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The tail behind the story – From the Mackems to Standard Liege

November 23, 2009


Late last night, I came across an article that explained how news was doctored on various news channel platforms across the USA to suit an opponent’s aim. You can read the article here.

It led me to question my own agenda when I post something on here. Then I noticed there were good number of people on my blog at a time when I didn’t expect this. After a little check in my visitor record I observed that these came across from an unofficial Sunderland FC forum.

Why would they come on here? Simple. The word spread rather fast on my Lorik Cana vs Alex Song comparison, reaching out to Mackems who were amused and annoyed in equal measures. How could I use statistics and subsequent interpretation to ridicule in their eyes a most impressive signing?

In my defence I can only offer an apology to them if that was the case. I suspect they don’t care much anyway as in the end, they picked up the league points, we didn’t.

The purpose of that article was to investigate whether the hype from some Gooners on the potential impact of Cana (at our club) was justified based on the games so far this season. It shouldn’t have illuminated Song’s numbers while at the same time turn the lights off on Cana’s.

I understand the analysis behind the quantitative numbers (i.e. number of passes) was a contentious issue, one that Gooners and Mackem fans have sought to destroy. This is a grey area indeed and I can appreciate this now having watched both Cana and Song in the same match. However, quantitative numbers still retain importance although context is very important. Besides, not all defensive midfielders are schooled in the same way.

As for us Gooners, having a midfielder that is doing well on the statistics count doesn’t guarantee tangible success. Let us not carry that idea over so readily.


Moving on from the Premiership, we have Standard Liege visiting the Emirates in the Champions League. I can’t think of an instance where a team with 10 points has failed to qualify at all. Qualification is almost inevitable and finishing first or second in the group is irrelevant.

Unlike a certain team in Merseyside, we can afford to draw and still get through on Tuesday. This mentality of only needing a draw however is dangerous and there are many examples where teams have failed to secure the minimum result. And lest we forget, we were 2-0 down against the Belgian side within the first 5 minutes in Liege. That was unpleasant viewing, one I don’t want to see. Ever.

And yet I wouldn’t mind if the core of Gallas, Vermaelen, Arshavin, Song and perhaps even Cesc were rested. Why not field a XI of returnees (from injuries) and those in need of game time? It would be another opportunity for them to perform in a match where the result mattered. A line up without the core players would be something like this


Eboue Silvestre Senderos Gibbs

Ramsey Denilson Rosicky

Nasri Eduardo Vela

Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts below on this and anything else Arsenal related. If you want to contact me via email do so at gunnerstoday(@) Take out the brackets, obviously.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. block6gooner permalink
    November 23, 2009 21:33

    Interesting line-up and pretty much puts the “lack of squad depth” to bed when we have two decent starting outfield teams. Would be a good to give some of the lesser used players a chance in a semi-important game which isn’t a dead rubber.

    • November 24, 2009 00:00

      on paper it looks decent enough for the match against Liege but I’m aware it looks unlikely when the teams are named.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    November 23, 2009 22:15

    We have a cracking squad, but, yes- “But”! I still think we could do with a strong physical striker, maybe even a proven goalscorer, who would command the main position.
    Not for each & every game, but sometimes i feel we lack a bit in this position. Bentner is not quality ! strong he may be, but not quality !!
    I wouldn’t want to compromise our style of play, as we used to when Henry was up front, but someone like david villa, possibly, who could fit into our style of play.
    I am not saying we dont have good strikers, but i dont think they put fear into teams, mentally, i dont think other opponents ctually worry about facing our small goalscorers.
    just an observation you understand, possibly after losing, i’m a bit downbeat, dont know ? cant put a finger on it, but if we lose to Chelsea on the weekend, it will be a disaster !
    Liege will be easy, 3-1 i feel !

  3. tafthegutterman permalink
    November 23, 2009 22:23

    Sorry, that was my comment previously, not anonymous. forgot to sign in ! and my battery went on my laptop as i was about to ! & i stand by my observation i made. Tafthegutterman.

    • November 24, 2009 00:01

      we’re all disappointed but give it until say Christmas before we can say we definitely need reinforcement. Wasn’t too long ago when we scored for fun..

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