Well, United look crap a lot of the time, Nani, Rooney etc have all had bad patches. Chelsea looked crap and Essien, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka all turned in pathetic perfomances from time to time this season. City and Tottenham got found out a lot when they attempted bigger feats, and Liverpool were shit for patches in almost every game they played.
Its a bit unfair to pick on the fact that Arsenal gave away a penalty so late, and forget that it was your second choice Eboue, in place of the injured Sagna, who anyway had shown great heart and energy throughout the match. So what if you come 4th or 5th in the league....didnt these lads sweat blood for the team throughout. They played through injury, exhaustion, chaos and humiliation and picked themselves up and kept slugging it out, and are still standing in the ring. What display did any English club give this year that can compare to beating Barcelona 2-1. At the end, the players looked exhausted and running on pure will power, and they kept taking the punches and kept believing and they counterpunched late and won it. They did it again in the return leg and this time the dice rolled the other way. Thats what it is, its a game.
There are shortcomings, they are immature and not 100% professional and focussed on winning. More focussed teams would not be distracted during a match by the referee or the opponent. They would not kick the ball after the offside whistle went, they would not take their shirt off and celebrate and they would know enough gamesmanship to slow the game down and kill the opponents tempo when needed.
Man U LOST to City and still no ones head is being called for, and Arsenal DRAW to Liverpool and people want the head of the manager and the players. What nonsense. They are learning and they will learn. They may have won and they may never win or they may win next year. Its a game, its unpredictable and it can change in a flash.
This year they learnt to be more physical Now we dont hear that they are soft and dont like it up to them, do we. They also can dive and get a penalty or free kick sometims now.
Now they need to decide if they really want to win. If they do, then they will need to learn gamesmanship. The art of slyly fouling like Barca, the Art of targeting oppostion players of suspect temperament, the art of managing and pressuring the Ref throughout not after a bad decision, the art of kicking out a dangerous opponent or disrupting the tempo, even if a player is sacrificed to a red card. The press will hound them, saying that they are playing dirty, but thats the game isnt it. The Scholes, De Jongs and others are on the same field arent they.
Chelsea missed Ballack this year the most, because now they didnt have the dirty snarling mean blackguard element in them. Its needed and sometimes a player like Rooney whacks a opposition player in the face with his elbow, just to keep that aspect of his game alive.
Cesc says Arsenal has to decide if they want to win. If they do, they will get some muscle in attack, midfield and defence. 3 big strong players who are a bit dark and mean, to keep on the bench and throw in when needed to rough things up.
Personally, winning means a lot, but I wouldnt take it at that cost. Create a stronger bench by all means, but simply so that it helps to keep the players fit and you can rotate more. I like this team. They fuck up now and then. They produce magic now and then. I would like to see them with the same best XI for one more season, after a couple of months proper rest and pre-season with a settled board and revamped bench. If you gave the project 6 years, give it a seventh. Its always darkest before dawn.
Another thing to remember is that soon the game will be faced with a choice, is it sport or is it entertainment ? Money will win, and it will be entertainment, a form of a reality show. Results will be manipulated to maximise viewership etc etc... that time will come too. Till then, lets enjoy the pure fun of a bunch of kids playing. People criticise Arsenal by labeling them as kids. I say, that is a compliment. Its better to play the way kids play. Thats the true spirit of football.
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