I had a dream last night (you’ll have to bear with me, I don’t usually remember them but have been having some mighty strange ones lately) that we were playing Man U away. For some reason it wasn’t being shown on TV in its entirety anywhere. At half time the coverage began and the second half was just about to start. We were six nil up and I couldn’t believe it. Very quickly after the restart Man U got one back, but I wasn’t too worried. From what I’d heard we had played them off the park so it would only be a consolation. Then they got another, then another. These were some seriously freaky goals, I think Macheda shanked one in from around 45 yards.
In amongst all of this the ref was giving them everything, and I mean everything. Even when it was a stonewall penalty to us he was giving them free kicks higher on the half-way line. The referee was Mike Dean
Then the coverage started to have ad breaks. No one could explain this to me and my nerves were shot because every time the match came back Man U had managed to score another goal. Basically, in the second half we had turned into the footballing equivalent of shit on a stick.
At 5-6 the coverage went to a break but then didn’t come back. There was nothing on the radio, no Internet streams, no twitter coverage, nothing. It was hell.
That’s when I woke up.
What does this matter? Well, the above scenario, while farfetched, is actually quite possible given how we play. We create enough chances to score six or more in the first half of matches and then usually fail to turn up for the second half (at least at home anyway).
It also goes to show that we are thinking far too much about Man U when we have a match against Partizan up first.
Yes, I blame you twitterati for filling my head with such stuff that my slumber was contaminated with visions of Rooney, Macheda, and condom head himself.
I also blame Bacary Sagna for coming out with statements saying that our entire season depends on the next two matches and that he doesn’t want our season to be over in December for the shear panic that was wrought upon me in my dream – how would we cope with things if we lost this match from such a strong position, how would they pick themselves up etc etc:
“We do not want the season to be over at the end of December. We want to win these next matches and give even more power to the team”
I understand the need to take matches against Man U very seriously, but on the one hand it is ridiculous to say our season would be over simply by losing to Man U while we currently sit top of the league, and on the other, as Sairax pointed out, we are just as likely to beat United then lose the following week. It also heaps untold pressure on the team, what if they do lose that match, what then? How do they approach the following matches if they think their season is over? I appreciate his sentiment, but it was a stupid thing to say.
Speaking of which, other stupid things people say is ‘Arsenal need to buy a goalkeeper’. It is lazy punditry of the most annoying kind. It also shows you have not been watching this season when Fabianski has saved us more points that he has come close to costing us, and sits 6th with a shot percentage of 74 (our average last season was around 64) while Reina, that great Liverpool keeper who would save all our problems sits in 16th place. After a week in which we saw many blunders from Reina and Joe Hart, to hear pundit after pundit saying ‘if Arsenal could only get a goalkeeper’ drives me absolutely insane.
A friend, for reasons only known to themselves, was recently making their way through a lot of our defeats from recent years, and she commented to me how the one thing that stood out was that Almunia was always in goal. Apart from 45 minutes against Barcelona I can’t remember any other game in which the Spaniard won us the points. Sure, Fabianski has made more obvious mistakes, but this season he has saved us many, many points.
I just wonder what he has to do for people to get off his back and support him a little bit? To stay and fight like he has took magnificent mental strength, and when you see the overwhelming change of opinion towards Eboue when in the same sort of situation, I can’t help but wonder when Fab will gain the same sort of acceptance – as a player showing constant improvement and who is winning us points as I’ve said. You cannot say that of Eboue yet the crowd hold a special place for him.
Don’t say that’s because he’s the joker and the club mascot, people actually rate him as a footballer.
It’s bollocks, and I’m sick of hearing the ‘if Arsenal could only buy a keeper’ crap. The following matches are ones in which Fabianski has won us points-
Wolves away (three points)
Birmingham home (two points)
Everton away (two points)
Fulham home (two points)
Total = nine points.
Matches in which he has cost us points? None. That’s less that Reina, Van der Sar, Gomez, Robinson, Jaaskelainen, Schwarzer, and Cech, anyone of whom most of you would have taken ahead of Fabianski at the seasons start.
Just give the guy a break. Would you seriously rather have Almunia back in goal?
One of Paul Merson’s favourite lines is that you need a keeper that will save you ten points a season and Fabianski is likely to cost you that many. As you can see already, he has saved us nine, and we’re only in December.
I’m really not sure what else he can do.
He also made the Premier League team of the week AGAIN and since he claimed the number one spot at Arsenal he has been in the team of the week twice. Only Petr Cech can say that.
Team of the week goalkeepers since Fabianski became Arsenal’s number one:
Ben Foster 1
Joe Hart 1
Jose Reina 1
Petr Cech 2
Tim Howard 1
I know people think I am a little too vigorous in my defence of him, but sometimes you have to be to counter-weight all the extreme negativity regarding his performance. People are constantly waiting to jump on him for every tiny mistake and in the meantime they are blind to what he is actually doing on the pitch.
Other interesting stats I came across, which goes against everything pundits are also saying which indicates they think we are not worthy of being on top of the table, is the Opta rankings based on performances so far. What you can see is that not only do Arsenal deserve to be on top of the table, Man U and Chelsea are maybe fortunate to be where they are:
|Team||Goals||Shots||On Target||Shot Accuracy||Succ Passes|
That’s your lot for this blog. More later with an Arsenal news round-up and a first look at our match v Partizan.
If you’ve been having problems accessing this site on your work computer using the URLS globalgooners.com and gossip.globalgooners.com should sort that problem for you.
Get your free LadyArse app here for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone [iPhone coming soon]
Get your free Arsenal wallpaper, Facebook covers and Twitter headers here