Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This Is A Low

Although I am reasonably satisfied with Arsenal's performance during the 2008/9 season, there seem to have been more low points than highs, so it seems easier to identify these. They're obviously my own opinions, but they do seem to be common to many Arsenal fans. Arsene still knows, but let's hope for a better ride next year.
  1. The lazy efforts of Emmanuel Greedy-bayor. After a magnificient first season, epitomised by maximum effort, we had to endure a summer of transfer speculation, followed by a series of performances in which the minimum of effort was expended. Initially surprised that his badge-kissing was not greeted with universal acclaim, Greedy went on to complain about the effect of money in the game (with a straight face), managed to be caught offside more than you would believe possible of a man without a mobility allowance and finished the season with a whimper. Wherever he goes this summer (Inter, Milan, Chelsea, Man City), I really don't care, but, in the name of all that is holy, please go.
  2. The arrival of Sylvester (sic). If ever you asked yourself why ManU let one of their (theoretically) nearest rivals snap up the man with a head shaped like a baked bean, this was abundantly answered on the pitch. The world's youngest (31) geriatric looked a bad purchase and proved to be just as awful as feared. This only highlighted the failure to buy the proverbial commanding centre-half, compounded by Kolo's form declining in inverse proportion to the size of his backside and Gallas' bizarre attempts at building team spirit by having a pop at his team-mates.
  3. The failure to replace "Nigel" Flamini. Every man and his dog could see that we needed to find a replacement to partner Cesc in central midfield, but we attempted to do this on the cheap by developing Denilson and Song, which is simply not good enough. Although Song surprised (nay, amazed) me with his progress, it makes you weep to think of Arsenal midfields of the past - Vieira and Petit, anyone ?
  4. Drawing with Spurs. Although I can appreciate a 4-4 thriller as much as the next man, not when you are 4-2 up in the local derby with 2 minutes to go. The equaliser was the single worst moment of the season.
  5. The capitulation against Man Utd. Having embarked on a lengthy unbeaten run and with the memory of beating Franchise in the Premiership, it was truly gutting to lose so feebly to a United team, who conspicuously over-achieved this year, especially when Barcelona ripped them a new one in the final by playing in the Arsenal way.
  6. Not playing Arshavin in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea. Given that the little Russian magician was not eligible for the Champions League, I simply could not understand why he was not given the opportunity to follow-up his 4 goals at Anfield.
  7. Emmanuel Eboue. I would usually not condone booing your own players, but I would make an exception for Eboue, whose diving alone would merit that sort of treatment. To think that Arsenal trialled Eboue and Yaya Toure at the same time - and then opted for Eboue ...
  8. The limited return of Eduardo. Not too surprising that it took so long for the Prince look-a-like to return from his injury, given that his foot was nearly separated from his leg, but he immediately showed us what we had been missing. More of the Crozilian next year, please.
  9. The frustrations of Diaby. The "new" Patrick Vieira occasionally looks like the real deal, but does not appear to: (a) be able to play more than 3 games in a row without getting injured; (b) be overly bothered about his place in the team - otherwise he might raise a sweat by running around a bit.
  10. Injuries. We seem to suffer more injuries than most, which I cannot understand, given the famed scientific preparation. The best/worst example is Rosicknote, who has been out with various ailments for well over a year.
In a later post I shall attempt to look on the bright side.

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