. Who ordered the redundant argument?
Report Abuse
21/12/2011 02:10:00


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