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    (Original post by Sephirona)
    You guys really got robbed today. :teehee:
    That was a really messi joke
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    (Original post by Sephirona)
    You guys really got robbed today. :teehee:
    You have a long way to go my young padawan.

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    (Original post by n1r4v)
    I think you may get lucky in the world cup. I've said it too often on this forum, but Spain function so so much better with a 4-5-1 and I honestly think squeezing them into the midfield wouldn't crumble like squeezing in random Galacticos would. However, if they do play that, they'll presumably use the same formation as they did in the Euro finals, using Xavi, Fabregas and Senna in the middle with the latter holding, and Silva on the left, so Iniesta would probably be out of position on the right.

    Still, imo it should happen, and it might happen :yep:
    I agree :yep: but could you imagine them either leaving Torres out or David Villa :lolwut:
    Although I could easily see Villa being shoved out to the left wing to accomodate a 4-5-1 as that is where he broke into the national team and has played there often enough for his clubs down the years to know the role. And even out there he is the biggest goal-threat in the Spain team :cool:
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    (Original post by Clubber Lang)
    You have a long way to go my young padawan.

    :rofl: My fellow Dutch men are too amazing, it's incomprehensible. :coma:
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    You should have combined ribery and robben and told us there had been a robbery at old trafford :teeth:
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    (Original post by Sephirona)
    :rofl: My fellow Dutch men are too amazing, it's incomprehensible. :coma:
    Agreed. One of your fellow Dutchmen had a hand in the emergence of a certain Argentine player that came to the four on Tuesday night. :teehee:
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    (Original post by Clubber Lang)
    You should have combined ribery and robben and told us there had been a robbery at old trafford :teeth:
    Self-wum. Love it :love:
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    (Original post by Kevmeister)
    Agreed. One of your fellow Dutchmen had a hand in the emergence of a certain Argentine player that came to the four on Tuesday night. :teehee:
    He was playing a team full of cripples, no pride in that. :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Clubber Lang)
    You should have combined ribery and robben and told us there had been a robbery at old trafford :teeth:
    That's a really good WUM. :coma:
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    I was reading a thread and someone made an interesting point about our team that really got me thinking. Has this season really been that good for us? Honestly, we've been demolished by chelsea twice, united, barca twice and even city. Now losing to a top team is nothing to be ashamed about but the nature of our defeats against the top teams has been disappointing to say the least.

    We've lost 6 games this season already and if it was any other season we wouldn't have gad a sniff of the title. I know the other teams have been poor this season but maybe it more a case of them being poorer than us being better this season. I don't mean to be negative but I just don't think we've improved that much this season.
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    (Original post by ticktockclock)
    I was reading a thread and someone made an interesting point about our team that really got me thinking. Has this season really been that good for us? Honestly, we've been demolished by chelsea twice, united, barca twice and even city. Now losing to a top team is nothing to be ashamed about but the nature of our defeats against the top teams has been disappointing to say the least.
    I would agree with the bolded bit. Personally, I also feel Wenger didn't prioritise the FA Cup as much as he should've and that has been his biggest mistake this season. Not playing your best team in the FA Cup is unacceptable and he should definitely be criticised for that.

    Also the way we have rolled over against the top teams has been disappointing, I agree. Obviously there need to be improvements on that. But overall, there needs to be some perspective. Losing all 4 games against manyoo and chelski is bad, but it's just 4 games out of 38. If it was as damaging as some would have you believe, it would be a miracle that we're only 3 points off top place. But it's not a miracle. We have shown great consistency to win the easy games (and some tough ones -- Everton, Villa, Fulham, spuds, Liverpool), and that is what is required. Last season, IIRC Man Utd finished bottom in the 'top 4' battles, winning just 1 out of 6 games; losing to us away and drawing to us at home, losing to Liverpool home and away....and they won the league fairly comfortably. Why? Because there are more 'easy teams' than top teams.

    We've lost 6 games this season already and if it was any other season we wouldn't have gad a sniff of the title. I know the other teams have been poor this season but maybe it more a case of them being poorer than us being better this season.
    I don't understand why people say this. It's completely irrational. There's probably a better case for saying the rest of the league has improved and so are taking points off 'the big four'. That doesn't mean the quality of teams this season is lower than in previous seasons.

    But even without taking that into account, who honestly cares? Competing is all about how you perform relative to your rivals in a given season over 38 games. It's not Arsenal 09/10 V Man Utd 08/09. It's not Arsenal 03/04 V Arsenal 09/10.


    I don't mean to be negative but I just don't think we've improved that much this season.
    Well it depends on your definition of 'much', doesn't it?

    I personally think anyone, who has watched both Arsenal last season and Arsenal this season, who would even hesitate to say that clear progress has been made is absolutely mad. There should be no hesitation. The workrate, the mentality...and if you want proof you can look at the games we've grinded out results in. We are currently on 71 points with 5 games to go. Last season we finished on 72. In all probability, we're going to finish somewhere in the region of 80-86 points, and most importantly, if not top, very close to top.

    It has been a good season in that no-one expected us to do as well as we have. Obviously the ultimate aim is to win the league and no matter what happens, it's important that we push on in the summer. Last time we were fairly close was in 2008 and we let some star players go and didn't invest enough. Wenger should not let that happen this time if he wants us to improve.
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    (Original post by ticktockclock)
    I was reading a thread and someone made an interesting point about our team that really got me thinking. Has this season really been that good for us? Honestly, we've been demolished by chelsea twice, united, barca twice and even city. Now losing to a top team is nothing to be ashamed about but the nature of our defeats against the top teams has been disappointing to say the least.

    We've lost 6 games this season already and if it was any other season we wouldn't have gad a sniff of the title. I know the other teams have been poor this season but maybe it more a case of them being poorer than us being better this season. I don't mean to be negative but I just don't think we've improved that much this season.
    Careful. You'll get RobbieC and Hubert Poo calling you a plastic fan in a minute. There'll be a little alarm going off on their bedside table.

    "Someone has an opinion that has the mildest amount of criticism for Arsenal? I must get on the internet and hurl abuse!"

    Nothing has changed this year in the slightest. All we need now is Bendtner on MOTD after a 2-1 win, with the winning goal coming in the last minute.

    "This is the kind of game that we would not have won last season"

    What, games like away at Burnley? Or at home against Everton? Or away against Villa? Away to Birmingham?

    A quick list of teams we have lost or drawn to this season. A couple are missed out. The ones in bold are what you might call 'acceptable defeats;'

    Barcelona
    Porto
    Manchester United (Lost twice)
    Manchester City (Lost twice)
    Chelsea (Lost twice)


    AZ Alkmaar
    West Ham
    Sunderland
    Burnley
    Everton

    Stoke
    Villa
    Birmingham


    The one's in Italics are Premiership games. 13 points dropped on those teams.
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    Draw up a list for Man Utd or Chelsea, and you'll have even more in the 'unacceptable' column which renders your whole argument silly. The bottom line is we are 1 point behind Man Utd and 3 points behind Chelsea with 5 games to play. Last season we were way off the pace. Obviously we would've liked to go further in cup runs and, in particular, the team selection for the Stoke game in the FA Cup was unacceptable. But the league is considered the best way of measuring relative ability.

    And if you're suggesting we've been lucky with last minute Bendtner goals, you're being a retard. This is the kind of **** manyoo get praised for -- resilience, 'never say die', mental strength...etc.
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    (Original post by Overmars)
    Draw up a list for Man Utd or Chelsea, and you'll have even more in the 'unacceptable' column which renders your whole argument silly. The bottom line is we are 1 point behind Man Utd and 3 points behind Chelsea with 5 games to play. Last season we were way off the pace. Obviously we would've liked to go further in cup runs and, in particular, the team selection for the Stoke game in the FA Cup was unacceptable. But the league is considered the best way of measuring relative ability.

    Of course, only relative ability is important in terms of league positioning, and in the league we have performed better than we have done recently. Better than what though? We havn't touched a trophy for 5 years! This team has been five years in the making - where is the team going to go from here? The squad isn't good enough by a country mile. This is shown explicitly in the games against United and Chelsea. They might have cocked up on a couple more 'smaller games' but that's no trend, it's an anomaly. The only thing we know for sure is that United and Chelsea ran us in circles.

    And if you're suggesting we've been lucky with last minute Bendtner goals, you're being a retard. This is the kind of **** manyoo get praised for -- resilience, 'never say die', mental strength...etc.
    I'm not saying we've been lucky at all, I'm glad the team has demonstrated at least some level of mental strength. I'm just saying that using it as an indicator of progress is useless. Scraping past a relegation club is hardly a cause for celebration.
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    (Original post by TommyWannabe)
    I'm not saying we've been lucky at all, I'm glad the team has demonstrated at least some level of mental strength. I'm just saying that using it as an indicator of progress is useless. Scraping past a relegation club is hardly a cause for celebration.
    Strawman argument. Also, I really don't understand you saying that Man Utd and Chelsea cocking up against the smaller teams is an anomaly, but started off by having a go at us for dropping points against Birmingham and the like. It's inconsistent and it's going a long way to prevent you from giving us credit.

    Clearly the indicator of progress is that we're much closer to the top this season; 1 point behind Man Utd and 3 points behind Chelsea. Last season we were far behind and wondering whether we'd finish 4th (though we managed it fairly comfortably in the end). The league rewards consistency. Winning against relegation battlers is 3 points, and winning against the current champions is 3 points.

    We have nothing to celebrate so far, and no-one is. If we don't win the league, the only thing that matters is that we push on in the summer; keep our stars and sign some players that will make us stronger, and holding on to our stars that have helped us make this improvement from last season. Since the disastrous summer of '08 where we ended up selling Hleb and Flamini left, I think we have done quite well. Vermaelen and Arshavin have been two good signings. I think Ramsey has been good too, but ideally we'd like some with the experience of Arshavin and Vermaelen.

    Of course, only relative ability is important in terms of league positioning, and in the league we have performed better than we have done recently. Better than what though?
    Better than last season! That's all we're talking about. Progress. We have done better than last season and so we have progressed. We haven't achieved our eventual aim which is to win the league and so we shouldn't just sit on this or move backwards like we did last season from 07/08. But nevertheless, there have been improvements which is why we're doing better than we did last season. That's all.

    I don't understand what there is to debate here.
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    (Original post by Overmars)
    Draw up a list for Man Utd or Chelsea, and you'll have even more in the 'unacceptable' column which renders your whole argument silly. The bottom line is we are 1 point behind Man Utd and 3 points behind Chelsea with 5 games to play. Last season we were way off the pace. Obviously we would've liked to go further in cup runs and, in particular, the team selection for the Stoke game in the FA Cup was unacceptable. But the league is considered the best way of measuring relative ability.

    And if you're suggesting we've been lucky with last minute Bendtner goals, you're being a retard. This is the kind of **** manyoo get praised for -- resilience, 'never say die', mental strength...etc.

    Its not a matter of last minute goals its a matter of the the opposition. Seriously, wolves at home should be bread and butter for us regardless of how many buses they park infront of goal. Hull are championship material and don't even get me started on Burnley and west ham. I'm sure when utd were scraping these one nil wins it was against more able opponents. The whole league in general is as poor as I've seen it fr years.

    The only good thing about this season has been individual performances by certain players (song, vermalean and fabregas) but as a team we've generally been poor and had a crap work rate.

    Also Wenger/the team never learn their lesson, after the first leg against barca i thought it was pretty obvious that we should have done to them what they did to us at the emirates ie press high up the pitch in numbers. But no Wenger wanted to prove that we can outplay any team on earth.
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    (Original post by Overmars)
    Strawman argument. Also, I really don't understand you saying that Man Utd and Chelsea cocking up against the smaller teams is an anomaly, but started off by having a go at us for dropping points against Birmingham and the like. It's inconsistent and it's going a long way to prevent you from giving us credit.

    Clearly the indicator of progress is that we're much closer to the top this season; 1 point behind Man Utd and 3 points behind Chelsea. Last season we were far behind and wondering whether we'd finish 4th (though we managed it fairly comfortably in the end). The league rewards consistency. Winning against relegation battlers is 3 points, and winning against the current champions is 3 points.

    We have nothing to celebrate so far, and no-one is. If we don't win the league, the only thing that matters is that we push on in the summer; keep our stars and sign some players that will make us stronger, and holding on to our stars that have helped us make this improvement from last season. Since the disastrous summer of '08 where we ended up selling Hleb and Flamini left, I think we have done quite well. Vermaelen and Arshavin have been two good signings. I think Ramsey has been good too, but ideally we'd like some with the experience of Arshavin and Vermaelen.

    Better than last season! That's all we're talking about. Progress. We have done better than last season and so we have progressed. We haven't achieved our eventual aim which is to win the league and so we shouldn't just sit on this or move backwards like we did last season from 07/08. But nevertheless, there have been improvements which is why we're doing better than we did last season. That's all.

    I don't understand what there is to debate here.
    I'm not entirely sure that I'll be able to enunciate my thoughts on this, given that I've had more than a few pints, but essentially Arsenal have needed to win the small games because they havn't stood a chance against United or Chelsea (who are of a much higher quality). my thought here is that next season, Chelsea and Manchester United will undoubtedly put in better performances against the smaller clubs, but how are arsenal going to close the gulf between them and the leaders/second place in terms of quality?

    The debate isn't about whether we're making progress (at least I didn't intend it to be). Of course the club and players are making some progress, my concern is that it's all just a little bit futile. There are fundamental problems in the squad (highlighted by Barcelona - and by that I just mean that the Barca games REALLY highlighted them) that aren't going to be solved by another inactive transfer window.

    The defence is fundamentally poor (save for Eboue and Vermaelen - Although calling Eboue a defender is a little much) and half of the team is still infected by the 'can't be arsed attitude.' It's an absolute miracle that Arsenal havn't conceded more goals this season. You can have the best single defender in the world but he's not gonna do jack without another top 3 around him.

    My point is that this 'progress' will, or has reached a plateau, and just like this last summer and the summer before, I don't see what Wenger is going to do about it.

    Edit: And another concern is that every year of 'progress' is another year without a trophy for Fabregas. Barca are calling, and after the other night(s) I bet he's listening.
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    (Original post by ticktockclock)
    Its not a matter of last minute goals its a matter of the the opposition. Seriously, wolves at home should be bread and butter for us regardless of how many buses they park infront of goal. Hull are championship material and don't even get me started on Burnley and west ham. I'm sure when utd were scraping these one nil wins it was against more able opponents. The whole league in general is as poor as I've seen it fr years.

    The only good thing about this season has been individual performances by certain players (song, vermalean and fabregas) but as a team we've generally been poor and had a crap work rate.

    Also Wenger/the team never learn their lesson, after the first leg against barca i thought it was pretty obvious that we should have done to them what they did to us at the emirates ie press high up the pitch in numbers. But no Wenger wanted to prove that we can outplay any team on earth.
    I honestly don't agree with much of that at all. I don't understand how you can think we've had crap work rate.

    Football isn't played on paper. Wolves at home is not always bread-and-butter. And Everton away isn't always your highest margin of victory all season. Your criticism makes no sense to me. I'm with you when you say we haven't competed well enough against the big teams. But we're beating the rest, and who cares how we do it -- we're doing it. It's very much a results business.

    I don't believe the league is poor. Just because Man Utd and Chelsea are dropping points doesn't make it poor. Man City are now much stronger. The spuds are much stronger. Fulham are stronger. Obviously Liverpool have regressed and maybe some others will have too, but just because the gap between the top teams and the rest has narrowed doesn't mean the league is worse than it was. I think that's not really drawing an accurate conclusion.

    Against Barca -- I agree about the first leg. Would've liked us to close them down better, but that's what you get when you play an unfit side. Denilson should've started because he was much better than Diaby. Gallas was clearly not ready to start and Sol should've took his place. Wenger didn't get his tactics or team selection spot on and it has been the same for some other big games.
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    (Original post by TommyWannabe)
    I'm not entirely sure that I'll be able to enunciate my thoughts on this, given that I've had more than a few pints, but essentially Arsenal have needed to win the small games because they havn't stood a chance against United or Chelsea (who are of a much higher quality). my thought here is that next season, Chelsea and Manchester United will undoubtedly put in better performances against the smaller clubs, but how are arsenal going to close the gulf between them and the leaders/second place in terms of quality?
    Lets get something clear -- whoever wins the league will probably do it with something around 85 points. That's similar to most seasons. You can't have dropped that many silly points if you end up scoring that many. As I've said in my last post, football isn't played on paper. Not all games you expect to win, you will win. Chelsea and Man Utd have dropped silly points this season, but they did so last season and they'll do so again next season. Will they drop as many? I don't know. If they don't, they'll end up scoring around 90 points for the season, which is outstanding.

    It's not common that we lose all 4 games against Man Utd and Chelsea. Last season, I think we W2, D1, L1. We should be looking to get more points in the 4 fixtures, and it shouldn't be too hard to get more than 0. I don't think it's reasonable to assume we won't.


    The debate isn't about whether we're making progress (at least I didn't intend it to be). Of course the club and players are making some progress, my concern is that it's all just a little bit futile. There are fundamental problems in the squad (highlighted by Barcelona - and by that I just mean that the Barca games REALLY highlighted them) that aren't going to be solved by another inactive transfer window.
    I thought the whole discussion was about progress and how much we've made. You said we didn't make any and that 'nothing has changed'. I think a lot has changed and a lot must have changed if we're doing much better in the league. And we are. But I agree that we need to strengthen in the summer.

    The defence is fundamentally poor (save for Eboue and Vermaelen - Although calling Eboue a defender is a little much) and half of the team is still infected by the 'can't be arsed attitude.' It's an absolute miracle that Arsenal havn't conceded more goals this season. You can have the best single defender in the world but he's not gonna do jack without another top 3 around him.
    I agree. I was hoping that signing Vermaelen would solve that, but while it has helped, it hasn't helped enough. We don't know how to defend as a unit. Wenger inherited George Graham's back 4 and so we were solid at the start of his managerial reign but as time as gone on, I don't trust Wenger to sort us out in that aspect. I really hope he replaces Almunia but I'm not holding my breath.
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    (Original post by Overmars)
    *Want to consider how to articulate my first point - can't think of a good way of putting it - will ignore that for now*

    I thought the whole discussion was about progress and how much we've made. You said we didn't make any and that 'nothing has changed'. I think a lot has changed and a lot must have changed if we're doing much better in the league. And we are. But I agree that we need to strengthen in the summer.

    When I say 'nothing has changed' I mean that nothing has changed fundamentally. Give a young squad some time and they're always going to get better to a certain extent, but in terms of fundamental player abilities and attitudes the squad doesn't have what it needs. The problem is that Arsene keeps putting the blinkers on when the transfer window opens. Strengthening in Arsene's case involved buying another 4 month old, either that or apparently signing past it defeners. I'm still expecting to see Nigel Winterburn get given a shirt in a few months.

    I agree. I was hoping that signing Vermaelen would solve that, but while it has helped, it hasn't helped enough. We don't know how to defend as a unit. Wenger inherited George Graham's back 4 and so we were solid at the start of his managerial reign but as time as gone on, I don't trust Wenger to sort us out in that aspect. I really hope he replaces Almunia but I'm not holding my breath.

    The whole defender situation is really odd. Gallas? Silvestre? Campbell? He seems to be picking names from a hat. Lehmann was excellent. I said it was wrong when he was dropped and I still stand by that. Arsene isn't going to touch a 'keeper though. Fabiabski is in the ranks, as is Schzhzhzhzhzhzhezny.

    The biggest concern is Fabregas. If he buggers off we are well and truly fudged.
    .....
 
 
 
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