Will Arsenal ever win the league playing football?

by Jack Hayes

Monday, September 13th, 2010

What a week of football

Manchester United again squandered two points from a winning situation, the Chelsea juggernaut kept on rolling with a weak West Ham those to be steam rolled, Arsenal’s passing and movement proved too much for Owen ‘trying to play football’ Coyle’s Bolton. The shock of the weekend was to be found at St. James’ Park where Blackpool’s dream start continued. I must admit I was one of those who had Blackpool down as certain relegation fodder, and I do still believe they will go down, despite a wonderful start which sees them in the top four. Newcastle however seem to be the new Wigan, superb one week then clueless the next. Fulham – Bobby Zamora turned around a one nil deficit to a Wolves side that is starting to look at home in the Premier league with new boy Moussa Dembele looking a great signing after his two goal haul. West Brom are also defying some odds after a well earned draw with Spurs, who if you listen to Arjen Robben (as if you would) are just as good as their north London rivals. Sam ‘future England manager’ Allardyce will sleep easy tonight after a good point at Manchester ‘the mercenaries’ City, but to put all of you at ease I can confirm the Man City players still get paid no matter how badly they play. Wigan came from behind to rescue a point from Sunderland after new signing Asamoah Gyan opened his account in English football after a fantastic cross from future England international Jordan Henderson.

Now that’s Saturday’s games summarised, I want to talk about crossing. In modern football the most important thing for a team (except Arsenal) is having two wingers who can put the ball in the right areas. This point is proved time and time again. Watch Man United’s first two goals, both come from magic crosses from Nani who is starting to look like the complete deal. It also highlighted the importance of having people in the box, Darren Fletcher doesn’t get the credit he should and he showed he has what Alan Hanson would call a ‘footballing brain’ as he knew as soon as the ball was played wide to Nani that he needed to be in the box looking to score. He got inbetween the centre backs and the keeper and Nani put it on a plate for him. In the same game Everton’s dramatic comeback came from two crosses from Leighton Baines left peg.  Bolton’s only goal came from a cross from Lee, Gyan’s volley came from a demon ball from Henderson, arguably van Damme’s goal came from a cross, and Patrick Vieira rolled back the years with a crisp finish from Tevez’s cross, Essien scored two with his head, and Chris Brunt’s goal came after a cross wasn’t dealt with. That’s 12 goals out of 26 this Saturday scored as a result of a cross. Which begs the question why all teams don’t employ a big ‘Andy Gray’ type centre forward with two wingers who have good delivery. Arsene Wenger will tell you that a goal from a cross is not a beautiful goal, which in some cases could be true, and he may argue that Arsenal’s fourth goal is what football should be all about, fantastic passing and a great finish. However Arsenal’s first goal was scrappy and totally ‘un-Arsenal’ and was Wenger complaining when that went in?

Wenger sticking to his principles must be admired, but I have to ask, will Arsenal ever win the league playing the style of football that they do?

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  • James

    No, not strong enough defensively. No chance.

  • redanddread

    They may but really it is a redundant question because, Arenal have already won the league playing pass and move in 2002 & 2004………..If you were a little more clued in (Alan HansEn) you might have seen that Arsenal’s 2nd goal came from a cross. Wenger has no problem with goals from crosses, in fact he has beseeched Clichy & Sagna to improve their crossing and there may just be something in him buying a centre-forward of the type and caliber of Marouane Chamakh- a master header of the ball.

  • goonerjon

    Actually you don’t HAVE to ask…yes the first goal was scrappy but some clubs in the Premier League would count it as pure class…and Wenger doesn’t see a goal from a cross as a beautiful goal? Do you know him well, has he talked you about this? He bought Chamakh for ability in the air (Arsenal’s second goal on Saturday) and employs Theo Walcott…while we’re at it let’s look at the last goal shall we?…24 passes a through ball from Farbregas and tremendous Vela finish…and watched by around 60,000…winning the league isn’t actually everything…what would you prefer a season ticket at the Emirates or Blackburn? Or Stoke? Your site blurbs ‘real football ,real fans’ …possibly but REAL opinions?

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    The true test comes on oct 3 when we play Chelsea at the bridge. Drogba batters us every time, so this will b an indication if we are ready or not

  • Keith O’Connell

    James, what are you basing your summary on? Last season? Get a grip and it is worth avoiding sweeping statements until after at least 10 games unless you are hoping to look like a twat (I mean this in general, not just in this instance).

    And Jack, you seem to have a great deal in common with MOTD in that your hasty summary appears to have ignored what could have been three broken legs this weekend. If that is football you can keep it.

    I guess we should just be happy that it was just the one, eh?

  • Jack Hayes

    To be perfectly honest, I love a good tackle. I’m an Arsenal fan, and I miss Patrick Vieira so badly. We have won nothing since his penalty against United. He used to ‘put it about’ but he could also glide with the ball and cut open a defence with his movement. My point is, tough tackles do not ruin football. Zamora’s broken leg came from a perfectly good tackle, if we remove those kinds of tackles we might as well make it a non contact sport.

    And if you think the Premier league is dirty, try playing pub league football, you learn to give it out as much as you take it. And the reason the premiership is the best in the world (and it is, no doubt about it) is because of the non-stop tempo, the physical challenges and the great football that makes this league as breath taking as it is.

    And the reason for my ‘hasty summary’ is due to me not wanting to bore you with details of every game, and the fact I only saw one game live and the rest on MOTD.

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