CRISIS! Arsenal lose 0-0
By Joe Mardon
After the goalless season opener
The doom which follows pre-season optimism was ushered in yesterday, as the cretins of the English media wailed in delight in 'analysing' Arsenal suffering the ultimate humiliation; losing nil-nil at home on the first game of the season.
"ARSENAL plunged into crisis last night in the wake of Robin van Persieís £22million move to Manchester United". So screamed The Sunday Sun. No, of course I don't read the rag either, but I was pointed to their opening dig and use it here to highlight the stupidity.
They continued, "New strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud failed to impress". Write them off. Do we still have the receipts?
They weren't alone. The dinosaurs were out, roaming the summer sun kissed days with their dark age views, self justified by someone, somewhere, somehow deeming them worth paying for.
As Giroud missed the gameís best chance, Match of the Day trolled out the predictable ďArsenal fans will be thinking that is just the kind of opportunity from which Robin van Persie would have scored", institutionally naive to the fact that the Dutchman was capable of missing chances too, particularly when a yard out and three nil up against Milan.
"If you were an Arsenal fan you would be worried". Of course Gary, desperately panicky we are. It's all gone wrong. One game in, and we look envious at your old club Spurs, with their lone striker, whilst Hansen's worry ought to have been fully consumed with the laughter emanating from Liverpool.
As much as there is no reason to read The Sun, if Paddy Barclay is missing from Sky's Sunday Supplement line-up, you're better off in bed, rather than awake to the lazy, miseducated opinions of the arrogant.
"Santi Cazorla is a poor manís Cesc Fabregas" rambled one. Santi showed enough on Saturday to excite. Whether he is better than Fabregas is a ridiculous argument without point.
Every player could be deemed worse by comparison to another. Is Fabregas a poor manís Iniesta? Does it matter or undermine the actual talent in question?
Over the last few seasons the growing prominence of Sky's La Liga coverage has promoted the intelligent analysis of top British journalists based in Spain. When Sid Lowe and Graham Hunter talk glowingly of Cazorla, it means a damn sight more than John Richardson of the Daily Express, a p*ss poor version of superior journalists.
After the game, Arsene Wenger surprised me with his preference for playing the first game of the season away from home. Whilst itís easy to say after firing a frustrating blank, you only have to look at the first goal Chelsea scored at Wigan yesterday to understand his point.
The hardest part of the game is to create and convert chances. That's hard enough when teams visit the E******s without any intention to score. It's harder still when the means by which you breakdown a ten man defence is not sufficiently sharp. When the new players already here are bedding in, and those on their way have not yet arrived. A ridiculous round of pointless internationals during the preceding week doesn't aid our efforts either. The better sides will still find a way to break through such barriers, and so will Arsenal in time.
In contrast, Chelsea travelled to Wigan, who were encouraged to attack by the limited home support, and promptly conceded on the counter attack within two minutes, as the gaping space they neglected to defend was exploited by Hazard finding Ivanovic.
If any of the above has been interpreted as an excuse, you wrongly assume that a draw on the opening day of the season merits one. It doesn't - and I haven't even mentioned the sweltering heat in which the game was played...
I'm merely tired of the gun-shot over reactionary nature of those who are paid to know better.
I've seen Arsenal get beaten at home on the first game of the season 4-2 against Mark Robins and Norwich City, before an admittedly poor league season saw us end by winning both domestic cups.
I've seen the fattest man to ever score a hat trick, Micky Quinn, help Coventry City destroy the latter crowned European Cup Winnersí Cup winners 3-0. Those were opening day crises, and magic was savoured from both seasons.
The flip side to such results can be found at Plough Lane, where a Champions elect Arsenal stormed to their first three points of the 1988/89 season. A romping win on the opening game of the season might well point to a successful campaign. As might the defeat United suffered at Villa Park before they went on to win the treble.
Let's finish with the Sun (preferably forever). "One thing is clear - Arsenal will NOT win the league".
Thanks for the capitalised letters, without them your point would be misunderstood.
Here's my point.
With Manchester City defending their crown against a United side willing to invest a total of £70m on an injury prone world class striker, Arsenal probably WON'T win the league.
Yet there will be no crisis, no matter how hard the dinosaurs try to manufacture one.
*Follow me on Twitter @TheArsenal_
20th August 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
North for Short 9:00am 20th Aug 2012
Hooray, a man that speaks sense ~(or woman). I was pleased that we didn't concede and we took pot shots at goal. Unfortunately, I wasn't there but I did read all of the blogs on Newsnow and the consensus was that we're not a millions mile off. - Post No. 28024
Andy M 9:12am 20th Aug 2012
Good post. Jeesh, we do seem to get battered by the media injustifiably. I've also noticed it in game commentary - notably in ITV's Champion's League coverage. The bias towards Man U is shocking. We're always set up as the poor relation. And yet, we have hods to be optimistic about. Wenger has had enough of seeing his squad-building efforts ruined by duplicitous, money-grabbing players for whom the grass will always be greener. And now Song has been permitted to leave, I think Wenger is wisely looking to people who actually want to play for us and build something memorable. The new guys will come good - Cazorla is already something special. We will get there. Don't forget that Arsene once suggested that an Arsenal team could go a whole season unbeaten to the ridicule of the Media. And look what happened the season after... One day reasonably soon, they'll be falling over themselves to heap plaudits on us. Keep the faith. - Post No. 28025
Martyn 9:21am 20th Aug 2012
Amazing article, loved it. - Post No. 28027
Simon 10:03am 20th Aug 2012
I am really hopeful about the team this year. They may take some time to bed in effectively but a 0 - 0 draw is not a crisis nor is City's 3 - 2 win against The Saints a guarantee they are going to win the league. I think you are right though the more I read the more anti Arsenal the coverage seems to be. We survived without Fabregas, we will survive without VP. - Post No. 28030
Trevor 10:05am 20th Aug 2012
Good article.My hopes are not high.Anything above 5th place will be a bonus.Anyone who thinks we have a chance to win the title should be taken off by the men in white coats. - Post No. 28031
Evvo 10:33am 20th Aug 2012
Nicely written. Makes a pleasant change for someone to be optimistic, I was starting to worry I was alone out there. - Post No. 28032
Graham Simons 11:05am 20th Aug 2012
You can't really accuse anyone of bias if you support a football club - we're all fans and therefore biased which affects our judgement. The hacks are just doing what they're paid to do which is look for an angle and a story and the fact is that selling last season's top scorer isn't what Arsenal wanted no matter which way we paint it. What I would like just for once is for Arsene to treat the club as a football club rather a business and actually have a close season where he has strengthened the playing staff and made a loss on transfers. As a manager of a business - Wenger is a genius as with the sales of Song, Bartley and that Dutchman he's once again made a profit. I'm not going to praise Wenger for that because I don't see any of that profit and would rather I was confident about our chances of finally ending our trophy drought. All I can see is a top 4 finish probably guaranteed in March and an early exit from all the cup competitions. Everyone gets paid their silly salaries and the same old groundhog day starts again. - Post No. 28034
Bard 11:44am 20th Aug 2012
Good post. I am not sure whether I quite understand all this Arse bashing media stuff. Anyone would think we ve sold Messi to utd. One excellent season in 7, more injury prone than Diaby and utd spunk the best part of £70m ( tranfer and wages ) on a striker coming to the end of his career. Sad though it is to see him leave I think the club have done ok. on that one. Quite why Song wants to trade a regular place in the Arsenal midfield for a place on Barcas bench is beyond my comprehension. Didn't he see what happened to Hleb. We need one decent DM and maybe another defender ( Mexes ? ) And we'll have a stronger squad than for years. It will take a little while for them all to bed in but crisis you must be joking. - Post No. 28036
Ron 12:22pm 20th Aug 2012
Some good comments. You would be better off though realising that that defence of Arsenals is still sh--e and should have been breached had Sunderland had better players. It was pretty poor and it was a good job Sunderland only cared for a point rather than 3. Also, Podolski was poor (why pretend otherwise?) and be honest, many fans are worried! For fans into title chases and Cup glory theyve a right to be. That teams an average one at best. - Post No. 28039
MRMROD 12:33pm 20th Aug 2012
A defence with Jenkinson and Mertesacker keep a clean sheet, whilst 3 new players (4 if youn include Diaby!) who have yet to gel, help us to take a point but also, create a clear cut chance that on any other day would have won us the match. Liverpool and Spuds can't say the same. The signs are positive, particularly with Santi Cazorla. Although forget about mentioning the 'heat' as an excuse for not winning, or that imbecile-doom-merchant on Sunday Supplement who referred repeatedly to there being something "stale" about Arsenal and a 'poor mans Fab' or a 'poor mans RVP'(Podolski) and a 'crisis'...please! Is this the first time since Rodders that we've had a centre back a captain? If so then i'm delighted with what I believe is another good sign. BTW, I loved the first day of the season trips down memory lane, although you did evoke images of that 'North bank mural'! - Post No. 28041
JimmyGooner 12:37pm 20th Aug 2012
Nice piece Joe and look forward to seeing more of your contributions on this site this season. One comment to pick up on... "I'm merely tired of the gun-shot over reactionary nature of those who are paid to know better" - can I add that I'm also tired of the gun shot over reactionary of some fans who have drawn their conclusions based on 90 mins of football. I wonder whether they wrote off Henry when he failed to score for the first two months after joining or Bergkamp who took time to settle? I used to think Arsenal fans were an intelligent bunch who understood the game, but it seems as though far too many of them have fallen into the media trap of it's brilliant or it's crap with no in between. I was frustrated on Saturday and the failure to score did reduce some of my pre-match optimism about the season, but not by much. There was plenty to be encouraged about and I'm sure the new signings will gel better given more time on the training pitch. Come on you Reds! - Post No. 28042
GoonerRon 12:57pm 20th Aug 2012
Joe - I commend you on a superb article that completely sums up where I'm at. The more the media bash us the more I want to win something to shove it up their arses. Chelsea's performance in the CL last year highlights that with a bit of grit, a lot of momentum and a considerable amount of luck any knock out trophy is there for the taking. - Post No. 28044
Stu L 13:57pm 20th Aug 2012
Absolutely spot on, we also drew 0-0 with the Barcodes first game last season with RVP in line up so what is different? The media in particular the journo's are with a couple of exceptions a bunch of one eyed, ignorant sensationalist who don't know their arsenal's from their elbows about football. I refuse to even buy the papers and have done for about 18 months and I will not be changing that stance anytime soon. - Post No. 28045
GaryFootscrayAustralia 14:22pm 20th Aug 2012
You're accurate about the merits of Sid Lowe and the acute shortcomings of John Richardson. - Post No. 28046
Gooner jack 14:49pm 20th Aug 2012
I'd find it amusing if the media's persecution wasn't so all pervading! Why they do it I really can't fathom! The reality is, we had an amazing game! The team cohesion as a unit was a thing of beauty! Everyone played very very well. Apart from an early misjudgement of positioning by metsacker, he looked like a brick wall that no-one could get round! Even Jenkinson looked thoroughly comfortable. The complaints about Giroud's miss are entirely disingenuous. Anyone that say's RVP would Deffinately have scored that goal obviously didn't watch him play during the run in last season or at the euros. Compare that miss to the howlers by Suarez or half the man city team, and you can see how ridiculous it is. His movement off the ball was superb, constantly moving on and off the shoulders of their entire back line. He's going to be something special for us, no doubt! My only complaints would be; carzola never really looked to get in the box, but with 5 players to get past, perhaps not too surprising. Then there was the first substitution. With Sunderland playing half their team in zone 14 (that magic area infront of the penalty area) it was always going to be hard to feed a pass through, make a shot or run from their. I would rather have seen giroud come in alongside podolski rather than instead of. IMO we needed bodies in the box and just whip the ball in there (this is exactly how the other big teams, ESP manure, deal with teams that park the bus) however the team were dominating and creating chances, so wenger's patience could have paid off (well it nearly did, didn't it) - Post No. 28048
Marwood On The Wing 15:39pm 20th Aug 2012
Really good article Joe. You can't judge anything by one game especially as Wenger himself has admitted that the pre-season was virtually non existent. I can't blame Sunderland for playing like that especially away from home with limited options up front, we will hopefully get some early goals against teams who play like this at the Emirates this season when the team start to gel. British media I think on the whole is quite positive about Arsenal and Wenger but has gone overboard with the RVP sale. On another point I wonder why Arsene is letting Song go? Is it his attitude or has he identified him as the weak link in midfield? - Post No. 28049
maguiresbridge gooner 16:21pm 20th Aug 2012
I would certainly rather read the sun than watch or listen to lineker or hansen.The best way to prevent the cretins of the english media wailing in delight is to give them nothing to wail about unless it's about playing fantastic football scoring goals and keeping clean sheets and winning silver ware. So lets hope this season can be different to most of the others where they were given plenty of ammunition. - Post No. 28051
win AFC 16:39pm 20th Aug 2012
What a great article Joe you are a true gooner, when you think people talk about our club as if it's the end, early days yet i know but Arsenal iam sure will win silverware we must be positive i know it's hard all what as happened over the last eight years, BUT WE ARE THE ARSENAL AND PROUD OF IT - Post No. 28052
Theo Jensen 17:06pm 20th Aug 2012
I pay absolutely no attention to newspapers really. For any analysis/transfer news just stick to BBC Sport, The Telegraph and The Guardian. All of them actually seem to require a source for their stories for the latter and don't write story-selling, sensationalist spin for the former. - Post No. 28053
Peter Wain 18:24pm 20th Aug 2012
A very fair defense of the club. Unfortunately the reality is that the players we have signed are not as good as the ones we have lost and thta is a fact. RVP is a better striker than either Pod or Girund. Fabregas is world class and Carzora is not as good as him. Our problem is that we have a board an owner and a manager who do not live in the real world. We could afford £220k to RVP if we did pay rubbish like Chamak (hopefully Scum bound) Park and a host of others so much money we cannot sell them. Wenger makes a point that we have a big first team squad but over half of them are not fit to wear our club colours so the squad is wafer thin. We cannot win even the Emirates cup with this lot and need a new owner manager board and probably tea lady bfore that changes. - Post No. 28056
GoonerGoal! 18:53pm 20th Aug 2012
Come on all you AKB's, altogether now... "Don't worry about a thing,'Cause every little thing gonna be all right. Don't worry about a thing, 'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!" - Post No. 28057
LJB 20:29pm 20th Aug 2012
Rubbish article.Swanseas new players didn't need time to "gel" with the team.Maybe if Wenger had bothered to take Giroud and Poldolski on tour instead of playing players like Afobe and Miyachi, who he then promptly sent out on loan,then our team would not have looked so disjointed.Ask any German;Poldolski is yesterdays man.Just like Wenger.We have dropped 2 points again already.Still,lets just laugh at Pool and Spurs and bury our heads in the sand like good little Gooners. - Post No. 28059
Positive 20:33pm 20th Aug 2012
financially speaking we are the best run club in the UK. sorry was just trying to be optimistic... - Post No. 28060
Joe Mardon 22:21pm 20th Aug 2012
I see the stroppy mishogs have finally got around to digging the article out. Have you not got banners to be planning? - Post No. 28061
CanadaGooner 6:46am 21st Aug 2012
it never ceases to amaze me how anti-arsenal the pundits, press and sky sports are. they all complain about how crazy football spending is getting, but then when you have a team like arsenal not spending crazy money, not selling out to rich owners and not paying crazy wages, we get maligned. it's been such a long time since arsenal didnt finish in the top 4, but i just watched 'football today' with craig burley and the other 2 idiots there, again saying how it wil be almost impossible for arsenal to finish in the top 4. we've spent the last 4 seasons trying our very best not to make the top 4 and we still finished there as the other teams around us simply couldnt cut it. as an arsenal fan, i couldnt care less about top 4, i want to see a competitive arsenal team and at least 1 trophy; but to say arsenal will struggle to finish in the top 4 is simply stupid (who will edge us out? Spurs? liverpool? --- fat chance!) - Post No. 28063
Optimisic Dan 8:03am 21st Aug 2012
This would be an ok article if we werent going into our our 8th season without a trophy.Every August we hear give the new players time to be in,yeah just like Forehead it didnt take him long to bed in did it.No we cant afford to wait anymore.And the game you mention v Norwich that season we finish TENTH!!! Its 4th this season and no trophies because our leader doesnt think winning the domestic cups matter - Post No. 28064
Goonerdad 11:17am 21st Aug 2012
Excellent article - lazy journalism is the scourge of society! - Post No. 28081
Gooner SA 13:28pm 21st Aug 2012
Good article. Man U won the DOUBLE (unfortunately) after losing at Villa Park on the opening day in 1995 (the TREBLE was in 1999). - Post No. 28090
TheJoker 14:05pm 21st Aug 2012
good read. with departure of song to pastures new, AFC can also mark the end of an era which our gaffer went thru much trouble to build.the era on which so much of our expectations rested on,the era built to ,initially sustain our success, and later to end our barren run. now we can safely say that era flattered to deceive. that era promised much but delivered little. and with song having sung his final arsenal hymns, the era has finally ended. - Post No. 28091
sparksy 16:07pm 21st Aug 2012
Good article. I heard and thought the same such things as i watched MOTD. And as for Shearer, when asked if Arsenal will challenge for the title, " no, not a chance. Well i have been as pissed off as the rest at the lack of ambition, lack of investment and quality of player in the team over the last few years. However, i believe we have now turned that corner, got rid of most of the cack and have bought in some top experienced players to go with the good young players we have. Aquad with plenty of depth all round. I am excited now that this team will really go on to challenge. Look at our squad on paper, is it worse than Uniteds?????? Looking - Post No. 28096
Roy 15:24pm 22nd Aug 2012
I don't know why you're getting out of your tree on this one - this kind of thing has been going on for years. You know the kind of thing, the club crest printed with a crack down the middle, the almost non - story that's held back for publication until the morning of a big game, the never - ending saga that a certain player will be leaving next summer ( well,one year you must be right, mustn't you ?!! ). I could go on. These sensationalist idiots only care about one thing, and that's the circulation figures and if you thought that was only the concern of higher management,think again. In these days of multiple information sources, it's everyone's responsibility and that includes sports reporters like never before. If this wasn't bad enough, they are then given a platform to prevaricate on the Sunday Supplement spouting rubbish about crises etc,while hiding the real agenda from the general public as they get to go on their merry way watching games for free as always. Always read between the lines fellow Gooners, and don't let them dampen any optimism you have. Also have to agree that the bias towards Manure in ITV's Champions League coverage is quite shocking. Chins up ! - Post No. 28165
danny b 17:06pm 24th Aug 2012
Why does David Moyes get credit for his low budget and the job he does on it ? and Wenger gets slated for it ,Whether or not we are a richer club than them, if wenger has to stick to his budget then thats the way it is .Not only that why should we pay anyone £200,000 a week let alone three or four players - Post No. 28259
15th May 2013
Online Ed: Job done in final home game of the season