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Is This The Future Arsene Promised?
Before Wenger Arsenal would win the league once a decade and then be mid-table for the rest of it. After some initial success with Wenger, now we are near the top of the table but can not seem to get over the hump. We are one of the best but never the best. If you talk to Arsenal fans we are either under-performing or overachieving depending on our form and personnel.
Since building the new stadium we were promised that the future is bright. I believe now is the future we were being promised.
So the question I want to ask all football fans is, how long should we give Wenger before embarking on a new project?
P.S. Arsenal average league position between 1900-1999 is 8.5 (I guess 8th-9th) and never below fourth with Wenger.
Is OZil The New Torres?
I don't mean to alarm any Ozïl apologists out there (for what it's worth I think he'll come good) but reading your entries in yesterday's mailbox gave me painful flashbacks to a time when I used to read similar mails defending Torres.
Simon (I'm.just.saying) CFC
Big Clubs Fear Chelsea
I just read the idiotic deluded anti-English teams post from Jamie Bedwell. Guys like him do don't deserve to watch EPL every week! The guy dreads to think what would happen to Chelsea if they met Bayern this season. Well, Jamie, Chelsea met already Bayern this season in the Super Cup final. Despite playing with ten men, Chelsea were exactly one minute away to complete the double over the best team in the Europe. Considering the fact that Chelsea are stronger now than at the start of the season, I doubt very much that Bayern or Barcelona will annihilate Jose's boys. Maybe, the English do not know what every boy watching football in Europe knows - the 'big' teams in Europe do not like to play Chelsea, and that's for a reason. I am sure that Messi and Co are still having nightmares from the last game against Chelsea when Jose's boys despite being 2-0 and a man down, leveled the score and eliminated Barcelona to beat Bayern at home. Speaking of Bayern, did not Manchester City beat Bayern in Munich in the group stage? Yes, Jamie, they did.
...Bayern are not the only team to have recently been considered 'unbeatable' over two legs. Barcelona had much the same reputation until last season. Yet curiously against the defensive Chelsea playstyle Jamie Bedwell fears to see they faltered multiple times, being knocked out twice and saved by an atrocious refereeing performance a third time. This is the same Chelsea who drew (then won a penalty shoot-out...against a German team) with Bayern in Munich in the Champions League final. Being better at defending than attacking is not a bad thing. Having a player who can conjure something out of nothing is crucial to the backs-against-the-wall strategy though. Chelsea had Drogba and now have Hazard. England would have Rooney except he doesn't seem to do that anymore.
In summary, if Chelsea get through a potentially tricky encounter against Galatasaray, we'll be more than happy to take on Bayern because we actually know how to play against a team that is better at attacking than us.
Riley Douglas (if Arsenal could do us all a favour and knock them out that would be OK too), Brisbane
Definition : The Buddhist belief that whatever you do comes back to you, e.g. if you do something good, something good will happen to you, and vice versa.
I remember last year how Arsenal and City fan laughing and saying how Nani's red card was right and he deserved it. Well the day has come hahahahaha bye bye Arsenal and City.
BTW both teams where absolutely battered, ten men or not, at home!
Lynton (Don't care if this is on the mailbox or not I'm still happy and feel so good)
Quashing Ridiculous Idea
While not quite plumbing the depths of the 'red card OR penalty' suggestion, the idea of making the card colour dependent on the outcome of the penalty is still quite ridiculous.
The main reason being is any keeper really going to try and save a penalty if he knows doing so will earn him a red card? Then there's the minefield of saving the penalty but the ball staying in play. What if the taker puts away the rebound, does the red still apply? What if he is about to stick the rebound away but is denied by whoever conceded the penalty in the first place? Or if the ball is pushed out into an almighty 1995-era goalmouth scramble and a goal eventually results, where do you draw the line?
Inevitably every penalty would become a repeat of the infamous Henry-Pires routine where the taker has technically 'missed' but a goal would still usually result (provided they didn't comically balls it up of course). Maybe you'd see the emergence of specialists in sidefooting the ball against a post and tucking away the rebound. All quite entertaining but not really in the spirit of the game.
The best solution would be that where the GSO denied was less clear than a penalty, yellow and pen would suffice. This could apply even to fouls outside the box (instead of a red and a free kick). Where a goal was probable, i.e. the attacker would've been able to roll the ball into an empty net, the red card and pen would still apply. There would still probably be too many grey areas for this to be enforceable though, in which case the best realistic approach would be to stick with what we have now and if you don't fancy conceding a penalty and being sent off, maybe just don't f**king dive in inside the box with no hope of winning the ball.
Jon Gibson, LFC
The Best Idea
I'm probably a bit late for the mailbox discussion about red cards and 'obvious' goalscoring opportunities, but I've just had a great idea which I honestly believe might settle the matter once and for all.
Don't foul people in the box.
Some Tottenham Points
Poor old Tottenham, brilliant game to watch for the funnies though, including:
1. What has happened to Soldado? Another easy tap-in goal shanked into the stands. Has he forgotten how to shoot or what? I believe the correct term these days is: "I LOL'd".
2. Were those guys in orange stewards, or fans? Bloody funny watching them behind the goal in the second half. Celebrating after they scored, jumping around in frustration as the ball missed narrowly etc.
3. I thought Vertonghen was a brilliant defender? How did he get beaten by the oldest trick in the book? Attacker runs, runs some more, pausees, runs again, says to Vertonghen "haha gotcha! Bye Jan!", Jan trips him > Penalty. Funny stuff there.
4. Did Matheus find his football boots in lost property? One was white, and the other was black! What is the world coming to. Is that so he can remember his left from his right? If you want to shoot, use the black one or something along them lines perhaps.
Not funny, but Konoplyanka should not move to Liverpool, he looks far too talented.
Lastly a question, if you're playing in the Europa League on Thurday, and have a game against a struggling Norwich on Sunday, do you leave key players at home for a rest and risk losing like you just did? Well, Tim Sure Would.
Si (See what I did there?) MUFC
P.S. Why am I commenting on a Tottenham game? Just preparing for getting back into the groove of watching Thursday night football again (hopefully).
Who Held Who?
Sorry, but let's get something right. Your headline on last night's game reads as 'Superb Swansea hold Napoli'. After dominating the entire game and having enough chances to have won by more than a couple of goals, it should surely read 'Superb Swansea held by Napoli'. I don't care who the bigger team are, or who the bookies favourites were - we were held to a draw, not them.
James (this Monk chap is doing alright) SCFC
Too Many Garys Spoil The...
Why does 'Gary' start to look weird when you have seen it so many times?
Fudge (nothing to put in brackets as my mind has been addled by all the Gary), Yorkshire
...The name Gary starts to look funny after you read it over and over again.
While I appreciate Jamie Bedwell's point about British veneration of glorious failure I have to take issue with the arbitrary comparison of our Winter Olympics medal haul to the Dutch. You do realise that speed skating is a national obsession in the Netherlands and that the majority of their medals come on the rink? It would be like criticising the Dutch for being bad at rugby. If your comment had appeared in the press I would hope to see it Mediawatched by lunchtime. Happy Friday.
Mike, League 2, BRFC