Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dirty Arsenal

"Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap"

- Acca Dacca, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

According to Theo, we've got some dirty deeds to do next season. Last year was a disappointment, due in part to our inability to grind out wins when we weren't playing well. This season, we've got to change. We have to learn to play dirty, win dirty, and um... talk dirty as well.

I'm not sure what's up with Theo these days. First off, he rebelled against Wenger and joined his England mates in the U21 tournament. Then, he got angry - really angry - at everyone, and talked about the necessity of playing angry to win. And now, he's talking about playing ugly. It's a bit of a shock, to be honest. Who's this ugly, angry young man in the Arsenal top, and where did that nice little Theo go?

Maybe it's a case of delayed teenage rebellion. Youngsters who get pressured into high-profile careers too soon can sometimes go crazy once they gain their freedom as adults. Think about Britney Spears. Now, I'm not suggesting Theo will go down that path, but I don't think it's completely out of the question to say that he'll run off and marry to a back-up dancer, have two kids, shave his head, go into rehab, and then launch a successful comeback album after a horrible mimed performance at the MTV Awards.

Stranger things have happened, after all.

I understand what Theo's saying, though. A little bit of grit and determination wouldn't go astray. The Arsenal of last season was anaemic, unfocused and barely interested. There were a lot of lacklustre draws and a number of shocking defeats, and if we'd managed to apply ourselves for all of those games, we could've finished the season a lot higher up - maybe even 3rd.

However, I don't see the correlation between playing ugly and winning matches. The Arsenal played very ugly in the middle of last season, and by all accounts it was our worse stretch of matches since Wenger first took charge. We don't need to play ugly scrappy football to win matches - we just need to play with application and focus.

I'm getting excited about the coming season. With Vermaelen in, Rosicky and Eduardo (hopefully) over their injuries and the kids having gained another year of experience, we look like we've got a pretty good squad. And if we use the Adebayor money to buy a couple of good first-team players, we're going to be competitive. We might not win anything next year, but we should come close.

Whatever happens, I hope we don't have to resort to playing ugly next season. With a potential first team line-up containing Rosicky, Arshavin, Fabregas and van Persie, it'll be a travesty if we resort to ugliness to win. Just pass, move and harass the opposition like maniacal midget minutemen, fellas. That's all you need to do.


Anonymous said...

this argument of playing ugly in order to achieve results has been going on for years. It used to be there even when we were invincible. A lot of games Arsenal played last year were not pretty, even the ones we did win. In fact the game where we played super slick football we lost 4-1.

I wouldn't put it down to the players being uninterested. They just need to stand up for themselves a bit more and realize that they have to be working for the whole 90 minutes as opposed to the first 20 minutes or 70 minutes of the whole game. Concentration in one word.

Connolly's agent said...

Too right