Crisis? what Crisis...? and spot Block 6 on Gooner Tube!!!

Crisis averted. The remaining league fixtures this month remain extremely testing, so the moment to savour our rebirth may be short lived, although the truth is rarely as good or as bad as the pundits and their echoes presume.
There will be those people who will continue to lie in wait for the moment to proclaim this season a failure, it is strange that this group contains supposed goners, but they jumped the gun this time. There will remain those who seem to think that Wenger’s faith in this team is a sign of senility, but now is not their time either. Closer to home there will be people who harbour grave doubts about our ability to grind out results with staunch defence and midfield steel, this though remains a theory not a fact.
I think the victory at the weekend has discredited the first two positions mentioned above. Failure to win silverware will be pounced upon by those in the first group, although whilst we remain in the hunt for all 4 we started the season competing for they perhaps should have shown more restraint in the past week. The fact is that we look very good in Europe, have a favourable draw this Tuesday to reach the last 8 of the league cup, and are yet to enter the FA cup. The league remains a possibility.
For those who decided that a rough week, we drew 2 lost 1, was the moment to sharpen the knives it now appears that it was they spouting gibberish, not Arsene. After the weekends game he described himself and Ferguson as two “survivors” in the game, indicating that this longevity had bred a mutual respect as each were the only men who could understand the travails of the other.
As is characteristic of so much of the quick-fire criticism this season, we are barely out of October and it has been running for a while, the hysteria of the last week lacked historical perspective. After more than a decade at the top of his game, it was foolish perhaps to assume Wenger would pass on into a cloud of supposedly blindingly obvious error and do so quietly. When you look through all the negativity we were never as bad as people said last week. We should have beaten the scum; we looked superb for 89 minutes. Still, we drew a game in which the opposition scored from 40 yards, on a rebound from a 25 yard shot, from 20 yards, and a tap in after a 25 yard volley deflected onto the post.
Take the immediate emotion out of that and we were on the wrong end of a freak night when 1 team got all the breaks. Fenerbache we simply played off the park. A young side displayed verve and style against an experienced and accomplished team that was largely the one that made the last 8 last year and nearly beat Chelsea. Stoke was poor and we looked jaded, but one game does not make a crisis. For those people in the third group, who think that the team has identifiable weaknesses that will hinder it from winning the big prizes, I see some hope in the victory over manure. Specifically, I think that the game on Saturday showed that the problems we have are predominantly mental and not any deficiency in quality or personnel.
The simple fact is that we beat the champions when it was essential, despite a tough week when confidence took a battering and with a depleted team. The most proficient attack in the country was held at bay for 89 minutes and we won the game in central midfield. Yes Utd had chances, but so did we, and when it mattered we were able to score the vital goals not them. We showed that when the whole team is focused, determined, and willing to run until they drop this side has everything else needed to win. I don’t think that we are too weak defensively. We have been poor in that area, but the players are good enough. The all French line up looked good and Billy gave a captains performance. It appears Toure will be the odd man out of the odd couple. That’s sad as Toure has been a great player for this club, he might still have a big part to play this season, but for now he looks set to sit. With Djourou impressing whenever he plays, just maybe we might turn the corner at centre-back, as well as having good depth and hope for the future.
Saturday also showed again that when played in a system that exploits our strengths and negates our emphasis on technique over power our midfielders can be solid. Denilson was deployed as a holding player, allowing Cesc and Diaby to sit in front of him in tandem. None of these 3 is a great defender, but together they were able to stifle the opposition. Their movement and interchange of passing convincingly won the match in the middle of the park. Our young Brazilian deserves special praise here. He was possibly the only player to emerge with credit out of the last week, ran the show against Fener, then put in an excellent display bettered only by Nasri’s match winning effort on Saturday. (Well played to Bendtner who many people have not given the credit he deserved.)
When we play to our full potential there are few sides who can match us. The problem, rather than chronic deficiency in a particular area is immaturity. It is normal that young players are inconsistent – Walcott is a good example of this – the test for Wenger is galvanising them each and every game to produce. That said, of all the top teams we have the greatest room for improvement. (I realise that itself tells you something about our indifferent start, but we are not far off none-the-less) The side that beat Utd played with a midfield where Abou Diaby at 22 was the elder statesman and Cesc Fabregas was the only player with real big game experience.
Cesc was also the only regular starter in midfield last season. This is a unit that will gel and could be genuinely amazing. Walcott and Nasri both look like the future for many years out wide. Cesc is Cesc, and Diaby, Denilson, and Song between them look to be developing into the solution rather than being the question.
If nothing else Saturday will restore some faith, maybe try and keep it now. The title will be won and lost next year, for now let’s just stay in the reckoning to give ourselves a chance – the next three games are very tough. Please try not to write the team off, how would you feel if the players threw the towel in November? I think that would be a scandal, but Wenger would never let that happen. We should keep up our end of the bargain also. Remember: form is temporary, class is permanent; Arsene is sheer class and we are lucky to have him.
I interrupt this blog to let people know that there is footage of the BLOCK 6 REDACTION group here on GOONER TUBE together with some other goodies from that day! I uploaded these last night so please ENJOY!!!
***Fabregas the King.***

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