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Save The Back-Patting Till May

For the first time this season (I think), we`re actually into the top 3, it sure feels good this morning.

After losing three vital players in the summer, (including a player who I consider to be the best midfielder in the world), an horrific start to the season coupled with a whole host of nasty injuries that has seen us without Jack Wilshere for the entire season and us needing to deploy 4 centre backs across the back line for a couple of months, the hard work of Wenger and the players has finally paid off somewhat with the boys climbing to 3rd in the table.

We`ve spent much of the season being laughed at by the media, had fun poked at us by rival fans, and most painfully had the noisy neighbours gloating from across the Seven Sisters road. The turmoil we have suffered footballistically has split the Gooner fraternity between the "In Arsene We Trust" camp and the "Arsene is past his sell by dates" camp, it has truly been a quite miserable time to be a Gooner.

So I guess we could be forgiven for celebrating a little this morning.

However we can`t dwell on these celebrations for too long as there is still much work to be done.

More often than not when Harry Redknapp opens his mouth you can be guaranteed that what you`ll hear will be either complete gibberish, or a total lie (or the word "traffic") however last night in his post match interview he said the first sensible thing I can ever remember him saying. "It`s not over yet".

And he`s right.

There are still nine games to play and arguably Spurs have a much easier run in, with Manchester City and Chelsea still waiting in the wings for The Arsenal. There`s also a little matter of Stoke away that will give us a clear indication of how far our boys have come.

However with Spurs and Chelsea facing off this weekend it gives us a little more scope to open up some more daylight between one team or the other, or ideally both.

Considering where we were as a club only a couple of months ago, a top four finish this year would represent a massive achievement for Arsene Wenger and his team, I wouldn`t even be massively upset if we didn`t finish above Tottenham, I really really really want to, but I`m not a greedy person, one miracle is enough for one season.

So whilst Wenger and the players deserve massive credit for getting us to where we are, it will count for naught if we blow it now. So let`s leave the self congratulatory back patting till the end of the season and concentrate on getting 3 points against Villa.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 22 2012

Time: 7:54AM

Your Comments

Gutted. Boy you've had some good fortune recenty.

They say the devil looks after his own, well he certainly did at Everton last night - he was running the line! How does that Charlie Daniel's song go?

"The devil went down to Goodison, he was looking for points to steal.
He was in a bind 'cos he was a point behind and he was willin' to make a deal."

Spuds-U-Like
Now now Spuds. You make your own luck. We are where we are now because we DESERVE to be and perhaps Uncle 'Arry has just been taught a salutary lesson- that 19 games does not a season make and that a decent half-season most certainly does not represent a "power shift." Rocky is absolutely spot-on that there are still 9 games to and 27 points up-for-grabs and focus is more important now than gloating. However, I look at Wenger's record of securing CL football, our YEARS of experience of finishing ahead of the lily-whites AND our forward momentum at this most crucial point of the year and I still fancy US. Belief has resurged in our players and while I was watching your squad, it is plain to see that confidence has been sapped out of them. A bad loss for you on Saturday and you might even be in danger of falling out of the top 4 altogether. Note to managers- NEVER claim in January that you've got the top-3 sewn-up. Nothing bites you in the behind, like this game can.
julieloveshenry4ever
Tottenham were 13 pts ahead of us after 35 min in the NLD, how long ago was that again?
shewore
We're getting the rub of the green, which a team gets when they're on a good run. Spurs have had plenty of that luck earlier in the season when things were going well- away at Swansea and Fulham Tottenham could have lost by cricket scores but obtained 4 points from those two games. But it's true, premature celebration is the hallmark of the Spuds. Let us leave them to it and not be guilty ourselves.
Little Dutch
Spuds - We might have had an element of good luck in the game last night, but you don't over haul 13 points in a few weeks through luck alone. You need a dogged determination (see the record for coming from behind to win in four consecutive games), skill, lots of mental strength (it should have been curtains at 2-0 down against you lot) and you need a lot of hard work. All three of those attriubte have contributed much more to our form than luck. Of course winning six games on the spin isn't going to get you anywhere near overhauling a team with a 13 point lead if you don't have another team bottling it down the road. As I say, nothing is done yet and we've still got to work. Also the main prize we should have our eye on is the Champions League place, overturning Spurs would just be a bonus, a very very funny bonus.
Rocky7
*All four
Rocky7
Well said, Julie. Very well said. Premature celebration aside, I don't see us not retaining our current placing, on the form our boys are in. Very few teams can cope with the team now and I fully expect Chelsea and City to lose at the Emirates.

For those Spuds who will refer to a Ref decision as the reason for our win, they only need to see the 1st half (and I am not saying we were outplayed in the 2nd) to agree that justice was done with respect to where the 3 points went. Again, there was that obvious penalty call when Drenthe took away Rosicky's legs in the box, that wasn't given. No one is making a fuss about that; at least, not Sky.
Naijagunner
Hi guys, long time! Used to be fun to go wind them up at vital spuds, but the fun is no longer their, sad. How do you go about winding up a bunch who says worse things about themselves than even you would have said to them? Those lot are masochists. But I guess that's the prerequisite for supporting spurs!
deledudu
Indeed deledudu. I think we've posted a couple of articles taking pot shots at Spurs on here recently where the most vicious comments about the Tiny Totts came from their own fans. It feels almost pointless at the minute.
Rocky7
Nah, I'm sorry, I'm not impressed with you lot at all. Dreadful defence and actually you've peaked too early, far too soon. We've had our choke but your annual collapse is just around the corner. Might even get the bunting out myself.
Henry Baker Brown
It's sensible advice to wait until the end of the season before celebrating. It's also sensible advice to wait until then before calling for management changes. It has been a strange season for us but whatever luck we've had hasn't been all good by any mark. What we do and the way we do it works - we just have to get it to work a bit better.
Amos.
Touche Amos :) That said, there still needs to be a change (whether in staff, personel or philosophy) in the summer if we want to be serious about challenging for trophies. But if the Podolski rumour is true then I think there has already been a change in tac. Which is highly encouraging. We don't want to rest on our laurels, we've had a tough few years, and I think we've got the foundation for a great squad with a couple of top class additions.
Rocky7
No, I wasn't having a pop, just a wry dig. Those of you on here know me well enough to know I'm not a troll & don't always post with sour grapes, now I'll go & get my parachute, it could be a long drop!

Spuds-U-Like
Oh I know Spuds - Just pointing out that luck hasn't been one of the major factors.

One of the reasons I'll be happy with just 4th place is because it's our own doing, we've worked so hard to get there and we really do deserve it as it stands. 3 place atm is solely down to Spurs capitulation, don't get me wrong I'd be amazingly happy to finish there and would be so proud of the boys, but I'm not going to be upset at all if we don't stay in front of spurs.
Rocky7
BTW, I only put that up because the song lyrics seemed to be so adaptable - well, it made ME laugh after yet another crap match day!

Spuds-U-Like
Like I said on a previous article Rocky, the run-in is going to be a real humdinger of extreme emotions mate, the sort you love & hate in equal measure!

Spuds-U-Like
suddenly rosicky is pulling the string to our ascendance like what modrid did for spurs earlier of the season
Joe_@**
LOL, nice ass-covering there Rocky ;-) HBB, you keep telling yourself that pet as you're going down, down, down, down, down. About 3 seasons ago Aston Villa thought they had the measure of Arsenal for the run-in and that all ended in tears. We might have lost the knack for winning major trophies since 2006, but one thing Wenger has NEVER fallen down on is finishing in Champions League position AND above the Tiny Totts :) So stay focused and keep up the good work boys, I want a good, long laugh in May at HBB's expense. Even when they're given a HEAD START, our long-range cannon can take out their road-runner. Meep-meep!
julieloveshenry4ever
Long long way to go yet. We have tougher fixtures than the Spuds, so 3rd place can't be a given. I'd agree with Rocky - finishing 4th will be an achievement in itself, so I'll be more than happy with that. Spurs is bound to come out of this spot of poor form they're in. I hope its a draw this weekend in the Spurs v Chelsea game, will suit us nicely if we win, so that we can put more gap between us and 4th place.
prits
I see your point, Rocky, about 3rd place being a nice bonus to an acceptable 4th place finish. I feel Spurs had been riding on the absence of European distractions and once we got the same 'good fortune', it became easier to focus and we can see the benefits. Last night, we did look fresh and rested which explained the Everton players looking like Japanese tourists on the pitch (you know the kind with Cameras, taking on the sights for posterity) in the 1st half. Long may that form continue.
Naijagunner
You say they're bound to come out of their poor form prits, but their fall from grace looks rather Arsenal-like to me, looking at our history I'd say there's no reason at all for them to come out of it. it's all about momentum, and if they lose on saturday, which is entirely possible, then they'll have picked up 1 point from 15. We as Gooners know more than most what a negative air can do in the chase for the top spots.
Rocky7
I expressed a similar sentiment on the Arsenal vs Spurs Q&A article over at VS re: their lack of Eurpoean football. I was unwilling to accept they were a better team than us until they finished above us whilst entertain europe's elite. Indeed in their one and only CL season they barely scraped through to the Europa League needing a Liverpool capitulation to get there.
Rocky7
Good to see so many of you coming out of the woodwork! lots of names that have suddenly reapeared, got to hand it to your team, thats an incredible turn around,BUT!! it aint over just yet, all still to play for, plenty of twists and turns on the way.
Born&BredSpur
Clearly, not a better team. Maybe, a deeper squad with capacity to fill in well should injury strike a 1st teamer; and entertaining when things were going well for them, but not a better team. TEAM goes beyond doing well when things are falling in place for you; it includes a bond that elicits an all-for-one and one-for-all spirit that helps the group's bouncebackability. We have that over the self-serving players spurs have assembled. I kept stating this when the trolls from VS will come over (they hardly do so these days, thank Heavens) and talk about their better squad, "man-for-man". What worked for them was the relative fitness (injury free, that is) of their squad and the lack of European cup concerns. A level playing field for all and this is what you get.
Naijagunner
B&B Spurs, what can we say? They say 'failure' is an orphan while 'success' has many fathers :-)
Naijagunner
Naija, I always though most Gooners had 5th Light Infantry down as "father" on their birth certificates! ;-)

You walked into that one mate!

Spuds-U-Like
Best article ever by Rocky... Couldnt agree more... We absolutely need to keep our feet grounded.
Sajit
BBSpur, coming out of the woodwork? The only people who have gone into their caves are the resident Spurs trolls who used to ruin VA
Sajit
Saj, mate! I know are always on patrol, so you are exscused lol, dont suppose TRH has been around then !!! -)))
Born&BredSpur
You! oops
Born&BredSpur
Inbred spud, maybe the vicious vitriol from spuds trolling on our site, is one reason why some people might have gone quiet, seeing as we aren't masochists like you guys...... Just a thought. And it's even nicer to notice that the few spuds who come on these days aren't anywhere as bitter as you, and with guys like spuds-you-like, one might even enjoy intelligent banter. I can't say the same for you.
deledudu
Er! think you may of got me mixed up with someone else, ???
Born&BredSpur
Cheers Saj! I,ll leave you to the baby sitting mate. laters.
Born&BredSpur
Very good post, Rocky. Exactly the kind of mentality we need right now. It's not over. But we have something strong to build on. We got lucky at both Merseyside clubs but we suffered bad luck at those grounds in previous games as well. Amazing what a fit, consistent, undisrupted backline can do to a team.
jaelle
Hey, I'm gonna gloat while I can, Life is too short. Mind that gap Spuds ! ;)
Wyn Mills
In other news. Benik Afobe joins Reading. Great move for him. One of the few from the reservers who I hope will make it at Arsenal.
Sajit
Fair enough BBSpurs. Cheers :D
Sajit
Funnily enough B&BS we haven't seen hide nor hair of TRH since the NLD. Odd that.
Rocky7
There are definitely far fewer people on here saying 'sack Wenger', 'Arsenal are going to get relegated' and 'power shift' than there were three months ago. They weren't just spuds, either.
damiano_tommassi
Rocky - we went through a similar period of poor form till very recently and did well to come out of it. I wouldn't entirely rule that out for the Spuds also, since they have a decent team at the end of the day. I hope that they capitulate, that would be sweet (esp so bcoz of all the gloating) but I'm not counting on it.
prits
damiano - this good run does NOT take away the mistakes made over the past 2-3 years by the people in charge at this club (including Wenger), you are making the same mistake as the people who went overboard. Those mistakes are still very relevant and still pose a risk to the continued progress of Arsenal, and they need to be rectified over the summer, at least, if not before.
prits
spurs are going through the stage we have been through for the past half a decade; dominating with tippy-tappy football without results whereas we are gradually transcending into the champion's material; efficiency & winning ugly
Joe_@**
totally agree with prits. i think the criticisms among us helped reap pressure on the team to improve
Joe_@**
If Chelsea beat the Totts do you think Modric will start questioning his involvement for the rest or the season? With Ade's expected disinterest in digging in when needed, the 'easy' run in they have may prove to be full of slip ups. We just need to stay focused and beat Villa....comfortably please!
No 10
I'm only thinking one game at a time here, I'm not even entertaining the idea of finishing third yet, but at long, long last the team appears to have developed a base level standard which has been missing since we left Highbury. They seem to be Arsenal players again. This is all we can ask for really. If we lose, we lose but right now the opposition have to beat us rather than us defeating ourselves.
Professor Calculus
"The opposition has to beat us rather than we defeating ourselves" vey well said PC. The team is playing more like the old Arsenal team always mobile many thanx to Rosicky who has been very instrumental in getting the team to play like that, it also seems to suit Walcotts game. Rambo is a concern to me, he has a lot of work to do with his shooting and his defending. Does anyone know when Jack would be coming back?
phreddy
He could be available in April, but if it were up to me I would wrap him up in cotton wool until August. The last thing we need is him aggravating his injury in the euro's.......call me selfish but I hope he doesn't go. He's more important to arsenal then England right now.
gunnerman76
Ramsey just needs to relax a little. Apart from his sliced volley that came very early in his first start for a while, his shots were all on target. His movement was very good to find those spaces too. He is doing alright but I think we'll see much better from him next season.
No 10
"They seem to be Arsenal players again" Well said Prof.
prits
Spoken like a true Professor. Lol!
Naijagunner
 

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