Rudderless Arsenal Will Win Nothing

tumang bokabaCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal in full flight during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on March 6, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Catchy heading, isn't it?

No, really, I am a gooner.

You see, the heading of the article is one of the many negative things that you hear from so called "pundits" or commentators, however half-brained most of them are. There seems to be, for lack of a better word at the time of writing, a conspiracy, or at the very least a concerted campaign in rubbishing Arsenal, not as a team but as a club.

Often you hear that we whine and whinge for no apparent reason, or if indeed there is a reason, it doesn't necessarily require any moaning.

It seems that Arsenal can do no right.

Theo Wallcot was mercilessly panned for his performance against the Egyptians to a point where one "pundit" claimed that the youngster had no football brain, whatever that means. With that alone, you'd swear that the entire English team was so smoking hot only Walcott was holding the team back.

But what of Lampard, who looks perpetually out of sorts for England? And Gerrard? A midfield apparently to win the World Cup for England, but I digress.

Arsenal has just won a very important and at times highly charged game against a very determined Burnley, a team which has been rather problematic for bigger sides this season, a team who by virtue of being in the relegation scrap is bound to be a difficult opponent.

Do we hear positive appraisal from the media? Does the team receive the credits it deserves? Mind you, while the team and the club don't get off the adulation of the media, which is increasingly hostile as the team makes a remarkable and frankly devilishly incredible push for the title, all teams deserves equal praise when warranted.

It seems that by winning against Burnley, Arsenal actually lost, if you listen to them commentators. They claimed that by not winning by four clear goals to go top, they have lost the "initiative". Lost the INITIATIVE?

Granted, winning by that margin would have made things all the more sweeter, but my goodness, the team was after the game technically on top. Arsenal are right back in the hunt.

And if it is not one thing, it's another. After Walcott, their next target was Nikki Bendter. He had terrible game in so far as putting the ball in the net. Here's the thing: Ask any "pundit" what you require from a team to score, and nine out of 10 state that firstly, the team has to create opportunities. Arsenal did that in abundance, but creating is just the beginning. You still need to convert them. So far so good then.

After the actual creating of opportunities, which in other terms your midfield is dominating, is the need to have your target man, Bendter in this case, linking up with the midfield. Did Nikki do that? Of course he did, hence countless chances. Again, chances created does not equate with actual goals scored.

Get through to the striker, who still has to makes himself available for crosses and passes in the box for an opportunity that may arise as a result. Remember that scoring after creating chances, linking with the midfield, and availing yourself to crosses is paramount, and scoring as a direct result thereof is a bonus, since no team, indeed no player has a divine right to score.

You'd agree then that Nikki had done three out of four duties required from him. He may not scored, but he played a part, a significant part of securing the victory. So why is he getting so much stick when Heskey is doing even worse?

All teams wants fair press, and Arsenal are no different.

With so much negativity, imagine if they had not lost against Burnley...


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