Arsenal a mixed bag

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It’s been a relatively quiet news day for the club as the Arsenal side start preparations for the weekend Premiership clash against Roy Keane’s Sunderland.

Robin van Persie’s confidence could be viewed in contrasting waysAs always, though, a couple of Arsenal players have had some things to say about the excellent result against Steaua Bucharest. Dutch striker Robin van Persie has kicked things off by saying a big, fat ‘I told you so!’ to the football public after his side’s bright start to the season.

“I first started just with Theo [in June] and then the other lads joined. What I saw was a great togetherness, a great belief and a great, great quality. It was early but I told you at the Amsterdam Tournament this is what I felt. However when I spoke, everyone was laughing.”

I have to say I remember laughing at van Persie as well, but it was not at what the Dutchman was saying but the way that he was saying it. Sometimes when the club has had some good results and van Persie scores a few goals he can get on a bit of a roll and sound a bit overconfident. To supporters of the club who understand him this seems quite alright but to outsiders of the club it can seem a little bit arrogant, and that’s probably the reason why noone really took him too seriously.

One thing I have noticed so far this season is the diversity in personalities that Arsene Wenger has blended into the squad. The outspoken, confident players like van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner and Jens Lehmann are countered by a group of intelligent, humble players like Gael Clichy, Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb, who are lead brilliantly by the likes of William Gallas, Kolo Toure and Gilberto Silva. 

The contrast between van Persie and Gilberto suggests Wenger has the mix just rightGilberto’s wise words 

There are, of course, a whole range of other players who fit into these categories and many more. But what it does show you is that Wenger has created a dynamic blend of diverse personalities that any sport psychologist would approve of. You just have to compare van Persie’s comments about the Arsenal team to those made by Gilberto Silva to see what I mean.

“It is important we keep our feet on the ground because football changes all the time. If you don’t keep your feet on the ground and your mind strong it is very hard.”

Whether this diversity equates to success this season is another thing entirely, but it does suggest that all the right ingredients are there for great success for years to come. Just on Gilberto, he has shown Arsenal supporters time and time again just what an intelligent and humble man he is, and these latest comments are no different. This current side is yet to face any real setbacks and it won’t be until they lose a game or two until we will be able to tell whether Wenger’s side has the ability to go all the way to the title.

On a side note, I would suggest that Gilberto’s comments have something to do with the man who has replaced him in midfield so far this season, Mathieu Flamini. The Frenchman has been in outstanding form so far and whilst I would not like to see him dropped for Gilberto at this stage, the Brazilian’s comment that “football changes all the time” should serve a timely reminder to Flamini and the Arsenal supporters that he may not necessarily maintain this form for the entire campaign. I think it is great to have such a wise player as Gilberto in and around the club and it speaks volumes about his honour and integrity that he is prepared to remain patient despite limited playing time this season. He is a credit to the game of football and someone that a few so-called ‘stars’ could learn a thing or two from.

Mathieu Flamini’s good form may not last foreverArsenal should remain cautious

Thirdgen, who writes another excellent Arsenal blog, mentioned in his post today that the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003/04 are being mentioned in the same breath as the current Arsenal side, and I tend to agree with him. There is no doubt that Arsenal have started the season brightly and have given themselves every chance of winning some silverware but we shouldn’t get too carried away. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but one defeat can easily turn into three and I believe that is what Gilberto is referring too. This side will certainly face setbacks this season and they will lose at some point, and it will be up to Wenger and the team to react in a constructive manner.

Just before I go I want to remind you again about the Arsenal FC Blog eMagazine that will be launching on Monday. You can check out all the details here. There is also a competition where you can win a free shirt thanks to the good people at Arseshirts. All you have to do is come up with a name for the new eMagazine and if you win, you will not only get the free shirt but the name you come up with will also be used for the new eMagazine. You can leave your entries here. I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again: good luck!

What do you think?

Have you say on the personalities in the Arsenal squad by leaving a comment.


24 thoughts on “Arsenal a mixed bag

  1. That’s a fine point that you mentioned – truth be told the only player I doubt in Arsenal is Gallas. Sure enough he is a terrific player, but I am still not convinced of his temperament. But time will tell, as Gilberto said. 🙂

    Btw, it must be a nice little bulge with that Liverpool loss!

  2. Yeah, a cool $55 obtained. I just had a feeling Marseille were a chance – Liverpool have been in awful form and I think Marseille are the best side in France at the moment. As for Gallas, I have to say that I am convinced with his temperament. I felt a lot of things involving him were blown out of proportion last season and he went into this season under too much scrutiny. He’s never done anything overly wrong in my opinion.

  3. I do like Gallas and it was a great buy but i do question his captaincy and he must do well to retain his place once he is back from injury. Congrats on the winning bet btw lol, arsenal in great form. Like the blue colour.

  4. I think it will be wrong for Gallas to walk straight into the very team he criticised for being too young, light weight, and inexperienced over the summer. This team has kept clean sheets and although I dont trust Phillipe Senderos I think there isnt any more he can do than he is at the moment to cement his place in the team. It will be a slap on the face for Gilberto Silva who arguably is in the same situation. Suppose Wengers get out of jail card will be that he is captain which I have had many a night’s piss up thinking about how he landed the captaincy especially after the crap he said over the summer which could not have pleased the young players in the team.

  5. i wud have given the captaincy 2 toure, likewise the vice-captainsy last season also. We are a great team with great players and great team spirit but for that ot last we need to keep players happy by playing Gilberto and Gallas in their favoured position but i think wenger will sell Gilberto to Juve for 10 mil in January

  6. Seether – I think Gallas deserves to walk back into the team. He and Toure are clearly our best two central defenders and if they’re both fit, they should both play. The difference between Gallas and Gilberto’s situations are that Flamini is in excellent orm and Senderos is not. Taking Flamini out might actually stunt our performances but replacing Senderos with Gallas is only likely to improve them.

  7. Jay – The issue of the captaincy is a strange one. I would never have thought Gallas would be captain but since he’s been in the role I’ve quite enjoyed it. Toure and Gilberto are both great leaders, there’s no doubt about it, but they’re very quiet and Gallas brings a rougher edge to the leadership department. I personally don’t think Gilberto will leave, but you can’t rule it out. Either way, I still feel he will be an important ingredient in our side over the course of the season.

  8. Being Irish, I’m a bit torn between supporting Roy Keane (who is doing a pretty good job with Sunderland) and Arsenal this weekend. Eh who am I kidding, Arsenal all the way.

    On an unrelated note, Spanish Fry, you’ll be disappointed to know that Adebayor is rated lower than Eduardo in the latest incarnation of Fifa (fifa08). I can figure that one out either!

  9. Darragh – Do you know what? Stuff FIFA08! Pro Evolution is way better anyway and I’m sure when it gets released things will be perfect!! Also, are you mad? You might be Irish but you can’t even think about supporting Sunderland this weekend. Arsenal all the way, as you said.

  10. Hehe. Who likes that Keane guy anyway? Man U scum ! I’m usually a pro-ev man, but they haven’t released the new pro-ev yet (so I hear) and not on the WII. I must admit, the Wii version of Fifa is pretty fun to play.

    Wenger, pls sign Micah Richards.

  11. I cannot wait for the next Pro Evo. The last one was a bit average but my mates and I were addicted to Pro Evo 5 but I started to get sick of playing with an Arsenal side who wore maroon kits and had players like Bergkamp, Aliadiere and Baptista in the side! Also, Clichy was an absolute muppet in the game – all speed but no ability! Can’t wait to run around with guys like Eduardo and Sagna in the team!!

  12. hey i also am a fan of pro evo 5….im cannot wait for november to come around so i can get pro evo 7 and a ps3 so i can have the best and latest version of pro evo…….any ppl out there fans of both fifa and pro evo….word on the street is that fifa 08 has come a long way and is even par with pro evo !! can anyone back this claim up?

  13. On par, I think not! Although I don’t really know because I haven’t played it. But if Adebayor is not rated as highly as Eduardo then I say “Burn it!”.

  14. cant wait for ronaldo to rip it up on pro evo 7 lol…..hope they make sheva crap lol

    the barcelona team will be good !!

    have any of you guys been watching barca play…its the thierry henry and messi show, they are carving teams apart those 2 guys…who needs ronaldinho

  15. Fifa 08 on the nintendo WII, using the wiimote to score goals etc, is quite fun – this is the first fifa I’ve been a fan of since the original. I’m usually a PROEV guy…but I was chafing to play a soccer game, so bought this one.

  16. Haha. Hey Ronaldo7, Henry hasn’t been carving up too much, apart from the hat-trick the other day. Mostly it’s been Messi – man that guy is good. I read somewhere recently that since Messi and Rooney were compared similarly at a younger age, Messi has just improved out of sight and Rooney hasn’t. Very, very interesting. In my opinion Messi is on another planet compared to Rooney these days.

  17. i got fifa 08 on xbox360 and its good, i do like both so i have to say fifa 08 is really good this time, harder to score more ability and technical stuff is important

  18. yeh messi is of a different class to rooney that is for sure…very different type of players though…messi has class and brilliance..rooney has fight and brilliance…would love to see them in the same league….its just so hard to say who is the best cause different players play differently in different leagues…..messi would have to be the best in the world right now

  19. Some people are concerned mostly because the media,in particular the commentators and papers have always disliked Almunia for one or two errors he made years ago.Every keeper makes errors sometimes,the important thing is how few you can make and let’s just look at the facts,Almunia has made very,very few no serious ones and half the ones he’s been creditted for were the fault of the defence.Why would he not be able to maintain his good form over a whole season.
    There’s absolutely nothing at all to suggest he can’t ,so why not get behind the man who is doing,and has been doing almost every time he’s ever been called upon,don’t in anyway make mistake by changing Almunia.He is doing well at the moment,Encourage him the more so that will grow with confidence.
    Let nobody or group of individual distract him now that he is doing very well.
    I love Almunia.

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