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Nuff Said

Arsenal fans: “pretty meaningless end-of-season kickabout”

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Any unrest amongst the home team has got to be beneficial to us one would think, especially if we can keep them out for a long period or nick one!

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Let''s hope our lads are having a really good couple of weeks training and they go out there on top of their game.

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I''d have though the difference between 3rd (entry to the CL group stage) and 4th (a playoff to get to the CL group stage) would be massive for them but it doesn''t seem that way, which has got to be a good thing for us - the more they''re viewing this as meaningless, the better.

 

It''s all about not giving away an early goal, this one.

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I doubt if Wenger and the Arsenal players view this as meaningless, more likely as a grudge match with the chance to virtually seal our fate. After all, as I mentioned on another thread, the 1:1 draw at Carrow Road in November didn''t just deprive them of two points, it cost them the services of Cazorla for the rest of the season and Sanchez for two months (and even now it is pretty clear he hasn''t fully recovered). Almost certainly cost them a proper tilt at the title. Ozil was particularly vocal about this after that match. He''s 11/2 to score the first goal tomorrow; maybe worth a punt.

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I''d forgotten about that westcoast 😡

Fairplay, you called it pretty good for the Sunderland Arsenal game👍

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]I doubt if Wenger and the Arsenal players view this as meaningless, more likely as a grudge match with the chance to virtually seal our fate. After all, as I mentioned on another thread, the 1:1 draw at Carrow Road in November didn''t just deprive them of two points, it cost them the services of Cazorla for the rest of the season and Sanchez for two months (and even now it is pretty clear he hasn''t fully recovered). Almost certainly cost them a proper tilt at the title. Ozil was particularly vocal about this after that match. He''s 11/2 to score the first goal tomorrow; maybe worth a punt.[/quote]Well if they are wound up from the start, thats something that can be exploited.

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]Ozil was particularly vocal about this after that match. He''s 11/2 to score the first goal tomorrow; maybe worth a punt.[/quote]He''s got absolutely no chance of scoring "tomorrow" or Friday

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If you''re looking for grudges, look no further than Pardew''s return to St James Park this weekend...

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]I doubt if Wenger and the Arsenal players view this as meaningless, more likely as a grudge match with the chance to virtually seal our fate. After all, as I mentioned on another thread, the 1:1 draw at Carrow Road in November didn''t just deprive them of two points, it cost them the services of Cazorla for the rest of the season and Sanchez for two months (and even now it is pretty clear he hasn''t fully recovered). Almost certainly cost them a proper tilt at the title. Ozil was particularly vocal about this after that match. He''s 11/2 to score the first goal tomorrow; maybe worth a punt.[/quote]

Yeah true. All talk of unrest, but they''ll be looking to put the 1-1 right on Saturday, and I expect a big response from Arsenal.

Also, we are 14/1 to win with betfair, just to put the task into perspective, if anyone needed it.

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[quote user="No Klose No Survival"][quote user="westcoastcanary"]I doubt if Wenger and the Arsenal players view this as meaningless, more likely as a grudge match with the chance to virtually seal our fate. After all, as I mentioned on another thread, the 1:1 draw at Carrow Road in November didn''t just deprive them of two points, it cost them the services of Cazorla for the rest of the season and Sanchez for two months (and even now it is pretty clear he hasn''t fully recovered). Almost certainly cost them a proper tilt at the title. Ozil was particularly vocal about this after that match. He''s 11/2 to score the first goal tomorrow; maybe worth a punt.
[/quote] Yeah true. All talk of unrest, but they''ll be looking to put the 1-1 right on Saturday, and I expect a big response from Arsenal. Also, we are 14/1 to win with betfair, just to put the task into perspective, if anyone needed it.[/quote]

 

As for "putting the 1-1 right", in that game they were gifted a goal from a combination of defensive mistakes by Ruddy and O''Neill and we had better chances to get the win, so I''m not sure what that means.  Was there any suggestion the injuries they suffered at CR were down to bad tackles by us, because I didn''t hear that at the time and I don''t remember it from the game.  There was the incident when Ryan Bennett gave one of their players a bit of a push off the field, but frankly if that gives you a lasting problem then you''re probably not cut out to play football professionally.

 

Betting odds are down to who''s betting and I''m not surprised few people are betting on us to win, hence the long odds.  Doesn''t tell us anything we didn''t already know.

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Appreciate all that. And I only mentioned the odds as I have seen plenty of people on here and on social media who are making it out to be a 50/50, toss of a coin game. Far from it, and if the game was played 100 times we''d probably only win a couple of times.

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[quote user="No Klose No Survival"]Appreciate all that. And I only mentioned the odds as I have seen plenty of people on here and on social media who are making it out to be a 50/50, toss of a coin game. Far from it, and if the game was played 100 times we''d probably only win a couple of times.[/quote]

 

Fair point, to say it''s 50/50 is daft.  According to the statto.com website, this season so far in the Prem has been 40% home wins, 32% away wins and 28% draws.

 

I''m not sure why our away form has been so bad this season and if we go down, that will be the main reason - at home we''ve done ok.  I would say the percentages are about 70% Arsenal, 20% draw, 10% City win - assuming we don''t get shafted by a blatantly wrong decision by an official (again).  I would prefer to play Wes behind the striker in a 5 man midfield.  Well, fingers crossed.

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It''s Character Forming wrote: "Was there any suggestion the injuries they suffered at CR were down to

bad tackles by us, because I didn''t hear that at the time and I don''t

remember it from the game."From recollection, Cazorla''s injury resulted from a typical "take no prisoners" tackle/attempted block by O''Neill. O''Neill earned himself a yellow card, but I can''t recall whether it was for that incident or not. Arsenal also had to replace Koscielny in the first half due to a hip injury. Wenger''s admirably restrained after-match comment was "Norwich were physically clever"!

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]It''s Character Forming wrote: "Was there any suggestion the injuries they suffered at CR were down to bad tackles by us, because I didn''t hear that at the time and I don''t remember it from the game."

From recollection, Cazorla''s injury resulted from a typical "take no prisoners" tackle/attempted block by O''Neill. O''Neill earned himself a yellow card, but I can''t recall whether it was for that incident or not. Arsenal also had to replace Koscielny in the first half due to a hip injury. Wenger''s admirably restrained after-match comment was "Norwich were physically clever"![/quote]

 

What does that mean ?  If he''s trying to say that we somehow cunningly injured their players, then that would be a first for City TBH (and I think it would be typical Wenger sour grapes).  If he means we played quite a physically robust game, that''s pretty normal for teams playing Arsenal, who are known for not liking the more physical side of the game, and we''ve heard him whinge about it for ever (see his comments after pretty much any game with Stoke).  I would certainly hope we take a solid approach on Saturday and don''t give them too much respect, just like at CR.

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"Quite a physically robust game" = "we can''t outplay them so we''ll do everything we can to stop them playing". Arsenal''s "not liking the more physical side of the game" is an opponents'' rationale for resorting to crude means of neutralising skill. "Don''t give them too much respect" is much the same in this context. It should mean "we mustn''t be so scared of them that we never get to play our own game" but what it actually means is "let''s get into them and stop them playing their game".

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WCC it may not look so pretty on tv but football is a game made up of a mix of elements including the physical contest. Deal with it. Tackling, heading, competing for 50/50 balls, chasing lost causes are all just as important as silky passing moves.

It''s a major flaw for Arsenal that their manager isn''t so keen on that aspect of the game. Basically they did really well in his early years because he inherited the solid defence from the previous manager which Wenger was able to graft on the more creative side and led them to the unbeaten Prem season but it''s no coincidence they''ve never threatened to win the title since that old defensive unit was replaced by Wenger recruits.

It''s totally right for a team like City to approach Arsenal this way. Play them at their game and you''re playing into their hands.

Football is a complex and multifaceted sport which is what makes it the best sport there is, and Arsenal don''t like some parts of the game which is why they perpetually look good but fail to deliver over the season.

So yes, let''s get at them physically and if Wenger is whinging again about us being physically smart or whatever afterwards because we get a point or 3, I''ll be delighted.

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ITC wrote: " ..... it''s no coincidence they''ve never threatened to win the title since that old defensive unit was replaced by Wenger recruits."With respect ITC, while what you say about Wenger inheriting the much vaunted Arsenal back five of Seaman, Winterburn, Adams, Bould and Dixon is true of the early years of his management, by 2001 only Seaman, Dixon and Adams remained, and of those three only Seaman could be described as a regular starter. From then on, leading up to the Arsenal side which went through the 2003--04 season unbeaten, the team was entirely Wenger''s and the idea that he relied on an inherited defense is simply nonsense. Re. "football is a game made up of a mix of elements including the physical contest". Indeed it is, but you ignore the fact that the game continually evolves and "the physical contest" is continually reinterpreted with the aim of encouraging and rewarding skill. Despite the on-field progress brought about by the advent of the Premier League with its influx of foreign players and managers, British fans and media remain largely unreconstructed and resentful of this process of re-balancing in favour of artistry as opposed to near thuggery.

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]ITC wrote: " ..... it''s no coincidence they''ve never threatened to win the title since that old defensive unit was replaced by Wenger recruits."

With respect ITC, while what you say about Wenger inheriting the much vaunted Arsenal back five of Seaman, Winterburn, Adams, Bould and Dixon is true of the early years of his management, by 2001 only Seaman, Dixon and Adams remained, and of those three only Seaman could be described as a regular starter. From then on, leading up to the Arsenal side which went through the 2003--04 season unbeaten, the team was entirely Wenger''s and the idea that he relied on an inherited defense is simply nonsense.

Re. "football is a game made up of a mix of elements including the physical contest". Indeed it is, but you ignore the fact that the game continually evolves and "the physical contest" is continually reinterpreted with the aim of encouraging and rewarding skill. Despite the on-field progress brought about by the advent of the Premier League with its influx of foreign players and managers, British fans and media remain largely unreconstructed and resentful of this process of re-balancing in favour of artistry as opposed to near thuggery.
[/quote]

 

Well I disagree again WCC I''m afraid.  I think the point about the unbeaten season is that Arsenal had an amazing defensive solidity which dated back many years when they were known as boring Arsenal, with the chant "1-0 to the Arsenal" a staple of their fans, especially during the 90s when they won some European trophies.  Over time under Wenger that has eroded - I can''t imagine a player like Sol Campbell for Arsenal currently.  It''s just inconceivable now that a Wenger Arsenal team could go a season undefeated. 

 

Also I''m well aware of the evolution of the game, I''m just pointing out the physical element of football which people like Wenger are obviously unhappy with.  I think your suggestion that "British fans and media remain largely unreconstructed" is just rubbish and the sort of generalisation I''m disappointed to hear from you.  We''re well aware that football has moved on, we just see it up close and personal so we aware of the physical side which is still there. The changes mean it would no longer be possible to take out a creative opponent in the opening minutes to intimidate him and get away with it, the way that happened in the Wimbledon v Liverpool cup final for example.  And that''s a good thing.  But, like it or not - and you clearly don''t - football is still a contact sport with a heavy physical element.  If you see a bunch of footballers up close, it''s surprising how tall and physically powerful they are, compared to average guys (it doesn''t show up on TV because you see them next to other footballers).  Vardy looks like a 6-stone weakling on TV but he''s not.

 

Stoke come to mind here.  They used to play a direct and physical style and Arsenal struggled against them, Wenger always whinged about it.  Now I wouldn''t want to watch a Stoke team like that every week, but it was a legitimate football style and the onus was on teams playing them to counter it rather than whinging.

 

The best sides generally are able to blend skills with the physical side of the game.  It''s no coincidence that Germany consistently do so well in the World Cup, because they have for a long period been good at managing that mixture.  People always look at Barcelona''s passing, but I was always impressed by their work rate when they didn''t have the ball.

 

So I remain annoyed by Wenger''s comments about us being physically smart or however he worded it.  We played a physical game and he''s just whinging about it.  I hope we do the same again and get a result on Saturday and hear him whinge again.

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Again with respect ITC, I think you need to brush up a bit on your Arsenal history. The chants of "Boring, boring Arsenal" and "One Nil to the Arsenal" originated with, and came to be synonymous with Arsenal under George Graham, prior to Wenger taking over in 1996, see e.g. here . And while you are right to say that the Invincibles carried on the tradition of defensive solidity, they were a side completely built by Wenger and to say they were solid only due to an inheritance from Graham simply doesn''t wash. As for your reference to Sol Campbell, can you imagine a Campbell-clone being a first-choice CB in any current top team? The reasons for Arsenal''s long trophy-less period are complex and cannot fairly be attributed solely to failings on Wenger''s part. What can''t be denied is that, despite the lack of silverware, for that entire period Arsenal have maintained their place in Europe''s elite, If people choose to regard that as failure I can only agree with the words of the OP: "Some people just don''t know when they''re well off".As for the physicality of the game, there is a certain amount of talking at cross-purposes here. I am not questioning the role of physical strength in the game, any more than I would question the role of pace or stamina. And as it happens, Wenger agrees and is on record to that effect. What I''m talking about is teams and individual players resorting to excessive physicality to make up for their own deficiencies. I think it''s pretty clear that there is a difference in the  interpretation of "excessive" in this context between this country and elsewhere -- how often do we hear comments like "you can get away with that in the Premier League but you won''t in Europe"? And isn''t this the only country where you''d still hear fans, "pundits" and commentators trotting out the line "he took the ball ffs" as though it were an excuse for downright dangerous play?Anyway, on to tomorrow. Maybe Arsenal are so scared of losing to us they will kick us off the park and we''ll come out of the game shorn of several more of the players on whom our slender hopes of survival rest ..........................  [;)]

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@ It''s Character Forming
Having reread your sentence about Arsenal''s defensive solidarity dating back "many years", I think my comment about you needing to brush up your Arsenal history was probably unfair. My apologies! I still stand by my saying that your implication that Wenger can take no credit for the defensive solidity of his Invincibles team simply doesn''t wash though. [Y]

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