Experience Is Key According To New Boys
This morning’s media continue their love-in with both Mancunian clubs. As City rampaged through the Napoli defence and United tore a strip out of Benfica…no, wait, hold on, they both drew 1 – 1, each as fortuitous as it was unlucky. In other words, they could have lost as equally as they could have won but in fact did neither. Rather like Arsenal. Which makes you wonder why the coverage was so different. It is not individual either; there is a collective will to the coverage.
Perhaps they are scared of Ferguson because he really put the fear up everyone with the rudeness displayed to King Kenny’s daughter last night. Maybe her father was the reason for the ill-manners in response to a stupid question…
Anyways, no point in worrying about such matters, paranoia is surely the only outcome and essentially, you are not going to change anything so entrenched is the view that Arsenal are this season’s club in crisis. Any silverware will be greeted with a plethora of articles questioning, “Are Arsenal the worst Premier League champions / Champions League, FA or Carling Cup winners” (delete as appropriate).
Ahead of last weekend’s victory over Swansea, Wenger spoke of his new signings, particularly effusive in his praise of Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun. As well as being technically proficient and experienced, they were intelligent players according to the manager. In Issue One of The Blizzard, there is an interview with Juanma Lillo, Pep Guadiola’s mentor. It is revealing in the similarities to Wenger’s philosophy about football and well worth reading, if not for that then certainly the interview with Dennis Bergkamp.
Both Arteta and Benayoun have played for big clubs before, the expectations not lost on the Spaniard,
With a club like Arsenal, you are going to be under pressure and you need to handle it and try your best. At every club I have been at, I have had pressure and this is not going to be different. But being under pressure is good because it means people expect something from you. The challenge here is to win trophies and at Everton I didn’t have the chance to do that. Hopefully we are going to have it here and we can make it.
It is this experience that will benefit the team. His medal haul may not be huge by comparison to some but Arteta knows how to handle pressure on the pitch, something which was sorely missing at the end of last season. Indeed, the duo and Per Mertesacker have some damage repair to do since the experienced pro’s were the ones who failed Arsenal so abysmally post-Wembley. Those now departed were amongst those who showed woeful leadership, not just in wearing an armband, but in providing younger players with an example of how to overcome disappointment.
Losing hurts, Wenger has been subjected to envious criticism by his peers, particularly Jose Mourinho who is utterly unable to comprehend how the Frenchman is still employed. Perhaps Lillo has the answer, “Someone who sells results, sells smoke” (the Spanish equivalent of being a charlatan – no, not a member of the outstanding popular beat combo, a, well you know what I meant). In other words, without the method of getting there, to merely be concerned of results is to use smoke and mirrors when talking of football.
Looking back would have given Wenger his needs in terms of character for the future. Both Arteta and Benayoun spoke of the quality in the squad,
I want to improve my understanding with the team because but I think there’s plenty of quality in this team so we’ll quickly understand each other and be better.
It is this which needs to happen but will take time. In the interim, Arsenal will be quite happy to grind out results. Returning players such as Gervinho and Song will bring about a settled look to the core of the side, aiding the understanding. When Wilshere and Vermaelen are truly recovered, the starting XI will take shape at its heart, the peripheries will underline the strength in depth which is there.
Until that happens, let’s sell more smoke…
Posted on September 15, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.