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Six of one and half a dozen of the other


Dorset
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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We got close at the weekend, didn’t we? So close we were almost within touching distance and that, may I say, has to be regarded as praise in itself. What am I on about? Let me give you a massive clue - they play in red, they haven’t won anything for years, yet by common Media consent they play the sort of football that we, the Premier League Champions, can only dream of. There now, as there can’t be a single person left who doesn’t know which club I’m referring to, let me explain further…

Notwithstanding the fact that it is the lifetime aspiration of every football team in the land to emulate the way the Gunners play the game under Arsene Wenger, few can say that they are anywhere near good enough, nor ever will be. Quite frankly, it is well nigh impossible to duplicate the weight of pass, the precision, nay perfection, seen every time an Arsenal eleven take the field. So much so that in recent seasons results have become as irrelevant as that oft forgotten end product known as goals and the experts will tell you they’ve long since ceased to have meaning in the eyes of the knowledgeable as they drink in Arsenal’s combination of passes like ambrosia from the gods.

Over the early [image-building] Wenger period it is fair to say that United were their nearest rivals in what was a year-on-year beauty competition, but the best the Red Devils were able to achieve was an honourable mention as a marvellous counterattacking outfit, or a team with match-winning individuals. The big prize [of gorgeousness] has always eluded them, despite the trophies won, the fame abroad, the Sky adulation, the Fergie fawning and the general press genuflecting which, come to think of it, has probably more than compensated them, even in the flan-flinging times. Then along came Roman…and ever since Chelsea have had a similar sort of say on the made-up matters, much as United had, but without the admirers. Yep, sadly, there has been hardly a shred of recognition that we are, how shall I put it, the slightest bit attractive or in any way a beauty to behold.

So, stay with me on this as I’m getting to the point [honest] and it comes with the arrival of Carlo and his sudden dolling-up process on us that, you would think, has resulted in the possibility of our now looking in the mirror and saying ’Yes, we really are as pretty as a Wenger-most-watch-able‘. Okay, most members of the squad, like JT, Alex, the Bison and Didier can’t help being a bit on the big, bad and ugly side, but why is it that the football played is constantly regarded as an extension of their images rather than something to be recognised as a style in its own right? It would seem that as soon as Roman signalled his intention to give the club a footballing identity, and Carlo promptly delivered, the Media has been at pains to label it anything but attractive, come hell or high level of scoring and skill.

Of course, the ultimate test duly arrived at the weekend, with Media perception given a level [hefty goals ratio] playing field to judge beauteousness on. Okay, we played away against a Wigan side that closed us down for most of the first half, whereas Arsenal were at home to Blackpool, whose defence treated their attackers like lepers until one strayed to the edge of the penalty area, got something called a tackle for his trouble, and their numbers were reduced, thereby un-levelling everything, but I don’t want to be too picky because it does not suit the purpose of my argument. Let’s just say that a comparison was there to be made and I sure we have all had our various experiences of how the hacks and Media men have reacted [true to form] with their descriptions ever since. In short, Arsenal, looking even prettier with their makeover of goals, are still the vision of loveliness they always were and we remain butt-ugly, yet ruthlessly efficient.

Doubtless, it will be forever thus in a bizarre Premiership world where beauty has to be seen and believed in just one club and one club only. That said, I’m still telling my grandchildren how it really was and how, on one weekend in August, we did get close to being as beautiful as a Wenger-coached eleven and maybe one day, when we get the passing up to scratch and have our own philosophy, we’ll be recognised for what we really are - by far the better team, always looking good and playing something called winning football.

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Nice article again....what can you say? Jealousy is an ugly bitch while envy is a disfigured cur and unfortunately due to our shiny gloss, when they look at us all they see is their own relfection!

I really liked your 4th and 5th last paragraph as I hear it a lot, and even on these forums at times, that when we do exceptionally well it has everything to do with how poor our opposition is and nothing to do with how well we played. I mean had Burnley played Aston Villa on March 27 2010, then they would of atleast put 7 past them as well.....hell they'd probably of done 9 or 10 just to show who's boss!

Yet those same people, when I mention something like how lucky Man U were to get so many own goals, will pip in "had nothing to do with luck! They applied enormous pressure, whipped the ball in and as a result earned the OG!". Yet somehow they can not apply that same logic to our blow out scores(some who make that quip do, but many do not). I mean it somehow makes more sense that we sh*t out horse shoes full of 4 leaf clovers and falling stars every other week rather than we possess the talent, energy, and ability to run our opponents ragged and run up the score.

Edited by Barry Bridges
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Nice post but I've always thought of commentators and sports journalists as critics and thus they very rarely change their mind when its made up on something. Maybe as a new generation of sports experts come in who are young enough to recongnise how cynical the game has become will we get the recognition we deserve. We don't always break teams down with smooth free flowing football but thats because as Arsenal frequently show you can't always short pass your way through 8 men in 2 banks of 4 on the edge of the box. This is where we can be diverse with overlapping fullbacks who look to put the ball on the strikers head or allowing midfielders to shoot from distance.

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