Posted on January 20, 2016 by ADMIN

How Arsenal can win the League with a team of crocks!


EVERY single team in the EPL this season has had shocking results. In fact, there is no longer such a thing as a shocking result. Maybe when Pep comes to City, he will win every game. But until then, the EPL will remain a league of equals. Watching Arsenal play Stoke the other day, this fact couldn’t have been more glaring. We were very nervous. Our passes were tentative, we were unsure of ourselves, nobody had a clue how to go forward and create – and we basically came to Stoke to play for a point.

Many said, ‘That is not how a big team should play’, but how many big teams are left in this league of equals? Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool are big only by reputation these days. It wasn’t always like this because these five teams have won more and competed for more since the beginning of the EPL. But when you have Manchester City being thrashed 4-1 by Stoke City, Arsenal losing 4-0 to Southampton and such ‘shocking results’, it is hard to argue that there is a team currently head and shoulders above the rest in the EPL.

It is against this backdrop that our league position suddenly begins to look good. In other words, the best of an okay bunch will win the EPL. Arsene Wenger understands this and he now sets up his team with this at the back of his mind. He understands that he cannot win the league blowing away all his opponents and always playing with style. Not when he has Sanchez, Cazorla, Coquelin, Wilshere, Rosicky, Welbeck and now Ozil out injured. In some games, he plays simply to nick a point, like in this Stoke game. I have never seen Arsene this pragmatic before and this approach may just gift us our first EPL trophy in ten years. What an irony. We basically came to Stoke to play for a point. Our players were under strict instructions not to attack and lose the ball. We were so scared of being hit on the counter that we refused to play. It was hard to watch and I must have cursed at my television set a thousand times. So we set up to kill ninety minutes and maintain a 0-0 draw. That was enough to send us back to the top of the table and for Arsene, that is a pretty good result.

So we might have to get used to witnessing strategic crap like this one, however annoying, comforted by the knowledge that the end justifies the means. Wasn’t that how Chelsea won the league in the second half of last season? There used to be a time when I would look at our team sheet and try to predict how we will do in a season. Back then, I would look at our first team squad and see players like Sanchez, Ozil, Cech, Koscielny, Coquelin, Monreal, Cazorla, Giroud and Walcott and I would smile. And then I would think of names who aren’t even there like Wilshere, Ramsey, Ospina, Gibbs, Welbeck and Rosicky and my smile would get even wider.

That was just a few months ago. All of that has changed now. It is cruel how life just teases you with mouth-watering possibilities only to turn situations on its head. No matter who we buy, the reality is that our best players are never going to stay fit all at the same time. They won’t. And if we understand the implication of this fact, then we will realise that the football we are playing now is really the best we can do at the moment. It sucks but it is true. You think buying two strikers in the transfer window will make a difference? No it won’t. Not if Aubameyang or whomever comes in and picks up a long term injury after playing two or three games. That is the problem. We may never get to see our best eleven play more than seven games on the trot in one season. Koscielny read my mind on this one because that was exactly what I was thinking about during that Stoke game.

If we do end up winning the league, it won’t be according to plan. We will basically bumble through it in the totally ironic and comical way in which film characters like Johnny English and Inspector Clouseau end up solving crime cases. I am not sure how satisfying such a victory will feel, but I will take it. Why? Because a win is a win I guess and we are always going to have an injury ravaged squad anyway. We can only dream of what will be when everyone is fit. Games like our 3-0 victory over Manchester United and our 2-0 win over Bayern Munich, both at the Emirates, remain dreams of what can be in an ideal world. But at Arsenal, nothing stays ideal.

If it is results we are after – I believe every Gunner out there wants that EPL trophy – then Wenger is surely doing a marvelous job keeping this crocked team top of the league. I am seriously rooting for him because I don’t know how he does it.


Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria

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20 thoughts on “How Arsenal can win the League with a team of crocks!

  1. goonerwineverything

    just a quick though have noticed that west ham have brought in a young right back from leeds(sam byram) does this mean that jenko might be coming back early in jan window instead, and we ship out debuchy the other way as a “compensation gift” for them, for cutting the loan deal short. what does anyone else think. at least we would have someone that loves to play for us in return instead of debuchy.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  2. Greg

    After making all those crucial saves against stoke city, are you calling petr cech a crock?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8


    Its gonna be difficult with our poor away form against the stronger teams. When was the last time we won away at United, City, Spurs, Liverpool, Everton, Southampton, chelsea, Stoke etc?

    And we have still got City, United, Spurs, Everton to play away.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

    1. juhislihis

      Actually we won at Etihad last year quite comfortably. We also won at White Fart Lane this year and Old Trafford last spring. Those 2 were in the cup run though.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  4. 007

    The club needs a serious assessment of the squad at the end of the season as they did last summer by letting go of some players that contribute less.

    We need a proper clean up from the reserves to the 1st team. I feel some clean up in the backroom stuff is required too, like engaging new scouts and the medical room need some new specialists too.

    Its time to be ruthless we are not a charity or a hospital. The club should carefully asses and make a firm decision on the following players (I am not saying release all but a clear decision should be made):

    – Rosiky
    – Sanogo
    – Hyden
    – Niles
    – Silva
    – Martinez
    – Akpom
    – Flamini
    – Zalalem
    – Gnabry
    – Ospina
    – Schz
    – Arteta
    – Debuchy (should he be around)
    – Jenkinson

    The club should also carefully asses the contribution of Wilshere, Welbeck and Ox towards the teams ultimate goal each season (if its top 4 then well and good).

    We have too many players on our books for a team who claims to spend less than others. Even our academy has fallen back as compared to Chelsea’s, Man City and Southampton of course. We need some shake up to create space for better quality.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

    1. NY_Gunner

      RealTalk. We have too many injury prone/mediocre players taking up space…AW has to realize, that if we’re going to try and challenge for any type of REAL silverware, some, most or all of them must be replaced with top players, NOW…

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

    2. goonerwineverything

      you make a good point, i think the club is spending a lot of money to vastly improve in the areas you have mentioned, in terms of academy and medical and even now scouting set is getting a shot in the arm as we speak, by moving steve rowley to the top a new and improved scouting network and bringing in more modern forward thinking younger scouts(like wrigglesworth, and maybe walsh from leicester) in below him so the network of our scouting is gong to be more far reaching than ever before, both at home and abroad as well at academy level, also the club is building an arsenal academy in ghana i believe, so we can find the best young african players and bring them there, it good to try and snap up the talent ahead of our rivals. and we are building a massive extension on to the training ground for more athletic development of the players, as well as more other state of the art equipment gong in there for the academy players to use. but like you say we do need to have a shake up at coaching level maybe invest in specialist coaches at certain levels, like a proper defensive coach at all levels and striker coach at all levels. because i can guarantee you if pep comes in after wenger, these things will all be definitely addressed and shaken up to meet his perfect standards.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

      1. 007

        @NY, true, Wenger needs to get his axe and free up space.

        @goonerwineverything very informative stuff there, I hope they are all implemented in time especially issues to do with youth development, we need to get to the level of Barca and Madrid (minus the court issues of course).

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

        1. goonerwineverything

          yeah even at youth level we are investing heavily at hale end, 2 new state of the art buildings plus also relaying and re positioning all the pitches to just be four pitches to mirror the emirates playing surface. so the younger players play on a perfect surface, so it all set up with everything we need to attract and train all the local london and British talent coming through, and we will also be getting more youth coaches on board as well as analysts and sport scientist. its all very ahead of the curve stuff for the youth teams so we will be getting up there with the barca’s and ajax’s of this world soon.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    3. juhislihis

      Arteta, Rosicky, Flamini are all goners in the summer. So should Sanogo, possibly Hayden.

      I mean look at Diaby. He’s still yet to feature for Marseille this year and we had him on the payroll for years like that. Arsenal has been way too sentimental with players who’s contribution is ZERO for the team.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  5. davidnz

    It is a strange season.
    Chelsea and Man U are
    terrible. Leicester a team
    of nobodies top of the table
    Arsenal with a bare 11 decent players
    with 3 now injured are title favourites.
    Now a draw at Stoke is regarded as a great result!
    It’s only going to get harder with
    EPL, FA Cup and Champion’s league.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    1. GoonerLad

      You do realize that quality alone doesn’t guarantee titles, what Arsenal have that the others don’t is PASSION. You want to know how Atletico won the title ? With PASSION more so than the quality of their players. You want to know why Leicester are still in the top 2 ? Because they play with PASSION. Real and City have really ruined what football is all about to most of you fans, buying alone won’t give you trophies, Real couldn’t win one for a decade and only managed to do so the year Messi suffered injuries. You should know that a team’s quality comes from the desire to win. How do you think United dominated under Fergie ? How do you think Liverpool won the CL in 2005 ? Passion > Quality, that’s something Wenger is trying to teach the modern set of football fans, without passion from your players you end up in a constant cycle of spending and hiring and firing of managers.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  6. goonthinker

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 24

    1. juhislihis

      You are aware of the mandatory English/homegrown quota in the 25 man squad?

      Didn’t think so..

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  7. goonthinker

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 19

    1. arseniel

      i think its a good thing that arsene wenger pays little or no attention to what some fans have to say

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  8. No10

    If we are still top after game week 29 the title is ours. Just look at the fixtures.

    We should focus on the next 7 games…we need to beat Leicester, Chelsea and Southampton at home, Spuds and United away. IT IS DOABLE! COYG!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  9. wizardry

    @007 What city and chelsea academy players are you talking about? Bellerin, Coq, Campbell have come out and taken the PL by storm. And this is just in 2015. Chelsea have 30+ players out on loan and I don’t even know what city’s academy does.
    You also mention Ospina as one of the players who doesn’t contribute as if Wenger substitutes goalkeepers at the 70th minute. And why is BFG even in there? He’s our first choice CB. Wilshere and Jenkinson are die hard fans of this club. And its those kind of players who never give up.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. GoonerLad

    It has nothing to do with best of an “ok” bunch, what you fail to realize is that the smaller teams have the money to buy QUALITY. Everton got a striker who has already scored 50goals in 3 seasons, Southampton have consistently produced players capable of playing Europa league-level football, West Ham under their new manager are absolute beast and Stoke have the likes of Bojan and Shaquiri (former Bayern and Barca players) playing for them. Meanwhile more established names like Newcastle and Aston Villa have fallen far behind due to the sudden rise in quality amongst other teams. Go watch LaLiga league and you will notice that quality of players isn’t as evenly spread out compared to England, you have top 2 or 3 established names and the rest are average. In addition the smaller teams in those leagues NEVER put up a fight against the likes of Real. Why ? Because in England fans demand that their teams play with passion, even if it’s against the best XI in the world the team will do its best to make sure the opposition doesn’t score and will do anything to prevent that from happening (i.e : Stoke). It’s a fact that in England it’s a lot more difficult to score because of the pace of the game and the amount of physical energy playing week in week out demands. More importantly, you won’t have refs helping you out like they do in Spain *cough*Madrid/Vallecano*cough*. Remember how DiMaria (considered Madrid’s best player) struggled in the PL ? Remember how Mourinho failed after 2 seasons ? If teams were so poor then likes of Chelsea and City would currently be dominating.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Udochukwu


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