El Crappico / Eduardo on his way out? / Sol Campbell is a D&Ger… or a realist?

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Well, El Classico was hardly the game we were all expecting. Interesting viewing is about as far as I can stretch when describing Barcelona’s 2-0 win. Madrid never really found top gear, Barca found it when they needed to. The game was won on finishing. Xavi somehow finding Messi with a sublime chip, the Argentine bringing it down with almost zero space, finding the bottom corner with his shot. Then Pedro finishing things off in the second half. Madrid used 2 holding midfielders and broke up Barca’s play well at times, but when all was said and done, even e200million couldn’t threaten Barcelona’s dominance.

That tells you something. When you get into the elite of world football, it comes down to how well you piece your jigsaw together. It comes down to how well the coach trains the team. It comes down to how much hunger the players have. Barcelona play like a team starved of success for a century, truly a pleasure to watch.

I’ve just been traipsing around newsnow to find something to write about. I’ve seen about 4 headlines with ‘Doom and Gloom’ in them. What is it with people and their insistence on telling Gooners how to think? Talking about the reality of what’s going on at Arsenal seems to be a cardinal sin in some peoples book of blogging. Sure there have been positives this season but ignoring the negatives is a bit like burying your head in the sand. It’s pointless because when you eventually raise your head… they’ll still be there, staring back at your menacingly.

Sol Campbell has it bang on in his latest interview.

Everyone has to look at himself after the Barcelona match and say, ‘This is the level you have to get to’.

You can’t think you’re OK when you’re not. This is the level you have to be at.

You have to say, ‘This is the level I want to get to and surpass’. You have to be honest with yourself and say, “I have to work harder, I have to understand the game better” and realise that it’s a big world out there and that there are a lot of good players at big clubs.

“Arsenal haven’t been in this situation for a few years with the league, and this is another area you can learn from and listen to people who have been there and be aware that every time you go out, every point is precious.

All the players who walked out on that pitch against Barca have to have a long hard look at their game and ask whether that was good enough. They have to find that extra bit of hunger in training to take their game to the next level. If they can’t do that, then it’s time to move on. I’m not comforted by that Barcelona game. I’m not proud that we played them at their own game and got thumped. What will make me proud is if we learn from that and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen next season.

We’ve made great improvements in the league this season, but things could be better again. We’ve cost ourselves many points with sloppy defending. If that can be addressed and our defence can match our attack for efficiency, we could be a terrifying outfit next year.

Justifying second best makes being second best seem acceptable. That attitude in itself isn’t an acceptable mindset in top class sport. You need a winning culture at a football club. Players like Sol have that.

Onto a slightly sad subject. The plight of Eduardo. After recovering from that horrific challenge at St Andrews, many of us, rightly or wrongly, presumed that Eduardo would come back to top class football and recover his form. Sadly, after almost 18months, he still hasn’t managed to. He seems to have lost what little pace he had and more importantly, that psychological edge he had when he was in the box. He fears a challenge and opposing defenders seem to pick up on that.

Wenger has used him sparingly this season and when he has gained minutes, Eduardo hasn’t looked half the player he once was. The troubling question is this. How long do you give a player before you cut your loses? We’re not a charity, he’s been paid the whole way through the recovery period… and he’s still not ready. We’re a team pushing for major honours on 2 fronts most seasons. When the annual injury crisis hits, we should be have better options than Arshavin in the middle.

Will Wenger cut his losses this summer? Was Eduardo the sad news Andy Abrahams was talking about? I’d say there was a 60% chance of that being the case…

Another interesting problem that seems to have arisen is the Carlos Vela one. Last season he lit up our screens with some dazzling displays of outrageous skill and clinical finishing. Many fans, myself included, thought this would be his break through year. Especially when Wenger told us at Christmas Carlos was the reason he didn’t recruit when he sold Ade… because our Mexican was the new Robbie Fowler. Well, that was either one big fat lie or Carlos Vela was caught taking a dump in the manager’s office.

He’s been given hardly any chances at all this season. I find it staggering that a player with undeniable talent doesn’t seem to get a look in? He really has fallen foul of Wenger for some reason? People point to his exploits with Mexico… well, we knew he was Mexican when we signed him didn’t we?

It came to a head last week when Carlos was omitted from the Nou Camp squad after forgetting his passport. A bit dim you have to say, probably the type of oversight you’d expect to signal the end of your Arsenal career. That’s a great shame… he’s a real talent, I’m sure he’ll do well in La Liga. Just like Merida will. Another player who has had minimum playing time compared to some of the Marmite compatriots.

Anyway, I’m off down south today. Enjoy watching the mighty Pompey take apart our most repugnant neighbours from down the road!

1-0 Pompey!

That’d make my weekend!

Happy blogging!

492 Responses to “El Crappico / Eduardo on his way out? / Sol Campbell is a D&Ger… or a realist?”

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  1. Stu

    If Pompey somehow manage to win then its definately chelseas Cup because Pompey wont play most of the players because of the bonuses.

  2. Swedish Gun

    chamakh looks a done deal
    and say we get hangeland

    then we would have chamakh, bendtner, hangeland, diaby and vermy

    JUST BUY RORY DELAP FOR £30M =) sorted

  3. Stu

    Where we ever really in for Zapata or was it just more paper talk?

    You watch all the leagues right Pat? What kind of a season is he having?

  4. Pat

    Stu, not this season!! With college and work I don’t have as much free time, but from the few Udinese games i’ve seen I don’t recall him putting a foot wrong. I don’t remember any superb performances either. I’d take him over Sakho.

  5. Pat

    Now that I think about it, I’ve only seen zapata on 2 occasions this season, both towards the start. I don’t think he’s getting games at the moment. Don’t know why though.

  6. Pat

    hahah Stu, I hate that cunt.

    and just checked, Zapata has been playing regularly this season. I guess I just never spotted him the few times I’ve seen udinese play

  7. Pat

    I guess its good? Usually defenders are noticed when they make mistakes and not given credit for what they do well.

  8. Stu

    LOL Avram Grant looks like he’s about to have a heart attack. Arry, as usual, looks like he’s just had a stroke.

  9. CedarBayDave

    Do we finish like lions and make Chelsea earn the top spot, or do we limp to the line and barely edge out Man City to hold on to 3rd?

  10. Bozin


    I fucking love portsmouth!!

    2-0 pompeyyyy!!

    The spud scum will surely be affected by this game. The mancs loosing is a huge opportunity for us now.

    Cmon pompey and cmon The Arsenal!

  11. Tariq

    Yes! Lovely day! Hope our boys give them a good ass kickin’ on Wednesday! I missed most of the 2nd half. What happened to Bassong?

  12. zeus


    Man Utd 0-0 means we win and we only have to overhaul Chelsea, a far more achievable feat than having to overhaul 2 teams. Still an outside chance.

  13. finestcuts

    They’re gonna be absolutely exchausted…..we should really win by 3s+. They will be a wounded animal but come the second half we should completely outclass them.

  14. Gooby

    we have a habit of smashing the spuds. not worried at all.

    with nasri, bendy, diaby and song we will surely outclass them

  15. B.B.K.

    gooby we have NOONE left to hurt them on wednesday if we has all our players to choose from id say we got a chance.

  16. B.B.K.

    mr b why would i enjoy us being shit that’s the whole reason why i am moaning because we should be better then what we are.

  17. patthegooner

    Fucking Well done Pompey.

    The Spuds thought they were already in the Final prior to kick off.

    Best of all, it went 120 mins and Palacios is suspended on Wednesday night.

    Pompey have done Liverpool a massive massive favour though. Pompey cant play in the Europa League next season as they could not apply for a Uefa club licence as they were in Administration and could not file their accounts. That will mean 6th place will get a Europa spot.

  18. RT.Z

    Benitez said he may need to sell in order to have the funding to sign new players, therefore £20 million could be a fair deal.

  19. patthegooner

    I think Wednesday will still be tough though.

    The Spuds still have something to play for and we are missing a lot of match winners. (I dont think RVP will start).

    I would go

    Sagna, Vermaelen, Campbell, Clichy
    Nasri, Song, Diaby
    Theo, Bendtner, Eduardo

  20. patthegooner

    Liverpool are fucking mugs if they give the fat spanish waiter another season.

    After all he did promise CL Football next season!!!!

    And he is after £60m.

    Surely they just need to look what he spent the last 40 on. Aquilani and a very overpriced Glen Johnson

  21. patthegooner

    Maybe BBK but looking at the performance of Rosicky out there last week, we dont have a lot of options.

    I would like to see Vela given a crack too, but it wont happen.

  22. patthegooner

    BBK are you going to bother watching on Wednesday?

    I think you have it down as an Away Defeat already..

  23. Pedro


    So, I leave and all my dreams come true!

    Did Spurs really lose? Did Man U really draw!

    Fucking class!

  24. Cosbo

    Gooby and Mark – can’t believe you rate vela in the same league as Mark Randall! You’re the biggest idiots I know!!

    From what I have seen on Vela he looks potentially World Class. You don’t get many players who can finish like him. Though I did see some small Argentinian score a goal againist us last week that was a similiar type of finish, can’t remember his name though.

    Will be gutted to see Vela and Merida leave in the summer! Love Wenger but don’t know what he is thinking sometimes.

    Denilsion – played plenty of games now and doesn’t seem to be progressing
    Rosicky – is the ink dry on his contract yet. Great player but will never getback to his best.
    Eduardo – same as above.

  25. Samuel

    This article annoys me. While it is great to say that we shouldn’t be seeing 2nd as acceptable, it doesn’t say how we make 1st a reality. Here are some broad points that should be made:

    1. Let’s take the difference between Real and Barca. Real looked at being second best anywhere and said, this is not acceptable. They fired managers who would win the league but not in Europe. They fired managers who did the inverse. Pelligrini, after having an immense first season (already having a points total that would win the Premiership), looks to get fired because anything but first is acceptable.

    Bringing in the new without any direction, however, has obviously been the downfall. The first galacticos cost them so much they had to sell their training ground. How would that help them train to achieve the acquired level? You sell your players who may not be easy on the eye but are very successful team players (Sneijder and Makelele instantly spring to mind) because on a highlights reel they look different to over 38 ninety minutes. You fire managers before anyone at the club can plan to the level of success you want for a sustained future.

    Something very noticable is- what are they going to sell off next to pay for this scheme… the Bernebeu? To want to be the best is to be the best tomorrow as well as every day after that. If a team constantly loses money then eventually 10 year old Real fans are going to see a third division side, ravaged by the banks after the government and favours can only help them out so much.

    Barca looked at their academy under Cryuff and said ‘we have a facility especially for bringing through footballers, why can’t we find out how to treat and train every youngster in a way to make them world class?’ And not only did they find a way to effectively bring through immense and sustainable talent, they learned that with a little initial investment and lots of time and effort, having many great players could be done for less than a creme egg costs at your local one stop.

    In doing this, there was no question of what their current level needed to be. No-one looks at La Masia and thinks ‘we need to be #1 and nothing else is acceptable’. This is because it is a completely different part of the operation. But you see a way you can effectively bring your club up in quality, you change it and make sure it stays at the highest order.

    During the time Cryuff was implementing everything he learned at Ajax, Barca already had Nou Camp and a giant support base. They could afford the Romarios and Stoichkovs and Koemans and Ronaldos and Rivaldos and Dinhos and Riquelmes- the players to tide them over waiting for Pep or Xavi or Pique or Messi to come through. Once La Masia had turned from a decent academy to the post-Cryuff genius factory it is now, the money they already had that was subsidising the team could then be used more sparingly and in a more focussed manner (so they could spend £25m on the one perfect right back to get the best tactically out of Messi.) Careful forward planning has lead them to be undoubtably the best in the world, not an insane urges seen at Real to grab onto any idea that could get them there.

    (By the way, in the past two years Real have sold on possibly two of the most exciting Spanish youths made at their academy, Juan Mata and Alvaro Negredo. Mata, especially, is years ahead of VDV or Marcelo. Forward planning and not caring about anything other than what is shiny and new has bought about huge mistakes.)

    2. Apply this to Arsenal. 2nd is acceptable. Acceptable doesn’t mean ‘what we want, or what we try our hardest to achieve’. Acceptable means ‘well, it’s not the end of the world, we can live with this’. WE JUST BUILT A NEW FUCKING STADIUM AND TRAINING GROUNDS (yes, grounds, as the academy has Hale End, a seperate facility to accomidate the growth and teaching of exceptional youth footballers). Barca and Real might not be the real comparison- look at Valencia and Liverpool. In a shit load of debt trying and not succeeding in building a new stadium, hoping and praying to get into the champions league.

    See the thing is you do not say how to making 1st the norm and 2nd less than acceptable. Instant gratification through signings? Well maybe. Barcelona were able to keep up such a high standard while developing the other side of their game by buying big. But they had the money for it, with an old but huge and constantly filled stadium, and little to no debt. And if hypothetically money is no issue, who do we buy that is proportionate to our team, our fitness, our spirit and our tactics? Do the club want to sell if we find the correct player, and do they want to sell in our price range? Barca had the option to spend higher than the market price on the likes of Zlatan, that Ukranian fella with the long name I cannot spell, Kerrison and Alves all in the past two years because they were the players they thought perfect for the team (long gone are the days of just buying Petit for show and tell.) We may have money to buy but we certainly cannot afford to buy over market price. If we did we would have had Chamakh for the three months Bendtner and Van Persie were injured.

    And how do you find the perfect player? Well, I can open a paper and be told signing Leo Messi is the answer. But the reality of a squad assessed by coaches, physios, psychologists and their team mates to see who works, who doesn’t, what specific type we need here, what will work there and so on is very different. And then a scouting network cannot just go up over night- look at the blunders Chelsea made when attempting to spend all the Russian money. So to be the best is to buy the best then it still takes a shit load of time and effort to understand how to buy (unless you are Chelsea and for every Drogba there is a Shevchenko, Mutu, Kalou, di Santo and so on.)

    In all this time there needs to be understanding of how to make added revenue to cover this and then how to use it effectively. Stage 1 is complete, build and finance a stadium. The debt is being reduced at a terrific rate. But then what? Do we keep a wage structure for fear of squad unrest, or do we not care how a defensive midfielder on 30k a week feels about us signing villa on 200k a week? Do we use all that revenue on signings or on adding to the staff, the training and medical facilities, on future investments, on academy development? Is it all going on signings and not on the rest (hello Real Madrid) going to lead to a team being the best in everything at all times? Really?

    Think of it this way… you buy Lydl and decide you are going to make them as big as Tesco or WalMart. Great. Now what? In five years you implement a smart and effective way to get you past Asdas in the world supermarket stakes, is that really not ‘acceptable’? Were you expecting after 5 years just to take your kind of well known brand, which is effective at what it does (1-0 to the arsenal) but has no direction, no money to invest compared to the others and so on and expect it to suddenly become bigger than Tesco? And not beating Tesco and only Asdas and Sainsburys isn’t seen as an achievement? The sort of forward planning to get a shitty chain up that far in peoples minds looks like it could never stop going up the ladder, as long as it stays patient and understands what it needs to do, the mistakes it must learn from and so on.

    We are the most perfectly run team in the country. We now have the world class stadium that brings in enogh revenue to make your eyes explode. A top top training ground. An even better youth set-up. Some of the most well respected physios in the game. Some of the most well respected coaches in the game. Enough to buy top players each year (in the past two years we have got Nasri, Vermaelan and Arshavin- all while reducing the debt by 90m… think of what we can spend in 5 years compared!). We have a managing director who is focussing on our short comings such as trying to gain more ground (and thus support and revenue from sponsership, shirt sales and connections with clubs) in parts previously unknown. We have the sort of scouting network that is envied the world over. Our Lydl will become bigger than Tesco, it is an inevitably, if we stay patient and make decisions week in week out, year in year out, sensibly and calmly with both the short term, the long term, and the fans understanding in mind.

  26. patthegooner

    It was a great set of events and results for Arsenal Pedro.

    Best of all 120 mins for some key Spud players on a very heavy pitch. And Palacios suspended for Wednesday, although also for the Chavski game 🙁

  27. finestcuts

    There are always gonna be a few misery guts, Tottenham Away, I’m with 99% of gooners, we’re gonna smash it at the Lane for real.

  28. Pedro

    Samuel, sorry I couldn’t post your comment up earlier.

    I think you got the wrong end of the stick with the post… I didn’t say we need to go out this summer and make ourselves better than Barca, I merely said that we shouldn’t be satisfied with 2nd or 3rd.

    Just like the Sol Campbell said in his interview… lets go away, work at our game and come back stronger.

    Wenger shouldn’t class our position as an over achievement… we’re Arsenal. First place should be the mentality… always.

    I don’t think you can bang on about the stadium either… we’re generating world class profits NOW and we earned £40mill this summer. It’s not an excuse anymore… we’ve got a mortgage… it’s our CHOICE to pay it off early, not a demand of the banks.

    Anyway… some interesting points raised all the same.

  29. zeus


    The league was over a long time ago. I’m just saying, the WELL OUTSIDE, DARK HORSE chance that we have got a little better as we have only 1 team to usurp if we win.

  30. patthegooner

    We have five Cup Finals, and we have to win them all.

    Personally I dont think it will be enough, but we still need to do our bit and hope that Chavski fuck up.

    What is a cunt now is that Liverpool play their 2nd leg of the Semi Final a few days before Chavski, and it looks like they have given up on 4th so I expect to see players rested for that game, especially if they are in the Europa League Final.

  31. finestcuts

    Samuel, I appreciate your well thought out assessment of the situation and there is nothing to disagree with however the issue is with Signing players such as Silvestre. Surely we would have been better of signing a good defender in his early twenties two years ago. Surely we can buy a world class defensive midfielder.
    The club is run brilliantly, I am in full support of Wenger unlike some on the blog, however that does not mean that I believe that he has made every decision correctly. With a bit of hindsight, looking at the money we’re preparing to invest in centre backs and other players…..these issues are not new, they could have been addressed a couple of years ago and they should have been.
    I look at it this way, even members of political parties diagree on various issues while supporting the overall programme.
    I think it’s great the Arsene Wenger is seeing us through this transition phase, although it does not have to be at the expense of buying top quality for reuired positions.
    The point is, if we had 2 or 3 players more in positions where we’re a bit short, then we could have been first, and those players have to be bought anyway, whether it was two years ago or next year. It’s a bit like having a Ferrari engine and putting a few part in that make it not run to it’s optimum efficiency….You’ve spent hundreds of thousands on the car, all it would take is a few thousand more to make it work efficiently, why shell out so much and then notget the full benefit for the sake of a fraction of what the entire unit is worth?

  32. Man

    We’ll beat spurs…(and I’m mostly right!)

    The matches against Blackburn (away), Man city and Fulham may have just got more difficult tho…those 6/7 days in between will prove handy!

    Got a feeling Chelsea might not find that easy against Bolton on Tuesday…we’ll see

  33. Mayank

    Great results today. Although I think the title is lost second tied on points with Chelsea is still a possibility.

    Also Samuels post and Pedro’s and Finest’s rebuttals make for very interesting reading.

  34. B.B.K.

    This is England Says:
    April 11, 2010 at 19:04
    BBK sounds dissapointed that spurs lost.mmm ,mmmm nothing im saying we are in no position to mock,because were not setting the world on fire are we

  35. patthegooner

    Hopefully Fulham will get to the Europa Cup Final.

    If they do, then we will see a very weak Fulham side coming to the Emirates.

    To be honest though, unless it is in our hands on the final game of the Season, we are fucked anyway.

  36. patthegooner


    Cheer up, if you cant enjoy the pain of the Yids, then there is no helping you

    Regardless of the fact that we are not setting the world alight.

  37. Goonerman

    Arsenal fans sing: Stand up if you hate Tottenham
    Chelsea fans sing: Stand up if you hate Tottenham
    West Ham fans sing: Stand up if you hate Tottenham

    Why is that? Are Totty fans arrogant and jumped up?

  38. B.B.K.

    we have brought nasri,vermaelen and arshavin and we are still finishing with fuck all,what does that tell you.

  39. B.B.K.

    g.m obviously they are are nearest rivals and we hate them as for chelsea and westham hating them it comes from the hooligan element if you have ever been to the lane you would know what i mean

  40. This is England

    Getting very excited and nervous about the run in.Already i cant wait for next season,i never thought we would be in this position at the start of this season.if you take into account the amount of injuries we have done really well.Very proud of my team.

  41. Erichero

    Not quite sure how we’re certain to mess up at Spurs when our league run is WWWWWWDW. You can barely get better than that, including tricky away games like Stoke and Hull. Not sure when I last checked, but the Spuds are not Barca. Ehem, cough.

    We do have a tricky run in now, for sure. Citeh are in form, Blackburn will be tough and even Fulham can defend. Chelsea seem to have found their feet at the right time and any sensible better will hand it to them right now.

    However, if you think that we’re struggling for form, which WWWWWWDW doesn’t support, then what about Manure?

  42. Erichero

    I’m still amazed at this thought. We needed ManU and Chelsea each to lose and draw in 5 games (assuming we won everything – yes a big assumption).

    Only 2 games of the 5 gone and already ManU have lost and drawn! And I would certainly put my money on Citeh in the derby given current form.

  43. Gooby

    Cosbo Says:
    April 11, 2010 at 19:08
    Gooby and Mark – can’t believe you rate vela in the same league as Mark Randall! You’re the biggest idiots I know!!

    well cosbo, i am waiting for an apology as i never said that. read well before insulting people

  44. big dave

    Modric or Nasri ?

    So happy Grant, even tho they will get stuffed by the chavs, Pompey are in this shit thanks to arry and his mob when they were at the club at the time.

  45. reggie 57

    If the chav cunts draw against the bindippers and the spuds and we win all our games its


  46. Gooby

    citeh could get a result at the emirates. we are really short of players.
    RvP return would be a boost even if he won’t have much of an impact after 5 months out

  47. Stu

    I cant believe that Arry claims he didnt ruin Pompey when Utaka, a shit player he signed is reportedly on 80k a week.

  48. Stu

    How dare anyone even think Vela is in the same league as Vela. Vela is an international star, Randall cant even get on for Burnley…when they were in the championship.

  49. ritesh

    we are not a charity…huh

    We should have helped him sue those bastards and get compensation for preventing him to fulfill his potential. Did we do that? No, we went the extra mile of…paying his wages when he was injured.

    Arsenal is supposed to be a team with class. Can’t we move up a level in dealing with this. It will not ruin us if we keep him at the club. As a fan, I dont mind.

  50. Stu

    Oh really? Thats more than a bit of an exaggeration then. Even so, 30k is a lot of money for such a small club.

  51. Gooby

    Stu Says:
    April 11, 2010 at 20:30
    How dare anyone even think Vela is in the same league as Vela. Vela is an international star, Randall cant even get on for Burnley…when they were in the championship.

    it’s that dude cosbo that made up things i never said. i like vela, he has talent. better than theo imo