Arsenal – The People’s champions?

by admin

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

It’s a bit early to be making broad statements about the title challengers, but broad statements promote debate, and I’m all about the debating. This season will be a 2 horse race between Chelsea and Arsenal for the premier league.

Man Utd simply lack any flair what so ever, Liverpool sadly have blown it by not having enough players who can play football, and Manchester City don’t seem to have the right manager just yet.

So with just over a quarter of the season gone, it’s down to 2. the big, bad, evil empire of Chelsea, with their stormtrooper players, evil genius chief executive and shady emperor, against the pluck young good guys over at the Emirates, with their dedication to good, clean fun, no nasty tackles, and a desire to entertain. (ok, they can be a bit moody and their manager complains, but they are still the good guys).

So it’s a bit of a good versus evil in my eyes. But is that the view of everyone? This nation loves an underdog. I’m not saying Arsenal are an underdog. Burnley are an underdog. I’d love it if they won the prem. I don’t think they will though.

Arsenal are the lowest dog of any team with realistic title ambitions. Everyone had them written off (again….) before they thumped Everton on the first day of the season.

Chelsea by contrast are a ‘war machine’, built to destroy any challenge. They have a squad packed with talent, and they have the cheque book stubs to prove it. But they also have an element of nastiness that might not sit well with the great British public’s view of fair play.

They are the John and Edward to Arsenal’s Olly Murs. They are the Empire to Luke Skywalker’s rebellion, and the current favourites to take the prize.

But Arsenal have never compromised on their morals. In fact, they have used their morals as an excuse for failure in the past. It’s coming together though, and the neutrals are starting to support them. Their match of the day billing is going up a bit, the players are scoring goals (and conceding them, sure, but this is Arsenal remember!) and the confidence is there.

So as I see it, it’s a straight forward battle to the line. The golden Gunners who can do no wrong, fight a clean fight against the cheating, untrustworthy meanies from the King’s Road.

Who do you want to win? Do you believe in good or evil? Could Man U get back in the game quickly enough? Or are they just a bit rubbish now?

I’m backing the Gunners. The nice guys are going to come in first.

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  • Stevie

    it’s way to early to write of Man United even if they have no cutting edge what so ever. They will spend big and Jan and finish strong.

    I watched the game on Sunday and it was horrible, Chelsea are a rich mans Germany!

    Lets hope for the sake of football Arsenal win the league, but if history is anything to go by we’ll fade away in Feb-March, that’s why we need to buy YaYa Toure, he’s the missing piece.

  • Mike Somerville

    it does remind me of Brazil vs Germany (Arsenal being Brazil of course.) They have so much strength in depth in midfield… perhaps Yaya Toure could make them tougher still but I reckon Song and Denilson, as well as Fabrages can do a perfectly good job of holding the midfield.

    They do dive a bit too much, and their manager does moan about little things, but we do still them don’t them. Don’t we?

  • Matt Quinn

    If Villa dont win it, then i would like Arsenal to do so. They play football in the right way and are showing the tired old cliche of “over-passing” is just that… a tired old cliche. Year in, year out, Arsenal are in the top 2 or 3 scorers in the league but are still always accused of looking for the perfect goal and tip-tapping etc.

    I would still be worried about them defensively against the better teams and cannot believe the hype surrounding Kieron Gibbs but as Barcelona have proved… if you have 70% possession, then defense is less of a concern!

    Think Aaron Ramsey may become a key player for them later this season too.

  • Tom

    Good point Matt, there were doubts over Barca’s defence last season, but look what happened, the you score 2 we’ll score 4 mentality is what makes football so exciting. The media are far to critical, how boring would it be if every game was won to 0?

    Arsenal are a breath of fresh air and deserve more credit from the likes of Hansen and co!

    Let’s hope football really is the winner.

  • James

    I’d prefer Arsenal won it over Lpoo, Chelski or Man Shitty but I would like to disagree about them being the ‘good guys’. Arsenal players offer more than their fair share of two-footed-tackles, stamps and dives. I mean, look at Eboue and the petulant Van Persie. I do love a bit of Fabregas on toast though and he’s looking like a future world beater. I don’t know who wrote the article, saying it’s a two horse race between Arsenal and Chelsea but, you must be mad! United have not been out of the prem title race this early ever, literally, ever, since it began. And, only 5 points adrift of Chelsea now, why would anyone with any football knowledge right them off? Yes, they have started a weaker side this season without the best player in the world (as any team would). I think Fergie thought that Utd would do all right; Owen would grab a few winners, Berba and Rooney would make an amazing partnership and everyone else would contribute, proving him right. But this time, as much as I still think United can win the league even with the meagre squad we have, the squad isn’t good enough to keep up the tradition United have of playing exciting, quick football.

  • James

    write the off* – my apologies…

  • Jason

    the same happened 2 season ago remember, then they went to Birmingham and their whole season blew up in their face. Boo Hoo Gallas forget to take his happy pills.

    So don’t count your chickens yet, there’s 28 games to go, there will be thrills, pills and bellyaches along the way that’s a definite!

  • Iain

    Quite right Man Utd are still in the race, but isn’t it fun sometimes to just think about if they weren’t involved? Writing them off is entertaining, albeit a bit misguided, and it gives us an opportunity to compare two different approaches to football in Arsenal and Chelsea. Man Utd combines the two, so sits in the middle.

    MAn Utd have a lot of good quality, but not quite superstar players (Rooney, Vidic, Ferdinand excluded) who will play some great stuff and get close. but it’s still Chelsea vs Arsenal for the title in my eyes, based on what we’ve seen so far.

    And Van Persie Petulant? He’d kick you in the face if he knew you said that!

  • Jimmy

    We are only a third of the way through the season so far, there are 11 points between L’pool and Chelsea, and being an Arsenal fan I remember winning the league when the bookies/(or a bookie?) had already paid out to punters who laid out on Man Utd to win, as they were 12 points ahead of Arsenal as the season was drawing to a close.

    I agree with a lot of the article though, obviously I am biased but it does feel that Arsenal’s insistence on playing ‘the beautiful game’ has won many hearts and yes, I even had a Spurs fan friend of mine that he enjoys watching the Gunners play their type of footy. The difference now is that the Gunners are finding out how to ‘grind’ out wins without playing particularly well (by their standards) and still score 3 or 4. The Wolves result was an example of that. Heads aren’t going down this time, when they are closed down too quickly to play with the flair and style Arsenal are renowned for. They then play the waiting game, as teams tire out of chasing them down to prevent them playing. Then the Gunners can score quickly and more importantly often, as the Spurs game showed. Defensively we are weak (i still miss the old back four) but it’s part of our attacking play, with Clichy (Gibbs) and Sagna getting the ball into the box as much as anyone.

    Vermaelen and Arshavin have been inspirational buys and it is also Arsene’s lack of spending, or the lack of the need to spend big, that has football fans admiring the Gunners. His faith in his young players is infectious and even when things are tough, results wise, I always believe that Wenger knows best, as he does! Over the 13 years of his charge he has been plucking little known names, nurturing their talent and then, sometimes with a heavy heart I imagine, selling them on for huge profits. Along with the fantastic new stadium we have and his creative use of the Carling cup competition for the Young Guns Wenger and his increasingly animated antics have been the kingpin in Arsenal’s renaissance. Having said that I should give credit to Bruce Rioch who signed Bergkamp – the player I attribute to the start of Arsenal’s Renaissance back in 1996.

    Man Utd can’t be written off. They, like Chelsea, have that annoying (when you’re a Gooner) habit of always being up there or ahead of you even after a few bad results. Ronaldo leaving left a huge void, but Ferguson I’m sure will know how to get the best out of the team and knows what’s needed to title challenge better than anyone. Chelsea are just like a machine as said above. Heartless, cold, immense. The game on the 29th Nov is a huge one, not just for Chelsea and Arsenal, but for the clubs playing catch up. It’s also important as I am starting to get the feeling that goal difference might have a role to play come close season (’89 and now ’09?).

    Whatever you make of my ramblings, if Chelsea can be tripped up, which I’m sure they can, then this season has got to be one of the most exciting of recent years for fans. I can see it being a 3 horse race, but who knows what will happen?

  • Darren

    One very important factor which no one has mentioned yet and that’s the brilliant piece of business we did on selling toure who is looking anything but world class at city, the same can be said for addy, who after an explosive start has already got that massive chip back on his shoulder, Arsenal will say we saw this coming and told you so…

  • dexylongshot

    Sod all this talk of Arsenal & Chelsea…
    Quinny, the boy Milner is looking good, man of the match the last 6 games, surely you are not still a non-believer, he truly is the chosen one, he sees things before that happen. (like the way i’ve kept with the Star Wars theme).

  • dexylongshot

    PS. Don’t rule out the scousers!!!

  • Stevie

    the scousers? time for the black wig and glasses, ‘is he havin’ a laff? Have you seen their injury list and lack of depth in their squad?

  • Matt Quinn

    Dexy! I will write an article for next week…. i just dont rate Milner. Very poor man’s Steve Stone. No awareness whatsoever. Head down merchant without any skill, speed, ability…

    Mind you, he doesnt half try hard… so i cant slate him too much.

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