The Dream is Over

By on April 20, 2010

Even I, Arsenal Station, can now admit that the dream is over. I refrained from posting after the Tottenham match because I didn’t want to make a kind of “end of season” post. However, I still don’t. I will save that for when the entire season is over. Partly because I am in the middle of an incredibly busy few weeks at school and partly because I am still in mourning for our title challenge.

To blow a 2-nil lead by conceding 3 goals in ten minutes to a side that averaged scoring less than a goal per match is something I still do not want to contemplate. Yet, having that come on the heels of our first league loss to Tottenham since I was of a legal drinking age (a long time, needless to say) a damn near suicidal turn of events. I could go through the run-down but you all saw the match. You saw damn near everyone on the pitch in a red shirt struggle except for the one man who many thought shouldn’t even be there.

I expect the end of our run to engender even more ill-will towards Arsene and the lads and the backlash has started pretty quickly. Not reproducing posts like this one on The Online Gooner is why I try to wait a little while before posting after disappointing results. For example:

How much longer can Arsene deploy the argument of youth to justify the lack of progress? This mantra is becoming as tedious as David O’Leary’s copious references to his “babies” while he was manager of Leeds United. Admittedly much of the squad may still be younger than the aforementioned blues and reds above us in the table, but they have had ample time to mature collectively. That they haven’t can only be attributed to the simple fact that they are not good enough.

“Lack of progress?” We have turned an 18-point deficit from last season into single-digits this season. That is partly due to Chelsea and United’s relative weakness to previous seasons but there can be no denying that this side is far better overall than last season and far more mature than the 2007/08 side who bottled it long before this stage.

To say that the side has not matured is ridiculous. A number of players including Song, Diaby, Bendtner, Ramsey, and Gibbs (until his injury) all were much improved over last season. As a whole, the team has matured as well having, before yesterday, lost only once to teams in the bottom half of the table. Beating the teams you should beat consistently is a sign of maturity and we have shown that this season. Don’t let the immediate disappointment blind you to the long-term improvement the side has made this season.

And then there’s Nicklas Bendtner. Does anyone apart from Bendtner and his dad really take him seriously as a footballer? Jesus, he makes Shola Ameobi look like a world class striker.

Nicklas Bendtner’s scoring run in the last two months of the season kept us in the Champions League and in the league race. If you don’t “take seriously” a guy who has scored 9 goals in his last 11 starts during the most crucial part of the season, then you must only take Rooney and Drogba seriously. I mean, what else can the kid do? He scored 16 goals last season from outside the starting XI much of the time.

And, finally:

Unless there is wholesale change, the myth will persist. That change has to start with the manager. If he is not prepared to admit that he is wrong about this latest Arsenal model, and set about rectifying things by (for starters) signing a new goalkeeper, a left back, a central defensive partner for Vermaelen, a couple of midfielders with a bit of bollocks, and a forward who knows how to score regularly and doesn’t care how the goals come, then he should go now before the legacy he has built becomes tarnished.

So “for starters” you want Arsene to go out and buy 6 players? Give me a break. I agree on the keeper and striker and possibly the CB, but a left-back? Why on earth would he spend money on a left-back? I understand that the writer is upset, as am I, over the events of the past week but that is exactly my point. Let’s wait until the season is over and then look back on the progress the side has made.

NOTE: To hear a full-length interview I did with the guys from Arsenal Review USA podcast last week prior the Spurs match where we talked about the club, the blog, and players like Bendtner and Eduardo, go here. The interview was originally used for an episode which also included an interview with 7amkickoff’s Tim Bostelle. Or listen below:


  1. Andy35yeargooner

    April 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I have to say that i don’t think you have ever played football, maybe you just thrash your legs while sitting in an armchair!
    I play, coach and have managed and i can tell you that bentner is average at best.

    I would urge all arsenal fans to read the Online gooner piece by Mark Woodard “The experiment has Finally ended” he has got it spot on!

    I will not succumb to Wengers emotional black mail using past glories, we pay the highest gate prices in world football, not to give players their apprentiship in the main squad but for us to combine this with purchasing world class players.

    “Time to Deliver” no excuses!

    • Empress

      April 20, 2010 at 9:40 am

      Hahaha. Hahaha. The irony is too massive, this comment is imploding on itself. What a mug. Haahaha

      • ArsenalStation

        April 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm

        I know, Empress. Andy, if you really feel that way and that post on the Online Gooner speaks for you, then you likely will not find much here that you agree with.I have read that post and it is reactionary and overstated.

  2. John Nato

    April 20, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Being an arsenal fun has been the hardest & most painfull thing to do in the last three seasons. However just like they say in liverpool, asenal too shall never walk a lone.

  3. Daxxjoker

    April 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Don’t know where to start,but will try like this.
    Was I saying you were all wrong for expecting anything good or even a win at the Nou Camp ?! Yes.
    Was I right ? Yes.
    Was I saying it would not be a problem for them playing with 3rd and 4th CB ?! Yes.
    Was I right ? Yes.
    Was I saying we will concede 4 ?! Yes.
    Was I right ? Yes.
    I will speak on that matter no more.

    Moving on.I know you have all seen Spurs game,but you do tend to get blind now and then,so I will speak.
    Robie Van Kenobi got in.His first touch with the ball – and it was a Bergkamp-like dribbling.Then he had a great chance.Chested the ball and volleyed it so gracious.And then the freekick,which was almost perfect.And all of this after being 5 months out ! ! !
    Now – Bendtner couldn’t do any of those.Not even that dribbling and not even after a 10 years of practicing it.Those goals he scored were all monkey shots,except 2 headers.Also,there was 1 penalty.Someone had to score them,and it couldn’t be Eduardo because he is half a man he used to be.So don’t blow Nick’s story way out of proportion.

    Also,from that Spurs game – you all might have missed it,but I didn’t.I saw the ball going over half a pitch and ending up behind Silvestre’s back,finding Bale who put the game out of reach just like that.
    And another thing – Almunia did not see the ball coming almost from the locker-room,and it went right “between his ears” and in the net.Thank god that was the last thing he did as an Arsenal player,because I really can not look at him anymore.
    And then came Fabianski – well known as a greater evil out of two.I am sorry – when did Arsenal become a middle-age woman,putting out for her lovers on their birthdays !?!

    I really,REALLY hope AW solves the problem of the goalkeeper over the summer.We can not go on like this,being a joke amongst big clubs.Let’s leave that privilege to Liverpool.
    I don’t think Wenger is a donkey,so there’s no way he can be that stubborn and having huge amount of faith in these 2 disasters keepers.
    I sure would love if he bid for Manu Neuer and buy him.I’ve read Ferguson is interested.OFC he is – he is doing the smart things.Like Dzeko being the best-buy out of the strikers,Neuer is the same when it comes to keepers.
    I dont think he will bid for Lloris,cause he is not cheap now.There is also Akinfeev,and he is also a great keeper.
    Damn,I would even love to see Sorensen as our #1 next season.But not Muslera or Green,or even Kirkland.

    Word is – AW will have more money then usual this summer.It goes from 30 to 45 mill.We sure do not need 6 new players,but we do need 1 top-class keeper and at least one CB.With Chamakh deal all but done,I think there will be no more additions in the attack.And we sure do not need someone like Rodallega.
    But – should Lyon really come knocking with 8mill offer for Eduardo – I would accept that in a second.He can not be of any use to us,and it would be great if some team comes for him with that kinda offer.

    Also – if Gallas leaves – we will need 2 CB’s.If he doesnt – one will do.To act as a third choice.
    We are being a joke for having Silvestre and Campbell as a cover CB pairing.I just don’t want to see the french moron playing for us beyond these 3 remaining games.And it would be ok for Campbell to be 4th choice for the next season.I trust him more than Djourou.

    Whatever amount of money Wenger has available,he will not spend it all.But he will have to buy one great keeper and at least one CB.I think he has had enough watching his “amazing keepers” costing him results and being laughed at for backing them and continuing to trust in them.
    I think Cascarino said it – Almunia is good enough to be #2 keeper.Fabianski is not.He expects Wenger to go for Lloris.I don’t.I think it would be a huge effort for Wenger just to try and sign Sorensen.On a cheap.ofc.

    • Daxxjoker

      April 20, 2010 at 8:57 am

      Also – if I could have my picture changed,that would be great.Thanks. 🙂

      • ArsenalStation

        April 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm

        I don’t assign the pictures, Daxx. Sign up for a WordPress account or get a Gravatar and upload your own pic and it will show up here and on ACLF or most other blogs when you comment.

  4. Gervais Cangy

    April 20, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I follow the Gunners from Down Under and was gutted to say the least after the Wigan game. Arsenal’s performance was epitomized by Diaby’s nonchalant back heel just before we went 2 nil up. You would think they were in training and yet they were still in the premiership race! AW had already thrown in the towel after the loss against Spurs and that I think was caught by the players!Only Arsenal players get away with the mistakes they do, bec AW isn’t tough enough.Mourinho or Alex F would reward the kind of displays shown by Diaby, Fabianski,Bendner with kicks off their pants! AW will have eggs on his face when Chelski and the Mancs drop further points this weekend! He wished he had kept his mouth shut! Bring back Senderos and get rid of Silvestre!

  5. ruffneckc

    April 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I was not surprised in the least about the result this weekend. I was a bit surprised that we took the lead and scored a second but overall, I was expecting this team to fold without Fabregas and Vermaelen.

    The leaders in this team are short and while Campbell is one, there were no others in front of him to change the tide once Wigan went for it. It is as if, the Arsenal players just let Wigan take charge and over run them.

    It’s all well and good to say some players are not skilled or talented enough but for a long time, the issues with the team has not been skill or talent but mentality and application.

    Flamini is still revered not for his abundance of skill but because he grafted and fought and would inspired the rest of his teams to fight as well. That is leadership and without the captain in midfield, van Persie up front, we are often found wanting in that department.

  6. peter

    April 21, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Me i think that it is time for Asene Wenger to go away and leave ARSENAL CLUB alone because he has failed to achieve what we funns wanted from him
    He is mean with the money to buy more players to replace them in time of injuries like other clubs does for theirs’

  7. James

    April 22, 2010 at 6:29 am

    My article of why I think there’s something very deeply wrong with Arsenal

  8. Jonathan

    May 7, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    I swear if spurs take the third spot over arsenal, I will lose my mind. That would just add so much insult to an already devastating amount of injury.

  9. Jonathan

    May 10, 2010 at 12:26 am

    nice result today. i love me some rvp! good job to the whole team. we’ll get it next year.

  10. aditkus

    May 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Mr Wenger don’t need spent his money to buy new players, this squad need more time..but I hope next season they can win the titles

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