Say that title five times really fast. Social media exploded yesterday with the news that Arsenal are close to signing Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre on a free transfer. In true Arsenal style we are set to sign a relatively unknown player from France and in true Arsenal style a section of supporters have blown a gasket over what they perceive to be a poor signing.
This summer promised to be a close season of quality, big name signings so I could understand the reaction to this news if it was August, as the last time we commented on a player joining before the season had ended it was Podolski and his reputation was/is huge, but it’s not, it’s May. An argument can be put together that Arsenal’s squad, based on February onwards’ form, doesn’t need enhancing too much but I’m not going to make that argument.
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
On NLIR today I am delighted to welcome Martijn Stolze (@hahostolze) . Martijn is a Dutch history student with a love for Britain and has been a Gooner since 1997. Martijn has written an extremely emotive piece and I’m sure you’re going to love it. Grab a beverage and strap in for an epic ride.Take it away Martijn…..
You can’t blame Arsène Wenger if over the last two or three seasons he has looked glum, burnt out and tired. You can’t blame him if he has felt despondent and absolutely lost. This is a man whose love for Arsenal FC is absolute and unequivocal. But also a man who has seen his hard work, on one of his finest generations, fail and falter at the last hurdle too many times, and seen the lure of money and glory rip apart the teams he set about to mould in his image. A man who was on par with the greatest manager in PL history when the influx of money set the PL alight. Yet during recent weeks Arsène Wenger seems a man repossessed. The fire in his belly that drove his incessant desire for perfection, for better, for prettier, seems to be roaring at its fullest again. And just when we needed it.
Very few things are as harsh on a person as their position in history. In the last few days the glory of Sir Alex Ferguson has been sung by all those who love him, need to suck up to him or those who respect the man’s achievements. Looking through the Guardian’s review of the titles he won it makes it very obvious that the only man who consistently got close to his all conquering teams was Arsène Wenger. But Arsène Wenger is not a man en vogue today. He is not popular. His legacy isn’t being remembered the way it should. Not even with some of the fans of the club he has helped into one of the biggest and most valuable in footballing history. That has got to sting. I know it stings me. Read more
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