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Belief Is Growing. Corner Turned?

After a multitude of false dawns this season that saw us threaten to turn our season around, four wins on the bounce leave me feeling that we may actually have done it at just the right time.

If anyone would have told me just 10 days ago that we`d take 6 points out of 6 against Tottenham and Liverpool scoring 7 goals in the process I`d have suggested it was time for the men in the white coats to take them away and give their noggins a good looking over, but here were are, in a little under 7 days having done just that.

There are many Gooners out there who seem to take some kind of perverse pride out of slating the club, the players and the staff and then showing up and saying "I told you so", yet when the boys are doing well they are nowhere to be seen.

I wouldn`t go as far to say that I slagged the team off, but I definitely questioned whether Arsene Wenger was still the right man for the job. And while I wouldn`t say we`re in a position where we could be a successful club, we`re on the right track.

We do still have to change our stance on transfers in the summer I feel, everything isn`t hunky dory just because we`ve won a few games, but with that aside I feel there`s a belief coming back into the side and back to the terraces too.

I don`t know about you guys, but even as late as the 90th minute I still felt we`d win today. Just a gut feeling (which is nothing more than a guess), but even having these gut feelings mean I`ve got more of a belief in the boys.

There`s still a long way to go and things still do need changing up in the summer, but we`ve given ourselves not only a real chance of Champions League football next season, but also of overhauling Spurs, and whilst finishing 3rd over 4th doesn`t mean that much, finishing above Spurs would be hilarious after the grief they`ve given us over the past few months.

And if we go on do this, the Arsene Wenger needs a massive amount of credit . Not to mention an apology from me.





S - Sorry for the lack of a match day discussion thread today, in my eagerness to get to watch the game I forgot to post something before I went out.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 3 2012

Time: 5:12PM

Your Comments

Rocky, I admire your belief but until RVP scored his winner I could only see us losing that game. Wave after wave of Liverpoo attack with the ball zinging back and forth across our box? We need to thank the Gods for that win, because I'm starting to believe that RVP is the illegitimate son of Zeus. We'll need to play much better than that to nail down 4th, much less overhaul Spuds for 3rd.
Wyn Mills
I mean just how slow are our players to react to the rebound from Chesney's save? I don't mean to be overly critical but we need to see more urgency from some of our guys if we're going to do this. To many players standing off and ball-watching for my liking. http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/did-luis-suarez-dive-to-win-liverpools-early-penalty-against-arsenal-videos-poll/
Wyn Mills
Didn't see the game then Rocky? lol. We were just awful apart from a few moments of class from the extremities at either end of our team in chesney who was phenomenal and Van Persie who was lethal when presented with the highly limited chances. I appreciate the result is everything when going to places such as Anfield and I am chuffed to bits with the result, but I won't let it cloud my judgement over yet another pretty dismal showing from the bulk of the 1st team, it was everything i was fearing we'd return to following the imposters that hijacked the dressing room last week. We literally looked like Pat Rice had gone in 2 mins beforehand and rocked all the hammocks cooing wakey wakey. We were timid, lacklustre, unable to impose ourselves in any way, benny and rosicky back to being anonymous as our MF were utterly owned time and time again. We could easily have lost that by 3-4 goals with posts hit and gifts spurned by the scouse, let's not kid ourselves too this is the most average Liverpool side I've witnessed for many a year. If we do get 4th it will be more down to chavski melting like a chocolate saucepan. Still all complaints aside a winning goal against the grumpy dwarf Dalgliesh is just as sweet in it's own way as thrashing the cock to within an inch of it's life last week (yeah yeah cue the you do that every night comments! )
nikolaijns
We've turned so many corners already this season that we should be aware that we made to turn a few more to reach the home straight. The manner in which we've won the last two games could add a crucial ingredient to the side though - hopefully they will keep the squad, and fans, positive when in tough positions in future matches.
ArsenalRob
On a side note, both Szczesny and RvP (as always) demonstrated a level of class and maturity in the post-match interviews that is extremely rare in football. I feel we're very lucky to have such great characters, with winning attitudes, at our club. RvP's mentee, Benik Afobe, seems to be following in this regard. Great to see.
ArsenalRob
We havent turned any corners till we do this for a season...
Sajit
Smash and grab. We don't need any more belief what we need to do is work hard. We showed we can work hard in the NLD, so I don't see why we can't do it every game. Simple things like not losing the ball from our throw-ins or challenging for the ball on theirs.
Arsenales F.C
I think the two go together, Arsenales. The more we believe we can win, the harder we will work to make that happen. Earlier in the season we were playing with just a timid resignation.
ArsenalRob
DIIIIIIIIIIIIIABBBYYYY
ajwb
Our midfield was overrun for most part and the only time we looked stable funnily enough was when Diaby played his (last?) 27 minutes for us. Alex Song has developed into a deep lying playmaker and the value of Bacary Sagna to Arsenal is immense. Both of them need new contracts as well apart from Captain fantastic ofcourse. RvP is a machine, more power to him. Great win. Onwards and upwards.
Deltaforce
Honest Rocky, I said at 80 mins that 'if there's a goal, we will score it'. We didn't play well but winning and not playing well is the benchmark of a great team, no?
No 10
I have to say that I thought Liverpool got the tactics right. Their 5 in midfield really stopped all creativity and was there to pressure, force errors and mob up after. I thought Rosicky had a decent game to be honest and it was nice to see Diaby running...although briefly.
No 10
I said the same thing No 10, at exactly 80 mins too. It just felt like that kind of set up where one team gets bashed from pillar to post and is under the cosh all match but gamely hangs in there desperately riding lady luck til shes sore, then pop up with a long ball assisted sucker punch, you could just see it coming. Winning whilst not playing well is only one benchmark of a great team and again let's not delude ourselves guys we are pretty far from being able to attach that description to us. Still two home games up next, a chance to restore some pride in the week and a chance to escape a little further from the chasing pack next weekend. UTA.
nikolaijns
Obviously ecstatic about the win but as others have pointed out it could quite easily have been a case of crashing back down to earth after last weekend. Let's put it down to a mixture of last weekend's mammoth effort plus the weekday stupid internationals. Theo was his enigmatic self again, just hope he can start imposing himself on games more consistently. Any news on what happened to Diaby?
Gooner_Vin
I saw the game Niko, and I saw us get three point at Anfield. Liverpool had some very good opportunities, but they couldn't ... and actually didn't beat our keeper once. Our keeper is part of the team as much as the striker. I don't think we got lucky I think we got a great 3 points at a big club who's just won a trophy. We played brilliantly at home last week and battled and got 3 points this week.

As I said, we're not near where we need to be just yet, but in the context of this season, we've turned a corner to qaulify for the CL next year, and that's vital for us to make the next step I feel.
Rocky7
Let me reiterate because I think I might have chosen my words poorly. I don't think we've turned a corner as in this squad is going to go on and win trophies and such, but the corner we need to turn to qualify for the CL for next season and then have a building block for the summer. Does that make sense?
Rocky7
Yes, Rocky :) The only thing I pray for now is that Arsene and Gazidas go out and make at least 2 top-class additions to the squad in the Summer and keep RvP. You can only imagine and drool how great RvP would be in a side littered with world class players. In my opinion, as decent as Rosicky, Arteta and Ramsey are, we definitely need an outstanding midfielder that can really dominate the game. That and another top class striker. Please oh please oh please make it happen!
Gooner_Vin
Oh don't get me wrong, we are way of a great team. I'm just saying that playing poorly and winning is a benchmark of one ;)
No 10
Although we don't have the world class creativity we had when Cesc, Wish & Nasri were playing we do show a grit and determination that we have been lacking the last few seasons. I think a couple of players: Striker (Podolski?) Creative Mid (Hazard/Goetze?), maybe M'Vila....Drenthe. What I'm saying is a bit more creativity in this more solid arsenal will be good for me next season.
No 10
Agree with Rocky. Anfield is not an easy place to go to and pick up 3 points. We need to see this as the boys 'grinding out' the win in the face of pressure from a liverpool team with a good game plan, having just won a trophy after 6 (?) years. To put it in perspective, this was the game to close the 7 point gap we had on them and that's now 10 points. For those expecting us to go all out for this game, remember 'Pool needed the points more; and know that we have a tough week ahead starting with Milan on Tuesday and Newcastle on Monday. That CL game, surely, will play on the minds of the players today and for them to get a win is massive.
Naijagunner
Gooner_Vin, sometimes, an outstanding midfielder can be neutralised by an effective game plan and a determined bunch. Recall when our midfield kept the Barca midfield in check? You could say Wilshere bossed midfield play that day. Now, this is not saying we don't need more creative players, just that it is not an end, in itself, especially as team balance must be given consideration too.
Naijagunner
Obviously this shouldn't be in the players' mind at this point, but it's easy to forget that even if we do finish 4th we're by no means guaranteed to play in the Champions League proper next season. The qualifying games could be pretty tricky.
ArsenalRob
It will seem Diaby has done his hamstring; rather unfortunate as his introduction did improve our play in midfield. Gibbs looked like he was limping as well. I do hope we have enough left to play against Milan
Naijagunner
AR, No reason why we shouldn't gun for 3rd spot now. Young Jack should win his bet.
Naijagunner
Don't hate me but I think Milan game should be a throw away. Newcastle is a massive game and we have looked so much better since getting our R/LBs back. I'd be happy seeing Ozyakup, Ox & Yenneris in MF, Miquel & Jenkinson L/RB, Gervinho & Afobe supporting Park up top. We need to be realistic and we just can't afford injuries now.
No 10
Rocky, I still dont think this team has turned a corner in the race for 4th spot. Dont get me wrong, I was ecstatic after the win, but Liverpool were much better on the day. If we continue to put in performances like this, we're going to lose that game, as well as 4th spot. The individual brilliance of Szczesny, RvP & Song won us the 3 pts. I'm sure LD will come up with a more detailed assessment, but Arteta, Benayoun, Gibbs, Rosicky (to a lesser extent) all had poor games, they couldn't string a few passes together and keep it simple.
prits
Prits, were United to put in a similar performance and get the 3 points, the story will be how tough Sir Alex makes his teams and how they can win ugly. How many games have we been the better team and lost or gave away 2 points from a winning position? I'll rather we get 3 points playing this way than string nice passes, keep possession and end up the losing side.
Naijagunner
Prits my reasoning for beliving we've turned a corner in the race for fourth because when we've not performed well in the past we've been pummeled by lesser teams than the likes of Liverpool. This was a huge win imo. We've started believing right up until the last minute that we can score, and have infact scored 3 90+ minute goals in three of our last five league games.
Rocky7
I think the point Rocky makes about believing we can score up until the end of the game is a huge truism. Whereas we have looked shaky and more likely to concede in the final minuets we now seem to trust that our game will get us goals. We have given the ball away more in recent games (not Milan) because we have been making more interesting runs and more testing passes. The formula huge possession with little penetration wasn't working.
No 10
Last season at the Emirates, we scored against Liverpool way into time added on time and thought the win was in the bag. Well, we know how the team buckled and Eboue conceded a penalty for their equalizer. That scenario is unlikely to happen now, with the way the team's belief is growing.
Naijagunner
What will cost us in the race for 4th is our ability to keep a clean sheet - remember those?
Will-i-am10
Just awesome ....http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/did-robin-van-persie-give-martin-kelly-the-*****er-sign-liverpool-1-arsenal-2/
nikolaijns
yeah you'll need to put a W & an A & an N and finally a K into that link ;)
nikolaijns
Agree with Prits. I think its premature to talk about turning corners. Liverpool's goal difference will tell you everything about how rubbish they've been in front of goal...and the story continued today. A team who needed penalties to overcome a plucky Cardiff side who gave them a better match than we did today. A decent attack would have buried us today given the same number of chances. Even Wenger has admitted we were lucky not to go in 3 goals down at half time. We owe that result to some pretty woeful finishing by the scousers, nothing else. Last week Redknapp got his sums all wrong and certain players in our squad played out of their skins for a change. This week RVP saved our bacon...again.
Wyn Mills
I don't think there was anything lucky about it. Szczezny was awesome, he's part of the team every bit as much as RvP. The defence wasn't brilliant today, but WS was our last line and did his job brilliantly.

Wyn, whilst RvP's goals were massively important don't under-estimate the importance of the roles of Chesney, Song and Sagna in the 3 points today. van Persie certainly didn't save our bacon by himself.
Rocky7
RVP himself says we didn't deserve to win I'll side with him, I fail to see how any corners have been turned given how we were outplayed and outfought yet again for the umpteenth time this season by a side that simply wanted it more? It gives me no satisfaction whatsoever to be ragging on the team given that we've walked away with all the points in what was quite simply a vital fixture, but it would be remiss of me not to mention that the manner of the win was extremely fortuitous and that's putting it very very kindly.
nikolaijns
I don't think the defence was too bad though in all kos had a bit of a mare and not just his shanked og but Gibbs was pretty solid as was Banger considering Wally and Benny gave them sod all cover all game, verm was improved from recent performances guess it'll take a while for him and kos to rebuild the understanding between them and we do still look a little shakier without the BFG. Poor old Diaby though eh that bloke cannot get anything going his way, looked tidy for half hr then boom out again for another month or two :(
nikolaijns
Rocky its amazing reading reports on this site and opinions. When we dominate a game and lose by the odd goal we are rubbished for not finishing it when we nick a game we are rubbished because we were tired or lazy. When we lose against Manure and Milan especially and against Sunderland the managers head was requested and as in days of old to be put on a spike at Tower hill. FFS wake up fellars we nick a game well its lady luck saying you have the rub of the green; thought how many shots on target did we have and how many did they have. comment Arsenal had 76% of the game and failed to win get rid of the manager. I love my club with a passion, Liverpool came to our ground and won 2 0 last time and we had a player sent off, boy the hang man and the bin cover boys were ready to throw half the team away. I disagree with comments we need to buy buy buy; this manager knows what he is doing please a big please have Faith and Belief. Take a real hard look at what we have in the wings. Cambel, Ryo plus other up and coming players in our reserves. We wil hold on to RVP Theo , and with senior players such as Mert and SSantos etc we will go places. There are rocky(not a pun) times ahead but Faith and belief.
alwaysgunner
Guys, our manager said it all after the 8 - 2 drabbing, we do not have the resources of City, Manure, Chelsea etc., but if we play wt intelligence and a spirit of togetherness we can turn our season round. Unlike some of you guys, what I saw today was just that. Our two goals reflect the intelligience of the team. It was obvious we were having a bad day and the full backs as well as WS stepped up their games to compensate - togetherness. Look guys even in the days of the invincibles, there were matches that we had no rights winning like today. No matter what let us get behind the team. 14 goals in 3 premiership games is no mean feat. Give kudos to the team, they deserve it no matter how poor we seem to be on the field today.
phreddy
of all things, i think we have improved significantly in defending set pieces. liverpool had almost all the corners & freekicks in dangerous area but we stood our ground. compared to the past, we would have conceded a couple of goals
Joe_@**
Almunia would have certianly handed the game to Liverpool. That is why we kept underachieving for the past 5 seasons and why we lost cesc fabregas.. whatever good being done at the front was being undermined at the back. Chesney certainly came in the wrong time..but he should remain our top keeper and continue to imporve for years to come.
nevidimka
Winning ugly was something the critics has labelled us not able to do for a very long time. Well, we have been lucky yesterday and nicking the 3 points yet if you look at the stats, we had more shots on target, the % of possession was not more than 10% and passing accuracy was only a difference of 1 %. Tiredness would certainly contribute to the sluggish display yesterday and I am sure they might be playing despite those minor injuries that they are carrying and come tuesday there is another game. Just hope they all stay focus and maintain the momentum to secure this 4th place if not 3rd !!!
HK_Gunner
Perhaps I am being cynical, but the team has won games like this in the past 4 seasons. It's just that they have been one-offs while giving us fans hope that corners have been turned at various times in the past. I was ready to come on to this site yesterday and celebrate the win (I don't care whether it was deserved or not), but looking at an article like this annoyed me a bit (sorry Rocky). I agree this is a huge win, but I am not buying any of this 'corner turned' stuff.
prits
I'm not sure why you should be annoyed by another person's feelings, but hey ho. I'm not suggesting we played the Scousers off the park, but what we have show is a plan B, charachter to come back from losing positions, the ability to beat the top side (Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs all dispatched this season, the knack to win ugly, and the determination to fight to the very last minute. We've still got a long way to go, and changes need to be made, but this team need some credit ... if only for the determination they've shown in the face of adversity.
Rocky7
Niko, you make your own luck (if you call it that)! No one is saying we deserved anything, but how about looking at it from the point that we were simply more determined to win. We battled hard in that game, make no mistake about it and who's to say if Liverpool scored 2, we won't go on to hit back. Look at the shots on target stats and tell me if that isn't what we have referred to as efficiency in other teams. You don't need to dominate and play better to win a soccer game and we have been on the wrong end of many such experiences.
Naijagunner
Good spot there, Joe_@**. I have made the same observation about how we are less vulnerable from set pieces these days. When you think that Vermaelen has only come back into CB, it makes it all the more commendable. The team is not the finished product but there are positives all round.
Naijagunner
Naija _ I'd say we absolutely deserved to win. We converted our chances and Liverpool didn't or were thwarted by Chesney. That's the nature of football, and barring any game changing howler by the officals, the team who scores the most goals deserves to win.
Rocky7
Okay Okay, we may not have played well according to our standards but I think we defended pretty well. Yeah we were cut open in the first half but we came good in the 2nd. Chezzy was awesome!! One man team aight? RVP, u gotta applaud the man, I mean gotta applaud the man. I'd prefer taking our chances, even if we have 12 of em, anyday than losing chance after chance. And thank God we did. Great team effort for hanging in there through all the bashing. Twas like some boxing movie, where the underdog is bashed round the ring by the champ and knocks the champ out in the final round with a sucker punch. Great result!
Guyfox
Just saw the Newcastle v Sunderland Derby. A true game of 2 halves if ever there was one. After Bendtner put his side 1 up, it was the bar codes in the 2nd half against a determined S/land side, even after going down to 10 men. On the balance of the pressure, Newcastle should be winning by 4-1, but failed to take the chances. It took a last ditch, added on time effort by Ameobi to steal a draw. Now, that's the nature of football.
Naijagunner
I hear you, Rocky. I am a convert already. :-)
Naijagunner
Chelsea sack coach AVB. Roberto Di Matteo as first team coach till end of season. Shame.
Guyfox
Guess it was only a mata of time.
nikolaijns
rocky, aren't you gonna put up a write up to flay the diving cheat suarez?
Joe_@**
Have to say I quite liked AVB, seemed like a decent chap given the horrible little club he's at. God I'd be worried if i was a chelsea fan. what on earth are they going to do once Abramovich decides he's bored of football? they'll never be able to sustain themselves as anything other than a mid-table club without his financial doping and surely he's not going to continue pumping millions for the next 10 years. My money is on Mourinho being back there next season with another significant cash injection.
Gooner_Vin
A club full of arrogant players and a shifty management. Mourinho, Scolari, Ancelotti, AVB. There are no greater coaches. To say all these four had proven records for winning trophies before moving to Chavland. I fear for em as well Vin. There's something fundamentally wrong with that team. Just look at Torres and Mata, they look so ordinary now. The same fate befell Shevchenko, became a disgrace of a player at Chelsea. Players with excellent track records turned to waste at Chavland.
Guyfox
Wenger deserves credit for (probably/hopefully) getting out of the whole he dug for himself. If we finish fourth after the start we had, plus the meltdown and summer beyond belief before we even failed to start, then that's a miracle and Wenger needs congratulating. But let's be honest, it was his (and the club's) mess in the first place and the January transfer window showed me that absolutely nothing has changed within the club. They still pull their punches and still think they can coast on by hoping for the best. My concern is that the club, our manager and our clueless owner see Arsenal scrapping for fourth as a blip rather than a self inflicted state which they are directly responsible for. Wenger really doesn't have to do it the hard way every single time, he seems to screw up the transfer market then pull a rabbit out of his magic hat and somehow make it across the line against all odds, but it's getting more ridiculous and harder every season. Get the players you need Wenger, make life a little easier and enjoy yourself more.
Professor Calculus
Guyfox, just playing devils' advocate here but couldn't the same thing be said about Arsenal and Chamakh, Rosicky, Park and Arshavin. All had good track records and in Arshavin's case he was easily one of the best players in Europe. Also, the failed youth project was full of some of the most arrogant players I've ever known, the Chelsea players are deeply arrogant I'll grant you but they've kind of proved themselves, they won stuff. Bendtner, Denilson, Eboue, Nasri, Vela (I'm sure there are others) they've done absolutely nothing to explain their attitude on the pitch, casual as you like when they needed to be focused, talking up their chances when they needed to shut up. This went on for years. I like our current youngsters, I think they have the right attitude but if we're going to call out Chelsea players for being arrogant...
Professor Calculus
Granted Prof. Rosicky was hampered by injuries and played well when called upon. Park hasn't played for us so we can't call it a dip in form. Personally I think the Park business was to win over some Asian fans. Chamakh had a good start and is still a very good player. But seriously what striker on our bench now can think he can outdo Robin. Arshavin had a serious dip in form and no thanks to us fans tho. We never gave Vela any chance and I can't say the young lad disappointed when he had chances. Seriously we can't say Nasri and Eboue didn't put in their shifts (can't say the same for Denilson and Bendtner tho). We can look inwards and say we have been guilty at times but em Chavs players have got that man sacked.
Guyfox
Credit to the spuds. They've dominated this game but BANG! Man U scores at the close of the first half. Sorry spuds, but who cares. Adebandoor won't score and won't let others. What was he doing in the path of Saha's shot on the goal line? Great show spuds! Great show!
Guyfox
2-0 now. Another couple and we'll be level on goal difference!
Rocky7
My word!!!! The game is shaping up like the game against Liverpool. Home side huffing and puffing, Away side scoring and yelling. Wow. Red devils are 3 goals up. Come on u spuds.
Guyfox
Spuds mashed again. Oh dear. ;)
Wyn Mills
Typical of Man U. Get dominated and still get a win. Great stuff. Pressure on Spuds now. We want 3rd and we'll get it. What a lovely week.
Guyfox
This has been a good weekend :). 4 pts the gap to 3rd, and a 3 pt gap to 5th.
prits
Very quiet from the Spuds today. week after week they've been here making noise but all of a sudden... Shhh!! Shhh!! Oh my, is this the start of the end for them?? YESSSS it damn well is HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
lifeisagooner
Need to get some lasagna.
Sajit
I would hate to witness what's going on at the VS site tonight. :-)
Naijagunner
Harry summed it all up the other week when he quoted the old cliche "It's better to be lucky than good"....kind of sums up you lot against Liverpool and Utd. today. But then, that's your nom-de-plume isn't it? I have to admit after watching the last 2 games we definitely won't finish top 4 so enjoy the gloating once again.
Harry-Kari
Don't give up now, Harry-Kari. We need you to stay strong.
Naijagunner
ManU did us further favor. Spurs just cant handle the pressure. We can easily overtake them for 3rd.
Gunnerfan1987
Liverpool win a trophey after 6...yes 6 years! Its funny because I didnt realise it had been that long for them. Obviously the media only have this strange obsesion with the Arsenal when it comes to winning silverware. If there was ever any evidence needed for the media Arsenal bashing.....
gunnerman76
It was about time for AVB to Cech out because it was obvious he'd been left out in the Cole and didn't have a Kalou. It was the Luiz he could do really.
Wyn Mills
Prof Calculus, agree with your comment about AW mostly but he does not decide the transfer budget at Arsenal. The transfer budget inclusive of wages is provided to him every summer and its his job to strengthen the team however he can.
Deltaforce
 

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