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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Ruthless as ever, but set against Manchester United's outstanding performance was a dire Arsenal, one of the worst teams Wenger has had to play. Van Persie missing a penalty summed them up. However, you may have seen an analysis in The Guardian which claimed that backroom strength at Arsenal is not what it was, that the corps of scouts and other link men have not been able to maintain a flow of young and foreign players into the squad to give it depth. Wenger does have Ramsay, Walcott, and Wilshere around whom to build a nascent team of great promise, but someone at some point took their eye off the longer term strategy and thus today Arsenal suddenly has a dearth of premier league naturals -this is how Liverpool declined following Dalgleish's sudden departure -and is the reason why Ferguson maintains a club with a rich seam of players young and old; Barcelona likewise. Its like running a mult-national company -you maintain a solid base of commodities while planning 5-10-15 years ahead. I wonder if Wenger is tired, burned out; if he doesn't deliver this season it will be hard for the Board to justify keeping him on; and he himself may feel he has done all he can at Britain's most successful club.



  2. #12
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    Ruthless as ever, but set against Manchester United's outstanding performance was a dire Arsenal, one of the worst teams Wenger has had to play. Van Persie missing a penalty summed them up. However, you may have seen an analysis in The Guardian which claimed that backroom strength at Arsenal is not what it was, that the corps of scouts and other link men have not been able to maintain a flow of young and foreign players into the squad to give it depth. Wenger does have Ramsay, Walcott, and Wilshere around whom to build a nascent team of great promise, but someone at some point took their eye off the longer term strategy and thus today Arsenal suddenly has a dearth of premier league naturals -this is how Liverpool declined following Dalgleish's sudden departure -and is the reason why Ferguson maintains a club with a rich seam of players young and old; Barcelona likewise. Its like running a mult-national company -you maintain a solid base of commodities while planning 5-10-15 years ahead. I wonder if Wenger is tired, burned out; if he doesn't deliver this season it will be hard for the Board to justify keeping him on; and he himself may feel he has done all he can at Britain's most successful club.
    I agree up to a point, Stavros, but I suspect that the current malaise at the Emirates goes deeper and further than you suggest and lies more in Wenger's laudable but doomed quest for total football; he has forgotten that the base for success in his early years was a relative oligarchy of tough defenders in the classic English mould, and that the pretty patterns built by the likes of Bergkamp depended on the meanness of that defence. Those are the virtues that he has never satisfactorily replaced and that's why Arsenal will continue to play with panache but are unlikely to mount a sustained challenge for honours - no real cutting edge, no steel at the back.

    You mention Liverpool's steep decline after Dalglish's resignation in 1991. This season there's little doubt that they are likely to represent the biggest challenge to the newly established big three of the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea. Structurally, Kenny has been every bit as astute in his acquisitions as Fergie.

    And what exactly is your definition of "Britain's most successful club"? In England that title falls to Man Utd if you're talking about titles, Liverpool for European success, both eclipsed in UK terms, regardless of the relative poverty of their domestic opposition, by Rangers and Celtic in Scotland - it's certainly possible to make a sustained argument for Jock Stein's Celtic in the 1960's and 70's as the most successful of all.


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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    I realise now that my comment about Arsenal was based on some stats that were published in the 1990s, since then the stats have of course changed, and were not for British clubs but English ones. The 1990s seems like yesterday....



  4. #14
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    I realise now that my comment about Arsenal was based on some stats that were published in the 1990s, since then the stats have of course changed, and were not for British clubs but English ones. The 1990s seems like yesterday....
    Even then Liverpool already had their 18 league titles and 4 European Cups. How were Arsenal measured to be more successful than that?

    Maybe the stats were in the Torygraph, as for them anything beyond the Home Counties has a big "Here there be dragons" warning on it.


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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    I think its about the way in which statistics are collated and then weighted against a basket of indicators -which would include more than titles or cups won, but things like continuous presence in the First Division/Premier League and so on; Arsenal has a better record than Liverpool for example; Arsenal relegated just once, Liverpool at least twice -and the stats I think I saw would have gone back to the 1870s. I don't know it is a fact.

    I also wondered if Jock Stein had Jewish origins, but it turns out Stein is a derivative of Steven, there is an entertaining website on Jews here
    http://www.jewornotjew.com/profile.jsp?ID=998

    I think it can be slippery, had either Celtic or Rangers played in the First Division/Premier League their records would be poorer; Mexico always reach the World Cup finals because they play useless teams in the qualifying rounds.



  6. #16
    Shiny Disco Balls Gold Poster SammiValentine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Arsenals current situation is nothing like liverpool early 90's when dalglish went - cant agree with that at all..


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  7. #17
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Quote Originally Posted by SammiValentine View Post
    Arsenals current situation is nothing like liverpool early 90's when dalglish went - cant agree with that at all..
    Care to enlarge on that Sammi?

    It's certainly the case that Kenny had a great squad in 1991 and a mix of seasoned pros, good buys and one or two youngsters, but it could be argued that the team he left was very much of that moment with no deep roots. Add the poisonous mix of Sounness as manager - great player though he was - and the loss of the bootroom ethic, and it's fair to say that this season's is the first squad since the late 80s, apart from the brief hope in 2008-9, to have a genuine championship look.

    A major element of Liverpool's success was always the hard man in the middle, with a distinguished (or notorious!) lineage from Tommy Smith, through Hughes, Sounness himself, McMahon and most recently Mascherano. If there's one thing I don't yet see in Kenny's promising new squad, it's someone with that steel who will terrify and subdue the opposition.

    But I certainly see Liverpool finishing above Arsenal this season, and with expectations of a top three place or better.


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  8. #18
    Shiny Disco Balls Gold Poster SammiValentine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    He is comparing a pre premier league side/era with a post premier league side in a business/larger picture manner - it just does not work like that imo. chalk and cheese.
    SKY and money changed everything.

    Didnt scout enough foreign players, what in 89-91 ? rofl - how many foreigners in the top division then ? backroom staff? think you will find staffing has quadrupled nowadays ..

    There was a plenty of youngsters coming through, Fowler, McManaman...

    Kenny left post hillsborough we all know why, and of course then came Souness and the rest is history.

    How that^^ is comparable with Arsenal in 2011 in the "EPL" is beyond my imagination sorry


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  9. #19
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    I think its about the way in which statistics are collated and then weighted against a basket of indicators -which would include more than titles or cups won, but things like continuous presence in the First Division/Premier League and so on; Arsenal has a better record than Liverpool for example; Arsenal relegated just once, Liverpool at least twice -and the stats I think I saw would have gone back to the 1870s. I don't know it is a fact.

    I also wondered if Jock Stein had Jewish origins, but it turns out Stein is a derivative of Steven, there is an entertaining website on Jews here
    http://www.jewornotjew.com/profile.jsp?ID=998

    I think it can be slippery, had either Celtic or Rangers played in the First Division/Premier League their records would be poorer; Mexico always reach the World Cup finals because they play useless teams in the qualifying rounds.
    Love the Jock Stein thought, Stavros. He was the first Protestant manager of Celtic, it would have blown all the heads off the green and blue bigots if he'd been Jewish!

    He was also part of the glorious and immortal triumvirate of Scottish managers from that tight triangle of mining country in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire that produced both Matt Busby and Bill Shankly. I'd also still argue that he remains the greatest manager these islands have ever produced, and the fact that his achievements, other than that perfect night in Lisbon in 1967, were all made in Scotland, shouldn't diminish him in any way. Add the fact that his first management job was at Dunfermline, my team, and my respect for him knows no bounds.

    As Bill Shankly said to him in that Lisbon dressing room when Celtic finally broke the UK's duck in the European Cup, "John, you're immortal."


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  10. #20
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    Default Re: Bloody Football!

    Being a Newcastle fan I am speechless at the start they have made!

    4th in league after 4 games only one goal against, but also only 3 for! I honestly thought we'd be like Blackburn this season. But for the strength of our defence we are going well - we need a striker in Jan though and maybe someone on loan now. Mid table would be amazing for Newcastle this season!

    As for Liverpool I expected more tbh. And as for Arsenal they will improve but they are lightyears away from winning the title!



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