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Are Arsenal Too Nice To Win?

by on November 16, 2011

‘Yes… I mean no… I mean I don’t know’ is pretty much what I’d say if I was asked this question and I could only answer with a sentence. So in short I don’t know, but that doesn’t mean I can’t present you with the facts for you to work it out. 

If we look at the winners of the Premier League in the last six years we can see the two sides had ruthless streaks, Manchester United with Rooney, Vidic and Ferdinand, then look at Chelsea with John Terry, Drogba and Essien. It’s safe to say they both had players who weren’t nice and could be very gritty, maybe no matter how much technical ability you have you need a bit of brute force to make a physical mark on the game.

Take Barcelona for example, they’re arguably the best team in the world at the moment. It’d be easy to say it’s because Iniesta, Xavi and Messi all came of age. However I noticed they only became as dominant as they are when Sergio Busquets came onto the scene. In honesty he’s not as mean as a Ryan Shawcross or a John Terry but by La Liga standards he’s as mean as they come. It’s not necessarily him as an individual who made Barca the kings of Europe, but the fact the Xavis and Iniestas knew they had some muscle behind them if they did make a mistake.

So from where I’m standing I will admit that in the world of football you need a ‘mean machine’ in your side, someone who can grind out results even when you’re not playing well. But would I say Arsenal are too nice? Still a tough question. We have tough players who can take a knock and give one back when needed. Vermaelen and Song are definitely not nice (to play against anyway) There’s Szczesny as well who I would never put in the category of nice. But I think the difference between our nastiness and Chelsea’s or United’s is that our players, who aren’t hot headed or ruthless, could be accused of being passionate-less or being wimps. While someone like Frank Lampard may not be a ruthless player but when the time comes he can muscle someone off a ball. That’s something I’m not sure Arteta or Rosicky could do.

Back in the early 2000s we were one of the best teams in the world, we even had an invincible season in 2004 (as I’m sure everyone reading this knows.) The difference between us then and us now is simple, look at our squad then, Vieira, Campbell, Lehman, Ashley Cole, Toure to name a few. They were all nasty, strong and ruthless players.  While now there’s the likes of Arteta, Gibbs, Mertasacker and Koscielny in those positions.

Summary: Well we’ve covered that all successful teams have to be unpleasant (not nice) at some stage to win and Arsenal aren’t winning. With Mertasacker, Andre Santos, Arshavin, Rosicky and Arteta we can’t blame a lack of technical ability, plus it’s been six years since we lifted a trophy so blaming luck would be a bit uneducated. In other words my verdict is that Arsenal are too nice and need bulking up in January.

Written by Thomas Munson


From → Uncategorized

  1. Davi permalink

    Busquets is as ruthless and mean as any of them. He shows it by diving and cheating as opposed to hacking away at people. I’d rather players were like that than just hackers, but it doesn’t detract from the fact he is a nasty player.
    With wilshere, RVP, TV and song, I wouldn’t say we are all “nice”; we do have some ruthless players, but some of the others have shown naivety at times, which has been exploited by less talented sides.

    • A fair point. There are players who have steel in our side, but as you say there is naivety in the side as well. Diaby’s and Gervinho’s red cards at St. James’ Park shows that naivety will be picked up and punished by Joey Bartons.

  2. Bill permalink

    Well perhaps they could have been accused of wanting to score the perfect goal every time. Maybe they’re not as ruthless and able to grind out grubby points on their off-days like others. But the Premiership would be so much poorer without a team that has their philosophy. I think their day will come again.

  3. dave highbury permalink

    We are an improved outfit. THIS squad has what it takes. Go watch Chelsea 1st half into Chelsea 2nd half . That is the change. WBA game performance straight after. That is the change. The attitude is right to win.
    We don’t need to ruff no-one up, because are becoming THAT good.

  4. socceradict permalink

    I think arsenal is getting stronger phisically.taking into consideration chelseas game,arsenal was never out muscled.I believe fit wilshere pair up in dm noone will easily stroll in our defence.arsenal is the best team in yhe making in the EPL.

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  1. RvP credits Theo for his great form, Gibbs to have surgery, a few departures in January, Park settles down and much much more. « savagegooner

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