Arsenal - Who Will Be The Least Worst Team In North London?
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Who Will Be The Least Worst Team In North London?

In what turned out to be a stroke of luck for me yesterday I watched the Arsenal game whilst out on a friend`s Stag night/day/afternoon, so by the time the final whistle went I was already well lubricated, softening the blow of what we`d just witnessed.

However after wakening this morning with a stinking Guinness induced hangover, realising I had infact be forced to sleep on the couch after Mrs took the hump after I fell asleep on the train home from Leeds and as a result missed my stop by a good 40 miles, the pain was further enhanced as the memory of watching the boys fight back to lead the game 3-2 late on only to once again balls it up.

Needless to say the site had been flooded with Spurs fans mocking us after we`d mocked them for mocking us for being crap earlier in the season. After reading the comments I realised that neither set of fans were posturing about whose team was the best, no, we now seem to be arguing to see who is the least worst side in North London.

Of course Tottenham didn`t let us down and drew with a Villa side who have been horrific under McLeash, so now it goes down to the last game of the season to see who`s the least sh*t.

St Totterinham`s day is always a celebration of our continued dominance over Spurs, and should we beat West Brom next week it`ll mark yet another one, however if we do finish 3rd it`s not going to be something that I`ll brag about. Both teams have been laughably unpredictable, both cracking under the slightest amount of pressure.

Just a few weeks ago Wenger`s men went on an impressive run of games that saw us leap-frog Spurs, and had we continued in that form this potential St Totteringham`s day would have been one of the sweetest in living memory as the Gunners appeared to have turned a corner and built a stable foundation on which to build.

It now seems as though that turned corner was a mere shortcut, one that eventually merged back on to our rocky path of immaturity, inconsistency and dodgy defending.

Let`s hope that whatever happens next week, Mr Wenger takes some time in the summer to ensure we don`t continue along this same path, because in any other season we`d have been well and truly put to the sword.

Make no mistake, the only reason we`re still in with a shout of 3rd place is because the team we`re racing against are just as many problems as we are.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 6 2012

Time: 4:55PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Break out the pasta boys.
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06/05/2012 17:21:00

What a relief! But we are not out of the woods yet and we need to beat West Brom to secure 3rd. We have not won in 4 games so we should really buck up and win next week. The last 4 fixtures have been thoroughly disappointing; after another great run of form of 7 wins in a row, we lost to QPR and our form has become erratic, just like when we lost to City and lost form earlier on this season. We need to arrest this slump at the Hawthorns.
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06/05/2012 17:29:00

who exactly is the chef at the spuds hotel this season?
Wyn Mills
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06/05/2012 17:37:00

Same one as does the cooking at ours by the looks of it.
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06/05/2012 17:39:00

Feck. How tight can this season get? Top and bottom of the prem...its going right to the wire. Have so many bums ever been this squeaky?
Wyn Mills
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06/05/2012 17:54:00

Its been a tough season which has proved that while we have a large squad numbers wise, we are short of players in the squad who can come in and slot seamlessly into the first team. The injuries to Wilshere and Diaby could not be legislated for but the lack of numbers in midfield has been chronic this season. Coquelin played well when he came on against Norwich and he seems a more assured presence in midfield in a crunch game like the next one. This season has been the most jarring roller coaster ride in living memory and one cant wait for it to be over on a high note.
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06/05/2012 17:55:00

As a spurs fan I can definitely empathise with this although from Rednkapps interview today you had nothing to worry about anyway, we were only ever trying to better Newcastles result...for all the stick he gets your so lucky to have Wenger
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06/05/2012 18:01:00

A win is crucial. A draw could see us finish 4th (if the Spuds win their last game). The last 4 seasons or so, we have finished the season very poorly, which has only been delayed by a few games this season despite having 4th spot still to play for.
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06/05/2012 18:04:00

Fulham have the 15th worst away form in the league. WBA has the 15th worst home form this season.
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06/05/2012 18:15:00

Something else to think about. We've had the worse injury record in the prem over the last 3 seasons. It's probably been the worst under a single manager in the club's history.
Wyn Mills
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06/05/2012 18:21:00

Wyn, not that I'm doubting you, but where are you getting those facts from and how do you measure that?
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06/05/2012 18:25:00

How many lifelines have we been given?!
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06/05/2012 18:30:00

I read a piece once which compared the injury records of the main challengers. I think it was on a Utd site. It made uncomfortable reading as an Arsenal fan. I had no reason to doubt its authenticity. I'll see if I can find a link.
Wyn Mills
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06/05/2012 18:33:00

Here you go.
Wyn Mills
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06/05/2012 18:36:00

Wyn, there was an analysis done by the club which proved statistically, that we are no better or worse off than other clubs, injury wise. Its on the official site. Just tired of hearing that trotted out as an excuse. Other teams just cope better, our squad is not as good as theirs.
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06/05/2012 18:36:00

c'mon guys, everyone knows we have the brittlest wife at home ;)
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06/05/2012 18:38:00

I'll get me coat.
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06/05/2012 18:46:00

lol niko
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06/05/2012 18:49:00

Just an observation, not an excuse, prits. I'm happy to be proved wrong. We should have a big enough squad to cope with it. Hang on Niko. Get mine while you're at it.
Wyn Mills
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06/05/2012 18:55:00

What an incredible turn of events. The closing fixtures of the season are not for the faint hearted; my pulse has been racing a bit in the last few days and I find I get jumpy once I hear the sound of a whistle or some commentary. If we have a doctor in the house, I would like to know if you'd prescribe I stay off the game for a bit. What an end? as predicted, it is going to the last day
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06/05/2012 22:18:00

And still, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th is still to be sorted for sure. Like Rocky, I won't be bragging much if we make 3rd. Rather, one should be reflecting on just how much improvement we require for the side to challenge again. However, I will say whatever the table suggests, the London sides have to get their acts together next season.
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06/05/2012 22:23:00

Being thrifty equals ending the season empty,Arsene take note.
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06/05/2012 22:34:00

Another Spurs supporter who comes in peace!! If I may say both teams have made a real mess of this 3rd place thing. Spurs were in the driving seat until the England situation came about, It is not just an excuse I think it did unsettled the team, but we will never know. Arsenal then went on their winning run following the home game against Spurs and got the upper hand, but are now showing a lack of being able to close out the 3rd place position. One of the comments on your site made following the game against Norwich was "No passion, no desire, no courage, no leadership". Well welcome to the club, As soon as Spurs get the upper hand we throw it away, yes we had 10 men and were a goal down but Spurs should have gone on to beat the Villa. As Gary Linaker said on MOD "Same Old Spurs" and he is a Spurs man. I think next week-end will be interesting, Arsenal are in the box seat win and they cannot be court, but draw and Spurs win Arsenal lose it by one point. I feel it will not be who can win 3rd place but who can throw it away and F**K UP most to allow the other team the advantage. The most disappointing thing is the two Manchester clubs are not world beaters and Spurs & Arsenal should be a lot closer to them in the league points wise.
Ox Yid
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07/05/2012 16:56:00

Haha Niko.. Saw that you riled up the chavs good and proper. Hats off.
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07/05/2012 19:33:00

I did? well shucks that wasn't my intention, I merely wanted to point out that of the millions of reasons to despise a horrific play acting cheating time wasting pimp haired diva feckwad like Didier Drogba his skin colour wasn't one of them as some BNP loving young miss on witter has got herself in deep water over.
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07/05/2012 19:47:00

I am laughing at the chavs getting their panties in a twist over your post Niko. Just goes to show how words can be misread. But also shows how totally devoid of humour it is over there.
Wyn Mills
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07/05/2012 20:59:00
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08/05/2012 09:07:00

Prits, fair enough. But thereís injury rate and injury length to consider. Wenger has admitted that we suffer more long term injuries than our rivals ( ), although his reasoning is that these are down to a combination of bad luck and bad tackling. Iíd be more inclined to accept the bad luck argument if the stats were not so consistently bad for our club. We are supposed to have one of the most advanced medical facilities in the prem. We are arguably more prone to being the victim of bad tackles as our style depends on close ball retention and short passing which often invites reckless challenges, so Wenger probably has a point here. But the problem I see isnít one of injury rate but the number of congenial long term injuries we pick up. Iím primarily thinking of Diaby (whom we could really do with at the moment!), but players with congenial problems include Walcott, Rosicky, Gibbs, Djourou, Vermaelen, Wilshire, Frimpong, Sagna. Either we are not properly screening these players or weíre allowing them to take the field not fully recovered or treated. Iíd like to see more analysis of this from the club because Iím surprised that we can have players out for virtually an entire season and simply chalk it up to bad luck. Last season it was Vermaelen, this time itís Jack. Itís a shocking statistic that Wenger has only been able to pick from a full squad on 2 occasions in the past 5 seasons! Has this happened to any other club? This season he lost ALL 4 fullbacks for a third of the season. Is it any wonder the defence has looked so vulnerable? We canít win the title with that level of squad attrition, and it shows little sign of abating.
Wyn Mills
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08/05/2012 10:04:00

We are so similar its untrue. Very talented teams, fundamentally flawed managers, and horrendous bottlers to boot. It wouldnt suprise me if we both drew our last games. I think only RvP staying fit all season for the first time ever is your one saving grace.
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08/05/2012 12:38:00

If we get third, and thatís a big ďifĒ, Wenger must address this complacency issue as well as getting better quality players in. The goals that we concede seem to be fairly similar in that our midfield is languishing well behind the opposition counter attack and our defenders are putting in last ditch tackles. LD has mentioned this a few times now that the desire to get back does not match the desire to get forward (the proverbial schoolboy stuff). I have felt all season that Alex Song shouldnít be our play maker but he seems to have taken on the role anyway and I think he feels it justified by the media headline after his RvP assists. I canít help thinking that all he does is look to hit RvP whenever he has the ball and, whilst this is no bad thing bearing in mind the results, couldnít anyone do that? For me Song should bust a gut to fulfil his defensive duties before looking to feed RvP and moreover, play the ball quickly and simply. Anyway, surely we can do better than Song to be the midfield maestro? There should be no satisfaction for anyone finishing third this season but I think that we would have had a better time of it had the work ethic been there.
Sir Henry
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08/05/2012 14:10:00

Sir Henry - When have you ever seen Song "bust a gut" for anything in the 5 years (or how ever many) he;s been with Arsenal? He never has and he never will, he's not a Flamini type player which makes me wonder is someone (M'Villa) being lined up to replace him? If and it's a huge if, Wenger can get Song chasing "glory" passes and players in equal measure he'd be the best around. Right now he's just a lazy liability costing us goals on a regular basis this season. Forget his assists he's a DM, an assist is a bonus, not a prerequisite from him. That wasn't a dig at you, Song is just so frustrating i get the a**ehole whenever I type anything about him lol
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08/05/2012 14:33:00

Scot, that's (what is it?) 9 'assists' that is a bonus. To be fair, Sir Henry, it takes more than just having any other midfielder play the passes to RvP to get Song stick to his original duties. The art of consistently finding players in good positions comes from the training ground and long years of playing together; you couldn't just tell Ramsey to take over the role, for instance. Did you see van Persie look up, see that Song had the ball before making a well-timed move? That is telepathy at play. They have an understanding.

By all means, let Wenger define the role for Song, but for fans to put it all down to him is not on. Having seen a re-run of the game, Gibbs had a lot to answer for in the last two goals; he should be getting closer to his man for that deflected goal and was MIA for the 3rd. Such play also needs sorting.
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08/05/2012 15:57:00

I donít want to under value Song because his tackling and assists for RvP are a major plus for Arsenal, but if his role is DM then that is what he should do. His team mates would be expecting him to stick to the plan and position himself accordingly including tracking back to fill the space. At the moment (along with TV) he seems to be a bit of a maverick and we struggle if he neglects his duties. He is a good player and deserves his starting berth but he could be so much better than this. You only have to look at how hard Messi works for the cheats to see how basic hard work can benefit the side. I think that the interest in MíVila could be a sign that Wenger recognises the problem and will assign the DM duties to someone who will carry out those responsibilities. Song may well be allowed to play the ďliberoĒ without the same catastrophic consequences. I still think we could do better than Song to be our creative spark though.
Sir Henry
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09/05/2012 14:05:00

Well guys as a Spurs supporter I think this is going to be close.
It has been a season where both you and us have been at their inconsistent best, with some great runs of results followed by inexplicable slumps. I woulden't like to call this either way, however what if we both lose and Newcastle win at Everton plus Chelski win the CL????
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09/05/2012 23:08:00

Wyn Mills
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20/05/2012 17:47:00


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