ONLY AT ARSENAL

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Bosman ruling was an important decision on the free movement of labor and had a profound effect on the transfers of football players within the EU. It banned the existing restrictions of foreign EU members within their football leagues allowing professional footballers to move freely to another club at the end of their terms of contract with their present team. This was after a protracted legal tussle between Jean-Marc Bosman and his club at the time- RFC Liege and prospective buyer Dunkerque. While that was a significant highlight of transformation in football, lately, the Bosman ruling has ghosted player power, unchallenged, over the roof to not so honorable heights. Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri and now Robin van Persie. Arsenal are in the same melee that occasioned their calamitous start to the season in 58 years. However, understand that Arsenal are seasoned in the art of churning raw dynamite potential to world beaters, and certainly the Dutchman isn’t the last. Not at all. Departures of Henry, Cesc, Nasri left a void that the likes of RVP himself, Wilshere and Song have filled.  Even Koscielny has made a sizeable number of people eat humble pie with regard to his overall improvement. So, would it be wise if Arsenal let go their star striker? Is The Flying Dutchman expendable at the Emirates? Yes, he is, and in matters football, it’s generally accepted that “Strikers win you games, defenders win you titles.”  Let me indulge you in random but valid viewpoints.

Arsene can be-grudgingly let RVP go, albeit not to either Manchester clubs.  Why? You might ask. Well, aren’t both sides lethal in front of goal already? RVP was immense last season but that doesn’t mean he made dazzling Messi-esque runs to land him the PFA’s player of the season. Clubs of Arsenal and United’s stature have the necessary infrastructure to replace exiting stars-Beckham, Ronaldo, Henry et cetera. Even without RVP’s contribution in past seasons due to perennial niggling injuries, Arsenal have always swung it with the big boys. Adebayor did well, Eduardo likewise before the Birmingham-fatale and not so long ago, when Chamakh couldn’t find his feet, Cesc Fabregas was unstoppable-19 goals, 19 assists. Not to undermine the skill ingrained in both his ‘cultured-left and right-chocolate feet’, but unlike Messi, the Dutchman wholesomely relied on cumulative team effort (Walcott, Song, Gervinho, Ramsey)  unlike Leo who many at times single handedly lands the Blaugrana their victories. Undeniably, losing the Flying Dutchman will be costly but only to an extent that Prince Poldi, Cazorla and Giroud will allow. Podolski is more than a proven goal threat, and is at his prime and with bags of experience. The promotion of Steve Bould and Neil Banfield to first team coaches might see change in tact, especially in defense where Bould is a thorough bred and perhaps an indicator for a step up in the Gunners’ kamikaze defending. Certainly, with TV5 as skipper in waiting, more responsibilities fall to Arsenal’s defensive numbers who should be Arsene’s cornerstone for forging a title-contending team. Rather than pre-occupy ourselves with the RVP trivia, why not ask, “What if the Verminator was in a similar situation, or Sagna?”  Bearing in mind their good run of form only happened with a fully fit back four. So, in comparison, it would definitely be a bigger blow as Arsenal’s Achilles’ heel (defense) would be at the mercy of the likes of City, United and Chelsea, yet it needs its consistent performers for sanity .So yes, RVP is expendable.

The Invincibles record for AFC is largely credited with a mean defense (back four), Cole, Lauren, Toure and Campbell (Lehmann, Viera and Gilberto). Whereas the likes of Pires, Bergkamp, Ljunberg and Henry lit up the league with exquisite finishing and forming a potent attacking fulcrum, Arsenals defensive line was fullproof. With Lauren, Cole and Campbell and Viera making it to the team of the season after conceding 26 goals is sufficient testament even with Arsenal’s impressive return of 73 goals.  In 05-06 season, Chelsea were champions winning 29, drawing 4 and losing 5, scoring 72 and conceding 22, and amassing 91 points. These numbers were slightly better than United’s (runners up) who won 25 drew 8, and lost 5, scored 72 and conceded 34 totaling 83 points.

With an equal tally of goals scored, United’s undoing was the number of goals conceded. In a scenario where Chelsea, encapsulate a similar performance and United leak fewer goals, therefore winning an extra 4 games, with say 1-0 margins, the Red Devils would be “scenario champions” with 29 won, 4 lost, 5 drawn and 30 conceded. The significance shows from the games drawn.  Even Liverpool snatched a top three finish over Arsenal, despite the latter’s superior goal difference on account of goals scored! Similarly, in the 08-09 season United beat Liverpool to the title despite The Red’s superior goal difference of +6, after scoring 9 more, courtesy to a one time, red hot El Ninho. Surprisingly, United lost more games, 4, compared to Liverpool’s 2, yet they were crowned champions. So the latter’s undoing was in the number of games drawn, which most likely were not goalless. Point in case-the 4-4 classic against Arshavin…umm Arsenal.  In the same season, Chelsea equaled United’s number of goals scored, conceded and consequently, goal difference, yet they ranked third. How so? In the three games that won United the league, Chelsea drew 2 and lost 1.  Further, United had more clean sheets at home, 13, compared to Chelsea’s 10. They even bettered this by keeping 2 more clean sheets, 11, to Chelsea’s 9 in away games. Runners up, Liverpool had fewer clean sheets compared to United 11- home, 8-away.

Even with Messi clinching the pichichi after an astonishing 73 goals last season, Madrid lifted the trophy. You would point out that Madrid scored goals galore. True. I insist that Barca’s lack of good defending particularly in away games ( Sociedad, Espanyol, Valencia, Bilbao) cost them the title. True again. For emphasis, what really won Chelsea their maiden Champions league? Is it Mata’s exquisite passes? Lampard’s deft through balls? Or the backline that put their lives on the line for 180 minutes? And what won City their maiden Premiership? Goal difference. United would have won the league had they not gifted bizarre goals to Everton (in a 4-4 encounter), Newcastle and (Phil Jones). The Terry-Carvalho, Vidic-Rio and Campbell-Lauren pairings are what title-winning sides are made of. The same way the Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonucci and Caceres backline earned The Old Lady her unbeaten scudetto. Arsenal are arguably the most creative side in the premiership, and Podolski assuming Wenger prefers him to Giroud, could well handle RVP’s duties, if chances come his way.  So, RVP is expendable at a cost that can be covered and if Wenger refurbishes his back line adequately, a Vermaelen-Metesacker/Koscielny partnership could be one for the future. So all Gooners should stop asking themselves where Van Persie’s loyalty dissipated to and channel their energy to players ready to end the trophy doubt in red North London.    

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Comments
  1. chengafunga says:

    @General Zod- It’s a shame what it has come to with player loyalty becoming one tricky pony. As for Arsenal and Van Persie’s trophy drought you can only say “if you keep a hungry dog don’t forget to feed him.”

  2. chengafunga says:

    lista de emails….thats whats up!:)

  3. happy i found your blog, there are so many useful things in here. i’ve bookmarked you so i can always have access to your posts. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

  4. General Zod says:

    That’s a lot of sense right there, if RVP wants to move, let him move, no player is bigger than the club. But as a neutral, i wish him well. Maybe this is the year for arsenal, with the new boys around, thel ikes of Podolski and ‘Mata like’ acquisition in Carzola, all is well

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