Daily Telegraph Henry Winter

Sighs.. sat and read the early morning Telegraph on the ‘puter and came across an article by Henry Winter. An olf ref. The link to the article is HERE and it needs to be read before really reading my reply/comment, which i’m posting here as it seems the site doesn’t wish to accept it!! okies… here goes!

Has it always been like this, or is sports writing these days designed to reflect a complete lack of knowledge of the subject it is actually orientated around?

Lets look at the title : "Arsenal must change their philosophy". Why?

Currently the shouting point for this appears to be the loss in the champions league to Liverpool, which, if you examine the two games, Arsenal were by far the superior team both in an attacking sense and technically.

The aggregate score was Liverpool 5 Arsenal 3, which, if you were to amend the the two blatantly favouring Liverpool penalty decisions to the realistic ends, actually equates to an Arsenal 2-1 home win, and a 2-2 Score Draw at anfield, (Babel’s goal through over committal would’ve never happened), which results in a 4-3 win to Arsenal, and even if you factor in a penalty miss for the one not given at the Emirates, Arsenal still go through on away goals.

So, logistically, the champions league exit argument is drivel.

Now lets look at the Premiership table. Man U, the team at the top, Six points clear of Arsenal, have lost Double the amount of games Arsenal have this season in the league. In fact they’ve lost one more than Chelsea too. So, from a defensive point of view, who appear to be the more consistant? The team who’ve lost 6% of their games, or the team who’ve lost 12%? As a side note, if three points were deducted for a loss, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man U, would all be on the same points at this stage…

So… Too young? Cos kids can never win anything? Drivel. Discount that as dis-proven and lazy journalism to even imply it.

Too foreign? Not just drivel this time, but racist drivel. Implied is that your race alters your ability. This attitude reeks of propaganda, slowly insinuating into the national psyche that foreign = bad. This is a business. It is subject to laws like the business it is. Anyone remotely suggesting that race has anything to do with it should be up in court for discrimination then perhaps we could wipe racism from the game like the campaigns claimed they were trying to, be it the chanting on the terraces or the journalists with their insidious repetitions.

So to the last point : Too Weak? That is a possibility, and really is a reflection on the injuries to the squad, rather than anything else. Before the Eduardo injury, (which I believe may well have had one hell of an effect on some of the younger players who saw the extent of damage done),  Arsenal were top and looking like they would stay there. Add to that van Persie’s lack of fitness, an injured Sagna and Rosicky and it’s not entirely surprising that wins became draws.

Arsenal operates with a set wage structure. It doesn’t pay exorbitant fee’s for players or wages. Therefore in reality the squad will always be small because they do not operate like for example Chelsea and Man U in that I don’t doubt many, if not all, of their regular substitute players are paid more than the majority of the Arsenal first team. What you get for that is, a group of players who will play a good 85% of games (probably 90% ideally in the league) if they are fit, with a selection of cover players that then seek to break into the team through others injuries / cup games / games where usual players are rested. They have one team, not two, and when it is decimated by injury you have to expect that to make a difference.

But… for people to scream and shout Wenger must alter his philosophy because of this? It truly is ludicrousness of the highest order and only serves to illuminate peoples lack of understanding of what Arsenal are about, and indeed of what football really should be about, while instead propagating the Buy Big, Buy English mentality, one of which ruins the game through monopolization, the other through insular racial sectarianism.

Maybe, thanks to the public’s ability to comment via this type of medium, more people will express their displeasure at such attitudes proffered by the likes of Mr Winter.


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