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“Spirit of Shankly” lives on through Arsene & this picture sums it up

December 15, 2009

This picture reminded me of a famous quote by the legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly who served them for nearly 15 years.

I know it is a bit late, but better late than never. I just had to share it. Incidentally you could even use the picture of Arshavin celebrating with Wenger but I chose this one to explain my point. Anyway, back to the quote by Shankly,

A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure that you are.

Of course, our current team hasn’t won anything tangible yet and this result will pale in comparison if we fail to build on it. Yet, you can’t deny that had Arsene not shaken the team with his outburst at half time, we would not have witnessed our fightback. Nor would we see Gerrard in the shadows of Denilson.

In all honesty, how many of you expected to see a picture like this? Many of us, including me, felt Song was absolutely colossal. Yet Denilson was the one who won more tackles (9) and made more interceptions (7) than Song. And now this picture shows that Denilson more than held his own against the more experienced Gerrard.

Could it be that the realisation of being outhought and outmuscled as well on this occasion by an “inexperienced”, “average” Brazilian was the real reason behind Gerrard’s unhappiness during the game?

It was a forgettable game for Gerrard in all honesty. He had a pass completion of 57%, lost 9 out of the 14 tackles and had only one shot on goal which was blocked off rather effortlessly. 

I still remember as if it happened yesterday, Pires cutting past Gerrard with ease to set up the winner for Ljungberg in December 2001. Curiously, Gerrard was 21 then, just like Denilson is now. He certainly wasn’t the player he was now so why can’t Denilson become a world class player in his own right?

Bill Shankly installed the plaque which reads “This is Anfield” and it is ironic that this was the ground where Wenger finally lost his composure. Many teams have come here, many Arsenal teams have come here, and gone away comprehensively beaten.

I try to be composed. It was good to be able to surprise the players after 13 years (in charge of Arsenal).

None of us will ever know the team talk verbatim. But you can picture him saying this “This is Anfield and you are not fit to wear the Arsenal shirt, the same shirt that won the league here in 1989.”

It sounds tough, harsh but finally Wenger is learning that sometimes being tough can pay off. Who says you don’t learn anything new as you get older? He certainly did and so do we.

And that picture is just one moment you should remember of what this Arsenal team CAN and perhaps with a little bit of luck, will do.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. messi permalink
    December 15, 2009 04:43

    beautiful blog full of inspiration top man !

  2. dixon permalink
    December 15, 2009 06:30

    Point on. Love it

  3. tafthegutterman permalink
    December 15, 2009 10:00

    “Stevie Who “?” luv it !!!!!

  4. GOONER 4 LIFE permalink
    December 15, 2009 10:24

    Goosebumps loved it….

    We are so so close i can feel it.

    Come on you GOONERS come on!!!!!!

  5. Paulette permalink
    December 15, 2009 11:09

    Keep it in perspective.. this Sc*use team is a poor replica of last season.. Yet I’m chuffed to bits to beat those louts [because that’s what Gerrard, Carragher and co are].

    • December 15, 2009 20:02

      very true and I mentioned the need to keep in in perspective. still, like you say it does feel good doesn’t it.


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