The Day The Earth Stood Still at SHL
By Boris Mellor
June 27 2017
So its the that exciting time of year when we all wait with bated breath to hear who Arsene has signed, and the list of who he hasn't signed grows longer. Its hard to find anything worth writing about at this stage, so lets have a golden oldie from the good old days when Arsenal were a real contender for the league, or perhaps not as its an award winning article from October 2005. (Actually I am not missing the season at all, its a relief not to have to watch the same old same old of Inspector Clouseau once again messing up an attempt to win the league.)
The story of yet another failed attempt by Spurs to win world dominance is printed below:
According to some this was the day when the balance of power in North London would shift from Arsenal to Spurs. Also because Spurs have many English players, whilst Arsenal consists, mainly, of nasty foreigners the match stood in for England versus the Rest of the World, or at least the French.
One banner declared "we don't fear the French", very brave indeed, especially as there was only one Frenchman in the starting line-up.
The plucky Englanders were going to wrestle with the invaders and remove them from any dominance in North London - you know the sort of thing "for you Fritz (or Pierre) the war is over". Years of brutal dominance by the foreign invader were about to be ended, but a bit like the Battle of the Somme the attempt at a rapid advance got bogged down and by full-time both sides were stuck in the stalemate of no man's land.
However in the first half of this battle it certainly looked like total victory was there for Tottenham, indeed Wenger must have forgot to tell Arsenal that the Battle was starting at 1 p.m. This might explain why Arsenal's defence was caught with their tin hats missing when the first aerial bombardment, of any consequence, caught them completely at sixes and sevens. Ledley King got a completely free header as Arsenal's ill-prepared defences went AWOL, neither Campbell or Toure were anywhere near King when he struck. Arsenal lacked any organisation for the first half, and probably lucky to go in at halftime only one nil down.
The theorists for the shift in the balance of power must have been rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of the second-half, surely Spurs would finish the job in the second-half. Arsenal fans may have feared a rout, but in the dressing-room the high command were addressing the situation, Wenger did not tell us what was said but he says that the team were reborn during the break.
The rebirth included replacing Flamini with Robert Pires, almost immediately Arsenal began to play better. Not long after Freddy suffered from cramp and was replaced by van Persie. Now Arsenal began to play that famous blitzkrieg football of their's; the ball began to swing about as the attack increasingly penetrated Spurs territory. However Robinson was in fine form, and even though van Persie, and others tested him several times they were either wide of the mark or unable to beat the keeper. But there is no doubt that RvP added speed, determination and penetration to the attack.
However it was Reyes who won the free kick that led to a useful free kick from Bergkamp that Robinson failed to clear sufficiently, Pires was lurking on the edge of the penalty area and his shot was deadly accurate. Now Arsenal really swung into action with wave after wave of attack, for the first time they looked the most likely winners, but they had left it too late.
This was the day that the earth was going to move, at least for Spurs, but there was no shift at White Hart Lane today. If you want to become a top team then you have to beat the elite. True they are much improved and should enjoy a better season, but failure to beat an Arsenal side that didn't turn up until 2 pm, for a 1pm kick-off is not an indication of a shift in the balance of power, they will have to do far better than that. They had failed to beat an Arsenal side that has made one of its worst starts in many years. An Arsenal that according to the pundits is there for the taking if Henry doesn’t play.
However, ignoring the hype, it is also an Arsenal which will, some time soon, hit top form, the pundits say Spurs are work in progress, true, but so are Arsenal and they start from a higher level. For Spurs it was the day the Earth stood still.pqs: qs:
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:06:30:12:45:02 by Padre Pio.
After the near miss in 2015/16, he has now 3 years to win the title by 2018/19.
The foundation is the defence and if he gets it right this season, more to come from this team. ... and of course, whether he can buy another "Henry" and "Pires".
With those crazy price of 50-mil, 60-mil and even 100-mil+ quoting everywhere, no wonder it is cheaper to retain Alexis for oen more season rather than spend 100+ mil on Myappe or another striker costing 60+ mil.
After all, there is still the January 2018 to convince Alexis to sign-on or just let him leave on a Bosman.
A shadow of what we were
- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.
Plus Wenger is obsessed with football and Arsenal FC and will only leave if Board turns against him.