Let me start by saying that I am not the sort of person to scapegoat a player; that’s not my style. I have strong opinions on players sure, but I wouldn’t ever pick out one player and blame them for an entire season. A game maybe, if it’s warranted, but never a season.
Gervinho for example. I have very strong opinions on him. I think he has amazing talent but awful execution of said talent. He could be something special but more often than not he is something distinctly average at best. This is an opinion some share and some don’t and the cause of many heated debates.
Ramsey is another. I hate the way people scapegoat him and have also had many heated debates defending the lad and have lost count of the amount of blogs I’ve written in his defence, and Theo’s, and Per’s and Giroud’s. All players the boo-boys hop to and from to blame our season/s on.
Sagna’s mistake against United is pretty much the reason for this blog today. Some will call me a hypocrite and say I am scapegoating him, in fact many have already, but from my perspective I don’t think I am. I’m not blaming him for the season although I do apportion more blame on his shoulders for the United result than I do the rest of the team. Harsh? Maybe. Justified? Also maybe. Grossly unfair? No.
Needless penalty to concede
Today I welcome a man who blogs for NLIR almost as much as I do. I’m delighted to have him and you’re going to love his writing, put your proverbial hands together for Mr Billy Dunmore (@EducatedGooner) Take it away Billy…..
The subject of Aaron Ramsey has been blogged to death this year, but I felt unashamedly compelled to justify why I think that the young Welshman deserves the title of Arsenal’s player of the season. I expect many will disagree, many may even disregard this view, but I hope that some readers will appreciate where I’m coming from, whether they end up agreeing or not…
Firstly, I’d like to state that within the constraints of conventional parameters with which we measure how well a player has performed throughout the season, I understand why most fans will most likely opt to choose a player such as Santi Cazorla. I won’t attempt to argue against Santi as the probable popular choice for our player of the season, but rather I will put forward the reasons why Ramsey will almost definitely be my choice. At the end of the day, the way you judge my opinion is up to you, but I respectfully ask that you read on with an open mind and don’t assume that I am blind to the achievements and performances of other players in the squad, because I’m not. Read more
Football is loved worldwide for a number of reasons but I think the biggest reason is its ability to evoke emotion. I usually feel a multitude of emotions when I watch Arsenal but for the past few weeks I have found that the dominant emotion has been anger.
Unlike some of my frothy-mouthed fellow supporters I haven’t been angry about team selection, tactics or the inclusion of Gervinho/Ramsey/Mertesacker or league position. No, I have been getting increasingly angry when watching Arsenal due to the commentary.
So-called experts, pundits, commentators and co-commentators seem to derive pleasure from criticising Arsenal at every given opportunity and are always looking for ways to fault Arsenal.
Of all the teams that are considered “big” Arsenal seem to be the only club that suffers from unrelenting criticism. I don’t classify all of these teams as “big” but the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all seem to garner praise from the press and TV pundits regardless of their actions whereas Arsenal it seems can do no right. Read more
Defence, it’s a contentious subject for Arsenal supporters and divides us almost as much as we are divided by our opinions on Wenger (I’m going to pretend there isn’t a middle ground as those that occupy that middle ground, like me, tend to get blasted by both sides).
Some say that this is the worst Arsenal defence they’ve ever seen and put the fact that Arsenal has the 4th best defence in the league and the best away defence in the league down to how poor the league is. Others say that this is a result of better defensive drills and more work on the training pitch thanks to assistant manager Steve Bould.
Some say that we have to improve our defence no matter what and others say that our defence is fine but too exposed by the midfield. I say that both are right. I say that our defence is decent when protected by the rest of the team as defence should start at the top but I also say that if we can improve then we should improve.
Arsène Wenger has said on many occasions that he turned down the opportunity to buy certain players because it would “kill” one of our promising young players. I have the utmost respect for our manager but have always and will always disagree with him on this (not that my opinion means squat to him nor should it). I firmly believe that if a player is good enough he is old enough and that if said player is good enough he will break into the team at the expense of other players. We shouldn’t wait for players to come good by leaving their paths unbarred. If they wish to leave to advance their careers then so be it. I’m pretty sure we’ll end up with more David Bentley’s than Andy Cole’s.
I’ve chatted with a few buddies recently about ticket prices and arguing until I’m blue in the face that Arsenal do not have the most expensive tickets in the EPL. The two chaps I spoke with are not Arsenal fans, one is a Liverpool fan and the other is a Bristol Rovers fan (I live in Bristol these days).
The Liverpool fan hasn’t been to an away game for over 10 years and maybe makes it to Anfield about 4 times a year, once for the Merseyside derby and the other times for what we Gooners know as category C fixtures.
The Rovers fan however goes to every home game and 80% of away games with The Gas. He has never been to the Emirates although he has said he would love to but can’t justify the cost especially when him and a few other mates hop around Europe a few times a year catching games in other leagues in countries like Belgium, Czech Republic, Holland, Portugal, Austria and Denmark or any league where you can name at least one “decent” team for less than the price of day in London. Read more