Arsene Wenger loves the beautiful game. Us fans love the beautiful game too. However, people who support smaller clubs like watching their side beat Arsenal by any means even more. Which is precisely Arsene’s gripe.
Wenger has said that he’s becoming bored by negative football after watching his side held to a draw by dullards Everton. After Tim Cahill had fired Everton ahead the Tofeemen packed everyone behind the ball in a bid to protect their lead.
The Gunners boss said: "Every game we don’t win is a massive disappointment. It was very frustrating against a team with zero shots on or off target and when you have 70% of the ball. From the first minute to the last the goalkeeper was placing goal-kicks from the left and then moving them to the right. They were standing in front of the ball at free-kicks. It was negative but that’s the way the game is going at the moment. It’s like a film you have seen 10 times. It is becoming boring." So what?
Obviously, we fans would like nothing better than thrilling open matches with both sides playing jaw dropping ‘total football’. Matches with spectacular goals… games ending 3-2 and 3-3… oh it would be bliss! However, I’m a Bolton fan. I’m also a realist. For fans of teams like Bolton, Charlton, Pompey and Fulham, they understand that style is one thing, points on the board is another. Without the millions of pounds worth of investment, smaller clubs cannot afford to lose those valuable cheques sent in by the Premiership. I’m not saying these teams don’t provide entertainment and decent football for one minute… I mean, as a neutral, if I could watch anyone other than my beloved Trotters, it would be Arsenal… but currently sitting in the top five of the table, would I swap that to play Arsenal’s brand of football? In short, not on your life.
I can understand Wenger’s frustration, but his whines seem a little soft for my liking. Let’s look at Saturday. A very painful Saturday afternoon (for me at least) saw Man United tear apart a (normally) stubborn Bolton. United were irrepressible. They were simply too good in all areas of the park for the Wanderers. It pains me to say it, but it’s the truth. United, from the off, play breath taking high tempo football, and the 4-0 scoreline proves it. Arsenal have to learn how to overcome sides resisting their style of play. Man United’s mixture of creativity, guile and aggression opened Bolton up like cheap zips. Arsenal played the waiting game and lost two points as a result. Sometimes you have to grind a result out get the points. Backheels don’t always win a match. Arsene, it may pain you, but have a look at the way ManYoo are playing at the moment, and get your players told. I for one want a three-way race for the title this year.