Were we really that good in 2003/04?

June 21, 2010

Of course we were, we didn’t go a whole season without losing for no reason…..

Away from all the World Cup hype just for today, forget the goings on in the French and English camp, let’s go back in time and remember the 2003/04 season, the players and just how good we were. Not only were the  first eleven darn good, so were many of the players who had to suffer time on the bench. Look at then and then look and now….. 

Arsenal Invincible squad: ( not off the top of my head, help from google)

 Cole, Vieira, Keown, Pires, Ljungberg, Reyes, Bergkamp, Wiltord, Lauren, Taylor, Henry, Lehmann, Parlour, Edu, Cygan, Gilberto, Senderos, Pennant, Clichy, Campbell, Kanu, Toure, Aliadere, Stack

Arsenal today:
 
Manuel Almunia, Abou Diaby, Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fàbregas, Thomas Vermaelen, Tomáš Rosický, Samir Nasri, Eduardo, William Gallas, Robin van Persie, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott, Denílson, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song, Mikaël Silvestre, Jack Wilshere Johan Djourou, Łukasz Fabiański, Gaël Clichy, Andrei Arshavin, Vito Mannone, Emmanuel Eboué, Kieran Gibbs, Marouane Chamakh Armand Traoré, Sol Campbell, Nicklas Bendtner, Wojciech Szczęsny

By my count, back in the 2003/04  season we had seventeen top class players in that invincible squad!!

Looking at todays squad (not including Chamakh) I count we have eleven or maybe twelve at a push, so what does that say??

We have been saying for a while that we lack depth and strength, well apart from those who have funny coloured spectacles, and that quite clearly is the difference between then and now. Our current first eleven is strong and on its day is capable of beating any side in the world, but when injuries start to take their toll, our squad is exposed.

If you could pick two players from the invincible squad, pop them in Dr Who’s Tardis and bring them into the current day, who would they be, then come and tell us why you chose them…

Remember, they will be at the same stage of their career as they were in 2003/04. You can’t pick the keeper, I giving you him on a freebie 🙂

Those were the days…… 🙂

Advertisements

Campbell and Keown get together ….

April 27, 2010

With their opinion of course, what did you think I meant….

I’m going to cheat today and for two reasons,

1) All is quite quiet on the Arsenal front as we head towards the season’s close.

2) I have a busy day or so ahead, so I’m just making life easy for myself.

Sol Campbell has said this

The main thing is you have got to get the right balance, there is a fantastic amount of talent here and we just have to believe we can win a major trophy – and you also need a bit of the rub of the green now and again.
That said, I believe you make your own luck in the game – how you play, how you conduct yourselves, how you approach matches, making sure you are seriously thinking about football, you create luck with all those things combined.

Training-wise, you have to work on your weaknesses, preparing yourself properly for the game, on and off the field.
It is not that you have to be locked up 24/7, but I think all these things do add up – you ensure that things go your way by doing all the things which come before you actually step on the pitch.

We have got a lot of that in place here and I am sure that, once everything comes together, there will be no stopping Arsenal winning trophies season after season. You have to truly believe in your skill and trust that you can do something.
‘Wherever we finish, we will have to build on it and keep on going.

Martin Keown has said this,

The staff have worked hard for another year and they will go away disillusioned for another summer because this year has been a missed opportunity. The title was there to win this season.

If you look at the age of the team this year then I think they have over-achieved. They are all very young but we can’t keep saying that forever.

Arsenal need to buy in a sprinkling of proven quality players and introduce them alongside the current players, and they will drag them over the line.

It’s very important that you have these people in the squad. They are people who have been there and done it. They are people who you can look up to and rely on to show that quality. When you have a squad full of youngsters you get inconsistency and you are never quite sure how they’ll perform.

All the Arsenal players are now playing for their futures, they only have a few games to prove that they deserve to play at their club and that they deserve to have a future and that goes with the territory when you are playing for a big club.

The minute you can’t win a trophy then you don’t deserve a place, it’s as simple as that!!

Finally, Arsene Wenger has ‘allegedly’ said this,

“The construction of the Emirates Stadium meant that for many years we could not spend a lot of money. Our financial situation has greatly improved. We are finally able to buy the players we think we need.”

Will the summer of 2010 finally see one plus one make three?? I hope so because all three comments together are very positive 🙂

Have a good day peeps…..


Martin Keown, a missed man…

February 26, 2010

Bearing in mind the news is filled with Terry v’s Bridge saga, Pompey going into administration and us going after a few more young starlets, I thought I would write about something different. I feel for Bridge though, what has he done wrong during all of this? Why is it him who has to lose out? Anyway, moving on………..

Yesterday I mentioned that Tony Adams had been the first guest on ‘An Audience With’ – a new online programme on AFC.Com, since then the channel has aired an interview with Martin Keown – so I thought I would write about a few of the views he expessed during the interview. Well some of them!

Keown, the man who so many times bossed the defence together with Big Tony, the man who I fondly remember reacting slightly, after a certain Manc we all know as Horsey, missed a penalty!

I remember that penalty miss and the aftermath – great wasn’t it? Just in case you have forgotten it…..

Sorry if this offends, but not everyone has access to AFC.com.

When asked about our chances in the Premier League, he highlights the massive losses to our arch rivals. He says it’s time for talking on the pitch. Everything he thinks is about the future and players need to be playing for that.
The fixtures favour us in his view, the only difficult one being Tottenham away, Hull and Stoke away are tricky, but the team needs to show different qualities to get results there.

I like this bit – he says something like, WE have been hamstrung for injuries at the top of the team’

I love the WE bit!

Often we all talk about Tony Adams being Mr Arsenal, but when you sit back and look at the commitment shown by Keown, the determination in his eyes when playing, the ‘you ain’t getting by me’ attitude – wouldn’t just love a defender like him in front of Almunia? I know I would!!

He is right of course, we have had more than our fair share of injuries, for most of the season we have had one, two, even three of the better players out at the same time. How do you replace Robin van Persie? How do you replace Arshavin? How do you replace Nikki and Theo? (I won’t answer that).

The answer is, you can’t!!

You get my gist; we have had more injuries than most have suffered, certainly more than the five or six clubs around us at the top!
Keown then goes on and on about the future, how we are looking for this, we are looking for that? Strange, did Arsenal get Martin Keown back to be involved in the club? Did that snippet of news pass me by? Did it pass you by?
Keown reckons the Champions League is our best chance of a trophy this season but doesn’t dismiss the league IF we win all our games!

He talks Stoke, how they have shrunk the pitch to the minimum size, how they throw in the towel before every thrown in and corner! What he then says is we just need to play football, do what we do best and Stoke won’t be able to match us. Conquer the fans he says and all will be ok.

Finally he says that Sol Campbell was a good re-signing……. He thinks we will beat Stoke..

Martin Keown, So do I on both accounts……..

For Stoke we should have Eduardo back, but still no Gallas, Diaby and Arshavin, still think we will beat them though, just!

Have a nice day guys and gals….


Arsenal, get rid of some dross, and find a new boss!! Well done Reading…

January 14, 2010

Before you all shout and scream, declare undying love and appreciation for Arsene Wenger, I am not referring to him – Got it?

No, this is about getting rid of a few who we think will never come up to scratch, those who have been playing on borrowed time at a club that deserves the best.

This is also about what we miss, what we need to give us more clout on the pitch in the Premiership League, someone who can boss the game, lead the game and lift all the others around him!

What we need is a ‘New Boss’!

No no no, I don’t mean we need a new captain, Cesc is doing just fine – he shows he is boss by the way he performs, his goals and his celebrations – he just loves us..

But, on the day that Sol has supposedly signed, cast yourselves back to when Sol was at the heart of our defence – the way he shouted, organised the defence and along with it, most of the team. Oh how I wish Sol was ten years younger but with the same big heart.

So when I say Boss, that is what I mean, we need a Sol kind of a man, an Adams kind of a man just to keeps the teams focused and firing on all cylinders during each and every game.

I honestly think that Song one day could be that man, if he was to find his vocal chords, but I think he is more like Cesc, just goes about his business in a controlled quiet way but you can usually count on him to put his shift in.

That player has to be either a midfield man or a central defender – and apart from Vermaelen, we don’t have any other player who could ever fill that role, do we?

I thought the signing of Sol Campbell was one of the most stupid things Arsene has done in the last week, but having listened to others maybe it is not such a bad thing, maybe?

If he can bring his attitude, desire to win, his experience, blood and guts attitude to our changing room, then it may just turn out to be one of the most clever things Arsene has done in a while..

Like most things our manager does, time will tell!

But I still believe we need a CH and a HM with the same attitude that Sol and Big Tony had in their day!

On the flip side, I think it is time to ship a few out – On the day that Craig Eastmond has signed a new contract, we have to realise we also have a whole big bunch of players who are doing nothing other than taking a wage…

Do I dare list mine…… Well I am going to, and I know you will all shoot me down!

Hoyte
Randall
Denilson
Almunia
Barazite
Eboue- undecided
Bendtner – not sure
Senderos
Silvestre
Diaby – not sure

I am sure there are many more you want to add to that list, some you don’t agree on – why not name them?

But seriously, how much money are we wasting on these players. I am sure not all them have great big salaries, but they all chip away at our finances, and for what end result?

Just think, if we sold just half of those listed above, maybe we could pay David Villa, Torres, or any other great players’ wages.

Don’t get me wrong though, we also have many up and coming players that deserve all they get, and one man in particular is a lad called JET 🙂

Finally, Huge Well Done to Reading Football Club – they truly deserved what they got last night – I watched on my television, 22 miles from the Mad Stad, and I am chuffed to punch for them…. 🙂