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[soccer] What is happening to Arsenal?


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Look at their current form, domestically in particular. Lying in 5th position... I never thought this was possible 2 years ago, when they were on their 49-mathc unbeaten run.

Since then Chelsea have BOUGHT themselves a great manager, while Arsenal have slipped outside the top 3 of the EPL.

I dont watch all of their games, but from what I've seen hey are missing Vieira a lot. I dont know Wenger was thinking of when he sold him off for a dirt-cheap price of 13.5 M Pounds to Juve (considering he was so intrumental in Arsenal's quest for cups, I would have sold him for at least 25M Pounds).

Thierry Henry is stll one of the best strikers I've ever seen. His skills are impeccable, but once he's injured Arsenal play like my local football team.

Not only that, the overall age of the players are increasing. Bergkamp was great, not anymore. He's now just too old to be playing in the EPL. Pires was very good, especially 3 or 4 years ago, but now at over 30 he's quite woeful. Ljungberg is another one, he was a free-scoring midfielder just 2 seasons ago, now he hasnt even scored a single goal in the Premiership. I blame age (and injury in Ljungberg's case).

Henry has made many briliant passes that could have easily resulted in goals, but the overall finishing is weak. The 3 aforementioned players are old, while new players like Persie and Flamini and Fabregas just dont possess the experience needed to spearhead Arsenal's attack. Fabregas is very gifted, and might turn out to be the next Vieira. Persie is a solid forward with good finishing. But both need at least 2 more years to mature andshow their true poentials.

Defense is ok, but attack is lame at best. 27 goals in 20 games is lame. They usually score at least 2 goals per game, and it was that that made them EPL champs a few years ago.

Away form is yet another problem. In the 10 away games this season, they have won 2 drawn 3 and lost 5. I cant explain this. remember a few seasons a go they player exceptionally well away (much better than home). I cant explain this reversal...

Arsenal will always remain the team I support, but from what I see if Henry leaves this summer, its over for them.

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I agree that Arsenal have gone downhill a lot this season. Their biggest problem seems to be inconsistensy. They win a few games and then lose a few games. Personally, as a Liverpool fan I would rather Arsenal win the Premiership than Man Utd or Chelsea, simply for the fact that I enjoy watching Arsenal play because they are always make the game of football look beautiful (in previous seasons anyway).

Hleb has not been as good as he should of been since he signed for Arsenal and they are badly missing Vieira. They need to splash out in January and the summer to improve the quality and depth of the squad, and if Henry leaves you then Arsenal will crumble tottally, so signing more high quality players is imperative so that Arsenal improve and Henry is convinced to stay.

You have a good base of players. Cole, Fabregas, Reyes, Campbell (ageing and injury prone though), Van Persie, Henry, Ljungberg and Hleb. You also have a really nice stadium arriving in the summer, and you have a bit of money to spend. Arsenal are nearly there.

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Arsenal are under performing, in my opinion, for several reasons:

1) Vieira. It seems an obvious comment, but the team miss Vieira in more than footballing terms. He was the kind of inspirational player that not only led by example, but you could see him physically going over and talking to players, egging them on when their heads were down and making them play. He was the kind of captain that could not only play, but could encourage and now the team do not have this dynamic.

2) Henry may be the best player in the world in some, if not most, peoples opinion, but this does not necessarily merit him being captain. He a 'talisman' captain who is leader because he is best, not because he is inspirational on a personal level. Often, Henry's head does go down and he is not one to go up to a player and encourage him verbally. He has also been seen, recently, having a go at players because of poor distribution and this is not a good way of inspiring his team mates to play better or harder. Sol Campbell should step into the role of captain, not just because of his ability, but because he has the strong, committed personality that a captain should have.

3) The lack of goals from midfield. Arsenal were not the force they were because of their strikers, they were a goal machine from midfield also. Pires has only scored 2, the same amount as Cygan and Campbell & Reyas and Fabrigas have only scored 1. Ljungberg, Hleb & Flamini are yet to score. This is Arsenals main problem - without goals, it is hard to win!!

4) The reliance on youngsters and the lack of signings in Vieira's place. Hleb was the only big-name signing this summer, and this is simply not good enough. A team cannot simply rely on its youngsters if it seriously wishes to mount a challenge for the title. Fabrigas, Reyas and Flamini are all excellent players in prospect, but sucess cannot be put on their shoulders. Likewise, Pires and Ljungberg, who are also excellent players, appear to have reached their peak.

5) The ability of other teams. One of the interesting things about the league this year is that any team outside the top three can beat any other side. There are many, many teams (Spurs, Bolton, 'Boro, Man City, Fulham, Wigan, Blackburn and latterly Aston Villa and perhaps West Ham) who are all capable, on their day, of causing upsets. In this respect the league is a lot more open this season than it has been in a long time and a team, such as Arsenal, who are not playing at their best are their for the taking.

6) Finally, the new stadium. Once people have high aspirations, as Arsenal have with all the stigma surrounding the new stadium, the tendency is to get arrogant, and this may be a small factor in their performance this season. Perhaps Arsenal expect to win, and therefore underestimate their opposition. Also, the new stadium is tying up a lot of money, and perhaps this prevented Arsen Wenger from making more big-name signings.

- FaRSightxc2

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Yes Vieira is a reason, but the most important factor is that even though they have a world class forward in the form of Thierry Henry, the team I feel is depending too much on him. He has scored 10 goals till now in the premiership, the second after him is Robin Van Persie with just 4 goals, the others need to open their scoring sheets or score more goals. They need to start believing in themselves and play as a team. Their away form is miserable. They have won only 2 away games this season, compare that with 8 home wins. The midfielders need to do a better job to lift the team.

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Yes Vieira is a reason, but the most important factor is that even though they have a world class forward in the form of Thierry Henry, the team I feel is depending too much on him. He has scored 10 goals till now in the premiership, the second after him is Robin Van Persie with just 4 goals, the others need to open their scoring sheets or score more goals. They need to start believing in themselves and play as a team. Their away form is miserable. They have won only 2 away games this season, compare that with 8 home wins. The midfielders need to do a better job to lift the team.

One united fan to the next, I agree. Did you know Manchester United have the most different scorers in the premiership! Pretty good ey!

And yeah, I totally agree with Viera leaving, I personally reckon he wanted to go to Juve'

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You said the defence is ok? It sucks! Just look at the clowns they have there, Campbell, Cygan and Toure can't pass a ball, they just hoof it. Lauren sucks balls too. Ashley Cole is their only good defender, and he will leave soon enough along with Henry.

It's ironic that this happenes as soon as they build a new stadium. Haha!

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The Arsenal team has really bad currently compared to their previous seasons. They were playing some of the best football in the world a couple of years ago and now, they are doing a "Leeds United" (sort of, not as bad as Leeds though). I think this is mainly to their aging players, some of the crucial 'special' players that Arsenal won the title with a couple of years ago are no longer 'special' anymore. Players like Ljunberg, Pires, Bergkamp, etc. They still have good players though like Henry, Campbell and Cole, but to mount a title challenge in the premier league nowadays, you really need good players on ALL positions. The Vieira departure did them quite a bit of harm as well. Wenger did try to replace him by buying someone else, but I don't think a player with such talent can be replaced. Arsenal would probably need to change their tactics a lot and work from scratch.

It's kinda like LA Lakers in a way, when Shaq left (can be compared to Vieira), it all falls apart for them and now they are rebuilding the team from scratch, and only Kobe Bryant (can be compared to Henry) is left. Maybe, they should rebuild the team, sell old players like Pires, Ljunberg, and look for new talents. Robin Van Persie and Cygan does not look 'solid' to me.

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they are doing a "Leeds United" (sort of, not as bad as Leeds though).

Have Arsenal spent ?120 million pounds of money they do not have? No, they havent. So therefore they are not doing a "Leeds United".

Present for all you Arsenal fans:

Thierry Henry has drawn a line under speculation about his future by declaring he has no intention of leaving Arsenal, amid talk that he had already spoken to Barcelona.

Both Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and the Catalan giants have since denied these claims, but it is the words of Henry which will have the most resonance in the issue.

With just 18 months of his current deal left there had been widespread reports that this season could prove to the Frenchman's last in North London.

However, the brilliant forward has always stated his love for both the club and life in the capital and is now eager to permanently put any talk of his departure to bed.

"The truth is I love this club and I have made up my mind to stay," Henry told The Sun newspaper.

"I can say to all my fans and the people who care about me, I want to lead the team out in the new stadium (next season).

''I'll talk to (manager) Arsene Wenger, to (vice-chairman) David Dein and the board and talk of the future.

"My mind is to stay and we have to sort this out. There was a lot of ridiculous speculation. But the truth is this, I never spoke with or met with a single person from any other club at any time.

"This will put an end to all the stories. We can move on."

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We are building a great team for the future... Henry is now staying which is a big plus.

Wenger doesn't buy established players, he makes them... and pretty dam good at it.

About the stadium, it cost around 300M... Emirates deal with the stadium and shirt is worth half of that over the next 15yrs.

The rest was a very good bank loan to be paid till something like 2028.... the club has said many times Wenger has money to spend... rumoured to be anything up to ?60M, so money will not be a problem.

I really put the poor form down to Chelsea buying and dominating things... the players loose the desire.

Even Manchester are far behind.

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I would like the FA to impose some kind of restraint on clubs so that they cant spend more than a certain amount of money (say ?40 million pounds) or buy not more than a certain number of players (say 3 players per season). That roman is snapping up everything and how can you that is fair?

Anyway Henry is staying that is some good news. And Arsenal beat Cardiff 2-1 in the FA Cup 3rd round... not impressive but its a win...

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i think the whole system needs to be done something with for instance

when a club pays an amount for a player they pay tax to the FA and then the FA invest that money in to the leaguem other leagues then funding on improving the sport.

So for instance if chelsea was to buy a player from man utd for 20mill they would have to pay something like 3% tax to the FA

Half of that goes to the league it all gets spit up to go between the teams, then if a team had spend over an amount say 15million they would be excluded from claiming this tax money, above 10 million you would have a lesser share. This could happen at the end of the transfer windows. If you spend over the 10 or 15 mill mark you would have give some or all money back. And this tax will help clubs stay out of debt and causing tons of problems in future and for other clubs.

the rest goes to the other leagues to help them such as help funding some staduims or training youth.

And some more of it to invest in to researching new technology to help footy such as a goal line.

another tax on your football income that again get used to help other clubs and leagues.

Also tv rights, Should be put in to packages. When you buy Man Utd vs Chelsea you also have to buy a lower team such as everton vs sunderland then a mid table such as Charton vs Fulham.

And the home side get 60% of the money and the away side 40%

Bit more fairer?

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One united fan to the next, I agree. Did you know Manchester United have the most different scorers in the premiership! Pretty good ey!

And yeah, I totally agree with Viera leaving, I personally reckon he wanted to go to Juve'

Yes I know. :D

And its good to see Ruud van Nistelrooy right on the top of the Top Scorers this season. :woot:

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